Jillian Michaels: Nose Jobs, Body Image and the Critics

Jillian Michaels: Nose Jobs, Body Image and the Critics

“The past doesn’t define you, your present does. It’s okay to create a vision of the future because it affects your behavior in the “now,” but don’t dwell on past mistakes. Learn from them and focus those lessons in the moment. That’s where change can really happen.” ~Jillian Michaels 

jillian-michaels-before-and-afterAs news of celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels’ life-changing nose job at the age of 16 spreads like wildfire, you’ve got to wonder: does this mean that the former Biggest Loser trainer has lost credibility when it comes to her way of encouraging a positive body image?

I say absolutely not! And here’s why: she was the victim of bullying as a kid – and the nose job helped her feel more confident, according to an interview she gave People Magazine. 

While I do understand that going as drastic as plastic surgery can seem extreme to boost confidence, I’m not here to judge. And even though I personally disagree that the girl even needed a nose job, I understand how it feels to have a physical trait make you feel so insecure. (I think she was beautiful before!)

Michaels told People that she doesn’t mean to imply that your physicality should define you, but that there are certain things that make people feel insecure. 

 “So, if there is something you want to fix that allows you to feel a little bit more confident, I support it. …I think it’s about [doing it for] the right reasons,” Michaels said. 

Jillian Michaels’ Body Image Hacks

1. Don’t beat yourself up. Michaels says you should break the habit of being self-destructive and work toward self acceptance by being gentle and loving to yourself.

2. Be okay with your body type. If you’re curvy or voluptuous, it doesn’t mean you’re fat, Michaels says. A healthy body comes in all shapes and sizes, so just love yourself for what you are.  

3. Try “antidote” statements. Reverse the self-loathing tapes you play in your head by writing down the negative things you say to yourself and write positive affirmations next to them. 

Celebrity fitness trainsers like Jillian Michaels see a variety of body image issues in their classes and gyms every day. They have important lessons about how people perceive their own bodies and the bodies of others.

Your Body Image Makeover

before and after angie1The way you view your body is important for overall health and fitness. I get it, and maybe more than you’d expect! But try this.

Use these strategies to develop a positive body image and gain the advantage of stronger mental and physical health:

Step One: Understand why body image matters.

How do you feel after you look in the mirror? Do you love your body, or are you constantly searching for new flaws?

It’s easy to become preoccupied with external appearances. Do you see every flaw and feel imperfect? Do you worry about how others perceive you? Your mind forms your opinions of body images.

Body image issues are tied to self-esteem and confidence. They’re also part of overall emotional health, so unhealthy opinions can have a strong negative impact on your life.

Step Two: Challenge stereotypes.

Like the lady said, we’re all different. Fitness experts see a huge variety of body shapes and sizes. The human body is not restricted to a specific mold. Everyone isn’t the same height or weight. Accepting this variety will help you to challenge stereotypes related to body image.

It’s important to understand that one body type isn’t the correct way to exist. There is no ideal weight, height, or shape on the planet. The universe has created a variety of shapes and sizes for a reason. Diversity makes things more fun and avoids boredom.

Remember: exercise doesn’t produce the same results in each person. One person may lose weight faster, and another may gain muscle slower.

The stereotype of a stick-thin model or muscular man has to change. Fitness experts recommend avoiding these stereotypes and focusing on your own body. What do you think is your ideal shape?

Need help finding out what your ideal shape should be? Visit MyBodyGallery.com – I’ve found it to be a great resource for finding perspective as well as inspiration on my weight loss journey. 

Step Three: Find positive “body” role models.

A good role model can help guide you to better health. I like to call them fitness inspirations. Your fitness instructor could make a good role model, but there are also other options. Do you watch in awe as 90-year old women exercise in the park? Do you admire your disabled neighbor for still finding a way to stay in shape?

For example, you could find a celebrity (or even a friend) who is a similar height and body shape and use their fitness as inspiration. Personally, as a short, small-boned woman, people like Reece Witherspoon and Kirsten Dunst have the type of bodies I’m shooting for. How about you? 

But remember: Positive role models don’t have to come out of magazines, television shows, or gyms. They can be normal people who stay in shape and love their bodies. They don’t have to be triathletes to inspire you.

A positive “body” role model can help you to see how a good body image can help make life better. But be sure to find someone you feel positive about – negative energy isn’t good for weight loss (or really anything, for that matter). 

Step Four: Eat for life. 

You’ve got to learn to love yourself RIGHT NOW, in this moment. A negative body image can lead to eating disorders and other concerns. Fitness experts report seeing these issues often in their classes, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, in my personal experience, it never works that way – when you stop eating or mess with your digestive system via anorexia or bulemia or even obsessive binging, you’re actually risking more than just being overweight – you’re risking your life. Stop that! 

Personally, I’ve lost more than 100 pounds and kept it off for more than three years now. And I don’t do starving! Or sweating…often, and definitely not unnecessary surgery. So how’d I do it? Well, I’m glad you asked! I wrote a whole book detailing the journey – check it out here. 

Obsessive calorie counting and worrying can be a serious issue. In addition, they see punishments for messing up a diet or eating something sweet. All of these issues are linked to a poor body image.

You’ve got to eat healthy, about 90 percent of the time. Experts recommend consulting dieticians and nutritionists to work on eating disorders. Personally, I started out by focusing on making small internal changes – baby-stepping my way to being healthier. It has worked like a charm.

Depending on your personal threshhold for creating significant changes in your life,  you have to find a happy medium when it comes to eating. Like I said, try to eat healthy about 90 percent of the time. So you can allow yourself to have cheat days or cheat foods, so your body isn’t constantly craving certain foods. Eating these items in moderation can help you stick to a healthy diet.

Weight Loss Hack: Forbid the Idea of Forbidden!

For me, I refuse to call anything “forbidden” foods and I tell myself that I can eat anything I want. The feeling of freedom that comes from taking away the taboo of the “bad” foods is significant – and it also means I never have to feel the need to overdo it. That’s because knowing that I can eat or drink whatever I want whenever I want puts me in control – I can choose to eat the food or not. So if it’s “worth it” to me, I’ll have it. But often, having a nice butt and a flat stomach feels more important when I look at it that way. 

Step Five: Don’t be a hater!

 So many people have trouble with this one. It’s easy to feel jealous or angry when we see people who have something we want (or who we feel are doing something we wouldn’t do). But if you ever want to get this excess weight off, you’ve got to change your mind.

If you can avoid judging others, the benefits are HUGE, I promise! See, when you pass judgment on another person, a couple of things are happening – but mostly, the law of attraction comes into play and it all comes right back to you. So how can you fix that?

Instead of criticizing others, focus on positive aspects of their body and personality. This will help you see positive points in your own body image. So, if you’re feeling particularly disgusted by an overweight neighbor who walks her kids to school every day wearing short shorts, maybe you could focus on the fact that she’s out there moving and that she’s confident in her body. (I don’t know about you, but THAT is the kind of energy I want to be feeling – not the negative self-hate that comes with being a hater). 

Bottom line

I think it’s pretty obvious that a positive body image is essential to your physical and mental health. But I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts on this one. So what do you think? Am I off-base here? Does body image really affect weight? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or hit me up on Facebook

9 Shocking Life Changes to Expect When You Lose 100 Pounds

9 Shocking Life Changes to Expect When You Lose 100 Pounds

angI used to weigh more than 100 pounds more than I do today. When you’re as overweight as I used to be, people don’t always look you in the eyes. They make assumptions about you that probably aren’t true, including that you’re lazy and unintelligent.

People who haven’t struggled to get or stay slim don’t understand how it feels, but they are always congratulatory when they find out I’ve lost that much weight, which is nice.

Yeah, life’s definitely different than it used to be.

People are nicer.

Like I said, overweight often equals overlooked. Since I’ve lost the weight, I notice that people people in general are nicer to me. They’re more likely to offer me a hand or to smile at me in the aisle at the grocery store. I’m even more likely to get special discounts and other little goodies the world offers to petite blonde women. Imagine.

Truth? It makes me a little mad. But whatever.

Men are more aggressive.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you, but since I’ve lost the weight, not only do I get hit on more often, but the men (and a few women) have been a LOT more aggressive with their flirtation and attempts to gain my attention. This is mostly flattering but had been annoying/offensive and otherwise displeasing on a few occasions.

My feet are smaller.

I’d always been a size 7w in shoes, but after my second child was born, I found myself in a size 8w. I told myself it was related to the pregnancy, but interestingly, after I lost the weight, my feet quickly returned to their original size. (Score! An excuse to go shoe shopping!)

I can feel my bones.

Not like I’m super skinny, but for years, I didn’t even know I had hip bones. Now, I can feel them. A weird thing to note (if you’ve never been overweight!)

I’m not perfect.

A lot of us think crazy stuff like, “if I could just lose 100 pounds, I’d be almost perfect! My weight is the bane of my existence!”

Truth? You’re going to be just as messed up when you’re done losing the weight–on the inside. So, in my case, I’m still evolving, and my guess is that I’m not alone. So I’m OK with not being perfect. Instead I work on being a perfect (read: best possible) version of myself in any given moment.

Sitting is better. So is standing. And everything else.

Not only can I pretzel myself into nearly any position, but I can sit comfortably almost anywhere–including on my husband’s lap. And I can do just about anything I want with my body–I dig that. A lot.

I love my husband more, because I know he loves me for REAL.

See, when married me, I was 100 pounds heavier than I am now. And he still loved me and wanted to be with me.

No one else in the world can ever take his place, because I know for sure he loved me through some of the most unattractive years of my life. That is a beautiful trait to find in a man, no?

FASHION!  Yep.

Listen, there are some really great designers out there who make out plus sized sisters look amazing. Unfortunately for me, being only 5′ tall was working against me.

Some women can totally rock the plus size look, but for me? I wasn’t pulling it off. So after losing the weight, my ability to wear and buy what I want has made life way more fun. And since I can now wear the day, s and m sizes depending on the outfit, I can get some really great deals on the clearance racks. ( Around here, there are always leftovers in the little sizes).

I also shop the juniors section for some stuff. It’s cheaper and for trendy items, works well with some pieces.

I still have to watch what I eat and pay attention to my body.

It’s not a freaking cakewalk, people. IF you have been overweight, then you may once again go there if you’re not careful. It’s a matter of monitoring yourself closely and of CHANGING YOUR HABITS. That means it can’t just be a “temp” fix–you’ve got to be in this thing for the long haul. So go ahead and have a little chocolate if you need it–but don’t be crazy about it! Keep your serving size reasonable and make up the calories elsewhere.

 
Beautifully You: How to Love Yourself, Inside and Out

Beautifully You: How to Love Yourself, Inside and Out

English: Drew Barrymore at the premiere for He...

“I personally battled with my own body image for years. I used to tell myself, You can’t wear anything sleeveless or strapless. And all of a sudden I was like, What if I just didn’t send such negative messages to my brain and said, wear it and enjoy it? And now I’m more comfortable in clothes than ever.” ~Drew Barrymore

Do you struggle with your body image? If you do, you’re far from alone. In fact, about 91 percent of women are unhappy with their bodies, according to a study published at DoSomething.org, a non-profit that describes itself as “the country’s largest not-for-profit for young people and social change.”

Listen, I can relate. I have been there–and being human, I’m kinda still there sometimes. And according to researchers, only 5 percent of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media. So what’s a girl to do? How can you learn how to improve your body image?
The fact is that how you feel about your body affects your confidence, overall self-concept and personal value. It is, whether we admit it out loud or not, a HUGE part of how we define ourselves, right?

It can be hard to feel okay about what you look like when you’re constantly bombarded by insanely perfect images on TV, the internet, and magazines that depict people who are too thin or even (gasp!) digitally enhanced to mask flaws. It’s just unrealistic!

But here’s the deal. While we can’t make that pressure go away, we can certainly decide how to respond to it. Stand up and recognize that you will be your most beautiful when you are your true self–not some random copy of the average Hollywood starlet/streetwalker/whateveritisthatmakesyouhateyourbody.

It’s not just you–I know exactly how it feels. My body type has never been and never will be the Hollywood ideal. I am too short and my boobs are too small. Don’t laugh! It’s true. OH! And now, I’m too old (38). But I’m ok with it because I understand that no matter how much I worry and stress over the fact that I don’t look awesome in most skinny jeans or that I have to buy a lot of my clothes in the juniors section (including sometimes bras!)–well then I wouldn’t have noticed all these awesome things about me.

See how I lost 100 pounds, including before and after weight loss pics, right here.

Yeah, I know it sounds vain. But it’s true–there are plenty of awesome things about me. But don’t worry–I’m not going to list them. This post isn’t really about me–it’s about you!

So let’s go there and talk about you. I’d lay money on the fact that there are probably lots of awesome things about YOU too.

So step outside of your head with me for a moment, won’t you? Take a look at yourself from a whole new perspective. What are the beautiful things about you–inside and out?

How to Improve Your Body Image: Start With Perspective

 

You ARE Beautiful: Let Us Count the Ways

“I think beauty can’t simply be described as physical, but it’s your entire package. In the long run, physical beauty fades, and then what will you be left with? Your true beauty is what shines from within: your confidence, attitude, outlook, intellect, and love. These are the qualities you should nurture; they are what make you unique, and will ultimately enhance your own personal outlook, which is the most important. ” ~Cindy Busby

You already know that it’s important to love yourself for the person that you are. Everyone is made differently, but beautifully, in their own way. Sure, your beauty may be different than that of a fashion model, but you’re still beautiful! Once you accept yourself, you’ll be a happier person.

Focus On Yourself First

When you’re learning to love who you are inside and out, you first need to start with the inside. This simply means that you need to work on changing the way you think about beauty.

No one’s absolutely perfect–and yet each of us is perfectly ourselves–we are the living embodiment of the perfect version of ourselves, right now in this very moment.

There may always be something that you don’t particularly like about yourself, but it doesn’t negate your beauty, and it’s certainly no reason to have an unhappy life over it. Shift your focus onto the things that you do like about yourself–seriously.

Try having a little faith in humanity. If you people watch in a public place, are you constantly pointing out everyone’s flaws? Chances are that you’re not. You probably don’t judge your friends about their imperfections, so why should you be so hard on yourself?

Beautifully You: How to Love Yourself, Inside and Out

Once you’ve worked on your inner feelings, you can then move on to loving yourself on the outside. Unfortunately, in today’s society, people feel ashamed of what they look like to the point of having all sorts of procedures and surgeries. Don’t be fooled! You don’t need this in order to feel good about yourself–in fact, it might make you feel worse.

Read more: Beauty Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

You can attempt to make changes if you have a problem like acne or weight gain, but there are also things that you can’t change, like having wide hips or freckles. The best thing you can do is embrace yourself for the unique individual that you are. After all, there’s no one else on this planet quite like you–not a single person. Not even a twin, if you’ve got one–you’re still 100 percent yourself, and no one else can claim that.

Beautifully Healthy: Making Changes in a Healthy Way

If you wish to make changes in your appearance, you can certainly do so. You just need to be doing it for the right reasons. You might need to lose weight in order to get back into a healthy weight range. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to change your hair color every now and then either. Variety is the spice of life.

But some people are tempted to go too far and do things like losing too much weight. They convince themselves that even a healthy weight is “fat” and they strive to be underweight. And listen, ladies.

While our skinny sisters definitely have their fans out there, so do those of us who have a few more curves–trust me!

Even though I’ve lost more than 100 pounds, I still have some (pretty bangin’) curves–and while it sometimes frustrates me (especially when it comes to fashion!), I have learned to love it. Like I said–we’ve all got our fans.

It’s important for your health to avoid these types of problems. If you’re stuck in a situation like this, you need to explore the reasons why you feel this way. You also might want to discuss your concerns with a professional.

Pay it Forward: Pass On a Healthy Body Image

One thing you can do for the world is to help pass on a healthy body image to others. The way the media portrays beauty truly is outrageous, and everyone should be doing their part to promote health and beauty in an undistorted form.

If you have children, teach them that they’re beautiful just the way they are. Since children learn by example, ensure that you never put yourself down in front of them. Avoid complaining about your own body because they might overhear and you might inadvertently teach them something you never intended to teach.

A healthy body image is something we can all strive toward. You’ll make yourself and others feel better by complimenting your friends and family. Everyone likes to get a compliment every now and then (and remember that you get back what you put out there!). You just might make someone’s day, and your own in the process.

So what do you think? How do you feel about the way you look today? What can you do to feel better? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below!

 

 

Your Body Image, Your Self: How to Look and Feel Better Today

Your Body Image, Your Self: How to Look and Feel Better Today

BlendsocanuDo you struggle with your body image? If so, you’re far from alone–I’ve been there, and so has most everyone you know, in one way or another.

The fact is that most people feel unhappy about the way their bodies look, feel or are perceived by others. Some are so affected by these feelings that they develop body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a psychiatric condition that causes the victim to literally see something different than reality when it comes to their bodies.

Like everyone who suffers with body image issues, those with BDD are most often driven at least in part by the media’s obsession with a certain body type, along with supporting behaviors from those in their real lives, according to Luanne Kea, a Psychology instructor at South University.

“A person with BDD has taken that information from the environment that a person without BDD would use to determine appropriate clothing, makeup and perhaps greetings, and magnified the different shapes, angles, slopes, or curves of the face or body into imagined unsightly growths, recesses, or grotesque distortions,” Kea says. “Their fear of the social and cultural consequences of not meeting that ideal is far beyond the typical ‘not fitting in,’ and they avoid what they fear will be ostracism, humiliation, (and) public torment because of their ‘deformity.’”
A positive body image is about more than just feeling good.

How you feel about your body affects your confidence, overall self-concept, and personal value–and when you focus on what’s wrong with it, it can affect your entire life.

“People with Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) are concerned, to a level that is above any normal range of concern, with some aspect of their appearance,” Kea says. “Their concern or anxiety over their deformity keeps them from social (outings), work, or relational events and experiences.”

It sure is difficult to feel okay about what you look like when you’re constantly presented images on TV, the internet, and magazines that depict people who are too thin or even digitally enhanced to mask flaws. It’s just unrealistic–so what can you do?

Start With Love: Focus On Yourself First

You already know that it’s important to love yourself for the person that you are. Everyone is made differently, but beautifully, in their own way. Sure, your beauty may be different than that of a fashion model, but you’re still beautiful! Once you accept yourself, you’ll be a happier person.

When you’re learning to love who you are inside and out, you first need to start with the inside. This simply means that you need to work on changing the way you think about beauty.

No one’s absolutely perfect. There may always be something that you don’t particularly like about yourself, but it doesn’t negate your beauty, and it’s certainly no reason to have an unhappy life over it. Shift your focus onto the things that you do like about yourself.

Try having a little faith in humanity. If you people watch in a public place, are you constantly pointing out everyone’s flaws? Chances are that you’re not. You probably don’t judge your friends about their imperfections, so why should you be so hard on yourself?

Stand Out: You’re Uniquely You

Once you’ve worked on your inner feelings, you can then move on to loving yourself on the outside. Unfortunately, in today’s society, people feel ashamed of what they look like to the point of having all sorts of procedures and surgeries. Don’t be fooled! You don’t need this in order to feel good about yourself!

You can attempt to make changes if you have a problem like acne or weight gain, but there are also things that you can’t change, like having wide hips or freckles. The best thing you can do is embrace yourself for the unique individual that you are. After all, there’s no one else on this planet quite like you.

Making Changes in a Healthy Way

If you wish to make changes in your appearance, you can certainly do so. You just need to be doing it for the right reasons. You might need to lose weight in order to get back into a healthy weight range. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to change your hair color every now and then either. Variety is the spice of life.

But some people are tempted to go too far and do things like losing too much weight. They convince themselves that even a healthy weight is “fat” and they strive to be underweight.

It’s important for your health to avoid these types of problems. If you’re stuck in a situation like this, you need to explore the reasons why you feel this way. You also might want to discuss your concerns with a professional.

Passing On a Healthy Body Image

One thing you can do for the world is to help pass on a healthy body image to others. The way the media portrays beauty truly is outrageous, and everyone should be doing their part to promote health and beauty in an undistorted form.

If you have children, teach them that they’re beautiful just the way they are. Since children learn by example, ensure that you never put yourself down in front of them. Avoid complaining about your own body because they might overhear and you might inadvertently teach them something you never intended to teach.

A healthy body image is something we can all strive toward. You’ll make yourself and others feel better by complimenting your friends and family. Everyone likes to get a compliment every now and then. You just might make someone’s day!

What do you think? Do you struggle with body image? How do you get through it? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below.

Your Body Image, Your Self: How to Look and Feel Better Today

Body, Beautiful: You are what you think

“Most people define themselves by this finite body, but you’re not a finite body… I mean even under a microscope you’re an energy field. What we know about energy is this… You go to a quantum physicist and you say “What creates the world?” And he or she will say energy. Well describe Energy. Okay. It can never be created or destroyed. It always was and always has been. Everything that ever existed always exists. 

It’s moving into form, through form and out of form. Okay, great. You go to a Theologian and you ask the question “What created the Universe?” And he or she will say God. Okay, describe God. Always has and always has been, never can be created or destroyed all that ever was always will be always moving into form, through form and out of form. You see it’s the same description, just different terminology. And so, if you think you’re this meat suit running around , think again. You’re a spiritual being. You’re an energy field operating in a larger energy field.” ~James Arthur Ray

I came across this excerpt while flipping through The Secret the other day, and I knew I had to share it with you.It occurs to me that as our society becomes increasingly tolerant of certain differences, it also becomes more body-conscious–which can have the unfortunate effect of causing many people to feel inadequate or unattractive in comparison to society’s ideal body types.

And, while I’m sure there are a few of you out there who have no complaints about your physical bodies, I’m willing to bet you’re the minority. Most people have at least one thing they don’t like about their physical appearance, and many have more than one.

The connection that Mr. Ray makes between ourselves and the divine seems to indicate that science and religion may be getting closer to the same page–and, on a similar note, seems to affirm the law of attraction.

That said, the final couple of lines is really what grabbed my attention here–the idea that our bodies are not, in fact, “meat suits” and that in reality, they’re spiritual beings in and of themselves.

So what does this mean for our body images? Well, quite simply, we’re a product of our thoughts. That is, when we spend time lamenting on the things we don’t like and ignore those things we love about ourselves, we manifest more of those things we don’t like.

For example, if we want to get thinner and healthier, we set out to lose weight. We think about losing weight, we talk about losing weight and we focus on losing weight. So, we lose weight…and we then talk about having lost it, and so on.

However, this kind of thinking can lead to temporary success at best–because when you’re focusing on LOSING WEIGHT, you are bringing the need to lose weight back into your life, if you catch my drift.

Focusing on health instead, focusing on fitness, on feeling good…this is how to get there. Think in the affirmative–about what you WANT, not what you don’t.

ask me how you can saveThis idea can be applied to any area in your life, of course.

In relation to your body specifically though, it seems simple. Want to get rid of pimples? Focus on having clear skin. Hair getting a little thin? Focus on having thick, beautiful hair.

It’s really quite a bit less complicated than you might think.

If you cannot learn to love (and be grateful) for your body as it is today, and as you hope it will become one day, you cannot achieve your goals. Focus on what you WANT, not what you don’t–it’s that simple.

Be grateful for your sight, your hearing, your sense of touch. Enjoy tasting foods, walking around in the world, being able to talk to your friends. Remember that your body works hard for you every day, and be grateful for all that it allows you to do.

Remember, your body is not just a “meat suit”–it’s a spiritual being. It’s as divine as your soul. Beginning to recognize it and treat it as such will bring you closer to your own personal fulfillment and to a new level of enlightenment.

Bliss Mission: Think Happy Body Thoughts!

So, my challenge to you today is to be conscious of negative body thoughts and words that creep into your day. Make the choice to change your mind in relation to your body image issues. When you have a negative thought or speak negatively about your body, intentionally change it. Focus on the good instead, and be grateful for it.

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