lib. All Blogs Feb 05, 2015

Love My Body

My Resolution: Love my Body like Kate Upton Loves Hers

KateUpton1   KateUpton2

  Image Source , Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 2013

 

Supermodel Kate Upton’s self-confidence and love for her body actually helped change my perspective on my own body.

I grew up with a great body. It was never chiselled or “model-thin” but I was tall, of average weight, and blessed with above average breast size and soft curves.

Somehow, I didn’t think it was enough. I desperately wanted to be thinner, fitter, more “cut.” Everything that made me a woman I wanted gone; the way my bra cut into the flesh of my back, the soft little bump at the bottom of my otherwise flat stomach, the slight jiggle of my thighs.

Maybe I picked up the idea I needed to be thinner from the endless images of super-skinny models I had been exposed to over my life. Maybe it was learned from my parents and my peers. Either way, I had decided that there needed to be less of me (physically) so that I could be more accepted and loved. One thing is for sure: I became less of myself. I stopped being the innocent, radiant, happy youth that I once was and became obsessed with changing my body. I didn’t shine anymore. I wasn’t me anymore.

After hitting rock bottom through years of insecurity-fueled, self destructive behaviour, I decided it was time to change the way I thought about myself and my body. On my path to self love, I looked up to Kate Upton. Many revolutionary models had come before her, but most were categorized as “plus size.” They were separated from traditional models, who generally are 5’10” and up, and wear dress size 0-2. These measurements have been held to an ideal, but they are actually considered very underweight in the body mass index that doctors use. Amazingly, despite being a size 8-10, not a size 0-2, Upton did not get put into a separate category. She got to retain her status as a “regular” model.

Upton has said that she loves her body₁ and she is not going to starve just to be thin. “I want to enjoy life and I can’t if I’m not eating and miserable.”₂ She went on to say, “I’m proud of my size. That’s an important message to young girls: Love who you are. It’s so easy to feel negative about yourself and it is totally self-destructive. If you can only love and accept who you are, you will be a lot happier.”₃

Yes, Kate is conventionally beautiful and still very thin, and yes… there is a large emphasis on her breasts in all of her modelling. However, I believe she represents a stepping stone in media images that we, the general public, are exposed to. She points in a direction of a future containing more models that aren’t underweight. What this will mean is that every time a young girl flips through a beauty magazine, she isn’t comparing herself to body types that only belong to less than 5% of the population. ₄

I think the main reason why Kate inspires me is the contrast between my life and hers. Previously, I had let my insecurities hold me back, while she let her confidence carry her forward. I just had a handful of people judging me on my physical appearance, but she has thousands every day. Everyone has an opinion on her. Some are glowing and some are scathing. In reaction to judgment from others, I cried in my room and hated myself while she was walking down a runway like it was the best day of her life. (It probably was!)

In comparing myself with Kate, I’m not saying I ever wanted to be a supermodel like her. What I wanted was a happy life where I felt confident and empowered to go after my dreams. I suspect that the difference between Upton and I, mentally, is that she loves herself and I didn’t. When you love yourself, it doesn’t matter what other people think of you; whether there is thousands of people critiquing you or just one. The only thing that matters is what YOU think of you.

This year, armed with the knowledge that the only opinion on my appearance that matters is my own, I resolve to unconditionally love my body.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. So – look in the mirror. Behold : that’s you. Now… stop focusing on flaws for just a moment (I know it seems impossible sometimes, but you can do it!) and you will see your beauty. It’s there. No matter what. Despite acne or love handles or body hair or cellulite, you are beautiful. Everyone is. Whether I’m having a day where I feel like a supermodel or a day where I feel like the kid picked last in gym class, I will see my true beauty. That’s my resolution. It may not be an easy bar I’ve set for myself, but it’s one worth jumping for.

Kate Upton is my inspiration, but there are many other body-confident models out there that don’t fit the typical mold:

ElleMaydayImage Source

  ElleMayday2Image Source

Elle Mayday, a plus size model who continues to work despite cancer treatment that caused her to lose her hair.

CrystalRennImage Source

Crystal Renn, a size zero model who recovered from anorexia and went on to become a very famous plus size model.

CaseyLeglerImage Source

Casey Legler, a woman who exclusively models menswear.

ChantelleYoungImage Source

Chantelle Young (Winnie) who appeared on America’s Next Top Model. She has a rare skin disease called vitiligo.

 

MoffyImage Source

Moffy, the stunning cross-eyed model.

Who do you look up to? Comment below!

Citations: ₁ Upton, “I love my body” : ABC News, 2013/05 ₂ Upton, “I’m not going to starve just to be thin. I want to enjoy life and I can’t if I’m not eating and miserable.” : Fox News, 2012/07/16 ₃ Upton, “I’m proud of my size. That’s an important message to young girls: Love who you are. It’s so easy to feel negative about yourself and it is totally self-destructive. If you can only love and accept who you are, you will be a lot happier.” : US Magazine, 2014/14/04 ₄ Media portrayed body types belong to 5% of population: Do Something.org
 

 

 

lib. All Blogs, lifestyle Dec 15, 2014

6 Tips for a Healthier Holidays

 Last year I overdid it on the holiday indulgences, and I know I wasn’t alone. I rang in the new year feeling sluggish and unwell, and resolved to be more balanced the following year. This year, we have another chance to fine-tune this season with some healthy adjustments. Here’s my top 6 tips for staying healthier over the holidays.

1. Drink lots of water 

 

  • The more salt and alcohol and rich foods you consume, the more water you need. Water also helps flush all those holiday toxins from your body!

2. Take a walk with family

 

  • Holidays are about spending time with your family. If you can convince them to put down the box of Turtles, go for a nice crisp walk outdoors. If it’s way too cold for that, try walking inside the mall. Braving the crazy malls during holiday season sound terrifying? Don Santa hats and just watch how many people smile at you.

3. Eat less sugar

 

  • Sugary sweet things are amazing with the first bite, and even better with the second. The problem is that too much sugar gives us a rush of energy and then we crash – leaving us fatigued, irritable, and craving more sugar. Next thing you know, you’re on your third gingerbread-man of the day, and you’re not even sure why. You don’t have to avoid the sweet stuff completely (that’s no fun!) but don’t let sugar boss you around either. Just have small amounts of your favourite treats and really, really savour them.

4. Get Your Portion Ratios Right

  • An ideal plate of food has a little bit of protein and fat, a moderate amount of carbs, and a ton of fruits and veggies. What does this actually look like?
    Fat (butter, nuts, hollandaise sauce, oil-based dressings):
    The size of your thumb (or less)
    Protein
    (fish, turkey, meat, eggs):
    The size of your fist
    Carbs
    (stuffing, bread, sweet potatoes, yams, mashed potatoes, turnips):
    The size of your hand
    Vegetables and Fruits
    (all veg & salads except for the high-carb veggies listed above):
    The size of both of your hands side-by-side  

portion control

5. Avoid Overeating

  • Overeating is usually caused by eating too fast. Our stomach signals our brain to tell us when we are full, but if we shovel food in too quickly, we get the signal too late! No one wants to be uncomfortably full, even if Mom’s home cooked turkey dinner is that good. Give your body time to tell you when it’s full by putting your fork down on your plate during each bite. Take a bite, put the fork down, chew your food thoroughly, swallow, and then pick the fork back up again. Repeat. Make conversation with your family or friends between bites. The more you talk, the slower you eat. Many cultures, such as the French, traditionally eat in this social & leisurely manner and it shows in their health.

6. Drink Smart

  • Holiday parties are fun, but the hangover is not. Here’s how to prevent it:
    · Have a glass of water between every alcoholic beverage – this keeps you from getting dehydrated, one of the main causes of hangovers.
    · Don’t mix and match: pick your poison, and try to stick with it all night. (Beer followed by more beer, not followed by rum and coke.)
    · When drinking hard alcohol, avoid mixing it with sugary soda or cocktail mixes. Instead, try mixing with soda water and a splash of lemon, lime, or fruit juice. TIP: Skip the tonic water and have soda water instead: they taste pretty similar except tonic water has just as much sugar in it as a can of coke!

Wishing you and yours a Happy and Healthy Holidays!