Archive for May, 2010

Article: The Pressures of Media and Society on Body Image

Copyright.

It has become hugely evident over the years the change and shift in the way women view themselves and their bodies. We’ve become a totally media dominated world and whether we’d like to admit it or not, we’re all influenced by the things we see and hear.
Body Image is something that is constantly causing a stir and creating controversy. No matter how we try to avoid it, we are surrounded by magazines bearing covers with beautiful, stick-thin models wearing the latest “trends”, with stand out headlines on how we can “Burn Fat Faster Now!” or “Lose 5kg’s by Friday!”. Television shows such as “The Hills” and “Vanity Lair” show us the only way to be beautiful, memorable and successful is to look a certain way. It seems that we’re never ever good enough.

The pressure has just been constantly increasing, whether it’s a conscious act or subconscious. There have been magazines that have tried to create more publicity for themselves by advertising that they’re starting a “body love” movement to give us the idea they’re changing and advertising “real” women. There was one magazine that advertised on their front cover that the cover-girl was untouched and realistic. Well, how realistic was it really? The cover girl happened to be the former Miss Universe, so of course she would look absolutely beautiful just as she is! What kind of message is this sending out to all of their readers? That even untouched we should look absolutely perfect?

Looks like that magazine took two steps back as opposed to one step forward.

It seems ironic to me that through all this publicity of employing a healthy body image, the media are presenting us with photos of perfectly healthy looking celebrities, and making a huge issue out of calling them “fat” or saying they’ve “let themselves go” just because they gained a few extra kilograms. How is that supposed to make us feel? Take for example, Mischa Barton. This A-lister has a love-hate relationship with the media for the different lights in which they show her. One minute they say she’s looking “frail and gaunt” and the next they claim she’s “bloated and barely recognizable”, what about those women out there who are naturally that size? How would they react to reading such things? It sounds like like the media need to make a decision about which angle they’re going to come from- healthy body image? Or over-analysing weight fluctuation and size?

My own experience with the pressures of media and society on body image has not been a pleasant one. I’ve battled with disordered eating due to hating my body shape because i’m of the curvier end of the spectrum, not one to be highly praised and sought after. I would starve myself for days on end and then become miserable and so depressed because I was hungry, tired and obviously seeing no results that I’d give up and binge on unhealthy foods that would give me instant satisfaction, but make me feel worse in the long run. It took a very long time before I was able to separate myself from the media and societal pressures to learn to love myself in the skin I’m in, and I was only able to achieve that after adopting a healthy eating and regular exercise routine. Because of the way our views of body image have been manipulated and warped, what should come so easy to us- a healthy frame of mind- now requires extensive work to achieve.

It’s hugely disheartening to see the changes that have been made to the way women view themselves over the years, it’s tragic that beautiful women are unable to recognize their amazing qualities because they’re too caught up in stressing over what they ate for lunch or whether they’ll fit into a size 8 pair of jeans.
We shouldn’t be focusing on the “ideal” body shape or weight, which is simply unattainable for the vast majority of females. How long can we sit around and allow this brain-washing to happen? When is someone truly going to take a stand and start transforming the way we view ourselves? Let’s hope it’s soon because sooner or later the damage will be irreversible.

May 31, 2010 at 9:44 am 2 comments

Day 2- Your Favourite Movie

This is EASY! There is one movie that I loved from the moment I saw it right until the hundredth, it extremely intense, stirs up huge amounts of emotion and is one that I firmly believe should be shown throughout high school all over the world.

I present to you…. Thirteen!!!

This film honestly stirs up more emotion in my heart than any other film I’ve seen. It’s so frighteningly realistic and sad… SO well done though. Here’s a brief synopsis:

At the edge of adolescence, Tracy is a smart straight-A student–if not a little naive (it seems…she smokes and she cuts to alleviate the emotional pain she suffers from having a broken home and hating her mom’s boyfriend, Brady.) When she befriends Evie, the most popular and beautiful girl in school, Evie leads Tracy down a path of sex, drugs and petty crime (like stealing money from purses and from stores). As Tracy transforms herself and her identity, her world becomes a boiling, emotional cauldron fueled by new tensions between her and her mother–as well as, teachers and old friends. Written by Miss Kittin

It’s a fantastic movie. I absolutely love it and god knows how many times I’ve seen it. There isn’t one person that I’ve shown it to that didn’t like it, positive reactions all round!

There are two that come in close at 2nd place favourites… First one is…. Girl, Interrupted!

This stars the lovely Winona Ryder who gets submitted to a psychiatric ward for “attempted suicide” which she profusely denies, claiming she had a “headache”, which caused her to follow a bottle of aspirin with vodka. It’s based off a true story and once again captures the truth and reality of some people who are in that situation, stirring up thoughts and emotions and bringing you face to face with issues you may never have considered before.

Here’s a brief Synopsis for Girl, Interrupted:

Susanna is depressed and directionless after finishing high school in the late 1960’s. A suicide attempt lands her in Claymore, a mental institution. She befriends the band of troubled women in her ward (Georgina the pathological liar, the sexually abused Daisy, the burn victim Polly) but falls under the hypnotic sway of Lisa, the wildest and most hardened of the bunch. Will Susanna “drop anchor” at Claymore and perpetually act out like Lisa, or will she finally pull her mind together and leave institutional life behind? Written by Martin Lewison <mlewison@utk.edu>

Next on the list is True Romance:

This is an exciting, action packed film about a couple in love who happen to have pretty stink luck. But true love prevails in the end, after a massive shoot up, leaving all but themselves dead.

Here’s a brief synopsis for True Romance:

Clarence and Alabama are newlyweds who acquire an unexpected wedding present. Unknown to the blissfully happy couple, ruthless gangsters are on their tail, determined to reclaim their lost property Written by Rob Hartill

So there you have it! My favourite of all time is Thirteen, that’ll never change.

What’s your favourite?

xoxo

May 31, 2010 at 4:01 am Leave a comment

Day 1- Your Favourite Song

Anyone who knows me will be aware of just how difficult this question is for me to answer. I love so many bands and truly appreciate each and every one of them and the music the create.
Amongst my favourite bands are: (first and foremost) Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beirut, Radiohead, Guns N’ Roses and more.

It’s hard to define any song as a “favourite” because each of the songs I enjoy are enjoyable because they each create different emotions in me and stir up new thoughts and feelings. Some make me nostalgic, some make me sad, some make me happy and some make me laugh.

So instead of stating just one favourite, I thought I’d list a few of my favourites (in no particular order):

1. Nude- Radiohead. In short, this song makes me feel relaxed, takes me to my happy place and makes me feel incredible comfortable just the way I am… It’s a hard thing for another to understand, but it’s an amazing feeling.

2. Wet Sand- Red Hot Chili Peppers. They are my favourite band, that’s something I just won’t compromise. This song is a melancholy song that reminds me of my best friend Emma. When I listen to it I feel like I’m sitting on a rock down and the heads in summer time with wind blowing through my hair and Emma by my side.  It also reminds me of why I love Anthony Kiedis…

3. Don’t Forget Me- Red Hot Chili Peppers. This song makes me sad and want to cry just a little bit… But it’s special because it helped me get through a LOT of emotionally challenging times. This song reminds me of Tommaso, my Italian Exchange student brother who we hosted for 5 months last year. I was distraught when he left, and this song reminds me of him. Anthony has always been there to guide me through to the sunny side.

4. You’re So Cool- Hans Zimmer. This is the theme song to one of my favourite movies, “True Romance”. It makes me think of love, affection, hope and optimism. I listen to this whenever I’m having a bad day and it helps cheer me up just that little bit.

And there you have it! My top four favourite songs. I’m sure there are others, but I’ll be here all day listing them 😛

Every one of the songs I love have a special and personal meaning to me that spark emotions inside me. I can relate them back to any experience I’ve had, some good, some not so good. But hey, that’s what make them interesting 🙂

Drop me a comment with your thoughts or your favourite song/songs. I’d love to hear 🙂

xoxo

May 30, 2010 at 5:15 am Leave a comment

Guest post from Ashley Jones :)

Relationships and Health – How to Invest in Healthy Relationships

Good health is a potpourri of ingredients – good genes, an active lifestyle, a sensible diet, regular exercise, a low level of stress, and a high quality of wellness among other things. One thing that affects health significantly is the quality and quantity of our relationships, but most people don’t take this factor into consideration when they try to improve their health. Over the course of our life, we meet and interact with many people. Some of them touch us more deeply than others while some leave scars that refuse to heal. Some are just ships that pass in the night while others weigh anchor for varying periods of time. And some do us a world of good while others make us want to forget that we ever met them.

Whatever the quality of your relationships, they affect your health in some way or the other. The key to continuous good health is to foster the relationships that boost our spirits and bring about positivity and to eliminate or at least limit the ones that cause emotional distress and stress. So how do we go about investing in healthy relationships?

  • Eliminate destructive relationships: The first step to eliminating destructive relationships from your life is to admit to the fact that they are not doing you any good. Most of us are caught in vicious cycles that make us deny the obvious – we fail to see the truth because we are wearing blinders and are deliberately ignoring it even as it stares us in the face. Relationships that are physically and mentally abusive and that make you submissive doormats, relationships that drain you emotionally and mentally, relationships that take and take and give you nothing in return, and relationships that throw you off gear and keep you more down than up – they’re all worth considering as destructive relationships. Once you steel yourself to eliminate them from your life, once you become strong enough to cut them off for good, you’re well on the way to improving your health significantly.

  • Nurture relationships that improve your wellness: There are some people who make you happy and content just by being in your life. They don’t demand anything of you; rather, they make your life more fulfilling and are there for you when you need them. Very often, these are the people who you don’t acknowledge because they never let you down; you tend to take them for granted. Parents, siblings and close friends may make up this list, and if you want your health to flourish, put in some effort into nurturing these relationships by spending time with the people who love you unconditionally.

  • Look inward for happiness: And finally, and most important of all, don’t expect others to make you happy or fulfill your needs. Look to yourself for happiness and contentment and expect very little so that you are not disappointed. When you minimize your needs, you boost your chance for happiness and self-fulfillment. This reduces stress from your life and improves your health.

By-line:

This article is contributed by Ashley M. Jones, who regularly writes on the subject of Pharmacist Technician Certification. She invites your questions, comments at her email address: ashleym.jones643@gmail.com

May 29, 2010 at 8:26 pm Leave a comment

30 Day Challenge + A solution to my problem

Right now I’m sitting at home in front of the fire watching Julie and Julia by myself and it’s brilliant 🙂

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It sparked my mind about my own blog and I wondered how I could create some fun, new and exciting posts to keep things fresh… Then I discovered this" “30 Day Challenge” which I felt was the perrrrfect way to achieve all that.

Here’s how it works/what it is:

Day 01 — Your favourite song
Day 02 — Your favourite movie
Day 03 — Your favourite television program
Day 04 — Your favourite book
Day 05 — Your favourite quote
Day 06 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 — A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 — A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 — A photo you took
Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 — A fictional book
Day 14 — A non-fictional book
Day 15 — A fanfic
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 — An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours
Day 21 — A recipe
Day 22 — A website
Day 23 — A YouTube video
Day 24 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 — Your day, in great detail
Day 26 — Your week, in great detail
Day 27 — This month, in great detail
Day 28 — This year, in great detail
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 — Whatever tickles your fancy

So this challenge is actually for tumblr using short posts, but I thought I could also use this as a way to further my skills in article writing and analysis, and in turn, make them more interesting for you to read 🙂
I’m really excited about this challenge and I MUST finish it! I seem to have a terrible habit of starting “challenges” on my blog and never finishing them… Consider this a challenge within a challenge, a challenge to finish.

Of course I’ll also post these days in conjunction with my regular writing on fitness and health, it may even add up to two to three posts a day which I would prefer 🙂

Let me know your thoughts on this!

In other news…

Remember this morning’s post on my motivation issues for exercise during Winter? (which actually officially starts in 2 days). Well I think I’ve found my solution… Trail walking!! Today my family and I went on a trip to the beach to search for Moko the dolphin, and instead ended up walking half of the Toi’s track. (I completed the Toi’s Challenge last year, an 18.5 Kilometre trail run/walk. I walked it with Mum) In our travels I expressed my issue to Mum and she suggested that I start Bush walking instead because I love nature, I love being outside all day and it’s low-impact which would lower my chances of gaining injuries since we all know how injury prone I am. I welcomed the suggestion with MORE than open arms as you can imagine. It’s perfect! It’s makes absolute sense and I’m definitely going to give it a go. I no longer enjoy running because of the pain and I’ve grown sick and tired of exercising at the gym in an enclosed, confined space. I’ve begun to feel as though exercising at the gym almost defeats the purpose of exercise. Now when I think of exercise I consider it to be something you do as a means of getting closer to nature and sucking fresh air into your lungs. Working out in a gym is boring and restricting, making it impossible to get any of that.

I considered today my first trial day for bush walking. I had an absolute BLAST! I felt happier and livelier than I have in weeks, it was refreshing and rejuvenating.

beach 015 beach 034 beach 033

Some of you may know that I haven’t been feeling very happy lately, but I’ve come to realize that you sort of have to make your own happiness. FIND your own happiness. You can’t just sit and wait for good things to happen to you, you have to be proactive and help them happen. I’ve taken a new and improved approach to things and have been productive with myself, which has, in turn, boosted my happiness 🙂

I hope you all enjoyed your Saturday as much as I did. I’ll now resume to being engrossed in this film and mentally plan my post for Day One of my 30 day challenge which you can expect to see tomorrow morning.

Goodnight!

xoxo

May 29, 2010 at 9:54 am Leave a comment

SERIOUS lack of motivation :S

I have a massive problem. It’s Autumn/Winter, and as with this time every single year, my motivation for exercise decreases dramatically. I hate the cold, it’s a fact of life with me, and so evidently when it’s winter I can’t imagine anything worse than leaving my lovely warm, dry, well-insulated, fire-heated home to go outside in the freezing cold (and quite often pouring rain) to exercise.

I have not been following my usual routine and have actually only exercised ONCE this week. That is so unlike me!!! (Well actually, if you think about my history with cold temperatures it’s not really). I feel terrible because I know I should be exercising, my BODY wants to exercise but I just can’t get my brain in gear!!! I forced myself outside and actually enjoyed a nice run the other day but my knee’s hurt so bad, they throbbed for two days afterwards. I don’t think I’ll be running this winter….

I’m gutted that the pool is closed down for renovations because I feel like swimming. Weird because I hated swimming in summer, but I really feel like just jumping in the pool and doing laps for an hour or two.

Today I kinda had plans to go outside on the bike and spend one full day just being outside and cycling around wherever the wind takes me… But it looks like the forecast is for rainy patches today and I’m in no mood to get soaked.

While I’m battling with this motivation crisis, I’ll really have to watch what I eat. I gain weight suuuper easily and I’ll need to monitor my food more carefully to make sure I’m not getting more than I need. So far I’ve been doing badly in that department too… 😦

Man… I need serious help. Can anyone help me!?! Or link me to people/websites that can!?!?

I would really appreciate it!!!

Now, to end on a nice note, here’s a photo of me having cuddles with one of the Pug pups last night.

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Please help me if you can. Other than that, enjoy your weekend!

xoxo

May 28, 2010 at 8:24 pm 1 comment

Amazing Accomplishments

Today I finished reading my book “50 Marathons, 50 Days’” and it was awesome! Dean Karnazes is truly amazing. He is the definition of fitness and health, what that man did is almost inconceivable… Not only did he travel across 50 states and complete 50 Marathons in 50 consecutive days, but he then proceeded to turn around (in New York City) the next day and run all the way back home to San Francisco, evidently running the equivalent of 50 marathons, bringing his total to 100, and THEN some (the miles he ran that he initially travelled by bus). It’s not everyday that such an impact and huge level of success is made by one single individual. I think we can all learn a thing or two from Dean- Push your limits, you’re capable of SO much more than you think you are. Get back in touch with nature, the natural state is for humans to be outside and active, staying inside staring at a computer screen for hours is the unnatural state (here is something I need to work on myself). And something that I try to tell a lot of people is that something is better than nothing. If you only have 10 minutes to exercise in your day, USE those ten minutes! An intense 10 minute workout is better than no workout, and all the baby steps add up.

dean_NYCmarathon Dean Karnazes trail running

 

I’ve moved straight on to my next book called “Marathon Woman”, an autobiography by a woman called Kathrine Switzer, somebody that every single female runner should know.

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She revolutionized the Boston Marathon. She was the first ever woman to run it and when she did, a race official attacked her mid-way because it was male-only and she was female. He tried to physically pull her out of the race but she pulled away from him and with the help of runners around her she was able to get free of him and finish the marathon 🙂

Boston%20Marathon%20Photo--Small--Credit%20AP%20Images

She’s a HUGE inspiration and I’m already a few chapters in because I’m already hooked!

Finally tonight before I go to bed, I just want to talk about Angela from Oh She Glows.

I think you should all check out this post. I’ve always found Angela to be a real inspiration, but this post just confirmed that once again. She’s an amazing person! She was out on a long training run for her upcoming half marathon when she witnessed a motorcycle accident. She immediately rushed to help them and in her adrenalin rush, lifted a HARLEY DAVIDSON bike off the two people crushed underneath it.

It was a brave an honourable thing for her to do and I think she should be SO proud of herself.

That’s all for tonight, ciao!

xoxo

May 26, 2010 at 9:21 am Leave a comment

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Introducing…

Hey there, my name's Jenny. I have a huge passion for cooking/baking, writing, yoga and photography. I love nature and my favourite thing to do is spend an entire day outside, breathing in crisp, fresh air. Even better if I have a pen and paper with me. I started out running in March 2009 but sustained an injury in October 2009 which has unfortunately prevented me from running. I've been experimenting with other kinds of exercise to find another one that clicks. Follow me on my journey to maintaining good health + surviving high school and pursuing a career in Journalism. I Hope you enjoy reading my blog!

Questions? Comments? Email me at jennyeatliverun@hotmail.com

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