Tuesday, June 30, 2015
P.S. I asked my husband, Steve Legallet (who is also a psychotherapist), how he thought this list could work for men. He said that I could basically exchange the "shes" with "hes" and it would totally hold up.
40 Symptoms of a Healthy Woman
1) She takes care of her body and treats it with respect.
2) She eats well and doesn't under-eat, binge, or purge.
3) She moves her body in ways that feel good to her and rests without an ounce of guilt.
4) She gets an adequate amount of sleep and rest. If she has difficulty sleeping, she sees it as an opportunity to practice mindfulness and/or other relaxation techniques.
5) She does not abuse drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, or screen-time.
6) She maintains a good balance between resting and accomplishing things (being and doing).
7) She maintains a good balance between being with people and being alone.
8) When she is alone, she enjoys her own company.
9) She treats herself like she would treat a child she adores or her best friend.
10) She has a loving, kind soundtrack of thoughts that play in her mind and when unkind or unhelpful thoughts pop up, she challenges them.
11) She has a good relationship with her emotions. She cries when she's sad and expresses her anger and frustration respectfully. She welcomes all her feelings and either sits with them, reaches out to safe people, or gives herself what she needs.
12) She is able to grieve her losses and treat herself kindly in the process.
13) She reaches out for support when she's struggling.
14) She has made peace with the past and also acknowledges and honors her past hurts when they arise.
15) She can tolerate anxiety and change without catastrophizing.
16) She spends a lot of her time in the present moment rather than lost in the past or the future.
17) She spends time doing things for the sheer pleasure of it rather than always thinking she needs to be accomplishing something.
18) She makes time for things that fulfill her and are important to her.
19) She is able to compromise at times without compromising her values or her core needs.
20) She follows her heart and gives herself time to get clarity if she is unsure about something.
21) She maintains a balance between giving to herself and giving to others.
22) She knows that hard times will pass, and she is extra sweet to herself when life feels extra hard.
23) She uses supportive tools (journaling, reaching out to safe people, spiritual practices, reading, therapy, podcasts, etc.) when life gets hard instead of using substances, negative self-talk or unhealthy behaviors.
24) She feels lovable and worthy regardless of the circumstances in her life.
25) She looks for opportunities to practice acceptance and gratitude.
26) She is aware of her finances and lives within her means.
27) She uses her finances to both treat herself and be responsible for herself.
28) She can accept compliments without disclaimers.
29) She doesn't expect herself (or others) to be happy all the time and uses her struggles as opportunities to get support and be kind to herself.
30) She expresses her thoughts, feelings and needs in a respectful, mature manner and respectfully listens to other people's thoughts, feelings and needs.
31) She spends time with people she feels safe and aligned with.
32) She sets limits with others when she needs to. She can say "no" or "I need to change my mind" on occasion without thinking she is a terrible person.
33) She does not spend time comparing herself to others. She knows that everyone struggles and that nobody is better than or less than she is.
34) She does not give other peoples' opinions more weight than her own.
35) When confronted with disagreements, she values the other person's point of view and also checks in with herself to see if she agrees, disagrees, or needs more time to think about it.
36) She can hear and consider difficult feedback from others without attacking them or herself.
37) She can apologize to others and forgive herself for her humanness.
38) She can forgive others for being imperfect and move beyond relationship glitches.
39) She can be in her strength without being disrespectful to others. She can be in her softness without being disrespectful to herself.
40) She doesn't think she needs to be perfect at anything -- including any of the above!
Andrea Wachter is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and co-author of The Don't Diet, Live-It Workbook. Andrea has over 25 years of experience working with children, teens, adults, families and groups. She is passionate about helping people who are struggling with eating disorders, body image, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, grief and relationships. Andrea is an inspirational counselor, author and speaker who uses professional expertise, humor and personal recovery to help others. For more information on her book, blogs or other services, please visit: www.andreawachter.com.
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IsoRay’s Cesium-131 Selected by Chicago Prostate Cancer Center for Use in the Launch of a Study of the Focal Treatment of Prostate Cancer
IsoRay’s Cesium-131 Picked by Chicago Prostate Cancer cells Center for Usage in the Launch of a Study of the Focal Therapy …
Cesium-131 Usage in Prostate Focal Cancer Treatment Intends to Reduce Negative effects and Improve Patient High quality of Life RICHLAND, WA–(Marketwired – Jun 29, 2015) – IsoRay, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ISR), a clinical technology firm and innovator in brachytherapy as well as medical isotope applications, today announced that Dr. Brian J. Moran, Supervisor of Chicago Prostate Cancer cells Facility in Westmont, … (continue checking out)
Monday, June 29, 2015
He got me up that morning before dawn. Mom made us a huge breakfast. I was so excited because I knew that day, I would climb my first mountain.
Once outside the cabin and on our way, Dad stopped for a moment. He looked down at me from above and handed me his engineering compass, which he had used during his Survival School Training. It was like being handed a bar of gold because before that day I was not allowed to touch it.
"Son, we are going to climb to the top of that mountain and you are going to get us there using this compass," spoke Dad with a seriousness not to be ignored.
"But Dad... I don't know how," whined I to a smiling father.
Other than the fact that we made the climb safely, including an encounter with a black bear, I remember few things about that day, and I wish Dad was still alive so that I could refresh my cloudy mind. What I do know is this: I never feel lost, even to this day.
Sure, from time to time in life I feel confused about where I am or where I am going, but I never feel like I will not get where I am supposed to go.
Photo by Patricia Roseman, 2012. Used by permission.
With a compass -- any compass -- one can always pause for a moment in time and figure out where you are so that you can continue. All of us must change course from time to time because what is surrounding us is constantly changing.
To not flow with change will only invite disaster. Sure, you may not notice a difference at first, but if you fight that which does not wish to be fought, you will suffer in the end.
Beyond the obvious, what Dad was teaching me at the time did not take on meaning for many years. On the surface, knowing how to navigate with a compass at sea or on land will only come in handy if you are in a situation where most people would declare, "I am lost and my GPS is out of battery power."
Beneath the obvious is an enormous lesson about independence and the ability to travel along one's own path of life -- a path which will never be a straight line, a path with many bends, hills, valleys, oceans of fog, storms, and dark forests.
The cool thing is this: You have a compass within your being. All of us do. Call it whatever you wish; this is your choice as a human. I have chosen and I call it my inner voice.
Become immune to other people's judgment. Their thoughts of you do not matter -- this is truth. In fact, some will say that everyone is afraid of you, which is why they will lash out with negativity first.
Your internal compass is truth. The physical compass my father handed me that day when I was nine was truth.
The directions of a compass cannot be denied, and when you have faith that what direction you take based on what you see on the compass face is the correct one, you will arrive at the destination you are working toward. Even if you have to change course from time to time in order to go around an obstruction.
Your internal compass is the same, but you must listen to that voice and you must have faith in what you already have -- an internal guidance system.
When I was in high school, my guidance counselor advised me to not apply to a certain university because I was a "C" student, and the only ones who were allowed to go there were much smarter than me.
He said with the smile of one who professes supreme knowledge, "Don't waste your time and your money applying there because you will not get accepted."
I heard his words, thought about them, and decided that I was not going to allow another person to dictate my future. My parents drove me to the campus of Carnegie Mellon University for a portfolio showing/interview with the Head of the Department of Architecture.
I took an exam and a few months later they accepted me, and not the straight "A" valedictorian of my high school class.
After graduating with honors in 1984 I went on to get my architecture license, working as an architect for over twenty years. The guidance counselor was flat out wrong.
How many people listen to the words of others who profess supreme knowledge? How many fellow humans allow their hopes and dreams to be squelched by people who do not know what is inside of them?
My internal compass was screaming at me from within -- and I listened.
Choice. Yours is speaking to you now as you read these words. Sure, there have been times when I caved and listened to others -- many times. And I can think of the disasters that followed from not listening to my voice.
Quiet your mind now for a moment and listen. What do you hear?
Remaining in the present moment, which flows with time, knowing the moment is not static, this is how one is able to hear clearly the voice within. What is your greatest challenge? Do something about it beginning now.
Of course, we all can take the advice and counsel of others. I will always listen to the words of ones whom I respect. But the final say, the composite of all the words spoken, will be finally judged by that which is inside of me and on the terms of my personal compass.
Only you know you completely. No other human will ever come close. So why would you ever let another human decide anything for you?
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& hellip; statistically considerable lesser threat of prostate cancer, about 20 percent.
The research study & hellip; the web link in between ejaculation as well as prostate cancer cells, Shabsigh said.
What’& rsquo; s possibly & hellip; as well as a lower threat of prostate cancer.
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Sunday, June 28, 2015
So, to walk into an art exhibit all about the clitoris was pretty amazing even for a sex educator! The artist, Sophia Wallace, in her ongoing mixed media project, aims to:
[expose] the irony of society's obsession with and ignorance of female sexuality. CLITERACY, 100 Natural Laws (2012) includes a monumental wall of texts which challenge phallocentric biases in science, law, philosophy, politics and the art world. Wallace's focus on the clitoris and female pleasure serves to question and counteract the history of misinformation regarding women's bodies and the concomitant oppression therein.
I was completely drawn in. I left with a lot of crazy amazing clitoral facts and then went off to do even more research! Brace yourself for some facts and thoughts about the clitoris. As artist Sophia Wallace states, "the clitoris is not a button, it's an iceberg."
1. If you want to address the clitoris, labia and vagina together, vulva is the all-encompassing term.
2. Fifty to 75 percent of women who have climaxes (orgasms) need to have their clitoris touched (clitoral stimulation). Most women are unable to have an orgasm through intercourse alone.
3. The clitoris is only partially visible to the naked eye. The clitoris is actually close to four inches in length (kinda like the average non-erect penis), but three-fourths of it is hidden from view within a female's body. It's buried treasure. Think of all that pleasure potential in the entire region. Have you explored it?
4. The clitoris grows throughout a woman's life. After menopause, the clitoris can become 2.5 times larger than it was when the same woman was a teenager. I don't think that there has been an actually study about clitoris size in relation to pleasure. And I don't think that women have a size thing about their clitoris, the way men do around penis size. I have never ever met a woman who has measured her clitoris, but I have met men who have measured their penis.
5. The clitoris contains 8,000 deliciously sensitive nerve endings, double the nerve endings in the glans of a penis. Sorry, guys.
6. Most of us don't know that all babies have the exact same genital tissue when they are conceived. At about 12 weeks, each baby's genitalia begin to differentiate into a penis or labia. We are more alike than we are different. The clitoris and penis are the same materials assembled in a different way. The clitoris has glans, a foreskin (also known as the hood), erectile tissue and a very small shaft -- all the parts that a penis has. It even swells when it's aroused.
7. Back to being an "inny" and an "outy" -- as I already stated, only one quarter of the clitoris is visible. The rest of it is inside the women's body. Besides the clitoris being made up the clitoral head, the hood and the clitoral shaft, it is also composed of the urethral sponge, erectile tissue, glands, vestibular bulbs and the clitoral legs. Only the clitoral head and the hood are located outside the body. Some sex experts believe that the G Spot is actually a part of the clitoris.
8. The clitoris is designed to bring a woman pleasure. That is its sole purpose. Not reproduction.
9. Yes, there are all kinds of orgasms. Vaginal, Cervical and G Spot Orgasms do exist, but they are much harder for most women to achieve than a clitoral orgasm. Very few women are able to achieve an orgasm without any kind of clitoral involvement. There is nothing immature about women having orgasms through their clitoris. Sorry, Dr. Sigmund Freud.
10. The clitoris varies in size and shape on different women. Some are hidden under the hood, and some stick out. Some like to be touched softly and others like a lot of pressure. It takes time to get to know a woman's clitoris. Don't assume that you know what it likes. Take your time and get to know each unique clitoris, just like you would take the time to get to know the woman it is attached to.
11. People have all kinds of nicknames for the clitoris. You may have heard "man in canoe," "rosebud," "joy buzzzer," "cherry pit," "love button," or "bald man in a boat," just to name a few. I have also heard chick pea and lentils. Anyone have a chip?
12. A clitoral orgasm can bring about anywhere between three and 16 contractions and can last from 10 to 30 seconds. But that doesn't exclude the fact that many women have multiple orgasms that can include pelvic contractions. Some sex educators have compared and contrasted male and female orgasm and have concluded that even the most average clitoral orgasm lasts longer than even the best ever most fantastic male orgasm. Once again, kinda bad news for the men. Woman have more nerve endings in our clitoris.
Did you know that the word "Clitoris" is from the Greek work for "key"? Understanding and getting to know the clitoris may unlock your sex life forever. I invite you not to dismiss the clitoris and realize how deeply wired this gland is into the female body.
Why wouldn't we take a clue from the ancient Greeks, and recognize fully that this amazing female pleasure source is indeed a key to unlocking a female's pleasure possibilities and perhaps so much more. When we turn a key, doors open.
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The ‘Google Map’ of cancer cells, exactly how it can transform cancer cells as we understand it
Jun 27, 2015
Enjoy over: Proceeds from the moustache Movember campaigns are assisting to further research across the country. Meaghan Craig talks with some citizens at the College of Saskatchewan targeting genes to kill prostate cancer cells. SASKATOON– There is absolutely nothing like it. Prostate cancer research study presently underway at the College of Saskatchewan is being taken into consideration a globe initially and also … (proceed checking out)
Friday, June 26, 2015
By Mimi O'Connor
Long considered to be America's most influential naturalist and conservationist, author John Muir founded the Sierra Club in 1892. He called out the therapeutic value found in nature when he wrote, "Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity."
His words resonate poignantly in our 21st century bodies, minds and spirits. Too frequently these days we are sequestered indoors, held captive by our obsession with screens in one form or another. In his book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, author Nicholas Carr explores the consequences of techno-overload. He writes that the average American spends at least eight hours a day on some sort of electronic screen, and then additionally watches TV to relax. This has resulted in a significant increase in depression, obesity and a host of self-destructive habits and behaviors.
Spend 20 Minutes a Day in Nature
In order to enhance our well-being and proactively counterbalance the ubiquitous presence of technology in our daily lives, current research is emphasizing the health benefits of getting outdoors to convene with nature. "Nature is fuel for the soul," says Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. In an article in Science News he states, "Often when we feel depleted, we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature." In a study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, Ryan and his research team conducted five separate experiments. They found that, across all methodologies, test subjects consistently felt more energetic when they spent time in natural settings.
Their findings concluded that being outside in nature for 20 minutes in a day was enough to boost vitality levels significantly. Ryan writes, "Nature is something within which we flourish, so having it be more a part of our lives is critical, especially when we live and work in built environments." Japanese scientists have long been at the forefront of identifying and validating the health benefits of nature. Inspired by ancient Shinto and Buddhist practices, Shinrin-yoku, or "forest bathing," is a term coined by the Japanese government in 1982. Unlike its description, it has nothing to do with water, and revolves around a deceptively simple practice. It involves quietly walking in nature while absorbing the experience pervasively through all five of the senses. Forest bathing has become a standard preventive and restorative medicine treatment in Japan.
Researchers from Chiba University's Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences in Japan conducted a study on the preventive medical effects of nature therapy. Their research involved 420 subjects at 35 different forests throughout Japan. Compared to the urban control group, "Subjects sitting in natural surroundings showed decreases in the following physiological markers: 12.4 percent decrease in cortisol level, 7.0 percent decrease in sympathetic (fight or flight) nerve activity, 1.4% decrease in blood pressure, and 5.8 percent decrease in heart rate." They also noted that parasympathetic (rest and restore) nerve activity increased by 55 percent, indicating a relaxed state.
In his book, The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age, author Richard Louv explains the restorative powers of the natural world. The benefits he lists include, "boosting mental acuity and creativity, promoting health and wellness and ultimately strengthening human bonds." Citing widespread evidence of the negative effects that occur when we are separate from nature, he coined the phrase "Nature-Deficit Disorder" and our need for "Vitamin N." He writes, "For the jaded and weary among us, the outdoor world can expand our senses and reignite a sense of awe and wonder not felt since we were children. It has been proven to support health and act as a bonding agent for families and communities. Nature can help us feel fully alive."
As science is validating our need for a nature prescription, the stories of everyday people reflect an ongoing, personal love affair with nature. This became clear to me when I casually surveyed my friends and colleagues, asking them to recall a favorite childhood memory of being in the great outdoors. Invariably, and without hesitation, I heard tale after glorious tale recounting forays in nature that encompassed curiosity, discovery, contentment and, above all else, fun.
Their uplifting stories reminded me that surfing doesn't just take place on the Internet. It still can happen on a board, in the ocean. Exploring doesn't just take place through digital search engines. It can still take place in the woods, while foraging for wild strawberries. A sweet return to nature could involve less time viewing video streams and more time sitting next to babbling brooks in which fallen leaves double as sailboats. Because we are living in a time of unprecedented digitization and urbanization, we can be grateful for the medical benefits of staying close to nature.
Time well spent in natural environments will aid us in enhancing our physical, mental and emotional well-being. We can find encouragement and solace in the enduring words of John Muir, "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul ... Keep close to nature's heart and break clear away once in a while. Climb a mountain, or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."
What are your favorite places in nature where you can go to relax and renew?
Have a question regarding transforming your way of eating and living, Ask Dr. Ornish.
Over the weekend, Thom and I had dinner with a friend whose lifestyle changed dramatically in the last couple of years. Our friend Tami* was single for most of the 30+ years we've known her. Then a couple of years ago she married a very wealthy man. Although Tami was always financially secure, she now admitted how great it felt to never have to worry about bills or finances ever again. Unfortunately, her joy was short-lived. Within five minutes, she began complaining about the high amount of taxes she and her new husband would be paying, along with the drain her new husband's adult children were on the family. Later she grumbled about how unfair it was of the current political administration to even consider raising her tax rate. That conversation was a great reminder that it is easy to forget that our sense of well-being, comfort and peace of mind has less to do with how much money we have -- and everything to do with how we think about it. In most cases, regardless of how much we actually have in the bank -- we only have enough when we think we have enough.
So when is enough really enough? According to a study done at Princeton in 2010, most Americans report a high sense of emotional well being when they make around $75,000 per year. Above $75,000/year, an individual's emotional well-being corresponded to their individual temperament and life circumstances rather than any extra income. As may be expected, as income decreases from $75,000, people reported falling levels of happiness, and higher levels of sadness and stress. Beyond that, any of life's misfortunes including disease, divorce, sickness or other painful experiences have the potential to affect well-being in a person who is less financially secure much more dramatically than a wealthy person.
In contrast, the level of a person's "Life Evaluation" rises steadily with the level of income. While increasing income didn't change a person's emotional happiness on a daily basis, it did make people think of themselves as more happy and successful. For example, emotional well-being is higher on weekends -- but has nothing to do with overall life satisfaction. Being a college graduate creates a high life evaluation, but doesn't necessarily make for better emotional well-being. The take home message from the study itself, "High incomes don't bring you happiness, but they do bring you a life that you think is better." Again, this confirms that happiness and feelings of well-being are less dependent on the amount of money you have, and very dependent upon what you think about it.
Unfortunately, even when we know this to be true on an intellectual level, we don't always remember it. My friend Tami is in better financial shape right now with a lot more money than 99.5 percent of us ever will -- but she still worries about how to hang on to it and whether or not others will try to take some of it away. It may make her feel more satisfied or successful if she sits back and reflects, but on a day-to-day basis she is exactly about as happy and content as she was before.
What can we do if we want to remember this?
- One of the best ways all of us can keep our financial resources in perspective is to do service work for those less fortunate. When we are around others that have a lot less than we do, it helps us to remember what we do have -- then suddenly enough is enough.
- If you are fortunate to make around $75,000 a year, don't compromise or sacrifice yourself to make more. If the increased income doesn't come relatively smooth and naturally into your life, then think carefully before you pursue it. Maybe, just maybe what you are making right now is enough.
- Take time every single day to look around and be thankful for the things in your life. Remember, whatever we focus on tends to grow in our experience. If you spend more and more time being thankful for the little things in your life, they could add up to being way more than enough.
- Cultivate your internal measuring stick for personal happiness and well-being. Most of us use an external measure far too often and then are surprised when we don't measure up. When we get in touch with those things that make us happy -- regardless of whether anyone likes it or "gets it," then it doesn't matter how much money you do or don't make. Love jogging or gardening or riding your bike? Then do it. Enjoy playing with your kids or your guitar? Then do it. Like to read or hang out with your friends? Then do it. Most of the things that make us smile and feel happy are unrelated to our income. Start separating those qualities and focus on them.
- Find something to get passionate about. Have you ever been around someone who is on a mission? If we don't think we have enough, there is a chance that we are focusing on a fear of loss. People who are passionate about something are focusing on something that so inspires them that they aren't worried about loss. Get involved in something bigger than yourself and you might be surprised at how "good enough" and "rich enough" you feel.
Bonus Tip: Start hanging out with people who are happy and satisfied with their life just as it is. If you spend time with people who are never satisfied and always wanting more, more, and more, you'll soon find that you feel the same way. Instead, surround yourself with those who realize life is much more fulfilling and spectacular than how much they make or what they own. Hang out with people who have passion, who regularly help others, and who know what makes them happy from the inside-out, and you'll start doing the same.
Supposedly when John D. Rockefeller, one of the richest men in the world, was asked how much money was enough, he replied, "A little bit more." Apparently, even he didn't realize that once you have your basics needs covered, you likely won't be any more satisfied or happy. And let's face it; even some of the poorer U.S. citizens have more than many others around the world. Of course, you'd never know that by the way many people constantly stress and overwork themselves. Or, like my friend Tami, people spend a lot of time focusing on losing their money, instead of celebrating what they have. Instead, it might be SMART to start realizing that our well-being and peace of mind starts within. That is probably the only way we'll discover we have more than enough just as we are, right now.
Most health care providers recoil when they think about counseling patients about obesity. Physicians generally don't talk about obesity with their patients, and despite the rapid increase in obesity prevalence, rates of physician counseling appear to be decreasing, by as much as 25 percent, from 1995 to 2008. One study found that conversations about nutrition last an average of just 55 seconds (perhaps just enough time to admonish patients to "just eat less and exercise more!").
Worse still, I regularly hear from patients that weight conversations with their doctors are often uncomfortable and sometimes off-putting. They describe feeling unheard, dismissed, and shamed. It's so common and counterproductive, that we created a short, dramatized video to demonstrate what not to do when talking to patients about weight:
Indeed, studies show that when feeling shamed and judged about their weight, patients are far less likely to lose weight and often gain more weight over time.
As off-putting as the practices in the video are, and as painful as it is to regularly hear stories from patients documenting these and other inappropriate practices, it's perhaps unfair to blame health care providers -- they have not been properly trained. In research we conducted at George Washington University, we found that 72 percent of primary care physicians reported that they received no training whatsoever in obesity assessment or management. (This finding is likely an underestimate, because several physicians included in the survey were obesity practitioners who nonetheless fit the definition of primary care physician. Fewer than 30 percent of medical schools meet the National Academy of Sciences' minimum recommended hours of education for nutrition and physical activity science (let alone obesity science), and the time devoted to nutrition and physical activity education in medical schools decreased by nearly 15 percent from 2004 to 2009. It's not surprising, then, that many medical residents don't know even the basics of obesity, including definition and diagnosis, let alone treatment.
These numbers resonate. I had only one short lecture on obesity in medical school (just enough to learn to say: "just eat less and exercise more!"). I can't recall any systematic training in the process of communication. And I certainly never learned about communication or behavioral medicine for obesity.
But the good news is that we have a great opportunity to make change by teaching health care providers and trainees about effective communication and counseling for obesity. Studies show that frequent and supportive counseling enhances weight loss. When we discuss weight with patients, there's a several-fold increased likelihood they'll want to address their weight, engage in weight loss behaviors, and successfully lose weight. Medicare and the Affordable Care Act even codified physician counseling for obesity as essential and covered services (though many barriers to use of these determinations still exist).
That's why the STOP Obesity Alliance created a freely-available tool for health care providers to build communication and counseling skills for obesity. Why Weight? A Guide to Discussing Obesity and Health with Your Patients covers how to begin the conversation, what words work best, how to support patients, how to create accommodating office environments, and much more. The website includes videos, handouts, tutorials, and links to other free resources.
Productive patient communication for obesity and health behavior change is critical. Medical schools and training programs for other health care professionals need to include communication and obesity training more explicitly and consistently in their curricula. Practicing clinicians should seek out training opportunities in order to build the skills necessary to help their patients. Without systematic and empathetic patient dialogue, we will never have a real chance of reversing upward obesity trends.
Dr. Scott Kahan is the Director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness, Medical Director of the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance, and serves on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Obesity Medicine.
In a new video created by Cut Video, women from five to 50 years old answer what the the word feminism means to them. The words women associated feminism varied across all ages, ranging from "overrated" to "essential."
As the video shows progressively younger women describing their relationship to feminism, those in their 20s and younger consistently expressed more positive feelings towards feminism, while some of the older women were a bit more weary with the term.
One woman said feminism was "purposeless." “What it started out to be, gaining equality has really lost all its point because people who claim to be feminists often don’t understand or accept other women and their choices," she said.
Other women were much more positive about feminism, using words such as "strong," "respectful" and "essential."
For their part, most of the young women under 11 years old were unsure of what the word feminism meant, replying "I don't know" or giggling and shaking their heads.
"At the end of the day, if you boil down what feminism really represents it’s a truth," one woman said. "All people regardless of gender or station in life or everything, are equal. And that’s the truth.” Well said.
And, of course, our favorite response:
Faster internet? Electrical engineers break power and distance barriers for fiber optic communication
Recently, anonymous Imgur user RunOnSentence spoke to the souls of adults everywhere by uploading a rewritten version of Dr. Seuss' coming-of-age tale Oh, the Places You'll Go! The remake, Oh, The Places You'll Go! (As An Adult), paints a different picture of adulthood than Seuss' rainbow-colored paths leading the way to goals and dreams. Think more work, less, well, anything else.
The book sadly nails an all-too-familiar reality for a lot adults -- one that consists mainly of spending time in the office. A reality that, quite honestly, is terrible for happiness and well-being.
Reports suggest that stress may be a significant cause of employee sick leave and is also a major source of lost productivity in the workplace. Not to mention the fact that approximately 42 percent of Americans didn't take any vacation days in 2014, according to a Skift consumer survey. Now that's something Dr. Seuss never warned us about as kids.
The truth is, taking space from the workplace is actually beneficial for our health because it helps our brains unwind. Managing stress can help reduce our risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, mental health issues and more. Research also suggests that planning a vacation may increase our happiness levels.
Check out the adult-ified version of Oh, the Places You'll Go below -- then schedule some time to relax, stat.
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It's not just that we are less present. Incredibly busy lives also mean many of us shy away from cooking or even having a family dinner together. Between our never-ending to-do lists, demanding jobs, children's busy schedules, and perhaps less-than-stellar skills in the kitchen, cooking, or even eating together seems to slide down on our list of priorities.
That's unfortunate, considering the numerous benefits of making a meal or even sitting down together to eat.
Amidst today's go-faster, do-more mentality, I have a radical proposal. I want you not only to reconnect with your kitchen and the bounty of benefits it offers; I also want you to reconnect with each other: Sit down and have a meal together.
If you have a family, you can bring everyone together for this event. If you live alone, invite friends over. Humans crave togetherness and connecting, and preparing a meal and then enjoying stimulating conversation becomes an energizing situation that plies us away from our laptops, smart phones, and other technological gadgets that serve a purpose but also disconnect us from other people.
It is not just that we are bombarded by toxic news and endless gossip. We also live in a toxic food environment, with its slick combination of sugar, salt, and fat that's pumped into a wide range of packaged food. As a result, our genes (and our jeans) are overwhelmed. Our taste buds have been assaulted. Our tongues and our brains become victim to craving even more of these toxins. Diabesity and all its repercussions have become the price we pay for this toxic-food onslaught.
Slowing down and enjoying healthy food, surrounded by great conversation, becomes one of the most radical things you can do to fight this toxic food environment. If you have kids, you are establishing lasting habits they will carry on.
That becomes especially critical when you consider in less than a decade, the rate of pre-diabetes or diabetes in teenagers has risen from 9 percent to 23 percent. Almost one in four kids has pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
Even more shocking, 37 percent of kids at a normal weight have pre-diabetes and one or more cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or high blood sugar. Besides raising the risk for chronic, life-threatening diseases, the sad truth is that obese children will earn less, suffer more, and die younger.
You can reverse this massive problem for yourself and for future generations, and the cure lies in your kitchen. Cooking together and having friendly conversation needn't become time consuming or otherwise burdensome. Start with one night a week. Make it mandatory, require everyone to put away technological gadgets, and make dining together an event.
Cooking real food is a revolutionary act. Sitting down and having stimulating conversation has become a lost art. Our children will grow up without these survival tactics, and their children will face the same fate -- not being able to identify common fruits and vegetables, not realizing where food comes from, and feeling isolated rather than connected with others.
We can change that, one meal at a time.
5 Steps to Disconnect and Reengage
Whether you're preparing food together or passing it around the family table, it's a wonderful time to reconnect, get the day's download, share laughs, and discuss important events. Start your new ritual by making your kitchen as warm and inviting as possible.
I've found these five strategies can help your family gather around the dinner table for a fun, convivial meal:
- Reclaim your kitchen. Throw away any foods with high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats, sugar, or fat listed as the first or second ingredient on the label. Fill your shelves with real, fresh, whole, local foods when possible. And join a community support agriculture network to get a cheaper supply of fresh vegetables weekly or frequent farmers markets.
- Learn how to shop and cook. You can make this a family activity, and it does not need to take a ton of time. Keep meals quick and simple.
- Make your kitchen inviting. Create a family playlist that puts everyone in a good mood. Invest in terrific lighting. Change your curtains. Open your windows. Put stools by the counter, or pillows on your chairs. Make the kitchen a place you and your family want to gather.
- Reinstate the family dinner. Read Laurie David's The Family Dinner. She suggests the following guidelines: Make a set dinnertime, no phones or texting during dinner, everyone eats the same meal, no television, only filtered or tap water, invite friends and family, everyone clean up together.
- Eat together. No matter how modest the meal, create a special place to sit down together, and set the table with care and respect. Savor the ritual of the table. Mealtime is a time for empathy and generosity, a time to nourish and communicate.
Don't Let Perfection Derail Your Efforts
Once you set up your environment for success, let the fun begin! I recommend getting your family involved in the entire process, from prepping ingredients to cooking to sitting down and enjoying the results of your labor.
If you're new to cooking or your skills have gotten rusty, don't aim for perfection with your first recipe -- aim for experimenting and practicing. Start with one of my more basic recipes with a few ingredients and work your way up to something more complex.
Enlist help from family members -- drag your kids away from their video games and ask them to measure ingredients, pull food from the fridge, or even chop veggies if they're ready to take on this task. Decide on meals together to get everyone excited about what's in store.
I encourage you to start your own family traditions around cooking and enjoying meals together. One of my favorite things to do with my kids is to hang out in the kitchen, chopping vegetables, telling stories, catching up, cooking, and anticipating sharing a great meal together. Once you get in the habit of nourishing your family life in this way, you'll never want to return to solo dining out of plastic containers and take-out boxes.
Choosing Inspired Conversation
"But I have no clue what to talk about with my kids or partner," a patient will occasionally confess when I propose the dinner-conversation idea. We know more about the latest celebrity gossip than we do our own family and friends.
Life coach Lauren Zander (co-founder of The Handel Group and Creator of The Handel Method) has a fantastic mealtime tradition to change that. She calls it "Creating a Conversation."
Here's how it goes. At the start of the meal, your family or dinner guests suggest a potential question to be answered by each person at the table. Everyone must agree on the question.
Once a question is decided upon, everyone at the table must answer the question. The fun is in getting everyone to share about themselves and connect with each other. That's when the magic happens! You will start to get to know your family and friends on a deeper level.
To help you get started, here's a list of some of our favorite dinner conversations:
- What's your favorite thing about the person sitting to your right? Why?
- What's something you can confess that nobody at the table knows about you?
- If you could pick any career in the world, regardless of ability/age, what would it be? Why?
- What's a city, town, or country you've never seen that you'd like to visit? What draws you to this destination?
- What's your very first memory of life?
- Tell the story of your first true love. Who was it? How old were you? What happened? Do you know anything about where that person is right now?
- If the house were on fire, and you could save just one of your possessions, what would it be? Why?
- If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be and why?
- What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you and what did you learn from it?
- If you could give the person to your left a superpower, what would it be? Why?
- What's something you have seen, heard, experienced this week that touched you?
- Tell a story of someone you deeply loved. Let us know what made that person special.
- What do you love most about your life? Why?
Diving Deeper into Dinner Discussions
Are you ready for a deeper, yearlong, working-on-your-life dinner experience? Life Coach Lauren Zander has another mealtime project, one that includes bringing your family/community together to inspire and make a difference in each other's lives.
Here's how to play. Keep in mind it's a yearlong event. You have a kickoff dinner where each guest chooses an area of life from the list below and creates a dream in that area. They must dream big while also making the dream inspiring and doable.
Once everyone has expressed their dream, each person at the table must make at least two promises that will help them achieve that dream. Then they choose someone at the table to be their accountability partner who will help them keep those promises.
Every six to eight weeks, schedule a dinner with the same guests so you can meet up, have a great meal, and everyone can give updates on how they are doing with their dreams. You will be amazed at the changes a community can create for each other.
In which area do you choose to dream big?
- Career -- how is it going? Are you doing what you love?
- Body -- weight, appearance, how you look
- Money -- are you happy with what you've earned, saved, or how you manage it?
- Fun & Adventure -- vacations, self-indulgent time, out-of-the-ordinary events
- Learning -- is there something you want to learn that interests you? Such as how to fly a plane, play the guitar, or speak Spanish?
I would love to hear from you about your favorite dinner conversation or the dreams you are achieving. You can post your favorite dinner conversations or your progress on your dream below or on my Facebook page.
If you want more help turning your dreams into reality, then please visit Coach Lauren's website to learn more about how she and her team can help you to dream big!
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, M.D.
Mark Hyman, M.D. believes that we all deserve a life of vitality -- and that we have the potential to create it for ourselves. That's why he is dedicated to tackling the root causes of chronic disease by harnessing the power of Functional Medicine to transform healthcare. He is a practicing family physician, a nine-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in his field. He is the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. He is also the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine, a medical editor of The Huffington Post, and has been a regular medical contributor on many television shows including CBS This Morning, the Today Show, CNN, The View, the Katie Couric show and The Dr. Oz Show.
New research suggests that the answer may lie not in men's skills or interests, but rather in the beliefs they hold about their abilities to do the complicated mathematics central to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.
Researchers from Washington State University found that men tend to significantly overestimate their math abilities, while women are generally more accurate in their self-assessments.
For the study, 122 undergraduates at the university were asked to complete a math test and then guess how well they had performed on the test. In one experiment, the students were told their test scores and then were asked again to take a math test and predict their scores. In a second experiment, the students took the test without getting feedback about their scores but were asked whether they planned to pursue a math-related course of study or career.
The results revealed that the male students tended to overestimate their test scores, while the female students predicted their scores fairly accurately. Men were also more likely to say that they would pursue STEM-related classes or careers, likely attributable in part to their inflated confidence in their math skills, according to the study's author.
However, when both men and women were given feedback about their scores and then asked to retake the test, the perception gap all but disappeared.
"Gender gaps in the science, technology, engineering and maths fields are not necessarily the result of women's underestimating their abilities, but rather may be due to men's overestimating their abilities," Shane Bench, a postgraduate student at the university and the study's lead author, said in a statement.
Even with girls across the globe now academically outperforming boys in math and science, there is sizeable gender gap in STEM fields.
A first step to narrowing the gap may be to ensure that girls and women receive constructive feedback about their math performance and opportunities to enjoy positive STEM experiences. Indeed, the findings revealed that women who had better STEM-related experiences in the past were more likely to overestimate how well they did on the test.
"Increasing women's positivity bias in academic domains... could be done by providing positive math experiences at a young age," Bench said in an email to The Huffington Post. "This could provide women with a more positively biased perception (overestimation) of performance, which could encourage the persistence needed to overcome challenge in the early stages, and persevere into STEM careers."
The findings were published this week in the journal Sex Roles.