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July 08, 2008

Healthy Living - Get Inspired by Sport!

Those who know me, know I couldn’t let the Wimbledon Championship Men's Final match pass by in infamy without commenting on my favorite sport and player, Rafa Nadal

I’ve been a tennis fan for over 30 years and I’ve watched and loved many players along the way. Rod Laver, Stephen Edberg, Boris Becker, Martina Navratilova, Andre Agassi, Pat Rafter, Monica Seles, Gustav Kurten and now Rafa. All have two things in common: never say die and lots of class.

I’m not sure what happened when I was a teenager that attracted me to the game. No one in my family or any of my friends played tennis. It wasn’t a sport offered at my school and the courts in my rural Oregon hometown were grown over with weeds and used primarily as a soccer field for truants.

I just remember one afternoon watching Rod Laver play Ken Rosewall and I became mesmerized by the athleticism, strength, strategy and intelligence it took to get that ball back and forth so quickly and still set up an unbelievable shot.

Little did I know that this particular meeting between Rod Laver (The Rocket) and Ken Rosewall (referred to as Muscles), would be an epic encounter – just like the one we witnessed this past Sunday. It was 1972 and part of the world championship tennis tour. I had happily stumbled upon the final which would later be deemed one of the most influential matches in tennis history. It was magic and I’ve been watching (and even sometimes playing) ever since. I love this game!

What does all this tennis talk have to do with anything? It has to do with what's really important. It has to do with moving your body for the pure joy of it. It has to do with allowing yourself to be the best you can be and getting the most out of your life. And it doesn't have to be as a professional tennis player.

At times in my life I've been hopelessly lethargic, unfit and unmotivated. And it was tennis that came to my rescue. Every summer there is was - the great motivator. Austrailia, France, England and the United States. It inspired me to get up off my duff. It wasn’t about losing weight or getting a flat stomach, or ridding me of my flabby upper arms. It was about getting out on the court and playing a game I love. It was about being even the slightest bit like my idols – after all, look at the dedication and work they put into their sport. I could at least get fit enough to hit a few balls!

So whether it's tennis, the summer Olympics or your son or daughter's community soccer game. Let sport get you inspired. It can be the best reason you ever had to get in shape and start feeling good about yourself again. Let's play ball!

And what about Rafa? Well, just like the greats before him, he never says die and he's a class act all the way. Way to go, mama and papa Nadal for raising such a great kid.

Posted by Cindy on July 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


April 15, 2008

Healthy Living: Celebrate National Women's Health

493921_exercise_in_the_1950sOne of the more common negative effects that being over fat face women is self consciousness, lack of self esteem and a negative body image. Shame about their bodies often keep them out of the doctor’s office.

News from womenshealth.gov and OWH National Women's Health Week and Check Up Day. You can now join the many organizations participating in the 2008 National Women's Health Week Celebration. Anyone can participate - from individuals, corporations, fitness centers, cities, and even entire states!

*National Women's Health Week empowers women across the country to get healthy by taking action. The nationwide initiative, coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health (OWH), encourages women to make their health a top priority and take simple steps for a longer, healthier and happier life.

Community health centers, hospitals, and other health care providers across America will participate in this event by offering preventive health screenings to women. You can register your event online and find other events taking place in your area.

*Visit WomensHealth.org to register today!

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Posted by Cindy on April 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


April 16, 2007

Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters

C_0743287967I’ve spoken several times on the perils of going to the gym. It is a place rife with stories of women who are in the never-ending search for the perfect body, or perhaps even more illusive – someone else’s body.

Not too long ago I was going nowhere on the stationary bike in my gym and noticed two young women cycling their brains out in front of me - they couldn’t have been more than 14 or 15. Both dressed rather provocatively, in the shortest of shorts accompanied with t-shirts tied tightly in a knot under their sports bras with lots of beaded bracelets (Lindsay style) and spray on tans. They didn’t strike me as young athletes in training, but rather two friends in the gym trying to improve their bodies – bodies that were by anyone’s standards already beautiful. Well, this is America afterall (and a fat America at that), so who says two teenage women shouldn’t be spending their spare time in the gym?

Ok, me. When I was 14 never, never, would my friends and I have considered the gym a fun way to spend a sunny afternoon - so what do we suppose brought these two young women to the gym? A lack of athletic opportunities, no physical education in the schools, or something more sinister?

A wonderful new book has just been published this March, entitled, Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body published by Simon & Schuster's Free Press. Courtney E. Martin a talented young writer, has written a book about disordered eating and body image from a new and fresh perspective. From Courtney's website:

"Filled with information from expert psychologists and hundreds of interviews with women with eating disorders, Courtney E. Martin's Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters is a wake-up call to women of all ages and races to recognize the epidemic of eating disorders and what it's doing to them, their daughters, friends, and relatives. Courtney Martin argues passionately that women must commit themselves to developing new attitudes about their bodies, and redirect the negative energy they spend on denying themselves contentment in order to become re-engaged with the possibilities of a better life." - Simon & Schuster

This may be the perfect gift to give that special young woman in your life who just doesn't think you get it.

For more on the subject, read an article by Marsha, "Healthy Eating, Feeding Our Daughters Well", here.

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Posted by Cindy on April 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


February 02, 2007

Healthy Aging – A Half Century of Beauty

I thought it was time to give a few shout outs to advertisers and cosmetic companies for embracing older women in their recent advertising campaigns. I’m sure this has more to do with the growing demographic shift in the marketplace than anything, as early baby boomers begin to hit 60 and Gen X-ers creep up on 40. But one thing’s for sure, women in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s will not go quietly into the night – and that’s a good thing.

Just last week three 50+ actresses became Academy Award nominees for best actress. They are Meryl Streep, 57; Helen Mirren, 66; and Judi Dench, 71. None of which seem to have gone under the surgeon’s knife and all of which seem to have embraced their body types and not succumbed to Hollywood pressure, but let their talent do the talking.

Recently, several fashion houses and cosmetic companies have jumped into the mid-century market. L’Oreal for Diane Keaton and Jane Fonda - 61 and 69, respectively. (Two originals, that’s for sure). The eternally sexy Catherine Deneuve, 63, and Raquel Welch, 65, for M.A.C. Animal rights activist and Golden Globe winner, Kim Basinger, 53, for Prada; MENSA member Sharon Stone, 48, for Dior; Academy Award winner and political activist Susan Sarandon, who believe it or not just hit 60, representin’ for Revlon and finally, Christie Brinkley, 52, still a Cover Girl.

I appreciate not everyone is born with the bone structure of Catherine Deneuve or Sharon Stone, and maybe we don't have the body of Susan Sarandon at 60, or the financial resources of any of the lovely ladies mentioned above, but they are all women who represent what it ‘feels’ like to be over 50. They remind the world that it’s not all over just because you hit 40.

Yes, I suspect these new ‘business partnerships’ came about because there’s a huge audience for their products. We’re perceived as motivated and we have the money to spend. BUT, if it gets women of ‘a certain age’ noticed for the beautiful, vibrant, imaginative, passionate creatures that they are and can be, that’s a win in my book.

Source: For more on this topic, check out this recent article by Anita Creamer of The Sacramento Bee. Anita’s article was the resource for the list of women above.

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Posted by Cindy on February 2, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


January 29, 2007

Healthy Lifestyles – National Wear Red Day

February is upon us, and it’s for lovers!  I’ll admit I lost a little of my squee for Valentine's Day once we stopped passing out the little glittery cards that said, ‘Be My Valentine’ and ‘Will You Be Mine’, always accompanied with a boxes of candied hearts professing the same sentiment - now, that was romantic! 

But, regardless of where you stand on February 14th, there’s no ignoring we’re moving into one of the most romantic months of the year…traditionally known for chocolate, flowers and maybe even a hot date or two. And even if you're not expecting to receive a big box of chocolate covered cherries, there’s still something else you can get behind - National Wear Red Day!

Celebrate with women from all over the country and sport your favorite red ensemble on February 2, 2007. Maybe not as sexy as a dozen red roses, but what could be more important than having a healthy heart?  All the better to love someone with…

The American Medical Women's Association states that heart health can be greatly improved with awareness of heart disease risk and our willingness to reduce those risks. Like most things regarding healthy lifestyle change, the earlier you start, the greater the benefit.  So, why not start today? Lifestyle improvements each of us can follow include finding pleasurable physical activity that you enjoy and will continue to do regularly – because you love it.  Efforts made toward reaching and then maintaining your own healthy weight, which features normal eating (while paying attention to low cholesterol, low saturated fat diet, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables) and managing life stresses and positive thinking.  Nothing, new there!

In honor of our hearts, this coming month we’ll try to focus some of our posts around tips, news, resources and best practices, in relationship to your heart health…and maybe even a little bit on romance, just for fun!

PinoncreamThe Red Dress Pin is the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness. To purchase your pin, find a special offer HERE.

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Posted by Cindy on January 29, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


January 22, 2007

When Words Hurt

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me...

Of course, we know that’s not true. Embracing negative self talk can derail us from even our simplest efforts when it comes to making healthy lifestyle changes. So, we can imagine (and perhaps even remember), what it’s like to experience the worst type of negative talk, insults and even bullying every single day.

In an effort to eliminate name calling from schools and communities, No Name Calling Week is celebrating its 4th year - running today through the 26th of January.

No Name Calling Week was originally created to focus national attention on the problem of name calling in schools and to provide students and teachers with the tools and inspiration to launch an on going dialogue about ways to eliminate name calling in their communities.

The program has the backing of groups from the Girl Scouts to Amnesty International. If you’re interested in creating a no name calling week in your school, you will find all the information and your complete kit, here.

Image website

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Posted by Cindy on January 22, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


October 13, 2006

Ugly Betty is Beautiful

She may not be the prettiest gal on the block but Betty Suarez has plenty of style. The kind that you don’t get from shopping at Bloomingdales, but the kind one gets from having compassion, strength of character, smarts and a heart of gold.

Ugly Betty is a new prime time comedy series produced by none other than, anything but ugly, Selma Hayek. A huge hit in Columbia and several other countries prior to making it to the US of A, Ugly Betty seems to be striking a common chord among young women all over the world.The story is about a very plain secretary who works in a glamorous fashion design house, surrounded by beautiful women, but despite her looks, Betty gets ahead, through hard work and intelligence.

Ugly Betty has been well received so far, sitting just outside the top ten of all new fall shows. I say, support Betty and ABC will make sure she’s a keeper.

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Posted by Cindy on October 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


September 15, 2006

Ann Nelson's Life List

Ann Nelson was killed in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Among many of her belongings her mother Jennette was given her daughter's laptop. She never opened it, until recently. What she found filed on Ann's computer was a complete surprise. A file titled, "Top 100." It was a list of Ann's top life goals. Below are the 36 entries she made before dying. Can you imagine what other items would have made this incredible woman’s list if she had lived? She is inspiring to say the least.

Ann's List

1. be healthy/healthful
2. be a good friend
3. keep secrets
4. keep in touch with people I love and that love me
5. make a quilt
6. Nepal
7. buy a home in north Dakota
8. get a graduate degree
9. learn a foreign language
10. kilamajaroo
11. never be ashamed of who I am
12. be a person to be proud of
13. always keep improving
14. read every day
15. be informed
16. knit a sweater
17. scuba dive in the barrier reef
18. volunteer for a charity
19. learn to cook
20. learn about art
21. get my cfa
22. grand canyon
23. helicopter ski with my father
23. spend more time with my family
24. remember birthdays
25. appreciate money but don’t worship it
26. learn how to use a computer !!
27. visit the new york public library
28. maine
29. learn to write
30. walk = exercise but also see the world first
31. learn about other cultures
32. be a good listener
33. take time for friends
34. kayak
35. drink water
36. learn about wine
37.

You can read more about Ann here.

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Posted by Cindy on September 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack


September 11, 2006

Madrid Fashion Week Bans Skinniest Models

Unfortunately, the perfect body (as though there were such a thing), may still be most commonly identified to women via the fashion world. And in this world, skinny, or even ‘super-skinny,’ is still the accepted norm, especially for young women in the most impressionable phases of their development.

Through the years there have been times when fashion trends have seemed to embrace models of such emaciated stature that instead of wanting to buy a designer’s clothes, we might actually have felt more compelled to donate to CARE.

Organizers at the Madrid Fashion Week are going against the fashion world grain this year by saying no to super skinny models. Although fashion week in Spain does not yield the press and prestige as their bigger and more prestigious brethren (New York, London, Paris), they are still standing up to speak against the industry. Many in Spain feel that super-skinny models with a BMI of less that 18 is unhealthy and sends the wrong message to women. Consequently, this year, designers have been ordered to disallow any model on the catwalk that has a BMI of less than 18.

Raymond Hainly writes in the Sunday Mail UK,

A recent trend for waif-like models has upset many within Spain’s fashion industry, with some demanding the banning of material that could lead to bulimia or anorexia. A spokesman for the Association of Fashion Designers of Spain said, "We want models to project an image of beauty and health and shun a gaunt, emaciated look."

The Madrid ruling means 5ft 9in models must weigh at least 123 pounds. That’s still pretty skinny in my book, but I think we all realize that models will always resemble hangers more than they’ll resemble you or me, but it’s a start and I’m impressed.

Just so you know, if this new ruling were applied to all models it would disqualify Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen and Elle MacPherson and I’m sure several other Victoria Secret icons. Who knows if this will catch on, but at least one country is standing up for its women in a positive and forward thinking way and I can’t imagine that Kate, Gisele and Elle wouldn’t welcome the occasional ice cream sundae.

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picture courtesy of gurl.com

Posted by Cindy on September 11, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


June 19, 2006

Waging War On Our Bodies - Acceptance and Diversity

Scale_4 In the May issue of "Today's Dietician" Green Mountain friend, Kindy Peaslee, RD has authored a terrific article entitled, “Dieting – At War with out Bodies, Celebrating Body Acceptance and Diversity”. Kindy speaks eloquently about how so many otherwise, enlightened women continue to live in a restrictive mindset while they still embrace dieting. Clinging to their individual dieting panacea’s like the newest and trendiest handbag.

To this end there is a movement underway. Not such a new concept for those within our industry, but to the general public, a movement some might describe as radical. Green Mountain at Fox Run has been a pioneer in the non-diet approach to healthy weights since 1973.  And today, there are many who believe and support the idea that a non-diet approach to eating and weight management speaks most effectively to women who are tired of struggling with their weight.

To prove that the belief that diets don’t work is worldwide, in May we celebrated the 15th annual International Non Diet Day. Hats off to, Mary Evans Young, the director of the Canadian campaign, Diet Breakers and the author of "Diet Breaking: Having It All Without Having To Diet!", who started INDD in 1992.

From Kindy’s article, here are the goals of the INDD:
• Increasing public awareness of the dangers and futility of dieting, weight-loss surgery and obsession with thinness;
• Affirming that beauty, health, and fitness come in all sizes;
• Affirming everyone’s right to eat normally and enjoy physical activity and emotional well-being; and
• Helping change the way people of larger sizes are perceived and treated by society.

More recently, is an organization which supports the idea that healthy bodies come in all sizes and shapes. Health at Every Size (HAES) appreciates that battling eating and weight related issues are complex and promotes healthy eating and fitness as a means to reaching your own individual path to wellness.

It seems with a movement that is growing stronger every day that we would be able to reach women who are tired of struggling with their weight and help them regain the courage to love themselves where they are -today. And from that place, we may finally be able to make peace with our bodies, our minds and our spirit.

Resources:

Kindy R. Peaslee, RD, is the founder of Kindy Creek Promotions. She can be reached at [email protected]

International NO DIET Day (INDD) links: To view DVD trailer
Of Dieting: At War with our Bodies. Details of press release on INDD

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Posted by Cindy on June 19, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack