Me Before We: Learn to love yourself first

by Suzanne Lachmann, Psy.D.

You join a gym but can’t stop smoking. You finally pull free from a destructive relationship but are binging on junk food. You stop wasting time on mindless TV, but then compulsively check Facebook. Does it seem like pushing forward in one area of your life must be balanced by slipping backward in another? For many of us, the deep-rooted belief that we don’t deserve good things makes us resistant to taking care of ourselves as fully as we can.
Do you want to be self-confident and positive about your future? Inside many of us is a sense that we don’t deserve these good things and instead we are supposed to suffer. This feeling isn’t necessarily a specific thought like, “I don’t deserve to do something that will make me feel better about myself.” But rather it’s the question, “What makes me think I deserve good things?” Or as one woman recently wrote on my Facebook page, “That’s how I feel about a lot of things, for example losing weight—I somehow feel I don’t deserve to be healthy and fit. I’m not worth the effort.”

Certain type of fat could help humans lose weight

Oct. 2, 2013 — A diet high in a certain type of fat may actually increase metabolism, according to recent research by Texas Tech University nutrition scientists.

After studying genetically modified mice, the discovery could lead to supplements and a diet regime that will increase metabolism and decrease muscle fatigue in humans. The research was published in the peer reviewed journal, The Journal of Lipid Research.

Chad Paton, an assistant professor of nutritional biochemistry in the Department of Nutrition, Hospitality and Retailing, said he and colleagues were curious why skeletal muscles of obese people contained a certain type of enzyme that breaks down saturated fats. To test what that enzyme did, Paton’s lab and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin — Madison genetically modified mice so that their muscles would constantly produce the enzyme.

Overweight? Obese? Or Normal Weight? Americans Have Hard Time Gauging Their Weight

New poll finds 30% of those overweight think they are normal size

NORWALK, C.T. -September 2, 2010– For many Americans fat is the new “norm.” More and more people are unable to accurately describe themselves using their height-to-weight ratio – known as body mass index – the scale that determines levels of overweight and obesity, a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll found.

The poll revealed that 30 percent of overweight people think they’re actually normal size, 70 percent of obese people feel they are merely overweight, and 39 percent of morbidly obese people think they are overweight but not obese.

That means fat may be becoming the new normal, raising the specter of increasing rates of health threats such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

“While there are some people who have body images in line with their actual BMI [body mass index], for many people they are not, and this may be where part of the problem lies,” said Regina Corso, vice president of Harris Poll Solutions. “If they do not recognize the problem or don’t recognize the severity of the problem, they are less likely to do something about it.”

Among other findings of the poll, conducted online Aug. 17-19 with 2,418 adults ages 18 and older:

  • Most respondents who felt they were heavier than they should be blamed lack of exercise as the main cause, with 52 percent of overweight people, 75 percent of obese people and 75 percent of morbidly obese people saying they didn’t exercise enough.
  • Food consumption was seen as the lesser of two culprits, with 36 percent of overweight respondents, 48 percent of obese respondents and 27 percent of those morbidly obese feeling they ate more than they “should in general.”

“In the mindset of most Americans, they’re not looking at this as a food problem as much as an exercise problem,” Corso said. “Three out of five Americans overall are saying they don’t exercise as much as they should.”

On the subject of weight-loss remedies, the poll found Americans deemed surgery the most effective method, followed by prescription drugs, then drugs and diet-food supplements obtained over-the-counter.

“Americans like the quick fix and that’s what they think the surgery is even though there are so many other things that work,” Corso said. “The American public knows this but it’s hard and it’s something that they’re not quite ready to do. This wake-up call still isn’t ringing as loudly as it could.”


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Non-stick chemicals linked to high cholesterol in kids

The chemicals contained in non-stick cookware and waterproof fabrics may be linked to elevated levels of cholesterol in children and teenagers, new research shows.

The chemicals, called perfluoroalkyl acids, are found in drinking water, household dust, food packaging, breast milk and a whole host of other sources. They are used in the creation of substances called fluoropolymers, marketed under brand names such as Teflon, which make cooking utensils non-stick and allow clothing to remain stain free.

People absorb perfluoroalkyl acids, which include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), through daily exposure to these products, with the liver most affected, according to the researchers. The chemical is detected through blood tests.

Researchers at the Virginia University School of Medicine studied blood samples from children and teenagers between 2005 and 2006. They found their average concentration of PFOA was 69.2 nanograms per millilitre and their average PFOS concentration was 22.7 nanograms per millilitre.

They found that the higher a young person’s PFOA concentration, the greater their levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, known as the more unhealthy form of cholesterol. Higher PFOS concentrations were associated with higher levels of total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), known as the healthier form of cholesterol.

While LDL increases the growth of harmful plaque in the arterial walls of the body, HDL reduces it.

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