Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Do You Know Who Your Friends Are?

We all know how different men and women are. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus...two different planets, right? And through the diagnosis of how different we are there is always the element of how much more "feeling" and collaborative women are. Women are sensitive and need to talk things through to relate to each other. Pluses....right?

So if women are so sensitive, collaborative, thrive on talking things out, and being there for each other why is there so much nastiness and lack of respect between females? If you are a woman I'm guessing somewhere in your lifetime you have experienced clicques? Maybe it was the cheerleaders in high school, or the sorority girls in college. Or maybe it was a group of women you worked with.

Okay, so I admit it. I didn't have great self-esteem as a young girl so I used to let these things get to me. Fortunately I found ways to improve my self-esteem. But even now that I've crossed the big 50 threshold I am still taken aback by how women treat each other. So much jealousy, lack of respect, insecurities and nastiness! But the part that always intrigues me is why women feel the need to pretend to be your friend when they aren't. They can be so sweet, superficially pleasant and supportive to your face while undermining, unsupportive and talking smack behind your back.

How many women that act this way realize that their need to carry on like this is rooted in their own insecurities? Bonding with their "girls" by talking about other women (or men) makes them feel better, superior, right? C'mon!

Women that relate to others by putting them down, making fun of them, talking behind their back aren't bringing a lot of great karma in their direction. Whatever we put out there is what we get back. Remember what you focus on is what you attract!

It's a choice, but consider the alternatives. When you focus your energies, thoughts, words and actions on positive things you'll feel different. Remember the advice you heard as a kid? "If you don't have anything nice to say about someone, don't say anything at all."

If this is an area where you have room for improvement...give it a shot. Clean up your act and observe the positive things that begin to take place in your life after you eliminate this unhealthy behavior. Spend some time and energy embracing your authentic self. Then watch how much different the interaction with other women is when you are a "real" friend.

For more information on improving self-esteem visit my website http://www.lori-hanson.com/.

In peace, balance and health,

Check out my new Personal Empowerment Necklaces available this weekend on my website!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Eating Disorders - Behind the Whispers

Do you know how to spot an eating disorder? Most people have heard of anorexia and bulimia. But many people upon hearing the words eating disorder automatically assume symptoms of anorexia. "So how skinny did you get?" When they hear the term bulimia, the automatic assumption is "Oh, you vomited". It's not that cut and dried. The symptoms aren't that rigid.

Regardless of the type of eating disorder there are a few similar characteristics:
  • Eating disorders are marked by extreme behavior with food
  • Extreme reduction in amount of food consumed (anorexia) or
  • Extreme overeating or bingeing (bulimia or binge eating disorder)
  • Extreme obsession and dissatisfaction with weight, body shape and image
  • Increased isolation or moodiness
  • Low self-esteem and self-worth

Many individuals suffering with eating disorders also have what is called "dual-diagnosis." This means in addition to their eating disorder they may also be suffering from:

  • Depression
  • Drug, alcohol or other chemical addictions
  • Self-harm rituals
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Other psychological conditions

While many individuals get help for their alcohol or substance abuse, the eating disorder goes untreated. Rehab and sober living facilities don't always have experience dealing with these issues. So while the individual maintains a "sober" lifestyle, their eating disorder often spirals out of control. Chaos continues in their lives because all of their issues related to low self-esteem and the chemical imbalances caused by their extreme eating habits have not been addressed.

Although eating disorders are much more widely known and written about now than they were 20 years ago it's still a "taboo" topic. People are uncomfortable discussing it and don't know what to say. In addition to not fully understanding the causes and symptoms, many misconceptions exist. Often girls with eating disorders are told they should "just eat", or go to a 12 step program. It's not that simple. Eating disorders are complex. Some individuals are in and out of treatment repeatedly.

Education is critical to bring awareness to this epidemic. Just as many teens don't understand the addictiveness of "smoking a few cigarettes" and college students miss the link between alcohol addiction and binge drinking. Many young girls (and boys) who begin skipping meals, controlling their food intake or bingeing often don't realize this behavior can ultimately lead to their death. And while many high school and college campuses are required to bring awareness to drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders too often are left unaddressed. Because it's a "psychological thing" and its hard to talk about.

It's time to get past the whispers of this topic. Parents, college, high school and middle school students need to be educated. Here are a few disturbing facts:

  • Eating disorders have the highest death rate of any psychiatric diagnosis
  • 77% of young girls surveyed would trade their body for that of a celebrity
  • 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat
  • 90% of high school girls diet regularly when only 10-15% are overweight
  • 85% of eating disorders start between the ages of 13-20
  • Up to 30% of college students have eating disorders
  • 75% of women admit to having an unhealthy relationship to food aka disordered eating
  • 10% of people with anorexia die
  • Eating disorders are being diagnosed in children as young as 7 years old
  • Over 7 million women and 1 million men and children suffer from eating disorders. But how many are suffering that still haven't told anyone because it's so taboo?

Be informed - save a life!

For more information, please visit my website: Lori-Hanson.com

In peace, balance and health!

Want to win a free copy of the MP3 version of "It Started With Pop-Tarts...An Alternative Approach to Winning the Battle of Bulimia?" Click here for details: http://lori-hanson.com/index.php?page_id=324

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Release the Inner Kid to Reduce Stress and Create More Balance

It's so easy to get caught up in the drama of day-to-day life. To stress, worry, live in fear and focus on all that could go wrong. What a way to live your life! How do you find room for happiness amidst all the drama? Even finding the time to remember what you need and what's important is difficult. Now that the political ads are off the air there is a a new barrage of negative ads talking about "these economic times." Negativity only adds to the drain on your energy and stress.

On a recent flight I witnessed a plane full of adults displaying excitement usually reserved for five and six year old kids. The moment engulfed me as it's so rare you see a site like this. There were couples with gray hair straining to look out the window excitedly to get their first glimpse of the Hawaiian Islands. Two men in their fifties were laughing, "groovin" and sharing headphones on their iPod while plotting out their excursions on a map of the island. Everyone was happy. The babies weren't even crying! I sat there and completely drank in the scene. The energy that filled the plane was giggly, uplifting and positive. It was an incredible moment.

We have all heard about the importance of connecting with our inner child. But how do we do it? That's what was so impressive about this experience on the plane. No one was acting self-conscious about their level of excitement. No one was logically thinking about whether this was the proper adult or "politically correct" (PC) thing to do. They were just acting from the heart, from emotion.

As we grow up we are so conditioned to what we "should" and "shouldn't" do. We learn so many rules, have to watch our "P's and Q's" and now on top of it we've become a society that always has to be PC. There isn't any room to be free to experience life as it comes and enjoy things without worrying about being silly or stupid. We lose it so quickly.

While working out in the hotel gym I had a little fun with the people there. Instead of carrying the body ball over to where I wanted to use it, I bounced it. Yup, I dribbled it just like a basketball! As expected most people looked inquisitively to see what in the world I was doing. But I smiling as I worked my way to the other side of the gym. Bouncing this huge ball reminded me of days spent on my grandma's front porch bouncing a little beach ball which I always loved to do.

Learning to play again is important for everyone, not just those of us who suffer(ed) with eating disorders. What is something you still really enjoy that makes you feel free? Something you can do that you can execute without really caring what other people think? Did you like to color, play with paper dolls? (remember those? I loved them!) Maybe it was drawing or writing poems?

Look for little ways to be a kid and express yourself! It's a great way to let go of control for awhile and bring some balance back into your life.

For more information, please visit my website: Lori-Hanson.com

In peace, balance and health!

Want to win a free copy of the MP3 version of "It Started With Pop-Tarts...An Alternative Approach to Winning the Battle of Bulimia?" Click here for details: http://lori-hanson.com/index.php?page_id=324