Seeing yourself in a positive light

How do you see yourself? How do others see you? The answers to these questions have a strong influence on your life and your relationships at work, socially and at home.
How do you see yourself?

Imagine you’ve just finished giving a talk or presentation – you think it went badly, your confidence has taken a knock and you feel low. You begin to question whether you’re cut out for this sort of thing. What you don’t know is that everyone else thought it was great and just didn’t get a chance to tell you.

Your negative view of your performance fuelled a downward spiral, resulting in a poor self opinion. Would your day have gone differently if the people attending had shared their positive feedback with you? Would you have felt better if you had focused on what went well rather than what didn’t go so well? The answer is yes!

The opinion you have of yourself (your self-perception) is shaped and formed over many years and can change many times. Your body image and self-esteem are all part of this picture.

These opinions are mostly based on your environment and how others react to you. They can change based on daily experiences. People with a positive self-perception are generally less affected by the stresses of day-to-day life than those who have a negative opinion of themselves. When your self-perception is negative, your moods, relationships, health, and ability to perform tasks at home or work can suffer.

Improving your self-perception

The key to improving your self-perception is making a conscious effort to banish those negative thoughts and become a driving force to ‘reinvent’ how you view yourself. Here are some tips that might help:

Think about your strengths (write a list) and be proud of your achievements.
Find time for the things you enjoy doing and that make you happy.
Try to master a new skill or take up a hobby.
Spend time with positive people who encourage and support you.
Listen to your negative thoughts and try to turn them into positives.
Avoid feelings of guilt by reminding yourself that everyone makes mistakes – they are all part of learning.
And remember, nobody’s perfect!
Another way to achieve a more positive self-perception is by getting regular physical activity. Research shows that the longer people stick with an exercise routine, the stronger the positive effect on how they see themselves.1 Simply feeling as though your body is improving is enough to improve your self-perception.2

There is a theory called ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ that states if you believe something will happen, your behavior changes in a way that makes it happen.3 So if you predict and expect to succeed, your behaviors could change and lead you on a more positive path to make it possible.3 Remember this works both ways: if you expect to fail, you may behave in ways that encourage failure.

How do others see you?

You communicate a great deal about yourself to others without actually saying anything. The way people see you is influenced by:

Your actions – for example, arriving late to meet a friend or to work can convey a lack of respect, motivation and organization.
Your body language – do you slouch? This could be seen as a sign of tiredness, poor body image or low self-esteem.
How you communicate verbally – whether you mumble and speak softly, or are loud and clear, you are telling others how you feel about yourself.
Your appearance – when you ignore your appearance, you could be giving off a ‘don’t care’ attitude.
Take time to think about these points; are you coming across to others how you think you are and how you would like to be? The following tips may help you come across in a more positive light:

Take pride in your appearance – this could also give your confidence a boost.
Listen and be open to different points of view.
Speak up – don’t be afraid to share your point of view, especially on things you feel strongly about or that interest you.
Keep a tidy work area to show you respect what you do and the people around you.
Watch your body language – uncross your arms, put your shoulders back and make eye contact.
Avoid coming to quick conclusions about others, they can often turn out to be wrong.
Once you start to see yourself in a more positive light you may even find that some of the above will happen naturally, without you having to do a thing.

Sources

Exercise and diet interventions improve perceptions of self in middle-aged adults. Sorensen M et al. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports 1997:7(5); 312-320.
An 8-week randomized controlled trial on the effects of brisk walking, and brisk walking with abdominal electrical muscle stimulation on anthropometric, body composition, and self-perception measures in sedentary adult women. Ailsa G et al. Psychology of Sports and Exercise 2006:7(5); 437-451.
Social Theory and Social Structure. Robert Merton 1968. Free Press.

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Five secretes weight loss tips

Five Secret Weight Loss Tips

If you are trying to lose 100 pounds, beyond diet and exercise you may need to examine other areas of your life to understand how best to achieve weight loss.

People who have 100 pounds or more to lose know all about what they should be doing to lose weight, says Gail Curtis, assistant professor at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC. In addition to nutrition and exercise, Curtis says it is important to consider stress, your sense of fulfillment, your work and home environment, and even people in your life who may be sabotaging your best diet efforts. Then you can concentrate on developing and sticking to a weight-loss plan.

How to Lose 100 Pounds: It Starts With Counting Calories

Counting calories is going to be a part of this process. Here are guidelines to follow:

If you want to lose a pound a week, you have to cut out 3,500 calories, or roughly 500 calories a day.
You never want to eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day, “and that’s on the low end,” says Curtis. You can always increase your physical activity, however.
You can safely aim to lose 1 percent of your body weight per week; a woman weighing 250 pounds should aim for a 2.5-pound loss per week, eating about 1,250 calories less per day.
Counting calories involves not just the food you eat, but also the calories you burn through exercise.
Keep a journal of what you ate, how much you exercised, and your thoughts and feelings at those times, and limit yourself to one weekly weigh-in to avoid focusing too much on the scale.
Good nutrition is key, says Curtis. Many people who want to lose 100 pounds are used to eating foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition. The challenge is to practice the reverse: Learn to eat the correct portions of foods that are low in calories but high in nutrition, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.

The Right Mentality to Lose Weight

How to Lose 100 Pounds: Break It Down Into Stages

How long it will take to lose 100 pounds varies — a 250-pound woman might need 40 weeks or more to achieve her goal — but Curtis recommends that you develop weekly and monthly goals that will help you track your progress and avoid becoming overwhelmed or discouraged. Attainable, feel-good goals include:

Being able to get down on the floor and play with your children or grandchildren
Being able to walk around the mall without feeling short of breath
Being able to do 20 minutes of physical activity three days a week — mornings are best, says Curtis (and work up to 30 minutes most days of the week)
Eating four servings of fruit or veggies every day of the week
Eating a healthy breakfast every day that includes a low-fat protein
How This Man Lost 100 Pounds

How to Lose 100 Pounds: Exercise Is Non-Negotiable

Being physically active is an essential part of losing 100 pounds. “This was the biggest challenge for our clients,” says Curtis. “They would say they couldn’t do it because of their ankle or their back pain. But everybody can do an exercise program.”

Curtis recommends:

If you have a lot of joint pain, start with chair or water-based exercises.
Try walking short distances and gradually building up your endurance.
Involve a physical trainer or an exercise buddy as you get moving again.
How to Lose 100 Pounds: The Aftermath

Many people worry about how their body will look once they lose 100 pounds. This “depends on your age and condition of the skin,” says Curtis. “Some people’s skin will retract. For some it will not.” Once you reach your goal, if you find that sagging skin bothers you, you might want to investigate cosmetic surgery to remove excess skin.

Of course, the health and fitness advantages of losing 100 pounds, plus how much better you will look and feel in clothes, will more than make up for any after-effects of your overweight. With determination and a few smart diet strategies, you can achieve your goal.

How to Lose 100 Pounds

How to Lose 100 Pounds

Losing weight is never easy, especially when you are facing a large goal. Learn how counting calories, exercise, and lifestyle changes can help you lose 100 pounds.

By Madeline Vann, MPH

Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH

More on Weight Loss

Five Secret Weight Loss Tips

If you are trying to lose 100 pounds, beyond diet and exercise you may need to examine other areas of your life to understand how best to achieve weight loss.

People who have 100 pounds or more to lose know all about what they should be doing to lose weight, says Gail Curtis, assistant professor at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC. In addition to nutrition and exercise, Curtis says it is important to consider stress, your sense of fulfillment, your work and home environment, and even people in your life who may be sabotaging your best diet efforts. Then you can concentrate on developing and sticking to a weight-loss plan.

How to Lose 100 Pounds: It Starts With Counting Calories

Counting calories is going to be a part of this process. Here are guidelines to follow:

If you want to lose a pound a week, you have to cut out 3,500 calories, or roughly 500 calories a day.
You never want to eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day, “and that’s on the low end,” says Curtis. You can always increase your physical activity, however.
You can safely aim to lose 1 percent of your body weight per week; a woman weighing 250 pounds should aim for a 2.5-pound loss per week, eating about 1,250 calories less per day.
Counting calories involves not just the food you eat, but also the calories you burn through exercise.
Keep a journal of what you ate, how much you exercised, and your thoughts and feelings at those times, and limit yourself to one weekly weigh-in to avoid focusing too much on the scale.
Good nutrition is key, says Curtis. Many people who want to lose 100 pounds are used to eating foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition. The challenge is to practice the reverse: Learn to eat the correct portions of foods that are low in calories but high in nutrition, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.

The Right Mentality to Lose Weight

How to Lose 100 Pounds: Break It Down Into Stages

How long it will take to lose 100 pounds varies — a 250-pound woman might need 40 weeks or more to achieve her goal — but Curtis recommends that you develop weekly and monthly goals that will help you track your progress and avoid becoming overwhelmed or discouraged. Attainable, feel-good goals include:

Being able to get down on the floor and play with your children or grandchildren
Being able to walk around the mall without feeling short of breath
Being able to do 20 minutes of physical activity three days a week — mornings are best, says Curtis (and work up to 30 minutes most days of the week)
Eating four servings of fruit or veggies every day of the week
Eating a healthy breakfast every day that includes a low-fat protein
How This Man Lost 100 Pounds

How to Lose 100 Pounds: Exercise Is Non-Negotiable

Being physically active is an essential part of losing 100 pounds. “This was the biggest challenge for our clients,” says Curtis. “They would say they couldn’t do it because of their ankle or their back pain. But everybody can do an exercise program.”

Curtis recommends:

If you have a lot of joint pain, start with chair or water-based exercises.
Try walking short distances and gradually building up your endurance.
Involve a physical trainer or an exercise buddy as you get moving again.
How to Lose 100 Pounds: The Aftermath

Many people worry about how their body will look once they lose 100 pounds. This “depends on your age and condition of the skin,” says Curtis. “Some people’s skin will retract. For some it will not.” Once you reach your goal, if you find that sagging skin bothers you, you might want to investigate cosmetic surgery to remove excess skin.

Of course, the health and fitness advantages of losing 100 pounds, plus how much better you will look and feel in clothes, will more than make up for any after-effects of your overweight. With determination and a few smart diet strategies, you can achieve your goal.

Obesity Treatment

Obesity Treatment

The method of treatment depends on your level of obesity, overall health condition, and motivation to lose weight.

Treatment includes a combination of diet, exercise, behavior modification, and sometimes weightloss drugs. In some cases of severe obesity, gastrointestinal surgery may be recommended.

If you are overweight, losing as little as 7-10 percent of your body weight may improve many of the problems linked to being overweight, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Slow and steady weight loss of no more than 1-2 pounds per week is the safest way to lose weight. Too rapid weight loss can cause you to lose muscle rather than fat. It also increases your chances of developing other problems, such as gallstones and nutrient deficiencies. Making long-term changes in your eating and physical activity habits is the only way to lose weight and keep it off!

Whether you are trying to lose weight or maintain your weight, you must improve your eating habits. Eat a variety of foods, especially pasta, rice, wholemeal bread, and other whole-grain foods. Reduce your fat-intake. You should also eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

Making physical activity a part of your daily life is an important way to help control your weight. Try to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day on most days of the week. The activity does not have to be done all at once. It can be done in stages: 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there, providing it adds up to 30 minutes a day.

Overweight Treatment

Overweight Treatment

Your body weight is controlled by the number of calories you eat and the number of calories you use each day. So, if you consume fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. You can do this by becoming more physically active or by eating less.

You didn’t put on extra weight overnight so it is equally unrealistic to take it off quickly. Record a goal that you can reach in one month that is 4 to 8 pounds less than you weigh now. Set a goal you know you can achieve.

Here are some very simple changes that you can start today that will greatly improve your chances of weight loss success:

Eliminate Red Meat
If foods like burgers are basic to your current diet, cutting out red meat can go a long way in helping you make healthier meal choices. Build your meals around fish or poultry.

Cut out fried foods
Grill, bake, roast, broil or boil your food. This also means doing without French Fries and snack foods like Potato Strings, Chips,…

Start with a soup or a salad
By starting dinner with a soup or salad, you will curb your hunger, which will in turn help you keep portion sizes in check and prevent you from overeating.

Stop Cola consumption
For every 20 ounces of Coca-Cola you drink, you’re consuming 250 calories. If you’re trying to consume around 1500 calories a day in order to lose weight, you can blow your entire calorie budget on soda!

Drink water
Reach for the goal of eight glasses a day. Even if you don’t drink eight, you’re drinking more than usual.

Surprising Advice for Diabetes Prevention: Eat Cheese

Surprising Advice for Diabetes Prevention: Eat Cheese

Cheese lovers could be 12 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, research finds. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you can eat cheese with abandon.

People with an elevated diabetes risk are often told to avoid high-fat foods, such as cheese, but a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that a diet rich in cheese might actually prevent the disease from developing.

The reason? Cheese’s particular brand of fat and fermentation process, researchers in the Netherlands concluded. A study of more than 300,000 people across eight European countries indicated that total dairy consumption was not associated with diabetes risk. But cheese and other fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and thick, fermented milk were inversely associated with type 2 diabetes.

Out of all the dairy products, cheese was found to lower risk the most. Researchers say that though results are promising, more research needs to be done to determine a link between fermented dairy and diabetes risk.

Fat and Your Diabetes-Prevention Diet

Because numerous studies have found high-fat diets to be associated with diabetes risk and inflammation in the body, which is linked to a host of other chronic diseases, this research does not give you a free pass to go cheese-crazy.

“Diabetes puts people at increased risk for heart disease, which is why it’s important to watch your fat intake,” says Dara Gurau, RD at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto. “Cheese and dairy products are higher in saturated fat, so it’s best to choose lower fat varieties of these foods such as skim milk, fat-free yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, and hard cheeses with less than 16 percent milk fat.”

To cut your diabetes risk, Gurau also suggests avoiding the trans fats found in margarine, fried foods, and any foods that list hydrogenated oil as an ingredient. For healthy fat sources, add more olive and canola oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, and olives to your diet, Gurau suggests. She also recommends adding two to three servings of fatty fish, such as mackerol or salmon, to your diet per week. The omega-3 fatty acids found in such fish are essential for skin, heart, and brain health, and may also lessen diabetes risk.

TELL US: What’s your favorite way to eat cheese? Share it in the comments.

For more diabetes news, follow @diabetesfacts on Twitter from the editors of @EverydayHealth.

Be Confident in God’s Strength

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NASB)

God wants you confident in the truth that, through him, all things are possible.

Every day of your life, you have a choice:

You can focus on the obstacles before you, or …
You can be confident in the truth that God is pouring his strength into you.
When the Israelites first approached the borders of Canaan, Moses sent scouts into the Promised Land to assess the situation. Ten of the scouts came back with reports that focused on the giants in the land, men so big and powerful the scouts feared they could not be defeated.

However, two of the scouts remained confident in the promise from God that he would hand the land over to the Israelites. One of those scouts, Caleb, silenced the others when he said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it” (Numbers 13:30b NIV). He was focused on the magnitude of God and not the magnitude of any giant challenge ahead.

Today, you may be facing giants that challenge your faith. Some of the giants crowd around you — giants of time and energy, finances and resources, fear and faithlessness.

God wants you confident that he’s pouring his strength into you so you can do whatever it takes to overcome these obstacles. He says you can take possession of your promised mission; you can be certain you can do it because God is strengthening you.

Consider this: God wants to build up your faith, and one way he’ll do it is by showing you how, together with him, it is possible to defeat the giants that keep you from moving into your promised mission.

Talk About It

When you’re confronted by a difficult task, what are the effects of considering it an opportunity for God to stretch your faith?
Do you believe God uses ordinary people? What are some examples of ordinary people in your life or in history whom God used to do extraordinary things?
What kind of scout do you want to be: one who is stressed over the obstacles before you or one who is confident in the promises of God? Ask God to help you develop confidence in him and then look for the ways he begins to do just that.