Blog Posts by Blisstree Editors

  • Why Depression Could Be Good For You

    A group of doctors are saying that depression can lead to better mental health. So does that mean those of us who are suffering from depression should just resolve to feeling blue? According to a recent article published in Prevention, maybe.

    The theory is that pain and sadness during depression has a purpose in our lives and can be a clarifying, healing force. Depression can also be a natural way of getting you to solve important issues in your life, according to Paul Andrews, PhD, an evolutionary biologist at Virginia Commonwealth University:

    Depression may be nature's way of telling you to stop and focus on what's troubling you, so you can move past it and get on with your life.

    Andrews and his colleague J. Anderson Thomson, MD, a staff psychiatrist at the Student Health Services and Institute of Law and Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, have become controversial proponents for using depression to lead to better mental health-a theory that actually

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  • Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat?

    Aren't we amazing? I mean, aren't women and our bodies simply amazing? We have soft lips and strong shoulders. We can incubate and nourish a growing human, push that little human down and out through a little birth canal and then continue to help it grow with milk that handily comes out of our boobs! If we break a bone, our body can heal it. When we need new skin, extra adrenaline or the ability to function with just one kidney, our body manages it all. Yet still, we judge. And we judge harshly.

    I can honestly say that I don't know any woman who is completely happy with her body. Isn't that terrible? The funny thing is, I wouldn't have included myself in that category until fairly recently. I grew up with a pretty healthy body image and made it all the way to college before I had my first "holy s---! My thighs did not look like that a month ago!" freak out. I became a yoga instructor in my mid-twenties, which contributed greatly (physically and psychologically) to a continued

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  • The Real Deal On Post-Baby Bodies, From An OB/GYN

    I had a flat belly like yours until I had you.

    No, I wasn't born with stretch marks. You gave them to me.

    I used to be skinny too, but the baby weight never came off.

    Oh, and that surgery I had to lift my bladder and tighten up my vagina so I didn't leak pee all over the place-all your fault.

    Okay, so maybe those weren't Mom's exact words, but that's what I remember from growing up. The take home message was "Enjoy your hot, toned, young bod now, because as soon as you have a baby, Bye Bye Body."

    And it wasn't just my mom. Aunties, my sister, and friends with babies echoed the same kind of comments. And as an OB/GYN physician, I had personally witnessed the worst scars pregnancy can leave on a body (I'll spare you the details.)

    Wowsers. It's enough to make a sexy, svelte wanna-be mother buckle up her chastity belt and ditch dreams of mommyhood for good.

    'The Body Positive' Week Is Here!

    Body After Baby & Mommyrexia

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  • Is Our Society Too Fat-Friendly?

    While we're still confronted with images of too-thin models and unrealistic physical ideals every day, the range of "normal" body types in the U.S. has definitely skewed towards a heavier-and some say more realistic-physique in recent years. Plus-sized models like Crystal Renn are no longer relegated to Lane Bryant ads, there are clubs and dating sites especially for overweight people, celebrities who openly admit they love their "curves," ad campaigns featuring heavy (and proud) women like Dove's Real Beauty campaign and V magazine's recent "Curves Ahead" photo spread, of which photographer Solve Sundspo said: "I loved the opportunity to show that you can be beautiful and sexy outside the narrow interpretations that normally define us."

    'The Body Positive' Week Is Here!

    There is even a National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) that wants people to know:

    The fat acceptance movement champions a new kind of beauty that is not defined by the size of your

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  • Can High-Heels Really Cause Migraines? Possibly.

    Michele BachmannMichele BachmannCan heels cause headaches? Last week, presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann was roundly laughed atfor claiming high heels triggered her migraines, but I'm not sure why everyone think it's so ridiculous.

    Wearing heels can be bad for us in a number of ways. There are the obvious ones: Blisters, sore feet, ankle pain. But studies have also found women who frequently wore high heels had shorter calf muscles and stiffer, thicker Achilles tendons that women who didn't (setting them up for serious pain), and thatwearing heels can contribute to knee arthritis andnerve damage. It can also drive your spine out of alignment and put muscular tension on your back-both of which can contribute to tension and perhaps other kinds of headaches.

    Migraines and Heart Attack Risk

    Time quoted the executive chairman of the National Headache Foundation saying, "I've been in practice almost 50 years treating headaches, and I've never seen heels as a cause of them. I think the stress of the

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  • Why And How To Break Your Sugar Addiction

    Just think how our eating habits have evolved with our busy lifestyle. We shovel in a fast bite at our desk and inhale dinner while standing over the kitchen counter, so we can spend more time on work and errands. We also eat late at night in front of the TV, or even skip meals altogether. Then, think about our food choices: Packaged, processed convenience foods loaded with hidden salt, fat and sugar. (And in the dog days of summer, you may have even opted for a dinner of popsicles or ice cream.) These foods not only do a number on our waistline; they wreak havoc on our hormones.

    Energy Highs and Lows

    When we consume foods high in sugar (glucose), the glucose enters the bloodstream, quickly causing blood sugars to rise. The pancreas responds by secreting insulin which then causes a surge of sugars to enter the cells to either be used as energy or stored as fat for later use. Blood sugars then fall to normal or possibly just below normal levels. While this is happening, we

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  • Supermarket Smarts: Ditch The Basket, Choose A Cart For Healthier Groceries

    One of the easiest ways to eat healthier is to simply ban your "bad foods" from your house. You may crave junk food, but chances are you wouldn't leave your house for it (most of the time). But the tricky part of that trick is that it's hard not to buy the bad stuff at the supermarket to begin with. (Rules about shopping while hungry are cliche, but true: On an empty stomach, I always come away with a cart full of crackers, cheese, and beer.) Researchers have found one incredibly simple way to make less unhealthy food choices at the grocery store: Push a cart instead of carrying a basket.

    Weight Loss: Are Fancy Grocery Stores Better for Your Health?

    You might guess that carts would encourage more impulse shopping (more room for potato chips!), but apparently flexing your arm to pick up your basket at the store entrance "leads to a preference for vices over virtues, and for smaller, earlier rewards over larger, later monetary rewards," according to a study published in the

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  • What Your Weight Says About Your Personality

    If you're trying to lose weight, now would be a very good time for some personality adjustments. According to a new study, those of us with impulsive traits are most likely to be overweight. In fact, people who scored the highest in hasty behaviors weighed an average of 22 pounds more than their cautious counterparts.

    Are Cash Transactions The New Weight-Loss Secret?

    Researchers from the National Institute on Aging looked at data from nearly 2,000 people over the course of 50 years to determine how personality traits are associated with weight and body mass index. Their conclusions, published in theJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, found greater weight gain among impulsive people, those who enjoy taking risks and those who are cynical, competitive and aggressive.

    Individuals with this constellation of traits tend to give in to temptation and lack the discipline to stay on track amid difficulties or frustration. To maintain a healthy weight, it is

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  • Study: Marriages Are Happier When Women Weigh Less Than Husband

    THappily ever after may not based on companionship, sexual compatibility or even shared values like we once thought. According to a new study, it could be tied to weight-specifically, a low:high ratio of a woman's to her husband's. Yes ladies, once again, it's all about how our bodies can please our man.

    What If Your Man Asked You to Lose Weight?

    After following 169 married couples for four years, researchers from the University of Tennessee discovered that men who had a higher Body Mass Index (BMI, which is calculated from height and weight), were happier at the start of their marriage and stayed that way. Surprisingly enough, women also felt the same way and reported being significantly happier if their BMI was lower than their husband's.

    Lead author Andrea Meltzer acknowledges that, of course, women of any size can be happy in a relationships with the right partner and she also points out that it's the relative weight (BMI) that matters, not just what the scale

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  • Why Mentally Checking Out Could Be What Your Body Needs

    I have always spent a good amount of time doing nothing. Sitting on the front porch in a rocking chair drinking a hot cup of tea is among my favorite things to do. As is daydreaming, meditating, lounging on the beach and napping (aka, sheet therapy). I love to think. Or not to think. I treasure time when I can just let my mind wander. I used to think there was something wrong with me.

    A Reminder in Mindfulness

    As a child, I was never allowed to do nothing. If I was all comfy in a chair staring out the window, I was told that I must go play or do chores. So instead of daydreaming at home, I took that longing to set my mind loose to school and church. I got very good at tuning people out. While I mastered looking interested and engaged sitting at my desk or in the pew, my thoughts were about as far away as they could get. How I ended up as an honors student, I don't really know. What I do know is the joy and freedom I felt in letting my mind be still.

    Recently, I was

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