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Birth Control and Weight Gain

While all types of hormone birth control have their own side effects, weight gain may not be as much of a risk as you may think. There are so many types and brands of birth control pills available that it may just take some patience to find the right one for you.

Weight gain is a common concern for many people who are looking to start hormonal forms of birth control and most studies oppose the theory that hormonal birth control causes weight gain, still, some do report gaining a few pounds in the weeks and months after they start taking the pills. This is often temporary and it is as a result of water retention and not actual weight gain.

Most birth control pills lack estrogen levels that are high enough to cause weight gain in a person. The first birth control pill that was developed in the 1950s, contained about 150 micrograms (mcg) of the estrogen mestranol. Pills today only contain 20 to 50 mcg of estrogen, according to a 2012 study.

If you are noticing weight gain and can’t pinpoint a reason, it could be due to one of the following common causes:

1.      Changes in diet; are you eating out more than usual? Gradual increase in your calorie intake can lead to weight gain. Monitor your daily calorie consumption and doing so can help you maintain your current weight or lose some weight if that’s your goal.

2.      Changes in Metabolism; Depending on your age, your metabolism could be contributing to changes in your weight and energy levels. As you age, your metabolism can take a nosedive and without your body’s natural calorie-burning ability, you may notice weight gain.

3.      Changes at the gym

4.      Changes in routine

Hormonal contraceptives have a number of uses in addition to protection from unwanted pregnancy. They are also used to treat or reduce symptoms of PCOS, endometriosis, heavy/irregular painful periods and anemia. Fear of gaining weight may hinder one from starting a birth control medication or could lead to them using it inconsistently or incorrectly, or could cause them to stop using it. This could leave one without effective protection from unwanted pregnancy or without treatment for a particular condition. 

Talking to your healthcare provider about this  can help you consider the possible risks and benefits of taking hormonal birth control pills.

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Accepting Flaws in a Relationship

Once the chemicals of new love which transform one’s sweetheart into the very picture of human perfection wear off, each partner discovers that no matter how compatible they are, there is at least one thing and sometimes several, that each dislikes in the other. Each possesses some habit, behavior, or personality quirk that annoys, infuriates, or disappoints the other person.

 As the relationship goes on, the pair may remain very much in love, but their respective mannerism can become a source of perennial conflict. Each partner wants the other to change a particular behavior and each partner, even if they try to make the requested change, frequently fails at doing so, and the conflict continues. Such frustration can often cause one’s partner to feel great distress and even contempt for the other.

 Research shows that nearly 70% of marital conflicts are perpetual and unresolvable and they can last a couple’s whole life. The only alternative to this is to simply accept that they are never going to change.

 Here are some tips on how to learn to accept someone for who they are in a relationship: 

1. Treat your partner as an actual being and not just as an object to be admired and to be possessed. Treat them as a human being that is capable of care and love. Respect them as a person and also accept them as equal. 

2. Respect their Beliefs and acknowledge their opinions: You do not have to share the same opinions and subscribe to the same beliefs all the time. As unique individuals, one should be entitled to one’s own definition and reaction towards the world around them.

 3. Accept their imperfection and embrace their flaws: But beware, there is a big difference between accepting someone’s weaknesses and forgiving a person’s abusive behavior 

4. Understand that their past does not define them. 

5. Don’t force them to change but guide them to be better: it’s unfair for someone to force another person to change how they live their life. As a partner, you have to respect and understand these differences. As long as you know that their decisions and their lifestyle are not in any way hurting them, then you have to accept them and love them for who they are. With patience and respect, they will grow and become a better person in time.

 6. Never compare them with other people from your past.

 7. Be proud of what they have become and show it.

The best possible way of accepting someone for who they are in a relationship is to be happy about their achievements and to show the world that you are proud of them. Remember, there is no ideal and sweet act to show your love for someone than to tell them that they are perfect in their own imperfect way.

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10 Basic Ways on How to Love your Body

 Learning to love your body when you really don’t is no easy task and the society is full of expectations and unrealistic standards that can make loving your body in any shape or form extremely difficult.

How many times have you looked in the mirror and exclaimed, “I’m fat!” only to have your friend, spouse, or family member assure you that you look fine? If this happens more often than you care to admit, it’s time for a body-image intervention.

Here are ways on how to love your body better:

1. Ditch the narrative that looking a certain way will make you happier: Before you can learn to love your body, you need to relinquish the idea that you wouldn’t feel sad, lonely, or rejected if you looked different. The more you can really internalize this idea, the less attached you will be to meeting certain conventional beauty norms because you will understand that they will never deliver what you want. 

2. Stop Judging People’s Bodies: For you to learn to love your body, you need to stop judging other people based on their bodies. When you criticize another person’s body, you send the message both to them and to yourself that bodies are a valid measure of a person’s value.

3. Cleanse your social media feeds of anything that makes you feel bad about your body and follow social media accounts that show bodies that look like yours.

4. Do something that makes your body feel good every day: Make it a habit to do something good for your body every day. Maybe that’s setting aside a few minutes to just give yourself a hand massage. Maybe it’s putting on your softest, fuzziest pair of socks to wear around the house. Maybe it’s doing a refreshing face mask or putting on a full face of makeup for no reason.

5. Do new things with your body: When you challenge your body to do something new, something outside of your comfort zone, you get to see your body in a new light.

6. Make Exercise about feeling good: Exercise is a natural way to increase energy, reduce stress, and keep our bodies healthy. But when we look at exercise as a weight loss or body-shaping tool, we turn something that’s nourishing into something that’s hurtful and even hateful toward our body. Exercise as a way to love your body not as a way to change or fight it.

7. Dress your body affectionately: Sometimes when we’re feeling insecure about our bodies, we consciously or subconsciously put on clothes meant to cover up as much of our body’s “trouble areas” as possible or attract the least amount of attention. This bolsters shame and negativity around our bodies. Dress your body like it’s a piece of artwork. Be intentional, attentive, and expressive.

8. Fight Fat phobia: It’s time to start getting over our fear of fatness. That means celebrating your fat body, supporting and empowering your fat friends, and calling out anti-fat comments from your peers.

9. Surround yourself with people who are supportive of you and your body.

10. Don’t let your weight or shape keep you from activities that you enjoy.

Remember that your body is a piece of nature and it can never be inappropriate.

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How You Can Improve Your Relationship with Exercise

People think of exercise as something that will possibly make them look better and live healthier only but it doesn’t just stop there, Exercise can improve all aspects of lives, especially relationships with friends, family, and significant others. 

Couples that workout together can stay together because they now have a ritual of connection that created shared meaning. Working out is not only good for your physical health but can also be a great way to invest in your relationship. Whether you like walking, running, biking or any form of exercise, you can form a habit of bonding together.

 One of the best reasons to work out with a partner is so you can talk and pass the time easily. If this is something you do several times a week, just by sharing about each other’s days, you will learn more about your partner.  Exercise is an opportunity to connect. When your partner asks if you’d like to take a walk with them, turn towards their bid by saying, “I would love to!”

Exercising for health can also be a way to set goals together whether it is for weight loss, managing health symptoms, or just gaining strength together. Also, exercise affects hormones by reducing cortisol and increasing dopamine. When there is conflict or flooding in your relationship, your cortisol levels increase. Exercise can be a great way to counteract that. Dopamine produces excitement, pleasure, and that feeling something wonderful is about to happen. Who wouldn’t want to feel this way in their relationship?

Make a new ritual of connection in your relationship by adding physical movement to your day. You’ll find that exercise helps you build love maps, turn toward bids, and create shared meaning. It all inches you closer to the partnership you want with the one you love.

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Habits to Form a Healthy Evening Routine

One wakes up an hour before work, rush to get ready, shower at lightning speed and grab an energy bar or coffee before running out the door. Still, work leaves you feeling overwhelmed and long before the week is over, you are burned out and know you won’t hit this week’s goals.

How does one get out of this? ROUTINES.

Good healthy evening routines help you achieve more, think clearly and do work that actually matters. They keep you from stumbling through the next day and make sure you get the most important things done. The close of each day is just as important as the start. By implementing evening routines, you ready yourself for the next morning, recharge with a restful night and minimize the resistance one would encounter in getting things done.

The activities you choose to do during those precious minutes before you go to bed all play a part in having productive days. Whether it’s checking your phone or reading a book, take a moment to assess which ones help you hinder you from performing at your best the following day.

Here are some evening habits worth developing:

1.  Stay Hydrated: There are a slew of health benefits of drinking water, from helping keep your heart healthy to improving your skin. Dehydration has been proven to decrease mood and promote stress in men and women.

2.  Cut Evening Caffeine: If you are trying to boost your sleep quality, you may need to cut down on the afternoon and evening caffeine.

3.  Have a Healthy Meal: There are so many reasons to eat a healthy dinner so often as you can. Enjoying a delicious, healthy meal can help nourish your body, steady your blood sugar and set you up for sleep success.

4.  Watch the Alcohol: Enjoying a nightly beverage is not inherently problematic; in fact, it may provide some health benefits. However, indulging, especially before bed, can lead to not-so-restful sleep. Even though a drink might make you tired, your quality of sleep is impacted. Alcohol can plummet our blood sugar, causing us to wake up or have shallow sleep in the middle of the night. It can also lead to dehydration. If you are going to have a drink, move it earlier in the night and hydrate with water closer to bedtime.

5.  Step Away from Screens: The light given off by the screens of our smartphones and TVs can suppress the production of melatonin, our sleep hormone. Artificial light can also shift our circadian rhythms and keep us up later, even after we log off. Shut down electronics at least 30 minutes before bed to let your brain relax and melatonin rise.

6.  Plan Ahead: Doing a little bit of planning for tomorrow or tidying up at night can help us feel prepared and accomplished going into a new day. It can be hard to get quality sleep for a lot of reasons but stressing too much about sleep can make it worse. These simple habits can help you build a healthy evening routine that helps keep you from tossing and turning. Sleep has benefits including improved mental health, immunity and more, so use these tips to set yourself up for success and feel more rested tomorrow.