Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

anorexiaI was listening to the news and heard a story about the latest fashion fad–triple O jeans. Yes, you read that right OOO! I didn’t even know there was such a size.  And frankly, that size should be in the children’s department.

According to the Fox News reporter, the average waist size of someone who fits into OOO is 22-26, the waist size of most six to eight-year-old children.

How sick!  Triple O is a threat, as it is suppose to be the number one goal among actresses and models right now!

Triple O jeans are another way to push women into unrealistic expectations for their bodies. Forget all the work the Dove Campaign has done to try and  help women accept their bodies, aspiring to Triple O will put an end to healthy thinking about the adult female body. It infantilizes women and leads them down a dangerous health and emotional path. Triple O says, let’s throw out the window all sensibilities of health!

Triple O is a revisit of the, “You can never be too thin” era.  Scary skinny means just that–SCARY! The pictures of Triple O celebrities and models could be in my office for eating disorder treatment.  This is not fashion, this is dangerous! Shame on you Dr. Keith Ablow, a, psychiatrist who commented on the news story, for saying this is aspirational to women and not pointing out the dangers of eating disorders.

Being that skinny is physically dangerous as one would lose so much body fat that organ damage is possible. Extremely low weight can lead to bone loss, hormonal changes, anemia and constipation just to name a few. And the biggest concern is death! Self-starvation and excessive weight loss to less than 85 percent of your expected body weight is called ANOREXIA and it is a psychiatric disorder. Treatable, but the physical damage done is sometimes irreversible. People die! 

So don’t fall for this as a fashion trend and starve yourself to fit into Triple O jeans. Don’t aspire to this size or you might expire! Say NO to these dangerous trends that make women lose their curves and play to some sick idea that scary skinny is somehow attractive. It isn’t. It makes you look like my patient who needs to be hospitalized.

For more help from Dr. Linda Mintle

Breaking free anorexia

With the rise of hookah bars, teens tend to think that this trend is a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes. This simply isn’t true.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is warning us that smoking anything increases our risk for certain cancers. Even a single evening of smoking hookah can significantly increase carcinogen exposure (substances that cause cancer).

Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco found that smoking hookah is at least as toxic as smoking cigarettes. They say that hookah delivers a purer, more harmful form of nicotine and other cancer-related substances. And using the inhalant device in a night usually results in inhaling more toxic substances than smoking a cigarette.

After checking urine samples from healthy individuals who were exposed to hookah smoking, they noted higher levels of nicotine. In some cases, people were exposed to second hand smoke in the hookah bars as well. One study noted that hookah smokers were exposed to 56 times more smoke than cigarette smokers (Journal of Nicotine and Tobacco).

In addition to the increased risk of cancer, the carbon monoxide from smoking impacts heart health.

In reality, any product with nicotine is not “safe.” So, if you want to improve your health, find an alternative to smoking!

 

fightingIt’s a typical Friday night and mom and dad are at it again. Little Jill covers her ears. Billy runs under the table and tries to hide and Angie cries.

The kids are stressed and can’t take their parents constant fighting. All that stress is physical and emotionally hurting them. Their heart rates beat faster. Their blood pressure rises and their bodies are flooded with stress hormones, depleting their immune systems and making them more susceptible to infections and illness.

Their learning is also impacted. Their grade point averages drop and they do poorly on tests. All the conflict is predictive of academic failure. And the more intense the conflict, the worse children do. In fact, teachers will tell you that kids from high conflict homes are more likely to be expelled from school, become pregnant as teens and live in poverty.

Emotionally, living in a hostile home puts kids at risk for psychiatric disorders like depression and anxiety. They have trouble regulating their emotions, knowing how to calm themselves down and can’t attend as well to others. All that bickering creates a powerful sense of a loss of control. And those kids take their childhood stress into their adults lives and relationships.

Bottom line, when parents constantly fight and have high conflict in their homes, kids suffer. Also, please note, it isn’t divorce that does the damage as much as the high conflict fighting. So, if you want to help your kids, stop fighting. Learn to deal with your partner is ways that are respectful and honoring. Solve your problems without all the intensity and drama. Your kids’ physical, emotional and relationship health depends on it!

 

man sleepingIt is afternoon. You have a talk to give. When you enter the room and begin to set up, you notice people looking rather sleepy. In fact, as you scan the audience, some people are already nodding off.

You think, “This is going to be a challenge! Why are people looking so drowsy? Was it the big lunch they ate? Am I just not entertaining enough to keep their attention or what?”

Truth is, it is probably none of the above. Sure a heavy load of carbs at lunch could intensify the sleepy feeling people are getting, but more is going on with your midday audience.

At midday, people are entering the nap zone—that sleepy time when the brain says, “Take a nap, you need it. I don’t care if you want to be awake, I need to sleep!” Yes, the brain is telling you to sleep and fighting you to stay awake.

Now, most of us don’t have the luxury of taking an afternoon nap no matter what our brain is telling us. But in reality, a little siesta would actually benefit our functioning. The brain telling you to nap is trying to help you function better. We actually fight a beneficial impulse!

Napping benefits the brain.  It helps increase reaction time, reduces traffic accidents, and improves your cognitive functions. And that cognitive improvement lasts about 6 hours after a 45-minute midday nap.

So if you can, next time you are trying to push through a tough assignment or need to be creative, but find yourself fighting sleepiness, take a 25-45 minute nap! Close your door, nap with the kids, and rest! Your brain will thank you by working better!