WE LOVE OUR BIG BODIES

We love our big bodies people call fat and able to do as much as we can by our talents and abilities. We work so hard to accomplish excellence in our fields of expertise yet our size seems to matter to some people more than getting to know us. We are ordinary people doing extraordinary things so enjoy life as much as possible. We decided to speak out on behalf of the people fatshamed to be miserable or to spend their whole life trying to be someone they are not. Some develop anorexia and bulimia by trying to be slim and control their weight. In the extreme cases lost their lives due to pressure to be stereotypical average size whatever that means. Magazine, TV, media, entertainment industry portray an unrealistic image of the majority of women. Young people look up to such images so refuse to eat properly. Photographer Alice Zoo speaks to six women on body positivity and fat activism to support people who face abuse daily go educate the public.

COURTNEY, 24, GRIMSBY

@bodypositivebelle

“I’ve been big from a young age. I was 10, I was diagnosed with underactive thyroid, so each year I’ve put on more weight. I was always really active, so it was strange. New lumps and bumps formed that I didn’t know what to do with. I was bullied a lot throughout my school years I hated my body absolutely hated it. It really affected my mental health. When I was in college, I went on a big, long-term diet and lost five stone. I was a lot slimmer though I was big but I realised I wasn’t a better person, I wasn’t beautiful, I wasn’t amazing. I was still same person, but a lot less happy. Then I discovered Instagram. I remember seeing the first girl that used a body positive hashtag and I thought she looked amazing. I remember seeing the first girl’s body positive hashtag so I thought she looks amazing. But one night someone commented on all of my pictures saying I was fat and looked like someone from Star Wars. I messaged her and asked her why she was doing it. Why she found it fun to hurt someone like that. She replied, and later admitted that she had hang-ups about her own body. She said she felt fat. It made me think that often people are just pushing their own insecurities out. Someone will look at me and think: ‘I don’t want to be that size, I wouldn’t be happy that size, so why should you be happy when you’re fat?’ It makes me sad to think about people struggling so much they think the only way to make themselves feel better is to put someone down. That’s not the way. You can’t be comparing yourself to other people. I know it’s not easy, but the sooner you start to see yourself, how great you are, the better. You won’t need to judge someone by their looks.

ENAM, 23, BIRMINGHAM

@enamasiama

“I love the way I look and feel, because I’m comfortable, don’t feel any different from anyone else. I wake up and see myself as this normal person. I always tell people that I love my belly, I love my boobs. These squidgy parts might be seen as fat to someone else, but to me it’s just comfortable. There’s no-one out there who’s going to tell you that you’re not beautiful when you’re fat, simple as.

Find those who treasure and appreciate you and tell others how good they make you feel. Don’t be a person who always demoralises someone, or always being judgmental, because you have flaws. All have things they need to work on body.

“I have been waiting to be thin most of my life – to lose weight. I’ve put a lot of things on hold. When a kid growing up in Poland, I was quite sickly with upper throat infections and had to go to places we called sanatoriums to get better. Every time I went to one, they would put me on a low-calorie diet. They were always saying that I had to lose weight. Nowadays, when I look at photos from childhood, I don’t see anything wrong. I wasn’t skinny, but I wasn’t fat. But I was made to feel that there was something wrong. A few years ago, I started feeling a growing sense of anger so consuming a lot of feminist blogs and podcasts, and they talked about body positivity and self-love. I got to point where I thought, ‘There’s nothing wrong with the way I look, there’s nothing wrong with the way anyone looks. I’m just going to live my life.’ I stopped waiting to buy nice clothes, I just bought the clothes that fitted me. I started going on holiday. I started wearing a swimsuit and going swimming, which I always used to love when I was a kid. Now my attitude is:
‘Don’t like what you see look elsewhere else!’ N
o longer trying to change myself to fit society so trying to change society so it can fit me. Body positivity is not for fat people or skinny people it’s for everyone. Body positivity is the freedom that comes with being able to be happy with yourself. It gives you so much time to do other things, to travel, to think, to write, to make friends without having to worry about how you look all the time. Everyone could use a bit of body positivity in their life.”

MERCEDEZ, 28, LONDON / CHICAGO @missmermaidezpublic

“I was on a flight recently and I asked for a seat belt extender, I’m totally comfortable asking for – it doesn’t bother me. I was told I would have to pay for it. I said, ‘No thanks’, and they just ignored it, so I went without a seat belt from London to Morocco and back again. People think being fat is our fault. I struggled with not feeling desirable as a teenager. I thought I would never find a partner, that nobody would love me in the body I had. I look back at the time where I hated myself the most and I’m like – I was so cute. Why would anyone think these things? I do feel sensitive about desirability, through relationships and especially the way men have treated me as disposable. But I know that I’m hot. I know that I’m a worthy human being so it has nothing to do with my size. I know my body is some people’s greatest fear, to confront that is uncomfortable. To confront me being happy and living life and feeling healthy whatever that means threatens people’s desires to fit into beauty norm. I think it scares people you exist in the way you haven’t been told you can.”

TARA, 30, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

@fatandfab88

“Sometimes being fat is awesome, and sometimes it’s difficult. Spaces aren’t designed for larger bodies. And public transport is a nightmare. You need two seats on an plane. But a big body has just as much right as a smaller body.I think as I’ve got older, I just care less. Or I care more about myself and less about what’s expected of me. Being fat feels rebellious. Being fat and loving yourself is something completely different. I used to hate it. I wouldn’t eat. I wanted my skin to be lighter, so when I was in primary school, cover myself in talcum powder. Now, of course, I realise there’s nothing wrong with me. It would help if there were fat dolls out there for kids. Dolls like Barbie, have an unattainable shape. For everyone – of any size, race, whatever it’s not manageable. As I’ve got older, I’ve grown into my body. That’s the best way to say it. It kind of grew on me. When I finally became happy with where I was, when I stopped always trying to improve, that made a big difference. My partner helped loads as well. People think that if you’re fat then you can’t be healthy. You can be really big, and not as healthy as you should be. But then you’re happy, so it’s about weighing up what’s more important. When I’m smaller, I’m a state. I’m a happy size, and a healthy size, for all of me. For my mental health and my physical health, which are almost the same thing.”

SHARON, 30, LONDON

“When I was a kid, I didn’t feel happy in myself. I felt that I was ugly and my self-worth was really low bullied a lot. I developed and came out of myself a bit in my later teens. But it wasn’t until I found out about fat acceptance and fat positivity that I really came into my own. I was able to start looking at my self-worth as being more than whether or not I’m aesthetically pleasing to wider society. Now, some days I think I’m beautiful, other days I don’t. I have the knowledge that when things aren’t great, I can actually break it down and think OK Sharon, it’s not because you’re fat, it’s not because of you, it’s because of society’s impression of you.’ Because you’ve absorbed so many images from the media. There’s nothing wrong with you, it’s just the way that you’ve been made to feel. I’m a lot more in control of how I feel about myself. Fat activism is liberating fat people from social norms, and the discrimination and negativity that comes alongside that. We want society to accept us as human beings whose worth is not defined by weight, appearance or health. The biggest thing is to not make assumptions about why fat people are fat, or that they’re unhealthy. Just ask us. Ask us how we feel about our bodies. Be open-minded.”

IRON DEFICIENCY ANAEMIA

Iron-rich foodsDo you get enough iron from your diet? If not, liver red meat, green vegetables, nuts and seeds are good dietary sources of iron. And if you often feel tired, short of breath or you feel you heart beating faster inside your chest go for check up from your doctor. If friends commented you look unusually pale iron deficiency anaemia, is the world’s most common nutritional disorder in UK, common among young women. Analysis by the government’s Scientific Advisory Committee Nutrition (SACN) on iron and health in 2011 indicated 21% of women aged between 19 and 34 had below recommended level ferritin of iron is stored in the body. I recently suggested to a friend with the symptoms to get herself checked out by her GP. A blood test revealed she was so anaemic it was surprising she could still walk upstairs. A few iron tablets sorted her out. It’s worth adding that you should talk to your GP if you’re considering taking them – you might not need them and your symptoms could be caused by something else. The body can’t produce iron, so you have to get it in your diet whether through foods that naturally contain it or those fortified with iron, such as white bread and breakfast cereal. The problem is not all of iron is in a form you can actually absorb.Trust Me teamTo get iron from food eat leafy green vegetables raw, steamed, but do lightly boil your spinach. Eat or the fruit juice containing vitamin C with meals And a fermented bread is best for ealth. The Trust Me I’m a Doctor asked nutrition scientist Prof Paul Sharp, from King’s College London, to find the foods you should be eating to boost iron levels naturally. Red meat is rich in the sort of iron bodies find easy to absorb but these days many people are either cutting back on red-meat consumption or cutting it out altogether. And there are good sources of iron in dark-green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, and pulses, such as peas and lentils. The problem is you don’t absorb as much iron from plant sources as you do from red meat. Then, there is the iron you can get from fortified bread and breakfast cereals, though again it is not always in a very absorbable form. To demonstrate this, a neat party trick is to grind up the cereal, add some warm water and you can actually use a magnet to draw the iron filings out of the mush. Wait for your coffee. How you prepare your food and what you drink with it can change how much iron you absorb. To demonstrate this, Prof Sharp carried out experiments to mimic human digestion. The tests mimicked the effect of the enzymes involved in digesting food and the chemical reaction that occurs in human gut cells to show how much iron would be absorbed. Prof Sharp showed that if you drink orange juice with your fortified breakfast cereal you absorb much more iron than when eating the cereal on its own – because orange juice contains vitamin C, makes it easier to absorb iron from food. Disappointingly, if you drink coffee with your morning bowl of cereal, then that will mean you absorb significantly less iron.CabbageRaw cabbage anyone? According to Prof Sharp, it’s because coffee is full of chemicals called polyphenols that are very efficient at binding to the iron and making that iron less soluble. So, if a fortified cereal is your breakfast of choice, then having a small glass of orange juice or an orange will help increase your iron uptake. You might also want to consider postponing your morning coffee until at least 30 minutes after you’ve eaten.But what if you prefer getting your iron from more natural sources? Raw cabbage is a good source of available iron but we found that steaming it lessened the amount of available iron while boiling reduced it even further. That’s because, like oranges, cabbage is rich in vitamin C – and when you boil it, the vitamin C is released into cooking water. If you want to get the maximum nutrients from your cabbage, eat it raw (an acquired taste) or steam it. The same is true of other veggies that contain both iron and vitamin C, such as kale, broccoli, cauliflower and watercress. But, strangely enough, spinach is completely different. We found that when we boiled the spinach, it actually released 55% more “bioavailable” iron than when eaten raw. Prof Sharp says: “Spinach has compounds, called oxalates, and they basically trap the iron. “When we cook spinach, the oxalate is released into the cooking water, and therefore the iron that remains will be more available for absorption.” Finally, what about the bread? We found the best bread for delivering iron was sourdough bread. That’s because wheat contains a chemical called phytic acid that slows down iron absorption by body. When sourdough bread is made, the fermentation process breaks down the phytic acid so the iron that remains is more available for absorption. There are more diet tips on the Trust Me website.

Trust Me I’m a Doctor continues on BBC Two on Wednesday, September 12, at 20:00

FOOLED BY FOOD LABELS?

We often think of food as healthy or unhealthy, good for you or bad. So the companies use this to their advantage in their branding and packaging, to give foods health haloes that suggest they are healthy, when the reality may be more complicated than that. Seducing claims such as ‘natural’ and ‘low fat’ lead many of us to overestimate how healthy a food is. It can also discourage us from reading the nutritional details on the back label.

What do labels really mean?

Organic: it’s easy to believe that ‘organic’ equals nutritious. But organic certification does not guarantee the nutritional quality of food – instead it states the production methods. A US study has suggested that when food is labelled ‘organic’, people tend to believe it contains fewer calories.

Superfood: the term ‘superfood’ has no regulatory approval and no accepted definition – it is more a marketing word than a health one. Regardless, it’s been shown to have a strong effect on consumers – 61 percent of us have bought something because it is labelled ‘superfood’, according to YouGov.

Low fat: ‘low fat’ doesn’t always equal healthy. In the UK this label means the product must have less than 3g of fat per 100g. But when producers take out fat they often pile in sugar. Studies have shown that a ‘low fat’ label can trick us into eating more.

Low sugar: similarly to the ‘low fat’ label, ‘low-sugar’ foods can be high in fat and calories. The ‘no added sugar’ label doesn’t guarantee a low sugar content. Companies use fruit juice concentrate as a sweetener, as it does not have to be labelled as ‘added sugar’, but it is essentially sugar.

Natural: this word evokes a sense of healthy, unprocessed food. The Food Standards Agency states that ‘natural’ should mean that the food is made up of ingredients produced by nature. Many contain chemicals renamed to be more appealing to consumers. ‘Carrot concentrate’, for example, is a highly processed ingredient that’s used as a yellow food colouring.

Labelling and digestion

When individuals think they have consumed more calories than they have, their bodies respond as if they have actually consumed more. In a 2011 study, milkshake was packaged in two different bottles. One was labelled ‘Sensishake’, claiming to be a low-calorie drink with 0 percent fat, no added sugar and 140 calories. The other labelled ‘Indulgence’ and advertised as a rich treat with 620 calories. Both drinks had 380 calories. The study measured the participants’ level of ghrelin, the ‘hunger hormone’, whose levels drop in the body after a big meal, signalling to your brain that you’re full. They drank ‘Indulgence’ milkshake and their ghrelin levels dropped three times than when they drank ‘Sensishake.’ The difference in ghrelin response is seen as consistent with what happens if the individuals really consumed drink with different calorie counts. The results are consistent with well-documented placebo effect.

Location, location, location

We are bad at estimating how many calories are in food, and labelling makes this even more difficult. It turns out location really is everything. Research suggests that when people eat at a fast food chain labelled ‘healthy’ (even if it isn’t), they greatly underestimate calories consumed compared to when they eat somewhere they believe to be ‘unhealthy.’ They may also order more side dishes, drinks and desserts when eating out somewhere ‘healthy’.

‘If I have a low-fat snack I can eat more of it’

If you have a salad for dinner, do you think you deserve a slice of chocolate cake? A front label only gives limited information and it’s important to read the ingredients list at the back. Even if you are trying to reduce the fat in your diet, eating foods with the fat swapped for sugar will not necessarily be better for you. A great way to eat better is to cook for yourself so you know exactly what you’re eating.

Reblogged BBC Food

DARKCHOCOLATE MOODLIFT

dark-chocolate-768x480A team of researchers from Loma Linda University have revealed that eating the dark chocolate with a 70 per cent cocoa content has positive effects on the stress level, mood, memory and immunity. Dr Lee Berk, who led the study, said: “For years, we looked at influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions from the standpoint of sugar content that more sugar makes people happier. This is first time we looked at impact of large amounts of cocoa in doses of small regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time and are encouraged by the findings. The studies show higher concentration of cocoa has more positive impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity or other beneficial effects. Researchers carried out two studies to test the effect of eating dark chocolate. In a first study, the team looked at the impact of eating 70 percent cocoa in chocolate on human immune system, and found the treat set off cascade of reactions in turn reduced inflammation. A second study analysed brain health benefits of eating the dark chocolate, and found snack enhanced neuroplasticity in turn boosted memory. Team suggests benefits lie in a chemical flavonoid found in cocoa, plan to carry out follow-up studies to understand the mechanism behind these effects. A dark chocolate made from cocoa plant means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. These benefits from flavonoids which act as antioxidants.PROD-Dark-chocolateEndorphins bind receptors in the brain leading to feelings of euphoria, like the kind joggers get from runner’s high. The dark chocolate is a top dietary source of tryptophan amino acid like a serotonin neurotransmitter of happiness positive mood. Health benefits of chocolate often endorsed by Reader’s Digest and others recommend eating the dark chocolate for health wellness. This dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphin chemicals in the brain to create feelings of pleasure. Dark chocolate contains the serotonin antidepressant that elevates mood,” says Scritchfield. Flavanols are believed to play a role in chocolate’s mood enhancing effects. Dark chocolate benefits your brain to improve memory for good moods. Even the single doses of high-flavanol dark chocolate shown to improve performance of cognitive tests including memory test in healthy adult. Contentment is noticed in just 30 Days as new study reveals the dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa benefits mood so reduces anxiety. Cocoa benefits eaters due to the root compound called polyphenol shown to positively improve mood and enhance calmness. And those without any clinical depression, anxiety, mood swings gain good mood boost.

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fec4f6c975b8f3a6cdbf8dc5299f64d05b299a84c3872955b646f30a5f5dd39a.jpgHappy-Thanks-Giving-4.gifCool ThanksgivingIMG-20181126-WA0000.jpgIn Psalm 105:1, O give thanks to God. Call upon His Name, make known His Deeds among the people. Thanks be to God for His Gifts it is good to thank God in all things. Thank God for good things happening. Thank God for strength to face challenges. There is so much to be grateful and thankful for during this season of Thanksgiving. We thank God for the good health, abundant joy and supernatural favour HE provided for our family during this year. We are so thankful for each of you who are part of this ministry. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you all readers, friends, supporters, fans for everything. God bless you abundantly in Jesus Name.

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