On a recent vacation back home, I was forced out of my normal routine of working, eating and exercising and thrown into a dizzying whirlwind tour of family, friends and quality couple time with my boyfriend. As a person driven by schedules and the almighty clock, I get a bit anxious when flying by the seat of pants with no real plan in place. This lack of daily direction may be blissful to some, but is absolutely nerve-wracking for me. Despite the generally loose outline of my vacation days, there is one thing I can always count on fitting into my schedule: my workout!
Life sometimes gets so hectic. We become trapped between all the things that we have to do, and it seems impossible that we will be able to finish everything. I hate feeling stressed. I've learned some interesting things about stress during my studies... mainly, that stress has many negative impacts on our bodies and functioning. Stress releases cortisol, a hormone that breaks down our muscles to make energy from the protein. Too much cortisol can also cause memory loss, as well as suppress the immune system – so it becomes easier to get sick.
Last Thursday, October 11 was the inaugural International Day of the Girl. Several Canadian girl-centred organizations coordinated celebratory events and began the important work of facilitating dialogues around girls’ rights and developing solutions to the challenges girls face due to their gender and age.
In today’s North American society, the topics of body image and weight are on the tongue of every individual regardless of gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, and even age (childhood obesity and playground bullying, anyone?).
School is starting and I'm feeling mixed emotions about this. The great thing is that I will be back at my university studying what I love best - nursing. The workload is heavy and tough but I love learning about my future career. I love seeing my friends and having a good laugh. I enjoy practicing my skills on dummies (it actually is pretty fun...!)
For some reason, I often feel that I am the best version of myself during the summer. I feel less stressed, I get outside more, and I become more carefree and accepting of my appearance. So when September arrives, I begin to experience mixed emotions. While I feel hopeful and optimistic for the new season ahead, I also feel sad to see the end of warm, happy summer days. However, all of this is somewhat of a new experience for me.
Recently, I enjoyed a visit from my sister. She has lived in Tokyo for the past six years, but always manages to get in at least one annual visit to the homeland, usually in August. The visit itself was not out of the ordinary; what was of note was my reaction and feelings during it. I've finally come to the point where I'm not comparing myself to her all the time, not feeling "less than," but actually respecting our individuality. My sister is three years younger than I am; both of us are bright, but she always seemed (to me) to have the upper hand.
I was recently reflecting on how the current social ideals of over-consumption and indulgence can coexist and, in fact, thrive in a society that also proclaims that restraint and thinness are the keys to happiness. As part of this dichotomous reality, there appears to be a new and growing trend among young women to engage in binge drinking episodes as well as to adopt extreme dieting and weight loss routines.
Let me introduce myself: my name is Brooke, I'm a mom (still very awesome to say), wife, sister, daughter and graphic designer extraordinaire. I battled bulimia and anorexia for many years and I'd like to say that I've kicked ED out of my life, but I know that he still lurks around when I'm vulnerable.
She could be the next Einstein, a world class athlete, or your friendly neighbour but if she’s what North American society deems to be ‘attractive’, the only thing the media cares about is how X product makes her eyelashes ten times fuller, Y shampoo makes her hair voluptuous and sexy, and that her tennis uniform is flattering. The message is that we should envy her because she has something we should all desire: the face, features, and body society defines as ideal.