“Design your life to minimize your reliance on willpower ”Behavior Scientist, Stanford University
This is it. This is the year you will become more physically active. You will go to the gym five days a week and in six months you will be magically transformed into a thinner, happier, and more toned version of you. The fleshy additions of the holiday fun will magically melt away and you will take full control of your fitness…Sound familiar?
How about this year, instead of beating ourselves up with unattainable resolutions, we all practice a huge dose of self-compassion and start exactly where we are. Let’s keep the goals small, manageable, and sustainable.
I’m a huge fan of making small, steady changes to improve health. I know that this type of change, especially when matched to an existing habit, really works!
So, here are some realistic, “micro” but effective things you can do to get on the road to a healthier...
Not all cultures prize youth and physical perfection in the same way as the West. For example, in Japan, the aesthetic of wabi-sabi places a higher value on age and imperfection than it does on youth. Wrinkles and signs of aging are treasured as unique and precious and viewed as adding to a woman’s beauty. How great would it be if we could choose a different attitude that saw our life experience as beautiful rather than something that made us increasingly culturally and sexually invisible?”
We: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere.
Recently I have been hearing the word invisible used by women 50 and older, to describe how they feel viewed in the workplace, and more generally, in day-to-day life. I decided to conduct a search of the popular and scientific literature to see if I could learn more about this idea. I was surprised to find that a Google search of “invisible and older women” returned thousands of hits, and searching...
Ever feel alone in the weird changes that seem have overtaken your body now that you’re over 50? You may be comforted to know that another 6000 women a day are starting the journey of menopause. The first stage in the process is called perimenopause and is the time when women may begin to experience symptoms (e.g., hot flushes, mood changes) that carry on until you have not had a period for 12 consecutive months (post-menopause). The number of postmenopausal women in the world is expected to reach 1.2 billion by 2030.
At midlife, our hormones and metabolism change significantly. Along with increased chronic disease risk, weight gain can be an unfortunate side-effect. Weight gain in menopause and post-menopause is a significant issue. Between the ages of 40 to 60, 70% of women are overweight.
Researchers argue that the physiological changes that occur at menopause are less likely the cause of weight gain and that the more the gradual...
“In one experiment, he showed the words “chocolate cake” to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. “Guilt” was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: “celebration.”
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
In the years that I have seen nutrition trends come and go, one thing has always stuck with me – for all of the knowledge that the average North American has about food, we still have one of the highest rates of obesity and lifestyle-related diseases in the world.
Why hasn’t our awareness about calories, carbs, saturated fat content, trans fats etc. made a big difference in our health? Why are so many people still struggling with the pursuit of a healthy diet? I would suggest that the problem is two-fold.
The first issue is that understanding exactly what is healthy to eat has...
Think of our human ancestors, millions of years ago on the African savanna. As early ape-like people started to walk upright, it became increasingly difficult to rely on the protection that they had been previously afforded by living in trees. They were soft, defenseless animals that had to depend only on their wits and their legs to survive being attacked by predators. They truly needed to move to live.
As their brains grew, they also had to cover more ground to find higher quality food. With increased access to a more nutritious diet, their larger brains allowed them to create things like tools and weapons, and this ultimately led to an out-migration to Europe and throughout the rest of the world.
Human brains have grown at...
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