To Diet or not to Diet, that should be the question!Written by The Wardrobe Shrink - Sarah Whittaker
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Tips Jeans for a curved hipline – drop waistline but ensure you have a larger waistband, and/or no back pockets. Also, opt for jeans with stretch. This will follow your natural contours better. For men: go for jeans with a pleat around waistband to accommodate a softer belly line. Jeans for a narrow hipline – most jeans look a dream on you, but ensure you opt for structure. Stretch could make you look like you have puppy fat. T-shirts for a curve – use softer fabrics with drape and soft stretch that have a curve in cut. Avoid front pockets, too high a neckline, square short sleeves. Instead, feminine touches – flowers, soft textures and chiffon, depending on your style. For men: go for softer fabrics. T-shirts for angles – use structured fabrics, stripes and lines, boyish cuts, and heavier stretch. You can do pockets and sheer looks. Are you investing in yourself? If you are having concerns about your weight then you may have put a stop on your wardrobe spending ‘until you lose weight’. This is just plain unfair on yourself. It can only lead to you feeling more miserable if you are living in three outfits and haven’t got anything you feel really good in. You may feel it will force you to take your diet wishes seriously, but again is dieting what you need, or what anyone needs for that matter? Tips Go out now and buy yourself something that you feel really good in, that suits you, that is perhaps an extravagance and that looks slightly sexy or suave. Regardless of whether you have been starving your wardrobe. This doesn’t require emptying your wallet. The action in itself, spending some quality time for you to value yourself, will improve your spirits. For women: Go out and buy some new make-up. A fresh gloss for lips – natural or bright – whatever is your preference, and a shimmer or rouge for cheeks. Invest in good mascara and some colour or base for eyes. For men: invest in a new shampoo, a facial lotion and an upgrade your shaving system. Consider this: You don’t need to lose weight. But you do want to be healthy and have a positive self-image. If you achieve latter, your own appearance and weight will find its natural way.
Being healthy is mostly achieved by finding balance. Balance between stress in your life and peace you have; a balance between your nutrients and your addictions; a balance between being active and being passive. You also want to be well. With amount of toxins we have in our foods and environment and amount of pressure we have living in Noughties, your health is very important. Dieting can be unhealthy. What is healthy is loving yourself for how you are, appreciating that as you age your body will change, and that a healthy self-image is far more important than whether you can fit into a size 2. In fact, that is quite dangerous.
Dieting can be a quick fix – you see some results so you feel like you have dealt with problem. But if you are not happy with your own personal image, then weight loss or not, you will shortly be back in front of that mirror complaining about how you look again.
Sarah Whittaker - named The Wardrobe Shrink by the media - has developed a unique system of thirty five Image Types that help you define your personal image and your true nature. She is a strong believer that everyone has their own unique 'blueprint' and by discovering that and expressing it you can fulfil your potential can attract what you want in your life.
The Real Truth about your Sweet ToothWritten by Brian B. Carter, MS, LAc
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As I said, small amounts of sweetness can strengthen Earth. In CM, herbs such as cinnamon and licorice are employed for this purpose. These herbs are sweet- not super-sweet like processed sugar, but naturally, moderately sweet. Someone with an Earth imbalance might not consider these herbs 'sweet,' not like ice cream or soda or candy. This is because body has gotten off-kilter into a vicious cycle of craving exactly wrong thing: huge amounts of supersweets.
Two other oft-consumed sweets are alcohol and carbohydrates. Studies of alcoholics have revealed that they have extreme sugar-addictions, that part of alcoholic withdrawal is due to a drastic reduction in sugar intake, and that subsequent coffee, smoking, and sweet consumption may be a way of preventing food cravings. One study showed that nutritional therapy including low-sugar diet decreased alcohol cravings. Much has been made of carbohydrate addiction, and no or low-carb diets (including Atkins diet) have been among recent dietary fads.
With all of this talk about how sweets can be bad for you, let emphasize that research also shows that preference for sweet taste is innately human, and that avoiding sweets leads to an even greater sweet-craving!
The best thing to do would be to visit a Chinese Medicine (CM) practitioner a few times, get a personalized herbal formula for your imbalance, and take it with discipline. Some practitioners are extreme- they want you to change everything right away, re-arrange your diet, stop eating all 'bad' things, take lots of herbs, and see them weekly so that they can regularly shame you into healthy living.
As a self-confessing coffee addict and former smoker, I understand how difficult it can be to change dietary and lifestyle habits. My belief is that acupuncture, herbs, and dietary therapies exist to help you make transition from imbalance to well-being both possible and comfortable. Real change takes time; moving too fast can lead to short term mega-progress but ultimately result in relapse and a net gain of zero. My point: take your time, change a few things, and stick with it. Be nice to yourself not only in commiting to your own well-being, but also in allowing yourself to progress imperfectly, to be human, to make mistakes.
Best wishes in your journey of health! Brian
Acupuncturist, herbalist, and medical professor Brian B. Carter founded the alternative health megasite The Pulse of Oriental Medicine (http://www.PulseMed.org/). He is the author of the book "Powerful Body, Peaceful Mind: How to Heal Yourself with Foods, Herbs, and Acupressure" (November, 2004). Brian speaks on radio across the country, and has been quoted and interviewed by Real Simple, Glamour, and ESPN magazines.