The Perfect Body. Written by Deborah Caruana RN, MES, CPT
Everyone wants it. If we have perfect body, it becomes a race to keep it. "I can’t gain that weight back." If we don’t have it we resent it, some to inconsolable longing. This longing can verge on an obsession to extreme measures (Al Roker). We strive for those low body fat numbers 8-10% for men and 15-20% for women. We count calories or eat low carb for that perfect thin body. We want all traces of rolls, dimples and squishy, puffy soft skin gone. All signs of gravity lifted. Our age needs to be defied. We want tone, taught and lean skin and muscles. We have to look like models and superstars who are paid thousands a day to look way they do. Lithe. long, lean, sinewy, wispy even drawn. Pay no attention that these stars can afford time and trainers to exercise 4 hours a day in pursuit of perfection. There's a plethora of diet books out there. We’re all studying weight loss. Each new book brags a new solution. But diet industry has grown as large and swollen as American public's waistlines. Diets, pills, patches, concoctions, procedures, prescriptions and remedies to supposedly 'cure your condition'. Meanwhile health care costs are spiraling out of control from high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases exacerbated by being overweight. We can turn away from it in anger, disgust or frustration, to give up and get fat (1/4 of America). Or continue from one diet to next fad, yoyoing into obesity (other 1/4 America). What is going on? As life gets easier with our technological advances and our economic success we become more sedentary. Is it increased need for instant gratification causing obesity? Or is it mass produced fast foods with no nutritional value that are just too easy to acquire? Add to this a sedentary lifestyle. Speaking of instant gratification, liposuction seems an easy solution. It will suck fat away making us look perfectly thin but our blood chemistry doesn’t change. We’re still overweight inside, ripe for heart disease and sure to gain weight back. The weight then tends to come back in all wrong places exacerbating situation (look out Nicole Smith!) Self-esteem and body weight are inextricably linked. I have to say that recognition I receive (as a woman) for being slim is real. Generally thinner I am more positive response. My experience probably reflects others, in that social recognition for thin is insidious. Media, society, and culture reinforce these perspectives. Self-esteem and body weight I conclude are inextricably linked for most. It will take more than a rebellious few such as Queen Latifa who's refreshing attitude expresses "Thin for who? For what? I like my meals! I'm happy and successful! And I like being full figured!" Her message liberates perfectionist thinking. She's got curves and her body fat is probably a healthy 25%. The pursuit of perfect body then becomes a self esteem issue. If we want recognition we can't eat, drink or be merry! We need to always be in control to uphold these rigid standards. That's rub. For naturally fun loving, giving and sharing folks who want to enjoy life while being healthy and productive here’s a solution. Lose control! Queen Latiffa does it by taking off on her motorcycle going from here to who knows where. Lose yourself in something you love to do and forget rest. I call it 'zoning' when I lose myself in my writing, exercising, playing with kids, music, conversation sometimes even in housecleaning (Beware: this ‘zoning’ thing is contagious and starts to infiltrate everything you do). Just lose yourself in moment, and find zone within. It builds self esteem, burns calories and generates bliss at same time.
RETINOL: ONE OF THE BEST OVER-THE-COUNTER ANTI-WRINKLE INGREDIENTSWritten by Valerie Goettsch
Dermatologists praise Retinol as an excellent over-the counter anti-wrinkle ingredient. Retinol creams work to soften lines and fade age spots.
What is Retinol?
Retinol is technical name for Vitamin A. Research suggests that topical Vitamin A can help build collagen fibers and exfoliate skin, thereby minimizing appearance of fine lines.
There are several forms of Vitamin A found in body. Retinol is one of them; other forms include retinyl palmitate, retinal and retinoic acid. Renova and Retin-A® are retinoic acid, also known as tretinoin.
Why Use a Retinol Cream?
Regular use of a retinol cream increases cell turnover and exfoliation by stimulating cell production and new collagen production. As we age, this process normally slows down and layers of dead, sun damaged skin cells build up on skin. This causes our skin to look dull and thick; pores look large and we see visible effects of sun damage such as age spots, uneven skin tone and less elasticity.