There is a post online about how a single Oreo Cookie is 70 calories.
And it takes 1,200 jumping jacks
(or apparently however many you can do in 15 minutes)
to burn those calories.
I don't like these types of posts. There are many others going around as well, I'm sure. But these don't promote a healthy relationship with food, with exercise or with your body.
When I was in school, on more than one occasion, we had an assembly where a teacher would get on stage, start a slideshow about keeping fit now that the holidays are over or just about to start, staying hydrated in our hot weather, exercising if we could, etcetera etcetera etcetera. And then they would do exactly what I hate seeing today; compare food with the amount of calories they have and how much exercise it would take to burn it all off.
As much as I want to just blame it on my school or the teachers who decided this would be a good idea but were clearly uneducated in this area, I can't. I eventually found out that all this comes from the Ministry of Health, telling schools what to tell their students. I don't know for sure but, whoever it was that did come up with these, I guess, thanks for not actually teaching us what's healthy and how to love our bodies or have positive relationships with our health and food. Instead I'd say you did the complete opposite.
When i was at that age, I definitely didn't know any better. I thought exercise for girls was literally just to stay skinny, to burn off extra food we shouldn't have eaten or so you can enjoy things like ice cream and cake at any time and still be a size Small - which, by the way, I was not!
I was 13 when I was put into my school's TAF ("Trim and Fit" programme - or as we all used to say, it was just another way of calling us FAT.) which required overweight kids to come to school a half hour earlier to run to "lose weight". That was it.
It seemed to me, and I'm sure many other kids, we were being punished. There was no one teaching us how to eat better or care for our bodies, there was no one telling us why staying at a healthy weight or why exercise was beneficial for us. Just run. And once that was done, that was it. Come back and do it again tomorrow. It was no wonder so many of us never actually learned anything from this programme except "I need to lose weight".
It has changed since I was in school 5 years ago, but a new name and swapping running for half an hour to a zumba class or boxing still isn't going to teach 13-16 year olds why it's good to stay healthy, how to develop healthier habits or why they should be active. Especially not when they feel like they're being forced into it.
All people, staring from a young age, should be taught the importance of their health. We need to learn how our bodies work, what exercise and eating well does for us and most importantly, that food fuels us. Calories are what keeps us going, it allows us to live, to breath, to exist. Exercise is not about burning every single calorie we've eaten.
To believe, and to tell people - especially children - that eating a single oreo is 70 calories and that it needs to exercised away is so harmful. Exercise is to make us stronger, healthier, to help us feel better. It is not a punishment for eating and should never be treated that way.
"Pulling someone down will never help you reach the top"
You'll always have supporters and you'll always have people who decide to hate regardless of what you do or who you are.
I don't understand the point of being mean to someone, whether you were serious of "just joking", hurtful comments are never a good idea. I'll admit when I was in primary school I was picked on and there was a point where I thought maybe it would be okay to pick on someone else too, if people did it to me I could do it too right? Yeah, wrong. Very wrong.
Thankfully I was pretty shy and never did it except to exchange comments between me and my so called "friends", still I do regret the few times I did decide to be a part of exchanging mean comment and wish I could take it all back.
I'm glad I know better now. We're all people, we have feelings, and we need support and love more than hate.
This whole time I've been on Instagram, I've received a decent amount nasty comments, at first I used to think these were so bad and rude and unnecessary. It made me not want to post my flows or share certain asanas or just post any photo go me not doing yoga ( just like the one on the left) - all because what if someone else said something about it?
What if they said I was fat or looked bad or I was doing something wrong?
Then time went on, I got better, stronger, fitter and more confident and now it's almost like these comments mean nothing to me.
I see them, I read them, sometimes I reply when I feel I can share something more positive from it or tell them why what they're saying is wrong. Other times, I just delete them.
Then I realised I rarely got bad comments on photos or videos I posted on my own account, in fact I could probably count the number of times it's happened on one hand. But if it was reposted to a brand or fitness account, that's when you'd see them. It's like these people are more comfortable saying mean things if they think you're not going to read it. That's how it works isn't it - Keyboard warriors?
But at the end of it all, why even post such nasty comments? It doesn't matter how you feel, whether you had a bad day or maybe you don't like where you are at this point in time, maybe someone else said something mean to you. Is it really worth it to think about saying these things, then type it and press send? That's 3 moments, right there where you could have stopped and been a better person.
I feel strongly about this. I'm no expert when it comes to yoga or working out or fitness in general. This is my journey, and i'm trying to get healthier for me. And though I maybe be able to read comments and laugh it off and move on like nothing changed, not everyone else can.
Just a couple of posts ago, i shared my insecurities. (read "Elephant In The Room") Everyone has their own insecurities and if you think it's funny to say something rude and mean, you never know how badly it could affect their lives.
All it takes is one comment.
"But he/she's too fat/skinny to be fit"
"No one wants to see that!"
"Why are you even doing this?!"
"That's a stupid workout/yoga flow"
"You don't even have an ass!"
Anything like that, anything less even, could crush someone's spirit. It doesn't matter who they are, how many followers they have, regardless of their age or sex or body type, anyone could be very negatively affected by these comments.
On the other side of this, responding to a hate comment by being just as rude and attacking them is no different. You're adding fuel to the fire when instead you should be putting it out altogether.
Think before you type. If you still feel the need to be rude or mean, log off instead and reflect on what happened that got to this point and how you can change it to be a better person.
If you're not confident when it comes to sharing photos or videos on your social media, that's okay.
It happens to the best of us. I don't have the greatest advice or any solution that fits every person but having a supportive circle of friends really helps when it comes to these things.
Believing in yourself is the biggest step you can make.
Regardless of what you look like, what you're doing or how "good" you are, this is you and you're doing a great job just being who you are!
Believe in yourself and be confident with what you're sharing. And regardless of what people may or may not say about you, keep doing you!
It seems the whole world is going crazy of coffee. We only used to drink coffee, then we started adding it to our desserts and meals, now we're putting it in our skin and hair products even! But hey, it's not like that's a bad thing.
After being a barista, I knew and loved so much about coffee but after all this time, tea is still my hot beverage soul mate instead! Still, i'd say like most other people who are into body and face scrubs, I'm getting my coffee fix in the shower!
Most brands that I've come across have the usual, a plain Coffee Scrub, Coffee + Coconut Scrub and Coffee + Orange Scrub. I guess when you think of coffee, that's the usual combinations we expect to see.
Besides what I stated above, MyScrub also offers Turkish Delight, Cookies and Cream and a Mummy Scrub, as well two coconut options. And if none of those really sound good enough, they let you make your own!
The custom option honestly made me feel like a 6 year old in a candy store when mum goes "you can get anything you want!" you'd go crazy wouldn't you?!
So MyScrub sent me a pack of one of their customs scrubs and let me pick what goodies I wanted in it.
But before I go into which scrub I've been using and my feelings towards it, I have to add that MyScrub supports Beyond Blue.
I will always love to support a brand who gives back in one way or another and this deserves a mention!
Beyondblue is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to increase awareness and understanding of anxiety and depression in Australia and to reduce the associated stigma.
Most people have had some experience with anxiety, depression or a related condition, whether they've experienced it themselves or had family, friends or work colleagues go through it. BeyondBlue’s work is aimed at achieving an Australian community that understands depression and anxiety, empowering all Australians, at any life-stage, to seek help.
When you shop with MyScrub, you know you're also helping to support a good cause!
So now, what did i pick in my custom MyScrub? It was a tough choice, that's for sure. But eventually I settled on:
If after reading this, you want to try what I had, you know what to get now and I'm pretty damn sure you'll love it as much as i do!
I guess it would have been easy enough to just pick their Orange Zing Scrub but there's something more exciting about it when you add those few extra ingredients.
They make it easy by telling you what each ingredient will do for your skin and we all know as fun as it would be to pick orange cause you love all things orange, it's good to know that orange oil and peel can slow ageing, tone your skin and help with acne!
Just like with all skin products, I tested it out for about 3-4 weeks before I decided what my final feelings were on the scrub.
Thankfully, MyScrub passed the test! (YAY!) With my first use I swear the smell of orange in my mix was enough to make me want a jaffa cake so badly - and normally I don't even like jaffa.
I made my pick based on what I thought I needed most at the moment. With my skin breaking out, and definitely being quite sensitive - I can rarely use non natural skin products anymore - I pretty much chose anything that had "sensitive skin" or "acne" it in!
So after about 4 weeks of ue as of today, I'm pretty much in love. I made a good pick and MyScrub makes a good mix.
I can't speak for every mix you can come up with but if you have any issue with sensitive skin like I have and if you're currently breaking out all over your face I'd say give the mix I picked a shot. For the first time in almost a month my breakouts have started going down. Of course, there could be many factors contributing to this but the big change was using my scrub twice a week so I'm giving them credit for it!
Next time though, I'm trying something with Rose and Peppermint in it!
Get yourself a pack of MyScrub and let me know what you picked!
In anyone's lifetime, regardless of who we are or what we look like, I think I could say wit confidence that each of us have had some experience with bullying. Hopefully none of you reading this have been on the giving end of the stick but if you had then I hope by now you would have learned how wrong it is and changed to being a better person.
That being said, October is Bullying Prevention Month.
The lovely people at The Elephant Pants have invited us to share an insecurity we have. If you've been bullied, you'd know that usually it's because of something we can't change. Something that's obvious that we probably never even thought was a problem (and it really isn't) but there would be people who made us think otherwise.
So for this exercise, let's acknowledge the Elephant In The Room. Maybe this is something we were bullied about, maybe just something we are uncomfortable talking about. As hard as it can be to bring up certain topics, I found this to be a wonderful exercise and I'm more than ready to share my insecurity.
Even though Singapore's a very multi-cultural country, it's tough when asian culture still dictates that lighter skin is always more beautiful and parents tell their children that from such a young age. I was only about 7 and they would repeat it to me in school. I never heard it from my own parents but hearing it from 30 other kids sure makes you feel ugly and that kind of thing stick with you longer than you ever want it to.
Frankly I was worried about my complexion for almost 10 years after. Wishing I could change it every now and then when I never should have that thought to start with. It's a little funny because today I couldn't be more proud of my skin colour and a big part of that is seeing girls with complexions similar to mine who are absolutely beautiful, confident and doing amazing things. Representation is so important and I do wish I had this when I was younger so I didn't feel so insecure about it.
Maybe I got a little lucky growing up in some ways. When all my peers and even my sister were struggling with acne and all those annoying pimples, I had nothing but clear skin. I didn't think it was necessary for me to have it but I was happy when I noticed i was 15,16,17 and still never had a breakout. I never had to worry about it or learn how to take care of my skin so it made things a little easier for me. Until now.
I'm 21 years old and for the first time in my life my skin is breaking out. Funny, isn't it?
Turns out my skin was extremely dry growing up, i remember every facial person telling me that and going "do this" "do that" but I would never listen. No pimples are a good thing even if it's cause you have dry skin right? Yeah, not how it works.
So now that I'm actually taking care of myself, now that my skin's in a better condition, it's doing what I figure it would have maybe 5 years ago. This last 2 weeks has been hell week on my face and I definitely feel insecure about it. My mother thinks it's the haze here in Singapore that's been ruining my skin like it has been my health (I've been sick twice since the haze started and I have a constant sore throat :( go away already will you!).
When you spend so long not giving it a second though and suddenly you have not like 1 or 2 but like 20 popping out at the same time it feels like it's time to take cover and stay hidden until they all go away.
It's hard, and I hate to admit it but it's embarrassing to feel this way. Not because I fear what others may think but because of how I can carry myself with confidence and something like this has taken me back 10 steps.
But I guess at least now I'm learning new thing about my skin. I know anything that isn't natural make my skin irritated and break out even more, natural products work best especially coffee scrubs and Clear Me Skin Face Mask - my face loves that!
So trial and error for a little bit and let hope by the time I turn 25 at least this goes away for good and I just need to deal with the occasional one or two intruders.
I don't remember what It was like to not have eczema. It's not as bad as some cases but I definitely don't like it. I have never really talked about this to anyone besides family and the occasional doctor. I have eczema and it affects the sole of my feet. The skin gets really dry and irritated in hot and humid weather - when I lived in Perth, during winter it was 1000 times better! - If i get on hot sand or concrete you'll believe my feet will be irritated for days after!
It's better today than it was 10 years ago but I don't love it. I'd want to make it go away and every cream I got for it just make my skin feel like it was gonna peel off - maybe it's the whole not natural products problem.
I'd say at least it's not as obvious as it could be, but that does't mean it makes me feel weird about it. I didn't want to wear sandals for ages because I felt like everyone could see how ugly my feet were. I don't know if anyone would have even seen anything since your soles are always touching the ground but I thought they were ugly so I had to hide them.
Maybe it's got more to do with how I've accepted it than how it really is because when I decided to stop worrying it seemed like it wasn't as scary anymore and it was much more manageable. I got scrubs that actually helped make it better and some moisturisers that do the trick better than any doctors creams I've received.
But again, It's not something i'm 100% comfortable with. And that's okay. We all have our insecurities, and these are 3 of mine. We grow and learn and we decide how to deal with these issues. And I'm deciding that they're not as big a deal as I thought they were
If you feel up to it, get on Instagram and share your insecurity with us. Tag @TheElephantPants and #ElephantInTheRoom so everyone can read it! (If you're comfortable with that!) It would also be great if any of you would look through the hashtag and provide support in everyone else's posts!
And just for some more support and love, the co-hosts from the seasonal yoga challenges i host, Amy (left) Dorotea (right) and Helen (bottom) have shared their insecurities as well!
You can read more about theirs on their Instagram pages (@NaughtyYogaGirl , @DoroteasWorld and @Aleksic_Twins) respectively.
If you're about to share, don't be scared to tag us too!
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