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August, 2010:

Finding a Name to Call “It”

Are you fat? Or are you obese? Are you simply a little overweight, or are you cursed with having a fabulous set of big bones? Do you think your bum looks big in this, or whether that makes your arms look flabby? Which of these terms have you used? And which of these set your teeth on edge or make you want to kick somebody?

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What is “Normal” and Why Do We Care?

Before we can talk about how to get back to ‘normal’ in our diets or eating habits, we first need to establish what normal actually is and why it concerns us.

Of course, the word ‘normal’ carries with it a huge amount of emotional baggage and not all of it has anything to do with food or weight. For some of us, being labelled as normal is something of an insult. We don’t want to be normal, and resist any attempt to stick us in that basket. Normal somehow equates to boring and ordinary and seems to lack any possibility of ever being extraordinary or amazing. As a teenager I hated the idea of being normal. Well okay, maybe I’m still a bit like that today :-). Unfortunately for those parents out there, most teenagers feel like that way too. There seems to be something in our makeup that strives to be independent and not follow everyone else – even when it’s important we do.

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Have Years of Dieting Ruined “Normal”?

I was chatting to some ladies in my exercise class yesterday and they were talking about how a friend of theirs had been very successful losing 15 kg on a diet. They then went on to say that she preached about it all the time, as though she was terrified that if she stopped for just a second, it would all fall apart and she’s put all the weight back on.

She’s right to be afraid – after all, that’s what history has taught us, right?

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Facebook Page

Flushed with success at my mastery of technology (okay, stop laughing!) I’ve created a Facebook page for discussions, posts and other related stuff as I think of it. Just click on the Like button on the right and – assuming I’ve set it up right – something will happen. I’m not entirely sure what, but I’m pretty certain it won’t signal nuclear Armageddon, so you’re pretty safe.

Official Launch

I’m thrilled to announce that A Big Beautiful World is finally, officially launched!

This site is something that I’ve been thinking about and working towards for a number of years. It’s taken a long time to work out just how to put it all together. But now, here we are at last!

Coming soon will be guest posts from a nutritionist, a personal trainer and a psychologist – to name just a few. We’re covering all sorts of ground here, so I hope you come back often. You can even click on the RSS button at the top right to get our daily feed delivered to your reader.

And don’t forget – we welcome your input and feedback, especially your comments on my posts. If you have any suggestions, or have a story to tell me, a great resource you’d like me to add into the site, please just use the Contact section.

In the meantime, please look around.

Body Image – Will the Real Britney Please Stand Up?

It’s no secret that magazines alter images of women to make them look better. I’ve always found it amusing that whenever the debate about body image comes up, the magazines all shrug in innocence as though they don’t really have any control over it.

But regardless of who controls it, the simple fact of the matter is, when images of women’s bodies are altered to make them look slimmer and younger, it leaves an impression on anybody looking at it. And if you feel a little lacking in confidence, or if you already have a poor body image, seeing altered photos will make you feel bad about yourself. Even if it only happens on a subconscious level – which is, to be honest, where all the damage is done.

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The Day I Discovered I had an Eating Disorder

When I was born, the doctor who delivered me told my mother, ‘Well, she won’t be a ballet dancer with those legs.”

I’ve never been entirely sure why my mother told me that story. Either way, I’ve had body image issues since I was old enough to understand language.

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How to Evaluate a Diet – Part 2: 10 Essential Questions

Can’t say I’m a big fan of diets. The evidence is against them working all that well, and in a later post, I’ll go into the science of it a bit more. But these two posts are for those of you who still wish to go on some form of diet, and want to know how to tell the good from the bad. Below you’ll find a list of 10 Essential Questions to ask about your diet, together with a helpful Evaluation Sheet you can download.

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How to Evaluate a Diet – Part 1

You know how it goes – you’re watching television and an ad for life insurance comes on. At the end, they tell you to look at the product disclosure statement to decide if the product is suitable for you. But it’s full of small print and you simply can’t be bothered dragging out the magnifying glass to read it and the PhD in nuclear physics to understand it.  In the end, you just decide that it’s probably okay, and hand over your money.

Unfortunately, plenty of people – me included – do exactly the same thing when choosing a diet. It’s a tough decision – and not always an easy one. Why? Because in order to make a good decision, the first thing you need is quality information – and that’s not always available.

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Fad Diets: Outrageous Promises and Lying Frauds

Lose 10 pounds in 4 days! Shrink 5 dress sizes in two weeks! Get a flat tummy in just 10 days!

Ever get the feeling that some things are just too good to be true?

I’ve always thought that it’s entirely possible that saying was invented with the diet industry in mind.

The worst thing is, they – the diet industry, that is – know what we really want. They’ve done a lot of research and they know that we want to lose weight, to have that flat stomach and fabulous abs. They know we want it right now. And they know we’d do just about anything to get it – including suspending our disbelief just long enough for them to get some money off us. The problem is, it’s all lies.

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