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This afternoon I saw a coworker for the first time in a few months, and she immediately said “you look so skinny!” to me. It was definitely meant as a complement, but can make me feel uncomfortable. My immediate response goes one of two ways: (1) Thanks! Wow! That’s awesome, because I HAVE been working hard on my healthy behavior. OR (2) Oh no no, I’m just the same, Its no big deal.

Even if I have been working on creating healthy habits, its not necessarily something I am going to talk to everyone about. No one ever says “Wow, you look so good! You’ve gained weight!” – at least, not to me! However, I do have a few friends who are significantly under weight for a variety of reasons, and it is only appropriate to say something to them because I know that they are trying to gain weight.

Mostly I try not to make comments to others about their weight – either weight gain or weight loss – because I know that it can be a touchy subject for a lot of people. Even when my intentions are good to try to encourage someone’s healthy habits, I only feel comfortable commenting when the topic is one I have discussed at length with that good friend. I have known other individuals who lost weight and continued to lose too much weight with what had developed into an eating disorder, so I tend to be cautious about the topic. I wonder if there are other tactics which we could adapt as a culture in order to be supportive of healthy habits.


How do you support your friends and family in their healthy habits?


CNN posted an article last week entitled “Is the fat acceptance movement bad for our health?” which I found interesting and wanted to share. One of the questions posed by the article is “Can you be fat and fit?” I bet the author of the book I read in high school health class “Fit or Fat” would argue a resounding NO, though that series has changed over two decades.

The CNN article reminds me that BMI is not the only way to define healthy, though it is often relied upon as a standard. Since many women struggle with “yo-yo” weight loss and gain over their lifetime, I wonder how that impacts one’s body compared to just being somewhat overweight – but at a steady weight – for a long period of time. Additionally, one important part of the article I noticed is that the medical community does not have “solutions” for obesity:

“Where else in medicine do we offer a solution — dieting — that is going to fail and then point to the end user and say, ‘You are weak-willed; you don’t have enough willpower’?” Read the rest of this entry »

I haven’t taken a yoga class in awhile so I figured this week was a good time to switch up my workout routine – which is one of the reasons I love the variety of classes offered at Healthworks. Compared to working on the elliptical or treadmill where I am always thinking about my goal in terms of miles, minutes or calories, yoga is a breath of fresh air. I often forget about how the time is passing during a yoga class and am able to clear my mind of everything but what I am doing with my body.

Since yoga is such an individual activity even within a group class setting, I like that it is “challenge by choice” and I can modify positions to what my body says is working or not. It’s impossible to compare yourself to other people when everyone adjusts positions a little for themselves. I had not practiced yoga in awhile, so even downward dog was not the resting position it was meant to be, and I had to take a few breaks into child’s pose when others around me were still going strong. Yet I know I did my best during the class, and I am feeling my sore muscles today!


What can you do to take a break from your exercise routine?

Healthworks Chestnut Hill

I had a great experience last night at my massage at Healthworks. Before the massage, I worked out and lifted weights. Ialso jumped in the jacuzzi for 10 minutes, and then took a hot shower. Finally, the time had arrived! I met up with the massage therapist and immediately began to relax! Candles, scented spray, massage oil… and time spent massaging my sore muscles from working out and from daily life – hunched over a computer, wearing heels, carrying a heavy bag from the store, and so on. Read the rest of this entry »

It has been a busy fall, and I finally have some free time in the evenings this week. As a result, I have been able to check a few things off my to-do list, such as finishing my holiday shopping, mailing off some presents, cleaning out my car, and other tasks which have been ignored for too long! I am very excited about tomorrow evening because I have scheduled a 50 minute massage with the Healthworks Spa. It has been a year since I had a massage – and let me say, that is too long! I have a great evening planned, with a workout, a dip in the jacuzzi, shower, and then a massage. I am anticipating a great night’s sleep after that as well.

I went for a walk in a Santa Shuffle with my friend yesterday, and we talked about taking time for ourselves in our busy lives. Read the rest of this entry »

I attended a college student group dance performance last night and truly enjoyed an array of dances to a wide variety of music. Not only is it fun to support people I know in their efforts, but sometimes I watch too much TV and forget how amazing live music, dance and other performance truly is! I enjoyed the dance performance last night because of the wide array of dancer’s skills and body types and sizes as well. It was fun to see women (and a few men) confident in their dance skills and having fun with the music. I particularly like the way lighting can make you watch dance in different ways. For example, I notice that I look differently at the larger group rather than individuals when there is a back light, causing a silhouette of the dancers.

One of the highlights of the evening was my friend saying “I can’t do THAT!” while we watched a group of women do the splits. We all have things we think (or know!) we can’t do, and it is fun to admire those skills in others. Yet I also wonder how much we may hold ourselves back because of the intimidation factor. Next time you see some one else achieve a goal and you think “I can’t do that” – think again! Give it a try, and see what new activities you may enjoy!


What skills do you admire in others?

I’m excited to get back to my own home and get started on a new plan. I hesitate to use the word “diet” because I know that it is more of a lifestyle change (and it seems so cliche to start one right after the Thanksgiving feast). My mom and I are trying something different to work together to make healthy decisions because we have decided that two are better than one. 🙂 We have both been under a lot of stress and not taking the time we need for ourselves. Not having time for ourselves has meant less time to cook healthy meals (for me) and going walking with friends (my mom).

As a result, today we set individual goals as well as shared goals. I appreciate how we talked through a few of our concerns together and can recognize how we have some habits in common but different concerns. For example, I do not do well when I have a particular goal (such as pounds to lose) but instead need to focus on how I do each day. Because of Healthworks, I also suggested that we incorporate measurements in addition to pounds and clothes size as a way to look at our goals. We have a plan to hold each other accountable regarding our eating and exercising, and we will be celebrating our good work the next time we get together, in about a month over the winter holiday. After Christmas celebrations are over, we are going to spend the morning in a salon just the two of us, perhaps for a mani/pedi or a massage. Having a support system is critical when you are trying to make a change, and we are going to be that support for each other.


What support system do you use to help you reach your goals? How to celebrate when you reach your goals?

I woke up early this morning without an alarm so I decided to head to spinning class at Healthworks. It was a challenging class, full of small blocks of work – about 5 minutes each – on gradually increasing hills (which were hard!) and a minute or two of recovery in between. The instructor played a funny song by Weird Al Yankovic called “Grapefruit Diet” which was a parody of “Zoot Suit Riot.” (See the lyrics here) I’m not sure if it was the song or the really great work workout, but I noticed that I was hungrier today than usual! Read the rest of this entry »

I saw my aunt and uncle who live in Texas today for dinner, which is always a joy! I don’t get to see them very often because they live so far away. They are vegetarians, like me, so it is fun to talk about vegetarian food with them over a meal. We had delicious Greek food and I tried a few new menu items I had not had in the past.

My aunt and uncle run a lot outside as their main form of exercise, which is much easier to do in sunny Texas! My cousin is in college in Iowa and recently ran a marathon, so we all shared some stories about working out. Since everyone had traveled quite a distance to our Thanksgiving get together, the weather was a big change. Read the rest of this entry »

I bought a new dress (on sale!) and paired it with some boots and cute jewelry today, and received quite a few complements on my outfit. It was such a wonderful feeling to look great and feel comfortable in what I was wearing, and to be appreciated by others. I have never felt that I had a particular “style” which I call my own – or even any type of fashion sense, honestly. Lately I have had several people that I work with say they like how I dress, and it has made me re-think about how I dress. Read the rest of this entry »