Little Known Facts on The Importance of Self Image

It is not a surprise to most people that health studies point to

popular culture as a perpetrator of body image which has

corresponded to the self image and well being of women AND men.

What may surprise you is that this is not a new phenomenon.

Is the rail thin appearance of runway and magazine models a new

obsession which has started young girls and women on a path

towards starvation, malnutrition and disorders such as anorexia

and bulimia?

Actually, No.

The western world created a popular culture of ‘you can never be

to thin’ as early as the 20’s when flapper styles caused women to

starve and over exercise their bodies to attain the flat chested,

androgynous look that was popular at that time.

The fuller figure did make a comeback during the depression, but

quickly reverted in the 60’s with thinness being equated with

physical beauty.

Studies on self image indicate that women tend to consider

themselves heavier than they really are. This distorted body

image is linked to unhealthy dietary practices like anorexia and

bulimia.

Although distorted body image affects men and women of all age

ranges, it is middle and upper class women who are most commonly

affected in thinking they are too heavy and need to loose weight.

Girls as young as nine are following the paths set down by

mothers, sisters and others.

On the other hand, men with body image problems often feel they

are too thin and use of steroids by youths trying to build muscle

mass shows that they are also adversely affected by media

portrayals of the body.

Bad self image is learned. This can be clearly illustrated by a

study conducted by WHO with Canadian students. The study showed

that the confidence of children dropped dramatically through the

pre-teen years. The percentage of 11 year old boys and girls who

felt confident all of the time was 47% and 35% respectively. By

age 15 the percentage dropped to 30% for boys and a disappointing

14% for girls.

What are we teaching our children?

In a quote from Health Canada based on a research program for

VITALITY the following report was made: “Slimness in western

cultures is associated not only with success and sophistication,

but with character virtues. Conversely, obesity is the opposite

of all these things and, particularly in the case of women, is

associated with failure and a collapse of self-discipline.”

Self image is tied to several factors, only one of which is body

image. Self image is part of self awareness and starts early in

childhood, even before speech. As we become adults many tie their

self image to such factors as job success, relationships and

abilities. Body image – if a person has a negative view of

themselves physically – can be one of the most dramatic

influences.

Health Canada’s findings show that although self image may be

subject to change throughout our life, our “fundamental sense of

feeling worthy or unworthy (self-esteem) remains relatively

stable”. This means that it is while children are still young

that the most impact is made on their future self image. Creating

a safe, nurturing and loving environment can be the greatest

protection against negative body image and low self-esteem.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes

only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any

disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any

health care program.

Creatine Facts – Is it Dangerous?

Whenever there’s a new supplement that sounds “too good to be true,” people always have one major concern about it: What will its side effects be? People want to learn about the creatine facts because they’re worried about common steroid effects such as rage, acne, hair loss, and smaller testicles. The good news for you is that creatine doesn’t have effects that are as bad as that. There are different negative and positive side effects, so in this article, I will tell you various creatine facts and their side effects.

Creatine Facts #1 – What exactly is creatine?

Some of you may not know what exactly creatine is. It is something that humans produce naturally in their body, and the purpose of creatine is to give our muscles and nerve cells energy. Thus, when you’re taking a creatine supplement, you’re taking something that will give your muscles more energy to work. Of course, creatine doesn’t magically build muscle for you… the way it works is that you will get more energy for your muscles. This will allow your muscles to then do more work. With the extra work they can do, it will allow you to lift heavier weights for a longer period of time.

Okay, so you’re thinking “These creatine facts sound good… this supplement might actually help me out. But what’s the catch?” Well now are some creatine facts regarding its side effects:

Creatine Facts #2 – The Negative Side Effects

Well, they’re not really that serious. Nothing really bad has ever been found in over ten years of studies. The negative side effect that occurs the most is that you’ll take on extra water weight. Due to this extra water weight, you may look bloated. And because your muscles have more water, they’ll feel a lot softer. Your muscles will hard right after the workout, but they’ll feel pretty soft a few hours after you’ve spent some time resting.

There have also been some minor reports that creatine causes muscle cramps and upset stomachs, However, these two effects usually happen due to improper use of creatine. If you follow the directions carefully, you can avoid these two effects.

One last negative side effect that you should be aware of is what will happen if you stop using creatine (after you’ve been using it for a long time). For a short while, you will feel a significant decrease in energy and appearance. As you’re body is losing its extra water weight, you may “deflate.” You’ll recover from this feeling eventually though, as soon as your body gets used to not having creatine.

Now that we have the bad news out of the way, here are creatine facts regarding the positive effects:

Creatine Facts #3 – The Positive Effects

As I’ve said before, creatine gives you energy. When you take it, you won’t feel fatigued or tired anymore. It’s not like drinking an energy drink where you’ll feel a sudden crash afterwards, but these supplements make your body get used to having more energy in the day. Now, when you wake up, you’ll feel better in the morning and ready to head towards the gym. You’ll have that extra boost to lift more weights and lift a few more reps. When you can lift more, you’ll definitely gain more weight (this is great if you’re skinny). Even though you’ll gain some water weight, keep in mind that you’ll be gaining much more weight in muscle.

The other positive side effect is that it will make you like bigger and more muscular. As I’ve said, it causes your body to keep more water. When it does this, it has the bad effect of making you feel soft, but it also makes it so that your muscles look fuller. Usually your chest and arms will look bigger due to this.