Tag: body image

How Sunshine gives me a healthy self-image

Original image from self.com
Original image from self.com

I’m a product of the 80s. My generation slathered on baby oil and sat outside. We pulled out sunlamps and held them over our arms, legs and chest. It was all about bronze and beautiful back in the day.

Now we’re suffering the effects: wrinkles and skin cancer. Actually, my Native American heritage (hey ,12.5 percent counts) has offered me protection from those uglies. For now.

The latest health news espouses the benefits of Vitamin D (give yourself 10 minutes in the sun and your body will produce a day’s worth). According to one source, Vitamin D affects depression and mood, susceptibility to colon and breast cancer, osteoporosis, alleviates muscle and bone pain and aids in gum health. Even muscular sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis can be prevented by increasing your intake of Vitamin D.

I didn’t need anyone to tell me that being in the sunshine just makes me feel better. It has much less to do with having brown skin these days and more to do with feeling relaxed and energized.

For me, the proof is in the pudding. There are studies that support my findings with data, too. Stepping outside for as little as five minutes per day can boost mood and self-esteem, says an article in Psychology Today.

Other professionals recommend between 15 and 30 minutes per day of sunlight exposure to reap full benefits. I align with these folks and even declare more is better in the case of sunlight improving my self-image.

All the negativity in the media focusing on a woman’s body shape and size riddles our self-image with holes. My cure? Avoid the media and step into the sunlight. Simplistic? Perhaps, but sunshine will improve your outlook on life (and yourself), while promoting better sleep and protecting from autoimmune diseases.

Is it any wonder summer is my favorite season of the year? Who can feel discouraged when the sun tickles you with warmth?

Don’t take my word for it. Spend some time outside today. Start with five minutes sitting on your porch or following your pup around the neighborhood.

Close your eyes and tilt your face heavenward. Those warm rays will kiss your face and your lips will twist into a smile.

By all means, slather on the sunscreen if you’re going to be out there longer than 15 minutes. UV rays are linked to skin cancer in a negative way.

If you hate hot, choose your sun time early in the morning or after 7pm in the evening. A few deep breaths will help dispel any negative thoughts you carry onto your back deck.

Remember, I didn’t tell you to head to the beach to get your sun fix. Watching the skinny girls frolic in their bikinis will reverse all the positive benefits of the sunshine. I recommend soaking up your Vitamin D in the privacy of your own neighborhood.

In my experience, people are the biggest contributors to my own negative thoughts. Leave me alone with my sunshine and I’m the happiest, most well-adjusted woman on the planet.

What things improve your self-image? Share your tips here. With all the negative bombardment on our self-image, positive tips are welcomed.

The Real Problem with Abercrombie & Fitch—How Jeffries’ Message Hurts Us ALL

America keeps endorsing the global view of a shallow society filled with image-craving bodies with no mental capacity.

Kristen Lamb speakes out about the latest shallow marketing message from Abercrombie & Fitch here: The Real Problem with Abercrombie & Fitch—How Jeffries’ Message Hurts Us ALL.

A&F should be horrified to learn that millions of teenagers and young adults will buy into their message that beautiful = thin and thin = cool. How do I know this? Because these same young people will binge and purge, starve themselves, exercise endlessly, and swallow laxatives only to look in the mirror and see a FAT person staring back. In reality, it will be a skeleton with skin, but they’re perception has been warped by the false messages around them.

To be fair, it isn’t just A&F. Hollywood, magazines, fashion gurus and photoshopped multi-media publications all tout the body image ideal that makes size 10 synonymous with obese.

I’m disgusted by this continuing trend. Yet, I’m still proud to be an American. Why? I believe in the ideals we were founded on.

No, those beliefs had nothing to do with image. They had everything to do with freedom from oppression. In America, the media has the freedom to promote unhealthy concepts. Likewise, we citizens have the freedom to speak out against their harmful drivel.

Do it. Today, hug your kids and let them know you love them (even if they *gasp* wear something other than a non-size 00). Then take a stand on this issue. Let the marketers know that the demographic that balks at their skin-deep ideals is much larger than the one A&F hopes to find.