Posts tagged with "Compassion"

This woman’s stomach photo ‘might make you uncomfortable’—and that’s why she shared it

January 14, 2020

Many women have a “pooch”—not a dog, but a “muffin-top” stomach, caused by water retention, hormones, or a poor diet. Among them is Ashley Dorough of North Decatur, Georgia. The 35-year-old has seen her body change in shape and size over the years—however, despite the ups and downs, the mom of two isn’t being hard on herself. Instead, she’s celebrating her body by posting about those changes on Instagram, she told Health magazine recently.

On January 9, Dorough shared a photo of herself on Instagram, showing off the side of her stomach in a close-up shot. “This might make you uncomfortable to see, and if so… I want you to lean into that and think about why,” she wrote in her caption. “If I had six-pack abs would you also feel uncomfortable? This is an angle I’ve always avoided looking at in the mirror, even 100 pounds ago. But today I did it.”

Dorough told Health magazine that, in the past, she had suffered from disordered eating patterns and body dysmorphia. Because of her body image issues, she constantly felt inadequate.

“Thankfully a really busy career and a husband who NEVER commented on my body size kept me from going down an even more destructive road,” she wrote. “But today, when I finally looked … I was okay. And although it’s so incredibly different than what we’ve been taught is beautiful, I felt compassion and love for this skin and this belly and yes, even the overhang.”

She said that it’s important for her to see bigger bodies in the media, to help normalize body diversity among women. She added that body and fat acceptance helped her break her unhealthy pattern of disordered eating, and has made her want to feed herself in a way that feels healthy for her, specifically.

“So right now, I’ve had to hit pause from anything nutrition or exercise related,” she wrote. “Right now, I have to be okay with gaining a few pounds as I heal. I have to be okay with being a little weaker, because as much as I miss exercising… I know I’m not ready for it yet.”

Dorough’s message received a ton of love from her followers. Other women and mothers praised her post and shared their similar experiences.

“Ooooh yes this took me a long time to see when I first started deliberately making mirror attempts,” one person commented. “Getting past the uncomfortable part (which always lasts longer than we hoped for) is usually biggest part of our growth.”

“This makes me feel so many things, but uncomfortable isn’t one of them—I feel seen, I feel accepted, and I feel like I’m looking at a beautiful body. Thank you for all your transparency as you’re going on this journey. You’re changing hearts and minds,” another woman wrote.

It’s no secret that messages like Dorough’s not only create a positive environment on social media, but they’re also flipping the script on what it means to be beautiful. However, many dietitians and doctors might disagree. We welcome comments from our readers.

Research contact: @health_magazine

These are the actresses whom Americans want to see as their movie mothers

May 10, 2019

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, OnePoll has fielded a survey on behalf of Groupon—asking 2,000 Americans whom they think would best represent their mother on the big screen. And the top choice is Meryl Streep, an actress who has portrayed mothers in many of her most popular movies, from Kramer Vs. Kramer to Sophie’s Choice to Heartburn to Mama Mia: Here We Go Again, reports SWNS Digital.

The full top 10 list of actresses and celebrities whom we like to see as moms goes as follows:

  1. Meryl Streep
  2. Sally Field
  3. Julia Roberts
  4. Jennifer Lopez
  5. Angelina Jolie
  6. Oprah Winfrey
  7. Jennifer Anniston
  8. Michelle Obama
  9. Melissa McCarthy
  10. Queen Latifah

Results also revealed what people know most — and least— about their mothers’ life stories.

It turns out, Americans are confident that  they know where their mom grew up (74%), where she went to high school or college (60%), the street she grew up on (50%), her first job (49%), and her genealogy/ancestry (48%).

When it comes to what Americans know least about their mom’s past, it’s the more subtle things such as how many pets she had as a kid, former partner(s), her favorite subject in school, her hobbies as a kid, and what she wanted to be when she grew up.

While 89% of those surveyed said they know a great deal about their mom’s life, that doesn’t mean they aren’t eager to learn more. Fully 72% of respondents revealed they want to know even more than they already do about their mom.

“Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to not only celebrate what your mom has done for you, but what she’s done throughout her entire life,” said Groupon President of North America Aaron Cooper, adding,  “While most of us feel like we know everything we possibly can about our mom, these results show that there’s a strong appetite to learn even more about her life story and the passions that drive her interests.”

In addition, fewer than half of survey respondents knew their mom’s favorite food (45% ), flower (37%), song (30%), movie (29%), clothing store (28%), travel destination (23%), actor/actress (21%), or alcoholic drink (21%).

But that doesn’t mean Americans don’t have opinions about what they think their mom was like before they were born. Nearly one-quarter (24% think their mom had better style when she was their age.

And when it comes to the character traits that people reportedly got from their mom, compassion topped the list—with nearly half (49%) admitting to getting this quality from their mom.

Other character traits that people think they got from their mom include sensitivity (44%), work ethic (40%), sense of humor (37%) and good looks (35%).

Research contact: @Groupon

Just you wait: How to curb impatience

November 13, 2018

A woman in front of you on the checkout line actually is writing a check and digging in her bag for the required IDs. You clench your jaw. A driver stopped at the entrance to the parking garage cannot dislodge a ticket from the machine. You check your watch and hit your horn. A colleague is at the photocopier, carefully removing and replacing paper clips from documents, as she plows through large piles of materials. You consider asking if you can just cut in front for one image.

If these scenarios seems familiar, you are not alone. Impatience has reached epidemic proportions in America and we see signs of it everywhere—as bad manners, road rage, parking lot meltdowns, and more.

According to a November 5 report by The New York Times, patience is “the ability to keep calm in the face of disappointment, distress or suffering.”

Easier said than done, we know. But if you can master the skill, you’ll be rewarded with a variety of positive health outcomes, such as reducing depression and other negative emotions.

Researchers also have concluded, the Times reports, that patient people exhibit more “prosocial” behaviors—including empathy—and are more likely to display generosity and compassion.

A study conducted in 2012 by Sarah Schnitker—who was, at that time, an associate professor in the Thrive Center for Human Development at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California—identified three situations in which subject expressed patience: 1. Interpersonal, which is maintaining calm when dealing with someone who is upset, angry, or being a pest. 2. Life hardships, which is finding the silver lining after a serious setback. 3. Daily hassles, which is suppressing annoyance at delays or anything irritating that would inspire a snarky tweet.

However, even if none of these is in your own personal repertory yet; the good news, the Times reported, is that same study found that, even if you’re not a particularly patient person today, there’s still hope you can be a more patient person tomorrow.

So if you find yourself getting exasperated more than you’d like, here are ways to keep those testy impulses in check:

  • Identify your trigger(s): Figure out which situations set you off — careless drivers, technological glitches, slow-moving cashiers,— and you’re already on your way to taking control.
  • Interrupt the cycle and evaluate the risk: The idea is to take a step back from the situation and try to look at it objectively. Are you really in such a rush? What’s the actual consequence of standing in line another 10 minutes or restarting a finicky device? Do any of these outcomes constitute a life-or-death threat? The answer is almost always “no.”
  • Reframe the experience and connect it to a larger story: Are you annoyed with the coworker at the photocopy machine? Instead of dwelling on your irritation, you could think about the times when you have been the one who has frustrated others.

Another strategy recommended by Schnitker in an interview with the Times is to focus on why and how patience is integral to your values. “For instance,” she said, “if I were talking to a parent who is struggling with their kid, I’d say, ‘Well, first, let’s think about the really big picture: Why is being a parent an important role to you? What does that mean in your life?’”

Thinking about how patience ties into your larger sense of integrity and poise “will make it a whole lot easier to stick with practicing patience on a daily basis and building up those skills,” she added.

The most common mistake people make is thinking sheer will can turn them into a more patient person,  Schnitker said. If you do that, she cautions, you’re setting yourself up to fail.

Just as marathon runners don’t run a marathon on their first day of hitting the trails, people who are serious about cultivating patience shouldn’t expect immediate results.“You want to train, not try, for patience,” she said. “It’s important to do it habitually.”

Finally, recognizing your own triggers may help you to make remedial lifestyle changes. For example, if you detest being stuck in traffic, leave for appointments earlier. If you abhor crowded grocery stores, run your errands at off-hours.

Research contact: @AnnaGoldfarb