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Smile for the Camera

What does it mean to be beautiful, and who defines beauty? Unfortunately, in today’s society, beauty is ingrained in us at a very early age with supermodels and bodybuilders. But nobody ever thinks about what it takes for these individuals to look like this. Nobody ever stops to think “Are these people healthy? Are they even happy?” All we see is a perfect figure and flawless face.

The Negative Behaviors That Affect Your Well-Being

We all compare ourselves to these people and sadly, I’d be willing to bet, most of us don’t stop to think before we do this. We don’t ask ourselves if these men and women are eating properly or if these bodybuilders are taking steroids and other synthetic hormones to look the way they do. You probably wouldn’t be surprised if you found out these things actually do happen, most often in an attempt to look like these “role models.” You may not realize the devastating effects these behaviors have on the nervous system and body as a whole.

The Stressors Related to Focusing on Looks

In my office, I always talk about the three stressors to the nervous system. This blog post focuses on both chemical and emotional stressors. When we starve ourselves to look good or take steroids to build muscle, these are huge stressors!

These actions alter our brain chemistry resulting in different hormones being released, which oftentimes leads to emotional changes. You can or may end up with an imbalance in serotonin, dopamine and other hormones making you at higher risk for altered mood. Not to mention the negative effects both behaviors have on other systems of the body.

You see, this is the problem we face when a society places all the values on looking a certain way. Small boys and girls are brought up watching television or movies with these picture-perfect celebrities and are automatically ingrained with this ideal look. Many magazines you reach for have something related to body image on the front cover. Sometimes, we even see body shaming! Rarely do we see the front cover of a magazine relating to health being the priority unless you reach for a health magazine.

Focus on Your Health

Instead, the priority is placed on looking good. That’s why you see all of these fad diets that claim you can “lose 10 pounds in three days.” But we are not meant to lose 10 pounds in three days! And I can guarantee that if you do, it most certainly is not healthy, and you most certainly will not keep those 10 pounds off long-term.

When you eat the right foods in the right quantities, and you exercise the right amount, you will look good. But, more importantly, you will be healthy!

I would take a guess and say most individuals (men included) have struggled with some form of a body image dissatisfaction at one point in their lives. It doesn’t have to be enough to be classified as a “disorder.” It could be simple thoughts such as “I wish my arms were stronger” or “I wish my hips were smaller.”

When we are taught “we have to look good,” how can you blame anybody for having these thoughts? It is exactly why we need to change the paradigms we live in. Health should be a priority. People can look good and not be healthy, but it’s difficult to live a healthy, active lifestyle, and not look good.

Living in today’s world causes distorted thinking
More and more beautiful teens grow up believing
They will never be pretty enough
Or strong enough
Or skinny enough
Many will never see what others see
When they look into the mirror,
They will see a distortion of actuality
The world places too much value on weight
What should be of more importance is health
Eat healthy and avoid processed foods
Be active and get outdoors
Eliminate chemical stressors
Find something to be grateful for in each day
And most importantly remember this:
You don’t have to be picture perfect to be healthy

These are words I would like to leave with all of you. I hope they inspire you to change the paradigms you live in. Value your own health enough to make small changes if you need to. There are easy steps to take to get you started.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out for any help, advice or resources. Adding chiropractic care can help to unburden the nervous system and help take you from a state of dis-ease and move you back into a place of ease and healing. I’d recommend anybody who is interested to book an Initial Assessment today.

Yours in health; body, mind and soul.

Dr. Julianne Donato, B.A., D.C.
Chiropractor in Burlington

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