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Isabelle Caro Dies

Isabelle Caro, the french model and actress who we once featured in our post here, has died at the age of 28. We hope that this will serve as a sober reminder of the dangers than can happen from our culture’s obsession with being thin. I commend Isabelle for her efforts on trying to bring about awareness on her disease. Sadly she lost her fight on November 17, 2010.

Hi Cheeseburger Lovers,

So lately, I’ve noticed a very disturbing trend that I think needs to be addressed: pregnant ladies exercising like they aren’t pregnant! Lately I’ve seen so many women at the gym exercising like crazy. And I’m not talking 20 minutes on the treadmill; I’m talking full force, 60-plus minutes on the elliptical (as if there isn’t a giant belly in between her and the elliptical)!

Now, it’s one thing to be in the comfort of your own home exercising, but I’ve seen women out and about doing activities that I wouldn’t deem appropriate for pregnant women. I have taken several hikes over the past few months and the hikes have been very rigorous (some of the toughest in Los Angeles). And on each trail I have seen at least one pregnant belly (big third-trimester belly). Now, I’m not a doctor, but I wouldn’t recommend that a pregnant lady, that far along, hike the trails of Runyon or Temescal Canyon, especially not by herself! What if she falls? Isn’t she concerned about the safety of her unborn child?!

The other totally crazy exercise I have seen pregnant women do are the Santa Monica Stairs. The SM stairs are a favorite workout spot here in L.A. The fittest of the fit come here to walk or run all 180 steps over and over again. Not only is it an extremely rigorous workout, but the stairs are old and wooden. They aren’t exactly the safest. You really have to be focused and keep your balance. And yet, time and time again, I have seen very pregnant women going up and down these stairs repeatedly (without breaks). No joke!

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t think there is anything wrong with pregnant women exercising. I am not a mom yet, but when I am pregnant one day, I do plan on exercising regularly. And many medical professionals say that moderate exercise during pregnancy is a good thing and can even help with giving birth. In this article, MODERATE exercise is defined as walking, swimming, stationary biking, prenatal yoga and, at the most, light jogging. These activities sound reasonable enough to me.

So why is it that pregnant women all around Los Angeles (and I’m sure many other parts of the country) feel the need to spend an hour at full speed on the elliptical, hike, go to spinning class or climb 180 stairs over and over again? I think it’s because these are all high cardio activities that can burn a lot of fat. And isn’t that what all pregnant women seem to be the most concerned about? Baby fat–plain and simple. Many of the things we read about pregnancy have to do with losing baby weight. I think the women of LA have figured out a way to minimize having to lose the baby weight: exercise like a maniac before the birth, and keep off as much extra weight as humanly possible. I mean, think about it. Do you ever look at women and think, “She literally just had a baby! She doesn’t look like she put on a pound of weight.” Well, go to the Santa Monica stairs regularly, and you’ll see why. They are all there, working hard to gain as little as possible. Now, granted, many women naturally have slender figures and they may not put on much weight during pregnancy, but for most women, gaining pregnancy weight is the main concern.

The main problem I have with this is safety. I just don’t think it’s a good idea for pregnant women to engage in rigorous exercise. That just seems like common sense to me. Everything I’ve ever read or heard about exercising during pregnancy says that moderate exercise is the way to go. Spinning, hiking, stair climbing, and the elliptical are never on the list of acceptable moderate exercise. My second concern is vanity. For all of you health apologists out there, you can’t tell me that it’s a good idea for a pregnant woman to do a spinning class three days a week or run a half marathon (true stories)! I would love to hear your arguments about why this is ok.

I think, at the end of the day, this generation of pregnant women are so concerned with staying slim and not missing a beat (after all, you have to fit into those skinny jeans as soon as that baby comes out of you), that they are willing to jeopardize the safety of their unborn children. I truly feel bad for a child who is being born to a mother that cares more about the shape of her own body than she cares about her child’s safety. I know that seems harsh, but is there really any other way to see this?

Moms, one piece of advice, get off the treadmill and get ready to give birth!

I’ve always had a big butt. Even when I was 95 pounds in sixth grade, I had a big butt. So naturally I was thrilled to hear about the new trend this summer. Oh, didn’t you hear? Big butts are in for the summer! Last week the NY Daily News made the big announcement. Those of us who possess nice “buns” (as I was once told I had) are all set for a trendy summer. And those of us who are pretty much flat back there, sorry; you are just out of luck. It’s Kim Kardashian’s world and we’re just livin’ in it!

Although I think it’s positive to celebrate women with curves, I have to ask, how can body parts go in and out of style? Does anyone else see something kind of wrong with that? I can see clothes, shoes and hair going out of style, but how can a butt go out of style? It’s attached to your body! It’s a part of you.

It’s taken me a long time to realize that no matter what size I am and how much I weigh, my butt is here to stay. And I really don’t appreciate someone telling me this part of my body is in style. Especially because they are going to tell me six months from now, that it’s now out of style. Well, what can I do about it? If it’s a piece of clothing, I can discard it. If it’s a pair of shoes, I can give them to Goodwill. If it’s a hair style, I can just let my hair grow out. But what am I supposed to do with a part of my body? I can’t diet and exercise it away (like I said before, even when I was a scrawny child I still had a booty).

Here is a little message I have for the media:

Dear Media,

It’s mad cool that you are trying to celebrate women with curves (something you should be doing on a regular basis). But to tell me that my big butt is in style for the summer is kind of annoying. My butt is not like a summer dress or a pair of gladiator sandals or a fedora hat that are all trendy for summer 2010 but may not be in summer 2011. If next summer comes around, I will simply get rid of these items, head on over to H&M and buy whatever is cute at the moment. But what am I supposed to do with my butt if it’s not trendy next summer? I can’t get rid of it (I’ve tried and it hasn’t worked because it’s a part of me). So when stating “what’s hot” and “what’s not” for the summer, please stick to inanimate objects.

Thanks!

Tiffabee

So before you go out and buy your Booty Pop (no, I did not make that up)! Think about embracing the body you have.

As some of you may have heard the famous plus-size model Crystal Renn (as seen in our banner) was recently seen overly retouched in her photos for “Fashion for Passion.” There are so many things wrong with this that I don’t even know where to start.

Firstly, the fact that she is a plus-size model makes it completely ridiculous to photoshop her into a size-2 model. If they wanted a girl who was a size 2, they should have hired a girl who was a size 2. But to just completely change her body without permission is just utterly repulsive! Secondly, she is very proud of her shape and fought hard to get to the place where she is, a place of self-confidence and empowerment. So why, in about a few clicks, are they trying to erase all of that? And lastly, what kind of message does this send? It’s fine and dandy that you like your body and all, but we’d really prefer it if you were a couple sizes smaller- in fact, don’t even say the word, we’ll do it for you! So what then? Is perfection only a few clicks away?
A recent interview she did Renn states

“When I first saw the photos, I would have to say I was absolutely shocked,” Renn, 24, told Meredith Vieira on TODAY Thursday. “I think I sat in silence for a good five minutes.

“I didn’t think it was an accurate portrayal of my body in any way,” she added. “I’m a size 10, and that’s more like a size 2.”

I really thought we were moving toward a revolution and progression, a liberation of self-hatred. So why are there so many people so keen on sending us back to that horrible place, the place where you can’t see anything good in your own body. I, for one, don’t want to go back there. I want to get to a place where it’s OK to be you and where forms of self-loathing are not the order of the day. I so badly want to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but sometimes it’s so hard. Well, when people are really ready to move on from that place we will be more than happy to welcome them with open arms on the other side.

 

(Love your Body Pledge found here).

I came across a great post today which gave some helpful tips on how to overcome distorted body image. If you are anything like me, thinking positively about your body is a daily battle. Although this article is geared towards “plus size” women, I think it’s applicable to all women who struggle with negative body image issues.

Here are the five tips the Curvy Goddess Lounge gives for improving body image (with my two cents added):

#1 Truly Understand Imperfection.

I think part of my problem with cultivating a positive body image is my lack of acceptance that perfection is not attainable. I find myself being very critical of my imperfections and parts of my body that aren’t culturally acceptable by general beauty standards. This can be a very irrational and destructive mentality in that we are often striving for something that doesn’t exist.

#2 Don’t Talk about It.

As hard as it is sometimes to do, we really have to stop saying negative things about our bodies. Even if we don’t say them out loud, we have to stop having this unconstructive internal dialogue with ourselves about how gross we find parts of our bodies. Nothing good can come from it. If you are the type of person who often says negative things about your body in front of friends (or worse, in front of people you aren’t even close to) it’s time to stop doing it. Not only does it make people extremely uncomfortable, it can also cause them to start thinking negative things about their own body. Most of my friends know that if they say something rude about themselves in front of me, they will get a disapproving look from me!

#3 Focus on the Good.

Rather than telling yourself all of the things you hate about your body, try focusing on things you like about your body. I found this article helpful which speaks to the importance of Positive Body Affirmations. It may sound silly, but on the days when I have told myself 2-3 things I like about my body, I have had very good body image days.

#4 Set Attainable Goals.

If you do choose to “work on” your body by maybe toning, building muscle etc. don’t over do it. Many of us set out to lose an unattainable amount of weight that doesn’t really make sense for our body types or lifestyles. A few years ago, I had to accept that I just wasn’t going to be a size 4 anymore and that was just going to have to be ok with me. If I wanted to stay a size 4, I would have to do things (eat WAY less and over-exercise) that I just wasn’t willing to do. My lifestyle, genetic make-up and sanity wouldn’t allow me to maintain this size. In the same way, make sure you aren’t setting unrealistic fitness goals for yourself which will make you feel worse about your body instead of better about your body.

 #5 Know when to get Help.

If you are constantly down on yourself, it might be worth exploring whether or not you have Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I think many women can benefit from sitting down with a counselor and talking through body image issues. Even if you don’t have BDD, it might give you some insight into how to overcome negative body image.

 Ok those are the five tips that the Curvy Goddess Lounge gives on overcoming distorted body image.

 Any thoughts about this list? Do you have any to add?

eatacheeseburger.net

That’s right friends! Tiffabee finally owns her own domain name. Tell your friends that we are at eatacheeseburger.net now so they can come join the feast!

Love,
Tiffabee

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about balance. As a person who loves exercise and prides herself on eating pretty healthy, it’s sometimes hard to find the balance between “taking care of myself” and not being over-concerned with my body weight. As much as I would like to think I have totally arrived, I still have a long way to go in loving my body. It really is an inner, daily battle to love and appreciate my body for what it is. It’s not easy to live in a world like where we are bombarded with messages that we aren’t good enough, and to just say “Forget that. I’m going to love me for me!”

One of our readers left a very thoughtful comment recently in which she mentioned how hard it is to love her body:

“I was just thinking today about how hard it is to love and appreciate my own body all by myself, let alone when anyone else feels the need to share an (unwelcome) opinion about it. My mom is notorious for this, although she acts like she’s trying to “help.”

Although I’m a strong advocate for this type of thinking, I certainly have not mastered it yet. Sometimes, regardless of what I know and believe, I reject the mentality that I know I need to have. I give in and allow myself to feel “gross” or “fat” or like I need to shed a relatively insignificant amount of weight in order to be back to an ideal size that I have in my mind. I allow myself to feel like I’m not skinny enough or pretty enough; like my butt is way too big for my body and my thighs are too close together. (Yes, I know…shameful. Just tryin’ keep it real)!

And then I stop and ask myself why. Why do I allow myself to go down a road that I know only leads to misery? Why would I allow myself to momentarily succumb to a line of thinking that will end up tearing me down rather than making me feel good about myself? I’m not quite sure I have an answer to that yet.

We’ve had this blog for two years now, and although we haven’t been 100% active during every moment of the past two years, this blog has become a part of us. Despite my struggle to find a balance and my momentary relapses into body-hating mentality, I truly believe that the “cheeseburger mentality” is absolutely the only way to live.

And here’s why: no matter what, our bodies are never going to look exactly the way we want them too. We may never be that girl who can walk into a dressing room and have everything she tries on magically fit; or the girl who slips into a Size 2 pair of jeans effortlessly. So why keep trying? Why try to be people we aren’t and never will be? Why not embrace what our bodies look like and make a decision to love ourselves for who we are? Why beat ourselves up for not looking like Victoria secret models?

I have come to find in these past two years that there is a balance to all of this. There is no perfect answer or magical path to loving one’s body. But no matter what you believe on the subject, I think we can all agree that constantly feeling bad about what we look like is not the way to live. Whether or not you choose to embrace everything about this blog, and live by the cheeseburger gospel, I hope you can at least agree that love is better than hate and self-acceptance is better than self-deprecation.