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DENVER - The question was intended to be light hearted, “What is your super power, and how do you use it?” The idea is, everybody has a unique source of power within them which can be leveraged for good. Some people immediately knew their power, some needed to brainstorm with a friend to decide their power, and some preferred to think in terms of mystical powers which they could only dream of.

This is how the story began, but it soon pivoted. While standing at the park, asking those casually walking by for a second of their time to participate in this video, it became clear who was more likely to say yes. For each video, on www.limit-lessmagazine.com only about 5- to 10 percent of those asked to participate agree. Most of those willing to speak out, and further willing to speak on camera, are men.

Why are men more likely than women to use their voice? Often women asked to participate in these videos believe they do not have a valuable contribution. Sometimes women do have something to say, but after asking to them to say their piece on camera, women shy away. They may respond, “I don’t like being on camera,” “I don’t have anything to say,” or “he is more comfortable in front of the camera than I am.” In the last example, “he” refers to a man they are walking with.

Men, on the other hand, are more willing to take their time thinking of a camera-worthy answer, sometimes taking minutes of their leisure time to contribute a quality response. Why do women express lack of confidence when it comes to using their voice, while men are ready and willing to do so?

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LIMIT.less Blog by Jessie Martin - 7M ago

     You are what you eat… Isn’t that what they say? Honestly, people are playing mind games if this is truthfully their belief. It just makes no sense, and is most likely some ploy they use to save all the best cookies for themselves.

Glazed and red velvet doughnuts at Harold's Doughnuts in Columbia, Missouri.

     Think about it, how would anybody describe themselves? Maybe intelligent, or funny, or slightly ditzy. Some will say they are an athlete, a student, a mother, or a lawyer. These are common descriptors set aside for a human being. Not one person will attribute terms such as salty, crunchy, or tasty to themselves. Except, maybe, salty, some people are definitely salty.

     The message, “you are what you eat,” is an expression to help people make better dietary choices, but the message itself is unhealthy. Back to those cookies, if someone is happily eating a cookie, wouldn’t most people be able to correctly claim that that individual is, indeed, happy? Whatever it is someone is eating, it cannot measure their true being.

     In 2016, research published in Child Development examines one thousand sixty-four 6- to 7-year-olds. The sample size is representative of boys (49 percent) and girls (51 percent) in 29 Oklahoma schools. The results conclude that body shaming starts at as early an age as 6 years old, when kids who are over-weight are less likely to be welcomed into social circles (Harrist).

     Another study, by Common Sense Media, found that boys and girls as young as 6 years old already have the idea that their current weight is heavier than what is ideal. Maybe this is because of a false image presented to them in the media. Of female TV characters between the ages of 10 and 17, 87 percent are underweight.

     These kids are too young to understand that genetics are a major player in deciding body type. Some people work hard, for a few hours a day, in order to maintain a toned tummy. A lot of people never step foot in a gym, yet will never have to experience the immediate need to unbutton their pants after a feast. Everybody envies the person who is 125 pounds and eats four large meals a day, plus dessert. While there are those of us who shame ourselves into the shadows because eating 1000 calories a day just will not shed the extra pounds.

     Ultimately, it’s not about the food you eat, but about the lifestyle you live. Why not say, “you are how you feel,” or “you are what you believe”? Either statement will produce a much more accurate representation of a person. It is time we stop incorporating food into every thought and conversation. Eliminate those comparisons entirely, because I know, for a fact, I am much, much more than the brownie that is currently nestled in my stomach.

References:

Common Sense Media. (2015, January). Children, Teens, Media, and Body Image. A Common Sense Research Brief. Retrieved from commonsensemedia.org.

Harrist, A. W., Swindle, T. M., Hubbs-Tait, L., Topham, G. L., Shriver, L. H. and Page, M. C. (2016), The Social and Emotional Lives of Overweight, Obese, and Severely Obese Children. Child Development, 87: 1564–1580. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12548

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LIMIT.less Blog by Jessie Martin - 7M ago

     Those teenage days, the same days we all thought would be something monumental, well, we were just kidding ourselves. There were times when our waist just wasn’t small enough to fit the jeans we wore one year prior. Other times, the temptation to hang with the “in” crowd (I’m still confused as to who decides who is in and who is out) got the best of us. Girls turned decent guys into conceited jerks. Guys turned decent girls indecent. The shoes on your feet spoke more about one’s character than their GPA, and nobody really knew which way led us out of the endless pit of teenagerism. Paradise? Hopefully not.

     Remember back to the stupidest thing you did, at any point in your life. Something that still shames me to this day, even after college graduation, is that I skipped an optional final in order to spend more time with my long-time boy-thing-crush-entertainment-wishhewasmine-guy. I ended one of the easiest classes I have ever taken with a B+, and the worst part was only one single point lay in the way of a well-deserved A. Even more shameful, that was not even the first time I wasted precious time on the kid.

     But back to you! Can you remember that time you wish things turned out different? What is one piece of advice you would give yourself in order to savor the seconds before things went south? Nothing will come of this little exercise, except maybe some well needed insight. In the end, it’s good to live your life without regretting too much. Some people actually believe they have no regrets, and how lucky are they? The point is, nothing ever turns out how it’s planned. Nothing. There is a wise saying that goes, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”

     The accuracy in those 12 simple words is indisputable. Sure, there are always things which we could have done to make a bad idea, uncomfortable situation, or insecure thought a little better. Sometimes it’s a good idea to reflect on things we wish we could have changed, because that leads to growth. However, the past is the past, and we have to let that [s***] go.

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LIMIT.less Blog by Jessie Martin - 7M ago

     There is power in the word, “yes”. By simply pronouncing this one-syllable, three-letter word, a person is susceptible to a verbal contract, to a commitment. One syllable. Three letters.

     “Yes” does not always imply a bind to another. It is also a promise made to oneself. “Yes” fills the mind and body with power. There is a TED Talk by Shonda Rhimes, the fantastic mind we thank for Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, in which Rhimes explains lessons learned from her year of saying yes to (nearly) everything that scared her. By the conclusion of the 19-minute talk, the mind is forced to stop, do a double-take, and reflect.

My year of saying yes to everything | Shonda Rhimes - YouTube

'Shonda Rhimes, the titan behind Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, is responsible for some 70 hours of television per season, and she loves to work. "When I am hard at work, when I am deep in it, there is no other feeling," she says.' - TED

     The thing is, we cast limitations on ourselves. Nobody tells you “no” more than you. There are the typical excuses: “I can’t do it,” “I don’t have time,” “It’s not like me to…”. What if, when faced with these situations, the response was: “I can do it,” “I will make time,” “It’s worth a try.” Every. Single. Time. Life would be a completely different experience.

     It is almost impossible not to have a goal. A person must work really, really hard to convince themselves otherwise. Curiosity poses the question, whom among us turns their dream into reality? Dreams can exist in the mind forever, and they take work to fulfill. Instant success is rare to come by, yet it is often the expectation. As weeks go by, turning into months, going on years, the number of people still in pursuit of their dream dwindles. Any doubt about this, and think back to the last time you achieved your New Year’s Resolution.

     So, here is a challenge posed to all, replicate Shonda Rhimes’ year of yes. Just say yes. If your body urges to get into shape, do not count the reasons why that will never happen. Just say yes. For every opportunity leading to an unfamiliar journey, do not remain within your comfort zone because it feels safest. Just say yes. When the invitation is extended to be among friends and family, take it. Just say yes.

     There are people who choose to hide their bodies from others, because the threat of comparison is too strong. There are people who refuse to live, for fear of losing out on time and money. There are people who are afraid to start, because the chances of finishing, whatever it is they start, are against them. All this equates to waste. Wasted moments, wasted energy, wasted life. Saying “yes” carves the way for new opportunities, relationships, and revelations. Excuses create weakness where there should be growth.

     Commit to your mind to your dream, or goal, or just to a weekend you’ll remember. Something new is always waiting for exploration, and honestly, it’s about time.

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LIMIT.less Blog by Jessie Martin - 7M ago

     Would you believe that the winter blues are scientifically proven to exist? The actual medical term for this is seasonal affective disorder, appropriately known as SAD. Dr. Mark Servis at UC Davis says anywhere from 2 to 5 percent of the United States population experiences the winter blues. This means that between 6,490,839 and 16,227,096 Americans show SAD symptoms each year. Luckily, spring will be among us in no time! For those of us who felt the chilly gloom of winter, or for anyone else who wants to focus on radiating positivity this spring, here are five absolutely free must haves you won’t want to step into spring without.

Ambition

     Daylight savings is Sunday, March 12 this year, and we all can look forward to that extra hour of sunlight. For nearly four months now, the overly eager night has forced us indoors before the work day even ends. So, do not let those rays of sunshine go to waste. Even if your body is exhausted after a long day, channel your inner ambition as a source of energy to get a breath of fresh air. Complete an outdoor workout, walk the dog, or play outside with the kids. Any outdoor hobbies? Pick back up where you left off last fall. The television might still seem tempting, but an ambitious soul can lead to a healthy heart!

Purpose

     It’s still early in 2017, so do not get stuck into the mindset that it’s too late to start what you resolved to accomplish this year. By the end of January, only 58 percent of those who made New Year’s resolutions stayed true to their promise to themselves. Last year, only 9 percent of Americans believed they successful achieved their resolution. Don’t let this spring pass you by with more empty words. Repurpose your goals and desires, whether they are financial, health related, family related, or work related. While having a purpose, you’ll be surprised where your mind will take you.

Sense of Humor

     If you’re not aware April 1st is April Fool’s Day, welcome to the United States. Living a positive lifestyle means, greatly, having the ability to smile and laugh, especially at yourself. The beginning of the year is a difficult time for a lot of people, but that’s just the thing, you’re not the only one. The power of laughter is proven to relieve stress, so take a break from all the seriousness of adulthood and decompress with a bright smile and snort-worthy laugh!

Cleanse

     Spring cleaning does not just have to be for the house and yard. Put yourself first this spring and cleanse your mind, body, and spirit. If there are people in your life who inflict more negativity than spread positivity, let them go. If fatigue slows you down daily, try eliminating toxins from your diet and brighten up your plate with colorful veggies and protein. Cleanse yourself of unnecessary obligations. If you would prefer to stay home on a Friday, do it! Do more of what makes you happy and find peace in that.

Wanderlust

     Seize the day. Deviate from the routine. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind, but there is so much life waiting to be explored, and you’re missing out! There are hiking and walking trails accessible all over, small, unheard of towns with the best ice cream, and cities filled with hidden pockets of gems. Unless you allow yourself to adventure, you’ll never know what you’re missing out on. Just know, you’re missing out. You don’t need a plan, you just need to begin, and what better day to do so than today?

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