All posts by Bethany Cleg

About Bethany Cleg

Bethany Cleg is a small business owner at Bethany Cleg Photography. She is an avid writer, photographer, and tech geek. When she’s not writing or taking pictures, you’ll find her hiking with her family.

5 Steps to Prepare for Retirement When You’re Young

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It can be easy to forget about planning for retirement once you start your career and attempt to live on your own in your 20s or 30s. Unfortunately, many people fail to plan for their retirement until it’s too late, which can make it difficult to exit the workforce. To prepare for the golden years and secure your future, there are a few important steps to take when you’re young. Continue reading

Boosting Plus Size Teens’ Body Image and Self-Esteem in Today’s Image Conscious World

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According to niddk.nih.gov, young people from the ages of two years through nineteen years, the obesity rate has skyrocketed to over 31% In a society whose media is crazed by ultra-thin models, actors, and Instagram stars, this means one of every three teens you meet is at risk for weight-related issues around self-esteem and body image. Given the toll taken by carrying excess weight, it’s as crucial to counteract the emotional strain of obesity, as it is to drop a few pounds.

What Is The Difference Between Body Image and Self-Esteem?

Put simply, self-esteem refers to the sense of inherent internal worthiness a person perceives him or herself to possess. Body image refers to the way they perceive their body, regardless of how it may appear to outside observers. This explains why people who are clearly in excellent condition may feel very critical about their bodies, whereas others, whose physical condition may not appear very healthy, can have extremely high levels of confidence about their physiques.

How Can I Tell Whether My Teen Has A Weight-Related Self-Esteem Problem

Parents and loved ones are often horrified to notice their once-confident teen has slipped into low self-esteem. Teens’ bodies change rapidly, and they face extreme pressure from both peers and the media to look a certain way. As they change schools and peer groups, formerly happy-go-lucky kids may suddenly display clear signs of discontent such as:

• Scrutinizing themselves in the mirror for extended lengths of time

• Excessively negative, criticism of specific body regions

• Comparison to other teens or celebrities

• Anxiety around leaving the home

• Signs of depression/anxiety, like sleeping more or less than normal, withdrawal from social engagements, malaise, or changes in grades

Jump Start The Recovery Process

So much of the teenage years is centered around creating social norms and a coherent sense of self. This sense of self will follow a young person into adulthood, and inform much of how they make pivotal choices and relate to others. That makes it incredibly important and productive to intervene as soon as possible. Helping teens to turnaround self-esteem and body issues will give them healthy physical habits as well as emotional resilience. Luckily, even the most rebellious teenager craves guidance, encouragement, and resources. Use the following steps at home, and you’ll not only improve teens’ physical and emotional well-being, you’ll reinforce the foundations of your relationship.

It Starts With You

Teenagers are more interested in what you do than what you tell them. Do you obsess about your appearance? Become upset when you aren’t satisfied with how you look in the mirror? Your teen is learning how to react to her own appearance by watching your example. Be mindful of more than how you look. Pay attention to how you look at yourself, and how you act toward yourself when you do.

Changing Self-Talk

Teens listen more than they let on. One of the things they soak up like sponges is the manner in which their role models talk about themselves. A young man who hears his father lamenting, “ Ugh. I hate my chest. This gutt is awful. I just have never liked the way I’m built. I guess I have your grandparents to blame for these ugly genes!” will certainly find himself looking at his body in the mirror, cursing his DNA. A young girl who hears her mother saying, “I just look so fat in these pants. I’m embarrassed to leave the house” will look into the mirror at her own image and wonder if she should stay home if she looks a little bloated.

Parents can change this feedback loop of negative self-talk by saying things like, “ I may have gained a few pounds, but I actually like how strong I look!” or “You know, it’s actually kind of nice to be filling out this dress a little differently!” Even better, saying things like, “I love myself at any weight. This body does a lot for me” can convey to your teen that she is also beautiful and productive at any weight.

Emphasize Health Over Weight Loss

The Oxford Health Journal confirms that weight management programs for children and teens may do more harm than good. Focusing on weight seems to chip away at a whole-person standard self-worth in children. Furthermore, according to NBC, even after losing weight, many girls continue to see themselves as overweight. In other words, a few pounds may drop, but negative body image remains. This is a clear indicator that we must all work on the inside first, building self-love that fosters healthy eating and exercise habits.

Move For Joy

When a person appreciates what their body can do, it’s hard not to love the body that does it. A loved body will be cherishes and maintained, making improved health a natural side effect. One of the quickest way to achieve this is through movement. Calories are burned and endorphins are released for relaxation and happiness. It’s a combination that makes movement a top tool for achieving whole-person health. In kids, this can be as easy as dancing, or adopting a yoga practice. Yoga, with its emphasis on non-judgmental approaches to individual bodies and internal balance, is of particular usefulness. Even severely overweight teens can put a mat down in a bedroom, throw on yoga tanks and a pair of shorts, and start.

The Prescribed Vacation: Why Travel is Good for your Health

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Most people look forward to their yearly vacation. Whether it’s just a short weekend here or a week there, getting away can have a great effect on your overall outlook. However, did you realize that a vacation can also help you to improve your overall wellbeing? It may sound bizarre, but a week by the sea or exploring an ancient city can help you be healthier.

Many people are skipping their vacation because of work demands, money, stress, or the ill effects caused from the time away. On average, the U.S. employee takes about 16 days off per year as of 2013. In 2000, the average was 20 days per year. When you deprive yourself of a much-needed break, you can cause damaging effects to your health. The stress overload is enough to kill you. Being able to immerse yourself in new surroundings can boost your brain power and allow your body to recharge. Here are five reasons why you should take a break. Continue reading

4 Things Harvard Researchers Have to Say About Yoga

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Yoga is a term that means different things to different people. For some people, yoga is an exercise – a way to strengthen and tone the body and improve flexibility and coordination. For other people, yoga is a spiritual discipline – a way of life that includes but is not limited to the physical postures. For still others, yoga represents a combination of these factors.

For Harvard researchers, however, yoga is increasingly showing itself to be a source of significant health benefits quantifiable through the latest cutting-edge research practices. In this article, learn about four important things Harvard researchers have discovered while studying yoga. Continue reading

Exercise Can Save Your Life and Your Money

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You can build an exercise program that will improve your mental health, your physical stamina and your future. All of these benefits can be yours with very little investment but for your time and the desire to take better care of yourself.

Start Small

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Moving your body through space is easy and extremely healthful. Adding just sixty minutes of brisk walking per week can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of type-2 diabetes. All you need are some comfy shoes! Continue reading

Dealing with Financial Income Inequality in Marriage

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Arguments over money are the number one reason for marital stress. Couples often have different ideas about their role in earning and spending the household finances. When one spouse makes considerably more money than the other, guilt, resentment, and power struggles can also come into play. For the sake of your marriage, it’s important to understand the stress financial inequality can have on your relationship. Doing so can help alleviate misunderstandings and strengthen your marriage.

Continue reading

The Wanderlust Gene: Why Some People Are Born to Travel

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If you look at history and the human tendency to travel to far-flung areas of the planet, you may begin to suspect there’s something in the human genome that causes this compulsive wandering behavior. You may become even more convinced of this genetic tendency if you have ever traveled to what you thought was a distant corner of the earth and met up with someone from your very own town or neighborhood. It appears that some humans are driven to explore and seek out new environments, a human habit which has caused some scientists to consider whether there is a “travel gene” that contributes to the behavior. Continue reading

10 Unusual Reasons You Might be Feeling Sick All the Time

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Surviving without air conditioning when it is hot and humid is nearly impossible, especially in some regions. Keeping an AC running requires more than just the right appliance; it demands maintenance, which a lot of people neglect. An air conditioning unit that does not receive proper servicing not only spikes the power bills but poses health risks as well. It may be surprising to learn that you may be feeling a bit under the weather because of your home’s cooling system. Continue reading

What You Didn’t Know About the Science Linking Yoga and Stress Relief

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Nearly everybody suffers from anxiety. While it’s frequency and intensity varies from person to person, it effect is universal. Chronic anxiety can take an extensive toll on the body. Anxiety often drains energy resources and keeps the body in an almost constant state of stress. Anxiety’s negative side effects are often proliferated when the body is not exercised. While general or basic exercise can serve a venue of stress relief, one exercise in particular stands out for creating this spectacular effect: yoga. Continue reading

Reaping the Benefits of Creatine

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While most of us understand the vast importance of the quality of foods we put in our bodies, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle. After all, around every corner lurks fast food restaurants and other sources of convenience foods. However, you are what you eat, and making the conscious decision to improve your nutrition is important. Creatine is an often overlooked substance that provides numerous benefits, and there are some things you should know if you make the decision to incorporate its use. Continue reading

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