Sweat, willpower, motivation and determination all tie into the manifesto of fitness and being healthy, but did you ever stop for a second and ask yourself if you’re giving your full potential? Better yet, if you can do anything to improve your fitness journey? Yes, you can! The small, nitty-gritty details also play an important role in your journey to a healthier you. Your workout attire, accessories, floor mats and much more greatly help you in your fitness.
So what exactly are these nitty-gritty details? Lululemon Athletica of course, and they’re not nitty or gritty, they’re like works of art! Lululemon creates fashionable athletic gear that is suited for any activity relating to health and fitness such as, yoga, running, dancing and most other sweaty pursuits.
Lululemon’s mission statement is a list of philosophical ideas created by the company. One such idea is: “Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.” So don’t give up now! Instead use your setback as motivation to live a healthier, better and a freer life. Start now by entering to win Lululemon Athletica prizes that will jumpstart your fitness journey! The prizes include a flyaway tamer headband, fitness towels, the famous Om bag, a shower caddy and an un mat.
So what should you do in your lulus? Use Lululemon for the best high-intensity interval workouts. It’s time you crank up your workout routine to more vigorous and high-intensity trainings. If you want to turn yourself into a lean midlife goddess, with a healthy mind and body, you need to get up and moving!
Lululemon’s “quality stand” aims to design athletic gear that is perfectly suited for each physical activity. They design the majority of their product line to withstand five years of intended use and keep its functional intent. From calming yoga, to hard-core training, Lulu has you covered!
Hard-core training, such as high-intensity interval workouts, is what you need to step up your game and see more effective results on your body and health. So you might be wondering, what exactly is this high-intensity interval training? High-intensity interval training are workouts that alternate between intense levels of physical activity and fixed periods of lesser activity. For example, for a newbie to high-intensity interval training, a starter workout would be running as fast as you can for one minute and then walking for two minutes. Then, repeat it a couple of times and voila! You have done your first, effective high-intensity interval training workout.
According to Shape magazine, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) provides many proven benefits.
Efficient for diligent workers
An alpha female like you may have many responsibilities to take care of, but you have nothing to worry about! With HIIT you can squeeze in a workout during a lunch break, or anytime in the day for even 15 minutes. “Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) than the girl jogging on the treadmill for an hour,” states Shape magazine.
You can do it anywhere
You can do it at home, you can do it in a dome. You can do it here or there, you can it anywhere! Dr. Seuss would’ve been fond of the HIIT workouts. It’s such a simple concept; put in your maximum effort, but with shorter periods of time and then give yourself a recovery period. This can be done wherever you want, at your convenience.
Say goodbye to that lingering fat
With HIIT workouts you can burn more calories and fat. Also, those super intense kicks and jumps put your body in “hyperdrive” mode. Which means that you would burn more fat in 24 hours after a HIIT workout than you would in a steady pace long run. Well, that must sound like music to your ears!
Healthier heart for a healthier you
For your huge heart, keeping it healthy is crucial. You probably don’t like pushing into that zone where you can barely breathe and feel like your heart is trying to jump out of your chest. Well, you don’t need to feel like that anymore! In this case of HIIT workouts, extreme training provides extreme results.
Lose the weight, and keep the muscle
Trying a diet is critical in that you want to make sure that you don’t lose your muscles while losing weight. Some muscle building is important for healthy and strong living. Muscles help burn a lot of fat, so having more muscles will help to keep you thin! Weight training and HIIT workouts allow dieters to preserve those well-earned muscles while ensuring that all the unwanted weight comes off fast.
HIIT workouts stimulate the production of your human growth hormone, or HGH. This is extremely crucial in that HGH is not only responsible for your increased caloric burn, but also slows down the aging process. This makes you younger, both inside and outside!After learning about all these amazing benefits of high-intensity interval training, the one question that’s left is, how should I do it? Have no fear woman! We’ve got you covered. You will be running, jumping and kicking with your lulus in no time!
According to Shape magazine, there are a couple of easy, yet effective HIIT workouts you can try at your convenience.
Cardio blaster is known for one of the best high-intensity interval training workouts you can do to drastically improve your health and fitness. This workout is especially effective for your heart.
Warm up for 15 minutes
Bike, row or run for three minutes at 90 percent of your maximum heart rate. Take three minutes to recover and then repeat another three times.
Finish with a 10-minute cool down.
This includes sprinting which is great to tone those legs, glutes and core for a sexy figure. This also increases your muscle power, which in turn makes you stronger and gain more stamina for those high-intensity interval workouts. One huge benefit of this workout is that…it is relatively short!
Warm up for 15 minutes
Run, bike or row for 30 seconds at an all-out effort. Take three minutes for recovery and repeat five to six times.
Finish with a 10-minute cool down.
This workout includes sprint interval training with bursts of hard work. This workout gives you the best of both worlds, great cardio and muscle sculpting.
Warm up for 15 minutes
Run, bike or row from 30 seconds to about two minutes. Then, recover for the same amount of time. For example, sprint for 30 seconds with your full effort and recover for 30 seconds.
Finish with a 10-minute cool down.
So what will it be then; light, “feminine” slow workouts, or effective, high-intensity interval workouts? Of course high-intensity interval workouts! These workouts will create the results you want fast and effectively.
With your Lululemons nothing will hold you back from reaching your highest potential in health and fitness. Win the Lululemon Athletica prizes, including the famous Om bag, shower caddy, flyaway headband and much more.
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It doesn’t necessarily take a genius to connect the well thought out, correlating dots between Angelina Jolie’s journalistic debut in the New York Times and the looming Supreme Court ruling over Myriad Genetics’ patent viability.
If you dig deep enough into this story, you’ll find far more than an innocent looking woman affecting a “choice.” This isn’t about cancer or breasts; this is about protecting a trillion dollar industry through the distribution of deceptive public relations campaigns aimed at influencing the opinions of women everywhere.
So the joke’s really on you; the woman whose opinion is being manipulated to support Jolie’s ‘brave choice’. Much to the perverse pleasure of Myriad, women are being misled into supporting Jolie’s “bravery” with no idea that she is selling them out to the for-profit cancer industry.
For anyone who is out of the loop, on May 14th 2013 Angelina Jolie wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times in which she explained “her medical choice” to undergo a preventative double mastectomy in which both her breasts were removed.
One of the reasons for her decision was based on a genetic test that she had undergone, which determined that she possesses the “faulty” BRCA1 gene. Certain variations of the gene can ultimately lead to an increased risk for breast cancer.
Jolie’s very descriptive and “heartfelt” prose were met with much public sympathy and a media firestorm ensued. Many publications and journalists are now though debating the necessity of Jolie’s choice and its implications on other women.
The Background Story:
Utah based molecular diagnostic company, Myriad Genetics, is currently at the center of a legal debate with the Supreme Court about the acceptability of gene patenting. After spending $500 million dollars in research, Myriad developed, and now exclusively holds, the patent on the BRCA1 test that Jolie took. (Source: Marketplace. N.p., 16 May 2013 – David Brancaccio)
Sandra Park, attorney at American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), explains that Myriad currently holds a monopoly on the genetic testing so they ultimately determine the cost.
According to a report by Marketplace, the BRCA1 test can cost upwards of $4,000 and now accounts for the lion’s share of Myriad’s revenue. The testing alone is a multibillion-dollar market, but only if the patent is upheld in an upcoming Supreme Court decision.
These high costs and knowledge mongering, in the interests of corporate greed, are exactly what has gotten Myriad into hot water.
There are several problems associated with the patenting of human DNA and genetic testing. According to Art Caplan, a bioethicist with the NYU medical center, a major factor is that “It hampers scientific progress.”
According to the ACLU’s website, “The ACLU’s lawsuit against Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation, which hold the patents on the BRCA genes, as well the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), charged that the challenged patents are illegal and restrict both scientific research and patients’ access to medical care, and that patents on human genes violate the First Amendment and patent law because genes are ‘products of nature.’”
A final decision on the case is expected from the Supreme Court by the end of June 2013.
The PR and Celebrity Endorsements:
No matter which way you slice the human body it still doesn’t change the fact that after Jolie’s press release, ahem, I mean, opinion piece, shares of Myriad Genetics rose 4%. The stock hit its highest level since mid-2009, according to Yahoo Finance data. (Source: N.p., 14 May 2013. Web. 28 May 2013)
Speculators would like to argue that this rise in market share had more to do with Monday’s Supreme Court seed patent decision in favor of Monsanto inBowman v. Monsanto than with Jolie’s celebrity endorsement.
But I beg to assert there is no contest. Jolie’s story has quickly become a topic of household conversation, whereas the Monsanto Patent Case has hardly received any media attention.
Consequences of ‘Cutting It Off’ Publicly:
Dr. Christiane Northrup, a board-certified OB/GYN physician and author of many bestselling books, including Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, advocates that everyone has a right to do whatever they choose with their bodies. However, she believes that Jolie’s particular genetic situation could have been prevented with other more natural methods. (Source: as she expressed on the Gary Null Radio Show May 15, 2013).
“What the Jolie situation does, because she is an icon of female beauty, women uncritically look at her approach to breast cancer prevention by removing breasts and they will not understand the nuances of this,” says Northrup. “The inherent problem is that when you are a celebrity of that fame and a world citizen, your decisions unduly influence other people.”
So Now What?
The elephant in the room is, of course, the cost of these procedures. However, Jolie does make note of it in her ‘sales pitch’: “The cost of testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2, remains an obstacle for many women.” (Source: nytimes.com /2013/05/14/opinion/my-medical-choice)
Aside from the costly test fee, there are also costs associated with the procedure itself and then also the added cost of reconstructive breast surgery.
So, if as women we can’t afford to cut loose our boobs, then what are the rest of us to do when death leaves a note on our door that says it’ll come by to get us some day?
Well, here’s the punchline…
The Big Business of Cancer
Between 1980 and now, 1.3 million women have been over diagnosed with cancers that they could possibly die with but may never die from. The Jolie article sets up a whole new generation of anxious women ready for their diagnoses. The article puts women into a state of unnecessary anxiety, and anxiety itself is a risk for premature death.
We spend so much time running around and spending money to save ourselves, when in actual fact, all we are doing is making these corporate titans richer and ourselves less full of life.
We are approaching prevention the wrong way; we can’t prevent by just cutting off! Women tortured by the contemplations of conventional breast cancer treatments must be made aware that the only solution is not to cut off potentially vulnerable organs.
The best prevention for cancer is leading an all round healthier lifestyle. A lifestyle filled with less anxiety and stress, more exercise and sleep, less chemicals, more natural ingredients, less genetically modified foods and more fresh fruits and vegetables… no joke.
“Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.”
Frank Sinatra sang it in My Way but how many of us can say the same? My biggest regret is the time I’ve spent worrying and being anxious -especially about the small stuff in life! Literally it makes me sick and gets me nowhere.
The UK Guardian* published an article about an Australian palliative care nurse, Bronnie Ware who wrote a blog, and eventually a book, on the top five regrets of the dying. The message hit home – big time!
In this youth obsessed culture, we do not respect or even want to see our elders. They are a reminder that no matter how many creams, potions, and diets we use, we are all headed down the same inevitable path. Morbid? No. I think of it more as being extremely shortsighted. Because who is better able to tell us – more accurately and with more insight and experience – what REALLY matters in life than those who are facing the end of it?
Counting down, here are the top 5 regrets outlined by Ware’s book and some lessons they can teach about how we can all lead happy lives, no matter our age.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Happiness is a choice. We lose sight of that when we get bogged down in the minutiae of living day to day. Ask yourself “Am I happy?” and if not, “why not?” Simple yet not necessarily easy because the answer may not be something you want to hear.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Make time for coffee, send an email or a card to that girlfriend who lives across the ocean. These are the people who choose to love you not out of some sense of familial obligation but because they truly want to be around you, to listen to you, and share in your life.Study after study has shown that people with more friends, particularly in old age, live longer. Don’t let these relationships drift away due to distance or apathy.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
How many times have you bottled up what you were feeling in order to keep the peace? Bottling up your true feelings is not only stressful, but manifests itself physically. Sore backs, neck aches, ulcers… Men are taught not to show sadness in order not to appear weak, women are taught not to show anger, to remain demure and feminine – it is an epidemic in our society. As I say: to be a “Babe In Total Control of Herself” you need to be able to “party with your inner B.I.T.C.H.”
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
This one isn’t just for men anymore. If you are a “woman who runs it” then you know what it is like to need a least an extra two hours in a day. Find time for pleasure. Put your smartphone away while you have dinner with your family. Yes, many of us love our jobs, but a truly healthy life is one that is well-rounded and leaves time for rest, relaxation, and pleasure as well as professional accomplishment.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
How many of us are in floundering relationships, or jobs that we hate, because we were afraid to make a radical change and pursue what we truly want? So many expectations are piled on women, from our children, our spouses, our bosses, and society that it can be almost impossible to hear that tiny voice whispering to you that there could be something more, something better. Always make time to listen for that voice. Clear your head, meditate, sit quietly in a cafe, and listen. Would your life choices be ones that your 90 year old self would condone? If not, time to rethink.Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying
Let me introduce you to a man who has his Ph.D. in human nutrition and public health science. He has authored over 90 books on the subjects of health, aging and beauty, nutrition and politics. He has directed over 20 award-winning documentaries. He has hosted his own talk show for the past 33 years and he owns a line of health-boosting products. Oh yes, did I mention he sleeps only 4 hours a night!? I’m sure you must have figured that a man that busy didn’t get much sleep. Who is this man? His name is Gary Null and for 35 years he has been one of the foremost voices in the health movement. Not only has he spent his life passing on his knowledge to us, but he also passed it on to his daughter, Shelly Null. Shelly has written multiple cookbooks herself, including one for children. Gary has instilled in her a focus and appreciation for health that has found its way into every facet of their lives.
Gary Null not only has his health under control, but his life as well. Gary shares so much inspiration with us, from how we should choose our food, to how we should live our lives. He has so much to teach and here are just a few of his pieces of sage advice that can help you truly live a happy, healthy and well-rounded life:
Our Health is Key
Gary has dedicated his entire life to being healthy and helping others to do the same. This quest for health has completely taken over his life. He has talked about it, written about it and made movies about it. He must think this is truly important to be focusing so much of his attention on it. If we learn anything from Gary Null, it should be that health is something we should steadfastly focus on. Of course you or I don’t need to focus our life’s efforts on it, but it is a lifetime focus. What does that mean? It means that while we don’t need to let the world revolve around our health efforts, staying healthy is something that we should spend our entire lives trying to maintain. Is there really anything more important than your health? You can lose your job, you can lose your house, you can lose your lover, but it won’t be until you lose your health that you truly find yourself in risk of losing something that you may not be able to be put back together.
Gary understands this. The man is nearing 70 years old and showing no signs of slowing down. Because he has such a handle on all things in health, he wants to share that with others. He wants us to take our health into our own hands so that he can see us live long and healthy lives. Who would complain about a request like that?
Keep it Natural
Being very well acquainted with all things health, Gary knows that there is more to well-being than fruits and vegetables. Making good food choices goes beyond counting calories and knowing the fat content of your meal. We need to know where our food comes from. Gary is a huge activist for natural foods. If you were to stumble upon his Facebook page you would see that this is no secret. His page shares photos that show us which fruits and vegetables have the most and the least pesticides in them, and warns us of the harming effects of corn starch, GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and other additives. You can’t leave his page without wanting to run to your cupboards and throw everything in the trash. This is what Gary Null wants. Not only does he want us to be healthy, but he wants us to do it the right way. We can guzzle down diet sodas and frozen dinners that boast low calorie content all day long, we may even find ourselves looking better in the process, but health is not all about how you look. Eating natural and organic foods will lead to true health inside and out.
We Must Take Our Inner Health and Apply It To Our Lives
Gary is a huge believer in living a healthful life. That doesn’t just include eating foods that are good for you and going on a regular jog. He wants us to live a mentally healthy life too. By avoiding a life of secrets and deception, we take a load off of our conscious and can live freer. “I realized that every time someone lied or avoided being honest, they had to create a maze. And they kept going down a different path and down a different path in this maze…Whereas, if you told the truth, everything is open, nothing is confined…You’re not coming from guilt or shame, conditioning or fear, or insecurity, or uncertainty. You’re simply coming from the truth as you know it.” Gary thinks that if we place our attention on higher values then we can improve ourselves, manifest our full potential and benefit the lives of others. So being selfish is actually good for everyone. When we make ourselves the best we can be, we make the world a better place and can help others do the same. Gary is a walking, talking example of this. By focusing on his health and passions he has been able to pass them down to us and help improve our lives as well.
A Successful Life Does Not Mean a Selfish One
If you couldn’t tell from his worldview, Gary is not a selfish man. He has dedicated his life to helping others and making sure that they too find an inspiring life path. Shelly has shared that she has always remembered her father giving out free nutritional counselling. He has also been known to give out underwear to homeless people on the streets. Giving back is obviously important to Gary. He has focused his entire life on the quest to help others.
Despite all of his knowledge and his impressive career in helping others, Gary refuses to be called a guru. He feels that that gives him too much power. The power is in our hands, not his. “I believe in not attaching to the outcome anything that I share with the people. So I put the information there, and it’s for the person to decide whether there is value in it or not.” Talk about humble. After a lifetime of researching, helping people and living his teachings, he still doesn’t see himself as a voice that everyone should listen to. He knows that he can help others but the decision, motivation and accomplishments all rest on them.
Don’t Be Afraid To Stick Up For What You Believe In
Gary is largely known as an activist. He has never been one to stifle his opinions because they make someone uncomfortable. A lot of this may have to do with the fact that he sees these opinions as being able to enrich and even save people’s lives. Gary has spoken out against additives in food, modern medicine, political leaders and even entertainers. While his opinions can come off as radical, such as his opinions on HIV and cancer, it becomes evident that Gary isn’t trying to be outlandish, he’s just trying to help us. As he said before, he puts his information out there and it is up to us to decide if there is value in it or not. We cannot fault him for showing us different perspectives. So what is one way that Gary Null wants us to achieve this healthy lifestyle? Juicing! Gary and Shelly have written a book together called The Joy of Juicing: 150 imaginative, healthful juice recipes for drinks, soups, salads, sauces, entrees and desserts. The book is on its third edition and includes juices that will cure anything from PMS to fatigue. Besides offering common remedies, juicing can benefit you in so many ways:
It can help you lose weight
Juices can give you energy
It’s a great way to get in those fruit and vegetable servings
It can improve skin and hair
Juices can provide a great source of vitamins.
And it’s not just juice! Gary and Shelly give your recipes for almost everything under the sun, even desserts! That’s right, dessert! My favourite seven letter word! You won’t be starving yourself, you’ll be feeding yourself with nutritious and delicious meals.
One of the best things about The Joys of Juicing is that it’s not a book about some crash diet featuring water, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Could Gary and Shelly really boast a healthy lifestyle if they told us we should shun solids until we reach a size zero? No. That’s why they truly do focus on health. Juicing doesn’t have to mean living on liquids. Juicing is getting the delicious taste and nutrients from fruits and vegetables in order to create great drinks, snacks, entrées and, here’s my favourite word again; desserts!
Gary and Shelly’s book is a must-grab if you value living a healthy life. We could all learn a thing or two from the book and Gary’s worldview. I know I have! It’s up to you to assign value to it, but in my opinion Gary is sitting on gold here!
The Joy of Juicing is part of our Ultimate Sweepstakes from Women Who Run It! on Facebook. Not only are we giving away an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite with The Joy of Juicing on it, but it is also filled with five other books by amazing from inspiring authors.
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If you were prescribed anti-depressants would you take them? Would you accept the diagnosis and try to move on with your life? I’m sure you’re thinking “of course I would!” The answer seems so straightforward, but the truth is that it’s not. Sara Gottfried is a woman who knows this all too well.
In her thirties Gottfried was suffering from what she calls the “ 4 ‘F’s’ – frazzled, frumpy, fat, and you can imagine the fourth ‘F’.” When she made the decision to change these things, she found herself prescribed with anti-depressants. While some women may have seen this as a welcome answer to their problems, Gottfried would not accept her diagnoses. Gottfried is a Harvard trained M.D., a yoga instructor and nationally recognized, board-certified gynecologist. For such a health-oriented person, this diagnosis was not welcomed. She was already feeling like “burnt toast” and antidepressants were not going to help. Many of the side effects of antidepressants are issues that Gottfried was already dealing with. Did she really want to exacerbate what she was already feeling, such as a decreased sex drive and weight gain, plus add symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia or fatigue, dizziness and a slew of other issues? She stared at her Prozac prescription contemplating her choices and thought to herself “I don’t think the answer is antidepressants. In fact, they only are effective if you have major depression and that’s the minority of people who take them.” Because of this she chose to search for something else, a different and better answer.
The truth is that Gottfried’s story is far too common these days. “We live in a culture that is obsessed with using prescription drugs as an answer to health,” Gottfried warned. One in four women across the age ranges is taking a drug for mental health, and one in seven men are doing the same. When you look specifically at women between 40 and 55 you find that one in four women are on an antidepressant and most of these women have a hormone imbalance and just don’t know it. Half of these women , or 50%, have high cortisol, 20% have low thyroid and they are treating these issues with the wrong methods. If we think about the time between 40 and 55 in a woman’s life what is she going through? Do you think this is a more depressing time for all of these women or do you think it’s more likely that they are simply experiencing the hormone sabotage which is menopause? The answer seems so clear when we think of it this way but for some reason we have found ourselves more likely to believe the diagnoses than the idea that it could be a lot more simple than having a mental illness. Gottfried, like so many other women, found herself prescribed with an antidepressant but instead of taking her prescription, she found herself a cure.
The Hormone Cure is not only the title of Gottfried’s life changing book, but also the way that women can actually fix their problems, not just treat them. With The Hormone Cure we are addressing the cause, not just the symptom. For women there are three hormones which, when out of whack, can lead to feeling Gottfried’s Four “F’s.” Gottfried calls them her “Hormonal Charlie’s Angels.” These hormones are Cortisol, Estrogen and Thyroid. These hormones are “little hinges that swing big doors.” Having any of these hormones too high or too low can cause a barrage of symptoms including:
A fried hippocampus (which regulates emotions and memory consolidation)
Increased risk of Alzheimer’s
Increased risk of diabetes
The storing of belly fat
Low sex drive
By getting these three hormones into the perfect zone that Gottfried calls the “goldilocks spot” you’ll be reversing all of these symptoms. By reaching this “goldilocks spot” you will:
Keep a young and clearer mind
Regain your sex drive
Have better orgasms
Increase your energy
Are you with me now? Of course you are! Those sound like some amazing rewards for finding your “goldilocks spot!” Now the next question; how do you find out what’s out of whack? Dr. Gottfried has created a hormone quiz specifically for women to help them see which hormones they need to focus on. This quiz will change your life!
Find it here: http://thehormonecurebook.com/quiz/
Why should we as women be so focused on this issue? Women across all age ranges are outnumbering men as takers of antidepressants. We’re being prescribed younger and younger and we’re not the ones who are profiting, it’s the pharmaceutical companies. Instead of investing in pills, we need to invest in our health. Not only will The Hormone Cure change the way you think about your health, but it will also let you take your health into your own hands. Gottfried took her health into her own hands the day she decided not to take the Prozac and to find the real cure for her issues. Now she’s giving you the chance to do the same. With Gottfried’s method you’ll be eating better, exercising less and enjoying life more. With The Hormone Cure you’ll still be popping pills, but these aren’t filled with chemicals, they’re filled with supplements. Instead of suppressing your body, you’ll be fueling it.
The Hormone Cure is here because “feeling moody, asexual, tapped out, dried up, stressed out, and sleep deprived” is not a symptom of being a female. In her book Gottfried combines natural therapies, rigorous scientific testing and her questionnaire to help you follow an individualized plan that will change your life in a much more positive way than a bottle of Prozac will. Gottfried’s book is part of our Ultimate Sweepstakes from Women Who Run It on Facebook. Not only are we giving away an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite with Gottfried’s book on it, but it is also filled with five other books by amazing and inspiring authors.
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Sonia Sotomayor has a lot to brag about. She was the first Hispanic and the third woman ever to be appointed to the United States Supreme court. She overcame a troubled childhood to achieve highest honours at Princeton and Yale. She was appointed to the Federal District Court by age 38 and has become an American Icon in the process. In spite of all of this Sonia Sotomayor has remained true to herself. In her book My Beloved World she reveals the blessings in her life and does not hide the ugly bits either.
There is a lot to be learned from Sonia Sotomayor’s overwhelming ability to stay grounded. The struggle to stay true to herself in spite of all of her success is what prompted her to write My Beloved World. “I wrote this book right after my nomination because I wanted to hold on to the real Sonia,” she explained. The true Sonia definitely shines through in her memoir.
In My Beloved World, Sonia Sotomayor admits five candid truths that show her humility and inspire others around her to show such poise in the face of success.
1 I’m just like you and I still made it
Sotomayor has never considered herself as anything extraordinary. Rather, she sees herself as a normal person who was able to achieve great things. She said that “I think to move people beyond just dreaming and into doing; they have to be able to see that you’re just like them and you still made it.” That may be one of the most inspiring things about Sotomayor, the fact that there was no special moment of extreme luck that took her to where she is now. Her secret to success is hard work and perseverance. She admitted to spending hours at the library as a child devouring anything she could get her hands on. She failed at her first job as a summer associate in a New York firm. Her path to success has included hard work, successes and even failures. While some may find that to be a boring way to climb the ladder to success, it’s actually more inspiring because it’s a path that anyone can take.
Not only does Sotomayor thank hard work for her success, but also everyone around her. She stresses that she is not self-made. Once again Sotomayor’s humility shines through. Sometimes when we get to the top of a mountain we just want to scream “I did it!” but not Sonia; she thanks and acknowledges everyone around her. This not only teaches us all a lesson in appreciation, but also shows us that there is no problem with having help from those around you in order to reach your goals.
2 Sonia Sotomayor candidly shares her troubled home life in My Beloved World
The child of an alcoholic father, who died when Sonia was nine, and the child of a distant, even neglectful, mother, Sotomayor was faced with obstacles from the moment she was born. She grew up in a working class home in the Bronx, where she found solace in the arms of her grandmother. She was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age eight and after hearing her parents fight about giving her the needle, she learned how to give it to herself. This was one of the driving forces in her life. She believed that because of her diabetes that she would not live as long as most. Her disease gave her a sense of urgency the never faded away, even after her fear of a shorter life proved unfounded.Sonia Sotomayor is not a woman who grew up in a life of privilege and wealth. Like most of us, she lived a middle class life and had to struggle to overcome her own issues. One of her biggest issues being her relationship with her mother, a struggle that persisted well into her adulthood. She shared that “the mother I grew up with is not the mother I know now.” She explains in My Beloved World that she rarely saw her mother, and when she did, she was angry. It took looking back on her childhood to realize that her mother was just mourning over the loss of her husband and trying to support the family on her own. With time Sonia has been able to understand her mother and learn with her. “In watching my mother grow and develop herself, I grew and developed myself.”
3 “Everybody has a little ego.”
What made Sonia Sotomayor want to become a judge? She wanted to become the most important woman in the room, of course! When watching an episode of Perry Mason she remembers seeing Perry turn to the judge after a guilty verdict. “At that moment I realized that the most important person in that room was the judge and I wanted to be that person.” This ego is exactly what took her out of the Bronx and into American History. If Sotomayor’s ego tells us anything it’s that sometimes we have to see ourselves as the most important person in the room. We have to see that we are deserving of greatness in order to even take the first steps to achieve that greatness.
4 Sotomayor admits to feeling the occasional tug of regret over never having children
Successful women are not supposed to apologize for their successes, or so we are told. Most taboo of all would be talking about what we had to give up for our success but sometimes it’s the truth. Sotomayor’s candor about her lack of a family comes as refreshing. She never tries to pretend that success does not come with costs. While she does live a very fulfilling life, Sotomayor tells us truthfully of what she had to do to achieve her goals.
“I knew that I wanted to be an independent woman with my own career and successful in whatever I chose to do. Could I have had that and had children? Many women do. Can you have it all every minute of the day? No.” That’s one of Sotomayor’s best qualities; she’s not afraid to share the reality of it all. She shares her harsh childhood, her excruciating work to get her to where she is and even her regrets. We don’t feel sorry for Sotomayor, we feel overwhelmingly inspired by her.
5 Sotomayor doesn’t feel sorry for herself either. She still feels hopeful for love.
Another part of her life that Sotomayor shares with us is her failed marriage. She divorced her high school sweetheart in 1983 but she has not given up hope for finding her next great love. Her mother fell in love again late in life and Sotomayor admits to wondering if that will happen to her, but the man will have to wait. “To have a romance you have to have time. The guy’s gonna have to wait until I’m a little bit freer.”
What may be the most beautiful thing about Sotomayor is that she never limits herself. “I haven’t finished growing yet…I’m young at heart, young in spirit and I’m still adventurous.” This woman, who has never let anything hold her back, isn’t going to start now. Her story is one of candid truthfulness, struggle, success and hope. If we learn anything from her it should be to never give up, no matter what the obstacle so that maybe we too could find that we’ve “gone further than any dream you ever had.”
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Ever stash your cell phone in your bra?
Do you worry about your risk of breast cancer?
Everyday I see women walking around LA with phones tucked into the front of their bras or with noticeable rectangular bulges poking out from under their armpits.There’s even a new bra (by Joey Bra) on the market with a pocket designed large enough for a phone!
But is this easy and convenient way to carry our personal digital assistants a risky idea?
I was surprised at what I found when I took a closer look at the issue. Although studies have examined the connection between brain cancer and holding a cell phone to your head, no one has researched whether tucking one next to breast flesh might increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer. But doctors, and many others, think we should be investigating this possibility.
How can cell phones damage breast health?
The US government’s National Cancer Institute advises: “Cell phones emit radio frequency energy, a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, which can be absorbed by tissues closest to where the phone is held.”
The Environmental Working Group (EWG.org) has long been advocating for more rigorous safety standards to meet newer cell phone technologies. In their “Guide to Safer Cell Phone Use” they warn consumers to “hold [the] phone away from your body.”
Even the makers of the Blackberry and iPhone caution that their products should not be placed next to the skin. A CNN Health report adds that these recommendations are made because “the further the phone is from the body, the less radiation is absorbed.”
Dr. John West, of the Breast Care and Imaging Center in Orange, California, believes he has seen evidence of such a link in his practice. He wonders whether women who regularly carry their phones in their bras are increasing their risk of developing certain cancers. In his YouTube video called “Cell Phone Radiation & Breast Cancer”, he urges the public to demand more rigorous scientific research. Reading through the comments on the video, I was struck by one person’s observation that a number of women walking in a Susan G. Komen fundraiser had cell phones visibly stowed in their sports bras!
Even if you don’t buy Dr. West’s theory, it is worth paying attention to phone manufacturer warnings. Women should keep their cell phones out of direct contact with their breasts. This may be even more important for young women and teen girls whose sensitive breast tissue is still developing. It is this population, and those with a genetic link to breast cancer, whose breast health is put in danger by early exposure to radiation.
Former US Presidential candidate, Rep. Dennis Kucinich is calling for US legislation that would require warning labels on cell phones and that would list radiation levels.
What do you think?
Will you keep your phone out of your bra and away from your breasts?