Why Is My Doctor Pushing Birth Control on Me?

Photo by Pexels

I hate going to the doctor’s, but I dragged myself to see a doctor last week to check out a rash (it was harmless) and get an annual physical exam. As usual, the doctor spent a few minutes trying to convince me to go on birth control. I refused for a litany of reasons, the first being that I do not see the benefits of permanently altering my hormones when I’m not in a relationship or sexually active. I explained to the doctor that I tried birth control in the past, and I ended up with persistent acne as a result. She shrugged slightly (who cares about having severe acne right?) and said that I didn’t need to take hormonal birth control because there are other options. She then, trying to further convince me to go on the Pill, asked me what I would do if I found out I was pregnant in the next year. I said that it would be great, seeing as though I’m already 27 years old and my eggs are going to go bad in a few years. Then she stopped pestering me about the Pill.

I always thought it was strange that doctors have tried to convince me to get on birth control, but I didn’t understand how bizarre it was until I reviewed my medical bill and saw that the doctor listed our birth control conversation as a medical service!

The bill said:

You Were Diagnosed with: Encounter for contraceptive surveillance

At no point did I ask to have a birth control conversation with my doctor. Why did the office bill my insurance company for that conversation? What in the world is going on? How does a doctor benefit from convincing a woman to go on birth control? Blood clots have been linked to hormonal birth control pills, not to mention strokes, heart attacks and high blood pressure as potential side effects. I remember having mood swings when I took birth control. It turns out that I wasn’t imagining things. Birth control has been shown to cause depression in those who are prone to it.

What’s worse is that hormonal birth control can impact your ability to attract and connect with the right partner. A study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science followed 118 couples who met while the woman was on hormonal birth control and found that going off the pill impacted how attracted she was to her partner. Why would a doctor want to push a drug that causes all of these side effects on a young woman? And why wouldn’t the doctor at least mention the very serious risks of taking birth control?

Because they are probably getting paid to do so (see Government Will Withhold One-Third of the Records from Database of Physician Payments). …Or. the doctors are just incredibly liberal.

Graphic

Family practice medical practitioners tend to have liberal ideologies (see the graphic), and nonprofit doctors are more likely to support Democrats. After all, the birth control Nazi doctor is located at a non-profit women’s clinic in a low-income neighborhood. In San Francisco, Calif. Yeah, I shouldn’t really be shocked by her behavior…

I’ve also noticed that it is only the female doctor’s that push birth control on me, never any male doctors. It could be that the female doctors are hard-line career-driven pants-pushers and they are not able to fathom having children willy nilly. So, they are then trying to push their same “work first, love second” ideology on me.

Their behavior is offensive on several levels:

  • First, they are assuming that I am having reckless or premarital sex. Contraception makes it easier to have sex outside marriage. By pushing birth control, the doctor is trying her best to support what is essentially immoral behavior.
  • Second, doctors are also assuming that I am interested in putting a harmful substance into my body without taking a second thought.
  • Finally, birth control prevents potential human beings from being conceived, which I may think is morally wrong.

Next time I go to in for a doctor’s visit, I’m going to watch my back.

Read more: 13 Reasons Why I’m Grateful for Strong Men

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The Only Effective Way to Lose Weight

Photo by Torbak Hopper via flickr

The U.S. weight-loss industry earned $20 billion in 2012, which included diet books, diet drugs and weight-loss surgeries. And yet, the number of obese Americans officially outnumbers the number of overweight Americans. We are at epidemic levels of obesity: 68 percent of all Americans are obese or overweight. What is causing this disconnect? It could be that Americans are looking for weight loss answers in all of the wrong places. As a college nutritional science student, I talk about weight-loss strategies and treatments nearly everyday, and I know that there are several indisputable factors that contribute to obesity. Let’s ignore all of the trendy fad diets and weight loss products dominating the weight loss conversation today and talk about weight loss strategies that actually work.

Weight loss is a subject that we at Ladies Again are interested in because health status greatly impacts an individual’s value in the dating and marriage market. It is simple: Healthy, successful men want to date, marry and reproduce with healthy women who can produce and raise healthy offspring. In general, people are looking for partners who will live long and healthy lives, not shortened lives muddled by the consequences of obesity, such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and liver and kidney diseases (obesity may shorten life expectancy up to 14 years). Not to mention that obesity adds up to expensive medical bills (someone has to pay for the doctor’s appointments and medications for diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol). In sum, losing weight is very challenging, but doing so significantly boosts your overall health and value in the dating market. Weight loss is hard, but always worth the effort.

So what causes obesity? Obesity is caused when the amount of energy inputted into the body exceeds the energy released by the body. It is that simple. When excess fat is consumed and not used, the body stores the fat in fat cells of the adipose tissues. As the fat cells accumulate they expand in size. When the excess fat exceeds the fat cells, it is distributed and deposited in vital organs, such as the heart and the liver, which leads to heart failure and fatty liver. The wonderful thing about the body is that is highly adaptable, so when excess fat is consumed, the fat cells increase in number and expand to accommodate. Unfortunately, this also means that when we lose weight, the fat cells only shrink in size, but never in number. This is why people with excess fat tend to regain lost weight rapidly because their fat cells readily fill. This means that we must work very hard to make sure that excess fat cells do not develop.

Aside from genetic variants, there are two major factors for obesity: high overall caloric intake (high proportion sizes) and physical inactivity. Humans have developed to hunt for our meat or walk long distances for fruits and vegetables. Now, it takes no effort to order a Big Mac or a pizza―you don’t even have to leave your house anymore to order food (we really should say “food” in quotation marks since we’re talking about foods filled with trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup and white flours). Unfortunately, high-caloric food is always within close range, and Americans eat this food in abundance. Second, Americans rarely exercise―we drive to our homes, where we eat pizza on the couch while watching television. There is a misconception that humans need to only exercise 30 minutes per day to stay healthy. “People must be physically active if they are to eat enough food to deliver all the nutrients they need without unhealthy weight gain,” wrote Whitney and Rolfers in Understanding Nutrition. To prevent weight gain, the Dietary Reference Intakes recommends 60 minutes of moderately intense (get that heart rate beating) exercise each day. Per day. More exercise is recommended if losing weight is the goal.

There’s a lot of incorrect weight loss advice floating around. The problem with fad diets is that they are difficult to sustain long-term and often promote inadequate diets (our bodies need a certain amount of carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats per day to function). Lose weight too quickly, and you risk losing muscle tissue instead of fat, which is dangerous and defeats the point of dieting to maintain optimal health.

So how do you lose weight the safe way? Try these effective nutritional and physical activity strategies:

Nutrition

Set Reasonable Goals
Understand and accept that losing weight is a challenge, and it is dangerous to lose weight too quickly. The safe rate for weight loss is 0.5 to 2 lbs (or 0.2 or 0.9 kg) per week; or 10 percent of body weight every six months.

Reduce Energy Intake
Obesity is caused by an energy imbalance, where more energy is being consumed than expended. So to lose weight safely, a person must increase activity and reduce food intake by creating a deficit of 300 to 500 calories per day (for people with a BMI of 27 to 35). This will produce a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week, which will make sure that you lose fat but also retain your lean muscle tissue.

Retail Shelf Photo
Shop on the outskirts of the grocery store to avoid junk food.

Emphasize Nutritional Adequacy
Each day, healthy humans need to eat a certain amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats to maintain bodily functioning. Out of all of the calories we consume, 45-65 percent should be carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, whole grains), 20-35 percent should be fats and 10-35 should be protein. You need a balance of all three nutrients.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABCDEFGH[/youtube]Fad diets that tell dieters to reduce carbohydrates never work because we need good carbs to function properly. Too little carbohydrates isn’t good because the body takes proteins and turns them into glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis. Your brain and muscles need glucose from carbs to function! Also, the body cannot process too much protein, so our bodies excrete the amino acids through our urea (this puts stress on our kidneys).

Try to eat a diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and lean protein, such as turkey or seafood. So to lose weight, simply consume less of all of the food you eat, but continue to eat a balanced diet. Do not reduce your proportion of carbohydrates, proteins or fat―only reduce your total caloric intake.

Shop Differently
Bigbox grocery stores tend to put packaged foods in the center of the store. Excluding whole grain pastas and jarred vegetables, most of the valuable nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, lean meats and dairy products are located on the outskirts of the grocery store aisles; the junk foods are all in the center. Try shopping by avoiding the center aisles of your grocery stores. Or simply try shopping at farmer’s markets. Finally, get in the habit of reading nutritional labels. Check for processed sugars, “natural flavors” (which are actually just fragrances) and artery-clogging trans fats.

Minor Tips

A few other nutritional changes you can make:

  • Eat slower: Allow your body to tell your brain that you have reached satiety and are full. Fast eating correlates with higher weights.
  • Drink water: Try to go one week by just drinking water to quench your thirst and nothing else. Why? Because sugar-sweetened beverages have been closely linked to obesity. Also, water, increases fullness and reduces hunger, and consequently reduces energy intake.
  • Don’t eat 3 hours before bed: Your body needs time to process your meal, so don’t eat too late at night.

Finally, think of your body as a temple. Dismiss and ignore empty caloric drinks and snacks. You have too many life goals and things to offer than to put a 700-calorie burger in your body. Your body is too precious to treat it like a garbage can. Remember that the next time you pass by a cupcake shop.

Read Next: Why You Are Failing At Work-Life Balance

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A Time to Wait for Love

Couple embracing

Like many Millennials around the world, I learned a significant amount of information about sex from health and fitness instructors while I was in high school (sex education was actually required in my school district). My mother was grateful that the school system made an effort to teach me and my classmates about safe sex practices and sexually transmitted diseases. I spent most of my sex ed classes reading about the long-term consequences of unintended pregnancies and staring at photos of disease-stricken genitalia.

Condom demonstration.
Condom demonstration.

At best, I learned how to apply a condom to a penis. At worst, I learned that all of my school administrators thought that their students were having reckless sex behind closed doors. At 17, I remember leaving one of those early morning classes feeling like I was the only virgin left in town, and that I needed to hurry to catch up to my more-experienced peers.

What I do not remember discussing during those painfully awkward sex education classes was the subject of love. So much of the lesson was based on the assumption (no, the expectation!) that all of the students were going to engage in careless, casual sex sooner or later. Sure, my teachers covered basic bodily functions and taught us about the insemination process, but none of the adults discussed the importance of being emotionally connected to a partner before deciding to have sex.

At no point did any of the instructors discuss the fact that humans are wired for long-lasting love, not just casual sex. In fact, we have evolved three distinctly different brain systems specifically for love. Helen Fisher is a Rutgers University biological anthropologist and the chief scientific advisor to Chemistry.com who says that casual sex cannot exist because of our brain functionality. She states:

What happens in the brain is, a tiny little factory near the base of the brain called the ventral tegmental area become active, and in some particular cells, called the A10 cells, they begin to make dopamine. Dopamine is a natural stimulant. And from the ventral tegmental area it’s sent too many brain regions, particularly the reward system; the brain system for wanting, for craving, for seeking, for addiction, for motivation and in this case, the motivation to win life’s greatest prize, which is a good mating partner.

Any kind of sexual stimulation of the genitals triggers the dopamine system in the brain and can push you over that threshold into falling in love with that person. And in fact, with orgasm, there’s a real flood of oxytocin and vasopressin, other chemicals in the brain associated with the feeling of deep attachment. So, casual sex is really never casual unless you’re so drunk you can’t remember it; something happens. …So, casual sex is just plain old not casual. Something can happen. You can either fall madly in love with this person, or you can begin a deep sense of attachment to them.

I had forgotten about my sexual education classes completely until my mother stopped by to give me a bag of condoms and flyers she collected at a health conference. There was a flyer in the bag that championed the benefits of pledging abstinence until marriage. If only I had stumbled upon a flyer like that 15 years sooner, when I was in middle school. I’m sharing notes from the flyer:

Why We Are Waiting Until We Are Married to Have Sex…

What Does it Mean to Wait?

  • Saying no to sex until you are married
  • Refusing to participate in sex games in groups or at parties
  • Staying away from oral sex or other kinds of sexual activity

Did You Know?

  • Many teenagers like you are waiting until they are married to have sex
  • Many women who had sex before they were married wish they had waited
  • Every time you have sex you could get a sexually transmitted disease and get pregnant

But I Feel Like I Am Ready to Have Sex…

You might feel as if you are ready to have sex. But are you really sure? Consider all the things that could happen if you have sex before you are married:

  • You will probably disappoint your parents
  • You could get pregnant
  • You could get a sexually transmitted infection
  • You could get your feelings hurt
  • You may have to put your life on hold
Photo by Keener Marketing
Photo by Keener Marketing

All great advice. Unfortunately, like many woman my own age, I learned about the value of waiting to have sex by having poor experiences and witnessing the heartache my friends faced from engaging in casual sex. Now as an adult, I know that casual sex is a terrible idea, especially for vulnerable young women. Why would a rational woman risk pregnancy, HIV, genital warts, loneliness or humiliation from a sex partner they barely know?

If I could talk to a young woman today, I would tout the benefits of abstaining from sex. Or at the very least, I would encourage a young woman to first acknowledge that humans are wired to get attached to their sexual partners and to recognize that casual sex is very risky behavior for women. I’d also tell them to wait to have sex until they feel certain that they know their spouse’s character, motivations, goals, trustworthiness and intentions. Forget about arbitrary third date rules; think instead about how well you know your partner’s character. Are they trustworthy and genuine? Obviously, you can’t figure out a person’s true character by just knowing them for a few dates, or a even a few months. Take your time dating them.

Additionally, it is also a great idea to know your partner’s health status (i.e., do they have Herpes, etc.?). No condom or birth control method offers 100% protection against STDs or pregnancy. Don’t risk your health for someone you barely know. Let’s not also forget that premarital sex takes away an incentive for men to get married or commit to you.

As a society, I think we have had enough of the misguided notion that casual sex is normal, healthy behavior. It is time for ladies to take the time to wait for love, not sex.

Read more: There are Better Ways to Overcome Discrimination

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How to Avoid Being Accidentally Childless

Photo by marty hadding via Flickr
Photo by gadgetdude via flickr
Photo by gadgetdude via flickr

If you’re reading this, are you a young woman in high school or your early twenties? Then we can guess that you must also feel empowered to pursue your independence, life goals and career aspirations. The whole world is your oyster! You want to travel, date around, drink til your heart’s content and dance til your feet hurt. Eventually you want to get married and have a family, but you want to leave those heavy topics for much, much later, like maybe for your late thirties or forties when the timing is just right. Life is for living now!

If you agree with any of the above, you have been misled. You have sipped from the reality-rejecting, feminist-propaganda-swindling sippie cup. And, unfortunately, you will not understand that you are confused until you are older and it is often too late to go back. I know this because I used to have the same thoughts. Women in developed nations across the world just like you have been told by older generations of women to pursue own their dreams and goals before getting married, and to avoid settling down at all costs. Feminists have encouraged women through books, lectures and public policies to build their own lives before getting married.

Popular culture shows and films, such as Sex and the City, Ally McBeal, Grey’s Anatomy and Foxy Brown, have glorified the joys of being young, fun and independent women. Every year, the music industry pushes out feel-good “empowered” pop songs, which usually end up being mega hits. For instance, the Destiny’s Child song “Independent Women” held the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for eleven consecutive weeks in 2000. And I don’t think I can list all of the Pitbull-esque “live like there’s no tomorrow” hit songs that have been released in the past few decades.

Advertisement: CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT A NATURAL CURE TO INFERTILITY

But for all of the cheers for “strong and empowered” working women, nothing seems to soothe the concerns of middle-aged women who have just realized that they no longer have the option to conceive a child. Women are now waking up to the reality that they made a mistake by prioritizing work (and their independence) ahead of their family goals. In an NPR interview, Barbara Collura, president/CEO of Resolve, the National Infertility Association, sums up the misguided sentiments shared by career women nicely:

“Let’s be honest, women don’t want to hear that they can’t have it all. We can have a great job, we can have a master’s degree, we don’t need to worry about child-bearing because that’s something that will come. And when it doesn’t happen, women are really angry.”

Infertility Graph

Collura says the first thing (infertile) women say is “Why didn’t anybody tell me this?” That’s a good question. One study (pdf) found that women think that the chance of a 30-year-old getting pregnant in one try is 80 percent, while in reality it’s less than 30 percent. For a 40-year-old, many assumed up to a 40 percent success rate. It’s actually less than 10 percent.

Why are so many women confused about fertility? I have a few ideas:

      1. Fertility discussions go against two feminist ideals: First, feminists believe men and women are completely equal androgynous beings (ugh), so any discussion about biological differences is considered disruptive. Second, feminists want to prove that women can and should be as successful as men, and any talk of women slowing down their careers for their families is forbidden.
      2. Any attempt to teach women about fertility has been silenced. Sex education classes in schools only talk about preventing pregnancies, but say nothing about the reality that women will not always be able to get pregnant (and must plan their lives accordingly). Collura says “A decade ago, a campaign by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine sparked a vicious backlash. Ads on public buses in several big cities featured a baby bottle shaped like an hourglass, to warn women their time was running out. But women’s rights groups called it a scare tactic that left women feeling pressured and guilty.”
      3. The media has made the single life look all too good. Shows about single working women are cool, flashy and fashion-forward, while shows about married life are glum and depressing. Husbands are made to look like bumbling idiots on every family TV show.

Thinking about fertility early is important for several reasons. First, women have only so much time to have children. If you wait too long, you may get lucky enough to have one child, but any more than that is unlikely to happen. Second, if you desire to have children, you need to plan for the physical and emotional commitments that go into raising a child (six months of maternity leave will not usually be enough time—plan for taking off several years to bond with your child. This means that you need to select the right spouse). Third, you want to think about fertility because you want to have healthy children. The most common risk factor for Down syndrome is maternal age (read this chart). Fourth, if you wait too long, you might have to face taking care of your teenage children at the same time as you have to care for your aging parents. Yikes. Finally, fertility treatments are expensive (the average cost of a fertility intervention is $25,000) and sometimes unsuccessful.

So what can women do differently today?

First, educate yourself and other women about the importance of thinking about fertility. As psychologist Meg Jay says in her book The Defining Decade: Why your twenties matter—and how to make the most of them now. “Thirty is not the new twenty.” Understand that your fertility drops every year. Teach young women to plan wisely while they are young and fertile.

Second, plan your own life carefully. If you are considering pursuing a new career or starting a new relationship, ask yourself: How many hours will I need to work per week at the peak of my career? If I had to, could I work part-time in my current career field? Does the person I’m dating have the same family goals as me?

It might be helpful for a woman who is switching careers to draw a timeline of the life she wants for herself. For instance, if a woman who is 24 years old, single and wants children is considering going to college, how will she balance graduating from school, getting hired, finding a husband, marrying and giving birth within the next few years? Especially if her goal is to have several children before her fertility sharply declines at 30? Developing a timeline will help young women live the lives they want to live in the future.

Read next: 20 Facts about Sex and Dating Feminists Don’t Want You To Know

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My 4-Hour Body Plan | Eat like Ground Hogs Day

"to eat or not to eat" by daniellehelm via flickr
“to eat or not to eat” by daniellehelm via flickr

I read somewhere a long time ago that the best way to lose weight is to stick to a routine (i.e eat the same things every day).

I’ve heard this same piece of advice over and over again over the years from different successful dieters.

My guess is that keeping a routine creates discipline and consistency.

I have not been applying this piece of advice, but after failing at weight lost for the past 4 months, I have decided that it’s worth a shot.

via fourhourworkweek.com
via fourhourworkweek.com

My sister recently emailed me some blog posts from The 4 Hour Workweek blog, and I have decided to implement these strategies.

I will link to the articles below for your reference.

Here is my plan that has come out of reading these articles:

First of all the rules:

  1. No fruit
  2. No white “starchy” carbs
  3. Drink only water
  4. Eat the same meals every day
  5. Have one “cheat day” where you can eat anything you want.

So, for me my plan is to eat:

B- Eggs, beans and veggies

L- Turkey, beans and veggies

S- nuts and veggies

D- Fish, beans and veggies

 Have you found that variety or monotony was more effective in your weight loss journey? Please share in the comment section below!

Read Next: Healthy Again | Join the Revoluion…Follow My Journey

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Weight loss Journey Update | #Positivethinspo

It’s been a while since I have updated this blog with regards to my weight loss/health journey.

I have not been doing well with my weight loss journey.

I am sure these two are correlated (i.e. not blogging and doing poorly).

I don’t know if I have not been blogging, because I have not been doing well or if I have not been doing well, because I have not been keeping up with blogging.

I know a lot of bloggers and vloggers who say that they do best when they are updating their viewers.

What keeps me hopeful, is the knowledge that habits take time to cultivate.

For this reason I will not give up.

I will not give up trying to get into the habit of updating regularly, and I will not give up trying to get into the habit and mindset of fitness.

positive thinspo I shared today
positive thinspo I shared today

If you recall, there was a period of time when I was trying to stay motivated and get into a warrior mindset, by punishing myself when I did not stick to my weight loss commitments as well as rewarding myself when I did.

I tried to get my social media followers involved as well for accountability.

Now, I have decided to add another element to my social media campaign.

#Positivethinspo is a hashtag that I don’t see very often.

I see a lot about #thinspo which is used by the ana/mia crowd (of which I used to be one) who glorify eating disorders and share tips about how to lose weight in unhealthy ways.

I left this self-destructive culture, because many of these people are depressed and often suicidal.

If you are curious about my experience, I wrote a book about it which can be found here —> click here

Now, I am learning to have more positive ideas of body image and learning healthier methods of losing weight, which I will share as much as possible here and on by social media accounts as I go on my weight loss journey.

At the height of my extreme weight loss, I lost about 70 pounds in less than a year (22 pounds of which was lost during an extended water fast that lasted 24 days).

My writing partner (known on Ladies Again as Lilac Blue) is very slender. In fact, in my opinion, her body is comparable to many of the “thinspo” pics the ana/mia community posts and are willing to die for (literally). However, I have watched her eat…(and she eats!) and she definitely does not deprive herself. However, she is aware of and careful about what she consumes.

I know that she has been to a naturopath and been allergy tested due to gluten sensitivity.

And before you conclude that gluten is what you should be giving up, I’ve seen fat people who don’t eat gluten!

Being healthy takes discipline no matter how you slice it!

There is no quick fix or one size fits all solution.

I look forward to sharing more of my journey to good health with you all.

Follow me on twitter @fastinggirl for updates and #positivethinspo tweets!

Love you all!

Are you currently on a fitness journey? If you have one, we would love to know your current routine. It might help motivate someone. Please share in the comment section below!

Read Next: #Bingeconfessions, #fattyslap and accountability

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True Christians are Real Ladies

What Jesus taught me about becoming a Lady Again

Photo credit: DSC_9191 via photopin
Photo credit: DSC_9191 via photopin

In the last year or so, I have become a part of a church community that heavily promotes Bible reading and prayer. This is significant, because I have been to many churches that do not intentionally encourage it’s members to engage in these fundamental practices of Christianity.

Similarly noteworthy is the fact that the church consists of a predominant (and immediately observable) young adult population. I mean, you walk into this church and you think “am I on a college campus?!” These are all young professional men and women, reading Bibles and committing to “The Lord’s work”.

Since I started to attend this church I have seen more women become engaged, or begin committed romantic relationships on the path to marriage, than I have experienced in any other circle of friends I have had in my life (except on facebook, but in those cases the word “friends” is loosely defined and I have over 1000 of them). That being said, many of these relationships seem quite happy and fulfilled.

Additionally, I have attended several sermons and/or workshops where the focus is “commitment” or “love”, or some other important factor of effectual relationships. I realized quickly from observing the women (and men) at this church, that I (and most of us) are doing things wrong, and that’s why we’re so unhappy with our lives.

Many Christian values promoted in the church, are things I have thought about or was told, but never implemented into the way I do things. I think the difference is that these are “old school” values that many people have rejected as irrelevant or oppressive, but which promote the effective application of many of the creature comforts our society most cherishes including:

  • committed relationships
  • financial stability
  • peace of mind
  • security
  • health
Photo credit: Без названия via Photopin.com
Photo credit: Без названия via Photopin.com

It’s interesting that these are things that we all want out of life, and in fact they are things that history has demonstrated determines our very survival, but we continue to try to create new rules to achieve these things. Then, when our new rules fail us, we decide that it’s our human nature that’s got it wrong and we try to fix ourselves (which leads to more problems).

What I have learned is that there are core values that the Bible teaches that help us to achieve those things that give us (and for the sake of this blog, I’m talking about ladies), the creature comforts most of us claim to desire in life. These values are:

  • Commitment: The Bible encourages commitment, and I have heard many leaders at this church preach commitment many times. The idea behind commitment is that “life is hard”, period. When you commit to things (in work, romance, faith, etc.) and persevere through trials, you will find fulfillment and often times peace.
  • Humility: This church is big on the passage in Philippians 2 that praises how Jesus “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but humbled himself as a servant…” I have come to believe that there is absolutely no way a woman can have peace in a committed relationship without humility. (Men as well, but we’re talking about women here).
  • Service: It talked about Jesus being a servant. The Bible also uses words like “submit” and “obey” which a lot of people today feel are “dirty words”. But Jesus said that he came “not to be served, but to serve”.
  • Selflessness: The opposite of this is selfishness, which makes people do things to benefit themselves with no concern for the welfare of others. I do not see how one can live in community (peacefully) without this value.
  • Forgiveness: Recognizing that nobody is perfect, and that we all need to lovingly be encouraging to one another seems, to me, to be so important for those things that promote “good living”.

I could go on and on with values like patience and perseverance that are also taught in the Bible, but in the interest of brevity, I’ll leave it here.

Not saying that people outside of the church do not esteem these same values, but the difference between those in the church and those outside of the church is that those in the church (specifically those who fully embrace the idea of “Christ-likeness” in these ways) attach their very identities to these core values. Many non-Christians or uncommitted Christians may see the appropriateness of these values, but either:

  • don’t identify with them
  • don’t find these values realistic to embrace
  • are unsure about the benefits of these values
  • or have any of a number of limiting beliefs that make it hard to embrace and/or apply these values.

That is unfortunate, because I feel that embracing these values, along with prayer and Bible study has changed my life (and health) in ways that are so far reaching that it’s difficult to describe. However, I will do my best to discuss some of these in future articles.

Question of the Day: Do you think the world can do better without Christian values? Why or why not?

 

Read Next: A Letter to Haters

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My Four-Prong Approach to Becoming a Lady Again

Photo credit: Jill Glindermann, winner of the Sun Girl Quest at Suttons Beach, 1953 via photopin
Photo credit: Jill Glindermann, winner of the Sun Girl Quest at Suttons Beach, 1953 via photopin

In October 2014, I joined the Ladies Again team with the agenda of embracing my femininity in order to achieve my goals.

With my birthday coming up in a little over a month, I have been thinking a lot about how far I have come on this journey. The answer is: not that far.

I’ve begun posts about getting healthy again, finding a husband, making money and revamping my image. However, in all honesty, I have not kept on top of my new commitment to the extent that I had hoped.

  • I have not lost any weight (I may have gained some).
  • I have not had a steady and healthy romantic relationship.
  • My career is on shaky ground (and I’m broke).
  • I’m sitting here wearing an old t-shirt with grease stains on it.

However, what I have accomplished is:

I have made these small strides in the past 4 months, but now I’m ready to take a few leaps. Here is my plan to make that happen.

I will be focusing my Ladies Again journey on four main areas:

Number 1: Career Goal: To become a home business

  • We at Ladies Again recognize how hard it is for a woman to feel empowered in her femininity when she is tied down to a traditional career (Punching the clock is often incompatible with raising a family). I personally, have no interest on selling my family time to a faceless corporation that I probably hate. So, for this reason, one of my goals is to empower myself by doing something I have always dreamed of (i.e. become an entrepreneur). I feel that doing this will make me happier, healthier and give me more freedom to nurture healthy relationships.
Couple embracing. Photo credit: Mirando al mar via photopin
Photo credit: Mirando al mar via photopin

Number 2: Marriage Goal: To be in a meaningful romantic relationship by December of 2015

  • Playing the tomboy role and chasing my career my whole life has left me lonely and awkward at 30 years old. For this reason, I have some catching up to do. Utilizing dating advice, resources and maybe even websites, I intend to put myself out there in a meaningful way and record my process here on Ladies Again.
  • I will be using dating techniques from various books which I will review and discuss on this blog. My first book selection is Get the Guy, which is a book written by Matthew Hussey, a man (and dating coach) that I first discovered on youtube about a year ago. Look out for my review and discussions about how I’m applying the ideas in that book in later blog posts.

Number 3: Beauty Goal: To achieve a more feminine appearance and embrace my natural feminine physical strengths

  • This is crucial to the execution of my marriage goal and plays into my health goal as well

Number 4: Health Goal: To steadily and consistently lose weight until I reach 125 lbs

This is merely a brief overview of my four pronged approach to becoming a Lady Again. I hope to go into further details on these goals in future articles. So, stay tuned!

What steps are you taking to meet your objectives this year? Leave a comment or a question. We would love to hear from you and we would love to help!

Read next: Why I Decided to Become a Lady Again

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Healthy Again: Beginning My Half Marathon Journey

My 31st birthday will be on April 7th 2015. That’s about six months away.

This morning I was having a very long conversation with my very good friend and roommate, much of the content of which will become fodder for future articles on this site.

One of the things we discussed was the importance of a vision.

We concluded that it is not always necessary to know the road that will lead to the manifestation of your vision, but ultimately what is most important is having the end goal in sight.

As much as a talk about being a housewife or stay-at-home mom as noble professions, I am in no way endorsing a woman’s total dependence on a man or children for her sense of worth. I definitely believe that a woman should have a clear perspective of how she sees herself and how she wants to be viewed.

That being said, in my post about why I decided to become a lady again, I mentioned vaguely that I had weight loss and image goals.

I realized a while ago that in today’s world, there are plenty of women who have relationships and children who are less pretty and more fat than I am. However, I have also made the decision that I will never compare myself to any other women, but to myself.

I do not believe that the way you look weighs very heavily on how much of a lady you are, but I do believe that who you are as a lady is affected by the way you look.

Let’s face it, the way people treat you affects the way you behave and the way you carry yourself affects the way people treat you.

For this reason, I believe every woman should take a clear and sober inventory of who they believe they are and how they are perceived.

Furthermore, as one of my goals involves marriage, my fitness goals and my romantic goals are reciprocally intertwined. I think there is a lot you can tell from the way a man treats a well-kept woman versus an ungroomed woman.

Some men treat well-kept women better than ungroomed women. Depending on who you are you may or may not be flattered when these types of men show you attention.

Some men treat ungroomed women with more kindness than well-kept women. This too might be an appealing quality to you.

I prefer a man who treats all women with respect, but has chosen to adore me.

However, because he adores me, I think I would want to give him the gift of a sexy and physically fit woman.

So, in order to achieve this, I have decided for the rest of my life to set “birthday goals”. These goals are things that I can accomplish every year to keep me sharp and classy.

Also, I’m not a gold-digger, but I hope to marry a man who is financially well-off. (More on this in future posts.) I have read in various books about marrying wealthy men and observed from the high profile men in the media that men who do well often marry women who look good. More often than not when a wealthy man marries an overweight or unkempt woman, they have a history that goes back farther than the man’s wealth does. So, since I am not currently dating a diamond in the rough, I’m going to go ahead and “get right” so I can catch a big fish.

All this to say that I have decided today that I’m going to start setting yearly fitness goals (as well as goals of other kinds). My goal by my 31st birthday next year is to run a half marathon.

I have found this marathon near me: http://www.marathonguide.com/races/racedetails.cfm?MIDD=1923150404 which will occur near my birthday (April 4th) and I’m setting this as a goal to complete with my friend.

We have also found  5 month half marathon training program here: http://www.halfmarathons.net/20-week-half-marathon-training-schedule/

I have also always desired to switch to a plant based diet and I want to attempt it during this time so in searching for a “vegan runner’s diet”, I stumbled upon this: http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-runners/eat-vegan-run?page=single

My goal is to update this blog weekly with regards to my progress on this goal (including which days I slacked and which days and rocked it) as well as revelations and reflections about femininity and it’s implications on what I’m doing and then once a month (most likely the Sunday of the week of the 7th of every month until the race) I hope to update this blog with “body shots” and measurements for comparison along the road of my fitness journey.

The following is where I’m beginning. Consider this Day Zero.

Measurements
Starting Weight: 223.2
Current Weight: 223.2
Goal Weight #1: 213.2
Birthday Goal Weight: 163.2

Bust Size: 112cm
Stomach Size: 115cm
Arm circumference: 36cm
Thigh circumference: 69cm
Glutes: 123cm

~::*BEFORE Pictures*::~

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