An App That Helps You Accept Your Body

Our mission at LightArrow is to build intel­li­gent, world-class soft­ware prod­ucts that dra­mat­i­cally improve our cus­tomers’ every­day lives. That’s why we built the LifeTopix app to be flexible enough to support the goals that are important to our customers. We’ve found that a goal for many people, especially moms and teens, is to achieve a positive body image — and to live a healthy life. The following video is a followup to Eight Ways to Achieve Better Body Acceptance.

You can find LifeTopix at the App Store.

Eight Ways to Achieve Better Body Acceptance

It’s possible to accept and love your body without fitting into the stereotypes that Hollywood and the fashion industry dictates is ideal. It’s not about extreme dieting techniques and spending hours at the gym risking possible injury and resulting in neglected responsibilities. Don’t get me wrong. Healthy nutritional habits and regular exercise should be part of your life’s routine, but accepting your body is key to living a productive, happy, and fulfilling life. Imagine your body is a family member, child, or friend. If you set the same standards for your own body as you would for a child, you will be more cognizant of the way you treat it.

Body Acceptance

1. Limit your exposure to media about beauty

Do you ever feel bad about yourself after a visit to the hair or nail salon because you’ve spent the time flipping through the fashion magazines? According to MirrorMirror.org, “the average female fashion model wears a size two or four, for instance, while the average American woman wears a size 12 to 14.” It’s difficult to avoid comparing ourselves to the images that we see in the magazines, but you must understand they don’t represent the average American woman.

You might know about the famous study by Anne E. Becker, Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School about the impact of Western television on Fijan adolescent girls. If you’re unfamiliar with this study, it concluded that there was a dramatic increase of disordered eating among girls in Fiji during a three year period in which Western television programming was introduced. This study reinforces the thoughts that media exposure to images of beautiful women has a profound effect on the self esteem of women — especially adolescent girls.

Limiting your exposure to the fashion magazines and television programming about fitness and beauty will result in improved body image and acceptance. Try something different. During downtime, try listening to TedTalks; read a fun or inspirational novel; or work on a hobby such as drawing, knitting, or writing. For example, divert your attention to something inspirational or nurture your creativity.

2. Avoid processed foods and prepare your own meals

Processed foods are difficult to digest and they don’t offer much nutritional value; therefore, they leave you feeling sluggish and bloated. If you have low energy, you spend less time doing the things that you want to do, which can lead to a depressed mood and poor body image. When you feed your body the right way, it will love you back — like a trusted friend.

Your body will thank you if you limit processed foods and eat a simple diet. A diet based on fruits, cheeses, vegetables, nuts, eggs, seeds, fish, whole grains, and lean meats will give you energy and improve your mood. It’s easy — eat simple, fresh, unaltered, nutritious food. Humans were not meant to eat from a styrofoam package or aluminum can.

3. Understand Your Personal Healthy Weight

Striving to be a healthy weight will boost your self esteem and body image. Understand that your healthy weight might not be what you think it is. For example, if you’re attempting to emulate the images of the fashion models in the magazines instead of determining a healthy weight for your age, size, and body type, it can lead to a poor self image. If you want to understand how to calculate your personal BMI (Body Mass Index), you can refer to this handy BMI calculator at WebMD. If you find that your BMI is not ideal, understand that carrying extra weight or being underweight is risky for your health. The motivation for changing your lifestyle to lose or gain fat is based on health, rather than external beauty and societal pressure.

4. Reward your fitness accomplishments and accept your limitations

According to Rodale.com, researchers at the University of Florida Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology found that exercise improved body image — regardless of any physical, post-exercise changes. And body image improved regardless of how long or frequently the participants in the study exercised.

If you’re healthy and you can run marathons, participate in triathlons, or work out on a regular basis, reward your body by nurturing it with hydration, vitamins, and healthy foods. Feel great about your strength and motivation — and be grateful for your abilities.

If you have health challenges, injuries, or time constraints, accept and reward your smaller efforts. Don’t compare yourself to others. You don’t need extreme workouts to benefit from exercise. According to the American Heart Association, “walking for as few as 30 minutes a day provides heart health benefits” and “studies show that for every hour of walking, life expectancy may increase by two hours.”

5. Write down something positive every day

There’s some controversy about whether or not positive affirmations work. But common sense tells me that many of us have negative thoughts and hear negative things from others every day. How do you counteract those negative messages? Try creating positive thoughts and messages and recording them every day. Look in the mirror and find something about yourself that you love — your hair, your eyes, your nose, or even your toes. Write it down. Did a friend or family member compliment you? Then, record it. Remind yourself of realities — models are Photoshopped; perfection is a myth; you CAN run a 5K; or anything else that makes you feel good about yourself. Write it down and read it when you’re having a bad body image day.

6. Balance your inner and outer beauty

Would you love your spouse, partner, or best friend any less if they gained ten pounds? Then why do you love yourself less? Stop beating yourself up — your body does not define who you are. Think about the people who inspire you. Is it because of their amazing six packs? Most likely, no — think about role models such as Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Junior, or Steve Jobs. We admire them for their kindness, insight, perseverance, and creativity — not their outer shell.

7. Stop waiting to do things you really want to do until you lose weight

How many times have you avoided a beach vacation, a night out with friends or family, or a summer party because of your negative body image? Engaging in activities that make you feel good and connecting with other people can improve your body image. Trust me, your friends and family love you unconditionally for who you are — not your body size.

8. Wear outfits that make you feel good about yourself

When you’re feeling bad about yourself, get out of your pajamas and put on a flattering outfit. Avoid tight or overly-baggy clothes. My secret weapon is bootcut or trouser jeans, high heels, and a cinched or belted, tailored jacket. The flared leg of the boot cut or trouser jean balances out a larger, curvier hip. The cinched jacket gives the illusion of a smaller waist. And, of course, the perfect pair of heels can subtract many imperfections. I often go to Pinterest for style inspiration from real women like me. Find style that suits you.

You might be wondering how you can use technology to stick to these healthy habits. In a future post, I’ll explain how the LifeTopix app can help you record positive thoughts and messages, log your feelings about your body image, track your nutrition and exercise, derive correlations between your emotions and actions, and much more.

Please comment about how you maintain your healthy body image or about your struggles with it. Thanks for reading!

Getting Organized After Your Travels — Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of our three part series that covers man­ag­ing your trips and travel with the Life­Topix app. In this series, we’ve been fol­low­ing Polly on her bird­ing trip on the coast of North­ern Cal­i­for­nia. Polly has returned from her travels, and a brand new year is underway. It’s important for her to get back to her regular routine, and to get acclimated to her work and personal obligations.

Enjoy the fol­low­ing slideshow to get an understanding of how Life­Topix can help Polly combat post-vacation blues, organize her life quickly and simply, and settle back into her normal life and routine.

[This SlideShare was cre­ated using Life­Topix 5.2, which is com­ing soon.]

Create post-vacation to-do lists

Like Polly, most people have a multitude of chores and tasks that pile up while they’re on vacation. Keeping everything you do in one place will make sure that you don’t forget anything important — like picking up Mr. Jinxy from the vet!

Stock the kitchen

After return­ing from a vaca­tion, the refrig­er­a­tor and cup­boards might be bare. Prepa­ra­tion is key. Make sure you have frozen meals stocked before­hand so you have some­thing to eat as soon as you arrive home. Next, cre­ate a shop­ping list and sched­ule time to pur­chase gro­ceries. After eat­ing at restau­rants for an extended period of time, your bud­get might be low and your waist­line might be expand­ing. Home-cooked meals will help solve both issues.

Re-establish a routine

Sometimes it’s an adjustment after travel and holidays to re-establish your normal routine. You’re accustomed to the freedom and enjoyment of doing what you want to do and when you do it. When you return to reality, using software  to schedule your appointments, create your post-vacation to-do lists, monitor your energy level and nutrition, and delegate tasks will help you feel in control of your life.

Keep your energy level up

Taking care of yourself is important after travel because, like Polly, you might be feeling a little deflated. Taking vitamins, drinking water, avoiding highly-processed foods, and re-establishing your exercise routine will help you stay energized. With LifeTopix you can log and track these items and monitor any trends.

Share your experience with friends and reminisce about the good times

LifeTopix makes sharing your travel experience with your friends easy. Your journal, favorite destinations, photos, websites, and people you met are all kept in one place. And with the social media and email sharing of LifeTopix, you can share experiences in just a few taps.

Tweet Us!

We honestly hope this helps you combat post-vacation disorganization and blues. We welcome your questions and comments!

Or even better, send us a tweet @LightArrowInc

13 Ways LifeTopix Can Improve Your Life in 2013

What are your goals for 2013? Everyone wants to live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life — but how do you get there? We’ve compiled a list of 13 ways that the LifeTopix calendar, productivity, and organization app can help you do more. The result? Get more done, reduce stress, and spend more time doing the things you really want to do.

1. Improve your nutrition

After the holidays, many of us are mortified when we step on the scale. Perhaps you can relate and you’re wanting to make better food choices and to maintain a healthy weight in 2013. LifeTopix can help you track your food consumption. For example, you can record and view the calories, protein, solid fats, alcohol, desserts, or almost any other item that you’re consuming each day in a graphical format. As an example, in the LifeTopix Health + Activity topic, you can use the LifeTopix Nutrition Log Forms to view the maximum number of calories that you’ve set to make sure you’re not exceeding this number. Or, if your goal is to eat more vegetables or protein, you can set this too!

2. Get your health under control

Ignoring health issues can have serious consequences. LifeTopix includes many features for tracking your health stats. Are you dealing with hypertension and your doctor has asked you to log your blood pressure? Are you anemic and you need to track your blood count? Do you have sleep problems and you want to track your sleep quality? LifeTopix can handle these items and many more via the LifeTopix Medication Log and Wellness Log in the LifeTopix Health + Activity topic.

3. Take vitamins and medications consistently

Do you have good intentions about taking your vitamins and prescription medications, but frequently forget to take them or cannot remember if you’ve taken them? With some medications, it’s imperative that you’re taking them each day, and sometimes even at the same time each day. With the LifeTopix Medication Log form in the LifeTopix Health + Activity topic, you can record your intake of vitamins and medications each day — and the log automatically includes the current date and time when you add a medication entry.

4. Reach your fitness goals

Are you wanting to start a fitness routine, maintain your current fitness level, or bump your fitness up to a new level in 2013? Perhaps you’re training for a triathlon or planning your first marathon. Or, maybe you want to make sure you take a 30 minute walk with your dog each morning. Whatever your fitness level, LifeTopix provides the flexibility for planning and tracking your fitness. You can use the LifeTopix Activity Log Forms in the LifeTopix Health + Activity topic to set and view any type of exercise you wish — and just like nutrition, you can see if you’re reaching those goals via a graphical format.

5. Make shopping trips more efficient

Do you spend hours planning your family meals and shopping at the grocery store? Do you want to spend less time shopping and more time with your family or friends, catching a game, or spending time on your hobbies? If this is one of your goals for 2013, LifeTopix can help. Many of us are creatures of habit so LifeTopix helps you organize the stores you go to frequently and the items you buy most often. You can add the items that you purchase — along with the seller, unit price, unit, quantity, and total price to your master list of products. Then, simply select these items, add them to your lists, and check them off as you buy them. It’s as simple as that.

6. Save money and stick to your budget

After the holidays, you might want to put a little jingle back in your pocket. And with the downturn in the economy, sticking to a budget in 2013 might also be one of your highest priorities. The LifeTopix Finances topic was created for just this reason. Not only can you track all your financial accounts, credit card and debit cards, and investment accounts  — it lets you record the recur­ring bill pay­ments for all the ser­vices you use and the one-time pay­ments you make. You can view all of these pay­ments on your Expenses Calendar. And you can track the things that you sell, such as through a garage sale or ebay. And, as an added bonus, you can track your online coupons in the Shopping topic to help you save a little extra money.

7. Get smart

Whether you’re a student or a professional who’s focusing on their personal growth or professional skills, LifeTopix can help you organize and track the things that you need to further your education. If you’re a student, the Education topic enables you to take notes about education, set up projects and assignments, and add the subjects that you take. As a student, you can create a class schedule and associate a location with each of your classes. Or perhaps you’re a professional who’s obtaining a HIPAA certification, taking graphic design classes to improve your design skills, or becoming a fitness instructor — with LifeTopix, you can utilize personal growth categories to help you track your certifications and training in the LifeTopix Education topic.

8. Be creative

Are you planning to start a new business, write a novel or screenplay, or compose music in 2013? Have you ever had a creative thought related to your job or hobbies, but didn’t catch that idea immediately and then forgot it later? We just can’t predict when a great idea is going to pop into our heads so being prepared through journaling is wise. Mobile devices are amazing for capturing those ideas because we carry them almost everywhere we go. The LifeTopix Notes + Files topic is perfect for this use. You can take notes everywhere you go and if you prefer to use Evernote for note taking, LifeTopix conveniently works with it too.

9. Build relationships

In 2013, one of your goals might be to build business or personal relationships. To build relationships, it’s helpful to record your interactions with friends, family, or colleagues. For example, perhaps you’ve included all your friends’ and family members’ birthdays and you want to ensure you wish them a happy birthday and send them gifts. Through LifeTopix, you can set a reminder, plan the gift you wish to purchase, and automatically add it to a shopping list. Any time you associate a person with an item in LifeTopix, those people are filed under the People + Services topic. The possibilities are endless. You will be the star of your next family reunion. And, LifeTopix works with your iOS contacts so double entry is not necessary.

10. Make more time for yourself

For your well being, it’s a great idea to schedule time for yourself. If you’re the type of person who takes on too much responsibility and needs to share more of it, then LifeTopix is for you. Through the LifeTopix “Discuss” features, you can share your projects, checklists, events, shopping lists, trips, visits, notes, and more. For example, you can create a shopping list and then share it with your spouse. Or you can create a “honey-do” list with chores for your husband. Your spouse can view it via email and then add it to LifeTopix in just one tap.

11. Go paperless and reduce clutter

Is your home office a cluttered mess? Do you want to reduce your consumption and accumulation of paper to reduce your impact on the environment? Do you want to lighten your load when meeting clients or going to the office? If so, LifeTopix is for you. LifeTopix works with popular cloud-based file storage systems such as Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive so you can store all your items digitally — and then associate those documents in the context of your life items within LifeTopix.

12. Get things done

Do you have DIY projects that you want to complete such as organizing your closet, remodeling your kitchen, or landscaping the backyard? Or perhaps you’re planning to build a new website? With LifeTopix, you can plan your projects and tasks with ease. The LifeTopix Tasks + Projects topic gives you the abil­ity to enter, orga­nize, pri­or­i­tize, track, and check off your projects’ tasks.

13. Take a vacation

Now that you’ve saved money, got more done, built up your client base, got your health under control, finished your projects, and lost a few pounds — it’s time to take a vacation. Luckily, with the Life­Topix Travel + Places topic, you can plan your vacation from end-to-end. You can track the dates, set reminders, make packing checklists, set bookmarks to travel websites, and make note of places you want to visit such as restaurants, golf courses, or tourist attractions.

We hope this gives you some ideas of how you can use LifeTopix to improve your life in 2013. Please share and comment! Happy New Year!

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Video Blog: Raise Your Productivity to a Whole New Level

LightArrow believes in providing solutions that naturally support the way people think about the information in their lives — that’s why we’ve created LifeTopix.
“Every once in a while a product comes along that raises your productivity to a whole new level. And so it is with LifeTopix.”

Watch the LifeTopix Video

Life­Topix is a complete productivity app for personal organization. Manage your calendar, tasks/to-dos, projects, notes, files, shopping, finances, household services, people, assets, events, travel, education, health and much more – with a 9-view dashboard, customizable categories and context tags. It works seamlessly with popular online productivity tools such as Dropbox, Google Docs/Drive, Evernote, Toodledo, and other best-in-class applications.

You can find LifeTopix at the App Store.

Video Blog: Get a Head Start on Your 2013 New Year’s Resolutions

To be successful and to achieve your dreams, goal setting is an important step. It fuels your forward progress, and as you make progress it turbocharges your self esteem. In this post, we’ve included tips about how to get started, and a video showing how the LifeTopix app can help you plan, execute, and track your progress.

LifeTopix Can Help

Great news. Whether you’re planning to write a screenplay, lose 10 pounds, run a marathon, or find love in 2013, the LifeTopix calendar app includes everything you need to set goals, make plans, and track your progress. It’s simple. Just watch this short video to learn how.

 

Tips for Reaching Goals

I recommend the following steps to help you achieve your goals. I’ve tried these techniques over the years, and they’ve been very successful for me.

  1. Break up large goals into small goals. Breaking up large goals into smaller goals can help you achieve them. For example, if your goal is to write a novel in 2013, set small goals to reach it, such as “write 10 pages weekly.”
  2. Make a plan. Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” It’s difficult to reach a goal if you don’t know the steps involved in reaching it. For example, if you wish to lose 10 pounds, you must plan your caloric intake and exercise in order to achieve this goal.
  3. Take action. If you fail to take action on the plan that you’ve built, you are unlikely to achieve your goals. Get motivated. Give yourself a pep talk. Do whatever it takes to get there.
  4. Track your progress. Take note of your progress or lack of it. This allows you to adjust your plan as necessary if it’s not working. It also motivates you to stick with the plan if you’re seeing results.

Keep in mind that it’s important to set realistic goals. For example, if your goal in 2013 is to become a multi-millionaire, you might be very disappointed at the year’s end.