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Can Pinterest Change Your Life?

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Can Pinterest Change Your Life?
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Whether it's a cute new workout top, a quote from Jillian Michaels, a fun healthy recipe or even a picture of Ryan Gosling (rawr!), research has shown that making a "vision board" with pictures of things that inspire you to live healthier are more effective than writing goals on a piece of paper or just resolving to do them in your mind. Enter the website Pinterest - a virtual peg board of all your favorite things - that combines this powerful tool with the fun of social media. Simply sign up (it's free!), start "pinning" and then check out what others have pinned and share your healthy inspirations.

Carla Birnberg, a social media expert and fitness Mizfit, explains, "For me the use of a vision board has been life changing. It compelled me to think about my life, my goals, what I stood for, what I wanted in a lofty and intangible sense and what I wanted in a concrete and even monetary sense." Her tip for using Pinterest to its healthiest advantage: Make†a separate "gratitude" pin board (Pinterest allows you to categorize your pins) to remind you of all the great things in your life.

While Pinterest can be a powerful tool, you have to be careful of what messages you are sending yourself cautions body image expert and health writer Leslie Goldman. "A virtual vision board could absolutely boost your body image if used in the right way. That means resisting the urge to 'pin' images of models with airbrushed, unattainable bodies and instead choose images that are realistic and healthy. You could also include beautiful food porn (a glistening, tree-ripe apple; creamy greek yogurt drizzled with honey and berries) or feel-good images like an "I am beautiful" sticker, a baby (to represent innocence and a time when we didn't judge ourselves), a strong, beautiful woman you love, etc. This sort of visualization can help you tap into all sorts of †emotions and motivations. Just like an Olympic track athlete might work with a sports psychologist to visualize herself crossing the finish line first, you can use these images to see yourself in a winning position."

For me, Pinterest has been a gold mine of healthy inspirations. Just today I got a recipe for a healthy mint-watermelon sorbet, a new hairstyle to keep my sweaty hair out of my face at the gym (Heidi braids!) and a picture of a vintage dress that makes me grin every time I look at it.

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