Posts Tagged ‘Sexuality’

You’re So Vain….Good Morning Mirror!

Today is the day to see, and own your beauty! YOU are beautiful and I declare it to be so! When is the last time you walked up to your mirror and saw the real beauty shine through?? When is the last time you ALLOWED your true beauty to shine through? Do you walk up to your mirror squinting your face? Or frowning at your reflection?

Yes, sure it has been said if you keep frowning, the frown is going to stick. But, you do not have to accept delivery of that. Turn the frown upside down and SMILE…

Yesterday I spent most of the day at the beach and pool, and I carried some reading material with me. In one of the magazines I was reading about Botox injections.. Botulism in jar, injected into our faces to magically convince us we are relieved of wrinkles… *sigh*

Now for those of you who chose the botox direction and are happy with it, that is wonderful. If that is what it takes to give you a sense of feeling good about yourself, then I will respect that. I just ask that you step back and re-evaluate your reasoning, did the heart get botox injections or the “ego”?

We are taught from an early age that the way we look is just not good enough, we are either too fat, too skinny, too old, too wrinkly, too blah…blah…blah… I see the lips moving but all I hear is blah…blah…blah!

Put on your big girl panties and love yourself exactly as you are right now. It is a beautiful and natural thing to have the desire of wanting to look your best. It’s a great thing to lather face cream all over your face and paint your face up with makeup each morning like a warrior applying face paint. It is a real treat to have our hair washed and done nice at the beauty salon. We all love that right?

BUT…come on now… let me tell you a little secret about me… My ego had been upsized from all those years of eating Big Macs and Ice Cream that for a long time my days were filled with trying to be perfect. I fell prey to my big fat ego telling me I needed botox so I could be “perfect”.. As much as I hate needles I signed up to be injected so I might look younger… *sigh* Guess what for about 6 weeks I had no expression on my face, it wouldn’t move. Then when the six weeks and botox injections faded, I realized there is nothing wrong with my face having some lines on my forehead. It’s a lot of stress trying to be perfect.

Well guess what… I am not perfect… except that I am a perfect imperfection. I have had two babies, spent a lot of time in the sun, and lost 235 pounds…. I have some wrinkles, and they are going to worse in 10 years when I will be turning 50… gasp.. I know it will be here before I know it. How about instead of wasting all that energy worrying about “getting old” we just live life as it happens. It is much easier to live when you don’t place so many expectations on yourself.

TO the media, the Enquirer, the wrinkle patrol, and the van-it-y police PLEASE stop telling women they are wrinkled, that they need botox to be beautiful. Stop looking in your mirror and being a scrooge. It’s not nice to send messages to your reflection that are negative.

We tend to take our mirrors for granted as we busily get ready for work in the morning or prepare for bed at night. We often glance at our reflection but do we really see ourselves? Did you ever think of your mirror as having a soul, reflecting to you your feelings?

Has your mirror ever said “Good morning” to you, or, better yet, have you said “Good morning” to your mirror? When you look in the mirror in the morning, do you see the weight of unresolved problems carried in your mind through the night? “wrinkles” Or do you see the smiling face as you anticipate joy in the coming day? Your smile, your frown, your eyes, your dreams, your heart’s desire are all reflected in your mirror.

Stop for a minute and say hello to your soul friend who is looking back at you. Smile and you will always get a smile in return. Ask yourself, What is my dream for today? What can I do to make my dream come true? I will get rid of all doubts because I want my dreams to live.

Remember what we perceive is our reality… Do you perceive a beautiful, happy and healthy mirror image that is kind to yourself and loving and accepting of your beauty?

Every morning, when you look in the mirror, you plant a seed for that day and for the future. The growth of those seeds will show you how well you live and love. Just by loving yourself, the whole world opens up. Each of us has the choice to be what we see in the mirror!

Remember to put your best face forward when you look in the mirror. Throw your shoulders back and breathe deeply. Be confident and tell yourself, I can rid myself of fear and worries. Hold your head high and face your feelings knowing that you can be seen, understood, and loved! Every day you can have sunshine in your heart.

Tell your mirror image the words of Maya Angelou, “I am working toward a time when everything gives me joy!” Excerpt from Ardeth Rodale, Chairman of the Board of Rodale Inc. and author of Reflections, Gifts of the Spirit: True Stories to Renew Your Soul, and Climbing Toward the Light. Prevention Magazine July 2005

You are beautiful…just the way you are… 🙂 and I declare it so.. WILL YOU?

Be well, be love and be loved,


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Truth is, I do not know anything for fact. But, I do perceive things in my own way. This is 21 things that I perceive to be so. Remember our perception is our own reality. You may “see” things differently.

I'm as Free as a Bird Now and This Bird You Can Not Change

1. What we put out comes back. It might have to make a big ole loop around the Universe to get back, but it will. Generally by time what you put out goes all the way around the universe, it has accumulated some interest.

2. We define who we are, we create our own lives, sing our own songs, and dance our own dance. We are all unique and maybe inspired by others along the journey ( Yes, I love the words to those Dolly Parton songs) but we are who we are, embrace that. Don’t let anyone sing your song, write your script, or change the moves to your dance. Be free and Celebrate YOU.

3. What other people think of me, is none of my business. When I speak, or write it comes from my heart, this I know. What others think of me, or themselves will reflect the tone in how they perceive my words. That has nothing to do with me, and if I don’t pick up what people reflect to me, I will remain free from the drama. I always thought what others said and did to me was my Karma, but I see it differently now. How I act or react to those things is my Karma, it’s my choice. Someone once said Karma won’t be a bitch if I am not, I understand that now.

4. Whatever someone did to me in the past has no power over my present. It’s always good to look at things and see the lessons there are to be learned. That does not include dwelling on what people have done. The victim card is expired, no need for renewal. We CAN give them that power, its a choice we make.

5. People show you WHO they are, believe it the first time. You can’t change them, and you step off your path when you try. Be the change you want to see in the world, you decide where you put your energy and love.

6. When we worry about things, we waste time and energy. Be a warrior not a worrier. Use the same time and energy for doing something about what worries you.

7. We are what we believe, our words have great power. If we look in the mirror and see ugly, unworthy and bad… well our perception is our reality. What we believe about ourselves and others, is more powerful than our dreams, wishes or hopes.

8. The most powerful prayer we can pray is “Thank you ”

9. When we fail, it’s just a great big sign from the Divine that says go in the other direction my dear child. It’s not the end of the road, instead the beginning of a new path.

10. If we make a decision, or a turn in life that goes against what everyone else thinks we should be or do…. the world will not end, nor will it fall apart. Instead, our wingspan will widen and we will fly.

11. Love yourself first, get to know your inner “dolly” embrace that person inside and sit down and get to know yourself. Then extend that love to others in every encounter.

12. Have passion for what you do. Your career, job or profession will not be “work” if it is driven with passion. You are intelligent figure out how to get paid for doing what you love, the paycheck will then be a bonus.

13. There is no pain in love, the two things can not coexist. Love feels great. 14. Each day is a new day, a new chance.. to start over.

15. The most important, and hardest job on Earth is being a mother. I declare it so, and women around the world declare it with me. It is also the most rewarding job on Earth. Megan and Leesa I love you so, please if you know nothing about your mama, embrace that fact.

16. If there is Doubt.. stop… no reactions… Don’t move, Don’t answer, Don’t rush forward.. Just Be still.

17. When we don’t know what to do, BE still.. the answer will come.

18. Our troubles they too shall pass.

19. The happiness we feel is in direct proportion to the love we give.

20. These are my perceptions, we are all unique you look at the world through your heart and see what you perceive.

21. We should all wear sunscreen. 🙂

Be well, be loved and be love, Teresa~

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Below is an entry from my original online journal about my bariatric journey. I must say I don’t really recognize myself in the writing, but yet I do. I can see my strength in the writing, but I can also see what a wounded spirit I had. I suppose you can see by  reading the entry I was in a horrible place in my life it seemed.. But, really it was a good place because I was sure learning lots of lessons…rather quickly I might add.

The point of sharing this is to 1. If you have had surgery and lost a lot of weight and worried about the skin, you see you are not alone in this journey. 2. Realize there are issues that we battle that go beyond the weightloss, I have lost all my weight in this entry, but I am battling emotions, self doubt, body dysmorphia, feeling unloved and incontinence from PFD. 3. You can see, that with perseverance we can do so much. This was written 5 years ago and I was 2 years post op almost at the time. I did manage to have the reconstructive surgeries, I did manage to get the strength to leave the husband, and I don’t pee on myself anymore… oh life is so good!!! I still don’t have lumbar seats though. **************************************************************************************************** June 7,2005 My plastic reconstructive surgery consult was today. I drove myself to my appointment although driving really sucks with this SI injury and PFD. I got up this morning at 5:00 am and fixed my face, and lord knows that is a days worth of work. Fixed my hair and got dressed. I hated the thoughts of making this trip alone but hey a gals gotta do what a gals gotta do. My husband is really not into this and it seems everywhere I go and everything I do, I am alone.

Along the way I realized my SUV was riding funny pulled over and low and behold my tire was low, so I pulled off at the first exit which was in Beaver, WV filled up the tank and the tire. Saw a real hot guy in a Lexus 270 who was giving me the eye haha too early in the morning dude! So Im back on the road, brought me a frozen coffee drink from home with a scoop of vanilla matrix for protein. Why I keep missing my mouth and spilling this on my new dress I have no idea. Funny thing is I used to drop everything on my chest now it hits a little lower SO here I go, going somewhere Im not really sure of the directions since I dont venture out of my safe world too awful much.

I turn up the radio and jam awhile listening to some music always makes me feel good. I forget when the radio is blasting that I cant carry a tune in a bucket even if it does have splash guards on it. SO I just belt it out as loud as I can go. Although my back is killing me and Im thinking my next major investment will be a car with lumbar seats. It seems like I am driving forever, miles and miles. After many miles an no road signs that even mention Fishersville I am beginning to worry. OK. Maybe I should invest in a CB radio, yea breaker breaker this is Miss Dolly, I got the hammer down, and Im rolling down I-64 not sure where the  Hell I am, could one of you nice people point me to the right path?? I am heading to Fishersville.

When am I going to learn to right down directions before I leave the house. No wonder my daddy worries to death about me. Well if all else fails I will do like my mommy taught me stop and ask some nice gentleman where the Hell I am. The road sign ahead says the road is going to split! Right for Richmond and Left for Staunton. Ok I dont want either I want to go to Fishersville. So driving at 65, I close my eyes for a moment (its kinda dangerous shutting your eyes driving 65 on the interstate) and think ok GOD give me a sign here do I go left or do I go right, well low and behold got gave me a sign a great big green one that says Fishersville 1 mile, YAHOO!!!!! Alrighty then thank you GOD for that one!!I sure needed your help with that!!

I am getting quite nervous as I know I am going to have to bare it all when I get where I am going and my pouchie Betsy is being quite bitchy with me. She needs to be a little nicer to me when I am having a bad day!!! Ok here I am Fishersville exit, the Augusta Medical Center itself is easy to find I reckon because it is HUGE!!! But finding the medical offices is a different story, but I managed!! I am figuring out I can do these things by myself, and I am not totally helpless!!!

I go in to the office and fill out my paperwork, and sit down for the wait. I start reading little pamplets one says are you considering botox injections?? Haha I hate needles. Another says vitamin C topical solutions is the key to beautiful skin, well Hell I figured that out along time ago when Adrienne Arpell started selling vitamin C skincare kits in her Signature Club A collection. Thank God for HSN so I can get it a little cheaper.

I am deep engulfed in this reading material when I look up and a lady says to me Honey did Dr. Knox do your work?? Well she caught me off guard I reckon, I said what work? and she says well you have had something done to your face havent you???I kinda laugh and say oh no honey I just LOOK this way. I am here for some BODYWORK!!LOLOLOLOLOL

She looks at me again and says now honey there is nothing to be ashamed of you have a perfect figure, surely you have had face work Well gosh dang it no I havent But she can fix anything she wants to when Im under!! SO the lady finally believes me. She tells me she figures I am there for a boob job since I have such a cute little figure. Oh I feel like pulling up my dress and showing this lady that she doesnt know it ALL!!! But she is so d@$% prim and proper she would probably poop in her pants!!!

Betsy is really peeved by this point. I am scared to death I will pee all over myself on this little trip due to the bladder problem I am having. With this huge pani of skin I have PFD and I also have a SI joint injury from a wreck and so I have issues. 😦 I have made a point to stop very frequently and pee and stretch my back. But Betsy she is her own boss. They call me in, I just look at the little blue haired nosey lady and smile. Betsy wanted to say BLECK!!!

The doctor comes in to talk first, very good, I am impressed. She is very nice and lets me tell her what I am there for, tell her what all is bothering me. She is very receptive and listens very carefully. Then she gives me this gown and says I need to get undressed and put the opening in the front, and gives me these little blue photo panties. OMG PHOTO PANTIES What am I doing here???, shut up Betsy this is NO time for you to act up!!! Ok imagine me in blue paper thong panties and that is it. I am not impressed with that look! I CAN’T BREATHE.. I do NOT want to take PHOTOS in Blue paper THONG panties. She takes the photos, and we discuss the surgeries, it will take 4 to get me back to normal!!

*&^$#@!@#$%^^&*(((*&^%$#@!$%^&*(((&%$#@!@$%^&***((*&&^%$# @ NORMAL….isn’t that a setting on the dryer?

Of course we all knew about the tummy tuck I would need, she says I have massive amounts of skin. That my weight was carried mostly from the waist down, I may or may not need the whole anchor cut, but that she will not leave it to look poochy if I need it she will do it. I will have a new belly button, a nice little innie like I used to have. I actually have a rash which she says is a good thing it will be in the photos she submits to my insurance. My panni is longer and bigger on the right side. How weird is that.?? What a wonderful day it will be if they approve me really quick!!!

About 16 pounds of excess skin

Second surgery breast Did you know one of my boobs is larger than the other?? Yea, that is a deformity in itself, hooray for that!!! OK my whole body must be lopsided. She says the insurance will possibly cover the lift and the removal of the extra skin along the sides. Implants I will have to pay for$1,800 hmmm no matter what size same price. OK no I dont want Dolly boobs, I dont think I could carry them, and I already have a bad back so what would it do to me??I have to decide if I want the implants, and what size I want. Easy enough.

Third, thighs. Oh she says my thighs are awful but that is ok she didnt tell me anything I didnt already know. She will have to cut around my groin area and down the inside of my leg almost to my knee. OUCH!!!! So is my right thigh larger too?? No well dang I thought I was finally going to have an excuse for being heavy on the pedal, ya know speed demon!!!Pedal to the medal!!!

Then later on a brachioplasty. She does not feel that I will be able to get this covered although sometimes she says insurance does cover it will massive weight loss, we shall see.

One thing for sure I have learned to fight for things. My WLS was approved before I had it then Accordia PEIA tried to not pay for it. I fought that and I won. Then when I went to the ER with my abdominal pain in February and the insurance tried to say it was not an emergency and tried to only pay half, well I fought that and won my bill went from $1,800.00 to $150.00. SO I will fight with all I have left to fight with to get these surgeries approved! I probably have a job ahead of me.

When it is all said and done I have a power crunch bar waiting in my car thinking maybe Betsy will settle down if I give her some protein. I sit in my car and turn on some music, while I eat. MMMM I do love power crunch bars.

The music that comes on is Fleetwood mac singing the song where she says something to the effect of I was afraid of change because I build my life around you Now children grow older and I am growing older too Wow words to my life. I build my life around my husband and my kids, do I even exist?? Then she says if you see my reflection in a snow covered something or other I turn my mirror around to see MY REFLECTION!

Who is that in the mirror??? When did my hair get so dang big and when did it get curly?? Especially when I havent had a perm in years. Where did those lines come from?? Where did my fat MASK go??

Ohh you know the one, the one I hid behind for years. There is nowhere to hide now. Who is that in that mirror?? That is Gregs wife, that is Lynndall and Kays daughter that is Megan and Leesa’s mommy but who is she??? I am Teresa. I am a new woman now. With needs and expectations. I have a life, a job, I love taking good care of my patients, I am a student. I am a good person. I am loving, caring and just an ole country girl. I am healthy. And most of all I am NORMAL! Well almost they tell me, or I will be after 4 surgeries…*sigh*

For so long I had the fat mask to hide behind, ya know people dont look you in the eyes when you have the fat mask, they just kind of look down and hope you wont look at them in the eyes, they are hoping their children dont say something out of the way, they are hoping your disease dont rub off on them.They are sure hoping your obesity is not contagious. People dont see me that way now.

They see me as normal, you know with the comments—the cute little figure yada yada yada. It is me, who still sees myself that way, it is me who still sees the obese person I once was. When will I be able to look into that mirror and see ME, Little Teresa, the one with the beauty mark, the one with the deep set dark blue eyes, the one with the intelligents, the sense of humor??? When will I see her again, does she ever come out?? Is she lost in all of that skin?? Or even worse did I lose her when I lost the pounds??

I know some you know and understand what I am talking about. Some of you will ask –when will I see that I have lost the weight? But some of you will understand that this is much deeper than looks, this goes deep down to the root of the problem, to MY feelings. So we will submit to insurance and wait for a reply! I wish you all a wonderful journey. I hope you lose all the weight you look to lose. But most of all I hope you find you. And enjoy your life.And love yourself. I mean after all you are the main person who matters in this journey. Hugs from the mountains of WBGV, and I do LOVE ya’ll! 🙂

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I declare today a new day, a day you can give yourself permission to LOVE your body.

What better reason to take the day off from criticizing, comparing or hiding your body. How would you feel if you truly rocked what your momma gave you? Even if just for this day? Think about it, take this day and practice, it will make it easier tomorrow, and the next day, and eventually it will just be normal to wake up and love your body.

“Discover your Inner Goddess”

This is not a diet guide. Nope, I know Thanksgiving is coming up and you would like to lose 10 pounds. It will not show you how to lose ten pounds by Thanksgiving. It will not introduce you to a new set of “miracle ab crunches” or rave about the latest liposuction advances. And there will be no butt pads, silicone, or fat-free recipes to share. No adding protein powder to a matitol laden sugar free dessert.

I’m writing this because I, like many women, used to diet until I was dizzy. It’s time we as women declare WAR on the nasty 4 letter word.. DIET…

For years I looked at my body and hated the parts that stuck out, and the ones that didn’t stick out far enough. And I believed that having the so-called “perfect” body?at any expense?would guarantee success and eternal happiness. You know, that bariatric surgery would FIX it all, and change my life.

I was misled. I was deluded.

As women, our relationships with our bodies are dysfunctional at best. Then we wonder why our relationships with “others” fail. With multibillion-dollar diet and cosmetics industries barking at our heels, and even role models like Queen Latifah caving to the “thin-is-in” pressure, loving our bodies is no stroll in the park. It’s especially hard when our friends complain about their bodies, and our moms have been on diets since we were in diapers.

But this is a matter of life. Call it a fact of life if you wish. When we don’t feel comfortable in our bodies?Our natural bodies? We don’t feel comfortable in our own skin? We deny our spirits everything from dancing to delicious food to lustful abandon. We miss out on all the sensuality and joy that life offers. Yet we deserve to have it all, and we continue to punish ourselves.

Here are seven TOOLs to add to Your DIVA tool box, because when it’s all said and done… we are polishing ourselves up to shine. We just need the right tools and the right attitude.

1) Go inside your physical self and consider the “Inner Goddess” I call my inner Goddess “Dolly”

You can name your lil inner goddess whatever YOU chose.

At 385 pounds I used to tear pictures of models out of magazines and tape them to my fridge. I said it was to inspire me to not look at the food in the fridge, not eat when I wasn’t hungry. So I could become thin like the magazine models.

One day I took a long look at the rail thin figures and wondered how inspiring could it be, to surround myself with pictures of people I could never actually look like? (At least, not without the help of surgery, an airbrush, and some DNA scrambling. Sure Katherine Zeta Jones is hot, but I don’t look like her, and who is to say that makes me NOT HOT?

I used to hide all photos of me, swearing the camera took bad photos. THe lens made me look WIDE. It didn’t make any sense that my mother looked like herself, but I looked like I was 385 pounds. Oh, wait, that is what I weighed. So it wasn’t the camera afterall, well I bet I blamed it on the scale too in those days.

Take a look at the images you surround yourself with. How do they make you feel? If it’s inferior, ugly, imperfect, or bad, a ceremonial ripping-down may be in order.Rip them down and burn them, it is time for a new attitude.

Once I took these photos down, I then filled my room with images of voluptuous, full-hipped goddesses, who were not only considered beautiful, but powerful. Consider creating a “wall of inspiration” with pictures of women from your family or your online family who had loved and supported you for who you are.

How do you find that inner goddess? Start with a full-length mirror. Many women play a love-hate game with mirrors, gazing at the parts we like, and avoiding the ones we don’t. We never looking at our bodies as they are. Today I invite you to preform lasik surgery and take off the rose colored glasses. Instead of picking ourselves apart like chicken dinners, scrutinizing our thighs, our breasts, and our legs, what we see in the mirror is often no reflection of what is really there.

Find some private time, even if it’s just a few moments. Then take off your clothes, and look at yourself. Let the hateful thoughts run their course, then pass. It will clear space in your mind for positive ones to replace them. Don’t turn away from your reflection — try to clear your mind of judgment and keep looking.

Now look closely at those parts you struggle with most. Do they remind you of anyone? Perhaps those full hips once belonged to your great-great-grandmother. If not for them, you may not even be here? That size could have helped her to survive pregnancy and childbirth. Our bodies are living family albums. Pay homage to your ancestors by loving the body they gave you and the legacy it represents.

When I did this the first time, I took a beautiful scarf and I would drape it over my arms, and then tie around my waist. I liked the way the silk felt on my skin, it made me feel feminine.

2. Think Inside Out

When you picture your body, do you think about your heart, your brain, your kidneys? Probably not. More than likely, you think about your thighs, your hair, your stomach. I recall the day I went for my preop seminar, all the possible side effects of sugery INCLUDING DEATH.. yet all I could remember was that my HAIR might fall out.

Because our society places so much emphasis on appearance, and so little on our inner selves, the balance between the two has been thrown off. Have you ever had an upset stomach, a rash, or a giant zit because you were stressed? Has your heart literally hurt when you experienced emotional pain? We forget that our bodies are simply the canvasses upon which our internal conditions express themselves. Guess who the artist is that is creating that portrait..did I hear you say “god”… look inside yourself.. you will see God knows that place.

I sometimes laugh and call myself a holistic bariatric professional, thats because I am chosing to treat my WHOLE self and heal from obesity. The surgery did its part and I healed physically LONG before I started healing my mind and spirit..

I had eating disorders since I was around 5 or 6and body image issues. I felt at an early age that my body betrayed them because I could not t sculpt it into some ideal form. Oh, did I mention I am a control freak, only I was trying to control MYSELF, even at an early age.

By the time I was in the fourth grade I had started to prematurely develop, and I also had BOOBS, it was quite embarrassing, I did NOT look like any of the other kids in my class. I was ashamed and felt dirty and ashamed, and I was a little girl. I handled it as best as I could, I stole little Debbie Snack cakes from the fridge.I ate to nourish and comfort the little girl inside.

As women, and even young girls (because we get the programming at an early age) controlling our appetites or looks gives us a false sense of control over our lives. As long as we can focus on “fixing” ourselves, we can avoid thinking about the fact that we’re unhappy, or that we have unmet needs we’re afraid to address. For years I was scared to stop dieting because I knew I might have to face a bigger issue than my dress size… and that would be the empty feeling I had inside.

Feelings are made up of energy, which flows through our bodies. Compulsive eating and dieting blocks that flow, repressing the feelings we don’t want to deal with. Hence the emotional eating, and then the compulsiveness and bingeing.

The places where we feel heavy are often where we hold in feelings. So I would look in the mirror and see my larger thighs and immediately want to RUN them off, but maybe I should have just asked myself what I was holding in.. A heavy feeling may mean there’s a buildup of energy or feelings there and it makes sense, although it doesn’t.. it does…Instead of dieting to ‘fix’ it, try to understand what the energy means, or how it’s serving you. It could have been my bodies way of alerting me to something I needed to know about myself.

Instead of thinking negative thoughts about your body, try doing something to feel more in touch with it. Talk a walk, write down your feelings, breath, sing. DANCE… I HOPE YOU DANCE… If you get the chance to sit it out or dance… what are YOU going to do??

Getting energy moving restores the flow even if it leaves us crying and raging, we have to get it out and let life happen. The more the culture gets obsessed with denial, the more we overeat and indulge.

SUPERSIZE ME PLEASE?? OH yeah, we BEG for it.. Biggie Fries and Biggie COKE UPSIZE ME…

3. Exercise your MIND give it a work out

Imagine what would happen if women decided that building mental strength was as important as pumping up our biceps. We could start businesses. Earn degrees. Travel. Uncover new talents. Shoot I could wear Gucci shoes and Hermes scarves and have Tumi luggage.

Just imagine the economic power we’d have if we stopped giving our money to Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig and started saving, investing, or spending it on life-enhancing adventures.

I have a theory that dieting is a way to make women disappear, the less space we take up, the less power we have.

Men are becoming more conscious of their bodies these days, but it seems men work out to get stronger, to take up more room in the world. Yet women continue to try and get smaller, daintier, until we just turn into pretty little things who can only think about how many grams of fat we’ve eaten today. Or we sacrifice vegetables, fruit and whole grain to avoid the dreaded evil carbs. I think this is what Michael Jackson means when he tells us to take a look ate the man in the mirror and CHANGE!

You are responsible for taking care of yourself? This may mean adding some activity and healthy foods into your life. But to neglect your inner self and favor your body is a waste of your gifts.

4. Tell Your Critics to Shut Up What’s up with them?

Well-intentioned or not, families and friends can be a major source of body stress. They’re often the first to criticize your appearance, or to let you know how pretty you’d be “if you just lost 20 pounds.” OR “you have such a pretty face…BUT, oh its always the but that gets us.

Why don’t they realize how hurtful and destructive this is? Oh, but wait, when we question and ask WHY, we too are being judgemental. Not allowing them to feel or say what is on their mind. Maybe healing begins when we ask what it is that makes them feel that losing weight would make us more attractive. I bet we would find an insecure and wounded, maybe even frightened person.

The people closest to us should build up our self-esteem, not knock it down. They may think they’re offering helpful suggestions, but they’re not. So let ’em know: it’s my body and my business. Stop projecting your hang-ups on me. Go eat a Twinkie and leave me alone deep fry it if they have to.

Of course, that’s not always as easy as it sounds. But man is it getting easier for me, I think I can turn someone from a rooster to a hen in one shot now…

One of my dearest friends left home and got married, her father was quick to point out the fluctuations in her weight with every visit. She began to dread going home, expecting another comment that would send her running to the mirror to reconsider her attractiveness.

Finally, shedeclared the topic of her appearance absolutely off-limits with her dad. She even threatened not to visit if he didn’t back off, and guess what…It worked. Then her father was forced to talk about other aspects of her life, her career, her children, and her interests.

It’s hard to stand up to our families and friends. But we have every right to set whatever boundaries help us live in peace. Boundaries, I can’t stress the importance of them..

5. Stop Hating Other Women

Sadly, we women can be our own worst critics. But consider the toll this has on sisterhood?And on you.

Criticizing another woman’s looks makes you look and feel totally insecure. It also makes you paranoid?If you do it to them, you’ll automatically assume they’re doing it to you. Dogging each other keeps us divided, and therefore defeated.

I hate to see a man call a woman a foul name, but even worse for a woman to violate the sacred sisterhood and call another woman vile names. Well, it speaks volumes.

Besides, we all have a unique beauty to cultivate, whether we’re thick or thin. I like to think of myself as voluptuous I may not look like a fashion magazine model, but no one else has my genetics. So I just try to be the best me I can.

Changing the mind and attitude has helped many stop regarding other women as enemies. “It’s not a competition,” but By working toward self-acceptance, and checking ourselves when we find insecurity flaring up, we will find that there is room to appreciate the individual beauty in ALL women, as well as in ourselves.

6. Healthy Comes in ALL Sizes (One Size Fits ALL maybe)

Although many people argue that being fat is unhealthy, this is not necessarily true.

Yes, we’ve seen the news reports about the “epidemic of obesity” plaguing America. And indeed, many people in our country have an unhealthy relationship to food — or eat artery-clogging, processed food that’s making them not only gain weight, but also get sick.

All that said, there is a rising “fat and fit” movement along with studies linking weight to genetics. In the crusade against fat, nobody bothers to mention those. But guess what? Every day, thin people also die from heart attacks, cancer, high blood pressure and all the diseases the media likes to attribute to fat Americans. In fact, yo-yo dieting — continuous weight loss and regain — puts stress on the heart and can actually be more damaging to the organs than maintaining a stable weight of say, 250 pounds.

Change your way of thinking and advocate a healthy lifestyle for all sizes: pleasure over punishment, a fresh, unprocessed diet and regular exercise. But good health is a privilege. America has yet to succeed at bringing this luxury to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Since fat people are often discriminated against in the workplace (stereotyped as lazy, slow, greedy), they are statistically more likely to earn less, limiting access to great healthcare, organic markets and other resources. Not making generalizations or excuses here. Still, has anyone else seen the price of cherries at Whole Foods? Or the price of a canister of Whey isolate protein?

So, before you look at a fat person and weigh in on her medical records, pause. She may very well hit the gym more than her skinny sisters do, have a clean bill of health, and eat a heart-smart diet. Don’t assume.

7. *Fat* is not an Insult It’s just a word

Many people consider being called “fat” the kiss of death. The fear of gaining weight or god forbid the fear of being seen as fat? The fear is real and its greater than the fear of destroying their health with punishing diets and exercise.

Fat discrimination, some activists argue, is one of the last truly acceptable forms of prejudice in America. “She can go on a diet and change that,” people say. “After all, there’s Slimfast, diet pills, and a gym at every turn.” Boy.. I wish someone would come up with a magic pill for “stupid”.

Is FAT less judgmental than overweight. “Over what weight?” that is my question. “Is there some perfect weight we are supposed to be ?”

Our bodies are all different because of our genetic makeup, embrace that fact! We are Unique, and we are built the way we are designed, I will never have small hips, legs and thighs, but my waist is small, only to make my already large hips look LARGER…. It is my body, the home of my soul. I embrace it.

As for the 120-pound woman who stares in the mirror and moans, “I’m so fat!” and yes, it was me for many years as a teenager. People who are not experiencing the struggles of society’s size discrimination should not call themselves fat. I was guilty of doing it, and I was wrong. I believed I was fat, and I became obese, Super morbidly obese actually.

Do all women suffer from some degree of body hatred? FOr me it seems there is a distinct difference between not fitting into a size 8 dress, and not fitting into a bus seat, a restaurant chair, or a movie theater aisle. Longing to lose ten pounds is different than weighing so much that you’re routinely denied health insurance, or discriminated against by companies who stereotype you as lazy and unemployable.

Diets simply don’t work. You can’t live in a state of deprivation forever, and who wants to? There is a person here. We need to be gentle with her, to allow her to feel pleasure. Be kind and gentle with your “inner Dolly”

My advice to ALL women is to walk with your head up, and to never, ever apologize for your size. Get into your body, treat yourself to a massage, an hour in a hot tub or a sauna. Dance naked in your room, or go out and shake what your mama gave ya. Take a walk for enjoyment’s sake? Leave the five-pound barbells at home with the clinging vines that are holding you back from living.

Be well, be love and be loved, and start by being KIND to yourself,

Love and Light,

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