Does this make my butt look big?

Me and my girls at my wedding June, 2007

This is a very, very special week.

No, sorry to disappoint,  it’s not Appreciate Your Secretary Week.

This week kicks off Fat Talk Free Week, a body image campaign aimed at college students to ban language that is harmful to their self esteem. And since we’re all kids at heart, I’ve decided that we should all take part in this campaign, too.

Let’s follow their motto: “Friends don’t let friends fat talk.”

Think about how you relate to your friends. Especially in college, girl-talk revolves around boys, clothes, and body dissatisfaction. Certainly comparing body parts, complaining that x is too big or y is too fat weasels its way into conversation. I’ve gone shopping with friends countless times and each time I’ve tried on a pair of jeans I swear the first words out of my mouth are “My butt looks huge!”

But imagine a world where girlfriends were nothing but supportive of each other. When Jane says to Megan, “I’m so fat, I need to lose weight,” Megan will smile, take Jane’s hand, and say, “You look beautiful just as you are.”

A girl can dream, can’t she?

So, take the Fat Talk Free Week challenge with me. Only words of self-love and respect when speaking about yourself to others. Take it one step further and re-record that tape that plays over and over in your head. You know the voice that’s usually telling you “You’re not good enough,” “You’re not worthy,” and “You look fat.”  Go ahead and thank your inner critic for sharing her $.02, and then tell yourself something nice, like “You kicked ass in spin class today.”

You can also play the Thank You game. Here are the rules: When someone gives you a compliment (ie. Those pants look good on you, I love your outfit) you smile and say “Thank You.” You do NOT say, “Oh, I think these pants make my thighs look  big” or “This ratty sweatshirt is so old.” NO! You smile, say thank you, and accept the gift you are receiving. It may feel uncomfortable at first but I promise with a little practice, it get’s easier.

Let’s start now: You look Beautiful today!  (Your reply: Thank you, Amanda!)

**Celebrate the end of Fat Talk Free Week with me! Have you signed up for the FREE virtual Love Your Body Day Telesummit? No? Sign up here and get my free report, “10 Ways We Love Our Body Best.” By signing up you’ll get access to over 19 experts in the health and wellness fields, helping you to live your best, juiciest life possible. Can’t attend? No problem! Sign up anyway and you’ll get recordings of all the calls so you can listen on your own time.

 

 

October 18, 2010 at 1:19 pm 3 comments

I’m grateful for my BODY

Y’all know I love me some gratitude! This was inspired by the Self-Discovery, Word by Word Blogger series (more info on that and how you can participate below)

After so many years battling the shape of my body, today I proudly share what I am grateful for, from toes to head.

I am grateful for my feet. One bunion surgery, 100’s of late night dancing in sky-high stilettos, mountains climbed and miles walked later, my feet have carried me through it all. And hot-dang do I love me a good pedicure.

I am grateful for my calves. OK, so I have to buy knee-high boots for women with larger-sized calves. Whatever. But they’re athletic and strong.

I am grateful for my knees. For as much activity as I’ve seen in my 30 years, I’ve never had a problem with these joints. Keep hanging in there, girls!

I am grateful for my thighs. I can leg press over 200 pounds. I’ve climbed glaciers. I’ve run miles. And although they often been my greatest enemy at times, I am grateful because they’re mine.

I am grateful for my butt. Ah, gluteus maximus (and minimus!), you power me through spin classes. And you turn heads.

I am grateful for my waist. So tiny and toned, I never have to do a sit-up as long as I live.  (Thanks for the genetics, Mom!)

I am grateful for my breasts. Yup, they’re small, but they’re all natural, baby.

I am grateful for my arms. Bless you, genetics. I am the proud owner of beautiful, toned, shapely arms that look great in tank tops. My arms are also able to carry pounds and pounds of groceries and shopping bags with no problem, making the envy of all other New Yorkers.

I am grateful for my back. So strong after years of weight lifting.

I am grateful for my shoulders. For putting up with purses that are way too heavy. For responding to physical therapy.

I am grateful for my collarbone and neck. My most favorite part of my body. Graceful, strong and very Audrey Heburn.

I am grateful for my hair. And this is only because I have the Keratin Brazilian treatment.😉

I am grateful that I love my body at a weight I previously thought was unlovable.

I am grateful for all that my body has allowed me to do, and will do in the future.

What parts of your body are you grateful for?

This post is part of the Self-Discovery, Word by Word series created by Ashley of Nourishing Wisdom and other bloggers. The goal of this series is to challenge ourselves to reflect on ideas that we may not often consider in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. The words that are chosen are meant to provoke thought and ultimately growth. As part of the blogging community (whether you are a blog reader or a have your own), we all have a unique opportunity to share our insights, our struggles, and our triumphs to help each other develop in new ways. The words selected will be broad and hopefully of interest to all types of bloggers and readers. Click here for more information on how you can participate!

October 14, 2010 at 1:34 pm 6 comments

I’m 140 pounds and in LOVE with myself!

I heart my thunder thighs

Lately I’ve been tickled pink with my mental state around my body.

A quick rundown of the facts: I’ve gained 11 pounds in the past year. I’m heavier than I’ve been in 9 years. And while I recognize I certainly need to amend certain eating and dietary habits, I am not unhappy with myself.

Quite the contrary. I’m actually quite PLEASED.

But how,” people question me. “How is it possible for you to carry this extra weight but still be OK with it.”

So glad you asked!

Over the past year, I’ve allowed myself to eat the foods that for YEARS I wouldn’t dream of eating. And yes, I’ve eaten more than my calorie allotment of chocolate cake. Actually, I think I’ve eaten enough dessert to last me 2 years.

But what have I gained (besides the 11 pounds?) I’ve gained understanding and appreciation and even LOVE for a body at a weight I never thought I could live with. I can honestly say that I love my bigger body.  And only now, with this self love, can I begin to truly lose the weight for good.

(Oh, and by the way, if I can feel this way, you certainly can, too.)

I’ve been thinking about how when I was aged 21-28, let’s say, when I was much thinner than I am now, I was miserable. At 118 pounds I thought my thighs were fat.  At 120 pounds, same thing. At 122-124 pounds, right again. I didn’t see the body that everyone called “thin,” but rather my thunder thighs.

And I think back to that former body and I’m just sad. I never enjoyed it. I never thought to myself, “Wow, I have this amazing body that I’m eating right and exercising and I’m in top shape, and I just love it!”  Nope. I just doused myself with a heap of red-hot hate. Again and again. I think about what my lack of self confidence kept me from doing in life, and the situations I allowed to continue (ie. mentally abusive relationships) because I didn’t feel worthy.  It’s amazing how cells of fat can control your life.

I guess what I’m trying to point out is that at 118 pounds I wasn’t happy. Being thin isn’t the answer to my problems. Being thin won’t make me happy.

Being older and wiser, I understand that losing weight isn’t the answer to my happiness. There will ALWAYS be something. There might ALWAYS be more weight to lose. That is why I have made an enormous effort to find ways to love myself as I am right now…even if it’s at a weight that’s higher than I’d like.

So try, just try for me, please…to think about this body your inhabiting right now. If you hate your thighs, most likely you’ve always hated your thighs and probably always will. But it doesn’t mean you can’t love what you’ve got right now!

**Have you signed up for the FREE virtual Love Your Body Day Telesummit? No? Sign up here and get my free report, “10 Ways We Love Our Body Best.” By signing up you’ll get access to over 19 experts in the health and wellness fields, helping you to live your best, juiciest life possible. Can’t attend? No problem! Sign up anyway and you’ll get recordings of all the calls so you can listen on your own time.

October 12, 2010 at 1:32 pm 8 comments

We teach everyone how to treat us

I just got back from an incredible 3 days in Myrtle Beach,  South Carolina with Matt and my mother for a business Mastermind with their coach, Suzanne Evans. To say that our trip was life changing and transformational is an understatement. The power of this Mastermind community and their brilliance as human beings and entrepreneurs is just down right astounding. I am truly grateful I was able to be part of that group if only for a few days.

On the very first day of the Mastermind, Suzanne said something profound that really rang true for me: We teach everybody how to treat us. So how are you teaching people to be with you?

Hmmm. That’s a good question. Suzanne was using this in the context of, “How do you teach your clients to treat you.” Of course that applies, but I also took it as, “How do you allow your friends, family, spouse, coworkers–event pet, treat you?”

Ask yourself these questions:

*Do you feel like you’re always giving, giving, giving

*Do you respond to people’s calls/texts/emails even if it’s not a good time for you?

*Do you feel taken advantage of?

*Do you feel that certain relationships are not a 50/50 split, and more like 60/40, 70/30 tipped to your side?

*Do you feel unsupported by certain relationships?

*Do you feel resentful for certain relationships, and feel like you HAVE to maintain them?

*Do you always feel like you need to set up some boundaries but just don’t know how?

If any of  these questions sound familiar to you, perhaps its time to take a look at how you’re letting people treat you.

For example, I have a long-time friend who was always needing something from me (usually advice, which she never took). I would give and give and give, and I never felt like I could ask something of her in return. The relationship drained me.  And it was only until I recognized that this is how she was as a friend that I realized that I needed to make a decision:  make the friendship work for me or let it go.  So I began to set up some boundaries, stopped answering all of her phone calls, not making myself as available and asking HER for help. And whaddya know? Slowly but surely our friendship began to change, and it’s much more balanced now.

If we indeed teach others how to treat us, that means YOU have the power to make that happen. YOU have the ability to set yourself up for success with your relationships. And the good news is it’s never too late to do this!

Think about a relationship you have that isn’t working for you at the moment: a client, friend, parent, coworkers, etc.  How is it not working for you? How does he/she make you feel? Think of ONE “boundary” you can set up to make yourself happier. (ie. You tell your client you cannot answer her calls in the evening, you tell a friend that YOU need help from her, etc).  How can you teach them to treat you?

**Have you signed up for the FREE virtual Love Your Body Day Telesummit? No? Sign up here and get my free report, “10 Ways We Love Our Body Best.” By signing up you’ll get access to over 19 experts in the health and wellness fields, helping you to live your best, juiciest life possible. Can’t attend? No problem! Sign up anyway and you’ll get recordings of all the calls so you can listen on your own time.

 

October 11, 2010 at 1:57 pm 1 comment

Recipe: Steel Cut Oats w/ Apples & Toasted Walnuts

This recipe comes from my dear friend Tamra whom I met during my training at Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Tamra is a genius in the kitchen and whips up the most incredible, healthy, and wholesome dishes. She can be reached at tamrageryck@gmail.com (Website coming soon!)

A perfect Fall breakfast that can be made the day before…

Steel Cut Oats w/ Apples & Toasted Walnuts

PREP TIME: 10 min.
COOK TIME: 20 min.
SERVES: 6

Instructions / Ingredients

Rinse and cut apples into 1 inch pieces (3 cups)
In a large saucepan add the apples and 1 cup of water, steam apples (2-3 min.) until slightly soft
Drain water and set apples aside

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add 1 cup of steel cut oats, cook according to package
While cereal cooks heat 1/2 tbl. olive oil, 1 cup of crumbled walnuts, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, 1 tea. of vanilla, and a swirl of maple syrup. Cook over medium heat and stir constantly until walnuts and coconut are slightly toasted.

Once Steel cut oats are finished combine apples in separate bowl, add cinnamon to taste
Serve with agave, and butter, add walnut mixture on top and enjoy

Tips: for crunchier apples steam less for mushier apples steam longer. A great recipe to prepare the night before and enjoy on the run!

Variations: use any of your favorite hot cereals, oats, cream of wheat or quinoa. Add your favorite dried or  fresh fruits and other nuts too! Add 1/2 cup of milk, soy milk or almond milk.

Options: Serve with butter, earth balance or any natural butter substitute. Use maple syrup, agave or honey to taste

**Have you signed up for the FREE virtual Love Your Body Day Telesummit? No? Sign up here and get my free report, “10 Ways We Love Our Body Best.” By signing up you’ll get access to over 15 experts in the health and wellness fields, helping you to live your best, juiciest life possible. Can’t attend? No problem! Sign up anyway and you’ll get recordings of all the calls so you can listen on your own time.

October 6, 2010 at 11:35 am Leave a comment

When the going gets tough…do nothing.

Or for me: When your head gets filled up with mucus, just relax.

Yesterday I took my first sick day in years. I went home early. I just had to. It was raining outside, I was feeling lousy, and I wasn’t getting any work done. Matt coerced me into leaving the office early to come home to rest. For the first time, I listened to his advice and did just that. And after waking up from a delicious nap with my dog, I’m glad I listened to him.

If you’re like me, you’re a go-go-go getter. You live your life flitting from one activity to the next and come home at the end of the day exclaiming, “What a long day!” That type of lifestyle can get addicting, like you want to see if you can top the day before. You would be amazed at how adept I am at squeezing in activities between other activities.

However, my cold forced me to diverge from that and to just go home and do nothing. I feel like a million bucks  now(well, almost a million) since I listened to my body and came home. So that got me to thinking: When life gets pull-out-your-hair-crazy, overwhelming, frustrating, or you just get sick, perhaps we’re just meant to slow down to the point of doing NOTHING.

Imagine that: Allowing our bodies and minds to recharge. Giving ourselves permission to stop what we’re doing (homework, making a big business decision, even exercising), flop on the sofa, and watch some really trashy TV. Or read a book. Just do nothing.

Our society tells us (and especially women) that we’re lazy and unmotivated if we’re not doing something every second. Well here’s something: Resting can be profound. Enlightening.

Try  it on…Next time you feel in the midst of overwhelm, resist the urge to do, fix, and be and just do nothing.

I hear there’s some America’s Next Top Model reruns on TV. You might want to start with those.

**Have you signed up for the FREE virtual Love Your Body Day Telesummit? No? Sign up here and get my free report, “10 Ways We Love Our Body Best.” By signing up you’ll get access to over 15 experts in the health and wellness fields, helping you to live your best, juiciest life possible. Can’t attend? No problem! Sign up anyway and you’ll get recordings of all the calls so you can listen on your own time.

October 5, 2010 at 1:49 pm 2 comments

At What Cost?

If you’ve been a reader of my blog, you know my story.  I’m a “recovering” emotional and compulsive eater, and a woman who has struggled greatly with body image (read: I always thought I was fat.)

But we know all of that already. That’s the easy part of the story. The surface story.

I am constantly fascinated with myself as I continue to do personal/self-growth work that the layers of my life keep peeling open. Only recently it became clear to me that I gave up so much in life to try and have the perfect body. I always felt the need to have complete and total control over myself for fear that if I let go just a little bit, if I became just a little vulnerable, my life would spiral out of control. Meaning, I wouldn’t be thin anymore (and I’d be fat).

So my question to you:  What has trying to be thin (or have the perfect body) cost you?

Here are some answers that apply to me. See if they sound familiar:

*Skipping out on events/dinners/parties with friends because I was afraid to eat fattening food.

*Compulsive exercise and the feeling that if I didn’t sweat buckets, the workout wasn’t good enough. Or spending too much precious free time to go to the gym when I could be bonding with my husband/family/friends.

*Comparing myself to others with body parts I desired (tall skinny legs and bouncy hair!) which lead me to more depression and more binges

*Inability to feel my “feminine.” For me, this meant I was so into controlling how I looked and doing, doing, doing that I let my softer, feminine side slip away. I’m only now working with an expert to learn how to access that part of myself

*Lack of sex or promiscuous sex. You’re uncomfortable with receiving pleasure or you search for it in the wrong places in an effort to feel worthy.

Do any of these sound familiar to you? The above all represent my life for many years. It was only until I realized that accepting my body as it was, flaws and all, was more important than having a “perfect” body that I began to heal. That I began to LIVE.

And let me tell you, my life is a heck of a lot juicier now than ever before. And I’m my highest weight since I was 20.

So, what is the quest/desire/drive/need to be thin, to possess your perfect body, costing you? Are you giving up deeper relationships, happiness, having FUN?  Make a list, like I did, of what you’re missing out on and perhaps you’ll discover that your drive to be thin isn’t really worth it after all.

**Have you signed up for the FREE virtual Love Your Body Day Telesummit? No? Sign up here and get my free report, “10 Ways We Love Our Body Best.” By signing up you’ll get access to over 15 experts in the health and wellness fields, helping you to live your best, juiciest life possible. Can’t attend? No problem! Sign up anyway and you’ll get recordings of all the calls so you can listen on your own time.

October 4, 2010 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

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