I Showed up at the Dog Groomer Instead of For My Hair Appointment…

Photo from Pinterest 

Since I started working for the family business and am spending more time getting ready to teach a social media class at the UW, I’ve had little to no extra time to write here. I miss it. Working part-time has been an interesting balancing act that has had both good and bad outcomes.

The first month I went back to work, I was pretty much a wreck. I forgot a birthday, didn’t pay the monthly piano lesson bill, and showed up at the dog groomers instead of for my hair appointment—and even now, I’m sure I’m neglecting to remember what else I forgot. If you know, don’t remind me, please. It’s over. :) More

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Why Are We Obsessed With Beauty? Is All This Attention on Beauty and Looks Healthy?

I can’t help but wonder what all the fuss is about. Why do we feel we need to look, dress, buy, think, and behave a certain way to be good enough? I’m not saying that I’ve never felt that I needed to be something other than myself to be accepted because, unfortunately–I have felt that way. What I’m questioning is why any of us ever feel that way in the first place? When and how does it start? At some point in our life, we all feel the pressure. More

What Do You Think About This Diet Book For Children…

We cannot ignore the fact that some children are obese and that may lead to self-esteem, body image, confidence, and serious long-term physical health issues. I understand that this is a complex issue that needs to be addressed. But this type of book, with that type of title, isn’t the way to go about making a positive change. This book is irresponsible and sends an unhealthy message. More

Thinking Aloud

Photo from The Notebook Doodles

Sometimes I don’t know what I’m thinking or feeling until I say it aloud. It’s kind of like I haven’t fully developed my thoughts about certain things or admitted certain feelings to myself until the moment the words flow out of my mouth. But, once I start openly and honestly discussing topics with friends, acquaintance, or strangers, I have small epiphanies about what is really brewing under the surface of my being, what my thoughts and beliefs are, and who I truly am.

Sometimes I even surprise myself. More

A Healthy Active 6-year-Old Girl Thinks She’s Fat & So Do Many More Young Girls Starting at Age Three. Are We Doing This To Our Children? What We Can Do Differently…

 Source

Negative body image for girls can begin as young as 3 years old. Please watch this video as 6-year-old, Taylor Call, shares her feelings of being fat and a panel of 5 to 8-year-old girls talk about their friends, mothers, and teachers being “fat”.

I don’t think kids are born with an innate sense of obsessive body consciousness. I think we—meaning mothers, fathers, teachers, peers, and the especially the media–are creating an atmosphere in which there is constant pressure to be “more beautiful”, “thin”, and “better looking”.

Case in point: More

PMS, Post Pregnancy Hormone Hell, Weight Gain & Disease ~ My Struggle To Be Healthy Again.

Our girls and I before my health completely spiraled out of control…

In high school, some teammates and I were chosen to go to a college Track & Field Camp to learn about different types of training methods. I was excited to be there! Just as I was signing in for this great weeklong program, I could feel severe cramps coming on quickly. I never knew when I would get my period because I had an irregular cycle that would sometimes skip a month or two. Within 15 minutes of arriving on campus, I was literally on the floor in a ball in so much pain that I was incapacitated. Advil didn’t touch the pain and my week was ruined. I had been to doctors before and after that incident, and there was nothing they could do for me except to put me on birth control pills, which didn’t make enough of a difference. This is how my cycle would be every month or so for years. Sometimes I’d get lucky, and the pain and other PMS symptoms were not as severe. Many years later, I became pregnant with my second daughter, Olivia, and everything changed.

After having Olivia, I never went back to “normal”. I had lost my pregnancy weight and should have felt great, but I didn’t feel quite right. Over the next year, my monthly cycle became more intense, my hormones were slowly spiraling out of control, and I began having weekly stomachaches.

The symptoms slowly crept up on me, and I thought I’d naturally get over the new issues in time.

After Olivia’s first birthday, things got worse. My periods started lasting longer and occurred more frequently. I started gaining weight, which was really abnormal for me because I had always been naturally thin and never had struggled with weight before. I was retaining water, felt bloated, and I was having severe stomachaches more frequently.

So began the parade of doctors..

At this time, my stomachaches were causing me the most grief. They were occurring daily now and affecting my quality of life. I saw my primary doctor. She ordered several blood tests, checked my thyroid, and a few other potential problem areas. All of my test results looked good. She referred me to a gastroenterologist.

The gastroentereologist asked if I had an eating disorder. I told him that I did not. He said, “Let me see your teeth.” Hmm—he looked at me like he didn’t believe me, and I opened my mouth. I passed the test; my teeth were fine. I suddenly did not like him at all. An endoscopy and colonoscopy revealed nothing. My intestines looked perfectly normal.  

He said I must have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I knew he was wrong, but tried the medicine and dietary changes anyway. It didn’t help. In fact, the dietary changes made me even more irritated. I mean who wants to give up coffee, cookies, bread, wine, sugar, and chocolate at a time like this!?! Not me!

I felt like the doctors were not taking me seriously and perhaps thought I was making it all up.

A few months later, things really went downhill. The pain was non-stop, my periods were lasting for two weeks, and my hormones were raging. My face was breaking out, I was having mood swings, severe headaches, other strange things started happening, and then—I started having night sweats. I mean the kind of night sweats when you have to change your clothes and sheets two to three times a night. I was still gaining weight. Then the night sweats started happening during the day too. I started having the shakes. I was miserable.

More doctor visits… More

Fever Seizures by Janell Kaufman

Hope you had a great Easter Sunday yesterday! I have a food hangover, but I’ll get over it. Who knew Martha Stewart’s Macaroni & Cheese recipe would be so good—too good (and I don’t even normally like Mac & Cheese or Martha, but I’ll make an exception for this recipe, which I’ll share at the end of the week).

Well, it’s Monday–back to reality. Darn.

I hope you all have a great week!

We’ll start the week off with an article about fever seizures. Hopefully you will never have to experience this kind of fever! Janell’s friend recently asked her to share her story about fever seizures since she is currently dealing with them, and we thought it would be something we could share with you too. Let us know if you have a story you’d like to share.

Here is Janell…

Fever Seizures

It was an ordinary February day and I was holding my thirteen-month-old baby girl in my lap on the couch, nursing her and marveling at her perfection. When she stopped nursing and fell away from my body, I, at first, thought that she had fallen asleep. Then I realized that she wasn’t breathing. I tried shaking her gently, while at the same time yelling for my husband, but there was no response. The brief thought that she was dead passed over me and I almost gave up in my immediate grief. Her skin was starting to take on a bluish hue. My husband pulled her from my arms and laid her out on the floor and began CPR while handing me the phone with 911 dialed. After a couple of minutes of agony and fear, she coughed, threw up, and started crying, just as the ambulance arrived. More

When Saying “No” and Speaking Your Mind Feels Good!

I went through a uncomfortbale–and much too long–phase of being the “Yes” woman. Some people took advantage of the temporary role I played as “that person”. I could be all things to all people at all times (or so I thought). Yes, I’ll be room mom, library volunteer, preschool helper, class auction project go-to-girl, help tutor kids during school hours, bake whatever dessert you please for whatever event you want, watch your kids, and do whatever else you want me to do… No problem. Sure, I’ll set my own personal needs aside to make my house look perfect, cook delicious meals, and attend every social function I’m invited to (even if I don’t want to). And yes, I’ll agree with you to make you happy, tell you what you want to hear so that you’re not upset, or just keep quiet so things stay calm. I’ll keep my own thoughts to myself and internalize my feelings. How healthy does that sound? Not very…

One day, I just couldn’t do it anymore; I had enough. I was tired and feeling taken advantage of. People knew I would say yes because that’s what I did, but what I had loved doing (helping) became a chore and expected of me–I wasn’t having fun anymore. It was my own fault, of course. I let it go too far, and I didn’t set boundaries. Also, I wasn’t feeling like I was being authentic by holding back my true feelings, thoughts, and opinions. Is that really the example I want to set for our girls—to be an un-opinionated martyr. NO! I am a smart woman with thoughts and opinions that are worth saying aloud.

I needed to reorganize my life in a hurry, and I did. I was done with that old way, which was actually not the way I had been growing up. It was time to go back to my spunky, energetic, respectfully opinionated self that I was before I had lost my sparkle. More

Beauty Advice & Products For Sensitive Skin by Liz Nord

I have tried loads of different skin and hair products over the years. I recently tried some new products that caused itching, hives, and some other not-so-cute blemishes, which reminded me why I should always stick with my all-time favorite brands that never let me (or my skin) down. Here are some products that I LOVE that don’t make my skin freak out! I included hair products because that affects our skin as well.

MY BEST BEAUTY ADVICE… I have super sensitive oily/dry combination skin that is prone to breakouts and rosacea, if I’m not careful. My best advice would be to find the best products for your skin type, and wash and hydrate your skin twice a day. I love Proactiv’s 3-Step System. The cleanser kills acne-causing bacteria with prescription grade benzoyl peroxide, yet is not overly harsh on my skin.

More

Should Parents Put Their Kids on a Diet? by Liz Nord

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I am in the April issue of Redbook, discussing if we should put our children on diets. I said, “No”. This is my unedited version. I’d love to hear what you think!

Also, I am contributing to Cassandra Mack’s new book, “Grooming Girls for Greatness: Advice and Wisdom for Parents From Parents, Teachers, and Caregivers,” which will be out late Summer or in the Fall. This is a book to help parents build confidence, character, and coping skills in their daughters. More info to come…

Should Parents Put Their Kids on Diets?

Diets and children are not a good mix. I want my kids to have life-long healthy relationships with food and their bodies. By modeling a healthy lifestyle, we can teach our children to celebrate their bodies, savor food, and be active for life. Dieting, which includes food deprivation, restrictive eating, excessive exercise, and negative body talk, can lead to low self-esteem, negative body image, and serious eating disorders.

I have heard first-hand, from women who dieted as children, who expressed the horrible physical, mental, and social consequences and warped thinking that diets lead to—I even know someone who died from the affects of childhood dieting because it led to her disorder eating, which spiraled out of control. I also know women who have wrecked their metabolism, become obese, become anorexic, suffer from body image issues, or lost teeth from binging that started as “innocent” childhood dieting and food vilification. More

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