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

Phenomenal Woman

I attended a speech Maya Angelou gave over a decade ago. When I think back on that evening, her beautiful words and powerful presence still have the ability to calm me. Dr. Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, civil rights activist, Glamour Magazines 2009 woman of the year, and so much more. When I’m upset, I sometimes read her words and remember that there are women out there who have endured so much, but still–they rise. Maya is truly an inspiration to us all!

I love this poem by Maya Angelou. For me, this poem is not about attracting a man or woman–it’s about being confident in who you are. 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

Should High School Students Have to Post Their Name with Weight & BMI on the School Chalkboard?

One of my friend’s, Andrea Owen, shared this story with me about what happened at West Ranch High School in Valencia, CA last week. It’s unbelievable…

This is part of a note from Carrie (via Andrea Owen).

“I have a girl who works for me, who is a senior in high school. She’s a total rock star. She came to work today with a cranberry juice drink, and I asked her what it was and what she was doing. It looked suspiciously like a fast and she’s a slim girl to start with. She told me that their AP Anatomy teacher had them all measure their BMI and their Body Fat and write it on the board with their name and that they get 10% extra credit on their final if they can all lose 10% of their body fat in the next two weeks. She told me that the class is really hard and that she needs the extra credit. She told me that she asked if it was okay to just put male/female and the numbers instead of putting down their names because one of her friends in the class is overweight and was embarrassed. He said that they had to put their names. She told me that five girls left the class crying and that some of the boys were taking pictures of the data with their phones and she thinks they’re going to put it on Facebook.”

Can you believe that business? That doesn’t exactly provide a healthy stress-free learning environment for all of the children. Not only does this seem like a privacy violation, but the teacher displays very poor taste. I can’t believe he was letting students take pictures of everyone’s weight and BMI. Also, I highly doubt all kids in the class need to lose 10% BMI. What about those who are already thin, but feel the need to lose weight to make the grade? Losing 10% BMI in two weeks could be dangerous.

A person’s weight and BMI should have nothing to do with the grade they receive in class–ever. Also, I cannot think of one good reason to make it mandatory to put their names, weight, and BMI on the chalkboard.

If you had a high school aged child who came home and told you this, what would your reaction be?

Go From Feeling Frazzled and Frumpy to Feeling Fabulous and Feisty by Liz Nord

I know firsthand what it feels like to transition from feeling frazzled and frumpy to feisty and fabulous! After having our kids, there have been many times when I have felt exhausted, let myself go, or lost my fire. Here are some ways I’ve gone from frazzled and frumpy to feeling feisty, strong, sexy, and fabulous!

~ Set boundaries and reclaim yourself. We are busy women trying to balance kids, marriage, friends, careers, domesticity, and personal time. Do not underestimate the power of “you” time. Some of us may feel guilty taking time out for ourselves (I do), but work through it or you will end up burned out and resentful. If you take time for yourself, you will feel refreshed, be a happier mom and wife, and better able to take on the world.

~ Throw your shoulders back, pick up your chin, and open up your posture. Yes, do it right now! How does that feel? It feels good! I immediately feel more confident and energetic whenever I extend my arms. If I’m sitting down somewhere and notice that I’m not feeling “on,” I just open up my posture by setting one of my arms on the chair next to me. I swear it works wonders every time! More

Beauty & The Media ~ The Reality Behind The Images by Liz Nord.

Every day, we are bombarded with unrealistic beauty images through the internet, television, magazines, billboards, and movies. When I was younger, I had no idea that what I saw was not reality. I naively thought that all the gorgeous models and actors looked that way naturally. I remember looking at magazines wondering how someone could possibly be so beautiful. The standards seemed so high and unattainable, and there was little positive representation of diverse looks, ages, or body types. The constant messages seemed clear, if you want to be successful, happy, and popular you must look a certain way. As a pre-teen and teenager, I compared myself with those images and did not feel beautiful. I felt short, plain, and not pretty, which equated to not good enough—in my mind. I figured out, much later, that the images are fake, the messages are wrong, and that I am good enough as I am.

For women, intelligence still seems to take a back seat in the media—it’s not enough if you are “just smart”, as I mention in this previous post. The message is that you have to be smart and “perfectly beautiful” to succeed or be over-the-top sexed up to get attention. Girls, boys, men, and women are still buying into the bogus images and false messages today and the effects are not good for self-esteem, self-worth, confidence, healthy body image, and respect issues. More

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