Body shaming comes in all shapes and sizes

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Body shaming


The other day, a couple of (well-meaning) people thought it was okay to comment about my weight on Facebook. If I were heavier, I think it would be un-PC to call me out on it. But I weigh in on the smaller side with a lean BMI. The biggest (no pun intended) thing to note, however, is that my weight is nobody’s business, except my physician’s. What is important is that body shaming is inappropriate toward any size or shape. A few years ago, I wrote an article for In With Skin magazine—titled “Body Image Can Shape Well-Being”—about the ways people close to us may influence our feelings toward our bodies, either positively or negatively, plus tips on how to develop a healthy body image. And as someone who has lived in the shadows of an eating disorder for decades, I speak from experience. It’s okay to express concern (privately, rather than on social media). But remember: words create a lasting impression.

How’s your body image?

Image courtesy of Aleksa D at

Dress for success

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Dress for success

If we manifest the fruition of our thoughts—whether negative or positive—it makes sense that if we desire a given outcome, we’ll make every effort to emulate, create space for, focus on, the end result. In other words, between point A and point B, we must work to attract victory. The law of attraction reveals that very thing: we attract more of what we focus on. This holds true in spite of what we seek. The more we complain or wallow in self-pity, the more we bring the same upon us. So if we were to desire a high-powered job and our position is entry level, we must dress for the goal our eye is fixed upon. If we aspire to be an artist, musician, academic, writer, dancer, etc., we’ll create space to study and practice our craft and surround ourselves with like-minded souls. Misery loves company, because misery is not alone. Positive thinking begets positive results. I choose the latter.

How do you dress for success?

Complaints don’t change a thing

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Complaints don't change anything

[image credit: jesadaphorn]

I’ve noticed a trend lately. Maybe it isn’t something new and I’m just more in tune because it’s something I’m working on changing within myself. It goes along with the “palms-open approach” I wrote about: releasing expectations to receive whatever is in store for me. Practicing this conscious thought process has been an exercise in freedom because it has allowed me to more fully live in each moment. What I’ve noticed, however, between friends and acquaintances and across social media, is that oftentimes the negative is elevated to a status it doesn’t deserve. I’m not saying we should brush misfortune or disappointment under the rug, but why give either one more credit than necessary? If our thoughts eventually dictate our destiny, then I want whatever I think on to be positive, life-affirming and the opposite of a Debbie Downer mentality. Complaints rarely change anything. But a happy attitude begets a happy attitude. Serve me up another cup of happy, please.

What if you spent one day without complaining?

Step 2 toward making a positive change

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step 2

[Image credit: imagerymajestic]

In my post, Two weeks to a new, improved you, I shared the first step of five to help you change your life in 14 days. I also included a sample from my notebook on how to complete the first step. This post reviews step two: List everyone and everything that drain your energy. Examples can be work life, home life, your relationship with a significant other, your health or body image. If it helps, begin with broader categories and be as detailed and focused as possible. What are the things bringing you down at work—is it lack of communication or a particular colleague? Is your home cluttered, are projects left unfinished or do you spend the majority of your free time picking up after others? Do you need to confront someone about unresolved feelings? Are there certain health issues that cause you frustration? Use this checklist to explore any negative energy in your life to prepare you for step three.

Were you surprised with your list?

Sustaining the sparkle

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As I wrote about in Sparkling affirmations, if we’re alive, we’re going to get knocked down. Maybe not daily, but it will happen. However, we cannot allow another person or circumstance the power to keep us there. During a recent yoga practice, the teacher shared her personal testimony of an unpleasant situation she’d taken to heart, but then acknowledged she doesn’t always act the way she should or speak with kindness. So before she let the unpleasantries ruin her day, she released the damaging energy. Imagine if she had held onto it, how that may have affected her evening or the next class she taught. Just as we are in control of our own happiness, we choose how we react to positive or negative situations. I appreciated the reminder because, lately, I’ve been fixating on and allowing the littlest of items to get under my skin, ultimately dulling my sparkle. Thus taking away from the things—and people—which matter most.

What’s your secret to sustaining the sparkle?

Allowing your past to dictate your future

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[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

During a recent conversation with a friend, I mentioned a mutual acquaintance had recently married for the third time.  Do you think it will work out this time? he asked me.  Ever the romantic, I responded in the affirmative.  Do you? I asked.  His response was negative, with his reasoning that: History repeats itself.  Of course, this isn’t a new concept, especially when reviewing much of our country’s history.  It can also be seen in my college grades (summa cum laude), my employment reviews (good ones!) and the list goes on, which is added proof that positive or negative, history oftentimes lends itself to repeated behaviors and events.  I’d like to think, however, that if we learn from both our poor, as well as our wise choices — and take that knowledge with us as we move forward — then to me, this is the best way for history to repeat itself.  And possibly to have the last laugh.

Do you allow your past to dictate your future?