Archives for December, 2009

10 Ways to Celebrate Your Body Year-Round

I was reading Therese Borchard’s post on seven ways to celebrate Christmas year-round, and I was inspired to create my own list of suggestions for celebrating our bodies in 2010 and beyond. Hope you find it helpful!

Reflect on how you’ve treated your body and yourself in '09. How have you treated it well? How have you treated it poorly? Did you listen to your body when it was hungry or hurting? Has your body image improved or gotten worse? What events contributed to...
Continue Reading

Q&A with Julie Parker of "Beautiful You"

I hope everyone had a very happy Christmas and a wonderful weekend, with minimal post-celebration guilt (if you're still struggling, check out these six tips).

Today, I'm happy to present an interview with body image expert Julie Parker of the fabulous blog Beautiful You. Below, we talked about her work, tips for building a healthier body image, myths about eating disorders and more.

1. In your bio, you write that you’ve worked in the body image and eating disorder field for over ten years. Tell us more about your work and yourself.

I started out my career as a counselor and soon noticed many girls and young women coming to me for issues related to self-esteem, body image and eating disorders.  I chose to read and study further and quickly found myself incredibly passionate about wanting to be a body image advocate and do more for those who were desperately suffering.  This eventually led me to working for The Butterfly Foundation – Australia’s largest charitable foundation that supports people with eating disorders and negative body image.  I have also experienced my own body image and self-esteem battles and can very much relate to the wide reaching issues they can create and sustain in someone’s life.

2. What led you to start Beautiful You?

While I am very privileged to have a ‘voice’ in the eating disorder and body image field with work, I wanted to share more of my personal thoughts.  I wanted Beautiful You to be a space that was inspirational and life affirming, but also challenged the many insidious and exploitative practices that detract from us having positive body image and self-esteem.

3. What are some of your tips for building a healthier body image?

Love yourself as you are.  Stop believing your life will be perfect if you are thin.  Don’t weigh yourself.  Don’t diet.  Seek ways to lead a balanced life.  Enjoy food.  Find a physical activity you love to do.  Never compare your appearance to someone else.  Become media savvy and literate.  Embrace size, gender, age and cultural diversity.  Recognize your absolute uniqueness.

Continue Reading

This Holiday, What's Your Food Hiding?

Do you wear food as a mask?

While replying to the amazing Jess Weiner (a great body image and self-esteem advocate) on the first post in the holiday series on how to recognize healthy eating advice, I had a thought about food and its deeper role.

Jess wrote:
I think the choices we make around the holidays are so totally loaded with other emotional layers that sometimes it’s just not about the food — and advice that skims the surface of the deeper issues for...
Continue Reading

Eating This Holiday (and Beyond) with More Enjoyment and Less Guilt

Last Friday, we talked about the slew of guilt-inspiring, restrictive advice we typically get from health-related magazines and websites. Registered dietitian Marsha Hudnall, MS, RD, from A Weight Lifted laid out some great tips on how to tell if you're getting good, genuinely healthy eating advice.

Today, let's talk about that genuinely healthy advice. Let's talk about how we can approach eating with enjoyment and keep our body image (and mind) in tact and guilty feelings out the door.

What would happen if you...
Continue Reading

Another Way to Look at Your Body Image

Do you live your life with purpose?

"Numerous studies have shown that people who have a sense of purpose have better health, better relationships and a higher overall sense of well-being, " body image expert Sarah Maria writes in her book Love Your Body, Love Your Life.

So what does this have to do with body image exactly?

According to Sarah Maria, without a sense of purpose, we're more likely to experience a poor body image, or what she terms, "negative body obsession or...
Continue Reading