Archive for October, 2010

Other Benefits of Mindfulness & Practicing At Home: Part 3 with Michelle Lelwica

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Connecticut, path littered w leaves

Below is the last part of my interview with associate professor and author Michelle Lelwica, ThD. Michelle talks about the specific benefits of mindfulness, including how it helps us access our inner calm, how we can incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives and just how mindfulness helps to heal a negative body image.

If you missed them, check out part one of our interview on how mindfulness can help your body image and part two on the main misconceptions about practicing mindfulness.

Q: What are the other benefits of mindfulness practice?

A: For me, a major benefit of mindfulness practice is that it has helped me lower my center of gravity as a person so that I no longer live exclusively from my head. When I was a teenager with a full-blown eating disorder, I spent the vast majority of time in my head – counting calories, planning my next binge or starvation diet, comparing myself with other girls and women, fantasizing about the day I would finally be thin enough, etc. Thankfully, I no longer devote mental energy to that line of thinking.


Myths about Practicing Mindfulness: Part 2 with Michelle Lelwica

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

creative joy, light and leaves

Yesterday, associate professor and author Michelle Lelwica, ThD, talked about how mindfulness can boost your body image (you can check that out here).

Today, in part two of our interview, Michelle shares her insight on the various misconceptions about practicing mindfulness – and the important lessons along the way.

Q: What are several misconceptions about mindfulness?

A: I’ve already suggested that mindfulness is not about philosophical speculation, and yet the funny thing about the term “mindfulness” is that it sounds like it is some kind of head trip (i.e., emphasis on the “mind”). Actually the opposite is true. Becoming fully conscious of what you are experiencing is a way to “step out” of the endless stream of thoughts flowing through your head.


How Mindfulness Can Boost Your Body Image: Q&A with Michelle Lelwica

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

You may think that mindfulness doesn’t have much to do with body image. But in many ways, mindfulness can actually help to heal body image issues.

For insight, I spoke with Michelle Lelwica, ThD, associate professor at Concordia College in Minnesota and an expert in mindfulness.

Michelle is also the author of The Religion of Thinness: Satisfying the Spiritual Hungers Behind Women’s Obsession with Food and Weight. I’ve had the great pleasure of interviewing Michelle before for Weightless about her fantastic book, the pursuit of thinness, fulfilling our genuine needs and more (part 1, part 2, part 3).

Below, Michelle talks about what mindfulness is and how it relates to body image. Tomorrow, she discusses the common misconceptions about mindfulness – and there are many!

Q: What exactly is mindfulness? Where does it come from?

A: Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening inside you—in your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations—in the present moment. This awareness itself has a gentle, non-judgmental, observing, and accepting quality, so that when you are mindful you experience a sense of inner calm and serenity, regardless of the contents of your experience. You can also practice bringing this awareness to what is happening around you in the present moment, i.e., being mindful of your environment and of other people.


Body Image & Faces of Beauty

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Every Monday features a tip, exercise, inspiring quote or other tidbit to help boost your body image. For many of us, Mondays are tough. We may feel anxious and stressed out, anticipating an arduous week, especially if we didn’t get much rest and relaxation during the weekend.

These kinds of feelings don’t create the best environment for improving one’s body image. In fact, you might be harder on yourself and easily frustrated. You might even feel like you’re walking on egg shells – with yourself! With these posts, I hope you’ll have a healthier and happier body image day, that’ll last throughout the week.

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky@gmail.com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. It can be anything you do that’s healthy and helps boost your body image. I’d love to hear from you!

It took me a long time to realize my own beauty. And sometimes, it’s still a struggle.

Maybe you feel the same way.


Body Image & 5 Things That Make Your Heart Skip a Beat

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

yellow trees, central park

I know this week might’ve felt a bit heavy considering the serious subjects we’ve covered, so I wanted to make this Friday’s post a little lighter. I recently read this older post on the blog Life Through a Cracked Lens. In it, Kim shares five things that make her so happy that her heart skips a beat.

Thinking about oh-so happy moments is usually a big boost to our mood and – either directly or indirectly – to our body image and that’s always a great thing.

As many of you know, I’m a big proponent of putting life in perspective when it comes to creating a more positive body image, of thinking and participating in activities that you’re passionate about, that make you excited, that make you happy.


Why the Media Isn’t to Blame for Eating Disorders

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

One of the biggest misconceptions about eating disorders is that the media has a main role in making someone vulnerable to anorexia or bulimia.

It’s easy to make this assumption. The media is terribly persuasive in how we view beauty, our bodies and really ourselves.

Does the media contribute to disordered eating? YesYesYes. Make many of us feel like crap? Absolutely. Promote false ideas of health? Ditto!

{image credit}

In many ways, the media is to blame for the state of our body image. For our desire to diet. For the view that thinness leads to happiness. For the idea that we must wait until we lose weight to do anything.


Body Shame & How to Overcome It: Q&A with Expert Carolyn Jones

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Body shame goes beyond having a negative body image, and can lead to a variety of harmful consequences.

Unfortunately, body shame isn’t a topic we often hear about. I’ve actually wanted to share information on this topic with Weightless readers ever since I addressed body shame in a guest post.

That’s why I’m pleased to present my interview with Carolyn Jones, RN, LPC, CEDS, director of nursing at the Eating Recovery Center.

Below, she provides insight into what body shame is, its causes and consequences, how individuals can overcome body shame and much more.


10 Ways to Keep Loving Your Body

Monday, October 18th, 2010

creative joy retreat, 2012, hearts

Every Monday features a tip, exercise, inspiring quote or other tidbit to help boost your body image. For many of us, Mondays are tough. We may feel anxious and stressed out, anticipating an arduous week, especially if we didn’t get much rest and relaxation during the weekend.

These kinds of feelings don’t create the best environment for improving one’s body image. In fact, you might be harder on yourself and easily frustrated. You might even feel like you’re walking on egg shells – with yourself! With these posts, I hope you’ll have a healthier and happier body image day, that’ll last throughout the week.

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky@gmail.com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. It can be anything you do that’s healthy and helps boost your body image. I’d love to hear from you!

When the reflection in the mirror isn’t what you expected or wanted to see, just smile at yourself. Refuse the urge to contort your face into a grimace or anything that resembles disappointment or disgust. You are you. Imperfect. And beautiful, in all your glory.

When you feel ugly and disgusting, think of something that makes you feel utterly breathtakingly beautiful – or happy, or at peace.


On Perfection, Protests & Body Image

Friday, October 15th, 2010

The gifts of imperfection

Even though we know that perfection doesn’t exist that doesn’t stop many of us from trying to achieve it.

We want perfectly flat abs. Perfectly sculpted arms. Perfectly muscular legs.

A perfect number on the scale. A perfect way of eating. A perfect way to weight loss.

A perfect life.


Building a Healthy Body Image: Part 2 with Ashley from Nourishing the Soul

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Here’s part two of my interview with Ashley of Nourishing the Soul, a blog about body image, media literacy and disordered eating. Ashley’s blog is fantastic, so if you aren’t familiar with it yet, please check it out!

If you missed it, check out part one of our interview, where Ashley discusses what Nourishing the Soul is all about and how we can nourish our bodies, minds and spirits.

Below, Ashley talks all about body image: the body image issues she’s seen in her clients, how she developed a positive body image, what having a healthy body image means to her and body image boosters for readers to try.


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