Archives for May, 2011

Body Image

Body Image Booster: Focusing On Inner Beauty

Mondays can be rough for many of us, and this doesn’t create the ideal environment for building a better body image. To help you turn that around, every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit to help boost your body image – and kick-start the week on a positive note.

Today, I'm pleased to present a guest post by Amy Harman, a a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who writes the blog Becoming a Better Woman from the Inside Out. She urges us to rethink our view of looking good and being good and more!

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!

A lot of times we get caught up worrying about whether we look like we “should” (which is of course defined by our culture in narrow, unrealistic terms).

Am I too fat?  Do I have the right legs for this skirt?  Does my hair flatter my face?  What color should my nail polish be?  Is someone going to notice my zits?  Do I have to wear a swimsuit???

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Culture

Weighted Words: What A Perfect Food World Looks Like


Today, I'm thrilled to present a beautifully written guest post by Joy Choquette, who writes the awesome blog 156 Things, where she takes on about three things each week that take her out of her comfort zone. I love Joy's writing, and I'm honored to share the below post with you.

Joy is a Vermont-based professional writer. As she says,  among her many interests are psychology geekery, people-watching and interpreting and everything relationship oriented: from marriages to childhood patterns to habits involving food, money and faith. She's also very much interested in intuitive eating (please read this amazing post about it on her blog).

Without further ado, here's Joy's post about food in today's world.
I am sitting in a café, warm coffee-scented air hanging heavy. I type away on my laptop. Today, this café is a retreat from my real life, a place to focus entirely on my writing and block out the distractions that plague me at home.

At least, I try to block out the distractions. More than once I’m pulled into a conversation at a nearby table, ears perking as I stare into space waiting for the right order of words to come.

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Body Image

Body Image & Life Quotes To Live By & A Giveaway!


I love quotes. It's amazing how a string of words can have a significant impact on how we feel about ourselves and how we view and live our lives.

Quotes have a way of lifting us up and changing the tone of our day. They have a way of helping us put things into perspective. Of empowering us, and of enlightening us.

Recently I had the opportunity to check out Julie Parker's new e-book (she generously sent me a free copy), which is filled with her original inspirational quotes and stunning illustrations by artist Emma Kate Codrington.

Julie is a counselor, life coach and body image advocate extraordinaire. I've been a huge fan of her blog and work for a while now!

She strikes me as a very positive, sweet and compassionate person. Her e-book reads the same way. Julie's quotes touch on everything from body image and beauty to self-love and authenticity.

They're absolutely thoughtful and inspiring. (Below are two samples from the book.) It's a beautiful e-book that doesn't just brighten your day but makes you reconsider how you've been treating yourself and how you want to live your life.

I'm thrilled to present a Q&A with Julie, where she talks more about her e-book, favorite body image tips and what inspires her.

And...Julie is giving away a copy to one lucky reader! In the comments, just tell us what's one quote you live by or what inspires you! I'll announce the winner next Wednesday. (I'll use random.org to generate the winner.)
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Body Image

The 7 Vital Types Of Self-Care

I used to think that self-care was taking a day off, getting a pedicure and washing my hair often enough that I didn't frighten young children.

Even more so, years ago, the words "self-care" rarely entered my mind. They had no part in my routine, let alone my vocabulary.

In grad school, any attempts to take care of myself vanished. I felt a surge of shame every time I wanted to do something for myself aside from work. I wondered, what's the point?

Then I reached my breaking point and realized that I was a tired, inactive, malnourished and unhappy mess.

As I started writing Weightless, I was getting much better, but I still had a very narrow view of self-care. Then, my friend and fellow blogger Christie Inge taught me an important lesson.

Like she always says, "Self-care is more than bubble baths and good books." For instance, she believes that creating and sustaining solid boundaries is also part and parcel. I had no clue!

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Body Image

Body Image Booster: Say Cheese!

Mondays can be rough for many of us, and this doesn’t create the ideal environment for building a better body image. To help you turn that around, every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit to help boost your body image – and kick-start the week on a positive note.

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!

{Kim Brittingham, taken by Jeffrey Seeds}
A few weeks ago, we talked about the importance of finding beauty in our photos. For many of us, regardless of where we're at with our body image, taking pictures and looking at our pictures can still be tough.
We naturally nit-pick, berate a part of our bodies or just hate taking pictures in general.
As Kim Brittingham, writer, blogger and author of Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting and Live Large, says, "If you’re battling body image issues, a photograph of yourself can become a weapon in your arsenal of low self-esteem."

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Eating & Dieting

On Food & Big Appetites

I'm the type of person who looks forward to a party partially because of the food. I love cake and eat dessert daily. I get excited to chump on carrots and enjoy a plate of berries, watermelon and grapes. I mean giddy with excitement.

I've also never met a pizza or fettuccine Alfredo I didn't like.

While now I embrace my love for food, years ago, I used to condemn it. I resented my appetite. Because in my mind, that's what made me fat. That's what made it so difficult for me to diet.

I wished upon many a star that I didn't need to enjoy what I was eating, that I didn't have such a big appetite, especially for all things sweet.

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Body Image

Self-Discovery Series: When Anger Remains Unexpressed

Do you know when you're angry? How often do you let yourself feel the fiery emotion? Do you view anger as a bad feeling?

Maybe like me, your experiences with anger are slim. I could probably count on my hands the number of times I've let myself fully express my anger.

My whole life I've kept my emotions in - especially when I've gotten mad.

I'd let the anger simmer, stew and bubble inside my body. I'd wave it off because I was so worried about how others would react.

If I expressed my anger, would they stop being my friend? Would they yell back? Would they walk away? Would they get mad at me? How long would they stay mad?

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Boys & Men

The Stigma Of Eating Disorders & Setting Stereotypes Straight

Eating disorders are serious biologically-based mental illnesses, which can affect anyone.
They do not discriminate by age, gender, class, color, culture, size, shape or weight.
They cause a variety of health complications, including heart problems, electrolyte imbalances and osteoporosis.
Eating disorders also have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
Yes, you read that correctly.
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Body Image Booster: Pick A Role Model

Mondays can be rough for many of us, and this doesn’t create the ideal environment for building a better body image. To help you turn that around, every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit to help boost your body image – and kick-start the week on a positive note.

Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!
In our society, we admire celebrities, friends, acquaintances or total strangers who are lean, trim and toned. Who wear clothes well. Who fit an impossible ideal.

If it's an actress, we might post her picture on our fridge or at work for motivation. (Yes, I've seen this recommended and have done the same myself.)

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Eating Disorder

Supporting Someone Who’s Consumed By Their Eating Disorder


Social support is so important in helping someone who's struggling with an eating disorder. But how do you support someone if all they can focus on is the ED?

That's the excellent and difficult question that reader Julie posed a few weeks ago. She wrote:

i have a good friend who is currently undergoing inpatient treatment for anorexia and bulimia. she is quite far away from where we live (canada) – she’s gone down to the states to a private hospital. before she left, i was struggling with how to support her. all she talks about is her EDs, and i constantly try not to engage in that talk because i want to remind her of her whole person, not just her ed-self. does anybody have any tips as to what i can do to be most supportive to her? i want her to feel she can talk to me about what she is struggling with, but i also don’t want to play into having her ed’s be the ONLY thing she relates to.
....
we met in the hospital where we were both being treated for depression, so we have a different relationship than a lot of my other friends. i want to be a good friend but she is pretty isolated and to be honest sometimes its frustrating for me watching her struggle so much, knowing that she has so much potential. i appreciate any answers you’re able to find!

For insight, I consulted Susan Schulherr, an eating disorder specialist and the author of Eating Disorders for Dummies. (Susan also writes a fantastic blog that provides ideas and inspiration for eating disorder recovery.) Below, Susan offers her advice.
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