Culture Articles

Heart to Heart: Cultivating A Kinder Relationship With Your Body

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

heart-to-heart-cover1

When I was deep in the well of body hatred, I didn’t really see any other path, any other way of being with myself. My friends and family loved me unconditionally, and told me not to be so critical.

But aside from them, there was always a sinking, gnawing feeling that I wasn’t enough, one substantiated (or perhaps triggered) by everything around me.

I ate up these messages. I ate up the messages that said I’d finally be enough when I looked a certain way.


35 Lessons on Body Image, Well-Being And Life

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

tulips

Today is my 32nd birthday. Every year, for my b-day, I’ve been republishing a version of the below post. It’s become sort of a tradition around here.

In it, I share what I’ve learned about body image, well-being and life in my years on this earth thus far. Why 35? Extra lessons for good measure and good luck!

1. Be you.

In all your amazing and unique glory. Trying to be like others or pretending you like something you actually don’t doesn’t work. Trust me, I’ve tried. It feels awkward and itchy. And then there’s the matter of life being too short.

Find out who you are. Explore your likes and dislikes. Explore what makes you happy. Explore what feeds you, what gets you up in the early hours of the day. Spend time by yourself. Take yourself out on dates.


Your Body Is Not The Enemy

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

creative joy, notice, love and hearts, 2012

In our culture there is a prevailing belief that if we can’t get our bodies to look a certain way, to lose weight, to fit into an old pair of jeans, then they’re the enemy.

They’re an enemy we have to subdue, manipulate and pound into submission. An enemy we need to insult, yell at and despise.

Today, I wanted to share a reminder that, in fact, our bodies are not the enemy — despite what you see in ads or read in “health” publications. They never were.


10 Reasons to Love Your Body

Friday, July 11th, 2014

creative joy, single heart, 2012

In our culture there are conditions. There are conditions that dictate when we can — and can’t — love our bodies.

For instance, we can love our bodies when we’re thin. We can love our bodies when we’ve lost weight. We can love them when our waists and thighs are small, when our bodies adhere to certain random standards.


Exploring Our Beauty And Body Beliefs

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Buddha quote

{quote from Daily Joy}

Last week I shared 20 questions for connecting to ourselves and our needs.

It’s also helpful to explore questions around beauty, worthiness and enoughness. Because it’s our beliefs about what is beautiful and what is enough that influence — negatively or positively — how we think about ourselves, how we take care of ourselves and how we navigate our lives.

Often these beliefs are so ingrained that we just assume they’re the truth or how things should be.

Exploring these beliefs helps us better understand why we think the way we do, and why we do what we do. It opens the door to thinking and living in ways that serve us.

Here are 20 questions to help you examine these beliefs.


On Self-Care And Holding Our Breath

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Amelia Island beach, bird and exhale caption

In my book I talk about giving ourselves the permission to play. Because it isn’t necessarily our lack of time or too many responsibilities that stops us from playing.

Rather, it’s our beliefs. It’s our belief that now that we’re adults, we shouldn’t play. We must get serious.

It’s our belief that we’re too busy or too tired or too old.


Playful And Powerful Quotes on Food, Cooking & Eating

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Connecticut, breakfast

When we’re trying to eat intuitively and ditch our dieting mentality, it can feel like we’re a party of one.

Everywhere we look, we see ads for weight-loss programs, diet foods and diet pills.

We’re shamed and blamed about our food choices (you better not eat that if you want to be “healthy.” you know it’s bikini season, right?).

Our friends and family might be “watching” what they eat (e.g., counting calories), and we assume we have to watch, too. (Or maybe some people even suggest it.)

When we’re trying to find foods that truly nourish us, when we’re trying to rebuild our relationship with food, it can help to have some good reminders.


When You Feel Guilty After Eating

Friday, May 30th, 2014

CT cafe

For Memorial Day weekend, Brian and I visited friends in Miami. We ate lots of my favorite foods: shrimp, french fries, gelato, whole wheat waffles.

While I enjoyed every bite, afterward, I felt the subtle, gnawing nudge of guilt. And some negative thoughts had slithered in:

What if you gain weight from all of this? You’ve already gained weight since last summer. What if it all goes straight to your expanding hips and thighs? What’s wrong with you? Did you really need to eat the whole plate? You know, you look pregnant, right?

While I can’t control these automatic thoughts, I can remind myself that they’re definitely mistaken. I can remind myself of the truth.


Reinterpreting Painful Stories

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Life-Organizer-Cover

I used to spin many painful stories about myself, my weight and my appearance. For instance, I used to cling to a story that said that once I was thin, I’d be beautiful, popular and happy.

I also used to cling to a story that revolved around self-care: I didn’t deserve to take care of myself until I was a certain size; that I somehow wasn’t allowed to feel good until I reached my goal weight.

I believed that I had to earn self-care (along with respect, love and kindness, both from myself and others).


Body Image Booster: Create A Timeline

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Aristotle quote.3

Every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit that helps boost your body image, whether directly or indirectly — and hopefully kick-starts 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.

Reviewing your past relationship with your body can give you insight into how to improve your current connection. It can help you spot patterns and connect the dots between various events and your feelings.

That’s why I suggest creating a timeline of how you felt about your body throughout the years. Start with your first memory about being in your body, and then include other pivotal moments.


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