What Stories Are You Telling Yourself?


What stories are you telling that are hurting you?

Every person has a story to tell.

Sometimes we tell the stories to ourselves, and sometimes we share them with loved ones and sometimes we even share them with strangers.

These stories we tell however directly influence the quality of the lives we create.  Today’s article explains what I mean.

Our beliefs are frequently expressed through the stories we tell.  What do I mean by a story?  I mean recounting the incident that happened yesterday with your daughter.  Or the story you tell about how hard it is to pay the bills.  Or the one you moan and groan about how fat you look in that outfit.

All of those are examples of how our underlying beliefs are affecting the quality of the life we think we are consciously creating.  The beliefs are so tightly interwoven into the fabric of our conversations, both internally and externally, that we mostly don’t even recognize what is going on.

We think we are innocently discussing the challenge we had with our child, but what we are really doing is adding disruptive energy to an already disruptive situation.  Yesterday, was yesterday.  Either you resolved the situation yesterday or you didn’t, but continuing to talk about it a negative manner won’t help things either way.  If we’re not saying something GREAT about our kids, we probably shouldn’t be saying it. (Even to ourselves!) — And that’s true about our bosses, our BFFs and even our spouses! 😉

And that goes for thinking it also.  Replaying the argument over and over again in the so-called privacy of our own minds doesn’t help either.  Because The Universe is listening.  Our Soul is listening.  Quantum physics is at play and the negative vibrations are being transmitted out into the Universe and magnetizing similar vibrations to boomerang back to you.  That’s the underside of the Law of Attraction!

The same thing happens when get dressed in the morning, go look in the mirror and then turn away upset with your own reflection and saying “I can’t wear THIS today?  I look horrible!!  And then you add fuel to the fire with a litany of beratements:  “I’ve got nothing to wear.”  I look fat in everything!”  I hate my clothes!”  and eventually you get to . . . . “I hate my body.”

And that lower vibration has power.  

The power to harm. 

And it is harming YOU!

Your breathing changes whether you realize it or not.  Your stress levels increase, whether you realize it or not.  You drop something in the kitchen a few minutes later and proclaim it a “crappy morning” and find yourself stuck in traffic, so you confirm that it really is a CRAPPY morning and then you get to work and something unexpected pops up which you weren’t prepared for and so on it goes . . . .

The energetic vibration behind the simple story you told yourself when you looked in the mirror ripples out into YOUR Universe and mucks up the rest of your day.

So this week . . . become conscious of your stories.

If your life is flowing along and you feel happy and peaceful and relaxed . . . you are telling GREAT stories!  CONGRATS and KEEP IT UP!!!  

But if you are feeling depressed, anxious and stressed . . . your stories need improving!

If you can’t tell a better story – meaning finding something GOOD in the situation to talk about, then do something that distracts your mind and your mouth (and your Inner Critic – Herman in my case!)  Here are 5 things you can do to change and lift your vibration:

  1)  Go for a walk around the block

             2)  Put on some happy music

            3)  Go wash your hands, your feet, or take a shower

            4)   Cuddle someone you love and pets count!

            5)  Drink a glass of water and imagine that every sip is clearing          away your angst.


The bottom line here, as always, is:  

YOU are in charge of the life you have!

The more conscious you become of the stories you are telling about it – privately or publicly – the more control you will have to create the happy, peaceful, prosperous life you want AND DESERVE!


Defining Moments…In Terms of Size

I loved this reminder about how common place it is to define people in terms of size.  It’s no wonder that at least here in the USA, even young girls have self-acceptance and low-self-esteem issues, contributed to heavily by the media incessantly promoting their very narrow (pun intended) version of size acceptance.  The  article’s author, Sassy Minx herself Lisa Clark,  makes her point humorously which makes it easy to read, but no less meaningful!


THE ‘FAT’ vs. ‘THIN’ DEBATE . . . yawn . . . .




Seriously, enough already.

Every year, when London Fashion Week rolls around, you will find me rolling my eyes at the complete predictability of it all.

In the same way that, every year, come what may, on the 27th December, you’ll be bombarded with celebrities pimping their exercise DVDs and the diet industry launching a never-ending supply of supposed ‘I-can-make-you-thin’ prodz, London Fashion Week sparks the same debate – fashion models are too skinny, there should be more voluptuous women on the catwalk, yada, yada, yada.

I’m a size 18. I’m hot. I have a gorgeous friend who is a size 8, she’s hot too. Society would like to label us ‘fat’ and ‘thin’ yet we both totally rock the bodies we’re in, because the size written on the label in our knickers, is NOT an indication of our awesomeness. Last night, I went to the dress rehearsal for our burlesque show on Saturday, and the girls I perform alongside are a truly delicious array of lovely shapes and sizes because, despite what the media will have you believe, girl-kind come in a gazillion different juicy-juicy forms, not just ’skinny’ and ‘fat’.

Putting a ‘voluptuous’ (which in media terminology usually means a UK size 12) model on the catwalk isn’t an insta-fix to the crazy-assed obsession we have with body image in our society right now, in the same way that highlighting how ’skinny’ someone is, or creating niche markets for ‘plus’ size girls won’t cut it either.

Last week, Adele was called a ‘little bit fat’ by Karl Lagerfeld, and then, when she won 7 Grammys at the weekend, the media celebrated the awesome talent of ‘curvy Adele’. What’s the size of her hips got to do with either Karl OR her freakin’ AMAZING talent?

Nothing. It’s bullshit.

As a self-esteem coach and agony aunt for Mizz magazine, I find myself continually exasperated/fucked off/annoyed by society’s endless need to label and define girl-kind by their body size, and as for the endless ‘fat’ and ‘thin’ debate, it just perpetuates the message that no matter what your size, as a girl/woman in the world, you’re never ‘quite’ good enough. Which, FYI, is simply not true. I work on a daily basis in all my work to ensure that girls and women of ALL shapes and sizes, love themselves JUST AS THEY ARE.

I know, controversial, right?

Niches, labels, ‘fat’ and ‘thin debates just continue to highlight the differences between girl-kind, which is why I’m on a mission to create media products that celebrate women in ALL their fabulous forms, not just for the clothes they wear or the size of their hips – don’t get me wrong, I LOVE clothes, shoes and make-up, but they most deffo don’t define me – but for their talents and skillz, their business savvy and their YOU-nique qualities too – get ready, the SASSY-fication o’ girl-kind is coming, g-friends – you in?

The future is bright, the future is girl-shaped. And FYI. That’s the shape you’re currently in, ‘k?!


AUTHOR: Lisa Clark
FROM WEBSITE: The Sassy Minx
DIRECT LINK: http://www.thesassyminx.com/beauty-queen/the-fat-v-thin-debate-yawn/comment-page-1/#comment-3983


Do You KNOW Who You Are?




Let me start off by telling you who you are NOT.

You are NOT your fat.

You are NOT your bank account.

You are NOT your zip code.

You are NOT your degree/certification or lack thereof.

You are NOT your job title . . . even if that’s Mother/Father or Brain Surgeon.

You most certain are NOT your To-Do List or worse yet . . . your I HAVEN’T DONE list!

When we whip around our human experience, it’s way too easy to get caught up In all that human, physical stuff.

Oh I get we live in a physical world. I get that there are always errands to run, people to see and laundry that needs doing.

But don’t let all that divert your attention from who you really are.

And for goodness sake don’t let all that DEFINE who you really are!

You are an infinite being.



Your POWERS are immeasurable!

Your TALENTS are immeasurable!

Your ABILITY TO LOVE is immeasurable!


Get it? INFINITE – withOUT measure!

So don’t measure yourself by your dress size. Or your house size. Or your bank account size.

If you are having one of THOSE days, or THOSE moments, where you have temporarily forgotten who you REALLY are . . . try this little exercise.

Use your gift of thought to picture or feel or think about the ocean. When you have the picture/feeling or sensation firmly planted in your mind . . . start counting the drops of water in the ocean.

What? Ridiculous you say? Too many to count?





Just like your heart. Just like how much happiness you bring to those who care about you.

Just like how much power you have to change someone’s life with a hug or a smile or those FABU chocolate chip cookies that only YOU can make.


And don’t you forget it!

(OK – well . . . maybe you should print this and cut it out somewhere to remind you . . . just in case!)




FAT: The Truth Behind the HYPE


FAT is a word that has  a potent impact when used as either a noun or an adjective.  I found this post by Deborah Kauffmann, RD, LDN, helpful to have a bit of science to help us understand terminology more rationally and less emotionally.



Some Fatty Basics

Like carbohydrate, dietary fat is composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. 95% of dietary and body fat is in the form of triglycerides, composed of three fatty acids attached to one glycerol molecule.

There are three types of fatty acids: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. This refers to if a fatty acid is saturated with hydrogen atoms along its carbon chain, or if it could hold one more (monounsaturated) or several more (polyunsaturated).

Foods from animal sources contain mostly saturated fatty acids and foods from plant sources contain mostly unsaturated fatty acids.

Fat in the Diet

It is recommended that 20 to 35 percent of each day’s intake should come from fat. Fat provides the most concentrated source of energy for the body. It spares protein from being used for energy so that it can be used to repair and build body tissue. Fat also aids in the transport and absorption of the fat soluble vitamins – A, D, E and K.

Fat also improves the flavor, texture and aroma of foods as well as delaying stomach emptying, helping to create the feeling of satiety after a meal.

“Fattening” Foods

There is no such thing as a “fattening” food. Foods high in fat do not lead to weight gain if eaten when hungry.

During digestion, fatty acids are freed from the glycerol molecule. The glycerol molecule is converted to glucose in the liver, and both fatty acids and glucose are taken up by the cells to provide energy. Fatty acids that are not immediately used for energy are stored temporarily as triglycerides in our fat cells (adipose tissue). In between meals, these are again broken down to fatty acids and glycerol to provide the cells with energy.

We Need Fat

People tend to think it’s best to eat no or very little saturated fat, but the truth is we need all three types of fat. Saturated fat is involved in regulating the expression of several genes, regulating hormones, cell messaging and immune function.

Saturated fatty acids may also help to stop the development of cancer cells and regulate the availability of polyunsaturated fatty acids including omega-3 fatty acids.

Monounsaturated fat and the right balance of omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats (4:1 ratio) have been shown to protect the heart, reduce risk of cancer and diabetes, boost the immune system and help with many other medical conditions. Since omega-6 fats are plentiful in our typical diet (most vegetable oils), the focus has been to encourage people to increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids (fatty fish, flaxseed, walnuts) to get the right balance.

About Body Fat 

Body fat (adipose tissue) protects vital organs from traumatic injury. Fat is part of every cell membrane and two-thirds of the brain is composed of fat. Fat is a major component of the retina, some hormones and hormone-like substances (prostaglandins), and the myelin sheath that covers our entire nervous system. A layer of subcutaneous fat maintains body temperature. It seems we are always hearing that a higher amount of body fat is unhealthy. Yet that is only true of a higher amount of visceral (deep abdominal) fat which is generally caused by lifestyle factors such as dieting, physical inactivity, stress, alcohol and smoking. In fact, research shows that a higher amount of genetically determined subcutaneous fat is associated with some health benefits – lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain forms of cancer.

I hope this clarifies some of the misunderstanding about dietary and body fat that exists in our culture. Looking forward to your comments and questions in the section below!

AUTHOR:  Deborah Kauffmann, RD, LDN
FROM WEBSITE:  More of Me to Love
DIRECT LINK:  http://www.moreofmetolove.com/blogs/entry/understanding-fat/

Is Your Past HAUNTING You? Overcoming the Past

I realize that for many of us, overcoming the past and focusing on the future can be a speedbump.  Poems about overcoming the past  can be helpful and Spirit downloaded this one to me recently.  




Now What? Get it?


Because now that you finished that sentence and are reading this one, it IS your future, and whatever you were thinking, feeling, being or doing a sentence or two ago, is brought forward energetically into NOW.

So NOW we want to create the most joyful moments we can because we want to bring JOY and PEACE and all those good kinda vibes forward right?  At least if we want our future to be filled with THOSE kinds of good juju!

But what do we do about those past moments that we didn’t feel so happy or peaceful?  What about those moments that may have felt downright yucky?  What do we do about THOSE you may be asking.

Here’s the answer:  “Leave ’em in the PAST because 

the time has PASSED!”

Yes, it’s true, you may have brought a bit of yucky energy into your present because you didn’t know any better or couldn’t do any better AT THE TIME.

But here’s the tricky bit — every time you revisit the Past . . . you are bringing it back AGAIN into the NOW . . . and into your future!

You actually re-activate the same yucky vibes every time you think about “that” person, “that” event, “that” situation.

Not very useful really is it?

There are only a couple of useful things to come out of re-visiting a past experience:

1.    To course-correct – see where you went off your path so you can re-align with where you really want to go;  or

 2.    To uplift your perception of it so that you actually generate new, more positive energy In your present.

It serves absolutely NO useful purpose to rehash an old hurt or painful wound otherwise.  Oh I get how easy it is to fall back when you hear a certain song on the radio, or happen across an old photo while clearing up your desk . . . but the next time that happens . . . choose to remember reading this . . . and in THAT moment . . . DON’T GO into the pain.

Catch yourself!  Become conscious of what you are feeling!  Become conscious of the mind-chatter!  Once you become conscious, you activate your ability to CHOOSE how you WANT to feel, what you WANT to do next!

Sometimes you’ll be ready to review the situation from a more neutral position and see if you can find the blessing and/or change your perception.

But sometimes all you need to do is just MOVE ALONG to the next thing.  Put the picture back where you found it, change the radio station!  You become pro-active in your own life when you make those decisions!  The actions will lead you to better feeling thoughts instantly, if only because you won’t be dwelling on the past pain.

Better still you can re-focus your attention on something that opens your heart or puts a smile on your face!  Here’s a few suggestions:

  • Think of someone you really love
  • Pat your pet
  • Put on your favorite happy song
  • Actually SING your favorite happy song

The second you choose a better-feeling thought or take a better-feeling action you take a giant leap forward towards a happier future and you get the added benefit of feeling better RIGHT NOW!

Pretty cool eh?



Love Yourself MORE!

You MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the world by your presence.

 You are ENOUGH just as you are.

 You are AWESOME.

 You are SPECIAL.

 You are VALUABLE.

 You are NEEDED.

 You are WANTED.


 You are LOVED.


Now . . . .

Your mission, should you choose to accept it . . . 

Is . . . 

To . . . 


Herman vs. Your Heart? Who Wins? Who’s Herman?



I don’t know about you, but I’m guessing your inner voices don’t always “play nice” inside your head right? Especially when you want to do something new that feels a little scary!

It’s a topic I write about often because it’s a topic that is so much a part of our daily lives . . . our inner mind chatter.

It’s usually brutal isn’t it? I mean when I stop for a few minutes, even after all these years of self-development and self-improvement and consciousness awareness, blah blah blah, and I listen to what is going on in my head . . . I’m frequently astonished.


It’s usually brutal isn’t it? I mean when I stop for a few minutes, even after all these years of self-development and self-improvement and consciousness awareness, blah blah blah, and I listen to what is going on in my head . . . I’m frequently astonished.


I’ve named my ego Herman. After Herman Munster in the old TV series. In my mind Herman was an OK guy who just often got it wrong while trying to be helpful. Our ego is trying to be helpful. It’s trying to keep us safe. That’s not a bad thing.

Clearly, we don’t want to be playing in traffic or sticking our wet hands into light sockets. Herman is good for protecting us from that kind of stuff.

But he honestly doesn’t know the difference between me playing in traffic, or me doing something different – like deciding to do more videos and article writing so that I can help more people. Because Herman doesn’t have the discernment to recognize WHY I’m doing something different. He only knows that “something different” means I might be unsafe . . . and that triggers him into “I better keep her safe at any cost” mode!


So how does that show up? Well for many of us, including me, one of the ways is procrastination. Instead of writing the new blog post, I decide to suddenly install a new plug in on my website. Or do the dishes. Or hang out reading Facebook posts. Or check my email 100 times.

Herman has it DOWN I tell you! He does an OUTSTANDING job of keeping me safe! All of those distractions keep me from writing the blog post! YAY Herman!

Oh . . . but . . . Divine Spirit is also telling me I’m here to serve. I’m here to help. I’m here to have fun and make money too! And that requires some conscious choices. Some focus inspired action.


The kind of focus inspired action that gives Herman a heart attack and makes him jump off the couch and start acting like a drill sergeant! Where he tells me to just “click here – it will only take a minute . . . ” and then another minute, and then an hour, and then a few hours, and then I STILL haven’t accomplished my inspired action and written the bloody blog post!

It may be something different for you. Maybe your goal is make more time for you. But suddenly you find that you have even LESS time because all kinds of “things” are getting in your way! That’s a sign that your Inner Herman is in charge!

It doesn’t matter WHAT your goal, dream, aspiration is. If it’s out of the “norm” for you . . . especially if it’s a stretch from your usual comfort zone . . . it’s most likely gonna kick your Herman into gear!

But here’s the really good news . . . 

You know I always like to give you the good news right?

The Good News is that your Divine Spirit, Inner Wisdom, Universal Messenger, whatever you want to call it/him/her . . . has got your back!!

In times like this, I like to picture my Divine Spirit wearing a Superman cape! In this instance “he” swoops in and gives me the pep talk I need to extract myself from Herman’s well-meaning clutches!

Divine Spirit reminds me (and you) . . . that I have the power to make choices in my life that feel good. That I have the power to choose which voice I want to listen to. That I have the power to take a baby step closer to what I really really want and that I’m not doing it alone because all of the powers of the Universe are conspiring on my behalf for my highest good ALL THE TIME!


All the powers of the Universe are conspiring on YOUR behalf for YOUR highest good ALL THE TIME. 

But there is that “free will” thing . . . so you gotta ask ’em for support . . . and once you do – BAM! They’re INSTANTLY on the J-O-B – just like Superman.

So Dear Ones . . . if you aren’t getting what you are wanting. . . start paying attention to what voices you are listening to! And if it’s your version of Herman, call in the calvary! Call in Superman, the Fairy Godmother, Jesus or anything or anyone else you want that will remind you that you have the power to choose again.

And . . . that’s certainly something I can help you with!  Mentoring with me  on an ongoing basis to give you a consistent boost may be exactly what you need right now!  Here’s all the info!

REMEMBER THIS WEEK:  It’s OK to tell Herman to “eff off” if necessary to maintain your Inner Peace!



One of the most damaging ways we muck up our inner peace is playing the comparison game.  The image below says it all pretty clearly!
Frankly, we’re just silly when we look at a picture in a magazine, or a model in a TV ad and then look down at our very human, non-air-brushed, non-photoshopped bodies and call ourselves ugly, fat, or whatever!

Trust me!  No matter how pretty that model may be, s/he didn’t get out of bed looking THAT good!!!  And, even if she did (NOT), that’s not to say that when SHE looks in the mirror, she sees herself as FLAWLESS!

Demi Moore, the well-known and acclaimed actress, was recently quoted in a magazine about how uncomfortable she feels about her looks — even after appearing in movies where she played a stripper and a military officer!  Even HAVING a flawless body, doesn’t mean you FEEL GOOD or BELIEVE your body is beautiful!

So where does that leave us?

Actually in a really cool place!


Yes!  YOU HAVE THE POWER!  Not the frickin media!  You get to decide what’s beautiful to you.  And when you do . . . I highly suggest you do it through the eyes of your heart and not your Inner Critic!

Your heart, your Divine Self, only has the capacity to see GORGEOUSNESS!  And EVERYTHING is gorgeous through its eyes.  Yes, even the flab, the cellulite, the dark circles under your eyes, the not-right hair or WHATEVER!

Divine Spirit doesn’t see any of that — and you have the power and the choice AND THE RESPONSIBILITY to choose what you see also!



I’m 100% certain you will feel better about your body if you do!

P.S. COMMENT BELOW and share your GORGEOUSNESS revealed after reading this post. 🙂


I’m a huge fan of baby steps, chunking things down to bite size pieces and honoring your fears and resistance.  I don’t think beating yourself up ever serves a useful purpose.


BUT . . . .

At the end of the day . . . . .

Most of the time . . . if you REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want what you are focused on consciously creating . . .


You eventually have to . . . .




You can hem and haw . . . you can eat chocolate . . . you can take a bath . . . a walk . . . or even clean the grout in your shower . . . but eventually . . .


You will come back to . . .




Because you must.

Because it is who you are.

Because it is why you are here.

Because if you don’t you will make yourself nuts.

It doesn’t matter how big the “it” thing is . . . or how small . . . or how seemingly unimportant.

The capital “T” Truth is  . . . that if you are resisting, stalling, making excuses, rationalizing, eating chocolate or anything else rather than just doing IT . . . there’s a message in “IT” for you and you won’t find the message until you take the action and . . .



Bitch, moan, groan, whine, whinge, stall . . . . it’s all OK.

It just keeps you from being in your peace for that much longer . . . .

But eventually . . . .

You will realize . . . . .

That you’re gonna have to . . . .



And when you do . . . . REMEMBER THIS:

All the powers of light in the Universe . . .

will be holding your hand . . . .

giving you wings . . . .

preparing the way ahead of you . . . .

shining the light into the darkness . . . .


and . . .


seeing the REAL you, The DIVINE You . . .



and so will I, if you post your leap here in the comments section!!

Go ahead . . . .






Too fat to be a Pus Size Model – At Size 14?

The picture that caused a storm in the fashion world

Lizzie Miller is considered too large to model plus-size clothes. Is the reaction that followed the publication of this picture going to change that?

lizzie miller

‘It’s a photo that measures all of three by three inches,” gushes Cindi Leive, editor of US Glamour in a post on the magazine’s blog, “but the letters about it started to flood my inbox literally the day Glamour hit newsstands.” The picture in question, illustrating a story about body confidence, has generated more than 700 comments on the site, and featured on the US Today morning TV programme. What does it show? A beautiful, creamy-skinned naked model . . . with a small roll of stomach fat.
Lizzie Miller, the 20-year-old model in question, agrees that it’s astonishing that, at 5ft 11in and 12.5 stone she’s considered a “plus size” model. “It’s sad,” she says. “In the industry anything over size six is considered a plus-size.” Miller, who is around a US size 12-14 (that is, either average or slightly below average) lost about 60lb when she was 13 but today she is considered too large to model for plus-size lines Marina Rinaldi (she says, “they like girls who are an 8-10”) or Elena Miro. She says that the overwhelming reaction to the tiny photograph, buried on page 194 of Glamour magazine “shows that the world is hungry to see pictures of normal women.”
One wouldn’t have thought this would be news. As Miller says, “pretty much every picture in a magazine or ad is airbrushed . . . I don’t think the public understands how much smoke and mirrors are involved in making women look like that.”
So does the reaction to this picture mean that the tide is turning? Hardly. Even after the deluge of emails, Leive hasn’t made a commitment to using average-sized women in fashion shoots, saying only that the magazine wants to celebrate “all kinds of beauty”. The outcome for Miller, though, has been more positive. She has received more offers of work since the picture was published. And her model agency, Wilhelmina, has told her that she mustn’t lose any weight.

(this is a copy of a post that appeared in http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/sep/02/lizzie-miller-model-fat 
by Naomi Alderman, The Guardian, Wed 2 Sep 2009 00.05 BST)




This post is written by Kate Fridkis of Eat the Damn Cake.

I write about body image because I love eating cake, but women around me are always dieting.

I write about body image because I have been told it doesn’t matter, but every year, more girls have eating disorders.

I write about body image because everyone cares about beauty, no matter how much we tell ourselves we don’t. And because, really, we are beautiful, no matter how much we tell ourselves we aren’t.

I write about body image because I moved to Manhattan, where suddenly everyone was very thin and very careful about eating and always going to the gym and suddenly it occurred to me that I was not thin enough and not pretty enough and very bad at going to the gym.

I write about body image because I noticed that after I noticed that I was maybe not thin enough, I stopped eating some of my favorite foods. They slipped out of my diet. I said no to dessert. I felt guilty when I gave in and made pasta for dinner. I felt guilty all the time, because all the time, I was cheating. There were all of these rules about what I could and couldn’t eat, and how much of it was OK, and I had somehow memorized them without even being aware of it, and now, when I broke them, I was ashamed.

I write about body image because I got a nose job because my big Jewish nose seemed like the opposite of beauty. Because when I told people that famous, beautiful women never have big Jewish noses, they always said, “What about Barbara Streisand?” and that was a long time ago. No one can think of anyone more recent. And also, because when my boyfriend who became my husband told me over and over that my nose was beautiful, I didn’t really believe him, even though I should have.

I write about body image because people make fun of people who get cosmetic surgery, even though when I got cosmetic surgery, there was nothing funny about it. I hated my face. I wanted to destroy my old face.

I write about body image because I don’t look like a model, but sometimes, automatically, I really wish I looked like a model. And at the same time, I really wish I didn’t wish that.

I write about body image because when I was a little girl, I thought I was gorgeous. I thought that I was gorgeous because I was me.

I write about body image because women are always complimenting each other by saying, “You look like you lost weight!” and because it’s so hard to think that what you are is already enough.

I write about body image because the more I write about body image, the more letters I get from girls and women who tell me how important this topic is. I get letters from women who don’t want to go outside because they feel so unattractive and women whose mothers told them they weren’t ever going to be pretty enough and women who were told by the world that they weren’t worth as much as they actually are, and women who feel fantastic about the way they look and are so relieved. And because the more I write about body image, the better I feel, when I look in the mirror. The better I look to myself. The better I realize I am.

That’s why I write about body image.

And also, cake is just delicious. We really shouldn’t ever give it up.

Kate Fridkis is a Brooklyn-based writer whose work appears regularly on The Frisky and the Huffington Post. She blogs at Eat the Damn Cake. You can follow her on Twitter @eatthedamncake.



Finding Your Voice: Using Intuitive Eating as a Guide to an Intuitive Life

by Dana Sturtevant, MS, RD & Hilary Kinavey, MS, LPC
originally published December 08 2011

The process of becoming an intuitive eater can act as a powerful metaphor for understanding the places in us that scare us the most. When we learn to say “yes” or “no” to foods in response to a connection to what we know in our bodies, that same knowing begins to be available in other areas of our lives. These areas may have been long ignored, or under-explored due to the amount of time and space worry and obsessive thoughts about food take up, but becoming an intuitive eater allows us to start seeing ourselves as whole for the first time in a long time.

When we are struggling to set boundaries in our lives and relationships, we are challenged to have boundaries with food. It just seems to work like that. When we begin to understand our body’s requests and begin to have permission to enjoy food and stop eating food, then all of a sudden, we begin to seek and require boundaries in other parts of our lives.

The challenge here may be that eating and food have always stepped in when assertiveness and boundaries were actually what was needed. Many of us never really learned how to state our limits to the people around us, and food (or spending, drinking, etc., etc.) supported us by creating a reliable, albeit temporary, buffer between us and discomfort in our relationships.

Learning to ask for what you need and feeling entitled to do so can be very intimidating because it may not be something you have had to do before. Many have stated that “it feels easier” not to, although it is clear that not having an authentic voice for many years has been far from easy. When our voices are diminished we lose connection to our innate joy, talents, wisdom and sense of place in ourselves.

In The Dance of Connection author Harriet Lerner suggests that the challenge “in conversations is not just to be our self, but to be the self we want to be. That’s why we don’t discover who we are by sitting alone on a mountaintop and meditating, or by being introspective and going deeper, as valuable as these disciplines might be. The royal road for discovering and reinventing the self is through our relationships with other people and the conversations we engage in.”

Not engaging authentically with the world from behind the mask of disordered eating is a powerful and creative coping method that was developed when needed the most. Stepping out from behind the mask of poor body image and dysmorphic ideas about yourself is the way to heal all the way through.

Brene Brown, a researcher who studies the impacts of shame, uses the following mantra to stay true to her authentic voice. “Don’t shrink. Don’t puff up. Just stand your sacred ground.” We are all entitled to take up space and use our voices to secure that space. It takes practice to really know this is true.

Practice intuitive eating and let that be a guide for getting your voice back.

In 2005 therapist Hilary Kinavey and nutritionist Dana Sturtevant started facilitating groups to help women let go of food/weight obsession. Realizing that they shared a similar approach and philosophy regarding food, weight, body image and health – one directly counter to that of conventional institutional paradigms – the two decided to merge their practices to create a partnership that would offer a revolutionary approach to women seeking answers about eating disorders, weight concerns, exercise, and nutrition. Thus, Be Nourished was born. Encouraging a non-diet approach to food, weight and health, Be Nourished offers individual counseling, workshops, classes and retreats to tackle topics like conscious eating, hunger awareness, body acceptance, and self-compassion. For more information, visit Be Nourished.



I’m having a “life’s too short” moment after receiving news that a lovely colleague and supportive friend of mine here in town is in ICU at the hospital after having had a stroke a few days ago.  Interestingly enough, my friend and I were supposed to have had a “catch-up” date at her house on the day that she apparently became ill . . . I had been surprised that she had not responded to my texts or phone messages earlier that day to confirm our dinner-time visit.

Her illness particularly struck me because she currently lives alone and her adult son did not find her to get her to the hospital for about 24 hours  . . . I too currently live alone with the exception of my “woman’s best friend” the Lovely Lola Rainbow.


As I write this, today is also the first day of a new “schedule” I created for myself – a weekly “TAKE CARE OF ME” day . After 6 months of whirlwhind activity culminating in my (best selling!) book launch and week long birthday celebration, I took some time to regroup and re-evaluate how I wanted the remainder of 2012 (and my entire remaining physical life!) to play out.


What did I want to experience each day?


How did I want to feel each day?


Those are very different questions than “what will I get done on my never-ending TO-DO list today” type questions!


I also received a response from my business coach on a piece of marketing copy I had sent to her that I was really proud of and excited about.  Her response was that she “liked” it  . . . .but I read between the lines and asked her what it would take for her to “love it” . . . . I wasn’t overly thrilled with her reply to that query and as I was mulling that over, I heard the news about my friend in ICU.


And then Inner Critic, Fear and Doubt voices kicked up a storm!  “What if that was you lying alone at home undiscovered for 24 hours?”, “What if you never make any money?”  “What if this new business area is a complete and total flop?”  “Who are you to think you can do any of this stuff anyway?  So what you just had a #1 best selling book launch – that was YESTERDAY!”


Luckily, (well actually it wasn’t luck — it was a firm commitment on my part that INNER PEACE and JOY are my top priorities) . . . I had the clarity to pause.



And to pray.


For my friend OF COURSE!


And for guidance for me.


And what I heard was . . . .


“Steph . . . this is an opportunity.  You made a strong and focused decision and commitment to invest your time in ways that you can feel good about.  You also made a strong and focused decision that feeling as good as possible in any given moment is your goal AND more importantly that it is TOTALLY WITHIN YOUR OWN CONTROL how YOU CHOOSE to feel in any given moment.


You’ve been feeling VERY good and you have also been receiving GREAT results from your inspired actions.  This moment is no different from all of those.  You STILL get to choose how you want to feel and how you want to invest your time.


You can let fear, doubt and worry grab you by the short hairs, or you can choose to strengthen your connection to your core beliefs  . . . trusting and believing that ALL IS WELL and in Divine Order and taking the actions that lead you to the best feelings you can muster in this moment.


It’s ALWAYS your choice . . . and the events of today . . . are just an opportunity you have created to strengthen your convictions or re-evaluate them if you desire.


We will support you, as always, in either choice.


Which way do you want to go?”


(Btw — I noted on the time on the clock in the room at that moment . . . it was 11:11 😉


And there it was . . . .


Laid out for me quite clearly . . . once again . . .


I decided in THAT moment that cleaning my kitchen was the best action I could take to feel the best I could about myself.  As I walked into the kitchen I saw that the oven clock was 1 minute off the microwave clock and both were a minute or two off the office clock, so I got to have 2 more “11:11” moments and took them as “a sign” that I was on a positive, aligned track!


I held my hand over my heart and recited a line from a Marianne Williamson quote I had posted on my fridge:  “Let only LOVE enter here” until both clocks had ticked over to 11:12 J  and then proceeded to clean the hell out of the kitchen!


There is something about a clean kitchen that DEFINITELY brightens me.


And today that chore gave me the additional time to reflect.


And to choose again.


And I choose peace.


And I choose JOY.


And I choose NOT TO WAIVER in my commitment and decision to feel GOOD and to invest my time and attention in ways that expand those good feelings.


Because you see . . . I don’t think my friend in ICU is worrying about whether she did her marketing “right” or even whether her kitchen is clean.  She and I are friends partially because we share the same belief system . . . and we both know that the stuff on our to-do list really doesn’t matter in the long run as far as our Divine Spirits go.


And we also share the belief that our primary purpose here on the planet is to share our unconditional love and our bright lights . . . first with ourselves . . . and then as far and wide as we can imagine.


So in this moment, I know the best thing I can do for my friend . . . is to take care of me . . . and the best way I can take care of me . . . is to remember who I am . . .


And who YOU ARE TOOO . . . .


A glorious child of a loving Universe with a unique and bright Light and unique and special gifts and talents that only YOU can bring to the world.






This physical life at least . . . IS too short to do anything less!!!


And besides   . . . it’s what we came here for in the first place!



[Ed. Note:  My sweet friend Dez made her transition back to pure source energy a few days after I wrote this post.  It’s been a few weeks now, and I often feel Dezi’s energy saying “atta girl Stephie!”]


[ED. NOTE: If you’re in a hurry, just scroll down to the HOW TO QUIT YOUR JOB section below!]

Readers of this blog know that I believe in and in fact count on, divine synchronicities in my life, and this guest post is another one of those!

A few days ago, another (one of countless) invites to an online webinar appeared in my Inbox.  This particular one caught my attention because it was presented by my email service (Aweber) so I signed up and tuned in at the appointed time to hear Jon Morrow, Associate Editor of www.CopyBlogger.com, a superstar media company known for its quality content.  The webinar was great, I learned a lot and I especially loved that it was 100% content, no selling of anything whatsoever — in fact Jon even gave us all a gift of  one of his most valuable copywriting tools!  All was good in my world . . . time well spent . . . off I went for the rest of my week.

Then a couple of days ago, I receive a THANK YOU email from Jon.  That’s pretty much all it was . . . again . . . no upsell . . . which was SOOO VERY refreshing. He spoke about how grateful he was for his life and by way of background for more info about why he was so grateful, mentioned a link to one of his most-viral headlines (over 5,000 LIKES on Facebook EEEKS!) .  Jon’s email was written so from his heart, so that prompted to me click on his article link . . .

My life is now forever changed by reading it . . . . and I hope yours will now be too . . . .



How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World

This guest post is by Jon Morrow of Copyblogger.

After all, that’s the dream, right?

Forget the mansions and limousines and other trappings of Hollywood-style wealth. Sure, it would be nice, but for the most part, we bloggers are simpler souls with much kinder dreams.

We want to quit our jobs, spend more time with our families, and finally have time to write. We want the freedom to work when we want, where we want. We want our writing to help people, to inspire them, to change them from the inside out.

It’s a modest dream, a dream that deserves to come true, and yet a part of you might be wondering…

Will it?

Do you really have what it takes to be a professional blogger, or are you just being dumb? Is it realistic to make enough money from this to quit your job, or is that just silly? Can you really expect people to fall in love with what you write, or is that just wishful thinking?

Sure, it’s fun to dream about your blog taking off and changing your life, but sometimes you wonder if it’s just that: a dream. This is the real world, and in the real world, dreams don’t really come true.


Well, let me tell you a little story…

How I quit my job

In April of 2006, I was hit by a car going 85 miles an hour.
Jon's van

I didn’t see him coming, and I don’t remember much about the accident, but I do remember being pulled out of my minivan with my shirt on fire. The front end of the van was torn off, gasoline was everywhere, and my legs were broken in 14 places.

For the next three months, I had nothing to do but endure the pain and think about my life. I thought about my childhood. I thought about my dreams. I thought about my career.

And overall, I decided I didn’t like the way things were going.

So I quit.

I sold everything I owned. I stopped paying most of my bills. I turned in my letter of resignation, worked my two weeks, and then disappeared without saying goodbye.

Hearing about my insanity, a friend called and asked me, “Well, what are you going to do now?”

“I don’t know,” I told him. “Maybe start a blog.”

And so that’s what I did.

For the next three months, I didn’t just tinker around with blogging. I dedicated myself to it. I started work at 8 AM in the morning, and I kept going until 11 PM at night. I didn’t watch television. I didn’t see my friends. From morning till night, I was writing, reading, and connecting with other bloggers. Nothing else.

Within a month, I had On Moneymaking off the ground, and within two months, it was getting 2,000 visitors a day and Performancing nominated it for the best business/money blog of the year. A couple of months after that, Brian Clark asked me to become the Associate Editor of Copyblogger, and so I sold On Moneymaking for five figures and went to work at one of the most popular blogs at the world.

And amazingly, that’s just the beginning of the story.

How I moved to paradise

HaJon's officeve you ever woken up one day and realized you secretly despise everything about where you live?

The weather is horrible. Your neighbors are jerks. You don’t like inviting anyone to your home, because it’s always a wreck, and you’re ashamed of how it looks.

Well, that’s exactly what happened to me in January of 2009. I was sitting in my pathetic apartment, wrapped up in blankets to keep warm, trying to get some work done on the computer, when it struck me how monumentally stupid it was.

I was a full-time blogger, for God’s sakes. I could do my work from anywhere in the world. Why on Earth was I living in this hellhole?

The only problem was I had no idea where I wanted to go, but a couple of weeks later, the telephone rang, and it was an old friend who had retired to Mazatlan, Mexico. As usual, he was calling to gloat about the weather and the food and the general superiority of the Mexican lifestyle, but instead of just suffering through it this time, I stopped him and said, “No, don’t tell me any more. I’m moving there.”

My office

“What? When?” he stammered.

“I don’t know exactly when,” I told him, “but I’m starting right now.”

Two months later, I took a one-week trip to scout it out and look for places to live. When I got back, I started selling all of my stuff, packing the rest of it into storage, and saying goodbye to friends. Almost one year to the day after our phone call, I hopped in the car and drove just shy of 3,000 miles to my new beachfront condo in the finest resort in Mazatlan.

As I write this, I’m sitting on my balcony with my laptop, watching (no kidding) dolphins jumping out in the Pacific. It’s a sunny day, there’s a nice breeze, and I’m thinking about ordering a piña colada from the restaurant downstairs.

Lucky me, right?

Well, what might surprise you is I left out a piece of the story. It’s the part where I have a fatal disease, I can’t move from the neck down, and yet I essentially get paid to help people. Let’s talk about that part next.

How I get paid to change the worldJon

You know what’s funny?

Yours truly

The worst part about having a disease like SMA isn’t how everyone treats you like a charity case. It’s not the frustration, anger, or depression. It’s not even the inability to reach over and pinch a cute girl’s butt when you want to (although that’s pretty bad).

No, the worst part is the freakin’ bills.  The doctors. The medication. The nurses.

I added it all up, and the total cost of keeping me alive in the US was $127,000 a year. That’s not rent. That’s not food. That’s just medical expenses.

Granted, I didn’t actually have to pay all that. I had private insurance, Medicaid, other government aid programs, but all that support comes at a price: they control you. The government allotted me only $700 a month to live on, and I had to spend every single cent above that on medical expenses, or they would cut me off.

So for years, that’s what I did. If I made $5,000 one month, I set aside $700 for living expenses, and I spent the other $4,300 on medical bills. Nothing was left. Ever.

And eventually, I got sick of it.

I wanted to make money without having to worry about losing my healthcare. I wanted to take care of my family, instead of them always having to take care of me. I wanted to actually live somewhere nice, not some ratty little apartment built for folks below the poverty line.

The only problem was, it just wasn’t possible for me in US. No matter how I played with the numbers, I couldn’t make it work. So, I did something crazy:

I quit Medicaid. I moved to Mexico. I stopped worrying about myself at all and started a business based on one simple idea:

Helping people.

I found up-and-coming writers who wanted a mentor, and I trained them. I found businesses who wanted to cash in on social media, and I developed their strategy. I found bloggers who wanted more traffic, and I created a course on how to get it.

In exchange, they paid me what they could. Some folks gave me $50 an hour and others $300 an hour, but I treated them all the same, and I dedicated myself to making their dreams a reality.

The results?

Within two months, I was making so much money so fast PayPal shut down my account under suspicions of fraudulent activity. Today, not only am I making more than enough to take care of myself, but a couple of months ago, I got uppity and bought my father a car.

Do you understand how precious that is? For a guy who can’t move from the neck down to buy his father a car?

And the best part is, I’m not making money doing mindless drudgery. I’m changing people’s lives.

Every day, I get emails from readers who say my posts have changed their thinking. Every day, I get emails from students who say my advice has changed their writing. Every day, I get emails from clients who say my strategies have changed the way they do business.

I can’t really believe it. Normally, a guy like me would be wasting away in a nursing home somewhere, watching television and waiting to die, but here I am speaking into a microphone and essentially getting paid to change the world. If my fingers worked, I’d pinch myself.

And here’s the thing:

I don’t want it for just me. I want it for you too.

The reason I told you this whole story wasn’t just to brag but also to convince you of one incontrovertible point:


You want to quit your job and become a professional blogger?

You can.

You want to travel around the world, living life to its fullest?

You can.

You want to dedicate your every hour to helping people and making the world a better place?

You can.

Because listen … I know it’s horribly cliché, but if I can quit my job, risk the government carting me off to a nursing home because I can’t afford my own healthcare, convince my poor mother to abandon her career and drive my crippled butt 3,000 miles to a foreign country, and then make enough money to support myself, my mother, my father, and an entire nursing staff using nothing but my voice, then what can you accomplish if you really set your mind to it?

My guess: pretty much anything.

No, it won’t be easy. At some point, I guarantee you’ll want to quit. I guarantee people will treat you like you’re insane. I guarantee you’ll cry yourself to sleep, wondering if you made a horrible mistake.

But never stop believing in yourself. The world is full of naysayers, all of them eager to shout you down at the slightest indication you might transcend mediocrity, but the greatest sin you can commit is to yourself become one of them. Our job isn’t to join that group, but to silence it, to accomplish things so great and unimaginable that its members are too awed to speak.

You can do it.

I believe in you.

So get started.

Right freaking now.

Jon Morrow is Associate Editor of Copyblogger. If you’d like to learn more about what it really takes to become a popular blogger, check out his free videos on guest blogging.

[ED NOTE:  Jon Morrow’s article above was originally printed here:  http://www.problogger.net/archives/2011/05/18/how-to-quit-your-job-move-to-paradise-and-get-paid-to-change-the-world/]

Meet MAL DUANE,The Alpha Chick!

One of the best ways we can maintain our inner peace is by moving out of our pain and into our Power.  Today I have the great pleasure of being the Day 4 Host of author Mal Duane’s Virtual Blog Tour! Mal’s  book Alpha Chick: Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power launches on Amazon on Tuesday February 14, 2012.

Mal Duane has triumphed over devastating life challenges to become an Alpha Chick extraordinaire. After having struggled with alcoholism as a young woman, Mal now has a dream marriage, a highly-successful business, and as a certified Professional Recovery Coach, is deeply involved with helping women discover and use their connection with the divine power to redefine their lives and step away from their pain. She also serves clients through the multi-million dollar real estate company that she built from scratch. As she strongly believes in educating women, she built a school in Konjila, West Africa that educates a hundred students annually, and created Holly’s Gift, an educational assistance fund, which will receive proceeds from the sale of each copy of Alpha Chick.

Alpha Chick, Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power is a model for any woman who dreams of having happiness, success, and fulfillment. It clearly guides the reader step-by-step in the process of becoming her own unique brand of Alpha Chick, using Mal’s simple 5-step formula for self-worth, freedom and transformation. The book is coming to Amazon on Tuesday February 14th, 2012 – Valentine’s Day. Mal says, “I chose Valentine’s Day because I wanted women to give themselves the gift of self-love on that day.”

Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Mal when I got to ask her a couple of power questions and spiritual practices.. I hope you enjoy it.



Stephanie Rainbow Bell:  What do you say to someone who asks: How do you go about discovering and uncovering your inner power?

Mal Duane: You will discover your personal power from your spiritual practice and from bringing truth into your life while to letting the need to resist go. The more we push against something, the more it drains our energy and our emotions. Embracing our divine selves as perfection releases many of the negative thoughts we create about ourselves.  Someone else’s opinion of us does not define who we are either. We w

ere not created to suffer but were put on this earth to live with joy, abundance and purpose. When we can give away what we have learned in order to help others, we are standing in our power. The law of reciprocity brings more of the same to us.

Stephanie Rainbow Bell:   Shifting from our pain into our power usually brings up some challenges!  Will you please describe your top 3 keys to make the transition.

Mal Duane: The first most important keys to discovering your power is developing a spiritual practice daily. Through meditation or prayer you begin to discover who you truly are and not who you think you are. Our picture of ourselves is influenced by our past which no longer serves us. But through a spiritual practice we align ourselves with the present. Also the authentic voice will emerge instead of listening to the lower self or ego. We begin to develop clarity as to our purpose in life.

The second key is acceptance. In life, we can cling to denial so vehemently, that it may become all we know. It blocks out positive energy and binds us to the past. The main idea behind acceptance is to finally release what has happened in your past and stop resisting it, so you can approach life with a new attitude. Once you accept what has happened to you, you’ll notice that your attitude will change almost immediately. The things that have caused you so much pain know become lessons for the present moment. You are able to see threads of commonality in your past mistakes.

The third key is intention. When you set an intention you are creating something that has divine spirit behind it. Intentions are much more powerful than just setting a goal. Intentions empower us to take the action steps needed to create change in our lives. We create a positive magnetic force to move forward with positive behaviors.

Stephanie Rainbow Bell: Many of us who have made the journey into our inner peace and power use a variety of spiritual practices to help us stay balanced and centered.   What are favorite spiritual practices to bring you back to center and help regain your power?

Mal Duane: I feel that a combination of meditation, prayer and journaling is the most powerful and beneficial approach. The mediation settles us, clears the negative energy that we hold on to. It allows us to access a higher consciousness so that we can make better choices in our lives. You discover your authentic voice during meditation.

Prayer is also so rewarding. I usually like to read something spiritual to stimulate my prayer for the day.  I use my prayers to set my intentions for the day and send love to those in need.  The third component is my journaling. This is where I record my insights from meditation, thoughts that come through to me from my higher consciousness. Some days I receive amazingly beautiful messages which are meant to be shared with others.  I find great comfort in these messages because they bring me clarity when I feel I am involved in a conflict.


I hope you enjoyed this interview with Mal Duane and that you’ll check out her book Alpha Chick: Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power at http://alphachick.com/book-launch/pages/pre-launch.html


There are a BUNCH of COOL benefits for you when you do!


Alpha Chick Telesummit

 10 Alpha Chick Mentors Share Their Wisdom on this

FR*EE 3-Day Online Event

February 7th, 8th & 9th, 2012

12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern/8pm UK


Over the course of 3 days, Mal and her guests will be exploring the journey of AWAKENING your inner Alpha Chick, discovering your true MAGNIFICENCE, and learning how to TAKE ACTION to achieve your dreams.


Here’s Mal’s wonderful guest line-up:


  • Mal Duane – Certified Professional Recovery Coach; author of Alpha Chick: Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power
  • Lynn Serafinn – Coach; marketer; author of The 7 Graces of Marketing and The Garden of the Soul
  • Christine Kloser – award-winning author; mentor to transformational authors and conscious entrepreneurs
  • Paula Tarrant – Transition/transformation coach for women; Founder of Inspired Women Work
  • Auriella ONeill – teacher, empowerment coach, radio host
  • Dr. Joe Rubino – personal development trainer, success & life-optimization coach, bestselling author
  • Brenda Adelman – MA in Spiritual Psychology, forgiveness coach, recipient of a Hero of Forgiveness Award, an award-winning actress
  • Krystalya Marie’ – Energy healer for body, mind and spirit
  • Lissa Coffey – Lifestyle and relationship expert, author of What’s Your Dharma and 5 other books, founder of CoffeyTalk.com.
  • Chaney Weiner – Media expert, authority on human potential and personal development, founder of the Chaney Institute of Human Potential


This special 3-Day telesummit is Mal’s FR*EE gift to you,

to celebrate the launch of her book, which is coming

Tuesday February 14, 2012.



When you buy Mal’s book on Tuesday February 14, 2012, Mal would like to give you the MP3 downloads of the Alpha Chick telesummit, PLUS invite you to attend a special teleclass at where she will personally take you through the five step process of transformation from the book Alpha Chick.

PLUS… you’ll also receive a complete library of beautiful personal development gifts from authors, speakers, coaches and other enlightened professionals from around the globe.

To claim your FREE pass to the Alpha Chick Telesummit

and read about the free gifts, go to:



Thanks for reading! As usual, please feel free to share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.


AND… be sure to follow Mal tomorrow when the next stop on the Virtual Blog Tour is Debra Simpson, who will be interviewing Mal on the subject of law of attraction, personal power and gratitude. To visit that “stop” on the tour, go to http://debrasimpson.com/law-of-attraction-with-mal-duane/.


Rainbow Blessings!

What Size Are You REALLY??

The Truth Behind Vanity Sizing In Fashion

[Ed. Note:  I found this article very enlightening though it does not directly reference “plus” sizing and look forward to your comments!]

by Lisa Marsh,   www.YouBeauty.com 

Like most new moms, Erin Correale wants to whip her wardrobe back into shape.  Correale has it easier than most. At 38, she’s within 10 pounds of the weight she’s been since her teenage years. But her clothing size isn’t.

“I wear a size two in Ann Taylor, a four in Banana Republic, a six in Old Navy, a four at Coldwater Creek and a friend told me about Chico’s, but told me I would have to look at a size zero,” she says. “I never like size zero-it’s encouraging people to be waifs. That doesn’t make me feel good.”

Sizes zero, two, four and six all for one woman? Is Correale lost in the looking glass, growing and shrinking at every turn like Alice, or is there something seriously askew with the sizing of clothing? It’s no mistake. The American apparel industry has created an intentional system of “Vanity Sizing.” The increasing use of the smaller sizes-a size 12 in 1970 is now in the size four-six-eight range-is meant to make consumers feel better about buying clothing.

Standards-or Lack Thereof

When it comes to sizing, there are no universal standards. A woman with a traditional hourglass figure with 36-24-36 measurements can wear anything from a size zero to a size ten, depending on the brand and whether it’s sold at the designer, contemporary, junior, bridge or mass level. The only standard that does exist is to con the buyer into believing she’s smaller. Over time, sizes are getting roomier, allowing women to believe they can still squeeze into a more desirable size two, four, six or even eight.

“At this point, sizes are meaningless. They’re more relative than anything else,” Bill Ivers, chief operating officer of MSA Models told YouBeauty. His agency specializes in providing fit models for designers and brands.  “Sizes are not standard by design,” he explained. “It helps brands be unique and offer an edge over the competition. Brands are looking for brand loyalty and if last season you were an eight and this season you’re a size six, that’s a sales tool. We all look to apparel to make us look good, feel comfortable and confident.”

Even celebrities fall victim to the need for vanity sizing.

One actress cold-called Robert Verdi, style director at FirstComesFashion.com and a celebrity stylist who regularly works with stars like Eva Longoria and Kathy Griffin, and asked him to wardrobe her for multiple appearances during an awards season. Her publicist said the actress was a size 12, and because they were working on a quick turnaround of less than three weeks, Verdi couldn’t ask designers to make anything custom, so had to rely on pieces designers had in stock.

“We looked at pictures of this woman and I called her publicist back and asked her, is she really a size 12?” he told YouBeauty. “The publicist insisted she was a 12.”  When Verdi and his team packed the dresses up for the trip to Los Angeles, “we snuck in some 14s, 16s and even some 18s.”

Though Verdi told the actress that everything was a “size 12,” the actress “wasn’t happy,” he said. She ultimately wore several of his picks, but one of the dresses was altered to fit by making it six-to-eight inches shorter. The fabric was then added as a panel on the back of the dress so the “size 12” would fit.

“She didn’t want to be bigger than that in her head. A number means so much to so many people,” he added. That’s really too bad since the numbers are pretty much meaningless and there are no standards in place.

This lack of sizing standards wasn’t always the case.

Until January 20, 1983, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Institute of Standards and Technology offered specifics for the sizing of apparel with body measurements for men, women, junior women, young men and children. These standards began in the late 1940s as a byproduct of the necessity for size-standardization in military uniforms during World War Two. Committees that included textile manufacturers, designers and retailers worked with the Department of Agriculture to determine these sizing standards and all adhered to it.

The program was discontinued in 1983. The measurements were not keeping up with the typical American body, which was changing due to better medicine and nutrition, along with an influx of new and varied ethnic groups. Sponsorship of these standards was assumed by private industry. That marked the start of sizing’s new Wild West, a lawless, volatile environment that continues today.

An End in Sight?

“Each designer has their own vision of what they imagine as the ideal person to wear their clothing,” explained Tanya Shaw to YouBeauty. “Designers will hold true to what they believe.”

Shaw is the founder and president of MyBestFit, a sizing system that scans your body for about 10 seconds and then provides you with sizing recommendations for styles from over 30 brands like the Gap, Old Navy, Talbots and J Brand.  “We help customers decode sizing and that makes shopping as simple as uniformity,” she explained. “We should find clothes that fit our bodies, not sizes we like to hear.”

The company currently operates one scanner at the King of Prussia Mall in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, but will be adding 45 more locations in fall 2011. Though a Personal Shopping Guide from MyBestFit in King of Prussia will only provide resources that are in that mall, you can enter your identifying code on the company’s web site to find what other sizes and brands will fit you when shopping at another location or online.

“When you cut the confusion out, consumers buy more,” Shaw said. “They have told us the conversion rate [from shopper to buyer] of 100 customers is normally 20 percent. With MyBestFit, in some cases, it’s as high as 90 percent. Imagine if you went into a fitting room and it all fit-your shopping time is more productive.”

Cricket Lee is taking it a step further and attempting to get standards back into the lexicon of apparel makers and designers. She founded Fitlogic, a patented sizing system that fits by body type and size. Though it is now accepting pre-orders online for fall shipments, Lee has spent five years struggling to bring it to market. Because each brand has its own sizing, designers and apparel manufacturers weren’t interested.

Her labeling categorizes women in three shape groups-circle, hourglass and triangle-and the Fitlogic label carries the traditional size plus a number for one of these categories. “The truth will set you free and if you know you’re a size four and shape three, you know a size 4.3 in FitLogic will fit you every time,” Lee explained. “Women don’t have the time to mess with trying on sizes. It is debilitating to walk into a fitting room with 10 pairs of pants and have nothing fit.”

“It’s progress and it will happen,” she added. “If this can reduce return by 75 percent, how can designers and retailers ignore it?”

MSA Models’ Ivers is skeptical that day will come. “There is no universal fit and I doubt that there ever will be. If five people take measurements of the same person, there will be five different measurements,” he said. “Consumers have to learn to adapt to the fact that today you’re a size zero and tomorrow, you’re a four.”

While new mom Correale admits she “loved being a size two at Ann Taylor, I didn’t really believe it.” Shopping certainly isn’t any easier. “I don’t know how to shop other than taking three sizes into the fitting room or having someone run back and forth for me. It never works.”

Shopping woes aside, maybe Lee is correct and the truth will set you free. If knowing that a number on a tag is meaningless will free you from getting hung up on sizes and allow you to focus on the best fit for you, maybe it’s not such a bad thing after all.


[Ed. Note: This article originally appeared at YouBeauty.com | Fashion – Thu, Aug 25, 2011 2:26 PM EDT]

Love Your Body Now

Plus Size Inner Peace, Weight Loss, Self Esteem, Self-Confidence

Love Your Body: 8 Reasons to Feel Great About Who You Are

by Kate Friedkis, from The Huffington Post

These are some reasons why you should feel good about your body:

1. It enables you to recognize yourself, and other people to recognize you. Which is really important, because there are billions of people in the world. You have stuff going on that no one else does. It’s fantastic. It’s a really good thing. In fact, I want to meet you, just to see all the ways in which we’re interestingly different and comfortingly similar.

2. It is incredibly complicated, but tends to work. And you’re alive. Which is absolutely astounding, when you take a moment to think about it.

3. Even though you can recognize yourself, you always look different. How you feel and what you do and who you’re with and what kind of mirror you’re looking in all shift and rearrange the way you appear to yourself. It’s cool. Sometimes it’s awful. Sometimes you feel like total crap. But there’s always potential for startling beauty. Or surprising awesomeness.

4. No matter what you look like, you’re hot to other people. Like, seriously hot. Except to internet trolls. Even supermodels aren’t hot to them. Once I read someone’s rant about how big Gisele Bundchen’s nose is. Which made me feel like my nose was about the size of, let’s say, the moon. But longer. My friend told me that she was feeling really ugly the other day and then someone on the street was like, “Hey, you’re beautiful!” A homeless guy on the street told me I have a gorgeous ass two nights ago. OK, not exactly the same. The point is — it’s pretty sweet that we’re all attractive. Did I really mess that point up, with the homeless guy comment? Moving on.

5. There are a lot of different options for clothes. Unlike a while ago, when women had to wear uncomfortable dresses all the time. And corsets. And the same neckline. And you had to make your own tampons. Wait. That’s a different thing. You have a lot of choices now. You can find something that looks amazing. When I’m old, I’m going to wear all these flowy, priestessy outfits. Like, in silver and green. I have it planned out.

6. You can find something about your appearance that is stunning. Even on a day when you feel gross. We’re trained to find the flaws. I feel like my brain is an evil little badger sometimes. It grabs the flaws and hangs on. No! Bad badger! I am capable of identifying positive stuff. I can practice at it. I can get good at it. I am looking in the mirror right now, because there happens to be a mirror over the desk I’m writing on. I like my lips. Right now. My lips are stunning. They are perfect. And I’m stopping at that.

7. But not stopping the list. Seven is a luckier number. There’s more to it than your body.Which I forget, in my worst moments of image based self-doubt. I can write really lovely songs, for example. I do not have to look lovely when I sing them. Just the songs are enough. But maybe I look lovely when I sing them anyway.

8. Oh, I have another one! You don’t have to be perfect!! Perfection is stupid. It’s a myth perpetuated by Photoshop and fantasy. You don’t have to look any one way to look beautiful, great, stunning, wonderful, pretty, gorgeous, amazing, strong, fantastic, cute, nice, cool, or any other good thing. Often, you just have to look like you.

Kate Freidkis, www.EatTheDamnCake.com wrote this article for the 2011 Love Your Body Day Blog Carnival, from NOW’s Love Your Body Day. 



Plus Size Flying

Flier, displaced by obese seatmate, forced to stand

 By Joe Myxter, travel editor

A passenger on a US Airways flight said he was forced to stand for seven hours after he was squeezed out of his seat by an obese man sitting next to him.

“I didn’t fly from Alaska to Philadelphia on Flight 901,” Arthur Berkowitz told Christopher Elliott, a consumer advocate who operates elliott.org. “I stood.”

“His size required both armrests to be raised up and allowed for his body to cover half of my seat,” Berkowitz said. “It did not allow me to use my seatbelt during takeoff and landing as well as required me to stand in the aisle and galley area for most of the seven-hour-plus flight.”

The incident occurred on July 29 and was first reported by Elliott on Tuesday.

Berkowitz said he alerted flight attendants to the problem, but they were unable to accommodate him, according to his account on elliott.org. “They were sympathetic, but they could not do anything. No other seats existed on plane. They would not permit me to sit in their jump seats, and fully acknowledged the mistake by their gate agent, in allowing this individual on plane without requiring him to purchase and occupy two seats,” he said.

Liz Landau, a spokesperson for US Airways, confirmed that Berkowitz was inconvenienced by a passenger of size and told msnbc.com “it was his choice to stand.”

“His seatmate had the same right to his seat as Mr. Berkowitz did to his. So here’s where the diplomacy and cooperation of all passengers comes into play,” the airline said in a statement.

Berkowitz was unhappy with the $200 voucher the airline offered him for his experience, at which point he contacted Elliott.

“We have attempted to address this customer’s service concerns,” the airline statement said, “but offering increasing amounts of compensation based on a threat of a safety violation isn’t really fair — especially when the passenger himself said he didn’t follow crew members’ instructions and fasten his seatbelt.

“The way to ensure you have space available next to you — whether you are a person of size, or you would simply like to ensure you have more personal space to relax on a long flight — is to purchase that additional seat, or First Class, in advance.”

Joe Myxter has been running msnbc.com’s Travel section since 2006

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