Once upon a time we learned who we are, why we are here and our place in our community through the art of storytelling.

Once upon a time everybody had a story and everybody’s story was important to the growth, expansion and development of the community in which they lived.

Today however our personal knowledge and experience is not as appreciated as it once was and now that we no longer share our stories we feel less connected to the world around us and we feel less connected to our own inner power, strength and purpose. For many this leaves a big gap in their lives. I want you to really understand in every fiber of your being just how crucial you are to the world around you.

Your Message Matters

We all come here for reason, we all come here for a purpose, we all come to share our knowledge and expand our communities. And we come to do this by telling our story by sharing our knowledge and by expanding the connectedness in the world around us. This not only fills the gap that most people feel but also helps fill the gaps in those around us. Together we all play a part in finding our place in the divine web.

Your message or story be it personal or business has a place in this world. But more importantly it has a community a tribe if you will that is waiting to hear it, read it and share it. Somewhere in a place you may never know of there are others waiting, no needing what you have to offer. Your message is that important.

It can be all too easy to think that in a world that is nosier then ever that what you have to offer wouldn’t even matter at all. But the truth of the matter is the more noise the more need for people to be able to cut through that noise. The art of storytelling is needed more now then ever before.

Right now people are looking for real connections to others. For real solutions to real problems and for inspiration to assist them in achieving something that they feel may be beyond their grasp. If you have ever had a book change your life then you know exactly what I am talking about. That book that moved you was someone elses message or story. The only difference between the person who wrote the book that changed your life and you is that they wrote their story. They committed to their message and they shared it with their tribe.

You can too.

I believe you have something very important to say share and teach.

I believe it is time to bring storytelling back to our community.

Remember your story matters, tell it now.

 Leeza Robertson is a published author with best selling books on Amazon, Kindle and Nook. She also runs programs to assist others in living their dream of becoming a best selling author in under 7days. Find out more at

The Naked Truth?


I spotted this post by Claire Brummell in her Facebook Group, Feminine1st, of which I’m a member.  I was captivated by her transparent assessment of her reactions to her own physicality on her first experience at a hot springs and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

So, what was my naked truth?

So last week, I Claire Brummell, author of this post, began to share my naked truth…prompted by a trip to the hot springs out here in San Francisco….and today I reveal all (pun intended) about my experience…

When I first arrived at the hot springs I was very aware of how naked everyone was. Walking into a co-ed dressing room with numerous other people…both some that I knew and some that I didn’t, I realised how conscious I was of it.

…and how much I didn’t want to acknowledge or look at anyone’s bodies…including my own.

For the first hour or so at the springs I felt like a floating head. I was totally avoiding acknowledging anything that existed from the neck down. It wasn’t that I had any particular issue with it…it was just such an unusual experience that it took a bit of adjusting.

Then one of the friends that I was with suggested that we do ‘the hot and cold pools’.

Now, the hot and cold pools at Harbin are VERY VERY hot and VERY VERY cold. The idea is for you to first submerge yourself in the very very hot pool…then when you feel it’s time to get out submerge yourself in the very very cold pool…to stimulate the blood flow to the whole body….and repeat this process 7 times.

It sounded good to me, so I thought let’s give it a go.

Now, I’ve always struggled a bit with extremes of temperature…so it would have been reasonable to believe that this could have presented a challenge for me. …and it did.

I was advised before we entered the pools that the trick with the hot pool is to move very, very slowly…and with the cold pool to get your shoulders under the water as quickly as possible.

No problem.

Or so I thought.

When I started descending the steps to the hot pool, at first it seemed fine. Step one was OK…step 2 was quite warm…and step 3 felt like my feet were on fire.

Just walk slowly I kept reminding myself.

It was quite an unusual experience and by the time I got fully into the pool I could feel my skin prickling.

I’ve no idea how long I stayed in that first time, but I doubt it was longer than a minute.

So with the time in the hot pool done, it was time for the cold plunge pool.

and it was COLD.

If you know me well, you’ll know that I’m normally on the chilly side (to put it mildly!) so the idea of submerging myself in extremely cold water didn’t exactly appeal…but I knew it was all part of the process so I gave it a go.


I don’t think I’ve ever known what cold was before!

After the hot pool the cold pool felt like it was only a few degrees above freezing (I believe it’s actually in the low 60s)…and it was a real shock to the body.

But sure enough, once shoulders were in and I began to relax into it…it began to feel very refreshing. My skin was tingling and I felt incredibly alive.

…and then very cold again…so it was time to revisit the hot.

I’m not sure exactly where in the 7 cycles through the hot and cold pools the change happened…but it was sudden, and it was powerful.

I went through a period of time where it no longer felt like my body and mind were connected. My body was going through the process in the water but my mind felt like it was floating somewhere else….and then it happened.

I was in the hot pool when I suddenly felt the culmination of all of the hot and cold plunges together and my skin felt like it was buzzing. As I came out of the water I felt like some sort of mythical goddess emerging from the heat…(I think that the heat might have gone to my head!)

As much as this might sound a little ‘la la’ or ‘hippy happy clappy’ to coin a term that I affectionately use for experiences that are a little outside of the norm, one thing was very clear.

I felt very empowered and totally connected to my body.

Not only that but I felt very comfortable with my body…and appreciative of it. I felt proud of it.

Every hint of resistance regarding being naked in public had gone, and I allowed myself to just enjoy the experience.

Shortly after completing our hot and cold experience we decided to indulge in the steam room with a sugar scrub…and got chatting to a couple of the other people in there.

At that point I saw just how natural it was for everyone else at the springs. I realised that since I’d arrived, not once had I felt leered at or uncomfortable with anyone there.

We all chatted in the same way we would if we’d all been in there fully clothed (although we’d have all been significantly warmer!)

The rest of the day was a real eye-opening experience….literally.

I started looking at the bodies around me…including my own. It was plain to see that every single body in there had something about it that was beautiful….and every single body had something that could be seen as a flaw, or an area that could be improved in some small way.

It was also clear to me in that moment how what those areas of beauty or improvement are is completely subjective. What I might think of as an area that could be changed or improved, could be the very area that someone else might see as beautiful and perfect….and vice versa.

One of the friends I was at the hot springs with described them as walking talking works of art…which I think summed it up beautifully.

I got to experience the elements…sun, water, wind and earth first hand…without any compromise or restriction…and it was great.

Some time to just be.

No masks, no costumes, nothing to hide behind.

All of me.

Complete. Whole. Perfectly Imperfect.

My naked truth was that I realise now that I was quite disassociated from my body, and I wasn’t really comfortable owning it in public.

My experience at the hot springs really provided the perfect opportunity to embrace every single part of it. Allowing me to love and appreciate every single curve, just the way that it is.

So this week I invite you to explore your own naked truth. See where it is now, and where you might like it to be.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you need to whip your kit off at the nearest public venue (depending on your location the authorities may have something to say about that!)…but I do invite you to see what experiences might help you to connect deeper with your own body…and to accept it more completely, just the way that it is.

Because as with everyone at the hot springs…all bodies are beautiful, all bodies are flawed, and that’s what makes them perfectly imperfect.

Stay Fabulous (whether you’re naked or fully clothed!)

AUTHOR:  Claire Brummell
FROM WEBSITE:  Feminine 1st

Because It’s MY Body

Ragen Chastain, the author of this article, is one of my MOST FAVE Size Acceptance advocates and after reading this, you will probably agree!


Because It’s My Body!

I was recently asked why we don’t weigh people like luggage to determine the cost of their airline ticket. Sure, particularly muscular and/or tall people would likely flip out since they would assume that this wasn’t meant for them but was rather was a punitive means of punishing fat people.  And obviously you can’t tell whether or not someone will fit in a seat by their weight.  But those aren’t the real reason that it’s not ok.

The real reason is that it’s not luggageIt’s my body.

It’s not a representation of greed or capitalism.  It’s my body.

It’s not a picture without a head to accompany yet another OMGDEATHFAT article.  It’s my body

It’s not a stand-in for my true health and well being.  It’s my body.

It’s not for you to judge. It’s my body

Do you get it?  It’s my body. So back off.

My body is far too valuable to be treated like a car whose worth is lowered because of some wear and tear.  It’s far too astounding to be a metaphor or a political statement.  It’s far too complicated to run on the same formula used to fuel a lawn mower. It is far too profound to be reduced to a ratio of weight and height.  And it is far too amazing to be judged by anyone.

Because it’s my body.

Ragen Chastain

AUTHOR:  Ragen Chastain
FROM WEBSITE:  Dances With Fat

Who Decides If You Are Beautiful?


I devoted Chapter 22 of my best-selling book BEAUTIFUL AT ANY SIZE:  The Plus Size Women’s Guide to Nurturing Confidence & Self Esteem to the subject of this guest post from Tamara Gerlach’s website, so you know it is very near and dear to my heart!  As I quoted in my book,  W.C. Fields says . . . “”It ain’t what they call you that matters, it’s what you answer to!”


Are You Beautiful?  . . .  Who decides?




There’s a woman I know. You know her. In fact, she might be you. She might be my mom, or my sister, or even me. She’s smart. She’s accomplished. She’s compassionate and loving. She’s changing the world in her own way. And she thinks she’s a failure. Why? Because she’s fat. Or at least she thinks she’s fat. Whether it’s true or not doesn’t matter, because she believes it. She believes that she is fatter than she “should” be. No accomplishment in her life competes with her less-than-ideal body. She will always think of herself as having failed.

Or will she?

Here’s the question I want to ask her… who has the right to tell you you’re not beautiful just the way you are? Who?

Possible answers include:

1. Everyone

2. Madison Avenue

3. Hollywood

4. Simon Cowell

5. The clerk at Macy’s

6. Your dad/mom/uncle/grandmother/sister/step-brother

7. Your husband/boyfriend/partner

8. Your boss/ex-boss/coworker

9. The girls in your sixth grade gym class

10. ______________________ [fill in the blank]

11. No one.

The only correct answer to this question is 11.

No one has been given the official seal of the universe to infallibly dispense the label of beauty upon those few who meet some absurd, arbitrary ideal. Your beauty is not up for public approval, national referendum, or The Galaxy’s Next Top Model.

Your beauty is self-apparent to everyone who loves you.

In sociologist Brene Brown’s wonderful TED talk about love and connection (watch it here), she says the difference between people who feel a sense of worthiness and belonging and people who don’t is that… they feel a sense of worthiness and belonging.

Yes I know, it’s a tautology. You see, the difference isn’t that they come from wealthy families or poor families, or that they had happy childhoods or unhappy ones.

The difference is their belief about themselves.

Brown’s research doesn’t cover this, but I suspect that the difference between people who believe that they are beautiful and people who don’t… is simply a belief in their own beauty. The difference is not between women who are 5’10”, weigh 120 lbs, and look like Kate Moss and women who are 5’5”, weigh 220 lbs, and look like Gertrude Stein. The difference is not that women who obsess about their weight and diet feel beautiful and women who don’t feel ugly. (Interestingly, the opposite may be more true!)

The difference is whether or not you believe you are beautiful.

No one has the right to define beauty in a way that excludes you. Not even you. Beauty is not objective. Even normative ideas of beauty change enormously over history and between cultures.

Why do we allow ourselves to feel terrible about our bodies?

Is it true that a woman can solve global poverty, cure cancer, invent cold fusion, plant a tree, or raise a happy child, and still look in the mirror and feel like a failure because her body doesn’t match some idea in her head about what it should look like?

You deserve better. You deserve to feel beautiful whatever your body looks like or feels like.

I think of Karen Carpenter, the singer who haunted my dreams as a child. Her voice was gorgeous and pure, she was an accomplished drummer, and a beautiful woman. Yet she always believed she was fat, and therefore ugly. All of her success musically meant nothing to her if she was fat, and she starved herself to death as a result. You can see clearly how ridiculous Karen Carpenter’s misplaced beliefs were. Can you see that in yourself?

Why is fat the be-all and end-all of beauty?

So what if you’re fat, or if you think you’re fat? Let yourself be fat and beautiful. Let yourself be beautiful with these five extra pounds, with these fifty extra pounds, with whatever number of extra pounds you imagine you have. Let them be beautiful too. Screw anyone who doesn’t believe you’re beautiful. They aren’t the boss of your beauty or anyone else’s.

You’re smart. You know better.

Treat yourself better.

AUTHOR:  Kimber Simpkins
FROM WEBSITE:  Tamara Gerlach

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


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 
by Naomi Alderman, The Guardian, Wed 2 Sep 2009 00.05 BST)

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