Good morning my dear Chicklettes! This Thanksgiving I am grateful for so many things! And, in addition to my wonderful heart, I am especially grateful for the amazing and wonderful gift of my whole mind and my entire body:
Feet that step and skip and dance,
Legs that have carried me towards my loved ones and all that I dream,
Knees that flex under the load I sometimes have to carry, and kneel in awe of the beauty of this world,
Thighs that make a lap for holding warm, squirmy, squiggly children and a resting place for the chin of my fabulous dog, Max,
Hips that sway and shimmy and shake to the beat of the beautiful old earth, and make a place to rest my hands when arms akimbo, I face the dangers and toils of this world,
A round, soft bottom that cushions me when I fall,
A warm, generous tummy that creates the energy I need to live and love and shakes merrily when I giggle and gufflaw at the delicious absurdity of life,
A broad back that allows me to bend down to help others and help shoulder their load,
An expansive chest that swells when I breathe the rich and wonderful air, that powers my speech and my song, that gives me a place to cradle that which is beloved,
A powerful neck that allows me to turn my head and see not only that which is right in front of my eyes, but all of the wonder that surrounds me,
Lips to kiss,
Tongue to taste,
Teeth to bite when the need arises,
Eyes that convey the beauty of the universe to my mind and allow others to see into my soul,
Ears that record the music of the earth from the soft shushing of the surf to the boom of a storm to the whisper of a lover sharing a secret,
And a heart and mind capable of recognizing the incomprehensible nature of the gift which I have received.
Here’s hoping that Thanksgiving is full of all that makes you happy and joyfully devoid of the stuff that tempts you to choose to relinquish your peace.
Loving your body can really help reduce stress in your life!
Over the past few weeks we’ve been talking about satisfaction and stress. Today I’m going to stand at the intersection of these two ideas and talk about how feeling bad about your body is bad for your health. There’s no question that many of us are dissatisfied with our bodies. The cult of media and celebrity focuses our minds on a body ideal that is not even achieved by the most beautiful of the “beautiful people”. The vast majority of images in magazines are digitally altered to even more impossible beauty standards. And it’s a not so carefully guarded “insider secret” that a number of film and television stars demand that the image be “vertically stretched” to make themselves appear even taller and thinner on TV and the silver screen. It’s no wonder that so many of us have negative thoughts about our bodies. We’re not talking about a few minor thoughts now and again. A recent survey suggests that young women have an average of 13 seriously negative thoughts about their bodies per day–nearly one for every waking hour. And a surprising number of us have a lot more negative thoughts than that with 35, 50 or even 100 brutal thoughts about our bodies every day.
Unfortunately, all this body hatred is very bad for our health. Aside from the well known ties to depression, anxiety, and even suicide, body dissatisfaction leads to increased stress and ultimately to poorer physical health. Research at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver links women with poor body image with increases in the stress hormone cortisol. And increases in cortisol can lead to higher blood pressure, sleep disturbances, digestive problems and can negatively impact virtually all body processes.
So one important element in dealing with stress in our lives, is learning to love our bodies as they are, rather than constantly comparing them with impossible ideals. One way to do this is to put yourself on a media diet, and minimize exposure to fashion magazines and prime-time television. Another is (not surprisingly) to get regular exercise, as women who exercise tend to feel better about their bodies. And finally, don’t hesitate to seek advice from amazing healers like Golda Poretsky who help you make peace with your size and shape.
So whenever you’re stressed my little chicklettes, consider the notion that body dissatisfaction might be a central cause. And resolve to love the skin you’re in.
Hi everybody. There’s been a lot of talk about Meme’s hate speech approach to people of size on Dr. Drew’s show yesterday. And I want to especially thank Ragen for standing up for Julianne and I. I DO think it represents a minimal step forward that hosts feel the need to have people like Ms. Roth on the show. In the past, the host would have simply belittled and mocked us directly. So I think the fact that hosts are bringing in a proxy to do the fat bashing represents a small but significant shift in public opinion. (YAY!) But before the clip that’s currently highlighted on the HLN site, Julianne and I did get to say quite a lot and I want to share it here.
Thanks so much to everybody for all your support and cheering. It’s hard to be up there in the lights being attacked. But I know we can bear it because we have such a strong, POSITIVE, SUPPORTIVE community behind us.
Now it’s time to share a little of that love. I suspect that HLN chose that clip to highlight on their site because they thought it was the most outrageous and would solicit the most comments. So I’d like to ask you to go to that comments page and share some positive thoughts about size acceptance and HAES. Here’s the link. I think saying negative things about Ms. Roth will only encourage them to have her on again as she “solicits a strong response”. So I’m going to suggest that you refrain from bashing her in the comments. If you need moral support, please see Ragen’s excellent and wonderful post here.
I think it would be more helpful to shift the focus somewhat and say something positive about size acceptance or how something said about size acceptance resonated with you or was helpful to you. Sorry to give you MORE HOMEWORK, my little chicklettes but we still got a long row to hoe. But before you leave here’s how Julianne most beautifully and eloquently got in the last word: