Wednesday, February 26, 2014
"YOU are one of a kind. You are lucky enough to have something that makes you different from everyone else. Embrace your individuality. Self-worth comes from one thing: thinking that you are worthy. So appreciate what it feels like underneath your own skin. You are amazing just the way you are." ~ Melchor Lim
You deserve to wear a smile in your heart.
Not because of what you have or what you do,
But because of who you are.
Yes, you are changing every day,
But you are always amazing
Just As You Are.
"Decide this minute to never again beg anyone for the love, respect, and attention that you should be showing yourself. Be your own best friend. Trust your inner spirit and follow your instincts. Accept who you are completely, the good and the bad, and make changes in your life as YOU see fit not because you think anyone else wants you to be different, but because you know its the right thing to do, for YOU." ~ Melchor Lim
Never mistake having great physical characteristics for being a truly attractive person. It is only those who are willing to be real with their selves and real with others at all times that are actually wildly attractive.
As. you. are.
Stronger than you know.
More beautiful than you think.
Worthier than you believe.
More loved than you can ever imagine.
Passionate about making a difference.
Fiery when protecting those you love.
Learning. Growing. Not alone.
Warm. Giving. Generous.
Quirky. Sexy. Funny. Smart.
Flawed. Whole. Scared. Brave.
And so, so, so.much.more.
Copyright: Tia Sparkles Singh, 2011
Your Life YOUR Way
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Thursday, February 20, 2014
Do you ever feel like it's a vicious cycle of trying to control what you eat, feeling like a failure because the scale doesn't move, punishing yourself for not being "more in control,", thereby manifesting even more bodily stress that causes further havoc in your body? The next step is usually to binge or take our diet to a more extreme, and maybe less healthy step, and the cycle continues …
How many diets have you tried in your lifetime? How many times have you felt the embarrassment and disappointment of having “fallen off the wagon”? Have you ever felt that this weight loss journey is too hard to stick to? If you’re like me, you have tried almost every suggestion you’ve read or heard about to end your food hell, from various food programs – diets – obsessively exercising - fasting- body cleanses - to who-knows-what.
In Marianne Willamson’s recent book, A Course in Weight Loss, she suggests that we try something we may or may not have tried before. She says, “I suggest that you plant a mustard seed and let God’s strength grow within you. I suggest you accept this fact: that you cannot beat this problem otherwise. You cannot stop. You have no control over it. It is bigger than you are. If you could have done this by yourself, you would have done so by now.”
In her new book she provides 21 spiritual lessons to help you surrender your weight forever. Here are a few of her suggestions:
Surrender To Your Food Struggle
“Your freedom lies in accepting that which frightens you most: that you are powerless to stop this problem, to fight it or to fix it . . . your compulsion to eat is stronger than you are . . . you are so tired of this war you have fought against yourself that part of you would rather die than go on. It’s time to surrender the struggle.”
This is something that I have read many times before – face your fear. Until we do this we are constantly turning our back on it, running away from it, or simply in deep denial. The strength will come in the letting go – in the surrender to a power that has held us prisoner long enough. Aren’t you tired of the constant struggle? To me it seems like a never ending battle against my food desires and cravings, and in the end, I find myself eating just to comfort all of that.
How does that paragraph make you feel? Do you feel like it would be a relief? Does it make you anxious? If you’re like me your initial reaction would be are you nuts?! What do you mean give up? If I give up I’ll just continue to pack on the pounds, and become even fatter than I am! Some of you might believe that you would be completely out of control. Yet she goes on to ask, “Aren’t you out of control now? Exactly what part of you would guide you to keep up the fight? This voice that seems to be speaking to you with such concern and wisdom—is that a power that has proven effective at solving the problem? And if in fact it hasn’t, then isn’t it time to fire it as your guide?”
She goes on to note, “Perhaps you feel cornered now, as though you’ve tried everything and all your efforts are spent. Having depended on your own strength to heal yourself, you have ended up smack-dab back in the center of the wound. You feel checkmated by yourself and beaten by your own ego. All your efforts have been for nothing when confronted by the demonic power of your compulsion to eat.” BINGO! Ain’t that the truth?! You feel totally defeated, and that all of your recent and successful efforts have been for naught because you gave into that food that has called your name for the past week, or when you’ve over-indulged on the weekend? Total guilt and defenseless. . .
Here is one statement that hit me square between the eyes. “Your salvation in this area lies not in resisting the truth of your powerlessness before food, but in accepting it and even embracing it. You realize, once you accept that your problem is bigger than you are, that perhaps something else is bigger than it. And then the miracle unfolds in realizing that the power of your mortal self is small when compared to the power of God.”
“You will no longer need to ‘puff yourself up’ in an effort to make yourself ‘big enough’ to handle your problems. In fact, you will discover the power of true humility, deferring to a power that is greater than your own. The Divine is big enough to handle your problems—so you need not be.”
This was the second thing that struck a nerve with me as a friend had said this very thing, almost verbatim, to me about six months ago. She said I ate to make myself feel more powerful because my self esteem was so very small. If you think about this in the context of the Loving Yourself series, along with many of the blogs you read here on Spark People, you will find this to be true, as it is a constant theme. We don’t feel confident or good about ourselves when we are overweight. How can we? But those who have lost the weight and been on maintenance will tell you they finally feel good about themselves – and if we can do this, so will we. I believe that confidence breeds more confidence which naturally increases your self esteem. It’s getting there, and even more so staying there, that is the real difficulty and challenge.
In closing she states, “It is when you allow God to be bigger that you will allow yourself to become physically smaller. You will begin to give up your burdens when you remember there is someone to give them to. Simply remember, ‘I cannot, but God can!’, and that the Divine is big enough to handle your problems – so you need not be.” Now isn’t that a relief?
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Friday, January 31, 2014
We are all keenly aware that no body is perfect. Yet, the visual reinforcement of the media’s notion of perfection is constantly bombarding our visual senses everyday.
Take a few minutes to watch this profoundly moving video that once again delivers the message we all nod in agreement to – that everyone is perfectly beautiful just the way they are.
As part of a new campaign called “Because Who Is Perfect? Come Closer,” the Swiss charity Pro Infirmis sought to expose the public to a wide range of body types through clothing store mannequins.
The subjects: a woman with severe scoliosis, another with a deformed spine, a one-legged athlete, a man with brittle bone disease, and a man with shortened limbs. Together, the five models were the subjects of director Alain Gsponer’s short-film about the project.
The models — radio host and film critic Alex Oberholzer, Miss Handicap 2010 Jasmine Rechsteiner, athlete Urs Kolly, actor Erwin Aljukić, and blogger Nadja Schmid — all got their measurements taken to determine which parts of the mannequins had to be altered. For many of them, the alterations were significant.
Radio and Film Critic, Alex Oberholzer
Jasmine Rechsteiner, Miss Handicap 2010
Erwin Aljukić, for instance, has brittle bone disease, which makes his limbs gaunt and near skeletal.
Nadja Schmid, meanwhile, has a warp in her spine that radically displaces her trunk, to the right of her body’s midline.
Kolly, who has won at least one gold medal at every Paralympics games between 1992 and 2004, lost his right leg below the knee while serving in the military.
Each had a mannequin made to perfectly reflect their body shape—which, to their delight, was then displayed in a high street store in Zurich’s main shopping street.
Each model stood by the mannequin before concealing white sheets were lifted. When they were finally revealed, some of the models looked upon their body double in awe, thoughtfully feeling the smooth curves of a truncated limb or the deep arch of a back.
The film captures the remarkable moment each person sees their unique sculpture—and reveals the internal struggle some of those involved have accepting their appearance.
Upon seeing her mannequin, Nadja Schmid declares.“It’s special to see yourself like this, when you usually can’t look at yourself in the mirror.”
Kolly removed his prosthetic leg so he could attach it to the disabled mannequin. “
This, says the charity Pro Infirmis, is the point of the campaign. It hopes to raise awareness of people with disabilities, specifically in the image-obsessed worlds of fashion and retail.
“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” ~ Amy Bloom
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Monday, January 27, 2014
How do you feel about having pictures of yourself taken? Have you ever taken a selfie on your mobile phone? Do you run from the camera? You are not alone.
I avoid the camera and have never taken a selfie because I think a picture just magnifies my flaws and makes me look fatter than I am. Unfortunately when my picture is taken, I must be in front because I am short. I can not hide – so I usually make it a point to leave the scene by making up some excuse.
It’s interesting though, when I dream, I am not fat. I am “normal” weight, and I am confident, personable, and adept. I’ve been able to run, to fly, and I am always surprised, in reflecting on the dream, that I looked attractive, confident, and, in general, am portrayed the way I truly wish to be. Am I an anomaly?
Why can’t I seem to get here in my everyday reality? My picture of who I am is not real. It is not the way others see me. They see the person that is like a picture taken of me. Yet I am not a recluse, or anti-social. Why am I not embarrassed? Why the discrepancy? Where do these beliefs come from? How does this disconnect happen? Am I alone in realizing this?
Have you ever pondered the thought that your weight is a protection to you? Do you think it’s your “self’s” way of insulating and protecting you from past, present, and future hurt?
Why can’t I seem to get to the heart of this matter? I have felt this way most of my life. Why am I so ashamed of my physical appearance when confronted by myself, but not when I am out among others?
I know that I am not alone in feeling this way. I am finding in researching this subject of loving myself that a groundswell movement is emerging out there that is taking direct aim at the irrational body images portrayed by the media and the effect it is having on our feelings about our bodies and ourselves – no matter what our age. We need more of this. I think this is increasingly contributing to the weight and body issues we are having not only with ourselves, but in society as a whole. Check out this video, and you will see that we are in the majority – not the minority, as we think we are.
I applaud Dove for stepping up and stepping out in helping us to realize that we are beautiful in spite of how we see ourselves. Take a moment and follow this link to see some of the thousands of beautiful posts that have been posted since this campaign began:
So I ask you – what does beauty mean to you? How do you see yourself?
Thanks for your forthright thoughts, and for stopping by.
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