Body Image: What’s Really Eating at You?

You want to tackle your body image issues, but you fall off the wagon.  What causes this?  How can you fight the Body Image Bandit and win? The first thing is to learn to identify what’s really eating at you.  Whether you’re battling an eating disorder or compulsive overeating (now called “Binge Eating Disorder”), if you…

Body Image and Humor: Woman vs. Kitty

Great news!  I just learned that chocolate has superb anti-aging properties.  I read a short article about this while waiting for my kitty’s appointment.  If I keep drinking mochas at the same rate, I should reclaim my 29th birthday by Labor Day!  I guess I will keep feeding the chocolate monster within.  Maybe I should…

Body Image and Your Scale: Does it Own You, or Do You Own It?

Photo by Chelsea Panos How much power have you given your scale? Many people let the numbers dictate whether they have a good day or bad day.  They feel like it owns them, and they give it a lot of power in their lives. Over the past several years counseling women, I’ve encountered many who give…

Body Image and Magazines:

Sleek, skinny models staring at you on the pages of beauty and fashion magazines can play a starring role in how you feel about your body.  True or false?  Body image, magazines, and depression are somehow intertwined.  True or false?  You can improve your feelings about your body by limiting the time spent looking at…

Body Image: Starring The Lips

Some people are born with full, beautiful lips.  But not Rebecca. She always had thin little lipettes until today.  They used to just sit on her face, but now they had their own reality show. Every so often I had to force my eyes up to meet hers, as mine kept getting hung up on…

Body Image and Skinny Jeans

Last week I saw a woman in her late eighties wearing skinny jeans. But she didn’t look like the picture. She had a bad case of lumpy, bumpy, muffin top-itis.  Oh Lord, stop me if I try to wear something like that when I’m in my 80s. But later I changed my mind. Good for…

Body Image and Sexual Abuse

“When did you first start substituting food for love?” I asked my client. (Note: names and identifying information have been changed to protect confidentiality.) “I don’t really know,” she answered as she reached for the Kleenex box. “I remember in high school when I’d lost a lot of weight, and this really popular guy gave…

Body Image and LeAnn Rimes: Worshiping the Art of Skinniness

Does LeAnn Rimes have an eating disorder?  A few days ago, she posted a picture of herself in a bikini on Twitter.  This started a tsunami of tweets about whether or not LeAnn has an eating disorder, including one saying “@leannrimes “Whoa, you’re scary skinny! Sorry don’t mean to offend but that’s a lot of bones showing…

Body Image and Media: Dandelion Whine

On my power walk today, I saw a golden clump of dandelions. I surprised myself as I noticed, for the first time, their unsurpassed beauty. Each flower looked straight up to heaven, perfectly formed and truly glorious. How could I have missed this splendor that makes my heart sing? Why have I called dandelions “weeds…

Abercrombie and Body Image

Eating breakfast yesterday, I watched The Today Show’s segment on Abercrombie’s marketing of padded,push-up swimsuit tops for seven-year-old girls. As if the word “padded” wasn’t bad enough, I almost choked on my Cheerios when I heard the word “push-up.” Maybe Abercrombie should change their name to SADbercrombie. A few hours later, Abercrombie removed the phrase…

Body Image and Barbie: Bye Bye, Barbie

Dear Barbie, Today I’m officially saying goodbye.  I haven’t actually played with you in decades, but nevertheless I feel I need to write you a formal goodbye letter.  I know you’re wondering why I decided to take such a drastic measure.  I hope this letter explains my concerns. I used to love and admire you,…

Body Image and the Perfect Size

I finally began to understand that dieting becomes an undertow like the momentum of the ocean when it decides to roll out another glorious wave.  First it gets psyched up by gathering thousands of gallons of water.  Once it has collected bountiful rows of water, the wave curls upon itself and throws the water back to…

Body Image and Dieting: Diet is a Four-Letter Word

During my sophomore year of high school, I decided I needed to lose five to ten pounds.  Dieting was the only solution, or so I thought.  I was an athlete, so I felt the only other thing I needed to do was go on a diet.  Now that is an interesting phrase, because if you go…

Body Image and Research: Stop Obsessing!

How much time do women and teen girls obsess about body image?  “The average woman spends about an hour a day contemplating her size, her calorie intake, and her exercise regimen starting at the age of twelve.” (Research compiled by Courtney E. Martin for her book, Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters:  How the Quest for Perfection…

Body Image and Thoughts: Stop the Stinking Thinking!

I had a professor who once said, “Trying to control your mind is like trying to control a room full of drunken monkeys.”  When it comes to your own body image, I bet you understand.  How often have you had negative thoughts  such as: What size of clothes does that person wear?  She’s probably a…

Body Image and Diets: Rethinking Resolutions and Dieting

Many Americans will begin another year with a resolution to lose weight.  Most will start out with a bang, but then fizzle out like New Year’s Eve fireworks. The majority will lose weight, but only a small percentage will keep it off.  Most will gain it all back, plus more.  They will then jump again onto the merry-go-round of…

Body Image and The Biggest Loser: Meet a Two Decade Loser!

“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times,” Mark Twain said. And I know this applies to weight loss. How many people have lost pounds upon pounds of weight only to gain it all back again? Usually they gain back even more. Many of…

Body Image and Addiction: Is Food Addiction Real?

“Hey Cherrie, I just want you to know that you can’t use a picture of my tooshie for your book cover!”  my new friend, Sheila, said.  Waiting for our speaker at our writer’s group meeting to begin his message, we chatted about our writing goals.  The name of the book I am writing is, “Fannies:  Reclaiming…

Body Image, Perimenopause and Menopause

Recently I entered the unknown realm of what the experts call perimenopause.  Peri, according to the Encarta dictionary, means “a graceful and beautiful girl or woman.”  Let me tell you, sister, this is quite the opposite of what this time in my life looks and feels like.  My hormones are absolutely whacko, and my doctor…

Body Image and Children: Five and Feeling Fat in a Normal Body

“Mommy, do these jeans make my butt look big?” my friend’s daughter asked her.  After assuring her five year old that she was exactly the way God wanted her to be, Sandy (not her real name) called to tell me.  She knows I’m writing a book on body image, and thought I would be very interested in…

Body Image: Abuse, Drinking, and Eating Disorders

As we discussed in the last blog entry, eating disorders, abuse, and drinking are often three sides of a dangerous triangle.  Candy’s story described the entanglement of these three issues.  Often an overly critical comment about a woman’s body propels her into a deeper layer of self-contempt.  Sometimes such comments stir the soul to the…

Bulimia, Abuse, and Drinking: One Woman’s Story

When my friend Candy and I went on a hike, she told me that she had struggled with bulimia from her late teens until her early thirties.  Now in her early fifties, I invited her to share her story. She graciously told me she would be honored to share the story if it would help…

Body Image: How to Develop a Healthy Body Image

By now, if you have been following this blog for long, you understand that issues with food, weight, and body image are much more about your heart and your story than food and weight.  Let me say it again:  It is NOT about food!  It is about your heart and your story.  Until you work…

Body Image and Breast Reduction

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you were drop-dead gorgeous?  Perfect.  Or close to it, right?  Each day would wrap its arms around you and give you a grand gorilla hug.  The sun would shine on your back, but not to the point that your armpits would have big ugly…

Body Image: Getting Work Done to Meet the Standard

I hadn’t seen my friend Rebecca in over a year, and as we sat sipping coffee, I prayed that I wouldn’t stare at her lips, which had quadrupled in size since the last time I saw her.  I could feel my gaze slipping from her eyes onto the pair of pink slugs. Some people are…

Body Image: How Mothers Influence Body Image

A great deal has been written on how fathers play strong roles in the development of their daughters’ eating disorders.  Negative relationships between fathers and daughters create holes in the hearts of their daughters which they believe can be filled by getting and staying thin.  Not surprisingly, girls and women have fallen prey to the jaws…

Body Image and Humor: Woman vs. Kitty

Great news!  I just learned that chocolate has superb anti-aging properties.  I read a short article about this while waiting for my kitty’s appointment.  If I keep drinking mochas at the same rate, I should reclaim my 29th birthday by Labor Day!  I guess I will keep feeding the chocolate monster within.  Maybe I should…

Male Body Image: The Man on the Chicken Diet, Part 2

“When did you first start to gain weight?”  I asked.  The all-important question that most naturopaths, physicians, and nutritionists never ask.  (Note:  The same question must be asked if someone has issues with purging, bingeing, or over-exercising.) “Hmmm…I think it was my second year of med school.  Before that I was pretty buff and worked out…

Body Image and Men:The Man on the Chicken Diet

(NOTE:  All characters in this blog and book are fictitious. ) I wasn’t sure I had heard him right.  A physician came into counseling to get help with anxiety and depression, and told me during one of our first sessions that he was going on a chicken diet. “A chicken diet?”  I asked. “Yeah.  I think…

Body Image and Stinking Thinking: Stop Comparing Your Body

Two weeks ago, I posted a blog about the “stinkin’ thinkin’ ” that happens when we get pulled into the undercurrent of comparing our bodies to other peoples’.  This leads to drudgery and despair because you drown in the pool of stinkin’ thinkin’.  It consumes you until you start the sick cycle of dieting that…

Olympic Ice Dancer Celebrates her Weight Gain! Body Image Buster

Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:00 am EST Ice dancer Belbin has put on weight, and she couldn’t be happier By Maggie Hendricks There is no denying that American ice dancer Tanith Belbin is a beautiful woman. As she glides across the ice with partner Ben Agosto, it’s hard to take your eyes off of her….

Body Image and Healthy Eating: The Good Food/Bad Food Trap

Have you been pulled into the good food/bad food trap? Do you find yourself putting all foods into the categories of “good” or “bad”? This thinking is quicksand that pulls you into the sick cycle of dieting, bingeing, purging (for some) and over-exercising (for some). I remember a woman in her late twenties explaining her…

The Million-Dollar Question about Body Image

The sad part of the New Year’s resolution frenzy is that it will be over by Valentines Day. Most of the people will fizzle out on their resolutions of losing weight and working out. That is, unless they are willing to take off their masks and ask a heart-wrenching question. That question, you have probably…

The Real Roots of Food Addiction: Conquering Binge Eating Disorder

What would it look like to address the REAL issues behind your food addiction instead of continuing the sick cycle of dieting, which almostalways leads to bingeing due to feeling deprived. Learn the truth about food addiction and how to conquer the body image bandit!

http://healthygirl.org/ Normal People Sometimes Overeat

I LOVED this post by Sunny, the writer of healthygirl.org.  She mentions a profound yet lost morsel of truth:  Sometimes normal people overeat.  Obviously, this happens quite a bit during the holidays.  Last night I made these delectable chocolate/peanut butter cookie bar things.  They keep calling me, so I am trying to eat them a…

7 Ways to Protect Your Daughter (or Son) from Eating Disorders

After her brother said she was fat, Karen (not her real name) vowed to do whatever it took to get into a pair of size 6 Calvin Klein jeans.  Most women who struggle with eating disorders remember this type of significant moment in their stories.  This vow included starving herself to the point that she…

Turkey Jitters: How to Save Face when your Turkey Bites the Dust

(Note:  We are taking a Thanksgiving hiatus from body image in honor of Thanksgiving.  Enjoy your turkey!)  Does the thought of preparing Thanksgiving dinner give you the shakes? Maybe as you’re reading this, your heart is beating so loudly the neighbors can hear. Images of undressed turkeys roll around in your head and make you…

My Body Image Story, Part 2: The Magic Number

About two years after moving to Maui, my family moved back to the Mainland. But the bubbly, outgoing teen that landed back at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport had changed forever. The new version had been ravaged by daily harassment until she grew into a shy, depressed young woman who had only a fraction of the…

Body Image and Dieting: Why Diets Don’t Work

Note:  This article is for people who need to lose weight for health reasons – not those who want to “get skinny” so they will have perfect lives.  We will address that later.  Face it.  You are more likely to get run over by a truck full of PMSing women going on a Dairy Queen binge…

Body Image: Making Peace with Your Body

Join me, a licensed mental health counselor, in reclaiming the plunder of the body image bandit. Together we will keep the body image bandit at bay through laughter, story, psychology, and faith.

Next Month, You’ll Eat Everything but the TV ;)

Face it. Dieting almost ALWAYS leads to losing – then gaining back – all the weight you’ve lost – plus MORE. A meta-analysis from UCLA showed that almost 100% of dieters end up gaining weight over the long-haul. (Scientific American, April 5, 2007) So yes, you’ll be eating everything not nailed down within a month, right?…

poem-dotty

Originally posted on Shawn L. Bird:
Star speckled sky, orbs orbiting, motes in the sun beams, circles circling, dots on the shoes. The most beautiful things in the world are round, so I will celebrate my celestial shape.

Swimming in the Sea of What-Ifs

You swim against the current, grasping for air as you turn your head to scan the horizon. Dizzy and out of breath, you feel the ebb and flow of the water spraying against your limbs. You’ve summersaulted your way into oblivion many times before, spiraling against the current, knowing not when the tides of life…

How I Hokey Pokey

In my other life, I swam competitively or ran 6 miles most days. Then, due to lupus and ankylosing spondylitis, I couldn’t breathe or walk for periods of time. Dressing myself seemed like running a marathon. So did using the restroom. I told God, at age 28, “Please take me if this is a preview…

The Fashion Police Chronicles – Oscars Style

“We’re more than just our dresses,” said Reese Witherspoon. Preach it, Reese! Every year, after the Academy awards, the fashion police nitpick the female participants to pieces. A total meat market – fashionista style. I love fashion and design. For me, fashion invites be to express myself in art. If I had to choose a…