Legless in Seattle

I have nothing against legs. Really, I don’t. In fact I have a pair myself.

But here’s the deal. Imagine a culture in which women wear dresses everywhere. So 1950’s. Right?

Except on most TV news stations. Just about all of them. The photography angles emphasize the legs. Yet we like to call ourselves a modern society. The media would love to say they choose female newscasters – dare I say sex symbols – for their superb communication skills. And most seem smart.


But you know what? The women are always positioned so the audience can see their legs, front and center. Some have positioned their brilliant women anchors under glass tables. Glass tables! Glass ceilings we have heard of. But really – to purchase glass tables so the audience can see their legs is….



So yesterday.

And so insulting.

Yes, I get how people are wired, and their thought processes, and of course how this is all about ratings and sales and savvy.

Yet still…do you want your daughter – your wife, girlfriend or even female pet – for that matter – believing their worth is all about their….

Drum roll, please –


It’s enough to make me want to throw a fried chicken leg at you.

But maybe I’ll buy a classy pair of pants and send them to your station. After all, there’s a time and a place to be sexy. But the news?! Really, have some class.


Legless in Seattle




There’s Only 1 Woman in America with No Body Image Issues!


Here’s her secret: (Short Video under 2 Minutes)


Let me know your thoughts.


mAkiNg FuN of MoM

My friend, Mindy, decided to post blog pictures of herself without make-up or photoshopping. It’s powerful…but you may also think, “If I looked like Mindy, I would do it too.” I know what you mean. I often look like a gekko when I wake up in the morning. Especially when I haven’t had a cup of coffee.

Enjoy this post from Momma Mindy’s Moments.


MaKiNg FuN of MoM

Body Image and Humor: Woman vs. Kitty

Meow.. by Motor-Head

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 get back into the habit of making chocolate chip cookie dough.  I used to mix it up every few weeks, but hardly any of it made it into the oven because it would take a detour and end up in my tummy.  Then it would immediately slide down due to gravity, but for some reason the gravity would stop kicking in when the cookie dough got to my rear end.  Weird, huh?

While I had this delectable news about chocolate on my mind, the vet assistant called us in.  Prissy, my kitty, had to get her booster shots.  It’s still hard to believe I have a cat because I thought of myself as a dog-only type of person.  But my husband kept wanting a kitty, so what could I say?  She is very loving most of the time, very low-maintenance, and makes an excellent heating pad.

So when Prissy and I got called for her appointment, they weighed her in. The last time we did this, the vet scolded me because she had plumped up to eighteen pounds.  He said he was concerned about her health at that weight, so asked me to cut back on her food.  Let me tell you, Prissy got nasty and angry.  Even worse than me when I used to believe in diets and was irritable because I felt so deprived.  She spent a lot of time hanging out by the pantry door where the cat food is kept, making noises like she was in labor of birthing sixteen kittens.  So I cut her back very gradually, a little each week.  Today we got the good news that she has lost a little over two pounds.  The vet  now wants her to lose about two more pounds, then she will be at her so-called “ideal weight.”

The advantage that Prissy has over you and me is she has no psychological hang-ups about her weight.  She doesn’t compare herself with other kitties, thinking, “Is that cat’s butt bigger or smaller than mine?” Or, “When I turn so you can see my profile, do I look like a pregnant mongoose?”  She has no concerns about her appearance because she is preoccupied with more important things like pouncing on our dog or looking for bugs on the ceiling. I have seen no evidence that she obsesses about her waist or the appearance of any other body parts. She doesn’t care about her size or shape, but is more concerned about keeping herself clean. Oh, to be a kitty!

What kind of freedom would you have if you were more like Prissy?  I don’t mean having claws and a mousie toy, but  what if you could be totally without knowledge or concern about your appearance? Maybe that gives you shudders, and you picture yourself as a sloth rolling out of bed with bad breath, putting on a little pit juice (deodorant), and going about your day.  Your hair is uncombed and your clothes are wrinkled, but you don’t really care. You’re on a mission to hunt down breakfast – and the bigger, the better.If you are like the majority of teen girls and women, you frequently compare your body with other people.  Many – not all, but many – of those you compare yourself with – have eating disorders that you can’t see.

Other times women and girls compare themselves with the pictures they see in magazines and usually get depressed because they feel they don’t measure up.  We have already discussed the statistics on this, which reveals that females feel bad about themselves the more they look at magazines.  So why torture yourself with magazine-induced depression?

 by Chelsea3883I am Beautiful, by Chelsea Panos

And so I say it again – let’s have a beauty/fashion/celebrity magazine recycling party. Imagine this: You get together all of your friends and their friends as well. Each person brings all of her beauty magazines, all of her fashion magazines, and all of her celebrity magazines. Each person adds her magazines to the pile. A microphone is provided where anyone can talk about what the magazines have done to their hearts. You may want to have a cake to celebrate the day that you decided to give the Body Image Power a kick in the rear-end.

Maybe you could even find a speaker to discuss all the ways you can kick the Body Image Bandit out of your life.I rarely look at such magazines.  I really don’t need that kind of negative influence in my thinking.  I am reminded of the passage in Philippians 4:8, although it was not written with body image issues in mind, Paul attests:  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, think about such things.”

It is not healthy to stuff our feelings, as I often tell my clients.  In fact I tell them that stuffing is for turkeys and teddy bears, and they are neither one! Neither are you. So it is important to get your feelings out in a safe venue, perhaps with a trusted friend who is not shaming or even on paper because paper doesn’t judge.  (If you are concerned about someone finding it, no worries because you can type it and then delete it.  Believe it or not, the act of the purging your feelings is what is important.)  King David called out to God again and again, and often expressed his feelings.  Had he been born today, he would have received just about every diagnosis in the Diagnostical and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders.

Even though it is healthy to express your feelings to safe people. That is why I like to express my feelings with friends or on paper and to God, and then focus on the positive : …”whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.”

Focusing on other peoples’ bodies and shaming ourselves for our own looks is not true, noble, right, pure, lovely, or admirable.  In fact, it is false (when we look at magazines which are photoshopped and airbrushed), shaming, wrong, and despicable.  It brings us down and is another form of “stinkin’ thinkin’” as Al-Anon and the 12-step programs say.

You will notice that Scripture does not say, “Look at the woman (or teenager) in front of you in line at the store. Notice if her thighs, waist, bust, ankles, and/or fanny is bigger or smaller than yours. Then mope around for the next four months because you feel fat and ugly compared to her.”  Thank goodness it doesn’t say that!  We are not supposed to compare ourselves to the world’s standards, because we are actually citizens of heaven.  That is why Scripture emphasizes, “Man looks at outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.”  (1 Samuel 16:7b). 

How I wish we could saturate the hearts and minds of girls and women with this profound truth.  You probably noticed the verse says nothing about evaluating ourselves on the basis of our body fat percentage, or on the shapeliness of our figures.  What a sigh of relief.  Since we’ve seen over 250,000 ads by the age of seventeen, we may not be able to completely erase their effects from our minds and be like a kitty.  But with practice of stopping negative thinking and focusing on more pleasant thoughts, we can reclaim the plunder of the Body Image Bandit. Like this story? There are many more funny stories in my book. Tooshie:Defeating the Body Image Bandit 

Exercise of Cat 03 by J i J y

Perspective and Body Image

While walking down an aisle at Walgreens, my heart almost fell to the linoleum floor and shattered. I was praying for God to give me inspiration to write another blog post.

And then I saw him. The almost-skeleton of a man gingerly shuffled past me down the bread aisle with a walker. He looked about thirty years old.

Gray Deluxe Rolling Walker by Medline®

Courtesy Costco.com

His bones stretched tightly under his skin. I didn’t stare, but passed him with a slight smile. (I remembered all the stares from people when I crashed on my bicycle several years ago and didn’t want this man to suffer any more than he already is. Read the story here:  https://tooshieblog.com/my-story/) Closely behind him walked a thirty-something year old woman pushing a cart. Most likely his wife or sister. I figured he must have wanted to get out because he grew tired of staying at home, even though I could tell he was rushing full speed toward eternity.

Perspective pumped through my veins as I regretted all the times I’d pondered my physique, wishing I could erase parts and redraw them.

I am a masterpiece, and so are you.

God designed each of our bodies with his miraculous glory and wonder. The intricate complexities of the human body operate light years better than the fastest computer. We can easily get swallowed up into the abyss of comparing our bodies with photoshopped images and feel slighted. But this is because we have been brainwashed from seeing 250,000 ads before age seventeen.

Perspective: It is truly priceless.

“For we are God’s masterpieces, created   in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10).

Notice the verse doesn’t say we were created to obsess about our tooshies!  🙂

How to Improve Your Daughter’s Body Image

A few years ago, I spoke on Seattle’s KOMO 1000 radio for a two-minute sound byte on how parents can improve their daughter’s body image.  It is replayed frequently, and here is the short clip. I would like to add that women often score higher on depression inventories when they have looked at beauty and fashion magazines in the prior ten minutes.  This should take less than three minutes to listen to.


Related post:

7 Ways to Protect Your Daughter (or Son) from Eating Disorders: https://cherriemac.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/7-ways-to-protect-your-daughter-or-son-from-eating-disorders/

Stop Obsessing about Body Image Issues (and Get On with Life!)

Have you ever wondered how much time you waste per day by thinking about:

  • Do these jeans make my tooshie look big?
  • I need to lose weight!
  • Is that woman (in front of you at the grocery store) thinner or fatter than me?
  • Have I eaten “good” food or “bad” food today?
  • I wish my ____________looked better.

Research shows that when you add all the time together women think about such things, it adds up to  an hour a day.

What if you committed yourself to getting on with your life?  After all,

you weren’t created to obsess about your body!

You have a much higher calling.  So when you waste precious time obsessing about body image issues, you are robbing yourself and the world.

Phil 4:8 encourages us to think positive thoughts. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Phil 4;8 helps me to focus on the positive. 

For example, I’m planning to speak at churches about How to Defeat the Body Image Bandit, using lots of humor, research, and my own story.  I’ll have the churches take up an offering and donate it to organizations that help victims of human sex trafficking.  So instead of focusing on “Do these jeans make my tooshie look fat?” I’m spending my time planning and preparing the speech instead of combing through beauty and fashion magazines, comparing my body to those of photoshopped, concentration camp thin models.  Such a much better use of my time. 

Notice Phil 4:8  does not say:

“Finally, girlfriends, whatever can make your tooshie look sleek, trim, and keep cellulite off your thighs – think about such things.” 

Yet we often live as though we were created to obsess about our bodies.  After all, we’re so good at it!

What if you were to live out your gifts and talents, using your personality and story to become the person you were created to be?  It’s time to stop obsessing about our bodies and get on with our true callings.  You are a unique


                                    a jewel,

and you were created for a much greater purpose.  So get on with it!

Someone Please Call the Birthday Police!

David’s Cookies  Chocolate Fudge  Birthday Cake

If you have the number for the birthday police, I really need it.  Last February I received a postcard in the mail that my women’s exam happens  to expire around my birthday.  Of course I had the option of going in a few weeks early so my birthday would be free of paraphernalia down in my South America.  Bless their little hearts for giving me the option of choosing another week.  But my question is:  Why do they have to ruin my birthday month with annual exams?  I want to ask the Birthday Police about this.

I would prefer to do almost anything else on my birthday than have an exam of that nature.  Since my driver’s license and my professional license also expire on my birthday, I do have other options for my special day.  Either way, I was left with three unforgettable choices for celebrating my birthday:

  1. Get a physical exam
  2. Renew my driver’s license
  3. Renew my professional license

What kind of a sick joke is this?  We need a birthday police to make sure that nothing expires on our birthdays.  What’s wrong with having licenses and pap smears expire on our half birthdays?  That would mean that on August 18, half way between my last and next birthday, my licenses and pap smear would expire.  I could deal with that.

Speaking of birthdays, I plan to celebrate mine until I get so old that my teeth, hearing, and memory are all gone.  I want to milk my birthday for all it’s worth.  Presents, parties, special dinners, and cards – bring them on!

A few weeks ago I had lunch with a friend in her early thirties.  The conversation turned to birthdays and age.  She commented on a TV commercial where a woman spoke of parentheses lines around her mouth.  This angered my friend.   She told me what a good thing it is – that faces are meant for lines, and how they define us and make us beautiful in unique ways.  She reflected on how age is a virtue because it is connected with wisdom.   Scripture emphasizes this.  But in the midst of a culture that worships beauty it’s easy to forget this weighty truth.

Tomorrow I will turn fifty, and I’m feeling good about it.  To me, it means I’m even more comfortable in my body, and much more free of societal expectations.  I work out because I love it (please don’t stick Oreo cookies all over my car because you hate me!) and I love who I am and what I do on most days.  Of course this side of Heaven, we all have our dignity and depravity, and I certainly have mine, which I’m writing about in my book.

So tomorrow I’ll celebrate and indulge by eating the richest, heaviest chocolate cake on the planet.  I will remember that I have a great deal to be thankful for.  What’s not to like?

Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.  

Proverbs 16:31

Defeating the Body Image Bandit: Truth vs. Lies

Americans see over 250,000 ads before the age of 17. 

Living in a culture where we drown in a tsunami of images takes a toll.  We forget that phenomenal women have hips.  The lies of the Body Image Bandit tell us if we’re not thin, tall, and flawless, we don’t possess beauty.  Yet that mentality is from the Body Image Bandit, the Father of Lies, whose mission is to kill, steal, and destroy.  The lies include:

1.  Fat phobia:  Research shows that teen girls are more afraid of fat than terrorism.

Due to the images our brains are saturated with, we are brainwashed into thinking thinness is the major criteria of beauty.  One way to combat this is to rid or limit our lives of fashion, beauty, and celebrity magazines.  After looking at such magazines for ten minutes, women become more depressed.

2.  Appearance is almost everything. 

God values our hearts much more than the size of our hips.  Actually, our internal qualities carry much more weight in God’s eyes.  “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.  (Gal 5:22)

Makeup Quotes

4.  Food is the enemy, as it creates fat.  God created a variety of foods to be enjoyed in moderation.  Read related posts about deprivation, which remind us depriving ourselves leads to binges.

Yet if we allow ourselves treats in moderation, we will reduce our desire to binge.

5.  Beauty is completely external. A complete lie.  “What matters most is not your outer appearance – the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes – but your inner disposition.  (I Peter 3:3, The Message)

6.  Youth is beautiful and old age is ugly.  In many cultures, age equals wisdom and is greatly valued.  Yet in most so-called “advanced” countries, older people are devalued (women more so than men).  Wrinkles aren’t respected.

“Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.”  (Proverbs 16:31, NIV)

How do you define beauty?  What does your soul sing about beauty?

The Million Dollar Body Image Question

Copy (1) of IMG_0070

When did you first begin to obsess about your body?  Can you identify what event or events sprung you into yo-yo dieting, starving yourself, purging, binge eating, and/or excessive exercising?

Once you can do that, you’ve identified a major contributor that prevents you from developing healthy relationships with food and exercise.  Draw a time line of your life and place markers at the most eventful times.

Also other changes, such as getting married, divorced, moving, having a friend move, starting or ending jobs, etc.  Remember, any major change is stress, whether it’s experienced as positive or negative.  No wonder brides gain an average of 18 pounds during the first year of marriage!

During these difficult times of your time line, you probably began to obsess about your body.


You attempted to self-medicate by dieting, bingeing, purging away your true feelings, and/or overexercising.  This offered you what we call the illusion of control in the 12-step programs.

In other words, your life felt out of control by your parents’ divorce, a move to another city, a difficult break-up, etc. You knew that you were powerless over the situation, so you obsessed about your body and attempted to control it instead.


Eventually your new, dysfunctional way of coping took on a life of its own.  Whether it’s obsessive overeating, bingeing, compulsive dieting, purging, or overexercising you’re struggling with, you’ve probably been looking for a solution for years. It became a beast in your life, and you have desperately tried to tackle it.  And now you’re wondering what really works in the long-term sense, not quick fixes that help you change for a small chunk of time.

“How do people recover?
We   believe an eating disorder is a mechanism for coping with stress. We binge,   purge and/or starve to feel better about our shame, anger, fear, loneliness,   tiredness and ordinary human needs. As we learn to address stress through other   mechanisms, the symptoms of the eating disorder tend to fade away. It is a   process, not an event. In EDA, we share our experience, strength and hope with   each other to help one another come to terms with and change how we deal with   life.

Recovery means living life on life’s terms, facing pains and fears   without obsessing on food, weight and body image. In our eating disorders, we   sometimes felt like helpless victims. Recovery means gaining or regaining the   power to see our options, to make careful choices in our lives. Recovery means rebuilding trust with ourselves, a gradual process that requires much motivation  and support. There are bound to be setbacks and moments of fear and frustration.   Support – professional, group and family – helps us get through such trials   safely, when we are honest about them. Support groups such as EDA provide   inspiration and opportunity for turning the most deeply painful and humbling   experiences to useful purpose. As we learn and practice careful self-honesty,   self-care, and self-expression, we gain authenticity, perspective, peace and   empowerment.”

That is an excerpt from Eating Disorders Anonymous, which provides great results for many people.  I truly believe in 12-step programs ,and have been in Al-Anon (a 12-step program for friends and families of alcoholics) on and off since 1999.

Next to my salvation, my husband, the gifts of attending Multnomah Seminary and Mars Hill Graduate School (now called Seattle School of Psychology and Theology), Al-Anon has been one of the most beautiful gifts God has provided.  (The 12 step programs are not affiliated with any religion.) A true life saver. 

They say to try 6 meetings of a 12-step before deciding if the program works for you.  (Like life itself, you can find groups like people.  Some of them you really click with, and others you think, “holy moly, I feel so sorry for their mothers!”  So don’t give up.  Try different meetings.  Also, find a good therapist who is knowledgeable about your issues.

 from www.Eatingdisordersanonymous.org

Another great resource, also a 12-step: www.oa.com (Overeaters Anonymous) (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!)

Also www.celebraterecovery.com (for Christians)

body image