More Realistic Barbie 

The new Barbie features: 

  • Ethnicities 
  • A variety of sizes and shapes 
  • More realistic sizes 

Read more: 

Mattel Debuts a NEW and Updated Barbie! Check out the Curvy, Petite, and Tall Barbie!

  http://thecurvyfashionista.com/2016/01/mattel-barbie-curvy-petite-tall/

We Broke Up: My Year without Sugar

IMG_1466

Wow. I made it! Today marks exactly a year without sugar. To clarify, I’m talking about sweet nothings such as candy, cookies, and chocolate. I ate primarily protein, veggies and fruit. Most days I eat no grains.

How and why did I do this? Glad you asked. 🙂 Most Americans are addicted to sugar. I love chocolate, and although dark chocolate is healthy in small amounts, I craved it daily. I read about the connection between inflammation and sugar, and thought my body would feel better if I ate healthier food.

A few years ago, I discovered a recovery group called Overeaters Anonymous. The meetings are for anyone with compulsive food behaviors, including compulsive overeating, bulimia and anorexia.

I went to my first meeting and met people of all body weights, shapes and sizes. Many appeared to be at healthy body weights. Later, of course, I learned some had lost 20 to 130 pounds and kept the weight off more than a decade. Since research shows diets don’t work, I was impressed. Like other addictions, dieters end up gaining more weight than they initially lose, statistically.

I continued to attend the meetings, and read the newcomer’s packet the members gave me. I learned that OA is a spiritual program. Each person is free to choose their Higher Power, and for me this is God.

“Well, this works for them, but I know it won’t work for me.” I thought. Why? You ask. Mostly because I had a love affair with dark chocolate. I heard countless stories about how their higher power did for them what they couldn’t do for themselves.

I didn’t plan to break up with sugar, but continued to hear stories of OA members who had been off sugar for months or years.  Everyone chooses his or her own food plan, which gives people freedom.

Bw-hthnIQAAhiTm

I met with a lovely woman who has attended OA for 15 years, and she shared her experience, strength and hope. (Note: advice giving is not allowed in the program, just personal stories.) With OA, she hasn’t eaten sugar in 13 years, and has dropped 55 pounds.

On the drive home, I thought I could try – with God’s help – giving up sugar “just for today.” Not forever, but only one day.

IMG_1174

I read the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, replacing the word “alcohol” with food. I called and texted other people in the program, and read the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous. I prayed each time I craved sugar. I talked to my sponsor, and texted ’til the cows came home. (They’re home now aren’t they? 😉

Just one day at a time, God did for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

Before you think you’re going to do this yourself, OA is a “we” program, not a “me” program.  The power of community creates an ocean full of support. I’ve lost 7 pounds, but keep in mind I’m 5’2 1/2″ tall, so it’s about a size and a half. I really have only another 5 pounds to lose. I’m an athlete, even though I struggle with two chronic illnesses – lupus and ankylosing spondylitis. So I’ve never really been more than 15-20 pounds overweight.  I’d like to report I’ve experienced a great healing of all issues related to Lupus and ankylosing spondylitis. I’m gradually improving, and hope this continues.

God has done for me what I couldn’t do for myself. And for that, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.~

UPDATE: It’s now been almost a year and a half! I’m going to stop taking my Humira injection because I think I can control the inflammation eating mostly paleo. I’m so excited and basking in gratitude! I’ll keep you posted.

IMG_1001

The Joke is Always on Me

  

Deep in the depths of my soul, I have no doubt God has my back. But every so often, I experience a day when I quiver inside in fear. A circumstance floats on top, casting a shadow of my firm belief that God is in control. Today was one of those days.

I turned to him, praying he would give me wisdom and graciously grant me hope. But even so, I couldn’t see it. The shadow drug behind me like a weight on my back. Even though sunshine spilled over the mountains, and Spring tulips smiled toward the heavens, I didn’t feel at peace.

Tonight I decided to take a walk. I changed into my tee shirt and sweats. And that’s when I noticed…

Once again – amidst the steep mountain peaks of this journey called life – I ended up wearing the shirt that says, “This girl knows God is in control.” Oddly enough, on the days when my life seems most out of control, I grab the shirt that’s toward the front. Although I never put it in exactly the same place, it ends up on my body. I end up wearing my faith on my heart. Literally.

  

This has happened so many times, I grin inside now when it happens. I bought the shirt at a Woman of Faith conference several years ago, and I think of writing to tell them how God uses it to remind me, “Yes, Cherrie, I do have your back. Even when it doesn’t seem like it.” I can almost picture Jesus winking at me.

God is always in control. Always – even when it doesn’t seem like it.~

(If you enjoyed this post, you’ll find more on my other blog, http://rhapsodyenroute.com.)

 

 Image

20140407-211745.jpg

20140407-211806.jpg

Win a Book by former Victoria Secret Model!

I recently read  a book that opened my eyes wider than a Venti latte at Starbucks. I’m No Angel, by Kylie Bisutti, a former Victoria’s Secret Angel model, is truly captivating. Stories of truth and tragedy intersect as Kylie morphs from an innocent girl ensnared by the industry into a woman who chases after God. She trades in her so-called “angel wings” to be a wife such as the one encouraged in Proverbs 31. Her story is eye-opening and fascinating as she passionately pursued her life-long dream. You’ll cringe as she shares the realities of the modeling industry. And you’ll watch her break free from the web of the modeling industry to pursue a higher calling. The drawing will take place on March 30, 2014.

To enter this drawing, you have to:

1. Be a US citizen (only because shipping to other countries would be costly).

2. “Like” the Tooshie: Defeating the Body Image Bandit Facebook page.

Easier than brushing your teeth. 🙂

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

Body Image and Media: Dandelion Whine

Featured

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 “my whole life?

After stopping to admire the dandelions, I thought about how their poor reputation reminds me of poor body image gnawing at the souls of women in developed countries. The rose is known for its beauty and is the gold standard for flowers. But the dandelion is considered a weed.

I wondered if the dandelion is considered a beautiful flower in some countries. I remember meeting a beautiful young woman who had recently moved from Uganda to Seattle.

She was shocked that she had been approached on three occasions for modeling work. In Uganda she was considered too thin, and often wore several layers of clothing to avoid getting teased.

She was a dandelion  a weed, in Uganda. But in America, she suddenly was elevated to rose status.

Are you a rose, a dandelion ,or a lilac? Do you have the courage to live life to its fullest, embracing the tasks God has created you to do? We are not all roses, dandelions, or lilacs. God has created too many varieties of flowers to count.

Instead of whining because you feel like a dandelion, what if you could remember your unsurpassed beauty and begin to discover your true gifts, talents, and passions? Only then can you tap into the reason you are here, and live out your true calling.

When we stop whining and begin singing, we can be content with our God-given bodies, and get on board with what he has planned for us. You are God’s creation – a masterpiece and it’s time to begin living instead of drowning in despair from a loud culture that says you are a weed if you aren’t a rose.

So turn off the whining and enter into the story for which you were created, whether you’re a rose, a dandelion, or some other glorious creation.

Abercrombie and Body Image

Featured

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 “push-up” from their web site. 

Really, Abercrombie…do you think you can remove the phrase “push-up”, continue to sell padded swimsuit tops for children– and think it’s all good?

I’m deeply disturbed by this. 

The sexualization of children has plunged to a darker floor of the elevator of despair. Do we want to encourage children to think their value comes from looking sexy?

Our culture already teaches kids they can get more attention by looking sexy. Do we want to encourage pedophiles by dressing kids in sexy swimsuits?  Shouldn’t kids be playing and learning instead of pondering whether or not they are sexy?

I am sickened by dragging kids into the marketing carnival, all in the name of greed.
Although your marketing techniques have always disturbed me, this is over the top. You should be ashamed of yourself.

What are your thoughts?

“For the love of money is the root of many kinds of evil.” (Note:  Many times this is misquoted to “all evil.” There is a huge difference!  Sometimes people use money for good.)

I Tim. 6:10

Body Image and Research: Stop Obsessing!

Featured

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 Is Harming Young Women.)

Although I’ve worked with women for several years, an hour seemed hard to believe.   I’m sure I‘m not even close. So I’m trying to catch myself each time I think about body image, even for a millisecond.  At first I couldn’t catch myself.  But that evening I attended a meeting of about 100 people.  Many of us had pulled our chairs back about a foot to listen to the speaker more comfortably.  I caught myself comparing my thighs to the woman beside me, which surprised me.  It was very subtle but I have to admit that’s where my mind went.  Hmmm….interesting.

Right now I’m in the lobby of a restaurant waiting for a friend, who called to say she would be late. A woman walked in and I noticed myself subtly sizing up her legs.  Since I was seated next to the door, I saw each person walk in.  Another young woman arrived with a man who was about 5’2”.  It must be hard to be a short man. I hardly even noticed the woman.  Next, a pretty blonde woman walked in, and I saw her belly hanging over the top of her jeans.  As people walked toward their tables, I felt my eyes scanning their bodies from head to foot.  Another part of my brain was actively trying to decide what to eat for lunch, and whether I would indulge, deprive myself, or order something in between.

Am I unconsciously comparing myself to these people? If I was my therapist, I would take the conversation deeper to find out what this was about.  But since I live in a culture where people view 250,000 ads before the age of seventeen, I know what it’s about.  Most of the ads scream, “Beauty is almost everything, and to be thin, flawless, and young is beautiful.”  We are bombarded by a tsunami of such messages, and our natural instinct is to obsess about bodies, food, and working out (for some).  I reminded myself that thankfully, God is concerned much more about my heart than my body.  I will practice the stop sign technique from the last blog entry I wrote because it works well, and will continue to re-focus on positive thoughts.

“Man looks at outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.”  I Samuel 16:7