The Only Woman in America with No Body Image Issues! ;) (humor)

Guess what?

There’s only 1 woman in the USA with no body image issues. (And no, it’s not me.)

Here is a short video clip:

  •   

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

10356572_10201788176041936_1733612823_n-2.jpg

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

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10203648089674299&id=1578349327

Let me know your thoughts.

IMG_4208

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

Turkey Troubles: How to Save Face when your Turkey Bites the Dust!

(Note:  In honor of Thanksgiving, we are taking a short holiday from our journey down Body Image Lane. And remember, it’s normal to overeat sometimes.)

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 wish you lived in India, where no one would consider eating a turkey, let alone cooking one.

Memories of yesteryear haunt you throughout November, and this time of year often brings nightmares.  You’ve considered seeing a therapist about this.  Last night it was the rerun of the time you didn’t have any turkey bags like Aunt Myrtle swore by.  So you wrapped the turkey tightly in a role of plastic food wrap and secured it with duct tape.

It took a two-week sabbatical from work to get the exploded turkey and plastic film off your self-cleaning oven.

The night before last, it was the a nightmare about the gizzard gravy with plastic incident.  It was the first year you’d cooked a big bird.  You plunged it into the oven, without removing its fine little hairs and gizzards.  (Always rinse poultry before cooking to remove the fine hairs.  Most people don’t know this life-changing truth.)  “What’s this interesting texture on the skin?“ your cousin Sam asked as he pointed to a scorched turkey hair.  “It’s so unique and delicious.  I must get the recipe before I fly back to New Jersey.”

These are the symptoms of Turkey Preparation Anxiety, which I’m sure will soon turn up in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for mental disorders.  The most severe type involves a nightmare involving an enormous turkey, which my friend Sally experienced last year.  She stood face-to-face with a human-sized raw turkey and repeatedly struck it with her fists.  She began pounding on her husband, screaming, “Get in the bag or I’ll …“before he woke her up and suggested she get help.  His black eye took a month to heal.

To make one last effort on turkey roasting, take a deep breath and relax.  (And don’t forget to exhale, or you won’t be around for another turkey dinner.)  Now say your prayers and slip on your apron with confidence.  Make sure you have plenty of leftover chili in the freezer, and thaw it out the day before.  Most people like chili, and you can thaw it quickly on the defrost setting of your microwave, just in case your bird bites the dust.

Carefully rinse the turkey and pat dry, talking nicely to it the whole time.  Turkeys are like copy machines in that respect.  If you’re in a hurry and don’t say kind words to them, they get attitudes and make you look bad.

Rub the bird with olive oil and salt only lightly.  Turkey experts swear that too much salt dries it out.  Do not pepper the turkey because this royally dries it out.   Dry, rubbery, peppery turkey tastes like singed stinky shoes.  Remember the one back in 1999?  Even the dog didn’t like it.

Spray your oven bag with cooking spray and the flour, just as per the instructions.  (Don’t use hair spray or it will blow up your oven.)  Resist the temptation to carve fancy designs for air vents.  The six ½ inch slats in the top should be simple.  I tried a Mickey Mouse design in the slats of the turkey bag one year, and it scorched the top of it.  My family called that one the Cajun blackened turkey, and refused to eat it.  That year we ate peanut butter sandwiches for dinner.

Place the meat thermometer exactly like the picture shows in your Joy of Cooking book.  Putting it in the rear end of the turkey is not an option.  And never go without a meat thermometer, or you are asking for big turkey trouble.

Now slip the turkey into the bag, tie it with the provided tie, and place it in the pan.  Before slipping it into the preheated oven, tell it again how beautiful it is and how much you love it.  Take it out at exactly 170 degrees.

As for the rest of the meal, delegate.  And if that doesn’t work, bring on the chili, which of course you made in advance out of ground turkey.  And the day after Thanksgiving, forget the mall sales.  Make reservations for next year at your favorite restaurant, and you can relax the whole year without getting turkey jitters.

HELP! I Have a Hair Emergency

I really wish there was a hair hotline for people to call when they are about ready to get out the weed whacker or dog clipper and whack it all off.

“Hair Hotline.  Is this a hair emergency?’

“Yes, it is,” I assured Ms. Hair.  “I’ve been growing my hair out for months, and I’m about ready to take a Weed eater to it.  My bangs hang halfway down my eyes, and poke me like little kids tickling their younger brother.  It’s really annoying.  I’ve tried gel, mousse, and every type of hairspray on the planet, including pizza-flavored.  But that only resulted in a crowd of teenage boys hanging around my house.”

“Oh ma’am, that sounds pretty heavy.”

“Well, that’s not the worst part,” I continued.  “Last week I gave it all up and globbed a chunk of Crisco on my hair to try to get it under control, and now I look like a complete moron.  I can’t get it out of my hair.  I’ve tried everything I can think of.”

Ms. Hair snickered.  Just what I needed – an unfriendly hair hotline helper to shame me.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” she apologized.  “I was just reading the funniest email someone sent me.”

“It looks pretty bad, and people have been calling me Crisco Head and telling me I should get into the oil export business.  But they are right, in some ways.  I look like I could resolve the entire world oil crisis.  I really need help.”

“Yeah, that sounds pretty serious.  Maybe you could do the export thing, or you could get a wig.”

I couldn’t believe her suggestions.  “Don’t you have any other ideas?”  I asked with a sigh.

“Okay, there is one other thing.  Go buy a box of cornmeal, and empty the whole box on your head.  It will soak up most of the oil so you don’t look like a greaser.  Then you can brush it out of your hair, after rubbing it into the roots and covering each strand.  Your hair will look sleek and gorgeous.”

“Sounds good.  I’m gonna go buy some cornmeal right now.” Click.  I hung up without thanking her because I didn’t think she deserved it with her slimy attitude.

I zipped to the store in my convertible, hoping the wind would whip through my bird’s nest-like hair.  But of course that was impossible.  At the stoplight I reached into my bag and got out my lipstick to do a quick touch-up.

Climbing out of car, I noticed a giant grease stain on the headrest.  I whipped out my compact mirror and realized I had applied a thick layer of flesh-colored cover up instead of my favorite lipstick.  My lips were heavily globbed with the cover-up because I had decided to apply the lipstick extra thick to detract from my greasy hair.

I pulled out a Kleenex and wiped off the cover-up, then strutted into the baking section of the grocery store to grab some cornmeal.  Once I paid for it and drove home, I went into the kitchen and poured the entire box on my head.  That’s when the phone rang.

My husband called to let me know we would be having guests over for dinner.  He said his boss had to fly to Australia unexpectedly to take care of some business, so the dinner party scheduled for next week was to take place that night at our house.

“That’s going to be a little tough,” I responded.  Later we will definitely have a long chat about this.

“Oh, don’t let it stress you out, honey.  You know Ben is from Oklahoma and loves a good Southern meal with lots of grease and cornmeal – something like beans and cornbread, with lots of bacon grease in the beans.”  Ugh.

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

Turkey Troubles: How to Save Face when your Turkey Bites the Dust!

(Note:  In honor of Thanksgiving, we are taking a short holiday from our journey down Body Image Road. And remember, it’s normal to overeat sometimes.)

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 wish you lived in India, where no one would consider eating a turkey, let alone cooking one.

Memories of yesteryear haunt you throughout November, and this time of year often brings nightmares.  You’ve considered seeing a therapist about this.  Last night it was the rerun of the time you didn’t have any turkey bags like Aunt Myrtle swore by.  So you wrapped the turkey tightly in a role of plastic food wrap and secured it with duct tape.

Turkey Assortment

It took a two-week sabbatical from work to get the exploded turkey and plastic film off your self-cleaning oven.

The night before last, it was the a nightmare about the gizzard gravy with plastic incident.  It was the first year you’d cooked a big bird.  You plunged it into the oven, without removing its fine little hairs and gizzards.  (Always rinse poultry before cooking to remove the fine hairs.  Most people don’t know this life-changing truth.)  “What’s this interesting texture on the skin?“ your cousin Sam asked as he pointed to a scorched turkey hair.  “It’s so unique and delicious.  I must get the recipe before I fly back to New Jersey.”

These are the symptoms of Turkey Preparation Anxiety, which I’m sure will soon turn up in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for mental disorders.  The most severe type involves a nightmare involving an enormous turkey, which my friend Sally experienced last year.  She stood face-to-face with a human-sized raw turkey and repeatedly struck it with her fists.  She began pounding on her husband, screaming, “Get in the bag or I’ll …“before he woke her up and suggested she get help.  His black eye took a month to heal.

To make one last effort on turkey roasting, take a deep breath and relax.  (And don’t forget to exhale, or you won’t be around for another turkey dinner.)  Now say your prayers and slip on your apron with confidence.  Make sure you have plenty of leftover chili in the freezer, and thaw it out the day before.  Most people like chili, and you can thaw it quickly on the defrost setting of your microwave, just in case your bird bites the dust.

Carefully rinse the turkey and pat dry, talking nicely to it the whole time.  Turkeys are like copy machines in that respect.  If you’re in a hurry and don’t say kind words to them, they get attitudes and make you look bad.

Rub the bird with olive oil and salt only lightly.  Turkey experts swear that too much salt dries it out.  Do not pepper the turkey because this royally dries it out.   Dry, rubbery, peppery turkey tastes like singed stinky shoes.  Remember the one back in 1999?  Even the dog didn’t like it.

Spray your oven bag with cooking spray and the flour, just as per the instructions.  (Don’t use hair spray or it will blow up your oven.)  Resist the temptation to carve fancy designs for air vents.  The six ½ inch slats in the top should be simple.  I tried a Mickey Mouse design in the slats of the turkey bag one year, and it scorched the top of it.  My family called that one the Cajun blackened turkey, and refused to eat it.  That year we ate peanut butter sandwiches for dinner.

Place the meat thermometer exactly like the picture shows in your Joy of Cooking book.  Putting it in the rear end of the turkey is not an option.  And never go without a meat thermometer, or you are asking for big turkey trouble.

Now slip the turkey into the bag, tie it with the provided tie, and place it in the pan.  Before slipping it into the preheated oven, tell it again how beautiful it is and how much you love it.  Take it out at exactly 170 degrees.

As for the rest of the meal, delegate.  And if that doesn’t work, bring on the chili, which of course you made in advance out of ground turkey.  And the day after Thanksgiving, forget the mall sales.  Make reservations for next year at your favorite restaurant, and you can relax the whole year without getting turkey jitters.

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 had some serious work on her hands to get me back in line.  For the first time in my life, I could not fall asleep well.   And once I counted the darn little sheep, they crept back over the fence and I woke up in the wee hours of the morning.

If that was not enough, my skin started to break out again.  That hasn’t happened since I was a teenager.  I had a zit farm on my face that I could have entered in the county fair.  My hormones were freaking out all over the place.   All I can say is please pray for my poor husband!  He has to put up with me and I’m sure it’s not exactly a trip to Disneyland since I’ve hit this bump in the road of life.

Some friends who have already travelled this road tell me that soon I will gain weight, and it only gets worse.  I have been eating a strict diet of humble pie the past seven months or so.  Recently I started quilting, and just bought what the fabric store calls, “fat quarters.”  What the heck?  Is that some sort of a cruel joke, or what?  Why does the fabric store have to get involved in my personal life and my body image issues?

Okay, so I decided not to take it personally.  But fortunately they have stocked the shelves by the cash register with loads of chocolate.  Ever since my doctor told me that dark chocolate is good for me (she did say small amounts, but what does she know?), I have embraced living life with more chocolate.  What the heck?  It looks like I’m gonna end up with more fat quarters anyway.  If I can’t beat them, I might as well be one.  Right?

As far as I can tell, after researching perimenopause, the following are common symptoms:  (Obviously I am not a physician and you should consult with a naturopath and/or physician if you are having these issues.)

  • Night sweats as well as day sweats.  You will sweat like a Hawaiian kalua pig over a fire pit.  (I lived on Maui for a few years, and attended lots of luaus with kalua pigs.  Check out my entry about living on Maui in my post called, “My Body Image Story, Part I.”
  • Ugly skin break-outs, which I think are caused by the sweating from the lovely hot flashes
  • Weight gain, which often ends up around your thighs and waist (Oh joy, oh joy!)
  • Moodiness
  • Anxiety and/or depression, which became an issue for me due to my hormonal imbalance and not getting enough sleep
  • Sleeping problems
  • Irritability
  • Dry skin and/or hair loss

Holy moly!  There are others too, but I have hit on the major ones.  As I ponder this, I am wondering why God designed us to go through this.  It is one of those situations in which I would much rather watch the DVD than experience the symptoms myself.  But the last time I checked, God is in control and not me.   Not that I don’t have choices or play a role, because I do.  The basic good habits of eating well, cutting out caffeine, sugar, and alcohol if you drink, can help a great deal.  Also regular exercise helps significantly, as well as taking a high-quality multi-vitamin.  Thankfully today we have naturopaths and physicians who are well versed in this area.

For me, entering into perimenopause has been a humbling experience.  I know that God hates pride, and that Satan is a fallen angel who fell because he wanted to be like God.  He originally was a beautiful, good looking stud of an angel, but wanted to be even better.  Going through perimenopause is humbling and pulls away pride.  I have noticed that perimenopause involves eating truckloads of humble pie because of the weight gain and the skin breakouts, particularly.  My dependence on the Lord has increased as I realize that I need help in dealing with the symptoms.  Thankfully, my physician and naturopath have experience in treating perimenopause issues, and I also play a role in my story as I choose how well I want to take care of myself.  Sometimes loving my neighbor as myself involves the assumption that I will choose to take care of myself and to look at my own needs and choose to love myself well.  So buckle up, put on your seatbelt, grab some dark chocolate, and get ready for the ride of perimenopause.

Body Image and Humor: Woman vs. Kitty

Featured

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.

Exercise of Cat 03 by J i J y