Saturday, February 28, 2009

Women You Admire

Describe a different woman you admire and what you like about her every day for a week. At the end of the week, notice the different body types of these seven women (if you are really busy just pick at least 3 women). See if the women you picked have a variety of body sizes and shapes, or if they were similar in appearance. What does this information tell you?

Can you see these women as a whole person, not just a woman who weighs a certain amount? Would you love any of them more or any less if her body size was different? Probably not. Whenever you get the urge to berate yourself by wishing you were thinner, ask yourself, "Would you love so and so more if she weighed ten pounds less?" Of course you wouldn't. Your weight should be as irrelevant to you as your friend's weight.

(From SomeBody to Love by Leslea Newman)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Millard High School Assembly

Yesterday I was able to return to my old high school and present an assembly. What an awesome experience it was!!! They wanted me to cover both the eating disorder part of my story and the whole writing and publishing a book part. I made a PowerPoint slide presentation and I feel it went really well.

This picture was taken as the students started coming into the auditorium.

Sherri Paxton is the librarian at Millard High and was the one who called to invite me to come. She is such a sweet and wonderful lady. She couldn't stop saying kind things about my presentation and book. She wants me to go to a conference with all the librarians in Southern Utah to do it again for them. Here is a picture of me with her.

The following post shows the video I had prepared to show the high school students. I talked about how airbrushed models give us an unrealistic expectation of beauty. So the image we are trying to emulate is not even real. I had other before and after photo shopped pictures, but I love this video so I'm sharing it with you on here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dove Evolution

This is such a great video showing how media create the perfect image you think you have to look like. It is all an illusion.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Make Affirming Lists

Making lists, rereading them often, and rewriting them from time to time will help you to feel better about yourself. If you have a journal, you can write your lists there. If you don't, any piece of paper will do.

Make a list of —
*At least five of your strengths, for example, persistence, courage, friendliness, creativity.

*At least five things you admire about yourself, for example the way you have raised your children, your good relationship with your brother, or your spirituality.

*The five greatest achievements in your life so far, like recovering from a serious illness, graduating from high school, or learning to use a computer.

*At least 20 accomplishments - they can be as simple as learning to tie your shoes, to getting an advanced college degree.

*10 ways you can "treat" or reward yourself that don't include food and that don't cost anything, such as walking in woods, window-shopping, watching children playing on a playground, gazing at a baby's face or at a beautiful flower, or chatting with a friend.

*10 things you can do to make yourself laugh.

*10 things you could do to help someone else.

*10 things that you do that make you feel good about yourself.
(list from

If you don't have time to do all of them pick a couple and start from there. Maybe doing one a day for the week would work best for you.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Loving the Binger/ Loving the Starver

Most the time I post homework that can benefit anyone. I really believe these exercises can help us learn more about ourselves and learn to love ourselves and treat ourselves better, which will help us live better lives. I hope if you have teenagers you send them to my blog once a week to participate in these exercises and I hope you do them as well. Most of the exercises I post I did myself years back, and I feel they were a major part of my healing.

The exercise assignment this week does focus more on those of us who have had or do have eating disorders.
I love watching people learn that the treatment for someone who is an addictive/ binge eater is the same treatment you use for someone who starves them self. It proves that it is not about food, but about an underlining issue causing the behaviors. So this exercise is for the binger or the starver- same homework.

(This is from "Some Body to Love" by Leslea Newman)
Close your eyes and imagine yourself after a binge. It can be a binge you had yesterday or thirty years ago. If you do not binge, imagine yourself after a day of self-starvation. How do you feel physically? Emotionally? What do you want? What do you need?
Now picture yourself as you are today, comforting the you that just binged or starved. Tell her it's alright. In fact, thank her for what she just did. She took care of herself the best way she knew how, at that moment. She was trying to protect you from some feelings that she thought were too painful for you to experience at that moment in time. She was doing the very best that she could.
Write this part of you a love letter, telling her how much you appreciate the ways she tried to protect you and take care of you. Write for twenty minutes without stopping.

After Writing:
Read this letter out loud to yourself in front of the mirror, making eye contact with your reflection. How does it feel to hear these words out loud? Were you really able to appreciate your "binger" or your "starver" ? Could you feel compassion for her? Could you love her? Or did you feel angry at her and want to punish her? Di you judge her? Are you willing to be friends with her?

(There is more discussion that follows in her book.)

One thing she says during the discussion part of this exercise really hit me and was interesting to me it says: "I don't think you will be able to let go of this part of yourself until you fully accept her and even love her. She was very creative and resourceful to think of a way to cope with your particular painful situation. She thought of bingeing or bingeing and purging, or starving, all by herself, as a way to keep you safe."