Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Landmark List

I am so excited to spread the word about the new release of The Landmark list! I really can't say enough about the power of this book by Karen C. Eddington.

Karen is not only an author and public speaker, but she also founded and is the president of a non-profit organization called Cauliflower Retreat.

I was honored to have the privileged to read this work before it was in print and was thrilled to find out my endorsement statement was chosen to be on the back of her book along with a family therapist. Here are our quotes:

"The Landmark List's powerful message is life changing and invaluable. Karen Eddington has cleverly merged self-improvement with characters you can journey with to find self-acceptance, purpose, and peace." --Haley Hatch Freeman
Author of A Future for Tomorrow

"The Landmark List will rescue you from the monotony and stress of everyday life and help you create yourself, your goals, your dreams, your relationships, and the life you have longed for."--Kevin N. Barlow, M.S.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

I have found that each chapter, if not each page, is loaded with life changing messages, quotes, and food for thought that I have decided to break it down and work on each piece a week or a few days at a time. I recommend everyone doing the same.

I love that Karen put quotes throughout the book. Here are a couple of my favorite:

"Feeling self-worth is a result of choice and accountability. Everyday, we create ourselves."

"If you can identify a purpose in everything you do, it will make you great."

Buy The Landmark List from here

Karen's first book Today I live... is also a powerful tool. It is for women of any age, but relates exceptionally well to teenage girls.
The Landmark list is geared to adults both men and women, however young adults could benefit from it as well. Again both books are a must read in my opinion.

Weekly Challenge:
In honor of the release of The Landmark List, this weeks challenge is to create your own list go to Karen's site for the details: here

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Author Anne Bradshaw is hosting a book giveaway on her blog.

The give away is a book by Kersten Campbell

"Overwhelmed? Tired? Stressed? Then you need the laughter therapy that is in this book!"

To learn more and to enter the contest go to Anne's blog Not Entirely Britsh

Friday, June 19, 2009

Food Messages

As parents we can often send messages about food to our children without knowing it. Here are a few things to be aware of.

*From a young age do you reward them with food? Do you say, “If you are good today at the store Mom will buy you a treat?”

* Is food withheld as a punishment? Example: “If you don’t behave I will send you to bed without dinner.”

*Do you give candy or a treat to your child when they are hurt to try to get them to stop crying?

This is dangerous because it teaches the child to not cry and feel and express their emotions but to deny them, stuff them away, and eat. Saying, "There is nothing really wrong, here is something nice to distract you." The better way is picking the child up from a fall and say "I know you are upset. Let's look at your elbow and see if you need a Band-Aid."

*Do you tell your child to ignore their own body’s full signal and to still eat everything on the plate regardless? Encourage your child to try to listen to their own body. If it says it is full then they should stop eating, if they feel hunger they should eat. Sometimes my little ones say they are hungry when I know they had recently eaten and shouldn't be hungry yet. I ask, "what does your belly say? Does it say you are hungry?" Often I find they are bored or just thirsty.

*Do they hear you say to a friend “I was bad and had some cookies last night?”

Each of these send unhealthy connections to food. It links behavior with food. The last one links guilt with certain food which is the most dangerous of them all. j

That is why I hate commercials that say "Fat-free, guilt-free ice cream"

or the famous restaurant where you will find on their menu "Guilt Free Menu" where their low-fat meals are.

I know for me this helped impact the guilt I felt for eating. Awareness is key and as a parent we need to combat these messages the best we can.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Any Questions?

Since one of my favorite times during presentations is the question and answer part at the end, I decided to have a Q&A on this blog.

If you have any questions about eating disorders in general or my own experience, self-esteem, my writing and publishing journey, "What would you do?" scenarios, or even something totally unrelated e-mail me at

I'll keep your questions completely confidential.

You never know how many people have the same question and by you asking it it might help them.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I want to announce that there is free shipping on all orders of my book A Future for Tomorrow.
The cost is 16.95

Remember if you order it on this blog by clicking the paypal button or on my website at (currently under updating construction) then you will receive a signed copy.
Thank you!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Worthy To Be Loved

It seems when we are feeling down or depressed, or when we have self-hatred playing in our minds we feel unworthy to be loved.

We can't see how anyone could possible love us and we may even feel like we don't deserve the affections from loved ones or a significant other.

Weekly Assignment:
I want you to:

*Name at least three reasons why you are worthy to be loved

*Name at least three people who love you unconditionally

*Name at least three reasons why they love you

A step further would be to raise your "standard of living" when it comes to relationships. I've noticed that women are usually in a relationship with the kind of guy they feel they deserve at that time in their lives. It's a reflection of their own self-esteem. They may feel that they are not good enough for someone of higher quality, or even someone who would treat them with respect and admiration.

So I add to this challenge to not only name the reasons you are worthy to be loved but the reasons why you deserve a man who treats you like the divine daughter of God you are.

Then seek out these "higher standard of living "relationships that mirror the great worth you feel inside.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Young Women's Girl's Camp

I had the most amazing time on Tues. speaking to over 400 young women along with Karen Eddington. We were able to visit two girl camp sites in one evening, both in Heber Valley.

The first stake we spoke to was the Roy Stake at the Lucy Mack Smith campground, the second was West Haven Stake from Freemont at the Beertha Reeder campground.

Karen opened with her high energy, fun but powerful message of worth. The spirit was strong as she told the girls to internalize two principal:
1. I know who I am
2. I accept myself

Karen's presentation was full of life changing messages that were not only a blessing for the youth to hear but for me and the leaders as well. I was in awe of her public speaking skills and I could tell we shared a genuine love for these girls.

My times was spend sharing my personal struggle of finding my own worth, and the consequence of not having that self-esteem Karen spoke about. In my case it lead to an eating disorder which by all medical reasoning should have killed me. I was so excited that I could share the blessings and miracles that I received in order for me to make a full recovery.

When I speak at schools I have to leave that out and it is a huge part of my story. Definitely the power of the priesthood is the reason I am alive today and I loved sharing that with the youth.

I then turned the time over to the group for questions. This is probably my favorite part of my own presentation. I LOVE hearing the girl's feedback and questions of concern. Sometimes it is questions about what they can do for a friend who they think has an eating disorder and sometimes it is a simpler question about if I felt hungry. But I truly respect each question and want to answer it to the best of my ability.

I've always treasured the time when the speaking is over and the girls and leaders can come up to me and share their own input or personal questions, but Karen shed an even deeper light on this special time we are allowed to participate in. She said that is where the most powerful moments can occur and she told me some information about this time that I will always remember and use at the end of future presentations.

I enjoyed giving autographs to the Roy stake and the many hugs from the West Haven stake.

Both stakes were full of remarkable young women and leaders. I feel honored to be apart of their camps.I pray that a part of the messages they heard Tuesday night will make a lasting impression upon them.

I have to mention at the second stake we were only under a long pavilion and it was raining and cold the entire time. The girls and leaders were all bundled up.
Here is a picture of Karen doing her thing:
She incorporated fun props which helped the teens relate. And her energy alone drew the audience into her speech.
(I forgot to ask someone to take a picture of me up there... darn it! I'm also sad that I didn't get a picture of the two of us together. Oh well.)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Forethought and Purpose

Have you ever met someone and felt like you had known them forever, or that you were suppose to meet them? I had that experience with a beautiful, genuine lady named Lori Nawyn. Getting to know her has been more than a pleasure and I've been able to see why our paths were guided to cross.
Lori is not only an author of inspirational stories and a cookbook, but she is also a talented artist and photographer. I highly recommend you visit her site and blogs.
Hearts and Hands
Forethought and Purpose


Lori has interviewed me and posted our interview on her site Forethought and Purpose
Her questions included fun, get-to-know-you questions as well as deep questions such as
Give us one piece of advice/wisdom for the world?


Lori is also hosting a free book giveaway on her site right now of my book, A Future for Tomorrow. It goes until June 12th so go enter, and good luck!

(Also, on Lori's post from Friday, May 22 [on very bottom of her page] she mentions more about my story.)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Addictive Eating

I mostly use this site to focus on self-esteem and only touch on actual eating disorders, usually anorexia since that is what I survived. But today I wanted to focus on another eating disorder.

The most common eating disorder out there is addictive and binge eating. Whether you purge (throwing up the food after binging) or not, binge eating has a lot of deep issues behind it.

I've had several women who admit they struggle with additive eating say my journal entries (when I was anorexia) which are at the first of each chapter of my book, could have come from their own journal. How could an anorexic's journey match a binge eater's? Because eating disorders of all kinds have the same underlining pain and thought processes behind them.
That is why they have all told me that reading my book as helped them in their own struggle.

Here are some possible traits that encompass all eating disorders:

Self- critical
Low self-esteem
Feelings of lack of control
Sexual conflicts
People pleasers
All or Nothing
Feels rejected or fear of rejection
Looks to others for approval
Feeling not good enough
Eating disorders are a coping mechanism.

The key for healing is to learn to tackle problems head on and learn to resolve them and to deal directly with emotional pain.

Why diets don't work:

I have a huge spill on diets but I am limiting myself to one aspect for this post.
Diets only change one aspect of yourself, your body. They usually don't address why you overeat. This is why most people who had a gastric bi-pass or went on the Biggest Loser and loss weight quickly gain it back. They never dealt with the issues that caused them to be overweight.
They maybe believe the symptom of binging went away so they are cured, but as soon as they have anxiety, stress, or need to deal with emotions the behavior will return.
*95% of all dieters will regain their lost weight in 1-5 years (Grodstein, 1996).

To heal you need to learn problem-solving skills, change belief systems, life styles, and improve self-image.

How do you do this?

In a book called "A Substance Called Food" by Gloria Arenson, there are four steps to help get you on your way. (I highly recommend this book for anyone dealing with any sort of eating disorder.)

I'll sum up what I learned from reading it:

1. Pay attention to when you have a binge episode. Your binge is a reaction to what? You can use a food journal for at least a week to help you.

2. Name the feelings that triggered the episode. What situation or relationship is evolved?
(example: You're boss said some hurtful things about your job performance.)

3. Dig deeper to the thoughts and beliefs you have about this situation that led to these feelings.
(example: You feel you have to be perfect and when your boss pointed out some things you were doing wrong you felt like a failure.)

4. Find your inner power. Know you are not helpless. Decide the correct way of solving the issue instead of turning to food.
I hope I created some awareness and understanding of addictive eating. If you have any questions or comments that you don't want to post publicly please e-mail me at

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Interesting Eating Disorder Statistics

This pictures was taken at my brother's wedding twelve years ago this month. I weighed 85 pounds in the hospital and gained around 25-30 pound when this picture was taken.
I found some fascinating statistics concerning eating disorders and body image. I would like to share a few of them with you.

*8 million people with eating disorders in the US and 1 million of them are boys.
*80% of women are unhappy with their appearance.

* Half of all Americans know of a family member or personal friend who has an eating disorder.
(I think this is even higher because when I do public speaking or book signings it seems like everyone I visit with knows someone.)
* 81% of ten year olds are afraid of being fat.

* Of American 13-year-olds, 80 percent have tried to lose weight.

*Half of American girls between the ages of 11 and 13 view themselves as overweight
* 91% of women recently surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting.

*In adolescents, anorexia is the third most common chronic illness.

*Of all the mental illnesses, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate.

* Of those Americans with eating disorders, only one in ten get the treatment they need.
*20% of people with eating disorders and 25% of people with anorexia nervosa die without treatment. That number goes down to 2-3% with treatment.

If anyone has any personal stories of their own children, niece, or themselves I would love to hear them.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Why Are You Unique?

We are all special and have divine worth because we are children of God, but we are also individually unique and original.

For this week's challenge I want you to name 5 ways you are not only special but unique and different. Name traits that are identifiably yours.
Quote: "At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time." ~Friedrich Nietzsche