It may be hard to believe, but the push for body diversity in media’s portrayal of women started over twenty years ago.

In the 1990s, plus size beauty Emme became the first model to earn a supermodel salary at a size 16 or 18. Despite two decades, change seemed to be crawling slowly until Australian actress Rebel Wilson lit up the screen in the Pitch Perfect movies.

Advertising has embraced race and sexual identity more easily than age or size. However, women of varying sizes and shapes are slowly creeping into advertising, the runway, and even movies.

I was eagerly awaiting the release of “Pitch Perfect 2″, to see the irrepressible actress who gravitates towards playing women with high self-esteem and a wicked sense of humor.

RebelI love her. I love her character’s insistence: “I’m the hot one.”

And, she IS most definitely the the hot one.

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I witnessed violence at Starbucks last week.

Fists didn’t fly. No weapons were present. No blood.

But violence nevertheless.

AngelTantrum

When I arrived, I heard a terrible screaming and crying. A little girl – I would estimate her to be between two and three years old – was in a full-blown meltdown. If you’ve ever been around a child, you’ve heard that mix of scream and sob that sounds bigger than any adult can make.

The scene went on for over five minutes, but here’s part of what I saw:

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As I celebrate my 15th anniversary of sustaining a 92-pound weight loss, I feel unimaginable sweetness in my life.

My journey to my own sweet spot began as a tiny girl when my grandmother and I would sneak candy as a secret.

 

hearts

I couldn’t admit to my mother I had developed a taste for candy, cookies, cake, pie, brownies – the list was endless – because my grandmother was diabetic and was not supposed to be eating sugary things!

Not only did I get the message that sweet things weren’t good for you, it had to be hidden. It was shameful!

As I developed a serious sugar addiction, I felt an outright fear around sweet foods – I craved them and I loathed them – quite a double message – and I hated myself for loving sweet things so much.

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As he sat across from me in my office, I could see the energy swirling around his head. (I am also an energy healer.)

My client was in a virtual tornado of thought patterns wreaking havoc on his life. As it pressed upon him, the mental rollercoaster of overthinking, worry and anxiety was obvious.FoodDecisions

Today, we live lives that are non-stop continuous pressure and stress for many people, and most of my clients. They are overworked, overscheduled, overbusy, overtired. The result is not just diminished enjoyment of life, but diminished intelligence, cognitive ability and resilience.

Why do we live this way?

To be blunt, we’re looking for validation, security and a feeling of adequacy. And, sadly, running around to please others (whether that’s the boss, the spouse, the parents, the family, the friends who work just as hard) will NEVER give us those things.

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yogalake4Every year, I tally up my exercise logs from the year.

I don’t track food in any way (never have), but exercise is different.

One of the things I realized this year is:  I have a long history with exercise.

I never thought I’d say that!

It’s amazing because I was once the couch potato queen. I used to HATE exercise, as in hate with a fiery white passion.

But, things change.

And, if you are driving change from an empowered place, change is good!

But I want to talk to those you who are just now, at the beginning of a new year, struggling with the idea of exercise. The many myths about exercise in our culture can actually cause more harm than good when they break down the body, resulting in extreme depletion, fatigue or injury.

Here are a few things I learned as I lost 92 lbs and kept it off for fifteen years:

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One of my friends, who happens to have a great deal of spiritual mastery, was talking with me recently.

As we discussed the amount of incredible busyness, stress and pressure in today’s culture, he said this phrase to me:

 say NO better

 

Say.

No.

Better.

It struck a chord immediately.say no4

Boundaries are a constant topic in coaching as my clients seek to establish safe structure in their relationships, at work and at home with their children and partners.

I’m not exempt from pressure, being a female business owner with a son in college.

My friend was encouraging me to say NO more often, and with more effect.

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This Thanksgiving week, I feel especially grateful for my health and happiness.

Often, when I’m giving a speech or presenting a workshop, I make this statement:

“Today, I’m grateful I struggled with excess weight for thirty years.”

gratitude

It seems I always have at least half an audience who become incredulous at that statement, but, now that I’m on the other side of struggle, it’s quite easy to see the life lessons I learned on my way to success:

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In today’s world, women are stressed, exhausted and waaaaayyyyy too busy.  Is it any surprise excess weight is the result?

When stress hormones run rampant within the body, the addrenal glands are overworked, affecting every gland and organ in the body… and the body is not able to efficiently deal with the toxicity created… fatigue and fat are natural results.

It’s time for a different perspective, especially if you want permanent weight loss.

 

Is this how you gather strength…

cinnamonrolls

 

 

 

so you can take care of everyone else?

MomSon

In the last forty years, women have made tremendous advances in the world, busting down boundaries, raising the glass ceiling, taking more responsibility and wielding more power – and don’t misunderstand me – those are all tremendous accomplishments.

But, there’s a problem.

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