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losing weight

Am I Ugly, internet, teens, girls, tweens, Youtube.com, body image, slef- confidence

Throat Punch Thursday,Am I Ugly, videos, teens

Am I Ugly?

Teen Girls are asking the world, “Am I Ugly?” ~ This is a recipe for disaster. As if the media is not already loading the gun with bullets of self-doubt with impossible standards perpetuated further by models and actresses embracing these standards, now our daughters are taking to the internet to ask a world peppered with miserable trolls, “Am I Ugly?

This scares the hell out of me. The potential for catastrophic long term effects from this seemingly innocuous question is beyond belief. I know how a simple critique can go into a young girls ears and get twisted and bent until it has burrowed itself so deeply into her psyche that there is no chance of recovery. To think that a young girl would willingly open herself up to this kind of criticism is unbelievable. I would take the computers and phones away, home-school, whatever it took to spare my daughters of the pain of  living with and suffering daily with body dysmorphic disorder.

Am I Ugly, internet, teens, girls, tweens, Youtube.com, body image, self- confidence

 Why Am I Ugly?

Let me assure you, there is no such thing as an innocuous question when you are opening yourself up to the world to ask  Am I Ugly? There will always be someone who will say yes, even if it’s just to go against the grain. To this new fad of asking the entire world, Am I Ugly? I give the throat Punch because I can assure you that somewhere in the world there is a young girl who just lost all of her self-confidence because the reply to her video was yes.

Somewhere in the world, seeds of self-doubt have been planted and are taking root in a child’s brain. Somewhere in your neighborhood, a 12 year old is crying because she was just told that her skin was bad. Somewhere else, a little girl is running before school and skipping lunch because her reply was that her face looked chunky. There’s a little brunette who is waxing her face for the first time because she was told that maybe if she didn’t have a mustache; she’d have a boyfriend. A blonde with natural curls is wearing a hat because somebody called her hair frizzy. A red head is trying to scrub the freckles off of her face. Another girl is hiding her smile because someone said her teeth are crooked. And yet another tween is crying because her bangs won’t lay right, last night she was told her forehead was too big.

Once these things have been said to these girls, you can’t unring that bell. The girl is changed and she is now self-aware of every real and imagined flaw that have ever existed within her. This is a slippery slope that many girls come to in life and fall down and never recover from it.

It will never end. Beauty is respective. The standard is impossible and the system of measurement is skewed. These little girls need to hear it from their parents, from the time they can hear, that they are beautiful; they are smart; they are funny; they are athletic; they are strong; they are miracles! They need to be self- aware that they are capable of everything, not made painfully aware of their one shortcoming.

What would you do if your daughter made one of these videos? How do you feel about these videos being uploaded by tweens? How do you encourage your daughters to have self-confidence? How do you foster self worth? Don’t let our girls fall victim to the internet by asking Am I Ugly?

Don’t ask Am I Ugly; ask What’s my most Beautiful Quality

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Candy,kids, sugar, sweets as rewards

candy for children,Candy,kids, sugar, sweets as rewards

Candy for Children as a Reward for Good Behaviors

Candy for children as rewards is like giving candy to a baby, and about as responsible. In a world where kids are being put on diets and touted as being problems for their obesity, how is it tolerated that some teachers are still using sweets as a reward system for educational accomplishments or good behavior? Are you in shock? I am and I am pissed off.

I have encountered teachers who group children into different candy groups and if they accomplish their tasks for the day, they are rewarded with that treat. The treats range from sweet sugary cereals, to skittles, M&Ms, and gummy bears to name a few. Why?

Children accumulate tickets for good behavior or good listening skills, they can then cash the tickets in for sweets or special treats like lunch with the teacher or sitting in a special place. Of course, you have to save a lot more tickets to earn the non-sugary rewards. It is almost as if the children are being encouraged to take the easy reward, the route of instant gratification. Isn’t that how we’ve gotten to the current status of obesity in this country?

Candy for Children as Rewards should be Illegal

I am not a fanatic. I do believe that kids can enjoy the occasional piece of candy, in moderation. Candy is not the devil but it is also in no way a necessity in a child’s life. Candy for children as a special treat is fine but it should not be used as a reward system and given and withheld dependent on a child’s achievements. By doing this, we are teaching children to associate food with celebrations and achievement. We are teaching our children to eat their feelings. The 6 year old buying chocolate to celebrate knowing her addition facts is the same 500 pound woman who will be drinking a 32 ounce coke in the morning to “celebrate” waking up.

From personal experience, I know how hard it is to change your path of bad eating habits once they are learned. Those children that the teacher is giving candy and pop ( oh yes, they can earn tickets for pop too! I don’t even allow my girls to have pop at home and all they need to do is earn enough tickets, for doing what  they are supposed to be doing anyways, and they can buy soda pop and candy at free will) to are being expected to have self- control that is most likely beyond their maturity level. I think it’s ridiculous. I have had to sit my daughter down and explain that she is not allowed to purchase ‘treats’ at school that she is not allowed at home. I also explained the effects that sugar has on your health, your teeth, the sugar highs and crashes, etc.

This is being done in a first grade class. What first grader do you know that  wouldn’t eat themselves sick on sugar if given the chance? I’m pissed that they are given this option. Aren’t there nutrition guidelines enforced on school lunches for this very reason? This teacher’s reward system, undermines the entire shift in nutritional focus.How would you approach the teacher? I’ve told my daughter not to take the candy and she listens. But why should she have to feel punished? I think the candy should not be an option. What do you think about candy for children as a reward system for good behavior and good grades?

Candy for Children as Rewards should not be an option

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weight loss

*Change anyone?* It’s that time of year again. You know what ‘m referring to, no not back-to-school, that was Monday. It’s a little over a month until my birthday and you know that can only mean ONE thing…mental, physical and spiritual inventory must be taken. This is my process so this morning I had my first ( of what will be many, many) come to Jesus meetings over the next year. I had it with Jose. No, it’s not some nickname we Latinos have for the almighty, it’s my little brother who is one ( as I found out the hard way this morning) hardcore, ass kicking personal trainer.Seriously, it’s his profession. I knew that he knew how to take care of himself, obviously. He’s always been in top physical shape since he was old enough to lift his first dumbbell. But we’ve never lived in the same city. Now, we do. This is Jose.

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change

This is Jose. This is 200 lbs. of badass personal training in a 160 lb. bag of cuteness.I think the photo says it all *Charming*

He who rejects change is the architect of decay~Harold Wilson

Doesn’t he look sweet? That’s what I thought. What you are looking at, my friends, is my salvation ( physically speaking anyways). Two years ago, we moved to a new city. My life hit the reset button. I joined Weight Watchers and lost 25 pounds. Life was good. Then the Big Guy was downsized. Life was not so good.I had to quit the program and since I am very apparently a stress eater, I ate those 25 pounds right back on and with them came a few more. I was depressed about it. Former eating disorder girl say what. It’s really hard trying to stay the straight and narrow when what you are doing is so NOT working. But I do. I fight the urge every day to seek the comfort of the path that I know. I fight to be a good example for my girls. I fight to be the change I want to see in the world for the young girls today. I want to be better than my circumstances.

Then last year, right smack dab in the middle of the whole commuter marriage fiasco, I was offered an amazing opportunity to be a Nutrisystem Nation Blogger. Again, I lost that 20 pounds and felt amazing. But then life started spinning out of control again. Then we had to put the house on the market, we were going to be moving and I was stressed beyond capacity. There was my old friend ( arch nemesis) food to comfort away the uncertainty. That is if comfort means to bury it deep down and surround it by a giant hug of fat. But the only uncertainty it remedied was the uncertainty of whether or not I would gain back those 20 pounds again. Guess what? I did! What can I say those damn 20 pounds llloooovvvveeee me! Me, not so much feeling that love.

If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.  ~Mary Engelbreit

That brings us to this morning. We are moved. I am hitting the reset again. Hopefully for the last time for a long time. I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am happy. I know it. I feel it in my very core ( well, that and a terrible side stitch that I haven’t been able to shake since my brother boot-camp). I have committed myself to the drill Sargent my little brother and made a promise to myself…I will feel comfortable in this skin of mine.Body dysmorphic disorder and Bulimia/Anorexia can all be damned. I’m not having it, ever again. With the  help of my brother, the MOST invested, no nonsense personal trainer that anyone could ever ask for, fueled by a genuine concern and love for his sister, the next year will bring about huge change. I have a goal that I want to hit by my birthday next year and he is going to help me reach my goal. This is one of those moments in life where you are standing at a cliff and you have to decide if you want to take a chance and jump or maintain the status quo. I’m jumping! After this week, I may not be walking but I am jumping.

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change

We're going to call this the official BEFORE photo. I'll allow you to see me a sweaty mess but sweaty ponytail, no makeup and luggage under my eyes..A girl's got to maintain some tiny dignity:)

This journey is about more than just losing weight. It is about changing my entire lifestyle..forever. It’s no diets or gimmicks, it’s me facing the mirror and taking a good hard look at myself. It’s hard work personal training with my brother and learning to make good, healthy choices with real food. It’s me learning to live in the world. It’s me learning to love my body for all that it is and none of what it’s not. This is me, yelling it from the top of the cliff. I am proclaiming it to the world. It will happen. And this time when the first 25 pounds comes off, I’m giving all the clothes that are too big to the homeless shelter.I will do it every 25 pounds until all I am left with are the clothes that fit who I become.

My change starts right now

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Today , I stopped over at The Curvy Girls Guide and read an article about all these brave women telling the world their weight and posting beautiful pictures of themselves. In the article Getting Real about Your Weight, I was hit immediately by how deeply I could relate to the first paragraph

“For twelve years, I have hidden my weight from my husband, refusing to step on a scale in front of him. This man sees me naked every day.  He’s been in the bathroom while I pee.  He’s held my hair while I vomited (from the flu…not tequila…give me some credit here).  He has touched every single inch of my body.  Yet, my weight has been a shameful secret.”

I have spent most of my adult life, as long as I can remember, obsessing over my weight. Always wanting to be just that 10 pounds less. I’ve been a 5 and a 20 and everywhere in between. This is not an easy thing for me to admit..or accept. I am very sensitive about my weight and have gone to extremes to keep it down. This is evidenced by the time my all consuming fear of the freshman 15 sent me into an 8 year battle with anorexia and bulimia. So obviously, when I see these women being so loud and proud. I am simultaneously impressed and proud of their courage but at the same time the thought of sharing my actual weight “in numbers” horrifies me and  I think I would avoid it at all and any costs.

But in the fall of 2009, when I was the heaviest that I have ever been, I just felt that I had to tell my husband. I know he has eyes and can see but for the same reasons that I kept my deep dark secret, I needed to be honest with him.For the 8 years that I was consumed by eating disorders, I was a liar( to myself and everyone around me..about food), a manipulator ( I could convince people that they had seen me eat, even when they had not), I was not the person that I wanted to be..aside from the body.It left me feeling guilty and shameful. They say you are only as sick as your deepest secrets, well, I needed to unburden myself of the weight secret before into sent me back into another tail spin. I had to be honest with him as a way of being completely honest and accountable to myself.

My husband knows about the history of eating disorder, he was a big catalyst for why I stopped 13 years ago. I just couldn’t face the thought of him finding out on his own and thinking I was completely crazy, or worse marrying him and getting so consumed by the disease that he lost me. Either way, I pulled a Charlie Sheen and I made the decision to stop, and I followed that by 3 years of weekly therapy. Yes, I’ve examined myself inside and out..several times.

But fall of 2009, more nervous than I was the first time I had to break the news to him that we were pregnant, I took a deep breath and I made the decision to say the number out loud. With trepidation, I uttered those three numbers.It was terrifying, sad, and scary.In that moment, I faced my biggest fear.

Now,I am working hard to get this weight off  and keep it off the healthy way with the help of Nutrisystem, this really helps me with my portion control. I am also , as an ex Weight Watcher, counting calories and watching points and getting more active. I need control of the weight. I’m not vomiting or starving myself anymore so I have to be sure that I am aware of what I allow into my body. I hate that I am this way but it’s just the way I’ve been hardwired for so long.I always say being an person who had eating disorders is like being an alcoholic, you may refrain from partaking but you have already tasted the forbidden fruit and you know that option is there..looming. I am in no danger of returning.I’m working my journey and I will get to where I feel good in my skin and then I WILL PROCLAIM MY WEIGHT WITH PICTURES AND A VLOG. But for now, I’m still a little too raw about the number on the scale, the size of the jeans, and the way my clothes hang on my body.But I will get there, not to a number…to the feeling, of comfort and grace. Curvy is beautiful but we all have a place where we need to dwell within ourselves that leaves us feeling beautiful and peaceful.This is all that I want, that’s all that anyone wants. Isn’t it?

But I wanted to point out these beautiful , brave women. Please go check out the article and leave them so me love. And if you’ve ever been where I’ve been, love yourself. You are beautiful. You are amazing!

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Well, after last weeks posts,most of you are aware that I have had some  issues with my weight. Or should I say that I have struggled with my weight since I was old enough to realize what weight and body image were.I wasn’t necessarily heavy the entire time but you remember how when you were a teenager, absolutely everything was life or death, well for me the entire focus was on my body. I had thin athletic parents and all my friends were stereo typical cheerleader types in high school.So, that made being average sized feel like I was morbidly obese, though I was not.

Then I went away to college and I was so deathly afraid of gaining the “freshman 15” that I literally started starving myself to death. Since then, its been a string of me trying to find a way to keep my body at a weight that was healthy without starving to death or restricting myself.It’s a hard balance to find.I’ve lost and I’ve gained, like most women in America. ..the world, really. You start having children and before you know it, you’ve put on a few extra pounds here, then a few more there and soon you are looking in the mirror and wondering who the hell this person staring back at you is in the mirror. Being a Mommy, I am guilty of always putting my girls first. I try to find time for me but it is truly few and far between, especially now with the Big Guy gone so much for work. A couple months ago, I decided it was time to find my way back to “me” in Mommy. I really made a concerted effort to find some me time, exercise, make myself look presentable, date nights and some of it has stuck and some has not.One of the first things I noticed  to go, as I sit here typing in my yoga pants and sweatshirt, was the taking time to get ready in the morning.Don’t get me wrong, the reminder has eliminated the yoga pants and ponytails appearance every day. But I realized as I don’t feel good in my own skin; my body isn’t where I want it to be, it has become harder to feel presentable..even in a nice dress and a hot pair of heels.

Photobucket
This was in September this year on my Birthday.This is what I look like today as I start this journey!

So, I have resolved that I need to lose some weight, for me. Not for my husband or society but for me.I was joking and told my husband that I was going to call this journey my journey from hot mess to hot mommy but that’s not true. I am  NOT a hot mess. I’ve pretty much got it together,with the exception of my weight. I’m simply a woman on a journey to feel comfortable in my own skin. Lucky for me, I have been given an amazing opportunity to be a part of the Nutrisystem Nation blogging program. They have agreed to help me on my journey by providing me with the tools and convenience to reach my goal this time, in a healthy way. No, I’m not making a big reveal of my starting weight..I’m honest, not crazy, but my weight is the one thing I keep private. This is a very big deal to go public with my weight loss journey because it is the one part of my life that is usually off limits. But I trust you, you’re my friends. You’ll be supportive and that’s what I am counting on. You are my accountability.I will keep you posted once a week on my progress.

You, my friends, have been with me through the metaphorical thick and thin of my life over the past year, now I need your support in the the physical thick and thin of my life. I’m starting this journey today…right now. My plan is to combine a lot of Nutrisystem with a good amount of Zumba and a brand new perspective. I want to feel at home in my own body, not like I am visiting a strange planet. I want to be healthy,I want to be a good example for my girls.I want to be able to keep up with my 3 and 5 year old. I want to not be mortified to get in a bathing suit for swim lessons.I want to believe my husband when he tells me that I am sexy.I want the mirror to reflect someone I recognize.I want to be around for a long time to see my children grow up and have my grandchildren. I want to be comfortable in my own skin!

DISCLOSURE: Nutrisystem is providing their  program to me free of charge in exchange for my participation in the Nutrisystem Nation Blogging Program and weekly updates. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed in this post are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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