Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Body Image and your Kids: Your body image plays a role in theirs

Body ImageLoving Your Body Inside and Out
Body Image and Your Kids: Your body image plays a role in theirs

Get more body image information for your daughter from girlshealth.gov
Body Image: Loving Yourself Inside and Out Home
Body Image and Your Kids

"On a diet, you can't eat." This is what one five year-old girl had to say in a study on girls' ideas about dieting. This and other research has shown that daughters are more likely to have ideas about dieting when their mothers diet. Children pick up on comments about dieting concepts that may seem harmless, such as limiting high-fat foods or eating less. Yet, as girls enter their teen years, having ideas about dieting can lead to problems. Many things can spark weight concerns for girls and impact their eating habits in potentially unhealthy ways:

Having mothers concerned about their own weight
Having mothers who are overly concerned about their daughters' weight and looks
Natural weight gain and other body changes during puberty
Peer pressure to look a certain way
Struggles with self-esteem
Media images showing the ideal female body as thin

Many teenage girls of average weight think they are overweight and are not satisfied with their bodies. Having extreme weight concerns — and acting on those concerns — can harm girls' social, physical, and emotional growth. Actions such as skipping meals or taking diet pills can lead to poor nutrition and difficulty learning. For some, extreme efforts to lose weight can lead to eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. For others, the pressure to be thin can actually lead to binge eating disorder: overeating that is followed by extreme guilt. What's more, girls are more likely to further risk their health by trying to lose weight in unhealthy ways, such as smoking.
While not as common, boys are also at risk of developing unhealthy eating habits and eating disorders. Body image becomes an important issue for teenage boys as they struggle with body changes and pay more attention to media images of the "ideal" muscular male.

What you can do
Your children pay attention to what you say and do — even if it doesn't seem like it sometimes. If you are always complaining about your weight or feel pressure to change your body shape, your children may learn that these are important concerns. If you are attracted to new "miracle" diets, they may learn that restrictive dieting is better than making healthy lifestyle choices. If you tell your daughter that she would be prettier if she lost weight, she will learn that the goals of weight loss are to be attractive and accepted by others.
Parents are role models and should try to follow the healthy eating and physical activity patterns that you would like your children to follow — for your health and theirs. Extreme weight concerns and eating disorders, as well as obesity, are hard to treat. Yet, you can play an important role in preventing these problems for your children.
Follow these steps to help your child develop a positive body image and relate to food in a healthy way:
Make sure your child understands that weight gain is a normal part of development, especially during puberty.
Avoid negative statements about food, weight, and body size and shape.
Allow your child to make decisions about food, while making sure that plenty of healthy and nutritious meals and snacks are available.
Compliment your child on her or his efforts, talents, accomplishments, and personal values.
Restrict television viewing, and watch television with your child and discuss the media images you see.
Encourage your school to enact policies against size and sexual discrimination, harassment, teasing, and name-calling; support the elimination of public weigh-ins and fat measurements.
Keep the communication lines with your child open.

Taken from www.womenshealth.gov/bodyimage

Friday, December 4, 2009

Chasing Beauty

I stumbled across this story today & thought it was something that everyone needs to hear. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/34272772#34272772 I wanted to share this excerpt from the book written by Jamieson Dale (known as Laura Pillarella) called "Chasing Beauty"

"I think that I am finally pretty. I have a hard time writing that, and an even harder time saying it. I still feel ugly. It took fifteen cosmetic surgical procedures over ten years, costing a total of $61,000, to realize that average is okay, and certainly simpler. What began as my ordinary bad hair, bad skin, bad bone structure, bad teeth, and bad self-esteem was rearranged into surgical freakishness and finally into probably attractive. The bad self-confidence remains. To try to escape my common flaws, I have undergone repeat upper and lower "eye jobs"; a chin implant augmentation; a lip lift; collagen injections; several surgical lip augmentations; a nose job; a TCA chemical peel; laser peels; Alloderm cadaver implants; dental braces; jaw advancement; chin genioplasty augmentation; two cheek lifts; a mid-facelift; an eyelid canthopexy; and a lateral brow-lift. My Result is that I now know that scalpels, syringes and lasers are not beauty tools--or worse, toys--as I had once felt. They have each cut and injected into more than my skin, crafting with each painful healing a personal character from which I had wished that surgery would save me from developing. I had only wished to be one-dimensional by chasing beauty and its easy, breezy image. Far from that, I'm now something scarred: Wise. I am only 35 years old. ···························································My journey appears to be over. My eyes appear sloe instead of sleepy or "scooped out" as I was once told. My nose is smaller. Most of my acne scars have been burned away, and my skin has a healthier glow (or what I suppose "glow" looks like). I have a jawbone less subtly defined than before. The lips look poofy without manual poofing, but not too poofy. I step back from the mirror. My cheeks have been rescued from their steady slip into jowls (a distasteful word to match distasteful facial betrayal and one that my orthodontist misspelled as jowels on my initial visit chart and which I didn’t have the stomach to correct) and put back where cheeks should be. The legacy of my wayward chin is over; it has submitted into proportionate, finally getting along and blending with the rest of my features. Appearances are deceiving. Pretty is a poor cure for insecurity. I still obsess, out of habit or because I’ve compared myself with the ubiquitous teen model in my favorite magazine or watched magnified movie-star perfection or because I’m bloated or having a bad hair day or had a fight with my husband or just because. Today is one of those days. Moving closer to the glass now, I wonder: are those broken capillaries I see etched across my cheeks? Is that a double chin? I scrunch down my face, tucking my chin, trying to see my collarbone. The effect confirms the presence of ugly submental fat ("submental" being one of the many unfortunate technical terms attached to female fear that have assimilated into my own vocabulary over the years). Stretching my mouth into a grimace produces crow’s feet wrinkles around my eyes. I frown, making it worse. Where is the smooth brow of my youth? I wonder, as I tug my hair off my forehead. Didn’t my hairline used to be lower? Is everything where it should be?Despite my harsh surgical history, I still sometimes fall for the siren call of instant cosmetic gratification. Maybe just a little Botox? I think as my fingers mimic its smoothing paralysis effect on my facial muscles and skin. It looks so good on the media world, and good in imitation. Ooh, that’s better, I now see, feeling calmed by the effect.Quickly coming down, and closing the bathroom door behind me, I regret that good hygiene will bring me back in here, back before the mirror before long. I guess that it will take time for me to not only say that I’m pretty…but to actually believe it. Without Botox. I at least know that I’ll never again ask a cosmetic surgeon if I am. Ten years of cosmetic surgery - ten years of swelling and distortion and bruising and financial deceit and high anxiety and downtime and pain and disappointment and marital strain - haven’t answered my question: Who am I? It has only prolonged the search for it.I may finally look okay, but I feel worked over, and I still don’t know the answer.This book is the way that I remember asking."

Let's all remember to take a good, hard look at ourselves in the mirror & learn to love what it reflects! We are all beautiful in our own special way!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Changing Paradigms of Beauty

It's been a while since I have posted! Life has been busy but great!! I found this article through a pageant email that I receive every week & thought it was very interesting. It seems that although beauty is defined differently by everyone, one thing we all can agree on is that mostly beauty comes from within. It's kind of along article but very well worth it.

Go here: http://mag.cmhmag.com/featured/360-discussion-changing-paradigms-of-beauty/

Friday, September 18, 2009


Once upon a time in a land far far away.There was a wonderful old man who loved everything. Animals, spiders, insects....
One day while walking through the woods the nice old man found a cocoon. Feeling lonely he decided to take the cocoon home to watch its beautiful transformation froma funny little cocoon to a beautiful butterfly.
He gently placed the cocoon on his kitchen table, and watched over it for days
Suddenly on the seventh day the cocoon started to move. It moved frantically! The old man felt sorry for the little butterfly inside the cocoon.He watched it struggle and struggle and struggle!
Finally the old man feeling so sorry for the cocooned butterfly rushed to its aide with a surgical scalpel and gently slit the cocoon so the butterfly could emerge.

Just one slice was all it took,and the butterfly broke free from its cocoon only to wilt over in a completely motionless state. The old man did not know what to think.Had he accidentally killed the little butterfly? No, it's still moving a little bit.! Maybe it's sick! Who the heck would know? He was dumbfounded, and quite perplexed! What should I do, he said. Well he felt so sorry for the little creature that he decided the best thing he coulddo for the butterfly was to place it gently back into its cocoon.
He did so, and placed a drop of honey on it to seal the cocoon, leaving the butterfly to nestle in its natural state. Well the next day he noticed that the cocoon was moving again. Wow, he said! It moved and moved and struggled and struggled.Finally the butterfly broke free from its cocoon and stretched its wings out far and wide. Big time yawn! Its beautiful wings were filled with wonderful colors! It looked around and took off! It was flying! Its so beautiful! The old man was jumping with joy! Wow!
Go Baby, Go! And that wonderful butterfly did that just that, it flew and flew till it was almost out of the old mans sight. What a joy, he exclaimed!But then he started to think. What did I do wrong by trying to help that beautiful little butterfly out at first?
The old man went into town. Found the library, and read every book he could on butterflies and cocoons. Finally the answer appeared.The butterfly has to struggle and struggle while inside the cocoon. That's how it gets its strength. That's just what they are designed to overcome in order to be strong and beautiful.
Well needless to say the old man was shocked, saddened, and somewhat relieved.
Now he knows the reason why they do what they do. It was only his perception that made it appear that the butterfly was having a hard time. Well from then on the old man knew that loving something sometimes means to pray for it and cheer it on!
He realized that God was wonderful, and that sometimes appearances aren't what they seem to be. That we all are beautiful butterflies, even though we have our apparent struggles in life...
Author Unknown
Taken from www.cuttyhunkroseinspirations.com

I don't think I need to expound anymore on what the moral of the story is. I bolded it & italicised it so it would pop out. Because appearances really aren't what they seem are they?

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I Am Divine
I looked in the mirror the other day--"You are divine" I heard a voice sayMy eyes were wide with much surprise,"Oh no I'm not, just see my eyes.They're much too small, I wish they were blue."The voice came again, "You are joyful and true."
I looked at my neighbor with such a sigh,"You are so thin!" was my weak cry.She seemed quite stunned, then said to me"Things aren't always what you see,I'd give anything if I were youFor you are righteous and truthful too."
I picked a book up off the shelf,Then knew I couldn't live with myselfI promptly put it in its place,then felt the Spirit taking place,"I knew you'd pick the one you shouldYou thirst for knowledge--That is good!"
I told my brother, "It's not funny,You are so rich with money!"He said, "I'm rich, that much is trueBut I would rather be like you.You're honest, good and always kind.People like you are hard to find."
It took a while but I caught on,And soon my list of wishes was gone.How blessed I am from up aboveWith God and friends and joy and love.No money can buy these gifts of mineI'm a daughter of God, and I'm divine!
(Author Unknown, from "Very Valuable Values for Young Women", Vol. 2, pg.17

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thought of the day

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes that it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ~Maya Angelou

Just like the caterpillar goes through major changes within the surroundings of the Chrysalis before she becomes the beautiful butterfly, we also go through changes within ourselves throughout the course of our life. It is sometimes hard for us to see or admit the changes that we have gone through to achieve our own beauty. Those changes may have come about as a result of negative behavior whether brought on by ourselves or the effects of someone elses negative behavior. Or they may have come about from failing a test or losing a race. Each experience that we have helps us achieve the beauty that lies within. The way we view that beauty all depends on our attitudes.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Woman's Lifeline

Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a Queen
Age 8: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella
Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an "ugly duckling" ("Mom I can't go to school looking like this today!")
Age 20: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" but decides she's going out anyway.
Age 30: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" but decides she doesn't have time to fix it so she's going out anyway.
Age 40: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too think, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" but says, "At least I am clean", and goes out anyway.
Age 50: She looks at herself and sees "I am what I am" and goes wherever she wants to go.
Age 60: she looks at herslef and reminds herself of all the people who can't even see themselves in the mirror anymore. Goes out and conquers the world.
Age 70: She looks at herslef and see wisdom, laughter, and ability and goes out and enjoys life.
Age 80: Doesn't bother to look, just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the worldl

Moral: Maybe we should all grab that purple hat a little earlier.

Taken from the book "Daughters of God" M. Russell Ballard

Friday, May 1, 2009

The WOMAN Challenge/Legacy Walk for Beauty Kick off event

(If you would please add this post to your blogs, that would be very helpful!!!)
I have joined with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health in celebrating National Women's Health Week. On May 9, 2009 at 9:30 A.M. The Beauty Within Foundation will hold The Legacy Walk for Beauty where women in the community will be able to kick off The WOMAN Challenge and walk their way to better health both inside and out.

National Women's Health Week is a nationwide initiative that calls attention to the importance of women's health. The theme for National Women's Health Week 2009 is "It's Your Time." During the week, families, health organizations, businesses, communities, the government and individuals come together to raise awareness about women's health issues and educate women about simple steps they can take for a longer, healthier and happier life.

The Legacy Walk for Beauty will kick off The WOMAN Challenge, an eight week online physical activity program. It will be held along the Legacy walkway that borders the Legacy highway starting at the Farmington frontrunner station. This event is free to the public!
I am also still collecting items to go in wellness bags for cancer patients at The Huntsman Cancer Institute. I am looking for donations of the following items: Travel size hand sanitizer, Travel size lotion, nail clippers, Clear nail polish & any other pampering items. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Does anybody read this blog?

I am reevalutating a few things and since I rarely see any comments just want to find out how many this site actually affects. Just as a reminder: comments are very helpful, even if just to say you enjoyed the post. But I am always up for suggestions of things you would like to see more of. If you would be so helpful to leave comments so I know what I need to change & update, that would be so appreciative!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Britains Got Talent Contestant Shows True Beauty

WOW!!! Can I just say this moved me to tears!!! If you have not seen this you have got to check it out! This is the best thing I have seen all week & it just goes to show that you really cannot judge a book by its cover!!! She is truly beautiful in every way! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

Today's Quote

Ok so I haven't posted a quote everyday so let's see if I can get at least one in per week. Here is todays quote:

"True nobility isn't about being better than anyone else, It's about being better than you used to be." Wayne Dyer

I think that is so true. We spend so much time comparing and competiting with others that we forget that it is all about being better than we used to be. There will always be someone out there better than us in some way or another but we need to be satisfied with who we are at that moment & that we are better than we used to be.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Quote of the Day

I'm going to try to post a favorite quote of mine every day. Here is today's quote:

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Suess

I love this quote because I am always worried about what other people think & it helps to bring me back down to where I need to be. ME! Because in the end what others think of me really doesn't matter. What I think of myself & the choices that I have made, that's what matters

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Save the Date!

Save the Date!
National Women's Health Week empowers women to make their health a top priority. With the theme "It's Your Time," the nationwide initiative encourages women to take simple steps for a longer, healthier, and happier life.
Monday May 11, 2009 — the day after Mother's Day — is National Women's Checkup Day, the highlight of National Women's Health Week.
It's Your Time! Please join me and the hundreds of women across America who are taking the National Women's Checkup Day Pledge. We are pledging to focus on our own health by taking the time to schedule at least one of the recommended preventive health screenings within the next 90 days.
Please join me on May 9, 2009 at 9:30 in the morning for the Legacy Walk for Beauty. This event will kick off The WOMAN Challenge: Women and girls Out Moving Across the Nation. It will start at the Front Runner Station in Farmington & will continue along the entire path or as far as you choose to go! More information to come!

For information on The WOMAN Challenge visit www.womenshealth.gov/woman.

To learn more about National Women's Health Week, visit http://www.womenshealth.gov/whw.

Hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Century of Outrageous Beauty Ads

Here is another link to beauty ads over a century. It's actually kind of funny. The last ad is the best though. I fully support Dove & their campaign for real beauty. http://www.newsweek.com/id/188663

Are we turning our Tweens into Generation Divas?

Yet again, I cannot figure out how to post the entire article so you get the link. This was just out today in newsweek & it shows why spreading the message about healthy & positive body image is so important & that its not about what you do to your outward appearance but more how you feel about who you are on the inside! http://www.newsweek.com/id/191247?GT1=43002

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dove Real Esteem

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Omf2gwLUE8E I'm not quite sure how to get these videos to post to my actual site but here is a link to check this one out! This is a little taste of what I do with Dove's Real Beauty Workshops!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

California Mom Wants Women to Embrace their Bodies

I read this article on the Deseret News' website this morning & liked what it said about this mom. This subject is in the news more and more lately and I'm glad. To read the article click here: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705292712/California-mom-wants-women-to-embrace-their-bodies.html

Friday, March 13, 2009

Love is Not a Feeling

I get a newsletter every week from Dr. Gary Chapman who has authored many books on marriage and relationships including The Five Love Languages (which is great) and in the most recent newsletter was this article. Although he is talking about love between a man & woman in a marriage, I think it can be applied to all relationships. Read on:

"Love is Not a Feeling

I really do believe that “love makes the world go round.” Why would I say that? Because God is love. It is His love for us that makes all of life meaningful. So, what does that have to do with marriage? God made us for each other. Husband and wife – designed to work together as a mutual support team to discover and fulfill God’s plans for their lives.
In a word, love is the choice to look out for each other in the same way that God looks out for us. It doesn’t require warm feelings, but it does require and open heart.

Love is not our only emotional need, but it interfaces with all other needs. If I feel loved by my wife, then I also feel good about myself. After all, if she loves me, I must be worth loving. Ultimately, it is discovering that God loves me that gives me my greatest sense of worth. Also, if my spouse loves me, I’m more likely to feel that my life has significance.Threat or Haven?Spouses become God’s agent for helping their partners feel loved. Few things are more important than encouraging one’s spouse to accomplish God’s plans. Marriage is designed to help us accomplish more for God. Two are better than one in His kingdom.
If we do not feel loved in marriage, our differences are magnified. We come to view each other as a threat to our happiness. We fight for self-worth and significance, and marriage becomes a battlefield rather than a haven.
Love is not the answer to everything, but it creates a climate of security in which we can seek answers to those things that bother us. In the security of love, a couple can discuss differences without condemnation. Conflicts can be resolved. Two people who are different can learn to live together in harmony. We discover how to bring out the best in each other. The decision to love your spouse holds tremendous potential.
The Power of LoveI believe that love really does make the difference between success and failure in a marriage. Keep in mind that love is not a feeling, but love stimulates feelings. The euphoric feelings of the “in love” experience are temporary; usually two years or less. But when we learn to love each other effectively we keep warm emotional feelings alive. Life is much better when we feel loved. "

My favorite part of this is when he says that if he feels loved by his wife then he feels good about himself. Isn't that true for all of us? If we feel that someone loves us & truly cares for us then we feel like we are worth loving & that our lives really do have significance! I hope that we can all show more genuine love to those around us so that they in turn will feel like their life is of value & they are worth loving.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Beauty Pressures on Girls and Women

I ran across this article on Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty site and wanted to share it but you have to click on the link http://www.dove.us/#/CFRB/arti_CFRB.aspx[cp-documentid=7051094]/ It is a great article so check it out!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Radiate Self Confidence

I found this article on another site (www.wonderfullymade.org) & thought I would share it.

Radiate Self Confidence
By Cindy Incorvaia

'"A Mother Who Radiates Self-Acceptance Actually Vaccinates Her Daughter Against Low Self-Esteem." Naomi Wolf

Radiate self acceptance… Who in her right mind would not want to exude a personality glowing with appreciation, self love, and gratitude?! Amazing books have been written endorsing such positive thinking as, Simple Abundance: by Sarah Ban Breathnach, and I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont, for younger children. In the elementary classroom today, it is politically correct to teach lesson plans on self-esteem because a child who has a sense of well being in the world is thought to do better, go farther, and ultimately live a happier life. Yet for most of us, in childhood is where we formulate perceptions that we are not OK, that something must be wrong with us otherwise our lives wouldn't hurt so much.
Role models who have achieved self acceptance protect, inoculate, and immunize us against low self-esteem. Oprah made a comment on her show featuring R & B artist, Mary J. Blige, that women who have been molested no longer "feel worthy." How do we get this worthiness back? Must we depend upon our Mother's? For those of us who did not get "the vaccination" but instead became infected with low self esteem, how do we root it out of our hearts, our bloodstream, thus becoming healthy, vibrant, and confident women?
Brave female crusaders in the media are trying to turn things around for women suffering from a malady of symptoms from low self esteem. On her CD, Breakthrough, Mary J. expresses her journey through drugs, pain, and self-loathing which ultimately led to her breakthrough into sober living and a strong faith in God. She speaks openly on the Oprah show about forgiving her own Mother, "I blame my Mother for nothing; I forgive her for everything." Somewhere along in our journey into our own breakthroughs, we must begin with forgiveness, and usually that will be towards our own Mothers who for one reason or another were not able to give us that vaccination so needed to protect us against unworthiness.
My own Mother struggled to find her value, worth, and place in the world as a young child. At the tender age of four she was sent off to Boarding School, a custom not uncommon for British children of her era. My Mother came to America when she was a toddler after the sudden death of her father, making her Mother a young widow left with two baby daughters to raise. Fighting back poverty and aloneness in a new strange country her Mother worked particularly hard to make herself as attractive as possible. To secure a good future for herself and her children, she graduated from Beauty School and having had some experience in show business back in England, she elevated beauty, fitness, and self-confidence to the highest level. At a very young age, my Mother watched her Mom meticulously care for her complexion, count her calories, wear smart clothes, and most profoundly, attract the attention of admiring men. But this was not the vaccination she needed to rise above the wiles of looming self doubt. Even with all the best training in beauty and appearance, she was not secure inside. Helen Keller, a woman with no eyesight, or hearing, overcame to find beauty in her world which sustained her: "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched ... but are felt in the heart." She hit the nail on the head! It's within our hearts that true and genuine beauty is reflected. It is what makes our complexions glow and our eyes radiate a light from within.
Having none herself, my Mother was not able to vaccinate me against low self esteem. But in God's goodness and grace, as a Child of God I move forward from "glory to glory," from strength to strength, progressing past the limitations of physical appearance thus redefining beauty for myself and my daughters.
2 Corinthians 3:18But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." King James
Extremely tall, awkward, shy, and ashamed, I maneuvered through high school with a vulnerability to the plethora of enticements around me. Any high mountain with steep cliffs could have wooed me over the edge with but a tap. I was, as so many young girls are today, simply unvaccinated and ill equipped to fight the mass barrage of subtle but powerful messages: "You don't have what it takes… otherwise you would be in movies or on magazine covers," and other similar thoughts as these. Fortunately, my shyness kept me away from popular parties where drugs were passed; my height scared off boys; and my faith kept me in safe places where I slowly became inoculated against low self-esteem and learned a new kind, God-esteem, where His love dominated everything else.
I remember as a wayward teen thinking that a way to end my disenchantment with life was to take my own life. This is what unvaccinated women consider until they have gained access to weapons which fight off thoughts of such illusions and seductions. Just as the snake in the Garden of Eden tempted with lies, every woman at some point will find herself in a place where she either resists those lies, or caves in. My cousin in her early 30's succeeded in taking her own life, which surprisingly gave me a stronger resolve to stay alive. Ugly duckling teen I may have felt, yet still I had breath, and with that breath I could speak out words as an offense tactic against the lies. In time, I began to transform from the ugly duckling into the beautiful swan. Shedding feathers of awkwardness as God's love penetrated my heart, I gained a graceful composure, an inner strength, and a remarkable confidence in God and His plan for me.
Daniel 12:3"… And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness (to uprightness and right standing with God) [shall give forth light] like the stars forever and ever.
Yes, the ugly duckling became a beautiful swan in the famous fairy tale. The unworthy teen became a confident, self assured woman. Every decision to see myself, not as my Mother or Grandmother saw themselves, but as God sees me, brings a brilliance from within radiating true beauty. "I blame my Mother for nothing, I forgive her for everything." My self acceptance comes from God's acceptance of me.
Today, as I walk along the beach in the mornings, the vaccination of gratitude, forgiveness, and solitude strengthen me. Living close to the shoreline, I observe the many moods of the ocean. Some days I look out and see grey, tumultuous surf; other days look out and see a brilliant blue crest laden with surfers and a seashore scattered with scampering sand pipers. Recently a seaweed strand washed up on the sand and formed a heart shape so I took a picture of it on my cell and mailed it to my daughter. My unspoken message? "You are loved. You are treasured. No matter how far away you are, your heartbeat is next to mine and I believe in you. Because I believe in myself and every breathe is a gift from God."
Beauty comes from the heart, and as Helen Keller reminds us, "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched ... but are felt in the heart." My legacy of beauty and self acceptance started on shaky ground. But because of God's faithfulness, I was able to go a little farther than those women before me and I have full confidence that my daughters will go farther than me.
All of us will shine and find our place as stars in the sky because God wills it so. Each one's story, builds a legacy, a tale of arriving at that place Mary J. calls breakthrough. And as we overcome, we leave a bit of hope for other young women, starting out on their journey of forgiveness and redefinition of beauty. And we say, "From our hearts, beauty shines through our eyes, our countenance, our vulnerable beginnings." It transforms us from inside out and brings a message of hope vs. defeat; a message of life vs. death, of breath vs. suffocation. We breathe free. We breathe bold. We're alive and that is beautiful all in itself. '

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

ELIZA Magazine

I first heard about this magazine last year when I was talking with the director of MoFash, a modest fashion show held in California. I was interested in this magazine not only because it showcases modest fashion but it also shares the name of my little girl, Eliza. So read all about it below & you can find a link to it in the side bar! Enjoy!

"ELIZA Magazine is created for women who want to be stylish, sexy, and engaged in the world while retaining high standards in dress, entertainment, and lifestyle. In a media culture that frequently objectifies and commercializes women and their bodies, ELIZA strives to provide an alternative to the current mainstream media that emphasizes sex and skin in order to push products or sell magazines.
ELIZA magazine brings you "Fashion without Fiction." We are realistic about everyday women's price points, showcasing pieces that are worth the big price tags and discovering deals at your local department stores that are just as hip. We are realistic about women's bodies: we don't retouch bodies, and we mix real women and professional models. We are realistic about women's interests, featuring fashion and beauty information, current issues, and real life problem solving, all while keeping perspective on what's really important in life.
Each issue provides exciting and informative features in Fashion, Beauty, Health, Entertainment and Lifestyle. Some of our staple articles include: History Repeats Itself—fashion icons like Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O. and how their style translates today. Fit to Be Tried—everyday women modeling classics they love. Saving the World One Issue at a Time—highlighting various social causes and how to get involved. Guys Guide—mini-tutorials on what matters to men and why we should know about it. The Least You Should Know—useful information about everything from changing a tire to your personal finances. Plus health tips, entertainment picks, and breathtaking fashion stories by ELIZA's innovative team.
The ELIZA reader is educated, creative, fashion-conscious, and on the hunt for clothes to feel comfortable in. We continue to pick up the scent of fashion and modesty and deliver it to your door season after season." (Copied straight from their website under "About" link)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wellness Bag Assembly date

I will be assembling the wellness bags that I have been collecting items for on February 25 at 7:00 P.M. at my house. If you have any of the items listed below please bring them as I have not yet filled my goal of 250 bags. I need all the help I can get so if you would like to come please let me know & leave your email address & I will email you directions to my house. If you know of any business that would like to donate items let me know & I can send you a formal letter. Thank you so much for all of your support & I hope to see you there!

Items needed:
Nail files, Nail Clippers, Clear Nail Polish, Hand Sanitizer (travel size), Hand Lotions (travel size), Lip Gloss, Kleenex, Blushes, Eye Shadows and any other pampering items.

P.S. I am planning on delivering these bags the following week on the 3rd of March so if you can't make it to fill the bags, let me know if you would like to join me in delivering them!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Life is Good...

I was driving down the road today heading to dinner with my family & we stopped behind this jeep that had a phrase on the tire cover. It read "Life is Good". As I read it, I felt very happy & was glad that that person had put that phrase there. I think a lot of times we get so caught up in the negatives...how crazy our kids make us feel sometimes, feeling like we are just not "good" enough, those sort of things, that we forget that life really is good. Most of us have been blessed with a roof over our heads & food on our tables. We have clothes to wear & cars to take us places. Even without those blessings life is good. It's all in the attitude you carry. It's all in how you view life, how you view yourself. We have all been given gifts and talents that are unique to us and no one else. Others might have similar gifts but I believe that we are placed in situations that are unique at that period in time just for us. It's easy to get distracted from our gifts by envying the gifts that are strong in others that might not be in ourselves. I find myself sometimes down because "so and so" is doing this or "why didn't/couldn't I think of that first?" But I am coming to terms with the fact that everything has its time & place & right now at this moment the gifts that I have, the gifts I am building upon & the gifts that are dormant are right where they need to be. It's important to always improve on those gifts. But it takes time. So I have made a promise to myself that I am going to cherish those gifts, I am going to praise the gifts in others & I am going to remember that life really is good.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Upcoming Events

I wanted to give a heads up on some upcoming events I have planned. In April, I will be holding a Locks of Love Fundraising event (pending approval from Locks of Love- www.locksoflove.org)It will be held at the What a Woman Wants Show at the Southtowne Expo center in Sandy. In May I will be hosting a Beauty walk/run to kick off the WOMAN Challenge. (see www.womenshealth.gov/woman) Check our events link for more information. Also in April, I will be competing in the Mrs. Utah United States pageant. This is the third year I have competed & the 9th pageant I have been in. Participating in the pageant system has helped me build my own confidence and self esteem in so many ways. I have done things that I would have never done if I hadn' t been a pageant contestant & I have met so many wonderful ladies! It will be held April 25 at the Covey Center for the Arts in Provo so make sure you come show your support & cheer me on! For more information go to http://www.mrsutahus.com/.