Letting Go – A Radical Process

I’m excited to welcome a GUEST POST by blogger and Body Positive Activist Carly McLeod.

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We all have a story — things that we carry around with us always. We cling to experiences, memories, moments, objects that have shaped us, and without really acknowledging that in a small, undetectable way, they continue to shape our futures. This collection becomes our origin story but also our trajectory.

Every wonder why you feel that each time you set out on a different path, you are sucked back into bad habits?

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Never lead with the negative

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I ran into a colleague of mine at Starbucks last week and this was our conversation:

Her: Oh my gosh, hi Maja, I didn’t think I’d run into anyone. Ugh, I look like friggin’ shit. I haven’t even had a shower yet.

Me: [looks at watch, it’s 2:00pm?!?!] —Hi, how’s it going?

Her: Ugh, sorry I look like such total crap, I honestly was just going to pop in for a latte before going home to shower. I was running errands and then I was going to exercise this morning and then obviously shower,  but then I didn’t finish my work from last night, had a conference call….and then…….BLAH. BLAH. BLAH.

Oh. My. Goodness. What’s wrong with this conversation??

She led with the negative!!! NEVER, EVER, LEAD WITH THE NEGATIVE. 

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Amy Schumer 160lbs and sexual

Here’s Amy Schumer accepting an award at the Glamour Women of the Year event last year. It’s an older clip, but a good one. Another example showing you don’t have to be 110 pounds to have confidence, to be sexual. A reminder that bodies come in different sizes. We’re all worthy of having confidence and sexuality. And damn it, beauty shouldn’t be the #1 goal for women. What about success? What about knowledge? What about smarts?

Our self-worth shouldn’t be tied to our appearance. Our confidence shouldn’t be bound by the inches of our hips.

The reason I love Amy Schumer so much is that she’s SO smart, SO witty, and SO empowered. She’s her own boss and she’s challenging the dominant notion that women’s worth is tied to their looks. She’s also prolific and writes, produces, acts, and does stand-up at such a ferocious pace that makes me want to step up my game.

(Now I need to find other videos examples, but with non-White women……much more difficult to find on-line….which is problematic, obviously)


How girls talk about their bodies

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Anthropologist Mimi Nichter wrote a book called “Fat-Talk: What Girls and Their Parents Say About Dieting.”

The research team spent 3 years interviewing hundreds of adolescent and teen girls and their parents about how they think and talk about their bodies. They interviewed white, black and Latina girls from lower-middle to middle-class backgrounds.

The research found:

  1. Teen girls spend a LOT of time talking about dieting, and a lot less time actually dieting.
  2. Fat-Talk among girls was a way of being or creating solidarity
  3. “African-American girls were much more satisfied with their bodies than white girls, for them, beauty was a matter of projecting attitude and moving with confidence & style.”

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Fat Talk, Body Talk, Diet Talk

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What is fat talk? It’s any disparaging dialogue about your body or weight. These can either be nega­tive comments (“I hate my stomach”) or positive ones (“Ugh, thank goodness I lost weight so now I can fit into my skinny jeans!”)[i]

Fat talk is a contagious type of conversation that most girls and women engage in. If we’re not directly disparaging our bodies, then we listen to other women do it. We participate in conversations that focus solely on our bodies, not our minds. Read More


Toddlers learn fat shaming from their moms

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A new study published in The Journal of Experimental Child Psychology last month showed that toddlers displayed fat-shaming attitudes, learned from their mothers.

Researchers in New Zealand showed toddlers various pictures of thin and fat people, with their faces obscured. “The 11 month-old infants preferred to look at the obese people, whereas the toddler group (around 32 months) preferred to look at average-sized figures.” Read More


The Definition of Boring

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Steven Pressfield wrote another book…..another book that changed my life. It’s called “Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work”

It’s brutal in its honesty.

It’s stunningly simple in its clarity.

You have 2 choices in life:  You either repeat, endlessly repeat your boring life and your boring mundane activities, with your boring breakfast and boring friends, WITHOUT making any progress, WITHOUT any movement forward

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Always #LikeAGirl – Unstoppable – YouTube

Are girls limited by what society tells them they can or can not do?  Yes they are.

This video by Always has been viewed over 38 million times and is about smashing limitations and encouraging confidence among young women.

This confidence stuff isn’t just for adults, or even tweens…..it starts so much younger.

Always #LikeAGirl – Unstoppable – YouTube.


Women I love – Rhonda Rousey

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So, I hate boxing, but I love Rhonda Rousey. Weird, right?  You can’t help but love Rhonda. She’s an mixed martial artist and judoka. She is UFC’s current Bantamweight champion. She has dominated every opponent in the ring. She was WON every single fight in the 1st round by an arm-bar move. Oh yeah, she also has an Olympic medal in judo (Summer 2008).

She started a female empowerment campaign called don’t be a “DO-NOTHING-BITCH.” 

And, she called out Floyd Mayweather for his wife-beating habits.  Not many men in sports broadcasting want to call Floyd Mayweather the abuser that he is…..and she did. Watch this 28 second video: Read More


TIPS to STOP being a People Pleaser.

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You can stop putting other people’s needs ahead of your own. You can say “no” to people and not lose their friendship. You can say no to your boss and not get fired. You can say “no” to your children or partner and not let guilt envelope you.

Follow these TIPS to stop being a people-pleaser and get your life back. Put yourself and your career FIRST.

Remember, if you’re constantly putting others ahead of you…..you’ll NEVER, EVER get ahead yourself. You’ll NEVER, EVER fulfil your potential. You’ll be last. You’ll be emptied out of your creativity and your energy. You will have regrets and resentment.    Read More



Are you a people pleaser?

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People pleasers are SO nice. Aren’t they? They’re like the nicest people, ever. They never say “no,” they’ll always help you out & do you a favor. They’re be there whenever and wherever you need help.

The problem is, they never help themselves. They’re so overcommitted to everyone else and addicted to say “yes” to everyone and everything that their to-do list NEVER ends. This creates a cycle of anxiety, stress, depression (emotional eating!) and resentment. Read More


Winning Miss Congeniality will get you NOWHERE.

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Why are SO many women obsessed with being “nice”?  Why are we acting grateful when we should be acting confident?  Because we’re PEOPLE PLEASERS!!!

Why are we so timid, passive and fearful of interrupting or offending, when we should be putting ourselves and our ideas out there for everyone to hear?

Listen Ladies, winning Miss. Congeniality will get you NOWHERE. Oh wait; actually it will make you a people pleaser, a door mat, average, ordinary, mediocre, and completely forgettable.

Is that what you want?

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Why you need a pitch. (Everyone is selling something…)

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Listen to me, stop being afraid of selling. Everyone is selling something to somebody every hour of the day all over the world. At Starbucks they’re trying to up-sell you with a food product to go along with your $6.00 latte.

At the gym they’re trying to up-sell you personal training, vitamins and protein shakes. At the mall you know you’re being sold as soon as you walk into Sephora. No explanation necessary.

So why do women have such resistance when it comes to selling ourselves, our talents, ideas or experiences?  Read More


Stop Apologizing (sorry if that sounded rude)

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Stop apologizing. Seriously. Women need to stop apologizing for everything all the time.

I see this happen in conferences, seminars, workshops, graduate school, with my undergraduate students, at work, in meetings, the grocery store, my daughter’s daycare, –everywhere I go a woman is apologizing for something. I can’t remember the last time I heard a man apologize. Read More