Tag Archives: Self esteem

Boosting Plus Size Teens’ Body Image and Self-Esteem in Today’s Image Conscious World


According to niddk.nih.gov, young people from the ages of two years through nineteen years, the obesity rate has skyrocketed to over 31% In a society whose media is crazed by ultra-thin models, actors, and Instagram stars, this means one of every three teens you meet is at risk for weight-related issues around self-esteem and body image. Given the toll taken by carrying excess weight, it’s as crucial to counteract the emotional strain of obesity, as it is to drop a few pounds.

What Is The Difference Between Body Image and Self-Esteem?

Put simply, self-esteem refers to the sense of inherent internal worthiness a person perceives him or herself to possess. Body image refers to the way they perceive their body, regardless of how it may appear to outside observers. This explains why people who are clearly in excellent condition may feel very critical about their bodies, whereas others, whose physical condition may not appear very healthy, can have extremely high levels of confidence about their physiques.

How Can I Tell Whether My Teen Has A Weight-Related Self-Esteem Problem

Parents and loved ones are often horrified to notice their once-confident teen has slipped into low self-esteem. Teens’ bodies change rapidly, and they face extreme pressure from both peers and the media to look a certain way. As they change schools and peer groups, formerly happy-go-lucky kids may suddenly display clear signs of discontent such as:

• Scrutinizing themselves in the mirror for extended lengths of time

• Excessively negative, criticism of specific body regions

• Comparison to other teens or celebrities

• Anxiety around leaving the home

• Signs of depression/anxiety, like sleeping more or less than normal, withdrawal from social engagements, malaise, or changes in grades

Jump Start The Recovery Process

So much of the teenage years is centered around creating social norms and a coherent sense of self. This sense of self will follow a young person into adulthood, and inform much of how they make pivotal choices and relate to others. That makes it incredibly important and productive to intervene as soon as possible. Helping teens to turnaround self-esteem and body issues will give them healthy physical habits as well as emotional resilience. Luckily, even the most rebellious teenager craves guidance, encouragement, and resources. Use the following steps at home, and you’ll not only improve teens’ physical and emotional well-being, you’ll reinforce the foundations of your relationship.

It Starts With You

Teenagers are more interested in what you do than what you tell them. Do you obsess about your appearance? Become upset when you aren’t satisfied with how you look in the mirror? Your teen is learning how to react to her own appearance by watching your example. Be mindful of more than how you look. Pay attention to how you look at yourself, and how you act toward yourself when you do.

Changing Self-Talk

Teens listen more than they let on. One of the things they soak up like sponges is the manner in which their role models talk about themselves. A young man who hears his father lamenting, “ Ugh. I hate my chest. This gutt is awful. I just have never liked the way I’m built. I guess I have your grandparents to blame for these ugly genes!” will certainly find himself looking at his body in the mirror, cursing his DNA. A young girl who hears her mother saying, “I just look so fat in these pants. I’m embarrassed to leave the house” will look into the mirror at her own image and wonder if she should stay home if she looks a little bloated.

Parents can change this feedback loop of negative self-talk by saying things like, “ I may have gained a few pounds, but I actually like how strong I look!” or “You know, it’s actually kind of nice to be filling out this dress a little differently!” Even better, saying things like, “I love myself at any weight. This body does a lot for me” can convey to your teen that she is also beautiful and productive at any weight.

Emphasize Health Over Weight Loss

The Oxford Health Journal confirms that weight management programs for children and teens may do more harm than good. Focusing on weight seems to chip away at a whole-person standard self-worth in children. Furthermore, according to NBC, even after losing weight, many girls continue to see themselves as overweight. In other words, a few pounds may drop, but negative body image remains. This is a clear indicator that we must all work on the inside first, building self-love that fosters healthy eating and exercise habits.

Move For Joy

When a person appreciates what their body can do, it’s hard not to love the body that does it. A loved body will be cherishes and maintained, making improved health a natural side effect. One of the quickest way to achieve this is through movement. Calories are burned and endorphins are released for relaxation and happiness. It’s a combination that makes movement a top tool for achieving whole-person health. In kids, this can be as easy as dancing, or adopting a yoga practice. Yoga, with its emphasis on non-judgmental approaches to individual bodies and internal balance, is of particular usefulness. Even severely overweight teens can put a mat down in a bedroom, throw on yoga tanks and a pair of shorts, and start.

Our Intent of the Day: Remember Our Worth


Here’s to you.
Today is about remembering who you are.
If you’ve forgotten who you are, if you feel like no one else has ever known, we want to set the intent for remembering our worth. Remember that you are an amazing swirl of science and numbers and mystery and magic. You have room to change and also an amazing resilience. You are worth more than you will ever know, but we hope you will still attempt to find out.

You in? Here are 3 resources to help! Continue reading

We Burn Our Badges of Busyness

What are we teaching our girls?

You can be anything.
You can do anything.
You can have anything.

Now get going.

There is much to do.
So much that you will never feel like you’ve done it all.

Allow me to introduce you to your new lifetime companion
Her name is "To-Do List"

She will follow you everywhere from now on
She will be there to greet you when you wake
She will hang out near you all day long
And she will be there when you lay your head down to rest
Making sure that you don’t forget her, even as you try to sleep

You will learn to wear her as a badge of honor
This flashing symbol of busy-ness
She thrives on attention,
lives for compliments,
She seeks out acknowledgments of her busyness,
and ability to ‘get it all done’
without a sweat, and with a smile

She is not stingy
She loves to share accolades with her sister super women
Swooning and commenting on their multi-tasking feats
As if their doingness was the latest, most fabulous, all-the-rage hat

Some days you will be tired
And will want to set down the to dos
Take a break from your badge,
Whose weight you notice has become quiet heavy

You will try to unpin it
Pull it, tear it, yank it,
But no matter how hard you try
Your badge of busyness
Will not budge

Your to-do list
Doesn’t take kindly to being set down
Or Forgotten
She is fiercely intent on
Staying alive  
Remaining on center stage
Where she can always be seen

What they (we) didn’t tell you
When you accepted your to-do list as a rite of passage
And fashioned on your badge with pride
Was that try as you might
When you tire
No matter how hard you try
You can’t hide
You can’t run
You can’t even pin that relentless list on some other unsuspecting soul

But YOU can choose

Girl, woman, sister
You have a choice to NEVER pick up
This badge of busyness
You have the choice to walk away and NEVER look back
Not because you stop doing and achieving
Which I know is one of your (my) greatest, unspoken fears
But because you know that you don’t need a
Badge of busyness or a never-ending list of to-dos
To prove your worth

Stand tall
Turn on your heel now
Do not follow us
A generation of women who unknowningly ran down the aisle
To marry busy-ness
And ended up with a sense of self
Tied to ‘what I’ve accomplished and gotten done in a day"

Turn away
Run away
And change your sense of self
for the good
of us all

As you turn away
We will burn our badges
And together we will change
The decree of women forever

"Yes I can do anything."
"Yes I can be anything."
"Yes I can have anything."


I am valuable simply because I am
Even if I never pick up another to do
Even when I am doing nothing
Especially when I am just being
I am worthy

Because I know the truth

I am enough
Simply because I am

And so are you.


Are You Ready For More Self-Respect, Self-Love And Success?

Last week I sent out the most-read message in the history of my newsletter. The title — Are You A Self-Violator? — called forth over 80,000 people from around the world to read it and pass it on. This tells us something we must take a very good look at. Too many of us are participating in the behavior of self-violation. It’s not a behavior that just some of us do. It’s a behavior that the majority of people do. It’s like a bad habit that we don’t even know we are doing, hidden out of shame and embarrassment, a habit we keep thinking and wishing will go away but yet continues to show up year after year. Self-violation perpetuates itself through our resignation and our inability to stop the negative internal dialogue that rants, criticizes, blames and assaults the very self we are designed to love.

If you’re serious about breaking through, I ask that you read this newsletter at least at least twice and take this message seriously because this behavior must stop, not just for one of us but for all of us. Until it stops inside of our own selves, those around us — our children, our nieces, our nephews, our siblings, our partners, our friends, our families, our co-workers — will only ever get to feel and know a small part of our ever-loving hearts. Instead, they get to know the unconscious abuse that comes out in our communications. They get to know our lack of self-love, self-care, and self-respect. They get to know our bad choices or the habits and behaviors that we’ve been stuck in for years. They get to witness our lost dreams, our heartache and our unused potential that will never be fulfilled because we can’t puncture the layer of self-abuse that keeps us limited and stuck in our stories.

So now I continue the conversation I promised you about how we stop this self-violation. Take a deep breath and a slow exhale and give yourself permission to take this in. Listen beyond the words in order to really grok, understand and take to heart what I’m saying. Listen like you don’t know, like you don’t understand, and like the words that I’m using have a deeper meaning.

To stop self-violation, you need true, 100 percent, open-hearted compassion. For most people, compassion is just a word with a definition instead of a feeling with a deep inherent meaning. The kind of compassion that I’m talking about is a spiritual feeling, a vibration, a connection to all that there is. Compassion is a feeling that can only exist when you are present to the whole of your life, to the joy and the difficulties, the wins and the losses, the tough, hard truths. You must be present to all that you’ve gone through, both the good times and the bad, the love and the fear, the joy and the misery. You must be present to those times when you were treated like a queen or a king, when you were honored or someone looked at you with loving eyes. And you must remember the times when you were treated like crap, the times when you were teased, left out, rejected and hurt.

It is only when you are present to all that you been through that a deep compassion develops inside of you — a well of kindness, gentleness, warmth and understanding — that allows you the freedom to stop picking on yourself, to stop abusing yourself, to stop limiting yourself and instead to become a compassionate warrior of love for the little girl, the little boy, the self that has been through so so much on its journey to become an emotionally whole, happy and loving human being. This is the self that only came here to love and be loved and found out that life is more than that, the self that discovered that challenges are something we all go through, that imperfections are something we all have, and that heartache and loss are just part of life’s journey. When your heart is fully present to the 7,000 times you were disappointed, hurt, betrayed, abandoned, scared, lost, confused, stuck, helpless, and powerless, your internal abuser — your self-violator — will cease to have to war against itself and your compassionate self can pick up the child that you are with a warm, loving embrace and treat them as they deserve to be treated — with kindness, gentleness, self-respect and love. This is your God-given right!!!

Transformational Action Step

1. Start a Compassion List. Write down 10 reasons why you deserve to be compassionate with yourself.

2. Identify 5 experiences, incidents or ____ that you still beat yourself up about or have a hard time letting go of.

3. Write them down and then, for each one, write the one-sentence reason why you think you don’t deserve to let them go.

4. Next to each one, write down why you deserve to forgive yourself and be kind to yourself.

5. Close your eyes and infuse these experiences with compassion.

With love and blessings

Debbie Ford

Create Time for Self-Compassion: Being Gentle with Ourselves


The more we are able to treat our bodies with gentleness, the more compassion we will call forth into our lives.

During those times when our lives are filled with what seems to be constant change and growth, it is important to remember that we need to be gentle with ourselves. Since it can be easy to use our energy to keep up with the momentum of our lives, we may not be aware of the fact that we are much more likely to run ourselves down. When things seem to be moving quickly, it is especially essential that we make a point to slow down and be gentle with ourselves.

It might be difficult to notice what is happening to us for we may be so caught up in the whirlwind of our lives that we lose sight of the direction in which things are heading. Being gentle with ourselves doesn’t mean that we don’t accomplish things. Instead it means that we honor ourselves on an ongoing basis and take care of the needs of our bodies.

This means different things to different people. For instance, it could mean having a session with a healer; taking a remedy, herbs, or vitamins; or getting extra sleep. Putting our energy into ourselves in this way helps create space for a more positive, loving, and accepting view of our lives. By setting the intention to do so, we will be more cognizant of our energy levels on a daily basis and more able to replenish them as needed.

The more we are able to treat our bodies with gentleness, the more tenderness and compassion we will call forth into our lives. Learning to understand and pay attention to what our self needs will in turn allow us to fill our lives with unlimited loving and healing energy and to truly take care of the things that mean the most to us.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / Roger Lynn


Falling in Love with Yourself by Mother Mary as channeled by Danielle Gibbons

Mother Mary has often said to those who seek Her, "If you knew yourself as I know you, you could not help but fall in love with yourself." As spiritual seekers we are told often to love ourselves. But the exact details of how to do that can be elusive. Why do we still struggle with self punishing habits after trying so hard to change? What we need is an ally.

In this course you will be given everything you need to create the outcome of loving yourself as you receive help and guidance from Mother Mary as channeled by Danielle Gibbons. Mother Mary tells us that beginning with trying to love yourself is too big. She encourages us to start small and build a foundation that will last a lifetime. Loving yourself happens as a result of taking the actions Mother Mary will recommend each week. Ultimately, you will move deeper into your true self, better able to find your inner compass and move more freely in the direction that is abundant and satisfying for you. Even if you can only do a little you will feel more love for the beautiful person you are right now.

Mother Mary’s teachings are based in absolute love and devotion to humanity. She brings to each teaching the unconditional love and acceptance we all seek as human beings. Mother teaches that we are divine because we are human, not in spite of it. By saying yes to this course, you give Mother Mary permission to awaken this knowing in you, at whatever level your soul desires. As a result, you will experience Her teachings as unique, powerful, and practical. Throughout this course She will suggest actions to take that are simple yet profound in their ability to transform. Some include specific writing exercises, active meditations, new ways of looking at yourself and things to do out in the world.

Over the next eleven weeks you will discover your brilliant divine self as you listen to these teachings.

1. The Truth, Releasing the search for the truth and embracing your personal truth
2. New Beginnings, Harnessing the energy of taking the next step on your journey
3. Accepting Responsibility of Self, Surrendering blame
4. The Importance of Meditation
5. The Process of Change Part 1
6. The Process of Change Part 2
7. The Process of Change Part 3
8. Simplicity, Creating an uncomplicated life
9. Awakening The Dreamer Within
10. Connecting With the Divine
11. Loving Relationships, Creating and sustaining them


Mother Mary has served humanity as an aspect of Divine Mother for the last two thousand years. Each word spoken in this audio course is infused with Her loving energy. This means you aren’t on your own, She will be with you as you listen and integrate Her teachings into your life. As you implement Her suggestions, you will begin to notice life around you arrange itself to support and nurture your transformation. Whether you rely on your own spirit guides or wish to look to Mother Mary for support, She will be there for you, helping as needed.


Since 1994 Danielle Gibbons has been channeling Mother Mary worldwide for all who seek Mother’s message of love and peace. Her channeling has facilitated healing for thousands of people who often describe their experience as extraordinary. She has a great talent for channeling which allows for clarity and integrity in her work. Danielle gives workshops and webinars around the country for people, bringing Mother Mary’s presence into their hearts and lives.


(1 lesson per week)

How much do you want to pay?

(This is the total amount for all 11 lessons)

This is a 11 week on-line course available from DailyOM and Mother Mary as channeled by Danielle Gibbons. We will email you when your new lesson is available and you will be able to login and read each lesson on-line or print as they become available and click to listen to the guided audio meditations. Your first lesson will be available immediately after you enroll.




Are You Trying To Criticize For Success?

 Do you have the ability to look at a situation and instead see what’s wrong with it? Perhaps you have the ability to look at something and see how it could be improved? Same ability, really.

If you have the ability to perceive what’s wrong or to identify what would make something better, then you may possess the ability some would call "discernment."

Merriam-Webster tells us that discernment is the ability or "power to see what is not evident to the average mind."

Do you find yourself in rather frequent bouts of criticism? Do you criticize how others think? How they drive? What they do for a living?

If so, I’ll bet you also have a pretty accomplished "inner critic." Do you also find yourself criticizing your own self? Ever call yourself names, either out loud or under your breath? I know I do. My favorite is to call myself "idiot" when I do something that I consider to be less than thoughtful, useful, or intelligent.

Of course, my ability to criticize myself spills over into my ability to criticize others. There was a time in my life when I actively criticized others. It didn’t really matter the context, I would "happily" criticize someone else for their political views, relationship gaffes, how they dress, what they do for a living and just about anything you can think of.

What makes this propensity toward criticism even more challenging is that often the criticisms are well spotted. The object of the criticism may be accurate – you may be "right" – they are making a mistake, doing something that doesn’t work, or creating even more grief for themselves.

However, just because our criticisms may be accurate doesn’t mean they are useful.

Very few of us seem to appreciate being criticized or being called "idiots." Have you noticed? Rarely does criticizing another person or calling anyone names seem to produce much that is useful or appreciated. The line of volunteers seeking additional "constructive criticism" is notably short.

Years ago, I thought I had found a way of making criticism more palatable by adding a dose of humor, usually in the form of sarcasm. However, it took some time before I discovered that the quality of my critical humor was often counterproductive, regardless of how well intentioned it might have been.

A big part of my own awakening took place 30 years ago during a relationship seminar I was conducting. I was working with someone who professed a desire to improve his relationship skills and couldn’t figure out why people were initially attracted to him, and then quickly turned away. He was the archetype of tall, dark and handsome with a flashy personality and quick mind.

After working with him for 15-20 minutes, I turned to him and said, "You know, Fred – you remind me of a Corvette. It’s pretty, flashy, powerful, sleek and all kinds of other cool things. The only problem? It’s made of plastic – if you bump into the wrong way, it just shatters."

Fred laughed. Everyone laughed. He sat down and started to cry.

He came up to me later and asked: "How did you know that I collect Corvettes?" He also told me that the metaphor was powerful for him and helpful. I felt particularly impressed with myself.

Shortly afterward, my mentor who happened to be observing this particular seminar, came up to me and offered a somewhat different perspective. He asked how I viewed the interaction and I told him what Fred had shared with me. My mentor countered with this observation. "While this one may seem to have worked, you should consider that your approach leaves them laughing on the outside but bleeding on the inside."



What Business Is It Of Mine What You Do With Your Life?

 One of the fascinating aspects of writing these weekly articles is the range of reactions I receive each week, both in the comments posted and the email I receive.

Some think I’m getting rich offering "drivel" while others decry anything having to do with a person taking a positive approach to changing their life circumstances. Getting rich writing articles for free is a great idea. There must be a secret I’m still missing on this one. Maybe my critics will be gracious enough to point out what else I need to do? 

Anyway, I digress. A comment that has showed up a couple of times in my email following recent articles goes something like this: "What business do you have telling other people how they should live their lives?"

Great question. I mean, really, a great question.

It’s none of my business what you do your life. Or anyone else for that matter. Occasionally the choices that one of us makes winds up impacting others, but for the most part, no one notices. Well, almost no one.

The one person who is sure to notice the impact of your choices should be obvious – you. Of course, not everyone is sufficiently aware to notice that consequences tend to follow actions, which tend to follow choices.

If it’s none of my business, then why write these articles?

The answer is rather simple, really. Over the years, many people have benefited from the kind of information that I have been sharing. For one set of critics out there, please allow me to be clear here: there’s nothing new about any of this information – it’s been around forever and can be found in thousands of books, myriad seminars and simple country wisdom.

The point of sharing this information is quite personal for me. Until I heard it for the first time, it was new to me. Not new to the world, just new to me. In fact, the first time I heard some of this advice about knowing the difference between what you want and why you want it, about having the ability to respond (response-ability), and the power of choice, I thought it was all a load of bovine excrement.

I later learned that what made it so easy to reject this timeless wisdom came down to the simple fact that if I accepted it, then not only would I have to make new choices but I would also have to accept responsibility for remaining stuck in my then unhappy circumstances.

As my awareness expanded, I found that, indeed, I could make a significant difference in my own life simply through a combination of awareness, maintaining a positive focus (very difficult given my ability to find fault in anything), and taking micro steps forward. Over the ensuing decade, I also discovered that I had a knack for helping others learn and apply these same life lessons.

I would end up leading seminars, first from my own living room, and later in seminar rooms around the world. The focus has always been the same: expand your awareness, notice the difference between what you think you want and why you want it, and start taking steps (making choices) toward the life experience you truly seek.

As more and more people began to benefit from the way I had of sharing this information, many began asking me to write about it, both as a set of reminders for themselves, as well as adding to the collection of writings on the subject for those would themselves find the information "new."

Well, let’s just say that I resisted these requests for a little bit. 32 years to be precise. Finally, when Arianna asked me yet again to offer these insights in the form of a blog for HuffPost, I finally started writing in the summer of 2008.


It really is none of my business what you do with your life. I simply share this information with you because you might be able to use it in a way that could make a meaningful difference to you. Just as I am grateful for those who have kept this kind of information alive and available, I am also grateful for the opportunity to pass it along to those who might find value in it.

Continue Reading At The Huffington Post

How You Frame The Problem IS The Problem

 Is there something in your life that you would like to see improve in some way? That could be anywhere from fixing something that is negative over to simply going from good to even better; from digging out of debt, getting a job, finding a more loving and caring relationship, becoming a more loving and caring person yourself, getting rid of the job you do have in favor of something better, to simply learning how to enjoy what you already have.

Clearly, there is any number of conditions in which you may find yourself ranging from fantastic to horrific. The question simply comes down to how satisfied you are with your current experience of life and what can you do about it.

Notice the question isn’t about how much you have of anything in particular, but one of your level of satisfaction with what you have. And what can you do about it?

From time to time, people ask me what I do for a living. Depending on the circumstance and context of the question, I can answer in a variety of ways. Sometimes the answer is that I am an author, an educational psychologist, a management consultant, or a coach.

My favorite answer: I help people get what they think they want as fast as possible so I can ask, "Was that it?"

I’ll bet you’ve been there; in fact, some of you may be there right this very minute. Did you ever want something, really long for it, work your butt off to get it and then wind up wondering why you ever wanted it in the first place? Again, most of us know what this is like first hand.

What makes this so interesting in my work is that people seem to want and need a combination of both. Surely physical circumstances make a difference and yet people can have "everything" and still find themselves wanting at several levels.

You Can Never Get Enough of What You Don’t Truly Want

Eric Hoffer, the longshoreman philosopher is often quoted as having said: "You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy. Sometimes, he is quoted as saying, "You can never get enough of what you don’t really want." Same thing, really.

If I am after the experience of being secure, free and at peace, is there any amount of money (or house, or car, or perfect relationship) that will produce the experiences I seek?

The obvious implication here is "NO!" People have been happy with next to nothing, miserable with all there is, and everywhere in between.

So, what is it that you want out of life and what’s in the way? If your answer is on the material side of things (money, house, car, etc) and what’s in the way is someone else (Bush, bankers, greedy capitalists), then we have a real dilemma. Especially if you have lost your job, house, car and most everything on the material levels of life.

Surely, there are many of us in trouble, having lost everything due to circumstances ranging from hurricanes and oil spills to manipulated financial systems. I know a bit of what it means to have lost everything having come through a period earlier in my life when I wound up living in my second hand car after my father died and our family went through our third bankruptcy in 10 years.

However, I was quite fortunate that in the midst of my turmoil while literally living on a dollar a day, I got some great coaching from some equally great people who encouraged me to take responsibility for my circumstances, figure out what I wanted to do about them, get off my poor-me mindset and get busy.

Of the many profound lessons I learned at the time, one stands out right now: how you frame the issue is the issue. This can also be stated as, how you frame the problem is the problem.

If you’re out of work right now, and your mindset is that some dirty, greedy SOB is to blame, you may be right. The only problem with this framing is that as long as you stay focused on those dirty SOB’s , you will continue to be at the mercy of SOB’s who may not care all that much about your circumstances.

If your life circumstances and how you experience them are going to change for the better, how will they get better? Who is going to be at the helm, guiding the change? There’s no question that improved external factors can help; however, what are you going to do regardless of what happens out there?

Sooner or later, it’s going to come down to you and what you choose to do.

If you read these HuffPost pages enough, you may slide into that group that has become so very good at blaming everyone else. Surely, we have no shortage of culprits to blame, ranging from oil companies to bankers to misguided politicians.

However, we have always had culprits to blame. The real question comes down to what are you going to do about it? And, in particular, what are you going to do about it as it pertains to your circumstances.

If you frame the problem as something that somebody else created, then as surely as you are a victim of what somebody else did to screw things up, you will remain a victim to the next set of screw-up’s.

What would happen if you reframed the problem as something that not only impacts you, but as something about which you can exercise some choice? I hope you have noticed that even as the job situation continues to be "bleak," some folks have managed to find their way through all of this, finding jobs, opportunities, and ways to make things better, even if only marginally.

Continue Reading At Huffington Post! 


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