When Will the Weight Issue End?

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We live in a society that is obsessed with image. Magazines idolize women who are super skinny or as is recently popular plus sized. The message that is overwhelmingly published is that of being okay with your body and your size. However, the images are either one extreme or the other. My topic for today is getting rid of the image obsession that monopolizes magazine covers and web articles. How about we just show average everyday people doing what they do? No Photoshop or airbrushed magic. Let’s teach our society that they are beautiful just the way they are. That it is okay to be imperfectly you.

I understand that to sell products idealized tactics are used. I feel a better approach would be to advertise enhancing one’s own beauty with accents. Not using this product to make oneself beautiful. Why do we need to make a person feel mediocre to get them to buy something to make them spectacular? People are spectacular and can buy products to make them feel as spectacular as they are. Let’s teach people to accentuate what they already have. Not cover up who they were born to be.

Ancient cultures had the perfect idea of beauty. Perfection was not a necessity as many of their sculptures show. Both men and women had flaws. Both were an average weight with full stomachs. Not excessively over or underweight. Just normal. For example, the Roman sculpture of Julius Caesar shows a strong man with muscles but still a stomach.  His face is marred with wrinkles which are natural and thus make the sculpture magnificent. Today these same sculptures would be retouched to remove the wrinkles and make the muscle slender and toned.

This brings up another obsession of modern times, Photoshop. If you see a picture of a person on any media platform you have to question, is that really what they look like? Photographs used to be taken to capture memories in time. Now they are taken to enhance and change them so they can be the perfect image of who one has been taught to believe they should be. I think it is high time we did away with these image manipulations. Teach people that they are beautiful, and they won’t need to airbrush their wrinkles away. Teach them that size only matters if you are unhealthy, not in deciding whether you are beautiful or not.

I have a crazy theory that if we teach our children to eat right and to love themselves no matter what, we could get rid of all this self-hate and image obsession. Who knows, if we teach every child that they are beautiful no matter the shape of their body, the color of their skin, the amount of acne on their face, or any other outside influence, that they are beautiful and amazing for who they are, maybe just maybe they will listen. After all, they certainly listen when we tell them that it is okay to be themselves and show them pictures of anorexic models with airbrushed perfection. Gee, I wonder how our society ended up so obsessed with how they look. I think it is time this changed.

I challenge each of you to take this task to heart. Teach your children, loved ones, brothers, sisters, spouses, and anyone you know, that they are beautiful just the way they are. If we spread the love maybe it could become contagious and we could infect the world with good vibes and the love of oneself.

Until next time remember you are beautiful, you inspire me and I hope I can inspire you.

 

 

Remembering The Heroes

Today is a day in American history most of us will never forget. We can all remember where we were when the first plane hit and what we were doing when the first tower fell.

I know I remember arriving at work and seeing the news and the faces of my co-workers. I also remember the feeling of helplessness driving back home. The tears that flowed as we watched neighbors nervously waiting to see if their loved ones were okay.

Today I pay tribute to all those who lost their lives, all those who risked their lives to save the survivors, and all of the family members not only left behind but also those who spent those hours waiting to know. All of these people are heroes to me. Each year we honor the survivors, the lost, and the rescue workers. I think we should honor each person who was touched by this horrific attack.

I truly hope that we can all find peace with the events of this day. I am saddened that this is now a chapter in my child’s history book. I hope that she may be able to live to see these acts of hatred cease. May we all.

So to all of you whether a survivor, rescuer, lost one, and others who suffered on this day, you are all heroes to me. You will never be forgotten. May your stories serve as an example of what our country can become. May peace prevail not only in our country but around the world.

Sharing Me

Benjamin Franklin aptly wrote, “Time is Money”. Little did he know that these three words would become the motto for most American homes and companies. I myself have fallen under the curse of these words. We all have bills to pay and goals to reach. But at what cost?

I have come to the conclusion recently, however, that while time is money, time should also be family, friends, dreams, and hopes. While we are earning our money and dredging through our daily lives, we all need to take time to share ourselves, as well.

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We need to take the time to show our loved ones that they matter. We build our homes to live in with our families. However, how often do we take time to live in our homes with our families? I mean really live. To laugh and share a movie, or play a game. To really enjoy each others company. This is what we all work for, so why do we never take time to do it?

Many claim to have dinner together, to spend time together watching tv. But let’s be honest. How much of that time is spent on your phones, computers, social media and the likes? We need to put all of these vices aside and make time, not only for ourselves but for those we love. If we miss out on the times now, when will we ever have the time to get it back? I too am guilty of these vices. I work and clean and very seldom have time just to sit and watch a movie with my family. The other night I made time, yes I should have been doing something else, I made time though to live with my family. To enjoy the laughter that filled the room while we watched a movie together. It was not a long time, but it was quality time. This small gesture renewed our family spirit. It gave us a connection that while not broken, becomes quite frayed from lack of emotional connection. I loved this time and so did they, and honestly the time I lost working was easily made up the next day.

So this is my challenge to all of my friends, family, and readers. I want you to turn off your day, so to speak for at least 2 hours a week. Find the time, make the time, whatever you need to do. Take this time to do something meaningful with your loved ones or friends. Make this time count for more than money. Then share with us memories you have made.

Remember as always stay inspired and live to inspire. I hope to hear all of your success stories soon.

 

Mary

Letting Loss Propel Your Life

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Moving Through the Loss of a Child

Losing a child is one of the worst possible life events to imagine. It is even harder to live through it. The pain and guilt you feel is unbearable or feels that way at least. Finding a way to move forward, becomes a daily struggle. Before you know it years have passed and looking back what do you see? If the answer is anything other than survival and or success, it might be time for a new approach.

As a mother who has lived this devastating event, I know the struggle to find that one thing (or many things) that will help you cope. Although we are all different in many ways, we can all come through this tragedy. Some use faith, family, medicine, therapy or any number of coping methods. I personally chose inspiration, and let my grief inspire me to become more.

Let me start at the beginning, not to tell my sob story, but to show a path to success. In 2008 I was a single parent of four children, aged 6 months, 2, 3, and 14 years. My children were and still are my world. I had not finished high school, I had a minimal education, so I was working as a bartender at night to pay the bills and let me be with my children, in their awake hours. This is when my world ended, and my new life began. Ten days after my son turned 2, I returned home from a night at work to find he had passed away during the night. Coroners best guess a cardio arrhythmia. I thought my world was over. My little boy was gone and I couldn’t make it better for myself or my remaining children. I won’t lie, I still have moments when the feeling seizes me today, but only occasionally. I went through all of the emotions, I think any mother experiences with this type of loss. First came overbearing grief, that changed into denial, anger, and guilt. Guilt was the one that changed my life though. Though I know now that this tragedy was not my fault, nor could I have changed the outcome in any way, during my time of grief I was convinced I should have done better. So that is what I did.

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With three other children who needed a mother who was not shattered, I used my grief to inspire me to be better. I wanted to be sure that my children would have a mother to be proud of and that they would always be protected. Now if you ask my children (especially my 13-year-old daughter) I go too far in the protection department, but that is my job. Holding to my faith and the belief that my son and I will see each other in our next life, I set out to give him someone he would be proud to see again. I enrolled in college, (taking most of my classes online) and through the support of the great man I married in 2009, I have earned my Associate and Bachelor degrees. Through all of my schooling, I have thankfully been fortunate enough to be home with my children. Not only have I been able to support them through every step they have taken, they have supported and inspired me to continue to be more. My journey is far from over and I look forward to what the future holds for all of us.

My son is still and will forever be in my daily thoughts, however, instead of feeling grief, I feel hope and happiness. I know that when we meet again, he will be proud of his mommy and who I have become. I still have days when I am sad that he is not here and I will forever miss him, but knowing that I am making him and my other children proud inspires me to keep moving forward and always aspire to be the best I can be.

We all deal with loss in our own way. Each of us has our own battles to overcome. Through our differences though, we all have one common thread, love. Letting this love for our lost one inspire our future, can propel us to achieve great things. Not inspire us to be rich and famous, just to be our very best and always try to be more. More than we were a year ago, a month ago, yesterday, it doesn’t matter, just more. Too many times people are told to move on and let the person go, to get over it. Well, I say get inspired and in such be inspiring.

 

I hope you all have an inspired day, and every day to come is filled with immense love and inspiration for the future. Get inspired to inspire my friends.

 

Finding Time For Me

Every person needs time to breathe. Unfortunately, in the fast paced world we live in, many don’t experience this time near enough. That is the topic today. Finding time in our chaotic schedules, for ourselves.

We all have our schedules, whether we actually stick to them as planned or not, we have them. Most days in our house start out with breakfast and getting ready for school. Then comes cleaning and cooking, while the masses are away. After school are groups, homework, sports, chores, dinner, baths, and bed. So, where in there is rest or time to think about ones own desires. As a mother, this thought often seems selfish and indulging. However, I have come to understand, that without this time, mom is a little grumpy. Not because I am a selfish person, just because we all need to feel like we matter, and this is the time we can get that.

We spend our lives worrying about what everyone else needs to succeed and be happy. It is only natural that we should do the same for ourselves. Nurturing our own desires, does not have to be a day where we do nothing but self indulgence. It could be as simple as taking 10 minutes out of your busy day, to really enjoy a cup of coffee and think about the things that make you happy. Or maybe you could just relax in a bubble bath, and listen to your favorite music. You know the music that your children always tell you, sounds horrible, or makes no sense. The activity is not the important part, it is the giving yourself a small amount of time, to be important to yourself. This small release can stimulate your mind. By giving you a boost of confidence, it gives your whole mood a boost. Thus lifting your spirits and brightening your whole outlook. This in turn is portrayed to those around you, and can substantially lift the mood of any atmosphere.

So my challenge to all of you is to take “me time”, every day for a week, then leave a comment about your results. Share with your friends and family, the successes of your week. Let us know what worked and didn’t work for you.

No matter what else you do, stay inspired, and strive to inspire others. Wishing you all a fabulous weekend.

Mary

Raising an Adult

So today I need a little advice from my readers. All parents have been through or are going to go through my current situation. I am speaking of the transformation of ones child from child to what they consider adulthood. (To us parents this would be the teenage years.) With this joyful time of their lives comes dating decisions, like how old should they be, what requirements should be set and what are the ground rules. While, I have been through this already, with my oldest child, he is 24 now and well into making his own decisions. I started out telling my daughter when she was like 10 (and asked for the first boyfriend), that until she could give me the definition of love, she was not old enough. I figured this would give me until she was about 30 or so. No such luck. Now 13, she has decided she is old enough for a boyfriend and that love is different to everyone, so there is no definition per se. So dad tried the, “well when you show responsibility and do your chores without being told, you can have a boyfriend”. Well, guess we need a new tactic or we start entertaining the idea of a boyfriend hanging around. Not that either of us are ready for that, but a convent seems a little extreme (or maybe not).

So my question to all my fellow parents out there is: when should dating start, and how do you decide? Please leave comments with your ideas. I think this is a good topic for discussion amongst friends, family, and every parent out there.

Stay inspired all, and have a wonderful week. Hope to hear all of your views.

Mary

The Mommy Do List

Today, I decided to write something a little more fun. Many of the women I know are mothers, so I am sure you will be able to relate.

We all hear about the honey-do list, well in my house we have that, however we also have the mommy-do list. Which unfortunately (for me at least), is referred to far more often. With 5 children, ages 2, 7, 10, 13, and 24, there is never a dull moment in my house. Or time to sleep, for that matter. Most days start out wonderfully. They go something like wake up, check the whether, drink a cup of coffee, wake up children. That is where the peace of the morning normally ends in my house. From the time their beautiful eyes flutter open, the, mom I need and mom can you, begins. Mind you I wouldn’t trade these moments for the world, because I know far too soon, they will be gone. Still though, maybe say good morning first.

After the morning routines are over and I am getting ready to play taxi, the new list starts. Mom I have soccer, or don’t forget practice after school. Then, of course there always comes the days when 3 of the 5 have an event at almost the same time. These are the days I wish I had a storm shelter in the back yard. It starts out, with one politely (or so they think), telling me not to forget his or her game at such and such time. Then the other 2 chime in, (in stereo, with the bass and surround sound definitely kicked to high), with but mom you have to be at my game. I try to breathe while I wait for the storm cloud to dissipate, (let’s face it, this might be my only chance to breathe until they go to bed), and I remind them that I will be at one game until it is over and will rush to the next and so on. Then there are the days when games are at the same time, so without fail, mom is now the enemy because, she chose the other persons game. Thankfully, this rarely happens, because having 2 of 5 children mad at you at the same time is hard to keep up with.

After, sports they all come home and start the routine of, Mom, I’m hungry, what’s for dinner, and did you get my uniform washed? Then of course, while I am making dinner, one of them always asks, if they can have a snack until dinner, oh and by the way will you cut it for me too? Then five minutes later ask me if dinner is done yet. Well no honey it is not, between cutting your apple and making your sandwich, I haven’t had time to cook it yet. Come on, do I look like a machine here or what? Of course I would never say that, but think it, definitely.

Well after dinner is done and homework is checked, one would think there would be time for relaxing for five minutes right? Of course not. That’s when the next day’s list starts. With the oh yeah, I have a game tomorrow or I have a choir concert, so can you help me find my clothes? (You mean the ones I washed, folded, and put in your basket to take to your room?) I will help you look for them, just give me a minute.

All this chaos leads to my favorite part of the day, bedtime. Yeah, I know that sounds mean, but it is not for the reason you think. Bedtime is the one time during the day, when we do hugs and kisses, blessings for a good night and sweet dreams. We have five minutes of calm, where love can be seen in the eyes of each one of my precious little monkeys. Then the two year old, snuggles next to me and falls asleep. These are the moments that make the mommy-do list all worth while.

So I am sending a great big shout out to all the moms out there, and dads too, who complete this list daily, with a smile (and maybe a glass or two of wine) and treasure every moment of it. Enjoy them while they last, and treasure the young adults they become. After all, one day they will have their own lists to be completing, then they will look back and say, “Wow Mom, you did a lot. Thank you.” Of course we will reply with, just doing my job, but deep down you know your mental self is smiling ear to ear.

These are the victories in life that are worth celebrating and never letting go of. I hope your day is full of memories for tomorrow. Stay inspired and enjoy the ride.

Mary