Recently, I came across this blog post, called How to talk to Your Daughter about Her Body.
How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works, writes Sarah, the post's author. Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight. If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead: “You look so healthy!” is a great one. Or how about, “you’re looking so strong.”
As an overweight but healthy woman, I loved Sarah's post. I know my body, and I have accepted the fact that though I work out frequently and eat healthy, but I will never see a single digit pants size. That's ok. I love that my big, curvy thighs can squat an impressive amount and carry me on a long run through the woods. I love doing push-ups (not the girlie kind), and nearly being able to do a pull-up.
For me, strength training and physical fitness have been a way to body confidence. I am lucky that my mother is my training partner, and she has always been supportive and realistic about body imagine. She has taught me delicious, healthy recipes, and she doesn't say a word when my sister and I get an extra scoop of ice cream.
I am around children a lot, and I cringe when I see mothers accosting their daughters - little girls - about what they are eating. Teaching healthy habits is wonderful, but criticizing the carb intake of a 9-year-old is too far, especially when brothers are left to eat their fill. As a woman, accepting your body is difficult, no matter what type it is. I am so lucky to have been taught that body image goes beyond size and I hope more people adopt Sarah's thinking.
I'd love to hear from you. How do you stay body-positive? How long did it take you to get there? What would you like to pass on to your daughters, and your sons?
It's been an exciting two weeks in the Burch household. I accepted a new position, on the exact day that my husband was laid off from his position. We opted not to continue our lease, realized we were not going to buying a house this fall, and managed to find a better rental alternative. Never a dull moment.
As we grappled with how to handle these transitions I've been thinking a lot about change. Particularly, changes of scene. Travel. Not the off-on-vacation type, but the gone-for-a-year, will-call-when/if-skype works type. In fight or flight situation, I choose flight, preferably to another continent. I am daydreaming of Australian beaches, London alleys and bright deserts that I have never set foot in.
In early adulthood, there can be a daunting sense of permanence. High school seniors are asked what they want to be, and when they figure it out they are expected to chase that dream down, no matter how long the run. I have to remind myself that really, very little we do is forever. I am not taking this position forever, and I am not tied to Boston forever. I don't need to make housing decisions that will last years, when a decision that will last months will do.
In a culture that dictates what "should" come next, I need to break in and remind my type-A brain that it's alright to abandon the plan. It's good to detour, wander, try something and decide I don't like it. After all, the best discoveries on a trip often happen when you put the map away.
One of my favorite blogs, Sparkling Adventures, highlights the life of a nomadic Australian family. They live out of a bus, home school the kids and travel wherever they feel want. Extreme, yes, but oh so tempting.
At the same time, I know I also crave the permanence. I love coming back to my childhood home, and the lake house that my family members have rested at for centuries. I want to put down my own roots, but sometimes being a tumbleweed seems so appealing.
How much do you succumb to wanderlust, and how much do you stick to your plan? Is there a way to balance the transient and the permanent? I would love to read your thoughts!
Last week, I went for a visit to Salem, Mass. For those of you who don't know, Salem is one of the oldest settlements in the United States, dating back to the 1620's. Over three hundred years later, Salem is most famous for the witch trials that took place there in 1692.
Despite living within a short drive of Salem for my whole life, I had never actually visited the site. With some haggling from my husband, who wants to visit all the local attractions, we set out with images of witches and spooks of all sort. We were surprised to find that most of the historic information we found was on the Salem colony - which was a booming port in early America - rather than on the witch trials. It seemed that the witches were used to hook tourists, and the rich nautical history was used to keep them intrigued.
There is no doubt that the witch trials are fascinating. More than 200 people were accused of witchcraft, and twenty were executed. It is impossible to understand what happened in a strict puritan community three centuries ago, but people still dedicate their lives to trying to understand how accusations from a handful of preteen girls led to a frenzy that swept the colony. Scholars blamed the girls "afflictions" on causes ranging from poisoning to Post-traumatic stress disorder after the girls saw their parents murdered by Native Americans.
What I found most intriguing is the power that the witch trials still hold. The entire thing lasted less than a year, from accusations to executions, and the colony soon recognized its mistake. However, for centuries, Salem has been defined by its connection to witchcraft. Whether it is a brilliant marketing strategy or a genuine energy that remains in the city, it is a testament to the power of history and imagination that distant events still have a hold over thousands of people.
Is there a particular period in history that captivates you? What about it draws you in?
When I hear the term writer's block, I tend to roll my eyes. Get over it. Just put pen to paper, or finger to keys and get writing. For me, writers block takes another form. I usually usually have something on my mind, and I always enjoy writing. The block comes when I think about sending those precious words out into the world. Yes, that's the goal, but doubt can wedge its way in and send me and my words running for cover. Does anyone care what I have to say, I wonder. Or, why am I important?
Self-importance is such a driving force behind the social media boom. When you Facebook, Tweet or upload photos, you are assuming that someone want to read your words or see your photos. There's something narcissistic about assuming anyone cares at all. Instead of assuming people want to hear my stories, I begin to question. Before I blog I think carefully about how people will be able to relate to the story. In trying to make everything accessible, I can squash some of my story ideas.
I never have a problem telling other people's stories (with their permission of course). I find them fascinating. Whether it is someone that I meet on the street, or a person that I have been hired to write about at a magazine, I usually find some fact that makes me want to know more. Makes me want to relate. It's just harder to see that in your own stories.
So, from now on, I will be taking my own advice and JUST WRITE!-ing, beginning with the very next post. Once a week, I will just write, whether I think that I have to say is perfect or not.
In the mean time, I would love to hear from you. Do you assume people want to consume your content? Do you write, take photos or use social media for yourself or for others? And where do you think our own self-obsession factors into it? If you blog, do you worry about making everything relatable?
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