Why do we spank ourselves?

This weekend I had the opportunity to be coached by a Life Coach. So there I was in the hot seat (I call it that because I was sweating profusely) and she confronted me on something I have been told before, but have always brushed off: The way I beat myself up about things that have happened in my life and now that I really think about it, things that still do happen. It's true. It's like an all out assault on my soul, beat down by none other than me!! I no longer tolerate people in my life that treat me badly and am proud of the fact that I have successfully eradicated those people from my life. It's like I gave myself a vaccination to protect me against having any kind of relationship with any toxic person. But the vaccine is useless against me. It's really quite ridiculous! I ask myself, "Would I be friends with me? Do I treat people with respect? When I make a mistake do I apologize and try to fix it?" and the answer to all is an astounding "YES!!!" Then why is it that I am unconsciously mean to myself when I am nicer to others, and I am the person I spend the most time with and should love the most.

One attribute I strive to maintain is to not judge others. It's not my job (like I need another one anyway) and it really is quite ugly. But somehow I have made judging myself an exception to the rule. That's a bunch of CRAP!

Some of my worst offenders are:
"You should have known better"
"People think you are annoying"

And I have to admit, I am too embarrassed to write anymore!

So, my point is, just be conscious of it and knock it off! All of us. This world is tough, but there is so much good. And so many, many good people. I'm one of them!

Distorted Perception of Beauty

A few weeks ago I was surfing the web and looking at different wedding photographers websites. What's become popular in the world of photography is what is known as "Boudoir Photography". It's basically photos that are done in a classy, sexy way, usually in a bedroom. There is usually no nudity and the photos can vary on their seductiveness based on the taste and choice of the person having them taken. Think Playboy without the nudity.

I came across a particular site where the female photographer was very talented. On her website the photographer had commented on what a fantastic gift these photos would be for your husband or boyfriend. There was a place on her website where people could leave comments. The first comment was someone complimenting her style of photography. The second comment was from a man who was another wedding photographer. I can't remember his exact words, but it was something to the extent of, "This type of photography really disturbs me. What else are you doing to gauge your customers? What is the husband supposed to do with these pictures, put them in a frame in his office? What if their children see them?" Okay, obviously this man is a closet pervert, but regardless, later that day I thought about it and couldn't stop. Then I got really angry. About a week later I tried to find her site again so I could go back and comment to him, but alas, I couldn't find it.

So (as I climb on my soapbox)...as a woman, and if you are a woman reading this you know how many times a day we are bombarded with what our society deems as beautiful. Billboards, magazines, websites and don't get me started on the cosmetics industry. Diet pills sell by the millions, there is a nail salon on every corner. Eyelash extensions? Plastic surgery is STILL on the rise. Waxing, bleaching, high heels, Spanx, the list is endless. But let me get back to the magazines. Ah yes, Maxim, FHM, Stuff magazine, Playboy and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. News Flash, boys, THOSE WOMEN DON'T REALLY LOOK LIKE THAT IN PERSON! So, I am ecstatic that this type of photography is becoming popular. I encourage ALL adult women to get pictures like that taken. Get your hair and make up done, get a spray-on tan and go. And you too can get airbrushed and photo shopped like a professional model. Did you know there is actually a tool that makes your legs longer? Ironically, as I scroll down on my blog my eye catches the picture of Jet, the American Gladiator that I admire for her kick-ass body. Can I look like that? Yes, if I worked out 6 hours a day. Do I want to? Not entirely. Well, maybe for a day, but I would get grossed out from being slathered in baby oil.

I don't want to sound like a prude, I'm really not. But I was moved by Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty. I don't have a daughter, and I hope someday to have one, and when I do I hope I can remind myself to often teach her about real beauty. Because if I don't she'll get it 100 times over from the media.

I'll never forget the best compliment I ever received from a boy. I used to babysit a little boy named Tyler. I was in my 20's and he was 6 years old. We were playing outside and the conversation went like this:

Tyler: Andrea, do you know why I like you?

Me: No, why?

Tyler: Because you're nice and fun and you look pretty when you smile.

Me: Tyler, that's the nicest thing any boy has ever said to me. Thank you.

Personal Style

Yesterday I spoke with a friend of mine from the Coaches Training Institute. Jenny Ferry was presenting an opportunity for me to be a part of her workshop, which empowers young 20 something women transitioning into the "real world". As I thought about it, it struck me that I know more about this than being a mom. I've been a mom for a year, but I was a 20 something for 10 years.

What Jenny asked me to be a part of was "Personal Style". Hmmmm....I do have a degree in Fashion Merchandising from Fashion Careers of California College and worked in the fashion industry for several years before I made the switch to Exercise Science. Which made me think about how much my personal style has changed since then. Of coarse we evolve, especially as women. We graduate from college, some get married, some have kids, some change jobs. The way we dress, our hairstyles and make-up change with the ever evolving trends, but does the core of our personal style really change? Personal style goes beyond just how we look. The music we listen to, the way we decorate our homes, even our cars emulate who we really are.

I love watching fashion programs on TV. I love Project Runway, but one that I can't stand is "What Not to Wear". First off, the woman on there, Stacy London, rips people to shreds and makes them feel stupid for the way they dress. Is that anyway to start a new look? Like it's not daunting enough to venture into a new "you", but to tell someone, "You look like you wrapped yourself in grandmas drapes and then she vomited on you!" Ugh! It's too uncomfortable for me to watch. Then, they put them in new outfits and most of the time you can see the uncomfortableness all over the peoples faces. My point is, that you can't fake it. For instance, I love Gwen Stefani's style. She's a musician, a mom, she's hip and cute, a trendsetter by every stretch of the imagination. Can I pull off her style? (Hysterical laughing)....NO! It's just not me. I would be in the back pages of Glamour Magazine's "Fashion Do's and Don'ts" with a black box over my face. The caption would read, "DON'T be a mom from the suburbs and try to pull off someone else's look and think you're cute". And Stacy London would be in the background of the picture pointing and laughing at me with her devil ears and pitchfork.

As I look in my own closet I made a mental inventory of what's there. Plain t-shirts in every color of the rainbow. Cute, well-fitting jeans, some more dressy shirts. Now, the back of my closet is more interesting, however those clothes don't see the light of day too often. It's just not where I am right now. And I'm okay with that. I'm comfortable, myself, put-together and well...a mom. Do I need to wear my Charles David heels and $200 jeans while I pick up chicken off the floor and clean dirty diapers? I'm stylish when I need to be and to me, that's my own Personal Style.

I am anti-yoga

Today I popped in the 4th of 12 videos from a new workout program I am doing and it was a Yoga workout. I have done Yoga before and although I think it's a great workout and admire those that do it, I have never been a big fan. It's slow and boring. I can't concentrate and I have come to the conclusion that I am mentally unable to meditate. As much as I would love to, I just can't. Give me 2 Tylenol PM and 3 glasses of wine and I might be able to...but other than that I just can't.

So, the video was 90 minutes long. I knew right when I saw how long it was that this was going to be a struggle. I made it a half an hour before I pressed stop and found something better to do.

Are some people just wired NOT to be able to do things like that? I mean 90 minutes, are you kidding me? Maybe I have adult onset ADD or something, but that's just ridiculous! The whole thirty minutes my mind was spinning, "My hands are sweating. I wonder if the people in the video are as bored as I am? This pose makes my head hurt because my ponytail is too heavy. Maybe I should get a haircut. Am I ready for short hair? Is today Saturday or Sunday? Should we get a dog?" and on and on.

Well, like I always say, It is what it is!

Just be.

A couple months back in one of my coaches training classes we were asked to write down what was important to us. I can't remember the exact exercise, but there I was scribbling a list of this and that. I stopped to think hard about what it was that I wanted and then it hit me. I want to just be.

If you know me, you know that I can be a bit of a spazz. I like to think of it as "dynamically energetic". Sometimes I am in such a hurry to do everything, I totally miss the journey because I am so focused on the destination. Gandhi once said, "There is more to life than increasing its speed" (by the way, that's on my vision board. See below). By slowing down we enable ourselves to truly connect with others, and "be" instead of "do". I think having my son has taught me how to slow down too. This morning I watched him play with a wooden block. He threw it on the floor and watched it scoot across the floor. He crawled over to it, picked it up, inspected it and threw it again. Over and over, for 15 minutes.

So, I crossed out all the things I wrote on that piece of paper and wrote, "Just be." I think I will find that piece of paper and frame it.