Favorite Quotes

  • You're not too old, and it's never too late

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Yes She Was

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, Inc.

Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House Inc., 1994)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Let's Grab a Large Bucket of Buttered Popcorn and Head to the Movies!!

I've come across two ideas/movements to which I would like to bring some attention. I would love to insert a snippet of Rita Moreno screaming her infamous, "HEY YOU GUYYSS!!" from the opening credits of the Electric Company, but I didn't want you to have to sit through the entire opening credits sequence, so those of you who remember that yell, insert it here.

A few weeks ago, I sat in a nail salon waiting as my eldest daughter had her nails done. I was flipping through trashy magazines when I became aware of my daughter's laser vision boring into me. I looked up and she tossed her head towards the flat screen TV above her head. "Are you watching this?"


"You should. It's a lot like what you're learning with Jenn and Ani." (My aforementioned-in-another- post-dynamic-duo-of-eating-disorder-recovery).

The Katie Couric show was on and she was promoting a film she has executive produced called, "Fed Up." I have not seen the film as it is in limited release and showing nowhere near where I live, but I did go on the film's web site and watch the trailer. I also listened to what Katie Couric and the other filmmakers had to say about the food and diet industry here in the United States. I agreed with most of what they said, which is that we should stop dieting, eat "real" food, get some regular exercise and educate ourselves about what we're putting into our bodies. The film seems to be blaming our weight problems on the sugar industry. Our government subsidizes this group and allows them to "hide" sugar in a myriad of places where the everyday, uninformed consumer doesn't know where to look in order to find it. We ingest more sugar than we should, we get fat and this all leads to diabetes. A vicious cycle, to be sure. The film's trailer says, "that by the year 2050, 1/3 Americans will have diabetes." At the end of Katie's show that day, she and her panel pledged to go "10 days without sugar" and encouraged the audience to do the same. They wanted to go sugar free in order to break the sugar addiction and prove that we can all live without added, refined sugar.

She almost had me there. I felt my heart rate increase with excitement as it has in the past whenever I've pledged to go on a new diet or try some new-fangled weight loss panacea. But something new stirred inside me as well. My newly acquired knowledge that says cutting any food out of our diet isn't right. Do we need to cut down on our sugar intake? Absolutely. Do we need to completely rid it from our diets? Not necessarily (unless ordered by a doctor, or unless you have diabetes or some other ailment that prevents you from eating sugar. I'm speaking to the regular, every day person here).  My daughter, who also possesses this knowledge thanks to my recovery and the Dynamic Duo, looked at me and shook her head. "Ani wouldn't agree with this," she said. "They're saying some of what you're learning, but not all. They're still not getting it."

Music to my ears, from my 15-year-old's mouth.

Anyway...I encourage anyone who may be reading this to see the movie and judge for yourself. Here is a link to the web site followed by the movie's trailer:


The second thing I've come across recently is an Australian woman named Tamryn Brumfitt and the Body Image Movement. She's made a film through Kickstarter. Here's her trailer (and plea for supporting her efforts):

Just from the trailer this woman depicts how I, and I know many other women, feel about themselves and their bodies. Nice to know we're not alone, but sad to know so many of us think this way. I'm going to support this movement in a couple of different ways, but one way is how I see and feel about my own physical shape. Ugh, it's hard. But I would die if either one of my girls grew into womanhood with the same thoughts that accompanied me on my journey.

Please check these films out and decide for yourself.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Times, They Are a Changin'....I Think

A friend of mine, Marty Preston, gave me a copy of the May issue of Ladies' Home Journal (the one with Sally Field on the cover). It contains an article by Ginny Graves, Big Idea: Let's All Stop Dieting. 

I found it interesting for a number of reasons, but mainly because the author seems to have arrived at the conclusion which my therapist and nutritionist have been drumming into my head for a year now:


I'm hearing this more and more lately. I hear it on TV news shows, talk shows, I read it in magazines...it seems like people are jumping on this bandwagon.            

In a nutshell, the article outlines what I've been learning myself this past year:

  • that dieting slows one's metabolism and may even cause us to gain more weight back in the long run
  • that labeling foods as "good," "bad," "forbidden" or "sinful" only makes us want those foods more and leads to overeating of such foods
  • make sure to pack little bags of snacks like nuts and fruits to maintain your blood sugar and stave off out-of-control hunger that often leads to overeating of high-carb, sugary foods
  • try to get in some exercise
  • eat mindfully, honor your hunger
I have definitely embraced the "don't label food as sinful" mantra. Doing that really changed how I look at and approach food. It removes a lot of guilt I used to feel. And...I find that I eat more openly and honestly and don't over-indulge like I used to. 

It's hard to change our mindsets, especially when certain messages have been hammered into our brains over and over again for years, but I think things are changing for the better. Researchers, health educators and the media seem to be getting it. I'm trying to get it. I want others who are in the ED boa t to get it, too. It takes time for things to really change, but articles like this one in LHJ give me hope.