Helen Austin is a singer, songwriter, and classically trained musician. Originally from the UK, Helen now resides in Vancouver with her family. You can follow her shenanigans on her Facebook, Twitter, or see her on Youtube.
People who haven’t know me for over 20 years won’t know that I used to struggle with my weight. From the age of about 14 I weighed myself and calorie counted constantly while having no resistance to sausage rolls and chip butties (an British delicacy of salted fries on a huge buttered white bread roll).
It went even further downhill with university, the discovery of recreational drugs and a chocolate vending machine at the end of my hall. No one had ever taught me how to eat healthily and we were in the middle of the FAT FREE everything era where they just packed everything with fillers and sugar. I looked and felt unhealthy.
…I have a 16 year old daughter who is familiarly drawn
to the wicked ways of the comfort carbs…
It took a 3 month trip to Africa and then a solid relationship to give the room to really figure out how the eat properly (real food, small portions) without having to spend my life at a gym and by the age of 28 I had finally figured it out and got to a weight where I have stayed ever since. At 29 I became pregnant and, not being one of those women where the pounds just ‘drop off’ while breastfeeding, I had to do it all again… twice. So while people think I am just ‘naturally thin’, I am most certainly not. I have just learned to accept that I can’t live on donuts and feel healthy. Nor do I live on lettuce and carrots. And everyone knows I love my wine and chocolate
20 years and a lot of research later I have a 16 year old daughter who is familiarly drawn to the wicked ways of the comfort carbs and it was a quandary for me. Should I let her experience what I did with the risk that she never figures it out or should I talk to her about it? I see all sorts of blogs saying not to even mention body size to your daughter. It’s a minefield and decided to go with my gut (and my fear) and talk to her… gently.
I try to lead by example and eat mainly healthy stuff (not just salads!) made with real food, including fun stuff. One of the most important things that I want her to know is that she, like me, does have a weakness for simple carbs and if she is going to eat them be aware that they ALWAYS lead to wanting more (I can’t eat just one cookie). If I talk to her about food or she is being hard on herself, I remind her that everything I say is out of love and I always ask her if she would like me to shut up. She has never asked me to shut up (and she would… she has plenty of other times on other subjects) and seems to really want the information on how to stay a healthy weight and have good skin, balanced moods etc.
When I run out of ideas or advice I always return to the best thing you can do for your body (in my opinion) and that is to drink water. 12 years ago I had nodules on my vocal chords and now drinking 1.5 litres of water a day is essential for the sake of my voice but I find that it really helps with just feeling physically good.
There does’t seem to be a right answer for girls, food and body image but as long as I am able to talk to my daughter about it in a positive way I feel good about my chosen path. I purposefully don’t have a scale in the house so no one can obsess and I tell my daughter that the upside of figuring it out food/weight when you’re young means that when you hit your 40s it’s not so much of a shock!Read More
Author, speaker, and teacher, Rosie Molinary, empowers women to embrace their authentic selves so they can live their passion and purpose and give their gifts to the world. The author of Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self Acceptance and Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina, she teaches body image at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and facilitates transformative workshops and retreats for women. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
What if I told you that you could only hang out with one friend for the rest of your life? One friend is all you get to see you through everything—the birth cries and the death cries, the celebrations and the losses, the laughter and the tears. One friend. Choose carefully.
And, now, what if I change your understanding of both the rules and the reality of this situation. What if I tell you that this is really true? Not just a game or a fun dinner time “answer this question” type deal. There really will be just one person that walks alongside you throughout your whole life. There is going to be one person there for everything. And she has already been chosen.
She is you.
Do you treat yourself as well as that friend you chose? Do you give yourself as much self-respect and patience and care as that friend gives you, as you give that friend? Do you matter to you as much as much you matter to that friend? Because the truth is—and, look, I know this is a hard truth, I know it is an uncomfortable truth but both those things do not make this any less true- that, really, you are always with you. You are the most immediate person you’ve got.
And you should have your own back. You should believe in you, respect you, care for you, treat yourself well. You should matter to you. Because, really, what could be worse than spending the rest of your life with a bully, a mean girl, a troll, an insensitive or disrespectful soul? I really can’t think of anything.
What if I told you that you could only hang out
with one friend for the rest of your life?
So, I want you to realize that you are in the truest form, you are all that you’ve got in any given moment, in every given moment. Let the truth of that shift something in you. Let it bring you home to yourself. We don’t have the kind of time left to keep being mean to ourselves. We don’t have armored souls that make those barbs not matter.
What we have are these beautiful spirits, longing to be free. And they can’t be free- really free- until they know that they will be in the safe world. Make your soul that promise. Welcome it’s authenticness into the world. And then relish in it and watch as the world relishes in you.Read More
Barbara Hannah Grufferman, a nationally recognized expert on healthy and positive aging is the author of “The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts’ Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More,” the best-selling resource book for women. She writes weekly columns for Huffington Post and AARP and is the Positive Living Editor for GLOW Beauty Magazine.
Barbara has a video series on the AARP YouTube Channel called “The Best of Everything After 50″ which focuses on fitness, health, nutrition, style, sex and everything in between.Read More
Expert in all things web, social media and business related, Sarah Von Bargen is the creator and writer of Yes and Yes – a blog that addresses many aspects of modern life but is ultimately about saying ‘yes’ to the things that make you happy. Follow Sarah on Twitter and Facebook or visit her blog and website!
Friends, yesterday I was not a pretty sight. I misplaced my contacts and spent the day rocking some glasses circa 1998, a rather greasy ponytail and a shirt that I thrifted and belatedly discovered was not so much empire-waisted as it was maternity-waisted. My jeans gave me muffin top, my cuff bracelet vacuum sealed itself onto my forearm, and there maaaaay have been a freshly picked spot on my chin. Good lord, the hotness? It was overwhelming. Not surprisingly, I felt as attractive as three-day-old Chinese take out, and approximately as delicious. So I headed home and engaged in some of my trusted ego-boosting techniques. Not necessarily proven to turn you back into your tanned/five pounds lighter/natural highlights/post-vacation self, but they’ll certainly keep you from making a reservation for a pity party for one!
Make a list of all your great traits, physical and otherwise
When confronted with tight jeans and a questionable complexion, it’s easy to get hung up on the ways that your appearance is failing you. But what about your great calves? And those adorable freckles? And your ability to quote the entirety of Wedding Crashers ver batim? Not things to be over looked, friend! Make a list of the ways in which you rock and post it somewhere you’ll see it every day.
Have a one-person dance party
Sure, dancing (and all physical activity) boosts your endorphins blahblahblah. More importantly, it’s wicked fun and silly and will probably make you feel heaps better. I challenge to you rock out to She-Wolf in your ruffled underwear and maintain any sort of grump.
Call someone you love
Your mum, your BFF, your unfailingly positive and funny cousin. Talking to someone that loves you feels good, right?
Have a bit of girly bath time
Maybe immersing yourself in bubble bath and scented oils won’t shrink your hips, make your teeth straighter or cure your split ends, but it’ll sure make you smell and feel good!
Try a different hair do
Hairstyles make a huuuuge impact on how you look. Now, I know that I look better with swoopy side bangs and that sexily messy hair that takes so long to sexily muss. Despite this, I spend most of my life with my bangs pinned back and my poker-straight hair mashed into a messy bun. But on these ugly days, taking the time to actually (gasp!) style my hair makes all the difference. Blowing your mind here, I know.
Or cover it up
If you can’t be bothered to fuss with your hair (or honestly can’t do much with it) embrace the hat! Or the headscarf/head band/fascinator. It’ll make you feel mysterious and new, I promise.
Get a make-up counter make over
Why not let a professional apply your blue eyeliner for once? It’s a fun (and cheap) way to spend 30 minutes and you’ll hopefully come out of it looking like a new woman. Maybe a bingo-playing grandma destined for the early-bird special, but a new woman nonetheless.
Check out this photo shoot
Super models who aren’t super thin? Yes please! Revel in their curvy hips, adorable tummies and non-toothpick thighs!
Reconsider those features you dislike
Now, I’m not one to advocate pinning your self esteem to your appearance, much less how your appearance compares to what we see in the media. That said, it’s pretty likely that the bump in your nose that you hate so much or your wicked curly hair has graced the pages of Vogue at some point. I just googled my abhorred blond eyelashes and found this photo of the lovely Maggie Rizer, sans mascara.
Resist the urge to change into your sweats, try a bit of structure
Sure, your belly roll won’t bother you so much once you’re wearing your size XXL U of M sweats, but I actually feel better when I add a bit of structure. A big belt cinched tight around my waist, a button-up shirt, or a pair of wedges make me feel a bit more human. Devolving into a slob, comfy though it is, generally doesn’t make one feel more attractive, does it?
Play dress up
Remember the dress-up trunk you had as a kid and all the fun you had in those prom dresses? Why don’t we treat our closets like that? I don’t mean that you should do some of that ‘shop in your closet’ sensible-ness. Try on the most ridiculous combinations you can find, top it off with some purple eye shadow, a messy top knot and then try to scare your cat. And devotedly hope that your neighbor doesn’t pop over to borrow a cup of sugar.
Slap on some color
Sometimes just altering your appearance is enough to feel better. I’m a big fan of ye old ‘red lipstick and big sunglasses’ trick, but you can probably accomplish the same thing with a big swipe of blush or some epic eyeshadow.
Reference some cute photos of yourself
When you’re suffering from the uglies, it’s easy to forget that you ever looked hot. This is when you check out those professional photos of yourself I’ve been banging on about! I know looking at myself all well-lit and touched up, certainly makes me feel better. If you don’t have any fancy pro photos, surely you have a few snap shots on facebook that do you justice?Go read Already Pretty or Daddy Likey and remember that your body is your friend and that fashion can be fun (and funny!)
What do you do when you’re suffering from a case of the uglies?
[Originally published on karinachronicles.com July 2013]Read More
Over the last 12 months, we have received so much inspiration & guidance from YOU – our beloved customers & fans – we wanted to share as much of our design process with you as possible. Here’s some thoughts from our fearless creative leader herself about the new Karina Dresses Spring 2014 collection…
“I am super excited about a design first for us- we are printing our own signature fabric! This Spring, our printed polka dot line of fabrics will be used throughout the new collection.
The dot prints will range from a classic pin dot to a light hearted & colorful spots.
There will also be fantastic florals that I selected to coordinate beautifully with our new signature dots fabrics!
Also, be on the look out for a new tea length dress called the Tracy. Its named for our friend Tracy K. Smith, the Pulitzer Prize winning poet, mother & long-time Karina Dresses model.
To round out the new collection, our new dress – the Lucy - will be out this summer. It’s named after one of my personal heroes, Lucille Ball, a strong lady that brought us
so many giggles. The Lucy dress is super fun, sexy and flirty- I think our fans will all be screaming ‘I Love Lucy.’”