BodyAwe

"You are allowed to disagree with your body."

body confidence

A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like” by Ashley Graham debuted this week with a national publicity tour and rave reviews.  As the voice of the body positive movement, Ms. Graham has expanded her modeling career to include television appearances and becoming a clothing designer and entrepreneur to prove that curvy girls can do it, too!

Since there are more curvy girls and women than stereotypical runway models, publishing this book is another step forward to ending body shaming forever.  As the Barnes & Noble’s review of “A New Model” says,

“A woman who proves that when it comes to beauty, size is just a number, she is the voice for the body positivity movement today and a role model for all women—no matter their individual body type, shape, or weight.”

A model since aged 13, Ms. Graham almost abandoned her career at age 18, when her mother told her, “It doesn’t matter what you think about your body, because your body is supposed to change somebody’s life.”  A decade later, she affirmed her mother’s sage advice in an interview in the current issue of VOGUE magazine,

I’ve used my body as a tool to talk about taboo subjects, such as cellulite or being insecure about lower belly fat—and also [how to] talk life into your body and have an affirmation kind of conversation with yourself. ”

You, too, are a champion for Body Confidence through your use of the Body Knowledge System ®.   To find out how, contact Stephanie Wood.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve asked the question, “Why are we even talking about body confidence?”

We’re talking about it because it provides true freedom for you in all areas of your life!

And we are very excited to see that someone in the fashion world truly embracing and promoting body confidence!

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WHAT HAPPENED?

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Fashion designer Michael Kors recently included a plus-size model (meaning a model beyond size 12) in his runway show! He also made some great comments about body confidence for women of all body types.

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From the Huffington Post, Kors said:

“I don’t like it when the models all look the same,” he said at the time. “To me it’s so incredibly boring to turn them into mannequins; it’s so much more interesting if we have different ages, ethnicities, body types, heights.”

“The show was about strength and sensuality, and also about the diversity that we see here in New York that has inspired me my whole life,” he said. “There were models in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, models who are petite, tall, and curvy, models who are tomboys and others who are bombshells. My whole career, I’ve dressed a huge variety of people, because my job is to make everyone look great and feel more confident.”


How wonderful it was to see so many different body types gracefully moving down the runway.

We hope this is the beginning to giving all body types the confidence to see themselves reflected in models who represent “their” body!

Bravo Michael Kors for refusing to perpetuate the unhealthy eating disorder culture of modeling! He chose to promote the beauty of the diversity of various body types!

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NOW…..WHAT ABOUT YOU?

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My friend your unique body confidence matters.  And I want to help you.

Why not start with my 2nd edition eBook, Five Easy Steps to a Better Body Image.

You can also listen to some of my radio shows (only ½ hour each) with Debi Talbert to give you the experience of my Body Knowledge System ® with the sprinkling of Law of Attraction principles.  Download here. 

Both of these offerings share some of the information you need to get past the decades of low body confidence you’ve experienced.

It’s time to take control, take charge of becoming the confident woman our body wants us to be.

Today we are exploring how to ask the question ‘what else?’ with our bodies in order to be more in alignment and to fully understand your body’s needs physically and psychologically. This will help us better create the body image stories that we tell ourselves.

How to maintain a better body image daily

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If you have phrases that you repeat every day, or pictures you look at to keep your desires in front of your mind, I’d like for you to go a step deeper today with a new technique.

It’s called the “What Else’ technique and it can help you in your personal or professional life.

How to apply the ‘what else’ technique to you and your body

When you feel your body is in need of something, ask her, “And what else?”

I truly believe that when you learn to ask your body what she wants, the two of you will get on the same page, and start achieving the things you desire!

For example…you want:

  • A better body….and what else?
  • Thinner thighs…and what else?
  • To lose 15 pounds of “baby weight”… and what else?
  • For my clothes to fit better…and what else?
  • To feel lighter…and what else?

In personal and professional relationships, we all know the first answer is not the only answer, and rarely the best answer. That’s why remembering the question – “And what else?” to use as a follow up question always provides deeper answers until you reach the heart of the issue.

The answers to this question are between you and your very best friend, your body. So there’s no need to shy away from the difficult questions about what you want for your body, and perhaps are “afraid” to ask? The basic principle of the Body Knowledge System® is total trust and ease of communication between you and your body. The openness between whatever question you ask of her and the answers you receive can only create the positive energy to actually accomplish your basic goal: Body Confidence.

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Let’s eliminate any negativity around our body issues!

Next time you think about what you want out of life, I encourage you to be brave enough to dig deeper into your objectives behind creating those desires in the first place.

So, when you go to cut out a picture or write a wish, remember to ask “and what else” to see if that’s your real desire, or someone else’s desire for you. What you want out of life can be authentic and true to you!

Love the body you have

I have been exploring the notion of creating a better body image and have become more aware of how advertising influences our self-esteem with our bodies with negative and positive messages.

My questions to you are:

  • Has your body been sending you messages about health issues?
  • Are you just experiencing day to day aches and pains?
  • Or, do you accept the way you look and the other relationships in your life are flowing?

Whether it is aches and pains or joyful moments, let’s go on this better body image journey together and explore techniques and tools for creating good self-esteem.

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The Truth about Self Esteem

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Self Esteem: it is a way of thinking, feeling and acting that implies that you accept, respect, trust, and believe in yourself.

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Consider these beliefs

(from Body Knowledge System®)

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  • Respect your own uniqueness
  • Be your own Best Friend (treat yourself like you would treat others)
  • When outside environmental challenges come your way , you maintain consistency with your own values that make you happy
  • You deserve everything that makes you happy
  • You learn to practice confidence to do things your way

This is wonderful to read on paper but let’s start using tools and techniques to practice and make these beliefs a part of your daily lifestyle.

believe yourself

A technique you can practice right away is the Body Knowledge Dance®. You can do this in your living room or in your head.

  1. Set an intention in words. For example: I love being in tune with my body and what she is telling me.
  2. Picture your intention
  3. Now literally “move with the words” (just move freely)
  4. Imagine what you are wearing and the music you are hearing in your mind
  5. Commit this dance to memory so you can dance the movement in your head

The Body Knowledge System® has been created to address your body Image issues and help you practice on a daily basis simple and fun techniques to boost your self-esteem. Self-esteem and better body image go hand in hand

Today, I invite you to answer three questions. Answering these questions can give you a better sense of how you can create the self- esteem that will guide you to do all the things you set out to do.

Remember, my system is sustainable because it is NOT a ‘one size fits all.’ You create your own better body image on your own terms and in your own way.

Hey there,

It’s Coach Stephanie, and this week I am sharing ‘body acceptance’ choices from my “Natural Beauty Series” where we compare a Natural approach with a Conventional approach to body acceptance.

The Conventional approach teaches us we must strive to reach someone else’s idea of a “perfect” body.

The Natural approach teaches you to be happy with who you are and to celebrate your true self.

My hope is that you’ll learn to find freedom in the different areas that we discuss. Remember it is your choice to pick whatever approach you desire.

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WHAT IS BODY ACCEPTANCE?

Body Acceptance is exactly what it sounds like: it is learning to accept and embrace your body’s style (The Natural Approach). Your body’s style is how you emanate the way you walk and talk and communicate with yourself and others in a way that makes you feel so good.

On the other hand, cultural influences tell us that we need to change our bodies and alter our appearance to ‘fit into’ the visual images we see in magazines, billboards, movies and TV. This is what I call The Conventional Approach. If we allow this outside pressure to dominate how we feel about our body and interfere with how we present our self to the world and our self we will be miserable.

Many of my clients are thriving as they learn to practice Body Acceptance. And it’s because of this one easy tip I’ve shared with them.

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HOW TO PRACTICE BODY ACCEPTANCE

I encourage you to look at visual images that show all body sizes and shapes (just go to the grocery store and you will see all body shapes and sizes). Pay attention to all the different heights, shapes and sizes. Note the different hair styles, hair color, types of skin, etc. Focus on what breaks the standard of beauty, not what conforms to it.

Practice this and become more empathic with yourself and others. The bottom line is to feel and be healthy at whatever weight you and your body feel comfortable with. If and when you chose to change your size and shape then you will independently take those steps and choices to make whatever changes you desire.

I encourage you to be aware of outside cultural influences that make you second-guess your choices.

It is about you and your body in partnership ( Body knowledge System ®) to make the best choices for how you eat and move and showcase your talents to the world.

As Lillian Bustle, a well know burlesque dancer, once said:

“The more body diversity is normalized in our minds, the kinder we can be with ourselves and with our bodies”

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BODY KNOWLEDGE SYSTEM WISDOM

Here’s a practical example of what it looks like to practice Body Acceptance and live with a posture of confidence.

Let’s consider Barbra Streisand when her career first got going in the early 60s, potential managers and agents worried that she wouldn’t fit the bill of a traditional female pop star.

Honestly, they were worried about her nose.

140 million albums sold later, nobody’s worried about the nose.

  • Presence begins with a positive body image.
  • Your body’s wisdom projects that image through expressing the respect you have for yourself.
  • And thereby, you attract positive energy from those around you.

NEXT STEPS

So far over the course of this Natural Beauty series, we’ve looked at makeup, pro-aging, and now body acceptance.

I’ve shared this Natural Approach with you, because I think it will help you and me to find a lot of freedom in how we interact with our bodies. And again if the Conventional approach is good for you, go forth.

Look out for more conversations with understanding your natural beauty forthcoming.

I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts and comments below.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook for more natural beauty tips.

Talk soon,
Stephanie

This week I’m continuing my “Natural Beauty Series” where we’ll compare two different approaches to the way we care for our bodies, The Conventional approach, which is driven by external influences, and the Natural approach, which is driven by your internal self.

The Conventional Approach:  The conventional approach says we must make alterations to our true selves. This is where cultural influences become a big part of how we see ourselves physically. They suggest we should look a certain way. If we don’t we should alter or remove something on our physical bodies to look more like what is considered acceptable beauty. People all over the world spend billions of dollars a year on makeup and plastic surgery because of these cultural influences.

The Natural Approach:  Alternatively, the natural approach teaches us to celebrate our true self. It suggests we make alterations to our inner selves and leave the outer self alone. The natural approach encourages us to appreciate our natural beauty versus trying so hard to meet the image of ‘perfection’ that is forced upon us through a myriad of social and cultural influences.
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PRO-AGING Vs. ANTI-AGING

Pro-Aging is quite simply the opposite of Anti-Aging. Rather than covering up or altering grey hair, wrinkles, etc. Pro-Aging is all about embracing the way that you age in a natural way and celebrating your body’s expression of yourself!

Time out!

I admit that every 4 weeks I go to my beautician to get my hair colored versus keeping it grey.
Is that conventional or is it natural?

It is a choice.

I am not saying one way is better than the other. My goal is to raise your awareness that beauty can be real and natural. I want to help you understand you can choose to ignore the external pressures to be a perfect physical self.

And here is the catch: For me, maintaining a red head with blond highlights makes me feel beautiful. And I use natural products.

My point is this. It’s YOUR call to go pro-aging or anti-aging and you don’t need to choose one or the other. There is no reason you can’t do both. You simply make choices that make you feel beautiful.

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CULTURAL INFLUENCES

Let’s be honest, everywhere we turn, we see messages about how we need to look and how we need to age. My question to you today is this:

Do you want to fight against your body as she ages, or do you want to embrace her natural expression of herself?

Everything you hear, read and see in the media will tell you to fight your body’s natural aging process. They try to sell you creams, surgeries, and dyes. And if that’s what you want to do – go ahead! There is nothing wrong with that approach.

But you may find a lot of freedom in embracing your body’s natural expression of aging. You might find freedom in no longer fighting what your body wants to do.  And really this is all about you being you. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin. Learning to look in the mirror and going out into the world feeling confident and comfortable.

Now, this isn’t to say you can’t take advice from external sources. But the natural approach to beauty may free you from comparing yourself to those sources.

I believe that self-acceptance, in a more natural way, could be an option for you!

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BODY KNOWLEDGE SYSTEM WISDOM

One day, I realized a few things:

  1. I only care about “Anti-Aging” because the media was telling me to.
  2. Aging has its place within our lifetimes. I don’t want to look like I’m 16… or 35… I shouldn’t and I can’t!
  3. I was ready to embrace my age and my body’s expression of that age.

How about you? Are you ready to do the same?

My message for you today is this: listen to what your body is trying to tell you about aging. For me, it was incredibly freeing to embrace my body’s expression of my age. Maybe it will be for you too!

The Conventional approach to beauty is reliant on alterations. The Natural approach is all about celebrating your true self.

NEXT STEPS

We will be looking at Natural Beauty in other areas of your life over the coming weeks. In the meantime, are you someone who feels trapped by external standards of beauty? Do you feel pressured to fight against your body’s natural aging process? Are you ready to experience the freedom of the natural approach to beauty, stay within the conventional mindset or both?

It’s always your call.

I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts and comments below.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook for more natural beauty tips.

Talk soon,
Stephanie

See part one of this series, Makeup.

This week I’m launching my “Natural Beauty Series” where we’ll look at natural beauty as it relates to several areas of your life.

Today, we start with makeup.

Do you wear makeup?

If so, why? If not, why not?

Clients and friends are following my lead by ditching makeup and exploring the “Natural Beauty” option.

And guess what? They’ve found it to be incredibly freeing. Read on to learn more about it.

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ARE YOU FEELING TRAPPED?

In the conventional option, beauty is reliant upon external and cultural standards for how a woman should look.

From billboards to magazines to commercials on TV, we’ve seen the media prop up a standard for how women should look. That’s unfortunate, and it’s left a lot of women feeling trapped, feeling like they have to look a certain way (maybe you feel that way, too).

In the natural option, beauty is all about your body’s free expression of herself.

And really, this is all about being yourself. About being comfortable in your own skin. Learning to look in the mirror and go out confidently to approach the day.

Now, this isn’t to say you can’t take advice from external sources, but the Natural Beauty option will free you from comparing yourself to those sources!

I believe that self acceptance – in a more natural way – could be an option for you!

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BODY KNOWLEDGE SYSTEM WISDOM

One day, I realized a few things:

  1. Putting on – and taking off – makeup every single day just isn’t fun.
  2. I wasn’t doing it for myself… I was doing it because that’s what I was expected to do.
  3. The world didn’t come crashing down simply because I didn’t wear eyeliner one day.

My message for you today is this: listen to what your body is trying to tell you about makeup. For me, it was incredibly freeing to not worry with it every morning and every night… maybe it will be for you too!

Again – if you’re feeling trapped by the conventional option, the natural option can set you free!

NEXT STEPS

We’ll be looking at natural beauty in other areas of your life over the coming weeks.

In the meantime, are you someone who feels trapped by external standards of beauty? Do you feel pressured to make yourself look a certain way every day?

Are you ready to experience the freedom of the Natural Beauty approach? Share your comments below.

Scale

I believe we have a love/hate relationship with the number on our scale so I invite you to take my Body Image Survey and share your tips for changing your relationship with your scale.

But first here are my three tips to stop your love/hate relationship with the number on your scale.

  1. 1. When you say: “Oh My God! I cannot bear to look at the number on the scale!”
  2. Tip: Don’t look! Move around and dance with your body and enjoy how she (he) feels. 
  3. 2. When I see the number on the scale, I make a judgment that it is not to my liking!
  4. Tip: Acknowledge that your body may enjoy being at this specific weight but become more aware of your food portions 
  5. 3. I feel my clothes are a ‘scale’ as well….so does that make me less of a person with what I am in the world?
  6. Tip: Your body is your best friend and having a relationship with her (him) will bring you closer to how you want to present yourself in the world in the clothes you feel most comfortable in.

Bonus Tip: Look in the mirror and notice how you feel in that outfit. Your body is your best friend and having a relationship with her will bring you closer to acknowledging how she looks in the mirror and how you feel…versus fixating on ‘the number’

Love your scale

If you have a 4th tip, I’d love to hear it and in return I’ll give you a strategic healthier you consultation for free!

But you can take control today and I can help you get there!

I invite you to take this quick Body Image Survey so that you can become clearer.

The way you see yourself is not merely an issue of physicality. It involves the total you: Body, Mind, and Spirit. The numbers on the scale are objective. They provide standards of measurement. So, why do we let ourselves feel so awful over a number?

Free yourself from what is holding you back from being happy with YOU!

Dog's life

I got a beautiful dog a few months ago. His name is Copper and he’s pure bred Akita.  He’s a wonderful companion and I’m so glad that we decided to get him.  Copper’s got a routine.  In the morning, he wants his food . . . and he wants it first thing.  And guess what?  He gets his food, every single morning.  His body knows what he needs and I make sure that he gets it.

However – I’ve found that women don’t treat themselves as well as they take care of their animals’ needs and desires.

I mean, think about it . . . how many times have you missed your own breakfast?  Animals have daily routines.  They know what their bodies need, and they act accordingly.  Somewhere along the way, we’ve stopped paying attention to our own bodies.  For example:

How many times have you been sitting at your desk, working away, while your body screams:  “Take a break! Walk around!  Use the restroom!  Get a snack!”

Again, our bodies know what we need.  But we’ve taught ourselves to ignore our bodies and thereby, create unhealthy routines.

My dog – Copper – knows what he needs.  But he needs me, his owner, to help him implement.  He can’t the open door to let himself out and he can’t drive to the store to get more food when we run out.  He needs me for that.

Dog

In the same way, you need someone who will help you learn how to listen to your body once again . . . and not just listen, but ACT on what you’re hearing.  You need a partnership with a coach.

That’s where I come in!  For 20 years, I’ve helped women learn to listen to their bodies…to give them what they need… oh, and lose weight in the process (if appropriate).

If you’re interested in partnering with me, send me an email today.  We’ll schedule a free 20 minute consultation and go from there!

Isn’t it time you learn to live a dog’s life?

Today, I’ve got two quick stories for you.  Which one sounds more like you?   

The Elizabeth Scenario

You have the whole day off to do whatever you want.  You wake up, have some breakfast, drink some coffee and then settle for a long day of sewing and Law and Order.     You know you need to run a few errands and pick up the house and you keep telling yourself, “Just thirty more minutes, then I’ll get to that stuff…”       (…but you never do…)

The Susan Scenario

You wake up on a Saturday morning and you know that today is the day.  You’ve put it off long enough, and it’s time to settle down and do the taxes.    You start working and take little breaks here and there to chat with your husband, grab a glass of water, watch 10 minutes of a TV show, etc.  You’re creating some space to get away from what you’re working on, to free your mind and to see it with new eyes. 

After about three hours, you’re done with the taxes, you’re in a great mood, and you fix yourself some lunch.  The work is done and you did it on your own terms.

Which one sounds more like you?  There are pros and cons to both, obviously.  

Some people prefer to dive into something and work away at it for hours at a time.  Others like to chop up their work and give themselves breaks throughout the day.

The first group of people might get more stuff done, but be in a bad mood at the end of the day.  The other group of people might not get as much done, but be in a great mood at the end of the day.  

But what if you could have both?

If you want to hear more about how that’s possible, sign up for one of my April teleclasses.

 

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