Beyond Body Image

Beyond Body Image

Beyond Body ImageOur body image is formed from a very young age. It is heavily influenced by family, friends, and the outside influences such as billboards, magazines, TV, movies, social media, more. states, “Women with a positive body image are more likely to have good mental health. But many women in the United States have negative body images, which can put them at higher risk of depression, eating disorders, or other mental and physical health problems. You can take steps to develop a healthier body image and get treatment for mental health conditions.”

In It’s Not Just Girls. Boys Struggle With Body Image states, “TooDespite public perception, body image issues and eating disorders are not exclusively female problems. The oft-cited figure is that about 1 in 10 eating disorders occur in males, but according to Raymond Lemberg, an Arizona clinical psychologist and expert in the area, newer research suggests that the real ratio is probably closer to 1 in 4.

Therefore, people with a positive body image are more likely to have good mental health, but it is becoming more challenging to have a positive body image. 

I don’t remember every having a good body image. From a young age I was self-conscience of my size. I was taller and bigger than my older sister, and little comments caused me to hate my body. In Elementary School, I was made fun of for my weight, which only got worse in Junior High. In High School, it improved as I got involved in sports. 

A few months in to my first marriage, my ex-husband started making degrading comments about my body. At one point he stated that he wanted me to look good in a bikini by summer, or he would find someone else who did. As the physical and sexual abuse got worse, the more weight I gained. I was able to loose some of the weight while I separated from him, but I was still overweight. 

Through the last 27 years of my life my weight varied. At my heaviest just under 300 lbs and a size 22. At my lightest I was 170 lbs and a size 10. No matter what my weight, I received unwanted outside attention.

When I lost weight, I was proud of all the work I had done and I wore clothes that made me feel beautiful. When I would dress up I would have men make comments or flirt with me. I was not dressing up for them, it was for me, but the attention made me very uncomfortable. Thought of running into my ex-husband at the smaller size caused me a lot of anxiety. My body image was so tied to my safety that I could not keep the weight off. 

I know my body image issues run deep. Some of my body image issues are inherited or learned from my family, but many of them are a product of the physical, sexual, and verbal abuse from my ex-husband. These issues get triggered when I hear and see other women hit on or given a complement in a way that is only about their physical body. So because I am trigger by it I have asked of friends to share their experience as well. 


The problem with body image is our acceptance and love for ourselves has to come from inside.  So, we have to change the way we think about our bodies and be vigilant teaching this next generation.  I’ve stayed fit in my life only because I was crazy mean to myself…that if I wasn’t thin… I was worth less.  How lame is that? I’ve fairly recently come into a love of my body and allowed myself to put on a few pounds and be okay with it.  I do yoga (which feels so much better than running until I thought I’d puke). I’m not throwing in the towel, this body still has a lot to do and I plan on keeping it healthy, but I’m not going to punish myself anymore.
I once saw a model give a speech about how the room with the lowest self-esteem is a room full of models.  They’re all stuck there comparing themselves (Who has the best boobs? Butt? Legs? Eyes? Who will get the job for being the prettiest?) It was the first time I ever thought being a model sounded horrifying.
My body (which has stretch marks and scars and imperfections and a large tattoo on my left, back hip) has done some incredible things!!! It’s going to do more…And I’m going to be happy with it.

The question was recently asked of me, “As a woman in her 40’s…what would your advice be to a woman in her 20’s?” The first thing that popped into my head was, “Don’t obsess over your body.” From left to right, those pics are of me in my 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. I’ve put on weight and taken it off, but it has always been a priority and a fight for me (I put on 60 lbs. with my last son and weighed 200lbs).

Being healthy is a good thing. Emotionally beating yourself up over not looking perfect is another. I have said horrible things to myself. Even when I’ve been in incredible shape…stretch marks…saggy boobs, huge ass…you name it…I’ve tortured myself over it. I have been so mean to myself. That is what I mean by don’t obsess. Strive to be healthy and to feel good, but let the rest of it go. Be grateful for what your body can do and end the conversation with yourself there! Change the way you think about your body. It can do incredible things. Mine made and fed 3 people! It has climbed crazy mountains and swam in oceans and consumed delicious foods and healed from spills on my bike and hugged hundreds of people and snuggled. Shift your focus to that!



Growing up, my mom projected her body image issues onto me, and I thought I was overweight despite being 5’10” and 115 lbs. My mother was a large woman, easily over 300 lbs., and she was very critical of me. She would pinch my skin and tell me I had too much fat, and tell me that my butt was too large. 

I have had a hard time learning how to pinpoint who has good intentions or not, due to a child molester “trying things.”

During my marriage, I was shamed for my body. I was not allowed to go toe the gym, which caused a lot of self-esteem issues, as I was a “Gym Rat” prior to getting married. I would be called fat on a regular basis.  I was told I was the wrong size, despite weighing less than him and being slightly taller.  I was called muffin top, and other names that I don’t care to share. 


One big step that I took was getting a divorce.  I know, I know.  Sounds stupid but to be honest, he was the reason I had body image issues.  To be honest, I did realize that I needed to lose some weight and it was very easy to lose once I was able to get rid of the stressor that caused the weight gain.  

 I have been raped twice. Not that this type of stuff doesn’t happen to others, but after losing weight and gaining a lot of confidence again, I was raped by someone whom I thought was a good friend.  It was actually 2 people that did it.  I never had problems with that previously.  I wasn’t raped when I felt bad about myself.  I was raped both times when I feel like I was more physically attractive. 

On dates, men have a very difficult time keeping their hands to themselves.  A friend told me that the way my body and personality are, it evokes something primal in men.  Wish I knew how to change that.  I am approached about things that are vastly outside of my comfort zone and go against my internal compass on a VERY regular basis.  These types of encounters are very uncomfortable for me and I didn’t used to get approached for “strange sexual encounters” for a lack of a better term. 

If you asked me a year ago, I would have told you that my body image had nothing to do with the amount or type of attention I get.  However, now that I’m divorced, single, confident, a model and genuinely happy with who I am and in love with my future…….body image is SO DIFFERENT!!

I get a lot of attention now whether I’m looking for it or not.  If we’re being real, I have a lot of curves. If a guy is more into boobs—-I’ve got huge boobs.  Same goes with my butt and long legs.  I am finding that as my confidence and happiness has increased, I am hit on a lot more too. I wish people realized how welcoming and sexy just a simple smile is; a real, genuine smile!!

 I find that it isn’t just body image.  It is also about confidence, which I didn’t used to have much of. Confidence comes from loving yourself and who you are!  I get a lot of wanted attention, but it does come with a LOT of unwanted attention as well.  All the attention makes me very, very careful about who I’m hanging out with, and I am very careful about trying to figure out someone’s intentions when they want to be around me as well.

They say good looks are a blessing and a curse.  I truly believe this!  I go on dates and it is very difficult to know if the man is wanting me for my body and trying to get in between my legs or if they genuinely want to get to know me.  I’ve gotten good at deciphering, but feeling good about myself, attracts men and women with all kinds of intentions.  It attracts EVERYTHING!

All in all though, body image is very subjective.  Yes, I am considered overweight BUT, I get more attention from men now that I’m “curvy” versus when I was skinny.  It just goes to show that perspective is everything.  I thought I was fat back when I was actually very skinny.  Now, if we look at numbers, I’m considered overweight, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.  It all comes from the inside!!!!  If you truly love yourself for who you are, that is all that really truly matters!



I think the issues I have had with body image has many layers. Starting at the age of 11 and through the time I was 14, I was bullied by a group of boys at school which along with the actions of certain family members have attributed to my own thoughts on my body. 

I have always loved sports. I remember years of playing soccer, dreaming of being a figure skater, and then deciding I wasn’t a princess and that I wanted to play hockey. I have always been extremely competitive and when I was younger, I remember beating many boys at different athletic games. I remember feeling on top of the world and like nobody could stop me. 

At age 11, when the bullying started, I remember being called a “Fat Pumpkin” among other nasty names. I remember being repeatedly told that I was fat, ugly, and unlovable. As the years carried on, the name calling and bullying got worse, I hated my body, suffered from anxiety and depression, and became extremely suicidal. When I look back at pictures of my younger self, it makes me physically sick to think that the little girl I used to be was convinced she was fat. 

Once I hit puberty, my hips and boobs grew, I remember my aunt telling me that I had the same body type as her and that as I grew into adulthood, I would just gain weight. This only added to the effects that the bullying had on my body image. I believed I was fat and ugly, and only believed that I was going to get fatter and uglier. With that I also believed that I would also become more and more unlovable. 

In Junior High School, I remember a guy I didn’t know walking up behind me after school and grabbing my butt. I remember him saying that he thought I was his girlfriend, then seeing his girlfriend walk up from behind him and noticing that the two of us looked almost nothing alike. I remember the uneasy feeling I had, realizing that his only intentions was to get the handful of booty that his otherwise gorgeous girlfriend lacked. 

In other instances, I remember other girls commenting on my body. I would hear, “Sarah! I wish I had boobs like you,” or, “I wish I had a butt like yours!” I remember girls that I was acquainted with waiting outside of classes we had together for me to walk in the door just to smack my butt, following it up with the statement, “Damn girl you’ve got a nice butt!. I remember feeling uneasy and self-conscious. 

I have always been more stereotypically masculine, yet I have always been secure in my femininity and identity as a woman. I have been asked multiple times, both by my peers and by family members, If I am transgender, simply because of activities I enjoy and the way I dress. Due to these questions, I must admit, I have often questioned weather there is a flaw in the person I am. Societies Ideals of what a woman should be, what a woman should look like, or what a woman should act like have proved toxic in my life, and admittedly effected my relationship with my body. 

I had conversations with my grandma that didn’t have anything to do  with my body that effected my body image. Things my grandpa would say about my personality also effected how I saw myself. My physical strength has been mistaken for aggressiveness. 

It is only within the last year or so that I have learned to love my curves. I still struggle to look at old pictures of myself without feeling sick. I still question how that little girl had been convinced by so many different people that she was fat and ugly. 

I believe that investigating and uncovering the layers that make up our body image issues is the the key to helping us create a better relationship with our bodies. Yes, body image is subjective and an individual battle that we all experience, but it does not mean that we have to fight it alone. I think the best thing we can do for ourselves, our communities, and our society is to open up space for conversations about body image and the way that it affects us. Our individual experiences are powerful and sharing them can help others to better understand their own struggles in their relationships with their bodies.



It’s Not Just Girls. Boys Struggle With Body Image, Too. By Rebecca Adams

Self-care first is not just in case of an emergency!

Self-care first is not just in case of an emergency!

When we fly the flight attendant tells us in the event of an emergency place your mask on first and then assist others. Self-care first is not just in case of an emergency! Self-care should be part of our daily routine, but too often it is not. 

I used to think that self-care was about personal hygiene, but it is not. Nor is it one size fits all. It does however include proper rest, nutrition, exercise, but most important is about doing things for yourself that bring you joy and rejuvenate you physically and mentally. It can be journaling, spending time with friends, reading, dancing, meditation, etc. I think you get the idea. 

This month as I have been focusing on pursuing kindness I realized that kindness need to be focused inward as well as outward. I need to be kind to myself as I set the tone of how others treat me.  When I am not kind to myself and my focus is on taking care of others my reserves got low, I burnt out.

This morning as I was mowing our lawn (which I love to do) I once again remembered how important nature is to my self-care. When I was a child I would lay in the grass and recharge. It wasn’t until 15 or so years ago that I learned about grounding. (Grounding refers to connecting with the Earth’s surface electrons by walking barefoot outside, laying or sitting in the grass  that transfer the energy from the ground into the body.)

I was then prompted to record a Release and Receive Grounding to share. 

Essential Oils is also part of my daily self-care. They are key to supporting my emotional and physical well-being. doTerra Balance Grounding Bend is key to my daily self-care routine. I place it on my feet each morning to support my grounding. I also use Frankincense daily to support my prayer and meditation. With essential oils I am able to support my emotions aromatically throughout the day. 

Having a AM/PM routine that includes self-care scheduled is what I find works best for me. Here just a sample:

Download a blank sheet

The key to self-care is finding what you need to rejuvenate physically and mentally and how best to make it part of your routine. Don’t try to make drastic changes all at once or you will not stick to it. 

As I take care of myself first with proper rest, nutrition, exercise, and fun, I have more to give others. Therefore, self-care first is not just in case of an emergency!

Fight, Flight to Burnout

2020 Fight or Flight to Burnout

March 2020 started out with excitement, our oldest daughter was going to be coming home from college for Spring Break. We had plans for spending time together, but I can’t remember what they were. What I do remember is after my daughter arrived home, we received a letter from the Health Department stating that our second daughter was quarantined at home until March 27, 2020 due to 3 cases of COVID-19 at their school. We were devastated, but little did we know this was only the beginning. For me some of the timelines are mixed up in mind. What I do know is that it was unlike anything I had experienced before. Schools moved to distance learning to slow the spread of COVID-19, but no one knew what they were doing. My oldest daughter did an emergency transfer with her job to the location here.

As if the chaos of a pandemic was not enough, on the morning of March 18th, I was standing in the kitchen getting ready to make a protein shake, when there was a loud sound followed by shaking. I started screaming and trying to close cupboards, while my husband yelled at me from the other room to get out of the kitchen. 2 of our 3 children where in the basement. Fear overcame me and I went into fight or flight. Once I knew my family was okay, we started checking on others and helping where we could. The more I help others they less anxious I felt.

We had just had a 5.7 Earthquake with the epicenter 2 miles from our home in Magna. It was the largest earthquake I had experienced. My husband and oldest daughter had to go into work, as our two youngest and I stayed home. It was a day filled with aftershocks and uneasiness. 


Quake Utah March to September

As I look at that day I found the timing a blessing. My family was all under one roof and we were safe. There was minimal damage to our home. 

STAY HOME STAY SAFE ordinances were put in place in our State and most of the country,causing us all to go into survival mode. My husband and daughter started working from home. Grocery Stores had empty shelves, there was a shortage of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and more. Once again I found myself in fight or flight mode, looking forward to going back to normal in a few weeks. Once again I found it best to get lost in the service of other as a way to cope with the anxiety I was feeling. 

In April, we did a quick overnight trip to move our daughter home from college since they would not be returning to in person classes. I started realizing this was going to be our new normal.

I continued to look outward as my way of coping, but by the middle of July I started struggling. Our middle child has a rare disease so we had to be careful, but it started taking it’s toll not only on me but on the whole family. We missed doing stuff,  spending time with our friends, attending church and all the things we had taken for granted before. Serving others was no longer helping me cope, instead it became overwhelming. 

The best way to describe it is burnout. Our family and I believe the world is burnt out from the pandemic and everything else that is going on the the world. The world is filled with fear, anger, hate, and negativity. It is taking its toll on us physically and mentally. 

Recently a friend posted the following article “Your ‘Surge Capacity’ Is Depleted — It’s Why You Feel Awful” which states. In those early months, I, along with most of the rest of the country, was using “surge capacity” to operate, as Ann Masten, PhD, a psychologist and professor of child development at the University of Minnesota, calls it. Surge capacity is a collection of adaptive systems — mental and physical — that humans draw on for short-term survival in acutely stressful situations, such as natural disasters. But natural disasters occur over a short period, even if recovery is long. Pandemics are different — the disaster itself stretches out indefinitely.” It then goes on to ask “How do you adjust to an ever-changing situation where the ‘new normal’ is indefinite uncertainty?”. 

That truly is the question. How do we adapt to the ‘new normal’ when it continues to change and it is uncertain? The article that suggests the following:

I highly recommend reading the article for more information on these suggestions. And I want to add a few of my own:

Focus on self-care

When we fly the flight attendant tells us in the event of an emergency place your mask on first and then assist others. I have come to realize because I was focusing on others first I ran out of steam. If I take care of myself first with proper rest, nutrition, exercise, and fun, I have more to give others. When my reserves got low, I burnt out.

Focus on gratitude

Find 3 or more things each day you are grateful for and write them down. As you reflect on what you have rather than what you don’t it help shift your energy. 

Focus on what you are learning

By writing down something you learn during the day, you will see progress rather than feeling stuck or stagnant. 

Focus on the positive

Turn off the news, walk away from social media. Look for the good in people. Spread cheer, kindness, and love. When you can maintain social distance keep your mask off so you can smile at people. 

Focus on making a difference

It’s all about finding ways to make a difference at home, in the community, and in the world. A couple of my friends and I have decided to focus on pursuing good for the next year. We have chosen the following themes and #’s:

  • September #PursueKindness – Random acts of kindness
  • October #PursueFun – Creating fun, sharing fun, doing what is fun
  • November #PursueGratitude – Showing and Sharing gratitude
  • December #PursueConnection – Finding ways to stay connected or reconnect
  • January #PursueWellness – Physical and Mental health and well-being 
  • February #PursueLove – Show and Share love
  • March #PursueMe – All about self-care

Focus on being

We burnout because we are so busy doing, that we forget who and what we are. We are human beings, not human doings, so take time to be still, be quite, be patient, be happy, be kind, be loving, etc.  

Know that you are not alone in this fight, flight, and burnout. We are all experiencing the shift in the world together. We don’t know what to do, or when it is going to end, but we can take better care of ourselves and then help others.


U of U Seismograph Stations
Your ‘Surge Capacity’ Is Depleted — It’s Why You Feel Awful

Back to School Basics????

Back to School Basics???

School is not just about academics, it is important for social health and emotional health. Virtual Illusion: Comparing Student Achievement and Teacher and Classroom Characteristics in Online and Brick-and-Mortar Charter Schools states, “Social interaction among children in grades K-12 is important not only for emotional wellbeing, but also for children’s language, communication, social, and interpersonal skills.” As we abruptly went to distant learning at the end of last year I saw the toll it took on all of my children from my youngest in Elementary School to my oldest at college. 

Back to School Basics????

As we start this school year it looks nothing like the last 13 years of sending my children to school. Whatever going back to school looks like for you and your children I honor your choice. If your anything like me it was not an easy decisions. I am still questioning some of the decisions we have made as a family.  

Our School District is schooled to return on August 24th and there are still many unknowns. I have not purchase any school supplies because we have not received any supply list. Most of the School Districts, Schools and Teacher have been focusing most of their time on following CDC guidelines and creating school safety plans than preparing to teach. 

As a parent I am choosing to focus what I can do to prepare my children to go back to school. I am preparing them with the tools to support their immune system. This starts with healthy eating, proper supplementation  including doTERRA On Guard+ Softgels,  exercise, as well as proper rest and stress management. It also includes removing toxins from our home by using natural cleaning and hygiene products. And last but most important is washing our hands or sanitizing has because more routine to better support our immune system. 

I am also preparing my children with the tools to support their emotional health. It also starts with healthy physical habits just like our immune system. Having daily discussions one on one and as a family about emotions and events of the day is very beneficial. Essential Oils are key in our home for emotional support and we use the book Essential Emotions to help us determine the best oil to support the emotion. doTerra’s website also has great resource emotional support including: Creating Love & Connection, Calming Anxious Feelings, and Lifting Discouragement.

Back to School is not basic this year! May your family stay healthy physically and emotionally. 




Fitzpatrick, B. R., Berends, M., Ferrare, J. J., & Waddington, R. J. (2020). Virtual Illusion: Comparing Student Achievement and Teacher and Classroom Characteristics in Online and Brick-and-Mortar Charter SchoolsEducational Researcher49(3), 161–175.

CDC: Preparing K-12 School Administrators for a Safe Return to School in Fall 2020


You Don’t Have to be a Dancer to Dance

I am not a Dancer!Dance


I don’t have rhythm!


Hello, I am critically Caucasian!

These are just a couple of reasons I hear when I invite people to attend and AromaDance or Mindful Movement Class.

I get it and I was guilty of it as well. I was introduced to AromaDance in September of 2014 by a friend. I was skeptical, was an athlete not a dancer. Over the years my tune has changed.

The more I dance the more in tune I am with myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. There are sometimes I have to put on music loud with strong heavy beats and dance out deep heavy emotions. Other times it is The Greatest Showman Soundtrack or other musicals. I have come to appreciate what my body can do as I pretend to be a ballerina to beautiful instrumental music. As I connect with my body through movement and the music it can even be a spiritual experience.

Our bodies are meant to move

“In less than two generations, physical activity has dropped by 20% in the U.K. and 32% in the U.S. In China, the drop is 45% in less than one generation. Vehicles, machines and technology now do our moving for us. What we do in our leisure time doesn’t come close to making up for what we’ve lost” –

Studies have shown that movement affects every aspect of our physical and emotional health. It helps regulate on hormones and metabolism, supports circulation & respiration,  aids in digestion, immunity and detoxification of the body. Movement that you enjoy improves your mood.

“Dance is more than the exploring of different ways to make a shape or learning a series of steps to music; it is a way of moving that uses the body as an instrument of expression and communication. –

The benefits of dancing are innumerable. Here are a few of the reasons I think EVERYONE should dance.

  1. It allows self expression. There is no right or wrong way to do it.
  2. Provides a physical and emotional release.
  3. Improves Strength, Flexibility, and Endurance
  4. Improves your connection to your body which improves self-confidence and self-esteem.
  5. Improves mental functioning
  6. Improves balance and spatial awareness
  7. It’s fun!!!!

Don’t over think it

You don’t have to go to a club, just turn on your favorite song and start moving your body. You know your own physical limitations. You can dance sitting down, just move your hands and feet to the music. The more you do it the stronger your body will get.

You don’t have to have rhythm, you are not being judged. This is just about taking care of yourself. But you can be brave and invite your friends, your spouse, children, and/or grandchildren to join you.


About a year ago my husband and I attended Royalty and Romance from 3 Key Elements where we learned about swaying. This has aligned our marriage better than anything else we do. We end each day with swaying with each other.

You Don’t Have to be a Dancer to Dance

Just put on some music and move!