Housekeeping! (A List in Accented English)

* Yes, I did in fact say that in my head with an exaggerated Spanish-accented English voice. * Because I can.

* If you don't laugh, you're actually hurting my feelings.

* Things are insane.

* Hence, the list.

* Turns out you guys are all Made of Awesome.

* Why, you ask?

* Because 418 of you signed my Change.org petition to get Disney to drop the sex kitten crap with Merida.

* It's too late.

* Maybe.

* She's been crowned & the new image is available on a variety of Crap We'll Buy Our Kids Because We're Giant Suckers.

* And because even if she's been sexed up, the movie is still amazing.

* Oh right.

* Because if we tell our children it's the message that matters and not the size of her waistline, we done good.

* We have no choice, really, since Disney contradicted the very message behind Brave with this whole debacle.

* You know, the one about family, independence, and finding the strength to find out own fates within us?

* Yeah, that one.

* The happy asides?

* A Mighty Girl has a petition with over 18,000 signatures.

* Brave's director is a bit pissed off about the animated plastic surgery job, too.

* So high five on that, y'all.

* New subject.

* Keep up with me, will you?

* I've got an updated version of my Mind Over Medicine review on Girl Body Pride.

* You'll want to stop by.

* Gigi Ross from Kludgey Mom needs some love.

* And Lissa Rankin has written a book I promise you'll want to read.

* Trust me on this one.

* Also? I've got a winner for the Aspiring Mama giveaway of Mind Over Medicine.

* Tanessa Knoll? Buttercup just said Comment Number Two is my winner.

* So ... you're welcome.

* Email me your address, will ya?

* Twitter works, too.

* New subject.

* Yes.

* AGAIN.

* Buttercup is about to follow in Mama's footsteps.

* Little girl has been granted permission by The Mama (me) & The Daddy (The Husband) for a pretty cool gig.

* Girlfriend is going to be a regular contributor to Holly Fulger's Speaking of Beauty blogging team.

* Which also happens to include me.

* I know, right?

* The girl can read at a fourth grade level but has the typing skills of a 5-year-old.

* Probably because she is five.

* So I can't knock her for that.

* Instead, I'll be transcribing my baby's words and views on what beauty means to her.

* I promise not to edit what she says.

* I hope like hell I've done right by her and taught her that beauty is everywhere.

* That the only size that matters when it comes to beauty is the size of our hearts.

* And that society is full of assholes who will try & knock her down a peg or two but that they don't matter.

* I'll know I've succeeded in about 10 years.

* If the child is self-assured enough to wear this when she's 15 because it makes her happy without giving a damn what you think?

 

* I win at motherhood.

* Whiplash warning.

* New subject.

* I really need to take my Xanax.

* That wasn't the subject change.

* Just proof that I need the fucking Xanax.

* This is the subject change...

* Dammit.

* I forgot.

* No, wait.

* GOT IT!

* Girl Body Pride has new team members!

* Congrats to Heidi Zalamar and Margaret Elysia Garcia.

* You guys kick major ass.

* I promise to add your bios to the writer page sometime before 2014 hits.

* Was that all?

* No, seriously.

* I was asking you if I needed to cover anything else before I chase that Xanax with an instant espresso.

* Shut up.

* It works for me.

* Last subject.

* I'm still sitting in a secret.

* And it's a Big One.

* Oh...

* And The Husband just warned me to be on the lookout for the family of moose in the area when I let the dogs out.

* Drops Mic & Saunters Offstage.

 

Do You Believe in Mind Over Medicine? (You Should...)

Mind over Matter.

Is the glass half-full or half-empty?

Do you focus on the cellulite and stretch marks or celebrate your body and the blessings it has brought you?

Will you look for the silver lining or just bitch about the rain pouring down from the clouds above?

It isn't easy. Too often, we overlook the fact that how our perceptions have a very real effect on our realities. If you're convinced you can't do something, chances are you won't. Change the perception and shift to the positive, and suddenly we find ourselves making like The Little Engine that Could. We stop self-defeating and start self-motivating and suddenly the glass is half-full, we love ourselves as we are, and find ourselves dancing in the rain. Because we opened our minds to the power of positivity.

Not many question our ability to choose happiness. We tell our children they need only believe to achieve and then marvel as we watch them learn to ride a bike, blossoming as their confidence grows. That's how powerful our minds are.

Or maybe that's just the beginning. What if our minds hold not only the power to change our perceptions, but also heal our bodies? It might sound like Crazy Talk, but you can't argue the conclusive research presented by my friend Lissa Rankin in her new book, Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself. Lissa's book launches on May 7 with Hay House, and it's an incredible read already making major waves. Major waves, people. As in PBS is Producing a Special on Lissa's Work major.

Mind over Medicine is the culmination of three year's of research in which Lissa shows us how our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings get translated into the physiology of the cells of every organ in the body. Diet, exercise, adequate sleep, and vitamins are all important, but they play a small role when compared to the physiological effects of health poisons like fear, loneliness, work stress, anxiety, and depression. Our bodies can and do heal themselves every day. The problem is that the current health care model in place, accepted both by mainstream medicine and patients alike, flat out ignores anything that can't be fixed with a pill.

In Mind over Medicine, Lissa shows us that our minds can heal our bodies simply by turning on our relaxation responses with mediation, creative expression, having lots of sex, being optimistic, and having lots of sex. Which I probably already mentioned, but it seems like a pretty important point.

Lissa is on a mission to change our own thinking, help us become empowered self-advocates of change and healing while encouraging healthcare practitioners to embrace what what our bodies already know.

It's Mind over Medicine. We have the power to heal ourselves. We only need to be open to the possibility.

Because I truly believe Lissa is a change-agent who has created a book you need to read, I'm doing everything I can to support her in the Mind Over Medicine launch. I've pre-ordered a few copies of the book, available tomorrow on all major retailers, for giveaways here and on Girl Body Pride. I've got three copies coming my way, people. That's three chances to win a free copy of Mind Over Medicine. Bonus? Buy your own copy of Lissa's book and I'll throw in a free download coupon for Girl Body Pride's Strong Life Butterflyanthology (which happens to feature one of Lissa's essays!). Simply email me a copy of your receipt!

To enter to win ONE COPY of Mind Over Medicine here on Aspiring Mama, simply leave a comment on this post.

For an extra entry, copy and paste the following and tweet, tweet, y'all:

Do you believe in Mind Over Medicine? Win 1 copy of 's  from  here!

Entries will be accepted until midnight, EST, on Monday, May 13.

Mamavation Monday: Changing my Focus

I learned a new term today. Behavior Centered Health.

According to Ragen Chastain on Dances with Fat, behavior centered health is a concept in which healthy choices and behaviors are the goal, not a particular size, weight, or shape. I have officially been riding the diet yo-yo since the first time I begged my parents into letting me sign up for Weight Watchers as a sophomore in high school. At 5' 6'', I weighed 150 pounds and wore a size 10. My ass was admittedly not the issue. My head? Big fucking problem.

I've dealt with an eating disorder and a negative body image. I've binged and exercised. I've lost and gained the same 50 pounds only to gain and lose them again. So why did Ragen's blog strike a chord with me?

Because every diet I have ever been on, every workout I have ever done, and every goal I have ever set for myself (until recently) has been focused only on the scale and the size on the clothing tag. Maybe that's why every time I hit a snag on the Path to a Smaller Ass (like pregnancy and the resulting body aftermath) I just plain gave up.

My bottom line kind of read like this:  Why bother trying if I wasn't going to get where I wanted to be? Why put in the effort for something I could never see happening?

Yeah...I know. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Because every time I ended up giving up on myself. And if I wasn't trying, I was hell-bent on making it worse. If I can't lose the weight I might as well have that Twinkie, right? Hello Ben & Jerry. Secret late night binges followed by even more secret late night cry-fests followed by The Hiding of the Evidence at the bottom of the trash can lest The Husband have actual proof of what I had been up to when I was supposed to have been sleeping peacefully next to him.

It would take months (and sometime years) to drag myself back out of the pity party and back to the Land of the Living. Eventually I would wake up ready and willing to Give it My All and Try Again. And everything would be hunky-dory until another snag would knock me back on my ass and into the nearest pint of Cookie Dough ice-cream.

Not very productive, if you ask me.

Then, one day? My head fixed itself. I'm not sure what happened. Maybe it was the year I spent trying to lose more weight so I could have material for a book only to realize the journey was the destination and not the other way around. Maybe it was my daughter looking at me with the truth that can only be found in the eyes of a child and telling me that I am beautiful. Or maybe it was realization that the scale didn't fucking matter; how I feel when I eat right and take care of myself does.

So even though I am still in it for health and still strive to reach a lower number on the scale for that single reason, the number on said scale is no longer my only reason for living. Instead, I focus on how I feel. I'm going to keep working out because my body needs it. I'm going to eat clean because my body needs it. I'm going to smile in spite of the scale.

And telling myself that I'm pretty. Because that's always a plus.

***

What about you? What do you think? Is Behavior Centered Health the way to go?

My Trifecta of Happiness: Part Dos

Patience is not a virtue I am very familiar with. Ask anyone I know. Check my tweet stream. Search the term "query" on my blog.

I suck at waiting and letting the universe do its thing.

It's why The Husband purposely waited 18 months to propose when he was still The Boyfriend. You know, to prove a point. It's probably why the the Universe made me wait 18 months before granting my wish to get pregnant. And it's probably...

Oh shit. I just looked at the numbers. I started the query process last July. At this rate, I should probably stop holding my breath, yeah? But wait, that was totally not the point.

The actual point I was attempting to come to before becoming sidelined by a shiny new thought was this: I suck at patience. The Universe knows it. So it makes me wait for anything worth while. Just because it can.

I recently got a little reminder in practicing the fine art of patience (and the even finer art of follow-through)  when a long time goal finally came to fruition. Going back and forth with Lissa Rankin -- one of my favorite writers -- via email regarding her anthology contribution, I finally got the nerve to ask about that Owning Pink featured blogger application I had put in sometime last year.

Lissa graciously suggested I contact the site editor to follow up, which was fine with me. I wasn't looking for favors. Just conformation that the application I had turned in had actually been received.

Turns out it had been but life got in the way. I was then asked to resubmit my application essay and promptly notified that I had been selected as a new blogger for the site.

It never occurred to me to get pissy about how long I had waited to get that yes. In fact, I can say with complete honesty that the only thought in my mind was, "Really? They like my writing? This is soooo fucking cool!"

When I first submitted that essay, I email stalked myself, expecting the Universe to pony up with a response so I could quickly move on the next submission obsession, just like I do every time I send out a brand new query letter. And just like the car keys I can never find until I stop looking for them, the response never comes until I'm not looking for it, either.

Sometimes, it's not the answer I was hoping for. This time, it was.