Monday 20 September 2010

Monday thoughts . . .

The body is a sacred garment. It’s your first and last garment; it is what you enter life in and what you depart life with, and it should be treated with honour”. ~Martha Graham

I came across this quote recently and it gave me real food for thought. For most of my adult life, I have struggled with my weight and feelings of discontentment about the way I look . . . even when I was a lot thinner than I am now! I look back at pictures of when I was much younger, and wish I had appreciated what I had , when I still had it! I don’t think I am alone in thinking or feeling that way either . . . when polled about their body image, most women confess to not liking some part, or all of their bodies . . . most of us have pounds, real or imaginary, that we would like to lose, (in my case, quite real!) or hair we don’t like, lips we want fuller, hips we want smaller, eyelashes we want longer . . . I could go on and on.

All of this negative self body imagery is fuelled by an advertising media that bombards us daily with images of women, that in most cases are not really women, but girls made up to look like women…with images that are so manipulated and altered with modern technology that there is no way on God’s green earth we could ever hope to look that good . . . and even they (the models) sometimes don’t recognize themselves! The fantasy presented to us in most cases far exceeds the reality . . . I have seen pictures of famous women and models that look quite far removed from the images we usually see and I am always shocked!

Gloria Steinem once said, “If you can learn to like how you look, and not the way you think you look . . . it can set you free.”

I believe that it’s time for us as women, to learn to love and embrace our bodies, and to develop positive self body images. If we can’t love them ourselves, how can we expect others to love them??? It all starts with breaking self destructive negative thoughts and unrealistic expectations. If you were born with child-bearing hips, you will always have child-bearing hips and you should learn to love your child-bearing hips. . . . We need to , as a whole, stand up and say . . . “We are tired of the ideas the world tries to present to us as to what is the ideal beauty, and we’re not going to take it anymore!” There is no ideal beauty . . . it’s an image that is constantly changing and evolving . . . what’s in this year will be out the next!!!! Let us not wait for a world to celebrate us!! Let us begin to celebrate ourselves . . . find joy in our own reflections, concentrate on what’s great about ourselves and forget what isn’t.

Real beauty comes from within. When we take care of our spirit and nurture our soul, it somehow begins to transform our outer image. I have met quite a few people in life that, at first glance, have not been all that attractive, but when I have taken the time to get to know them and seen the beautiful person they are inside, that knowledge has transformed their whole image and they have taken on a whole new appearance to me. Never underestimate the beautifying power of the well developed inner soul. Take time to nurture your spirit edifying material, spend important time daily in prayer and meditation, giving thanks always for the special person that you are, inside and out. Take time to appreciate what you have, and be happy. Take note daily of your many blessings . . . and we all do have them . . . and in abundance.

The outer transformation can begin with simple things such as deciding to eat healthier food and drinking more water. Make a conscious decision to move about more, to get off the bus a few blocks further away from work and walking them instead. Turn the radio on in the middle of the day for a while and put some music on that you love and dance for a few minutes . . . stretch, skip, play, walk and run more, even if it’s only for a few minutes more each day. It all adds up.

I believe that diets actually don’t work in the long term. Major surveys and studies have shown that most people who diet have regained all of their lost weight and in most cases more than they lost in less than five years after they lost it. It is only the very few that manage to actually keep it off long term, and they are the exception rather than the rule. Every single diet I have gone on in my lifetime has only caused me to get larger. Oh yes, I would lose weight temporarily, but I’ve always ended up putting it back on and then some . . . the only real success I've had is through hypno therapy, and I've even managed to put back on some of the 3 stone I lost through that over these past six months.

Back in the Renaissance I would have had a very desirable figure. . . all my plump curves and rolls would have been the envy of all my compatriots. Right from now, I am going to embrace them and love my body, for it is me, and hey . . . I love myself!!! I deserve to be honoured and treated like the special and unique creature that I am! Today I choose to love and honour this sacred garment I have been given in this journey through life. What about you?

I think the potato has to be one of my favourite vegetables. I know I'm not alone in this! That is probably why low carb diets have never been ones that I could stick to for very long. I always end up missing my potatoes after not too long! This is one of our favourite side dishes. These lovely roasted potatoes go very well with chicken and fish!

*Roasted Honey Dijon Potatoes*
Serves 2
Printable Recipe

This recipe only serves two but don’t worry, it can be easily multiplied! Easy to throw together and full of lovely tangy flavours, they brown beautifully. Everyone I make them for always falls in love with them!

1 lb potatoes cut into pieces (peel or not as you prefer)
1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup olive oil
2 tsp honey
1 TBS chopped fresh parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Mix together the mustard, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss in the potatoes and onions and mix together with your hands, coating them all thoroughly.

Line a baking tray with sides with foil and lightly grease. Spread the potatoes and onions out on it. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the potatoes are tender and gorgeously browned on the outside with crispy bits. Sprinkle with the fresh parsley and serve.

These go well with almost everything, but I really like them with fish and chicken!

Baking in The English Kitchen today, some scrummy Chocolate Chunk Muffins! There's also a fab competetion from Viners in which you could win a lovely Omelette Pan!


  1. Every woman I know who lost a bunch of weight just gained it all and then some back! I love the beautiful images here and the first quote, it made me think of what we were taught today in our Stake conference about tatoos! I think we just have to be moderate in all things we eat and take a good walk everyday! ;D

  2. You are lovely. I know it is important to eat healthy things but it is not important that we look like a model. What we are on the inside is far more important than what the outside looks like. Your heart holds the valuable things in your life for sure.

    Everything in moderation is the way I try to go. Age and lifestyle has made a difference in my weight, but I'm in my 60's and I think that is to be expected. I do know many people who are a lot thinner and more active than I am, but they are not me. I am happy and content to be who I am. It's a good feeling.

    I hope your Monday is a wonderful one!

  3. Wonderful post, Marie! I've been with you on the roller coaster of emotions when it comes to my body and appearance. It's been hard to really love what I look like. I'm soon pushing 40 in a couple years, and my body is changing quite a lot, which is taking some getting used to. I find it frustrating at times. But in recent years I've come to have a better out look--to just eat healthy, be healthy inside and out. Health is a good thing to wear! ;o) I love potatoes too... pasta as well... No low-carb diets here, either... LOL! Happy Day, dear friend--LOVE YOU just as you are! ((BIG HUGS))

  4. The trouble is it's not just the thin and glam who get at us chubbies, it's the medical world too. Even fat doctors have the brass neck to suggest WE should lose weight -pot, kettle and black come to mind! Go walk down a hospital corridor and report back how many nurses you see who do NOT have over-enthusiastic curves!

    On the other hand I can never quite believe those who tell me "You're fine as you are". I mentally cross them off my Christmas card list. I'm only fine as I am if it's ME who thinks so. When I look at old photos I can see I was not really what you'd call fat. Too fat for a hip replacement maybe but not bad.....

    But now? Well I wouldn't like to meet me on a dark night!!!

  5. Meant to say: I won't say "You look fine as you are" because you probably won't believe me anyway. I'll just say - and mean - "You look fine to me". You have much better things to think about.

  6. Don't know about you, Marie, but when things get rough I turn to food for comfort.
    The past two years have been difficult for me, and food has been a great solace - with the inevitable result.

  7. Marie, you amaze me. I loved your post today. I love the 1800 era and I too see how these women were very beautiful even though in today's terms they would be labeled over weight. I have struggled with my weight also and I do want to be healthy so I am working on that thought. I do think we should all love our bodies and take care of them because they are a gift from God. It goes back to following the Word of Wisdom and then adding exercising and we are there. By the way this morning on Real Age; potatoes are good for you because of the potassium in them.
    Loved your recipes as usual.
    I had my two of my aunts here for dinner yesterday to celebrate my one Aunts 97th birthday. I am so amazed by her. She smoked until she was about 88 years old. She is partially blind but still lives by herself. I was asking her what her secret was and she said that as children they didn't eat meat very often and they just ate lots of vegetables. I think she has the portion control also.
    It was a delightful day and I hope to follow her example a little bit more. Blessings and hugs to you! LeAnn

  8. I've been struggling with body image for years.

  9. I think so Marie, I really love this post like always you made a lovely post! I hope you had a lovely week end and have a lovely week now, huggss Love ya! gloria


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