a Positive Note - Online Newsletter!
Welcome to Largely Positive's online newsletter, "On a
Positive Note." The newsletter that promotes health and
self-esteem for people of all shapes and sizes. The newsletter will
- The latest research on size and weight.
- Opinion column by Carol Johnson, author of the book
Self-Esteem Comes In All Sizes.
- Style tips from plus-size fashion consultant Susan Weber, www.grandstyle.com.
- Size esteem advice from Corinne (Cory) Kalat, a licensed
counselor in private practice in the western suburbs of Chicago.
- Plus-size fitness tips. "Non-diet" nutrition advice.
- Latest news from the weight discrimination battle front.
- Answers to your questions on weight management, self- esteem,
body image, and relationships.
- And how you can "live large" in a society that
Thanks again for signing up for the free "On a Positive
Note" newsletter. If you have any questions or comments, feel
free to contact us. Now "on with the show!"
Carol Johnson, President
Largely Positive Inc.
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Give Yourself the Gift of Self-Esteem
By Carol Johnson
As you make your
holiday gift list this year, add one more name to the list: your
own. And give yourself the gift of self-esteem.
There is an unfortunate belief in this society that
self-esteem is reserved for the thin and svelte. This myth-riddled
belief needs to be imploded for good! Scientists who study obesity
will tell you that it is a complex physiological condition, as yet
poorly understood. The common belief that it is due to laziness and
lack of self-control is plain wrong. Once we shatter this myth, what
are we left with - logically speaking? Only the fact that people
come in different shapes and sizes. And then what is the logical
reason for withholding self-esteem from larger people?
You might even consider wrapping up some items that
signify self-esteem to you. When you unwrap it, you will have visual
reminders of this very important and kind gift that you are
bestowing on yourself. If you still need more help, here are some
tips to help make that gift a reality:
1. Do not use your weight to measure your
self-worth. What does weight have to do with self-worth? Your
self-worth is the sum of everything that makes you special and
unique - not just your thigh and waist measurements! Add up your
assets, talents, accomplishments, how you treat others, how you
treat yourself, the contributions you make to your family, friends
and community. Now you have self-worth.
2. Count your blessings. You have a lot of things
to be thankful for - a home, a loving family, friends you enjoy, a
job, a sunny day, the knowledge you've acquired - even things like
shoes, a coat. Many people don't have these things. A mind that
counts blessings has no room for self-pity.
3. Don't use "all or nothing" thinking.
No one is a "total" failure. Most things you do right.
Just because you sometimes make a mistake or take a wrong path does
not make you a "total" failure. It makes you human.
Besides, the president of CBS was once asked for his secret to
success. His answer: failures - because how else would we learn?
4. No one starts from zero. You probably eat pretty
well a lot of the time. We can always make improvements, but
consider the glass half full, not half-empty!
5. Become preoccupied with the world, not dieting.
When we're constantly dieting, weighing, measuring, counting
calories, calculating fat grams, recording our thoughts in food
diaries and agonizing over what to eat and what not to eat, we have
little time left for what's going on in the rest of the world. And
it's such an interesting place!
6. Put nothing on hold as a reward for weight loss.
A Largely Positive member recently suggested: "The best advice
I ever got was to make a list of the things I would do differently
once I was thin - then pick the top one and do it right now. The
item at the top of my list was to take flying lessons and now I'm a
single-engine land pilot!"
Book: Self-Esteem Comes
In All Sizes!
To That Party!
Are you tempted to avoid
holiday parties because you're not at the weight you swore a
year ago that you'd be at by this holiday season? Here are
some suggestions to help you jump out of that pool of
self-pity and make a grand entrance at the party:
Contrary to what you may think, people are not casting a
critical eye toward you and your weight. They're too busy
having a good time (and maybe even worrying about their own
self-perceived flaws!) Don't you be the one to call
attention to your weight. Don't announce your latest diet or
how many pounds you intend to lose next year. It's not an
interesting topic of conversation. Sparkle and shine! People
will react to you based on how you project yourself. If you
stride confidently into a room, with a smile on your face,
knowing you look your best, knowing you have something to
contribute, that's what people will notice. Wear something
smashing - in the size that you wear now! Nothing will make
you more uncomfortable than an outfit that you keep tugging
at because it is too tight. Focus on others and what they've
been doing. Mentally prepare some questions in advance that
you can use as conversation starters.
Now go RSVP and say, "Yes, I'll be there -
with bells on!"
Size Holiday Style: Survival Tips
By Susan Weber
behind us - so this is it - the holiday season! You've spent
all year working on your self-esteem and style. Now don't
lose it! Here's a few tips to get you, and your style,
through the holidays.
Let your style shine through the holidays.
- Buy holiday clothes now while the selection is good.
QVC and Target are great sources for reasonably- priced,
plus size, handknit holiday sweaters. Looking for that
perfect red or black size 32 dress for the office party?
Check out MakingItBig.com.
- Red or ivory shirts are great to
"holiday-up" a pair of black slacks or a black
skirt. Add a pair of velveteen skimmer flats from
Wal*Mart for less than $10.
- Don't be afraid to create memories that incorporate
your style. Confetti in your holiday cards. Bake dog and
cat treats (holiday magazines have the recipes). Give
indulgence balls as hostess or office gifts. (Just fill
craft store mesh ornaments with a scented tea candle, a
few Hershey kisses, a bubble bath capsule, a tiny sachet
pillow, a pair of dice, a few stickers or a gift
certificate for ice cream or doughnut or hamburger.)
- Don't let the after Christmas sales get the best of
your common sense. Remember, if it didn't look good on
you when it was full price, it's not going to look any
better when it's half price.
Don't let your dress size get in the way of your
- Not comfortable on the ladder hanging holiday house
lights or decorating your Christmas tree? Hire a
neighborhood high school kid for an hour.
- Have a holiday portrait taken to include in your
holiday mailings. Wear something you won't mind looking
at for 20 years - not just something that makes you look
"slim." Yes, the camera makes you look
heavier; but, if we're already plus size, what's 10 more
pounds? This is not the time to try a new hair style or
color. But, above all, be sure the portrait reflects
your style. Take a casual outdoor pose, wear a hat or
take your favorite pet.
- Make holiday traveling easier. Reserve an aisle seat.
Avoid the back row of the plane (the seats don't
recline.) Ask the flight attendant for a seat belt
It's hard to show your style when you are stressed
- Avoid the malls. Go once to see the decorations and to
get into the spirit. Then, come home and shop online and
use catalogs. Have your selections gift wrapped and
shipped directly to your family and friends.
- Set practical objectives for family gatherings. You
can't solve 20 years of family problems in one dinner
conversation. When Uncle Harry harasses you about your
weight, tell him "Thanks" and change the
- Don't wait until January to get your stressed out body
moving. Start walking. Put your favorite tunes on the
Walkman and walk - don't stroll - walk. Around the
block. Around the mall. Or in place in front of your TV
- but walk.
by Our Self-Esteem Columnist
Corinne Kalat, our self-esteem columnist, who is also a
woman of size, a counselor and therapist in the Chicago
area, is offering two workshops this winter at her
Letting Go of Your Critical Inner Voice:
Saturday, January 22nd, 9 am to 4 pm. For adults ready to
say goodbye to their inner critic, negative thouhgts,
beliefs, and low self-esteem. Learn to identify your
critical inner voice, challenge its message and let it go.
Register by January 8th.
Assertiveness 101: Speaking Up Effectively.
Saturday, February 26th, 9 am to 4 pm. For adults who
want to assert themselves by speaking up and expressing
their needs. Learn to develop assertiveness skills, and
recognize weays to effectively use these skills.
Register by February 12th.
Workshops are $75 and include course materials, a
great lunch and snacks. Location is 907 N. Elm St.,
Hinsdale, Illinois 60521. To register, contact Corinne at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 630-263-8888. Pre-registration and pre-payment is
Please note: Corinne's
self-esteem mini-series will resume with the next issue of
On a Positive Note.
Every woman on your
holiday gift list could probably use a little help loving
and appreciating her body! Here's just the thing: "Love
Yourself Affirmation Cards!"
There are very few images and messages that
reflect the true diversity of women's different sizes,
shapes, ethnicity and age. "Love Yourself"
affirmation cards do just that. The cards portray diverse
girls and women along with many messages of strength, self-
esteem, encouragement and joy.
Here is a sampling of some of the affirmations:
"I listen to the wisdom inside me."
"I look within. THere is so much beauty."
"I follow my dreams. They are worth believing in."
"I spend time each day thinking of myself with
The thing that is especially nice about these
cards is the way they are packaged - like a deck of cards.
It is sometimes hard to know what to do with affirmations,
but these can be easily displayed, stored and toted. The
quality is also excellent - colorful, glossy cards that will
hold up well.
There are 54 cards with one unique image per side. The
price is $9.99 per deck. The cards are available at www.CherylRainfield.com
My friend Kari dreaded family
holiday events because conversation would eventually turn to
her weight. One year when that happened, she simply
announced to the group: "My weight is no longer a topic
for conversation" and she changed the subject. She said
it worked like a charm. So give it a try if you need to!
Over the years, Largely
Positive members have been asked to make New Year's
resolutions that dind't have to do with the usual "lose
weight and exercise." Here are some that may appeal to
- Put my best foot forward, hold my head high and tell
myself, "I can do it!" In other words, have a
"PMA" (positive mental attitude).
- Instead of making lists of why I can't do things, I
will make lists of why I can do things.
- Accept others as they are, as I want others to accept
me as I am.
- Eliminate negative people from my life.
- Make a list of all the things I have been postponing
until I get thin - and then do one of those things each
- Buy myself one new outfit each month - in a size that
fits me now!
- Rearrange life's priorities to identify what's really
important and then act on those things.
- Find some volunteer work to occupy the time I now
spend thinking about my diet.
- Make all of my preventive health care appointments.
- Discover movement for the joy of feeling better rather
than seeing how many pounds I've lost.
- Buy something in a color I love, not a color with
- Not suck in my cheeks when being photographed, and
pose for a photo instead of always being the
- Have that ring I love sized up instead of waiting for
my finger to shrink.
- Expose an appendage to fresh breezes and sunlight.
Another way to "give the
gift of self-esteem" is to give the larger women you
know a copy of the book "Self- Esteem Comes In All
The book focuses on:
- Separating fact from fiction when it comes to weight.
- Cultural messages and how to counteract them.
- Fighting weight discrimination.
- Living in the body you have right now.
- Pumping up your self-esteem.
- Cultivating healthy relationships.
- Taking on the medical profession.
- Weight management based on research, not fads and
Here's what one reader had to say: "I just finished
reading your book and I can honestly say it is one of the
best books I have ever read. I feel like I could go out and
take over the world! Now, every time one of my friends
mentions how they need to go on a diet, I tell them, 'I have
a book for you to read!'"
To order, go to www.gurze.com.
If you want an autographed copy, go to www.largelypositive.com
and follow the instructions there.
Check out a new plus-size
website called PlusVillage.com
Here's how the creators of the website describe what they
have to offer: "PlusVillage features the
creations of a collective of designers/buyers who understand
what it means to be a Plus-Size woman of today. We attend
business meetings, go on vacations, have secret rendezvous,
go dancing, perform on stage, take long walks, and make
breakfast for our families. Like you, our customers, we lead
various walks of life and have different day-to-day
experiences that make us who we are." Check it out.
These are not your "run of the mill" plus size
garments. This stuff has pizzazz!
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