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LargelyPositive.com
On a Positive Note - Online Newsletter! )
 December 10, 2004 December 2004 
In this Issue
Dear Carol,

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 regularly feature:

  • 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 "thinks small!"

 

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!"

Positively Yours,

Carol Johnson, President
Largely Positive Inc.

Privacy is important to us; therefore, we will not sell, rent, or give away your name or address to anyone. At any point, you can select the link at the bottom of every email to unsubscribe, or to receive less or more information.

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!

Go 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!"

Plus Size Holiday Style: Survival Tips
By Susan Weber

  Thanksgiving is 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 holiday style.

  • 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 extender.

It's hard to show your style when you are stressed out.

  • 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 subject.
  • 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.

    Happy Holidays!

www.grandstyle.com

Workshops 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 size-friendly office.

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 crkalat@aol.com or 630-263-8888. Pre-registration and pre-payment is required.

Please note: Corinne's self-esteem mini-series will resume with the next issue of On a Positive Note.

Stocking Stuffer

  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 love."

  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

Controlling the Conversation
  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!

 

 

Resolutions Worth Keeping

  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 you:

 

  • 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 month.
  • 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 "slenderizing properties."
  • Not suck in my cheeks when being photographed, and pose for a photo instead of always being the photographer.
  • Have that ring I love sized up instead of waiting for my finger to shrink.
  • Expose an appendage to fresh breezes and sunlight.

 

Another Gift Idea
   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 Sizes."

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 fantasies.

   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.

PlusVillage.com
   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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