Bully-busting classes – what a great idea!!

I just found the following super article at one of my favorite martial arts forum, BullShido.net. It begins:

…WATERVILLE — Fifth degree black belt Julienne LeBrun Begin asked a group of young students Saturday morning to describe a bully.

“Someone who makes you feel small and helpless,” said one girl. “Someone who is mean and bossy,” offered another.

Begin provided her own definition: “A bully is anyone who pushes you, mentally or physically, to do something you don’t want to do.”

Slim and slightly over 5-feet tall, Begin carries herself with the confidence of someone who is a gold medalist and former national champion in her sport. She is not easily imagined as the victim of a bully.

But growing up in a family that moved often, Begin, small and often the new girl, learned how to deal with bullies the hard way, one school after another.

She learned not all bullies are alike, and that not all strategies work for every bully. Then, one day, when she was 12, a stranger attempted to rape her…..MORE….

Definitely a super article, well-worth reading!



ps – here are some excellent books on bullying as well.

Witness the Magic – be brave, be strong, be true to yourself


You know, every person has their own mental picture of who they are, and what they can accomplish, generally all neatly wrapped up in personal boundaries and static impressions.

The problem with this is you might be laboring under delusions that are no longer true! Certainly, years ago…the way you viewed yourself and your own abilities might have had a grounding in reality. You knew you’d never lose your breath in a dash across the marching band field, you knew you’d be able to handle a full day at 6 Flags with nary a whimper, you knew what your body could do.

But as the years advanced and the weight piled on….and your identity became solely SuperParent or SuperSpouse or SuperCommunitySaveTheDayer, etc.,…..there’s a good chance you honestly lost the real essence of what you are truly capable of achieving.

I’m here to say you MUST NOT let your pre-conceived notions of your own personal limitations crowd your inner self. Sure, you might not be in your 20s any more, and yes indeed, the word ‘perky’ might have waved a hysterical bye-bye to you after your first child! :)

But just because you’ve been SuperParent for the past 12 years doesn’t mean you should forget SuperSelf. Before you’re a parent, before you’re a spouse, before you’re a soul friend…you’re YOU….with your own superb abilities and gifts and insights.

Have you honored that lately?

During the summer, I was slammed in the face with this blindingly precious fact. I had taken my kids to see a revival of Fiddler on the Roof at a local theater. Now, back in the Dark Ages, I adored musicals and dancing and singing and simply enjoying the sheer sensual thrill of being alive. But in the years that followed, I neglected that aspect of me….I was too busy being a mom, being a wife, and being an entrepreneur to bother about such flighty things.

Well, at the final curtain call, as I was cheering in the standing ovation with the rest of the crowd, I realized….my gosh, I had forgotten to honor those joys that had provided magic in my life, all the years past.

I had forgotten to witness the magic, whatever it might be! I had forgotten to simply wonder at the beauty around me…I was too busy fulfilling my other life roles.

And then and there, I made a promise to myself – never again would I neglect this aspect of myself. I will make certain my kids never lose their ability to wonder at magic in their lives, be it voices that lift in song, viewing artwork that causes the soul to sing, or simply watching the early morning sunrise tint the clouds pink.

I’m pleased to announce that ever since that day (2+ months ago?), I have constantly challenged myself to uncover the ‘real me’ and the ‘real me’ abilities. I have slammed shut the little voice that says, you’re too out of shape to consider such and such an activity….and I’ve taken my kids white-water rafting, dove headlong into kendo/sword fighting, and even fought mock-scenarios in self-defense.

I might have ended up bruised and pummeled in some of the activities, but….I held my own to my best abilities and redefined just what I’m capable of achieving. And let me tell you, it’s ‘way more than I would have thought possible.

And that knowledge is something that helps bolster my confidence even more, for the days ahead.

So! I now challenge you, dear reader – are you set in your ways because mentally you view yourself so out-of-shape, you won’t even consider breaking your boundaries?

Has your exercise/get-healthy regime faltered because “you’ve never been able to get to a higher level before in your life?”

If so, remember, you’ll NEVER ascend there….unless you muster up the courage to actually try. Honor yourself and your hidden abilities! After all, you DO deserve the rewards.



ps – Do you like Fiddler on the Roof? If so, look at:

Mom, do your opinions change as you get older?

You know, I had meant to write about this last week or so.  I was driving my kid to band practice, and she idly asked me

Mom, as you get older, do your opinions change?  If so, why?

Ah, how time slammed to a stop at that moment (which was kinda sorta not optimal, as I was driving at the time.  :-)  ).  I glanced at my kid and thought for a second, gosh, if only I could fill her with the wisdom I have obtained over my 43 years of life!  How can I tell her about discovering her own inner strength thru challenges that are often soul-searing and leave you crying on the ground…only to be raised up by your own spiritual strength as it emerges?

How can I instill in her how when it comes right down to it, the only person (besides her parents) she can utterly trust is herself?  How can I teach her that strong people can stand by themselves…but aren’t afraid to reach out and help others?

How my own opinions have changed as I’ve grown….wow, I could write epic novels about that.

What struggles will my child go thru?  And how will they affect her? 

All I can hope is when she finally emerges as an adult from her cocooned world of teenagerness….she’ll have the strength of personality NOT to be afraid of learning new things and changing her opinions….when new knowledge comes to light.



When does weight loss and maintaining it become normal?

Morning everyone,

The sun is shining, the birdies are mooing and the cows are tweeting and life is going along rather well!

Today I read a rather insightful posting over at 3FatChicks.com . The title of the thread is, When does this become “normal”? My contributions included:

…I realized this way of life became normal to me last weekend when I gave myself permission to cheat (and put 4 Reeses peanut butter cups in the freezer, waiting for me!) and at the appointed time realized, gosh, I really had no desire for them.

At first, believe it or not, it was a let-down, because I had been planning that cheat all week! And then I realized, omigosh, I must have turned the key in my mind that my current eating style is now normal for me ….MORE…

However, there are many more posts that have equally if not more so, insightful glances into ‘when this becomes normal. I just read:

…I’m one of those who has lost hundreds of pounds over the past 20 years or so only to gain it back and then some. This time around, I’m not doing anything I can’t live with for a lifetime. Basically I’m eating a balanced diet and exercising and the weight is coming off. I can honestly say I’m not eating in a manner that I can’t continue with for the rest of my life, I haven’t really felt deprived this time around.. …MORE….

I think communities like the above really help show dieters and people on a get-healthy journey that they’re not alone! No miracle weight loss cure exists….it’s truly a hero’s journey for each person who successfully manages to change their lifestyle and turn the key ON to HEALTH.



ps – Some people swear by DDR! Look at these goodies:

Autism and kids – not a curse

Good morning,

Today one of the moms I admire most in this world wrote a super article about Autism entitied:

Autism is Not a Curse: An Open Letter to Jenny McCarthy

It begins:

Dear Jenny,

While on the train yesterday, I read the cover story about you in People Magazine. Bravo for you and your beautiful son. Thank you. Anyone who is talking about autism and its very real effects on a family must be celebrated.

Your son is 5 years old, and as a fellow parent of a child diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, I know the joy and relief that comes out of seeing your child make significant progress thanks to intensive early intervention. That is the message of your book…Act early. Be relentless. It makes a difference. But you scare me when you talk about your child as if he has recovered from autism. Even the title of your book, “Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism” makes me wince a bit…..MORE…..

Do check it out – it’s a brilliant read.  Judith defines the phrase, ‘SuperMommy.’   I’m very much in awe of her.



Chili pepper chicken soup, ginger, and better health, oh my!


Well, finally after 48 hours, my (24 hour times 2) cold has disappeared.   It’s about time!

That’s the good news – the bad news is I’m as weak as a newborn puppy and witnessed my get up and go, got up and went.  Still, though, this would be day three with no discernible exercise… and that’s simply not an option!

So instead of throwing myself at the local gym as usual, I’m going to do my beloved 2.4 mile circle walk and lift weights in the basement.  I’m pretty certain that shouln’t overtax myself…which brings me to the real topic of this post.

Sometimes your body and your mind will shriek two separate, distinct, non-intersecting entities with regards to health.  They really will!  Your mind wants you to neverSayDie and press forward no matter how idiotic it might be… while your body chortles in hysterical glee, saying, over my comatose body, which is quite a climb!

In my humble opinion….you should just about always listen to your body first and foremost if you’re ill.   Beating yourself up while you’re sick as a dog might simply cause a relapse in the future, resulting in more down-time than if you had taken honest care of yourself in the very beginning.

Tomorrow is always another day.  If you’re too ill to workout today, give yourself permission to heal.  You can always tackle things when you’re back to the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed self you normally are.  :)



An Easy Way To Get Exercise In During Your Busy Day


Are you like me? Tied to a computer for hours and hours a day?

If so, you know how difficult it is to actually force yourself to stop and stretch for even 5 minutes, let alone get some real exercise in. Right?

I’m happy to announce I’ve found a free alarm clock you can download straight to your computer, that allows you to set an hourly alarm, 1/2 hour alarm, etc.etc.etc. I’ve been using it now for 2 weeks and it really helps get me up and away from my work!

It’s called WorldTime6 and is downloadable from here. It runs on the PC platform.

World time 6

If you try it out, drop me a line and let me know what you think!



Portion Distortion, Or How Did My Food Garden Grow


It seems that as everything grows older, it gets bigger, not just people! :-)

Check out the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Portion Distortion. You’ll be presented with a slideshow of how food portions have grown over the years like this:

Bagel size

It’s a fascinating story – I urge you to visit and read.



ps – One great way to measure portions is to use a kitchen scale, like:

Agonies of The Biggest Loser


I’ll confess – I don’t catch The Biggest Loser much anymore, but oh do I so adore reading what’s been going on!

I came across a superb writeup over at The Biggest Loser4 – Episode 3. It began:

We open with a challenge this week – Whoever eats the most calories gets to knock off 3 lbs. at the next weigh in.

No one gets to see what whoever goes into the room does… whether they choose to eat or not. But they have to spend four minutes in the room.

What torment!

Some of them could eat just one chicken wing if they really wanted… it’d be on camera, for all of America to see, but no one on the team would know…..MORE….

Do pop on over at Lady Delaluna’s blog – it’s a great read!


ps – and if you’re looking for some neato Biggest Loser help, check out: