Archive for October, 2008

Me, on Brazen Careerist!

Allow me to be self-indulgent for a moment. :) Check out my bio/page on

5 comments October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween & Happy (Extra) Hour

I thought I’d create a little Halloween weekend challenge for all of us.

Instead of telling ourselves what we WON’T do this weekend, how about what you WILL do with that extra hour of sleep on Sunday when Daylight Savings ends?

As for me? I plan to use that extra hour to scrapbook. It is one of those hobbies that keeps me engaged and enthralled. Seriously, hours can pass before I even realize it.

How about you? How will you spend that extra hour?

2 comments October 31, 2008

On the Hunt for Moderation, “Information is a Gift”

I told Dr. G. last night about my big “coming out” yesterday.

And while she supports the notion of living authentically and listened intently, she also said something else that surprised me: “Remember, too, that information is a gift.”

She went on to say, “you choose when and how to give it.”

I’ll be honest; it took me a while to get what she was saying.

I’m of the Internet generation, where we’re encouraged to be transparent … even though we all know there’s certain risk involved in that. And being so open fits nicely with my personality. Given my “hardware”, I am the kind of person who wears her heart on her sleeve.

I tend to feel guilty when I am not being wholly transparent, which is why it was such a big deal for me to come clean about my identity on my various social media sites. And I’ve been known to over-share, to my own detriment.

In my mind, not sharing was being dishonest. (more…)

8 comments October 31, 2008

Living Authentically, Online & in Real Life

I had an epiphany yesterday: when I began blogging this past July, I was ready to dip my toes in the pool … but I was still afraid to go for a lengthy swim.

I was nervous about how I’d be perceived by friends and family as I shared my deepest thoughts and fears with the blogosphere. I wanted to remain semi-anonymous; just “a 20-something struggling with disordered eating issues.”

I didn’t expect to see 400-800 page views a day (and sometimes way, way more!). I was honestly writing for myself, and hoped there would be maybe a handful of readers that would find me online.

And find me, you have!

So while I identified myself as “Melissa” (which is, indeed, my name) and branded my blog by purchasing the domain name (which I’ll need to renew each year), I chose not to add my blog’s URL to my Facebook or Twitter pages. In fact, I didn’t even register my blog with Technorati — the biggest blog search engine!

Well … all of that changed yesterday.

In an e-mail exchange with Steph at Back in Skinny Jeans yesterday, she said something that totally hit home: “When you live authentically, the universe conspires with you.” (more…)

16 comments October 30, 2008

Making Peace With Triggers

Is there a former-trigger food you’ve since made peace with and can have in your home or at your office?

Cold cereal — healthy ones, in particular — used to be my biggest downfall. I used to have major problems with both Kashi Go-Lean Crunch and Barbara’s cinnamon Puffins (the best cereal — EVER).

My midnight incidents in D.C. often included Puffins or Kashi. Especially Puffins, with their cinnamony goodness.

At 100 calories per 2/3 c., I could easily have made a healthy snack … but I’d have two servings at 3:00 a.m. Not exactly conducive to a successful weight loss strategy. (more…)

10 comments October 29, 2008

Women’s Health: This is Your Body on Exercise

I’m all about sharing interesting articles today. I read this one tonight at the gym in the November issue of Women’s Health.

For all you fitness fiends, this great article explains, in layman’s terms, what’s actually happening to our bodies when we push ourselves — and why it feels so damn good to do it!

Add comment October 29, 2008

Calories Do Count

Here’s a good piece in yesterday’s New York Times called “Calories Do Count” that blog reader (and dear friend) Allison shared with me today.

The premise is so true. People don’t want to believe it, but it’s true: calories matter. Weight loss, and especially weight maintenance, is all about calories in versus calories out.

Check it out here.

7 comments October 29, 2008

Fragrance as “Fuel”

There’s a woman at my gym who, for various reasons having absolutely nothing to do with her age or physical appearance, annoys me. (I realize that would be ridiculously hypocritical given this week’s posts about branding ourselves and banning body snarking!)

Aside from her irritating behavior like eyeing up everyone at the gym left and right, wearing glitter lotion to work out (who does that?!), blatantly flirting with anyone with a male appendage and wearing just a sports bra and tight pants that showed off all her assets … she’s one of those people that just grates on me, and I pretty much like everyone.

(I don’t care how fit or hot someone is –”I see skin, and it’s not in!” Sports bras are not made to be worn outside of your basement gym, just my modest opinion …!) …

So you’re probably wondering, ok … so … what’s her biggest “offense?”

Well … she’s a spritzer. (more…)

Add comment October 29, 2008

Being Your Own PR Flak: Perception is Reality

(*Disclosure: I’m a PR professional in real life, and have a master’s in public communication — so I have a vested interest in changing perceptions and building relationships — two basic tenets of good PR).

Are you your own best PR person?

Are you putting your best image, er, foot forward every day, or are you still hung up on your looks, imperfections, and short-comings?

This was one of the topics of the keynote yesterday by journalist, writer and blogger Penelope Trunk at the Public Relations Society of America conference I am attending here in Detroit.

Her argument was that, when it comes to women and their careers (she authored a book called The Brazen Careerist and writes a blog under the same premise), all too often, women are not being their own best PR person, even though they are most qualified to do so.

Women today have the power to carve their own path, regardless of the state of the economy or if they’ve been out of the working world for a while, she says. We can be our own biggest PR flaks.

Penelope contends that we ought to be out there pitching ourselves (our authentic “brand”, what makes us unique and desirable) like mad … because jobs don’t last forever, career tracks change, but we’re still “us,” and we’re worth investing a little time to polish the image we portray to the world.

We don’t need to be perfect by any means (something I’m coming to terms with). But like it or not, perceptions matter.

If you’re perceived at a job interview, for example, as confident and firm, people will think you are. It essentially becomes your reality.

On the flip side, if you walk into a room with your eyes down and are constantly touching your hair or fidgeting, people will see you as insecure. That becomes your “reality,” because that’s the image you’re portraying.

So how does this translate to body image issues so many of us face? Oftentimes it is these issues that hold us back from becoming our own best PR person. If we don’t think we look good, well, we probably won’t carry ourselves with confidence. (more…)

6 comments October 28, 2008

Banning Body-Snarking

Be honest. When is the last time you stood in front of the mirror and raved –seriously raved — about your appearance?

For me, it was my wedding day two years ago.

I’d never felt so beautiful in my waist-accentuated, fitted gown, all dolled up and ready to walk down the aisle to begin a future with the man I love …

And, feeling so beatiful, I radiated all day.

I don’t think I’m an exception here; it’s my hope that every bride feels gorgeous on her wedding day.

But aside from special occasions like that, if you’re like many women who suffer from body dysmorphia or negative body image, you probably don’t spend a lot of time preening at your own reflection.

It’s bad enough when we bash our own bodies, but now more than ever — especially thanks to the proliferation of celebrity-focused magazines and gossip blogs on the Web — women are bashing other women, too. It’s called “body snarking” and it’s getting ugly. (more…)

11 comments October 27, 2008

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