Saturday, June 25, 2011

Is Being Too Nice Making You Fat?

“Is being too nice making you fat? Nurturing others means you aren't taking enough care of yourself.”

This is the beginning of an article from SELF magazine by Susan Cheever called, "Is Being Too Nice Making You Fat?"

Now, I am definitely not one to advocate being selfish, but I can tell you that taking care of as many people as I can in these times of the sandwich generation, can sometimes take a toll on me.
Ms. Cheever discusses the role of dieting and weight growing up as a child.  It was a very complicated concept, as I think it is for many young women (and sometimes men).
She writes about the dilemma that women face sometimes in needing to comfort themselves and using food to accomplish that.
“Then a friend said something wise: "If you want to know what you really care about, look around. Your actions tell the story." Clearly, although I believed I wanted to eat less, powerful subconscious forces were overriding my resolve. Some part of me needed to eat too much. Was there something about being overweight that I liked? How did it serve me?
Certainly, by the end of a day of catering to colleagues and family, I was sorely in need of comfort (in other words, food). I needed a way to put some distance between myself and the demanding world (again, food). Was there a connection between being too accommodating, between saying yes too quickly and unthinkingly, and feeling hungry? Maybe I was using food to dampen my anger and resentment at being taken advantage of. I was protecting myself with an extra layer of flesh. "It's about boundaries," Maine says. "Women often have a hard time maintaining them. You say yes to everyone else, so you can't say no to food.
I decided I would worry less about feeding other people emotionally and physically. I would start saying no. Or at least, I wouldn't say yes until I'd had time to think about what I wanted to do.”
I am not, and I do not believe Ms. Cheever is, suggesting in anyway to stop caring for those we love.  I think the issue is that we need to be mindful of why we are eating and make sure it’s not filling a need that should be dealt with in a different way.
I think it’s a great practice to ask yourself before you put a brownie in your mouth, for example, why you are eating it?  If you just feel like it and it tastes good and you feel no guilt afterwards, great.  If you are eating it because you are anxious or angry or upset, it’s not a bad idea to figure out if the brownie is the best solution.

Do not think that I have a perfect handle on this!  I don’t, but I think the 
SELF article is worth reading because the truth is that most of the time, dieting just scratches the surface.

The big stuff is underneath.


Monday, June 13, 2011

"Don't Fear Failure" by Conan O'Brien

I know there were many wonderful commencement speeches over the last week or so, but I think you will really enjoy the following.  This commencement speech was given by Conan O'Brien at Dartmouth.
I will quote one of the passages below that provides food for thought for recent graduates (and everyone else).  If you get the chance, read the whole speech or watch the video.  Not only is he extremely eloquent and speaking from personal experience, but he will have you in tears from laughing so hard at the beginning of the speech.  As a background note, Conan O'Brien is a Harvard grad.
"It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It's not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound re-invention.
So, at the age of 47, after 25 years of obsessively pursuing my dream, that dream changed. For decades, in show business, the ultimate goal of every comedian was to host The Tonight Show. It was the Holy Grail, and like many people I thought that achieving that goal would define me as successful. But that is not true. No specific job or career goal defines me, and it should not define you. In 2000—in 2000—I told graduates to not be afraid to fail, and I still believe that. But today I tell you that whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.
Many of you here today are getting your diploma at this Ivy League school because you have committed yourself to a dream and worked hard to achieve it. And there is no greater cliché in a commencement address than "follow your dream." Well I am here to tell you that whatever you think your dream is now, it will probably change. And that's okay. Four years ago, many of you had a specific vision of what your college experience was going to be and who you were going to become. And I bet, today, most of you would admit that your time here was very different from what you imagined. Your roommates changed, your major changed, for some of you your sexual orientation changed. I bet some of you have changed your sexual orientation since I began this speech. I know I have. But through the good and especially the bad, the person you are now is someone you could never have conjured in the fall of 2007."

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The RealReal

Julie Wainwright has launched many start-ups and she was kind enough to come speak to our Oxygen group a year or so ago.  What I have always loved about Julie is her amazing determination and persistence (and her ability to love life with all its ups and downs).  
She has just launched a new start-up featuring designer clothes for resale:  The clothes are stylist selected, fine quality, and amazingly priced.  According to Julie, "women who love Chanel, Prada, Celine, YSL and other top designers have a new place to shop online for great deals.   The RealReal, a refined, stylist-curated designer consignment store, opened its doors for membership enrollment today.  Sales begin at the end of June.  All designer items to be a fraction of the original price."
You can buy clothes online or consign your own.  It is easy to consign.  The company is offering a special White Glove Service where consignors can call The RealReal on their toll-free number at (855) 435-5893 during business hours and a stylist will schedule a UPS pick-up of the items.  Or a consignor can fill out a form online and send in their items for sale.  San Francisco Bay Area consignors fare even better as stylists working with The RealReal will pick up items at your home or office.  The company expects to expand this personalized service to other key cities in the near future.