This is how I used to start my day: I’d meditate for five minutes, read the daily passage in The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie, and do the daily reading and writing exercises from my Buddhism book. Then I’d log onto my computer and type my gratitude list of 30-50 items I was grateful for, followed by the 3-5 affirmations I was currently working with, written 1-10 times each. I’d email this to the approximately 40 women I exchanged gratitude lists with, and then read their lists in my inbox. Before turning off my computer, I’d scan Twitter for inspirational quotes to retweet.
On the subway to work, I’d listen to an uplifting playlist on my iPod, and/or recite affirmations in my mind. Keep reading »
“There is no justice for drunk women,” begins Andrea Peysner’s New York Post column, “It’s Open Season For Predators In Uniform,” about the acquittal of a cop accused of raping a drunk woman in her apartment. “A Manhattan jury yesterday had to decide whom it hated more: a rotten police officer who admitted he lied, cheated, cuddled, kissed and groped a drunken woman. Or the woman herself … But there never was any contest. The jury loathed her on sight.” Peysner, it should be noted, is known for her extremely conservative views. I generally consider her a wack job, so I was shocked to read that she was just as appalled as I am by the results of this case.
As a young woman who has also been drunk on many occasions, this case has resonated deeply with me. It has, in particular, reminded me of a night I had eight years ago. I am now wondering how a jury of my peers would have judged me had the night gone differently. Keep reading »
As I boarded the plane to Las Vegas, I vowed to keep the judgment to a minimum and the laughter to a maximum. I can endure anything for one weekend, I reasoned, taking comfort in the thought that there was no way my cousin’s bachelorette weekend could be as bad as the one in the film “Bridesmaids,” as long as I refrained from mixing pills and booze. I reminded myself why I was there: to celebrate the love in my cousin’s life.
I took an aisle seat next to one of the other bridesmaids, who looked remarkably like Heidi Montag, minus the size H breasts.
“So, are you dating anyone?” she asked, first thing after hello. Keep reading »
Every winter, I pack on about 15 pounds. I live in Minneapolis, which means that my city may be blanketed in snow from early-November through mid-May, and all that dark, oppressive, endlessly cold weather makes vigorous exercise and light, healthful foods seem about as appealing as major dental work.
But despite the fact that my weight fluctuates year after year, I don’t diet. Despite the fact that I’ve got cellulite and a poochy belly and fairly big hips for my frame, I don’t diet. Despite the fact that I spent my entire adolescence and young adult life actively hating my body and attempting to hide inside my clothing, I don’t diet. Because for one thing, few diets work permanently, with lost weight often regained within a year. And for another, I don’t believe that there is one acceptably beautiful body shape or figure. And finally, I’ve found a far better way to help myself look and feel good than attempting to diet my body into submission: I dress to my figure. Keep reading »
A year ago, my then-boyfriend and I argued about something. I can’t remember anymore what it was about. But I know it made me upset the night we argued and lasted until the next morning, all the way from my commute from New Jersey into New York City. Pent-up with frustration, I needed to do something to make myself feel better. So instead of walking straight to my office, I ducked into an H&M, grabbed skirts, dresses and blouses off the racks without even trying them on, and spent something like $200 or $300 on clothes in less than half an hour. Keep reading »
I love Oprah. I’ve been watching her since I was a pimply teenager looking for diet tips and ways to attract a boyfriend. My dream was to become a journalist and interview newsmakers and celebrities just like she does. I wound up a TV news producer and writer and — although I never got my own show or theme song — I thank Oprah for motivating me.
O and I have been through a lot together. Big hair, shoulder pads, and several body types. We’ve also taken a spiritual journey as we grew up and began to recognize the world outside ourselves. The cynical will snicker, but I believe she encouraged me to be a better person. Her shows prompted me to read great books, be more generous with time and money, and better understand my fellow man.
When I heard it was her last season, I wanted to make the pilgrimage to my hometown of Chicago to see her in person. I lobbied everyone I knew who might have a connection until I scored tickets. I booked my flight and shared my excitement with friends. Keep reading »