Tapati's Body Image Workshop: Day Four Assignment

by TapatiThis assignment is meant to be interactive. It is a guided visualization followed by discussion or journal writing. You can handle this either by having someone read it to you, going slowly enough for you to visualize, or you can record it and then play it back for yourself. Before you do the visualization exercise, please start by getting into a comfortable position and relaxing with some slow, deep breaths. The concept for this exercise originated with Marcia Hutchinson although I am writing this version myself. You should check out her book, Transforming Body Image, for this and other wonderful body image enhancing activities! … [Read more...]

Tapati's Body Image Workshop: Taking Care of Ourselves

by Tapati1) Make a list of ten things you would do if you really loved your body. Pick one and start doing it now. As you progress you can choose other things from the list. This is an especially powerful exercise for those women who have been waiting to do nearly everything "until I lose those pounds."2) Create a support system of friends who support you in loving the body you have now. You may find that your circle of friends shifts as you seek out people who are supportive and leave behind people who won't accept your limits on negative body talk or diet propaganda. This requires a commitment to yourself--you realize that you deserve acceptance and won't settle for less.3) Surround … [Read more...]

Tapati's Body Image Workshop: Day Three Assignment

by TapatiThis one can be a quick brainstorm for most of you--it's the second step that will take more time.Make a list of ten things you would like to do if you had your ideal body that you aren't doing now. Most of us do have a picture in mind of what our ideal body would look like--plus or minus x pounds, minus the scar, with a little more or less height, younger/older, different hair or features--and we imagine we'd be more confident and take more risks or do different things if we looked like our ideal image.In the case of illness or loss of certain abilities this can be more challenging, of course. There are literally some things you may not be able to do.Step 2 is to pick one … [Read more...]

Tapati's Body Image Workshop: Playlist

Body Image Playlistby TapatiBeautiful by Christina AguileraMahbootay by Laura LoveVideo by Indie ArieGirl Next Door and Imperfection by Saving JaneAt Seventeen by Janis IanWhy do you love me? or Bleed like me by GarbageCrazy by Simple PlanUnpretty by TLCPerfectly Flawed by OtepFat Boy by BizarreBaby Got Back by Sir Mixalot (ok, yes this is funny but those of us with large butts were really happy to have a veritable anthem!) … [Read more...]

Tapati’s Body Image Workshop: Day Two Assignment

by TapatiWrite your body a letter--and allow your body to respond.I would suggest doing this regularly. You can also apply this technique to any particular body part.It sounds so simple--and yet it yields so much if you really open yourself up to a dialog. It is modeled after the empty chair type exercises psychology has utilized for years. Can't talk to your deceased relative? Write a letter or address them in an empty chair or at their grave site. It's the same principle.Of course your body is another part of YOU. Yet it is possible for different parts of you to have a dialog. Don't you do this all the time when you are deciding whether or not to exercise, eat well, or buy that … [Read more...]

Tapati's Body Image Workshop: Recovery From Crash Dieting

by TapatiYears ago as part of my body image work I went on a "recovery from dieting" program. My relationship with food was a mess after years of crash dieting and growing up in a family of crash dieters. Foods were all divided into strict categories of good and bad, and I associated the "good" foods with starvation diets I'd been on, and the punishment and deprivation I'd experienced. I beat myself up mentally for wanting or enjoying the "bad" foods, foods I now can enjoy in moderation.The rules were simple:1. Eat only when hungry.This was mostly a challenge of recognizing when I was hungry and eating right away. I found I was more likely to go past that point and only eat when I … [Read more...]

Quiverfull in a Nutshell

Michelle says, Never enough babies!What the quiverfull movement doesn't have is satisfaction. It casts itself as only looking for "blessing" but in many cases it seems to go far beyond that to reach the collectors' mentality which bespeaks more of greed, grabbing for every child you can, and if you don't do that, you fail spiritually. It's an insidious teaching and my only regret in accepting my atheism is knowing that there will be no ultimate reckoning where those who promoted and gained from this teaching do not face what they have created and see it for what it really is. The quiverful movement claims to welcome every child, but it never allows you to be happy with just what you have … [Read more...]

Tapati's Body Image Workshop: Day One Assignment

by TapatiFind some images online, in card shops, in books or magazines, or elsewhere of women (or men) whose body type resembles your own. It’s OK if this project takes more than one day, but spend at least 15 minutes per day on it until you have assembled several images. You might color-copy or scan some images if you go to the library to find them. When it comes to magazines, you might look in something other than fashion-oriented issues. Try everything from National Geographic to alternative press titles. Pagan magazines are a good bet for a variety of images.Older woman can find some wonderful images in a deck of cards entitled “Wisdom of the Crone.” You can find them at http: … [Read more...]

Tapati's Body Image Workshop: Why Body Image Matters

by TapatiMy involvement with the issue of body image came out of my encounter with the size acceptance movement in the late 1980s. I was fortunate enough to meet Ruah Bull, a body image educator. I had never heard of such a thing but soon I was exposed to her classes at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California. She had studied with body image guru Marcia Hutchinson and had joined with other large women to form a radical group that occasionally defaced billboards with thin models and went out to eat together in public—always a radical act for a large woman. They encouraged each other to wear sexy clothing and supported each other’s efforts to throw off inhibitions that they’d absorbed in our l … [Read more...]

I Have Won

by TapatiCrashing against the wall World spinning crazily Your voice from a distance Screaming in fury Self righteous condemnationAgain the blows come They seem to explode inside my head I don't see your fist in its journey towards my body.In defeat I huddle Arms over my head, shielding in vain Knees drawn up to chest I believe this is the end.Finally you finish Your anger and frustration relieved. Surprised to be alive I remain where I am, in shock.Slowly reason returns. I try to pull myself together Clutching the shreds of sanity-- Determined to survive.In bitterness I hear the pleas To forgive you one more time. Ignore the empty promises "It'll never happen again."I know … [Read more...]


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