Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Stripping Down: A Memoir - Free for Kindle!

Pink Fish Press is doing a special holiday giveaway of all their titles. 

If you don't have my memoir, Stripping Down, here's your chance to get it for free for Kindle! 

Here's a look at all the other great titles from Pink Fish Press!

Just head over to Amazon and they all can be yours for free!




TAKING FLIGHT
      by Adrian R. Magnuson  
Jeremy Walsh's parents assume he's been abducted by the elderly man he met on a cross-country flight, but it's the other way around.   
Share in the journey of two unlikely companions who meet in midair: 13-year-old Jeremy, sent against his will by his career-absorbed father to spend the summer with his bipolar mother in New York, and Harry Herndon, elderly, one-legged and afflicted with mid-stage Alzheimer's, who escapes the confinement of home for what may be his last adventure. Outcasts of sorts, they begin their cross-country getaway, trailed by Harry's wife and Jeremy's parents, each of whom threaten to cut their journey short. The story that follows is a race against time and circumstance as the two quickly bond over their mutual love of birding while experiencing the joys and growing pains of Taking Flight in their own, very different, ways.

STRIPPING DOWN
      by Sheila Hageman
"I feel the weight of the hammer from the dusty workbench in my sweaty palm and hit the padlock. My heart thumps in my bony chest. I listen for the humming sound of my mother's car backing into the driveway. I hit again. I listen. The lock pops open."  
At twelve years old, everything changed for Sheila with the discovery of her estranged father's porn collection. Found locked away in a corner of the basement, the glossy images ignite in her an unrelenting desire for attention and adoration. Now, reflections on her past as a stripper permeate her thoughts as she takes on the new roles of mother, caregiver and wife. While helping her baby daughter take her first steps, she nurses her mother through the final stages of breast cancer. This powerful and beautiful story is a moving meditation on a woman's life through her body, motherhood and loss.  
Spiraling through memories and torn between the woman she is becoming and the woman she has been, Sheila Hageman is continually Stripping Down.

THESE THINGS I KNOW
      by Jessica Karbowiak
Jessica Karbowiak's beautiful short stories and essays chronicle the narrator's growth from a space of victimization, to observer and ultimately redemption. Its theme of learning how to live in the world covers the author's own personal tragedies, historical accounts, surreal short stories on acceptance and self-worth and finally becoming whole—even as a damaged creature.  
The collection is gorgeous, challenging, peculiar and experimental. As much about the writing as the narrative, the author bends perception by lyrically manipulating her words and their meanings into a unique reading experience. These Things I Know is equal parts art piece, narrative and memoir, and will fill readers with a sense of wonder and hope as they turn each page.

NO ONE EVER ASKED ME THAT: Conversations on the Afterlife
      by Catherine Levison
What are the purposes of imagination? Catherine Levison was intrigued by topics like this from an early age. Seeking more meaningful conversations, she developed a series of questions to bypass small talk and enable others to speak comfortably on deep issues. Not only did her approach generate unforgettable conversations, it had a profound effect on those she spoke with. This book compiles interviews, held over the course of more than a decade with a diverse group of people, from monks, to teachers, to dish washers. The results are thought-provoking, often surprising and you will find yourself wondering why no one ever asked you that.

GUIDEBOOK FOR WORKING WITH SMALL INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS
      By Terry Persun
There are only a handful of corporate publishers and literally thousands of independent presses. For authors looking to publish, the choices can be daunting. This guidebook explains the pros and cons of making the choice to work with small publishers, explains the independent press process, and offers a valuable sample marketing plan. With years of publishing experience, author Terry Persun helps navigate the world of small, independent publishers in this concise and illuminating guidebook.



Friday, December 07, 2012

Exposing Family Secrets


Here's a link to my appearance on CBS 2's NY News the other night: Can Exposing Family Secrets Help The Healing Process?.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Arne Duncan Strips Down to Save Our Kids' Education!



Even the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, is Stripping Down now, but it’s in the name of paying for kids’ education, y’all!

Saying it was his only real option to earn much-needed cash, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told reporters Tuesday he had been forced to start working as an erotic dancer at the local strip club Peaches in order to put the nation’s students through school.

Ok, yes…this article appears in The Onion. But they really got the stripper dialogue down!

“Taking off your clothes in front of strangers isn’t for everyone, but I’m confident in my body, and regardless, I need to get the money somehow,” said Duncan, who performs under the stage name Velvet. “I’m not planning on doing this forever, just until all 49.8 million kids in our public elementary and secondary schools can graduate. Then I can go back to my regular job.”

There really are strippers out there in the clubs saying this very thing with just a few slight differences.

As a former stripper I can sit here and say that yes, a lot of us strippers can justify our jobs even when we don’t especially like what we are doing. Hey! We’ve got to support the kids, right?

Of course, I would think that goes for most people who don’t like or don’t feel 100% great about their work.

This brings up a real issue when it comes to strippers and a great place for the rest of us to practice compassion—if we were to imagine strippers (or insert a person/worker who you think is doing something immoral) as moms trying to put their kids through school, feed the family and support the household, could we have more compassion and understanding for them?

Perhaps we all “Strip Down” in some way in our lives when we need to—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Ban on Public Nudity Needed?


As a woman who has posed nude in public places and gone close to nude on public beaches, I understand people’s desire to be free of clothing. And I also understand the whole freedom of expression angle.


CNN reports on San Francisco’s ban on public nudity: San Francisco approves public nudity ban; protesters strip down.

“Supervisor Scott Wiener, who introduced the ordinance, disputed claims that the measure violates freedom of expression.
 "We're a city that believes in freedom, and we've always believed in freedom and free expression," Wiener told CNN affilite KGO. "But taking your pants off at Castro and Market and displaying your genitals to everyone, that's not free expression."
 But some nudists have filed a lawsuit claiming the ban violates their First Amendment rights.”
I can understand why public nudity could be a problem when there are kids around or when people are abusing the right, but overall I don’t have a problem with it.

If a person really just feels more comfortable nude and they’re not out there swinging things around or anything, what’s the big deal? Nude is our natural state after all.

I don’t think there are too many people who really want to go around naked in public anyway.



Do you think there needs to be a ban on public nudity?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dressing Up is the New Stripping Down



There’s so much to love about this article on NBC News: From farmer to supermodel: China's latest fashion sensation is 72-year-old granddad.

It seems Liu Qianping, a retired farmer, was having fun trying on some of his granddaughter’s clothes for her shop when she decided to take some photos. What got passed around in fun turned into a viral sensation.

Now Grandpa is the model for his granddaughter’s online store.

“Most special is that I could do something for my little granddaughter. I feel fulfilled," Qianping said.

I love seeing people having fun with life and trying new things and not caring what others think. And when those people end up being celebrated and “seen,” it just makes me light up.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Stripping Down for the Camera

Cameron Diaz from STV

 According to STV, Cameron Diaz enjoys stripping down and posing for the camera.

She told The Sunday Times newspaper: ''It's empowering. I'm not some young girl with the photographer going, 'Will you take your clothes off?' I'm like [mimes stripping], 'How does this look?'

That is an interesting difference to point out. As a former model, I do know that I felt more comfortable posing in the nude for some photographers than I did fully dressed for others. The sense of empowerment comes from doing what I felt comfortable with and what I felt empowered to do.

Do most women think it’s okay for other women or themselves to pose nude or in a provocative way as long as the woman feels empowered by it?

Diaz went on to explain ''I think every woman does want to be objectified. There's a little part of you at all times that hopes to be somewhat objectified, and I think it’s healthy.''

What do you think about what Diaz says? I’m not sure that I would agree that “every woman” wants to be objectified. I think I understand what she is trying to say though—that many women want to be seen as beautiful, which might be different than wanting to be objectified.

Is there a way for women to have it all when it comes to feeling beautiful for themselves and being objectified by men?

Can these two desires actually work together? Or are those two different ends that cannot meet?

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Girl's Need to Feel: Purposeful, Accomplished and Special



I was a huge fan of Little House on the Prairie when I was a girl; I read all the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and then watched and rewatched the television series.


Melissa Francis played Cassandra Cooper Ingalls on the hit television series. In an excerpt from her book, Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter: A Memoir, she talks about her childhood and her relationship with her mother.

“The day I won that part may have been the highlight of Mom’s life. Our two years on Little House on the Prairie were without question her happiest. There was no reason for me to talk back, or for her to take a scissor to my favorite shirt in front of me in response. I cried on cue, the adoration on the set enveloped me. Rebukes from Mom were short-lived, lest I show up for work uncooperative. But in truth, we were both so happy there was nothing to struggle over. She woke me at 5 am to make an early call and we worked well into the evening, but I loved the sense of purpose an acting job gave me, as well as the sense of accomplishment, and, of course, feeling so very special.”

What strikes me is how much what she says in the final line resonates with what I have written about and how I have described my experience in my teens: but I loved the sense of purpose an acting job gave me, as well as the sense of accomplishment, and, of course, feeling so very special.

Reading this in someone else’s words just makes me realize how important those needs are for some girls. And I’m wondering what we can learn from this description of young womanhood.

How do we give our girls ways to meet those needs, but in healthy ways?

How can we help our daughters to feel purposeful, accomplished and special through age-appropriate and beneficial rituals or activities?

I am not knocking acting for young girls; I think there are many good aspects of it. But I want to find ways for my daughter to feel all these empowering feelings without having to “perform.”

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Baring All For Our Children


Please visit Alicia Kamm's new website, Born Ready Baby. She interviewed me for a piece, Mom Bares All: Now & Then.

Baring all, stripping down, seems like such an important task for women today. Especially as mothers. I want my daughter to not enter the world without knowledge or to be stunned when she loses her innocence.

It's a wobbly line I walk as I figure out how and when to talk to my daughter about my past. But I know it's so important to be honest and to present her with a good role model.

Celebrity Baby Scoop reports on actress Melissa McCarthy about how she deals with talking to her own young daughters about her issues in Melissa McCarthy: I Don’t Want To Pass On Negative Body Image To Daughters.

Mom-of-two Melissa McCarthy opens up about her weight in the latest issue of Good Housekeeping. ”Sometimes I wish I were just magically a size six and I never had to give [my weight] a single thought,” the Bridesmaids star admits. 
“But I am weirdly healthy, so I don’t beat myself up about it – it wouldn’t help, and I don’t want to pass that on to my girls,” she adds.

As moms we are so hyper-vigilant about not passing on our issues to our daughters, which I think is good.

If we're aware enough to understand what will probably affect our children, hopefully we're conscious enough to also be working on our issues for ourselves, too.

Are there any issues or bad habits that you worry about passing on to your children?

Monday, November 05, 2012

Proud to Be Wearing Clean Underwear

When it comes to positive body image advice, it sometimes seems like there's nothing new under the sun to add.

While that may be true, you never know when someone will spark a new can-do attitude in someone who's never come across that idea before. Or sometimes, just the way someone else presents a time-tested tip can be just what you need to hear.

Here's a  list of helpful hints from Yahoo Shine: 15 Ways to Get a Killer Body Image.

I like number 1:
1. Before you leave your apartment in the morning, take a moment to strike a ridiculous (-ly attractive) pose in the mirror. It's silly, but it's good to take a moment and remember how hot you are when you're just out of the shower and freshly primped for the day. 
Except I don't know if I always feel that attractive in the morning. Especially not when I'm just throwing on clothes to get out of the house on time with three kids.

And today I have a cold, feel depressed and achy. Let's see if I can somehow make myself feel beautiful even when I feel like crap and my primping consisted of putting on clean underpants and brushing my teeth.


What can we learn from the above photo of me as compared to the model in the pretty blue sweater at the start of this blog?

Well, first of all, I really need to wipe off the kids' fingerprint smudges from my bedroom mirror. And secondly, I may not look so "hot" in this photo. But seeing as I managed to clothe myself, deliver my kids to school, and come home to a heated house, I guess I'm feeling pretty good about myself today.

Sometimes body image takes a backseat to being proud of ourselves for just getting up and out there even when we're not feeling so "hot."

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Yoga Girl

I stumbled on this video Yoga Girl, which brightened up my day when I was feeling stressed.

I've just been trying to figure out where yoga fits in with my life in the world today and how to modernize it and make it more applicable to my own life and myself as a woman.

This is a pretty funny take on a lot of the issues I have about yoga and women.

 

Dj Dave and Barney Kook bust an R and B inspired ballad dedicated to Yoga Girls all over the world.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Model Poses in Sandy's Destruction


Do people have no shame anymore when it comes to publicity?

Wait...this doesn't surprise me at all.

Publicity is all about doing something that gets attention. Model Nana GouvĂȘa got attention. Posing amid Sandy's destruction.


I like the Internet Memes that have sprung up showing GouvĂȘa inserted into different tragedies.

Alas, that just gives her more free publicity, which is probably what this was all about.


If this had been done in the name of Art (with a capital"A"), would it have made a difference?


Perhaps if there was a vision or a message being sent, I would think, yes.


What do you think? Can and should Art be made from devastation?



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lap Dancing is Not an Art Says New York Court


The AP reports that the courts have decided and the verdict is...lap dancing is not an art!

I had a feeling that his might be the finding, but what surprises me is how close the vote was; the vote was split 4 to 3.

It looks like Nite Moves strip club is going to have to cough up the back taxes they owe or get to choreographing those lap dances better. Maybe throw a few tutus on the dancers. You know, high-brow it up a bit.

What do you think? Should stripping or lap dancing be considered an art?


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Sun's Page 3 Topless Women Issue


Can you imagine the outrage if an American daily newspaper decided to start publishing photos of topless women inside their pages?

The UK's Sun has something called Page 3 Women, which is just that. Every day. Every page 3. A topless woman.

It seems like such a sad representation of our society that in this day and age topless women would adorn a news daily.

And I'm not a man-hater or anti-topless women. I think the nude body is a beautiful thing.

But I think there's a place for everything. And a daily newspaper that little girls might pick up and glance at is not the place for representing women as simply objects.

Check out my blog for the UK's Huffington Post on this issue: Former Topless Model Advocates Highlighting Women's Talents and Abilities in the Sun.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Living with Depression

Image of Sheila Hageman
Depression can be a very serious illness, which affects so many people in different ways.

I'm so relieved when I see depression being spoken about more openly in the news. The more we learn about depression and open the conversation to everyone, the more research and help will become available.

Here is my ireport for CNN on depression and how to live with depression we need to stop fighting it...

Read the story here...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sexual Contracts Open Up the Conversation



My segment from Huff Post Live on sexual contracts ended up on the homepage of AOL.

Check out my interview: Has She Found the 'Key to Better Sex’?: Sheila Hageman claims a small relationship technique will lead to life-changing improvements -- and it can work for anyone. Method supposedly reinvigorates marriages

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stripping as Art? Life as Art!

I had a fun interview with Thom Hartmann on The Big Picture about whether stripping is an art.

I absolutely think that stripping can be an art, I really do.

There were times when I would really get into character and feel incredibly sexy and beautiful and put on an amazing performance.

But there were other days, other stages, where I felt belittled and demeaned where I could barely move my body.

I do think stripping can be done as an art, just as anything can be actually.

Unfortunately, we're all so busy just trying to earn our salary and make a living that we often lose touch with approaching living itself as an art.

Life can be done as an art. That is what I strive for.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

When and Where is Breastfeeding OK in the Public's Opinion?



I wrote about Professor Adrienne Pine's breastfeeding in class for the Huffington Post: Breastfeeding Professor's Non-Incident Makes Headlines: When Will Moms Be Allowed to do it all in Order to Have it All?

Yahoo's headline made me think this professor was using the classroom as political statement: "Feminist Anthropology Professor Blasted for Breastfeeding During Class," but nothing could be farther from the truth.

Professor Adrienne Pine had a dilemma on the first day of her Sex, Gender and Culture class at American University in Washington, D.C when her baby had a fever and couldn't go to daycare. She didn't want her students to miss the introductory class, so she brought along her child to it. Her child did fine for awhile, but when she got cranky, she breastfed for a few minutes until the baby fell asleep.

Professor Pine never meant to make a statement. She was just trying to teach her class. Unfortunately, some students went to the college's newspaper, where they were all too eager to make it a story. Despite Pine's attempts to explain the situation and show what a non-issue this was, it has turned into headline news...

Read the rest at The Huffington Post...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Can Anything Be Art?

Painting by Richard Phillips from The Huffington Post

There's a Zen saying that goes something like this: How you do anything is how you do everything.

If that is true, is it not possible for just about anything to be done as "Art"?

After my latest Huffington Post blog The Art of the Lap Dance: As Told by a Former Strip Tease Artist, I’ve been thinking about this whole idea of art.

I mean, really—who gets to decide what art is or not?

Then I ran into this piece today: Lindsay Lohan, Adriana Lima Paintings By Richard Phillips: Are They Really Art?

The writer Michael Hogan asks some great questions about how we determine what is art or not in relation to Richard Phillips’ huge painting of celebrity women:

“You can call it a sad commentary on the way we live now, but is that on him or on us? If Phillips is holding up a mirror to our environment and all we want to do is smash it, whose fault, really, is that?”

Do you think it’s possible for anyone to do anything and have a grand “arty” explanation for it and that makes it art?

Or do you think Art (notice the capital “A”) must meet certain other standards?


Sunday, September 09, 2012

Stripping Down #1 on Amazon for Free Kindle ebooks in Memoir

Image of Stripping Down Cover

Stripping Down is currently #21 in all free Kindle ebooks and #1 in memoir!

Thanks for your support everyone!

You can still download a free copy until Midnight!

Please download and let your friends know!


Monday, September 03, 2012

Why You Should Keep Writing and Not Feel Bad About Low Amazon Rankings

Credit: Chicago Sun-Times

Come on—admit it. If you have a published book you check your Amazon ranking on a consistent basis. Maybe not every day, but you keep an eye on it.

There are good reasons to keep tabs on your numbers—how else are you going to know if your publicity attempts are having an effect on your book sales? Or if your latest blog posts have sent people to your Amazon book page?

But don’t get discouraged when you are number one-million-something because just having a better-ranking does not necessarily mean your book is going to be a best seller.

Case in point: if you are anything like fired highschool coach Bryan Craig who wrote a 47-page book called “It’s Her Fault,” your excellent Amazon ranking will likely diminish once your fifteen minutes of infamy are over. And keep in mind that a good Amazon number does not necessarily mean the book is selling well, just that people are visiting the page.

Craig’s self-published 47-page, I hesitate to call it a book, perhaps booklet, which contains wisdom such as “the easiest kill for a man is through the young lady with low self-esteem,” sits as of now at #10,000 on Amazon’s best-sellers.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Craig’s numbers improve even more as his notoriety and curiosity spreads, but will it be because he has written the next classic tome?

Perhaps not—with such classic quotes as, “Women far exceed men in terms of brainpower” and “For some reason, I always find a trail of popcorn leading back to it being her fault.” Hmm…seems curious if women are so much smarter that all relationship problems would stem from us…

So the next time you are feeling like your book is unworthy, remember your Amazon ranking has nothing to do with your book’s vale or your worth as a writer.

Stay true to your mission and keep writing regardless of what the “numbers” tell you.

Minnie Mouse and Lady Gaga Want You to Know They Are Skinny

From Celebuzz.com
If almost everybody agrees that scary skinny isn't even pretty, then why do we still see that body image being presented to us as everyday as the ideal?

My latest blog for the Huffington Post looks at last week's examples of extreme Photoshopping and what it says about us.

Minnie Mouse and Lady Gaga Love Them Some Photoshop

How do you feel about beloved children's characters like Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck being made into skinny supermodels to hawk clothes for Barneys?

From Shine.Yahoo.com

And what about Lady Gaga? I thought she was all about us being proud of being "Born this Way"?

Do you think the Photoshopping of her Vogue cover sends the wrong message?




Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mommy Makeover on The Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda


I had a blast having a Mommy Makeover 
with Eve Michaels on 
The Today Show 
on Monday 
with Kathie Lee and Hoda.

Image of Sheila Hageman before appearing on The Today Show

After the initial consultation with Eve Michaels, author of Dress Code: Ending Beauty Anarchy, three other moms and I spent the day in Bloomingdales shopping for the perfect outfits.

Trying on another black dress
Flouncy


The old haircut and color


I have never spent so much time 
trying on clothes!


Theory Blue Leather Coat

The next day we spent at the salon with hairdresser guru Craig. 


Melissa hanging out at Maria Benito Salon

Mary Ellen warming up with hairdryer

Clarice

Monday morning at 6am we were at the Trump Soho getting into 
hair and make-up.

Sheila Hageman

Then off to Rockefeller Center to the studio.

Dressing room neighbor...the Jonas Brothers

I couldn't sit once in my dress, so we munched on grapes with Dr. Ruth and...stood around.
Clarice, Craig, Melissa, Eve, Sheila, Julie, Mary Ellen
After our segment we took more photos and then Nick and I headed out for lunch.

Rockefeller Center



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Healthy Body AND Mind and Spirit!

Fruit break during our exercise fun!

I found this great website for teens focusing on a healthy body and self-image called Bodimojo.

“Trying to get a grip on what's affecting your life? BodiMojo is all about building teen confidence! Instead of a "one-size fits all" approach, BodiMojo personalizes health and wellness information just for teenagers: body image, nutrition, fitness, eating disorders, emotional life, dating, sexual health, alcohol and drugs, and more. Through personalized quizzes, health tools and games, customized goal setting and tips, BodiMojo is all about YOU! There's plenty to check out and share on your social networks!”

It’s through websites like this that we’ll counteract pro-anorexia blogs that are out there. There are lots of great tips and tools for not only getting healthy in body, but in mind, too.

It’s important when we talk about getting healthy that we don’t just focus on body. Some recent research shows that young adults care more about their looks than what’s going on inside (not a big surprise!). Without a healthy mind and spirit, too, a healthy body won’t do us much good.

It’s never too early to encourage our children how important it is to maintain a healthy state of being…not just body!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Healthy Body Image For the Family


I've noticed a change in my energy level since I started exercising with my kids last week. I do not feel like I’m dragging myself out of bed as much in the morning, although I’ll admit I’m still tired—my almost two-year-old has reverted to waking up at least twice a night again this past month.


But when I wake up, instead of feeling no connection to my body, I rise with the buzz of my muscles alive.

It’s barely been a week, but I feel like my new routine has already become a habit. Not to mention that my children are looking forward to our evening exercise times. Even the little one can now say, “Run, Mama. Run.”

Thinking a lot about healthy body image lately and I stumbled upon this blog entry today on Emme Nation: Body Beautiful: Reflecting Healthy Body Image On Your Kids. The writer speaks about a lot of the ideas that I believe in, too.

I agree that the solution starts with me and I think I’m taking the right steps to ensure a healthy future for myself and my kids by making movement an important part of each day.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Improve Body Image by Exercising with Your Kids


Kids pretending to be stuck in mud
My body is sore and happy from my new exercise routine. My body image is soaring because I'm enjoying what my body can do (and not worrying about what it looks like). The kids love our daily excursion into our town to find new places to run and have fun.


Shakespeare Theatre
Our latest spot was the Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, which has been closed up for years. It’s now referred to as The American Festival Theatre when they do some outside shows during the summer.

My dad used to work in the box office when I was a kid and we saw many shows here. For our purposes, we walked around the grounds and broke into jogs and runs.

Genny and I ran up and down these steps ten times!
The best part about exercising with my kids is that I can be goofy and jump and throw my arms in the air and not be embarrassed—I mean, I’m with kids! It’s okay to have fun when you’re with kids! If I were by myself jogging I would not feel so free to stop and jump and laugh.

How my children see me...
Bonus? The kids seem to be sleeping more soundly.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Summer Romance Novel Writing and Exercising with the Kids

Photo of Sheila Hageman taken by her daughter

I’ve been enjoying the summer by working on my next writing project, which is a romance novel. Five days a week I spend an hour-and-a-half working on the manuscript or write a minimum of 1,000 words. This process has been working well for me—I have an option of two different goals I can meet for the day.

I’ve not been doing as much exercise and yoga as I would like and I have been noticing the difference in my body and energy levels. I weigh the most I have ever weighed (except for when I was pregnant).

Body image issues have been floating around in my head as I try to figure out who I am on the outside and what relation it has to the inner me. I’m definitely loving my fuller-figured body, but I’m not loving that my clothes don’t fit.

In honor of wanting to set a good example for my kids I’ve decided to start on a new exercise regimen. My kids joined me last night after dinner by heading down to the bike path not too far from our home and doing some running.

Kids watching birds while Mommy stretched
I was pretty impressed with everyone’s enthusiasm and energy. Exercising with the kids definitely made it more doable and fun. And now everybody is looking forward to the next fun spot I’ll choose for us tonight!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Kate Upton's Body


I must be asleep at the proverbial who’s who in the modeling world wheel because when I kept seeing the latest Kate Upton is Fat headlines going by I had no idea who she was.

Today one headline from Fox News caught my attention enough to click through: Kate Upton blasts critics: 'I'm not going to starve just tobe thin.'

Oh! I said to myself—they’re talking about that woman from the Sports Illustrated cover.

Wait a minute…someone called her lardy?!

Skinny Gossip, a pro-skinny website, thinks she’s fat!

“Look, I’ll admit – I love In’n’Out as much as the next gurl, but it’s not supposed to be an everyday thing, Kate! And we can be sure that Kate is the rare model who poses with food – and then actually devours it. 
She doesn’t just look vulgar – she’s also never afraid to act the part…she is easily the most “porny” model to enter the mainstream in a very long time. She looks like she would work in the back of a motorcycle shop in Nashville and give (bad) blow jobs for $25.”

Wow. I know about the pro-anorexia sites out there that put super-skinny models and actresses and models on pedestals as beacons of what women should strive to be, but I didn’t know they also bashed fuller-figured ones as well.

And I say fuller-figured with a bit of a suppressed chuckle because we all know that Upton is by no means fat or full-figured even, she is voluptuous, which is quite different.

I’m glad that Upton laughed off the comments: “I’m not going to starve just to be thin. I want to enjoy life, and I can’t if I’m not eating and miserable," she said, according to The Sun.

But really, if there are women out there who would call a SI model “well-marbled,” what image of an ideal body type do they have in mind? Are we so used to seeing sickly-skinny models that one with a teensy bit of flesh is considered fat?

Monday, July 09, 2012

How to Improve Women's Body Image


I love these simple ideas for improving body image at Psych Central: Body Image Booster: Keep it Simple.

The blog asks: What’s the simplest way you’ll build a more positive body image?

I especially relate to this simple tip:

Move my body, because that’s when I feel most powerful. To me feeling empowered is part of a positive body image. Moving can be anything from going to the gym to stretching to taking a walk outside to swimming in the pool to riding my bike.

Such a great and different focus! Instead of simply talking about all the body image problems women have, they offer weekly advice on how to improve our sense of ourselves.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Book Reading and Signing at Stratford Library

Sheila signing books
A huge thank you to the Stratford Library and Tom Holehan for sponsoring my Meet-the-Author Event last week.

Sheila answering questions
I met a lot of wonderful book readers who share my enthusiasm for memoir.

Sheila meeting the audience
I was impressed by the thoughtful questions and comments I received about my personal experiences, writing and important issues like body image, motherhood and truth in memoir.

I'll keep you updated on future readings.