52 Real Women Archives

Accept Yourself by Monique Stanton

Accept Yourself! “Why would I want such a stressful job when I could be at home having babies”? Someone seriously asked me this shortly after I began my role as the President and CEO of a nonprofit organization that serves southeast Michigan.  Age, gender, and leadership are three areas that I grapple with every day.…

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Accept Yourself!

“Why would I want such a stressful job when I could be at home having babies”?

Someone seriously asked me this shortly after I began my role as the President and CEO of a nonprofit organization that serves southeast Michigan.  Age, gender, and leadership are three areas that I grapple with every day.

I am often one of the few women in the room, and at age 33, I am almost always the youngest person in the room.  Initially, I struggled with how to build credibility among my colleagues and juggle responding to deeply personal questions about my life.

Being uncomfortable in social situations was definitely new to me.  I tend to be on the more extroverted side of things and have always been pretty comfortable in my own skin. It took some time, but eventually I realized that in order to build credibility I needed to be comfortable with myself.  I also started challenging myself to “lean in” as Sheryl Sandberg would say.  Rather than being quiet in meetings, I made a concerted effort to ask questions and speak up.

At conferences and meetings I also make a point of introducing myself to people that I do not know rather than staying within my social and work circles.

All of these things, plus the opportunity for individuals to see my work, have helped to build credibility among my colleagues.  It’s definitely not always, especially in situations where it seems that everyone has known each other for 20 years, but I continue to try and push myself.

I encourage you to try and push yourself in situations where you might feel unwelcome or uncomfortable.  Some tips that have helped me include making sure I say at least one comment at every meeting that I attend or introducing myself to at least one new person.

Monique Stanton is a supporter of “A Beautiful Me®” and the President & CEO of CARE of Southeastern Michigan.  www.careofsem.com

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Don’t You Know You ARE Beautiful?

Don’t You Know You ARE Beautiful? When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see tired eyes, wrinkles, or split ends?  Do you feel that your ear lobes are too big, that your nose is too wide, or that your lips are too thin?  When you see these things, how does…

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Don’t You Know You ARE Beautiful?

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

Do you see tired eyes, wrinkles, or split ends?  Do you feel that your ear lobes are too big, that your nose is too wide, or that your lips are too thin?  When you see these things, how does that make you feel?

As a teen, I suffered from a horrendous case of acne, a large nose, and a lazy eye.  The surgery I had for my eye succeeded in wearing glasses to correct it throughout the day.  However, my eyes would tire and wander; leaving individuals confused and wondering if I was really talking to them.

When I became an adult, the acne finally went away, but the large nose and the lazy eye stayed.  I could have had plastic surgery for the nose, but changing what was on the outside would have never fixed how I felt about myself on the inside.  I had not embraced my own beauty.  

Today, I have learned to find the beautiful me.  I now pause at the mirror and tell myself that I am beautiful, that the lines appearing at the corner of my eyes are from years of laughter, and that the gray hair I just found was another life lesson given to one of my daughters.  I am embracing my beauty by learning that this large nose of mine supports my glasses so that I can enjoy delicate flowers and stunning sunsets.  

Our own perception of who we are shapes how we think and feel about ourselves.  If we look in the mirror and only see what’s on the surface, then how are we suppose to feel about that?

As you wake in the mornings to brush your teeth or comb your hair, take a moment to reflect on how beautiful you are.  Then, smile.  There is so much beauty in a woman’s smile, and YOU are beautiful!

Guest bloggist, Stacy N. Elliott, is a supporter of “A Beautiful Me®” and author of two blogs.  www.mybeautifulletters.wordpress.com and www.stacynelliott.wordpress.com

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A Dream Comes True

When a dream comes true, everyone gets inspired As editor of a magazine, I know when stories will touch people and be well read and inspiring just from the subject matter. Knowing that stories do inspire, this is about my latest dream come true. A couple decades ago, I had an idea after working at…

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When a dream comes true, everyone gets inspired

As editor of a magazine, I know when stories will touch people and be well read and inspiring just from the subject matter. Knowing that stories do inspire, this is about my latest dream come true.

A couple decades ago, I had an idea after working at a job to promote all events that were going on at a county park. I saw a need arising.

An event website was truly needed in each county throughout Michigan. Taking my idea to my website designer I realized there was a lot of work that would need to be done. My priorities were already heavy-weighted as a single mom and business woman. There wasn’t much extra time in my day.  A dream?  Who has time to implement a dream?

I decided the only way to really see this dream come true was to press “Go”.  Securing the company name, the domain name and then started planning my dream. Today, (five years later) in just a few short months since the site was launched, it has been seen by thousands of unique visitors and everyday more people come to it.

The excitement I now see from local venues, cities and businesses, using the site for their events, is incredibly satisfying. I feel like I have provided a solution, one that will be very beneficial in event promoting. When I see that my idea is really what others were looking for, I not only feel happy but it gives me more motivation to see it through to be successful.

Having taken a dream and made it into something real – that IS success.  What is your dream?  What’s holding you back from doing it?  Share it with me, or with EntirelyWomen.com – once you say it outloud you may be suprised at how much you’ll want to get it done.

Guest bloggist, Tracey Moro, is a supporter of “A Beautiful Me®” and is the editor of Macomb Now Magazine.  Her recent dream has come to fruition at Macomb.CountyHappenings.com.

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Healthy-Habit Hunting After Ice-Chewing Pica

Healthy-Habit Hunting After Ice-Chewing Pica When you nurse a bad habit for years, you don’t expect to wake up one day and be obsession-free.  But that’s what happened to my ice chewing habit. One day I was chugging back bucketfulls of crunchy bliss, on car trips, at meal times and even in the shower. The next, I…

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Healthy-Habit Hunting After Ice-Chewing Pica

When you nurse a bad habit for years, you don’t expect to wake up one day and be obsession-free.  But that’s what happened to my ice chewing habit. One day I was chugging back bucketfulls of crunchy bliss, on car trips, at meal times and even in the shower. The next, I wasn’t.

Neither myself nor my hair stylist will forget the time pregnant me mawed an entire four-pound bag during a single appointment. Now, if I think about chewing ice, my teeth sweat and the skin underneath my armpits trembles, as if to say: “N-N-N-No!”  

The game-changer? Finding a treatment for anemia that worked for me. When that happened, my ice craving, called a “pica” disappeared, along with those ungodly hemoglobin counts. 6.9 was a recent low. 12 is normal. 8 is transfusion territory. 

Maintaining a respectable blood count has other advantages: I don’t see stars when I get up in the morning or feel like passing out five minutes into exercise.  But new challenges have sprung up in their wake.

Now, whenever I crave the mental break that ice-chewing offered, I’m stumped.  Should I start smoking? Nah, hubby would be disgusted – and worse – disappointed.  Gum-chewing would be good – if it wasn’t so sticky.  Eventually I’d like to start running again. But eventually isn’t here yet.  Cooking is a past-time I could sink my teeth into.  But my waistline can see the future. And it’s enormous.

Often when faced with tough questions like this, the answer is “yoga”. But I don’t think my editor would appreciate headstands in the newsroom. (or in my car)

Former smokers, over-eaters, nail-biters and ice chewers: Which healthy habits have you turned to in recovery?  Is there life after addiction?  If so, what does it look like?  This inquiring mind wants to know.

In addition to being a heartfelt supporter of the goals and ideals of “A Beautiful Me®”, guest bloggist Maryanne MacLeod is a storyteller and social media expert for The Macomb Daily and volunteer public relations manager for the Macomb Food Collaborative.  @MaryanneMacLeod

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Uphill in Tandem

Uphill in Tandem Picture this, you are riding a bike and you see a large hill ahead. As you get closer to the hill you have a decision to make so that you can get up and over the hill to continue on your ride, do you pedal faster and faster burning all of your…

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Uphill in Tandem

Picture this, you are riding a bike and you see a large hill ahead. As you get closer to the hill you have a decision to make so that you can get up and over the hill to continue on your ride, do you pedal faster and faster burning all of your energy or do you pedal with strong strides? I have done both on bike rides and in life.

In my life I have feverishly worked to get through something, pouring all of my energy and resources into getting up my personal hill only to find that at the top, I cannot enjoy my triumph. After expending all of my energy the top of the hill means nothing since I am crumbled to the ground trying to recover from the fast paced giddy up and go that got me to where I wanted to be.

On other occasions I have taken long thoughtful strides, leaning in a little, breathing deeply and looking about me at all the sights and sounds around me as I tackled my challenge. When I reached my goal I was tired, grateful and happy but not burnt out. I was also aware that my challenge seemed less challenging when I did not fear it or worry about it. I handed my hill over to God and the ride went more smoothly. I was not alone and this gave me more confidence and strength.

I know that many times I have just taken on a challenge and thought, “I’ve got this, I don’t need help.” Only to realize too late that God is not offering help, he is offering life. His plan has never been to be our help, just to be used like an oxygen mask or air bag. God wants to be in tandem with us riding along on every ride.

The next time you are faced with a hill of challenge in your life you will have a decision to make, I hope you will stop for a moment and pick up a passenger. You will just have to trust me when I tell you that it will actually lighten your load. Just slow down, wave God on, let go and trust. It will be a much smoother ride.

Guest bloggist and “A Beautiful Me®” supporter, Ragen Beadle, finds her purpose in empowering women and strengthening their gifts. She blogs for healing and growth at thedeeperpond.blogspot.com

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