By Guest Blogger Gay Norton Edelman, author of The Hungry Ghost: How I Ditched 100 Pounds and Came Fully Alive  bitly.com/1gg7mId

 

Gay Norton Edelman

Gay Norton Edelman

 

Yes, I loss 100 pounds. Yes, I have kept it off for 20 years.

 

People ask all the time how I got the courage to do this.

 

The courage came from desperation. I had been trying all my adult life to get the binge eating and the weight under control. Diets, support groups, therapy, the works.

 

After years and years of trying and failing, grace finally arrived. That day, my doctor prescribed blood pressure pills. I cried all the way home. I had three little kids whom I loved more than life itself. I did not want to leave them to go to rehab. What else was there?

 

My friend Betty had told me about a spiritually based peer support group. I called her and she took me to my first meeting. There I learned that I am a food addict, meaning once I start eating food with sugar, wheat and flour in it, I can’t stop. I was given a food plan and I made a commitment to weigh and measure all my meals with a cup and scale.

 

It was very hard work. That first year, learning how to eat, read labels, exercise felt like a full time job. But I did it. And along the way I learned the most important lesson of all: to pay attention not just to food and exercise but also to my hungry, hungry soul.

 

I had made food a god. I had made food the solution to stress, loneliness, frustration, anger, despair, disappointment and all the other feelings I wanted to avoid. Instead, I needed to depend on a power greater than myself that was based not in things of the world but things of the spirit.

 

All of this was—and is—a lot of work. How do I find the time? How do I not find the time?

 

I have to come first. The things I do to stay in recovery from food addiction, compulsive overeating and obesity are as vital to my health as regular dialysis is to the kidney patient or chemo is to the cancer patient. This is life and death.

 

I work as hard at it now as I ever did. What comes in the way of my health has to be deleted or delegated. My kids didn’t need to be in a bunch of after-school activities and lessons. They needed their mother. My husband didn’t need fancy meals or his laundry done for him. He needed a wife who was alive, well and happy. I didn’t need to be in the stratosphere of my profession. I needed to have me.

 

I don’t mess around, ever. I can’t be perfect. But I never take for granted any of the things I have to do to sustain life.

 

There’s tons of good information about eating right, moving your body, filling your soul needs. And I’ve just published my own self-help book, The Hungry Ghost: How I Ditched 100 Pounds and Came Fully Alive, to explain in detail what I do, and how you can, too.

 

If you decide you really, really want to live, you’ll keep trying and failing, like I did, until you find the way to eat right, move your body, and nourish your spirit.

 

If there is any secret or magic to what I do, it’s this: You only have to do what’s right for your body, mind and soul one day at a time. Too much to think about? Do it just one moment at a time. Trust me, there are still plenty of days when I live by the saying, “Right foot, left foot, breathe.”

 

Simple, yes. Easy? No. But remember, you are one smart woman. You are not alone. And you are so worth it!  

 

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BLOG FOR GIRLS AGED 8-17

Portrait of four smiling teenage girls outside

THIS VALENTINE’S DAY… 3 TIPS TO KEEP IT REAL; JUST BETWEEN US GIRLS (mom, lessons for you in here too!)

Everywhere you look there are boxes of chocolate, red roses, greeting cards, and images of love. For girls, this can be a really confusing time.  Sure, everything is great if you’re in love… and things are going well. Yet if you’re alone or feeling as if you are the only girl without a Valentine, this can be a crappy time of year. Today’s message is for girls, 8-17, and their mothers, aunties and friends who wish to share this message as well as a little bonding time talking about the age old topic of love.

Enter Twilight…

I’ll never forget the day I saw my niece Kayla, who was in high school at the time, carrying around a huge book. “What’s that book about?” I asked.  I couldn’t imagine a kid reading a book over 300 pages since the Harry Potter series- seriously, it had to be good. She told me the name was Twilight so I immediately went out and bought it. I had never heard of the book and it wasn’t all the rage (yet) as I had never even heard of it.  Yet I was so curious due to the sheer size of the book and thought, “I’m going to check it out.” So I purchased myself a copy.

Oh my! I had no idea what I was about to get into. Odds are you have read Twilight yourself.  I was completely consumed by this book (I’m a hopeless romantic okay?). I told my mom about it and she too became entrapped by the pages of Twilight. What blew my mind was that three generations of women, all from different times, felt completely taken by this book- And thus is the lure and draw of love. All of us could relate.

After finishing Twilight and hearing about it everywhere, literally- I asked Kayla how she liked the book. Her response was completely different than mine or her grandmas. It seemed that the author had this amazing ability to pull us all into the book, as if we were there, experiencing FIRST love all over again- it was intoxicating. Yet for Kayla, who had never been in love, it didn’t resonate the same. She had never experienced her first love so she couldn’t possibly miss it! Ha!

First love…

So here we are, back to the topic at hand- love. For girls, love can be confusing, right? If you’ve never been in love, how do you know when you are in love and how do you know its real love and not just infatuation? 

I can’t answer that question exactly because in truth, it’s something you will simply know. But- to know for sure, love needs time to grow. Our society is so quick to pressure young girls to grow up fast- get a cell phone, post on social media, watch music videos with pathetic role models like Miley Cyrus, be uber skinny, pick your college major- in 9th grade (if not sooner)…where does it end?

If you are a girl, trust me, you will be grown up soon enough so don’t rush it- especially when it comes to true love. So here are a few tips about dating or falling in love:

  1. Demand Respect: If you are of the age that you are starting to date, whether it’s meeting at the roller rink or movies, or going on full blown “I’ll pick you up at 6” dates, it’s really important that the boy you date, whether once or more, respects you. This means that he listens to your opinion, as well as respects them- whether it’s the movie you want to see or your stance of the rules of dating that you hold dear. He must look you in the eye when talking and “call me old fashioned”, but he should open the door for you and treat you like the lady you are. If something feels “off” emotionally and you feel like you want to cry or like a knife just went through your heart due to something he said that wasn’t appropriate, politely work to end the date early, call your parents, and or make it a point to not date this boy again.

 

  1. Give it time: Everything is always so exciting in the beginning. Trust me, even your mom and dad probably thought they would die if they didn’t see each other for a day when they started dating. While you may feel like picking up the phone and making that call every hour or so- texting, posting messages on his facebook and more- resist the temptation and leave room for some mystery. He should wonder where you are, what you are doing, and why you are not falling all over him. I know its soooo hard but you don’t want to appear desperate. Also, if you start to feel pressured, as if the boy you are dating or pursing is trying to rush things that you know are not appropriate, trust your gut and remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible.

 

 

  1. Trust your instinct: This is the most important thing I want to say to you. All of us have this little voice inside, called our instinct. Sadly, we don’t learn to really use or trust it until we are all grown up. The biggest challenge for girls in trusting their instinct is that your instinct or gut feeling normally goes against the very thing you want to do! So- while you are thinking, “Yes, this is right!” your gut is saying, “No, I don’t like this, it just doesn’t feel right.” I know it’s hard but I can’t tell you enough how important it is to start listening to your instinct and to trust it. Amazingly enough, that internal voice is part of your DNA, an animal instinct of sorts- you must listen to it because rarely is it wrong. If your gut says, “Leave this situation now,” just do it- even if having fun. You have this internal messaging system for a reason so learn to use it as it can literally save your life.

In closing…

Ah love- there is nothing like it, you can’t fight it, and you won’t ever fully understand it. It’s an amazing feeling that you will only experience once or twice in your lifetime so take your time and don’t rush it. If you have questions, ask your mom, auntie or person who shared this with you. You can also reach out to me at Traci@GYGB.com.

If you’d like to get the daily blog post by email, sign up at http://bit.ly/1j2ol3s.  If you’re reading this post through the daily email and want to become an Ambassador for Get Your Girl Back, where I’ll ask for help from you from time to time, email me at Traci@GYGB.com and I’ll share what we are up to. Moms and aunties- Join our 10 Week Life Class Series starting Friday February 14th from 12-12:30 pm ET! Sign up now for free at http://gygb.com/life-series/

 

Written by Traci Bild, Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement

 traci_Bild_25_thumb

 


Our theme here at Get Your Girl Back for Mondays is FOCUS. With this being the week of love, a la Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share some thoughts on how your girl can make this year different. Rather than making a big deal about Valentine’s Day, how about making a big deal about your man or partner and the changes you would like to see in your relationship not for a day, but for the year and beyond?

I received this awesome email from one of our Get Your Girl Back Ambassadors in response to a blog I wrote on date night- this is a perfect example of the power of focus and how she used it to put FUN back into her marriage.

I was going on a date with my husband the night I read your blog- and I specifically went and changed out of my cardigan and turtleneck into a SKIRT (I never wear skirts) and a top that you could see my neck… (I don’t have cleavage)! I put on new makeup and perfume and had an attitude that we were going to have FUN.  It was great- We even had our kids take our picture before we left to go out.  Woo Hoo!

How cool is that? Whether you are single and looking for love or married and in love, commit to putting in the effort to do things differently this year and to reap the amazing rewards that come forward. Here are the strategies Dave and I have used for the past twenty years to keep the flames of passion alive. We met at the ripe old age of 21!  Twenty-two years later, while I can’t say our marriage is perfect, it’s pretty damn good. Look, if I’m spending the rest of my life with this guy, I want to enjoy it. Besides, when I met Dave I had my girl- it’s not fair to him if I don’t honor who I was when we met and of course continue to get better with age! So give these strategies a try:

1.            Adventure Night: Forget dinner and a movie! Turn date night into adventure night by doing things that are fun, foster laughter and real connection. Consider a comedy club, dancing, a cooking class, or sledding (all less expensive than dinner & a movie).

2.            Team Up: While you might do things better, odds are your husband wants to help, so let him and lavish complements often (don’t worry, he will reciprocate).

3.            Tough Talk: Don’t shy away from the tough topics that are eating at your relationship. Ask for ideas on how to resolve them and share your willingness to work through them openly.

4.            Slow Dance: It’s impossible to stay mad when slow dancing with the one you love. You will immediately start to smile, laugh and enter a better place.

5.            Vacation– Alone! It’s okay to leave the kids behind for a short vacation. Go ahead, book that weekend trip and eventually a trip to Italy or France together (what else are you going to do with all those credit card points?). The kids will have a great role model of how a healthy marriage should be.

6.            Dream Together: Find out what dreams your partner has and be sure to offer encouragement. Better yet, find a dream you can pursue together for an immediate spark to reignite the relationship.          

Me and my husband on date night!

Me and my husband on date night!

Stop for a moment and remember when you first fell in love. What did you used to do for fun together, what did you talk about, how did you dress, what dreams did you have…? Consider your relationship today, what do you do together now, what do you typically talk about, how do you dress when doing things together, what dreams- if any, do you share?

Could it be time to focus on creating the relationship you always dreamed you would have when you grew up? Use these ideas to start or create some of your own but take the first step, lead the way and start to reignite the flames of love and passion in your marriage or relationship this Valentine’s Day and keep the focus alive all year (or ponder the type of relationship you want). Please share your ideas for keeping the flames of love alive here on our blog and on our Facebook page (Get Your Girl Back movement) page so that others can give them a try! Love hearing from you!

If you’d like to get the daily blog post by email, sign up at http://bit.ly/1j2ol3s.  If you’re reading this post through the daily email and want to become an Ambassador for Get Your Girl Back, where I’ll ask for help from you from time to time, email me at Traci@GYGB.com and I’ll share what we are up to.  Join our 10 Week Life Class Series starting Friday February 14th from 12-12:30 pm ET! Email Tara@TraciBild.com to register now and it’s free!  Details to follow!

Written by Traci Bild, Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement & expert on Women’s Issues


I would like to open this blog by introducing the amazing Melody Stevens. While she won’t say it, I will bet she has literally invested sweat, blood and tears into creating what is now the most prestigious pre-school for the arts and academics in NYC. I am so proud of Melody and happened to speak with her last week while she was taking a rare day to herself. Knowing how hard this was for her to do, I begged her to write a blog for our Get Your Girl Back readers because for most of us the guilt over taking time for ourselves is paralyzing. Not only did Melody take a day for herself, she has embarked on a new way of living, where she is prioritizing, lightening her work load, delegating, and simply letting go. It’s so powerful to see and such an important lesson for all of us. So on with Melody’s blog post…

Free Time? Wow!

In the past few days, I’ve found myself with extra time. Some from cancelled appointments due to snow, but mostly because I’ve successfully built two brick and mortar businesses, one in NJ and one in NY that have come to run day to day without me. My brand new NY business took about three months in operation before I could leave the premises full time. I generally go into NY about once or twice a week now, but I’m fairly useless if I hang out there for more than a few hours, so this is really recent. Thank you to my dream teams in both states.

Taking Control

Another reason I have extra time is because I just hired a brand new nanny for my daughter who is a nutrition major and she is fun, upbeat, and my daughter loves her. For the past few days I’ve been coming home to delicious and healthy home cooked meals, a clean home, and a happy daughter who has all her homework and music practicing done.

And so, what’s a woman to do when she has found herself with a few days of not working full time and not caring for her family full time? Struggle with guilt, of course!

So, what IS there to do besides work and family? This question plagued me in my late teens and twenties, and now, in my forties, it still does.

  • Really? I have three hours a day to work out in the gym like a movie star?
  • I can go to a day spa and hang out in a whirlpool?
  • I can read and write and work on my recovery from compulsive eating? Seriously?
  • I can spend hours a day doing things to “get my girl back?” (Thank you Traci Bild for the “Get Your Girl Back” movement. www.gygb.com)!

Guilt, Guilt, Guilt!

But, but, but, what does that make me? Lazy? Self-centered? Selfish? How dare I spend this time right now in Starbucks- after enjoying a latte- writing to you while my husband is working his 9-5 corporate job and a nanny is picking up my daughter in an hour?

I’m about to attend a yoga class. This morning I attended a support group meeting for food addiction. Earlier this afternoon I tuned into a Geneen Roth course…..

Maybe a little later I can take some time and just do nothing. No TV, no video games….nothing. Sounds pretty heavenly actually. I think I will have to go to the library or something in order to do to nothing. :-).

I’m sure there’s plenty more I could be doing besides working and taking care of my family…how about just hanging out with friends? Ha-ha that’s making me a little giddy; although I think my friends might feel guilty taking time away from work and family just to hang out. Oy.

Why do I feel the need to tell you that I DID check my emails and I DID check in on my business today? Because I imagine some business guru out on the stratospheres somewhere or a shark from the show “Shark Tank” will shame me for taking the WHOLE day off. So, I’m telling you now, I DID check in. Which is strange because many of the most successful business people that I most respect actually advocate at least one day a week totally “unplugged!”

Okay, so at least intellectually I realize that the hours and/or days I spend working on and investing in myself, and doing things that just plain feel good are some of the most important times I spend. I do realize that it’s always a wise investment.

A New Way of Living

And, I know that precisely because I’ve had some “me” time in the past couple of days, I have had more patience, compassion, presence of mind, and love for the two most important people in my life, my husband and my daughter. For two nights now I’ve been what I consider a very caring and loving wife and mother.

Most days, I’ve not had this level of patience or presence for them. So right now I am-

  • Breathing.
  • And, working on releasing the guilt once and for all.
Melody Stevens

Melody Stevens

 

 

Written by Guest Blogger Melody Stevens, Author of Time Millionaire and founder of Mozart’s & Einstein’s Pre-School for arts & academics. You can learn more about Melody at http://melodystevens.net/

If you’d like to get the daily Get Your Girl Back blog post by email, sign up at http://bit.ly/1j2ol3s. If you’re reading this post through the daily email and want to become an Ambassador for Get Your Girl Back, where I’ll ask for help from you from time to time, email me at Traci@GYGB.com and I’ll share what we are up to.


[Occasionally I will post blog entries directed to young girls between the ages of 8-17 so that we can help our young woman never lose Their Girl.  Please print this out and share with your daughter, niece, or young girl you’re mentoring.  Let this be a special time to connect with them!]

As a young girl, it’s not always easy to know your place in the world. Looking around, it probably seems that everyone has it so easy- but you. Your friends are gifted and smart, great at their sport, pretty, popular, and have the best of everything; from smart phones to clothes. While all you want to do is fit in, it seems that you move further and further from that goal. “When are things going to get better?”

Portrait of four smiling teenage girls outside

A Secret

I would like to let you in on a secret. You are not alone. Not only do your friends feel the same way, even those who seem to have it all, your mom probably experiences similar feelings too! It is in our nature to look at other people and measure ourselves against them- Who they are, what they have, how you compare and so on. What you must do is change your focus. Rather than focus on what you don’t have, begin to focus on what you do have. Every person has a set of talents and gifts they are born with, including YOU! While you may not think so it’s true, you simply have to find them.

You’re Gifts

Start to look within and think about what you are good at, what comes natural to you and what others say you do so well…that literally is hard for them but comes natural to you. Does anything come to mind right now? If you are immediately thinking of your friends and what they do great, stop it! Look within…you are amazing too. My daughter Paris is ten and we’ve discovered that her natural gifts are for music, foreign language, and advocating for others. Who would have ever thought that? While it’s not exciting for her today and feels like work versus fun, it’s what she was born to do! When she is 15, 18, 20, and beyond, these gifts have the opportunity to change her life. So think about you own life…is your gift writing, baking, ballet or drawing? Look around your room…clues lie everywhere! What do you see? Odds are you are drawn to something on a regular basis- that speaks to you, and makes you feel calm, inspired or excited. Ask your mom, dad, grandma, or teacher this question, “Is there anything you’ve noticed that I’m really good at and that could be a natural talent for me?” (Note- only ask people who really love and support you this question).

Be Patient

It might take some time to discover your natural talent or gift but I promise it is there inside of you. You are special and YOU were meant for something great! Work to find that gift, be proud of it, invest time in cultivating it and give yourself credit where it is deserved. Spend less time comparing and beating yourself up and more time laughing, dreaming, playing, singing, and dancing! You are a kid so be one because you will be grown up soon enough.

For now, I want to encourage you to begin paying attention to what your focus is on. When you start to feel down, unimportant, or alone, take the focus off of that train of thought and put it on what it is you want. The grade you want on the test, the friends you will make, the team you will get on, the look you will have, the way you want to feel and the life you desire to have. Keep your focus on what it is you want versus what it is you don’t want (don’t give that any energy). I know it sounds odd but the more you do this, the faster you will learn to get control of your thoughts, emotions, and ultimately your level of happiness.

So while we adult women work to get our girl back, I want to help you ensure yours never leaves. This is your life, your experience and it’s up to you to decide what you will do with it. Getting control of your thoughts and then learning to direct them toward what you want in life will forever transform your experience and allow you to live a life beyond your wildest dreams.

If you’d like to get the daily blog post by email, sign up at http://bit.ly/1j2ol3s. If you’re reading this post through the daily email and want to become an Ambassador for Get Your Girl Back, where I’ll ask for help from you from time to time, email me at Traci@GYGB.com and I’ll share what we are up to.

Written by Traci Bild, Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement & expert on Women and Girl Issues



This message is for your daughter or niece…please pass it on. I’m taking a darn lemon and turning it into lemonade. As I write I am fuming with anger- If you have not yet read my blog, Last Night, I Saw it Before My Eyes, Her Girl Ripped Out of Her Heart & It Broke Mine Into Pieces, stop and read it now.

In response to my own experience of losing my girl and seeing my daughter, begin to start the same process at age 9 and 10, I have decided to dedicate a weekly blog for our daughters, nieces and girls we love who are growing up in a competitive, dog eat dog, complex world. When you receive this blog, be sure to forward to her email, print for her to review at the dinner table, tuck into her back pack or text her to read. I refuse to just sit by and watch the environment in which our girls are raised, without raising my hand and voice, to make a difference. I need your help, please to spread the word and these blogs. Together we can impact little girls lives and of course their mothers through the Get Your Girl Back blog.

This message is specifically for girls, 8-17, who are developing mentally, physically and in confidence and belief in their ability to be somebody. SO GIRLS THIS MESSAGE IS FOR YOU!

1. Don’t Ever Let Anyone Steal Your Sparkle: Odds are you have an amazing spirit, laugh a lot, love to have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously. This is wonderful and you must hold on to this as long as you can. If someone tells you anything along the lines of:

a. You’re not good enough (to be on our team, to enter that competition, to be my friend, etc.); you must stand up for yourself, no matter how hard it is. Here are some examples: You can respond with something like, “I’m sorry you feel that way, but I don’t. In fact, I’m going to …try out for the team, register for the competition today, stick with my friends who get me because clearly you don’t.”

b. Your heart will beat, you will probably need to run into the restroom and cry, but you will feel empowered for standing up for yourself and the person piercing you with cruel words; kid or adult, will think twice about doing it again.

2. Breathe: Sounds silly but take a big, deep breath in…hold it…and let it out slowly. Do this two or three times, if not more. This technique will immediately calm your nerves and help you regain control.

3. Think! Before taking action, due to anger or frustration, really think about what you want to do. In short, don’t act without thinking. Give yourself an hour or even a day to decide what is best for you. We all think better when we are calm.

4. Respond: Take action girlfriend! Do what you know you are capable of because you want to and remember, you don’t need anyone’s permission to be great. God put you on this earth for a reason, so find it, and let your light shine!

 sparkle

Look, while this may be hard to understand, it’s a fact, life is what YOU make it. Bad stuff is going to happen, what matters is how you respond to it. Here are a few cool people to remember when things get tough!

* Albert Einstein didn’t speak until age four and didn’t read until age seven. His teachers labeled him “slow” and “mentally handicapped.” But Einstein just had a different way of thinking. He later won the Nobel Prize in physics.

* Oprah Winfrey was fired from her television reporting job because they told her she wasn’t fit to be on screen. But Winfrey rebounded and became the undisputed queen of television talk shows. She’s also a billionaire.

* Dr. Seuss’ first book was rejected by 27 different publishers. He’s now the most popular children’s book author ever.

No matter what- never, ever, ever, ever give up. Trust in your ability, your natural gifts, talents and abilities, make decisions that are best for you- not those that are cool or going to impress your friends. And remember, your girl, the one with all the sparkle, joy and happiness? She doesn’t want to leave…she wants to stay, play and remain a part of your life so pay attention and keep her close!

 

Written by Traci Bild, Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement & Empowerment Expert