Friday, December 30, 2011

Here's to 2012!

Here's to a brilliant 2012 to you and yours, filled with love, health, joy and a good dash of Guiltlessness!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Guiltless Resolution

New Year's resolutions are personal and real. Every year when we ring a new one in, I set aside some time to really think about how I want to change for the better. How can I improve myself and my life? But all too often do we resolve to things that end up hurting us in the end. It's a crime to ourselves when we resolve to lose weight and then end up beating ourselves up over a cookie...or we decide we need to have a regimented gym schedule and end up hating ourselves on the afternoons when we really just need a nap - New Year's resolutions are scary b/c they can easily turn into a source of regret and guilt if not crafted with care.

Let's be Guiltless this year. It all comes down to one perfect resolution that we should all have: Be kind to myself.
Photo Credit

The key to making resolutions work is to pick ones that are actually good for you.

1. Lose -insert#- pounds.
2. Eliminate -insert food- from my diet forever (even though I'm NOT allergic).
3. Run 6 miles every single day.

These types of resolutions are only setting you up for disappointment. They are restrictive and hard on you. You are immediately in their debt the minute you commit. There is no escape. Let's resolve to not resolve to these this year.

1. Incorporate at least one fun activity into my life like hiking or swimming or kayaking or whatever you've been meaning to try.
2. Get even more comfortable in the kitchen by challenging myself with new, interesting, and colorful recipes or by purchasing that new appliance I've been saving for!
3. Spend more time with my loved ones and be more expressive about how important they are to me.
4. Schedule in "me-time" every week and give myself the attention I deserve.

Will you share one of your 2012 resolutions with us?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Self Worth in a Can

I doubt any of us found this under the Christmas tree yesterday.

Unfortunately last time I checked you can't buy Self-Worth in a can

But here's some gifts you can give your self to boost your own self-worth:
  • Compliment at least one part of your body or personality-daily
  • Tell someone else how much to appreciate them, being as open and honest as possible
  • Learn to say no to things to don't help or support you and your journey.
  • Stand tall and project confidence, even on days when you're not feeling your best. The way you do and say things speaks more than words sometimes.
  • Take at least 5 minutes out of your day to do something for yourself. Think about how many hours you spend doing something for other people and realize that you can make time just for you.
  • Trust yourself and your intuition.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others
  • Smile

And build up your self-esteem day by day! Maybe that should be our new year's "resolution"...

How do you increase your own self-worth?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Peace, Joy, Love

Wish you a holiday season filled with

peace, joy, and love.

Guiltlessly Yours,

Stephanie & Elizabeth

Photo Credit

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Try This Instead

Last night, I experienced the perfect example of how one can take control of one's emotions and guilty thoughts and turn them into productive, healthy ones. It was a typical Tuesday, and the plan was to go to work, then to the gym, then home to clean and cook dinner. But by 2 p.m., exhaustion set in and the need to exercise was defeated by the even stronger need to nap.

So after work, I went home tired, hungry, and a little annoyed at myself for being too tired to exercise. Does this situation sound familiar? If you're a full-time working human, I'd be surprised if it did not. Typically in a society where we put extreme pressure on ourselves to perform our best, look our best, and be the best all.the.time., this type of scenario would cause pangs of guilt. But as soon as I started to feel the negativity crawl up into my mind, I remembered the Guiltless philosophy. So instead of feeling guilty, I tried these things instead (and ended up having a fabulous evening and waking up feeling rested and ready to go):

1. Call a close friend who you haven't talked to in a while. Talking to a loved one always lifts my spirits. Even just hearing their voice and listening to their life updates can put a huge smile on your face. (Takes as long as you want...on average 10-30 minutes)

2. Try a new recipe and whip up a healthy dinner. Sure, when you're tired, the last thing you want to do is cook. But what if you had an interesting new recipe that you've been meaning to try? That might spike your interest and get you excited to be in the kitchen. Here's a nice balanced meal to try: Roasted Fish & Veggies w/Quinoa and Pine Nuts from Whole Foods. (Takes about 35 minutes)

3. Put on your favorite Pandora station while you cook and do the dishes. Listening to music is a great way to create a relaxing and fun atmosphere. Usually, mundane house chores are done in silence, but that is boring! Make it fun by listening to your favorite tunes. (Takes 10 minutes on average to do the dishes)

4. Pick up that book you've been meaning to read. Reading for a little while can whisk you out of reality and into a new realm. I recommend the Hunger Games Trilogy. (Takes as much time as you want...10-30 minutes on average)

5. Burn your favorite scented candle. Aromatherapy is no joke. Not only does candle light create a cozy atmosphere, but your favorite scent has the power to put you in an excellent mood. My favorite right now in a pine scented candle. (Takes 30 seconds.)

6. Do some yoga stretches. Even when you're body is literally rejecting the gym, you can still do some stretches at home on your yoga mat. Fitting in a little light yoga during your night will do the body and the mind good. Here's a great book to accompany your yoga practice: Light on Yoga (Takes 15 minutes or as long as you want.)

In an appoximately 90 minutes or so, you've achieved some quality "me-time." So instead of feeling guilty about skipping your after work activities for a little R&R, try this instead.

What are your favorite "me time" activities?

Be well, and enjoy the day!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Photoshop and Virtual Bodies

I'm a pretty happy-go-lucky person for the most part. But if there's one thing that makes my blood boil it's the prevalence of photoshopping in the beauty and fashion industry to present unrealistic, artificial beauty.

The thing that really tipped me over the edge was the fact that H&M has decided to only use virtual models to highlight their clothes now. Apparently "The demands are so great that H&M, among the poor photo models, cannot find someone with both body and face that can sell their bikinis" says their spokesperson. Well if there's not a supermodel in the world "pretty enough" to wear their bikinis or lingerie there's no way I'll ever be shopping at their stores again.
H&M released a pathetic faux apology: "It is regrettable if we have led anyone to believe that the virtual mannequins should be real bodies. "
really why would I ever think this was a real model with a real body???

And while I love beautiful clothes, gorgeous undergarments and hot swimsuits, this is getting out of control. Yes models are gorgeous, but if we only think they're gorgeous after being "perfected" by a computer, that's harmful to everyone. Being constantly bombarded by images of false, unattainable perfection hurts everyone's self-esteem and body image.

Beauty Redefined did a fantastic post about how Photoshop alters our perception of reality. It's a really a must-read with fantastic illustrations.

Model's hips and waist "too big"? Why not just get rid of them?

Spend 10 seconds of your life toggling between these "before" and "after" examples of celebrities and i guarantee next time you open up a magazine you'll take a more critical look.

But on the brightside: Procter and Gamble has recently refused to show ads for cosmetic companies that feature unrealistic images. Because I'd like to see how Covergirl mascera really looks on my eyelashes, instead what it can look like if photoshop makes them 30x thicker.

And everytime we expose the behind the scenes, and understand what those pictures really look like, I think we all grow a little stronger and wiser. Or at least I hope so!

What do you think? Will Photoshop ever disappear? Is it for good or evil?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bollywood Beauty

“It’s beautiful to be a woman. Every woman is different: if we were all the same, it’d be boring.” -Vidya Balan Bollywood's Curvy Renaissance

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Changing the focus on appearance one little girl at a time

I came across an article shared by some friends (credit: Emily, Ange, and Jackie) on Facebook yesterday that struck a chord. How to Talk to Little Girls by Lisa Bloom is an article about changing the way women see themselves one conversation at a time by changing the way we talk to the little girls in our lives. Being an Auntie of 3 nieces (soon to be 6 after I'm married), and um, being a girl myself, this article really hit home for me.

Bloom says that by complimenting a girl's appearance before her intellect, we are "teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice.." and that "looks are more important than anything." As I read through her article, I sheepishly recalled the thousands of times I greeted my nieces with "You look so beautiful!"/"Look at that gorgeous hair!"/"I love this outfit!"/"Are you the cutest thing ever or what?" Sigh. It's hard not to oogle over their beauty, but their minds are just as amazing and easy to compliment. Time to make a change.

Read the article.

It's just so true. Let's take a cue or two from Ms. Bloom and start inspiring the little girls in our lives to grow up as confident, capable, world-changing women. Hopefully the popular media will follow our lead.

What's your take on this? We'd love to hear your comments.

Lisa Bloom is on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Guiltless Recommends: Love Yourself Challenge

Guiltless always does love a good challenge, what better than the "Love Yourself Challenge"??

Besides being full of inspirational and beautiful images and words, the founder Rae Smith has developed a wonderful 6-week love yourself challenge. With different topics every week she walks you through a process to try to bring some more love to replace any body hatred. because you are worthy, and you deserve to be loved by yourself as much as you love others.
Tumble on over to the Challenge !!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Count the number of mirrors in your home. Chances are you have a least one. I wonder how many times we view our own reflections in one day and what enters our minds as we gaze upon ourselves.

Mirrors make it easy to view our physical reflections, but how often do you reflect on your thoughts, actions, and emotions? Probably not as often as you do your hair! But the physical mirror is in fact a reflection on our feelings, because oh so many come up when we look at (ahem, judge) ourselves. What do you say we take a break from all that inner mean girl talk and start feeling thankful for the bodies we have? I say we go for it. "Who's coming with me?!"

The next time you look in the mirror, think happy thoughts. What are you proud of? The legs that carry you through the long days? The eyes that allow you to take in both the beauty and hardships of the world? The mouth that lets you smile, eat, drink, taste, laugh? All of the above.

The less critical we are of our physical body, the happier our emotional body will be. The more attention we pay to this connection, the easier it will be to build healthier self esteem and therefore live a little bit happier. We've had a lifetime of training in the opposite direction from this. We are constantly under pressure to be perfect. But we are all perfect in our own way, and it's time we start appreciating our unique traits, both inside and out.

Please share with us one positive thought you had when you looked in the mirror today!

Be well, and enjoy the day.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Guiltless Recommends: Body Image Advent Calender

Ah tis the season! Time to put the holiday decorations up, reconvene with family and friends, and for some of us, feel a lot of guilt about who we are/aren't seeing and what we are/aren't eating.

Which is why I was so thrilled to see this Body Image "Advent Calender" Starting on December 1st Nick and Sarah-two body image actists in Britain started a tumblr where they will be talking about different body image topics from now to Christmas. They are hitting the streets to get videos of the public’s opinion as well as taking submissions on their blogs. The videos so far have been excellent. Nick is one of the people behind Men Get Eating Disorders Too, the only charity worldwide representing men and eating disorders. Sarah works for Body Gossip, a campaign that we have recommended in the past.

Want a sneak preview of the topics we have to look forward to? Look no further and join in the converation!

  • 5th A girl’s perspective
  • 6th Fad diets, would you?
  • 7th Fat Talk- how does it affect you?
  • 8th How does fashion fit into body image?
  • 9th Your body growing up- what was it like in school?
  • 10th Pregnancy
  • 11th Your perception of eating disorders
  • 12th Scars? an eyesore or a story?
  • 13th Older people, do you think about your body image?
  • 14th Plastic surgery- are you for or against?
  • 15th How would you define beauty?
  • 16th Bad Hair Day! How important is your hair to you?
  • 17th Sport- is there more pressure?
  • 18th Piercing and tattoo’s- love, hate or regret the day? Would you have them?
  • 19th Advertising- is it too much?
  • 20th Ethnicity- different ideals?
  • 21st Disability- how does it change your outlook on beauty?
  • 22nd Teens- Body image hell, or learning to love it?
  • 23rd All I want for Christmas… If you could see one thing changed what would it be?
  • 24th Nick and Sarah talk about their December adventure!
For what better gift can you give yourself this holiday season than a positive body image? Join in the conversation at Body Image Advent Calender

What sites would you recommend to us? What do you think of a body image advent calender?

PS. If you liked Friday's post about bodyheart and want to learn more-Amber is offering a fantastic holiday gift package-pay what you want to recieve gifts from inspirational women including Amber's Holiday THRIVAL package. Find out more here

Friday, December 2, 2011


Today's guest post comes from Amber Krzys-founder of bodyheart, whom is a coach, speaker, dog lover & bodyhearter. Her mission is help create a world where women love and embrace not only their bodies, but SHINE in their lives. We are thrilled to have her words embrace the pages of Guitless!

I was tired . . .

Tired of the endless struggle to have a perfect body.
Tired of constantly thinking about how I could lose weight.
Tired of planning every meal.
Tired of comparing myself to other ‘better’ women.
Tired of always coming up short.

I was tired of being in an abusive relationship with my body.

So, I decided to do something about it. I set out to see if I could actually love, accept and appreciate the body I had?

Could I love this body at the 130 lbs she wanted to be, instead of the 113 lbs I was trying to force her to be? Could I love the dimples (aka cellulite) on my butt and thighs? Could I love the furrowed brow? The large pores? The small breasts?

I didn’t know if those things were possible, but one thing I knew for sure was that I couldn’t continue living the way I was. It was killing me.

The journey I went on took some time, exploration and A LOT of tears. BUT, I’m happy to share that all the angst was worth it. See, I got there . . . I got to a place of love, acceptance & appreciation for MY body. For the amazing body I have been blessed with in this life.

This new way of being completely changed the course of my life and work. I don’t know if you’ve ever felt a calling in your life, but that is definitely how I would describe what happened to me next.

Because I knew the torture and torment that so many woman go through, I couldn’t keep my experience a secret. I had something to share. Something that could change their lives. And I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. I wanted to free women all over the world from their self-punishment cage.

This calling led me to a change in careers. I went from a somewhat successful acting career to being an entrepreneur. Had you told me five years ago that I would be working with women, guiding them to a greater love of their bodies, I would’ve thought you were crazy. But, that’s the thing about a calling. A deep desire to share something you’ve experienced. It doesn’t let you go.

So, I formed my own company called bodyheart. An organization devoted to liberating women from their body-punishment prison. Our mission is to change not only women, but the world.

I believe the world will be a better place when women are free to shine and one area where we continue to oppress ourselves is through our relationship with our bodies. How we feel inside our bodies and what we think about our bodies affects EVERYTHING we do. So, when we can define our own standards of beauty and celebrate all we have, then we are FREE.
This is what bodyheart offers. Our courses are geared towards helping women find CONFIDENCE and FREEDOM within themselves, especially in relationship to their bodies. You can actually experience some of our work for free on our homepage.

Our campaign is a statement of how worthy and gorgeous we already are. I wanted to show the current media that un-retouched images can be stunning! I wanted women to witness REAL Beauty - their own real beauty - and let that affect how they think about their bodies. I also wanted women to start thinking about the parts of their bodies that they love, instead of what they hate.

This campaign has taken on a life of it’s own, and it is available to you should you choose to be a part of it. We accept submissions from women all over the world. You can find out more about it here.

To you, reading this post, I believe you are already on this path of greater acceptance, love & freedom or you wouldn’t be on this page right now. And, I want to say thank you for lighting the way. Thank you for leading by example and cracking open the beauty oppression we’ve bought into for so long.

Change begins with one. And soon that one allows another to take a step onto the new path and then another and another . . . and that is how paradigm shifts are created.
Way to be a part of the change.

Peace & Pleasure,