Love & Advice from Elizabeth Gilbert

Dear Friends,

I was lucky enough to come across a post written by Elizabeth Gilbert (the author of Eat, Pray, Love) and I would very much like to share it with you in a moment. Because I have grown up in a Herbalife family and because we are still so actively involved in the Herbalife community it stands to reason that the topic of what it is to be a Herbalife distributor is often on my mind. Obviously this can mean to many different things to so many different people. I have met some Herbalifers who have immediately filled me with awe, love, and respect, and I have met some who have baffled and unsettled me. I have met perfectly shaped gorgeous beauty queens (and kings) and I have met matronly folk with lumps and bumps who are big foodies like I am. Always this has kind of excited me. I think, for some people, they can look at a not-perfect person and go “how dare that person represent the brand!” (these are the people who unsettle me) but for me, I always look at it and think isn’t it wonderful that all these different people, in their different shapes and sizes, are all part of one big great company? There is no standard shape or size that allows you into the club. You don’t have to be of a certain age or race or background to belong. I LOVE that about Herbalife. It is all those different people who I have seen and met and experienced over my years of being in a Herbalife family that have made me love this company. Those people have proven to me that this product really is for everyone and that the business can work for anyone who wants it to work for them.

Now I know that as far as branding goes it may seem like Herbalife is for all the sporty folk with hard bodies and perfect workout ethic. And yes, it is for them. But it is for everyone else too. Never forget that “Level 10” is a very personal thing., and I truly believe the personal aspects of each individual’s “Level 10” should always be respected. As a Health Coach it is your job to love, encourage, and inspire your people. It will never be to bully them into your idea of what their  “Level 10” should be. Remember to always have patience with those who are struggling. Uplift them. Never put them down. And of course, praise for those who are achieving!

My dad called himself fat the other day and it felt like a gutpunch to me. What nonsense! My dad is perfect!  And then I thought that maybe it is time for us all to stop saying nasty things to ourselves. But you know what I realised after that? I realised that my dad is just working on his own “Level 10” (I wish he would do it without calling himself fat, but that’s still his prerogative!) just like I am working on my “Level 10”. And that is the key word: MY. My body compared to yours might not be great, but my body compared to mine is doing just fine. Why? Because I’m working on the balance that makes me happy. Just like my dad is working on the balance that makes him happy. And you are working on the balance that makes you happy.

So let’s try and remember that when we deal with those around us. Let me help you with your  “Level 10” – no matter how big or small that goal may be, it is an important one, and it is yours. I would like to respect that.

Back to Elizabeth Gilbert! I thought what she had to say here was incredible as it tied up so nicely with how I would like to see us all treating people. And not just ladies with ladies but all of us! Enjoy – this woman is a treasure trove of wisdom, and above all, she is kind.

Love,

Nadine

Dear Ones -Can we talk about something?For the last few months, I’ve been growing uneasy about a phenomenon I’ve seen playing out in the media over women’s bodies and women’s appearance.And no, this is not about the USUAL thing that makes me uneasy in the media (the exploitation and hyper-sexualization of women’s bodies, etc. etc…) That hasn’t changed, and I’m not tackling that today.This is about something new.

This is about prominent women publicly criticizing other prominent women about body image questions, and about each other’s private beauty decisions.

I don’t want to see this anymore.

The history of women’s bodies and women’s beauty is a battlefield of epic (and sometimes violent) proportions. The last thing any of us need to be doing is judging each other and turning on each other.

What really frustrates me is the patronizing tone that is sometimes adopted, when a woman who has made a certain set of decisions about her own face and her own body criticizes another woman who has made an entirely different set of decisions about HER own face and HER own body.

You know the tone. It goes like this: “I just think it’s so sad that she felt she needed to do that…”

This is a tone of voice that fills me with ire, because: REALLY? Does it make you feel “sad”? Are sure you’re using the word “sad” correctly? Does your neighbor’s boob job really make you feel “sad”? Does that movie star’s plastic surgery genuinely make you feel “sad”? Are you honestly crying into your pillow at night about somebody’s Brazilian butt lift — the way you would cry about a death in the family? Honestly?

Or are you just judging a sister, and hiding your judgment behind a screen of moral appropriation?

Check yourself.

No decision that any of us make about our appearance makes us morally better or morally worse than any other woman.

The scale of beauty in our world is vast and complicated and often politically, socially, and culturally confounding. At one extreme, you have the “all-natural” obsessives, who judge anybody who artificially alters her appearance in any manner whatsoever as vain and shallow. At the other of the scale are the extreme beauty junkies, who will do anything for an enhanced sense of beauty, and who judge everyone else as slovenly and drab.

We all have to figure out where we land on that scale. Lipstick, but no hair dye? Legs shaved, but not arms? Hair processing, but no Brazilian wax? Short skirts but no bikini tops? Two-inch heels, but not five-inch heels?

It all sends a message, and it all comes with complications. None of it is easy to figure out. And this is not even taking into account larger questions about religion, history, and cultural ethics. What looks like modesty on a woman in Rio de Janeiro looks like flagrancy in Salt Lake City. What looks like modesty in Salt Lake City is flagrancy in Cairo. What looks like modesty in Cairo is flagrancy in Riyadh. What looks like flagrancy to your grandmother looks like frumpiness to your teenager. What looks beautiful to me might look grotesque or even offensive to you.

IT’S COMPLICATED.

My experience is this: once we have decided where we land on that scale of beauty, we tend to judge all the other women who have made different decisions in either direction around us: This woman is too vain; that one is too plain…it never ends.

It also bothers me that women who define themselves as liberal, left-wing feminists (like myself) will stand on a picket line to defend the right of another woman to do whatever she wants with her reproductive system — but then attack that woman for what she decided to do to her face.

Let me break it down for you: It’s none of your business.

Every single molecule of woman’s body belongs to HER.

Yes, even her lips.

Yes, even her butt.

To judge a fellow woman for her choices about her own appearance is not only cruel, it also speaks to a fundamental insecurity that says, “I am so uncomfortable with myself that I have now become deeply uncomfortable with YOU, lady — and I don’t even know you.”

So have some compassion for the fact that it is difficult for any woman to figure out where to place herself on that vast and emotionally-loaded scale of female aesthetic. And check your own vanity before you criticize someone else’s vanity. (And do not kid yourself that you are not vain because you do not partake in certain beauty rituals that other women partake in — because you are also making decisions about your body, your face, and your clothing every single day. With every one of those decisions you are also telegraphing to the world your own politics, your own opinions, your own needs and fears, and yes, often your own arrogance.)

No matter what you’re wearing, you are dressing up, too.

As the great drag queen RuPaul has said: “We are all born naked. Everything else is just drag.”

So be sympathetic. Everyone is facing her own battlefield in her own manner. And the only way you can express empathy about another woman’s vanity IS TO BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR OWN.

Once you have reached that place of authentic honesty about your own struggle, you will only ever show kindness toward your sisters.

So here’s what I do.

When I see a woman who has lost weight, I say, “You look terrific.”

When I see a woman who has quit dieting and embraced her curves, I say, “You look terrific.”

When I see a woman who has obviously just had plastic surgery, I say, “You look terrific.”

When I see a woman who has let her hair go grey and is hanging out at grocery store in her husband’s sweatpants, I say, “You look terrific.”

Because you know what? If you are woman and you managed to get up today and go outside, then you look terrific.

If you are still here, then you look terrific.

If you are able to go face down a world that has been arguing about your body and your face for centuries, then you look terrific.

If you have figured out what you need to wear, or do, or not do, in order to feel safe in your own skin, then you look terrific.

If you are standing on your own two feet and the stress of being a woman hasn’t killed you yet, then YOU LOOK TERRIFIC.

To say anything less than that to (or about) your fellow woman is to add ammunition to a war that is bad enough already.

So back off, everyone. Be kind.

You’re all stunning.

ONWARD,
LG

 

 

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