Posts tagged "self-esteem"

Are You Liberated? And What That Means For Habit Change


By Diane Gold


“You are liberated,”

was the response I got when my student asked me my age, and I told her with no hesitation. She then responded that she doesn’t share her age. Her withholding her age is part of a social more that is, in my opinion, holding us from being liberated.

Hearing These WordsHearing these words brought back a whole series of memories starting with a story my mother told me about her childhood. Now, I know that I have always been an explorer and that if a rule or tradition didn’t make sense to me, I always questioned it. I was encouraged to do so by both my parents.

Let’s go back to my mom. She was extremely free, meaning that she didn’t live by societal rules that were empty, prejudiced and thoughtless. She was ahead of her time, realizing her self-worth as more than a housewife and a mother. She was a great example of the Women’s Liberation Movement that was prevalent in my youth in the 60s, even though she was not from that generation. And she passed it on to me.

Baby In HighchairSo, let’s backtrack to when my mom was one-year-old. (This photo is not my mom. Because of her free spirit, I believe she would laugh if she saw this representation. This photo is used with lots of love and memories of nurturing.) She told me that she loved to see a plate break on the floor, that she would laugh with abandon at this phenomenon. Maybe it was the excitement of seeing the pieces scatter. It was a favorite activity, nonetheless. And my grandfather used to buy her plates so that she could knock them off her highchair so that she could laugh and be free. Yes, he was liberated, too.

My grandfather was a great fan of the second-hand store, which we now know as the thrift store. I got some of my most precious toys from his jaunts to this type of store. Apparently, this is the kind of store from which he bought plates for my mother to break. He was encouraging of her happiness and thought this would make her a free and happy human being.

Most parents would discipline their children away from this type of behavior at this young age. Of course, at some point, my mother was taught that plates are for eating and not for throwing. But the freedom she had in her formative years surely affected her. I firmly believe that this type of childhood education allowed my mother to be the free and happy spirit she was.

Plate For MomI did not throw plates, but I was encouraged to be my own person, ask questions about anything for the purpose of becoming a productive and liberated person. I can’t swear that my parents were thinking of the word “liberation” when they were raising me. They just saw no need to teach me to be seen and not heard as was and still is a popular method of child-rearing. Personally, I think this method can repress a child’s spirit and disable a child’s curiosity. Respect for elders and familial hierarchy can be taught in many ways, but free speech, in my opinion, should begin at the earliest of ages.

This leads me to the idea that when people are repressed due to upbringing, they tend to end up with less than even temperament, such as bossy or submissive. These traits usually cause some sort of life tension.


Be Seen And Not HeardLet me clarify that many people raised in the “be seen and not heard” old-school philosophy are successful, happy, shining and wonderfully balanced. There are, however, many of us raised with restrictions every time we turn around, such as don’t speak unless we are asked a question, always be available as a servant to our parents, all friends must be researched for family stature and then brought to the house for approval; we are often stressed, repressed and depressed because of it. Certainly, we are rarely liberated and feel the pain of not being trusted.

I’m not suggesting that all parents should buy plates for their kids and let them toss a plate from the high mount, the highchair. I’m also aware that there’s no proof this plate activity had the huge influence on my mom that it could have since this event does not have a control subject meaning we had life-long data on another subject of my mother’s age who wanted to throw plates and was restricted from doing it. My mother was one of the most balanced human beings I ever met, and her father assessed the wonderful laughter that came from this plate activity as good for her.


Many parents, due to frustration, money problems or runoff behavior from their parents, may not treat us well as children. These actions certainly shape us and affect the way we see the world. They do not have to define us.


For those of us who wish to keep what we have been given in our upbringing,  this is our choice. We have to notice whether it is hurting us or not. I am the first one to say that traditions which are the habits of our family or tribe can be bolstering, rooting, unifying. However, if these habits or the perceptions from these habits hurt us, action would be a good choice.


Here is a sample list of habits developed from society or upbringing. These may or may not support our lives. When there is anxiety attached to any of these, action may be in order. Action is liberation.

1) We hide our age because we will be judged by it. Unfortunately, society does judge us by age. Revealing age out loud helps us adjust to it. It also can reduce the amount of judgment initiated about such a superficial trait.

Restricted2) We don’t speak up due to our self-image. This usually has to do with the fact that we are younger, older, the minority sex in the group, the wrong sexual orientation, a woman whose place (in in someone else’s mind) is in the home, the wrong nationality, religion or socio-economic level.

Today’s New York Times talked about scientific studies of how people who lived in poverty in their early years maintain the scars of this experience their whole lives and live shorter lives as a result. Unless they address their feelings.

3) We maintain a stance of submission. When we have been encouraged to be silent and non-assertive or when our families have ridiculed us, we have not worked at our assertive selves. Much like debate class prepares us to speak up, speaking out as children gives us the experience we need. If we have not been encouraged to do so, the repetition necessary to learn to be assertive may be missing. And, often times, it is easier to stay with what we know. Even if it eats at us.


1) Define one of the habits you have that causes discomfort. Do so by writing it down in a one or two paragraph statement. This can be solely for you, so there is no need to hold back.

I Am A Good Speaker2) Once you have the habit defined (let’s say, for example, that you don’t speak because of past negative reinforcement), go to the mirror in the morning and say to yourself,

“I restrict myself from speaking because my parents told me I wasn’t a good speaker. This is totally incorrect. I am a good speaker, and I am a valuable human being.”

3) Repeat this mirror behavior in the evening and alone, possibly when you are in the bathroom.

4) Repeat this morning and evening mirror work for a week.

5) If you have successfully completed a week, write a paragraph about your new found comfort with yourself. This paragraph is not dependent upon whether you feel the comfort level or not.

6) Read the paragraph in the mirror. An example paragraph might be,

“I certainly feel confident in myself. I can read this paragraph well. I know the more I read it, the more comfortable I will become. The more I feel good about my ability to speak, the smoother it will sound. The smoother it sounds, the more I will want to speak more openly. The more I speak more openly, the more ability I will obtain. I am a good speaker, and I am a valuable human being.”

7) Read this paragraph once or twice a day for a week.

8) If you have succeeded at reading for a week, add a week.

9) If you have succeeded at two weeks, add a third week. Feel free to change the paragraph that you are reading.

10) Know that you have taken the step has become your new habit.


When we are held down by our habits, whether from the constant memory of a family member or a bully saying we are worthless, or having to act like a Cinderella servant,  we repetitively are trapped experiencing the same feelings over and over again. We take on habits we don’t even know we have, and they form us. Mom Taking Photo


Sometimes, we don’t realize we have them until we are passing them on to our children. Only then do we recognize how influential our childhood was and how impressionable we were to have kept a habit that does not positively support our life.

There is always time to change a habit. The beginning only takes one step. Just as the mind can be liberated in one thought, it is the one step that starts the process. If we are not liberated as we read this and we choose to be, we can liberate ourselves now by taking one step. We must be patient with ourselves since our habit was not made overnight. We must repeat the step until it becomes familiar. Slowly, the step will become the habit, and the reward will be there.


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Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying plant-based nutrition.

She has always believed it is almost as important to free ourselves inside as outside. There are ways to proceed that can make it easy. She says,

“It is devastating for people who do not have their physical freedom. But, for those who do, it is important to work on our inner freedom. Through small, continual steps, we can have this. No exclusive technique or direction is needed, only that we work on ourselves in some way. A little bit every day.

“This work can be done in honor of those who do not have their physical freedom and in hopes that we can all live with some freedom, inside and out.”

The Biggest Habit, The Inflexible Mind: 3 Scenarios


By Diane Gold

When we think of habits, we usually miss the most common one, the inflexible mind. From a very early age, we take comfort in learning new things and the fact that they are familiar to us. The fact that we like this feeling of belonging stays with us for most of our lives. We go to the same market because we’re convinced the food is adequate and the staff will greet us with a smile. We go to the same place to work out because we know the machines and the people who go there. And we even shop in the same stores because we have done so in the past.

We begin to build these patterns of repetitious behavior called habits that just creep into our lives through repetition.

Brain AnatomyAn MIT study last October at the McGovern Institute For Brain Research, authored by Kyle Smith, Ann Graybiel, et al, showed how rats continued their learned habitual behavior even when their reward was removed.

Fascinatingly, it also showed how the researchers were able to remove the habit by disrupting the infralimbic cortex (a part of the prefrontal cortex) needed for habit development.

The presence of light was enough to “turn off” the habit. The basal ganglia, in the middle front brain, holds the coding that is created by habits in neural pathways, almost like tagging or  but the infralimbic cortex, alone, seems to control the execution of the habit. Great news for people who want to change a habit.

To follow are three scenarios that are common to most of us. They are pretty universal:


WritingOften times, we put tremendous value on what we do. If we write, we believe our writing helps the readership. If we compose, we are enamored with our own work. If we teach, we think we are the best. If we are fighters, we believe we are the best.

It would serve us well to realize that we can learn about ourselves and that we always have something to learn. And that demeaning others does not give us power, even if it feels that way.


How many times do we compare ourselves to someone else? We believe that our writing is better than their dancing? We really believe this because we have told this to ourselves or others have told it to us. If we have not walked in the shoes of the next person, it is difficult to conclude someone else’s human prowess.
It’s important that we refrain from judging others unless we have had a personally negative interaction with the person.


Unlike the other two scenarios above, this one has to do with using others for our self-motivation. We actually get our energy from the thrill of being recognized by others rather than the satisfaction that usually comes from valuing what we do.

I have seen people so driven by looking for recognition from others that their entire careers would stop in their tracks if they didn’t get it.


Knowing our own minds takes work and practice. In order to allow the mind to be flexible, we have to change our automatic reactions. By doing so, we change the neural pathways we have created and design new ones that will serve us well on the journey away from inflexible mind and toward flexible mind.

Here are three ACTION STEPS. They only require noticing yourself.


The next time we are evaluating ourselves, stop and think that our work is no more important than the next person’s work to that person and that each deserves recognition.


Think of three ways to improve the work that you do, and make those changes. Then realize that this type of self-improvement upgrade is important on a regular basis, even if it means making big personal changes.


When we speak about money, politics and religion; most of us have strong opinions. We are warned that these subjects are taboo I recall the first time I was having a political discussion with a friend, I was quite surprised. She became very impassioned and very closed minded to listen to anything other than that which she had concluded.

We are all like this at one time or other about some subject. This is the inflexible mind. Next time you see this in yourself, smile and stop and notice the inflexible mind. Laugh at yourself, and keep the mind open. This will become the habit.

RepeatIn order for these action steps to take shape, we must repeat them over and over, each time we have the opportunity. The idea is to change the habit of inflexible mind we have instilled in ourselves, and instill a new one, the habit of flexible mind. It requires self-mind training, as with any habit!



Ask A QuestionHave a question about a habit, nutrition, plant-based nutrition, tai chi, music, parenting, life? Ask here and, if we don’t know the answer, we will ask our qualified panelists and professional colleagues to help get you your answer.
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Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying plant-based nutrition.

She walks with an open way about her. If someone questions the way that she believes, she takes them seriously and is curious to know why their opinion differs from hers. She says,

“We do not have the right to demean others. We do have the duty to protect them. Our minds, though naturally inflexible, can be changed.with repetition. We need to grab that tiny moment before the old habit kicks in where the new one has the chance to emerge with new behavior. Try it; it is fairly straight forward.

“Good luck.”

The Grade Game: Success Habits In Education


By Diane Gold

Education StatisticsThe grade game refers to the habit of using grades to determine success in education. This measurement system is known all over the world. How often does it work?

We, in the United States, believe in preparing our children without taking away their childhood or spontaneity. Other countries put more emphasis on learning by ingesting knowledge and less on childhood freedoms.

For the most part, we use the grade game to measure success. We are always making attempts to improve upon our system, upgrading the ineffective parts, creatively adding the new and keeping what works.

It was just the other day in around 1972 that New York University opened University Without Walls, a Bachelors Degree curriculum based upon student interests and goals and independent study (currently called The Gallatin School of Individualized Study) rather than the standard core courses for a Liberal Arts Degree conjured by someone completely impersonal to the particular student. This progressive college inside the main university was founded to accommodate the rote method of learning and to allow students motivated by their own interests to flourish.

Maria Montessori created a system of learning that was based upon student choice of activity within a formulaic systematic approach. This approach was different from the regular public school classroom that taught the same curriculum to every child. When my son was in such a school, he learned many skills and satisfied his own creativity through “working” on projects that he chose in his timing.

There were other school models that taught one color per year as opposed to the ROYGBIV method of learning.  There were the Free Schools which mirrored the philosophy of University Without Walls, above.

All these methods created education habits, in the student, the parent and the teacher. When the grade game was involved, all the players had “good grade” expectations and all that comes with that.

Education PuzzleI read an article by Michael Thomsen, “The Case Against Grades,” at the other day. In it, he supports the trend moving away from grades in school. He talks about the “negative reinforcement” that comes from this type of system. Having been a specialty teacher for 10 years in the New York City and State School Systems, and a private teacher for another several decades, I have first-hand experience at watching students and serving their differences.

Please note that most of my early students were labeled “emotionally disturbed,” many of whom would be called ADD and ADHD, if labeled today. So I saw a version of behavior related to grades far more dramatic than the “average” school-ager.

This is what I saw:

The Grade Game1) Children cut school for fear of failing a test.

2) Children quit school for fear of repercussions from cutting school for fear of failing make up tests or getting overall failing grades.

3) Children got teased over getting poor grades. Their lowered self-esteem from the teasing sapped their motivation to excel.

4) Children became withdrawn or acted delinquently. Both these types of behavior kept the student from focusing on and changing her (his) inadequate feelings, which, typically, caused the behavior in the first place. Both withdrawn and acting-out students develop the habit of acting instead of talking about grades, fear and self-esteem issues. The behavior was perpetuated by the continuation of “the grades game.”

5) Children became adults and grabbed fewer opportunities for themselves because of lost self-esteem. If they had had grade issues throughout their early schooling, they came to adulthood with a whole set of habits that went along with the issues:

a) doing less than their capacity out of fear of failure.

b) keeping silent about their feelings whether they hide in plain sight or through verbosity.
These observations led me to work hard toward teaching students to be independent thinkers who followed their dreams.


Child Painter

Strained relations with family members are created when parents pass judgment upon their kids based on “the grade game.” Those kids with poor grades perceive that love = good grades.

Their “good grades” counterparts learn the same habits, that they are great because their grades are good.  Does this type of judgment system belong in a household?
I used to date someone of Southern Asian descent. He had discipline, and his whole family was completely dedicated to education. What he did not have was a free spirit, devoid of oppression. The male parent regularly ordered him around, he accepted the
orders and he agreed with the tradition.

I was thinking this repressed “hitting the books” family value was the reason we, in the United States, go to school for 180 days, while other countries go for more days. Wrong, incorrect, negative. What I found statistically from the OECD (Organisation For Economic Cooperation And Development) and the World Data On Education in an article by  is that, on average, top academic performing countries like Finland have several 100-300 fewer hours per year in the early grades and 100 fewer hours less than our average in higher grades. Could it be that a shorter educational format creates more relaxed students who are available emotionally better to take tests?

And should tests be the standard by which we measure our students, now that there is so much research showing that individuals do not all develop well using “the grades game?”


There are always standards by which we must operate. But, to this day, other than in very free educational institutions, we have not focused our studies of intelligence on understanding who should study what and how to teach families about new systems of childhood education. If the person with mechanical interest is encouraged to pursue activities to develop it; if the girl whose entire family of eight generations of doctors wants to be a musician and is encouraged to play music; and if the son of a family of physicists wants to be a dancer and is encouraged to dance; won’t these people reach their highest potential and serve our world best by pursuing their interests? And if this is true, how can one type of grading system measure their success as students?

Elementary ClassroomPlacing children in a molded system that does not embellish their interests and their strengths represses their creativity, curbs their intelligence, crushes their self-worth and perpetuates a system that needs change. Having a system that is evolutionary in nature and is not framed around “the grading game” seems fresh, logical, sensible and


Below we examine whether “the grade game” is the way we measure success in education and take steps to improve the way we support our children. The following are some thoughtful action steps, each of which takes just a few minutes, to enrich the life of our student or child and the support success. These steps allow us to notice habits we may have formed and a way to move away from them.


1) Spend some quality time with yourself as a parent or teacher to confirm how you judge “the grade game” for your child, friend, student, world.

2) Spend quality time with your student/child to confirm that love or support and grades are separate.

3) Spend quality time with your student/child to listen to her (his) aspirations.

4) Spend quality time with yourself to see whether you judge your student/child’s aspirations or whether you accept them.

5) Add one behavior that would show you support your student/child’s aspirations.

6) Consider the merits of schools without grades.

Kids In School


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Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying plant-based nutrition.

She has 25 years in music education and 15 years in martial arts education and personal development. She says,

“Being brought up in “the grade game” taught me a very stiff, non-creative method of measuring my own learning. I’m not sure it is the best way to motivate or instruct people as it hinders true creativity even though it encourages memorization of rote facts. It caused stress that could be avoided with another technique.

“Facilitating the creation of music, art, movement, science in school and the minds that create these are the role of the education system. Any system that does not include these is empty and does not evolve our species.

“Most systems based upon grades and tests have some type of negative effect on the student. Therefore, I would like to see a new non-grade system as a way to gauge success habits in education. Let’s get to work on creating one as the new standard.”

Women As Slaves: How To Change This Habit


World Tai Chi and Chi Kung Day is coming up on April 27, Saturday, at 10:00 am. There are events all over the world. It’s free and fun, for beginners or experienced people. If you are in Boca Raton, I’m coordinating the event at Sanborn Square, my 14th year in Boca. I would be honored to have you attend. Spread the word! If you’re not going to be local, I will look for an event near your location if you contact me.



By Diane Gold

The perpetual work that women who are slaves perform is a habit.
As with anything else, we know that anything can be a habit. Habits are formed by repetitive behavior leading to some reward. So, what’s rewarding about abusing human rights? How can men morally write down stories on which religions are based that condone stoning women, placing women in a cattle-like position of being bought and sold, using women as slaves by the husband and using a god as the excuse for the actions?

Our own President Jimmy Carter’s article Losing My Religion For Equality mentions,
” Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.”


Here is how it started, as far as we know; and it is also why it continues. It is exactly related to why we have habits that stay with us unless we choose and then change them.Advertising



People who have control like to keep it.


Whether it is the news media, the banking systems or the political system in any country; these machines will advertise (using the news companies which they own) to support their agendas, whether this advertising is by way of print media in 2013 or through concepts taught in school, such as: men are more worthy than women or women are evil. This control premise also applies to the single farm girl who has 1 acre of land to farm and wants to fight to keep it in her possession. We all want to possess something, even if it means stepping on someone else to get it. This human truth is how it started.


Unicorn Looking SexyNow, I don’t believe that blame is something helpful, but I do believe that, because women have accepted the position of inferiority, they have perpetuated a myth that carries on to this day. I also believe that, if women who are oppressed fight for their own equality (I am not speaking of the gentle oppressions where women make less money, have more domestic responsibilities, get worse jobs, but of stark, horrific oppression such as domestic slavery, sex slavery, trafficking, second class citizenship that exist in many nations), the fight would cause as many female deaths as in any civil war to date.

Women make less money, in general. Women have fewer civil rights in many constitutions. They are treated as second-class citizens under some laws.

Women accept being second class citizens out of habit or out of fear of being stoned, murdered, mutilated or disfigured should they be discovered at working on changing their working condition.


Tears On FaceThere are women who are born into prostitution. In certain sections of the world, 3 generations of women can be found to be prostitutes. In the red light district of Kolkata (formerly spelled Calcutta), a prevalent family business is this: the mother is a prostitute as is her mother. The father waits for the female children of his wife to become 10 years old (or worse, 7 years old) so that he can turn them out into prostitution so that the family can eat and live.

When asked to leave the life, many child prostitutes say they don’t want to leave. This is their heritage, and they would be afraid to do anything else and leave the protection of the mother, father, aunty managing their prostitution.

According to a 2010 interview by the United Nations Office On Drugs And Crime, a 16-year-old sex worker in Sonagachi, Kolkata, India said,

“Ma [the madame] will never let me go, and … this is my home … I am here of my own free will. Even if I leave this place, where will I go? The society will always label me as a prostitute. I am scared wherever I will be employed, the men will rape me. Even if I marry a prince tomorrow and wear expensive saris … and sit in a big car; people will still think I am a prostitute. I cannot change that. I wanted to become a nurse and take care of people. I have a secret lover … and we are planning to marry. I will make sure my daughter is never born into a brothel, is educated and lives her dream.”


According to a verified BBC News report from 2001; prostitution, itself, is not illegal in India. According to a completely unverified source listed on Wikipedia; solicitation, brothels, trafficking are illegal in India as is working within 200 feet of a public place. Unverified map of legality of prostitution is here:

Child PaintingAccepting the thinking that it’s OK to putting children into prostitution for money is a bad habit. It is also a way of thinking and acting that has been accepted in current and past society as normal.

If we do a behavior once, it is new, unfamiliar, easy never to do again. If we do something twice, it is easier to do it again. If we do it for a week, we start getting into a groove of familiarity, and we are on our way to making it a habit which solidifies in another week or two.

There are 3 habits at play. One is that the parent often the father) sends the female child out to sell sex. The second habit is the child does it thinking its normal. The third is that the act on the parent’s part is repeated over and over again as normal behavior.

With regard to nurturing children, people in every country think about how to give children the most opportunity for growth, education, socialization, creativity. In the United States, we protect our children until they have reached 18 years old, for the most part.  We protect them from harm and abuse from families whose financial need or choice to teach work ethic responsibility might put their children to work at the expense of their education, childhood or health.

The U. S. Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (amended last on April 5, 2011) lists jobs that are considered hazardous for minors (under 18). Prostitution is not on the list because it is not legal. Even if it were, it is not a profession that many groups of parents would consider the choice profession to teach children. Other conditions that are “detrimental to their health and well-being” have various FLSA restrictions to see that kids go to school and are not overworked.

Internationally, people protect their children. Parenting refers to care, love, guidance. However, financial hardship changes what we do, what we will do and, as a result, how we end up. This is universal. Not all governments protect children or enforce laws that are on the books, especially when bribery is rampant.


Abolish Child SlaveryIn certain cultures, women are forced into being one of many wives, forced into being consorts, forced into the life of a sex slave, a baby machine or a maid. This is partly the fault of women who accept this. But their alternative would be death, ostracism or, at least, fear of death and disfigurement.

The families of some girls who sell them into bondage are making a hard choice in
order to feed their other children. This decision, though ghastly, must be the hardest one in a lifetime, but is the only alternative to starvation in the eyes of the family who commits a daughter into this life, similar to killing daughters in China before 1979 for the good of the state.



Talk is cheap, and having lengthy discussions about how terrible these situations are does little. It boils down to changing a habit, as I see it.

Introducing young girls to associations of women who want to escape or have escaped prostitution, slavery, mutilation and the like opens their minds to new options. Instead of the habit of obeying the parent or aunty who demands the child go into prostitution, the child who has been exposed to alternatives is more able to take the first step toward changing the habit of submission and changing the thinking for the future.

One such association is Apne Aap, founded by Ruchira Gupta, a former UN worker whose film The Selling Of Innocents won an Emmy in 1997, and 22 women working as prostitutes in Mumbai’s red light district. Their message was to highlight the link between trafficking and prostitution laws, believing that changing the laws would change the reality.

Although all the founding 22 women from Mumbai are dead due to suicide, AIDS and hunger; this inspirational group still reaches 15,000 women as a safe house and education center to help women get out of the trapped life and to institute enough influence to outlaw prostitution as a crime of exploitation.


Although journaling helps one to stay balanced and sane, it does not get the word out. Taking one’s safety into account, there are media sources that publish stories of inequality. The more people write, the more they will heal themselves and the more they may have their story published. There is danger in going public with one’s real name, so a pseudonym may minimize the risk, depending upon where one lives.


Join a group that works to eliminate abuse of power against women. Decide to offer your time to get the word out to those women who are unaware they have options. Your time spent can change the habits of many women who don’t know any better, are complacent with an abusive type of life, who are waiting for encouragement to take their first steps.


Take a good look at the books we use as daily reference. Rewrite some of the archaic interpretations of our religious and social doctrines to fit the modern time citing women as equal to men. Or, at least, consider how they got there.


At this time in history, there are so many films available about violation of human rights. Go check one out. If you are so inclined, offer to have your own screening with 4 others in your home.


Voting WomenIt is time we worked on changing the concept and reality of women as slaves. It is time we all became better human beings. It’s crucial to engage in conversations. It is also important to consistently talk about abuse of women in literature and in every country in the world.

These customs and habits have taken a long time to evolve. We can work for change by following the action steps. By not abandoning the women in terrible circumstances, we take small steps toward the goal of stopping the abuse.


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Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying plant-based nutrition.

She considers abuse against people a shortcoming in the human spirit. Why would we think it right to be hurtful. She says,

“If we are taught that God said we are supposed to abuse women, we are being fed convincing evidence to justify second class status and abuse. We, as thinking beings, need to consider the flaws in such terminology that ostracizes anyone. We are all equal.

“If we are taught that it’s OK to abuse someone, we need to do our own research and come to a different conclusion.”

The Gender Issue: How We As Women See Ourselves And 7 Action Steps


By Diane Gold

GenderThe gender issue is alive and well all over the world. There are many sides to it and hurdles we can turn to our advantage. I just read in Wikipedia,

“Professional women are still responsible for domestic labor and child care.”

I just sent an email to that it is supposed to read,

“Often, even in 2013, professional women take responsibility upon themselves for domestic labor and child care, even though they work. They fail to create shared effort with their partners who may fail to see or correct the imbalance of duties. ”

This example, from a 2013-edited open source reference tool. used 2500 times per second for a total of 7 billion visits per month, gives us a clear understanding of how misconceptions, falsities, mistakes are spread.

In general, would someone born in 1970 or before describe women as sensitive, soft and knowledgeable about design, clothing and fashion?

In general, would someone born in 1970 or before describe men as strong, mechanical and able to cope with life’s decisions?

These descriptions are examples of stereotypes created about gender. The children of the people born in 1970 heard these stereotypes and saw many of their parents living them. Stereotypes can ruin lives if we cling to them and let them take over. We can all use a dose of the age old philosophy,

“If it doesn’t apply, let it fly,”

but, what’s tough about this one is that many of us may be confused as to whether a stereotype applies, and this confusion can drag us down.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, author of Lean In, writes about how women are still not equal and how women may be holding themselves back.

When we buy into The Gender Issue, meaning we believe we are inferior or we don’t get educated because we just want children and marriage or we believe stereotypes that feel wrong to us, this holds us back.


Icy WomanAs a direct result of our having been deemed the weaker sex in the past, women may act with cold, ruthless and inflexible behaviors. If we react because of a perceived vulnerable reputation, we’re living someone else’s perception. If we become strong, capable achievers, we will change old thinking. As the decades pass.

To compensate for our diminished status, we may also train in self-defense and become the best fighters of our time, just to get rid of our self-doubt. However, if the doubt was there to begin with, it will be there now. What won’t be there is the insecurity that comes without personal protection skills. So this, in itself, is invaluable.


NinjaBecause our families may have bought into the gender issue; we women may not have learned boxing, martial arts, how to stand up for our physical selves. We may be walking around lacking personal protection training with that shaky inner feeling of slight anxiety. This emotion is not gender specific, although many favor the old gender specific attitudes; this insecurity shows up in anyone who has not been trained in strength training, meditation and some type of combat. A big oversight in our school and parenting systems leaves this out. This deprivation of training causes much stress that exists in anyone who has ever been confronted by a bully, a demanding significant other or an authority figure.


We all have internal drill sergeants. We drive ourselves to mold our self-images. If we are women whose parents, teachers, neighbor gangs, local bullies, heritage, culture have drilled into us that we don’t need personal protection techniques or to take care of our own safety; we may have been led to believe in ourselves as weak by picking up the attitudes of others with “gender issues.”

I Am TrainedIt is most appropriate for every one of us to learn how to protect ourselves: girl, boy, woman, man. As they say, knowledge is power. When we are well trained, we doubt ourselves less, maintain awareness of what’s around the corner and are more prepared to interpret and successfully meet physical contact and body language of others.

This holds especially true of those who did not fit into the formula of “girls play with dolls and don’t fight; boys play with guns and fight” of the past.
Going to school for self-protection opens up a world of relaxation and confidence.

Question MarkOne wonders why personal safety training has not been added to “the” required school curriculum beginning in elementary school. This type of training is basic to our ability to build a strong emotional and physical foundation. How could it be left out? It also tempers the spirit so that violence is met with temperance. Go figure.


Whether we wear a veil to cover our heads with long sleeves and floor length shirt or we wear very short shorts and a low cut T-shirt; the way we dress makes an impression on others and on ourselves. The way we dress affects how we feel about ourselves, and it is important to consider this well.

ObjectsWe are not objects to be gawked at dressing for the pleasure of others. We are brilliant beings who can choose the way we look and feel in a world we are involved in changing. If we choose to dress for others, that’s great. As long as it soothes, rather than inflames, our nature.

It’s easy to forget we dress for ourselves, especially if the company we keep dictates our wardrobe. When someone else controls us, we can get lost and forget we are not someone else’s image of us, only our own.

The same occurs for anyone who doesn’t fit into the “frills are for girls, football is for boys” convention.

So what can we do to insure that we nurture ourselves and support who we are?


Girl Writing1) Take a few minutes to go over how you feel on certain issues, either digitally or with pad and pen.

2) Write down one of these words per line, leaving white space after each for writing:
confidence, personal safety, gender fitting in, being an example

3) For confidence: rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being high.

4) For personal safety, rate how safe you feel on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being high.

5) For fitting in, rate how well you fit into the gender situation you have established for yourself with the same rating scale.

6) For being an example, rate how well you set an example to exemplify your perception of a woman.

Here comes the real fun!

Graph7) Pick 1 of your scores and talk to yourself about it. The action step is to figure out a way to bring it up by 1 scale number within the next month.
Here’s how:

For confidence: tell yourself,
“I am super fantastic,”
3X while looking at yourself in the mirror every morning for a month. Don’t forget to laugh and smile. If you haven’t seen this video, take a look:

For personal safety: from now on, talk with your hands by always having your hands a foot in front of you as if you were holding the front of a beach ball – so that no one can come closer than that to you, unless you choose it. This is a simple way to start thinking about the space around you and how to maintain it.

For gender fitting in: find a group of anonymous buddies online by typing in your issue. Start reading how other people feel and deal. Jump in if it moves you. If identity is an issue, 1-888-843-4564 is the help line at

For being an example: to upgrade the way you are a good example, write down what you would like your daughter to learn about being a woman, getting a job, being a partner, facing prejudice. Talk with a friend about 1 of them. Or, if you have a daughter, focus on discussing 1 of these items with her.


Sometimes we see ourselves through others’ eyes. We look past the goodness that we are and hear the worst things people have said to us based on our womanhood, such as,

“You’re only a woman,” “you’re not worthwhile,” “there’s no need for you to get an education.”

RainbowWe remember the impressions from our childhood, the good, the bad, especially the ugly. There are many we haven’t even actualized into words. They form us, though.

Therefore, we need to put new impressions onto ourselves, those that spell out the way we are and aspire to, the way we want to be treated, the way we want others to see us. Through discussion with others, through fortifying ourselves with protection training, support groups, personal work and gratitude; we can better our own lives and be part of moving the gender issue to change.


Please leave a comment and LIKE us.


Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying plant-based nutrition.

She believes we all can pay a little more attention to the gender issue. She says,

“If we are women, we can take a good close look at remnants of old ideas that may be floating around in our head and motivating us. If we are men, we can consider what is fair and just in the world and how we would feel should we be belittled.

“We can all be more aware of diminishing stereotypes as well as how stereotypes diminish us. This reflection will help us in every way.”

Love Yourself, The Interview, With Sabrina Barnett And Her Empowerment Clothing For Women


By Diane Gold

Sabrina BarnettSabrina Barnett, best known for being a high fashion model, a musician and philanthropist, is an evangelist for women’s self-esteem and has designed women’s empowerment clothing for that purpose. This article is based on our interview. (Check out Sabrina’s T-shirt coupon, too.)

Sabrina begins by talking about her “slow progression” from model to designer.

I realized that there [were] a lot of models that are getting paid a lot of money, that don’t really feel good about themselves [or] feel comfortable in their own skin. And I thought to myself, well after all these years of modeling, if there [are] women that are getting paid money for the way that they look that aren’t feeling good about the way that they look, I can’t even imagine what it would be like in the population at large. And, so when I started really doing some research, I realized that it’s a real problem for us, our self-esteem, our self-worth and our self-image.

I’ve been very blessed to work with some of the best designers. And, so, I’ve sort of taken that information from colors and fabrics, and the look of things.
Self-Esteem GirlAnd then understanding, wow, we’ve got a real problem with self-esteem issues with women, no matter whether they are professional models or  whether they are what society says is not attractive, which is really the reason why I decided to come up with this empowerment line for women.


One of the things I saw in your line was that your sizes went up to triple X. I immediately appreciated that.

The most important thing in life is to embrace ourselves for who we are and what we represent. And, that really has very little to do with the way that you look. And, I know society puts such a huge importance on it. And, when I was modeling, I always said, somehow I want to give back to women. And, I thought it was going to be in a self-help book of behind the scenes modeling, to show them that there’s so many …
Diane Gold by Sabrina Barnett… gorgeous pictures that you see – there’s a makeup artist that works on you an hour, a hairdresser that works on you an hour, best photographers, best assistants, best lighting. They take five hundred pictures, if not more. So, it’s really an illusion.

And, yes, these women are absolutely gorgeous, but so are you.

Diane Narrative
After all her years in front of the camera, Sabrina  has become a great photographer, too. She took many incredible photos of me.

The T-shirt collection is an empowering collection because instead of having skull and bones, or instead of having nothing on a [T-]shirt, I have certain messages such as, ‘I am worthy, I admire kind people, I‘m a soulful spirit, ‘I am powerful.’ Beautiful messages that are very short, that are very to the point, and anybody that reads you can read your inner beauty, your inner expressions.

WarriorsOfWeight Sabrina Barnett Coupon


So, that’s why it’s clothing with a purpose. But, more importantly with the sizing, we start out small, medium, and instead of calling a woman large…we say ‘love.’

… We say, small, medium, love, extra love, double love, and yes, ladies, we have triple love!

…For all those women who have been called triple large, we say triple love. And it’s just love yourself. It’s such an important message. And, that is really the message that goes into your other question.

Love Yourself QuoteDiane Narrative
I had asked Sabrina if she had the power, how she would have girls think about themselves.

The most important thing I would tell … everybody that I can out there – and I do on a daily basis and every shirt that gets shipped is another reminder of loving yourself – learn to love yourself for who you are right now, because now is all we have and this ain’t no dress rehearsal. This is life.

And, every moment counts. We’ve got to make every moment count. So really, the clothing line is a reminder. The T-shirt collection, they’re called Lovable Tees. I’m the designer, Sabrina Barnett. But, the bottom line is, loveable tees, loving sizes, lovable collection, love yourself.

I love the love, double love, extra love.

Well … how dare people call us large? And, great, let’s embrace the fact that we’re large! … And, I want to tell all of you ladies out there that you are fabulous! You’re amazing. You’re wonderful. And once you know that, once you own your greatness, which is the name of another shirt. It’s just simply, ‘own your greatness’…

I love it.

…and on the back it says, ‘Never let other people bring you down.’ Now, other people can mean us. We’re sometimes our worst critic. That inner voice that we have in our heads….
It’s vicious! It could be so mean and so nasty.

So, how are we going to learn to love ourselves unless we can check our inner voice on a moment to moment basis? And, sometimes it’s hard to do, but once you start getting used to it, it really alters and shifts your life. So, the Lovable Collection can really help create that space for people out there.

Peace Heart DianeDiane Narrative
If we don’t change the inside, it’s hard to change the outside. Yet, if we start to change the outside, we WILL change the inside.

It’s the “fake it to make it” scenario, which is practice it to be it. We must pretend to believe in ourselves enough to move, exercise, dance, which, in turn, will make us feel better about ourselves, all of which will reduce weight. Putting on awesome clothing is one way to start the process.

<<<Remember to check out Sabrina’s T-Shirt Collection. Make sure to use code sb10 at checkout.>>>

Diane Narrative
I had asked Sabrina to comment on the right weight.

There’s no such thing as right. The right weight is the right way. You are the right weight if you know the right way to following your heart and owning your beauty.

You’ve got to eat right, you’ve got to exercise, and you have to be in a right state of mind to create that. Because, if you’re feeling down about yourself, then you’re not going to want to exercise. … The only reason I say to lose weight … [is] for health.… I am an advocate for weight loss due to the fact that I feel that it’s a healthier space for us all to live in.…

Please don’t drink soda … If you can’t read the ingredient on the label, then it shouldn’t go in your body.

… When you can create and find that balance, then you’ve found your inner ‘chi,’ your inner peace.… It’s the same thing with your diet.

When girls are overweight, what one clothing tip could you give, or dressing technique, that would make them look more curvy and less thick, or bottom line, make them love themselves more?

There you go. Now you’re talking my talk. I’m tired of the more curvy, the less curvy, the waif look, the this, the that, the other. I’ve seen it for years. And, I’ve seen the dysfunction.

… If you want me to answer your question more specifically, I think black is always flattering. Black hides a multitude of whatever it is that you’re not feeling comfortable with. And, the bottom line is, I want you to feel comfortable.

So, you know, a belted tee, like a Lovable Tee with a great message – It’s all about reminders. We must remind ourselves. This is not what society has taught us. This is not what school has taught us, or the media has taught us. [We need] just to love ourselves for who we are right now, because that’s the only way that we’re going to create inner peace. And, that’s the only way that we’re going to shift the way that we are, if, in fact, we want to shift the way that we are right now.

We’ve got to accept ourselves because love is acceptance. So, black is always flattering … we’ve got some Palazzo pants in our collection that look very classy. They’re edgy. They’re stylish. And, again, they’re not too form fitting so if you want to have something that’s a little bit more comfortable, a little bit looser, that’s really what I would recommend, just off hand, right now.

What would you say to girls who are struggling with too much weight, when they see a slender figure … they see models who look like they’re totally happy … and they don’t see the inner heart of these models?

They don’t see the inner workings of a lot of these models. … I was one of them that struggled with self-esteem issues.… I was called ‘brownie’ as a kid because my skin is very brown, my hair is brown, my eyes are brown. So, you know, again, one person can say something to you when you’re a little kid and that can stay with you for the rest of your life. And really, you allow it to tarnish yourself.

Love Your Body… you put on a T-shirt, a Lovable Tee that says, ‘I am worthy,’ ‘I’m the star in my life and love’s got my back.’ Well, love’s got my back because I have to know that I’m worthy. And I’m not talking from an egotistical standpoint. I’m simply talking, you know what? Own who you are because the sexiest thing on the planet is not what you look like; it’s how you feel.

… And being able to shine, and let that shine out and let everybody see.…

That’s exactly right.

Can you talk about your beliefs in charity? Who should give and how much should people give?

Okay. So, again, I hope you’re understanding a little bit from me. I tried not to live in the box of who should. The word ‘should,’ ‘would’ or ‘could’ for me is like a little bit …  controlling. Like you should do this. You should do that.

So, I would say … I love giving for the simple fact of giving. Sometimes people put such an importance on the financial aspect of charity, as opposed to what about all these people that have dedicated so much time, so many hours of their lives, which time is the most important thing. It’s something you can never get back, right? Money, you can lose, you can get back, but time you can never get back. And, sometimes people lose the sight of, ‘Oh, charity. I just donated whatever amount of money to such and such a charity.’

Well, what about donating of your heart, of your time, of yourself, of your essence of gorgeousness? What about saying, you know what? Let me give for my energy. It’s vital to one’s well-being. For me, I feel great when I can give … We’re always busy … That’s life, right? … But we create and make time for what we want to do.


Charity HeartOne of the things I’m asking your audience to do is create time to be charitable, to give back … And, if you don’t have a dollar to do so, then maybe you may want to think about giving back of your energy, like hopefully something that you and I are doing inside this conversation might help somebody in some way.

Diane Narrative
(Watch magazine for the feature: Charity for Weight Loss.)

Sabrina's Mission On Diane's InterviewSabrina’s Mission can be summed up as follows:

“To be a good mother, … a great friend, … to give back and to teach people or remind people to love themselves … It’s really the only path towards true joy. If you love yourself, you can love another.”

There are lots of one-step action steps. They are simple if we allow them to be.

1)    Love ourselves.
If we are struggling with this concept, it takes small, consistent steps to achieve it. Even a smile at ourselves in the mirror can make a difference if we do it often enough.

2)    We’ve got to make every moment count.
Choosing to let go of the meaningless fights in our lives or our own minds gives us more time to flourish, share and give.

3)    Embrace our weight today.
Whatever we weigh today, we should embrace it. If our bodies or minds are some way that we would prefer to change, we must embrace who we are now so that we have the vitality and motivation to create the change.

4)    Own our greatness.
Be sure and secure of how great we are. We can all think of one great thing we bring to this world. Even if this ownership is practicing to make it our truth; the sooner we start, the more experienced we will be.

5)    Check our inner voice (possibly our worst critic) on a moment to moment basis.
We need to have conversations with ourselves regularly and purge old limiting goop we might tell ourselves.

6)    Wear black, which is always flattering (and don’t drink soda).

7)    Be charitable with our own energy.
We can always help someone less fortunate than we. It’s also a great way to focus away from ourselves.


When we love ourselves, we are more useful to the world, our families and our community. It might take some time to realize our position. But there are inspirational people such as Sabrina Barnett out there, so there is hope and help.

We can put on empowerment clothing and feel better instantly. We can help someone else and feel better, too. We might have to dig deeply for it, but we can find the good that others see in us. We are worthy, and we are worth it. Start now. And go get a T-shirt from Sabrina at


Please leave a comment below and LIKE this page. And, when you’re on Facebook, go to and click LIKE. We’re working on the page and would appreciate comments.


Sabrina Barnett is a world renowned super model who has been on runways and magazine covers the world over. She is a talented singer, recording artist and clothing designer who is passionate about helping women and their self-esteem. Her Women’s Empowerment Clothing uses positive affirming statements to promote self-love.


Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Moms For Healthy Daughters, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert and a dedicated mom.
She is thrilled to team up with others who believe in believing in yourself. Diane says,

“Every time we think a good thought about ourselves, it goes into a little vault for safekeeping. Eventually, when the vault is full, it results in overflowing joy.!”

About Self-Esteem

Homeless – How We Can Help

by Diane Gold on April 5, 2016.

Today’s issue focuses on being homeless and how we truly don’t think about situations until we are in them.

Also in this issue….

The Secret Of Habit Change Is To Step

by Diane Gold on December 9, 2014.

Our main essay talks about the secret of habit change, which is to step, make that move, do.

Also in this issue….

Think Life Sucks? 10 Things That May Not

by Diane Gold on November 4, 2014.

Our main essay talks about 10 things that may not suck in the life of someone who thinks life sucks.

Also in this issue….

Recognizing 9 Early Warning Signs Of Depression

by Diane Gold on September 2, 2014.

Our main essay talks about recognizing depression and how we each can be aware if the signs in ourselves or others.

Also in this issue….

Inflated Ego At The Expense Of Others

by Diane Gold on August 12, 2014.

Our main essay talks about how, sometimes, our inflated ego can be cruel in order to cover up our own insecurities.

Also in this issue….

When We Delay Gratification…

by Diane Gold on June 10, 2014.

Our main essay is about the process of delaying gratification, how it’s done, when we might decide to do it and what it builds in our foundation.

Also in this issue….

The Habit Of An Eye For An Eye: Changing The Penal System For Non-Violent Crimes

by Diane Gold on May 13, 2014.

Our main essay talks about the concept of an eye for an eye and some action steps to change the penal system for non-violent offenders.

Also in this issue….

Move Over Botox, Exercise To Rejuvenate Skin

by Diane Gold on Apr. 22, 2014.

Our main essay is about how exercise can rejuvenate the skin. It includes comment about injectable face fillers.

Also in this issue….

The Real Scoop On The Health Care Law!

by Diane Gold on Feb. 18, 2014.

Our main essay talks about the health care law and how it may cause people to work less as W-2 employees.

Also in this issue….

The Number One Method For Habit Change

by Diane Gold on Feb. 11, 2014.

Our essay delivers the simplest, universal formula for how to change a habit. This was inspired by my talk at the Women Referring Women luncheon.

Also in this issue….

The Habit Of Forgiveness: How To Forgive Even When It Seems Impossible

by Diane Gold on Dec. 24, 2013.

This week, our main essay talks about developing the habit of forgiveness and how to go about it even when it seems impossible.

Also in this issue….

Best Ab Exercise In 30 Seconds Or Less

by Diane Gold on Dec. 10, 2013.

This week, our main essay is a less than one minute exercise, in itself, along with an explanation about how to avoid injury during training.

Also in this issue….

Are You An Enabler, Codependent On A User?

by Diane Gold on Nov. 26, 2013.

This week, our main essay talks about being an enabler, someone so wrapped up in a user’s behavior, it’s bad news for both people.

Also in this issue….

Habitual Behavior Develops Valuable Skills

by Diane Gold on Nov. 19, 2013.

This week, our main essay talks about how, through learning how to maintain our habitual behavior, we develop very valuable skills that are beneficial to us and to the world.
Also in this issue….

Social Influence, Habit Change And What’s Missing!

by Diane Gold on Oct. 7, 2013.

This week, we bring you our main essay about groups that influence habit change and what’s missing from many of them.

Also in this issue….

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Of Habit Change

by Diane Gold on Sept. 23, 2013.

This week, we bring you THE mistakes of habit change that seem universal to humans. From these come the commandments to change a habit.

Also in this issue…

Our Path To Happiness: Do Our Genes Know Before We Do?

by Diane Gold on Aug. 26, 2013.

This week, our main article focuses on how the significance of how we achieve happiness is detected and processed by our genes to our benefit or our detriment.

Also in this issue…

Habit Masters; We Are

by Diane Gold on Aug. 12, 2013.

This week, our main article focuses on the idea that we are habit masters from all the training we have given ourselves with various life behaviors. There are 12 proposed action steps.

Also in this issue…

Are You Liberated? And What That Means For Habit Change

by Diane Gold on July 29, 2013.

This week, our main article talks about personal liberation and what it means for habit change. There are 10 action steps.

Also in this issue…

Habits In Medical Care, Part Two: Pay That Bill!

by Diane Gold on June 24, 2013.

This week, our main article focuses on habits in medical care: autopaying our bills.

Also in this issue…

The Biggest Habit, The Inflexible Mind: 3 Scenarios

by Diane Gold on June 17, 2013.

This week, our main article focuses on THE habit of the mind: inflexibility and three scenarios to recognize.

Also in this issue…

Why Change A Habit? Your Legacy Awaits

by Diane Gold on May 27, 2013.

This week, our main article focuses on why to change a habit and how that ties to our legacy.

Also in this issue…

Education And Parenting: How To Build Good Habits

by Diane Gold on May 13, 2013.

This week, our main article focuses on education and parenting, dedicated to all of us who have nurtured someone or something in this life.

Also in this issue…

The Grade Game: Successful Habits In Education

by Diane Gold on May 6, 2013.

This week, our main article focuses on using grades to measure success in education.

Also in this issue…

Guru, Master & Mentor: Are You In The Habit Of Verifying The Title?

by Diane Gold on Apr. 29, 2013.

This week, our main article focuses on the use of the words “guru, master and mentor.”

Also in this issue…

The Peace Process Formula: Phase 3

by Diane Gold on Apr. 15, 2013.

This week, our main article focuses on the peace process formula. It is the third installment in the series.

Also in this issue…

Women As Slaves: How To Change This Habit

by Diane Gold on Apr. 8, 2013.

This week, our main article focuses on women as slaves and how we change this habit.

Also in this issue…

What Martial Art … Helps Change A Habit?

by Diane Gold on Apr. 1, 2013.

This week, our main article focuses on tai chi and how tai chi principle can help change a habit.

Also in this issue…

Martial Arts Of The Mind

by Diane Gold on Mar. 25, 2013.

This week, our main article is about martial arts of the mind. This article transpired as a discussion for a kung fu student who needed to understand that the physical exercises are the tools for the accomplishments of the mind. This article is a reminder of that truth.

Also in this issue…

The Gender Issue

by Diane Gold on Mar. 4, 2013.

This week, our main article talks about the gender issue as it relates to women.

Also in this issue…

Peace Needs A Bridge: How To Build It And Keep It Open

by Diane Gold on Feb. 25, 2013.

This week, our main article talks about the fact that Peace needs a bridge in order to make it real.

Also in this issue…

Food Cravings: How To Maximize Them For Our Good Health

by Diane Gold on Jan. 7, 2012.

First issue in 2013, and we are raring to go!

This week’s article talks about maximizing our food cravings so that we can be healthier.

Also in this issue…

Appetite Control: How Saving Someone Other Than Ourselves Balances Appetite

by Diane Gold on Dec. 17, 2012.

This week’s article talks about the appetite and how saving someone other than ourselves can balance our appetite.

Also in this issue…

The Peace Process: A Step-By-Step Formula To Achieve Peace And Replace Overeating At The Same Time

by Diane Gold on Dec. 3, 2012.

Our main article offers a strategy for the peace process whose doing can reduce one’s weight by the very focus of the activity.

Also in this issue…

3 Feelings That Can Cause Teen Girls Weight Gain Plus Unique Solutions And Food Tips For Each

by Diane Gold on October 29, 2012.

This week’s main article discusses 3 feelings that cause teen girls to weight gain including solutions in the form of action steps and food tips for each.

Also in this issue…

Love Yourself, The Interview With Sabrina Barnett And Her Empowerment Clothing For Women

by Diane Gold on July 16, 2012.

As promised, this week’s main article is about Sabrina Barnett whose mission is to help women’s self-esteem through her Women’ Empowerment Clothing Line. We are offering a coupon.

Also in this issue …

3 Words That Describe Your Ideal You

by Diane Gold on July 8, 2012.

Here’s an opportunity to brainstorm words that pertain to you.Once you have your words, reduce them to 3 and be entered into a chance to win whitte them down to 3 words. You can win Exercise Of The Week, the book which shows a systematic approach to exercise. Coming soon.

School Bullying: 9 Solutions For Bullied Students

by Diane Gold on January 23, 2012.

Our main article talks about School Bullying, a topic I have dealt with in the New York City and State School Systems and as martial arts school owner for the past 16 years. Although it seems to be an uncivilized answer to someone’s pain, bullying is very common and affects our school culture.

It is written specifically for our daughters.

Also in this issue…

A Winning Combination: Grades At School And Self-Esteem

by Diane Gold on December 5, 2011.

In our main essay, Florence Bernard, internationally known educator and parent consultant, discusses how focusing on grades can help with a myriad of weight issues. As always, there are action steps within.

Also in this issue…

Nicknames, Role Modeling and Parenting, Oh, My!

by Diane Gold on November 21, 2011.

How many of us think about the nicknames we devise for our daughters? Chubby thighs, Squooshy Face, Puff Ball? We mean these terms as endearment, but they can become harmful to us in later years. Our main essay was written by someone who did her thesis on how these affect us later on. Allison Agliata, Clinical Psychology Doctorate, gives some impressive insights and some to do steps in her piece.

Also in this issue…

How To Change Your Life Through The Power Of Words


by Suzanne Kovi

How many of us have ever been faced with a situation where we felt as though our personal power were compromised? It may have been a fight with a loved one, a confrontation at work [or school], a loss of a job [or responsibility] that left us feeling helpless, or perhaps it was a situation that blind-sided us and now we are forced into a transition we weren’t prepared for. It can feel as though we are naked and vulnerable while trying to remain strong.

Hurt TeenMany people live their lives in this state of hurt yet keep it buried deep inside not realizing that it affects their world and all the relationships around them. What does it take for a person to be able to brush herself off and stand strong when life’s circumstances seem too difficult to bear? It takes Courageous Communication to transform our lives from a place of fear and uncertainty to a place of bold courage and action.

Courageous Communication is simply this: saying what needs to be said, to whom it needs to be said and in such a way that creates win/win results. Simple, right? Not all the time.

One of the dangers of communication in a moment of turmoil is that we forget how to respond, and we choose to react. Becoming reactionary only adds fuel to the fire without providing solutions. Communicating by reacting is not a powerful way to heal, nurture and grow our relationships, it destroys them. I’m sure we all want the same thing: to be happy. So how do we develop our Courageous Communication in such a way that it empowers us and helps all our relationships progress forward?

We work on ourselves by trying to understand how and why we choose the words we choose and what fuels our responses. This takes courage.

To start healing our relationships, we need to heal our internal dialogue first. Each of us has a little voice that has this unique ability to hold us captive whenever we strive to create a change in our lives.

Although this little voice in our head may seem harmless, we need to become aware of the words we choose because over time they can damage our personal beliefs and keep us stuck in life. We can recognize these as words that diminish our self worth and disempower us. They may sound like,”What if…Not yet…I’m afraid…I’m not ready…My life will never change…I can’t” and so many more. These words are more to blame for our lack of courage than our past experiences are to blame. But through our experiences we create stories and a belief system about who we are. If these stories don’t support who we want to be, then the little voice in our head has us trapped. If we change our stories, we can change our personal belief system which will directly affect how we communicate. A powerful mindset will create the environment for healthy internal dialogue. We will see an improvement in our communication with others as we build our belief structure.

Sometimes we blame other people or a situation in our life for “making” us feel powerless, but here is an important point – no one can make us feel anything. We choose the feelings and the responses we have in life and we choose the internal dialogue that fuels our choices. To be a Courageous Communicator we need to begin with the little voice inside our head and reprogram it so we can progress forward.

But how do we begin to transform that little voice into one that will positively affect our relationships? The first thing we must do is to address the relationship we have with ourselves. This has to be strong. Our sense of personal love and self-respect has to come first. It is imperative, yet it can be the most difficult choice for many people to make.

Pretty Black Nine-Year OldWithout personal love and respect, we risk being taken advantage of, walked all over, disrespected or worse. Do we know why? Because other people have not been told how we wish to be treated. If we don’t tell people how to treat us, they are left to their own imagination of what works…and it usually works for them. By communicating to others how we wish to be treated, we set up the relationship for success. We harness the responsibility for our own happiness and by setting the standard of powerful communication, we create the environment to nurture and heal the most important relationships in our life.

Maintaining healthy relationships is a team effort, one where each participant has to be at their personal best and they share the same goals – to reach a win/win solution. To become a Courageous Communicator we must begin with nurturing our personal relationship with ourselves. As we learn to honor and respect our views, opinions, dreams and ambitions, our communication style will be transformed. We cannot change another person’s ability to communicate well, but we can be the example of how another human being deserves to be treated and with that we can transform lives.

Communication through words can help everything. What’s the worst that could happen if we opened our mouths and said our piece? Someone could get angry or not like us. But, on the other hand, we could make someone very happy, could feel relieved and we could make a friend for life. At the very least, we will get practice in self-expression if we take a chance and talk. AND, we will do a better job the next time, no matter what. It couldn’t feel any worse than holding in what we wanted to say. Right?

This week’s action step is to go and communicate with kindness, purpose and without self-judgment. Expression is not about perfection. It’s about saying what we want to say.

As Suzanne says, we must use Courageous Communication. If it doesn’t come easily, we can take it one step at a time. When we do, even if we are acting at the beginning, we will be one step closer to the courage that we seek and one step closer to becoming close to ourselves.

Please leave your comments following the full article in the Issues tab of this site.

Suzanne Kovi has over 20 years in the entertainment industry. She is a successful business woman, personal trainer and wife. Her greatest roles are that of mother and community leader. She is inspired by people and passionate about helping women and kids stake their unique claim in life. She challenges her readers to “get busy living” and is the author of Ignite Your Life Choices. You can learn more about Suzanne at

A Winning Combination: Grades In School And Self-Esteem


by Florence Bernard

What’s the one humanly natural thing that overweight girls share with everyone else at school? This fact is universally true and can be seen at all grade levels, anywhere I have taught in the world.

It’s the fact that the better the grades are at school, the higher the self-esteem is in the student. This goes for good students, failing students, big-sized, medium and small students.

Trying to become invisible
Overweight girls have a really tough time at school, at any age. When they are little, other kids will make fun of them and won’t include them in their games. Later on, they continue to be teased and are still made fun of and ignored by boys. They even get cyber-bullied, nowadays.The more electronic formats exist, the more places large girls will experience derogatory comments. As teenagers, girls really don’t need extra mental cruelty on top of all the pressure they get at school. Whether a girl has been overweight all her life or only recently, her self-esteem is usually very low, and she has to deal with many more concerns than other girls.
Being taunted is one thing, but the extra effort needed to move because of extra weight takes its toll. Teens often feel exhausted physically and emotionally. In PE class, the embarrassment is so great, some girls don’t even attend the very class that could encourage them to move. 
So there is really one a girl reading on lawn
place where
she can excel
if she wants to.
Working hard in school and using her mental capacities is all it is going to take. No matter where she in in her class ranking, when she puts forth solid effort to enjoy her academic studies, how would that affect her self-esteem? Her pride in her work would change her attitude, naturally. The quiet girl who wanted to be unseen is suddenly going to become a studious worker, someone who has a lot to offer, someone who is a good example of workmanship and pleasure at learning. She may develop study habits that can help others, and she may become someone that people will be happy to work with because she is happy in her work.

Schools, especially in the United States, have come more societal than they were first intended to be. Academics today is a whole world of social issues and athletic competition, on top of the instructional aspect. For moms to help their daughters, moms must communicate clearly. For daughters who carry extra weight on their bodies or minds, they must be receptive to listen as moms emphasize the original purpose of school: studying, learning, developing and excelling.

Through your encouragement, your daughter can get better grades and do better at school overall as one way to feel good about herself. Focusing on grades will be a start for her to keep feeling better and better about herself. If effort in other directions seem to be too much effort for her, your daughter needs to be encouraged to put all she has into her studies.
Your daughter’s building consistent study habits is not going to happen overnight (one of the reasons short term tutors do not always work). She will need continual support, but, little by little, she can see some improvement. Once that starts, the rest will follow. Maybe improvement will start with one subject that she likes more than others. You can encourage her to work on a project a little longer or offer to look at it with her and do research together, for instance. Any supportive initiative to get her interest going and to produce a mind-set that will get a better grade and a good dose of self-satisfaction and worth.
Once she experiences pride in her work, your daughter is going to want more of this feeling, and her focus will slightly shift away from her weight problem. You can have some reward system in place at home when you see improvement at school, whether this be recognition, privilege-based or a tangible item. Some type of acknowledgment will add to the feeling of self-worth we were just talking about. If you reinforce the value of academics, she will want more knowledge.
Little by little, she’ll start putting more effort into all her work at school. She will see school, not as a place of suffering, where all she was getting was grief, but as a place where she can actually shine and feel good. An opportunity to better herself._________________________________________________

Florence Bernard is a parent consultant and educator whose strategies are based on old-fashioned values. She has 20 years experience teaching in five different countries and is the author of Better At School: The Essential Guide To Help Kids Improve At School. Visit betteratschool to get a copy and learn more.

Nicknames, Role Modeling and Parenting, Oh, My!


by Allison Agliata

“Oh, my gosh, aren’t they so cute? Just look at the adorable, chunky thighs on that baby!”

We say it with such affection and genuine adoration. At 6 months old, these conversations may be perfectly acceptable and end without emotional trauma, but as our children quickly grow we need to be mindful of the message we send. The way children feel about their own bodies is easily influenced by how we address them  and how we feel about our own physique.

Father Penguin

I may not be sharing any earth shattering information when I tell you that parents are the most influential adults in a child’s life, but I am going to hone in on some specific information. Did you know that fathers are ranked as the number one teaser in girls’ lives, followed closely by brothers? Now, I am not out to crucify the male species, but let’s think about the obvious difference between the male and female species. We clearly relate differently. Men often having a less direct way of communicating their affection to others. Often fatherly and brotherly love comes in the form of adorable little nicknames that begin when our children are small and then something happens; the nickname sticks!

Other family members join in and your children are torn between the affection that is associated with their nickname and the negative connotation it carries. It may not even occur to us when they are little that the nickname is, at the very least, unflattering; but as they get older and are more self-conscious about their bodies, some names can be downright demeaning! Girls’ self-esteem can be fragile during adolescence and is often significantly impacted by these seemingly innocent jests, so please be careful about what names you pick and how they affect your children.

Now, let’s talk about Moms. It has been written that same-sex parents are the most influential, so let’s see what some real power can do. Unfortunately, we feed the same problem by placing so much emphasis on appearance for our children. Our language surrounds what we see,

“Aren’t you cute?”

“Don’t you look beautiful!”

“I love that new outfit.”

“You look so slim in that.”

Really? Are those the important qualities we want our children to be concentrating on? Particularly, our daughters, suffer from this emphasis on external beauty, and they internalize a long standing need to feel accepted and approved.

Women are stereotypically described as perpetually dissatisfied with their bodies, and we role model this discontent. We read fashion magazines filled with people who look nothing like us, follow diets that rarely work, constantly talk about what we should or should not eat, and express general disgust with our physique. This, my female friends, is the social norm for us. How very sad that we must walk around spewing unsatisfactory comments about ourselves to be accepted. In fact, do you know anyone who talks about how happy she is with her body or who does not negate an appearance-related compliment?

“What, this old dress?”

“You really think I look slimmer? Just 10 more pounds to go!”

Even if we do feel good, we feel the need to dismiss it or reach for more. What happened to just being satisfied with what we have currently?

With such role modeling, how do we expect our children to feel any different about their bodies than we do about our own? It starts with our changing our tune, appreciating our bodies for what they allow us to do: exercise to feel strong physically and mentally, bear and play with our children, and participate in enjoyable life activities. If our focus changed from our exterior appearance to what our bodies provided for us, think of the impact.

Here are a few suggestions on how to put our parental influence to work:

Be Careful of Nicknames1)  Watch Our Language: Yes, this one is painfully obvious, but not always as easy as we think. Be careful about the nicknames. It may seem silly, but I can tell you it is brought up over and over again in therapy sessions. Save yourself the money and choose a name that is healthy and appropriate!Try to curb your appearance-related comments. I know this is not going to eliminate every comment regarding appearance and there may even be times when a, “Wow!  You look amazing!” is totally appropriate (shall we say prom night?), but on the whole, ensure that your focus is on your child’s character and accomplishments. Try this on for size, “You must feel great about [accomplishment, ex.: getting that award]. That shows real [character trait, ex.: courage].”  After all, isn’t that what we really care about?

Mom Fitness 2) Be Active: First and foremost, role model appropriate levels of activity. Having your children watch you incorporate any kind of physical activity into your daily routine will help them realize it is a priority to you and will help them internalize this message for their future health.  The goal, however, is to be consistent! If you are constantly battling between forcing yourself to do 2 hours of cardio a day versus doing nothing, the message becomes that exercise is a chore. Being an extremist makes things complicated and rarely sends the intended message or helps you physically. If you could find a happy medium of an activity you enjoy and can stick to, the more positive your message will be that this is your chosen healthy lifestyle.

Try choosing an activity that is more in line with something you enjoy, for example a sport you love or walking with a friend so you can socialize. You are far more likely to keep up a consistent model if you are genuinely benefiting from the activity. Additionally, this might create some interest from your child, whom you could try to include and create quality time with…bonus!

3) Talk Positively about your own Body: I know, I know. It seems hardly possible for some of us, but let’s just try it.  Let your kids catch you talking about how good exercise feels, not because it keeps you thin, but because it makes you strong and healthy. Discuss how confident you feel when you appear professional rather than how pretty you are or are not. Express appreciation for being able to take an active role in your child’s life when playing with them. These comments may not come naturally and may seem minute, but with practice, they can become affective statements that help alter your child’s self-perception and instill a sense of…wait for it..Self-Satisfaction! Imagine that!


Dr. Allison Agliata spends her days as counselor at the prestigious Carrollwood Day School, an International Baccalaureate School in Tampa. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology, has served four years as psychologist in the U.S. Air Force and spends her free time as a mom, wife, baker and traveler. Check her out in our experts section: