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Body Image

Body Image by Meaghan

 

Body image in an ideal world for me would not exist. Stressing about a temple you were given seems foolish to me. Yet every day I wake up and lose my mind of how unfortunate my “temple” is.

 

“Why can’t my thighs be smaller and my stomach flatter?” I think. “Why can’t my arms be toned and my face be less round?” I often wonder if anyone can see the difference that I see. Do they see also that I’ve gained weight, or is it just me? How long am I going to sabotage myself for the body that I want? When will my temple be enough for me?

 

When your soul starts to speak louder than your brain, that’s when. When I begin to rely on my soul self as the leader of my temple all will be well in my world. Body image for me in an ideal world won’t be prominent. I won’t wake up in the morning and body check to hate myself but rather to glorify myself. Saying things like “my legs are here to help my do my job, they get me from one point to another.”

 

By feeding my body I am giving it fuel not making it far. In an ideal world I’ll be proud of the body that I have. I will realize all that my body does for me. I’ll be thankful for the gifts it offers me and the strength it gives me.

 

In an ideal world body image won’t be the forefront of every advertisement. Women won’t compare but actually encourage each other to rise above. Body image will take a back seat; women will love every body. Bodies will be celebrated for what they do and not what they look like.

 

Everyone will treat their body like a temple. Preserving it. Loving it. Honoring it. Worshipping it for the challenges it faces every day. Our bodies should of be nourished, and loved, and honored.

 

My body is a temple it deserves the best. It deserves an apology because, my body doesn’t need to go through hell on a daily basis just to meet non-realistic beauty standards. It serves me. It gets me to and from where I need to be. It cars my heart and soul. It helps me gain strength and develop knowledge. It radiates goodness. My body is my temple it deserves the love I so freely give everyone else. In an ideal world my body would be loved.

 

Peace. Freedom. Mindfulness. Fun. Sleep. Are all examples of things I can focus on if my mind isn’t focused on weight. I could do yoga for strength instead of burning calories. I could leap across the dance floor and feel like I’m flying as opposed to heavy. Being involved in a conversation rather than the ones in my head. Enjoying a meal without worrying about how it’s going to effect me.

 

If I let go of my focus on weight I’ll be able to live again, without that burden of being heavy of fat. If I take my focus off weight and bring it inward I’d be able to see my strength. I’d be able to focus on my smarts, my intellect, my courage. If I stopped focusing on weight I’d be free. Free from the chains that constantly tie me up.

 

I’d be able to live the life I imagined as opposed to being tied down. You can’t trust a disease that wants you dead; and I don’t plan to. Between death and life, I choose life- and that’s why I have to focus on anything but weight. From this day forward, I’ll focus my attention on health. On life. On living and laughing. I can focus on yoga, dance, and photography. I’m going to focus on recovery and my ability to help others. Weight will no longer define me and weight won’t won’t hole me back anymore. My no’s will mean no and my yes’s will mean yes, and I’m choosing to say yes to life and all it has to offer me.

Amanda Pasciucco, Sex Therapy, gender hartford, west hartford gender, west hartford race, west hartford divorce, west hartford dating, west hartford new marriage, west hartford parents

Cosmopolitan Magazine

I’m so excited! I just got interviewed by Cosmopolitan magazine this morning! Due to the fact that I’m a certified sex therapist, I got to make a statement on the trends of hair… below the belt. Luckily, I have done research on this topic before, as it is one of the questions I get asked frequently in private practice. Stay tuned… as the story will be featured in the sex and relationship segment of Cosmo in the near future!

Amanda Pasciucco, Sex Therapy, gender hartford, west hartford gender, west hartford race, west hartford divorce, west hartford dating, west hartford new marriage, west hartford parents

The Joy of Sunshine

The Joy of Sunshine

 

By Amanda Pasciucco, LMFT, CST

 

As soon as the sun starts shining, the world gets happier. Recently, it hit 60 degrees in New England, and it seemed like everyone was more cheerful. I noticed more people smiling, individuals being friendly and courteous, and a diminished sense of “rushing” or “urgency” around me. I appreciated the sudden shift in energy and decided to delve into understanding this sunshine shift.

 

My recent experience. I was blessed with the privilege of retreating to the beach recently. I decided to go on a solo excursion to enjoy the peace of the water and basking in the glorious sunlight. I had my apprehensions before going: the cost of getting in, the crowds who would have the same idea, and my fear of bees swarming. I decided to forget about that and just take time to appreciate the opportunity.

 

I arrived (there was no cost to enter), I made my way to the beach (there were barely any people around), and I relaxed (only flies… no bees). I looked around and truly appreciated the moment that I was in. I felt so thankful for that moment where the sun was beating on me, I had nothing to do, and I could just enjoy the sights, sounds, and feeling of that moment. This sense of peace stayed with me throughout the entire rest of the day. I never felt so calm and at ease as I did when I made a conscious effort to be mindful and present within the sunlight.

 

Note to self: get out in the sun more often!

 

The science behind it. In earlier times, people spent most of their time outdoors and in the sunlight. We know that, now, we spend much more time indoors, thus we refrain from getting the necessary amount of Vitamin D. The importance of this vitamin is to keep our immune systems working hard to fight off infections and to support bone growth. In addition to providing us with Vitamin D, sunlight triggers the circadian rhythms (our awake-to-sleep cycles). When sunlight hits our optic nerves, the brain slows down on its release of melatonin (the hormone responsible for sleep) and increases our serotonin (which is responsible for wakefulness and feelings of happiness). After the sun sets, this cycle reverses. The more sun we get, the more serotonin the brain produces.

 

Sunlight = Happiness. In addition to the scientific part of it, there is also a psychological factor. We tend to associate sunlight with vacations and tanning with days off from work. This mental state leads to a happier self. Due to both the psychological and scientific aspects, I believe I have my answer as to why the world just seems happier when the sun comes out. Look forward to a summer of friendlier faces.

Breaking Up

By Amanda Pasciucco, LMFT, CST

 

I am here to talk about getting over the pain and struggles you encounter after breaking up.

 

Breaking up absolutely sucks. We all know it! So… how long do we lay in bed, eat ice cream, and cry? Well, that is different for everyone. But, I promise, you can get over it!

 

Step 1 – Re-write the story. We all need to come up with the reason of why this happened. Whether we are doing the break up or we were broken up with, we need to know WHY! Until we find out the “why,” we will keep going over and over the details in our mind. So, take some time and find out why it happened. Then, leave it alone. Even if it was your bad attitude, your partner left you, so now give them space and change your attitude for the next partner you will have.

 

Step 2 – Do not be obsessive. Get out of the crazy mentality of “stalking” your ex. Please, please delete them from all social media. You really don’t need to see what they are doing or have them know what you are doing. The quicker you begin to unravel the life you had made together, the better it will be.

 

Step 3 – Accept the facts. Being aware of what happened and not getting attached to your negative thoughts and feelings will ultimately bring peace. A breakup is a traumatic event and it is difficult to self-reflect at times. Things like meditation, yoga, therapy, and prayer can help you become more self-reflective AND can help give you some grounding during a chaotic time.

 

Step 4 – They were not the perfect partner. No matter who they were, they were not perfect. No one is; therefore, you can find someone else. Even if it feels like they made life better, there are other people out there to meet that will have the same effect. I promise, there is more than one person out there for everyone.

 

Step 5 – Look to your future. You are a whole individual and you are not defined by your romantic relationships. You need to find you self-identity without a partner. What do you like to do? Bowl, hike, martial arts, painting, drama club, archery? Action is faster than any thought… so instead of thinking all day, join a group and DO something.

 

 

Chronic Complaining

This trend must stop.

Numerous acquaintances come to me with their complaints and problems, and when they find the solutions, instead of solving them, they just keep complaining. Nothing is more frustrating than people who are negative, complain, and refuse to stand up for themselves to change the current pattern of their lives.

 

In the beginning, I would sit and listen. I would offer my services to listen or give them my perspective on the issue. After months of realizing people are complaining about the same issue and not doing anything about it, I have finally decided I am not going to use my time to enable constant complaining.

 

I feel blessed to have been raised in a family where complaining without action towards a solution was unacceptable. I have yet to meet anyone whose constant complaining has done anything positive to resolve the situation. I realize that having bitterness and aggravation towards life problems never gets anything done.

 

If someone tries to talk to you about his or her problems but refuse to make any changes, then you should refuse to listen to their complaining. It takes too much mental energy to try helping people who are not willing to help themselves.

 

If you have friends, co-workers, or family like this, it is time to stop the pattern. You must recognize that people who are chronic complainers are not going to take your advice, because they are stuck in the pattern of complaining. Let these people deal with their own stress and refuse to take it on as part of your life. You will be a much happier person if you keep yourself out of that dynamic.