As empty nesters, Rob and I have been on a mission: downsize.

While cleaning out the 50th drawer (okay, hyperbole), I came across this old picture. I laughed out loud.

“Living proof,” I smiled. “I’ve been attracted to flashy clothes since childhood. Now, I know who to blame—Pebbles! My dear old doll mate, Pebbles.”


The hair. The clothes. Pebbles is the root of my style. Not Barbie. No, Pebbles. I loved that doll. Where or why did I love Pebbles? I’m sinking into some self-counseling right now (smile). But, look at that smile. Is she the cutest, most joyful little thing ever? Perhaps that’s what I saw. Her joy.


But, somewhere between four years old and thirteen years old, that flash became very self-conscious. Perhaps being a gawky, pale, carrot-top headed teen did the trick. It’s just not cool to look that way (or so I thought). So, body image became a big deal, leading me on a downward spiral of dieting, negative self-talk, and self-depreciating behaviors.

Now, at 51, true freedom and self-acceptance seems to be on the horizon. This past year has been a good one. They say women peak in their 50’s. Well, I think “they” might be right.

Thanks to the gentle nudging of my husband, I joined a local gym, “Anytime Fitness.” I’ve never been a fan of “gyms.” Some are too big. Some too small. But, this time, like Goldilocks, I found a gym that is “just the right size.” Open 24/7, just like they say, it suits my lifestyle. And, tucked inside was a blessing from God.

Healthy Self-Talk Trainer

Lynn, my personal trainer, has become my “thought trainer!” After sharing my struggles with “disordered eating patterns and overdoing tendencies,” she holds me accountable and cheers me on.

Sharing the Lessons

This past weekend, while at James Madison University, sitting in a breakout session on “Body Image,” I listened to two twenty something’s talk to other twenty-something’s about the same dangerous downward spiral I experienced so many years ago. I realized at that moment, that every ounce of my own personal pain would be worth it if I could somehow help others find their way out and therefore, not waste so many precious years of their lives.

Normally, on Fresh Start Fridays, I VLOG. But, today, I just want to leave you with several great quotes I found in my 2010 He(Art) Journal:

“Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth” (Aesop).

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through
experience of trial and suffering
can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired,
and success achieved” (Helen Keller).

“Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality” (Les Brown).

“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing
how to tip ourselves over and let the Beautiful Stuff out” (Ray Bradbury).

It’s Okay to Love Yourself (proof: read Matthew 22:39).

So, my fresh start challenge today is simply this:

Someone’s opinion of you does not have to be your reality.

Security lies in knowing whose we (a child of God) are and who we are (his child endowed with enormous capacity).

I’m so glad I found that old picture. Pebbles reminded me that flash—that celebratory, life-is-lots-of-fun, be who you were created to be spirit—has always been in my DNA.

Will you join me as I celebrate the gift of today?

Fill out the info below, and I'll send you a link to download the PDF interactive guide, "Why Am I So Angry?" I believe that if you put in the hard work + intentional application of these principles + spiritual fortitude into this healing practice, you will move into a far more meaningful life.

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