Cultivating Self-Love and Positive Body Image


Today, I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 3 of Clifton Meador’s Virtual Blog Tour.

Clifton’s book Fascinomas is celebrating its launch from February 17th to March 3rd, 2014.

Clifton K. Meador, MD has a gift for filtering through tales and ‘can you beat this one’ stories that are passed around doctors’ lounges and operating rooms and coming up with succinct but extremely entertaining stories.  A ‘fascinoma’, as Meador defines, is medical slang for an unusually interesting medical case. He has gleaned and collected and curated 35 such cases from his own experience and the experiences of colleagues who have given permission to re-tell their own blockbusters. Each case is reads like a short story – the presentation of a strange set of symptoms, the initial response of the examining doctor(s), gradual revelation of further symptoms (sometimes via revealed secrets from the presenting patient), and the final diagnosis. Clifton’s mantra is: “There is not a medical diagnosis or a defined disease behind every chronic symptom; but there is a demonstrable cause if you listen and search carefully.”

Yesterday Clifton visited Jean Adrienne’s ‘InnerSpeak Soul Adventures’ blog at

Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Clifton when I got to ask him some questions about the two broad categories for stressors in the body and how stressful relationships can effect us physically. I hope you enjoy it.


ROBYN:  Can you please tell us more about the two broad categories of stressors to the body?

CLIFTON: I think the two broad stressors are:

  1. People and relationships

  2. Physical substances ingested, inhaled, or by skin contact.

I am assuming the patient has recurring symptoms and does not know the cause. I suggest a daily diary listing the symptom severity, time and place with a listing of who was present, who was in his/her thoughts, food taken in, air and environs. We are looking for correlations between the patient and the surroundings. I have had a patient have chronic diarrhea from working with a bad boss, relieved by changing job and a woman with many symptoms cured by a divorce. I have also seen people with symptoms from an insecticide spray, people with sensitivity to blue cheese salad, and others to inhaling a drying dust from their clothing. The causes are hidden from conscious memory; becoming aware and taking action is often curative. Awareness is essential.

ROBYN: What can we learn by learning to listen to our bodies? What is it we’re listening for?

CLIFTON: The body has a remarkable signaling system. We know it best from its pain signals. Those don’t take much listening since pain sends a strong signal. Tension and strain are more subtle. Daily deep meditation where the body is set at nearly zero tension is both preventative for stress and tension as well as a method to locate tension. Something in the daily life is producing tension, so paying attention (i.e. “listening”) brings it into awareness. My favorite questions to patients with chronic symptoms are; what are you doing in your life that you should stop doing? And what are you not doing in your life that you should start doing? These can produce deep searches and enable corrections.

ROBYN: What can having toxic and stressful relationships at home or at work do to our bodies?

CLIFTON:  All sorts of symptoms can appear. The old wives tales are so true: he gives me a headache; she is a pain in the butt; he makes me want to throw up. I saw a patient whose demanding boss was causing her to have high blood pressure, cured by confronting the boss about his excessive demands on her. I saw another who had multiple symptoms relieved by a divorce from an abusive husband. People can make us sick if we let them. Again, awareness is the key and the first step to taking corrective actions.


I hope you enjoyed this brief interview with Dr. Clifton Meador Fascinomas – fascinating medical mysteries is Clifton’s 13th book on medical matters. The response to True Medical Detective Stories led him to collect and write the 35 cases in Fascinomas. In Fascinomas, all of the clinical facts are completely true – the story of the illness, all lab work, all imaging studies, and the physical exam findings. If you are intrigued by the curative power of listening and engaging the patient and the family in searching for clues, especially when the symptoms are chronic and recurring – pick up Fascinomas. You can find the book on Amazon at:

Amazon US – Paperback:

Amazon US – Kindle:

Amazon UK – Paperback:

Amazon UK – Kindle:

Amazon Canada – Paperback:

Amazon Canada – Kindle:

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback

Be sure to follow him tomorrow when the next stop on his Virtual Blog Tour is Krystalya Marie’s ‘Empowered Spirit Insights’ blog at She will be interviewing Clifton on the how a person’s core beliefs relate to Placebo and Nocebo effects, and the facial expressions of the 7 basic emotions.

Today, I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 9 of Annemiek Douw’s Virtual Blog Tour.

Annemiek’s book 21 Layers of the Soul: Healing the Karmic Ties with Friends, Lovers, Family and Enemies is celebrating its launch from December 2nd to 16th, 2013 at 21 Layers of the Soul.

ANNEMIEK DOUW, MSc is a management coach, light-worker, medium, energetic therapist, trainer and author. Her personal experience with long-term illness combined with her own work as a healer have led her to understand how the soul is an internal compass that continuously guides us. She has helped thousands of clients heal at many levels, teaching them how to read this compass for themselves. In 2011, she shared her unprecedented work in the Dutch language book De ziel in het licht van haar hogere auralagen, which is now available in English under the title 21 Layers of the Soul.
Yesterday, Annemiek visited Krystalya Marie at Empowered Spirit Insights where they discussed The 21 Layers of the Soul, discovering emotions, and tips to help us stop judging.

Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Annemiek when I got to ask her some questions on, how we can approach listening to our bodies during our wellness journey. I hope you enjoy it.
ROBYN: What can we discover from the blueprint of our bodies? Can this help us with our wellness journey?

ANNEMIEK: First of all, our blueprint is perfect and therefore our bodies are perfect. Unlike our personal opinion about our bodies that may disagree (legs too short, nose too big, hair too curly) our bodies are exactly the way we need them to be for this life we planned on Earth. So it’s not about how it looks. Nor is it about how it feels, since sickness or disabilities are often designed into the blueprint for your body. It’s about how you choose to handle the cards you’re dealt.

If you really realize that you only have one body and that it can help you make the right choices, you will want to make friends with it – you will want to nurture and cherish it. The simplest way of doing this is to think about something you really like and that is positive for you – like your pet for example. When you think of him, notice how your body feels – this is a positive anchor. Then think of something negative and notice how the feeling in your body changes – this is a negative anchor.

You can now use this knowledge when you have to make a choice. Does aligning with one option make you feel at ease, stronger and/or happy? Or does it cause you discomfort, pain, or does it make you feel tired? With this information you can opt for the choices that make you feel positive whether that is food, people, jobs or relationships and your life will take a turn for the better.

ROBYN: Annemiek, can you share with our readers some of the steps involved in losing weight the Annemiek way?

ANNEMIEK: I’ve have been overweight all my adult life and now – at the age of 47 – I just lost 48 pounds the Annemiek way. So of course, although I’m not a nutritional expert or doctor, I can share my personal experiences and professional beliefs.

For me it’s all about what your body really needs and what we like doesn’t always match what we need. Therefore, I suggest you start by checking your food allergies. A good doctor or bio-resonance therapist can help you with that and can also prescribe some orthomolecular supplements if you need them. When you only eat foods your body can digest without an allergic reaction in your bowels you’ll see that losing weight is easier. My allergies are: sugar, lactose, ginger, aspartame and soya.

Then make a list of everything you can eat. This is a far more positive focus than obsessing about the cheesecake that you can never have again because you’re lactose intolerant. And do shop for alternative foods like rice milk.
When possible and affordable please eat organic food, especially meat. Hormones and substances like penicillin have become part of the non-organic food chain and can completely disturb your metabolism and cause all kinds of negative side effects e.g. to your thyroid.

Drink loads of water. Your body needs to be able to lose the toxins that are in your cells. Water is also the carrier when your body lets go of the emotions contained in the cells that are shrinking, so please drink a lot. It also helps if you rest. Sleep is crucial when your body is transforming to the new you.

I worked with Weight Watchers online because I needed a computerized way of counting the calories I eat. I also learned that I needed to make sure I used all the calories I had for the day – you don’t speed up the process by eating too little. I combined that with a personal rule – I found out that even when I stayed well below the allowed quantity of calories, I didn’t lose weight when I combined carbs and proteins during supper. Therefore, I now eat lots of vegetables combined with organic meat/fish or carbs like pasta and rice. I now make a mean pasta with veggie sauce – without any cheese of course. I only eat whole meal and I also don’t use ‘light’ or diet products because they contain additives that I believe are simply bad for my health. So I go for the original and use smaller quantities instead.

Still, that’s not the only thing that worked, because of course, I had tried all this before.

Timing was of the essence as well. Although it just takes the time it takes to lose the weight, somewhere in my blueprint and Life Plan I must have stated that it was time now – if safe – for me to let go of all the extra luggage I was carrying around, my shield. So I decided it was time to become the real me, and to look the part, and I did.

ROBYN: Can you share with us what Highly sensitive persons means. Are they like empaths and are these people more prone to weight issues?

ANNEMIEK: Highly Sensitive People (HSP) experience the world with more intensity than other people do because their brains and nervous systems work differently. They aren’t able to filter all the stimuli as efficiently. Triggers such as sound, light, fragrance, temperature, energy, atmosphere and stress all enter their systems more vividly. Because the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) cannot filter, this results in an over-stressed brain and nervous system which often causes them to withdraw from the world.

In my practice I have met many HSPs who were overweight and carried an unnecessary burden. Often, I felt that the fat was an inconvenient shield that was meant to keep people and their emotions at a distance and shut all other stimuli out. It’s a shame that fat doesn’t actually work that way.

The minute these people started to handle their HSPship differently, they became at ease with themselves, didn’t have to defend themselves against the world anymore and could let go of the extra pounds.


I hope you enjoyed this interview with Annemiek Douw and that you’ll check out her beautiful new book 21 Layers of the Soul. Again, you can find it at 21 Layers of the Soul.

21 Layers of the Soul can help you tap into and master your inner guidance system, to help you navigate to your right path in life. In this book, Annemiek shares more than 100 case histories gathered over 15 years of healing work. During this time she discovered the 21 layers of the aura – something never before revealed in any other healing book.

Meticulously analyzed and defined, Annemiek shows us how exploring these layers can provide us with a clear blueprint of the intricate system that leads us to incarnate on the Earth.

If you’re ready to unravel mysteries that have perplexed you for decades – or perhaps even lifetimes – pick up 21 Layers of the Soul and start to navigate the wonderful journey back to your Self.


To show her appreciation for your support, when you buy 21 Layers of the Soul at 21 Layers of the Soul’s website, Annemiek would like to give you a free, downloadable poster of the 21 aura layers, which you can print out and hang on your wall, so you can get a deeper understanding and connection to your own Soul.

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.
AND… be sure to follow Annemiek tomorrow when the next stop on her Virtual Blog Tour is Suzanne O’Brien, who will be interviewing Annemiek on letting go of buried emotion & distance healing. To visit that “stop” on the tour, go to Reiki Chick Training

Drop the D word

“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” – Mark Twain

This quote from Mark Twain is something I couldn’t disagree with more, however, this does make me wonder if this kind of thinking is why some have such a hard time getting started on eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle.  Sometimes it’s just plain hard to get on track, to commit to starting on a healthy weight loss journey.  But you don’t need to suffer in order to achieve your weight loss or health goals.  So I am sharing some of my favorite tips with you so that you can get on track and start on this wonderful healthful journey.

First let’s dump the “D” word.  Diet in itself is not a bad word, one can eat a diet of healthy foods it’s just that when used in the context of “I’m dieting to lose weight” that conjures up all sorts of emotional things.  It’s not just a word, it’s how it triggers your thought patterns, you put diet in your head you start approaching your weight loss plan differently.  Dieting for most means we will be doing something for a short period of time in order to achieve our weight loss goal and then history tells us that we will most likely return to our old eating habits, risking weight gain.

Plan what you will eat for the day: Personally I like to plan out my three meals and any snacks that I might need throughout the day.  Usually we make poor decisions when we are not prepared when hunger strikes i.e. if you don’t know what you’re having for dinner and you’re home and feeling hungry you might think why not order a pizza instead, whereas when you already know what you’re eating it’s easier to stay committed and stick with your plan.  It’s also smart to plan your snacks for the day.  More often than not I have at least one snack a day and for me it’s natural almonds, I love their flavor and I always feel satisfied after I’ve eaten them, therefore I’m less likely to go overboard and eat something that I shouldn’t.  Even when I’m on the go I’ll take a handful with me in a container and I will usually munch on them if I feel a pang of hunger in the afternoon.  Choose what works for you just make sure it’s a real food.

Move that body : There are so many different benefits to moving our bodies through exercise that they are hard to ignore. You end up not only doing your heart, lungs and body good but you also end up feeling really good about yourself too.   Now depending on where you are on your healthy lifestyle journey you might consider starting small, but no matter how small you start remember to be consistent by doing it daily or 3 times a week.  You might consider going for a walk, I really love walking, I think it’s great and a wonderful escape and it really helps me recharge mentally and emotionally and add all the physical benefits and it’s a win-win for me.  However, choose what works for you, what you feel you can stick to on a regular basis.  Just be consistent and move that body and you will reap many healthy rewards.

Eat whole foods and avoid low-fat/no-fat products: The first thing I noticed when I started eating whole foods as compared to low calorie or low fat/no fat foods was that I was a lot less hungry.  Yep, true story.  I noticed almost immediately which meant I was actually eating less and the bonus was that the food tasted great and I was still losing weight.

Be aware : I think part of my own success has been a result of being open-minded and aware.  Throughout my own journey I would notice what foods triggered cravings in me, what situations caused emotional eating.  At first it didn’t always stop me from emotionally eating but the awareness of the triggers helped me arm myself with tools and as the situations occurred I would start using the tools and stop the negative behaviors.  This is why I call this a journey, I couldn’t change overnight even though I stopped eating my trigger foods, even though I was losing weight because I had to change behaviors which I could only do by being aware of them.

Don’t look for quick results, instead look for lasting results.  This is really important, because sometimes people want to lose the weight right now and as I mentioned in the “Diet” paragraph when you rush into this with that kind of attitude  you risk gaining the weight back.  When you start incorporating small healthy choices in your life on a continuous basis you cannot help but get results.  In some it happens quicker than others but the results will come as long as you remain consistent in your commitment towards changing yourself and your habits.

I hope these tips will help you get started on your own healthy journey, please remember not to be too hard on yourself, since change can be hard, but remember it’s possible.  I don’t expect you to take all these changes on right away, even if you just start with the first one and start incorporating the rest as you progress.

Please feel free to comment or share any tips or ideas that you may have.

Have a great week!

To your health!


simple wellness coach self loveLosing weight was not the hardest thing I’ve had to work on, you would think it was but it wasn’t.   What was hard for me was to look in the mirror and love myself no matter what I weighed.  I couldn’t wrap myself around the thought of loving myself for better or for worse.

When I first changed the way I ate to whole foods within the first month I dropped some weight.  I felt lighter and thinner and I loved that my pants felt looser.  What I hadn’t changed though was my mindset, sure it was great that I physically felt better but then I’d look in the mirror and start to cringe, I would concentrate on what I saw as flaws and proceed to tell myself a whole lot of BS about my looks and how I was still fat.  I’d say “sure you lost 20 pounds but you still have 135 pounds to go” then I’d continue with a whole lot of negative self-talk and I would deflate any good feelings I had.

This was a regular recurrence for me, I simply could not appreciate who I saw when looking in the mirror.  All I saw were my shortcomings, the so-called truths that surely everyone could see but were too kind to tell me.

“for once, you believed in yourself. you believed you were beautiful and so did the rest of the world.” 
― Sarah Dessen, Keeping the Moon

I am a forgiving person by nature, I’m not one to hold grudges, I love to love and I can be very zen like in my beliefs.  So one day it occurred to me that maybe this is something I can try on myself.  You know being loving and forgiving…  I started to think about the power of thought and words and wondered what if I could reverse the damage I had done to my self-esteem by doing the opposite, by talking kindly and lovingly to myself.

I started small, very small, I was afraid if I got too loving I would run.  I would declare the next hour one of no negative self-talk, an hour would turn to two hours, then half a day, to a full day. I figured if I would just cut the negative talk out that alone would stop feeding my ego which simply did not want me to feel joy.

After a little while of nixing the negative self-talk I tried looking in the mirror with a new pair of glasses. Let’s see, I have pretty eyes and I have nice hair.  I would stop, almost afraid of going too far with the encouragement.  Then I played a game with myself, every day I had to find a new thing to love about myself.

Self love does not have to start with outside issues.  I started to think about my great sense of humor, I love a good joke, witticism and laughter.  Now there’s something to hang onto!  I’m also a quick study, that’s a good thing right and as time went on, I would find more and more things to like and love about myself.

This is a process, one you need to be consistent with, one you need to work on every day until it becomes a habit.

Remember :

  • Baby steps
  • No trash talking to yourself
  • One quality a day

To help myself along the way I bought some colorful post-it notes and wrote down the quality of the day on one and would put it in my purse.  Whenever I would open up my purse I’d see this bright orange/yellow/pink post it and even without reading it I knew there was something positive inside which would remind me of my commitment to self-love.

You won’t be perfect at it, but if you commit yourself to love, self-love that is, more good things will fall into place but before any of that happens you need to start with yourself.  Now go write down one of your best qualities right now.

Simple Wellness Coach Post It Love