Wednesday, August 29, 2012

For Women Only

I have been reading a national best seller book entitled "For Women only; what you need to know about the inner lives of men"

In the chapter "Keeper of the Visual Rolodex--Why it's so natural for him to look and so hard to forget what he's seen" the author found that even happily married men struggle with being pulled toward live and recollected images of other women that can be a big temptation.

The author surveyed hundreds of men and was surprised to learn how visual they are and how women that have a great body especially if they are dressing to show it off are difficult to avoid, not be distracted by, and not to dwell on.

She says that for the 25% of women who are "visual" (which is me, by the way) this revelation doesn't surprise them but the other 75% who don't understand that visual attraction can be such a powerful temptation don't truly understand.  The author says that "the assumption is that all the trouble starts because 'men have roving eyes.' A better understanding is that there are roving, under-dressed women--and men can't not notice their existence! because of how they are hard wired."

So what's a women to do? the author asks.

One of the suggestion she gives is to "champion modesty in yourself and others."

She goes on to say, "Let's fact it, women who are totally clueless about this problem can also thoughtlessly contribute to it. After all, the images in a man's mental file come from somewhere--and it's not just from pictures.  The eye magnets on the street are choosing to dress the way they do and the women who are totally clueless about this problem can also thoughtlessly contribute to it. Unfortunately, because women aren't visual, we may not understand what we are doing to the men around us--a fact that men find hard to believe, by the way. One father asked me why his cautious college-aged daughter dressed in a tight little top and skirt around a particular guy she found attractive. "Surely," this father said, "surely she knows what she's doing!"  "Yes," I agree, "she knows she looks good. But she doesn't realize what is actually going on in that guy's head. What she's smugly thinking is, He thinks I'm cute." "Cute has nothing to do with it!" the shocked father replied. "He's picturing her naked!"

The author goes on to say, "Unfortunately, I can also guarantee that many adult women reading this book are unwitting fodder for the mental file of some devoted married man just because of how they dress. You're cluttering up a good husband's mind and tempting him to dishonor his wife.  It is our responsibility to ensure that, as much as it depends on us, this doesn't happen."

Jesus was clear that it isn't enough to just avoid adultery but that men should avoid lusting. I know that we as women can intentionally or unintentionally dress in a way that can either help or hinder that avoidance. I stand as being one that wants to help. Count me in as one that wants to champion modesty.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back To School

This week, after what seemed like the shortest Summer ever, I am going back to school. People often ask me when I will finish and get my Master's Degree, but they have to know that it really isn't about finishing. For me it is all about the journey. The piece of paper and the initials behind my name will be meaningless. I am in school because I love to learn, I love being on campus, I love having access to all the research, and I love the discipline and structure that being in school provides me. I am not in any hurry to be done. In fact, the closer I get to getting my Master's Degree (which I admit has been drawn out way too long), the more I think about getting a PhD. Nerdy, I know, but that's who I am. So Tuesday night I will be laying out my clothes for my first day of school on Wednesday and hoping I make some friends in my class and that I will be the teacher's pet. Wish me luck.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Honoring Self

The other day a friend of mine told me that she was starting to understand her limits and realizing the need to draw boundaries so that she could honor those limits. I was impressed and inspired.

Sometimes I have played the martyr and haven't honored myself by knowing and honoring my own limits. Lately I have felt empowered by stating my preference without apology or explanation and not being concerned if others agree or are judging me, and it feels good. I know that the way I honor my own limits by setting boundaries will also help me to honor other people and their preferences without judgment,

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Do you ever wonder how many times you have been misunderstood? At girl's camp, someone misunderstood something I said.

I was introduced to someone that looked like someone I grew up by and I thought she might possibly be her daughter. I asked, "Is your mother a Cutler?" She replied that she had been asked that before and I should see her baby pictures. I thought it was a weird response but we then went off doing our own thing.

Later I learned that when she saw me from a distance, she pointed me out to someone and told them that I asked her if her mom was a colored. The person replied, "Who says that these days?" She then said she wondered why I didn't ask if her father was a colored and why I would just assume it was her mother.  

Well luckily they found out from the person who introduced us what I really said and came to find me to have a good laugh about the misunderstanding. We laughed so hard that later I felt like I had overdone my ab work.  She did show me a baby picture from her iphone because she actually did look like she was African American and told me that she had been questioned several times on her ethnicity, just not quite like she thought I had asked her. I was just grateful that we were able to clear things up. I would hate to have her going through life thinking I was a prejudice person stuck the 60's.

It really does make me wonder how many times I have been misunderstood in this dramatic of a way and it never got clarified. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

5 People

I love this thought and it definitely gives me something to think about. Lately I've been hanging out with Olympians (yes, I am just watching them on TV but its the best I can do) and they have been a sweet source of inspiration. The other morning I took on my Saturday hike with more gusto, and at a point when I was exhausted and wanted to head back; I could hear my Olympic BFFs saying, "Tanya, push yourself and go for the gold!" Spending each evening with my athletic friends has made me want to be better and exercise harder, and it feels great! Now I am just going to build a podium and put a gold medal around my neck and play the national anthem.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Saved from the Pain

I've still been thinking about the thought from the tea bag that every moment should be enjoyed. The biggest reason that every moment is not enjoyable is because this world is going to be difficult at times but it is just those painful times that force us on ours knees and make us dependent on our Savior. Because of Him and His sacrifice, those moments that we don't enjoy can work for our good.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


For most of my life, I haven't paid very close attention to how many calories are in the foods I eat; but now that I have an app on my phone that tells me how many miles I've run and how many calories I have burned, I have started to notice the calories of the foods I eat. HOLY SMOKES! To realize that when I work my guts out burning 300 calories for an hour and then see that I can eat that many calories in a few seconds now gives me a moments pause before I eat. Just a moments pause, mind you; too bad it doesn't actually stop me. 

Being Good to My Body

I know that I am being good to my body when I cut out sugar, and the interesting discovery is how that small little decision ripples out and affects all aspects of my life. I am suddenly drawn to other ways that I can be good to my body and then I am motivated to honor other parts of myself as well as take good care of other people. Eliminating sugar is one small step for me but one giant leap for mankind. Brilliant thought. I am so original--just don't tell Neil Armstrong.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Enjoy Every Moment?

Some mornings I drink the Yogi brand of herbal tea and it has a little thought attached to each bag. This morning this was the thought about the purpose of life. Because I am a seeker of truth, I also want to know what is the truth, and this morning, I questioned whether this thought was the truth.

My understanding is that we are here to learn from our experiences, and let's face it, there are a lot of experiences that I don't necessarily enjoy. Can I learn from them? Yes, but enjoy them, no. In hindsight I have learned that I can be grateful for painful experiences because of what I have learned from them, but I don't believe I am expected to enjoy them while in the moment. I know that there have been so many moments that I enjoy but those moments don't have the depth of learning that the painful moments have. I do want to learn to enjoy all the good moments, but I know that isn't my sole purpose. I am here to learn and although I want to get better at learning from all that is good and wonderful, I also know that I must know the pain in order to appreciate the good.

Maybe I will get to the point when at a really painful time, I can say, "Wow, I am enjoying this because I am learning so much." But I doubt it. The best thing I can do is enjoy the comforting Spirit that will come during hard times and trust that I will see the blessings later. Maybe that is what this thought is talking about.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Last year I finally realized that August is my least favorite month because I am usually kind of depressed and lethargic the entire month. Maybe it was that I was born two weeks late on August 31 (start shopping now), which had to make for a miserable month for my Mom, and so I started off remembering August as a painful time. I also know that I really don't like being hot (beside, of course, my physical presence) and I really don't relish the end of three months of Summer and the lack of order and structure that it deteriorates to. I mean, by the end of Summer, I am totally laying around bored and lazy.

So...I decided that started today I was going to reclaim August and spend the month detoxing from sugar. I know that how well I am disciplined physically has a huge impact on the rest of myself, so I am counting on how great I feel being sugar free to carry me through and make for a better August. Wish me luck. One day down.