Could Fat Be Infectious?




How your friends behave in the eating “arena” has more of an impact on you than family, genes, or prior disposition or habits. In fact, even friends you don’t see often, if they are still “close” to you emotionally can impact your own weight.

We like to think we make our own choices, don’t we? Whether it comes to picking out a pair of shoes, or what goes into our mouths. Yet, in a nutshell, the study–which is credited with accuracy for being carefully controlled and spans many years–shows that if your best friend puts on lots of weight over the years, you are more likely to do the same yourself than if she stays slim.

The study’s author, a Harvard professor, points out that in a sense, we’ve known this all along. “Who you tend to hang out with, weight-wise, is more important than who your next-door-neighbor is.” Likewise, “When overweight or obesity becomes normal in a given social circle, people may be more likely to become obese themselves.”

The good news? (There is good news!) It works both ways. The healthier the people you hang with, the healthier you are likely to try and be yourself. These findings are true for Jeanine and all the ladies in the Swimsuit Club (my newest fiction work-in-progress) Being a member of the Club helps Jeanine stay motivated to swim, and eventually, to take much better care of herself. (You’ll have to tune in to the blog for more about Jeanine and her weight problem, or watch for more articles from me.)

The blog is where my characters come to life, telling their secret thoughts–before the book is out! Issues on their minds are such things as self-image, eating disorders, fashion and how what you wear creates a statement about you; Christian living in a sex-saturated society, and whether purity is a tenable option for today. For people like Jeanine, we shall see how even overweight women have lots of power in deciding how they want the world to see them–whether they lose weight or not.

(Quotes from Amanda Gardner, as seen in DivineEloquence Magazine, Aug/Sept’07)




Funny Wedding Speeches – 3 Things You Need to Know to Make ‘Em Laugh

Let’s face it – Giving a wedding speech can be tough stuff. While some people might enjoy standing in front of a large crowd just talking their ear off, I know the average person would rather just skip the whole speech part. The thing that I must say, however, is that if you are in a wedding party, the wedding speech is practically inevitable. Since this is the case, why not make the most of it? Keep the crowd interested by making your speech funny!

Here are 3 tips that can help you keep your speech funny and interesting:

#1 – Use One-Liners, but Don’t Overdo It

Find some great one-liners that people will appreciate and incorporate them into your speech. Do it tastefully, and use them when appropriate. If you have some crafty one-liners, you’ll keep the crowd on their feet. Cleaver one-liners always work well in my book.

#2 – Use Actions and Use Enthusiasm In Your Voice

Saying funny lines in a dull tone will kill the humor in your speech. Match your tone and deliver your speech with enthusiasm. Use actions to help describe your words. Sometimes people understand things better if you can act them out. Don’t act out too much to the point where you are a flap-jack, wailing your arms all over the place and becoming a distraction to everyone. Just use common sense and you’ll be good.

#3 – Mold Your Humor Around The Bride/Groom’s Personality

You’ll know exactly how far you can push the button by doing this. If the bride/groom have a very humorous personality and find a lot of things funny, you will really be able to go over the edge. Also consider the crowd you will be reciting your speech in front of. How well will they take you and your “funnies”. If you know what makes the bride/groom laugh, you’re set!



Source by Bryan Hufford

This Power Will Raise You Up

There is a power already in you that will bring you to the place that you want, the place of your dreams. You simply must make the decision to go there! That’s right just one thing to do. Close your eyes and let the silence come in. Then raise your heart in joy and feel the love inside start to shine.

You are here to spread the light of your soul not the despair in your heart. You are here to bring the world up to a better level of understanding not to leave yourself out of it. The purpose which burns bright in your soul is not just for you. It is for all to share and immerse themselves in. It is the dance of your spirit which brings the soul to life.

Your life should be a daily celebration! Yes and you should be proud of who you are and what you do. It is not the choice of our vocations that makes us who we are. It is the voice of our souls our spirit if you will that give light to our lives.

Are you celebrating yet? Well you should! Life is meant to be enjoyed. It is the little things as well as the big things. Maybe you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff, but appreciate everything in your view. Raise your arms in praise that you are alive today and today is another opportunity to live the life of your dreams.

It is that inner spirit that inner song that wants to be expressed through you! We all have it. Let your voice ring that bell of freedom. Let your voice be heard from the mountain tops and over the fields of this good earth! Take that trip in your mind. Release yourself from the shackles that bind you to silence. You can speak up, reach up and reach out to help everyone around you.

All you need is a thought of letting go and let the celebration begin! This country was founded through a thirst for freedom of not only religion but to enable one to succeed in life and to raise their voice whether in opposition or in unison. What matter is this that one is silent when they should speak?

Your voice in song cries for freedom, yet takes no action to live the life of one’s dreams. You don’t need to fear, this power in you and everyone has with it the right to be heard. Drop those weights that hold you down and allow that power to move. Stop blocking that which wants to express itself through you.

Life can be so joyful and beautiful if you just believe that it is. I will be here to catch your song in the air of life! You can vibrate with life. You know that the joy and love that you feel will bring you that connection that you need. It is through these emotions that we can release our spirit and allow that flow. That power dances inside you and I know it does.

Do yourself a favor and sing that song, lift your heart and arms in praise. Feel that power vibrate in you. Raise yourself up and you will stand on the shoulders of giants.



Source by John Tebar

Sympathy Sayings – 11 Popular Sayings

When running my home based greeting card business, I come across some of the coolest quotes or sayings that have ever been written.

Here are just some of the sympathy sayings that come across my desk. They are not in any certain order.

1- Deepest Sympathies May it make your sorrow Easier for you to bear Knowing there are others

Who understand and care.

2- May knowing you’re in the hearts and thoughts of others help you and yours through this time of sorrow.

3- A Hug delights and warms and charms, that must be why God gave us arms.

4- So sorry to hear you had a bad day.

5- We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. -Dr. Loretta Scott

6- The time to pray is not when we are in a tight spot, but just as soon as we get out of it.

-Josh Billings

7-Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays. -Soren Kierkegaard

8- I’m sorry (sometimes keeping it simple is best)

9- He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved.

10- Hope is the dream of a soul awake.

11- Beauty lives on forever in the hearts of those who have known it.

I hope these sympathy sayings can be of use to you on your quest to help someone close to you. If you would like to take a free ecourse on the greeting card business then please see below.



Source by David Dutton

Fairy Tales Don’t Come True

Once upon a time in a land far far away lived my little princess by the name of Emily.

She was eight years old and fair of face, with hair as golden as morning sunshine, eyes as blue as an Arizona sky and lips the color of rose petals.

One night as I tucked her into bed, I asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

“A Princess,” she responded.

“Yes, but what career do you hope to have,” I persisted.

“Oh, I don’t need a career, my prince will come and take care of all my needs.”

What? A prince? I was raising a girl who expected a man to take care of all her needs? How could this be?

It’s those princess movies and fairy tales that she reads each night. Have you ever taken the time to really listen to the messages being taught by the Grimms brothers and Disney?

Take Snow White for example. The story consists of an evil stepmother, a non-existent father and a child who lets everyone walk all over her until the man of her dreams comes and fixes everything.

She scrubs and cleans and never complains. Okay, well, I like that message, but what’s up with the step mother being evil? Where is the strong, loving, positive mother role in any of the princess stories? What happened to the father influence?

Let’s follow Snow White through her tale. She is run off by the evil step mother and finds herself in a cottage with seven height challenged men. I wonder about the wisdom of this girl shacking up with these guys. Just because they are short doesn’t mean they lack hormones. Okay, so she moves in to cook and clean in exchange for a warm bed and roof over her head.

The first question I have is why can’t she work in the mine with the guys? She can’t swing an ax? Do they just assume she’s too delicate? The guys leave her to take care of the house and the first chance she gets, she opens the door to a stranger. Big mistake.

In the original Grimms Brother’s tale, she not only opens the door once, but three times. Each time the results are disastrous. Okay, this lets my daughter know that nothing good can come from opening the door when you are alone, but she doesn’t learn from her mistakes.

So she falls victim to the apple incident and then we wait for the prince – not height challenged – to come and save the day. Oh right, that’s what I want my daughter to do…wait for some man to make everything all right in her life. And what does she know about this guy other than the fact that he’s tall, cute and can sit a horse well? What does he do for a living, what are his morale beliefs, who did he vote for in the last election?

And why does he have to be a prince? What about a woodcutter or blacksmith? There are plenty of men out there without waiting for royalty. Let’s face it, if every single woman waited for a prince on a white horse, only a handful of marriages would take place each generation.

And Snow White lets him kiss her, on the first date, no less – and off she goes with barely a thank you to the short guys who have been watching over her unburied coffin for months on end. Right there is a message for the importance of proper grief counseling if you ask me.

I need to stop on the kiss for just a second. Sleeping Beauty had the same kiss twist in her story. So did the Frog Prince. Are we sending a message that we should expect a kiss to bring us back to life, change our inherent ordinary looks to model-beauty, ring chimes, bring us to our tip toes while kicking our left leg up behind us. Talk about pressure. I don’t know about you, but I was 15 when I received my first kiss and about the only thing I got was a case of nerves and chapped lips. Am I missing something?

I could go on with the princess lessons, but I think if you run through the stories in your mind you’ll see a pattern of child abuse, evil step mothers, and some guy fixing it all.

I wish I could avoid the princesses all together, but look at Popeye. As a child I was a faithful Popeye fan, but as I look back, I ask myself, why did only Popeye get the spinach? Why didn’t Olive Oil have the opportunity to eat her vegetables and save the day?

What’s a mother to do?

Frankly, I love the princess stories and Sleeping Beauty is my favorite. The idea of a guy on a horse so intrigued by the tale of my beauty hacking through the thicket surrounding my castle to run and save me with a single kiss is rather poetic.

But not realistic.

So I’ve taken to peppering my daughter’s reading with stories that provide different lessons.

The Bernstein Bears have wonderful stories that talk about too much birthday – throwing tantrums, cluttered bedrooms and the importance of not talking to strangers. Snow White might have benefited from the Bernstein Bears.

Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, is a great book to read when things don’t go the way you’d like. Alexander learns that not only does the chewing gum loose its flavor on the bed post over night, but it can also get stuck in your hair. After a day of having everything go wrong, his mother – a loving, understanding mother, not an evil step mother type, lets him know that sometimes we have days that don’t go as we’d like. That’s just life. But after a good night’s sleep things look better.

I Like Me is a wonderful tale of a big fat pink pig who looks in the mirror and sees a big fat pink pig and likes herself for who she is, just exactly as she is. We could all use a dose of that story.

And finally, Dr. Suess, has a lesson for us all in Oh The Places We’ll Go. As we head off in a new direction things are going to be great and wonderful and perfect until they aren’t. And then we have to persevere and before you know it, the sun is shining again and things are on the mend.

Life is all about the journey – the ups and downs the good and bad. It isn’t about waiting beside the hearth for prince charming to happen by for a dipper of water from our well. It’s about seizing the moment, making things happen for ourselves, looking in the mirror and being proud of what we see, not asking for a fairy godmother to make it different.

I hope my daughter learns from her reading that she is in control of her destiny. And although someday the going may be tough, she has the strength and ability to survive and find that sunny day, with or without a prince by her side.

Once upon a time in a land far, far away lived a princess named Emily, who I hope will live happily ever after, every day.



Source by Deborah Chaddock Brown

Inspirational Quotes For Graduation Announcements

Instead of buying mass produced graduation announcements and graduation invitations that look exactly like everyone else’s, go online and add family photographs, personal style, and unique messages to create mementos of this year’s graduate. Of course, high school and college aren’t the only institutions people graduate from: beauty school, law school, police academy, kindergarten, boot camp, and several other occasions warrant recognition from family and friends. Graduation announcements and invitations help ensure that everyone hears the good news, gets to attend the ceremony itself, or is invited to the graduation party.

Certainly, the photographs selected to create memorable graduation announcements and invitations will have a big impact on their appearance. The words used to create the messages can also make or break custom correspondence. Luckily, there are more inspirational quotes available than could be used up in a lifetime. Some are humorous, some are somber, but all of them share the pride and celebration inherent in accomplishing something this big. Recognition is deserved and friends and family will be delighted to share in the good news.

School Pride

Schools nearly always have a special song and a unique slogan used to summarize the dreams and goals held for the students. Portions of these verses can easily be integrated into a graduation announcement. One advantage to using the graduate’s school slogan in the graduation announcement is that the school colors can also be used as the overall color scheme. In the same way as school songs and slogans, popular cheers, books, and even songs can be looked to for inspiration. If the graduate has a special accomplishment, such as sports, academics, or a school club, that fact can also provide inspiration.

Words Of Wisdom

There are countless websites dedicated to famous quotes and words of wisdom. These are just a few ideas that could easily be integrated into a unique graduation announcement:

1. Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

2. If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. – Milton Berle

3. The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match. Each one of us is a fuse. -Edward Koch

4. Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. – Anthony J. D’Angelo

5. Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. – William Butler Yeats

6. All our dreams can come true…if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney

In each case, the quote reminds both the grad and others that this grand accomplishment is really just a beginning, a starting place, from which all things are possible.

Humorous Quips

Using humor to entertain does not necessarily detract from the seriousness of the accomplishment. Unique graduation invitations and announcements can use humor to share this exciting news while still maintaining the academic persona with inspirational, somewhat silly quotes such as these:

1. Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught. – Oscar Wilde

2. Your families are extremely proud of you. You can’t imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing. This would be a most opportune time to ask for money. – Gary Bolding

3. The trouble with learning from experience is that you never graduate. – Doug Larson

4. The tassel’s worth the hassle! – Anonymous

Motivation And Advice

Nearly everyone has advice for new grads. These inspirational quotes, and others like them, can remind us all of the sage wisdom we have been offered.

1. The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future. – Plato

2. Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

3. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. – Beverly Sills

4. You cannot get to the top by sitting on your bottom. – Proverb

5. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. – Robert Louis Stevenson

6. Nothing happens unless first a dream. – Carl Sandburg

7. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela

8. Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. – Judy Garland

9. Don’t live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable. – Wendy Wasserstein

Whatever words you choose to integrate into your custom graduation announcements and graduation invitations, your grad is sure to appreciate your efforts and to reap the acclaim they so richly deserve from the family and friends who supported them along the way.



Source by Chris A. Harmen