Joan Ruth Smith Stout

Joan Ruth Smith Stout
March 16, 1931 -September 5, 2007

Our Message

Joan Ruth Smith Stout passed away on September 5, 2007. She was my beloved mother and grandmother of the beautiful girls pictured to the right, Kim, Tiffany, Tara, Chelane, Stephanie, Tristen, Sara, Telisa, Mikel, Jenny and Ashling. My mother died due to complications from malnourishment, or in other words, an eating disorder. I believe it started in her teens and she was completely unaware of the insidious disease that took route in her mind. She was somehow blessed to give birth to four children, three boys and a girl. Joan loved her children with devotion and passion even though much of the time, she felt poorly. Stomach problems, headaches and heart palpitations were a daily occurrence for her. As her only daughter, I was oblivious to her plight until my very own sweet daughter started on that same journey in her teens. By then my mom had been suffering from her eating disorder for a good fifty years, and there was no redirecting her thoughts. Unfortunately for me, I was angry for a while when I realized that the route of all her illnesses was through lack of nutrition. That was shameful on my part, and I am sure that only added to my mom's illness. I hope she knows now how foolish I was. However, through the journey of Telisa's eating disorder, the girls in our family have learned much, especially Telisa! It is for this reason that we collectively, as Joan's Girls, are choosing to send the message out to the world of what real beautiful bodies need to support good physical and mental health!!!!!!! We watch with horror the unhealthy and unattractive images on TV, Movies, Magazines etc. We witness some of our dear friends struggle with body image issues, and frankly we are sick of the comparing and obsessing over one's size versus one's health!! We believe in good health, we believe in eating the food provided for us by our Heavenly Father, we believe in balance and moderation, we believe in exercise in moderation, we also believe the best exercise is done while serving others, we believe that God created many types of bodies and we thank Him for that! We believe in modesty and we believe that our bodies are a gift from Heavenly Father! We believe that true beauty comes from within. All of Joan's granddaughters are true beauties. Our legacy to her will be our commitment to the TRUTH of what is beautiful and praiseworthy. We seek after these things. We will strive for good health and the truth in all we do!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Intuitive Eating

For my first post on our tributary blog, I thought I should share something that has played a vital part in my recovery. It is something we were all experts at at birth and something we have slowly lost when society stepped in. It is what Bodie helps me remember everyday, it is what my sisters and Mom are amazing examples of, it is the truth, it is Intuitive Eating. 


At the Center for Change, I was given the book, "Intuitive Eating" by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D. and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., F.A.D.A. It is how I used to eat before ED stepped into my life, it is simply the natural way of eating. No dieting, no good or bad foods, just eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. It is amazing how there has never been a time with so many diet foods, diet books, gyms and yet, there has never been a time with so many eating disorders, low self-esteem, depression and body image issues. 

Below are the 10 principles of Intuitive Eating as described by the authors. I know some of you have read it and I have read it several times, but I still need some reminders of how to free myself from the "Food Police." 

Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you the false hope of losing weight quickly, easily and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.

Keep your body fed biologically with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise, you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for rebuilding trust with yourself and food.

Call a truce; stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can't or shouldn't have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing. When you finally "give in" to your forbidden foods, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating (where you tell yourself you will diet tomorrow so you eat everything in sight) and overwhelming guilt.

4. CHALLENGE THE FOOD POLICE . . . this is my favorite!
Scream a loud "NO" to thoughts in your head that declare you're "good" for eating certain foods or "bad" because you ate a piece or two of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created. The police station is housed deep in your psyche and its loudspeaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.

Listen for body signals that tell you you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show you're comfortably full.  

The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living. In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence- the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. 

Find ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom and anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Each has its own trigger, and each has its own appeasement. Food may comfort for the short term, but won't cure any of these feelings.

Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of 8 would not expect realistically to squeeze into a size 6, it is equally futile and uncomfortable to have a similar expectation about body size. Respect your body so you can feel better about who you are.

Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how good it feels to move your body rather than the calorie-burning effect of exercise.

Remember that you don't have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal or one day of eating. The key is balance and moderation. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Advice for Women!

This article was in last Sunday newspaper. It really goes along well with the posts that Stephanie has given us this week!

For Women:
*Live more in the moment rather than rushing to get the next activity or item on your checklist.

*Don't overschedule you and your family's lives because "families need unstructured time in which relationships can deepen and real parenting can take place."

*Find time to cultivate your own talents and interests because "if you are not setting aside a little time for what replenishes you, you will have less and less to give to others."

*Pray for your children, asking specifically how God would have you raise them.

Baked Sweet Potato "Fries"

These are a favorite in my house. Jason LOVES sweet potato, well we all do but him especially. This is a super easy recipe and sweet potatoes are a great source of all kinds of good stuff like vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C, potassium, and fiber just to name a few!! And they're yummy! Hope you like them. Enjoy!

Baked Sweet Potato "Fries"

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled

2 Tbsp. good olive oil

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise and cut each half into 3 long spears. Place them on a sheet pan and toss them with olive oil. Spread the potatoes in one layer. Combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper and sprinkle on potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn them with a spatula. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Sprinkle lightly with salt and serve hot. Serves 4.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Boost Your Self-Esteem

Tips to Improve Your Self-Esteem
** When you wake up in the morning, the first thing you will do is stretch...stretch and feel how good that feels!
**Take a long look at yourself in the mirror, give it a few minutes until you have passed the...ewwww, look at all my imperfections reaction. Then keep looking and you will notice those imperfections slowly become a familiar beauty!
**Throw out all of those so called beauty magazines...why continue to fall into the medias traps of what their view on what beauty is!
**Go through your wardrobe and replace all of those way too tight pants and low rise jeans for a style that your body type looks best in!
**Embrace your age...remember it is aging that allows to continue to grow and experience life!
**Spend less time reading negative articles and more time reading positive information that will make you feel good about you!
**Stress..stress go away and come back in 100 years or so! Get rid of as much stress as you can. You will be surprised at how much better and how much easier it becomes when you remove 1 stressful thing a day!
**Sleep zzzzzz' is a must. Resting your mind and body is essential in gaining strength to carry out your daily lives!
**One and two and three...stretch and bend...EXERCISE your negatives away ...breathe in and feel that adrenaline like it was fresh water running down your body!
**Take a long bath or a long shower, whichever makes you feel more renewed!
**Go for the greens and the reds...veggie it as much as you can. Those healthy foods are not called healthy for nothing!
**YOGA it, meditation is a whole new world and a very effective relaxation strategy. We cleanse the mind through learning relxation techniques as well as the stress levels!
**READ alot...reading is where the mind can subconsciously be freed from the realities that stress us out!
**Take a few minutes to pat yourself on your back for the good things that you accomplished today, Lord knows you do that with the negatives fast enough!
**Think happy thoughts, for example...a baby
laughing or smiling for the first time, a puppy playing, an amazing insight that escapes from a child's mind, dolphins swimming freely.....!
**If you like to garden, plant some new flowers..or start a garden..nothing is more rewarding than watching something grow into beauty!
**Be true to yourself and trust in your Beauty and Uniqueness. Spend less time worrying about how another perceives you!
**Work on balancing all of your emotions...try to feel more positive than negative about the small stuff!
**Stay Unique, don't fall into the world of plastic people!
Most of all Ladies...KEEP MOVING FORWARD!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Never Judge a Book......!

Check out this youtube video of a woman from Britian's Got Talent! Tell us what you thought before she started singing! Her name is Susan Boyle and she is 47 years old. I believe she is from Wales. What a lesson to never, never judge a book by it's cover!!!!!! I hope she does not change a thing about herself!!
BTW! I loved her!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I am lucky to have 3 by blood and 5 by marriage. I cherish every minute I get to be with them. My three daughters do not know how lucky they are to have eachother yet but in time they will come to find out how much they love and cherish eachother. To all the those ladies out there who have sisters and haven't had the time to be together with them , it is so important that you make the time. No matter what is going on in your life, the trials you have with self esteem or body image, or illness, there is nothing that will lifts your sprirts more that time with your GAL PAL ( your sister)!!!! Love you like crazy ladies!!
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Tips to Boost Self Confidence

This week I'm going to try and focus on boosting self-confidence and self-esteem. Although many of the tips seem like simple things, I bet they are things that we hardly if ever actually do!

Self Confidence Boosting Tips:

1. Recognize your insecurities. What does that voice in the back of your mind say? What makes you ashamed of yourself? This could be anything from acne, to regrets, or friends at school. Whatever is making you feel unworthy, ashamed, or inferior, identify it, give it a name, and write it down.

2. Don't view yourself as inferior to others. Don't walk around with the subconscious mindset that others are better or more qualified than you, whether it's related to work, school, or just socializing. To a certain degree, it's good to walk around with a feeling of superiority. However, don't take this too far, or you'll come across as a jerk.

3. Talk about it with friends and loved ones. Wear it on your sleeve. Each day you should chip away at it; wear it down. There's no quick fix. Get to the root of the problem; focus on it and understand that you need to resolve each issue before you can move on.
Remember that no one is perfect. Even the most confident people have insecurities. At some point in any of our lives, we may feel we lack something. That is reality. Learn that life is full of bumps down the road.

4. Identify your successes. Everyone is good at something, so discover the things at which you excel, then focus on your talents. Give yourself permission to take pride in them. Give yourself credit for your successes. Inferiority is a state of mind in which you've declared yourself a victim. Do not allow yourself to be victimized. Express yourself, whether it's through art, music, writing, etc. Find something you enjoy. Everyone is born with talents and strengths. You can develop and excel in yours. If it's difficult to name two or three things you have some ability in or just plain love to do, think about things others do that you would like to do too and take some lessons or join an enthusiasts club. When you're following your passion, not only will it have a therapeutic effect, but you'll feel unique and accomplished, all of which can help build your self confidence. Plus, adding a variety of interests to your life will not only make you more confident, but it will increase your chances of meeting compatible friends!

5. Be thankful for what you have. A lot of the times, at the root of insecurity and lack of confidence is a feeling of not having enough of something, whether it's emotional validation, good luck, money, etc. By acknowledging and appreciating what you do have, you can combat the feeling of being incomplete and unsatisfied. Finding that inner peace will do wonders for your confidence.

6. Be Positive, even if you don't feel positive. Avoid self-pity, or the pity and sympathy of others. Never allow others to make you feel inferior--they can only do so if you let them. If you continue to loathe and belittle yourself, others are going to do and believe likewise. Instead, speak positively about yourself, about your future, and about your progress. Do not be afraid to project your strengths and qualities to others. By doing so, you reinforce those ideas in your mind and encourage your growth in a positive direction.

7. Accept compliments gracefully. Don't roll your eyes and say, "Yeah, right," or shrug it off. Take it to heart and respond positively ("Thank you" and a smile works well).
Look in the mirror and smile. Studies surrounding what's called the "facial feedback theory" suggest that the expressions on your face can actually encourage your brain to register certain emotions. So by looking in the mirror and smiling every day, you might feel happier with yourself and more confident in the long run.

8. I am gorgeous, huh?Fake it. Along the same lines of smiling to make yourself feel happy, acting confident might actually make you believe it. Pretend you're a completely confident version of you; go through the motions and see how you feel.

Friday, April 3, 2009

My Words of Wisdom

So I guess this is my week to add some words of wisdom to our blog. I have been patiently waiting all week for some wonderful idea to pop into my poor brain, but nothing great as come yet!!
Here are a couple fun "Girl Power" quotes or thoughts I have come across & I think we as women need to be reminded often how great and wonderful we really are!! We always compare our weaknesses to others strength - so my challenge to you all is to do the complete opposite!! We all have strengths & we all need to recognize those more often!! And I'm sure we would all feel better when we realize that others around us are not perfect and have struggles of their own.

A Woman's Bill of Rights

A Woman's Bill of Rights
*Women are entitled to refuse entrance to the bathroom to any family member at any time.
* There shall be no requirement forced upon a woman to reveal the whereabouts of chocolate in the house.
* No woman shall be forced to pose for pictures without at least 36 hours of advanced notice.
* Any noises made by a woman while she is upset shall be referred to only as "impassioned commentary" and not as "freaking out."
* Every woman shall have the right to possess unlimited numbers of black shoes and various handbags that are neessary for her emotional health and well-being.
- Anita Renfroe

Also check out her "Mom's Overture"
This is a classic!!
She also recently wrote "Dadsense" also!

Here are a few other quotes from Anita
"They say good friends are cheaper than therapy, which means we should both have extra money to go shopping!"

"If you're happy and you know it, you're probably annoying someone who isn't."