Safeguarding Our Girls by Helping Them Have a Healthy Body Image

I offer hope, faith, charity in the form of compassion when working with Moms, Dads and their daughters struggling with an eating disorder at the beginning and throughout treatment. For 37 years I have experienced families in so much pain, anguish, so befuddled as to what direction to take with their daughter. Anxiety and anger runs the gamut, usually severely ramped up. I often see a daughter’s ED as measurement of the barometer of the family.

With anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, what starts as a simple, “diet” or sneaking food, gets ramped up, often times preceded by a breakup, a serious disappointment, family strife, a life trauma and more. Most are unaware of feeling guilt riddled and cope with self sacrificing behavior while swallowing uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. The ED moves to a reliable dependable “go to” symptom, a coping skill, that both self soothes and begins to develop a life of its own.

Restricting, starvation, binging/purging, binging. All coping skills, perhaps the best adaptive solution at the time, none the less, becomes highly addictive and begins to unmercifully take charge. Neuro-brain research has measured a release of dopamine that further reinforces one’s desperate attempts to cope with high levels of anxiety, rage and depression.

One recovered client of mine a gal in her late 20’s referred to ED as “screamy mimi.” When asked to draw a picture, S.M. was a skinny creature, hair standing up, with arms choking my client. S.M. had many snarky belittling remarks about her size, appearance, what she could and could not eat and was in total control of her every move. Carolyn Costin calls that part of self, “the unhealthy self.” Negative bullying self critical remarks voice themselves loud and clear, drowning out reasonable rational wise minded voices. The work, to strengthen the intuitive wise old soulful side, voices filled with forgiveness, blessings, self acceptance and love of Self.

Another mid life client calls those voices, “the blob.” She describes a “darkness, raging voices that tell her she’s “fat, useless, no point in trying to control my binges.” It kicks me to the curb and slams the door.” She’s been struggling with undiagnosed BED since her teen years.

S.M. was slowly neutralized, tamed with love and practicing mindful self care mantras during daily meditations. The “blob” has been tempered on and off with a well spring, a fountain of water within, guided visualization, positive self affirmations and a light that’s accessible under that slammed door.

Women in particular have a hard time with sustained self care which I believe is rooted in feelings of low self worth, not feeling that “I matter.”

I love it when I hear Moms and Dads affirming their daughters. It brightens my moments. In order for our daughters to be the jewels, the pearls that they are, being esteemed by their parents, their seeing the gleam in their eyes of pride, makes all the world of a difference in their relationship with themselves.

For my mid-life gals, it’s about learning how to esteem themselves, taking the time to tell themselves in word and in deed that they are So Worth It to take the time to deeply Self Care. To take a bite out of life, rather than the other way around is our goal.

Mindfulness, Gratitude, Counting our blessings, not taking us or our life for granted, making the most of every day, finding our Purpose, our Passions, Our gifts, Why we are here, is the essence of moving to a life without ED.

20 Year Old's Perspective on Women Empowerment in US Politics

Working in Congress for Carolyn Maloney, Representative of the 12th District of New York, was a wonderful and eye opening experience. Coming from the island of Jamaica, American politics was not something I grew up experiencing. However, attending a boarding school in Connecticut and eventually coming to The George Washington University in DC, being involved in US politics was inevitable. Luckily, my experience as an Intern at Capitol Hill was the best transition I could ever receive into the world of policy making and supporting important values that are worth fighting for on a political level.

As a Psychology Major, I would not have expected the exposure to Psychology in the political world until my Internship. I attended a Congressional briefing on the early detection of mental health disorders that included a panel of 4 speakers, who were all lobbying to put Early Detection training on the floor for voting. They argued that if we all have access to first aid training, then why is there no option for early detection training in mental health? Specifically, one speaker - Kirsten Haglund got my attention immediately as she specifically focused on the importance of early detection training for eating disorders. I immediately texted Arden saying that I would be part of this congressional briefing and funny enough, she had previously met Kirsten too!

During this briefing, Kirsten spoke about her personal experience with eating disorders and how early detection personally could have affected her life. She mentioned that she had suffered with her own eating disorder for quite some time until she got treatment. This simply shows that we must all be aware of signs and symptoms of eating disorders - or any mental health disorder - amongst our family, friends, peers and coworkers so that the process for recovery can come much faster before it is too late. My experience listening to Kirsten’s speech was very powerful and moving, and instilled in me a drive to support and fight for issues I believe in. I learned through this internship that while one person compared to the powerful group of politicians seems intimidating, a collective voice matters and is extremely powerful.

Even more so, I was in the middle of a historical period for this country, and for women. I received multiple calls during my internship of constituents calling to voice their opinions on bills for the Congresswoman to pass, and worked alongside legislative assistants to bring light to many issues and concerns risen from the 2016 presidential election. After the conclusion of the election, I was moved by the massive number of people flying and taking trains in DC for the Women’s March the day after the presidential inauguration. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had to be a part of these wonderful experiences in American politics. It warms my heart to see the power in people’s voices and the passion to fight for people’s health, safety and rights. I am so lucky to have been able to be a part of this.

- Arden & Neelam

My Wonderful Intern Caitlin

This summer I was blessed with not one, not two but "3 Smart Empowered Female Interns" each with an incredible skill set and charming engaging personality.

First to connect was Caitlin Holt. Caitlin now a Senior at Pearl River High School, is a wonderful writer, feminist, and trained ballet dancer. She dazzled me at the Coupe Dance Recital in June 2016. She's an Advanced Placement student, a gal who manages her schedule and time management with the precision and grace of a dancer on point!

Caitlin has accompanied me to SAB rehearsals, NYCB and Joyce Theater dance performances. Her write ups are NY Times level with a depth of kindness and appreciation for all the practice, rehearsal and psychological work that goes into making a performance look like a work of art. She's been there and gets it!

Caitlin also took over where Kristen left off. She and I worked on sessions 5-9 of my Revised and Updated: Mindful Intuitive Eating 9 Session Support Group for Binge Eaters. She's a quick study! Thank you Caitlin!! Below is a small blurb about what Caitlin does!

"When school gets out at Pearl River High School, my day is usually just getting started! Immediately after school I run to club meetings or to my tutoring jobs. I'm the president and founder of the Girls Learn International (GLI) club, a feminist organization that raises money for girls education around the world and advocates for women's issues. I'm also the Secretary General and president of my school’s Model United Nations chapter, currently organizing mock debate sessions and our chapters trips to the Boston Invitational Model UN conference and the Yale University Conference. Other clubs I'm a member of meet during the school day, such as the Science and Math Olympiad teams, as well as the chamber orchestra. Outside of school, I'm a judge and steering committee leader with the Orangetown Youth Court, where I arraign local minors who have committed misdemeanors. But the one constant in my crazy life is that I can be found at the dance studio 7 days a week. During the week I dance between 4 and 6 hours a day, taking classes in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, partnering, and variations! On the weekends I take a class in the morning before my afternoon rehearsals for upcoming performances. I've danced since I was 2 years old and have spent summers training with the New York City Ballet through the NY Summer School for the Arts."

I love being a student of life, open minded, passionate and excited to teach and learn from young strong passionate empowered women! The future is in great hands:)D

Caitlin continues to be amazing; I wish her all the best at Harvard where she will start attending in the Fall!

The Brave Summit

On Nov 5th I attended the first “Brave Summit” at Fordham University Lincoln Center campus with Samara. Stacey Radin, PHD.,  invited me and Samara. Stacey is the Founder and CEO of Unleashed and is the Author of “Brave Girls: Raising Young Women with Passion and Purpose to become Powerful Leaders” It was a delight to meet her.

Right off the bat I knew that this would be amazingly empowering for women and girls, as the Keynote speaker was my friend Emme Aronson, also known as Emme, a national spokesperson for Body Image, Body Acceptance, Super Model, Spokesperson and Activist.

It was a sheer delight to introduce Samara to such a notable and powerful icon who has spoken in front of a Congressional Subcommittee in Washington, D.C., with the mission to increase public awareness of eating and body image disorders.

BTW Emme has a new book that is part of the Chicken Soup of the Soul Series called “Curvy and Confident.” I grabbed a snap from her appearance on Fox 5 Good Day NY!

The Brave Summit was a wonderful mix of students from Fordham University, young girls and their Moms, teachers, professionals like me. It was a real stand up and be counted day with stimulating interactive workshops and panel discussions.

It certainly gave Samara and I lots of food for thought!

Birthday Bliss 66th For Arden!

Why not, a birthday celebration! Everyone of us needs to celebrate every moment, every day with self and other blessings. I always say, Another birthday? It’s just a number! It’s our positive attitude that keeps us vital, alive, enthusiastic, soulful, spirited and youthful! My theme, MEATBALLS, and bring a dish.

My pals did. Jess and Paul appetizer tapas meatballs, Karen, Kelly and Greg, meatballs made with veal, pork and beef, Leah and Jason, a great lasagne, Vicki and Len, grilled veggies. I added a crusty bread, from Brooklyn Bread in Nyack, for the marinara sauce and a great coconut cake from By The Way Bakery in Hastings On Hudson. I am so blessed with great friends and a sweetheart of a daughter, Samara.

Prior, I celebrated with my honey Larry at one of our favorite restaurants, Dimora in Norwood N.J. Bring on the Branzino, pasta and homemade Cantucci Biscotti and red velvet blow out the candle slice of cake! So much love!

The Real Housewives of New Jersey

Yes ma’am! Siggy Flicker wrote a new book on dating! As a relationship therapist, who recognizes another in Siggy, I must say she is so spot on with her coaching advice! It was a delight to see Delores Cantania (RHONJ) who still calls me “Aunt Arden,” how endearing and meet Siggy. Delores and Siggy have grown very close this past season on and off the show. What a cool event and book signing. You all must purchase Siggy’s book, “Write Your Own Fairy Tale: New Rules for Dating, Relationships, and Finding Love on Your Terms!” A great book for newly separated women, divorcees, married and single gals as well. Siggy is a very passionate, compassionate woman whose advice has helped women through heartbreak and healing! 

Creating and Building Confidence in Girls

Owning your own voice is a right for every human being. Today our focus was in “Building Confidence in Girls,” an event held at Athleta Soho in Manhattan. Athleta is all about “Power To The She!” I was blessed to be on a panel with Mahri owner of Body Conceptions and Lauren from Girls Leadership. 

After mingling, Mahri gave her amazing BOCO dance/workout class to uplifting music which culminated in Perry’s “You’re Gonna Hear Me Roar.” Once settled our event was all about Moms and daughters and Mom’s key role in being her daughter’s staunchest supporter, cheerleader, North Star of good judgement.

I was particularly pleased to do a quick guided meditation, repeat after me, “I am well able, I am confident, I am beautiful inside and out, I am empowered, I have a voice, I matter! The girls were awesome, smart, adorable, filled with enthusiasm, as were their delightful Moms. Mahri is such an inspiration as was Lauren. Always a delight to have my daughter Samara Goldberg present. She is radiant with sunshine and wisdom far past her 27 years!

My book, “What Do You Expect? She’s A Teenager! A Hope and Happiness Guide for Moms with Daughters ages 11-19, Sourcebooks, was the perfect fit for the raffle. Alexa won it! Isn’t she the sweetest, so full of energy and hope! Janine Zeccardi, I love your daughter! It was a delight to sign my book for them both! 

No coincidence that this happened to be the day of the Women’s March!

Some of the Moms afterward, Samara, Lauren and Mahri marched! Quite the day to be heard, matter, love and to be loved in Manhattan, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, USA and all across the world!

A day for girls and women’s solidarity, having each other’s back, collaboration and love!

About 500,000 strong in the Big Apple, women, girls, grandmothers, sisters, friends, cousins, and the boys and men that love us. What an awe inspiring pro-active Stand Together day for Women and Human Rights! 

 

 

Serena and Venus Williams: Empowered Women & Role Models for Girls

I was up to see the exciting Australian Tennis Finals Match with Venus and Serena Williams, truly at their best! First let me say that they are the classiest sister athletes in my lifetime. They are all about girl and women’s empowerment, role models of Set Your Mind to What You Want and Go For It, Fight For It, Be Hungry, Be Determined, Persevere, Be Focused! I just love them both, such amazing Role Models!

As I was watching them both on the court, I have to say, they both possess such grit! Venus is the comeback gal, whom Serena says, “never left the court!” Serena was vying for #23 win to break a world record. Venus is all about the power of the love and passion of the game. I was enthralled!

After the first 6-4 set won by Serena, Venus did not give up! Really, the focus of a true champion, she just continued to rally,  press through and move forward.

Second set, 6-4 Serena. Two sisters so thrilled for each other. It was all over their faces. Venus “I’m so proud of my little sister,” Serena, “I couldn’t do this without my sister Venus, I’m so proud of her!” Such grace and inspiration and the biggest smiles ever!

I was so relieved for Serena! The pressure she has put on herself has been mind boggling. This time she had a handle, playing not her “opponent” but playing, the ball, focused on each point. That was evident!

In the post interview, Serena shared, how much she wanted the 23rd and the Australian win. Her excitement was palpable through the TV screen, throughout the interview with Chrissy Evert, Chris F. and MaryJo Fernandez. When she received a box and opened it with her new Nike sneakers and a letter from another icon, Michael Jordan, well that was the sprinkles on her sundae. Her expression was priceless. 

A side note: Wow what an engagement ring. So happy for her!

Post interview with Venus, she was thrilled that the Williams name was now on the Australian Trophy. No disappointment, more that she made it to the Finals and how important her and Serena’s roles are in being strong female role models. 

I so admire them both. I am so inspired to see their growth as athletes and women with a very strong positive impact. They are in my Hall of Famers!

 

Renaissance Woman: Dr. Hetal Gor

Dr. Hetal Gor OB/GYN is indefatigable, tireless, always on the go, unless she’s with her beautiful three brilliant children or with her handsome devoted husband Mois, whom she met in Medical School in India. 

Hetal is brilliant, like a diamond, beautiful, charismatic, funny as heck, an incredibly dynamic woman that I’m proud to call my friend.

I met Hetal at a Mother/Daughter Dylan’s Candy Bar Joya Das Event, that I was co-sponsoring. I met and chatted with her lovely two daughters and with Hetal. My daughter Samara, Nisha, my daughter in law, more like a daughter and her sister, Priya were all there. Our devotion to our daughters was evident. It was the warmest night and I knew right then and there I must connect with Hetal.

Hetal and Myself

Hetal and Myself

Hetal is a very generous giving soul.

Where do you get all of your energy Hetal? She says with a smile,

“I love to interact with people!”

Does she ever!

Hetal, a strong advocate for women’s rights is a strong presence in the South Asian Community in the Tri-State area. Hetal has a medical TV show airing in India and in Indian households. In fact I appeared on her show focusing on balancing Parenting and maintaining an egalitarian Marital Partnership. Though there are so many more women in STEM,  she says, “there are still so many Indian women and women in general that don’t take themselves seriously and are not taken seriously by some men. We think of ourselves last and are made to feel guilty for putting ourselves first.”

She is a powerful role model for her daughters and son. Hetal is involved with Domestic Violence Charities, on a Women’s Empowerment Committee, and on a Health Committee for Vaccinations and PreNatal Care supporting women in India. She is the Vice-Chair of the International School in Pakistan teaching underprivileged kids, as well as on an advisory capacity on Boards for multiple charities.

Certificate of Commendation, NJ PAC Theater

Certificate of Commendation, NJ PAC Theater

Hetal has been very instrumental in fundraising for the renowned Bergen-PAC theater in Englewood Cliffs New Jersey and was recently honored at their Gala. Did I share that she is a fabulous emcee? Not microphone shy, yet humble and truly owns the floor!

Fundraising event at Hetal's home with Hillary

Fundraising event at Hetal's home with Hillary

As a staunch Hillary Clinton Supporter Hetal brought me mid October 2015 to the Chair of the DNC Michael Kempner’s home for a major fundraiser where she and I met Hillary for the first time! What a thrill! I gave Hillary my book and Hetal spoke with her at length about Healthcare. Hetal was very impressed with her commitment and her activism for girls, women and families. Hetal hosted Hillary at her beautiful home in May of 2016. I was honored to be at both events. 

Secretary Hillary Clinton, Hetal and her Family

Secretary Hillary Clinton, Hetal and her Family

Hetal was asked to launch a Talk Radio Show AM 1600 called “Let’s Talk Politics,” a weekly Sunday 12 noon series. She had interviewed such notables as Cory Booker, discussing The Politics of Politics! Hetal was on the floor of the Democratic National Convention as well. I recall a Selfie with Cory Booker and live video on Facebook of the event!

Hetal and I share a common love of Dance and Music. I loved going with her to Dancers Against Cancer. She is the Queen of Selfies. 

Dancers Against Cancer Tyler Peck, Robbie Fairchild (Me and Hetal having fun)

Dancers Against Cancer Tyler Peck, Robbie Fairchild (Me and Hetal having fun)

I love our birthday November ritual of taking each other out. Last year her favorite Thai in Manhattan, this year low key at Bibi’s in Westwood N.J.

Hetal is an adoring Mom, devoted wife and deeply connected to her extended family in India. 

What's next Hetal?

With a smile she says,

“Cool Sculpting!

I’m all about building confidence, self esteem in women and for their being their personal best selves inside and out!”

Hetal and her Beautiful Family!

Hetal and her Beautiful Family!

fundraising walk-a-thon

fundraising walk-a-thon

I'm For Hillary!

I'm thrilled to share a photo of blessed fortunate me and Hillary Clinton. She is warm, engaging, funny, for us women and so brilliant. She held my hand as I gave her my book, What Do You Expect? She's a Teenager! Thank you Joya Dass and Dr Hetal Gor for facilitating this moment in time that I will forever savor:) PS her birthday is 10-26, mine 11-17 two kind and give back Scorpio Eagles!!! 

The previous was a post written almost a year ago when I met Hillary at an event. 

Since then I have had the thrill to hear Hillary again may 2016 at Dr Hetal Gor's home. Hillary is all about family leave, equal pay for women, and gun control. She is so qualified to be commander-in-chief! She impresses me as having a steady hand, a dearth of experience and a very reassuring confident manner while meeting and chatting in this small venue that had about 100 attendees.

I continue to follow Hillary and I am thoroughly convinced that Madame Secretary will be the first woman president of United States! Wow I love just saying that, considering women are the majority of the population of United States and I believe of the world. How Historic!!! Its about time us females are fully represented. What I love about her is that she's a feminist. What is a feminist? A person who loves both men and women and tries to be very fair. When she says she'll work her heart out for all of us, believe her she speaks from the heart and the soul of many decades of first hand experience!

I'm for HILLARY!

 

Gloria Steinem: Feminist Icon and Role Model

Blessed me. Ms Gloria Steinem, Feminist Icon and my idol and Role Model. Philadelphia Renfrew Eating Disorders Conference Keynote and Book Signing! November 2015.

A few years back, I had a conversation with Gloria for a possible testimonial for my book, What Do You Expect? She’s A Teenager! She said to me, “Why don’t you title the book, “What Do You Expect? They’re teenagers! A Hope and Happiness Guide for Parents.” I said to her, it’s my first stand alone published book, I’m so appreciative. At her new book signing I just had to give her a copy of my book. Just love her, she's so real and approachable and funny:)

 

Soul Sisters Empowering Each Other

 

This past weekend I had brunch at Fiorello's with Joya Dass then off to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice @The Rose Theater. Jonathan Pryce as Shylock was amazing! It was amazing catching up with a wonderful Soul Sister! Wishing her a great vacation. See her comments below on The Merchant of Venice!

Intense afternoon of the Shakespearean play “Merchant of Venice” at Lincoln Center with @ardengreenspan
The Merchant of Venice is a play by William Shakespeare in which a merchant in 16th-century Venice must default on a large loan provided by a moneylender. It is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599. Though classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare’s other romantic comedies, the play is perhaps most remembered for its dramatic scenes, and is best known for Shylock and the famous “Hath not a Jew eyes?” speech. Also notable is Portia’s speech about “the quality of mercy”.
— Joya Dass

I Just Love Outspoken Feminist Young Curvy Women!

Arden and Emme Aronson 

Arden and Emme Aronson 

After reading NY Times July 7th Thursday Styles, Skin Deep article, “Why Beauty Brands Ignore Curvy Models, I was struck by a few of the outspoken, assertive Shapely Models. They all had this is common, they have navigated savvily with social media, around our cultural narrow mindedness and they were all determined to become a BRAND.

We live in a very celebrity driven culture and after all it’s all about making a profit, selling, driving up a following and monitizing a site. That’s how Facebook, Instagram and Snap Chat are successfully doing it and it’s a prototype for any “new kid” on the block that wants notoriety.

Iskra Lawrence, a curvy young gal, models for Aerie, lingerie and swimwear. Talk about pride in herself and lovin her body and being. She’s all about her brand and making sure that she is being seen especially via Ads, Utube and Instagram.

Clementine Desseaux posted a video while in Paris, wind blowing her hair, of her wearing Louboutin red lipstick that went viral on Instagram.

Ashley Graham, beautiful larged sized gal, is the first plus size model on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Paloma Elsesser, a self described Plus sized model and so much more, talks about beauty brands slowly being “inclusive of women in all different sizes, shapes, colors, gender and sexual identities.”

I’m thinking of Rue Paul for MAC Cosmetics, a very forward thinking progressive company.

So what’s going on here? I’d say my friend, and body image advocate and activist, spokeswoman and former Elite Runway Plus Size Model, Emme Aronson could talk to that the times they are a changing albeit, very slowly!

It’s takes lots of fearlessness, courage to love and like yourself, to measure yourself by the size of your heart not some preconceived image of perfection and beauty. Just be who you are meant to be, your authentic self and do your thang!!!

Dylan's Candy Bar Event: Entrepreneur Mothers Role Modeling For Their Daughters

This had to be one of the most exhilarating evenings I have spent since the publication of my book, What Do You Expect? She's a Teenager!

On July 26th at Dylans Candy Bar in Manhattan well over 50 entrepreneurs who are Moms and their daughters were buzzing around me for a signed copy of my book. So moving to have my daughter Samara, Nisha, my daughter in law (who is more like a daughter) and Nisha's sister Priya there, who BTW taped Joya Dass's interview with me on her trusty iPhone!

I adore the South Asian Indian community of strong women who encourage their daughters to be their best selves and to work at their passions. These moms are very focused and loving role models of respect and compassion. My book is all about the vital connection between Mom and her precious daughter(s).

Thank you Joya Dass, Founder of Lady Drinks Events, for breathing new life into my book.

 

Article by Marisa Kabas: What is ‘second rape’ and what can we do about it?

 

I was interviewed by Marisa Kabas, a talented writer for Fusion.net, and below are some excerpts from her article and interview with me, along with other rape experts about the reality of second rape, which is the emotional aftermath, elongated court hearing, and investigation which further re-traumatizes the victim and exacerbates Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

"Greenspan-Goldberg explained how the attorneys defending the alleged perpetrators try their best to throw victims off their game and make them wish they hadn’t reported the crime in the first place. She recalled a patient who was so beaten down by the system, 'she thought it was not worth it.' That she had to go to the jail, that she had to see a lineup of different men and point out the right one, made it almost unbearable. 'You have the initial trauma and then the re-traumatization,' Greenspan-Goldberg said."

The Stamford student mentioned in this article, talks about defending herself from the onslaught of questions that were set out to attack her integrity and details of the rape. I could just imagine how vulnerable, fearful, exposed, violated and infuriated she was at the perpetrator, his father, lawyer and the leniency of the sentencing. 

During the process of this "justice," she unwittingly became re-traumatized by reliving the experience through the constant re-telling during the court proceedings over the course of a long year. This is a very shaming process for the victim because the burden proof falls on her, and thus creates a delay in her mind, body and spirit's healing and recovery. 

To take away from one of many rape stories, it is life saving to stand up, advocate for yourself and to become more of an activist to not only make a difference for yourself but to also make a change for the next victim. 

See the rest of the interview and article in the link below:

http://fusion.net/story/322651/second-rape/