Page 1

January/February 2009

home | health | faith | beauty | art



To shed those extra pounds

The Power of The Pen

Through Life Journaling

A Pebble

Cover Girl

DeAnna Chamberlin

The 120-day body makeover

in My


One woman’s journey to happiness

Get Creative This

Valentine’s Day PRSRT STD U.S.POSTAGE PAID McKinney,TX Permit No 146

Residential Customer McKinney, TX

A smile makes life more beautiful We can help you improve your smile

● Dentistry for the whole family. ● Same day appointments for all types of care including emergency care. ● We will meet your scheduling needs!


($350 value)

For the first 99 people who call in with a complete exam 

McKinney Woman | January/February 2009

Sam Patel DDS, PA Your Downtown McKinney Dentist

972.542.4663 401 S. Tennessee Street McKinney, TX 75069

McKinney Woman Contents January/February 2009 Issue 16 8



Cover Girl DeAnna Chamberlin


Cover Photo by: Wendolin Mercado Photography

Publisher/Editor: Vanessa Ximenez

Art Director: Marlina Rahman


sales: Lisa Eisenberg

6 Cover Story DeAnna Chamberlin The 120-day body makeover

18 A Pebble in My Shoe

One woman’s journey to happiness

The fun way

28 The Skinny on Liposuction

12 Valentine’s Day

30 The Power of The Pen

8 Resolve to Exercise

Being creative during a recession

Recording memories by life journaling

Departments 20 Social Scene

Contributing Writers: Lady Belle Jacqueline Bodnar Dr. Judith Graves Tristan Loo Jeannette Moninger Diane O’Neil Lisa M. Petsche Dr. Ken Smart Lucy Parker Watkins Martha Wegner

North Texas Magazines, Inc. 972.547.6261

24 The Divine Line

27 Great Getaway

McKinney Woman Magazine is a product of North Texas Magazines, Inc.

Copyright 2009, exclusive of proprietary ads and artwork designs. All rights reserved. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means without prior written permission from the publisher. Placement of advertising is not a personal endorsement by the publisher or its representatives, and no liability arising therefrom is assumed.

January/February 2009 | McKinney Woman



Note Every year, millions of

The Social Scene, p.20, is a compilation of pictures sent in

people resolve to lose

by our readers that capture local events and programs in

weight, kick unhealthy

McKinney. Whether your organization held a large charity

habits, spend more time

event or you and your friends enjoyed a night on the town,

with family, spend less

we want your pictures. Send them along with captions to

money on stuff and the

list goes on and on. Here at McKinney Woman

And finally, A Great Getaway, p.27 is just that! Most of us

Magazine, we are no

would like to know about the nearby, weekend getaways

different. We have also resolved to make a few changes

where you can take the family for a little fun and not blow

this year by adding several new departments including The

the entire vacation budget. If you know of any hotspots,

Divine Line, the Social Scene and A Great Getaway.

please send them our way so we can share them with the rest of our readers.

The Divine Line, p.24, is a column referencing typical issues we face everyday and how to handle them accord-

We hope you enjoy the new and improved McKinney

ing to God’s Word. Whether you are seeking knowledge

Woman Magazine and wish you all the happiness and

about raising children, building better relationships or taking

prosperity in 2009!

control over your finances, The Divine Line will provide guidance and advice with reference to Scripture and bible verses.

McKinney Woman | January/February 2009


Vanessa Ximenez

The photographer with a big heart gives back to McKinney! The holiday season may be behind us, but photographer Wendolin Mercado isn’t going to let that stop her from making dreams come true! If you have ever seen a Wendolin Mercado portrait and thought to yourself...”I want one of those,”....well, here is your chance to have one. In February, the month of love, Wendolin will open her studio by appointment to all McKinney residents (proof of residency required) in an unprecedented offer: portrait sessions to accommodate any budget! “I believe every parent should have a great portrait of their child” says Mercado, and she is doing her best to make that possible.

February 12th through 15th

Wendolin will offer a series of portrait sessions in which parents can set the price of their package. No budget is too small. Now everyone can afford an original portrait by Wendolin Mercado! Appointments required. Don’t miss out! Contact the studio for details.

Wendolin Mercado Photography • 972.529.9223

January/February 2009 | McKinney Woman

Successful Covergirl

By Lucy Parker Watkins

DeAnna Chamberlin Every New Year millions of women resolve to exercise and lose weight. This month’s cover girl did not need a change in calendar to inspire her to achieve results that go beyond dropping a few dress sizes. A120-day body makeover not only gave her a new physique, it also helped her reinvent her life to become a healthy wife, mother, spokes model, and champion in bodybuilding. DeAnna Chamberlin was your typical stay-at-home mom prior to March of 2008. She dedicated her entire life to her family. With little to no energy for herself, she often found herself drinking wine to end the day and munching on burgers and burritos as the staples of her diet. “I always felt like the odd man out. I was in a rut and just didn’t care anymore. I was ‘skinny fat’ and never felt comfortable in clothes. It was just last year when someone asked me if I was pregnant. I was horrified!” Although DeAnna took advantage of a gym membership from time to time, she was unaware of the necessary components for optimal health and energy. In DeAnna’s mind, workouts gave her permission to continue eating late night snacks of Lucky Charms and chips. “I would go to the gym, maybe walk on a treadmill for 15-20 minutes, throw around a couple weights and call it a day without breaking a sweat. I never monitored the calories I burned or how many calories I was taking in. My diet was awful. I would not eat breakfast. Coffee was my food of choice. Lunch would be a burrito or burger, fries and a Coke,” DeAnna says. In March 2008, personal trainer, author and longtime friend, Marzia Prince, asked DeAnna to participate in her 120-day body makeover for an upcoming book. It would be a difficult challenge requiring dedication, focus, and a new lifestyle, but DeAnna was ready for a change. According to Clint Chamberlin, DeAnna’s husband of 15 years, “I’ve spent my whole life in gyms and I could never get her to go. So, I feared she might do like most people who are faced with these body makeovers and give 50 or 60 percent. DeAnna flew into this and gave 110 percent. I’m really very proud of her.”

Photo by Wendolin Mercado

McKinney Woman | January/February 2009

With Marzia and Clint by her side, DeAnna maintained a strict work out regimen and a daily log of food intake and work outs. Marzia educated her about the importance of eating healthy whole foods, how to maximize workouts, and how to manage a new lifestyle. In four months, DeAnna’s body fat dropped 29 to 13 percent body fat and her cholesterol level dropped 85 percent, all while dropping three dress sizes.

“I call her Determined DeAnna. She didn’t want to let anyone down, including herself. I told her this program is for the rest of her life, not just the four months of the transformation. She’s totally changed, especially her attitude. DeAnna is ready to conquer life,” Marzia says. DeAnna contends she did not do this on her own. Her entire family was behind her, including her children, 10-year-old Haylee and seven-year-old Jake. After discussing the importance of health with them, the children worked out compromises with their mother and often accompanied her to the gym. They even began to enjoy preparing and eating healthy foods with their mother. “I began doing this because I really wanted to be here for my children’s children. There are many health issues on both sides of my family and I realized I needed to change something. Now, this is my life. I’m not a tired mom waiting for the day to end. I can barely sit still. I’m much more active with my children and I’ve fallen in love with my husband all over again. I feel more confident than ever before,” DeAnna comments. Only five months after she began her transformation, DeAnna participated in Cougar Energy Drink’s Fit Mom Competition. Although she did not place, the company president was so impressed by her, he offered her a position as spokes model for Cougar Energy Drink. This transition is just the beginning of a new life for DeAnna. In October, she competed in the INBA Natural Bodybuilding San Antonio Classic, receiving first place in Sports Model and second in Bikini. This win qualified her for the Natural Olympia in San Francisco. According to her children, Haylee and Jake, “Mom looks really good right now. She is an excellent bodybuilder. She never gives up. Mom is a hero. She will never stop. We love her very much.” As DeAnna’s energy and motivation grow, she continues to strive for optimal health through her health conscious lifestyle. Her next step is to complete the certification process to become a personal trainer and share what she’s learned and experienced with other mothers who feel like they are at the end of their ropes. Friend, Veronica McGee, who has achieved improved health, thanks DeAnna’s influence. “She’s such an inspiration to others. She has really influenced me. I eat so much better since I started exercising with DeAnna in May. And by August I was wearing a bikini! I think she will do great as a personal trainer.” DeAnna adds, “It is important for people to understand that my transformation is not only physical. The keys to improving health are nutrition and exercise. It’s all about lifestyle choices.” If you would like information on DeAnna’s progress and transformation, please go to M WM

Lucy Parker Watkins is a freelance writer and editor living

in McKinney.

January/February 2009 | McKinney Woman

By Jacqueline Bodnar

Get Exercising the Fun Way Everywhere you turn, there is a barrage of people telling you to exercise. If it isn’t on the evening news then it’s in the newspaper or coming to you via e-mail headlines. We all know that exercise is good for us. Really good for us. But many of us have a hard time keeping at it, whether because of the age-old excuses of not having enough time or not liking doing it, or because we can’t find something that holds our interest. Medical professionals today recommend that adults get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day on most days of the week. We know all the benefits: it will not only help us live longer, but will help us live stronger, helping to ward off such health problems as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and strokes. Want to find a way to get those same great benefits without feeling like you are simply putting in your time at the gym, pumping iron or running 3 miles on the treadmill? The key is turning to fun exercise activities, a trend that is taking off in a big way, helping millions of people across the country get in shape, reduce stress, and get healthy.

Get Moving The key is to get moving. It doesn’t matter so much what you are doing, so long as you have to move at a decent pace to do it. The easiest way to stick to regular exercise is to find something you think is fun; then it will seem less like exercise, and more like you are having fun. If you are interested in getting involved in walking or running marathons, take fun steps to get there, like joining a training group that you can stick with for the long haul. “Training is appropriate for people of all athletic levels, but it is especially wonderful for beginners, because you are part of a team and it is a structured program with coaches,” explains Heather Knauss, the campaign manager for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. “They provide educational info on everything first-timers need to know – nutrition, hydration, shoes and gear, injury prevention, etc.” Sure, you are going to be running, but the key here is that, by being in a group that is all being trained, you are having fun. Groups like this meet for breakfast, chat, joke with each other, help keep each other motivated, and even help raise money for charity while they are at it. “The biggest thing that makes it fun is the team camaraderie,” says Knauss. “Many people have developed lifelong friendships through their participation.”

McKinney Woman | January/February 2009

Getting Creative Another key to the trend in fun exercise is thinking outside the box. When people think about exercise, they don’t need to limit themselves to picturing traditional exercise machines. On the contrary, people today are taking to such things as mud running, dancing, martial arts, boot camps, jumping rope, all of which will allow you to have a great time while you burn some calories and do your body good. Yoga has become a popular practice, but even more people find it fun when it’s done in nontraditional settings. “Combining yoga with the beauty of the sun setting is a perfect mix,” explains Jaclyn Hinds, a certified yoga instructor. Sometimes, simply taking something you are already doing but changing up some of the variables can make a big impact, such as moving the yoga classes outdoors. Maybe your routine of doing the same old thing needs to be taken outdoors, or even to the lake. Whatever way you choose to move, creativity is at the heart of staying interested in finding fun activities. Some people are turning back the clock to their childhood days and going for jumping rope and playing hopscotch with the kids. Whatever activity you choose, make sure it’s the one you look forward to and have fun doing it! M WM

Jacqueline Bodnar is a freelance writer that lives in Port Orange, Fla. with her husband

and two children.

January/February 2009 | McKinney Woman


Medical & Wellness


Plastic Surgery

Allergy Ear Nose & Throat Clinic

Frisco Plastic Surgery, P.A.



4521 Medical Center Drive, Suite 400 McKinney, TX 75069 972-548-7555

McKinney Pain & Wellness Center

4401 Coit Road, Suite 309 Frisco, TX 75035 972-334-0400

Clinic Esthetica

2600 Eldorado Parkway, Suite 100 McKinney, TX 75070 972-540-6630

113 S. Tennessee McKinney, TX 75069 972-542-9998


Essence of Eve Day Med Spa

McKinney Dentist

110 E. Louisiana McKinney, TX 75069 972-540-0810

5601 Virginia Parkway McKinney, TX 75070 972-529-1290

RejuveDerm MD Aesthetic Center

1716 W. Virginia Street McKinney, TX 75069 972-54-SMILE (76453)

Sam Patel DDS, PA Your Downtown McKinney Dentist 401 S. Tennessee Street McKinney, TX 75069 972-542-4663

Family Practice Snyder - Hopkins Family Medicine Center 4561 Medical Center Drive McKinney, TX 75069 214-544-2624

170 North Preston Road, Suite 30 Prosper, TX 75078 972-346-2279

Physical Therapy

Stonebridge Body Works

6200 Virginia Parkway, Suite 100 McKinney, TX 75071 972-548-9993



McKinney Woman | January/February 2009

1790 N. Stonebridge Drive McKinney, TX 75071 214-491-3750

Supplements & Nutritions Juice Plus


Mike’s Health Collection

1434 North Central Expressway, Suite 108 McKinney, TX 75070 972-562-4039

Weight Loss Program Adventure Boot Camp

5100 El Dorado Parkway, Suite 102, #710 McKinney, TX 75070 972-548-1117

Texas Medical Weight Loss Clinic LLC 4201 Medical Center Drive, Suite 300 McKinney, TX 75069 972-251-0737

If the crash smashed your bumper, what did it do to your spine? FIND OUT WITH OUR EXAM.


IF YOUR SPINE was damaged in an auto accident, you may not even know it. Problems with your back and neck (like whiplash) might not cause you pain for weeks or even months. As an auto injury expert, Dr. Arora knows what to look for. With years of experience and leading-edge technology to help him spot problems, he can stop your pain fast.

MCKINNEY PAIN & WELLNESS CENTER Call now: 972.540.6630 for your free exam 2600 Eldorado Parkway, Suite 100 (Two blocks west of I-75)

Why worry? Dr. Arora has helped over 2,000 McKinney residents feel better for life with the latest treatments in back and neck care. Call now, and let him check the damage with a free exam.


Spinal examination for new patients ($150 Value) Includes: Complete spinal analysis - to ensure your good health Motion tests - to see why you have trouble moving Muscle tests - to see why you’re stiff Neurological and orthopedic exams to detect nerve or disc damage Private consultation with the doctor to make your options clear

January/February 2009 | McKinney Woman


By Diane O’Neil

While our country is in the midst of a recession, the last thing on your mind is Valentine’s Day. Many families are wondering how they’ll be making their next mortgage payment, or whether they’ll still be employed in a month. Why would anyone spend the money on silly gifts, and make an effort to remember this holiday that was invented by the greeting card companies? It doesn’t make sense. Or, maybe it does.

Valentine’s Day During a Recession During the toughest times it’s vital to remember what’s really impor-

bellishments. Don’t fall for it! Your local dollar store offers an assort-

tant in life. While financial burdens can certainly add stress to

ment of beautiful greeting cards which cost only one dollar or less.

a relationship, we need to keep in mind that it’s the relationship that is more important than any material things. The adversity you may

If you think your honey would really appreciate a card with some-

be facing right now is temporary - you’ll get through it. Let’s make

thing a little extra, you can personalize the card with your own

sure your relationship will survive these tough times, too.

embellishments. Toss in a little confetti, or draw some hearts with red glitter glue. For a truly personal touch, cut out a photo of your

So, while you may be cringing at the thought of having to buy

sweetie in the shape of a heart, and add it to the card.

dozens of roses (or, even one dozen at a horribly inflated price), pounds of pricey chocolates, or a very costly dinner, take a deep


breath and put away your wallet. There are ways of creating a

Dozens of red roses are a traditional gift for Valentine’s Day. This is

romantic, thoughtful, memorable Valentine’s Day experience for

one gift that could potentially put you in the poor house. I am always

your sweetheart without emptying your bank account.

amazed that the bouquet of roses that cost $20 in December, now costs $60 in February. Those lovely bouquets never last longer than

Follow these tips and you’ll definitely give Cupid a run for his

a week.

money, while saving lots of your own! A beautiful alternative that will last

It’s possible to create a very special Valentine’s Day to remember, even if you’re living on a limited budget.

much longer than a cut bouquet is a living plant. My favorite are the miniature roses that are available in many grocery stores, hardware

Greeting Cards

stores, and nurseries. With the proper care, these gorgeous little

When you walk into one of the national greeting card stores, or even

potted plants will last inside for a very long time. Even better, they

the grocery store, you can expect to spend at least $5.00 for a nice

do very well outside in your garden or planter. Isn’t it nicer to receive

Valentine’s Day card, complete with a sappy love song and lace em-

a flower that will last for years, and not just one week?


McKinney Woman | January/February 2009

Spa Day While spas are truly a girl’s best friend, you may be cutting back this year. If so, you can create the same atmosphere at home? It’s easy to transform your master bedroom into a massage room, complete with scented candles and massage oils. Ladies, has your man ever had the pleasure of receiving a personal mani-pedi? Here’s your chance to introduce him to this very special kind of pampering! You never know, he might get used to it! Have a bottle of wine on hand, some soft music, and you’ll have a beautiful, and intimate, spa experience.

Dinner and a Movie

Valentine’s Day movie. You could purchase a blank journal to

Your typical Valentine’s Day dinner and movie could easily cost

accompany the movie, so you can start recording your own

between $100 and $200. If you need to hire a babysitter, the cost

special memories. This gift will make any woman melt!

will be even higher. Ladies, do you want to include a special gift for your man? Why not create a romantic dinner and movie at home? You don’t

An assortment of his favorite beverage is always a great idea.

even need to hire a babysitter - just put the kids to bed early!

Many grocery stores offer “Build Your Own Six Pack” for as little

Cooking the meal together is something you can’t do in a restau-

as eight dollars.

rant, and it can be a great way to reconnect after a long day. It’s possible to create a very special Valentine’s Day to RememFor the finishing romantic touch, make sure you choose the

ber, even if you’re living on a limited budget. These ideas are

right movie. It’s common knowledge that most romantic

even more special than expensive, store-bought gifts, because

movies are “chick flicks” so gentlemen, be prepared! A very

they come from your heart. M WM

special gift would be to purchase a romantic DVD and include a small, relevant gift. For example, The Notebook is a perfect

Diane O’Neil is a freelance writer and single mother of three.

January/February 2009 | McKinney Woman


By Lisa M. Petsche

Communicate Your Way to a Happy Marriage When it comes to romantic love, the media favors Hollywood-type depictions of destined encounters, instantaneous, “perfect” matches, and overwhelming passion.

Unfortunately, such portrayals place too much emphasis on finding the right person and falling in love, and far too little on being a good partner and staying in love. The reality is, successful marriage relationships don’t just happen; rather, they require an ongoing investment of time and effort. Communication plays a critical role, with couple sharing leading to greater understanding of one another, which in turn increases intimacy. Messages conveyed may be verbal or nonverbal. The latter include volume and tone of voice, eye movements, facial expressions, posture and body movements; often they speak louder than words. In every communication, there is a transmitter (sender) and a receiver (listener). A skilled transmitter reflects before speaking; communicates in a timely manner; expresses himself clearly; owns his feelings and thoughts by using “I” statements; shares good news in addition to problems; pays attention to the receiver’s reaction; and asks for feedback. His verbal and non-verbal messages complement rather than contradict each other. Listening to a message, meanwhile, is far from passive - much more than merely hearing words. A good receiver makes himself available; gives full attention; is open-minded and non-judgmental; avoids assumptions; demonstrates interest and empathy; doesn’t interrupt or change the subject; asks questions for clarification; summarizes to check if he understood the message correctly; and refrains from offering unsolicited opinions or advice. The transmitter and receiver are equally responsible for ensuring effective communication. Listening, however, is arguably more difficult than speaking, because a) it requires patience, since we’re able to process information faster than it


McKinney Woman | January/February 2009

can be transmitted, and b) we must relinquish self-focus – not an easy task in this age of individualism.

Fine Photography for your Wedding from $795 Album & Framed Portrait Included!

Communication is further enhanced through eliminating distractions; maintaining eye contact; demonstrating respect, sensitivity and acceptance; offering encouragement; being honest; and tuning in to body language (ours and our spouse’s). Timing is also important. Obstacles include trying to be a mind reader or expecting our partner to be one; allowing our attention to wander; monopolizing the conversation; interrupting; sidetracking; blaming; needing to be right; dismissing our partner’s feelings or opinions; declaring important subjects off limits; withholding our thoughts and feelings; and prematurely ending a conversation. Clearly, communication is complicated, with many opportunities for breakdown along the way. Far from natural, it needs to be learned, practiced and continually refined, just like any other skill. While clichéd conversation and information exchange may sustain casual relationships, marital communication calls for self-disclosure – that is, sharing our innermost thoughts and feelings. Risking vulnerability and addressing sensitive issues calls for courage, as well as trust in our spouse, but the payoff is big, in terms of the intimacy generated. Unfortunately - and all too easily - our lives can become so busy


Wedding Photography

Reserve your date today & Receive a Special Gift (a $295 Value)... When you mention this ad.


that we no longer spend much time communicating on an intimate level. To prevent this from happening, it’s imperative that we establish daily sharing time, to ensure we really connect with our spouse. It can be as simple as sitting down together to talk about our day after the kids go to bed, instead of automatically turning on the television or computer or dashing off to do chores. Communication needn’t always be serious, though. It’s equally important to express affection and appreciation and to have fun together, including going out on regular dates, similar to when we

WOMEN’S FINANCIAL STUDY GROUP Sheila Johnson FINANCIAL EDUCATION & MOTIVATION Helping women achieve their financial goals.

were courting. Keeping the lines of communication open will ensure that we grow together, rather than apart. While we may think we know each other well, both of us are con-


tinually, subtly changing in response to new experiences. The only


way to stay current and ensure we’re there for one another through

Call For Reservation 214.726.0000 ext.23

life’s inevitable ups and downs is to make a habit of sharing. Spending quality time together also keeps us rediscovering the things we enjoy about our spouse that initially drew us to him or her. Given all we stand to gain, honing those communication skills is well worth the effort. M WM Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 • 4 pm

“The Power & Importance of Goal Setting” Guest Speaker: Glinda Digiacinto, Licensed Professional Counselor Thursday, February 19th, 2009 • 4 pm

“Prince Charming Isn’t Coming” Lisa M. Petsche is a clinical social worker with experience in marriage

by Barbara Stanny

preparation and marriage enrichment programs.

Presented by Sheila Johnson, Financial Advisor

January/February 2009 | McKinney Woman



Valentine’s Day

Gift Guide Juice Plus+ is the next best thing to fruits and vegetables. See ad on page 7


Yolanta Swarovski crystal necklace $73 and earrings $25. Papillar Blanc micro fiber, washable, travels well, tie-back top $113. David Kahn Indigo “Butt Lifter” Jeans $198. See ad on page 7

Wendolin Mercado Photography

Xtended Beauty Eyelash Conditioner. A four to six week targeted treatment to deeply nourish and stimulate lash follicles, aiding in the production of thicker, denser, and longer lashes.

February 12th through 15th. Wendolin will offer a series of portrait sessions in which parents can set the price of their package. Appointments required. See ad on page 5

See ad on page 23


Wedding Photography

Free Engagement/Bridal Session including framed picture of your choice. See ad on page 15

Show your love and care by giving the gift of health. ACAI Diet and Cleanse supports healthy energy, stamina levels, and immune system function; good focus and a positive mood; eye health; anti-aging and longevity; supple skin, hair and nails and much more. See ad on page 19

ENTERTAINMENT PHOTOS Valentine’s Day Special starting at $49.99. See ad on page 19

Surprise your sweetie with the Essence of Eve Valentine’s Day Gift Certificate! See ad on page 17


McKinney Woman | January/February 2009

January/February 2009 | McKinney Woman


By Martha Wegner

A Pebble in my Shoe

Finding the true purpose of your life

It all started with just a small feeling that something was not quite

So I took a fateful leap. I went to see Maureen, the career coun-

right. It felt like a little pebble in my shoe, the kind that is just

selor. I told her all the things that were great about my job: great

annoying, but you don’t want to take the time to empty. Instead,

hours, great money, great security. But, yes, I was pretty well

it irritates you every once in a while, but you find you can keep on

bored to tears. I expected Maureen to say, “Sister, you’ve got it

walking. Perhaps it is the pebble of discontentment. Or maybe it

so good, what do you think you’re doing in this office? Who cares

wasn’t a pebble at all. Maybe it was a voice whispering in my ear,

if you’re bored? Punch the clock, collect your check, and get

saying, “This job is kind of boring.” But I would quickly reply, “I’ve

down on your knees in gratitude that you make this much money.”

been doing it for years, I guess I can keep on doing it. Besides,

But she didn’t. She said I didn’t have to work where I felt unful-

the pay and benefits are good.” Sometimes the voice would start

filled and unchallenged. She even told me I could do what makes

to talk a little louder, “This relationship does not make you happy!”

me happy, which didn’t take long to discover was writing.

to which I would respond, “I know, I know, but we’ve been friends forever. I can’t just break it off!” Sometimes the pebble would

So, here I am. I’ve emptied the pebble out of my shoe. I quit

remind me that I was too tired, too stressed, and too unhealthy.

my job. I’m writing. I’m not making much money, I’m scared to

But I ignored it because that is the way life is, and why change

death, but I am happy.

what we already know? End of story, right? Wouldn’t you know, it was just the beginning. But then, for some reason, things got just uncomfortable enough

Much to my surprise, I discovered that once I gave myself

so that I couldn’t ignore the irritating pain. It was time to take a look.

permission to listen to the unhappiness in one area of my life, all the areas of my life felt free to shout.

I had been teaching for 18 years in the same school district, and I was bored. Unfulfilled. I felt I had given all I had to offer, and

My family life hollered: “Hey, take a look at me!”, my spiritual life

maybe, just maybe, there was something else out there that

screamed “You’ve ignored me for too long, lady!” my emotional

I could do. I doubted it, but I figured, why not just go see the

life said, “Hey, it’s time you took a good hard look at what’s mak-

career counselor - the first session was free, what could I lose?

ing you so crabby!” So, like little children, I sat down with them, one by one. “OK, tell me your story. I’m finally listening.”


McKinney Woman | January/February 2009

Transforming Tomorrows COUNSELING CENTER

Eliska Counce

Licensed Professional Counselor - Supervisor, Director

Mind • Body • Spirit Awakening joy, transcending stress, and becoming your best you. Holistic counseling designed for all women... and the people who love them. Individuals, couples, and families welcome.


And my life started talking. I found out there were all sorts of pebbles rolling around, things I needed to do something about. I also found out there were a lot of things in my life that gave me real happiness, things that I value, things that I needed to put in the forefront of my life. These good things were actually pretty easy to catalog, once I sat down and listened. I can tell you that I value my husband and children above all, and next, in no particular order, are my spiritual life, true and supportive friends, community, my mental health, my physical health, my creative pursuits, and a simpler stress-free lifestyle. So, right now I am emptying my shoe, and making all the changes that come with that. The changes have been many, some drastic, some subtle. Our family now eats every evening meal at the dining room table, instead of on the kitchen stools surrounded by art projects and school papers with kids running in and out from soccer practice. This signals to all of us that eating together and being together for that ½ hour is sacred and important to us. My prayer life has a place in my morning routine, as does exercise. I have renewed relationships with people who are really there for me, who support me in real ways, and I’ve let other relationships fall by the wayside. I buy the things that truly give me long lasting happiness, not the glittery item that looked great in the store, only to languish in my drawer. And on it goes. If you too have a pebble in your shoe, one that you rub up against daily, I encourage you to sit down, pull it out, examine it, and throw it away. I say all this with a warning: if there is one pebble, there are many. You’ve got your work cut out for you. But trust me: the rest of the walk will be that much more comfortable. M WM

Martha Wegner is a freelance writer whose works can be found


January/February 2009 | McKinney Woman





McKinney Christian Academy’s Blessing Ceremony for new Student Life Center

Story Telling in Downtown McKinney

Dan Brooks, MCA parent and board member, Keith Self, Collin County Judge, and Rob Temple, MCA parent and board member attend McKinney Christian Academy’s Blessing Ceremony for its new state of the art Student Life Center.

Tom Cowlishaw, Nancy Cowlishaw and Ricky Bobby (dog) at the old prison in downtown McKinney. Story telling during the first annual Chestnut Historical Village Ghost Walk.

Dan Brooks, Rob Temple, Amy Smith and Eddy McGehee, MCA parents and board members, get a look at the construction happening inside McKinney Christian Academy’s 28,000 sq. foot new Student Life Center during the Blessing Ceremony.

MCA students, faculty, staff, parents and friends got to write their blessings, Bible verses and prayers on the newly constructed walls of the Student Life Center during the Blessing Ceremony. MCA’s new SLC is set to open May 1.

Adriatica developer, Jeff Blackard, celebrates his birthday at Samson’s Restaurant in Adriatica. on December 15. Entertainment by Life Band with Maylee and company

The Candlelight Vigil at Adriatica on December 24


McKinney Woman | January/February 2009

Unique Women in Unique Careers Dana MorganHovind

Fashion Designer for Boy Clothes. Owner of d mo baby. Life definitely changes when you have a child and this is where my story begins. I love to shop for clothes! I feel I have done a great job keeping up with the trends and styles for my husband, so when my son came into the world, I found myself disappointed because I could not create the same look for him. As I researched baby boy clothing lines, I found some cute clothes however, I still felt there should be more to offer these little men. Baby girls have a lot of styles to choose from, why can’t baby boys? Knowing how great life was with my son and now being out of the corporate world, I knew that I had to do something that would allow me to continue living this wonderful life. I became very focused and worked hard to create “d mo baby”, which offers styles only for the little man. Like many “mother entrepreneurs”, my drive comes from my son, my artistic and creative background, as well as my family and friends who had encouraged me to do something like this for years. All these things combined, create a passion that I had been longing for. It is now 2009 and I’m into my second year as the Owner of d mo baby. What a learning experience it has been for me! My collection is represented in 3 showrooms in the United States (Hope’s Chest in the Dallas Market, Bill Kahn in the California Mart, and Lace and Denim, LLC in Americasmart). What this representation means is that the showroom sells my collection to boutiques and department store buyers and I ship out the orders. My biggest role is to continue bringing new styles to the market and ship the orders. Life is too short to sit on your ideas and dreams. I am living proof that if you have an idea, you can make it happen and you don’t need to waste much time trying to figure everything out first. It will all come together and you will be so happy that you finally went for it!! There are no “silly” ideas. People will buy whatever you have to sell. M WM

Lorie Fangio

Life Style Advisor and Home Economist with Home Hints. Lorie Fangio is a professional lifestyle advisor and home economist and holds a bachelor’s of science degree from Texas Christian University. Lorie’s passion and the focus of her career, is facilitating a connection for families through activities in the home. “We are becoming a society that doesn’t even speak to each other, instant messaging and texting is taking over our culture” according to Lorie and she believes that the human connection as we know it, is in danger. Dual family careers and children’s practices and lessons keeping us out until well after the dinner hour most nights, further complicates matters. Lorie’s mission is to inspire people, through fun and creative ideas, to carve out the necessary time to make a family connection. You can hear Lorie on the all new 97.5 KLAK Collin County radio station. Lorie is the creator and personality for the entertaining and informative program called Home Hints. Home Hints airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 11:20, 2:20 and 7:20 and features recipes, decorating tips, gardening advice, fun activities designed to connect families and much more. Lorie is a columnist for our very own McKinney Kids Magazine. Her column, “Kid Connections with Lorie Fangio”, spotlights recipes, activities and spiritual exercises parents can do with their kids to enhance their bond. All of her ideas are original, can easily be executed in 30 minutes or less and foster a high degree of success. Lorie is also a freelance writer and enjoys exploring topics geared towards women and families. Lorie is a guest chef holding regular cooking classes at Market Street in McKinney. She has developed quite a following and has taught over 1000 adult students and as many as 800 children over the last 5 years. Lorie believes that spending time together in the home is an essential part of bonding. Our fondest memories of childhood are the times we spent with our families in the warmth and coziness of our home. Successful experiences create memories, repeating these experiences build family traditions and traditions are what keep families strong. M WM

January/February 2009 | McKinney Woman


By Jeannette Moninger

Weighing Your Options:

These Diet Plans Can Help You Shed Pounds If slimming down tops your resolution list, you’ve got lots of oversized company: One out of three Americans is overweight and 65 million of us are dieting on any given day. The rest are probably trying to pick a weight loss plan (not an easy feat given the number of weight loss pills, books and programs available these days). When searching for your “perfect” plan, keep in mind that one size doesn’t fit all: While going low-carb might have helped your sister drop two dress sizes, the plan could be too restrictive for your lifestyle. You’ll enjoy the greatest success if you choose a program that doesn’t leave you feeling deprived. To help you achieve your weight loss goal, we’ve sized up the most popular diet plans on the market.

Prepackaged Meals Weight Loss Plan How the pounds come off: You purchase portion-controlled, prepackaged meals from a reputable weight loss company. You’ll also get a list of acceptable side dishes, drinks, desserts and snacks. This diet is perfect if: You don’t want the hassle of counting calories or fat or measuring portions. Non-chefs and those who are always on the go and need meals fast will find this program particularly appealing. You’ll eat this up: This is one of the easiest weight loss programs to follow because the food choices are selected for you, and the low-calorie selections help you drop pounds fast. This could leave a bad taste in your mouth: Your wallet will shrink along with your waist as you fork over cash for prepared meals. Limited food choices and some meals that taste like Army rations could make you want to call the pizza delivery guy. It’s hard to follow this program when you eat out or


McKinney Woman | January/February 2009

travel and keeping the pounds off can be challenging if you don’t learn how to prepare healthy meals on your own.

Exchange Diets How the pounds come off: You follow a low-calorie, high-fiber meal plan with a set number of servings from each of several food groups. Foods within each group are about equal in nutritional value and calories so they can be interchanged depending on what you’re craving. The big weight loss companies that offer these meal plans combine them with private weigh-in sessions, support groups (either online or inperson meetings), online tools to track your progress, and counseling. Some also sell prepared meals. This plan is perfect if: You have no will power. The exchange system helps you keep your calorie count in check while giving you the freedom to choose what you want to eat. No food is off limits when eaten in moderation. You’ll eat this up: This plan teaches the food selection skills you need to keep your weight off. It offers more day-to-day variety and is easy to adhere to when you’re eating out. The group support provides encouragement and helps you stick to the plan. This could leave a bad taste in your mouth: The slow-and-steady approach to weight loss can be frustrating if you have a lot of weight to lose (still, studies show it’s the best for maintaining permanent weight loss). There are fees for participating.

Low-Carbohydrate Diets How the pounds come off: Your body burns carbohydrates (found in breads, pastas, fruits and vegetables) for fuel. When you limit carbohydrates, your body burns fat instead. You replace the carbohydrates with proteins (meat, fish, eggs, cheese) and pure fats (olive oil, butter, cream).

This plan is perfect if: You’re a meat, but skip the potatoes (and the rolls and the veggies), type of eater.

cholesterol and can give up red meat easily. Monounsaturated fat doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels the way saturated fat does.

You’ll eat this up: A low-carb diet may raise high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the good kind), lower triglycerides and reduce your risk of diabetes.

You’ll eat this up: Unlike most weight loss plans that restrict or forbid alcohol consumption, the Mediterranean diet encourages a glass of red wine two or three times a week with dinner because it helps reduce heart disease.

This could leave a bad taste in your mouth: The meats and fats you consume are high in saturated fats, which can cause heart problems. Consuming too much protein ups your risk of osteoporosis and kidney damage.

Mediterranean-Inspired Diet How the pounds come off: Consuming more monounsaturated fats (like the kind found in olive oil, fish and nuts) counteracts the saturated fats found in meat and dairy products. You’ll also eat lots of fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals; a moderate amount of fish and poultry; and little, if any, red meat, dairy and eggs. This plan is perfect if: You’re at high risk for heart disease, are watching your

This could leave a bad taste in your mouth: Beef and pork are consumed only a few times a month; fish is the primary meat.

Weight Loss Pills How the pounds come off: Some diet pills suppress your appetite and make you feel full even when you eat less. Others keep some of the fat you consume from being broken down and absorbed by your body. You still need to exercise and eat sensibly. This plan is perfect if: You’re obese (have a body mass index of 30 or more) or have a history of high blood pressure or diabetes. You’ll eat this up: An FDA-approved, reduced-strength version of a prescription

weight loss medication became available for over-the-counter purchase in 2007.

This could leave a bad taste in your mouth: In recent years, several diet pills have been banned because they resulted in death or heart problems. Herbal diet supplements aren’t regulated and may contain unsafe ingredients. Diet pill side effects range from cramping, gas and diarrhea; to increased heart rate and blood pressure; to headaches, insomnia and dry mouth. M WM

January/February 2009 | McKinney Woman



The Divine Line

By Lady Belle

Make This Year Happy, Healthy and Prosperous According to God’s Will!

May I take this opportunity to desire for everyone who reads this article, God’s biggest blessings. May it be a prosperous and fulfilled year; a year to be what God has ordained you his child and creation to be. I know we have all made New Year’s resolutions; and for most of us it is concerning our health and finances. I guess many of us have decided to eat better, exercise, prioritize etc, etc, etc. All these decisions and resolutions are good; but best of all, I know our heavenly Father approves of these resolutions too because he is concerned about our total well being. We must order our lives in a balanced way and keep our priorities in line with God’s will. The Father’s will and heart’s desire is echoed through the apostle John in his book 3 john:2 and I quote from the KJV “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in good health even as thy soul prospereth.” It is God’s advent desire for us his children to prosper and be in good health even as our soul prospers. Is it any wonder to us that God desires us to prosper materially, spiritually and emotionally as well as bodily? He parallels out prosperity with our physical and spiritual well being. But then he desires that we prioritize by making him the first in our lives if we are to desire this wholeness of well being.

The prayer of the Apostle John (3 John: 2) establishes several very important truths for the Christians and in fact all mankind. John loved the Lord and was closest to him, therefore he would not pray something that was contrary to God’s will and if he did, the Holy Spirit would not have recorded it and placed it in the canon of Scripture. Why will God admonish us as his beloved? Why will he desire the above for us? I believe the Lord loves us dearly; he knows our bodies are the carriers of our soul which culminates our (emotions, will, thinking and our five senses.) And Our Spirit (the hidden man of the heart.) created in the image and likeness of God. We are three dimensional beings therefore our bodies are like tents in which dwells our soul and spirit. Apostle John goes on to tell us how to prosper and be in good health. All success in this life starts on the inside of the person and flows out. Matthew 12:35 says “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart (spirit and soul) bring forth good things, and evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. When our soul prospers we have a good treasure which we can bring forth. When our soul is poor or full of negative thoughts, attitudes and beliefs, we have an evil treasure so we can only bring forth defeat, despair and problems. Why does the bible talk of what I call food laws in the book of Leviticus to the people of Israel? Could it be that God was drawing our attention in scripture to what we put into our bodies?

Why would God Himself create the world in six days and rest on the seventh? Why would Christians follow suit and observe this any day of the week we so choose, Saturday or Sunday? Is not God calling our attention to the fact that we ought to be balanced in our lives? Do we not see that many in our societies today are prosperous materially and spiritually but are sick and diseased? Do some people have health but not prosperity in finances, etc?

By Brandi Hart

Santa Visits Adriatica

Many ailments in our bodies today can be traced to bad eating habits, bad time management, bad attitudes and strenuous life activities. It’s likely that most of us are stressed out due to bad decisions and habits and bad choices and bad prioritizing in our lives. In fact most of us would admit that we do not take good care of ourselves physically, spiritually and mentally. It’s not easy to blame our outside circumstances for most of the issues we have. Would we be bold enough to admit that it is what is on our inside that decides how we live and what our bodies and health look like? In reality we have probably made some unhealthy choices which have led to a lack of total well-being. When you have prosperity and health on the inside, in your soul, you will bring it forth and see it manifested in every area of your life. May one of our resolutions this new year be to present our bodies, living sacrifices holy and acceptable to the Lord our Maker. We definitely will not be able to go about our Fathers business if our bodies are weak with sickness and disease; our minds are battered and stressed out; and our souls tormented with longevity if we don’t take care of ourselves in eternity. What will it profit us if we have all the resources and wealth we need to make the world a better place, but we do not walk in total wholeness having sick bodies and sick souls? There is no way around the reality of right priorities. Our God shows us in His word. As we renew our minds to the word of God this year and have according to His principles, we will see His abundance, spiritually, physically and mentally, and financially. We do not live for the blessing, but as we live for God, His abundant life and His blessings are ours. We must believe that God desires for us to have an abundant life in every realm. Remember God created you to prosper and be healthy, not to struggle through life sick and poor and beaten down. Resolve this year to make the right choices, make God the number one priority in your life. Till I come your way again, from the Desk of…..

Lady Belle.

Decked in a red velvet coat, a white beard, and black boots the cheery man sitting in the oversized black couch at PBJ Clothiers in Adriatica in McKinney helped to bring a little piece of the North Pole to McKinney. Santa visited the children’s clothing store just before Christmas last year to pose for photographs taken by Entertainment Photos, which is owned and operated by local photographer Juan Carlos Cortes. Cortes and Santa helped to make the experience one that the children and their parents would remember and to hopefully have on an annual basis to provide as the premier photos with Santa spot in Stonebridge, Cortes said. “The pictures with Santa came about when Jeff Blackard, president of The Blackard Group that is developing Adriatica got into the Christmas spirit and wanted to provide Santa Claus to children in Stonebridge and McKinney,” Cortes said. Like a scene taken from the classic movie “Miracle on 34th Street” Santa posed with children, and sat on his lap while telling them everything they wanted him to bring them for Christmas. “This Santa is the first Santa for the Stonebridge community, in the heart of Adriatica, where people can take pictures with their children with Santa,” Cortes said. The jovial Santa said he enjoyed every minute of helping to make the children’s Christmas a little more special. “It was very fun and interesting. Some of the kids were scared and some of them tried to head for the door, but Juan Carlos is really good about calming them down,” Santa said. One child who had his visit with Santa memorialized was Lance Fidelman, age 2 of Anna. “It was really something for my 2-year-old to meet Santa for the first time. By the end of it he was holding Santa’s hand and asking him to come home with us,” said Lance’s mother, Lenda Lee Fidelman. M WM January/February 2009 | McKinney Woman


By Judith Graves | Clinic Esthetica

Are You A Bath Tub Junkie? I can attest that there is nothing more relaxing during the winter months than a hot cup of chocolate, the sound of Josh Groban on the stereo and an hour long soak in a steaming hot bath. I’m not fortunate enough to have a crackling fire place in my bath room but would gladly throw on an extra log if I did. Then off course, one mustn’t forget the wonderful bubbling bath soaps that you got in your Christmas stockings to add a luxurious froth. Unbeknownst to you, if you’re a bath tub junkie, those long winter

skin with humectants instead of ointments to prevent clogged

baths can quickly create excessive dryness of your skin. Add the

pores and acne exacerbation. Humectants are non-oily

dry ambient environment of central heating and the drying proper-

substances that attract moisture from the atmosphere, retard

ties of bubbling soaps and you can count on itching, scaling and

evaporation of moisture from the skin and help hold water into

cracked skin.

the skin. Common humectants include glycerin, propylene glycol, sorbitol, hyaluronic acid, urea and lactic acid.

The intense heat of a hot shower or bath actually breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can lead to loss of moisture.

Even in humid climates there is a need for humidifiers in the

To prevent the lipid breakdown in your skin you are better off with

home during the winter months. During the winter we have very

luke warm water baths or showers and staying in the water for

low humidity in our homes because central heating systems and

a shorter period of time. After your quick shower or bath reach

space heaters blast us with hot, dry air. Humidifiers help replace

for a cool towel, not the heated ones, and pat your skin dry rather

moisture in the air and help prevent winter skin from drying out.

than rub to avoid removing superficial oils. And finally, if you can’t give up your bath tub addiction at least After the shower don’t forget to moisturize your skin. It is prefer-

skip the bubble baths, which can be drying and irritating to

able to find an “ointment” moisturizer that is oil-base, rather than

the skin and try adding oatmeal or baking soda which can help

water based for your body. The oil will help create a protective

relieve dry, itchy skin. M WM

layer on your skin to retain more moisture than a cream. A simple rule of thumb is most creams are oil based and most lotions are

Dr. Judith Graves is the owner of Clinic Esthetica located in

water based. If you are acne prone you should treat your facial

downtown McKinney. You may contact her at 972-542-9998.


McKinney Woman | January/February 2009




Just one of the many affordable and luxuriously appointed cabins available for a weekend getaway in McCurtain County - Broken Bow, OK.

McCurtain County, Oklahoma. Just across the Oklahoma border and a short 2.5 hour drive from McKinney, Texas is a great getaway that is unknown to most people. Charming little towns like Idabel, Broken Bow, Valliant and Hochatown offer shopping, great restaurants, museums, a casino, water activities, hiking, biking, canoeing, horseback riding and every other outdoor activity you can imagine. McCurtain County can either be fun for the entire family or simply that romantic getaway you and your spouse need to refresh and restore your relationship. Located in the Kiamichi Mountains, McCurtain County is a little piece of “heaven on earth.� Abundant wildlife, beautiful sunsets and cozy cabins adorning stone fireplaces and bubbly Jacuzzis are just a few reasons to vacation here for rest and relaxation. For more information on McCurtain County, Oklahoma, visit

Even teenage girls love to catch fish in McCurtain County - Broken Bow, OK.

Water activities including canoing, kayaking, paddelboating are wonderful activities for the entire family in McCurtain Count - Broken Bow, OK.

January/February 2009 | McKinney Woman


By Dr. Ken Smart | frisco plastic surgery, P.A.

The Skinny on

Liposuction Do you have unwanted fat that doesn’t respond to diet and exercise? Liposuction may be right for you. And with recent advancements, there are some cutting edge techniques you will want to consider.

device is then inserted into the body and the fat is removed by suction. Despite this being a very effective treatment, significant downtime can occur as a result of bruising, swelling, and pain due to the movement required by the surgeon to help suction the fat. To help minimize these side effects, techniques which involve the use of laser and ultrasound have now been developed. SmartlipoTM, also known as laser lipolysis, is a cutting edge technology and one of the most significant advancements in the field of liposuction. SmartlipoTM was approved by the FDA

Liposuction has become one of the most commonly sought after

in November 2006. After the injection of fluid & numbing

cosmetic procedures amongst patients who want to look and feel

medication, a tiny laser fiber (1mm diameter) is inserted into the

better about themselves. It also consistently ranks as the most

targeted fat. The laser energy causes several things to happen,

commonly performed surgery by plastic surgeons. The rise in

all which benefit the patient. First of all, the fat is melted making

popularity of liposuction has been made possible by refinements

it very easy to sculpt & suction. Next, very small blood vessels

in the technique that have contributed to higher patient satisfac-

are coagulated which results in much less bruising than traditional

tion. All of this has happened in a relatively short amount of time.

liposuction. Lastly, the heat stimulates new collagen synthesis

Since its introduction in the United States in the early 1980’s,

resulting in superior skin tightening. The fat is then suctioned out

liposuction has progressed leaps and bounds. Several trends have developed that have widened the appeal of liposuction

Liposuction can be used on all parts of the body to remove fat that diet and exercise can’t with faster and great results and short recovery time.

by easing the associated recovery process. through tiny incisions or it can be left behind in small amounts for Traditional Liposuction is the oldest technique that effectively

the body to eliminate. SmartlipoTM is versatile and can be used on

removes fat from specific areas of the body such as abdomen,

just about any part of the body.

flanks, hips, back, thighs, arms and chin. The targeted areas are first injected with saline that contains some combination of

The benefits of SmartlipoTM are all realized by the patient.

lidocaine and epinephrine. A cannula connected to a vacuum

Recovery time is in days versus weeks for traditional liposuction


McKinney Woman | January/February 2009

and there is much less discomfort involved. Bruising is minimal, as is swelling, and significant skin tightening can be achieved. In certain circumstances, it can be performed in an office setting under local anesthesia or IV Sedation. Some patients have returned to work in as little as 1 or 2 days. SmartlipoTM, however, is not for everyone. Best results are achieved on healthy patients at or near their ideal body weight. Ultrasonic liposuction is another recent technology that helps achieve better results by using ultrasound, instead of laser, to melt larger areas of excess fat. VASER LipoSelection®, the latest generation of ultrasound technology, has emerged as the method that yields the best results with minimal discomfort and bruising. Superior skin tightening is also achieved as compared to traditional liposuction, especially in areas such as the neck, arms and lower abdomen. LipoSelection uses ultrasound energy through a small cannula to break up and emulsify fat, leaving surrounding tissue - such as nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue - relatively intact. Recovery time is usually one to two weeks. review the benefits and risks, and assess if you are a good Both SmartlipoTM and Liposelection® can be used on all parts of the

candidate. And as always, when choosing your doctor for

body to remove fat that diet and exercise can’t. They can be used

cosmetic surgery, make sure he or she is certified by the

separately or in combination to completely eliminate the need for

American Board of Plastic Surgery. M WM

traditional liposuction. Results are smooth and skin tightening is excellent. Recovery time is also shortened. During your consulta-

Dr. Ken Smart is the owner of Frisco Plastic Surgery, P.A. located in

tion with your plastic surgeon, you will discuss your expectations,

Centennial Medical Pavilion I. He can be contacted at 972-334-0400.

January/February 2009 | McKinney Woman


By Tristan Loo

I am a firm believer that there is no greater self-help or self-exploration tool than a journal. That’s right—a simple blank book and a pen can help you manifest millions of dollars. It can help you identify goals. It can ease emotional pain or grief. It can transport you back in time. The journal is a physical manifestation of the contents within your own mind and heart. In this article, I am going to list some basic techniques and guidelines to follow when journaling.

The Power of The Pen Recording Memories by Life Journaling Your life is special and worth recording. I firmly believe that all

Human memory is fallible so write it down. Our organic memory

human life is special and purposeful. You and I were placed on

is not as sharp as one would think. Over time, our memories of

this world for a reason and we have a limited time on this world

certain events either get washed away or become tainted with

to establish our legacy. Some very famous people in history

our retrospective and emotional views of that event. Journaling

have the benefit of having others essentially journal for them in

is like taking a snapshot photo of our mind and emotions during

chronicles, biographies, and other materials that record their life,

that event. It allows our memory to remain true as to the events

but the best and most accurate record of who you are now and

of our past and by reading those entries months, even years later,

who you will be remembered as after you leave this world will be

catapults us back to that moment in time and allows us to remem-

through the journals that you write.

ber it with much greater detail and accuracy than if we relied on memory alone.

Write only for yourself. A client of mine once asked me if it was okay to journal on an internet blog for everyone to read. She

Select a physical journal, not a computer. Although many people

said that all of her friends had created blogs and that it seemed

in this day and age are much more accustom to typing rather than

like a fun thing to do. I told her that there is nothing wrong with

handwriting, I argue that for the purposes of journaling, there is a

blogging, but for the purposes of life journaling, you should keep

big difference. In my workshops, I advocate the use of a physical

your journal private and write strictly for yourself. This is because

journal you can hold in your hand because you can always take

we write differently when we know that our writing will be read by

it with you wherever you go. I myself have some great adven-

other people. We have what is known as an internal editor inside

tures all over the world and often I go weeks without any access

our minds who edits what we write and it’s this internal editor

to electricity. Having a journal and a pen in my backpack as I

who prevents us from genuinely writing from the heart. So while

explore the Amazon of Brazil or trek the desert plains of Australia

I think blogs are fun and great to share with others, a life journal

is lightweight and always available to jot down notes.

needs to be written with a one-person audience in mind—you. Now this is not to say that you can’t ever share your journal with

Invest in a quality journal. Your journal is the most important

anyone. I have often shared my journal entries with the people

book you will ever own. The thoughts and ideas and emotions

who are special in my life, but there is a difference between shar-

that are contained within its pages are more precious than any-

ing an entry later on and writing that entry for yourself in mind.

thing you possess because it becomes a part of you. Therefore


McKinney Woman | January/February 2009

I suggest investing in a journal that is representative of those special thoughts and ideas. Personally, I choose a handmade leather journal for all my life journaling not only because it is highly rugged and durable, but also because it looks nice and will remain that way far after I am gone. Investing some money into a good journal that you like will also be an incentive for you to actually follow through with consistent journaling practices. -10 to +10. One thing that I do different in my journaling practices and what I suggest you do also is give yourself a pain - pleasure ranking next to the date that you write your entry. On a scale of -10 (most painful) to +10 (most pleasurable), rate yourself on how you feel at that particular time. Do this for two reasons. One, it is good for you to know exactly how you are feeling each day and to quantify that experience with a numerical value. Two, you can go back and review how you felt on a given day and you can thumb through your entries and see if there exists a pattern of low feelings or high feelings and what the cause of those feelings were.

Self-probing questions. When people think of journaling, they think of simply logging the day’s events on paper. This is far from true with my journaling techniques. Of course, I do recommend regular event recording, but I also advocate interweaving what I call self-probing questions along with those other journal entries.

Self-probing questions are questions you ask yourself and from which you brainstorm your own answers to. It’s a way of reaching deep within your mind and your heart to retrieve answers that may not have surfaced to your conscious mind. Self-probing questions help you bring clarity to issues in your life that need to be solidified in your mind.

Need to be more visible?

For example, in one such entry of mine, I asked myself the question of what exactly are my dreams in life? What did I want to accomplish, see, or do in my life before I die? I brainstormed and wrote down every answer without evaluating or judging those answers and let me tell you, I came up with goals that I never even realized I had, but made sense to me after I realized that I did in fact have such goals in the back of my mind. Each week ask yourself an intuitive question and brainstorm answers on paper without evaluating them....just write them down. You might be surprised at how powerful this technique is. M WM Tristan Loo is the Founder of the Synergy Institute, a Personal

Development Firm based out of San Diego. Tristan is a former police officer, personal development coach, conflict negotiator, and author. Article Source:

Increase your business when you advertise on:

January/February 2009 | McKinney Woman


McKinney Woman Magazine Jan/Feb09  
McKinney Woman Magazine Jan/Feb09  

McKinney Woman Magazine