Monday, May 19, 2014

Becoming A Fascinating Woman: Health And Happiness

In Helen Andelin's book, Fascinating Womanhood, she lists radiant health as one of the qualities of the ideal woman and suggests that it is a crucial quality to possess. She describes radiant health as,
...sparkling eyes, lustrous hair, a clear voice, buoyancy of manner, and the animation which good health brings to the face, and the vivacity it communicates to the thoughts.
Her guidelines for achieving are common sense. She suggests eating well, getting enough sleep, regular exercise, drinking plenty of water, getting fresh air, relaxing (mentally and physically), positive mental attitude, maintaining a healthy weight, and seeking proper treatment for internal disorders and ailments that can not be corrected by diet alone. 

Helen Andelin also stresses the importance of a clean, fresh appearance. Glowing skin and hair, manicured nails, clean teeth, fresh pressed clothes, polished shoes, and make-up are all suggestions for creating a healthy appearance.

Lastly, she suggests that there will be women that will not be able to display radiant health due to physical limitations. She suggests that keeping a positive mental attitude and displaying it through a happy and positive attitude will give the impression of health and keep you fascinating to your spouse.

In another chapter, Helen Andelin discusses what she calls radiant happiness. Radiant happiness is achieved by working on inner joy, practicing a radiant look (standing in front of the mirror after applying make-up and smiling until it looks natural), spreading joy to everyone we meet, and smiling through difficulties and misfortunes.

After reading the chapters on radiant health and happiness, I was left feeling that I should be diligent about my appearance of health, and even if I do not feel well, then I should fake it. By all means, never let on that I may be having a bad day and never a bad week. Of course, these suggestions do not apply if I am exerting childlike anger or using a childlike response, which made me chuckle a little. Also, I felt she stressed the importance of being thin too heavily. In the book, Helen Andelin  writes, 

If you have a chunky figure you cannot appear dainty, feminine or girlish, even with soft, flowing, feminine clothes. No matter what you do to disguise it, you cannot hide excess weight. When you get down to normal size, you will look many times more attractive in your clothes.  

I agree that I need to take care of my body and to strive for good health, but if being happy is as important as health, then I will never acquire today standards of thinness. I am not happy when I am hungry nor when I am over tired from a daily 90 minute exercise regime. Believe me, I have tried it, and I can not keep it up. And I am not that great of an actor!

After spending some time reflecting on the chapters, I came up with a short list to use to keep me focused on my health and happiness.

1. How I Feel: Eat a healthy diet to maintain blood sugar levels. Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Shower and brush my teeth daily.

2. How I Look: Put effort into getting dressed in clean, wrinkle free clothes. Fix my hair and make-up. Remind myself to smile more often.

3. How I Feel About How I Look: Pay attention to how my clothes fit. If I feel comfortable and pretty in them keep them. If I feel uncomfortable or think that something looks unflattering, put in the donate pile. Life is too short to hold on to clothes that do not make me happy.

For the most part, I already follow this list, but it felt good to write it down in my journal. I also thought about Chris's reactions towards my appearance. He compliments me just as often now after my recent weight gain as he did before it. It is nice to know that he thinks I am always pretty, no matter how chubby I am! Dare I scandalize you by suggesting that he likes me soft and curvy? His main concern is how in shape I am. He wants me to keep up with him, working along side of him in the yard and around the house. He also wants me to be able to play hard, taking the boys outside to run around and hike and swim. It is important for me to continue to exercise so that I can be the active woman he needs. 

I am confident that a happy and active woman is what fascinates my husband. 

Do you have any thoughts on radiant health and happiness? Do you think you health plays an important role in your relationship with your husband? I would love to discuss it with you in the comments. 

I am linking up at Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday. After all, clothing is an important part of radiant health, and dressing nice to attend mass is the highlight of my week. 

cardigan and shoes: Kohl's
top and scarf: Walmart
skirt: thredUP (use this link to get $10 towards your purchase, and I will get $10 towards my next purchase)
bracelet: Lia Sophia

Have a great week! 


  1. Hmmm...this book is a good reminder of how all of us mothers-wives should strive to be. It's easy to let some of those things slip as the stresses of parenting pile on (remembering those showers that I used to take every day...) I do agree that all the things you list are important, and there is probably a lot to be said for faking joy and good cheer even when one isn't exactly feeling it. Though...I don't think I could stay sane if I read a whole book about these matters, it would just push my stress limits way too high because it would just make me feel inadequate in just about every area. A little post about these matters is just perfect, so thanks for reading the book so that I don't have to!

    1. I am glad that you enjoyed my post. :)

  2. Oh what a fun bracelet! I love the sparkle :)

  3. I think you look great and I toatlly wouldn't worry about your weight. I mean, you want to be healthy, but you DO look healthy in that photo. And., I actually think a lot of men prefer a more "curvy" woman. I agree that good grooming and dressing well is important.

    1. Thank you, Amelia. I am not so much worried about my actual weight (although I do mention it because it is the result of letting a few bad habits develop while I was sick over the holidays). However, I do want to be physically fit because I love to hike and jog and be active outside. Right now, I do not have the energy that I used to have, and I need to change that.


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