How do you adopt a glowing body image that is healthy and sustainable? What power lies in the influences that enter your life from your surroundings? Can boundaries help you reach your ideal self? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks with Marisa Abzug Callender and Dr. Frankie Bashan about all things body image, confidence, and self-worth!


Marisa is both a Certified Professional Business Coach and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT). She helps people get “unstuck” in their careers. Whether they want to start their own companies, find passion again in their current careers, learn how to talk to co-workers she can help move the process along. Because she is also an MFT, she can really help process any feelings and/or experiences that might be holding one back. Visit her website. Click here for a complimentary 30-minute consultation. Email Marisa:


Dr. Frankie is an optimist. She believes that love – finding it, sharing it, experiencing it - is within everyone’s reach. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t challenging. Making connections can be inspiring, fulfilling – and overwhelming. That’s why she launched Little Gay Book in 2009. As the premiere lesbian matchmaking service in the United States, she bridges connections between women who have everything – except for someone to share it with. Dr. Frankie is also pursuing board certification as a sex therapist and completed the CIIS certification program in December 2020 in order to incorporate a holistic approach to pleasure and sexual connection into both her matchmaking and my one-on-one practices. Visit her websites here and here. Connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Sign up for a free audio track of 12 Principles to a Successful First Date.


  • Confidence and health is more important than anything else
  • The connection between confidence and boundaries

Confidence and health is more important than anything else

Both in your private and business life, being and having confidence leads to a massive boost in productivity, building a positive body image, and feeling good.
There is no part of me that ever wants to be skinny again. I want to be strong and I want to be healthy. Not realizing it, I found that actually doing a workout, a fitness routine that actually made me stronger, resolved that part of me that always wanted to be really skinny and I knew I would never be able to have that body, I'm not designed that way. (Dr. Frankie)
The people that you surround yourself with as well as the surroundings that you find yourself in all have an impact on what you think is desirable and good. These standards will become the standards that you compare yourself to. If you make your standard being fit, strong, and healthy instead of being skinny and outwardly ‘desirable’, then try it. Instead of viewing your body as something separate from you that you have to change, change your daily habits and work with your body to become healthy and happy as a whole entity.

The connection between confidence and boundaries

Anything that you’ve decided is going to better yourself, setting boundaries and setting time aside to do that … whatever that is, I find that the ability to really find your own inner voice and have your own boundaries helps in every facet of your life, including body image. (Marisa Abzug-Callender)
Boundaries are an assertion of self-worth, and they are evidence of a commitment that you make to yourself and that you honor when you exercise them. You can place boundaries around your health in a way to help better yourself and as a way to say no to things that you do not want to have in your life, or influencing your life in some way. When you assert boundaries, you are actively protecting and guarding your ideal life against negative influences.
I think we have to be around people, like it helps to just be around people, women especially, who likes their bodies and are strong. It is very powerful. It was healing for me. (Dr. Frankie)



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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