2/10/18

None of us really know what "healthy" looks like

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash


Trigger warning: I mention weights, and sizes of famous actresses, and contain photos of them as well. If this is triggering to you please skip this article. If you need help dealing with an eating disorder please check out these resources. 



Shocker right?

I used to think I knew what healthy looked like. I thought it was a 5' 9" 130 lb, <20% body fat chick.  I thought it meant working out every day for at least two hours. That it meant really, really never having fatty, or sugary foods except on cheat days. That to be healthy meant that you had to make up for any "non-healthy" foods the next day by restricting calories or by working out at the gym.  I used to think that as long as you were skinny, you could really do anything else, like smoke cigarettes, binge drink, etc. and still be healthy.

I believed this because I thought the paragon of a healthy life was weight.

I recently saw a short article about actresses that were considered "fat" (I will use quotation marks to indicate the derogatory term) during their famous films, when in reality they were actually normal sized. And this article (which you can find here) really opened my eyes.

Most of the time when we discuss Hollywoods influence on our view of body image, and body size we discuss how they push us to attain an impossible, photoshopped image. And this is completely true. But, I realized that besides pushing us to attain a certain size, Hollywood normalizes potentially underweight body sizes, while ostracizing normal body sizes, not to mention making any actual fat characters out to be evil, stupid, or needing to lose the weight to really become happy.

America Ferrera circa 2004
Taking an example from the linked article, America Ferrera. Most of us know here from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants where she plays Carmen. Carmen is clearly the curvy, (aka "fat") friend of the group. The one who really shows the pants magic by impossibly fitting the "fat" girl as well as the skinny girls in the group.


Here's the fuckin' kick in the face-America Ferrera was a completely normal size. Average American girl, normal BMI (despite how useless BMI is) and everything. And I know that I saw her as the "fat" girl too.

I used to idolize people like Kierra Knightly or Natalie Portman (especially in Black Swan) because of how skinny they were. And I wanted to be that skinny.  I thought they looked great. But, looking back, I realize that their weights probably weren't very healthy for me, and possibly not healthy for them.

Now, don't get me wrong, being skinny is not bad. If you are a skinny chick, awesome rock it.

What I am saying is that more than likely, the actresses, actors, and images of people placed in front of us on the big screens are probably worked on a lot, for the sake of the money.

I realize more often how skewed our perception of a "healthy size" is when people are thinking that super skinny actresses are normal looking.  Super skinny is Hollywood normal, not the actual representation of the diversity of the human body, and I think it is high time that we start reminding ourselves of that.

Stella Maeve circa 2017
I noticed this when my husband commented on how Stella Maeve (from the amazing Syfy show "The Magicians") was a normal size.  Don't get me wrong, I think Stella does a fantastic job on the show, and she is certainly beautiful, but at 5'3" and 117 lbs, she is well below the average weight of 168 lbs for women of the same size in America. But we instead think that one is "normal" sized, while others are automatically categorized as "overweight" or "fat".  And so much of this is based on our very skewed perceptions of what "normal" bodies look like.

So next time you catch yourself wondering why you can't look like Stella Maeve, or Jessica Alba, or Angelina Jolie, just remember that while they are all amazing, beautiful women in their own right, their sizes, no matter how often shown and idolized by Hollywood, are not the norm.

You don't have to look like anyone but you, and everyone else only has to look like themselves, so celebrate that diversity, and remember that 99.9% of Hollywood films, photos, etc. are mostly an illusion anyway.



If you want to keep up with my blog posts, offers, and cool new projects be sure to sign up for my mailing list!

2/3/18

Diets & Capitlism

Photo by Fredrick Kearney Jr on Unsplash

I listened to an amazing episode of "All Fired Up" by Louise Adams where she is joined by Fiona Willer to dissect a new fad diet coming out in Australia called the "SuperFast" diet.  If you have time to listen to it, I highly recommend it! They dig into the backgrounds of the "experts" on the diets panels, and the "science" that is thrown around on the diet's website to sell their products to you.

And of course, they discuss a lot about marketing plans, and how everything in diet corporations is entirely geared to make you spend money all while feeling bad about yourself.

Since 95% of all people who lose weight will gain it all back, combined with huge amounts of pressure for us to constantly be losing weight, slimming down, working out, burning belly fat and fighting in every possible way against gaining weight, diet companies/products/sellers are basically GUARANTEED that they will have a huge steady flow of money for many years to come. Especially when you take into account the young children being prepped and geared towards dieting and dieting culture as young as EIGHT years old.  

Many diet programs even say that they expect weight gain to happen, and include a "plan" to make sure that you keep coming back to them! Some popular diet programs tell newcomers that they should make sure to come back every year after they have lost weight to do a "booster" diet to make sure those pesky Xlbs stay off of you! 

This is a common scare tactic to help keep people on programs, by pointing out that even if they CONTINUE to follow the diet exactly they will still gain weight (because it's what the human body does) and those pounds can "add up over time" so gosh dang it, you better avoid that or be considered a failure of a human being!

And diets make money in THOUSANDS of ways. Most obvious is the selling of programs, such as Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, or Medifast. These programs deliver food to you, and you are only responsible for marginal foods.  Whereas others, such as Weight Watchers don't really sell you food directly but instead offer "support" groups (where you get to weigh-in in front of a bunch of people in a room! Yay!), and others that focus more on exercise programs that come with "diet plans" such as P90X, South Beach, etc.

Other programs just straight up sell you high-caffeine pills full of whatever ingredients (because the FDA has NO idea what is actually in diet pills and has no legal way of regulating them before they hit shelves) off the shelves in Walmart. All with the same promise that you can eat whatever you want, and lose weight without exercising! All the while wreaking your liver, mental health, and making your heart go through hell, all for the sake of losing weight. 

"Now wait," you might say, " [Insert someone you know or even you!] was on [diet] and lost Xlbs and have kept it off!" 

We all know someone like that, or maybe we have been, or currently are that person.  But remember, keeping lost weight off can be a fucking exhausting time for that person. Studies show that as you go on diets, and lose weight, your body essentially thinks that you are experiencing a famine period. As in, it doesn't think there is a lot of food around, so it needs to conserve its energy.  Calories, fat, protein, carbs, all of that is energy.  So as your dieting, and your weight is dropping your metabolism is slowing down. The longer you are on the diet, or the more diets you go on (yo-yo dieting) the slower your metabolism becomes.

Many studies around "The Biggest Loser" contestants have shown that at the end of the show, their bodies burn 500 calories less than what they originally were. This means that to continue to keep the weight off, they will consistently have to eat less than a person of the same size who has not lost weight.  This is due to the effect that dieting has on your metabolism.


Metabolism is a fancy word for your body processing energy. It's an umbrella term for all the little reactions, chemical streams, break-downs, building-ups, storage,  and expulsion that occurs in any living human body. To fuel the metabolism your body uses what you feed it to get the energy to run the giant mechanism of you!

But, when we restrict that energy our metabolism slows down to accommodate for the energy change. It has to ration out the energy it does receive on a smaller basis. 

Think of any time you have had to gas up your car, but you HAD to wait until pay-day.  You don't just run your car anymore to heat it up, and you aren't making any unexpected trips either. You're conserving the gas in the car for things you absolutely have to be able to make (work, court, school, etc.). Versus when you have a full tank and you know that the minute you need more gas you can go more, you drive that car all over, picking up friends, going to the movies and eating out.

It's the same with your body. If it is low on energy and not sure when you are going to fuel it again, it's gonna ration out what it has. And it's the same no matter how fast or how slowly you lose the weight. No matter how you do it, you have to continually eat less amount of calories, or burn more calories just to continue to keep the weight off, much less lose more weight. 

And no matter how you look at it, capitalism and corporations are what benefit from dieting. Not you, not us, and certainly not society. 

And they do all of this by putting all the blame on you! 

If you are responsible for failing the diet (and not the other way around) then you will try again. You will attempt to be better next time. If one program didn't "work" for you, you will just try another, because this program will really work. 

We have been feeding the diet corporate monster for SO LONG that we find it NORMAL. It's NORMAL to spend so much time out of our day thinking about weight, and what to eat, or not eat, when to go to the gym, and wondering if we will lose enough weight to fit into a dress that we will wear once. It's NORMAL to literally BOND with other humans over the hatred of fat, and the desire and the pursuit of losing weight.

We find it normal to exhaust our minds by starving them, to exhaust and punish our bodies to the point of injury for the sake of losing weight. We have created a society so obsessed with the focus on weight loss that we don't have the time, or energy to focus on whats important, much less fight for those things. And that needs to change.

I've said it before, and I will say it again, if I had put HALF of the effort into other parts of my life, that I did with dieting, I think my life would be a lot different, maybe even better and that makes me mad. Mad that I bought into all this bullshit, and wasted some much of my time, my energy and my money on something that is virtually unattainable for bullshit reasons that corporations tell me to believe.  And I hope that when you realize how much of your time has been wasted on that, you will get mad too.  


1/27/18

Keeping My Shit Together

Photo by Jonas Verstuyft on Unsplash

This week has been a whirlwind for me! I started a new job that's full time, and requires to get up around 5 am to get there on time and ready to go.  I'm really enjoying learning new things, and the work environment seems really positive which I'm very much enjoying.

But that also means, for the first time in a while, that I'm actually writing this blog post the DAY that I'm going to be putting it up.

Needless to say, I'm definitely going to have to sit down, look at my schedule, free time, and change it up a little bit so I can keep all my plates spinning gracefully.

But with all the new happening it is really giving me a chance to really find my "why". Not like my big, life-meaning why just the why for my journey towards intuitive eating and body positivity and where I'm wanting to go with it.

For instance, I'm hearing more diet talk now. How people don't want to look like "cows", how they have "never been this heavy in their life" and how they "have" to lose weight before summer time.  On one hand, it makes me sad, because so much of the joy that these people are able to get of their lives is dependent on their weight if they can lose weight, etc.  And some days it makes me see my body a little bit differently some days. I'll start worrying about if my butt looks too gross in my jeggings, or if I should cut back on bread.

But that is where my why comes in. Because I remember those days, where I couldn't really recall what I was doing, but I damn sure knew how much I weighed. The panic attacks when you feel like none of your clothes make you look skinny enough, the cravings for all the foods you can't have and then binging on them because you're just too "weak".

My why is to actually experience my life in the moment, and to love my body and having a healthy relationship with it so that I can experience what I want to instead of letting my weight impact my experiences.

Some days this means I have to go look in a mirror and just lovingly rub my belly and arms and take cute pictures of myself to send to friends to just remind myself that my body is not my end of self. I can still do amazing things, have amazing relationships and have great days regardless of what my body may be doing size wise.

What am I struggling with?

Well, I'm struggling with meal planning. With me working longer hours, and now needing to pack lunches for myself as well, means that this week was a lot of thrown together foodstuffs to make it through the day.  I knew I should probably have some vegetables, but I just couldn't muster the energy when I get home. So I know that to make sure I'm providing my body with things like vegetables, and chicken and stuffs that I will have to probably start to "meal prep" where I cook a whole bunch of shit on a Sunday that way it is ready to go for lunch or to heat up real quick for dinner.

And holy shit is meal prep hard when you are trying to stay away from diets.  Cause I go to Pinterest for recipes like everyone else, and man if you just used Pinterest to gauge what meal planning is for, you would think it was to exclusively lose weight. All sorts of meal planning pins have claims like "paleo! Gluten-free! 21-day fix! Lose weight with meal planning!" etc. and damn it was exhausting.

I just want recipes! Not diet b.s.!
I just want to meal-plan so that I'm not starving at work, and so I don't have to cook a meal when I get home!

But I did find some that I think are gonna be delicious and will (hopefully) hold well over the course of a week.

What am I doing great at?

I'm doing great right now with positive body movement. My new job is a desk job, which means I'm sitting for basically 8 hours.  Thankfully I was taken on a little walk for my first break and I realized how much my body appreciated it, especially after sitting for so long. It really felt good to just stretch my legs. And I swear going outside, even for a little bit helps boost my mood and brain because I get to see the sky, and the sun, and breathe some fresh air for a minute.  So I'm really enjoying that and I think my body is too!


What is your why?  Please share them with me in the comments below!  If you liked this post and you want to start on your own intuitive eating journey, be sure to sign up for my free 7-day intuitive eating guide here!

1/20/18

Self-care activities to try even when you are struggling with your body

Photo by Dc Lovensky on Unsplash


Self-care is quite the buzzword these days, and for good reason. We are starting to understand more and more how integral self-care is to our health and wellbeing.

We are starting to view the body as an actual living, breathing thing with limits, and needs, instead of a machine that will just keep going as long as we will it to.

We all have practiced some form of self-care over the years, but the heart of self-care is the intentionality behind, not just going through the movements. And it requires you to be in touch with your mental, and physical state.

So in our hectic, capitalistic world, where money, production, and the bottom line seem to be the only thing that matters, self-care is not only a form of caring for yourself but also a form of revolution.

So how do you start to practice self-care?

You have to block out some time that is exclusive towards making you feel good.  Not a time for you to worry about your children, your dog, your family, etc. Just a time where you are the focus of your care and the important thing is to make you feel valued, safe, and comforted.

The amount of time, and how often you make this time for yourself can vary according to your needs and schedule. What is important is that it is consistent.  You can do ten-minute blocks during the week, and three-hour blocks on the weekend. You can do it once a week, or every 2 days.  Whatever feels right for you, and remember you can always change it up as needed.

So what can you do for self-care?

Literally, anything that feels right to you. But, I have included a list of things that you can try to help spark inspiration.

Napping  

Holy-hell, what is better than napping? Very, very, very few things.  Studies have shown that the majority of American adults are chronically sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation (even "marginal" amounts) can result in mood and anxiety problems, problems making decisions, and missing crucial details and/or problems.

So chances are, you and your body need sleep.

Naps are a great way to get some more sleep into your day, naps can help to energize us, help us to focus better, and lower stress levels.

I normally nap for about 45 minutes during the week, and 90 minutes on the weekend. If you want more information on how to make naptime work for your life check out this helpful article.

Meditation

On the surface, meditation may not look like a self-care activity.  You sit there, silently, doing nothing, silently, and that's it!

But in reality, you are FINALLY giving your mind a break from the constant noise, decisions, and stress that come with living everyday life. At work, we must constantly make decisions, get things done and communicate with others. When we get home we are taking care of others, getting things done around the house, or on our phones, tablets or televisions. We never really give our mind intentional space.

Even small increments of meditation can help to improve your mood, help you to feel calmer, helps your brain to process and prioritize. It has even been shown to increase gray matter in the brain, and help you to more empathetic with others, and even more productive!

Sometimes less is more, and taking just a small chunk (even just 10 minutes!) can drastically improve your day. If you want to start your meditation habit today and want a little help check out the best meditation apps for 2017!

Pamper Your Self

Maybe you like your self-care to be more hands on? Then pampering is a great choice!

There is a huge variety to choose from when it comes to pampering. You can have your hair done, you can get a facial (or do one at home!), paint your nails, have a massage, or just take a bath with some bubbles and maybe a side of champagne.

If it helps you to relax, and it makes you feel more in touch with your body, go for it!

Journaling

Writing things down will never go out of style. Whether you type it in your phone, scribble on a napkin, or just jot a few lines down in your planner, journaling can help you to keep track of your moods, feelings, and most importantly can help you to work through any issues you may be having.

Sometimes answers come to you when you write, other times we are able to see patterns, or gaps in our thinking when we read our entries later.

Not only will you feel better during stressful times (when you just HAVE to get everything off your chest), but it will also help you to flex your grateful muscles during the good times too. Journaling is a great way to work through hard times and to remember the good, so don't feel like you can only journal one way.

If you plan on using pen and paper for your journals I will always recommend finding a beautiful journal that you just love, and filling it up!

If you prefer apps, there are many different journaling options to choose from.

And you can even use a blog to express your feelings to like-minded individuals, privately, or even ananomysly if you so wish!

Coloring Books

So my slight obsession with adult coloring books began about two years ago. I love them so much. They are beautiful, soothing, and when you are done with an image you feel super proud of yourself, and put your own images on the fridge because you are an adult.

My own coloring! The book can be found here.


It takes you back to your childhood but with pictures and images that take much more time and finesses then your own childhood coloring books, and they have all sorts of themes. You can color animals, landscapes, plants, curse words, and there are even several body-positive coloring books as well!

So pick out a book that moves you, invest in some nice coloring pens, pencils, or markers and have a ball!

Watching soothing videos

With Instagram, Youtube, and Twitch readily available to most of us, soothing videos can be a great way to relax and get your mind grounded again.

Maybe you love watching the cool slime videos, or maybe some of those Dr. Pimple Popper videos are the way to help you sleep.  Videos of calligraphy, painting, and even just mixing paints together are all great ways to help soothe your soul.

Even just lyrical videos with beautiful abstract images or the video proven to calm your anxiety with the light drones are amazing.

How does self-care help, even if you are struggling with your body/body image?

It reminds you that you deserve to be cared for, to take time for you, and to feel good, even if you are not loving what you see in the mirror today.

No matter how you feel about your body, you (and your body) still deserve to feel good.  Punishing yourself, or your body for not looking how you wish it to (or how society tells you it should look) is just part of a vicious cycle that we want to break, not continue.


How do you take care of yourself even when you aren't in love with your body right now? Let me know in the comments!


1/13/18

Birthday knowledge

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

My birthday was Tuesday, so shout-out to all my other Capricorns, cause we rock!

So I figured it was only appropriate to share tips and tidbits that I have learned on my body positive journey from the past year.

1. The way you eat when you first give up dieting doesn't last forever.

When you finally give yourself unconditional permission to eat, your body hops into a tad of an overdrive. Almost like a child, it is testing the water and making sure you really mean unconditional permission for anything.

So while at first it may feel like all you are eating is ice cream, sugar cookies, and cereal, it will balance out.  I remember the surprise I felt when I realizeed that I was hungry for crunchy lettuce on a sandwich.  And it tasted amazing.

2. Treat and reward yourself as you are now.

I hadn't seriously bought new clothes for myself (like fun going out clothes, etc) in several years, beacause I didn't see the point in it if I was just going to lose weight. So I thought I would just wait for my goal weight before buying any more clothes. And then of course throwing out any clothes that were too baggy as a sad attempt to discourage weight gain (because that's totally how weight gain works!)

But this year I wanted to use the christmas money I was gifted to go buy clothes that made me feel sexy, made me look good, and most importantly fit my body as it was today. Not based on a future me, not clothes so tight that instead of enjoying them it would just be a reminder that I needed to lose more weight before I could really enjoy myself.

Just remember that if you want some nice clothes, if you want to treat yourself to a spa day, or if you just want to buy yourself a little something at the cafe, don't feel like you can't have nice things just because your body is not where you wish it was. So next time you see a cute pair of underwear, or an adorable pair of earrings get them.  You still deserve nice things, no matter where you and your body are at.

3. Understanding that body positivity is NOT limited to weight

I used to think that body positivity was solely in the realm of weight acceptance.  And it isn't. Body positivity also includes people who have disabled bodies, bodies in transition, and bodies that are not white, cis-normative, or abled.

It includes things such as making sure there is wheelchair access in the world around you, and that everyone has a safe environment where they do not feel attacked or unsafe.

It also includes the language we use in the body positive movement as well. For instance, I thought body positivity meant not wanting to change your body, and I later realized that that is very limiting to the trans community of people who do want to change their bodies to reflect better on who they are.

And most importantly body positivity is NOT limited to feelings.  It is also about fighting for equal opportunity rights for trans and no-binary people. Equal access to buildings and jobs for those who have disabilities and other physical limitations. And fighting against discrimination against people based on these things as well as their size.

Body positivity is not just personal, it is political, and it involves the community.

4. You have to change the world you see.

As I have been progressing through my own body positive journey, I started to realize how thin, white and cis-normative my social media feed was. Here I was, spouting body positivity and yet I still wasn't hearing/seeing stories from people who are affected the most by size discrimination, transphobia, or racism.

So I have had to make an effort to make sure I am following the people who are the main voices of these stories, and by seeking out blogs, and other social media forms that are made and produced by these voices. Because I want to promote and listen to the people whose voices should be heard.

By changing the world you see you will discover your own short-comings and bias that come towards different body sizes, abilities, colors, and identities. For us to move forward in the world we have to confront these within ourselves so that we can start moving towards a better future.

5. You will find out that you are hiding a bunch of shit behind your desire to lose weight.

This one surprised me. I knew that I would be able to more productive, and focus on things that would actually improve my life; when I wasn't focused on making sure that the scale was a lower number in the morning. But I didn't expect all this other crap to float to the surface.

For instance, now that I am in a better place with my body, and I'm trusting it's cues when it tells me it's hungry, or tired or thirsty; I'm now starting to realize how much I haven't been trusting my emotions for the past year or so.

Only now, without the noise and focus on weight, am I starting to see how much I don't trust my emotions. I'm realizing that I've blcoked myself from really connecting with others out of fear of rejection, and how I avoid music and movies that might have sad moments because I don't want to feel sad, because I don't trust myself when I feel sad. I'm so used to my emotions becoming so overwhelming that instead of learning to work with my emotions that I just shut them down instead.

6. Learning to trust your body is a long, and sometimes uncomfortable, process. 

So many of us have been taught our entire lives to not trust our body. Whether being told we can't actually be hungry because we just ate, being told to push past pain to exercise, or that we aren't really tired, just lazy. 

Other than when to go to the bathroom, we have been taught at every other turn to not trust what our body wants, feels, or communicates to us. We have been taught that our body is something to be at war with for all time. It is disgusting, animalistic and unrefined. We must beat it, starve it, and work it into submission, because to listen to, or obey your body is essentially failure. It must produce at all times, it must be "healthy" at all times, and it must conform to what idiologiey (no matter how ridiculous) at all times. 

Learning to trust our bodies signals again takes time. We are going from a dominating relationship with our body to an inter-dependent relationship. And that takes a lot of time, effort, and mistakes. But, we will get there. 

7. You realize how ridiculous it is to use weight as a measure of health.

Seriously, it is.  I used to think that it was one of the best markers of health, but looking at the research, the long term effects, and the simple failure rate of weight maintenance, it just becomes more and more clear that using weight as a health marker is just as ridiculous as using our height as a health marker. 

Getting mad at our bodies (or others) for not conforming to a certain weight is just as inane as being upset at your body for not getting taller or shorter at your command. Your body has a set height, and your body has a weight it is comfortable at. And I'm tired of fighitng my body over what it needs, what it is naturally comfortable at, and I'm tired of putting the mental strain and punishment on my body for things like that. 

8. You deserve to be happy as you are. 

This took a while for me to understand, but it becomes more and more true the longer I stick with intuitive eating and body positivity. 

I deserve to be happy, to be treated with respect, to be loved, valued, and supported exactly as I am now, and however my body changes in the future. 

Happiness is not something you have to earn, self-love does not come at the price of your mental health, or your physical well-being.  Treating your body with respect does not include weighing it every day, and restricting foods for the sake of a pound or two.

So here is to another awesome year of growing, learning, and happiness. I'm so happy that I started this blog, and I'm so glad that I have been able to share my journey with you guys. I hope I am helping you on your own journey.

PLUR-2018. 

What are you starting to learn for yourself on your intuitive eating journey? I would love to hear your experiences! Just let me know in the comments!

1/6/18

Survive dieting month

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

January is an awesome month for a couple of reasons. One, it's my birthday month, two it's the beginning of a new year and everyone is feeling good with that "fresh slate" feeling. People for the most part are a little bit more optamistic and upbeat as they strive in their own different ways to improve their life and wellbeing.

Unfortunately, some of these "improvements" that many people participate in are diets.  And January is basically known as dieting month. Everyone is now going to the gym hardcore, bringing salads for lunch, and telling everyone how they are cutting out this food, and how they "don't eat X anymore".

It's a hard month for anyone, but it can be especially trying if you are starting on your intuitive eating journey, because seeing everyone's dieting "success" and hearing the alluring pull of psuedo-science thast is passed on from dieter to dieter, it can be hard not to want to jump back on the dieting boat in the hope that this time, it will be different.

So I've put together a few tips on what you can do to make dieting month easier on you and your well being. I know they will come in handy, and if you want to share any of your own tips, I would love for you to let me know in the comments below!

1. CLEAN UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FEED

This is the ultimate suggestion that I can give anyone. Social media is where the majority of us spend our time at any given moment and it can really affect how we see our world. So start by unfollowing pages, groups and people that promote weight loss, diets, and fat shaming.

On Facebook you can even have influence over the ADS that are shown to you in your news feed. Tired of seeing that weightloss ad for Medifast? Just click those useful dots in the right hand corner and tell Facebook that you do not want to see ads like that anymore!

Watch as stress melts away when you are actually seeing shit on your feed that you want to see, instead of being bombarded left and right about how you should lose weight, feel bad about what you are eating, or how you have #NOEXCUSES to not be exercising right now.

2. Make your social media feed body positive

Now that you have cleaned up your social media feeds, make them better by following body positive groups, pages, and folks.

A great place to start would be to follow The Militant Baker, BodyPosi Panda, and Fat Girl Flow (links are to their Facebook pages, but they do have profiles on Twitter and Instagram as well).

If you are looking to amp up your Instagram then check out this amazing master list by the Militant Baker for diversifying your Instagram feed.

3. Know your boundaries
Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash

At work, and even with some of your friends and loved ones, you may be hearing people talking about their diets, weight loss, or body shaming themselves. Often with words such as "gross", "disgusting", "cow", and *vomit noises*.

This is where knowing your personal boundaries and/or triggers will come into play.  If it is triggering to you to hear people discuss how they have lost "x" amount of weight, eat only "x" amount of calories, or how they completely don't eat a certain food group anymore, there are several optionst that you can take when they occur.

If you are comfortable with the speaker ask them to please respect your wishes to not discuss those topics with you.  If you are in a more formal setting, such as work, you may have to simply excuse yourself from the conversation for a few minutes.  Changing the subject can work as well, but I know not everyone would be comfortable with that.

4. Make time for yourself

With the extra stress that comes with the New Year, and having to listen to everyones diet plans, and seeing their before and after weight loss photos on the internet, it is imperative that you take intentional time for yourself.

Do something that honors your body as it is right now, while also making you feel good.  You can take a bath, paint your nails, read, watch a movie, taking a nap, gentle yoga, and meditation are all great options.

5. Get professional help

If the stress is getting difficult to handle on your own, or if you feel lost, hopeless, or worthless please  do not hesistate to reach out for help.

For resources on finding a health at every size pracitioner click here.

If you need resources on finding care for cheap or free check out here.

6. Remember this won't last forever

For the most part, the intenisty that is happening right now WILL die down.  Eventually people will go back to a more regular and balanced life and will have other things to discuss and share other than their body size, weight loss, or meal plan for the week.

Like most things in life, this moment is temporary and you will get through it.


If you want to start you intuitive eating journey then sign up for my free 7-day intuitive eating guide here!


How do you handle the New Year's dieting month?  Make sure to leave me a comment and let me know!

12/31/17

My 2018 Resolutions

Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash

I've always enjoyed making resolutions since I was in elementary school. I use the ritual to make a long-term "road map" for my year, and I use it to renew myself in my energy and motivation towards certain things.

Unfortunately, the majority of my resolutions have always focused on weight, food, and exercise.

But now, moving away from those sorts of resolutions I can now focus my attention fully on things I have been avoiding over the years, and focus on things that I feel will truly make a difference in my life.  I never realized how often I used dieting and weight loss as a way to avoid focusing on problems in my life, and you can read more about that here.

What is my main focus?

My two broad focuses for this year are learning to be uncomfortable and to focus my time on things that truly fulfill me and propel my life where I want it to go.

Learning to be uncomfortable
Since I have embarked on my intuitive eating journey I realized how many things in my life I had been avoiding by focusing my time and energy on weight loss.  I have no idea how my student loans are doing, I have no active role in my household finances, and I spend the majority of my time sleeping or avoiding doing anything by watching hours of television or hiding away in a book.

I do all this because I hated being uncomfortable, and the idea of actually doing anything about these huge daunting tasks was paralyzing. So instead of breaking it down into manageable chunks or asking for help I simply stuck my head in the sand.

I want to learn to accept being uncomfortable and to actually work on whatever the problem is.  I plan on executing this by focusing on things I know I should have been paying more attention to, such as my finances, and actually learning about them, and taking an active role in them.

Prioritizing my time
This past year I have noticed that I spend a lot of my time sleeping, watching tv, reading, or on my phone.

All of these things are not bad, and can totally be part of a healthy lifestyle, but I have been abusing these for a while.  My anxiety has gone through some major shifts this year, and instead of prioritizing my time towards things that would improve my life, my situation, or just my general wellbeing, I have been letting myself numb out with escapism.

So I plan on making sure I prioritize my to-do list and add those things to my schedule as I go along.  The hardest part will be making sure that I actually do it! I know this will take longer than a year to truly get down, but it's time to start pushing myself even if I am feeling anxious.

The Resolutions

Practicing small talk
I absolutely hate small talk. I think it is an awful waste of space, it's awkward, it isn't meaningful. But it is important for not only business spaces but also in making new friends.  You have to talk about something and most people do not want to talk/argue about politics/religion/sex in their first meeting with you.  Doubly so for work since that would be hugely problematic. So learning to at least manage small talk is important for not only my expanding career horizons, but it will also directly affect my ability to connect with new people.

How do I plan on practicing it?
I plan on texting/calling friends and family a LOT more often than I have been this past year.  This will get me used to talking about small things more, and it will help me to tackle the awkward feeling I get when I need to talk to people but it isn't necessary.

I am also going to talk to at least one person I don't freakin' know, every day. Whether it is through the internet, or in person. Even if it is just a "hi, how are you!" I'm gonna do it. Because I need to stop being so paralyzed around strangers. Baby steps right? So if someone yells "Hi" at you and then mumbles around for five seconds and then runs, it was probably me.

Take an active role in my finances
I know, I am a super shitty adult. But I'm trying, lord knows. I've basically only taken a keen interest in my finances maybe three times in my life. And then I realized it was super depressing, so I stopped doing it. Now my husband takes care of it, and he enjoys it, but, I need to at least understand what is going on with my finances, and not just rely on him to explain it to me at all times.

How do I plan on practicing it?
By reading at least one finance book this year, so if you have any recommendations please let me know in the comments!

I also will go over our budget once a week, so that I will be on the same page as my husband.

Daily 10-minute meditation
Meditation helps me so much, and I have been practicing on and off for years. But this year I want to carve out 10 minutes every day for it. I feel better when I do it, I think better when I do it, and I will swear to the day I die that it makes managing my emotions much easier.

Taking intentional time for myself
I'm still not sure on how often this needs to be, I want to do it at least once a week, but I don't know if daily would be too much?

But I want to take intentional time for myself, where I do something for me that actually makes me feel good. Whether it's coloring, painting my nails, going to the park, or just curling up with a book for an hour or two.  Instead of just winging my self-care, I want to be intentional about it.

Becoming involved in my community to bring about positive change
So this still needs a lot of details to be ironed out. But roughly I want to be able to actually back up what I say.  I want to donate either time or money to the causes I believe in.  Whether that is giving community talks, attending a Women's March, or donating to Planned Parenthood.  I have to see what I'm financially capable of (see above) and what events I can physically attend. But I want to do more for my beliefs and more for my community.

This will also utilize my focus and prioritization skills as well, since I cannot feasibly donate all my money, and attend everything in the history of the world.  So I will have a chance to really hone in on not only what is important to me but what really moves me.

So this is not so much a resolution, but a challenge for me to fulfill this year.

What resolutions or challenges are you setting for yourself this year? Share them below, if you would like accountability just send me an email!  I know we can all accomplish something this year, and we will learn loads along the way!

So Happy New Year! And may it be happy, bright, and fulfilling!




None of us really know what "healthy" looks like

Photo by  Alex Iby  on  Unsplash Trigger warning: I mention weights, and sizes of famous actresses, and contain photos of them as well...