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I Miss My Eating Disorder

Some days are harder than others. Some days I am extremely inspired and I feel good about my decision regarding dieting. On some days I miss my eating disorder.

On days that suck, I have to ask myself- would I feel upset if I didn’t percieve myself as fat? Of course not! This means the pain I feel is not regarding my choice to allow myself to listen to my hunger cues but from the decades of pain associated with having fat on my body. Feeling fat. Being told I am fat…and so on.

Socially it is not acceptable. There is not a person in my reality who has not said something to trigger my emotions regarding my eating disorder. Whether it be “oh, I think i lost some weight,” (like great, why is this so important?) or something as simple as “is that good for you,” (like it has calories and I am human- yes!) or the more triggering comments overheard like, “I’m just over here getting fat!” (Said by an extremely thin woman.) It is triggering because being fat is like the worst thing someone can be these days.

Photo by Dương Nhân

It’s a damn shame. Like have you heard any of the headlines- people are SUUUUFFFFFEERRRRINNNG FRFR! And I am over here trying to be okay with having fat on my body. WTF!?!

I understand that for so long I have let the food going into my mouth dictate my worth. I have let my body size and shape determine my worth. I have listened to what society has told me is acceptable and conformed. I have let society dictate my worth.

So when I let go of the control I have put over my body I wonder who I am but even more so, I trigger all of that emotion I was hiding while controlling my eating and movement regimen. It was all control over the emotion I was not willing to deal with from a lifetime of living in an “unacceptable” body.

Ahhhhh!! Today was so rough. I woke up to a Facebook memory of myself doing front squats with a smaller body and I quickly found myself drowning in self-doubt. I know that this is a process. You can’t just accept your body overnight. I have to remember that even when I was thinner there were always “goals” of changing something about it. Meaning there was NEVER real acceptance.

Today I missed my eating disorder. I wanted to ignore my hunger cues. I wanted to feel acceptable. I wanted to conform. I felt weak. There was pain. Dieting is a helluva drug.

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I Used To Believe In “Diet Culture.”

I used to believe that making my body smaller was showing my daughter’s strength. I now see I was only teaching them to conform.

I used to believe that my daughter’s were seeing me love myself. I now understand they were seeing me change my body so I could accept myself.

I used to believe my daughters were witnessing “a healthy mom.” I now see that I was showing them unhealthy obsessive behavior as positive.

I used to believe that as I shrunk my body I was teaching them how to be healthy. Now I see my daughters look in the mirror at their tummy’s every time they try something on.

I used to believe I was teaching them self-control. Now I see that I was showing them I was not worthy of enjoying the same foods as everyone else- due to by body type.

I used to believe I was breaking the family cycle of self-judgement. Now I see I was showing them to self-judge and self-regulate, accordingly.

I used to believe the lies of “diet culture.” Now I will have to teach my daughters how wrong I was.

(My middle daughter cried when I read this to her. )

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My Apologies For Being That Person

I am sorry for being that person. Being the person that posted numerous before/after photos saying “if I can do it, you can do it too.” (Which is not true at all.) Making everyone who follows me see that I believe that smaller bodies are better and more worthy to be praised. I am sorry for sharing my littler body as if it was some sort of trophy- like i had become more worthy because of the size of my body. I am sorry for upholding “diet culture’s” incessant banter associating body size and health. I am sorry for falsely claiming self-acceptance when all it was was me changing my true self into what society has told me to be for my entire life and thus making it easier to accept myself.

Photo by Engin Akyurt

My heart hurts. I cannot explain the disappointment I have in myself for buying into the idea that I have to fit into societies mold and standards of what a women’s body should look like, to be something in this world. I am sorry for making others feel like they are not as good because they are not able to achieve a shitty lifestyle of restriction and gym rituals that would last hours- sucking out all of my time and leaving my body stressed and tired.

My lifestyle was not balanced. I was obsessed with calories in & calories out. Although, I was praised for my dedication the truth is I was digging my emotional pain deeper and deeper inside myself with every hour I would spend in the gym. The praise was feeding my ego. My true self-acceptance was a hoax and I feel like a fraud.

I know we go through things in life to help us in the future. I know my yo-yo’ing will help me understand and connect with others who are dying to liberate themselves from the stone-age of “diet culture.” My sadness comes from shame but I plan to turn it into inspiration from the freedom I have found in allowing myself to be who I really am. I love to move- I love food & there is no reason I can’t have both!

I really am sorry. I promise to do better. All I want is for people to love and cherish and accept themselves for who they are; this includes me.

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The Reasons To Hit The Gym Are The Same Reasons To Stay Home (and eat ice cream)

The proof is in the pudding. Movement of any type can increase ones quality of life. All in all, it just makes ya feel good- if your body is asking for it! Sometimes we override our natural cues because we are told we “have” to go to the gym. In reality, if our body needs rest or more food, this could be the worst time to go.

I know your coach/trainer tells you don’t miss a day “yada-yada” but I am a fringe trainer who actually cares about your total well-being and not your transformation pics, telling you if your body is saying “rest,” fuckin’ rest, bruh! No one knows you like you know you. Not even a coach who has been coaching for years- a decade- an eternity. (P.S. If your fitness professional speaks about balance but has you on a strict fitness/ diet regimen you might want to google “balance” for them)

Here are the TOP 3 benefits of hitting the gym and following is the same 3 reasons to stay home, get into your pj’s and eat some ice cream watching GOT or whatever the kids are watching these days.

TOP 3 BENEFITS OF A GYM REGIMEN

  1. Body Awareness- Practicing strategic movements will help you gain awareness to your body’s strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Relieve Stress- No matter what method, moving your body is scientifically proven to release feel-good hormones and reduce external stressors.
  3. Increase Confidence- Hitting heavier weights or increasing your plank time can increase your self-confidence like a mutha.

TOP 3 BENEFITS OF STAYING HOME

  1. Body Awareness- Respecting your body for where it is at and honoring your natural cues for rest and/or fuel.
  2. Relieve Stress- It can be stressful feeling like you “have” to go to the gym. Respecting yourself without guilt will relieve stress. Also, the gym stresses our bodies out internally- sometimes the best thing you can do is rest and let your body regulate itself, instead of putting more stress on it.
  3. Increase Confidence- After listening to your cues you will gain confidence in choosing what is right for you in all aspects of life. You will gain the ability to say no with confidence! What a GIFT!

As you can see- the benefits are shockingly similar. Listening and honoring your body’s cues is super important- in fact, probably more important than like hitting weights. Sorry, not sorry. The things we do to our body transcends into all aspects of our life and if we are not listening to our body when it comes to fitness- we are likely to neglect it in other areas.

Love yourself- respect your body- honor your own cues!

Peace, loves!

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Excuse Me, While I Learn To Accept Myself For Who I Really Am

I don’t think anyone who has not stepped out of the “diet/fitness/health” box would understand what it feels like. I understand why people hold on when presented with the truth in the diversity of the human body. This may be the hardest personal truth I have ever had to deal with and the harshest of realities- which is a damn shame because the pain is coming from my lack of self-accpetance in the way my body naturally looks.

It is seriously painful to accept the idea that my body is fat. That the manipulation i have been putting it though for almost a decade is unhealthy and the greatest thing I can do for my overall health is to simply let it be- FAT!

During my weight loss journey I had come to the belief that I had gained all of this self-acceptance and confidence when in reality my self-acceptance was simply based off my success with changing my body into something more socially acceptable.

I am finding it such a challenge to accept myself now that my body has grown back to its small fat- high school years size. I am realizing I never accepted myself. Sure, I accept my intuition, my drive, my incessant need to grow and learn and push boundaries but my overall aesthetic- uhhh- is not something people desire to look like. Is never what I desired to look like. In fact I have been running so far away from this body for years- calling the escape “health” and “fitness”- never truly providing true self-compassion towards who I am as a physical human. In fact, it has all been self-loathing.

My addiction to the gym was so tied up in the way it was changing my aesthetics. I had guilt and shame around every bit of sugar entering my body- am I not worth indulgence? Is my body not allowed to have such things due to its type- FAT! Am I not allowed to enjoy the life I desire because the only way I accept myself is through a smaller body? (That I was NEVER truly happy with.) Comparing myself to others was a common thing, as well. My stomach was never flat enough, my boobs were always so droopy, my booty never round enough. So even though, I promoted self-acceptance and did a great job at inspiring people, did I ever truly accept myself?

My whole business was to help people accept themselves. Only to find that I am the one in need of help and self-compassion and love. I can’t even lie- I feel lost. I cry often. I try to fill my days with “things to do” to try to control the way I feel about myself. I know I will get through this and I will be stronger than EVER!

I just want to accept myself- I just want to be okay with who I am without having my whole life wrapped up in restriction and rigid, excessive exercise regimens. One of the only things I can control is what I am viewing on social media. Now excuse me while i unfollow everyone I used to grok with. I can’t do it anymore. I can’t fall in line with the industry and idea that I need to constantly be in this escape from the body I have been given.

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Thy Must Go To The Gym or LIVE a Treacherous Life & DIE

Contrary to what every gym, insta trainer or “coach” says going to the gym is not a pre-cursor to a fulfilling life. Neither is working towards a certain body type or the most coveted- “abs!

Sure, if you throughly enjoy using weights and other resistance like methods that are offered in the gym- then the gym is a great option for you! For those who HATE walking into the gym, who HATE to HIIT strenuous workouts, who HATE being around those who strut around in their tight clothing- checking every mirror they pass, the gym is not for you and you should not feel guilty in the least bit for not obtaining some gym-like ritual. It is simply not necessary. There are other ways to move.

Coincidentally, the worst thing anyone can do for themselves is create beliefs based off of marketing ploys and base their worth on whether they adhere to these programs. Unfortunately, this is capitalistic America. Everything we have been told throughout history has guided us from a profit-based standpoint.

The first thing you are taught when learning about marketing is about hitting the most painful aspect of your customers life. Since being “picture perfect” has been driven into our heads since birth, the diet/fitness/health industry have some really easy targets to drive home. They don’t even have to work to hard at it because it has all been done.

  • Tell Susan she is fat & this is not acceptable or healthy.
  • Remind her that her life sucks because of this.
  • Tell her you can change her body (and life) if she adheres to your program.
  • DONE! CUSTOMER IS NOW IN YOUR POCKET. (LITERALLY.)

Does anyone else think this is incredibly sad? Heartless, even?

BENEFITS TO GOING TO THE GYM:

  • It can make you feel better mentally (not if it is tied to guilt or shame.)
  • It can assist in weight loss (so can walking.)
  • It is good for your muscles & bones (so is walking.)
  • It can increase energy levels (so can walking.)
  • It can reduce risk of chronic disease (so can fast walking.)
  • It can help with sleep (so can any busy day full of activity.)

The thing is is you don’t have to go to a gym to have a better life. You really don’t have to change your body to have a better life! This is not a pre-requiste. What gives you a better life is doing the things you love to do- so if you don’t love to gym– don’t! Fuck what the industry has made society believe about gyms and DO YOU!

If you are one of those- I LOVE THE GYM- I LOVE WORKING OUT TYPES- ENJOY! (But I would still suggest examining why you love it because like I have found for myself it was based off aesthetics and therefore a very conditional coping mechanism.)

I am not against gyms- I host classes at a gym but I am super quick to tell my clients to stay home of they do not feel like “gyming.” I rather my clients choose the gym because they want to be there not because they feel some sort of guilt if they do not come. (Guilt can destroy mental health.)

I am against the “I NEED TO CHANGE MY BODY BECAUSE IT IS NOT WORTHY SO I WILL HIT THE GYM EVERYDAY UNTIL I CAN LOOK AT MYSELF IN THE MIRROR WITHOUT CRINGING.” Which- shocker- will NEVER happen! You will always want something to change. (Ask a seasonal bulker AKA yo-yo dieter.) The quest never ends and you will forever be chasing the body of an inspo girl.

I have a friend who loves to skateboard, my boyfriend loves to mountain bike, my mom loves yard work and painting (yeah, like wtf?!?.) All of these activities will support the benefits of a gym and some because they LOVE what they are doing. It’s an amazing thing.

Do what you love! Unfollow those who make you feel guilty for not loving what they love! And remember your body is an amazing gift no matter what the shape, color or size!

Please, Stop Putting Your Kid On A Diet

It’s like a thing. I know it is because while my middle child was hitting puberty, around 10, I started worrying that she was getting fat. I didn’t say a word to her but I am sure the food choices I was offering was to help her stay at a “healthy” weight. Which is now absolutely absurd as I think about it because at 12, she is taller than me and I do notice she is an incredible intuitive eater. She eats what she wants- as much as she wants- without guilt. I often times see her stop eating because she is full, as well. GOALS!!

Of course, any parent who has seen their child grow- knows the story, as your child starts growing up they gain weight and then they grow in height. This is a natural growth pattern. What is also natural is for all children to grow differently. Some are naturally thin, some are naturally fat, some are super athletic, some are not. Just like adults.

Diets slow down the metabolism, our bodies start to shut down systems that are not necessary for living because we are not giving them enough fuel to utilize. We are playing with fire- why do this to your kid? It’s setting them up for a lifelong battle with food and their body.

From my own experience as a fat child I can tell you that the emotional trauma of not being accepted for who you are will far outlast the puberty growth patterns. Telling your child “we need to watch your weight,” tells then they have done something wrong, there is something wrong and you do not approve of their innate body. This trauma will stick with them as they try to find their own self-worth and acceptance. As a parent, it is super important to accept them for who they are.

Photo by Agung Pandit Wiguna

As parents, we also have the awesome gift of sharing the world with them. New foods, new activities, new places- shit, what about self-care! A few weeks ago my oldest, who is not 13, says to me, “Mom, this summer I am going to be healthier…,” I was gritting my teeth- like I hope this is not about food- she goes, “like clean my room and shower and brush my teeth more often.” Proud mommy moment. Honestly, I feel like the best thing you can do is lead by example and also giving your child a chance to explore their own interests.

I have to touch on health issues, obviously, I am not a doctor and sure, diabetes is a thing, as well as other real live health issues facing our kids. You should, of course, listen to your doctor but still help your child understand it is the health condition and not them that needs the attention. Their bodies are just fine! It is the functions that need fine tuning. Don’t focus the attention to the weight but the changes in habits that can help the situation.

I also want to touch on the fact that most doctors are fat-phobic and they associate weight gain with un-health. My oldest, who has major growth and absorption issues- like we pray to sweet mother earth that she keeps growing– was told by an endocrinologist that she had gained too much weight within the 2 months time that we had seen her last. I knew it was complete bullshit but the question was still asked, “does she drink a lot of juice?” I was looking at the b like—

Doctors can have a biased view based off their own perspective, they don’t always know your child’s history, they may be seeing you but they don’t see the whole family tree, they are just not the experts on weight! They are the experts on medicine. If the doctor is worried about the growth pattern and you are too you should request a dietitian and one who works with the Heath At Every Size program.

Our children need us. They need our acceptance. They need our love. They need validation. They DO NOT need our fucked up perception of the human body and food. Let’s get real, we are all fucked by diet culture. Let’s change the paradigm- wouldn’t it be rad to see our childrens’ generation grow up with less eating disorders than what we see now? You do see what our kids are influenced by…we are their only hope! Saving your kid from a poor self-image can make the biggest different in their confidence and choices in life. You child is worth so much more than the shape and size of their body- be the first one to express this concept- for real.