Read this if you wish you hadn't finished that last slice of pizza.
I hope you had a pleasant Valentine's day and President's day weekend. Self-care is important. Self-care, self-love. Whatever you want to call it.
A lot of people (like yoga instructors and crystal enthusiasts) talk about self-care.
It always sounds like meditating in your kimono after a luxurious bubble bath. I should say that I am terrible at self-care. I think most Americans are too.
That's the reason this post came late. Last week, I hadn't gotten enough sleep. I was hungry and promised to hang out with a few people. Having gotten up at 5 AM, I felt I wasn't honoring the tradition of self-care if I sat down and wrote on a Friday night, even if it was about self-care. How could I write a blog post about it?
Today, I am pushing past the pain to write.
Because that's what we do. The reason that most of us struggle with self-care is that we feel like our bodies are thwarting our productivity.
This is otherwise known as "protestant work ethic." American culture highly values productivity at all costs. The "protestant" piece of this definition alludes to morality. We work hard because we want the American Dream (which is promised to those of us who are willing). We also work hard because it is MORAL. We feel like we aren't good people if we're not working hard.
We are always supposed to be working. But, let's just say, for the sake of argument, that you need rest.
For example, we all know, that sleep is necessary. Not getting enough sleep is equivalent to being intoxicated.
How many times do you find yourself giving up sleep in the service of some big pay-off? Whether it was making a diorama in 3rd grade or answering emails at midnight, you've likely given up a lot of sleep for school, your career, or relationships.
We have been conditioned to DENY our bodies for the greater good.
Many believe that our bodies are impure. If we left it up to our bodies, we think there'd be nothing but looting, pillaging, and cookie dough binges.
This belief prevents us from loving our bodies.
Love is, after all, about trust. This is at the crux of intuitive eating. We need to re-learn trust and respect for our bodies.
If you want to feel better about your body and food, the first and most important step is LISTENING.
Next week, I'll talk more about what self-care has to do with intuitive eating. Sign up below to get the post emailed to you directly!
Last year about this time, I talked about holiday stress.
Holidays are totally stressful. So, why add to the stress by trying to diet? Am I right?
As an avid reader, I'm assuming this year you've quit dieting. BUT... you've still got holiday shopping to do.
Being the generous person I am, I have compiled a list for your friends. Or, you can send it to your family as a wish list. ; )
Here are some body positive gift ideas for the ladies you love:
NOTE: This item is no longer available for pre-order. Details on a second run for early 2017 coming soon. Back by popular demand! I don't shine if you don't shine! Sport this this glittery round button and tell the world that you want to work alongside other women, never against them.
1. Shine Theory Button
Shine theory posits that women should hold each other up instead of cutting each other down. "I don't shine if you don't shine" is the refrain.
Supporting that special lady in your life is a pretty dope present. I've mentioned before how it can be pretty body positive.
So, tell your friend you've got their back with a shiny sticker or button.
Period-proof underwear that protects you from leaks and keeps you feeling dry. Shop our entire collection!
2. Period Panties
Here's something I haven't talked about before!
Periods. Are you uncomfortable yet?
"Western" women are "lucky." There's relatively less shame about periods than in some countries in the world.
Dealing with your period, however, can be literally painful sometimes and harming to your body. Do you know what they put in a lot of menstrual products? I don't. Nobody does. It's scary.
A major source of self-hatred for women is their period. We're ashamed. We feel ugly.
So, why not have something soft and silky? I'll admit I haven't tried it yet. But, I'm hoping I get a pair soon.
I recently attended my first Wanderlust Festival at Stratton. I laughed, I cried, I meditated. I listened to brilliant minds speak. I rode up 4,000 feet, over the most green, beautiful mountains I have ever seen. I shared hugs, tears, and glow sticks and danced my booty off.
My love of leggings is undeniable. I even wrote an article for Wanderlust where I talk about how leggings=body love.
My favorite feature of leggings is the elastic waist. When I'm trying to honor my hunger and my fullness, I don't want a tight button stopping me too soon. Sometimes, I feel like high-waisted jeans are the corsettes of the 21st century.Well, besides that weird thing Kim Kardashian was selling for a while.
A lot of companies have caught on to the leggings trend so I trust that you know where to look.
I recommend Athleta as they have straight and plus sizes.
4. Angry Chick Music
Sorry for the weird 90s reference. Does anybody say "chick" anymore?
Feeling revolutionary is what helps me to stay positive about my body. I often have the courage to love my body in the face of what the patriarchy wants and any ex-boyfriend.
Obviously Beyonce had a good year for music and she woke up like this. Nicki Minaj can remind you to love that fat ass. Fiona Apple will help you conquer your ex. No Doubt has "had it up to here." Le Tigre and Sleater Kinney will help you rise up and fight the power.
I made a Spotify playlist for some of the ones I like. The mixtape is the punk-rock flower. Maybe you can send your own recommended playlist with your holiday e-card?
Discover Body Positivity Is A Political Movement Women's T-Shirt from Christy Harrison's Store only on Teespring - Free Returns and 100% Guarantee - Quote from Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, CDN on ...
5. A t-shirt to remind them they don't need to diet.
A great t-shirt is a political act.
Thwart the retail industrial complex by buying something from alternative sources.
Etsy has a bunch of great resources. But, my friend, Christy Harrison, made some cool schwag. You can also check out her super cool and informative podcast, Food Psych.
6. A FREE coaching consultation with yours truly.
2017 is sure to be a tough year ahead. Wouldn't it be nice to have the body stuff out of sight and out of mind? That way you super smart ladies can focus on what really matters to you this year: each other. : )
I had originally planned a different post for this week. On election day, I was writing out all the reasons why you could skip the gym over the holidays. (Don't worry! This post is coming to you next week.)
I woke up Wednesday morning filled with dread and doom. I imagined some kind of apocalyptic future. Will American refugees flee to places where it feels safer to be ourselves?
The election of Donald Trump confirms a real human fear of mine. It makes me feel like hate is popular: sexism, racism, xenophobia, queerphobia, transphobia, ableism.
This fear has often made me feel isolated, like I'm not supposed to be here, like I don't belong on this planet. There's a great scene in the show, Happyish with Steve Coogan. He describes a general feeling like he's an alien marooned on Earth. This planet doesn't share his values. I often feel that way: like I'm waiting for the mothership.
And the body positive movement is an alien idea.
What is currently popular in our culture is dieting. It's being thin. It's being "sexy." It's making sure you don't have too much hair on your pussy. It's making sure your voice isn't too high or too low. It's being "likeable." It's fitting into all these impossible norms. You can't be too nice - you're a pushover. You can't be too mean - you're a bitch. If you're young, they don't take you seriously. If you're old, you're past your prime. If you're in between, you're probably going to have kids soon. So, you're not really worth the investment.
Here's the worst part: we actually believe that these impossible norms are attainable.
For the women who are fat, they should work hard to be skinny (even though diets don't work). We give women advice like "lean in" or "be more humble." We second-guess and rationalize that women are somehow responsible for their position. If we could just stop saying "like" so damn much, we might actually have equality.
But that is a lie. The real problem is not your pantsuit. It is the patriarchy.
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a very very slim margin. But, actually, FUCK BEING POPULAR. Fuck trying to attain what is unattainable. Let's stop trying to fit the mold. Because we never will.
Just like the 90s afterschool specials taught us, being popular is often not all it's cracked up to be. Being popular doesn't make you good or right. In fact, Billy Madison taught us that being popular makes you the villain.
I understand that it's easier to grow weeds than it is to grow a rose. I know that in the current culture, dandelions often fare better. In this election, the sexist white man did better. He had all the nutrients he needed to thrive.
It's easy to grow dandelions.
But, I have a problem with a field so full of weeds that we can't grow anything else. We can't grow tomatoes. We can't grow roses. In the context of this election, we couldn't grow feminism or equality.
Instead of trying to figure out how to grow dandelions, let's grow something else.
Please please please keep being who you are. Please please please keep being brave. Please please please don't let the weeds or the president prevent you from being the beautiful person that you are.
I was traveling this week. So, I didn't exactly have time to perfect all my latest thoughts on body positivity.
Some pups, some koalas, and some cockatoos did though. ; )
In the meantime, I wanted to show you what I've been up to lately.
Check out this Instagram page and share it with your friends.
Next week, I'll be back with more musings on how to quit dieting.