most popular

A Red Herring

A Red Herring

Weight is a red herring. 

It's the season of New Year's Resolutions. It's the time when a lot of people fixate on weight loss. 

I've mentioned in previous posts how people talk as if losing weight were some kind of magic tonic. It's starting to really piss me off because it's not the best barometer of health. Health is measured in a million different ways. 

You may want to be healthy. You may want to live a long time. But if you're focusing on the weight, you've caught a red herring. 

Proof of skinny

When I was in high school, I remember the day I looked around the room and started comparing my body to the other girls' bodies. 

Instead of seeing myself as a unique person, I felt like I needed to be thin like these beautiful cheerleaders, runners, lacrosse players, etc. I just wasn't "working hard enough". When I got to college in New York City,  the women were even thinner and even more beautiful. And again, I thought to myself, "What am I doing wrong that I don't have the body that these women have?" 

This is when I really started to get disordered around food because a normal person would see women this thin and think, "not for me." But, I saw these women the way a poor person sees a stock broker livin' large. I just kind of figured "I'm sure it's hard work, but if that woman could do it, I can too."

When you see thin people as something you can attain, every thin person looks like evidence that thinness is attainable. Thin people are not proof that being thin is a goal you can attain. All thin people really prove is that thin people exist.

And that's just it. Research shows that 95% of diets don't work. So, really, changing your body is not attainable. In fact, according to Isabel Foxen Duke and the famous Ancel Keys study, dieting actually physiologically sets you up for a binge. In fact, studies have correlated weight GAIN with dieting. 

In other words, changing your body weight beyond a certain range is physically impossible over the long term. 

So, instead of seeing all the thin people as moral, attractive, hard workers who just had the diligence and persistence to achieve what they had, think of them instead as people with natural blonde hair and brown eyes. They just have what they have. They may not have "worked for it."

You, my friend, are not your weight and neither are the thin people who you think you want to be. 

The Problem with Michael Pollan

The Problem with Michael Pollan

I've got a beef with the people who have problems with beef. Buckle up your seatbelts, kids. I'm about to criticize someone you likely hold dear: 

His name is Michael Pollan.

Before you close your browser window, personally I like the guy. I mean, I don't know him personally but he seems nice. I studied "human rights and food politics" in college for crying out loud. 

Forget love at first sight

I've been dating someone for almost 7 years. We are deeply in love. 

We met at a party when, let's just say, I did not exactly have my A game running for "traditional sex appeal."

 I was recovering from some of the worst acne in my life.  It was a toga party (please don't judge me).  I lamely only had a top part toga (AKA american apparel scarf that also turned into a shirt). I wore pants and a tank top underneath. For a party that was all about showing off skin, I was kind of covering it all up. 

If you know me, this nerdular style is pretty classic. I dress pretty functionally at parties because dancing is a priority. Looking cool is not. 

And that night, I met the love of my life. It wasn't exactly love at first sight. He didn't see my face and fall suddenly in love. It took getting to know me.  For me, I think it was love at first joke. 

Here's the nitty gritty: 

I'm going to call bullshit on this whole, "I just want to lose weight to be healthy" crap especially if you're single. 

I've said it once before and I'll say it again: If you eat fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, get good sleep, don't smoke, and limit alcohol intake to 1-2 drinks/day, weight is not a factor for increased risk of death.

I will believe you when you say that being less "traditionally attractive" means that you might not get laid that often. However, certain evidence suggests otherwise. Ergo, less sex=less healthy but that's all relative.  I haven't heard of a study that shows how more sex with strangers who judge you based on appearance is good for you. 

And, I'll give it to you. The media SUCKS.  We're not exposed to enough images of diverse bodies.

But REALLY. We need to stop forcing ourselves to be a part of this weird cult of skinny-only worship.  Most importantly, we need to stop caring about the opinions of the people who continue to buy into it. 

Here's how: 

1. Having sex with someone you care about and who cares about you tends to be better than someone who just sees your body as an object.

Source I'm going to cite here is Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the film Don Jon. I think it's on Netflix right now.  

Also, as I've pointed out before.  Self-objectification is not great for your self-esteem, happiness, or sex drive. 

2. If you're looking to fall in love, physical attraction should not really be the ONLY factor. 

Here's a fact: You are going to get old. Whoever you fall in love with is also going to get old unless they're a robot. They may be attractive now but, if you want to hang out with them for the rest of your life, you're going to need them to be more than just a pretty face.

Notably, many heterosexual women are attracted to men who are not "conventionally attractive." We know this because dad bod is a thing.  If physical appearance were the only important thing in a healthy sexual relationship, I just don't believe humans would still be on the planet. We evolved because of our brains not because of our plumage so maybe let's stop the sexist "evolutionary psychology" arguments for why being good looking is so important. 

3. Sex involves more than 1 of the 5 senses. 

We see. We hear. We taste. We smell. We touch. Maybe this is an overshare but it's those sensations and how people take care of you in that space that make for the most pleasurable experience.  Don Jon also taught me (spoiler alert) that you don't have to be a "dime" to be good in bed.

 4. As a human being, you deserve to experience whatever you want. 

We talked about this in my post about bikini bodies. We really shouldn't stop fully participating in our lives because we're worried about what people think. My home girl, Isabel Foxen Duke, has talked about this: You can have sex with the lights off and your t-shirt on. OR, you know, you can just do what you want.  

I want to invite you to be part of the bold and brave women of the world who are no longer the objects but the subjects of their sexual and romantic lives. 

Let's start a coup d'etat on the tyranny of love at first sight. 


Bikini Body

You know the feeling when it's time to take off your clothes..... 

and put on your swimsuit. 

I always used to put off shopping for a swim suit. Right around March, the spring break swimsuit line would start popping up at stores. Facebook ads for bikinis emerged as I pranced around the interwebs each day. 

The subtle and insidious approach of "swimsuit season" would lie just below the surface of my consciousness.  

I'd spend a few moments in the mirror after removing my 10th layer of sweaters and pants because it's still cold outside in New York in March. I'd do a quick evaluation, "Can I pull off a bikini right now?" 

I'd compare my body to Kate Upton's on the cover of Sports Illustrated thinking, "She's like 'curvy,'" so it felt fair. I'd note the cellulite on my butt and thighs, check my stomach, and my arms. 

Always, I was disappointed. I never measured up.   I'd vow to start the diet tomorrow whether it was no carbs, no cheese, no sugar, or just 200 fewer calories. I'd research causes of cellulite, belly fat and exercises to get "bikini ready."

UGHHHHHHHHH! Here's the stupidest thing: I spend like 10 days total a year in a bikini. I'm not even a beach bum. As a competitive swimmer, outdoor swimsuits for me have almost always been about being an athlete, swim instructor, or lifeguard (aka I wear a one piece because I actually need to be able to swim without letting all the goodies out). I legit don't really have that much time for the beach. 

Why the HELL did I spend so much of my life preparing for 10 days of the year?!!!

And so, here are some reasons why you, too, can stop caring about "getting bikini body ready:"

1. Your shape should never regulate your behavior. 

Many women don't do fun things in their life because they're worried about their appearance. As a water baby. I can tell you the beach is a blast and it should never be missed because you feel like you don't look like Kate Upton in a bikini. Um, hello, can you say body surfing? 

If you're really worried, go into the water and use the water as a cover up. The sand usually makes you pretty opaque. As a bonus, you can still soak up some sun because the water is reflective.  

If you're not a water baby, reading fiction and basking in the glory of our closest star to earth is truly transcendental. Just, you know: wear sunscreen, please. 

2. Support body diversity by being a diverse body. 

I just want to say you are definitely not the only human being on the beach without a magazine beach body. In fact, not even the people on the magazines have beach bodies. Any human who has watched one of those time-lapse videos of Photoshop magic knows that glossy magazine bodies are unicorns anyway. 

So, let's all help each other be satisfied with the bodies we all already have by showing them off. Studies show that seeing more diverse bodies makes people more comfortable with more diverse bodies which is kind of like, duh, but it's important. 

3. It's kind of feminist to wear a bikini whatever your size. 

As my home girl Laci Green mentions in this video, bikinis started as a form of liberation afters years of sexual repression so bikinis are kind #TBT feminism. 

Also, if it's hot outside and you want to go swimming, you should just go. Suffering is silly. You don't have to punish yourself any more, lady. 


Follow my blog with Bloglovin