Within every group of women there’s this underlying current of conversation; an implied concept that the entire group is aware of but may not realize is affecting all the other women on this continent, outside of their immediate friend group. I mean, we’re told that it does – but I don’t necessary think we always believe it.
So I want to take a moment and preface this post by saying that these words aren’t intended for any of you gentlemen who may have stumbled upon my writings. This is a post to acknowledge a truth that we women live with on the daily.
Guys, you’re more than welcome to keep reading, (might provide some obscure enlightenment), but this is your official out.
Now, ladies. Hi! I’m honored that you would spend your moments with me. Recently I’ve had this conversation with multiple, wonderful women on separate occasions and it occurred to me – This is something we should ALL be talking about. Together.
Enough of this ubiquitous isolation.
What’s the one thing we’ve been dwelling on since the Renaissance ended? No, not a lack of art or culture.
I’m talking about.. O U R S I Z E.
It’s more than just the idea that success and dress size are directly correlated. It’s the idea that society encourages each of us to take up the least amount of space possible.
While guys slouch with their legs apart, taking up one and half seats on a bus, women are subtly told that, in order to be considered, we must take up less room; so we shrink down. Physically, as well as in voice and statute.
As humans, we are a trinity of sorts – body, mind, & spirit – but our body is the only thing we have actual control over. So we “vote our body off the island” as Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton*, says.
And for those of us who are outspoken in spirit, and weird in mind, we do everything we can to beg our body into conformity.
Case in point – I once heard some guy tout on a talk show that the only successful female comedians are the pretty ones. This filter clearly doesn’t apply to Jonah Hill or Zach Galifianakis.
Even weirder still, we begrudgingly oblige to these standards, but we’re also kinda pissed about it. Which creates this misplaced loathing that can translate into obscure eating patterns. Oh the irony.
But we get so much pleasure from food. We circulate and socialize around it. We reward ourselves with it. We make rules and indulge by breaking them.
But what if we ate for nutrition’s sake alone? My girlfriend** threw this idea at me years ago and my mind was so blown, I’ve been mulling over it for almost 5 years now.
But so – what if we actually did that? Ate solely for the sake of nutrition?
On the grand scale: It might separate our value as a human, from what we utilize to bring our body energy.
And on the small scale: It could separate pleasure from nourishment.
C o l o r M e C o m p l e t e R e a l F o o d R e s e t
So on a whim I did this thing called the Real Food Reset. I was in a place where I’d been living for months off of black coffee, red wine, and dreams; with a sprinkle of Fancy Tuesday roomie dinners cooked by Chef Lyss. I figured it couldn’t get any worse…so I signed up for Daniela Kende’s Real Food Reset.
Not only did she send over a ton of simple recipes, and create a 10 day community through Facebook, she spent 30 minutes chatting with me about my tendencies.
I’m Celiac, so I’ve known my whole life that food drastically affects my personhood in large scale ways, but working with Daniela provided me with a plethora of other realizations that caught me by surprise.
For the sake of the collective epiphany, here are a few of the bullet points:
- Sugar, caffeine, alcohol – all provide immediate chemical surges of pleasure.
- You should not be so regimented that food is also your only source of joy
- You should get joy from things such as: your relationships, your career, home environment, spirituality, creative endeavors, ect.
- You should not be so regimented that food is your only source of rebellion.
- Stop stifling your inner child and indulge in some unstructured fun – ideally outdoors.
- Give yourself permission to be great in the kitchen! You can be both a killer cook and a career girl.
- Just know – like all things – cooking will get easier, simpler, and faster, the more you do it. Keep at it. Don’t get discouraged.
- When you’re full STAHP EATING. Not because you have to, but because you can.You will eat again. You can even continue eating what you’ve just stopped eating. It’ll still be there when you’re hungry again. Stifle that survival instinct – you’re not a cheetah nor are you 14 year-old Ross Gellar.
- Release any excess weight you’re holding onto. (Much like with keys and your sanity, if you loose it, your subconscious intention is to find it again. If you release it, you weren’t meant to keep it to begin with.)
- Caffeine stimulates your adrenal glands which, obviously, releases adrenaline, which is why too much coffee gets you all stoked for the day. But you can over stimulate your adrenal gland and that will cause long term adrenal fatigue.
- Change your vernacular. Instead of, “I’m going to conquer this kitchen and make the stove my b*tch,” opt for “I’m choosing to bring compassion to my lack of cooking skills and find an understanding of the nutrition my body needs.”
- Food really does provide energy – this is not a myth propagated by the illuminati. Caffeine isn’t the sole divine, magical elixir.
- It also turns out that I wasn’t as healthy as I thought I was. Previously, I was convinced that my green juice negated the white cheddar Cheetos I loved so much. But when my system is clogged with faux cheese, it turns out the kale and spinach can’t do their job properly. When I stop eating cheese of all kinds, a smoothie will (shockingly) provide more clear-headedness than even a soy chai latte with 3 shots of espresso. So infiltrating my body with pure nutrition created this energy I’d never experienced before.
- When you get older wine becomes this idolized vice. Does our society proliferate this? Don’t give in.
- I will never again eat sugar first thing in the morning. I feel like an a$$hole when I do. Inside and out.
- Oatmeal with almond butter, cinnamon, and apple is the best.
- Hot water with fresh lemon first thing in the morning is a game changer.
- Removing the concept of punishment removes the insinuated reward. I.e. let yourself eat without punishment. Then it’ll conversely no longer be a way you reward yourself.
- Your motivation for exercise shouldn’t be the fear of getting fat. It should be a source of joy.
- Stop pressuring yourself to be productive 17 hours a day. The less pressure there is the more enjoyment you’ll experience, and ironically the more you’ll end up getting done. It’s the weirdest thing.
- Also – if you stay hydrated you’ll wake up much easier in the morning. Sometimes it’s because you have to pee, but mostly its because you have more energy.
P O S T R E S E T
It’s now been two-ish months, and these habits that were initiated from working with Daniela have only expanded.
This little 10 day RESET*** gave me tactics, building blocks, and a reframing of food. I reach for lean protein and veggies more than sugar and simple carbs. When I’m tired I drink a bottle of water, before grabbing a cup of coffee. I’m 50% exercise and 50% diet instead of 80% exercise and 20% diet. No longer motivated by fear; less of an a$$hole****; stronger and leaner; I can do an actual push up (!!); and I now know what to get from the Trader Joe’s fresh produce and meat aisle.
So I guess this is all to say – love on yourself. And start from the inside out. Resolutions are lame – but what better time to start feeding your bod and feeding your soul than now? Woop.
Also.. this seemed relevant:
*Full interview with her … HERE.
**For more nuggets of wisdom, visit her blog – Barefoot Carefree.
***I must disclose – I did NOT do this perfectly as it was during the election and I had wine every night.