Fat Activism. Bogus or a worthy cause? 

I was burning with rage.

And it was only 10am in an innocent lifecycle nutrition class. Our teacher showed us a great TED talk about accepting ourselves and our bodies an any size, but particularly as “curvy”. This great woman was standing there, openly declaring herself FAT and sharing all of the judgements, death threats, abuse, and leers she had received just from her body size. She had been openly laughed at for her size, to her face. 

This talk really struck a chord in me. I’ve always been taller than other girls, and even most guys, I’m around. I’ve never fit into that “box” that society wants all women to shrink themselves into.  Hearing Kelli Jean Drinkwater put a voice to all of the reasons that the diet industry thrives the way it does infuriated me. She put to voice the prejudice and shame that comes from our society about the size and shape of our bodies. Whether people tell it to our face or whether it shows up as that annoying self critic that tells us we aren’t good enough, we definitely can’t deny that “fat phobia” exists around us.

Why was I so angry, then? Because comments were made in my class that were directly based from this fat phobia that Kelli was protesting!  I was angry that people in our day and age, with so many strides for equal rights of race and gender and and sexual orientation happening, minds were closed to accepting our own freaking body size! I wanted to say that you never know where people are coming from, what their priorities in life are (like mental health and relationships) and how they want to feel and be treated on a daily basis.  Regardless, we all deserve acceptance for who we are.

Now I do understand that some people might call this and Kelli’s activism “glorifying obesity” and promoting unhealthy behaviors. I understand that there is a fine line between loving yourself and staying stuck in an unhealthy, stagnant mindset.  But let me challenge this–isn’t it about time that we promoted some body acceptance and mental health “at the expense” of appearance? Isn’t it about time that we gave ourselves permission to just be how we are? Especially if that means not looking the way the diet industry tells us we should look.  Believe it or not, the image of perfect fitness most often lies outside of what would be considered “healthy”.

Who knows what this lady’s goals are? Maybe she tried to lose weight before but was met with this exact wall of uninviting shame and judgement.  Maybe she decided that her mental health took priority over her physical health because, after all, who would be able to do something that took so much effort while the people they interact with turned its back instead of giving support? How can we write off her health just by looking and judging her? I don’t blame anyone would wouldn’t want to rejoin this “thin is better” mindset after she left that party years ago? Who would want to join that after experiencing open-minded, supportive, and liberating feeling of accepting yourself?

So I challenge you to be honest with yourself. Do you experience judgements about body size? Do you notice yourself making quick assumptions about people that may not be true or have any accurate assumptions? How apt are you to make a snap judgement about someone’s body–both about yourself and others? I challenge you to look past body size and appearance to see what really makes you feel uncomfortable, underneath the skin.

I must admit, I am not perfect either.  I have to keep myself in check, too, and awareness is the first step to getting past any judgements.  I mean, you can’t work to improve something you don’t know exists.  Food for thought: I find that the degree to which I am judging others usually reflects the degree to which I am judging myself.

Remember, you are perfect as you are now and always worthy of love.

Love, Lucy

 

 

//picture from Kelli Jean Drinkwater’s site//

Why changing my shirt was the greatest act of self love (and how to turn around shitty moods)

THE BAD MOOD

We’ve all been there: Nothing was wrong other than the fact that it is a tired, rainy Monday morning, and your mood wants to match the weather.  Especially if you were over the moon happy a day or two ago, why on earth is this happening?  For me, I notice all the signs on the outside that accompany that shitty feeling on the inside: I didn’t want to get out of bed, I want to eat everything in my fridge, I go through a mini Instagram-scrolling binge, and I try to walk out the door a billion times but kept forgetting something important each time.  It feels difficult to push a single positive thought to surface of your mind among the negative ones filling the space; thoughts you may not have seen in so long that they look unfamiliar.

Have you ever felt this way? You are cruising steady and then all of the sudden, something flips a switch that leaves you standing dazed and confused wondering why the mood changed.  Maybe you turn toward your mind-number of choice (sugar, alcohol, Instagram, TV…) or lash out at a loved one on accident or start crying for no reason.  You know you are in a bad mood, but you don’t know why and don’t want to take the time to figure it out.  It is so tempting to just play along with that negative feeling because it is so much easier to keep that negative energy rolling rather than turning around and saying “No, I will feel good today”.

On my particular rainy Monday, I saw this negative energy snowballing into a larger and larger dark hole I was about to be swallowed up into.  I could see myself slipping and further into it, while my happy mood sat flailing on the sidelines saying, “Stop! Don’t go down this road!”.  The problem was, I couldn’t see any other path to take.

THE TURNAROUND

I decided that if the change wasn’t going to happen from the inside, maybe I could make it happen from the outside.  (I.e. “Look good, feel good” mentality)

I had thrown on the “I’m wearing sweatpants and don’t give a crap” look and knew I was going to feel frump–no matter how I actually looked–if I left the house, and realized I was at a critical point: either wear my sweats and continue feeling bad or go change into something that makes me excited.  So I marched myself back upstairs and put on a shirt that made me feel sexy.

And it made all the difference.

I left the house in a slightly better mood than I would’ve had I stayed in the same clothes (and mindset!).  Once I made that initial move to start feeling better, the ball could start rolling in the positive direction again.

So why was changing my shirt really so important? Because I was showing myself that I cared about feeling good, and I wasn’t going to let anything else in my day ruin my mood.  If you rely on your surroundings to improve your mood (like relying on somebody else to get you out of the dumps),  you may get disappointed because there is no way to control every single thing that could happen to you.  You take your happiness into your own hands when you start showing up for yourself.

And I am not saying that other people can’t make you feel better.  In fact, there is nothing like another person’s loving gesture to you to help you out of a dark place. But we’ve all been in that spot where no matter what somebody else does for us, if we run with our negative emotions, every effort made can still leave you feeling sad.

THE FIX: SELF CARE

The best way to get back into the sunny view of life means taking care of yourself.  Recognize that you are feeling sad and have compassion.  Let yourself off the hook a little bit.  It’s okay to feel sad.  But instead of self-sabotaging, treat yourself like you were comforting a close friend.

Make yourself a cup of tea.  Wear your favorite outfit.  Go do your that activity that leaves you smiling no matter what. Paint your nails.  Hang out with a bestie.  Meditate.  Eat a meal that will make you feel good, not something that will leave you feeling bloated with a stomach ache (greens, healthy fats, fiber, and quality protein rather than sugar, caffeine, alcohol, or processed foods).  Go to sleep early.  Sleep in late.  Move that bod (don’t kill it in a workout, just break a sweat and get some endorphins running!).  Listen to music that feeds your soul.  Have a dance party (with your friends or solo in your room).

Even if it is small, that first action of self love will make each following one easier and easier. 

Remember, you deserve to feel awesome every day.  You deserve to be happy every day.  You deserve to feel confident every day

Love,
Lucy

Creamy Chocolate Mango Smoothie

This great smoothie came to be the way most of my smoothies do: I was in a week-long process of clearing out the freezer and decided to use what had been left over.  But let me tell you, this one is a winner.  I had it for dessert or a snack every single day for an entire week.

DSC_0926

Ingredients
serves 2

1 cup water
1 cup frozen mango
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup coconut cream
3-4 Tbs cocoa powder
1 serving protein powder (consult the label for how many scoops!)
1/4 Tbs vanilla extract
Optional: ice cubes, matcha, maca, spirulina, bee pollen, cinnamon, turmeric

Method

Blend until smooth and top with your favorite toppings (chopped fruit, chia seeds, hemp seeds, any of the optional ingredients above, unsweetened shredded coconut).  Serve in a glass or a bowl with a spoon, breathe, take a sip, and smile.

DSC_0917

I hope you enjoy this as much as me and my family do! Remember, your health is worth it!

Love,
Lucy