Here it is. Links to iTunes and Stitcher Radio in the show notes. Enjoy the story.
Well it certainly has been a while since I posted something here, but I feel now is the time and place to start fixing that. I have another blog over at eatvibrant.com – where I share recipes and tips. But I’ll be posting this on there too.
Anyway, there have been quite a few podcasts swirling around lately dealing with the topic of body image. “Body Image” for some is almost a 4-letter word. No one wants to talk about it – and if we do its certainly not positive talk.
And unless you live in some isolated bubble here in the United States and most of the world where mass media reaches – you probably have thought negatively about your body. Maybe you even did stuff to try and change it. Diets, exercise, shakes, soups, pills, granny panties – you name it is out there to make you look the way you want! We (as a culture) are obsessed – but that is obvious. And ancient history too.
I was obsessed too once. Coming from the background of a poor chubby kid who always felt awkward in her skin… I decided to go on the bag of pretzels and can of diet soda for lunch diet. It only cost me $1.10 from the vending machine too. I remember my girlfriends telling me I should eat more at the lunch table (as they at their sandwiches and Lunchables) — and I just thought they were crazy. I mean, LOOK AT ME! I AM “FAT”!
So this all lead me to an even more obsessed place, soon my habits started changing more drastically. I would exercise in secret to the point of exhaustion. I would only eat an orange or a frozen waffle on Saturday. It was consumed by the food I ate and didn’t eat. I hated my body and I didn’t even see it changing before my very eyes. I knew I lost weight, but I didn’t care how I looked. I would not shower for days because I was too tired. Same goes for brushing teeth and combing my hair. There was bloody discharge out of my left breast at one point. I didn’t even care. I was a malnourished 13-year-old girl. The light had gone out of my eyes. But at what cost?
Fast forward 17 years later – and I am 30 as I am today. I am no longer in a spiral of restricting food or unrealistic mindsets. I work 40 plus hours a week and like to go out with my friends when my introverted side isn’t taking over. I live a normal life. Food no long takes up the space it did before and the need to control my body is not nearly as great. I don’t own a scale. I never even look at the doctor’s office for fear of that number overwhelming my mind again.
Its been a process getting here. Growing up/into into my own skin I’ve learned some valuable lessons about how to love my body. Accepting this is the only home I’ll have for my whole life.
Here are my takeaways thus far –
Photo: The New York Times
Take a look at any fashion magazine, and you’ll see countless images of airbrushed perfection. Even the most gorgeous celebrities and models have their pictures altered by professional retouchers using Photoshop. The software does what no makeup artist can: it erases every blemish, lengthens limbs, and sculpts inches off the waist. All of us know that the flawless pictures we find in glossy mags have been enhanced. Yet it’s still hard to convince ourselves that the pictures we pore over are fantasy, not real. Seeing is believing.
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Easy Recipe: Curry Quinoa + Squash Salad Bowl
Its squash season! Get ready to party! Well, not really but get ready for some serious flavor. Fall is ALL about savory flavors. Amirite?
Savory curry and the sweet slightly nutty flavor of the quinoa plus squash make this dish extra palatable. Its light, easy, and in season and you have it all here in one place. Score! Now get cooking. :)
Making healthy changes can be certainly overwhelming let alone choosing how you are going to get there. Its difficult to know where to begin on a new regime.
Here are simple steps I’ve learned to get started on your own.
1. Sleep. Easily overlooked, much need. Shoot for 8 hours and more if you can. A quiet, dark, cool room is ideal. I recommend blackout curtains or an eye mask, so light doesn’t disturb your sleep times. Getting proper sleep helps your brain work better, your muscles recover faster, and makes your skin look younger too. Do it!
2. Take a multivitamin. We really want to eat better, but sometimes life gets in the way. Unless you are the perfect human odds are your diet isn’t perfect. Our bodies are so complex and we need more than just modern food can supply. Vitamin/mineral deficiencies can lead to cravings (salty? sweet? hello?). Taking a multivitamin (preferably in liquid form) can help you make the most of your day to day health. And prevent future setbacks.
3. Walk. We don’t do it enough. Walking is most natural thing you can do. Park the car farther away from the store or work. Walk on lunch breaks. Take the dogs out. Its a great way to boost mood and move your body. And its free. :)
4. Do something that makes you happy each day. Whether its eating a piece of chocolate or talking to a friend. Make sure you have room in your day for something joyful. The little things can really add up, so make the most of the moments you get to chose to be happy.
5. Get connected. Or disconnected. We live in time of over-stimulation and connectedness. If your day entails being on e-mail and chat, you probably want to go home and unplug. Just make sure you are taking time to connect with the actual world around you. Talk to the neighbors, have family meals, go out with friends, or take some time with nature.
6. Change out your beauty products. Have you ever read the label on your lotion or shampoo? Do you understand it? No. Because those are chemicals in there. And most of us aren’t chemists. Try alternatives to shampoo or a using natural beauty products to eliminate your exposure to potential toxic ingredients. If you wouldn’t eat it — it shouldn’t go on your skin or hair. Its that simple. Start with changing one product a week. Or make your own!
7. And cleaning products. Same goes for above. Do good for the environment and your own health.
8. Cook more. Cooking at home saves money. People who typically cook their food eat less and healthier meals. Next time you don’t know what to have for dinner, instead of calling take out — try googling a new recipe. Or cook one of mine. :)
9. Talk. Something bothering you? Something on your mind? Need someone to listen? Most people do. One thing I’ve learned is everyone has an idea or a story they need to share. And getting it out there can be relieve stress and make your mind at ease.
10. Drink water. You know its good for you. If you can’t seem to kick the soda try sparkling water with added fresh fruit. I’m a big fan of Perrier. Water keeps everything moving, prevents headaches, and makes your skin glow. Do it!
Fun Recipe: “Cowboy Candy”
I have nothing intelligent to say about this recipe, other than I am SO EXCITED to try it! In the midst of my canning/pickling obsession I stumbled across this idea… which is pretty much genius. The peppers and spices create a wonderful aroma in the making. And after canning the “candy” only gets better as the flavors deepen the longer it sits.
Have fun with the recipe! Because anything called “Cowboy Candy” can’t totally suck. :)
**Oh and don’t rub your eyes post cutting peppers. Wash hands or wear rubber gloves. NOT KIDDING.