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zoe & the beatles

just a twenty-something vegan navigating healthy, positive living with a little help from her friends john, paul, ringo & george!

Monthly Archives: January 2011

yesterday started out interestingly.

saturday my family threw a 90th (!) birthday party for my grandma. it was incredibly sweet and touching. one of my aunts (my g-ma had 6 kids!) is super tech savy and put together a video of my grandmother’s life, documenting her wedding and the birth of all six of her kids. she went on to include the photos of all the grandkids, including my brother and i. some photos showcases my younger (and much, much blonder) years. then came the present day pictures. she showed photos from about a year to a year and a half ago.

and all i wanted to do was cry.

why? because in those photos, i was much, much thinner. in those photos i saw the person i left behind and the voice in my head told me i failed, that i got “fat” (though, no, that word did not cross my mind in all actuality because i don’t use that word any more!), despite the fact that, in those photos, i was running myself sick and not eating. the worst part? instead of appreciating the video and the amazing and full life of my grandma, i stole a moment to sneak away into the restaurant’s bathroom to cry. yes, i am pathetic.

i returned home in a funk, naturally, and fell asleep with it by my side. when i woke up in the morning, i felt just about the same. then i heard the little positive voice in my head speak up. it said: “zoe, you can choose positivity. choose it! focus on all the love in your life!”

so i did. i choose to see the people who loved me and all the things i am grateful for and by ten thirty in the morning, i felt great. k came over and we shuttled down to the farmer’s market in my hometown where i bought veggies galore and ran into my favorite aunt and two cousins. following our little trip we headed into san francisco to go climbing (really, is anyone surprised?) for about five hours. despite surpassing my climbing plateau (climbed more 5.10’s and had some breakthrough bouldering sessions!) and being with the boy who makes my heart sigh, i found myself confront my negative voice about two and a half hours into our climbing session.

now, this happens a lot. morning time is the easiest time for me to feel the happiest and the most optimistic. it might be because there is new, fresh energy in the morning and it dips mid-day but, regardless, i am always my happiest in the morning and my least happiest mid-afternoon or at night.

the least happiest part of the day hit me when i started looking around and started doing something awful: comparing. the voice inside my head said things like: “everyone else here has a flat stomach. no one looks like i do. everyone here is so thin. so toned. why can’t i look like that?” the feeling of embarrassment replaced the feeling of happiness and my mood took a nose-dive. all smiles and laughter disappeared and i sunk into myself, a victim again of the negative voice in my head. at one point k called me sexy, a word i am not used to hearing, saying, or believing. i scoffed a bit and he asked me a simple question: “why do you laugh when i tell you that?” a good question indeed, one that took me off guard and challenged the negativity i found myself in company with.

this feeling of self-doubt and unworthiness followed me for about forty minutes. then, something happened.

i hopped onto a route i’ve been eyeing for months. it’s on the tallest wall in the gym and it’s never free. so when a spot opened up, i tied in as quickly as possible and got to climbing. if you’re not a stranger to the negative voice, you know how hard it is to accomplish anything. it tells you you’re going to fail, you suck, you can’t do anything right — and you believe it. usually, i do, too. but yesterday, something happened.

about half-way up the route, doubt started to creep in. i thought, or rather, my negative self thought, “you can’t finish this. you’re going to fall. you’re not going to make it to the top.” two words answered the flurry of negativity: “shut up.” they came out of no where and surprised the shit out of me. something in me was obviously so tired of hearing untruths and decided to fight back. the often ignored positive voice spoke up for me without me choosing for it to do so.

how did i feel? amazing. it was thrilling, telling myself to eff off. i said it one more time (internally) and this rush of positivity flooded me. suddenly, i was telling myself “you’ve got it! you can do this! you’re so close, don’t give up! you’re strong!” and a few seconds later, i found myself at the top of the route, accomplished, sweaty, and super pumped (a term describing the feeling in your arms/forearms when you climb really intensely).

k lowered me back to the ground and the rest of the day was spent in a cloud of positivity. i stopped caring what other people looked like because they’re not me. yes, i used to be thinner, but i used to be unhealthy. i used to punish myself with exercise and deprive myself of food. now, i am healthy. now, my clothes actually fit. my period is back, my skin cleared up, my glow is apparent and i am stronger than i have ever been. i am not the number on the scale, the number on the tag of my pants, or the reflection in the mirror. i am far more important things.

i feel good today, too. i just finished a massive veggie-packed juice (is it weird that all i was craving this morning for breakfast was vegetables? my usual breakfast fare did not sound appealing at all.) and am about to hop onto my mat (which has been neglected this past week) for some solid dave farmer power vinyasa. i am craving a sweaty yoga session today! i hope you all have a wonderful start to your week! and i hope you remember just how amazing you all are — just the way you are!

do you find it difficult to stay positive? what do you do to regain your positivity? have you ever told yourself off? no? try it!

namaste

zoe

(oh, also…keep an eye out for my first ever guest post over at i came to run! let me know what you think!)

i’ve made it no secret. i have a new love in my life. he’s earthy. and rough. and makes me all hot and sweaty (how inappropriate am i ;)). and i love it.

ladies and gentleman (if there are any?), allow me to introduce to you to my love: ROCK CLIMBING.

most of you have a vague idea of what rock climbing is. to you, the immediate image might be this:

all ropes and fancy harnesses and fake, plastic rocks and different colored tape on marking routes you don’t understand. but rock climbing is also more than this. rock climbing can look like this, too:

chris sharma, badass climber extraordinaire and professional piece of eye candy (but seriously. ladies who are attracted to guys (and you know what, for that matter, ladies who are attracted to ladies and guys who are attracted to guys!), you have not seen a body worth drooling over till you have seen a rock climber’s body. holy. god. yes, i am fifteen again). here this amazing, amazing climber is doing something called bouldering: climbing rocks without the support of a rope.

and so is this guy, alex honnold, but on a much more intense level. this guy free solos. everything.

including half-dome, pictured above. all 3568 feet of it. without a rope. this is an extreme version of rock climbing that only a small, elite group of people really participate in. this would scare me shitless. talk about bad.ass. for reals.

but let me step back and tell you my brief, yet passionate, love story with rock climbing. the first time i ever climbed, i was a kid, maybe seven or eight, and at a birthday party. as a young girl, i loved to climb everything. i climbed all over the playground, climbed up trees, climbed up rocks. heights never bothered me and still don’t, an advantage i have when climbing. at this party i only got to shimmy up the wall once or twice but i remember loving it. i remember loving the challenge and thinking about how fun it was.

though i loved the experience, i never did it again until college. well, until last semester, really. i am fortunate to have attended (still a weird concept for me. i cannot believe i am not in school any more…) a college with a pretty legit climbing wall. it’s small, yes, but not very many people climb there and the routes are super fun and challenging. can you all guess who got me into climbing? k, of course! he lives and breathes climbing. seriously. he’s amazing to watch on the wall or on the rock and has taught me so much in the past few months.

i remember the first day i went with him and another friend, some time during my junior year. it was scary and intimidating. all the people around me climbed so effortlessly and boasted muscles i only dreamed of. no way was i that strong. after that first day i went only one other time after getting belay certified (being the person with the rope at the bottom of the wall keeping the person climbing alive) and did so with another friend of mine, nate. well, i sucked at belaying and he kind of dropped a few feet, which spooked him a little. naturally, nate freaked out and kind of yelled at me in front of the whole gym. douchey move? hell yes. then he told me i shouldn’t be belaying if i don’t really know how. so i took that comment to heart and never stepped foot on the rock wall floor again.

…till last semester, that is. last semester, my entire life changed. i stopped running. i stopped living, essentially, in my school’s gyms. k bought me a pair of used, mismatched climbing shoes

(remember these?)

and i took a deep breath, found some cajones, and tied into my first route.

how was it? exhilerating. frightening. intimidating. i was scared to climb in front of all these people who seemed like climbing experts. i didn’t want to embarrass myself. what i found, however, was a group of thoughtful, encouraging, and incredibly helpful, kind people who wanted nothing for me but to succeed. like in yoga, climbers only want to see fellow climbers achieve their goals.

it took no time for me to fall in love with rock climbing. i replaced the old shoes with a brand spankin’ expensive new pair…

and bought a harness (choosing to forgo the light purple harness targeted towards women. what, women suddenly only have pink and purple to choose from? please.)

i found myself climbing outside with friends

(my friend charise, an incredible (and modest) climber, bouldering at goat rock)


(charise belaying k up a route, also goat rock)


(joe helping k repel down the side of a (giant) mountain in santa cruz. oddly enough also called goat rock…)


(finally, k beasting through a route at goat rock, santa cruz, ca)

i have fallen head-over-heels in love with climbing. and no, it is not because my boyfriend climbs. it is because i feel a strength when i climb unlike any other strength i have ever felt. i feel challenged and pushed to my physical limits. with each new improvement, each new monument in my climbing career, i feel empowered.

similar to yoga, climbing allows me to experience my body and all it has to offer. like yoga, climbing requires breath to movement, focus and concentration, a positive mind-set. climbing shows me just how amazing my body truly is and just how much i can accomplish if i put my mind to it.

some people run marathons to prove to themselves their bodies are amazing. me? i climb rocks.

oh, and to top it all off, look what i found the other day at planet granite?

oh yes my loves. that would be a chalk bag (chalk is used to soak up the sweat on your hands). but not any chalk bag. a beatles chalk bag. you would of thought i found a friggin pot of gold with the way i reacted. but no, i did not find a pot of gold. just the most badass chalk bag there ever was.

so if you’ve ever felt like climbing, please, just do it. no one is judging you. everyone is there to support you, actually. gift yourself the gift of climbing and discover the depths of your strength. ’cause you’ve got a lot pack into that little body of yours, believe me 🙂

have you ever climbed? did you like it? do you climb? do you want to climb? tell me about it!

namaste

zoe

thanks for the comments on my last post. it’s not nice to see other people struggling, but it’s nice to know we’re not alone, right? if anyone ever wants to talk just let me know! i am always here with open ears and an open heart. i know how hard it can be to do this alone. (i also find that when i share, i feel much better and much stronger in my conviction towards a happier, healthier life!)

anyway, onto today. a new day. a sunshiny day. a day filled with tissues galore and unending cups of warm, soul soothing tea. i can’t taste food (bummer) and my appetite barely exists (sorry body). today was supposed to be filled with friends and outside climbing but the cold bug bit me yesterday (thanks, k! okay. so maybe kissing someone who is sick was a bad idea) so any form of strenuous exercise is out of the question. which is a bummer because it’s kind of all i feel like doing…go figure.

and it’s so funny, too…my mom knows me too well. she called earlier to make sure i wouldn’t work out. sometimes it’s irritating to know people know me better than i know myself but i know it’s all done out of love. my mom knows i struggle and she’s reminding me to be healthy only out of love. so i appreciate it. because i know she’s right.

regardless, i did do twenty minutes of some stretchy, calm yoga for the flu and cold season. it clearly out my nose for a few minutes! i swear, i might go through an entire roll of toilet paper today…

anyway, all this stuffed up business has allowed me to kind of relax all day. i slept poorly last night so resting is key to recovery. so i recovered with a movie. anyone seen it?

it’s been on my netflix instant queue for some time now and the other day elise over at hungry hungry hippie watched it and have a pretty strong reaction to it. so i decided to check it out!

what did i think? well. wow. wow is really all i can say. the documentary chronicles the whaling business in a town in japan. it was horrifying and sadistic and utterly upsetting. it brought up a lot of emotions in me and helped me feel more secure in my personal decisions.

i’m talking about food here. i might get a little political.

when i first became vegetarian, i admit it was primarily for health reasons. i didn’t care or care to think about the animal aspect of it. kill a dog? kill a cat? sure, that would upset me. but i never thought about fish or cows or chickens or pigs. however the more my diet changed, the more my perspective changed. animals have the ability to feel pain. i believe animals are so much smarter than we think. when i would drive by the open fields of cows along the side of the free-way (hello, northern california!) i would find myself smiling. suddenly, these animals i never thought twice about made me feel.

watching the dolphins get slaughtered in the cove frightened me. but it also lead me to think this: americans, obviously, find this practice obscene. killing dolphins? a huge no-no. but killing mass amounts of cows and chickens and pigs, all (for the most part) slaughtered in inhumane environments? a huge yes? the contradiction becomes apparent.

why do we deem some animals “better” or “more worthy” than others? why do we not find the mass extermination of cows as heinous as the slaughter of thousands of dolphins?

this movie reaffirmed for me my decision to not eat animals. i think there are ways of eating animals without impacting the environment and our own health (hello hormones and diseases and unregulated slaughter houses) but i think the majority of americans don’t think twice about it. i am fortunate to live on the coast of california, a pretty progressive state in terms of eating locally and organically. (i am not trying to sound snobby or arrogant here. i am just stating something i have observed). i find the more i educate myself on these types of topics, the more passionate i feel towards animals and their rights. and towards a healthier way of life for everyone.

what do you think? are you a meat eater (NO judgement over here. these are just my personal beliefs and opinions. i believe in choice and i do not believe in forcing your way of life down other people’s throats)? are you not a meat eater? do you care either way? i’m curious!

regardless, i think you should most definitely check out this movie! it’s well made and thought provoking. two things i look for and love in documentaries. if something can make you think, it’s gotta be good, right?

anyway, i’m going to go attempt some form of dinner. hope you all have a wonderful wednesday!

fingers crossed for a healthier tomorrow!

namaste

zoe

i feel…

well, i feel a lot of of things right now. i feel uncomfortable. i feel disappointed. i feel sad. yet…i’m still clining to a few shreds of happiness. i’m still holding my head up. you see, the binge monster has reared its ugly head. again. its decided to venture out of its deep, dark cave and swallow me whole. at least for the moment.

curious as to what constitutes a binge eating diagnosis? i was, too. and i found this:

A. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:

eating, in a discrete period of time (for example, within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances
a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (for example, a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating)

B. The binge-eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:

eating much more rapidly than normal
eating until feeling uncomfortably full
eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating
feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterwards

C. Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.

D. The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for three months.

E. The binge eating is not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behavior (for example, purging) and does not occur exclusively during the course of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.

well. let’s just say i have A-E on lock down. not proud of that accomplishment.

the past few days have been rough.

right now i am floating in a weird, complex paradox i cannot seem to wiggle my way out of. in fact, i’m pretty sure i’ve been floating in it for a while. i love, love, love being healthy. i love eating fresh, whole foods. i love moving my body. i love the peace i get when all things in my life are balanced. on these days i feel sociable, light, giddy. i can laugh easily, forget the definition of irritated, and simply be.

nutrition is a passion of mine, one which has often times lured me in the direction of becoming a nutritionist. but there is just one issue: i am not healthy.

yes, i am, as candace likes to tell me, “one of the most healthy people, if not the healthiest person” in our group of friends. sure, i avoid meat, dairy, gluten, and sugar because none make me feel my best. and yes, i work out 5-6 times a week and do so for pleasure. and all that alcohol my fellow 21 year olds chug on a nightly basis? i forgo it, too, because, honestly, i really hate being drunk.

but being “healthy” includes a lot of other aspects as well. simply avoiding the food groups which set the stage for an “obese america” does not mean i am healthy. yes, i eat well. very well. however, sometimes, i find i am unable to put the spoon down or put the jar away. sometimes, i eat to the point of incredible discomfort. and i do it all for emotional reasons. i am an emotional eater. i am striving to live a healthful life yet find myself unable to because of, well, myself. recently, it’s been a constant battle to acknowledge my hunger cues and respect my body.

i have always been my worst enemy and harshest critic. lately i’ve allowed too much (astonishingly petty, stupid, ridiculous, pathetic, neurotic, obsessive) negativity to influence my decisions. which leads me to fall into a cycle i’m sure a lot of you can relate to. and, i for one, am so tired of this cycle. mentally and physically.

the cycle goes something like this: i eat well for a period of time before succumbing to the awful monster that is bingeing. after periods of bingeing, i vow to be “good” again, to treat myself well. usually this leads me to restrict more than i should which just leads me right back to the feet of the very monster i am trying to avoid.

perhaps i am trying too hard. perhaps i am orthorexic as well. perhaps all this focus on health has just lead me to be the exact opposite. this bingeing habit (and its severity) has really developed over the past year, when all my issues with food and my body started. it’s embarrassing. it’s depressing. eating in secret because you are afraid of the (imagined) judgement of friends and family is not healthy. having a bad day and justifying it with unnecessary amounts of food is not healthy.

so i am left feeling like a walking contradiction. i strive for health, i love health, yet, at the same time, treat myself the exact opposite. and it all stems from lack of self-love. with self-love comes self-acceptance, two things i am practicing. some days it’s easy. but other days, i convince myself i am suddenly not worth it — for anyone, myself included. so i eat to compensate then eat more to compensate for over eating in the first place. it’s awful.

in this world of healthy bloggers and healthy living blogs it’s hard to find someone who struggles, or at least admits to struggling. and i want to know if anyone out there struggles with this, too. if you do, what do you do to cope? it’s truly difficult to deal with this solo. i write (obviously). and i do yoga. but it’s hard to talk to people about this. i am so utterly embarrassed. it’s hard to tell people who think you are such a healthy person that you eat a pint of ice cream or three servings of almond butter when no one is looking. it’s embarrassing to admit this here. but some how, the vague anonymity the world wide web offers provides me a bit of comfort.

regardless, i am still pretty upset. and confused. and would greatly appreciate any advice or any suggestions as to who to talk to, where to go, how to start this recovery process. i don’t even know. but i do know it’s driving me nuts.

i hope you are all having a wonderful tuesday. i’m going to try to make it a good one despite the wonderful sunshine i don’t get to play in today because of work…from 1:30 to 9:45. i’m going to try to make it a good one because i deserve to be happy and whole. and so do you.

namaste

zoe

(points for anyone who can correctly identify the movie the title of this post came from!)

but seriously. lately, my kitchen has been pumpin’ out some seriously bitchin’ foods.

take, for example, coconut butter!

quite possibly the easiest thing in the world to make. take unsweetened, flaked coconut (i used bob’s red mill brand but who really cares) and process in a food processor until smooth and creamy and oh-so-delicious.

other oh-so-deliciously bitchin’ food?

the yo soy mucho bowl, a la cafe gratitude! k and i cooked it up a few nights ago. in that (cafe gratitude bowl!) is wild black rice (our modification!), shredded romaine, delicious guacamole, and salsa fresca. all homemade, all awesome. the cashew nacho cheese comes straight from ashley of edible perspective. girl knows what she’s doing! this was a huge hit (four friends joined us for dinner!)

another huge hit? (am i annoying you yet?)

spicy swiss chard wrap! served alongside some mary’s herb crackers & hummus (duh)

the innards

wild black rice (a new favorite) and sprouted quinoa mixed with left-over cashew cheese and hot sauce, diced red onion, julianned orange bell pepper, and some avocado slices. peeeeerfection at its finest.

more perfection? (yes, i am entertaining myself) today’s lunch!

roasted carrots with roasted cauliflower and a delicious cheesy (vegan cheese, of course) quesadilla on the side…

you bet i smothered that in hot sauce. although i love daiya, i don’t think it quite likes my stomach…

but know what did like my stomach?

this pretty pink smoothie! made with frozen mango chunks and frozen organic raspberries. and water. topped with unsweetened coconut flakes and puffins! i found puffins on sale (like serious sale) and totally swooped up two boxes. score!

i’m having so much fun in my kitchen again. some foods still make me anxious (hellooo pizza, pasta, and bread!) BUT guess what? i eat rice. yeah, i said it — I EAT RICE! not white because i hate it (always have, nothing new) but brown, black, wild — throw it at me.

i’m proud of myself. i’m striving to create a happy, healthy, balanced environment in which to live in. and it feels amazing. some days it’s difficult to beat down the negative voice in my head and i compensate by over eating or under eating. and, sometimes, the grumble in my stomach ignites a feeling of happiness. on days i feel anxious skipping a meal or working out past the point of exhaustion sound like solid ways to deal. sigh. i’m working on it. it’s an incredibly odd thought, really, to want so desperately to be healthy in mind and body yet want, at the same, time to cling desperately to unhealthy habits.

this year i need to focus on one thing and one thing only: to let my negativity go. i know the happy, whole person i can be without this awful negativity constantly in the back of my mind. i need to find the happiness in myself. i’ll get there, with a lot of patience and determination and self compassion, that much i know.

i wish you a wonderful start to your week as this lovely weekend draws to a close. well, not for me actually! somehow i managed to get saturday, sunday, AND monday off! tomorrow i will enjoy a climbing session with k and my friend joe. i’m excited. are you interested in rock climbing? ever wanted to do it? ever done it?! regardless, keep your eyes out for a post about climbing soon!

have a magnificent monday!

namaste

zoe

get ready for a long one. i’m feeling introspective and thoughtful.

the other day i drove home for a graduation dinner with my family. i went home early to do some laundry because, you know, i’m cheap and doing laundry for free is pretty cool and economical and stuff. plus i got to hang out with my brother for a little bit as well as my parents. (and put that treadmill to some use!) but i got something else i didn’t expect.

my mom subscribes to a lot of magazines. well, i should say my parents subscribe to a lot of magazines. my mom, however, subscribes to kind of superficial, frivolous magazines that all look eerily familiar whenever i flip through the pages. as i perused the stacks (literally) of magazines, i happened upon one i never knew i would open: ladies home journal.

i know — ladies home journal? did i suddenly need to know how to use a crock pot or desperately need to knit a scarf? normally, i might take one look at this magazine and pass too much judgement to even bother opening it (obviously, if you couldn’t tell). this time though, something compelled me to open it. i blame it on the article entitled “how to raise a girl with good body confidence”.

well shit, i thought, how the hell do you do that?

it’s not easy. and no, i wouldn’t know. but i do know that i am a daughter, one who happens to have been raised by a woman who spent ample time unknowingly shaping the way i viewed my body. i grew up in alongside a mother who loathed her appearance, who looked for opportunities to talk badly about herself, who dieted on and off, who worried about fat, food, and her body, a woman who never loved herself enough to see what i see: someone beautiful.

all the negativity, unfortunately, rubbed off on me. i was raised on insecurity. body-snarking became something of an art form for me. the reflection in the mirror never showed me the kind words friends and family members applied to me. the reflection did not reflect the intelligent, witty, friendly, compassionate, curly-haired, curvy beauty everyone else saw.

instead, i chose to let it show me what i was never enough of. i was never thin enough, never straight enough, never pretty enough. i was never enough of anything. all this self-hatred manifested itself in different ways. depression, eating disorders, feelings of unworthiness.

a few weeks ago i unearthed my old middle school journal. in its pages are the first seeds of my body conscious. i call myself fat. i call myself ugly. at age twelve. it’s funny and sad to see the same words in my present day journal. for over a decade i’ve lugged around these feelings of shame and embarrassment towards my body. for ten years. when i think of all i could have been spending my time on instead of worrying about my appearance, i cringe.

inside the article in ladies home journal, the author compares the new years resolutions of women from the 19th century to women of the 21st century. the resolutions from the 19th century focused on using the new year to become a better person, a more helpful, compassionate, patient, and learned woman. the resolutions of the women from the 21st century concerned weight and appearance.

we all know the new year brings with it a new, often times temporary, fervor for physical health. advertisements containing weight loss supplements bombard us. gyms shove membership discounts down our throats. magazine covers boast ways in which to get you “on the right track.” but whose track are we jumping on? is it really our own anyway?

the western world doesn’t seem to get it. we’re too focused on the physical aspect of health. what about mental health? what about the health of your character? do these things not matter in our society anymore? i am wondering when we started to value ourselves solely on our outsides instead of on our insides. shouldn’t the goodness of your character hold more weight than the flatness of your stomach, the shape of your ass?

all this thinking (stemmed from a single little two page article nonetheless) lead me to make an abrupt change in my life. two days ago i made a pledge to myself, a resolution if you want to call it that. i promised myself to never, ever use the word “fat” in reference to my body again. from now on, the word “fat” will forever be nonexistent in my vocabulary after years of using it. the word “fat” carries with it so much stigma. it is just a feeling, usually, a state of mind. not the actual truth.

fat is not the enemy. your body is not the enemy. because bodies are beautiful things. and all bodies are beautiful things.

this body is beautiful

and all three of these different bodies are beautiful

it’s time we judge ourselves based on the traits that matter. it’s time we stop judging ourselves period.

love the body you’re in. stop fighting it. because it’s the only one you’ve got. and you’re beautiful just to way you are.

want to take the no-to-fat pledge with me? got any other words you think should be banned from our vocabulary when referencing our appearance?

want more reading on similar topics? check these lovely ladies out:
emilie started a new project: embrace:ME
kailey dropped -er words
and this lovely woman posted an entire slew of body loving articles!

(and now i am going to lower myself off my soapbox)

namaste

zoe

today the sun is shining and i am smiling. and i am thinking.

yesterday, katie, of chocolate covered katie, penned a post entitled chase away the blues. in it, she offers tips on beating seasonal depression. winter and lack of sun (and, therefore, lack of vitamin d, the “happy vitamin”) often leave people feeling less motivated and more introverted than they might be in the summer time.

the post sparked a really interesting conversation, one i am urging you to read. most people loved and agreed with katie’s suggestions. some people, however, did not believe in the power of exercise and eating well.

which got me thinking. i am most depressed when i eat poorly and skip my work outs. depriving myself of my healthy habits leads me to cave to the negative chatter of my mind and treat myself poorly. i self medicate with food and drown myself in thoughts of unworthiness. on the flip side, however, when i treat myself well by feeding myself nourishing foods and sweating at least twenty minutes of day, i feel so much more grounded and sane.

i’ve never been diagnosed with depression but i’ve certainly felt it. i do not think, in any way, that i suffer from depression but i do suffer from intense blues (as i’m sure most of you do, too) from time to time. over the summer all i felt was intensely blue. it was awful and i wasn’t treating myself right. i binged, i restricted, i compulsively exercised to the point of pain. i drove the sanity right out of my world and felt completely lost.

fast forward to now. things are not perfect, nor do i ever anticipate they will be because nothing ever is. but candace said something to me the other night that sparked another thought. while discussing with her the thoughts which, as of late, have sent me into moods i cannot shake, i told her that i was five pounds away from where i started my weight loss journey. she told me this: “so what?”

so what? it caught me off guard. so what? so i was going to be ‘fat’ again. so i am uncomfortable. so i am critical, obsessive, and miserable.

so what, she told me, then added “think of it this way: you’ve gone through all of this and you’ve ended up where you started, okay. but you’ve learned so much along the way. you know what foods you like to eat now and what foods your body likes. you know you love yoga now. think of all you’ve learned.”

think of all i’ve learned. think of all i’ve learned.

the words kind of floated in my head for a moment, mulling about the forefront of my mind. think of all i’ve learned. after a few days of contemplation, the positives replaced the negatives, and all these lessons learned became clear.

i’ve learned exercise is something to be done in order to feel good, not something to be used as punishment. i’ve learned my mat is my happy place and yoga brings me more peace then running everwill. i’ve learned a plant-based diet best suits my body and mind. i’ve learned smaller portions help keep me sustained through out the day. i’ve learned to evaluate the reason why i feel the need to binge. i’ve learned, above anything else, that self-love is the key to true happiness.

i’ve been up and i’ve been down and back again but i know there are ways to have more up days as opposed to down days. in order to keep the ratio of up days to down days uneven, i know i need to focus on a few things:

i cannot fight the shape of my body. it is curvy, not straight like my mind wants it to be. i need to accept the person i am on the outside.

i need to accept that maybe, just maybe, my body likes being at the weight it is at right now.

furthermore, i need to accept that weight is not important. if your insides shine, your outsides shine no matter what you look like.

no one cares whether you gain weight or lose weight. they like you, the person, not your appearance.

eating well and exercising bring only happiness into my life. when i slack on either of these things, i feel shitty. health brings happiness.

and for today? well, today’s a good day. maybe it’s because i spent the night with my boy or maybe it’s because i have the day off work. or maybe it’s because i went on a short run this morning and finished it off with some yoga. or maybe it’s the sun, or the fact that cooking dinner tonight is far too exciting. or maybe, just maybe, i’m one step closer to loving this person i am, inside and out.

regardless, i am counting my blessings today and thanking the universe for granting me the power to feel solid in my person today, to be happy and whole. because i always am. i just have a hard time remembering that.

namaste

zoe