Skip to content

zoe & the beatles

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

Category Archives: body talk

well, i am thinking a few things.

i’m thinking spicy veggie nachos should be eaten every day.

i’m thinking steam burns hurt. really, really badly.

i’m thinking about how amazing and beautiful this book i finished today is.

i’m feeling more things than i am thinking, though.

i’m feeling accomplished for being binge free for three days in a row and proud for catching myself at the beginning of one this morning.

because, you see my loves, this morning i woke up late. like, 11:00 am late. who am i?

i woke up feeling sad.
i woke up feeling anxious.

i’m feeling guilty for cutting my 90 minute yoga session short. the negative chatter in my mind was too distracting to finish the last forty or so minutes of movement. i caved to the negative.

i’m feeling heartbroken, because i allowed myself yesterday to acknowledge just how heartbroken i really am (about k…)

i’m feeling doubtful, of myself, my purpose.

i’m feeling incredibly uncomfortable in my skin.

i want to be this girl again:

this girl is happy. she is balanced. she is in love with life and its endless possibilities. and she’s in love with herself. she weighs less (truthful things i don’t feel like thinking or feeling about right now).

and, you know, i should be happy. yesterday went pretty well. i climbed my first v3 rated bouldering route. i basically decided the cute boy at the rock wall definitely thinks i’m cute. i’ve been feeding myself well and listening to my body. i’ve been moving in ways i like, not in ways i think i am “supposed” to be moving in. i’m moving through life right now but doing so feeling kind of empty.

earlier i talked to my mom. about everything. she told me something i can’t quiet shake out of my head: “you’re not thinking, you’re feeling.”

she couldn’t be more right.

i am feeling alone. i am feeling “fat”. i am feeling empty. i am feeling unworthy. i am feeling doubt. i am feeling sad. i am feeling so much i am forgetting to think.

about how loved i truly am.
about how much support i have.
about how worthy i am of life, love, happiness, and all the good bits and pieces in between.
i’m feeling so much i am forgetting to focus on what i have as opposed to what i don’t have.
i’m forgetting my body is an amazing thing, not something i should feel so miserable about.
i’m not thinking about all the possibilities life has for me right at this very moment.
i’m just not thinking.

right now, though? well, it’s a wonderful time to start thinking and forget feeling for a moment. the best way to do that? spend a night on the dance floor with your friends and some dubstep. have a safe saint patricks!

what are you feeling instead of thinking?

namaste

zoe

this post comes in response to a post by one of my favorite bloggers: medicinal marzipan. today mara wrote this beautiful piece on self-love. i am not truly writing in response, but rather i am writing in reflection. here it goes.

one of the biggest and most important aspects of my life is happiness. i strive to achieve happiness through self-love, a topic i feel like i talk about a lot. so far though, the road to self-love has seemed less like a road and more like a round-a-bout. it seems to come in cycles. cycles i’m sure a lot of you can relate to.

my initial first step towards self-love started the moment i got off the plane from south africa almost two years ago. i was nineteen and filled with a new sense of self, of environment, of life. i felt empowered, capable, and, for one of the first times in my life, border-line beautiful (i never fully let myself believe i was beautiful during this time). something inside switched on and my perspective on the world and me in it started to shift. i returned how with a new sense of purpose and immediately surrounded myself with healthier options. i started running. i met new, down-to-earth people. i became vegetarian. i got really involved in the kitchen. i was happy.

then the slightly winding path to self-love took a sharp, crooked left and steered me into a darker direction. i wandered away from self-love and happiness. whatever newly unearthed sense of being still oozing in my chest just withered away. anxiety replaced it. depression. anger. negativity. suddenly, the person i was almost willing to accept turned into the one person i despised. the one person i could not please. the one person i did not want to be.

i took another sharp turn in another crooked direction and wound myself deeper into a hole. running four days a week became seven days a week. with added in late-night secret work outs to combat the secret binge from earlier in the night. the skipping lunch every other day turned into skipping lunch almost every day and sometimes a complete dinner, too. portions shrunk. as did my waist. but so did my happiness.

the comments of “you look great!” morphed into “you look really, really thin, zoe.” i liked the second of the two comments the best. i secretly prized those comments and didn’t believe them at the same time. because me? really, really thin? obviously they did not see the pouch i obsessed over every-single-second-of-the-day. obviously they didn’t see the muffin top, the hips, the thighs, the butt, the every-little-thing. i only just recently realized (seriously) these thin comments were not complimentary but only said out of concern.

an incredibly close friend of mine shared with me a few months ago a thought she had around this time last year, when i was sunk in the middle of my self-induced misery: “i saw you at a party one night and thought you were going to break.”

i didn’t realize how awful i was being to myself. not even when my period disappeared. not even when i cried all the time. not even when my knees hurt constantly and walking became painful. not even when i was tired and sore almost every hour of the day. not when i couldn’t focus on conversations because i couldn’t focus period. not even when i stopped eating nourishing meals. not even when i compared girl after girl after girl to myself. not even when i preferred skipping social events in favor of eating and exercising till i fell asleep.

the wickedly twisted road on which i wandered took a turn for the brighter side over the summer. something in me clicked again and i saw through a new lens. i saw my unhappiness for what it was. and it was ruining my life, my sanity. i found something in myself to start the long climb upward.

i embraced yoga. i reconstructed my vegan diet and actually started eating. i loosened up food “rules” and quit exercising in secret. in fact, i quit the gym altogether. running and i broke up for two long, months. i started conversations with my mom, my friends, a counselor, and the healing process began.

something new turned on here. something i want to call self-love. around the time of my birthday i accepted myself for who i was, inside and out. i was beautiful, one-hundred-percent beautiful, never border-line anything. everything looked and felt brighter. i felt lighter, in mood, body, and spirit. i truly felt like i was almost there, that just a little farther up the road and i’d finally run into self-love. well, that feeling faded the day after i turned 21.

a lot of things started to happen. i gained weight. my body started changing. i based my self-worth on the attention and affection of those around me and ended up losing the one person i based the most of my self-worth on. i felt like i lost control and the happiness around the corner appeared farther and farther away. now, i realize that i am caught in a cycle. and i’m back at square one again. i’m embarrassed, scared, and upset.

i am back to under eating, bingeing, compulsively exercising. i am back to obsessing, fretting, doubting. almost every day i think back to how i felt around the time of my birthday: beautiful, settled, comfortable, happy. every day i want that feeling back.

i know i can’t get it back without self-love. i can’t feel all those things until i accept myself and all the little intricacies that make me up.

mara sums it up spectacularly:

The difference between loving yourself and not loving yourself is not in the things that you do it is in the way that you feel when you are doing them. It means being honest and brave, and not spiraling into a pit of self-hatred when you donโ€™t like what you see or how you feel. It means reassessing, doing what is best, and being very, very sweet to yourself when you are scared. It means proving to your body that you are capable of providing a safe and healthy environment to grow and flourish. It means melting away the shame that youโ€™ve developed over the years about yours size. It means going to bat for yourself, the way you would for someone that you love.

i know i can be honest. and i know i can be brave. i know i can not spiral into a pit of self-hatred when i don’t like what i see or how i feel. the truth is, i just don’t want to let go. loosening my grip feels like losing control yet i know it is the right thing to do. i know in my heart it’s the right thing to do. this cycle is hellish. and it’s taking its toll on me at the moment.

the last time i went to cafe gratitude, i found a pendant at the table i was seated at. a lovely silver leaf with red streaks.

the back held a surprise for me. engraved in the silver are three words: with the current.

how brilliantly accurate. and how wonderfully timed for this message to fall into my lap. i need to stop forcing against the current, as it brings me farther from happiness and creates unnecessary unhappiness and strife in my life.

i need to trust in my self.

i need to trust that the confusion and uncertainty i feel now will eventually bring me peace of mind.

i need to believe i am experiencing what i am experiencing for a reason.

i need to remember that it takes some work to make it work, it takes some good to make it hurt, and it takes some bad for satisfaction.

most of all, i need to start loving myself and just let it be

once i do that, once i flow with the current instead of against it, well…i think self-love will be inevitable. and that path to beauty? it starts now.

here’s to health, happiness, and wholeness. truly.

namaste

zoe

let’s get all high school english paper here and crank out a solid dictionary definition before we go any farther:

endurance
โ€“noun

1. the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc.
2. the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina: He has amazing physical endurance.
3. lasting quality; duration: His friendships have little endurance.
4. something endured, as a hardship; trial.

endurance and the act of enduring has been on my mind lately.

it was on my mind mid-way through level three of jillian michael’s 30 day shred earlier this morning. as i sunk down into another push-up, a thought occurred to me. some little voice went, “huh, i’m not huffing and puffing like i was two weeks ago.” then it went, “huh, i seem to not be doing the modified version, either. what the hell?”

my endurance is up. across the board. my runs feel stronger, my yoga sessions more solid. while climbing i don’t feel as fatigued as quickly and recovery feels speedy. mountain climbers don’t kick my ass like they used to. am i getting stronger? all signs point to yes. thank you, strength training. you are amazing. i don’t know why i shunned you for so long!

i endured a lot emotionally during the entire month of february. now that the month has officially come to a close, i feel better. k put me into a position where i doubted myself. a lot of these doubts have left me not feeling like i am enough. doubt prompted me to say, “i’m not good enough. i’m not pretty enough. i’m not funny enough. i’m not smart enough.” worst of it, doubt told me i am not worthy enough to eat. that if i was thinner things would be different. i’ve been enduring that voice as best as i can. i know those thoughts are not true.

sometimes, though, it’s difficult to convince yourself you are worth health and happiness so you reach out for the the only thing available to you for instant gratification. which, in this case, is converting back to old, awful habits that bring you nothing but a twisted, unreal sense of happiness. i know i need to eat and i know that not eating is unhealthy, but i’m still finding myself avoiding certain foods and feeling an uncomfortable, familiar sense of panic when confronted with them. example? for lunch i planned on eating a gluten free, brown rice wrap filled with veggies and beans. but when it came time to take out the wrap, i chickened out and stuck to the veggies and beans. it was kind of a downer.

the positive parts about this are i know these feelings of doubt will leave me soon. very soon. most already have. i feel loads better than last week. each day brings a stronger sense of renewed happiness. i credit this shift in attitude to friends and my family. sometimes i forget the support system surrounding me. i also credit this to the fact that i am seeing the situation realistically. this has nothing to do with me.

so on that note, i’m going out for a low-key bike-ride. i’ve got new music on zee old ipod (mumford & sons officially owns my soul, by the way) and i’ll bring along my camera, too. it’s beautiful outside in an almost-spring-but-still-winter kind of way. i can’t wait to show you! i hope you are all having a spectacular tuesday. i’ve got work later tonight but also a chance to see my friends as well. it’s shaping up to be a decent tuesday! (my least favorite day of the week!)

how do you endure? do you rely on yourself, or do you have a support system? have you seen any physical endurance changes? are mountain climbers not kicking your ass anymore, either?! :)!

namaste

zoe

(oh, and here’s a little mumford & sons action for you!)

hello loves. hope your mid-week hump day is treating you well. (you know, the fact that we call wednesday hump day is kind of off-putting. not a big fan. just sayin’ ;)).

last night ended on a sour note, i’m afraid. the mood seems to have carried over into this sunny, frigid day. i climbed inside my head last night and just stayed there. once i’m locked in, it’s difficult to break out. it takes a lot of effort. which i am applying as we speak.

the funk came about for a few reasons. i climbed last night. with k and a mutual friend. climbing was a blast — i climbed my first 5.10a at our home gym, a big accomplishment considering our gym rates their routes on some crazy ridiculous level. i’m definitely getting stronger and taking more risks. two nights ago i also went climbing (with k…) and bouldered my first v.2. success! it’s amazing to see how far i’ve progressed in such a short amount of time.

anywho, with all that awesomeness going down it’s surprising a funk happened. but it did. i started to doubt myself. i started to feel “fat” (ugh, that word needs to die) and really, really unworthy. i felt uncomfortable and, unfortunately, disgusting in my own skin last night. part of it had to do with k and part of it had to do with the fact that lately, it’s been really difficult to just feel comfortable at all. i’m not going to lie: i’m trying to lose weight. and i’m trying to do it healthfully. it’s almost ridiculous how well i eat, too. but the scale hasn’t budged and my pants haven’t loosened up. i’m really stuck despite my diet and well-rounded exercise habits (just about every day, though the intensity differs as the activity changes daily. example: yoga and climbing monday, climbing yesterday, long, long walk today and maybe some yoga later.). it’s starting to frustrate me. any tips would be welcome…

but back to last night. i went to bed a little weepy and discouraged. i woke up discouraged and very blah. it’s hard being friends because i miss k, but it’s the right thing to do. especially when i remembered everything that went down. i know this feeling will pass but it has settled over my day. hopefully a few things will clear up the air. because i don’t want to sit in company with this beast for very much longer.

a lunch visit with my mommy might help! i’m excited ๐Ÿ™‚

and reading through my newest book that i cannot, for the life of me, put down. anyone else read it?

chuck palahniuk is such an engaging writer. i just finished lullaby right before invisible monsters. i seriously fly through his stuff (and i’m a slow reader) and have issues putting it down when i need to (say like…when i need to sleep. or clock back in from my lunch at work). i forgot how much i love reading! it’s so nice to be able to pick up whatever i want to read now instead of reading assigned things.

and, if the stars are aligned, i’ll hopefully make it to a club tonight with a friend and her boyfriend for dancing! little known fact: i love to dance. lovelovelove. i’m basically always moving to some beat in my head. i dance in public all the time. sorry if i’ve offended your eyes. i never said i was good at it ๐Ÿ™‚ but i’ve been wanting to go dancing for daaays so i’m just banking on my energy levels not being low (i’ve been up since three. after sleeping for oh, four hours? i opened…). fingers crossed!

i’ve got more interesting things to write about, i promise. this is getting long and i don’t want to bore you all to death any more. things to look forward to (maybe? hopefully?): a fashion post (PROMISE!), a book review (kara, this is for you! it’s been a long time coming and i JUST got the book back!), and a challenge! keep your eyes peeled. until then, enjoy your hump day ๐Ÿ˜‰

how do you cope with rotten moods and hard-to-shake mindsets?

update: i just finished an hour and fifteen minute vinyasa flow that completely restored me. i feel calm, steady, and refreshed. yoga is such a soul soother. savasana felt so nourishing and rewarding. yoga is such a present to the mind, body, and spirit!

namaste

zoe

might be my newest obsession. it’s getting bad. but oh-so-good.

but glee is more than just a show.

glee is taking the plunge and buying the most comfortable things my feet have ever slipped into.

glee is climbing. and seeing these sites (this is from a few weeks back)

glee is baking a cake for people you love (k’s cake…) a triple layer chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and a chocolate peanut butter glaze a la smitten kitchen. (no, it’s not vegan. i was told it tasted like “a reeses cup!”


glee is going out with friends on saturday night. and drinking a beer.


yes. i am that short.

and glee…well, glee is feeling more comfortable in your skin each and every day. it’s a process, but i’m getting there. and i couldn’t be happier.

hope you all had a wonderful weekend. i’m going to cap off this sunday with some more glee. are you surprised :)?

what brings you glee?

namaste

zoe

FUCK THAT.

(my apologies for the profanity if you’re not a fan. i happen to be one, especially when i feel passionately about something. and i ain’t gonna censor me ;))

okay, i hear you: zoe, what are you effing off? let’s back up a few feet and ground ourselves in a less passionate place.

no one will deny the united states has a collective opinion about beauty and what it supposedly looks like.



you get the idea: flat stomach, toned arms, sculpted butt and thighs. (and, usually, blonde hair and fair skin, unfortunately)

but let me ask you a question: when was the last time you changed for anyone other than yourself?

because you are you, you are clearly amazing. and wonderful and smart and passionate and so, so beautiful, inside and out. you know all this. i know you know all this. yet, when was the last time you pined to be someone different than your own sassy, badass self? when was the last time you coveted a piece of someone so distinctly not you? when was the last time looked at your reflection, and felt unattractive and unworthy? (i hope it wasn’t recently!)

so this is what i say fuck that to: if we have and value our own individual opinions and perspectives about the world, why are we scrambling to adhere to a standard of beauty none of us really judge others by? tell me, would you ever call your friend “ugly” or “fat” just because he or she doesn’t look like one of the many bodies gracing magazine covers and television screens? of course not! because your ideas of beauty are most likely different than the “collective” ideas.

keeping all this in mind, ask yourself why you judge yourself (if you do) so harshly. if you are not holding anyone you love up to any standards, why are you holding yourself up to those (usually impossibly) standards? are we not supposed to love ourselves like we love our family and friends? why is embracing ourselves completely so difficult?

so i am saying fuck that to perfectionism. i’m saying fucking that to the standard collective ideas of beauty. i’m saying fuck that to compromising your own personal beliefs just to fit a mold we rarely hold others up against. i’m saying fuck that to not owning and believing in your own awesomeness, your own beauty. because trust me, it’s definitely there.

what do i find beautiful? a great sense of humor, a sparkling smile, a kind soul, a vivacious personality, confidence, intelligence, infectious happiness. oh, and, of course, the ability to say fuck that.

recently, i’ve been saying fuck that on a constant basis. i’m no longer trying to be anything but myself, and that includes not trying to force my body to look a certain way. it feels liberating to know, and more importantly to believe, that beauty truly does come in all shapes and sizes and colors.

what do you find beautiful? have you been able to say fuck it recently? tell me about it!

it seems northern california’s sunshine streak has officially ended. it’s raining outside! but it’s all right. i’m spending the majority of it inside at work, with friends nonetheless. i love my co-workers ๐Ÿ™‚ before i go, i want to wish you all a spectacular valentine’s day! remember it’s not just about the love from a significant other, but also the love from friends, from family. try and take a second to see just how much you are loved today (because i bet you’re loved so much!). oh, and keep you eye out for something i rarely post about: fashion! i had a fashion related sunday and can’t wait to share!

namaste

zoe

i never used food to punish myself in the past few days. though completely stressed this entire week, binge eating rarely occurred (maybe once, and on a very low scale). healthy eats seemed to be all i wanted. my comfort foods = carrots and hummus. funny how comfort foods change after living a new lifestyle for a year and a half.

i’m enjoying running again. maybe because i’m running to feel alive instead of running to punish myself or simply to burn calories.

…i‘m not worried about the number on the scale, even though it’s ten numbers up from where i thought i should be. i only seem to shrug it off every time i step on it. maybe it’s time to chuck the damn piece of useless plastic, huh?

i’ve maintained my current weight for three months. without trying. clearly my body wanted to be here all along.

i’m kind of in love with my curves. i can’t fight my genetics anyway and this is so obviously how i am built. my 34 D boobs stayed 34 D no matter how small i got last year. an indication? yes, i think so. do i want to lose weight? no, not necessarily, but i do want to tone up. that being said, however…

i don’t, and won’t, force the issue. i’d rather focus on being happy instead of focusing on (and obsessing over) my appearance. if i happen to lose weight along the way, cool. really though: whatthefuckever.

plus all my clothes still fit, anyway. just differently. meaning, they actually fit instead of fall off.

i look forward to all my work outs. i no longer see them as a chore that must be done but as an opportunity to feel alive. the feeling i get after moving my body cannot be compared to much else.

i’m still a little anxious when i look in the mirror of put on a pair of jeans. but then i remind myself i’m healthy again, and that this is what healthy people look like. and then i feel better almost immediately.

the negative moods i always seemed to swim in in previous months rarely strike me. and yes, i am enjoying this reemerging surge of positivity i thought i lost a long time ago.

interestingly enough, life feels a lot brighter and lighter. yes, some days i struggle but those days pop up infrequently. i am feeling stronger and more brave each day. do i still have issues i need to work on? of course. everyone does. but the difference between the me now and the me of months passed is that i am choosing positivity instead of negativity. i’m choosing to focus on the things in my life that really matter. like health and happiness. not the size of my waist, hips, thighs and stomach. that’s all just too stressful, don’t you think?

and, interestingly enough, i don’t think i can answer this question so well…

well, ten years is a long time for now. i hate looking into the future simply because i don’t know what’s going to happen. i don’t want to assume, i don’t want to say ‘i hope to be doing x, y, and z’ because i know that i’ll be changing so much in those ten years. i’ve changed so much in the four plus years i’ve been out of high school. it’s astounding.

but, i guess to give you a general impression of ‘where i want to be’, i’d say i’d want to be in a comfortable place in my life where i am truly happy. where i am doing something i love. i want to be feel supported by the people i love in my life and vice versa. i want all these superficial worries of mine to be non existent. and i want to give — my time, my love, my heart, my compassion, my energy. will all this happen? i don’t know. but i sure think it will!

hope you’re all having a wonderful saturday. me? well, i got off work about an hour ago, just ate some lunch, and am about to shred it with jillian michales before i go rock climb with some friends and drive on home for a little visit with my parents and one of my best, best, best and oldest friends (2nd grade!). enjoy the sunshine! (if you can at least…if you can’t, well, enjoy a picture of a warm beach while you cuddle up with some tea :))

what interesting things have occurred to you recently? where do you ‘want to be in ten years’?

namaste

zoe