As different as we all are, there’s one thing most young women have in common: We’re all brought up to feel like there’s something wrong with us. We’re too fat. We’re dumb. We’re too smart. We’re not ladylike enough - ‘stop cursing, chewing with your mouth open, speaking your mind’. We’re too slutty. We’re not slutty enough.
You’re not too fat. You’re not too loud. You’re not too smart. You’re not unladylike. There is nothing wrong with you.
An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you.
If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.
It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.
My body is not a moral failing, a sign of my lack of willpower, or a measure of my health or worthiness. The only thing you can tell from my size is what size I am and what prejudices you hold about people my size. My body is amazing and I will stand up for it, take care of it, and be undeterred and unashamed of properly caring for it, especially because of societal bigotry perpetuated by people who make their money and/or their self-esteem by trying to rid the Earth of people who look like me.
Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.
If it scares you, face it.
I’m talking about food. Whatever makes you anxious, fills you with fear, makes you run the other way, possibly to your calorie counter or scale, face it. Don’t keep avoiding it. Stop depriving yourself of it. We try so hard to control what we eat, but food ends up controlling us.
No food is off limits. Slowly open yourself up to the foods that scare you. Take it day by day. Not just eating those foods, but eating those foods without guilt or regret. That’s key. Instead of punishing yourself for overeating or eating “unhealthy” by bingeing on more food or even throwing it all up, be kind. If you have to be your own cheerleader and talk yourself through those negative thoughts then so be it. When nothing is off limits, when everything is an option, you can make choices. Choices based on what you want and what will make you happy. You’re free. Realize that it’s not the specific food that’s making you overeat. It’s the mindset you have when you eat it. That all or nothing attitude stems from your black and white relationship with food.
I love chocolate, but for the longest time, I avoided it. When I did let myself eat it, I could never have just a little. I would eat the whole chocolate bar and feel awful. This made me avoid chocolate even more because I felt like I couldn’t control myself when I ate it. I realized that it wasn’t chocolate that triggered this reaction. It was my, “I shouldn’t be eating this, it’s not good for me, I am treating myself, but also testing myself, I need to make up for this chocolate by eating less or working out, it’s so good, I can’t stop, oh screw it, I’m already eating it, might as well eat the whole thing” attitude.
Changing my mindset changed my relationship with food. Am I scared of chocolate anymore? No. Do I want it all the time? No. Do I binge on chocolate? No. Slowly, I am tackling my other “fear” foods and somehow by making peace with food, I am making peace with my body.
Dedicate this week to facing one of your fear foods. If you overeat on it, fine! That’s expected. But don’t eat it with guilt or regret. Eat it, savor it, enjoy it, and if you have to, remind yourself that, “No food is off limits.” Create a positive eating experience and food will no longer control you as much as you try to control it.