March 12, 2015

MakeComfortable

You feel a pea under your mattress and instead of getting rid of the pea you admonish yourself for being a princess.

If it’s not a pea under your mattress, it’s your ill-fitting bra, or expired eyeglass prescription, or ergonomically disastrous work space.

Today is my call to MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE.

Seriously.

I have a client who realized that none of the seating in her living room was comfortable. Everytime she went to ‘relax’ with her husband she would find herself with a sore tailbone.

I have another client who spent years wearing ill-fitting clothing (including her bra) because she refused to accept her body at it’s current size. Everyday she’d struggle to get a full inhale as her chest and waist were corseted by clothing that didn’t match her body.

I’m no different.

Ten years ago I bought an inexpensive mattress that I knew from the first night I slept on it that it was too soft. For ten years I have slept on what is affectionately called “The Marshmallow” despite waking with up serious joint aches and pains. To add insult to injury, I also spent the past four years running my business while contorted over my laptop in this very same squishy mattress.

Well my brilliant body said no more and I’m here to encourage you to listen to what your body might be whimpering about.

The good news is that both clients made the changes they needed to get comfortable. They realized that they deserved to feel good in their home and their lungs.

I too have made some pretty major changes.

New body and earth-friendly mattress? Check.

New electric standing desk? Check.

Regular chiropractic adjustments and massages? Check.

We’re so quick to grit our teeth and bear it. I say it’s not that ‘what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger’ so much as it’s ‘what doesn’t kill us may just be making us really uncomfortable.’

Do consider this my call to you to make whatever changes you need to make to be more comfortable, in less pain, and breathing easier.

You (and I) deserve to be as pain-free as possible.

Check in with yourself right now: what’s the metaphorical (or actual) ‘pebble in your shoe’?

Favorite Comfort-Inducing Items

Keetsa Mattresses

Oxygen Pillow

BackJoy Stress Roller

Foam Roller

Natori Bras

March 4, 2015

madworld

Last week was National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. My colleague Carmen Cool posted this update to facebook:

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 5.08.50 PM.png

My response: “Amen.”

I could so relate. Back in 2002 when I was walking my own path of recovery I was enraged. All the hatread I had previously turned inward had found it’s rightful target and it wasn’t my thighs. I was furious with my college for not doing more to prevent and treat eating disorders. I was furious with irresponsible and shallow media outlets for continuing to celebrate thinness. I was furious at the dieting industry for getting away with what I honestly consider crimes against humanity. I was angry and I was going to do something about it. I spent my first year out of college working tirelessly on prevention and outreach efforts. I moved across the country to get my master’s degree knowing my life would be dedicated to righting these wrongs.

Today though, I find it hard to maintain that same fire I had all those years ago. It’s more a steady burn with occasional pyrotechnic explosions.

While I wish it wasn’t true, when injustices and ignorance are in the air we breathe it can be hard to avoid apathy sometimes.

In this moment as I write this I don’t feel apathetic. I feel like I’m living in a world gone mad.

While driving around town last week I listened to a radio interview with a non-verbal autistic woman named Sue Rubin. Sue was able to participate in the interview by typing her responses which her aide read aloud. When I tuned in the interviewer was explaining that some people believe we should not seek a cure for autism and instead embrace autistic people’s differences. Sue responded that people who feel that way tend to be verbal because if they were ‘trapped’ in their bodies, unable to speak, they would want a cure.

Then to close the interview this question was asked: “If there was a pill you could take tomorrow to get rid of your autism would you take it?”

Sue responded with “I would probably take a pill for weightloss first, but to answer your question yes.”

WHAT THE F*CK!

First of all, Sue is not fat, for what it’s worth. Second, she is unable to speak and the first pill she’d want is for weightloss?!

I’m sorry but when being fat is considered so awful people would rather die years sooner or be completely blind than be considered obese something is very very wrong.

Last night I was watching an episode of (the admittedly mediocre) show The Blacklist in which a female character notices her male colleague is self-conscious about losing his hair. This is the their exchange:

Her: Guys don’t get it. Most women don’t care if you go bald. You’re sexy no matter what.

Him: I’m not going bald, I just have a high hairline.

Her: Just don’t get fat.

When I say ignorance is in the air we breathe I mean it. This type of comment, one that perpetuates the myth that being fat means that you’re unattractive or undesirable, is so commonplace that most people hardly notice it. But I notice it. I see it. And it’s not okay.

Last year I learned of a study from a Princeton psychologist that revealed how poverty effects cognitive ability. The basic findings of the study are that poor people’s brains are bogged down by thoughts of scarcity and attempts to find a way to provide for basic needs that they perform more poorly than wealthy people on intelligence tests. The researcher said, “In many instances, it’s not that the poor aren’t as smart or capable of planning compared as richer people, rather, being poor takes up more mental capacity.”

Similarly so many of my clients have given up such enormous portions of their mental real estate to thoughts and behaviors rooted in fat phobia and shame that their capacities to simply live, think, engage, and serve are noticeably truncated.

I think this is one of the biggest misperceptions about commonplace fat shaming and fat humor: that it’s harmless.

It’s not harmless.

Every time we participate, actively or passively, in discrimination and prejudice of any kind we perpetuate the problem.

To be clear: it’s okay to be fat.

Fat people are just like smaller bodied people in every way. Some are lazy, some are not. Some are healthy, some are not. Some are more classically beautiful, some are beautiful in a different way. Some are kind, some are not. Body size does not determine a person’s worth or well being. Some of us are poodles, some of us are mastiffs:

Unfortunately in our society body size can and often does determine how you’ll be treated, perceived, and which opportunities will be available to you.

I may not be on fire or angry everyday, but today I am.

We’re living in a world gone mad.

 

posted in food+body / full living

Hi, I'm Rachel

I am a life coach and fierce advocate for women feeding their truest hungers. I'm also a curator of inspiration and this is where I share the wisdom I've gained, words that trigger deep reflection, and resources to help you live your most well-fed life. Feast onward.

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