I want to talk to you a little bit about strong women.
This has been my year of really appreciating strong women. From the female coaches at my gym, to my best friends, to the writer’s and bloggers I avidly follow, to my sister and my mom. More than any other thing in the world, I am completely inspired by every day awesome women.
On that note, I started a podcast, with an INSANELY strong woman that I want to introduce you to. My friend Holly is an entrepreneur, a business owner, a chef, a competitor in the sport of power lifting, and for goodness sakes, a fucking sweetie! Please take a moment to listen to us talk about body image, other people’s perceptions of us vs. our perception of ourselves, veganism, punk rock, and living a jeans-less existance AKA owning our squat thighs.
(Above is the embedded podcast, but you can also download here)
What strong women have inspired you lately?
|Mole Roasted Chickpeas|| |
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 5 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 15 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 cup low sodium veggie broth broth
- 1.5 cups Cinnamon flavor KeVita tonic (or 1.5 more cups veggie broth + 1 teaspoon extra cinnamon)
- 2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder
- 2 ounces unsweetened baker's chocolate
- 3 cups chickpeas
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
- Place the coconut oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently until softened. Feel free to add a splash of water if it appears to be drying out.
- Add the tomatoes, veggie broth, KeVita, peppers, and spices (oregano through cacao powder). Reduce heat to low and simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- While sauce is cooking, skin your chickpeas. This is not 100% required, but really helps the beans soak up the Mole.
- Add the Baker's chocolate and cook over low heat for another ten minutes until the chocolate is melted.
- After the sauce is cooked, use a stick blender (or regular blender in batches) to puree until smooth.
- Pour chickpeas on to a baking sheet and pour the mole over the top, giving everything a quick toss. Bake in oven for one hour, or until liquid has dried up, leaving your chickpeas with crispy bits.
I hope you enjoy!
I had just finished up graduate school with a Masters in Fine Art, I was totally sick to death of the art industry, I had no inspiration, I didn’t know where I wanted to be geographically. I was throwing up because I was fucking terrified and because when it seemed that there was nothing left to do, my eating disorder (in all the shifty ways that it appeared) was extremely appealing. It was a focus, a drive. It was what I was sure of when I was unsure.
I started lifting weights, which rules, and I stopped puking in order to keep doing it, which also rules. I am not saying that the day a barbell entered my hands I got right with myself mentally, but I am saying that when I started strength training I completely ceased to purposefully spend time with my face in the toilet. That is a miracle for which I will forever be grateful.
So I lifted, and I was hungry. Like, really hungry. The kind of hungry a person is when they have been starving and binging and purging for years. I ate, kind of unabashedly, for the first time in as long as I could remember. It stressed me out, it disgusted me, it annoyed me, but I did it. I ate food, I lifted heavy, and I gained weight. A lot of weight.
I look at pictures of me from my first year in crossfit, and it’s a little surprising. Lifting and eating changed my body really slowly and non-linearly, and even now, I see myself in that first year and I notice that I had significantly more weight on my frame than is really natural for my body type. I have compassion for myself then, that person really eating for the first time in forever, but I also understand why I felt deeply uncomfortable.
When I started lifting, I could no longer scrimp on even one bite, because although my will to be whisper thin had sustained me for years, once the dam broke I was flooded with desire. Desire to taste, desire to participate in social events, desire to take my fill for all the days that I had not.
It is with great care that I say that that year was one of the most pivotal, important, terribly difficult years of my life in terms of my self-esteem. It was the year I noticed that my will to be smaller was not in line with my desire to be powerful. It was the year I didn’t trust the process but I went through it anyway. It was the year I sadly watched my body change and showed up again and again to help that change happen despite my uncertainty.
Willpower is finite. It was what I ran on for years while I struggled on the elliptical, while I avoided various food groups, while I lost weight without care or regard for my health. Innate desire is something different. It’s passion, and for me it was also honesty about what is good for both myself and other people in the world. Innate desire is survival and instinct.
I considered quitting the heavy lifts multiple times, but the idea of letting go of something I loved so that I may control my body once again sickened me. I showed up to my workouts reticent, but I showed up. This was the first time I chose what felt right over what I had decided would look right.
It was a big step.
The post script of this story is that eventually, my body evened out. I had stopped weighing myself a year before I started lifting, but I am willing to wager that I gained 30 pounds in that first year. With minor tweaks (more rest days, most notably) and a big dash of patience, my metabolism noticed that I was no longer starving and kicked in. I am still much bigger than when I started Crossfit, but its not in a way that feels uncomfortable. I lift heavy three times a week instead of six, which feels natural, and my body is great. Like, sometimes I look in the mirror with surprise, because I look strong, confident, buff, and yes- pretty lean. I’m a work in progress, in both body and mind, but showing up to the barbell taught me that if nothing else, willpower is bullshit.
My will may have been to be tiny, but my desire is to be well.
Some people are able to do both. I am not one of those people.
And that’s okay with me.