One of the most profound things I ever did was stop restricting my food.
For so long it was a running dialogue
How much did I eat today? Is it too much? If I have more will it become too much? Let me just enter in my numbers. What are the people around me eating? What did they eat before that? Am I hungry? I think I’m hungry or I wouldn’t be thinking about food. What is hunger? I probably shouldn’t eat. I want to eat. Maybe just a couple bites. I have no self-control.
I remember asking a good friend how she knew when she was hungry. She smiled and said “I know I’m hungry because food just sounds really, really GOOD!”
She looked happy thinking about it, excited to get hungry, crave food and then enjoy herself. And me? I was talking myself out of nourishment until I had all but dwindled away.
I did not wake up one day and say, “I accept myself as I am now, and I am no longer going to be afraid of food!”
Instead, I woke up one day and had a bite of almond butter on some toast and cried. Then I did that until many months later I was able to wake up and make an entire full balanced breakfast with a shaky and nervous hand. Eventually, I expanded balanced meals into lunch and dinner and I gained weight. I hated my body for the betrayal, hated everyone around me for their sunny faces as they chirped, “you’ll be fine!!!!”
I backslid, then moved forward, backslid, then moved forward. I talked a lot about food. I exercised too much. I was better but not great for many, many years. Sometimes I was still doing really, really poorly.
I became a teacher. Despite never being quite well, I finished graduate school, I got my first big girl job and then droves and droves of teenaged eyes watched me. I thought, “What is this thing that I’m always trying to do to myself? This weakening?”. I couldn’t bring myself to restrict my food because it seemed silly all of a sudden. Inconsistent with the things I would say.
I picked up a barbell and it felt fucking freaky in my hands, even with hardly any weight on it. Lifting it a few times wrecked me, then made me feel strong. It left me enthused and starving, made it so that I couldn’t possibly question my hunger. I lifted the barbell again, and again and again. My students watched me every single day when I went to work and they said “Do you exercise?! You look strong!” I told them I lifted weights and that I was strong. I told them that every day I was eeking toward becoming more powerful.
My body changed, lifting all those barbells and eating all that food and so did my mind. I stopped counting calories, or minutes of my workouts, or days that I took to rest when I needed them. I strengthened my body all the time, and my students saw me do it.
I let them eat lunch with me so that they could see that I ate. They sat eating too, turkey and mustard wrapped in lettuce. They said they were afraid of weight lifting because it might make them big. I asked them why they needed to be small. They said to gain self-esteem they try to lose weight. They asked me how to get rid of belly fat. They said their favorite food was sugar-free Monster Energy drinks.
My students were wonderful. Their bodies were fine– more than fine! They were just getting to adulthood, just settling into what they would be. They did not need to lose weight and Monster Energy wasn’t fucking food.
I told them this, and they shrugged. They went back to quietly nibbling and I could see them thinking. Maybe they are deciding they don’t need to be so small! I’d think. Maybe tomorrow they will bring more to school than meat and lettuce.
I never backslid after I became a teacher because I felt my students watchful eyes even when I was alone.
Thanks to them, I eat when my body tells me to eat. I turn my head the other way when somebody’s weight loss is highlighted as a big accomplishment, something to celebrate. I still lift wights. I am happy enough with my body, but I’m even happier with my actual life.
I have things to talk about that don’t relate to food now, and that’s maybe the most powerful thing of all.
I have learned a lot about making green smoothies in my day. To create the best tasting health tonic possible you need to do a few things:
A) use enough liquid. I make it my business to always cover the blades of my blender to make it easier on the little guy to do what it needs to do.
B) liquid first, greens next, heavier stuff on top. The weight of bananas, avocados, citrus fruits etc. pushes down on the greens and makes the whole process easier. Trust me, it’s a thing.
C) Banana and/or avocado always. A smoothie without one (preferably both!) will be liquidy, grainy, or just all around underwhelming. Trust me on this one. Avocado really is king, and a frozen banana will make it even smoother than an unfrozen one.
D) CELERY. I know, it sounds weird, but you know how a pinch of salt offsets the sweetness of a baked good making it perfect? Celery’s natural saltiness does the exact same thing for a smoothie. That being said, you have to use a Blendtec or a Vitamix, or the celery strings will probably ruin your breakfast. If you can figure out how to buy one of the two of those, do it. Total game changer.
E) for extra satiation, be sure to include some add-ins, like a high quality protein powder and some chia seeds. I can’t get very far on fruit alone in the mornings, and the extra protein and fat really helps.
All this being said, this Orange creamsicle smoothie is the perfect blend of all the above tips. It’s not too sweet, but definitely not savory, incredibly smooth, and very filling. I have it for breakfast almost daily.
|Orange Creamsicle Green Smoothie|| |
5.0 from 1 reviews
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 leaves lacinato kale
- 1 Tablespoon chia seed
- 2 stalks celery
- ½ medium avocado
- 1 medium frozen banana (if you don't have a frozen banana, add 2 ice cubes.)
- 1 orange
- 1 Tablespoon Vegan vanilla protein powder- Preferably Vega Sport for the best nutrition profile and taste.
- Chop up your fruit and vegetables
- Put almond milk in the bottom of the blender, followed by the lacinato kale and chia seeds.
- Weight the leafy greens down with all the other stuff
- Turn blender on low and gradually increase, turning all the way up to high.
It is my spring break, y’all and it feels SO GOOD.
I spent the first day of it stair running, dashing to the farmers market (it started to rain midway and I didn’t even care because yo, I DON’T HAVE TO WORK FOR TWO WEEKS.), picking produce, cooking, and hanging out in sweat pants. No shame, my dudes. To lounge felt divine.
I would like to get in the habit of posting weekly lists of lovely things I find around the web made by women and queers only, because we are wonderful and deserve more representation. I have it in my mind that Saturday is a day for lounging, so it seems appropriate to keep you entertained while you laze. Here is the first of many entries of things I love around the web.
My friend Carrot Quinn hiked the entire Pacific Crest Trail (that’s 2660 miles from Mexico to Canada) and blogged about it in exquisite detail the entire way. She is not only incredibly brave, but also an excellent writer. In this post she discusses dealing with existential dread after the end of her trip. Although most of us have not hiked the PCT (although we should, WHO’S WITH ME?!) we have all probably dealt with returning to regular life after completing a ridiculous feat (grad school, a marathon, a big move, etc.) Carrot’s awesome use of the english language makes the despair seem beautiful.
You know what’s been bumming me out lately? The demonization of carbohydrates. In my disordered eating I had many food phobias. As I recovered, I was able to separate the ones that were silly (healthy fats, carbohydrates, fruits, etc.) from the ones I find have some value (processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils- these things are not for me.) Because I am active in the Crossfit community, I come across a fair amount of carbohydrate demonization and sometimes people that I think are actually really, incredibly healthy choose a low-carb way of eating. It can be confusing! I mean no disrespect but I think, like any of the macronutrients, carbs are necessary, and beyond that- downright wonderful. This red flannel hash is a positively delicious way to get in your healthy carbs and pairs awesomely with greens and tempeh, should you want to balance the whole meal out. Dive in.
If you don’t know about Rookie Magazine, I suggest you get up on it. It is a magazine started by Tavi Gevinson who is not only a style icon and a genuis, she’s also a teenager. I frequently find articles about sex, love, career, creativity, etc. that I find relavant to my daily life, even though I am about double the age of the target audience. This article in particular is about growing up in an abusive household, and how it was important for the author not to lose hope. It inspired me to write a post of my own about similar circumstances awhile back, and brings tears to my eyes every time I read it. Speaking the truth holds so much power.
A diagram to help you next time you are having a shitty brain day by The Militant BakerJes of the Militant Baker is another personal hero of mine. She is a body positivity activist and has consistently inspired me to be a better, more self loving, positive version of myself. In this article she gives you a concrete numbered list of actions to take if you’re having a “shitty brain day”. Who doesn’t have those from now and again? Take her advice, feel awesome, know her, love her, thank her. This woman is great.
Every project that Kathleen Hanna has been a part of (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and the Julie Ruin) has been instrumental in the construction of my mental health, my politics, and my sense of feminist community. In this video she pairs with Kathi Wilcox (also from Bikini Kill and the Julie Ruin) to test one another’s knowledge of their 20+ year friendship. I love the window into their personalities and let’s be real, I love the incredible power of the female bond. Revolution, Girl style NOW, always and forever.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin