I haven’t done a weekend reading post in quite some time, mostly because I found that I was beginning to stress about what I would share each week, which effectively took the joy out of writing at all. WHOOPS.
Because I spend a lot of time both striving to crush it at life and also trying to let myself be imperfect, I have simply been blogging less. I don’t love it, but I do love allowing myself the grace of being a very busy human being until the inspiration hits.
This week I read a TON of wonderful, bad-ass, brave shit written by women and queer folks and I knew I was going to be getting back on the share grind as soon as I could. (An aside- I have this fear sometimes that if I stop doing something and I lose momentum with it I! WILL! NEVER! DO! IT! AGAIN!. This attitude kept me from taking rest days from exercise for years (WHAT IF I TAKE A DAY OFF AND NEVER MOVE MY BODY AGAIN FOR ONE DAY IN MY ENTIRE LIFE?!!??!) and turned me into a bit of a catastrophizer. I am taking this moment to announce that I used to post a weekend reading list each week, I stopped ’cause it got overwhelming, then I got inspired again this week and picked it back up again. GOT THAT BRAIN? GOOD.)
ANYWAY. Onto the links!
Once every five years the USDA updates the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and this year we are seeing LESS influence from major food corporations and MORE friendly suggestions that fit within the frame of a vegan diet. The proposed guidelines rely much less heavily on meat and expressly state that a vegetarian diet is beneficial. That’s huge!
Despite these advances, there is both room for worry and room for improvement. Once the proposed guidelines are announced, the public (including big business with lots of money and lots to lose) has time to put in their input. This article tells you how you can express YOUR opinion about the guidelines, and I sincerely hope that no matter what your diet, you take the chance to use this opportunity. Remember, these guidelines directly impact all federal programs, including school lunches and WIC. Even if they don’t directly make a difference in how you eat, they are extremely important culturally.
This was an absolutely wonderful rumination on the benefits of taking the goals out of running. For Sara, her aim with running is simply to run, she’s done it for years all over the world, she hasn’t gotten any faster, nor does she intend to. I LOVE THIS, both because it’s wonderfully zen but also because I love when people take the wind out of the sails of both the patriarchy and the weight loss industry.
First of all, look at this woman. Completely adorable while being 100% bad ass. I would LOVE to look like Gabby.
Second of all, this article really hits a nail on the head for me. When I first started lifting weights, I got bigger. Like, a lot bigger. Pre-weights I was doing as much cardio as humanly possible, restricting my food, and sometimes throwing up. It was NATURAL and REASONABLE that I got bigger because my shift in exercise inspired a huge confidence and empowerment boost that allowed me a little fucking breathing room. Enough in fact, that I LET my body gain weight.
I got bigger on purpose.
Today, I love my body, and although I have definitely lost some of the initial weight I gained when I started lifting weights, it is still noticeably larger than when I was a cardio queen with an eating disorder. I have defined muscles and big ass quads and I fought for this strong beautiful body, and I aint bummed about it. When I hear women say “I don’t want to get bulky!” I used to feel a little offended, but now I step aside from what others want, and take a peak into what I want for myself and my frame.
It turns out, I want exactly what I have. And from this article, I can see Gabby does too.
I fucking love that.
I love the contrast I have going on here. The Seinberg article exalts goallessness in running, while this article by my friend Caitlin, gets into the nitty gritty of learning that the key to success in endurance events is getting psychological. I have SO MUCH respect for the two very different approaches to running, although my personal approach is kind of neither of the ones discussed.
Isn’t it awesome how varied opinions can all be valuable and valid?
Yeah, I thought so too.
In this article Caitlin talks about mental toughness, re-writing her story about herself, staying in the moment, embracing the power of positive self-talk, keeping perspective and welcoming discomfort. I have totally used every single one of these in the first year of starting Super Strength Health, so the article resonated deeply even if not in an athletic sense.
Also, Spoiler alert : CAITLIN QUALIFIED FOR BOSTON! You go, gurl.
Bitches Gotta Eat is one of my favorite blogs for pure unbridled LOLZ.
In this article, Sam discusses a few quick and easy meals for folks with tiny ass barely functional kitchens. Most of the meals aren’t vegan, although some tweaks could get them there, but I basically give zero fucks because although I am not necessarily going to make the food, I am totally going to laugh my ass off at the way she talks. If you need a little comic relief, please hop right over to this blog, sit back, and indulge.
You’re worth it.
See you next week!
Last week someone brought to my attention the fact that an acquaintance in my social circle had just began attending a health and wellness coach training program. This person is female (like me!), in the bay area (like me!), punk (like me!), vegan (like me!), and had a strong interest in body image issues (like me!).
That is fucking awesome I thought. Someone new to talk self-employment with.
Of course, the person relaying the information asked if I was concerned or somehow angered by this acquaintance’s new venture and I just smiled and shook my head.
I want more body image health and wellness coaches.
Not only that, I want more queer personal trainers. More eating disorder survivors helping others to heal.
I want more radical women in spandex, teaching people how to properly handle a barbell.
I want there to be so many vegan health and wellness coaches that any one ever, with any single question about how to make veganism work, has an immediate and relatable resource.
I want as many people as possible doing positive self-esteem advocacy work, because FUCK DUDES, we need it. There are so many messages telling us all constantly that we are not good enough, that our bodies and minds are simply something to fix.
I, myself, have worked with a health and wellness coach. I currently work with a personal trainer. I have my own wellness practice, sure, but I very much enjoy both supporting other women and also love the new perspective these women give me. I don’t want to be the only health and wellness coach or personal trainer because I want the people who aren’t into my approach (or my cussing, or even my personality) to get the leaders that they need. Period. There is no shortage of people looking to feel more awesome. I want there to be someone for everyone.
I am not only NOT upset that this person in my community is going to be doing some similar work to mine, I am excited. I am excited to watch her business grow and for her clients to transform and for her to be working a job that every single day feels like a gift. I am excited to promote her and support her however I can. I am excited to be her peer, because put simply, there is enough success for everyone.
Witnessing success is not a threat to our own success.
Wishing someone success is not wishing our own failure.
Addendum: If you are thinking of being a body positive focused health and wellness coach or trainer, DO IT. Let’s build an army. I will support you. I will tell you the things I learned starting my business. I will promote you and send you clients.
I will never consider you my competition, especially when circumstances tell us we should compete.
I’m with you.
We got this.
I have left Oakland, people. Can you believe it? I hardly can.
I don’t really like to leave my comfort zone. (my town, my shack, my sleep routine, my partner, my friends, my gym, my ability to cook.) It takes a fucking lot to make any trip feel worth my while, and with this trip, I tried to back out of it multiple times. I was nervous about spending money, I hate to drive, I didn’t want to make the trek alone. But you know what?
I am seeing Beyonce tonight.
And no matter how you slice it, that completely rules.
So. Here I am. And because I love you, here is your Sunday Reading.
This podcast came to me at an absolutely perfect time. It discusses self-care, concrete and physical actions you can take to value yourself, and transforming your relationship with work, finances, and money. These are all things I am actively and acutely interested in, things that have been on my mind more often than not. Check it!
In honor of my date with Queen Bey tonight, I would like to highlight this speech by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on the incredible and beautiful importance of feminism for EVERYONE. I love that Beyonce introduced me to this genius, even though I continue to be a bit confused by her portrayal of punk rock (is that supposed to be punk rock? It’s not really the punk I know) in the accompanying video.
(REGARDLESS, tween girls have the word FEMINIST floating around in their heads. WORTH IT)
Thinking of fitness as a practice (like a yoga “practice”) has changed the way I experience exercise. I use my physical fitness routine as a way to keep myself attuned and aware of my body. I don’t use fitness to fight myself. This is, I imagine, why I will exercise as long as I possibly can.
Any art that features fabric is my JAM. I love the idea of repurposing an abandoned space and making a representation of what the space once was.
See you Monday!