Warm. Joyful. Radiant. Peaceful. That is how I feel. Like my body, mind, and spirit has been enveloped with this gorgeous combination of confidence, purpose, love, and wonder.
I feel like I can write again. I've been writing for what feels like forever but I don't know the last time I felt so deeply connected to my words. I feel more in touch with what I want. And what I don't. I actually had a rough weekend and didn't feel like posting yesterday, so for the first time in probably years I didn't do a Monday post. I'm okay with that. Whew!
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your sincere words on the I Have Been Changed post. While I was afraid to publish those thoughts, it seems we all agree that some health care professionals, influencers, bloggers, non-blogging health fanatics and the like may have been unknowingly exacerbating an epidemic of disordered eating. That said, I'd like to acknowledge that I'm by no way inferring that everyone in the wellness space is contributing to orthorexia. I'm aware that one can have a sincere love and passion for health and not have an eating disorder. Hi, I'm one of them! Nonetheless, my perspective as not just a blogger working with people and an influencer working with brands but as a registered dietitian in both the media and private practice is a very different one.
I'm the one with under-nourished men and women crying in my office over triggering social media content. I see things that a lot of people don't and it has molded my perspective in a way I never expected. To make a change and be a voice in this or any upward climb (as my dad likes to call it), it's likely that I'll ruffle (and already have ruffled) some feathers. As a super sensitive person whose intention with all of this organic shift in content couldn't be farther from upsetting people, that's hard for me. I've always prided myself on doing what's right and leading by integrity, which is a tricky thing to do when it's a new or unpopular opinion. I want to focus on this being a positive shift as much as possible to keep myself from drowning in the thoughts of people taking what I say the wrong way.
What I know for sure is that I see more people struggling with their body image and "dieting" now than I do those struggling with weight loss. We really do live in a different world.
A lot of people after reading my post asked the question I knew was coming: what's next? What are we going to do about it? For me personally, I am now educating myself on everything I can get my hands on when it comes to self love, body image, eating disorders, and intuitive eating. I'm googley eyed over books like Body Kindness and Health at Every Size. I follow positive people on social networks that preach feeding not just your body, but also your soul. I'm much more picky about the content I engage in.
Whereas last year my world was blogging about vegan paleo refined-sugar free muffins, running a juice bar, and working with clients trying to shed pounds, things are very different now. We sell more donuts at Alchemy than ever. My clients want to learn from me how to mend their relationship with food. Even Trism, the new restaurant concept opening on OSU's campus in May, has a mission of balance, of being health conscious rather than health obsessed, of living a vibrant life. It's like the stars are aligning.
I pledge to post more fun food. I pledge to post about things I know would warm your heart to read about, like books that bring me joy, self-care, days in the life, etc. I want to inspire you like you have inspired me. I honestly just want this space to be more fun. I want it to reflect what I love most about myself---my zest for life, my honesty, my passion, my ambition, my empathy, and my vulnerability. And I'm totally open to suggestions if you have them!
I wholeheartedly want to be more honest with you. There are things I've been through that you wouldn't believe, traumatic times that have molded me into the strong, determined woman I am today. I know hearing about those trying times would lift you up and give you confidence to just keep going. That if I can do it, you can too. I didn't feel comfortable getting that personal until now.
I've alluded to this over and over and I know many of you bloggers out there will relate, but it is not easy to shift content in a way that reflects your true and ever-changing passions. When I include "vegan" and "gluten-free" in the title, I know it's more searchable on Google for people looking for those recipes. More SEO-friendly. That means more page views. That's my business mind talking, my "I-need-to-pay-my-exorbitant-student-loan-bill" talking.
But I just don't care like I used to. I recently read this article about the secret to living a fulfilling life. Guess what? It's not Facebook. It's not page views. It's not how many Instagram followers you have. And it sure as hell isn't money. It's deep, powerful, enchanting relationships. It's love. This is love.
I pledge to move forward with this space by leading with authenticity and joy. I know what makes me feel good, and it's making a difference by inspiring others to do the same. It always has been. I don't know the last time I felt so damn happy!
I know I'm not overwhelmed with gratitude and self-worth when I land a contract with a big brand. And that's not an insult to anyone that is! I was brought to my knees last week over your comments, emails, and messages. If I were writing this love letter to you on paper, it would be tear-stained.
What can you do? Be real. Be real with yourself and others, in your real relationships and those online. Bond with others over your imperfections and embrace them. Find a way to compliment your friends, family, and strangers that doesn't involve their body size. Think about the difference we could make if we traded in "you look so thin" and "you're pregnant? But you're so tiny!" with "you're so smart" or "you inspire me." Watch your words, especially around children. What message do you think it sends when kids grow up around parents constantly trying to manipulate their bodies?
I actually can't believe how much people bond over talking down about themselves. Don't contribute to these conversations. Don't fuel the diet fire! Once you're aware of it, you'll hear it all around you. And you'll want absolutely nothing to do with it.
Talk about these things with your friends, your children, your parents. Question your choices. Do you. Eat not just for your body but for your mind and your soul. Eat the bagel when you crave the bagel. Take off your fit bit. Eat more dessert. Get a massage. Read a book. Hug yourself. Love yourself. Change the norm. Change the game!
I feel like I'm finally being totally true to myself and it's nothing short of magical. I can't wait to see where this goes!