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 an 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!
Wow... this post literally brought me to tears... it was exactly what I needed to read and resonates with me SO much! Absolutely bang on in every way, thank you so much <3 so much truth, vulnerability, honesty & inspiration! so glad I found your blog, all the best x Nikki xx
Awww you're so kind! I'm thrilled to hear it spoke to you.
Kasey Kushion says
This is so, so heart-felt and I absolutely love the direction your blog is heading! In the world of health and wellness, taking care of ourselves and helping others recover, you truly shine. Thank you for being an open, honest voice in this community! The direction that health and wellness has taken recently is just so unrealistic; we need more articles like yours! Undoubtedly, an inspiration!
Kelsey Yoki says
This shift is happening and at a time when we all just need love at the end of the day no matter what. <3
Alexis, I am so, so thrilled for your shift in focus. I've been reading your blog for a few years and, while you have never once come across as obsessively healthy, your shift aligns with my new personal focus on Health at Every Size and body positivity. I've read Intuitive Eating more than once, but this January it really sunk in when I made the choice to finally stop dieting, for good. I found Christy Harrison's Food Psych podcast and it has been so empowering. The amount of free space in my brain these days is astounding. I have time to focus on more of what matters and less of what doesn't (ahem, the nutritional content of every morsel I put in my mouth).
Thanks for all you do! It's so important to have people like you sharing your message. Sending you a big high five!
Your radiance is palpable! Truly, your voice is feeding my soul! I am dealing with a resurgence of an old (30+ yrs ago!) ED from my teen years. I have come to see that all the years in between I was really only partially recovered and I long to feel true freedom with food and exercise. I found your blog about a year ago and have been drawn to it ever since...and the recent shift truly speaks to me...I am nourishing myself with positive influences like you, Robyn, Kylie, Rachel and Food Psych...and I am ever so grateful for your presence. I cannot help but wonder how much different my recovery would have been as a teen if I had this kind of 'virtual support' and information. keep living your passion !
Sam @ G & G Nutrition Co. says
Thanks for such an honest post and for spreading positive vibes about weight and body image. It's hard working as a dietitian and feeling forced to cater to the weight talk.
So excited for this next chapter! I have to tell you Alexis, your blog has inspired me in my anorexia recovery so much and you always have such a positive impact on me. Thank you!
Erin @ Erin's Inside Job says
Omg yes. There's too many things to comment on in that. Let's just be BFFs hahaha.
Rachel @ Health My Lifestyle says
So glad to hear that you are aligned with your true self! And you pose an excellent point about the messages we send to kids when we focus on outward appearance. With my nieces and nephews I try to focus on complimenting their achievements rather than looks and hope to set a good example for them. There definitely need to be more conversations that build each other up rather than tear ourselves down.
This is absolutely INSPIRING and you couldn't have written this any better! I also hear so many friends, family, and even strangers talking negatively about their body and it just kills me. Spreading a positivity to people in ways that doesn't involve appearance is how we can build more confidence in ourselves and feel more at peace. Keep up these great posts, our society needs this voice!! 🙂
Casey the College Celiac says
The changes to your blog this year have honestly been one of my favorite parts of 2017, and it's been amazing to see the positive reverberations your blog has had on the online healthy living community. All I have to say is keeping doing you! It's obviously working 😉
Continue being awesome and YOU. I also have switched gears and am more excited than ever to start writing again - long hiatus on the blog. You were part of that inspiration that helped me realize what I truly love and what I don't <3
Alexis, this made me beam from ear to ear. I am so happy you are feeling so great about these recent changes. Your happiness and positivity about feeling aligned to your true self is shining through the words on this post. Your realness is hugely inspiring and you are inspiring and will inspire so many. Shall I say inspire again...!? "It’s deep, powerful, enchanting relationships. It’s love. This is love" - YES YES YES.
Thank you for these last two uplifting posts. Thank you for all that you are and will be. Life is constantly shifting and changing. We need to be doing the same.
you are a magical unicorn and i am SO PROUD OF YOU and so dang happy that you feel so connected and lovely and fired up! i want summa dat! thanks for being real and honoring your truth, and helping those of us who DO struggle with all of this body image/disordered eating shiz - and those who don't - remember what life is all about. happiness will never be found on the scale or in the mirror. and im still learning - over and over and over - that comparison really is the thief of joy. here's to 2017 being a year of joy. lord knows i need some. thanks for being you, sweet pea. so proud to call you a friend and to be a fierce follower. <3 do you and stay true! XO
Dawn Shepard says
I am so looking forward to your future posts! Thank you for taking this direction.
Katie @ 24 Carrot Life says
You are so inspiring and I am so excited to continue to follow along with your journey. I recently transitioned my content from food to sustainability and while I know my pageviews and revenue will be low for a while, I am finally excited again about writing blog posts and sharing content so that is what truly matters!
I can't commend this enough! If you are looking for great info on eating disorders i would suggest you check out the ED institute and Gwyneth Olwyn. Also Chris Sandel of 7-health is amazing--i could so see you on one of his podcasts--you should touch base with him. As a nutritionist who struggles with anorexia herself...this awakening of yours has been really inspirational for me. I really want to recover and help others in their path to food freedom.
I love this so much Alexis <3 Thank you!
Juliette From Namastay Traveling says
You're posts have been powerful and vulnerable, which I can truly appreciate as a writer. Thank you for opening my eyes to the world behind the blogger, beautifully stated as always. You're an inspiration.
YES. Keep on keepin on, girl! I'm totally loving this "Change the game" mentality showing up among RDs. Vulnerability is powerful. Donuts are normal and delicious. Your words and actions inspire and motivate me to continue sharing my realness with friends/family/clients/the internet!
Jenni Schaffer says
Oh, I just love reading what you write. Just fills me up. Love from South Florida 🙂
I have followed u for years and totally live by what your saying. All I can say is WOW and good for you and all of us!! Finally someone has taken on this crazy blogging world that is constantly touting the start of each post withclean eating, healthy, blah, blah, blah. Some have lost their following as a result because it's not the way most people want to think on a continuous basis. Your on to something and your heart is huge so ALOT of people u will help. Have a great, sunny day?
This is awesome!! Keep up the amazing and inspiring work. I am so sick of all the perfectly put together vegan, organic lunches and snacks on social media. It's nice to change things up every once in awhile. Keep doing that 🙂
Sam @ Hygge Wellness says
Absolutely loving this, Alexis! I look for ways to "fill up my cup" from within so I don't look to food or exercise to do it for me (I used to!). I celebrated with food, I 'worked off' my celebrations in the gym, and never felt emptier. Now, I prioritize self-care and approach food as a happy, fulfilled person. I make reasonable, consistent, healthy food decisions naturally... because I want to. I want to feel good. And I want to eat things that cultivate more of those feelings. It's a much gentler, healthier approach in my eyes. I am SO so glad that you're featuring more of this type of content. I'm absolutely loving it!
Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy says
Your more recent posts have been so powerful and it's apparent that you are writing from your heart and being true to myself. I smiled throughout this whole post. Also - donuts at Alchemy?! I get more jealous by the day that I'm not in Ohio. Ship to NC? 🙂
So excited to continue to read this blog as your vision evolves for it. I couldn't relate more on the timeline of the "change" and where I was last year versus this year. Honesty & authenticity have a beautiful way of rising to the surface and giving us peace. It's inspiring to see you trust that and take this path!
Carrie this fit chick says
So excited for you and your new journey on this self- love/ growth path. In the past 2 years, I have made self love a huge focus and it's made BIG changes to my overall mindset around lots of things in life. It's the most important thing you can do for yourself. I highly recommend Marc and Angel's blog to read... lots of helpful content on self growth!