Crack the hunger code

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Guys I am so excited to be able to team up with Dr. Anita Johnston- author and recent podcast guest- to bring to you her FREE soul hunger video series. This is an amazing resource for anyone interested about their relationship with food.

In this society it is all too common to see people struggling with eating difficulties, or body image issues. I am here to tell you, you don’t have to live like that any longer.

In this multi part video series you learn the skills necessary to make peace with food and your body. You don’t have to have an eating disorder, or be in recovery to benefit from this. Obsessive thoughts about food and our bodies are so pervasive and validated in this culture, we can all benefit from a little bit more freedom.

Click HERE to get the FREE Soul Hunger Video Series!

Skin

There was once a Girl who wore her worth on her skin. She climbed in and climbed out, every day. She tended that skin with what was thought to be care, manipulating and controlling its every crevice, blemish, and curve. Only worthy of being seen in that skin if it was to be received well. What will they think of me today? Tuck here, trim here, hide this, hide that; she thought to Herself. To be embraced with acceptance is to be worthy. To be honored and revered for this skin was success. If the compliments stopped pouring, she retreated into Herself and tended harder. Tuck more, trim more, hide more; she thought to Herself. When she bathed in compliments, she tended to that skin even harder. The skin was flourishing but the soul withered away. Sense of self, sense of worth, and pure exhaustion dripping from Her with every  touch to that skin. Soon the Girl all but disappeared and she had nothing to put into that skin. Each day she deemed Herself unworthy of showing up as she shoved what little bits of Her were left into the skin. The skin was still revered but the girl could no longer care, as she had lost so much of herself along the way. The skin had been abused by others and now its very owner. Where could she find her worth now? She continued to climb into the skin each day. Another choice was not left. Inside it was hollow; except for the smallest amount of space the remaining part of Her occupied. Lonely, quiet, dark. She sat in the dark and slowly grasped for more. Day by day she filled the space inside the skin with love, passion, and purpose. The skin grew softer, more wrinkled, and less revered. Slowly the girl kept growing. After quite a while things changed. Her worth came from Her words, Her touch, Her love. The skin was now a vehicle for Her that she fueled, and cared for. The only reverence that mattered was Her own. The light from inside couldn’t be contained any longer. The skin shone light so bright others could no longer ignore. When people did shade themselves from her light, it changed nothing. Inside the soul flourished and the Girl lived once again. Today there is a girl who’s worth is worn inside.

You have the answers

There are a few problems with body positivity gaining such publicity and I can’t help but want to show up to iron them out. Not in the hopes of making anyone feel like they’re “doing it wrong” but it hopes to keep the movement pure and functioning for all involved. Body positivity is a small child birthed from the fat acceptance movement of the 60’s. This is not as new of a concept as it seems. What is new is the diet and beauty industry (a $60 billion a year industry) piggy backing off of it and gaining the public eye.

Every day, every where fat people are publicly shamed for the size of their body. They have less job opportunities, less places to shop, receivers of dirty glances for ordering or eating certain types of foods, and routinely told it’s all their fault because it’s something “they can control.”

This is not to say that any individual thin person has not experienced body shame or been at the receiving end of fat phobia, and I am not here to discount any one individual’s experience. I am here to center the experiences of the more marginalized: fat people. When we can gain true acceptance in our society for fat people; thin people will fall in to that umbrella. You can’t gain acceptance of an oppressed group by centering the non- oppressed.

I am not here to tell you how you can eat, or how you should or shouldn’t move your body. I am not here to define empowerment for you. But I am here to ask you to question the things that are telling you how to do those things. Media, peers, society, and culture all tell us as women on a daily basis how we should and shouldn’t feed ourselves, how we should and shouldn’t look, and what bodies are acceptable to love and which ones aren’t.

I am here to tell you, you are the only person with all the answers. You are the only one that knows how to feed your body in a way that feels good. You get to decide when you’re ready to start loving or even just not hating your body. I just know how exhausting, painful, and lonely it can be to be constantly hating your vessel, and trying to control it. I want you to know it doesn’t have to be that way. I do this work because I want every person and every body to gain their own freedom. I am also here to teach you, even if you don’t believe it; your body is worthy of acceptance just the way it is, and that you as a person are more than your appearance, your worth lays inside you and not on your waist size. You bring more value to this world than as an ornament. You worth is inherent, you are worthy of showing up and taking up space just how you are.

I teach, and preach not to attack any person or to tell anyone they’re doing it wrong. I preach to show you another way. I know all of this is hard, and scary, and maybe doesn’t make sense at all but I am here with out judgement. I have my hands open to all women who are tired of living a life defining their self acceptance based on other people’s standards.

Why I am a feminist

The other night I had someone ask me, “Well can’t you just spread fat acceptance without feminism?” Some people find it annoying when you’re a feminist. Which is fine by me, but my jaw almost dropped to the ground with this comment.

No, you absolutely cannot spread fat activist messages with out feminism, it not only came from feminism but at this point, in my opinion the two movements really need each other.

Feminism is the fight for equality, for all people, regardless of gender, age, orientation, ethnicity, race, size, or ability.

(So please understand the true meaning of feminism and not what you think it is, or perceive it to be)

The fat acceptance movement fits right in with feminist theory and really at this point they are so interwoven that I think it is extremely problematic when we discuss feminist issues with out talking about size stigma and size discrimination.

So why am I a feminist?

I am a feminist because after years of being raised in a world that idolized only thin and “beautiful” women, I found myself having developed an eating disorder despite my strong foundation with food growing up.

I am a feminist to pay tribute to the thousands of women that have come before me, and fought for the rights that I am privileged with today. The suffragettes that gave me the right to vote and the women of the liberation movement of the 60’s that suffered endless berating from men and women alike so that I could do something as simple and taken for granted as wear pants, and as monumental as pursue higher education and hold a job away from a type writer.

Although I recognize how far we have come and how much we have to be thankful for, I will not settle for, “oh we don’t have it that bad.” Whenever I hear a women tell me she doesn’t understand what I am fighting for or that she doesn’t feel she has been oppressed I think back on the women of the 60’s who didn’t feel oppressed even though men were very publicly and admittedly telling them they belonged at home, and in the kitchen.

As I found comfort in feminism I realized that I didn’t know why I did so many things I was taught my whole life to do. Why did women shave their underarms and their pubic hair? Did I actually enjoy doing that? Did I actually enjoy wearing makeup? Did I feel empowered and confident in makeup or did I feel it was the only way to be seen and be worthy of attention? The more I analyzed these topics in myself the more I realized we still need feminism.

We need feminism so our daughters can make choices for their bodies expanding from reproductive rights, down to whether or not she wants to shave her arm pits with out judgement. We need feminism so our sons can grow up in a world where their emotions are validated, and heard with out fear of ridicule. We need feminism so we can stop perpetuating expectations like, “act like a lady” or “be a man,” “men don’t cry.” These notions are problematic and gender roles and expectations affect women and men alike. My daughter should not feel pressure to be thin, to have big breasts, big ass,  or to be perfectly toned (but not too muscular!) and my son should not feel less than if he is not muscular or “built.”

I think we all need feminism. If we can move the needle to being more accepting of all humans, the affects will trickle down across the board, and in turn benefit us all.

So what do you have to lose?