Apr 29, 2010

open at your own risk.

Hey guys – happy little friday!

Although this is not a weight loss blog, sometimes i get passionate about satan, the scale. Bear with me.

Today I had lunch with the most amazing girl! She wanted some advice on managing insulin resistance (something near and dear to my heart). she’s into nutrition, so naturally we got carried away and ended up down a health “bunny trail,” if you will.

We spent our time talking about… weight. Not really weight, but how weight loss and what we eat really isn’t about calories.

Say what? Hear me out.

I don’t really talk about it much here, but I’ve struggled with my weight since, well… birth! As a teenager, daily life consisted of obsessing over what I ate and how I felt about my body. And being on swim team my entire life certainly didn’t help that – hello, speedos? I wasted years ashamed of my body, thinking, “ok, Monday starts my diet. I’ll just eat salad on Monday.”

when I left for college, I was terrified. The curse of the freshman fifteen seemed loomed ominously, and I couldn’t afford to buy new clothes again! so logically, I started dieting. after visiting the end of google and back, I felt even more hopeless – not only is there 1,092,309,420,394 different diet plans, but none of them seem... to actually work.

I counted calories, I ran, but I was still soft in the middle. Awesome… is this all a trick? I felt i must have been missing something. I could never just let go and enjoy my food, but I could never succeed at being “good,” either. I hated eating, I hated being hungry, and I definitely hated my lack of willpower. I felt worthless, hopeless, and like a total failure. Don’t get me wrong – I was never obese or anything, but body image isn’t all about weight, is it?

… I’m not sure why, but as girls, we kinda tip-toe around the real issue. When we complain about our weight, it seems the only thing that is “safe” to talk about is numbers – calories, pounds, servings, measurements, hours running, miles, etc. we moan and commiserate in groups, all bonding together over gelato and trash-talking heidi klum. the laws of physics must not apply to supermodels!

What is our real problem, then, if it’s not calories? We know the calorie count in a slice of toast, the fat grams in a scoop of ice cream, and the carbs in pop tarts. So why do we feel so hopeless? Why does nothing ever seem to work? I’m sure a doctor would disagree with me, but I would be bold enough to politely say that he doesn’t know crap.
I think the real struggle behind what size pants we wear is not what goes into our MOUTHS, but what goes into our MINDS.

Thanks to cosmo magazine, we have been conditioned to think that skinny means success. That deprivation equals drive. That your jean size must be equal to how lazy you are. That your choice at lunch is representative of your worth. That how your abs look is how happy you are. That if you eat salad, you will land your dream man. That vacation is more fun when you’re thin. If you could just lose X amount of pounds, life would be perfect.

Girls…….. seriously? Enough!

Promise me you will do this – raise your right hand, and solemnly swear to SCREAM IN THE FACE of anyone who ever makes you feel that way again. Promise you will get ANGRY when you find yourself looking at lauren conrad and wishing you could trade thighs. Promise you will immediately dump/scratch the face off of any guy who treats you like trash because of your jean size/bra size/waist size.

YOU are a treasure because you have a brain, a heart, and a purpose. PEOPLE change lives, not diet books. PEOPLE fall in love, not numbers on scales. PEOPLE make a different, not bikini sizes.

You are not a number. Your size is simply a reflection on what you eat. Period. It is not a measure of your self-worth, your importance, or your popularity. It has nothing to do with how special you are, or the caliber of man you can snag. Do you see a calorie count on the things that actually matter?

Think about it. In history class, you probably never saw a picture of the people who changed the world. You don’t know what size pants they wore, or how much they weighed, because NONE OF THAT MATTERED. They knew they had something special, and they lived and died for it.

The point? I’m pretty sure Gandhi didn’t waste his time or money on Atkins. Life is about people, not pants. Your value on this planet is not equal to how little you can eat in a day and not pass out. Your impact on earth is determined by what you pour into others.

Don’t waste one more second hating yourself. Your body is your most precious gift. You can’t do anything without it, so why do we beat it into submission, starving it, and contorting it on workout machines until we collapse? Food and exercise aren’t punishments! Nourishing and energizing our bodies are life’s greatest pleasures – so please, ladies, put down your gallon of ben and jerry’s and look at yourself hard in the mirror. Don’t leave until you make peace with what you see. Examine the PERSON, not the image, because you are NOT an object.

until you can honestly tell yourself that you’re ok with WHO you are and not WHAT you are, you will continue to treat your body like a naughty pet who deserves to be scolded. You will never be able to escape the cycle of defeat and self-loathing, and that breaks my heart, because i was you.

You deserve freedom and respect, and life is passing you by while you waste it counting fat grams.

anything i missed?
- rebekah


  1. girl, I am speechless. All I can say: I freakin' love you. You are so inspirational. And not just this post - everything I read from you. I may just print this and frame it ;) I wish I could put my thoughts out in such a motivating, feel-good way. I'm just a random jumble of thoughts.
    So, thank you SO MUCH for this - and have a great night :)

  2. so beautiful! what an amazing story and journey you have had. im so proud of you:) ur such a lovely being <3 xoxo

  3. Thank you for this post! So inspirational. I might re-read it to really get it through my brain!

  4. great post. i'd add, throw away your tvs and those trash magazines! i notice my self-image is much healthier when i'm not bombarded with images of women in the media.

  5. This is such a well-written post! You are right...we do live in a culture that encourages us to hate our bodies unless we look a certain way. "Life is about people, not pants" -- I like that line. :) Thanks for the inspiration this morning!!

    And...while I do have to add that there are certain situations where a person's size IS a matter of life and death, I think the same message still applies. The goal should be getting healthy, not to reach a ridiculous ideal.

  6. Can I get a witness?!!? This was such an awesome and it's so true. I think if you surround yourself with ideas, people, and things that are true to who we are as individuals and what makes us truly happy... those things are nothing but background noise if they are heard at all. I had to make a very conscious decision awhile back to tune those things out and ignore any negative talk I heard from other people. I often will take someone's self-loathe comment and turn it around to something positive.. for them so they see how special they are and that there's more to life than looks or that being thin is awesome. I think being healthy is awesome.. when I say this I'm not thinking of a specific body. How can I? I'm thinking of when I don't have a cold.. instead I am able to do what I want to do. Once again, awesome post!


  7. Loved this post. I actually just made a commitment to myself to never engage in fat talk again. It's so harmful to our self and others. :) Thanks for the inspiration! I hope you hold yourself to this post.
    Dana <3

  8. dear god. thank you for this. it means the world to me. after years of putting my body through hell by starving, binging, purging, and over-exercising, i think i am starting to see the light.

  9. Your blog always gives me a boost.


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