Sep 7, 2010

ask me anything, and a body image week ramble.

mornin' sunshines! today is a crazy-full day for me, so i am typing at warp speed right now... forgive my certain typos (i just wrote typeos - case in point).

sidenote: apparently the last few days i've been struggling with google images to get good pictures for the blog, so certainly unrelated, but kinda funny/true/thought-provoking at the same time:

two quick thoughts for today:

1. thank you, thank you, thank you to all the amazing voices who chimed in on my little animal-free series over the last week or so, but also, thanks to all who read! you guys are seriously my joy in writing.

but seriously, though - this isn't a one-sided blog. i want to be a research buddy, a source of encouragement, and someone to bounce thoughts off of... no matter what you eat!

i really appreciate the folks who commented something different than i wrote, or added something i missed. my dear friend christie's comment on yesterday's vegan misconceptions post reminded me that i still i want to write much more about approaching nutrition in general, not just animal-products, so stay tuned for that (and a post on iron absorption!). if you have anything you're curious about or want to hear my thoughts on, please comment or shoot me an email! there seriously is no such thing as a stupid or pointless question.

2. september 5-12th is national body image and eating disorders awareness week (BIEDAW) in australia. to all my australian friends (and everyone else!), i hope you realize how incredibly beautiful your life is! i seriously couldn't be more in awe of how incredible the human body is - in every size, race, and gender. amazing.

because of this, i've been thinking about body image a lot. this is a bit of a ramble, but here's some of my uncensored thoughts:

i guess i've felt that god has mostly healed me from my negative thoughts in the last few months, so i haven't posted a lot on body image. i should change that, now that i think about it... but anyways, in celebration of body image and ed week, i want to update y'all on this new phase in my story: the victory we can find in knowing numbers AND not caring.

i've written about my body image struggles before, so i am sensitive about posting weight/calories/pant size/etc. you aren't me, are you? so why would my weight effect your health? it's too easy to judge and get fixated on details that aren't important in life and can lead to destruction.

if you follow me on twitter, you might have caught a glimpse of my excitement yesterday:

To all the girls who think you have to starve to stay in shape, DON'T! i prob ate 3,000+ cals and my pants STILL FIT! You are beautiful TODAY

about 13 hours ago via txt
my point? when you embrace nourishing your body for health, what that looks like to others might seem strange.
do i eat like a man? yes. am i the strongest i've ever been in my life? yes! how? I EAT GOOD FOOD WHEN I'M HUNGRY. i don't get emotional if my "i-haven't-broken-the-calorie-counting-habit-completely-yet" brain says WOAH YOU JUST ATE 1,000 CALORIES IN ONE SITTING. because you know what? i needed them! and i feel great after eating them! 
it's an incredible moment when you can acknowledge reality about life, how it applies to you, and accept it peacefully. i've been testing that in my diet over the last few weeks, and it was a huge victory to discover how many calories i was eating and SMILE because i didn't care. i've just accepted my new, healthier, active, incredibly strong body needs a lot of food. want a number? between 2,500 and 3,500 calories.
i wasted years jumping through all the "right" hoops to manage my weight: i never ate fried foods. i denied myself incredible desserts at parties. i counted calories. i didn't eat at night. i exercised up to 2 hours a day, 6 times a week. i ate my fruits and veggies. i read nutrition labels like it was my MCAT.
none of that was effective at anything other than making me miserable. in my heart, i never felt adequate. sadly, it took an uncurable disease before i realized i can be happy with life the way it is RIGHT NOW because that's all i have.
i'm not scared to post those calories because my life proves starvation is NOT the only way! please reexamine that logic... your body deserves so much more! also, i love throwing people for a loop, and it totally tickles me to death that it's not kosher to like your body and be a girl... but you know what? I LOVE THIS BODY.
you heard right folks. shockingly, my body is ok today, and it was ok yesterday, and it will be tomorrow too. and yeah, it's still ok if i eat cake.
GASP. i said it. sue me.
god's been teaching me that peace with myself spills over in other areas of my life, too. i go to bed at 9-something pm every night, didn't party on my 21st birthday and don't drink, don't like dessert, and my mom is my best friend. i love moving my body and am thrilled with how god's given me the strength after weeks of being confined to my bed. and the most increible gift? after years of trying to find my worth in getting guys' attention, i'm perfectly content being single and living life one day at a time.
so yeah, here i am world. i'm 21, right-handed, can fit in kids' clothes, have bloodshot eyes and a smart mouth, and a fiery temper that blows up in ethics class. but that's neither here nor there. what's imporant is i could have written anything and been equally satisfied. woah nelly, and praise god. 
life is miraculous: don't miss living because of details.
if you're australian, how will you participate?
if you aren't, what do you embrace about your body?


  1. love this I agree I don't count calories anymore and it feels great!! And you are probably at your most fit level ever! woo! this is fast post because ekk i have school until 5 [gotta pack lunch and SNACKAROOS]

  2. You eat whatever your beautiful heart desires! I actually think you looked better before you lost a bunch of weight. You look good either way though and it really doesnt matter as long as you are happy and healthy.

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed this post.
    I'm coming to love my body, too. It's not perfect, but it's beautiful and it enables me to TRULY live life. I love it for that!

  4. I am glad you are finding peace with your body. I feel myself getting stronger every day. I still have my moments happens. :D

  5. Thank you, Rebekah.
    That is all I can say. Thank you. You make me so motivated to honour my body, my life. You help me live a better life.

    I want to embrace every piece of my body. I want to love it when it is hungry, and when it is satisfied. We are building up trust here, as my body wants me to feel safe and proud when I listen to its signals. My goal is to embrace my appearance, as well as the beauty within.

    Again, thank you.

  6. Before I get on this post, I just wanted to say that I'm [kind of] against supplements. We are perfectly capable of obtaining everything we need from a variety of food sources throughout a day and do not need to take them (unless a deficiency exists, e.g. I take iron because I'm anemic). However, I understand your point and what I'm getting at is that when people read "supplement" they think it's what they can rely on to get their nutrients. To use my Dad for example: "Oh, I don't need to eat 'x' because I'm on a potassium pill, so that's how I get it." That's why I'm against supplements - they should be an addition to an already healthy and well-balanced diet, not a replacement to cut out foods you may or may not like. I'm also really looking forward to your post on iron absorption as I've read a lot about it myself and tried to figure out if there's any way I can get off of these stupid pills. (Sorry for commenting on the last post here - I didn't want my comment to get lost. :()

    I'm beginning to realize that it's OK to sit and eat a large plate of calories in one sitting - I did it for lunch and I'm always thinking to myself "oh, but what if I'm not hungry or I don't get to eat a snack or something like I usually do later...?" Then I don't eat it! It's simple but I'm so stuck on a schedule that I usually break my meals into a smaller portion and spread them out throughout the day because I love variety. I also really, really, really dislike the "full" or "stuffed" feeling so I try to avoid it.

    I love how you're embracing your body and that God has given us the strength to work past some of our negative body image and self-esteem issues and I hope that we're able to continue working towards happiness. I try to accept myself in the mirror after a workout in the locker rooms in the morning - regardless of how "ripped" my legs or abs look on a day (it always changes, there's no need to beat yourself up because you're not as defined as the previous day!!) and when I see myself shirtless I tell myself: "This is the body God has given me and I should embrace it and appreciate what I can do, not wallow in my 'flaws.'" Keep up the great posts, they provide such inspiration, beneficial knowledge and a good place to discuss and bounce ideas, especially for someone like me who loves nutrition, food science, ethics and healthy living!

  7. i love knowing that im not the only one out there that is content with being less 'out' there as other people are protrayed at our age. i didnt drink or party on my 21st birthday and i dont drink in general. ive also never been out clubbing and ive been single for 6 years now but confident with who i am and secure in knowing that the relationship i have with myself is what i need most right now.

    i never feel pressured to change which feels good given that growing up i definitely felt like i was missing out.. but going to bed at 10pm and not being a typical 'wild child' is fine with me. i should have to force myself out of a comfort zone that isnt the best for me anyways.

    your blog solidifies a lot of thoughts and feelings i have about myself and gives me a greater direction for my purpose and where i see my life in the future. its pretty amazing that the connections we make with people we never meet can have a greater impact than anything we could believe could come from it. thank you again for another honest post love

    xoxo <3

  8. I loved this Rebekah. I have to tell you that I think I read this post at exactly the right time. I've been struggling a lot with who I should be at 21, what I should be doing and experiencing, whether or not I will still become the person I want to be without living up my 'party years.' The truth is that it's not what I need right now, it could even hurt me, and I want to be okay with going to bed early and living a healthy, healing life.
    Thanks for being so honest. And thanks for reminding me that I'm not alone.
    Love you girl :]

  9. My boyfriend always says, "love your body and it will love you back". My body has loved me back so many times, even when I haven't loved it. This week I just want to treat it nicely like it struggles over and over to treat me. It tells me what it needs no matter how many times I ignore what it is saying and I just want to work on learning to listen and trust it.

  10. You say it well Rebekah. You gotta love you. God has a plan for us and its up to us to live it right. If we are happy, then everything will be right.

    To embrace my body? Well, today I swam. I know that makes no sense, but I really didn't want to at first, but then I did, got all my meters in, and felt great. And happy.

  11. LOVE YOU.

    I think fixating on food, calories, numbers, etc is a way for people to find control in a life where they feel out of control. It may seem like an "easy fix" if you weigh this or eat that, but there's usually something else going on IMO.

    Right now I am embracing the fact that even though my body is not functioning very well, it is still functioning. I'm still here! I have two legs that are getting stronger, a brain that is full of wit and dreams, and a heart that loves. My body is amazing even though it is far from perfect!


questions or comments about my thoughts?
feel free to share, and thanks for stopping by!