Tag Archives: self acceptance

Ugly food needs love, too…

I read a lot of blog posts that inspire me, but every once in a while one really gets inside my head and takes root…

That’s what happened when I read a certain chocolate-covered post about embracing your makeup-free self. I read Katie’s words, and posted my half-face makeup-free picture, and felt pretty good about it. 

But then I got a little crazy…

You see, my birthday is on Monday and it’s got me feeling a little introspective. I’ve been thinking a lot about my age, my new role as a mother, my goals and my achievements, the fact that the body I’ve struggled with for so long now nourishes another body, and what it means to be ?? years old. So, with those things and Katie’s challenge mingling in my head, I decided to do the unthinkable…

I went to work with. no. makeup.
8O

You heard me.

And get this–nobody even noticed. At least I don’t think they did. Nobody said anything.

While this may not be a big deal to many, it was a major big deal for me. As someone who spent years dealing with cystic acne, I know what it’s like to cake on makeup and panic at the mere hint of forgetting my compact at home on the bathroom counter. 

I know what it’s like to wear my long hair down in the middle of a 100º summer day because I don’t want to uncover all the glaring imperfections.

I know what it’s like when even a gentle touch on my skin causes sharp, searing pain.

And, for some reason I do not understand, I now know what it’s like when that all goes away. Maybe it’s because my stress levels have gone down, maybe it’s because of the hormonal changes that happened during my pregnancy, maybe it’s because I’ve all but given up processed foods, and maybe it’s a combination of all the positive lifestyle changes I’ve made, but I don’t deal with anything more than the occasional minor blemish now.

And this past week, when we had 4 or 5 days of 100º+ weather, I wore my hair up. :D

And this got me thinking even further…

I always try to put my best food forward on my blog, but sometimes the healthiest, tastiest and most satisfying meals just don’t have a whole lot of eye appeal. I’m sure you’ve all been there–working and creating in the kitchen only to produce an edible creation that, visually, is less than blog-worthy and photographs like a big pile of yuck. Or maybe, you just don’t glam your food up for the camera every single time you eat. (If that is the case, good for you. Blogging can creep in and take over…)

In the spirit of loving ourselves unadorned and unembellished, and accepting our natural beauty and intrinsic worth, I’d like to show a little  love to some of the “swept-under-the-proverbial-carpet” unblog food of the past few weeks.

I’m warning ya: it ain’t fancy, but it sure is functional.

Charcoal grilled burgers…SUNSHINE burgers, in fact. Can you believe it? Would you ever have guessed they were Sunshine Burgers? Nope. I bet you wouldn’t have guessed that they tasted fantastic, too! Nothing beats the smoky mesquite-y taste of food on a charcoal grill, except maybe that same charcoal-grilled food eaten with good friends…

And a whole wheat wrap filled with the leanest pulled pork you’ll ever see, some mango, a little pineapple chipotle salsa, and brown rice. 

Photogenic? No way. Healthy and deeeeelish? You betcha!

Since I often delete ugly food pics without a second thought, I don’t have very many. But I’m thinking that may have to change. The unpretties have served me well, and they, too, deserve their time to shine!

I salute you and appreciate you, ugly food, and from here on out I vow that you will have a permanent place on my blog, although not every day;)

I encourage all of you bloggers out there to share the love for less-than-perfect-looking food! Go back through your photo files and post those pics that didn’t make it the first time around!

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Filed under Recipes & Food, The Everyday

The No-Food Diet?

I’m troubled.

A few days ago, I was privy to a conversation between a few coworkers. It was right around lunchtime, and one coworker was ordering takeout. She asked if anyone wanted to get in on the order. 

I then heard two of the women involved say, “No thanks. We can’t eat until Wednesday.”
8O

No food for 2 whole days?

Man, did my ears perk up….!

As it turns out, they are in the beginning stages of the Hollywood Diet. Now, my food mindset is worlds away from any kind of restrictive “diet”, so I am not familiar with the Hollywood Diet, but to hear them tell it, they have to drink some “miracle” liquid, and eat nothing but a few “miracle” cookies, and they are supposed to lose 8 pounds in a matter of a day or two.

I’m not sure if I have that exactly right (and they may not have, either) but I can’t imagine specifics would make a whole lot of difference. No matter how the diet goes, it just strikes me as sad. 

Seeing perfectly beautiful, healthy women talk about how to lose weight and “get skinny” without one mention of health hurts me to my very core, and frankly, it makes me kind of angry. We need to be setting a better example for our younger sisters, nieces, daughters and friends. And what I find REALLY scary is the fact that where there’s one woman with this attitude toward weight loss, there is usually a whole group willing to join in the diet with her. 

It’s so discouraging. 

And then, there’s the new diet drug, Qnexa, that I keep hearing about on the news.

What I took from the newscast I saw was:

  • There is a new weight loss drug coming to the market.
  • This time it’s really supposed to work! (Big, fat WHATEVER to that…)
  • It contains Fentermine, the Fen of Fen-Phen fame infamy.

OK. Yeah, THAT sounds like a good idea. Sign me up for a bottle. What could go wrong?

What’s even better, it seems that we have THREE new diet drugs coming our way!

What the %#*? is going on!!??

Haven’t we gotten past all this? Haven’t we made PROGRESS? And then I remember that not everyone takes advantage of the great, supportive community of healthy lifestyle bloggers that I am lucky enough to have on my side. ;)

There are very few things in life that I know for sure, but I am certain that skinny doesn’t equal healthy, and neither will ever be found in a pill or empty plate. 

It’s really, really difficult to keep my mouth shut when I hear conversations like the one I heard at work. I want to butt in and spout off and ask them if they have ever heard of whole grains and clean, whole foods and water and fruits and veggies and NO SODA! I want to shake them and tell them that, for years, this fad diet garbage has been peddled to women with poor self esteem and body image issues, and they shouldn’t buy into it. But most of all, I want to tell them that they are worth more than the size of their pants, and that they are beautiful just the way they are, and that health should be their main priority for the sake of their children, if nothing else.

But I don’t do those things. I’m already the one in my office who is a little different, a little strange, because of the way I eat and the choices I make. So I don’t make waves, but I do plant seeds.

I continue to bring things like my quinoa berry salad (and tolerate the disgusted faces people make when they ask what it is) and banana, like I did today, and say, “No, thanks” when someone offers me something that I don’t feel good about eating, because good sense tells me there is only one true way to achieve good health and an appropriate, comfortable weight:

I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, have it all figured out, nor am I an extreme “health nut.”

I slip up on my health goals nearly every day, and I’ll admit that one of my biggest fears about stating my beliefs is that someone will look at me and think I’m not thin enough to actually practice what I preach…that I’m a big fraud.

And maybe I’m just a wee bit jealous that folks aren’t as eager to jump on my bandwagon as they are to drink miracle elixers and look for easy fixes, but I do strive to set the best example I can in the hopes that one day one of those women just might ask me for a recipe.

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What do you do when you hear people talk about losing weight in an unhealthy way? Do you keep quiet, or do you chime in and state your opinion? Do you ever feel like you’ve made a difference?

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Filed under Recipes & Food, The Everyday