Casual Friday + Some Thoughts on Body Image

  • This week has felt…better. Some tough moments, but also lots of good ones too. I’m feeling (slightly) more festive, though I still can’t believe Christmas Eve is only a week away! Somehow, without the typical fanfare and extended array of concerts (these used to start for us in NOVEMBER), it feels like Christmas has snuck up from behind this year.
  • My father-in-law arrived Monday evening and having someone else in the house is inspiring me to view things through fresh eyes. It’s fun to watch him see the kids open their Advent calendars each morning or enjoy extra time spent lingering at the dinner table while the candles burn low; it feels cozier sharing these (to me relatively mundane) experiences with someone else that appreciates them in a new way.
  • Our family has, in the grand scheme of things, had very little direct impact from COVID. We’ve been separated from family, it has changed the structure of our working environment (only 2 trips in almost 2 years for John!), and we all struggled through a return to online learning…but we’ve stayed healthy and maintained our jobs without disruption. With that in mind, I feel guilty whenever I admit that COVID is wearing me down. But I have to say: it has all felt so “heavy” lately. There have been some local outbreaks, including cases of Omicron. Concerts have been cancelled, the kids are back to masking on the school playground at recess and are being dismissed for Christmas break two days early; capacities are being slashed for most events and it sometimes feels like a tangible, physical weight on my shoulders. A teacher I spoke with yesterday mentioned sending kids home with their Chrome books and other remote-learning gear in preparation for a potential switch to online in the new year. Sigh. After all our optimism over the successful vaccine rollout a few months ago, it feels like heading back to square one. But, the only way through is through, and I’m trying to focus on the blessings on our way through. For another take on COVID and the wear and tear it’s taking, I really enjoyed Suzanne’s post on the topic earlier this week (which had me both nodding my head in agreement and laughing hysterically)!
  • Speaking of the new year, I’m ready to start planning! Last year I bought (and have been quite content with) a $3 planner from the DollarStore. I know, I know – but it really did check all the boxes (and I’m frugal, remember). When I saw SHU’s review of the Sprouted planner I mentioned it looked like a great fit for me and she very kindly offered to mail me her copy! It arrived this week (Abby saw the parcel and said, I quote, “Wow, she has VERY neat handwriting!”) and I’m excited to put pen to paper and start sketching out the year ahead. Thanks, Sarah!
  • Each year before Christmas (knowing more LEGO is going to show up under the tree) I get the urge to organize our LEGO stash. The kids love to create – and then store – elaborate displays. But eventually we a) run out of room and b) they run out of LEGO. Levi and I tackled this project over the weekend. Abby was quite distressed her hotel was being dismantled, but I tried to explain the real fun was the hours she spent working on it (by this point it had been sitting, unattended, for months). She eventually got on board with this decision…and I’m looking forward to a Hotel 2.0 in 2022. The picture above is just a fraction of the creations we dismantled, but it paves the way for lots more feats of engineering in the year ahead.
  • Regular listeners of the Happier podcast will be familiar with Gretchen and Elizabeth’s weekly segment where they award gold stars and demerits (side note: it always bothers me that their demerits are personal/self-directed but their gold stars are almost always external). Well, my demerit would be Levi’s passport renewal. I started the process back in July and had everything done except the pictures and guarantor signature. I tried to call to make an appointment at the photography studio in town to get his picture taken, but didn’t get any answer (turns out they only come in to the studio by appointment and their contact information is not the number listed on their website). That tiny roadblock was enough to stop me from pursuing next steps and, I reasoned, I still had months of buffer. Well, those months evaporated and now the renewal date was only a few weeks away and I still didn’t have the pictures. This Monday I finally got the darn thing finished and, of course, the whole process took less than 30 minutes. Now I’m waiting to get an appointment to submit the application. I’m giving myself an enormous demerit for putting this relatively easy task off for so long…and a teeny gold star for finally getting the pictures taken. Update: I have an appointment for next week and, even if I’m late, I learned children always require a new application – renewals only apply to adults. But I still think I deserve a demerit).
You know that old adage “Looks can be deceiving” – it’s amazing what can be hidden by a wall.
  • The renovation work continues. They’re mostly done until spring when we tackle a rebuild of the carport. We have all sorts of little odds and ends to complete inside – finish updating electrical covers, switch out some old ceiling fans (completed yesterday!), and paint…the main floor needs a lot of new paint. I’m not sure why I find the process so stressful, but I do. When new work gets completed I want things to look perfect and/or want to know I’m making the right choice. And there are just so many choices. I spent 30 minutes outside in the freezing cold on Monday debating gutter options. GUTTERS. Like the things that hang out at the edge of your roof to collect and move water. Who knew there were so many choices to make (and we had already picked the colour, so this was just placement and positioning and a million other decisions…about gutters). How people build houses from scratch blows my mind. If it takes this long to settle gutter options, I can’t imagine picking faucets and toilets. Wait, I did the toilet thing last year and it was outrageous. There is an entire wall of toilet options at Home Depot – and we still managed to get one that was slightly too big (they all have different measurements for distance from the wall to the discharge pipes – who knew? Not me!). Each toilet has a dizzying array of statistics emblazoned on the front of the box as well; the most entertaining was the one that displayed how many billard balls a particular (Kohler brand, I think?) toilet could flush. Do they actually test these products in real life? We didn’t buy that particular toilet but imagine we had and I decided, just for kicks, to flush 30 billard balls down into the sewer and it had plugged…could I sue the company for false advertisting? There are too many choices, people. Too many choices.
  • As I’ve mentioned quite frequently lately – the last few weeks/months have been hard. I dug deep one night and pushed through with some fun activities for the kids and, when they asked to play together at the start of bedtime, I allowed it. Things were good – great – at first. And then one thing snowballed into another and a make-believe game that was fun went horribly sour and there were tears and lots of blame. I sank to the floor in the hallway in utter frustration and exhaustion and explained to the kids how Mama has a tank and sometimes that tank gets empty and how we can all work together to fill up each others tanks but we can also play a part in draining tanks. I asked them to brainstorm some ideas for refilling my tank. The next morning they had a list to present and ever since Levi likes to check in and ask: “Mama, where is your tank? Empty, medium, or full?” I have a feeling he really gets this analogy too, as he’s always interested in looking at the gas gauge in the car. You know what fills my tank, little man? Coming out of my evening shower to find notes/gingerbread pictures on my bedside table. Nobody drives me crazier than the kids…but nobody can melt my heart like they can either.
  • On our commute to school this week. It’s tough to beat. #naturetherapy and #teamWolfville

CURRENT THOUGHTS ONBODY IMAGE

Switching gears…

I had this drafted for some time in the New Year- who wants to think about weight and body image at Christmas, right? The holidays seem like a time of sanctioned overconsumption where we can all eat, drink, and be merry (and then regret the eating and drinking parts).

I love food, but definitely have a complicated relationship with it and I’ve written a bit before about my long history battle with the scale.

This is the point in the annual cycle where I usually weigh the least, ironically enough. Something about shorter days (finish eating earlier?), fall produce (eat healthier?), and cool weather (I hate sweating, so generally exercise more in the fall?). But that’s not happening.

Earlier this fall I was fighting the scale every day. I have a bag of tricks I’ve honed over the years. A big one is eating in a relatively small window. This has worked wonders before – both for my overall energy levels and for the number staring back at me. Combined with regular exercise, I should be enjoying the rewards of all this hard work. But the number hasn’t budged. Here’s the thought – maybe I’m looking for the wrong rewards?


I’ve heard a lot about intuitive eating lately and have been trying to listen to my body cues. Eat when I’m hungry. Continue to fuel up with good things, but don’t sweat the occasional trip to Wendy’s or slice of birthday cake.

I’m hovering about 10 pounds off where I’d like to be; some of this is vanity and the fact that a lot of my clothes don’t fit as well as I’d like and some of it is the fact I just feel better at X weight. I’m generally healthy and relatively fit (and, most thankfully, I’ve managed to bring my cholesterol way down over the last few years). Shouldn’t I be perfectly content with these rewards?

But emotional eating is definitely an unhealthy way I sometimes deal with my emotions. But I still feel baggage from when I was a very overweight adolescent. But I’m not immune to all the complicated messages that come from outside sources – and I’m not even on social media!

I think, step by (tiny) step, I’m coming to terms with the fact I can either keep fighting this fight, or I can accept where I’m at. This isn’t me saying I’m going to start spending the day on the couch tossing Cheezies in my mouth, but it’s giving myself permission to listen more carefully to what my body is saying. Do I feel sluggish because I’ve had too much dairy? Listen. Adjust. Do I feel cranky because I’m hungry? Listen. Eat. Do my clothes not fit quite right. Listen. Buy some new ones that do fit (or finally try out that pilates video)!

But…

It’s hard. It’s hard to let go of that number and hard to let go of what society tells us and hard to let go of the thought I’d be happier or feel more comfortable in my own skin if my favourite pants had a bit more wiggle room…

This is a heavy topic, but I think it’s an important one. Especially as I consider the world my kiddos (including an almost-teenage daughter) are growing up in. I want to model healthy relationships with food, exercise, and body image – and it can all feel like a bit of a delicate balance, especially with so many external pressures.

Thoughts?

What Do Your Kids Eat: Q&A

My Food Habits Through the Years: What’s Changed & What I Eat Now

How I Structure Meal Planning, Cooking, and Leftovers

26 thoughts on “Casual Friday + Some Thoughts on Body Image”

  1. Hey! Checking out your site and I really just adore everything in this post and your whole life, and that walk to school. Hello new online friend!! <3

    1. It is a pretty great walk to school! And, as much as I grumble about winter and snow, the seasons also do make the whole walking experience so varied (as long as we manage to keep our footing during icy weather).

  2. I am going to recommend two books for you: Intuitive Eating, and Your Body Your Best Friend. Particularly the latter book, it changed my life. I have not weighed myself since August 2020 and I will continue to not weigh myself. It’s hard not to get caught up in the whole body image thing, but we only have one life to live, right? Intuitive Eating is so interesting – what IF we just ate what we really wanted to when we want to? It’s a surprising thing, because you’d think it would lead to overeating and eating junk, but by taking away the “value system” of what consists of a good food or a “bad” food, it changes the perspective. Anyway, I hear you on all this. Things are heavy right now in terms of the pandemic, and I’m hoping for some light.

    1. A friend recommended the Intuitive Eating book before; I’ve listened to a few podcasts on the topic and overall I’ve started to lean more in this direction.
      How quickly and early we get it engrained that certain foods are good vs. bad! I’m trying to think more in terms of how a certain food is going to make me feel; for example, a lot of dairy really does NOT agree with me. It is a net negative (as I’m eating, I know I’m going to regret it, so even eating it isn’t a real pleasure). But ice cream isn’t bad, it just has a net negative impact on my body. Sometimes, though, it’s still worth it for the experience surrounding the consumption (like a specialty ice cream on vacation). But having less emotional baggage and guilt surrounding food does/will provide a sense of freedom. Definitely a work in progress for me, as I feel like I have a lot to “unlearn.”

      Thanks for the book recommendations! I love a good book. Even the title of the second one sounds great – so often we spend all our energy and time fighting against our bodies (and how they seem dysfunctional to us)…but they are really these incredible, miraculous machines, so intricately and wonderfully designed!

  3. The body image thing is definitely a tough one! I know what you mean about oscillating between wanting to focus on it/ fix things you don’t like but then also wanting to just relax/ love your body as is, etc. I feel like just as you decide or settle into one “path”, you end up changing your mind and want to change something again. I rarely weigh myself because I do feel like it can so easily mess with your head! I’ll share something else here that I rarely ever say out loud, mostly out of fear… As a “naturally thin” person, genetically speaking, I often feel like I cannot express any displeasure or dissatisfaction with my body. But in reality, there are still lots of things I don’t like about my body! Some that I actually find quite bothersome/ distressing sometimes. But, I also realize that many people struggle much MORE, or are much more overweight…so then I feel like a total jerk if I would even mention this. Does that make sense? I feel like I’m not allowed to be unsatisfied because I’m not “overweight”. But I see plenty of room for improvement! Even “thin people” can have cellulite, weird lumps of fat, etc. that you aren’t a fan of in a bathing suit. Anyway, it’s one of those things I tend to keep 100% to myself, because I don’t want people to hate me. It feels like a taboo thing for me to say….like, “oh poor me in my size 4, I don’t love everything about my body….” sounds horrible. But other people don’t see my body the way I do, especially under bright lights and a mirror. eek. I am lucky to generally be able to eat what I want and stay relatively trim…again, I think it’s mostly genetic. (relatively speaking- I’m not in bikini model shape by any means! But hopefully you know what I mean. I just have a mostly slender build.) I’m definitely, definitely not immune though to body image issues! So I guess all this to say….it kind of never ends! I think people think that once they lose those 10 pounds, life will be perfect. But there’s always something. So I suppose it’s really best to just work on being healthy, happy and accepting your body’s set point the best you can. I do think that focusing on overall lifestyle- like you said, eating well overall, moving your body regularly, but not worrying about the Wendy’s fries and cake! is ultimately the best route. It’s hard though! I feel like it gets slightly easier as we get older to sort of embrace the fact that we are not 22 anymore. It becomes a little easier to just accept some “imperfections” as just part of the package of an almost 40 year old body now, haha! I felt more angst about my body I think in my late 20’s/ early 30’s, when I still felt like I was “young” enough that I should have a really great body. Now I feel a little bit more comfy embracing the “great body -for an almost 40 year old” mentality. hahaha!

    1. This 100% makes sense! I think the takeaway is, regardless of size/shape/weight, most of us are uncomfortable with our bodies.

      It’s also very easy to look at someone who doesn’t struggle with weight and assume they don’t have any body issues OR that they’re in excellent shape. I worked with someone who was very petite, but really struggled with diet and would drive her car to cross very short distances to avoid walking (like a 2- minute walk down the hill).
      We all see our own flaws most acutely – in personality, in body shape, in our houses, in our parenting, in our skillsets. I do think this is getting better as I get older and also as I appreciate the wonder of the humans bodies…and that my value doesn’t come from any of those tangible things but from God!

  4. What is it about little life chores that we always procrastinate on? I’ve been saying I’m going to figure out how to increase my contributions to my Roth IRA since the beginning of 2020 and I still haven’t done it. Passport photos, filling out forms, looking up passwords – all these chores just seem to be too immense sometimes.

    I am probably 10-15 pounds over where I *should* be, but I don’t weigh myself (I think we have a scale, but it’s pretty telling that I don’t know where it is if it exists). I just get lectured when I go to the doctor’s office. But, honestly, I exercise regularly and eat pretty well, so I can’t fuss about it too much. But it’s hard, especially when I look at photos of me versus ten years ago and I know I COULD be down those ten pounds. I just try to be grateful for what I have and a body that mostly does what I want it to do. I am sorry this is a difficulty we both share.

    1. The little chores can sometimes seem the most onerous…I like Gretchen Rubin’s idea of having a Power Hour where you dedicate an hour each week to tackling some of those little things (that can, conceivably, be done at any time). I try to have a running list in my planner of items like this.
      Unfortunately, this time, I’ve had it written down SINCE JULY and just kept moving it from month to month.
      But, it’s done now and it doesn’t appear any harm was done…more by good luck than good management, as my grandmother would say.

  5. body image is such a heavy topic and each one of us has different kind of struggle and history. I was born thin and had my high school 20lbs, lost it through compulsive exercise and little eating and study stress. I’ve stayed within my current weight for the last two decades even though my life cycle, eating habits and exercise priorities have changed a lot. With two girls, I’m focusing on health and strength and less obsessed about particular food group. Yet, I like experimenting with new things. I think it’s better to treat it as experiment rather than to achieve a weight goal. It’s fun and I learn something about my body’s need along the way.

    1. Focusing on the outcomes – health and strength and energy and longevity feels like the important bit and, life @GratefulKae mentioned, I think this does get easier to process with time. Having children definitely also helps better align priorities on this – wanting to model healthy behaviours and also wanting to be healthy for their sake.

  6. Ohhh, I could talk on and on and on about body image, if you let me. It’s a hard topic for women, but I have done a LOOOOT of work in the past few years of unlearning all of the fatphobic lessons I’ve internalized as a woman in this society we live in. What helps is diversifying the people I follow online and learning from people who are trying dismantle fatphobia to help EVERY woman, regardless of their size, have a healthy body image. I spent a lot of my life on diets and I finally just decided to stop a few years ago because I was so unhappy and so married to what the scale was telling me. Even if I had a good week of eating healthy and exercising, but the scale didn’t budge, I would beat myself up and get so demoralized. Now, I only get weighed at the doctor and I don’t worry about it any other time of the year. I want to focus on health, not size (and, to be honest, my healthy eating could use some work!) And I think you are doing great! Thinking about these things is key – not to just immediately jump to “I need to eat less and exercising more to lose X lbs!” but actually trying to figure out how to do it in a way that feels good to you. Fighting your way to a healthy body image is so important. <3

    1. Thanks for your kind words and great insights!

      Health, not size, sounds like a really great motto!

      I also think “healthy” can be so relative. I grew up with the notion that everything needs to be low fat, eggs were to be avoided, artificial sweeteners were the healthier option etc. I actually find cutting out all the noise very challenging on this – is keto healthy? Is Paleo healthy?

      I’ve switched to a much higher-fat diet in the last few years (I eat A LOT of eggs, which were always treated as terrible for high cholesterol)…and my cholesterol has never been lower. That said, I’ve also discussed all this with my doctor and have also increased my activity levels. But it can feel so confusing to navigate the options, especially where there are so many ways of eating and so many can be labeled as “healthy” and yet be in direct opposition to another “healthy” option.

  7. I am really struggling with body image, too. I am such an emotional eater and took it to a whole new level in 2020 (scarcity plus uncertainty plus remote learning) and haven’t been able to get things under “control” at all this year. Partly because I am exhausted by the things I need to do to lose weight. So I just… go on, feeling out of sorts and uncomfortable in my body.

    1. Everything has felt so uncertain lately and food is definitely my “coping” mechanism of choice in the middle of turmoil.

      For me, at least, that feeling of being uncomfortable really permeates so much of day-to-day life. Energy levels, confidence, eating healthfully – they’re all interrelated. What does Austin Powers say? Something like: “I’m unhappy because I eat and I eat because I’m unhappy”?! So true!

      Remote learning was so, so tough. Beyond that, practically, I think I just eat more when the kids are home because I’m preparing their lunches, getting snacks, and cleaning up leftovers in a way I just don’t do when they’re at school.

      Hope 2022 feels like a fresh chapter!

  8. This is a great post. I read it a couple days ago but didn’t comment because I felt my comments wouldn’t do it justice! I struggle with this as well. I know I look thin in most of the pictures I post, but I’ve also gained weight (mostly around my middle, grr) and it’s uncomfortable to feel my pants tight. But I have a history of disordered eating so I have to be careful what I do…. it’s so complicated. Intuitive doesn’t work for me (maybe because of my history) so I’m always struggling. Anyway… I’m not going to stress during Christmas but I will be coming back to this issue. Thanks for bringing it up.
    I love the gingerbread picture so much- that’s definitely one to save forever.

    1. Some other comments have chimed in on the fact that just because someone looks “thin” doesn’t mean there aren’t real challenges with body image. Food and body image have become so complicated because we do tend to have so much control over what we do/don’t eat and are also inundated with what other people eat/how other people look in a way that just wouldn’t have existed before – I think the pressures are just exponentially growing.
      It feels hard to talk about (as even talking about it can trigger challenges), but yet it also is such an important topic. And I think I’ve been mulling it over as I contemplate what social environment my kids are growing up into around these topics…

  9. Oh yes, this is something I also struggle with at different times of life and it’s really dependent on how things feels/what I see in the mirror. The last 4 years have been tough as I was pregnant, trying to get pregnant or nursing/pumping. So my body didn’t really feel like ‘my own.’ I’m still nursing Will but I not as much as I was, so I really focused on what I was eating starting in October – I think because I realized that training for and running a 10 mile race didn’t do a single thing for the scale. I’m doing weight watchers right now which is a really good fit for me because nothing is forbidden – you just have to stay within your points and there are lots of zero point foods. I’ve lost 10 pounds since early october but now I’m kind of at my current weight and feel like I will be here until I am fully done nursing. I saw an endocrinologist last week because lab work my rheumatologist ran showed that I have another auto-immune disorder – the new one is related to my thyroid. When discussing whether to start another drug which was really not super necessary, I asked if it would help me lose weight more easily and she said – you are not sleeping well. Until you are sleeping well, nothing you do is going to overcome that because it’s the #1 metabolism disruptor. I think you’ve had trouble sleeping, too, so I would factor that into the situation as well.

    I wish that intuitive eating would work for me as I like the idea of it, but I really need a rules-based approach to keep me from talking myself into things (like I talked myself into how I deserved/earned a bowl of ice cream nearly every night this summer since I was running and nursing!).

    I’ll close by saying that you do look great! But of course we never seen ourselves the way we see others. Which is too bad! I hope you figure out something that works for you! This is a really tough season with all the extra treats around so I am kind of giving myself a pass and want to just stay around my current weight and then when the holidays are over, I’ll see what happens and whether my current weight is where i am going to be at this stage of life!

    1. Sleep has been terrible lately (since DST, basically to the day). I’m working through some troubleshooting with that (it is currently 3:49 am, and I woke up at 2:15, so not always going swimmingly)…!
      I feel like I naturally did intuitive eating when I was in my undergrad and it was definitely when I felt most comfortable in my skin. I was constantly walking to get to class/get around town but never set out to do actual “exercise”, ate at mealtimes only, didn’t fuss about portions but just ate until I felt satiated and I was excellent about doling out treats (a bag of chips would last me weeks!). I know I can’t recreate that environment exactly now, but after 15 years or so of monitoring food and exercise relatively closely, it feels like I need a break…which may very certainly cause the number on the scale to go up a bit. But that would be me aiming for health (mental and physical) and function over my own (likely distorted) view of where I should be?

      1. Oh yes, I totally agree that a person needs a break from the constant monitoring. I am hoping I don’t always need to be this diligent about what I eat, but I also know my hormones/age are not helping matters. I know my goal weight will be higher than my previous goal weight because I don’t want to forgo all the things I’d have to forgo to be a certain weight. Like is all that sacrifice worth it? It is tough because my husband is naturally VERY thin. Like he has trouble putting on weight and he can lose weight so easily. So he is kind of a benchmark for me, which he shouldn’t be… And he often reminds me that my body has done a lot for our family and to cut myself some slack. I’m at the point where I am figuring out what is a healthy weight that will let me feel good about myself – and then I will build a wardrobe around that instead of trying to fit into clothes from pre-kids! But I feel like I need to be done breastfeeding before I determine what my new ideal weight is… Which is probably months away since Will doesn’t seem to be losing interest!

        1. I remember someone telling me once that our bodies tend to have a natural plateau where we’re healthy/relatively fit and our body will seek that level. Unfortunately, that level can feel 10 lbs higher than we would like and to stay below that homeostasis point is just a lot of full-time work.
          I actually weigh less now than I did as a teenager (and I had a lot of issue with weight gain during my first pregnancy) – the last decade or so I’ve stayed within a 15lb range or so (which might seem like a lot, but is relatively common for me in terms of fluctuation). In some senses, it is less about the weight for me (as in a specific number) and more about my battle with food. I have some real issues with fatigue that we’ve tried to takle from various angles (I have struggled with anemia for several decades), and I tend to feel better when I do intermittent fasting but working from home/having a young family can make it difficult to juggle that style of eating. I have some intolerances and will vacillate between being very careful to avoid things like wheat and dairy and then get tired of living that way and overcompensate with filling up on those foods.

          I also want to just feel comfortable in my clothes and feel like my body (very curvy) is hard to dress!

  10. I also have some book recommendations – Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon is a really good place to start. I’ve found the more I immerse myself in body positive / fat acceptance culture, the more my mind has opened and I am able to not only accept myself, but others as well. If you feel like going further into the topic, the podcast Maintenance Phase is amazing, as well as What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk about Fat by Aubrey Gordon, and The Body Is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor.

    1. Thanks for all the book recommendations. I’m starting to build my reading list for 2022 and it’s great to have some options that help promote healthy body image!

  11. You have every right to feel worn down by Covid even though the impact on your family has been minimal. Besides the fact that I haven’t seen my family in two years, we’ve also been minimally impacted and I am super-thankful for it (of course) but that doesn’t mean that I am not tired (and somewhat angry that we’re not further along). In German, we like to make up new words by smashing two words together and the trending word right now is #mütend (which is “müde”(tired) and “wütend” (angry) turned into one). It’s so spot-on!

    I love the “empty tank” analogy and even more that you shared this with your kids and that Levi keeps asking you know where your tank is at. That’s a genius way to teach your children compassion and understanding for you as their parent! Amazing

    This is just indirectly related to body image, and more to intuitive eating (both are fascinating topics that we need to talk about more!), but I try to focus MOST on when it comes to food is how does it make me feel. Like, physically. I know there’s a lot of talk about emotions around food (and I sure do have them, too), but what I have really learned in the last few years is that food makes you feel good or it doesn’t… and by cutting out the foods that don’t make you feel good (usually the junk stuff, although the occasional indulgence is okay), your body will tell you exactly what you should eat. This is a learning process because I think we were all raised on some foods that are just not good for the body, but that we associate with certain occasions. Generally, the “cleaner” I eat, the better I feel.

    1. Love the new word and definitely captures the current sentiment – both personally and globally!

      So true – “cleaner” eating almost always makes me feel better!

  12. As always, me with my super-late comment. I’m trying desperately to catch up on my favorite blogs – one of which is yours – so my apologies for putting comments on old posts. This one spoke to me on so many levels, though. I, too, have been incredibly lucky during COVID, and since I am only responsible for myself, have not had the challenges that others have (e.g., kids in remote learning, job loss, etc.). But I find myself worn-down too, and you have EVERY right to feel that way. I love San’s new word, but since I did not know that until now (:>) I have been thinking of the past two years as a roller coaster. One of those twisty ones that makes sudden turns, and all of a sudden your head is whipping around, you’re facing in another direction, and oh look! A huge drop-off is coming up! It’s exhausting. So please, don’t devalue your feelings of… mutend (had to look it up… :>).

    And, oh, body image. It is so, so hard. I have a very, um, poor relationship with my own body so I am in no place to offer advice or insights or anything like that. I’ll just say that I hear you, you are *definitely* not alone, and I hope that you are able to find a path/approach/mindset that works for you. (I am hoping to post on this – kind of – because I have been wanting to share why there are no photos of me on my blog… )

    Take care of yourself…

    1. Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comments, Anne! And never apologize for “late” comments. They’re still very timely and I always enjoy hearing from you!

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