Emotional Eating

Women, Our Bodies, and Beauty

I was talking to a colleague the other day:

"Women don't want to feel beautiful. They just want to lose weight. My heart breaks every time I hear this. They only allow themselves to feel beautiful (briefly) if they are 'perfect'...but 'perfect' really never comes. Most days women just beat up on themselves."

I teach women HOW TO FEEL BEAUTIFUL. But I've literally had women tell me they'd just rather lose weight. I believe the world is dying for the Feminine right now. Women need to throw off the shackles of body and beauty image and take their rightful place at the table--to be IN THEIR POWER--not worrying about their thigh gap.

We are only operating at a fraction of our possibility.

My dear, beautiful women: the reason you don't feel good in your body is NOT because you don't have a beautiful body--it is because you've NEVER been taught HOW to feel good in your body. We women, almost from birth, have only been taught how to fee BAD in our bodies.

Do you get that? Do you get that the water you've been swimming in is poison to your sense of well-being? (And by the way, this is by design.)

Our bodies are a battle ground and we take on that battle ourselves. We subjugate ourselves. We beat our bodies into submission.

Transformation occurs when we see the paradigm we are living in for the abuse and oppression that it is and we reject it. We claim our bodies as our own. We recognize their magnificence and we recognize the years of abuse that we and society have heaped upon them. From this place we can learn to adore and appreciate our bodies. And from this place everything begins to shift: what we put into our bodies and what we put onto our bodies becomes an act of beauty, respect, and adoration. How we move is different. How we hold ourselves is different We are in tune with ourselves. We are embodied and no longer disconnected.

Women are good at love.

Love is the most radical act of all.

Start with yourself.

 

SOUL SONG SUNDAY. THIS IS POLITICAL. Watch this, listen to this, like it's your job.

Mary Lambert - Body Love (Part 1 & 2)

 

Mary Lambert - Body Love (Part 1 & 2) Lyrics

I know girls who are trying to fit into the social norm
Like squeezing in last year's prom dress
I know girls who are low rise, mac eye shadow, and binge drinking
I know girls that wonder if they're disaster and sexy enough to fit in
I know girls who are fleeing bombs from the mosques of their skin
Playing Russian roulette with death; it's never easy to accept that our bodies are fallible and flawed
But when do we draw the line?
When the knife hits the skin?
Isn't it the same thing as purging
Because we're so obsessed with death
Some women just have more guts than others

The funny thing is women like us don't shoot
We swallow pills, still wanting to be beautiful at the morgue
Still proceeding to put on make-up
Still hoping that the mortician finds us fuckable and attractive
We might as well be buried with our shoes and handbags and scarves, girls
We flirt with death every time we etch a new tally mark into our skin
I know how to split my wrists to reveal a battlefield too
But the time has come for us to reclaim our bodies

Our bodies deserve more than to be war-torn and collateral
Offering this fuckdom as a pathetic means to say,
"I only know how to exist when I am wanted."

Girls like us are hardly ever wanted, you know
We're used up and we're sad and drunk and
Perpetually waiting by the phone for someone to pick up and tell us that we did good
Well, you did good.

I know I am because I said, I am. [3x]
My body is home [2x]
I know I am because I said, I am. [3x]

Try this
Take your hands over your bumpy love body naked
And remember the first time you touched someone
With the sole purpose of learning all of them
Touched them because the light was pretty on them
And the dust in the sunlight danced the way your heart did
Touch yourself with a purpose
Your body is the most beautiful royal
Fathers and uncles are not claiming your knife anymore
Are not your razor, no
Put the sharpness back
Lay your hands flat and feel the surface of scarred skin
I once touched a tree with charred limbs
The stump was still breathing
But the tops were just ashy remains
I wonder what it's like to come back from that
Because sometimes I feel forest fires erupting from my wrists
And the smoke signals sent out are the most beautiful things I've ever seen

Love your body the way your mother loved your baby feet
And brother arm wrapping shoulders, and remember
This is important

You are worth more than who you fuck
You are worth more than a waistline
You are worth more than beer bottles displayed like drunken artifacts.
You are worth more than any naked body could proclaim in the shadows,
More than a man's whim or your father's mistake
You are no less valuable as a size 16 than a size 4
You are no less valuable as a 32a than a 36c
Your sexiness is defined by concentric circles within your wood
It is wisdom
You are a goddamn tree stump with leaves sprouting out
Reborn

How Overeating Keeps You Safe

HAPPY SOUL SONG SUNDAY!

Quick question--are you clicking on the songs and letting them wash over you so that joy permeates your week? Just checking...because music truly does make a difference. Don't forget to send me suggestions for songs that will light our fire and get our week off to a good start!

Okay. Back to this overeating thing. There's so many aspects to food and how we treat it. Food is important, obviously. We need it to stay alive, unless you're abreatharian. Food is also family, celebration, togetherness, happiness, sadness, loneliness, memories, and so much more. But today I want to talk to you about one aspect of food that you may be experiencing without even knowing it: overeating to keep you safe.

Emotional eating almost without exception is overeating. We eat more than we need, we eat when we're not hungry, and we in general eat for reasons that have nothing to do with physical nourishment but everything to do with emotional nourishment. Unfortunately that "nourishment" usually means numbing out. We numb out so that we don't have to deal with emotions that are incredibly uncomfortable. Anxiety, sadness, stress, anger, misery, self-loathing, boredom...just to name a few.

When we overeat, the vast majority of us gain weight. When we gain weight, we tend to beat up on ourselves. We think we look bad. We think we're gross. We also think we're not good enough (because society has been feeding us a message that thin is best since we were born and even if we understand that there is just so much destructive BS in that point of view, it's pretty hard to escape it without some serious work. And BTW, we need to do that work and I'm going to take you there). When we think we're not good enough, we stop living our lives fully. We hide out. We wait...we wait to buy nice clothes, we wait to ask for a raise, we wait to go for our dream job, we wait to start looking for a romantic partner, we wait to have sex with out partner...we even wait to go on vacation because, you know, if we're not thin we're not allowed to go on vacation. Seriously. WE HIDE OUT.

Even if we do some of the things we want to, it is only after a cheerleading sesh from friends and family so that we can have the courage to go to that party, or whatever it is we want to do. The thing we want to do could be big or small, but it just comes with an extra layer of HARD when we're in that mindset.

So--we're all miserable with our weight gain (and I've had clients that feel this was even with just 5 extra pounds. It's never really about how we look and ALWAYS ABOUT HOW WE FEEL ABOUT OURSELVES.) and we're HIDING OUT. On the surface it all seems so bad. But here's the thing. When we are HIDING OUT we are SAFE. There's a reason for everything. We don't have to try. EVERYTHING IS ON HOLD. I mean, what feels better than sitting at home, binging on Netflix and knowing that it doesn't matter because you look like crap and nothing good will come of heading out into the world. It's sooooooooo safe safe safe and cozy. That extra weight and corresponding self-criticism becomes such a lovely security blanket.

Guess what? When our subconscious/critter brain feels all safe and cozy, it is going to do all it can to KEEP US THERE! That's why when you set a goal for yourself, and you're walking towards that goal with confidence--probably even making progress--and all of a sudden you snap back into old patterns and are back where you started. Your subconscious/critter brain is all about survival. And staying at home, hiding out, eating popcorn/ice cream/cookies/whatever is soooooooo much safer than getting out there in the world, showing up powerfully and asking for a raise/going for your dream job/putting yourself on a dating app/buying clothes that might mean you get some attention...omg, no. That stuff is all really really scary because going for what we want is vulnerable.

In the week ahead, start noticing all the habits you have that keep you safe. In this context I mean behavior that essentially holds you back in your comfort zone (we applaud the part of us that knows how to keep us safe and out of danger). The big rule about this is you notice without judgement. Instead of judging yourself, GET CURIOUS. Curiosity is playful, fun, and nonjudgemental. Judging ourselves is not the way to go--that just has us eating more ice cream.

I'd truly love to hear from you about this--do you notice ways you sabotage yourself to keep yourself safe/hold you back from the juicy life you desire and deserve? It could be around food, which is such a common one, but it could be around other habits as well! Pay attention! Hit reply to this email and let me know!!

Now...for your song to get you into your groove for the week! We're going old school today to a woman that was a trailblazer, Lauryn Hill.

Definitely read the lyrics to this one--part call to activism, part existential inspiration. It's one of my all time favs.

Everything is Everything by Lauren Hill

 

 

Everything is everything
What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually

Everything is everything
What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually

I wrote these words for everyone who struggles in their youth
Who won't accept deception, instead of what is truth
It seems we lose the game
Before we even start to play
Who made these rules? (Who made these rules?)
We're so confused (We're so confused)
Easily led astray
Let me tell ya that

Everything is everything
Everything is everything
After winter, must come spring
Everything is everything

I philosophy
Possibly speak tongues
Beat drum, Abyssinian, street Baptist
Rap this in fine linen, from the beginning
My practice extending across the atlas
I begat this
Flipping in the ghetto on a dirty mattress
You can't match this rapper slash actress
More powerful than two Cleopatras
Bomb graffiti on the tomb of Nefertiti
MCs ain't ready to take it to the Serengeti
My rhymes is heavy like the mind of sister Betty (Betty Shabazz)
L-Boogie spars with stars and constellations
Then came down for a little conversation
Adjacent to the king, fear no human being
Roll with cherubims to Nassau Coliseum
Now hear this mixture, where Hip Hop meets scripture
Develop a negative into a positive picture

Now everything is everything
What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually

Sometimes it seems
We'll touch that dream
But things come slow or not at all
And the ones on top, won't make it stop
So convinced that they might fall
Let's love ourselves and we can't fail
To make a better situation
Tomorrow, our seeds will grow
All we need is dedication
Let me tell ya that

Everything is everything
Everything is everything
After winter, must come spring
Everything is everything

Everything is everything
What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually

You Don't Have a Food Problem

HAPPY SUNDAY! Guess what? YOU DON'T HAVE A FOOD PROBLEM! Aren't you relieved?!!

You may not be relieved. You may think I don't know what I'm talking about. You may have a list of reasons that prove that I seriously am clueless. That list might include:

  • I eat too much (see, food problem, duh!)
  • I crave sugar and other food that is "bad" for me (again..food = problem! Hello!)
  • I'm overweight and want to lose weight but I still eat too much! (food)
  • I seriously don't know what to eat to make me lose weight. It's a problem (again...food)
  • I am STRESSED about food. I mean--it takes up a lot of my headspace. Like, WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO EAT???! (food)

There's many many more additions to this list but I know you have things to do today so I'll trust that you get the picture. AND. I'm telling you--you don't have a food problem.

Disclaimer: if you're eating total crap all day every day (and by crap I mean highly processed food, fast food, nothing made at home. food laden with additives, little to no fruit or vegetables etc..) then YES. YOU HAVE A FOOD PROBLEM. And you most likely have some health problems, too. And if you don't have health problems now, you will eventually. So to be clear--when I am saying you don't have a food problem this kind of eating is the exception.

For the rest of you--those of you that eat a lot of whole foods, cook at home often, and avoid processed foods as much as possible (except when you don't)--you don't have a food problem! YAY!

What you have is a LIFE problem. Yes. You do. You're obsessing about food instead of obsessing about life. You're not letting joy be your guide. You're seeing all the stuff that isn't working and not noticing all the stuff that's going right. You're also plugged into some really damaging belief paradigms around how you're supposed to LOOK and that alone can cause you to not be living your life as fully and joyfully as you have the right to.

Food is a SYMPTOM. Food covers up stuff for us. It numbs us out. It also keeps us safe (if we have a few extra pounds on we are safe from getting unwanted attention, for example).

If you find yourself being even mildly obsessed with what you eat, you are robbing yourself of joy. And you are also IMMEDIATELY putting yourself into aDEPRIVATION MINDSET because the obsession about food is really about what you can and cannot eat. And once we say, "No more sugar!" all we want is sugar. ALL WE WANT IS SUGAR. I mean, we may be fine for a little bit but then, when we can't take it anymore, we are going to eat the sugar--but not just *some* sugar. We're going to eat A LOT of sugar because, you know, f**k it! I might as well eat a second piece of cake, a third brownie, or whatever it is.

So how do you address this? There's many ways to start FREEING yourself from you "food problem". One of the most important things to do, I believe, is to figure out what you're using food for. What is food standing in as a substitute for in your life?

The way to do that is simply by starting to pay attention. If all of a sudden you find yourself craving sugar, or craving chips, or even just feeling hungry when you know you're not really hungry...slow things down and start to see what was going on in your mind or life the moments before the craving hits. Sometimes this is hard, but keep at it. You'll start to figure it out. (Yes, I know I've said this before but you guys--THIS IS IMPORTANT! I probably repeat this in the future so be prepared.)

Once you start to uncover the stuff you're covering up with food THEN YOU CAN START TO LOOSEN THOSE SHACKLES!

My story (Reader's Digest Version): when I started Vibrant Living I noticed I started "eating emotionally" more often. I couldn't figure out why. I wasn't working in the job that was sucking the life out of me anymore, I was doing what I wanted to do...so why was I overeating? Short version is this: I got a coach and did some deep work and found it it was directly related to an incident when I was 5 years old in which I decided, "If I speak my authentic truth, people yell at me, I upset people, so I need to stay small and hide and never be fully expressive of who I am." Really. I did figure that out and it was AWESOME. Because every time I sat down to write a newsletter, I would CRAVE CEREAL. And then I would eat like three bowls of cereal. You guys. OMG. Can you imagine how crappy I felt afterwards? REALLY CRAPPY. And the WHY I was doing it was because writing my newsletter meant EXPRESSING MY AUTHENTIC SELF and that scared the crap out of me so of course I needed to NUMB OUT! This is the very short version of things. I'm going to write another email telling you more details. But I wanted you to see the underneath the "why"...awareness creates opportunity for action. Getting aware is imperative.

The coach I worked with was trained in the Transformational Coaching Method (which uses NLP and Family Systems work to uncover all this crazy stuff!) and I was blown away and got certified as a Master Transformational Coach as well because I wanted to make sure I could help people change their lives the way mine was changed. That's important for you to know if you're considering working with me!

Okay, Elijah! Let's get ONTO THE JOY! SOUL SONG SUNDAY!!

THIS SONG IS PURE JOY! My friend (and past client!), Randi Berry, suggested sharing this song with all of you and I LOVE IT. It's been called, "...one of the most joyful songs ever recorded."

A note on the lyrics: You may try hard to decipher some of the words in the song--you may even think you know what they are, but they are actually just made up! Michael Glabicki said in an interview that the lyrics aren't supposed to make rational sense. "I was in the process of coming up with lyrics, and it just sounded so good and felt so right that it had a meaning of its own that you couldn't make better by making it a word. So I left it."

RUSTED ROOT--SEND ME ON MY WAY

 

 

HAVE A JOYOUS WEEK!!

Love,

Elijah

Overeating?

If you find yourself overeating, eating when you're not hungry, never truly feeling full, trying to control what and when you eat, or any variation of these things then you are not alone. I have lived in that terrible space and it is frustrating, depressing, and exhausting. It inevitably makes you feel bad about yourself because you "have no willpower" or because you ate the "wrong" things...and other shaming things we say to ourselves.

Here's the thing. If you're an overeater, focusing on food will only make things worse. What I mean by "focusing on food" is thinking that what you eat and when you eat is the route to overcoming overeating. This is a super common thing that we do when we feel out of control with food. But when we make food the first thing we focus on--and try and control--we actually make things a whole lot worse.

Focusing on food is always about deprivation. If we're overeating, we shame ourselves and say things like, "Starting tomorrow, I'm cutting out all sugar and bread from my diet!" or "I'm going to eat all vegan starting tomorrow!" or some version of a NOT ALLOWED list. And almost IMMEDIATELY we get that funny feeling inside of fear and anxiety and desire to eat eat eat! Your mind is throwing a temper tantrum!! It's freaking out at the thought of deprivation!

So if focusing on food doesn't work, what does?

When we overeat, it is actually NEVER about the food. It is about some emotional need we are fulfilling. Overeating is the SYMPTOM not the problem!

Our body is always communicating with us--we just need to decipher what it is saying.

So what is the root of overeating? It's different for everybody. So often there is an underlying feeling of anxiety when we eat too much or eat when we aren't hungry. If you were able to slow down the moments before you reached for food (or more food)...if you could slow it down frame by frame like a movie...you would be able to examine the thoughts and feelings you had that lead you to food. You'll start to learn what CAUSED that anxiety to begin with. And that's the magic place!

Food is SO GOOD at making us feel better. That's why we use food to deal with our difficult emotions. But we all know that as much as it solves the problems of difficult of emotions, it creates a myriad of other problems for us! So ultimately, as effective as it is, we need to unearth the core reasons why it is happening and then deal with those reasons in healthier ways.

So your task is to start paying attention to your thoughts, words to yourself, and feelings prior to eating too much or eating when you're not hungry. Allow yourself to be surprised. Allow yourself to go deep. Don't be afraid--when you discover what it is (and there may be multiple things!) you are then EMPOWERED to do something about it! Get help with this if you're able to. I got help from my coach when I was dealing with this (story for another email but I'll tell you all about it, I promise!) and it was TRANSFORMATIONAL.

If you're ready to break free from the shackles of emotional eating (OMG it feels so good!) then email me and we can hop on the phone and have a 45 minute free mini-session! Zero attachment to outcome on my part...you'll leave the call with a much clearer understanding of what is going on with you and some actions to start transforming things. If you feel called to do the deeper work, we can talk about working together and if not, no problem! I love the opportunity to talk to my peeps and get to know them better.

Sending loads of love,

Elijah

P.S. Reminder: Virtual Goddess Gathering this Saturday! More info and sign up here!

Don't Stop Me Now!

Hello, Gorgeous! How are you? HAPPY SUNDAY! I hope wherever you are there's just enough sunshine to make you smile today.

REMINDER: Virtual Goddess Gathering is HAPPENING and we are going to talk about LOVE. Mostly SELF LOVE and BODY LOVE because that is a THING IN THIS WORLD and people, I intend to do all I can to dismantle this current oppressive beauty and body image insanity and set us FREE! Next Gathering is on Saturday, February 24th at 10am PST. BUT--I am going to do one on a weekday evening, as well...still working on which date will work for that so stay tuned!

A major reason that loving our bodies and loving ourselves is so so important is because when we hate on our bodies (and ourselves because our body is us...not something separate from us) we do REALLY CRAZY MESSED UP THINGS with food. And with exercise. The biggest thing I see people doing is to "moralize" food. You've probably done it yourself because you're a human that lives on the planet. This food is "good". This food is "bad". When I eat "good" food, I'm GOOD. When I eat "bad" food, I feel shame and I spiral down a guilt rabbit hole that has me saying "fuck it" and eating all the food that makes me feel terrible about myself for days. It's a crazy cycle and I've seen it and personally lived it many times before.

It may be counterintuitive, but when we put moral judgment on food we immediately take ourselves out of a healthy mindset. Usually, almost immediately, we feel DEPRIVED even if we aren't hungry. Cravings kick in. We tell ourselves that WILL POWER is where it's at and when we don't have it we think we are lazy, awful, slothful, weak...and we spiral down again.

True food freedom actually comes when we don't moralize food. But that's kind of hard in a culture that bombards us with articles every which way around WHAT TO EAT and WHAT NOT TO EAT and NEVER EAT THIS and ALWAYS EAT THAT...it is crazy making.

Later this week I'm going to send an email that goes into more detail about why our food obsession is making us UNHEALTHY. So look out for that in your inbox!

Now--as you know (and for those of you new to my list and don't know) this is SOUL SONGSUNDAY! Today we are going OLD SCHOOL! CRANK THIS ONE UP AND ROCK INTO YOUR WEEK!

DON'T STOP ME NOW - QUEEN

 

 

 

Don't Stop Me Now

Tonight I'm gonna have myself a real good time
I feel alive and the world I'll turn it inside out - yeah
And floating around in ecstasy
So don't stop me now don't stop me
'Cause I'm having a good time having a good time

I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky
Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity
I'm a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva
I'm gonna go go go
There's no stopping me

I'm burnin' through the sky yeah
Two hundred degrees
That's why they call me Mister Fahrenheit
I'm trav'ling at the speed of light
I wanna make a supersonic man out of you

 

Don't stop me now I'm having such a good time
I'm having a ball
Don't stop me now
If you wanna have a good time just give me a call
Don't stop me now ('Cause I'm having a good time)
Don't stop…

HAVE AN UNSTOPPABLE WEEK!!!

xo,

Elijah

"If I love myself as I am now, then I'll never lose weight"

"If I love myself as I am now, then I'll never lose weight."

Does that thought sound familiar?

When you hear that common refrain, "You really just need to love yourself exactly as you are NOW!" do you think, "UM. NO THANK YOU. Because how I am now is gross and I need to MOTIVATE myself to lose weight and if I'm all lovey-dovey with myself then I won't be motivated and I'll never lose the weight."

Yeah. Me too. Some version of that anyway. I used to really really struggle with the idea of loving myself as I am now because I didn't like my body the way it was and honestly, it felt really TERRIFYING to love my body--just scary. Because if I loved my body, it seemed like things would become chaos. To me, judging my body and being critical of myself, meant keeping control--of my food and my exercise--and I believed that if I loved myself just as I am then the lid would blow off of that control and things would become chaos. Specifically I believed I'd GAIN weight and become a total mess. Hating my body equalled the hope that I would beat it into submission someday.

 

 

I know a lot of my clients (okay--all of them) have felt that way, too.

HERE'S THE THING:

NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

It's really counterintuitive, isn't it? It just somehow seems "right" that in order to create change we need to be hard on ourselves. But it is MESSED UP and NOT TRUE.

In fact, when we are hard on ourselves (i.e., when we hate on our bodies) we immediately create a bunch of super negative things that actually keep us from having the body we desire. KEEP US FROM IT.

Let me ask you this: has hating your body worked so far? Has it made you happy? Has it put you into a graceful flow of your life where you resonate joy and confidence? Has hating on yourself created freedom around what you eat and how you exercise? NO. IT HAS NOT.

I know it hasn't because I'VE BEEN THERE. Hating on yourself does a bunch of super negative things. Let's look at some of them:

  • Has you feeling crazy self-conscious and makes you hide out when you could be STEPPING UP
  • Creates obsession around food and has you creating "good" and "bad" categories of food in extreme ways--and then severely punishing yourself when you eat a "bad" food (punishment comes in many forms but the worse form is takes is SHAME)
  • Every time you hate on yourself you release a cocktail of stress hormones that actually have you HOLDING ONTO WEIGHT! So that's fun!
  • Constantly judging and criticizing your body lowers your energy and affects how you show up at work, in your relationships and at play. Basically, you're vibrating on "Total Bummer" and people pick up on that.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the consequences of HATING ON YOUR BODY.

Remember when you were a kid and you didn't think about your body or food at all?!

Yeah--those were good times! We were ENGAGED in life! We ran! We played! We sat down and wolfed down a PB&J and then we ran out to play some more!

That's because we didn't yet know that we "weren't good enough". We hadn't been bombarded with all the messaging from advertising that is designed to have us think and feel that we are "not enough". It's powerful stuff and we've all bought in, hook, line and sinker.

But guess what?! LOVING OURSELVES AS WE ARE is the fist step to having the body AND LIFE that we desire! #truthbomb!

When we love ourselves--like TRULY LOVE OURSELVES--we:

  • Stop obsessing every day and every moment about how we are not good enough. That may sound miraculous, but it is true. And WOW that frees up a TON of energy that can be put to far better use!
  • Stop inundating our bodies with that awful toxic cocktail of stress hormones that chip away at our health and keep weight on our bodies
  • We see food differently! Wow! We are allowed to enjoy food but because we actually LOVE ourselves, all sorts of things start to click into place and it because effortless to actually feed ourselves HEALTHY and NOURISHING food!

And that's just a few of the benefits :)

BUT HOW THE HECK DO I LOVE MYSELF?!!

Yes, that's the crux of it, isn't it? It took me a long long time to figure this out. But I have. And my mission in life is to shortcut for you the years it took me to get here.

And one of the most crucial steps in the process is LETTING GO OF THE FEAR that bad things will happen if you allow yourself COMPASSION and LOVE.

So your homework is to start noticing the fear you have around loving yourself. REALLY NOTICE. Dig deep and see where it is hiding. Bring it out into the light--give it a hug and let it know that there's a better way! Bless and release that fear because truly, THINGS GET BETTER when you LOVE YOURSELF.

As always, I love to know what you are thinking and feeling so hit reply and let me know!

XOXO,

Elijah

P.S. If you are excited to go deep around this, I'll be in NYC on June 27th! I'd love it if you joined me!

Is Your Body STOPPING You?!

Beautiful!!! HOW ARE YOU?!

Let's get right down to business because this is super super important. Is your body image holding you back from fully living your life? Do you find yourself thinking or saying things like:

  • I'll go shopping for new clothes once I lose weight. Until then I wear what I have.
  • I can't look for a new job right now--I look like crap. Once I get fit I'll be able to finally get that job I want.
  • I'm not even going to try and date right now...I have to lose weight first.
  • I would go in for that summer house share if only I liked the way I look in shorts.
  • Once I lose {X amount of] pounds then I'll be able put on a bathing suit.

(Side note real quick--there's a transformational homework assignment for you at the end of this post! I don't want you to miss it! Okay, carry on!)

And there's hundreds of other examples along these lines...examples of us hating on our bodies and WAITING TO LIVE OUR LIVES until some future date when we've hit the magic number on the scale.

I know I've done it. Countless times. I have had thoughts like these and they literally hurt. I have actually turned down invitations to do fun things because I was not feeling good in my body. And BTW--I've felt this way even when I've been thin and fit however in my mind I looked like crap. UGH.

This is so heartbreaking. If I could add up the times that I held back in life because I felt bad about my body--OR times that I simply couldn't fully enjoy myself at a fun event because I was feeling self-conscious--I'm sure that it would equal YEARS of my life.

You know what? I CALL BULLSH*T.

Not bullsh*t to you. YOU ARE AWEOME. But bullsh*t to the culture and society that from a very young age feed us the idea that unless we have the "perfect" body, we simply aren't good enough. I don't have to give you all the examples of ways in which girls and women are exposed to this idea through magazines, billboards, television, movies and nowadays, social media. We can't turn our head without being bombarded by this message. It's so so painful.

AND WE HAVE BOUGHT INTO IT. Oh yes we have, hook, line and sinker. And I bet you that many of you reading this right now are doing this weird thing of totally agreeing with me while still thinking, "But I still need to get my body in shape before I [fill in the blank]" --it's a different thing for all of us but it all adds up to NOT LIVING OUR LIVES FULLY and NOT THINKING WE ARE GOOD ENOUGH. You know how I know you're thinking that way? Because I thought that way my whole life.

I'm a feminist and I will yell from the mountain top that women don't need to conform to the bullsh*t beauty standard set forth by the patriarchy in order to hold us down and hold us back and keep us spending money (TONS of money) on products that we don't need...but for years I ranted all that while still hating my own body and believing I needed to change it in order to be considered:

  • Pretty
  • Successful
  • Worthy
  • Likable
  • Lovable
  • Worth listening to
  • Allowed to speak up

And honestly, the list goes on and on. It's not that I didn't have many times where I was fully engaged and happy in my life, but there were also way too many times when the hatred and disappointment in my body were absolutely CRUSHING TO MY SOUL.

THAT'S NOT OKAY! Can you see that? IT IS SO NOT OKAY! In the simplest of terms, I'm a human being on the planet and I'm allowed to live fully expressed no matter what I look like! The thought/belief that I have to look a certain way in order to be considered valuable is crazy and depressing.

HOW MANY WOMEN HOLD THEMSELVES BACK BECAUSE OF THEIR BODIES?

WHAT WOULD THE WORLD LOOK LIKE IF THAT WERE TO CHANGE?

It would look CRAZY AWESOME DIFFERENT, that's what.

So what does it take to change this way of being that is so flippen destructive to ourselves and our lives?

It requires that we shift the paradigm around our WORTH. We need to realize that our WORTH and VALUE is not in the way we look. I'm not saying we should all of a sudden reject everything, stop showering and wear a potato sack every day. No. We are allowed to adorn ourselves and dress the way we like to and feel beautiful FOR OURSELVES (which of course translates to the outside world). I'm all for that. However, we as women need to truly throw off the shackles of BEAUTY IS OUR WORTH and get clear that WE ARE TOTAL BADASSES THAT CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. And then we need to get out there and do it!

So here's your homework:

  1. Ask five people in your life that love you what they value most about you (hint: none of them are going to say, "I really value that you have a killer body). Write these things down.
  2. Write down the top five things you truly value about yourself--the things you do, your ways of being in the world that you feel really proud of. If you can't think of five, that's okay--write down as many as you're able. Even if it is just one thing, write it down! Own it!
  3. Think of one way you let your body STOP you from LIVING FULLY and GO DO THAT. For example, if you've stopped yourself from buying a new pair of jeans until you lose some weight, go out and buy a new pair of jeans that fit you great and that you feel good in! DON'T WAIT! FEEL GREAT!

After you've done your homework, please post your results in the comments! Yay!

Let me tell you what you already know (even if you don't have this in your conscious mind, you know it way down deep in your soul):

YOU ARE MEANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

I am here to help you remember that. I am here to wake that part up inside of you. Because THE WORLD NEEDS YOU.

 

With love and empowerment,

Elijah

P.S. Please share this exercise with any of your fabulous women friends that you know would benefit!