Big Girl

I was bathing suit shopping in Hawaii a few months back and a sweet little sales associate asked if I needed any help. Wow, I thought, what a helpful woman! Don’t you just love people who do their jobs well? I wanted to be nice, so I replied, “I’m just looking, thank you” which I followed with a jokey “All of these bathing suit tops are so small!” Great small talk, if you ask me. Conversational, silly, and fun. Good job, Carly. You just nailed that whole awkward yet polite conversation. You’re totally getting the hang of this human interaction thing!

I expected a small smile in reply. Or maybe a little giggle, if she was in a laughing mood. Ms. Sales Associate could have said, “well let me know if you need any help” or “can I start you a dressing room?” or even “yeah, the bathing suits just keep getting smaller and smaller.” We could’ve had a nice chuckle. We could’ve had a moment.

I didn’t expect what actually happened.

That kind little woman looked me up and down and said, “Oh. You’re looking for the big girl suits. I’m not sure I have anything for you, but let me check.”

Oof. That one hit me right in the gut. Right in my jiggly, cellulite-ridden, sponsored by French fry “big girl” gut.

Plus, she said it with this sadistic smile on her face. (And then her eyebrows scrunched together and she turned around in a swivel chair, petting a white cat and laughing maniacally at her own evilness.) I mean, in reality, the smile probably wasn’t sadistic. I was just offended and being dramatic. It was probably just her polite retail face, but still… It felt evil in the moment.

Like, woman! Don’t you know that I spent years trying to be the “skinny girl?” Don’t you know that I used to pump sugar-free Jell-O into my veins to avoid being “big?” Don’t you know that I pinched and prodded and berated myself for being too big, which in my mind was synonymous with worthless and ugly and unlovable? Don’t you know that a few years ago, those words would’ve sent me into a downward spiral of self-hate and restriction and Styrofoam rice cakes and celery?!

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No. She didn’t know. She didn’t know any of that, because she didn’t know me. She probably didn’t even think I would be offended.

In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much power I was giving my own interpretation of her statement. It’s possible that her “big girl” comment was strictly referring to my boobs, or my broad shoulders, or just the fact that I’m a sturdy Polish woman who could (hypothetically) haul hay bales around the farm. She could have been talking about my height. She could have been trying to steer me toward the swimsuits with a little extra coverage, especially after my comment about how freaking tiny bathing suits are these days. She also could have been calling me fat. I really have no clue.

And, the more I think about it, the more I realize the point of this story. That sales associate’s comment was just that: a comment. In and of itself, it was pretty innocuous. She probably didn’t mean anything bad by it. She was most likely just trying to help me find a swimsuit top that covered at least a quarter of each boob.

But her comment, and the way I interpreted it, brought me back to a place of self-judgment.

In Hawaii 6 years prior, at the height of my terrible body image

In Hawaii 6 years ago, at the height of my terrible body image

I reacted to her comment. It made me feel shitty and weird. It made me question my body positivity. It made me wonder if I wasn’t seeing what I really looked like. It made me wonder if people were talking about me behind my back fat.

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In Hawaii a couple of months ago

WHAT?!

One comment by one person who I’d never met in my life was all it took to bring me back to that terrible horrible no good very bad place.

I’ve made some incredible progress in my relationship with food, exercise, and especially myself. I’m really happy with who I am, physical appearance included. If you’ve been reading for a while you might remember me talking about body image and posting unflattering #transformationtuesday pictures for all to see. I’m in a pretty damn good mind space these days. But I still have my moments. I’m not 100% happy 100% of the time.  I feel like it’s important to acknowledge the fact that some days, I do feel unattractive and somehow less worthy because of that.

I guess I just want to say that it’s okay to have days where you feel shitty about yourself.  It’s okay. Don’t make yourself feel bad for feeling bad.  It’s okay to seek out help – from a friend, from your partner, from a therapist, from a book – if you feel like you need it. I don’t think getting help needs to invalidate your progress.

You just need to do what’s right for you… You know?

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And, when in doubt, grab yourself a cocktail, find yourself a pool, and rock your bikini like the badass you are.

File Under: Questionable Life Decisions

Since relinquishing my title as Stay At Home Daughter, I’ve been forced to make far more life decisions than I’m used to making. I have to decide what to eat for dinner (and lunch! and breakfast!), whether making my bed in the morning is responsible or ridiculous, and what kind of toothpaste to buy. Most of the time, I think I make good decisions. I mean, sometimes I eat pizza three days in a row and count several cocktails as dinner… So as I said before, I’m making good decisions.

But I did make one questionable decision  a couple of weeks ago. Call it peer pressure; call it stupidity; call it an alien taking over my body for a brief moment…

But I signed up for a race. Like, a running race. With running. Like with my legs. WHHYYYYY?!?!??!?!

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Awkward pre-run picture.

It’s only a 10k, which seems pretty manageable in an objective sense, but considering I’ve never run that far in my whole life, much less in the past year with my knee issues, I’m a little nervous.

It’s the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in November and a bunch of people from my cohort signed up for the half marathon, but that seemed a bit optimistic for me. Hence, the 10k.

I downloaded a couch-to-10k app on my phone and I’ve been following the training runs which, so far, are pretty much just running/walking intervals. I have about four months to learn how to run for an hour straight without dying and/or murdering someone. I’m giving myself a 50/50 shot. Pretty good odds, I’d say.

In all seriousness, I have a question for you seasoned runners out there. I’ve been having pretty bad knee pain. It starts the moment I start running (after “warming up” by walking for about an hour). Should I stretch more? Do more strength training? Foam roll? Shoot ibuprofen into my veins?  HELP.

That’s all for now. I won’t be doing regular training updates because, honestly, I think reading or writing about running is boring.  But I’ll definitely keep you all in the loop with how things are going!

IN THE COMMENTS:

Give me your tips for running a race! 

Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday! 

My Top 10 Favorite Foods (Right Now)

I haven’t done a foodie post in quite some time and I have tons of pictures taking up space on my computer, so here we go…  My top 10 favorite foods I’ve been eating at home lately!

1. Trader Joe’s (full-fat) Ricotta and

2. Trader Joe’s Fresh Bruschetta Sauce.

Yes, it has to be full-fat ricotta and it has to be the fresh bruschetta sauce. It’s an unreal combo (I don’t even really like tomatoes), especially on a nice piece of bread.  Ohhh ohhhh!  You know what?  It’d also be awesome on pizza dough.  Do it.

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3. Smoothies and smoothie bowls.

Especially if they have chocolate on top. This one is my take on a chocolate-covered strawberry. It’s almond milk, frozen strawberries and banana, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and chocolate chunks.  GIT IT.

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4. Turkey sandwiches.

I have a really hard time getting excited about any kind of protein.  I’m a carb girl all the way to the grave (and I’ll probably be in the grave by age 50 because CARBS ARE THE DEVIL), but I’ve found that if I get deli turkey as thinly sliced as humanly possible, I actually like it. The deli counter people hate me, but as Winston Churchill once said, “You have enemies? Good.  It means you’re eating your thinly sliced turkey and meeting the daily recommended protein requirements.”

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5. Fruit.

Because it’s summer, you know?

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6. Cheese. All kinds of cheese.  I’ve eaten some  But especially these John. Wm. Macy’s Cheese Crisps. As Jake so astutely proclaimed, “these are like Cheez-Its… but better.”  In the spirit of full disclosure, I was sent these crisps to review on the blog.  With that said, I never ever blog about products I don’t totally love, and I totally love these. The sesame gruyere flavor is kickass.

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7. Cheese plates.

This one has 34° plain Crisps, a Trader Joe’s brie bite, and grapes. 

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This one has 34° Cracked Pepper Crisps, salami, almonds, fruit, carrots, hummus, and Trader Joe’s marinated mozzarella cheese. 

Again, these 34° Crisps are from Blend, but I never ever endorse anything I’m not hella into. 

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8. Nuts.

I’m nutz4nutz!

Sorry about that… That was… Weird.

I have a jar of almonds on my counter and I grab a handful whenever I’m hungry.  Also whenever I’m not hungry.  Really just whenever I walk by it.

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9. This peanut butter.

Not just any peanut butter. This peanut butter, from the Little Italy Farmer’s Market.  It’s toffee peanut butter.  Yeah.  I know.

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10. BACON.

I needed a couple slices for a recipe and instead of just omitting it, I bought a huge package and it has been making my life aprox. 800x better.

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IN THE COMMENTS:

What have you been eating lately? 

It’s Okay… But Only If

Every single day we get bombarded with messages from the world. Some of them are good, like “be nice” and “don’t kick dogs.” Some of them are bad, like “eat these Watermelon-flavored Oreos” and “wear a crop top.” Some of them are wildly unrealistic, like “shoot for the stars” and “floss everyday.”

But some of the messages we’re bombarded with are just plain confusing. Hypocritical. Wolves in sheep’s clothing, so to speak. These messages are almost good… almost accepting and inclusive. They’re thisclose to being perfect rainbow unicorn statements!  But they’re not, because they’re tempered by restrictive qualifications.  You know, things like “FREE MOVIE TICKETS… but only if you let us suck blood out of your body and use it for medical purposes.*

*Donating blood is very important and great and you’ll get free cookies at the end so do it. 

These “it’s okay but only if”s are everywhere. I see them all the time and they really do have a way of making you feel inadequate.

Some examples for you:

It’s okay to be thin…but only if you’ve tried to gain weight and just can’t.

It’s okay to have muscles… but only if they’re not too big.

It’s okay to be curvy… but only if you’re perfectly proportioned.

It’s okay to eat meat… but only if it’s organic and free range and grass-fed and cooked in the healthy fat du jour (coconut oil? grass-fed butter? human lard? I can’t keep up).

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It’s okay to be a vegan… but only if you don’t force your beliefs (and your celery juice) down our throats, you leaf muncher.

It’s okay to drink alcohol… but only if you’re, like, super classy about it #wino #craftcocktails #klassy.

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It’s okay to stay sober… but only if you’re an alcoholic or DD, or else you’re HELLA BORING.

It’s okay to go on a diet… but only if you’re fatter than me.

It’s okay to eat pizza… but only if you say something like, “I didn’t eat lunch today!” before mercilessly shoving slice after slice in your mouth.

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It’s okay to be smart… but only if you aren’t a know-it-all bitch about it.

It’s okay to know what you want… but only if you aren’t bossy or domineering or un-ladylike in any way.

It’s okay to have kids… but only if you don’t let those little brats on airplanes or in restaurants or out in public at all.

It’s okay to not have kids… but only if you have a kickass career as a “replacement.”

It’s okay to wear makeup… but only if it’s just enough makeup to look like you’re not actually wearing makeup.

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It’s okay to go makeup-less… but only if you have that naturally beautiful cool laid-back flowers in your hair look going on.

It’s okay to run for exercise… but only if you run marathons and have the calves to prove it.

It’s okay to lift weights… but only if you don’t get manly.

It’s okay to do Zumba… but only if you’re supplementing with other, better, harder-core (< not a word) workouts.

It’s okay to have big boobs… but only if you keep your cleavage covered at all times (or else you might distract the boys; they just can’t help it!).

It’s okay to eat processed junk… but only 20% of the time; the other 80% needs to be clean.

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Sometimes, it really feels like you just can’t win. It’s all just too much to live up to. It’s exhausting and impossible and ridiculous and overwhelming.

Which is why you have to say “screw it” and do your thing.

Because you can be a badass human being… but only if you start doing you, all the damn time.

IN THE COMMENTS:

Do you hear these mixed messages in the media? Add your own to the comments.

San Diego So Far

San Diego so far, in pictures.

(No words, because post-Fourth of July hangover.)

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25 Things I’ve Googled

Since graduating UC Davis last year, I’ve been living in the weird purgatory between college and adulthood. (I use the term purgatory loosely, because this purgatory involved living at home for free and drinking a lot of booze.)

I think these Google search terms accurately reflect the line I’m straddling between the irresponsible college student who drunk eats too much Taco Bell and the responsible, reliable adult who drunk eats too much Taco Bell. Some things will never change; baby steps, you know?

On one hand I kind of feel like:

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But on the other hand:

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Although I am posting gifs on my blog, so maybe I do understand youth culture.  Either way, here is a peek into my Google Search History.

1. What does refinancing a mortgage mean?

2. How to dress like an adult

3. How much should I pay for a coffee table?

4. How to make hard decisions

5. Make friends as an adult without seeming creepy

6. New Taylor Swift song starbucks lovers

7. Taylor Swift age

8. Taylor Swift net worth

9. Successful celebrities under 25

10. Dakota Fanning net worth

11. Average therapist salary

12. Budgeting apps

13. Ways to make money online

14. Ways to make money online with little to no effort

15. W-4 vs. W-2

16. Can I iron silk?

17. What show should I watch next?

18. Bachelorette success rate

19. Words to describe white wine

20. Cheap online shopping

21. Harry Potter quiz

22. Can I go to jail for illegally streaming movies?

23. Unlikely animal friendships

24. Unlikely human friendships

25. How to avoid adulthood forever

Number twenty-five is pretty much why I’m going to grad school now.  Just to avoid adulthood for a couple more years. I’ll let you all know how it works out for me.

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“Carly, you is kind, you is smart, you is important.”

IN THE COMMENTS:

What’s the last (preferably embarrassing) thing you Googled? 

The One Thing I Didn’t Pack

Packing for a move requires planning, finesse, and skill.  But I didn’t feel like planning and I don’t have any finesse or skill, so I opted for the alternate route: shove everything you own in bags and suitcases, then use your big ass to sit on said suitcases so they zip up.

I tried to be selective, but I packed a whole lot of stuff I probably don’t need. I packed mismatched socks with holes in them, too-small shirts just in case there’s ever an occasion where I need my boobs to hang out, heels that I’ll never wear, 800 plates (which is 796 more plates than people that can fit in my apartment at once), a tiki bottle opener, and bar soap as far as the eye can see.

There’s one thing that I didn’t pack, though. Well, two things. I didn’t pack contact solution, but I bought some so problem solved, because I’m resourceful and stuff.

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But the main thing I didn’t pack?

The scale.

Yeah, I know. You’re unimpressed.  I threw my scale away about a year ago and broadcasted it on the blog. But then I moved back home and figured my family wouldn’t appreciate if I ran around in a crazed frenzy burning their scales, so the scale and I were reunited once again.

Honestly, I don’t care about my weight. I’ve made that abundantly clear. But I did have the option to know my weight at any time, and I stepped on the scale whenever I needed to weight my suitcase before a trip (step on scale; hold suitcase and step on scale; subtract).

But now here I am in San Diego, scale-less and alone. (The alone part is irrelevant; I just thought I’d reiterate that I want friends in San Diego so please be my friend forever and we’ll love each other and hang out every second of every day but yeah I promise I’m not clingy or anything like that, I would never do anything to freak you out BFF!!!!1!!!)

So the scale is gone.

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Let me just say, real quick, that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with weighing yourself. It can be a helpful habit for some people, just not for me. Okay. Disclaimer done. Back at it.

The scale is gone and I’m here in San Diego in a new, scary, uncomfortable situation. I have no way to artificially control my life by fixating on my weight. I have to actually take responsibility for my shitty moods; I can’t blame them on a number on the scale. I have to pick out my outfits based on what I actually like, rather than what the scale says I’m allowed to wear. I have to feel my feelings and HOLY SHIT IT’S REALLY HARD BECAUSE I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS.

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But along with those overwhelming responsibilities (i.e,, dressing myself and feeling emotions) comes freedom. Freedom from numbers and freedom from my own expectations. Freedom from comparison. Freedom to experience cool life shit and shitty life shit without my perception of my weight getting in the way. Freedom from my own self-hate. Freedom from my own dicky thoughts and pinching my stomach fat and crying way too much.  Freedom.

It’s a beautiful thing.

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The only real downside is that I can’t weigh my suitcases so I’ll probably pay a fortune in oversized luggage fees. A small price to pay (about $50) for freedom.

Apartment Tour

So I’ve been in San Diego for nearly a week now and I’m already starting to feel settled. My apartment is incredible; I love the layout, the location, and I’m super proud of the decorating skillz I used to make it extra beautiful. I spent months surfing the ‘net for kickass pieces and I’m so happy with how it all came together. So now I’m inviting you into my new pad.  Make yourself at home.  Bathroom is right over there, wine is in the fridge, and the remote is on the coffee table. I only get about 6 channels, but I hear the Home Shopping Network is scintillating.

Let’s start with my favorite room in the whole place: the living room.

I based my living room off of this one right here, except my furniture was more budget-friendly (no $1,000+ chairs for me, thanks). It was nice to have a template to base my design on, especially because it gave me more confidence to mix colors and patterns.

Living Room

First, let’s check out a few before pictures…

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And now the after.

Drumroll, please…

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Here are some side-by-side before and afters for dramatic effect.

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I would spend all my time in the living room if I didn’t need to make food and pee and sleep.  Fuck you, Basic Human Needs.

Desk

The desk area is pretty much connected to the living room and kitchen, but I used a different color scheme (if black counts as a color scheme) to visually separate it.

Before:

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And after:

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Kitchen

The kitchen was pretty sick (good sick, not bad sick) to begin with, so I didn’t have to do much to spruce it up. The only problem? There wasn’t tons of storage for all my pots/pans/bowls/plates/etc PLUS food space, so I got some cute jars to house dry food, like pasta, almonds, chia seeds, flour, sugar, and rice.

Before:

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After:

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I got jars at Ikea, Home Goods, and Target, all for around $5.

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Bedroom

I wanted to keep the bedroom simple. It isn’t huge, so instead of a dresser I just put bins in the closet. I love the fresh, airy look of whites, beiges, and blues.

Before:

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After:

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That canvas above the bed? Thirty bucks at Home Goods. Lucky find.

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Bathroom

The bathroom. I got that little shelf thing at Target for some extra storage space, plus hooks to hang my pathetic jewelry collection.

Before:

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After:

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Full disclosure? I took down the #selfie picture of my family on the right. It felt like they were all staring at me while I sat on the toilet. And while I appreciated the smiling looks of encouragement, it got a little weird.

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Balcony

Two chairs and a table. Nothing too crazy. I do keep my basil (whom I named BAEsil) out there during the day so it can get some sun.

Before:

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After:

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Miscellaneous

Because I want to show you more pictures.

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God I feel like such a grown-up sharing a whole post on home decor. Now I just need to figure out how taxes work…

IN THE COMMENTS:

What’s your favorite style/color scheme for home decor?

Also, just comment if you want to know where anything came from!  

Survey Responses

Hey everyone!  Thank you all for taking my blog survey.  I got some great feedback from a whole bunch of you.  I’m excited to begin revamping Snack Therapy and this survey gave me a great jumping off point.

So… The results.

You’d like to see more posts on:

1. Body Acceptance

2. Day in the Life

3. Intuitive Eating

You care less about:

1. Fashion

2. Beauty/makeup

3. Grad school

You’re all hella smart. I know nothing about fashion or beauty (or grad school, for that matter). It was a trick question.  You all passed.

And, surprise surprise, you hate sponsored posts. Yeah guys. Me too.

49% of you said you’d totally watch Snack Therapy vlogs! Another 22% of you were indifferent. The final 29% were not impressed with the idea; this group said they probably wouldn’t listen to my annoying voice on video.  Again, good choice.  Though I can’t promise I won’t try out the video blogging thing.  I won’t be mad if you don’t watch, I promise.

And finally, the comments. You all said lovely things, so thanks for that. One suggestion I read was to “stop being such a lazy biznatch and start posting on a regular basis,” except put much more eloquently. I completely agree. Another commenter said that (s)he enjoys the photo-heavy posts a lot less, which makes sense, since I’m no photographer.

So, in summary: More posts on confidence and eating.  No posts on fashion or beauty.  Post more often.  Write more words.

Got it.

I’m planning on spending the next 2ish weeks coming up with material and maybe some semblance of a schedule.  I just need some time to adjust to San Diego (apartment tour post coming soon) and then it’s back to blogging.  YES.  I’m ready. I hope you are too.

IN THE COMMENTS:

Add any more suggestions in the comments!  All are welcome!

Intuitive Eating Tip #6

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Simplify Your Life (and your social media feed)

Delete, delete, delete.

Unfriend the bitch from high school who posts stupid inspirational quotes that make you feel like the least inspired person in the world.

Unfollow the workout goddess who makes your daily walk feel completely lame.

Delete the person whose Instagram posts convince you that your diet choices are bad because you aren’t eating #paleo or #clean or #onlymeatfromorganicfreerangegrassfedcowsraisedinswitzerland.  It’s not that their diet choices are wrong, it’s just that you shouldn’t be following anyone who makes you feel unhappy with your own. Inspiration is one thing. Feeling bad about yourself is another.

Get rid of anyone who makes you feel shitty or stupid or worthless.  Once you stop comparing yourself to everyone else, your life will be a happier place. And if I’ve learned one thing about intuitive eating, it’s that when we’re living happy, full, kickass lives, we don’t really need food to fill the void (#twss?).

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