Don’t Let Halloween Body-shamers Get to You…

halloweenWith Halloween just a few weeks away I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about which tempting sugary treats you should avoid to ‘protect’ your figure and different strategies to implement so you keep your hands out of the candy bowl… I think the real message should be to consume candy in moderation not because it’ll have an adverse affect on your dress size, but rather because it will have an adverse affect on your health!

The array of Halloween sweets can take a toll on your blood sugar and insulin levels, which can leave you feeling less than energetic and less in the spirit for trick-or-treating. Plus, sugar is tough for the liver to digest and it can really slow us down. Even so, candy corns once and while won’t hurt. So enjoy the season and remember to show your body the love and respect it deserves – self-care, exercise and intuitive eating are the key to good health and feeling great, not dieting and self-punishment.

There’s no need to be scared of enjoying this holiday.

Here are some healthy and fulfilling treats to have as well as some great party platters to make.

Frozen Chocolate-Drizzled Bananas

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Caramel Apples (these are my absolute favorite!)

Dark Chocolate & Popcorn

“Spider” Deviled Eggs

Pretzel & Cheese Broomsticks

Apple, Peanut Butter, & Marsh-mellow Smiles

Banana Ghosts & Clementine Pumpkins

Monster Fruit Bowl

Have a Happy Halloween and don’t let all the ghoulish bad body talk get to you!

XO,

Jordan (Jordan@extraordinarybeing.com)

www.extraordinarybeing.com

#hatefatshamingnotfatpeople

I am not sure how many of you are familiar with Emily McCombs who is the managing editor at XOJane.com, but I’m a fan. Emily often writes candidly about her struggles with her own body image and her attempts to embrace a Health at Every Size (HAES)® approach, a perspective which forwards the idea that good health can be reached independent of size.

Last week, Emily wrote an Article entitled, “I Worked Out With Jillian Michaels and She Made Me Feel Bad About My Body”. For those of you that don’t know, Jillian Michaels is one of the trainers on NBC’s The Biggest Loser.

In the article Emily admits that she “used to really like Jillian Michaels” but after posing a HAES oriented question Emily’s affinity for Michael’s has dimmed.  You should probably read the whole article, but I’m most concerned with Michael’s Response to Emily’s Question:

[Emily]: A lot of our readers are really into size acceptance and Health at Every Size. Your brand is so aligned with weight loss, I just wonder how you feel about exercise for fitness vs. exercise for weight loss.

JilIian: I don’t even really know what that means. I’ll define health for you. If your cholesterol is good, your blood sugar’s good, your blood pressure is good, that to me is healthy. I believe that you should accept yourself as every size. But I’m not gonna sit here and pretend that you’re physically healthy at every size because you’re not.

jillian-michaels-yellingAnd I also don’t believe that even though you might be 100 pounds overweight, you’re going, “Oh I’m good the way that I am.” BULLSHIT. I don’t believe that you don’t wake up in the morning and feel uncomfortable in your skin. I don’t believe that you don’t feel insecure when you pick your kid up from school. I don’t believe that you don’t feel uncomfortable when you’re naked in front of your husband or your wife for that matter. I don’t believe you.”

Clearly, The Biggest Loser is a show that buys in to the fat=bad/thin=good paradigm and according to the blog Dances with Fat, Michaels has a history of fat-shaming beyond the hollering, screaming and berating she does while training fat people on NBC. In particular, Michaels has been known to use the hashtag “#hateobesitynotobesepeople,” and as Ragen Chastain explains, “you can’t hate obesity but not obese people – it doesn’t work that way.  If you hate obesity, then you hate me.  I’m not a thin woman covered in fat, I’m a fat woman.   You can’t love the thin person who you wish I was without hating the fat woman I am now.”  In other words, if someone accepts their fat body or is trying to accept their fat body – they must begin by understanding that their fat is a casing to be shed. It is part of them. Jillian Michaels has made it clear that she doesn’t understand this.

Soooo… there is no reason that one would have expected Michaels to respond to Emily’s question in a manner that was photo(3)fat-positive or fat-accepting, but still when I was reading Michaels’ comments my face contorted and smoke came out my ears. Who is this woman to say that if I’m fat I cannot enjoy my body? Why does she think she has the right to call my comfort and self acceptance “BULLSHIT” and impose upon me the idea that during my morning nude hours, when I’m showering, blow-drying and primping for the day, I’m also feeling shame that my husband can see my nakedness?

Please. (Eye-Roll.)

And worse than insulting me, Micheals is confirming the fat fears of women everywhere: if I don’t ever get thin (a statistically improbably goal), I will never be happy.

ARGH! %^$&%*!!!! (Wave hands about in frustration)

The idea, that all fat women hate their bodies and not one person ever has loved them, is a lie.  It’s fat-shaming, a fat-specific form of body-shaming.

Please hear me. No matter what Jillian Micheals has to say, I am here to tell you that there are fat women, like me, who enjoy our bodies and feel comfortable in our own skin.  I can’t speak for all fat women but my fat body wears a bikini, has orgasms, lifts weights, runs, dances, has ideal blood pressure and cholesterol, eats fruits and veggies, laughs, cries, loves, struts about naked, and allows me to do pretty much anything I desire. My fat body is amazing. It is nothing to be ashamed of.

Furthermore – women of all sizes and shapes – not just fat women – feel uncomfortable in their bodies and this discomfort is the issue. Being a thin or thinner woman does not ensure a release from the trappings of bodily-hate.

In western culture – which is rife with toxic messages about woman’s bodies – there is no perfect body image. (How much do you wanna bet that Jillian Michaels has days where she feels icky about her appearance?)  That said, self-hate is not the only option. We can fight for our acceptance – we can acknowledge that some days we are able to embrace our bodies and feel awesome and other days not so much; we can point out body-shaming, fat-hate and fat-shaming and tell people it’s not okay; we can insist that fashion designers acknowledge the fat body as a viable canvas for cool clothes or make these clothes ourselves; we can write letters to the media calling for a diversity of bodies in our representation or better yet make media that rlove your bodyepresents a diversity of body-types. We can stop trying to hide, step into the light and say, “I’m Fat – and it’s none of your business, so keep you hands off my body.”

If you’re interested in thinking about body acceptance you should go like Emily McCombs on Facebook, and while you’re at it go like her colleague Lesley Kinzel, and my body positive website, Extraordinary Being too. [Side note: LesleyKinzel’s awesome book, Two Whole Cakes was published in 2011 by the Feminist Press]

To learn more about the HAES® approach or to have a speaker talk to your group about fat-positive living check out Kate Harding, Hanne Blank  or me.

#hatefatshamingnotfatpeople
#iheartmybody
#fatpositive
#extrabeing

This post was originally posted on Soapbox, Inc.

 

XO, Lindsey

Chipolte Ad, The Earth and Your body

Chipotle’s Scarecrow ad mesmerized me. As I write this I feel sad and horrified at the irreverent way mankind shows his disrespect for the earth and her creatures, which include you, me and my dog Lucy, who is sitting faithfully beside me as I type this blog entry.

Chipotle, to their credit, has given us an animated, gut-grabbing rendition of the cruel manipulations and treatment we bestow on animals before we lead them to their slaughter, simultaneously polluting our bodies and the earth, culminating in an indelible carbon footprint.

Extraordinary Being hopes we all aspire to see ourselves as extraordinary creatures in an extraordinary world, open to learning balance, nurturing, and fulfillment. For me, being part of this extraordinary world means that I am connected to the earth and all her creatures. I believe together, you and I, Lucy, the cows and the chickens, the seedlings that foster the trees and plants are intrinsically connected. We would not survive without each other.

Our bodies are part of the natural world, so respecting them, nurturing, accepting and keeping them healthy, is the key to respecting the earth.

Here at Extraordinary Being we give a round of applause to Chipotle for being an extraordinary corporate friend to the earth.

To learn more about embracing your body’s natural strength, power and beauty check our Extraordinary Bodies and stay tuned for a new workshop called Extraordinary Earth.

XO,

Lisa (Lisa@extraordinarybeing.com)

http://www.extraordinarybeing.com

Positive Body Talk: 10 Tips for Raising Children with a Healthy Body Image

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Take a look at this simple yet empowering list of things you can say and do to encourage a healthy body image. This list includes everything from cooking kale together to making a “chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter” because a positive body image doesn’t result from focusing on all the things you shouldn’t have or shouldn’t do but rather from embracing and enjoying everything life has to offer. The foundation for these body-positive practices and ideas for communicating with  kids were originally conceived @Hope Avenue:

Continue reading

Lindsey and Extraordinary Being were featured on Wise-Up Radio

websiteimageDonna Kim Brand, a founder of Game Changer Thinking and one of Lindsey’s fellow Muses and Visionaries members recently featured Lindsey  and Extraordinary Being on her radio show, Wise-Up Radio: Leveraging your Learning Leadership and Legacy! The title of the episode is Power Women Profiles. One the show Lindsey discussed how representations affect our self-image and impede our success and some of the key elements people need to consider when attempting to instill confidence in their children. You should definitely give the interview a listen – especially because Lindsey offered Donna’s listeners a discount on all 2013 workshops!

Please note: Lindsey’s interview begins two-thirds of the way through the show.

Avoid Lessons from the Cave Men on TV – Define Masculinity On Your Terms.

Did you ever noticeMV5BNDg2NzI3NzcwOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTgwNzk5Mg@@._V1._SX499_SY333_ that there is a repeated male character on sitcoms which you could refer to as  – the caveman.  He’s a drinking, womanizing, upper class dude – who considers no ones feelings but his own? Think about Barney on How I met your Mother or Charlie on Two and a Half Men. There is also a lower middle class counterpart to this suave caveman – who is the farting, drinking, mess of a caveman that you get on a sitcom like King of QueensDoug – who can’t seem to do anything right; he’s a docile idiot cave man. tumblr_m7l64k1b7h1r8lemeo1_500

These representations reinforce our understanding of men as out of control animals: inconsiderate, self-centered horrible beings, who either aren’t smart enough to think through the consequences of their actions or they understand these consequences but don’t care about those who will suffer in their wake.  As I’m sure you know these characters are well-loved a revered. Consider the messages of Barney Stinson, which have popped-up as memes all over the internet:

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I am not saying that these characters and shows aren’t funny – (often they are hilarious), I am just pointing out that this kind of character is often used as a basis for poor male behavior. In other words, the negative generalizations that I often hear about men can easily be linked to these kind of characters. Things like  – all men cheat, men are pigs, men are selfish and don’t want to communicate, boys will be boys, etc. Men are not mindless animals – they are conscious beings with hearts, minds and souls and we need to culturally reinforce this idea.  Men are awesome – they are beings filled with love, strength, courage, intelligence, frustration and every other human emotion. Being a male does not mean you have to talk down to others, dominate, or be stoic. You can define masculinity for yourself. There are no rules people. The path is yours to define.

At Extraordinary Being we have a workshop series that focuses on this exact idea….Extraordinary Men. Check it out. Also, why not like us on facebook.

(Side note:  I feel like the use of “animal” here implies that animals are beings that lack consciousness and that’s not true – so please excuse the use of the word).