When “Body Neutrality” Is the Best That You Can Do

By De Elizabeth

Trigger Warning: The following contains language about eating disorders.

A few days ago, I pulled out a romper from the back of my closet. The black fabric was slightly wrinkled, a few beads on the neckline coming loose on the thread. I hadn’t worn it since the summer of 2016, almost two years ago at this point, months before I got pregnant. I stumbled upon it on the first hot day of the year, and, out of curiosity, I put it on, hoping it would fit.

I’m not sure if I was surprise or relieved — or maybe both — to find that it did still fit. The cinched waistband slipped up over my hips easily, the buttons closing behind my shoulders without a fight. But when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t feel like the 2016 girl who wore that same romper. Something felt off, out of place, unfamiliar. Continue reading

The Price You Pay When You’re Always Trying to Live in the Moment

By De Elizabeth

Every summer when growing up, my family would take trips to Cape Cod. My brother and I would spend the days leading up to our trip rifling through our CD collections, deciding which albums to bring with us for the six-hour drive (Blink-182, SR-71, and, later, Motion City Soundtrack were always among the top of the list). We’d print out a list of every state in the country, awarding various values to each, ready to play the License Plate Game in the car (Alaska and Hawaii always had the highest amount of points). We’d joke that every year, our parents would get into their “annual fight” before we left, delaying our departure by at least 45 minutes, but then eventually we’d be on our way. We’d stop around lunchtime — in Mystic, Connecticut, at a Friendly’s restaurant just off of the highway. Then, several hours later, we’d cross the Sagamore Bridge onto the Cape, and every year, at this very moment, my mom would turn around, look at us, and say: “Savor the moment.” Continue reading

We Are Not Duchess Kate – And That’s OK

We Are Not Duchess Kate And That_s OK

By Catherine Miele

After giving birth to her third child, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, exited the hospital looking flawless.

Bright-eyed, subtly made-up, perfectly coiffed, and wearing high heels for god’s sake, she is the envy of all new moms. Hell, 3 years after giving birth to my first, I wish I looked that put together on date nights!

Except…here’s the thing: it’s Duchess Kate’s job to present herself in a certain way for the public. Continue reading

Take The Damn Nap

Take The Damn Nap

By Kate Kole

My mom says (or if you’d prefer, my mama always said) that as a kid, I’d put to myself to bed when I got tired. Hopped up on Mountain Dew and Dunkaroos, I’d run myself ragged and then climb underneath the covers for an afternoon nap.

Still today, I crave rest when I’m running on empty. But, often times now, I’ll resist the urge. My mind reminds my body of all the things that need doing, and I power my way through the slump. On days when I do opt to lie down, either out of sickness or pure exhaustion, I’m greeted with a familiar, nagging guilt. Do you really have the time for this? Isn’t there something else you could be doing? That you should be doing?   Continue reading

She Let In

She Let In.

By Kate Kole

Inspiration: She Let Go by Safire Rose

She let in.

She let in a quiet acceptance for the body she had always harshly critiqued.

She let in emotion. Joy for the ordinary. Grief for her loss. Excitement for her accomplishments. Disappointment for the unattained things in which she had hoped.

She let in her feelings without the need to analyze, judge, deny, or defend them.

She let in appreciation for her past, contentment for her present, and faith for her future.

She let in the vulnerability to be seen and the strength to know her value. Continue reading

Not This.

Not This.

By Jillian Stacia

Not This.

It rang clear and true while I sat in the workshops, networked in the exhibit hall, chewed my dinner during the Awards Banquet.

Not This, Not This, Not This.

The concept of “Not This” comes from bestselling author, Elizabeth Gilbert. Gilbert writes, “Most of us, at some point in our lives (unless we have done everything perfectly…which is: nobody) will have to face a terrible moment in which we realize that we have somehow ended up in the wrong place.” She goes on to say, “I call this moment of realization: NOT THIS.”

This was my moment of realization. This was my Not This. Continue reading

7 Things I’ve Learned About Life And Motherhood Lately

7 Things I_ve Learned About Life And Motherhood Lately

By Chelsea O’Neal

In a world where society seems to tell us that we have to be perfect and to do everything with perfection, it’s a breath of fresh air to step back and realize a few things, not only about life, but about ourselves and those around us. That refreshing feeling of coming to place of really appreciating all that there is and accepting ourselves just the way we are.

Here are 7 things that have been enlightening in my daily routines: Continue reading

The Mantra Helping Me Deal with Anxiety Over Becoming a First-Time Mom

The Mantra Helping Me Deal with Anxiety Over Becoming a First-Time Mom.jpeg

By Kate Kole

Without ever labeling it, I began struggling with anxiety in college. It was the first time in my life that I was overcome with a desire, which felt more like a need, to be perfect. I hit the gym at 6 am for the perfect body, and I studied like crazy for perfect grades. It became an almost addictive pattern. The more control I felt I had, the more control I craved.

And so, it didn’t stop with graduation. It only intensified. I had all the classic symptoms that came with it: excessive worry, trouble sleeping, stomach issues, and a lot of inexplicable sweaty panic. But I justified my anxiety as a good thing. Because as much as it destroyed me, I’d convinced myself that it simultaneously drove me to be my best. Until it didn’t. Continue reading

In Defense Of Yoga Pants: Live And Let Live

In Defense Of Yoga Pants Live And Let Live.jpeg

By Kate Kole

I’m wearing sweatpants as I write.  Which is unsurprising, because I spend as much time as possible in my sweats. It’s been a lifelong love affair between me and that glorious cotton/poly blend and I have the childhood photos to prove just how often I’ve chosen to favor comfort over fashion.

So, it pretty much goes without saying that I can totally get on board with hitting the gym in sweats. Especially on an 8-degree morning, like the one detailed in The New York Times OpEd piece, Why Yoga Pants Are Bad For Women.

What I can’t get on board with is this: shaming women who choose to wear anything else, like the “skintight, saran-wrap-thin yoga pants” the author references. Continue reading