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

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

Can We Please Just Stop With “Swimsuit Ready Bikini Bodies”?

Can We Please Just Stop With “Swimsuit Ready Bikini Bodies”.jpg

By Becky Houdesheldt

Trigger Warning: The following contains specific details regarding disordered eating and restricting diet.

Summer is just around the corner, and that means swimsuit sales are on the rise. Target has had them since January, I would surmise for cruises and the ever-popular spring break. With the promise of sunshine, swimming pools and campouts, boating and rafting, come the articles touting ‘6 quick ways to a bikini body’ or ‘get beach ready in 10 days’. And therein lies my issue with summer.

Let me explain. From the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, there are at least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffering from an eating disorder in the US alone. Eating disorders do not only present themselves as what are commonly known as anorexia and bulimia. They don’t only affect those who are thin. They don’t only affect women. And they don’t ever go away. Not completely. Continue reading

New Year, Happiest and Healthiest You

5 Ways To Make 2018 Your Happiest And Healthiest Year

By Brigitte Evans

The holidays are a time of joy and coming together. But they can also be quite tough, especially for people who struggle with self-image and self-love. In the middle of New Year’s resolutions, fitness promo packages and gym memberships, it’s not easy to focus on what really matters: yourself. What we think of ourselves and how we take care of ourselves is crucial for a happy life. Here are 5 tips to help live your healthiest life: Continue reading

I’m Not The Enemy, You’re Not The Competition, We’re In This Together

I’m Not My Enemy, You're Not My Competition, We’re In This Together.jpg

By Becky Houdesheldt

Can I just say that I am tired? I am so tired. I’m tired of using other women as a barometer of how I feel about myself on any given day. I’m tired of constantly feeling as though I’m less than because I’m not as thin as I once was, and envying women who appear to be walking around without a care in the world. I’m tired of making assumptions about women that I don’t know because of my own insecurities. I’m tired of making other women competition in my mind.

I’m tired of wearing undergarments that physically hurt me in order to appear as though my physique is different than what it actually is. It’s exhausting. I am never equal, I’m always better than or less than. It is absurd. I’m tired of hating myself because I don’t fit into what society says is beautiful. I’m tired of basing my value on what I think I see in the mirror. Continue reading

Life > Our Bodies

Life Is Bigger Than Our Bodies

By Kate Kole

I went to the beach last week. And for the first time in 2 years, I decided to bare my belly in the sun. Because, I wanted to go into the water with my nephews and relax on our sprawled-out blanket. I wanted to listen to the soft waves roll onto the shore, and feel my feet sink into the sand, and watch the sunlight glisten on the water without giving my body as much as a second thought.

Mere moments after taking off my tank top, my desire to forget about my figure and focus on an afternoon with my family faded. I began studying my stomach, critiquing its imperfections and the way it folded as I sat down in my chair. I glanced around, staring at other women, feeling the all too familiar urge to compare my body to theirs. Continue reading

We Need to Stop Celebrating Mediocre Men

By Jillian Stacia

Recently an Instagram post  by author Robbie Tripp went viral. It was a post about his love for his wife, despite her larger figure.

People were immediately drawn to the post, and congratulated Tripp on being so outspoken about his acceptance and adoration of larger bodies. Comments such as “I wish I could find a man like you” and “You are so inspiring” flooded his Instagram. BuzzFeed and HuffPost ran stories depicting the so-called insane level of cuteness.

And yeah, it’s always nice to see someone profess their adoration for their partner. Who doesn’t love love? But the reality is, there are MANY things wrong with Tripp’s post including his narrow definition of feminism, his ironic tendency to praise one body type over another, and his seemingly #humblebrag that he deserves a trophy for loving his curvy wife. Continue reading

How I’m Learning To Let Go Of Expectations This Summer

How I'm Learning To Let Go Of Expectations This Summer

By Jillian Leslie

Along with the poolside days, scorching sunshine, and carefree lifestyle that summertime brings, so too come expectations. Whether they revolve around an upcoming vacation or a significant other, expectations can really bog us down.

How many times have you been frustrated by something lately because it didn’t meet what you’d envisioned in your mind? Recently, I’ve been feeling this a lot and I’ve come to the realization that these situations stem from having a tightly clenched fist. Not the type you get when climbing rope or pulling up weeds in your garden; but, the metaphorical clenched fist you experience when you’re holding out for a specific outcome. Naturally, we want what we want out of life, but this habit often creates an inability to see clearly, and to enjoy life for what it truly is. Continue reading

Enough Is Enough

Enough Is Enough

By Kate Kole

Maybe it’s because summer is coming. Or maybe it’s because I’m a sensitive person, or because I work in the fitness industry, or because I’m a recovering perfectionist. I’m not really sure what the main culprit is. All I know is that I’m increasingly getting the sense and feeling the message that the toned body comes first and the confidence comes second. That sculpted arms and tight tummies are the ticket to self-love. That acceptance comes with a smaller pants size and prettier face. That embracing who we are is only really possible once we’ve achieved our goals and proven our worth. And that feeling like we are enough is and always will be contingent on something external. Continue reading

Let Yourself Be Seen

By Kate Kole

On Wednesday, I wrote about the conversation surrounding Lady Gaga’s body after her Super Bowl performance. That same day, 2 girlfriends of mine began the #loveyourbellymovement. They shared pictures showcasing their bellies as a way to embrace who they are, to be proud of what they’re working with, to support other women, and to promote self-love.

I was so inspired. I grabbed my camera, flipped it, reversed it, and snapped a picture to share on social media. Continue reading