Done Being Mr. Nice Guy

I debated sharing this for a while… This is a personal story that I find connects with food, nutrition, and body image (among many other things)… I’m hoping it will ring true with some So that we can find community and connection in the discomfort. Also, I hope to give others permission to do what I should have done in my situation… and have intention to do so going forward.

I know many of us have been there… When someone we know, maybe even love, makes those well meaning, but entirely inappropriate questions, comments or concerns.

Lately, it seems like they’ve been raining down around me.

Before I dive in, I want to acknowledge my privilege… the comments, questions or false concerns have likely not been as mean-hearted or vengeful as those made on larger bodies, persons of color, disabled bodies or gender non- conforming… I am a straight, white, thin, able-bodied female… and still it seems that my body, the way it looks, how I choose to use it and move it seems to be up for debate. It’s not. And it shouldn’t be for any person.

For me, as of late, I am absolutely unsettled when someone asks or comments or “hints” at babies, I literally want to scream out in fury. Because honestly, unless you are my husband, it’s none of your business and my body is made for so much more than just having children.

I usually try to be nice about it and it goes something like this:

As they coo over my nieces, they turn to me, “So when is it your turn?”

“We’re focusing on our careers and time together right now, also have you seen my corg-babe.” Hinting that there’s definitely other things we can talk about outside of my “need” to bare children.

“BUT WHEN?” not getting it, they cry.

“Ask me again in a few years.” I try to divert and end the conversation.

“ BUT WHAT IF A BUMP HAPPENS?” they pry.

“We’re taking measures to make sure that doesn’t happen.” I feel forced into oversharing.

“BUT WHAT IF THEY DON’T WORK?” they ask, as if they may mess with my birth control methods themselves.

“I guess we’ll have to evaluate that if it happens.” I say hoping I can now escape, because what kind of question was that really?

Fortunately, I have not struggled with infertility, but there are hundreds of thousands of women and couples who do and my heart goes out to them, because this kind of interrogation is not just unnecessary, unwelcome and uncomfortable as it is for anyone who doesn’t want to talk about it, but for them it likely becomes hurtful and harmful too. And here’s the thing: I am not and should not be obligated to be nice about these inappropriate comments and inquiries. Are they well intentioned? Probably. But while I believe they should not even be asked, they definitely shouldn’t continue after they are shut down, as it really is not anyones business unless my husband or I choose to share this information with you. This is not up for conversation. So I am done being “nice”.

And you should be too.

Maybe the unwelcome comments for you are not about having children. Maybe it’s your weight, your appearance, your relationship status, the food you eat, your religion or beliefs, the way you move your body, the way you choose to raise your kids… Most of the time they try to say it comes from a good, well meaning place and that may be true, but for me, in many of these situations, it comes from a very selfish place.

Sometimes it’s the good ole’ “I did it this way so you should too”

Others it’s a “Your body/choices/beliefs make me uncomfortable so you should change” insanity

And occasionally it’s just plain, rude nosiness.

In any of these cases, well meaning or not, you have a right to tell others that these topics are off limits. You have the right to protect yourself.

And you can say it any way you want. Tell them that it is not their business or is not up for discussion. Tell them you don’t want to talk about it or completely ignore the question. Maybe you choose to just walk away or you can totally lecture them on how hurtful/wrong/unnecessary it is to bring up such things. You can continue to be nice if you have the patience… But you are in no way obligated to be.

Shut the comments down in any way that works for you, but we don’t have to be nice about it if being nice isn’t working anymore.

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If you don’t take a picture of your food, would it taste just as good?

“Pictures or it Didn’t Happen”

I read this phrase recently and was both outraged and inspired all in the same moment.

I get it. We live in a privileged time where we can literally (and simultaneously feel compelled to) document every single thing that happens to us (or at least the good stuff).

As someone who enjoys documenting my life, but also strives to be present, it doesn’t sit well with me that if I don’t snap a photo to document my experiences that they may be considered irrelevant. Even when I’ve totally been the person to take a picture of everything.

So of course, I took on this phrase as a personal challenge. Now I didn’t stop taking photos cold turkey (I’m not a monster-of course, I’ll never stop taking or sharing photos of my dog with you) but I am trying my best to limit how much energy I put into getting the perfect picture - or pictures things that I just won’t care about in a month, a year, 10 years - and how easy it is to be become enveloped by my phone when I should be immersed in the good time to be had. And this past weekend was a good time. But according to the above, much of it may not have happened.

After the matter, I realized one moment when I faltered that really wouldn’t matter next week… I stopped to take a picture of our meatballs from Mimi’s Blue Meatballs in Indy. Don’t get me wrong, they were presented beautifully, they tasted great, and we’ll definitely go back again… but I had no intention to make a post with that photo. I certainly am not going to print that picture off and frame it or include it in a photo album to cherish for years to come. It will be uploaded to the cloud and never thought of again. And those meatballs didn’t taste any better because I documented them.

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Earlier that day, I was surrounded by family telling stories of yore with no pictures to aid. And I just sat there thinking how much better our stories would be, our experiences would be, our life would be if we weren’t so determined to document it all by photograph and video and posting on social media as soon as possible… and sometimes missing the moment entirely.

Our food will taste just as good

Our experiences will be just as (if not more) enriching

Our life will be just as fulfilling

Even if we choose not to snapshot every single moment

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-pictures. My living space is filled with photographs documenting beautiful memories. I love living vicariously through other’s photos. I have a blog and social media and enjoy sharing photos with others. But I also have hundreds of shots on my computer that are just taking up space.

So I’m working towards choosing to be in the moments worth keeping first… and take a photo after the memory’s made. I think it’s part of the journey to live more wholeheartedly. I think this is part of finding freedom, including food freedom.

Are you with me?

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Amanda is an anti-diet dietitian and nutrition therapist practicing in Bloomington, IN and virtually. If you are looking to work with a dietitian, she is currently accepting new clients. Check out her services or reach out to set your FREE discovery call today. She would love the opportunity to work with you!

Lone Weekend

My husband recently was selected to be one of NASM Master Instructors-which means occasionally he'll be away on weekends for this job.  He loves teaching others, so I'm super proud of him and excited for this new venture, but this means that I will have some occasional weekends throughout the year all to myself.

And I absolutely love that.

Don't get me wrong, I love my husband and love spending time with him. But sometimes you need downtime to do you. To watch movies and TV he would rather not and eat food that you want without question and fully indulge in self care and sleep diagonally on the bed because you can.

I also love the idea that I may be able to tag along on some of these adventures, so it's a win-win.

This past weekend was the first, and I had big plans. I was going to organize and clean and relax and be productive and eat Turkish food and take a bath and watch the princess bride and read like twenty books and be in bed by 9 p.m. And of course it didn't go exactly as planned but I got some quality alone time in.

He left early Saturday and my plan for the afternoon was to work on some business related things, once I got all caught up it was time for some R & R.

I had previously started The Bold Type (a freeform tv show that I had very low expectations of) and ended up loving it, so I caught up on the current season.

It's apparently inspired by women of cosmo and is about three badass ladies who are chasing their dreams at a fashion magazine. Also, in one of their latest episodes Tess Holliday (Cool Kid Body Positive Activist and Plus Size Model) makes a guest appearance as they work the whole episode on an issue centered around real bodies! Okay. Enough about that. But I do recommend watching if you're looking for a tv show during the summer lull, new episodes are currently premiering of season 2 on Tuesdays (the following day on Hulu).

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I chowed down on leftover copy cat penne rosa and was in bed before nine finishing up Hunger by Roxane Gay. It was a successful first night. I slept diagonally and my dog only woke me up twice, and I slept in until 8:30 on Sunday which is crazy late for me!

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After waking up, I decided to organize my (previously designated) craft desk that now is also used for work from home matters (or I want to... if I can keep the crafts off of it). I'm really loving how it's shaping up! A little work and then I tried to spend Sunday how Matt and I do when we're together... relatively unplugged and it was the perfect day for it! 

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We spent so much of the day outdoors, laying on our picnic blanket, doing some fun reading, barking at the neighbors dogs and children (this last one was more Miya than me). The weather was so perfect for this, 81 and sunny, not a rain cloud in sight! So I soaked it up. I'm hoping for more summer days like this to come.

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Now I know I said I was going to get Turkish food and usually when Matt's out of town I go for the restaurants he hesitates to visit with me... But a burger, fries and shake sounded so good so I went with my gut. Also, Five Guys does a PB&J milkshake that rocks my socks. 

Afterwards I watched She's Having a Baby. (A movie Matt most definitely would not have enjoyed.) I have a thing for 80s films, throw in the fact that it was written and directed by John Hughes and starred Kevin Bacon and I was all in. I tried to watch this movie without any other distractions-which I realized I rarely do anymore-and actually really enjoyed it. Matt's not too impressed with older movies so I really need to make it a point to get them in when he's not around!

After the movie I talked to Matt for a bit. His flight had been cancelled, so I had the bed to myself for another night. I started to get ready for bed and was tired so I fell asleep right around 9. Mondays are tough and to be honest my dog did not allow us to sleep very well, so today was mostly all the tasks I put off (cleaning, cooking, and napping). 

All in all, a weekend alone can do a world of good! We are looking forward to having Matt back! What are some things you did this past weekend that you enjoyed?