FIRST THOUGHT: Confidence is Cute
After a few minutes of chatting with a saleswoman, she started to say negative statements about her body. We, as women, need to stop doing this. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. We’ve all done it. Why? How does verbalizing our body insecurities help us? What it does is foster a space for others around you to judge your body and then judge their own. It tells girls that a huge portion of their identity comes from what’s reflected in the mirror, or that their distorted thoughts are real. While being upfront about your body may seem like a way to bond with your girlfriends, it takes a stab at your own self-esteem, instead. Remember, ladies, confidence is the sexiest characteristic of all.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 50 Percent
A few of my friends and I commiserated about how women are always shaming themselves and each other for what they eat. (You know, those women who cut a fourth of a donut and say they’re “cheating” on their diet.) As many as 50 percent of women are on a diet at any given time. And as of 1990, the average age for dieting was 8 years old. Let that sink in.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Virginia Sole-Smith, Author of The Eating Instinct and Creator of “Comfort Food” Podcast
One of my lifelong friends admitted that she’d struggled with disordered eating for years, and I’m guessing that either you or someone you know has, too. I was going to share the story of a successful “wellness” company today, but instead of talking about counting calories, let’s delight in one of the greatest pleasures in life: eating. That’s why I want to share the story of Virginia Sole-Smith instead, a journalist who has inspired women to change their relationship with food. Let’s dig in.
Virginia’s newborn daughter Violet experienced heart complications and endured several surgeries. Violet received her nutrients and calories from a feeding tube, something that eventually resulted in an oral aversion. For the next two years, Virginia and her husband worked with Violet to embrace and enjoy food.
That painstaking process brought Virginia, an experienced journalist, to write a book called The Eating Instinct. It centers on the concept that food is supposed to—spoiler alert—keep us alive. So why do we have such a toxic relationship with the stuff that’s meant to nourish? As Virginia shares the stories of how people learn to eat the way they do, she learns that the only way to eat is by listening to ourselves, not an Instagram influencer or a trendy wellness plan.
As Virginia continues to explore the concept that we have everything we need to reach our happiest and healthiest lives, she also hosts a podcast about how we can share the love of food with our family. Called “Comfort Food,” Virginia gabs with her bestie about how to accept your own eating habits as a woman, and how to feel confident in how you’re feeding your littles. (In an appropriate fashion, the two women first bonded over where to find a cheap meal in Manhattan as young and broke journalists.)
What Virginia has taught me is that shame has no business being on your plate or in your kitchen. Remember your most comforting meal, the one your mom would give you when your stomach ached or your nose sniffled? According to Virginia, that kind of delectable security isn’t gone. We just welcome it back.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Indian politician Indira Gandhi said:
"There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there."