Listening to Your Body Instead of the Noise

listen to your body

 

{Ed. Note: This is another guest post from the ever-so-awesome, Carli Trujillo!}

Okay people, we are 27 days into the year 2015 and chances are, you have been pressured to change your body. You have been told through various sources that you should make it a new year’s resolution to change something about your physical appearance, from zapping away body hair and gaining muscle to losing weight, or even changing the structure of your face with plastic surgery.

Well, in case you find yourself lost in this jungle of superficial bullshit, I will defog your goggles and define dieting in its most simple form.

First, imagine a world where every human loved other humans for who they are, rather than just what they look like. Imagine what our world would look like if 75% of women didn’t have disordered eating habits.

So first of all, the principles that dieting are founded upon are unrealistic and insensitive. Dieting doesn’t work because it is founded upon the heinous idea that we should all look the same. All women should have big breasts, small waists, thin arms and legs, and virtually no hair except for the acceptable areas. Men should have muscular arms, a six-pack, etc. And women, as always, are repeatedly told to change their physical appearance to please and compete for men’s attention and affection.

Yes, we are all humans. But we certainly do not all look the same. And we shouldn’t strive to. Diversity is beautiful, and guess what? So are you. Yes, you, with the muffin top and the gorgeous back hair.

Second of all, mainstream and crash dieting tells people (especially women) to disconnect from their bodies. We are told to starve ourselves and count calories, regardless of how that will make us feel. And there is a strong shame component to all of this, because if you fail at dieting, that makes you incompetent in many other ways.

If you have tried and failed at mainstream dieting, kudos for trying something new! But moreover, good for you for walking away. Congratulations that you were able to unmask and detach from the insensitive and unrealistic expectations of society at large rather than your own, beautiful body.

And if you are currently dieting but are unhappy and want to try a new, different approach to your health and fitness regime, here is a solid idea that I think is worth trying to implement…

Listen to your body.

Shift your focus from how you look to how you feel. Try to get in tune with your body and its physical needs. Then, try to meet those needs, whatever they may be, including drinking, sleeping, moving around, breathing, having sex, or eating that vegan chocolate chip cookie.

It is disappointing that listening to your body is considered a radical approach to eating, especially for women. And it may be a brand-new approach, especially to those women who have been on some form of prescribed diet their entire lives.

But I dare you to try it. Because guess what, honey? You are beautiful. And anyone who doesn’t support you being in touch with your body can go right to hell. Straight there. With no McDonald’s detours.

Weekly Feminist Happenings January 27th-February 2nd

Utah Clean Air Rally

Tuesday, January 27th

Pete Earley Lecture: The National Alliance on Mental Illness Utah will present “An Evening with Pete Earley,” Jan. 27, 2015. Earley is one of America’s most known mental health advocates and is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of “Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness.” The event is free, but registration is required. Visit www.namiut.org for information. Details: Starts at 6:30 p.m. at Rowland Hall-St. Marks (843 Lincoln St., Salt Lake City).

Diversity series Tricia Rose: As part of the 2014-2015 Bastian Foundation Diversity Lecture Series, Westminster will host a lecture by Tricia Rose titled “Imagining Justice: African-American Culture and Social Change.” Rose is professor of Africana studies at Brown University and is an internationally respected scholar of post-civil rights era black U.S. culture, popular music, social issues, gender and sexuality. Details: Starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business (1840 S. 1300 East, Salt Lake City).

Wednesday, January 28th

U.S. Supreme CourtJustice Sonia Sotomayor: Justice Sonia Sotomayor will speak at the University of Utah on Jan. 28, 2015. Justice Sotomayor will speak and participate in a questions and answer session at noon. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. A select number of tickets will be open to the public starting on Dec. 1, 2014, at the Rice-Eccles Stadium Ticket Office, 451 S. 1400 East. Tickets must be picked up in person. For more information, visit fyi.utah.edu/2014/story_27612.html. Details: Starts at noon at the Jon M. Huntsman Center (1825 E. South Campus Drive, Salt Lake City).

Saturday, January 31st

Clean Air, No Excuses: We, the people of Utah, deserve clean air. We are willing to do our part, now the Legislature and big industry need to do theirs. No excuses! Details: From 12-1 p.m. at the Utah State Capitol.

Submit your event here! 

Weekly Feminist Happenings January 20th-26th

Sonya renee

Tuesday, January 20th

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration: The University of Utah Department of Equity and Diversity will hold its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration, Jan. 17-20, 2015. There will be a community panel Jan. 20, that will discuss police militarization, a day of service on Jan. 17, a parade on Jan. 19 starting at East High School and the keynote address on Jan. 22, by Imani Perry. Visit diversity.utah.edu/mlk-week-email/panel-email.html for information.

Images of China: Chinese culture has been fascinating and yet mysterious to many people in the West. Beijing, Xinjiang, and Taipei are the most well-known places in China and are representative of Chinese culture. These photos, taken by unnamed photographers from China, depict the daily life in these cities and provide a bird’s eye view of the lifestyle of Chinese people. Together, the photos show that peace and development bring happiness to the human family. Details: The exhibit runs Jan. 20-Feb. 21, 2015. An opening reception will be held Jan. 20, 7-8:30 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Public Library – Main (210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City).

Wednesday, January 21st

Carol Ruth Silver-Author: In 1961, Carol Ruth Silver was arrested and imprisoned for 40 days as a Freedom Rider in Jackson, Mississippi. She will be sharing her story and what led her to join the Freedom Rider Movement, and spend her life, and career fighting for civil rights. Details: Starts at 7 p.m. at the IJ and Jeanne Wagner Jewish Community Center (2 N. Medical Drive, Salt Lake City).

Friday, January 23rd

Our Life, Our Body, Our Choice: Celebrating the 42nd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade:  In the 42 years since Roe v. Wade was decided, the reproductive justice movement has seen many victories – and many challenges. While abortion is a common, shared experience among women – one in three American women will have one in her lifetime – we still have to fight daily to protect the right to choose, and the right to access abortion care in a safe, affordable, compassionate health care setting.

Join us in celebrating this 42nd anniversary with performance poet and activist Sonya Renee and the debut of the Our Stories Project, a photo essay documenting the many experiences of Utah women who have had abortions. With catering by Laziz Foods, an open bar, and a revolutionary approach to breaking down abortion stigma through art, we’ll hope you’ll go home ready to stand up for reproductive justice in Utah. Details: From 7-10 p.m. at the Sugar Space (616 E. Wilmington Avenue Salt Lake City, UT 84106).

Why I Won’t Compliment Your Weight Loss

I won't compliment your weight loss

It’s the time of year when a lot of folks are trying really hard to be “their best selves” and get the body they’ve “always dreamed of.” For a lot of people that means ramping up their exercise and changing up their diet (two things that I think can be awesome!). Unfortunately, more often than not, the new diet and exercise come with shame, guilt, and the message that your body is only “good” if it looks a particular way.

That’s bullshit. Culturally conditioned bullshit, but bullshit nonetheless.

All bodies are beautiful, including yours, whether you lose or gain weight. Fat, skinny, in between, able-bodied, with disabilities, hairy, hairless, with or without makeup, cis, trans*, and anything else I may have left out. Your body is beautiful, and it’s beautiful that you feel good, but I’m not going to reinforce that you should only feel good about weight loss. So I’m sorry, but I’m not going to compliment your weight loss.

Weight loss isn’t always a good thing. People with terminal illnesses get reallllll skinny, but you wouldn’t compliment them on that fact. Did you lose weight because you frantically counted calories and let your diet dictate your social life? I don’t think that’s so great, and you shouldn’t either. Did you food-shame other folks because they were eating something you have identified as “bad?” I’m not going to give you a gold star for value judgments.

I know, I know, you’ve worked hard. You look good! But you’ve always looked good. Seriously. In spite of what our culture tells us, you looked good ten pounds ago.

What I will compliment:

1. Your ability to stick with goals that make you happy

2. Your willingness to try new and exciting  things

3. Your increased energy and positive attitude (a natural byproduct of healthy diet and exercise)

4. Your performance-related goals (Did you back squat more than ever before? Bitchin’!)

So, dear friends. I won’t compliment your weight-loss, but it’s not because I don’t notice. It’s because I’m sick of one indicator being used to make us chase our tails and feel bad about ourselves when we don’t measure up.

How do you give compliments that aren’t related to weight?

Weekly Feminist Happenings January 13th-19th

mattshepardisafriendofmine

Tuesday, January 13th

Women Artists of Utah: This exhibit celebrates a selection of remarkable works by Utah women. Women have always been active and essential participants in our cultural heritage. This exhibit includes a variety of works, from early Utah masters to present-day emerging and established artists who have contributed to Utah’s rich artistic history. The exhibition will be on display in the Utah State Capitol Building Dec. 23, 2014–Mar. 13, 2015 on the fourth floor gallery.

Wednesday, January 14th

Exploring Utah’s Multicultural Past: The Utah Division of State History invites the public, scholars, students, and organizations to submit proposals for papers, sessions, panels, roundtables, or multi-media presentations exploring Utah’s multicultural past. The conference theme is “Deep Roots, Many Voices: Exploring Utah’s Multicultural Past.” For questions or to submit a proposal, contact either Holly George at 801-245-7257 or hollygeorge@utah.gov or Jedediah Rogers at 801-245-7209 or jedediahrogers@utah.gov. Proposals should be submitted by March 1, 2015.

Thursday, January 15th

Race Perspectives Workshop: As part of the Utah Race Intersections Project, writers explore micro-stories, poem, and essays about race, ethnicity, and cultural identity. Writers can submit their work to the community anthology to be published in February. Details: The event is free, but registration is required. From 6-8 p.m. at the Salt Lake Community College Community Writing Center (210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City).

Screening of Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine: The documentary “Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine,” which examines the life and brutal death of Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming college student and victim of one of America’s most notorious hate crimes, through the eyes of director Michele Josue, a close friend of the Shepard family. Presented by the Utah Film Center. Details: Starts at 7 p.m. at  Brewvies Cinema & Pub (677 S. 200 West, Salt Lake City).

When Words Weren’t Enough Exhibit: The Topaz Museum in Delta will open with an inaugural art exhibition, “When Words Weren’t Enough: Works on Paper from Topaz, 1942-1945.” Drawing from the museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition sheds light on artists who contributed greatly to the art and culture of the Topaz War Relocation Authority Camp that confined people of Japanese descent from 1942-1945. The exhibit runs Jan 13-Sept. 30, 2015. An opening reception will be held Jan. 17, 1-5 p.m.

Friday, January 16th

Alabama Story: Pioneer Theatre Company will present the “Alabama Story” by Kenneth Jones, Jan. 9-24, 2015. A gentle children’s book with an apparent hidden message stirs the passions of a segregationist senator and a no-nonsense state librarian in 1959 Montgomery, just as the civil rights movement is flowering. Inspired by true events, Alabama Story puts political foes, star-crossed childhood friends, and one feisty children’s author on the same page to conjure a Deep South of the Imagination. Details: Runs through January 24th at the Pioneer Theatre Company (300 S. 1400 East, Salt Lake City). For tickets, visit www.pioneertheatre.org.

Saturday, January 17th

Real Women Run Winter Training: Real Women Run warmly invites Utah women to attend a full-day of education and training. The day will feature a keynote speech by Dr. Susan Madsen, Orin R. Woodbury Professor of Leadership and Ethics in the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University.Dr. Madsen will talk about “Utah Women in Politics: Status, Challenges, and Opportunities.”

Four panels will focus on mayoral leadership; impact on families; faith and political leadership, and issue advocacy.
– The mayor’s panel includes Karen Cronin, Sonja Norton, Constance Robinson, RoJean Rowley, and JoAnn Seghini
– The panel on family impact includes Jason Love; Jenny Wilson; Morgan Lyon Cotti; and Heather Pehrson
– The women of faith panel features Utah Representatives Patrice Arent, Becky Edwards, and Rebecca Chavez-Houck
– The panel on issue based advocacy includes Alicia Ridgway Connell, Jackie Biskupski, and Erin Mendenhall.

Topics of the two breakout sessions are Campaign 101 with Lindsay Zizumbo, and Boards and Commissions with Ashlee Burt, Chris Bray, and Sheryl Ivey.

Current and former elected officials will share their perspectives and experiences with attendees over lunch. Register here.

Monday, January 19th

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial Luncheon: The NAACP Salt Lake Branch will host the 31st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial Luncheon, Monday Jan. 19, 2015. The speaker will be Nicole M. Francis, Program Manager for Smart Global Solutions and NASA Research and Education Support Services. Details: RSVP by Jan. 13. Reservations can be made by calling 801-250-5088, email jdwnaacp@att.net or pay online: www.naacp-saltlakebranch.org.

Share your events here!