For those of you who don’t know, one of the many issues I face is anxiety/insomnia. It blows. But…it makes for very entertaining and useful blog posts for you so…you’re welcome. It’s currently around 5:30 am.
As I was browsing around Instagram just now, I came across one post that made me fall into a very deep rabbit hole of Instagram posts. You know how that happens, right? I searched for “brownies” and the next thing I know I’m on a meme page watching videos of cats in boxes.
But I digress. This time, the Instagram hole led me into posts from those with eating disorders and body image issues. Or the ones who have recovered from it. And I don’t mean the sort of body image issues I have, I mean real ones – severe ones that make them sick, inside and out. It made me sad to think that so many people struggle with food this way, I wish I could teach them to approach it the way I do. This is my best attempt.
So many people ask me how I stay “skinny” (and I use quotes for a reason, let me finish), that I felt it was time to talk about it in depth, from literally how I do it, to how I view myself. I think both of these things are important for understanding my methods.
First things first. I do NOT think I’m “skinny”, despite the fact that the word is built into my branding. Skinny, in my mind, means you have thin legs and arms, no fat on your stomach, and overall no curves. Maybe a supermodel is skinny, not me. My measurements are 36-27-38. I have big boobs, big hips, and I have no ass. Like none. I do squats and it just doesn’t help. You know how some asses just won’t quit? Well mine got fired a long time ago and was never to be seen again. And I’ve accepted it.
I like being “curvy” in some places, but there are days when I HATE my body. I mean…if we’re not complaining about being fat sometimes, are we even women? I will look in the mirror and see my hips/muffin top and thighs in a specific pair of jeans and tell myself I’m never eating bread ever again. Then, two hours later, I’ll have a burger, fries, and mozzarella sticks. You know what I mean? Of course you do. If you’re a follower of mine, chances are, you and I are simpatico on shit like this. It happens. Not to mention bread is just fucking wonderful.
I think of it like this: if I REALLY wanted to lose weight, I would. I’m disciplined and I’ve done it before. At my heaviest, I was around 140. That’s a lot for my 5’5 stature. I could see it in my face, my arms, just everywhere. And it bothered the shit out of me. So I got a trainer, started eating right, and eventually got down to a “happy” weight. I wasn’t “fat” before, but I wasn’t happy. That’s why I call it my “happy weight” instead of “goal weight”. 😀
My thinnest was 115 or so. I looked FANTASTIC in pictures and bikinis, but it is very hard for me to stay that skinny. Do you know why? Because I fucking love food and I’m not ashamed of that. Unfortunately, for a lot of people this is not the case, as my Instagram stalking has proven. While my issues with weight were never extreme, it still took me a long time to find a good balance.
Having a healthy view of food (and of yourself) isn’t easy. When I was 115 lbs, I was working in ad sales, not eating much, drinking a LOT, and honestly, not exercising. But I was thin. Diet really is 70% of it. And you know what else? I was NOT healthy, inside or out. I was skinny-fat, aka just coasting by on a diet of vodka-sodas and hungover bagel sandwiches with no muscle tone. That was my life. I was entertaining clients 3-4 times/week, drinking to excess, and feeding my body with absolute shit 90% of the time. Constant digestion issues, no sleep, and low energy. I’m not saying I can’t be a “HEALTHY 115”, I’m just saying I wasn’t.
From left to right, you have me at 140, 115, and now, 125 lbs (on a good day). I’m not “skinny” but my body type is not meant to be anyway, plus I’m healthier. I can see it and I can feel it. I don’t drink nearly as much (I’m old I physically can’t – that’s a Red Bull in my hand), I workout fairly regularly (2-3x/week), and I eat healthy (for the most part). This may come as a shock to the folks who follow me, but I do. Every morning I eat overnight oats, or scrambled eggs, tomatoes, and hummus-avocado mash with sea salt and lemon on half of an English Muffin. Sometimes even a whole English Muffin (GASP). I LOVE English Muffins. Such an underrated sandwich/toast vehicle.
The tough part is, there are times where I’ll crush a workout at Orange Theory (my new fave), have my overnight oats, and then my lunch is a 7-course spread of pasta, sandwiches, and fried things. And my dinner is a flurry of red meats, carbs and alcohol. In these cases, I portion control the shit out of what I’m eating. I NEVER feel deprived. It takes a significant amount of practice, but once you learn to control yourself around the foods you love, you can call it a lifestyle. And that’s exactly what I do. I eat what I want, but I don’t overdo it and end up in a food coma.
For example, I was at Ed’s Lobster Bar recently for a shoot/tasting, and here’s what we had, and exactly how much I ate. This might sound RIDICULOUS to you, but keep in mind this was being shared with 2-3 other people, it was a lot of food, and I do this at least 4 times/week. Sometimes two shoots back to back as well:
Ed's Lobster Bar - Real Life Lunch Portions
- Octopus: I cut 2 pieces off the tentacle and had 2 pieces of purple potato too
- Tuna tartare: 3 small scoops with 2 fried zucchini chips
- Garlic parm chicken wings: 2 (these were hard to resist going back for more)
- Lobster eggs benedict: 1/4 of one piece/poached egg
- Lobster Roll: 1/4 of it, roughly 3 bites
- Lobster Bisque: 4 spoonfuls
- Lobster Pie: 1 big scoop (it was like chicken pot pie)
- Surf and Turf Burger w/cheese sauce: 1/4 of it (wanted more, but again, control)
- Lobster ravioli: One big piece of ravioli with extra sauce. I’m a sauce/condiment person.
- Fries: I have problems around fries. I want to say 10-15 of them? I tried to stop but the only real saving grace there is fries are not great when they’re cold and a lot of times after shooting, they’re cold. It helps. Thank god.
So. You see what I mean now? I taste everything, and I just know now when to stop, especially if I want to be awake and not in a food coma. But taking all that into consideration, I also have a fast metabolism and can still pack away more food than most girls my size. I’m not oblivious to that. I always had a ferocious appetite (hence the moniker, Skinny Pig), and if I’m drunk, stressed out or hungover, I will probably overeat. No, I will definitely overeat. Below is a typical Chinese food order for me, one person, when I’m drunk or battling a bout of anxiety. I always polish off the soup and egg roll, as well as the dumplings, but I eat about half of the chicken/brocc and lo mein. Because nothing is better than cold, leftover lo mein. I actually just salivated and it’s 7 in the morning. Let’s move on:
Chinese Food - Real Life Anxiety Order
- 1 small wonton soup
- 1 large chicken & broccoli with brown rice (because I’m healthy)
- 1 large roast pork lo mein
- 1 egg roll
- 1 small order of pork dumplings
Yea. The best part is, when they give you three sets of utensils and you’re sitting there by yourself, on the couch, with no pants on. STOP JUDGING ME, GREAT WALL HAPPY GARDEN TASTE OR WHATEVER YOUR NAME IS.
Now you know exactly how I operate when it comes to food. I have my good days and my bad days, just like you. I will always strive to be healthy and I genuinely enjoy healthy food (sup Sweetgreen & Juice Generation), but I will also always be a little squishy. And sometimes I’ll get angry about that too…and then do nothing about it.
The harsh truth is, if I REALLY cared about having a six pack, I would have one. Or as close to one as I can get. But I think I care more about eating that amazing steak with herb butter, or curling up in bed and eating some Nutella and peanut butter right out of the jar while I watch The Office for the 237th time. It makes me genuinely happy to do that. I can feel myself twinkling from the inside when I come home from a long day and can just relax and enjoy a snack in bed. Sorry I’m not sorry. There are probably men (and women) out there who cringe reading that, but that’s fine. Everyone is different and everyone has their vices. Bacon, chocolate, pizza, and Taco Bell happen to be mine. Not necessarily in that order.
In conclusion, do what makes you happy. And eat what makes you happy. Within reason, obviously. Don’t go eating an entire jar of Nutella and a handle of vodka and then blame me when you have gout. Find your happy medium and hopefully your “happy weight”.
Excellent post. Thanks for writing it … I agree with and identify with so much of what you said. But my favorite part was your typical Chinese food order. Ha ha ha … Chicken and broccoli is my default order as well, and I always think the folks are laughing at me because, well, that’s so *not* Chinese food. But it is to me. And it is to you. So there. 🙂 Alright, fine. Sometimes I also get fried wontons. Yum.
Yassss fried wontons!! One of my faves too. Glad you liked it! The challenge is real 🙂