This is a journey of self-discovery. Sometimes it is scary. Sometimes it comes with unraveling a lot of pain. Sometimes it sucks to have A BODY in this culture, and believe me I UNDERSTAND!
What brought you to Be Nourished?
I have been tired of the guilt and shame that has been imposed upon me, and my body. I have internalized so many negative body messages, and I want to break free! I want to look at myself with love and compassion, so that I can spread that love and compassion to others. I was lucky enough to find Be Nourished through multiple referrals. I have finally felt like I am “coming home”.
What has surprised you the most as you have practiced Body Trust® Wellness?
I have issues around being “perfect”. I have started to let go of my perfectionism. Hilary and Dana have taught me that it is ok to be a “C letter grade” in how I approach life; I don’t have to be perfect. I was always reaching for this A++ letter grade in my life, in my work, in graduate school, and with issues around my body. I wanted to hurt myself, because I could never attain what I “wanted”. I learned that I don’t have to fit into the dominant paradigm. I can want something different, and I can achieve that. I had to do a lot of reflection and introspection about the concept of: “is this message coming from me, or from outside of me?” It is surprising what I have found.
What are three things you feel are most important to remember when moving towards body-acceptance?
I am lovely, beautiful and powerful
I am not going to be reduced to the size of my pants
I will “be the dragon” in order to help others understand that this is a movement that needs every-body in the form of allies, because we’re all affected, no matter our size
How has your body, just as it is, helped you survive in the world?
Breathe the cool Portland air
Walk through a forest, or feel sand in my toes
Laugh with a friend when we’re being silly
I can swim in the ocean
I can immerse my body in warm healing waters at the hot springs
I can love with fullness and intention; I have an abundance of this in my life and it is a reflection of who I am
I am a highly sensitive person, and I have started to accept that I will always be this way. I have learned that this is a gift, instead of something that I should learn to change.
I am a mother who birthed an amazing baby boy, who has turned out to be an amazing feminist, an independent film maker, and someone who I admire every single day. I see his success as a reflection of my success in raising him.
I have a lovely soft body that is wonderful to snuggle against. I can see my body differently, as a vehicle to get through life, rather than something that needs to change in order to fit a societal discourse that is different from my own world-view.
What is your favorite way to celebrate the body you are in today?
They say community, friends and laughter is the best medicine; I truly believe in this. The more community I have, the more time I spend with friends laughing, the more I am inside my body and am learning to love it.
I celebrate my body by being visible: being loud, taking up space, letting people witness my truth. I wear clothes that feel good. I celebrate colors that I was afraid to wear—pink, red and yellow. I am expanding my wardrobe to include colors outside of black, blue and grey.
I celebrate myself by telling people about my positive feelings for them, with absolutely NO expectation of any feelings returned. I don’t expect anyone to change for me, and I am asking for the same in return.
I am me, I am Laura, I am ok, I am loved, I am beautiful, I am powerful, I am a sexual being, I am allowed to have my feelings, I am allowed to “be” and to “exist”.
What is your favorite food and how do you like to enjoy it?
What a fun question!
I grew up in the Northeast, specifically in New England. I was lucky to be surrounded by so many cultures, when growing up. Many of the foods that I love can only be found in small pockets of New England. One of my favorites is Coffee Milk. It’s a Rhode Island thing, and you won’t see it anywhere else. It’s a coffee-flavored syrup that can be added to milk—similar to chocolate syrup for chocolate milk. It’s delicious, and is also so yummy in milkshakes and on top of vanilla ice cream.
I have a deep love for pizza. Every time that I have moved to a new state, I seek out the best pizza place. I have a love for “Life of Pie” and Pizzacato in Portland. My favorite type of pizza is NYC style: thin chewy crust with full-fat mozzarella (none of that low fat stuff for me, please).
I also love cannoli, but they are difficult to find in Portland. I want the real-authentic-Italian-mom-and-pop-restaurant kind of cannoli–the kind of cannoli that you can find in Boston’s South End, or in NYC.
Other than that, I am a big fan of diners. Again, my New England roots are showing! I love a menu that has various different choices, and breakfast food all day. Also, please bring me some real homefries—the kind made from real chunks of potatoes, with the skins on, and lots of seasoning, paprika, grilled onions….yum!
I have dreamed of opening my own New England style restaurant, but I understand the stressors that are involved, so I will leave that dream for another life. 😉
What brings you back to the practice of Body Trust® when you get away from it?
I have filled my Facebook and Social Media feeds with people who I admire that are the pioneers of fat-positivity. I am following people like Marilyn Wann, Jes Baker, Linda Bacon, Be Nourished, etc. I have cultivated my social media to show me things that I want to see, instead of things that are damaging. I have made it a point to turn off the radio when I hear a diet ad. I turn off the TV when I see weight loss advertisements.
I remind myself that medical doctors are clueless when it comes to Health At Every Size, and they often do not agree because they are informed by the diet industry. I understand that the BMI is bullshit, and was changed in the 1990’s in order to help the pharmecutical industry market weight-loss medications that are dangerous! It’s about MONEY! It’s about CAPITALISM!
I also keep in mind that this is a 64 Billion dollar business that is destroying us. It is a radical act to ignore the diet industry, and to start the path to radical self acceptance. I consider myself a “diet industry dropout”, and I have started the path of self love and self acceptance by being a client at Be Nourished. Thank you a million times over for the work that you’re doing. I cannot thank you enough. Your kindness and compassion has saved my life, quite literally.
Letting go of my perfectionism. Understanding that I do have limits, and it’s perfectly ok to have those limits. Understanding that I do not have to always get it right. Understanding that I can still have “bad body days” and that I am a “work in progress”. It took me 43 years in order to be indoctrinated into diet-culture mindset, it is going to take some time for me to unravel everything and UN-learn it!
What is inspiring you right now? (book, music, blog, etc)
All of the staff at Be Nourished—every single one of you! You are pioneers and this work is hard, but we can band together and fight this fight. We don’t have to do it alone!
Favorite quote or poem?
I love the poems that are sent to me from Be Nourished. I get your newsletter, and those poems are inspiring. I often read them aloud, to myself, so I can hear the intonation in my own voice. That’s powerful stuff!
Any words of wisdom for someone who is just getting started? What would you have liked to know when you were new to the practice?
This is a journey of self-discovery. Sometimes it is scary. Sometimes it comes with unraveling a lot of pain. Sometimes it sucks to have A BODY in this culture, and believe me I UNDERSTAND! Your world-view will not change overnight. You have to actively work at changing the narrative that is within you. It is a lot of work, but you can attain a more loving way of looking at your body. You have the strength within you to survive. Your body wants what is best for you. Your body hears your thoughts. Stop hurting yourself in order to fit in, you are “perfectly perfect” exactly as you are. Your body deserves to be nourished, and anything else that you hear is a LIE!!