How To Stop Binge Eating

September 2, 2014
 

We are always at war with the truths that we are least comfortable with. Many times, and certainly in my own experience, hunger is something we constantly battle. The fewer calories we consume, the better. Three meals a day—no snacking in between meals. We are socially required to feel guilty after “splurging,” on a meal or dessert.

And then, when we follow these “food rules,” we can’t stand it anymore, we “binge” eat and then feel terrible about what we did. How could I have possibly eaten my way through an entire jar of almond butter? Did I seriously just eat the whole box of cereal? You’re totally not alone. In fact, I used to starve myself to the point where I was so hungry and malnourished that I would sleepwalk into the kitchen, eat the entire jar of peanut butter and the box of cereal—and whatever else I could get my hands on.

When questions about binge eating started popping up in my inbox, and in face to face interactions, I knew it was something that I needed to address. Even if it required going back in time and reliving the painful days where I never thought my life would be different; a life where starving and binging was almost all I ever thought about.

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I Went Topless And It Became My Business

August 26, 2014
 

Maybe you’re wondering why I’m going topless all the sudden. It wasn’t easy. In fact, terrifying would be the best way to describe taking my shirt off in a room full of athletic people.

The judgment I had towards my body was really defeating. I am bigger. I am not as defined, but I am strong. I have a pale stomach. Rolls appear when I sit up or scrunch towards my knees. My body–specifically my stomach–is not a pretty sight.

That’s when I knew I had to stop. Not a pretty sight? What was I thinking? I was going to spend my whole life worrying about my body if I didn’t do something bold enough to change my thinking. I was tired of feeling like I had to apologize for my body, keep my shirt on during extremely hot exercises to spare everyone the pain, and hide in the back corner of the locker room to change after a soul-filling sweat session.

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How To Live When You Know You’re Dying

August 19, 2014
 

I’m convinced that God, or the Universe, wanted me to take this spiritual and occasionally violent journey through my teens and 20’s, to look for my purpose–my key home. And what I found surprised me; I learned that I had the key the whole time. I just didn’t know how to use it.

I found what unlocked the door home for me—It was choosing to live. I started to make decisions like I had one week left. And life arrived on my doorstep without any more seeking.

When my 93 year old grandma from Queens bought a shirt with a big prick in the fabric, I didn’t understand why, until she said, “Aww who cares. I need a new shirt and I don’t know how much time I have left. It’s the last thing I’m worried about bubala.” I thought, well, who knows how much time any of us have left, really? I remember in that moment, thinking that I better start living like grandma Eve—she had it right. There’s a lot you can learn from people that see life like it’s one week away from the last chapter coming to a beautiful close.

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Unlearning Beauty. A Model Shares Her Beauty Standards

August 12, 2014
 

I’ve lived through 10 years of eating disorders. I’ve worn a size 0 and a size 16. I’ve dealt with female athlete triad, body dysmorphic disorder, and I’ve had plastic surgery. All in 28 years of life.

I don’t wish this journey upon anyone else, but I will say with conviction that had I not had these experiences, I wouldn’t be sitting where I am now, on the other side of my own personally enlightened rainbow, so to speak.

We can all agree that when we look through a magazine, we’re being taught to learn something that is untrue. In the United States, flipping through a fashion magazine will teach you that being beautiful is so important. Maybe even the only thing that’s important.

In this country, beauty is a pair of long stemlike legs, a skinny body, symmetrical face, clear skin, perfect teeth, a perky full chest, a nice round butt, cherub lips, thick hair, defined muscles, a thigh-gap, wrinkle-free skin and hairless limbs. If you check every box, you’ve probably been scouted by a modeling agency — just like I was.

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Manhattan to Montauk: An Inspired Summer Menu (Recipes)

August 5, 2014
 

August is such a fun month for eating–and even more fun to cook with all of the fresh produce that’s in season. Some of my favorite farm-fresh August items are avocado, mango, fresh peppers, cucumbers, cherries and rhubarb (the latter two, together!).

My fondest memory of a cherry rhubarb crisp was during my first trip to Manhattan with my Mom. We went to the Central Park Boat House to indulge in a lavish mother-daughter dinner, and in our most lady-like way, we made sure to order every course. For dessert, Mom ordered the flourless chocolate lava cake (which was still new to us suburbanites 8 years ago), and I went out on a limb and ordered something that sounded fancy, a Cherry Rhubarb Crisp. In truth, I thought by ordering the fanciest, most mature-sounding dessert (what’s rhubarb anyway?), that I could trick the waiter into thinking I was 21 and most importantly, that I was totally capable of ordering a spiked Mexican coffee to pair with my very mature choice in dessert.

And, it worked! I was the officially the fanciest underage consumer in Manhattan and Mom was tickled that I found so much thrill in trying to order a Mexican coffee.

After our big meal in Manhattan at the Boat House, we giddily strolled over to the Boat House dock where we had made an appointment for a gondola ride on the lake; Mom and I jumped into the wobbly ornate boat for a happy memory that would always be burned into my mind. August on the lake in Central Park. A gondolier singing Italian opera as he paddled my Mom and I under a landmark bridge at sunset. I was wearing my brightest Lily Pullitzer dress with a deep part in my hair–a part that I think has been trademarked by the state of North Carolina. My Mom was there to support my dreams–and to pay the dinner bill. This was my dreamy first experience in Manhattan. Quite the foreshadowing for my future to come in the city where my big dreams came true. Manhattan is where I got my start in modeling, and where the birth of My Kind of Life came to fruition. I guess there’s something to be said about chasing your dreams in Manhattan–whether it’s scoring a spiked drink at the age of 20 or the idea of pursing the offer of a career as a model and starting an inspirational blog in the world’s most competitive city, full of real writers. So I say, what you chase shall be yours–and so it was. And so it is. (READ MORE for RECIPES)

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