Releasing Shame in the Feminine Body

Releasing Shame in the Feminine Body

Y’all, I’m very excited for today’s post…because it was written by the awesome Jensi Hansen! Jensi is an empath, crystalline energetics jeweler & practitioner, long distance healer, writer, sand sculptor, wave photographer, actress & Airbnb host (phew! what a list!). She’s also today’s guest on the Finding Our Hunger podcast AND a Patreon subscriber. If you’d like to get your story or thoughts featured on the blog, make sure to visit patreon.com/findingourhunger and pledge at the $5 level!  Okay, without further ado, here are thoughts on shame in the feminine body by our amazing guest blogger and podcast guest, Jensi!  I remember the first period I had, and most all of them for the longest time afterwards weren’t something I was happy about. I thought I would’ve been excited to be “in the club” finally, but I felt violated. Like something was happening beyond my control that I had to suddenly be ashamed of. The morning it happened I was leaving for a horse show, and my mom was rushing me out the door. I didn’t understand the mechanics of how showering would work. The stupid pad got bunched up and made a mess, and my mom started yelling at me to hurry up, and I found myself screaming at her “I had an accident!” like, back off.  It was hard to ask her questions about it but her answers were even more guarded, like she was ashamed to have to tell me. Not something I had expected, and it added to the mounting shame pile. The idea that my body could produce a human without my technical consent was...
UNpodcast 101: The Real Reason You Don’t Know How to Eat

UNpodcast 101: The Real Reason You Don’t Know How to Eat

TD;LR: Go listen to today’s podcast with Laura Krassner! I’m grateful for Google. I really am. In addition to introducing me to resources upon resources to help me discover myself, fix my health, and build a network of amazing coaches and friends, it’s helped countless of you readers find this blog and start working on your own mental health as well. At the same time, though, I think our need to “google” is becoming a problem—because it’s set up a paradigm in which we’ve bought into our own disempowerment and lost our intuition. That’s a pretty big claim, I know. But it’s true. Not sure how to eat? Google a meal plan. Not sure what type of fitness is best? Google an exercise regimen. Not sure how to get rid of whatever symptoms have you down? Google to figure out what you have and then google again for a treatment. We have become reliant on other peoples’ opinions to help answer questions that could be solved with intuition. So much so that we’re almost afraid of not having access to the answers. When I talk with potential clients about their goals, inevitably, they’re the same: I want to know how to eat again without fear. I want to be able to know how much is too much and which foods are the “right” ones. I want to know which exercises to do and when I should push and when to stop. In other words: I need the answers before I can feel empowered to make decisions. Don’t get me wrong—there’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking answers. There’s nothing wrong...
Why I Pole Dance

Why I Pole Dance

Last October, I was deep in the heart of my Discovery when I found myself at a burlesque show in the city. Watching women of all body types gleefully and gloriously strip down to g-strings and pasties in a beautiful, sassy, rebellious celebration of their bodies struck a nerve deep inside of me, and I immediately headed to Google to see if there were any burlesque classes closer to home. There was only one studio in the entire South Bay that even had burlesque on the menu, and I headed over to check it out. The studio, Sedusa Studios, is home not only to a once-a-week burlesque class, but also pole dancing lessons. And the more I hung around the studio, where the moodily lit wooden dance floor is punctuated chrome poles, the more I became intrigued. Could I give this a try? I consider myself a feminist. I believe in women’s rights. I think we’re more than just objects for sexual pleasure. And yet I’ve been pole dancing for 6 months. I know that there will always be a debate about appropriation when it comes to fitness modalities. From yoga to pole, there’s always the question of who the practitioner is and where her privilege lies. But I’m not here for a debate in feminism or privilege (not right now, anyway). I’m just a woman who is trying to reconcile herself with her body, with her sensuality, with her sexuality, and her ability. So I pole dance. Before I started taking pole, I took a sensual dance class. I was with women of all sizes and abilities—most, like...
UNpodcast 092 & Thoughts on Being Medium-Sized

UNpodcast 092 & Thoughts on Being Medium-Sized

TL;DR: Go listen to today’s podcast with Dr. Deah Schwartz! Who are you if you’re not the thin, blond ingenue, or her sassy fat friend? Who are you if you don’t have a “yoga body,” but you’re also not rocking your plus-size jeans? Who are you if you’re a size medium? Medium size is not an identity. It’s a placeholder; a stop on the road to “reaching your goals” or “letting yourself go.”* It’s the weird in-between place where you’re not quite at your “best” or your “worst” (however you want to define either of those words),* where your body is up for judgment, but only in a weird, passive-aggressive sort of way. I almost envy the self-imposed thin women who feign indignant about thin-shaming, or the fat girls who have a whole body-positive political movement around them. Being medium-sized, I’m one 30 day challenge away from proving that I can have my leanest body or just a few pounds shy of being able to speak on behalf of the fat acceptance movement. I don’t fit in. Medium is an ill-fitting size. It’s the “before” picture on sales pages for personal trainers hawking miracle cures. She looked like this until she got cut and all of her dreams came true. It’s the “after” picture in the back of the magazine testimonials from women who lost hundreds of pounds, with the disclaimer “I’m happier than I ever have been, but I still have 30 more pounds to lose.” Medium is the comment: “Oh, you’ll get your body back once your hormones regulate or you start working out again.” Medium is:...
When It’s Time to Let Go and Let…Doctor

When It’s Time to Let Go and Let…Doctor

Before we get to today’s post, I just wanted to let you know about a great opportunity to “remix” your body image with my friend and amazing health coach, Summer Innanen. Make sure you reserve your spot for her free webinar on November 6 at 8 pm EST! SIGN UP HERE! In addiction recovery, there is a saying: let go and let god. I’m not a religious person, per se, but I’m totally okay with the idea of a higher power, whether it’s one that really exists or one that we’ve made up in order to make living in the chaos of the human brain bearable (see: Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle…) The point of the saying, from what I understand, is not that you need to give up your agency or free will to a supernatural being and his/her preordained plan for humanity, but that you have to stop trying to control everything in your life. Disordered eating is all about control. Not just anorexia—that’s just the extreme form. When it goes from something recreational to the center of your life, something that you can manage to something that manages you…that’s disorder. Maybe not something diagnosable or medicate-able, but certainly something that disrupts your life and makes you feel miserable and trapped. That’s why I strongly believe that bodybuilding can be a form of disordered eating. And Weight Watchers. And calorie counting. And IIFYM and carb backloading, etc. It’s all about controlling and controlling and controlling everything that goes into your body in order to create some kind of response in your body composition. As if you really have or NEED...
Death By Food Pyramid: A Personal Review

Death By Food Pyramid: A Personal Review

Even though I think we should never use the “W” word…it’s okay in this context: It’s Healthy Weight Week! Check out some of the resources in this document and get ready to celebrate a whole week dedicated to loving your body. Okay…onto your regularly scheduled post.  I just want to say, before you get to this review, that no one asked me to review this book. I didn’t receive a free copy, I’m not getting paid, and I don’t receive any benefit from sharing it.* It’s just that damn good that I couldn’t not share it with you. And I hope you read it and it changes your life, at least a little bit. You know how sometimes you read a book and from the first line you’re so hooked that you can’t put it down, can’t stop thinking about it when you do put it down, and want everyone else to pick it up when you’re done with it? Yeah. That’s how I felt about John Durant’s The Paleo Manifesto last year, and that’s how I feel about Denise Minger’s Death By Food Pyramid now. Here’s the thing: it’s pretty clear from my somewhat “unconventional” feelings about nutrition that some of what Denise writes in Death by Food Pyramid wasn’t going to be a surprise. [i.e. The government’s been lying to us—and lying to itself—about nutrition for (at least) the last 50 years, and politics, ethics, and science do not always align to create health.] But this book needed to be written. And it needs to be read. I’m going to be the first to admit that I’ve...