At the writing of this blog post I’m pondering the making of new years resolutions. Are they healthy? Are they harmful? Are they something in between?
I’ve gone back and forth, but concluded that, like them or not, new year’s resolutions are a part of our culture, exciting and important motivators that can give someone the push they need to make valuable and lasting changes.
I’m not into crash dieting (or “diets” of any kind really) and I’m not into resolutions that end up making people feel worse about themselves when they fail to live up to unreasonable standards.
But health IS important, and focusing on feeling better and doing better in the new year is something admirable, after all.
So here’s my list of 5 Paleo for Women Approved New Years Resolutions!
#1 Cook More
Cooking is something I usually despise doing and avoid if I can help it. But it gets old eating canned salmon all the time.
As the new year begins, take some time to plan a daily schedule.
If you’re a detailed list maker, you’ll love it and if you’re not, you might feel caged in, but sketching out your time might show you ways you can be more efficient and leave room for home cooked meals.
Try buying books with meal and shopping plans already inside for you. Practical Paleo (find it here) is one of my favorites, because it contains meal plans for every possible variation of paleo.
There are other great books too. Stick with ones that focus on easy recipes that can be made quickly like Well Fed Weeknights (find it here). Or try books that utilize less dishes for easier cleanup like One Pot Paleo or Paleo Slow Cooker.
Cooking more will mean eating more veggies, one of the biggest indicators of a healthy lifestyle, and will cut down on the amount of rancid oil, sugar and Omega 6 you eat, making you feel healthier, improving skin and cardiovascular health, and probably helping you lose some weight.
#2 Lose Weight
Speaking of losing weight…
I might catch some flack here. You see, I believe strongly in body positivity and the body positive movement. That means I do hold firm to a belief in health at every size.
However, I also believe that weight loss can be a valuable goal for certain people.
Excessive adipose tissue does produce inflammatory responses in the body and does contribute to a range of health issues. And whether we like it or not, it IS something that we need to consider in our modern world of convenience foods and obesity related illness.
If you’ve become out of sync with your body, feel you need to lose excessive body weight (and remember that doesn’t mean you need to be stick thin!) the only real difficulty is finding a way to do it gently, positively, and with as little guilt and shame as possible.
That’s where my weight loss program, Weight Loss Unlocked comes in.
It’s designed to help you lose weight efficiently but mindfully, learning to listen to the natural signals of your body, rather than the mean girl in your head.
It can help you follow those New Years Resolutions without the fad dieting that normally goes with it. I’d suggest pairing it with a great paleo cookbook with meal plans like the ones I mentioned above.
While most people choose to lose weight at the beginning of the new year, it’s just as important to choose to love.
We often become our worst enemies and meanest critics, beating ourselves up and tearing ourselves down.
Disordered eating, low self-confidence, so many things stem from not loving ourselves.
To give and recieve love in the new year, we’ve got to start with healing our own hearts.
There are many, many people out there happy to help you do it.
To discover the sexy, confident woman you really are, try reading my book Sexy By Nature.
If you’ve strugged with disordered eating and are ready to take control of negative thinking, try my friend Kayla’s program Starting the Path to Recovery and Discovery here. Try reading When Food is Love (find it here), a classic for any emotional eater.
If you’re shy, perhaps try pushing yourself to do something that sounds fun but makes you a bit nervous- go out dancing or join friends at a party.
And if you’re always out to avoid being alone at home, perhaps try a night in of reflective thinking and journaling (Let it Out is a great resource) and sit with some of those emotions.
You’ll gain self-awareness and balance which we all could use in the new year!
#4 Breathe More
Breathing is something we do far too often without really thinking about it.
Most of us don’t even use the full capacity of our lungs, but only a tiny portion of them.
And breathe, just like food, is so important to life itself, and quality of life.
Improper breathing can do damage to the body just as poor food choices can.
Proper breathing, taking deep, long breaths, and long, smooth exhalations, can also be a form of meditation that has been shown to reduce stress, calm the nervous system and relax the mind.
It’s an imperative especially for those with anxiety, and may help anyone with stress-flaring conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, autoimmune conditions, and more.
With the new year, I’m vowing to remember to breathe in positivity and breathe out negativity. I hope you’ll do the same.
#5 Let Go
And as I work to breathe out negativity, I’m going to be trying my best to let go of anger, expectations, and arbitrary standards I place on myself and others.
2016 was a hard year for many and it’s easy to pick out the bad things that happened and let them stew and boil within us.
We can focus on that negativity, that anger, and let it fester.
Or we can consciously make the choice to let it go.
I don’t have a 3 step program to help you do that (though I’m sure one probably exists!) but I think we should try it nonetheless.
Let’s focus our hearts and minds on the good in 2017 and work for peace, justice, and positivity in the new year.
Cut the ribbon! Loose the sails! Get ready, on your mark…
Sexy by Natureis on shelves and we are going to do some hella powerful things for women all over the world.
Haven’t ordered it yet? No worries! It’s available on Amazon – though it’s current 27 percent off sale will only last as long as the Amazon gods permit.
(If you happen to have your hands on a copy or simply want to jump the gun, reviews @ the page @ Amazon are the most important thing we can do as a community to help convince the book gods that this is one worthy of attention…. and I am almost certain that it is. 🙂 )
Not convinced it’s a good buy? Check out early reviews byJason Seib (“Stefani is a voice of reason in what sometimes feels like a desert of books offering “just another diet”) Heather Spergel (“I was hugging the book to my chest in appreciation”) and Kaila Prins (“I think this might be the first and last nutrition book you’ll ever need.”)
And to be a showy ass for just another second or two, Taylor Ritzel, 2012 Gold Medalist, calls me a genius on the back cover, and Robb, “one of the fiercest and most learned advocates of women’s health.”
Want to read a bit more about it? Check out a Q&A here or read most of the introduction here.
A guy? Trust me, you can still love the shit out of this book.
SO. In celebration this is so joyous event, I am going to share with you ten reasons I am a sexy human being.
Sexy by Nature is all about physical healing tools – overcoming acne, infertility, thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalance, menopause symptoms, and more – but it is also about psychological healing tools. You need not just the right foods, but you need to relate to the foods and to your body in the healthiest way possible. Sexy by Nature is all about sexiness. It’s about the place that being sexy has in your life, and how you can change your thoughts about sexiness and yourself in order to become a more physically and psychologically well human being.
Sexiness isn’t an hourglass figure. It isn’t a measurement. It isn’t a dress size. Because none of those things say a damn lick about how you feel in your own skin as a natural body, about how excited you are to be you and to be on a journey to greater health and wellness.
Sexiness is about being a woman who is alive and who is embodied in her own self. It’s about being someone true to her self, someone who is free to love herself and the world because she is a forgiving, compassionate, proud ally of her body and its needs.
1) I used to pinch my abdominal fat every morning first thing when I woke up, and now I don’t do it as often.
2) I believe in the powers of courage and love and challenge myself to live more fully into them every day.
3) I am a dancer.
4) I have passion and excitement for living life beautifully and meaningfully and try to share it with people.
5) I try really, really hard to be a good person, even though I am so incredibly far from where I’d like to be.
6) I appreciate what is female about my body and what my body needs in order to be healthy – so I feed her when she is hungry and stop when she is full. I am not at war with my body. I do my best to listen, and am her partner.
7) I am a super super super nerd – the kind of nerd that is still nerdy enough to not be cool. I know the names of and can identify on sight all 150 of the original Pokemon. Oddish is obviously the cutest.
8) I recently “failed” in life, big time. I do not hate myself for that fact. I don’t even hate the world that much. I am a human being.
9) And I am worthwhile.
I am worthwhile.
I am worthwhile.
10) And that is mostly why I am sexy. Because sexiness is a damnit-all-to-hell right, and I have rights.
Ihave accepted and come to love and take pride in being me, uniquely. I am worthy of sexual and romantic feelings, and for that I feel sexy… often.
And am sexy. Worthy of sexy. Worthy of confidence. Worthy of love.
I have learned to feel this way more and more over time.
And I really, very, so very much hope that you do, too.
What makes you a sexy woman? What do you think sexy is? Do you think it has more to do with what people think or with how you feel? All answers are awesome – I want your feedback and a discussion.
Thank you, ladies, for everything.
AND: THE WINNER OF THE KINDLE FIRE HDX GIVEAWAY HAS ARRIVED!
Don’t forget – book’s on Amazon! And leave a review whenever you’re ready!
Or perhaps the better way to put it is this: these 303 pages are all about opening your eyes to the raging fire of sex appeal already radiating from your insides out.
Diet, lifestyle, mindset, pride, and self-love and all crucial tools I deal with in explicit detail.
Through the next several weeks I’ll put up summaries, excerpts from different chapters, and giveaways on a massive scale. It’s available on shelves March 18, and for pre-order any time you like. If you’ve got ideas about sexy, stories, gripes… I want to hear them. Comments are awesome. I might have a book, but your story is equally as important and likely far more kickass than my own.
In the fall of 2009, my jean size dropped from ten to double zero over the course of just three months. I was not the only one who noticed. Approximately once a week, one of my friends drew the short straw and had me over for dinner. She’d lean across the dinner table, hold my hand, let her eyes well up, and tell me (again) that she was concerned I had a problem.
“Screw this!” I scoffed. I laughed, and often. I had never felt better about myself. I had been trying to ditch my love handles for ten years, and finally I had shed them. Hallelujah! Men looked at me differently. Eyes wandered up and down my body, and smiles followed. An old love interest who had spurned me began pursuing me relentlessly. I tried on fancy dresses at the mall and compared myself to supermodels. Life could not have been any better.
I did not understand why my friends thought I had a problem. I did everything the way I was told. My professors made it quite clear that the healthiest thing to be was a vegetarian, so I stopped eating animals. Talk show hosts proclaimed loudly that fat was unhealthy, so I didn’t eat it. Celebrity magazines made it obvious that I had to be thin to be sexy, so I measured my waistline every night. My doctor’s office had a chart with the BMI index on it and smiley faces toward the lower end, so I drove my BMI downward. Medical professionals equated low-calorie diets with better health, so I went to sleep hungry every night. Much as my friends thought I had a problem, I was playing the game the way it was supposed to be played. I followed all the rules. It just so happened to be that I was doing it well enough to win.
I might have felt differently about winning the game if I had listened at all to my own body. I stopped menstruating. I became infertile. I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypothyroidism, and hypothalamic amenorrhea. I lost all vestiges of a sex drive. I obsessed over food and constantly felt deprived. I did not eat enough to give me the nutrients I needed. I developed a nasty case of acne, and I worked out hard for at least 90 minutes every day, usually twice a day. That was how I lived. I thought that was what I had to do to in order to win.
Several months later, I packed up and wandered across the globe. I lived in Venice. There, I flirted my way onto Mediterranean yachts. I backpacked around Europe and winked my way into sold-out concerts. I went to school in Taichung, Taiwan. When a bar owner noticed how much more fun his customers had when I danced on top of his bar rather than his usual go-go dancers, he hired me to do it instead. I was brashly confident, daringly open, and thrilled to be so free and alive.
“Winning” was working.
I couldn’t go all the way around the world without coming home with a couple of lessons, however. Most importantly, I learned that how sexy I both felt and was perceived to be had everything to do with my confidenceand very little to do with the shape my tiny body. Sure, my figure mattered in the eyes of other people. I looked more stereotypically fit than I used to. But I am willing to bet my life that had I acted the same self-assured, flirtatious way while having fat on my thighs, hips, and anywhere else, I would have received the same awe, had the same fun, and laughed just as joyously with the men and women I met in every location I wandered. Sexywas largely about confidence, and I could no longer ignore the fact that I sacrificed a lot in order to win for reasons that were becoming less and less clear.
This was somewhat bad news because the hidden truth was that I had a confidence problem. Instead of being founded on love and loyalty to my body, my flirty confidence was completely dependent on how I looked. My happiness was, too. When I walked down the street, I met people’s eyes and smiled on the days I felt thin and fit, and I looked down and off to the side on “fat” days. I had no real love, no real confidence, and no real allegiance to my body. I was tethered to how it looked to other people. Compared to image, I cared very little about its health, its inherent worth, or its glorious powers to move, dance, eat, sing, and live. When it came to having a strong and happy relationship with my body, I Failed with a capital F.
What’s more, my poor body was starving.
When I do podcasts these days, people often ask me when I got started on the diet that I proscribe in this book. Even though I changed the basis of my diet to Sexy by Nature foods back in 2009, I now know and inform my listeners that it was not until years afterward that I actually developed the Sexy by Nature approach to wellness. This is because this “diet” is not only about the food you eat, but also, and perhaps more importantly, about the loving and nourishing way you do it.
The birth of a paradigm
It was a long road of research and experience before I figured out exactly what it was I needed other than whole foods in order to be healthy, happy, and free. First, I had to learn my way inside and out of the female reproductive and endocrine systems. Hypothalamic amenorrhea, anterior pituitary gland, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and interleukin-6 became some of several hundred new words in my vocabulary. I studied vitamins, minerals, and foods as they might affect these systems. This was in an effort to cure myself of my low libido, acne, and infertility, but I did not find the trick that would enable me to cure these indicators of poor health while maintaining my low weight and restrictive lifestyle. I began to suspect that relaxing my grip on my image and developing a more natural, intuitive way of eating might be crucial to solving my PCOS and other hormone problems. But I didn’t want to do that. My last desperate lunge at having my cake and eating it too was to experiment with pharmaceutical methods. The drugs I took set in motion eighteen months of panic attacks. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I might have been willing to suffer a low libido in order to be thin, but I would not let myself destroy my mental health. No longer could I do what I had been doing to myself for years. In one liberating yet terrifying week, I threw my rabid body perfectionism out the window and never looked back. I was on my body’s side, and for good.
Around the same time I was learning all these things about my body’s need for nourishment, I started to think about my destructive behaviors on a broader scale. What about all the other women in the world who suffered under the same norms and pressures? What about the pre-teen who starves herself to death, the new mother who is terrified of her post-birth body, or the near 80 percent of young women who have negative body image issues? What about all the beautiful young girls being born into this twisted, restrictive, objectifying culture? Of all the things I did in this time period, the most important is what I did next.
I got angry.
And thus my website and community were born.
And thus this life-changing manifesto was born. Sexy by Nature contains lessons I learned while studying the female body and wandering the globe—lessons that thousands of women have since come to love and internalize and live by. Sexy is not restriction. Sexy is not discipline. Sexy is not thin. Sexy is not meeting someone else’s expectations. Sexy is about fitness and having a strong, shapely feminine figure particular to your own genes and your own nature. Sexy is being excited to be at home in your own body. Sexy is having such a good relationship with your body that no amount of magazine ads taunting you will ever put you at war with yourself again. I am firmly on the side of my body now. I know that being healthy is what makes me sexy. My body is a natural body that needs me to listen to it and love it and nourish it. The more I give it these things, the sexier I am and the better my life gets. The more I give my body love, the more and more my body loves me back. Clear skin. Better sleep. A ravenous libido. A naturally maintained sexy waistline. Positive mental energy. Energy to set the world on fire.
The Sexy by Nature Golden Rule
Your body is a natural body with natural needs, that, when loved properly, loves you right back.
This book is for you because your body has the same natural ability mine has to be sexy and healthy all on its own. It naturally slims itself, naturally heals itself, and naturally generates feelings of peace and happiness. All your body needs is for you to work with it rather than against it. All it needs is the natural nourishment it has been craving all along.
If you play by the Sexy by Nature Golden Rule and love and nourish your natural body, then you will join me on the road of radical, easy, and healthy sex appeal.
The New Rules I outline in Step 1 are about standing up for yourself and your body in the face of everything in the world that tells you otherwise. It can be a challenge for sure. Saying no to processed foods and putting away diet magazines…these are big steps for a lot of us. Revolutions, even. But worth it? Unquestionably. I am with you every step of the way. And in the end, loyalty to living this way is the easiest thing in the world. When you give your body what it needs to be sexy all in its own power—without drugs or doctor’s visits or side effects or degenerative disease—health is not a struggle. Being sexy is not a struggle. Being at home in your own skin is not a struggle. It’s a journey in life and in love, and an electrifyingly sexy one at that.
Table of Contents
What Is Sexy?My Story and Why You Need This Book1: TrailblazeOld Rule #1: Beauty ConformityNature Rule #1: Celebratory UniquenessOld Rule #2: RestrictionNature Rule #2: NourishmentOld Rule #3: PunishmentNature Rule #3: LoveOld Rule #4: Warfare
Nature Rule #4: Harmony
Old Rule #5: Bandages
Nature Rule #5: Healing
Old Rule #6: Unquestioning Ignorance
Nature Rule #6: Investigation
Old Rule #7: Sexism
Nature Rule #7: Femininity
The Takeaway: Out with the Old and In with the New