If you’ve been remotely conscious in the last few years, you’d have noticed that there is a hard and fast train of health and wellness barreling through the masses. Trends popping up on sponsored feeds like ADHD-ridden kids with images of the newest health craze, from detox teas, to juicing, to quinoa, to almond butter cookies, kale, yoga, pilates, Zumba, health coaching, essential oils, gag, gag.
Then creeped in the Green Beauty, which at least for me, wasn’t yet a reality. I literally never KNEW that the market existed. I never thought twice about my skincare and makeup. I was a Sephora SUCKER and Duane Reade dummy. I’d go in needing an eyeliner and a hair mousse (yes. We used– huge, white, foamy piles of– mousse.) and walk out 100 bucks poorer and three plastic shopping bags filled with New York Color eyeliners, Rimmel Mascara, CoverGirl AquaSmooth Tinted Moisturizer, John Frida Red tinted shampoo, Physician’s Formula blush, giant bottles of gradual self-tanning Jergen’s body lotion, mini Niveas and Blistexes for my school bag, St. Ives Apricot Scrub, Neutrogena MorningBurst gel cleanser, Clean and Clear Astringent, Stridex Astringent Pads, twist-up lipglosses, and on, and on.
Fast forward to the conception of Junk Free. Green beauty is now very much a reality. We’re nervous, excited, and feeling like we’re sitting on top of something huge and life-changing.
And of course, we have doubts. What if people don’t get it? What if they’re not interested? How is the community going to respond to this new rhetoric? … and,
Can I sell nontoxic skincare if I’m overweight?
Can I make a business rooted in health if I am clearly NOT the epitome of health?
Will my weight make me lose credibility?
Will I be accepted as an ambassador of health even if I struggle?
If you’re reading this and thinking “you’re crazy,” you’re lying. The world today is VERY interested in appearance– no judgement. Just fact. When you see someone who is, by any extent, overweight, it cannot go by unnoticed. It just doesn’t. It’s registered, it’s noted, and maybe even, it’s criticized. I get it. I’m the first person to criticize myself.
But I had to push through. The potential benefits of Junk Free Beauty for me, my family, and the community were just too great for my personal insecurities to resist.
So here I am, still looking how I look and Junk Free Beauty, gratefully, is thriving. Yet there are times when I feel the strongest desire to just let everyone know how I got here. And what I know. And that me living like this, now, has become a choice.
I’d say my weight obsession saga began senior year of high school- just over ten years ago. A long, winding road to rehash. But this is more for me than it is for you, dear reader. So here goes. Like I said, it started senior year, which in retrospect, was my best-looking year of high school (total late bloomer). I saw my first nutritionist to help me become aware and accountable for what I was eating. Spoiler Alert: I only ever gained weight since then. Since that moment in time, I have seen SIX nutritionists, whom I paid every single week, who made me write down every morsel I ate, weigh-in, and explain myself. Some for months, some for weeks, and some for years. I have registered with Weight Watchers four times. Weight No More. Gone completely vegan after going to Florida’s Regency hotel, a vegan health resort and spa. I cut alcohol, sugar, grains, meat, eggs, and fish. Paleo, Keto, 6 meals a day. Clean eating. Whole foods. The Kind Diet, The Beauty Detox Solution. Appetite suppressant teas. My Fitness Pal. Food journals. Dr. Mark Houllif, for A YEAR AND A HALF. (I could’ve had a house by now.) Thyroid tests. Pre-diabetes. Supplements. Threats, tears, guilt and shame. Fear, of not being loved, by anyone including myself.
Should we talk about exercise? Sarit Sabbagh- over a year. The SCC gym. Trained and ran: half marathon. Body By Mike. Zumba. Adele Khasky. Fitness by Kobi. Personal Training. Running. Weight lifting.
So what happened? Why couldn’t I just get skinny?
Who knows. I guess a part of me didn’t really want it that much.
You don’t see this when you look at me. I bet some of you think, “if she only ate brown rice instead of white” (FYI: it’s grown in arsenic-contaminated soil). “You just need to watch your portions” (KK.) Whatever, I don’t care. I don’t care because my latest and greatest accomplishment, with the help of the best therapist to ever grace the planet (Hi :)) is very simply: to be ok with me. To love myself, DESPITE ACKNOWLEDGING THAT THERE IS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT. To accept where I am BUT TO KNOW THAT I AM NOT STUCK. To be OK not being PERFECT, or even anywhere remotely close to it. To learn how to just BE.
[“That’s such a cop out”]
[“She’s gonna blow up now that she doesn’t care anymore”]
[“Why couldn’t she just do it. Shut your mouth.”]
[“She’s living in a dream world. Weight matters whether you believe it or not.”]
[Think what you want. You’re entitled.]
As for the wellness crazes, the trends and obsessions: for me, they hurt more than help. And if we’re being honest, I’d say that’s true for most of us. Even the nitpickyness with which I comb through product ingredients for Junk Free Beauty can sometimes get me a little nuts. Are we really going to implode from a little phenoxyethanol in our detergent? Certainly not. But I persevere in the face of maintaining a high standard, for your peace of mind and ultimately, for mine. Now, I’m not one to deny an almond butter cookie or an avocado toast. Or even a nice Cheer essential oil blend. But I am one for striving toward a more wholesome, all-encompassing feeling of wellness. And that, my friends, involves a little love. Self-love.
I’m the only one living in this body, and guess what? I accept. And that acceptance has truly been the BIGGEST weight loss of my life.
PS: There’s much more to say. Holler if you want to chat.