Hey guys! It’s been a crazy wild OMG-how-can-I-fit-this-all-in kind of week around here… but in the best way possible, because it means we are getting closer and closer to the launch of TBV Apparel!!!
Not to mention lots of other exciting goodies in the works (*cough cough* TBV Summer Cleanse program, *cough cough* my mom’s upcoming fashion blog, *cough cough* super fun collabs with WorldLifestyle, Nadya Andreeva, Goodwater Farms and The Raw Food Sisters, *cough cough* half-marathon in Central Park this weekend, you know, the usual…)
Anyway, I wanted to check in with you all regarding “Fall in Love With Yourself April” a.k.a the self-love challenge I have been running on my blog and Instagram account this month. The emails, photos and comments that have been pouring in from those of you sharing your personal health journeys and self-love struggles have been humbling and absolutely incredible.
So, from the bottom of my heart, thanks to each and every one of you for warming my soul with your willingness to share, your openness to make changes and your overall positivity and love.
Having all of you on board for this self-love challenge has been particularly helpful for me in dealing with my own eating issues and how I view and treat myself… especially in the midst of all of these wacky changes happening in my life (mainly good changes, but changes rock the freakin’ boat of life no matter what).
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know that I have had my fair share of struggles with the restrict-binge-restrict-binge cycle, and that going plant-based changed my life and settled my lifelong tummy problems. But that doesn’t mean I have been able to totally divorce my mind from the self-destructive mentality that comes along with the “oh shit I just ate something that’s going to make me feel really sick,” or “oh god I just ate something off of my diet plan… I guess this means I’m going to skip dinner.”
Learning the relax the rules about food that I have made for myself throughout my lifetime and to accept that my body knows best and I need to trust it, love it and support it every waking moment of the day in order to have the best relationship with my self and with food has been the real game changer for me, and this month I have learned a whole lot about myself.
I have made it a point to not allow myself to have negative thoughts about what I eat, when I eat, how much I eat, how little I eat, or how I feel before/after I eat. Replacing those negative thoughts with positive thoughts, looking in the mirror and practicing self-love versus self-criticism, allowing myself to indulge when it feels right and refrain when I am not in the mood for something, and most of all relaxing versus trying to control my every step has been SO. HELPFUL.
It might sound ridiculous to you – how does she not know these things? Isn’t she human? Doesn’t she have common sense?!
Yes, I have common sense (too much of it I think sometimes), but when you’ve suffered from digestion issues your whole life and you have found something that works and are trying to get back to that state of balance without beating yourself up in the mean time, you might have issues and it’s OK to admit that.
Scratch that, it’s necessary to admit that.
Repeat after me: I have issues!!! And I am fine with it. I am working my issues out, because I love myself and I know that I am worth it. I am enough. I deserve to wake up every morning feeling light, amazing, energized, confident, proud of myself and ready to tackle my day.
I am enough.
And you know what helps? Finding others who inspire you. You know who inspires me? The winner of this week’s self-love challenge, Miss Natasha Kadimi of Organic and Happy. (Oh, and it’s also her birthday, so happy birthday Natasha!!! Love you, beautiful girl.)
Also linking up with Amanda from Running With Spoons since this post is largely a “Thinking Out Loud” post 😉 one of my favorite things to do…
All photos from Organic & Happy from here on out…!
The Winner of This Week’s Self-Love Challenge:
I found Natasha on Instagram when I was a new vegan and I had not even started my blog yet. She posted tons of beautiful photos of raw vegan yumminess, but more importantly she wrote inspiring, self-affirming captions that sparked my interest and made me develop an immediate respect for her.
Over the past few months I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Natasha on a more personal level, and I am so incredibly lucky that I have. Her story is beyond inspirational, and the moment I heard it I knew I had to share with you all.
To keep it short and sweet, Natasha suffered from disordered eating habits for 7 years of her life. When she was in high school, she ate nothing more than a handful of strawberries a day for two years straight (!!!!). Her self-worth revolved around people telling her how pretty she was because she was thin. Her grades slipped from A’s to B’s to C’s and then to D’s… and she was tired, miserable and knew she was battling a huge problem on the inside.
A few years later her eating disorder shifted, and she began binge eating (who wouldn’t after years of such tight restriction?!). She spent hours in her cupboard devouring everything in sight, mainly processed junk, and then she felt so terrible afterward she wouldn’t eat again for several days. The cycle continued, and her weight yo-yoed way back up.
One day, after several years had passed, Natasha decided she wasn’t going to do this to herself anymore. She was going to learn to love herself and ditch the self-hate and self-harm, no matter what that meant.
Her new decision lead her to the plant-based diet, and through the beauty of fruits and veggies she has been able to heal herself one day at a time. She now believes that she is beautiful and knows that she has so much love and knowledge to offer to the world, and she doesn’t know her weight nor does she care to.
I am here to attest to the fact that Natasha is a gorgeous woman on the inside and out. She is a huge inspiration, and she is incredibly wise beyond her years. I know that she is going to do big things and she is going to help so many people become comfortable in their own skin by sharing her story and sharing what she’s learned with us all. If nothing else, she has inspired the crap out of me, and for that I am forever grateful.
Comment on this post, email me, and/or enter on Instagram by hashtagging #fallinlovewithyourself and #tbvchallenge to share your stories and for a chance to be featured on the blog in the coming weeks. I want to share as many stories as I can! And if you don’t want your story to be shared, email me personally, I would still love to hear your story.