My inner skinny bitch used to start her day by getting on the scale. If the number was within the three-pound acceptability range, she smiled and reached for the tight fitting Lululemon top. If the number was even half a pound above the outer limit, panic set in. As did crankiness, Spanx panties, and non-stick clothing. The day was off to a bad start. Being a skinny bitch does not mean you are skinny, or even a bitch. It is a state of mind and, for the purposes of this article, it is our inner critic who spends way too much time worrying about the fluctuations on the scale and tummy flab and thus adding even more stress and cortisol to our already stressful lives.
I don’t remember exactly when, but somewhere along the way I decided to ditch my inner skinny bitch and switch. Now, instead, I listen to my cooler inner “Healthy Babe” who thinks I am “the shit!” On the outside I look pretty much the same but on this inside, since making the switch, I feel so much calmer and happier.
I named my inner skinny bitch Frankie. Frankie used to obsess 24/7 about how to make me eat less. As a hungry girl with an extraordinarily healthy appetite, this was a big problem for me. Together Frankie and I tried counting calories, limiting me to “portion-controlled” protein bars and shakes, and proselytizing Trader Joe’s high fiber cereal. Unfortunately, I still walked around literally starving all the time. All I wanted was more food and I didn’t understand why I wasn’t full after three bowls of cereal, an apple, and a Skinny Cow ice cream. Frankie begged me to control my voracious appetite and got very frustrated with me when I didn’t comply so I continually stressed about how I would keep my mouth shut, especially at restaurants and parties.
Screw that. My inner healthy babe, named Chelsea, reminds me to eat REAL food, rather than fake, diet, non-fat foods, or foods that have been given squatter’s rights on a supermarket shelf. Thanks to Chelsea, I focus on nourishing my body with proper nutrients and eat without the guilt or stress because the right foods really do fill me up, Not feeling starved all the time was one of my biggest reliefs of this decade. Not kidding.
Frankie used to worry that if I didn’t get to the gym and burn at least 400 calories in spin class and then pump iron for at least half an hour then it didn’t really count as a workout. She also insisted that I do intense power yoga a few times a week because it wasn’t in my best interest to spare 90 minutes if it didn’t involve some form of pain. Frankie was proud of me when I efficiently used Savasana to think about the 50 things I needed to get done on my drive home but ironically, after a few quick errands, Frankie had no problem with me sitting at my computer the rest of the day. She had “checked the work-out box” and that was all that mattered.
Nowadays, Chelsea tells me to move all day long. Whether it is walking, shopping, dancing, cleaning the house, walking the dog, or “standing” at my computer for hours while I work, I am rarely sitting down and Chelsea is thrilled. Instead of meeting a friend for a salad with dressing on the side, I meet her for a walk. Rather than a night out for white wine spritzers with the girls, we may try an empowerment dance class. And rather than starting my day by getting on the scale, I start my day with positive affirmations and a few bullet points in my gratitude journal.
Frankie also used to push me to meditate because she thought it was something I “should” do. Not surprising, it just became another item on our endless to-do list. Chelsea, on the other hand, didn’t care whether I meditated or not as long as I managed to find quiet ways to relax, unwind, and BREATHE. Thank goodness because all that deep breathing made me calmer, more focused, and more present with my relationships and gave me to impetus to ditch some toxic, superficial relationships that were not serving me. Chelsea reminds me that when I share a lovely meal with family and friends IT IS NOT ABOUT THE FOOD! It is about the love, the sharing, the connecting, the nurturing, and the experience. And, furthermore, Chelsea has taught me that, even if some months I am carrying around a few extra pounds than Frankie would prefer, none of my family members or real friends care one little bit.
These are just a few of the reasons why I ditched my inner skinny bitch and switched to my inner healthy babe. Thankfully, Frankie packed her bags and moved to Hawaii. She pops in to visit every now and then but knows she is not welcome and keeps her visits brief. Chelsea, on the other hand, can often be found dancing around the house in her Lululemons!
Visit Lisa Lewtan’s Facebook page for inspiration: HealthyHappyAndHip and for her website, click here