From a home that was half-Argentina-half-American, I owe my loud mouth, love of food, and sense of humor to my Latin roots. I am both grounded and upbeat. Born a normal eater, at some point in my teens I decided I was not skinny and tried my first diet.
I’ve been where you might be:
either only eating in a restrictive and very structured way ( a.k.a good foods vs bad foods)
spending hours planning my evening binges
just thinking about food, feeling lost, and financially freaking as I spent my hard earned $$$ on 2am GrubHub delivery
Between judging my self-worth based on my weight and what I ate, plus the influence of diet culture, sexism, fatphobia, objectifying images from the media, the Instagrams, the “fat equals unhealthy” messages, the “it’s not a diet, it’s being skinny, strong and healthy” messages...I was either terrified around food or ate with a “I FELL OF THE HORSE SO F*** IT” mentality, and it was impossible to listen to my body anymore.
I would diet, then binge, then start ANOTHER day count eating healthy and organic, cutting off sugar, and using my willpower to NOT binge. Then in 1...2... maybe 3 days I was inside the Ben n’ Jerry's again. 😬😡😡 And you know you are inside that Ben n’ Jerry's when you just throw out the lid as soon as you open it because it ain’t going back to the freezer. Then it’s no man's land from there and you are eating a moldy slice of pizza from the back of your fridge that you didn’t even want in the first place.
Even worse, I felt this was all my fault and I was weak plus lazy. So now I needed to overcompensate even more by people-pleasing for the rest of my life because there must be something wrong with me, and I don’t want anyone to know.
How did I get off this cycle?
If you are still reading this...Maybe you can relate?
Time went by. I was a respected professional at my job, a good friend, a good sister, and yet I still wasted so much energy and time in the constant quest to GET OVER MY FOOD ISSUES...One day, when I was YET AGAIN, doing research on a new “food plan” that would help me STAY ON TRACK and stop binging, I had a simple but radical realization…
This S***t DOESN’ WORK.
It just doesn’t. I just knew that I had no willpower left to go on another food plan, to continue to do what I was doing. I knew that if I had to go on another diet, even if it was one of those “it’s not a diet” diet’s, I would just lose it. I knew I couldn’t continue to live like this and I asked...what’s keeping me stuck?
I knew the answer...
For me, it was my fear of not being in control of my weight and size. The idea of letting go and giving up the chase was terrifying. But I knew I was ready and there was nowhere else to go.
Yup I was an academic who studied feminist theory for years. Yup I knew that body diversity is essential and that the diet industry BOMBS us every day with messages prone to trigger us into buying the latest pursuit of “thinness” or “fitness..”
But I couldn’t practice this theory...Couldn't admit to myself how terrified I was of letting go of my body size and just surrendering the chase...But I finally GAVE UP my pursuit for wanting my body to look a certain way, and I knew that I just couldn't afford to care to focus on my body. My sanity was at stake.
I examined my own stigma around weight. I looked at how much validation and importance I had unconsciously put in this area of my life.
I examined my misconceptions about what “being healthy” meant to me.
I trusted that my body would reach the weight and size it needs to reach ONCE I FULLY ALLOWED MYSELF TO EAT, A LOT, and that this is a million times better than having to go through more dieting and binges.
I told myself, starting today, my body isn’t my business and I won’t focus on it anymore.
I won’t weigh myself, I won’t count calories, I won’t do “it’s not a diet” diets and I WILL call myself out on my own diet mentality judgements, any stigma I had around weight gain and size, and all that stuff..because so much BS was keeping me stuck.
I completely stopped restricting. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and as much as I wanted...I practiced, I made mistakes. Once I got it, I started helping other people get unstuck too.
Diets tell you what you SHOULD eat, and that's easy because you have a plan...but when you stop dieting, you actually need to really listen to yourself and what your bod wants. It’s an amazing experience because this journey reconnects you to your intuition, hunger, and desires.
I had to stop restricting physically but also emotionally...
And at first, I HAD NO CLUE WHAT I ACTUALLY WANTED TO EAT, because I had spent so much time looking outside to WHAT I THOUGHT I SHOULD EAT...It was really hard to let go of perfectionism at first, but I made it through, peeling layer after layer of diet mentality and toxic judgements, and on the other side there wasn’t a pot of gold or unicorns, there was sanity and getting my energy back, my life back and just having so much more head space to do other things, like start projects, a business, and be a better aunt and a more present partner.
Today life is so different.
I can eat anything I love, but food lost its power over me now that I PUT IT IN ITS PLACE.
Sometimes I cry and eat cupcakes, sometimes I’m happy and make myself a dish of creamy mushroom pasta or rice and beans. I don’t always eat mindfully. I eat emotionally sometimes. I eat fries and veggie burgers until I’m full. I can have a middle of the day slice of pizza and move on. I snack on whatever is around, I eat while walking and that’s ok too. Sometimes food is boring or leftover from yesterday and that’s life. Sometimes I go take a cardio dance class in a crowded NYC basement with other humans, then those endorphins kick in, my heart is beating, and I’m just feeling happy and sweaty.
I don’t have food rules. I don’t have fitness rules.
I HELP BABES LIKE YOU WHO STRUGGLE WITH FOOD ISSUES TO BE FREE AND END THE DIET-BINGE CYCLE FOR REAL.
It all starts with some simple steps and lots of mental deconditioning from all the #ToxicDietCulture.
Some extras about me…I graduated from Stonybrook University with an MA in Philosophy (a discipline which has allowed me to think critically, deconstruct false beliefs, and analyze power frameworks that keep us oppressed). I also received my certification in health and public policy from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. I spent several years of my young adult life teaching middle school and advocating for youth, while also writing about feminism for blogs such as Hyperallergic, Bitch Media, Column F, and AlJazeera America.
Why am I starting this business?
Because statistics point out that 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies.
(The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) collected “Eating Disorders Statistics,” and reported that approximately 91 percent of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their “ideal body” shape. Fifty-eight percent of college-aged girls feel pressured to be a certain weight.)
Because diets don’t work and are the major cause of eating disorders.
Because I know there is a multi billion diet industry profiting from people’s insecurities and triggering them to go insane to assimilate to a very specific body shape and size.
Because having food issues and binge eating is not just a white women problem:
*Using data from a 10-year survey of more than 2,300 girls, this study by the University of South California from 2009 revealed that black girls where 50 percent more likely than white girls to exhibit bulimic behavior, including both binging and purging compared to 1.7 percent of white girls.
*I have yet to find a more concrete study about binge eating and body image issues in the Asian American, Latinx, and Muslim communities, but that might be because, according to Slate, research has indicated that clinicians are less likely to diagnose eating disorders in women of color.
*Although more data is needed, a survey of nearly 300,000 college students found that transgender college students had over four times greater risk of having been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, and two times greater risk of eating disorder symptoms such as purging compared to their cisgender female peers
Because I care about social justice and size-justice.
Because I’ve wasted years struggling with food issues when I could have been finding my voice and taking over the world in my own way, and I want to help other people free up mental and physical energy.