I’ve been reading this book 20 Something, 20 Everything: A Quarter-Life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction by Christine Hassler. It’s a very helpful read for women who are going through a quarter-life crisis as myself. Up until I bought this book, I did not know there was such a thing. We have all heard of midlife crisis, mainly in men, but not quarter-life crisis and especially not something like that for women. I had been in a rut, not knowing in which direction my life was going and it was depressing, still is, because I’m 27 and have absolutely no idea where life is going to take me.
One particular part of the book talks about body image and how women suffer from this from such a young age. You hear about women who have anorexia, bulimia and other disorders. Growing up they have had self-esteem issues, physical, mental and emotional abuse, and just not feeling like they fit in or matter because of what they look like. The crazy part about it is that no one talks about the fact that men experience this kind of trauma too, and end up having body issues as well.
Why are body issues only geared towards women? Is it because we are seen as being inferior to men and are the weaker, more emotional sex? Is it because men don’t speak about such things as abuse because men who show emotions are perceived as being weak, soft, or even homosexual? Men are beings too and they do have emotions. They go through abuse just like women do, not saying that it’s normal, but in this day and age, it’s becoming more common.
For men, I feel that they are taught to not talk about things like that because it’s not manly. Talking about abuse can help someone else, no matter what sex you are. Men can be anorexic and have bulimia too. Men can be self conscious and feel too fat or too skinny, just like women. They can have negative views of their bodies as well. Body issues are not just a woman thing. It’s a mental thing.
What is my point of all of this? Being healthy isn’t just about exercising and eating clean. It is about how you feel about yourself. Yes, the inside is what matters most, but with there being mirrors everywhere, you have to look at yourself. When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Take all of your clothes off (if you’re not clothes free) and stand in the mirror. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being “you hate your body” and 10 being “you are absolutely in love with it,” rate how you feel about your appearance.
Many people I guarantee will give themselves a low rating because often times we don’t view ourselves as being adequate, based on how we look. We steer away from careers, relationships, friends, opportunities, all because we don’t like our bodies. Your body does not define you, it’s all mental.
We are in a time where everyone is either dieting or trying to bulk up. No one is ever satisfied unless they look like the toothpicks in magazines, or the Hulk wannabes on steroids. You can not be healthy physically or emotionally until you are healthy mentally, and that all starts with how you view yourself. I tell myself every morning now, “You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are enough.” Men, you can chant this too, just change “beautiful” to an adjective that better suits how you feel.
Now that we have gotten the mental health for body positivity out of the way, let me give you a recipe to help your physical health. It’s meatless of course, because the most sustainable way of living and being body positive is meatless.
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 c brown rice
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 c vegetable broth
- ¼ tsp of black pepper
- 4 roma tomatoes
- 2 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can mild dice green chile salsa
- 1 cup corn
- 1 pck of Daiya cheddar cheese (or your favorite brand of vegan cheese)
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan or use a nonstick pan, and set aside.
In a sauce pan, heat oil and sauté onions until translucent and then add garlic. Add rice, paprika and vegetable broth. Add pepper and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Once done, pour into pan and stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. After that, remove from oven, add cheeze and then bake until cheeze is melted. Let cool and enjoy as a meal itself or put it on some tortilla chips.