I Followed Through & Body Neutrality!?

23 weeks is here and the running is still happening so I’m going to definitely celebrate that for a while.

I’m also going to celebrate the fact that Brooke knows how to make pancakes (she told me the blueberries were her special touch) from start to finish (with supervision) which was perfect for right after my run.

Then we went to cheer on Brooke at tennis…

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Followed by a smoothie and more fruit (I love eating fresh fruit with milk?!… that is probably weird) because I can’t stop eating it.

Skye is just soaking in each summer moment she can get.

Normally, this is me every day unless I know we have people coming over (saw this meme from Megan and couldn’t relate more):

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But I actually followed through and made the dinner I planned on making ha.  Ribs have been something I’ve really been wanting a lot of lately so I used the instant pot to cook them for 25 minutes and then added the sauce (I mixed 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups ketchup, 1/2 cup bbq sauce and 1 onion sautéed in 2 tbs butter) and broiled them for 5 minutes.  Not sure where this rib craving has come from so strong lately but I’m following my cravings.   Not the prettiest food picture ha but it works and we also had baked potatoes:)

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I found some fun face masks online for the girls and they loved having a little spa night (they are a little big for Skye but perfect for Brooke’s size).

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And just as Brooke has grown out of pretending she is a dog all of the time, Skye has entered this stage.  She goes by Max now.

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I actually wrote this portion a few months ago but completely forgot to post it so here it is now along with a picture from this winter because we are all missing Knox right now:)

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Just a topic that I have been thinking about a lot that I feel is right for me but I have no idea if it is the right thing for anyone else… just sharing where I am as far as body image thoughts go:

I’ve kind of gone through a shift in my brain in terms of body image and what I want to do with my girls and Knox.   I came across an article about body neutrality and as I found more and more articles about the idea, I felt more and more peace with it.

Take away the emphasis of anything on the body, good or bad.  Take the focus from the body to the rest of who we are and what we are capable of.

Body positivity is awesome and very important.  I’m sure it has helped many many people and it is the right thing for a huge group of people.  Body neutrality has just felt better for me personally.  My kids will never hear me complain about my body but I also don’t think they need to hear me talk much about my body at all, even if it is positive things.  Because even the focus of talking super positive about our bodies just places a lot of importance on the body.  There are SO many worthwhile things that we can all talk about with each other that have nothing to do with what our body or other bodies look like, positive or negative.

And then when we try to have body positivity, we are going to have days where we fail at it and then feel worse at not being positive about it… Long story short, it might end up in a whole lot of time spent thinking about our bodies and a lot less time thinking about how to help somebody else or all of the other amazing things going on in the world.

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I want my kids  to have gratitude for their bodies but realize that their body does not define a thing about them… there are just too many other incredible things about them that thinking/talking about their body is boring compared to what their potential has to offer.

Body neutrality goes along well with my thoughts that I’ve had over the years from this article (your body is not your masterpiece) of seeing our bodies as the paintbrush.  It’s the tool that allows us to be here and have these incredible experiences.

“Body neutrality is simply about being.  It’s about being without passing judgement or harboring strong emotions about how we look.”  (Source)

Reading the above line made me feel so so calm and relaxed.  Just to be.  Without judgements either way feels right for us.

I don’t think that body neutrality takes away from taking care of your body because you want to do that when it is your tool to do the things you want to do.  Body neutrality doesn’t mean you don’t love it and love certain things about it, I just think it means we think about it less which feels right for me and I’d LOVE to hear anyone’s thoughts on what works best for their lives?

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What helps you most with your body image?  Has anybody else been loving the body neutrality idea?

Do you usually follow through on your dinner plans/meal plans or does it switch depending on what sounds good or how tired you are by the end of the day?

Can we just talk for a few minutes about your favorite fresh fruit or what you love to eat fresh fruit with because this pregnancy is making me think about fruit a lot.

This is a question from Mary because she and her family were having this discussion and she wants to know what others will say too!  Would you rather go without chocolate or tv for ONE year?

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38 comments

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I plant out a menu for each week, but I make whatever sounds good for that night. It works for us because I have everything on-hand for the meals, and we get to pick and choose what we want each night.
Body neutrality sounds like a great philosophy to me – as I sit here thinking about it, that’s pretty much what I already do with my girls. I don’t talk about my body or theirs much, unless I hear them make a negative comment about their body, then I get on my soapbox. :)
I would much rather go without chocolate for a year than TV. I gotta watch my Browns, Indians, & Cavs!

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I love the method that you use for meal planning and still eating what sounds good for the night. You are already rocking it with body neutrality, your girls are so lucky to have you! Let’s hope we never have to make the decision to go off of chocolate or tv for a year ha. Hope your day is a great one!

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I like the body neutrality idea! Honestly, negative body image information is ingrained in our brains, from years of media, ads and news focused on the “right body image”. So thinking about my body less is probably a better idea, than trying to be positive when I’m not feeling it. And I try to be more thankful for what my body can do than what it looks like- running, lifting my nieces, yoga.

Peaches and blackberries!

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I totally agree. It’s crazy how much it is just a part of our culture and every day conversations. You are doing amazing and I love that you said ‘lifting my nieces’…. our bodies do amazing things. I hope you have some peaches and blackberries soon. Have a great day Mariah!

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I would never give up chocolate for a year. I’d become a radio person.

Body neutrality is an interesting concept, it makes me think of all the times that somebody’s appearance doesn’t matter at all…like when we are all disembodied voices on conference calls for work all day. Seriously though so many situations your body is not relevant at all, it’s there to help you partake in an experience.

Props to Brooke for nailing her cooking skills!

My husband made ribs for July 4, he cooked them for 36 hours and they were amazing.

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Hahah but what if radio is included with tv and out of th epicture too?! YES YES YES.. I wish that that our world made our bodies not relevant at all in all of our situations. So now I’m mad at you for telling me about the ribs you had on the 4th. Now I need some that have been cooked for that long. I hope you have a fantastic day Victoria!

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I love the body neutrality comment. It is such a hard habit to break, but I think it’s so worth it!!

Of course I’m in support of fruit with cereal…..like strawberries in a bowl of Cheerios. :) Or throwing some fruit in a protein shake makes it extra cold and fresh!

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I totally agree but the beauty is we can make itty bitty changes each day to break the habit! Now I need some strawberries and Cheerios! I hope you have a really great day, Brooke!

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My grandmother used to always serve us fresh fruit with milk! She sprinkled a little sugar on top too ;) It was always my favorite with peaches. It wasn’t til I was an adult that I realized nobody really did this…haha, enjoy!

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THANK YOU for telling me that your grandmother added some sugar on top too, I’ll be doing that in just a few minutes. Have a beautiful day Kati and thanks for sharing this with me:)

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I was just thinking about this yesterday! I have had such a struggle with weight and body image my whole life. I grew up in a family where no one talked about weight/body image/calories, etc.–my parents were never on a diet and yet I still developed an eating disorder. Lately I have been focusing on what my body did/does for me–it has carried/birthed 3 children, it takes me on runs, it swims, it sits on the couch and watches tv with my kids. Like you said “I let it be” I also love the quote “My weight (body composition) is the least interesting thing about me”
Yesterday I was running with my 5 year old and he was getting a tired and I was encouraging him to run the last .1 and he said “I believe in myself” I was so proud! I want my kids to believe in themselves!

I usually follow through if I have a meal planned, but if it is 3 o’clock and I don’t have anything planned–it’s “find cereal, leftovers or scrounge the pantry” That’s awesome Brooke likes to cook–maybe put her in charge of the meal plan and making supper;-)

Happy Wednesday Janae! Have a great one!

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Hey Becky! Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I am so sorry that you have had such a struggle your entire life and I love what you have been focusing on now. That quote is everything and I just don’t know how I forgot about that for so many years… there is SO much to us! You are doing amazing and your three kids are so so lucky to have you. BRILLIANT idea with Brooke, for once we will have regular home cooked meals ha. Thanks Becky, you too!

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I feel best about my body when I am living my best life. My best life happens when I handle the messy/hard stuff with confidence, I honor the honesty of my heart, I have time and energy to do stuff that I love in this life.

When I nit pick, what I really need to remind myself is get yourself and your life higher up on your list of priorities. Not get your diet or sit ups on the to do list, but things that make you feel a live on the to-do. The rest always follows………including the sit-ups, but with a whole new mindset.

You are a great MOM!

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Well, I just took a screenshot of your comment because it is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us all and it’s crazy to me that I tried to use diet to fix the life part of me for so long. Thank you Erica, and hope is so lucky to have you as her mom!

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I really like these ideas about body neutrality! I feel like I’ve arrived at a place of neutrality having gone through a twin pregnancy and a singleton and juggling motherhood, family, etc. that being said, I sometimes feel really comfortable with myself and other times I wonder if I’ve “let myself go.” It’s hard to find that sweet spot of confidence about changes vs letting stress interfere with some healthy habits. No doubt, I think it’s best for kids not to be preoccupied with bodies. It’s just a means for us to move, enjoy life, and do good for others :)

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Sarah, you sure have a lot on your plate! I always wonder how mother’s of twins do pregnancy… one at a time is so hard for me ha and you did TWO at one time! You are doing an amazing job and your struggle to find that sweet spot is normal for so many of us. Thank you for sharing and that last sentence you wrote is everything! Have a great day!

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Peaches and cream were always a thing growing up in our house, and i love fruit on my cereal with milk, so i don’t think the fruit and milk is very odd!

I’d rather go without chocolate. I watch too many sports to give up tv!

I love the body neutrality idea. My husband and I were recently talking about the importance of stopping any negative talk about our bodies now that our oldest girl is 3 and is absorbing everything we say. We are still navigating how we will teach her about all the wonderful things her body can do while not putting too much emphasis on it.

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I wouldn’t give up chocolate! But I’m not that into tv so that makes it easier. My kids and my husband wouldn’t want to give up tv though.

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Mary, you need to tell me about your favorite chocolates!!

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Peaches and cream= pure heaven. I’m going to pick up some cream at the store today now that you mention this. Keep me updated on what you find best works for your sweet family and your daughter is so lucky to have parents like you two! Enjoy your day Alyssa.

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Hi Janae! I have been a proponent of body AND food neutrality long before I had terms for them. I am not a parent myself but I work with children of all ages. I often hear parents suggest that the way to teach children to have a positive body image is to only say positive things about their bodies, but I believe not referring to their bodies AT ALL is more effectively demonstrates its lack of importance in who they are overall. Moreover, referring to our own bodies positively or negatively in from of children particularly puts the spotlight right back on bodies and takes away from other important things we could be talking about. I have no interest in hearing about the new (temporary!) fad diet and exercise regimes of my friends, family, or coworkers, we have more interesting things to talk about than how you think you need to lose ten pound!

For food neutrality, I would highly recommend to you any book by Ellyn Satter. Her book called “Feeding a Healthy Family” is particularly important. It teaches (from a clinical nutrition perspective) how to feed ourselves and our children using eating competence and food neutrality. Even something as simple as “ you need to finish your green beans before you have dessert” or “wow you must be hungry” or “don’t you think you’ve had enough” can be damaging. She is AMAZING!

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I’m going to order that book right now, thank you SO much for sharing because those types of comments about food neutrality are something I need to work on (ie eat veggies before we have dessert!!). Thank you for doing what you do with the children you work with and I just shook my head YES while I read every word you said. This work and type of thinking is going to do so much for our next generation and I cannot wait to see them reach their potential because they are focused on the things they can do and who they are rather than the way they look. Have a beautiful day Kelli!

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Wow I really needed to hear that body neutrality message today. Thank you for sharing.

I would 100% give up tv for a year over chocolate!!

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You are so welcome and I’d love to have you keep me updated on things that you read or do that helps you with body neutrality. I hope you have a great day Julie!

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I really like the idea of body neutrality. Not focusing on what your body looks like is so much healthier. Thank you for sharing this. I am definitely going to be reading more about it.
I pretty much follow through with my meal plans. I’ve become pretty good at meal planning and grocery shopping on Sundays. It’s actually a favorite thing of mine…. Finish a run/workout, grab a cup of coffee, and sit out on our patio with my favorite cookbooks and plan the week. It sometimes is the only thing I feel in control of when life often feels so crazy. And, I also plan in a day or 2 of picking up dinner from one of our favorite places. Of course, some weeks I don’t plan, and that’s ok too, but then I find myself making more trips to the store.
Oooo… My niece had her first baby early Monday morning 😊. She had a girl, Harper June Reid Meiners. Everyone is healthy and happy! Seeing babies being born is such a gift right now, and a promise of a better world.
Have a wonderful Wednesday.

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Thank you so much Wendy! You’ll have to let me know anything cool that you learn or try with it all! I also need you to give me a lesson on meal planning and following through:). I love that you do that and I can totally see how nice it would feel to have control over that during this crazy time. CONGRATS to your niece and I love her name so much! I totally agree and can’t wait to meet our little one. Thanks Wendy, you too!

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Definitely would give up chocolate for a year before I would ever consider giving up tv. TV is even my white noise… very necessary.

I love the body neutrality movement to support what your body can do rather than what it looks like. I think it carries over into so many other aspects of life as well. Kids should be taught from a young age that it’s not about what they can’t do.. it’s about what they can do. Everyone is an individual and has their own strengths and passions. It’s the discovery of who you truly are and what you are truly passionate about that is what drives us. The more supportive we can be of helping one another find the positivity in that search, and the positivity in their body capabilities.. the happier we can all be. (goodness, that sounds cheesy attempting to put it in writing, but I think you can read beyond my awkwardness. lol)

It’s one reason that I love reading about Brooke’s attempts at different sports. I love that she’s not afraid to try anything.. to find her joy whether it’s in the moment, the year, or for life. You’re doing wonderful with her, Janae!

No planning of meals for me. I’m not a big planner, but then it’s only myself I have to worry about. :)

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Wendy, thank you so much for bringing that up and it really inspired me with my parenting! I don’t think it’s awkward at all, I love it and Brooke totally inspires me to try more things that are different. Thanks so much, that means a lot to me. Hope you are having a beautiful day and I agree… I would give up chocolate first.

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I guess I’m pretty much in the body neutrality camp, because I just don’t think about it that much! I have very large calves, the one body part that use to really bug me until two things happened: I visited my dad in the hospital, he was in his 70s and his calves were still massive – you can’t fight genetics. Then I ran my first marathon. Les took a picture of me running and you can see my calf muscle, again it’s huge but it looked so powerful!

I usually have a dinner plan for the week that I use to go grocery shopping, it may change by the day, but I stick pretty close for the week. I don’t have an insta-pot, but I got an air fryer for my birthday and I love it! I made baked sweet potatoes last night that were delicious! They still take quite a bit of time, but I don’t have to heat up the oven and the entire house along with it.

Our current fruit obsession is a big mostly tropical mix – pineapple, kiwi, mango, pink grapefruit and strawberries. Mangoes are a lot of work, but they have been delicious lately.

I can’t go a week without chocolate ;)

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I LOVE the body neutrality idea! I hadn’t actually heard of it before but after struggling with body image, restrictive eating as a teen and in college at some point I had the lightbulb moment of “why do I even care?!” I realized I wasting precious time worrying about what this or that looked like and how to “fix” it instead of just eating real food, exercising because exercise makes me happy, and spending the time worrying contributing to the world instead. That shift completing changed SO MUCH for me in such a good way.
When its really hot out we eat a lot of salads and leftover chicken. Even when its not I often regress from a fancy dinner plan to salads and chicken.
Am not/haven’t been pregnant but a good peach, container of raspberries, mango… Summer fruit gives me such joy that apples and bananas just don’t haha. My MiL does the milk+berries and adds a little sugar, its not just you at all!
TV! I don’t really like to watch TV all that much but a chocolate free year is a challenge I do not want to try ha.

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Hi Janae! I think about your body as paintbrush metaphor often and it was nice to see your follow on today! I was able to introduce idea to some of my friends when we were having a discussion about body image and they agreed too! We decided that body positivity was probably useful for groups that felt actively judged against but going forward body neutrality is the better idea. Hope the way I explained it makes sense.
Have a great day and thanks as always for making me think!

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I absolutely love the concept of body neutrality. As a 30 year old woman recovering from 12+ years of anorexia, I wish I had these ideas drilled into my head as a teenager. Our bodies are not ours to control or manipulate. Trying to do that will always backfire. Especially when you are trying to shrink yourself. I have lost years of my life focusing on my body, first trying to shrink away and then trying to restore my body back to a state that will allow me to have a baby and live the life I have always dreamed of for myself. Function is all that matters. If you can move, think, create and love – it does not matter what shape you are.

And you are not weird! Fruit in milk is delicious. I’ve been eating a ton of fresh berries in whole milk or cream OR with this delicious cream cheese whip if I’m feeling fancy https://bakingmischief.com/captain-america-civil-war-cheesecake-parfaits/
Also : watermelon with a squeeze of lime juice. I can’t stop.

Hope you have a great day :) Thank you for being so positive and brightening up the world a little bit everyday!

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Yes to body neutrality!! I’ve been trying to be very conscious of comments I make with girlfriends and family and focusing more of how they are feeling/what’s on their mind vs. commenting on a cute outfit or anything to do with their looks. It takes practice though to undo some of this conditioning.
I’m all about peaches and nectarines right now.
I would definitely give up TV over chocolate! My husband and I didn’t have TV for about 15 years, and we were just saying how this has come in handy during COVID because there are plenty of shows to catch up on, even watching the old baseball and basketball games that are being re-broadcast is exciting since we missed them the first time around.
And way to go Brooke, your pancakes look delicious, I LOVE blueberry pancakes!

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I have never been on the body positivity bandwagon. In my humble opinion it’s another side of the culture that teaches us to obsess over our bodies – especially female bodies.

Not sure how I feel about the term body neutrality. It’s kinda sounds like obsessing over not obsessing. 😏

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Hmm, I’m not a body positivity fan. I’m not sure I like the idea of not talking about bodies either. My preference is to change the conversation to a functional discussion.

I think talking about our bodies can be good. I’m not a big fan of rankings or size or looks (good, bad, pretty, ugly etc). However, one of my favorite things as a runner has been becoming more aware of my body. I can tell when something is off. I can tell when foods don’t sit well. I can tell when I need to stretch. Becoming more aware of my body and its subtle signals has improved my eating, exercise, and sleep habits without guilt, shame, or negative feelings.

So why talk about our bodies? If I’m feeling bloated because of downing too much soda, I think it’s fair to say it. If I haven’t been stretching and things feel tight or achey, that’s a fair comment. If I slept great and have energy, also good to mention. Why? I think that will help my kiddo learn to listen to her body signals, too. Maybe that means she can learn to avoid over training, under eating, or poorly fueling this crazy awesome gift we each start with.

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Frozen blueberries and almond milk! My all time favorite though is cornbread and milk. It’s a southern thing….try it in Utah and bring a little south to your mouth!!

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I’ve never heard of the body neutrality idea…I really like it. I agree that the body positivity movement also garners too much attention on the looks/appearance or “forcing” feelings you don’t feel. I think being neutral is a form of detachment and that can really help with the emotional stresses that come with body image.

I’m obsessed with strawberries lately which is weird cause I never used to be a SB person…so easy to eat the whole carton (not pregnant). I love fruit on its own or in yogurt on with milk as well. Juicy plums are good too. Oranges. Anything juicy really.

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The old saying “Actions speak louder than words” I think can hold true to kids seeing us being active, making healthy decisions, and loving ourselves. We can talk about it too but they will learn more through our actions. People always mention not talking negatively about ourselves infront of kids but I agree that you also shouldn’t talk too positively about it either (I know what I’m trying to say but not really sure how to say it!).

Anyways, the meal plan is always a good intention that I fail miserably on. If I remember to set out meat for supper than I try my best to make it that night but a lot of nights (especially in the summer) are on the fly.

Fresh fruit – bananas warmed up with melted dark chocolate… which leads me to rather having no tv for a year than chocolate!

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