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Sights, Sounds, Thoughts

August 20, 2011
My week so far in images, music, and thoughts.  Play the song first then scroll through!

Sounds

Matt Mays – The Past

Sights

My beautiful bike Mojito on the right and Matt’s whatever bike on the left
having a little intimate moment at the lookout point on Lions Gate Bridge.

Seriously…look at where we live. Always love this
view of Stanley Park as we come over the bridge.

First order of business as soon as we make it to Granville Island?
Bulldoze through all the children at the water park and run through the sprinkly arch.

A little over-the-shoulder action on Matt’s part.

On the patio of Bridges on Granville Island, refuelling
with a huge plate of nachos.

Burrard Street bridge looking both pretty and
daunting…we’d already biked for two and a half hours at this point!

A little nap break in the grass at English Bay.

A little photo-op at the lighthouse in Stanley Park. I have no idea what’s
wrong with Matt here, but if I had to guess, I’d say…everything.

The ishara x kitchening with carly pop-up macaron shop launch party.  I handle the communications for ishara and was so happy to see so many people come out to support our joint venture with Carly.  And the macarons?  Beyond amazing.  Seriously.  I had like ten.

Some of my favourite ladies – love the little blogger family we’ve built here in Vancouver!

From left to right: Alicia of aliciafashionista, Olivia of Style Struck, Monika of The Doctor’s Closet, Mina of Faboulista, Jen of her waise choice, moi, Matina of Angela Matina.

Check out more pics from the evening at ishara’s Facebook page!

Thoughts

So on to my thoughts of the week…they were few and far in between to be perfectly honest, but one thing that I definitely mulled over several times was this article by Garance Doré.  It always makes me sad that so many North American women (and men for that matter) struggle with food and weight and have this weird obsession with both.  Even a Parisian like Garance seems to have now fallen prey to the vicious cycle of extremes that tend to constitute North Americans constant “battle against the bulge”.

I am the furthest thing from an expert on the matter, but having been a girl who’s been surrounded by all sorts of eating disorders, bad body image, and insecurities that tend to befall most young women and yet somehow managed to maintain a happy weight for years with little to no effort, I do know this much: it doesn’t have to be that hard.  It sounds almost too easy, but that’s the beauty of it:  the more simply you approach everything, the better the payoff. 

If you could even call them that, I’d have to say that these are my rules when it comes to maintaining your “happy weight”:

1) Enjoy food.  This is probably the most important thing – if you love what you’re eating, the experience of it fills you up in both a physical and emotional way and you don’t need a bunch of “filler”.  Eat regularly, naturally when possible, and never make yourself feel guilty for enjoying food.  Try to eat as diversely as possible and enjoy all sorts of cuisine.

2) Move.  Whether that means walking to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going for a run, playing with your kids, whatever.  If you like working out at the gym or lifting weights like I do, then by all means, do it.  But only if you enjoy it.  Lots of people aren’t into pumping iron the way that I am (and I mostly enjoy it cause I’m weird and like to flex my muscles with all the guys in front of the mirrors at the gym), so don’t force yourself into it if it’s not your thing.  There’s so many ways of being active and everyone can find a type of activity that suits them.

3) Listen to your body.  Is your stomach rumbling?  Eat something.  Are you already stuffed, feeling depressed, or eating for any other reason that isn’t to celebrate food or to fuel yourself?  Then call a friend or go for a walk. If you listen to it, your body will give you the proper cues to keeping it healthy and happy.  Following a set diet plan doesn’t take into account your body’s special, always-changing needs.

4) Learn to accept that your body has a particular shape.  If your weight and shape have stabilized and you’re eating good, wholesome food, moving around, and getting good rest, then don’t fight it.  That’s how your body is meant to be.  If I starved myself or cut out baguettes as one of my main food groups, I’m sure the “big” parts of me (my butt, chest, hips, etc.) would shrink up, but that would be me pushing my body to be something it’s not simply for the sake of being more pole-like.  Not only would I be depriving myself of some of my favourite foods (getting between me and carbs would only result in horrible things happening), but my body would be sitting at a weight that it’s not supposed to be at.  That and I’d probably end up losing control and swinging into another unhealthy weight, one on the other side of the scale.

As I said, I’m no expert on the matter of nutrition or “dieting” and don’t want to come across as a know-it-all, but I am happy with my body and I think that counts for something.  Sometimes it’s important to just remember that all the things we learned when we were kids (eat all the colours of the rainbow, go play outside, laugh lots) are much more effective rules to live by then whatever the new fad in dieting is offering.  As for Garance, I hope she learns to fall back into her healthy French attitude towards eating and weight and doesn’t get all “New York skinny”.  The woman is stunning and is the last person that should be beating themselves up because of their appearance.

Hope you’re all having an absolutely lovely Friday!  Speaking of food, my friends and I have been planning a night of NACHOS for three days now and we’re about to go grocery shopping for all the ingredients.  Now that’s what I’d call a happening Friday night…nachos and girl talk.  We’re cool…

Image courtesy of Garance Doré

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12 Comments

  • Reply Louise (Fifth Sparrow) August 20, 2011 at 3:31 am

    What a love filled post! Your biking day with Matt sounds like pretty much the best date ever! (and how sweet are your bikes?! Well, mostly Mojito…but I'm sure Matt's works perfectly well, even if it's not mint green!)
    And the Ishara launch is just pure girly fun, especially once those macarons are thrown in! You ladies all look gorgeous!
    Have a wonderful weekend Alex, excited to see all you guys next week! xx

  • Reply MizzJ August 20, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Great thoughts here Alex! It's very true, we all need to learn to accept and listen more to our bodies instead of trying to make it something it's not. Easier said than done, and I've struggled myself with maintaining a happy equilibrium. I hope Garance finds her way.

  • Reply gillybeancandyjar August 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    wow that really was an interesting article between New York and Paris. I like the words of wisdom you gave and I agree with all of them! I've gone through my ups and downs in body image during teenagerhood but once I just simplified everything and accepted my body, my weight stabilized. Imagine that.
    PS- as always, love the picture of you in sunshine!

  • Reply Leonie August 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Love your post! I also read Garance's post and thought about it quite a bit. I totally agree with you, there is no need to be obsessed with food (in the way of eating a lot or not at all). There are days that I feel guilty about eating more 'bad' food, but other days I balance it out by eating extremely healthy. I could never give up good food, I love eating pasta and bread, I wouldn't happy without it.

    Also, in regards to the rest of your post: I LOVE the pictures you took. It inspires me to rent a bike and do a little tour through Vancouver. This city is amazing.

    http://thesignaturebow.blogspot.com/
    LATEST POST: My Latest Loves – Mini Bags

  • Reply Lynn {hearted girl} August 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    i LOVE how you began this journey. that song is the perfect background for it all. nice one!!! poor Matt with the whatever bike – awe! he needs to give his a name too so it could maybe go up in the ranking ; )

    ahhh, Granville Island is so wonderful. we're truly blessed to have it sitting pretty in our fine city. and speaking of sitting pretty – um, lovely biking beauty you are Alex! launch party looked like a complete blast, who doesn't swoon over a macaron? and you girls are all gorgeous to no end!!!

    i remember your past article concerning the Sartorialist's photo description and how very well written it was. once again you've touched on a very tender subject with charm and grace. i can't remember if i mentioned it or not but one of my bf's had an eating disorder, such a struggle for her. she overcame it though and to celebrate she had the word "delight" tattooed inside her bottom lip so that way it was a reminder when food passed over her lips she was to always take delight in it. it's one of my favorite ideals and i love your positiveitude, very stellar piece! xoox ♥

  • Reply Rosa August 22, 2011 at 1:24 am

    beautiful words. also, ive been looking for great macaroons in vancouver & i think i know where i'll go for them now 🙂

    ♡, Rosa T.

  • Reply Fashion Cappuccino August 22, 2011 at 5:31 am

    Alexandra! Looks like you had a blast with your boyfriend and by the way, he's a hottie :-). It must be so nice to get together with your blogger girlfriends..those macaroons, Yum! I read that article by Garance too and I'm not surprised by her opinions because it's very hard not to feel pressured about your body when you move to America. For example, I never have anyone say I'm too skinny in my country because everyone there is skinny! All the girls in my class are literally the same size and I'm not even exaggerating. That goes the same thing for most countries in Asia like Japan, Korea, China, etc and I feel completely normal about my body and there's hardly any talk about bodies in those countries, have you noticed? But in America, a country where there are many obese people, being skinny invites a lot of attention and is hold as a most valued prize. To me, that's crazy…I agree with all of your thoughts and if only people would just eat healthy, exercise and take care of themselves instead of pointing fingers at models or other skinny people for their problems. Love this post! xoxoxoxoo

    P.S. You look amazing in the post before! Your skin is so naturally radiant! xxoxooxxoo

  • Reply Laksmono August 22, 2011 at 6:59 am

    It all looks fantastic!

  • Reply Marie a la Mode August 22, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Great pictures. I love coming to your blog and seeing my old stomping grounds in your photos! Eating disorders are tricky….

  • Reply Cee August 22, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Oh, where do I begin? First, so jealous that you're actually have a summer holiday, the bike photos are seriously envy-inducing, especially because I got home from Winnipeg on the first day of rain this month 🙁 Second, the Ishara party. I hope there is a slightly stale macaron waiting for me now that I'm back, because I'm so sad I missed out on seeing all of you beautiful girls and enjoying the fun. Third, I read Garance's article while I was at home, and found is disturbing for a number of reasons, but probably especially so because I was on the prairies, where people are generally larger and my size has therefore always garnered a large amount of unneccessary attention. I am by no means an expert on anything that has to do with being a healthy eater, but as far as I can tell, the main difference between Paris skinny and New York skinny is joy. The French have it, the Americans don't… Their habits are not as far apart as they may imagine, but the psychology behind them is very different. I hope Garance will be back home soon so she can start approaching food in a healthier way again!
    xox,
    Cee

  • Reply cakesandshakes August 24, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I love this post so much I retweeted it – that is some serious solid advice there, and if I had to write on that theme my advice would be similar. People all overeat for similar reasons; to stuff emotions down, boredom, etc. Do you ever read Sheryl Yvette's blog? She came down from over 200 pounds and it was amazing to read. I have great admiration for those that lose the weight and keep it off by embracing the kind of sensible approach you outline here.

    Cakes
    http://cakesandshakes.wordpress.com

  • Reply cristina petre August 30, 2011 at 9:44 am

    nice pictures!

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