Last week was a whirlwind. So much so that I didn’t even check in with you. I came back from Fire Island happy from another year of adult summer camp, but also wiped out from being older than my biological age in every sense. I went straight from that trip into filming a fun project in a gorgeous Brooklyn apartment. I even had my friends there to join me. But to make it all appear effortless, as you know, I went through just about every stage of modern insanity: thinking I could totally do it all, claiming I could do it all, telling Sabrina that I couldn’t actually do any of it, getting a spray tan so that I, at the very least, looked like someone who could do something, opening up a Banana Republic credit card because yes of course now is the time!, and finally, drinking 3 venti iced coffees black to get it all done to a level that, at best, will wake me up nightly for the next month in a straight out sweaty panic of shame and self-doubt. Tell me if aaany of this feels true for you.
When I arrived at the finish line — Friday morning — I ate breakfast at Barney Greengrass on the upper west side with the loveliest person alive, my friend Julia Turshen, then packed an indefinite bag of clothes that were (and OK still are) semi-dirty and waited on the curb for Daniel to pick me up. He knew where I needed to go so he drove. Shake Shack. I have yet to find an ill that a shack stack and cheese fries do not cure. Have you found another place?
Enough about me. What’s new with you?
And oh! Before I go, this week I’m a guest on Maddy Moon’s fantastic podcast, Mind Body Musings. We talk all about my book, body image, struggling to find balance with food, weight, and so much more. If you like the kinds of things I tend to write about in my weight loss/body posts, I’d highly recommend her podcast! Click here for the episode link.
Writing I Love
One of my favorite writers, Lindy West, wrote an absolutely stunning — I mean, a truly brilliant — article in response to the Nicole Arbour “Dear Fat People” viral video. Often when I read article I’m left with at least a tinge of, “right but what about–” Not this time. Lindy wrote what I wish I could have written, were I a smarter, more thoughtful writer. The article: The ‘Dear Fat People’ Video Is Tired, Cruel, and Lazy — but I Still Fight for the Woman Who Made It
Reading Lindy, I can feel her calm, her cool, her wisdom. There’s no sassy “You know WHAT, Nicole?!” because defensive behavior gets zero points across. Lindy knows that. I imagine if Lindy ever did have a video, she’d just be casually standing, head half-tilted to the side, wearing the slightest smile, shaking her head as she tells Nicole in a steady, measured voice, “I know you want it to be, but this isn’t what brave is.”
The glaring takeaway, though, comes near the end, when Lindy offers Nicole the thing we’re least expecting. Compassion. Despite all of the fat shaming and hating, she writes, “I fight for you.” (And all the Nicole Arbours of the world). When she goes on, we understand the bravery and profoundness of such a show. “Whether you like it or not, whether you realise it or not, your life is tangibly better because of fat women who live unapologetically, who wedge the gates of acceptance open wider every day. I fight for you in your capacity as a woman who wants to be more than just a body. I fight for you in your capacity as a woman whose body is scrutinised and policed every moment of your life…I fight for you even when you are cruel, even when you are making money off the back of fat people’s pain, even when you refuse to fight for me. Because I know that it is hard to have a body, that insecurities make us mean, and that male approval can be a comfortable harbour while it lasts.”
Lindy West, you are a spectacular writer and human being and I am grateful you’re here…for all of us. I fight for you.
Recipes I Love
I want to wake up to these almond butter blueberry paleo waffles | Ambitious Kitchen
Someday when I have dinner plans at a place other than my coffee table, I’ll bring this caramelized fig upside down cake | Broma Bakery
Haven’t even made these yet and I can already tell they’ll be part of my permanent dinner rotation: slow cooker buffalo chicken meatballs | Damn Delicious
blt stuffed avocados okay? | Fifteen Spatulas
Books I Love
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling. It’s coming out next week, friends (9/15) and I couldn’t be more excited. I love Mindy in a way I should make less overt and weird, but I can’t help myself. I think Mindy is remarkable, and that her voice (comedically, personally…) is necessary, poignant, and incisive in ways many others aren’t–or aim to be but don’t quite hit the mark. She’s smart, decisive, and unapologetic while maintaining the finest balance between being someone I aspire to be and someone I’d choose to be best friends with. She inspires but never gets preachy; owns who she is without a bit of self-righteousness. If I didn’t want her to marry BJ Novak so much, I’d marry her myself.