I just finished interviewing Victoria Jaiani– principle dancer with Joffrey Ballet. Probably a small blip in the course of her day, pretty big moment for me. I’m writing a promo for their upcoming show in St. Louis March 9/10th.
In honor of National Eating Disorder Week, I will consciously avoid negative self-talk such as “I’m so fat” or anything like that. This is part of the ‘End Fat Talk’ campaign, which I really believe in. Most people familiar with eating disorders know that they are more a symptom of an underlying problem and are used for some kind of control or emotional numbness/release but I think fewer people would turn to eating disorders the less that fat/thin/curvy/ weight/emphasis on beauty remains a mainstream issue and the fewer people engage in verbalizing body image struggles in a demeaning, yet joking kid of way. You can read more about the EFT campaign here
I would also like to share the best advice I have ever received towards recovery, stability, and improvement. No matter what stage of health you may find yourself, I hope this helps in some small way:
“Small decisions add up to Big Changes”
Sometimes changes have to start really small, and even then they’re still really uncomfortable and hard. But making a health and happiness-conscious choice once makes it a little easier the next time, and after a fair-share of setbacks, can become habit. LIke muscles, you can retrain yourself.
I sound like such a dancer don’t I, ‘train yourself through a series of repetition to condition desired behavior!’ This from the girl who has done plies even if just in my bedroom for the past ten years or so. Well, if it works for Pavolv’s dogs…
Here are a few other small things that make me happy
Coffee/ Sketchbooks/ Chanel & Burt’s Bees/
I also found this little jewel box of a bakery the other day in Clayton while I was in between teaching classes at separate schools and in desperate need of a caffeine/ sugar kick. They have the best cookies I’ve ever had in my life. I may be both a ballerina and a diabetic, but I am also a walking sweet tooth (I get it from my Dad)
It was a hazelnut chocolate cookie and it tasted like a rich, earthy, baked up version of Nutella.Joy on crumbly melty wings! It had the perfect cripsy outer- edge with a still gooey center. It’s just how I prefer the company I keep– a tough hard exterior with a warm mushy center! I was even tempted to make my own version but actual hazelnuts are really expensive.
When I lived in Louisville, I worked briefly at a bakery and we used to make these ridiculously complicated treats that had a paper-thin dark chocolate biscuit dough that you would spreading tiny droplets onto trays covered with baking paper with a palette knife, warm in the oven, then remove while melty enough that you could roll the around a wooden spoon handle into a tubular shape and then cool. Then we’d make a coffee liqueur cream, cool it in the fridge, then stick the big mess into a pastry piping bag and fill the tubs. Then top with drizzled dark chocolate. They were delicious and probably the fanciest thing I can make. I’m always taken by food that looks pretty.
I did not take that route here. I tried using no butter, and used avocado. I did not use white sugar and tried using 2/3 splenda and 1/3 brown sugar (which usually makes for a chewier cookie). wanted to mold them into a round ball shape and then press a round indent in the top which I would fill with Nutella (from the jar- I’m lazy). I don’t know what went wrong with the dough, it refused to mold into any sort of consistent shape except for these horrible little boats that I kind of smashed in my palm. Then I tried to fill them with Nutella from a spoon, and way too soon coming out of the oven. It was a big melting mess. I insist that they still tasted really good but my goodness they came out hideous.
Owell, it’s the inside that counts right? Actually being a mess on the inside or the outside isn’t alright. It’s always a delicate balance of ingredients to make a healthy yet delicious yet presentable baked good. I hope no one is offended that I’m comparing mental health to the creation of junk food. But I guess I’ve already compared human and cookie qualities in this personal list of happy stimuli. What can I say? Life lived the fullest, with purpose, with joy, with savoring small victories and delights, can be oh-so-sweet!