The Balanced Blonde knows a little something about putting the work in to be your happiest self. In her book, Breaking Vegan, Jordan explains her battle with orthorexia and how she learned to accept life in a more balanced and positive way.
Seriously, be comfortable with yourself! Have you ever heard the expression, “What you eat in private, you wear in public?”
Well also, what you do in private, you embody in public. If you sit around getting down on yourself and second-guessing your every move, you will emanate negativity and low self-confidence.
On the other hand, if you wake up, tell yourself you’re beautiful and down a gingery green juice like you mean it, you will radiate the same confidence in public. Living in New York taught me wonders about learning not only to be comfortable with myself, but also to enjoy my own company in quiet moments.
If you can trust your own opinions and reactions, you have a lifelong confidant who can’t help but have your best intentions in mind. The hardest thing for all of us to develop is that trust with ourselves, and we can strengthen it by practicing being kind to ourselves.
Choose a mantra. It can be anything from “I am beautiful” to “I radiate confidence and happiness because I choose to be confident, happy, and content with every aspect of myself,” or anything in between. The only requirement is that the mantra must be kind and gentle, and it must hold enough truth that you don’t have to call your own BS every time you say it.
My mantra of choice is; “Today I am perfect.” I like to include the immediacy of today, because so often we get caught up worrying about the future or rehashing the past. We forgot to live in the moment. It’s easy to say we’re going to enjoy the beauty of each day, but how often do we really stop to notice the splendor in the little things? The natural things. When we’re at peace with ourselves, and when we befriend ourselves, we can begin to live in the now.
I chose the word perfect not because of the stigma of perfection in itself, but because to me, the word embodies complete and utter contentedness. Things are never downright perfect, but shrugging off the imperfections and accepting them as part of the package allows us to focus only on the good. Whatever “perfection” means in my life changes every day, and waking up each morning and believing in my own true perfection is a breath of fresh air.
Choose a mantra that feels right (it could be anything!) and repeat it to yourself at a time of day that makes the most sense to you. I like to do it in the mornings when I’m getting ready, because I’m already in front of the mirror and can really look into my eyes and hold myself accountable. Some people might prefer to recite their mantra during their morning commute or incorporate it into a bedtime ritual. Find what works for you and run with it.
The second trust-strengthening exercise is to practice forgiveness with yourself as much as possible. Say you lose your [cool] sitting in traffic or you spend an entire day completely obsessing over something that hasn’t even happened yet. You are not a failure for doing either of those things. You are human!
You are allowed to make mistakes. In fact, at the risk of sounding like a Hallmark card, the mistakes you make will actually strengthen your character as a whole and remind you why you make the choices you do.
So be your own best friend. Trust that chick or dude you see in the mirror. Love that person. She/he rocks. A LOT. Believe it. Repeat that mantra until you are blue in the face if you need to, and forgive, forgive, forgive.
And then start all over again, because every friendship has its ups and downs, and the beauty of compassion and understanding is the foundation of any lasting relationship. Forgive yourself, and befriend that awesome son of a gun.
Balance in a healthy lifestyle is important. Sometimes you need to change your state of mind, activity, or diet. Sometimes balance means a recalibration of what you thought was a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes you have to change your plan to suit your needs. Sometimes you have to do what’s right for you.
That’s just what author Jordan Younger did when she decided that her extreme, plant-based, vegan lifestyle just wasn’t working in favor of her health. Breaking Vegan is Jordan’s genuine, heartfelt story of how veganism and obsessive “healthy” dieting lead her to disordered eating, what it was like to experience a vicious backlash from the vegan community that had at one time embraced her, and how she ultimately found her way to recovery. Jordan shares her story, as well as a balanced, whole-foods-based eating plan (including recipes), to help inspire others to find similar balance in their own lives.
If you’re looking to make a healthy, sensible transition away from a strictly plant-based diet, let Breaking Vegan be your guide