This is a conversation with my friend Gina. I met Gina in college and it is so funny to hear her talk about her college experience and how much fun she had because I was thinking the whole time…wow…that sounds way different from the anxiety fest that I felt like I was having during those same years! Ha!
I want so say up front, in this episode we are discussing eating disorders, miscarriage, postpartum, anxiety and depression. I know any one of those topics may be triggering for some, so I want to make sure and call that out right away.
And also yes, that is a whole lot to cover in one conversation, but it is all part of Gina’s story – only a tiny piece of which I knew about before this conversation. When I reached out to Gina to see if she would be willing to share on the podcast, she said yes right away. In our conversation, I ask her why now, what made her want to get this out in the world now. And a lot of it boils down to being authentic, being real, showing up in the world as her whole self and embracing every part of what makes her who she is.
I get that – ultimately it is the very basis for this entire podcast. Showing up 100% as who we are, encouraging others to do the same and rooting each other on in the process. It takes some deep breathing and courage you guys…even when you are ready, sharing your story is hard and vulnerable and makes your knees wobble and that is why I’m always so grateful to everyone who shows up here and why I talk about fear a lot – to normalize it…so people realize that is part of the process. Everyone is just winging the shit out of life.
Gina and I talk about how easy to get caught up in the image of perfection, whether it is creating that image for ourselves or buying into someone else’s portrayal of it . We talk about – the false idea and expectation of having it altogether; it is something I call out about myself regularly because it is my default, working towards the appearance of being super collected and having it all together all of the time. I have to remind myself that it is not something to strive for. I am in a constant state of becoming and unbecoming and embracing this has become everything. Gina says vulnerability is her superpower – I love that. You’ll miss your whole life attempting to have it altogether and assuming everyone else around you does.
I couldn’t really get through this without paying a little homage to our bodies. Body issues are not the whole story here and I don’t want to give too much away about Gina’s story because it is really something that comes full circle – something she’s worked through since her teen years, originally presenting as an eating disorder. But, man…our bodies…I heard something once…I think it was in a meditation, that your body is the very tool that allows you to experience this world and it kind of stopped me in my tracks thinking about how much energy I’d invested in hating it, changing it, generally beating the shit out of it in a myriad of ways rather than look at what it has allowed me to do and see and feel. I’m definitely a work in progress in this area, so I can’t say that I have answers. The messaging in our world perpetuates the scrutiny of our bodies as does, the momentum in our society, the status quo, if you will, would have us continue shunning these vessels that allow us to experience the world. It is sad that the act of loving our bodies exactly as they are is kind of a rebellious, courageous act – but it is. May we all find a little more rebel in us.
And like I said, this all comes full circle for Gina and we talk about how this has affected her along various stages of her life, affected how she parents – both her daughter and her sons – and how she manages things now that she is fully aware of what’s happening.
Find Gina on Instagram: @gmrstyleshare
Enjoy the episode.