A little love note from The Studio (MDR)’s owner and CEO, Lisa Hirsch …
I read healthy-living blogs, websites, and magazines all the time, and I’m almost always left feeling inspired. Yesterday, I read something that downright pissed me off.
A couple weeks ago, The Blonde Vegan (a.k.a. diet blogger Jordan Younger) came out of the “vegan” closet and admitted that she was no longer going to forgo all dairy products. The reason? She was diagnosed with orthorexia, an eating disorder that causes a total obsession with eating healthy. Now, before you think I’m crazy, this wasn’t what made me irate. In fact, I think it’s amazing and mature and totally incredible that this woman in her 20s came to this realization that often takes women much longer to figure out.
Younger explained why she decided to ditch the vegan lifestyle in one recent post: “I started living in a bubble of restriction,” she wrote. “Entirely vegan, entirely plant-based, entirely gluten-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, flour-free, dressing/sauce-free, etc. and lived my life based off of when I could and could not eat and what I could and could not combine. There is nothing wrong with any of those things (many of them are great, actually!!) but my body didn’t feel GOOD & I wasn’t listening to it.”
Incredible, admirable stuff, right?
Well, along with the thousands of e-mails and comments packed with praise, Younger also received a sizeable number of critiques about her choice. She heard things like, “You were never vegan!!!” and “You aren’t even blonde!!!” She also got mail with downright ridiculous comments, such as “No wonder you’re so ugly!” and “Now you’re just boring.” But the worst—and the part that made me madder than I’ve been in a while—was the news that Younger had even received death threats for her decision.
Why am I so riled up about this? Because making a big decision that involves change is hard. Really hard. I think all of us can relate to this. And while we should all remain open to criticism and even critique ourselves in the midst of big transformations, there’s a certain level of respect and kindness that should come along with that feedback.
At The Studio (MDR), we’re about to embark on yet another change: The expansion into a new studio—The Studio (MDR) East—on the edge of Culver City. It’s an amazing time of growth and newness and transformation, and of course I’m looking for all of you to give me your honest feedback on our new studio. I’ll also be looking at every last detail with a perfectionist’s eye. But I’m also going to take a lesson from the crazy backlash that The Blonde Vegan has experienced over these last few weeks and be a bit more gentle with the feedback I give myself during this major period of change. And I’m hoping you do the same in your own processes of transformation.
Whether you’re cleaning up your diet, trying to drop a few extra pounds, or aiming to put on some muscle, I hope you’re able to find a way to be constructively critical with yourself. Whatever your personal goals and no matter how fast (or slow) it’s taking you to reach them, give yourself a little pat on the back for going after your dreams and doing what feels right for you. Haters are always going to hate, right? The more time I spend on this Earth, the more I’m able to realize that it’s our job to make sure those negative voices don’t creep into our own internal monologues. And all I can say is let’s keep our heads up, hearts open and smiles strong!