Letting food consume you: Being careful how we talk about food

Everyday conversations about food usually involve negative phrases that we don't even think about using. As a baker, my personal pet peeve is any variation of, "I'm going to have to spend an extra thirty minutes on the treadmill after eating this." I want you to enjoy my baking, not feel guilty over it. I also don't want you to make me feel guilty for providing you with baked goods or for choosing not to spend an extra thirty minutes on the treadmill.


Can we talk about birthmarks?

I have a birthmark.

As the name suggests, it's always been there. This red mark between my lip and my left nostril, a permanent wound needing to be kissed. Apparently, when I was born, my mother thought it was cute. My aunt commented that I would surely hate it.

I don't, really. I often forget it's there.


How the Fuck-Off Fairy helped me fight fat-shaming

The Fuck-Off Fairy is a special kind of fairy. She shows up on the night of your 30th birthday, while you are sleeping, and waves a magic wand over you. The Fuck-Off Fairy teaches you to stand up for yourself and believe in your value. She gets that sometimes "fuck off" needs to be said politely and with a smile, but while delivering the message clearly. The Fuck-Off Fairy was sitting on my shoulder during my conversation with a particular personal trainer.


How do you compliment people while staying body-neutral?

I'm working hard to disassociate my happiness and self-esteem from my appearance completely: I don't want my mood to depend on how I look. The problem is, I really want to be able to affirm my friends and family in the way I want to be affirmed — in ways that recognize their inner awesomeness, and are completely disconnected from how they happen to look like on the outside that day. Usually I'm not stuck for words, but with this I'm stumped. How do you go about affirming people in ways that don't reference their physical appearance?