How I love my body. Stretch Marks and All.

(I'm wearing a swimsuit bottom, not underwear, just so you know.)

(I’m wearing a swimsuit bottom, not underwear, just so you know.)

Today I’d like to share something very personal and very important to me.

I’d like to share my insecurities.

I believe that in order to have whole health, you need to nourish all aspects of your life and body. You need to eat right as well as have a strong,  happy mindset, exercise and have a good body image, among other things.

The one I have spent my whole life struggling with the most (and I believe most women in America have as well) is having a good body image.

The way the female body is portrayed in the media is as a perfectly fit, ‘healthy’, skinny little rail. I put healthy in quotation marks, because we are led to believe one must be skinny to be healthy. Which is not the case at all. I have a bigger body naturally, I am slightly ‘overweight’, but even at my thinnest, I was still considered large according to BMI charts. So if I were a celebrity, the magazines would all read how unhealthy and fat I am, and how I’ve let myself go. When, in actuality, I am quite healthy and very happy with who and how I am.

I have only recently come to accept my body.

I struggled from a very young age with feeling fat, ugly, unfit and manly. I thought in order to be beautiful I had to be 105 pounds with perfect boobs, a tiny waist, a tight butt and sunken cheeks. I even went through a phase where I would try to suck in my cheeks constantly so my face looked thinner. All my friends were on the small side and were proportioned nicely. I am well above average for height in a woman, as I am 5′ 8.5” and have been since I was 15 or 16. I have very broad shoulders. I’m currently 179 pounds. I haven’t been under 155 in probably 6 years. I have a chubby face with puffy cheeks and the thing I’ve always hated the most about myself- my love handles. They have always been on the large side and its the first place I gain weight.

I always wore to big clothes, men’s clothes or distracting clothes. I went through a phase where I wore dark, black make-up all the time and wildly colorful, bizarre clothing in order to draw attention away from my body. (I still like wildly bizarre clothing, but because I think its fun, not because I want to hide). I was depressed a lot as a younger teenager for this reason.

Alright, so I told you this post was how I love my body. And it is. I just wanted you to get an idea of how much I hated my body.

Since I’ve switched over to eating healthy and avoiding processed foods, I’ve started to feel so much better, in terms of happiness and better moods.

But I’m still on the bigger side.

2kqxtyzfsco23vdnkbkum5szybhj5q58

I still have stretch marks and a flabby post-baby belly, I still have broad shoulders, I still have chubby cheeks, I still have thighs that rub together when I walk, I still have a jiggly, flat butt, I still have my way to big, way to saggy boobs.

So what’s changed?

My mindset. My happiness level. My worldviews.

I realized that No matter what I do, I’m not going to be exactly like Angelina Jolie (not that I’d want to anyways =P). I’m just not. Its not me. I’m me. I look like me, my body is my body.

It may sound tacky, but I say affirmations to myself in the mirror everyday. I find something about my body I love (for instance, I love my super blue eyes) and tell myself that’s awesome. I’m vain. I push myself to be vain. I spend a few minutes each day telling myself how awesome I am.

It might go something like this, “Your eyes are awesome. You have a nice butt in those pants. You labored un-medicated for 51 hours and pushed out a beautiful baby, your stronger then most men and you have all those stretch marks to prove it. Be proud! Your hair looks nice today, you don’t use any chemicals and you still look hot!”

Try it! Its strange at first (I already talk to myself all the time, so hey, why not talk nicely to myself) but it really does help.

I also try very hard to never say negative things about myself. I don’t like to walk around and say how fat I am or how ugly I am. I try to always remain positive. (Harder then it sounds, but it works).

I think all women should be happier with the way their bodies are. The world would be a better, happier place. There wouldn’t be as many eating disorders or young girls feeling bad about themselves as young as 4 or 5.

My goal is to never let my daughter (or future daughters and sons) hear me complain about myself. And to help them love themselves from early on.

What do you do to remind yourself that your beautiful? If the answer is nothing, then start! Tell yourself everyday that you are beautiful. Tell others they are beautiful and keep positive all the time. Changing your opinion of beauty and your opinion of yourself will make you feel beautiful. And that is what beauty is all about.

Have a body loving day!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

This post was shared on Party Wave Wednesday!

Henna for Hair (Part 1)

035

Mmmm, mmm, mmm. Wouldn’t you just love a big, warm, gloppy bowl of that smeared right on your head??

I know I sure would!

And within five business days from this morning, I will!! I just ordered my pure henna to dye my hair from Mehandi.

Henna

Scientific name- Lawsonia inermis

Henna, for those of you that don’t know, is a plant.

This plant, to be exact-

When dried, ground up into powder form and mixed with an acidic liquid (like lemon juice) it becomes an amazing tool to color, beautify, grow and fix/heal you hair.

Henna has been used on hair for centuries. Back in the early 1800’s, having your hair ‘hennaed’ was considered exotic and desirable. People, men and women alike, would henna their hair for the health benefits. Once their hair was hennaed, it was beautiful, silk soft and shiny. It would also become red, but that just created the exotic look.

Now a days, henna is not main stream (why? Most likely because it’s time consuming, and we live in a fast paced, no time for time world) so its not. Most people either know it makes temporary tattoos/body art (because its also traditionally used to create beautiful body art) or nothing about it.

Let’s look a little bit about what it does for hair-

  • Strengthens hair
  • Eliminates ringworm
  • Eliminates lice
  • Reduces dandruff
  • Its totally natural
  • Works as an awesome conditioner
  • Helps your hair grow longer by creating a healthy scalp
  • A powerful natural cleanser

So you can dye your hair and instead of killing it the way mainstream dyes do, you can actually make it healthier by dying it! It creates one of the most beautiful shades of red of any hair color. Also, unlike other dyes, it won’t fade out. Ever. My sister hennaed her hair months ago, and guess what, its still red. Her roots have grown out, and obviously they wouldn’t be red, but the rest of her hair is. Henna actually binds with the hairs natural keratin. Making it part of your hair, not a layer on the outside of hair or just sitting under the outer layer.

Its really amazing.

However, there are tons of ‘henna hair dyes’ that are filled with chemicals as well. Its very hard to find, pure, additive free henna. They often mix henna with other things to create a different color then red. On the website I used, they have pure henna for hair. They also have kits for other colors with other natural dyes such as indigo and walnut. But I personally think henna itself is super pretty, and henna has all the natural healing powers anyways.

So in a few days when mine comes and I use it, I will show you how I did mine and what the result is!!

Have a wonderful summer solstice!!

Like what you read? Follow me on Facebook!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Shared on LHITS DIY Linky!

Just naturally whitening my teeth….

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but I’m getting married in September.  And all brides want  whiter teeth for all those pictures, right?

And my teeth aren’t very white….

However, here is a list of ingredients in popular whitening strips:

Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Pyrophosphate, Sodium Saccharin, Sodium Hydroxide, Acrylates Copolymer, PEG, Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), Carbomer, Hydrogen Peroxide, Glycerin, Water.

(source)

Do you really want all that in your mouth? Leeching into your blood stream??

If you answered no, like I did, you’ll love this post.

As I was searching for natural whiteners, I read a lot about activated charcoal. Its supposed to whiten teeth, as well as be good for your health.

Here’s the list of ingredients:

Activated charcoal

Sounds better don’t it? Its chemical free, and one ingredient.

Then I saw Healthy Roots, Happy Soul doing it, and I knew it must work.

So how do you do it??

 First off, get yourself some activated charcoal here.

Next, get a toothbrush, dip it in the charcoal and brush gently onto your teeth until they are all evenly covered with charcoal.

Like so:

Arrrghhh. I totally felt like a pirate..

Arrrghhh. I totally felt like a pirate..

Sexy, ain’t it??

Let it rest on your teeth (or you can swish it around, or pretty much anything as long as its in your mouth and on your teeth) for 3-5 minutes.

Then rinse.

The result are immediate.

Here’s my teeth before and after 1 use:

7uk7kph26awjq0mfrfiiwh8klprw6xo1

There a full shade whiter. I can’t wait to see how much whiter they get after I continue to use it!

Also, don’t worry if you swallowed some of it, activated charcoal actually has a plethora of uses and health benefits!!

So get whitening!!

Like what you read?

Follow me on Facebook!

~Courtney,  The Crunchy Delinquent

This post was featured on Natural Living Monday’s!

Shared on Natural Living Monday, Weekend Whatever Link-up!

Officially No-poo!!

I’m so excited!! I finally started my no-poo shower routine =)

[If your like my fiance and think that I mean I’ve giving up pooping, it actually means not using any shampoo =)]

Instead of using ‘traditional’ shampoos and conditioners, I will be using baking soda and vinegar. My reasoning for this is that shampoos cost 4 or 5 bucks a bottle. Essentially, your paying for health hazards and t0 kill your hairs natural beauty. We use chemical filled shampoos pretty much from the time we’re born, so your hair never really has a chance to be naturally beautiful.

So how do you go no-poo?

I take two cups into the shower with me. 1 has about a tablespoon of baking soda and the other has about 2 tablespoons of vinegar.

I first take the baking soda and add shower water to the cup and mix it with my fingers. Then I pour it over my hairs roots and massage it into my scalp.

Then I add some water to the vinegar (I’m using white for now but will switch over to apple cider vinegar once I get more). I pour the vinegar over the ends of my hair and mush my hair around to get it covered and rinse it off.

While your hair is getting used to being cleaned naturally, there’s generally a transitional period of time where your hair will be more oily. This could take anywhere from a couple days to months. Since I just started I don’t know how long it will take for me, but I keep my hair up all the time anyways, so it doesn’t bother me.

This is my hair before, all chemical shampoos and conditioners. Excited to look for change and natural beauty!!

This is my hair before, all chemical shampoos and conditioners. Excited to look for change and natural beauty!!

I’ll update it as I go along and tell  you any differences I notice in my hair =)

So far, after my first wash, my hair feels the same as usual just is slightly more greasy then usual, but not much.

Can’t wait to keep going and documenting my progress! The more natural I go the better I feel about myself, inside and out. I feel physically better and emotionally better, then before. I’m still not as chemical free as I’d like to be yet, but I’m getting there and noticing a difference already. I definitely believe chemicals mess with your body in such ways that your mind and body become off balance with one another. Which can have some pretty devastating effects on ones self.

jhghjb

Coconut Oil For Beauty

dicuia9qyasahbkz4jvow9clyb4onnox      My 2 month old daughter gets awful cradle cap. I’ll have it cleaned up and it will be gone for a few days then magically overnight she have a sudden collection of it on her little head. The general treatment is get some baby oil, put it on their scalp and comb it out. I hate combing it out. The comb is plastic and seems to irritate her scalp no matter how lightly I comb and then there is dead skin in the comb and she’s crying because I’m combing and it makes her mad…. You get the idea, its a pain. So I use coconut oil for everything. Seriously, for EVERYTHING. So I thought, why not use it for her cradle cap? So I pull the jug out of the closet, scrape some out and start rubbing it into her hair. I go get the comb but when I go to comb out all the dead skin, its gone. Just gone. The coconut oil disintegrated it. I have been using it on her every few days ever since. In the 4 weeks since I’ve started using it on her scalp, her skin has gotten less dry, her hair is always soft and shiny (it is obviously always close to that since its baby hair, but its even more so now), her hair has started growing more, her scalp looks healthier and even when her cradle cap attacks again, its not as bad.

      When she has diaper rash I rub a little oil on her sore bum and it clears up within a few minutes (if its more severe diaper rash it may take a day or two to clear up). When she gets out of the bath tub I use it as a baby lotion to re-soften her skin. If she scratches herself with those crazy baby fingernails that grow in 5 seconds, I rub a little on to clear it up faster. When I shave my legs I use it as moisturizer. When I wash my hair I use it as conditioner. When my lips are dry and cracked I rub some on. I could continue this paragraph for ever. Its so awesome and used for everything.

Health benefits:

So now that I’ve listed a few of the wonderful uses for coconut oil, your probably wondering why its so ‘crunchy’ and good for you. Look at the back of your lotion bottle real quick. Count how many ingredients are in there. Now count how many of those ingredients you can’t pronounce. There’s only one ingredient in coconut oil- coconut oil. Have you ever thought about what your rubbing onto your skin? It absorbs into your skin and you more then likely don’t know what it is or where it comes from. In fact it can be more dangerous for you too rub some of them onto your skin as it is to eat them.  Just one example of a common ingredient in lotion, and a description of it:

  • Glyceryl Oleate- Toxic to humans, including carcinogenic, reproductive and developmentally toxic, neurotoxic, and acute toxicity. It is also an environmental toxin. Toxic to aquatic animals. (SOURCE)

That’s just one of the ingredients. Just one. There’s about 50 in your lotion.

In your lib balm, there is often alcohol, menthol, camphor and phenol. Did you know that all of those actually dry your lips out? Therefore increasing your need for lip balm. What does that mean for lip balm companies? More money. Swap out your lip balm for come coconut oil, or even homemade lip balm (I’ll share a recipe for this at a later date).

Coconut oil has been shown to reduce your chance of certain cancers, soothe aching muscles, restore skins natural elasticity, help with weight loss and helps your hair grow. It can also help with digestion, heart disease, stress relief and HIV (seriously, it does).

So toxins vs any of those listed above? I personally would pick the coconut oil.

So, if you haven’t discovered coconut oil yet, GET SOME! Its the most amazing thing I think I have ever owned. Our household will never be without a big ‘ole gallon jug of organic expeller pressed coconut oil. You can find some here. You can also look at your local natural foods store, I get mine at a bulk natural foods store owned by a local family.

Also, you can read this book- The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife for even more information, testimonials and information about coconut oil. (also was used as a source for some of my info.)

This post is linked to Party Wave Wednesday at HolisticSquid.com!