Los Angeles living is a mash-up of lattes, entertainment-everything, self-help, hikes, Bikram yoga, sushi, brunch, envy, creativity, name-drops, screenings, dog rescue and beauty obsession. Everyone runs around talking about the latest and greatest diet/workout/potion that will dissolve the extra seven pounds that are standing between them and huge Hollywood success.
A friend of mine came back from a Live Your Life in a More Extraordinary Way type seminar with a kicky new attitude and an assignment. She had to create some sort of project that focused on leadership and brought people together. The project she created was a “Bitches Brunch”. The term Bitches was not meant in the derogatory, unpleasant-to-be-around way. This was more of the empowered; take back the night type of bitch. My friend was super stoked about the idea of gathering a group of women together, on a monthly basis, who were on a quest to live an authentic life. Her goal was to create a space where we could all support and inspire one another. I was really looking forward to the brunch part.
I have a knee-jerk reaction to push away anything that requires a regular commitment. I prefer to wake up with no preconceived notion of what lies ahead, look at my iPhone calendar and go into a blind frenzy of confusion and panic. So having a mandatory lady-meeting every month was an obligation I was not sure I wanted to make, but I was willing to remain open.
These broads were not even playing; they came to the premiere Bitches Brunch with their most fully expressed womanly selves raring to go. They came through with: massage oils, spoken word poetry, tarot cards, a bongo, arm tickles, kundalini yoga instruction and, of course, their vaginas.
I was pretty certain this wasn’t going to be my cup-o-labia, that was until I took a look at the brunch spread. It was on point. The table was filled with homemade quiches, muffins, cheesecake, coffee cake, pancakes, berry compote, mimosas and more. I had successfully avoided being engulfed by meaningful female energy and made it to the grubbing portion of the brunch. With food now the focus, the conversation quickly turned from Marianne Williamson’s newest book to everyone’s latest diet fad.
These fads were nothing if not rangy. We went from herbal body wraps to a clay colon cleanse, from 14 daily servings baby food to eating a baked potato at 7pm every night, and so on. The girls were all exchanging diet notes whilst shoveling pumpkin cheesecake and popping bite sized quiches.
My very good friend Jenny was also attending this brunch. In all the years I’ve known her, she has been pretty much been the exact same size. I vaguely remember a time she was slightly underweight due to stress, but from where I stand, she’s looked exactly the same since college. I actually don’t think I’ve ever known another female whose weight has been so unflappably consistent. Jenny, who did not show up to the party with a collection of healing rocks or energy crystals, was genuinely trying to contribute when she turned to the table and simply said: “Eat Less, Move More.” The room went cold, icy cold. Forks dropped, mouths opened, gasps escaped and minds were rocked. A billion dollar industry could be taken down in those four words. Eat less, move more, dang she dropped some serious “T” on us. The kookiest thing about that sentence is that it’s the truth. Barring some sort of thyroid condition, if you want to maintain a healthy weight then those four little guys will do the trick. But it’s sooooooo hard to do. Everything from stress and upbringing to depression, habits and addictions all contribute to complicating an uncomplicated equation.
I like to imagine that abstract concepts like world peace and hope might factor into whether my jeans are going to fit or not. They probably don’t. To her credit, Jenny practices what she preaches. She eats, she drinks, she snacks, but she doesn’t overdo it. And if she does overdo it, she tacks on an extra ten minutes to her morning run. She’s not obsessed with weight or consumed by it, she just has a healthy and consistent relationship to it. Clearly, 14 servings of baby food later, easier said than done for the rest of us.
Not even the Power of Now could shake these gals from the weight of that little phrase. In an effort to recover the brunch, the host jumped up, threw some spiritual music on and declared it pedicure time. The women still speechless, painted the color onto their toes that they’d lost in their faces.
I tried one more stab at attending a Bitches Brunch but it just wasn’t my thang, although I did score an outstanding recipe for chocolate brioche French toast and a genuine appreciation for A Course in Miracles. And to this day, those four words have had an impact on me. I think I have a grip on the Eat Less part; it’s the Move More that’s a real bear of a concept. It’s a real, real bear.