March 30, 2016
Who: Kelsey Miller–– Writer, Radical, Role Model
Why She’s Foxy: From self-loathing to self-loving, this former aspiring actress and assistant to Sofia Coppola turned Senior Features Writer at Refinery 29 is turning the diet world on it's head with her body positive book called Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting And Got A Life.
On Growing Up: "I grew up in a very suburban area in Westchester and attended a private school from kindergarten through seventh grade. I was a theater kid from birth and went to I went to a musical theater high school. I wanted to do everything from Angels In America to Les Miz. But I was a chubby eighteen year old which pigeon holed me. I was constantly ashamed of my body. I wanted to kiss the boy or sing the act one ballad, but I kept getting cast as lady cops and grandmothers. One time, my director ran onto the stage and said, 'You’re never going to be Juliet, honey.'"
On Work: "I was an assistant to Zoe Cassavetes and Sophia Coppola, shipping things to Paris and managing fan mail. Eventually, I just realized that working on sets wasn’t for me; I didn’t want to start my day at 4AM and end at 2PM. So I took another gig working for a business manager, which gave me a steady paycheck and insurance. I worked as an assistant for many different clients, and some pretty crazy things happened. One time, I was working with a young starlet, and she gave me all of her receipts in a patent leather shoebox. When I opened it, there was a used dildo in it."
On Dating: "I was really late to the party. I started dating when I was 26. I hid in my apartment waiting to get skinny, because I felt like if I wasn’t skinny and cute, I couldn’t date. I hadn’t been thin since I was a child. I have a boyfriend now, and we just moved in together. We’ve been together for three and a half years and it’s going really well. He was my first relationship. You can love someone else before you love yourself, but it's really uncomfortable for both of you. If you don’t love yourself, it’s terrible being physically and emotionally intimate with someone who loves your body, because you don’t think it’s good enough."
On Dieting: "I went through some difficult with family and abuse as a kid, and I really saw my body as the cause of it. Dieting seemed like the way out. I started when I was eight. Then, when I was eleven, I was a talent agency was interested in me, but wanted me to lose ten pounds. I lost thirty. I just ate cucumbers and carnation instant breakfast and cannon yogurt. And then I chased the dragon for twenty years. I did Weight Watchers, Eat Right For Your Type, Jenny Craig, Atkins, and Calorie King. Then I hit bottom. I was on a press trip for Refinery29 and I was doing a warrior workout in the woods. Exercise can be cathartic. I had an epiphany attack. I physically could not keep going. I had run out of the ability to hate myself and continue dieting. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I knew I needed to find my way out of the woods. I had heard of intuitive eating and meditation and wanted to make peace with food. So I got an intuitive eating coach. I learned diet deprogramming and how to honor your hunger and fullness and get back in touch with those instincts. We’ve learned these food rules from the beginning that tell us, 'If I eat the good food, then I am good.' I had to learn how to neutralize food. I did a specific kind of food journaling where any time I ate something, I would write about my level of hunger and desire for the food. Then I would write out my judgement about the food. If it felt like a bad food, I’d write it down. I had to be mindful and think, 'Do I feel guilty? Satisfied? Hungry?' This helped me turn food back into food. You have to give yourself permission to eat."
On Body Image: "My relationship with my body is evolving in a good way. I used to use clothes to hide and obscure myself. I hated anything that made me stand out in any way. I would shop for beauty products instead of clothing because it just made me uncomfortable. I’m currently a size 16. I stopped weighing myself initially because the scale was a giant trigger. I would lose a little weight. then I'd get all excited and start actively trying to lose weight. That's when I'd gain it back. Then I would have to come back and focus on intuitive eating and radical body acceptance. When I started writing my book, I gained weight because I was chained to my computer all day for a year and a half. I had to talk to myself and figure out how to shed my book baby weight, which had been my biggest challenge. I had to accept my body even though I didn’t like it and I wasn’t comfortable in it. That’s when my body started to normalize again."
Fave Love Movie: "Love Story or Romeo and Juliet from 1996."
Fave Love Book: "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn."
Fave Love Song: "Sara by Bob Dylan."
Dream Wedding: "Marie Antoinette’s wedding to Mick Jagger. I'd wear a swingy, thousand layer dress, and I’d take my best friend, Chrissy as my date. We'd spend the after party swimming and drinking."