W magazine: From Waif to Woman

W magazine: From Waif to Woman

My new piece for W magazine has been a long time in the making. It’s a personal essay about getting bigger, stronger, and finally learning to like the body I live in. I started writing it three years ago, at the peak of my Functional Fitness-following, deadlift-hefting days. But then I got busy, and then I got pregnant. The strong body I’d built proved itself winningly, carrying me and my child comfortably through forty-two weeks of in utero life. But the article, like many other things, got sidelined.

W magazine asked me to revisit it recently for their “Strong Woman” March 2017 issue. Internally I laughed, because three years after bearing my baby, my fitness is a long way from where it was. Yet I also cheered. It was perfect timing: I was eager — desperate? — to rediscover that ease of inhabiting my vehicle, and the fire that had ignited my private sense of pride.

I can’t pretend the fire is roaring, yet. Having a pre-schooler plus work and marriage demands mean I have to take my triumphant return to physical domination at extreme baby steps. But to quote my trainer, “Slow your roll, sister.” When it comes to waking up a de-conditioned body, baby steps actually might be the wise way to go.

Here’s the piece.

From my archives: Wyoming Memoir for W magazine

From my archives: Wyoming Memoir for W magazine

I live in a little red cabin, far from sight, on a creek near a wall of mountains, in the top-left corner of Wyoming, down the road from Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. In summer, lightning walks across the peaks that loom over my rented property. On winter nights, if the plowman hasn’t come, I walk the quarter-mile driveway to my house with a military-grade flashlight, scanning ahead for massive bull moose.

The cabin has a creepy room filled with vintage ice picks and axes; its bare pine walls look like those of a sauna. Inside, I wear thick-soled work boots over my pj’s while I craft product copy for companies like Tom Ford Beauty and monitor the Amazon rankings of my book collaborations, such as the detox guide Clean. Though I’ve always resided mainly in cities, I have half stepped around frontier living for years. I’ve set up temporary camps in Montana (a ranch job), Arizona (meditation training), and New Mexico (a writing retreat). But inevitably I return to the sensible centers of New York or Los Angeles. I’ve always been too timid to really live at the edges.

Now, at 37, I’ve finally cut the cord. My home is Jackson Hole, a long, oval valley, prized for its remoteness. To read my memoir piece for W magazine, visit here

From my Archives: Chemical-free Beauty for W magazine

From my Archives: Chemical-free Beauty for W magazine

It’s not hard to have a false sense of security when it comes to the purity of your beauty products. You buy a botanical skin serum, book an aromatherapy facial, and imagine yourself a green, clean goddess. But meanwhile, you’ve got a vise grip on your high-gloss nail lacquer, you cherish your long-wearing eye shadow, and the thought of renouncing your colorist gives you the chills.

This head-in-the-sand state is understandable: Start reading about the dangers of formaldehyde in Brazilian blowouts or the lead levels in red lipstick and denial quickly sets in. Still, it’s time to acknowledge that we live in a complex terrain of chemical toxins. So why knowingly slather more of them onto your body? To read more of my piece about green beauty, visit here.