Fun surprise today for you guys: we are talking with Jordan Younger who’s the blogger behind The Balanced Blonde. Recently Jordan wrote the book Breaking Vegan which is all about her personal story of struggling with orthorexia. Last weekend I read the book & I really couldn’t put it down. It’s raw & real in every way. Plus Jordan has a very geninue energy ( example: we worked on a project in Seattle together & I was so, so swollen from jaw surgery. Jordan was SO comforting. She made me feel really comfortable at a time when I felt like shit ).
Basically she’s amazing.
Anyway, we ALSO want to give away a TSC X TBB Wellness Package: a signed copy of Breaking Vegan, a TBV tee of the winner’s choice, a signed copy of TSC Book, & The Skinny Confidential Bombshell Body Guide membership. & we’re giving this package away to THREE LUCKY LADIES.
All you have to do is comment below on why you HAVE to win! Extra credit is to regram a pic from this post & tag us with the hashtag #TSCTBBGiveaway.
Okkkk let’s get to know Jordan better:
| Re-introduce yourself. |
Jordan Younger: Hi TSC babes! My name is Jordan Younger and I write the health and lifestyle blog The Balanced Blonde. I live in Los Angeles and when I’m not blogging or working on my clothing line TBV Apparel, you can find me on the yoga mat, on a run through Brentwood, or snuggling with my perfect little kitten baby Hudson.
I love Lauryn’s blog & it’s one of the few that I read religiously, so this is an exciting day for me. Hope you guys love what we have to say.
| YOUR BOOK! I loved it. Tell us all about the process, start to finish. |
JY: Thank you! I know you are an avid reader, like me, so that means the WORLD! I feel so lucky to have gotten the opportunity to write my story and share it so publicly… And so “written in stone,” if you will, on paper and off of the Internet!
I work with an incredible literary agent, my girl Sarah, who was super helpful with the book proposal process over a year and a half ago. Sarah and I both knew I had a story to tell about “breaking veganism,” but the question was… How to tell it?
I pretty much decided that writing my story in memoir form would be best, because there was so much to explain about my background with food, my lifelong stomach problems, my tendencies toward extremes, some issues going on in my family that lead me to turn to food/cleansing as a form of control and restriction, and so on. Basically, I put it all on the table.
The process of writing the book itself was deeply cathartic, therapeutic, emotional, and at times— downright HARD. Some days I had to force myself to write, and other days the words flowed so naturally it was like the story was writing itself. All in all, I was thrilled to finish it and share it with the world.
And as you know from writing a book, the editing process is intense as shit! So that was intensive. I was also lucky to work with one of my BFFs and business partners to take the photos for the book ( he’s the best photog ever ), and that was an incredibly fun part of the process as well.
| I felt your story as I read the book. It seemed like you experienced a lot of pain. How did you turn lemons into lemonade? |
JY: You’re right, a lot of things that I went through during that time period were super painful. Living in such a bubble of restriction caused a lot of anxiety, depression and isolation. I was semi-oblivious to it while I was going through it, because it was pretty much just the norm to me at that point. But when I started realizing what I was putting myself through I came to learn that our lives are meant to be so much happier and enjoyable than the way I was trying to live. *Ahem* trying to be the healthiest person on the planet…
As far as turning those lemons into lemonade— I am very grateful for my journey. It’s made me who I am today. It has made me a more compassionate person, and it’s awakened a side of me that is deeply and profoundly passionate about helping others learn to live a more balanced life. My journey also gave me the opportunity to do a lot of soul-searching and ask myself: HOW can I be happiest, every single damn day? And eventually, if you reflect on that question enough, you start to live a pretty darn happy life. It’s been very fulfilling to get to that point.
| Recommendations to readers who are feeling unbalanced? |
JY: Listen to your body! Learn to trust your body! Trust is absolutely huge. Once we learn to trust our bodies, we can listen to them and nourish them properly. And if we trust what we are feeling, then we are more likely to be true to ourselves in all areas of our lives— in our relationships and interactions, our work life, our exercise and passions, and more. And as far as body image goes: see yourself from someone else’s eyes. Drop the judgement. Fall in love with yourself. Pick a mantra. Remember that one little “mistake” in your eyes won’t knock down all the progress you’ve made. Be KIND to yourself as you would be to a friend.
| What do you want people to get out of your book? |
JY: Above all, I hope it inspires others to keep their own extreme personality traits in check. I know that people with orthorexia and other eating disorder histories will be able to relate, but beyond the eating disorder community, I want the book to serve as a reminder to those all-or-nothing, extreme, uber perfectionist individuals to be kinder to ourselves and more tolerant with our choices. It’s not about being perfect— it’s about being real. Being happy, sane, and balanced.
That type of inspiration & encouragement is what I hope to bring to people who read this book.
|What makes your journey and book unique? |
JY: Ah, it’s definitely a unique book. And I’m not just saying that because the story is my own. I mean it because A) I was going through the healing process WHILE I wrote this book, which gives the story a unique perspective. I am actually different today than I was while I wrote it, and while I was writing it I was different than the girl I was writing about, who was suffering so intensely. It’s very cool to watch myself evolve in the process. B) I have been slammed, hardcore, by certain members of the ethical vegan community for writing this book. I have been told everything from “You’re fat now that you’re not vegan” to “You don’t deserve to live” to “You’re the stupidest dumb bitch on the planet” and I hear it all on a daily basis.
For anyone ELSE who has to go through that type of bullying and negativity, I hope this book serves as a reminder that you’re not alone– there will always be haters, and all that means is that you’ve made it.
| What do you suggest to other bloggers who are interested in a book deal? |
JY: Find a great literary agent who has gotten other books in your genre published. They will teach you the ways of book proposals, approaching publishing companies, and they will make sure you get the best deal and don’t get screwed. Also, just believe in what you’re doing.
If you are confident and passionate about your subject, chances are agents and publishers ( & eventually readers!! ) will be too. Don’t be afraid to ask other people questions who have done the types of things you want to do. You’d be surprised at how helpful others in the space can be! Most people will be very supportive of your endeavors— just believe in yourself.
| What is your life like today and how has it evolved since your struggle with orthorexia? |
JY: Oh man, my life has changed so much. I no longer wake up with that horrible dread of “What the hell will I eat / not eat today?” and “How on earth can I find happiness / balance again?” I am an overall happier and healthier person because there is so much more variety in my life. Not just with food. I’ve let people back in again whereas at my lowest point, I was pushing those closest to me away. I have way more FUN because I’m not so concerned about going to bed so early to exercise/drink a juice or smoothie for breakfast and I’m not fatigued from restricting my calorie intake. My body is grateful for the changes I’ve made, and that crippling anxiety is a thing of the past. Life is GOOD and I want to share that feeling with as many people as possible!
+ check out Jordan’s book here.