The Birth and Evolution of Straight to the Butze
Since I first came up with the idea for Straight to the Butze in 2015, my vision has evolved quite a bit. At first, it was solely an Instagram account. I made the account at the beginning of my reintroduction to working out and what I thought was a healthy lifestyle. I wanted to post pictures of the food I ate, creating the slogan, “Eating healthy and working out to prevent food from going Straight to the Butze.” Little did I know how much of a bad influence that slogan would end up being for me, and potentially for anyone else who looked at the account.
The account was very specifically curated. Most of the pictures were of healthy dishes and workouts, a few exceptions here and there if I thought something was noteworthy. Basically, your average teenager’s food account. However, what nobody could see behind the picture of delicious food surrounded by smiling faces, early morning workouts, or “joking” captions was the amount of spite and self-criticism I felt towards myself in those moments. One of my first pictures was a shot of a dish called The Plow from the famous brunch spot in San Francisco. Two lemon ricotta pancakes, fried potatoes, sausage, scrambled eggs, and a good portion of maple syrup. Sounds delicious, right? All I remember is scarfing it down because I hadn’t allowed myself to eat something like that in so long. I don’t remember how it tasted, only how full and disappointed in myself I was afterwards. I remember feeling hatred towards myself for not being able to control how much I ate, for not ordering a salad, for allowing myself to go to the restaurant in the first place. I worked out extra the next morning, forcing myself to work it off. That was one of the first times my guilt led me to punish myself with extra gym time.
Up until then, I had actually been enjoying getting back into the swing of working out. I would exercise 30-40 minutes 5 or 6 days a week, doing a variety of things, no particular plan. It was really fun and it allowed me to figure out what exercise I enjoyed and kept me motivated. The routines were always changing! I would look towards websites, apps, books—anything I could to find a fun, fast-paced workout. Then, that slowly evolved to me making strict regimens of how much I had to run a week, lift a week, rest a week. Everything became specific as I began working towards looks and what I thought would gain respect and away from enjoyment and health.
When I began working with a nutritionist seven months later, addressing the unhealthy patterns I was facing, I decided Straight to the Butze needed to change as well. While the curated pictures had not changed, the message needed to. No longer was I preaching the prevention of food going towards my bottom, but moderation. “Eating food in moderation because we can’t always restrict what wants to go Straight to the Butze.”
Almost a year later, the idea for my site was born. I’ve always loved social media influencers who speak of body positivity and balanced living. I know how much they have helped me and continue to help me on tougher days. They inspire me to love myself and be proud of all I have accomplished (check out some of my favorites here). When I thought about how much they give, I realized I wanted to give back. I wanted Straight to the Butze to be more than just a food page on Instagram. I wanted to chronicle my story authentically, because it isn’t something society talks enough about, especially young women in college, high school and girls in middle school—people who are hit the most by social media and advertising. I am so happy the conversation is beginning to take off, but I wanted to be one more voice so people could see how, while no story is the same, there may be components with which they resonate. This is when I started writing, taking a break from my Instagram so I could focus on the new messages I planned to spread. Since then, I have been working on my site, what its ultimate purpose is, trying to figure out exactly how to say what I want to say. Authenticity will always be at the forefront of this site, just as it is at the forefront of who I am (even when authentic is the most difficult thing to be).
A few months ago, I thought about my motto once more. Moderation doesn’t encapsulate what I believe in anymore. Moderation is defined as “the avoidance of excess or extremes.” What exactly is moderation? How can anyone know if that is eating three bananas or one? What if one night I eat too much ice cream? Should I be mad at myself for not eating it in moderation? We all do that—we are human! Imperfect is our middle name (see—authentic. I try to be funny and kinda fail at it). Moderation in my mind implies rules, set by some higher power.
So then I began thinking about what is the best way to describe what I wanted to convey on this website. What word encapsulates the individuality of hunger and cravings? Then I thought of the word balance and how balance has become such a popular word in the health and wellness world recently, especially when in relation to individuality.
Balance: “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.”
Balance: “Stability of one’s mind or feelings.”
Unlike moderation, balance pertained to the individual (the “someone”) and about what they need to be okay. Balance took into account emotions, how an individual can have a rocky relationship with food and hunger, and what instead they need to feel content. “A life of balance, because sometimes we crave what goes Straight to the Butze.” No longer about restriction, no longer about rules, but instead about what the individual craves and how it is okay to listen to that craving!
So while I am so happy and proud of where Straight to the Butze is today, I will not say it is complete. My story and all of our stories are ever-changing and this website will hopefully show a journey, not a singular ending.
Have you ever adjusted your POV on health and wellness? How has the recent movement towards balance impacted you?