Liese Rodger Wants You To Love Yourself

Be nice. Give yourself a hug. Eat your weight in pasta.

My name is Liese Rodger. Liese is pronounced like “Lisa.” It’s a German spelling—no, I am not German. I am a 30–something millennial who tried the middle part and decided I better stick with side parts and skinny jeans. As Cody Rigsby on Peloton says, “I’m not giving up my skinny jeans! My ass looks good in them! I worked very hard for that ass!” I promise you I will never wear a pair of flared jeans for the rest of my life. I did it in the 8th grade and that was the only time it worked because my generation copied everything Britney Spears did (#FreeBritney). I like my skinny jeans and own a Peloton that I talk about incessantly—I am clearly accepting and embracing my 30s!

I love food and also have very controversial opinions about food. But there are certain foods I hate (coconut, mayo, fry sauce) that I will just flat out lie and say I am allergic to. Why? Because no one accepts where I stand on gross food and everyone swears their version of whatever they are trying to feed me will change my mind. Listen people, I know what I hate. No amount of sugar or french fries is going to change my mind! I am always willing to debate any and all positions concerning food, and I promise to respect your opinions if you promise to respect mine.

Probably the most important thing you should know about me is that I am short. Most of you could rest your elbows on my head. Why is this important? Because if you see me in real life, you will have assumed that I was much taller because for some reason that’s the first thing people say to me when they meet me. I don’t get it, but let’s just get that out of the way now. Maybe it’s my personality? Do loud and attention–seeking people (ME) appear to be taller than they are? That doesn’t quite add up because not all tall people are loud and attention–seeking. If you can find the science behind why everyone thinks I am taller than I appear online, I would appreciate it. 

Not as important, but probably something to note since it is coming up: if you don’t tell me “Happy Birthday” on my birthday (May 29th), I will remember.

I am really into “kitchen” TikTok lately. Not the lady who says “mashed potatoes shouldn’t have lumps” (to which I disagree. Hello lady, I am not eating baby food) kind of vibe, but all the ones where they blow my mind on how I’ve been doing things wrong all along. 

For example, why have I been cutting a bell pepper from the top and trying to use my paring knife to cut out the flesh and seeds WHEN THERE WAS AN EASIER WAY THIS ENTIRE TIME?!

Like most people, I flip my grilled cheese sandwiches or pancakes using the spatula and cross my fingers it doesn't fall apart when I turn it over in mid-air. Well, now I feel like an idiot.

My idea of a kitchen hack was owning a Pampered Chef gadget, but I am willing to swallow my pride if that means making life easier in the kitchen. I am begging you to send me all of your favorite kitchen hacks. 

I am someone who loves fitness, but often struggles with balancing my desire to taste so many flavors no matter the calorie amount with eating “cleaner” foods that would help me achieve my fitness goals. However, I recently listened to a podcast that shifted my perspective on my relationship with food. On Shena Tubbs’ Black Girls Heal Podcast, Dr. Ebony was a guest who discussed the need to reflect on our values in relation to what we eat:

“Values are those things that are important to you. And if we sit down and really do some values work, we’ll really see that a lot of times what we are striving for is out of alignment with our own values. So when you find that you look at your body and you’re like, “Ugh, my body is disgusting and it repulses me”, how does that align with any of your values? Many times we are talking about reaching an ideal standard that has nothing to do with health. And sometimes people believe that a skinnier body equates to health and that’s not the same. When we bring our values into play, we can reconcile and maybe begin to adopt this idea that, “Hey, I’m getting more energy. My body is not shrinking. And that’s still okay with me.” But if the only goal we are looking at is for a body to shrink, then we may find ourselves in some frustrating places and find ourselves upset at our bodies and not giving our bodies credit for the work that it’s doing for us.”

Are we eating food to fit a standard that has been set by others? Or are we eating food to honor our body and its ability to make us stronger and healthier? We take our bodies for granted. It’s my legs that got me through that workout—am I fueling my body in order to do it again or am I withholding food because I think doing so will make my thigh fat disappear? My choices are dictated by my values. My values about my body should reflect respect and provide it with nutrients to keep me alive and functioning properly. Whether or not my genetics and my body’s response to food and fitness aligns with external standards should not be my concern. I have been in a “take” relationship with my body instead of a “give and take” relationship. If relationships with friends and family don’t flourish when there is no giving and all taking, why do I think my relationship with my body should be different? Let’s try to be best friends with our bodies. 

If you like crying while doing a cycling workout and you have a Peloton membership, these two rides made me lose it. Tears will be streaming down your face!

45 Min Pop Ride by Cody Rigsby: Cody told me to leave my baggage at the door (he actually used an expletive, but I’m keeping it PG), and told me to stop relying on other people to make me happy.

45 Min Intervals & Arms Ride by Ally Love: Ally made me feel like I could do anything and she even stopped mid-ride to give me a pep talk. I appreciated that!

If you want to rewatch The Sopranos with me, I am on Season 5 and NEED TO DISCUSS IT. I have actually never watched the series all the way through (shocking, I know), but I had an emotional breakdown after Carmela and Tony separated at the end of Season 4. Do not come after me for that spoiler! Spoilers don’t exist 19 years after the episode aired!

If you need a book to read, read The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd. Buy a physical copy because you will want to highlight most of the book! Or if you want an audiobook to put on while you clean your apartment/house, I am in the middle of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab. So far, so good!

I am greatly looking forward to a semi–normal Utah spring and summer with vaccinations now available to everyone. Utah is such a wonderful place to live and I spent most of last spring on my patio or walking around my neighborhood with everything being shut down. I’m putting together a list to make sure it’s the best Utah comeback summer, so if you have ideas you want to send my way, let me know!

Be nice. Give yourself a hug. Eat your weight in pasta.

Instagram: @liesebelle 

Twitter: @liesebelle 

The Beehive Newsletter is a community-based weekly newsletter that provides a platform for Utahns to share the stories and events that are unique and important to them individually. From politicians and high school students, to farmers and health-care workers, our Guest Editors change weekly, providing diverse perspectives and overlooked stories from every corner of the state. 

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