Monthly Archives: March 2015

Photo Credit Gary Barker

Please, Belle Gibson, tell me you didn’t just fake having cancer?

Dear Belle,

Please understand that I’m writing to you as a fan. As one who hasn’t given up on you yet, despite the media furore surrounding you.  I am trying to suspend judgement until I hear your side of the story. I am eager to keep supporting The Whole Pantry (TWP) philosophy and what you, as its founder and creator, epitomise:  nutrition, meditation, positivity, balance and ethics.

Photo Credit Gary Barker
Photo Credit Gary Barker

I am here Belle, and I am waiting for you. Waiting for you to put up an argument. Waiting for you to plead your case. Waiting for you to say something – anything!- to end this crusade against you.

But still you say nothing and I must admit, your ongoing silence is starting to look damning. You have spoken out, but only to condemn those who’ve publicly gone against you, and to (quite rightly) ask that your young son is left out of all this mess. His safety comes first and you’re right, publishing his daycare details is very bad form.

But still…

You stand accused of making up your illness – your brain cancer – and all of the horrid, soul-crippling treatments that go along with that disease.

You stand accused of making up every other cancer you’ve faced thereafter; spleen, blood, uterus and liver….

You stand accused of not giving the charities you pledged to support the money you raised in their name.

Your book is being shredded by your publishers. Your app is no longer launching on the Apple watch. Your empire is crumbling around you.

Where are your words, Belle? You who made yourself so famous for sharing so much about the pain in your life, and never holding back?

Where are your words?

The-Whole-Pantry-1

What you created with TWP spoke to people, Belle. It spoke to people like me, who are looking to improve not just their health but their wellbeing. To be conscious of where their food comes from, how it arrives to their plate, what good it is doing to our bodies.

I sincerely hope this isn’t a lie, Belle.  I will be so disappointed in you.

I will be so disappointed for you. Because you are still so young. Because you have no family to support you through this, and your friends are abandoning the sinking ship that you command.  Because you have a beautiful, lovely son who doesn’t deserve any of this.

Maybe you didn’t think your little App would take off like it did? Maybe you didn’t expect your lie to have to grow, and to have to be sustained? Maybe keeping up with the lie has been eating away at you, in the exact same way that your make-believe cancer would have done?

I’m the daughter of a woman who battled cancer. I’m the daughter of a survivor. I shared your story with my mother and rejoiced for you. I don’t want to have to tell my mother you faked the very sickness that nearly destroyed our lives for your own gain. But maybe she will find some compassion for you, Belle. Maybe she will find some forgiveness. But then again, maybe not.  You just don’t mess around with cancer.

My husband asked if I would delete your app and donate your book to charity if the accusations against you are true. I’m in two minds. My daughter eats “superfood pesto” because of you. And almond meal cookies. And “chocolate pudding” that has no sugar. I agree with so many of your healthy living principles. You’ve enriched our lives, but the lie you are rumoured to have told will permanently leave a bitter taste in our mouths when we eat your food moving forward.

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My 2014 Christmas gift

 

I was lured into TWP empire by your story. I bought your app and book because your journey and your recipes inspired me in equal measure.

And now, as a fan, I am begging you to say something. A fan who may just forgive you if you did do this, so long as you explain your reasons, make amends as best you possibly can, and apologise from the deepest part of your soul for profiting off a lie. A lie that shames and disgraces the painful journeys of people who actually are sick.

If you didn’t do this, then say so. Give us proof. If you are a wellness warrior, then fight. Fight these claims. Fight for your beliefs.

And if you DID do this, then own up to your mistake. It’s your only shot at redeeming yourself, because it will take a degree of courage to admit you’ve been profiting off a lie and might just be what saves you in the long run.

Whatever it is you choose to say, say something. It’s time to show your followers some respect and tell us the whole truth about your pantry.

Sincerely,
Jess

What are your thoughts on the Belle Gibson controversy? Are you going to read the Open Letter she is promising? 

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Eat. Pray. Love…. And tell fear to F-off while you’re at it.

I went to see Elizabeth Gilbert speak on the weekend while the hubby minded the kids. This was my first solo outing in seven months. A whole afternoon away from the kids at the Opera House with Elizabeth FREAKING Gilbert. You can imagine how excited I was. It was like winning the lottery, the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, and finding a parking space at Coogee beach on a sunny Saturday all in one go.

Liz was talking about fear and creativity.  I found this topic interesting (and quite honestly, would have gone to hear her talking about the mating habits of amazonian tree slugs if those things happen to exist) but I wasn’t 100% sold it was relevant to me.

You see, I have a lot of fears but I can’t say that I’ve ever felt particularly scared of writing. I mean, pens, notebooks, words, typing…. none of that sends warning signals to my amygdala that WW3 is about to break out.

Making telephone calls freaks me the hell out.

Having to return anything that I’ve purchased if it is faulty sends my sweat glands into overdrive.

Speaking in meetings makes me want to vomit, and driving….well, that’s the only thing thus far to send me into a full-blown panic attack.

But writing? Being creative? No – that doesn’t make me fearful. It’s the next step that causes me extreme angst.

The let-it-go step. That moment when you are clutching your figurative balloon – the one you breathed life into – and you have to let it out of your hands so it can float into the sky.  So others can witness it and marvel in it’s magic. Or (and here comes the fear bit), so others can remark upon its unremarkableness. It’s ordinariness. Or heaven forbid, they might make no comment at all.

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I guess there are a billion other people out there like me who are struggling with this concept of release. And there are a billion others who are struggling with the concept of getting started. These fears are paralysing us and if you looked around the room during Gilbert’s speech you would see a sea of nodding heads in harmonious agreement that fear isn’t just a figurative enemy. It is real. It is here. And it is crippling creative spirits.

I wrote a book five years ago. I had it illustrated and printed, and it looks and sounds like the real deal. But it isn’t the real deal. Not actually. Why? Because it isn’t published. I have ten copies  quite literally gathering dust on top of my daughter’s bookshelf right now.

And why oh why isn’t this masterpiece published? Because I’ve been too scared to send it anywhere. And so, it gathers dust. And more dust. And because I’m too lazy to actually get it off the shelf and give it a clean, it gathers yet more dust. You get the picture.

Louise Hay is another author I dig, who has sold more than 50million copies of her “You can Heal Your Life” book which I’m currently re-reading and she attributes all fear (whether it’s about creativity or not) to one single self-limiting belief:

I AM NOT GOOD ENOUGH. 

I am not perfect, I am not worthy, I am not as good as them, no one will love me, I will only fail.

I AM NOT GOOD ENOUGH. 

Liz and Louise are on the exact same page with this message. And one that I realise is not only applies to my writing, but to my entire life. Why do I reject promotions? Why do I hate going anywhere that requires me to dress up and look beautiful? Why do I spend my baby swim classes worried that all mothers are judging me poorly because my son is screaming in the water?

Because, quite simply, at a soul level I do not believe I am good enough. I do not feel I have a worthy contribution to make to this universe and I hide behind this fear. And without a sense of entitlement, I do not feel like I can live a creative life.

The most important message of hope and inspiration that I walked away with from Liz’s talk was this.

“Defend your weakness and you get to keep it.” 

If I keep blaming my anxiety or my perfectionism and using it as my excuse to NEVER TAKE PART, then I will always be giving it power. I will be defending my weakness from the creative spirit that is trying to break it down. I will be giving my weakness a strength it does not deserve and quite frankly, what good is that doing anybody?

I will allow fear to be present in my life, but I will not give it permission to rule my life. I will give myself permission to have a vote in this world – to contribute, to let my light shine. To risk ‘release’, and to let my beautiful balloons go.