Free Fava Beans and Other Benefits of Community

Funniest thing – the other day my partner Amy had the most random craving for fava beans. Totally out of the blue! I feel like we probably had fava beans once a few years ago in an adventurous cooking phase – they’re kind of annoying to peel if you haven’t tried making them. It was such an adorably Amy thing to crave, just saying.

And the very next day on my walk to work I saw that a neighbor had put out a big bag of free fava beans.

It was pretty much the weirdest thing I’d ever seen marked as “free” in front of someone’s house. I’ve seen grungy-looking free persimmons, thick-skinned free lemons, and boxes of free VHS copies of “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” and “Father of the Bride.” But it was like Amy was psychically connected to the universe – she put out the request for favas and lo, they appeared.

This is all an extremely random example of what makes community so freakin cool.

I feel like a lot of us walk around thinking we’re the ONLY ones to have experienced a certain thing – creepers messaging us on a dating app, being stood up, PCOS causing hairs to sprout from our chin… But when you’re in a community, you put a problem, a need, a question, a vulnerability out into the universe and an answer comes back.

“Hey, that’s happened to me, too.”

“Oh yeah, here’s how to ask for a seat belt extender when you fly.”

“Listen, this is what you do when you get creepy messages.”

Or in my neighborhood’s case, “here are some free fava beans.”

Living in “unruly bodies” means we need our community. We need to be in no-weight-loss-talk Facebook groups dedicated to fat acceptance and body positivity. Here are a few of the ones I recommend:

We need to follow fat and plus-size bloggers whose experiences mirror our own and whose triumphs we can incorporate into our own lives. Here are some wonderful bloggers and role models to follow on Facebook and Instagram:

  • The Curvy Fashionista
  • The Adipositivity Project
  • Fat Girl Flow
  • Big Gal Yoga
  • Curvy Girl Lingerie
  • Virgie Tovar
  • The Militant Baker
  • Your Fat Friend.

And we need to read and listen to amazing body-positive books. In fact, I recommend listening to them while you commute to work or clean your house or work out – it becomes almost like body-positive immersion when you hear the amazing authors reading their stories directly to you. Here are some of the audiobooks I recommend:

  • The Body Is Not an Apology, by Sonya Renee Taylor
  • Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life, by Kelsey Miller
  • This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare, by Gabourey Sidibe
  • Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion
  • Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about Your Weight, by Linda Bacon
  • Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls, by Jes Baker

So start putting your desires, your needs, your vulnerabilities out into the universe, lovely. Even if it’s just whispered while you’re all alone on your living room couch. And connect with your communities and see what comes back.

Maybe someone out there’s got magic fava beans for you, too.