Category Archives: life

How to Move Through a Bad Body Image Moment

I heard this quote a while back and it really struck a chord with me:

Can you love the part of you that hates your body? – Samantha Skelly

We are constantly bombarded with the concept of loving your body, but what if that’s something you struggle with? Actually, the majority of women struggle with this concept because we live in a world where a certain body type is considered beautiful and anyone else is less than.

Whether you struggle every day or most days you feel pretty good about yourself, we all have those moments. We see a photo of us that’s unflattering, our jeans are too tight, or we catch a bad angle in the mirror. I actually had some friends back in college saying they avoided looking at their bodies in the mirror because they just didn’t want to see themselves. Does that make you sad? Because it makes me sad! 

We all have those moments, but how do we get past them?

First, stop. 

Stop thinking and take a deep breath. 

Now take another. 

And another.

Calming your heart rate is essential because that’s what sends you into a panic. Know that the thoughts running through your head probably aren’t true. The way your body looks probably won’t keep you from doing anything you want to do in your life, as long as you don’t let your thoughts and fears hold you back.

What next?

Find something else to do to channel that energy. 

Go for a run.

Journal.

Do a boxing or HIIT workout.

Read your bible.

Walk around the block.

Choose something to the negative energy out that’s good for you. It’s so easy to turn to a familiar but unhealthy coping mechanism to make yourself feel better in the moment, like binge eating or drinking, because it will only make you feel worse in the end.

Once you’ve calmed down, pull out your rational mind. Your body does not define you. People don’t love you because of your body, they love you for you. When you think about women you admire, do you think about their bodies? Probably not.

You’re okay. You’re going to be okay. In fact, you’re pretty awesome.

Breathe through those moments until they pass, because if you’re focusing on accepting, liking and loving yourself then you will feel better when you let your rational brain take back over from those negative thoughts.

Now that you’ve figured out how to breathe through those moments, let’s work on experiencing them less and less.

First of all, it’s important to know that they probably won’t ever go away. Unless you truly love every inch of your body (Samantha from Sex and The City comes to mind 😉 ), you’re going to have those moments every once in a while. The key is to learn how to move through them, rather than trying to make them never happen, which only ends up in you feeling bad that you can’t love yourself the way you are. No one needs that shame! Understand that you’re human, you’re going to be affected by what you see and hear and you can’t get rid of years of conditioning in just a few months.

Jumping from hating or disliking how your body looks to loving how your body looks is a big leap and can become too overwhelming or feel impossible. Start with accepting your body. That’s all – just accept that this is how you look and know that we were all made differently. This might not change how you feel but just focus on acceptance.

Important interjection: Yes, you can want to change your body through nutrition and exercise, but you should still learn to accept and like yourself as you are now or you’ll never love yourself at another size. It’s all about being confident in who you are!

Once you’ve mastered accepting your body, move on to liking your body. Think about all the things you love about yourself. Think about how you have a healthy body that has done so much for you. Think about those moments where you felt amazing and just sit in those emotions and positive thoughts about yourself.

Even when you love your body, you’ll still have those moments. Those moments of seeing yourself in a negative light and feeling panicked that you have to change or you won’t be accepted. When that moment happens, stop and breathe. Use your tools. Journal out your feelings, breathe, do some yoga, go on a walk. In a difficult moment, these might be the last things you want to do but do them anyway. Anything is better than panicking and using a negative coping mechanism.

Sooner or later, you’re going to have more positive moments than negative ones. Those moments when you’re feeling amazing, dancing with your friends or catching yourself in the mirror and thinking, “you are totes adorbs today.” Okay, maybe you don’t use those words, but you get me, right?

Remember, start with acceptance and most importantly,

give yourself some grace.

You’re doing just fine.

How do you deal with negative body image moments? 

What’s your best tip for calming down in moments of panic? 

Where I’m At With Life, Health and Fitness {Part Two}

Alright, alright, it’s here!

If you missed Part One, go back and check that one out first. But now, it’s time for Part 2, which is all about what I’ve been doing recently with health and fitness (i.e. eating and exercise). 

In part one, I talked about how I’ve backed away from coaching because I’ve been going through a lot personally and I not only wanted to keep to myself more but coaching started to feel disingenuous since I wasn’t really sharing my story. Well, because of my history of disordered eating, it’s no surprise that those kinds of negative thoughts have been coming back up as life got more stressful and my anxiety increased. While I have been working with people to help me get to the root of my negative thinking and learn to reframe false beliefs, it’s not an overnight fix.

I’ve been reading blogs like Robyn’s for years, knowing what it looks like to have a good relationship with food but putting it in the back of my mind. Only recently did it really click. I read a couple posts thinking, “That’s me! She’s describing me” and it made me realize that I don’t have it all together and it was time for a change.

I love following fitness programs, whether Beachbody or anything else, but I’ve learned that for right now, doing any program 100% isn’t in my best interest. I need to focus my energy on reframing my thoughts and developing a healthier relationship with food and keep fitness something I do for fun and because I want to – not because I feel like I have to so I can achieve any kind of goal. For so long now, I thought I’d gotten past all of these struggles but life throws us curveballs and when things are hard it’s easy to revert back to old patterns. Patterns are familiar and comforting, even if they’re destructive.

I’ve been on this trajectory of backing away from too much nutrition and fitness structure for about three months now and I know I’ve made the right choice. I’m still doing workouts, I’m still loving my Beachbody team and I’m even in our big team challenge group this month just for the positive energy. But I’ve also been taking steps to heal the source of the issue, and even though it’s hard to back away a little from something I actually enjoy, I know it’s worth it in the grand scheme of my life.

To be honest, I was (am) very hesitant to share all of this on here. I mean really, who shares all of these personal details on the internet? But I pushed publish because I know it’s important to share our struggles and let other people know they aren’t alone.

There may be many other women out there who are pushing themselves forward pretending that nothing is wrong or hoping it will all just go away once they lose those last 10 lbs, finish school, get a job, meet the perfect guy, or whatever it is that they’re wishing for. All those surface level things won’t fix the way you think about yourself, so take a step back and look at the bigger picture. If what’s best for you is backing away, know that gaining a little weight and losing some of your fitness now to fix your mental and physical health is worth it in the long run.

If you want to read more on this general topic (not everything applies to me, I just liked reading them), here are a few articles to check out:

Why I Refuse To Do The Whole 30

How Exercise Affects Your Hormones

Healthy Movement

Your Disordered Eating Is Like An Abusive Relationship You Keeping Coming Back To

Food Shaming and Comparison: The Thief of Joy

Why Dieting Doesn’t Work

How I Became The Eater I Want To Be

Is Metabolic Damage a Real Thing?

 

Do you ever step back from things you enjoy during difficult times?

Do you have a hard time dealing with things instead of pushing them to the back burner?

Get On The Plane: NOLA Trip Recap

Hello, hello!

I know, it’s been a while, but things have been pretty crazy! While I have been busy, I’ve also been decompressing from a big weekend and dealing with dog-sitting. I’m with one dog this week, Monday through Friday, then on Friday, I switch to two dogs for SIXTEEN nights! You read that right! But let’s move on because that’s not what this post is about!

Today, I want to talk about my trip to New Orleans for the 2017 Beachbody Summit, which is essentially our big conference for Beachbody coaches. There were about 20,000 coaches there! This was the third year I’ve attended (Summit 2015, Summit 2016) but the first time that I’ve been genuinely nervous.

Why was I so nervous? Because this year I felt like an outsider. Do you ever feel that way? Like you’re showing up for something and everyone else is on one page and you are totally somewhere else? Well, I was afraid that because I’m not really coaching right now that I’d either feel really separate from everyone else who is super fired up about coaching, or they’d all try to convince me to dive back in.

To be honest, I almost didn’t get on the plane. 

The whole morning that I was heading to the airport and getting ready to leave I had to keep fighting the urge to turn around and go back home. I was ready to leave my luggage and book it! Luckily, I have a few experiences and tools under my belt.

I asked myself, what’s the biggest reason you don’t want to go? I realized that the ONLY reason I didn’t want to go was that I was afraid. And you know what?

I refuse to let fear drive my life.

I know from many, many experiences that when I get out of my comfort zone and do something that I was nervous about doing, 99% of the time I am so glad that I pushed myself. I almost always end up thanking myself and God for that last push to get me to go because I always gain so much or at least have a fun time.

And we sure had fun!

Within a minute of seeing my teammates, I knew I’d made the right choice. It was so good to see them and hug them and they all told me they were so glad that I came. You know what? I’m so glad too.

Yes, there were workshops around coaching and I zoned out more than I would have in previous years (although, to be honest, I’d heard of lot of it before!). But there were also some amazing speakers that I took pages of notes from, there were fun celebrations that I enjoyed watching with my teammates, but most of all, there were those moments when we were just hanging out together.

Whether it included adventures on Bourbon Street and Frenchman Street or sitting on the floor of a conference center, I loved every minute with these women. Some of them are friends I’d met at previous conferences and talked with over the year, others were women I knew of but I’d never really talked to or seen in person.

Every single one of them felt like family. It sounds cliche but it’s so true:

Your vibe attracts your tribe.

My coach, Anna, has done an amazing job of attracting a group of women who all seem to just “get” each other. Some of the girls I’d never spoken to and suddenly we’re realizing just how similar we are and could have talked for hours. I wish we’d been able to, but the time just flew by! 

So, as I expected when I pushed myself onto that plane, I had a great trip. I made memories that will last me a lifetime, I made new friends, I reconnected with old ones, and I got to see New Orleans through a 29 year-old’s eyes rather than a 20 year-old’s. Those memories are a little foggier 😉 

Next time you find yourself presented with an opportunity and it makes you freak out a bit with fear and anxiety, ask yourself: “Am I being led by fear or led by love?” Push yourself out of your comfort zone and you’ll either be rewarded with a great experience or at least you’ll learn something about yourself.

 

When was the last time you really went out of your comfort zone?

Have you ever been to New Orleans?

 

P.S. I promise part 2 of this post is coming next week! 

Where I’m At With Life, Health and Fitness {Part One}

I feel like the topic of this post is the pink elephant in the room – something I’ve been avoiding talking about for several months now. I think it’s also part of the reason I haven’t blogged much because if I’m feeling protective of my personal life then I’m not in much of a sharing mood in general. But today, I thought I’d try to explain where I am a little bit more.

This year has been a rollercoaster.

A year ago, I left my community and my life in Chicago and moved to Colorado. I needed a change, I needed an adventure, but I had no idea how difficult the transition would be. I moved specifically to Colorado Springs to stay with family while I job searched and while I was there I started out by enjoying the summer and assuming I’d find a job soon so I could move up to Denver and start my “new life.” Well, I was wrong.I ended up staying in Colorado Springs from May through December of 2016. My mom visited for some time, I went up to see my friend in Denver, and I saw my new niece on occasion but for the most part, I was alone and starting to feel more confused and less valuable as my job search continued on.

I applied to over 100 jobs. I got a couple interviews, but nothing worked out. Why? Well, to be honest, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was just applying to jobs because I thought “this could be okay?” It’s pretty hard to job-hunt when you don’t know what you’re looking for.

This overall feeling of confusion of what I want to do with my life, coupled with being alone and feeling a little unworthy due to no response to so many applications, sent me down a bit of a spiral.

I was depressed. My anxiety was flaring.

Even trips with friends that I loved couldn’t pull me out of my funk. And to be honest, I wasn’t working incredibly hard at creating a positive life for myself. I kept thinking that I’d build a community once I moved up to Denver – what’s the point of doing it in Colorado Springs when I’d just move away? I never imagined that I’d be living there for so long.

During all of this turmoil, I started to feel less and less enthusiastic about coaching. How could I support and give advice to others when I was falling apart? I felt disingenuous, so I started backing away. How was I supposed to live as an example to others if I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water? Yes, we all have struggles and how we get through those struggles can be an inspiration, but I was in the midst of them with no end in sight and not overcoming anything.

Even now that I’m settling in with my new job, finding a church and making friends, I’m still dealing with some things behind the scenes. While I would love to share everything I’ve been through and am going through with clients and readers to help them feel less alone and to bring a little inspiration, I’ve learned from many women that I look up to that it’s best to talk about difficult times afterward. That’s when you have a sense of perspective as well as can give hope to other women dealing with the same thing.

So I haven’t been coaching, other than one life-coaching client. I love my Beachbody products and recommend them and the programs 100%, but I’m just not feeling like pushing anything on anyone else. If someone reaches out and wants to try something, great, but I’m not promoting because right now I just need to do my own thing.

I’m focusing on filling my cup back up. It took me a year to go downhill, so it will take some time to build myself back up.

So that’s where I am with coaching – open and available but not reaching out purposefully. I still love my team (and will be spending the weekend in New Orleans with them!) but I’m not “working the business.”

Maybe one day I’ll go back to running challenge groups, or maybe I’ll focus more on life coaching – who knows! All I know is that I’m going to stick to my gut instincts, follow my heart and do what’s best for me in this season of life.

 

Check back in next week for Part Two  – focusing on my personal health and fitness journey over the past few months and what I’m working on now. 

The Comparison Struggle

Many of us like to think that we don’t get sucked into the comparison trap. We try to focus on our own lives and happiness but, to be completely honest, that’s a pretty tall order.I used to be much worse about comparison – looking at everyone’s life around me and wishing that I looked like her, or I had her relationship or her job. It drove me absolutely crazy and caused me to constantly beat down on myself or feel that I was a victim because life was simply unfair.

Luckily, with a lot of work and grace, I’ve come a long way from that mindset. I learned that no matter how good someone else’s life looks on the outside, you don’t know what’s really going on behind closed doors. I learned that we all have our own struggles for a reason, that my life is a gift and that I need to appreciate all the beautiful things that I do have, rather than focus on what I think I want.

Nevertheless, comparison is something that is very hard to get away from no matter who you are or how much you enjoy that life that you have. We’re all human and we aren’t blind to everyone else. You may not even be comparing yourself to someone in particular, but simply judging yourself and your life on what society considers “success” and whether or not you’re meeting that standard.

There’s that word: success. What does it even mean anyway?

Even according to Merriam-Webster the definition of success is a little hazy. Why? Because success is not a universal thing to be achieved but something that is individual to each person and situation.

I was having my “quiet time” the other day and came across a passage in James that struck me and got me started on this topic in the first place:

For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

James 3:16

To me, this verse means that when you’re focused on envying what others have and trying to be better than other people, you’ll endure a life filled with disorder and pain rather than one of love and joy. Focusing on impressing other people, having the fanciest things or prettiest house, or thinking that dropping two dress sizes will make you happier or more loved is only going to end up with you feeling disappointed.

Yes, it’s hard not to want those things. Sometimes it’s hard to look around and be not only satisfied with but grateful for what you have right now. However, at the end of the day, we have to remember what is really important. What are you going to look back on from your life and remember? When you slipped on that pair of jeans or looked good in that photo? Or are you going to remember the laughter with friends or the peace that came from doing what felt right and good to you?

Whenever you find yourself in one of those moments, whether it’s when you see your friend’s new house, that person’s amazing vacation photos on Instagram, or your coworker kicking butt at her job, take a deep breath and remember this:

You are exactly where you’re meant to be. You have so many things to be grateful for and you are loved just as you are right now.

Do you ever struggle with comparison? How do you focus on yourself and let it go?