I have struggled with weight and diet challenges my whole life. I have counted calories and points, restricted myself, used a variety of "fad diets" and fell prey to weekly weigh-ins. Sure, I'd lose weight for a bit - but as soon as I stopped using whatever diet or program I was following, I would gain it all back. I have learned that the diet mentality is NOT sustainable for me. I stopped setting weight loss goals, I threw away my scale, and I don't count calories.
Two years ago I joined an online wellness community and got more consistent with my workouts. I loved the variety and the convenience of working out from home. It was a huge step in the right direction, but I still wasn't feel my best physically or energetically.
Through some timely conversations with friends, I started exploring the concept of food sensitivities. After some exploration and paying attention to how my body responded to certain foods, I realized that not all foods were my friend. For two years, I have been "trying" (but not *really* trying) to cut out the foods that were offending my body.
I wasn't reaaaalllly putting in the effort because I had not yet decided to commit. I had this weird inner conflict going on where I just wanted someone to tell me what to eat to feel better, but my inner rebel still wanted to eat whatever it wanted to eat.
BUT ... I felt horrible physically and I was running out of steam very early in the day... the afternoon slump was NO JOKE!!!
After two years, I finally decided I was tired of not feeling my best. It was time to refocus on my health and do a better job about caring for and nourishing my body. I had already made a huge shift in how I viewed exercise, and now it was time to make a shift in how I was thinking about food and nutrition.
I made the commitment to myself to eliminate all offending foods from my diet - this time - from the place of CHOICE rather than restriction. I started a gut protocol program to help me focus on my gut health and get on a better path for me.
Going through this program with a community of other people was a life changer for me. Within two weeks, I could SEE and FEEL the effects of the changes I was making.
The inflammation was melting off my belly - I could SEE the difference in my photos; and my jeans and shorts - which had long been way too tight - were fitting much better. (I felt like I could finally breathe freely again!)
But more importantly, I WAS FEELING BETTER!!! Less nausea and other abdominal discomfort and I was no longer experiencing the dramatic afternoon slump. My energy increased, as did my confidence... because not only do I feel better IN my body, I also feel better ABOUT my body.
I shifted my focus from weight and diet plans to health, wellness, energy, and LIFESTYLE. Prioritizing my overall health and wellness, with special attention on my gut health is a LIFESTYLE choice that I've made so I can feel better and be healthier.
Now I exercise and eat much more intuitively. I pay attention to what kinds of workouts my body is craving each day, and I pay attention to how the foods I eat affect my body. I am learning what foods offend my body and drain my energy, versus what foods give me fuel.
Does any of this resonate with you?
*What are YOUR health and wellness challenges and goals?
*Do you have enough energy to do the things you love?
*How do you feel IN and ABOUT your body?
*Do you need support in getting more consistent with an exercise program or with your nutrition so you can feel better, be healthier, and/or have more energy?
If you've been following me for any length of time, you know I am passionate about overall wellbeing, which includes making time to care for our self, to play and have fun, and for our most important relationships. And now I have expanded my services to be able to support my clients in new and different ways.
Are you intrigued to learn more? Let's schedule a short call to discuss your specific goals and explore some options.
As we near the end of the first half of this year (already.... how did that happen?!?!), this week I'm spending time reconnecting with my purpose and making some choices about how I want to direct my energy for the remainder of this year.
I'm exploring this in terms of both my personal life and the direction I'd like to take my business. Today I'm choosing to do some of this inquiry outside at a local coffee shop. Sometimes a change of scenery helps open us up to new ideas and possibilities we may not have otherwise considered.
Have you taken time to reflect on what has unfolded for you over the first six months? Are you on track with your overall health and wellness goals? How are your relationships? Are there decisions you need to make or specific actions you've been avoiding that could move you forward in a more aligned way?
What could you do differently in the next 3 months? In the next month? In the next week?
Sometimes we set goals because we think we should, rather than focusing on what actually aligns with our purpose or what we really want.
Now is a great time to reassess, reevaluate, and readjust as needed. There is nothing wrong with making course corrections, or even starting over with brand new goals, intentions or priorities if needed.
If you need some support with this process, I invite you to reach out. I can share some questions or tools to guide your reflection process. I can also support you in reevaluating and resetting your priorities or goals.
I specialize in supporting my clients in the areas of
*personal growth (things like building confidence, learning to trust ourselves, making resonant decisions, and taking action towards what we choose)
*whole body wellness, self-care and self-love
If you need support in any of these areas (or something related) I invite you to schedule a discovery session, just to explore.
The discovery session is both free and free of pressure. This is where I get a sense of what you need and if I am the right person to help you, and we both get a sense of if we'd be a good fit in working together. If you want to hear about my programs, I'll share the details so you can make a sound decision.
If you'd like to schedule one, I invite you to reach out.
Life feels a little heavy sometimes but we needn't get stuck in the heaviness. I remind myself to live my life and do the fun things... even when... actually ESPECIALLY when things feel challenging.
Last night I gathered with eight other women for a quirky ladies night out. We met at a local thrift store, drew the name of the person we were shopping for, and chose silly, mismatched outfits for each other that we wore to dinner.
There was so much laughter and enjoyment just in that shopping process. Everyone was having fun. Another shopper even commented to me about how she loved all our laughter.
The week had been an emotionally challenging one for me for many reasons. I was exhausted yesterday. I had a headache and was very low on energy. It would have been so easy to just stay home.
But spending time with other women for the sole purpose of having a fun night out... it was exactly what my heart needed.
Letting myself have that time away helped me shift my energy and my perspective on some of the things I had been grappling with.
When things are weighing you down, give yourself the time you need to feel it and to let your body rest. This isn't about avoiding the feelings or trying to escape the bad stuff.
But do the things that nourish and refuel you, too. Let yourself take a break, connect with other people, have some fun, or do whatever it is that is nourishing for you.
You ever feel like everything hits all at once and the walls are crumbling down around you? I've had this happen so many times... different aspects of my life all seem to fall apart at the same time. It feels incredibly confusing and disorienting in the moment.
But I've learned that there's almost always a reason or a purpose for it... or at a very minimum, there's an invitation to re-examine, re-evaluate, and rebuild something even better. An opportunity to change, evolve, and expand.
So... even though it feels overwhelming while I'm standing amidst the rubble, I choose to let go of the need to figure everything out in the moment. I wait for the dust to settle, then I start clearing away the mess.
I pick up the pieces that need to be carried into the future and I let the rest go. Giving this process the time and space it needs creates an opportunity for something even better to emerge.
I've been struggling hard with the "s-word" again....
I'm no stranger to endings or choosing to let things go. I've been-there-done-that quite a lot the last several years.
So when I received the invitation to surrender again recently, my immediate thought was to question what else I could possibly let go of after all the work I had already done.
But what I've learned is that in most cases, surrender isn't a once-and-done kinda deal. When we carry heavy baggage and have a lot of "old ways" weighing us down, we often have to make the choice to let go over and over and over again. Surrender (or if you don't like that word - letting go, releasing control, practicing detachment...) is a practice. It takes time and patience.
When I finally allowed myself the time to sit down and get really honest with myself about what else I needed to release, the answers came pretty easily. I knew intuitively what I was still grasping on to and where I needed to loosen my grip.
I've already done a lot of work on releasing control and stepping into the flow of life. But sometimes, I still get tripped up by a desire to want to control something again. I start pushing and forcing, trying to make things happen. And that's where my progress stops and I feel stuck and get frustrated. When I find myself here, I need to make the conscious choice to let go, stop fighting with life, and step back into flow. I need to wait for things to unfold and get curious about where life is taking me next. This requires openness to uncertainty, ambiguity, and the unknown. It requires some self-compassion and trust, too.
We have the opportunity to continue to learn and evolve throughout our life. Sometimes we are presented with big callings about where we are being invited to go next. We get a big idea, create a new vision and write lofty goals.
But sometimes, our callings are about what we need to leave behind - even if we don't know exactly where we are going yet.
Wellness is more than just exercise and nutrition. While these are both important, our overall wellness includes many other factors such as emotional, social, relational, how we handle stress, to what extent we allow ourselves to rest and relax, and more. Wellness is when we take care of our WHOLE self.
A few big struggles I've done a lot of work to overcome are:
*handling stress and emotions more effectively
*allowing enough time for rest and relaxation rather than having to be doing something productive all the time
*not letting fear paralyze me and shifting my mindset and internal self talk in big ways
*being more compassionate with myself when I mess up
*learning to love myself better
One thing I've struggled with for years and am still grappling with today is staying consistent with eating the way my body wants me to eat. I love too many foods that wreak havoc on my body.... I'm working on that... I know what and how I need to eat. I've proven that it's the way my body wants me to eat and I've noticed the benefits of doing so. But it's still a challenge for me. I'll share more about that in a future post.
But I'm curious....
What are YOUR biggest challenges when it comes to your overall health and wellness goals...? I'd love to know if you are comfortable sharing.
Check in time ... How are your FRIENDSHIPS? Regardless of whether or not you have a partner, having quality friendships is important. Friends provide things that partners may not be able to provide consistently and help us meet our needs in other ways.
I used to prioritize my romantic partners over my friendships. But then when a relationship would end, I'd find myself without friends and feeling alone.
I vowed to never do that again. Now, during times when I am in a relationship, I still make time for my friends. And when I'm single, I don't sit around waiting to meet a man. No. I get out with my friends as much as possible and enjoy every minute of it.
I've heard from many people it feels harder to make new friends as you get older. At first I thought that too. But now I think it's as easy as we want it to be. I've met many of my current friends by joining meetup groups and by choosing to attend networking and other social events. (For introverts, this will require you to stretch your comfort zone a bit. Start small. Reach out if you need some tips or ideas about how to do this.)
Our romantic partners needn't be the only kind of relationship we invest in.
What's something to can do this week to meet a new friend or strengthen an existing friendship?
I used to hate crying... because I wasn't in touch with my sensitivity or my emotions and I viewed crying as being weak.
Now, I have come to honor those parts of myself. Anytime we feel deeply enough to cry is an opportunity to learn something about ourself... to see what we care deeply about, to become aware of a something that needs attention or wound that needs healing, or just to get in touch with our emotions.
I don't know about you, but I don't just cry when I'm sad or hurting. I also cry when I feel deep love or am overcome with a strong wave of gratitude.
Tears are cleansing and healing. Tears create awareness. Tears honor our deepest sources of awe, gratitude, joy and love.
It's okay to outgrow elements of your life. Not all endings have to be the result of drama. Sometimes we just evolve beyond a job, a living arrangement, or a relationship and realize that it doesn't fit anymore.
Maybe your needs and priorities have changed or are no longer being met. Maybe a situation or relationship no longer brings fulfillment or joy. Maybe the ways you spend your time and energy no longer align to the future you are creating.
Whatever the reason, it's okay to let go with grace and gratitude and move on.
I’m a recovering over-achiever, people pleaser, perfectionist, and workaholic. I used to be consistent at neglecting my own needs in favor of trying to meet everyone else's expectations and needs.
And when I did take a little time for self-care, I would feel guilty – I believed there were other things I "should" be doing with my time.
And then I realized how emotionally and physically unhealthy I had become. I was no fun to be around.. I was impatient, cranky, and irritable most of the time and my relationships were all strained. I was beyond the point of exhaustion to complete burnout.
Our society emphasizes achievement and results. Women are sometimes made to feel like if we aren't "doing it all" all the time, we aren't doing enough. Yes, we have responsibilities and commitments to family, friends, work, and others. But this does not mean that we need to consistently put our needs below everyone else's or neglect our needs altogether.
Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with setting ambitious goals and driving for results. But when we focus *only* on activity and results, or on meeting other people's needs at the expense of our own without time to rest, refresh, and recuperate, we’ll burn out.
When we are busy “doing” all the time, we miss the cues alerting us to what *we* need. We then react from auto-pilot, repeating unhelpful behaviors.
We can't "checklist" our way to self-care or self-love, however. What works for one person may not work for someone else. We need to explore our unique path to self-care, self-nurturing, and self-love.
As we start to make changes, we may feel guilty or selfish about making time for rest or fun, or caring for our own needs in other ways. We may worry about what others think.
But, it is *not* selfish to love and care for ourselves. We can fulfill our responsibilities and to others - AND fulfill our own needs, too.
After I shifted the relationship I was having with myself and reordered my priorities, I started doing self-care my way. Now I schedule my self-care time FIRST and book everything else around that. I've learned that if I'm depleted, I'm not going to be fully present or effective with anyone or anything else anyway. So better to take care of me first, so I can better care for them.
If you need support in clarifying your needs, coming up with your customized self-care approach or integrating new habits, reach out. We can do a discovery session to see how I can help.