You know what I did today? Nothing. Yes, you read that right. I did absolutely nothing today…and it was everything I absolutely needed. I slept in until 0830, which yes, is sleeping in for me. I took my time getting out of bed and making breakfast…I had nowhere to be, so I wasn’t in any rush.
At 1130, I was thinking I should take a shower and get ready…get ready for what, I’m not sure, but that’s what I thought I *needed* to do. But instead, I laid down on the bed and slept for 2.5, almost 3 hours! I didn’t realize just how tired I was until I almost immediately passed out. I still feel like I could go back to sleep, so the rest of my day will be spent relaxing, probably taking a bath, and getting ready for the week. And I’m completely okay with that.
I’m definitely still learning/re-learning the value of self-care. I was so busy yesterday running around and completing errands that I didn’t have a chance to rest; plus, I worked on some stuff for my business. It felt never-ending. So having a day to rest and rejuvenate is exactly what was called for.
What about you? Have you taken some time for yourself this weekend? I promise, it isn’t selfish and the world won’t stop turning. But it will rejuvenate you and give you a sense of inner peace that we all (namely, you) so desperately need!
I hope you enjoyed your weekend and start your week off on the right foot.
With love and wellness,
Do you ever feel like you’re in a relationship, whether it’s a friendship, a co-worker, or a romantic one, that feels like it’s burdening you or bringing you down? Like you have the world on your shoulders every time you’re with them? These relationships are what we would call toxic…they stress us out, they make us feel badly, and they bring us down.
It’s difficult to tell people to do this, just as it’s difficult for me to do, but sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away from those relationships. I have two that I’ve walked away from in my past, which I’ll explain in a little more detail why it was healthy for me to walk away. And most recently, the relationship I was in would have been considered toxic. I didn’t realize it while I was in it, but as soon as it was over, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Sometimes it takes a rude awakening to realize just how badly a relationship is hurting you.
I had two best friends that I would have considered my best friends for life. I would have done anything for them. But neither of them are in my life anymore. They were two of the hardest decisions I’d ever made, but I know now that it was for the best.
In the first instance, we’d been best friends since college, and I was the maid of honor in her wedding. And now we don’t even talk. Although we lived in different states, that didn’t stop our friendship. We talked on the phone all the time, we texted every day, and we made frequent visits back and forth.
It wasn’t until one conversation in particular that I realized just how stressful our friendship had become…we were talking on the phone while I was walking my dogs (yes, I was one of those annoying people) and she was complaining about something (I don’t even remember what, because we had *many* conversations like that). But I remember thinking it was silly whatever it was. And I’ll admit, I wasn’t in the greatest mood either, but apparently my response was lackluster. She said something along the lines of me being insensitive and hung up on me.
Now mind you, I’m a very sensitive person (probably TOO sensitive) and I’ll be the first person to sympathize and be there in your time of need. But she was the type of friend that *always* needed me! It was like the little girl who cried wolf…when she actually needed me for a real emergency, I didn’t recognize it, because *everything* was an emergency.
It wasn’t until we had a huge blow-up during one of her visits that we realized we had grown apart and probably weren’t good in each other’s lives anymore. I wrote her a letter after she left, apologizing for everything, and I believe we talked on the phone one more time after that, but it’s been five or six years since we’ve spoken. I wonder about her every now and again, and I hope she’s doing well, but I know we are better off not being friends.
In the second instance, it was a little harder for me to handle. We’d been best friends since high school. We took driver’s ed together (oh the memories!). And we haven’t talked in…shoot, I don’t know…maybe three years. I won’t go into much detail because there’s quite a bit, but after I deployed in 2010/2011, she basically told me our entire friendship (about 15 years at this point) had been fake. I remember letting her talk and tell me her feelings and holding back tears. I didn’t know how to respond. So I told her I had to go back to work and that I would call her later.
Well, it took me a week to finally call her back. I responded to what she said…some of which I understood and some of which I had no idea what she meant or was talking about. In the end, I think we agreed to disagree on certain parts, and we tried to stay friends. But it was never the same. Every interaction after that felt forced. For the first year or so, I sent her a birthday and a Christmas card, but I never heard anything back. So I finally let it go.
Sometimes the toughest decisions we have to make are often the right decisions. I wish I could say that I missed either of those friends. But the harsh truth is that I don’t. I don’t miss the stress or the arguments or the drama or the heavy weight on my shoulders…I don’t miss the anger or the sadness or the heartache or the hurt.
My point in this post is not that you should walk away from your friends when you argue or are upset at one another. Because that’s going to happen (duh, we’re all human and have emotions and differing opinions). But re-evaluate the relationships in your life…the ones that stress you out, that bring you down, that leave you feeling drained when you’re interaction with them is done. You know the ones I’m talking about…are those relationships serving you anymore? Are they bringing happiness and love and good things into your life?
If a relationship is bringing you down and leaving you unhappy more than it is uplifting you and making you a better person, then maybe that relationship is toxic. Maybe it is one that you either need to change or one that you need to walk away from. I know it isn’t always easy to do, especially if it’s a work relationship or a significant other. But recognizing it is the first step. And making the necessary changes will make all the difference, not only for you, but for the other party, as well.
I hope you had a beautiful day!
With love and wellness,
“When I take time for myself, I feel guilty.”
How many of you can relate to this statement? A client of mine said this to me, and it made me realize how true that is for so many of us. I talked about the importance of self-care in a previous post, but hearing that made me think that it needed to be addressed again. Because, in reality, most women feel this way.
We, as women, want to DO IT ALL! We want to work outside of the home, we want to have and raise children (which includes homework, getting ready for bed, getting them ready in the morning, etc.), we want to cook healthy meals for our family, we want to have a clean home, we want to have clean laundry, we want to work out, we want to be the “perfect” wife…and we want to do it all without any help!! Whew – I’m tired just writing all that! So when you throw in this idea of self-care – you know, taking time out of your day to take care of YOURSELF – women are like, “What?! You want me to do what?!”
But think about it…if you are going, going, going all day, every day, and you have ZERO downtime for yourself, how long do you think you’ll be able to last before you hit the wall, or worse, have a big explosion of emotions (because we tend to hold those in, too!)? If we run ourselves into the ground, we can’t possibly take care of everything and everybody else. Right?
But this is counterintuitive for so many women. We think that we are being selfish if we put ourselves first, and then we feel guilty because something else might not get done. The laundry might not get done; the grocery shopping might not get done; the house may not get cleaned; the beds may not get made; we might not get our workouts in (*gasp*). But let’s really think about this…will taking 5 to 10 minutes a day to have a cup of coffee on your back deck really ruin the rest of your day? Will taking a nice, hot bath at the end of the day when the kids are in bed really set you back?
It’s so easy for me to say to someone, “You need to take more time for self-care.” But how does one actually go about implementing that? I think, for many people, self-care equates to a couple hours set aside just for yourself. When, in reality, self-care can be as little as 5 to 10 minutes just for yourself.
There are so many things one can do to get that much needed self-care – give yourself a pedicure, or better yet, go get a pedicure (yes, this takes a little longer than 5 to 10 minutes, but it’s so very much worth it!); meditate for 10 minutes (there are great apps that talk you through it…no thinking required!); drink a cup of coffee/tea on your back deck as you’re enjoying nature; take a hot bath; read a good book (not for school or work!!); watch a movie (without working through it); listen to music and dance around the living room; get a massage (believe me, this one does WONDERS for you…mind, body, and soul)!!
Self-care is anything that you *love* doing JUST FOR YOURSELF!! It’s time that you set aside for you to replenish your energy, take a breather, calm your mind, and then go back to your everyday life feeling refreshed. Because, let’s face it, we all could use these “breaks!” We give and we give and we give to our families, friends, co-workers, etc. But let’s not forget to give to OURSELVES! We are just as important as everyone else! And believe me when I say that everything else WILL get done! And if it doesn’t get done today, it will still be there tomorrow.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should throw everything to the wayside and do nothing, but I am saying that not everything (unless there’s a deadline or a priority) needs to be done RIGHT THIS SECOND. And all of us can spare 5 to 10 minutes to ourselves…because in the long run, believe me, it will be beneficial not only to you, but to your significant other, your children, your friends and family, your co-workers…to everything.
And start small…schedule 5 minutes a day to just sit and be by yourself. Put away your phone, iPad, computer, your electronics…grab your coffee, tea, green juice, and just sit (outside preferably). Smell the fresh cut grass, hear the birds chirping, feel the sun on your skin, taste the yummy drink you’re enjoying. Just be…for 5 minutes. And notice how different you feel when you go back to your daily routine.
What are some of your go-to self-care practices? My latest one has been a hot Epsom salt bath at the end of a long day. It has helped me tremendously since I started doing it. There really is nothing compared to taking time out of your day to take care of yourself…I promise, you will see huge benefits when you start taking care of yourself first!
With love and wellness,
So many people believe that happiness begins with the possessions one owns or the people in their lives. They think, “I’ll be happy when I have a better job,” or “I’ll be happy when I have a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/family/kids,” or “I’ll be happy when I make more money,” or “I’ll be happy when I live in a bigger house/have a better car, etc.” Do you ever find yourself thinking that?
I know I’m guilty of it. I work my current day job, plus have my health coaching and oils business on the side as my part time gig. And I often think, “When I can quit my current day job and focus solely on my businesses, I’ll be happy/happier/more content.” But how often does that actually work? We rely on these statements/beliefs to make us happy, and in the meantime, we are miserable, all the while waiting for these amazing things to happen to us.
But what would happen if you changed your outlook? What would happen if you said, “I am happy right now, in my present life and state of being,” regardless of what you’re doing or what you own or who is in your life? What would happen if you stopped blaming your circumstances for where you are and how you’re feeling? What would happen if you stopped blaming your parents, or your significant other, or your teachers from grade school? What would happen if you took responsibility for your happiness?
This is such a profound question. Because most people don’t realize that happiness begins and ends with themselves. It all starts with their inner being and their thoughts and feelings. Nobody else can control their happiness nor can anyone else provide your happiness. Nobody “makes” someone else happy. Everyone is responsible for their own happiness!!
Think how different the world would be if everyone thought this way! If people stopped blaming one another and embraced their own happiness (or misery) as exactly that…their own! And I’ll admit, it’s not always easy to do…it’s not easy to accept that how we’re feeling in any given moment is our own fault. We want to blame someone else…anyone else for how we’re feeling. We don’t want to believe that we feel a certain way solely because of ourselves.
But let’s put a stop to that. Let’s take responsibility for how we feel. Let’s change our mindsets. For instance, I have to stop thinking that I will be happier when I quit my day job…because I am happy RIGHT NOW. I have multiple things in my life that make me happy…I’m able to do exactly what I want because of that day job. I’m able to start a business and focus on what I want to do because of that day job…without going into debt! And how awesome is that?? How many people can say that?
And remember, every choice you make, every thought you have…you did that. Nobody else. So accept responsibility for your own actions and your own happiness. And see how quickly your mindset and attitude changes. Even better, see how quickly other people’s reactions to you change…because you aren’t blaming others or acting as a victim in your own life. It’s amazing how this one little shift can alter your whole life.
What are some methods you’ve used to change this mindset and focus on your own happiness? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
With love and wellness,
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So this weekend I visited my mom in northern VA. I haven’t visited her since November, which is crazy. She’s been to see me a couple times and we’ve seen each other in Colorado, but I think this has been the longest it’s been since I’ve visited her. It was a much needed weekend…a girl can never have too much time with her momma.
But needless to say, I over-indulged…quite a bit. I had (a whole lot of) sangria, gluten free pizza from domino’s, gluten and egg free oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies (which were flippin’ amazing, I might add!!), and 3.5 Justin’s dark chocolate and peanut butter cup packs (thanks Ben). I had other healthy eats in between, but my sugar intake was incredibly high this weekend.
And boy, could I tell. My energy levels have been pretty low and I’m just plain exhausted. I’ve also had a pretty bad headache all day. But I needed this weekend. Big time. I enjoyed every last thing that I ate, and I enjoyed the time spent with my momma. I needed the advice and love and support that she always gives me.
Let’s see…here’s a quick recap of my weekend. I ate (a lot), I drank (more than I normally do), I talked (about everything), I questioned (my life decisions among other things), I laughed, I cried, I doubted myself, but in the end, I realized a whole lot about myself and my life. It’s not often we get weekends away from our normal lives where we can reflect on our lives and have the opportunity to change our perspective.
I’ll be the first to admit I had a rough day yesterday. I’ve been sad about my recent break-up and the changes in my life. I keep questioning how I got here…how we got here. But there were so many things that led us down the path where we are now. And I realized this weekend that I’m okay with that.
I won’t go into any personal details, because it wouldn’t be fair to me or him, but let’s just say that he is not the person I thought he was. And I’m sure he’d say the same about me. We were very different people and rushed into our relationship very quickly, despite the warnings and the words of wisdom we received from friends and family. We thought we knew best. We thought it was forever.
I also realized that I have a really bad habit of not trusting myself or listening to my intuition. And I keep getting myself into these same situations…I was asking myself why and how this weekend. But you know what? I haven’t learned anything from my past mistakes…no, not mistakes…my past lessons. Every situation is a lesson that is supposed to teach us something. And in life, when you keep repeating the same lessons, it means you aren’t learning from them.
So my goal from this lesson is to learn to listen to and trust my intuition. I don’t have to know why or what the answer is, but if something doesn’t feel right and my gut is telling me that, I NEED to start listening to it! I always argue with myself and talk myself out of feeling whatever it is I’m feeling instead of listening to it. I did it in this situation too. And all it did was cause problems, which led us to where we are now.
I found this picture awhile ago…it’s so accurate. We may not know why or how we know, but there’s something deep within us that just knows. Learn to listen to it…to trust it….to follow your instincts. Because that’s what I’m going to do.
What are your tried and true methods of listening to and trusting your instincts? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
Also, because how could I forget, but Happy Easter!! I went to church with my momma this morning…here’s a before church selfie :)
I hope you all had a beautiful weekend and enjoyed time with friends and family.
With love and wellness,
So I know I’ve talked about what a Health Coach is and what we do, but have you ever wondered how I got to this point? And maybe how you could become one too? My journey is one I don’t talk about often; not because I’m embarrassed by it, but because it took me so long to actually start on this journey! I can’t believe I put it off for so long, when my intuition, my entire being was screaming at me to do something different!
First, let’s start with where I was and how I ended up on this path to becoming a Health Coach. In 2009, I was engaged…well, sort of engaged…he hadn’t quite asked me yet, but he had the ring(s) and we were making all the plans for the big day in 2010 (long story…ugh). The whole time we were dating, I had started breaking out like crazy (all along my chin, which I later found out is indicative of hormonal issues). I was on birth control and assumed that it was just stress causing the break-outs. I did the normal thing of going to a dermatologist and getting on medicine/antibiotics because let’s face it, I was vain and I just wanted my face to clear up!
Well, fast forward to the end of 2009, and the engagement/relationship was called off because he had an indiscretion with someone that wasn’t me (yet another long story). My break-outs weren’t getting any better, and really appeared to be getting worse. I am fairly pale-skinned so the redness of the acne was very noticeable. I was very self-conscious of it and hated leaving the house like that. All throughout 2010, it was like that, and I had been on antibiotic after antibiotic to treat it.
End of 2010 into 2011, I deployed for six months (my then and current day job is with the Department of Defense). My acne was still an issue, and I literally was trying everything under the sun to control it. Let me clarify, I was trying any and all medications and other “natural” remedies, but for eating healthy and clean and not using the overly processed products on my face. When I returned home in 2011, I had zero energy, my face was a hot mess, and my eyebrows had started thinning. At this point, I’d been on birth control for just about 14 years, maybe almost 15 years.
So I started seeing a doctor who told me a lot of my symptoms appeared to be caused by issues with my thyroid and that prolonged use of birth control can cause those issues. So being an all or nothing type person, I immediately stopped taking my birth control…mid-cycle and everything. Well holy crap….and I thought my acne had been bad before??? My face went OUT OF CONTROL! It looked like I had a beard of acne! It was horrifying and it hurt like crazy! Everything I tried made it burn and hurt and more red!
So I went back to the dermatologist, who told me it was some sort of dermatitis mixed in with the acne and the only cure was antibiotics (surprise, surprise). They, of course, could not tell me what actually caused the dermatitis. How can you prevent something when you have no idea what caused it in the first place??? So the dermatitis cleared up, but the acne remained.
I won’t bore you with the details of the rest of 2011, 2012, and 2013, but let’s just suffice it to say that my face went through all the spectrums. Some days it would look okay, while others I didn’t even want to leave the house. I went back and forth to being on antibiotics to not wanting to be on any medicine. I was so embarrassed all the time and questioned how anyone was going to take me seriously because I looked like a pre-pubescent teenager. I can’t tell you the number of times I called my mom crying about it. And I can’t tell you the number of times I went to the dermatologist hoping for something other than an antibiotic “quick fix.” Because let me tell you, antibiotics don’t fix the underlying problem!!!! They only mask the problem and make it “better” for the short term. Once you are off the meds, the problem comes back in full force!
I was at a breaking point when the dermatologist recommended Accutane. At the time, I wasn’t on birth control and you have to be on two forms of it for them to even consider Accutane. And I knew I didn’t want to be back on birth control. I also knew that I wasn’t a huge fan of being placed on any other medication. At this point in my journey, I was trying to steer clear of medications and heal my gut from years of antibiotic use. I knew I had to change something in my life in order to avoid Accutane. I promised myself, and voiced this promise to my mom, that if I couldn’t fix it with diet and lifestyle changes, that Accutane would be my last resort.
I mean, it was so bad…in 2012, I lived in Suffolk, VA.and it was Halloween. I distinctly remember calling my mom in tears because my face was still broken out and so red and painful…I told her that I didn’t even need a mask to scare the kids! I even told her that I couldn’t possibly remove anything else from my diet….that if I did, I would be eating dirt!! Yes, I was at a low point in my life!
So I went vegan…I’d been vegetarian prior to that, but in the beginning of 2013, my new year’s resolution was to start cooking more whole foods and to become a vegan. I removed all dairy, eggs, all processed foods (including that fake vegetarian meat crap), all grains and bread (I decided to try removing gluten too), and I added in more vegetables and fruits. But I was still drinking coffee every day and having “healthy” sweet treats (even those vegan books make amazing desserts!!).
After moving from Suffolk to Virginia Beach mid-2013, and doing countless hours of research into the causes of acne, I finally figured out that most likely the cause of my acne and sleep issues and anxiety was hormonal. Duh. After being on birth control for about 15 years and then abruptly going off it, that would make sense. Now let’s see…at this point, I’d been off birth control for two years and had done countless different things to try to improve/heal my acne. Everything but try to get my hormones balanced.
So in the end of 2013, I decided to do a 21-day Sugar Detox. I’d learned that sugar has a monstrous effect on female hormones and can totally wreak havoc on a person’s body. The other eye opener for me was after my knee surgery in May 2013. The day of surgery, I couldn’t come out of the anesthetic. And when I was waking up, I was hot and sweaty and knew I needed food…I was having one of my attacks where my blood sugar was too low and I needed something to eat. The nurse or doctor (or whoever) took my blood sugar and told me it was way too high to need any food. But it wasn’t until I insisted and they gave me some crackers (or something) that I started feeling better. That was a scary feeling. You see, the night before, I had indulged (or over-indulged) on some of those “healthy” vegan
sweet treats! So of course my blood sugar was through the roof! I knew I needed to make a change!
So back to the sugar detox. It was one of the hardest things I’d ever done! I was used to having something sweet every night after dinner. And to completely cut that off for 21 days?? Holy crap! Plus, having to watch everything else I ate to ensure I wasn’t accidentally eating sugar?? It was difficult. But can I just tell you that for the first time in just about two years my acne started clearing up? My face was no longer full of red bumps and it wasn’t painful! And something else happened during the detox…I started craving meat…like, I needed meat! And yes, I am now a meat eater again. But the biggest thing I learned is that we are all individuals!! What works for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for someone else! I had finally learned to listen to my body and give it what it needed!!! That, in and of itself, was the biggest takeaway of it all!
My journey hasn’t been a perfect one; I’ve had my trials and errors. I now know that too much sugar causes my face to break out like crazy. I also now know that almonds and almond butter do the same thing to me. I’ve also incorporated essential oils into my life, which has also drastically improved my life and my skin.
But the one thing that remained consistent is that through all of my research and internet searches, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) kept popping up. I read blog after blog about IIN and this amazing school and becoming a health coach. I can remember talking to my mom and my best friend about it and what they thought. Did they think I was crazy because I wanted to go to school (again) to become a health coach? Mind you, I was finishing up my second master’s in 2013 and this school was on my mind. I knew I couldn’t do both at the same time.
But in the end of 2013, roughly around the same time as the sugar detox, I got an email saying that tuition was going to be increased starting the following day. I was so nervous! I called my mom and my best friend, going on and on about spending all this money on a program and what if I quit my day job and failed? I mean, I had every excuse under the sun. Until I realized that going to school and becoming a health coach didn’t mean I had to quit my day job. It just meant that I would be more knowledgeable about health and nutrition, not only to help myself, but to help my friends and family. So I enrolled and put a start date of May 2014.
I’ll admit, it was scary. This path is completely different from my day job…like, a complete 180. And I have a cushy government job…but I knew that my passion has always been in health, nutrition, and physical fitness. I knew that my friends and family have always asked me questions about what they should eat, what supplements they should take, what exercises they should do. I’d always been that “go-to” person. I also knew that in my years of research and trying to figure out what was going on with my body that the universe was drawing me towards IIN.
And I also knew that I wanted to help others figure it all out much faster than I did. Because I know how humiliating it is to be 30 years old and have adult acne. And I know how painful it is to look in the mirror and all you see is acne and red and pain. And I know what it’s like to suffer because you don’t know what’s wrong or how to fix it. I can’t tell you the number of times I went to the doctor for not only my acne, but my fatigue and anxiety and insomnia. Time and again, I was told I was “normal” and “healthy” and that nothing was wrong. But I knew I wasn’t healthy, by any stretch of the word!!
I wish I had a picture of what I looked like at my worst, but I’ll admit it again…I’m vain. And I hated having my picture taken then. I hated looking at the pictures and seeing only acne. I have one from 2011 (it’s not the greatest and it’s definitely not at my worst), but you can see how tired I look and you can see the acne along my chin. And here’s what I look like now. I look refreshed and vibrant with clear skin!!
I limit my sugar intake, I limit my caffeine intake and only drink decaf coffee when I have it, I eat whole, real foods (nothing processed), and I use essential oils as part of my daily routine. I love how I look now. And yes, I know that the acne didn’t define me as a person…but it made me less confident, which made me less “me.” I also sleep much better, my anxiety is under control, and I actually have energy to get everything done and then some!! All without medication!!
I want to be able to help guide you on your journey! Whether that is to IIN to become a health coach to help other people, or to just learn more about health and nutrition to help yourself and your family! Ask me how to become a part of an amazing school with an amazing program that has drastically changed my life!
And if your journey doesn’t include IIN, that’s okay too! Because I have amazing six month programs that can help you get to the root causes of your health concerns. Think about it…Six months working with me to help you instead of YEARS of trial and error and research and starting all over again when something fails! Let me help you become the healthiest, happiest version of YOU. Because I’d love to be a part of your journey!!! Click HERE to find out how to work with me! It all starts with a FREE complimentary health consultation :) Let’s get you started today!
With love and wellness,