This is the bane of my existence. I know I will never…and yes, I mean never…be perfect. Yet I stress and fret over making everything I do perfect. Take today for example. I’ve been working on an upcoming webinar I’m going to have…and I’ve spent the majority of the afternoon updating and editing and changing things trying to make it be perfect. For you see, this will be my first one and I, of course, don’t want to fail.
But that’s such a silly way to look at this. Because I don’t have to be perfect…yes, I may have technological problems (but who doesn’t nowadays??) and I may screw up a slide or the words I say…but you know what? I am human!! And it’s okay to mess up and even better, to laugh at myself in doing so!!
So I’ve given myself permission to take a step back from it and know that it will all work out the way it’s supposed to. Yes, I need to put the work into it, but I don’t have to make it this perfect thing. All it does is increase my anxiety and frustrate the crap outta me.
Does any of this sound like you??
In the past, when I found myself thinking these thoughts, I would get super depressed and down and put everything off until I was forced to half-ass whatever it was I was doing. So then, guess what? It didn’t go as planned (or as I wanted), and I would beat myself up for days. It was so frustrating.
Nowadays, thankfully, I’ve learned to refocus my thoughts and change my perspective. Yes, I’ve been working on it all day and haven’t gotten as far as I would have liked. But it’s all good…because I have time to get it done. And sitting at my computer stressing about it isn’t going to make it any better. And you know what? I’m going to ask for help (which is something that is really hard for me!!).
I may not have a flawless first webinar, but the fact that I’m doing it is WAAAAYYYYY outside my comfort zone! So I’m okay with that :)
On that note, I’m going to put my computer away and enjoy the rest of my evening. Have a fabulous weekend!
With love and wellness,
So I completed my ten days of meditation a couple days ago….it definitely became a habit! I’ve kept it up and plan on continuing to do it every night before bed (or as needed). I’ll admit, it was tougher than I thought to add in meditation every night…there were many late nights, especially while I was traveling, where all I wanted to do was crawl in bed and pass out. But I still did my meditation…every night. Even if it was only a 3 minute meditation, I still managed to get them in! So if I can do it at midnight (when I had to wake up in a few short hours), then anyone can do it!!
I’ve noticed a few positive changes since adding it into my routine. First, and the most obvious, is that I’ve been sleeping better. I fall asleep faster because my mind isn’t racing with millions of thoughts, and I sleep through the night. I wake up with a clear mind and my thoughts are much more positive throughout the day, as well! That may not mean much to some people, but it’s amazing for me. I have so many things to be positive for, but it’s often difficult to maintain that positive outlook all day, every day. Meditation has helped me maintain that focus.
Another positive change I’ve noticed is that I’m much calmer…my anxiety is not quite as crazy as it can be. I have a bad habit of overthinking things and going over everything in my mind again and again. It. Drives. Me. Crazy. Meditation has helped calm that down. Another side effect is that my thoughts are much clearer. They aren’t all jumbled up and all over the place. I can’t tell you how amazing that is! I seem to make decisions much easier, and I don’t go back and forth over what I should do, or worse, trying to figure out what is “expected” of me.
I’m so happy to get back into meditation and to have these amazing results, just in a few short days. I know this is something I will continue doing and continue seeing great results!
I traveled to Charleston, SC last week, my home town. It seemed to fly by! I had so much fun and visited with a lot of friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. I also got to see my family, which is always a plus! And yes, I kept up with my meditation while I was there. My aunt even asked me about it! I hope she gets into it and sees the same great results I have!
It’s been nice to be home and get back into my routine. I missed my kitchen and cooking and eating healthy. Like I said above, I had a few late nights so I wasn’t getting my sleep and I was eating out every meal (obviously), so I know I didn’t always make the best choices. Needless to say, I’ve had a few breakouts as a result. But I know they’ll clear up now that I’m getting home and getting back into my normal eating habits! The real takeaway is that I had an awesome week and enjoyed my time away! Because in the end, we only live once! So we may as well live it up :)
I hope you all are enjoying your weekend, and are getting some much needed rest and relaxation!
With love and wellness,
PS – I had to throw this picture in because I think it’s hilarious. Meditation will help keep you calm…dating a crossfit chick helps too :P
Let’s talk about meditation. I know, I know…I heard an audible groan across the internet. If you’re anything like me, the thought of sitting down for any period of time without moving or doing or thinking anything is unheard of. I can’t even get my thoughts to calm down for a meeting at work, let alone NOT think anything for several minutes in a row!!!
That was my initial perception of meditation. I thought it was sitting around, forcing your mind to be calm and not thinking about anything. So I always avoided it, even though I’d heard great things about it. I knew that calming my mind would be extremely beneficial, because my mind is *always* going a million miles a minute (and it’s not always a good thing!).
It wasn’t until a couple years ago when I started working with another health coach that I really learned what meditation was all about and how to go about doing it. I started with ten minutes a day…yes, that’s it! I used an app on my iPhone called HeadSpace. It’s initially free, but then you have to pay for it after the first 10 days (I believe, because I ended up not paying for it after the free trial was over). So I did it for 10 days, 10 minutes a day.
It was super easy!! Yes, you find a nice, quiet place to sit down and do it, but the guy from HeadSpace, who has a super sexy accent, speaks to you and guides you through the whole thing! All you have to do is listen to what he says and follow instructions. I mean, it’s that simple!!
After 10 days, I felt calmer, more relaxed, and able to make decisions quicker and easier. I was also sleeping better! I hadn’t done anything else but add in my 10 minutes a day of meditation! It was awesome!
I then found several other apps for my phone (that were free, of course) to continue on my quest for daily meditation. The one I like the most is called Guided Mind. They have several different meditations for various things in your life, such as insomnia, relaxation, grounding, affirmations, etc. They have several that are free, while others that you have to upgrade the app and pay for. But I’ve found the free ones have been extremely beneficial for me.
I wish I could say that I am diligent about meditating and I do it every day, but I don’t. I go through periods where I do it just about every day, and then I go through periods where it’s the last thing on my mind because I’m so busy. But I can tell you those are the times I need it most! There’s something about meditating that allows me to calm my mind, relax my overthinking and anxiety, and help make everything so much clearer. If you’re struggling with something, meditation may be your answer! I know when I need an open mind, meditation helps me open up and see everything without all the fog and other junk in the way. It also helps me sleep so much better!!!
I like to meditate at the end of the day, kind of as a way to show my body it’s time to calm down and get ready for bed. It also helps me clear my head so I don’t have a jumble of thoughts going on as I try to wind down and climb in bed. But for others, it’s helpful to meditate first thing in the morning to start the day with a clear head. There’s no right or wrong time to meditate, just as there’s no right or wrong way to meditate. Find the time that works best for you and add it into your routine…find a nice quiet place that you can relax…turn off all your electronics and really be in the moment. Allow yourself to be fully present and relaxed as you listen to the soothing voice in the app (yes, I know it’s on your phone, but there’s a way to play it without getting incoming calls and texts! I do it all the time!!).
I highly suggest you download one of the apps and see what all the hype is about. See how you react to it, how you feel after a few days of adding it into your routine. Are you more relaxed? More clear headed? Able to make those tough decisions a little easier?
I have an even better idea! Let’s do it together! Let’s meditate for the next ten days! You can do anything for ten days, right?!?! I’m going to start tonight as Day 1!! I hope you join me over the next ten days and see where we end up!
I look forward to hearing about your experiences in the comments!
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,
I bet you’ve been wondering how you could benefit from working with a health coach. And even more so wondering how you could afford one. Well let me start by saying that having a health coach is actually very affordable. There are several different things you can do to free up some funding in order to hire a health coach. But first, let me tell you some ways that you would benefit from having a health coach, specifically, having me as your health coach :)
First, and obviously the most important, is that you’d get to work with me :) I mean, come on! Doesn’t that sound like a great time? Seriously though, I’ve been in your shoes. I’ve suffered from anxiety, insomnia and sleep issues, hormonal imbalances, acne, acne, and more acne, extreme fatigue, stomach pains, thyroid issues; you name it, I probably had it. I went to doctor after doctor to find the answers as to why I felt awful; I was tired all the time, I couldn’t sleep, my face wouldn’t stop breaking out, I’d have weird rashes on my skin, I felt like I didn’t belong in my own skin, I was depressed and anxious and worried about everything! Yet, I was told over and over again that I was healthy, that nothing was wrong with me, that if all that doctor’s clients were as healthy as me, that he would be out of business. Does this sound like you? Have you been there? I’m here to help!! You don’t have to do it on your own! I did it on my own over a period of 4 years! Yes, 4 years to figure out my issues and experiment and figure out what worked for me. I’m offering a 6-month program to work with you and help you achieve the goals you have! To help you figure out what’s going on in your life and make these important lifestyle changes! Yes, in 6 months!! But let’s look at the other benefits from working with a health coach too.
You’d have an accountability partner, someone that listens to what’s going on in your life and holds you accountable to those things you say you’re going to do. Have you ever set a goal (or several) only to not follow through or have it be pushed to the side? That’s where I come in. Every two weeks, we’d meet and I’d follow up with you about those goals you set. Having someone to hold you accountable is vitally important in helping you keep and reach those goals. I know, for me personally, that having someone ask me about my goals helps keep me on track. Knowing that I’m talking to someone in two weeks helps me follow through with what I say I’m going to do. For instance, I have a peer coach right now; someone that I talk with every two weeks about what’s going on in my life. She helps keep me focused so that I follow through with my goals. Plus, I don’t want to talk to her in two weeks and not have any updates! I’ve found that I accomplish so much more by having someone there to support me and ensure I reach my goals.
Another benefit is that a health coach also focuses on your whole being! Being healthy isn’t just about nutrition or fitness or eating the “right” foods. Working with a health coach means you focus on everything in your life, from relationships to work to your exercise regiment to what you eat and how you sleep (or don’t sleep) to your religious beliefs. Everything is connected. If one area of your life is not in sync, it causes the rest of your life to be out of sync. Have you ever noticed that when you come home from a bad day at work to an empty house that you tend to eat more or eat poorly? Or that you eat standing at the kitchen counter, shoving your food into your face as you watch the latest TV show on your iPad? Because I’ve been there. I was unhappy with work and the relationships in my life (that’s a whole other blog post) and that affected my eating. I was eating pretty healthy and paleo, but every night after dinner, I was making a “sweet treat.” I justified it by using organic and paleo-approved ingredients, so it was healthy, right? As a result, my sugar cravings were INSANE!! I was finally able to get them under control, which I’ll discuss in another blog, but I realized that my eating habits were directly linked to how my day went at work and what was going on in my personal life/relationships. As your health coach, we’d discuss all of these things and help you see where your life may be out of sync and how to get it all back on track.
A few other benefits include overcoming your barriers in your mind (we all have them, right?), retraining the way you think with positive self-talk, and helping you achieve a healthier lifestyle, improving your health, fitness, and nutrition, as well as improving your relationships! Some common barriers include “I can’t do that,” “I’m not good enough to do that,” “I make too many mistakes to try that,” or “I don’t have enough money to do that.” The truth is you CAN do whatever you set your mind to! As your health coach, I’d help you overcome those barriers and open your eyes to all the possibilities you do have! And with that, I’d help you retrain your negative self-talk. What your mind thinks and believes, your body and self achieves!! You have to banish the negative thinking to get where you want to go! Think positively, focus on the positives, and positive things will happen.
Okay – so now that you know the benefits of working with a health coach, let’s talk about a couple ways you can save some money in order to afford a health coach. You already know some of the obvious ones like skipping your morning coffee runs and bringing your lunch to work. Keep track of your spending if you are buying coffee every morning and lunch every day. How much are you actually spending? Last time I checked, a cup of coffee from Starbucks, particularly the frou-frou drinks, are just short of $5. If you stop every morning, you’re spending $25 right there (if you only go during the work week). Start making coffee from home and bringing it in a pretty thermos with you to work. And what about lunch? The inexpensive places typically run from $10-15 for lunch. But what about the nice places? You could spend anywhere from $15-30 for lunch. Eating out every day for one week at the cheapest rate of $10 would cost you $50. Already, you’d have saved $75 by making your own coffee and bringing your lunch every day. That’s crazy!!
A couple other ways to save money is to get rid of cable. What, you say? Get rid of my cable?? Yes, get rid of your cable. I did it a couple years ago and I haven’t looked back. I use Netflix for my movie-watching and any shows I want to watch, for a low rate of $7.99 a month, as well as Hulu Plus to watch my current shows, also for the low rate of $7.99 a month. So for $16 a month, I can watch whatever shows I’m addicted to, as well as any movies I want (well, that Netflix has on there). Compare that to the cost of cable now…what is it? $80? $90? I hear what some people are paying for cable and I’m in awe…I guess it depends on how many channels you want and what premium package you have, but no thank you. I’ll pay my $16 a month :)
A few other ways include drinking more water when you do go out to eat. It’s free and it’s good for you! Trade out your soda, lemonade, or tea for water at one meal a day. That’ll save you a bit! Clean out your closets/homes. Instead of donating your stuff, bring it to a consignment shop, hold a yard sale, or put it on Craig’s List. Make some money off the old stuff you no longer want or need. We just did it in our household with a fish tank, a treadmill, and a rowing machine. It helps the bank account, for sure! Also, keep track of your bank accounts. Are you spending too much on bank fees? Do you even notice when you are charged a fee? If you are, do some bank shopping. Find one that doesn’t charge you fees! All you’re doing is throwing away money if your bank is charging you these fees.
One last way to save money is to price shop when you do need to buy something. Compare, compare, compare! And sleep on it! Don’t impulse buy. Determine if whatever you’re shopping for is something you need or something you want. I’ll give you a great example. Scott and I were shopping for a dishwasher a few weeks ago because ours broke down. We were going to a couple different stores to comparison price and came across this amazing deal on a double oven. He and I stood there talking about it, looking at it, wanting it with everything we had. We knew it was a great deal. But we decided to leave the store and talk about it a little more away from the store employees. And as much as we wanted that double oven, we knew we didn’t need it right now. Our oven works just fine and we don’t plan on staying in our current house for much more than a year, and then we plan to rent it out. We decided that our next house will be where we splurge on a double oven. That was definitely a want at that point, not a need. Make sure this is something you do with anything you want to purchase and I promise, you will save some money. We saved ourselves about $900 by walking away from that double oven.
Implement some of these cost-saving ideas and you can easily afford a health coach. My 6-month program is only $95 a month for a one-on-one health coach experience! And only $50 a person for a group coaching experience! And I promise, it will be one that is life-changing! Contact me for more details! I can’t wait to hear from you and work with you!!
With love and wellness,