For as long as I can remember, my mom has called me Grace. I’m not sure when it started, but I know it has to do with my complete and utter “gracefulness.” Let’s just call it what it is…I’m a klutz…I am definitely not the most graceful. You can ask any one of my friends and they’ll have a story to tell you about that. Let’s just say that I trip on flat surfaces…daily. And don’t get me started on finding bruises that I’m not entirely sure where they came from.
I used to get so embarrassed by it…as in, turn bright red, want to disappear into the background and hope nobody saw it. I can remember this one time in 2nd grade when I was asked to get something from the office – don’t ask me what that something was, but I know I was reading it on my way back to class. Needless to say, I walked into the wrong class and it wasn’t until I looked up and saw everyone staring at me that I realized it. I remember being mortified, turning bright red, and kind of laughing at myself before backing out and going to my classroom.
Now, I’m not sure how long that mortification lasted, but the fact that I can remember it like it was yesterday tells me a lot (believe me, I have the worst memory for things in the past…my mom thinks I’m faking, but I can’t remember jack from my childhood!!).
There are other instances of doing something like this…embarrassing myself so badly that I would get mad at whoever was around for laughing at me. In my mind, I wanted to be so perfect and flawless. And if others could see that I wasn’t, I was *pissed*! I honestly don’t know if I was pissed at myself or at them for laughing at me. But I know this ruined a lot of days for me.
And don’t even get me started on public speaking! Talk about mortifying in and of itself, but if I messed up a word or a concept or what I wanted to say, it was like the end of the world! I would get bright red and overheated (think sweating…awesome!!) and beat myself up for days afterwards! There was even one class where we video-recorded our speeches and had to watch them after the fact and write a critique about them. Oh…it was cringe-worthy. I could barely stand to watch myself and have to re-live the agony!!
Does any of this sound familiar??
*I shake my head and smack myself in the forehead*
This was how I reacted to E V E R Y T H I N G for many years. I couldn’t enjoy anything, because I was so worried about screwing it up or making an a&% out of myself! Now how fun does that sound?! I’m sure I pissed off quite a few friends, as well.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when this changed for me (and don’t get me wrong…I still have my little quirks about what I will and won’t do for fear of looking stupid, but I’m definitely WAY more relaxed than I used to be!). Realizing I wasn’t perfect nor was I ever going to be helped tremendously! I changed my mindset big time and learned to laugh at myself!! Because if I can’t laugh at myself, then I am going to be miserable!! I spend my days running into desks or walls or tripping on flat surfaces, for pete’s sake!! And laughing at myself is far better than being pissed off at myself or the situation or God forbid, anyone around who is laughing at me!
So I’ve accepted being called Grace…I think I’ve actually embraced it. And the more I’m okay with it, the more relaxed and happy I’ve become! *GASP* Who knew that calming down my perfectionist tendencies would help me be happier?!?! Believe me, I wish I’d known this many years ago!
A fellow health coach sent me this quote today: “Perfection is a concept that was derived from something you decided was ‘good’ or ‘right,’ and what you are doing now is being compared to that decision. But, in reality, perfection is nothing but an idea.”
This is such a P E R F E C T way to describe perfection (yes, pun intended). Because what is perfection? According to google, perfection is the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects. Have you ever met anyone who is perfect? I know I certainly haven’t. But I was trying to be *that* person!! I placed all these conditions on myself of what was “good” or “right” and when I deviated from those conditions, I was so hateful and angry at myself. This did nothing but make me a hateful and angry person!
Ugh!!! I wasted so many years being that way! It’s taken me several years and lots of internal work, but I have finally embraced my flaws and defects (yes, I’m happy to call them defects). I LOVE my flaws!! I am perfectly imperfect! And I am perfectly flawed! Knowing this…embracing this…accepting this…is so FREEING!! I don’t have to strive for perfection anymore, because
At all. In any way, shape, or form!
Whew – this is such a huge relief! HUGE! GINORMOUS! AMAZING! I am free to be exactly who I’m meant to be! Without any expectations or eagerness to please or be perfect! And you know what else is great about this? God’s grace is bigger than my failures! His grace is bigger than your failures, too!
It doesn’t matter how many times I make a fool of myself (by tripping or running into my desk or the wall that I swear just moved there!!), He still loves me and thinks I’m enough exactly as I am. His Grace is enough for me. And I am pleased to be called Grace, even if it’s not meant in the exact same way.
Accept and embrace your flaws…because they are beautiful. And no matter how many times you “fail” at something, know that God is there. And more importantly, know that it means you are trying!! If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying, which means you aren’t growing!!
I hope you have a beautiful day! And know that you are truly beautiful, flaws, failures, and all!
With love and wellness (and random bruises all over!!),
PS – this has become one of my favorite songs! It speaks to me on so many levels!! Let me know your thoughts in the comments :)
I’m so excited to introduce Christina Rizzo, a relationship coach on a mission to help men and women create loving relationships with themselves. I am excited to have her as a guest blogger on my site. I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did! I’m always in need of more love! Christina helps people achieve their dreams, go for their goals, and find freedom from their stumbling blocks and limiting beliefs using love, enthusiasm, a smidge of magic and a lot of hard work. Gotta have more? Connect with Christina at: www.thechristinarizzo.com and get FREE access to Christina’s guide: 10 easy steps to go from self-deprecating negativity to empowered confident action.
Isn’t love grand and amazing! It makes us feel warm inside and as if we matter in this world. But when we are lacking love we feel out of sorts, lonely, sad, and even bitter. Today I am going to talk about ways you can create more love in your life, so those moments of warmth and amazingness are a daily occurrence. BUT, there is a catch. I’m not talking about just any type of love here. Hmm. Did you think I meant romantic love? Were you hoping I was going to share ways to get more love out of your current relationship or how to get more love from a future relationship? You are right…sort of. I AM talking about getting more love out of a relationship….specifically, the relationship you have from yourself.
Yes, loving your self is sooooooo important and no, loving yourself does not mean you are selfish or have an inflated ego. It means that you value yourself. It means you only allow stellar people into your life. It means you createboundaries. It means you go after the things that matter to you and don’t put them on the back burner for someone else. I could go on and on. If your life is straight crazy and one shitty event after the other is occurring you gotta look inside. How are your treating yourself? As women, it can be even more difficult to love ourselves. We have been conditioned in so many ways to think we have to be self-sacrificing and put others ahead of our own needs. I have been there and I am still working on this myself. I have come very far from the extreme people pleaser I used to be, but changing patterns takes time!
If this is sounding all too familiar I got you covered! Below are 5 really easy ways to bring more self-love into your world. Once you start demanding love for yourself those negative people and situations will start to fall away. We will always have to deal with difficult life situations to some extent, but you will have a better support system, you will have a better outlook, and you will have better resources to help handle anything that comes your way…just because you love and care about yourself. Oh and let me not forget to mention that if you love yourself then you will ATTRACT a more suitable and fulfilling relationship into your life. You will stop going for those “bad boys.” Already in a relationship? When you focus on taking care of you and not on what the other person is lacking your relationship will naturally improve or you will realize that it is not the relationship for you after all.
Use these tips below how you see fit. Some you will love….some not so much. I challenge you to use each of these five tips over the next 14 days and then at the end reflect on how your life has changed and decide to keep them all or keep the ones you like the most.
Five ways to develop a deeper & more loving relationship with yourself:
Now it is your turn, Comment below or on Whitney’s FB page when you try these out. We want to hear from you!! If you heart these tips and want to hear more, head on over to my Facebook page and click on the Like button!
I hope you have an amazing Wednesday (it is hump day, ya know!)! And enjoy your 4th of July holiday weekend! I’m heading to Charleston, SC to visit family and the beautiful city I call home!
With love and wellness (and always in need of more self-love!!),
So I just got home from a long weekend in Colorado. Usually, when I travel, I eat out every meal and I end up feeling bloated and awful, even though I choose the best foods and try to stay on track. But you know how it is…you end up starving and the “good for you” choices end up not looking or sounding good, so you decide “just this once” I’ll eat this or that. And before you know it, the whole weekend has passed and you’ve had several “cheat” meals. Then you get home and the struggle is real to get back on track. We’ve all been there, right?!
But I’m so happy that this time was different! For you see, my brother and his wife just had beautiful twin girls! And that whole going out thing became a WHOLE LOT more difficult! Add in a rambunctious 3 year old and it gets even more difficult! So we spent our weekend visiting and cooking all our meals at their house. Which, believe me, was MUCH preferred! So this time, it was super easy to stay on track and enjoy the weekend without feeling awful the whole time!
I also got in a couple bodyweight workouts at the hotel with my nephew. Usually, I like to try to find a crossfit gym to drop in at, but I knew I wouldn’t have time this trip. But no worries…the bodyweight workouts I did were enough to get me moving and sweating and feeling the burn! And it inspired my nephew to get up and get moving too. His version of butterfly sit-ups looked WAY easier than mine! Hahahaha. I could have used this weekend as an excuse to relax and be lazy, but that isn’t me. Working out is relaxing for me!! And it didn’t detract from my weekend of visiting family either! Plus it helps that my family knows how crazy I am without my workouts!! :)
This was a much needed weekend away from some of the things going on in my life. I needed the time away to reflect on things going on in my life and to focus on the bigger picture. Because family is really what it’s all about. I enjoyed my one-on-one time with my nephew so much, and I loved getting to snuggle and cuddle with my nieces…they are such little angels! God Bless my sister-in-law for being able to handle it all while my brother is away at work! Plus he is amazing when he gets home and immediately starts helping and pitching in where needed! It definitely takes a village!!
I came home with a much clearer head and purpose for where my life is going and where it should be. My focus has been off and unclear for a bit, but I now know where it should be. That’s such a good feeling to have…knowing that all I had to do was take a step back and away from it all to really help it become clear where I should be focusing. I’d definitely recommend that for anyone!
I’m excited for being back on track and having set goals that I’m working towards. I’m even more excited to be back on track with God as my focus. For too long, I’ve strayed away from Him and I know that He is exactly where I need to be. I finally feel at peace knowing that He is at the helm of my ship…I hand Him all my anxieties and worries and rest peacefully knowing that whatever is going to happen is exactly what is supposed to.
I hope you all had an amazing weekend, as well! It’s weird talking about my long weekend while we are heading into another weekend here in a couple days. But I’m not complaining! I only have to work two days this week :) Then I have another busy weekend of attending the Crossfit Level 1 Certification training. I’m so excited to get this training under my belt and get on my way to achieving my goals!
Have a great rest of the week, and enjoy your weekend!
With love and wellness,
Ooooh – how could I forget?!?! Here are some pictures from this weekend!!
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,
Did you have an amazing New Year’s Eve? I spent mine with my handsome boyfriend and his beautiful daughter, as well as a bunch of great friends I met through my Crossfit gym and my boyfriend. It seems like it flew by…one minute, it was 7 p.m. and we had five hours left of 2014, and the next, we were in the last minute of it and counting down to 2015!! We made it to midnight and watched the ball drop in Times Square…well, Scott and I did. His daughter made it til about 11:55, LOL. She was so close!! And she slept through all the noise and the celebration!! She was zonked out til 9 a.m. this morning!
This time of year is always a time of reflection. We look at what we have accomplished over the past year – did we keep those resolutions? And we look forward to the upcoming year and what we want to accomplish. As I look back over the past year, I realize just how inspiring 2014 was for me. I started focusing more on me and what I wanted, instead of what I thought other people wanted for/from me. I also learned how to love myself more…not just the “good” parts of me, but EVERY part of me. And with all that, I met and fell in love with Scott, a fellow Crossfitter and someone who loves me for exactly who I am. He supports me and my growing business, both with the Health Coaching stuff and the doTerra oils. I’ve even gotten him interested in the oils!! He loves using them! And even better, his kids love them too!! His daughter came up to me this morning and said, “Whitney, I need some oils for my leg. I got a boo-boo.” How awesome is that??? Additionally, I started my training with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and have made great strides to becoming a Health Coach and living the life I’ve always wanted to live! In December, I was half-way through with the program and pre-certified to start seeing clients! I’m in the process of setting up my very own business (which is a HUGE step and only *slightly* intimidating!!). But I am beyond happy!! I made some huge life changes this year and I am so excited to continue moving forward and seeing what 2015 has in store for me!
I hope you look back on the past year and see great things, as well! If not, here’s to a fresh start in 2015. And here’s the thing – you don’t need the first day of the new year to make a fresh start. You can start any day of the week, month, year, etc. But this is the time of year for that fresh start! Make it a beautiful year! It’s day 1 of your 365 page book for 2015. How do you plan to write your book?
Here’s to an awesome, beautiful, productive 2015!!
With love and wellness,
It’s been a busy week…or couple of weeks! I’m in the process of moving and finishing up teaching at my alma mater and life has been super busy! Every day has flown by, and I can’t believe we’re already to Friday! I move on Saturday and I’m still scrambling to get all my stuff packed. Packing is craziness, I tell you! But enough about that. I know you’re dying to hear about the last part of my story! So here we go…
On top of everything else I’ve talked about, I am also a big advocate for physical fitness and moving your body. I’ve always been into sports and being physically fit. I can remember waking up early on the weekends when I was in middle school to work out; remember step aerobics? Yeah, that was me. Seriously…in middle school. I ran track, played softball, played powder puff football (in college), played kickball (in my adult years and more for fun), and just generally enjoyed working out…yes, I’m one of THOSE people! I like moving my body and seeing what it can do for me. In my day job with DoD, I am the PT coordinator and have been trained in physical fitness. I also know that not every person will benefit from the same types of exercise or sports. Like everything else, you have to find what works for you; more importantly, you have to find and do what you ENJOY! Because working out should be fun, not work. I joined Crossfit Takeover (http://www.crossfittakeover.com) in February 2014, and I haven’t looked back. I have to admit, I was scared at first. The thought of walking into a Crossfit gym…I’d heard all the stories and pictured all these bad ass athletes and then thought of me walking in and looking like a complete fool. Mind you, I’d had knee surgery in May 2013 – I tore my ACL and my meniscus in an attempt to run a Tough Mudder. Needless to say, I won’t be doing that again. But here I am, February 2014, wanting to get back in shape but not really knowing where to start. So I walk into CTO and the rest, as they say, is history. The coaches were beyond helpful and welcoming, and the other members (i.e., all those bad ass athletes) were so friendly and encouraging. I love Crossfit, and I truly believe it’s something everyone can do and benefit from. The workouts are different every day and they truly challenge you. I’ve done so much more than I ever thought possible, and I am stronger and healthier and more fit than before my knee surgery, when I thought I was super fit. Anyways – I didn’t mean to go off on a Crossfit tangent, but my point is to find something that drives you to get to the gym every day. And that’s what I’m here for – to help you find what works for you and, more importantly, to help hold you accountable to keeping on track. Whether it’s getting out for a 30-minute walk after dinner or playing kickball or another fun sport or joining a local gym, get your body moving!! You’ll benefit in so many ways!
As you can see, it’s been a long road, one that continues even today, but it’s been such an amazing one. I’ve learned so much about myself, becoming healthier and happier and having more energy than I ever thought possible. My hormones have started regulating, my face is finally clearing up (except when I overindulge in those sugary treats!), my sleep has improved drastically, and my anxiety has nearly diminished! The journey has been a fun one, albeit a frustrating one. I’ve done most of it on my own, which can be discouraging and disheartening. In all my research, it led me to IIN and I kept being drawn back to it over the course of a year. I loved how I felt and what I was seeing happening to my body and my state of mind. I felt a spark of passion and excitement I hadn’t felt in a long time, especially in my current job. I decided, after a lot of soul searching and questioning, that I needed to enroll in IIN and follow my heart. I knew that I wanted to make a difference in other people’s lives, the same way that I’ve made changes in my life. But I want to make this an easier, more fun process for all of you! It was a lonely road to get where I am today, but I’m here to make this journey one you can share with a like-minded individual; an accountability partner, so to speak.
The truth of the matter is that every individual is different. There’s nothing saying that what works for me will work for anyone else. It’s what we call bio-individuality. As it is often said in the nutrition world, one person’s food is another person’s poison. No two individuals have the same needs, whether it is physically, emotionally, mentally, or nutritionally. Just as I worked with myself (really, experimented), I’ll work with you to help you find what foods work to nourish your body. I coach based on the principles that not only do we nourish ourselves with the foods we choose to eat, but also by balancing our lifestyle as a whole through lifestyle nourishment. This includes our relationships, career, physical activity, and spirituality. My role as a Health Coach is to motivate, support, and help you reach your personal health goals. I’ll work with you to make positive changes step by step in a healthy way that is personalized and easily integrated into your diet and lifestyle.
You may be asking yourself why a health coach? What are the benefits of having a health coach? Well, here are a few:
With love and wellness,