Transformational Positivity has taught me that I am not about The Hustle. I am not on this planet to constantly be grinding away at meaningless tasks of my own making (or anyone else’s).
I’ve learned how to get everything done that I need to, with ease, and even a fair amount of joy, by tuning into the rhythms of nature & managing my energy accordingly.
On this final day before the New Moon phase, I am mindful of gathering up & tending to any loose ends, making note of what can be handled now, and what can wait. Not trying to add more to my plate, or begin new projects- just finishing what I can of what I started this month in preparation to fully release August and relax into the next cycle. With Ease, and Joy. It’s like next-level Self Care.
If you are starting to feel energetically scrambled, I invite you to resist the external push for MORE MORE MORE and do some gentle reprioritizing of your own. You’ll find the things that truly matter most. 💖🦋
Oh, Honey- I have some things to say about this little
#frenemy right here. It’s been a hot minute since I have shared much publicly
about my physical body, and here’s why:
Talking about dieting is capital B BORING
Diet Culture is toxicAF
The number on the scale does not determine (nor can it ever measure) my worth
I know this
to be True. You probably do as well! (And yet…)
It’s why, for the past 4-5 years, I have made it my personal mission to learn how to Love the body I live in, every damn day. Regardless of my clothing size, weigh-in numbers, age, shape, wrinkles, lumps, flab, rolls, freckles, muscles, strength, etc ad nauseum. I’ve been helped tremendously on my body-positive journey by trailblazers like Jessamyn Stanley (@mynameisjessamyn), Amber Karnes (@amberkarnesofficial), Dianne Bondy (@diannebondyyoga) and most recently Tiana Dodson (@onebeautifulyes) who are all amazing and beautiful.
So, I pose
these questions: What if Loving your Whole Self meant loving your entire
body? What would it take for you to Love all your parts and welcome them into
I’m practicing Radical Self Love & normalizing fat bodies, even as I continue to shed some weight & heal what’s hurting inside. I even have been taking a series of rather societally unflattering selfies as part of my whole-self Love medicine and posting them on my Instagram stories. (It feels insanely liberating, btw) I knew that I couldn’t begin to address my health issues without first being willing to really, REALLY Love all of me. Including the parts that weren’t as pretty, the parts that hurt, and the parts that were breaking down.
As of this writing, it’s been 3 weeks since I began a total shift in my relationships with food & exercise. With the help of an interactive app/virtual program I am not just learning about healthier ways to eat and move and less psychologically & emotionally damaging ways to think about those things, but I’m integrating these new habits every damn day that are supporting my whole self. I won’t lie, it’s been some hard word (first week was the worst) but through the effort I am putting in and the support received, I’ve seen and felt some pretty spectacular results, including my first 10+ lbs. shed; increased endurance; a dramatic reduction in pain in my back, knees, and feet; increased strength; no more chest pain or wheezing; no more bloating or food hangovers; fewer mood swings & more sustained energy; improved sleep and almost no more snoring. All of this Love being poured into my body is coming back to me in these very tangible ways, and I am truly grateful. I am excited to see how much more my body and I can do.
More of this story to come, stay tuned!
Getting My Sexy Back
UPDATE: Since writing this entry in August 2019, I have developed a much healthier & more positive relationship with food, eating, exercise, and caring for my body in general. During the course of my program, I shed over 40 lbs.* (at an average of -2 lbs per week) and watched in amazement as my body composition began to change. I felt such pride at being able to go through my daily activities without feeling exhausted, and I have been delighted to have more physical activity, strength, and endurance become a natural part of my life. More incredibly, I have experienced the release of long-held pain in my body, specifically in my feet, knees, back and chest; released long-held beliefs about my worth being tied to my appearance; and released long-held habits of self-destructive thoughts & actions.
By coupling my mindset work with a refreshed self-care plan, I have discovered JOY in moving my body again, and I have developed a kind of confidence, acceptance and deep Love for the body that I have- lumps, bumps, folds, wrinkles, spots, flabby bits and all. How freeing to realize that I don’t need to look like a Victoria’s Secret model to feel sexy, beautiful, comfortable in my skin (things I never felt when I was an actual lingerie and bikini model).
It is my sincere hope and belief that I will continue to take good care of myself by using the tools that I’ve learned and keep learning. I have a great support system now to lean on when I need to, and I have empowered myself to be in charge of taking care of my Whole-Self… body, mind, and soul.
*No matter how much I stress that the size of my body is not that important, and no matter how much I believe and teach that you don’t have to lose weight before you can love your body- people are still always fascinated by my weight loss and ask me, “How did you do it?” So here it is: I signed up for Noom. If you would like to try their program for yourself, you can click here to use my affiliate link and get yourself 20% off.
Do you have a more relaxed work schedule during the summer months? I was so grateful today for the flexibility to go enjoy some “beauty maintenance” (lash fill & mani-pedi!) before joining my sweetheart’s office dinner party tonight.
Self-care is so much deeper than a spa day; it’s really about taking the time to restore what’s on your inside. So, what if you can’t take a day off or even a few hours? Peace and restoration can be had with a quick reset. Give yourself 5, 10, 15 or even 30 mindful minutes to breathe deeply, think some pleasant thoughts, have a power nap, do some stretching/yoga poses, write about one thing you’re grateful for, drink some water, or just sit quietly & eat something nourishing.
Set aside those stressful thoughts for a little while, and give yourself a much-needed break! You’ll come back refreshed and ready to go!
Yes Love, S t r e t c h Y o u r s e l f, and see how far you can grow. Reach a little farther if you can.
Stretch the boundaries of all that you think is possible for you to achieve, and in so stretching you will elevate yourself out of your small space of comfort, where you can harness your furthest goals and ride your wildest dreams!
FUN FACT: I’ve worked my whole life on addressing my control-freak tendencies, but for as far as I’ve come in releasing my Kung Fu grip there is always another life lesson for me in the art of letting shit go.
Even though I practice regular “clearing” it is amazing to me how much stuff I still manage to cling to… from trinkets and knick-knacks gathering dust to outdated beliefs that seek to hold me down.
Today, I encourage you to take a step forward with me in releasing, in allowing, in letting go. What is one area of your life where you can Relax and Let Life Flow?
What if, each day, you made the conscious choice to focus on what makes you happy? By directing your thoughts, your intentions, your energy towards the positive pursuit of your own happiness, you will create a powerful shift that ignites your spirit and fills your life with Light and Joy! Take the time to get to know YOU by trying new things and becoming a master at the things you already enjoy.
You aren’t pretending that hard things aren’t also part of your world, rather you are building reserves of strength and banking cherished memories that can buoy you on the harder days. Spending even as little as 10 minutes a day doing something you love can make a difference in your outlook and improve your mental health. Let yourself enjoy life despite any challenges that come your way. You deserve to be Happy!
On September 1, I started my 30 Day Challenge which included a 10 minute daily walk, daily gratitude journaling, and eliminating certain foods from my daily diet (no sugar, dairy, grains, or alcohol). Aside from the total of 5 days of planned travel in which I released my food restrictions (4 in NOLA, 1 in Vegas), I was able to stick to my Challenge in all three areas! I’m feeling pretty accomplished and I have to say, pretty darn proud of myself.
On this final day of my Challenge, here are my observations:
This wasn’t about counting calories or weight loss, but about feeling better in my body. The weight dropped, honestly, was minimal. Maybe 5 lbs? BUT the fact is that I truly do feel better. Not having pain and inflammation in my joints and bloating in my gut is worth saying “no thanks” to the foods that were hurting me. Being able to love myself enough to listen to my body, take good care of her, and do what feels best for me really sums up my personal mission of helping women to love the body they are living in. You can find support and guidance in my program, The Cocoon, if (like me) you are living in a bigger body and want to take some easy steps forward in your health & wellness.
Making time to move my body and get a little sweaty each day is a legit battle. Oh my gosh, the mind games I played with myself to try and talk myself out of it! Every. Damn. Day. But I would lovingly make myself do it, and each time I felt great. My body felt better physically, I released any pent up emotions, and cleared my mind for exciting new ideas. I know the struggle is real, friends, but the rewards are there for the taking. It’s just 10 minutes. If you are able, get out and walk! If walking is not something your body allows you to do, spend your 10 minute doing something physical such as modified chair exercises.
Sugar is EVERYWHERE. Corn too. WTF? These two foods, I believe, have been my body’s primary enemies and main sources of inflammation. I read ingredients labels now for everything before putting it in my shopping cart at the grocery store. Corn syrup, sugar, corn oil, sucrose, cane sugar, cane syrup – if any form of these were on the ingredients label, I didn’t eat it.
I know that I will be A LOT more careful and conscious of what I eat. For sure, I will be reading ingredient labels moving forward. And yes, sometimes I will indulge a little and have some sweet treats when I’m celebrating with friends and loved ones- but it will not be part of my everyday meals.
Whole foods > Junk foods. Well, duh. Of course they are, but I mean they just realllllllly are so much better. They look better. They taste better. They provide better & longer-lasting energy. They are not difficult to prepare. They inspire culinary creativity. They do not leave me feeling gross, tired, bloated, blah. They keep my head clear and mind focused. They are easy to pronounce. They are a better value for the money. Even on nights when I was tired after a long day and didn’t have the stamina to create a fabulous dinner, we could still enjoy no sugar added, uncured smoky bacon & eggs. WINNING. I’ll be sharing a collection of my favorite recipes from this Challenge, so if you’d like to receive them in your inbox just complete the form below! (Including this SO TASTY Pot-Roasted Chicken)
I really like a good glass of wine. During my Challenge, sometimes I craved a sweet dessert, but that craving would pass quickly. Some mornings I craved a latte, but again, it would pass quickly. If I really hardcore wanted something sweet and indulgent, I had some Medjool dates or a Frozen Smoothie Pop. As I was getting closer to the end of my 30 days, though, I found I was really looking forward to enjoying a glass of fine wine with dinner. Maybe I will feel differently after that first glass tomorrow, but I don’t think so. CHEERS!
Hello Loves! After a wonderful long weekend in New Orleans eating ALL the delicious things (and more than a few adult beverages) my body is BEGGING me for a detox & reset. As you might know, I am about halfway through my 30 Day Challenge and it is going great! However, I had planned my trip before planning my Challenge, so I knew that I would release myself from the restrictions over my 4 days in NOLA.
My mouth LOVED it. My gut, eh, not so much. And my brain could use a fog lift as well. And my joints, ouch, my aching joints.
I hope that if you are looking for a diet detox that is actually whole, healthy food and not some crappy powder, you will enjoy these. Add them in to your routine instead of fast food and enjoy some better-for-you meals that taste great!
Here I am, halfway through my September 30 Day Challenge and I have a few observations to share with you. I’ve broken them down into the three categories of my Challenge: Diet, Exercise, and Gratitude.
DIET CHALLENGE: 30 days without consuming any sugar*, grains, dairy, or alcohol.(*No artificial sweeteners too. I do allow honey in my tea and pure maple syrup in my almond butter)
Changing the way I eat is actually a lot easier than I thought it would be.
I knew I was ready for a change, and I started out with the mindset that this is something I wanted to do. I didn’t feel pressured by anyone. I definitely put more thought now into what I eat, and I set myself up for success. I keep fresh fruits and veggies on hand in my fridge, as well as raw mixed nuts and dried fruits (no-sugar added figs, raisins, and dates) in my car and by my desk so I can snack between well-planned, easy to prepare meals. Yes, it makes eating out more difficult, and sometimes I want to order a pizza. But it’s really not a big deal. I mean, let’s be honest: there’s a huge difference between “inconvenient” and “impossible” yes? BONUS: I don’t find myself pulling into the nearest drive-thru to fill my belly anymore.
Paying attention to “emotional eating” vs “OK I’m hungry” is a powerful tool for loving my body.
We eat formany different reasons beyond fueling our bodies. When something is upsetting to me, I don’t have to “shut up” and stuff myself with food to avoid hard feelings. Learning how to tune in to these cues and listen to my body has made it easier for me to honor her wishes. I am actively creating a more loving relationship with the body I live in, and it supports a greater sense of trust and peace.
Sugar is EVERYWHERE and it’s annoying as hell!
Just try to go shopping and find products that don’t contain sugar in the listed ingredients. It is CRAZY how much of the sweet stuff is hidden in packaged food, meats, soups, condiments, drinks. I’ve heard it before, but when it came time for me to actually read the labels of everything before I put it in my grocery cart, I was shocked! If something is marked as “SUGAR FREE!” read the ingredients, because there’s a good chance it’s disguised as cane juice, sucralose, or something weird that takes a science degree to pronounce.
Feeling better in my body happened a LOT quicker than I imagined it would.
Within just a few days of changing my food intake, I started to notice that I felt pretty good. I didn’t feel bloated. My breasts weren’t tender. My feet had stopped hurting. My knees had stopped hurting. My energy was consistent throughout the day. Now, 2 weeks in, even my lower back – which has been a source of constant pain for nearly 3 decades- is relaxed and virtually pain free! I can hardly believe it but it’s true! One or more of the foods I’ve been avoiding was responsible for creating inflammation in my body.
I definitely feel lighter, though I don’t know that I’ve actually lost any weight.
I didn’t go into this Challenge with the goal of losing weight. I don’t believe that losing weight is necessary to make a person happy, to make a person more valuable, or to make a person beautiful. I started this Challenge at 189 lbs, and whether or not I lose any weight at the end of it, I already feel lighter and more comfortable in my body. That is a win!
There is NO PAIN in my joints anymore.
No. More. Pain. I suspect this relates to the inflammation leaving my body, and it’s fascinating. If you are a person suffering from chronic joint pain, talk to your nutritionist about developing a diet that reduces inflammation. I hope this helps you as it has helped me!
This weekend, I am going to “cheat” on the diet part of the Challenge. Actually it is an experiment conveniently timed to coincide with my trip to New Orleans to see which of the foods I’ve taken a break from these past two weeks are responsible for causing me so much discomfort. I have my suspicions, but it will be very interesting to see what the science proves.
EXERCISE CHALLENGE: 10 minutes of walking daily. (This can be in addition to any current workout program, or if it’s the only thing you do, do this.)
Even though it’s JUST 10 MINUTES, I really had to make time for it.
I have learned that if I want something to happen, I have to schedule the time for it. It is literally only 10 minutes, but if I don’t plan for it in my day, it won’t happen. Something else will ALWAYS eat that time. Always.
I am much more sedentary than I realized.
On the days I work from home, I spend hours in front of my computer. On the days I have to drive to the office, I spend hours in traffic AND in front of the computer. I sit to eat my meals. In the evenings after dinner, my sweetheart and I sit together on the couch and watch our favorite shows before going to bed. I realized that my body is really missing regular physical activity, and even a simple daily walk makes a difference.
I really like talking a nice walk around my neighborhood.
Getting out to stretch my legs, breathe fresh air, and feel the sunshine on my face (or enjoy a cool & cloudy mist) is such a pleasant experience. I notice when someone is taking the time to spruce up their yard or do some house repairs. Sometimes I see other people and we share a smile or a greeting, other times I see nobody. It feels good and safe and peaceful, and reminds me to be thankful for where I am.
My body feels super energized after each walk.
My legs tingle in a good way. I am aware of my breathing. I can feel my heart pumping. I have a light glisten of sweat covering my skin. I feel completely alive, warmed up, and ready for whatever comes next.
Taking a walk is great for releasing creative blocks.
I have some of the coolest, most fun ideas that pop into my head when I’m out for my walk. I am really enjoying entertaining them and seeing where they lead. I hope to have some exciting new creative projects to share, as well as some that are just for my own contentment.
I feel crappy when I miss a day.
On the days that I don’t schedule a walk in, I feel a noticeable difference in my body. I feel less clear and focused mentally. I feel stressed, rushed, annoyed and maybe a little anxious. My muscles feel tight, lazy, uncomfortable. Probably the worst feeling is feeling disappointed with myself for not making the time (JUST 10 MINUTES). But, instead of scolding myself, I slip on my sneakers and head out the door for a quick walk. Magic!
GRATITUDE CHALLENGE: Record a daily gratitude note specific to each day.(I use a gorgeous journal to write in. You can take a daily photograph, record a short video, use Facebook live… Be creative!)
I am incredibly blessed and have SO MUCH to be grateful for.
When I take the time to acknowledge my many, many blessings, it is actually quite a moving and overwhelmingly powerful experience. I can never seem to get through a full list without melting into tears of gratitude! Much like when I sit in prayer, I simply let it flow and let it be a spiritual experience.
It doesn’t have to be fancy or overly detailed.
I’m not writing in my gratitude journal with the intention of anyone else reading it. It’s just for me. The writing doesn’t have to be eloquent, the penmanship doesn’t have to be beautiful. I just want to pause and say Thank You for something specific.
I love recalling the highlights of each day.
By making it a practice of writing down one or two things each day that I am grateful for that day, it is easy to see so much more to be positive about. Thank You. Happy. More Please!
Some days are super-basic, and that’s beautiful.
Just as some days are filled with adventure and excitement, others are quiet and peaceful and comfortably ordinary. I love those days as much as the wildly exciting ones, because there is blessing in stability.
So that’s my progress report for the halfway point of my Challenge. I am gathering some fabulous recipes and will be posting them at the end. I’m looking forward to what happens next, and sharing it all with you, dear lovely reader!
Adulting can be so hard sometimes, AMIRITE? Don’t worry Lovelies, you can do this! Whether you are trying to get yourself out of bed and back to work after a long holiday weekend or perhaps an even longer vacation break, there are a few simple things that you can do right now to make your reintegration to Responsible Adult Life a breeze.
Here are my Top 5 Tips for Easing Back in After a Holiday:
Re-Hydrate! Top of the list for getting your body back on point. Spending fun times with friends and family almost always revolves around food & drinks. You probably ate a lot more than you normally do and probably ate and/or drank things that you don’t normally indulge in. Good! Life’s short, it’s OK to splurge and have fun! Now it’s time to give your body some extra-love by flushing out all of the extra junk from your system. Drink LOTS of fresh clean water and give yourself a time-out from soda & alcohol for at least a week.
Rest! Whatever your age, your body needs sleep to recharge and regenerate fresh new cells. It needs even more after you’ve been partying it up, and more still if you’ve been hopping in and out of different time zones. For your first 2-3 days back after a holiday, give your body the opportunity to readjust by going to bed early, taking 10-15 minute naps during the day, and saying a polite but firm “No thank you” to social engagements.
Move Your Body (Gently)! Your body will greatly benefit from getting back into a regular exercise routine sooner rather than later. It’s important here to ease into it instead of going hard your first 2-3 days back to avoid injury and setting yourself back for weeks or more. Keep your exercises incredibly simple and short for your first 3 days back with 30 minutes or less of walking, yoga, and weightlifting each day.
Eat Clean! Don’t make the mistake of trying to starve yourself or otherwise deprive yourself of good food just because you may have gained a few pounds during your holiday. That kind of punishment is not even remotely healthy for your body, mind, or spirit. Honey, you earned those pounds (or more likely, ounces) and the good memories with loved ones are totally worth it! Treat yourself to fresh fruits, veggies, and clean protein, but take a break from fast foods and sugar-packed desserts & baked goods for at least a week.
Share Your Stories! You had a great time, right? Share your fun stories, recommendations and favorite moments with your family, friends, coworkers, colleagues, or boss if appropriate and let them experience life through your eyes. Savor the great memories you created, and record them in a journal, photo album, or video montage to look back on.
If you would like a free 10 minute gentle workout video from my private membership class The Cocoon, leave me your email here: