grace † image + wellness coach remote personal trainer MA communication empowering women to change their narrative
grace † image + wellness coach remote personal trainer MA communication empowering women to change their narrative
Happy 26th birthday, babe. A little less than 9 months ago you found your way into my Instagram DM’s and wanted to meet up to discuss trading personal training for video content. I remember stalking your Facebook videos to figure out who the heck this kid was the day before grabbing coffee with you. Little did I know that on that first coffee date, we would talk for hours on end about many different things. Little did I know that you’d make your way past all of the walls I had built up around my heart. Little did I know that you would shatter some of my autonomy and call it out for what it was: fear of being betrayed again. And little did I know that l would fall hard for you over the next few months. @lukegarmon , thank you for being my best friend. For being the man that stops and prays for us first, no matter the situation. For always wanting to talk everything out and making sure we communicate clear and effectively. For being the man that serves me so well. For being the man that makes me laugh more than I ever have before. And most importantly, thank you for being the man that’s brought redemption to so much of my story. You push me more than anyone I know and I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my time here on earth with anyone but you. You are my forever. Drop a comment or send him a message to help me wish this stud a happy birthday! It’s going to be his best year yet ❤️
I’m not a fan of dressing up. Heels make me walk funny. Makeup is weird to me and it takes forever to get off. Hair stuff is a foreign language. But the way you look at me when I figure out how to clean up real nice and get extra dolled up is unforgettable. Thanks for making me dance all night with you, barefoot of course, because who needs shoes? You’re my favorite forever plus one.
Making a new journal this morning. The current container is ‘The Secret Garden’, a book I grew up reading. With moving to Atlanta in July, starting school in August, and getting married in October, I knew it was time for a new journal. One that spoke deeply into this new season that I’m walking into. One that would help guide me with all of the transition and change that’s going to happen. One that would minister to the new life that is coming. Journaling is so important to our overall health. As a coach, I always recommend that my clients journal. To get quiet and really put some thoughts and feelings on paper. To dig deeper into what’s going on with them and to work through stuff. When @lukegarmon and I first met, he taught me this practice. This journaling practice is actually the beginning of our story. We sat on my floor the second day of knowing each other and he taught me this practice. This practice is more than taking pen to paper. It’s creating beautiful containers that allow your mind and heart to come together. It’s allowing words to speak to you. It’s inviting stillness into your body so that you can listen more closely to your heart. It invites you to use your hands and create, with no boundaries. I’m beyond thankful for this practice. This practice brought @lukegarmon and I together at first. And the coolest part? His mom taught him how to be in this practice. For more information on this beautiful practice, check out my future mother in law @betsy garmon - her page is filled with good stuff and she has an online course to help people understand the entire process 🖤
Currently living off of tacos. Maybe a side of gin. And I definitely haven’t been in the gym or tracked macros recently. I talked about this in my stories today and received a ton of messages from people who needed to hear it, so I thought I’d share it here for others who need to hear it to: The last 4 weeks of my life haven’t been the easiest. It’s kinda been like living in a tornado with a decent amount of traveling thrown in there. I think I’ve lifted a total of 4 days and did maybe 4 days of conditioning. I’ve definitely had more days of not tracking food than tracking food lately. And you know what? I’m OKAY. As a coach, I get it. Food and fitness is a lifestyle. But it’s not LIFE. Life happens and gets heavy for periods and you have to choose what’s the most important. Where you spend the majority of your time and energy is really what you care the most about. And while I care about my physical health, supporting my fiancé and our relationship is my number one. Don’t let Instagram fool you that everything is always great. Because it’s not, for anyone. There will be hard times and you’ll have to choose what’s the most important and you’ll spend your time and energy there. The gym will still be there. Tracking will still be there. But there are times when that just has to be put to the side, and that’s okay. You won’t go on a binger. You won’t spiral out of control. And your body will surprise you with how much it’ll be there for you if you’ve been good to it and continue to take care of it through the hard times.
When Luke and I met, I weighed 40lbs more than him. And at first, this made me really question certain beliefs about myself and ‘the man I’d end up with’. My entire life, I believed that I had to be smaller. That the man I ended up with needed to weigh more than me. That I wouldn’t feel safe and secure unless he was ‘bigger’ than me. Marketing did a real good job at making me subconsciously believe that a man had to be taller than me and weigh more than me. And boy was I wrong. I recently had a friend tell me that she didn’t want to go into a massing phase or put on some weight because she was afraid that no man would be attracted to her. Y’all, this is real. It’s also a SHITTY belief system. Our beauty and worth as women has NOTHING to do with our weight and size. Luke fell for me when I was thiiiick. He fell for me when I weighed 40lbs more than him. And guess what? He low key freaked out when I first started to drop weight. But once we talked through it, he was okay with it. Now there’s only an ~20lb weight difference (I’ve lost some and he’s gained some ) and nothing has changed. We still love each other just as much, even more. But that depth comes from communication and our connection, not a change in weight. So remember ladies, your weight does not determine your worth. And if a guy only likes you for your body, he’s not worth your time. Physical attraction is an absolute real thing, but it’s not the only thing. And it also runs deeper than the number on the scale or abs. 📷: @the dwyers
Crushed tacos and cookies all weekend after getting engaged. It was awesome. I also didn’t track a damn thing. I’ve been carb cycling for a few weeks now coming out of my deficit to help the thyroid, get more calories in, and to also keep aesthetics tight while doing so. Carb cycling isn’t magic - it’s just a tool that can be very beneficial when applied in the right context. But going off my plan for 2 days didn’t cause any harm. I actually feel leaner than I have in weeks lately, all while eating tacos and cookies. The secret: I follow the plan 95% of the time. The other 5% that I go off the plan, I enjoy without shame or guilt. Because the truth is, no food will ever hurt you as much as an unhealthy mind will. The negative emotions you have attached to food will hurt you far more than the cookie or the taco will. And while yes, calories in and out matter, so does health. And that includes mental health. So cheers to eating tacos and cookies while enjoying every moment of it. Oh, and that ring that @lukegarmon put on my finger over the weekend 😍😍😍
I haven’t been active on here for the last month. I’ve been working a lot, focusing on relationships, making some important decisions that will bring a lot of change, and traveling a lot. Recently my body started to give me signs that things weren’t ‘right’. But I ignored them, until I couldn’t anymore. So I went to my doctor. I had a sheeeeeet ton of blood work done. We found some gut issues. But we also found out that my thyroid was a little tanked, aka a snail stuck in molasses was functioning better than my FT3. I’ve been on thyroid meds before. I’ve also successfully been off them before. I once believed that meds were an absolute last case scenario. I’ve also felt shame for needing medication before. Now? Now I believe medication is a tool that should be used when needed, without shame. Here’s the deal: actions have consequences. I spent 10+ years of my life abusing my body and that takes time to heal. And while I’ve found a lot of healing, there’s still more for me to go through. So I can either keep muscling my way through my days, or I can take a pill that will help me feel drastically better, while also taking care of some gut issues and changing some other areas in my life. I get it. I used to believe that taking medication wasn’t for me. That medication was just a bandaid and didn’t fix the root issue. But life happens. And medication is a tool that can be utilized while working on other stuff. And if you’re taking supplements daily, then how is taking medication that can help you any different? “But supplements are natural.” Sorry Sally, they’re both manufactured in a lab. And they both can serve a purpose. So for everyone that’s ever felt shame for taking medication: there’s no shame on you and your healing isn’t any less significant. Take the medication while working on the root issue and then eventually you can work on lowering your medication dosage or maybe even coming off of it! Because the body is real cool and it likes to heal itself if you give it the right environment. But also know that medicine isn’t evil and it has its place.
“You’ve had thyroid and autoimmune issues in the past and you eat dairy today?” Uhmmm, yup, and almost daily. Yes, there’s research claiming some things anti dairy. And then there’s also research proving how beneficial some dairy can be for the body. Once I stopped mentally telling myself that dairy was making sick, I seemed to handle it just fine. I do only stick to grass fed and then raw cheese for the most part, but it’s still part of my daily and I don’t have any issues with it. So just remember, there’s always claims for and against everything. Find what works for you and stop fearing certain foods just because you read a few studies claiming one thing. Science and nutrition is so complex, but so simple at the same time. We’ve got to stop over thinking it. Also, shout out to @organicvalley for hooking me up with some raw cheddar cheese. I made up this quick scramble with it and it’s 🔥 Recipe: Put butter in pan. Sauté onions + garlic + squash in said butter. In another pot, steam broccoli. Add steamed broccoli to pan. Pour 6 beaten eggs to that pan. Add chopped cheese. Top with jalapeños + hot sauce, or whatever you want. Video: @lukegarmon
I used to think I had to be lighter and smaller to do pull ups. And then I started cranking them out months ago when I was crushing food, getting stronger, and was a little bit heavier than I am today. Fast forward to now: I’m in a steep caloric deficit and my performance is starting to take a hit. I was supposed to do 5 sets of 10 pull ups. I did 3 sets and then couldn’t do set 4 or 5 without assistance. I’m leaner now, I feel great, and health markers are solid. But strength is starting to take a hit because food is so important for performance. So for those of you that are ticking all the fitness boxes and not seeing gains in your strength, check out your nutrition and make sure you’re eating enough, and enough of the right stuff. Because food is fuel. And you don’t have to be lighter, you just need to be smarter.
I’ve been using the sauna A LOT on this deficit and I don’t know why I don’t use it more regularly. There’s research supporting that using the sauna 2-3 times per week was associated with 24% lower all-cause mortality and 4-7 times per week decreased all-cause mortality by 40%. There’s also brain benefits, mitochondrial biogenesis, and you’re sweating out a shit ton of nastyness that finds its way in our bodies (find more research on @foundmyfitness website ). Most importantly, it helps me chill the fuck out. No phone. No movement. Just sitting in a hot room, breathing, and being still. So cheers to putting a sauna in my house one day and traps bigger than my boyfriends, even after a week at only 50C. #deflatedAF Traps brought you by @shaneolearyfitness
Day 5 on my deficit and I’m still alive. And my espresso intake hasn’t increased yet to decrease my hunger signals, so that’s a win. Also showed up late for a meeting this morning and said, “sorry, I managed my time poorly and was late because I spent too long doing downward dog in the sauna.” So at least I’m honest. Cheers to Friday. Drop a question about my deficit if you have one! 👇🏻🖤
I’m dropping into a 12 day deficit tomorrow at 1,600 calories when my norm is 3,000 and I got a lot of messages asking if that was healthy. It’s interesting to me how much deficits are villianized today. From people fighting for the message that everyone should eat intuitively and just accept their body as it is, to people promoting insane, unsustainable diets. There’s no middle ground. Where self-love is advertised as ‘come as you are and stay as you are’, even if that means staying at a weight that sets you up for health issues now or down the line. Where those of us in the health and fitness industry are ridiculed for helping others lose weight. And for caring about our bodies. So much that hunger has become a ‘bad thing’ in all situations. “Hunger is bad for you.” “Don’t tell yourself no.” “Just listen to your body and eat intuitively!” Here’s the thing: I’m all for the anti-diet movement in some aspects. But I’m also for using tools that are useful when applied in the proper context. Most humans don’t know how to eat intuitively anymore because they’ve tried every diet out there, have dieted too long, or have overfed themselves while living in a sympathetic state. Want you lose some weight to take care of your body? Cool, you’ll need to go into a deficit to lose some weight. However, instead of starving yourself for months or years on end with no plan, work with someone who knows what they’re doing to set yourself up to handle a deficit, who also has a plan to pull you out of one so you don’t spiral after so. For most, a small 10-20% deficit is enough. This plan takes longer, but it’s also more enjoyable and usually more successful because it’s realistic for most lifestyles. For others, a hard ~40% deficit for a short period of time works if you can handle one. However, I wouldn’t recommend most people doing this. You need to be in a very sound psychological state and have a healthy relationship with your food and body image. Hunger isn’t unhealthy. Deficits aren’t always unhealthy. But your heart posture toward why you want to lose weight can determine if it’s coming from a healthy or unhealthy place.
It’s national eating disorder awareness week, so I wanted to share a piece of my story. I used to tango with not one, but many eating disorders. For close to a decade, anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, and compulsive exercise were my closest friends. In college, I was put on anti-depressants, adderall, bipolar meds, anxiety meds, and sleeping meds. My psychiatrist and psychologist thought this was a great idea… I disagree, but that’s a different post. I counted every calorie. I over trained. I avoided social situations. I picked my body apart. I was so damn cruel. I said things to myself I will never repeat again. I was thin and lean on the outside, but I was dying on the inside. I was told I would battle this forever. And for a while, I thought that was my life sentence. I went through counseling. It didn’t help. Oh, those drugs didn’t either. I went through more counseling and I started to get better. But it wasn’t enough. As I got older, I moved from one diet fad to another. I told myself I was better, but it was being masked by “clean eating” and diet fads. None of that was true healing. It was my eating disorder having power over me still. Only once I was truly ready to face my demons and get to the root of my eating disorder, was I able to find healing. Eating disorders are bio-psycho-social diseases, which means that genetic, biological, environmental, and social elements all play a role. I have an extremely addictive personality. Mix that with a traumatic life experience + being picked on as a kid, and bam, my eating disorder. Fast forward to today: I never imagined I’d be able to travel the world and eat whatever I wanted. But I do, and with peace. And for those of you battling with an eating disorder, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to live with it forever. Healing looks different for everyone, BUT IT IS POSSIBLE. Fight for your life. Fight for your body. And fight for yourself. If you want to hear more about my story, click on the podcast link in my main profile. People care about you. More than you think. Remember that.
“I stepped on the scale and the number didn’t freak me out and my mood didn’t shift.” We pulled her from weighing herself daily. It’s been a few months since she’s stepped on a scale. A few months to really work on feeling at home in her body, without seeing a number on the scale that once had power over her. When she first came to me, she was weighing herself daily. For some, it’s just data. For others, it’s a complete mind fuck. For her, it was the latter. Research shares that we believe that skinnier people are happier. Therefore, we also believe that the less we weigh, the happier we’ll be (which is a lie, btw ). If it depicts your worth or feeds any false belief about yourself, that’s not healthy. Your scale weight is just that - weight. It’s data. It’s one pice of information that fits to a large puzzle. So what did I do with her? First, we had her weigh on days that she felt good. On mornings that she woke up and felt really good, she’d step on the scale. She acknowledged she felt good, that her body was a safe home, and that no matter what the scale said - it was a good number - because she felt GOOD in her skin. On the days that she wasn’t feeling great, we didn’t step on the scale. We were rewiring her brain to know that whatever she felt healthy and strong at - that number was good. If she needed to eat more and the scale went up some, it wouldn’t mess with her like it would have previously. After a few months, we stepped away from the scale. We focused on how she felt, energy, sleep, date nights, treats, etc. Anything and everything that gave her life and made her feel good in her skin. But we’d return one day. The goal isn’t to avoid the scale for life. The goal is to heal your relationship with the number. This week she stepped on the scale. And you know what happened? She felt good when she stepped on the scale, and those few extra pounds didn’t bother her at all. Healing takes time. Rewiring your brain takes time. But if you do the work, you’ll see the fruit. So remember, if the scale severely messes with your mood, step off it for a period while you work on some things 🖤
I recently had a client tell me that someone told her, “your back doesn’t look as lean.” (In a constructive, judgmental tone ). Y’ALL, I CAN’T. As I coach, I wanted to fly to her city and punch whomever said that to her. She has image issues. She’s very fit and hella lean, but she was also massively under eating when she came to me. So we’ve bumped her food intake, a lot. And she’s only put on 2 lbs over the last 3 months, but she’s not AS lean as she was when she came to me. I emailed her, sent some encouragement, reminded her of the plan over the next 6 months, and spoke some love over her. And then she emailed me back and told me that while it was a shitty moment, and while she does feel a constant pressure from social media and the world to be as tiny as possible and only eat 1,200 calories as a woman, she also knows that she’s starting to push that “norm” back and out of her mind. That she’s feeling stronger than she ever has before, she’s getting compliments from other women at her gym on her strength gains, her periods are finally regular and normal without any cramps or mood swings, and that energy and sleep are solid. So while, yes, I’ve put 2 pounds on her, we’ve also gained a lot of her life back, an extra 1,000 calories worth of food, and some movement toward feeling at home and comfortable in her own body. If you find yourself carrying a few extra lbs or not being as lean as you’d like or used to be, ask yourself: is life better? Am I sleeping better? Is my training better? Are my goals realistic for LONG TERM? And am I setting myself up for success big picture? Because your body will always be changing as you age and if you can’t find health and love in the one you’re currently in, then you’ll be constantly at war with your body. Also, you’re allowed to tell people “thanks, BUT here’s everything that’s better” if they judge your body. Educate them. That’s one small way we help change the conversation. Or just say thanks and then forget their comment. It’s only a comment - we don’t have to attach meaning to it. Lastly, think twice before commenting on someone’s body.
I listen to a lot of women tell me about their binging struggles. They eat so low calorie all week, that when they go out to eat on the weekend, they don’t know how to stop. Or that they’ve eaten so “clean” or little all day, night time is always a nightmare and they don’t know how they blacked out and during that time got drunk off a pint of ice cream. Or even people who wake up in the middle of the night starving and need to eat something just to fall back asleep. I recently was sitting across from someone I work with at the dinner table. We each had a large amount of food in front of us. I ate almost all of mine. They didn’t. “You know, before working with you, I would’ve ignored my body and smashed all of this food because I was never eating carbs or was so hungry that I didn’t know how to honor my body and hear it tell me it was full.” I work with a lot of women who binge eat. And let me say this: it’s a serious mental fuck. But a lot of times, it can be fixed with proper nutrition. Is it also an eating disorder and need some serious attention? Absolutely. But not always. For most people, they just need to learn to have a healthy relationship with food. They need to learn how to eat like a real human being. They need to learn to eat enough. And they need to learn how to diet properly. In doing so, you learn how to listen to your body. Did I eat all of this food? Absolutely not. I enjoyed some of it, and then packed the rest up for lunch the next day. I also always make sure to eat plenty of protein and veggies the day of date night, because that’s a non-negotiable for me. But what I don’t do is go on a binger, leaving myself with an extra 2,000 calories for the day that I didn’t need. Because binges add up. And they add up over time. And most importantly, they royally mess with your head. So if you find yourself binging, first ask yourself if it’s an emotional or mental problem. And then secondly, make sure you’re eating enough, and enough of the right stuff. If you aren’t, start increasing your food intake to help with your body screaming at you for more food. And don’t give up hope. I promise there’s healing.
Infertility is such a sensitive topic. One that I have never struggled with (haven’t tried ), but many in my circle have. I’ve been there for the breakdowns on the kitchen floor. For the years prayers. On the other end of the phone after another disappointing Dr appointment. I’ve seen the look in my friends eyes when they watch their friends children run around and play, hoping for their turn. Infertility is a story filled with heartbreak, agony, desire, hope, and a pain I can not even imagine. But one of the most meaningful parts of my job is helping women get their menstrual cycle back. It’s not because I’m a hormone specialist, because I’m not, but I do know how to feed women and help them build a healthy lifestyle. And when the body is healthy, a woman’s cycle comes back. Earlier today I was on the phone with a previous client who I helped get her cycle back. She’s been trying to have a baby for a while. It’s her hearts cry to bring a small human into this world. But her doctor told her that she needed to eat more. That she needed to put on some weight. She’s been cutting carbs recently. Old lies were creeping in. But this baby was the most important thing to her. And then she sat there, preparing herself for what I was about to say. “You’re doctor is right. You’ve made AMAZING progress and I am so proud of you, but you do still need to eat more. That might mean some more weight, as well. And I want you to be ready for that.” I see so many women that have drastically cut calories and over trained for so long, that they lost their period. And the longer you lose your period for, the longer (typically, not always ) it takes to get back. And sometimes, that means putting on some weight initially to allow the body to feel safe and heal. And that’s okay, because it doesn’t mean you’re a failure and it doesn’t mean that you’re any less of a person. What it does mean is that you care enough about your body to let it heal. That you want to choose your health over the pressure you feel from X, Y, and Z to be a certain aesthetic. So to all the women out there fighting to get their period back or fighting to have a baby, I’m fighting for you.
Thank you for showing me what I deserve in a relationship. And thank you for giving me more than I deserve because of the goodness that is you. You’re my redemption story. You are everything that I prayed for. And so much more. Mainly because you feed me tacos and let me eat Thai food in bed. Let’s keep doing life together, babe. I love you.
How to earn your carbs: be a living, breathing human. And then make this sandwich 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 - 2 slices of bread (mine was some homemade gluten free @bobsredmill bread ). - Put it in a skillet with some butter and heat up to your liking. - Fry up two eggs in more butter. - One piece of bread gets smashed avocado. - The other piece gets your jam of choice (this was a four berry jam with strawberries, cherries, and some other red fruits ). Smash it together. And enjoy some salty + sweet goodness.
The other day I had someone DM me and tell me that my message was wrong. That women shouldn’t try to manipulate their bodies. That women should let their body naturally stay where it wants. And that I was what is wrong with the body positive movement today. I have a lot of thoughts, but here’s a few: - Your body image is reflective of your experience in your body. It’s very subjective. Just telling someone to love their body when they have years of trauma and lies attached to what they believe about their body won’t work. - The body positive movement as a whole is not the same thing as your personal body image. The body positive movement is social + political. - I help women feel at home in their bodies. I help women find freedom from diet norms that once imprisoned them. I help women stop binge eating. And I help women find health. That looks different from person to person. Goals are different. And that’s okay. - Health is, in some form, objective. A lot of people view BMI as garbage. Well, whether you’re overweight or extremely muscular, too high or too low of a BMI increases your chances at health risks down the road. Or a high BP. That’s research. Your feelings about it don’t matter. The research of thousands and thousands of humans proves otherwise. - Lastly, just because I track my food and train hard with weights, doesn’t mean I’m unhappy in a different body. I’ve been 10lbs heavier and 20lbs lighter than I currently sit at. Changing your body doesn’t bring you happiness or acceptance. That has to come first. Different aesthetics serve different seasons. When I shift to writing more, I won’t train as much, and I’ll lose some muscle mass. And that doesn’t make that body better than this one I’m currently in. This body is home regardless of what it looks like. - One more thing: we have to stop the pendulum swing. We can’t be anti the health movement because we’re pro body positivity. There’s room for both to exist. There’s room for conversations and working together. Because in all of my research, women feel the most comfortable in their body when they also feel healthy, not when they were shredded. Happy Friday, friends 🖤
To the girl who doesn’t remember what it’s like to feel at home in her body. To the girl who can’t remember the last time she liked what she saw in the mirror. To the girl with the smile on her face, only to be screaming on the inside, wanting to crawl out of her body. To the girl who knows the comfort of the tile floor, when the cold is running through her veins and the burn is consuming her throat - all because she couldn’t let that food stay inside of her. To the girl who’s stared in the mirror and couldn’t recognize the person looking back at her. To the girl who’s picked at every part of her body, wondering why the parts you didn’t like wouldn’t just go away. To the girl who’s looked at an apple and only seen the number of calories it has or how long she needs to run for to burn it off. To the girl who’s starved herself to have the body she wanted, only to look in the mirror and still pick at every area she hates. To the girl who was picked on in school because she was too big, didn’t have the cute clothes, was a tomboy, and on and on. To the girl who is scared of intimacy because someone stole that special connection from you. To the girl who only feels pretty when she’s hungry. To the girl who’s picked apart picture after picture, wanting to delete them all because she didn’t like a single one. You’re heard. You’re seen. You’re loved. And you will find your healing. You will find acceptance and a home in your body. You will find your freedom. Fight for yourself. And ask others to fight with you.
I recently heard someone say that you can’t accept your body and want to change it at the same time. That wanting to change your body aligns with the belief that you’re always trying to better your body. That wanting to better your body means you can’t accept and love it as it is now. I disagree. Acceptance doesn’t mean you can’t try to change something. Acceptance means that you give consent to receive. It’s the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable. That you come into agreement with or belief in an idea. It’s a willingness to tolerate a difficult or unpleasant situation. Positive or negative body image is so individualized. It’s how you perceive, feel, and think about your actual embodiment. Your personal body image and relationship with your body is subjective. It’s how you perceive reality in your own skin. You can say and know that “my body is good as it is right now and I accept and love it.” You can also want to change your aesthetics to serve a different purpose. Regardless of weight, you can accept and love each stage of your body - without thinking one is better than the other, without thinking one makes you more worthy than the other, and without thinking one makes you more loved than the other. Every day I work with women with chronic health issues, past eating disorders, and athletes. And each woman has a separate goal. But their number one goal? Health. Better health for them = being a better wife, a mother with more energy to run around with their kids, an employee that does their job well, etc. That also means helping them build the strongest vessel for them to pursue their desires. And the most beautiful part of my job? I see women come to love their body at all different sizes and stages. It does not look one certain way. So if me helping someone learn to accept their current body while also wanting to change their body to gain health is a problem for some, I’m okay with that. And I won’t stop researching how to help women love their bodies, feel at home, and accept their bodies at all stages of life.
I dream of a day where children don’t know what a diet is. Where an elementary school boy or girl can look in the mirror and simply see their reflection, without the word skinny or fat associated with what they see. Where children don’t grow up fearing certain foods because their parents have tried every diet and created an unhealthy relationship with food as a norm in the household. And I dream of a day where you can look in the mirror, feel good, and like what you see. It starts with us. If we want to change the norm for the generations to follow us, we have to change first. We have to stop obsessing over diet culture. We have to stop treating our bodies like trash cans. We have to stop speaking so much negativity over ourselves. And we have to start doing better.
I see self-love plastered everywhere. “I deserve to eat this piece of cake.” #selflove “I’ve worked hard and have earned this bottle of wine.” #selflove “I’m skipping the gym today to stay in bed a bit longer.” #selflove “Wanting to lose weight is wrong - love yourself as you are right now.” #selflove If you follow me, you know I’m an advocate for body acceptance. You know that I’m an advocate for health. And you also know that I believe you can love and accept your body as it is, right now, and still want to see your aesthetics change. What’s important is your heart posture and where your desires are coming from. To want change from a place of love and acceptance is different than wanting change from disgust and hate. But a problem I’m seeing is a massive pendulum swing. I’m seeing self-love being defined as something that makes wanting to lose weight and have a certain aesthetic the enemy. That makes people feel BAD for wanting to take care of their health. That makes people choose things that sabotage their health goals because culture can’t help but attack everything. That makes people feel bad for wanting to lose weight. All for the sake of “self-love”. Self-love is a regard for one’s own well being. So in times, yes, you can have dessert, or wine, or skip the gym - because that MAY be what you need. Whatever it is that YOU need to take care of yourself and be the healthiest version of you. But sometimes, self-love is sticking to a specific diet for a certain amount of time because you have health goals. Or saying no to that extra whiskey straight up because you care more about the progress you’re making in the gym. Self-love is caring about your health and doing what you need to do to take care of yourself. So accept yourself. Love yourself. Where you’re at, right now. But pay attention to the choices you’re making, where they’re coming from, and if they really are helping you or hurting you. Are you really loving yourself? Or are you sabotaging your progress?
We all know by now that we become like the people that we surround ourselves with. Even more, we become the average of the humans that we spend the most time with. And guess what? That directly impacts your health and wellness journey. Going out and your friends are constantly getting you to drink? Always getting dessert when you don’t want it? Eating out when you’d rather cook and eat in? Skipping the gym all of the time because of happy hour? Hear your friends constantly talk about how uncomfortable they feel in their body? How about when your girlfriends tell you how they wish they didn’t eat so much? Or when you watch your friend try diet after diet and never be content? The three primary sources of body image issues today are friends, family, and culture. That means our friends influence us. They have a direct impact on the words we speak over ourselves. They have a direct impact over our food choices. And they have a direct impact on how we view our body. Am I saying to ditch all of your friends that don’t live the lifestyle you want? No. But what I am saying is to pay attention to the decisions you’re making. Do you really want that glass of wine or are you just getting it because your friend made you feel guilty for not drinking? Do you really think you’re fat in your jeans, or is it just because your friend who is skinnier than you bitched about feeling fat and now you think that if she’s fat, you must be. We need to start paying more attention to the people we’re spending time with. To the decisions that we’re making and if they’re ones that we really want to be making. And that the choices we’re making and the words we’re speaking over ourselves are really ours and support the life we want to be living. Find your people. Find the ones that make you feel good about yourself and your choices. Find the ones that make you better. Pour into them. Let them pour into you. Honor those relationships. And do whatever you need to do that gives you the most health for YOU.
There’s a blue balls joke here, but I’m not going to make it.
Eat the ice cream. Don’t eat the ice cream. You do you. Just make sure the choice is coming from a healthy place and not a place of fear or disgust 🖤
When you look at me, there’s some things about me that you probably don’t see: You don’t see someone who dealt with anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, and excessive exercise for just under a decade. You don’t see someone who who’s had 2 knee surgeries and an invasive 6 hour spine surgery. You don’t see someone who lived in chronic pain for 3 years. You don’t see someone who has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. You don’t see someone who’s been on antidepressants, bipolar meds, anxiety meds, and sleeping meds. You don’t see someone who needed adderall to function for 4 years of her life as a college athlete. You don’t see someone didn’t train for 2 years after being a high level athlete because of health issues. You don’t see someone who knows what it feels like to live in constant, crippling pain for over a year. You don’t see someone who got severely sick with dengue fever in a small African village that triggered a lot of health issues. And you don’t see someone who’s struggled with PTSD. But what you do see is a young woman who lives a healthy life. She’s fit, eats well, eats 3,000+ calories and stays lean, has good genetics, has a good job, and has a solid community of people who love her. You see someone with courage to live her life and speak up against the injustices she sees in the world today. However, you don’t see is someone who got to where she is today because she felt the depth of all of that pain. She laid at her Saviors feet. She fought with Him. She wrestled with Him. She praised when there was just numbness. She gave when she had nothing to give. And she worked hard to find healing through faith and science to get where she is today. They say comparison is the thief of all joy. Remember that the next time you think someone has it easier than you or that they got to where they are now overnight. Because most likely, they didn’t. And you won’t either. But you will find your healing, in time.
So often I hear women tell me that they wish their body would just do what they wanted it to do. That they’ve tried diet after diet after diet and their body just won’t do what they want it to do. That no matter how hard they try, they can’t ________. They diet for far too many weeks (or even years ). They spend way too many hours a week working out. They constantly tell themselves how fat they are. They constantly pick at certain body parts and are always dissatisfied. They try fad diets that aren’t sustainable for their lifestyle. And on and on and on. The problem is, we’ve been so consumed with image thanks to the messages we receive from culture, our families, and our friends, that humans everywhere are left confused when it comes to food. People don’t know how to eat anymore because of all the messages they receive on the daily. They don’t know how to diet properly because they become addicted to the weight loss. They don’t know how to have a healthy lifestyle anymore thanks to the massive demand of work. Our body wants to thrive. It naturally wants to sit in a healthy space and provide you with a home you feel comfortable in. The problem is, so many are walking around totally confused about what’s good and what isn’t. What works and what doesn’t. So here’s a starting place: 1. Drink 3L of water a day. 2. Sleep 7-9 hours a night. 3. Walk and move your body. Maybe even workout 3-5 days a week. 4. Stay off electronics as much as possible. 5. Don’t fall asleep to a laptop//tv. 6. Eat a ton of veggies, garnish with meat, and enjoy carbs and fat. 7. Don’t avoid fruit. It’s not the enemy. 8. And eat enough for your body. 9. Be kind to yourself. Sort that out, then you can get fancy with things. Provide a safe home for your body. Let it heal and feel safe. And then watch it work with you instead of against you.
SWEET POTATO WAFFLE RECIPE + FIXINS👇🏻 Waffles: (this made me 3 ) - 6oz steamed sweet potato (I used a murasaki one ) - 1 egg - 3 egg whites - dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, salt Directions: - turn waffle maker on - mash the sweet potato - add eggs + spice - stir that biaaa - add to waffle maker and cook on high for 5 min Toppings: - siggi’s non fat plain yogurt - almond butter - blackberries - honey - granola Add as much or little as you want for you desired caloric intake! We split this between 2 of us and it was the perfect portion. The whole thing had 633 calories - so modify topping amount as needed!
I was at coffee with a friend earlier this week. She’s a mama who has healthy, beautiful children. Both under the age of 2. She also runs a successful Instagram and blog. And part of that means being in front of the camera a lot. She’s absolutely beautiful. And she knows she is. But with 2 kids under 2, her body looks different than it did a few years ago, rightfully so. And some days, she has to post photos when she just doesn’t feel her best or love what she sees on the camera. As we sat there, she expressed how she was just confused. How she sees all these different humans with different figures, that do different diets, and she’s just confused. We talked about diet and exercise, but what I really thought about after I left that coffee date was how she has a lot of eyes on her body all the time. And while she knows her worth and how beautiful she is, she still feels the pressure to look a certain way at times. The pressure to look a certain way today isn’t getting easier. But I’m thankful for humans out there speaking out against the cultural norms. I’m thankful I get to spend the rest of my life helping women feel at home in their own skin. And I’m thankful I get to be part of the conversation surrounding body image today. So remember, your body wasn’t made just to be looked at. It was made for so much more than that.
Earlier today I told a friend I understood her when she said that she just feels uncomfortable in her body at times. I think a lot of people think I’m comfortable in my body 24/7/365. And I’m not. Am I most of the time? Absolutely. But do I have moments where things just feel off? Yup. So here’s a picture of me eating ice cream on my bathroom tile floor on a Friday evening at 6:00 pm while my hot epsom salt bath water runs. Am I angry at my body? Nope. Am I going to beat myself up after this? Definitely not. Do I have days where I’m absolutely drained and I just don’t feel my best in my body? Yes. And this is one of them. But you know what this isn’t? This isn’t me coping with food to hide from my emotions. This is just me processing the heart stuff going on and simply taking care of myself. Which by the way, that can look different for everyone. This isn’t my go to fix, but hey, sometimes you just need a little ice cream. But here’s the thing: Your body is not your enemy. And the ice cream is not the enemy. I just worked a long week (which was also a great week ), spent a lot of time with humans, and have very little left in the tank tonight. So I’m filling myself up with some ice cream and a book while I take a bath. I’m sitting with my emotions. And for anyone out there who needs to hear this: no one has it together 24/7/365.
For those who need a reminder... Tag your favorite humans who need to hear this today 🙌🏻
Y’all asked for it, so I’m delivering. Full day of eating 200P/400C/80F —> 3120 calories in the stories today! My macros WILL change in 2 weeks though when my workouts change and I move into another deficit, so I guess I’ll start doing this more often if y’all like it? Let me know!