What We Say VS What We Mean

As parents, teachers, and caregivers, it’s easy to reach levels of frustration quickly with our kiddos.

Sometimes, this comes from a place of wanting the best for our kids…

Sometimes it comes from wanting to keep them safe…

And if we’re being truly honest here…

Sometimes, it comes from lack of clarity and attention on OUR part…

HELLO MOM FRIENDS AND PHONES!… I’ve been there

Until all hell breaks loose, and we lose it… often times, from embarassment.

While near the water play area at the children’s museum yesterday, a parent drew quite a bit of attention by pulling her young child close and yelling…

YOU’RE GONNA FALL AND GET HURT BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT LISTENING TO ME!”

Now, I totally feel this…

We’ve all reached overload as caregivers, and I sympathize.

BUT FRIENDS…

Is the kiddo really going to fall and get hurt because they’re not listening to mom?

No.

They’re going to fall and maybe get hurt because there is a slippery wet floor, and they’re going too fast.

Now, the point of this is not to pick on this parent…

She could very well be a lovely mom who was having a rough day.

It happens.

The point however, is to become more aware of how we are as caregivers with our sweet kids, and what we’re REALLY trying to say VS what sometimes comes out.

With kids, we must be clear and specific with what we want them to do.

(Heck, this helps in marriages, too ;)).

We so often ASSUME our young kiddos “just know”…

But let’s ASSUME that they don’t.

A good reminder never hurts, right?

Instead, from the get-go… have a conversation…

“Do you see that water on the floor? It’s slippery… and if we go too fast, we could slip and fall. What do you think we should do to make sure we don’t fall and get hurt?”

Ask questions. Elicit discussion. Let the kiddos think!

When we approach these situations with compassion and curiosity, and when the solutions come from our kiddos, they will be much more likely to stay safe, and “listen” in the future.

They’ll have made that connection that water can be slippery… and when we aren’t careful… we could fall and get hurt... therefore, slowing themselves down without us saying a word anytime they see water on the floor.

Score!

Now, is there a possibility this parent had already had “the conversation” prior to this occurrence, and the kiddo is still not being cautious?

YOU BETCHA!

In that case, maybe it’s time for a calm and clear warning, and if that doesn’t work, time to move on to something else.

Moving on after a warning is another effective way to help kids second guess their actions in the future.

If you want the best in any situation; be clear, be specific, be consistent, and follow through.

I promise if you do this, your kiddos will catch on sooner rather than later…

And it’ll cause YOU a lot less stress and work in the long run.

Reelin’ It In!

One of the reasons I’ve been able to maintain a “healthier” way of living, post my YEARS of binge and emotional eating, is because I’ve truly learned to recognize and identify my triggers.

SUMMER is one of them.

If you’re an emotional eater, you’ll know…

You don’t have to be SAD to eat.  

We simply associate times, events, or occasions with FOOD…

And that FOOD brings us *all* the joys, happiness, and memories of those times.

We are now in the third week of summer break, and let me tell you…

I am WELL aware because of my actions.

Suddenly, I’m indulging with the kiddos in more ice cream treats… because it’s summer!

I’m eating out more… because it’s summer!

“Special Sunday Breakfasts” (pancakes and the works) are served more often… because it’s summer!

I am partaking more often in adult beverages… because it’s summer!

Now, all of this is fine on occasion, but what’s important is NOTICING and BEING AWARE of what we’re doing.

Ilana Muhlstein, dietician and creator of 2B Mindset has always resonated with me.

Anytime I need to “reel it in”, I find myself going back to the principles she promotes:

Water first, veggies most.

I also love her “plate it” methods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

They give you an incredible visual of HOW your plates should look, in order to give you the right amount of filling, satisfying, and energy-giving meals depending on the time of day.

Whenever I start prioritizing my water and including more veggies, not only am I MORE FULL, but I also FEEL better.

This morning, I toasted a couple slices of Ezekiel toast to give me 50% fiber-filled carbs for sustained energy throughout the morning…

And to keep me full and satisfied… some scrambled eggs with lots of good veggies; mushrooms, onions, red bell pepper, and spinach, and I added half a slice of good quality american cheese as an “accessory”.  

Let me tell you…

For me personally, I find this delicious, satisfying, and it just.feels.right.

Now, although the majority of making adjustments is to feel my best…

I’d be lying if I said this had nothing to do with my weight.

Although I still do not step on scales, I do use my clothes as an assessment tool, and when they barely fit only a few weeks into summer, that concerns me.

I am ALL about enjoying the heck out of summer (and yes, sometimes that includes ice cream, food on-the-go, and summer cocktails)… but I am also all about having the ENERGY and HEALTH to keep me going with my three young kiddos!… and helping THEM realize that there is a lot more to summer than food!

Let us enjoy our summer, enjoy indulgences in moderation, but if you start to notice your energy and mood slipping…

Do yourself a great service by taking a look at your actions, becoming aware of what you are doing, and adjusting to what typically helps YOU feel your best.

Awareness is a great teacher, and it will help you to fully LIVE and ENJOY your summer with those beautiful kiddos! 

Rides & Funnel Cakes

Last weekend, after months of discussing Six Flags Theme Park and watching videos of real-time roller coaster riders, my husband and I took our three young kiddos; ages 8, 6, and 3 for the experience of their lives.

The day was honestly fabulous.

The weather was perfect, it wasn’t too crowded, the lines were relatively short, and for the most part, the kids were game for pretty much any and everything they could get on.

Now, prior to going, I mentioned to my kids the incredible (and oh so healthy), funnel cake sundaes I remembered having there over 20 years ago when I’d go with my family and friends, and for whatever reason, this got stuck in their heads as something that just HAD to happen while we were there.

After about 7 hours at the theme park…

YES, long day indeed…

The kids and I hopped off our last roller coaster and headed to meet my youngest and their dad.

As I knew they would, my 8 and 6 year old reminded me of the legendary funnel cake.

I told the kids IF we came across a funnel cake window, I’d stop… but only IF.

Well, of course we did.

Now, to my surprise, this funnel cake line was quickly becoming our longest line of the day, and… we were keeping my husband and smallest waiting.

After informing my kids we’d wait five more minutes, the line didn’t move.

I apologized, assured them we’d get one another time, and we continued on our way.

Well, if you have kids in your life… you can imagine how this went.

Immediately, my son went into super funk mode.

I’m pretty sure he was tearing up, and wouldn’t look at me.

He kept saying, “I guess we’ll never get one ever, then.”…

And just to be clear, this is a way he tends to deal with disappointment.

Extremes.

He wouldn’t talk much on the way home, he continually mentioned not getting funnel cake, and when asked about the day, he just kinda hemmed and hawed.

As I tucked him in that night, and asked…

“So what do you think? Did we have a fun day!?”

He said…

“Well, we didn’t get funnel cake. And that kinda ruined the entire day.”

I’ll let you take a breath for a second, I know I had to.

I told him I was sorry to hear that, gave him a kiss, and left the room.

Now, I am human…

My initial thoughts were…

Are you KIDDING me!? After planning, hours of driving, lots of $$$, and over 7 hours of walking and riding, your beloved Six Flags experience has been ruined because you didn’t get a fried ice cream treat!?

I breathed, I prayed, and I thought.

Almost instantly, I was reminded of how typical this is for us adults.

We can have the most PERFECT day, but if one thing doesn’t happen, one negative comment is spoke, or one unfortunate situation occurs, THAT is where our focus goes, and our entire day is ruined.

Realizing that… something I myself have been guilty of many a time…

I had to ask myself why in the world I’d expect my 8 year old kiddo to handle the situation any differently?

Now, I could have responded in the moment.

I could have pointed out all we did and how lucky he is…

I could have said he should stop this and be more grateful.

But I refrained, because that would have just made the situation even worse, AND… when we do that as parents, we’re basically telling our kids their feelings are no good, and they shouldn’t feel that way.

No one can be told how to feel.

Not kids.

Not adults.

It’s SO crucial that from a young age, we allow our kids to FEEL what they are feeling, and validate them.

Scientifically, it has been suggested that kids who are allowed to feel things like sadness, depression, anger, and disappointment have fewer mood disorders than those who are encouraged to suppress those feelings and put on a happy face.

Makes sense to me.

This is also a great opportunity for kids to learn that yeah, sometimes things don’t go as planned, and they DO feel bad, and that’s OKAY.

What a great opportunity for an open discussion on all the things that did go well.

Now, I’m happy to report that as the days have moved on, we have talked LOADS about all the amazing rides we rode, my son pointed out the theme park was better than his Nintendo Switch (wha?!) , AND… he’s only mentioned funnel cake ONCE in 4 days.

In the moment, the lack of funnel cake ruined his day…

But it is clear that by reminiscing about all the big coasters he was able to ride…

The experience overall was a POSITIVE one that he’ll remember for life.

Goodbye Diets! Hello, Experiments!

It’s crazy to think that only a little over a year ago now, I was still stuck on the diet roller-coaster!

After 20+ years of dieting, in April of 2021, I became intrigued by the idea of “Intuitive Eating”.

It was at that moment, that I decided to not only stop dieting, but to say, “Sayonara!”, to the scale as well.

HUGE moment in my life.

There’s something very terrifying about deciding to “listen to your body” when all you’ve ever done is follow an eating plan, or binge.

What does that even mean…

“Listen to your body?!”

For the first few months, I basically ate whatever I wanted.

Fast food for lunch?

OK!

Marble Slab every day?

OK!

All the chocolate!?

OK!

This all seemed too good to be true, and honestly, it made me truly happy to be partaking in foods I actually ENJOYED eating.

After following meal plans forever, I honestly didn’t even know which foods I actually liked anymore.

Now, this little thing I had going was fine for a while, until I started to feel rather crappy.

Who knew that using fast food, ice cream, and chocolate as fuel could only get you so far?!

Now, this is typically how Intuitive Eating goes, especially if you’re a dieter.

When you’re finally able to freely eat all those “taboo” foods that have been restricted for so long, it feels glorious, and you want them all.

However, once you realize you’re not feeling so hot, you then adjust to “listening” to your body.

Well, what I did… was go back to what I call… “Restricted Intuitive Eating”.

Now, if you’re thinking…

“What?!  THAT doesn’t sound intuitive at all!”…

You’re correct.

It.is.not.

I found myself trying to CONTROL my “intuition”. 

This basically went on for the entire year, and was QUITE a journey.

Although difficult, frustrating, and emotional, I learned a ton from the process, and can honestly say I broke myself of 20+ years of dieting which let me tell you…

I never thought would happen.

I also learned how much easier it is to listen to my body when a scale is out of the equation.

There’s something so wonderfully satisfying about truly ENJOYING your food, and not wondering or worrying about how it will affect your weigh-in day… come Thursday.

Fast forward to the end of April 2022 where I decided to embark on a gluten-free experiment.

Now, YES…

Diets, no more!

“Experiments” however, I’m surprisingly OK with, and I actually encourage people to do them!

There is something comforting about an “experiment”.

When experimenting, you go at it as though you’re a scientist trying to find a solution to a problem. 

There’s a timeframe and an end date.

You’re not gluten-free FOREVER.  You’re gluten-free FOR NOW.

Once you have your results, you can decide where you’ll go from there, based on your findings.

My main reasons for deciding to give this a go was because I had been feeling SUPER bloated lately, my anxiety had been rather high, my brain fog was quite dense, and studies have shown gluten can have an effect on all of the above.

So I figured, WHAT THE HECK!?  I’m curious.  Let’s do this.

But remember, I hadn’t stepped on a scale since April of 2021!

And although YES, the way I felt was the biggest factor in going forward with the experiment, I also wanted number data.

Whatever would I do!?

Enter… brilliant husband.

HE had the idea to take down my weight and measurements, and I wouldn’t see them.

And yes…

As someone who likes to be in control of the situation..

This was difficult and terrifying!

But it was a solution to the problem, and a great one at that!

And talk about accountability!

Because I knew he knew my numbers, and would most definitely be checking again in a few weeks, it kept me extremely committed to my three-week long experiment.

From May 1st to May 21st, I tried my very best to be gluten-free.

Now, there were a few days where some gluten slipped in, but the majority of the time, I remained on point.

Here’s what I found…

For one, it’s not that hard to be gluten-free!

There are SO MANY OPTIONS including lots of natural ones, and we got to experiment with some super yummy, new recipes.

Ya know what, though?!

I didn’t feel great!

I almost felt MORE anxious, had tons of stomach issues, and felt more lethargic.

I can honestly say, I personally feel better with gluten in my diet.

Now, I had experimented with this in the past, but all I remembered was that I had less bloat, and this took place at a time where being skinny was of utmost importance.

As far as the number data goes…

I lost 6.1 pounds and 9.75 total inches in 21 days.

Now, although I know these differences, I still have no idea what my actual weight and measurements were, and I don’t want to know.

I do not believe however that restricting gluten was the cause of these number dips.

Here’s what I truly believe:

  1. We were eating out less, and cooking more at home.
  2. I was choosing healthier and more nutritious options; even when eating out.
  3. I was eating less processed foods.
  4. I was drinking less alcohol.
  5. I was back to my early morning workouts, and remained consistent with what I was doing.

Healthier choices all around and consistent movement, Monday-Friday, are what I believe were the true reasons for the decrease in weight and inches.

Now, these were MY findings, and they happened in just a few short weeks that were going to pass whether I experimented or not.

If you have a suspicion gluten is affecting you, or anything for that matter, I encourage you to try an experiment!

I find three weeks is plenty of time to get a good feel for how the foods are affecting me, but feel free to do less or more. Cater it to your own body and its needs.

I’d be curious to see what you find.

The truth is, it’s easy to blame dairy, gluten, or carbs for lack of weight loss or how we feel, but for many of us, it simply comes down to the choices we’re making.

I had to laugh while eating out one night and being in awe of how much less bloated I felt without gluten…

When I also had to face the fact that I ordered salmon and broccoli as opposed to my typical at this particular restaurant; a juicy loaded burger and fries.

If you DO decide to experiment, make sure you’re doing it because it’s something you want to do, and not because someone else is saying it’s the best.

Everyone has opinions, but they do not know YOUR body.  You do.

Also… make sure it’s because you want to feel great, and not solely to have that “summer bod” or to be “skinny”.

I have been “skinny” quite a few times throughout my life, and I have to tell you, I’ve never felt better in my body, mind or soul than when I’m eating what my body truly wants until I’m satisfied; even if that means I have some extra meat on my bones.

If you ever want guidance or are looking for a Health or Life Coach…

Never hesitate to reach out!

You have my word; I promise to never push you into anything!

So don’t be afraid to send me a message, and start a chat if coaching has ever interested you.

I’m more than happy to answer your questions.

You can also find, follow, and/or message me @pacifythechaos on Instagram.

Experiment with different foods, listen to your body, and learn to love the way you’re beautifully made.

Life is too short to feel anything but good.

He’s Only 8… He’s Only 8…

As I was driving my kids to school a couple weeks ago, my 8 year old spoke the following words aloud…

“Mom, why do we have to go to school all day while YOU get to stay home and do nothing?”

OH the thoughts I thought. 😉

Now, I can’t say for sure, but I imagine any mom or lead caretaker of the kiddos reading this right now felt STRONG feelings the moment you read those words.

Am I right? 😉

I’ve spent the past couple weeks reflecting on this because honestly, it seemed kinda silly to be so put off by such commentary from my second grader who let’s be honest, asked an innocent question and really, doesn’t get it.

But Loves, let’s dissect this.

We do SO very much.

Most of our day is spent facilitating, leading, acknowledging, affirming, cleaning, prepping, wiping, playing, oooing, ahhhing, encouraging, deflecting, being interrupted, crowd-controlling, chauffeuring, first-aiding, and… truly… surviving.

PHEW!

Our closest relationships are with the laundry machines and the dishwasher…

We basically live in our kitchens…

I personally could use some knee-pads for all the games of “kitties” we play…

And we are scolded by someone a third of our size on the regular for not choosing the “right outfit” or providing the correct snack or making going potty *FUN*. 😉

So much of our work is unseen, seems minute, and isn’t physically or mentally stimulating.

So yes, when the people we bend over backwards to take care of say things like, “You do nothing”… yes, EVEN a second grader, it’s easy to get a little salty. 😉

We’re human.

But Parents… let’s answer this…

What DO we really do?!?

Despite our lack of sleep, illness, and mood, we show up.

We teach, guide, tend to, and play

We lead through our words, actions, and examples.

We practice an IMMENSE amount of patience, all.day.long.

We model *STRENGTH* and *RESILIENCE*.

Through our prepping, routines, laundry, dishes, cleaning, shopping, organizing, and cooking… we create an environment that is both *comfortable* and *predictable*.

My Friends… we’re instilling in our kiddos a sense of love, safety, and belonging

Which are the three *most important* basic needs of any living human.

These needs being met lead to more successful adults and overall beings.

So, the next time your kiddo says something that makes you see red…

Do yourself a favor.

Pause.

Check your source.

Smile.

Look your kiddo in the eye…

And say the following…

“It just doesn’t seem fair, does it.”

WE KNOW what we do…

AND ONE DAY… they will know, too.

Remember, being a parent isn’t about PROVING anything…

It’s about CREATING AN EXPERIENCE that allows our kids to *THRIVE* in this lifetime.

Keep on, Rockstars!

I see you.

A Note of Thanks!

Dear Friends and Readers!!!

This post will be my version of short and sweet. 🙂

Although I recently mentioned that once my kiddos were all in school, I’d then be embarking on my next academic venture; the stars aligned, I had hubby and kiddo support, I followed my intuition… and THIS WEEK, I have begun the journey towards Health and Life Coach Certification!!! 

I’ve been interested in doing this for FIVE YEARS!!! But, it took until NOW to truly feel in my gut that it was the right time, and the right decision to make.

I’m thrilled. I’m pumped. I’m invigorated.

The major intent of this post however, is to say THANK YOU to all of YOU!!!

I have gone through SUCH TRANSFORMATION in the past five years, and it’s all due to amazing mentors, teachers, friends, family, a like-minded fit fam community, and… a vision. 

I never saw myself capable of being a leader, let alone in the name of health. But not only have I done it; it has become my passion!!! 

In addition, my blog… Pacifying Chaos… has reached 1,000 VIEWS this week!!! 🙌

Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to help, connect, share, build relationships, inspire, bring joy, & shine a light on *the possible*. I’ve also always been this quirky, authentic, half-glass full kind of self. Fake is not something I do well.

The fact that so many of my readers are *repeats*, shows that my beliefs, struggles, triumphs, and authenticity resonate with so many of you, and affirms my decision to become a Health and Life Coach.

Although I recently announced I’d be sharing a new post weekly… with newly added modules, school work, and coaching practice added to my schedule, I cannot make that promise! Although the do-gooder in me wants to DO IT ALL, the recovering perfectionist part reminds me *small changes* produce *big results*, not to mention, help steer clear of overwhelm and burnout.

That being said, I have SO MUCH I plan to share, and I DO promise to post when time allows!

Subscribing/following my blog will ensure that anytime I post something new, you’ll be notified. I’ll also plan to continue sharing any updated posts on social media.

I heard something today in a module that truly spoke to me…

“You teach others how to recognize their gifts by you recognizing your gifts.

Meditate on that.

I encourage you all to dig deep, and identify your gifts. Dish on yourself!!! What lights a fire in your belly?!… and head towards that! 

It might feel uncomfortable, it might seem unreal, people might think you’re cRaZy…

But you’ll feel more like yourself than you have in a LONG TIME… if not ever. ❤

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

Stay tuned!

Workout To GAIN!

After graduating fifth grade, I remember looking at a photo of a friend and I, and thinking, “Oh my gosh! I am SO much bigger than her!”… and I was! I was always the tallest girl in my class, and I had “a bod” before many others my age.

It was around this time, FIFTH.GRADE, that I started being very self-conscious about my body. I felt uncomfortable in swimsuits, I felt uncomfortable at sleepovers, and I felt uncomfortable around food, but… I also always *loved* food… and people.

In order to continue enjoying food and feeling more confident around others, I started exercising. My parents always did it, and I figured… it was time I did, too.

During middle school, I spent a lot of time with Billy Blanks and Tae Bo, and Richard Simmons… Sweatin’ to the Oldies.

Now, I DID enjoy these workouts. I usually did them with my mom, we had fun, and I DID *feel good* both while and after doing them. BUT… what I loved the most… was how my clothes felt looser. I loved the compliments I would get about losing weight. I finally felt noticed and recognized, and the reason – my smaller body. Hearing, “Oh my gosh, you look so good!” made me realize I didn’t look so good before, and now I do, therefore… I.must.continue.

On my 14th birthday, all my dreams came true when I officially became a member of the local recreational center. This was all I wanted for my birthday.

I counted down the days until it would happen, I looked over classes I could take, I pictured myself on the elliptical and bike, and most importantly; I thought about the weight I would lose.

I just knew that once I had regular access to the gym, I could *finally* create the body I wanted, and oh… I had a total vision of what that body looked like; thin, toned, pretty, and TINY.

This was the beginning of 20+ YEARS of working out in order to lose weight, and look a certain way.

All through high school, I was either up bright and early or at the gym late at night – typically, extremely light-headed, because I wasn’t eating enough.

All through college, my friends and I would hit up the gym to sweat out all the beer, Jungle Juice, and pizza we had the night before, or… we’d go before the festivities to prepare to partake in them.

During my years of teaching, I remember going to the gym after dinner with friends in order to burn off drinks and food on the elliptical – sometimes, tipsy!

I later found out that this obsession with working out in order to burn calories is actually compared to that of a person who is bulimic since you’re trying to rid yourself of the intake.

Because (in my mind) working out was simply for the sole purpose of burning calories, when I wasn’t “in a good place” with food, I just wouldn’t workout. I didn’t see the point of exercising if I wasn’t attempting to lose weight.

After my middle child was born, I was able to experience a few health coaching sessions with a wonderful teacher, mentor, and friend. Not only did she validate my thoughts and feelings, but helped me truly see and understand so many of the reasons and whys behind them all. She also helped me reconnect with myself, which was *huge*. Shortly after, I reunited with an old friend from college who helped me develop a love and passion for overall health and wellness. This was the first time, five years ago, that I ever thought about eating well and exercising because of wanting to take care of my body.

During my third pregnancy, I found myself doing light to moderate exercises simply to be healthy… to feel good… to stay strong… and prepare myself for labor.

Although I had come a long way from my middle school days, I was still very much in the mindset of eat this, not that… and workout so you can eat more.

Fast forward to 2020.

During the first several months of the pandemic, I treated my body HORRIBLY. I consumed all the things, I rarely worked out, and mentally… I was not in a good place.

As was tradition, I spent several months after that attempting to lose the pandemic weight I had gained, and although I was very much in the mindset of “getting healthier”, this meant back to diets and exercises that would burn the most calories to speed up the process.

I did lose weight, I then gained it back, and then tried a combo of all the diets I’ve ever known and done until I hit a wall. I then ate all the things, and tried again – all while completing workouts that were WAY crazy intense and I rarely enjoyed, simply because I felt that’s what I should be doing if I truly wanted to see a change.

In February 2021, I had arrived to a place where I truly felt numb. I had no idea who I was anymore, what I believed in, who I was trying to be, and what my main goal was. I was SO fixated on a number on the scale, yet so far from it… and whatever I did, I couldn’t get even close to it!

I was frustrated, and felt defeated.

Something magical happened between February and March. My body basically shut down and got super sick. I know that’s an odd experience to identify as “magical”, but it was… and I needed it to happen.

Between that experience and a couple honest and quality chats with close friends, I woke up one day and decided; I’m done dieting, & I’m only exercising in ways I enjoy.

I no longer track my workouts on my Fitbit, and I haven’t weighed myself in weeks.

I may not love every workout *in the moment*, but afterwards, I feel stronger.

I feel that endorphin rush everyone talks about.

I feel calmer.

I feel more sane and patient.

I’m less anxious.

I feel energized.

I feel successful.

I *strongly* believe in moving our bodies – for the right reasons.

I intentionally participate in some form of “purposeful movement” every day, and I never dread it because I listen to my body, and do whatever it’s craving; weights, cardio, walk, hike, bike, yoga, etc.

It’s truly liberating to be in a place, for the first time in my life, where I’m not tracking losses but counting gains! To be in a place where I recognize that my purpose is to be and feel my best, not to be thin and pleasant to the eyes of others.

Fit is a feeling, not a size – and my hope is for us all to feel and gain this realization.

May we all move our bodies in order to feel our best and show them some love; for they are truly the only physical thing we will always have during our time here on Earth.

A Blog with a Purpose!

Hello, Friends!

I hope this evening finds you relaxed and well.

When I started this blog back in October of 2020, I was very honest about the fact that I had zero direction for where it would go. I simply knew two things; I wanted to write, and I wanted to connect.

After my previous blog post, Who Am I?, many reached out and thanked me for my honesty. These beautiful souls admitted it felt good knowing they weren’t alone in their feelings, and that it gave them hope that they too could get over their own internal struggles with “health” and weight.

For this, I’m thankful… because it was the validation I needed to move forward.

After 26 years of some form of dieting (yes… since I was 10), I diet no more.

I could not mean this more fully and with 100% certainty.

For the past month, I’ve been flooding my mind with all things self-love and body positivity, and I have to tell you – it’s been life-changing. I have attempted Intuitive Eating in the past, but it was never the right time for me, meaning; I wasn’t mentally ready to trust and accept my body as it is.

I have just come out of one month… diet free, and you know what?… I no longer step on the scale, the only Easter candy I’ve *enjoyed* is some Lindt Chocolate because I LOVE it, I stopped stuffing myself into my clothes and bought bigger ones that fit me comfortably and make me feel good in this season of life, and I stopped using my Fitbit to track calories burned during exercise, because calories burned is no longer my goal or my purpose to move my body.

I’ve realized that I am actually eating less overall, and I don’t even fully enjoy many of the foods I’ve been shoving into my mouth as much as I thought I did.

I’ve learned that by taking food obsession and weight out of the equation, I’m able to be more present and truly enjoy conversations and moments with loved ones.

I’m realizing all the over-indulgences were because those moments were limited and taboo and would soon be “off limits” once I started my next diet!

I have officially decided that chocolate truly is my most favorite food, and sitting down and enjoying *some* tastes so much better than mindlessly downing a bag in a moment of stress-eating or in an attempt to just get it out of the house.

As I’ve slowed down, enjoyed foods, and paid more attention to what I am eating, I’ve realized that I have *a bit* of a sensitivity to onions and/or garlic… and THAT is what causes some bloat and gas – NOT the fact that I ate some chocolate or didn’t “stick to my plan”.

I have no idea how much, if any, weight I have lost… but I know I feel amazing.

Literally, within the first few days of this Intuitive Eating journey, people were commenting on how healthy I looked and “my glow”.

Friends, there were literally no *physical* changes occurring.

What was changing was *internal*; my *mindset* and my beliefs within.

My future book (which will be a process and is nowhere near ready to be shared or published) will be a lot of my journey in this world of dieting and what I’ve overcome! But that is only part of it. As time progresses and my young kiddos are all in school, I plan to become a Certified Health and Life Coach, and that will be another part of my book – but those pages are yet to be lived, yet alone – written.

In the meantime, I feel excited and compelled to share my journey with you here, because I can… and because there are very few things worse than feeling like you’re alone when it comes to unhealthy and shameful thoughts about food and your body.

If I can inspire and encourage you with all the experiences, realizations, resources, ah-has, struggles, and triumphs NOW, my passion of coaching and helping others feel their absolute best and enjoy life to its fullest is already in the works!

This does mean this blog will be shifting to primarily health; body, mind, and soul, with a sprinkle of parenting here and there.

If you are someone who could use this – if you’re DONE with diets and trying to reach that “magic number” on the scale… if you want to be inspired and given hope that no matter how long you’ve been dieting, you too can overcome all of that… PLEASE click the subscribe button below, and please stick around.

I plan to post weekly, and I promise to be authentic, raw, personal, and relatable!

Sending all the love!

Who Am I?

The night before my 13th birthday, I wrote in my journal of *all* the things I would change “tomorrow”, in order to FINALLY be my best self.

Friends, I was 12 years old.

I have struggled with finding joy through food, searching for “skinny” through exercise and starvation, and always striving for the infamous, “If _________, THEN, I’ll be good!”… for as long as I can remember.

I have done ALL the diets, I have tried *many* workouts, I have been a size 2… and never, have I ever, been satisfied.

The struggle is *real*… to want to inspire and motivate, but never feel happy with Yours Truly.

Y’all, for the first time EVER… in my life… at age 36…

20 pounds larger than my mind tells me I should be…

I’m finally recognizing that this body is strong… it is able… it has birthed THREE babies… it never stops… it’s always on the go… it’s FULL of energy… it.is.STRONG.

For the first time in my life, I feel as though I have fallen *in love* with my body.

Many of you have been asking me about the progress of my book, and for that… I am *beyond* grateful. Truly.

If I’m being honest, I was initially PSYCHED for my book, until I got in my head, started having all the doubts, and started asking myself, “Who in the world is going to want to “learn” from ME?!”

Doubts can be loud, and they can be MEAN.

But ya know what!?

I am realizing, FINALLY… after ongoing conversations with family, friends and accountability partners… that you don’t have to be “skinny” to be motivational. You don’t have to be a size 2… to be inspirational. Heck, you don’t even have to have it all figured out.

But Loves, I’ll be damned if I allow my identify to be wrapped up in a body size or eating pattern… anymore.

I can tell you that what I HAVE learned, is that healthy does not equal “skinny”.

I have learned that you CAN have that burger and fries, and NOT have the pizza and chips and Queso, too.

I’ve learned that you CAN have ice cream, and not eat the entire bin of chocolate and box of cookies.

I have learned that even though the scale may not budge, or may fluctuate a few pounds each week, that you can still be strong, and happy, and living your best, dang life.

I have *learned* to TRUST myself.

When I look at my daughters, my biggest PRAYER for them is that they never go through the eating struggles that I’ve experienced.

It’s truly a living hell.

I pray they can love themselves, in their own skin… as God made them.

That they are PROUD to be who they are, and that they don’t waste a single second with the next fad diet or ridiculous workout program they don’t even enjoy… simply because they *think* they need to LOOK a certain way.

For the first time ever, I am confident in this book I will be publishing…

Because for the first time ever, I am confident in myself.

I’m Writing a Book!

Ever since I can remember, writing has been my thing.

I.love.to.write!

I remember writing books as a little kid, and reading them to my mom… asking her…

“Do you think I could really publish this?”

Needless to say, I’ve wanted to be a *published* author for a long time.

Last week, after finishing the incredible book known as, “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero, I was reminded that we all have something to give, that God is good, and that the universe will work in your favor if your vibes and go-getter-tude are in the right place!

A huge reason I’ve hesitated in the writing of this particular book, is because my “specialty” by degree is in teaching. I feel confident in writing a book about kids and education because my degrees tell me… I’m an educator!

Although my *confidence* lacks in the health department, my *passion* is strong.

Last week, I decided I was going to finally do it. I was going to write my first book.

I did some serious praying to The Big Guy, and then…

I binged on junk for three days; almost as though I was attempting to convince myself:

I am not qualified to write a book on health.

I went back to prayer – in hopes He would *ninja* my doubts, worries, fears, and what-ifs, and the following morning as I was making breakfast; it was almost as if the holy spirit himself walked me to my Chromebook – hand on my back, sat me down, and said:

“You’ve got this!”

The craziest part, is that after literally *YEARS* of doubting my abilities in writing on this topic, in that moment, I had never been more sure of anything.

HECK YES!!!!! This is it. I’m finally going to do this. It’s happening.

There were no doubts in my mind, and I felt like a rockstar.

The next morning, after I had written quite a bit and shared about this endeavor on social media, the anxiety started setting in…

What am I doing?

Who am *I* to write a book?

Who is going to even read this?

I’m not a nutritionist?

There are SO many books on health. How is MINE going to be any different?

I just spent the past three days binging! Who is going to trust me?

I took a big, deep breath… and felt flooded with calm; realizing I don’t HAVE to have it all figured out, and to be honest… I want my readers to also believe THEY don’t have to have it all figured out. How *intimidating* this journey becomes when you think you do!

The most exciting and refreshing part of my book that I truly believe in my gut makes it unique… is the fact that it’s authentic, and I’m writing this in *real time*.

So many books I’ve read in the name of health include nutrition facts, food-inducing diseases, special diets, or individuals who have truly conquered their issues. And Friends, THAT.IS.AMAZING. But, how often do you read books from individuals who are in the midst of dealing? I’m sure they’re out there, but that’s just not what people tend to gravitate towards.

This book won’t be about the moment I stopped eating sugar, gave up alcohol, or never ate large portions again (although originally… that was my goal… and that’s why it’s taken me years to get going)!

This book is about connecting with and encouraging those who also struggle with their relationship with food and the diet world. It’s about my own personal journey; my struggles, my triumphs, my realizations, my ah-has… PRACTICAL ADVICE AND EXPERIENCE that has helped me come SUCH a long way over the past 25 years in my tango with food and a negative body image.

I’m psyched to be an open book and share my journey with whoever needs and wants to hear it. I want to help remind the world that *we truly can* find a common ground with our inner struggles, *we can* find a balance that is life-giving and joyful, and *we can* and should accept ourselves as we are.

I have no idea how long this book will take.

I have no idea what it will look like when it’s done.

I have no idea who will edit it.

I have no idea where to even START in the publishing department.

BUT… I know I’m writing this, and I know it’s what I’m meant to do.

Stay tuned!!!