Life Lessons

REAL...RAW...THIS IS ME

REAL RAW...This is ME

I want to be 100% real with y’all...Ever since I got back from the yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico, I just have not been myself. The past month was sticky and challenging and I felt like the universe was testing me on ALL levels. I felt exhausted, sad, and uninspired. I felt like I was just going through the motions day in and day out. I wasn’t present for myself, for Shannon, and even Lucy. My love tank was empty and I needed to refill it. As I was scrolling through my Instagram account last Tuesday evening, before dinner, I made the decision that it was time to do some DIGITAL DETOX. The posting, the scrolling, liking, and trying to be on 100% was not serving me anymore and it all seemed FORCED. It was also taking up a LOT of my time. So...it was time for a quick break and to press the restart button and take some time for me, so I could find my purpose and inspiration. Owning up to your own shit is hard. Sharing this with all of you is freaking hard, but I am an open book and my journey and my ups and downs are all part of the process. Plus, as soon as you write it and say it, it just becomes that more REAL.

Recently my posts on social media have been emotional and honest and I also realized that while I was posting these photos and quotes, that my messages were raising some eyebrows. As I started to look deeper into them, I started to wonder “what the hell is going on?” I was being real and raw and I and started asking myself “Am I happy right now?” That was also a sign that I needed to remove myself from those spaces. I don’t need to be Positive Patty 24/7, because that’s definitely not real, but I also want to make sure that I am happy and inspiring, because that is truly ME and what these spaces are supposed to be about.

It was time to practice SELF-LOVE. Lately, I haven’t been in love with myself. I haven’t felt secure in my own skin. It is so hard to say these things out loud, but it happens. I was aware that something needed to change. I wanted to feel that LOVE for myself. How did I handle this?

  • I disconnected from the Instagram…As much as I love this platform, it is frustrating AF sometimes and I let it get the best of me. Why am I not getting enough likes or followers? What am I doing wrong? I started the comparing game and that obviously gets you nowhere FAST. So since last Tuesday night, I stopped scrolling, liking, posting, and engaging. Immediately I felt a sense of relief. Social Media is my job, so I put a lot of pressure on myself to be successful at what I do. Moving forward though, I’m going to stop putting the pressure on myself and just do ME. I am going to work on doing what works for me. Post when I want to post. Engage when I want to engage. To just let it be what it is supposed to be.

  • I treated myself to things that I knew would make me happy…Self-Care friends...I am all about that self-care, because it freaking works! A must needed hair appointment. It’s amazing what covering up those dark roots can do for your self-esteem. Some retail therapy. A manicure and pedicure, because isn’t it amazing how bright and pretty nails and toes are an instant ego boost. And of course, there is always yoga. I left so much sweat and emotion on my mat this past week and I left it ALL there.

  • I leaned on loved ones…and I leaned HARD! A big ass high-five to all my friends near and far, who let me vent and text and talk and just were there for me. In the past, I used to keep all this shit in, but not anymore. Life is too short to keep all that bad stuff in. Don’t be afraid to express yourself...EVER! Your friends and family are there for you and they are there to listen, to guide, to support, and most importantly LOVE YOU!

  • I got out of my own damn way and did the WORK...I woke up last week and literally felt ENERGIZED, INSPIRED, and DETERMINED, and I knew that I WAS BACK! I knew that I had to get out of my own damn way. I had a choice. I made the choice to be the best version of me. It is going to take some time. It is going to take work. It is going to take a lot of self-love, but it is OKAY. I’m OKAY. I will be OKAY. I am so grateful for this life. And I am ready to do this and do what works for me and to kick some freaking ASS!

Life is a journey. And this is my journey. I have always said from the beginning with mine here in Charleston that I would be real through the pretty and messy times. It’s sometimes hard to put this all out there, but I love that I can and just be ME. You can like it or hate it, but that is your choice. This is ME just being ME. What happens next is going to be awesome and I can promise you that!

TAKE A MOMENT AND THEN KEEP TRUCKING

Some weeks I feel invincible, strong, fearless, and determined...Some weeks I feel like I just cannot stay afloat...Nothing seems to go as planned...I am exhausted...I am cranky...I am definitely not fun to be around. That was last week. It kicked my ass. I am the first to admit when I do not have my shit together. I acknowledge it. I have that moment. I pick myself back up. I lean on Shannon. I practice self-care and then I keep on trucking. 

My job is a roller coaster. Social Media is a BEAST and some weeks it can just wear me down. This is life. Life has speed bumps. And when we hit those speed bumps we have two choices. We either let the stress and negativity take over or we put on those "Positive Patty Pants" on and YES, we just keep trucking. As I get older and somewhat wiser and definitely a little more stubborn, I won't give in to the negativity. I have learned what works for me to get out of that place and back up on my feet. Because as I always say, when we look at the bigger picture...Life is really good. Here are a few of my "go-to's" for getting myself back up and moving forward - 

Take A Moment

SWEAT IT OUT - Whenever I feel stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, sad, or need to take some time away from work, relationships, and life, sweating it out is always my favorite way to get my shit back together and start fresh. And usually, that type of sweat session involves my yoga mat and showing up to Sarah’s “The WORKS” class.

This class challenges me physically and mentally. It pushes me...It inspires me...It helps me feel grounded and grateful. I went to 3 “The WORKS” classes last week 3 days in a row and it was exactly what I needed. I was sore as heck and really freaking tired, but I needed someone to tell me to do those dreaded Vinyasa burpees and squat jumps. I needed Sarah to push me. I needed that support system and it worked.

I love my yoga community and I cannot brag enough about Sarah and how she has helped me on and off the mat with my yoga practice, building my strength and endurance, but also being a friend. Yoga is not just about stretching, building strength, and sweating, as amazing as to how this makes me feel. It is also a  wonderful reminder that we have to love ourselves inside and out. That we all have moments, struggles, and breaking points. We just have to take some time to acknowledge this, but also remember to keep moving forward, because life is good and when you look around and remember what you have it is REALLY good.

NOURISH YOUR BODY - Feed your body what it wants and ENJOY it! When I am having one of those weeks, where I feel like I have no control over my workload and life, food USED to be that one thing where I felt like I did have some sort of control. This was not a good thing. Trust me, it is not healthy mentally, physically, and nutritionally. Controlling your food intake is exhausting and takes up a lot of energy. Energy that could be going to someplace else. Food control during stressful moments does not solve anything. It can actually make things worse. Honor your body. Give it what it needs. This moment and this week will pass, so nourish your body with the foods that it is craving and it will all balance out in the end.

Nourish Your Body

We have to remember that our bodies are always changing and craving different things each week. Some weeks I just want to eat BIG salad bowls and smoothies...Some weeks I just want waffles and thick slices of bacon and more bacon. You have to honor these cravings and give your body what it wants. How cool is it that this happens? Life would be so boring if we ate the same thing every day. There have been nights where I just wanted to eat ice cream and cookies. And guess what I ate just that and it tasted and felt awesome. I fulfilled that craving and then moved on. Yes, it has taken me time to figure this out, but I can honestly say that I am so much more aware of these moments and it feels good to not have to worry about controlling the food.  

Nourish Your Body

DISCONNECT - JUST DO EXACTLY THAT! Stop scrolling, liking, commenting, emailing, and even turn your phone on silent. It is an amazing feeling. This past weekend we went to the RBC Heritage Cup in Hilton Head and it was a huge relief that I had to keep my phone on silent. It felt AWESOME. I was more present with our friends, with Shannon, and soaked up that beautiful sunshine, food, cocktails, and the experience.

I needed the weekend to disconnect, because it is so easy to burnout, especially when you are managing multiple accounts, and always trying to stay on top of the comments, mentions, and tags. I was starting to go bat crazy. So I 100% needed to just take that time to breathe, recharge, press restart, and just live life. Thank goodness my friend took all of our pictures, because by the middle of the day I didn’t even bother checking my phone. WAHOO!!!

DISCONNECT

During the hustle and bustle of the work week, I obviously cannot disconnect like that, which is fine, as this is my job, my livelihood, and it is what pays the bills. To stay somewhat sane on a daily basis, I always take Lucy for our afternoon walk and leave my phone behind and I am “trying” to shut it ALL down around 9:00 PM. It is hard because I love what I do and I get excited to see the growth, the interaction, and the excitement for the brands I represent, but I always need to remember, SLOW DOWN and turn it off!

HAVE THAT FLIPPING MOMENT - We are all allowed to have “that moment”. Whether it is crying, screaming, or just being silent, give yourself permission to feel all the feels. It is okay to break down. It is called being human. Once you get all that crap out, put those “Positive Patty Pants” on and just keep on trucking.

What self-care tips do you practice when life is just a HOT MESS?

CULTIVATING A HEALTHY BODY IMAGE - VICTORIA MYERS

Beautiful Inside and Out...Strong...Knowledgeable...Passionate...and INSPIRING, I am so excited to introduce y'all to Victoria Myers!!! Another woman in my TRIBE, who I respect and admire for her fearlessness of being unapologetically herself!!! She helps educate others - To eat intuitively...To live authentically...To practice self-care...and most importantly to LOVE YOURSELF!!! We need more women like Victoria and I hope you will continue to read what she has to say about cultivating a healthy body image in today's society. ENJOY!!!

CULTIVATING A HEALTHY BODY IMAGE

Well, hello! I'm so thankful for this opportunity to talk about some of my favorite topics, the body positive movement and how to cultivate a healthy body image. 

The body positive movement is growing right now and is currently a buzzword for sure in the health and wellness space. Of course, its something that I want every person to experience, because it feels AMAZING to have love and compassion for your body. Every single person deserves that! But I think a good place to start this conversation is actually talking about who the movement is for.

To put it simply, the body positive movement is meant primarily for the marginalized bodies of today's world. While we are all affected by diet culture, and I think each of us can attest to feeling the weight of diet culture on our shoulders and the need to shrink our bodies, many of us still are not as stigmatized as those in larger bodies, disabled bodies, older bodies and the like. 

The body positive movement is for all of us, but primarily for understanding that we need representation and respect of every body type out there.

Personally, I have always felt the need to shrink my body and to be smaller. For many reasons...because I am a woman, because I am a dietitian, because I am a blogger...the list could go on. I felt like I always had to look and be "perfect" for what I had to say to have validity. The pursuit to have the perfect body led me down a deep hole of restricting and binge eating, orthorexia, over-exercising, constant anxiety and contributing to major health issues I experienced.

CULTIVATING A HEALTHY BODY IMAGE

But even as terrible as all the repercussions of the pursuit of the perfect body was, I am so incredibly thankful for each of these learning opportunities. To teach me to love my body as it is, right here, right now. To say screw it to diet culture and give up the dieting and disordered eating for intuitive eating. To learn over time to love my body. I feel that if all of us can begin to love our bodies and heal our relationship with food, we can also continue to propel the body positive movement forward and ensuring that ALL of us experience it. 

So...how do we begin to cultivate a healthy body image, love our bodies and join the body positive movement?

1. Develop boundaries - Develop boundaries for the kinds of conversations you have about body image to co-workers, friends, and family. Develop boundaries as well for the information you consume, on social media, magazines, TV, etc. Unfollow people who make you feel unworthy or less than in your own body, or who promote poor body image in others. Develop boundaries for the length of time you spend on social media and consuming content in order to avoid the comparison trap. I personally find having my morning and nighttime without any outside influences (like Instagram) allows me to consume the content more mindfully, choosing to be inspired by it instead of comparing myself to others. I also find it very helpful to follow bodies of all shapes and sizes, people outside of the health and wellness space, people of different races, genders, ages, etc to ensure I am getting a good representation of what true health looks like.

2. See your body as something more than its appearance- Understanding that our bodies do amazing things, that have nothing to do with our bodies appearances is vital to cultivating positive body image. This is where I began my journey, by choosing daily to STOP thinking of my body's appearance and instead focusing on the amazing things it did for me. I walked today, I am so thankful for legs that move. I helped a client today, I am thankful for my compassion to help others. Focusing on aspects outside of what we look like (both physical and mental abilities our bodies provide us) and having gratitude for each of those abilities goes such a long way in this journey.

3. Start with being neutral towards your body - Look, I get it, in the beginning, if someone would have said to me you will one day love your body fat, I would have looked at them like they were crazy! After steps one and two, I believe this next step is crucial. Just be NEUTRAL towards your body. This is a great leap from hating your body and is progress towards loving it. Every time you think to yourself something negative about your body, stop yourself and turn it into a neutral comment. So instead of saying, "Ugh my thighs are SO big, I hate them so much", instead say "I have thighs that touch". Period. Understanding that this doesn't have to be a negative thing (because let's remember the only reason we think this is a bad thing is because society says so), it is just stating a neutral comment and then moving forward with life.

4. Developing love towards your body - Again, this didn't come first for me nor was the easiest part of this. This work is HARD. But it so uplifting, empowering and so damn worth it. Overtime of developing steps one through three as part of how I viewed my body, I was then slowly able to change the internal comments to positive ones. I began to love my thick thighs. The cellulite covering all my legs and stomach. The body fat I hated for so long, I truly began to see as beauty in my eyes. Because I realized that I, and only I, get to choose how I see beauty. I had spent my entire life being influenced by others views of how I should look, I never stopped to ask myself- but what do I value? What do I truly believe in? Shifting my perspective and seeing my body, and ALL bodies as beautiful has truly been life changing.

5. Use your voice to advocate for change - This last step is a must! Once we cultivate positive body image, self-love and join the body positive movement, I believe it is our duty to use our voices to stand up for the changes we need to see in our society. So many of us have been affected by diet culture, and every single person out there deserves a life free from the restrictions it has placed on us. My favorite way to advocate for change is actually quite simple...Be a role model. When you hear others hating on their bodies, talking about how they need to change their bodies, or the new diet they are starting on, simply do not encourage it by not adding to the negative talk. You may feel comfortable talking to the person about your own struggle with body image and how you got to a place of love, but not everyone can be ready for that message. If they are, great! If not, no worries! Just keep the conversation light and find a way to transition the conversation to something else. By simply not contributing to the diet and negative body image talk we can begin to shift the way each of us views ourselves, and then truly begin to change the world.

CULTIVATING A HEALTHY BODY IMAGE

I truly hope this post today helps you to cultivate positive body image, and I'd love to hear from you on your progress towards body positivity! Keep me updated by tagging me at @victoriamyers_.

Just DISCONNECT...

Last week sucked a lot of energy out of me! It was both emotionally and physically draining, so making the decision to get off the island and disconnect was EXACTLY what I needed. I was a zombie on Friday and I looked like one. You know those days when you look in the mirror and say to yourself, damn I look tired. Not a pretty site, so it was time to leave my 3 iPads and laptop home...It was time to not post anything all weekend...It was time to rest...It was definitely time to sleep, eat, and spend some good quality time with my great friend...It was time to just BE!

West Dennis

As soon as I got on the boat on Friday afternoon, I had already felt a sense of relief. Like I have said many times before, I LOVE what I do, but social media is definitely exhausting and non-stop. If you do not give yourself a break, you WILL burn out. I can safely say that I was pretty close to a burnout. So, I think I will pat myself on the back as I am doing a good job of following my "Wellness Tips For October". Go ME!

I was ready and excited to spend 2 days on the Cape with my girlfriend for some R&R. The only requirements I had was that we get manicures/pedicures; have a picnic on the beach; eat, drink, sleep, and just enjoy some relaxation. Katie had had a similar week to mine, so we both were ready to just chill. We did a pretty good job at accomplishing all of the above...WINNING!

West Dennis

The weather was perfect and the weekend was beautiful! These warm October days are my favorite and I am trying to spend as much time outside before Winter arrives. We spent almost 8 hours at the beach with a delicious spread of snacks, champagne, blankets, and good conversation. We just relaxed and talked about everything under the sun, while soaking up the sun. Effortless conversations with good friends are the best!

West Dennis

We had all the intentions of going out on the town and dressing up, but after watching the sunset we said screw it. We were comfy. We had full bellies of food and bubbles and we were tired. So just sitting in the kitchen in comfy clothes, while listening to country music and yes still snacking away, in the end, was more fun. OMG am I getting old? Am I "adulting"? This weekend was definitely not like the last time we had a girls weekend, but in the end, I think it was both what we needed. I slept past 8:00 AM...WHO AM I? This coming from the person who wakes up at 6:00 AM every day during the week. 

West Dennis

It went by way too fast. I wish Katie lived closer as she is the BEST and she has always been such a loyal, supportive, inspiring, and true friend. We have been through a lot together. We have shared our ups and downs. We are strong, independent, hard working, and fabulous women. And I always know she will be there for me and just give me the honest godforsaken truth about it all. That is why I love her and respect her and I am so glad that I got my shit together to make this quick weekend getaway to see her. 

West Dennis

"Friends come and go like the waves of the ocean...But the true ones stick, like an octopus on your face!" Thank you, Katie, for just being YOU and for showing me an AWESOME girls weekend! With that being said friends, I hope that you take the time to disconnect. Take the time to enjoy life. Take the time to be with your friends and family and really listen to them and be there for them. Life is short and when we spend so much time on our devices we truly forget how much there is to see and do and enjoy. So put it away for a day and look up! 

West Dennis

When was the last time you FULLY disconnected?

Give Yourself Permission

One of the reasons that I started working with a Life Coach is because I needed to give myself permission to break the RULES! Over the years, I have developed quite a lot of these "rules" and some of them serve a purpose and other times they have a tendency to restrict me and hold me back from reaching my full potential, both personally and professionally. Today I am going to talk about "giving yourself permission" personally. One of the things that my Life Coach is ALWAYS reminding me of is to HAVE FUN...ENJOY LIFE...BE FEARLESS! These are my goals for the Summer. To some of you, this may be easy and you already do it, but to others, like myself, it is hard to break the RULES that we have so stubbornly put into our powerful brains. 

Give Yourself Permission

Have you ever noticed how exhausting it can be to follow RULES all the time? It is time consuming, stressful, and wasted energy, that could be spent elsewhere. Nantucket is warming up and buzzing with lots of events, people, food, and good looking men, so it is time to throw my own personal rules right out that window and live this island life to the fullest!

Give yourself permission to...

Enjoy the freedom...

Like I said, the energy right now on the island is contagious. When it is warm and the sun is shining, I just want to be outside working, walking, and having fun! One of the rules that I put on myself was that I was only allowed to go out once a week to eat and drink...Seriously? What kind of freaking rule is that? Thanks to friends on the island who are social butterflies, they are always asking me to come out! I can still be a little stubborn, but I have changed. I am giving myself that freedom to ENJOY LIFE...I live on one of the most beautiful islands in the world and those kind of rules are just STUPID. So cheers to wine tastings, delicious food, spending time with great friends, and enjoying the freedom!

Be scared...

When I moved to Nantucket, I knew the island, but I only knew a handful of people. I was scared shitless. I had never lived on an island full time. I had no idea if this new career path was going to work. I was worried about being lonely. Oh that list went on and on and there were so many "ifs", but I knew in my heart that this was the right move no matter how scared I was. Being scared allowed me to be fearless...to work really hard, because failure was not an option...to focus on being the best version of me so that I could make the right business connections and friendships to help me succeed. It is okay to be scared. It is okay to mistakes. We live, learn, and grow. It is part of life, so scare yourself shitless once in a while!

Take chances...

I always talk about how I am going to talk about my "relationship status" one of these days because I am ready, but the words just are not ready to be written down. So in the meantime, my single life is well single, but I am taking chances. I am swiping more times to the right...I am engaging in more conversations...I am giving out my number...I am ready to take chances. Yes...it is frustrating, sometimes maddening, comical, and a pain in the ass, but like everything else in life if you do not take chances, you will never know what you are missing out on. Plus, I am finally ready to truly date, have fun and share my awesomeness with someone else.

Eat whatever the heck you want...

It was so refreshing and freeing to have good friends come and visit me this past weekend, who were total wine-o's and foodies. They have no rules, they just eat what they want, when they want, and enjoy having a grand old time. We ate out a lot...I ate a lot of foods that I don't usually normally eat...We drank delicious wines...We laughed...We talked...We went on long walks...It was fun, care-free, and stress-free. We just enjoyed each other and yes the food, but I threw all my stupid food rules out the window and just lived in the moment. And it was AWESOME! Obviously, I do not eat like this all the time, but I need to do it more often because I work hard. I train hard. I love food. And life is too short to not eat a whole stack of pancakes that look like that!

To believe in what YOU truly want...

On a daily basis, I write down mantras or say them in my head, when things get a little not so pretty or stressful. I remind myself daily of the things that I truly want from this life. When you remind yourself of your mantras daily, you believe in yourself inside and out. You make these things a priority. You make yourself a priority. You make these mantras a reality!

Give Yourself Permission

Have you been guilty of making up RULES?

How are YOU giving yourself permission this Summer to live your fullest life?