Investing in Safer Self Care

My life is crazy.

I wear a ton of hats (literally and figuratively because I live in Alaska!), so I feel like I’m always running from one thing to another with no downtime in between.  I pretty much live on coffee and brightly colored sticky notes. 

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Sound familiar? Yep, that’s what I thought.

Despite what Pinterest boards tell us, life is not supposed to be like this. Our bodies are supposed to have ample rest and recovery time for the purpose of good health. And even though we live in a society which seems to reward the overworked and over busy, we all need to put more focus into truly taking care of ourselves. If we want to maintain these busy lives and do ALL THE THINGS, then self care must be a priority on our to-do list. 

Repeat after me. Self care is not a luxury. Self care is a necessity.

Now write that on a sticky note and put it on your bathroom mirror or your computer screen. Or everywhere. As a woman, a mother, a military spouse, a nutritional therapist, a Pilates master trainer, and a wellness blogger (I’m probably forgetting a few jobs), I have learned that this area of life has to be absolutely, 100% non-negotiable ... because it’s the only way to be the healthiest and happiest version of me. And like they say — if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. 

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Now this is where most blogposts on this topic would begin to address all the things you can do for self care, but I’m going to put on another one of my hats and go in a slightly different direction. 

When I ask my friends what they do for self care, it often involves products of some kind. Nail polish and lotions while getting a pedicure, bath salts and bubbles for those relaxing baths, masks and skin care at the day spa, or hair products at the hair salon. And I am totally down with all of those things! Give me a day at the spa and I’m a brand new woman. Scrub the dead skin off my feet and I can take on the world. 

But as a safer product advocate who counsels people on how to reduce the toxic loads in their lives, I am going to get on my safer soap box and encourage each of you to choose better when it comes to self care. 

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A little back story on myself and why this topic is really important to me — 1 in 4 women will experience miscarriage in her life, and I am one of those women. I had seven miscarriages in a row with no medical explanation for why they were occurring. Missed, standard, chemical, ectopic … I had them all. I knew my body was capable of having a healthy baby because I had one with my first pregnancy. I also knew my body was not healthy even though doctors continued to tell me there was nothing wrong with me. Not only did I have miscarriages, I had depression, crippling anxiety, panic attacks, and chronic pain. All I knew was that I refused to stay in that place of darkness — so I changed my life with real food, healthy movement, and safer products. Not only did I restore my body to good health, I was able to have another beautiful and healthy baby. Because of all those dark days, I get to do all the amazing things I do today with my blog and business. So for me, it’s very personal. And I am crazy passionate about educating people so they can live healthier lives. 

So back to that pedicure.

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Unfortunately, our product care industry is highly unregulated. Just a few statistics to help you understand what we’re dealing with when it comes to the safety of our products:

  • The last major law passed in regards to our personal care industry was in 1938. (No, that’s not a typo.)
  • Over 80,000 chemicals have been introduced into our world of commerce since WWII, and less than 10% have been tested for safety. (Not all chemicals are inherently bad! Water is a chemical after all. But lots of them are questionable.)
  • The European Union bans 1400 ingredients from products for being possibly harmful and toxic to the body. Canada bans 600. America only bans 30. THIRTY!
  • It only takes 26 seconds for the chemicals in products to be absorbed into our skin and bloodstreams.
  • Companies are not required to disclose all the ingredients in their products. 
  • There are loopholes in our legislation which allow companies to hide hundreds of ingredients behind seemingly good things like, "fragrance."
  • The FDA does not have the power to recall products from the market.
  • Chemicals which are linked to breast cancer, learning disabilities, infertility, and many other health issues are allowed in the products we use everyday.

The average woman uses 12 products daily, which exposes them to approximately 168 chemicals. 

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Cue the doomsday music. Sad face emoji.

I know that seems depressing, but it doesn't have to be. I just want everyone to know about this issue so we can all choose safer. Knowledge is power! When we know better, we choose better. We can’t worry about what we’ve used in the past when we didn’t know better. So don’t get caught up in any of that could have/would have/should have junk. Be like Elsa and let it go. 

But here’s the thing. The whole purpose of self care is to prioritize our health and well being to be the healthiest and happiest versions of ourselves. When we make the effort to take care of ourselves, we are able to be better spouses, mothers, employees, business owners, etc. So to turn around and slather our largest organ with products which contain harmful ingredients that have great potential to wreak havoc on our hormones and endocrine systems is a bit counterintuitive, don’t you think? 

Let me guess. You’re already thinking that safer products and finding said safer products are going to take a bunch of time and money. Nope, that’s not true. I’m going to give you some tools to track them down and how to use your money wisely. Or you’re thinking that you’ve been using the same stuff for your entire adult life so what’s the point in changing now? Well, my friends, that’s a load of crap. I am begging you to truly value YOU and make these changes. It is the accumulation of toxins over time that causes health issues. Take a look around — how many women do you know struggling with anxiety or depression? How many of your friends have thyroid issues or see an endocrinologist regularly? How many of you have battled unexplained infertility? Who hears the phrase “adrenal fatigue” thrown around when discussing the chaos of life? This is NOT the way things are supposed to be, you guys. 

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So when you’re taking the time to practice self care, give your body that extra love by using safer products. Here are some ways to find the things that will be safer and kinder to your bodies:

  1. Learn which ingredients to avoid. Check out this blogpost for a list to keep on hand: http://www.mywellbalancedlife.com/2017/06/7-common-ingredients-avoid-personal-care-products-2/ 
  2. Download the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database on your phone. Scan or enter your products to receive a rating of 1 - 10. You want products that are low on the rating scale! I aim for 1s and 2s with the occasional 3s. EWG Verified companies are ideal.
  3. Look for companies which disclose ALL of their ingredients. This is not required by law so companies that do this are showing you their willingness to be transparent. 
  4. Do not assume. Just because a product is in a health food store or on the “healthy” aisle at Target does not make it safe. Although we have come to identify words such as “natural”, “organic”, and “plant-based” to be good and safe, they do not hold any weight because there is no real regulation for those terms in the industry.
  5. Prioritize the products that should be switched out first based on which things stay on your skin the longest. Think deodorant, lotions, makeup, laundry detergent, and nail polish. Swap out one thing at a time, and before you know it your vanity will be filled with safer options.

So when you head to that pedicure, bring your own safer nail polish and lotion. You just might be surprised at the significant changes in your health when you give your body a break from all those toxins. Weight loss, more regular cycles, clearer skin, increased mental clarity, and hormone balance are all very common side effects of switching to safer products. Don’t you wish all side effects were that awesome? Where are the commercials about that???

Self care is about valuing YOU. You are worth the time, the money, and the investment, so please do not skimp on this important aspect of your health. I for one am looking forward to that safer pedicure in my near future. I've already got it scheduled on a hot pink sticky note.

*If you are looking to make the switch to safer and would like some guidance, please subscribe to my Safer Beauty email series. I will walk you through all the ingredients to avoid as well as provide info about how to choose safer products from deodorant to sunscreen and laundry detergent. By swapping one thing at a time, you are taking significant steps to a healthier life for yourself and your family. Let’s do this, you guys!


Learn More about Amanda.

 

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Amanda Koch is a Nutritional Therapy Consultant, Pilates Master Trainer, Director with Beautycounter and blogs over at My Well Balanced Life.  After dealing with personal health challenges to include infertility, multiple miscarriages, chronic pain, depression and anxiety, she made healing changes in her life with real food, healthy movement, and safer products.  She strives to provide resources for women to live well balanced lives which are realistic and effective.  She currently lives in Alaska with her Air Force husband and two boys — healthy, happy, and well.

Website: www.mywellbalancedlife.com

Email: mywellbalancedlife@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mywellbalancedlife

Instagram: www.instagram.com/mywellbalancedlife

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/mywblife

How to Find Your Fitness Tribe

How to Find Your Fitness Tribe

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Working on your health and fitness can be a very personal thing. For some it’s hard to open up and be vulnerable about this topic, for others it’s downright embarrassing and even making the decision to work on your health can hit you on a superpersonal level! When you start something with such high stakes in a place where it is so easy to stumble, pick yourself up and stumble again (it happens to everyone!). Still, I see so many women try to tackle this huge task on their own. But think for a minute, what would change if you took a risk and opened up for other women to be on this ride with you? I'll tell you what happens...you set off a domino effect of momentum.

Now that we have established that including others in your new mission can be huge for you, how do you go about finding this tribe?

Maybe finding other women on the same schedule as you is hard, or maybe you are just an introvert and would rather do it alone, that's ok too. But, if you are motivated by others and you thrive off of the energy around you, here are a few steps to finding your fitness tribe.

 

It starts with a nudge.

Just the simple move of picking a confidant or two is a powerful motivator. When you verbalize your goals (or your fears) to another person, they will be there to push you and to keep you motivated and staying the course. Sometimes that's all we need, a positive word or a high-five.

And that creates a tipping point.

Even a little bit of accountability can go a long way.  This accountability has a huge impact on altering your mindset to push past the fears and hesitation and really kick up the importance you give your goals. This spark will give rise to new things like wearing workout clothes that make you feel sexy and powerful. Where the mind goes the body will follow, enjoy this new boost and take advantage.

Now, you are on a roll.

When you are sharing your goals with other driven women (people), suddenly those hurdles don't seem so big and those setbacks aren't so devastating. Now you are a part of something bigger, you are now part of a large group effort and you realize you are not the only one with struggles and hardships, you are not the only one who tripped over that invisible bump in the road because you’re in this together.

Wait, did this just become a party?

When you have finally found your tribe, you will feed off of their drive and determination, you will receive their energy and they will receive yours. Motivation is contagious, catch that shit! When your little group starts to generate more and more energy, everyone will feel it and it will just keep circulating. The more you tap into this new power, the more you will be able to harvest this new energy and take it with you everywhere you go.

Don’t forget to take your victory lap.

The greatest triumphs come from putting your goal to the test.  When you hit your first small goal, celebrate it. Your tribe will feel that victory as much as you and it will make you realize nothing can keep you going strong like success.  Let your tribe in on your accomplishment whenever you cross a finish line to lean into that energy and excitement. Next thing you know you'll be looking for higher mountains to climb.

 

This can look many different ways for you. Maybe your tribe is at the local gym, a CrossFit box, or maybe they meet in the park every morning, maybe you meet at the track or virtually online. There is no right or wrong way to find your tribe, the real step is just opening your eyes to find them, reach out… get vulnerable, after all, that's where the magic happens.  

 

Leave me a comment below if you have found your tribe, or if you are on the hunt!

You can also join my small tribe for our  FREE month-long Harvest of Happiness Challenge which will begin on October 1st but you can jump in at any time.

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The Likely Cause for Your Gas Bloating Bad Mood

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What’s the cause behind why so many women who do their utmost to take care of their health each day, still wrestle with nagging issues like low energy, bloating and gas after meals, and a recurring case of the blues, despite working on mindfulness and gratitude?

You’d be surprised to know that the answer is quite uncomplicated. The cause is due to owning a compromised gut.

Primary Reasons For A Compromised Gut

Low Stomach Acid

The issues and discomforts that come with a compromised gut (i.e. gas, bloating, abdominal pain, anxiety, and depression) can be contributed, partially, to low stomach acid. When your stomach acid is low, the gut can’t do a good job breaking down the food you’ve eaten.

Take for example, protein. With low stomach acid, the proper enzyme needed to break down the protein into its simplest forms of amino acids and peptides, isn’t released.

To spare you the deep science talk, all this means is that if protein doesn’t get fully broken down in your intestines, it just sits in there and “rots”, releasing fumes that you perceive as gas, bloating, heartburn, and a number of other wonky digestion terms.

Just like a low amount of stomach acid can cause proteins to remain undigested, the same is true for carbohydrates. When undigested carbohydrates are just hanging out they lend a hand to bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, causing you to experience more gas and some rather harsh heartburn.

Tips to increase stomach acid naturally

  1. Stop taking acid blocking pills.
    Yes, I kn
    ow it sounds counterproductive, but when you have heartburn the answer is not to pop a Prilosec or Nexium. Heartburn comes from having low stomach acid, not high.

  2. Take an HCL (stomach acid) supplement.  
    Another “home remedy” option is to mix 1-2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar (Braggs is my go-to) into 6-8 ounces of water and drink it at least 10-minutes before your next meal. Or you can take a half shot of the stuff like my husband. Both get the job done.

  3. Stop eating a low protein diet.
    I.e. vegetarian and vegan diets are both super low in protein causing you to automatically start out with a low amount of residual stomach acid.

  4. Stop being miserable.                                                                                                                In other words, reduce stress. It’s probably the easiest said but hardest to do tip for increasing stomach acid. But, Fringe & Fitness is all about self care so you’re in the right place!           

My latest experiment in stress reduction was mapping out what I want to do more of that lights my fire, and what I can do less of that doesn’t make me happy. You can learn about it here in Create Your Big Picture Happiness, and get the guide to experiment.


Reduced Digestive Enzyme Production

Our digestive enzymes play a very straightforward role in the digestion of food: they do the job of breaking down huge molecules into small molecules so that those molecules can pass through the gut and into the bloodstream to be used by our cells. Whew – a pretty important job if you ask me.

We have digestive enzymes in our mouth, our stomach, and in our small intestine and are 100% necessary to break down the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

These digestive enzymes don’t work alone; they need good ol’ stomach acid in order to do their job. If the stomach acid isn’t there to give each of the partially digested foods in your stomach (called chyme) just the right acidity, the digestive enzymes are not produced.

Which, in turn, translates again into gas, bloating, pain, and a funky mood.

A few other causes of reduced digestive enzyme production are stress (you see why I had to write I guide for creating happiness), micronutrient deficiency (because again these enzymes don’t work alone), and eating the Standard American Diet – highly processed and refined/cooked foods that have no enzymes at all.

Tips to increase digestive enzymes naturally

First and foremost is to pump up your stomach acid production.

Secondly, if you’re looking for immediate relief from discomfort you can take supplemental nutrients.

I’m not a functional medicine doctor nor do I play one here online so the following are only my suggestions. Purchase and use at your own discretion:

  •      Ox bile (not really an enzyme but ups your fat absorption; ideal for people with no     gallbladder)
  •      Ginger (you can find hunks of the raw stuff in the produce section)
  •      Bromelain (found in abundance in pineapples and good for protein digestion)
  •      Acid Stable Protease (increased protein digestion)
  •      Pancreatin (a mixture of enzymes good for digesting protein, fats, and carbs)

Intestinal Inflammation

Reducing gut inflammation is obviously a huge issue when addressing a compromised gut, but it’s also the hardest one to give a summary of simply because there are tons are possible reasons for it.

Gut inflammation can come not only from the foods you eat, but also from your environment (like pesticides, BPA, and a moldy house), stress (you notice a trend here?), gut infections, inability of your gut to absorb nutrients, an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in your intestines, and dozens more reasons – these are just the most common ones.

Tips to reduce intestinal inflammation naturally

Again, because this is such a complex and involved issue, I’m going to give you the tips that will help with your gut inflammation no matter what the cause.

  1. Eat a “real food” diet.
    The Paleo and Primal methods are ideal, and even the Weston A. Price method is better than eating a processed standard American diet.

  2. Take it easy on the veggies.
    This might sound sacrilegious but if you have an inflamed gut, not all fruits and vegetables are ideal for you, specifically the ones containing insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber further irritates inflamed intestines.
    The best thing to do is reduce the amount and variety of veggies you eat. Look up the fruits and vegetables that are in season for your state/region and stick to those.
    Remember, vegetables are like coconut oil: a little goes a long way. You won’t be missing out on anything major by narrowing your options.

  3. Try a low-FODMAP diet.
    FODMAPS are specific types of carbs that are hard to digest by people with SIBO and those who have an imbalance of good and bad gut bacteria (dysbiosis).

  4. Try GAPS.
    GAPS is a super in depth anti-inflammatory gut healing diet. It’s superb for people with SIBO, dysbiosis, and IBD.

So to recap, the 3 primary or most common causes of a compromised gut are low stomach acid, decreased digestive enzyme production, and intestinal inflammation.

All of which can leave your gut and your mood feeling in a funk. You don’t have to depend on antacids, cut out entire food groups, or live in debilitating pain and mental misery for the rest of your life.

You simply have to start exploring the option of taking the real food/non-western medicine route to learn that you can control and heal a compromised gut.

If you’d like to start exploring this option now, sign up for a personalized Gut Check. Or, if you’re ready to go all in and solve your gut issues once and for all, apply to go through my 1:1 gut health coaching program, Project Gut Overhaul.
 


Learn more about Jasmine.

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Jasmine Cabrera is a certified Primal Health Coach, NASM personal trainer, and owner of Health By Jasmine. Her expertise lies in helping women at their wit’s end from dieting, wonky digestion, and stress meltdowns finally experience normality by helping them fix their gut and adopt a real food eating style.

Drawing from her years as a personal trainer, Jasmine can also write for you a personalized strength program that’ll help recoup any past injury or physical ailment. Learn more about how Jasmine can be of service to you at www.healthbyjasmine.com.

Links for bio:


Website: https://www.healthbyjasmine.com

Instagram: @healthbyjasmine

Facebook: /healthbyjasmine


 

 

A Holistic Approach to Health

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There is no shortage of information about health trends on the internet today. A seemingly endless number of products and services are available at our fingertips. Each one has its own claims. Some tell us we'll drop 'X' inches from our waist in six short weeks. Others state that we'll gain an extra truck load of energy and look ten years younger. Marketing campaigns remind us of our insecurities or of our desire for a healthier and happier life.

It's easy to get drawn in and believe that one product or service can be the answer to everything. Many of these products and services are 'quick fix' solutions. The reality is however that optimal health is a long term thing. It's not something to be focused on for a few weeks and then forgotten about. It's a lifestyle principle that requires consistent positive efforts day in and day out. Small, sustainable changes should be an important focus.

In order to determine what these changes are, certain principles need to be followed.

  • We need to have knowledge, skills and desire to succeed. Knowledge includes things like understanding healthy food choices. Skills include things like being able to cook, or prepare healthy food.

  • We need to understand and be able to implement planning and preparation. Action is what results from successfully planning and preparing for a healthy lifestyle.

  • Barriers to success must be identified and a strategy should be put in place for when slip ups occur.

  • Support is needed from those around us and we must clearly understand our internal drivers in order to be successful.

  • Health should always be personalized. We are all unique and will respond differently to food and exercise. However, the tendency can be to jump on board with whatever our friends are doing and hope it works for us too.

  • Health should be approached in a holistic sense. We need to take a look at the relationships between its different parts. These include healthy eating, movement, stress, sleep, thoughts and relationships.

  • We need to be empowered to recognize and take action from signals that our body provides us with.

It's time to realize that optimal health is a long term game. There are no silver bullets, but step by step we can all move closer to a healthier lifestyle. Start by getting free, personalized holistic health and fitness articles delivered to your inbox. Alternatively, you can download this free body weight exercise pdf to get yourself moving anytime, anywhere.


Learn more about Elly.

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Elly has been inspiring people to make sustainable changes to their health, fitness and lifestyle for the past 15 years.  She offers online solutions for people who are looking to get started on, or improve their health and fitness.  She blogs regularly, writes for a number of health and wellbeing publications and is the published author of a holistic weight loss book.

Elly is mum to a spirited three year old girl, and along with her partner Colin they embrace a digital nomad, world schooling lifestyle. 

Website: https://www.ellymcguinness.com/


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HOW TO SET A GOAL YOU’LL ACTUALLY STICK TO

Goals.

What comes to mind when I say the word, goals?

Depending on your past experience with goal setting and reaching, you might have some negative feelings toward the word, and other words such as failure, frustration, inconsistency, or others might come up.

Take a moment to think about your past experience with setting goals. Do you have primarily good experiences or bad experiences?

Whatever your relationship to the word “goals”, you can find joy and success in creating and reaching them. And today, I’m going to show you how!

Because self care is one of the best things you can spend your time on, let’s talk about goals as it relates to the care of your physical health.

Creating a goal does not have to be a huge, drawn out, detailed process. That’s where many of us stop because we feel like we have to start out perfect. But, the joy of setting and working toward a goal is also about learning to appreciate the entire experience, including the ups and downs.

So, today, throw out all your preconceived notions about goals. Get rid of the negativity you’ve experienced with goals in the past. Start fresh with me right this moment. Today, it’s all about showing yourself consistency. Staying consistent with your dreams in life.

If you’re ready, make sure you grab the “stick to your goals checklist” I made you. It’s a super easy way to get started on the right foot with your goals, and a template you can keep coming back to as you continue to set and reach goals throughout your life.
 

HOW TO CREATE A GOAL YOU’LL STICK TO AND LOVE


STEP 1: PICK YOUR PASSION

Before you do anything, you need to choose a goal that excites you. Don’t settle on a goal that someone else is working toward. Choose a goal that lights a fire in you. Choose something that makes you want to achieve it today.

Picture the end result of this goal. What are the emotions? What are the sights, the sounds, the feelings that come?

I know I’m going against the grain by saying this, but your goal does not have to be perfect. It doesn’t always have to be super specific, or have a timeline, or have exact outcomes. For right now, the only thing you need from that goal is a feeling of excitement, a feeling of looking forward to getting closer each and every day.

Of course there are times when specific and measurable goals are absolutely appropriate, and it depends on what your goal is. But just know that right now, your goal does not have to be perfect.

Write down something that fuels you. Have you always wanted to run a marathon because it seems almost impossible for you and you can’t imagine the feeling of accomplishing something so huge and amazing in your life? Go for it. Do you want to be able to wake up every day with energy and passion for fitness? Write that down. Do you want to feel toned, tightened, and happy with a healthy body? Get started on it.

The first step to reaching any goal is to write it down first. And when you write it, the words should excite you, fuel you, and give you something to look forward to.


STEP 2: START WHERE YOU ARE

Ah, the most important step. The step we all seem to miss.

You are unique. Your goal is unique. Where you start with a goal will be completely different from where someone else starts.

The key to successful goal setting is to start where you are. Start where you are at this very moment. That is your step one.

If you want to lose weight, it will require a mixture of consistent exercise and nutrition changes. Don’t overhaul your entire diet in one night, or start with a 6 day per week plan at the gym.

Instead, start one step ahead of where you are right now. If you don’t exercise at all, find 2 days per week to start exercising. If you struggle with overeating, start by reducing your portions at one meal, or dropping a few nights of your late night snacking each week.

Start where you are right now. You will find success in consistency, one day at a time.


STEP 3: TAKE BABY STEPS

Once you’ve found that first step, now I want you to head alllll the way to the end of the goal. To the outcome. To the finish. What does it look like? What kinds of habits have you created and what are you doing consistently to stay at that outcome? This could be exercising daily, eating fruits and veggies at every meal, doing yoga daily, etc.

Look at the habits you’ll be following once you’ve reached your goal and work backward from there. Work backward in steps until you reach day 1. Then, start with day 1, step 1.

The key is to set a tiny habit. A habit that seems almost impossible to fail. That’s where most of us struggle with our goals and staying consistent. We set habits that are just too hard to stick to. Pick something that is so simple you’d be embarrassed if you didn’t stick to it. This could be starting with just ONE day per week of walking.

I know it sounds like it could take forever to reach your goal at that pace, but my years of coaching others through their goals have demonstrated that this is the most successful path for everyone to take. To create habits. To create consistency.

Be consistent with your first habit. Then when you are ready, take that next step. As you are consistent, your progress with start to grow exponentially.

If you pick something too hard and you struggle staying consistent with it, go with an easier habit until you are ready to move on.

A lifetime of healthy habits begins with one step at a time.


STEP 4: EVALUATE & REEVALUATE

Last but not least, evaluate.

Consistently check in. Ask yourself how you’re doing. What things are you finding success with? What are you struggling with?

Failure is a completely normal AND good thing. You will have ups and downs on this journey. The best part about the failures is that they give you some incredible learning opportunities. You learn exactly what works and what doesn’t work for you.

Stay consistent with your goals even when it doesn’t go well. Don’t give up. It’s completely normal to have setbacks. Expect them, appreciate them, learn from them.

Set goals that challenge you, that help you grow, and that mold you into the person you want to become.

You can do this. Show up for yourself today. Find something that fuels you, and go for it!




Learn more about Elizabeth Dall.

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Elizabeth Dall is a certified exercise physiologist and wellness coach. She specializes in helping women and mothers build confidence and love for who they are, build a better relationship with food, and reach their health and wellness goals. As a mother herself, she’s learned how important it is to find ways to nourish her body and soul to give the best to others and her family. Her message is one of self-compassion and a simplified, well-rounded approach to health.

You can find more goodies, info, and join the community at:

Website: elizabethdall.com

Facebook: @elizabethsdall

Pinterest: @elizabeth_dall

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What I learned from being robbed.

It was a Monday morning, around 6:15 AM, when I discovered my backpack and purse were missing from the front seat of my car. I was supposed to be on my way to work, yet I found myself standing in the front yard talking to a sheriff about the belongings that were missing.
The whole day (actually, even a few days after this incident) I had a complete mix of emotions from my body. The first feeling was the feeling of utter violation. I felt everything from scared to angry, sad (I even shed few tears), to just flat out feeling sorry for these people. Throughout the day I had to pick myself up a few times.  I had to find the good in what had happened because I couldn't wrap my mind around why it happened. I've been working really hard on my mindset, and instead of going down the negative route I chose the positive. I could have beat myself up for leaving my belongings in the car. I could have blamed myself for not locking it. I could have told myself all the negative things I was thinking, however, I didn't. I changed the conversation with myself. I tried to figure out how I could fix it and keep it from happening to myself or anyone else and move forward.


Something I learned is that throughout life we will be handed things that are unexpected and that can literally knock us off of our feet, but how we react to these times is what is so telling about our personality and our strength. I felt like the rug was pulled out from under my feet. I felt like I was slapped in the face with a harsh reality. I felt very vulnerable and heartbroken. While I was so upset that my entire purse which contained my very identity and my brand-new laptop that I had worked so hard to buy was just gone, I also knew that it could've been way worse. I was safe, my family was safe and these things, these belongings that were taken from us can be replaced. I realized that for some reason my things were chosen, perhaps it wasn't by accident, perhaps that was for me to gain a better understanding, maybe it was just to share this story right here. 

I know how truly powerful the mind can be, therefore I've been using it on my behalf through this experience. In life we cannot change the past, we can't change the things that happened to us, but we can change the way we deal with them and the way we move forward with the future. I cannot change the fact that my belongings were stolen and my space was violated.  I cannot change the fact that I am at fault. I take full responsibility for leaving my stuff in a place that somebody could take it, I take full responsibility for my actions and therefore I will take responsibility on moving forward as well. I will pick up the pieces where they lay and I will not let this evil bring me down. They may have knocked me back a few steps, but they will not keep me from moving forward.  

These thieves gave me proof that I am surrounded by a tribe of amazing people. The support and love I received after sharing my news was overwhelming.  I felt like I was wrapped in a cocoon heading away from the rest of our sick world. My eyes were open to the fact that while evil lurks, there is still plenty of good. Karma will catch up to them, but it's out of my hands, I will leave it up to God from here. I will be OK, after a while of fixing what they have essentially tried to destroy I'll be back to normal, I'll be living and thriving. I could have let this whole experience break me but it won't, it won't break me... it's only going to make me stronger.

This week I am focusing on one thing... 

My brand new program! The doors are opening to my eight week self-care group coaching program on MONDAY AUGUST 14TH. 

I am so excited to get back to my group of amazing women, lifting each other up and learning to cope with the daily stresses, trials and tribulations that try and slow us down. We are in this TOGETHER ladies.

If you want more information on this amazing program check out all the details here. Or lets hop on a call and hash out the details. Schedule your free chat here, this just helps with the back and forth, we can both find a time that works. 

Your Personalized Key to Unlocking A Life Filled with Freedom & Flow

“You have within you more love than you could ever understand”  ~ Rumi

When we look deeper down to the core of who we are and to the core of what need to survive, we find a deep longing to be loved, heard and seen for exactly who we are, as we are.  This deep rooted desire keeps us moving through life looking to fill this void within; one that our current societies and cultures keep counteractively expanding, rather than filling.

Deep down in our heart of hearts, when stripped bare of all the busyness and drama life brings, we just want to feel happy, content and free in the moment.

We want to feel free to explore, to expand, and to love wholeheartedly, while feeling loved unconditionally ourselves.

We want those feelings without the crazy ups and downs which in themselves are life, because after all, as much as we try to tame it, predict or pin it down, life is chaos.

So how do many of us cope? We create schedules and formulas, we buy things, and we accumulate friends and lovers; all that will give us the high we seek in the moment,  which is nice for the moments when those things and people are available in the form we desire.

But what happens when they aren't?

What happens when we aren't able to find those outside fixes for our inner issues?

What happens when we are in the midst of the daily grind, filled with all the shoulds and roles that don't feel aligned, yet society expects from us in order to play a part in it?

You see, all these outside adventures, materialistic things or even self improvement programs we've subscribed to in order to “be our best self” or feel as if we are  “acceptable” or “enough” to love ourselves or for those around us to desire or love us, is a whole lot of energy and effort heading in the wrong direction.

In your purest form
In this moment
You are
A unique expression
of the energy of
Love
And the void you feel
Day in and day out
Comes from
Forgetting this truth.
 

This is why self love is your personalized key to unlocking a life filled with freedom & flow.

Creating a solid base or platform of self love to live and experience your life from is the only way you will be able to find the peace in each moment that naturally sets the atmosphere to the perfect conditions where you see the world through eyes of appreciation and abundance, that in turn allows for the freedom and flow you seek to arise from within. Then, through inner practices and expressions that originate from unconditional love; practices like

  • Presence
  • Gratitude
  • Patience
  • Play
  • Heart Centered Perception
  • Passion

(Which are all very powerful practices) are able to be used to help us grow and experience life through our unique essence in a free flowing and genuinely joyful way.

Why? Because we first filled our void with the unconditional love of self we have learned to practice.  Unfortunately, these practices, if not grounded through a strong solid base of self love, will keep us going in the same circles as we were when we were using materialistic things and other outside influences to try and fill our void.

A few pointers to get you started with your personal self love practice:

  • Radical Acceptance of what is.
  • Love and accept all pieces of you; the good, the bad and the ugly.
  • Accept with an open heart all that comes to you in each moment, even if it doesn't feel great or isn't what you desired, because we can't necessarily choose what or how things happen to us but we can choose how we decide to view them.
  • Setting up dates in front of the mirror, and practice saying I love you (you'd be surprised how uncomfortable you might feel at first doing this)
  • Rediscovering who you are and what makes you tick and how you can bring those into more of your moments
  • Tuning into what feels true for you, and honoring those truths in your life
  • Creating clear boundaries for yourself in order to help create a safe container for you to feel comfortable and at home as yourself in, regardless of where you are.

True freedom is about feeling at home with oneself in order to feel full in the moment.

  • Full enough to not need to seek outside approval or things.
  • Full enough to not need to lose ourselves while seeking love from others because we've found it in ourselves.
  • Full enough to freely give the unconditional love that emanates from within us, to those around us without worrying about whether or not our love is good enough or if we will receive love in return.
  • Full enough to not need to drown our exquisite, one of a kind beauty with materialistic things or hide behind masks in fear of showing our true selves.
  • Full enough to be, as is, and be ourselves boldly

Because when we aren't searching to fill that void, we aren't in a battle with our soul; instead, we are always home, we are always whole and we are always able to open up through love, and freely flow.

 


Learn more about April.

April Williams is a self love and conscious creation coach, as well as a dreamer, a believer, a mother, a lover, a nature admirer, reality inquirer and hope infused inspirer from Upstate New York. Besides her love for writing she also enjoys time spent amongst nature, helping people rediscover their power within, and dance parties. She is a true visionary who can usually be found weaving whimsical words with visions of vibrant futures for all.

For more of her mind's mutterings head on over to www.visionfuturenow.org

And for those interested in further exploring the question Who Am I?, Rediscovering the Power of You, & delving deeper into the practice of self love, you can join April in her Facebook group Rediscovering You for additional support, inspiration & freedom filled fun!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/RediscoverYou/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/brightyellowsun33

Why online quizzes are all the craze!

Why take a silly quiz? 

It seems like taking online quizzes is the rage over the last few years. So why do we spend time taking these silly quizzes that may or may not have any relation to the results? 

Well obviously because it breaks up the monotony of scrolling Facebook and they, of course, it's fun to tell your friends what kind of pizza you would be, but psychologists agree there is more to it. 

There is a theory of narrative psychology that helps humans make sense of their lives by organizing events into stories that will fit together over time. When we can create these “biographies” that help explain who we are and where we come from it goes into our own developing stories and helps make us the hero. These quizzes also go along to reaffirm the perceptions we have already made of ourselves. 

Quizzes also give us a new setting to look into ourselves. Our Ego is constantly searching for self-assessment and self-awareness and it is much easier to let a quiz be the inward mirror than it is to look within. 

Social media adds a separate dimension to these quizzes because as humans we are always wondering what other people think of us. After taking a quiz and sharing the results we can silently wait for our friends and followers to comment and respond to our answer making quizzes an easy and non-threatening way of finding out what others think. 

Plus, who doesn't want to find out what their unique self-care love language is and share it with the whole world (or at least the social media world). 
If you haven't already, take the quiz and discover your self-care love language TODAY! 

And then what do you do after the quiz? 

Well, I am glad you asked! 

After you discover your love language it is time to nurture it. The perfect way to do that is through my self-care group coaching program. The doors are opening very soon. So check out the details and let me know if you have any questions.