During the powerball craze, my husband was listening to an interview with the man that counsels the winners and part of his wisdom for them is, " If you were unhappy before you had the money, the money won't make you happy. If you were happy before you won the money, the money will make you VERY happy!" It's the same with fitness. Health is much more complicated than if you are eating the right foods and exercising. Your thoughts and perspectives of things create a positive or negative outlook on life or circumstances and that also affects your health. I was 116 pounds and borderline eating disorder because I had let my appearance be paramount to my happiness. My whole life was spent trying to look like a model ( and I don't!) so I was NEVER happy with who I was or satisfied with what I was given. I was already as thin as I could be. I prided myself on staying just below the lowest healthy weight for my height and I was still constantly picking on the my imperfections and comparing myself to other women. No goal reached was ever good enough, I wasn't good enough. In this society, I won the genetic lottery of being a tall thin woman and it couldn't make me happy. I would see women who were much heavier than me loving their bodies, feeling secure, enjoying their lives and I was envious.
Yesterday, on Instagram, there was a post by a woman I follow ( yourstruelymelly). She had written an article that talked about ways people fat shame through acting as if they are concerned for the health of obese people. The comments got very lively and honestly unkind. It really got me thinking and what I love about Melissa's perspective on body positivity is that she is inspiring us to be happy with ourselves AS IS. You don't need to lose weight to be worthy or beautiful. You are already those things. You need to understand that deeply and fully. Most weight loss goals are stemming from trying to be worthy or beautiful or accepted by society. Even if you attain that magic number in your head, if you aren't happy with yourself right now, you won't be happy with yourself then. I know.
You are not your body. You have a body. It serves you and is a vessel for achieving all the things you can dream up. It helps you experience the joys of touch, taste,smell and sound It aids you in intimacy and connection with others. But the size of your body doesn't affect any of those things. You can experience all of those things whether you are 9 pounds or 900 pounds. The reason behind wanting to lose weight is very important. If you are trying to gain happiness because society has told you thin= worthy, happy and beautiful, you are striving for something unattainable and it won't change how you feel about yourself. If you want to lose weight to better love and care for your body and your focus is on fueling it and building it to better serve your dreams and goals than you can set health goals that represent YOU. What do YOU want to weigh? What foods do YOU want to enjoy? I want you to hear this! It's your job to decide what is balance for you. It's ok for you to only walk for exercise and never have a six pack and its ok if you want to be a body builder as long as your choice is being true to who YOU are.
The trouble is most of us don't know what we actually think because we have been accepting the social standard for so long, we think that's what we want. It's ok to look at your own body and appreciate that you're beautiful. You are! Not one of us is perfect and we can't be, so enjoy what you have been given and then decide what healthy means for you and make a plan to achieve YOUR goals. Know yourself. It's harder than it sounds. I know I spent so many years criticizing myself and shaming myself that I was unable to think of myself in a positive light and it took flooding my mind with personal development and choosing to believe truth and acting on what is true and not on how I felt before I was able to gain mental and emotional health. I highly recommend reading the book, " Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown. After reading that book, I was so liberated from shame. I still have moments but I have tools to fight my own thoughts and I am learning to have a positive mentality about my body, about my purpose, and about my life! You have amazing untapped potential and your view of your body is holding you back from it. My challenge groups aren't just about fitness, they are about physical, emotional and mental health and wellness. I want you guys to know, when I am promoting health, I mean that in the holistic sense. Healthy looks different on everybody so take inventory of your strengths and weaknesses and sculpt the best version of yourself without comparing against anyone else. When you are comparing, you are looking to others to set the standard for you and then every outside opinion negatively affects your confidence. Don't look to find your confidence in the approval of those in the stands, you won't find it. Instead, realize that a life that is consumed only with trying to achieve a perfect body is distracting you from reaching your highest potential. Pursue health so that you can live life to the fullest and have freedom to fulfill your calling with vibrance and energy.
The final thing I want to leave you with is that thin does not equal healthy necessarily either. Before Beachbody, I was still thin but I paid no attention what I ate, it was all about calorie counting for me. I was starving myself both by not eating enough and by not filling it with nutrients and yet no one was ever concerned for MY health because in our society we think thin equals healthy and if you are thin you can eat whatever you want. The common thing people would say to me when I was eating junk was , " I wish I had your metabolism." So basically, the American dream is to eat junk and stay thin because thin is an idol in our culture. Ridiculous! We should be concerned about promoting consumption of nutrient rich food and being healthy from the inside out as opposed to judging if someone is healthy based on if they are a size 4 or 24. As kindly as I can say it, let's be concerned with ourselves and be an example and not an opinion.
I remember staring at the computer screen, my challenge pack sitting the virtual cart. I wasn't sure if I should do it. Im frugal. I don't like to spend a lot of money on myself. I sat there feeling insecure and selfish.
Honestly, I don't know what I would have done without my husband in that moment. He saw my need. He saw that I wasn't happy, that I needed change and at my moment of insecurity, he told me, " Just do it!" I know not everyone has that support to push them in the right direction. It's easy to get caught up in the needs all around you and decide yours aren't significant but we are all responsible for ourselves first. When we practice self-care, we liberate others to do the same without shame and many of the needs around us disappear! And when we are in a place of fullness and joy, we are better able to meet the rest!
It sounds simple but I lost sight of it. Caring for my family took priority and before I knew it, I was tired, discouraged, and unhappy. You can't give out of a depleted state!
Creating time for my health (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health) didn't take away from my family, instead it added to it! I'm a better wife and mother than I ever was before! It took time for me to truly believe that I was worth my time and energy. It took acting on the truth before my emotions lined up with it, but it was the best decision I could have made for myself!
If you know you need a change, if you've tried a million things, if you feel like a failure, if you don't have someone in your corner supporting you, let's talk. I don't want you to spend a single moment longer feeling this way! I'm here to remind you that you are worth your time and energy by offering you mine! I want to help! ❤️ Message me or leave your email below!
The year I left Florida was a weird and painful year for me. In some ways, it was a good thing, but all around me life was changing. People that had been fixtures in my life, disappeared. People that I trusted, I found I couldn't. My family, who had all lived nearby made life changing decisions and moved away. Phillip got laid off and got a new job in a new state. We found out we were pregnant. Life was a whirlwind and before I knew it, I was standing in a new apartment 6 months pregnant with a 14 month old and a new life. I shut down. I didn't meant to. I was just exhausted in every way you can be and, in my emotionally depleted state, I holed away.
A new baby made it easy to make excuses. She screamed all the time, she didn't sleep, and it was easy to have low expectations of myself. Three years later though, I realized that I was still standing in the same place holding on to old baggage. I knew I had to make a change. I ( very hesitantly and skeptically) joined a challenge group. I wanted the physical change but had no intention of connecting with the group but, thankfully, they didn't let me get away with that!
Being a challenger surrounded by other women being vulnerable and willing to accept me where I was at freed me up to start letting people in. In a season where I had shrunk back from the world, it was a healing experience, one that had taken me 8 months to commit to.
We often think of things holding us back as circumstantial, like money or time, but those aren't really the issues, are they? If we want something badly enough, we make time for it or we work extra hours to have it. The things that truly hold us back are our thoughts and experiences.
I was well into my twenties before I had my first group of girl friends. My experiences with other women hadn't been great up until that point and though I opened my mind somewhat to allow a few in, my overall opinion remained the same. I continued to keep distance between myself and other women.
My experiences with people involved in MLM's had not been great and when my friends started with Beachbody, I was skeptical and hesitant. My first response was, "No!" As time went by and I wasn't treated like a number and as my friends continued to grow in strength, both physically and emotionally, a spark of longing appeared and grew until I was willing to try!
All of this said, I had to let go of all the thoughts and experiences that were holding me back. I had to be willing to look past my prejudices and be willing to have new thoughts and new experiences. I had to see the truth to know I was being offered exactly what I needed. It was the catalyst for all the change and healing that I had been longing for and I almost missed out on it!
What are thoughts and experiences are holding you back? Have you tried so many fad diets that you just don't have faith for change? Have you had too many people treating you like a number? Do you struggle with food addictions or emotional eating that you just don't think you can conquer? Do you, like me, struggle to open yourself up to others and be vulnerable enough to be helped?
It's hard to leave the safety of our comfort zones but we can't grow there, we can't heal there. We can't ascend unless we are willing to move past the walls we've built to protect ourselves. If you want to see change , surround yourself with people that are committed to you and to the process, it will change your life! Join us!
I saw a recipe for Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein from www.petitecanteen.com which is where the base of this recipe comes from if you'd like to check out the original version. I decided I wanted to have some protein in it and I thought it needed a little more kick so I adjusted the ingredients a bit.
1 Spaghetti Squash
1 pound of precooked chicken ( i chopped up some left over chicken thighs but I think next time I will make some extra sauce and marinate and shred the chicken)
2.5 cups of Green Giant Asian Vegetable Blend ( or 1 cup shredded carrot and 1.5 cups of shredded napa cabbage)
1 8 oz can of water chestnuts
3 stalks of chopped scallions
3 cloves of garlic minced
1.5 Tablespoons of sesame oil ( or olive oil if you don't have any)
3 Tablespoons of reduced sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar ( or Rice Vinegar)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 tsp of ground ginger
1/4 tsp of black pepper
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes ( less if you prefer)
Preheat over to 425 F. Cut the Spaghetti Squash in half length wise and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down in a baking pan with half a cup of water and bake for 45 minutes. When you remove it from the oven, flip the halves over and wait for them to cool down a bit before scooping the cooked squash from the outer shell. Set it aside.
In a bowl mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, ginger, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large wok or skillet ( I used a cast iron pan) Cook veggies, water chestnuts, and garlic for 2 minutes then add scallions, cooked squash, chicken and the sauce mixture. Cook another few minutes until all ingredients are combined. Garnish with more scallions and serve immediately!
If you enjoy this recipe and would like more you can join our free Clean Eating group on facebook to enjoy our recipes or add your own!
"And Aubrey was her name. A not so very ordinary girl or name."(Or so says David Gates ;) I'm a wife to Phillip, a mother to Scarlett and Juliet. We live in the beautiful city of Thornton, Co. I'm a recovering red bull addict. I love to read. I hate to cook. I seek to be inspired and also to inspire others. I am a Beachbody Coach on a quest to be truly healthy mind, soul, and body and challenge others to do the same.