I was obsessed with calorie counting. I allowed myself a max of 1200 calories a day and was overjoyed if I managed to stay below that number. My perspective was that thin was the goal and it didn't matter what I ate as long as I could be thin. I was also obsessed with food, thinking constantly about the next time I could eat and my diet consisted heavily of carbs with fruits and veggies thrown in. I don't care for proteins so they were just void from my diet except for eggs now and again. Sometimes, I would lose control and binge and then feel so disgusted with myself that I wouldn't eat for days to make up for it. I know there is probably no diagnosis for that sort of life but if that's not an eating disorder, I don't what is.
We have learned a lot of bad information from our culture, such as: You can eat anything you want as long as you stick to a certain number of calories. This is simply not true. Yes, the amount of calories is important. We need to know the general numbers like we do in our challenge groups to see how many containers of food we should be eating, but eating hollow calories full of sugar and chemicals doesn't actually feed your body. You are eating and yet your body is starving! It doesn't have what it needs to properly do its job and we will eventually lose our health over it. Some faster than others.
I fell for this for a long time and I calorie counted every day for YEARS. I did keep my weight down but I could never get rid of the pudge around my waist and I never felt good. I definitely didn't resemble a Victoria Secret model which was my ideal (another lie I bought into ). I wasn't healthy. I was addicted to red bull, eating small amounts of carbs at every meal to satisfy my intense cravings. I thought about food ALL the time. This is not a healthy way to live and neither is giving into every craving that we have. When the 21 Day Fix came into my life and I actually started really working on my nutrition instead of simply calorie counting, everything changed. My perspective changed from thin to strong and healthy, my food intake went from diet to nutrition, and my idea of beauty also began to change. There is so much freedom in just being the best version of YOU and forgetting everything else. When you stop comparing yourself to others, joy returns and contentment is found.
We need to purge what we have been taught and reprogram ourselves to understand the truth. The first truth is that you are worthy right now, in whatever condition your body is in, and it may be hard to believe that. You may have had well meaning people in your life pushing you, prodding you , concerned for you in a way that makes it seem like you aren't good enough until you lose the weight, or you might have actually have people being unkind, or maybe its just your inner dialogue where you play derogatory comments to yourself every time you look in the mirror or every time you see someone that fits your mental ideal. If looking good is your only reason for getting fit, it's going to be hard to keep going.
I'm going to be 36 in a couple weeks and I can already see my beauty fading. Even if I keep this up perfectly, I am still getting old. My perspective has switched though and my "why" has expanded to something much greater than beauty.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25
Being fit for me means being clothed with strength and dignity, not beauty. I was given what beauty I got and it's fading but the character that I am building will shine even when I am so old that no one can see a glimmer of my physical beauty. I no longer find my hope in becoming more beautiful and that is huge for me.
The second truth is that food is first and foremost for our health. If we ate what was created for us, it would serve not only as our sustenance but also as our medicine. When we eat healthy, we get healthy. Just because someone looks like a super model and can seemingly eat whatever she wants, she can't. It WILL catch up with her. Good DNA can only go so far when your body isn't being filled with what it needs to survive and thrive. I have seen so many people come off of medicines that doctors said they would be on the rest of their lives because they chose to eat nutritious food. It's a powerful life change.
If your "why" isn't strong enough, think about it some today. I want you to think about how amazing your body really is and all that it allows you to accomplish everyday. Eat well today because it creates a future full of freedom. Let's be 80 year old ladies that go on cruises and not older women that spend their last years in a nursing home.
My grandmother is 95 years old and fully functioning! It's an inspiration to me! A lifetime of good decisions has lead her to be financially free, physically healthy, and getting to see all the generations that came from the family she started.
Don't be discouraged today! Make a slight mental adjustment and keep going! If you don't know where to start or you are feeling overwhelmed about your health or nutrition in general, please message me. I am happy to send you information completely free! And if you are ready to really be held accountable and get into a group that will surround you and lift you up as you pursue your health I have one starting September 7th. Message me at Aubreyk916@gmail.com for details!
In a previous blog entry, I mused that living is an art not a science. Today I was inspired by this quote from Aristotle:
" The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."
I was very convicted at how so often in my life I am more concerned with the outward appearance of things rather than their inward significance. I can be more concerned with how people think I'm doing financially than how concerned I am with whether my finances are in actually in order. Or I can be more concerned with looking fit than being healthy. Or more concerned with looking like a good parent than being a good parent. It's stressful trying to dress ourselves up to project a false image, and frankly it's MORE work than developing the character and discipline that make it a true image.
We only get this life, this moment, this body, these circumstances. We can look over at anothers color palate with envy and get frustrated at what we don't have or we can take what we have and create something beautiful with it. There are so many stories of successful people rising from almost nothing and we love that inspiration but we gloss over the fact that often we have more than what those people started with in the first place. You have everything you need to write an amazing story with your life but you have to do the work! It's scary looking at our inward significance. A vast untapped potential that might lead you to greatness or be squandered and lost. It can be like stepping on a scale when you know you've gained a lot of weight or staring at a pile of unopened bills that you don't have the money to pay. We know we fall short and it's hard to look at but we can't grow if we aren't willing to face it. Instead we cover the outside with paint and and hope we are fooling the world. Even if we are, we are robbing ourselves of our highest potential, while we live in fear that our fraudulence will be discovered. Be brave! Be willing to be an artist with your life. Pick up the tools you have been given and the skills you have developed and use them, continue to learn and grow. Take joy in who you are and dream big. You are significant!
Yes, yes, I know! I'm a coach! But let's face it. We can't live in a bubble where we avoid all friends, family, parties, and celebrations forever, right? Maybe temporarily while we work through a program or lose a set amount of weight but life happens and having a plan makes you prepared. So here are my rules, I hope they help you!
1. Always make it a tall. I know its hard to buy a smaller Starbucks beverage when you can get a Grande for 50 cents more but you are also adding to your waistline! I also order my caramel macchiato "skinny" to remove some calories. 140 for a skinny, 228 for a regular and it tastes delicious. Order the smaller beverage and enjoy your treat!
2. Dessert. When out with friends I often struggle not because I want the dessert but I stand out and make others feel self conscious about ordering it themselves. ( The curse of the skinny girl coach) A lot of restaurants now offer sampler size desserts and I'll get one of those. Could I eat ten of those? Easily! But I get to participate without sabotaging my hard work.
3.Get a to-go box brought to you when you receive your food. It's America. Our portions are ridiculously big. If you have been working out even for a short time, you know you can't eat all that and stick to your nutrition plan. I will box up the portion I shouldn't eat before I take the first bite, because if I don't I will eat the whole darn thing!
4.Fast Food. We shouldn't eat it, we know that. However, you will at some point get dragged to a fast food restaurant with a herd of people after an event or church ect. I only allow myself to order grilled chicken sandwiches or salad, no matter what smells good. I order water or unsweet tea, I get fruit instead of french fries or skip the fries if fruits not an option. Period. No exceptions.
5.Baked Goods. You know there are those days you just want prepackaged cookies or cake or donuts ect. When I do splurge on a treat like that, I try to buy them in the bakery where they have been made fresh with no chemicals or preservatives or buy organic treats like Annie's organic cookies. Processed Foods that have chemical preservatives or non food ingredients break are not recognized by your body and so they get stored in your fat cells! It's hard to remove them from your system without a detox, so don't put them in! If you have a treat, make it real food. I also stock on healthy recipe ideas that are delicious like Chocolate Covered Katie's dessert cook book. I make a version of her banana chocolate chip muffins with whole wheat flour and coconut sugar ( which is full of all kinds of good things). They aren't 21 Day Fixed approved but they are MUCH healthier than buying a muffin made with white flour and white sugar.
6. Wine when you dine. Wine is approved on the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan so that's a plus but skipping mixed drinks full of sugar and syrups ( and often those non food chemicals) will help keep you on track and keep seeing results you are working towards!
These are the basic treat rules that I follow! If you have some of your own share them below!
image from www.chocolatecoveredkatie.com
A delicious and super easy way to turn your protein into a 21 Day Fix approved cookie! You will need:
1 cup chocolate or vanilla Shakeology
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup raw honey
Mix well, roll into 24 balls, and enjoy! You can also roll them in unsweetened coconut flakes or cinnamon to out a different twist on them :)
Ladies, we compare ourselves to others TOO much! It's easy to blame the media, to feel overwhelmed about ads with perfect looking girls in them, but let's be honest, the people we most compare ourselves to are people we know! Not too long ago, I was going to a party with my husband and I was feeling pretty cute in some distressed pink denim skinnys and a cute grey top. We walk into the party and there was this adorable blonde beachy goddess all dressed down in boyfriend jeans and a flannel shirt and ankle boots. I felt over done and like I was trying too hard. She was prettier than me, no debating that issue, but I was the person allowing it to affect my being. There are millions of girls prettier than me. I have got to be secure in myself and STOP COMPARING MYSELF TO OTHERS. I'm terrible about it! But I'm committed to stopping. I have two beautiful girls and I never wanting them picking themselves apart in the mirror the way that I do, and if they do I won't be able to blame it on the media. The media doesn't share a bathroom with them, I do. More is caught then taught! If we really want to change beauty standards, it has to start with us, in our minds, and in our actions, and in our homes. If we did that, the media would have to change its tune because it's marketing ploys would cease to work. Let's stop worrying about our thigh gap, and start worrying about how our self critiquing is affecting those around us. You know I advocate a healthy lifestyle but part of a healthy lifestyle is having a healthy self image. I know its cliche but it doesn't make it less true: be the change you want to see!
It always seems that just as soon as you get your healthy lifestyle really rolling that a vacation, sickness, or some other major life changes brings it to a screeching halt or, worse, off track all together! It's been one of those weeks for me! My beautiful sister was here for a visit, overlapping with a visit from my husbands brothers and family and in the middle of that my 4 year old came down with a cold and we all got sick. Life derailed! I am proud to say that I have come a long way and even though I missed a ton of work outs, our nutrition has been on point for the most part. One of my easy go to's when life gets crazy is to bring out the crock pot and slow cook some chicken. I put half a cup of chicken broth in the crock pot, season the chicken according to my plans, cook it on high for 4 hours and when I pull it out it melts into delicious, moist, shredded chicken that goes great in a salad, pita, or thrown together with rice for an easy dinner!
Have you ever stumbled onto something you're great at completely accidentally? That is what happened to me with swimwear sales. I got a part time job at a surf shop when I was 19 years old and I almost got fired my first week because I HATED being a pushy sales person. On a quiet Thursday, six days into my new job, a cute brunette breezed into the surf shop. I greeted her as I was instructed but as she murmured she was just looking, I saw my boss glaring at me from across the store. That horrible feeling of pressure and impending doom settled in my stomach as I approached the dressing room, knocked, and ask her if everything was fitting ok. Through the door, she said no, but didn't offer anything further. I looked around the racks and saw a suit I thought would fit her well and I picked the size I thought she would be and handed it to her over the door. She came out a few minutes later and to my surprise, she bought the suit I had picked for her! I got a nod of approval from my boss and from then on I was a swimwear selling rockstar. I LOVED helping people the perfect suit! Who knew?? It was actually a defining moment for me. That one sale inspired a love of swimwear sales which turned into me being a swimwear buyer for our company. As I helped thousands of women find suits in that 5 year period, I learned a lot about different body shapes and the painful struggle of trying to hide your flaws and enhance your assets in so little fabric. I expanded our selection to meet most needs and would special order suits for women that had specific needs. Seeing a woman near tears just thinking about swimwear shopping and then helping her to walk out feeling good about her body was so fulfilling!
I contemplated publishing this post next spring since it's a little late in the season but not only are there always vacations and cruises to go on but right now swimwear is going to be going on sale!! Perfect opportunity to hunt down the perfect suit for next year at 70% off so bear with me ;)
1. Don't let price scare you.
The first thing you have to realize going in is that you get what you pay for. I would never want anyone to spend $100 on a suit that they didn't adore but I will tell you that when you find a suit that you adore, buy it even if it $100! Growing up on the beach, it was hard to fork over the money because I lived in a swimsuit but if I bought a nice suit it lasted a year and if I bought a cheap suit, Id go through 3-5 in a summer. So, if you find a high quality suit you love and you don't wear it much you will have it for 10 years easy. I have over 20 suits in my personal collection that are 10-15 years old and now vintage. ;) You also have to realize that when you buy a higher end suit that they were designed for specific body types by talented designers. When you find a company that fits you, you have struck gold! Any time you need a suit, you start with that company and often you don't have to go anywhere else. They understand YOUR body. It's a beautiful thing. I know it gets tempting to go places with cheap cute suits, like Target, and think you can spend $30 but let me tell you, I am 118 pounds and 5'7" and I can't wear their suits. I'm too flat chested for even their extra small tops and their bottoms are either falling off or cutting in. I am simply not the Target fit model. If you have been shopping in Target and feeling depressed because no suit or size seems to fit right it's because you aren't the fit model either. There IS a suit that will fit you like a glove, it's just not at Target. My favorite brand right now is Despi and they are worth every penny! The material is heaven, and the fit is perfect for my body! I feel awesome when I wear it!
2.Try on a wide variety of suits.
Even if you don't like the print or how it looks on the rack, try it on! You start to see what works for you and sometimes you'll be shocked at how much you love something that didn't impress you on the rack. I don't know how many times the suit I'd suggest to a shopper would be something I'd have to talk her into even trying on and 9 times out of 10 she'd buy it. Growing up in a conservative home, I got the impression that Brazilian cut suits were immodest and never even tried them on but when you are skinny without many curves, you don't have much to cover! Or if your mid section is a problem area for you, don't be afraid of a full cut high waisted bottom. I know people refer to them as "granny panties" but if they show off your curvy rear and flatten out your tummy to enhance your curvy figure, who cares?! Once I ditched the close minded mentality, I finally found suits that fit my rear end! Have an open mind and explore what's out there. My rule is that if you say something is ugly you have to try it on!
3. It's all about balance.
I love fashion! But we all know that some fashions just don't become us. I have long legs and a short torso and no matter how cute high waisted pants are, they make me look like Steve Urkel. ( Dating myself, I know!) Trying to rock them isn't going to work. We all have limitations and if you really want to look your best you have to work with that. Have no fear though, you also have assets that you get to enhance and that part is more fun ;) Most importantly, don't get hung up on trends. If low rise bottoms are the big thing this season but you have a super long torso and short legs, its going to exaggerate those features like a caricature. You want a french cut bottom with a natural waist to bring balance to your figure whether that's what hot or not. Or if you have a large bust and really need support, you might need to find a cute underwire suit even if that's not what's in style. You will look and feel more beautiful in what fits and brings balance to your figure. Trying to force a trend is going to leave you feeling insecure and unhappy in your suit which makes you feel like it's your body, but its not!
4. Make Pinterest board.
As women, we tend to think we are the odd one out when it comes to swimwear. We are the only one with big hips, or size E boobs, or no boobs, or short legs, and I can just keep naming body parts! Very few woman are perfectly proportioned, so if you aren't, you are in good company! There are a plethora of options out there, so the first step is to get a general idea of what you are looking for. Most people have no idea about swimwear styles or how they work on their body so the first thing I recommend is go pinning. Do not pin suits you like!! Pin swimwear models that look like YOU, and by "you" I mean models that are similarly proportioned. They may be bigger or smaller than you but they have the same strengths and weaknesses. What are they wearing, what do you like or not like about the suits they have on? If you can determine the brand names, take notes. Research other companies that are similar to brands that you find and once you have a little list, google which stores carry those brands. It might take a few tries to get it right, but once you find that fit, it will change your swimwear shopping experience forever! You will look forward to shopping and you will look forward to rocking that swimsuit! You do not need to be a size 2 to look AMAZING in a swimsuit!
5. Choose colors that flatter you!
We tend to shop for swimwear by what catches our eye, but that is not the way to go! Be purposeful, and when you shop look for colors that you KNOW bring out your natural beauty. If you aren't sure, think about some other clothes that you own that get you compliments. More often than not, it's the color that enhances your skin, hair, and eye color that bring the compliments. You can also research online what your color palate is or bring a friend to give you an unbiased opinion. Of course you won't love every color you look good in. I have very dark hair and eyes and I look best in dark rich colors like deep lipstick red and eggplant purple. I also look great in some shades of yellow but I hate yellow. I feel comfortable in dark earth tones and so even though I might find a suit in a brighter color, I am not going to love it so its better for me to hold out. I will tell you though, when you really look good in something you know it! You will feel beautiful and love wearing it! If you don't get that vibe, leave it on the rack.
Here are some basic ideas to get you started:
This is a Fixed Halter Top. It's a great universal piece because it can work for a flat chested girl that needs her top to stay put or for a larger chested girl that needs support. Any top that is not on a string is categorized as a fixed top. A thicker band underneath gives more support.
Other examples of fixed tops.
Underwire tops with removable pads can also be good for both flat chested girls that need something with push and padding and( with the pads removed) for a larger chested girl that needs support.
Tops with ruffles, fringe, embroidery or other embellishments help to give the illusion of a fuller bust for us flat chested ladies!
Both the underwire top and the high waisted bottom here flatter the curvy figure! You could also pair this with a solid bottom if you wanted to draw more attention to your bustline.
If you have the torso for it, higher waisted bottoms can give the illusion of a much smaller waist since they come up to the smallest part of the waist. I like how she paired this with a patterned top to flatter her bust.
Low rise bottoms are a must have for me with my short torso! See how it lengthens her torso and balances her figure.
Bottoms with tie sides are very versatile as well for those that find themselves between sizes. Also note how the suit below paired a printed bottom and a solid top to minimize her bust to bring balance to her figure. This is a great use of colors patterns and styles for her body shape!
And speaking of prints, don't discount them! Prints sometimes make the suit for you! Check these out! A mitered suit is super thinning
Color blocking and shirred sides are enhancing this gorgeous girl's figure!
More great examples of color blocking. Even though the suit on the right is colorful, the lines give the illusion of a slimmer figure. If you have a curvier figure, you don't have to stick to black for a slimming look! Use lines, colors, and patters to draw the attention where you want it!
Great uses of lines, shirring, and ruffles here too!
And this is just a tiny example of what's out there! Spend some time thinking about what your best features are, pin some models that are similar to your body type and be aware of what you like about different suits. Maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses and I promise you'll be looking forward to wearing your swimsuit before you know it! Message me with questions or comments if you need help! And comment below if you find a great suit or a great deal or both!
I have learned so much on my journey of health and wellness but as someone who would struggle with perfectionism and legalism, the most important things I have learned is to have grace for myself, to keep doing things I am not good at, to let my failures be stepping stones, to stop comparing myself to other people and be content with where I am at while always being excited to keep pushing forward for what the future might hold in my efforts. It sounds daunting, but it isn't!
Learning to be content is the practice of doing your best, accepting your mistakes and weaknesses, and trying again tomorrow with out berating yourself or giving up. It becomes easier to be content when you see progress, even painfully slow progress, and progress is much easier to attain in a positive environment! So create one for yourself!
Remind yourself that the number on the scale doesn't define your worth! Remind yourself that you are making sacrifices every day working towards your goal! When you slip up or fall let your disappointment fuel your determination for the next day instead of berating yourself. Treat yourself like you would treat a loved one!
And finally, celebrate EVERY success! Every pound lost is a victory, every temptation avoided, a battle won! Don't make perfection the standard to which you hold yourself. It's setting a goal that NO ONE can reach! But, oh, what we can accomplish when we make small reasonable goals and keep moving forward! We get farther than we EVER thought we could!
One day I was leaving work in a particularly good mood, having had met some steep goals and feeling awesome! I went into a gas station to buy a drink and the girl behind the counter asked in a monotone voice if I would like to donate to a cause. Honestly, I can't even remember what it was, but without even thinking about it I answered with a smile, " Yes! I would like to donate to a good cause! " The girls countenance completely changed and she looked at me for a minute and then said, " I want to be someone who responds like that."
She took me by surprise. In that moment, it dawned on me how many " no's " she had heard that day even though the donation was only a $1. How many times have I said no to donating or dodged the hopeful gaze of girl scouts outside the grocery store. I can so often fall into the posture of protecting my assets that I don't think about how far that investment will go. It was obvious that day, that we both walked away from our 2 minute meeting having radically changed each others perspectives. The dollar I donated was not as important as the attitude in which I gave it. In having an open hand, I was able to reach her heart. There a human connectedness that happens when we are free with our blessings.
When I was taking Financial Peace University, I heard Dave Ramsey describe it in monetary terms. He said that when we have closed fists with our money we can't give or receive but when we have open hands with our money we are free to receive and to give. I think this is true of all our resources, time, money, physical possessions, ect. When a friend calls and needs a sitter last minute, when someone needs help moving, when someone is asking for donations for a mission trip, what's your attitude and response? I know there are times we legitimately can't or have to say no, but is it your desire to say yes? Is the posture of your heart to be free with your blessings? The monetary value of what you give isn't the significant part. To the salvation army employee ringing her bell, your eye contact and change made her feel like a person when she has been ignored all day. To the little girls selling their cookies, you have built their confidence. To the friend that desperately needs help moving, you have encouraged his heart knowing he is not alone. The effect you have on others can catapult a ripple of generosity that goes far and beyond where you will ever see it!
My mom likes to tell this story about me and my brother Jesse. When I was about 4, being a brat, I told him, " You're a nobody!" To which he replied with indignation, " No, I not! I a yesbody!"
So much truth in those words though. When we close ourselves off we are nobody, abdicating from connecting with others. When we open ourselves up to one another we become yesbodys that inspire change and bring hope and healing. Next time someone asks you for something, I challenge you to be a yesbody!
"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.