Self Love

Living with Anxiety? Yeah, me too.

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Anxiety.

The word alone gives me anxiety — and honestly, I’ve been wanting to write a post about this for a long ass time but something has kept holding me back…until today.


Why now?

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I love to pop into my Insta stories on the regular and talk to you guys — pep talks, rants, goofy moments, adorable pup time with Toby and silly dance parties are what you normally can expect, but last week, I was having one of those days (maybe you know the kind) and I brought it up on my stories, asking for help on how to navigate it all.

And I’ve never had SO MUCH response to something I posted in my life. 92% of my followers said they struggled with anxiety too. I knew I wasn’t alone but the amount of “me too” responses I got absolutely blew me away and I knew I couldn’t stay silent about it anymore.


My Story

I've lived with anxiety for the past 5 years. The summer of 2013, an event in my life triggered what I now know to be called a panic attack. At the time, I thought I was literally dying. I was hyperventilating and crying so much that I almost passed out and for the life of me, I couldn’t make it stop.

This was my first experience with anxiety, or at least what I can remember.

And honestly, my first experience with mental health struggles.

My anxiety took a really intense hold over my life for the years following — panic attacks would happen when I least expected, conversations about the simplest things could spur it and I would find myself waking up with a heavy chest that just couldn’t go away, no matter what I did.

I’ve spent the past 5 years navigating my anxiety and building up tools in my tool box that have helped immensely — and what used to be a super common feeling has turned into something that rears its head every one and a while.

Anxiety looks different on everyone. I know women who navigate it from all ends of the spectrum — from women who have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) who are on medication for their anxiety to women who occasionally get anxious about specific circumstances in their lives.

One thing I do know? Most women don’t talk about it.

Which makes us all feel a hell of a lot more alone in all of it, don’t ya think?

It’s my mission to help contribute to the mission to normalize anxiety — ‘cause you are not less than because you experience it, in any capacity. Ya hear me?


What you can do?

I was blown away by the incredible thoughtful response some of my amazing followers on Instagram shared with me, and I wanted to share their thoughts alongside mine. Here they are…

“Breathing mantras and writing!”

“Puppy snuggles” — you laugh but there is scientific proof that petting pups actually lowers your cortisol (aka stress) levels!

“Journaling out my feelings”

“Evening out my breath. So making my inhales 5ish secs and my exhales 5ish secs.”

“Yoga, meditation and journaling is what works for me.”

“Getting enough sleep”

“Painting/being creative in any way.”

“Reading.”

“Big hugs”

“Writing down things I can see, feel. and hear helps ground me.”

“Reminding myself of things that are true.”

“Running and coloring”


How thoughtful are these responses? So many incredible things to sift through and find what works for you.


Here are some of my personal go-tos that have been a total godsend to quiet or rid myself of anxiety:


EXERCISE PAIRED WITH SUPPORT

The minute I feel anxiety creeping up, I know that the best thing I can do is to sweat it out. It works absolute WONDERS, and having a community of women encouraging me and supporting me along the way has been KEY in my journey. We all need spaces that allow us to come exactly as we are and that’s what these groups have been for me.


THROW MYSELF A DANCE PARTY

There is nothing like putting on some of my favorite tunes (lately I’ve been taking it back to some TLC and it’s been pretty fucking incredible) and throwing myself a major dance party.

I know it can feel counter-intuitive in the moment but thrusting your body into something active and physical and unexpected can help jolt you out of your state of anxiety.


GO FOR A WALK

Sometimes something as simple as a shift in environment and getting outside can make all the difference. I actually try to pre-emptively plan for these with my daily mid day walk with my pup — it forces me to get out of the house! If you work a traditional full time gig, take your lunch outside or take the second half of it by going for a walk. Better yet, start your day with a quick walk around the block to wake you up!

REMEMBER — if you are struggling and need someone to talk to, I’m always just a message away my love. I’m no expert on anxiety but I’m always, always here.

Xo Amanda

p.s. I’m hosting an End Overeating & Anxiety for good webinar with my good friend and therapist Rachel Wright later this month and would love to see you there — be sure to hop on my email list and in our Live Your F*ck Yes Life Facebook community to get the deets first!

Why I don't believe in "falling off the wagon" and why health isn't all about getting banging ass results

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I failed.

Or at least by all standards of the fitness industry, I failed.

The past 7 weeks, I've been rocking my latest fitness adventure -- a strength training and HIIT program. I've been working out 4 days a week, rocking my rest days like nobody's business and continuing to adopt my food freedom program principles.

You'd THINK that I would have seen these INSANE results -- AB CHECK HERE, am I right? 

We're all programmed to believe that we will dive into a fitness program and that by the end of it, we're going to be RIPPED. That we're going to shed the weight, get that six pack we've always dreamed of and we'll finally be able to zip up those jeans from high school we've been holding in the back of our closet for 10 years...

I know I used to believe that with every fibre of my being. 

And when I didn't see results right away, I sabotaged myself and deep dove into my binge eating spiral and would put on 10-20 lbs in a month.

That cycle plagued me for YEARS, until I changed up my fitness regime. Started rocking programs that actually worked and gave me long lasting results.

And all of a sudden, I actually FELT HAPPY. Not just because I lost a few dress sizes, but because I FELT STRONG. I felt active and alive and energized in a way I hadn't in years.

And for the past 3 years, I've continued to feel that way. Trying out new programs, feeling like a MF athlete and badass...until this program.

'Cause you see...I've been rocking this strength training program and as I head into my final week of it, I've seen no weight loss or physical external shifts. In fact, the physical shifts I have seen have been me feeling fluffy and bloated.

And you know I'm always going to keep it REAL AF with you babes, and my truth right now is that I've spent the last couple of weeks feeling like a total and utter FAILURE. Because your girl is as health coach, right? So if I can't walk the walk, how am I supposed to inspire and empower my clients and future clients to do so as well...right?

WRONG.

While you may not see any badass results from this, what you also don't see is everything else I've been navigating this summer. 

The past couple of months, I’ve been dealing with some intense shifts hormonally that have caused my body to feel out of whack.

2 months ago, I transitioned off of birth control pills to the copper IUD. I originally did so in April but my body literally rejected the IUD and I had to get it removed and a new one inserted (which, let me tell ya, is NO FUN). Luckily, the IUD stuck this time around, but my body has responded SUPER differently to this one. The first time around in April, I had no bleeding and no seemingly different experiences beyond my shifts in mood depending on where I was at in my cycle.

But this time, my bleeding has been incredibly different — I bled right after the initial insertion more than I ever have in my entire life. And since early July, I’ve had continued intermittent spotting and periods every other week.  

And the past few weeks, my body has been intermittently bloated AF in ways I’ve never experienced before (for all you gals who have dealt with this for years I FINALLY UNDERSTAND) and it’s been super uncomfortable.

I look in the mirror and that voice in the back of my head that tells me I'm not good enough, and I should just eat an entire box of donuts has been getting louder and louder...all because my BODY doesn't look the way I EXPECTED it to or the way SOCIETY TELLS ME IT SHOULD after finishing a workout program? 

I call bullshit.

I mean, I am ALL about celebrating different shapes and sizes and finding STRENGTH from the inside out, not about looking a certain way — and this gal? THIS IS ME TODAY.

The bright, energetic, sensitive, silly, playful, dedicated, focused, harry potter obsessed dog mama multi-passionate entrepreneur goofball who also happens to be bloated right now.

And she is JUST as worthy bloated as she is when she’s not. 

She's just as worthy when she's kicking ass with her workout program or moving slower and working out less.

She's just as worthy when she's eating a delicious pot of zoodles than when she's eating a MF cookie.

Our health and fitness journeys ARE FAR FROM LINEAR. Nor should they be.

And to expect our lives to constantly be moving that direction is unrealistic. Shit happens. We travel. We go into a crazy busy period at work. A loved one dies. We plan weddings. We enter new relationships that turn our worlds upside down. 

We accept that these things are part of life and that it's OK, but we have such a tough time acknowledging that it's also okay to have a fluctuating body?

LET'S GIVE OURSELVES SOME MOTHER FUCKING GRACE ALREADY and RID OURSELVES OF THE "FALLING OFF THE WAGON" BS WE'VE BEEN SPEWING TO OURSELVES FOR YEARS.

You are worthy just as you are right now my love.

And no matter where that is, all you can do is show up with grace, kindness and do the shit that makes you FEEL ALIVE and ENERGIZED AF.

Xo Your no BS soul sistah,

Amanda 

20 things you should start doing so you won't regret your twenties

My twenties so far have been anything but seamless, and I'm betting you can relate.

And for so many years, I just chalked it up to what everyone and their mother said: 

"your twenties are your crazy years, everything changes at thirty."

And so for the first 5 years of my twenties, you better believe I lived up to that ('cause I was given hella permission to do so) -- you know the pattern...get up, go to work for jobs that suck the life out of you, say yes to all the parties/events because you're afraid you'll be missing out if you don't, spend so much time trying to look like some magazine's definition of what an "ideal woman" should look like, which of course leds us to years of binging and over exercising until our inevitable quarter life crisis break down ensues...

Or at least, that was my story.

Can you relate?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all about spending your twenties to figure out who you are and what you want (and along the way, you can bet it's gonna be messy AF), but why do we have to hit rock bottom for us to wake the fuck up and make a change?

What if we could equip ourselves with tools that allowed us to do the inner work, the REAL work, so that come our thirties, we had already started to put into place some intentional habits that were in line with how we wanted to feel & show up in the world. 

Habits that are deeply rooted in our VALUES. 

My hope is that by sharing what I wish I had known, you can avoid having your own burnout broken quarter life crisis that takes years of work to undo. 

Here we go.

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20 THINGS YOU SHOULD START DOING SO YOU WON'T REGRET YOUR TWENTIES

1. Wake up early. If this gal can become a morning person, so can you. 

2. Get into a regular exercise routine. You don't need to go crazy at the gym or kill yourself at a spin class on the regular, but 30 minutes of moving your body a day is so important for your health. 

3. Cut out processed foods (FO REAL YO) and focus on simple REAL foods. Check out my FREE BUSY BABES GUIDE TO HEALTHY LIVING e-book to learn how to get started!

4. Have the courage to say YES to the things that excite you.

5. Have the courage to say NO to the things that aren’t aligned with your values.

6. Explore and discover what your true values ARE (don't know where to start? Check out this post

7. Say buh bye to the friendships that don’t serve you — you know who they are. 

8. Read books — here’s a great place to get started!

9. Take yourself on soul dates.

10. Tell the truth and expect it in return.

11. Break free from the typical “adulting” day to day life and add more freaking PLAY into your day. 

12. Create a budget and start putting a little money aside into a savings fund NOW. 

13. Trade in blackout party nights for a glass of wine or kombucha with a gal pal and inspiring and goofy conversations 

14. Create self care rituals that you do on a daily or weekly basis. Some of my faves? Check 'em out here. 

15. TRAVEL more -- it doesn't have to be to faraway exotic cultures (although those are awesome too), but even a simple road trip 2 hours away for a weekend in the woods can do your soul some GOOD. 

16. Do something that scares you every single day. Apply to that dream job. Ask the guy out. Try that move in yoga. It won't only get you one step closer to the life you want, but your confidence will grow in the process too -- double win!

17. Get in touch with your body and your womanhood. For more information, listen to episode 7 of the podcast with Claire Baker.  

18. Start administering self breast exams. But FOR REAL. 1 out of 8 women will develop breast cancer over their life time. 1 out of 8! This is clearly on the front of mind for me right now but I was always told by my doctors to rock out self exams on my own and never did because I always thought "that won't happen to me".   

19. Start journaling. Whether it's through journal prompts or using the "brain dump" method and just spewing your thoughts on paper, it can be such a powerful way to actually get to know yourself, your emotions and your dreams.

20. Practice self compassion. You are learning. You are growing. And while it may feel like you so often don't get it "right", or that you haven't "arrived", remember that this journey is a beautiful rollercoaster (and so often one we cannot control), but what we can control is the way we speak to ourselves and treat ourselves along the way. 

 

You've got this, babe.

Let's push the habits that aren't serving us to the curb and start implementing one or even two of these practices in our lives.

 

Which one are YOU going to start with first? 

 

Xo Amanda

 

Facing Fear Head On: A 20 somethings journey of being BRCA positive

FEAR.

For so much of my life, I let fear steer the wheel. 

 

I quit ballet after my first class because 3 girls made fun of me and I was scared nobody would be my friend.

I didn't ask the boy out because I was terrified he'd reject me and not think I was pretty enough.

I dieted and dieted in fear that I wouldn't be cast in shows because I wouldn't be "skinny enough".

Can you relate? 

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The past 2 years of my life, I've been on an intense journey of self discovery and a huge part of that was facing fear head on.

 

I faced it head on when I broke the diet cycle once and for all, and healed my relationship with food and fitness.

I faced it head on when I decided to pay everything I've learned forward and become a health coach and join a tribe of incredible women changing the freaking world

I faced it head on when I took a good hard look at my debt, made a plan and in less than a year, paid off all my credit card debt. 

I faced it head on when I went shirtless on stage for the first time in my life and faced all the body love demons that had been a part of my life for so damn long. 

 

And heading into this year, I knew that it was time to face a fear I've been living with for a very long time. 

 

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MY STORY 

When my dad was 18, his mum died of breast cancer at the age of 44. 

And growing up, I've seen how that loss took such a toll on him. I mean, losing a parent at all let alone at 18 years old is awful -- and something that I'm so grateful to say I've not had to go through myself. Because goddamn, my parents are my best friends and that's something even just thinking about breaks my fucking heart.

And all my life, I've had this little fear living at the back of my mind that I would have the same fate as my grandma. Call it intuition, call it gut, call it fear, it was super present in my world since I was old enough to understand it.

And that fear came to an all time high during my Sophomore year of college when my Dad got tested for the BRCA gene mutations (more info on all of this and real time reactions on episode 6 of the Live Your F*ck Yes Life Podcast) and found out that he was a carrier of the gene (and the only one of his siblings who is).

At the time, I didn't fully understand what that meant,  beyond the fact that I had a 50/50 chance of getting it, and honestly fear took over every ounce of me that I didn't want to know. I was 20 and the way I felt at the time was that knowing would just make it harder.

So I decided not to find out...until this year.

And you know what? Looking back, I'm grateful I waited.

Grateful because at the time, I was going through SO much internally that I think the information I knew deep down was true -- the fact that I also am BRCA 1 positive -- would have broken me in half.

Now, I'm 27, and while I'm still so young, I've lived a lot of life.

Hell, in the last 4 years alone, I've dealt with a binge eating disorder, orthorexia, planned a wedding, dealt with sudden onset anxiety, bought our first house, started my business, moved out of said home and lived in hotels for 6 months because of water damage, navigated job shifts and health issues with my hubby, started a podcast and beyond. 

And that's not counting all the odd jobs, shows, teaching gigs, travels, mentoring and everything else in my life. 

And while so much of it has been incredibly fulfilling and invigorating, a lot of my life has been filled with obstacle after obstacle -- as I'm sure yours has been too, because hey, that's what being a freaking human being is all about, right?

And while, at the time, those obstacles have felt INSURMOUNTABLE, here I am (and here you are) on the other side of it all, STRONGER for it and more self aware than ever. 

And I sit here, grateful for it all, because it gave me the courage to stop waiting.

To show up as a warrior in my life and put the worries to rest.

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So yes, I am a woman living with the BRCA 1 gene.

I don't have cancer, yet. But the chance of me getting breast or ovarian cancer is high AF.

And while that in and of itself scares the SHIT out of me, I've never felt more empowered. Because I get to do something about it.

I don't know what that is yet, but you know I'll be sharing it all along the way, mess and all, 'cause that's how I freaking roll. 

And I'm so goddamn grateful to have you along for the ride.

Xo Amanda 

 

p.s. if you aren't in our Live Your F*ck Yes Life Community, come on over and join the convo. We're all in this together babe.

27 Lessons from 27 Years of Life

Anyone else feel like birthdays 'cause you to do some serious reflection?

The week of my 27th birthday, I spent a few hours paging through my journal from 2017. I reacquainted myself with all of my most intimate thoughts, fears, beliefs, takeaways and lessons & it was so incredible to see how much I gained just by re-reading it all.

It's so easy to allow life to pass us by.

To write things down that we want to remember. Goals. Dreams. Realizations. Aha moments. 

But so often, we just leave them on the page. And a year goes by and nothing has changed.

I'm a dreamer, but more than that, I'm an action taker. And I know that by revisiting my dreams every single day, and by sharing the lessons I've learned along the way, I will have the courage to take inspired action. 

And I hope this inspires you to do the same. 

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27 lessons from 27 years

 

1. SHARING YOUR STORY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO

Why is this my first big takeaway? Because this was arguably the greatest lesson I've had this year. 

The first time I shared a tiny slice of my story, I was terrified. I was sharing something SO vulnerable, and I was scared that I would be judged. That people wouldn't understand.

But what I found on the other side was the complete opposite -- I found relief. I found community. I found common ground. I found gratitude. 

By having the courage to share my heart, I gave space for others to do the same. To say "me too". And to realize that they are not alone in the journey.

My journey to believing I'm enough? To embracing my body the way it is? To breaking free of my binge eating and orthorexia? It's because another woman had the courage to share her story. 

So share your story. Share the mess. The fears. The doubts. The insecurities. (and check out this podcast episode for more on this!) 

You never know who's life you could change. 

 

2. EMBRACE YOUR GOOF

Something I was really struggling.

But uh...newsflash Amanda. Just because you aren't a kid anymore doesn't mean you can't have PLAY in your life.

It's so funny the stories we tell ourselves -- and 2017 was the year of me breaking free of that story and embracing the quirky, goofy, playful aspects of who I am.

Dance parties, weird AF noises, bear hugs & baby grandma nights with cuddle and tickle fights with the hubs are officially happening on the daily now, and it makes me so dang happy. 

 

3. WHAT YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS

Are you always complaining, frustrated about this that and the other and overall a negative nancy? Or do you do your best to show up every single day with positivity?

I'm all for acknowledging that sometimes, life sucks. But I for one don't want to live in a world that sucks all the freaking time. So I focus on the things that light me up. And I encourage you to do the same. It's a way better way to live.

 

4. MESSY AND DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT

I stood in my own way for so long because I was so worried about something being perfect. I would overthink it and end up not getting anywhere ... My instagram captions. My accountability groups. My podcast. My blog posts for god's sake! 

But when I adopted the fail forward approach, I realized there was so much beauty in the mess. In figuring it out as you go. And just freaking getting started already.

Don't let your dreams pass you by because you're worried you won't be perfect at something right away. Guess what? You won't be. And that's OK. You'll learn. You'll grow. And you'll take action on your dreams in the process.

 

5. SO MANY THINGS THAT FEEL WRONG IN YOUR BODY ARE LARGELY LINKED TO THE FOODS YOU'RE EATING

I've known this for years -- processed foods and sugar? Acne, IBS and lethargy inducing. But I had a major aha moment this past year that I never expected.

My entire life, I've majorly struggled with eczema. There was a point in college where it got so bad that my hands were literally pussing and cracking -- I know, gross. And painful. And I had SO much shame around it. 

It's been an endless battle of dermatologists, creams, eliminating dairy -- ALL THE THINGS and nothing worked until  this summer when I completed a program workout program that had a grain free meal plan and for 2 months. And guess what happened for the first time in my life?

My eczema went away.

And when I went to reintroduce grains (largely gluten) into my diet, it came back in full force.

The past 6 months, I've been playing around with eating grains and completely eliminating gluten from my daily eats and I am SO thrilled to say that it has been gone for 3 months and counting.

It's amazing how food can impact you in so many ways below the surface. 

 

6. I'M MY HEALTHIEST AND HAPPIEST ON A STRUCTURED MEAL PLAN AND EXERCISE PROGRAM

My type A competitive nature loves the structure. The not having to “think” about which workout to rock or what I need to eat when.

As a recovering binge eater (I say recovering ‘cause while I haven’t had a binge in a year and a half, I don’t think we ever fully recover from disordered eating), I tried the whole “intuitive eating” approach, and I intuitively ATE MY FEELINGS.
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It’s TOUGH to get to a place with our bodies where we can actually trust that the signals it’s giving us are true signals from our bodies, and not just false paths from the preservatives/sugar/whatever the fuck in our foods.

And while I truly do feel that I’ve gotten there, for me, structure & planning is what helps FUEL me best & keeps me feeling STRONG. 

 

7. THE SHINY PENNIES ARE JUST SHINY PENNIES  

I used to be the straight A teachers pet in school. The shiny penny of an A, 1st place trophy at a volleyball meet or positive recognition was was I worked my butt off for because I thought that those things validated my worth.

And while I totally believe in working for your goals, I also know that those shinny pennies? They don't represent your worth. 

Be grateful for the little things, follow your heart & your dreams, do the work and if the shiny pennies come? Embrace them. And when they don't, celebrate the life you ARE leading. 

 

8. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE THAT ALLOW YOU TO RISE UP INTO YOUR FULL POTENTIAL

When you look at the people around you, do they drag you down and bring more negativity to your life? Or do they constantly empower you to raise your vibe? 

You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with, so choose wisely, lady love.

 

9. LET IT BE EASY

The beginning of 2017, so many things happened that made me feel like life was hard. My husband unexpectedly quit his job and was unemployed for 6 months. We were dealing with some serious vet bills and my business was plateau-ing.

And I could focus on how hard everything was. And because I was focusing on how hard it was, guess what happened? More hard shit just kept piling up.

But the second I decided enough was enough and adopted the "let it be easy" mantra, the simplest shift of mindset changed everything. Things started falling into place -- my business took off, our credit cards got completely paid off and Kev found a job within a month.

It's amazing what happens when you simply shift where your energy goes. Try it, I dare ya. 

 

10. HAVE A DREAM? IT'S UP TO YOU TO MAKE IT HAPPEN

Stop waiting. Take messy action.

That job you've always wanted but been too scared to pursue? Find someone who's already doing it, talk to them and see if it really does resonate.

That trip you have always wanted to take? Look at your budget and put money aside so you can take it. 

That podcast you wanna start? Stop just putting it on your bucket list and just freaking make it happen. *mission accomplished*

 

11. IT'S OK TO SAY NO

This one was HUGE for me because I am SUCH a people pleaser by nature. But I saw this quote a couple of years ago and it hit me hard: "By saying YES to something, you're saying no to something else."

Make sure the things you're saying yes to are a HELL YES, and that you're holding space for your best self every day. 

 

12. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE SPECIAL. YOU JUST HAVE TO SHOW UP AND DO THE WORK. 

I am just a normal girl with big ass dreams. And I used to think those people that had the amazing life? You know, the ones with all the travel adventures who actually LOVED their jobs and had amazing girlfriends/marriages/the works? I never thought I could have a life like that because I just didn't think I was special enough.

Turns out when you make a decision to go for it, show up every damn day and do the work, you can create whatever life you crave. So do the damn thing. And never settle for less than the life you want. 

 

13. JUST FREAKING DO IT

It can be SO easy to claim you wanna do all the things (you know those bucket lists you’ve made a million times and never completed) and then years go by and you still haven’t done them. 

There’s never going to be the “right time” so just freaking do the thing. Complete the workout program. Take the trip. Start that side hustle. Take the class. 

You’ll be so glad you did.

 

14. GUT HEALTH IS QUEEN

If you can do one thing for your health, get your gut health on point. Making sure my microbiome is working at its peak (google that shit, it’s fascinating AF) has been such a game changer for my health.

Pro tip? Any old pro and pre biotic is not gonna cut it (most of them aren’t made to pass through our stomach acid and actually GET to the small intestine to do WERK) and kombucha? Don’t get me wrong, I freaking love that shit but same goes for that (and most kombucha brands are crazy high in sugar). So do your research // and message me if you want my fave go to that’s helped me heal my gut! 

Life is never going to go according to plan

Going into my 26th year, I expected a lot to happen and to be honest? Very few of those things actually did.

And the old me would have viewed that as a total failure, but today, I see it a little differently and I wanna empower you to do the same.

Instead of looking back at all the things you didn’t accomplish, make a list of all of the things you DID.

Here are a few of mine that were not on my radar at the beginning of my 26th birthday:

  • Launch a freaking podcast 
  • A year of absolutely no binges 
  • Support our family on my income alone for 4 months 
  • Hosted my first wellness workshop 

 

15. I'M OFFICIALLY A BABY GRANDMA

It’s real. I would take a night at home snuggling with my pup Toby, drinking a cup of tea, journaling, reading and an Epsom salts bath and being in bed by 9:30 PM any day of the week. 

 

16. RELATIONSHIPS TAKE WORK

This is something I’ve intimately known for a few years now but this year has been really interesting when it comes to my close relationships.

I used to spread myself so thin with the people in my life because I wanted to be the BEST friend I could possibly be (I’m a perma people pleaser by nature) and in the process of doing that all, I stopped taking care of myself.

The past 2 years have been a journey of self discovery and learning what actually putting myself first looks like. You’ve gotta work on YOUR self care (aka your relationship with YO SELF) and then you can pour into a few people in your life with INTENTION (aka WERK into relationships with your soulmate humans).

And that’s what I’ve aimed to do this past year and it’s been a HUGE game changer. And such a beautiful reminder that any relationship (romantic, friendship, with yourself) takes WORK but it’s so freaking worth it if you show up for it. 

I’m FAR from perfect with all of this but it’s something I’m actively working on every dang day.

 

14. I'M MORE OF AN INTROVERT THAN I THOUGHT

According to my Meyers Briggs (ENFJ) I am definitely an extrovert at heart, but I've been finding that my recharge me time has been more and more necessary for my wellbeing. 

 

15. DO THE SHIT THAT SCARES YOU

Take that class. Sing in front of strangers. Speak in public. Swim under a waterfall. Skydive.

Feel the fear and do it anyways. That's how you grow. That's how you LIVE.

 

16. COMMUNITY IS EVERYTHING

You know that saying "Find Your Tribe, Love them Hard"? 

Well, there's a reason it's in the universe because it is SO key. Because the second you surround yourself with women who are just like you -- who you don't have to explain yourself to because they get it -- who will dance with you in the aisles of a conference centre because that's just how you do -- who you can spend HOURS laughing with -- gals who RAISE YOU UP and constantly inspire you to be the BEST & BRIGHTEST version of you?

There is nothing better in this world.

 

17. GRATITUDE IS THE BEST SELF CARE TOOL

Obviously I'm a huge self care nut. Just take a peek at this post all about it. But my one go-to tool that can always turn any shitty day around is my gratitude practice.

Whether you wake up and start your day with writing down 3 things you're grateful for or catch yourself having a frustrating moment and shifting your thoughts to something you're grateful for, it can be such a powerful tool and one I use on the reg. 

 

18. YOU DON'T NEED SIX PACK ABS TO BE BEAUTIFUL

I'm never going to be the girl with 6 pack abs, and I'm A OK with that. 👌🏻
I used to think I needed to have a magazine cover Barbie body to be beautiful. That 6 pack abs meant SUCCESS.
But I say EFF THAT.
Those magazine covers? Most of them eat nothing but kale and have hours of time in their day that they dedicate to working out.


The way I see it, as a woman I have 2 choices: 

1. Accept my body as is (STRONG, CAPABLE and FIERCE AF -- rolls, stretch marks and all) and workout and eat well because it makes me into the happiest & healthiest version of me

OR

2. Go on crazy diets and workout for hours every day in order to "fix" a body that isn't broken, just for some ridiculous notion that having six pack abs means being sexy and enough.


I chose the later for too many goddamn years. Don't make the same mistakes I did, babe. You are worth more than that

 

19. EMBRACE THE JOURNEY

If there's one thing I've learned in my journey to healthy living, it's that it's just that, a JOURNEY.


Be gentle with yourself. 
Be CONSISTENT.
Find BALANCE.

Remember that the "all or nothing" way of living doesn't work. 

And that just because you aren't SEEING the results you want today, doesn't mean you aren't on the path to achieving them.

Keep Going.
Keep doing YOU.
And I promise you, JOY will follow

 

20. VULNERABILITY IS BEAUTIFUL. EMBRACE IT. IT'LL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

If you're not familiar with Brene Browns work on vulnerability, do yourself a favor and google her ted talk. Familiarizing myself with her work has been such a game changer for me and is a huge part of what helped me build up the courage to share this

Vulnerability is a beautiful thing and it's what makes us HUMAN. Embrace it, don't run from it. 

 

21. MARRIAGE SHOULDN'T CHANGE A THING

I've been married for 4 years now and the first thing people always ask me is "what's different about being married?" and I always say "nothing!"

I knew well before I got married to Kev that our relationships was a forever thing. He's my person. And while I'm so glad I married it, ultimately, the only thing marriage changed was that, legally, we are bound, and our finances are in the same bank account.

Have things changed in our relationship in the last 7 years of being together? Hell yes. WE have changed and grown in the last 7 years, so that's kind of a given. But we endlessly make it a point to grow together & communicate as we go.

 

22. MOTIVATION IS BS

Waiting to feel motivated to do your workout? Learn to cook? Go for that walk? Try that yoga class? It turns out, motivation is BS. 

You are ONE decision away from a 100% different life.

A different job. A different relationship. A different life. A different outlook.

It may not feel that easy, but it IS. You literally have that power because YOU are in control of your life -- and as Mel so poignantly says: “If you change your decisions, you change everything.”

 

23. THE DIET CULTURE IS TOXIC AF

Obviously I'm all about that anti diet life -- I mean, my monthly challenges are called the Ditch the Diet challenge for gods sake -- but for 5 years of my life, I was alllll about that diet life. 

Juice cleanses, food trends, calorie counting, crazy ass workouts that made my body wanna die -- I lived and breathed the dieting life -- and let me tell ya, it was not pretty and it took YEARS of work to undo all the damage I did.

Don't diet. Eat food that fuels you and makes you feel amazing. Do workouts that genuinely light you up (and that CAN mean it pushes you too). And if you don't know where to start, I'm always a message away. 

 

24. IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO REALLY GET TO KNOW YOURSELF

Something I neglected to do for so long was taking time every day to get to know myself -- dig deep, ask myself questions that really make me think about what I want out of life. 

A fun place to start? Take your Meyers briggs or Eneagram test. And better yet, read and take action on some of these personal development books

 

25. YOU BECOME THE SUM OF THE 5 PEOPLE YOU SPEND THE MOST TIME WITH

You know that saying choose your friendships wisely? It's so freaking true.

I have had my fair share of failed friendships. As a perma people pleaser and an eternal optimist, all I ever wanted to do was to be there for the people in my life. And for a lot of years, that also meant that I allowed people to walk all over me (and attract friendships into my life that weren't super positive).

The past few years, I've really worked on fostering my friendships only with the people in my life that LIGHT ME UP and it's been a total game changer. I encourage you to do the same.

 

26. CELEBRATE THE LITTLE THINGS

It's so easy in life to celebrate the big wins, but what about the little things?

Every week in my Ditch the diet challenge, we celebrate our little wins and non scale victories, and I make an effort to do the same in my daily life. It's so easy to focus on the bad but when we put our energy and attention onto the good moments throughout the day, it becomes so much easier to see the magic.

 

27. BE YOURSELF UNAPOLOGETICALLY

The best you you can be is 100% yourself, unapologetically. If you're a weirdo dancer on the dancer, dance your face off. If you're a baby grandma and hate going to parties, don't go to the damn party. If your laugh is loud and weird AF, LAUGH YOUR FREAKING ASS OFF WITH CONFIDENCE.

Don't let anyone else dim your life. You are BEAUTIFUL just the way you are. 

 


WHICH LESSON RESONATED WITH YOU THE MOST?

Share in the comments below!

Xo Amanda

Self Love Isn't What You Think It Is

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I used to think self love meant "treat yoself".

You know... have a bad day? Get a cupcake. Rough day at work? Go shopping. Feel like total shit and all you wanna do is curl up in bed? Netflix, chill, and probably a bubble bath thrown in the mix.

Now don't get me wrong, there is a time and place for all of the above, but the past few years I've been on a major journey to self love and I realized how wrong I had it for so many years.

Thank you social media for totally messing this shiz up for everyone -- I mean the hashtags #selflove and #selfcare could be such a powerful tool if we actually applied self love in the way its intended! And maybe, just maybe, more woman would learn to actually love themselves.

So...what is the secret to self love you ask?

From my own personal journey, I've found that it rarely has anything to do with the things that are affecting us from the outside in...it's all about the work that you're doing from the inside out.

Here's a self love checklist I made to show you some examples of what I mean...

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In other words, are you showing up for yourself every single day and doing the WORK to help you combat your insecurities, negativity, frustrations & anxieties?

Or do you find that you gravitate towards the numbing activities that allow your brain to just shut off because you're so damn tired?

If you're like 95% of the world, you probably find yourself answering YES to the latter most days. And I just want you to know that it's 100% NORMAL. I was there too for YEARS (and some days all I wanna do is numb the fuck out on the latest episode of the Bachelor and turn my brain off). And there's nothing WRONG with that. Hell, society tells us those are the right things to do...so how should you know any better?

Well, that's why I'm here.

Because I've lived on both ends of the spectrum.

I spent years numbing myself on treat yo-self actions because I was just so damn tired, anxious and irritable. And yeah, I'd feel better for a few minutes or maybe a few hours. But I was lightyears away from actually loving myself & being proud of the person I was on the inside.

 And after practicing all of those self love actions (some daily, some weekly, some when I feel like it) for the past 2 years, I can honestly say that I actually know what self love is, because I feel it every damn day.

Now, I'll be the first to say this did not happen overnight. Not even close. It took daily inspired action to make these shifts. And a lot of it did not come easily to me, but if you're struggling with loving yourself in any way, I can promise you that if you dedicate yourself to putting some or many of these self love tools into action every single day, you will start to see a shift in you that you never imagined possible.


SELF LOVE TOOLS

1. Positive Self Talk

What are you saying to yourself? Do you use positive words when you're speaking about yourself? Or do you find yourself saying things like: "Man, I look gross today.", "Why can't I be prettier?" or "I'm never going to get that promotion."

It's a tough switch to flip but get curious about what you're actually saying to yourself and when you notice a negative thought, try one of these things to shift your mindset:

  • When you look in the mirror, focus on what you DO love, not what you don't.
  • Do something that makes you feel on freaking fire. Rock a workout. Throw yourself a dance party. Get out of your head and into you body!
  • Quit the comparison game. I know you do it. We all do. If you are following people on social media that trigger you, stop following them. Or better yet, remember that you don't know their story or how they got themselves to look the way they do. Celebrate your own personal victories and remember that we're all on our journeys -- and where you are right now is exactly where you're supposed to be.

2. Moving Your Body At The Pleasure of Your Soul

Believe it or not, this is more of mindset shift than anything but when you're working out, do you do it because you're hell bent on CHANGING your body or because you APPRECIATE your body?

I came from a place of obsession because I hated my body for years, but the second I found programs that actually made me excited to push play & I ditched the scale and focused on how I was feeling, I started actually moving my body every day because it got me one step closer to feeling my most energized and confident self. 

So find a program that lights you up, and find a supportive community to embark on the positive journey with. 

3. Fueling your body with healthy foods

This one is a no brainer. 

Are you putting foods that will help you body work and thrive at its peak? Or are you eating food that makes you feel like shit?

Show your body some major love by employing the "food is fuel" mantra in your life. 

4. Journaling

The first step to loving yourself is knowing yourself. I mean, how can you love a person you hardly know? It might sound crazy that you could be living as yourself and not really know yourself, but I've had SO many clients (myself included) share with me that when they started the process of journaling, they discovered SO many things about themselves.

HOW? Because they asked themselves questions they had never thought to ask. And they answered TRUTHFULLY.

Were all those answers things they liked hearing? Hell no. There are aspects of all of us that we don't like -- but once we really understand what those things are, we can take action on shifting those areas in our lives and adopting the tools to rise up into the best versions of ourselves.

Don't know where to start on the journaling front? This month we're rocking out a book alllll around journaling, so join our community here and dive on in with us! 

5. Personal Development

Yup. I'm talking all things self help. 

Think it's crazy? Read this post all about how my mind TOTALLY shifted on this topic -- and grab one of the books I recommend to get started! 

6. Meditation

Whatever floats your boat in this world (guided meditations, sitting and breathing in silence or hell, even just allowing yourself some quiet time away from any electronics or distractions), creating space in your life for SILENCE allows your body, mind and soul reset.

It gives you SPACE to just be. As you are. Whatever that may look like. 

I use meditation as a daily tool to start my day with a clean slate or even to calm myself during stressful or emotionally taxing situations (which, let's face it, we all have them).

It's not about being perfect, it's about finding a practice that works for you! 

7. Setting boundaries

Do you constantly find yourself saying YES to things that don't light you up? You over-extend yourself on the regular. Always trying to do anything and everything for the people around you but rarely spend any time on yourself?

While having a servants heart is a beautiful thing (and one I resonate with), it can be so taxing to constantly be saying yes to things. Before you know it, you burn out on all the things and have completely thrown your self care out the window because, you guessed it, by saying YES to something, you're saying NO to something else in your life.

So the next time your friend asks you to go out on a Friday night and all you want to do is go to a yoga class, come home, light some candles, take a bath and go to bed early with a good book, this is your official permission slip to say no.

 

SELF LOVE? IT'S ABOUT MAKING YOURSELF A PRIORITY SO YOU CAN FILL YOUR CUP UP AND POUR ALL THE GOODNESS INTO THE CUPS OF THE LIVES OF THOSE AROUND YOU.

 

Which self love exercise are you going to start implementing into your life?

Share in the comments!

Xo Amanda 

Top 5 Things My Dog Has Taught Me

The past year and a half of my life have been INFINITELY brighter and it's all because of this little (not so little) guy. 

I always knew I was meant to be a dog mom. But after losing my family dog a few years ago, I didn’t know if I had it in my heart to love a pup that much again.

(And to be honest, a few years ago, I was out of the house more than I was in it & living paycheck to paycheck and getting a dog just wouldn’t have been fair.)

But a year after my leap into coaching, so much changed and all of a sudden the idea of owning a dog wasn't out of the question.

And every single day, when I wake up next to your fluffy goofy self and I get to spend so much of my day snuggling, going for walks & playing, I can’t help but be filled with so much damn gratitude.

It's amazing what dogs can teach us -- if you're a dog mama you know! And I'm forever thankful for the daily reminders. 

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THE TOP 5 THINGS MY DOG HAS TAUGHT ME

 

1. PLAY IS SOMETHING YOU SHOULD STRIVE FOR, DAILY.

I don't know about you, but past the age of 22, it seemed like everyone and their mother went from play mode to #adulting up the wazoo. 

Don't get me wrong, I totally had the same thing happen to me. I went into "I have to pay all the bills" mode. I picked up 7 different part time jobs and was running myself ragged, frustrated and irritable as all hell. And the LAST thing I made time for in my life was play.

Getting a dog completely fliped that switch -- it's a daily reminder to not take your life so goddamn seriously. To take moments to BE SILLY. Celebrate your goofy-ness. Run in the rain/snow/whatever!! And Toby is just as goofy as me, so it's been a freaking GOOF PARTY over here since he's come into the picture, and I couldn't imagine it any other way.

2. LOVE, LOVE, ALWAYS LOVE.

The best thing about dogs? They love you unconditionally. 

They don't hold grudges. They see you as your BEST every dang day. And the way I see it, we could all take a page from their unconditional love book.

Holding grudges... Being frustrated with others or things...who is that helping?

Certainly not yourself. And while I am ALL about feeling the feels, holding onto frustration about things that are out of your control (I used to be like this ALL the time about traffic) is only hurting yourself, right?

So let's just choose to LOVE. Forgive, so you can release YOURSELF from the burden you're holding onto. Life is too short to live being frustrated and irritable on the daily. 

Toby teaches me the power of LOVE everyday, and I think we can learn a lesson or two from it!

3. SHIT DOESN'T ALWAYS GO THE WAY YOU PLANNED, AND THAT'S OKAY.

Toby may be the best thing in my entire life, but sometimes he can be a royal pain in the ass.

When we first got him, every time we took him driving in the car he got hella car sick. We learned quickly that we always needed to have cleaner and paper towels in the car at all times. #lessonlearned

All my favorite tupperware? If I leave it out (or even in the sink -- yup he's tall), by the time I get home it has been DESTROYED. Invest in glass tupperware, my friends. It's a game changer. 

And sometimes your dog decides to eat an avocado, and you end up canceling all of your plans and spending 4 hours waiting at pet emergency. *cough* Toby *cough*

Please say Toby isn't the only pup out there making all the weird choices with his life...

My point is, shit doesn't go according to plan with a dog all of the time.

And isn't that the way LIFE goes too? Having a dog has helped me EMBRACE the mess, and remember that there are going to be days when shit hits the fan, and that's OK because that's LIFE.

4. BE PRESENT

It's so easy these days with social media and the news to get wrapped up in everything going on, and forget to slow down and appreciate the little things that are right in front of you. And what I love about Toby is he lives for the little things -- literally. Dude is STOKED for a day of cuddles, naps, eating amazing food, play time & belly rubs.

And if that's not a life lesson in and of itself, I don't know what is. 

Stay present. Appreciate the little things, and what's more -- make TIME for the little things.

Cuddle your favorite person. Eat amazing food. Have tickle fights if that's what floats your boat. 

And turn the electronics OFF. You'll be so grateful for those moments once you do. 

5. PARENTING IS HARD AF, BUT WORTH IT. 

As my hubby Kev always says, Toby has been our furry test child, and he's proven just how challenging parenting can be.

Now I'm not saying having a dog is like having a kid, but this is the first time in my life that I've been entirely responsible for something outside of myself. And I'm not just talking the daily and weekly tasks -- feeding him, walking him, playing with him, bathing him etc. But the TOUGH stuff? That shit you can never prepare for? It's can hit you like a ton of bricks. 

July 2017, I was out of town in NOLA with my coaching tribe when I got a call from my husband that he was taking Toby to the emergency room because the vet found a mass in his stomach. My heart DROPPED. You hear the word mass and you immediately think cancer, right? And let's just say, the anxiety attacks and uncontrollable sobbing were real that night. After some tests, he was cleared from anything life threatening and it ended up being an allergy to gluten (yup, this is real you guys -- I had no idea gluten could impact dogs too), but the sheer panic I experienced when I found out he wasn't doing so well broke my heart.

I never expected to bond so much with a dog. To view him as more than just my dog, but as my freaking kid. I would do anything for him, and that means loving him through the vet visits, the destroyed tupperware and his inability to understand personal space.

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So there ya have it -- I'm officially a crazy obsessed dog mom and I'm never going back.

Are you a fur mom too? What are some of the favorite things your pet has taught you?

Xo Amanda

To The Woman Obsessed with Working Out

A year and a half ago, I wrote this post sharing some of the ins and outs of my rollercoaster of a journey with health & fitness -- and while, at the time, I was sharing all that I had in me to share, there are big chunks of my story that I left out.

Out of fear.

Out of embarrassment.

But the thing is -- it's MY story (and probably your story too in a lot of ways), and if there's anything I've learned in my journey of being a blogger/coach/wellness advocate/woman, it's that sharing your story opens doors for others to say "ME TOO."

Hell, if the me too movement isn't damn proof of that.

And as I was leafing through old journals from my final year at university a few weeks ago and I read something that made my heart sink....

 

“I’ll be happy once I’m skinny. All I have to do is get to a size 2 and I'll finally feel beautiful and enough."

 

I finally feel like I'm in a good place with my body. A place where I genuinely love everything its capable of, and no matter the scars, the cellulite, the stretch marks -- they are a part of me and because of that, I love them and most importantly, I love MYSELF.

But it wasn't always this way -- I spent years believing I wasn't enough and so much of my time was dedicated to trying to "fix" the way I looked...

Let's rewind.

It's my final year at university and I'm in the last week before our senior musical theatre showcase. I'd been working my body to the bone for MONTHS to prepare.

You see, as a performer, I knew that I was about to put not just my talent but myself in front of a room full of people who could change the entire trajectory of my career as an actor. And all I could think about was fitting into that size 2 dress from Anthropology and losing the flab under my arms so I could finally get my big break. 

So I did everything I could.

I woke up every morning and ran 3 miles, rain, cold, snow, shine, even though I hated running more than anything on the planet. If I had a break during my school day, I would go to the gym in the building and do ab circuits/life weights/run on the treadmill REPEAT. And before bed at night, I would find some random tone it up workout on youtube and do that.

All to do it all over again the next day.

I was obsessed.

And my entire life was taken over -- between my workouts, double showers a day, and school, I had no time for anything FUN in my life. 

But that week, I stepped into that dress and you know what? It fit.

But those voices in my head that said I wasn't good enough didn't just magically go away.

And that day. I looked in the mirror and cried because I had finally gotten to where I wanted to be and I still didn't like what I see.

It took hitting rock bottom after rock bottom, binging until I gained all the weight back, to going on one crash diet after the next and rocking that diet cycle of death for a few years before I finally burnt myself to the ground and my body said no more for me to finally show up for me.

To focus on being HEALTHY instead of skinny.

To ditch the scale.

To eat REAL food and lots of it.

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Lady love, life is about SO much more than your workout.

It's about going on adventures, spending time with the people in your life who light you up, saying YES to things that excite you and showing up for yourself every single day.

And if you find yourself struggling with the idea of taking a "day off" from your exercise routine (or if you call a 'rest day' an hour and a half intensive yoga flow), then its time to gut check yourself and make a change. 


So how did I get from that girl crying in the mirror to where I'm at today? Honest? It took a shit ton of hard work, a lot of tears, major realizations and a shit ton of vulnerability. 

First of all -- Acknowledge that you are a human being and that this transition won't happen overnight. The patterns of over-exercising you've built up? They've become habits, and it's as difficult to break as an eating disorder. Give yourself grace, start cutting back on all those classes you're taking and be kind to yourself. This was a game changer for me (albeit fucking HARD because my perfectionist nature did not like it one bit). 

Second of all -- I started working with a health coach, who is still my coach and mentor (and friend) to this day. Having someone else looking out for my health & wellbeing was EVERYTHING. And whats more, she welcomed me into a community of other women that were also struggling with similar things so it gave me a space to communicate freely and openly. This is why I ended up becoming a health coach myself because all I wanted to do was pay it forward to others the way she did to me.

And lastly -- do your research. Over-exercising has long term harmful effects on your body. It can lead to adrenal fatigue (most women in the fitness space severely suffer from this without ever realizing), injury and more.

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In time, you'll get to a place where you no longer use exercise as a form of punishment. Where you move in ways that light you up and workout from a place of LOVE for your body and your mind, not hate. 

And all of a sudden, the world will open its door to so many beautiful things that you never realized you were missing out on this entire time -- I know it did for me.

I found time to foster budding relationships with women that have since become my best friends and business partners.

I learned all about how to use food as fuel and how I'd been putting so many harmful ingredients in my body for years. 

I learned about what true self care is all about, and the beauty of personal development. 

And that burnt out irritable version of myself? She's long gone.

 

I see so many women in the health & fitness space and they remind me of myself back then. My story ends well, but I know so many still struggle.

So if you are one of those women, I hope you can hear me when I say that your worth is not defined by your body. You are enough just as you are right fucking now.

And no matter how long it takes you to get to the other side, know that I am in your corner, cheering you on along this crazy ass thing we called life.

You are so loved.

And you are so enough.

Xo Amanda 

 

Things I'm Afraid To Tell You

I've written and rewritten this blog post upwards of 5 times the past few months...because truth? I'm scared to share this shit.

But I chose my word of 2018 to be UNAPOLOGETIC, and while part of that means letting my freak flag fly (aka not giving AF about what people think about my goofy baby grandma-ness), to me, it means committing to showing up every day with a VULNERABLE and REAL heart.

It means no longer allowing FEAR to rule my day to day -- and choosing to CRASH INTO IT and embrace it for all it will show me on the other side.

So, here are the things I'm afraid to tell you. 

(p.s. thank you to Jess Lively for being the major inspiration for creating a post like this in the first place -- if you don't follow her/listen to her podcast, you're missing out! Thank you for being such an inspiration for me to tell my truth. I hope it inspires you to do the same.)

 

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THINGS I'M AFRAID TO TELL YOU

 

I MIGHT HAVE THE BRCA CANCER GENE

Starting big, Amanda. Ok here we go.

When my dad was 18, his mom died of breast cancer. She was 44, crazy healthy and she still was killed by the horrible disease. 

My dad decided to get tested 5 years ago to see if he had the gene and, it turns out, he does. Now, for my brother and for him, the chance of it impacting them are quite small. But for me? It means I have a 50/50 shot of having the gene -- and if I do have it, a 78.3% chance of developing breast or ovarian cancer in my lifetime. 

And those are odds I don't wanna fuck around with.

This has been a big part of my life for a long time now, but it's becoming even bigger because I've decided, after all these years, to finally get tested. 

Why now? Because I'm tired of letting fear call the shots in my life.

Because while it scares the shit out of me, I would rather KNOW so I can make an informed decision moving forward.

So next week, I'm getting tested and I'll be finding out in the next month. Maybe nothing from my perspective will change. But maybe everything will. Stay tuned.

 

I LOVE BEING A TEAM BEACHBODY COACH

For so long, I hid behind the label attached to coaching -- network marketing, MLM, Beachbody -- call it what you may, it's my JOB and I'm freaking proud of it.

Network marketing companies get a bad rap -- why? Because there are a few shitty ones that put a negative taste in our mouths. You know those companies that encourage their "distributors" to set up parties where you feel pressured into buying some lipstick or face cream you don't want / or suddenly some facebook acquaintance of yours adds you to a facebook group without asking your permission -- yeah, I've had both happen on several occasions and it's not fun.

So when I first found out about Beachbody, I was skeptical AF. 

I didn't know anything about it but I knew it was a network marketing company and there was "no way I'm getting involved with that pyramid scheme BS". 

But I soon got to learn more about the mission of the company, became OBSESSED with the  integrity behind the workout programs and nutrition products & the emphasis on COMMUNITY, building empowering relationships and financial freedom, I soon realized that Team Beachbody does it differently.

WAY differently. 

So yeah, I've been partnered with Team Beachbody for the past 2 years and it was the best decision I've ever made. 

I've found a family in my team.

I've helped hundreds of women change their relationship with food and feel CONFIDENT in their own skin.

And because of this side hustle, I've been able to single handedly pay our mortgage for the last few months. 

You never know what possibilities your life could have if you allow yourself to be open to learning more. More and more women on our team are changing their LIVES because of this opportunity. You could too, if it feels right to you. 

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I GAINED 10 LBS OVER THE HOLIDAYS

This one feels SO stupid as I write it out, but it's true. I've been holding myself back from sharing this because I'm afraid of what this means.

The things my inner shit talker has said it means?

"You're a bad coach. You can't even practice what you preach."

"Yup, look at those thighs and that ass. So fucking gross."

"You are such a hypocrite -- don't you preach not attaching your worth to the scale?"

Yup, nasty shit, am I right?

And yeah, I'm up 10 lbs since I last weighed myself in September. 

I know this because I'm starting a new fitness program for my Live Your F*ck YES life challenge & before we begin each challenge, we take our right now photos and measurements so we can track our progress. Pictures are worth so much to my clients (and honestly, to myself) in this process because it's so amazing to see how far we come in our journey. 

However, I normally don't weigh myself as part of these (the scale caused major anxiety for me for so long in my life that I stopped a long time ago), but a few months back, when I completed Shift Shop, I decided to weigh myself and see my full progress throughout the program. And I decided to do the same for this one -- except this time, I was shocked to see I had put on 10 lbs.

I will admit that I haven't been feeling my best.

I ate a buttload of christmas cookies, have been eating more gluten than normal (which I know is an irritant to my body), and the takeout train has been REAL in my house with all the travel and bumps in the road this past month. 

And my pants certainly aren't fitting the way they used to.

The 10 lbs I gained? That part alone honestly doesn't bother me beyond what others might think (because yes, as much as I work my ASS off not to let those things bother me, they still do -- I'm a freaking human being).

What does bother me is that I'm not feeling my best.

Luckily, I have the tools I need to be able to turn that around and shift how I'm feeling alongside my Live Your F*ck YES Life community -- I'm excited to launch into a new workout program, be intentional with the food I'm putting into my body and feel AMAZING in my clothes again.

 

And there you have it.

Wow, I've gotta say, it feels really good to get all of that off my chest. Ever since I was a little girl, writing has been so therapeutic for me and this post has been uber cathartic to say the least.

I hope me sharing my truth empowers you to share a little bit of yours.

I believe so much in the power of vulnerability -- and that through sharing our stories, we can empower one another to rise up into our authentic selves, and quit hiding behind the bullshit stories we've been telling ourselves. 

Thank you for coming along this journey with me. This community we've built means the world to me and I'm so grateful for each and every single one of you.

 

Come on over to our facebook community and share something you've been afraid to tell us. Be brave, lady love. You can do it.

Love & light,

Amanda 

 

The One Thing You Need To Start Your Year Right

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Are you a big fan on new years resolutions?

I used to make them every single year, and every year I would inevitably break them and my type A perfectionist nature would feel like an utter failure.

"Go to the gym 5x a week." FAILURE.

"Go vegan." Ha, that one lasted a month.

"Practice yoga 3x a week." Nope.

Sound familiar?

And it got me thinking -- why do we start our years out making a resolution that is clearly well intentioned but will inevitably not be able to fully commit to (and often forget about 2 weeks later)?

There has to be a better way to be INTENTIONAL with our upcoming year -- and that's why I started a NEW TRADITION heading into this last year that really stuck with me and helped build POSITIVE momentum.

 

What's this you say, Amanda? 

Hush, hush, I'll tell you.

 

CHOOSE YOUR WORD OF THE YEAR.

 

I went into 2017 with the word GROWTH.

I started my business at the very end of 2015 and the first year of ANY new adventure is a freaking rollercoaster and filled with ALL the kinks. 

I was failing forward like crazy and had definitely started to build a foundation for my business but I had (and have) some seriously HUGE goals and I knew that the only way I would be able to achieve them was with MASSIVE GROWTH.

What I didn't realize was just how much of that growth needed to be INTERNAL instead of EXTERNAL.

I don't know about you but when I hear the word growth, I think numbers and a higher income. And while that certainly did happen this year, the external growth ONLY happened AFTER I had done a shit ton of work on my INNER GROWTH.

What areas did this include?

  • Inner work on my positive self talk
  • Serious work on my money mindset (*cough* scarcity mindset)
  • Belief in myself as a leader
  • Working "as if" I was was already where I wanted to be. 
  • Developing a routine and a work ethic that was IN LINE with my goals. It turns out that big dreams without action are just DREAMS. 
  • Allowing myself to DREAM BIG and crash into the fear instead of allowing it to paralyze me. 

...and so much more. 

2017 was certainly a year of massive growth for me and my team.

And because of all of the self development I did as a PERSON, and all the work I did on building up my MINDSET and BELIEF SYSTEMS, I was able to grow my team into a group of 100+ women who also want to turn their passion for health & fitness into a business or side hustle, help over 200 women BUST THROUGH THEIR EMOTIONAL EATING & ditch the yo yo dieting once and for all within my Live Your F*ck YES Life Challenges and financially, I was able to pay off ALL of our credit card debt, and start to really contribute to our family.


So as we head into 2018, I've been thinking a lot about what I want my word of the year to be. And through the prompts I will share with you shortly, I decided on

UNAPOLOGETIC

So often, we (myself included) apologize for the way we are and the things that light us up.

And I realized this year that I've been doing that way more frequently than I realized -- and enough is enough.

I'm CLAIMING MY TRUTH and officially going BALLS TO THE WALL with who I am, what I believe in and what is important to me and I'm refusing to hold myself back.

If that means I lose a few followers on social media because I'm too much of a crazy goofball baby grandma who swears and talks about poop, so be it.

No more dimming my light because I'm afraid people won't like me.

This gal is officially going to show up every day UNAPOLOGETICALLY HERSELF. So gear up.

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Now, how does one even start figuring out what their word of the year might be?

I'm glad you asked!

 

Here's a combination of exercises to help you discover yours:

1. Grab a journal and allow yourself to free write -- close your eyes and think about your DREAM day. What are you doing? Who are you with? How do you feel? Got it in your head? Write down everything you're experiencing on a piece of paper.

2. Think about your upcoming year. What do you know for sure will be happening in 2018? What do you want to manifest for your year? What are some things that could happen that would LIGHT YOU UP INSIDE? 

3. Look over the words you wrote in the last 2 steps. Did any feelings resonate throughout? Any particular words get written more than once? Bonus? Check out this list of words (inspired by the lovely Susannah Conway) and see which ones pop out to you most! Circle the 5 ones that really resonate with you.

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4. From the words you circled, I want you to spend some time journaling out what each of them represents to you and WHY feeling that way would make you feel your BEST in 2018. What does it represent to you? Why is that important?

 

You'll likely find yourself gravitating towards one or two words that really hit home for you. 

And from there -- the way to officially choose your word is to answer one simple question: WHICH ONE LIGHTS ME UP THE MOST?

 

That's your word of the year.

 

I would LOVE to hear which word you came up with!

Share in the comments below (or in our Facebook community!) so I can support you heading into the new year!

Xo Amanda 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Overcome Food Guilt

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If you've ever struggled with emotional or binge eating, you know how tough the holidays can be (or really any day for that matter).

You binge your heart out at a holiday party, date night or a night alone on the couch watching Netflix and you wake up the next morning thinking to yourself how can I "fix this". 

So you run to the gym, obsessively workout for 2 hours to "work it off" 

I'm 100% NOT going to tell you to do ANY of those things because I've been there and not only do they not work, but they perpetuate the "I'm not enough" and obsessive cycle. 

Here are my favorite ways to overcome food guilt, the RIGHT way.


1. ADOPT THE MANTRA FOOD IS FUEL

That latest diet trend that's all the rage? Paleo? Whole 30? Juice cleanse? Keto?

It's called a trend for a reason -- and is only going to give you quick fix results that will ultimately perpetuate your emotional eating and trigger your negative eating habits.

Trust me, I spent years rocking the diet trends and thinking they would be the answer to all of my problems when it turns out, the real answer to breaking free of my yo yo dieting cycle of death was to focus on eating REAL FOODS and have a meal plan that included ALL the food groups ('cause this type A gal thrives off of structure and always will) 

Why the structure and not intuitive eating?

Honestly? I tried the whole intuitive eating thing and I intuitively ate an entire box of oreos...

While I'm in a place now where I can be more intuitive with my food choices because my body has self regulated after eating well for so long, I truly believe that the best way to transform your life is by adopting a meal plan that lays out the specifics of WHAT kinds of food will FUEL our bodies and the amount of food we need depending on our body type and goals.

Learn more about my food philosophy here...

2. TOSS YOUR TRIGGER FOODS

If you're an emotional/binge eater, chances are there are specific foods that set you off.

Mine are cookies, reeses cups, pizza, nutella and that monster trail mix from Target. If it's in the house, I WILL eat it. And all of it. 

I used to think this made me weak, especially after being on the path to recovery for a few years and "doing so well" -- but here's the thing about binge/emotional eating, it's not a clear cut path to recovery.

We can take steps forward and find a healthy relationship with food but those pesky trigger foods are REAL. 

Best way to overcome them? TOSS 'EM. Don't keep them around your house.

And if you live with someone, have the conversation with them and ask them if they'd be open to keeping those things out of the house. Your home should be your safe space and that means nothing that could trigger you, period.

3. SHOW YOURSELF SOME COMPASSION

So much about breaking free of the guilt cycle has nothing to do with our actions but everything to do with our MINDSET.

When you find yourself emotionally eating, what are you saying to yourself?

Are you using negative self talk or are you talking to yourself like you're your own best friend? It will feel completely weird at first but speaking to yourself with kindness is SO key in your journey to self love. 

It starts with yourself and you have the power to turn that around in an instant -- so be KIND to yourself. Give yourself grace for not being perfect. Do something for yourself that lights you up -- take a warm bubble bath, read an inspiring book, call your mom.

You are defined by so much more than what you're eating, babe.

 


Still struggling with your relationship with food?

Check out these additional resources:

How to Overcome Emotional Eating

Why I refuse to do the Whole 30

The Power of Superfoods 

 

Cheers to loving ourselves & fueling our bods with amazing food.

Xo Amanda 

How To Maintain Your Sanity Over the Holidays

 As we head into the holiday season, the inner gremlins and binge eating Amanda of the past starts to get under my skin and truth be told, it's this WEIRD combination of excitement and giddy-ness for the holidays and FEAR of crumbling back into my old ways and starting the cycle over again. 

While I know I've made SO many incredible shifts forward and have been binge free for a year and a half, anyone who has been addicted to something knows that there are triggers that remain, and the holidays have always been a major one for me.

Holidays used to mean daily binges, a shiz ton of negative self worth and an endlessly negative and irritable mindset. 

And this year, I'm determined not to let that happen.

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Do the holidays stress you out too?

I'm a routine gal 100% and the second I get out of my day to day structure, I feel a bit like a fish out of water.

The literal change of scenery can derail me and all of a sudden, I feel like I have to bend over backwards for those around me and putting myself and my health first become the last thing I think about.

Workouts go down the drain because I don't want to be "disrespectful" by taking the time to get it in.

I feel like I have to eat the food that's put in front of me, even if it's stuff that makes me feel like shit.

I push my daily self care routines to the side and find my anxiety at an all time high.

Sound familiar?

Heading into the holidays this year, I'm determined to feel my BEST, while taking time to unplug, fully enjoy myself and indulge in the festivities (and wine, duh). 

And I know that means being intentional with how I show up every single day, especially while I'm out of my normal routine.

I hope these tips help you take agency over YOUR holiday season and gets you one step closer to ending the year feeling your freaking BEST.


TOP 3 TIPS FOR HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR SANITY OVER THE HOLIDAY SEASON
 


1. Get your workout in first thing, every damn day


I don't know about you, but I'm a raging bitch when I don't get my workouts in. And when I'm dealing with the added stress of being away from home, dealing with all the family drama (and love!), taking that time for me first thing is SO KEY to keeping my anxiety at bay and starting my day on a positive note.

So set your alarm, lace your shoes up and get your sweat on.

I'm planning on rocking out a 21 day badass at home workout program that doesn't require any equipment and are only 30 minutes in length so I can get it done quick, no matter where I am!
We're in this together!!!!


2. Set boundaries


Unless you have decided to rock the holidays solo this year (in which case, go you!), you are going to be around family a bunch -- and probably some family members you don't see very often and possibly don't get along with.

Setting boundaries around what you will and will not do is huge, and even more than that -- communicating those boundaries to your family is KEY so that they can respect your needs.

For example: When I'm with my in-laws, they know that discussing politics is off the table because we have diametrically opposed beliefs and it does neither of us any good discussing it.

If you experience something similar with your own family but haven't set those boundaries yet, before the holiday season starts, be sure to sit down with your family and explain that you want to have a wonderful time together and that out of respect to you, you ask that they refrain from discussing anything under the political umbrella while you are together.

This goes for anything else that are boundaries for you.

You don't have to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation and just "handle it". You have a voice! So share it and allow the people in your life to rise up.

Setting boundaries is something I only recently started practicing and it's been a complete game changer. I know it can feel scary to put yourself out there and set a boundary with someone else, but I promise you, it is SO empowering to do -- and mutually beneficial! 

Can you imagine a world where we were all clear about our boundaries? Let's start a movement.
 


3. Put time aside for JUST YOU



The best piece of advice I ever received from my coach was to take at least 15-30 minutes a day for time just for ME.

Whether it's getting up early and pouring into my journal or a personal development book or taking my dog for a walk to clear my head, that "me time" is SO important amidst the hustle and bustle of all the social events, dinners and commitments this time of year.

And don't tell me you can't find 15-30 minutes for yourself. Schedule it out if you have to but make it happen. It'll change the game. 


And there you have it!

Let's rock this holiday season feeling our best.

Are you with me?

Xo Amanda 

 

My 3 Top Tips On How to Deal with Stress

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Does this sound like you?

Every single day.

You're feeling overworked. Busy.
Running out the door. Looking for your phone/keys. Leave your lunch on the kitchen counter.
Work all day.
Trudge home in traffic.
Grab a glass of wine. Make dinner.
Cuddle on the couch. Netflix.
Go to bed and do it all over again.

 

My day looked like that for years. 
 

And I will never forget what my mom said to me a few years back...

She said: "You have to slow down or you're going to burn out." 



And she was right.

And of course, like the stubborn gal I am, I didn't listen.

And I burnt the fuck out.

 

This isn't something I've had the courage to share until now (and to be honest, I'm not quite sure where I'm finding the courage to do it now, but it's happening and girl, I'm gonna go with it...) 

STRESS.

Such a little word but such an overwhelming feeling, am I right? And for some reason, people just DON'T talk about it. If I were to sit down and ask you right now if there's anything that's stressing you out in your life, chances are your answer would be a resounding YES.

And if not, holy shit girl congratulations for being an amazing amoeba -- this blog post probably isn't for you (although feel free to hang around, you're still awesome in my books). 

 

So why why why do we just not talk about it?

We've been taught to hide our stress. Keep our anxieties at bay. Put on a mask and "just deal with it". And while I'm all about keeping positive, I am also about being REAL and honest, and that includes the shitty days -- because YUP, you guessed it, stress is something I deal with all the fucking time. 

For YEARS I felt paralyzed by stress. I mean, I would get stressed out at the tiniest things -- if a dish was left in the sink for longer than an hour, if there was any form of traffic when I was driving, if situations didn't happen EXACTLY how my mind imagined that they would. 

I once removed myself from my own 14th birthday party because my friends didn't wanna watch Bring It On 2...(when my best gals remind me of this, I can't help but laugh now but at the time, I was PISSED.) And let's just say, that added stress that I kept imposing into my life...well, it kept up for a LONG while.

I was a bundle of stress and it was affecting so many areas in my life. 

My control freak tendencies got the best of me and for a while, I got so overcome by all of that stress that I started having panic attacks. I literally made myself sick because I couldn't give up my control over shit. I became the girl I always was so frustrated by -- the negative nancy who would spend her days complaining about the littlest things and putting more energy into the every day bullshit than the GOOD.

Sound familiar?

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While my schedule may look a whole hell of a lot different than it did then, I still lead a busy life. And what I've learned along the way is the importance to find ways to slow down and find some grounding amidst the busy.

Because let's be honest, you were not put on this Earth to spend your lifetime running around like a chicken with your head cut off and feeling endlessly anxious and overwhelmed.

 

MY TOP 3 TOOLS FOR DEALING WITH STRESS:

1. THE BRAINDUMP

This is a journaling technique that I adopted when I read the book The Artists Way and while I don't implement it every day anymore like I used to, on days when I'm feeling particularly anxious, it's a lifesaver.

The idea? As soon as you wake up in the morning, before you do ANYTHING, grab a journal and a pen and just write down anything and everything that's in your head. Don't edit. Just WRITE.

Light a candle, curl up in a blanket and treat this as your ME time.

Morning times doesn't resonate with you? Do this before bed to get rid of all of the BS chatter making it tough to fall asleep. 

2. MEDITATION

Honest? I was super turned off by meditation for years. I always felt like I wasn't doing it right and that I just couldn't sit still and quiet my mind the way I was "supposed to".

But once I shifted my perspective on it and gave it a chance, it did WONDERS for my mental health.

My best tip is to treat it as a PRACTICE. You're not going to be able to quiet the chatter but can you breathe through it? You are intentionally creating space for YOU and that is SO powerful! Celebrate that.

I recommend starting off with a guided meditation -- my personal favorite is a free app called CALM. Try out their 7 days of calm to get started and see how you feel!

3. THROW YOURSELF A DANCE PARTY

You know I had to add something goofy in -- I can't help it!

But for real, when you're feeling suuuper stressed out and funky and in your head, the best thing you can do is to MOVE YOUR BODY.

You know I'm all for a good sweat session, but if you can't muster up the time or courage to push play for 30 minutes and sweat it out, throw on some of your favorite tunes (my personal go tos are 90s boybands and disney belt fests) and DANCE YOUR HEART OUT.

 

And there you have it. 

What's your favorite of the 3 tips? Share in the comments!

Xo Amanda

23 Ways To Show Yourself Some Love

There are 23 days until Thanksgiving. A time when we express our GRATITUDE to those around us and give thanks.

The spirit of Thanksgiving is such a beautiful thing, and while I'm all for living in gratitude and showing the people in my life how much I care about them, I find that this time of year is when I have the hardest time showing MYSELF love and gratitude.

So this holiday season, I want to empower you to not just show up for those you love, but your YOURSELF TOO. 

Don't know where to start? Here are 23 ways you can show yourself some love this month -- check off a few of them this week! You deserve it.

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1) Start your morning with some cozy journaling time. Light a candle, make some tea and just BE!

2) Rock out a face mask -- my favorite is the magnaminty from LUSH. 

3) Read a book -- here are my top 5 fave self care books!

4) Choose a word of the month that lights you up. I do this every month and it's SO empowering. My word of the month is PLAYFUL. What's yours?

5) Grab a gal pal and go to a yoga class at a studio near you.

6) Create a vision board! You can make a poster board version or make on online -- like this one! I used the website Canva

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7) Bake a treat for your coworkers -- how about these cookies?

8) Go for a walk and just be with yourself. No phone. No podcast. No music. Just you, your thoughts, and the crisp fall air.

9) Adopt the mantra FOOD IS FUEL and be mindful about the food you're eating.

10) After a glass of wine, switch to kombucha. JUST as delicious and won't leave you rocking a headache the next day.

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12) Facetime a gal pal you haven't talked to in a while

13) Get a haircut! Or better yet, switch up your hairstyle! Why do we always put this on the back burner when it makes us feel AMAZEBALLS?

14) Spend a day completely unplugged.

15) An hour before bedtime, turn your phone on airplane mode and don't turn it back on until after your morning me time!

16) Try a new recipe -- like this healthy pad thai! 

17) Buy yourself some flowers.

18) Play with your pup (or steal a friends for a day!) and soak up their playful, snuggly energy.

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19) Have a mid-day dance party. 

20) Make a list of 10 things you love about your body, right now.

21) Say no. Self love is all about bringing more positive energy into your life. So stand up for yourself and say no -- it'll allow you to say yes to things that actually raise your vibes instead of putting time into things that don't! 

22) Press play on a workout that makes you feel AMAZING from the inside out. 

23) Invest in something that will help you grow into your best self -- a fun class, workshop, workout program, anything!

 

Let's commit to showing ourselves some LOVE this month, ok?

Who's with me?

Xo Amanda 

 

Love letters to my former selves

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If you could go back in time and speak to your former self, would you?

I would. And I would have SO much to tell her.

 

I had an amazing childhood. I've had a pretty awesome life, all things considered.

From the outside, life can often look pretty picture perfect.

Hell, as a recovering perfectionist, I MADE it appear that way for YEARS. 

As so many of us do.

But what you so often don't see are the struggles and hardships others face -- because let's be honest, EVERYONE goes through something hard. Period.

If you don't, you're a robot and this post isn't for you.

Growing up, I WAS happy. I had an amazing family, wonderful friends and I was constantly doing things that lit me up: choir practice, rehearsing for shows, soccer, volleyball, planning volunteer events to raise money for charities, working my butt off to do well in school -- I was the epitome of the perfect daughter/student/friend/you name it.

But what most people didn't see was the stuff I hid behind closed doors.

The bullying. The body shaming. The emotional eating. The dieting. 

Dear 8 year old Amanda:

It doesn’t matter what those girls in your ballet class say or think. “You don’t belong here”, she said. Those words. They impact you in ways you never imagined. And while you may have stopped dancing for 10 years because of it, guess what? You freaking DANCE now. It may have taken time, and a whole lot of coaxing on behalf of your friends, but you belong anywhere you decide to belong. Period. The only person that decides your path is YOU.

 

Dear 10 year old Amanda:

Yelling at Mom about how nothing fits in the dressing room at the Hudson’s Bay Company isn’t going to make you feel better. She’s trying to help, because she LOVES you. And hates to watch you tear your body apart with your words. You may not be skinny like that popular girl in your class, but that doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful just the way you are.

 

Dear 13 year old Amanda:

I know you’re hurting. I know you don’t understand how anyone could be so awful as to literally throw rocks at you and call you ugly. I know you feel alone and scared but this? This will make you stronger. This will allow you to resonate with other women who have also been bullied and will open your heart up to a beautiful vulnerability that helps OTHER women heal. And THAT is a beautiful and powerful thing.

 

Dear 19 year old Amanda:

Hearing the words “you’re as big as a mac truck” from someone who supposedly loved you isn’t easy. And I know you can’t recognize it now, but this will be the thing that triggers your negative relationship with food and binge eating habits. YOUR WORTH is not dictated by another person's opinion of you. Your sadness will not be solved by an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. And those words? They don’t define you -- all they do is shed a little insight into the BS world that person is projecting onto you.

 

Dear 21 year old Amanda:

This is the year it hits you. The year you realize that you actually look the way you never thought you would. You've somehow gained 30 lbs in 2 years without realizing -- what apparently happens when you're in college and have a disordered relationship with food -- and when you see that picture from your trip to Greece, you break down and cry. I know you're feeling helpless right now but this is the beginning of you finding your LIGHT, and while it may not be an easy road the next few years, it's going to make you stronger and have the experience to help so many women find a consistent, balanced and JOY-filled relationship with exercise and food. 
 

Dear 23 year old Amanda:

Working out 2 times a day and eating only brussel sprouts for dinner is not sustainable. You’re going to finally lose the weight you’ve been telling yourself you needed to lose to be happy. Actually, you’re going to get so skinny that your friends start telling you they’re concerned, but you just don’t see it. But you know what? Over-exercising and existing on bird food and cleanses?  It’s not going to make you feel GOOD. It’s only going to exacerbate your emotional eating, negative self talk and mental health. Only when you are FUELING yourself from the inside out and using fitness as a way to feel STRONG will you find your groove and feel ALIVE and CONFIDENT in your own skin.

Dear 24 year old Amanda:

I know this year has been CRAZY for you. You’ve been prepping for a wedding, bought your first home, and spend your days working 7 day jobs. You are going to burn out. And feel overwhelmed and exhausted. And you know what? That will lead you to the BEST decision of your life. Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom to see the light.

 

My darling Amanda.

You are the STRONGEST, most COURAGEOUS woman I know.

 

You may not know it now, but these struggles? They don't define you.

And while in the moment, they felt HARD and IMPOSSIBLE to get through.

You did. You made it through.

And almost 3 years later, it's led you to such a beautiful life.

 

A life with a marriage that is far from perfect but gives you SO much joy every single life.

A life by design that YOU have crafted that genuinely lifts you up.

A positive relationship with food, exercise and your body.

And through it all, you've developed the COURAGE to share your story & maybe, just maybe, the work you do will make a dent in the world.

Give women a safe space to grow into their best selves.

And THAT is something to celebrate.

Xo, your future self.

Top 5 Personal Development Books for Beginners

Let's face it.

We aren't born to be 100% confident, energetic, and instant masters at what we do.

 

We know we have to take care of our physical bodies by eating right, working out, getting sleep, etc etc but we don't really talk about how we need to take care of our mental and emotional selves.

The more you learn about yourself, the more you'll be able to understand your quirks, strengths, and capacity for dealing with life, and it's so important to work on our mindset every single day.

 

Have you ever felt like you're stuck, spinning your wheels, in a life rut?  

It's probably because you haven't been challenging yourself on the inside. If you don't put work into your emotional and spiritual growth, you're going to stay stuck.

 

Whenever you're going through change in life, whether that's losing weight, starting a new job or relationship, or moving to a new city, it's important to grow and evolve on the INSIDE. If we don't match our inner growth with our external growth, we're never going to feel satisfied with our accomplishments or like we're "good enough."

You can only go as far as you grow. Your success in life will always be limited by your confidence, skills, and level of self-awareness.

Personal development is heavily encouraged in the Beachbody world, but I think it's important for everyone, regardless of what you want out of life! 

Putting myself on a mental/emotional "diet" of personal development books and podcasts over the past year has helped me deal with my perfectionism, anxiety, and low self esteem. I'm still a work in progress but I've learned so much, and helping other women get to know themselves is now my purpose in life.

 

Today I'm sharing the five books I started out with that had the greatest impact on my life!

 Sidenote: Just because these are my personal recommendations doesn’t mean they’re the right books for you. I’m a 25 year old female who’s building her own business, working on her acting career, chasing her dreams, and working to overcome self doubt, anxiety and perfectionism. If you’re similar to me and, chances are you’ll benefit from these books too!

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Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Yup, the author of Eat Pray Love is at it again. And I think this is her piece de resistance, especially if you’re an artist or creative entrepreneur. In this book, she dives right into how to release your fear so that you can show up for yourself in your creative life.

What I learned from Big Magic:

That fear is a NORMAL part of the creative process. And that you can either let the fear stagnate you for moving forward OR you can choose to move forward in spite of the fear. To use it to propel you towards the artistic and creative path you crave.

Quotable quotes:

“ Do whatever bring you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart. The rest of it will take care of itself.” 

“You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures.”

“What would you do if you knew that you could not fail?”

“Don’t let go of your courage the moment things stop being easy or rewarding. Because that moment? That’s the moment when interesting begins.”

  

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

The title of this book says it all. If you’re looking for a book that will empower you with confidence and ultimate badassery, this book is for you.   

What I learned from You Are A Badass:

To not take yourself so goddamn seriously and that you CAN do whatever you put your mind to. Her tough love, no BS approach really hit home with me and made me realize that so often, I trick myself out of doing these really huge and exciting things because I let that inner mean girl (or as I like to call her, my inner shit talker) tell me I’m not good enough. Eff that. You are. End of story.

Quotable quotes:

“It’s just as easy to believe we’re awesome as it is to believe we’re giant sucking things”

“There will never be anyone exactly like you. You were given special gifts and talents to share with the world, and even though everybody has special gifts and talents, nobody will use theirs quite the same way you do. You have a way of being in the world and a perspective that’s unique to you. You are kind of a big deal.” 

“What if you had the audacity to leave your excuses and your shame about wanting to be huge and fabulous behind and really went for it full-on anyway? What if you decided to do the most outrageous, most exciting thing you ever dared fantasize about, regardless of what anyone, including your terrified self, thought? THAT would be living.”

  

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

Can you tell I favor female personal development authors? Sometimes you have to throw some masculine energy into the mix, and The Slight Edge is a MUST-READ for anyone.

This book is about how we can turn simple daily actions and behaviors into long-term success. It's all about starting where you are, with what you already know, and slowly but surely making baby steps towards your big shiny goals. In a world that tells us to expect instant results, it can be really discouraging and frustrating to work towards a big dream or goal that will take patience and time, and it’s easy to get derailed from our vision. I love this book because it reassures us that it’s not about big massive leaps...it’s about the little things we can do to keep us moving forward.

 What I learned from The Slight Edge

The Slight Edge taught me how to shift my own definition of “success” and gave me a lot of confidence.

 Quotable Quotes:

 “You already know how to do everything it would take to make you an outrageous success. All you have to do is keep doing the things that have gotten you this far.” 

“Successful people fail their way to the top.”

“Success is a process, not a destination. It’s something you experience gradually, over time.”

“Happiness isn’t some big thing you pursue, not something you chase after. It’s something you do.” 

“Don’t try to figure it all out. If you want twice the success, double your rate of failure. You start with a plan, then go through the process of continuous learning through both study and doing, adjusting all the time like a rocket ship on the way to the moon, of track 97 percent of the time.”

 

The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte

The Desire Map is about leaning back and letting your values and core desired feelings take the lead. It’s about a creative, soulful approach to success and goal setting.

Whenever you start freaking yourself out or feeling overwhelmed and intimidated by your own plans and goals,the Desire Map is like a sigh of relief that will remind you you’re already good enough, and exactly where you need to be.

This book is half inspiration, and half workbook that will guide you to discover your own Core Desired Feelings, and then help you create a plan to manifest those feelings in all areas of life.

What I learned from The Desire Map:

That getting clear on how we want to FEEL in our life is essential for making decisions in our lives.

Quotable quotes:

“Wanting more for your future is not a betrayal of your present or past.”

 “Awareness is realizing that our life could always be better. Growth is doing what it takes to make it better.”

 “When you respect the darkness within yourself without any guilt trips, you’re becoming truly free.”

“Goals can perpetuate overplanning, and overplanning kills magic and possibilities.”

“You can ease up on yourself without shrinking your dreams.”

 

Mastering your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini

Mastering your Mean Girl is a no BS kick in the pants read that will help you make a plan for creating your own version of a kick-ass life — one that’s “wildly wealthy, fabulously healthy, and bursting with love” and where your mean girl won’t dictate your life anymore. This is a must read if you’re ready to let go of your Mean Girl, take action and start living the life of your dreams.

 What I learned from Mastering Your Mean Girl:

How simple shifts in perspective can be so transformative on your mental health.

Quotable quotes:

“In order for you to be the best, happiest, shiniest version of yourself, you need to fill yourself up first so that you are overflowing and bursting with love.”

 “There are no mistakes, just opportunities for evolution. Choose to see every ‘mistake’ or ‘failure’ as an opportunity for growth.”

“I move because I love the way it makes me feel. Not because I hate my body and want to fix and change it.”

 

A few tips on using personal development

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be tempted to binge on personal development, but it’s important not to let your “all or nothing” mindset take over. 

A good goal that will keep you moving forward at a steady pace is to read one PD book a month

 

That will give you motivation to actually finish reading it, and you’ll also have enough time to absorb and process what you’re reading (We actually do this every single month in our free Live On Purpose Community so if you haven’t joined this badass high vibing tribe, what’re you waiting for? Hop on in and soak up the looove!)

 

Sometimes I check PD books out of the library, but I prefer to buy them because I treat them like a workbook. You want to be able to highlight, underline, scribble notes and breakthroughs in the margins, and constantly be asking yourself "how can I apply this?".

I also love going back and re-reading my favorite books, because you’ll get something new out of them as your life evolves and changes. It’s fun to go back and see my previous notes and take-aways, and how I’ve been able to implement them into my life (or not!)

 

I encourage you -- nay, I DARE you to try one.

One of these books is probably standing out to you right now so just listen to your heart and pick it up

 

xo Amanda

 

How To Overcome Emotional Eating

                                                                                                                                                     Photo by  Kara Evans Photography

                                                                                                                                                    Photo by Kara Evans Photography

Hey hey hey, ma lady!!

We're knee deep in our Live Your F*ck YES Life challenge in my corner of the universe and the energy is on FIRE. We're virtually sweating our booties off together every day, rocking out a killer meal plan and cheering each other on and I couldn't feel more PUMPED UP. If you’re one of the gals in our group -- know that I appreciate and freaking love you more than you know! (For more deets on what my monthly health & fitness groups are all about -- click here)

The last couple of weeks, we’ve been talking a lot about a topic that’s near and dear to my heart and I thought it was high time I shared this on the bloggity blog because I have a feeling it’s something you struggle with too.

 

What am I talking about? EMOTIONAL EATING and SABOTAGE.

 

You start a new program or nutrition plan super strong and motivated, and then by Day 3 you have a stressful day, come home, raid the pantry and eat everything in sight. And then you throw in the towel because “you may as well just start all over again”.

OR

when you've been eating healthy all day and then someone brings donuts to the office and you can't stop the sugar monster.

OR

you let work or family stresses get to you and you eat to numb out.

And then you feel disgusting. You stare at the mirror and you hate that you hate your own reflection, and you are so freaking tired of never been strong enough to really commit to something and rock out the healthy happy LIFESTYLE you want so badly.

Sound familiar?

Or maybe it's another version of the same story.

Just replace food with your job. A relationship. Any area in your life where you want to see a positive shift take place.

 

First of all, girlfriend, I want you to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

 

We all struggle with this. With the feeling of letting ourselves down. Of not feeling good enough

But can I tell you a secret? A shift in perspective that made all the difference for me on my journey?

Beating yourself up for failing at something is a sign that you CARE about yourself.

It means you WANT to succeed. That you care about yourself enough to actually want to make those positive changes in your life take hold. 

Which means, while you may not have been able to get there yet, you CAN. And you WILL.

It's just going to take some dedicated work, some accountability (‘cause shit, don’t we alll need that!) and a lot more time than your inner mean girl thinks it should. ‘Cause giiirl, I know you’ve been should-ing all over yourself.


So, how do you start to overcome this and take some positive steps forward?

Here are my top 3 tips to getting started:

  1. Get curious. Awareness is the first step towards positive change. So pay attention to yourself. What are your habits? What are you saying to yourself? When do you tend to emotionally eat?
  2. Show yourself LOVE. Getting aware is such an important step for being able to take action, but it can also be tough to admit these things to yourself. So be KIND to yourself. And remember, YOU have the power to change anything and everything in your life in an instant. And showing yourself grace while you slowly take positive steps forward is KEY to being able to achieve what you want. It’s not easy and there will be days when you catch your mean girl coming to play and THAT’S OKAY. That’s part of the process and something we all deal with ;)
  3. Speaking of that, whenever you catch your mean girl popping up, ask yourself “what would I say to my best friend if they were going through this situation?” Quit letting your inner mean girl take the reins and let your LIGHT shine through, not just to others in your life but to YOU TOO!

 

You are more powerful than you know. And if you do the work, I promise you, you will start to see the LIGHT inside of you shine in ways you never imagined possible.

I believe in you. 

It’s time to start believing in yourself too ;)

Xo Amanda

P.s. Interested in seeing more shizzz like this and jumpstarting your emotional eating healing process and finding FOOD FREEDOM? Click the button below to snag your FREE Busy Babes Guide To Healthy Living & get weekly love bombs to your inbox!

Growth is the key to happiness

Today, I want to talk to you about something that has been on my heart lately:

GROWTH > GOALS.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a two hour special team call all about personal development, goal setting and how to get out of your own way and it was amazing. The fact that I actually WANT to work on a Monday night still blows my mind, but I guess when you love something so much, it never feels like work, am I right?

Anyways, in my corner of the Universe, we've been talking a lot about Goals. And how depending on how you approach them, creating goals can either be super effective and wonderful OR it can end up making shit a whole lot worse in the long run.

I used to be a HUGE goal setter. I would make bucket list after bucket list. And when I look back on it, it caused me soooo much anxiety.

WHY? Because I would have the SAME things on my list for YEARS. I knew what I wanted to do, but never actually did it.

So, I want to share with you how I've shifted my mindset surrounding GOALS and how I've actually been able to take ACTION for the first time in my life -- all in just 3 simple steps:

STEP ONE: WRITE IT DOWN

You can't just claim to want it in your head. You need to put it on paper for it to actually feel REAL.

So I want to challenge you to envision for a minute -- What do you dream about? Pick a dream, any dream. Your dream job. Dream marriage. Dream house. Write it down and describe it in just a few words. Now do the same thing 3 times until you've listed 3 separate dreams.

GREAT. Once you've done that, now add 2 descriptors that will make your dream more concrete: what and when.

Here are mine:

1. Go on a yoga retreat in Bali before I'm 30.

2. Be living 100% debt free and have the freedom to live my life 100% on my own terms by the time I'm 30 by building a heart-centered, thriving, stable and values driven business as Beachbody Coach.

3. Perform at the Stratford Festival of Canada as a lead in a Shakespeare play by the time I'm 35 years.

STEP TWO: LOOK AT IT EVERY SINGLE DAY

Chances are, you've written a bucket list, put it away and never looked at it again. Can you even remember what you put on there? I bet not.

So why is it so important to actually LOOK at it? Well, you may not believe in the power of manifestation (I didn't either), but from a gal who's been doing this for over a year, trust me when I say, this shit works. Surround yourself with your goals. Your subconscious needs the daily reminder to be able to actually bring it into your life.

As Jeff Olson says: "Having your dreams concretely spelled out, on paper, in the most vivid and specific terms possible, and with a very tangible, concrete timeline, provides you with an 'environment of Yes!' for your goals, dreams and aspirations."

STEP THREE: START WITH A PLAN

But here's the trick. Don't be STUCK on making that plan come to fruition.

So often, we make a plan and we almost force things to go down the way we want it to (read: think it should.) And I want to propose something different.

Yes, start with a plan. Because ultimately, until you actually START, you're not moving forward. But be OPEN to the fact that whatever plan you actually start with will not be the plan that gets you there in the end.

I know this may sound confusing but here's my thought on all of this: there is no perfect way to do something. I mean, by definition, there can't be, because a plan is not getting there -- it's only your jumping off point. And THAT is why you need a plan. Because if you don't have a starting point, there won't be any jumping off happening at all.

As Nike says, JUST DO IT.

What are your 3 goals that you came up with during this exercise?

Share in the comments below! I'd love to keep you accountable.

I hope this helps you on your journey to GREATNESS.

Know that I believe in you. You are so so capable of being everything you want to be & more. Of not just wishing for those goals of yours to come true but to actually make them happen.
 

And if you wanna chat more about this shit, I'm always just an email away. I LIVE for this shit. And I wanna help you succeed and live your wildest dreams -- because you are so freaking worth it.

Xo Amanda

Oh and p.s. haven't signed up for my weekly love bombs and freebies yet? Whatchya waiting for!!!  Get the goods here!!!!!!!

 

5 Steps to Loving Yourself From the Inside Out

I've been digging deep lately into the topic of Self Care and it's been a GAME CHANGER for me.

You guys, I used to think that self care was a load of BS, but let me tell ya, when I intentionally make time for the things that light me up, I am in a freaking AMAZING place and even the worst of days don't affect me the way they used to. It's pretty amazing.

When I first started out on my journey to self love, I didn't really know where to start. I thought self care meant Netflix and chill and taking a bath after a long day with a glass of wine.

And don't get me wrong, there is a time and place that all of the above (I spent last night doing JUST that and it was epic), but self care is so much more than that. It's about intentionally spending pockets of your day doing the things that make you feel amazing so that you can show up for the rest of your life (ya know, work, relationships, the works!) in a way that is 100% YOU. 

No more burnt out, overwhelmed, stressed out BS. By implementing these 5 main things into my life, I have been able to completely remove the overwhelm and spend even the busiest of days feeling grounded, inspired and empowered.

And no, it's not magic. Although you KNOW I'm still waiting for my letter to Hogwarts. ;)

This shit is REAL. And things that you can start putting into your life right freaking now. Because you freaking deserve to love yourself from the inside out, girlfriend. So let's get to the good stuff.


1. GET YOUR SWEAT ON

I don’t know about you, but my workouts are a HUGE part of my self care practice -- I’m a ragin’ biotch without my endorphins. Anyone else feel me?

But for a long time, I wasn’t making my workouts as priority in my life.

How many times have you skipped your workout because you’re “just too busy” to get it in?

If you aren’t all raising your hand right now, YOU LYIN’. (Ok, I kid, I kid) But for real, I know I used excuse after excuse all the time...

“I just don’t have any time during my crazy day to get my workout in” OR “I’ll go to the gym tomorrow after work” OR “I’m just too dang tired.”

Look, I get it. I hear you, loud and clear. I’ve been there! And I get that going to the gym or that hot new Spin class can take two hours out of your day, and that stinks (and is honestly freaking exhausting). But here’s the thing: You don’t need hours out of your day to get a good workout in. Hell, I don’t even remember the last time I did a workout that lasted longer than 30 minutes. (I'm always just a message away if you're looking for some amazing workout options!)

So, girl, get at least 30 minutes of exercise in! YOU CAN GET IN THIRTY MINUTES.

Let’s BUST those “I’m too busy” excuses and GET IT DONE. If I can do it, so can you ;)

2. FUEL YOUR BODY WITH WHOLE FOODS

I will say this shit again and again until I'm blue in the face -- diets don't work. Calorie/macro counting is triggering and exhausting. And you DESERVE to never feel restricted in life.

The answer? Whole foods and portion control.

Because of these tools, I'm now living a balanced life where I'm fueling my body with food that is ACTUALLY good for me (and not a raging starving biotch in the process -- because let's be honest, that's exactly what I was when I was on the yo-yo diet cycle of death *cringe*)

Want a sneak peek into a day in the life of eats with Amanda? Check it out here!

3. FOCUS ON POSITIVE SELF TALK

I don't know about you, but for soooo long, I would spend every morning looking at myself in the mirror and focusing on what I perceived as "bad". I would suck in my stomach in an attempt to make it flat, stare at my thighs and wonder why they couldn't be smaller & just blatantly make myself feel unworthy and unattractive.

Have you ever felt this way before? 

I cannot tell you how IMPACTFUL positive self-talk has been for me. It is not going to happen overnight (and those thoughts will continue to happen because, hey, we're all human and that inner shit talker is a fiery biotch!), but if you can implement some of these tips into your day, I cannot tell you how much it will change the way you view yourself.

MY 3 BEST TIPS FOR POSITIVE SELF TALK:

  • When you look in the mirror, focus on what you DO love, not what you don't.
  • Do something that makes you feel on freaking fire. Rock a workout. Throw yourself a dance party. Get out of your head and into you body!
  • Quit the comparison game. I know you do it. We all do. If you are following people on social media that trigger you, stop following them. Or better yet, remember that you don't know their story or how they got themselves to look the way they do. Celebrate your own personal victories and remember that we're all on our journeys -- and where you are right now is exactly where you're supposed to be.

4. GET YOUR SILLY ON

Ok girlfriend, you KNOW that I’m ALL about a giant goofball and seeking JOY every single freaking day. So this clearly had to have a bullet point on it's own :) 

As we grow up, gain responsibilities, stressors, obligations and what not, we lose our sense of PLAY. Remember that unbridled freedom we felt as kids? Freedom to laugh to our hearts content (or until milk came out of our nostrils!), freedom to act like FOOLS and not be worried about other people judging us, FREEDOM TO JUST BE!

I want to challenge you to be SILLY. I feel like so often in life we are “required” to take ourselves seriously and while it is important to do so at times, I think connecting with our inner goofball is NECESSARY for the soul. And this goes for your workouts too! Sometimes I find myself attempting a move and just flat out FLAILING. Anyone else? I used to get so frustrated with myself when I couldn’t “master” something, but I’m working on just keeping on keeping on and learning to LAUGH at myself because, let’s be honest, if someone was watching us during our workouts, I’m sure they’d be giggling right along with us.

MY FAVORITE WAYS TO BE SILLY:

  • Jammin' out in the shower to my favorite song and SANGIN' at the top of my lungs!
  • Playing with my pup
  • Sending rah-diculous pictures to my besties!

5. CREATE A SELF CARE BASKET

This is something I did for myself when I started my journey to self care a year ago and it was SO freaking impactful.

So what exactly is a Self Care Basket? It's a basket/box (you can use a shoebox or whatever you have lying around at home!) that you fill with things that make you happy. That make you light up inside when you see it. A box that you can go to for a little self love when you’re feeling those negative thoughts and feelings come your way.

Have FUN with this challenge. Find things around the house // Go to the Dollar Store or Target or TJ Maxx for affordable options! 

And most importantly, I want you to be really intentional with this. What makes me happy is probably different than what really lights YOU up. So really ask yourself, what are the things that make you so freaking happy you could burst ;) 

Here's what I came up with for mine!

And there you have it!

My favorite 5 things to rock out my self care routine!

Which one are you committing to start implementing into your routine this week? Share in the comments below!

How to Choose Joy On Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days

Anyone else used to be obsessed with that book growing up? I would make my Mom read it to me over and over and over again. I just loved Alexander's super red hair and freckles!!...Maybe that explains why I've always wanted a little kid with bright red hair...ha, I can't believe I'd never considered that!

Okay, I digress. But fo realz. Whether you know that book or not, if you've been on the planet for more than a minute, chances are, you've had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

You know the one. Where everything just seems to be against you. You spill your coffee in the morning, rip your favorite shirt, miss the train, send an email to the wrong person, get yelled at by your boss, burn dinner and when you go to sit down to watch this week's episode of the Bachelor, realize you've forgotten to DVR it. Or maybe you are just feeling a general lack of faith in humanity with the going ons of the world lately. And chances are, if you're anything like me. you've spend the whoooole day listening to Adele (#bestsadmusicever) and complaining to your friends about your shitty, shitty, day.

Sound familiar?

I used to have more days like this than I'd like to admit. I would sit and sulk in my frustration. And let me tell ya, I was not fun to be around. 

I've been reading The Universe Has Your Back (a really fantastic book all about fear)  and something she emphasizes is how the energy you intentionally put out into the world directly affects your mindset. In other words, how you FEEL every single day is entirely up to you.

This is a concept I used to have a really hard time grasping -- I mean, I just couldn't get it... 
What if someone was being rude to me? Or traffic was THE WORST and it took me an extra 30 minutes to get home.  Or what if I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day like the one I just shared? Those things would obviously make an impact on how my day went... I would CLEARLY feel frustrated, upset, irritated and annoyed if any of those things happened to me, right?

Well, that's what I used to think.

But here's what I've been learning, and what I want to empower you to consider:

You are 100% made up of the decisions you make.

 

Sure, you can't control the things that you'll come up against throughout your day, but you CAN control how you respond to them. You can choose to lean towards JOY instead of fear, doubt or frustration.
 

"Your decision leads you to experience joy in a seemingly joyless situation" - Gabby Bernstein

 

Let me guess...you're thinking "ok, ok, it SOUNDS easy and all, but how do you actually put it into practice?" You know I wasn't gonna leave you hanging like that. I gotchu, girl ;) 

So here are 3 of my favorite tools on how to CHOOSE JOY on even the worst of days:

+ Focus on how you WANT to feel and get clear on your VALUES

If I were to ask you the question: "How do you want to feel every single day?", what would you say? For example, I would say: Joy-filled, ease, connected, grounded, free and strong.

And further, what are the things that you do/have done that help you feel these things? For example, some of the things that I do to connect to these feelings are: throwing myself a dance party, getting a workout in, calling my mom, practice yoga, meditate, journal, play with my pup , share my story in a blog post, have a work date at a coffee shop, snuggle with my hubby etc.

Brainstorm and journal it out and see what you come up with!

+ Recite an affirmation that is in line with your values

I know this may sound hokey (and trust me, until recently, I thought all of this was a load of bullshit), but I've been incorporating affirmations into my morning rituals for the past month and it has been a GAME CHANGER. 

My current favorite go-to is from a book called the Big leap (check it out!): 

“I expand in abundance, success and love every day as I inspire others to do the same.”

Before I start my day, I spend 5 minutes saying this out loud and breathing it in. This hasn't been something that has come easy to me. I've been SUPER resistant to any form of affirmation for years, but I dedicated this year as the year of GROWTH and part of that means being open to new experiences. So I said F*ck it. Let's try it. And man oh man has it been a game changer. That sense of ease I've been craving? I'm finally starting to see it show up in my life and I'm loving every second of it.

So whether this affirmation resonates with you, or another one jumps out at you, choose one and commit to starting your day by saying it every day next week! Need some examples of mantras? Click here!

+Shock your system

You ready for it? This is how to put all of the things you've discovered in the last two points and jolt yourself into joy.

I want you to spend the next week getting curious with yourself. On days when you're feeling any negative emotion, allow yourself to feel the feels if you need to for a few minutes ('cause sometimes that shit is necessary), and then SHIFT YOUR SPIRIT. You know that list I had you write up? The one of all the things that help you feel the way you want to? Pick one and DO IT. Jolt yourself into a better day and decide to freaking CHOOSE JOY. Ok?


You are more POWERFUL and CAPABLE than you realize, beautiful girl. And you deserve to feel all the light & love the world has to offer. Let's start creating it together, ok?

Xo Amanda

p.s. I'd love to hear your thoughts and how you found this exercise! Comment below or contact me if you wanna chat more about this :)