Health

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!

A Control Freak's Path to Intuitive Eating

I first heard of the term Intuitive Eating when I was listening to a podcast a couple of years ago. I don't remember which one it was but I remember thinking...da fuck?  What the hell is this. This was a concept I had never heard of -- I mean, I knew what intuition was and obviously knew what eating was but this was such a foreign concept to me...Eating Intuitively. 

Anyone thinking the same thing? If you're answer is, nah, Amanda, I've been practicing intuitive eating for years then let me take this opportunity to give you the biggest air high five. For real, congrats, dude. I am so proud of you for getting there because, coming from someone who it's taken years to finally "get it", it takes a lot of hard work. 

But if your answer is more like "uh....girl....what does eating and intuition have anything to do with each other", this post is for you. And trust me, girl, I was right there with ya. 

From my understanding (and guys, I'm not a professional here, this is just my personal take on all of this), the practice of Intuitive Eating is essentially listening to your body/your inner knowing and fuel yourself with food based on what your body needs, not thinks it needs. We're all born as natural intuitive eaters. Kids grow up, listening to their bodies when it tells them they're full or hungry. But somewhere along the way, many of us lose this innate knowledge. I know I did. And if you're anything like me, you probably did too. 

I'm about to share something super personal. Something I have never really shared before and, to be honest, am currently squirming in my chair trying to think about just the prospect of putting these words out there to the universe. But I believe so strongly that being true to ourselves is one of if not the most important thing we can do for ourselves and man, when it comes down to it, sharing is caring, right? So here goes.

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Ever since the end of high school, I have struggled with a negative relationship with food.

I never had or felt I had an outright 'problem', whatever the hell that means anyways, but food always seemed to be on my mind. Whether I was having a bad day and felt that the only form of self medication was to have an entire bag of m&ms in one sitting because "I deserved it" OR when I obsessively counted my calories & labeled foods like carbohydrates, dairy and sweets as BAD and completely OFF LIMITS. I thought this was how life had to be. A bunch of my friends operated that way. Magazine articles and social media would tell me what foods to stay away from & that the best way to get over a bad day was to stuff your face with as many sweets as physically possible. I didn't know any different. And yes, a large part of it stems from my need to feel constantly in control, my perfectionist tendencies and just generally feeling not good enough (more on that at a later date), but when it comes down to it, I thought it was normal. That this was just what life would be forever. And four years ago, this all came to a head.

So here I am. The picture on the left was in 2012 & the picture on the right, a year later, in 2013. Here's the thing, I am not proud of EITHER of these pictures because the girl in both of them is unhappy & lost. To some of you, I may appear to be healthy in one (or both!) of these pictures, but let me tell you, the girl you see here is a girl I hope to never see again.

The 2012 Me:

I was in college, and trying to figure out who the hell I was and who I wanted to be. I went through a big heartbreak when I first got to school and I went from eating more than I should just because I was bored to eating food because it made me feel better. Less sad. And I thought that food was the answer. That it would fill me up (literally, and figuratively). Did it make me feel better? Well, it made me sick. I would eat until way after I felt full because I thought I needed it. I thought it was the only answer. And this became a crux. A habit that I couldn't seem to break. And I felt so OUT OF CONTROL on this aspect of my life. From the outside, I looked like I had all of my shit together, but in reality, I was super unhappy.

The 2013: 

Fast forward to a year later. I had decided to take my life back. To get control over what I was putting in my body FOR GOOD. So I took things to the next extreme and man oh man did my perfectionist, ENTJ personality type need for structure and control cause me to take things too far. I LOVE following plans and "sticking to my goals"I started working out twice a day. I counted calories and I completely eliminated carbs, sweets and dairy from my diet. And okay yeah, did I lose weight? I lost 27 pounds in the span of a year. But was I happy? Everything I thought I could get when I was 'skinny', I didn't get. If anything, my mental spirit got so much worse. I would feel shame and disgust when I "fell off the wagon" because I went out for a burger with my friends. And I was constantly hungry, eating brussel sprouts for dinner because I thought that was what it took to be healthy. 

The summer of 2013, I went through what I like to call The Dark Days. I had a really rough few months and I resorted to my feel better habits. You can read more about My Story but after finally seeing the light, I decided to focus on my Mental health. 

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A couple of months ago, I tried the 21 Day Fix and after reading about and hearing about Intuitive Eating, it finally really clicked. It gave me a true foundation for understanding proper portion control and how to maintain a true balance with my daily food intake. And it has given me the tools to live a balanced life -- I am finally practicing the 80/20 rule that I have preached for so long. For the first time in my adult life, I feel FREE. And it is truly my deepest wish that everyone can get to this place. That's why I have become SO passionate about helping other women to believe in themselves and achieve a healthy relationship with food. That's why I became a coach. And these amazing women that are a part of my community inspire ME on the daily to stay true to myself. They encourage me just as much as I do them. 

So...where am I now?

Am I the skinniest I've ever been? Do I have a killer six pack? Nope & nope. But am I the happiest & healthiest -- body, mind and soul -- that I've ever been in my life? You can bet your ass that I am. 

I've stopped counting calories & weighing myself altogether. Yup, scale in the garbage.

I love me some chocolate, but I eat it in moderation because I know it makes my tummy angry.

I take cues from what my body is telling me I need, and I listen.

I don't feel guilty if I indulge on date night or have one too many cocktails when I'm hanging out with my girlfriends. 

I no longer view my eating habits as a competition with others. I just do what works best for me.

I know that moderation is what works best for me so instead of binging on the weekends or being overly controlling with my food, I allow myself treats throughout the week.

I am free.

How to Practice Intuitive Eating

+ Be Patient With Yourself. 

This is NOT something that will happen overnight. I have been on this journey for two freaking years guys, and I'm finally just starting to get to a place where I feel like it's becoming a true part of my daily life. It takes time, practice and dedication but I promise you it is so worth it when you start to see the light on the other side.

+ Respect and Trust your Body

By honoring your hunger and creating a peaceful relationship with food, you're building a basis of self-trust within yourself. 

+ Look beyond the Surface

What are you going through internally? What part of yourself do you need to work on // is the root cause that is triggering your negative relationship with food? Once you address these things, and work on your mental blocks, your relationship with food will progress naturally.

+ Find Support!

I would have never been able to get to where I am by myself. If it weren't for the amazing community of women that I am a part of, constantly encouraging me through my struggles and helping me celebrate my successes, I would not be where I am today.

Sometimes we just need someone to talk to -- know that I am always here for you and that you can Email me at any time. :)

 

You have it inside of you & hot damn, You are Worth It.

 

All the Love & Light in the World,

Amanda

My Story

Up until early 2014, I had a really strange relationship to food & fitness.

When I was younger, I was picked on a lot because I was a chubby kid. You know the awkward stage that most kids go through? Well, mine lasted about 6 years. I couldn’t fit into clothes because I was always in between sizes. From a very young age, I looked at myself in the mirror and I didn’t feel that my body reflected who I felt like I was “inside”. I had a vibrant personality. I loved to laugh. I was a total dork. BUT behind closed doors, I was insecure and ashamed and, as a result, I became a super bossy kid to overcome it.

Fast forward to the end of high school and I had gotten much taller (and thus my weight had distributed pretty nicely). My family always ate healthier than all of my other friends families and I felt that I could go into college with an understanding of how to treat my body. And all through college, I thought I did just that. But looking back, I have no idea what I was thinking. I was a cardio junkie. I would do at least an hour of cardio a day (ah, gag me) and then I would have dessert from the cafeteria every day and chocolate milk with every meal and think that it all evened out. Before I knew it, I got to be the heaviest I had ever been in my life, and I certainly was the unhealthiest. I looked in the mirror and didn't like what I saw but I kept telling myself that I was doing everything that I could to lose the weight and nothing was working. I remember telling my roommate in college, "Well, this is obviously the weight that I am supposed to be. My body must not be able to look any different". It's incredible what we can tell ourselves to not take accountability for our choices.

Here’s the thing - I’m an actor and although I wish it weren’t the case, the acting business is largely about looks.

Do you look the part to play this role?

Do you have the STAMINA to sustain 8 shows a week?

Can you handle this five minute dance number and not be so out of breath that you can’t sing the rest of the song once it’s over?

And I realized by my Junior year that come graduation, if I kept things up the way I was, I would not make it in this business. I hit a breaking point and new I needed to DO something. 

And that’s when I found Tone It Up. I was 172 pounds that July when I joined Tone It Up and with a lot of hard work, by that next February, I was down to 145 pounds. Now here’s the thing. What Tone It Up promotes is EXTREMELY AWESOME. I truly believe in what they are putting out there and the plan itself. It works and it’s a lifestyle that you can adapt forever. But I was so DESPERATE for a change that I took things too far. I wasn’t eating enough and I was overdoing it on my working workouts. I went from one extreme to the next and I didn’t understand the idea of a happy medium. I’m 5’10” and 145 pounds is just too small for my body frame . Or at least, it was for me. All of my friends were concerned that I wasn't treating my body well and they were right. I wasn't. 

That next summer, I had a very difficult time and I gained all the weight that I had lost back. I essentially had to start from scratch again, but this time, I took control of my physical AND mental state and I slowly have made positive changes to my life that have led me to where I am today. I’m not perfect (and to be honest, I think perfection is overrated and unattainable), but I am willing to learn and be the best version of myself I can be. For me, this means FEELING HAPPY. And while that definitely includes sweating and keeping fit and eating consistently well, it also means that I will let myself LIVE and have a glass of wine when I want to, eat that dark chocolate and hell, I will treat myself to a burger with my husband every once in awhile because goddamnit I just want a burger.

So that’s my story, so far. And what has led me to find my TRIBE and to pursue self love & health coaching as a career. I believe that no matter where you are in life, it is possible to make a positive change TODAY. It just takes a little bit of courage, a whole lot of love and a leap of faith.

What are you waiting for?

                           2011`                                                               NOW

                           2011`                                                               NOW

Wanna Live Your F*ck YES life and heal your relationship with food and fitness once and for all? Join our next challenge HERE!