Self Love

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 :)  

What is Beachbody Coaching?

If you’ve spent any time with me in the past few months, you’ve probably been subjected to a non-stop gushfest on Beachbody, Coaching, and Shakeology. I can't help it you guys, I'm just too stinkin' happy not to share!

I am literally so freaking happy with my decision to become an independent Team Beachbody coach. It has truly changed my life in just a few short months. I am happier. Healthier. And more in touch with what I want out of life than I have ever been. So I thought it was high time I shared a little more about what it’s all about!

I came into this opportunity knowing five things about myself:

1. I am hugely passionate about health and fitness.

2. Nothing makes me happier than using my life experiences to help other people make positive changes in their lives.

3. I love sharing my passions and connecting with others.

4. I am motivated by a challenge.

5. If there is a way to make a hobby or passion into a side business, I am ALL ABOUT THAT.

Since December, I have led dozens of amazing, motivated women through the 21 Day Fix, and everyone who has committed to the program has seen REEEEDONKULOUS results! And not JUST physically, but also mentally. It's been SO FREAKING INSPIRATIONAL. And I am am completely in love with running Challenge Groups, sharing my experiences, and motivating others to help take the first step towards their fitness goals!

 

The company

Ok, so I am extremely skeptical of "get rich quick"/ "too good to be true" schemes and am majorly turned off by hard-sell tactics and the network marketing model in general because, let's just say I've have had some super uncomfy experiences in the past where people have been incredibly pushy and scammy and I'm just NOT ABOUT THAT. So you can imagine I did a shit-ton of research before signing up, just to make sure that there weren't strings attached to this coaching business. 

My Conclusion: Nope, no strings attached. No overhead. No requirements to buy OR sell anything. Basically no risk, but unlimited potential for growth if you really want to take your business to the top. The structure and tools are there, you just get to plug in and see where you want to take it with the time that you have to set aside. And when I saw that what I'd get to be doing is building relationships with genuine, like minded women and helping other people achieve their goals and enjoy healthy, fulfilling lives, I was IN. 

The more I learn about Beachbody as a company, the more confident I am in this organization. Not only are the products incredible and actually WORK, but the integrity of the company itself is unreal. Founded in 1998, Beachbody at its core is an American health and fitness brand that is famous for its renowned and results-oriented at-home fitness programs created by celebrity trainers. Have you ever seen an infomercial for P90X or Insanity? Yup, that's Beachbody. 

And the best thing?!?! Anyone can sign up to be a coach. Whether you are a complete fitness newbie or a freaking personal trainer, doctor/lawyer/teacher/actor (*cough* me *cough*), if you have lost 50 pounds or have 50 pounds to lose, if you want some extra accountability, want to help others, want some extra income to supplement your full time salary, or want to be the Girlboss of your OWN biz and work on your OWN terms.

 

What do Beachbody coaches do?

-They love Beachbody products (Shakeology and fitness programs) because the products work. And Shakeology is addicting...Seriously, I call it my magical unicorn shake. It deserves its own blog post.

-They use their STORY to share with others who might also benefit.

-They run these super FUN online Challenge Groups -- aka support and accountability groups with likeminded peeps that GET YOU.

-Coaches are committed to building relationships, and making sure that each client has the most successful experience possible and moves at least one step forward towards reaching their ultimate health goals -- whether that is to simply gain a little muscle tone, lose 100+ pounds or is wanting to develop a healthier relationship with food. There is LITERALLY a program for everyone, no matter your fitness background or level!

-Coaches do some sort of "personal development" every single day, to make sure they are constantly striving to become the best version of themselves possible in every aspect of life. We're not just working out robot machines! We also spend time every day working on buidling a positive inner relationship with ourselves! 

The only actual financial commitment? A $15/month coaching fee to maintain your websites/so you don't have to do all the super boring and taxing shit like shipping/packaging/etc. And then you get a 25% discount on anything, and get all the incredible opportunity for support, love & accountability!

When you become a coach, you are essentially starting your OWN health and fitness-based business. You're not an employee of the company, but you become an independent distributor, which is kind of like being a contractor. You get to use the Beachbody as a PLATFORM to launch YOUR dreams of becoming a Badass Girl Boss, just by sharing what you LOVE and helping others make positive changes in THEIR lives. It's freaking awesome.

And the best bonus of all? You get to join our goofy #TeamInspireJoy Family and have an immediate community of gals who just GET YOU and will become your best friends. 

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What I’ve gained through becoming a "coach":

-The confidence to OWN who I am.

-Motivation to stick to my own workouts and nutrition.

-Friendships with authentic and amazing women around the country who are just like me.

-The ability to believe that my dreams ARE possible.

-The ability to help women to gain confidence, feel strong and empowered, re-define their relationship with food, and to be able to be that tiny burst of light and support in someone else's life.

-A FAMILY of gorgeous gals on my team who share my exact same values and passions.

- A flexible schedule to run my own business on MY OWN TERMS, and make a side income through doing what I love.

-I'm living and breathing my philosophy every single day: Eat more, eat better, ENJOY life, “treats not cheats,” Balance is key & that the key to JOYFUL LIVING is to do something that lights you up inside, every single day.

 

I have also been able to meet ladies who are just like me and mentor them as coaches on my own team, and it feels like going into business with my best friends. It's incredible how you just feel that CLICK when you put your heart out there. You end up crossing paths with people who just get you. I don't even know how to really describe it. I've never experienced something like it before.

 

Coaching is that “thing” that I didn’t even know I was missing. A path that is bringing all aspects of my life into one clear focus. I guess you know that you’ve found your passion when you're doing something that you literally can’t stop thinking or talking about. That lights a FIRE in your soul. 

If your soul is CRAVING something more out of life, or you're just looking for a COMMUNITY of genuine and loving ladies who will support you along your health & fitness journey, this opportunity might just be for you.

 

And if you're still reading this, well, GIRL, this is clearly a sign and what the heck are you waiting for? 

 

Wanna get join in on the fun?

I would be STOKED to chat more with you about your health & fitness (heck, and LIFE) goals and help you take the first step! Whether it's losing those pesky last 5 pounds, feeling confident in your own skin, learning how to fuel your body through healthy eating and proper portion control, do a full fledged push up, overcome your emotional eating habits, or being able to finally truly LOVE yourself from the inside out. You are NOT alone. I've been there and I've had so many ladies in my Groups who have dealt with ALL of these things too. 

If you wanna join in on my next Challenge Group:

If you're super passionate about Healthy living and want to learn more about how you can pay it forward and create a side business through helping others (and yourself!), please don't hesitate to reach out! I'm obviously so freaking stoked about this opportunity and would LOVE to chat about it with you some more. You can learn more about our mission HERE

Xo Amanda

Why Self-Care Is Not Selfish

I always used to think that focusing on myself was selfish.

I put ALL of my energy into other people, and poured myself into all of the numerous obligations and commitments that I took on in my life.

I was a YES girl. The idea of letting someone down was not an option in my world (and is still something I battle with to this day), so I did everything in my power to make every one else happy, often at the sacrifice of my own personal well being.

But here's the thing: what I failed to realize for so long is that by not prioritizing myself and my self care, I wasn't able to be my best self

Last week, my hubby Kevan and I had to move out of our brand new home in our cute, cozy neighborhood in Logan Square, into a glorified dorm hotel room in the heart of downtown Chicago. And to be 100% REAL with you, I have had a really hard time handling it. 

I haven't lived, or really ventured much, to the loop (Chicago's downtown area) since I was in College. I may be an extravert, but man oh man do I appreciate being able to come home to a safe, quiet and comfortable space. A place where I can create, relax and connect with myself and my thoughts. And a teeny tiny hotel room in the middle of downtown just doesn't do that for me.

I never realized how much impact my surroundings have on my emotional well being. And let's just say that this past weekend, I hit my breaking point

I was in a MOOD.

Chances are, if you're anything like me, you know exactly what I'm talking about...

Feeling like nothing is going right and feeling helpless because you feel like there's nothing you can do about it.

And nothing that anyone else says or does can possibly make you feel better. 

So you end up spending the day drowning in self-pity and frustration. 

SUPER FUN, am I right?

Hell NAWWWW. 

Feeling like shit is just NOT what I signed up for in this life. 

So, after spending the day feeling super mopey and like there was nothing I could possibly do to make myself feel better, I made a decision.

Instead of focusing my energy on the things that I couldn't control and on how frustrated and uncomfortable I was with our situation, I made a promise to myself that I would switch my focus to what I COULD CONTROL. That I would make it a priority, every single day, to do the things that make me feel HAPPY & GROUNDED.

To put Self-Care at the top of my To-Do List.

What does this mean to me?

To me, self care isn't just about taking a bubble bath or getting a massage (although that can be part of it), but it's more so about a state of mind. And a decision to stand up for yourself and decide that you are worthy of true happiness.

It means putting my own needs first.

It means listening to myself and honoring the signals that my body is putting out.

It means carving out time in my day to do the things that light my soul on fire, instead of numbing my mind with hours of Netflix (as tempting as that may be).

It's doing things like waking up early for my morning workouts because it will start my day off feeling energized and strong. 

Or harnessing my creative energy and working on a project that I've been putting off because there were "other more important things on my to-do list".

To me, Self Care is all about taking ACTION on how I want to FEEL.

 

...And guess what? It worked.

 

Just be shifting my MINDSET, all of the overwhelm, the frustration & the pain went away.

Is my situation still the same? Yep. Are a bazillion things still out of my control? You betcha. But by implementing self-care into my day to day life -- by placing my energy into doing things that made me FEEL good -- I was able to turn everything around for myself, and become a way more enjoyable person to BE around as well ('Cuz yup, as I'm sure you've noticed, when you're not taking care of yourself, it's damn near impossible to take care of other people in a way that's positive for them!)

True self-care is about honoring, nurturing and loving ourselves, and it is fundamental not only to our personal well-being, but also to our relationships with the people closest to us. It empowers us to be more generous and truly available to the relationships with the people closest to us. 

It also is not always EASY. It takes COURAGE & true DEDICATION, especially for those of us who are so used to giving all of our energy away. 

But is it WORTH IT. Hell to the fucking yes.

 

Because when you start taking care of yourself, AMAZING THINGS HAPPEN.

 

You'll feel amazing & nourished from the inside out.

You will be able to bring LIGHT and JOY to your relationships and everything you do.

You'll be the most effective and energetic version of yourself. 

 

Here's a quote from The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte that has really STUCK with me:

"Small, deliberate actions inspired by your true desires create a life you love.
When you’re not feeling the way you want to feel, it can take just a small gesture to shift your state of mind. Seek out environments that match your desired feelings.
You can change your life daily, practically, through small, deliberate actions. Let the beauty and the power rub off on you. The idea is that you do easy, natural things that are aligned with your core desired feelings. These small, steady actions won’t change your life in a flash, but they will change your life day by day."

 

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I cannot say enough good things about this book. It has taught me SO much about living my life in connection to my values -- and it literally helped me uncover what my core values (or what I like to call the things that light my SOUL ON FIRE) truly are. If you want to really dive in and get down and dirty with your self-care, I cannot recommend it enough.

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In the meantime, I encourage you to take 5 minutes out of your day and write out how you want to FEEL. What your true values are. Dig deep, listen to your heart, not what your head thinks you SHOULD want to be feeling.

 

For example, my current Values are:

JOY - CONNECTION - COURAGE - BLISS - STRENGTH

 

Once you've done that, write down things that you can be doing, on a daily basis, that would allow you to achieve those feelings. And here's the kicker, PUT THEM INTO ACTION. Because without actually implementing these things, you won't get to truly taking care of YOU. 

 

Show up for yourself, Lady Love. Even if it's just for 30 minutes a day. Because, hot damn, you DESERVE to be happy.

And man oh man are you WORTH IT.

 

All the Love & Light in the world,

Xo Amanda

p.s. I would LOVE to connect with you about this! Email me your Values & we can chat about how to really DIG IN and take care of YOU. :)

 

 

 

You are Enough

Have you ever felt like you are not enough?

 

Not pretty enough? Not smart enough? Not good enough? 

 

I know I have and DO all of the time. When something goes wrong in my life - I get into a fight with my friend, I disappoint my husband or I'm not successful in my career adventures -- I look back on the situation and feel things like: I'm not compassionate enough OR I'm not present enough in that moment OR I'm paying enough attention to that OR I'm just not good enough.

This is something that I've been really working on for the past few months because when I feel like I'm not enough, it eats me up inside. I fall apart. And feel like there's nothing I can DO to change the way I'm feeling. 

And after a lot of soul searching, reflecting and talking with some gorgeously self-aware women, I've come to a startling realization:

I have been allowing others to define my worthiness. 

 

I'm an overachiever. Type A. A self-proclaimed recovering perfectionist. And for so much of my life, I quantified my achievements as worthiness. I defined what I like to call my "enough-ness" by my attainment of goals and things that are outside of my control.

I would do so many things because I felt like IF I did them, then I would be worthy. And I put all of my identity and my self-worth in this one facet in my life. IF I lost 5 pounds. IF I could run a 5 K. IF I was making a certain amount of money.

IF IF IF IF.

Always focusing on the boxes I felt I needed to check off for my life to LOOK the way I thought it needed to look. On how others would perceive it. Instead of doing and placing focus on the things that LIGHT ME UP inside and make me feel GOOD.

 

But here's the thing...no one decides you're worthy except YOU. 

 

There's no dictionary definition of what makes a person worthy. No universal boxes that can be checked. 

So why do we constantly look outside to feel worthy instead of focusing on our insides. We make the rules. We have the POWER to decide how we measure our enough-ness.

 

 

So how do we CHANGE our mindset?

I am no expert in this, but here are some things that I have found super helpful along my journey to Enoughness.

What is the Root cause for your feelings of not being enough?

Did a parent tell you that if you didn't get a certain job or live a certain lifestyle that you wouldn't be good enough? Or maybe an ex told you you were "too emotional" and so you equate being good enough in relationships as not showing your true feelings? Or maybe you've been exposed to environments or people that have modeled certain behaviors that have imposed certain beliefs into your life. DIG DEEP. This is not easy and will likely uncover a ton of shit, but it's necessary to understand where all of these feelings stem from before you can actively CHANGE your perspective.

+ Declare that you are WORTHY

You are the one who gets to decide whether you are the worthy, so SAY IT. Will you believe it at first? Hell NO. But if you say it every single day, you will condition yourself to believe it. Write it on a post it. Put it somewhere you can see every day. You may not believe it now, but COMMIT yourself to getting there. 

Say something like "I am committed to exploring my worthiness." OR "I am exploring what self-worth looks like." You've gotta start somewhere, am I right?

I can't believe that I lived DECADES of my life thinking that my worthiness was based on what happened to me in my life. I am so grateful that through my Personal Development journey, I have been shown the LIGHT. That it is POSSIBLE to change the way you talk to yourself about being Enough. 

The first step? Being Aware.

And guess what? Chances are, if you're still reading this, and if this has resonated with you in some way, you're already done the hardest thing. Acknowledging the possibility that maybe, just maybe, WE can decide what it means to be ENOUGH in this world.

 Life is a journey, one that I am definitely far from perfect with, but I think if we all strive to live our lives with JOY and COURAGE, we can find clarity beyond what we ever imagined possible.

This is a small part of my journey, one that I'm still and will always be working on. As always, I'm here for you if you want to chat

Wishing you all the light & love in the world,

Amanda

 

Transformation Tuesday: Meet Margaret!

I am so excited to share an amazing success story from my last health and fitness Challenge Group! Margaret and I connected via social media and holy shit this girl is ON FIRE and SUCH an inspiration :)

She's currently doing her Medical Residency and is super passionate about Internal Medicine! She's passionate about healthy living, eating mindfully, her yearly trips to Disneyland with her fiance Matt and her two adorable puppies, Dexter and Walter!

Margaret was such a ROCKSTAR challenger and had such amazing results from doing the 21 Day Fix, both physically AND mentally. I can't wait for you guys to get to know her a little better & share in her INCREDIBLE success!

Meet Margaret!

How did you feel before you decided to commit to the January Strong not Skinny Challenge?

Before I decided to commit I feltlike I had fallen off the bandwagon per se. I was coming off of the holidays and a huge exam.  With studying and being a medical student it was hard to find time to eat well and get my workouts in.  From October-Jan 1 was just not great for my health and wellness. 

Why did you feel that way?

I just felt I didn't have enough time for ME. That is what I really wanted to work on-making sure I took 30 min out of my day to put myself first!

How do you feel now?

Now I fell STRONG and ENERGIZED and overall just amazing! My body bounces back from my hiatuses much quicker now but I want to work on avoiding those hiatuses and really staying on track consistently.

What struggles or challenges have you overcome?

Challenges I have overcome include making sure I spend 30 min a day getting my workout in even though I have had a 13 hr day at the hospital and am exhausted.  I also have been working on mindful eating--I like to justify eating like crap when I have a bad day and I know that's not going to help me reach my goals.

How do you keep yourself motivated on your own health and fitness journey?

I take before and after photos and then just peak at my progress over the year every once and a while-It helps refocus me.

Favorite workout?

Dirty 30 for sure!!--I am SHAKING after that workout every time

Favorite healthy food?

 I <3 protein pancakes AND my take on a taco bowl which includes shrimp, lettuce, salsa, tomato, bell pepper and 1/4 avocado.

What advice would you give someone who’s just starting out on her health and fitness journey?

My health journey truly started 1 yr ago.  I was that roller coast fad diet kinda gal and although I was happy with the scale-I wasn't always happy with how I felt/looked.  This is SUSTAINABLE! Clean eating and the 21 day fix are sustainable--I promise, you will not go hungry!

My biggest advice is this journey is a marathon not a sprint.  Trust in the process AND don't beat yourself up for enjoying those foods you love!!! (just in moderation)

Where to connect with Margaret online:

INSTAGRAM

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Interested in joining my next health and fitness challenge group? Click HERE to apply, and I'll be in touch to chat about your goals!

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 Venture into Natural Beauty Products

If you've been an avid blog reader of mine, you know how important my health is to me. I spent so many years of early adulthood not truly understanding what it meant to be healthy. What foods (and how much of those foods) I should be consuming. I seriously thought that carbs were evil. Not allowed. That cardio was the most effective form of exercise and that I should be doing it every single day. I didn't know. I read all of these articles from countless magazines searching for that "magic cure" to get my thighs not to touch, to get that six pack that I'd always thought was the definition of being "fit". You can read more about My Story but, ultimately, when it came down to it, it took me really listening to my body and trying out various programs before I really knew what my body needed. 

And because of programs like the 21 Day Fix, I now can truly say that for the first time in my adult life, my relationship to food is healthy. That I am properly fueling my body with the right kinds of foods. That my cravings have completely disappeared. That I don't feel the need to step on the scale every single day and see if it's moved. That I am never, ever hungry (which, for those of you who know me intimately know how much of a WIN that is for me). And I am the most fit I have ever been in my life, and hell noooo do I have a six pack. Can I do a shit ton of burpees and swing some heavy ass kettle bells? You bet your ass I can. So in terms of internal health, I am finally starting to figure this shit out. And I am happier and more full of energy than I have ever been.

But what I was realizing was that I wasn't giving the same amount of love to myself on the outside. What do I mean by that? I mean my skin. The skin is the body's largest organ and absorbs what you put into it. Why did I never realize how important it is to know what's inside the products I use? Being aware of what of what ingredients were in my creams, my shampoos, my deodorant, my face wash...everything! I had no stinking' clue. Nobody had ever said, 'hey, you probably don't want to be using that cream. It has a buuuunch of ingredients in there that are super toxic.' -- I'd been using Herbal Essences shampoos and dove deodorant my entire life and it didn't kill me, right? What's the big deal? 

Well, here's the thing. It is a big deal. And as it turns out, I have been putting awful toxins in my body without even being aware of it for my entire life.

I found out a few years back that I could have the cancer gene. The only reason I don't know the answer to that? Well, I'm scared shitless to find out. I mean, if you could take a blood test that would tell you if you had a 75% greater likelihood of developing cancer by the time you're 60, wouldn't you be terrified to find out? Because once you know, you know. And I imagine that it would start to feel like a ticking time bomb, slowly eating away at you...your thoughts just waiting for the cancer to show it's nasty face. Am I going to get tested? Yes. Hopefully, this year actually. (Stay tuned for that) The way I see it, I'd rather know so that I can do everything in my power to prevent it than be constantly sitting in the dark. But, in the meantime, I decided to start actively using skin and beauty products that are toxin free. I'm not 100% perfect about the -- I still am working to find a shampoo that I like that doesn't leave my hair feeling perpetually greasy. 

But these products are some of the BEST I've discovered and best of all? All natural, all safe ingredients. 

** I am in no way affiliated with LUSH, I just happen to LOOOVE their products**

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The Dream Cream from LUSH

This cream is seriously the best thing I have ever invested in. The entire pot is $27.95 and it usually lasts me anywhere from 4-6 months. I grew up with seriously awful eczema on my hands, and perpetually dry skin. I tried every cream you could possibly find at the drugstore, even prescription creams from my doctor and nothing worked. The Dream Cream made my skin completely clear, smooth and soft. And it has continued to do so for the past two years. Main ingredients are oat milk, lavender, chamomile and olive oil. 

Do yourself a favor and buy this. It's a lifesaver. 

Ultrabland from LUSH

I hate washing my face. I have really dry skin and I just have never been able to find a cleanser that makes my skin feel fresh & clean but also moisturized. Enter Ultrabland from LUSH. Now I will say that this is a more recent addition to my daily regiment, but holy wow do I love this stuff. It leaves my skin feeling refreshed and my dry spots are gone. Main ingredients are almond oil, rose water, honey and beeswax. 

All Natural Soap

So this should have been a no brainer for me but for some reason it really wasn't something I started doing until I came across this bar of soap in this little store in the middle of nowhere Michigan. I read the ingredients and I was like "ahhh I understand all of these!" And there are so many stores around nowadays that carry stuff like this. So find a scent you love and go to town!

Tom's Deodorant

Tom's is one of the few brands I've found that is all natural, aluminum free AND affordable. A stick is $4.99 and they now have a bunch of different scents -- my favorite is the lavender. It took a week or so for my body to adjust to not having all of the extra crap in my previous deodorant and I was a bit smellier for it, but after that, I apply it in the morning after my showers and I'm good to go.

Mask of Magnaminty from LUSH

I have lately been ALL about Face masks. Seriously, don't know how I lived without them. Never going back. And the Mask of Magnaminty is my all-time favourite. The small pot ($13.95) is really all you need if you're only doing it once a week or so. And it smells just like mint chocolate chip ice cream -- WIN. Just don't eat it. Trust me, I tried it. Not the best decision. Main ingredients: Kaolin, honey, peppermint.

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All of this is to say, do your research & know what you're putting on your body. Read the ingredients of the things you use every day and make sure that you're being safe! You'd be surprised. Click here for an excellent article on the ingredients you should avoid. Your body will thank you, I promise!

My Soul is on Fire

Okay. I don't even know where to start here, because holy shit is my HEART and my SOUL on fire right now. I am finally doing something with my life that feels so right. My days are filled with butterflies. My heart is the happiest it's been in a LONG time and it's because I had the courage to  say yes to an amazing and life changing opportunity.

For those of you who don't know, a couple of months ago, I took a big leap of faith and decided to become a Team Independent Beachbody coach -- what does this mean? It means that I spend my days encouraging incredible & brave women to make positive changes in their lives by taking control of their health. To be the best versions of themselves -- body, mind & soul. In just my two months of coaching, I have met some of the most inspiring, courageous and genuine women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing through my Challenge Groups. Women from all walks of life who have decided to start taking care of themselves and lead a kick-ass life. And, above all, I've found my TRIBE -- my team of badass coaches who have quickly become my family. 

This past weekend, I attended the Chicago Super Saturday, which is a quarterly regional live event for coaches. I got to meet Autumn Calabrese (my celebrity trainer Girl Crush) & hear some incredibly inspirational speeches focused on leadership and personal development. It was amazing getting to be in a room full of people who share my passion and drive -- the community aspect of it all is insane. And I got to experience it all with some of my team -- ladies who I immediately click with from the get go -- it's like having instant new Besties! What could be better?

My Biggest Takeaway?

Share Your Story Because It Matters.

Yes, you. Your story. It matters. What you've been through. What you've learned through your journey in this crazy adventure we call life. No matter where you are or how far away you are from reaching your goals, you are on your way and THAT is a beautiful thing. And if there's one thing I've learned through my own adventure, it's that Sharing your successes and our struggles is so important. Blogging has been so good for keeping me accountable to keep doing just that!

So get out there and SHARE YOUR STORY. Put yourself out there. You never know who's listening that needs to know that they are not alone. Be Brave. Be Bold. And above all, Be You. 

Xo, Amanda

Why I'm treating my Resolutions Differently This Year

For years and years, I have been the ultimate goal setter. You know that friend of yours that makes a bucket list for every year and even goes so far as to do it for every month within that year? What about that girl you know who lives off list after list? Well, that's me. Or at least, was me. 

I'm a recovering goal setter. Ever since I can remember, I've been making these lists of goals at the end of every year ...Things like: run a marathon, learn how to play the guitar, lose 10 pounds... whatever I think I need to be doing in order to better my life that particular year. And when I don't complete all of the items on my list, I feel like I've somehow failed myself. 

Most people I know don't follow through on their New Years Resolutions. By March, most people can't even remember what their resolutions were! And I think that if everybody were to really search their hearts for why they made a particular resolution in the first place, most people would likely say that they felt pressured to make a decision on something or their decision was based on something that they were unhappy about. Key example : I want to lose 10 pounds. So many people have a weight related NY resolution, and while getting healthy and getting back in shape can be a very positive decision, when a goal is made on a foundation of unhappiness and frustration, it is so much harder to want to achieve it. They focus on a number on the scale and when they implement workouts into their day, the focus is "I'm not good enough" or "Why won't the number on the scale get lower?" instead of "This is making me feel so amazing". 

So this year, instead of making a list of things to accomplish that I think I should be doing, I'm going to focus on a few small things that I can do that will hep me feel the way I want.

And for me, I want to feel:

Free      -      Grounded       -       Vibrant      -       Strong       -       Joy

 

So here are my resolutions for 2016. And this year, I choose to focus on doing things for myself that allow me to feel the way I want to feel. Here goes...

+ Reconnect with my childhood self. Paint, color, play make believe, climb trees & make up stories.

+ Move my body everyday in a way that makes me feel strong, grounded and energized. I've tried every kind of exercise under the sun and I've found that I feel most alive when I am on the yoga mat or doing strength training, so I'll be focusing more on that this year!

+ Travel somewhere I've never been before. I love the feeling of exploring new places and cultures. I'm such a travel bug and I am craving a beautiful adventure.

+ Live in the now. Let go of the past. Be present, mindful and say YES to new adventures. 

 

I urge you, nay, I DARE you to set your goals this year based on how you want to FEEL. You'll be amazed at what a difference it makes in what you put to paper. So...don't be shy, sharing is caring! Post your 2016 Goals in the comments below!

Top Three Podcasts for Self-Love & General Badass-ery

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Okay.

Cat's out of the bag. I've got a confession to make....  I am a Podcast Junkie. 

I know, I know. I'm late to the podcast train. I'm sure all of you are thinking, seriously Amanda? You're just now understanding the awesomeness that is a podcast? (And if you're not thinking these things, then PREPARE FOR YOUR LIFE TO BE FOREVER CHANGED AFTER READING THIS). Well, in short. Yes. Yes I am just discovering this. And let me tell you, in the past month of being exposed to this art form, my life has changed in incredible ways. 

Now I know you're thinking...but there are so many options out there!!! How in God's name am I going to sift through all of the shit to find the hidden treasure?!!?!?!?! First off, take a deep breath, it's gonna be okay. You've come to the right place. Because chances are, if you're reading this (and have been reading my previous blog posts), you know that I'm all about authenticityself-love and being a general badass. Sound like you too? Then man oh man do I have some podcasts for you. This shit is incredible. So get ready for these to Rock. Your. World.

Here they are folks... Hold onto your hats.

 

1. The Joy Junkie

Amy E. Smith runs this podcast, with the help of her co-host, Mr. Smith (her down to earth and incredibly goofy hubby). She is a certified life coach and former actor who is unapologetically herself, which is probably why I love listening to her so much. She focuses her podcasts on positive self-talklearning how to love yourself, and how to be authentically YOU. She's sassy. She's confident. She's hilarious. She's REAL. Basically, I'm obsessed with her and I feel like she's speaking directly to me in every single episode. Chances are, you will too.

Who Would Click with This?

Women who aren't afraid to stand up for themselves. Anyone who finds dirty jokes amusing. Women searching to "find their voice". Actors. Anyone looking to live a badass joy-filled life.

Listen To

+How to Stop Talking Shit to Yourself

+ Becoming Badass: 5 Ways to Stand the Fuck Up For Yourself

2. Your Kick-Ass Life with Andrea Owen

Holy shit do I love this lady. Andrea Owen is a 40-something year old mom with two kids who has been through a lot in her life & she isn't afraid to share everything and anything with her listeners. She's honest & she's incredibly passionate about living life without apologizing for who she is. I actually discovered Amy E. Smith of The Joy Junkie by listening to Your Kick-Ass Life because guess what? They're best friends (and they only came into each others lives when they both started living authentically as themselves instead of living a life focused on constantly pleasing others and forming into the "average mold" that society has trained us to fall into). She's an award winning author and just a beautiful spirit who has been through hell and back again. It's so encouraging to hear that no matter where you are in life, living authentically is possible.

Who Would Click with This?

Perfectionists. Moms. Anyone who deals with anxiety. People who love a good laugh. Women who are afraid to live the life they were meant to live. 

Listen To

+How To Be A Badass

+What Perfectionism and a Shit Sandwich Have in Common

+You Are Enough

3. The Lively Show

I don't know how I just discovered Jess Lively but I am so glad that I did. She's this adorable Midwestern girl that is all about living life with valued based intentions & listening to her is an absolute delight. Every Thursday I have a date with her podcast & it has quickly become a weekly staple of mine. She always has such incredible people on her show to interview and I find myself nodding my head along with every episode and screaming "Yes!" to so much of what is being said. I just CLICK with her content and I love how much she mixes things up and appeals to such a diverse network of topics. Check her out - you won't be disappointed.

Who Would Click with This?

Anyone wanting to start a new business/small business owners, Creative people, Couples, Bloggers, Foodies.

Listen To

+Curiosity, Epic Self-Compassion, & Creativity

+How To Eat Intuitively During the Holidays

I hope these bring as much joy to your life as they have brought to mine. I encourage you to really listen and absorb what these women have to say. You'll be amazed at what bringing this form of thought into your life will do to increase the positivity and joy in your day to day life.

 

You still here...? What're you waiting for? Get your podcast ON!

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?

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