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How to Overcome the Effects Of An Abusive Relationship

If you’re like me, you have had the tendency to seek out things that are not good for you. Maybe it’s the challenge of it all, maybe there is a slight immaturity to want what you can’t have like a toddler in the candy aisle, or maybe it’s to seek validation from someone who won’t give it.

Either way, here we are. Trying to figure out how to deal with the outcome. First, I think it is important to talk about what you SHOULD look for in relationships, whether platonic or romantic:

1). Respect.

What you want, baby they better have it. Without respect, your relationship will never be what it could. I mean this in all aspects. You should not be around someone who is constantly trying to find your flaws or doesn’t genuinely support your dreams without judgement. These people are toxic.

2). Trust.

You guys, I cannot stress this enough. If you do not trust someone, do not be around them. The amount of mental energy it takes to be around these people is simply not worth it. The never knowing if they mean what they say, the curiosity of how often they talk about you behind your back while saying the opposite to your face….again, toxic. This applies to your romantic relationships as well. If someone is not respecting the fact that you have a s/o and is trying to make sexual advances, they also are not respecting you. Time to say peace out to them whether it’s easy or not.

3). Honesty.

This kind of ties in with trust, but this is important enough to get it’s own section. I don’t know about you, but gone are the days that I am willing to wonder if someone isn’t talking to me anymore because of something I said or did, or if they “were asleep”. That is such a small, seemingly unimportant example, but it starts there and just continues to grow. However, I will put a disclaimer that if you expect honesty, you also have to be 100% honest yourself.

The road to healing:

If you have been in an abusive relationship, you view the world differently. Where previously there was a lot of restriction on personal expression, now there is not. And not only is that okay, but that is wonderful.

At this point you were taught to feel invalid. You were constantly broken down to the point where your self confidence is all but non existent. This creates a chain reaction to other areas of your life where you are afraid to try new things, you develop a belief that you have to keep feelings to yourself, and when it comes down to what you want to do with your life, you’re faced with uncertainty.

Here are my top tips:

1). Find someone you TRUST to talk to about how you’re feeling. In your previous abusive relationship, your emotions were probably often dismissed and you need to get that out.

2). Take care of yourself. You have to respect your mind and body to be able to heal. Drink water, get enough sleep, develop a workout routine. This will create a belief that you do deserve good treatment from yourself and from others.

3). Reflect and forgive. I’m going to be honest with you, I am still working on this. To be able to reflect and examine your past, you almost have to relive it and sometimes that is too much….but this MUST be done to move forward. If it helps, I recommend setting aside a time of day to allow yourself to think. This way it doesn’t become a constant battle throughout the day and you are mentally prepared to do what you have to do.

4). Let yourself feel everything. YOUR EMOTIONS ARE VALID. If you don’t eventually let yourself feel them, you will never let go and you will never grow. Let yourself cry, talk to that person you trust, or write it down. Writing has been my favorite outlet out of all of these.

“In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” – Deepak Chopra

Have you been in an emotionally distant/abusive relationship? What helped you?

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The Moments That Define A Woman: A Thank You Letter.

It was every time I was told to change my clothes because I was showing too much skin.

Every time I tattooed something on my body and got disapproving comments.

Every time I got a piercing.

Every time someone made a comment about my shorts being too short.

Every time someone told me my butt was small. Or my breasts.

Being told to wear lipstick at work.

Being told to wear tight clothes to interviews.

The guys that told me they loved me when all they wanted was sex.

Being told how I should handle my pregnancy.

Men touching my bump and asking if I was married.

My friendliness being taken for being flirtatious.

Being blamed for sexual advances.

These moments defined who I was, caused me to not value my self worth. Thank you.

These moments have shown me that our society is broken. Women are expected to be quiet and polite. To cover up and be good wives and mothers. We are taught that we are our roles as a gender, not individuals.

I can not tell you how many times I have been put in uncomfortable situations and conversations and have been afraid to speak up to stop it. Not anymore.

This year, I decided to take back who I am. To be who I am without societal pressures, without other’s opinions.

“Other people’s opinion of you is none of your business” – Rachel Hollis.

I decided to take hold of my happiness.

Before you jump to conclusions, I believe most men are wonderful people. The good men in my life have helped me become stronger, more confident, and resilient.

What I challenge you to consider is this: who would you be if you weren’t under the societal pressure of conforming to what is normal?

When you look in the mirror, do you put makeup on for yourself? Are you wearing those tight jeans for yourself? Did you change out of the low cut top because YOU wanted to or because you weren’t sure how people would react?

My instinct is to question how I’m viewed. I don’t want to put makeup on, but what will my customers think of me? This year, every time that happens, I will fight to do what I WANT. If someone makes me uncomfortable, I will let them know. I deserve this.

I challenge you all to do the same.

#everydaysexism #effyourbeautystandards

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How Anxiety Makes Me Feel Like I Always Have to Be the Best.

I have been in a constant state of self reflection lately. New experiences and new levels of relationships often test you in ways you didn’t realize were necessary. I am writing this in hopes that nobody can relate, but realistically knowing that a lot of you will.

On the outside, I seem like a very put together person. I have a husband/partner of 8 years, a 1yr old daughter, we own our home, and both have good jobs. I always did well in school. I made the Dean’s List in college, I always made A’s in my classes. I have always excelled at any job I wanted to. I’ve been able to do these things because of anxiety.

In my mind, I am incapable of failure. Anything less is simply unacceptable. It’s to the point where I refuse to participate in things that I think I will not be good at. When I see a problem at work, I spend hours playing with all possible solutions and scenarios until I come up with the right one.

Nobody is surprised when I succeed. Actually, I would say that people expect it.

You may ask why I’m implying that anxiety is negative. After all, it drove me to success in all areas of my life.

My mind doesn’t stop. It is exhausting. My husband gave an example a few days ago: “You’re always analyzing. I can touch your hand, and you’re wondering why I did that at that moment.” So accurate.

I have tried to downplay anxiety’s role in my life, but not acknowledging it has actually caused it to grow. I second guess every decision I make. I question my own character. In the name of complete transparency, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve told myself “I hate who you are” in the past few months.

Lately, I have wanted so badly to get out of this mindset. I want to just not care about anything FOR ONCE. I want to not feel an incessant desire to always be perfect. I actually would love to just completely screw up and not care. I want to sleep until noon, I want to not care about my exercise routine, or how I eat. I would love to be late to something and not have my heart racing the whole way there.

What’s more annoying is that I realize it when it’s happening. I can rationalize with myself and tell myself that how I’m feeling is unnecessary, but all it does is cause another mental battle. Problems go unresolved and if I’m not thinking about them, I’m dreaming about them.

I say all of this because I am slowly realizing a few things.

1). I probably need to seek professional help.

2). I need to remind myself more often that it is OKAY to not be everything to everyone.

3). I need to be kinder to myself. We are what our thoughts are and I’m not always good at being positive.

4). I need to rely on the people I trust. I keep so much to myself and it’s unhealthy.

This year I am choosing to grow. I need to stop thinking that I have to be self reliant. I refuse to hold myself back and I insist that I find balance.

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How To Set Goals and Achieve Them: Part II

If you have been keeping up with my blog, you know that 2018 has been about finding the best version of myself. Let me tell you, it has been WORK. Constant doubt, pushing myself out of my comfort zone, wanting to take the easy way out. It isn’t easy. This process has taken me to some of the best books I’ve ever read and listened to some of the best speakers I’ve ever heard. Know what’s interesting? They all say pretty much the same thing. In my How To Set Goals and Achieve Them post, I talked about steps to take to be more successful. In this post, I want to go more into detail about what these steps look like.

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It seems that through all of my studying, there is almost a pattern to success. Of course the details change from person to person, but from everything I’ve read or listened to, they all agree on these 6 things:

  1. Write Down Your Goals. I talked about this in my last post, but it was such a constant theme that I wanted to say it again. Writing down your goals gives you a constant reminder of what you truly want to accomplish. It is so easy to get into the mediocre routine of life and lose focus. Seeing your goals daily will help you by letting you remember what you told yourself you wanted when you felt most motivated for change.
  2. Keep A Journal. Rachel Hollis, Michael Hyatt, John Maxwell, and may others stress the importance of this practice. In your journal, you should be keeping track of a few things: your weekly goals, your daily goals,  5 things you are thankful for each day, and your biggest wins at the end of each week. Sometimes it’s hard to see progress. You keep moving forward and forget how far you have come. Keeping a journal will not only keep you on track, but will motivate you by helping you see progress. My favorite journal is the Full Focus Journal from Michael Hyatt (https://fullfocusjournal.com/  <–buy it here). It breaks down everything for you and keeps your daily journaling simple and organized.
  3. Have A Routine. Like you will see in the Full Focus Journal, there is a morning routine and an evening routine. Your morning routine should be setting your goals for each day, and your evening routine should be a reflection of the day followed up with some kind of winding down. For example, my morning routine is: make coffee, read my Bible for 10mins, decide my big 3 daily goals, and workout.
  4. “Hope is not a strategy”. This quote is serious. I first heard it this morning while listening to Rachel Hollis’ Instagram live video and it inspired me so much that I had to include it here. She ends up saying that she read it in John Maxwell’s book “15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”. Anyway, she goes on to say that you can not hope success into existence. She said that is like saying “oh I hope I get healthier” and then never taking action to get there. You can not hope your way into success. You have to put in the work.
  5. Find your gap. John Maxwell talks about success gaps that keep you from your goals. There are 8, but I will share the 2 that resonate with me most heavily. The Perfection Gap. This one is what holds me back more than anything else. Sometimes I can’t get myself to start anything because before I start, I want everything to be perfect. Maxwell explains that to be able to be perfect, you must first start. Mind blown. The Comparison Gap. This is where you compare yourself to more successful people so often that it breaks you down mentally and keeps you from making progress. The advise is to take a page out of Nike’s book and “Just Do It”. Maxwell says you can only learn if others are ahead of you.
  6. Commit. I will be the first to admit that I am the most impatient person I know. The advice I’ve heard over and over again is that you have to commit to your goals. Success is not born overnight. Walt Disney was fired at age 22 for “not being creative enough”. Oprah was told that she was “unfit for television news”. JK Rowling was fired from her secretary job and lived on welfare. She described it by saying, “I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded and I was a jobless alone parent and as poor as it was possible to be in Britain without being homeless.” Can you imagine if these people were not committed to their goals? The world would be a much different place.

Do you practice any of these steps? How have they helped you accomplish your goals? Let me know in the comments!

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Mexican Style Lettuce Wraps

I don’t know about you, but I am always curious to see what other fit people are eating. I used to get so frustrated because people would only post their workouts. While that is extremely helpful to those new to fitness, it’s not enough for me! Food is your fuel and I want to know how you’re fueling your body to get it to look like that.

This is why I always post recipes on my instagram (fit.asamother). The one I made today was just made from whatever I already had in the fridge and it turned out to be delicious! So here it is: Mexican Style Lettuce Wraps.

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients:

2 large chicken breasts, baked

1/2 cup of mild rotel

1/2tsp chili powder

1/2tsp cumin

1/2tsp onion powder

1/4tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup of black beans

Head of romaine lettuce

Optional garnishes: cheese, hot sauce, and/or salsa.

Directions:

Chop the chicken into very small pieces. I used a food processor. Put the chicken, spices, and rotel in a Pam sprayed pan until it starts to brown. Take your lettuce and rip off individual pieces of Romaine to use almost as a bowl. Place black beans in romaine lettuce, followed by chicken mixture. I added hot sauce and cheese to mine but thats up to you! 1 serving fit into 4 pieces of Romaine for me.

And that’s it! Super easy recipe and delicious! Let me know how it is in the comments!

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Why I Became A Beachbody Coach

I remember when I first started using Beachbody programs and people made SO MANY JOKES, “what do you do? Just dance in front of your television?”, “Julia can’t eat anything but broccoli because she’s trying to get a ‘beach body'”.

Here’s the thing, I am the first person to call BS on ANYTHING…..but these programs have truly changed my whole lifestyle. I went from laughing when my husband asked me to workout with him to …..actually wanting to workout. Daily.

Here are a few reasons why I believe in Beachbody:

1). The meal plans are NOT a diet. This is what got me first. If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know how I feel about dieting. Long story short, I hate it. Anyway, Beachbody uses a portion control system and gives you TONS of options of what to eat, just not overeat. I honestly didn’t know I was overeating (…which I should have because I would easily eat a bag of potato chips on my own, but…let’s not dwell on that)! It also gives you categories of food that you have to eat each day. It made me realize that I did not eat enough fruits, vegetables, or even healthy fats.

2). It improved my mental health. I believe that a lot of people that have weight issues struggle with their mental health. I, for one, have always turned to food as a source of comfort when things went wrong. As a recovering perfectionist….a lot always seemed to go wrong. Working out is not just about changing your body, it truly changes your mind. I never thought I could lift weights. I never thought I could do push ups or have definition in my arms and abs. You may have heard the phrase, “your body achieves what your mind believes” – it’s true! Say you won’t, you can’t. Say you can, you WILL. Working out has proved that I can do things that I thought I couldn’t.

3). Workout plans for all levels. Most people think of Beachbody and think of INSANITY and P90x. While those are great workout programs, they are INTENSE. I definitely could not have done those back when I was using 2lb weights for bicep curls. They have HUNDREDS of workouts ranging from yoga to kickboxing…and you can do them anywhere! My favorite spot right now is in my kitchen.

Have you ever thought that you couldn’t workout because it just isn’t the time? You want to get your eating right first or join a gym and try a few smaller workouts? I’m here to tell you to stop the excuses. There is no time like right now. Imagine where you could be 3 months from now if you start today. If I can do this, anyone can.

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Dieting vs. Lifestyle Changes

appetite apple close up delicious
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

People are so used to using the term “diet”. I hate that word. It implies so much. It implies that you restrict yourself, that you stress out about social gatherings because they might not have something that fits into your points system, or that your relationship with food is like that bad boyfriend that you want to leave, but you don’t because you keep hoping he will eventually have something to offer you.

Because that’s what diets are. They aren’t sustainable. How long can you keep saying no to your favorite beer because your diet doesn’t allow it? A few months maybe? But then what typically happens is when you FINALLY allow yourself to have that Blue Moon, you binge. “Well, I’m already drinking beer so I might as well get those mozzarella sticks too”…

This is how we create an unhealthy relationship with food. Diets allow food to control our lives. It’s a constant cycle of restriction, bingeing, and guilt.

“Eat to live, and not live to eat.” – Benjamin Franklin

The key to breaking the “whatever, I’m getting cheese fries” cycle is all about changing your mindset. Here are some keys tips on how to do that:

  1. Instead of thinking about how much you want cake but can’t have it, think instead about how you will feel after eating it. Will you eat it and feel energetic after, or will you feel bloated and lethargic?
  2. Instead of dieting, change your bad habits. I have always driven long distances for work and often times was required to travel. To cope with boredom, I would always get a soda for the drive. Then I realized that every time I get in the car, I want a drink with me even if it’s a 10min drive. Since I noticed that, I go for water or black coffee.
  3. Eat what you want, just don’t overeat. There was a book that came out years ago called “I Can Make You Thin”. The whole concept was if you want mac and cheese, eat mac and cheese! But the second you feel that hunger pang go away, stop. That could be 3 bites, but you stop after that 3 bites.
  4. Drink lots of water. I feel like this is in every healthy living post, but there’s a reason. The recommended amount of water is half your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 200lbs, drink 100oz of water. It is an appetite suppressant, boosts your metabolism, and cleanses your body of waste.

What are some of your unhealthy habits that you need to break and how can you change them?