business, personal development, time management

Figuring Out My Priorities aka Adulting

It’s been a while since my last post; spring is always an extremely busy time for our family, my business, and life in general! I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking, soul searching, and giving myself some tough love. And maybe a few of you can relate to what I am going through, so I decided to write about it!

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So…I am a people pleaser…it’s in my blood, I have been that way my entire life. I like to help people, I like to be there for people, I like to do ALL THE THINGS! I say yes to almost everything that is asked of me. Some people might think it’s because I want people to like me, and when I was younger, yes that was probably the case. Nowadays I could honestly give a shit about what anyone thinks of me. I am super secure in who I am, I have amazing family and friends, and a great community of business acquaintances and supportive women. I just honestly like doing things with others, especially if it is interesting or helps people!

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Last month, I had a session with my energy healer, Leigh Hurst from Purposeful Living Healing Center, and I was talking to her about all the things I was involved in. On top of being a full-time mom and wife, I run my own business from home (Arbonne), I have a leadership position with my local women’s connection company (PolkaDot Powerhouse), I help run a self-care group for local moms (Mom Mondays), I am the PTO president at my son’s elementary school along with being the parent representative for the school leadership committee. I also have this blog, and I am a monthly contributor for Reno Moms Blog. Whew! So, I was talking about all of this, and letting Leigh know how I really enjoyed everything I was doing, nothing was horrible or unpleasant, but I felt unfocused and stretched too thin. She completely agreed with me and asked me if she could be truthful, which is hilarious, because I tell her she is the Truth Hammer! I said of course, cause I knew she would tell me anyways! That is why I seek out her services, because I know she will tell me the truth no matter what, no sugar coating, and sometimes you need that kick in the ass!

She told me that although I enjoyed everything I was doing, while I was talking about it all, my entire body language shifted, my energy became more positive, excitement and passion came out when I was telling her about my Arbonne business. And I know in my heart that Arbonne is my passion. Helping change others lives, whether it’s through our business opportunity, getting their health on track, changing their skin, or giving them confidence that they had either lost or never had, is THE MOST amazing thing I have ever done (besides raising my boys and loving my Mister). I just get caught up in self doubt that I am not doing enough, so I end up trying to do way too much. I was never a motivated person growing up because I was so lost and had no confidence, so now if I feel a little lull in my life, I start volunteering and saying YES TO ALL THE THINGS! Anyone relate?

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After my amazing talking session and energy/sound healing table work, I left Leigh’s shop feeling light and airy and focused! But then it was back to life, and a few days later I had such a sense of dread, because I knew that I needed to cut back on things, but I HATE disappointing others and I have a relationship with the Guilt Monster. You know the one…he SUCKS! So I put it off….and I put it off some more…and maybe a few more days…and finally, I realized I needed to put my big girl panties on, quit making up stories in my head about people being upset with me, and figure out what I needed to do so I could put my focus back into my business and my family. And really, it just needed to be small changes.

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So a few of the tough decisions I made are:

I am giving up my admin involvement in the mommy self care group, although I will be a participant for sure, because it is such an amazing offering in our community.

I am going to step down from my leadership position with PolkaDot Powerhouse, which I feel ok with, because I served for over a year and I think there are some amazing gals that should be given the opportunity to put their mark on our group.

PTO elections will be happening this month for next year, so I will be stepping down as president. Of course I will still be on the PTO, because I do love being involved with my son’s school.

As for my blogging, I am going to keep up on that, because Leigh and I agreed that writing is a form of self care for me and it helps me process my thoughts and my abundantly blessed life!

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And of course, the stories I was making up about the people who I had to “let down”, were completely false. Everyone was so supportive and understanding, which I should know because they are amazing people. And I realize that it’s not a complete goodbye to these things, it’s just a little step back so I can sharpen my laser beam focus. With summer coming up, the kids being out of school, and so many activities, I have to be extra organized and in tune with my family and clients. This will give me that extra bit of space that I needed; that breathing room that will help me be the best me to everyone!

Going forward, I will be focusing on building my business into something that will provide for my family, retire my husband, give us time freedom, and above all, help others to do the same. I’m absolutely in love with my company, even after 5 years of hills and valleys, and I have the vision of what is to come and it excites me. If you are curious about what I do or curious about our amazing products for the entire family, please fill out this awesome form! If you know anyone who may be looking for something different to do in their lives, send them my way! And if you see me in real life and hear that I am piling on a bunch of things, please call me out and slap me back to my senses!

If you are interested in learning more about Purposeful Living Healing Center, please check out Leigh’s website or Facebook page! They have amazing offerings of classes (in person and online), online blogs, meditation, retreats and other community resources along with Leigh’s amazing healing sessions! Her sessions have completely changed me as a person, and I am so grateful we have someone like her in our Reno Community!

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personal development

Hooray for Body Positivity!

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As I’ve spoken of before, I have been overweight almost my entire life. It was definitely hard to deal with in those awkward middle school years and rough high school years. I look back at photos now, and I wish I could tell that girl how beautiful she was, what she would accomplish when she got older, and how NOT FAT she was! Sure I was overweight, but NOTHING compared to what happened as I got older. I was so hard on myself, spewing hate in my mind directed at my body, wearing huge clothes to try and hide what I thought was disgusting, which in turn made me look bigger.

As I got older, in the college years (when I wasn’t going to college ha ha), I remember dressing better, but still very ashamed of myself. In romantic relationships, the lights were ALWAYS off, and I hated if my partner came anywhere near my stomach, butt or thighs. I would swat their hand away, like it would burn me if I was touched on those spots that I hated. My boyfriends, and later my amazing husband, always told me how beautiful and sexy I was, but of course, I didn’t believe it. I look back now and I’m so saddened with how I treated myself.

When I was 20, I was looking for an activity to get some exercise, because I (still to this day) HATE and CANNOT do gyms. I had always been mesmerized by the art of belly dance, so I decided to enroll in a local class. And guess what? I was really good! Slowly, my walls started coming down, as our teacher spoke of other dancers who were bigger that were amazing at what they did. They weren’t looked down upon because they had some cellulite or rolls, in fact, those rolls emphasized the amazing dance moves that they performed. I loved seeing the “bigger” girls on stage, claiming ownership of their bodies and the way they moved, not sucking in their bellies, but rather, pushing them out to show them off even more! All bodies were celebrated, because the woman’s body is a work of art, and this dance was made to show it off in such a beautiful way! It was the first step I can remember towards body positivity and I decided that I needed to be kinder to myself. During those years of dance, I was in the best shape of my life, even though I was over 200 lbs. I could isolate my muscles, roll my abs, and dance non stop for hours! Unfortunately, my teacher had some health issues and couldn’t keep teaching, and I have taken other classes around town, but it just isn’t the same as what I had with our troupe. But I will always be thankful for those years, because it started my quest to love my body, no matter what it looked like.

I gained A LOT of weight after we got married, thanks to eating like crap and partying hard. I was drinking way too much, eating a ton of fast food (Taco Bell is my weakness), and not being active at all. I ballooned to almost 300 lbs, and I even thought about surgical intervention. But even through all of that, I felt beautiful. My husband made me feel beautiful, I loved experimenting with my hair, my makeup and my clothes. As a big girl, I taught myself how to dress for my body. I was no longer trying to fit into the size I wanted to be, I accepted where I was and that if you wear clothes that fit you, you look better, no matter what size you are! And yes, I am human and I had those moments of depression because I didn’t feel good. I was so unhealthy. I couldn’t keep up with the kids I was watching as a Nanny. I watched TV ALL THE TIME! And I drank tons of booze, life of the party style!

When we decided we wanted to start a family, I kind of panicked. I had read that getting pregnant when you are overweight can be hard and the pregnancy can be difficult. I made an appointment with the OB I wanted to see (she had delivered my nephew and I fell in love with her) to get looked at and make sure all my parts were working ok despite my weight. Lo and behold, by the time that appointment rolled around, I was knocked up! My doctor laughed and said, “Well, I guess you figured out how it works!” I voiced my concerns with her and she soothed my mind, letting me know that yes, I was overweight, but if I ate healthy and took care of myself, we (the baby and I) would be fine. She never made me feel ashamed with my body and she has cheered me on through the years, which I am so thankful for in a doctor. She only wanted me to gain 15-20 lbs which scared the crap out of me, cause all my friends usually gained 30-50 lbs during their pregnancies. But with taking out the booze and eating healthier, I actually lost weight in my first trimester. I ended up gaining 12 lbs, and my big baby boy weighed 9 at birth! I embraced my pregnant body, loved my belly, took photos of it and celebrated the miracle that I was going through. Pregnancy is so crazy, you are growing a HUMAN! And I mostly felt beautiful and glowing.

In the first months after I gave birth, I struggled with post partum depression, not eating enough, not taking care of me, and I lost about 40 lbs, but it wasn’t healthy weight loss. I finally got balanced thanks to medication and counseling; I started to come out of my cocoon and I really liked how my body looked, but then old habits crept back in and I gained some back. The period between my first and second son was rough; I was putting all my energy into my family and not taking care of myself. And I lost my confidence. My once smooth, yet big stomach was now covered in stretch marks and loose skin. My breasts were ginormous and uncomfortable. Pregnancy changes your body and it’s hard to accept those changes. I ended up doing the stupid HCG diet, killing myself to lose some weight, zapping any energy I had, hair falling out, I looked like death! And gained it all back, my usual MO.

I decided that enough was enough, I wasn’t going to torture myself anymore with diets and crazy things, and I was going to accept my body and love it where it was. My body gave birth to two humans, it has carried me through 29 (at that time) years, and after being completely insulted by a new doctor (pretty much fat shamed me my entire appointment), when my blood work came back, I was actually very healthy for my weight. And it’s interesting when you let go, and let God/The Universe/The Goddess whatever higher power you believe in. When I gave up the struggle, the best program ever entered my life and I taught myself a different lifestyle. I lost weight in a healthy, manageable way. Crazy to think that if you eat real food and get rid of the processed crap that you will get healthy and lose weight! Who’d have thunk it?

I ran across a People Magazine with a woman named Tess Holiday on the cover. She is the first size 22 super model, and holy hell, she was GORGEOUS! I loved her message of accepting and loving your body, no matter what, whether you are fat, skinny, white, black, curly hair, straight hair, crooked teeth, trans, gay, albino whatever! She started a movement called #EFFYourBeautyStandards on Instagram and I loved it. She inspired me to buy my first bikini since high school and rock it all summer long! When my mindset changed, the weight came off easier, especially after really learning how to eat in a different way and supplement my body with the things it needs.

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I look at myself today and I can honestly say that I LOVE what I see! Loose skin, saggy boobs, floppy stomach and all! I will keep going with my weight loss journey, NOT because of my looks, but for health reasons. I want to be the healthiest I can be for my family, teach my boys healthy habits, and be able to participate in all their activities without feeling like I am going to die. That is the important part!

When I am coaching others in our program, I definitely come across the hateful comments towards their bodies, and I get it, I have been there. But I try to help them stay positive and learn to love things about themselves. When friends put themselves down in front of me, I shut that shit down! If you talked to someone else the way that you talk to yourself, would that person be hurt? Or would they be thankful for a positive supportive person in their lives? Don’t compare yourself to others, comparison is the thief of joy! I share my story, not to brag, but to show them that you can do anything and you can change your mindset, no matter how low you are. Even if you have to fake it for a while, eventually you will start believing in yourself. If I can do it, anyone can!

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If you are having a hard time with something about your looks (whether it’s weight, or anything else), I really want you to sit down, get quiet, and come up with 5 things you love about yourself. Also, give your body gratitude for the things that it does for you. It carries you through your day, it breathes, it helps you succeed in life. Give it thanks and love and I promise that the more you do that, the easier it will be to accept it and move forward with your journey. Don’t let these hang ups bar you from living the life that you want to live. I missed out on a lot when I was at my heaviest, not because my body couldn’t do things, but because I was ashamed or embarrassed. Don’t go one more day doing that to yourself! You are an amazingly wonderful being of light and beauty, and you were created for a purpose, not for what you look like!

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