Client Case Study – One Year Progress

 

This is a post about a very successful client of mine. She just finished up her one year check-ins with me. She changed so much physically, but she is one who has done the work mentally as well. She will have all the habits and behaviors she learned along with the way and I have no doubt that she did the work in order to keep the weight off. She is an amazing human as well. This is my client – Michele

Case Study – Michele Johnson – North Dakota

This client came to me at 40 years of age at the end of April, 2020. Her official start date was May 5, 2020. She was tired all the time. She weighed 235 pounds and wanted to have the energy she had before her thyroid problems. She was frustrated and sick of feeling like crap. She had been limiting her carbs to no more than 40 grams per day and had been also doing Intermittent Fasting. She felt stuck. She felt like she was just spinning her wheels and couldn’t get any results. She was beyond frustrated and ready to make some changes in order to get her health back. 

From the information I received from her, I calculated her macro information and provided her those numbers. We started tracking all macros and she realized how inconsistent her eating had been. It was tough for her at first because she had not eaten this much food for many, many years. It was new and it was a little bit scary. The mindset work was huge for her. Knowing that because she was going to be eating more food and not gaining weight was a big lightbulb moment. She was already getting plenty of steps in on the daily with her busy job. She was itching to get in some kind of strength training. This was a huge dial mover for her as she felt she had lost a lot of muscle after her thyroid was removed. By implementing the macros and the strength training she realized how much the strength training and the consumption of protein helped to change the shape of her body. She did the work everyday. She planned her days and she planned her meals. She wanted to be as accurate as she possibly could. 

The scale was a mind challenge for her, as it is with most of us. I encouraged her to look at the bigger picture. We started focusing on other things, such as strength and performance goals. The -being in it for the long haul- is something that can be very scary, because of the diet mentality. That usually means a 30 day program and done. This is not that. This is eliminating the yo-yo dieting. This is being able to eat what you want so you don’t feel that deprivation. Every week during her checkins there was always something new she noticed. There was always something she was holding herself accountable for. Many times it was the shock of being able to enjoy foods that she previously considered off limits.

During the process she had major surgery and even though she was afraid of not being able to get in any activity, I encouraged her to keep sticking to her macros as closely as she could, one because her body would need the calories in order to heal and two because I wanted her to see that she could still eat, not be able to workout, and let her body heal. There was no strict deficit here. She needed to heal.  She put her trust in herself and in me. 

When she felt stuck, we went through strategies she could adopt in order to get things moving again. Sometimes that was hanging out for a while without a deficit, sometimes it was doing protein and calories and not all the macros. Sometimes it was employing patience and knowing it was okay not to have a loss sometimes. 

This client has been with me one year. This process has been nothing short of amazing. At 12 weeks she was down 22 pounds and was getting stronger and stronger. Whenever she felt like she was slipping back into her old self she would tell herself that it was harder being unhealthy, overweight and feeling like crap everyday. At week 22 she was feeling all the non-scale victories. She realized how much weight training has changed her body. She loved that it was okay to ask questions and she loved that she got a part in how we went forward with her plan. She has been enjoying foods with zero guilt. These are foods that she previously considered off limits. Week 40 was a huge milestone for her. CANCER FREE. Direct quote, “I am just loving life right now, even in the cold.” She has been building habits that will stay with her for the long haul. She has been watching her family eating better too. At week 42 she hit a running record. At week 44, she hit another running record and said how much she really likes prepping her food because it takes the thought out of everything. At week 50 she has lost 58 pounds and almost 10 inches off her waist. As you can see though, she has grown way beyond what the scale says. She has done all the mindset work. She has done the behavior change. She has built the resilience needed to succeed. She has consistently made the choices that make her proud. 

At week 52 – one year of coaching this client made her goal. She had a few days this week where she was at 175 on the scale. Unbelievable. She lost 60 pounds in one year. She lost over 10 inches off her waist. She did the work. She put in the time and she changed her life. She decided she was worth it and she went and grabbed the possibility of what her life could look like 60 pounds later. It’s not even the weight. It’s the changes made inside that I am most proud of with her. She has been running virtual races and doing strength workouts and is improving day after day after day. I am so proud of her. 

The following is a quote from Michele – 

“I wanted to become healthier, stronger and lose weight, did I think it was possible, hell no but you changed all that. I astonished my thyroid Dr at my yearly check up with my health and am now on a normal dose of meds.  I am stronger as in I can go up 5 flights of stairs without blinking or needing an oxygen mask and jog a solid 2.75 miles without needing to stop. And the kicker is that I did lose weight. I have proved everyone wrong that says they can’t lose weight because of thyroid problems, hormonal problems, or having too much stress. I listened and trusted in you Peggie and you helped me to prove all of them wrong. You are a kick ass coach! I will never forget you and how you helped me. Thank you again!!!!”

Why Can’t Apples Be Purple

Imagine yourself in Kindergarten.

Imagine the excitement. 

The first real school experience.

Away from your parents. 

Away from bothers and sisters

Nervous

Excited

Scared

Anxious

All those feelings being felt in a giant ball in your tummy. At that age do we know what it is to want to fit in? Can we tell if someone doesn’t like us? I can’t remember. 

In Kindergarten we are coming into our personalities and things that make us happy and things that make us sad. We are starting to be more independent and we are building our confidence.

This is a critical age. 

Words matter. Actions matter. 

Kindergarten is fun. It’s where social behaviors are learned. It’s where fun things are learned. 

The alphabet. The numbers. The drawing. The coloring. 

Words matter. Actions matter. 

So now imagine yourself sitting at your tiny table in your tiny chair in your big classroom. The teacher gives everyone a piece of paper and gives instructions to color the apple that is printed on the paper. 

Now imagine, you are loving life and you are loving being in school. You are unique. Nobody is the same as you. You are excited to color your apple. You start to color your apple purple! 

The teacher is walking around checking on everyone’s coloring. The teacher gets to yours. 

Words matter. Actions matter. 

In front of the whole class, the teacher snatches up your piece of paper. The teacher proclaims that apples are green, red or yellow. Apples are NOT purple. Imagine the shame you feel. Imagine how your feelings were quashed. Imagine how your creativity was stunted. Your confidence was crushed. You shriveled. 

Words matter. Actions matter. 

Imagine the trauma. But you may be thinking, how could that be even remotely traumatic for a child? Then let me ask you this. Why would that child remember that event years and years and years later? Because it was traumatic for that child.

Those words and those actions formed something in that child. That child now is constantly seeking reassurance about decisions that may seem easy enough for us, but are a huge struggle for this child. That child struggles with confidence. That child struggles to be unique. Those words and actions carried over into that child’s adult life. 

Words matter. Actions matter. 

Stop crushing a child’s creativity. Stop crushing a child’s feelings and emotions. Stop crushing a child’s confidence. Think about your words. Think about your actions. Color your apples purple. 

Do You NEED A Goal?

Do you even really need a goal?  Can you make progress without a goal or goals? 

Do you feel like if you don’t have a goal you can’t make any progress? What say you?

I say you can make progress without goals. 

But what is a goal? A goal is a noun. Yes, I think I’m funny.

By definition a goal is: 

the end toward which effort is directed 

So a goal is something we work towards. The outcome of our effort. Something we want to achieve. Well Peggie, don’t you think we need that when we are trying to accomplish something? Sure, but do you really need it? 

Are you doomed if you don’t have a goal? Are you doomed if you don’t have all the ways you are going to get to that goal, because by God, you are going to do it this time. You told yourself this is the last time you are going to go on a diet. You sat down and wrote down all the things and checked all the boxes and filled in all the lines. You got this. It’s there on the paper. Right there. 

Think about it. What if you just did the things you know you should be doing? How many times have you said to yourself, “I know what I should do.” What if you just did those things most of the time? Do you think you could get away from the diet atmosphere and the punishing yourself 30 days to fat loss challenges? Do you think you would feel better knowing you didn’t have to take away all the food you love and kill yourself in the gym with cardio? Exercise is supposed to make us feel better and get stronger, not make us feel like shit because we are trying to punish ourselves for what we ate. 

When it comes to fitness and fat loss people often think more is better. By more being better, I mean more activity. That is not necessarily the case. BUT, whenever you hear someone say they want to lose weight, and by weight they mean fat, the first thing they go to is more activity. It’s just crazy. So many times the last resort for people is changing the diet. Because in their minds they think food has to be become super restrictive. They think they need to eat nothing but chicken breast and broccoli. That thinking and acting usually backfires. Spoiler alert, restriction comes wrapped in foods that aren’t fun and don’t taste the greatest either. 

If people would do less of the things they think they need to do, such as more burpees, and more cardio and more food restrictions, more calorie restriction and more cleanses and also maybe stop looking for the hacks and the tricks that make things easier they might realize it takes time and consistency to see results. So if you get consistent with those things you know you “should” be doing, you will probably run into some pretty awesome results. When you stop restricting your food and stop depriving yourself so much, you might notice that every single weekend you aren’t going crazy and eating and drinking all the things. 

If you allow yourself to have these things it can go a long way in seeing some progress. Not just physical, but mental and emotional as well. I don’t know about you, but I love pizza and I love bagels and pasta. I don’t eat them all the time, but I eat them. I don’t restrict myself. If there is something I have been craving, I work it into my day and if I can’t work it into my day, I will work it in the next day. 

But Peggie, you’ve been doing this for forever. That’s how you learn. New things can be hard and new things can be overwhelming. That’s part of learning. I bet if you played an instrument, it took you longer than a month to be good at it. That’s the same with our health. It takes patience and consistent practice. 

When you stop listening to all the noise out there and start doing the simple things, amazing things begin to happen. People don’t want to believe that though. They think it has to be hard. They think it has to be complicated. It really doesn’t. 

Don’t you think there is an easier way? A way that doesn’t keep us on the diet roller coaster and constantly has us playing the shame game. If your goal is to lose fat, maybe try some of the things you know you should be doing instead of the shiny objects that never work. 

So do you want to know that I think the things are that you should be doing? And my no means should you go all in and change everything at once. You can take baby steps. These are the things I encourage: Emphasize protein, Eat more fruits and vegetables, get at least 7 hours of sleep every night, reduce your stress, walk every day, strength train (especially women – get after it), drink water and learn how to let shit go. 

So, I think you don’t need a concrete goal in order to lose fat. I think you need more habits and behavior change. Start doing something and you can be well on your way to seeing changes in your body and in your mind. So make some effort. Invest your time in getting a little bit better every day. 

I’m Just Here For The Buzz

I’m Just Here For The Buzz

That’s the feeling I wanted. That’s what I chased. I didn’t like feeling out of control or past the buzz point. But then the dilemma was how to keep just enough buzz without moving past it. It was a fine line. That last one was always too much. No matter how much I knew better. 

If you get my emails or see my social media accounts, you may know that I have not had an alcoholic beverage in a while. It’s actually been 913 days. So, yeah, a while. 

I really don’t ever think about it much anymore. Not drinking is just part of my life right now It doesn’t serve a purpose for me. It was fun, but it was getting to where I was questioning why I was drinking or if I was trying to numb something or if I was just using it to cope with life. I was starting to think about it all the time. It was the – oh, I can’t wait to get off work so I can have a glass of wine – thoughts.  And then the reward thoughts. The if I get my workout in then I can have wine. Or sometimes I ditched the workout altogether and just started in on the wine. 

It also wasn’t doing my health any favors. I was drinking sometimes every night. And then I would tell myself, okay, I’m just going to drink this weekend, and not drink during the week. That would last for a few weeks, sometimes a month. And then I would be right back at it again. It was getting dumb. I would buy a couple bottles of wine for the weekend. But if I had too much of one, that would not leave enough for the rest of the weekend so I would have to go buy more. That was the part for me that was starting to feel really out of control. So I did something about it. I told myself I was going to stop. I needed to check myself. I needed to see if I could do it. 

The more it was becoming normalized all over social media, the more I was getting sick of it. You couldn’t go look on someone’s Facebook page without there being pictures of people drinking. It was in your face everywhere. 

It was being normalized for women to think they couldn’t make it through their day if there wasn’t wine for later. Society was telling us we couldn’t deal with life without wine. Wine time and mommy juice were becoming normal terms. People thought it was funny. It can be, but when it starts to rule your thoughts and your behaviors, then it’s time to take a closer look. 

If you wonder if you drink too much or if you have a drinking problem, you might drink too much and you might have a problem. Isn’t that usually how we start to wonder if something is not quite right in our lives? We wonder why we keep doing what we do. 

We deep down know, but we deep down don’t want to admit. We tell ourselves everything is fine. We still function. We still get up and go to work. We aren’t in jail and we are just having fun. I got tired of burning off the morning fog with caffeine. I got tired of the puffy face and tired eyes. I got tired of feeling like shit all the time. 

When that fun turns into day drinking, and every night drinking and all the weekends drinking and looking for the most amazing flavored vodka drinking, there might be a problem.

But, who the fuck am I to tell you that? There is no right or wrong choice for you. It’s just your choice. I don’t care if you drink. I have a lot of friends that drink and I still love every single one of those friends and can still have fun when I am with them, even if I don’t drink. That’s my choice and I don’t look at anyone who drinks any differently that someone who doesn’t. 

You have to decide how you live your life. Every six months or so, I reevaluate my choice to not drink. I don’t know if I will drink again, but right now I feel really solid in my decision. 

I don’t miss anything. In fact, I love going out and being sober. I love not having to worry if I will be able to drive home or if my husband is going to drive home. I love not having to make the wine decision on a Saturday afternoon, because I might still need to drive somewhere later. I really don’t miss it. I love not feeling like shit anymore. I’m still funny, whether I’m drinking or not. And I still have fun. So for now, I will be sticking to my alcohol free life. 

Pressure Perfect

Pressure Perfect

I’ve been wondering again. I’ve told you before. I wonder about a lot of different things. Lately it’s been pressure. The pressure we put on our kids, or the pressure we put on ourselves. The pressures our parents put on us. What kind of pressure? 

The be good enough pressure. The comparison pressure. The get out in the real world pressure. Pressure, pressure and more pressure. All that pressure. It starts with our kid selves and just keeps building to our adult selves. Sports, grades, careers, life. 

So the next thing I started wondering about is how pressure affects people. What effect is it having? What makes a person more resilient to pressure? Is it the way their brain is wired? How does one person let crap just roll off their back, when another one obsesses over what someone said to them or about them. One moves on, one doesn’t. 

How does one person crack under it and the other doesn’t? What kinds of coping mechanisms do people use to deal with the pressure? Look at all those question marks. It’s crazy. I get in a loop and my mind just keeps going through the questions. I can’t help it. 

I feel like I am pretty well put together as far as not letting stress and pressure get to me. But why? Am I more resilient and more apt to be able to deal with pressure? Some people numb it. Some people turn to alcohol, or drugs or food or over spending. 

I think those numb -ers  can be in all of us. Sometimes the numb feels better than living with the pressure. Sometimes the numb is a way out. So many people have a fixed mindset instead of a growth mindset. When we have a fixed mindset we feel like we can’t improve. However, when we have a growth mindset, we think our intelligence, our talents and our abilities can be developed. We can overcome obstacles with effort, strategies and help from others. We can become more resilient. 

In fact, I am a big fan of using kid friendly books and psychology ideas to help my nutrition clients. I think it is super important because so many of us did not learn how to cope with our big emotions, our big feelings and our big pressures. So many times we are so concerned about pleasing others that we forget to be curious about ourselves and to learn about ourselves. We don’t even know ourselves. 

Aimlessly drifting or moving with purpose. Which was is the right way? Back to that pressure. The trick here is to make sure that if you are moving with purpose, you are moving with YOUR purpose. The goals you want to pursue, not your parents, not your teachers, not your spouse, not anyone, but you. “What you get my achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” Zig Ziglar

I think a main component of alleviating some of the immense pressure that is our lives, is to make sure to have the support of others. This can make life and those pressures a lot more easy to handle. It’s too hard to do things alone. The feelings of disappointing people can be huge. 

The pressure can be overwhelming. The numb – ers can be overwhelming. A few things that can help with the pressure is to ask yourself some questions when you are feeling overwhelmed. Ask yourself if you got enough sleep. Ask yourself if you got some movement in in the last few days. And ask yourself if you asked anyone for help. Finds some support. Talk to a friend, a mentor anyone whose advice you trust. 

Maybe check in with your kid once in a while and talk to them. Check in with yourself and see how your pressure is going. Check in with friends and other people you know. Ask questions. 

We all need a friend. And we all need to be able to ask for help. Do it sooner, rather than later, because sometimes, later is too late. 

Life is short, time is fast

We don’t get a replay and we don’t get a rewind. Life IS short and time IS fast.

A classmate. Gone too soon.

A shock to so many. Life changes in an instant. The time. Her time.

We tend to think we will stay young and invincible forever. Common thinking.

It’s hard to put into words what I am thinking and what I am feeling. We never know when our time is coming. But when it does, it does.

We were the kind of friends that if we saw each other on the street we would definitely recognize each other. Classmates and kid friends, junior high and high school. Touch was lost, but information was available. Kids’ lives and social. Proud parent moments. Times not forgotten. Memories made.

We only get one life. The impact can be considerable. The significance and the difference made to people’s lives. She did that. She was a giver.

She made a difference. She helped people. The calling was strong and the work was hard.

We are getting to the point in our lives when nothing is certain. The later parts of our lives when things just seem a little bit more special and friendships seem a little bit more meaningful. When family seems a lot more important and the time should be savored and cherished.

I will always remember going to Paula’s house and playing for hours and hours. I pray that her family and friends remember the good times and hold her close in their hearts. Rest In Peace Paula Adam-Burchill. You will be missed.

 

 

Let’s leave nothing for later…

The funny stuff is here at the beginning. The not so funny stuff gradually builds. The sad kicks in and the feelings start feeling.

#1

Sometimes I wonder about things. Today was such a day. I had a few things. My socks were one of them. Have you sen the socks that have the R and the L stitched on them? Do they think I don’t know my right and left? But more importantly, why the hell would that matter with socks? Does it matter? I don’t think so, but my rule following brain will not let me switch them. I just can’t do it. Even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t are able to. Crazy, But true, for me. 

#2

The next thing I wondered about was why women do this. I don’t think I have seen men do it, but they might. I just haven’t come across it. Women will post a picture on FB or IG and then go about making their point and then say this: 

Excuse the sweat

Excuse the mess

Excuse the pajama pants

Excuse my 3 day hair

Excuse the no make-up

Excuse the toys all over the place

Excuse my….

Excuse the ….

Why do we say these things. Shame?  Embarrassment? Or just because we feel we need to? I don’t know. I hate how women make excuses for things. Just stop. You don’t need to excuse anything. You showed up for your day. You did the things. You are living your life. Let’s start normalizing those things. It’s part of life. Nobody is perfect and why the hell try? Live without those excuses. Keep showing up! 

#3

A friend from high school I have mentioned before on my blog is struggling hard. In fact, she won’t last long. She is in hospice care. It’s shocking and sad and scary all at the same time. So many things affect so many things. The surface is shiny, but scratch away a little bit and the shine fades. The reality sets in. The truth sets in. The sadness and the struggles. Let peace envelop her. Let the pain subside. May she rest in eternal peace and have a wonderful reunion with her parents. 

#4

Then the final little thoughts popping in and out all day were of my dad. His birthday is coming up and the thoughts keep rushing in. I was in Walmart yesterday, and an older dad, probably around the age of 75 or so and his daughter, in her 50s was helping him. They walked by and I immediately smelled Afta Shave. The aftershave that dad used. The green bottle of smelly smelling aftershave lotion. I thought about him through the rest of shopping trip. This month kicks my butt. It’s been 21 years and it is still hard. 

Ho-hos and Afta Shave

Plaid shirts and summer caps

Silent humor and can’t behave

Snack Wells cookies and steaks on the grill

Intimidating and subtle impacts

Perception and intuition

Knowing it’s near and feeling fulfilled

Saying goodbye and realizing this disposition

 

He would have turned 81 on the 21st. 

Happy Heavenly Birthday Dad 

Please allow me to introduce myself…

Sometimes you get on a roll and sometimes you get on the coast vibe. Right now I feel on a roll. A shift if you will. Attitude? Perhaps. The moon? Perhaps. The timing? Perhaps. Things are fun right now. When you love your job, things should feel fun. Even hard things are fun. I get to do this job. I love this job. So, I am going to do a little re-introduction. I’m not sure if I have ever really done an introduction of myself for any social media platform. So, of course, I”m not doing it the traditional way. The traditional way would be to put the post itself on FB or IG. But, I will make it a blog post. Because that’s just how I do things. You can’t tell me what is the correct way to introduce myself. So, allow me to introduce myself – cue Rolling Stones music.

My name is Peggie Larsen. I grew up in small town Pierre, South Dakota. I left for a while but found my way back. I have an amazing husband, of 23 years. I have four grown children, last one in college, and 5 beautiful grandkids.

I have been active my whole life. I started gymnastics when I was 12 and lifting weights ever since. I started teaching aerobics when I was 19. I am a Nutrition Coach, PN1 and PN2. I have also completed a holistic nutritionist certification and a Psych Skills for Fitness Pros cert. I am a personal trainer and a kettlebell instructor. Certified in 2010. Bells are my love. I further my education on a daily basis. I take all kinds of small courses to try and learn as much as I can about nutrition and the ins and outs of behavior habits and change. I like to say I am a change facilitator. I had an in-person training studio, which opened in 2011, but covid took care of that this year, so now I am all online. I love to dig in and really try to find the buttons to push to help my clients reach their goals.

I help mostly women, with a few men sprinkled in. If you are in your late 30s, 40s and beyond, I’m your person. I have gone through the whole menopause tornado. Peri, meno and post. It can be intense for so many women. I am passionate about helping women find a comfortable peace in their bodies. So many times we want to find our old bodies again, but that doesn’t work. We are constantly evolving and that’s what makes life fun. I believe it is never too late to start lifting or to start taking care of your body. Age is just an idea. I know it takes time to get to I love me. I help with that. It is so gratifying watching the little successes add up. I love helping women who think they are too old, or that’s it too late. It’s not. It never is.

A few years ago I found myself constantly gaining weight and it just wasn’t slowing down. I finally took control of my situation and got things figured out. I called myself out on my shit and got serious about my health. I have maintained an over 40 pound weight loss since then and most of the menopause symptoms have been alleviated.

Clients come to me with the struggle of coming to terms with who they are in the body they have. I help them work through those frustrations and struggles and come out stronger on the other side. Not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Weight loss is so much more than just food. It’s a bigger picture than that. There are many factors that go into learning about eating and all of the habits and behaviors that go hand in hand with that. Several of my clients have lost over 50 pounds. It definitely takes work. It can get uncomfortable sometimes too, but it’s worth it. I believe everyone deserves to be happy in their skin.

A few random things about me.

I LOVE coffee and I even used to roast my own. Many weekends you could find me sitting out in my garage with the heat gun and stainless steel bowls, music blaring and roasting away. Now, I just buy Seattle’s Best, Posy Alley Blend.

I love to hike and hit the trails. Getting out in nature is so peaceful and so good for the soul. I love moving my body via Peloton bike, tread, or with the most underrated exercise of all–walking.

I am VERY sarcastic. I am sarcastic about 90 percent of the time. In fact, a lot of people can’t tell if I’m being serious or sarcastic

Several years ago I had skin cancer above my lip. I have a giant scar that starts in one nostril and down to my lip and then over to the corner of my mouth. I also have a crooked lip because of it. I’m okay with that.

I have an intimidating look, but I’m really not intimidating at all. I love to joke around and have fun. Because really, what is life without some fun. I am really funny!

 

I would love to answer any questions you have, so please don’t ever be afraid to ask them.

 

 

I have this friend…

I have a friend. Her name is Aileen. I have never actually met her. We are online friends. Facebook friends. I admire her greatly.

She is a writer, she is hilarious, she is a life coach and an overall badass. Her newsletter is amazing and I love reading it. Here is where you can check her out – Aileen.

An interesting thing happened at 3:30 a.m. this morning. I woke up thinking about how much I adore her writing and then I did the thing that I always tell my clients not to do. I compared. I kept thinking I wish I could write like her. I wish I could have the courage to really get out there and be more vulnerable like her. She has such a cool vibe. A super cool writing style. I kept thinking it. Thinking about her confidence and her baddassery. I realized I am so close. I feel on the edge of the cliff ready to just go all in. To get in the dirt and really start digging.

My writing has been stunted ever since I got that skewering by someone in a group. And maybe that was just an excuse to have a small hiatus. Who knows. Things like that usually go much deeper. I would say the much deeper for me is feeling like an imposter or feeling like I don’t know enough or being afraid of being judged when I go all in. The feelings of not being sure of myself or feeling like an imposter are alive and well inside my brain. Super common, I know, but I still feel it.

See, Aileen actually was the first person who ever called me a writer. It made me feel amazing. It actually validated the fact that I do write and I am a writer. Thanks lady! She is on my mind a lot and I actually really look up to her. She’s a go-getter, but I know that she has struggled too, as we all do.

So in the span of two minutes this morning, thinking about a ton of shit and writing a few notes down, I went back to sleep. When I woke up, I made sure to look at what I had written down because I knew I wanted to write about it. Aileen gave me this cool little decorated tin that contained a pad of paper and a pencil to keep by my bed for that very purpose. It’s like she knew.

I started really thinking about what was going on in my brain. It was so interesting and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Compare and then feel bad. Compare and then wonder. Compare and then procrastinate. Compare and then, and then, and then. You get the idea.

So many times so many of us fall into the compare trap. I feel like my deeper is fear. Feeling like I don’t know enough. Feeling like the more I learn, the less I know. It’s pretty damn scary. Feeling like I’m not enough. And then all those feelings and emotions of not being good enough, or even enough period, not having any confidence, feeling like an imposter, and then the self-sabotage begins. Self-sabotage you say?

 

 

What is self-sabotage anyway? It can be a number of things. For me it is pressure I put on myself to think I need to be not perfect, but close. LOL. That pressure can be back breaking. It can be intense. It’s hard to break away from that. It can be hard to give myself a little bit of compassion. Procrastination is a great form of self-sabotage, so is overeating and over drinking and even overthinking. Trying to find something else to focus on instead of what I actually should be focusing on is where I notice I self-sabotage. I find a billion other things to do instead of what I should be doing. Oh, the floor needs vacuumed? Oh, look, the dogs need to go outside. Oh, I should really run to the store. So many “other” things. LOl

 

And then I got real. Nobody is like anybody else. It’s all me. Nobody can do the work for me. Motivation is fleeting, but discipline is the name of the game. Small things lead to big things. Small things lead to being confident. Sometimes I think, what’s the use, which is another form of self-sabotage. I have a voice and my voice does not sound like Aileen’s voice and that’s what is so great about it. We should’t want to be like someone else. Sure, we can admire someone else, but when it comes right down to it, we should be ourselves.

I’m working on me. I’m working on the self-sabotage. Instead of overthinking and over reading and wondering if it all sounds good, I am learning to just push publish. I’m learning to be okay with it.

I want my body back. Hint–you didn’t lose it.

I have heard this so many times. I just want my body back. If only I could get my body back. I looked so much better before I had a baby. I used to be so thin in high school. I want my skinny jeans to fit again.

First. You didn’t lose your body. Nobody stole your body. You don’t need to “get it back.”

I remember when I had my first kid. I was soooo young. Holy cow. I was 22. I remember everything I had always heard was you should be back into your “normal” clothes at your six week post baby checkup. WTF?? The pressure was crazy. I mean, who fucking made up that rule? The comments were crazy. It was the “you better lose that baby weight.” “You don’t want to get pregnant again before you’ve had a chance to lose that baby weight.” “It’s not hard, just put your mind to it.” First of all, what new mom has a damn mind? We don’t have time to think about anything, except taking care of a newborn baby. We are fighting with lack of sleep, hormones going crazy, giant boobs, bleeding and sore vaginas and wondering why the hell we decided to have kids in the first place.

At the hospital it’s all cool and nice. Then you get home and it’s like, now what? I remember feeling so overwhelmed. My child ate every two hours. I couldn’t nurse. Another thing that new moms are shamed for. I felt so guilty. I felt like I was short-changing my baby. But then the selfish emotions came knocking. I felt good, because I wanted to lose that weight and I didn’t want to eat. So there was that negotiating going on inside me. Then realization comes knocking reeeaaalllly loud. Realization tells you the straight up in your face truth–this is going to really hard. When we are pregnant we tell ourselves and we tell our friends how we can’t wait to wear normal clothes again. Then after we get there and it all sinks in, we think, well shit, maybe being pregnant wasn’t so bad. It’s all fun and games until even our fat pants don’t fit. LOL

Then when a person actually does come back to their pre-pregnancy weight, you hear things like, “Look how fast she bounced back.” “Wow, she looks amazing.” “I wish I could look like that.” And there we have the constant comments on our bodies and the constant comparison of bodies. It’s no wonder so many women have body image issues, self-esteem issues, disordered eating and shitty relationships with food.

I have four kids and I distinctly remember thinking this 6 week thing was a hard and fast rule I had to follow. Why??????

When we are focusing on changing our bodies after having babies, we are taking away from the process of being in the moment with our babies. It’s normal! What happens to our bodies is normal. Take the time to enjoy your baby and take the time to do what you want to do with your body. It’s your process. Trying to go back to somewhere in the past is absurd. This whole glamorizing of women who after 6 or 8 weeks out from having a baby are back to normal, needs to stop. Let these new moms enjoy their baby time. There is no reason to rush. Women are badasses. Plain and simple.

Look at the process of how the body changes even just in those nine months of being pregnant. Give the body time to recover. It’s okay to want to look a certain way and it’s okay to want to change. I always say do what you want. It’s your life and they are your reasons. Change how you want. Don’t change because someone tells you that you need to or that you should. Don’t change because society thinks getting back into your skinny jeans 6 weeks after having a baby is the be all end all goal. Fuck that.

Our bodies are constantly changing. We can never go back to what we were. We go through puberty, we get our periods, we get pregnant and then we go through peri-menopause and menopause. Nothing is linear. And nothing is “normal.” Every single one of us is going to be different. Everything about each of those experiences is going to be different for all of us. No two women will have the same experience. That is what is so great about us. And that is why we don’t need to conform to those outdated ridiculous standards that someone put in place to make us feel like crap about ourselves. Every stage of your life is an opportunity to get in there and learn about yourself. Love yourself, love your body and live each stage of change.

Life goes by fast enough. Children grow up fast enough. Use your timeline to make the changes you want to make. Stop trying to be somewhere else in your life. Get in the present and live every day.