Befriend Your Body

  • You’re constantly comparing yourself to others - other people and/or other (younger) versions of yourself.  

  • You look for confidence in external sources rather than searching for it internally.

  • You’re stuck confusing perception with reality – e.g. I feel fat/lazy/ugly, therefore it must be true.

  • You don’t know how to love (or even like) yourself despite the fact that you’re not exactly where you want to be.

If you can relate to any (or all) of the above, you don’t want to miss my Befriend Your Body FREE 5-day Mini Course.

Let’s be real. You don’t have to think you’re Beyonce all day every day, but if you want the people around you to respect you, love you, believe in you and have confidence in you, you have to be all of those things for yourself first.

Are you ready to learn how to listen – really, truly listen – to what your body is asking (perhaps, begging) of you? Are you ready to learn how to appreciate your body for what it does, instead of obsessing over how it looks?

Hating your body into change never works.

Loving your body feels so far out of reach.

Let’s try something different.

Are you ready?

Once you sign up for the FREE 5-day Befriend your Body Mini Course you’ll be added to the Facebook group where a community of like-minded women will be there to embrace you. But don’t wait! The 1st Befriend Your Body lesson launches on Monday, October 22nd!

You'll Never Feel Fully Ready

You’re never going to feel fully ready for the next big step.

Whether that big step involves levelling up in your family, your career or your self-care, it will require a levelled up approach - something new that will probably feel uncertain and scary AF to start.

I remember making the jump from employee to entrepreneur and immediately freaking out. Like, what did I just do with my life? I worked steady hours to get a steady pay check and now…now I don’t know what to do because my boss hasn’t told me what to do because I am MY OWN BOSS. Gah!

Yep. Freaked out. It was more accountability then I was accustomed to. Provided more freedom. Required more action. Involved more fear. Created more possibility.

And with that possibility came the possibility of failing - of falling flat on my face. And so, I found myself asking, “what’s the alternative?”

If I didn’t do this big, scary thing, where would I be? And is the potential risk worth the potential reward?

Any investment we make to reach never-before-had success requires a never-before-had skill set. And you know what that means? Until you practice the thing (repeatedly) to build the skills, you’re probably not going to be so great at it.

Read that again. You might suck, at first. And that’s OK. With practice, with repetition, you will build the skills you need to accomplish this big, scary thing that allows you to live a better, more full, vibrant life. But first, it might suck.

That doesn’t mean you won’t get there. It just means you need practice. Repetition. Failure. Resiliency.

So what thing don't YOU feel fully ready for?

And if you’re being really honest with yourself, is the risk worth the reward?

Maybe it’s letting go of your disordered eating. Maybe it’s getting that coach or that gym membership. Maybe it’s finally investing in yourself so you can learn to appreciate your body more. Or maybe it’s…

You fill in the blank.

New growth requires new skill.

New skill requires new courage.

And courage, by definition, is the ability to do something that frightens you. Doing something DESPITE the fact that you don't feel fully ready. DESPITE the fact that you might suck, at first.

I’d love to hear about what scary AF thing you’re going to do next. Is it a fitness endeavor? Is it starting (or growing) a family? Is it building a business? Is it investing in your self-care? Whatever it is, when faced with the fear of change, try asking, “what is my alternative?” <3

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

Don't Be An A**hole

…is a great general rule of thumb, but today I’m talking about why you shouldn't be an asshole, to yourself.

It’s easy to get caught up in the seemingly endless cycle of stress, work, sleep and more stress. But neglect yourself for long enough and your body will start to protest. First quietly, maybe with fatigue, headache or acute injury. And because we’re so good at ignoring these warning signs (or medicating them, serving to only mask the symptoms), our bodies are forced to scream for our attention.

Perhaps with chronic disease, debilitating injury, metabolic distress, GI upset, depression, anxiety, malaise and/or overwhelming exhaustion. And still, with our body screaming and pleading for our attention every way it knows how, we ignore it.

I think we all have our reasons. Perhaps,

  • We feel guilty for saying no

  • We were taught to always put others first

  • We feel ruled by obligation and expectation

  • We don’t know how to take care of ourselves

    The list goes on…


I know I can certainly relate to these and I imagine, even if only in some small way, you can too. But here’s the thing - if we want our bodies to serve us and to treat us well for a lifetime, we have to be kind to them, nourish them, give them rest, movement and self-compassion.

We need to stop being an assholes to ourselves.

Think about treating a friend the way you treat yourself.


If a friend was in need of nourishment and asked you for a meal, would you neglect her? Tell her that she doesn’t need the extra calories and feed her a latte or a diet Coke instead?

I hope not.

If a friend was exhausted, worn out and overextended, would you suggest she “suck it up”, get through her to-do list, and just keep pushing through?

I hope not.

If a friend was sick, hurt or injured would you encourage her to ignore that feedback and push through the pain because she doesn’t have time to fall short of expectation or gain a few pounds?

I hope not.

If a friend asked you to get together to listen, just listen, would you talk over her - not stopping to ask how she’s doing - and criticize every imperfection and short coming you find fault with?

I surely hope not.


And yet, despite what or how much I hope, you do this. Every single day. To your closest friend. The friend who will stick with you for a lifetime (which you often take for granted). Instead of caring, nourishing and listening, you treat her like garbage.

But what if you didn’t? What if you traded your guilt, shame and unrealistic expectations for care, nourishment and appreciation? What then?

If you’re ready to find out, I’m ready to help you.

Later this month I’ll be launching my Befriend Your Body Mini-Course - 5 days of FREE content, inspiration and action steps to move toward body acceptance.

Will I see you there?

“and I said to my body, softly, ‘I want to be your friend.’ it took a long breath and replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this.’” - Nayyirah Waheed

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

I'm the least fit I've ever been.

And that’s the problem with progress.

It only accounts for the things we can see and touch.

When I say progress what do you think of?

  • Before and after bikini photos?

  • Progress on the scale?

  • Setting a new PR in the gym?

  • Getting closer to fitting back into those size 8 jeans hiding in the back of your closet?

You’re not wrong. All of those examples are signs of physical progress many of us would lust after.

But what about other, less visible, forms of progress?

Like, learning how to listen to your body more and “diet” less. If you do that and weigh more…is that still progress?

Like, taking a break from the gym to allow an injury to heal. If you do that and lose your fitness…is that still progress?

Like, moving away from counting calories, measuring macros and obsessing over food choices. If you do that and have to buy a larger size…is that still progress?

If you’re asking me, my answer is HELL freaking, YES!

But the world doesn’t yet have the insight to agree. The world looks at that person (whether it’s you or it’s me) and only sees someone who has gained weight, lost fitness and takes up more space.

Not someone who has harnessed her power of intuition, body confidence and self acceptance; someone who has broken free of the shackles and the shame perpetuated by diet culture; someone who has learned to listen and honor her body so that it might serve her better for years to come.

I am the least fit I’ve ever been. In my current season of injury recovery I’m moving less than ever before. But you know what? I’m also listening to my body more than ever before. And to be completely honest with you, I’m not hating it.

Sure, at first I thought about all the strength, muscle tone, endurance and aesthetics I might lose. And yes, I thought about the weight, size and body fat I might gain.

But then I realized what a limited lens I was looking through. Progress isn’t limited to the things we can see or the things we can feel. Progress - arguably the most important kind - happens beneath the skin, unseen and untouched by anyone but you and me.

Because if there’s one thing this new - slower - season has taught me, it’s this:

It’s not the external body that produces inspiring progress. It’s the embodied human inside the body that does.

If you know a friend who could use this message; maybe a new mom, someone recovering from an injury, or someone going through their own slow season…I ask that you please forward this on and let them know that you see their progress. Even if the rest of the world doesn’t.

“Progress is when we forgive ourselves for taking so long to treat our bodies like a home.”

- Yung Pueblo

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

"I'm not attractive to my husband,"

she said. To which I asked, “did he tell you this?”

“Well, no. But I can tell. I’m heavier than when we met, I’ve had a baby…I hate the way my body looks now.”

After a few minutes of honest conversation we revealed that she was no longer attractive to herself. Her own eyes didn’t like what they saw - not those of her husband. In fact, her beloved had even affirmed her new, softer body. But none of that matters when you’re your own meal girl.


Body shame. Body insecurity. Body disapproval. Body hate.

These things extend far beyond the time we spend in front of the mirror. They extend to our confidence, to our self value, to our sex lives and to how (we think) other people see us.

And so often, our perceptions of how other people see us is nothing more than a projection of how we feel about ourselves.

So, how do you see yourself? Are you the hottest thing since sliced bread? Or are you doing your best to remain unseen, hiding behind an over-sized tunic?

Let’s be real. You don’t have to think you’re Beyonce, but if you want the people around you to respect you, love you, believe in you and have confidence in you, you have to be all of those things for yourself first.


And we SUCK AT THIS. Because:

  1. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to others - other people and/or other (younger) versions of ourselves.

  2. We look for confidence in external sources rather than searching for it internally.

  3. We confuse perception with reality. Just because I feel a certain way doesn’t mean that it’s true.

  4. We don’t know how to love (or even like) ourselves despite the fact that we’re not exactly where we want to be, failing to keep ourselves open to self-improvement opportunities.

So, what’s the solution?

I know I’m messed up, Nicole. What can I do about it!? For starters:

  1. For everything you want to change about your body, find one thing you’re grateful for. Not necessarily how something LOOKS but how it WORKS.

  2. Aim for body neutrality. Forget “loving yourself” right now. We are under enough pressure, the last thing we need is the pressure to learn how to love something we don’t even like looking at. It’s normal not to be feeling yourself all the time - lose that expectation. Aim for neutral.

  3. Realize that vanity is a luxury. There are more important things about you than how your skin hangs on your curves.

  4. Be kind to yourself. It’s perfectly OK to want to change your body but you will never succeed by hating it.


Is this something you can relate to? Something you’d like to learn more about? Something that flutters your heartstrings?

If so, I’d love to hear from you! Drop a comment below, shoot me an email, and simply say, “Yes!” I’m dreaming up a FREE body neutrality mini-course but before I fully invest in the process I want to make sure that this is something that feels worth your time and energy.

Does body neutrality sound like a step up from how you feel about yourself right now? If so, hit me up.

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

Dieting: A Life Story

If I asked you to recount the events of your life, what would the themes be? What would pop as your priorities? Where have you spent your time? Your money? Your energy?

Does your life tell a story of a positive relationship with food, exercise, your body & yourself or would it look more like a bank statement recounting a chronic diet history?

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I get it. Letting go of disordered eating, unrealistic body composition ideals, calorie counting, macro tracking and the constant pursuit of thinness is HARD. Like, suuuuper hard.

Because, for most of us, our unhealthy relationships; with food, with exercise, with our bodies, with enabling family and friends, and with ourselves are ingrained. The beliefs we hold about whether or not we’re enough…worthy enough - good enough - sexy enough - thin enough - beautiful enough…and the behaviors that occur as a result of these thoughts, are patterned.

  • Driving home after a long day without knowing how you got there

  • Brushing your teeth before you go to bed

  • Reaching for the bag of crisps when you sit down on the couch to watch your favorite show

  • Kissing your partner goodbye before you leave the house for work

  • Saying “bless you” to someone after they sneeze

  • Pressing SNOOZE one too many times

All of these are examples of patterned behavior. Recurring things we do without ever really thinking about it. They seemingly just happen. Because we’ve practiced and rehearsed them so many times, they’ve become habit. And as humans, we like habit. Because habit brings us comfort. We get to keep doing the status quo without the discomfort of change.

And why on earth would we ever choose discomfort over that which is warm, cozy and unchanging? I’ll tell you why.

  • Because you’re fed up with your food obsession, refusing to let it control you anymore than it already has.

  • Because you’re past the point of thinking that your weight - your size - or the roundness of your belly is the most important thing about you.

  • Because you want to prioritize health over rules and prioritize balance over restriction.

  • Because you’re ready to give space in your life to things that truly matter, things you want to leave as a part of your legacy - in lieu of the chronic diet history.

If that’s you - I get it and I’m with you!

Maybe your relationship with food has left you heavier and/or unhappier than ever before.

Maybe your relationship with your body has left the idea of sitting on a beach in a bathing suit or having sex with the lights on feel unsurmountable…at least not until you “lose XX pounds”.

Maybe your relationship with yourself is full of toxic self-talk and insults that you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy.

Maybe you finally feel like it’s time to create some powerful mthrfkn change.

Sound like you? Are you ready to break the negative cycle, embrace the temporary discomfort and create powerful change so you can finally build a healthy relationship with yourself?

(Hand raised). I know I sure am.


Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

What About Her?

She looks sooo good & eats whatever she wants. 

It’s not uncommon for someone to step into my office and state that their goal is to get ripped/toned/look like a supermodel by a big event they have in…two point five weeks.

I gently start asking questions and using words like “sustainable” and “expectations”. And in return?

I often get a blank stare followed by, “But what about so-and-so? She looks sooo good and eats whatever she wants.”

This isn’t the client’s fault. It’s media’s fault. It’s culture’s fault. The incessant photo shopped images of people who get paid to diet and exercise for months, then intentionally and strategically dehydrate themselves, all to get ready for a single photo shoot. A photo shoot that will produce a handful of “quality” images that are then edited, buffed and filtered for hours before they show up on your favorite magazine with a sexy tagline slapped across the front that reads something ludicrous and has absolutely nothing to do with what it actually took to get in that kind of shape.

In my experience, it’s the expectation that things will be easy or will happen fast that gets us in trouble.

Sure. There are people who are naturally very lean and muscular (and tan…that helps too) who seemingly, eat whatever they want. We all know plenty of people who look fab in a bathing suit and consistently eat like a 5 year old. Maybe they are genetically gifted with a Hulk-like metabolism, maybe their hormone profile is awesome, or maybe they have an eating disorder you know nothing about.

STOP COMARING yourself to these people.

Most of us are not those people. Most of us are people who need to work at our goals – likely for longer than two point five weeks. Could you get faster results by using extreme caloric restriction and insane amounts of exercise? Sure. Is it healthy? No. Is it maintainable long-term? No.

If that’s what you’re looking for – deprivation and restriction – I won’t be the one to advocate for it. But there are plenty of other people in the “health”/fitness community who will.

I will advocate for finding the right amount of food for you, the right kinds of food for you, and the right amount and type of exercise to get you to your goals and then whatever comes next. It will likely take longer than two point five weeks but if the path that gets you there is sustainable, isn’t adjusting your expected timetable worth lifetime satisfaction?

It’s time to start questioning the ludicrous body composition goals, unattainable time tables and unrealistic expectations.

It’s time to start believing that you can earn your results.

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.

The Fat Loss LAB

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Do you ever find yourself so insanely frustrated by fat loss? Maybe it's illusive, maybe it never sticks around, or maybe you just really dislike the person you are on a diet. More and more I find myself SO incredibly disenchanted with diet culture. 

You should eat this, not that. Didn't you hear? This new thing is all the rage. Everybody's doing it. 

Diet culture is the new mean girl. And it's bullshit - more toxic than anything you could ever eat. Diet culture thrives on the belief that we will continue to distrust and dislike our bodies; forever playing the victim, relying on external forces to tell us exactly what, when and how much to eat in order to have a successful body.  

What the AF guys!? It's time to stand up and demand something different! It's time to fight back and to learn how to trust our bodies - giving ourselves permission to be whoever and wherever we are. 

Picture this: You trust your body. You know your body. You even like your body. And you have both the confidence and the skills to make your life; your nutrition, your movement and your recovery strategies work for you - no matter what stage of life you're in. Diets, trends and fads are irrelevant because nothing knows you or your body like YOU do. And because of this you are able to reach any health, fitness and fat loss goal you set for yourself without an ounce of deprivation, restriction or drama. 

It might be hard to imagine. Because everything about the image I created above rebels against diet culture. It requires you to harness your own power, and not that of a billion dollar industry that could care less whether or not you're happy (or healthy).

I care - about you and about me and I REFUSE to continue playing the victim. So I harnessed all my power (and all the science-y stuff that helps too) and created The Fat Loss LAB. 

The Fat Loss LAB is an 8-week masterclass that will take your fat loss from lackluster to LAUNCH! You will learn HOW to eat, WHAT to eat and HOW MUCH to eat (along with alllll the dieting gimmicks that are simply standing in your way) in order to reach - and exceed - your health and fat loss goals.

Step-by-step, at your own pace, you will acquire the nutrition skills you need to build a sustainable nutrition plan for the rest of your life. Read that again. For the REST OF YOUR LIFE. No dieting gimmick or deprivation here!

I hope you're interested, because you're worth it. If you agree, check out the FAQ below for additional details. 


Fat Loss LAB FAQ: 

Q: Is this program in-person or remote? 

A: The Fat Loss LAB is 100% remote. All coaching correspondence, video lessons, recipes, workouts (optional), etc. will come directly to you no matter where you are.

Q: What is the time commitment? 

A: The Fat Loss LAB masterclass is completely self-paced. That being said, if you want results at the end I encourage you to put the time and commitment in at the beginning. You'll be most successful if you can budget at least 10 minutes each day to watch the videos and read the lessons. The rest is up to you! 

Q: How much do I get to work directly with you? 

A: When you register for the Fat Loss LAB I will be your personal nutrition coach. We have daily correspondence via your lesson responses and the group Facebook page, in addition to 30 minute bi-weekly coaching check-ins that are conducted over the phone. These check-ins allow us to chat 1-on-1 in greater detail about your successes, struggles and sticky spots. 

Q: I've tried every diet. None of them work. What makes this any different? 

A: For starters, the Fat Loss LAB is not a diet. The Fat Loss LAB is a evidence-based nutrition masterclass that guides you through learning to listen to your body and exploring what that means when it comes to mealtimes. Together we'll explore what works and what doesn't, because your body is unique and the Fat Loss LAB accounts for that - unlike conventional diets!  

Q: What can I expect at the end of this? 

A: That depends! What's your goal? If your goal is to lose weight, inches or clothing sizes, the Fat Loss LAB will help you do exactly that. If your goal is to learn more about your body and uncover the best nutrition strategy to help you improve your health and feel your best, the Fat Loss LAB will help you do that. If your goal is to throw diet culture the middle finger and to harness your own intuitive power, the Fat Loss LAB has you covered there too.

Q: When does it start?

A: The Fat Loss LAB launches on Monday, September 10th and runs through November 4th (just in time for the holidays!) 

Q: How much is the Fat Loss LAB? 

A: The entire 8-week masterclass is a $200 investment, which can be broken up into a 2 x $100 payment plan, if you prefer. I know you're worth it!

Q: How can I register? 

A: Click on this link to go to the Fat Loss LAB application! But don't wait! There are only a limited number of spots available. 


Have another question? Don't hesitate to post below! 

Isn't it time you made peace with your body and ditched the diet culture? 

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. 

Words from Nutrition Coaching graduate, Maria:

People’s ‘food issues’ are rarely just about food.
— Abby Langer, R.D.
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I started my Nutrition Coaching journey as someone who had tried everything - or, at least, it sure felt that way. Low carb? Tried it. Crazy amounts of time spent in the gym doing cardio? Guilty as charged. Juice cleanses? Kale, yeah!

But, I didn’t journey into the world of weight loss completely on my own. Rather, I sought out what I thought would have been helpful at the time. In 2010, after seeing a bunch of ads on TV and Oprah’s glowing endorsements, I started a well-known weight loss management program. This program required tracking of every bite that I took, and at first, I felt so in control! Sure, I’ll measure everything out! I need to purchase a food scale? Okay! Let me figure out the points! Sounds like a blast, eh? Yeah, I didn’t think so, either. Full disclosure: I was able to find temporary success, but I knew very clearly that the constantly-tracking way of life simply isn’t sustainable (or enjoyable for that matter!). I tried that program three times - and yet, over time, and each time, I gained the weight back.

At the heart of my struggles with weight loss, there was a plethora of larger issues - emotional baggage stemming from a childhood of living with an alcoholic father, untreated depression, and a general lack of self-worth, just to name a few. And let me tell you, some of these struggles were really deeply rooted. For example, growing up, food was my escape from the reality of my surroundings. I have vivid memories of my father drinking, and me taking a bag of pretzels up to my room, closing the door, and eating to distract myself from the chaos that was going on within my own home. While far from an ideal way to handle the situation, it was effective. Plus, when you’re nine, there’s not much you can do to control your environment. Of course, though I didn’t realize it at the time, it was the beginning of my very misguided and unhealthy relationship with food.

When I started Nutrition Coaching, I’ll be completely honest: My main goal was not weight loss. Rather, I wanted to figure out what a healthy and well life looked like, and I wanted to pursue that. I knew how resilient I was inside, and I wanted to show that strength externally, too. As a teacher, I knew that if I had tried so many methods to lose weight, but none of them stuck, clearly I really wasn’t learning anything. It was almost like I was studying material (in this case, calculating points, following a cleanse, etc.), passing the test (losing the initial weight), and then forgetting everything on the test as soon as I took it. When the final exam of sustainability came around, I failed each and every time, because I had not actually learned new material. The biggest problem was that these approaches didn’t change my habits, thoughts, or my perspective.

So, not knowing exactly how to proceed, or what to do next, I did what many tech-savvy people do- I reached out to my Facebook network. I asked, instead of weight loss recommendations, if anyone had suggestions regarding a local nutritionist. One of my former high school students recommended Coach Nicole, and 1 short email and private message later, even if I didn’t realize it, I had taken a big step to changing my life once and for all.

It’s important to note that I came to Nutrition Coaching on the heels of one of the most tumultuous points of my life: In addition to not enjoying my job any longer, my husband and I had been battling the emotions of infertility (The issue was on my end- cue the unbelievable guilt!) and the financial stress that accompanies the alternative pathways to pursuing parenthood. In order to cope, and in what I later realized was a form of self-sabotage regarding the guilt that I felt, I turned to eating. Eating my feelings led me to be about 30 pounds heavier physically, which seemed minor compared to how much heavier I felt emotionally. In typical Maria-fashion, I put on a brave face, though, so no one really knew the interior turmoil that I was feeling on a daily basis. Getting out of bed every day was a true struggle, and it was an unbelievably lonely time.

I wasn’t healthy - inside, or out. I had my body fat percentage calculated as part of my gym package, and I was surprised to see that I was significantly into the overweight category for my body type and frame. Then, Coach Nicole and Precision Nutrition entered my world. I started Nutrition Coaching weighing 165 pounds (For reference, at my heaviest, I was around 173), unaware that in the year that followed I’d lose so much more than the additional pounds.

What did I learn in my year with Coach Nicole and Precision Nutrition? Um - I don’t know how else to say this: I learned everything. Now, I don’t literally mean I learned everything there is to know. Not at all. But, everything I know in the world of nutrition and habit formation I attribute to the education I gained through Nutrition Coaching, and that’s a big deal. What were some of my biggest takeaways? I learned that our relationship with food is based on habits, and that our habits are made up of the choices - large and small - that we make each and every day. I learned that trying to do too much too soon is not sustainable, and while it may work very short-term, it isn’t going to ultimately help you reach your goals permanently. I learned that there are far better ways to “treat myself” than with food. I learned that everything has a cost, so even if a food is cheaper monetarily, I pay more for it with my health. I learned that so often, I inhaled my food, not slowing down to pay attention to the details - its texture, the taste, the smell, etc. I learned that it’s important to focus on one thing at a time and master that thing before we move on to the next. I learned that real results come from trying to be just a little bit better- even 1% better- than we were yesterday. I learned to prepare and anticipate any roadblocks during the week and plan my meals, because if I have a plan, I’m less likely to make decisions that do not align with my goals. I learned that there are no “good” or “bad” foods. Most of all, I learned that we overcomplicate things in the world of nutrition and wellness. We think there’s some magic plan or formula that we have to follow, but in reality, if we just slow down and pay attention, it becomes clear that it isn’t rocket science.

My Nutrition Coaching experience wasn’t without some pretty big surprises, too. The biggest surprise? That’s easy - I could not believe how much I learned beyond nutrition and wellness. So much of what Nutrition Coaching taught was applicable to life in general - from mindfulness, to focusing on being 1% better, to focusing on one thing at a time. Additionally, I learned so much about myself, which helped me to be able to apply the lessons to my own life. In terms of successes that I experienced, I’m so happy to report that one year later, I slowly and sustainably lost 20.31 inches and 19.4 pounds. I’m at 145 pounds, which is a weight I have not seen on the scale since college. In fact, for the first time since high school, I weigh less than my mother! I’m really proud of the losses that I’ve seen measurement wise, but the main reason those losses make me so happy is because they are a representation of the things I’ve gained through working with Coach Nicole and Precision Nutrition.

In the last year, I’ve gained the ability to separate my emotions from my food choices, I’ve gained the ability to enjoy the foods that I choose to eat, I’ve gained the confidence to step into new exercise classes that I’ve never tried without anxiety (Hello, barre!), I’ve gained the ability to be a great role model for my daughter that we recently adopted, and, as it was one of my goals and ways of measuring progress that I picked at the start of my Nutrition Coaching journey, I’ve gained the ability to completely finish the lunge track in Body Pump (and can now even add weights to the track!). Hysterically, I said to Coach Nicole (on more than one occasion) that while checking my form in the mirror at the gym during Body Pump, I didn’t recognize myself. Simply put, due to a health condition, I’m unable to lift more than 20 pounds, but I was shocked to see that I actually had muscle definition!

Through Nutrition Coaching, I also gained the knowledge that I have a big dairy sensitivity by paying attention to how my body reacts after eating different foods. Who knew?! Beyond all else, throughout the process of losing the weight and inches physically, I also lost the guilt that I carried for far too long about not being able to make my husband a father, and I was able to release the frustration and anger I held on to regarding the toxic environment that was my childhood home. Through the process of letting go, and wiping the slate clean each day, I gained the ability to forgive - and not only to forgive others, but also myself. Nutrition Coaching where you gain more than you lose? That, my friends, is what I gained through my experience with Coach Nicole and Precision Nutrition. I am stronger than I’ve ever been in my life - mentally, physically, and emotionally - and you can be, too. 

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. 

Here's to being messy, awkward and less-than-perfect!

Perfectionism is a shield that we carry with a thought process that says this, ‘If I look perfect, live perfect, work perfect, and do it all perfectly, I can avoid or minimize feeling shame, blame, and judgement.
— Brene Brown

Have you heard this before? I LIVE in this passage. Perfectionism has been my jam - my comfort zone - for many many years. Not that I'm always perfect, certainly not, but my every action has been externally driven by the question, "what will people think?" - striving to avoid any inkling of shame, blame or judgement. 

Living my life behind the shield that is perfectionism has kept me, what I mistakenly thought as, safe. But in actuality, my shield of perfectionism has only kept me from being seen. Despite my many years of following orders, exceeding expectations and doing the "right" thing, I had never learned how to be known or how to be seen for who I am, performance aside. 

It's taken a lot of good therapy to open my eyes to this, and for that I'm eternally grateful. So here's what I want to share with all of you - because, while sometimes we need to fall down and skin our own knees to learn the lesson, sometimes the best lessons are learned by those around us, if we just learn to listen. 

So here it is bb's - Failure isn't optional. Rest isn't earned. Imperfection isn't negotiable. 

You're going to fail. It's required. You're going to need rest. It's required. You're going to be imperfect. It's required. Failure, rest and imperfection need to occur regularly and without justification if we ever expect to grow. Did you hear that? Regularly. And without justification. 

Too often we treat being known and seen by those around us as something we earn. If we do everything right, THEN we'll earn love. If we excel at our job, THEN we'll be worthy. If we do more, THEN we'll reach our goal. But it's not always about doing MORE and it's certainly not about living in FEAR, because if we're honest, those of us living behind the shield are really just afraid of being seen for who we really are.

Will I measure up?

What will everyone think of me?

Will I be good enough? 

Being truly seen and known isn't contingent on anything else other than our willingness to be seen and known. I am worthy of love, acceptance, belongingness and compassion regardless of how much I do or don't do. You are worthy of the same. 

And you know what makes all the difference and defeats that heavy ass shield? Authenticity. Being bold and uniquely YOU. And in the words of Brene Brown, "being unarmored, messy, awkward, compassionate and less-than-perfect". 

So here's to being messy, awkward and less-than-perfect together! 

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Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. 

What Sucks about Body Image

Yesterday at the gym, I was finishing my workout with bear crawls when my trainer politely said, "focus on keeping your hips parallel". After finishing the movement (with a renewed focus on parallel hips) I popped up and asked, "what was I doing wrong?" 
"Nothing", he replied. "Just focus on keeping your hips parallel to the ground." 
"But that means I must have been doing it incorrectly, right? Just tell me - what sucked?" 
To which he responded, "Don't focus on the negatives. Keep your sights set on what's good."
Sometimes it's a damn shame my trainer is my husband...especially when he's right. 

But this got me thinking - how often do we choose to intentionally focus on the negatives? Even when there are positives right in front of us, we look for what's wrong/bad in order to blame, criticise and shame. ESPECIALLY when it comes to our body image. 

On a daily basis I hear things like, "gross, my thighs are so jiggly", "I ate so badly this past weekend, I need you to punish me", and, "I hate sex because I hate my stomach". And when we share these scripts with those around us, many validate our statements by silently agreeing or by responding in a way that lends credibility to the shame, like, "oh, I hear you! me too!" or, "but at least you have a great butt!" 

Well, I'm not buying into it anymore! I refuse to play the role of shamer and refuse to tolerate body bashing (my own and anyone else's). Instead of participating in language that focuses on the negative and brings us down, let's be more aware of what tumbles from our lips and the message it conveys - both to ourselves and to those listening ears around us! And let's really explore - dive deep - into what's going on in our lives that drives us to speak about ourselves (and sometimes others) in that way. 

Nine out of 10 women say they will actually not eat and risk putting their health at stake when they feel bad about their body image.* 

SOMETHING HAS GOT TO CHANGE. We need to help empower each other! We need to increase body-confidence education, drive meaningful conversations around the pressures women and girls face, advocate for change in how females and their appearance are talked about and portrayed in the media, and most importantly, we need to teach - and KNOW - that all bodies are beautiful and worthy of love and belongingness. Every shape, shade and stature. 

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Want help becoming the healthiest, strongest, most body-confident version of you?

Most people know that regular movement, eating well, sleep, and stress management are important for looking and feeling better. Yet they need help applying that knowledge in the context of their busy, stressful, media-driven lives.

That’s why I work closely with my Nutrition Coaching clients to help them reach their health, fat loss and body confidence goals...no matter what challenges they’re dealing with.

For more information on Nutrition Coaching with Nicole, drop a comment below or shoot me a message at [email protected]

 

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. 

* Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, 2017

How I learned to love my body...

This weekend, I ate ice cream twice in one day. 

And I enjoyed every single bite. Zero guilt. Zero regret. 100% satisfaction. 

A few years ago even just one bite of ice cream would have sent me into a tailspin of restriction and remorse. From 2009-2012 I weighed myself every single day, tracking calories obsessively. Every. Single. Day. And based on the number staring back at me - whether I had gone over my 900 calorie limit (self-imposed, mind you) or was up a fraction of a pound - my attitude and activities for the day proceeded accordingly.

That number determined everything. Up on the scale? Run more and eat less. Ate too much according to my "lose 2 pounds a week" My Fitness Pal guideline? Run more and eat less. 

That number determined if I felt worthy. If I felt happy. If I felt like socialising. That number determined what clothes I wore. What I could eat. How long I would have to workout. Along with every other aspect of my day to day life. For three years I hated myself this way repeatedly, refusing to actually live my life and engage with other people because my need to be smaller, lighter and thinner meant more to me than any relationship or adventure ever could. 

Today. Today I don't track calories and I weigh in only occasionally. I know that I am 40 pounds heavier than I was at my thinnest and I know that I am the happiest, healthiest and most confident and powerful I have ever been in my entire life. 

People often ask me how I got here - this place of confidence and comfort around food, around fitness and most importantly - in my own skin. People ask because they too feel lost in their own skin, at war with their own bodies, ruled by the scale and consumed by the caloric culture we (as  a society) are so obsessed with. 

My answer is always this. There was no magic switch. No lightbulb moment. But rather, it was work. It still is, some days. It has taken me YEARS to unpack the reasons why I hated myself, neglected my body and starved my mind. It has taken me YEARS to separate what I believe to be true from societal narratives telling me how I should look or who I should be. It has taken me YEARS to heal from the hurtful things that were said and done, finally realising that I am the boss of my own body. 

And some days it still feels like I'm learning. Because loving yourself is not a linear journey. And there are no shortcuts. You will have bad days. You will backslide. And you will struggle with giving power back to the scale and your calorie counting apps, because that's what you know. 

But know this - life without the scale, without calorie counting, without external pressures and internal dialogues telling you that you need to look, feel or be a certain way is worth all the time healing takes. It takes work. But the work of investing in yourself is always worthwhile. 

If you're ready to do the work - unpack the untruths and the unrealistic expectations - and start harnessing your own power, being the boss of your own body, you don't have to do it alone. If you're ready to do the work - learning how to love your body; not hide it, not feel ashamed of it, not constantly work to change it because you hate what you see, you don't have to do it alone. I'm here for you. 

I've created a coaching program that will help you to feel sexy, confident and powerful, just as you are. If you're looking to love your body, learn to establish a healthy relationship with food, and banish those feelings of unworthiness, let me help you.  You deserve it. 

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WANT ME AS YOUR COACH?

**I have a few spots now open in my coaching program.**

If you're looking to finally take charge of your health, nutrition, and your sanity around food and eating, send me an email and we'll start the conversation.

 

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. 

So, birthday's suck.

Tomorrow's my birthday. And in lieu of the party and the gifts my two requests were: 

1. Can we please go away, anywhere but here? and,

2. Can you please shave so I can see your beautiful face?

(My always-bearded husband was on the reciprocating end of my wishes) Those might sound like a strange birthday wishes to most, but, when your brother dies on your birthday, shit gets real.  Even more so when it's a tragic, opioid-epidemic kind-of story ending. Sparkly things mean a lot less and time spent with the people you love most means a whole lot more. 

Birthday's are typically a time to celebrate. Everyone gathers together to sing and reminisce about the best years, dreaming and memory making for the years still to come...at least that's how my first 25 went. 

26. Twenty-six was the worst (birth)day of my life. Since then, birthdays have never, and will never, be the same. Because who wants to hear a chorus of "and many moreeeee" on the special day you share with your brother who doesn't have any more years, days or even moments to share? Not me. 

So, we don't celebrate anymore. Not really anyway. We tried, it sucked. So now we try less. Because it's too morbid to throw confetti and eat cake when every year older just means another year without him. How can you celebrate life on the anniversary of your brother's death? Maybe that's the very reason to celebrate life, but I just can't seem to wrap my head around it. Maybe next year. But, maybe not.

No birthday - or any day really - is the same when everyone else is counting blessings and all I can see is the absence - empty space - where one of my biggest blessings used to be. 

There's a nagging voice inside my head - probably my mother's - that reminds me that I should count my blessings and be thankful for what I do have...

Fuhhhk that. 

I'm tired of pretending everything's okay. I'm tired of "good vibes only". I'm tired of moving on because the rest of the world has. And I'm tired of celebrating a day that should be sad. And I'm tired of everyone being "fine" when that's the last thing I'll ever be. 

So this year, as a gift to myself (and everyone else, really) I'm choosing to just feel. Feel sad. Feel heartbroken. Feel empty. Feel left behind. Feel resentful. Feel angry. And any other emotion that may surface as a part of my grief journey. 

So here's to another year - 

Darker, without you.

Empty, without you.  

Older, without you. 

I miss you, Kev. 

PS. If you're struggling with the loss of a loved one, or grieving in some other way, therapy helps. 

Nutrition Coaching with Nicole - ITP

A BIG Thank You to my friend, Dave Shiley, over at ITP Income Tax Preparation for the recommendation below: 

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"One of the most challenging parts to a healthier lifestyle is making positive changes and then sticking with them weeks and months down the road.  This is where Nutrition Coaching with Nicole has been found to excel. In an effort to help clients get the best results that last for the rest of their lives, Nicole Hagen encourages sustainable habit-based strategies as opposed to the deprivation-based mindset of dieting. With guidance and accountability from an educated and experienced nutrition coach using sustainable, easy-to-begin habit-based coaching, Nicole believes anyone can create healthy, positive change that lasts a lifetime.

As a certified nutrition coach, Nicole helps people change their bodies and their lives with guided nutrition coaching geared specifically to their individual goals, lifestyle, and preferences.  Through her nutrition coaching process clients will learn the best eating, exercise (optional), and lifestyle strategies — unique and personal — for their body. And because she recognizes that we live in a fast-paced world, Nicole offers both in-person and remote nutrition coaching packages. So even those who live at a distance or who can’t get away for a face-to-face consultation can stay consistent and see results, no matter what life brings. 

The majority of her clientele have fat loss goals, whether it’s 10, 50 or 100 pounds. She also does a lot of work with disordered eating and sport-specific clientele. So whether you feel like your body is working against you and just can’t seem to lose weight, or you’re looking for a way to enhance your fitness performance, Nicole is here to help guide the way. 

Nicole utilizes an online nutrition coaching portal with her clients. This service allows for daily accountability, so nutrition and fitness goals remain a priority amidst the everyday life distractions! You can learn more at her website or Facebook/Instagram pages, where she posts daily Nutrition Tips of the Day. Nicole is also on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/nutritionwithnicole/.  If you need any additional information, Nicole is happy to help via email at [email protected]!"

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. 

If you can't say something nice about yourself, PRACTICE.

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What was the last nice thing you said to yourself? 

Can't remember? 

Yeah, too often that's the case. 

We hear a lot about self-talk these days. We know that negative self-talk is "bad" and that positive self-talk is "good", but do we really know and understand how that impacts real life goal achievement?  

I would argue that we don't. And here's why, based on what I see with my one-on-one fat loss and disordered eating coaching clients:

1. Client sees something beautiful; a goal worth pursuing

2. Client attempts to reach the goal 

3. Client fails to reach the goal

4. Client decides that the goal probably isn't that beautiful after all and that the pursuit isn't worth his/her time

5. Client gives up and looks for the next beautiful thing

Every time you make an excuse, beat yourself up for failing or justify why you can't do something, you begin to believe those scripts a little more each time. Take for example the forty-something  female client who desperately seeks acceptance and body confidence but repeatedly fails to find it amidst the decades of negative scripting ingrained by her over-dieted mother who insisted on deprivation as a form of love and affection. What we hear most often is what we begin to believe.

So I want to ask, what story are you telling yourself? Or maybe, what script has been fed to you? And is that story/script holding you back from what you truly want?   

It's easy to want something and to run after it.

It's easy to convince yourself that you didn't want that thing after all because the road to get there is hard or uncomfortable. 

It's hard to keep trying despite skinned knees and a bruised ego.

It's hard to keep running after what you want - choosing deliberately to celebrate the wins and learn from the failures.  

Because guys, you're going to fail. And guys, there will be goals you don't reach the first, second, or even third time you try. But gosh darn it guys, that doesn't mean it's not a goal worth pursuing. 

What if, instead of feeding yourself negative self talk and scripts laden with excuses and justifications you praised what went well, re-evaluated what didn't and encouraged yourself (i.e. positive self-talk) to try again? What if that voice inside your head was supportive of your efforts? Inspired by your attempts? And encouraged your steadfast consistency? 

Might you then have the strength - the power - and the resiliency to reach that big, bold beautiful goal? I say 100% yes. Because you and I, we're motivated by praise, not punishment. And that little voice inside each and every one of our heads is no exception to the rule. 

So set big beautiful goals. Say nice things to yourself. If it's hard, practice. And above all, keep trying. 

 

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. 

I'm Not For Everyone.

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It took me a long time - way too long - to come to this realization, but, now it's quite clear. 

I am not for everyone. 

As a first born I crave affirmation, yearning for recognition.

As a female I was taught that good things come to those who look the part, play the part and are envied by those around her because of it. 

As a Christian I was taught that I need to do what is right - not necessarily according to my own personal standards, but according to the standards written for me. 

As the only surviving sibling to a family ruined by drug abuse I was taught the power of guilt, shame and grief. 

Compile these, and the many other pieces that when put together assemble the person that I am, and you get someone who looks for validation in alllllll the places, performing like a symbol-clad monkey according to the expectations and beliefs of those around me. 

I wanted to be liked, adored, loved even by everyone around me and I couldn't begin to fathom the idea of authenticity. Sure, it sounded nice but I couldn't even understand what that meant, let alone how I might live it out in my life. 

The day I discovered that authenticity meant letting go of the person I thought I should be and embracing the person I am felt so unbelievably freeing. And even more - to know that authenticity isn't something that I had or didn't have (there I go again, looking for a pat on the back because of my qualifications), but rather something that I choose to practice each day until it becomes my norm. The power that lies within the fact that it's my choice to show up vulnerably - as I am - bumps bruises and all - each and every day knowing that I have absolutely zero control over how the world receives me, it's magic. 

Yes, some people will turn their noses up at your authenticity. 

But you know what? The people who matter will love you regardless. 

And guess what? You can't control their feelings or opinions no matter how hard you try. But you can shake those shackles off and embrace this truth: You are not for everyone. And that's okay. 

Be for you. Learn who you are and show up. Own what you stand for, what you don't and what you're all about (or not about). Be for you. Own your integrity.

How can you arrive at authenticity? I don't know exactly. I think the road looks different for all of us. To be completely honest, for me, watching my coaching clients transform through this authenticity process has helped me to do the same. To see them shout proudly, "this is who I am and this is what I need", committed to living out their best life each and every stinking day - choosing to say no to the one-size-fits-all model -  is the most beautiful and empowering thing I've ever witnessed. 

So, if letting go of the person you think you should be and embracing the person you are feels as freeing to you as it did to me, go for it. And share your story! I'd love to hear from you.

What do you stand for?  

 

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. 

I was that girl who felt less than good enough because a number said so.

Let me tell you about a thing that happened.  

It's no secret that I am a recovering (it's a life-long journey) disordered eater. At my lowest I weighed about as much as a paper weight and things weren't good. I obsessively tracked my calories, being sure to never eat more than 900 a day and I obsessively burned calories, being sure to always run at least 5 miles a day. If you do the math you can quickly see why I wasted away to almost nothing in the span of just a few years. My hair started falling out, I stopped menstruating, friends started expressing concern, and little did I know, my bones were becoming more and more like swiss cheese every day.

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For a period of about 3 years my life WAS the pursuit of skinny. There are a lot of reasons for this, but this isn't the post where I'm going to get all mental health on you (although, that's important, so if you're struggling, talk to someone). The point is I was NEVER satisfied. 

Despite my constant drive to be smaller - take up less space - weigh less - I was NEVER good enough. Whether I was in a size 6...4...2...0 or 00, I hated my body.

Flash forward several years and I've found (or more accurately, created) health. My mental health is in-check, my physical health is in-check and my self worth is stronger today than it ever has been. All good, right? Ehhhh, not exactly. When I began the  l o n g  journey of recovery the goal was simply to gain weight. So by exercising a little less and incorporating some of the foods I had labeled as "off limits" I was easily able to appear "healthier" to those around me - and no one hesitated in telling me so (at the time, I felt as though this was the worst compliment a person could possibly give). I experimented with maintaining a healthy weight, incorporating more strength training and less cardio, focusing on my headspace and balancing my new relationship with food and fitness. But this is tough stuff! Anyone who's ever struggled with disordered eating or addiction of any kind will tell you - recovery is HARD. When it comes to disordered eating you can't simply abstain from your substance of choice - in fact doing so is often the very opposite of what needs to happen. You still need to eat, but now have to learn how to eat enough, how to eat well, how to eat mindfully and how to listen to your body's hunger cues which you've worked so hard to turn off. 

This road to recovery left me much healthier, happier and also 50 pounds heavier. While still at a healthy weight, I felt uncomfortable with my body and ready to progress toward a slightly leaner version of myself with my new, healthy food and fitness parameters in mind. Over the course of the last four year (yes, you read that correctly, YEARS, not days, weeks or months) I worked toward my goal. 

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I used sustainable habits that allowed me to look, feel and perform how I wanted. I was careful to avoid anything restrictive or depriving and I took breaks to maintain my weight and enjoy my new, healthy, normal. 

The other day I weighed in at my self-proclaimed GOAL WEIGHT - a weight that I hadn't been to since before my eating disorder that felt healthy to me - and you know what happened? I flipped the eff out. Want to know why? Because just a month before I had weighed in at 2 pounds lighter. And now I was UP TWO POUNDS!? How could this be? What did I do wrong? How did I let this happen? ... Like I said, that road to recovery is a full time job. 

I got caught up in the scale. For a split second, I was that girl who felt less than good enough because a number said so. Thankfully I have a support system around me to keep me in check. Because even though I've been in recovery for years, disordered eating brain still creeps up and I have to be sure to check my perception, expectations and reality from time to time to make sure I'm prioritising what truly matters and what is healthy for me and my body. 

Because the numbers don't matter. YOU matter. Find something that allows you to feel good mentally, good physically and good enough. Because you are. 

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. 

Living with anxiety is hard.

"You have anxiety. You vibrate with it." 

When I first heard those words it felt like coming home. That might sound odd considering that anxiety isn't typically a warm, comforting place to rest, but it's been my norm for as long as I can remember, waxing and waning at various points in my life, but always there. 

I originally started therapy to cope with the grief of my brothers death, however, once we started talking it quickly became apparent that many of my tendencies - disordered eating, perfectionism, desire for absolute control and of course, grief, were/are firmly rooted in anxiety. 

The clinical definition of anxiety is this, "a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome." To me, it's overthinking, overanalysing and over-expecting when it comes to just about everything. Being hyperaware of all possible variables and fielding every infinitesimal thought or feeling as it fills my brain. In a word, it's exhausting. Constantly, I find myself obsessing over the smallest of possibilities, wanting to control all extraneous factors. I play out every possible scenario, only to end up disappointed when it doesn't go exactly according to plan (my plan, mind you, not anybody else's). I've even found myself getting anxious about my anxiety. If you've ever felt your heart begin to race and your face begin to flush only to take your pulse and proceed to freak out even more as your heart thumps more intently against your ribcage, you and I would get along. 

But you see, while all of this is going on, you (the onlooker) have no idea. To you I appear cool, calm and collected, perhaps even detached or disinterested. Because anxiety is a battle within. Between me and my thoughts. 

And I'm not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States, almost 20% of the population! And while anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.

Living with anxiety is hard. It doesn't just go away. You can't "just stop thinking about it" (saying this is a sure fire way to aggravate someone struggling with anxiety). In certain situations medication is helpful. Other strategies for coping with anxiety include therapy, being aware of your triggers (for me, having a packed schedule with zero "me" time is a major trigger), taking time to care for both brain and body (because that "flight or fight" response affects the whole system) and of course, connecting with others. 

KNOW THIS: Anxiety is not something that needs to be cured or fixed, but know that it can be managed. If you're like me and struggle with anxiety, reach out, connect and seek help. If you're someone who can't quite relate, be patient with those of us who can, please don't take offense if we're needing to veer from the status quo, be patient and most of all, show that you care. 

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"Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light." - Brene Brown

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.  

Breakup with the Scale.

There was a time, not that long ago, when I would wake up, pee, strip down to my skivvies, step on the scale and allow the number staring back at me to control my entire day and demeanor. 

If the scale read what I wanted it to, which, let's face it, happened almost never because my expectations were ridiculously unrealistic, I'd continue to compulsively weigh in multiple times a day to ensure that it was still there (or going down) and not headed in the opposite direction. 

If the scale didn't read what I wanted it to, I'd punish myself with exercise and obsessive food rules that eliminated more than they allowed for and I'd repeatedly weigh in after each event. Step on the scale. Go for a run. Step on the scale. Eat a meal. Step on the scale...yeah, not a lot of self respect. 

For years I viewed that number as something that dictated my self worth. I spent countless days, months and years allowing how I looked at myself in the mirror, the size on my jeans and the number on the scale to dictate who I was and what I was or was not worthy of. There are a lot of reasons for my behavior, but the bottom line is, I allowed the calories I consumed and burned and unrealistic societal standards to dictate how I regarded myself as a human being and as a woman. 

This is not how I want to live my life. Do you? 

Changing the way you regard yourself. Learning to accept and love yourself and your body in today's climate. Those are acts of pure defiance. And I'm here to tell you to be defiant. It takes time. It takes grace. It takes resilience. It takes the ability to fail over and over again, continuing to pick yourself back up and charge forward. 

But I'm here to tell you that it's a practice you can't afford not to commit to. Despite what the world is telling you, or what your scale is trying to convince you of, it's time. It's time to breakup with the scale, rendering it powerless against you. And it's time to begin redefining your self worth. 

Earlier this week, I stepped on the scale. I do this from time to time as I continue to reshape my perception of weight as a number that can be used, or not used, as needed. What I experienced was both reinforcing and discouraging. The scale reflected my lowest (healthy) weight yet, paired with my lowest (healthy) body fat percentage yet. I looked at the numbers and my thought process wants something like this... 

"Wow",

"I wonder how much lower I could go...",

"Eh, this is just a number. It will change tomorrow and the day after that. Keep moving forward." 

So, my breakup with the scale? It's an ongoing process. But it is, hands down, one of the best decisions I ever made for me. Because I am so worthy of love and acceptance. I am worthy of living my best life regardless of what the scale says. 

Ready to begin your breakup with the scale? In 2018, I'm opening up a select number of 12-week coaching spots for women who are looking to break up with the scale, redefine their self worth and work towards healing their body image while reaching their health & fitness goals and feeling good about the way their body looks. If that sounds like the road you want to take this New Year, fill out this application to be put on the waitlist: https://goo.gl/forms/60m0qW0wuM7FiTgn2.

I'd gladly have you join me on this journey toward self discovery and unhindered acceptance. 

 Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.&nbsp;

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. 

Un-merry.

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I am all about tradition. This time of year, I love being smacked across the face by twinkling lights, the smell of that douglas fir, carols on the radio and the giving of magical gifts. From the time the air starts feeling like Christmas, I'm pretty grossly full of holiday cheer. 

But here's the deal, holidays pretty much suck now. 

I mean, they aren't a total drag, but once upon a time I had the family life people dreamed of. Two loving parents, a kid brother, a dog, a unifying faith to carry us through anything...it sounds sickening, but I loved my life. It felt happy and all was right with the world. 

Flash forward to current day and I'm an only child with a dysfunctional family (sure, everyone's a little dysfunctional) trying to stuff the grief that has become the air we breathe deep down inside. I hate to sound like the Grinch, but it's not Christmas cheer we're breathing anymore. 

Not a day that goes by is easy, but some sure are harder than others. The holidays, they're always hard. There's this big emphasis on family and togetherness and those of us without a family, or with missing pieces in our family get lost in the cracks.

Good tidings are being handed out like Christmas cookies, but here I am watching all the holly jolly from the outside of this snow speckled globe. Some of that is because I'm still learning how to build my new narrative, learning how to celebrate holidays on my own terms with these new missing pieces. Some of it is because our culture doesn't know how to appropriately acknowledge grief and suffering, especially during what is supposed to be the "best time of year". 

So if you're having a hard time this holiday season and you just can't seem to get on board with all the "deck the halls" business, there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, there's nothing wrong with not having a holiday at all. And there's nothing wrong with having a holiday that doesn't feel like holiday or act like a holiday. Despite the tidal wave that is Christmas in our culture, you do not have to be merry if you don't feel merry. 

Just in case you needed to hear it from someone else who's a little less-than-merry. 

 

Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.