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The First Post… is always the best

Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more! Expect silliness and seriousness; vulnerability and courage; motivation through the lens of my perspectives. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Body Imperfections

My imperfections make me beautiful. And sometimes they are annoying. Trying to remember to love my body is one of my biggest struggles in self-development and my journey alongside happiness.

Sometimes I type in “motivational body quotes” into Pinterest just to see what new advice is available to me. Sometimes I catch myself saying “Oh, that’s new! A good one!” But majority of the time I’m thinking “Great, one more quote that tries to reinforce the fact that my body dysmorphia is crap.”

Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental disorder in which you can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance – whether others can see it or not.

I lost 80lbs and it still wasn’t enough. And I am learning that it is more about acceptance and a new perspective that will ease the discomfort associated with this condition.

I am certainly not perfect with my routine but here are a few things that have happened me:

  1. Set a reminder on your phone to repeat a mantra, keep it simple and repeat it as many times are you want to. (“I am enough. I am loved. I am safe.”)
  2. Start each morning with two deep breaths. If you feel comfortable doing it, inhale confidence and exhale doubt.
  3. When you look in a mirror, say one nice thing about your body (“Thank you for carrying me” or “You’ve been through a lot, I understand). Accept all other thoughts (we aren’t trying to get rid of them in this exercise).
  4. Write a short note on the bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker or leave a post-it on your desk that says something short and sweet. A quick visual reminder.
  5. When you catch yourself shaming your body, pat yourself on the back. Because you are consciously shaming yourself then you have the opportunity to start reshaping your mindset. Say “Thank you shaming part of me, this must be difficult for you. I don’t want to get rid of you, but you aren’t needed so strongly right now.” Toss in a compliment to yourself even!

The last one (#5) is more challenging but has helped me tremendously.

I would love to hear what others do in order to help with body shaming and staying positive?

Just Strong

I stumbled upon an add in Instagram called JustStrong and I already applied to be a brand ambassador and was accepted! I am so excited to start this journey!

JustStrong is a lifestyle brand for women from all over the world, at all different levels of fitness and wellness. The JustStrong community empowers women to strive for physical and mental strength and to celebrate our successes.

I said “YES”. I want to be someone who encourages women (and all individuals actually) to embrace their strength, speak up for weaknesses, and to share stories of hardship to inspire others. I want to contribute to a network of individuals spread across the globe that all have the same goal. Lift each other up.

The founder of JustStrong says that she “noticed how we as women downplay our wins, attributing our success to luck” Jade Paton, founder. “Or worse, we turn on each other, as if the only way to break the glass ceiling is to step on our sisters along the way.”

I have always wanted to be a life coach for fitness but often I find myself procrastinating or missing workouts/healthy meals entirely. So I never pursued that branch of work for a career. But this seems perfect for anyone who wants to inspire others but has limited capacity to do so.

Once you are accepted to represent the brand, you just have to do one social media post a month (which gives you a discount code for their products and you get commission through PayPal if you have others buy from your personal ID at checkout).

I am still learning all about the site, brand, my role, and the company… so more to come! But I just could not wait to share this exciting news with others! And to spread the word about JustStrong since I support their mission.

Mental Health – Say “Yes”

I have been lowering my dosage on a mood stabilizer medication and due to having an extreme sensitivity to these things, I have been experiencing extreme side effects. You know when you read about a med and see that there is a 0.01% chance a particular symptom will occur? Well, that is my life! Lol!

I’ve learned to accept it because I cannot change it. It made me so angry that I can’t take Benadryl, Tylenol, anything that effects the Central Nervous System, allergy pills, etc. So I asked my psychiatrist, “why?!” Because it didn’t seem fair. She performed a genetic test that went into great detail about how my genes interact with medication. Talk about a mind blowing encounter with scientific facts.

I consider myself lucky to have a care partner who is always accepting of me. If you have even one person in life that accepts you at your worst you are already considered wealthy. You’ve been blessed by angels that are very special…

See… helping someone with mental health struggles is so difficult! What do you say? Or do you say nothing? What if they don’t reach out to you, do you reach out to them? The answer is “yes”.

Just, yes. Say, “Thank you for sharing this with me, I imagine it is very difficult and you are being brave speaking up for the parts of you that are suffering.”

Say “I’m here for you.”

Say “I’m not leaving your side and I will fight with you.”

I believe one of the most courageous things anyone can do is speak up and ask for help. It takes a tremendous amount of vulnerability to admit we are lacking in an area that others can help with while knowing the risk of denial or rejection of even saying anything. It is so much easier to hide in a dark room and hold the pillow tight to avoid the world.

……And THAT is how the first half of my day started. With the side effects, I have random outbursts of crying, extreme fatigue that will make random appearances, hallucinations, severe depression, and anxiety panic attacks. I hid in my room HOPING the man I see wouldn’t come back to try to harm me. I jumped in the shower and was immobile for a good hour.

When I walked out of the bathroom, my care partner greeted me. They helped me into bed, held my hand, and said, “I’m here with you.”

I cried more. There is something about knowing someone cares THAT much. It’s touching. And it can be that simple.

So, please. Say yes! Say “I’m here.” And reach out to others in hope to make the fight against mental health just a little bit easier in the world.

My “Meet Me” Page

Hello, to each awesome person reading this! The fact that you have taken a chance to explore my blog means the world to me! I have a passion to help develop and grow others in their career and personal life. Enough about the boring stuff though.

I’m 32 and identify as a white female. I love inclusion and diversity of all corners of the globe. I work in the Customer Services industry at one of the most widely known companies on Earth. I am a continuous improvement specialist (meaning, I help identify and scope issues and then run events to solve the root cause of the problem to prevent it from occurring again). Prior to that, I worked in healthcare operations for ten years doing project management and instructional design (people fascinate me).

I live, eat, and breath animals! (maybe literally eat since dog hair is always flying in my food). I have five dogs, two cats, and one chinchilla in a house not nearly large enough. Luckily, I live with two others to help with pet duties.

I have my bachelors of science in psychology and business administration and I am slated to finish my masters in professional studies in psychology of leadership by end of 2022. The intricacies and complexity of the human brain and how people interact in society and in the workplace is a topic I will never get bored with.

I enjoy shooting hoops, camping, hiking, kayaking, gaming, wiring poetry, and throwing Frisbee for our border collie pup.

More personally, I have struggled with mental health issues since I was born. I was raised with parents that have addictive personalities, received visits from CPS, and was subjected to extreme verbal abuse. In the last three years, I have tried over eight mood stabilizing medications for anxiety and depression. Come to find out from a mental health genetic test my body is very sensitive to medication and I can only have ONE drug out of 120+ without having major side effects. All eight that I tried were the wrong ones and I was diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar II that lasted for seven months.

So. Here I am at age 32 starting a blog about the GOOD in life. There is so much of it and as humans we tend to overlook it. I know I did for most of my life (I still do when I’m on autopilot). I will share my wins, losses, success stories, tips, and reflections. I want to hear yours! This is a safe space and all constructive and conducive comments are welcome.

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