Self-Discipline Reminders

When I start to feel off-balance, it is often because I have begun to skip the activities on my Self-Discipline tactics I am about to list. While I know it is counter-productive, the pattern is so easy to get trapped into. It starts with (a) getting overwhelmed then (b) crawling up on the couch and vegging and then (c) sleep and repeat.

Once I do this for more than one day, I find myself getting stuck and it is very hard to get unstuck – especially with the chronic pain I suffer from. For you, it may be pain as well that stops you or it might be just negative thoughts – which can be just as exhausting.

I am hoping this list will serve as a good reminder of your projected daily goals. You can alter it slightly to fit what works for you. The point is to at least have a list that you can refer to when you start to feel yourself feel off balance. A good tip is to read through them in the morning (out loud) so that the universe can hear your intention. As I have stated before, what you put into the universe usually cycles back around to you.

  1. Wake up on Time (or even earlier). Set an alarm and get up when your alarm goes off. Just by doing that simple task, you are inserting your drive to succeed. It takes self-discipline to get up on time or even early.
  2. Daily Exercise. It does not have to be crazy but MOVE. When we move, we release endorphins which helps with depression and anxiety. My personal goal (beyond daily exercise) is to exercise for thirty min. five times a week.
  3. Eat Healthy. When we eat crap food, we often feel crappy inside. When I am consistent with my macro counting, my energy levels increase and I generally feel happier. You can enjoy a piece of chocolate or a cookie every now and then, but try to watch your overall consumption.
  4. Follow-Through. Self-discipline is often in the follow-through. This does not mean saying yes to everything. What it means is if you do commit to something, try to keep that commitment.
  5. Avoid Temptation. A great way to build self-discipline is to avoid things you know you don’t want. For example, if you know your overall goal is to eat healthy, don’t buy doughnuts.
  6. Show Respect Toward Others. Being kind can have a ripple effect. Control your inner anger/frustration and choose to be respectful toward others, even if they are not that way toward you. Take the higher road.
  7. Personal Growth Time. Give yourself at least fifteen minutes a day to do personal growth, whether that is reading, listening to a podcast, or writing in a journal.
  8. Meet Deadlines, AKA: Don’t Procrastinate. You have to do something? Just do it. Don’t put it off because you don’t feel like it.

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30 Years: 30 Life Lessons

It’s crazy to think I am thirty years old – not because I think it is an old age, but rather because time is going so insanely fast. One moment we are all graduating high school and the next, everyone is settling down in their careers and building a family of their own.

To celebrate this monumental age, I wanted to share thirty lessons I have learned along the way. Some I wish I had known (or come to realize) sooner!

Hint: You might recognize some of these lessons as topics of previous blog posts.

  1. Mindset is everything. A negative mindset will keep you from reaching your full potential in life. A positive mindset will make you unstoppable! Force yourself to challenge your thoughts, and say positive things to yourself like you would to a friend.
  2. Friends come, and friends go. Life is always evolving. Some people may be here for a season or some for a lifetime. Either way, chances are there is a lesson attached.
  3. Change is always possible. Never settle. You are never stuck if you don’t want to be.
  4. Toxic is toxic. Set boundaries for yourself and keep them.
  5. Stop comparing yourself to others. Each of us have different experiences in life that make up who we are. Your path is unique to you.
  6. Be transparent. Be real. Share your story with others, even if it is scary. You never know who you may inspire.
  7. Fall seven times, get up eight. Keep going.
  8. Self-love and compassion are essential.
  9. Be around like-minded people and people who share the same vision as you.
  10. Don’t rush time. Time goes fast. Enjoy the time you have with your loved ones.
  11. Be mindful who you take advice from.
  12. Learn to take constructive criticism so that you are able to grow.
  13. Be open-minded. Try to see situations from all angles.
  14. Feel your emotions, don’t run from them. When you try to numb pain, it just manifests into something negative. Allow yourself to feel and heal from what is hurting you.
  15. Love the people that support you.
  16. Time helps to heal. It doesn’t erase memories; it just makes them easier to grasp.
  17. Complaining about everything will not help solve your problems.
  18. Never work for money, work for your passion.
  19. Take educated risks. Do your research, but do not be afraid to change things up.
  20. Work out to make your body stronger, not because you feel like you have to look a certain way.
  21. Do some type of personal growth daily – whether it is reading, journaling, yoga, etc.
  22. Gossiping is useless and hurtful. Challenge yourself not to engage in it.
  23. Listen more, talk less.
  24. Speak up for yourself and for those you love.
  25. Travel – see how differently the world is beyond your world.
  26. Give back to the community, whether it is charity work or fundraisers. Think beyond just you.
  27. Worry less about what others think and worry more about what God has placed on your heart.
  28. Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.
  29. Don’t worry so much about the past. It is done and over with. You can’t go back – you can only make this moment and beyond count.
  30. You don’t have to be in a relationship to be happy. Happiness comes from within.

#selfcare #selflove #love #skincare #mentalhealth #wellness #beauty #loveyourself #health #mindfulness #motivation #healing #meditation #mentalhealthawareness #yoga #fitness #inspiration #anxiety #positivevibes #healthylifestyle #selfcarethreads #life #relax #happiness #skincareroutine #wellbeing #instagood #threads #massage #bhfyp #life #lessons

Improve Your Self-Esteem

After going to a conference a month ago, I decided to pick a word for 2020 that I would force myself to work on throughout the entire year. My word was “confidence”. While it may look like I have a ton of confidence and high self-esteem, it is far from the truth. I do my best to portray confidence, so that in return, I might gain confidence back.

Working out your innermost demons can be a daily struggle, but it is necessary in order to grow. But where do you even begin?

It begins with decision, which is then accompanied by daily ACTION. Mindset is everything when it comes to overcoming negative self-esteem.

Here are some simple tips on how to build self-esteem and gain confidence:

  1. Start your morning out right – Set your intention for the day. Say out loud – in front of a mirror – your affirmations (ex: “I am strong. I am smart. I am a warrior.”)
  2. Stop the negative voices/self-talk – Anytime you hear yourself saying something negative, stop and think about what you are saying. Would you say that to a friend?
  3. Widen your lens – Get out of your own head and body. What good can you do out in the world? Volunteer, hold a door, help a friend, fundraise.
  4. Manage your expectations – What are you asking of yourself? It is good to think big; but in retrospect, keep your goals measurable. Look up “S.M.A.R.T.” goals for more reference.
  5. Don’t compare – Your fifth step cannot be compared to someone’s tenth. There is so much that is unseen and each of our journey’s are different. Stop yourself from trying to compare.
  6. Practice meditation/self-reflecting – Practice for at least 10-15 minutes a day. Slow down your mind by either meditating or doing yoga so that you can release those negative thoughts into the atmosphere.
  7. Reflect, Rather than React – Accept constructive criticism rather than react to it. Let it better you, not tear you down. No one started at the top.
  8. Take risks – Seek out the uncomfortable because ultimately it will help you grow.
  9. List the positive – List out three positive things you did each day.

#selfcare #selflove #love #skincare #mentalhealth #wellness #beauty #loveyourself #health #mindfulness #motivation #healing #meditation #mentalhealthawareness #yoga #fitness #inspiration #anxiety #positivevibes #healthylifestyle #selfcarethreads #life #relax #happiness #skincareroutine #wellbeing #instagood #threads #massage #bhfyp

Anniversary of My Suicide Attempt

The semicolon project: my life could have stopped, but I continued on.

Exactly seventeen years ago, I attempted to take my own life. I don’t talk about it much because I don’t like to remember that day or the events after it. In actuality, I think part of my psyche has blocked it from my memory because I only remember bits and pieces.

I was thirteen. I remember the pain I felt; deep, intense, hopeless. I felt alone. Yet, when I went into the inpatient/outpatient programs, everyone just looked at me and said “You don’t belong here.” It wasn’t out of malice, even though it may sound like it. All the other teenagers around me had severely broken childhoods and families that really did not give a damn. And there I was – with two parents who loved me and who tried to give me the best life possible. It pains me to think of it because the guilt I felt was tremendous. “I didn’t deserve to feel pain”, I thought.

But the truth? Everyone is entitled to their emotions. We cannot compare circumstances. It does no good and it does not solve the problem.

While I did not have a broken family, I had a severe chemical imbalance – most of which I contribute to getting my menstrual cycle early. My body was developing fast, but my surroundings were not and my brain was still one of a thirteen-year-old. I would get conflicted as to how I should be feeling and what I actually was feeling.

In addition, the meds I was put on for my depression and anxiety were not handled properly. The doctor started me off on a high dose and then did not monitor it. My parents did not know any better. After all, they trusted the doctor.

To this day, I remember my dad’s face when he found out I overdosed on pain medication. I stayed home that day because I needed a mental break from school. I felt so alone with my feelings that I just broke – I grabbed the bottle without thinking and continued to shove the pills down my throat. My dad knew I did something. He kept asking, “What did you do? What did you do?” I don’t remember what tipped him off honestly, but he knew. I was honest. Then he called 911.

The cops showed up with an ambulance. I was so scared. I was crying. “I’m fine! I’m sorry. I won’t do it again. Please don’t take me away.” I just wanted them to go away.

Once at the hospital, they pumped my stomach full of charcoal. I met with some doctors who I tried to convince “I WAS FINE”. But since I had made an attempt, I had to be inpatient for a couple days.

Those days were filled with the scariest moments I had seen yet being only thirteen. I was trying to understand my emotions, while also be frightened into seeing the worst of the worst situations. To give you an idea – someone smashed their head through a glass panel on a door in an attempt to end their life.

I wouldn’t understand this experience until much later in life. I never wanted to end my life. I wanted the pain to stop. I wanted to understand my feelings and how to feel better.

Since I refused to deal with it, those emotions just fostered into an eating disorder three years later. I used food as a cop out to control the emotions I felt were out of control.

Now almost two decades later, I have completely done a 180. I’m so glad I failed that day because I had so much to accomplish that God was planning for me. I look at my struggles with mental health as a time that made me stronger and more understanding. I am now able to help others with my story and encourage them to keep fighting. It is no walk in the park; it takes time, dedication, continual therapy, and patience. BUT IT IS SO WORTH IT. I truly believe we were each created for something special. Sometimes it takes others longer to find it and that’s okay. We each bloom at our own time.

When you feel at your lowest, remember me as an example to keep fighting. You have no idea what God has in store for you and whose life you will one day impact. I’m in your corner.

If you or something you know is suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Help is available.


#mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #anxiety #depression #selfcare #selflove #mentalillness #love #therapy #health #wellness #mentalhealthmatters #motivation #mindfulness #recovery #healing #ptsd #fitness #psychology #bipolar #wellbeing #life #loveyourself #inspiration #meditation #positivevibes #happiness #trauma #support #bhfyp

Body Image: Looks vs. Health

“When did we become a society focused around looks and not health?”

Body image is a sensitive topic to many people, myself included. Even as a recovered anorexic, I still have my moments when I cringe at my body or nitpick every little roll or imperfection.

I often wonder why I have a certain image in my head and why I think my body is not good enough. And then I remember the power of social media and marketing. An ad, a picture in a magazine, a post on the internet – everything has influence over our brain. As we grow up, these societal ideals are built in our head as the “norm”. It is almost like we are brainwashed from the beginning on what the perfect body entails.

But, my question is this – why have we become a society focused around looks and not health?

Let’s flash back to about twelve years ago. People were quick to assume I was losing weight to be “healthier” and did not hold back their comments of how good I was looking. Little did they know, I had no clue about accurate nutrition and was starving myself in order to match the idea of what I thought looked perfect. My potassium was quickly dropping and my intestines were barely functioning. And then mentally – that’s a whole other story. There was nothing good going on in my head. It was filled with negativity, body dysmorphia, and just a poor outlook on life. So while I fit within society’s body type, I was in very poor health.

Seeking validation based on our body type is a dangerous territory to tread in. The make up of our body should not matter, other than focusing on optimizing our health to feel physically better – not try to change our body because society says that’s what we should do.

It’s also important to note that, the problem isn’t always with our body – most of the time, it’s what we think of our body and – more importantly – what we think of ourselves.

the scale.



#bodyimage #bodypositive #selflove #fitness #loveyourself #bodypositivity #motivation #intuitiveeating #bodyacceptance #selfcare #weightloss #confidence #gym #health #nondiet #haes #love #selfesteem #mentalhealth #loveyourbody #foodfreedom #wellness #diet #selfconfidence #happiness #healthateverysize #body #workout #workoutmotivation #bhfyp

Loneliness

“Loneliness is designed to help you discover who you are and stop looking outside yourself for worth.”

Do you ever have one of those days were you just feel misunderstood? Like no matter what you do, you cannot get your point across?

Well, what happens when this feeling occurs on a daily basis, leaving you feeling alone and discouraged?

Feeling alone can take up a lot of energy, especially as we tell ourselves how alone we are. But there is a difference between feeling alone and being alone.

Loneliness often does not come from actually being alone, but rather from feeling misunderstood or like you do not belong. So, the first step is to acknowledge that. Are you really alone or do you feel alone? If you are feeling alone, try to pinpoint why. Are you having trouble getting your point across? Do you feel like no one understands you? Once you have a clearer idea of what you are struggling with, you can begin to put together an action plan to heal.

First off, it’s important to note, that feeling lonely is much more common then you would think. Tons of people are trying to find their way whether they state it or not. And there are definitely times when many of us feel like something is wrong with us and that we do not fit into the world around us.

Once you figure out what is causing you to feel alone, I challenge you to see the power that you hold: “Loneliness is designed to help you discover who you are and stop looking outside yourself for worth.” Reread that one more time. “Loneliness is designed to help you discover who you are and stop looking outside yourself for worth.” If you can wrap your brain around this concept, that means our dreadful feeling of loneliness is actually quite powerful. So –

Step #1. Stop looking for another person’s approval – whether it be a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a friend, etc.

Step #2. Start appreciating yourself for everything you are. You would never tell a friend how terrible he/she is, so don’t tell yourself that either.

Step #3. Start filling your day with things that you love to do. What brings you the most joy? What brings out your inner light?

And lastly,

Step #4. Give yourself a break. We can often be our worst enemies. It is now time to be your best friend. You have so much to offer this world. Keep fighting through the negative thoughts; you are meant to shine.


#edrecovery #eatingdisorderrecovery #recovery #anorexiarecovery #anorexia #eatingdisorder #mentalhealth #edfighter #edwarrior #anarecovery #bulimiarecovery #anorexianervosarecovery #recoveryispossible #ed #intuitiveeating #bulimia #recoveryisworthit #recoverywin #food #selflove #anorexianervosa #mentalhealthawareness #haes #edfam #recoverywarrior #anorexiafighter #fearfood #bodypositive #foodfreedom #bhfyp #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #anxiety #depression #selfcare #love #selflove #health #mentalillness #therapy #recovery #motivation #wellness #mindfulness #healing #ptsd #mentalhealthmatters #fitness #wellbeing #loveyourself #psychology #life #meditation #happiness #worldmentalhealthday #suicideprevention #endthestigma #inspiration #positivity #loneliness #alone

The Untold Story: My Battle With Depression, Body Image, and Food

“Real hope combined with real action has always pulled me through difficult times. Real hope combined with doing nothing has never pulled me through.”

― Jenni Schaefer, Goodbye Ed, Hello Me: Recover from Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life

This is a story that almost came to an end many times over the last two decades. The person that you are looking at to your left has battled disordered eating since she was thirteen years old. What started out as trying to lose a few pounds turned into a full blown eating disorder by the time she was sixteen. There were many tears, doctor visits, breakdowns, and therapy sessions — BUT this is no longer a tragic story anymore and it is time to share it. While it is a long story, I hope you bare with me and follow along. It is important to know the different phases of my life to understand where it lead.

I had an amazing childhood, one that others dream of. I grew up with a brother (who was close in age) and had two amazing parents who would have given their lives to make sure ours were perfect.

Everything was pretty normal up until the time I was ten years old. The month after I turned the “double digits”, I got my first menstrual cycle. It wasn’t a big deal at first. I was now officially part of womanhood! Or at least that’s what my mom told me. It wasn’t until my body started changing faster than those around me that it really started to affect me. I was a fourth grader, who was 5’3 with growing boobs and hips – while the other girls in my grade were flat chested and didn’t have to worry about wearing a bra. To give you a gist of how embarrassing it was, other girls would snap my bra straps to make notice of my growing change.

I also noticed that, not only was I physically more mature, I was maturing mentally faster as well. It began to feel like there was no where I fit in.

Then fifth grade came – the year that changed everything. I had my first heartbreak. And while that seems absolutely silly now, it really tore me up mentally at the time because it was just another thing I found “wrong” with me.

I began to separate from all my friends. As seventh grade came, I would hide in the bathrooms in the mornings and cry because I felt so alone. No one seemed to even notice.

I finally broke down to my dad that I needed help. I was so sad, and I felt so bad about it because at the time I could not put the pieces together. He and my mom made a psychiatrist appointment and I was put on my first antidepressant. Except, the psychiatrist was not a very good one – he started me out on a high dose of Effexor, which as a 13-year-old was way too much for my body.

It was a January day in 2003, I told my dad I needed a mental day from school. I ended up grabbing a hand full of Aleve and shoving it down my throat. I didn’t want to live anymore; I felt so alone. Long story short, I spent some time in the hospital, got taken off Effexor, and was put on about twenty different meds in the course of the next three years to try to help my depression.

In those three years, the meds caused me to gain a lot of weight. I began feeling even worse about myself. To try to lose some of the weight I gained, I began doing pilates everyday; nothing obsessive just enough to combat the weight gain.

The pilates worked and I had lost most of the weight I gained. As a result, I was starting to get comments about how good I looked. That was the most damaging thing anyone could have said to me. Why? Because it told me that I was noticed when I was thinner.

This is when I began to restrict what I ate. By the time I was a junior, I would go to the library everyday during lunch so I wouldn’t have to be around food. I wouldn’t eat in the morning and would play around with my food at night so my parents wouldn’t notice something was wrong. That routine only worked for so long. Once I hit a certain weight, they knew something was wrong.

There were many fights at the dinner table. Many tears, and quite a bit of yelling. “Why can’t you just eat?” I don’t know, why couldn’t I just eat? The truth? it wasn’t about food anymore – it was about control.

When everything felt out of control, I knew the one thing I could control was what I put in my mouth. And I wasn’t giving in.

I ended up inpatient at Renfew in Philadelphia and then continued outpatient treatment for months after.

It was now my senior year of High School. As it was coming to a close, I chose a college close to me so that I could continue the treatment I needed for my eating disorder. However come August of that year (a month before school was supposed to start), I was at my lowest weight ever and the doctor now wanted me to go back inpatient. I made the choice to go to school. I wasn’t going to lose that too.

Once in college, I began to gain a little of the weight back. I found an amazing college counselor and attended eating disorder groups fairly frequently. I thought I finally had it under control.

Then 1.5 years later, my dad passed away. I did the only thing I knew how – restrict. A couple months later, I was back in the hospital. I had contracted MRSA and the bacteria quickly moved into my bloodstream. While in the hospital, they did a bunch of bloodwork finding my iron and potassium levels extremely low. The doctor turned to me and said “If you don’t start changing your life, you are going to die.”

Over the next ten years, I have fought to have a better relationship with food. Just like a recovering alcoholic, you can consider yourself recovered and still have thoughts that you know aren’t healthy or beneficial.

More about my nutritional journey will be in another post – but for now, I want to share my biggest take away. Food is not the enemy. Negative thoughts were and continue to be the enemy. When I didn’t eat, I allowed the negative thoughts to tell me I was empowered. And when I did choose to eat, I wasn’t eating to feed my body and to nourish myself. I was eating to fill a hole inside of me created by those negative thoughts. That hole can only be filled with self-love and affirmations.

If you struggle with an eating disorder or disordered eating, I encourage you to fight those negative thoughts and challenge yourself to see what is really going on behind the self-destructive behavior. I needed to love myself and know I am exactly who God made me to be. I needed to find my inner strength and purpose.

The secret to beating an eating disorder, or any addiction for that matter, is the desire – the desire to find something BIGGER and more IMPORTANT than your self-destructive behaviors. Because, yes…while these behaviors become our outlet and our “friend”, it takes more than it gives and ultimately it can take your life.

You are so much more than what your mind is telling you. Recovery is possible and life is waiting for you. xoxo


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