Feelings vs food. The constant battle. Have you ever had one of those terrible work days where you come home and instantly want to down a bottle of wine? Or maybe it's just been a jam packed day and a package of ramen sounds way better then cooking a full on meal. If you've been there you're not alone. With wine and ramen being two of my favorite go to's I had a realization a few months back.
When I first picked up the book The Goddess Revolution author Mel Wells talks about emotional eating. She brings up the topic for the reason why you could not be losing weight or actually gaining even though you think you're on the right track. I skimmed through this part because I thought "no way this part isn't for me". But as I sat in the Taco Bell drive thru a week later after one of the most stressful work days, the only thing flashing in my mind was that chapter. I went back to the emotional eating part and read it. And I realized something, we all do it! Maybe some more often then others, but it's actually pretty normal. But what isn't normal is when your emotional eating begins to get the best of you.
For anyone that's like me, when my anxiety is in high gear thats when you'll find me pigging out. I begin to adapt the mentality that "I don't care" and "whatever it's just one meal" sort of attitude. But I truly began to see the bigger picture. It wasn't so much about what I was eating but more of I was feeling an emotion so deeply that I had to fill that void with food. Sounds bizarre right? But it also kind of makes sense.
How many times have you heard someone in your life talk about needing sweets, or alcohol or tacos- whatever their go to is because they had a stressful day. It is typical for many of us to eat away at our emotions rather then really confront what's going on inside our minds. When I feel my anxiety coming on I truly feel it, from head to toe. And for a good amount of time I would sink back into my "I don't care" mode and eat whatever I wanted. Within 20 minutes of my meal I felt like shit, my stomach would be bloated and my emotions were worse then before. So, solution you may wonder?
I'm still figuring it out. Sorry! Just kidding- sort of. We're all different. We are different people with different issues. But I can tell you my few secrets that keep me from eating my emotions.
Secret #1: When I'm having a tough time with a situation or person I excuse myself, even for 10 minutes, grab my headphones and go meditate. Meditation is one of my favorite ways to clear my mind, stop it from racing and really focus on myself.
Secret #2: Talk about it. Sometimes the situations we are in aren't as bad as we think. Sometimes we already have the answers within us, we just need someone to be our sound board. Find someone to bounce your thoughts off of or just a great listener. It's much better then binging fast food!
Secret #3: Before you reach for your favorite snack or hop in the car to pick up some take out, have a little chat with yourself. Most of the time you already feel guilty before you eat because you know deep down it isn't aligned with your goals. Ask yourself why you're going for the fast food or the quick snacks that you normally don't go for.
Secret #4: Sleep it off! If you are fortunate enough to walk away from your day for a half hour, nap it out. If not, make it an early night and allow yourself some extra sleep. After a rough day, there is nothing better then pjs at 9pm.
Secret #5: Get your sweat on. Go for a run, take a fitness class or hit the weights. It might be tough to push yourself at first but after the first few minutes you'll break through, feel the adrenaline rushing through you and ease the pain.
Secret #6: My personal favorite- write. I love to write (clearly) and have been since I was little. The best part about journaling for me is being able to go back to past issues and see where I am now. The second best part is when I begin writing by the time I have finished my entry, I usually have answered my own problem!
Comment some of your tricks when it comes to keeping yourself on track, below!
Almost a year ago I was blessed with meeting a beautiful soul, who become one of my great friends. She is the kind of friend you need on your tough days and have the best times with on happy days. One evening when I wasn't myself she mentioned how she has a "happy list" on her phone. Her list consisted of things that made her happy when she was feeling down. At first I didn't find it to be much of anything, but when I was having my next bad day this list came in handy.
It's just a simple list of anything that makes you happy, that keeps your mind at ease and takes the crazy down a few notches.
3-Take a shower
4-Go for a run
5-Watch my favorite tv show
7-Take a yoga class
8-Go to the movies
9-Make yourself a meal
10-Call your best friend
11-Gather your girlfriends for a wine night
12-Go for a walk at the beach
13-Go for a drive
14-Watch a disney movie
15-Put on your favorite music
16-Put your phone down
18-Pamper yourself with a manicure
19-Get a massage
20-Take a bath
Father's Day for my family is usually filled with family and lots of food. Gathering with all my extended family is always a blast and some of my favorite memories. While family time is always fun the pressure of family questions arise the second I walk into my grandparent's house. It's usually the same three questions; "where are you working now" "what do you want to do with your life" and "when are you getting married". Three questions that somewhat terrify me and I hate to answer. Like please tell me I'm not the only one who gets harassed by relatives. It's like they think because we are all getting together that something new and super life changing has happened since the last family bbq. I wish!
As I sat at the table eating dessert with the fam, I listened for a while to the conversations. For many, many years it made me anxious knowing I was going to be asked what was going on with my life since I wasn't proud of anything. When I was in school I wanted to be done with it, once I graduated all I wanted was to go back. I never truly enjoyed any job I held since they all were part time gigs and could probably be done by a monkey. My confidence and belief in myself was low and I didn't want to have to talk about it with other people, even if it was my own family. As I sat and listened to the conversation about who's in new relationships or ended old ones, new jobs, new homes, and so on all I could think was how happy I was to be the position I am currently in. While I am not in love with the job I have it still pays the bills and allows me to work on my dream job on the side. While I don't love living home, I have a roof over my head with a refrigerator filled with food. While I would much rather be driving a range rover, I have a brand new leased car that always has a full tank of gas to get me to where ever I want to go.
For so long I had been in a place of survival mode, feeling like the world was against me. Being questioned what I was doing with my life made me angry like people wanted to hear about me failing. The truth of it is though, it made me angry because I didn't honestly know and didn't want to look like a loser. BUT! I am in my 20's where most people have no idea what the hell is going on in their lives. I find some peace in the beauty of all this chaos. Yes I am not financially independent yet, but that is to come. It is so easy to get wrapped up and consumed in what we don't have because we simply don't have it. But what about getting wrapped up in what we do have. No, I don't have a high paying job and my own place like my cousin, but its not like I'm unemployed and living on the streets! It is truly all about perspective and how you perceive your own life. I was attracting so much negativity into my life because I was afraid. I lived with so much fear and hatred and anger because I was scared. Fear vs love. You can be terrified of any situation and think of all the ways it can go wrong, or you can love every situation and have faith that the best outcomes will be attracted into you life.
Now when I talk to my family I am more eager to speak about what I'm planning. Maybe they wont understand, and that's okay too. But it doesn't matter if they do or don't because its my life. When I tell them I am writing my own blog along with my coaching and personal training, and hey I even started to write a book, everyone is more intrigued to hear about the good in my life vs the bad. We all have worked the jobs we don't enjoy or worked paycheck to paycheck and that is the same old story. Talk about positive and in return you will attract more positive in your life.
I have often come across this phrase "is love enough" in many different parts of my life. With romantic relationships, friends, family even material things. When you feel like someone or something has let you down in a way you may never be able to forgive this can often become a question in mind. For me I felt like saying "I love you" would heal all wounds. I felt that although shitty things may have happened to me that if I was told I was still loved that those issues would go away. Man was I wrong though. Yes in a bad situation it is needed to know you are still loved, from something as small as scraping your knee to finding out your marriage is over. Our world doesn't work without emotions. In times of distress we need to know there is more then just negativity surrounding us. That brings me back to my question, is love enough?
Is it? When you are betrayed by a loved one is the love between you enough to mend it? Maybe it isn't. Maybe the betrayal was so deep that it severed all chances to let love heal it. For me, my entire life my family surrounded me with love. Regardless of any situation my mother was always there as my safe haven to let me know I was in a loved place. As I grew up my view on life changed. I started to have romantic relationships and learned what it meant to love someone other than your family members. I learned what it was like to feel those butterflies in your stomach from another person and get all giddy when they walked into the room. But I also learned what it felt like the be hurt. I learned that not everyone is honest and pure. I learned that not all love is true meaningful love. As badly as I wanted to believe that love was truly like Disney fairytales it wasn't. I'm not sure if that was more heartbreaking than actually enduring the pain.
Being where I am today, I look back on sometimes that I was hurt by others. I see where I was in that moment and who I was. I see how I would fight till the death and use love as my choice of weapon to keep a man around. Little did I realize that my love couldn't fix what he had done, or fix him at all. You see we all to a degree want to fix other people. One of my mother's famous one liners "you can't change anyone but yourself" and isn't that the damn truth. We all know it to be so, yet we all try to do it anyway. For me, I realized that if I loved someone to the fullest of my being that it would make him a better person. That my love would make him stop cheating or my love would make him want to spend more time together or that my love would fix his dark spots from his own struggles. WRONG! I knew I couldn't change anyone yet I was exhausting myself trying to.
This thought recently popped into my mind when I had an issue with someone in my life that is not my romantic partner. I had been hurt and burned so many times, I genuinely thought is love enough? Is love enough to mend such a battered relationship? Is love enough when everything else is lacking? Do I have enough love to oversee all the shortcomings and lies and move forward with my life? My answer became clear as day though. After doing a bit of reading in my go to book Mastering Your Mean Girl I came to one startling realization. Love is enough. Love is enough to mend my soul. I didn't need to be bursting with love to fix my relationship with this person or to fix them. I needed to be bursting with love to help myself! Love is that emotion that you can never have too much of. Melissa (author of Mastering Your Mean Girl) talks about visualizing sending love to those who have hurt you. When I first attempted this exercise I thought I don't want to send them anything other then a good kick in the ass. But! I attempted it a few times to try to see where she was coming from. To my own surprise I had tears running down my face picturing myself sending love to someone who has caused me so much pain over the years. For me seeing through all the bad stuff and just for a moment sending pure love was my way of letting my pain go. Because truly thats what it's all about. Letting go of the bad and letting in the good.
Back to my question of, is love enough? Love is enough. You are enough.
Do you ever have one of those days, or maybe weeks where you're searching for your glasses that are on your face? Or your keys that are in your hands? I know I can't be the only one to have these mental blocks where everything that seems to be so obvious is so much more difficult then usual. I find with myself I love to over complicate things. Life can be pretty simple, I mean just think of the basics. Food, water, sleep and shelter. If you have all four of those things every day, you are pretty well off my friend. But then the first world problems or "Park Ave problems" as my mom would say peeks its little ugly head in. Then comes the "there's nothing GOOD in the refrigerator to eat" because you'd rather chipotle over last night's leftovers. Or "I have nothing GOOD to wear" as you stare into a walk in closet filled of clothing that is more then just good. It is so easy to see your problems as problems because it's your life and their near to your heart. It isn't as easy to see that there are starving children in our own country who sometimes don't have a meal for dinner and don't know when or where the next one will come from.
If you're like me you have to visualize to really make sense of a situation. When I was 13 my family and I took a trip to the Dominican Republic. One day we went on a snorkeling excursion off of the resort. In a small village we traveled to this beautiful beach to start our tour. On our way there, small children in barely any clothing were begging for food and money. At 13 years old I had more then some adults did in this struggling village. It was a horrible sight to see and witness. That has always stuck with me knowing that while I may at times act ungrateful or take things I have for granted, life could always be much harder and much worse.
I recently more then ever felt like my body needed a new challenge. When I first started my fitness journey in 2012 I knew I had no idea what I was doing or where to start. I knew I didn't feel comfortable going into a gym and I wanted something to really help make a difference in my life. I discovered INSANITY by Shaun T and it changed my world. Looking back on pictures from before and after doing these dvd's I saw a huge difference in my body. I recently felt like I wanted that change again. I searched on Groupon, local gyms and asked around for any good group classes. I finally settled on a new spin studio because I knew it would be a great workout. It took a lot for me to actually purchase the package and get my butt up and out of bed at 5:30AM (on a Monday not to mention) but I did it. I went in with an open mind and hoped this would be my new fix. The class was good, the instructor was the least friendly and welcoming person so overall the experience was eh. My second class the instructor was absolutely amazing but the workout was below average. My third experience was a voicemail dealing with cancellations. Being that I had been in the fitness and sales industry already for a long time, I know how these things work. It's funny how a few sentences could completely taint your view on something. I had cancelled a class I suppose too last minute for the business and received a voicemail reprimanding me for not doing it according to their policy. That was it for me. No more spin classes, they were no longer getting my money for services. All I could think to myself was "didn't they know hard it was for me to actually muster up the courage to go there" or "didn't they understand what proper customer service is". The questions in my head were running around in circles
I know and knew (at the time) that it wasn't much more then business. They cared about their money, not their clients and that's fine. That's how some businesses operate and that's why most don't last so long. In an industry like the fitness one, you have to be able to stand out and be unique to truly be successful. So now I was back to square one, struggling looking for something to help me.
I was downloading apps, looking for a fitness coach, a new gym, really anything to help inspire me again. Then it hit me. Like literally hit me in the face. It fell off my shelf and hit me in the head. My INSANITY dvd's. They had been put away for sometime now, probably since I moved home from school. I was looking at the box and thought, "what I have been searching for this whole time, has been right in front of me". I wanted something or someone to inspire me and change the game like how it all started. I didn't need something new though, I needed what got me there to begin with. I realized that while I didn't want to give up my typical gym routine, I just wanted to add something to it. Something that worked with my schedule and on my time. Clearly a class doesn't revolve around my world, unless its at the convenience of my own finger tips!
I was scrolling through the gram one evening and came across the post. Saturday April 22nd from 2-5PM meet and greet at a NYC GNC. I kept on scrolling, then decided to go back. I stared at the post for a few seconds before changing to my messages app to find someone to join me. No one better then your best friend and boyfriend to tag along. As I got ready that Saturday morning I thought over all the possible things I could say. This wasn't the first time I was meeting someone famous and I know it's usually a quick process after a long line of waiting around. I wanted to be special, maybe even stand out to her. I changed my outfit and hair style over 50 times trying to look just right. I don't think I put this much effort in on my first date with my boyfriend!
The train finally pulled up to the station and we were off to our destination. I was a little jittery and excited, but mostly nervous. No one could understand the feeling because they were just accompanying me. As we approached the somewhat short line I could see her from the distance. Her perfectly tanned LA skin with her blonde hair and muscles. I had somewhat of a girl crush, I think.
We waited around for a couple of hours until it was our time to meet her. Me being me, my anxiety took over and that's all I could remember. I figured a quick picture, a signature and we'd be off to happy hour. Paige stood in front of the GNC banner and welcomed me with a hug. Instead it was a ten minute conversation. How cool! She was actually (or acted) like she cared and was interested in her fans. My anxiety completely left my body. Now I was just happy. For once in my life I overcame a panic and fear that usually makes me forget my own name. We got the pictures and the autographs, but most of all got in some laughs.
That night I laid in bed posting my typical "I just met my favorite fitness model" picture on all my social media. Paige surprisingly liked it. Regardless if it was her assistant or actually her, to me it was still pretty cool to be recognized. The whole thing felt surreal, but the best part was that it was real. She was so down to earth, it was like catching up with an old friend. There is nothing more inspiring then meeting someone you love and they're a good person! The coolest part though, she signed my bicep :D
Paige Hathaway has been one of my favorite fitness guru's for awhile now. When I first started to get involved in working out and taking care of my body, she became my inspiration. She was someone who came from a similar background as myself and made it to LA to do big things in the fitness industry. Her physique alone was inspiring but her training techniques taught you from beginning to pro level. When I began to learn more in depth about supplements Shredz is where I turned to because I trusted her judgement. In life, I find that we need those certain people to help us make a difference and better ourselves. Whether its a celebrity or a friend, a helping hand can come in many forms. Through our journey in life I feel like it's so important to not only thank our idols for being exactly that, but to pass the baton. What would we be in this world without inspiring each other and motivating? My favorite part about meeting Paige in person is that I now know that if she can inspire me, I can help inspire others. At the end of the day, we are all looking for those special connections to help elevate our lives. So my question to you is, who are you helping today?
I've always been one to be hungry for education. At a young age I realized to improve myself and become the person I know I'm meant to be would take more then just reading a few books. I started my personal development back in 2012 when I joined into a company called Vemma. Now you can say whatever you'd like about the network marketing company, but what it did for me is something I could never in my life regret. I was able to meet other like minded people, the same age as me, all over the world. While a lot of it had to do with learning the business, there was much emphasis on learning about yourself. In this time I read every book I could get my hands on. This is when I watched The Secret and learned about the law of attraction. I dug deep into my soul to find what my passions were and who I wanted to be as my life progressed.
Now almost 6 years later I am still on the same journey. I recently felt as though my brain was shrinking from lack of reading (as silly as that sounds). But I know that if you're not learning and growing you're dying and that was how I was beginning to feel. I googled "top 10 self help books" and up popped Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini. Besides the fact that her story is motivation in itself, she taught me more in a book then I had learned in a semester at college. Melissa completely blew my mind that a book, nonetheless could make you feel so many emotions at once. There were days that I wanted to jump through the pages and scream at her for making me feel emotions I had tried to long to surpress. While there were other days that I was crying with joy realizing that the bad stuff could finally be put behind me. Regardless of the emotions I felt I could never put the book down.
Melissa speaks a lot about finding your truth and what it is you want out of this big world we live in. She challenged me to take a cold hard look at myself, the people in it and how I currently live my life. I knew that I was sometimes on and off the path I was put on this earth for and it was time to align my thoughts and actions. I talk about this book so much for the mere fact that we all need that nudge whether its from a book, a loved one or a song. There seems to be moments in our lives that if you are not present enough you will miss, and this was a major moment for me.
You may ask, why did I title this finding my truth? Well, because to one extent or another we all have that same feeling. If you are a homeless person or a multi billionaire we are all still human. You could be the richest or the poorest but without pure happiness in your life nothing else matters. There are plenty of wealthy people who are miserable and plenty of less fortunate whom are so happy. I recently watched the documentary Happy on Netflix. Talk about an eye opener. We can become so consumed in our everyday lives and small issues like running late to work because the Starbucks line was too long when there are people living in other countries without plumbing extremely content. Wow. I find as though aligning your life with your truth or your true meaning doesn't always just happen over night. For me it took me Melissa's entire book and active workshops to really understand who I am and what I want. I always knew I wanted to help others live a better life, which is why I became a personal trainer. Although I loved it, it didn't feel exactly in line with my truth. Now that I have switched gears and still able to include fitness (one of my loves) with helping overall lifestyle changes I feel like I am bursting with excitement.
But what if you aren't here just yet? Don't panic, I wasn't either. I still have so much work to do on myself, we all do, because were all a work in progress. My biggest tip is figure out what it is you want in your life that you currently don't see. If it's financial abundance, a new love interest or career imagine it first. If you're like me and sometimes need that extra push in the right direction look into some food for thought. For me it was books, for you it might be documentaries or sitting down with someone you trust like a counselor. Whatever or whomever it is, there is no better time to start then the present!
Now that I can confidently say my truth is to help others grow and learn about their journeys, I'd love to help you! For more information click below;