As women, we all want to FEEL good, and deserve to feel good.
I frequent various locker rooms at gyms or lobbies of yoga studios and I often here things such as, "I need a shift." Or "I need a reset." Women will say something like, "I feel off or not like myself anymore." I can hear the simplest desires to "just lose a few pounds" Or "I just told my husband I need to eat healthier." What is this all about? You could say this is something coming from a sense of how we "should look" but I'm convinced these comments are all at the core of the same problem: we ALL want to FEEL GOOD. And when we are out of balance, including not eating the right foods, sleeping, drinking too much or exercising too much or the wrong balance for us, we don't feel well. This shows up for us often in weight, energy, hormones, exhaustion and more.
However, at the core of it all we know we can be shinier and the best version of ourselves and thus we talk about it with our friends. So many of us want to change or want to feel better, but why are so many of us struggling? I believe it is at the heart of why I practice and teach yoga. I believe that once we get out of balance or deal with a life transition, what worked before might not be working again and might not be the best. We ALL need a little support and guidance and that is where I would LOVE to come in and support you.
My Personal Experience - Why I want and know I can feel better
My story has many layers, many experiences of ups and downs. I will attempt to keep it short and sweet. As a kid, I struggled with various health issues such as yeast infections as early as two-years old and eczema by fifth grade and psoriasis by middle school. I was a bigger kid and developed early. I was one of the biggest girls in sixth grade and felt very different. However, once I started to hear about the "fat-free" approach of dieting I was sold. In eighth grade I started being more active physically and controlling my total intake of fat. Looking back I know this was definitely the start of my disordered-eating patterns. It didn't take long and I lost 20+ pounds, ending middle school a bit more active.
Fast forward to high school, I had a great time being involved with volleyball, track, choir and church groups. It was an amazing time, but I continued to struggle a bit with yeast infections and on and off body-image issues. Following high school I was off to college and my active participation in volleyball and track and school helped me stay busy and connected.
I always operated under the truth that if I didn't work out I wasn't okay. Thus, that was a huge focus of my days. I would wake up early and sacrifice sleep just so that I would get my workouts in. I also was mindful of my choices of eating because I knew it all mattered. And luckily, at this time in my life, making healthier choices actually meant feeling better. The pressure I put on myself got to be a too much by the end of my senior year and the food issues came up pretty strong. My dear friend brought it up to me, suggesting that I get help.
I am thankful for that day; after graduating college I went to the Eating Disorder Institute. I gained knew knowledge of food and how it can be balanced and free when you make your own rules. You can have dessert and be okay. You can eat various foods, including fat, and be okay!
One incredible discovery on this journey was taking two months off from working out. My eyeballs fell out of my head when my nutritionist encouraged this experiment. I thought "f that" when she first brought it up. However, the trust I had with her was enough to give it a try. It helped that I was swamped with my student teaching, leaving me with less time to workout. What happened was crazy; I actually was stable and even lost a couple pounds. I am sure I lost a bit of muscle, but the most amazing part of it all was my physical activity changed dramatically and I ate the SAME amount of food that I was when I was swimming for 75-minutes or running 9 miles. It was fascinating. Obviously, if I continued this over time, the amount of food I would require to maintain my weight could decrease. But, it was PROOF to me that taking a day or two or even a week off when sick/tired is necessary. The bonus: I was still OKAY at the end of those days. Laura, if you are out there reading this, thank you for the gift you gave me that still lives in me.
Life was fairly stable in my young 20's after this treatment. I still battled with my psoriasis and reminders some days that eating was okay and taking days off was okay. But in the grand scheme of things, life was good. I was in a successful job, falling more and more in love with my now husband of twelve years and living a very simple and blessed life.
Motherhood was the next chapter in my life. I had my first baby seven and a half years ago and my second baby four years ago. Lucky for my babies I gave them lots of love and attention, not letting them cry much, rocking them a ton and nursing a lot. My poor sweet girl (7.5) was a very fussy and challenging baby. Not lucky for me, sleep was a memory. When I went back to work it got even worse.
About a year after having my first baby the digestive issues started. Over the past seven years I have been battling my gut health. I am pretty sure the trigger for the turnaround of my micro-biome (gut health) was the intense prescription I took for my mastitis. Unfortunately I had it pretty bad and I didn't see any alternative. It only took a couple months for me to notice something wasn't right with my stomach. I have had countless appointments with doctors, nutritionists, acupuncturist, more doctors, etc. I then got Giardia when my son was a year old. After taking the anti-parasitic my eating disorder flared up, partly because I had lost so much weight I was afraid to eat. And partly because I think my gut was destroyed by the anti-parasitic. My post-partum depression/anxiety kicked up in a big way during this time as well. I was actually doing fairly good prior so I often wonder if the gut change had a huge impact on my mind. The symptoms showed up for me in my eating disorder. I was also trying to follow a very restricted diet to heal my gut and food sensitivities.
I rose above from that tough time through the support of my friends and family and amazing professionals. However, I continue to struggle with knowing what foods make me feel good. This stress is real. To the point where, this summer I took the plunge and tested for SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). The results came back with a positive result for both methane and hydrogen. Apparently I have a pretty bad case of it. I am on day 25 of my healing protocol and this morning I told my daughter, "I want to give up." My daughter exclaimed, "mom, why would you want to do that?" I think it is mainly because I still don't feel awesome. The biggest challenge is the continued bloating and the crazy cravings for food.
You know those moments when people say they try something and the first couple weeks are hard, but the they felt amazing!?? Well, that is where it stops for me. When will I feel amazing? What am I missing? I think for me it is patience but there is much more and darn it, I know I can get to the other side. I just know.
So what do I do now? Knowing what I know, my micro-biome is not working yet. We are trying to get it back to where it needs and when it isn't there, I am not able to "listen to my body." I must trust the process. I must start to get MORE REST. I must start to follow the yoga practice that will begin to nourish me. I must drink more water. And I have to simplify and say no to a lot. I am depleted and not only is my gut health challenged, my hormones have been off because of all it. The first priority is the healing of the SIBO, but at the same time I can work on my mental health to get strong and get through this hard part of my life. I know I will not give up and will keep going. It is critical to my health and getting to the other side of actually feeling good.
I will see my healing as a journey of honoring exactly where I am at, asking for the support I need, and doing everything I can to get myself in balance. I know my days might look a little different some of the time, but small changes might make all the difference.
I am not alone in my challenge of NOT feeling good, and that is where YOU come in
First of all, YOU matter. Your journey matters. Your feelings, experiences, desires, and truth ALL matter. You are doing an awesome job each day showing up as best as you can. But, I know something more. I know that you DESERVE to feel better. I know that for me, I cannot do this healing journey and simply living & loving alone. I know my journey of challenge is here to get stronger, but more important to be a charge of change for women.
I know that YOU can feel better. I know that incorporating small changes can make a BIG difference. It ALL matters and I want to support YOU.
I also know that I am not alone and cannot do this alone. And I know that my journey of challenge is here to share and support other women to be heard, helped and eventually to thrive. It is my heart's desire to help women feel better! Sometimes it feels overwhelming, and I totally get that. But taking action with little changes and helping get YOU in balance is the KEY to feeling better.
Be Curious - ALL things matter.
I know that it is ALL the things that matter. It isn't a simple equation, but it ALL Matters matters.
- What we eat
- How we breathe
- How we rest
- What exercise we do (right now)
- What products we use on our body and in our home to clean?
- How we deal with a headache or a sore throat (advil or something more natural)?
- How often do we look at our phone?
- What do you do for your mental mind to quiet intellect and increase inner guide?
- What are we doing to stay in balance?
- Do you have a strong practice of gratitude?
- Are you able and safe to speak your truth?
- Are you connected and supported?
- Are you allowed to feel and go through the process of letting go, feeling, and being heard?
- Do you have the right professional support? I am talking any care that will help you in balance...hormones, physical body, etc.
I truly believe it is impossible to move forward if we are not supported as a WHOLE person. From my own perspective, I am tired of staying quiet until I shout to the world, "I am healed!" This is not reality and honestly, we are every changing human beings.
Thus, I believe in all of my heart that you CAN feel better if you get curious. I also believe that if it is critical for us all to understand that what worked for us ten years ago might NOT be what we NEED right now. We are every changing and we must understand that we will feel the best when we are in balance.
Questions to ask yourself
- Do you beat yourself up when you skip a workout?
- Do you feel challenged to actually "listen to your body?"
- Do you feel overwhelmed or lost as to getting on your path?
- Do you feel like everyone else has it figured out but you?
- Do you find your internal dialogue is mostly critical and dismissive?
- Are you feeling stuck?
- Do you want peace and harmony between you and you?
- Do you avoid going to a yoga class because you are a beginner?
- Do you doubt your inner guide and ability to trust your instincts?
- Do you need clarity in your life?
- Do you want to feel better?
- Do you need a little support to help you build inner-confidence and self love?
- Do you have a gratitude practice?
- Do you know how to shift your energy when you are feeling stuck.
If any of these are YES, I have something for you!
Private Wellness Sessions
I offer private wellness sessions that help you to tap into what you need to get back in balance and start listening to what you need. My approach is simple, I help you bring in a sense of curiosity and love as you look at small changes you can make to your life to feel better. I will help you create a personal "practice" for you that helps you make shifts to FEELING better. It IS possible and you do NOT have to do it alone. (Note: often times the "practice" for you doesn't even include any yoga poses. It truly is up to YOU and what works best for you. I call this "living your yoga.")
Thus, my approach to your own well-being and feeling amazing comes from within. No Rules for you or anyone! There is not one way to feel good and there is not one way to live and thrive. However, there are many choices that add up that will serve YOU the best. And my friends, this isn't the same formula for you as it is for me. The BEST thing that I can do to support you is to uncover that badass within that knows you can do anything when you are in balance and alignment. When you connect to this knowledge you have the power to create the life you want. The attitude you start each day with and the ability to show up for you in little and big ways adds up.
Additionally, I offer workshops that go deeper into tapping into the self-love that is already there, connecting to your inner guide and "knowing" and cleaning up your life to help you have the best shot at thriving.
Finally, I know that my own healing journey has taken various professionals to help support me depending on my challenge (whether it be hormones, eating-disorder issues, and gut-health). I LOVE to provide you with amazing resources that will help support YOU on your journey. You are worth it and I am here for YOU!!
Does this resonate with you? If it does I would LOVE to work with you.
If you are curious let's talk. I offer a free 15-minute consult to see if what I have to offer is something that would work well for you. I can do it either virtually or in person, depending on your schedule, location and availability. Schedule it now by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the contact me page.
You DESERVE to feel better and you do NOT need to do it alone.
In so much love and gratitude,