You DESERVE to feel better!

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. 

cloud-143152_1920.jpg

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 noruleswellness@gmail.com 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,

Kristin

Check-in Monday, October 24, 2016

This last week was a blur and again, these check-ins are helpful for me because it helps me to pause and reflect on last week and get ready for this week. I would love to take the time this week to share last week's learnings to you in hopes that it will encourage you to look at last week and see what you might want to do more of and what you might want to do less of. Additionally, I will take a look at what I want to get out of this coming week as each week brings us new challenges and opportunities for each of us. 

This post has a few pictures from this weekend's adventure in California, where I flew into San Francisco and met my husband to celebrate our anniversary! Today the pictures remind me of the good times and the simple beauty of life. The picture out of the airplane looked like a blanket of clouds; it is always so breathtaking to see the world from the view in a plane.  

Last week's reflections

  • I know that sleep was a BIG focus and intention for me. Guess what? it was the WORST week for sleep for me. A part of it was that my week was full, but then another part was that my energy was scattered with life and planning a weekend away. Also, I didn't make sleep a priority and sometimes felt like I was rebelling when I wouldn't go to bed. It was as though I forgot how shitty I feel when I don't sleep and the negative impact on ALL of my life. For me, I am wondering if setting weekly intentions that specific, such as, I will sleep eight hours a night, is less than ideal for me? I am wondering if less rules and more going off of "how is this going to make me feel?" will drive me to actually change. I am honestly not sure what it might take for me to make changes, but I do know I will keep sharing this sleep one to you because it is a big challenge on my journey. In fact, I am up past ten right now typing because I am a bit wired from being on California time. Bottom line, I am sure I will sleep more this week without even trying. :) 
  • I was challenged big time from on faith and anxiety. On Friday I took my very first flight alone and rented a car, alone. I met my husband out in wine country for our anniversary. Until I was waiting for the plane it hadn't dawned on me that it was my first time alone for either of these adventures, but it definitely helped me gain power in my abilities and faith in me. The short version of the story is that there was a maintenance issue with the toilet on the plane and my imagination got the best of me. I simply felt worried and so much more. However, with the support of my coach and hubby I realized I could channel my faith and find that place of peace right away through my breath, visualization and meditation. It was a pretty profound experience for me and one that I would love to share in more detail in a future post. Bottom line: we all hold within us that internal power to stay steady and filled with faith so that we may enjoy life and trust the process. And on top of that, because it was so new and out of the ordinary I felt like a badass mama living and loving! 
  • I had an awesome weekend in Sonoma, California, celebrating my wedding anniversary with my handsome husband (11 years)! Like I mentioned above, I met him out there because he was out there for work and it was a leap of courage for me to be independent. For some this might seem laughable, but for me it was a moment of being brave so that I could create experiences, connection and memories with the love of my life. I am so proud and so happy to have gone and am home again with my beautiful family. I am blessed beyond belief and feel excited and renewed to be back. And I always feel so free and happy in wine country. It is a place to me that feels like home and that I simply LOVE to spend time in. It also helps that our best pals are out there and that makes it even better! Thank you again wine country for an amazing time!
  • I forgot about my daily intention and "I Am" statements until I looked back at last week's post. These can be oh so lovely and I will remember to weave these in, especially on the days that I feel off or crabby. They are so good at redirecting me and keeping me grounded. But this past week it was just too much.

This week's intention

As mentioned above, I am not so sure how well I do when I drill down too specifically regarding what I want to do in my week. Having specific goals actually seem to back fire for me and my recent experience. Thus, this week I am going to take a different approach. I want to keep it simple by creating one over-arching theme for the week with an understanding of how it will generally impact the big rocks in my life. I will see how this works this week and for sure will let you know!

This week's intention: I plan to make choices this week all around choosing things that make me feel good. I am not getting specific on the glasses of water or hours of sleep. However, I am going to use this as my guide. What is going to make me FEEL GOOD?

I would imagine this is going to include more sleep, daily meditation, exercises more laughter and vegetables. And perhaps an espresso (but not five). Additionally, I think getting organized in my house and business will help keep me grounded in what next. And finally, I am trying to attempt to get ahead of the holiday season with a plan and scheduling in experiences, deciding the budget, and the calendar for the rest of 2016. My hope that if I have holiday plan and get ahead it will create time in our life to take care of me and my family to actually enjoy the days. When it gets darker we should do less and if I can get ahead of it maybe I will begin to see and feel the magic of togetherness, faith and generosity. I often try the theme of "No-vember" to attempt to create more self care, but it doesn't typically come out a success. That is why I am going to try to schedule things in advance so that I know when I have to say no because it is too much. And just maybe this might shift the way it feels to us all. Who knows how that will all shake out, but I have decided to be grateful for the positive outcome of this change from getting ahead of it. Feel grateful before it happens right? And getting ahead for the holidays to me feels very similar to a successful day in the life of kids--you know the days you are ahead of it all (dinner made early, birthday present bought a week before the party, homework turned in early, etc.)? Those are fun days, and while not always ideal, they definitely free up the days for a lot more fun and present moments.

So my friends, this week is a new week and that always feels good. I am going to try less hard by just being me and using my intuition and knowing of what feel's good as my guide. What are you going to do this week that is going to support you? Do you need to keep on truck'in or do you need to shake things up? Only YOU know the answer.

Have an amazing week.

In love, light and gratitude,

Kristin

p.s. Happy Birthday Mom - you are a light in my life and I love you more than you will know! XO 

Check-in Mondays!

Good day to you and happy Monday! Welcome to my first version of Check-in Mondays! The beginning of the week is always a good place to check in. It can be so beneficial to check in with yourself on how you are doing and what you can to this week to do to feel better. I used to love to grab my planner on Sunday nights to schedule my week: potentially schedule in meals, workouts, fun times and thoughts. 

I decided each Monday I am going to do a weekly check-in on the blog. This check-in is going to include a little bit of what is going on in my life and how I am thinking I can make changes to feel better. Additionally, it may include great resources, fun facts, and random things that might not fit in its own post.

The point of writing these each week is for you to get to know me a little bit better, but more importantly to inspire you to check in with yourself. Sometimes we forget to check in with ourselves because we are so busy. Self-reflection can help us to stay grounded, focused and create the week that we deserve. In addition to the weekly check–in I will also be posting weekly on Thursdays. These posts will include a variety of topics—self love, life lessons, yoga, meditation, gratitude, holiday tips and more! 

You will also start seeing the Recipe of the Month be published on the first of each month. This month’s recipe is a little late, but it was worth the wait and is perfect for October—Pumpkin Spice Carrot Muffins. Who doesn’t want (or need) to sneak veggies into their kiddos? Bonus, you can turn it into cake with some cream-cheese frosting because that always makes it even more delicious and is perfect for a fall party! I have already eaten two of these little muffins today and I am not sad.

Here is a quick summary of my intention for Check-in Mondays: 

  1. Share a bit of what is going on in my life, and what I might be trying to work on the coming week.
  2. Share any insights to how the previous week went. Learning will be happening.
  3.  Provide various resources to interesting and helpful/fun things I may have discovered the previous week.
  4. Stay connected with my readers. I want to know how you are and what you are working on should you be so inclined to share!!!

Blog schedule – Summary:

  • Check-in Mondays: posted every Monday
  • Thursday blog posts: variety of topics
  • Recipe of the Month: posted the 1st day of each month

Kristin's Check-in Monday: Oct. 9, 2016

What is going on with me this week? I realize it is almost halfway through the day and I am not very focused on the week and what I want get out of it. The busy weekends for me get tricky because we don’t really have a meal plan, calendar pow-wows or time to reflect/prepare for the coming week. This can be as simple as 30 minutes and can make a big different. Thus, this is a good reminder for me to reflect and see how things are going and how can I make choices to make me feel even better! The bonus was that last night I was asleep by 9:00 p.m. because I couldn't keep my eyes open. 

Overall my brain feels a bit scattered today; that is fairly normal for this time of the year. I have a lot of priorities that I am working on and travels coming up in the next couple weeks. In addition, I cannot help but start thinking about November and December. Yes, I am referring to the holiday season that sneaks up on us. I mention this because I often complain or say that I hate this time of year. I know that sounds so awful. It truly can get the best of me and make me so overwhelmed that I cannot keep up or see the beauty of it all.  Thus, I think if I get ahead of it this year, I might be able to feel and enjoy the true magic and point of the crazy time of year. I have more to share on that soon. I recently made a long list of post-it notes to attempt to tackle November and December, but today I will keep focused on this week. As I think about this week , despite feeling scattered, I listed below a few goals that will hopefully make a big impact on how I feel by the end of the week:

  • Sleep – I MUST sleep more. It is tied to SO much of how to feel good and for me, if I want to heal my hormones and my health challenges (and not be the “crabby mommy”) then I must sleep more.

I will go to bed on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday by 9:30 p.m. This means I will be ready for bed with the kids at bedtime and can do my meditation and crawl into bed.

11 p.m. is my bedtime for Thursday, Friday and Saturday knowing I have more going on.

  • Water – I need to do even better at this. Thus, I am going to try and drink more water this week be drinking water five different times in the day and then of course when I am thirsty. Note: so far today I am 2 for 3. I guess that is a win

 Lemon water in the morning before anything, water before lunch and after lunch, before and after dinner. The goal is 80 oz. of water.

  • Gratitude – I will start each day with 5 things I am grateful for and why. And then I will end each night with gratitude. My coach Laura Burkey’s gratitude journey that I did last fall changed my life and the way I see the world. Thus, I know if I focus on that everything will be better!
     
  • Food – ah, food. Okay, so I go in a million directions on this. One moment I say, “I will listen to my body,” and the next moment I say, “I need to make a food plan because not knowing is creating stress.” Or I just say “f-it” because as I have mentioned before, I had meal planning and doing the food thing. So then I just feel like I am punting. Even as I type this I think to myself, how can I make this one focus on me feeling better?? Oh, and by the way, I usually HATE the phrase “listen to your body” and have a blog post that I will be sharing with you soon on this. So here is my plan:

Actually eat breakfast and lunch. Actually EATING! What does this mean? Often I am so busy with the kids that I eat “enough” by just grabbing something while I am taking care of them. This is a problem because often times it isn’t a lot of food even though I am often hungry in the morning and I am not present. And then I just graze on and off all day. And it is as though I am not ever eating, but I am always eating. Have you ever been there?

Prepping breakfast the night before

I will cook one batch of soup or a one-pot something that include protein and veggies. Maybe a lentil soup with veggies? Crap, what will that be? Last week it was butternut squash soup and it helped a ton (and I made it at 7 a.m.). 

  • Breathe and be present. I am going to put the phone down and breath and be present. I will check in with if I am being present or kind to my kids, or how am I really feeling? And if I am tired maybe I will choose a rest instead of pushing myself like I am so good at doing.
     
  • No swearing in front of the kids. This is a late add, but it is necessary. For those of you that know me understand this is a problem. I am not judging anyone, but when I swear I am usually angry too and it just doesn't feel good. I think I am going to make a chart since my oldest has been calling me out on it, yikes!

My own challenge with setting my weekly intention is that I want it all and want to have a very long list.  The problem with that is I feel like I have failed by Tuesday or Wednesday and it doesn’t serve it’s purpose. As I look above I think I could be even more specific on my weekly goals/intentions, but this is a good start for this week.

Now it is your turn!

What do you want out of your week? Do you have time scheduled in for you? Do you have healthy food that you can eat at meals or snacks? Do you have a water bottle ready to help hydrate you? Are you staying up watching Twitter or Facebook with the ugly political scene or looking at what your friends did this weekend? (I have no idea what that might feel like, but my friend told me it is a time suck). Could you cut yourself off a little early and journal or plan and reflect for this week or even just sleep a little more? Does your plan prepare you to feel good?

Oh, and don't forget to check out the Pumpkin Spice Carrot Muffins on the blog, especially if you are like my family and totally sick of all of our food options. You won't be sorry. 

Have an amazing week!

In love, light and gratitude,

Kristin