Accepting The Body You Have Now

A client asked me the other day if there’s such a thing as an objectively beautiful way to look. I said no. I don’t believe that such a thing as objectivity exists, because what you think is beautiful and what I think is beautiful can be 2 different things. Yes, Megan Fox is gorgeous – I think we can agree on that – but to say that is the only kind of beautiful there is would be missing out on a whole lot.

It’s ok to want to strive to look and feel better, but not if it’s unattainable or unrealistic. And definitely not if you’re doing it to gain acceptance of others, yourself, or to “finally be happy”. More importantly though, you have to like yourself along the road, otherwise you’re not going to suddenly be happy when you get there. Most likely your body isn’t the only thing holding you back.

You have to realize and internalize the thought that despite what you look like, you are still you. If you’re thin or overweight, you’re still all the other things that make you who you are. And for that, you have to love every bit of yourself and stop judging your self-solely on your size.

Check out this great article in the Huffington Post yesterday about accepting the body you have now.

Comfortably Uncomfortable

I have a habit of throwing myself into uncomfortable situations.

Sky diving, done it.

Public speaking, check.

Starting my business with absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of running one, yup.

Asking a guy out, uh huh.

Saying I love you first, yup, that s me.

Telling my boyfriend I wanted to marry him and then giving him a deadline by which he had to ask me, sure, why not. (we ve been married almost 5 years now &) See, so there s definitely a pattern.

What s the method to my madness? I ve struggled since I was a kid with body image issues. I ve been through anorexia, bulimia, and depression in trying to find the one thing that will make me happy and comfortable with myself. Skinny was not the cure. I ve been bone-thin-stickbug-skinny and I ve been 7 different sizes, so I can definitely tell you that skinny isn t going to make you happy.

What will make you happy though is showing yourself what you re made of. What you re capable of. Because, when you throw yourself into something that you think you can t handle, and you come out of it knowing that despite your fears you still went in there trying and fighting, you conquer yourself. You prove to yourself that it s ok to not be perfect, because hey, at least you tried, and trying makes you the strongest person you know. And despite all the stories you tell yourself not thin enough, smart enough, pretty enough, savvy enough you prove to yourself that your self-worth is not tied up in the labels you give yourself.

It s not that I m not afraid of anything anymore. I definitely am afraid of lots of things. (I m so afraid of one thing in particular that I can t even write the word on the page I ll give you a hint though they ve been around since the dinosaurs and will be around long after we re all gone.) Ok, now I m shaking a little &

Ok, so, that s how I ended up in Koren Reyes’ studio with my bra off, wearing just my husband s tie and a thong. Yup, I was definitely nervous. My hands were shaking on the cab ride over. And when I walked in the door it was the first thing I told her (by the way, she does an amazing job at making you feel comfortable by telling you exactly what to do). I started off with about 6 layers on and ended up with just a tie that s how good she is!

What I found though was that the hardest part wasn t the posing or being naked in front of a stranger, it was looking at the photos after I found myself scrutinizing every agonizing little detail about my body and face. My thighs were too plump at the top, my butt was too white, my cellulite was showing a bit (actually though, in photo it s not as bad as I think it is when I look in the mirror, so go figure!), I chose the wrong panties for one of the outfits, which made my stomach look not as tight as I would like it to have looked, my face looked too serious in some of them, and on and on and on. Surprisingly enough, my favorite one was the barest of them all!

After finally choosing my favorites I left and felt like I was a mega rock star. Despite some feelings of not thinking my body was perfect I realized that I did something that most women would be terrified of. I know my friends would be, because they were all vicariously living through me as I told them about my experience wanting to know every little itty-bitty detail. And now I know, that no matter what I think the pictures look like (I can t trust myself anyway. My mind and the mirror clearly don t see eye to eye) I am truly amazing, because I conquered a fear.

Here are my tips for you:

It s not that you don t fit the clothes, it s that the clothes don t fit you.
You ve got what you got. Learn to accept it, love it, and move on. Life is too short.
You can t avoid taking the pictures because you hate the way you look. You ve GOT TO take the pictures, so you can learn to see yourself in a new way and learn to love what you have.
Your body doesn t define you. You re still you despite having chunky thighs, or jiggly underarms, or a mushy tummy. There are many other things that define you, so stop letting the way you look be the be-all-end-all.

If you have any reservations about going for your shoot, don t! The only way out of a tunnel is through it, so go towards your fear and get past it!

P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures, but it’s not the kind of thing I want roaming around on the internet ;)

Products I'm Obsessed With: Cuter Than Cute Apron

Oh my gosh! I just saw this apron in the May issue of Cooking Light magazine and screamed out with delight! I don t know if I should wear it to cook or go out in. Check out this sleek linen apron and get cooking!

morning bun moments

You can see all the styles here

P.S. Spring and summer weddings are coming, so check out their site for amazing bridal shower gifts.

P.P.S. They also have mother-daughter gift sets. Perfect for Mother’s Day!

Products I’m Obsessed With: Cuter Than Cute Apron

Oh my gosh! I just saw this apron in the May issue of Cooking Light magazine and screamed out with delight! I don’t know if I should wear it to cook or go out in. Check out this sleek linen apron and get cooking!

morning bun moments

You can see all the styles here

P.S. Spring and summer weddings are coming, so check out their site for amazing bridal shower gifts.

P.P.S. They also have mother-daughter gift sets. Perfect for Mother’s Day!

What Scares You The Most?

I’m always talking about taking risks and facing your fears to find your true self. About putting all the things you SHOULD do aside for the things you WANT to do. To get rid of perfectionism and really truly love yourself no matter how you think you look. To be as authentic as possible and not let outside influences dictate how you feel about yourself.

I’ve never been able to put it into words quite like Brene Brown.

Thank you to my client Mary for this extremely eye-opening video. The way you live life will never be the same.

(Yes, it’s 20 minutes, but it flies by and you’ll be wishing there was more.)

[ted id=1042]

Products I'm Obsessed With: Yurbuds

I just bought these headphones last week and am in love! They are the genius of an Ironman competitor as an answer to headphones that need endless adjustments. Try running 13 miles while constantly trying to get your earbuds to stay in your ears and you’ll know why this is the best invention since the iPod. The ergonomically designed no-slip earbuds are perfect for a sweaty training session, no matter how tiny your ears are (mine are pretty darn tiny). The sound is rich and full and will keep you on your toes throughout your entire workout. Plus, they come in a sweet red color! I’ll never run another race without them.

You can order them here.
While you’re there, make sure to check out the “Gallery of Heroes” for some amazing inspirational stories.

Products I’m Obsessed With: Yurbuds

I just bought these headphones last week and am in love! They are the genius of an Ironman competitor as an answer to headphones that need endless adjustments. Try running 13 miles while constantly trying to get your earbuds to stay in your ears and you’ll know why this is the best invention since the iPod. The ergonomically designed no-slip earbuds are perfect for a sweaty training session, no matter how tiny your ears are (mine are pretty darn tiny). The sound is rich and full and will keep you on your toes throughout your entire workout. Plus, they come in a sweet red color! I’ll never run another race without them.

You can order them here.
While you’re there, make sure to check out the “Gallery of Heroes” for some amazing inspirational stories.

THE Secret To Changing Your Body

Recently, someone asked me why if he runs 6 miles a day is he not losing weight. His eating is balanced and he isn’t lazy the rest of the day, but it seems that after an initial 20 pound weight loss he can’t seem to take any more off. His body doesn’t seem to be changing either, so why is he plateauing?

The answer is pretty simple.

You know how when you listen to a repetitive sound you almost stop hearing it? At first you notice the beat of a song and you feel the rhythm. You feel excited and maybe start bobbing your head. But if it’s a long song, like one of those never-ending 13-minute-the-artist-loves-himself-so-much-he-needs-you-to-hear-more-of-his-amazingness songs then after a few minutes it just fades into the background and you forget it’s there. As soon as it’s over though, the sound of the silence is deafening. And then eventually you get used to the silence too, and only when the refrigerator starts rumbling do you notice that it was ever quiet.

So, your body is the same way. If you run 6 miles every day, day in a day out, eventually your body stops noticing it and it’s no longer working. It gets used to the activity and stops reacting to it. It becomes so routine that your body adapts and doesn’t recognize it as “work”. As soon as you change your routine up though, your body doesn’t know what hit it and it’s forced to adapt to the new activity, which forces it to work a little harder. You need variety not just for the sake of boredom, but to shock your system into working again.

So, the simple secret is to vary up your routine every 4-6 weeks or so.

Here are some easy things you can do to change things up:
- Rather than running 6 miles straight, run for 3 miles in intervals. Jog 1/4 of a mile and then run 1/4 of a mile. Keep alternating that way until you’ve completed 3 miles.
- If you’re strength training try to lift heavier weights with lower repetitions or lighter weights with higher repetitions.
- Switch up the running to biking or swimming. The change in activity will majorly shock your system.

If you have any questions about this, let me know

Half-Marathon #3 – Double Victory!

I am happy to say that I did not pee in my pants yesterday. And that proves that if you put your mind to it you can do anything.

By mile 3 I had to pee like crazy, and with 10.1 (can t forget the .1!) miles to go my goal wasn t to cross the finish line, it was to not pee my pants. And if you ve ever been with me when I realize I need to pee you d know what a feat of sheer will power that is! And woo-hoo, I did it!!

Seriously, I have a bladder like my little Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Ozzie. If you get him too excited, or you startle him, or you say his name he will simply pee right there, where he (and unfortunately, sometimes your foot) is standing. For example, take the time I came home with my friend Michelle and realized at my front door that I had to pee, but couldn t take the anticipation of getting to the bathroom and found myself leaking onto the floor in the hallway. For real, I had the key in the door, but couldn t get myself together! It was just me, Michelle, and a puddle on the floor that was oddly enough, hilarious. I could have stopped at any one of the porta-potties along the way yesterday, but that would mean that I wouldn t have shaved 35 MINUTES off of my previous race time!

Yup! After 2 hours and 10 minutes I crossed that finish line like a champ! It was a pretty emotional run for me, because I d been raising money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation in honor of my father-in-law who s battling this incurable cancer. There isn t much I can say or do to make things better or right, so I did what I could. And I have so many people to thank for helping me not just reach my goal, but to overflow it by 258%! My goal was to raise $1,000, but with everyone’s help I managed to bring the total to $2,588!

Crossing that finish line wasn t my victory alone, it was a victory dedicated to my father-in-law who is proof of what it is to battle something so much stronger than you with dignity, pride, and courage. There isn t a time that I see him that he isn t positive, smiling, and asking how you are, as if you re the important one in the room. Training for a half-marathon isn t as much of a battle of physical proportions as much as it is mental. You have to be determined and driven to keep up the training when you don t want to, you have to be strong enough not to give into your excuses, and you have to quiet those voices down when they tell you to quit. My father-in-law is battling this cancer like an athlete and is all the inspiration that I need to keep on going.

The thing I ve learned most this time around is run because you can. Until you can’t you have no idea how lucky you are.
It s as simple as that.

I have 3 clients that are working their way towards 5 and 10k races and I’m going to be running a workshop for anyone who thinks they re not runners, but want to prove to themselves what they re made of. If you re interested and want to sign up for this workshop in Prospect Park, send me a line! I promise, you will never be the same after you cross that finish line!

Before I go, I know I told him before, but I have to say it here Roman, you are the one who makes my running possible. Without you I would have no one to share it with and no one to support me when I need to complain about it. You always listen about my runs as if I never spoke about it before, and you always act as if my achievements are yours. And they are, because without you I would be someone else. You rub my legs when they are sore and you effortlessly follow me to my races and get from the start line, to the mid-line, to the finish line, just so that I will have someone supporting me along the way. I love you more than you know and can t believe how lucky a girl can be.

And Mommy, I know it wasn t easy coming out yesterday morning in the freezing cold when you had so much to do, but you know, that for many reasons, my crossing that finish line will never get old, because that victory is as much yours as it is mine.

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation is still accepting donations, so please take a second and visit my page here. Nothing is ever too small and is more appreciated more than you know.

Products I'm Obsessed With: Ande's Creme de Menthe Thins

Ande's Creme de Menthe Thins

They’re sweet and fresh all at the same time. It’s like getting your dessert on while brushing your teeth. Which I like, because I can have just one and then feel like I don’t want anything else after. And at 22 calories a pop, feel free to have a second one if you really have the urge. But, I think just one will do it. Perfect for the night-time snacker! And did I mention that the chocolate is creamy creamy smooth?