Be You, Only Better

So often I hear women say things along the lines of “I wish I had her thighs” or “God, what I wouldn’t give for her cheekbones” or “If I could only trade my ____ for her ____ I’d be so much happier”. It’s the unfortunate norm for women to want what other women have, in terms of appearance. It’s not unusual for women to base their fitness goals on having someone else’s legs/butt/thighs/arms/abs, etc.  But the truth is, you will never, and I mean NEVER have her legs/butt/thighs/arms/abs, etc. Your body is your body, and you can’t change that.

You can’t change your genetics, you can’t suddenly become “long and lean”, and you certainly can’t have someone else’s body part, unless you’re part of some groundbreaking body part transplant breakthrough. And I’m not trying to be ridiculous or superfluous, but this want, this need to have someone else’s something is far more detrimental than it seems on the surface.

If you are constantly wanting something that is, in fact, impossible to achieve, you will constantly be disappointed in your outcome. And constantly being disappointed when you are putting so much hard work in (workouts, nutrition, self care, etc.) can be draining at best and downright self sabotaging at worst. Putting so much effort into something that you can’t attain (her abs), is no doubt eventually going to lead you down a path that ends at abandoning your goal. The workouts stop, the nutrition goes out the window, and now “her abs” seem farther away than ever. So you say forget it.

Until you find a new “something” that you want, and the cycle starts all over again. This doesn’t sound like the most efficient way to reach your goals, does it?

So what’s the answer here? It’s not necessarily the admiration of other people’s “somethings” that is the problem, it is the coveting. You can admire someone’s abs and the hard work it took to get them, but to want them for yourself is where this goes all wrong.

If a fit person inspires you, try to turn it into something that you can actually use to your advantage. What are the steps that you need to take to attain the aesthetic that you want? What do you need to change in order to be happy with the body that you’re in? But before you answer these questions, make sure that what you’re dreaming of is realistic and is something that you actually want. Do you truly want six pack abs? Because for most of us, that requires extreme dedication to nutrition and macros (and I’m talking weighing food, counting grams, etc. This goes way beyond just “eating right”), and also very specific types of training that may in fact be too rigorous for your body to handle. And this is for life — not just for six weeks or whenever your beach vacation is coming up. When put that way, those six pack abs don’t really seem worth it to me. If it’s still worth it to you? Go for it — make a plan, and stick with it. But do it to become a better* version of you, not someone else.

*And by better, by no means am I implying that six pack abs make anyone “better”. But if that is your goal and the you that you strive to be, than that is your better version of you.

More importantly, we can take this way beyond just body parts. The mindset behind working toward attainable and realistic goals is much more forgiving and rewarding than the one that is always chasing the impossible. While the latter can lead to frustration, hopelessness, and abandoning goals all together, the former can lead to real progress in self empowerment, let alone aesthetics.

Forget her. Be you, only better.

It is beyond powerful to realize that you can do something, instead of always thinking that you can’t. It’s an incredible motivator for most people to see small steps of progress, rather than always chasing that one thing that you can’t quite get to. Chasing “her abs” will get you nowhere, since you can’t change your genetics and you certainly can’t have her DNA.  But making a plan for how you can get yourself to a place, both physically and mentally, where you appreciate what you see in the mirror is worth striving for.

Forget someone else, be YOU. And if you want to (and we should all want to), be a better version of you. Your body is beautiful, and you can get to a place where you see that too, and truly believe it. It takes hard work, dedication, and realistic goals, but you can get there. You can look in the mirror and see abs that are yours, thighs that are yours, arms that are yours, and be proud of all of it because you put in the work to make yourself better. Not to have what someone else has, but to love and appreciate what you have. Doesn’t this sound more satisfying than chasing someone else’s “whatever” and never quite getting it?

Forget her. Just be you, but better.


Speaking Out and Standing Up

I’m going in a different direction today. And I know I’ve been quiet on here lately, but this is the most public voice I have, so I feel it’s important to use it. I also acknowledge that this is  not a political or current events blog, and I don’t tend to write too much outside of the areas of health, fitness, and wellness. But there are some things that I need to say, and there is no other time to say it than now. I also understand that there are many out there who warn against getting too political or one sided on a blog such as this, for fear that you may alienate and lose readers. Well, honestly, if I lose readers for speaking out against Trump/White Supremacy/Nazis/Racism/EtcEtcEtc, then those are most definitely not quite the target readership I had in the first place. So, bye.

I’m not writing today to tell you how scared I am or how I’ve been affected by the horrible things that have been happening lately, because the truth is, my life has not been turned upside down. I haven’t lost loved ones, I haven’t been living in fear, I haven’t had to protect my family from hatred and bigotry. Because I am the lucky, the privileged. I am the middle class white female who doesn’t have to be worried about being turned away from an establishment because of the color of my skin, or something I wear on my head, or the way my facial features are shaped. I blend in. I can just live my life these days. I don’t have to do anything.

But the truth is, the days of just blending in, shielding my eyes, and moving along have long come to an end. We have reached a time in our society where blending in almost means supporting the other side. Where turning a blind eye is as bad as perpetrating the hate. There is no more room to ignore or to watch from the sidelines as people are being unfairly persecuted and discriminated against, and literally being driven over by psychopathic Nazi’s (that’s not something we ever thought we’d say in modern times now, is it?).

And I’m not pretending, nor do I believe that I can be some sort of white knight that saves the day. I’m simply stating here, publicly, that I know it’s my duty to recognize bigotry, speak out against it, and support those who are discriminated against. I’m not 100% sure how to do this in a way that makes a difference, but I think it has to start with listening, listening, and more listening. Listening to people of color who tell me what it is I should be doing or not doing. Listening to those who have not had a voice for too long, and letting them know that their voice is heard here. Speaking out when I’m able, and not only teaching my daughter about tolerance and acceptance, but teaching her about speaking out against hatred and intolerance. Teaching her through example, so that one day when she’s old enough, she can continue to fight these battles and stand up for those who need it.

I want her to see me listening when necessary and acting out when it’s called for. I want her to see racial differences and accept them rather than ignoring them and being “color blind”. I want her to understand that these disparities do exist and that she is, in fact, lucky just because of the color of her skin. I want her to understand that although she may be lucky, she is not better than or superior to anyone else due to that same reason.

So I’m listening. I’m watching and I’m learning, and I’m pledging to do what I can, when I can. I promise to set a good example for my daughter and show her that ignorance is not “bliss”, it only makes things worse. We can not ignore racial issues, we cannot live in our little white bubble, pretending that everyone loves each other. We will stand up to hate, to intolerance, to racial slurs and jokes. We will offer a shoulder to our LGBTQ peers and a hand to our muslim neighbors. We will not sit down and be quiet, we will not tolerate a president or so-called leader who essentially glorifies the persecution of others.

So I’m listening. Tell me what to do, and what to read, and who to speak to and who to speak out against. And I know that these words are just that: only words. But words can be powerful, and they may be the only power I have right now. This is a declaration, a promise to stop “doing nothing”, to start trying to be the ally that I’ve always thought that I was. 

The ironic thing here is that I’ve been sitting on this blog post for a while now. I first wrote it almost 3 weeks ago, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to close it. It wasn’t until just now that I realized that not posting is just adding to my silence, to the very thing that I’m trying to speak up against. And besides, how exactly do you conclude a post on this topic? How do you wrap it up with a neat little bow and a perfect finishing paragraph? I can’t.

So here it is, unfinished. Maybe someday I’ll be able to come back to this and wrap it up neatly, but until then, I’ll use my voice, with or without a catchy concluding paragraph.

My Very Unscientific Reason Why Running May Not Help You To Lose Weight

I went for a run the other day. A beautiful, sunny, solo run at a moderate pace. I ran 3.75 miles, which is neither long nor short, but a perfect middle distance for me right now.  It was a gorgeous morning, with just enough shade to be refreshing and the slightest breeze to cool without providing a vicious headwind.

But do you know how I felt for several hours after that run? Tired. Sluggish. And most of all– hungry. Ravenous even. And this is not the first time this has happened, nor will it be the last. No matter the distance or pace, whenever I run, I feel famished for the rest of the day.  Now, there’s no doubt that this is partly because I’m not an avid runner. I only run one or two times per week unless I’m training for a race. My body is much more used to and efficient with weight training than it is for running, so the shift in activity is like a shock to my muscles and my metabolism every time.

But the thing is, I know I’m not alone. I have heard countless people say that they are famished after a run, especially after long runs when training for a race. Many people go into training hoping to shed a few pounds, not realizing the level of hunger they’re about to experience, which may stop any weight loss dead in it’s tracks. You see, it’s ridiculously easy to “out eat” your run. Yes, even long runs. Calories go in a lot faster and easier than they burn, and you could easily eat more than you burned with a quick peanut butter bagel following a 5k.

My run yesterday wasn’t that long. It was hilly, and I’m out of running shape so it was difficult, but to refuel after a 35 minute run doesn’t require a whole lot of food. How much food I felt like eating though, is a completely different story. I probably could have eaten continuously all day long and still felt dissatisfied. And that, my friends, iswhere many people get into trouble if they are using running as their main weight loss tool.

Falmouth 10

Many people take up running with the primary goal to lose weight. But is it the right strategy?

Unless you’re an experienced or higher level runner, it tends to make people very, very hungry. And we fall into a trap of believing that we always need some sort of recovery meal following a run, which is not necessarily always true. Say you go out for a 3 mile jog and burn 300 calories. You may very well feel famished after that effort, and consume 500 calories in a post run smoothie without even giving it a second thought. Or even if the post-run starvation doesn’t hit you, you could easily eat a little bit extra here and there throughout the day, not really keeping track because hey, youran!  You deserve it, right?

Now I’m not all about counting calories or being extremely strict with macros, but the truth is that if you are trying to lose weight, being conscious of calories in vs. calories out is extremely important.

I’m not citing any studies here, I’m not showing you any research about running making people feel hungrier. I’m just talking about  my own experience and accounts I’ve heard from others, because sometimes anecdotal evidence is good enough for a conversation, which is all this really is.

But whether you experience this when you run or not, it seems like many people do. And because of that, many people find their weight loss goals sabotaged by their “recovery” from all of their hard work. So what do you do if you’re famished after a run? Hydrate first, recover smartly (be aware of how many calories are in that shake you’re downing), and do everything you can to help your body move more efficiently when you are running. Keep your muscles strong through strength training, and cross train when your body is telling you that a run is just too much.

And most importantly, if your workout is leaving you feeling this way all the time, it might be time for some tweaking. You shouldn’t feel broken down or overly sore after every workout, and it certainly shouldn’t be the goal or benchmark to determine a good vs. poor workout session. Move in ways that make your body feel better and energized, not sluggish and hangry.  Personally, the only time that weight lifting makes me feel a little broken down is when I do a max effort lift. Normal lifting days leave me feeling energized, strong, and ready for more, and that is precisely why I love it so much. Find something that makes your body feel better, not worse, and weight loss (if that’s your goal) might happen a whole lot easier.

Now all of this being said, I’m still going to go running once or twice per week. Because despite the extreme hunger, I do enjoy it and I value it as part of my fitness routine. So I’m not saying that you shouldn’t run, or that cardio is the devil, or that you’re wrong if running is what you love. All I’m saying is that when it comes to weight loss, running can be very misleading, and it’s very much worth it to be mindful of how you feel and what your body really needs. Running is not the magical weight loss cure that many hope for, and this is a huge reason why. But when you’re conscious of this, it becomes a whole lot easier to make a few changes to your routine that may help you reach your exercise goals and your weight loss goals all at the same time. Train smart, eat smarter!

Find Your Space

Two weeks ago, I worked out in a weight room with other humans for the first time since the end of my pregnancy. I’ve been working out at home, and granted, we do have a pretty great set up in our basement with a barbell, plates, a squat rack, plenty of kettle bells, and other equipment. And I’m certainly not poo-poo-ing on that, because I know how lucky I am to have such a great and comprehensive set up in my own home. But I had forgotten what it was like to be with others. I had forgotten what it felt like to lift alongside other people, To feed off of motivation and to push myself just that much further just because someone might be watching.

When you workout by yourself, it’s so easy to stop. It’s so easy to drop a set, to take a little more rest in between sets or exercises than is actually necessary. And I don’t know about you, but I tend to fall into patterns of doing the same thing over and over again when I’m working out on my own. For some reason, I find it harder to make progress when I’m by myself, no matter what equipment I have access to.

With my life right now, I can’t make it to the gym every day though. I’d be lucky if I get there once per week if I’m being honest, and I’m ok with that. But now that I’ve had a taste of the gym weight room again, I’ve gotten that little push I needed. Even if most of my workouts are at home, I know that I have that space to escape to when I get the chance. The chance to be around others and feel their motivation seeping into my workout, and maybe even for me to provide that motivation to someone else.

A week after that first visit to the gym, I went back. And even though all I did was a short kettlebell circuit, which I could have just as easily done at home, I loved being there. I felt rejuvenated afterward, as if I had just done some earth shattering new workout. It’s not about going there and moving huge weights or doing overly complicated workouts. It’s about feeling empowered, in my element, and energized. It’s about seeing other strong women lifting in the weight room along side me and watching others work hard to realize their goals.

What’s important here though is that I know that’s what best for me and what fuels my passion in the weight room. For someone else, solitude might be what pushes them forward, without the self consciousness or lack of confidence that a gym setting can bring. The message here is to find your space. There are so many things in life that can wreak havoc on our motivation or our progress, but if you find your “happy place” for working out, you’ll be more likely to stick with it in the long run.


Where do you find your fitness inspiration? In the weight room? On the trail? On top of a mountain? 

If you hate running solo, but that’s all you do because that’s all you know, you may be missing out on someplace else that will spark you forward into more progress or new adventures that you don’t even know are out there. Or maybe you don’t so much “hate” running solo, but you’re just feeling bored, in a rut, or otherwise stuck. Try a new space to give you a little extra push, and you may be surprised at the spark you can find! Maybe a spin studio will give you the bump in motivation you need — they do usually have killer playlists and infectiously high energy, after all!

Find your space, and even if you can’t visit it often, know that it’s there for when you truly need a little extra push. Maybe it’s an outdoor bootcamp group workout, maybe it’s a yoga studio, maybe it’s a local running group or club. There are so many options out there to dig you out of a rut that you may fall into, and along with many of these options come opportunities to meet like minded people and fall in love with your fitness routine all over again.

And bonus time if you’re in Boston: If you’re in the Jamaica Plain/Roslindale area, check out my bootcamp class, Rondeau Group  Fitness on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Or if you’re downtown and looking for somewhere new to freshen up your routine, check out the Seaport Sweat series. I haven’t been because it’s not convenient to my location, but my friends Athena and Monique each teach sessions for that series so you know you’ll get a good sweat in! And lastly, although there are many many options around, The Street at Chestnut Hill offers tons of fun and free programming throughout the summer, including yoga and other amazing outdoor workouts.

Readers: What’s your “happy place” when working out? How do you get out of a fitness rut? What’s a new fitness studio/group/class you’ve tried lately?

The “I Don’t Have Time” Workout Solution

My oh my. Where has the time gone?

I’ll tell you exactly where the time went. The 4 month sleep regression. But now we’re at six months so I don’t think I can even use that as my excuse anymore. I think we are finally on a good path to some quality baby sleep (until the next regression anyway), so maybe my sanity and sense of time will return one of these days. I could have sworn I had posted my last post just a week or two ago. It’s been two months. What the heck?

I guess all this is to say, I’m still figuring all of this mom stuff out. I suppose I’ll always be figuring it out since Isabelle will be forever evolving, but eventually I’ll get the baby/life/blog/work balance that I’m aiming for!

These past several weeks have been full of wonderful things though. Isabelle grows in so many ways each and every day, and it is so incredible to witness this little human who is learning so much at such a fast pace. She develops new skills seemingly overnight, which I always knew would happen with a baby, but it’s different to watch it happen before your very eyes.

Because of this ever expanding brain of hers, she has become increasingly curious about the world around her. This makes my life both harder and easier in certain ways, and I don’t always have the time that I would like to take care of myself with fitness and mindfulness. I squeeze fitness in wherever I can though, even if it’s just 10 minutes at a time while Izzy smiles at me from her bouncy chair. The key has been finding ways to get the most bang for my buck, i.e. getting exercises done fast, but remembering to do them well.

The truth is, we all want more time for something. Many of us wish we had more time to work out, while some of us wish we had more time to do other things. Sleep, play with your kids, read, write, even binge watch your favorite Netflix shows. There are so many ways that we could spend extra time, but the fact is that those extra minutes are never just going to show up. You have to make a concerted effort to carve them out of your day, or find a way to make do with what you already have.

A lot of times with little kids or babies, there is no way to carve out extra minutes, so you have to learn to make do. I think that is probably why many new parents give up on fitness all together, because there is often only time for a short burst, and what good can that even do? Well, actually, it can make a world of difference.

10 minutes of exercise, of you time each day can not only maintain a certain level of fitness, but can greatly help with mental clarity and well being. Even if it’s just running through a few rounds of sun salutations or doing a few push ups, getting your blood flowing and body moving can change your outlook on your whole day.

Sometimes, after an especially rough night of sleep, the last thing I want to do is get my heart rate up and move. But if I just take a few minutes to fit in what I can, I find that I truly do feel better about myself and about my day. I am going to be totally honest that I’ve been guilty of the old “I don’t really have time” excuse lately. And that’s totally true. I don’t have time. But thankfully I have Will to remind me that 10 or 20 minutes is better than nothing, and that I’ll thank myself when I’m done.

For instance, the other day I literally only had 15 minutes before I would have to get in the shower and then feed Isabelle. Will could be with her for those 15 minutes, so I got right to it. I did a few warm up exercises, some glute work, push ups, 100 KB swings, and a few Turkish Get Ups. It wasn’t much, and it certainly wasn’t a “full workout”. But it made me feel 100% better going into the rest of the day, and I was thankful I took those few minutes for myself.

And it doesn’t always have to be hard exercise. Sometimes using those 10 or 15 spare minutes to just stretch and focus your mind can work wonders on your mood and energy level. If you are looking for some quick exercise though, check out the following for some super quick ideas. You could do just one of these or put a few of them together for a little bit longer workout if it turns out you have more time. The most important thing here is to forgive yourself for “only” having so much time, and make the most of it. The only thing that complaining about your lack of time will do is eat up even more of your precious minutes that you already don’t have enough of.

Blog graphic 10 Min workouts

Give some of these a try next time you’re strapped for time. Each will get your heart pumping, but you can be done and on with your life in just a few minutes.

Just a few notes:

*Inchworm push ups – Start standing. Bend down and place your hands on the floor. Walk your hands out until you are in push up position, do one push up, and walk hands back. That is one rep.

*To make the jump squats, reverse lunges, and side to side squats more challenging, hold a dumbbell, kettlebell, or other form of weight.

* For the mini band workout, wear the mini band around your ankles and keep it on for the entirety of the workout.

*Side to side squats: wearing mini band, step out to left, squat. Step to right, squat. This is one rep.

*Plank up downs: Starting in high plank position (on hands and toes), move to your left forearm, followed by right. Immediately return to high plank one hand at a time. This is one rep.

*Touch backs: Wearing mini band, stand in quarter squat position (knees slightly bent). Staying in quarter squat, bring left leg back behind you and touch your toe to the ground. Bring that foot back to starting position and bring right foot behind you. This is one rep. Continue alternating legs, finishing set before standing straight up.

Life changes and why I’m leaving athletic training 

Most people who are close to me know that I’ve recently undergone a huge life change (besides that whole growing and giving birth to a human). And the truth is, I’m still coming to terms with it myself, which is why it has taken me until now to write about it. 

After 11 years as an athletic trainer, I have decided to step away from not only a job that I loved very much, but from my career. This is the first time I’ve written that down, so I’m going to let that sink in for a minute. 

So why, if I loved this job, am I walking away? 

Some would say that it’s understandable since I’m now a mom. And yet others, I’m sure, will criticize my decision for that very same reason. To be honest, the raging feminist in me understands those criticisms, as ridiculous as they are. But the reason I am leaving has less to do with my daughter and more to do with a profession that does not lend itself to family life in any way. 

Many people will recall this blog post I wrote 5 years ago. In it, I praised my field and the many amazing opportunities that it has given me. To this day, all of those reasons still ring true. I’ve met some of the most important people in my life through this job. Case in point, I never would have met Will were it not for athletic training, and thus Isabelle would not exist either. So I cannot say that I regret the career path I chose, even though it is now coming to an end. 

Athletic training is a selfless profession– it’s one that demands long hours, late nights, early mornings, and holidays. It is one with little to no leniency, where you are at the beck and call of the coaches, administrators and athletes, no matter what. It’s a career that is demanding,often grueling, although rewarding. For someone like me, an empath, each day is an emotional investment, helping athletes through sometimes life altering injuries and recovery. And to be honest, this is why I loved it so much. I loved to connect with people and help them come out the other side in one piece. But this is also why I can’t do it anymore. 

To me, being a good athletic trainer meant giving all of myself to the job, for better or for worse. Athletes had access to me all the time through phone and text, events in my personal life would be missed (this was not by choice though). I became invested in each athlete and each injury on a level where it was hard for me to just walk away at the end of the day. I worried, I missed sleep, I spent hours researching possible outcomes, and I did so at the expense of my own personal time. 

I’m not saying that this is right or wrong, im just saying that this is how I knew how to be an athletic trainer. I couldn’t do it halfway. I couldn’t turn it off at 7 pm. 

But I also know that I wouldn’t be able to continue that and still have enough of myself for myself and my family long term. Yes, the schedule, constant changes due to weather or whim of a coach, late nights and–let’s face it– not nearly enough pay all factored into this decision as well. But beyond all of that, which seems an insurmountable collection of reasons alone, I knew that I couldn’t be the mother I wanted to be and the only AT I knew how to be. 

And for all of the shares I get on that old blog post, I hope people read this as well. Because I’m not trying to discourage any young people from becoming athletic trainers, I just want them to be aware of the whole picture when they make that decision. It’s an amazing, gut wrenching, exciting, mentally stimulating, challenging, yet deeply flawed profession. It hurts me to walk away, yet it also feels quite freeing, and I don’t think I’m alone in having these feelings. 

Some out there will criticize the way I practiced. They’ll say I dug myself into a hole and created my own path to burn out. Maybe that’s true, maybe it’s not. But I do know that I gave everything to my career for the past 11 years, and now it’s time to refocus. 

So what’s next? Well, along with being a mom, I do have some exciting projects in the proverbial vault, and I’ll let you all in on those in another post very soon. Suffice it to say, I hope for this blog to be a building block for bigger things, and I can’t wait to get started moving forward. 

Let’s Talk About The C Word 

Nope, not that C word. 

Get your mind out of the gutter. 

I’m talking about the word that so many women don’t give to themselves enough, the word that is so important for taking care of yourself. 


I can’t even count the amount of times that I hear women refer to themselves with strong, negative language such as hate, ugly, fat, wobbly, and the list goes on and on. And it tends to get even worse right around and after the holidays, as we’re faced with the prospect of a new year and old goals that may not have been met. 

For those who are struggling to lose weight or who are just unhappy with how they look or feel, the seemingly endless temptations between Thanksgiving and New Years can seem like torture, like constant reminders that they still have a long way to go. 

Then add in the pressure of resolutions, declarations of change, and pressures put on us by ourselves and society, and we’ve got a perfect storm of body insecurity. The key here is not to simply stop making goals or seclude ourselves from popular culture, but instead to treat our bodies and our minds with compassion. To realize all of the wonderful and difficult things we do each day, to acknowledge all of the hard work we’ve put in to get where we are, even if it’s not where we want to be.

 Compassion for our jiggly arms, soft stomach, and cellulite thighs. Compassion for our seemingly inability to work out as many days each week as we plan to. Compassion for our wandering, competitive minds who compare us to every other woman we see in the gym, in the store, on the train. 
These things are reality. Most of us will never be super model thin or fitness model lean. We will not have perfect arms or legs or butts or thighs. We will have arms that hold our babies, legs that carry us through life, and abs that have been formed through years of laughter. We accomplish beautiful things every single day, yet the hateful language continues despite these successes. 

Show your body some compassion and acceptance for what it does, not hatred  for what it doesn’t do or for what it doesn’t have. Are you hating your post baby body? Cut yourself a little bit of slack and think about what your body has done for you. You grew a human, and then put your body through trauma to get that human out, no matter how smoothly the birth went. Trauma needs time to heal, and more than time, it needs compassion and care. 

Beating your exhausted body up with workouts every day isn’t the answer; a traumatized body will not be beaten back into submission, trust me. You’ll just end up injured and even more frustrated than before. 

And this goes for returning from an injury or picking back up after life stresses. 

Acknowledge what your body has been through, get in some healthy, restorative movement as often as possible, and build gradually. Fitness after a life change or stressful time isn’t about getting back to “normal” as quickly as possible, it’s about nurturing yourself to allow for gradual, healthy change. 

On the other hand, some people just feel like they’ve been doing everything right for so long and are just not seeing the results they want. Why bother with the hard stuff if you still hate what you see in the mirror? Because results take time, the process is slow, and there is so much value in acknowledging the process as you go along. It can be hard to remember when you’re in the thick of it, but major change does not happen all at once. It is created through a series of tiny, minuscule steps and victories along the way. 

Showing yourself compassion and recognizing these baby steps is the key to not driving yourself absolutely insane when results seem so far away. I often recommend that people set a reflection time once per week to stop and think about these small steps and accomplishments. Write them down where you can reference them each week. And over time, you’ll start to see those building blocks add up to bigger successes. 

Ignoring these small steps in lieu of wanting bigger results is akin to wanting fresh baked cookies but getting angry when you realize that you have to follow a recipe first, step by step. You can’t get the end product without all of the small steps in between, and the small steps are what matter in the long run. Speed through that recipe and forget the baking Sosa or salt, and you’ll end up with some pretty unformed  and bland cookies just because you couldn’t take the time to complete the small, necessary steps to getting quality cookies. Now you’ve wasted your time and you have nothing to show for it. 

Ok ok, enough about cookies, but do you see my point? 

It doesn’t matter if you lose 20 lb if you beat yourself up constantly to get there. That end game will leave you tired, frustrated, and wondering why you don’t feel better even though you reached a goal. If you start out from a place of hate, how do you expect that to turn into happiness and acceptance just because the scale reads a certain number? Hating your body every time you look in the mirror does not just go away once the scale hits the number that you want. If that’s how you’ve conditioned your brain to think, it will continue, and the goals met will never be enough– it’s a vicious cycle. Practicing your compassion, acknowledging the small successes along the way, and recognizing positive things about yourself will help you to appreciate yourself, even if goals are not quite met or change over time. 

We are not numbers on a scale, we are not the size of our jeans or the presence (or not) of fat; we are so much more than that. But the beautiful things that we are are often overshadowed by the things that we’re not, especially when it comes to size and shape. Show yourself compassion. Recognize and celebrate the small steps, the challenges that you face every day, and the magnificent ways that you navigate through this crazy thing called life. Because it’s not easy, none of this is, and that’s why the little things deserve celebrating, and you deserve compassion from the person who is least likely to give it to you: yourself.