I've suffered from Generalized Anxiety Disorder for as long as I remember, which stems from my perfectionist roots. On the surface, it looks like we have it all together, but deep down lies a fear of not being good enough—in our bodies, relationships, careers and every other facet of life. This constant self-judgement, shame and pursuit to be "perfect" often leads to heightened stress, control, exhaustion, psychological pain and destructive behaviors (eating disorders in my case).
Between personal development, western medicine, nutritional healing and holistic supplementation, I am now at peace with my anxiety (PRAISE THE LORD). And you can be, too.
Before I dive in and tell you two secrets that have helped alleviate a lot of my symptoms, I want to be very clear about something:
If you suffer from ANXIETY or DEPRESSION (they often go hand-in-hand), I want you to know that there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with you. Anxiety and depression are signals from your body, mind and/or spirit that tell you something in your life is out of alignment and recalibration is in order. When you start to explore the triggers, voids or mismatches in your environment or lifestyle, while also taking small daily measures to manage the symptoms in the process, you'll start to alleviate the detrimental impact these experiences can have on your life.
Now, let's talk about the two new miracle-workers I've added to my daily routine! Although there are MANY reasons to take these two supplements, I personally chose them for their well-known ability to help with:
OK, so what are they?
These days, if we're miserable with our current circumstances, gurus tell us to "find our passion" and we'll never work a day in our lives. So, we set out to discover what that is. We list out our talents, discuss the pros and cons of each opportunity, waste money on classes and certifications and compare ourselves to others on social media wondering how in the heck they live with such purpose and ease.
It's exhausting and can make us feel downright worthless—like we have nothing to offer the world and will forever be lost and unhappy.
Let me tell you, I've been actively searching for YEARS and had gotten to the state above more than I can count on one hand. I'm sure you have to some degree, too.
BUT. What if I told you we've been going at it ALL WRONG.
About 8 years ago, I read in a magazine that some celebrity chiseled her arms with two moves. I didn't believe it. But, her arms were bangin'. So I kept reading.
Her secret: A pyramid of various styles of push ups and tricep dips. That's it.
At that point in my life, I hardly had time to eat and sleep let alone workout. So I said, "what the hell?" I told myself for 30 days straight that if I did only one thing per day, it would be this arm series.
Disclaimer: I had a job in which forced me to walk constantly, so I was in a constant state of LISS. LISS is known as your fat burning state, so that would help burn the fat around my arms and reveal more chiseled upper body muscles. Just doing this arm series is not going to uncover Michele Obama biceps. There are a lot of variables, including nutrition and other cardio routines.
But, coupling this arm variation with the right regimens will help you create a more lean, chiseled upper body look FAST.
Try it for 30 days and let me know what you think 😉
We all know diets don't work. To lose fat and keep it off takes the right trifecta of clean eating, proper training and customized supplementation.
One supplement I added to my regimen over a year ago is a pre-workout and my results have been UNDENIABLE. I've lost roughly 30 pounds, have leaned out and toned up, and have put on a fair amount of muscle, mainly in the bootayyyy area (BOOM 👊). As of late, I've gotten a ton of questions about why I religiously use a pre-workout and which ones do the trick. So, I'm sharing my secrets with you!
Before I dive in, I want to remind you all that there's no magic pill. But, a pre-workout added to a healthy routine can help kick your results into high gear.
Why use a pre workout?
Pre-workouts are designed to help you increase training volume and intensity so that you can get more out of your workouts.
For a long time, pre-workouts had the reputation for being only for the advanced gym goer whose sole focus was to pack on muscle. But the reality is, pre-workouts can help just about anyone who wants to improve his or her fitness levels–from the beginner all the way to the hardcore gym buff.
In a nutshell, pre-workouts can benefit you if:
Self care has been my biggest struggle as of late. To say it's almost impossible to keep a balance while trying to date AND get a business off the ground would be an understatement. Us ladies (or should I say, us "perfectionist" chicks?) want to be everything to everyone, but in reality, YOU CAN'T BE. And if you try, your mental and physical well-being will suffer BIG TIME.
I'm sure I'm not the only gal out there who struggles to maintain a happy, healthy state while juggling all that life throws at her. So, I'm giving you my 6 "self care' musts that keep my physical, mental and spiritual self thriving. Through 10 years of ups and downs, I've finally found the secret formula to staying on point everyday. It's not a one-size-fits-all, but I have a feeling these mini steps will have you showing up as your best self—whole, grounded, focused and ready for more.
Before diving in, I will say that self care is a practice, just like art or yoga—it needs to be customized to you and practiced religiously. And, these might sound like "obvious" hacks that you've heard time and time again, but I can't stress enough the importance of giving each one the attention it needs. If one starts to lack, the others will suffer, too.
Also remember that life is full of seasons. It's ever evolving and so are you. I can tell you with 100% conviction that once you feel like you've found balance, something right around the bend will throw you off kilter once again. When that happens, give yourself a little grace and adjust as necessary. You're not going to be perfect all of the time, and that's OKAY!
News flash: you are good enough.
...for Mr. Right, your dream career, financial freedom, the white picket fence, all of it.
Whatever it is, the key to unlocking these desires is seeing yourself as deserving. When you make that mental shift, your world will transform to reflect that belief.
Get my drift here? You teach people how to show up for you.
Walk into a room, hunched over, unable to make eye contact and you'll immediately communicate that you're unworthy to look at or engage with.
Walk into a room, smiling, strutting your stuff, and you'll demand the attention of the whole room without saying a word.
Be the latter.
So I'll say again, once you see yourself as beautiful, the world will too. Upgrade you and your outer world will upgrade, too. ✌🏽
After posting this dish to Instagram, so many of you messaged me wanting the recipe! So here it is (if I can remember it).
Funny story: I made it up. I never follow recipes. I usually go on what I have in the frig and mash it up together. Surprisingly enough, this one tasted pretty damn delish! As I've experimented and failed (miserably) over the years, I kind of know which foods work together and which ones don't 😝
The beauty of cooking is making it your own. Don't hesitate to throw in a new herb, bake instead of sauté or use bacon bits to spice it up (confession: my secret to every dish). Experimenting is fun, but what's more important is that it teaches you to trust your intuition (or your taste ;)). Mindful cooking and eating is liberating. It makes food more of an experience to be enjoyed that an obsession to control or track (coming from a disordered eating past).
So while I give you this recipe as fact based on what I did, I encourage you to use it as a loose guideline and give it your own twist!
“Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free”. ~Robert Tew.
I’m Kathleen, and I am so excited to share my experience of fitness competing with the Finding My Beautiful readers! I work in two industries that I love: wine and fitness. However, it can definitely be challenging to find balance between the two.
I finally overcame my struggles with weight gain and lack of self-confidence and am now a Fitness Nutrition Specialist, nationally qualified bikini competitor in the Nspire Sports League, and an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor. Fitness has always been an important part of my life and has gotten me through many tough times throughout the years.
My decision to compete came after a very difficult time in my life. I was recently divorced and had just moved to a new city. My self-confidence took a big hit and I felt like a failure. During one of our last conversations, my ex said that he “wasn’t attracted to me anymore because I had gained weight.” I knew the words were said to hurt me and weren’t necessarily true. However, they hurt like no other. What disappointed me the most about this is that I lacked the confidence to let these words roll off my back. Why didn’t I have the confidence to only care about what I thought of myself? I knew I needed to do something to build myself back up so that I was in control of my self-esteem and not other people’s opinions.
I decided to get back into teaching group fitness classes since I was new to the city and didn’t know anyone. In doing so, I met my boss, Lauren, who I truly feel was put in my path to help get me through this time. She too had gone through a divorce, and now seemed to be living a really happy life. She gave me hope that I, too, could have a great life after this experience.
I soon discovered that she was a serious figure competitor! I remember being extremely excited. I asked her a million questions and thought this could be something that helps me rediscover my self-confidence. This was an opportunity for me to push myself to achieve something I had always thought about doing, but was always afraid to do. I hired the same coach that Lauren used and decided to go for it!
I had no idea that I was about to go through such a life-changing experience. I decided to compete in the bikini division where you don’t have to put on as much muscle mass. I saw competing as an opportunity to:
Here are my pros and cons to competing:
I've been on a green juice kick, not just for the crazy health benefits, but to shake up my boring, errryday meal routine. Meal planning and food creativity have fallen to the bottom of this busy gal's priority list, so green juice is my BFF right now.
Here's my go-to recipe—even you green juice haters would like this one. 😎
🍐 Spinach (handful / 1 cup)
🍐 Kale (2 stalks)
🍐 Cucumber (1/2 without the skin)
🍐 Strawberries (3—4; frozen or fresh)
🍐 Pineapple (1 slice)
🍐 Banana (just a little to keep sugar down)
🍐 Unsweetened Organic Almond Milk (I never measure this! Just throw a splash in)
🍐 Unflavored Greek Yogurt (1—2 tablespoons)
🍐 Ice (3—4 ice cubes)
🍐 Water (1 cup)
🍐 1 Organic Stevia Packet (if you need a little sweetener)
You'll see I don't give exact measurements for any of the ingredients. It's more trial and error to see what your taste buds enjoy! Little hint: kale may be the most nutritious of all the ingredients, but its sour taste will throw you off. If that happens, up the sweetness of your juice with spinach or fruits.
Enjoy, lovelies! xoxo
6 Examples of What Self Love Is NOT, What Self Love Actually Is + Why You're Unable to Have Healthy Relationships (Valentine's Day Inspired ❤️)
THIS was one of my most popular blog posts from last year, so I decided to repost it given Valentine's Day is officially here! I know some of you lovelies could use this reminder as we approach the sometimes dreaded V-Day.
First off, society today builds up this one day of the year so much so that we feel utterly unworthy if we're not attached at the hip with a sig other.
My opinion? It's complete bullshit.
February 14 isn't just about your "other half"—the cards, flowers, chocolates, wine, intimacy or "I love you's."
It's about giving that same love that you tend to give everyone else, to yourself too.
Actually, if I'm being real, getting the above materialistic items as symbols of love on V-day won't actually carry any meaning if you don't love yourself first.