Originally posted 2016-10-29 08:34:36.
Originally posted 2016-10-29 08:34:36.
I am so sorry for my absence.
I say this as if I know people read this. It may just be my mom. But in any case, I have been absent from my blog.
I have been struggling. When I say struggling, that is a true understatement. Between moving, gaining weight, battling anxiety and depression, and feeling insecure in every aspect of my life, I was drowning.
I worry that sometimes I have to hide that side of me, the one who feels lost at times. The one who still has darkness. The one that constantly doubts herself.
Over the last year, I have been on an amazing journey of self realization. This journey I have documented on social media. And in most aspects, it has been an absolute blessing. I have met amazing women, made amazing connections, and learned more about myself and others than I ever dreamed I could.
But I have often times felt out of body in this amazing, incredible, emotional experience.
I have made an effort to share my story. Raw. Open. Vulnerable. Scary.
And it has been amazing. It has led me to strength and courage and bravery.
But I am not always strong. I am not always courageous. And I am not always brave.
The last few months, I have been sad. I lost focus and motivation. I truly felt like every move I made was an act. And for me, that was hard. I am not one to hide my emotions. I have never been in a position before where people are looking to me for support and inspiration. What am I supposed to do when I can’t figure my own shit out, let alone help others?
But, I have spent time working on myself. I have been focusing on how I want to feel, not how I want to look to others. I have spent time eating and working out and treating me right, not on looking a certain way on social media. I have dedicated my time and thoughts to not impressing and inspiring others, but inspiring me. Because I had lost my fire.
I want to say, to all of you, that it’s okay to be lost. It is okay to feel like you are in a dark room with no exits. It’s okay to feel alone and scared and not enough. Everyone has been in that dark room. Everyone has doubts.
It’s what you do with them. I am not a perfect person. I do not have answers for everyone. I barely have answers for myself. But I have a heart that wants to help. I have a soul that wants to share. I have a drive to make changes for myself and others. And I have a will that cannot be shaken.
So I have been down, but I am not out. I may not have an amazing transformation before and after picture, but I have a story to tell. And so do you. So share your story. The good. The bad. The ugly. The everything.
Because you are enough. I am enough. We are all enough. And we need to remember that our stories, good or bad, ugly or pretty, help others know they aren’t alone.
I’m back. I am so back. Here’s to kicking ass and taking names.
Originally posted 2016-10-23 17:45:16.
Let’s just get this off the table.
I’ve gained weight. Numerically, about 20 lbs.
Some of you are judging. Some of you are letting outs gasps and saying, “Bless her heart.” . Some of you are texting your girlfriend to say, ” I told you that PCOS chick gained weight! Ha!”.
Whatever you’re thinking, well-STOP. First, because I want you to know I am completely accepting and comfortable with this fact. I don’t need your sympathy. I don’t need your comments. I don’t need your judgement. Because I am just fine.
And oh yea, because it’s NONE OF YOUR F*#king business.
My hesitation in writing this came from the fact that I am a health coach, and because of our messed up society that is stuffed full of diet culture, where worth dictated by numbers on tags and scales, I know many of you would find me hypocritical.
How dare she coach women about health when she clearly is not in control of hers?
Well I dare to because I think health is more than what the industry driven by shame and fueled by fear of not being what is currently considered ideal. I find nothing healthy about spending all my energy hating myself and obsessing over food.
Health to me is improving your quality of life. But what happens when your pursuit of physical health is destroying your mental health? What if the journey leads you down a road of obsession over food and using fitness and nutrition as a punishment and reward system?
In a season when every fitspo, home health coach will be filling your social media with their programs to “fix” you, I want you to remember one thing- you shouldn’t be shamed into health. You’re not broken. The health industry is, preying on our insecurities. Motivation driven by hating yourself doesn’t get you very far.
I gained weight. I don’t need to justify it. I just stopped equating my worthiness with my physical appearance. I didn’t “let myself go”. The only thing that I let go of is my fear of judgement about how my body makes others feel.
But regardless, I don’t owe anyone an explanation about my body. I could list the numerous life occurrences that some may accept as worthy of justification for weight gain. I could apologize about how I did XYZ to get here, and quickly follow up with how I am going to resolve it. I could explain to you that at my thinnest I still felt unhealthy and trapped in the diet cycle. I could make sure you understand why I’m still acceptable where I am, even though society might say differently. But I won’t.
Because my weight is not something that needs to be resolved. I’m heavier. And I am happier. To me, this is healthier.
I’ve found acceptance in the fact that health is individual. It is not one size fits all. It is a complex balance between mind and body, and the connection between the two is crucial to understand.
And for those who view me differently for it, I bid you ado. You are the exact unhealthy weight I need to lose.
I have gained. I have gained strength to break up my unhealthy relationship with connecting guilt and reward to food. I have gained the understanding that my confidence can come from something other than my body. I have gained the knowledge to see how closely related your mental health is to your physical health, and both need to be nurtured. I have gained the understanding that loving the hell out of myself doesn’t come with size restrictions.
And I have gained the strength to tell anyone who has something to say about my body that I don’t owe you an explanation. And I certainly don’t need your validation.
Originally posted 2016-12-10 23:44:21.
To the people on the internet who want to “save” me,
I got your messages. I have read your comments. I have received your emails. Thank you for your concern. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your message telling me that you love my page and think that (insert product/diet/lifestyle here) will benefit me. I am assuming you saw PCOS in my name. Maybe you are unique and spent a minute looking at my page and saw I formally was an unhealthy weight. Or maybe you dug deeper like the little overachiever you are and noticed I have struggled with an eating disorder, depression, self hatred and anxiety. And while those things are a big part of me, it is not WHO I am.
I assume you have good intentions. I like to believe the best in people. I am sure you are not just trying to sell me a product. That would just be cruel using my perceived weaknesses as a sales pitch. I know you aren’t searching hashtags looking for vulnerable women to impose your opinions or products on. You must know better. I am positive your days are spent trying to better people by telling them how wrong they are for how they eat or what they wear or how they look.
I want to tell you that I don’t need saving. You may assume because I put myself out there on the internet, that I should be okay with you pushing your opinions on me. I can’t stop you. I have chosen to share my story and with that comes critique and unsolicited comments. I’m okay with that.
But for one second, I want you to think about yourself. I know, this must be hard since you are so selfless with the giving of your opinions. Imagine something you are insecure about. Something that hurts you. Your weak spot. Imagine working on that struggle every day. Imagine the tears and grief and sadness you have felt along with it. Hard right?
Now imagine overcoming it, or at the very least accepting it. Imagine growing into a point of accepting and sharing and loving your story. You are proud and strong and encouraged.
Then someone comes along and tells you you aren’t doing it right. Someone comes along and tells you it’s not enough. You aren’t worthy of feeling good because you aren’t as good as you could be.
It would hurt right? Maybe piss you off?
It is really hard to overcome your insecurities. It is even harder to share them with others and open yourself up to critique. It takes bravery to find your way in this world. I am so glad you found yours. It must be important to you since you feel the need to force your thoughts on strangers on the internet.
I am strong enough to not fall for what people try to sell me anymore- whether it is in the form of product that will “fix me” or words said to make me believe I am unworthy. But so many others are not. Your “concern” may just break them.
In the day of Dr. Google and online forums being replacements for medical and mental health advice, I understand everyone feels they are an expert. It’s easy to feel powerful and all knowing sitting behind a keyboard tapping away your beliefs and thoughts and imposing them on everyone. You may assume you understand me from looking at my page.
But you don’t know everything. Your opinion is just that. An opinion. Feel free to express it, but don’t impose it on others. Post it on your own wall, your blog, your diary, anything you own. But not on me. I am not an open forum because you can see my pictures on the internet.
I’m sure you are thinking, ” Well if you don’t like it why be so public on the internet?”
Touche, my friend. You are so smart. I could very well pack up my 695 pictures, my plethora of stories and tales and lock them away so I don’t open myself up to your opinions. But who would benefit? No one. I share my story to not only help others, but to help myself. I refuse to be stopped because you feel I am doing it wrong. For every one of you doubters or concerned followers, I have 10 that get who I am. They understand that behind the few characteristics you pulled from your skim of my page as weaknesses, are bad ass qualities that make me much more. I am smart. I am a fighter. I am empathetic. I am a believer in supporting and being kind to others. And I am not buying your bullsh*t.
So from the girl you see on my Instagram as someone to save, sell to, or correct- Thank you for your concern. I am so glad you took the time to let me know how much I need fixing. But the one fact you failed to see is that I don’t need saving. I am not broken.
A fabulously flawed women who fought hard to get where she is and knows that your opinions should be kept to yourself and will refrain from speaking hers about you.
Originally posted 2016-06-11 18:48:10.
If you or someone you know is going through or been through infertility, please share. The worst thing anyone can feel going through this is to feel alone. You are not alone. You are not broken. You are more than your infertility.
Originally posted 2016-04-26 00:55:38.
8 pounds was all that stood between myself and the great meltdown of March 2016 (Yes, it was that bad. Read on.)
As I lay on my bathroom floor, curled up in the fetal position, tears running down my face and unable to catch my breath, I thought to myself ,
Are we here again, Shelby? Is this who we are? You hypocrite. Muster up some self love. What would you tell the girls to do? Stop this right now.
But I didn’t stop. In fact, I lay there, right next to the heap of clothes I shed trying to convince that scale she’s a lying jerk, still clutching the phone displaying the progress pictures I took because I was sure they would prove my theory wrong about what the scale had to say. They didn’t. They reflected a person who had gained 8 pounds. I lay there wondering how I got there.
If you’ve been following me for a while, I’m sure you know I have lost weight. About 55 pounds from my highest. But what shiny, nicely laid out, strategically selected transformation pictures won’t show you, is that I have been battling mental weight.
Your health, mental and physical, is not a destination. It is fluid. It changes. It’s not like one day, you weigh X amount of pounds, and you are magically this happy, self confident person who has no problems. But you see, no one ever told me that. So when I reached my goal, and wasn’t happy, I was pissed.
I worked my ass off for this. I’m here. Where’s this so called happiness?
I had hyper focused on losing weight, and only weight, and only fitting in a pair of pants that, sure I knew how to work out and eat right and lose weight- but what else? Now what?
In comes life, like it always does. Kids to be raised. Friends to have wine with. Vacations with carbs around every corner. Working on personal projects and creating a life you want.
But with all that, comes stress. Pressure. Old self sabotaging tendencies. And weight.
8 pounds of weight, to be exact.
And, man, how heavy these 8 pounds are.
If you’ve lost a lot of weight, you know what I am talking about. The feeling of pressure to keep it off. The voice in your head that doubts you and belittles you.
You’ve put yourself out there as an example of someone who can do it. You messed up. You liar. You CAN’T do it.
You can’t be proud of yourself now, Shelby. That stomach roll and double chin is back to remind you how much of a failure you are.
No one will give a shit what you have to say if you can’t even practice what you preach.
As I sat last week, creating a challenge for other women to help them lose weight, as I accepted my certification from NASM, and as I got email after email about how inspiring I am with my weight loss, something in me broke. Snapped. That self sabotaging voice got too loud. It started winning battles with the self assured, confident, strong voice I fight so hard to have. And for the first time in a long time, I felt defeated.
And I know it’s just a number. I know that deep down, if I refocused on myself vs. pouring my everything into others, I could get it off. And I will get it off. But at what expense?
Sure, I have gained 8 pounds. But you know what? I have been happy. Stressed beyond belief, but genuinely happy and fulfilled. Some nights, that fulfillment has been in the form of Little Caesars Crazy Bread, but hey. Have I slacked on my workouts? Absolutely. Have I had 1 or 3 extra glasses of wine I could have skipped for the gym? 100%. And I am not sitting here saying that eating carbs and drinking wine and being happy trumps taking care of your body.
I am saying there has to be a balance. You can’t neglect yourself and your health and get lost in the service and happiness of others. You can’t spend your every waking minute on the treadmill praying for that number to go down. You can’t miss out on life because you’re too busy waiting around for the perfect situation. Perfect size. Perfect number staring back at you from the scale. And you can’t let the voice telling you you aren’t good enough to succeed or don’t deserve to love and embrace yourself, at all stages, drown out the bad ass warrior voice reminding you just how much you can.
Sometimes you wonder where to find your strength and confidence. Sometimes you forget how far you’ve come. Sometimes that old voice wins, and you end up lying in a puddle of tears and leggings on your bathroom floor.
This morning my old voice won.
But then I remind myself of all the things I am proud of. All the things that make me happy that can’t be measured by my pants or my weight.
Am I proud that I gained 8 pounds? No. Of course not.
Am I ashamed of it? Hell no.
I am human. We all are. There’s no super human woman out there that hasn’t slipped up or lost her way or doubted herself.
So as I picked myself up off the bathroom floor and wiped away my tears, I caught my reflection in the mirror. And I bust out laughing.
Was I really just in the fetal position crying into my Lu Lu Roes? Get your sh*t together, Shelby. There are people who need you. And today, that person is you.
**I share this story not because I am proud of getting of track and gaining weight. I share it because I want everyone to know that if it happens to them, they aren’t a failure. The only failure is quitting on yourself. There is no shame in falling down. There is no shame in breaking down. The same is in making others feel like they are any less for doing so. **
Here’s the progress pictures that broke open the flood gates. I wasn’t going to post them because I could name 2089 things that I don’t like about it. So that proved right there, I needed to do it. For me.
To forgive myself for my past. To accept myself as I am right now. And to focus on the future.
Originally posted 2016-03-28 15:42:24.
I almost gave up.
I almost listened to the voice inside my head that told me,
Get real, Shelby. You can barely match your socks and remember to take your vitamins.
When I started out a couple months ago with the idea of creating a fundraiser- I laughed at myself.
You can’t do this, Shelby. You aren’t anyone. You can’t make a difference.
But here is the thing.
I am just like everyone else. That’s true. I am no one special. I am just a girl who doesn’t want anyone else to feel alone. To make a difference. To support other women.
And you don’t have to be a super hero to make a difference.
Because one small ripple becomes a wave. And a bunch of waves creates an ocean.
And nobody messes with the ocean.
My point, if you have something on your heart, do it. Don’t listen to the voice in your head that tells you you can’t succeed. Whether it be finishing that 5th mile, or taking your first step into the gym. Finishing school, or going back after quitting years before. Standing up for what you believe in, big or small.
All I was was a girl who felt alone. And I was tired of feeling alone. So I did something about it.
I’ve learned so much in the past 6 months.
Not everyone will get it. Not everyone will understand me. Or my ideas. Or my eagerness to create something positive in this world.
People will laugh. People will judge. People will always doubt.
But the most important thing I’ve learned is that the only opinion that matters is the one you have of yourself.
Are you proud of who you are?
Are you proud of what you stand for?
As long as you believe in yourself and what you stand for, that’s all that matters at the end of the day.
I am proud of what I stand for. I am proud of the community that myself and four other beautiful women have fought to create. I am proud of the friendships I’ve made, the stories I’ve told, the tears and smiles and time and effort . Because even though I doubted myself, even though it hasn’t been easy- I now have the opportunity to make a difference.
And at the end of the day, just ONE girl feels less alone in this, I have done what I have set out to do.
With all that chatter and run on sentences above, I am PROUD to announce, with the help of so many wonderful women, the launch of PCOS Positivity Gives Back.
For links to the fundraising website and to learn more about the PCOS Positivity movement, Click on the PCOS Positivity Gives Back tab on my homepage. Or here. That works, too.
Proceeds made through all streams of fundraising will be donated to:
For more information about this amazing grant, check out: http://www.pcoschallenge.org/confidence-grant/
Originally posted 2016-03-11 08:16:44.
I am a victim of your sexual assault.
I have never uttered those words before. But, you see, I’m tired. Carrying around what should be your guilt for 16 years has exhausted my soul.
You will probably never experience consequences for violating me that night. It was my fault. That’s what you told me. Why would you?
After all, I invited you to that party that night. I drank too much and lost control. I picked out the clothes you held on to when you told me how much I wanted you to touch me. It was my fault I went into that bedroom with you to use the bathroom at the party. It was my fault I was frozen and couldn’t mutter the words get off me when you said, “No one will believe you said no. So might as well do it.”
I stayed silent because I thought I deserved it. I stayed quiet because I thought just because I was able to fight you off and get out of that room before you could get that last article of clothing off me, I wasn’t assaulted. I got drunk, wore too tight of clothes, and I deserved it.
And I’m scared. Scared every time I turn on the news and hear words like ” just locker room talk” or hear sound bytes of powerful men saying things like ” you can do anything you want. And they’ll let you”. It sends me right back to that dark bedroom and all I can feel is a chill running down my spine and your hands on me and I’m that broken, fragile, unworthy girl all over again.
But I have a beautiful girl to raise now. I have this amazing responsibility of teaching her all the beautiful things about herself. I need to teach her she deserves respect. I need her to know her body is her own. I need her to understand that she needs to speak up when bad things happen, even when she’s scared.
So I need to set the example. I will not be scared. I will not accept what happened to me.
You put your hands on me without my consent. That, is the definition of sexual assault.
You stole so much from me. It’s taken me years to understand that I’ll spend my life repairing the harm you did to my self worth in just 30 minutes.
I bet you don’t know that I’ve spent the last 16 years relearning to understand my body is more than the things done to it. I am more than the labels placed upon me that led me to stay silent. You made me feel cheap, disposable, and unworthy. You made me feel that I deserved it.
What you did to me was not okay. I chose to forgive you, for my own inner peace. Although the things you stole from me forced me to become strong and brave, I don’t give you credit for that. I shouldn’t have had to spend my young adult life cleaning up the mess you made of my soul.
But I did.
I am a powerful, brave, ambitious, beautiful, worthy woman. You, nor any person, can take that away from me. I will chose to believe in love and have faith in humanity, despite your hateful disgraceful act against me. I get to chose my place in this world, not you. I will fight fiercely to remind every woman and girl that they are worthy. I will forgive you, because I need to stop being angry. But I will not stay silent.
A brave, strong, worthy woman.
Originally posted 2017-01-20 08:01:36.
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