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.
Picture it. It’s 4pm on a Friday. You just drove 4 hours with two kids, working and trying to make to do lists in between the fighting and “are we there yet?’s”. You can’t wait to get to the pool. As you’re walking there, sweating, lugging two kids, 4 pool noodles and beer in your hand, you hear,
“Dude. She needs to lock up the two piece and beer. I can’t tell if that’s beer gut or mom fat.”
I stopped. I saw two girls, no older than 16. I shouldn’t have walked over to them. I should have kept walking. I should have chalked it up to “ young immature minds.”
But my kids heard, too. So I couldn’t.
So I walked over, introduced myself, and I told them,
“ I want you to know I appreciate your opinion. I understand every one of us have them. I spend my days giving my honest opinion all day long online. I wanted to let it go. But my kids are listening. And I am teaching them to have a voice, but to use it for good. I am teaching them that you are free to have an opinion, but not to be rude. You can be honest, but without empathy it is just abusive. The truth is, yes- I do have mom fat. I also have a beer gut. Whatever this stomach that you find offensive is, keeps my kids warm during snuggles and is fluffier because of smore’s under blanket forts and pajama pizza parties. This two piece, once gave me so much anxiety in a Target dressing room that I cried for two hours. I could sit here and tell you how I have worked hard to overcome disordered eating, anxiety and depression. I could tell you that I spent years at war with my reflection and missed out on life because I hated myself that much. I could tell you how hard I worked to take care of my body and respect it enough to stop hating it. I could force my opinion on you of how damaging I think your comments are. I could give my opinion on how rude and damaging I think you are being. I could give you my honest thoughts on how you are small minded, rude little girls who need to find a damn hobby besides judging other women. But that’s just my opinion. So instead I will tell you, I will not apologize for my mom bod. I will not lock away my swimsuits, nor my body, nor my right to go swimming and drink a beer in the summer. I hope you never feel insecure or inferior because of others opinions. I hope you know your worth and never feel pressure from outside forces to look or act a certain way. And I hope you raise your daughters to stand up to anyone who tells them they can’t wear whatever and be whoever the fuck they want. Now, I have beer to drink. Go call your mothers.”
Originally posted 2016-07-09 01:54:01.
While shopping yesterday, avoiding adulting and trying on all Target’s clearance had to offer, I heard in the dressing room next to me two girl’s voices. They were no older than 14.
At first, I heard them laughing and talking about some boy. And then the tone flipped quick and I heard one say, ” I’d look so much better if I was as skinny as you. You suck. I just won’t eat tonight” And her friend didn’t object. They just kept on talking. As if saying not eating to fit into clothes is acceptable conversation. Or it was so normal in their lives it wasn’t even second guessed. It was as easy as saying, ” I’ll have fries with that.”
My heart sunk. I used to be that girl. Somedays, I still am that girl. All of a sudden as I stood half naked, mom bod in all it’s glory, I was overcome by sorrow. It was like I was 14 again. Back then, I would stand in front of a similar mirror, pinching and wishing away all my perceived imperfections. All I wanted was to be as ‘skinny’ as someone else. My sister. My best friend. Kelly Kapowski. ( I also wanted her boyfriend ) Anyone else but me.
Skinny became my obsession. And eventually that goal lead to my struggles with disordered eating. I spent most of those precious years meant for first dates and driver’s licenses consumed in depression, hating my body, and deflecting all my shortcomings onto others. I didn’t care about myself, so I destroyed others. I’d do anything it took at the expense of anyone or anything to be 1 pound less. This rageful, angry girl was actually dying inside, literally and figuratively, hiding it behind a charade of angst and ‘behavioral problems’. I was slowly self destructing, one uneaten calorie or one binge at a time.
When I realized people could probably hear me blubbering and were bound to bust down the door to the sight of my bare ass and last night’s mascara running down my face, I got my shit together. Me, being the fixer I have grown to be, quickly planned a powerful, life changing intervention. I imagined it saving her. Maybe, just maybe- she’d eat that night. Maybe she would not succumb to the pressures we all feel to be and look a certain way. Maybe, this hot mess express could be the catalyst to propel her away from the rabbit hole of self hatred. I wanted to be the person I needed back then.
[Tweet “I wanted to tell her how unimportant skinny is. Skinny doesn’t get you into college. It doesn’t make you friendships ( not the kind you want, anyway.) It doesn’t make you a better person. It doesn’t make you more lovable or liked. If just makes you skinny. That’s it.”]
I wanted to tell her how unimportant skinny is. Skinny doesn’t get you into college. It doesn’t make you friendships ( not the kind you want, anyway.) It doesn’t make you a better person. It doesn’t make you more lovable or liked. If just makes you skinny. That’s it.
I wanted to go into that dressing room and point out anything beautiful about her other than her size. I wanted to drive to her house and throw out her scale. I wanted to take her to lunch without all the numbers and counting and planning of how to rid your body of it immediately after. Just eat. And talk. And learn all the things that make her beautiful, none of them having to do with whether her pants fit or the number reflected back at her.
I said nothing. I froze. Whether it was from my own sadness, or something else. I ugly cried on the way home, regretting it. Wishing I could have just grabbed her hand and looked in her eyes. Maybe more for me, than her. Maybe for my daughter, who I worry I will pass on my old habits to. I thought about how just the other day, I walked in, and saw my two year old doing the scale dance. Get on. Get back off. Get back on. And the guilt set in. Sh*t. That was taught. She’s doing what she sees me do. Without even knowing it I was setting her up to disapprove of herself. You can’t just preach it. You can’t just say it. It’s not enough. You have to show them how to love themselves. And the best way to do that is to be an example of what it looks like.
She’s counting on me. Right then, I vowed to work on breaking the self hatred cycle. I will be an example of what loving my body truly is. Some days I may be faking it. I will still fight the mirror. The scale. The bitch of a voice inside my head that creeps in and tells me I am not good enough. And I worry it will always be there. But I will not let my daughter grow up believing her worth is determined by whether or not she fits into a pair of target jeggings.
When I got home, I hugged my daughter so tight, and thought about the girl at Target. I may not have been able to help her. But this girl in my arms, is all on me. I picked her up and we sat at my mirror. We had a fake tea party and ate REAL biscuits. We planned adventures. We danced. And as she caught her reflection, she exclaimed,
“Meme pretty like momma. Pretty happy mommy.”
And I was. And that’s who I will be, for her. Always.
Originally posted 2016-05-04 10:22:50.
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 may be dating myself by saying this, but the closest I had to social media when I was in high school was AIM. ( I had some killer away messages, let me tell you.) I was messed up enough in those socially formative years. I can’t even imagine if I was worried about how many followers I had or if someone was sending my high school boyfriend Colin DM’s on Instagram. In my younger years, I was impressionable. Hell, 3 years ago I fell for the whole “I have to tell you it works in the brand name to overcompensate for the fact that its just Saran Wrap and water weight you’re losing” bit. So yea, it still lingers. (News Flash- if they have to name it ‘ this shit really makes you lose weight’ or something similiar, it probably doesn’t)
It’s human nature to want to put your best self out there. It’s ingrained in most of us from birth to succeed. Win. Be liked. We are raised idolizing celebrities and sports stars that get paid to run and throw a ball or lay in bed and take a perfect selfie. But this idolization has grown. It isn’t just mainstream celebrities or limited to your 8pm shows or drive to the work on the radio. Hell, Kim Kardashian makes millions for… do we even know yet? Has this mystery been solved? (Seriously though- what the fuck does she do? )We strive to obtain the social norm of perfection.
In a day where everyone is constantly connected and flooded with pretty square pictures or the most craftily stringed together words the 140 character limit will allow, everyone wants to be popular. Get one more like. Gain one more more follower. There is article on top of article telling you what you should believe and what you should wear and how you should eat and when you should blink. Everyone has become a fitness expert. Everyone knows how to tell you what you are doing wrong and what you can improve and why you aren’t good enough. We spend our days comparing. It’s hard not to. But, my friends, comparison is the thief of joy.
So when I talk to younger girls, my heart breaks. I am on the last leg of my 30th year, and I still have to dig deep to find my self love and confidence every morning when I wake up. Then dig even deeper throughout the day. I’m like the archaeologist of digging for that self worth, yall. (Minus the degree and ugly brown get up they wear. Or is that just in the movies?) Not only are they worrying about what to wear, remembering their dance team tryout dance or their speech for student council, but they are constantly connected. I can’t imagine how I’d find ways to love myself, if every morning I wake up to my Instagram feed to perfect bodies. Or stepped away from my computer to, you know, LEARN at school, and came back to 2398 tweets, DMS and Facebook messages. I get overwhelmed when I set my phone down to go fill up my wine glass and have 2 notifications.
This is a recipe for self worth destruction.
So when I get asked,
“Why are you so real? You really put EVERYTHING out there. You’re brave.”
I usually smile or emoji politely and simply say,
“I strive to be an example of a real woman in a real world. That’s all.”
But the long hand version of that answer is this:
This world is scary. Especially for young girls. Especially today. I was one of those young girls. Cutting out the Victoria’s Secret swimsuit pictures and putting them on my fridge to stop me from eating. Buying the same outfit as Tonya, the cool girl, so people would like me more. Thinking I needed better boobs to be pretty. Now today’s it all about butts, who knew? But my point- No one is as perfect as their social media feeds. They all wake up with morning breath. And wear leggings on days they are bloated. And cry. And struggle. They just don’t show it. And it’s a shame. A damn shame. I needed someone to show me my mess wasn’t abnormal. My body was like 90% of other women. I needed someone to show me what it’s like to fail. I needed examples of women who have gone through some shit. Some really hard, down in the gutter, dark and twisty stuff- and survived. Because that’s all any of us are trying to do. Survive. Feel less alone. Accepted. Supported. And I don’t think you have to be a size two, living in suburbia former high school cool girl who married the hot guy to feel that. So here’s to the girls who don’t have their shit together. The ones who have cried in a bathroom. The one’s who have fought battles no one knows about. The one’s who keep working on themselves. The one’s who aren’t afraid to show the real them. The non highlight reel. Because those are the examples we need to see. That’s who fills my feeds. Who runs in my circle. Because real is so hot right now.”
So to you, the girl who just picked herself apart after endlessly scrolling your feeds- Stop. Stop this. Stop right now.
Unfollow anyone who doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. Online and in real life. Rid yourself of the obnoxiously unattainable “perfect”. Because, you my friend, kick ass. So go out into the world and keep doing that. Every. Damn. Day.
Originally posted 2016-03-19 19:07:05.
So I just finished my second Dietbet.
Spoiler alert: I didn’t win.
But that’s okay. You want to know why?
I stayed motivated because of it. I lost 5 of the 6 pounds I was supposed to lose.
It connected me with other women dealing with the same issues as me.
And I created a new one to start April 1st. (That way if the number is scary on the scale we can just say April Fool’s Fool! Just kidding, health is serious. So is my desire for King’s Hawaiian rolls sitting on my counter. They are so damn delicious. Longest side track thought ever. I digress.)
Because I am team Screw the Scale. (I need a shirt with that one it!) But it’s the motivation factor I enjoy. I stay a lot more accountable when I know 12,000 people are peeping my progress. And when I put money into it. I want my money back.
So tally so far:
January dietbet-0 Shelby-1
February Diet bet-1 Shelby-0
April Diet bet- I’m coming for you. And I will lose those pounds. And the Hawaiian rolls I just ate while typing this. We are all human, right?
If you want to join, come on down!
Originally posted 2016-03-14 14:09:55.
Oh, Monday. How you mess with my emotions. I usually like Mondays. I am the weirdo who thinks of them as a fresh start. Everyone always starts something new on a Monday. A diet. A workout routine. A new job. They quit a bad habit.
Because, Mondays are our fresh start. It doesn’t matter what you did before then- they are your fresh piece of diary paper. Rewrite your story. Starting now.
So for me, Monday’s rock. Because when I slip up, and I do- alot- I can start fresh.
But today I was just not feeling it.
I had a great weekend. But it was filled with all the really bad stuff that is so delicious. Beer. Mexican food. Staying up too late. Skipping the gym. NOT skipping the queso dip. Cookie Crisp at midnight, because WHY NOT? You get my point.
So waking up, I was the epitome of bloating. Not even my leggings were having it. Try again later when you’re not filled with salt and poor life decisions. We ain’t THAT stretchy girlfriend.
I felt exhausted. My body hurt. I regretted all the fun choices I made. And then I remembered it was the half way point of our Dietbet.
Shit. I have to take my progress pictures. What am I going to wear? I think the internet would frown upon a pantsless progress picture.
So I found the stretchiest pair of leggings I owned. I talked myself up.
It doesn’t matter what you look like, girl. It matters how you feel.
Oh right. I feel like shit.
I’m not doing this. I’ll take them later.
And then I immediately said
Get your ass in front of that mirror.
I was not going to put off progress pictures today. Because I am going to own every part of my journey. The good. The bad. And the bloated.
And let me tell you, I stress all the time don’t overthink what you see on the internet. Especially when it comes the weight loss and fitness pages. All those girls you follow on instagram? They took 2348235 pictures before finding that perfect lighting, perfect angle picture.
The results of my progress pics? Not great. But, not bad either.
I took them, took a quick glance at them, and then put my phone away.
I refuse to pick myself apart anymore. I have stretch marks. I have excess skin and fat pads. I have flaws.
But I also have things that no one can see in that progress picture. I have self love. I have self forgiveness. I have self acceptance.
And those things, are more important to me than how I look half naked after too many tacos.
So with that, I put on my running shoes, I turned on my gangsta rap, and I got outside. Sunshine is the cure for so many things. It’s my crack. (Crack is whack, kids.) It energizes me. Makes me happy. Makes me feel like I get accomplish anything.
I woke up not wanting to move off my couch let alone work out. But I changed my perspective, and put in 5 miles.
So here’s to Mondays. To fresh starts. To starting new. Starting over. Starting over AGAIN. Here’s to fresh diary paper. Here’s to forgiving your past, and focusing on your now, while moving toward the future.
Originally posted 2016-02-29 12:38:52.
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