Last week two more prominent people in their industries took their own lives. You may have heard about fashion designer, Kate Spade and TV Personality and Chef, Anthony Bourdain. My heart ached for both of them and the broken hearts they left behind.
These two people were in the limelight and, from an outsider’s perspective they looked like they had it all: Fame, Fortune, and Family. It makes me wonder what happened to these two souls that death was a better option than life? Sadly, I’m reminded that depression does not discriminate.
This isn’t the first time that I’ve mourned a death of a celebrity. My heart has broken over news of stars like Kurt Cobain, Robin Williams, and Chris Cornell, to name a few. And, I’m no stranger to mourning the death of someone I personally knew that died by their own hand. The rising death tolls due to suicide is alarming. When I was growing up you didn't hear about suicide as much as you do today and you certainly didn't speak of depression or anxiety.
I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety on and off for years. Some of my darkest days happened during a time that should have been one the happiest times in my life - right after the birth of my daughter. I had awful postpartum depression and I felt so guilty about the way I was feeling. I was supposed to feel happy that God blessed me with a beautiful, healthy baby girl, but instead I felt like Winnie-the-Pooh’s pal, Eeyore, and had dark cloud accompanying me everywhere I went.
I spent the last week in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico celebrating my sister’s final days of being single. The trip was an absolute blast. We were blessed with great weather, a good group of girls, and lots of fun times that resulted in many inside jokes that will last for years to come.
And while I had a great time, the mindset work that I had to do before and during the trip was a bit intense. I felt myself constantly reframing the thoughts in my head. I had to remind my self to stop playing that awful comparison game. You know the one that we sometimes play when we aren’t necessarily feeling like the best version of ourselves?
As the trip got closer and closer my anxiety rose, almost to the point where I considered backing out. The thought of having to wear a bathing suit in public was mortifying. I’m not exactly as thin as I once was thanks to Hashimoto’s, my poorly functioning adrenals and pituitary issues, but I didn’t take in account how far I’ve come in the last few years. Nor did I take in account how hard I've worked to love and accept my body as it is. I just kept thinking of how my inherited, pear-shaped figure along with my auto-immune conditions were a curse.
I was going to be with a group of gorgeous, fit girls and wasn’t sure where I fit in, body wise. My confidence was shot. Finally the day came where I had to go shopping for the trip. All the swim suits that were in my drawer were bikinis and way too small or unflattering for my body. WTF, was I going to do?!
I grabbed my trusty, if not biased, advisor (my awesome boyfriend) and headed to the mall. I was shocked to realize that I found not one but several swim suits that I loved and that looked super cute on me. I got several nods of approval from my guy. Shopping had it’s ups and downs. The things I wanted to wear I couldn’t yet fit into or I was discouraged by the size of clothes that I needed to get, but I ended up finding some really cute things. By the time I was packing for my trip I was feeling pretty damn good until we landed in Cabo and I had to get ready to hit the pool.
As humans, we tend to be very hard on ourselves; especially us women! We pick ourselves apart about almost everything. I know for me, I used to pick myself apart on a daily basis. That was a stupid thing to say Molly. Why did you just eat that Molly, you don't need to be eating that. You used to fit into these pants a few weeks ago, looks like you don't anymore. You get my point!
These thoughts won't ever go away, but we do have the power to control how we think about ourselves.
The biggest learning lesson that I've had this past year is that I need to have more compassion for myself. We tend to have compassion for others, but very rarely have compassion for ourselves. For example, let's say you totally messed up at work. What is your usual response? For me, I would tear myself apart for doing something so stupid. Then, feeling crappy, my confidence and self-esteem would take a dive. Then I would go around the rest of the day in a total slump, sometimes even turning to comfort foods to make me feel better. By the time I would crawl into bed, I was in self-loathing mode, feeling my absolute worst. If I had just had compassion for myself in the beginning when I made the boo boo, I wouldn't have spiraled into my emotions.
We are human, we are MEANT to make mistakes. We learn from those mistakes and we know what not to do, or what we can do better next time. Learning to have compassion for yourself in those moments will help you move past it and move forward. If not, you're most likely going to dwell on it for the day, or the next week or maybe even the next month!
Remember that what's done has been done. We can't go back in time and change we has happened. Did you eat a whole bag of potato chips and now you feel terrible about yourself? Did you forget to call your sister and tell her happy birthday? Whatever it may be, we can't change the past. If it's a situation that involves someone else, try and make things right! Apologize; show that person that you're sorry and you care about them. But remember to forgive yourself and start practicing compassion.
When we practice compassion towards ourselves, we can start feeling more empowered to take positive action.
With February here I want to take a minute to talk about Self-Love.
It’s what us girls at Motibela are constantly talking about. Especially how to cultivate it and keep it!
We know that you don’t wake up one morning and all of a sudden fall in love with yourself. We know that, like any relationship, it requires work. And Molly and I probably made it harder on ourselves than it needed to be, but hey we got here, didn’t we?!
There are days that we don’t look or feel our best. I ask you this, on those days that you are feeling less than [fill in the blank] what are you telling yourself about who you are as a person? What is your inner critic telling you? What’s the conversation between the two?
It took me years to change my way of thinking about who I am - on the outside as much as on the inside. And I’ll be honest, that old way of thinking cost me a lot. It cost me relationships, jobs, my health and most importantly my sense of self. I finally got to the point that I was so sick, anxious and depressed that I knew if I didn’t change the way that I cared for myself and the way I thought about myself I would die young.
Wow! Death. One of my biggest fears was leaving my daughter without a mother. I wanted her to know how to care for herself and love who she is, but how can she do that without me being her role model? I knew I owed that to her. To be the best woman I could be for her and for myself. We both deserve that.
Molly helped me get through a lot of those obstacles and was the reason I knew I had to work with her! Together we figured out what tools we needed to feel better as a woman, how to calm our inner critic, eat the foods that are right for our bodies and feel good in the skin we are in.
We’re not always perfect. We have our low days, but those aren’t as frequent as they were before and we don’t stay in them as long as we did before. We let ourselves experience those feelings for a bit and then we move on, because that’s what Motibela is about, putting our beauty into motion and we can’t do that if we’re wallowing in self doubt.
If you’re feeling stressed, over whelmed or are looking to cultivate a better relationship with yourself, let us know how we can help. We’d love to chat with you!
Oh and one more thing before I go… If you haven’t heard, we are running a February Love Thyself Challenge on Facebook. We are giving daily tips and tricks on how to help you love yourself a bit more!
We have an awesome prize at the end of the month and a great community of women that have joined. We’d love to see you there!
Cheers to putting your beauty into motion!
Self-acceptance – an individual’s satisfaction or happiness with oneself, and is thought to be good for mental health. Self-acceptance is a common battle most women face. We have a hard time loving ourselves and accepting who we are and how we look. Have you ever thought of why?
Well lemme vent for a minute here!
Our world and the media have a very narrow definition of what beauty. It’s become the norm for pictures to be photoshopped and heavily produced. We’re tricked into believing that these women on the cover of magazines or on billboards actually look that perfect. That beauty means being a certain size and being flawless.
But the problem is beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. We can’t all be a size 0, have blemish free skin and a bronzed skin tone. It’s unrealistic! It’s even unrealistic for those models/celebrities who are picked apart in these photos, being “perfected” by someone sitting behind a computer. (Take a look at these celebrity women who spoke out about certain images that they were photoshopped in.) It’s a bit ridiculous isn’t it? These women, who are supposed to be the “ideal” image of beauty, aren’t even enough. The media is distorting our image of reality every single day. This is why people are suffering from body image issues. We have this warped image of what the norm is for beauty.
And, because we all have this distorted image of beauty engrained in our heads, we start making unrealistic goals to try and look like these women. When we can’t reach these unrealistic goals, we get upset, and often try to make drastic changes to get that “perfect body”. This is where fad dieting becomes an issue, starting a nasty cycle leading to people eventually putting on more weight or getting seriously sick.
Have you heard the phrase "comparisons are the theif of joy?" Well it's true! We need to stop comparing ourselves to this idealized image and start embracing ourselves for who we are. Start embracing what makes you unique! We all have things we don’t like about our physical features whether it be the size of your legs, the mark on your face, or the color of your hair.
For me, I used to be embarrassed about the scars on my arm. Anytime anyone would look at them I would get upset and I avoided wearing short sleeved shirts as often as possible. I started to embrace my scars when I was living in Ireland a few years ago. People would look at my scars, but immediately knew how to make me feel comfortable. They would ask about them and how I got them. It made me feel like it was ok to have scars. The Irish culture is different; their definition of beauty is more realistic. Models are more realistic in size, and advertisements don’t feel so produced. It feels more authentic. Since living in Ireland I’ve loved everything about my scars. They make me unique and they tell a story of something I went through. I’ve even had people offer to help tattoo my scars to make them disappear, but, I kindly declined because they are apart of me; this is me.
You too are perfect just the way you are. Be grateful for who you are and start to show yourself some love. The relationship we have with ourselves is vital because we will always have ourselves. So try to be nicer to yourself starting today. You deserve it!
Some good self love content:
Is it just me or does the new year always feel like a fresh start?! For me, there's something about the new year that's always exciting. It's a time where I can set new goals for myself and think about what I want to achieve for the year.
New Year New You right?!
We normally think of things we want to bring in for 2017, but what about the things we want to let go of? I can't bring in the new Molly without letting go of some things too. It's like with furniture, you can't bring in new furniture without getting rid of the old furniture first.
Lisa and I compiled a list of a our top 10 things we can let go of in 2017. We thought it was too good to not share so we wanted to let you in our list!
Hopefully you find some things on this list that you can let go of in 2017!
We know during those winter months, when the weather is colder, the idea of drinking cold water isn't as appealing. Trust me I'm always cold and I can't stand drinking cold water! But I remind myself how important it is to stay hydrated, even during those chilly winter months.
I remember when I was younger my coaches would always pester us about staying hydrated. As a kid I never really understood it. Then I hit college and started playing sports in New York where the humidity was not my friend! Playing in that heat really made me realize how important water is for my body.
But because I love absorbing facts, I had to explore. Besides quenching our thirst, why is water important? I've listed a few reasons below.
Why is Water Important
You may have known some of these facts - if you did that's great! You're a factual gal like me. The real question I have now is - do you know how much water you should drink a day? Better yet - ARE you drinking enough water every day?
Let's explore how much water we should be drinking daily.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
Like different diets, water is another controversial topic among experts. Everyone is different, and the amount of water you should drink depends on a few different factors. Some of these factors include: your activity level, how much caffeine or alcohol you've had, how hot it is outside and even how much water you were consuming before.
Not sure if you are consuming enough water? A very easy test is simply just to look at your urine. It should be on the light side, if it is you're probably doing pretty good with your water intake. But if it's dark and you don't have a lot of urine, you are definitely dehydrated. A few more signs of dehydration include: thirsty, dry mouth, headache, weakness, dizziness or confusion. For me, I know I'm dehydrated when I get a headache.
Good news is if you stay hydrated, you can avoid these symptoms all together. A good rule of thumb is to drink 64 to 100 ounces of water a day.
Sometimes in our busy lifestyles, we get into a habit of forgetting to drink water. Trust me - I'm guilty of this too! I've listed a few of my favorite tips on how to increase your water intake below: