Welcome to Optimal Health Mama

Thanks for cruising by and becoming part of my personal revolution of self-love, health, and hilarity!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Challenge

So I am wondering about your reactions to the challenge.

A lot of you checked in with me on not weighing yourselves.  One of my fabulous friends turned her head at the doctor's office and told the nurse she was not allowed to tell her the number.  That is serious commitment to loving yourself!!!!!  I wonder what it was like over the past two weeks to not know the number on the scale.  Were you anxious?  Were you liberated?  Were you scared?  

One conversation I had with a woman had to do with feeling so anxious about her weight that she checked the scale multiple times throughout the day.  She isn't alone.  Many women, including myself, have engaged in this type of behavior.  So do not feel like a failure if you stepped on the scale.  You won if you reduced those numbers in any way, shape, or form.  

My next challenge has to do with fat talk.  For those of you who aren't familiar with the concept, fat talk is basically when we talk shit on our own bodies to other women.  It looks like this:

"Ew.  My fucking thighs!"  
"No, stop.  Mine are the worst!"
"Stop, at least you don't have a gut!"
and it goes on.

Not only does this turn us into objects, but we bond over it!  How fucked up is that????  We bond over berating ourselves.  I hope that shocks you in the same way it shocks me.  

So, the next part of the challenge:  NO FUCKING FAT TALK.  And if you hear someone engaging in it, find a kind way to address it and make it stop.  

If you are feeling insecure about your body, that's okay.  We all have those days.  But watch how you verbalize your feelings.  There is a big difference between, 

"I hate my body, I am a gross fucking slob."  and "Man, I'm not feeling like myself today.  Can someone tell me how hot I am really quickly."  

There is no shame in asking for a build up from a friend.  Talk to yourself like you would talk to a friend.  Would you ever call your friend a "fat fucking slob?"  My guess is no or you are a complete asshole and we need to issue another type of challenge.  

So get out there, stop objectifying yourself, and stop comparing yourself to other people's bodies.  Remember, you are amazingly, fabulously unique and I love the fuck out of each and every one of you.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The media doesn't give a fuck about you

Today as I was writing my dissertation.  I was writing about the objectification of the female athlete.  this particular statement really smacked me in the face and pissed me off: 

"Research shows that society’s perception of what is the ideal beauty is defined and perpetuated by the media."

Wow.  We let the media define what we believe to be the ideal physique for women.  In addition to this, we internalize this ideal.  When we internalize someone else's view of what we should look like, we start to believe that it is what we want and what we desire.  Their goals become our goals.  That is the most unauthentic shit I have ever heard. 

With the creation of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 1997, came the bullshit phenomenon that not only do women need to be thin, but we need to be muscular and fit as well.  And oh yeah, your performance?  No one gives a fuck about that unless you are pretty, feminine, and have big ass tits. Thanks a lot "health" magazines for women who also encourage women to be an amazing cook, smart, funny, great in the sack, a size 2, and muscular to boot.  Thanks creating an unattainable view of what women need to be to please society.  Cool bro. 

I am so fucking tired of this.  Seriously.  The more I read and research, the more angry I get.  And as much as I have focused my energy on researching women, I am starting to see the way men are becoming increasingly objectified as well. 

On what level are we objects?  On what level do our bodies become more important than the spirits inside them?  At what point do we say "fuck this shit" and move toward a culture that values the human spirit and it's accomplishments, not numbers and measurements? 

As part of the challenge, I want you to take a page out of a fashion magazine, a women's "health" magazine, or a sports magazine and rip it to fucking shreds. 

Fuck the media.  I hate you today  you asshole pieces of shit. 
Thanks for indulging my rant. 


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Challenge Day 1: Liberated as Fuck

Hello my liberated friends!
I am so glad you are joining me in the two week ditch the scale/love your body challenge.

As strange as it sounds to simply accept and love ourselves and our bodies, it is really hard!!!  We have been conditioned from a very early age not to do so.  Everything from Barbie dolls to fashion magazines sends us message after message telling us we are not "enough."  Boys see images of He-man and other Super Heroes which set up biased expectations of what is "manly" and "strong."  This is ridiculous.  We are so much more than these limited views of masculinity and femininity.

Well guess what?  Today is your first day of giving a big fat "fuck you" to all of that bullshit.  Societal expectations have been running your life long enough.  It is time to let your inner rebel shine and be brazenly unapologetic about loving yourself.

Assignment:  Pick out one feature of yourself, it can be a physical trait, a personality trait, or whatever that you find to be absolutely irresistible about yourself.  I chose my playfulness.  I love how playful, fun, and flirtatious I am.  And I am loving my new red hair ;0)

You are super fucking amazing sparkly and divine!!!!!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Two Week Challenge

I am issuing a challenge.  Not a fat loss challenge, or a cleanse, or a paleo/vegan/weight loss challenge.  This is a two week, ditch the scale challenge. This is a two week "love your body" challenge.  

 I want everyone to knock off all of the fat talk, self-shaming, hyper-critical, non-productive body hate. Myself included.  Numbers are bullshit and are no measure of who you are.  The number on the scale or in the inside of your jeans does not measure kindness, intelligence, perseverance, wit, charm, humility, heart...the things that matter.    

Here is the challenge:

For a period of two weeks, starting June 5, 2014

*you will not step on a scale
*you will not engage in any type of negative self-talk
*you will not tolerate negative self-talk from others
*you will speak kindly about your body
*you will not shame yourself or make yourself feel guilty about eating any kind of food
*you will practice self-love and kindness toward yourself and others around you

If you have negative thoughts about your body, you will immediately call yourself out on these thoughts and replace them with the mantra of your choosing.  Some examples of this could be:

I love my body
My body is powerful
My body is strong
My body is creation

Let's take two weeks and focus on what really matters- not our body composition, but the composition of who we are.  

Who's with me???


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Do you quit on the last fucking mile?

No.  You don't.

I am starting my last two years of my six year doctoral program.  You heard me:  SIX.  SIX FUCKING YEARS.

Needless to say, this has been a journey.  A rocky one for me filled with challenges, divorce, and dealing with navigating the most difficult part of my doctoral program as a single mother.  Thankfully, that didn't mean doing it alone.  I have been wise enough to surround myself with people who not only are amazing friends but are inspiring people.  I have been fortunate enough to be blessed with a family who loves and supports the shit out of me.

Over the past 6 months, I hit a wall.  A huge wall.  The emotional, intellectual, and physical toll I was dealing with put me into a hole.  I had no motivation.  Although finally getting my Master's Degree was a good thing, I felt doubt creep into my head for the first time.  I found myself thinking, "Well, I have this Master's, maybe I should quit."  I even said it aloud, joking with friends.  I was afraid.  And I was getting in my own way.

I gave myself a carrot, as I tend to do, and attended a writing conference.  As a result of going to the conference, I would be given the chance propose a book to a publishing company.  BOOM.  I set all the details in motion, and off to Florida I went.  I traveled alone.  I made friends.  I wrote.  I felt unbelievably inspired.  I rediscovered my divine purpose.  I came back like a bat out of hell. I was a liberated woman!

By the next week I felt like a deflated balloon.  Life's responsibilities reared their ugly head and pressures from all over weighed heavy.  So I started practicing some of the beautiful psychological tools I preach because  God knows I am proactive as fuck and am not one to wallow in self-pity ;0)  

1.  I went to therapy.  My God it felt painfully good to cry and vent and heal.  Good stuff.  I am so happy being a therapist is my calling.

2.  I set boundaries.  As much as I love Crossfit, I had to change my priorities.  I had to chill the fuck out on competitions.  I love competitions, but they are weekend killers and financially draining.  So I picked my two favorites to do this summer and had to do something that is very hard for someone with FOMO (fear of missing out) to do.  I started saying, "no."

3.  I indulged my lack of motivation.  Therapists call this, "rolling with resistance."  I hung out with friends. I did what I wanted to do.  I didn't guilt myself into thinking I am a failure because I hit a wall.  I went with it, with the belief that I would fully reengage in the process and start kicking ass again in no time.

4.  I surrounded myself with motivated, healthy, inspirational people.  I spent extra time with the people who push me to be better and the people who bring out the best in me.

5.  I stopped acting like an entitled asshole.  Success does not happen without work.  Lots of fucking work.  Most people aren't gifted with million dollar houses.  They work for them.  You don't get a muscle up by staring at the rings.

I woke up at 4:30 this morning and started to write my dissertation- energized and ready to rock.  Because I don't quit on the last fucking mile baby.

Go crush life.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Healthy Eating- Day ?

I have no idea what day we are on, but Kelly and I are kicking ass.  I am so proud of how well we are doing.  There have been a couple of bumps in the road- I had a glass of wine when I was out to dinner on Valentine's Day and Kelly had a special sushi dinner where she opted to have a cocktail.  But all and all, no biggie.  Weekends are tough and trying to eat super clean 100% of the time can be demoralizing for social creatures.  This is for incorporating doable, permanent changes into our lives, not being neurotic crazy women who think we "ruined" our stupid ass ":cleanse" if a tortilla chip touches our lips.  

Kelly is crushing it!  No coffee, 1 cocktail, and has been creating beautiful, new delicious recipes like a boss. She is super creative, so I am not surprised to see this coming out in her cooking.  One thing I have been doing is adding more fruits and veggies in my diet.  My energy is sky rocketing.  The girls and I have been drinking fruit/veggie/green smoothies with me every morning and we are really enjoying them. They were resistant at first, but quickly got into the groove.

Kelly is fitting into jeans that have been snug. I lost 1.5% body fat.  I'm not going to complain about that!  And because we haven't been completely psycho, the lifestyle has been pretty easy to maintain.  We have been focusing on how many positive changes we have made and are not getting caught up in the slip ups.  There is no "failure" here.  Just focusing on how good we feel and how fun it is to eat healthy, learn new recipes, and support each other through the process.

Have a super fabulous day!!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Healthy Life- Day 3- How working with addicts inspires me

I recently started doing therapy again as part of my doctoral work.  I adore therapy.  I feel so unbelievable lucky to get to connect with people on such a deep and intimate level.  Currently, I am working in an outpatient setting with people who are in recovery from various drug and alcohol addictions.  I have worked in addictions before, and I absolutely love it.

Some people see addicts as a frustrating group to work with, and that can be true if you allow your own ego to get in the way.  I find this applies to all of my interactions with others, not just addicts.  You cannot judge, or force, or plead, or heal someone into being something other than what they are.  And someone should never do that to you.  Things just have to flow and you have to detach yourself from what you believe is in their best interest and let them decide that for themselves.  Even if it hurts to watch and even if it not healthy.  We all have the right to learn, grow, and make mistakes at our own pace.  Support and love are the most important gifts we can give to others, be it therapeutically or in our personal life.

How does this have to do with healthy eating?  Whenever I work with people who are in recovery, I get inspired.  They are getting a fresh start and a chance to work at recovery for the first time, or the 18th.  There is a beauty to the process and an element of rebirth that is really powerful.  When I see some of the patients giving up heroine, alcohol, or cocaine, a little bit of sugar, wine, or coffee seems pretty doable.  It helps me to put struggles into perspective.  It helps me to remember how resilient and strong people can be.  And it inspires me to be better and do better for others.