Without that training, I am confident that I would have gone downhill fast. I was largely in denial, avoidance, and deep pain. I lost who I was, and movement helped me find it again.
Many of us call it exercise. At least, I did. However, what is good for our body made not be exercise in the form we think of it -- it may not fit for us to spend hours on a cardio machine or in front of the squat rack. That's what we think of when we think of exercising. Some may even associate it with misery. I know I have in the past.
Many of my clients are missing this piece of their wedge in their life. After working with wellness advocated, Jen Nobo , I have started using the term "movement" instead of exercise. Movement means how it sounds: it means to move.
Movement for me has taken many forms:
In junior high, I moved in the form of weightlifting in a local club and by playing softball.
high school, I moved in volleyball, basketball, and dance team.
In college, I moved by running too many miles a day and used it as a form of punishment.
In grad school, I moved rarely.
Post-graduate school, I worked in gyms.
Movement has been healthy and unhealthy for me. I have used it as an all-or-nothing way of living like I did in many other areas. However, in 2015, movement saved my life.
After experiencing trauma in 2014, I spent that year in denial, loss, and confusion. I was just surviving. I quit being a therapist. I worked in two gyms and nannied to figure out what my next move was. I was a mess, like many of us and my clients are after having something completely unexpected happen in their lives.
That same summer, my friend Shawna (pictured above) briefly stated in passing that she was going to start training to run a marathon, and I without hesitating said I'd join.
The training started out running 3 miles, 3 times per day. Just finishing the 3 miles, whether you had to walk or not, was the goal. It eventually worked its way up until one Saturday, I ran 18 miles in preparation.
Movement helped me trust my body after I lost complete faith in it. Movement helped me push my mental state to more than it could have ever done otherwise. Movement helped me get more in tune with nature--it forced me to see things, to get out of the house and more importantly, out of my own head.
Movement saved my life. After completing the marathon, hallucinating a little, running next to a man in a wheelchair, and so many other ah-ha moments, I found myself as I crossed a finish line I wasn't sure I'd ever reach.
Isn't that how life is? We don't think we can do it until we've put in the work and crossed the finish line. We wonder if we can do it as we're doing the hard work, but after it's done, the joy we feel is indescribable.
Now, for me, movement isn't about running a marathon or long distances --though it is for many!-- Movement is more about becoming stronger with weights, the occasional barre class, joining a gym that I actually like, and figuring out what else my body can do--because I can trust it and it deserves the best.
What's stopping you from incorporating movement into your life?
What is one small step you could do to begin to incorporate it?
It doesn't have to be a marathon, a gym membership, or a fitness competition. It can be as simple as a walk around the block, a yoga class with goats, or seeing how many push-ups you can do. It can be stretching, cycling, or barre. It can be running. It can be lifting. It can be doing squats with your baby on your hip.
Movement saved my life. Given the chance, what can it do for you?
Robin Helget, LMSW, CPT
Functional Medicine doctors not only take into consideration your signs, symptoms, and lab values, but also see how your “environment” and labs tie all together, Including lifestyle factors such as diet, stress level, exercise, and many other factors that may be contributing to your condition. " - Dr. Michael Brown
conditions, and a large variety of other issues using bio-identical hormones, dietary and nutritional intervention, botanical and homeopathic medicine, anti-aging protocols, environmental medicine and detoxification, and the use of pharmaceutical-grade nutrients (nutraceuticals).
Dr Brown is regarded as a very knowledgeable, passionate, and caring doctor who utilizes evidenced-based, clinically effective therapies in restoring his patients to optimal health and well being. Follow him on social media for the most recent information below!
A Naturopath's Guide to Treating Anxiety and Depression
Do you feel anxious? Nervous? Frustrated? Overwhelmed? Have you been diagnosed with depression? Are you on one, two, even three prescription medications? Are you afraid “something is wrong with you”? If you answered "yes" to any of the above, here are a few things to consider before throwing in the towel and giving in to the idea that there is, in fact, "something wrong with you”:
Maybe some of these have caught your attention. In today’s world of rapidly evolving information, some of the below ideas--based on the re-emergence of a field of medicine that has stood the test of time--may very well hold the key(s) to helping you get back on your path of health and well being!
Courage starts with showing up and being seen" - Brene Brown
I've been avoiding writing this post for awhile because like the title says, well, it's vulnerable to talk about vulnerability. I have avoided feeling vulnerable for a lot of my life, and since this week in the KC Empower Series with Jen Nobo is about perfectionism, I was hit with the blunt reality that I would not be being real with the audience if I didn't talk about this topic.
Over the last few years, I have been reading more about the research on vulnerability from Brene Brown. This YouTube video was really the first time I had heard someone else express the fear behind vulnerability and showing others who you really are.
“Perfectionism is not the same thing has striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.” - Brene Brown
As an entrepreneur in the health and wellness world I have often worn my perfectionistic tendencies like a badge of honor. I never miss a workout, skip the dessert at the office potlucks, and try to constantly put out new content on my social media pages. This is what I am supposed to be doing right?
The health industry is saturated with people who are obsessed with perfectionism. The average person looks up to the #fitspos because of their dedication. They are in awe that these crazy fit people never miss a Monday and have the strength to say no to the birthday cake at every party. While perfectionism may be helping them maintain those #fitgoals, it is likely costing them greatly in other areas.
Stop looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security or love-- you have a treasure within that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer." - Eckhart Tolle
After working with wellness advocate, Jen Nobo, I quickly was presented with a term called “primary food”. I first thought this meant things like vegetables, meat, and fruits- you know, the things I eat frequently or “should” be eating frequently. However, I was far off, and if you’ve never heard of this term before, you probably are off too.
Primary foods consist of four main pieces: movement, sleep, relationships, and self-fulfillment. Without these four, the nutrition and diet will be hard to completely focus on and to get into a routine of foods that nourish your body, that you love, and that you can eat consistently.
To gain more information about the education and purpose of primary food, visit Jen’s post on primary food here.
I have been an all-or-nothing thinker for a lot of my life, and while I’m working on changing this thought process, sometimes I still fall into old patterns. Movement, for me, has primarily been exercise. I have tried everything from boxing to barre to running a marathon to weightlifting as an elementary student to completely sedentary. Most recently, I have made movement a priority by attending classes at my gym and incorporating running back into my routine.
It was all mental--funny how that it is when we're talking about movement. She set her alarm for 5:15am the next morning even though she had difficulty falling asleep. It seemed like minutes when the alarm went off, and she slowly began talking herself out of going. Thoughts like "I can do it tomorrow.", "I don't really need to go", "My body is too tired to do this right now" consumed her head within a few seconds of waking up, knowing that her only task at that moment was to get out of bed. Once out of bed, she was fine. It was just that initial moment.
So she told herself to "Stop!", literally rolled out, put her feet on the floor, contacts in and did it.
Afterward, she felt accomplished and consciously set her intentions for the day, simply by making a decision in the morning. She made her self and her health a priority, and THAT is what empowerment is.
*Change your thoughts. This is where all our behavior stems from. If you want to change a behavior, such as adding movement in whatever form to your schedule, tell yourself that you have plenty of time to do so. Tell yourself that you are giving your body what it needs. Tell yourself you love the activity you're about to do and are setting that intentional time for yourself. In doing this, you are changing your emotions regarding the action and thus able to act on your goal!
Many of my clients have struggled tremendously in the area of sleep. Problems with always feeling tired despite the number of hours logged, difficulty falling asleep and more difficulty staying asleep are all common themes among disordered sleep patterns.
I've personally struggled with insomnia since my undergrad years. I would bounce from having insomnia to hypersomnia - not sleeping at all to sleeping too much. When I would wake up in the middle of the night, I couldn't go back to sleep. If you've struggled with these, you know the misery of counting how many hours you could sleep if you fell asleep NOW and counting down from 100. I have personally been on medication to sleep, which helped randomly. However, what MOST helped get into a sleep pattern was the following:
We know that sleep impacts every part of our life. No wonder it's a primary food. Give yourself a break and actively try to create these patterns. Patterns help your brain know what to expect. And it is wonderful when it EXPECTS to sleep and follows directions.
What stems many of my clients' anxiety or depression are the relationships or lack of relationships in their lives. Loneliness and not being connected to others can diminish one's health rapidly. The relationship we have with others is what often keeps us going when times are hard. Having friends, being invited places, feeling like someone knows you and accepts you for who you are is necessary in order to lead fulfilling lives.
On the other end, the relationship you have with yourself is equally as important. I believe, that this relationship is stemmed from the thoughts in your head. What we feed our brain impacts what we will feed our body. If we tell ourselves we are worthless and a piece of crap, we will likely not take care of ourself, put ourself last, or simply just stay in bed. We begin to believe these thoughts. However, what we tell ourselves ISN'T ALWAYS TRUE! Just because I tell myself the sky is green does not make it true. When you tell yourself how horrible you are, ask yourself what the evidence is that supports that and then reframe that thought into something more HEALTHY like "I would feel healthier if I did _______ or _________."
Feed yourself with podcasts, songs, or thoughts that will lift you up. There is already enough negative surrounding us and on the media, that we don't need to actively look for it to see it. The positive, however, requires actively seeking and looking for the good.
We were taught that a goal in life should be to be happy. So we did everything we thought we were supposed to do and told that would get us there and found that we, in fact, were not happy. What we should have been told that life is about fulfillment. Feeling fulfilled isn't a destination we reach: it's a state of being that we can experience each day.
Fulfillment looks like feeling whole. Fulfillment looks like looking around you, smiling and feeling like you have done what you could do that day. Fulfillment looks like looking over on the opposite side of the couch and see the person you love. Fulfillment looks like your life. If you're struggling with fulfillment, read more blogs and the Services page to see what some helpful options may be!
To make sure you don't miss a beat and get weekly newsletters (no spam!) sent directly to your inbox, an invitation to an event to wrap up the series, and chances to win free goodies, sign up for the KC Empower Series today! Make sure you are following Jen Nobo and myself on Instagram!
Be good to yourself.
I remember coming home from school as a high school student, and my parents would ask me a series of questions: "How was school?", "How're your grades?", "How was practice?"
Some days it was a combination of the questions, others it was just one. I remember these mainly because I remember how I replied 80% of the time: "Fine". I fell into responding to questions, engaging with people, and contributing to dialogue with words or phrases including "fine".
"How are you?
This exchange in conversation used to be the norm. No one actually talked about how crappy their day was or was authentic in engaging in these conversations. Why? I can speculate numerous reasons, with a few being that people think it's socially unacceptable to talk about how they are really doing, that they'd be looked at differently if they didn't "have it all together", or because they didn't feel safe to be honest in that interaction.
We are living in a world of "I'm fine" robots-responses to many questions, and now, fast forwarding to present-day, it's changed.
"I'm fine" has now become "Good! Just busy!"
We have seemingly replaced this robot-response with a more productive, over-achieving, and hustling response to the "How've you been?" question.
"Good! Just busy," assumes the position of many things. We often feel like we have to respond with proving that we've been busy so that we're not looked at as lazy. In a world of be more, do more, achieve more, make more, "busy" has become the new expectation. As if we were saying, "Well if you aren't busy, then what are you doing, really?"
Think about the relationships you have and how you respond when people ask how you are or have been. Think about how you respond when someone asks how your day or weekend was. How do you reply? Is it with "It was good! Busy, but good!"
If you do, is there any other way to describe your day or weekend or state of being? Could you reply with answers to what you enjoyed doing, people you saw, or how you actually feel?
And on the receiving end, are you expecting people to say "Busy!" - are you open to actually hearing about how this person is or how their weekend was? Or do you nod and smile, asking no questions or validating remarks to actually engage in the conversation?
As a people, we get to decide how we respond. I challenge you to start being authentic with people. If you say things other than "I'm fine" or "Good, just busy!" you will often find yourself creating and maintaining more wholesome and connected relationships. Taking the time to hear someone, instead of brush them off in a hurried response, can be more intimate and relationship-building than you would think.
If you have article suggestions or topics you would like to learn about, drop a comment or email me! I'm always open to suggestions.
Why don’t I look like that?
Why do I feel so small?
Hiding behind posts of lies.
“Who do you think you are?”
How dare I wear that dress.
I will never just fit in.
Where’s my card to get out of jail?
Women and men are shown cultural and societal norms of ideal body size, the right diets, what and what not to look like, what is popular, what is accepted, and what is idealized from ages of 4-5 years old. By the time we hit kindergarten, we know gender roles. We know “our place” in the world. At least, the world as we know it.
When I grew up, I saw ads on the television and magazines and compared myself to girls I grew up with. Now, however, children are on iPads, computers, and smart phones far earlier than their brains can develop. They not only have the same things as we did growing up, but they have social media and access to essentially any content with one wrong click or tap of a button.
Ideals of what we “should” be or act like flaunt our minds, and even though we can be strong-minded and tell ourselves that there is more to life than being or looking like the people we see who “have it all”, it still soaks a little bit into our brain. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t be needing to write this post, would I?
Men and women everywhere struggle with low self-esteem because they aren’t fitting into these molds. We fall into comparison traps. We starve ourselves. We post filtered images of our life to make it seem like we have it all together. We’re confused about which diet will make us look the best, and if we’re not, we are struggling with knowing what foods to really eat because everywhere we go someone is saying we shouldn’t be eating that.
After talking about some of the real struggles myself and my clients go through as young women and men, I realized that we have a much bigger problem on our hands: if we as young people don’t get ourselves in the healthy mindset, we are impacting generations to come.
KC Empower Series began after Jennifer Nobo and I were chatting about these very struggles. Sometimes we think it’s just us going through the negative thought patterns and the obsessions with doing things RIGHT versus just doing things because they are HEALTHY.
Social media can be filled with trolls, negative comments, naysayers and people who will never have anything good to say; however, it can also be filled with fun, positivity, humor, realism, social solutions, and people empowering people to be the HEALTHIEST version of themselves.
Something that Jen has been teaching me is how to LISTEN to my body. This goes from things as instinctual as your gut feelings in bad situations all the way to if your body is really craving a Reeses or if it’s just thirsty for water--that infections aren’t a coincidence--that they are my body’s way of telling me something is wrong.
From July 15- August 18, our goal is to fill social media with empowerment and that you, as a reader, will participate. As a therapist and life coach, I will be providing you with some common themes among my clients and within myself, will fight stigma, create conversations, and provide reflection questions for you to think through for the week. You’ll get weekly newsletters, social media posts, shout-outs, and raffles gifted to those who participate each week. Finally, we will end the month with an event at Barre 3 on August 18th with a chance to connect, grow and empower each other and with a short surprise guest presentation!
I am so looking forward to doing this month with you! Get ready for some great self-care conversations, tips and techniques, as well as reflection questions to further amplify your understanding of some core components of each Self.
Head on over to Jen’s website to see her reasons why to join in on KC Empower Series and SIGN-UP today to not miss a thing. We promise, one email a week--no more, no less!
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Therapist. Millennial. Social Worker. Dog Mom. Friend. Sister. Empath. INFJ. Lover of ice cream.