toastmasters blog post

If you have followed my story, then you’re aware that I chartered an all-female Toastmaster’s club in 2016. Heard of Toastmasters before but not sure what it is? You’re not alone. 😉 When I first heard of Toastmasters, I thought it was something I would find a bunch of grandparents hanging out at, drinking tea and eating cookies at 2 pm… I was SO WRONG!

I had a passion for learning the skills I needed to feel more confident speaking in front of a crowd because that’s what I’d been doing on a small scale. I wanted to improve, speak to larger audiences & motivate others. But public speaking is not easy. I mean, there’s a reason it’s one of the top fears almost everyone has. Nobody wants to look like a fool in front of others, make a mistake or even freeze up + forget your train of thought. Yikes! The thing is, where do you even go to learn or practice these skills as an adult? I know EXACTLY ZERO PEOPLE that wants to jump into a scary situation like this, how about you? That’s when the idea was brought up to me that I start an all-female club where it was a supportive + safe space to learn this stuff.  I did a little research + I was all in.

After a few months of researching, I met with women in my community + informed them about what the Toastmasters International program offered. Just like the women I was talking to, I was shocked to learn that this organization wasn’t just about public speaking. It also helped foster leadership, management + organizational skills. I am proud to say that I have used all of the skills I have learned as a club member in my full-time job numerous times + it also looks super great on a resume! 😉 I had about 70+ women clamoring to join this club that I was now President of + I was a newbie… I knew just the bare minimum to get this thing off the ground. It was a scary experience to commit to, but I had an army of women behind me. I had all of the support I needed + that gave me the encouragement to go for this thing, unafraid to make mistakes or fail.

As it turned out, our club started with about 25 women who paid their dues (Toastmasters costs about $45 every 6 months to be a member) + our club was bumpin’! We met every-other Saturday morning in Downtown Phoenix + I arrived early to set up folding tables, folding chairs, a standing podium, + take our club supplies out of a cardboard box kept in t back closet. Together, we learned to practice our skills as Toastmasters intended. We had a general outline for meetings, followed various portions of the content for the club such as Tabletopics (practicing impromptu speaking), Rehearsed speeches (about 4-5 per meeting (where members choose a topic + craft, practice + deliver it in front of the club), + then our evaluation portion of the meeting where various leaders in the club help us all to improve our meeting skills, watch the timing of speeches, be mindful of how to support others + of course hav a little fun with awards too! 😉 Our club was growing quickly after about 6 months + we needed to make some changes.

Now that our meetings have attracted more women, we have catered scheduled meeting times to accommodate everyone in the club. We still meet 2 times per month, but we now hold our bi-weekly meetings on a Saturday mornings + weekday night each month. We also have so many members wanting to practice their public speaking skills that we incorporated a social aspect for our club called, “Sip + Speaks”. These events are held about every 2-3 months + involve tasty food, refreshing cocktails/mocktails + a little socializing too.  😉 Since our club members are all busy, successful women who juggle being moms, entrepreneurs, full-time working professionals, volunteer work + so much more, it’s important to us to find time to have a little fun while we build up our skills. The next Sip + Speak will be held at my house next week! YAY! 🙂

Long story short, I started this club to support other women who have big dreams like me who desire a supportive environment to grow + thrive. This club makes me feel empowered + I truly enjoy the friendships our members have created as we support one another. After just 15 months, it’s come so far + I cannot wait to see where it takes off! Stay tuned + check out more about this incredible organization at Toastmasters.org.






After publishing my last blog post on the things I say “no” to, I had a few readers approach me on how choose the foods I choose eat on a daily basis. If you haven’t read my last blog post yet, I recommend you check it out. 😉 You’ll find that cutting simple words out of my everyday vocabulary helped me to recover from obsession about food while finding a well-balanced daily intake.

I decided to share a little bit of how I put a meal together here + what inspires the choices I make around food. Whether you are curious about changing the way you talk about food, if you have an eating disorder, are recovering from one, I’m, glad you’re checking it out. Since I don’t describe foods as “good”, “bad”, “junk food”, “healthy food” or use terms like “healthy fat”, I have been able to simplify my choices to put a meal together that is well-balanced that I truly enjoy. The strategies I use today were taught to me by Rosewood Center for Eating Disorders + my Registered Dietitian (R.D.) worked with me to help me adapt to a new way of thinking about food. By adapting food categories into the following, I was able to slowly let go of my obsession to count calories, categorize foods as things I can + can’t have + even things I “shouldn’t have” eaten. Here are the food categories, or “exchanges” that I still use today: Protein, Grain, Fat, Fruit, Vegetable… + that’s it! 🙂

If you take a look at the photo above, it’s the breakfast I made for myself this morning. It contains 1 fruit (grapes, raspberries, blackberries), 1-2 fats (avocado), 1-2 grains (sourdough toast)+ 1 protein (egg). *I do not eat this breakfast everyday + I really enjoy switching it up based on how much time I have to meal prep, if I’m eating on the go, or simply based on what I feel like eating. When I was first learning how to put meals + snacks together in my recovery, I was given a meal plan by my R.D. It was recommended that I ate 3 meals + 3 snacks per day. Each meal + snack was up to me, I could choose what I wanted to eat for each of them + I had a set of guidelines to make up my daily intake. I was given a guideline of how to count exchanges to help myself determine what was a full meal. An example of this is 1 exchange of fruit can be 17 grapes, 1 exchange of vegetables was 8 carrots, 1 exchange of grains was 1/2 cup of rice or pasta. At first I counted out all of these things + measured to ensure I was following my meal plan the “right” way. Then, I got comfortable with my exchanges + started to gain confidence that I trusted myself + knew things din’t have to be perfect. I didn’t count out my berries this morning + I din’t measure my avocado to know if it was 1 or 2 Tablespoons, but that’s what life is about.. letting go of having all the control + just enjoying the little things. (Happy dance) 🙂

Breaking my day down into meals + snacks: An example of breakfast is what I listed above. It was strongly recommended that I ate every 3-4 hours or so to get my body nourished + my mind working the way I needed it to. An example of my morning snack would be a protein + fruit of my choice (I like having nuts + berries but sometimes I have a hard boiled egg with a fruit leather or even peanut butter with a small apple. My lunch + dinner plans were something completely different, afternoon snack was a protein, grain + having a snack after dinner helped me find guidelines of  what was appropriate to eat at various times of the day. This isn’t to say that everyone else had the same meal plan, they were all specified for each of us based on our own needs. that was important to recognize. My meal plans have also changed + evolved as I recovered because I didn’t need the same intake as I did when I was first hospitalized, 1 year into my treatment, + 4 years into it. My body changed + my R.D. was mindful of that.

I have now been recovered for 6 years + I still use this guideline to help me plan meals. It took me a long time to embrace eating a predetermined amount of food but it was necessary as I had terrible habits around food. Some meals were tougher to eat than others because of ideas I had always believed + heard on the news or in magazines. I had to let those statistics I heard go + asked my family + friends not to comment or judge what I was working on toward my recovery. Now, I see my R.D. about twice a year to ensure I don’t have any bad habits creeping back in, to check in on my weight (since I haven’t weighed myself or known my weight in about 8 years), as well as for guidance on exercise + wellness check in’s. Many people with eating disorders are recommended to follow their meal plan for about 2 years after treatment + I totally recall telling myself that I would be done following a meal plan by January 2011 (2 years after I left treatment) but I was SO wrong. Everyone has different needs + for me, I needed to keep this guideline around to keep myself accountable. I’m thankful I warmed up to this way of life because I truly LOVE it now. It makes my life simple + meal planning a no-brain-er. 

As I mentioned, this isn’t for everyone, but it has helped me find balance in my life, take back my control when it comes to food + to be confident that I don’t have to restrict certain foods from my life + I can make room for all things I enjoy in moderation.  I love the freedom this meal plan + way of life has opened me up to loving food again instead of hating it or fearing I would make a “bad” decision about what I “should” or “shouldn’t” eat. If you want to learn more about meal planning, I recommend you work with a R.D. to find the exchanges that are right for you + what your body needs. I am no expert, but this plan has been a successful tool for me to forget the stress when it comes to food. Hopefully this post was informative + insightful as to why it’s important for me to have adapted this way of thinking + why I choose to keep it around after all of these years. Maybe you’ll want to make some changes too! 😉





Noticed a lot of New Year resolutions revolving around food + diets? Yup, me too. The thing I’ve understood as I get further into my recovery is that the more balance the better + in case you aren’t sure what that looks like, it means cutting out the “good” food and “bad” food talk. Let me explain.

When I made the decision to get the real help I needed for my eating disorder, I welcomed a whole new world of change into my life. Sure, I had to give up behaviors + thoughts… but I quickly realized those weren’t the only things I had to give up if I really wanted to turn my life around. My treatment team explained to me that using particular words about food + my body were only hurting me. Some of these words were as simple as; good, bad, fat, skinny, healthy, junk food, etc. These are words we’ve been using to describe food since I could walk. Hello…. Can you say re-programming?

I wasn’t convinced at first that this was something I wanted to do. After all, wasn’t there such a thing as good foods, bad foods, skinny people, fat people + junk food? Possibly. But the thing I had to embrace if I wanted to stop OBSESSING about what I looked like, when + where I could get my next exercise routine in, if what I ate for the day was “good” or “bad” + counting calories was just that. So I tried giving up these simple describing words in my daily lingo + slowly but surely, it shifted my mindset.

I learned which foods counted in my intake as a “protein”, “dairy”, “ fruit”, “vegetable, “fat” (no “healthy fat” talk here guys), + grains (not carbs). *You might be reading this thinking… I don’t want to talk about food in this way, that seems extreme + that’s perfectly O.K. I am simply sharing what worked for me to change the way I think about food + my body. These words I used to describe my foods were called exchanges by my Registered Dietitian + I embraced them fully. I taught my roommates, family + close friends these words + asked them to talk about food the same way I did to help me make this shift in my life.

When my now husband of 2 years + I started dating, he had a challenging time making these changes talking about food. I explained to him that I needed his support if we were going to cook together, meal prep on the weekends + enjoy dinner dates out. He never struggled with an eating disorder + in fact had a very healthy relationship with exercise, his body + food… I just needed him to get behind me + support what I needed to shift my mindset around food. It took a very long time to re-program my brain when thinking + talking about food but I did it. It takes constant practice + now 6 years into my recovery I still choose to talk about food + my body using these chosen words because it helps me to stay away from that slippery slope of knowing certain foods are taboo or preferred. I simply have a well-balanced intake of foods that fuel my body + mind.

The words I use to describe foods now are; fresh, tasty, delicious, flavorful, well-balanced + so on. I steer clear of using words to describe any bodies as skinny or fat + embrace all body types, promoting mental + physical well-being. If you want to learn more about the way I’ve changed my thought process around food + my body, leave a comment here or drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you!

Happy RE-SOLUTION making + don’t forget to be kind to your body.




food + guilt 2

Real talk.

I have spent years trying to find a reasonable balance between loving my body, eating an appropriate amount and diet of meals + snacks daily + letting go of guilt when I eat certain foods. For over a decade, I obsessed about things I should eat, things I “shouldn’t” eat + the things I was afraid I would be judged for if I ate them. Crazy, right? As I’ve continued to grow in my recovery from anorexia, bulimia + over exercise, I’ve come to learn that my thoughts + behaviors around food aren’t so strange after all. In fact, some of the people closest to me who have never had an eating disorder in their life mention feelings of guilt after eating too much or particularly food around the holidays.

This pattern used to be a HUGE challenge for me this time of year. Thanksgiving, Christmas, baking for the holidays, New Year’s parties, you name it. I hated feeling as though I would lose control over when to stop eating, what was appropriate to eat + then DEALING with the feeling of, “why did I even just eat that”? I’m happy to say that this feeling or fear isn’t particularly a challenge for me anymore, rather than something I have noticed when others make those comments around the dinner table or at social gatherings.

My husband + I are leaving for a weekend with friends later today + we’ll be celebrating New Year’s with our close friends, eating delicious food, staying up late + indulging in some sweet treats too. As I pack my bag for the weekend getaway, I can’t help but to reflect on how different this time of year used to be for me. I dreaded the thought of having to eat around others + the celebrations that revolved around foods like cheese platters, cookies, chocolate + copious amounts of chips + dip. I now associate these foods with some of my favorite holidays + the people I get to enjoy this special time with.

I know that I will hear my friends + others say, “I shouldn’t eat this” “I can’t (have that)”, + “Why did I even eat that”? … but I won’t be participating in that kind of talk. I refuse to let myself feel guilt or shame for eating things I enjoy or foods that I want to try even though they might not be my favorite in my recovery. Food has now become something I associate with creating new memories, having lots of fun with loved ones + sharing new recipes. The kitchen is my favorite part of the house because it’s a great place to gather + share stories. I’m just thankful that the stories I choose to share + create now revolve in a guilt-free zone that I enjoy.

That being said, I know that I can’t control what my friends or family think about the foods they eat or the way they feel about them. I can control what comes out of my mouth around these things now + it feels good not to engage in that kind of talk. To me it’s a form of self-love + it’s a part of how I’ve learned to take care of myself. I am going to challenge you this New Year’s weekend NOT to engage in guilt talk around food. Try your best NOT to say, “I shouldn’t”, “I can’t” or “Why did I” around food or in the kitchen. Take note of how you feel if you hear someone else engage in that talk + see if you feel obligated to chime in agreeing or not.

I wish you all a Happy New Year + look forward to sharing my journey with you in 2018! Cheers, friends!





recharge batteries

Are you finding yourself exhausted from running to work, parties + meetings while just trying to make sure you have groceries in the cupboards + the laundry hamper isn’t overflowing? You’re not alone. I have been a perpetual “list maker” + always focusing on what has to get done instead of taking the time to just chill out. The difference between the list making problem I had until recently + the person I am now is simple… I let that way of thinking go.

I have been a perfectionist, people-pleasing, over-obsessing + control freak ever since I can remember, but that way of thinking + obsessing drove me straight into the ground. I really NEEDED to have all of the meal prep done by Sunday night, all of the laundry clean + folded (not to mention put away just how it belonged) + I needed the house to be in order. With my best efforts going to keep this way of life afloat, I needed something to give but I didn’t want to give up the way I prepared for my week, my clean + tidy house or my laundry routine (anything but that)! 😉 But I needed to switch it up… So I decided to give myself grace. I stopped making “To-Do” lists a few months ago.

At first I will admit that I felt lost + panicked; I didn’t know where to start with the daily chores, my routine of balancing my business, both jobs, my marriage + the everyday things. But then I realized that the lists had actually been holding me back! When I woke up, I didn’t immediately start reaching for my list + trying to see what I could check off before 8 am. Instead, I was listening to what I needed + WANTED to do for myself. Since ridding myself of these freakish “To-Do” lists, I actually take the time to sit on the living room floor + play fetch with Scout, I drink a cup of coffee + take the time to light a freaking candle when I need a retreat from my day… just because I want to. Guys, it feels SO good!

If you’re not a perfectionist or juggling lots of commitments, I know it might sound crazy, but for those of you who are always swinging from one thing to the next while trying to manage your everyday life… you feel me on this, right? I never allowed myself permission to let the expectations go (yes even my own) about having my week all lined up before Monday morning. Crazy? It was for me. It wasn’t because someone told me my bed always needed to be made, that laundry can’t be exploding over the hamper sides once a week or the fact that sometimes you have no choice but to eat mac n cheese for dinner again because you couldn’t make it to the grocery store Sunday night (P.S. I have never once complained about having mac n’ cheese). 😉 . The point I’m making here is that I have always wanted things to look right, I always wanted to be prepared for everything + feel like I have it together. But that’s just not possible or realistic if you intend on being a semi-sane human being. If not, all it takes is one dish to be left in the sink, one pair of dirty socks left on the living room floor or a toothpaste smudge left in the sink to send you over the edge into crazy town. This is somewhere I don’t intend on going back to guys, ‘cuz I’ve been there + it’s not pretty. 😉

Since letting these expectations go for myself, I am enjoying a much higher quality of life. Some days I let the bed go un-made, the meal prep doesn’t happen on Sunday, the laundry gets done during the week between jobs, the dishes pile up in the sink (this still drives me bonkers) + our dining room table has junk mail or Christmas decorations piling on it, just waiting to be put away + organized. Today is one of those days. I was planning to head into the office, but I woke up, looked at my calendar, realized we had been going all weekend with holiday parties, house renovation projects + family time. I knew I needed a re-charge. So today, I’m allowing myself grace. I’m taking the time to hang with Scoutie, catch up on laundry + get my work done from home. The cleaning will be done soon enough. I can get the rest of our shopping done another day before our house guests arrive next week (can’t wait to see my parents + sister), + most of all, I deserve this peace of mind.

My recharge happens when I take care of myself, when I take the time to rest my mind + my body. I need this time + I actually crave it when I’ve been busy doing even the things I enjoy most. I realize this might not be your personal way of thinking or how you recharge your own self when you need it, but it’s been an epiphany that has been right in front of my nose for years + I’m finally allowing myself to let my own expectations go. I’d love to hear how you recharge your own batteries during a busy week, while prepping for the holidays or just during a normal, chaotic, on the verge of tears because you “just can’t” anymore kind of day. Drop me a line or send me a personal message, + happy Monday, friends!





It’s been a hot minute (that means long time mom + dad) since I shared my experiences speaking + I’ve missed writing about my travels! My husband + I purchased our first home the day before I traveled to D.C. to share my experiences living with an eating disorder. September, October + November of this year have probably been some of the busiest months of my life + some of the most EXCITING! If you can forgive the timing of this late post, I’d love to share my experiences at the Capitol, Senate + Congress.

First off, I was totally caught off guard when the Alumni Coordinator at Rosewood Center for Eating Disorders (shout out to Shannon Hershkowitz) called me to ask if I would be interested in talking to our Senators + Congress about eating disorder awareness in the month of October. It is honestly one of the biggest honors to be asked by the very people who saw me struggle + fight for my life day in + day out for years come back + state that they believe I can make a difference because I’m living, breathing proof that recovery is possible. I made it! Let’s just say the happy tears were flowing + I was almost at a complete loss for words. 😉

When I traveled to D.C., it was with a team of 2 other recovered women who went through the same treatment style I did in an inpatient hospital. Shannon also traveled with us + helped to prepare us for our meetings at the Senate + the House. We were assigned various topics + bills to discuss with our representatives. Additionally, we were given records (public knowledge) of which particular representatives had voted in favor of bills in the past regarding similar bills that had been passed such as the Anna Westin Act of 2015. The Anna Westin Act of 2015 is a bill which is aimed at training school officials and healthcare professionals on how to identify those with eating disorders + how to properly intervene. If you aren’t familiar with eating disorders + the way the government is getting involved, you’re not alone! In fact, I was so new to all of this that I certainly felt overwhelmed + scared thinking, “I don’t consider myself any sort of government expert… how am I going to walk into the Senate + the House with confidence”? I did my research though + I spoke from my heart. I was sad to hear that the Anna Westin Act was not re-signed in 2017 and now needs to be pushed again to create awareness + detect eating disorders in children early to help save lives. This was the purpose of my trip, to remind our state representatives why this bill needs to be signed + passed again.

The morning of Lobby Day, I was surrounded by all sorts of people from various parts of the country when we met at the Hart Senate Office Building. We were greeted + distributed goodie bags as speakers + found ourselves in a room full of health care professionals in the eating disorder world, other recovered men + women as well as parents who had lost a child to an eating disorder. It was challenging to hear the stories of pain + suffering, but incredibly joyous to hear of the recovery stories exemplifying triumph + strength. We were educated by the Eating Disorder Coalition staff on how to discuss our personal stories, how to best “hook” the people we were talking to + help them understand this is a matter that needs dire attention in our country.

We were given a brief 20 minutes of time to “rehearse” our stories + off we were to meet with our state representatives. Living + being treated in Arizona, our team was assigned to speak with 5 various representatives, two of them being Senator John McCain + Senator Jeff Flake. We walked the halls with our power suits + high heels clicking on the floor like nobody’s business… I felt like I was in a movie! It was exhilarating + I couldn’t help but feel empowered by the difference I already felt I was making. Our first appointment happened so quickly, it felt like a blur. I shared my story struggling with anorexia + bulimia while my colleague shared her story with binge eating disorder. While we shared stories from the heart, it was important to have our respondents engaged, hoping they would ask probing questions to better understand why we were asking for attention + time to be addressed to these life threatening issues plaguing men + women all over our country on a daily basis. It was a relief when the questions started flowing in, the conversation flowed effortlessly + I knew I was in the right place at the right time.

While I mentioned my team + I represented the state of Arizona for Lobby Day, it’s important to recognize that many others traveled from all over the U.S. to meet with their own state representatives to make an impact + share their stories. Throughout the day we came across other teams in the hallways as well as on the streets walking the long blocks between the Senate + the House. It was such a great feeling to know that we were all on the same team, who had all fought for our own lives, knowing we were making a difference to save other lives + detect eating disorders early.

After the day was finished, all 150 or so of us met in front of the state Capitol where we gathered to recap our day, share our experiences + encourage others to continue making a difference when we returned home. Following the recap meeting, we ventured outside to take a group photo where we celebrated with silly faces, the biggest smiles + countless new friends at our sides. It was quite the rush of emotion.

When I flew back to Arizona the following morning, I couldn’t help but feel like the trip was a whirlwind. I was rejuvenated with the thought that I have the ability to make this kind of a difference in my life. I was chosen out of thousands of people at the treatment center that saved my life to fly across the country + share my story with our Senators + Congress representatives. My strength + stubborn tendencies saved my life along with a highly skilled teams of health care professionals who never stopped believing in me. The fact that I am not ashamed to share my personal story in the public eye, to people I know well as well as complete strangers through my personal blog + public speaking matters has changed the way I think about my own life. I know I am meant to share these lessons I’ve learned + help create awareness, hope + spread self-love. This is my passion + this trip simply lit the fire under my tush to know that… yes, I’m doing this because I was truly meant to”.

If this topic interests you, send me a message + learn how you can help get involved to help early detection in eating disorders. I’d love to hear from you!







changing thoughts

The holiday season is finally here. We’ve heard the fat jokes start up, the talk about how much hypothetical weight we will gain from a couple of meals and attending holiday parties + the stretchy pants jokes are officially in full force. I fully accept the fact that I used to be one of those people who engaged in all of the above behaviors… but I’m not anymore!

Before you ask how I did this, I didn’t make any trips to the gym, I don’t work out on a regular basis or obsess about my calorie intake, I just incorporated the tools I’ve learned to love myself without needing a scale or a 6-pack of abs (I don’t have either anymore). And I’m not ashamed of that. I simply welcomed the thinking that I am worthy of love + acceptance no matter how I feel or look. Do I still get thoughts that I don’t think I look good from time to time? YES! But the difference in loving myself fully is that I now am able to change my thinking process. When I have a “negative” thought about how I look, I think of three positive affirmations: encouraging things I allow myself to believe about my appearance. Here’s an example of what that process looks like:

Initial thought: “My stomach is so big, it’s hanging over the top of my jeans. I look disgusting.”

Change thought: “My body is beautiful no matter how well it fits in these jeans today.”

2nd thought change: “It’s okay that I don’t have my 19-year old body anymore. My body is perfect just the way it is.”

It took me years of learning + practicing this thought process before I actually believed these thoughts. If you have followed my journey, you know that I battled a life threatening eating disorder for years + was even hospitalized for 3 months in an inpatient facility in 2009. I truly struggled with the belief system that I was worthy of love + support in my life. I had lost sight of who I was + needed to re-train my thought process + the fact that I was someone worth knowing, I needed to remember I was a good person + life wasn’t about being or looking perfect. Sure enough, after I attended enough group therapy sessions, I knew that I had the knowledge to try applying these thoughts, I just didn’t believe them yet. I learned that it was going to take practice + a whole lot of brain power to stop my negative thoughts about my body + changing them to positive thoughts. It didn’t matter what mood I was in or what I was looking at in the mirror. My self-confidence was riding on the fact that I needed to change how I thought about my body. Let’s face it: I couldn’t let the way I looked on any particular day. I needed to build myself back up by the thoughts that went through my brain every moment + every day. Here’s another example of how I change my thoughts:

Initial thought: “My arms are chubby + I don’t want to show them at all today.”

Change thought: “My arms are functional + I’m thankful for things they allow me to do.”

2nd thought change: “My arms are strong + I love the way they look.”

Now that I’ve been living in recovery for 5 years, I can still say that these negative thoughts still cross my mind sometimes, that’s ok. It means I’m HUMAN! The cool thing about learning how to change my thoughts into positive affirmations is that these thoughts now come pretty naturally to me. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have to keep working at them. I’m frequently reminding myself how important it is to build myself up + I LOVE encouraging others to do the same. How do you talk to yourself on a good day? What about how you talk to yourself on a “bad” day? Do you pick + choose the way you think based on your reflection in the mirror or how your jeans fit on a bad day? You have the power to change the thoughts that fill your brain each day, it’s up to you to allow the good stuff to fill your brain.

It might be holiday season, but that doesn’t mean that you have to obsess about the food you ate yesterday, the food that will be served at your Christmas party this weekend, or the sweet treats that are going to be in your office break room. Remember that your self-worth is not determined by the guilt you might feel after indulging in a delicious meal or if your clothes are a bit more snug than usual. You deserve love + self-confidence no matter how your jeans fit today or any day. Here’s an example of what I used to think back in 2009 the day after Thanksgiving:

Initial thought: “I ate too much food, I wish I would have had self-control to stop eating sooner. I wish I didn’t eat dessert. I’m such a failure.”

Changed thought: “I really enjoyed eating Thanksgiving with my family today, I am thankful to have enjoyed a delicious meal with the people I care about most.”

2nd changed thought: “I deserve to enjoy a tasty meal with good company. I’m glad I was able to take home leftover stuffing too!”

I challenge you to change your thought process when those negative ways of thinking start to take over this holiday season. Try using a positive affirmation or two when you catch yourself thinking, “I shouldn’t have…” or “I wish I looked like…” Stop that stuff right now, friends! Be your own biggest fan + change those thoughts to positive ones. You are the only person that can actually make it happen, try it out + let me know how it works for you the remainder of the week. You won’t regret it!