A Lot Has Happened In A Year

From fast friends to my FIRST EVER girl’s trip one year ago today to now FOREVER FRIENDS. These women instilled a true and authentic belief within myself that I had never ever felt before. In this trip I laid out exactly what my upcoming year would look like. The goals I wanted to achieve, the passions I wanted to dive back into, the fears I wanted to face. And guess what guys! I did it! I did them ALL. And I’m still doing them!

Goals achieved: I’ve lost 15lbs in the last year. I’ve dropped body fat, visceral fat, and I’ve built muscle. Y’all know I’ve been blasting the bo0ty! I continue to come out the winner against my body dysmorphia and disordered eating. My content is being creative in the most authentic and natural way possible with a rock solid work/life balance. I’ve gotten back in touch with my creative side. I am writing, dancing, drawing, painting and singing again and it feels like magic!

I’m in a really really good place for the first time in a long time and it was because of this trip and these women that I am where I’m at today and there is ZERO exaggeration in that statement. They were the absolute catalyst and continue to be my rock. Jess and Sarah I love you both to pieces and cannot thank you enough from the absolute bottom of my heart and soul for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself.

Transformation Update

You know those bitty baby biceps I keep joking about??? They’re growing!!! I just took updated measurements today and I am BLOWN away! My biceps have in fact grown. I’m down in inches in all the right places and I’m down in weight too even AFTER enjoying ALL the things with the fam in town.

I’ll be honest I haven’t taken measurements in probably over six months. It’s can sometimes be triggering for me in my ED recovery so I rely far more heavily on how I look and feel in my clothes (hence the gazilion photos). But I am VERY aware that my family going home can also trigger an episode too which is why I decided to take measurements today. Not only to hold me accountable but so I can hit the ground running come Monday and interrupt the toxic habit loop.

I don’t really like sharing my numbers online because I don’t want anyone to feel less than or play the comparison game. I did that for YEARS and know what that feels like. Perhaps I’ll share that someday but today is not that day. If you ARE interested in that info I am happy to share privately so simply DM me.

My Semicolon Tattoo

As she asked about my tattoos she gently placed her hand on my shoulder and said, “Hey Ang, I’m glad you’re still here.” And in that moment I felt loved, seen and understood without having to explain a single thing more.

A semicolon is used in writing when an author could have chosen to end their sentence, but they chose not to. It’s a reminder that my story isn’t over – that despite the darkness I’ve faced, I chose to continue writing my story, one day at a time. It’s a symbol of strength and courage, a testament to the fact that I survived my darkest moments and emerged stronger than ever.

I want to remind anyone who may be struggling that you are not alone. Your story isn’t over, and there are people who care about you and want to help you through the tough times. Together, let’s continue to support each other, spread love and kindness, and remind ourselves that our stories are worth writing.

Mental Health and Dental Health

Today, I want to open up about something SUPER personal. My lifelong mental health struggles have taken its toll on my teeth. It’s been a tough journey – anxiety and depression made it hard to keep up with regular brushing and flossing, and the effects of my eating disorder only exacerbated the situation. To make matters worse, I had some awful experiences with dental providers when I was younger, which resulted in botched jobs and added to my fear and anxiety around dental work.

I’m on the better side of those mental health battles now, and feel EXTREMELY strong in my recovery. I’m more determined than ever to take care of myself in EVERY way possible. That includes fixing my teeth. However, I have to be honest – my anxiety and fear of dental work are VERY VERY real. The second I am in that chair my heart races and the tears start to fall and depending on the treatment my body will just start shaking uncontrollably.

Despite that fear, I’ve spent the better part of a year working on fixing ALL the things that need fixing and getting my smile back to one that I’m proud of. Not one that reminds me of all my past mistakes. I still have a LONG road ahead of me but I keep chipping away little by little and with each fix that’s made I feel a little bit of that fear chipping away too.

I share all of this with you in hopes that it can help anyone who feels the same or has felt similar. I want to remind anyone else who struggles with anxiety that it’s okay to feel scared. I want to remind those who struggle with depression to go brush your teeth even if that’s your only win for the day. It’s okay to cry, to shake, to feel overwhelmed. But it’s also okay to reach out for help and support.

So here’s to taking small steps towards better dental health, even if it means facing our fears head-on. I am EXTREMELY grateful to have a VERY good team of Doctors who take my anxiety and my care very seriously. And I am EXTREMELY thankful to have the courage to work through the REALLY REALLY hard shit.

Top 5️⃣ Tips To Avoid Binge Eating:

1️⃣ Know your triggers…busy days are NOT an excuse to binge eat when you FINALLY sit down for the day nor are they and excuse not to eat at all. Have a plan in place. Have food prepped and on hand that will keep you on track with your goals. Don’t even bring the junk food into your home.

Healthy Grocery Haul
Protein and vegetables prepped and at the ready
Fruits, Fiber Filled Carbs and Healthy Fats prepped at the ready

2️⃣ Have SOME now and you get to ENJOY IT AGAIN later. It’s an automatic boost in dopamine to know that I get the “reward” of eating something again and even again and again should I so choose. I literally repeat this mantra every day and sometimes multiple times a day.

Split your dessert right away to remove the temptation
Split a lunch with your friend
Stop eating when you feel full and put the rest away for later

3️⃣ Water first! Veggies most! Thank you @2bmindset. This one is for all my volume eaters! This entire concept completely switched my brain and my ability to not just tackle intuitive eating but to master it.

Regular water, fire water, just drink your water FIRST
Cheeseburger was the craving, made it a wrap with VEGGIES MOST
Veggies most = More volume

4️⃣ Eat with the small fork. This one might sound silly to most. But to anyone who struggles with disordered eating then you know that small forks ➡️ small bites ➡️ slower eating ➡️ more time to make a mind/body connection with the food you are eating.

Use a small fork for more mindful bites

5️⃣ Leave some food behind. It’s ok to do so. I promise. To anyone who grew up in a “clean your plate or else” household this one is for you. It’s ok to listen to your body. When you feel full it’s ok to stop eating. When you feel full it’s ok to leave some food behind. Even if it’s only a few bites. Just leave it.

Protein, Vegetables, Fiber Filled Carb and Healthy Fat for a perfect first meal

And when we feel full we STOP EATING

2024 The Year of Acceptance

I had the profound realization this past year that many events in our lives follow the grief cycle in some way. And that realization catapulted me on a truly unexpected but very long overdue healing journey. I am leaving all the bargaining behind in 2023 and stepping with both feet into acceptance in 2024.

What happened all happened for a reason and a lot of those dots have been connected for me in 2023. What will be will be and I am so open and ready for whatever God and the universe has in store for me and my future.

I know exactly what I want and exactly what I am capable of and exactly what I will no longer tolerate. 2024 WILL BE MY YEAR OF ACCEPTANCE and continued healing both inside and out.

Transforming My Life: The Four Books That Changed My Health Journey

I got asked recently what I’ve been doing differently that has made such a change in my results this past year especially. And to be honest I’ve been doing all the same things. But hands down the most pivotal change I made to my health and fitness regimen was doing the inner work I have been afraid to face my entire life. There were four books in particular that I read this past year that not only gave a jump start to my healing journey but have also changed my life forever. These books have helped heal my relationship with myself, with food and my self-sabotage mentality.

1️⃣ “You Can Drop It” by Ilana Muhlstein – The SIMPLEST meal plan of all time but that’s not even the best part you guys. The entire concept completely switched my brain and my ability to not just tackle intuitive eating but to master it. And coming from someone who has struggled with eating disorders her entire life this step forward for me was HUGE! It was the first time that I didn’t use a “diet” or “meal plan” to cause harm to my body. This book gave me true #foodfreedom.

2️⃣ “Never Binge Again” by Glenn Livingston Ph.D. – With the blunt and sometimes harsh wording it’s was a TOUGH read. I didn’t want to hear what he had to say. But I remember feeling the same way when I started to read the next book I mention below too. After forcing myself to finish the book, come to find out it was just fear trying to hold me back from hearing a message I REALLY REALLY needed to hear. I was letting food control ME and it should always be the other way around.

3️⃣ “Quit Like A Woman” by Holly Whitaker – Whether you are a drinker or not this book is must read for ALL. It really makes you think about just how obsessed our culture truly is with alcohol. Holly’s no B.S. approach was/is hard to digest. But so are all messages we truly need to hear. Her transparency and truthfulness made the story relatable AF! I go back through chapters in this one depending on what’s going on in my life at the moment to keep me fiercely focused. It has a crap ton of takeaways and “Ah ha!” moments that really make ya think. It is one that I will continue to re-read throughout my life.

4️⃣ “Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents” by Lindsay C. Gibson, PsyD – (I have this one on Audible) EVERYONE should read/listen to this book. Period. Its reach is far beyond just the parent-child relationship and can be applied to ALL relationships. Read it for yourself. Read it for your parents. Or simply read it to have more empathy and understanding of others.

Transformation Update

When I first started on my health and fitness journey three and a half years ago I DESPERATELY wanted to be physically capable of doing ALL the things with Hunter. But deep down inside I just wanted to be skinny. I prayed so hard to God to just let me get skinny ONE MORE TIME and I promised Him if He gave me the chance I would not waste it. Little did I know at the time that answered prayers don’t come without a shit ton of work. Like, duh Ang!

Only He knew that after a lifetime of struggling with eating disorders and body dysmorphia and self sabotage that in order for my prayer to be answered just one more time that I would need to put in the hardest work of my life and that this time it needed to be done the right way. The healthy way. Even if that meant it took me the longer way. No restricting, no binging, no purging, no self sabotage. Just good old fashioned put your head down and grind. Apply what I know and what I’ve learned to get the best results in the healthiest way. Period.

The workouts were always the easy part for me. I truly LOVE being active and always have. But it was the food part that was hard. REALLY REALLY HARD. Food was my crutch, my comfort and my worst enemy. My relationship with food today is better but far from perfect. I am overcoming some MASSIVE obstacles for the first time in my entire life without that crutch and without the self-sabotage mentality. It’s not easy but it is absolutely worth it. So while it started with a plea to get skinny it ends with food freedom that I now get to pass on through generations.

Husband Appreciation

2023 was a BIG year for me and it was all centered around HEALING. None of the massive strides I have made to becoming the very best version of myself would have been possible without this man’s unwavering support.

Justin, thank you for holding space for me through the highs and lows. Thank you for embracing the rollercoaster of emotions even when I didn’t quite understand them myself. Thank you for giving me a safe space to look inward and truly heal. Thank you for giving me the freedom to find my truest self.

Your willingness to step in and lend a helping hand or even a simple hug on my toughest days has been my anchor. Thank you for always cheering me on and fully supporting my “me time”. Here’s to a partner who champions self-care as much as shared moments. I love you babe! I could not have gotten this far without you.

My Greatest Life Lesson so Far

The greatest life lesson I have learned so far as a Mother is having to release the guilt I carried (and still carry) over putting myself first. I would pour and pour and pour over and over again from an entirely empty cup and expect this most magical and miraculous life to just “happen”. Meanwhile dwelling on all the wrong and ugly I saw within myself that really didn’t exist. It was just a massive ugly and angry figment of all the nasty things I told myself over and over again turned ginormous monster of unworthiness and self-doubt.

The breaking point for me was the realization that if I continued in that manner, that would be the example I would be setting for Hunter. Talk about a wake up call! I was setting the very example I was trying to avoid and the cycle would repeat itself if I continued to put my own needs last. When I fill my cup first I am a better Wife, Mom, Daughter, Sister, Cousin, Aunt, Friend, you get the point. I am a better ME. And when I am the best version of me that I can be I am able to pass that along to others. So of any life lesson I have learned or shared this one is the most important of them all…fill your own cup first.