The Dreaded Scale…

If there is one thing I think every woman (and more men than will admit) get the most frustrated with while on a diet or while watching what they eat, it’s that dreaded scale.

Picture this: You work SO hard all week. You count every single calorie, every single macro, every single gram of food that enters your mouth. You weigh out the heavy cream that goes into your coffee and the nuts you pack for your mid day snack. You chug that gallon of water daily while also running to the bathroom every twenty minutes. This  often leaves you pondering, “how on earth does it take an hour to drink 12 ounces of water but it runs right through you?”  You make an effort to get to the gym after a long day of work to exercise when you’d MUCH rather go straight home, slip into your pj’s and binge watch something like Grey’s Anatomy while you mindlessly scroll Instagram.

And then it comes…. Weigh in day. 

Now, envision that moment. Think about that very moment you look down at the number on the scale. You’ve done it before and you know it all too well.  You have a small flicker of hope as you shift your eyes from the ceiling to the floor and you re-think all of the GOOD things you did the past few days. SURELY you’ll see a new low weigh in, right?

You close your eyes, inhale deeply and shift your focus to the floor. Within an INSTANT your mood (good or bad) is completely determined by what the number blinking back at you reads.

That stupid, mood controlling, day ruining NUMBER. 

Let’s run through the possible scenarios, shall we?

YOU LOSE WEIGHT. Whoohooo!!! When the scale does down, you most likely feel a sense of accomplishment, as you should. You’re hard work the past week seems to have paid off. Your dedication seems to have rewarded you. I agree, it is very gratifying seeing weight loss happen after you put in the effort! I will shamelessly be the first to admit, I am one of those people who does a little happy dance when I realize I’ve lost a pound or two! 🙋🏻

YOU MAINTAIN YOUR WEIGHT. Okay…Not terrible. BUT, not what you wanted to see. Your mind wanders to all the things you could have done differently. Did you weigh out absolutely EVERYTHING and was it accurate? Was that piece of chicken you ordered at the restaurant that you input into MyFitnessPal REALLY 4 ounces? Was it REALLY wise of you to have skipped that cardio session after work and head out for a drink with your coworker instead. Hmmm…. 

YOU GAIN WEIGHT. I can hear you now. AWW HELL NAW. Okay, maybe that’s me I hear coming through with that southern twang again. Oops. But regardless of your choice of words, you INSTANTLY feel some type of way. Usually the feelings that you may experience are as follows: frustration, disappointment, anxiety, sadness, annoyance and sometimes, just down right PISSED OFF.

The moment you see your result, this is the moment MOST people decide how their day will play out. More so, how their mood and actions will be determined for the day. If you see a loss, you’re more likely to keep that good momentum going and stick to plan. If you maintain, it could go either way. Meaning you get annoyed and you slip up a bit OR you begrudgingly keep on trucking. If you see a gain, you get frustrated. You want to give up and sadly, most people do when that is their result. They throw in the towel, not realizing that this sets them back even FARTHER. If you’re anything like me, this result may even trigger you to binge.

I can say I have felt ALL of the emotions listed above. I can also say that I have done all of these things as well. Because of this, I felt compelled to write this very blog in hopes that maybe, just maybe someone WON’T throw in the towel.

I posted the photo below on Instagram and felt like it fit for not only this blog post BUT for what I’ve been dealing with lately as well.

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I’m no different than the next person when it comes to allowing the scale to control my emotions and mood for the day. I don’t claim to ever be fully healed of my obsession with the scale. Though my relationship with it has improved, even after losing 100+ pounds, I still feel anxiety every single time I step on it.

The past few weeks of dieting while on my prep, I’ve gotten so frustrated with that number. I’ve been the same exact weight OR I have seen my weight fluctuate UP for a solid two months. Talk about frustrating! All my hard work. All my consistency. All my effort seemingly POINTLESS if the scale the only way I measure progress. But thankfully it’s NOT the ONLY way I track my progress.

You see, the scale is a TOOL. And when you start to recognize that it just ONE measure of progress and not the SOLE way to measure success, things get a (little) easier. There is SO much to take into account when you weigh yourself. Weight is naturally going to fluctuate for various reasons. Just to name a few… How is your water intake? How is your electrolyte balance? Is your calorie intake too high (better yet, could it be too low?) Did you eat late at night? How is your stress levels? How is your sleep quality? If you’re a woman, where are you in your cycle? HAVE YOU POOPED RECENTLY? In all seriousness, if you haven’t had a bowel movement in a few days, OF COURSE your weight will increase.

These are all questions I ask my clients frequently when they report back to me with their weigh ins and feel discouraged. MOST of the time, there is an explanation for an increase in a person’s weight. In addition to these questions, I also remind them that they have to pay attention to how their clothes are fitting, how their measurements are looking and how they are feeling. It’s crucial to understand that there is SO MUCH MORE that goes into weight loss and more importantly FAT LOSS than just what the scales reads.

Moral of the story?

I’m not saying ditch the scale all together contrary to the “SCREW THE SCALE” activists you see on social media. I’ve said that phrase a time or two before BUT  I don’t believe in not utilizing it for what it truly is: A MEASUREMENT. A TOOL. It is still a valuable tool to use when on a weight loss journey. It’s a tool that should be used carefully and one that absolutlety should NOT impact your mood, your thoughts, your feelings or how you view yourself.

There is no easy way to break the emotional connection with the scale but it takes work. Daily, weekly, monthly. However often you weigh, remind yourself that the scale does not define you. That number blinking up at you from below your feet is just that…a number.

YOU are worth much more than a number. Believe that.

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Working From Home & It’s Woes

Working from home seems so glorious to some. Okay, okay, to MOST. That of course, is usually the thought process to those who currently don’t work from home or never have. <insert outrageous number of gasps from the ever so offended society we live in> Oops.

Before you close the tab and unsubscribe (for me merely sharing my personal experience) hear me out on this ….

There are only a select few in this large world who KNOW me and know me well…

(small circle, less drama. ya feel me?)

….But those who DON’T know me well get a glimpse of my life through my social media platforms. They see my day to day InstaStory. They see my motivational/inspirational posts. They see my “perfect” little family, my “well behaved” son and my weekly (sometimes daily) trips to various coffee shops. They see the “freedom” that I have being a work from home mom (excuse me while I LAUGH OUT LOUD) whether it be getting groceries at 11 am on a Wednesday morning or going to the gym at a later than usual time on a Tuesday… Or simply just chilling on my couch in my PJ’s at 2p.m on a Friday working from my computer doing my weekly client meal plans. These things that you see in my stories, my posts…that’s what we call a HIGHLIGHT REEL. Read that again…

You see…As transparent and real as I aim to be on my social media outlets, I find that even I sometimes will document just the HIGHLIGHTS of my day. I mean, those are the parts of life we want others to actually see, right? The good moments? The easy going days. The “LIFE” so people say I have. I get it….Seeing someone’s highlight reel can trigger quite a few emotions. Jealousy…resentment…frustration…envy…just to name a few.

Because of this (the tendency to display only a highlight reel), others feel bitter towards someone like me. And yes, I speak from experience. I’ve lost many a friends for this very reason. And that’s okay… I’ve learned people will only see what they want to see when their heart is conflicted…

But if you KNOW me…and have KNOWN me…You know that being a stay at home/work from home mom was NEVER apart of MY plan. Lean in…..

I’ve worked SOME kind of job since I was legally able to. When I was FINALLY able to get a workers permit, I got it. And before that I did all the “under the table” jobs… babysitting, cleaning up yards, making crafts/things to sell. I’ve ALWAYS had an EARN MY WAY mentality. I will be forever grateful to my parents for raising me this way. They are the real MVP’s. But seriously, I am a go getter by design. My first real job, I was an activity assistant in a nursing home. I found so much value from this job. Caring for the elderly and their well being early on is where I attribute my ability to truly empathize with people. This job allowed me to form connections with people on a whole new level (at the young age of 15) that I fully believe is where my passion for simply wanting to HELP people developed. I stuck with this job for 5 1/2 years and loved every moment of it. I worked late nights and weekend after weekend, saving up most of my income. I kept this job all through college- the whole ONE year that I went. Let me explain…

If you didn’t know, I went to UNC Chapel Hill for Dental Assisting. These programs are typically only a year in length but are VERY intense. I loved every minute of it. I graduated high school mid June 2010 and started my college studies in early July 2010. While all my “friends” were partaking in senior week and enjoying the last summer before heading off to college or moving away, I had a mere two week break between high school and college. Not only that, but I didn’t get the typical experience of moving away for college- and please note, in no way am I salty about that! The fact that my mom and dad allowed me to live at home (rent free), save the money I earned AND paid for me to go to school, was reason enough for me to feel the highest level of gratitude. – And mom/dad if you’re reading this, I’ll never be able to say this enough but THANK YOU.

I commuted 30 minutes to school everyday. I rode the bus from the park and ride to campus and attended class Monday – Friday’s all whilst continuing to work my nursing home job nights and weekends. I was doing just what I had planned I would do. I was going to college for what I had always dreamed of being – a dental assistant. From the age of 13 I knew this was what I wanted to do…I thought it was my calling.

After graduating college and landing a job right out of school, I felt unstoppable. Not only was I working a full time job, I kept my part time nursing home job AND picked up a retail job at Ulta! What…Why?!

I had this crazy goal to buy a house by the age of 20 and I was going to do whatever it took to make that goal a reality. My parents always taught me the value of saving my money…(thanks again mom and dad) and within 12 months of working 3 jobs, I saved a little over $10k. Quite the hefty down payment for a first time home buyer, wouldn’t you agree? I was proud...

Oh…But I forgot to add one teeny important detail.. Three months after landing that first job as a DA, I was let go. Yep… it happened. And honestly, I look back now and totally know why. I will easily admit that I’m was a bit headstrong (okay I still am) and back then, I was a very quick to rebuttal anyone who tried to critique me or tell me I was wrong. (thankfully I can say I’m MUCH better at taking criticism nowadays). .

I was young..new to the “professional world”. And keep in mind, my job of playing board games with the elderly as a teenager wasn’t quite the job to prepare me for working in a dental office along side seasoned dental world peeps. I had ALOT to learn…I digress...

But God never fails and within a month of being let go, I was accepted to my “dream job”. A pediatric & orthodontic office where I spent the next four years working, learning and perfecting my trade. If you have heard my story via YouTube or Podcast, you know that though I was doing a job I enjoyed and pursing the career I loved…the atmosphere was not healthy for me…and when it came time for me to decide whether I was going to go back to work after having my son OR stay at home to raise him myself, my husband and I knew without a doubt that staying home was the best option for me at the time.

You see, staying home..working from home…WAS NEVER IN MY PLANS. I never had the desire to be a stay at home mom. I never wanted to give up my steady income or career…my security. And as I have stated in many podcasts/videos, I LOST MYSELF when I gave up the job I worked so hard to obtain…when I assumed my new roles of mom/wife/homemaker. As someone who had ALWAYS earned her keep, I viewed quitting my job and losing my income as a weakness. And I shut down…..

But through my weight loss journey…through finding keto…through finding my love for fitness…I fully believe I found my TRUE calling…I’ve found my true PASSION.. and I also fully believe in divine intervention. I am so thankful I lost myself amidst the weight gain, career loss and depression as it has allowed me to find who I was destined to be.

And I say ALL of this in hope that to those of you who look at my life and think I have it “made” as a work from home individual… This career path was never in MY plans. I didn’t set out to own my own business and surely don’t have nearly the experience that is required to do so BUT I am grateful for the opportunity to learn a new trade. I’m thankful for the ability to educate myself and gain new certifications that allow me to do this crazy entrepreneur thing. Understand this: It ain’t easy, y’all! (sorry not sorry for the pour southern grammar and twang) but it’s the God’s honest truth!

Working for yourself is HARD. Working from home is HARD. You spend countless hours doing what you love BUT you can NEVER escape it. Entrepreneurship has no closing hours. You don’t get to leave work AT work when 5 p.m hits. You can’t shut down for the weekend and pick back up Monday. Vacations aren’t “normal” vacations. I mean seriously,  I just bought the Wifi package for my family cruise in April because my job requires it. There is no FULLY disconnecting on the day to day grind of being a #girlboss. And that for me, that is okay. Because I’m learning everyday how to time manage better…I’m learning how to balance tech time and family time more efficiently. And I am also learning that the dirty dishes in the sink CAN wait until after I check in with my clients. (This is a true struggle for me as I am SO type A and OCD about clean house; sigh)

Working from home has it’s benefits, absolutely. I am blessed to be able to earn my income as well as be present in my son’s life as he grows. I am honored that so many people make this life possible and I would not be able to do this without my followers and clients.

BUT like Gwen Stefani said, DON’T GET IT TWISTED. You only see the highlight reel of my life (most of the time) though I try to be as transparent in my day to day as possible. But often (especially lately) you’ll see me working from home with a sick child wearing yesterday’s hair/make up OR you’ll hear about me having to cancel Podcast after Podcast because play school was closed OR you may catch me working at a coffee shop on my days where I DO have reliable childcare because being at home 24/7 can sometimes drive you bonkers. Work from home life has its benefits, no doubt. But don’t judge someone by their highlight reel… even me 🙂

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This Weeks Struggles on Prep

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I am in a cutting phase with my body goals….

If you are new here or have no idea who I am then in true Missy Elliot fashion please PUT YO THING DOWN, FLIP IT AND REVERSE IT! 

But seriously…For you to understand WHAT I am doing and WHY I am doing it, I highly suggest you visit my YouTube Channel HERE and catch up on my vlogs. I’m not some crazy amazing daily vlogger (though I did a daily vlog for like 22 days and I in turn hated my phone and iMovie for a few weeks..I digress.) NONETHELESS, I try to share a video weekly and sometimes I get behind because #GIRLBOSSLIFE ….Jk it’s more like #momlife #wifelife and #keepmyshittogetherasbesticanlife. Real talk! But anyways, check out my YT channel if you want to understand who I am and what I do.

Back to confession time. So this week is hmmmm like week 13 I think of this “prep” or “cut”…whatever you want to call it. And before you ponder.. NO I don’t have a bodybuilding show scheduled. I’m doing this purely to see how far I can push my body and mind as well as see what body type I end up with so that I can POSSIBLY do a natural show in October. All loosely tentative and I mean LOOSELY.

So this week…has been by far the HARDEST, I feel. Between balancing mom life, wife life, meal prepping, my workouts, self care, managing my stress levels, meditating, a child whom is sick CONSTANTLY, my one on one clients, my group clients, my social media (honestly my business as a whole) and maintaining an active online presence, I FELT DEFEATED this week. To the naked eye…or rather I say, to the Instagram viewer, my life can look pretty dang easy. In fact, the terms/phrases I often hear are “You got it made.”, “Must be nice to work from home”, “You must have so much freedom”, “Working from home must be fun”, or the ever so assuming “So you work from your couch in your Pj’s all day?”…….. <Insert eye roll emoji> .

While I would LOVE to go into detail about what it’s REALLY like being a work from home mom who also is a stay at home mom, we will save that for a different Girl Boss confession time.

SO. This week has been difficult, to say the least… And boyyyyy have I felt the Binge urges BAD. (again, if you are new here, I’m a recovering binge eater). Aside from the binge urges, my body image has been down right SHIT. Body dysmorphia has reared its ugly head more than a time or two this week. My coach (yes, I’m a coach who has a coach  because I’m human and need support too) had me put away the scale for the week and banned me from testing ketones, glucose, breath AND I was also banned from taking progress pics. Which if you know anything about body dysmorphia, you know that pictures are one way to stay sane. You can compare previous weeks to your current composition and in turn, makes you feel hella better (most days). But this week…I haven’t done a single comparison. AND I’M DYING….

Okay that is exaggerating a tad… but when I walk past a mirror or see a photo of myself, I go into panic mode. Wanting to stop and knit pick myself for a few quick seconds. Wanting to see if my arms look smaller or my waist looks tighter. Wanting to see SOMETHING. Some glimmer of progress. Something to encourage me….

Along with all the normal stressors of my day to day with home, business, diet and such… I received yet another NASTY email from someone who inquired about my services BUT because she didn’t get an IMMEDIATE response, she decided to let me have it. This happened mid week…on a day I was actually feeling pretty good. I had met up for coffee with two fellow Keto peeps and really just had a great time. Was in a fabulous mood and then BOOM…that email instantly shot me down. And you may not be aware but when you put yourself out there into the social media space…when you open your life up for people to peep in… when you share the slightest bit of vulnerability with the world, it makes you an EASY target for those who are LOOKING FOR A FIGHT. I was reminded of this quickly when I reached out to a mentor of mine. There are people out there scouring  the Internet for someone to engage with in a negative way. Someone to place blame on. And sadly, I was that for this human.

I recovered from that event….but was still affected mentally by it nonetheless. Just another piece chipped away at my self esteem to add to the weekly count. The following day I woke up, worked out and felt in control for the first time all week. I made self care a priority (working out and getting myself dressed, doing my make up and hair). I find that the acts of self care are key when I’m feeling super down on myself. I talk alot about this on social media but never fear, I’ll share more about self care on future girl boss confession blog posts.

AND THEN IT HIT ME….The cravings. You see…My cycle is due to start at the end of this week. So ON TOP of everything I’ve been dealing with and experiencing… my senses and emotions are heightened (as well as the dreaded bloating) because of this evil monthly visitor. Now, I know better. I truly do. I’m 100% aware of my body, my urges and how to be in control of them. It’s taken time, practice and tons of patience but I feel I have (mostly) mastered being in control when this time of the month hits. BUT…this week I gave in…

I didn’t “binge”…I didn’t (totally) over eat on my macros…however I did give into a craving that I’ve been avoiding on purpose for gut healing and what not. I ate a SALAD (gasp)… Wait… Lauren…salads are keto approved. What are you talking about?

Okay okay okay….so I might should confess that for the past 3 weeks I’ve actually taken a more carnivore approach with my eating. And yeah, if you just returned from my YouTube channel and caught up on my Carnivore experiment, you’re probably scratching your head going SAY WHHHHAAATT? Lol… Let me explain.

My macros are super low…and my carbs are at 10 total grams. And while I CAN fit in a salad or a veggie here and there, I have opted to just nix them altogether for gut health and bloating sake. My macro ratios are also PERFECT compared to what I experienced on my last carnivore endeavor… I just didn’t have the correct approach back then (I assume). And I’d like to add that my mood/ skin has improved quite a bit since doing so. All around win so far!

BUT…I gave into my craving this week. I ate a HUGE salad. And boyyy was it good. It was delicious…it was amazing. Until I came to the end of it and realized just how bloated I already was. I felt HORRENDOUS the rest of the night and into the next day. And aside from the physical pains….I emotionally was a wreck.

I contacted my coach first thing and let it all flow. My reservations, my disappointments in my self, the failure I felt I had for myself and for him. Word vomit as I blew up his Insta DM in true freak out fashion. And once the word vomit was over…once my fingers stopped the frantic taping to form words on the screen. I let out a huge sigh of relief. I felt SO much better (though still upset and disappointed) by just letting it all come out. If you take away NOTHING from this confession, take away this: HOLDING IT IN WILL NOT HEAL YOU. HIDING YOUR FAILURES WILL GET YOU NO WHERE.

You see, this is why I love coaching. This is why I also love having a coach and I am NOT afraid to admit that sometimes even COACHES NEED COACHES. My entire weight loss journey, I didn’t enlist a coach. I refused help. I did it all myself. Not because I WANTED TO. But because I was scared….I was too proud. I didn’t want to admit that I may be doing something wrong. I didn’t want to admit that I needing another person to keep me on track. I was STUPID…

One thing I’ve learned over the course of my own journey and even the road to becoming a coach myself was that there are people out there to help you for a reason. Having HELP does not make you weak. Enlisting someone to keep you accountable isn’t at all failure on your part. In fact, how encouraging is it to know that the person you hired (depending on the “coach” because we all know there are some imposters out there) wants to see you hit your goals just as much as you do and PROBABLY MORE than you want for yourself! Cool, right?

When a client comes to me with their goals…their hopes..their ambitions. I write them down and take them into my heart. I adopt my clients’ goals as my own. And I always ensure I will do everything in MY power to see/help them succeed. After all, that’s what you enlist help for, right? You want someone in your corner. To help push you through your toughest points. To encourage you that you CAN achieve what you desire as long as you set your mind to it.

There is noting like having a strong support system. Whether you have strong support within your family or you seek support through external sources such as a coach…Support is what gets you through the TOUGHEST points in your journey. And I am beyond thankful for the support I have at home, through my coach and through the tight knit keto community I’m so proud to be apart of on social media.

So to conclude this confessional…I hope, maybe, in some way…you see that we all have weakness’ but they don’t make us weak. We all cave at some point..but that doesn’t make us unsuccessful. We ALL struggle…but that doesn’t mean we have to do it alone.

Reach out to someone. If not me, SOME ONE. Remember… Everybody Needs Somebody…atleast… that’s what the Blues Brothers taught me.

And Yeah..I’m 26 and know who they are 🙂 Great-Quotes-about-Going-through-Hard-Times-and-Staying-Strong-2