Do you compare yourself to other women?

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Do you compare yourself to other women?

For many years, I would compare myself to other women’s bodies. I was super self-conscious at the beach when I was around my skinnier friends, and would refuse to take off my shorts. How dare I reveal my “fat thighs?”

Being around my slim, beautiful friends made me feel fatter, uglier and less than, ultimately stemming from that internal feeling of not being “enough.” I remember the anxieties I’d have around getting ready to go out in college. While sometimes I’d feel “OK,” the second I walked out and saw how I sized up against my roommates, I’d feel really blah.

Spring break of senior year in Cancun was probably the lowest I’ve ever felt about myself. After a week-long Lemonade Detox stint and endless efforts to lose weight with dieting, I had reached my all-time heaviest. I hated the way I looked in a bikini, and was really embarrassed to be “seen” in front of the frat boys and sorority girls. I still vividly remember taking a picture on the beach with all my girls, as I hid behind one of my friends so my thighs wouldn’t be seen.

Why couldn’t I have her legs?

If only I could lose weight and look like her, I’d be happy!

Man, it must be nice to look like that.

This was the type of negative self-talk I’d beat into my head.

As I transitioned away from dieting and began to live more, I naturally started to focus more on myself. I felt so good about the fact that I was taking care of myself and doing me that it didn’t matter what other women’s bodies looked like. I remember the first time I freely took my shorts off at the beach — and nothing happened! That’s when I realized that no one really gives a sh*t what you look like, or that your thighs are exposed. It’s just whatever.

While my years of body comparison are far in the past, old habits of comparing myself to other women have been popping back up for me lately — this time with career and success. I guess old habits die hard, right? It makes perfect sense that my old ways of comparison are coming up, this time in an area that’s relevant in my life now.

The other week, I was flipping through instagram, stalking Facebook and clicking on the websites of those I admire, slowly but surely feeling worst and worst about myself.

I am so far behind.

My website isn’t pretty enough.

So many other people are doing what I’m doing, how will I shine?

It got brutal. Then I realized, why should I let the success of these other beautiful women make me feel any worst about myself? Right then and there, I knew I had to take the advice of my 21-year-old self and once again look within. After all, when jealousy and comparison sets in, it’s a signal that something is a little off in your own life, and you’ve got some work to do.

And so I went on a bit of a social media detox, and spent lots of time alone with myself meditating, reading, journaling and listening to inspirational podcasts. I got real with my feelings. I let myself feel (without judgment).

Suddenly I remembered how darn amazing I really am — as are you, and her and them.

Ravishly recently published an article, “6 Ways to Stop Hating Other Women” and I particularly resonated with #4: Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides. That is, don’t let what looks to be like success and perfection and living the dream make you feel like a total failure. Often times, we’re all fighting some sort of battle even if it doesn’t look that way on paper.

In the end, it’s OK to feel jealous or to compare yourself, as long as you recognize where those feelings are coming from and make a solid effort to work on that for yourself. In the meantime, I think we could all use a little more lifting up, celebrating and connecting with other women. Just imagine the magic of positive vibes that would come from that!

Do you compare yourself to other women – be it their job, relationship or body? What have you done to work through those feelings?

xoxo,

Rachel

5 Mindset Shifts I Experienced On My Journey to becoming a “normal eater”

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During my days as a chronic, obsessive dieter, I knew my relationship with food was not normal, but I just couldn’t stop. It was like being in a toxic relationship — you know the dude’s not right for you but for some reason you stay. Meanwhile, all your friends are like get the eff out of that. Then years later, you look back and say “What the hell was I thinking?”

That was me with food!

When I was in college, I so envied my friends who could eat normal. They’d nonchalantly order a pizza after a long night out, get a salad whenever they felt like eating salad, and be able to have a bagel on a Sunday (with all the fixings!) without guilt. I wanted that. But instead, I sat there drooling over their meals, as I anxiously counted calories, picked apart my sandwich and ordered what I thought was “healthy.”

Years later when I decided to quit dieting once and for all — cold turkey — I subconsciously began to develop the mindset of what I referred to as a “normal eater.” I realized right then and there that it wasn’t about what or how they ate at all; it’s about the way you think about food and your body.

Once again, it goes back to mindset.

Here are 5 mindset shifts I experienced during my journey to becoming a “normal” eater:

1. “I can eat anything I want, if I want it.”

This is a biggie. Those who are restricting themselves tend to follow certain rules or guidelines when it comes to food, which can get you into big trouble. Think about when you were little and told you couldn’t have that toy or cookie for dessert. Makes you just want it more and more, right? Same with eating.

When you label foods as “off limit” or “good” and “bad” you’re attaching an emotion to your meal. Instead of thinking X is good and X is bad, you must get to a place where all food is food and you can have anything you’d like if you really want it.

2. “I’m eating x because x makes me feel good.”

This brings me to point #2. Dieters or those with a crazy relationship with food (like I once had!) often eat something because they’re told they should (from a nutritionist, diet book, magazine, best friend etc.) or because they think said food is healthy for them. This goes back to my years of ordering a bland iceberg salad for lunch everyday because I actually thought I was making a low-calorie, healthy choice that would make me lose weight.

What I didn’t realize is this way of eating was dangerous, in that I was ignoring my bodies natural cues. I honestly didn’t know what made me feel good, and what made me feel crappy since I was so caught up in what was “healthy” or “right.” All of our bodies are made up different, and what works for one may not work for another. Play around with food, and eat the foods that make you feel good. Here’s the best part: Once you begin practicing this, you don’t even think of it anymore. It simply becomes innate to do and eat the things that make you feel your very best. Kind of a no-brainer, right?

3. “I’ll eat whenever I freakin’ feel like eating.”

A dieter’s mindset is very routine and regimented. You eat around the clock, and likely think about food a l l. d a y. l o n g. I remember ever so carefully planning out my schedule of exactly what I’d eat, and how many calories I had consumed thus far. It was absolutely exhausting! I’d often starve myself when I was hungry because I was “bad” the night before, or eat just to eat because I was so out of whack.

As you transition into normal eating habits, you begin to eat when you feel like eating. This goes back to listening to your body. What’s it craving? Is your stomach growling? Is it dinner time? Are you going out to lunch with your girls? Are you truly hungry? The rest of the time, you start to not even think about food because it becomes irrelevant.

4. “La La La, I’m having my cake and eating it too. So, about The Bachelorette last night…”

Which brings me to my next point: normal eaters don’t think about food all the effin time. They can have a slice of cake and forget about it. They can order a box of pizza, and stop at just two slices because they’re full and then forget that the leftovers are even in the fridge. They can eat “too much” one night and then get a stomach ache and drink some water or ginger tea and move on with it. There’s a whole lot of things more important than food, you know like who JoJo sent home.

5. “No mom, I’m not hungry right now! We’re building a fort!”

This one’s probably my favorite of all. Remember when you were a little kid, and your mom would ring the dinner bell but you just wanted to keep playing? That’s how normal eaters think. There’s so much other fulfilling things going on in our lives — from career to relationships to spirituality to play — that eating starts to take a seat on the back-burner. I mean, why obsess over the calories in your salad all day when you could be building a magical fort?

Do you struggle with eating “normally” now or in the past? Which of these mindsets resonates with you most?

xoxo,

Rachel

Healthy Chicks in the Community: A Soulful, Journaling, Podcasting Guru

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Happy Friday ladies! I’ve been taking the week off of social media, and it feels oh so glorious. I had a strong urge inside of me to step away from it all — the comparison, the noise, the posting of everything I’m doing — and just be. I am, however, allowing myself to check my email and blog because, well, it is kind o’ part of what I do after all ;)

Anyway, in stepping away from the social media, it’s forced me to look within. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my journal, reading, meditating and listening to inspirational talks (which ultimately led me to Katie who you’ll meet today!) I stumbled upon Katie’s podcast Let It Out with Katie Dalebout (formerly the Wellness Wonderland) during an interview she hosted with spiritual guru Gabby Bernstein.

I immediately felt connected. I was so drawn by Katie’s lighthearted sense of humor, joyful voice and her authentic way of building community — virtually! “I could totes be friends with this chick!” I thought to myself, and so I curled up with my blanket and continued to listening to podcast after podcast. It was then I discovered she also recently published a book, “Let It Out: a Journey Through Journaling.” Total rockstar.

And so I reached out to Katie to tell her how much of an impact she’s making and that I’d LOVE to feature her here, and the rest is history. I hope you fall in love with Katie’s mission as much as I have…and go listen to her podcast, like now.

NAME/AGE: Katie Dalebout, 26

BLOG/TWITTER: katiedalebout.com/blog // @katiedalebout

CURRENT CITY: Detroit, MI

PHOTO TAKEN: this past March with my best friend and photographer Abbey Moore in Detroit

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: Podcasting, blogging, writing, + more…

NUMBER ONE PASSION: Having deep conversations with people.

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: Having a really great conversation with someone and being fully present with them.

BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: I feel ugly in my body, feel worried about what people think of me and second guess myself.

TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: Avocados, Greens, Sea Veggies

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Toast and peanut butter // PB & J

SONG THAT MOVES YOU: Girl Pool, Before the World Was Big

THREE FAB THINGS ABOUT YOU: (1) I’m a great conversationalist; I can talk to anyone with ease. (2) When I focus and apply myself to something, I can be very productive and successful. (3) I have some pretty awesome ideas.

FAVORITE BODY PART: I have really strong nails.

EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: Long walks with others or with a podcast.

MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: Focus more on making your life as a whole really great and beauitful not just making your body perfect or beautiful.

Big thank you to Katie for taking part in this week’s Healthy Chicks in the Community! If you’d like to nominate yourself or a friend in the future, just email me at rachelAThealthy-chicksDOTcom

Digging into the Diet Industry + What It Means to Follow a Healthy Diet for Weight Loss

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My journey with dieting started when I was 16 years old with the South Beach Diet. I started it right after a family vacation, when it became apparent to me that my thighs were ‘huge’ and I was ‘fat.’ So I scoured the internet in search for a solution, and of course going on a diet was the number one answer from Google.

I still vividly remember sitting through English class, counting out my celery sticks and 30-calorie cheese wedges. I started the diet right around my sister’s birthday, where I avoided nearly all the food and quietly ate my ricotta ‘pudding’ in the corner as everyone else devoured the cake. I had egg beaters every morning for breakfast, turkey roll-ups at lunch and grilled chicken or fish with veggies for dinner. I avoided most fruit, all grains and bread like the plague. After all, they were ‘off limits.’

Throughout the whole diet process, it was the first time in my life I became obsessed with the scale, counting calories and losing weight. Even though I was in fact dropping pounds (mostly water weight in the beginning), I was more self-conscious than ever and literally consumed with how I looked.

Fortunately I’ve been off dieting for nearly 8 years now, but you can clearly see how they get a bad rap. After all, the diet industry makes thousands and thousands of dollars off of people — mostly women — trying to lose weight. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that many of the diets out there are revolved around cutting back, cutting out, or deprivation, which only leads to disaster in the end. After all, how many of you have gone on a diet only to go off of it, and feel even worse about yourself / gain even more weight than when you started? Trust me, I’ve been there.

The types of super strict diets that limit particular food groups, vital nutrients and make you feel bad about your body is something I cannot stand behind. They’re not healthy or sustainable.

However, something I can get behind is following a healthy diet, or more specifically a balanced way of eating, that nourishes + works for your body. And I’m happy to see that the folks at Tufts Medical Center recognize this and the negative effects that can come from the diet industry. It’s less about deprivation, and more about providing guidelines on food combinations, portioning, variety, and even frequency of eating. In fact, Tufts Medical Center even states that many of their patients trying to lose weight actually aren’t eating enough to manage their hunger. So it’s not always about cutting back after all! ;)

So maybe you’re happy with your weight and don’t need to lose any weight, and that’s phenomenal! But if you are looking to shed a few pounds (for you, not because some diet commercial told you that you should), then going on yet another strict diet is probably not the answer. Rather, focusing on ADDING IN the good stuff & following a nutritious, balanced meal plan can help you see the results you want.

Here are some basic guidelines from Tufts Medical Center of what you’ll want to add in:

  • Lean protein like chicken, turkey, beef, eggs, greek yogurt, lowfat cheeses, nuts, nut butters (almond is my fave!), beans, tofu and tempeh
  • High fiber fruits & veggies like berries, apples, pears, oranges, peaches, kale + leafy greens, spinach, zucchini, brussels sprouts and cabbage. I like to stick to local, seasonal and organic as much as possible! (Note: if you don’t already have a spiralizer, get one. Zucchini ‘noodles’ are the bomb dot com.)
  • Whole grains like barley, oats, quinoa, whole grain bread + pasta. Fun fact: I eat gluten free for the most part so our cabinet is filled with quinoa, quinoa pasta and brown rice. Hubby doesn’t even know the difference! ;)
  • Heart-healthy fats like quality olive oils, avocados, and nuts. Did you know fat can actually help keep you full and is an essential part of a healthy diet? All those fat-free diets of the past can take a hike!
  • Lots and lots and lots of H2O! I like to add lemon + mint during the summer to spruce it up.

So what’s my verdict on this whole diet thing?

I am not a fan of the typical industry definition of a diet, and never will be. I don’t believe in depriving yourself to look a certain way, and your body does not deserve that sort of shame and restriction ever. I am cool with nourishing yourself with real food, and eating in a way that works for your body. And if losing weight is one of your goals and you need support on meal plans, portion control, and calorie consumption, then seeing a respectable dietitian who can support you is a good option.

However, if you’re like I used to be and struggle with body image, calorie counting, and obsessing over the scale, taking a more holistic route by working with a health coach is probably a better option for you. In fact, because of the struggles I’ve personally gone through I now work with women, by empowering them to nourish their mind, body + soul through wholesome food and self-love.

What about you? Have you ever gone on a strict diet that drove you crazy? Seen a dietitian? Worked with a health coach? What do you think of when you hear the word ‘diet’ vs. ‘following a healthy diet’?

xoxo,

Rachel

Note: This post is sponsored by Tufts Medical Center, but as always all opinions are my own. I partnered with the brand to write this article but every word is mine.


My Transition From Food Fear to Food Love (& Escaping the Vicious Cycle)

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As a child, I absolutely adored food. I was lucky to grow up in a household that valued good food, and sitting down for family dinners. My mom’s chicken parmesan, shepherd’s pie and chicken devan were absolutely to-die-for, and I cherished each and every bite.

I have fond memories walking into my grandmother’s house to the comforting aroma of a fresh pot of homemade chicken noodle soup. I loved helping my grandma cook, plopping celery and carrots into the boiling water ever so carefully to assure I wouldn’t get burnt. She taught me how to make pierogies (making sure to pinch the dough juuuust right), and that there’s nothing sweeter than a tomato picked fresh from the garden with just a pinch of salt.

Food was love. And we all loved to eat.

Somewhere along the way, that all changed. I learned that food was “bad” and would in turn make me fat. And so the self-depricating, fat-shaming deprivation began. Food consumed me for a solid 6+ years of my life. It was always on my mind, and I completely let it dictate my life. I’d skip out on dates, dinner with friends, and fabulous opportunities all because of my fear of food.

Going out to dinner was the worst, as each meal was more like a science project than a joyous occasion. I’d sit there and dissect every little bite, count the calories and make sure I didn’t eat “too much.”

I vividly remember the spring during my senior year of college, when all of my girlfriends were going out to celebrate the last semester with margaritas and Mexican. At the time, it was my version of complete hell. I sat in my room by myself, contemplating whether I should go or not. All the while, I was super angry at myself for not being able to “loosen up” and have fun like the rest of my friends, whose thoughts were consumed with far more glamorous things than food. At the same time, I was scared shitless of what might happen if I did go: the calories I’d consume, the guilt I’d feel, what the number might say on the scale the next morning.

After a couple of hours of pondering — and some peer pressure from my friends — I decide to go. I snacked on chips and salsa all night, and then ordered a margarita on the rocks (because all the other girls got one and I didn’t want to feel out of place.) I drank half of it and immediately felt the sugar making me fatter. While everyone else was laughing, cheers-ing and celebrating, all I could think about was all the calories I was consuming.

Why can’t I just be like them? Will this cycle ever end? How can I be free?

Years later — through lots of soul-searching, positive mantra and self-love practices — I began to discover the notion of food as a celebration, an experience. And everything changed.

I realized that food wasn’t the villain; it was my mindset + relationship with my body that needed to change.

Nowadays, some of my fondest memories revolve around the table surrounded by food.

It brings me back to a summer I spent in Southern Italy during college. I was living in a tiny little village by the water, with an apartment that didn’t have a scale. Not to mention, the food there did not come with a label (as it was fresh, real food) so there was literally no way to track my calories.

I was on my own and, while I didn’t see it at the time, forced to improve the relationship I had with food.  I purchased fresh produce, cheese and bread from the local market (loving the fact that I could communicate in Italian!), I put olive oil on almost everything and indulged in a little bit of gelato almost daily.

One evening, some of the girls in my group were invited to an authentic Italian meal at a local’s house. We sat outside on a family-style farm table, enjoying a home-cooked 6-course meal. Although the salad was fresh as can be and the garlicky seafood-adorned pasta was absolutely decadent, it was the first time in years I wasn’t thinking about the food.

I looked around and thought about how lucky I was to be in such great company in a beautiful new country. I soaked in the vibe of the romantic, candle-lit table setting. When I closed my eyes, I felt the sea breeze swaying through my hair and heard the laughter carry across the table.

While I didn’t realize it at the time, that is what celebrating food is all about.

Have you ever struggled with your relationship with food + your body? Do you create specific rules for yourself when it comes to food?

New Moon Mantras: Getting Clear + Setting Your Intention for the Year Ahead

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Good afternoon, beautiful souls! There’s something magical about a new month, don’t you think? It paves the doorway for new beginnings and gives you a sense of “permission” that it’s OK to change paths, re-route, or heck even start over. This is especially true when the start of a month begins with a new moon like today. Where are my fellow astrology sisters out there? ;)

New moons have been known to symbolize letting go of the past, and making way for a fresh start. It’s the perfect time to set intentions, get clear about your heart’s true desires, and re-set your focus. Make sense, right?

And according to The AstroTwin’s, tonight’s new moon in Leo may actually spark your inner creative genius + give you a little confidence booster to boot. So for all my fellow creatives out there, this new moon is totally working on your side!

As I reflect upon the new moons + what I’d like to manifest in the year ahead, 3 phrases immediately come to mind: abundance, focus + vibrant feminine energy.

I’m going to take some time today to write out some affirmation cards, and then spend some time journaling what exactly those words + phrases mean to me.

Would you like to join me? I’d love to hear your new moon mantras + what you’d like to manifest into your life!

xoxo,

Rachel

Healthy Chicks in the Community: A Colorful, Artsy, Creative Dancing Queen

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Happy Friday, loves! Hope you had a fabulous week. Mine was super blissful, filled with a trip to Briggs Garden Center, lot o’ journaling fun, and putting the finishing touches on an exciting creative project I’m launching soon. PS If you missed yesterday’s post, I’m starting a weekly (virtual) journaling club in August and would love you ladies to join.

Anyway, I’m super pumped to bring you this week’s feature on Healthy Chicks in the Community, a weekly series celebrating badass women doing their thing. When you’re a blogger and social media addict, you tend to socialize with many people on the interwebs, many of whom you’ve never even met IRL (in real life). Some of those “online friends” you connect with more than others because they just “vibe” with you, and Sanae is one of those people.

She’s such a beautiful soul — inside & out — and I’m so glad that social media brought us together. I first “met” her through some comments on my instagram feed, and quickly realized what an inspiring, cool, rockstar of a woman she is — all the ingredients for a Healthy Chick in the Community. She even has her own Etsy shop — you must check it out ;)

Alas, I introduce you to Sanae; I hope you find as much inspiration from her as I have!

NAME/AGE: Sanae Ferreira/28

BLOG/TWITTER: Blog: Where the BlueBoots Go (bluebootsgo.com) Twitter: @dieTribebyS

CURRENT CITY: Boston, MA

PHOTO TAKEN (WHERE/WHEN): On the blissful streets of Paris in the 7eme district in June 2015.

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: I am a doctoral candidate in Nutrition & Metabolism at a medical school in Boston. I am not a dietician (which is what most people think when I first tell them what I do) but I do research with kids to understand what diet, family, and body shape factors put them at higher risk for obesity and later cardiovascular disease. That’s my most professional hat I wear at the moment.

I also write my blog and do some freelance writing and editorial work. I design jewelry art and paint custom pieces for home, gifts, or weddings on my Etsy shop inspiréebyS, which incorporates my love for all things French (inspireée=inspired) with a combination of colors, textures, feelings that I express in my art.

NUMBER ONE PASSION: This is hard! I would say working on any project where I can be creative and make organized messes with lots of color.

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: Well-rested, well-fed, and in-tune with what is going on inside and outside of me. All it takes is one day when I wake up feeling terrible to realize the gift of health, the presence of wellness. I like to wake up early in the morning and have quiet time to appreciate being alive. The ideal morning starts like this, with some prayer and reflection to fuel up my joy, then some exercise – yoga or barre – followed by a light but filling healthy juice or smoothie.

BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: The weight of responsibility to fulfilling my investment in my education and career, pursuit of success in creative endeavors, keeping up with friends, and maintaining a pleasant place to live can be overwhelming. In those cases, a slow walk in the neighborhood, talking with a friend or my husband, sitting and daydreaming for a while, doodling, or watching an episode or two of Friends or Gilmore Girls is just the ticket to cheer me up.

TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES:

Edible: 1) I always have a lemon available because I’m constantly drinking lemon water. It tastes good, and is cleansing. 2) Green living things – currently, basil, apple mint, and rosemary. 3) bananas – easy on-the- go fuel or snack.

Inedible: 1) cast iron pan 2) colorful and fun patterned dishtowels 3) coffee and tea –lots of varieties

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: I’m half Chinese and there’s a chinese spicy dish that I love called ma po tofu – it’s a spicy, saucy dish with soft tofu and ground pork that is just so comforting over rice. I like it without meat too!

SONG THAT MOVES YOU: Literally, “Better When I’m Dancin’” by Megan Trainor is a song I play on repeat when I’m at work and need to power through the afternoon. It always energizes me when I dance to the beat a little. It’s our little secret :-) .

“Show the world you’ve got that fire
Feel the rhythm getting louder
Show the world what you can do
Prove to them you’ve got the moves
I don’t know about you,  but
I feel better when I’m dancing, yeah, yeah.”

A precious verse of a hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness, that I love very much and is moving goes like this:
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

THREE FAB THINGS ABOUT YOU: I’m colorful, calm (mostly), and creative.

FAVORITE BODY PART: Lips or eyes. Because I like them, and not because anyone else does!

EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: I love yoga, barre, and Body Jam – a cardio dance class. Moving to a beat makes me just as happy as flowing from downward dog to tranquil child’s pose.

MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: Find your tribe that will support your flourishing presence. We are often striving and challenging ourselves, which can be great, but always check in and listen to what is going on inside. No matter of the instant “pay off,” if you don’t have wellbeing, you don’t have happiness. It isn’t something people our age thinks of, but even if we’re young now, we have to start thinking of healthy aging because aging is a natural process. We have the opportunity to make healthy choices every day to age beautifully or else spend years trying to undo damage and catch up. Adequate sleep, reflection time, a diet which fuels and renews you, caring for what you eat and apply to your skin or hair, and staying active and flexible are all so important.

Finally, take care of your whole being – physical, mental, social, spiritual. Envision where you want to be. How do you feel? What do you look like? Are you smiling? Just imagining yourself as your best self helps bring happy hormones to be active and helps engage your whole self in a cycle conducive to a positive state of being.

I’d love to connect and talk about any of this more, so thanks for reading, and thank you so much, Rachel, for asking me to be a part of Healthy Chicks this week!

Big thank you to Sanae for taking part in this week’s Healthy Chicks in the Community! If you’d like to nominate yourself or a friend in the future, just email me at rachelAThealthy-chicksDOTcom

How Journaling Turned My Life Around {+ 4 Week Virtual Journaling Workshop for Women}

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Journaling saved my life.

“Huh?” you must be thinking. “How could a piece of pen & some paper do such a thing?”

But you see it’s far more than just simply jotting down words. Journaling is a way to express yourself, unleash creativity, pour out all the emotions, and get clear about what it is your heart truly desires.

When you think about it, many of us had our first experience with a journal during childhood — in the form of a diary. Little girls everywhere would rush home from school writing down the latest gossip, deep secrets and magical fantasies. If you’re like me, many of my entries are filled with things like “Today I have a crush on____.” “Joey didn’t talk to me on the playground today.” “She’s my BFF forever and ever and ever.”

While it may seem silly, at the time it was my little Rachel’s way of venting; it was therapeutic in a sense. After all, nothing you write in a journal is off limits.

However, it’s the journaling I deep-dived into as an adult that truly was the game-changer for me. In my early days of college, I wrote a lot about heartbreak, body insecurities and my distorted relationship with food. Upon graduation, I used my journal to keep track of my hopes and dreams, and jot inspirations as I overcame my struggle with weight and began to fall back in love with my body.

Through my mid twenties, my journal stood beside me through financial fears, career changes and the feeling of falling in love, and nowadays it helps me walk through setting my intention, understanding what it is that I want and getting clear on my business visions.

During these times (both the dark & the bright) I truly don’t know what I would have done without the comfort of my little magical book. If it wasn’t for my journal, support and self-care, I’d likely still be dieting, hating my body, feeling deprived and living a life where I felt stuck.

Today I even have multiple journals for different types of ideas — one for creative insights, business, and personal ramblings. It’s important to me that the particular journal I’m using has a certain “vibe” and purpose.

So where am I going with all of this? Maybe you journal, maybe you don’t. Maybe you intend to journal but forget, or write in it occasionally a couple times a year / around the holidays. Maybe you try to write but the words just don’t come out, you’re afraid to get real with your thoughts, or you just “don’t have time.”

I get it. Journaling is much more challenging as an adult, because let’s be real: life is much more challenging and dynamic. But I’m telling you once you begin incorporating journaling into your daily routine, things begin to open up for you. Life becomes more clear. It’s easier to understand how exactly you want to feel & what it is you truly want.

That’s why I want to make things easier for you…and will be launching a 4-week girl’s night out journaling club in August. Think of it as a book club with less reading, and lots more writing, empowerment and witty banter. Oh P.S. It’s virtual, so you can take part anywhere you may be!

4 Week Girl’s Night Out Journaling Club

WHO: You! Any gal that wants to get more into journaling and have some breakthroughs along the way, all while surrounded by a bunch of feel-good ladies. Feel free to share with your girlfriends, the more the merrier!

WHAT: Think of it as a healthy, judgment free, blissful girls night out. We’ll cover topics like settings intentions, self care, unlocking creativity, busting through body insecurities, and celebrating / finding joy with food. Each virtual meeting will be chock-full of personal stories, juicy positive mantras, inspiring journaling prompts, and fun projects for the week to keep those creative juices flowing. BYOJ! (Bring Your Own Journal!)

WHY: Because adult journaling is the bomb, and I want to help you get on a pathway of falling in love with your journal while getting real with yourself. Plus, who doesn’t love spending Wednesday nights with a bunch of inspiring ladies?

WHEN: 4 virtual meetings – Wednesday 8/3, 8/10, 8/17, 8/31 @ 6PM EST (You can join for all or pick & choose which ones you’d like, but you’ll definitely get the most out of it by joining for the entire month!)

8/3: New Moon Mantras – Identifying how you want to feel + the power of intention 6PM EST

8/10:  Cultivating Creativity – Unleashing Your Creative Bada*s + Getting Unstuck (In any area of your life) 6PM EST

8/17: For the Love of Food – Celebrating + Finding Joy with Food 6PM EST

8/31: Body Bliss – Breaking Through Body Insecurities + Comparisons and Mastering Self-care 6PM EST

COST:

I’m keeping the cost way down because I firmly believe in the power of journaling, and want to share it with you beautiful souls! I’m also planning on taking these workshops live, so this virtual program is a pilot of sorts ;)

Single Session: $5

4-pack: $18

EMAIL ME TO BOOK

Hope you can join us, grab your girlfriends!

xoxo,

Rachel

5 Feel-Good, Non-BS Mantras to Get You Through Those Summer Body Woes

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Good afternoon, babes! Hope you’re having an amazing week, and soaking up some sunshine. Hubby & I just moved into our new place in the ‘burbs yesterday, and we’re already loving the simplicity and quiet. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore Boston, but I’m definitely a country gal at heart ;)

Anyway, I wanted to let you in on a little secret over here: I used to absolutely hate my body, in particular my “fat thighs.” I was super self-conscious to the extent that I wouldn’t wear jeans or shorts, let alone be caught dead exposed in a bathing suit. Trust me, I had the worst tan lines!

By focusing on what I hated about my body, my mind was filled with negative thoughts like “I am not good enough,” “If only I could have her body” and “Once I lose some weight and that thigh jiggle, maybe then I’ll be happy.”

Newsflash: those thoughts got me no where.

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of negative bod talk stemming from the whole “bikini body” goals. It’s all over the place on social media, tabloids, magazines, and blog posts shouting at us ladies that THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD LOOK LIKE! THIS IS WHAT’S CONSIDERED BEAUTIFUL! THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO MAKE YOUR BODY LOOK LIKE THIS! LOOK AT MY BODY! DO THESE THINGS AND THEN YOU’LL LOOK GOOD ENOUGH TO WEAR A BIKINI ON THE BEACH! THE WAY YOUR BODY LOOKS IS WHAT DEFINES YOU!

Pretty negative shit, huh?

When I was on my journey through overcoming food fear & body hate, these kinds of messages from the media were super triggering for me. They made me feel small, fat, and hopeless. The more I compared, the more I hated my body and wanted to be like someone else.

It wasn’t until I looked within that things started to shift for me, and 99% of that had to do with my mindset.

Been there? Here are 5 non-bs mantras to help shift your mindset from negative to self-love next time your feeling that summertime sadness.

1. (SELF)LOVE WINS.

I choose to love + honor myself exactly where I am right now. After all, self-love is the most powerful kind o’ love.

2. MY BODY IS MY BODY & SHE IS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL + MIRACULOUS.

It is not her body, it is my body. Sometimes my thighs jiggle when I run, and my arms don’t look like that woman’s in the magazine. But it is my own and does magical things for me; I love her for that.

3. WHEN I FEEL GOOD INSIDE, I SEND POSITIVE VIBES OUT INTO THE UNIVERSE.

I choose to focus on the good as best I can, and send those positive thoughts out into the world. (And you bet that comes right back at ya! Karma, baby.)

4. I MOVE IN THE WAY THAT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD + DANCE TO MY OWN SONG.

I choose to do the things that light me up inside, rather than focus on the number of calories burned, how “hard” a workout is or what that other girl is doing. If it feels miserable, it aint worth it.

5. EFF THE NUMBER ON THE SCALE.

Seriously, that sh*t doesn’t mean a thing, and it’s about darn time I quit obsessing. Rather than spending my time counting calories and weighing in, I choose to do the things I love. Happiness trumps that silly number any day.

Do you struggle with body confidence? What do you do to keep your thoughts positive?

xoxo,

Rachel


A Blazing Summer + Fitbit Giveaway

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Hello beautiful ladies! Hope you’re off to one heck of a summer; I know I am. I left my full-time job, celebrated my 29th birthday, camped with some of my faves, chilled by the ocean, took an incredible calligraphy class, and have been eating all the food. Um, hello wine + cheese.

One of my favorite parts about summer is being outdoors and staying active — be it hiking, long walks on the beach collecting sea glass, morning runs or standup paddleboarding.

Fitbit makes it easier than ever to track all of your activities in a stylish, simple way. With the latest and greatest member of their active line — the Fitbit Blaze – they’ve totally pumped it up a notch. I absolutely love the plum wristband on the one I was given (my fave color!) but it also comes in blue and black if purple’s not your thing.

Check out these sleek features to see why I’m lovin’ the Blaze:

  • Connected GPS™ maps routes and delivers real-time exercise stats on device like distance and pace (using the GPS from your connected smartphone).
  • Cool one-of-a-kind screen features like color touch screen and music control. Ya gotta have those beats!
  • PurePulse® continuous, wrist-based heart rate tracking helps maximize training, maintain workout intensity, and better track calorie burn and optimize health without the need for an uncomfortable chest strap.
  • Multi-sport mode records your core workouts like runs, cardio, cross-training, biking and more while providing relevant, real-time performance stats on display. PurePulse is enhanced while in Multi-sport mode for even better heart rate tracking, especially during high intensity workouts.
  • SmartTrack™ automatic exercise recognition effortlessly records workouts and gives you credit toward weekly exercise goals in the Fitbit app. It automatically recognizes and records continuous movement activities like biking, hiking, running and sports including basketball, soccer and tennis, and more.
  • FitStar™ on-screen workouts with guided instructions and images provide on-the-go exercises right on your wrist to coach you along. This is great for cross-training in between runs, for example.
  • All-day tracking of steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, and active minutes.
  • Automatically track how long and how well you sleep, and set a silent, vibrating alarm.
  • Stylish from work to workout: Fitbit’s most stylish tracker yet has you covered throughout your day. In fact, you can even change out the band with one of their leather bands to seamlessly take your Fitbit from work to workout.

I’m super excited to take my new blazin’ bff out for a run, and test out all the cool new features! It’ll pair perfectly with my brand new purple Nike sneaks ;)

Ready, Set, GO…It’s giveaway time!

Lucky for you chickies, I’m giving away a brand new Fitbit Blaze to one of my readers. To enter, simply:

1. Leave a comment with your favorite way to stay fit during the summer.

2. Bonus point for tweeting: “It’s one blazing summer! Enter @healthy_chicks giveaway for a chance to win a @Fitbit Blaze http://healthy-chicks.com/?p=7310″ (just be sure to leave another comment over here)

P.S. Fellow Boston babes, stay fit all summer long with Fitbit Local. There’s some pretty great events coming up (Outdoor Bootcamp or Hiphop Yoga, anyone?) to keep you moving & shaking as you continue your blazin’ hot summer.

Giveaway ends Tuesday, July 26 at 5PM, and is open to residents in the US. Note: I was given a Fitbit Blaze to review on the blog, but all opinions are my own.


 
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