Personal Development Book Review #1

So I know I said in this post that I was going to get a review out on the personal development books I had read by end of May…and here we are middle of June and it obviously hasn’t happened yet. So I’m making it happen now! Honestly, I had hoped to have a 3rd book finished by now to add to this review, but life has been busy so I only have 2. But that’s okay because these two books are seriously amazing and worth reading!

Book #1: You Are A Badass (7/10)

So as you can see, the first book I read was You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. I actually read this one for a book club a few months back, not really knowing about the book, just wanting to take part in the book club for that month. The tagline for the book is: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. I was really intrigued to read it because for a while now I’ve been wanting to level-up, do more, go farther, go higher, etc. As I’ve grown up and gotten older, I’ve kinda always been getting that way; where I don’t want to just get complacent with where I am; I want to constantly and continually grow, become better, and learn more–working towards my potential. This book definitely helps with that.

Each chapter has sound advice on how to become yourself-the best badass there is! So many of us have so much potential but we don’t go out there and get it because we doubt ourselves, or we have fears or are scared to jump in. Well, this book certainly helps you realize things in life and about yourself to understand that YOU CAN DO IT. You can take control of your life, be confident, and go out to conquer whatever it is you want to do. Each chapter also has an ending not with “homework”. I say homework, but it’s really just ideas and real-life actions to take in taking steps towards living your awesome, doubt-free life.

The only downside I would have to this book is–compared to my next one I’m about to review–the action steps were sometimes harder to implement. You see for me, I am really good at reading and love the idea of growth and change, but sometimes am not the best at applying what I’ve read. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot from this book. And maybe it just takes time to implement and apply what you’ve read to your life. I may go back and read this book in a few months to see if things have changed. But anyway, whether or not you doubt yourself or feel like you are living an awesome life, this book is a great read to everyone and anyone who wants to personally develop and consistently grow!

Book #2: The Happiness Equation (10/10)

The second book I read and just finished last week is The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha. I absolutely LOVED this book. This had been one of the books on my list and I had heard good things about it, so I went in with high expectations (as should you from reading this review) and let me tell you, it did not disappoint!! The basics of the equation, because yes there is an actual equation, is in 3 parts. Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything. The book is written into 9 secrets, split 3 secrets into each section of the equation. So 3 secrets for Want Nothing, 3 for Do Anything and 3 for Have Everything. What I really liked about it was that each secret seemed more applicable to my life and I actually find myself remembering the secrets throughout my day such as “Do it for you” or “Remember the lottery”. I am really focusing my mind around embracing these secrets to be my happiest, and best self!

Each secret is broken up into chapters with real-life example, action ideas, history, etc. all on these secrets, what they mean, how they work and why you need to implement them in your own life. For example, I’ll give you the first secret..but no more because I want you to read and discover them on your own. The first secret is: The First Thing You Must Do BEfore You Can Be Happy which is “Be Happy First”. Might sound cliché, but his explanations and examples so good and help you to see life and your attitude in a whole new light. The current happiness circle people assume is: Work Hard –> Be Successful –> Be Happy. Yet so many celebs, professional athletes, people with money successful people are still unsatisfied or unhappy even when they get to that top-level. And that is because happiness should not be based on an event or certain level of something–no, you need to be happy first. The new circle looks like this: Be Happy First –> Work Hard –> be Successful. When you’re happy right where you are being who you are, you will want to work hard which will in turn make you successful–however that looks in your life.

As I mentioned before, reading PD books may have started out as a book club, but the reason I read them now is because I never want to stay right where I am. One of my biggest fears in life is missing out on my potential and never fulling realizing what I can and want to do,and then doing it. I’m constantly wanting to learn and grow, working on myself to become the BEST that I can. I want to get in this habit now so that I won’t look back with regrets when I’m older. Personally, I have a list of about 15-20 (and am always looking for more) and you don’t have to be exactly like that, but I do encourage you to read a few personal development books like these because it can honestly only make you better Never stop learning or growing so that you can achieve exactly all that you want!

The Big Self-Confidence Killer

I’m going to try and keep this post short and sweet and to the point because this is honestly such an important topic that need be said once and then applied to your own life! If you follow me on Instagram (@beyoutifully.healthy) or have kept up with my blogs, you know that confidence is something I struggle with (as many people do) and am constantly fighting to work on. It’s not easy, yet it is so important to love yourself and truly live confidently. And so that’s why today I’m just going to talk over, in my opinion, the number one self-confidence killer: social media. 

Yes, you read that right. The one thing that connects us to family and friends, allows us to post great pictures of our memories, and helps us to discover new people, places, things, etc. is a confidence killer. Here’s why. As I mentioned people post great pictures on here, of who they’re with, where they are, what they’re doing. And how many times have you scrolled through some social media feed and felt jealous, unhappy with your life, upset at being left out, negative thoughts towards you and your body? I’m sure every single one of us has been through that before, and IT SUCKS. It really, truly sucks. One minute you’re feeling great about yourself or an experience you just had when suddenly you lose all that. Why? Because you saw someone else’s post, tweet, comment, picture, etc. that was “better” than you/yours.

This is silly for two reasons, 1) just because they have or did something, doesn’t take anything away from what you have or did and 2) social media is a highlight reel! What I mean by this is that people aren’t going to post about times when they’re feeling sad or lonely, they aren’t going to show their bodies on a bad body day when they feel bloated and sick, they’re aren’t going to write about missing out on opportunities with friends. NO! They’re going to write, post, show their best moments of themselves and their lives–the highlight reel. And while there is nothing wrong with that, there is something majorly wrong with the effects it has when you let someone else’s social post affect and dictate your life, attitude, mood, happiness, etc.

So go ahead and still use social media–it truly is a great connection and community source. But realize that what you see is people’s best and do not let yourself get caught up in the comparison, one-upping cycle feeling. There is plenty of happiness and success to go around so don’t let someone else’s success, happiness, good times ruin or downgrade yours! Realize that you have so much going for you in your life. Be grateful for what you DO have rather than feeling upset for what someone else has that you don’t. Understand that your worth, value, and beauty has nothing to do with the scale, your looks, or what others think. You are truly amazing and beautiful just the way you are (hey I should put that in a song), and once you start living like that you will realize that you have so much going for you and find true happiness.

When you are truly self-confident, nothing and no one can bring you down or affect you. And that is being Beyoutifully Healthy!


Recovery Update #1

Normally, I post information meant to inform, help, motivate you, the reader! Today I decided I would post a little different. I think it’ll still be helpful to those who are or know someone who is going through similar things, and I’m hoping it’ll be informative and helpful to others to–to get the inside scoop on recovery, and the truth and difficulties behind it. I’m not really planning or formatting this one out; instead I just want it to be a collection of my thoughts and what I want others to see and know. So without further ado, here is recovery update #1.

I’m not gonna lie (nor does anyone else in this situation) recovery is hard. Fortunately and unfortunately for me, my ED took more of the mental toll rather than physical, meaning that while I did lose quite a bit of weight for myself, I never got down super low or fragile physical-state wise. Fortunately this meant that although I had to gain some weight (not easy btw), it’s wasn’t a dire situation. Unfortunately though, the mental state for anyone is usually the hardest. I hear or see a lot of people saying to or about anorexia why don’t they just eat. It’s literally a choice between eating and living or not and dying. And while the basis of this is true, it’s really not that simple. Trust me I wish it were. I wish it were as simple as you hear that you need to eat or that there are no “good” or “bad” foods, and that everything is okay in moderation, and you automatically comply and apply it to your life. But the mental struggle is still so tough that your mind starts trying to creep bad ED thoughts back in. Like that you don’t deserve this food or don’t eat that food, or maybe you ate a lot today so you’ll cut back tomorrow. Every single day is a battle to fight this.

But luckily, I have seen progress, and if you ask my family they will agree that I am way better place than I was before–but it’s still tough. People may think that gaining weight and eating a lot of food is the “dream” or “easy”, but it’s really not. It’s hard to have to eat food when you’re full, or to never feel hungry. I’ve slowed my metabolism way down with my ED so my hunger cues are off and I’m usually not very hungry. It’s hard to make sure that I’m fueling the gain with mostly whole, healthy foods with some slight treats here and there (rather than eating burgers, fries, ice cream, pizza, etc.). And most of all, it’s a hard battle when you know you need to gain weight–and you want to because you want to build muscle–but you’re scared of gaining weight all the same and you are afraid to eat in too big a surplus (needed for any weight gain).

On the other side, sometimes I get what is called extreme hunger. Times where even after having a full day of food (2400-2500 calories) I would go to the kitchen and start snacking on what I could find–pita chips, granola, berries, etc. I would even “hide” by standing in my pantry while I did this, ashamed that I was doing it. (Very hard to admit this). I thought that I had now gotten binge eating disorder, but that’s not true!! Extreme hunger is normal in recovery as your body starts getting the food and fuel it needs. It may seem contradictory to complain about both ends of the spectrum, but in recovery, this can be hard mentally and physically.

Now I don’t mean to just show the negative and bad parts because there have been good times! There are days when I stop in the middle of my workout because I look and feel so strong. There are days I wake up, start my day, and think to myself dang, I’m a bad*** and stinkin’ awesome for what I do and who I am. I overcome my fears like eating an entire slice of cheesecake (4000 calories that day) or not working out after eating a lot. There are plenty of good days to go with the bad days–body image wise, physically, mentally, facing fears, combatting challenges, etc.

I think if I could let everyone take one thing away from this post it would be this: in recovery there will be good days and bad days.But you cannot let those bad days beat you down and keep you from the good days. Yes recovery is hard and it’s a long journey (depending on where you started), but at the end of the road, it’ll all be worth it. I’m not where I want to be yet–I still have so much room to improve–but I know from seeing others that happiness will once again fill my life and I will no longer be in the hands of my ED. It’ll always be a part of me because it was a huge part of my life and it is what has made me who I am today, but it will no longer be the master of my life: I WILL! Everyday just keep your head high, keep fighting, and keep coming out on top! Keep being Beyoutifully Healthy!

Unguarded and Unbothered

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me post pictures using the hashtag “#unguardedandunbothered” a few times, or maybe someone else has used it. **And if you don’t follow me, hit me up (@beyoutifully.healthy) for awesome tips, meals, workouts, etc.** This Unguarded and Unbothered movement was started by Desiree (@desb_) and it has really taken off. I wanted to write a short post on what it means to me and the true power behind this movement.

If you search this hashtag on Instagram, you’ll see lots of pictures that are just natural–no posing, lighting, flexing, turning, essentially no, what society may deem, “perfect pic”. It shows people of all ages, body types, fitness levels, backgrounds, etc. being proud of who they truly are. And not to say that there is anything wrong with posting a good lighting, posed picture o yourself, showing off your muscles and best angles. You have every right to be happy and proud and want to share the results of your hard work–you deserve it!! The problem is that social media, especially Instagram, tends to be highlight reels–only the best pictures at the best times doing the best things are shown. So people start to compare their bodies, lives, relationships, routines, etc. with those that they see in the pictures which often leads to upset, frustrated, bad feelings towards their own lives because it doesn’t look or live up to those that they see. But it is important to remember that it is just a highlight usually, and they don’t walk around looking or living like that all the time!! It’s important to realize that it isn’t all reality.

That’s why I love this movement so much–it’s showing the reality side of life, lifting, muscle gain, fitness, bodies…you name it! People are deciding that along with their posed, flexin’ pictures, they will also post themselves in their natural state–how they are for most of the day. Now this takes a lot of courage to post! I was nervous about joining this movement because in reality when I am eating 2500-2700 calories a day and drinking 12-14 glasses a day, after I wake up, it isn’t always pretty when I deal with full stomach, bloating, and getting slightly fluffy. Heck, I even sometimes wake up bloated from my night snack before bed! But then when I started seeing these posts and realizing that I wasn’t alone in this, I knew I had to hop on and join!

Sometimes I even wonder if it did good because I am still hiding behind my screen when I post, but I realized that this movement began working in my life. When I first took my natural photo in the middle of the afternoon, I realized that I actually liked what I saw. Did I have abs showing? No. Was I bloated? Yes, slightly. Did my muscles perfectly pop out and look lean? No. But I looked strong, I looked healthier than when I was trying to be as super skinny, I looked like me. And that is exactly who I want to embrace and be!! I still struggle with good and bad body image days and with hating certain parts of my body like my nose, my eye bags, or the fact that due to genetics I tend to hold my fat in my lower stomach areas! (I’m sure you can relate to picking apart your body.) But I’m realizing that it’s not about how I look, but about who I am as a person that matters!! It’s my passion I live life with, it’s my dry sense of humor, it’s my crazy weirdness, it’s my heart, it’s my work ethic and discipline, it’s my personality…all these things mean way more in the world than whether or not I have a flat stomach, abs, a butt, or perfectly toned body. And if that isn’t the case with someone, then I’m sorry but you need to ditch them from your lives. Why? Because you deserve more, you are worth more, than someone who just sees your outer appearance!

I encourage you to join in on this too, whether on social media or just in your own life. Be Unguarded: be real and open about who you are truly are; love your body no matter how it looks and be confident enough to rock BOTH who you are and how you look every single day NO MATTER WHAT!! Be Unbothered: be comfortable and confident showing the real you; don’t be concerned with comments and comparisons from others, instead be interested in just showing and being you!!

Be Beyoutifully Healthy because when you live to the fullest, doing what makes you happy, being healthy, and living with confidence in you, your body, and what you’re capable of, without caring what others think, you are undeniably #UnguardedandUnbothered