Happy Dad's Day!

Dad - Happy Birthday and Father’s Day! Thank goodness we get it all in one go right -  combined celebrations and gifts! Of course I can’t let this day go by without documenting it online - guess it is a millennial thing - but instead of reiterating the words I said last year I instead wanted to shift my focus to a few things I have learned from you over the years.

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I think that my aspirations to become my own boss, and dare I say, entrepreneur (stay tuned for a later post on this word!), is because of you. We watched you for years as you worked your ass off for our family. Long hours, stressful days, overseeing employees, nurturing customer relationships, and maintaining your relationships with your kids and wife. The juggling act you did always seemed effortless and you really did care about it all - mom, your kids, your employees, the customers and suppliers you dealt with, the kids you coached. In honour of your hard work and success, I decided that today I wanted to share the things you taught me that I am trying to implement as I build my own brand and business.

  1. Relationships are everything. Nurture the relationships around you. In your personal life take care of those you care most about as they are more important than any career move that can happen. They will always be there in your corner to cheer you on during the good times and pick you up during the tough times. When it comes to business relationships - they are the key to your success. For me, it has been about getting to know my clients on a more personal level, ensuring they feel confident when they leave, following up after a workout or an event, and genuinely caring for each person who crosses my path. I have already seen it, but I now know that those are the people who will be loyal to you and your business.
  2. Keep your eyes on the prize. Although not every job you have may be your favourite, keep looking beyond to the future. Whether it is to simply earn money at the time, gain experience, build your clientele, or grind it out under a horrible manager, everything plays a role. As hard as it is to see at the time, you are meant to be exactly where you are. That hard time builds grit and mental toughness to conquer the next big move, because like anyone who runs their own business knows there will always be obstacles to overcome and problems to solve.
  3. Put in the hours when no one else is willing to. I remember my dad’s friend telling us how when he first started his business he worked ALL the time. He only had a small group of people working for him and it was his responsibility to get it all done. I don’t think it ever stopped but especially in the first years it is imperative to grind it out and work your hardest. I asked my dad earlier this year how long it took him to really feel ‘successful’. His answer? Fifteen years! The work never stops if you want to be successful.
  4. Outsource to those who have skills you lack.  As much as we joke in our family the catch phrase of “”asking Ron” is a real thing. My dad has been a big supporter of honing in on your best skills. Whatever is left over is then passed on to someone you trust but who possesses skills in other areas. For me, it has been enlisting the help of friends who understand marketing and social media better as I am still learning.

Whether you are starting your own business or just want to be the best in your career this advice can be put to good use. Dad, I hope that my business can be even half as successful as yours - let’s check back in in fifteen years?

Yours in self-discovery,

Rachel

The Atelier Collective Review

This past Thursday I attended The Atelier Collective conference hosted at the Ravine Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Atelier Collective is a conference designed specifically to offer women a day of professional development and inspiration in a beautiful, energizing space. Founded by female entrepreneurs Taryn Herritt and Angela Osborne, they recognized a major gap across industries for this type of collaborative event and decided to design their own.  After hearing about it from my friend Brit, I jumped at the opportunity to be exposed to a group of successful women across various industries, network with like-minded women, and spend the day with Brit, a close friend who also is helping me build my own brand. 

 The Atelier Collective: Sound Body, Sound Mind, Sound Business Panel (June 2018)

The Atelier Collective: Sound Body, Sound Mind, Sound Business Panel (June 2018)

The day was jam-packed with panels, networking breaks and amazing snacks. I’m still decompressing from it all and as I do I’ve started my list of key takeaways that I hope you too can benefit from. 

1.    Priority list instead of a to-do list. We all have a never-ending to-do list that can continue to grow and overwhelm us. Rather than continuing to add to that list create a priority list. Things get completed based upon importance rather than where they fall on the list. 

2.    Strategy versus tactics. Identify what it is you want to accomplish and where you want to be and then implement the stepping stones (tactics) to get the ball rolling. It is one thing to identify what it is you want to be doing but it is another to actually take the action to get there.

3.    Collaboration instead of cooperation.  Finding ways to work together and complement one another is better than just coexisting and cooperating. Sometimes it takes a conscious effort to talk things through with other women rather than competing alongside. We can all achieve when we understand where each other stands and work together. 

4.    Have confidence! Be as confident as men are when they look in the mirror. As women, we have a tendency to undervalue ourselves and look first to the negatives within us. Be confident, be proud of your skills, recognize your hard work, take pride in all that you know.

5.    Give before you ask. As you begin to build a brand and business there may be times that you have to ask for help, support, or expertise by others. Remember to always make time to give to others. Relationships and support go both ways and it is important to make time to give.

6.    Understand your strengths, recognize your weaknesses. No one person is good at everything. As much as it is important to understand your strengths, you also need to recognize your weaknesses and recruit help and support as needed to fill in the gaps. At the start, it might be a one-person show but as you can, begin to focus your energy on your strengths and outsource the skills you need more assistance with.

7.    Get closer to your sun. The sun is your end goal. Although we may make small steps forward or lateral movements, always ensure your next move is moving towards your sun. Not all moves are going to be drastic but they should all be positive steps towards your ultimate achievement.

8.    Fail forward. Not everything you do will be a success the first time around. Take your failures and learn from it. Whether the outcome is a success or failure, make sure it helps propel you forward to your next step, goal, or achievement.

9.    Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t waste your time comparing yourself to others, especially when it is so easy to do with social media. Celebrate and elevate others who are successful. Be proud of yourself and acknowledge where you are at presently. Work hard and learn from the success of those you admire. One person’s success doesn’t devalue your own joy, pride, and success.

After being in that space with 300+ powerful, smart, inspiring and like-minded women, I’m hooked and can’t wait for the next one! There is need for more events like this in our community don’t you think? I look forward being a part of future events where we bring women together to celebrate, inspire, and learn from one another in a positive, energetic, inclusive environment. 

“Fear, you can overcome by embracing it and allowing it to motivate you to move forward.”

Yours in self-discovery,

Rachel

My Detox Diary

Although it may seem like the trendy, millennial thing to do right now, detoxing our bodies of chemicals is important. I am glad that this conversation is becoming more popular. I hear more people switching to natural beauty, face, and cleaning products than ever before! And companies are listening - coming out with toxin-free, natural products for us!

Since I can remember I have always used organic skin care on my face. I found @eminenceorganics and have been using them for years. They not only are good for you but smell good too! But, I have to say that after my face routine, absolutely nothing about my daily routine includes natural products. There is no other reason for this than lack of effort on my end but I figured there is no better time than now to get started.

I decided to take the plunge and start with Kaia Naturals Deodorant Detox. Well, the truth is I purchased the kit in November and didn’t begin using it until April! Because the detox process can be lengthy I simply put it off thinking that the time was never right to try it out. My friend, Danielle, and I bought them together and of course both of us only recently began using the charcoal deodorant.

My thoughts?

I SMELL!!! Haha but seriously as a fitness instructor and someone who frequently lifts their arms up and down in groups of people I was extremely self conscious. I found I sweat more than ever and I had to reapply a LOT. I developed a bit of a rash but I think it was from the skin rubbing and not the actual deodorant itself. This process is lengthy because I have been using antiperspirants my entire life. They use aluminum and other harmful products that can block your sweat glands from allowing the toxins to escape. That is why natural deodorant was my first big change. Now, I just have to give my body the time in needs to adjust.

What else have I tried?

@sajewellness just came out with a new natural cleaning line so I recently picked it up to try. For me, cleaning products are the easiest thing to swap out because it is nothing that I am using on my own body. With natural beauty and skin care things I am always curious as to how it will affect my skin so it isn’t something I am as quick to change up.

My toothpaste is another product I have swapped out. I have a few friends who actually make their own toothpaste! For me that is not appealing at all so I have instead been buying @toms_of_maine at the drug store and it seems to work well. I recently discovered they also have mouth wash so I now use the paste and mouth wash for my dental hygiene needs.

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@kaianaturals recently launched their dry shampoo and I have been giving that a try. I have never used dry shampoo so I don’t have a lot to compare it with but it seems to be working for me! You can not only use it overnight but for pre-workout to help reduce the amount of sweating on the scalp. Dry shampoo is a new world I have entered into now! They also have the best post-workout face wipes ever! They are a must try!

What is next on my list?

Next up I have decided to focus on two areas: makeup and shower products. 

I rarely wear makeup for two reasons. The first being that I don’t know apply it and the second being that I am concerned about my skin and want natural products to avoidd breakouts. I have already taken the next step and am excited that I will be getting a makeup lesson next week! We are heading to @thedetoxmarketcanada first to pick up natural products for my skin and then back to my place to learn how to actually use them :P 

Right now I don’t use any natural shampoos, conditioners, or body washes. Because my hair is curly I am particular about what products I use on my hair. Again, I think simply out of a lack of trying I haven’t really tried to find any shampoos and conditioners.  I am sure it will take a few different brands to find what I am looking for but it needs to happen!

As I have put myself into the natural products world I have definitely learned that these products come with a price. But, I do remind myself that they are better for my body and the environment which means there really shouldn’t be a comparison. I am gradually integrating these types of products into my daily routine as I find them and as my budget allows.

Do you use natural products? What are some of your favourites?

Yours in self-discovery,

Rachel

My naturopathy experience - saying goodbye to sugar!

When people find out I don’t drink coffee they often wonder how I make it through my day since it most often starts before 6am and ends most evenings after 6pm (or later). SWEETS! I love my sweets! I may not be drinking coffee in the afternoon to keep me going through my day but I crave sugar to get me through my classes and clients when I am feeling a crash. Now, this doesn’t always mean a donut (but sometimes, yes it does!). I love to bake so I often seek out healthier alternatives to traditional baked goods.

A few months ago I began seeing Dr. Hilary Chambers, a naturopathic doctor in Toronto because I knew I needed help. I knew I needed more sleep. I also recognized my body was crashing, my energy levels were up and down, and I knew I couldn’t keep this going forever. Although I am still young, I knew my body needed to be better cared for if I wanted to remain in an industry that requires a lot of someone - physically, mentally, and emotionally - to be successful.

So what was the plan?

  • track my food for two weeks in a food journal
  • have my blood tested for B12, iron, and cortisol
  • create a better sleep schedule where my goal is 8 hours a night and a proper wind-down routine to make that happen

What did we learn?

  • I seek sugar, natural or added, when I am tired and in need of a quick pick-me-up before a class or client
  • my B12 and especially iron levels are low, my cortisol levels are extremely high
  • I feel better and therefore choose less sugary options when I sleep more (who knew sleep could do that :P)

What were my next steps?

  • eat fat, fibre, and protein, with every meal and snack to avoid the up and down crashing of energy
  • aim for 25g of sugar per day maximum (VERY tough for me!) 
  • watch out for natural sugars such as those in bananas and dates, which are often used to sweeten baked goods
  • continue my sleep routine of aiming to sleep by 9:45pm - which honestly doesn’t always happen but I now know my body needs and deserves it
  • supplements and B12 injections for now to help my iron, B12, and cortisol levels get to where they need to be

In a city like Toronto where most people I know work multiple jobs to pay the bills and pursue their passions, we are a community of people often running on empty. When people ask me how I teach or wake up at the hours I do I always know I am running on adrenaline and the excitement of the career path I have chosen. I also recognize I can’t sustain this forever and that burning out is by no means a badge of honour I need to wear.

Through my almost three month journey with Dr. Hilary, I have truly realized the power of putting yourself first. When I sleep well I have more energy which I can therefore give off to my clients! I choose better snack and meal options that will continue to fuel me well for the rest of the day and don’t crave those sugars as much. I feel more accomplished by day’s end and can keep it going through to the next day and week ahead.

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My biggest surprise is the sugar cravings! Some days I can go without really consuming anything extra. I am sticking to adding fat, fibre, and protein into snacks in particular and I can honestly say that I don’t feel the need to look for sugar by the time the afternoon rolls around. 

Although taking supplements and seeking professional help isn’t always timely or accessible for everyone, I hope you are able to reflect on your own routines to see how to better enhance your life. As intimidating as it can be to make big shifts, they will help you out in the long run. For me, I feel the most successful when making small changes over a period of time to avoid overwhelming myself.

Feeling overwhelmed about where to start? Pick an area of your life that might need some adjusting. From there, choose a particular aspect of that area that needs improving and set a small goal or two to start with and see how you do. For example, if I chose nutrition as my area I would acknowledge that I need to pay closer attention to my sugar intake. My small goal for the month might be to add fat, fibre, and protein to my snacks to reduce cravings for sugar. Now, your turn! Happy healthy habit creating!

Yours in self-discovery,

Rachel

NEW CLASS ALERT

The Discover You community is growing and I can’t wait to have you all part of the process! For as long as I can remember it has been a goal of mine to run my own group classes downtown Toronto. In April I began with Pilates and moving forward, beginning on June 4th, more classes will be added!

Toronto is a city where fitness is becoming a luxury. Group classes are minimum $25 + tax and the fitness apparel industry, as much as I love myself a cute outfit, is insane! I have said it before and I still feel the same way. Fitness should be a necessity up there with food, water, shelter, and clothes. When we can add consistent movement into our routines it helps our physical and mental health!

My goal with our Discover You class schedule is to offer something for everyone, in a challenging, inclusive, and fun environment. 

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Discover You class schedule as of June 4th 2018:

Mondays: Bootcamp @ 5:45pm - St. Andrew’s Playground, 450 Adelaide Street West

Wednesdays: Dance Cardio @ 5:45pm - Dance Annex, 527 Bloor Street West Second Floor

Thursdays: Pilates @ 5:45pm - 105 Portland Street Second Floor

*Monday bootcamps move indoors to Dance Annex starting July 16th

*no bootcamp classes on Monday August 6th and September 3rd

*no dance cardio on Wednesday June 13th or 20th

*no Pilates on Thursday June 14th or July 26th

Important Information:

  • drop-in rate is $20 per class
  • 5 class packs for $90 ($18/class), and 10 class packs for $150 ($15/class) are available
  • class packs can be used for any class type and expiry 6 months after the purchase date
  • a 6 hour cancellation policy is in effect
  • indoor shoes, mats, and water bottles are required of each client

For the month of June bring a new friend to their first class, and you get yours free!

All classes can be booked by emailing rachel@letsdiscoveryou.com. Interested in a lunch time class? Or a different class type? Let me know! If you don’t feel like any of these options are right for you I also offer personal training for those looking for more one on one support. I am here in all capacities to help you on your path of self-discovery through fitness.

See you next week in class!

Yours in self-discovery,

Rachel

A changing body is not a ruined body

A few months ago on a previous blog post I shared how over our lifespan our bodies change and with that comes changing appearances and ultimately changed feelings towards our bodies. Regardless of age we see changes based on puberty, injury, stress, pregnancy, infertility, overexercising, under exercising, menopause, and lifestyle to name just a few. 

From personal experience the biggest struggle has been how other people comment on my body. Since I am deemed as young and fit people often forget that I too may have insecurities. I have been dealing with an injury for the short end of two years now and have not always felt like myself, yet from the outside you might not always know. As a result when people comment on their bodies and I decide to chime in with my own struggles I am quickly told I wouldn’t understand since I am “fit”. 

Side note: NEVER comment, try to take away, or undermine someone’s feelings about their bodies. Although everyone should strive to practice positive self-talk, we can’t devalue what they are going through. Simply be there for support and encouragement. It isn’t a competition to see who feels the worst - we are all going through it within our own capacity.

The take away I always remind myself I have gained is that my value doesn’t change based on my appearance. Just because my body has changed through my injury doesn’t mean that it is ruined. My body will never be the same again - meaning that every day new obstacles and stressors are put on the body and no two days are the same. I will find strength in new ways and confidence in what I discover my body is able to do through this recovery phase.

On the same day listening to a few clients talk about the insecurities they have with their own changing bodies, @girlsgonestrong shared this image from @meandmyed.art

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Change is scary. Change is confusing. We are constantly trying to fight it. To fit into those jeans. To get back to our pre-baby body. To find our physique from our varsity sport days. Whatever it is we used to be, we seem to always be chasing it. To be looking into the past trying to move backwards.

Here is some food for thought. Ever think about all of the experiences you have had within your body, all of the teaching moments, and memories created? Without those experiences your body wouldn’t be what it is today. Take back your body. Be confident in the knowledge you have gathered in that changing body, the laughs you have had, the delicious food you have eaten. That body isn’t so bad after all, is it?

All it takes is a shift in focus. Change is inevitable. Being stuck in the past isn’t. Embrace change and keep on looking into the future.

If you are looking to shift your focus to a more positive relationship with your body, join me, on June 20th for Love YoSelf 2.0 - a body positive workshop.

Yours in self-discovery,

Rachel

Happy Thursday, Mom!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! This post is intentionally coming late. I didn’t want what I have to say to get washed up with all of the other obligatory Mother’s Day posts. So, Happy Thursday, Mom!

I know Mother’s Day is tough and complicated for some. It can be a day that people wish they could forget about. Sunday might have been a day where emotions erupted from past loss, heartbreak, and hurt. For those of you who felt that way, I was thinking of you. As sensitive as the topic can be, I however do not want to overlook the relationship I share with my mom. Words can’t possibly describe it all and this post doesn’t replace a massive thank you for all you have sacrificed but it is a start.

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When I think of my mom and the long list of things I have learned, these few things, amongst many others, come to mind.

  1. Be independent. My mom’s motto is “I can do it better and faster”. Some might look at this as an opportunity to accept help but I see it as a way of taking action and control of the situation. You demonstrate time and time again that the best way to get something done is to do it yourself. Learn what your capabilities are and act on them. It doesn’t mean we are afraid to ask for help - it is simply a way we show ourselves that we can do it on our own!
  2. Be a giver. If you know my mom she is the most selfless woman you know. This isn’t about picking the best adjectives to describe on Mother’s Day, it is the truth. She puts everyone else before herself whether you are family, a friend, or a stranger. Mom, your natural ability to give to others is unmatched. You have taught me that when in a position to support and lend a hand, do it! When you give positivity and kindness to the world it comes right back at you.
  3. Do your best and don’t look back. I struggled with a lot of anxiety over the years and my mom was always the person who had my back. She taught me to do my best and control what I can control. She never once said to give up or give less of an effort - it was more about doing what I can and not dwelling on what could have been. It has not only helped alleviate a lot of the anxiety I experienced in school, but I now carry this thinking into my every day life as well. Worry more about what you can control and worry less about what you can’t. End of story.

The best (and maybe scariest!) part of all of this? I catch myself saying things you would say in certain situations, laughing the exact same way as you, answering and chiming in at the exact same time you do with the exact same response…I even had to listen extra close on a recent audio clip because I wasn’t sure if it was me or you! Guess that means I am becoming more like you every day? Not something I can complain about. If I can become even half as selfless as you, putting others forward I know that I am doing something right. 

Mom, keep being you. Everyone around you feels your presence when you are around and we appreciate everything you do. I want to offer you a piece of advice after all that I have received from you. Take time to find your identity again. For so many years it was us first and you second. You deserve to put yourself first before anyone else. Now, don’t forget to stop and enjoy sometime for you, not just on Mother’s Day but every day!

Yours in self-discovery,

Rachel

Staying on track while traveling

Today I arrived in England to embark on two weeks of travels through Europe! As exciting as this is for me, others may view the weeks leading up and the actual weeks spent traveling with anxiety. Why? We like to worry about the weight we need to lose before departing and stress over how we will maintain our regime of sleep, nutrition, and movement while away. I love traveling and each time I head out on another adventure I come back better understanding what my body wants and needs while traveling. Although traveling does not allow for the perfect environment, I usually go into my trips with a plan.

How do I stay on track of my nutrition while traveling?

The number one thing is to always bring a reusable water bottle. Hydration is key for long flights and having a bottle ready to go not only saves money from buying expensive bottles at the airport but it also ensures I don’t go for juice or pop on the airplane. I try to pack snacks ahead of time for the flight (thank you Mom on this trip!) to allow me to munch on healthier alternatives compared to the airplane and airport options. While on vacation I enjoy! I still aim to eat foods that will make me feel good but I don’t get hung up on every little thing. If a destination I am exploring has a special food then chances are I am going to give it a try. 

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Do you still workout while away from home?

As a fitness professional, this is the time I give my body a break but also move my body for ME. I usually allow for a few days off on the first part of the trip to rest but then I try to squeeze in workouts at the beginning of the day to get my body moving and start my day off right. This time around my dad and I have planned ahead to go to the gym together - meaning we will both be accountable for one another staying on track. If a gym isn’t in the plans or at the hotel try to create opportunities where movement can be involved. Traveling can usually include lots of walking so get site seeing! Depending on the destination this could include swimming, running, skiing, or biking to allow for movement while you explore your new surroundings. Since we are staying in a small space I also plan to take advantage of working on my rehab exercises as well as pilates movements that can be done in close quarters.

But what about sleep?

Dealing with a time change is never easy and every body is different. One’s sleep schedule on vacation is also determined by what type of attractions you are interested in seeing. I am an early bird and prefer day time activities over evening and late night events so I try to get to bed early to be well rested for the day ahead. When I have a good night’s sleep, I know I will be ready to wake up to sneak in a workout and a solid breakfast before embarking on the adventure ahead. For me, sleep is imperative to setting myself up for the best possible day ahead.

We know what our ideal lifestyle should be. However, let’s not allow the stress of living up to this ideal take away from the memories we can create and the moments we can enjoy throughout our travels. Traveling the world is a unique and special experience - allow your worries and stress to take a back seat while you explore and learn from the new culture around you.

Yours in self-discovery,

Rachel

Check out Rachel's page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Feel free to comment below with topics you would be interested in reading about in the future.

Summer bodies are made in the winter

Summer bodies are made in the winter.

With the awful mid-April weather looming outside, this statement still rings true, or does it? You don’t have to be a fitness professional to know that when the weather is colder, days are shorter, and we seem to constantly live in the dark, we lose our motivation. On a day like today when I have not even left my house because of the weather, I can understand why this time of year makes our energy levels and mood lower. Insert motivational statements such as the one above to keep us on track through these long, cold months of the year.

I totally get it. As a fitness professional this can speak to your clients. Everyone wants to look good in the summer months and show off the hard work they did over the winter by wearing shorts, dresses and swimsuits. These statements keep us motivated to want to be disciplined through the dark early hours of the morning and cold snowy nights. I bet it works. And I can imagine it works often. However, in our current world where we are constantly bombarded with reminders that we aren’t good enough the way we are, isn’t this just another reminder to add to the list? Your body is not good enough the way it is.  Change it so you can be proud when the sun comes out. 

Not all forms of motivation work for everyone and this may work for some. My approach is to focus on why you are doing it and how it makes you feel.  If we delve deeper than our superficial looks, more often than not movement can lead to a long list of positive improvements for every day living. My blog post from a few weeks back reminded us that weight is just one reason to move. Let’s not forget about all of the other improvements movement can bring to your life! 

So what’s the solution?

Find what works for you! Regardless of what gets you motivated remember that when you can develop and sustain healthy habits you will see the results you want and feel your best. Creating positive health habits in terms of movement, nutrition, stress levels, sleep, and relationships all play a factor into looking and feeling your best.

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Don’t feel like you must change or lose weight to be ready for summer. Accept where you are in your life right now and roll with it. Our daily lives are already filled with reasons to be anxious so don’t make your body be one of them. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is - let’s be more kind to ourselves and care for our bodies for life, not just summer.

Yours in self-discovery,

Rachel

Check out Rachel's page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Feel free to comment below with topics you would be interested in reading about in the future.

Did you really eat it if you didn't post it on Instagram?

Vegan. Paleo. Raw. Gluten-free. Keto. For a moment, think about all of the words we throw around with food on a daily basis. Have you ever shared your food via social media to the world, tagging the healthy ingredients or products used? Chances are you don’t as often publicly document your ‘slip-ups’ or not so healthy meals, right? Is it just me or is it strange that we feel the need to document and share everything, including our food choices online to the world? As the millennial saying goes, “did it really happen if you didn’t post about it on Instagram?”

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Depression, anxiety, and body image issues are running high in our society and I am not surprised - we are all busy trying to keep up, worrying about how we measure up to our peers and counterparts. We have anxiety about feeling the need to share what we do at all times - but only if it matches what society wants from us - and so we overshare about ourselves, our hobbies, and the foods we eat.

I too fall into the category of wanting to share food online. If I am being honest, I don’t share my food as often simply because I am THE WORST food photographer! And sometimes a girl is hungry so I would rather eat right away than patiently plate my food beautifully. Also, now that we are on the topic, who decided whether or not our food was ‘Instagram worthy’? If it tastes good why does it always have to be on display! Social media has played an extremely large role in people’s confusion with nutrition and eating today. If we aren’t following the no diary, no gluten, whatever seems trendy food rules, we feel out of place. One day I actually wanted to share the pancakes I made with the Instagram world to remind us that it is okay to eat foods without putting a tag or name to it. My pancakes had white flour and sugar simply because I ran out of my other ingredients. I survived and they tasted amazing! 

I have taken a few nutrition courses myself but I am by no means an expert in this field either. However, I like to compare nutrition to fitness, something I know a little more about. Think of an individual training. No two people will ever find that the exact same formula of training programs and workouts gives the same results. Every person has an individualized program to give them the results they want to live their best life.

The same should go for food! It is all about listening to your body. Become aware of the foods that make you feel great physically and emotionally and take note of those that don’t. Your food consumption may end up being a sometimes vegan/paleo/gluten-free/ALL the gluten/meatless/MEATLOVERS/dairy-free formula. We are all going to find a different combination that works for us.

My best advice? Do you! You will learn what fuel makes you feel and function at your best. Follow that regardless of what others are consuming or trying. Take all the food photos you want or just eat your damn meal with your own internal satisfaction without having to share it with the world. Keep it a secret with yourself. Listen to your body - you are the person who knows what is best for you.

Yours in self-discovery,

Rachel

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