Fat Kids can be healthy too!

Not so long ago when I looked in the mirror, I hated what I saw. I was embarrassed by what was staring back at me. I hated my double chin, my fat arms, my thick thighs, my non-existent knees because you couldn't see them for all the surrounding fat. Really, there was nothing that I loved, except for my brown eyes. I thought that they were dark and mysterious. But then the comment came, "Why do you like your eyes so much? They are just brown" nonetheless from someone who I loved, so that was that for me! Mark my eyes off the list! So...there was absolutely nothing that I loved. NOTHING on that list - just hatred spilling over and me disgusted by what I saw in the mirror. Comments were said on a pretty regular basis about my weight, even from my family and friends. The best one - "She would be so pretty if she lost a little weight." Well, F*** you too! 

And if I didn't love me or think that I was pretty- how could anyone else!? I mean all that I saw was a giant blob of a person. 

I have spent my entire life, as far back as twelve, on yoyo diets trying to be my "best" version of myself! I would lose the weight, then fall off the wagon and gain it all back + more! I'm sure some of you know what I'm referencing. I took phen phen, did the Atkins diet, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and so many more. In 2009, I hated my body so much I resorted to lap band. Yeah, I lost 105 lbs which I was incredibly proud of; however, it put me down a spiraling trap of purging because my body wasn't accepting the band. I stayed pretty sick because I couldn't get the nutrients that I needed, and my hair started falling out in huge clumps.

But still, I wasn't happy. I had lost all this weight, and now I looked like a big sack of skin. I would cry when I looked in the mirror as I pull the skin away from my body, wondering how anyone could ever find this attractive. Later, I would have to get the lap band let out because it just didn't work with my body, and my weight would come trickling back on. 

It has been a long road, and yet I still can't say that I love everything I see when I look in the mirror daily, but that's life. However, I have a different outlook on my body. It is strong. My legs keep me upright and moving forward, especially when I have wanted to give up. They have helped me walk from a not-so-happy past to where I stand here in my present moment, writing this vulnerable post. My arms might still flap, but that means there's more love there for when I hug the people I care for deeply. My body is a warrior. It has conquered many things and won! How could I look at it in disgust with everything I have been through. My body has always been there for me.  

Most recently, in May, I graduated from Massage Therapy School. I remember the anxiety I had knowing that I would have to wear a two-piece in front of 13 other girls who were a lot smaller than me. To say I could feel the discomfort radiating out of some of their bodies because they didn’t know how to touch a plus-size body was disheartening. I almost wanted to quit right then! Then I realized, I was not going through this for them! I had many reasons that I wanted to do massage, and one of them was to be more accepting of my own body, while also teaching others how to massage someone a little curvier. I succeeded! 

Now, this isn't to say that I love the way my body looks every day because sometimes, my own judgment still gets the better of me. Especially when I have clients come for weight-loss, and I instantly start worrying about what they are going to think when they see someone plus size once they enter my studio. I'm learning that they will be relieved to talk to someone that understands their struggles, and won't look at them bewildered by some of their comments. 

I have learned to stop being so damn hard on myself. Stop listening to all the people that fat shame, because yes I am a FAT KID and I'm finally ok with that! I have started working with a fantastic trainer, and eating more intuitively - staying away from the processed foods, of course! With all this said, I have realized that my body is STRONG! Again, I am a WARRIOR! I AM HEALTHY just as I am. Sure - I could stand to lose a few pounds, but that's my work to do, and guess what? I'm doing it! I don't need to hear other's opinions on how FAT = Unhealthy! I stand here today, saying when I look in the mirror, I feel myself most days. And guess what, I LOVE MY BIG BROWN EYES! 

I understand the struggle of not loving the body that you are in currently. It's ok to struggle from time to time, but for your sake, I hope you don't stay in that struggle. If you haven't heard it today, YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL, FAT ROLLS AND ALL! 

So whether you are skinny, athletic, curvy, plus, or anything in between - love the skin you are in! Believe me. I understand this is hard. It just takes tiny steps at a time!

Here's to being Body Positive! 

Health @ Every Size! 

All bodies deserve love and respect! 



Hello my name is Jessica, and...

Since writing my last post, my mind has been in overdrive trying to determine what to write today. I want it to be perfect - but perfection is not real. To say it took a long time to come to terms with that is an understatement. Honestly, it's something I still struggle with believing from time to time. So here it goes - my raw, imperfect second blog post. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with a client about perfectionism. How sometimes, those with perfectionist tendencies, might decide not to step outside their comfort zone because of fear of failing. If you fail - then you aren't perfect...and that is something that a perfectionist simply can't handle - not being perfect. 

Hello, my name is Jessica, and I am a perfectionist! 

Sometimes, I wonder how we get here. I mean there are so many of us — people who strive to be perfect in everything we do. We get a new job, and we have to show we are the BEST. At least, that's always been my story. I wonder - did it have anything to do with the phrase -"If you are going to do something, then do it right." I'm sure mine did. I grew up in a small town in East Tennessee. My mom was, and still is, continually reminding my sister and me that she wants things to be better for us than they were for her. I was the first of many cousins to finish high school and then go to college. Even though at 18, I had no clue what the real world looked like or what I wanted to be when I grew up. [Side rant: We need to stop making her children go straight to college after they graduate high school. At 18, how can you decide what you want for the rest of your life when you haven't even lived yet. End Rant]

Along the road of trying to be "better" and not letting anyone down - I started becoming obsessed with being perfect. With that struggle, came anxiety that I was going to fail. Then that anxiety BLEW up! I just knew what felt like the world was resting on my shoulders, and I was afraid I would drop it at any time. It was up to me to succeed and show that I COULD make a difference. That difference came at a price. I struggled greatly. I became extremely anxious and depressed, which made my depression worse because my motivation for being the best was too overwhelming, which made me stay in bed. 

"If you are in bed, how can you be bettering yourself" were my thoughts daily. So, with the first year of college came a 2.0 GPA. I knew that I had let my family, myself, and my inner perfectionist down - but I was feeding my anxiety monster. It grew so big after that. I eventually learned how to deal with my anxiety. Feeding it here and there throughout my day, but putting a straight face on so no one knew my struggles. I mean, you shouldn't struggle if you are the best, right? 

Then the real world hit. I moved to Nashville, got a great job and that little voice came back - "Show them how great you are!", "You should never be satisfied with being at the bottom!" "You have to be better than me, and better than me is being the head of the department!" Once again, my anxiety hit - and it hit hard! I was calling out of work because I just couldn't get out of bed. I felt like a ton of bricks were laying on my shoulders. I HAD to do something different. 

I found a counselor, and we talked about my past and my present - which only seemed to make my anxiety and depression worse. All those moments or thoughts that caused me to get where I was currently, continually brought to the forefront of my mind. So I decided to do something that I NEVER thought about doing before - Hypnosis. It was a fantastic experience, and it truly opened me up both emotionally and spiritually. I was able to see things differently - finally! 

That was approximately five years ago. To say there aren't days that I still don't struggle with that little perfectionist voice in my head, would be a lie. I do - but it's different. I now have a different support system, whether that's meditation or making the space to connect with myself. It took some time for that little girl from Jamestown to know who she was, and stop allowing that negative inner dialogue control her. 

This year, on Halloween, I will turn 36 - I am so different than that 18 yr old self. Even so, I have decided that I am going to start stepping out of my comfort zone even more! I can see that I still allow that perfectionism sometimes to control me in ways that it shouldn't. "If I'm not going to be perfect - then I will learn from someone who knows better than me!" will be my inner dialogue going forward! 

If you are still reading this, thank you! I ask that you take steps to change your inner dialogue - whatever it may be. Meditation is a great source, along with journaling. We have to have those moments where we can be with ourselves, and feel what we feel. Stop trying to push it under the rug - emotions and feelings do not belong there! 

A little reminder: meditation doesn't always look like sitting on the floor in complete silence. Go outside for a walk - without music - and feel the different terrain beneath your feet, see the beauty that surrounds you. Sit down, and color or play a puzzle. Meditation is merely getting your mind to surrender to something else other than your thoughts. 

As for me, I am not sure what 36 has to offer, or even the rest of my life - but I do know that I've spent too much of my life listening to my inner dialogue and it's time to live truly! 

What a crazy thought!

Today, as I was writing in my journal, I had a crazy thought. To create a blog. Why so crazy? I am the worst at grammar, and I'm a huge introvert. But honestly, the introvert thing may really help me out here. It's so much easier to show my personality through writing, as face to face interactions can be quite draining. Unless you are a client of mine - then those are absolutely amazing! Why do you think I do consultations - it's just as much for me to get comfortable with you as you with me! [secret...shh]

So, if I'm going to do this, let me do it right. Some of you may know me either through friendships [hey friends!] or through my business [Prana Mind-Body Healing - representin'!] Others may be bored and just stumbled upon this by accident [Hey stranger!] Either way, I want to start by saying thank you for taking time out of your day to join me and read this! It means a lot.

Now get ready for the REAL deal! You might be wondering what that even means. [Bet you didn't know that I was a mind reader too] I will be discussing REAL things that involve depression, anxiety, struggle, my work, and of course positive things along the way also. I am not here to be appeasing or pleasing to anyone, only to get my thoughts out of my mind and out there for those that might need to see they are not alone.

While I might be in the 'healing' field, that doesn't mean I'm healed. Honestly, I don't believe anyone truly is 100%. Life happens - we struggle. Healers are just people too. Let me also point out that I hate the term healer as I am not healing anyone. I am merely guiding them through ways THEY can heal or improve themselves. I am no different than anyone reading this. Along the way, I may have gained more awareness through counseling, hypnosis, EMDR, etc. I am now connected with my body - as a society are so disconnected from ourselves. All of these things are what I share with my clients on their journey.

So what can you expect from this blog other than what I've already mentioned? I'm not sure other than truthfulness, and something that might evoke a little thought along the way.

As for me - I am turning 36 in October, and I'm a Scorpio through and through. [Look it up if you aren't sure the characteristics of a Scorpio] I want to share myself with as many people as possible, so they can understand a little more in-depth what healing really looks like, and of course to be able to better explain what hypnosis is because I promise it's not mind-control! If so, then I would have millions of dollars and be living in paradise! Also, there will be plenty of grammatical errors in our time together, so if you are a grammar nazi - we don't have time for that negativity in our life! ...but seriously!

I want to create something that's not so serious, and that's easy to understand and digest because that's me in a nutshell! I look forward to this journey, but I also want to say that I'm not sure how frequent these posts will be as I am already burning the candle at both ends! [Something I would shake my finger at if a client was telling me that.]

I hope you all have a beautiful day! Remember to take some time for self-care and BREATHE along the way!