Florida Winter + Life Update

 

Happy weekend, loves! I hope your Saturday is off to a great start! I’m curled up sipping a latte and wondering why Florida has to be so rude — it got so cold here overnight and I’m not a fan. I’m tired of this back-and-forth from hot and cold nonsense. I just want to not freeze to death when I walk outside.

But, I’ve found the secret to Florida winters: LAYERS. Because once that sun is up and the temp shoots up about 20 degrees, you’re gonna be struggling. So the best bet is to wear layers (CUTE ONES!!) that you can shed throughout the day. For example, this sweatshirt is the perfect layering piece right now!! And look at that back detail!! All the heart eyes. It’s also the coziest thing I’ve ever put on my body. So I’ll be living in it for the foreseeable future. So, due to the annoying cold here, I layered a bralette underneath, then put my big coat over it because the wind is insane. I can’t wait to throw it on over a swimsuit in the spring! It’s also a great piece to throw on over your sports bra for the gym. Endless possibilities, people. I got it from Indigo, along with the leggings and bralette. Click HERE for their Instagram (website coming soon).

That brings me to our life update! A couple months ago, I got my dream job working for my dream boss with my dream co-workers – at Indigo! It’s the cutest little boutique in Watercolor, FL and yes the commute is SO so worth it! I mean, have you been to 30A??? Dreamy. I still have to pinch myself that I work in such a fun and inspiring environment, doing what I love – helping people pick out cute clothes and feel pretty!

Another piece of my update is that I’ve decided to pursue photography on the side, as you may already know if you follow me on other social media platforms. I am SO excited for this adventure, because I’ve been dying to take the leap but never had the courage (or equipment) until recently. Capturing moments in peoples’ lives truly sets my soul on fire and I can’t wait to see where it takes me! I’m especially excited to shoot with my fellow military families, because they have such a special place in my heart! But my goal is to go beyond just that and also focus on engagement, maternity, lifestyle/fashion, and wherever else I end up! I’m working on potentially launching a new site, but for now, I’ve added a Photography tab for info, and a Portfolio tab for my work as I build my portfolio.

I have one more exciting adventure coming up, and that is our next move! We’ve known for a while now, but this summer we will be moving again, but only a short way down the road… to Destin! I am SO excited to be blessed enough to remain in this beautiful place a little while longer, and especially because I don’t have to do the whole quit-my-job-as-soon-as-I’m-happy thing! I love starting new chapters with my hubby and I know we will have a blast on the next one.

Life has had so many ups and downs the last several months, especially with the challenging injury I’ve had to face. It was hard to keep positive for so long, but even though I’m still struggling with the injury, I feel much more at peace about my life. God has reminded me that He keeps his promises, He is still good and no matter how abandoned you may feel, He is still right beside you. He can literally move mountains for you, if you will just let him. I think that was my problem throughout this injury/healing process — I was so frustrated for so long that I wasn’t letting go enough to trust Him to fix it in HIS time (anyone else guilty of this?) .

He is SO good y’all. He is working a wonderful thing in you, you just have to have patience. Remember how a year ago I thought my life was about to involve a dietetic internship, even more long distance marriage, and lots more student loans?? Well after enduring the challenges of it falling through, I’m seeing now the plans He had in place for that not working out. At the time it crushed me, but NOW I feel even more excited than I did when applying to internships! My soul is on fire every single day, regardless of how much pain this stupid injury is causing me. God is still there, be still and listen for His voice, and let Him move your mountain.

I hope you find encouragement in this somewhere, and if not I hope you at least find some outfit inspo 😉 thanks for reading,

XO beth

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Reflecting on 2017

Happy New Year, friends! Can you believe it’s already 2018?! I feel like the past year flew by, but at the same time it was the longest year of my life! Such a strange mix of emotions are attached to the past twelve months.

I don’t want to get too detailed and personal — I know you’re probably scrolling through tons of bloggers’ NY resolutions and reflections. But I think I’d be silly to not reflect on (and share) all the things this year taught me. God used the craziest things to teach me the most important lessons, and proved Himself faithful throughout all of it. The good definitely outweighs the bad, but the bad that this year brought was definitely some of the worst I’ve ever experienced.

We started the year out by planning our honeymoon! ☀️ Yes, we waited a couple years to take our honeymoon after getting married because life was crazy busy, but we FINALLY had time (and money saved!) to do it. We spent weeks trying to nail down the perfect honeymoon resort, and in March we finally picked one in the Dominican Republic, and we were supposed to go in April. We were SO. EXCITED.

About a week later, my husband came home from work and flipped my world upside down by saying the words that every military spouse dreads: “I’m being deployed.”

Except our deployment was extra special in that they chose him at the last minute for whatever reason… and instead of having a 4 month notice to plan/prepare, he had about 3 weeks. He was set to leave on the same day we were supposed to leave for our honeymoon. LOL right? Little did I know this was an allusion to how the next year would go, haha.

During this time, I was also applying for Dietetic Internships because I had finally worked up the nerve to go for it. I had spent some time building my resume and had some hope that maybe I had a chance. Well, unfortunately I got my hopes up too high on that one, because on the same day that hubby left (and that we were supposed to be honeymooning), I found out that I did not get matched for the internship.

Talk about ALL the curveballs ALL at the same time. Less than a week after hubby leaving for deployment, my first injury struck (of MANY #deploymentcurse). I was alone, hurting all the time, and unsure of the future. I tried to use all of these struggles as a learning experience, and began to pray constantly. I felt my relationship with Christ strengthen to a point it’s never been before.

I made strong, amazing friendships during those seven months that I know God put in my life to get me through. I learned so much about myself, my weaknesses AND my strengths, and especially about my marriage. Nothing like seven months spent in different countries to show you how strong you actually are!

So, fast forward a lot of lonely nights, wine and chocolate, a couple crazy hurricanes, a knee strain/back issues/migraines/broken toe/hamstring strain, several trips home to family, and some awesome friendships later… and my sweet hubby came home to me safely. I would say this day wins my 2017, hands down. All of the bad things that this year brought disappeared when he walked through that airport to me.

Fast forward some more, and my injuries are slowly (but fairly surely) improving. I’m still struggling with the frustration of not being able to be active, but isn’t that life sometimes? I’m finding new passions in my life, that give me hope for my future career. My husband is here with me, right where he should be, and we get to move to a new adventure in 2018. If there’s one thing I’ve learned the past twelve months it’s that God has different plans than we do, and no matter how much they hurt at first, they’re 1,000% better for us in the end. Hold on to that promise, and you’ll make it. God showed me that sometimes he has to take us to our worst to bring us to our best.

Whatever struggles 2017 brought you, use them to make you stronger in 2018! No matter how rough it gets, remember God isn’t punishing you, he is strengthening you for big things! I pray that you have the strength and motivation to chase those big things in the upcoming year.

Cheers to you and to 2018! Thanks for reading,

XO beth

Pesto Chicken Spaghetti Squash

I have been on such a spaghetti squash kick lately! If you follow me on IG or snap, you’re probably tired of seeing it. No apologies though because it’s SO GOOD.

Eating healthy this time of year is really difficult, because there’s something about colder weather that makes comfort food sound way better/cozier than a salad or chicken and veggies (unless you live in FL like me – it was 80 degrees today lol). It’s also hard because everyone’s throwing Christmas parties and eating Thanksgiving leftovers, and sweets seem to be more abundant than normal. So, if you’re craving a big warm bowl of pasta to cozy up with after work, maybe try swapping it out for spaghetti squash!

Not only is spaghetti squash low-calorie, but it’s gluten-free so if you have any intolerances with pasta, it’s a great alternative! And there are SO many different ways to eat this delicious winter veggie, you could probably eat it every night of the week without getting tired of it. I’ve also learned that it’s great for meal prepping, because one spaghetti squash goes a long way – making it very time AND cost efficient!

Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash
2 chicken breasts
1 zucchini squash
1 roma tomato
5 tablespoons of basil pesto (separated)
salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
cheese to top it *optional*

Instructions:

First off, I’ll explain how to cook the squash. I think this is what kept me from trying this vegetable for so long, because I just assumed it was too difficult to cook. Turns out it’s extremely easy!

After heating your oven to 415, cut the squash in half, straight down the middle (long ways, stem to bottom).

Scoop out seeds with a spoon.

Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic (can use minced or powder). Place on a baking sheet, cover with foil, and bake for 45-50 minutes **this will definitely vary depending on the size of the squash; some are tiny, some are huge! use your judgment** You will know it is done when it shreds easily/tenderly when you scrape it with a fork!

While your squash is cooking, you can bake your chicken in a separate dish since the oven is already set to a high temp. **You can also cook it via a different method, this one is easiest/efficient**

Chop your zucchini and tomato into small chunks, and sautee over medium heat, until lightly browned and soft. Add in a little S+P, garlic and onion powder, to taste. After chicken is cooked, dice it up and add it to your pan with the zucchini and tomato. Turn heat down, and add in 2 tablespoons of pesto and stir until combined.

Once your squash is done and ready to shred, shred it completely with a fork (it’ll naturally make noodle-like pieces). Add in 2-3 tablespoons of pesto to the noodles, and stir until the “noodles” are well coated in pesto. You can either do this in a separate pan, or in the squash boats.

Top the “noodles” with the chicken zucchini mixture, either in the squash boats OR in a bowl! Totally up to you how you serve it, because it tastes delicious either way! It is also delicious when topped with a little parmesan or mozzarella cheese!

This is one of MANY different, yummy ways to prepare a spaghetti squash! I hope you love it as much as I do! Drop me a comment if you make it and let me know what you think and if you’d like to see more recipes with spaghetti squash! As always, thanks for reading and have a fabulous day!

XO beth

 

 

How To Indulge Over The Holidays & NOT Gain A Million Pounds

This may shock you, but… no, there’s no magic pill or drink that can keep you from gaining holiday weight or make the calories disappear, despite what those selling network marketing products might tell you. But there ARE, however, a few tips you can try to help keep you in check a bit to help you maintain health over the holidays. Keep in mind every body is different – for example, my husband can eat seconds, thirds, and two pieces of pie and will probably lose weight and still look like a GQ model, while I will gain five pounds if I even look at a bite of pie. It’s just how our bodies are. You have to do what feels right for you because you know your body best!

Hear me loud and clear when I say these are helpful tips for maintaining BALANCE – not tips to be boring! You have to indulge SOME or you’ll go crazy. #TreatYoSelf am I right?

  1. DON’T starve yourself leading up to the big holiday meal. Not only is this unhealthy for your metabolism, but it will automatically cause you to eat more when you do sit down and eat, and you’ll end up twice as uncomfortable as you normally would! I used to do this EVERY time I knew a big meal was in my foreseeable future, and it’s SO bad for you. It’s okay to eat a lighter breakfast than normal in anticipation, but at least eat SOMETHING. I feel so much better when I’ve had at least a small breakfast so that my body stays on its normal track.
  2. MAKE sure to get enough protein. Men, this probably isn’t as much of an issue for you, but if you’re like me, meat is often not top priority. I’ve decided lately I’m an accidental vegetarian, because I forget to eat meat or if I do eat it, it’s not very appealing to me. Try to include either meat or protein-rich sides so that your meal is somewhat balanced and you don’t over load on carbs! Because let’s face it, you’ve got lots of potatoes, rolls, and pies to eat. It’ll also help fill you up and likely is leaner than perhaps the third roll you’d eat if you hadn’t filled up with some meat on your plate. Get that protein in!
  3. LISTEN to your hunger cues! Are you too full for that second serving of sweet potato casserole, or are you actually still a little hungry? I’m definitely not saying seconds are bad, because y’all know I’m weak AF when it comes to my mom’s sweet potato casserole. Hm I think I just drooled a little just thinking about it. Anyways, just pay attention to how full you get, and if you get full before you try everything you wanted to eat, wait a couple hours and have a snack. Or go for an afternoon walk and get your heart rate up a little, then go back for some more. Chances are, if you wait a bit then reassess, you’ll realize your eyes might have been bigger than your stomach!
  4. SKIP the calorie-dense drinks. Please believe me when I say, I love indulging in wine and beer and all the sugary holiday cocktails. I thoroughly enjoy having a glass, or two, of wine with my in-laws over dinner. BUT these drinks can be sneaky culprits when you have more than one or two over the course of a holiday. And let’s be real, we all feel like drinking a little extra on the holidays when we’re with the people we may not get to celebrate with often. You just have to be careful because before you know it you’ll have consumed 1-2,000 calories in drinks alone in just a couple hours, not even counting the pie!! Maybe that’s a sacrifice you’re willing to make, but if it’s up to me, I will save those calories for dessert thank you! If you need a low-cal cocktail, check out the recipe at the bottom of this post! You CAN have your cake (alcohol) and eat (drink) it too.

ENJOY the food and experiences with family/friends you have while eating it! This is definitely the most important. Don’t let the fear of food/calories ruin your day. Don’t go eat yourself into a diabetic coma either, but please please enjoy the yummy foods and drinks! These are merely tips to help keep you in BALANCE over the holidays, NOT to make you feel pressure or like you must restrict. It’s all about balance 🙂

Happy holidays, babes!!!

XO beth

Cran-Raspberry Vodka Spritzer

There’s no way around calories when it comes to alcohol, because it is naturally calorie dense coming in at 9 kcal/gram, but there are plenty of ways to lighten up the other parts of your drink IF you’re not just having beer or wine! This one is super light and refreshing, and really easy to make! (Even hubby likes it! I used mint from our garden :))

1 shot of vodka (or more if you’re feelin’ fresh)
1 can Cran-Raspberry La Croix sparkling water (ZERO calories holla!)
juice of half a lime
a few mint leaves + a sprig of mint for garnish

Serve over ice and enjoy!

Cacao Peanut Butter Energy Balls

You guys… these cacao PB energy balls are the BOMB.COM. Is that still a thing? Bomb.com? Anyways, they’re so good so I’m excited to share the recipe!

I’ve been slacking on creating recipes lately, but finally had some free time this week to play around in the kitchen. This was inspired by my intense stress/PMS chocolate cravings I had lately *nervous laugh* because OMG it’s been bad. I am trying to stay on track but have had several days where I just HAVE to have something sweet. So I decided to try and come up with a new sweet treat that at least has some goods in there for ya too.

Overall, these are pretty clean since the only added sugar is in the mini chocolate chips (or whatever mix-ins you choose) and the applesauce but only because I accidentally got regular instead of unsweetened. Try and go with a natural peanut butter, as it has fewer ingredients than even the low-fat PBs. Honey is also optional, I just added a tiny bit for taste.

Cacao Peanut Butter Energy Balls

1 cup old fashioned oats, blended in processor for about 20 seconds (could also use quick oats)
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 tbsp cacao powder (can sub with cocoa powder)
1/3 cup applesauce (preferably unsweetened unless you’re like me and don’t pay attention lol but either works)
1 tbsp natural honey
2 tbsp mini chocolate chips (can use any mix-ins you want! raisins, nuts, etc.)

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, until completely combined. Let sit in freezer for 20-30 minutes, then roll into balls. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Please let me know if you try these and what you think! Hope you have the best day. Be kind to someone today!

XO beth

My Self Care Routine

*dealing with a knee injury, don’t mind the kinesio tape. trendy right?*

If you’ve stopped by my blog any in the past, you probably know I’m a big advocate of self love. I think loving yourself should come first (well…after Jesus, the real mvp) in order for other relationships to flourish in life. The relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have. 

So, one of the most important ways to keep up the self love supply is to practice self CARE! It sounds so cliche at first, but when you really stop to think about it, it is so important. Especially if you’re on a really busy schedule and don’t have much time to spend on yourself. If you’re not taking care of yourself, how are you going to genuinely be able to take care of your marriage, kids, other relationships, etc.?! It just makes sense to take time, even if it’s a small amount of time, to focus on yourself, your health, and your happiness.

With the hubby being gone for so long, I have had extra time at night and on weekends to spend on myself. Not in a selfish way, but in a self-improvement way. Because if I improve myself, I can ultimately improve my marriage and relationship with him! So everyone wins 🙂

Here are a few things I always make sure to incorporate into my routine as self care.

1. Exercise. This is probably my biggest (and most obvious) form of self care and it has been for as long as I can remember. If I’m stressed, I hit the gym and get my endorphins going and instantly feel better. If I’m angry, I go for a quick workout and blow off steam. If I’m feeling just blah, even a light yoga workout or walk can be a mood booster and simultaneously makes me feel better about my body! Getting plenty of exercise has SO many benefits.

2. Quiet time. This is something I totally dropped the ball on for the past two years, as life got really busy. I stopped taking my quiet time at night or in the morning and just got into the routine of skipping it. Recently, I started forcing myself to sit down for quiet time every morning with my coffee, and it has been life changing. Just like getting OUT of the habit became routine, you can easily get back INTO it if you simply make the time to do it. For me, quiet time is reading my devotional or Bible while sipping my coffee, and spending a few minutes in pray. It sets the tone for my day and gives me a sense of peace, regardless of how much stress I’m under. Find something that you can turn into your quiet time and use it to kick off your day OR wind it down at night!

3. Reading a book…for FUN. This is another one that I got too busy for the last couple years and recently started doing again. I forgot how relaxing it is to read a good thriller for an hour (or more depending on how thrilling it is!) a day! My friend Lauren came to visit me this summer and brought some good books with her. I borrowed one and we read on the beach and on the couch in our free time, and WOW was it nice. It’s such a good temporary escape from reality! I felt so recharged after finishing a book that week, so I’ve started reading more!

4. Eating GOOD food. This means two things to me, and in my opinion it has to be in BALANCE. Self care means taking good care of yourself, so naturally you should be eating foods that are good for your body! Whole foods, REAL food. Not eating junk every day or McDonald’s every day. I traveled a lot this summer, which forced me to eat out much more than I usually do… and it was such a good reminder as to WHY I choose to eat healthy most of the time. I felt SO gross when I was eating out a lot! My stomach hurt constantly and I just felt really sick. The other half of this ‘eating good food’ equation, however, is indulging when you want to! You can’t let the healthy lifestyle become an obsession – you have to find your balance! If you eat healthy during the week but want to have beer and nachos during the football game on the weekend? DO IT. DO IT!!! If you’re PMSing or had a terrible day and need a cupcake and some wine? FREAKING DO IT!

5. Get outside. Being outside, even for just a few minutes a day, can be so beneficial! The body converts sunlight into vitamin D once it hits your skin (just wear sunscreen if you’re out for a while!). Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium and promotes bone health. It also helps with muscle function and your immune system fighting off bad guys. Plus, being in the sun just makes you feel amazing! So go on a quick walk on lunch break, hit the beach for some yoga, or simply sit in your yard and read a book. Whatever you choose, you’ll feel great after spending some time outdoors! Again, instant mood booster.

6. Listen to your body and know when to slow down. This is so important. At my last job, it was SO high stress and high activity, that it was literally taking a toll on my physical health. I knew it would be a mentally stressful job, but it began causing my migraines to become SO much more frequent than they already were, I wasn’t getting enough sleep, and my foot that had surgery had begun to really bother again. Sometimes, you have to listen to the signs you’re body is giving you to take a step back and slow down. My husband reminded me that quality of life is more important than making a certain amount of money! It’s so true – it’s not worth putting your health at risk. Sometimes it’s okay to slow down and binge watch a season of Friends instead of going going going every single day!

That’s the run down on my self care techniques! I know there are lots of other ways to practice self care, but I don’t want to talk your ear off any more than I have 😉 Maybe I’ll do another self care post soon! Leave me a comment telling me your favorite self care practices!

XO beth

denim shorts – Shein // dare devil shirt – Wildfox couture (old) // lace bralette – Victoria’s Secret in store only, similar here // parachute team hoodie – my husband 😉

Wellness Wednesday

HIII happy hump day! Halfway to Friday people.

So lets talk about my favorite yoga pants. These blue and gray ones from Firepower are seriously the shiz. They feel so amazing on! The material is comfy and high quality. They are a little more expensive than what I normally buy BUT hear me when I say SO. WORTH. IT. They’re still cheaper than Lulu though but still the same quality (hello, score). And they’re squat proof ladies!! I love how high waisted they are so no riding down your booty as you squat. This black mesh sports bra is also from Firepower. You can get a discount with my code – ‘REASONER’! I’ve got more exciting, new Firepower looks coming soon so stay tuned for those.

I have mentioned recently that I’m struggling with a knee injury that has set me back in my workouts (hashtag anxiety). Fortunately it’s looking like I won’t need surgery (thank God!) but they still don’t know why it’s still hurting. So frustrating! But anyways, at first I used my knee as an excuse to skip my workouts completely. Yes I was in a lot of pain so that’s understandable… to an extent. But now I have realized that instead of letting it defeat me, I can use this time as a chance to focus on what I CAN do instead of what I can’t.

For example: one of my biggest fitness goals right now is to do a pull-up on my own. So instead of being sad I can’t work legs on leg day (my fav workout) I can focus that energy on improving my upper body strength. My knee may be weak but my arms are perfectly fine. Might as well go hard with them! If you have something that you feel is holding you back from your goals, let it motivate you instead!

While rest days are extremely important, don’t use the little things as an excuse. Get out there and kick that excuses butt. Tired from work? Even just a 30 minute walk can boost your mood and energy. Too hot outside? Go for a swim – then you’re cooling off AND getting cardio in. Whatever it is, just do it.

And get some Firepower so you’ll look badass doing it 😉

Thanks for reading!

xo beth

**shoutout to Elle Lua Photography for these bomb pics

 

Like the Ocean

Happy Sunday 🙂

Today in church, we were singing a song that said “from skies to oceans deep, Your love goes on.” I have heard this song numerous times, since it’s one of the ones they sing on most Sundays. But this time, as soon as I heard that line, something stuck with me.

Oceans deep.

I instantly had so many thoughts running through my head. I thought of the photo of the ocean I took a few weeks ago when I was at the beach (it’s the one I posted above and is also the background screen on my phone). I thought of the big, beautiful, scary ocean that I’ve come to love so much, that consumes my photo library, my hobbies and free time, and that helps create a majority of the memories I’ve made here.

Even through the rest of the message in church (which was GOOD don’t get me wrong), I couldn’t stop making all of these ocean parallels in my head. So I’m sharing them with you because who knows maybe that’s why He put em in my head 🙂

Sometimes, life is like the ocean. It is beautiful yet terrifying. It can be amazing and awe-inspiring. It can also be rough, and can throw you around and make you feel like you’re drowning. And other times you feel like you’re floating peacefully on a nice vacation. You can’t see what’s out there most of the time. Sometimes, like at the ocean, you’ll be surrounded by people – family and friends and new relationships. Other times, you’ll be so alone and isolated you wonder if anyone is even there. The waves of life will knock you down repeatedly, but once you get back up, you’ll see nothing but beauty.

But, regardless of whatever point you’re at in the ocean of life, God’s love is there. And that is how God’s LOVE is also like the ocean…

No matter how rough the waves get, the water is still there at the end of the day, right? Well so is His love. No matter how rough life gets, no matter what waves Satan throws your way, God’s love is there at the end of the day. You may not be able to see the whole plan right now, but that doesn’t mean He’s not there.

So keep going.

Keep trying.

Keep swimming.

Keep praying.

Keep fighting. For whatever it is that you’re fighting the waves for.

KEEP GOING. Because He’s not going anywhere, and He’s got a beautiful, ocean sunrise waiting for you.

I’ll give you a glimpse into my own waves I’ve been fighting, and it’s kind of crazy how literal and metaphorical this is all at the same time. As some of you may know, I’m dealing with a knee injury from a couple months back. It hasn’t improved and I’m currently waiting on MRI results to see what the next step is (prayers for no surgery plz cause ain’t got time for that ish). I have been very frustrated throughout the last couple months ever since it happened, and I was so angry that God let it happen to me because I had JUST gotten to where I wanted to be physically – I was working out harder than ever and learning to love my body. And then an injury. One that keeps me from doing my favorite things like biking, running, even walking.

Anyways, guess how I injured my knee? IN THE FREAKING OCEAN. LOL RIGHT?? I was swimming against the current one day, and as soon as I planted my feet, a huge wave hit me from the side and twisted my knee so hard I could instantly feel that something was wrong.

I won’t go into any more detail because it’s irrelevant, but wow is God teaching me a lesson. An example that the waves of life can LITERALLY knock you down and throw off your own plans. But to get through it you have to remember that His plan is better even though you can’t see it right now!

Like I said. KEEP GOING.

Your sunrise is coming.

XO beth

My Body Positivity Philosophy

I was recently having a conversation about body positivity that provoked the question – what is my take on the body positive movement?

Ever since I recovered from my eating disorder, I have become a fan of the body positivity movement. It was like a breath of fresh air after spending so long being a shell of a person, who had nothing but negative thoughts about body image. Once I found my own balance and self-love, I loved (& still love!) the thought of empowering and encouraging other women to love their own bodies – flaws and all. But I also have developed and evolved my own personal opinion on it.

Not only have I been through hell and back with an eating disorder battle, but I have my Bachelor’s in nutrition, so I obviously encourage an active lifestyle and healthy eating habits. I promote healthy lifestyle choices NOT to “be skinny” but to be healthy. Balance is so key in my life in many aspects but especially for my lifestyle (eating/exercise).

This is where the body positivity movement becomes a gray area in my opinion. I’m all about letting everyone have their own opinion and keeping my mouth shut on mine, but when I actually know what I’m talking about I like to call it out and speak my mind.

Body positivity SHOULD most definitely be… loving yourself regardless of your flaws, embracing those flaws, working out because you LOVE your body not because you hate it, and taking care of yourself — with a positive attitude through it all!

Body positivity should NOT be… using the body positive movement as an excuse to ignore unhealthy weight/unhealthy choices, avoiding exercise, and getting out of taking care of yourself.

NO you should not hate yourself, even if you are overweight/not where you want to be. You are, after all, fearfully and wonderfully made. But YES you should love yourself enough to make whatever changes are necessary to reach a healthy point. And NO you should not let those unhealthy behaviors steal your joy, because your weight does not define you. YES you should still strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle, because you love your body and want what’s best for it – you only get one ya know!

When you get your body to a healthy place – and I don’t just mean lose a bunch of weight because “healthy” has different meanings for every body – then all the rest will fall into place. The body positive movement is great for encouraging people to genuinely love their bodies… I hope and pray that every person can find that balance and love for themselves. But the body positive movement needs to stop making excuses for unhealthy eating and/or exercise habits. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle takes conscious effort, and yes that effort may be impossible on some days… but if you’re aiming for health at least most of the time, chances are you’ll find it easier to love yourself than if you’re making those excuses and avoiding healthy choices.

“Healthy” might mean you need to lose 10 pounds and a small percentage of body fat in order to avoid diabetes or heart risk. Or, “healthy” might mean you need to gain 15 pounds to get your period back and maintain a healthy body fat. Whatever “healthy” means to you, chase those goals, keep your attitude positive, and most importantly love yourself through all of those changes. That is what body positivity means to me. Because I believe that if you have a positive body image, you will have that desire to maintain health through an active lifestyle and healthy food choices (and balance throughout). If your ultimate goal is to be healthy AND happy, you shouldn’t use this millennial perspective to let go of your goals. Use it to fuel your motivation to meet your goals, whatever they may be.

I went from despising every picture I saw of myself and every glance I took in the mirror, to feeling amazing in every photo I see of myself (except for the outtakes where the wind blows my hair in my face and a bug lands on me all at the same time) and pointing out my own imperfections with admiration. I went from working out excessively due to hating my body, to listening to it and exercising in a healthy way to get stronger not skinnier. I love my body now, regardless of the parts that don’t look how I want them to. I would say that is pretty body positive! I didn’t suddenly begin overeating and become completely inactive because it’s the cool thing to do now… because that wouldn’t be good for my health!

I hope this helps clarify the gray area of the body positive movement – not to ramble about my own opinion but to shed light on how it could become potentially dangerous if viewed the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still a big fan of it, I just want people to understand how it can be a good thing AND how it can be a not so good thing.

And keep in mind this is simply my opinion, so if you disagree that’s totally fine! I’d love to hear more opinions on this. I hope you feel amazing today! Thanks for reading

XO beth

Outfit details: top: HERE // shorts: American Eagle // sandals: target // sunglasses: forever21 // wallet: HERE // watch: HERE

Love on Yourself Today

Hi pretty people!

I hope your day is going great, whatever you it is you are doing 🙂

I have talked about this towel in my instagram here and there, but it’s finally making its appearance on here. I love the round towel trend going on lately, and this one is such a fun print! I got it HERE and you can also use code “REASONER” for a discount. They have fitness apparel and lots of other goodies too! You’ll definitely be seeing more Firepower on here soon!

So speaking of bikinis… let’s talk about loving yourself – something y’all know I’m a huge fan of if you’ve read many of my posts.

Regardless of how big of a self-love advocate I am, I still occasionally struggle with loving the skin I’m in just as much as the next person. Lately I struggle with it more so than usual, because I’ve been unable to workout as much as I typically do, due to an injury. *Sidenote, if anyone knows how to acquire a bubble to live in let me know, I think I need one* So, when my ability to be active is compromised, the self doubt starts to set in and satan likes to take over from there. DON’T buy into it!

Am I right? Does this sound like something you struggle with, even if you can workout like normal? I always feel a little bit better when I can find someone to relate with how I’m feeling. So here I am, reminding you that you’re not the only one. Please let this be your daily reminder that you are amazing, beautiful, and a badass. Don’t buy into the negative thoughts in your head — having a roll here and there when you sit, or having stretch marks, or not having ripped abs, are not your flaws but what make you beautiful because no one else’s stretch marks, abs, or skin rolls are quite like yours. And that’s pretty cool.

So do yourself a favor and show your body some love. And this probably wont be the last time you hear me say that.

Thanks for stopping by!

XO beth

bikini top – Victoria’s Secret last season // bikini bottom – cupshe