I’m a warrior and a survivor. (Ruth’s story)- Story #5

You are in for a treat today as my very good friend from England has shared her story and created this beautiful YouTube video just for us!  She is an artist, a writer, a musician, and all around beautiful person. Her story represents all of us women.  We are warriors and we are survivors.  Do you believe that?  Do you live as if you are?  Perhaps you are struggling with an eating disorder.  There is hope!  Perhaps you are struggling with accepting your body just as it is today.  Do not let society get you down. We can fight society’s messages that  tell us we have to be stick thin to be happy.  YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Her story is shared below but I really hope you will also watch her lovely video.  Enjoy!!!  Thank you so much, Ruth Calder Murphy! And don’t forget to check out her Facebook page, Paradoxologies!

(Miss the other stories?  Here is Story #1, #2, #3 and #4).

Ruth's Collage

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 Ruth Marathon

I’m a warrior and a survivor. I’ve wrestled with and fought against the voices – the ones that come out of a crazy culture that’s determined to convince us all that we need more than nourishment, warmth and love to be alive happy. The voices that tell us that, in fact, we need first to feel utterly dissatisfied with ourselves and our lives,  then we need to plaster over that dissatisfaction by striving to align ourselves with their ideas of “perfection”, thus locking the dissatisfaction, anxiety and – ultimately – despair underneath the layers… I’ve fought those voices – the ones that are made to sound increasingly like my own; the imposter voices in my head – and, nowadays, I can finally – after many years – look them full in the face and see that I’ve beaten them. They still shout the same things, but I can see through their words to their hollow, empty heart.

During my adolescence – from the age of 9 – I developed eating disorders. These grew out of a sense of deep-seated unhappiness and a desire, essentially, to disappear. By the time I left secondary (high) school at sixteen, and went on to sixth form college, these had become full-blown anorexia. My weight dropped to five stone (70lbs) and I began to self-harm in order to pinpoint a feeling in the swirling confusion of starvation.

Throughout my twenties, I battled the demons. Writing poetry helped to bring focus and shape into the chaos, and later on, so did painting. I also found enormous freedom and release in running. Running was never a part of my disorder; it was an escape from it. Whilst I was running, I didn’t have to think about food (or lack of it) or my size or shape. I didn’t have to think about self-harm, because I was fully present in my body, able to focus on all the exertions of it, whilst simultaneously being able to free my mind to be, in a sense, “out of body”. Running and the creative arts saved my life and not only that, they helped to make my life something I wanted to keep.

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On the threshold of 30, I got married and over the following five years, gave birth to three children. Life got more complicated – and more precious. During this time, Gradually, I began to become aware that the voice I’d heard in my poetry and art and through my “out of body” running was – and is – my true voice. That it’s the articulation of my true self and that it’s vibrant and real and authentic. That, in fact, it is – and I am – beautiful. I realised that it’s a manifestation of the real me, and that all the other voices – the ones that sound like me but aren’t really, the ones that come from the crazy culture – are lying. Alongside this was, and is, the deep desire to unmask and emasculate those lies to my children so that they can tune in to their own true voices and know their own minds and strength, however often society tells them that they are not enough.

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Now I’m a year into my forties and I’ll finish where I began:  I’m a warrior and a survivor. As such, whatever our crazy culture tries to sell me (literally or metaphorically) and however much it tries to make its voice sound like my own, I’m not buying. I am who I am, whether running or painting or writing or sleeping. I am who I am and I am enough.

~Ruth

www.arciemme.com

Facebook Page

“From Self-Hate to Self-Acceptance” (Debbie Fisher) Story #4

Welcome to Story #4! This story is about truly accepting ourselves and being who we really are without shame. Society tells us women to shrink, to hide our quirks, and to hate our flaws.  If we grow up feeling like we are not enough or worthy, this will cause great distress and may result in eating disorders, constant dieting and perfectionism.  This is not the abundant life we were meant to live!  We are “perfectly imperfect” and that is okay.  We will never measure up to society’s ideals, because it’s totally unrealistic.  Once we can find freedom to be ourselves and to accept who we are, we will find peace within.

Thank you, Debbie for sharing your story!!  I’m sure it will inspire others as it had for me.  Miss the other stories?  Read Story #1, Story #2 and Story #3.  And please leave a comment below for these beautiful ladies to express how their story resonated with you!

Debbie Fisher collage

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Our stories connect us. I’ve been traveling about sharing my story with others. What I have learned from this is just how connected we all are. My story is another’s story. My story is also the WHY of my business. It’s why I became a health and life coach.

For most of my life I lived in a turtle shell of low self-esteem, terrible body image, and truly hated who I was. Ironically, I had no idea who I was because I had lived my life by every one else’s definition of me. I grew up with a mommy dearest. I was deathly afraid of my mother and lived my whole life in fear. Every single thing about me was picked apart, every physical feature, every emotional aspect, everything. I grew up feeling completely and totally flawed. At 17 I left home and went to college. It was the most exciting time in my life because I felt that once I was away from her I could live my own life. It was great, however, all of those messages I had heard throughout my entire life came along for the ride. The tapes played continuously in my head, “YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH.” I took over the role my mother played in my life and began to not only believe the messages but to speak them to myself. I picked myself apart. Criticized every thing about me just as she had done. At 19 I married my high school sweetheart who basically was another version of my mother (funny how we do this). I was never enough.

By all outward appearances we looked like the perfect couple and family. We had a beautiful home, three amazing and wonderful children, nice cars, the whole package. But the truth is, I was slowly dying a very painful emotional death. After 20 years of marriage, I left and started my life over. Once again, I thought I could live my own life outside of this emotional abuse and once again the messages followed. I soon realized that I had no clue who I was. Everyone else in my life had defined me and I had let them. I started a journal, something I have each of my clients do.  The journal was only about me. I wrote down my favorite everything, day of the week, ice cream, song, poem, food, etc. Anything that I could think of that was only about me, I put it in my journal. I cut out pictures and words that resonated with me. I wrote down song lyrics and poems that spoke to me. Little by little my true authentic self started to emerge but in truth, I didn’t know how to love myself. I still critiqued myself. I still compared myself to others. I still felt like I was not enough.

I am a true believer in the power of the Universe and how we are put in front of the lesson we need at just the right time. The turning point lesson for me happened early one morning as I sat browsing the internet. I stumbled across a Louise Hay video. She was sitting on the floor with a group of people talking to them about the importance of self-love and self-acceptance. I was so touched by her words. She asked them to do an exercise. She asked them to stand in front of a mirror and to truly look at themselves. She asked them to look in their eyes, to look at their bodies, all of the parts, and to really see them. Then she asked them to repeat this affirmation daily, “I love and accept myself just as I am.” She asked them to do this exercise daily until they truly believed it and felt it in their deepest being.

After the video ended, I knew it was what I had to do for myself. I paced my house, crying in a near panic because I actually did not think I could look in the mirror. I didn’t think I could truly see myself. I had stood in front of the mirror for years and never seen myself. I had looked passed myself to do what needed to be done. I thought that if I ever truly looked at myself, all of those messages and definitions I had heard and spoke to myself might actually be true. I was afraid the true view would only validate that worst fear. After many tearful minutes, I made my way to the bathroom. I stripped off all of my clothes and with my eyes shut I stood in front of the mirror. With tears streaming down my face, I slowly opened my eyes and stood looking at myself. I stood looking until I truly came in to focus, until I truly saw myself. What happened was not at all what I had expected would. I saw myself for the very first time. It was like welcoming a long lost friend who had been missing for years. I looked deep into my eyes and saw the pain that resided behind the smiles that I had always used to cover it. I looked at my face, and through the tears saw a young girl who desperately just wanted to be loved. I looked at my arms and small hands and thought of all the ways that I had used them. I thought of how I had been able to hold and nurture my children, to hug my family, my friends, even strangers. I looked at my short legs and realized that I never have to ask them to take me where I need to go. I looked at my belly, round and fleshy and praised it for carrying, nourishing and nurturing my three babies. For the first time, I saw all of me. I began to find great comfort in seeing myself. Then I said, 

“I love and accept myself just as I am.”

I repeated this exercise daily. Ever time a negative thought popped into my head, I repeated this mantra. It was a daily journey to fight my way out of the self- loathing and destructive mess I had created but I continued because for the first time in my life I felt worthy. I felt that I was enough. Recently I discovered this quote by Brene Brown, “You either walk inside your own story and you own it, or you stand outside of it and hustle for your worthiness.” This quote hit me so deep in my soul. After years of standing outside of myself and hustling for my worthiness, I walked inside my story and I owned it. I share my story in an effort to help others own theirs.

I do this work because I never want another person to spend another day disowning, dishonoring and disallowing any part of who they are. I do this work because self-love and self-acceptance are the foundation to a world of peace. As we learn to love and accept ourselves totally and completely, we also learn to love and accept others just as they are. This is the world I want to live in and the one I want to leave behind. 

Debbie Fisher cowboy hat

~Debbie Fisher

Holistic Health & Life Coach

Encompassing Life, LLC.

LOVE WHO YOU ARE NOW!

Follow Debbie on Facebook HERE and on Twitter @coachdebfisher

“My Self Love Journey” (Seryna’s story) –Story #3

Today I am going to share a story about falling in love.  No, not that kind of love.  I am talking about Self-Love.  When it comes to the subject of loving ourselves, some people ask, “Isn’t it selfish to focus on loving ourselves?”   Let me remind you.  As women, we are WAY too focused on pleasing other people.  If you are a busy Mom, you probably put yourself last.   We worry too much about how others view us.  We are so busy and stressed out that we have no time for self-care.  We may try to find our identity in our appearances or if we have a partner, or if our parents accept our lifestyle. This is no way to live.  It leaves us stressed out, overwhelmed and even depressed.  Self-love is the essential foundation to living a happy, vibrant life!

Kellie McGarry

Self-Love and Health At Every Size® Advocate

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Please either watch the video or read Seryna’s story below.  Did you miss the other posts in the Blog Series?  Here is Story #1 and Story #2.  

Thank you, Seryna, for sharing your story!!!

 

 

Seryna Myers pic

I was a kid of divorce, and never really felt my dad’s love. This caused me to seek out validation from basically every male who crossed my path – dates, friends, teachers… I didn’t even know I was doing it. I had zero boundaries, little self respect, and I would get so hurt and so angry when I felt mistreated, but I also never asked for better. I didn’t gain weight until my early 20s, but I think I was just insulating myself from the hurt and may have even been using it as a way to keep people away, or to test them and see if they could love me inspite of it.

In 2007 I started noticing how negative and critical I was… every thought was judging myself or others. I spent a year observing… and every time I’d catch myself doing it, I’d force myself to think of a kinder alternative. At that point I was raising my teenage sister and really wanted to set a better example for her than our parents did. Being alone with my thoughts lead to a lot of soul searching, and the better I felt about myself, the more I seemed to attract external things that would challenge those good feels. My dad told me three times in a matter of weeks that I was constantly chasing men out of my league and that if I didn’t lower my expectations I’d never find a husband. My “friend” actually said “You’re actually really happy with yourself, eh? Even looking like that?” A cab driver asked me if there was a medical reason for my weight. My employer tried to incentivize me with a gym pass… None of that made me waver from how good I felt about myself. I could see myself, warts and all, and instead of fixating on the things I deemed imperfect, I could love myself anyways. There were times after failed relationship upon failed relationship that I’d begin wondering what was wrong with me, was my dad right and I had set the bar impossibly high, but then I’d cry and sleep it off and the next day just reassure myself that I’d find someone when he was ready for ME and that in the mean time I’d just fill up on so much awesome experiences and people that I wouldn’t wait around until he showed up. (He did in 2012) I wrote a bit about my experiences in this blog post: http://www.pamperedgoddess.com/blog/the-audacity-to-love-oneself.

That brings me to now… I’m 35 and am on the other side of some big struggles. I talk openly about them to help break down weight stigma and even mental health stigma as I’ve struggled in the past with both depression and anxiety. I do my best to walk the walk and at the very least look upon myself with kind eyes.

manifesto - biz card size

(Thank you for sharing this graphic, Seryna!)

Seryna Myers

Pampered Goddess

http://www.pamperedgoddess.com

Join Seryna’s Facebook group: The Self -Care Revolution

Read her other blog posts:

http://www.pamperedgoddess.com/blog/body-war-peace

http://www.pamperedgoddess.com/blog/the-b-word

“My Journey of Body Acceptance” (Lee-Ann’s story)

 

 

Do you sometimes feel alone in your journey of trying to become friends with your body? I know I used to feel that way!  Over the past couple of years, I have met some amazing women who inspire me and I know I am not alone! YOU are not alone!  As I was thinking of what to post in my blog, I had the idea to share the stories of a few different women.They are stories of struggling to love themselves and of discovering body acceptance.  I will be posting each story here as well as sharing it in video format! This first one is from my friend Lee-Ann, who I met in her Facebook group- Body Positive.  After you read (or watch), please show her some love in the comments below! And check back here for the next story!

 

 

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Lee-Ann's pic collage

 

 

 

 

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I truly believe that if I didn’t begin this journey of finding peace with my body, I might not be here to share this. Just a few short years ago, I was so unhappy with what I saw in the mirror that suicidal thoughts were a daily occurrence.  Leaving the house was beyond difficult as I felt that I would be judged. I felt like I was the ugliest women ever with the grossest body. Many hours a day were spent online, looking at before and after plastic surgery photos and I would be filled with so much hope that one day, I could change how I looked. Off and on throughout my life, I have struggled with eating disorders and the scale ruled my life.

After the birth of my last son 2 years ago, something changed. By 6 weeks postpartum, I was at my pre-pregnancy weight but then the number starting going up. I knew that something had to change and that something had nothing to do with my looks, it was something in my mind and heart. Around this time, I began noticing more and more positive body image things online and I took to heart as many tips as I could. I began my own group where being body positive ruled, where women could share how they too began to love themselves. That scale….I smashed it with a hammer and have not been on a scale since. I had to learn to replace my negative thoughts with a positive one. It was especially helpful to step out of my comfort zone and do things that before I would avoid such as going to a pool in a bathing suit or wearing outfits that made me feel good without worrying about what others thought. I began to question and call BS on all the messages the media gives out. One of the biggest things I learned and remind myself of daily is that my worth and value has nothing to do with what I weigh or how I look.
Today, I actually feel good about myself most of the time and when I do have bad days, I am able to go easy on myself. I can leave the house and enjoy living in the moment with knowing in my heart, that is what matters….living. I can look in the mirror ( I even recently hung a full length one up ) and feel great. I want to encourage those who hate their reflection that if I can go from body hater to body lover, you can too!!
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~Lee-Ann Henderson
Click HERE to join her group— Body Positive– on Facebook!

6 views that will change your life. My philosophy …..and *New* Website.

It dawned on me that I didn’t announce here on my Blog, that I have a NEW Website!  The other website was provided by my school, and truthfully, it was time for me to have something to call my own. 

I am also excited to announce that the site is a partnership with my husband, Charles McGarry, who is a Reiki Practitioner and Certified Holistic Life Coach who supports those who are going through transitions in their life.  Check out his Facebook page.

We both still have our OWN business, yet together we call ourselves McGarry Wellness.  You can choose to see either one of us, according to your needs, and I even offer a combined package of Body Image Coaching and Three Reiki Sessions for a great deal!

So check out our website at  http://www.mcgarrywellness.org and be sure to sign up for our newsletter as well as contact us if you are interested in learning more!

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Some of you may be wondering just what exactly is a Body Image Coach and how I stand out as a Coach.  I wanted to share a page from my website. 

Here is my Philosophy:

 

 

1. I believe in body acceptance.  Every body is beautiful and we need to actively work to eliminate fat shaming (or even skinny shaming!)

2. I believe that just because someone is labeled as “overweight” does not mean that they are unhealthy and likewise, just because someone is skinny does not mean we can assume they are healthy.  Size is not necessarily a factor in health.

3. Dieting does not work. Studies say that around 90% of those who go on diets gain their weight back within 3-5 years.

4. Calories in/calories out is outdated.  Calories are not created equal. I practice a mindful eating approach to food.  Mindful eating is a lifestyle, not a diet.  It’s a way of eating that honors our body’s inner messages and enables us to enjoy our food without guilt.

5.  I believe that learning to love our body is a lifetime journey.  However, there are tools we can learn to get us into the habit of thinking more positively about ourselves.

6.  We are our own best expert.  I am a body image coach, but that means that I guide you toward your own inner wisdom.  I do not give advice or tell you what to do, other than letting  you know what has worked for me in my own journey.  Change takes time and it does take trusting in ourselves and being willing to get out of our comfort zone.  If you are ready and willing to make that step, I am totally committed to helping you make this life-changing transformation!

Much of what I believe stems from a philosophy called Health At Every Size®. I am also a member of ASDAH (Association for Size Diversity and Health)

 

Ditch the Diet

(shared from HAES)

The Health At Every Size® Principles are:

 

  1. Weight Inclusivity: Accept and respect the inherent diversity of body shapes and sizes and reject the idealizing or pathologizing of specific weights.
  2. Health Enhancement: Support health policies that improve and equalize access to information and services, and personal practices that improve human well-being, including attention to individual physical, economic, social, spiritual, emotional, and other needs.
  3. Respectful Care: Acknowledge our biases, and work to end weight discrimination, weight stigma, and weight bias. Provide information and services from an understanding that socio-economic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and other identities impact weight stigma, and support environments that address these inequities.
  4. Eating for Well-being: Promote flexible, individualized eating based on hunger, satiety, nutritional needs, and pleasure, rather than any externally regulated eating plan focused on weight control.
  5. Life-Enhancing Movement: Support physical activities that allow people of all sizes, abilities, and interests to engage in enjoyable movement, to the degree that they choose.

(copied with permission)

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P.S.– if you struggle with accepting your body, please consider joining Beautiful Freedom: The Body Love Group!  It is a 4 week, online group for only $60!  Register and learn more here: http://www.mcgarrywellness.org/events

Deadline to register for this price is October 6th!

 

What Is Mindful Eating? Part 2 (Video)

Back in May (sorry for the delay!) I posted Part 1 of my “What Is Mindful Eating Series”.  In that video, I briefly talked about what Mindful Eating is, and how it’s based on the concept of Mindfulness.  Here is that video.

Do you have a hard time focusing on your food and enjoying it?  Do you usually feel guilty after you eat?  Mindful Eating is a lifestyle.  It’s an approach to food that allows us to be fully in the present while we eat, to listen to our body, and to know when to stop when we are full.   Mindful Eating helps us to enjoy our food and to see it as a source of nourishment.  I believe it’s an act of self-love!

 

In Part 2, I talked about the “Who, What, How and When” of Mindful Eating.   In Part 3 (coming up) I will talk about the “Why”.

 

Take a look and learn how Mindful Eating can help you!

 

 

 

 

 

To Peace With Our Food,

 

Kellie McGarry

Certified Holistic Health Coach/Body Image Coach

www.nourishedandnew.com

 

I Have A Dream (Video format)

Wow, I have been posting lots of videos lately! I promise I will write a regular blog again soon! But I am on a roll here.  I have actually been wanting to turn my Blog Post called “I Have A Dream” into a video. (note: a few words were changed since then)   I want to share my passion even deeper. I know some of what I say (such as the part about wondering what a bathroom scale is for) is unrealistic…. but my main message is that women (and men) will feel empowered and not be reduced to sex objects.  That we can all celebrate our diversity. And that we can learn that happiness is not based on looking like a super model.   We can all learn to tell ourselves that we are beautiful, no matter what.  🙂

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

P.S.– Check out my New Workbook!  Beautiful Freedom: a 4 week journey toward radical body-love and passionate living

Click HERE to find it on Amazon.

What Is Mindful Eating? Part One (VIDEO)

Hi everyone!

Recently, I am getting more into doing videos! Disclaimer:  they are not professional videos by any means, but I have to admit, I am having a hard time figuring out some of the technological stuff.  I kept putting videos off until I realized, I should just do the video and not worry about it!

As a Health Coach, I support women to love and respect their body.  From that, many of them want to know how to eat without having to go on a restrictive fad diet.  I love to talk about Mindful Eating because to me, it is one of the most compassionate forms of self-care we can do.  It’s not a diet- it’s a lifestyle.  Some people tout it as a natural way to lose weight, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s a weight loss plan, because it’s simply the way that we approach food.  Some people may lose weight practicing this and some may not.  However, it can greatly improve your relationship to food so you can eat the foods that nourish you and not feel guilty!

 

Here is Part One:

 

P.S.- Check out my new work book! It’s for women who are tired of trying to meet society’s unreal expectation and who desire to have the tools to learn to love and accept their body, at any size.  see a sample and learn more about it on Amazon HERE!

My Book Is Published!

Hi everyone!

 

I am so excited to announce that my work book is now published on Amazon!  It’s called Beautiful Freedom: a 4 week guide toward radical body-love and passionate living.  I already have had someone give it a 5 stars and say it’s a “definite must read”!

This book is for anyone who has struggled to love their body, and subsequently are not able to fully thrive and enjoy life. Perhaps you avoid social occasions because you are too self conscious about what you look like.  Maybe you don’t feel beautiful when you look in the mirror and your self-hatred keeps you from being intimate.  Or maybe you have been so immersed with helping other people that you have neglected to love and respect your body enough to truly nourish it.

Please check out my 4 minute video below which tells more details about the book!  You can find it online on Amazon HERE.

 

 

Blessings,

Kellie

Certified Holistic Health Coach

www.nourishedandnew.com