54. 10 Things I'm Afraid To Tell You

Today's podcast episode is inspired by Jess Lively & Jenna Kutcher. Both of these ladies have done similar podcast episodes and they honestly are my favorites of theirs. I am always a fan of people showing their true colors, being honest & open no matter how scary it can be.

Now it's my turn.

I think when you create a growing platform and you have eyes on you, as much as you want to share it all, you tend to get a little afraid to do so. You become afraid of judgment and sometimes you just want to seem like you have it all together.

Well, if you've been following me for any amount of time you know that glossy isn't my thing. I pride myself on being open and honest with all of you. And, 97% of the time I really am. But there are things that I get afraid to post about, talk about or share and that's just because I'm 100% human. So I thank you today for creating space for me to get really honest with you and share with you 10 things I'm afraid to tell you.


10 Things I'm Afraid To Tell You

1. I have never been happier in my relationship with Albert than I am right now: My relationship is something I've chosen to stay quiet about on all of my platforms. Albert doesn't have social media and so I like to respect his privacy while also keeping something sacred to myself too. But, I have vaguely talked about our struggles in the past. And since I've posted 1-2 photos of us lately I wanted to share how utterly happy I am with him. Our relationship has evolved, grown and blossomed so beautifully over the last few months and I am truly so happy with. He's a good one.

2. I stopped teaching Spinning about 2 months ago and am struggling to find movement again: A few business related things happened at the studio I was teaching at (nothing to do with me) that resulted in cancelling most of the group fitness classes. At this time I was having a bit of back pain and took the cancellation as a sign that I needed a break. But, during this break from teaching I've struggled finding movement again. I've always relied on spinning & now that I don't have that I've felt unmotivated to move in any way. I know that I enjoy activities more than workouts and so I'm looking forward to the weather getting nicer to grab my bike and ride around town.

3. I am still on step 1 of the Intuitive Eating principles: There are 8 IE principles but, I haven't moved past step 1 - let go of diet culture and the pursuit of weight loss. I've lived with a diet mentality for most of my life and so the habits and thought patterns I've had for all these years are tough ones to un-learn. So while I talk to the other parts of IE in blogs or podcasts, my work is still very much involved with step 1.

4. I haven't done events/meet-ups/courses yet because I'm afraid no one will show up: This is a fear I've had for quite some time. I love writing & podcasting but doing an in-person event takes all of this to the next level. And fear can be rude with thoughts like "will anyone show up?" or "does anyone even care?" And so, this is me being honest that sometimes I get a little bit afraid to take the next step with LoDownLiving.

5. I really, really want to be a Mom: This is one part of my life I know for sure - I was meant to be a Mom. I really love kids and kids tend to gravitate towards me too. It's just something I feel deep in my bones; motherhood is for me. And mentally I'm totally ready. I can't wait for this chapter of my life should I be so lucky to have it.

6. Sometimes I feel like I'll never get out of debt: Debt repayment is a tough task to take on, I won't sugar coat that. But, no matter how much I have conversations about money, reconfigure my budget or save my money - it still seems like the money never goes away. So while I know this is a fearful thought (hence - things I'm afraid to tell you) and isn't rooted in truth, sometimes it still creeps in my mind.

7. I still have days where I struggle with my weight gain: Releasing diet culture is really hard. And I'm in the process of un-learning a lot of things I've read and learned while being involved in a diet mindset for so long. With that means re-teaching yourself that gaining a few pounds isn't the end of the world. But, when you're new to this mindset, it takes a long time to stick. Some days I don' t think about my body at all and other days I just wish I never picked up a fork. So this is me being honest and saying, sometimes I have difficult body image days still.

8. I think about creating content for the blog and the podcast a lot: At every turn I'm wanting to be immersed in these projects. It's all I think about sometimes. I know I have a story to tell and I know I have lessons to pass on and so I'm always looking at news ways to incorporate them into the blog & podcast. They truly are *passion* projects!

9. Sometimes I feel like a fraud because I'm not certified: There are times when I'm writing or recording a new show and the feeling creeps in. The feeling of "why should anyone listen to ME?!" And sometimes to calm that feeling I start looking for certifications to get - health coach, life coach, yoga teacher, Registered Dietician, etc. Maybe I don't believe my story and experiences are enough? Maybe it's because the world of social media makes everyone look like an expert and I want to stand out? But sometimes, it's true, the fraudy feelings creep in.

10. I still really want to write a book: This has been on my bucket list for at least 5 years now. I want to write a book and really share my story. I don't know if it would be a memoir, a how-to, a picture book - I'm not sure. But I love to write and I love sharing my writing with others. So, while I don't talk about this goal very much, it is still on the list of things I'd like to accomplish in my lifetime.

 

Whoa - can we all take a deep breath in & out?! That was real & raw stuff right there. It's probably one of the most honest podcasts I've ever done. And it took a lot to get the courage to do it. So thank you for holding space for me (and my tears).


53. A Minimalist's Guide To Spending Your Income Tax Refund

It’s income tax season, friends! And, as you know I’m not a financial expert or a tax accountant but, just like everyone else, I file my taxes every year and usually receive a refund.

My refund amount varies – sometimes it’s a couple hundred bucks and I’ve had a couple thousand as well.

In the past, I’ve done different things with the amount I’ve received. But more often than not I spend it on myself buying clothes, a plane ticket or just spending it willy-nilly on dinners, nights out, etc.

Over the last year I’ve made some big shifts in the way I approach my relationship with money. Most of the things I purchase these days are intentional and serve an overall purchase. I take my time before buying and I have no problem returning something that ultimately didn’t feel good after purchasing.

Getting a large chunk of money like a tax refund can create a lot of sensations and emotions inside of you. All of a sudden you have this large sum of money and magically everything you ever wanted seems crucial and most important.

As a self-proclaimed “minimalist” I’d like to spark a little fire inside you to do things differently this time around. So here are 5 ways you could spend your tax refund with intention.

1.     Don’t spend it at all: I know, that’s not very exciting, is it? But before you had this amount of money in your bank account…you were doing just fine. All of those “things” you thought you wanted were either on the back burner or being saved up for anyway. Don’t blow everything you have on things you just “want” and don’t actually “need”.

2.     Use it for a fixer-upper project: Is there something around your home that continues to break down and not work properly? Maybe you need a new energy-saving washer & dryer, new windows or an alarm system. These types of purchases will enhance your life in the long run and are good purchases to make if you NEED them.

3.     Throw it into your 401k: I don’t know exactly how much you’re getting back but, I think this day & age we all could use a little more in our retirement account. While on one hand it’s great to say “I may never make it to retirement, I need to live my life now!” most people do make it to retirement and wish they had taken their 401k account more seriously. This is your chance.

4.     Pay off debt: I almost didn’t include this one as I think it’s a bit of a no-brainer. But I am because there may be that one soul out there that didn’t think of it. If you have consumer debt, credit card, student loan debt – call them up and ask if you can apply an extra amount of money to the actual principle of the loan. Going online and making an extra payment sometimes doesn’t work because oftentimes payments are applied to interest. So this requires you to pick up the phone and actually call but is a great option.

5.     Treat yourself: I do have to include this one because I know how often we are put last on our to-do lists. But, can we have a little bit of intention around this one? What can you do today that will provide you long-term effects? Sure, you can go get a massage and a mani-pedi but those high vibes are short lived. How about going to a retreat where you can create friendships & unplug? What about taking a course in something that can become a hobby or future side hustle? Or maybe upgrading your tools, computer, camera, website so that you can be less frustrated when working & creating? These types of treats feel good but also enhance your life in a positive way and for a longer amount of time than a bunch of clothes, shoes or food ever would.

There are many other ideas to spend your tax refund on, this list isn’t it. But ultimately the decision comes down to intention. Think with your head and not your heart – you’ll gain more clarity that way. What do you actually need vs want? If you buy this “thing” how long will the feelings or results last? Is this purchase for instant gratification?

These questions will get you started and point you in the right direction of intentional spending.

52. Binge Eating Disorder & Intuitive Eating with Robyn Nohling

Today we are talking with Robyn Nohling of The Real Life RD. Robyn is a non-diet dietician and nurse practitioner who helps women find peace with food, accept their natural body size & heal from hormonal issues and period problems. She is a true sweetheart and has a wealth of knowledge that I, personally, have been learning from for the past few months.

Robyn’s real-life attitude about releasing diet culture, understanding the ups and downs of the menstrual cycle and so much more is what makes her so inspirational. When I read her emails, binger her blog posts or watch her Instagram Live’s every Thursday evening, I truly feel like I’m hanging with my BFF.

Let’s all give Robyn an extremely warm welcome to the LoDownLiving conversation.


The LoDown On Robyn

  1. What are two ways you’re keeping things simple in life these days?
  2. What is a guilty pleasure you’re not so afraid to share?
  3. What is the lesson that took you the longest to learn about your relationship with your body?

Interview Questions

  1. Can you explain in layman’s terms what Binge Eating Disorder is?
  2. What is the main distinction between Binge Eating Disorder and just overeating in general?
  3. Is Intuitive Eating the right tool to use to recover from BED?
  4. For some reason, I am seeing BED more openly talked about on social media, in blogs, etc. why do you think that is?
  5. If someone listening is currently struggling with BED, what steps do you suggest they take first to start recovery?

Robyn has some fantastic knowledge & advice to offer. To hear her answers to these questions plus SO much more, tune in to today's episode!


Show Notes

51. 10 Lessons I Learned From Watching Queer Eye

If you’ve been living under a rock then you may no idea what today’s show is really about. A few weeks ago Netflix released the show Queer Eye which is a reality show where 5 gay men go around Atlanta and make over the entire lives of straight men.

This show is the second phase of the show – it was on a few years ago with a different cast but same premise.

If you just type in “queer eye Netflix” into Google you’ll see so many new stories, tweets, & comments about how amazing this show is. And spoiler alert – get a box of tissues because you’ll be crying almost every episode. At least, I sure as hell did.

And again, spoiler alert – if you haven’t seen this show yet, turn me off go binge watch all 8 episodes and come back here to chat. Not that it’s suspenseful in any way but, I’ll be talking about some of the episodes and I really think it’s best if you see it first for yourself and then listen in.

So, you’ve been warned!


10 Lessons I've Learned From Watching Queer Eye

  1. Don’t resist change
  2. Be ALL you
  3. Dig a little deeper into why you are the way you are
  4. Take the time to take care of you
  5. Speaking of self-care, cooking is too.

To hear the other 5 lessons - tune in to today's show!

Whether you plan to watch this show or not, these are all lessons we can hear again. This show is a feel good one and I have no doubt in my mind that I’ll be watching it several times every time I have a bad day, need a little pick me or just want a good laugh.

Check out the show now, on Netflix & prepare to be inspired.

Today's episode is sponsored by CandleLit Box. Get 10% off your first box with the code "lodown10"

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50. Fear of Money, Budgets & Knowing Your Numbers

I believe that money is one of the most difficult personal relationships we have. And for me, that's definitely the case. I have struggled with my relationship with money ever since I was in college. I've had a job since I was 15 and so I've been making my own money for quite awhile but, I didn't have true bills until I was in college. Unfortunately, I had no idea how to manage money. I didn't have to know until I should've already known - if that makes any sense. In other words, I've been learning as I go.

My Money Relationship

Over the last year or so I've finally taken my relationship with money more seriously and have decided to stop living in fear.

I can remember several instances where the idea of looking at my bank account or opening up my bills gave me such anxiety. It was really tough to face the reality of how much owed versus how much I actually had in my bank account. During those times, it was easier to just not know and hope for the best. I understand that to some people, that mentality may make no sense. But when you're drowning in debt, working more than ever and not able to make ends meet, it's a very scary situation.

I grew up in a home where we didn't really talk about how to manage money. When money was brought up it was usually around how something was expensive or how we couldn't afford this or that. And we were a middle-income family - we weren't living in poverty to the best of my knowledge but we also were not rich by any means.

But I don't ever remember a time where we talked about how much college was going to cost, how it was going to get paid for (outside of student loans), what getting student loans even meant, what type of a college degree you should go for so you can pay back those loans, how you should spend your money in college, etc.

And, I'd like to say for the record - I don't blame my parents for any of this. I just think it's a generational thing. Their parents probably didn't talk to them about money and so they didn't really realize we were supposed to talk about money either. And as much as I wish that had played out differently - it doesn't do me any good to wish that.

I've always lived paycheck to paycheck. Actually, the only time I think I haven't lived paycheck to paycheck was when I was 15-17 years old, working as a server at Steak N Shake and literally making so much money. I had Adidas drawstring bags filled with money because I didn't have a bank account yet. Now, in all reality, it may have been about $300-$400 from tips but, that's A LOT of money to a 15-year-old.

Other than that moment, I've always lived paycheck to paycheck. I've always been chasing money while my bills have been chasing me. I've always had a job, thankfully, but for some reason, the income has never been enough. Plus, when you add in student loan payments, it's even harder.

I remember living in New York City and being more broke than I'd ever been in my life. This isn't something I've openly talked about before but I think this is the time to do it. I moved to New York City with $1000 in savings and a part-time job at Athleta for $10/hour lined up. Thankfully I moved into my sister's apartment and my rent was dirt cheap. I also didn't have a closet and my bed almost touched all 3 walls. I remember the day after I moved in we all went shopping. Well, my sister's shopped while I walked around. And we were in one store and I just started crying. I was so scared and I had just paid rent and utilities on my first month's rent in NYC and I was now down to $500.

I was only making $10/hour and only working 3-4 days a week. How in the WORLD was I going to make it another month? I had no idea - and standing in that store that day it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I hustled to find new jobs. I remember on one of my days off I sat in bed and applied for 15-20 jobs straight. I don't even know if I changed out of my pajamas that day. I got a call from Sweaty Betty and got an interview. I had nothing athleisure to wear so I went to Macy's and bought a bunch of clothes, kept the tags and receipts and wore it to my interview. I took all of those clothes back the next day.

Thankfully, I got the job. It was full-time and paid a little bit more than Athleta. I worked hard and eventually got a promotion that got me a $1 increase. I hustled & hustled & hustled until I asked for another promotion. At this time I had also been applying for other jobs because I was drowning in credit card & other debt. Sweaty Betty went with someone else and I took a job with Lululemon that was a 2-hour commute one way.

I was making the most money I had made so far in New York but now I was waking up at 4 am to get to our 7 am managers meetings and not getting home sometimes until almost 11 pm. I knew I couldn't hold on to this for long. I finally switched to a different store in the city but ultimately decided that it was time for me to come home.

I thought my relationship with money would get better being in a cheaper city but, finding a job isn't an easy task. I took the same approach that I once did that day in New York, I sat down in Albert's apartment and applied for so many jobs I was losing track of what I had applied for.

Times were really tough during these days. Bills didn't stop coming in but money wasn't coming in either. A lady in a Facebook group posted about a job that sounded perfect. I applied and got it. 6 months later I got a message on LinkedIn for another opportunity that I had been waiting years to get and that leads me up to now.

As you can see, and as many of you can relate to, the struggle has truly, truly, always been real for me. I've constantly been trying to make ends meet and get away from living paycheck to paycheck.

Throughout all of these circumstances, the #1 thing that has helped me stay afloat is a budget.

The Power Of Budgeting & Knowing Your Numbers

About a year before I moved to New York is when I had my very first excel sheet budget. It's the simplest thing ever but it works. It's the one I still use to this day. Budgeting takes the guesswork out of everything. Yes, it requires that you open your bills and look at your bank account but I'll tell you how to do that in a minute.

When you enter your numbers into the budget and see exactly what needs to go out and exactly what's coming in, your anxiety or worry around making ends meet can lessen. Because, now you know if you have enough to cover your expenses and if not, you can look at what you can cut back on or how much you need to ask your loved ones for to help you out.

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My actual budget

And I promise, asking family or friends for money - while it can be scary, it's scarier to get your wages garnishes, it's scarier to be evicted, it's scarier to get your car repo'd, it's scarier to get late fees. Asking for help means you're recognizing that things aren't okay and you're leaning on those who understand and love you at this moment.

So how do you get the courage to look at your bank account and your bills?

You have to be really clear on what you want your relationship with money to look like. You have to know with conviction that your past with money does not determine your financial future. You have to understand that money is neutral and that it's what you think about it that makes it good or bad.

Believe me, I understand that not having money is one of the scariest things to experience. I've been there and have lived that. I know that. But I can promise you that by just looking at your bank account and bills and giving gratitude to whatever you see is the most important first step to improving your financial relationship.

If you'd like, create an entire experience around it. Turn on some music, grab a glass of wine and look at your numbers. Maybe you can even light a candle or burn some sage to release any negative emotions around your numbers. But this is a crucial, crucial step.

I want to leave you with 6 steps you can do right now to lessen your fear of money & help you face the numbers. And yes, these 6 steps are ones I currently use as well.

  1. Start talking about money.
  2. Create a budget.
  3. Do an audit of your bank account/expenses.
  4. Read blogs of people who have become debt free (Cait Flanders, The Worth Project, The Minimalists, Mr Money Mustache, Broke Millenial)
  5. Understand what you want your financial future to look like.
  6. Recognize that your past does not predict your future.

I hope this conversation around money was helpful & inspiring. I know these conversations aren't easy ones to have but, I believe they're so important. We should not be in debt and unhappy simply because we're scared to talk about something. Afterall, this is the rest of our lives we're talking about.


49. Social Media, Comparison & Adding Value

Lately, I've been having this internal dialogue around social media. I go through these phases where I really enjoy social media and I enjoy being engaged on certain platforms. But then, I usually come back to the same vibe or feeling that I want to release my grip on social media.

Now, all the marketing gurus out there will tell you that when you're creating anything - social media is where it's at to talk about it. And hell, I work in marketing, I know how powerful the platforms can be and how much they can leverage a product or business. I do that type of work every day.

But, I also know how social media is showing up in my life and where I'm feeling a pull instead.

The Power of Social Media In My Life

I know for a fact that I'm on social media way too much. And that's just personally - not anything for the blog or podcast. Personally, I scroll through multiple platforms far too often and at times I even annoy myself. Sometimes, I catch myself mid-scroll and I don't even remember why I picked up my phone in the first place. That is mindlessness. That is doing something purely out of habit and without any intention behind it. 

And with that being said, that's out alignment with my values again, not only for the podcast or blog but, also personally.

One of my values is to do things with intention, with meaning behind it. And I can honestly & openly say that that doesn't happen with social media sometimes.

Now sure, there are definitely times that I come on to social media for a specific purpose, to share a personal story or message or to talk about something that has a purpose in my life. I pride myself on only talking about honest & true moments on my pages.

But, if we are all being really honest, I'm sure we all have those posts that we have posted in hopes to get something back. Maybe we're having a shitty day and we want to feel accepted or loved. Or maybe we're feeling a little brag-y? Look, I don't have too much pride to be honest and say that I've had those moments in the past.

Thankfully, I've been able to catch myself before posting or sharing but, other times the realization comes afterward or even a few days later, which then I choose to delete the post altogether.

For some reason, social media has become this thing that makes us feel bad about ourselves when we're not on it and even worse when we are. We see beautiful photos and feeds of people we've never met and we leave the app wishing our lives were like that.

We get into a game of who can post something better than the last time. Or who can make this really ordinary thing be super trendy and likable. 

Sometimes our value or worth comes more from social media than it does from our real life. And at times we forget that the two are actually separate.

The Comparison Game

One of the reasons I'm ready to release my grip on social media a bit is because I've fallen into this comparison trap. I go online with a purpose and intention of doing or posting something genuine to my life or my experience but then I see someone post something similar and I begin to compare. 

I begin to question if what I was talking about was as good, is my photo as enticing will my caption be engaging. And sometimes it snowballs into a bigger comparison about my overall brand or purpose and it can get out of control sometimes.

I've done a great first step with being extremely careful about who I'm following and allowing into my feeds. That's been very helpful and has diminished a lot of negative feelings I was once having. But, there are times when it's hard to know if the work you're doing is really making a difference or if it's falling on deaf ears or blind eyes.

Especially now that there are so many social media influencers that are getting paid to talk about things and being paid to have all of these followers. It's really difficult to weed through the bullshit and to know who is being genuine and who is just saying this because they're paid to do so.

There's a girl, that I think I've talked about on this podcast before, her name is Belle Gibson and she's an Australian blogger. Well, she was at least. And for a long time, she talked about her struggle with a brain tumor and different health complications. And her entire message was about how she had kept her cancer at bay through changing her lifestyle and eating a plant-based diet.

She was very popular with thousands and thousands of followers, she was just about to release a cookbook and her app to accompany it was about to be released on the Apple Watch.

Anyone looking at this account would be inspired by her. Families were coming to her for advice about their loved ones who were suffering from similar conditions as her. Followers were constantly showing their love and support and cheering her on through moments when she said she nearly died on an operating table.

Until one day someone outed her. And said that someone needed to look into her background and check her medical records because she didn't and never has had cancer.

And someone did just that and found that she had lied about it all. SHE LIED ABOUT IT ALL!

These are the types of situations that we compare ourselves to and yet we don't even know if they're telling the truth. I've heard of countless stories similar to that one about bloggers and influencers that aren't telling the truth at all.

Which is why I pride myself so much on always being honest when I'm sharing a message. But I'm not superwoman, I too, fall into the comparison game.

Adding Value

I've decided that my approach to social media is changing moving forward. I'm not deleting everything or going rogue. But, I am cutting out the excess. My goal and promise moving forward is that I will only show up in your feed if I have something of true value to offer.

Social media is cluttered and saturated and everyone has something they want to say. I get it.

But, I want to make sure that if I'm taking up 30 seconds of your time, that it's because it truly matters. And that it's something that will bring you happiness, inspiration, motivation or knowledge.

There will no longer be posts just to post because I don't want to be forgotten about. Or posts because I feel like I "should" post every single day. There will continue to not be posts just wanting likes or to fill a personal void in my life.

And truthfully, the best places to stay connected with me, hear my work, read my work is on the podcast, in my newsletter, and on the blog. I recommend you subscribe to my newsletter where I also hold those some values true - I will only be in your inbox if I have something of value to say. 

This change is to create more time in my life for the things I love and to put more intention on my social media use. It can be a time suck and a confidence suck. And those aren't things I'm willing to sacrifice in my life right now.

In every other area of my life I've created intentions around what I'm doing. I've stopped dieting so that I can create an intention around my relationship with food and my body. I continue to purge items that I no longer need so that the spaces in my home have specific intentions. I've done a lot of soul work to create intentions in my relationships and friendships.

My social media use won't be any different. I want to make sure that when I'm picking up my phone to put something out for you to consume that it's worth your time and attention.

Takeaways

As always, I want to leave with you a few points for what you can do should this inspire you to take action with your social media use. So I leave you with a few questions to ask yourself each time you pick up your phone for social media:

  • Why am I here?
  • WAIT - Why Am I Talking?
  • How am I doing this story/message justice?
  • What do I want my audience to know, believe or feel from what I'm about to post?
  • Is this post providing value?