Oct 2014

Is everyone talking about how fat you are?


It’s time for another Throwback Thursday, and I have to say, this one is one of my favorites because it’s the number one thing my clients complain about: that everyone is talking about them behind their backs.

But if it’s one thing I know, most of us have created this conspiracy theory out of thin air.

Here’s what I mean:

You know that feeling when you just know everyone is staring at you thinking, “I can’t believe she’s eating that” or “who does she think she is wearing that dress?” or “whoa, she really needs to lose a few”.

We’re scared to get together with an old friend, don’t want to go to that party, or hate eating in front of our co-workers because we just feel so judged.

And most of us think that the only way to get them to stop talking about us behind our backs is to lose weight.

Not true.

The reality is that these people are most definitely NOT talking about you behind your back. Maybe .0001% of the time someone is, but they are probably a loser who feels fatter than you.  What’s happening is you’re projecting.  Since you’re embarrassed by your eating habits and the way you look, you assume that’s all the people around you are thinking.  I know it feels real, but I promise, it’s all in your head.

To make it go away, you need to deal with the embarrassment.  But here’s the kicker, though it may feel like you are embarrassed by how you look, I know from experience that you are actually embarrassed by how you are taking care of yourself.

The most profound disappointment we experience as humans is not being in integrity with our desires.  Though we focus on our appearance, all of us have a “taking care of ourselves recipe” for what it will take to look a certain way.  When we’re at the perfect weight we imagine ourselves enjoying our food, eating lots of vegetables, moving our bodies, enjoying sex, wearing great clothes, smiling at strangers, getting our work done on time and being super relaxed.  But we believe that once we lose weight, that’s when we’ll start doing those things, but we actually need to do those things FIRST in order to lose weight.

When you are feeling like you couldn’t possibly show up to that party because you just look terrible, what you are actually experiencing is the deep disappointment of letting yourself down for not taking better care of yourself.  Our culture has just brainwashed us to think it’s all about how we look.

When my clients and I lay out a clear picture of what it looks like to take care of ourselves, and we stick to it, even for just two to three days, we can look exactly the same but feel completely different around our peers.  If you don’t believe me, I dare you to try it.

The key is laying out a recipe for taking care of yourself that is realistic and feels good, here’s mine:

Get lots of hugs and kisses from Jonathan and Marshall
Spend time with my girlfriends at least 5 days days a week, both one-on-one and in groups
Be thoughtful about my outfit and beauty routine daily
Drink lots of water
Keep my home clean, organized and filled with flowers
Move my body daily, or at least as much as I can, a little yoga, a little dance, a little pilates, lots of walks
Eat lots of leafy greens
Stand up straight
Eat organic when I can
Talk to my family and my far away friends regularly
Always eat without distractions, slowly, only when I am hungry
Do something really fun everyday
Eat chocolate, ice cream, bread and cheese when I feel like it, but only eat the best
Drink wine, but not too much, almost everyday
Eat dinner with Jonathan almost every night and really connect with him
Take many weekend trips and vacations
Have regular adventures

Even on this plan my weight fluctuates with my periods, extra eating on the weekends, vacations, odd cravings, moving my body more or less… it’s just part of life, gaining and losing, especially for women.

But when I am in integrity with what it looks like for me to take care of myself, I never feel judged.  Maybe because I know that if I was, I could confidently say “this is the life I am consciously choosing, and this is what my body is doing this week as a result.  I’m happy, I’m loved, I feel beautiful, that’s what matters.”

Today, I want you to write down your recipe for taking care of yourself, and I’d love for you to give us some of the highlights in the comments below.

And I want you to see if after you stick to it for a few days, if your feelings of being judged start to fade away.

Can’t wait to talk with you about this more.




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  • Over the past month, I have started to see a pattern that as I start to learn something for myself, others in my life begin talking about it too. It feels so much like support and encouragement! I am very sensitive to when people take care of me (grateful) and when they don’t (hurt) but I had a realization just this week that I don’t practice taking good care of myself! I am not consistently caring, gentle, or considerate with my body or my time. If I could breakdown the recipe for my self-care that I want to start implementing this very second, it would include DAILY: undisturbed, focused time on my spiritual practice (reading my Bible, praying, and journaling), conscious meal planning (focused on ADDING nutrients), taking the time (ANY time) to get outside with my dog (because I am worth it, dang it!), aaanddd finally, really paying attention to what I am doing throughout my day so that I can manage my life in a way the reflects what is important to me and how I want to grow and progress.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights with us, Sarah!

    • I love how you mentioned that once you start focusing on something for yourself, it starts to show up in your life in other ways – like your friends/family talking about the same “stuff!” I’ve noticed that for myself too, and I really think it’s the Universe creating the means to show us that we’ve found a good path and to keep trucking! 🙂

      I hear you about that last piece – paying attention to what you’re doing throughout the day. It’s frustrating sometimes when you’ve made it through a day & don’t feel like you were very *intentional* about much! Love your daily self-care ideas, I hope you can find a way to start putting ’em into place & enjoying it! 🙂

    • Diane

      hi Jenna, I love your comments and your “recipes”. Thanks for sharing. You are motivating me to share as well. I especially like your “payiing attention” thought. I find that is something I need to add to my list.
      Also, just remembering not to compare my list of things to others. Frustrated when I do that. So unnecessary and causes to much worry and anxiety.

      • Sarah Jenks

        Jenna, I love that you’ve completely connected with your heart, mind and soul. you are on your way and I’m so excited to hear these little changes in your routine make positive impacts on your life!
        Emily, I’m so proud of you for recognizing how contagious putting yourself first really is. Thank you for being so supportive and encouraging, Emily! You are so special!
        LOVE THIS Dianne! We’re all here for each other and it makes my heart so happy. Excellent advice. Being aware is a great first step and you’ll keep yourself in check. I will too!

  • Sarah, Thank you for this post. I have been carrying the “weight” of self-consciousness around because of a poochy abdomen. I’m eternally grateful to my body for my wonderful kids, but I know I need to do a better job of taking care of myself & asking for what I need.
    Over the last year, I’ve taken your LMWL Master tips to heart to move my body regularly, set morning intentions, have fun with my wardrobe, spend fun time with family &/or friends, and have more adventures. But it’s a process, and I’m still working toward a goal of how I want to feel. Your posts resonate with me & spur me on to focus more on upping playfulness and creativity, rather than checking the mirror for my reflection or worrying about what others might be thinking. Just want to let you know how much I appreciate that you share your feelings & struggles with all of us!

    • Sarah Jenks

      Dianne, you are amazing. You are taking so many positives steps and making such a difference in your life. You are so right – it’s a process and I’m proud of you for admitting that to all of us to keep us all in check! I appreciate YOU and love your support. Thank you for letting us join you on your journey. xo

  • Like many women, I’ll admit that I’m pretty crap at taking care of myself, and have a definite tendency to put myself and my self care behind anything and everything. Everything else is always more important. But, I’ve recently made a new commitment to taking better care of myself and putting myself and my needs first (for my sanity, if nothing else). So, I guess my personal recipe for taking care of myself would look something like:

    *green smoothies for breakfast most days, while still allowing room for french toast when I’m feelin’ it 🙂
    *Slow mornings. I’ve found that this is a big one for me. I really like to have a few hours in the morning to just ‘be’. Drink my coffee, look at the beautiful nature around me (I live on a farm), and spend time reading/cuddling with my cat/both. I find this really sets me up for the best possible day.
    *Regular (1-2 week) writing, painting, and photography. I love being creative and I don’t really feel complete when I’m not doing it, so I really have to start making time for it.
    *Lots of yummy salads.
    *Red wine as more than just an occasional indulgence.
    *One piece of rich, dark chocolate each day.
    *Less screen time. I no longer own a TV, so I’m on my way. But I feel like I spend a lot of time on the computer.
    *Spending time in nature frequently, especially since we’re headed into the Fall season.
    *Lots of hugs. This is one that’s alittle more difficult to achieve, as a single girl, but something I really feel I need. I miss it.
    *More time with girlfriends! I don’t actually have a ton of girlfriends in my local area, and I had been doing better about getting out and meeting people, but I’ll admit it – I’ve fallen off the friendship wagon. Making it a point to get back on, starting with going to my friend’s tailgate this Saturday!

    Thanks for the inspiration. It’s always helpful to take a step back and evaluate ever so often.

  • Sarah Jenks

    YAY! Candace, I love your daily recipe! You’ve created a list that is full of health, love, indulgence and fun. You can do this and I can’t wait to hear how you feel after trying it for a few weeks. I’m soo proud of you! xo

  • Rachel

    This is fantastic. I’ve been mulling over my “recipe” for the past week because when I read this something clicked. I realized I’ve been thinking of my list as a regimented list of things to force myself to do—something external that I was trying to implement over my life. When I started to think of what the things were that, when I did them, made me happier, more grounded, rested, at peace, etc, the list just started flowing. It’s still a work in progress, but isn’t that how life works? Heh. Anyway, here’s my list as it stands now.

    Spend time outside regularly, even if it’s just for a few moments each day.
    Move my body regularly, preferably in the mornings.
    Set aside time to myself in the mornings to start each day with calm instead of rushing.
    Be intentional and thoughtful about my beauty routine.
    Create intentional, focused time with my husband every day.
    Lots of kisses and hugs with my husband and snuggles with my puppy.
    Enjoy—really savor—good foods. Buy the good stuff.
    Pay attention to my hunger and stop eating when I am satisfied.
    Don’t eat standing up.
    Have fun in the kitchen and cook new meals regularly.
    Be creative.
    Be a tourist in my own city.
    Have a clean, organized house.
    Spend time with girlfriends at least once a month.
    Drink lots of water.
    Make date nights, weekends away and trips a priority.
    Use commutes to decompress and relax.

    • Sarah Jenks

      Rachel! I love that you’ve experienced the shift from regimented and daunting to powerful and fulfilling. Yay!! I’m anxious to hear how much happier and light you’ll feel in the weeks to come. Keep us posted! Great work. xo, Sarah

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