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How I'm Getting Ready for Swimsuit Season

GentlePaige ReohrComment
How I'm Getting Ready for Swimsuit Season. Say no to body shaming and yes to enjoying the present moment. #realfoodwholelife #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #bodylove #compassion

How I'm Getting Ready for Swimsuit Season

1 | Saying No

No to body shaming, to self-loathing, to never ending self-criticism.

No to working late and email notifications.

No to living on social media instead of real life, and no the 24-hour news cycle.

No to regrets.

2 | And Also Saying Yes

Yes to slowing down, to staying up late, to breaking the rules.

Yes to backyard picnics, outdoor concerts, staycations, and road-trips.

Yes to present, to today, to this moment, to right now.

3 | Getting in the Pool

I’m getting ready for swimsuit season by putting my swimsuit on.

Getting in the pool.

Running through the sprinkler.

Soaking up the sun.

4 | Being in the Picture

This summer I will be in the picture.

With my daughter and my husband during this beautifully, perfectly imperfect time in our lives.

And when looking back at the pictures I want to say: “Look at how happy we were. How much fun we had. “

“How young I was.”

“How beautiful I was, without even knowing it.”

Except, scratch that.

Let’s change that to, “How grateful I was.”

“How beautiful my life was, and I knew it at the time.”

“How grateful I was for my strong body and the love I gave so generously to myself and to those precious people in the pictures.”

5 | Savoring More

How am I getting ready for swimsuit season?

By savoring the season.

Farmer’s market bounty.

Snap peas from the garden.

Hikes in the mountains.

Juicy slices of watermelon.

Ice cream cones with my girl, chocolate dripping down our arms.

Bike rides around the river.

Fresh peaches baked with vanilla and cinnamon.

Rosé in the backyard.

Marshmallows around the fire-pit.

I want it all, and I want to savor every single last bit.

6 | Leaning into the Mess

Summer gets messy.

Board game pieces and art supplies, shoes piled around the front door (why can’t anyone put their shoes away?!?), mud tracked through the house, popsicle wrappers strewn across the yard (why can’t anyone throw their wrappers away?!?)

Dirt around ankles and under fingernails at the campground, a car full of camping and sports equipment.

This summer?

This summer I’m leaning into the mess for all its worth.

7 | Practicing Gentle

This.

This right here is my swimsuit-ready plan.

Practice gentle.

Be kind.

Let it go

Forget about perfect.

Because right here, right now?

This is as perfect as it gets.

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    How I'm Getting Ready for Swimsuit Season. Say no to body shaming and yes to enjoying the present moment. #realfoodwholelife #gentle #gentleisthenewperfect #bodylove #compassion

    How Yoga Teacher Training Helped me Ditch Perfectionism

    GentlePaige Reohr2 Comments
    How yoga teacher training helped me ditcher perfectionism and taught me that I am enough. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #gentleisthenewperfect #selflove #selfcare #healthy #wellness

    How Yoga Teacher Training Helped me Ditch Perfectionism

    Part I

    About 2 months ago I took a deep breath, grabbed a pencil, and began filling out an application to take part in a 200 hour yoga teacher training.

    Hands shaking and heart racing, I wrote answers to the standard questions.

    Name. Age. Number of years practicing yoga. Turned the page.

    How yoga teacher training helped me ditcher perfectionism and taught me that I am enough. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #gentleisthenewperfect #selflove #selfcare #healthy #wellness

    Stopped and stared at the medical history questions.

    Do you have physical injuries or illness?

    Umm, how much time do you have?

    Autoimmune disease. Lower back pain. Separated abdominals. Bad ankle. Ovarian cysts. Endometriosis.

    Should I stop now?

    Are you trying to get pregnant? Yes.

    Are you pregnant? No (but thanks for bringing it up).

    I put my pencil down.

    Looked again at my answers--my body on paper.

    Is this a yoga body?

    Tears fell onto the words, smearing the answers.

    So I folded it up, tucked it away. Went outside. Took some deep breaths.

    Is this a yoga body?

    Yes. This is me. My right now body.

    I can be sick and healing, grateful and shattered.

    I can show up.

    Broken in places, yet still whole.

    Okay, then.

    Time to answer the the questions.

    Slip the application into a pristine manila folder.

    Walk to the front desk. Hand it over.

    Just me. As is. Ready to start.

    Part II

    I got the email.

    You’re in. Welcome to yoga teacher training. Get ready. We start soon.

    Super. Perfect. Wonderful. Wait. WHAT AM I DOING???

    More specifically, have I lost my mind?

    Ah, there you are fear. I see you.

    Suddenly the image of every person I imagine awaiting me at teacher training clouds my brain.

    Probably twenty-something. Fantastically strong. Impossibly bendy.

    And just this vision of a studio full of Instaperfect yogis stops me cold.

    I can’t do a handstand to save my life and haven’t mastered chaturanga pushup.

    What if I don’t fit in? What if I’m not enough?

    Gotcha. The familiar soul-crushing, dream-killing combo. Fear + not enough.

    But this time the desire to become a student and teacher outweighs the fear.

    The thoughts don’t define me. They aren’t me.

    So I walk in. Simile. Say hello. Deep breath. Heart open.

    Enough in body. Enough in mind.

    Ready for now. Ready for what’s next.

    Part III

    Looking ahead it all seems impossible. There is no way. I can’t. Definitely not.

    Week one of yoga teacher training and I’m shoulder deep in overwhelm + self-doubt.

    The only possible way forward: dig deep and hold onto the present moment.

    Don’t spend so much time looking ahead. Focus on now. Today. One thing at a time.

    Okay, then. Five poses. Cue the shapes. Deepen. Breath. Great. Got it. I can do this.

    But then, week two.

    Time to stand up and teach.

    In front of everyone.

    Nope. No thank you. Hard pass.

    I am freaking out.of.here.

    It takes all my willpower to stay put. To not to stand up and run.

    I don’t know how to do this yet. I’ll mess up. Make mistakes. In front of everyone.

    So, no. I’ll pass.

    Stay in this safe zone where not trying means not failing.

    But then they call on me and I stand up and something comes out. Not sure what. It was sort of a blackout experience.

    I sit back down.

    The feedback: you did just fine.

    But we couldn’t hear you.

    Where is your voice? Oh. My voice?

    It’s stuck under the fear. I know it’s there, though. Directly beneath the surface.

    I can feel it. Almost hear it.

    So I keep standing up and making mistakes and letting it go and discovering what it right there waiting.

    And what’s right here?

    It is so much better than perfect.

    Part IV

    Beginning feels like jumping into icy cold water.

    Breath catches. Gasping. Floundering. Flapping.

    Trying to figure out which way it up.

    But then, maybe, release.

    Find the air. Breath in. Breath out. Let go. Find the float.

    Halfway through yoga teacher and realizing I just need to float.

    And breathe.

    Give up perfect. Open up.

    Make a choice: a ) try to teach my 30 minute midterm perfectly--nail every cue, by the book, nothing missed; or b) simply go for it--bring my true self, make mistakes, leave things out, and oh that’s right, be vulnerable.

    B it is. So I show up. Really go for it.

    And midway through I realize--omg--I actually love.this.so.much.

    Every single word comes out with a giant smile because it occurs to me (late to the party, I know) that I’ve been missing the point.

    The perfect-seeking, thinking I need to look a certain way or bend a particular direction, fear of failure, all if it.

    That’s what was making the water cold.

    But now I realize it’s really just helping people connect with themselves and feel their breath and--of course--it’s not really about me.

    It’s about us.

    And the water is actually warm after all

    Part V: The End/The Beginning

    I went into yoga teacher training holding onto all that I’m not, clinging to the ways I don’t fit neatly into the box.

    You know this "yoga-box," right?

    Bendy, young, calm, thin, perfect, totally + completely zen.

    Which isn’t exactly me.

    So I decided I was only there to learn.

    Independent observer, taking in the information, risking nothing.

    But, I also committed to the practice and to the work.

    Ten weeks. Practice. Do the work.

    And guess what?

    I still can’t do a chaturanga pushup. Or a handstand.

    I’m still six feet tall, prefer yoga pants over jeans, and make awkward jokes when I'm nervous.

    But also.

    But also I’m a yoga teacher.

    Or rather, I’m exactly who I’ve always been--teacher, storyteller, awkward joke-teller.

    After all of this I fully understand that there isn’t a box, or if there is, I don’t need to squeeze my way into it.

    So maybe you need to hear this today, if you’re feeling less-than, not-enough, or staying safe because you've bought into this idea, too, yoga or otherwise: there is no box.

    Just you.

    As you are.

    And you are right where you need to be.

    You know exactly where you’re going.

    Trust that you are enough.

    #gentleisthenewperfect


    How yoga teacher training helped me ditcher perfectionism and taught me that I am enough. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #gentleisthenewperfect #selflove #selfcare #healthy #wellness

    A Simplified Guide to Creating a Wellness Routine

    GentlePaige ReohrComment
    A simplified guide to creating a wellness routine that you can actually stick to. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #gentleisthenewperfect #practicegentle #selfcare #selflove #wellness #routine

    Self-care. It’s one of those things we know we should be doing, but the idea of setting up a self-care routine can seem like just one more thing on the to-do list.

    Plus, when you look around the interweb, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that self-care requires a long soak in a tub filled with flower petals and crystals.

    Or a multi-step breakfast routine that involves 12 kinds of superfoods and a holistic nutrition degree. Or hours set aside each day to meditate, journal and work out.

    Which isn’t always realistic.

    Yes, these are options within the practice of self-care, but they don’t represent the only way to care and nourish yourself.

    So instead, today we’re going to take a deep dive into getting started with a wellness routine.

    One that you can do and actually stick with, so you can take self-care off your to-do list and make it an essential part of your real life.

    p.s. Listen to the Feel Good Effect podcast episode on How to Create a Wellness Routine (You Can Actually Stick To) to take this next level!

    Download Your Free Guide to Goal Setting

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      Part One: Set for Success

      1 | It’s Not Self-Care, It’s Self-Compassion

      Let’s reframe self-care as self-compassion.

      As a way to let go of self-judgement and criticism and embrace your life with kindness and understanding, knowing that to suffer, fail and to be imperfect is completely, perfectly human.

      So why does practicing self-compassion matter?

      Research (1, 2, 3) has linked self-criticism with depression, anxiety, body dissatisfaction, and various other forms of psychological distress.

      Self-compassion is a way to disrupt self-criticism and be gentle with ourselves.

      And, as it turns out, being gentle with ourselves doesn’t make us soft, it actually makes us more resilient.

      Approaching a wellness routine grounded in self-compassion, then, allows you to forgive yourself when you miss a day or “fall off the wagon,” and will help you to build a sustainable practice that you can stick to over time.

      2 | The Wellness Trifecta

      Let’s think of wellness in three parts: food, movement, and mental wellbeing.

      Yes, food is important. And yes, movement is necessary.

      But it’s the combination of all three that can really move the needle when it comes to your overall well-being.

      When we over-focus on one area at the detriment of the others, we fall out of balance.

      By focusing on all three areas you can create your own, well-balanced wellness routine that addresses all areas of what it truly means to be healthy.

      3 | Rethink Success By Recalibrating Goals

      The all-or-nothing trap. We all fall into it one time or another.

      Maybe for you it’s in thinking about food.

      Or cooking.

      Or how often you work out.

      No matter how all-or-nothing thinking looks like for you, we know it reduces the likelihood of success and does not contribute to feeling good.

      Instead of all-or-nothing thinking, let’s focus instead on the parts and pieces you can do. Read on for more on how to do it!

      4 | A Fresh Start

      We know it’s important to start the day with a breakfast full of protein, healthy fats and plenty of fiber, but it’s a meal that’s often skipped or filled with tons of sugar or carbs.

      If you want your wellness routine to include eating a real food breakfast, use the journal sheet at the end of this post to set some Feel Good goals related to breakfast.

      Be sure to include your Ideal world goal, what’s happening now, your Gentle goal, Contingency goal, and a place to track progress (more on that soon).

      5 | Nourish in the Middle

      Up next, lunch.

      If you find yourself running through the drive-through or picking leftovers off your toddler’s plate, lunch may be a good meal to focus on as part of your wellness routine.

      Use the journal sheet at the end of this post to set some Feel Good goals related to lunch, and be sure to include your Ideal world goal, what’s happening now, your Gentle goal, Contingency goal, and a place to track progress (more on that soon).

      6 | Finishing Strong

      Even if you have your breakfast and lunch game figured out, dinner can sometimes slip through the cracks, especially on busy weeknights.

      Use the journal sheet at the end of this post to set some Feel Good goals related to dinner.

      As with breakfast and lunch, include your Ideal world goal, what’s happening now, your Gentle goal, Contingency goal, and a place to track progress (more on that soon).

      7 | The Right Amount of Movement for You

      As with food, movement is essential to any wellness routine.

      Maybe your goal is to add more movement to your day, or perhaps it’s to reduce the amount or intensity of exercise to focus more on connecting and feeling good in your body.

      Regardless of your goals, use the journal sheet at the end of this post to set some Feel Good goals related to exercise or movement.

      As you did with food, include your Ideal world goal, what’s happening now, your Gentle goal, Contingency goal, and a place to track progress (more on that soon).

      Part Three: Document

      8 | Tracking and Self-Compassion Practice

      The last piece of establishing a wellness routine you can actually stick to is to track your stated goals and add a little self-compassion to the mix.

      So, for each Feel Good gentle and contingency goals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, movement), create a place to state your gals and to track daily progress.

      You can use the journal sheet provided at the end of this post to get started, or create your own personalized version.

      Now, and here’s the key, add a line each day to add a note of kindness. Remember that self-compassion part we talked about at the beginning of this post? Here’s a chance to put it into practice.

      If adding a note of kindness sounds silly, remember that most of us spend a significant amount of time engaging in self-critical or negative self-talk.

      Adding a note of kindness brings self-compassion into our awareness, and gives us the chance

      to intentionally practice it on a daily basis.

      Download Your Free Guide to Goal Setting

      Gentle goal seeing at your fingertips. 

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        Bringing It All Together

        A wellness routine is so much more than individual acts of self-care.

        It’s about grounding your actions in self-compassion and focusing on the Wellness Trifecta: food, exercise, and mental wellbeing in an intentional way.

        By taking the Feel Good Goal Setting Process (download above!) and applying it to your own food, exercise, and mental wellbeing goals, you can craft a wellness routine that you can actually stick to and feel really good about doing it.

        Remember, this is all about what works for you! You don’t have to focus on all the areas described above, you can take this framework and use it to create something that works in the context of your life.

        A simplified guide to creating a wellness routine that you can actually stick to. #feelgoodeffect #realfoodwholelife #gentleisthenewperfect #practicegentle #selfcare #selflove #wellness #routine

        How Looking at My Body Through My Daughter's Eyes Changed Everything

        GentlePaige ReohrComment

        This morning as we as we were getting dressed she stopped me.

        “I want to hug my favorite belly,” she says.

        This has been a thing, ever since she was old enough to talk.

        Mama’s belly.

        My favorite belly.

        How looking at my body through my daughter's eyes changed everything. #realfoodwholelife #selflove #bodypositive #feelgoodeffect #gentleisthenewperfect #practicegentle #bodylove #acceptance #selflove

        She comes over, wraps her tiny arms around my waist, nestles her head into my midsection.

        “I love this big belly,” she whispers, so softly I can barely make out the words.

        She whispers without judgement, without knowledge that big can sometimes mean bad.

        Ugly.

        Shameful, even.

        To her my belly is simply big in comparison to hers.

        “This is my favorite part of your body, mama,” she says gazing up.

        “Oh?” I respond. “Why is that?”

        “Without this belly I wouldn’t be here. It was my home, and I love it,” she states.

        Matter of fact.

        As simple as that.

        I look down, seeing through her eyes.

        The stretch marks.

        The subtle roundness.

        The fact that I haven’t achieved the elusive (and highly prized) flat-abs-post-baby, even though my baby is almost 6.

        The autoimmune disease that brews just beneath the surface.

        The miscarriages and cysts and infertility.

        She sees none of it.

        And looking down I can let that all go, too.

        To see a body that carries battle scars and struggle, but also beauty and love.

        Real, pure, unadulterated love.

        Thank you my girl.

        Thank you belly.

        You’re my favorite, too.

        Grab the Simplified Guide to Body Love

        5 simple practices to love your body better. Download it now for free!

        Simplified Guide to Body Love

        Download the free guide for 5 practices to love your body.

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          How looking at my body through my daughter's eyes changed everything. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentleisthenewperfect #practicegentle #bodylove #acceptance #selflove

          The Simplified Guide to Letting Go of Perfectionism

          GentlePaige ReohrComment

          The Simplified Guide to Letting Go of Perfectionism

          A simplified guide to letting go of perfectionism. Read on for more on how perfectionism is different from striving for greatness. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentleisthenewperfect #practicegentle #wellness #healthy

          What Perfectionism Looks Like in Real Life

          Perfectionism, at its core, is about the stories we tell ourselves regarding what and how we should be.

          It’s about creating aspirational, often unattainable, expectations and comparing where we are now with where we think we ought to be.

          And often it’s about beating ourselves up when we fall short or don’t hit the mark.

          Never mind that the expectations weren’t even possible to begin with.

          Perfectionism?

          It requires suspending the reality of real life, constructing a world that is unachievable, and then berating or beating ourselves up for not achieving or accomplishing an effectively false reality.

          The Difference Between Perfectionism and Striving for Greatness

          There’s an important difference between perfectionism and striving for greatness.

          As Brené Brown writes in, The Gifts of Imperfection: "Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best.

          Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame.

          It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.”

          How Perfectionism May Be Holding You Back

          Perfectionism shows up in many ways, but has a particularly negative impact on health and wellness.

          Because it may be tempting to strive to eat perfectly, move perfectly, and look perfect, attempts toward perfection can lead to frustration, overwhelm, self-criticism, and often abandoning healthy lifestyle habits altogether.

          On top of that, perfectionism may show up differently depending on your specific Wellness Personality.

          For example, a Dynamo might be stuck comparing herself to her own internal expectations, while a Seeker may be focused on comparing herself to what others are doing.

          And the Cultivator may be feel like everyone else has it figured out, and discouraged by how far she thinks she has to go.

          (Curious about your Wellness Personality? Take the quiz to find out your type and to grab your free resource guide!).

          Download Your Free Guide to Goal Setting

          Gentle goal seeing at your fingertips. 

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            The Simplified Guide to Ditching Perfectionism

            The good news is that perfectionism does not have to be a way of life.

            Read on for the 5-step process to ditch perfection for good.

            1 | See Mistakes as a Normal Part of the Learning and Growing Process

            Congratulations, you’re human! And humans make mistakes.

            Instead of viewing mistakes as a reflection of your self-worth, and immediately jumping to embarrassment, shame, and self-criticism, try reframing the internal conversation.

            When you make as mistake, a misstep, or slide into old habits, remind yourself that you are human and mistakes are a normal part of the learning and growing process.

            2 | Chose Meaning Over Perfect

            Take a moment to self-reflect on your personal values, and whether meaning is more important than perfection.

            If it is, become more mindful of moments when you consciously choose meaning over perfect.

            Maybe that looks like a 5-minute walk in the outdoors, even when you can’t get to the gym for an hour.

            Or perhaps that looks like roasting a few veggies and grabbing a rotisserie chicken from the store in favor of an elaborate dinner.

            3 | Gentle Over Perfect

            If self-compassion is perfectionist kryptonite, let's have more of it!

            Self-compassion simply means extending the same kindness and empathy to yourself that you do to others.

            Easier said than done, right?

            Here’s what to do: the next time you find yourself falling into the perfectionist mindset, try imagining that you’re talking to a friend or child.

            What would you say to him or her? Would you share kind and empathetic words?

            If so, try sharing those same words with yourself, and remember: gentle is the new perfect.

            4 | Just Get Started

            Procrastination is a sure sign that you’re stuck in a perfectionist mindset.

            Putting off the workout because you can’t fit in a full hour.

            Skipping meal prep because you don’t have time to prepare a full week’s worth of food.

            Not meditating because it’s difficult to sit for 20 minutes.

            The next time you find yourself procrastinating or putting something off that you know is important for you health and self-care, ask yourself: am I avoiding this because I have an expectation of perfect?

            If the answer is yes, there’s a simple answer.

            Do something.

            Anything.

            Just get started.

            Some, in this care, is most certainly better than none.

            5 | Don’t confuse Consistency With Perfection

            We all know that consistency is key when it comes to long-term success.

            But we get into trouble when we confuse consistency with perfection.

            Consistency does not mean being perfect, or hitting the mark every single day.

            It means showing up and doing the work most of the time.

            Do it more than you don’t.

            It’s that simple.

            Ready to take things next-level? Take the Wellness Personality Quiz and grab the free resource guide, packed with curated tips and tools just for you.

            pin this post for later or share it with a friend!

            A simplified guide to letting go of perfectionism. Read on for more on how perfectionism is different from striving for greatness. #realfoodwholelife #feelgoodeffect #gentleisthenewperfect #practicegentle #wellness #healthy