Many of you were likely brought here by my Instagram page. Thanks for your sweet support and checking out the rest of the blog. If you’re up for sharing, I’d love to hear more about how you personally relate to my story in the comments below.
If you haven’t seen the original post or want to see the whole thing (too many characters to fit it all on Instagram) – here is the extended version:
(Note: If you scroll past the post, I list the 5 things I do keep myself in the ‘self-love’ lane daily. It’s a really great place to start if you want to start giving yourself some extra lovin’, too.)
As Seen on @angelamcnally Instagram (EXTENDED VERSION)
Real Talk: I’m feeling terrified to do this post. Which makes me know I have to.
This is the first bathing suit I’ve loved on me in a while. My butt loves to eat my swimsuits, and my size 10 bod has trouble finding the right cut. I felt really cute in this swimsuit, then one of my friends took this picture and I’ll I could see was big arms and cellulite – and wanted to delete it immediately.
During the same weekend away, another friend kept commenting ‘you take such good care of yourself’ – and it’s true, I really do.
These two incidents (along with so many other things) made me realize that somewhere within my alignment of self-love to self-acceptance is out of balance.
One of the hardest things about feeling good about yourself these days is the knowing that you’re always being photographed, social media is a part of our daily lives, and the ability to compare yourself to others is just a scroll, click or snap away.
For me, I can leave the house feeling sexy AF. But somehow by the end of the day – with everyone around me talking about bodies or diets, seeing badly lit pictures of myself or comparing myself to someone who is structurally built to be half my weight and size…
I end up right back in negative self-talk and no longer feeling good about myself.
As you may know, I started my career and gained much of my following in the world of fitness and nutrition. And while healthy foods and exercise will always be a part of my daily life – the extreme lifestyle, the obsession with skinny and talking about bodies all day long eventually drove me insane.
So I quit that and built a life I love.
Then along the way I was diagnosed with an incurable auto-immune disease that makes it really, really hard to lose weight. And for 5 years now I’ve been hoping and praying that one day something on my healing journey will just ‘click’ and I’ll go back to my former body shape and weight.
Except the old me was starving. Starving for love, starving for acceptance, starving for healing and quite literally starving. The old me didn’t know how to process intense emotions, communicate in relationships, or manage money. I abused drugs and alcohol and food and anything else I could vice out with.
So ya, maybe I was skinny. But what the fuck does that really have to do with anything?
For too long I’ve been looking at this disease as a curse. But it’s also made me 100% more mindful about what I put into and how I treat my body.
I’m gluten free, (mostly) dairy free and I am a water connoisseur. I move my body daily and I work out with a personal trainer twice a week. I see a therapist weekly, I get massages and do reiki. I’m a mediation coach and practice daily. I walk everywhere and I crave vegetables and green juice.
I also love nights out that involve cocktails and a dance floor, travel, coffee and trying new restaurants. I enjoy all of those things guilt-free. Because those things fill up my soul cup. Those things are my balance.
And I would never go back to a life of restriction because to me – no body shape would ever be worth missing out on this amazing life.
So if this picture is my body when I’m happy, healthy, loving myself and practicing extreme self care – then you know what I’ve realized? SCREW IT – It is what it is and I’m done obsessing!
Having this realization has shifted so much for me.
Lately I’ve been thinking God gave me Hashimoto’s to learn to be brave enough to say – “it’s fine”.
We are all different shapes and sizes and as long as you are being kind to yourself and your body, it’s okay.
So instead of obsessing over the perfect lighting, my arms being too big, if big booties are still in, comparing myself to others, and all the other things I (and we all) do daily…. I’m realizing it really doesn’t matter. I’m going to make a conscious effort to love and accept myself ‘as is’.
Let’s encourage loving ourselves and start embracing whatever version of healthy truly feels right for each of us. We are all always a work in progress. I will always be working towards a happier and healthier me. But I’m realizing that self-acceptance is the only way to make my acts of self-love worth it. To realize I’m worthy of being kind to myself everyday, and not just ‘one day’ – is such a gift. One of those life changing realizations for me.
#AMstorytime #RealTalkwithAM #realvibesonly
Here are 5 things I do to make sure I stay in a loving mindset towards myself daily:
1. I’m grateful everyday.
I wake up every morning and thank my bed for a great sleep, for the husband I have waking up beside me, for my health, for a home I love and an abundance of family and friends. I list anything that comes to my mind that day silently in my head and just say ‘thank you’.
I’m sure you’ve read dozens of blogs and articles that say to do this. But I really want you to take a moment to fully understand the power of this:
We are all fields of energy. Positive attracts positive, and negative attracts negative. It’s not only self-care, it’s science.
So when you wake up and thank life for what you have, you are attracting more.
When you wake up and berate yourself and let your inner-voice talk about how fat you are, poor you are, lonely you are – guess what you are attracting? A bad day, and a bad life.
From personal experience as a former victim of negative self-chatter, to an avid believer in a daily gratitude practice – I can honestly say my life in all areas has changed for the better when I adopted the latter.
What do you have to lose?
2. I don’t participate in negative body conversations.
I find it super sad when people waste their time talking about other peoples bodies.
There are some people in my life that make this habit a regular occurrence, and unfortunately they aren’t really people I can choose to take distance from.
Usually, I choose to leave the room and not participate, or say – “I think she is beautiful” to show the gossipers that I’m not having it, without starting a confrontation.
When people are speaking negatively of others, it’s because they don’t love themselves.
So wish them love and don’t feed into it.
Hopefully you can surround yourself (most of the time) with people who have way more uplifting, intelligent and loving things to say.
Mind chatter is another form of negative body messaging. And usually 99% of the time, it’s about YOU! Catch yourself when you think something bad about yourself and change the thought.
Here is a great quick affirmation you can use as soon as you need to change your thoughts:
I am beautiful.
I am healthy.
I love my body.
3. I’m a routine queen.
Maybe you are wondering how a routine can keep me loving myself?
For me, it keeps my life in balance. It simply keeps the things I know I need in my life to feel happy and healthy in my schedule.
When I was younger I was a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ kind of gal. If you asked me to do it, I would. Even if it meant not taking my health, success or sanity first. I was the ‘super cool fun girl’. Except I was broke, unhealthy, suffering from anxiety and only fun at the party!
There are exceptions to this rule I am sure – But personally I’ve never met a happy person who doesn’t have routine in their lives. We are creatures of habit. We crave self-care. We deeply need quiet time and personal space for growth.
I’ll do another blog about my personal routine soon. But it includes things like a morning ritual, my personal trainer, my therapist, meditation, preparing healthy foods, setting weekly goals and one quiet ‘me night’ a week. Then 1-2 days a week I plan to be ‘off routine’ and enjoying whatever life has to offer. Typically this is a Saturday night and Sunday.
I will say this really important lesson I’ve learned:
It’s hard to ‘let go’ of your health and body shape and negative self-image if you aren’t caring for yourself. If you aren’t giving yourself and your body the best it deserves (which does not mean perfection, it just means routine) – then it would be hard to get your mind around the self-acceptance.
I think acts of self-love lead to accepting yourself. So making your health and happiness a priority is the first step to being strong enough to love yourself everyday.
Does this make sense?
4. I check in with my body and I listen.
This is by far the most important thing I’ve learned to do for myself over the years. When I stop being ‘go-go-go’ and get quiet – my soul, my mind and my body all have messages for me.
Maybe it’s a need for a quiet night even though I will be disappointing someone. Maybe it’s a need for more water and freshly squeezed vegetable juice. Maybe it’s hitting my meditation pillow and just taking time to breathe on a particularly busy day.
You know when you get sick because you have done things for everyone else and not yourself? That’s not listening to yourself. You know when you spontaneously cry and want to kill someone for no reason? That’s not listening to yourself.
Happiness comes from loving yourself first, and everyone else second. Trust me there is more than enough love left (more!) to love your family and friends in a healthy way after you take your needs first.
(Note: I’m not a mom yet. But, I want to be really soon. And I get that you come second when you have a new baby. But once the baby is not physically dependent on you and only you – set some boundaries, get some help and make some time for your health and happiness. Might be an hour a week – but it’s important.)
5. I let go.
This one is a total work in progress. Every day. Maybe forever?
This one is especially for my fellow sufferers of auto-immune. It’s so easy to obsess about healing. But it’s so unhealthy. If you are stressing about not being healthy and how to get there every day – you are keeping yourself in that negative space.
Educate yourself, yes. Come up with the best plan that feels right for you. Do your best. Then let it go!
This also applies to everyone. When someone tags you in a bad photo, or you feel like a whale in the worlds worst bridesmaids dress, or anything else that keeps you obsessing for zero reason…
Let it go!
The more energy you put into these silly things, the more the world will continue this negative cycle.
Contribute to the higher consciousness of happiness. That starts with you loving yourself, then your daughters will learn to love themselves, and so forth. The world does change one positive action at a time!
This was a really tough blog for me to hit publish on! I’d love got hear your thoughts, fears, comments and stories below.
Sending you and your bodies all of my love!