Goals to Set for Yourself That Don’t Include “Lose X Amount of Pounds”

Disclaimer: If you are struggling with disordered thoughts/eating, please see a licensed professional for help.

On my worst body image days, my mind goes right back to its default “I need to lose weight” mindset. Big events, summertime, comparing my body to others, clothes shopping, all of these things can really trigger this mindset for me.

I’m trying to choose compassion when it comes to my body & goals. It’s easy for me to be compassionate toward others, & a little harder to choose it toward myself!

I’ve found it helpful recently to set small goals for myself that are not weight-loss oriented. It’s a nice reminder to myself that health does not equal weight loss; health is doing things to make your mind & body feel good. Here are a few goals I’m setting for myself!

  • Eat colorful foods! I want to eat more fruits & vegetables-it always makes me feel better.
  • Take at least one virtual dance class per week! Dance brings me so much joy & the endorphins don’t suck, either!
  • Manage my time better-Teaching, grad school, upcoming certification tests, I have a lot going on. I’ve been feeling stressed & unorganized lately, so I want to take steps toward managing my time better.
  • Wear clothes that I love-no more trying to squeeze myself into my pre-quarantine jeans. I only want to wear clothes that make me feel amazing!
  • Eat breakfast-I want to continue eating breakfast every morning; it’s an easy way to nourish my body & kick off my day in a positive way.

It can be so easy to feel the burden of your past (or present!) disordered eating or thoughts. Society puts such an emphasis on how to “get a summer body”, “ways to lose weight for the wedding”, or “drop 3 sizes, fast!” Here’s a reminder for you, that you are amazing exactly the way you are, that there are a million things more interesting about you than what your body looks like, & that you are worthy of making fun, beautiful memories RIGHT now. Not when you lose X amount of lbs. Right now!

Love you guys!

Danielle

Things I Learned at 25

Hi there!

Today is my last day before I turn 26! I thought it might be fun to reflect on all that I learned this past year. It was a challenging year that definitely tested me & taught me about myself. Here’s a few things I learned!

  • I’m more adaptable to change than I thought. I’m a cautious person who has a little bit of fear surrounding change. This year I proved to myself that I can adapt & make it through challenging times.
  • Making memories with loved ones is by far most important to me. Material things don’t mean much compared to spending quality time with my family & friends. Being able to spend time with them now is something I don’t take for granted!
  • Gratitude can get me through the hardest times. I lean heavily on gratitude to manage my anxiety symptoms. Even on my hardest days, I have so much to be grateful for.

These are things that I know I’ll carry into this next year. I’m thankful to be able to celebrate my birthday with loved ones this year, & can’t wait for a summer full of outdoor dining, swimming, & backyard hangouts.

How lucky am I to have so much love in my life?

Another quick note: I’m growing as a person & continuing to grow my little online community. If you’re reading this, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read my words, to engage in my Instagram content, to have inspiring conversations.

I’m looking forward to 26 & all that it brings! I hope you’re having a good week!

Danielle

Reasons to go to Therapy When You Feel Totally Fine

The color of this dress (from Target!) makes me so happy!

“What’s wrong?” “Are you okay?” are a few questions I received when I told family & friends that I was going to therapy. While therapy is wonderful for those who are struggling (& if you are struggling, there is help out there for you!), it can also be amazing when there’s nothing wrong at all. I felt inspired by an Instagram post by Keiko Wolfe, to write a list of reasons why everyone should go to therapy, whether you’re going through something or not!

I’ve previously written about my mental health journey (I’ll link my post here!) & have mentioned more recently that I’m going to school to become a mental health counselor myself. My main reason for being in therapy right now is to be the best therapist I can be, but I’m also working through other things in my sessions. Here are a few reasons why someone might benefit from therapy!

  • To process a big life change
  • To nurture relationships with others (& yourself!)
  • To learn more about yourself
  • To unpack childhood trauma
  • To learn new coping skills

Therapy is so helpful for people who are struggling, but it’s not ONLY for those in a dark place. That is what the stigma surrounding mental health tells us in our society. Regardless of how you feel about therapy or where you are in your mental health journey, I hope you know that you are worthy of living your best life. I’m so happy you’re here!

Danielle

How I’m Currently Practicing Self-Care

Hi there! I hope you’re having a good week so far! John & I celebrated our 5 year anniversary (of dating, not married yet!) on Tuesday. It was definitely the highlight of my week! We went to a little Mexican restaurant with cute outdoor seating. We drank a pitcher of margaritas & daydreamed about where we’ll travel next. It was perfect!

The perfect anniversary dinner!

It’s so crazy to think that we’ve been together for 5 years. It feels like yesterday & a lifetime ago, all at the same time. He’s truly my best friend! We’ve been through so much together, good & bad. There’s no one else I’d rather go through life with!

I had my first official therapy session last week. I’ll be going to therapy (virtually!) every other week. I feel really happy with this step toward taking care of my health! It’s also fun to be able to discuss different therapy perspectives & theories with my therapist (if you didn’t know, I’m going to school to be a therapist & I’m a complete mental health nerd!)

I hope you’re finding little ways to take care of yourself, even in the midst of a hectic, busy life. I wanted to share a few of my favorite ways that I’ve been practicing self-care!

  • Going to therapy, like I mentioned! I’m really enjoying it so far, & it feels so good to carve out 50 minutes of time to focus solely on my mental health. 10/10 would recommend!
  • Practicing mindfulness. This is something my therapist recommended; it’s something I’ve already been doing BUT she is encouraging me to be more mindful about being mindful, haha. For me, that looks like setting aside time throughout the day to notice where I’m holding tension, checking in with myself, & deep breathing.
  • Preparing for work the night before! I’ve been trying to pack my lunch, fill my water bottle, & pick out my clothes before bed. It helps me get out the door faster + I don’t have much to think about when I’m in my morning zombie mode!
  • Eating breakfast every day. I just feel better when I eat breakfast so I’ve been heating up a breakfast burrito, packing it in my bag, & eating it once I’m in my classroom.
  • Decluttering-not my favorite but it helps me feel less anxious! I’ve been slowly going through my closet & trying to get my apartment organized.

I hope this post reminds you to practice self-care! What’s your favorite way to take care of yourself?

Enjoy the rest of your week,

Danielle

Tips for Becoming a (Reluctant) Morning Person!

I’ve always been a night owl. I love staying up late & sleeping in, & it’s been my default my whole life. My grandpa always used to tell me that my ideal work day would be between noon-8 pm; he was totally right!

I teach 2nd grade, which isn’t exactly conducive to sleeping in or staying up late. Add on my grad school coursework, & I was always TIRED. I would take naps for hours after work, wake up, & do my school work, staying up until 1 or 2 am. I slowly realized that staying up late was not sustainable.

So I started going to bed earlier. & it was magical. My mom has been trying to tell me that for years (sorry, Mom!) & I was so set in my night owl ways, I just didn’t want to hear it. I thought I would be missing out on something if I went to bed early (I have no idea what, I’ve just always felt that way haha.) & then I’d drag my miserable, exhausted body to work, after sleeping until the last possible second. Here are some tips for becoming a (albeit reluctant!) morning person:

  • Make gradual changes! You’re probably not going to become a morning person overnight. BUT you can choose to go to bed 30 minutes earlier. Notice how much better you feel in the morning, & start there.
  • Create a morning routine you actually look forward to! It might include sipping a cup of coffee on your porch, playing with your dog, eating your favorite breakfast, or going for a run. Whatever can bring you even the tiniest bit of joy in the morning, do it!
  • I love naps. LOVE them. But, I had to cut them out (most days, anyway!) Instead of my usual post-work nap, we’ve been taking Theo for a long walk. This gives me enough energy to power through making dinner, doing homework, & whatever else I have to do after work.

I hope these tips help inspire you to become a morning person! If you’re just starting this journey like me, comment any tips you have!

Good luck early bird!

Danielle

Don’t Let Others Dim Your Light

I’m sending you love on this gloomy Monday. I hope your week is as wonderful as you are!

Happy (ish?) Monday!

We have NO control over other people; what they say, what they do, how they interpret things you say or do. We can only control our own reactions. That’s easier said than done, but I try to choose grace. Grace for myself & others, in every situation.

People can really suck, sometimes. It’s hard & it’s upsetting, especially for my fellow empaths. It’s difficult not to take on that negative energy; difficult to let it go.

Not everyone leads with kindness, not everyone is mindful of the feelings of others. That says everything about them & nothing about you. Don’t let others get you down, don’t let them dim that beautiful light of yours. Keep shining, beauty!

Love,

Danielle

Happy One Year Anniversary to My Blog!

Thanks for being here! Your support means the world to me. I’m inspired by you & thankful for you every day!

43 blog posts. 2,456 views. Several brand collaborations, & countless inspiring conversations.

I’m so lucky! I wanted to start this blog for years before I finally did it. The idea that I could share my love for fashion & beauty while empowering other women to love themselves seemed too good to be true. Here we are, one year after I posted my first blog post.

If something feels scary but you feel called to do it, you should do it! Don’t let your own doubts hold yourself back. I’ll never regret creating this blog, but I may have regretted it if I never took that first step & just STARTED.

This blog has given me so much. It’s given me inspiration, creativity, & a built-in way for me to process my emotions & experiences, good & bad.

When you’re in my little corner of the internet, I hope you feel encouraged to love yourself as you are. I hope you feel empowered to do anything you want to do. I hope you feel inspired to always be kind & know that to be vulnerable is to be brave. I’m so thankful to you for being here!

Love,

Danielle

Self-Care Ideas!

When life gets a little hectic, self-care is often the first thing to go out the window. Self-care is something that looks different for everyone! If you haven’t quite nailed down what self-care is to you, or if you want some new ideas, this post is for you!

-Seek mental health help! Therapy isn’t just for when something is wrong; if you have the financial means to do so, checking in with a counselor can be so helpful.

-Go for a walk! I’ve been taking walks with my boyfriend & puppy after work every day, & they’re particularly helpful when I’m feeling stressed.

-Practice gratitude! I’m a broken record with this one but gratitude changes your mindset & your mindset is EVERYTHING. Think of things you feel grateful for, in the car, in bed when you wake up, as you’re cooking dinner, wherever!

-Declutter! I’m not the most organized person & sometimes the idea of cleaning can make me want to stab my eyes out. BUT even I can admit, I feel a little better when I take a few minutes & declutter something or just tidy up. It’s annoying, but true.

-Listen to some calming music & take some deep breaths. I’ve been loving the Boyce Avenue acoustic playlist; I put that on & take a few minutes to just breathe & stretch.

-Cook an easy, nutrient-rich meal. There’s something about cooking for myself that makes me feel relaxed & like I’m really taking care of myself. I have a few healthy (ish!), quick recipes coming in a blog post soon.

Take care of yourself!

Love,

Danielle

2021 Intentions

I couldn’t be more thankful for these guys!

When we went back to school in the fall, I started setting weekly intentions for myself. This felt like a good way to be gentle with myself & not to feel too much pressure while teaching. It felt comforting & productive while not overwhelming. I really recommend setting weekly intentions, particularly if you’re struggling.

Each week, I would write in my agenda my intentions for the week; what I hoped to achieve & how I hoped I could leave those I interacted with feeling. Instead of the typical New Years resolutions, I thought I would set some intentions for the new year.

  • Appreciating the little things. 2020 taught me to slow down & enjoy the things I have.
  • Making time for hobbies. I love to be creative & life doesn’t always allow for much time to do that. I’m hoping to set aside more time this year to explore things that make me feel creative.
  • Being more intentional with my spending. I want to cook at home more often, order takeout less, & buy clothes that I truly love & will want to wear frequently.

I have a lot of goals I’m working toward (academic, profession, & personal!) but these three intentions are what is resonating with me currently. I like that if I make these three simple things a priority, my year is already off to a good start!

This is also only the second year that I’m not setting a weight-related goal at the beginning of the year, I think it’s important to acknowledge that. I spent my whole life telling myself that I would lose weight in the new year, that this would somehow make my life more fulfilling. Time & time again, life has proven to me that I do not need to lose weight to have value. I can be happy right now, as I am.

2021 is here; things aren’t magically better or less stressful. Life is challenging & messy & overwhelming at times. I’ve been feeling immense gratitude; for the health & happiness of my loved ones, for John, for our life together. I’m so lucky & even on my most difficult days, that doesn’t change.

I hope that you’re doing well! If you’re struggling, I’m thinking of you & sending light your way.

Happy 2021!

Danielle

I’m Proud of Myself

This was a difficult year! There is so much to be proud of.

Acknowledging my accomplishments isn’t something that comes easily to me. I’m not sure if it’s something women are conditioned (thanks, patriarchy!) or if it’s something else, but I rarely discuss my accomplishments or things I’m proud of myself for. I wanted to write this post, because there is a lot to be proud of this year. I hope it inspires you to take a moment & to reflect on what you feel most proud of this year.

I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of myself for teaching in the midst of a pandemic. For showing up daily & trying to be the best teacher I can be for my kiddos, even when it’s hard. I’m proud of myself for sticking it out through grad school; through late nights of writing papers & discussion posts, on nights I feel like giving up. (Also for getting an A in my most recent course!) I’m proud of myself for adapting & finding ways to cope with an anxiety disorder that has really been amplified in this pandemic.

I’m proud of myself for how I treat people; I’m mindful of how I make other people feel (although maybe a little too much so sometimes!) & I try my best to make others feel valued. I’m proud that I enjoy learning new things & challenging myself. I’m proud that I lift other people up instead of tearing them down. I’m proud that during a difficult year, I found strength I didn’t know I had.

As we wrap up 2020, there is so much to be proud of. I’m proud of you, for getting through a tough year; for reflecting on priorities & making hard choices, for making sacrifices & showing up. Maybe you suffered a loss, whether that’s a loved one, a job, big plans. There is so much to be proud of yourself for!

Walking into 2021 feeling grateful.

What are you most proud of yourself for?

Thank you so much for being here; for supporting my blog. You inspire me & I couldn’t be more grateful. Have a happy new year!

Love,

Danielle