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I am a strong proponent of learning and mentoring. I’ve enrolled in many online courses and business programs over the past decade. I’ve learned a ton, made some great friends and have had the privilege of learning from some incredible mentors.

The online world has opened up incredible opportunities to learn and connect. And there’s still nothing quite like being with amazing people in person. So, when an opportunity came up to meet my current business coach, April Beach, in my home state of MA, I was super excited.

April lives in CO and was only in MA for a few days while two of her three sons were playing in a Lacrosse tournament. I joined her on the lacrosse field about an hour or so from where I live. It was a super-hot day with temperatures in the 90’s and high humidity to boot. My favorite description of such weather is steamy.

I am very mindful about dressing for optimum comfort no matter what situation or weather I’m faced with. So I dressed very light and was pretty comfortable, despite the extreme heat & humidity. And I really enjoyed the time I had with April!

But I have to say that this picture makes me incredibly uncomfortable!

Honestly, my first thought was to delete it. But it’s the only picture I have with her and it has sentimental value that surpasses my discomfort.

But I think I look SO frumpy and am totally embarrassed to share it.

And that’s exactly why I’ve sent it to you. I know I’m judging myself harshly and comparing myself to standards that are often not real. Photo editing and other techniques that slim, shape and change the appearance of real people distort our perceptions of what people look like, which is obviously way more diverse than what shows up onscreen and all-over various forms of media.

Our beliefs, and how we feel about ourselves, are important aspects of our ability to be well. When we feel bad about ourselves, chemical responses are triggered in our brain and nervous system that change the physical functions in our bodies. So we feel bad AND it triggers chemical signaling inside us, which interferes with the health of our physical body!

And this is why our beliefs and thoughts are such a vital and integral part of overall health.

And it’s why I’m pushing myself through my discomfort over sharing my shortcomings and self-judgement about my body with you. It’s a challenge for me to move past it and be kinder to myself. And it’s an invitation for you to consider your own judgement and beliefs about your body, your appearance, your thoughts, your lifestyle – anything and everything that makes up who you are.

I’ll keep working on acknowledging and busting through the beliefs and constructs that are not serving my ability and desire to be the truest, healthiest version of myself possible. While it’s not always easy, I know that whatever aspects of my health, life and body that I’m not happy with, can be shifted in a healthy way that is right for me. I’m committed to discerning what isn’t as healthy as it could be for me, and then doing the work to get to a healthier, happier place.