Running From Your Reflection

And I don’t mean literally… I mean when you see yourself in others.

As I’ve mentioned before- I’m not that great at friendships. Well, what I mean more specifically is that I feel challenged by relationships with women. I know there are layers to these challenges and it can’t just be summarized into one neat little package.

But what I do know is- it all has to do with me. First, I see the reflection of what I need and what I needed from my mother in my relationships with other women. Second, I see my own struggles and my own flaws in the people I get close to.

The unfulfilled needs definitely complicate things, but the struggles I’ve overcome and yet to overcome and flaws make it especially challenging. As I recognize the fact that it’s actually my own reflection making me uncomfortable, I’ve realized how unfair that is for the other person involved.

I’m essentially trying to save myself through other people. I always cross boundaries, take it one or many steps too far, give too much of myself and then get resentful when I feel it’s not appreciated or reciprocated.

The issue here is I’m not able to love and accept someone beyond their “problems” because I can’t love and accept myself despite my own perceived flaws.

For so many years I’ve been self help obsessed. I just think if I can be more mindful, more effective, more productive, more whatever- everything else will fall into place.

But the truth is I’ve been intellectualizing everything and forgetting how to actually love someone. You don’t love someone by working to. You love someone by just accepting them as they are and not constantly trying to change them.

Yes personal development is a wonderful thing but it’s not a prerequisite for being a good person. In fact, even if you’re kind of a jerk- you should still be loved and you should definitely still love yourself.

It’s just a matter of monitoring how you actually talk to yourself. Are the demands you have on yourself reasonable? Are you kind to yourself when you don’t meet them?

I recently was listening to a podcast and the guy said- if you think you have it all together, all you have to do is look at your relationships with other people to gauge how true that is. Are your relationships going well? If not- then you probably need to do some work on your relationship with yourself.

If you find it hard To be compassionate and patient with others, how can you possibly find it in yourself to be those things for yourself? I think you can really be in denial about it for a long time.

It takes a lot of self-awareness and constant checking in to be sure your not acting out of your own self limiting beliefs.

The best “method” I’ve found for working on self love has been improving my self talk and using “The Work” by Byron Katie.

Two books that I found specifically helpful have been:

“I Need Your Love, Is That True”, Byron Katie

-“Ultimate Confidence”, Marisa Peer

Tell me about a time you realized your own issues were causing problems for you in a relationship.

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Things You “Should” Do Everyday: The Deceivingly Simple Trick For Lightening Up on Yourself

For a long time now, I’ve been obsessed with personal improvement. I’ve been a personal trainer, a nutritionist and a self-help book junkie. What I’ve noticed over the years of striving to become a healthier, happier person, is how often professionals will recommend that you do [insert habit here] everyday. You should drink 2.5 L of water everyday, you should take xyz vitamin/supplement everyday, you should meditate everyday, you should exercise everyday, you should eat 9 servings of vegetables everyday, you should write in a gratitude journal everyday, you should walk 10,000 steps everyday, you should floss everyday, overwhelmed yet?

Last year, I read a book about success. It was essentially about living by a set of principles that can help guide your life rather than trying to make decisions in each individual situation based on emotion or whatever else might be influencing you at that time in your life. The one part of that book that had the biggest impact on me was the simple statement that you can spend your day in one of two ways: one is doing things that move you towards a goal, and the other is doing things that don’t move you towards a goal.

At first glance that might seem like a shit ton of pressure. Wow, I can either do the right or the wrong thing with my day. Great. I better be super focused and productive 100% of the time then right? No.

Thats not what I took away from it anyway. The way I see it is as a simple guidepost for whether on not something you’re focusing your time on is actually worth the time your spending on it. I also see all the little things that you give your attention to as drops in a bucket that can add up significantly over time.

For example, if you want to get into better shape, a ten minute walk is better than no walk at all. Every bit always counts.

One other statement that has impacted me greatly over the last year was a quote I heard, and I think it was by Oprah… It said “you can have everything, just not all at once.”

So how does all of this loop back around and determine what you should do everyday?

Well, I think it means that if you zoom out and look at the bigger picture, you can see that life will always naturally ebb and flow. You can accept that you can’t always expect to be able to uphold the exact same routines everyday; especially at a time in your life when your day is at the mercy of a baby or a small child. Ultimately, you can take a bit of pressure off of yourself because a time will come where you’ll have more time to focus on other things.

I believe, that as long as you are asking yourself if the things you ARE spending time on do move you somehow closer to a goal, then you can be assured that you are doing an amazing job, everyday.

If that means you spent your day cleaning up poop and not changing out of your pyjamas because you could barely keep your head above the chaos of motherhood? Good. You did something that contributed to your goal of creating a happy family life, because you spent your day doing exactly what your child needed that day.

Some days might not feel “productive” in the conventional sense of the word, but goals are not always career oriented, or fitness oriented, or about how clean your house is or how put together you appear. A lot of goals in your life are actually about how mentally well you are, how present you can be for the people you love or how accepting you can be of the challenges of day to day life.

I recently learned the difference between our deepest desires and our strongest desires. Our strongest desires are the things that pull us in our day to day, like growing an Instagram following, or keeping our house clean. Where as, our deepest desires are the much larger and more meaningful things we want across our life time like having meaningful work, being there for your family or spending more time on your hobbies that fill your cup.

Often times our strongest desires don’t match up very well with our deepest desires, so its great to check yourself once in a while.

Yes its great to eat healthy everyday, to be organized, to look great, to exercise. But the truth about balance is… that doesn’t mean you have to do them all, everyday. In my books, it means things balance out across the months and the years. Its not always about the days, so take a load off, mama and stop shoulding on yourself.

Share one thing you feel like you “should” be doing everyday in the comments to try and give it a bit less power over you!

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What ZERO Alcohol Has Taught Me About Life

This past January (2016), I really called into question the immense amount of influence that alcohol had on my life. Now that I’m ~8 months into full sobriety (read pregnancy), I’m starting to notice some things that really scare me.

I grew up around alcohol. I grew up around alcoholics. It was pretty normal for me to smell booze on my parents breath when they put me to bed- a smell that I’m now growing to hate.

I don’t want to sit on my high horse and become all judgmental about drinking, because I personally have abused alcohol in a terrible way in the past. I do however want to share some things I’ve been noticing that really don’t sit well with me anymore now that I’m clear headed enough to see them for what they are.

The first is, how okay it is with everyone to hear stories about how obliterated you got and nearly killed yourself or did something completely morally apprehensive or risky.

People think it’s absolutely hilarious to hear how you were so inebriated on the weekend, or at the holiday party that you could barely function. If someone were recounting a story about how messed up they got on any other drug other than alcohol (think cocaine or MDMA) we might express our concern to them and maybe tell them to be more careful in the future. But with alcohol? No way, party on Garth.

Second, is how much alcohol has stolen our ability to create meaningful experiences without it. Alcohol is everywhere, it’s a part of nearly every occasion. We drink when we’re happy, we drink when we’re sad, we drink when we’re bored and we drink to relax.

Why is everything better with alcohol? Is it because we’ve all gotten so lazy with our imaginations that we don’t know how to entertain ourselves anymore? Is it because we have such short attention spans that regular paced, fresh minded activity is unbearable?

I’ll tell you one thing for sure, if you want to feel boredom- be the only sober person in a room of people drinking just to get drunk. That will give you some insight into the quality of drunk conversation and activity.

Do you remember a time when you were young enough that you didn’t drink to have fun? Do you recall experiences, like going to the beach or over to a friends house, that were fully, consciously lived through?

I won’t lie to you, I forgot. I forgot that life is actually not disappointing without the lubrication of alcohol. I forgot that you can be silly and fun without alcohol. I forgot about imagination and what ifs and happiness that wasn’t greased up by booze.

Being sober is like rediscovering the world.

I now feel so sad that I used to feel the need to constantly escape from reality. And if you had told me that was what I was doing about 12 months back I would have denied it vehemently.

We are all collectively numbing and escaping. We live in a world that’s continually on and in our faces, and surprisingly it’s making us less and less present.

While there is so much more information on mindfulness available to us, it’s like we can barely handle our own emotions anymore.

It’s hard to consciously shape your life and become the person you want to be when you’re constantly recovering from a hangover. It’s like trying to keep up with a conveyor belt of choices that’s moving a bit too fast and easily overwhelms you.

I believe not drinking has forced me to slow down and to open my eyes more. To look around and see how easy it is to fall into the trap of binge drinking weekly and letting your life slip by.

I was pretty surprised to find out the definition of heavy drinking. According to Statistics Canada, heavy drinking is reported to be drinking 5 or more drinks (4 for women) in one sitting, 12 or more times a year. A whopping 32 per cent of Canadians aged 20 to 34 binged 12 times in the past year.

That’s only once a month. HA!
I would have called that light drinking over a year ago!

An article in Prevention Magazine stated that (in the US) more than 38 million people reported binge drinking 4 times a month (weekend warriors). That’s “heavy drinking times four.

Wow.

And the scary part is, it’s increasing like crazy; especially among women. Binge drinking has increased at a rate seven times that of men. 20% of women who binge drink will meet the criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder, which is the fancy new term for alcoholism.

This kind of drinking is one of the main reasons for the rising rates of infertility which is now at 1/6 couples in Canada.

I’ll admit it-I was an alcoholic.

It wasn’t the blackouts that scared me enough to stop, it wasn’t the increased risk in heart disease or high blood pressure or even the smoking that always seemed to go along with the drinking.

It was the almost losing someone I loved dearly because of my poor judgment while drinking.

Because I was raised in what you might call a broken home and I still watch my mother waste away slowly from alcohol and drug abuse, family has become my number one focus in life.

I want to break the cycle of alcohol use and abusive relationships in my family, and part of that means changing the way I view alcohol. It means changing the way I raise my children to view alcohol.

Alcohol is awesome. It can be refined and delicious (I love a glass of good red wine) and even have health benefits- for sure.

But the truth is alcohol needs more respect, and so do our lives.

Alcohol shouldn’t be tossed into the mix just because it can. It should be used as a complement to our experiences and not the be the centre of them.

The less I drink, the less I care to be around people who are sloppily tossing them back.

I don’t want my future baby around that either. I want my kids to grow up full of wonder for the world and not feel like when they hit a certain age that drinking should become one of the top activities in their lives.

I don’t want our family dinners and events to become soaked in booze like mine were.

I don’t want my children to have painful feelings they feel trapped by that they try to escape from by drinking weekly.

I don’t want my children to feel like they NEED alcohol to unplug and relax.

I want my children to have clear heads, to learn how to sit with their emotions and process them rather than shove them away and drown them.

I don’t want to make excuses for my drunk friends and family to my children. But the sad truth is, I will probably have to. Because there’s always that one drunk relative who gets too emotional, or that one friend that starts saying something inappropriate. And if I am the one to call everyone’s drinking into question, then I’m the prude and I’m judgmental and uptight.

Like I said, I think alcohol is great- and sure there will be times when we all dip into the sauce a little too heavily. What I’m getting at here is that I just think it’s already a bit much.

I’m craving more real life, and I’m super excited to spend early evenings and early mornings with a tiny little rugrat that’s naturally silly and goofy and doesn’t yet feel self-conscious enough to require a drug to enjoy a weekend afternoon.

Most of what I’m expressing here is a reflection of my own experience, how I have viewed life and why I have already spent so many years drinking so much.

If you feel judged by this post, I’m not sorry. It probably means you should have a conversation with yourself about why you feel that way.

After I have this precious little miracle baby, I fully intend to enjoy a few glasses of wine a week and maybe two on some occasions.

If you’d ever like to join me for a sober conversation come and find me on Facebook.

I have a private Facebook community called Radiant & Ready with Milli Fox full of women preparing themselves body, soul and mind for healthy pregnancies and healthy lives.

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Being Secretly Pregnant – What the first trimester is really like

Being Secretly Pregnant

I am so excited to finally share this with all of you! It’s official; I can shout it from the condo-tops- I am with child! I have been for over 15 weeks but it’s been a big secret. It’s also been the strangest secret I’ve ever had to keep. Everyone kind of knows that when you get pregnant there are some things that happen to you. Maybe you’ve read some stuff, but I want to tell you right now, nothing will properly prepare you for the first 3 months of creating a human, especially when it’s all top secret.

If you’ve followed me for a little while, you’d know that I know a fair amount about pregnancy and about babies. I am a Preconception Nutritional Therapist and a Doula. That means I’ve spent a lot of time reading about pregnancy symptoms and how to prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy. I had a pretty good idea what I was getting myself into when my husband and I made the decision to have a baby. However, in all my reading I never stumbled upon any articles or blogs that described any of the psychological phenomenon that I’ve been experiencing.

If you want to check out how I prepared myself for pregnancy, you can grab a free copy of my 8 Step Fertility Checklist Here:

CLICK HERE

It has been truly incredible and almost indescribable, but I’m going to do my best to tell you what the first trimester has been in comparison to what I was expecting.

The moment I knew I was pregnant **which was through a dream I had in which I felt a zap that meant I was definitely pregnant** I went completely inward. Maybe you noticed that I virtually disappeared off of social media and stopped sending out anything new. There was something that happened inside of me that redirected all of my creative energy towards this little baby I am making. It left absolutely nothing for me to put out into the world for my followers- and I was and still am completely okay with that. For the first time ever, I felt no obligation whatsoever to create anything, because I knew I was creating something WAY more important than any YouTube video or Instagram post could ever offer.

I have really come to believe that the first trimester isn’t talked about enoughIn 12 weeks you are basically creating an entire human and you grow an entirely new organ (the placenta). After 12 week, the goal of your little fetus is to mature all of its new systems and grow bigger, but all the most formative work is already done. When we imagine the difficult part of pregnancy we automatically think about the last couple months when ladies have a big old belly and their feet hurt etc. While that is definitely also a trying portion of creating a human, there is SO much going on in the first trimester too that you don’t ever hear about.

Let me tell you a bit about it. I’ll start with morning sickness because that’s what most of us imagine when we think about the beginning of a pregnancy. Morning sickness is this strange feeling that can best be described as nausea, and some women actually do get sick and throw up.  Luckily, I did not ever actually get to that point, I was definitely very nauseous but that wasn’t it. It’s not really just nausea; it’s this feeling of being taken over by some alien force. I honesty felt like a zombie for quite awhile. Some days I wasn’t exactly nauseous, but I was simply repulsed by everything. Everything was more overwhelming that it should have been. It was as though my senses were turned up to level 10, and it was a lot to handle.

It’s totally true about smells as well, you can smell everything and it’s not pleasant. I could smell the Tabasco on my husband’s pork chop from across the room and his cologne suddenly grossed me out too. I stopped posting on Instagram because I couldn’t handle cooking and I definitely had nothing that I felt was “post-worthy” in my diet. I will share more with you about my nutrition during my first trimester later on.

The fatigue is also so real. I think this part really surprised me. I was nearly knocked off my feet and it makes perfect sense, but no one really tells you. It takes a hell of a lot of energy to make a new human! It can be compared to running a marathon, literally. They say your body is expending more energy at rest than it would be if you were running a marathon.

Okay, so I’m supposed to be feeling like a zombie and barely keeping my eyes open and you mean I’m not supposed to tell anyone what’s going on with me AND I’m likely expected to keep up the same amount of productivity in my day to day life? HA.

I feel for you ladies who work in offices and in situations where you have a lot of coworkers you need to be around on a day-to-day basis. I feel incredibly lucky that I could hide out at home or around other ladies who just had babies for the majority of this trimester and that I had the ability to tell the people that mattered what was going on with me.

The nausea and fatigue were probably almost the heaviest hitters, and I’m still on the physical stuff! I was also super surprised by how breathless I became. About a week after becoming pregnant, I noticed that after walking up a hill I felt like I had just done 20 minutes of cardio in the gym. I was huffing and puffing and I couldn’t believe it! I thought that only happened later when you get tired from carrying around all that extra weight. But no! Your body starts to produce a ton of extra blood and your hemoglobin doesn’t catch up quickly enough. Therefore it’s harder for your body to re-oxygenate; hence, breathlessness. Walking up stairs is TOUGH hahaha and I am a pretty fit girl!

Another big surprise was the having to pee constantly. I was under the impression that only happened when your baby got big enough to squish your bladder. However in the first trimester, your body produces a ton of progesterone and that causes your kidneys to become highly active which sends you running to the bathroom constantly. Most nights I have to get up 2-3 times to relieve myself. I think this is Mother Nature’s way of sleep training YOU right from the beginning!

A few other things that happened that also surprised me were just how big my boobs got and how quickly that happened (I think it was about a cup size in a week), how dizzy I can get, and my lack of interest in any meat (even chicken).

So, while all of this physical stuff is going on you also have this huge task of absorbing the fact that YOU HAVE A HUMAN IN YOU! That’s kind of a big deal. It’s sort of a huge thing to process.  

Okay so you pee on a stick, and you get the two lines and it’s like okay, I’m pretty sure that means I’m pregnant. Then you go get blood work done and it comes back positive (we did it twice to make sure the hormone levels were doubling as they should be) and then you’re like okay well that means I’m definitely pregnant. Then we went and had an internal ultrasound done because we had the help of some reproductive technology in our conception, and that also confirmed the pregnancy. So now, we’re at more than triple confirmation that it’s really true. But let me ask you this- if someone told you everyday that you had a human growing inside of you, how many days would it take before you really truly believed it?

I know, you have all these symptoms to corroborate the pregnancy, but do you really tie it all together and believe it? Does it sink in and do you digest it, process it and assimilate it? Maybe some people do, but this was a lot for me. I don’t even think I really still believe it! And let me tell you, I’ve wanted to be pregnant for a long time. I’m one of those women who always wanted to be a mother. Ever since I was a little girl that was one of the top things on my life’s to-do list. But still, it’s really mind blowing to look down at your belly and imagine the whole world of activity just beneath a few layers of tissue.

I would say it wasn’t until we had our 12 week ultrasound and we saw that little boo kicking around and sucking on it’s perfect little hand that I really believed there was a real little soul in there. I’m still astounded when I look at my belly and I’m really not even showing yet.

So there’s the processing of the fact that you are doing what you are doing, and then there’s this whole other layer of thought- I am becoming a mom. Woah. Boom. Explosions. Life changing. Self-perception changing. Society’s views of me changing. Waaaaaaa. Woah.

Yes.

I was walking through the mall the other day and looking at all the models in the store windows thinking, these women are not moms. Even if the models are moms themselves, these women are not what the media portrays as moms. Then I had this feeling like none of this was meant for me anymore. None of this super-cool, sexy, stylish stuff was for me anymore. I’m a mom now.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I don’t think a mom can’t be sexy, cool, stylish etc. It’s just that, that’s not really what is being projected by the majority of what we are exposed to in movies, magazines etc. If you are a mom who is those things you are either put on a pedestal because you are going “against the grain” and other women want to as well but it’s too much to juggle OR you are a mom who is those things and you are bashed and torn down from every possible angle because it must mean you’re a bad mom.

Yikes. I’m about to enter those waters. I’m about to enter that space where nothing you do can possibly be right. Where you constantly battle your conscience, the messages that are pouring in from all sides and the desire to be true to yourself.

There is a HUGE mental battle in the mom-space to be the best mom possible but maintain a sense-of self. I feel like that might be the biggest fear of all moms, especially moms who decide to stay home with their children. Society does not appreciate the magnificence of being a mother, and the incredible importance of that job. It tells us the only way we can be valuable in this world is to have accomplishments that come with a dollar value.  We feel that in order to be important we must use our brains, be the cleverest, be the smartest and to play on the same playing field as men. Society is encouraging us to be lovelier versions of men, but when we become moms we do more than double that.

It’s like we have to prove our womanhood all over again when we become moms and that is a really strange feeling to have and I’m not even IN IT yet.

I feel like I’m about to join a club where all the support that I need is from other moms, and yet there is this under-tone of constant disapproval within that very group. It’s kind of scary!

I know most women say that they think it’s awesome for women to have the choice to stay at home with their kids. I also think that secretly, deep down they would never make that choice because they wouldn’t feel valued by society. It’s just deeply engrained in us that mom-work is not “real-work”. In my opinion, our society’s biggest problems have come alongside the downfall of the family unit. And who is that has historically been the person who glues a family together? Mom.

I’m not entirely sure how we can change these perceptions, but I think a lot of it comes back to the devaluing of femininity and feminine energy. I think femininity is completely misunderstood and often linked with weakness whether consciously or subconsciously. I know for a long time I thought I had to be more a like a guy in many ways to be a better woman but I’m currently doing the work to reprogram myself.

Part of my journey is to dive into and honor my feminine energy and respect the power that is inherent within that. I feel like the world needs more women to ditch the masculine pissing contest and figure out how to really support other women and especially other mothers.

*As a side note, men can have a dominant feminine energy as well. Men can also stay home with the children. Both should be equally accepted. My point is here is mainly about women, their sense of self and how motherhood is viewed by the majority.*

I don’t know how this is all going to play out in my life but it just seems to be another hugely scary part of pregnancy- all of the unknowns (probably just a small intro to the crazy uncertainty of parenthood). What I do know is I’m ready for this. I’m ready for the surprises and the challenges. I’m ready to share all I learn along the way- and hopefully to become a part of a movement to reclaim the respect that motherhood deserves.

xo Milli

Ps. If you are in the process of trying to get pregnant, if you are considering it within the next year or two, or you’re already pregnant- I want to meet YOU! Come and join me and a group of supportive women in my private Facebook community Radiant & Ready with Milli Fox.  Click the title of the group to come join!

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How You Feed Yourself Shows A Lot About How You Feel About Yourself {Video}

How You Feed YourselfShows HowYou FeelAbout Yourself
We’re all trying to better ourselves.  We’re trying to improve our diets and exercise more and meditate and do all this amazing stuff.  The most important question that lies at the base of all of these changes is- why?

Why are you doing all of these things, what’s your true motivation?

Are you trying to change because society expects us to constantly be bettering ourselves or are you trying to change because there is something you don’t like about yourself?

These questions matter, because the intention we approach change with will determine our success, and also how we will feel once those changes are implemented.

I want to talk about this because I truly believe that change is only worth it if it comes from a place of self-love.  I noticed this especially when I was a personal trainer.  I had woman after woman coming to be to change because they hated something about their bodies.

I did my best to switch their focus to learning to love their bodies by being inspired by the amazing things their bodies could DO rather than BE.

I can relate to this personally through my own journey with food.  For years I didn’t feed myself well.  In fact I barely fed myself at all and that was because I didn’t consider it a priority.  Looking back I can see it was because I didn’t think I was deserving of nourishment and I just didn’t see myself as a priority.  At the time, I had terrible health; I was weak, too thin, plagued with aches and pains, suffered from terrible digestive health issues as well as acid reflux that I was on prescription acid blockers for.

All of this and I wasn’t even 20 years old.  I truly believed that my body was a dud, and that I was just going to have to live with a broken body for the rest of my life.

It wasn’t until I met my now husband, and really started treating myself with more respect that I began to see that with a little TLC from myself- everything could change.

I know that you want to be as healthy as you can be for your future babies.  I know that you’re doing it with such good intentions, but I really want to ask yourself- are you doing it out of self-love?

CLICK HERE-selflove

What does your relationship with food have to tell you about the relationship you have with yourself? It’s my true belief that this relationship is the most direct reflection of how we feel about ourselves.  Are you depriving yourself of foods you love? Do you feel like a “clean-diet” is a punishment that you somehow “deserve”?

Getting to the bottom of these questions is getting to the root of your habits.  In western medicine, we like to do a lot of slapping bandaids on things and addressing things on a very surface level. That’s why we are in a constant state of management rather than ever finding true healing.

I recorded the video below to talk to you a bit more about my own experiences and get you thinking about your own motivations.

Watch now, then come to Radiant & Ready with Milli Fox and share with me an ah-ha moment you had surrounding food!

I am very big on getting to the root cause of our habits.  I always include this kind of work in my programs and I don’t ever just focus on the food!

If this speaks to you and you know you want to get moving on your journey towards a healthy, glowing pregnancy. I highly encourage you to book a complimentary 20 minute coaching call with me 🙂

All you have to do is click the button below and schedule in a time that’s most convenient for you!

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