We spent yesterday at the beach and it was everything. Warmth. Toes in the sand. Reading a book. Long, slow walks.
Having these kind of days is actually really hard for me. Not because I don’t want to (how could you not want to?) but because my brain has a really hard time shutting off. My mind is constantly thinking about next things with the blog or practice or my to do list. Call that therapist back, send an update to that physician, start writing that blog post today, learn more about ___ topic, find more research on that question you were asked, apply for jobs, get a handle on your inbox, oh and don’t forget to get on Instagram! My mind can become a jungle gym. I’m working on shutting it down, but I struggle sometimes.
One, because I love what I do so much (and for that I am 1000x beyond grateful to get to do something I’m so passionate about) and love learning and connecting that I could do this 18 hours a day if I allowed myself. But then other important areas of my life would crash and burn and eventually I would too. Not good. And two because I struggle a lot with allowing myself to not be productive. I think a lot of you can maybe relate. Maybe? But learning to let myself just be and enjoy life and not be doing and producing is actually an active process for me. I have to intentionally be like, NO SHUT IT DOWN ROBYN. And when anxious thoughts about what I need to get done creep in, it’s a constant circling back to what I know to be true. “Rest is good. This refreshes you and allows you to do more meaningful work. The work will always be there and the world is still spinning.”
The mental process (NOT the difficulty because recovery is HARD stuff) is similar in a lot of ways to recovering from disordered eating or an eating disorder. That’s an active process to work against your natural tendencies and what society tells you. And you have to constantly be circling back and grounding yourself in your values, your truth and what really matters. It’s hard and exhausting but so worth it.
I just went on a tangent but that kind of just flowed out so let’s roll with it. Back to the beach. We had dinner out last night and then today we have more beach laying plans…I think we’re going to make a fun cocktail to take with us to the beach because that sounds fun. I like excuses to make fruity cocktails.
Other really exciting news is that our Real Life Women’s Health team is expanding and I’m pumppeeddddd. I’ll be sharing more details in the weeks to come, but we’re adding a therapist who specializes in eating disorders, Health At Every Size and Intuitive Eating. Beyond 1:1 services, we’ll be offering virtual support groups and other things down the road that I hope will be so helpful and relatively affordable because feeling supported and not alone in this journey is so vital. Cheers for community.
Also, I’ve been toying with this idea of monthly webinars. Essentially it would be open to a certain number of people and it would be about an hour with 20-30 minutes of Q&A at the end. There would be tools and handouts to go along with it and we could cover a range of topics. You could also purchase the webinar afterward if you couldn’t make it at that exact time. I did a little poll on Instagram and 85% of you raised your hand. So that’s exciting! Next up is sharing in the comments or emailing me on a topic that you’d like to see addressed. I’d also want to keep costs as low as possible, less than a week’s worth of groceries for one.
And while we’re on this topic of learnin’ I also want to expand the Real Life RD Learning Center and offer courses that are shorter and more affordable (as in less than $100) and then perhaps longer ones down the road over topics/health issues that are important to you guys too. I’m thinking PCOS, PMS, hypothyroidism, body image, gut health etc etc. So share those as well in the comments or email me ([email protected]) if that is 1) something you’re interested in and 2) what you’d like to see talked about.
Before I bop off I want to just share that I’m not pumped about being in a bathing suit and I think that’s normal and okay. I’d rather be in jeans and a sweater because I feel most comfortable in that. But I also really love the beach and my friends and you can’t do that in jeans and a sweater. I say that because I think sometimes it’s our tendency to think other women feel 100% awesome and don’t have body image issues and that’s just not true. Even me, who talks about this all day with clients and writes about it and tries to practice body kindness all day, that doesn’t mean I get in a bathing suit like, “Yea girl you rock this, let’s go!” It’s more like, “This isn’t my first clothing choice but what is my first choice is caring for my body, enjoying my life and engaging in conversations and experiences that matter and this bathing suit allows me to do that. Now go enjoy your life and focus on what matters Robyn.”
And if you’re worried about what others think of you in a bathing suit, that’s their problem and not yours. I’ve been there, judging other women’s bodies on the beach and that had nothing to do with them but everything to do with me. I was the one preoccupied with micromanaging body size. It was my heart issue. We can’t control what other people think and I won’t spend my life trying to be accepted by everyone because it’s an endless, impossible, exhaustive pursuit. What I can do is enjoy my life and focus on living out my values.
So I hope you do that this weekend wherever you are – on your couch, in the arctic tundra or on the beach. Have a fabulous weekend!
It’s funny. I lived on Maui for awhile and one of the things I love and miss about it is the wide array of half-naked bodies you would see on a daily basis. I know that sounds a little weird, but I don’t mean it in a sexual way. It was hot, people are at the beach, so you throw on your swimsuit and it is what it is. It didn’t matter if they were thin, fat, old, young, whatever. It was so normal to see different body shapes and sizes in all their glory. And it was so refreshing. I still struggle with bathing suits a bit, but it’s something I am actively working on getting comfortable with. I remember when I took my husband back to visit we hiked up to a waterfall. We were sitting there and I looked at him and said, “All these women are hanging around in bikinis and they don’t seem to care very much. It still boggles my mind a little bit.” My husband looked at me and said, “Dear, they have bodies and they’re all different. Those bodies just made a massive hike to a beautiful waterfall on Maui. Does what they look like in a bikini really matter?” We smiled at each other, stripped down to our respective swimsuits and dove in.
Such a great point! I live in the Northeast and peopl are obsessed with getting ready for “bikini season”. I so wish that wasn’t even a thing 🙂
Agreed Kerragh! You have a body. Put on a bikini and you’re ready for the season.
sarah wine says
i am not sure, but i think,the best thing is to know your partner very well, and also ensure that they are transparent.i had to hire a good hacker, FIRMHACKER AT gmail . com to verify my spouse. please do the same ,dont get heart broken.
Ahhhh I know exactly what you mean! It’s one of the things I really miss from my (brief) time in Japan – onsen! Or sento, depending. Anyway, I found it so therapeutic that all these women would be (presumably) comfortable with stripping down naked and bathing together. All ages and all body types, in and out of the water. I just loved that nobody cared, even including myself in that particular scenario. I wish we had a similar culture here in Australia. <3
It so refreshing to see bodies in such a objective and normalized way.
“Those bodies just made a massive hike to a beautiful waterfall on Maui. Does what they look like in a bikini really matter?”
SO TRUE ^^^^
Absolutely!! Living against the societal expectation to always be “doing doing doing” and being productive at every moment is just like living against the societal expectations of diet and body image. It’s a process of shifting our brain wiring, and it is very very hard to fight against! We have to constantly be there for each other to remind ourselves that not being productive one day – one week etc – is completely okay. Because we are still being us. Probably more “us” than when we are distracting ourselves with to do lists. There is a lot more to us than productivity and keeping “busy.” You can do it! Enjoy that beach <3
So well said Cora!
Taylor Filaroski says
I live in Florida and have for the vast majority of my life. While I went through a period of time feeling insecure in my body wearing a bathing suit (in HS, of course), I actually don’t feel the most uncomfortable in them now. Part of that is due to consciously thinking what you explained in this post, namely, it’s not MY problem if someone doesn’t like my body in this bathing suit, but also because I feel like I’m always surrounded by bodies in bathing suits! So it’s normalized. I think thinking of bodies being in bathing suits as “normal” or the status quo goes a long way towards accepting my own body in one. Conversely, I feel the most uncomfortable in chunky clothing like big sweaters. I am working on taking up space, and I think my uncomfortableness in chunky clothing goes along with not wanting to take up space! Just my two cents. Love your posts!!
Yes I think normalizing it is so refreshing and key in feeling comfortable. I found that as the weekend went on I didn’t think twice about being in a suit. You make an interesting point about chunky clothes so thank you!!
In my judge people for what they look like in a swimsuit days I think it was my way of trying to convince myself all the food rules, exercise goals, and the missing out I did on life to live by those rules was worth it. Sometimes deep down I would assume the others weren’t letting that dictate their life & would feel a twinge of jealousy so it came out in jerky thoughts. Lack of food will do that to you (: The worst part was was that I wasn’t even much more happy with myself in a suit with all those rules. My life just was that much less fun!! And shutting off the brain & learning to have fun is hard. It’s one of the things I put on my mission statement for the year, “be more fun & playful”, you are not alone (;
Oh how I can relate to degrees of your thoughts Jen – thank you for being so beautiful honest <3
Maggie Niemiec says
I struggle a lot with allowing myself to not be productive. I think a lot of you can maybe relate. Maybe? But learning to let myself just be and enjoy life and not be doing and producing is actually an active process for me.
^^ Totally relate to this! Slowing down and allowing myself to rest is an active decision for me. Isaiah 30:15 always helps me:
“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”
Um, YES. I want that kind of a restful and quiet heart!
Anyway, lots of exciting stuff on the horizon for you — can’t wait to see it all unfold!
So many exciting things on the horizon!
I think we struggle with similar things Maggie 🙂
And YOU have exciting things! Hi, marriage. So excited for you!
I think people often think of body acceptance as always having positive feelings about their body. Someone I know (we work in an ED clinic together) once said body acceptance is taking care of your body DESPITE how you feel about it. I loved that. It gave freedom to having days (or months, or years) where you don’t love the way your body looks and that not being a “bad” thing. Just a thing. So not loving being in a swimsuit isn’t bad, it just is and it doesn’t make you wrong, distorted etc.
YES. Being a caregiver to your body and building a fulfilling life outside of your body. Thanks for sharing Anna!
Summer Rae says
Thank you Miss Robyn! This post was a blessing to me!
Abigail T says
Do you have any advice for someone who is like you constantly thinking about things and about what needs to get done but is so overwhelmed nothing gets done? I think accomplishing small tasks and getting few things done always helps feel more productive.
Yes! breaking up stuff into small steps helps me a ton
emily vardy says
Really like the quote about bathing suits…kind of good to remember that people are generally pretty focused on themselves and their own body issues while they’re in a bathing suit and no one else really cares at all what you look like in yours!
I love this post Robyn…and hooray for you for getting in that suit and focusing on what matters. It is particularly hard when winter isn’t even over so we haven’t even moved into shorts weather and are already putting a bathing suit on. I find , similar to another commenter who lived in Maui – that as summer progresses there is less focus and stress about what our body looks like bc everyone has seen everyone and ‘it is what it is’ at that point. Of course, I still stress and truly dream of the day that it just does not matter at all!
I also love your efforts to allow rest. I too am working on that as my life has allowed for some downtime. I even borrowed a book from a friend – (a novel that involves no’ educational’ info!)- it feels so good to read for pleasure again!
Enjoy your warm weekend!
Meghan Dillon says
I so appreciate your thoughts on bathing suits…because I’ve never ever felt comfortable! And you know what – even if I don’t feel GREAT in a swimsuit now, you know who always thinks I look amazing? My hub <3. So if I'm having a low day, I'll at least flaunt that suit for him <3 🙂 he reminds me constantly how I should be kinder and more loving with myself!
hahah this is so true. what a man you have <3
Amber @ Bloom Nutrition Therapy says
All of these changes sound so exciting for you, Robyn! I’m so glad to see you prospering and feeling so motivated in your business. Like you, however, I have a difficult time shutting down at times, too. At one time, I found myself reading research articles “for fun” , lol! Sometimes, it is fun because I love my work so much. But on a fun scale, I can definitely think of things in my life that are way more fun.
Also, a note about the body acceptance on the beach. I love that you put it out there that not everyone, including yourself, is pumped about being in a bathing suit. It IS one of those things that is different and out of the norm for us, because our “norm” is wearing business attire for work or casual clothes for our social outings. I bet if it were more normal to us to be in a bathing suit most of the day, then we would become more desensitized to the experience of it.
Ugh…I can completely relate with not being able to shut down. I work for myself and love what I do, but I think other areas of my life suffer because of it.