social media

Does she have what you want?


Does she have what you want?

Simple ways to escape the comparison trap

We've all said these phrases out loud or a quiet whisper in the back of our minds.

Not pretty enough.
Not cool enough.
Not disciplined enough. 
Not passionate enough. 
Not smart enough. 
Not wealthy enough.
Not worthy enough.
Not accomplished enough. 
Not attractive enough.
Not skinny enough.

Comparing ourselves against others is as a human as it is to breathe. And as much as I want to sit here and tell you I've never felt the jealousy emotion, I'd be lying. Jealousy is rarely spoken about because we're embarrassed to say that we envy someone else. And these days it just seems like there are more and more things to be jealous of one another especially since social media has given us a glimpse in the lives and journey of others. I wish I could tell you that I never get jealous, but let's get real here, we ALL experience it in some way shape or form. Whether its something you're experiencing in this present moment or have been envied, you know what its like to sit in the space of jealousy. 

Here's some simple fixes you can implement right here and right now to escape the comparison trap.

Get out of their lane and get back into yours and write 3 things that you're grateful for.  Gratitude is the simplest and quickest way back into the present moment. It helps bring focus back into the now and into your own life rather than allowing your thoughts to wander into someone else's.

Recognize your differences. Each person has different factors why they are able to do something, have something, or be something you might want. However its important to remember that just because you live a very similar life or have the same exact job as someone else, it doesn't mean you've walked the same exact path.

Avoid your triggers when possible. This one can be a little tricky, but if you're aware of what triggers that comparison trap its easy to shut the door before you let it in. There's a large amount of research out there that's already proving that social media can trigger depression in many people. So if scrolling through your IG feed and seeing everyone's progress photos triggers your green eyes then its time to start curating your feed. This happened to me the moment I decided to stop competing in NPC Bikini Competitions. Seeing other athletes on prep made it hard for me to accept my decision, so I started to unfollow those who were once my #fitspos.

Admit that you're jealous. I get that this may seem a little counter productive, but I've learned that admitting to your faults, feelings, and emotions means you're living your authentic truth. Once you're able to do so, you give yourself the power of choice. You can choose to invest in the emotion of envy or you can take some of these steps I've shared to begin to walk away from it. There's power in saying things out loud and like they say "the truth will set you free."

We're human. Emotions are human and one of them is jealousy. We may never be able to fully rid ourselves from this emotion, but we can definitely learn to cultivate a practice that helps us stay focused on our own progress and journey.


What social media has done for my fitness journey

Oh social media...the latest form of communication that the world wasn't quite ready for. In a world of Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Facebook, LinkedIn, Weibo, Twitter, and everything in between we have so many new ways to stay connected into the lives of others and in some ways being disconnected to the real life connections we as humans naturally thrive on. As I've been spending much of my blogging time writing answers to various interviews on me to come the question that seems to be common is: "what has social media done for you?" The question should be "what has it not done for you?" because throughout my adult life it has done a lot in ways I never imagined.

Many years ago I used to be known as "I CUT HAIR". I was a hairstylist for 10 years before jumping into the startup tech world. Social media, more importantly Myspace and Yelp were the two channels that really allowed me to build a business in the digital age. The experience of growing a business solely by word of mouth presence in the digital age was one of the reasons that got the attention of my CEO when VSCO was just an idea. I still remember the day that he called me and I took the call in the garage while he described his crazy vision of a company to me.  My husband and I also utilized social media to get the word out about our new adventures of Encarnacion Photography when we were just starting it 8 years ago.

Fast forward to now, social media has truly impacted my journey in so many ways. When I decided to embark my fitness journey I decided to post on my personal account ( no longer public so please do not friend request me, because I wont add you. NOTHING PERSONAL). I wanted a way that was low touch and didn't require much effort to document my journey and to share it with some others who might be going through similar struggles. I'm a natural born creative and always have needed to find some form of creative outlet to express myself whether it was artistically or personally. And being someone who dealt with adolescent and adult depression I knew that talking about struggles helps me find clarity. Over the course of a year the #gofitjo hashtag was growing and the interest of my self innovation grew too. The growing engagement of the hashtag on my personal account was reason enough for me to begin @gofitjo.

Now I'm going to keep this rant pretty short and sweet because I'll dive more into it later but social media definitely has its ups and downs, just like anything else in the world. Some days I long for the times when I can just post anything without caring about composition and lighting, but that's just me being a photographer/creative. And that's what Snapchat is for, I guess. Or what about when you're trying to eat, but everyone is trying to take a photo of food, and the meal's gone cold before your first bite? Ahh...the woes of social media and the need to document the life around us. None the less I have a love/hate for the humorous experience that come from social sharing. 

The biggest thing that sharing my story on social media has done for me was creating genuine connections with people and experiences that continue to inspire and empower people and myself. Some of my best friends to date are the women I've connected with over social media and have built strong relationships IRL.

What I share is vulnerable and they are just small pieces that make up who I am. I want others to know that they are not alone in feeling the way that they do and if I can be a small sliver of an example of a modern day women figuring her way out through this crazy world today then my intentions and purpose in being a social media presence is doing its job. I want people, especially women to believe that we don't have strive so hard to live up to an untainable standard of life in: fitness, motherhood, career, or just simply being a woman.

I said this on my Instagram the other day: 

NO ONE ELSE in this world was born with the same unique characteristics, talents, skills, gifts or perspectives that you have. You are a one time event in the universe, darling, and you are magnificent and incredible!
outfit by  Belo-Forte

outfit by Belo-Forte

In the beginning of this year I've had an incredible opportunity to work with a lot of brands. We've collaborating in either sponsored posts or gifting opportunities. Now, let me state that I never had the intention of growing a following for the collaboration opportunities. And the ones that I decide to collaborate with are the hand selected few that I strongly believe align best with my own personal story and message. I'm pretty straight forward to brands when they email me and it's even posted on my contact page.

With most brands I encourage some form of effort that includes my community or following like a giveaway or discount code, if it's something we can agree on. Why? Because there was a time in my life where when my husband and I were starting our business, we couldn't afford to pay rent for a month and were having to decide whether the income we were making that week would go to food on the table for our family of three at the time, or if it was going towards keeping the roof over our heads. We never asked for help from our families and even now I think this is the first time I'm going public with this (sorry hubs). But none the less we figured a way to hustle ourselves out of a hole. I know many people have a hard time affording fitness classes, new workout clothing, and even healthy food. So if there's a way that I can help the small and the few in the opportunities that come my way, then I'll do my best to extend that gratitude and grace. One of those is by hosting a month long giveaway series with my dear friend Mickey. So if you want to make sure to follow along #sweatwithusgiveaway, there's more to come.

The biggest lesson I've learned is that we can't journey through life on our owns. Yes a single warrior can pave the path, but it takes the rest of their tribe to carry the weight and to push on through the challenges. We're all human and we have the power to influence positive change just by talking about our struggles. We have to celebrate what life is all about and that is connection. We can't innovate and change our lives without collaborating with one another in order to make that difference.  This is what social media has done for me.

Lessons from one woman to the next

On Instagram today I shared a post titled #anote2mydaughter which maybe should be more like "lessons from one woman to the next” because let's face it she’s slowly becoming a woman. 


Over the past few weeks at work I’ve been working and researching some very interesting and insightful topics as it relates to the young teenage girl and their lives on social media. (its pretty heavy) Often times I catch myself mid track and mid research having to stop for a minute and reflect on the conversations and social pressures my daughters will have to face as they navigate through life and the world today.

At some point last year you may have remembered or heard about Essena O’neill, a young teenager from Australia who shares a very disturbing and real insight to social media today and her own experiences with her growth of her social presence. In November of 2015 she stirs up the pages of every teen online publication that she quit social media and even re-edited her photos with captions of the true authentic story behind every photo.

Here’s the thing, as a parent in this generation, we were never taught nor armed with the right resources and education to have these conversations with our kids. How do tell your children that “social media is not real” when what they are introduced to is the innocent idea that all their friends are simply sharing and documenting their simple day to day lives? What type of ways do you protect your child’s identity on the internet and what ideals do you teach them as they begin to explore who they are becoming in this stage of their life?

Middle school is when a person begins to truly define themselves as a person. They are exploring the weird avenues of love, sexuality (ewww!), and building friendships that may last a life time. In these years the lessons that life teaches them are ones that will mold and shape their thought processes and values when they become adults. Vulnerability is at its peak in these years as well. Especially as they start to build a voice for themselves in the areas that are of high value: friendships, relationships, fashion, body image, and even their life long career goals. Although their dream job or career will probably be the last thing on their minds. 

I’ve said it before in a post of mine: we need to teach our young women how to be brave not perfect. Women have been socialized to aspire to perfection and now we have become cautious in taking risks, making changes, and being brave because of the fear of being “imperfect". We’ve programmed our women to live below their potential because we have socialized them to fear failure instead of facing a challenge. Women have become afraid to disrupt a system in the professional world and turn down leadership roles because of our fears of becoming less of a mother or wife in doing so. Women have become afraid of trying something new in the fear that we will look “imperfect” in the eyes of society if we fail at our own attempts.


Now I’m not going to make any sort of stand against social media here, thats not my intention. But what I will say is this, let’s reminder ourselves simply of the audience and who really is absorbing all the things we say and do in our day to day lives. Yes a huge part of that is our peers, but a larger part of that is the young women who are simply trying to define who they are meant to become as an adult. We all have the ability to influence change and a generation who is listening with wide open ears and eyes waiting to take in all that life and the people around them are willing to share.