How to quiet that inner mean girl (self critic)


We all have an inner self critic or what I like to refer to as the mean girl. Sometimes she’s by herself and sometimes she comes with her squad. These inner critics can find themselves wiggling into our lives at different moments and when we least expect them -- starting a new job or venture, moments in a relationship or while dating, and even in stages of parenting or motherhood. When that inner mean girl comes along she typically brings with her statements of fear, anxiousness, and feelings of unworthiness or lack of and it can really feel like a bitch. As painfully exhausting having conversations with our inner mean girl(s) can be, they can also offer us some really important insight.

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Here are 5 ways to have a better relationship with your inner mean girl squad.

  1. Acknowledge the inner mean girl. Often times we shut her out or shove her out of you way so that we can move towards something more productive like our goals. BUT, shutting that mean girl in that moment often brings her back at a later point in life. Try saying hi to her and asking her “What message are you trying to tell me today?” This can allow you to reframe her role in your life. Often times our inner mean girl is trying to tell us something more meaningful than her annoying and hateful messages. If you take a moment to simply ask her what she wants to say then you can slowly work towards the root cause or insecurity she’s trying to show you.

  2. Get productive with that inner mean girl. Although it’s tough to listen to that nagging voice, they can often bring up some deep rooted issues that need to be addressed. Befriending that mean girl and letting her take the lead is never useful, but you can use her messages to work on some small tangible action items that will help you get closer to your goals. Gradually working on these issues through small baby steps will help quiet that inner critic with positive thoughts and can get you closer to your goals.

  3. Ask yourself this important question: “Would you say this to your 8 year old self?”  Would you yell your 8 year old self you’re not good enough, that you’re overweight or not good enough? OF COURSE NOT! You would want your 8 year old version to feel like she could accomplish anything she put her mind to or be anything her heart desires. Your current self deserves that same encouragement and nourishing love. Self-acceptance is a practice we develop at every age and we have every permission to work on that today!

  4. Remind yourself that you are beautiful and amazing! We often tell our friends how incredible and deserving of love they are. Why do we expect less for ourselves? Sometimes saying daily affirmations can feel in-genuine especially if it’s a new practice so instead of saying things like “I am awesome!” Or “I am beautiful” try making a list of your most recent accomplishments, especially the small ones! Take an inventory of the last two weeks and list down the small wins and celebrate them! You are so deserving of a mini celebration that includes a solo dance party or shower of emojis that acknowledge your hard work! So put on your favorite song, do a little shimmy, and dance like no ones watching!

  5. Sometimes we need a little reminder of how awesome we really are. So if no one has shared that with you this week, I want to be the first. You’re fucking awesome! You’re doing your best and that’s imperfectly perfect. Tell your inner mean girl “Not today!” and dance your little heart out! 

I’m a sexual trauma survivor, and I’m learning to love myself day by day

I’m a sexual trauma survivor, and I’m learning to love myself day by day

Strong women fall down, but they also get back up. Our experiences in life don't need to define who we are and what we are going to become. They are there to mold us, but they do not dictate our outcomes. We can still choose how we want to write our stories and our happy endings despite the hardships in our own lives. We must choose to find the opportunity in our struggle rather than allowing the struggle to suffocate our light.

JUST ASK JO: How Do I Balance Blogging and Family Life

QUESTION: 

First, Ive been following you for awhile—I absolutely love your mission and passion you have for what you do and how much love you have for your family. Truly inspiring!

Secondly, I am a new mama and have recently started blogging, but I am having such trouble keeping my motivation to work on it (mostly because of being so focused on my sweet baby). I was wondering if you had any advice on balancing your work and family life, and how to stay motivated? 

Much love and thanks, 
Kenzie 

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ANSWER:

The ever so elusive question of balancing work and family life. First off, congrats on your blog. I know the excitement it feels to start jotting down thoughts, writing, and creating content that comes from the heart. It’s overwhelming at times especially when it begins to feel like you’re just standing in a dust storm trying to make sense of it all. Balance can feel like the same thing which is why I believe in harmony and taking things one day at a time.

The focus and motivation to work on my blog, create content, and to write ebb and flow. It’s probably one of the largest struggles that bloggers rarely talk about. If you’re like me than writing is a form of therapy and can almost be cathartic. Sometimes in your own writing you get overwhelmed add that with family life it’s a perfect cocktail for chaos.

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So here are some tangible things you can do to help balance out work/family life:

Create a schedule that works for you

If you’re freelancing, work for yourself, or have the flexibility to work from home at your 9-5 make sure to create a schedule that works for you, your work, and your family. Since working for myself I’ve adopted a 10AM - 6PM work day on most days and I love it!


My ideal day typically looks like this:

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  • 6:00AM - wake up

  • 6:30AM - go to the gym

  • 8:00AM - get back home. Hubs takes kids to school (Jonathan took on the role of stay-at-home dad when he went full time with his photography business over 8 years ago. So a lot of the drop off/pick up routines are still managed by him)

  • 9:00AM - breakfast/catch up with the hubs on the day

  • 9:30/10:00AM - start my work day

  • 12:00PM - lunch AWAY FROM MY DESK!

  • 6:00PM - dinner time

  • 7:00PM - unplugged hang time with the fam. This is so important to us and something we do our best to uphold.

  • 10:00PMish - bedtime and rinse and repeat

Set boundaries!!!

I cannot stress how important creating boundaries are for work/life balance. Boundaries are not walls. Boundaries are doors and you have the option and choice to open those doors whenever you want/need to in order to adjust to life’s constant changes. For me, boundaries aren’t actually put into place for the family, they are actually in place because I tend to be a work-a-holic and this helps me to keep my harmony while juggling both work and family.

One boundary that is pretty strict for me is the amount of time I spend working. I try really hard not to put in more than 30-35 hours a week of active work time. As a blogger/social media influencer I often get invited to social gatherings and that’s all part of the role of marketing. I also roll that time up into my work week so I don’t feel like I’m a complete slave to my work.

The other boundary that’s relatively firm is the day(s) I take coaching sessions with clients. Typically those days are Tuesday and Thursday and it really works well for me to keep that consistent.

The not so tangible…

Creative Motivation

The motivation needed to focus on work can be really difficult when you have young kids and all you want to do is hang with the babes. Listen to your instincts! If right now your focus is on your sweet baby then let it be. They are only little for a small period of time. But if you’re really looking to find motivation to write and work on your blog then maybe blocking out time to focus on two days of blogging/writing is what might work best.

Motivation can both be found external and internal. External motivation is when someone behaves in a way that is outside of that person. It often comes from parents, boss, coworkers, family, and salary or promotion (advancement). Internal motivation engages in a behavior that is personally motivating. Identifying which motivation is fueling your desire to work on your blog could be the first step to breaking out of this work slump you’re experiencing.

Celebrate the small wins!

Once you’ve broken out that slump, make sure to celebrate you. This helps create positive reinforcement to the steps you’re making towards your blogging/work goals. Celebrate even if the step happens to be opening your laptop, writing a few words, and closing it 20 minutes later. Celebrate the small wins, this applies to every area of your life.

Give yourself grace

This by far is my most important tip on regaining motivation in any area of life. Discipline gets you started on the journey, grace and self love keeps you going. Life is going to get messy and motivation, creativity, and the desire to pour into your hustle will ebb and flow. Don’t beat yourself up too much. Each area in life has a season and just like seasons they come and go.

Hope this helps!



JUST ASK JO: How do you figure out your macros?

QUESTION: 

Hey! I’ve been following you for awhile and I hear you talk about macros. How do you figure all of that out?
Thanks!

Thanks,

Emily

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ANSWER:

Macros are defined by your goal, and they have to be calculated according to your lifestyle, weight, and some other info. That's why macros are different for every individual.

A macronutrient is a type of food (e.g., fat, protein, carbohydrate) required in large amounts in the human diet. 
— Webster Dictionary

Many people make the mistake of restricting their caloric intake to an extreme in order to achieve a specific goal. However, your body needs all the macronutrients not only to feed itself and fulfill certain biological processes but to have the necessary energy for your lifestyle and daily tasks. In addition, you can't forget about the energy you need to exercise and the nutrients you'll need to rebuild your muscles after you've trained. Especially if you're training hard!

I don't count my macros are strict as I used to like back in my competition days. But from time to time I do like to plug in my food intake into My Fitness Pal to see if my intuitive eating is aligned with science.

There are tons of Macro Calculators online, but the best one that I have found is through IIFYM (https://www.iifym.com/iifym-calculator/). It's really easy and walks you through all the steps. You'll first want to calculate your TDEE by inputting all the required information: age, height, weight, activity level, and goals. A lot of this is based upon your daily activities and the amount of exercise you can realistically commit to.

SO YOU'VE CALCULATED YOUR MACROS NOW WHAT...

Once you've calculated your macros, the fun begins. You can either have IIFYM create a meal plan for you or you can create your own meal plans that fit your macros using My Fitness Pal.  When I was competing I had coaches who would do all the calculations for me and adjustments. As you continue on your macro counting journey you'll want to check your progress every two weeks and adjust your macros accordingly. Your body will evolve as your exercise levels continue to progress, you'll want to make sure your macronutrient intake evolves with it. 

The other thing you can do is count your macros throughout the day while keeping your eating more flexible. So what I mean by that is: plug in the macros that were calculated for you into an app like My Fitness Pal, then start inputting your food and meals throughout the day. As you do this you'll notice that your tracker will tell you how many macros you have left to "spend" for that day. Personally, I don't like this method because I don't have the control to plan out my meals ahead of time and it would probably stress me out if I had XX amount of protein left to eat and it was already 8PM and close to my bedtime. Some people love this because it's more flexible than prepping meals. For some its stress inducing. 

A FEW THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

What are macros?

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Macros are short for macronutrients. By definition, a macronutrient is a type of food (e.g., fat, protein, carbohydrate) required in large amounts in the human diet. There are three main ones: proteins, carbohydrates, and fat. Alcohol is considered a macronutrient as well. You can learn how to calculate that into your meal plans here.

The one thing to keep in mind is that in the world of macros, a carb is carb whether it comes from sugar or starch. But that doesn't mean to go crazy and eat candy or baked goods to meet your target macros. So use trust your intuition and go for the foods you believe will fuel you properly. I mean is a pop tart going to fuel you the same as a sweet potato or brown rice? Probably not. The same goes for fats, but we all know that there are good fats and healthy fats. Stick to the good ones

Everyone's philosophy on food is different.

The reason why our society is so confused about nutrition and food is that everyone's food philosophy is different and every diet contradicts another. Macro counting is not a diet, but it is a form of understanding your body's needs on a level that can be calculated by macronutrients.

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IN CONCLUSION

What I suggest is to test out macro counting for a few months to see if that works with your lifestyle, your goals, and keep a food-mood journal while you're counting your macros. Your food-mood journal is a tool for you to start learning how to listen to your body and it's messages. Jot down what you eat and how you feel, both right after the meal and two hours later. Try it for a week! Notice how your body feels and how the changes of certain macros affect your mood.

Hope this helps! I'd love to hear from you. Do you count your macros? Comment below!