Trainer Blog

Self Care that ISN'T about Beautifying

Whatever it is that you’re thinking about first or seeing on social media that’s labeled as self care, chances are it’s centered about beauty, either caring for yourself by beautifying yourself or caring for your self and home by tidying up.

Why is this? Why is our culture so focused on beauty and looks that we can’t even take care of ourself without thinking how it will look on social media?

I don’t have all the answers, but what I do know is that I’m making a conscious effort to be mindful of when my “self care” is centered around capitalist consumption and trying to mold myself to a socially acceptable standard of beauty.

I encourage you, if you take nothing else away from this post, make a list of all the things you currently do or think of as self care, and mark which ones are centered around beauty or consumption. Be mindful, and make sure the choices you make are for you, not how they will look to others.

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Is the way you sit everyday leading to muscular imbalances?

Cross your legs. Now uncross and re-cross your legs.

Now if you’re sitting in a chair, sit on the floor and cross your legs. Or if you’re sitting on the floor, sit in a chair and cross your legs.

I bet that each time, without even thinking, you crossed your legs the exact same way. Try (both in a chair and on the floor) crossing your legs the opposite of the way you normally do. It feels weird, doesn’t it?

So rather than me trying to tell you to change your entire day from start to finish by brushing your teeth with the opposite hand, driving with the other hand, writing with the other hand, etc., I want you to focus on one simple habit that can make a big difference in imbalances in hip flexibility that can move down the chain into knee and ankle problems or up the chain into back and shoulder pain, imbalances, and tightness.

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Body Image and Gentle Nutrition Interview with Hannah Lowe of ROCKET Magazine

As promised, I have included the interview transcript where Hannah Lowe of The College of William & Mary’s ROCKET Magazine asked me about body image, body positivity and its roots in the fat positive movement, gentle nutrition, my experiences with my own body as a college student, my experiences becoming a personal trainer, mental health,…
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Collaborations with The College of William & Mary's ROCKET Magazine

Today is a bit of a fun one aka a messy amalgamation of things.

More recently, I’ve nearly disappeared all over again for the last couple months, with only a post in November about my Self Love and Self Care for the Holidays Facebook group that I ran for one month with fellow trainer and coach Shannon Johnson and then a post in December to introduce my new Live Your BeYOUtiful health coaching small group with Pam Finney at acac Albemarle Square.

This lack of posting is largely because of the time and effort that I wanted to put into each of these larger collaborative projects and partially because I am a BIG believer in balance. But, another reason I took this break from posting frequently on this blog and sometimes on Instagram during the last couple months is because I’ve also been working alongside Hannah Lowe from The College of William & Mary’s ROCKET Magazine on both a shorter article in their Fall/Winter 2018 issue and a longer article on their website blog, both featuring excepts from Hannah’s interview with me on body positivity and gentle nutrition.

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2019 Word of Intention vs. New Years Resolutions

Now, I’ve always been a goal oriented person and a perfectionist. These things have gotten me far in life, but they have also built up years of stress and anxiety that I am now in the process of recovering from and finding balance with. I can very clearly see the benefits of a goal over an intention. It seems so much more practical to implement, and it has a clear end goal and timeframe. These things are appealing to most people, but are they realistic with the ways in which we live our lives? Do goals surrounding health behaviors cause more stress and therefore physiological damage than they are worth?

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Live Your BeYOUtiful

I’m super excited to announce the group I will be starting with Pam Finney in January!!

This group is essentially the intensive version of the free BeYOUtiful You group we have been running every month for 2 years now. We will discuss health, fitness, and wellness from a MENTALLY and EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY perspective and work on a physical activity goal as a community. This group will meet every other week for 90 minutes over a three month period; each week the discussion and exercise portion will build on the last. We will cover topics like self love, body image, and self care. We want to make you fitter on the outside starting with the inside —mindset.

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Self Love and Self Care for the Holidays

I wanted to make you aware of a free Facebook group I will be running for a month during the holidays, starting next Monday (the 19th) to help you focus in on expanding the good and releasing the bad this holiday season.

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JUDGEMENT

I’ve found a direct correlation for myself between how much I’m judging other people, especially their bodies, and how much I judge myself. I cannot truly say which comes first, but the more I nitpick at other people, the more unhappy I find I am with myself. The more unhappy I am with myself, the more I catch myself judging others. 

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Some thoughts on Moderation and Body Diversity

‘The idea of “moderation” might seem great on the surface, but it’s become a sneaky way for diet culture and patriarchy to tell us to shrink ourselves: “It’s OK to eat a little bit, but not ‘too much.’” “It’s OK to listen to your cravings, but only if they’re the ‘right’ cravings.” “It’s OK to take up some space with your body, but only up to a certain point.” “It’s OK to speak up, but also keep your voice down.” “It’s OK to think outside the box, but don’t make anyone uncomfortable.”’

“We are sold the idea that our bodies are all meant to look a certain way – thanks, diet-culture. After examining the fossils of our early human ancestors, archaeological researchers found that body diversity, specifically larger body size, is *not* a new phenomena.”

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life is too short to hate your body

What it comes down to is:
Life is too short to hate your body. Life is also too short to not enjoy foods you love.

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Talking about Health through the Lens of Expansion (as opposed to contraction/restriction)

Hello all, The difference between Expansion and Contraction when it comes to health is a concept I’ve been thinking and talking a lot about lately, and since I’m giving a talk on the subject on November 3rd, I thought it was time I wrote a more in depth post about this. Coming from a background…
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Accessibility, Privilege, and the Wellness Community

I’ve been thinking a lot the last couple days about privilege, accessibility, and the wellness community.

I think there are two very valid and real sides to this story, and I think the first step to greater understanding is more discussion and openness so that both sides can see the validity of the other side, do what they can to help the other side, and also so we can see each other as HUMAN.

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Tracking Mental/Emotional Progress - Why I have clients journal about their bodies!

-EPB
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Breathing Exercises

One of the best ways to get into meditation if you’re new to it! We’ve all heard someone tell us to count to 10 before we make a brash decision out of anger, and these two exercises are just the grown up and mindful version of that advice.

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Videos on IGTV for those Visual/Auditory Learners

I just wanted to share some links here for videos I have been doing through Instagram TV on my account @eehpuhbuh!

Also, be on the lookout for more information on a Body Image group I will be starting up at acac Albemarle Square in the near future, as well as some changes to my and Pam’s group BeYOUtiful You.

I’m also planning some cool collaborations with other amazing health professionals, so be on the lookout for information on those as I get things set in stone!

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Being Okay Being Alone

If you’ve worked with me for Personal Training or Health Coaching or been a close friend of mine, you’ve probably heard me bring up the importance of journaling at least once. This, for me, has been the most important thing I’ve done in learning to be comfortable being alone.

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About Ellen

Every body is a good body, and my goal is to help you feel your best!