I know the secret to happiness

gold star

and it isn't a diet or a workout regime. Am I the only one out there who goes into a bit of a slump and finds themselves watching infomercials with laser focus?  I mean by the end of it aren't you convinced that DVD set with free blow up ball and poster for your wall is going to change your life! This time, this one is going to change everything! Just look at that hot model who used to be 400 pounds, if she can do it, so can I! And then I'll be happy. I'll be skinny and glowy and happy.

I know my little sister and her ab-flex complete with burnt out belt (from diligent use) will stand in solidarity with me. We have about a half a dozen (or more) sets of "before" photos between us. You know the ones--- put on your smallest swim suit and stand there in all your insecurity for photo documentation only to hope that looking at that photo provides the necessary motivation to begin and then keep going, keep pushing to earn those gold stars and a flat stomach. We'd rush the film straight to the drug store to have them printed (back in the day--- pre-digital) and then come home, open the envelope and cry. Sobs and sobs on the bottom of the closet floor, swim suits strewn everywhere feeling the lowest of low. And then I'd scrape myself up and go self-soothe with a pint of Blue Bell ice cream. Just this one last pint and I'll start tomorrow. I'm a fat ass already with the pictures to prove it- what's one more pint going to hurt?

I should note we have at least 2 "after" sets each that are pretty damn impressive. Just sayin' ;)

It was years of  trying to find the answer through an 800 number and 3 easy installments. Years of equating clothing size, weight and muscle tone to happiness. I owned not one but two of those fat pincher things. There was Tae Bo which my girlfriend claimed helped her loose 50 lbs. Later she said it was actually cocaine but she had the videos too in case that method didn't work out. I had the ab ball and that rolling wheel with handles on each side for doing push ups. Kayla practically wore out the Denise Austin workout tape. I can still hear her narrating the video along with Denise, "And left, left, left, squeeeeeze...do it with Denise! Woooooooo!" Then there was Tony Little and his anthem "You can Doooooo It!" Turbo Jam. The boots you clip on and hang from the door jam for doing mid-air sit ups. And oh how I wanted a Total Gym! I skipped P90X but my sis and her husband had a pretty bitchin' garage gym there for a hot minute.

I was taught no pain, no gain. That if you want results you have to suffer to get them. I then added more stories that getting there meant success, happiness & arriving. It took most of my 20's full of suffering to clue me in that there might be a better way. Exercise was punishment, food was reward, life was a roller coaster too much of the time. Yoga was my gateway exercise to peaceful movement with results. And the results where not what I'd intended, they were better! You can breathe, meditate and flow yourself to healthy. You can gently and lovingly lose weight and stay in shape. But we're not really talking about staying in shape at all, we're talking about happiness.

After all those Body for Life contests and endless workout videos I finally, finally realized that being a size perfect wasn't going to make me truly, deeply happy. After many rounds of reaching the goal and not feeling better I got it. The number on the scale is not the sole factor in my happiness level.  Once I was able to be ok with me- at any size, in any moment I was happy. Once I accepted myself fully and completely exactly as I was, I was at peace. Once I put on a swim suit and looked in the mirror and my first reflex was to say "lookin good" I knew I was a-ok, better even.

So today I walk, practice yoga, meditate, swim, do 5 random push ups at some point during the day because that feels good to me. Today I'm happy not because the weight on the scale tells me I'm worthy because I tell me I'm worthy. I'm worthy because I was born. I am worthy because I'm still on this planet so there's still living yet to be done.

I am worthy.

I am loved.

I am love.

That's it. Just plain I am love. There's no end to that sentence that says I am love if I am size whatever. I am love just the way I am because I am.

And you are too.

With love,

Lacy

p.s. I'm not gonna lie, those Tracy Anderson Method DVD's look pretty tempting! They always get me with the line "in the convenience of your own home." I think YEAH- I love convenience, I love my own home! Sa-weet! Only now I know better. I move my body to take good care of it because I love it and you know what--- it just keeps loving me back. We make an awesome team.

Stand with me in love, join Campaign for Confidence or join my community here.

Soap Box.

soapbox

Stop doing anything that makes you feel badly about being you. Seriously, stop it.

I read somewhere that Pinterest is making people feel bad b/c they see something they want and think they can't have it or they can't look that way... I'm here to tell you that's silly. Plain silly.

YOU are exquisite. There is no one else like you which makes you special and special is AWESOME!

Get deeply in touch with the things that make you happy and do those things! Don't do anything because you think you should. My friend, Allison calls that "should-ING" all over yourself and I totally agree.

GO out there and live your beautiful life.

Thank  you, I will step off my soap box now.

<3 Lacy

P.s. You're beautiful.

P.p.s. I still totally love Pinterest!

source

 Join us for Group Health Coaching starting Nov 7 to change your relationship with food for the better!

so you know.

i don't like it when people say  "you of all people"
cliff doesn't like it when people say "i don't give two sh*ts" or one for that matter. 
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HA!  How's that for completely random.  I've just been going through my drafts folder... it's hilarious the posts that I've started and never finished.  This is one of them.  It definitely starts a conversation though... What could you live without people saying?  

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Hawaii tomorrow!
XO
Lacy

Healthy, happy YOU!

 Cancer might as well be a 4 letter word.  It's diabolical. It's awful.  It has devastated people I love and continues to be a mighty problem in our world.  The following is information that I teach in my 6 month health coaching program.  Some of this info was taken from John's Hopkins, some from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (my awesome school) and most is common knowledge now a days.  Of course I've added my lacylike 2 cents on the matter.  I invite you to choose 1 or many things from the list to stop/ start or try!  Here's to a healthy, happy YOU!  

Fact:  
What a person's immune system is strong cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.  
When a person has cancer it indicates the person has nutritional deficiencies.  These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors (duh). 
 
1.  AVOID- Sugar Substitutes.  You know those things in colorful little paper packets.   
Use honey to sweeten (local if you can get your hands on some)!  Also one of my faves is Agave.  
 
2.  Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in color.  
Go with Himalayan salt, it's pretty and pink!  Or Bragg's liquid aminos!  It's one of our household faves!
 
3.  MILK causes the body to produce mucus, cancer feeds on mucus.  Time to rethink drinking gallons of milk each week.  Moderation is a very good word and practice to get to know. 
 
4.  Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment.  A meat-based diet is acidic.  I'm not saying you have to go veggie (though it's pretty amazing, can you hear King Julian? ; ) but definitely cut down on your red meats.  Moderation again.  If you are going to eat meat absolutely avoid meat with growth hormones and antibiotics!  Meat protein can be difficult to digest and and requires a lot of digestive enzymes.  Undigested meat left in the intestines can lead to toxic build up.  Movement (yoga!) will help the digestive process.    p.s. don't you love that this post came right after the Bacon- the candy of meats post. The balance of life is cool. 

5.  Skip the coffee and go for green tea.  It has cancer fighting properties, you still get a little boost from the caffeine and it's tasty.
 
6.  A happy mind, body and spirit is a great way to battle disease.  Create a life that makes you happy one little decision and action at a time.  Eliminate one stressful thing from your life today.  I'm planning to clean my closet this weekend.  I have this gift for piling up clothes and this morning I realized loud and clear it was making me a total grump.  Happy closet = happy Lacy!  
 
7.  Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment.  BREATHE deeply.  Meditate.  Move your body! 
 
8.  This one is my favorite... it means getting organized in the kitchen and going through cabinets and getting organized makes me very happy.  
NO PLASTIC containers or plastic wrap in the microwave (if you must use the microwave keep plastic out of it).   Use tempered glass instead (Pyrex is my fave). If you are eating a microwave dinner remove it from it's packaging.  I know what the box says about piercing the plastic, blah blah blah- remove it!
 
NO water bottles in the freezer.  In fact if you can stand it throw out ALL your plastic water bottles.  Switch to a stainless bottle. Klean Kanteen is my fave. 
Which one will you choose to put into practice in your life?  Just typing this all out was a brilliant reminder for me and I think I'm finally ready to let go of my last plastic water bottle.  Sniffle sniffle I've been holding onto it for nostalgia. Time to move along!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Much love!  So much love! Lacy

 

What is beautiful?

In many cultures a beautiful face is often one that is symmetrical. The eyes line up perfectly, nose centered and mouth under the nose. I am sure at some point you've seen the diagram of some famous beauty with lines drawn through their face proclaiming their symmetrical face is why we find them attractive.


Image Credit - this site has some good info and interesting studies
I'd always thought I was pretty...until one day sophomore year in college. I never felt like I was---head turning gorgeous model type but I knew I was pretty, I definitely never felt ugly growing up.
I worked as a make up artist for Estee Lauder. I loved that job at the time but even more so now that I look back on what it taught me. It was at a training that I heard the rhetorical question that would change the way I looked at myself.
We were learning how to apply eye liner (it seemed really important at the time) for each eye shape. We paired off into groups of two and the instructor made her way around the room. This instructor was the kind of woman who took beauty, make-up and perfume v e r y seriously. She was impeccably dressed, think Devil Who Wears Prada but way more mascara and big fake breasts with of course the trademark extra button undone so as to see a bit of lace on her bra. She walked the line between showy and tasteful better than any best in show pooch.
As she approached our group it was my partners turn to apply eye liner to my eyes. She leans over the table, I of course look at her breasts first and then her eyes. She paused as if to allow a moment for me to experience their greatness and then abruptly begins to speak, 'OK- YES' she says as she looks me over and then it happens... "so you know your eyes aren't even right?" And then she launches into how my partner should deal with this kind of imperfection, ways to trouble shoot my Picasso face with the magic of eye liner. I WAS TOTALLY GUTTED. I came home and relayed the story to my roommate and then went in the bathroom and for God knows how long I stared at my crooked, unevenly placed eyes on my formerly beautiful face and I cried, for days off and on I cried.
For years I thought about it every time I looked in the mirror until one day I just stopped seeing it. Time passed, life rushed in and it no longer mattered. It was ridiculous to let one silly woman define my beauty but I was young and impressionable and raised to respect my elders (I have a feeling calling her my elder would send her to tears, she was in a race against time that one). Did you hear me out there girls!? You get to define your beauty! And you are beautiful! In the grand scheme of things we are all unique and if that means one eye is slightly lower then the other that's perfectly fine with me.
So here's to my uneven eyes and crooked smile!
I wouldn't change them even if I could.
Celebrate your beauty today
and if you'd like please share a bit about embracing your beauty!
Love,
Lacy
p.s. speaking of beautiful my boudoir shots are up at tobeadored! They are sprinkled around several of the portfolios.

In a word, EMPOWERED

I spent most of yesterday in lingerie In someone else's home. Rolling around on someone else's bed. With someone else's husband taking my picture. I had
THE TIME OF MY LIFE!

Ok in all fairness Maria did most of the picture taking but you know I never turn down an opportunity to be a little shocking.

Meet Mark and Maria of To Be Adored Maria and Mark are amazing. They are so gifted at capturing moments through the lens. I first met them at a party and their light drew me right in. They are easy to be around, funny and though very much in love they still know who they are as individuals, something I really respect in a couple. They are from the UK and have the best accents (I say that so you can hear them in your head as you read the next part). My favorite part was hearing them get caught up behind the lens and little whispers of praise coming out. Maria would say "oh that's gorgeous, simply lovely" and Mark would agree with "fabulous." It was as if the whole world had gathered round me to say how lovely I am. At one point we stopped shooting to have a bite to eat and take a little break. It wasn't til one of my breasts tried to free herself from the top I was wearing that I remembered I was nearly naked. I felt so comfortable. Thank you so much Maria and Mark for the time of my life yesterday! I'm now your biggest fan! xo Lacy

We had inspiration photos scattered all over the floor. I just kept giggling when I saw them because it's just another day in the office for Mark and Maria. Imagine coming home to your bedroom floor looking like this! HA!

We shot in the living room and in the bedroom. Different chairs, props, brand new crisp white linen sheets and a WIND MACHINE! That's right WIND! It was soo much fun! I arrived early so I could see some of the shoot before mine. Montana was so much fun for me to watch, she's so graceful and comfortable in her skin. Simply. Beautiful. Her pictures are going to be stunning! Photo Credit: her husband, Larry Flemming It was so lovely to meet you both! We took a before photo too. After seeing this one from Miss Boudoir I felt like we must show the full transformation! Isn't she stunning! To me that's the essence of Boudoir photography... taking us as we are and then pulling that beauty from the inside out. It's tapping into that inner goddess that we all have inside.

This experience was so profound and something every woman should do! EVERY WOMAN! I always thought it would be really cool to have beautiful photos taken but I am guilty of waiting because I didn't feel my body was where I thought it should be before I undress in front of the camera. I think a lot of women feel that way. I also didn't think I had a sexy look. Cheesy smiles I can do all day but serious, sultry, I've got a secret kind of looks... eh I wasn't sure I had those.

Gone are the days of beating up myself over that magic # of lb's that I want to loose. Don't get me wrong I still want to be the best version of me and I have a pinch here and a handful there that could go... I am a work in progress but along the way it's been much easier and more fulfilling to just love myself. When I look in the mirror now I say things like "hello beautiful and you are so lovely." Nice words have replaced those old tapes that said- 'UGH if you could just loose this and that you'd look so much better' And my personal fave--- 'you are going to be so happy when you are a size 8' The day that I realized I am happy NOW was a brilliant day and I've never looked back.

My journey with food (and school at IIN) has changed me in the best of ways. This body of mine has done a magnificent job taking care of me and allowing me to live the kind of life I want. This body of mine IS beautiful and the experience yesterday confirmed it over and over.

If I could write you all a prescription to go out and get Boudoir photos taken of yourself I would do it. We will all go out and fill a prescription- we know we need them to get well, funny we aren't as steadfast when taking care of our own tender self images! Each one of us is perfect and each one of us is beautiful. You deserve to see your beauty. Go out and do it! Especially if you feel like you are not perfect, if you feel like you need to loose this or that or that jiggles and this pudges. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL and seeing the photos will confirm that which has been inside you all along! All this and I've yet to even see my photos.

As soon as I have the results of the day I'll share them with you.

Hey! You are beautiful! Love you, Lacy

 

One day, no shoes.

Yesterday Toms Shoes did one day without shoes. We went one day without shoes too.



Most of the day we were home working so going without shoes was no sweat but once we emerged we got noticed. At first it was long stares and no questions but after about an hour of being in the world we started to get questions and shared the story of Tom's and why in the world we were out in polite society without shoes. It was so cool! My inner activist was so satisfied. I heard stories of middle school and high school kids working the system going without shoes on the their feet but satisfying the requirement of wearing shoes by putting them around their necks! Brilliant!

I stubbed my toe twice and it SO got my attention. I can't imagine truly not having shoes. I felt proud to be barefoot but I recognized that it was a novelty and with each seriously judgmental glance I took the opportunity to send a loving thought out to all those kiddos out there who go without and hope that my one day barefoot made a difference.



Every step you take matters in this life! Happy Friday!

Talk to you on Monday,
Much barefoot love!
Lacy

Do what you love!

“You need to decide not what you want to do but what you love to do,” he said. “You don’t get burnt out by doing what you love to do. You get burnt out trying to be average at what you’re bad at.”

He later added that it’s about more than knowing what you love to do, but also being aware of what you don’t like to do and creating a “stop-doing list” of those things.

Roy Spence, chairman of GSD&M Idea City and author
From an article my sis forwarded me.

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What would the world be like if we all stopped being average at what we're bad at?!
What's on your stop-doing list?

Here's to being extraordinary!

xo
Lacy