Just Say Yes (and figure out the rest later)

Do it. Say yes to the things that scare the shit out of you. Say yes to the things you have never done before. Say yes to the things you aren’t sure you can do. Say yes to the things you aren’t ready for. Say yes to new experiences, new friendships, new trips, new events, new workouts, new foods.

Get out of your silly little comfort zone.

My friends know me as someone who will always say yes to anything and I am proud of that. Want to go jump off a bridge into the ocean? Yup.  Want to go to Thailand and Bali? Absolutely. Want to go to this event with me? Duh. It’s not about being a people pleaser and doing things that I know will make other people happy, it’s about being open to new experiences, new stories and new lessons that I know will make me learn and grow.

The catalyst to this post is the seminar I was a panelist at a few weeks ago. It was for an amazing group called Lady Corporate Inc. and the event was all about women creating wealth.

Not only did I say yes to this opportunity, but I actually was the one who reached out to Ahfeeyah Thomas, the Founder & CEO of Lady Corporate, to ask if I could participate on the panel after she posted that she was looking for speakers. Whoa. Wait what? I asked for a speaking engagement and I got it? Hell yes. Where did I get the balls to do that? Great question. It actually was a sign and I knew I had to reach out to Ahfeeyah as soon as I saw her post on the Boston Business Women Facebook page. A few days before I had written down that one of my weekly goals was to find seminars and speaking engagements where I could share my story and provide as much value as possible and then, lo and behold, I’m scrolling the Facebook page and see her post. So it was an easy decision. It was also an action I took before I could think about it too much.

Even if you’re nervous that you’re unprepared for whatever action, whatever move, whatever opportunity is in front of you, even if you think you may fail, just say yes, just go for it. I don’t believe in bad experiences, I only believe in new experiences, in learning experiences, in experiences that make me grow. I believe that we are all too scared of looking foolish, of having to give up what we have now, of failing, to take a leap. A leap of faith in ourselves and in our abilities. We so infrequently trust ourselves and believe in ourselves. We don’t follow our intuition or our gut.

We stay in our comfort zones because we forget what it’s like to struggle and feel uncomfortable, we forget that we have the power to overcome such massive obstacles. I don’t think there is anything wrong with struggle, I believe struggle gives rise to strength, to learning more about ourselves, it forces us to either sink to the bottom, or rise to the top, no more of this floundering in the middle type bullshit. I bet the strongest people you know went through some pretty uncomfortable, pretty hard times, and they would tell you that those experiences shape who they are today.

So my challenge to you is to just say yes. Say yes to the next opportunity that comes in front of you. Say yes to that little idea, that little nagging you’ve had in the pit of your stomach or the back of your mind.

And then reach out and let me know what you said yes to, I would absolutely love to hear it 🙂


Better done than perfect

So I did a Facebook Live about this a week ago and I also wanted to write about it. Too many times I’ve held off on doing something or have never done it because I am a perfectionist and want to wait until the exact right time or until I feel totally ready. Well guess what, that time actually never comes and whatever it is that I wanted to do never actually gets done. I’ve learned that lesson through experience and I am now doing things before I am ready. My new mantra is, Better done than perfect.

I know  that if a date isn’t set, it won’t actually get done.

This is exactly what I did with my photo shoot, which I talk more about here, and what I did while thinking about and planning this Mindful Eating Seminar I am hosting. I’ve been thinking about hosting workshops and events for about a year now, but I haven’t taken the leap. I didn’t feel ready, I didn’t feel qualified, I didn’t feel worthy.

Who am I to be hosting a seminar about mindful eating and how to have a healthy relationship with food?

I’ve been struggling with this question for a while but you know what, I realized, who am I not to? Who am I not to share my experience, my struggle, the lessons I’ve learned and experience I’ve had? Who am I to hold in and keep to myself everything I have learned? Keeping the knowledge I have to myself is quite selfish. I did some reflecting, had conversations with some amazing leaders and mentors and  decided to ask myself the question of “who am I” in a different light. A positive, uplifting, and confident one.

Who am I? I am a woman on a mission to help other women find their inner goddesses through vulnerability. I am so passionate about getting up in front of a room and sharing every single thing I know about mindset, mindfulness, food addiction, and having a healthy relationship with food.I am an advocate of loving yourself wholeheartedly through the process of becoming the best version of you.

Do I have a masters, certification, or PhD in any of these areas? No I don’t ( I did graduate suma cum laude with a Neuroscience degree from Boston University though I will give myself credit there). Have I let this lack of education stop me in the past? Yup. And then I just shifted my mindset and thought process. I’m not telling anyone I am something that I am not. I am not acting as a binge eating expert or coach.  I looked at my role models and their backgrounds and while those in the coaching and binge eating space did have more certifications and degrees, other role models did not. Does Oprah Winfrey have extensive schooling and degrees? Nope. How about Tony Robbins? Again no. (If you don’t know who he is look into him here). Does Robert Kiyosaki have business degrees? Nope. And what about my girls Lori Harder, Emily Vavra and Peta Kelly? No extensive formal education for any of them. What they all have in common is their transparency, their willingness to share their stories and their experiences and their big, open, and kind hearts. They are students of personal development gurus and leaders in their industries. Maybe they didn’t write a thesis on self-love, being a conscious entrepreneur, or loving your body but they have invested  thousands of hours (and dollars) learning from the best of the best and now they are sharing that with the world.

So again when I turn to myself I ask myself different questions in a different light. Have I struggled in the mindfulness, binge and emotional eating, food addiction, and body dysmorphia space for 3 years (and counting)? Yes. Have I spent thousands of dollars on training, coaching, learning, growing, and developing myself? You bet. Is what I’m saying and sharing going to resonate with everyone? Absolutely not. But this is my truth and I deserve to step into my power, shine my light, and share my passion and soul-calling to those open and willing to listen. 

Okay so enough with the background and mental struggle behind getting this seminar up and running! What is it actually going to be about?!

The 3 things we are going to focus on are:

  1. Mindfulness around eating. What it means to be mindful in general and then how to apply it to your meal times. 
  2. How different foods affect your brain (the science behind food addiction).
  3. Tools to help someone who suffers from emotional eating/binge eating/ an abnormal or unhealthy relationship with food.

And if you’re sitting there reading this thinking, “That’s all awesome and cool Nancy but I actually don’t have any issues when it comes to food.” Then 1) that’s amazing and I applaud you! And 2) I’m almost positive you know someone who does. So how amazing would it be to be able to understand a little bit better what they are going through and help in any way that you can?

My intention for this seminar is to keep it fun, light, short, and interactive. You are going to leave with tools and concrete information on how to have a healthy relationship with food and how to be mindful while eating. I want people to understand that they are not alone, that they are not crazy, and that there is nothing “wrong” with them.

I am so excited and grateful to be partnering with my new, amazing friend Kristin Contre, owner of Contre-Fitness. She has seen many of her clients struggle with their relationship with food, and with emotional and binge eating. Kristin is passionate about helping them get through these food issues in order  for the people she works with to be their best selves, have incredible health and amazing results. Not only does she care about others with such a big, open heart, she literally has some of the highest enthusiasm and best energy I have ever encountered!! But don’t take my word for it, come out to our seminar on Saturday June 3rd and see for yourself 🙂

In order to register, go here and we are asking for a $10 donation in order to support the Addiction and Recovery Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (I’m running a 10K on June 25th for this cause!). Please be sure to enter your name when donating so we can keep track of who registered!

I so look forward to seeing you guys there and I hope my story helps you start something before you’re ready, knowing that it’s better done than perfect 🙂

Hey I’m Nancy and I have a double chin

A little harsh of a title right?

Did it catch your attention? I hope so.

Not gonna lie, I was a little nervous using that as my title but as you guys know, I’m super raw, real, transparent and straightforward so I was like F it, that’s what the title needs to be. I’ll get more in to why I used that as the title in a second (besides the obvious reason).

As some of you may know, I did a photo shoot at the beginning of April ( if you’re more of a visual person and listener, rather than a reader, I did a Facebook Live about it here and you can listen to what I have to say rather than read it).

The photo above is one of the first ones my amazing photographer, Irynna, sent me. She and I met and decided to a do a photo shoot together in a super interesting way actually! We met at a BostonSpeaks Networking event at The Hatch Fenway, a really cool space where there was an indoor swing set. We were both embracing our inner child, having a grand old time swinging back and forth on these swings when we began chatting. Of course we asked each other the stereotypical question, “what do you do for work?” And she told me she was a photographer. I had been thinking about doing a photo shoot for a while but was making up tons of excuses as to why I shouldn’t do one. I told myself I didn’t have the money to spend and also that my body wasn’t ready. Once I lost weight and got my body to a certain point (whatever that point was), then, I told myself, I would do a photo shoot. I didn’t mention either of these things to Irynna at the time. We connected on Instagram and Facebook and that was it.

A few weeks later, I got a message from Irynna saying that she had read my blog and wanted to do a photo shoot for me FOR FREE. Like what?! She loved my story, what I wrote about, and loved photographing people who have stories (of course, everyone has a story, I’m just super open with mine) so she wanted to do that for me. I was like, damn, okay, so my “money” excuse was no longer an issue but my body image, and low self-confidence excuse was still really real. I shared that with Irynna, I told her I did have a desire to do a photo shoot, but that I didn’t commit to one in the past because I didn’t like the way I looked and I was always waiting to change my body and feel beautiful and amazing and confident before I had professional photos of it taken. But now that she had come into my life and offered to do something so amazing and generous for me, my reasoning , stories and excuses sounded RIDICULOUS. Like helloooo Nancy you’re such an advocate for self love, positive body image and being confident no matter what shape and size you are, but you’re not practicing that.  So of course I had to do it. For the story, for the experience, for the lessons I would learn and to get out of my comfort zone.

The month leading up to the photo shoot I didn’t really think much about it at all. I didn’t plan, I didn’t go shopping, I didn’t pick out any outfits, I put it on the back burner and forgot about it. As it got closer, the self-doubt, the negative self-talk, and the fear all crept in. I didn’t want to do the photo shoot. I didn’t want to prepare for it, I didn’t want to think about it, I didn’t want to be the center of attention. Thank god we had chosen a date way beforehand when I was in a better mood and I was committing to it. I knew I couldn’t pass up this opportunity and I knew I needed to get out of my own way.

The night before the photo shoot I was brainstorming what kinds of pictures I wanted to take, cleaning up my apartment and picking out outfits to wear (typical last minute, Nancy-style).

I still wasn’t excited about it.

I don’t know if it was because I felt like I didn’t deserve to do a photo shoot and/or if what my body looked like was still bothering me (I’m sure it was), but I couldn’t shake it. It’s so crazy to think about my mindset and thoughts through the entire process because you would think I would be so excited, pumped and grateful to have the opportunity to do a free photo shoot and I hate to admit it but I really wasn’t.

I still went through the motions of putting everything together that I needed to. My intention was to show “a day in the life of Nancy”, focus on my lifestyle and things I do every single day. Looking back I of course wish I had prepared more but I’m not regretting any piece of it because what’s the point?

The big day came, I woke up early, showered, did my morning ritual and put my makeup on. We had the most perfect, beautiful day, which was amazing considering I wanted to take pictures outside as well. Irynna was so fun and absolutely incredible to work with. She let me have full control over what I wanted to do (which was a little difficult for me since I didn’t know exactly what I wanted) but it was a great combination of her photography expertise and help and my thoughts and ideas I had for the shoot.

Even for someone as open as I am, it was a little uncomfortable having someone come in to my home and take pictures of me in my element. Looking at the photos we took in the apartment I’m like, “Ugh it still looks messy or weird.” But that’s the beauty of it I guess and that’s also what I was trying to show.

Just like you don’t have to have the perfect body to take photos of it, you don’t have to have the perfect, prettiest, and cleanest apartment to take pictures in it.        

Okay now back to why I titled this post, “Hey I’m Nancy and I have a double chin.” Like I said earlier, this photo was one of the first ones Irynna sent to me because she said it was one of her favorites.

When she first sent it to me, I looked at it for a second, thought to myself, “Omg this is a great photo, my hair looks good, I like that it’s a candid and that I’m smiling” and then my eyes went straight to my chin. “Oh my god I have a double chin” was the next thought in my mind. “I can never post this picture because I don’t want anyone to see that” came next.

Oh the irony of those thoughts as I now publicly highlight what I at first wanted to hide. 

Sharing my thoughts and feelings around this picture and my photo shoot in general allows me to take my power back from them.

Irynna sent me this picture for a reason, I know she wasn’t thinking about my double chin, she was noticing the joy and beauty in my eyes and smile. So why was my double chin the only thing I could focus on?

Because we are so much more critical of ourselves than other people are. Because despite all of the work I do on myself, I still am, and will always still be, on this journey to total self love, acceptance, and confidence. It is a practice and skill I am building each and every single day. But the negative thoughts and focus still creep in on the daily.

No lie, a part of me is highlighting my double chin in this photo so no one could say it about me behind my back because I’ve already talked about it.

I’m now looking at this photo with loving and kind eyes. My new and improved thoughts are, “Yes, in fact, I do have a double chin in this photo but if anyone was looking down in this way, they would also have a double chin” (not sure if this is true, but I’m totally going with it). I’m also looking at this photo as if it wasn’t me. If this was anyone else in this picture, I would love it and only give them love and compliments about it, so now that’s what I’m doing to myself. Just like Irynna was when she sent it to me, I’m focusing on the joy in my eyes and smile and all of the things I like about myself in the photo.

I would like to think that because my body isn’t toned and in amazing shape and that I have excess fat on my body and in my face, that this makes it more relatable and real for other people.

Because the core reason I was doing this photo shoot was to show others that it doesn’t matter what your body looks like, if you want to do a photo shoot, do it. You don’t have to be a certain weight or wear a certain pants size in order to be able to have professional pictures of yourself taken. You don’t need to wait until you’ve had a weight loss transformation. You are worthy NOW. You deserve to be the center of attention. You deserve to splurge on yourself. You are beautiful exactly as you are, double chin and all. 

Like I said earlier, these thoughts, affirmations and beliefs do not come overnight. It is a daily choice. A choice to think this way and see myself this way. It takes practice, repetition, constant check ins, reminders and a lot of work. But it is so worth it because feeling confident, amazing and beautiful is worth it. And a much better way to go through life.

So, when’s your photo shoot? I look forward to seeing your pictures in the future 🙂

26.2 lessons I learned while watching people run 26.2 miles

Yes, in fact, you can’t take me anywhere without me getting all philosophical and reflective on you. I find lessons in almost everything. At a concert? Yup, there’s a lot to be learned. Surfing? Oh my god I can go on forever about that. Cooking, eating, walking, shopping, the list can go on and on. I take a simple, every day, or fun activity and turn it into something profound.  So of course while watching the Boston Marathon there were many many lessons to be learned (26.2 to be exact).

Here they are:

  1. Going to watch an event alone can be totally fun.

I learned this one from my friend Beth Cormack. I remember reading her blog post about     going to see Pope Francis in DC by herself  and it so resonated with me. At first I did feel really lame going to watch the Boston Marathon by myself, afterall, in Beth’s case DC wasn’t her hometown, It wasn’t the town she grew up and went to college in, so it made more sense for her not to have anyone to go see the Pope with (at least this was the BS story I told myself that almost stopped me from going to watch the marathon). I did text a bunch of friends a few days before the marathon to see what they were doing but either they were working (lame), drinking (something I felt too old to be doing), or had plans with other friends. I then realized how freeing it was to decide to do what I want when I wanted. I didn’t have to worry about what time I was going to meet up with other friends or where we were going to watch the race. I got to choose (now I see why introverts love to be alone or do things on their own, it can be a lot easier and sometimes a lot more fun). And once I got to the race at a time I decided upon, and stood wherever I wanted, I had a lot of fun and of course learned a lot of things, hence the birth of this post. The people around me were super nice and we were all there for the same reason, to cheer on the amazing people running 26.2 miles, they didn’t care if I was there alone or with friends, they didn’t judge me or think I was weird, so what was I so afraid of when I was deciding whether or not I should go watch the race? Doing something I had never done before, I guess.

2. Realizing you have a choice to decide what your priorities are and where you choose to spend your time is extremely important and powerful.

Like I said in lesson #1, many of my friends were working on Marathon Monday and they were pretty bummed out about it. I remember last year working at the hospital and being tortured by the fact that I wasn’t at the marathon (I did live stream it from my work computer and then I left early to go watch the end of it, sh, don’t tell my boss), but it wasn’t the same. I did some reflecting while being at the race early this morning and I realized that between last year’s marathon and this year’s I had made the conscious decision that spending my time the way I wanted to, doing the things I wanted to, was a priority for me and that I was going to create a life that revolved around that. You are not meant to miss out on the things you want to experience most in life, and if your job is stopping you from doing certain things, I suggest you take a look at your situation and see how you can improve it.

3. Gratitude for my body, for what it can do, for my health, and for all of my limbs.

This is one of many people who ran/rolled 26.2 miles today with a prosthetic limb or disability. Watching these incredible warriors always lights me up with complete inspiration and respect for their dedication, their mindset and their resilience. After experiencing this today I had to express deep gratitude for my health and for having all of my senses and my limbs. The people who decide to run marathons when they are paralyzed, or blind, or have a prosthetic limb, never ever cease to amaze me. Like sh*t, I’m over here complaining because I have acne and my butt doesn’t fit in my shorts and these people are RUNNING MARATHONS. Definitely one way for me to check myself, express gratitude for the healthy and amazing body I am living in and understand what incredible gifts I have.

3. Attending events and being around people is part of my self care.

As much as I do love some quiet time and being alone, being at the marathon today and cheering all of the runners on, showed me that this is a way to fill my self care cup up. I absolutely love motivating and helping others and I believe I did that while being at the race, screaming for people I didn’t even know and will probably never see again. I felt so “full” and happy during and after the marathon and I knew this was something I deserve to do on a regular basis.

3.1 I can’t count

I have two #3s and I’m keeping them both because I’m attached and committed to both of them LOL

4. Being an empath isn’t only for sad or negative situations and emotions.

There was so much love and camaraderie at the marathon today and I could feel it in my body and soul, even though it wasn’t directed towards me. Watching the families and friends scream for their loved ones, who then ran over and hugged and kissed them, was so heart-warming. The excitement and love the families exuded was contagious and made me and everyone around them smile and join in on the cheering. It was so refreshing seeing the pride and enthusiasm that came from both the runners and their people on the other side of the barrier. Usually I tend to notice my empathy in negative and depressing situation but it definitely feels a lot better to experience it on the other side of the spectrum, with positive emotions such as love, joy, pride, excitement and kindness.

5. Although we live in a very individualistic society, community and camaraderie still exist.

These 2 women, who I assume are strangers with the woman in the middle because they have different bib colors, carry this woman across the finish line, giving up their race time and their own finish. This was amazing to watch. There were many other instances where I saw runners patting another runner on the back who was walking, and giving them words of encouragement to keep going and continue on. To see that people still cared about one another, that they put any sort of competition and pride to the side because they were all working towards the same goal, finishing 26.2 miles, was extremely refreshing and hopeful to experience.

6. People watching can be the best form of entertainment and inspiration and it’s free!

Every time I was about to make the decision to leave the race, I would see another extremely entertaining and inspiring person and decide to stay longer. A person dressed as an angry bird, someone with a tutu, another person with a balloon animal on their head, a dude running while juggling, were just a few of the entertaining ones. I also got to see a guy wearing a free hugs t-shirt and giving people air hugs while running and a girl running with a believe in yourself banner.

7. Watching a marathon can be almost as tiring (well probably not, but I kind of did feel like that) as running one.

A few hours into watching the marathon I caught myself complaining (to myself of course because I was alone). I was tired, I was hungry, and I was thirsty. My legs hurt from standing, my throat hurt from screaming and my hands hurt from clapping. And then I had to take a second to check myself. I looked right in front of me and saw people who were almost done running 26.2 miles, who were dehydrated, who’s legs were cramping and who were completely exhausted  and I’m standing there thinking about how crappy I feel. HA. That was the last time I thought those thoughts while watching the race.

8. Having the same running shoes as the guy who came in 2nd in the men’s elite division as well as many of the other marathon runners, is pretty cool.


Peep the guy’s shoes on the right. Those are the men’s version of the amazing Nike shoes I just got for my birthday and that I’m training for my half marathon in. You could say my confidence level and running ability just went up a few points for sure.

9. Doing anything with a smile on your face makes it so much more enjoyable for you as well as the people around you.

Watching the runners who were wearing a huge smile on their faces was incredibly refreshing and heart-warming. I was standing at mile 26, so to see people still smiling after running 26 miles was amazing. It also put a smile on my face and instantly made me feel better. So then I got to thinking, what if I just smiled while doing things I didn’t want to do? Would it make me feel better? I think at first it will probably make me feel ridiculous and silly but feeling ridiculous beats feeling unhappy any day so I’ll choose smiling while washing dishes, cleaning, doing laundry and running and see how it makes me feel.

10. Cheering random strangers on is exhilarating and creates as much energy in yourself as you are giving to the other person.

If you know me personally, you know I only have 2 volumes, loud and louder. Being able to be my “louder” self at the marathon gave me so much energy. It was exhilarating and exciting to yell a stranger’s name that they had written on their arm or their shirt because they wanted you to cheer them on.

11. Drinking beer while finishing up a marathon is possible.

Yes, I did see a guy opening up a can of PBR while heading in to mile 26. It was pretty foamy as I’m sure he was running with it for a bit before opening it, but he definitely took the whole, “I run to drink beer at the end” thing to the next level. I wish I snagged a photo for proof, but just believe me on this one.

12. There is no discrimination when it comes to running a marathon.

I saw runners of all shapes, sizes, ages, genders, ethnic backgrounds, and abilities completing the marathon. People from all over the country and all over the world traveled to Boston in order to take part in this race. The diversity was incredible to witness. There were runners as young as 18 (a 7 year old even jumped in and finished the race with his dad) and as old as 85. Some had never run a marathon before and others had run hundreds. It didn’t matter. They were all there for the same reason, to complete 26.2 miles.

13. Fear does not stop Boston.

It’s been a few years since the Marathon Bombings in 2013 ( I actually can’t believe it’s been 4 years already) and there is no fear in sight. Only strength, courage, honor and dedication. Yes, security is heightened, as it should be, but the crowds were still huge, the people were still positive, and everyone was excited to be there.

14. Momentum can create a huge shift.

When the crowd would start getting a little bit louder than normal, cheering extra hard for someone, everyone else would start cheering even louder as well, and the increase in excitement and sound would go up dramatically. Goes to show how a few people who get really passionate and excited can affect an entire crowded area to really ramp it up.

15. Having no personal bubble is extremely helpful.

When there are so many people is such a small area, all trying to get to the front and see the same thing, being okay with having people be super close to you, is a plus. I had so many people brushing up against me, or hitting me with their bodies/bags but I totally didn’t let it bother me. Being in a crowded event, like the marathon, or a concert, or anything of that nature, having your personal space invaded is  something you need to expect. As long as people aren’t doing it intentionally or maliciously, you can’t let it bother you because then it ruins your experience.

16. Kids get away with so much and they don’t care what you think of them.

There was a little boy behind me trying to see who shimmied his way to the front (which was totally cool as I wanted him to be able to see). He then proceeded to touch the woman’s hand and wrist next to me who was holding a camera, as she was trying to take pictures. I’m not sure what he was trying to do but he was speaking to her in a different language and it was kind of funny to just watch their interaction. There was another little boy, who stood next to me at a different point during the race who was probably around 3 years old. All he did was complain about how tired he was and how he didn’t want to be there (obviously he didn’t get my point in lesson #7). His dad was running the marathon and he was mad at him for not winning. LOL. Literally, kids don’t give a sh*t about what they are saying or doing, who they are saying or doing it to, and whether or not it’s going to hurt someone else’s feelings.

17. Not having anyone I was waiting for to meet up with after the race felt kind of freeing and kind of lonely at the same time.

Everyone around me kept coming and going, I was the only one who stayed in that spot the entire time. Loved ones, friends and family members would run by and the people around me who were cheering them on would go leave the spot I was standing in to go to the finish line to meet up with them. I did have a few friends running but I wasn’t meeting up with them after the race so I still stood there, cheering on strangers, and waiting for other people I knew to run by me. It was nice to be able to stay there and continue cheering everyone else on, truly caring about the people I didn’t even know and wanting to motivate them to keep going but it also made me feel a bit lonely and left out when the people around me kept leaving and I had no reason to go.

18. Watching people do an incredible thing such as run 26.2 miles, motivates me to want to do the same.

Every year while watching the marathon I say I want to run one, I get so motivated by watching thousands of others do it and I know I could accomplish it. But then a few days go by and I forget about my desire to run a marathon. The motivation fades because I’m not in the environment of watching one and I go about my usual habits and routines. I know this happens not only with wanting to run a marathon, but with so many other things I want to do, experience and accomplish. It’s a fabulous realization and now I know I have to constantly motivate myself to do different things by watching videos, looking at pictures, visualizing, and getting myself in that environment more often than just once a year if I want to hold on to my desires and accomplish them.

19. Being prepared is not overrated.

I knew I was going to be watching the marathon for the majority of the day but I did not bring any water or snacks. BAD IDEA. This did not help the feeling of tiredness and hunger I was battling for hours  and definitely did not improve my experience.

20. Patience helps.

Being in an extremely busy and crowded area, you are to expect lines, chaos, and for things to take longer than they normally would or longer than they should. Patience helps with all of this. Not being in a rush and understanding the circumstances goes a long way in allowing you to enjoy yourself and the entire experience.

21. When you are looking really hard for something (or someone) it’s much more difficult to find.

This happened multiple times to me and the people around me. When we kept checking our phones to track our loved ones, and friends, the people we were waiting for to see, when we were looking super hard in the crowds to find them, they would run right past us and we would never know it. But when we just trusted that we would see them, that they would be coming soon, and that we would find them easily, they would appear right there, in clear sight, with no stress and we would get a great photo of them. This can totally be applied to relationships, jobs, life in general. The more we stress out about something, the harder it is going to be to get because that stress and worry is actually a lack of belief that we can do it.

22. Making signs and cheering on the marathon runners can be a great advertising and marketing campaign.

I know the picture is kind of blurry but these 2 signs say, “Whine now, Wine later” and “Run like Millennials run from commitment.” LOL. These are amazing. They have the names of 2 restaurants in Southie, Capo and Lincoln, on them and is such a fun and unique way to advertise. I’d love to have those girls jobs, “yeah, we get paid to go watch the Boston Marathon while holding up signs for the restaurants we work in.” A pretty fabulous idea.

23. Layers are your friend.

This kind of could have gone under lesson #19, “Being prepared is not overrated” but I’m really digging for lessons to complete this list so this one is going on it’s own. A more practical and less philosophical one as well, but it still counts. I unfortunately did not wear layers when going to the marathon and that was a silly mistake (I should have known better knowing the unpredictable Boston weather).  The sun would come and go, sometimes I was in shade, sometimes I was catching a tan, but most of the time I was cold. It was pretty windy as well and I definitely regretted my decision to just wear capris and a tank top.

24. And so are comfortable shoes.

See lesson #23 as to why this one is also on it’s own. I fortunately did get this one right and wore sneakers. Thank god because there was so much walking and standing involved, nobody as time and energy to worry about their feet hurting and being uncomfortable.

25. Not wearing headphones while running makes you faster.

Okay so I totally just made this one up but I’m sticking with it. For the first time I noticed the obvious fact that the elite runners don’t run with headphones or listen to music at all. I don’t know what the exact reason is behind this but they obviously must have a reason. I’m a hypocrite and totally contradict myself on this one because I always run with headphones and music blasting in my ears and I definitely find that it motivates me and makes me fun faster but if these amazing people can run at such ridiculously fast paces for such a long time, they have some serious internal motivation and mental power. I don’t think I’m there yet.

26. Making the hard choice to do something you’ve never done before, something out of your comfort zone, is extremely rewarding.

If I hadn’t gone to watch the marathon, I wouldn’t have learned all of these amazing lessons I’m sharing here with you all. I would have missed out on an epic experience due to fear and negative thoughts. It may seem like something that’s totally fun and of course would have been an easy choice to go attend but sometimes, for some people, it’s not.

.2 Writing a list of 26.2 things I learned at the marathon was clever yet extremely ambitious. I got halfway through and I was like uh…can I be done now? 

Consciously focusing your priorities on what makes you happy


It’s been a month since I wrote a blog post and reflecting on that is so upsetting to me. I have felt uninspired and distracted, focusing on my business and on “income producing activities.” I wouldn’t categorize writing as an income producing activity and so I wouldn’t do it. I was rationalizing the fact that I wasn’t writing because I was “too busy” while also telling myself “well, so much time has already passed since your last post, you already fell off the schedule you made for yourself, so who cares when your next post is?” (Really positive thinking, huh?) As I was sitting on my new couch in my new apartment in my new neighborhood with my new roommate I thought to myself, “wow Nancy you are prioritizing everything else in your life besides yourself and your writing. So much is “new”but what about the old that was positive and that was working? You have stayed so busy and changed so much and yet you aren’t doing something you love each and every day.” (Yes I talk to myself). So I walked across my apartment, picked up my laptop and began writing this post.

Note to self: It’s okay that I haven’t written in weeks, it’s okay that I have been distracted, it’s okay that I have prioritized other things in my life. I need to remind myself of that and stop being so hard on myself. Easier said than done but it is a habit and a practice I am working on. Being a perfectionist sucks because you are so hard on yourself in every aspect of your life that when one thing isn’t going the way you want it to, even if there are other areas that can be celebrated and that are going well, you focus on that one area that needs improvement because it isn’t perfect. New priority-acknowledge myself for all of the good I am doing and all of the places I am growing and focus on the positive.

Your priorities can change each month, each week, each day and each hour even. Your focus can change. And it most likely will. One of my mentors always talks about how the most important thing you can do is move in the right direction. She says direction is all that matters. When I take a step back and zoom out on my life (even just the past few weeks) I know with confidence that I am moving in the right direction, but when I am in the day-to-day nitty gritty, I tend to freak out and overwhelm. I am sooo hard on myself. I don’t think about the direction, instead I think about the money I am not making and all of the money I am spending, I compare myself to others and I drown in my negative thoughts. My priorities become doing things that “look good”, trying to talk to as many people as possible, staying as busy as possible, and trying to make as much money as possible. My priority becomes doing things that make other people happy (there are my people pleasing tendencies again) and ignoring my thoughts, beliefs, worry and pain.

Rarely is my priority doing things that make me happy, taking a break, and just relaxing. I hate being bored, I hate having down time, I hate being “unproductive” and I hate being alone. I have anxiety over wasting time, disappointing others, and paying my rent. Writing has not been a priority for me. But that is okay.

My writing is for me. I don’t do it for the likes, the comments, the messages or the acknowledgment. I do it because it helps me process my thoughts, it makes me feel better, and it is a way for me to relax. I write to provide value to others, to be transparent and to inspire others to do the same. I write to take off the masks I wear and to be my authentic self. Now that is something  I need to make a priority.

When I tune in to myself and change my priorities to focus on what makes me happy, that is where the magic is. That is where the success is, that is where the bliss is, that is where the money is.

When was the last time you thought about your priorities and if they were making you happy and moving you forward? When was the last time you thought about what truly does make you happy and why you get up each and every morning? When was the last time you began your day with focus and excitement? I know it’s been a while for me. Your priorities are uniquely yours. They are not your parent’s, your friend’s, your roommate’s, or your significant other’s. This means you may make some people in your network unhappy while making yourself happy because they are focusing on themselves while you need to focus on yourself, but that’s okay. Because everything is perfect (even when it’s imperfect) and happens exactly how it is supposed to. You are meant to mess up your priorities so you can learn how to realize that and get back on track. That’s relatable and that’s human.

My priority is to feel good and to be happy. My priority is to write. My priority is to help others. My priority is to live in the present. My priority is to care less about the little things that don’t matter as much. We take life so seriously, always focusing on the next step, and rarely focusing on the present.

Take a second to reflect and think about your priorities. This is a conscious practice. It takes effort, focus, and purpose. Are your priorities in line with the direction you want your life to go in? Are you making time for the things that truly matter to you? Are your priorities making you a better person and helping those around you? Doing this practice takes some extra time but prioritizing your priorities is where happiness lies.


The Four Agreements Tom Brady made that helped him get through Deflategate


Why is there still a taboo around self-help books? Do you think they are only for those who are “depressed” and “need extra help”? Do you walk straight past that section of the bookstore, making sure not to stop or look too long in case someone thinks something is wrong with you? I’m sure this isn’t you because if it was, you probably wouldn’t be reading my blog. But it was me a few months ago.

If Tom Brady is reading self-help books, than so can you

He discussed the book that changed it all for him in an article written almost a year ago on Boston.com. So yes, I’m late to the game, but I believe it is extremely timely due to his recent decision in the Deflategate case. There’s no doubt this book didn’t have an affect on him and his decision to take the four game suspension rather than continuing with his case and escalating it to the Supreme Court.

Spill it Nance, what’s the book you’re talking about?

Yes, I am talking in third person. Why? Because it’s fun and I feel like it 🙂 If you already clicked on the links I provided above than you know what book I’m talking about. It’s called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and I actually read it before I even knew Tom Brady read it because it was recommended to me by my friend Chelsea Miller (I’m so hipster 😉 ). I just recently found out my boy Brady read this book and it got me really excited, so much so that I had to write about it. The Four Agreements is a pretty freakin’ epic book and I totally understand why Brady has been reading it for the past 10 years and why he rereads it before every football season. It’s just as amazing that Gisele has also referred to The Four Agreements in multiple interviews and that it has influenced her thoughts and her life in an equally profound way.  Power couple much? Couples who read self-help books together, stay together and conquer the world.

So what are The Four Agreements and why is it so epic?

Well where do I even start? This actually works out super well because The Four Agreements is the first book I ever listened to as an audiobook. I’m definitely old school, I like holding my books and having paper copies of them (to write in, dog ear, and highlight) but my friend and I are doing a book club and he lets me use his Audible account so he bought it on there and we both listened to it. Listening to the book allowed me to take notes on an amazing app called Evernote that I adore. These notes are perfect because I can use them to share some big points I typed out while I was listening. This book is definitely spiritual, very deep, and sometimes hard to understand because what Don Miguel Ruiz is discussing is so abstract and not the way most people are used to thinking. But it is certainly worth the read (and re read) in order to help you change your thinking, the agreements you make, and your life.

Don Miguel Ruiz starts off with some important general points:

  • We never had the opportunity to choose what to believe or what not to believe. We were given our beliefs from childhood and we have held on to these beliefs ever since. In order to create new beliefs we need to agree with new ideas. This is extremely difficult to do because it causes us to feel unsafe. –> To realize that I was given my beliefs and that they aren’t true was HUGE for me. I can CHOOSE to believe anything I want. And so can you. Boom.
  • As a child, our reward was attention from other people. As a child, we try to please our parents and our teachers. The fear of being rejected becomes the fear of not being good enough. Eventually we become a copy of other people’s beliefs.–>A part of me is (and has always been) a people pleaser so this hit home for me. I always wanted to be the “perfect” child. I always wanted to do everything right, get the good grades, the amazing job, I wanted to make everyone else proud and I wanted to make them happy. I need to be validated, I need attention. This then creates a fear of being rejected because I so crave acceptance and love and I am always striving for more so I don’t feel good enough right now.
  •  Being ourselves is our biggest fear because we fear we will be rejected and that we won’t be good enough.
  • No one abuses me more than I abuse myself. This stems from believing I need to be perfect, hiding that imperfection, feeling inauthentic, rejecting myself and punishing myself. Self abuse comes from self rejection. Self rejection comes from an image of perfection.
  • The most important agreements are the ones with myself. Break the agreements that are fear-based. The agreements based in love are #1 and the absolute truth. The only way to break an agreement is to make a new agreement based on truth (aka love).

Okay and now finally the actual Four Agreements:

  1. Be impeccable with my word. 
    • This was a hard one for me to get. On the surface it looks like, “okay be truthful, keep my word, don’t lie, got it. Nothing new. Easy enough.” But then Don Miguel goes on to say, “How much I love myself and how I feel about myself is directly proportional to the quality and integrity and impeccability of my word.” Whaaat wow. Damn that shit’s deep. Read that a few times and really let it sink in. So basically the more you love yourself, the more impeccable your word is. Makes sense since the truth is love and if you are to be speaking the truth, you need to be speaking love and that all starts with loving yourself.
  2. Don’t take anything personally.
    • This is one that Tom Brady specifically talks about in his interview and one that really helped him through the Deflategate case. He didn’t allow himself to take what was being said about him or what was happening as something personal. This of course is extremely difficult and takes strength and practice but it’s a habit that can be built over time. Everything people do and say is because of themselves and their opinions, beliefs and feelings in their own minds. If I take things personally then I poison my mind.By taking things personally I set myself up to suffer for nothing. This agreement is something I have really been practicing and it was been helping me so so much. As a sensitive, emotional, and caring person, it is extra hard for me to not take things personally but by reminding myself of Ruiz’s words that what people say has only to do with themselves I’ve been getting much better at this practice. One of my favorite sayings also helps as an amazing reminder, “What you think of me is none of my business.”
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
    • Ask questions rather than make assumptions. We make assumptions because we are too afraid to ask for clarification. This is another reason why communication is key. When we communicate, we are clearing up the situation and dissolving assumptions. Assumptions set us up for suffering. And of course they make an ass out of you and me 😉 (hehe sorry I had to). We make the assumption that people see us the way we see ourselves. Before other people can judge or reject us, we judge and reject ourselves.
  4. Always do my best.
    • It doesn’t matter if I’m sick or tired, just do my best in that moment. Don’t overextend myself. My best will change depending on the time of day, my health and my feelings and that is OK. When I always do my best, I take action. Take action because I love it, not because I expect a reward. This was another light bulb moment for me. Action dissolves fear and anxiety. When you take action you cannot fail, only learn and grow. When I do my best, I learn to accept myself.

Whoa. That’s a lot of heavy, deep shit right?

Uh yeah. That’s why Tom Brady and Gisele are freakin’ badasses.And that’s also why they have read The Four Agreements multiple times. It’s hard to digest and understand at first because what Don Miguel Ruiz is shining a light upon are things we don’t ever think about or can fully digest the first time around.

You have to be very strong to follow these agreements. Warning: most people do not think this way or hold these agreements in their mind so you are the minority. Get used to it.

The first step to following the agreements is being aware of them so that’s checked off your list- woohoo! Next you have to allow yourself to be imperfect, you won’t follow all of these agreements all of the time, and that is normal, expected and a good thing because it means you’re not some crazy robot. You have to be committed, dedicated and hardworking. Write these agreements out in places where you will see them often to remind yourself of them (I like using index cards and taping them on my wall, hanging them next to my desk at work, putting them in my backpack).  Start noticing your old thoughts and little by little start replacing your old agreements and beliefs with new ones that align with the above four agreements.

There are so many more notes I have typed out and so much more I could go in to but I will leave you guys with this because I want you to read the book for yourself 🙂 If this post has motivated and intrigued you to purchase the book please consider supporting me by ordering the book here (or clicking on any of the links above).

I would be honored to hear your thoughts and opinions on the book and how it has helped shape your life after reading it so please contact me using the form below because I would love to chat about it <3







For the record, Jennifer Aniston is a Goddess

jennifer aniston
Jennifer Aniston’s words are extremely powerful and align directly with what I am doing with my blog and my business. I am so excited and happy she publicly put her thoughts out there because there are so many women out there thinking the same things and feeling the same way. To have someone in such a public light, someone who is highly respected and successful, call journalists, the tabloids, the media, and society, out on their shit is amazing. I can feel her passion and frustration through her words and her writing and this makes for a powerful message.
” The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing. The way I am portrayed by the media is simply a reflection of how we see and portray women in general, measured against some warped standard of beauty. Sometimes cultural standards just need a different perspective so we can see them for what they really are — a collective acceptance… a subconscious agreement. We are in charge of our agreement. Little girls everywhere are absorbing our agreement, passive or otherwise. And it begins early. The message that girls are not pretty unless they’re incredibly thin, that they’re not worthy of our attention unless they look like a supermodel or an actress on the cover of a magazine is something we’re all willingly buying into. This conditioning is something girls then carry into womanhood. “
Like Aniston says, we usually don’t consciously realize the subliminal messages we are bombarded with and accept as truth every single day. These messages begin in childhood and continue for the rest of our lives. They come from the media and society and are embedded into the brains of the young and turn into beliefs that affect our thoughts, our actions, our mindset, and our happiness. But an important and awesome piece Aniston mentions is that concerning choice. We have a choice to not agree with what society and the media want us to think. We can choose to challenge the status quo and change our thoughts and beliefs. This change and this choice starts with awareness and awareness starts with a voice, a blog, an article written by a celebrity. This way of thinking and seeing doesn’t just apply to body image, it can be applied to any aspect of society (going to a 9-5 job for example).
I could literally quote Aniston’s entire article because I love every piece of it so much but what would be the point of that because you guys could go read it yourselves (and I encourage you to do so). But I am going to keep quoting her because her words are on freaking point. She continues on with her article saying,
We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone. Let’s make that decision for ourselves and for the young women in this world who look to us as examples. Let’s make that decision consciously, outside of the tabloid noise. We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own “happily ever after” for ourselves.”
 Hell yeah Jen! You go girl! That makes me really excited.
Magazines and tabloids are obsessed with weight loss, diets, and body types. Common topics are: “Omg did you see all of the weight Kim lost/gained?! I wonder how she did it.” “Celebrity X looses comedy position as people will think he/she is less funny if they loose weight.” Excuse me, what?? That doesn’t even make sense. I know it doesn’t just have to do with women as well. I know men are also subject to this body obsession and focus but women definitely receive the negative body attention more.
Why don’t they discuss the amazing things women are doing like starting non profits, writing books, heading organizations and businesses? Why don’t they focus on what women are doing rather than what they are eating or what they look like? Because those things don’t sell. Those things are not entertaining and they cause the reader to have to think a little bit deeper rather than numb out and not really pay attention. I’m going to go as far as saying the tabloid reader doesn’t really want to hear good news or the important, amazing things other women are doing because it may make them feel worse about themselves. I know I’ve personally suffered from comparitis and in the past it’s always made me feel more comfortable and secure when I’ve heard of people struggling or failing. Misery loves company right? Not my proudest of moments but I’m being real and honest on here so there’s that.
“From years of experience, I’ve learned tabloid practices, however dangerous, will not change, at least not any time soon. What can change is our awareness and reaction to the toxic messages buried within these seemingly harmless stories served up as truth and shaping our ideas of who we are. We get to decide how much we buy into what’s being served up, and maybe some day the tabloids will be forced to see the world through a different, more humanized lens because consumers have just stopped buying the bullshit.”
Aniston has just scraped the surface of what is wrong with the way our society views the body and the beliefs we are bombarded with and adapt as our own without even realizing it. Luckily, our beliefs can change with time, practice, energy, effort, focus, and repetition. This is something I am realizing and working on every single day.
I sincerely hope Aniston’s article helps change the way society views women and their bodies and causes a stir. We can all help by spreading the word and the movement by sharing this article as well as our support for this way of thinking and these beliefs.