Tag: inspiration

How to Take Action on Your Goals Today (it’s easier than you think)

You’ve read all of the books and devoured more webinars than you can count on both hands – so why haven’t you started that business, lost the weight, learned how to crochet, or [insert desired thing here]? Why is it always getting pushed off until tomorrow?


I know this firsthand. I love all of the books, seminars, videos, and podcasts and could eat up information all day everyday. I love books so much I wrote my own! It’s easy and fun to learn new things and we’re all inherently curious. But we’re missing a key part of life and learning: experience.


There is an abundance of information available to us in the world now and we forget that we don’t have to consume all of it, all of the time. Our emphasis on learning starts early in life, as we spend 12 years (minimum) studying in school before we are sent off into the world to use any of the knowledge. If there is anything we know, it is how to learn, how to study, how to think about things.


I see this knowledge paralysis with my health coaching clients often. They read diet books and get caught up in the next new theory about carbs and protein. They inherently know the basics: more water, more vegetables, more movement, less processed food, less sugar. However, they get too tangled up in diet rules and food theory and declare it a lost cause. It takes time and patience to implement new habits and see real changes. Health also requires experimentation to find out what works for you and what doesn’t. What makes YOU feel good?


As I build Embracing the Mess, I encounter a similar problem. I’ve read enough books and listened to enough online business courses to know what the basic steps are for expanding my reach. But when it comes down to actually doing the work that I know I need to do, I freeze. Part of it is fear that I need to move through, and I do that through tapping and journaling. The other part is that it takes effort to transition from thinking about doing something to actually starting it.


Inner knowledge, and knowledge from experience, needs more emphasis. There is a time when we need to put down the books and start to TRY things, even if they don’t work the first, second or even third time. This trial and error is invaluable and how change and growth happens. It may be harder or scarier to actually ditch the wine or start that website than to just plan on doing it, but you will never regret taking that first step. The good news is that as soon as you start, your energy will transform and the momentum will carry you through to the next right step. One of my mentors, Marie Forleo, has a quote that inspires me daily: “Clarity comes from action, not thought.”


What can you do today to move from thought to action so you can start reaching your goals? Leave a comment below and hold yourself accountable!


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Feminism and Weight Loss – can they go together?

I’ve been studying personal development and nutrition for a few years now, and consider myself aware of media and how it affects women’s self-esteem and body image.

Whether you realize it or not, constantly seeing images of thin, photo-shopped women on social media, in magazines and advertising your favorite products can damage how you see yourself, and create body dysmorphia.  These images consciously or subconsciously tell you that your body is abnormal and needs to change.

As a health coach and self-proclaimed feminist, I encourage women to love their bodies and love seeing companies stop using photoshop in their ads. I think all of the women in my life are gorgeous.

However, the number one goal my clients and friends have is weight loss. Who am I to tell them that they can’t want to lose weight? And after coming home from a month-long vacation and noticing that my clothes were pretty darn tight, I started to think I could stand to lose a few pounds myself.

But there is NO way I was going to admit that. Judging my body based on its weight and feeling like I needed to look or be a certain way was just admitting that the media and all of its ugliness was right…right?

Body image can be a real mind f*ck, especially in the days of technology and social media. There is a whole industry targeting women, making them feel like they need to change themselves and buy certain products to do it. It’s in their best interest that you feel inadequate, and there are plenty of times a day that I and all women feel that way. Once you start creating awareness around the barrage of ads and subliminal messaging, it’s hard to go back and admit that you want to look differently.

How can you tell that something is what YOU want to do for your health and vitality and not something that you feel you need to do because of what the outside world is telling you?

There is no right answer, unfortunately. You have to examine your motivation, and the easiest way to do that is look at the language you are using when you think about starting to eat or exercise differently. Are you telling yourself that you’re fat and need to go look better for your cousin’s wedding? Or are you noticing that your energy is waning and you don’t feel as good as you want to, and you want to make some changes to get there?

See the difference? Both could have the identical outcome – e.g. a few more days in the gym every week. But completely different motivations.

Even if your motivation is just that you want your butt to be a little more poppin’ that’s okay. It is your prerogative to look and feel however YOU want to. But know that you may not stay on the workout train for very long unless you have a “why” that feels good to you. We can’t change our habits by beating ourselves into submission. Positive reinforcement will always work better.

More importantly, know that you ARE perfect the way you are now, and later. That you are worthy of love at every weight. It is possible to love yourself and want to change how your body looks and feels. Not only is it possible, but it will work better that way. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, and the patriarchy isn’t winning when you are making decisions that are good for you. The most important aspect of feminism is women having their own autonomy – the right to make decisions and be who they want to be, when they want to. And know, if you’re even thinking about this, that you are one step ahead of pervasive media. There is no shame in wanting to lose weight, or any other changes that you’re thinking about making. Do what is in YOUR best interest.

<3 Stephanie



Started From the Bottom, Now We Here: my story, health and gratitude

Maybe it’s some rainy day introspection, or some mercury retrograde vibes, or the fact that I am confined to the couch today “resting.” Being sick this week has been a poignant reminder of why I made many decisions these last four or five years. Granted I can’t fully compare surgeries and hospital stays to a three-day virus, but the feelings are strangely similar. It’s a reminder that I take my health for granted on days that it is good. I never want to go to work or the gym, until I am unable to.

For those of you that haven’t heard my story, in 2012 I ended up in the hospital with a diseased appendix, and was having surgery to remove it the next day. It had been failing me for weeks or months, and I mostly ignored the symptoms, pressing on through my new job and life in Maryland. Unfortunately, there were two more surgeries after that one, a result of some complications. Scar tissue, abscesses, a blocked intestine, and infections close to spreading to my blood had me in the hospital for weeks. I narrowly missed all of this happening a few months before I got my new job, when I didn’t have any health insurance. I still don’t know how I got so lucky. I eventually came out the other side, only missing one organ and in a few thousand dollars in debt instead of tens of thousands.

After I recovered, I started taking my health much more seriously. I read piles of books and countless blogs, went vegan, and started what is now ETM Health. While I am no longer vegan, I do still follow a mostly whole food diet, low in sugar and processed foods. I met my now husband in 2014 and he taught me a lot about exercise, running and strength training. In July of 2017 I graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as a Certified Health Coach, after a one year program. All of these things have become such a big part of my life now that I don’t think of them much anymore.

But today, as I’m forced to not move much without spurring a coughing fit, I’m taking a few books off my shelf. These were with me at the beginning and I’m excited to crack them open again. I’m going to nurse myself back to health, and use this week of a reminder of why I do what I do.

I wanted to share this with you all, and hopefully spur you to reflect on your health today. Take a moment to be grateful for it, and think about how you can show your gratitude this weekend through some healthy choices. Go for a walk or run, make some good food with your loved ones, and take a break.

With love,


P.S. These are the book titles if you want to check them out:

Fight Back with Food, from Reader’s Digest

All is Well, by Louise Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz

Complete Guide to Natural Home Remedies from National Geographic

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