A Conversation With My Future Self | Perfecting Your Self-Image

I listened recently to Tonya Leigh’s latest podcast episode about having a conversation with “your future self,” and I have to say, I’m feeling more motivated than ever to produce content and to just live. I tapped into my 90-year-old self (I’m only 26, but you can still do this), and I asked her “what can I do to live life with no regrets?” She responded, “you can go after everything you ever wanted because you can do anything you set your mind to.” And then she said, “right now, at 7:00 a.m., you can write a blog post that will inspire others because you haven’t written a post since last week.”

She said also, “one day you are going to save the world from diabetes and diabetic keto acidosis, and you’re going to have your own practice to show for it. You’ll be on the cover(s) of magazine(s) and you’ll be the one to be on the other side of the interview as opposed to conducting the interviews. Not to mention, you’ll be an NYT best-selling author.”

This goes into my new 4 C’s Methodology: Contemplate, Create, Consistency, Clarity.

💭Contemplate: What kind of life do you WANT to lead? Even with a diabetes diagnosis? This is possible, even when you’re on insulin.

🎨Create: Create a masterplan of how exactly you are going to achieve this attainable lifestyle.

🏃🏼‍♀️Consistency: After you develop your brilliant plan, be consistent with allll the good habits. (e.g., working out, eating healthy, and self care)

💡Clarity: The result? A new, developed, aspect on life. 

So, I invite you to ask yourself the following questions:

1.) What can I do to improve my life now? (There’s always room for improvement.)

2.) What do I need to do to take action?

3.) What do I need to ask my future self, regardless of age?

I invite you to also script your thoughts on these questions and go allll out. If your future self is no longer an alcoholic, then script that. If your future self reversed diabetes, write that down. If your future self is somewhere in the Pacific or living on the beach in Maine, create that for yourself.

Another secret here is to trust the process and it will all unfold for you.

Also, enjoy this YouTube video of me talking to my fourteen-year-old self. This also goes to show that regardless of the trauma you’ve been through, you’re worthy of a fantastic life beyond your wildest dreams. Make those dreams a reality. For example, I had a dream I won an Academy Award wearing a green dress. I’m going to do that today (probably not with a heavy statue in my hand, but stranger things have happened) but I will wear that exact green dress.

Let me know in the comments what your future self said to you! I’m curious!

xoxo,

April 💕

CHRONIC DIARIES: Dealing With Trauma

I hold a lot of trauma, and it stems from past romantic relationships, toxic friendships, family members, bullies, and even public school teachers.

Trauma can often make you wonder if you were made to live a good life. Spoiler alert: you are made to live a good life, regardless of what you’ve been through. I was on a coaching call with my friend Katarina this morning, and I had basically summed up my entire life story, which at this point if it were a memoir, it’d be titled 180 Degrees because of how many “180’s” I’ve taken in my 26 years of life. She told me I was a fantastic storyteller and I believed her. I am a good storyteller, and I know I can write one, too.

An example of a “180” is transferring colleges. I knew I was unhappy at my previous college for the longest time and I stayed for my friends and my best friend. That is, until I went through what I wrote in my most popular blog post. Some of the trauma I went through there was 1) my ex boyfriend, who made me lose my ability to trust men altogether. 2) I was constantly being talked down to by adults, except for the ones who actually believed in me. I felt like I couldn’t be me.

Another example of a “180” that barely talk about is me transferring high schools. I transferred high schools because I was severely mocked and bullied. Don’t even get me started on my volleyball “team.” Then I got the miraculous call on January 3, 2012, that I’d be starting at my private high school on January 19. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t produce fear-induced tears the night before. But I did because I was scared I was in to be bullied relentlessly once again. There were times where I felt/was mocked, but I said to myself, “this behavior was at [insert town here]. I know how to handle it now.”

It’s a matter of saying, “this isn’t working, I’m going after what I deserve.”

I’m not here to rant, I only provided examples without going into the nitty-gritty details of what exactly I went through. And yes, I will put this all into a memoir someday. In fact, I might just put some of it into my podcast. #PodcastTuesdays

As I write this, I can’t help but wonder, “what/who can you actually make peace with?” I remember writing Coming to Peace With Your Past|A Decade in Review. I realize now that post barely covered the bare minimum of what I went through in a single decade. But as I wrote that sentence, I can’t help but realize now, being hard on yourself is a trauma response. But here’s the thing: I’m already taking steps to a better life, and I have been since I was 15. So, I’m continuing to do it, and I will do it to the better of my ability.

There is no shame in being vulnerable. And there is certainly no shame in being honest. I allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me, rather than terrify me. This was something I had written the day I had started this blog and I’m still in awe of how much it’s grown.

RELATED BLOG POSTS: CHRONIC DIARIES: How I Manage My Anxiety Day-to-Day; Confessions of a Diabetic: Healthcare Is A Human Right; Confessions Of A Diabetic: I’m Happier Than I’ve Ever Been Since My Diagnosis

CHRONIC DIARIES: How I Manage My Anxiety Day-to-Day

I remember after attending a conference in Providence, I had gone to UNO’S with my classmates. Suddenly, I had developed a massive panic attack. I had absolutely no idea how to deal with it, then, other than “deep breathing.” I knew that wasn’t enough for someone like me, who has had an acute anxiety disorder basically since I was born. But I can tell you that I have more effective coping mechanisms than I ever did, even when I had worked with a cognitive therapist.

I wrote 2020: the year people will (hopefully) understand mental health and let me tell you, it took a pandemic just for people to understand what dealing with mental health is like. I’m not undermining anything that people went through during lockdown, but this was where my mindset was in early 2020. I had utter fear of my future and the USA’s future. On top of that, I was finishing college and I was dealing with quite the alcohol addiction.

Now, here I am, coming face to face with my anxiety disorder once and for all. I’ll give you one example of an anxiety trigger of mine: finances. I had gone through this money-mindset transformation stage with Brooke Ritchie during “Path to Freedom” and one of the ways to get out of our limiting beliefs about attaining money was through tapping. (No, I am not referring to sex.)

  1. Tapping

EFT Tapping is essentially, according to HealthLine.com an alternative treatment for physical pain and emotional distress. It’s also referred to as tapping or psychological acupressure.” It’s been used for people who’ve dealt with anxiety and PTSD.

I’ll link to Brad Yates’ most popular video here, to give you a sense. But once you start doing it, there’s no going back. Tapping uses the fingertips to quite literally “tap” the focal energy points. The most common set-up for a tap session is “Even though I [insert something negative that you’re trying to cure here] I choose to completely love and accept myself.”

2. Metaphorical Rinsing Into The Roots

If you’re standing up, or have the opportunity to stand up, plant your feet firmly on the ground and say “I let go of [whatever is triggering you]” and imagine your body is rinsing that negative anxiety down through the bottom of your feet and into “roots.” It’s as if you’re watering a tree! In this case, you are the tree that doesn’t wilt just because it feels anxious.

Make these non-negotiables for you, as they’ve been for me. You will get your stride back, and you will be motivated once again.

How To Activate Your Goddess Potential Part 2: Believing You Are Worthy

When I was a junior in high school and going through bouts of depression, my mom had sent me a quote by someone whom I cannot remember now. But the quote itself said, “My favorite Disney character? Daisy Duck. Because she goes after what she wants and deserves.”

I was on a call two days ago with a woman who was trying to recruit me for a coaching program. As she was asking me questions, she asked me what it is I wanted to do with these degrees I planned on getting in the future (masters and eventually doctorate). I told her straight up, “to get credibility in what I do.” That is actually the first time I was stopped to think that maybe I was going for them for the wrong reason — to have myself go into debt that was not smart, to have control over basically no outcome and to just work for someone else for the rest of my life. I knew I did not want that. Some people pursue an advanced degree because they want accelerate in their career, which is the right reason. The “science” behind the fact that I wanted to pursue something “science-y” just to prove to my freshman-year-of-college self that she CAN “do” science — not a good reason. Also, I convinced myself that my writing career was going nowhere — not true. I wouldn’t be continuing this blog and this series if I still believed it [my writing career] was going nowhere.

Yesterday I made the mistake of putting my size-8-foot in my mouth by announcing I was, in fact, going to [insert ivy league school here] to rekindle my master’s degree. That can’t happen for another year, unfortunately because I then realized, “there’s no way I can afford it right now.” However, if I didn’t believe that I was worthy of a possible degree at [insert ivy league school here] or any of them for that matter, would I have gone for it? I talked to a good friend of mine (hi Katarina!) and she told me that setbacks are good for redirection. Slowly but surely, I am reprogramming my mind to thinking that I am in fact worthy of any degree, even if I choose to go back to Emerson to pursue an MFA instead of finishing the MA. Katarina then asked me, “what are you hoping to gain?” And I told her, I gained this particular mindset.

So, my point is, if you’ve always wanted to do something but never believed you were worthy of it (e.g., a law degree, a PhD, or any advanced degree, anything at all!) Another fact is, you don’t necessarily need one degree on top of another just to feel worthy or credible. This woman who I spoke to two days ago made me realize that, and it almost brought me to tears because it took me God knows how long to realize that I am in fact, credible as is, as a coach, as a writer, as anything at all. I am worthy, and so are you, my dear, regardless of how you identify.

If you missed the previous blog post, read it here. And keep a lookout for a brand new podcast episode every Tuesday and Thursday!

xoxo,

April 💕

Get Out Of Defense Mode And Into Beast Mode

More often than not, we are clouded by limiting beliefs. However, we need not to be. For example, when I was in Punch Drunk Soul’s Path to Freedom coaching program, we had weekly meetings with Brooke Ritchie (who is a real life GODDESS!) who changed our limiting beliefs around money.

I’m not going into my money story, but I’ll tell you I’ve never had a strong relationship with the value of dollar. Some people have the belief that money is only accessible if you are rich — not totally true. Anyone can be rich, it’s just a matter of getting out of the defense mode and actually working toward your goals.

Let me give you another example. I’m often compared to Miss Carrie Bradshaw, who is coined as the “ultimate single gal,” until she marries Mr. Big (RIP — IYKYK). This is where I get personal (and a tad sappy). I met my boyfriend of one year on Bumble last summer. Oddly enough, it was shortly after I wrote Dear Future Husband… If I Ever Meet You. When I introduced him to the blog, (which is when I know it’s real), he read that particular post… a couple of times. Before that, I had my view that relationships were more physical than emotional, and even more so that I didn’t even deserve love. And Mark kept his word that he’d show me what an emotional relationship is like and I’ve never been happier to be so in love.

But why did I think that relationships were supposed to be more physical rather than emotional? That was purely based on a past experience with an ex who didn’t find me “sexually attractive,” despite dating for over a year. Since then, I was in “defense mode” and afraid of true love and especially afraid of getting severely emotionally battered and broken. And I need not to be that way anymore.

Walking on the moon seemed impossible, yet it was done anyway. Even the top chess player in the world had the slightest thought that they would lose a match, but they immediately got out of defense mode and into beast mode and ultimately won their game. Do you think there are billionaires out there who were born rich? Yes and no. But some had to climb their way to the top, despite what their limiting beliefs were about money. That’s why you find all of these books about people who started from the bottom and became who they are today.

Go make it happen. Do it scared you-know-what-less and go for it. Don’t listen to what people think you should do based on their limiting beliefs. Those aren’t yours to take on and make your own. NO.

xoxo,

April 💕

“I hate my thighs”

As Charlotte York once said, “I hate my thighs.” In the same episode, she said “fruit has a lot of carbs.” When did carbohydrates get such a bad rep, in the first place?

Moreover, in 2017, I looked at a picture of myself visiting Central Park, and I couldn’t believe how large my thighs were.

I looked at another picture of myself in Bristol in 2018. I remember how large my thighs were and the lower half of my stomach, as well. Ironically, I was seeing a personal trainer. However, I couldn’t keep my workout routine consistent outside of training. I wasn’t putting in the time because I thought I didn’t have the time. My excuse was “I have homework,” which was true! But still, consistency is key. 🔑

I used to love my curves a year ago, but I can’t help but love them even more now that I’m working out consistently and eating clean. I love my thighs now more than ever, and I’m only going to love them even more as they get more toned and muscular.

When you’re investing in something, too, you must stay consistent with it. I held off on making YouTube videos because I wasn’t too too sure of what I was doing with my life.

Being a nutrition coach, it’s my job to show up for my clients and followers. It’s also my job to make sure my clients grow to love themselves, too.

You’re Not A Failure, Everyone Starts Out As A Novice

I’ve never told anyone this because this is still roughly fresh in my mind, but I didn’t completely graduate with my masters degree… yet.

My diabetes diagnosis became a day job for me, as opposed to my schoolwork. I had to take three incomplete courses because of it and couldn’t handle any of them. I wound up withdrawing from Emerson.

ABBA sang it best, “Mamma Mia! Here I go again!” If you know me, you know I intend to go back and forth between what it is I want to do. This morning I felt so drained because I thought I wanted to go back to being a writer. Why do that when I committed to getting my MSAN – Dietetics at UNE? Emmett from “Legally Blonde” said it best to Elle when he said, “what if you’re trying to be someone you are? The hell with Callahan, stay.” And that’s what I say to myself: “the hell with imposter syndrome.”

Then Professor Stromwell said to Elle in the beauty salon, “if you’re going to let one stupid prick [in my case, imposter syndrome] ruin your life, you’re not the girl I thought you were!”

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t putting my all into this blog either, even after I monetized it. (After six years, I thought it was time.)

I must’ve said it a hundred times in the 150 blog posts that I’ve made, but imposter syndrome really is a huge b**ch. I remember feeling this overwhelming sense of it after “graduation.” But that amazing feeling you get after a really intense spinning class, or any workout, is the same feeling one gets after helping someone accomplish their goals. I became a nutrition coach, and am in the process of getting my nutritionist certificate and I get to have my OWN PRACTICE via Therapute! How amazing is that!?

Here’s the thing, and the overall message of this post: how are you going to help others if you don’t feel good about yourself? Think about it. Even my therapist seldom follows his own advice. Even when I first started my pharmacy technician job, I felt like a failure because I had this one pharmacist tell me I ostensibly “didn’t listen” when I hadn’t been trained in something.

When I withdrew from Emerson, I felt like the biggest failure. But why? I was doing something that was going to benefit me in the long run. Besides, I get my second chance at another master’s program in a month and I’m already so excited. 😆

I watched a Facebook live hosted by a friend from high school (hi Ali!) and she touched upon mindset around food, particularly carbs. Then she said, “imagine you’re trying to push a boulder up a really steep mountain.” Essentially, the message was that you could either give up because it’s “too hard” or “strategize.” I wish I could’ve given myself that pep talk when I was nearly failing the sciences freshman year of college.

Here’s the secret: it is with strength, mental endurance, and courage even when we don’t feel like our best selves that we carry on. Cry the tears if you must, just don’t let them drown you into a rabbit hole.

You’re not a failure. You’re a novice. Everyone starts out as a novice at first. Don’t listen to those stories about composers like Mozart who started playing a tune on the piano when he was just two years old. In a perfect world, that would be realistic. It’s not.

Being “Mean” Has Been Out Of Style

I don’t diss people on the internet because I know I’m better than that. If you told 16-year-old April that, she would’ve dismissed you and create a subtweet. Stubborn as I may be sometimes, I’ve often had struggles with saying “no,” especially when it came to bullies’ requests. I can’t believe there was ever a time that I let people walk all over me like a doormat. There is a time, however, where you have to stand up for yourself, create boundaries, and say “I am a woman/man/non-binary/transsexual.” People will crucify you, so it seems, when you stand up for yourself and accuse you of being “rude.” People will question your boundaries and try to push them. People will question you regardless of how you identify.

But never let anyone bully you into questioning your worth.

It’s easy for people to say, “just ignore it.” No. Never say that. It doesn’t work nor help the problem, especially if it’s ongoing. What I’ve learned in my business, is to definitely set those boundaries. I sometimes can’t help but think that no one takes me seriously — not even my family. I should’ve said in my promo, “serious inquiries only!!!” It’s mind-boggling to me, how people can just scam or just bully their way through life like it’s no big deal. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t “influence” anymore. Scammers.

I could’ve done one of two things: 1) wish the worst upon them 2) wish that they could just do better and have a second chance at a better life that doesn’t involve harm to others. So, I took the advice of Ke$ha’s “Praying” and took the high road and prayed.

Two verses that I came across were the following:

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.” (Psalms 143:10 NLT)

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.” (Luke 6:35 NLT)

Being mean has long been out of style. We’re not in middle school anymore. It wasn’t even remotely cool, then.