Since I was very young, I remember thinking there was something wrong with my body or areas that needed improvement. I woke up every morning feeling unsatisfied with my appearance since the first grade. I always thought I needed to lose weight in order to fit in. This was a spiral throughout elementary, middle, high school, and even into college where I always felt like my body wasn’t good enough and people would like me more if I lost weight.
My weight would fluctuate, I’d go on diets and get discouraged, then overeat — over and over again. I hated my “tree trunk” legs and could only see the flaws in my appearance. I was also very self conscious about having impetigo, a skin condition. I thought it was the only thing people would see when they looked at me.
Looking back, I believe I needed to be a bit curvier, especially when I was going through endocarditis. I wouldn’t have survived all the complications if I was very thin.
Grace has helped me finally push through self-loathing into knowing my body is powerful and strong. It put me through high school and college when my health was at its rockiest. It has handled seizures, strokes, and very thin blood, but is still high performing to this day.
My dialogue now is that I do not want to be skinny, I want to be healthy. For me, healthy is monitoring and regulating the thickness of my blood consistently. It means getting seven or eight hours of sleep and trusting my body when it tells me to slow down or eat differently.
I know body image issues are not unique to me. Almost every woman I’ve ever met has something about their body they don’t like. But I want to tell you right now that your body is more than good enough. I needed to learn to accept my body type and love everything it does to keep me going. Self-care is a term thrown around in the entrepreneur and business owner world, and the women’s world in general. I believe the first step to self care is thanking our bodies as they are. None of us will ever have the “perfect” body because perfect isn’t real. I hope you can look yourself in the mirror and truly accept how beautiful you are.
I would love for you to check out our new podcast, Success Defined, and I want to know your feedback! Find us on iTunes, subscribe, and leave a review!
I’m a big believer in the big three. I do three goals every day, but I also have three goals every month, every quarter, and every 6 months. I encourage my team to do the same. Recently we came up with company goals for one month, three months, and six months.
Setting goals is important whether you are a small business owner or not. In order to achieve results of any sort, you have to map them out and give them a time frame. My team has encouraged me to share my personal and professional goals with our audience so you can have an idea of where to get started on your own lists.
My personal goals
Become debt free
I have a handful of student loan debt, some credit card debt from when I first started my business, a little bit of medical debt, vehicle loans, and a cattle loan. I’m a believer in the Dave Ramsey principle and I know as a business owner if I can take care of my personal finances, I will have more freedom in the business. The first step is to save $1,000 and I have that done.
The next step would be to pay my debts from smallest to largest. I paid off ten debts over the summer and two in the month of September. I’ll be paying off about $20,000 of debt before December. Although the Dave Ramsey program only recommends having $1,000 in savings, I think it would be good to have $5,000. I think this would give the business room to grow and give me freedom to sit back and let things come as they are.
Decrease my body fat percentage
My entire life I have struggled with my weight. I don’t think there is a ‘right’ size. I have always been very athletically built and have had a very strong body. When I first became sick, my medications caused me to rapidly gain weight right after high school.
When I went into college I was probably at my highest weight and in my sophomore year I lost about 50 pounds. I kept the weight off all through college. After college, my meds got switched up a little bit more to see if I had lupus and that caused me to gain more weight, which I wasn’t happy with.
Now, I’m working to decrease my body fat percentage by about 10 percent. I’m going to go until I’m in the range of a healthy body fat percentage. I expect to hit this goal in about February 2019, so I’m taking it one step at a time. I know how I eat will look different when I’m traveling. I’m expecting that and know to adjust based on the environment on the road.
I was hoping to get that done this year. I don’t think it’s going to happen so I’m hoping I can start training early next spring and run a half marathon early summer of next year.
Why do I think it’s important to run a half marathon? I think it’s really important to set up a hard goal. The most I’ve ever run is 12 miles and half marathons are 12.1 miles. I love the idea of pushing myself and setting a goal outside my comfort zone. I’m competitive so I like the idea of racing. I like goals that take some work. It’s not something I can go out tomorrow and easily accomplish or accomplish well. It’s something that by losing some body fat percentage, I will open some doors to train better. I work with a great trainer Sarah Keller who will be able to help me accomplish that goal. Hopefully by the time I am 27, I will have run a half marathon.
My business goals
Write a book
The idea for this sparked only a few months ago and has grown into an amazing and exciting project I’m really proud of. I came up with some areas of focus and have been recording sections for the past couple months. Once everything is written, my team and I will continue editing and tweaking the format until we are very happy with the results. By December 31 of this year, my goal is to have the first draft of the book completed. I’m excited to say we are making real headway on this goal and I can’t wait for you to have the chance to read it!
Start a Podcast
This is another crazy idea I had a few months ago when I polled the KRose Marketing Group to see what type of media they most prefer. Overwhelming the response was podcasts. Obviously we are going to continue with the blog and other projects, but we have been brainstorming and preparing to present a fun, educational podcast where listeners can learn from our experience and our mistakes.
So many of you are hustlers and on the go 24/7. You might not always have that extra 15 minutes to read through a blog. But you can download a podcast and listen to it on your way to your next appointment, while you get ready in the morning, or while you’re cooking dinner. The great thing about podcasts is the ability to consume them while completing another task. I don’t always recommend multi-tasking, but it seems to work well when listening to a podcast and completing undistracting tasks.
A group coaching concept & grow the Acceleration Nation
We really want to build a group coaching environment — both in person where business members come together, but also in the KRose Acceleration Nation. We want to focus on meeting members where they are at, giving them the tools to grow their business, and serving them in a group capacity. It’s so important for people to get together to increase their skills and knowledge.
It greatly helps when small business owners can build off each other, lift each other up and hold each other accountable. In the next year we hope to have more group coaching, both locally in the Bozeman and Helena area, but also online.
Now we are really accountable to these goals! (Not that we weren’t already). You can watch us on Instagram and Facebook as we move toward these. We encourage you to join in and see what we are doing. What are your three personal and professional goals?
Self care is a very trendy phrase amongst entrepreneurs. We hear a lot about physical care. Sleep well, drink enough water, eat a healthy diet. Of course our physical health is very important, but we often neglect our mental and emotional care. For a business owner it’s crucial to stay emotionally healthy. As many of you know, I live with an autoimmune disease, which makes it even more important for me to stay on top of both physical and emotional aspects.
When I first started in business, I though self care was just physical. I’d take a hot bath with Epsom salt and call it good.
ONE: Practice Healthy Inner dialogue
When you’re having a down day and not feeling like yourself, it’s time to start an internal discussion. Ask yourself what is really going on. How do you talk to yourself?
There are some affirmations I say to myself on the way to work or to shipping cattle, or throughout the day. I say them so I can believe them. I encourage other people to say them, too. The other day I was at a birthday party and one of the little kids was frustrated because he wasn’t able to do something he wanted. He repeated some of these personal affirmations after me.
Some of the affirmations I tell myself are:
I can do hard things.
I’m going to have a great day.
I’m going to make healthy choices.
I am the expert in this area.
I’m going to be safe today.
I know what I’m talking about.
I handle myself well under pressure.
I’m going to make new friends.
I can do anything I set my mind to do.
You’re in the right spot.
You’re doing the right thing.
Your business is growing and thriving.
Whatever the situation may be, I just repeat these to myself wherever I’m going. I’ll end up having a really positive outlook when I arrive at my destination because I’m having a good conversation before I get there. If we negatively talk to ourselves, it’s a snowball effect. If we say, no one is going to like me at this conference, we might not sit by anybody or introduce ourselves. We feel bad because we’re not making any friends, and then we get even more self conscious about talking to new people. But if you speak positively to yourself, it blossoms and creates more positivity.
As a business owner and personally, I have a lot running around in my brain. I can get frustrated with one thing and the line crosses between business and personal. Suddenly I don’t know what’s pestering inside me and I react sharply. If I’m not writing down my thoughts and detailing what thorn is poking in my side, I won’t know where it’s coming from. I won’t know how to take care of it. If I can sit down and put pen to paper I can figure out where the thorn is coming from — is it personal or business? When I’m journaling, I know nobody is going to read it. I can be completely honest to hash everything out.
Money management is a big stressor for most of us. Let’s say a check doesn’t come in from someone we sent an invoice to and we were expecting it that day. Maybe we were going to pay a bill or pay off some debt. I immediately know my emotional state changes. I’ll get short, snappy, and stressed. I get very tired and start barking at people who have nothing to do with the money stress.
I’ve been able to pinpoint this trigger from journaling and finding the tie between my mental & emotional reaction to money issues. I can now recognize when these emotions are surfacing before I start getting short with family, friends, and team members. I can step back and ask myself what money stress is going on.
THREE: See a counselor
We don’t talk about counselors or therapists enough. Personally, I see a Christian counselor and she is great. I am able to talk about things I don’t talk about to anyone else. Sitting down and communicating with her is so helpful for me. I think there is some negative stigma about seeing a therapist and I don’t know why.
I’ve seen a specialist who is trained in handling mental and emotional thoughts and feelings to teach me how I can navigate through them. I know that I need someone to sort through those feelings. I need someone to reassure me that what I’m feeling is normal. Moral of the story: If you haven’t seen a counselor yet, I highly recommend it. I see one often. It can be hard to find one you really jive with. But once you find one you like, try to see them on a regular basis.
FOUR: Have someone in your life who will call you out
I have three people in my life who will always tell me if I am acting ridiculous, who give me permission to cry, freak out, or tell me to get over it and move on. You need people in your life who give you the emotional and mental permission to either just break down and get through it and move on. Find accountability partners.
When we’re in business for ourselves and spend a lot of time alone, it is easy for us to get caught up in our own heads. I feel the need for constant reassurance. I’ll ask the KRose team, do you guys agree with this? If this was your own business, is this how you would run it? That’s exactly the mentality I want them to have.
Having mental & emotional perfection is not going to happen. You just need to know when to control your emotions and when you can have the freak out session.
I use the Stress Away from Young Living, it’s actually in my car, as I’m writing this blog I have it in my hand. For the days when I’m feeling slightly anxious or stressed, I put this on my wrists or the back of my neck. It has helped a ton. I also pray, a lot. I always remember God’s will might not be mine. Maybe he is working on my cards in a certain way because he’s teaching me something or there’s a situation down the road I need to be stronger for.
I started to open up about living with my autoimmune disease, Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome (APS), a few months back. I have to be honest, it is still not easy to share these details with my audience, but I have been encouraged by my team to share more about how I have been able to succeed in business and life with a serious health condition. I know there are plenty of you out there struggling with physical and mental struggles, and I want you to know your life is not over. There is still so much success in your future.
When I was first diagnosed in June of 2010, I immediately asked two question:
What can’t I do?
One day will I be able to have children?
Those were the biggest priorities and concerns for me at the time. The doctors told me I needed to be careful, no sky diving or mountain climbing, but I could definitely have kids. Right then, I knew that having an autoimmune disease was not going to completely ruin my life. I knew I would have to adapt my activities and do things a bit more carefully. But I still could reach every goal I sought.
At a company retreat with my team, I had everyone take personality tests, including the Enneagram. I am a strong 8 personality, which includes features like being very in tune with my body. Truthfully, I didn’t listen very well to my body in college, but as I’ve gotten older I have developed a more fine-tuned relationship with how my body is feeling, what is going wrong, and what behaviors I can change to improve how I am feeling. Blood thinners like the one commonly prescribed for my condition (Coumadin) can make you feel dizzy, cause headaches, and a whole slew of unpleasant symptoms.
At the time I was diagnosed and put on medication, in many ways I did feel better, but my blood thickness was still unstable. At the ranch, my activities became much more limited. If I were to get a severe cut or internal bleeding with too-thin blood, the results could be fatal. Everyone was worried about what might happen if I were bucked off a horse or kicked by a cow and I wasn’t allowed to ride horses for several years.
What I eat, what I drink, how much sleep I get, vitamin intake of D, C, K, and more, all affect how thin my blood will be. This was really hard for me in college. I was young and the people around me were partying, going to the bar on the weekends, and participating in all the fun college activities I wanted to be a part of. On top of wanting to have fun, I needed to eat healthy, exercise, and study for exams. During that time, my blood was never in control. I was in this vicious cycle of too thin blood, too thick blood, stroke like and seizure like symptoms, going to the ER, back to too thin blood. It was a major struggle!
After I graduated college, I was able to adjust better and change how I managed my body. I realized many of my symptoms I could better control. I needed to decrease my stress (control my cortisol), how much I drank, how many vitamins I consumed, and how much I slept.
Today I feel like I can do most of the things I could do before, just with extra caution. I can ride horses, and I’m very careful with our cattle. I get my blood checked often and adapt how far I can push myself based on if it is in the healthy range. Like I said, I’m very in-tune with my body. I can internally tell when my blood is too thick or too thin before getting my finger pricked and tested. When it is too thick, I get very tired and find myself needing to take extra naps. If I’m very tired, it means my blood is off or something else is wrong. Twice in the past year I have been in the hospital for one reason or another, an appointment with my pregnant sister-in-law and when my beautiful niece Ellie was born. I wasn’t supposed to get my blood checked, but I knew something was off and did it anyway. I would go down to the cancer center, where my hematologist is stationed, saying, “I feel like I need to get my blood checked today.” Both times my blood was very thin and I needed medication and lifestyle adjustments.
It’s crucial for me to listen to those internal cues when something is not right. I have to pay close attention to how I feel. I have noticed my eyes get really bloodshot when something is off. I feel pressure in my eyes, which is a strong indicator that I need to slow down, maybe take a nap and eat a little differently. I try to eat at least 2 to 3 salads a week to get in those nutrients like Vitamin K that my body is craving. I make sure to drink plenty of water. Recently I gave up coffee, which let me tell you, was not easy. But it was affecting my weight loss goals and increasing my stress levels. Hopefully at some point I’ll be able to drink down a cup of that tasty goodness, but right now my body is telling me to take a break. I will talk to you more about my body image and weight loss journey in a future blog post, but even though I have developed a love and appreciation for my body at any size, I want to decrease my medications and have an overall healthier body. For me right now that means losing some weight.
Physically I have been pretty fortunate. I get a few bruises here and there when my blood is really thin, but I haven’t had a history of bleeds. (Knock on wood for me). My history is full of clots, but not bleeds. Mentally, I’m just grateful I was the one who received this diagnosis rather than my brothers. There are so many fine details I have to stay on top of every day. But I’m organized and personally in-tune, so I know I can stay on top of what my body needs.
When I listen to my body and it tells me I’m pushing it too hard, I am sure to sleep in a little or go home early from the office. As fellow hustlers I’m sure you can understand why it would be hard to listen to those signals. But I would rather take that nap and leave the office early to prevent myself from feeling worse and worse to the point where I don’t have a choice but to sleep and not go into the office. I have to make these sacrifices in the moment to avoid much harsher future reactions.
Lately my blood has been very thin. For me, the standard range is 2.2 to 2.5, which means my blood should clot from a pinprick in 2.2 to 2.5 seconds. The average person’s blood clots in about 1 second. Over the past month it has been in the high 6s and 7s. This means I have to be extra careful to avoid cutting myself or getting a bruise and I have to pay close attention for symptoms of a brain bleed. When my blood is out of whack, the next steps are to monitor what I’m eating and drinking. Am I being consistent with my Vitamin K? Am I drinking any alcohol? If my body tells me something is wrong, I listen, and I listen closely. When my body tells me to sleep, I sleep. When it tells me to slow down, I slow down — no matter how much I’d rather keep going at 500 miles an hour. Since my blood is so thin right now, I get it checked every 3 or 4 days. When my body is on a good path, I can go up to 6 weeks between checks.
Despite these setbacks with my blood thickness levels, I feel great. I am glad I can pay attention to my blood and work on getting it to a stable level. I think so much of my illness is my mental outlook on it. The mind is where it all starts. I wake up everyday and tell myself it’s going to be a good day. If I get down in the dumps and talk negatively, I start to feel much worse and it just builds into this negative snowball. Pretty soon I feel more aches and pains and get the “poor me” syndrome. Instead, I remind myself that this body, with all it’s medical needs, has helped me run two businesses even after having 32 strokes. I wake up knowing that I’m going to have a good day and that I’m in control of how my body feels and when I really need to listen to it. I remind myself to give my body grace and reward it for everything it’s been through and all the hard work it’s doing.
I think living with APS has actually made me a better business owner because I understand and empathize with other people’s situations. I know that the picture we see of another person is only the surface level, and we are all going through obstacles of our own. I think it has made me a better stockwoman because I can read livestock very well. With my physical limitations, I can’t just go in and force the livestock to move. I can’t get too close to the calves. I just have to read their body language and use pressure. APS has made me a better cattle sorter and a better understander.
For me, personally, my bible study also helps me stay mentally healthy. I read God’s word and understand this is a battle he gave specifically to me so I can show other people that it doesn’t matter what obstacles you have been given and what you have gone through. You can always be who you want to be. If you dream of running a company, run a company. Our brains and our bodies are incredible machines that do amazing things. Whatever hurdles you’ve been given, remember you aren’t alone and you can still accomplish greatness.
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