Self Love is my Jam

Self-love is my jam - I’m all about loving yourself, your body and who you are! It took the loss of a precious soul I had the privilege of carrying for 12-weeks and the black cloud of post-partum depression before I realized that I truly needed to focus on myself and well-being,

Following my miscarriage, I found myself in a dark dark place, on the verge of divorce (something I most likely will never share because I never want to relive that nightmare). I spent so much time in such a negative state of mind that I was unbearable to be around. It wasn’t until a mental breakdown that my husband and I both came to the conclusion that I needed help from an outside source so we scheduled an appointment with my OBGYN. I was given a prescription that gave me a better perspective on my recent tragedy and allowed me to cope in a more positive and healthy way.

My next pregnancy was of much success because it gave me the little monster I have now, Remmie Ann Gondeck. I continued the medication prescribed previously throughout this pregnancy to avoid any post-partum depression after giving birth. Before anyone goes bat-shit on me, the medication I was prescribed was safe to take during pregnancy.

When Remmie turned about a year, I decided that I no longer wanted to be dependent on medication to keep me sane and out of depression. I wanted to find other ways to feel good and love myself. So begins the trial and error. The following list of activities, supplements, resources I used to keep me from returning back to the nightmare I was trying to hard to avoid are what worked for me, it may not necessarily work for you.

1. Walking

I started to walk my daughter to and from daycare every morning. Thankfully, I was able to do this as I know many have other commitments like an 8-5 job that would keep them from a long stroll every morning. This doesn’t have to be a morning walk but an evening or late night walk with the dog, significant other or just by yourself. My walks didn’t always go long - often times they were fairly short but that fresh air felt so good. I would listen to my favorite e-books like ‘Girl, Wash Your Face’ or ‘Girl, Stop Apologizing’ by Rachel Hollis and my recent fave ‘Next Level Basic’ by Stassi Schroeder. I prefer to listen to books rather than reading - I don’t have the patience to sit and read. In the Winter, I would walk on a treadmill and watch my fave shows through the Hulu or Netflix app. Hulu is $5 a month - totally affordable to add to your phone and binge watch Vanderpump Rules or Law & Order SVU. Listening to music just doesn’t do it for me - I don’t really find it entertaining although I do have a badass playlist!

2. My Sweatband

This may seem foolish but while walking I always wore my sweatband. This isn’t a waist trainer but a band to increase the amount of sweat around your midsection during any physical activity. I loved the feeling of sweat just dripping from my midsection after a walk. I should add that I am far from a person defined as active - I hate working out. I would rather get liposuction every other week while eating a Bravo Burrito but my bank account doesn’t allow such drastic measures to reduce body fat.

3. Rachel Hollis

Like mentioned in bullet numero uno, I binge listened to Rachel Hollis’ ‘Girl, Wash Your Face’ while I did anything. When I say binge listened to, I mean that I listen to Rachel Hollis narrate this book over 10 times and I felt like a damn queen that could take on the world every.single.time. It was almost like she spoke to me - cliche, I know (maybe even tacky) but I’m not joking people. She’s amaze-balls and I jumped on the Rachel Hollis bandwagon and haven’t jumped off since. Here are a few of my favorite quotes that I continue to remind myself of every single day.

“know this one great truth: you are in control of your own life. You get one and only one chance to live, and life is passing you by. Stop beating yourself up, and dang it, stop letting others do it too. Stop accepting less than you deserve. Stop buying things you can’t afford to impress people you don’t even really like. Stop eating your feelings instead of working through them. Stop buying your kids’ love with food, or toys, or friendship because it’s easier than parenting. Stop abusing your body and your mind. Stop! Just get off the never-ending track.”

“You and only you are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are.”

“Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.” Let me say that again for the people in the cheap seats.”

“When you really want something, you will find a way. When you don’t really want something, you’ll find an excuse.”

So, thank you, Miss Rachel Hollis, for your boob job stories and unveiling that you too pee your pants. I don’t feel like I’m the only one anymore.

4. Spoke to a Professional

Yep, I speak with my homegirl on the regular and I give her major props for not thinking I’m a complete nut-job. Let’s be real, seeing a psychologist can seem a bit out there for some but to me, it’s my most needed outlet. I thoroughly enjoy speaking with someone, laying it all out on the table, bitching about whomever and they can’t say a single thing. It’s like having a bestie to gossip to and you are 100% confident she won’t go tell your other bestie that I said she needs to shave her mustache (side note, if you are female and like your mustache, you do you, girlfriend).

5. Became Extremely High-Maintenance

The basic mom excuse is “I’m a mom, I don’t have time” and I’m calling bullshit! I have a difficult not comparing my life to others but girlfriend, if I have time then you do too (blog post about “not having time” coming in the near future). Tuesday nights are ME NIGHTS and I take them very seriously. I put the baby to bed at 7:30 PM and lock myself in my room - thankful that I have a connected master bath and the login to my Dad’s DirectTV so I can catch up on the latest Vanderpump Rules and Teen Mom 2 (or OG, depends on the season). I put on a face mask and trim my brows while I workout, drink a White Claw and catch up on my reality drama series. Because I feel much better about myself when I have the perfect bronze skin, I use a self-tanning mouse all over my body (not my face) which can be a good 20-minute process.  Lastly, slather my anti-aging serums on my face and neck then micro needle. So yea, you can say I’m high-maintenance. Aside from the list of all the beauty necessities above, I use an eye mask a couple of times a week, as well as, whiten my teeth.

Here’s a few products I use:

I have absolutely no shame in my high-maintenance game. Why? Because it makes me feel absolutely freaking fantastic! I have to feel good about myself to love myself.

Apologies for the lengthy blog but I hope you find one or all of these tips helpful and really boost your self-love. Like I said, I was tired of being dependent on medication to make me feel “normal” and wanted to have complete control over my body without the need for something foreign. The above five tips have been incorporated into my life and have kept me sane (besides a few freak outs). Love yourself, girlfriend!

“You carry so much love in your heart. Share it with yourself.”

bethann gondeck