Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife: "Get Over Yourself" || When Perfectionism Undermines Your Development, Relationships, and Peace of Mind

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

"Those that are most able to deal with their flaws are most willing to be seen as human . . . [This requires] real moral courage, and that’s the kind of courage that sets us free."

Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife was so kind to return for our third interview together!  Our first breaks down perfectionism, while our second discusses making decisions based on approval-seeking vs. real goodness.

Have you ever heard the saying, "I am my own worst enemy?" If you've thought or said that about yourself, then this episode is for you.  (And if you haven't, then this episode is also for you.)

Jennifer discusses how all of us carry the innate tendency to mask our own humanity--our flaws--from those we love, work with, and even ourselves.  Doing so actually inhibits our growth, creates tension in our relationships, and leads to inner turmoil.  The only way to get over all that is to get over ourselves.

Jennifer teaches how to do just that by facing our own flaws with compassion and true moral courage.  She also helps us see what we get out of doing so: a life filled with challenges, certainly; but also a whole lot more love, fulfillment, and freedom.  


More on Jennifer:
Jennifer Finlayson-Fife grew up in Burlington, Vermont as one of eight children.  She studied Psychology and Women's Studies at Brigham Young University, and went on to receive her Masters and PhD in Counseling Psychology from Boston College.  She has a private practice  in Chicago, IL where she works primarily with LDS couples on relational and sexual issues. She is a frequent guest on LDS-themed podcasts, and has written articles for LDS-themed magazines and blogs on the subjects of sexuality and modesty as well as mental health and faith.  She is married to John Finlayson-Fife and has three wonderful children.

You can listen to this podcast below, or on iTunesSoundcloudStitcherPocketcastsGoogleplay, or search for "About Progress" wherever you get your podcasts.  If you like the show, please subscribe!!



Show Notes:
Jennifer's website and Holiday DEAL!
Jennifer's Facebook 
Jennifer's past interviews with About Progress on perfectionism and goodness (doing things for the right reasons)
Monica's Facebook and Instagram
Monat Natural, Anti-Aging Hair Care: Contact Monica to learn more, OR research via her Monat Instagram and website
Related: Monica's views on Sponsorship and WHY she's partnering with Monat
Fabletics! Get 2 leggings for $24 when you become a VIP member (they're the besssssst!) (Affiliate link)
Free Audiobook through Audible(Affiliate link)
Contact Monica
More Podcasts from About Progress
Song Credit: "Sweet Promise" and "Tonight" by Nicolai Heidlas

How I Don't Let My Food Issues Ruin Thanksgiving (Or any other holiday feast...)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

10+ years ago, Thanksgiving would send me into the fetal position.  Too much food, too many people and eyes, too much temptation, and, most of all, way too much fear.

There were a few years that I'd have to lock myself into the bathroom mid-feast just to hyperventilate, it was that overwhelming for me.

But now?  Now, Thanksgiving (and Christmas, and New Year's, and any other feasty celebration for that matter), is just like any other Sunday dinner.  I don't worry about it ahead of time, I don't stew much the day of, and if any issues come up for me I'm able to work through them.  In short, I actually LOOK FORWARD to our holiday feasts.

If you haven't had food issues (i.e., stress eating, emotional eating, fear of food, bonafide eating disorders, etc.), than you can't understand how miraculous this transformation has been for me.

Photographer: Baley Marie Photo
Aside from years of building up my Intuitive Eating skills and thought-patterns, here are eight ways I approach the holiday meals so I'm empowered to make good choices and made free to be present--both with the food and the ones I love.  Each tip starts with a phrase I tell myself, and I explain each one:

1) "It's just food."  If my heart is racing, I "mess up," or I can tell my thinking it getting out of my control, I just remind myself that it's all just food.  It's not there to hurt me.  

2) "Savor it."  Grandma's fudge might only come once a year, so instead of avoiding it like the plaque or completely bingeing on it, I grab a piece, sit down, and savor each sensation.

3) "You can always have it later."  Related to the above, if my instinct is to want more, more, more--either out of guilt or deprivation--I remind myself that I can in fact always have more later.  Either when my tummy is a little less full, or even months down the road.  Grandma might make the fudge only once a year, but that doesn't mean I can't get her recipe and make it myself whenever the heck I want to.  There is no "last supper" mentality needed here!

4) "Who is this about?"  I remind myself that the holidays are meant to enjoy my loved ones.  So instead of getting trapped by my thoughts and habits with food, I try to recenter back to what matters more than that and get busy talking.

5) "It's just a normal day." I don't go crazy with hours of working out, eihter/both before the feast or after.  I do exercise--I do set myself up for success in eating a reasonable meal in the morning and trying to hold out until then big feast.  I think ahead of time of what foods/desserts I actually love and want to ensure I have room for, and which ones I'd rather not take part in. But I don't carry such high stakes on the actual meal that I'm trying to do penance for it either beforehand or the rest of the day.

6) "What do you want out of today?"  Do I want to eat my heart out?  Do I want to talk the day away?  Do I want to completely savor that apple pie when I'm all alone after all the family has left and the kids are in bed (my personal favorite way to eat dessert)?  Having that in mind helps me recenter when I need to.

7) "Breathe."  It's easy to do.  You can in fact leave and do it in private in the bathroom if your anxiousness is reigning.  Or you can do it between bites.  Just take those deep breaths and remind yourself of your other phrases..

8) "It will get easier." Perhaps this is your first year into a new relationship with food.  Then it will be more heightened--don't chastise yourself if you don't navigate it all successfully.  Give yourself patience and remind yourself that these new thought patterns and habits WILL get easier; they'll become like second-nature.

Here are two podcast episodes I did on Intuitive Eating, for more help: Here and Here.

Julie Taylor: Battling Addiction from a Place of Love, not Hatred

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"With each thing I tried, every time it failed . . . I failed deeper and the problem got bigger.  It got to the point where I no longer felt any control over it.  I remember one day thinking, ‘I’m not going to try anymore.’”

Julie Taylor was known online for being "real," but only she knew the truth--that she was hiding an addiction, and one especially riddled with shame: food addiction.

Julie talks about the transformation she has been through the past few years of identifying herself as someone addicted to food, pursuing help for it, and how in time it made her far more real than she ever had been before.

Julie's path unfortunately led her from one form of addiction to another--an obsession with perfection.
One particular incident alarmed her husband: After accidentally having a bite of cheese while out to dinner, she sobbed for hours.  Julie eventually decided that this other extreme way of living was making her just as unhappy as having no boundaries.

The biggest key to Julie's TRUE healing arose as Julie came from a place of healing, rather than a place of punishment; from a place of wanting to change because she loved herself, not hated herself.

Julie shares how this lesson can be applied to all of our weaknesses we need to work on, and how doing so will empower us all the better to finally see real results and lasting growth.


You can listen to this podcast below, or on iTunesSoundcloudStitcherPocketcastsGoogleplay, or search for "About Progress" wherever you get your podcasts.  If you like the show, please share, subscribe, and leave reviews!!


Show Notes
Julie's Instagram and Youtube channel
Monat Natural, Anti-Aging Hair Care: Contact Monica to learn more, OR research via her Monat Instagram and website
Related: Monica's views on Sponsorship and WHY she's partnering with Monat
Fabletics! Get 2 leggings for $24 when you become a VIP member (they're the besssssst!) (Affiliate link)
Free Audiobook through Audible(Affiliate link)
Monica's Facebook and Instagram
Contact Monica
More Podcasts from About Progress
Song Credit: "Sweet Promise" and "Tonight" by Nicolai Heidlas

Reachel Bagley of Cardigan Empire: Moving Beyond the Superficial

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

"I have worth and it isn’t always looking to the external to try to find validation, because that’s an endless competition that you’re never going to win.  It doesn’t bring any happiness."

Reachel Bagley is not your normal "fashion blogger."  Sure, she has a fabulous sense of style--one that you're going to salivate over.  But Reachel loves fashion because of what it can do to really transform someone's confidence, to help them feel more empowered to face their lives and their trials. She loves to really teach her clients and her followers what colors, cuts, and fits look best on their bodies, not just show her own polished outfits.  (One of her mantras is: it's not that you aren't fitting into your clothes, it's that your clothes aren't fitting YOU.)

Reachel knows what it is like to lack confidence, and in a really dark way.  Her own sense of pride and love of her body took a beating after years of infertility.  She saw her body as something to be punished, not loved, because of the way she saw it hurting her.  But 10 years later and after a lot of work, Reachel has earned that love and acceptance of her body because she knows who she really is at her core.  She knows that our worth isn't dependent on a size or a number on the scale--it's innate, and it will never change.

Listen to learn about how Reachel came about this transformation, what she hopes to inspire in others, how she views fashion as a tool, how she got her start and developed her business into what it is today, and much more.


You can listen to this podcast below, or on iTunesSoundcloudStitcherPocketcastsGoogleplay, or search for "About Progress" wherever you get your podcasts.  If you like the show, please share, subscribe, and leave reviews!!


Show Notes:
Reachel's website, Instagram, and Facebook
Monat Natural, Anti-Aging Hair Care: Contact Monica to learn more, OR research via her Monat Instagram and website
Related: Monica's views on Sponsorship and WHY she's partnering with Monat
Fabletics! Get 2 leggings for $24 when you become a VIP member (they're the besssssst!) (Affiliate link)
Free Audiobook through Audible(Affiliate link)
Monica's Facebook and Instagram
Contact Monica
More Podcasts from About Progress
Song Credit: "Sweet Promise" and "Tonight" by Nicolai Heidlas

Friday Favorites: My Go-to Affordable Lipsticks

Friday, November 3, 2017


Once I turned 30, I noticed that my lips basically went from pinkish to skin-toned.  I always looked washed out and tired.  And I was tired (babies! kids! life!), so I chose to branch out from my typical LOW-maintenance makeup routine and start trying a little lipstick.  Now, it's become part of my routine!  On top of a few colors in my makeup bag, I keep several in my diaper bag and one in my car for easy application.

Don't underestimate the power of a little color on your lips!  I love me some bold shades now (and that took me some practice and courage, sillily enough!), but even some nude shades make a big difference.  I find that the natural-looking berries are MONEY though in brightening my whole face.  Here are some examples (most are unedited) for you that I took over the last month--and yes, you can see I'm usually applying while in the car--and most shades aren't super bright!

You can see how a little lipstick goes a looong way to taking some years off your face or distracting from very tired eyes.

I love Lipsense for long-lasting color (check out my girl Taylor for them--she is PROFESSIONAL and awesome!), but most days I'm applying lipstick in my car and I often use the lipstick on my cheeks too (which I wouldn't advise with Lipsense, ha!).  Don't worry!  I'm always parked, but I'm also always in a hurry: going to and from school, appointments, errands, etc.  Other times, I just need a quick pick-me-up when I'm feeling run-down, and looking it.


So, I wanted to share today my go-to AFFORDABLE lipsticks that are really easy to apply and brighten your whole face without busting your wallet.

None of this is sponsored--per usual for my Friday Favorites--but any amazon links are affiliate.

My absolute favorite is Maybelline's "Lust For Blush" (color 665).  It's in the first picture too of this post.  I looks a little brighter in this photo (see the second to the top of the before-and-after photos!), but I find it a nice natural looking berry and it's matte, which I favor.  I also have a nude in this line too that I like (in one of the pictures above, too) that's "Daringly Nude."  I have a feeling I'll keep trying other colors too!


My favorite nude (and it's longer lasting) is Tarte's Lip Paint in "Bestie."  This one is pricier though--got it at Ulta when they had a deal going on.  Nudes still make a difference so try them out!


Another one I just happened to grab at the drugstore that I love is Milani's Amore Matte Lip Cream in  "Precious."  It is longer lasting too, and is a bit brighter than my favorite Maybelline color.  It goes with any look.


My friend told me about NYX's soft matte lip creams.  I've tried three and they are all AMAZING.  Truly.  The one above is my bright color, "Paris," but I also love a middle-bright shade that I use a ton in "Antwerp" (which is pictured in the second to bottom of the before-and-after photos) and a lighter pink in "Istanbul" more as a pinky neutral.  I want to try more shades, but I'm trying to use what I have for now until I start running out!  Which should be fairly soon . . .


I hope that helps!  And I'd love to hear what your favorites "car lipsticks" are too.  Ones that are easy to apply, go with any outfit, and won't break your heart if they get lost due to cost.  Happy face-brightening!!!

Greg Karelitz: Spreading Positive Vibes

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"By choosing your habits and staying with them, you are scientifically engraining them in your body . . . setting you on a pace that will help you achieve what you want to achieve."

What do you get when you create the perfect mix of zen and science?  Greg Karelitz, is what.

Greg is the founder of the Positive Vibes Only Society (PVOS), a community with a mission to help people better live in the moment, backed up with science.  As a touchstone, PVOSers sport a necklace that act as a physical reminder to live positively.

Greg developed a fascination with the science behind positivity when he was at a big low: having just undergone a double hip surgery and with it a big life style change that eventually led to him experiencing anxiety attacks.  He had his own necklace--the star of David--that helped him recenter during those moments.  And perfectly, the hex in that symbol align with the shapes of the chemicals in our bodies that contribute to our happiness--chemicals that Greg was in the trenches of researching himself.  This is how he was inspired to create not only the hex-shaped necklace, but the positive-focused society Greg leads today.

Hear what Greg says about what he's learned about the science of positivity, how he got through his own dark times, what change he hopes to ignite in the world, how focusing on good habits contributes to our greater happiness, and how we can live in the moment even when we need to also deal with hard things.  Greg is definitely an expert in this field, and it shows.

You can listen to this podcast below, or on iTunesSoundcloudStitcherPocketcastsGoogleplay, or search for "About Progress" wherever you get your podcasts.  If you like the show, please share, subscribe, and leave reviews!!


Show Notes:
Greg's website (new ladies-specific necklaces being offered!), Instagram, and Facebook
Referenced interview with Andy Proctor
Monat Natural, Anti-Aging Hair Care: Contact Monica to learn more, OR research via her Monat Instagram and website
Related: Monica's views on Sponsorship and WHY she's partnering with Monat
Fabletics! Get 2 leggings for $24 when you become a VIP member (they're the besssssst!) (Affiliate link)
Free Audiobook through Audible(Affiliate link)
Monica's Facebook and Instagram
Contact Monica
More Podcasts from About Progress
Song Credit: "Sweet Promise" and "Tonight" by Nicolai Heidlas

Danielle Stepp: Learning the Value of Time

Friday, October 27, 2017

"You don’t really appreciate time unless you’re looking at a diagnosis like cancer. . . You don’t appreciate the time that you have until you know that there could potentially be an end date.” 

Danielle Stepp was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma--cancer--as a new mother of a three month old baby girl.

Her treatment entailed 12 debilitating rounds of chemotherapy.  As Danielle made her way through this very difficult period of her life, she held on to her family, her friends, and what she calls "Prayer Power" to help her arise above the immense hardships.  She also used her fighting spirit and treated cancer like a bull, and Danielle "wrestled it to the ground."

Now a year cancer free (!), Danielle looks back to see what helped her through this hard chapter, how cancer has changed her, and what she has learned about not taking time for granted.


The family photo Danielle referenced in the podcast.



You can listen to this podcast below, or on iTunesSoundcloudStitcherPocketcastsGoogleplay, or search for "About Progress" wherever you get your podcasts.  If you like the show, please share, subscribe, and leave reviews!!


Show Notes:
Danielle's blog
Compassion that Compells
Monat Natural, Anti-Aging Hair Care: Contact Monica to learn more, OR research via her Monat Instagram and website
Related: Monica's views on Sponsorship and WHY she's partnering with Monat
Fabletics! Get 2 leggings for $24 when you become a VIP member (they're the besssssst!) (Affiliate link)
Free Audiobook through Audible(Affiliate link)
Monica's Facebook and Instagram
Contact Monica
More Podcasts from About Progress
Song Credit: "Sweet Promise" and "Tonight" by Nicolai Heidlas
 
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