To the Personal Trainer who told Me I Need to Lose Ten Pounds

*Trigger warning: contains content concerning body image, dieting and specific numbers regarding pants size and pounds*


To the personal trainer who told me I need to lose ten pounds,

I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you probably didn’t realize how triggering a statement like that could be. But I grew up as a ballerina. My teen years were full of weighing and measuring and comparing and worrying if I was enough. Or if I was too much.

You probably didn’t realize that for some people, coming to the gym isn’t about tracking calories or going down a pant size. You didn’t realize that I’m here to empower myself, to be my strongest and healthiest and happiest self.

And you probably didn’t realize that my strongest and healthiest and happiest self has absolutely zero interest in what my BMI is or the number on the scale or my exact body fat percentage.

You probably didn’t realize that I silently told you to f**k off as soon as you told me that according to you I am over weight and you think I should lose ten pounds.

Because I disagree. Because I love me. Because I haven’t ever loved my self as fiercely as I do these days. Because I don’t give a flying rat’s ass if you think I’m not thin enough or strong enough. Or if you think I’m too much of anything.

I love me and I don’t care what you think.

I could have cried when you told me, a woman who wears size zero jeans, that I’m overweight. I could have left the gym and skipped dinner. I even thought about texting a friend to call me and fake an emergency so I could leave my session with you early.

But I didn’t. I silently reminded myself that you were wrong. I played along until my hour was up. And I went home where I cooked a full meal for myself. Veggies and chicken with spicy sauce. Accompanied by red wine and followed by chocolate cake. I knew that you telling me to lose weight didn’t impact my worth. And I knew that I was confident in myself that I could ignore what you thought.

Because I love me. Because I’m not more or less worthy of love and food and self-care based on someone’s opinion of my body. Because I am enough.

This unfortunate event isn’t going to stop me from going to the gym. I’m not going to stop attending dance classes. I’m not going to let myself feel like I’m only able to track my progress if I go by numbers on a scale.

The thing is, sir, you asked me how I was supposed to be able to track my progress if I am not going to weigh myself or measure what my body is doing. How much did I want to be able to lift? How far did I want to be able to run? How much weight did I want to lose?

I was stumped, I didn’t know how to articulate it in person to you then. But here is my answer:

I count my success at the gym by feeling healthy and strong in my everyday life. I track it by the smiles my workout playlist causes. I’m succeeding when my muscles feel comfortable in familiar ballet poses I haven’t attempted in years.

I’ve never actually gone to a Saturday morning yoga class, because I love sleeping in on weekends, but if I ever get myself there I’m sure I’ll consider that a success too. I’ll know I’m successful when I’m 70 and I can still move and dance and wiggle around. (Y’all I wanna be fit and healthy like Jane Fonda when I’m 70 – ya feel?)

To anyone out there who’s ever wondered if you’re too much, or if you’re too little. You’re enough. You’re exactly how you’re meant to be. And you deserve to define progress for yourself as you strive to be strong, happy and healthy.

 


I texted my friend Kara after this experience, and I wan’t to end today’s post with some of the encouragement she gave me:

Weight is just our relationship with the earth and gravity. The number would be different if we were on the moon. Meaning it’s literally just a number.

The world needs MORE of you if anything, not less. Do something tonight that allows you to feel one with your body, connected and appreciative of it! Affirm it out loud tonight, treat it gently.

Cherish your weight and be grateful for every inch. It has gotten you where you are today.

 

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Christmas Blog

In the last few weeks at church I’ve been listening to stories about advent. Hearing over and over that anticipation is good. That waiting is good. That patiently finding hope in what is to come is good.

And to be honest that really resonated with me in where I’ve been at in my life lately. December hasn’t just felt like advent. This whole fall has felt like advent. And the waiting game has been hard.

You know in the movie Click, where Adam Sandler skips over parts of his life? I have had many moments where I wished I could just skip to the part where I know what I’m doing. Where I’m not in the middle part of the story full of growing pains and waiting and hoping for what is to come. Where I have a plan and the goals I’m dreaming about and hoping for right now are already accomplished.

But also, I cried like a baby when I watch Click because he skips over his whole life and misses all the important moments and gets to the end wishing he had appreciated the middle bits so much more.

Even though Click is most definitely not a Christmas movie at all, it relates to how I’ve been feeling about Christmas this year. Our lives aren’t about skipping over the anticipation to get to the future. We need to take our time to enjoy the seasons of waiting.

I realized on my way home from the mall the other night that I really was missing the point of Christmas this year. Many of us know the cheesey phrase “reason for the season” but it truly hit me as I was panicking about wether or not I had good enough gifts for my family that I was realllyyy missing the point.

This season is not actually twinkle lights and watching Home Alone and baking cookies and buying the best gifts we can for the people we love. Those things are great, but it’s not the point. We give gifts at Christmas as a symbolic reminder of the best gift we’ve ever been given and could ever give.

And when you remember that, the panic induced “I wish I could afford to spend my entire paycheque on my parent’s christmas gifts because they deserve it” fades away because newsflash *no gift you give is better than Jesus being born*.

This is a season to remember what happened, and honour that and be as generous with the people we love as we can. It is not a season that should be focused on the gifts under the tree. And it is a season to be reminded that it is good to wait.

Gift giving is also difficult for me because I suck at surprises (on the giving and receiving end). I am the type of person who would love a surprise party thrown for me, but also love planning so much that I would never not plan a party. I tend to micromanage, I like to feel in control and when the holidays come I’m the queen of planning and Christmas shopping and trying to have everything purchased and ready to wrap by the end of November.

And y’all that didn’t happen this year. I didn’t wrap my gifts until Christmas Eve and I felt like a hot mess. And it felt like a very close to home metaphor for life lately. But why is that? An easy answer, control. As humans we like to be in control. We like feeling like we have knowledge and power. We like feeling like nothing can get past us. And what happens when we crave control we can’t have? Anxiety.

But maybe that’s the lesson here, we can’t always micromanage our lives. We can’t always be fully in control. We need to find joy in the waiting for what God has waiting for us. In the trusting that good things are coming. December is the season of advent, but maybe it’s not the only season of advent me or you are experiencing this year.

You might be reading this thinking … Kaitlyn… Christmas was yesterday. Why are you posting this now. Well because maybe this is a lense we can use to look at our lives. Maybe the posture of reveling in the anticipation can be something we carry into the other times when it would be easier to fast forward in our lives.

It is normal to crave control, to stress out when you don’t have it, and get restless in the stagnant seasons of waiting. But keep waiting. Stay faithful. If you’re in the same boat as me, keep trusting that good things are coming and stay present to appreciate the moments that you’re in while you wait.

A Heart Of Glass Turns One

This time last year I got the courage up to share some writing on this platform. If you’ve been reading along, thank you!

This blog was named A Heart Of Glass, after a John Mayer lyric. I explained in my first post ever that I named it after a line in the song War of My Life, that goes, “I’ve got a hammer/  And a heart of glass/ I got to know right now/ Which walls to smash”. I’m the type of person who likes the idea of embracing vulnerability and opening my heart up to people. And this year I tried to do that here, exploring ideas about how to navigate life and balance a healthy heart, mind, sprit and relationships. I found myself asking the question “what does it mean to be healthy?” quite a bit.

I’ve had the chance to embrace failures by redefining success for myself, think about the ways to let people know our authentic selves in relationships and how to fight for meaningful friendships when things get tough. I’ve talked about my own spirituality and invited others to write and share their perspectives on life as well.

 


As I find my footing in this next chapter of my life I find myself asking new questions. Less about the general “what does it mean to be healthy?” and more specifically “what does it look like for me to be healthy and how do I get myself there?”.

There is a very wide range of what health looks like for everyone; there isn’t any one right way to do things. Healthy people don’t eat the same diet or work out the same ways, we don’t express our emotions or creativity the same either, and our best, happiest and healthiest selves is something we decide on our own.

There are a lot of opinions out in the world, I know I’ve handed out a few here or there over the last year, but what I’m working on these days is figuring out what feels right for me. I trust facts about healthy eating and what healthy relationships look like, and I trust my counsellor who gives me strategies to handle my emotional health – but ultimately I need to feel out the healthiest balance in my life.

I believe this is something we really all must to do. We can be given 101 opinions – but the best thing to do is feel things out for yourself and figure out the right fit for you.

The older I get the more I’m aware of myself. I can tell when I’m anxious or projecting stress. I can identify conflicts when they are small, and still easily manageable. I know I shouldn’t eat all junk food if I want to feel okay the next day (and generally live according to that). I think the longer we live and the better we get to know ourselves the better we can feel out what is best for us.

 


A key to finding a healthy balance in our lives is identifying when things feel wrong. If you’re running and your legs are a little sore you’re probably fine – but if there is a sharp pain you need to stop. The same goes for spicy food and heart burn – know your limits, friend. Sometimes on the path to figuring out what’s right you have to figure out what feels wrong.

If there is an area of wellness you’re not familiar with, doing research and getting facts before making assumptions is important, but keep in mind that there are a lot of possibilities of what a healthy you can look like, so it is up to you to find your best fit.

When relationships feel honest and supportive, when you find a type of exercise you really enjoy doing, when you learn to talk about feelings in a productive way, when you know what these things look and feel like of you – then you can find your own unique answer to the questions “what does it look like for me to be healthy and how do I get myself there?”.

As I’ve been working on this blog I’ve been keeping in mind that all the areas I’ve written about are connected. Our physical health impacts our mental health (and vice versa), the health of our relationships is impacted by our emotional health which is impacted by our spiritual health (and vice versa etc, you get the picture). It’s all connected.

If one area is feeling off, it can shake your whole life up quite a bit. Don’t underestimate how taking care of little issues in your life can make a big positive impact in many areas.

Finally, don’t shy away from trusting yourself to know what is right for you. I’ve learned a lot in the past year, but maybe nothing more empowering than learning to trust my own choices and feelings.

 


 

The blog and I are going to take a bit of a hiatus for this next month- but keep your eyes open for new posts coming your way in July!

Good, Bad, Bad enough, and Better

Language

Language can be a funny thing. We express ourselves but sometimes it doesn’t come across the way we want. I studied communication and I think the power of it is so intriguing and beautiful. I could talk your ear off about semiotics if you want – but the real point is we need to be careful about our use of language. When we aren’t careful, our language can unintentionally make people feel shame or isolation for the things they are dealing with.

The terms ‘good’, ‘bad’ and ‘better’ are so arbitrary when it comes to describing our mental and emotional health. It doesn’t help us communicate clearly if we use binary language to describe mental health. My biggest pet peeve when someone asks you how you’re doing, especially if they are checking in because you’ve been having a hard time, and you say “I’m okay” is when they assume that means you’re completely fine. You’re totally great. You’re not still being affected in anyway. The thing is, okay doesn’t always mean doing well. Sometimes it just means you’re making progress.

I was talking to one of my roommates about this and she related to this frustration. I told her sometimes I don’t know how to convey feeling better but still having a hard time. She said a phrase she uses, and one I’m going to start borrowing, is “I’m more okay today than I was yesterday.” I love it. Sure, it still leaves things up in the air a little – but I think it helps encapsulate progress while struggling while honouring that the struggle is ongoing.

“More Okay” vs. “Better”

Better is a confusing term to me. I don’t like it because it sounds like struggling with mental or emotional health is a negative or shameful thing. It sounds synonomys with getting back to normal and in my mind it limits the scope of healing. I think we often go through hard seasons to learn valuable lessons, to grow and come out different, or transformed on the other side.

I think it is also okay to struggle.  To face pain and deal with it head on. The healing process doesn’t need to be rushed. I like the idea of being ‘more okay’ than ‘better’. Healing, learning, growing and processing emotions all take time. There shouldn’t be pressure to be normal or better. Healing looks different for all people; it can be feeling pure joy again, it can be getting ready in the morning and having a dance party in the bathroom because you’re excited about the day; it can be booking an appointment with your counsellor two weeks apart because you feel confident you won’t need to see her in a week, it can be making art or making plans with friends because you have energy to be social.

I think, it is understanding that there is no deadline to feel better. And more importantly, that any other state of being is not better than where you are now.

Bad Enough 

You might be wondering why I named this post Good, Bad, Bad enough, and Better. The thing I want you remember, if you remember anything from reading this, is that you don’t have to wait until you’re in a desperate place, you’re “bad enough”, to ask for help; asking for help, in any form, doesn’t have to be a last resort.

Even if you aren’t one of the 1 in 5 Canadians who experience mental health issues or mental illness *, every person has mental health and it’s still important to take care of yourself and keep your mental health in check. If you feel like you’re struggling it is okay to ask for help. I consider counselling like going to the gym for my mental and emotional health. It helps me keep myself in shape if I need to. It’s so good to ask for help when you need it – but I’ve also found that you don’t need to wait until you get to your breaking point to make the call for an appointment. If you’re starting to feel stressed but think you’re strong and can go it alone but then remember that you don’t have to.

Counselling is great and if you feel like it could be beneficial to you you should try it. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak. The way we talk about mental and emotional health matters a lot so please be careful with your words and avoid broad or binary language. And always know that it is okay not to be okay, and to take your time to heal from things.

Boring Self-Care

I know I preach self-care a lot but I’ve been noticing a trend lately that I think is a great illustration of practical self-care. And the moral is that practicing self-care isn’t always doing what you want.

Wait – boring self-care??? 

“Boring self-care” is the kind that doesn’t look glamorous, it doesn’t translate well to Instagram, but it’s the little things you do that keep your life balanced. Now this isn’t always fun to do, and it isn’t the self-care we’ve seen branded or commodified, but things like going to bed on time, eating well, being intentional about time alone and with people are all important.

Recently I saw cool art on Instagram promoting boring self-care such as doing dishes, taking medication, unfollowing social media accounts that make you feel bad about yourself, letting yourself not be busy, or doing laundry. (check out @makedaisychains y’all)

I have friends that practice self-care in so many different ways – yoga, booking one night a week off to not be social, journaling, running in nature, snowboarding, photography. The range is endless – but the little everyday things really add up.

An important aspect of self-care to keep in mind is is practicing it before you hit a breaking point – which can be part of the boring aspect. Because it might not feel important or necessary or fun – but preventing bigger issues coming up is a main function of self-care.

Duck, Duck, Extrovert

As an extrovert my boring self-care sometimes means having time alone. It’s not boring because I can’t find fun things to do alone – it’s because FOMO is real and I don’t want to miss fun things friends might be doing. When left to my own devices I’ll spend days or even weeks without proper alone time.

I currently have the pleasure of living in community with five really wonderful girls and this past weekend I took a shower and realized that was the longest I’d been alone in almost two weeks. Which. Is. Wild. I’m an extrovert and I love people but y’all shouldn’t go two weeks without time to yourself. Sometimes you gotta spend time with you.

Maybe you already do it, maybe it needs to be added to the routine – but be intentional about spending quality time with people. Go for walks, go out for ice cream, go to brunch – build relationships because they are important and so good for you. But also give yourself time alone.

But here is where boring self-care comes in. Sometimes I have to say no. I can’t let FOMO make me go on every possible outing, adventure and ice cream run (well, maybe every ice cream run). The point is sometimes I have to learn to say no. Maybe if you’re an introvert sometimes that means forcing yourself to say yes because a balance of time to yourself and time with people is important.

Outer Space and Inner Space 

In the last few days of being intentional about giving myself space I’ve noticed that my ability to process thoughts, feelings, and produce creative ideas is better when I’m alone. Even just brainstorming this blog and giving my mind time to wonder and centre myself is easier when I give myself space to be alone.

This might seem obvious to you if you’re an introvert, or simply someone who doesn’t think spending time with people, either in person or on the phone every waking moment for two weeks is a good idea. But I really love people and it’s easy for me.

Brené Brown talks about being busy as something people do to numb themselves and avoid things they don’t want to face.  In her most recent book, Braving The Wilderness she writes, ‘Crazy-busy’ is a great armor, it’s a great way for numbing. What a lot of us do is that we stay so busy, and so out in front of our life, that the truth of how we’re feeling and what we really need can’t catch up with us.”

When I know my pattern is to over socialize and not take space some of the most important self-care I can practice is to do the ‘boring’ thing and create that space. Space to think and feel and process and create, and to not be busy.


Maybe you relate or maybe it’s totally foreign but I would encourage you to think about what boring self-care you need to do.

Are you avoiding either spending time with people or yourself? Community is a lovely thing and I’m beyond excited to be where I am – but remembering to balance fun with the potentially boring but meaningful self-care is what will make me a better version of myself. What do you need to be doing?

Post Christmas Pudge

Everywhere I look I see things that say to enjoy Christmas all you want, indulge in the holidays, but once January 1st hits we need to do the opposite and start diets and going to the gym and doing crazy ab workouts to feel better about the lil holiday pudge we may or may not (definitely have) adopted throughout the Christmas parties, the eggnog flowing and Christmas cookies running wild.

If you’re feeling stress to start a new year’s diet, please take a quick read of this post and evaluate if you still want to (spoiler: I’ll encourage you not to).

 

Body Positivity

Today’s post is the first one where I am writing about body positivity. If you’re not familiar with this here a quick definition;

“The Body Positive Movement is a movement that encourages people to adopt more forgiving and affirming attitudes towards their bodies, with the goal of improving overall health and well-being. Whether people are nurturing their bodies and maintaining their weight, or finding a place in life where they are comfortable through working out, or changing their lifestyles to find a better attitude, the body positive movement focuses on building self-esteem through improving one’s self-image”.

I think this is hugely important in a world full of photoshopped ads and men and women feeling increasingly dissatisfied with how they look to work towards a body positive culture.

There is an Aerie model I really admire named Iskra Lawrence who has become a pretty big spokesperson for body positivity, self-care and self-love in the past few years. She has a fantastic TED Talk I’m linking here where she talks about the importance of dropping the need for perfection and be more gentle with ourselves. In the TED Talk Lawrence talks about how marketing and branding are meant to sell us products. And that to do so marking is meant to make us feel insecure so we will buy the products being sold to us; “If we are insecure, we are a motivated consumer. We can be sold anti-wrinkle cream by 13 years old”.

Lawrence also tracks down the roots of these insecurities and then aims to challenge these insecurities with practicing self-care. “Why is it that we feel these insecurities in the first place? Because from a young age we have been conditioned to believe that our success, and our happiness is highly dependent on our attractiveness”. She encourages her audience to recognize feelings and pressures we face to look a certain way and think about our bodies differently.

 

Balancing Act

There is a lot of research that shows dieting can be harmful, and it’s more important to have an overall healthy life style than to stick to a crash diet or cleanse. So as we enter into the new year when so many people are swearing off carbs or sugar or whatever is trendy – remember that a healthy life style is more important than a quick fix diet. Diets are hugely psychological and can make you feel worse about your self, being on diets makes you lose more muscle than fat and over time diets can make you gain more weight and develop unhealthy psychological patterns and eating habits.

Rather than swinging in the opposite direction from the holiday treats to losing the holiday pudge, it’s better to stick to a balanced life style that is more sustainable. Trying to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle of sleeping right, exercising, drinking lots of water, and eating right (including treats every now and then) is much better for you than dieting. What do I mean by ‘healthy food’ or ‘eating right’? Well, my resident nutrition wizard/ kin student/ cherished friend Emilia says that “sticking to mostly whole foods, incorporating lots of vegetables, homemade foods – enough treats and junk food to keep you sane” is a good start.

I will just say this – please don’t stress. Healthy life styles are better and more effective than crash dieting, and healthy life styles include letting ourselves indulge in treats every once in a while. For more tips on living finding the right balance for you, for life in general, I found this article helpful!

Don’t Turn Christmas Into A Lifestyle

(But don’t forget to indulge either)

The biggest thing I can encourage you to do is not to feel guilty for treating yourself over the holidays and reacting by feeling the need to work it all off at the gym next week. It’s important to remember that we don’t have to feel bad about indulging over the holidays, we should be grateful that we get to.  Yes maybe we went a little overboard on the amount cinnamon coffee cake and hot chocolate but that’s a blessing to be able to enjoy that.

It’s okay if you’ve got a little post-Christmas pudge because your body will balance out, but even more than that, because you aren’t defined by your body. There is no ideal way we should look, perfection is unattainable and the cost of trying to attain perfection is detrimental to both our mental and physical health. A line I love from Iskra’s TED Talk when she is emphasizing the importance of redefining beauty to celebrate personality, morals, values, achievements rather than a person’s appearance is: “We need to stop trying to attain perfection because we are good enough already”. 

So, on top of trying to find a healthy balanced life style (because as much I would like  eggnog and cookies to be my breakfast everyday I know my lactose intolerant body couldn’t deal) I think remembering to practice self-care is important, especially if you’re feeling self-conscious about the way you look. Iskra suggests two activities that can help with this:

  1. Mirror challenge: pick our 5 things you love about yourself. 5 things that you love about your body for what it does for you (rather than what you look like).
  2. Gratitude list: knowledge of what you are lucky for in your life. Refuse to let things like clothes/ looks ruin your day or challenge the knowledge that you have about how great your life is.

 

As we move through holiday celebration remember that it’s a priviliege to have time with family and indulge in holiday treats, and if you have adopted a lil holiday pudge in the last few weeks (or if you’re still wokring on it, because we still have a week of holidays ahead of us) that’s okay and it doesn’t make you less beautiful. We don’t need to buy into pressures to look a certain way, and if you’re focus is on being balanced, caring for yourself and practicing self-love you’re on the right track to a healthy new year.

 

Moderation is Cool

So I love coffee. I love it so much I work at a coffee shop. I’m what you might call a “recreational” coffee drinker;  I drink it when I’m not tired or I don’t feel like I need it. There is something I just love about the aesthetic experience of going and hanging out in coffee shops and drinking a good latte.

However, this week I’m talking about why it’s important to be mindful of what we’re putting into our bodies and why it might be good to cut back on those lattes (or make them decaf). We sometimes think that moderation is important when we are thinking about substances that are regulated by governing bodies – and everything else is fair game right? Welll … this week I want to think about listening to and regulating our own bodies.


Coffee affects people in lots of different ways and as someone who is  very sensitive and self-aware of how things affect my body I wanted to write about this. Because your physical health and what you put in your body is so important.

I recently heard someone remark that coffee, though addictive, doesn’t change your mental state the way some things, such as alcohol, might. I know it’s not true for myself and decided to do a little research to find out if that was a common coffee myth.  I googled “does coffee make you anxious” because I’m not an expert and didn’t want to write a post that isn’t based on research (get ready for links to a whole heap of articles about coffee and stress) and what I found is, yes it sure does, it’s not just me.

Anxiety & Stress

Coffee is a stimulant which can be helpful sometimes but it can also increase anxiety and in some individuals even trigger anxiety attacks (according to this article and this blog post). It can help you be productive but if you have too much it can worsen feeling anxious or stressed. I often found during midterms I was extra, extra, extra stressed out and it is easy to attribute all of that to school assignments but being mindful of things like caffeine intake, and lessening it, helped lower my stress levels.

The description in this article about the relationship between caffeine and cortisol, often referred to as “the stress hormone”, is a helpful illustration of the dangers of too much coffee; “Because caffeine and stress can both elevate cortisol levels, high amounts of caffeine can lead to the negative health effects associated with prolonged elevated levels of cortisol. If you ingest high levels of caffeine, you may feel your mood soar and plummet, leaving you craving more caffeine to make it soar again, causing you to lose sleep, suffer health consequences and, of course, feel more stress.”

Depending on how your body processes coffee, it might not appear to have an impact on your stress levels, and it doesn’t always impact people in the same way. However, it is always important to be mindful of how much you are consuming and connecting the dots between how we are feeling and how the things we eat and drink might cause those physiological reactions.

Sleep

I’ve touched on the importance of sleep in posts before, and as someone who usually aims for 9 hours a night I’m a huuge advocate for a good night’s sleep. As much as we all know coffee gives you energy and its maybe “common sense” to say it can negatively impact your sleep I’m going to briefly mention it anyway.

This article talks about the importance of sleep, repercussions of not getting enough sleep and how coffee gets in the way of healthy sleep cycles,  “suggestions for good sleep include avoiding stimulants such as nicotine or coffee after midafternoon, especially if you have insomnia”, this sentiment of avoiding coffee in the later afternoon and evening was echoed many times in articles I read.
When we drink a lot of coffee we aren’t as well rested, and then we need to drink more coffee – which can turn into an unhealthy cycle and lead to caffeine dependence. This is yet another article I found that shared concerns about caffeine negatively impacting the quality of sleep we get Caffeine can affect your sleep by keeping you awake longer, thereby shortening the amount of sleep you get, and giving you less time in the restorative stages of sleep, which takes a toll on your level of alertness the next day and overall health.”

Know Your Limit, Stay Within It

If you’re from Ontario you’ve probably heard commercials for the OLG with the slogan “Know Your Limit, Stay Within It”. I think the moral of this week’s post is the same, because I love coffee, but it’s important to set those limits. Coffee is a great energy boost and fun to grab with friends but I know, as someone who has worked in three different coffee/ tea shops and feels the anxious effects of coffee, that it’s not always worth the boost if it leaves you feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed.

It’s easy to forget to be mindful that stress or anxiety you feel can actually be amplified by consuming too much coffee. And of course everyone has different tolerance – so you might really relate to this post or you might not. But no matter what, it’s important to be a mindful consumer. Be conscious of the way the things you eat and drink make you feel, and know your limits about what you can and can’t handle (eg. if you’re lactose intolerant like me cutting yourself off before adding whipped cream to an eggnog latte is a good step). Keep it to one cup a day, try decaf, make sure you’re not drinking coffee on an empty stomach, or just make sure you’re cutting yourself off in the afternoon so the caffeine doesn’t impact your sleep.

This post might be a bit of a buzz kill (yes, of course the pun was intended) but I hope it encourages you to be mindful of what you put in your body and inspires you to enjoy your coffee ~in moderation~.