Dating: For all you ghost out there. This one is for you.

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It's a doggy dog dating world these days and ladies and gents, apparently, some of them don't come out alive cause there are a bunch of ghosts out there. 

It's been a long time since I wrote about dating. 

Mainly, if I'm honest, I had taken a bit of a break. 

However, recently I put myself back out there only to have had an experience that made me want to shed some light on a kind of new, not so new phenomenon that is extremely prevalent in the dating world:

ghosting

Dating to me is an off and on again thing. Sometimes I'm really into it, sometimes it's the furthest thing from my mind.

Last year, I didn't think it was entirely fair to put myself out into the dating scene when I was going through something so consuming that required a lot of my attention to be on myself.  That's not to say that dealing with an illness makes you any less of a person to date. Honestly, I think going through something major in your life makes you have a deep understanding of yourself, what you are looking for and what's important.  

I actually did meet someone right as I started radiation last July and we dated briefly before we realized we'd be better off friends. We are still friends to this day because of our mutual respect and proper communication.  

However, there are some things about dating in today's mostly online dating world that really frustrate and baffle me. Mainly, this whole phenomenon of ghosting people. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with ghosting, it can go a little something like this. Or this was my latest experience at least. 

You meet a guy (or girl), he/she comes off really intrigued. 

They ask all the questions and seem genuinely, very interested. They flatter you a lot and make you feel pretty damn good. They initiate getting together. You are totally open to it. A date is set but they need to get back to you on time because they have tentative plans. Your mind briefly wonders if it's another date but you're like, whateves. We did, after all, meet online. 

You get excited and think, "awesome! I finally met a decent human being and I'm excited to meet them!"

So you lean back and give a bit more to match his/her energy because you think games are bulls*t! ESPECIALLY after everything you just went through, you realize just how short life is and really don't have the energy or time in your thirties for them. You feel like maybe they are on the same page. 

Then suddenly you feel it. I don't know how but something in the air shifts. Something happens. You don't know what but the energy shifts.  It's just a feeling and you know. You know what's coming. 

Crickets. 

Um, hello? Is anyone there? And you wonder, WTF did I say that warranted being ghosted? I was just matching your shit thank you very much.

Annoyed, you start to think, well, maybe something happened because they couldn't have possibly just...gasp...disappeared! 

And then you laugh at yourself and think, oh silly Manda, trix are for kids! Nothing happened because as you are scrolling Instagram, you see that he just posted something new.   HE initiated the follow to begin with. You, just followed back. 

And then it hits you. Shit. I totally forgot. I was supposed to pretend that I was NOT interested. Maybe radiation altered my memory after all? 

Silly me. 

And then you laugh out loud and roll your eyes and think to yourself... right...I've just been ghosted. 

Lame. 

But in all seriousness, ghosting is just about the rudest, most immature behavior I have ever come across.

It is just downright disrespectful. I'm a human being and as much as I remind myself that it truly has nothing to do with me and that I shouldn't take it personally, it still doesn't feel good.  

So, I think to myself...what's the best thing to do in this situation. 

Upon consulting the experts, ie: a couple of my friends whom all say opposing things: 

 'Under no circumstance whatsoever, say anything to him!" One says. 

"You should call him out on his bullshit! He a friggin' thirty-something-year-old man for Christ sake!" Says the other. 

I think about both positions and decided that he IS, in fact, a thirty-something-year-old man and I'm pretty sure we all learned how to treat others way back in kindergarten. As much as I'd like to say, "Hey man, it's totally fine if, for whatever reason, you are no longer interested but I am a human being and deserve to be treated as if I'm not just a picture on some profile on a dating app. Thank. You. Very. Much.

I have a feeling however, whatever I say, will fall on deaf ears. Instead, I choose to say nothing and write this post instead.

Most people I talk to who've been ghosted, both men and women, have all said the same thing. It's really quite shitty. 

And it can trigger, even the strongest of people, into feeling like they did something. 

This brings me to the solution.

Here is the thing. We live in the age of dating apps. Chances are, you will never have to see this person face to face. If you've started exchanging text messages or have arranged to meet, even if day and time is tentative, that person still deserves some kind of correspondence if you have a change of heart. I mean, you LITERALLY don't even have to pick up the bloody phone or say it in person. You can just send a text message. 

And I'll even go as far as to help you come up with a few things you can say.

"Hey, although it was nice talking/meeting with you, I really don't think I'm interested. I do wish you the best." I mean, we are all human beings. I'd hope you'd have enough compassion to at the very least, acknowledge their humanness and wish them the best. 

Or, "You came off too strong." Sure, it's blunt but I mean, if it's the truth that person might want to know. But I do suggest you ask yourself WHY you felt they came off too strong first. Chances are, that has more to do with YOU then them.  

Or, how about this, "I realized it's just not the best time for me to date." Cool. No problem. I think everyone's been there before, right? You think your feelings for an ex have passed only to be reminded that they haven't when you meet someone new. No biggie. 

Or this one! "Hey, someone from my past came back into the picture and I just don't think I'm ready to explore someone new. I need to figure this one out." Again, awesome. Been there too. Totally get it. Hope you figure out what it is you need. 

You get it right? It may not be the most fun text to send but at least it doesn't leave the other person wondering, "what did I do?" Because about 99.9% of the time, if you get really honest with yourself, they did NOTHING. In reality, it's all your junk coming up. 

In closing

We are human beings . We like a beginning, a middle and...AN END. We appreciate closure of all kinds. It does something crazy awesome to our brains and lets us easily shake it off and not make it so personal. 

Now, I know a lot of people fear honest communication because yes, some people don't handle honesty very well. A lot of people get super defensive and if that happens, I think it's okay to say, "I really was just trying to do what was best by telling you because i do respect you as another human being. I wish you the best." And at this point, if they don't stop, you can just block their number. 

Chances are, if you are like me, you are just grateful that they were honest and you respond with a friendly, "Hey, no problem. Thanks for letting me know. Wish you the best too."

Done. Delete number, move on. Best wishes. 

Sure, egos may be bruised momentarily. It never feels great experiencing a sense of rejection. But it's like a bandaid. Rip it off, it stings for a minute and then you are usually over it. 

And then, when it comes down to it, really try and not take it personal. I'm serious. Keep filling your calendar with fun and exciting things. Keep dating! Don't sit around overanalyzing things because honestly, a few conversations over texts or phone or even a few actual, real-life dates do not, in the slightest bit, give you any idea of who someone is. 

Even if you do your research ie: stalk the shit out of them on Instagram or whatever media you find them on, you don't truly know the depths of someone. That can only be done with time, in person and an open and honest heart.

The whole evolution of online dating has created this massive disconnect and the direction it's going, in all honesty, is pretty frightening. Dating is suppose to be fun, light-hearted, sexy, flirty, exciting! 

And when it comes down to it, I really value great communication, honesty, patience, and trust in any relationship and if someone ghosts me and thinks that is okay, I look at it as a blessing. I wouldn't want to date someone that inconsiderate. Ever. Good luck. Peace out. Ba-bye. 

I hope and pray for my niece and nephew's generation that something changes or we are in for a really sad future full of disrespectful, socially inept and communicatively dysfunctional robots.  

I'll leave you with this incredible piece of advice. It's so good it was literally written by God himself and put into this little thing called The 10 Commandments. Maybe you've heard of it? 

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. 

feeling fit, free and thirty-five and what that means in this chapter of life

(Read to the bottom to here about a special offer for you)

I've never really been one to stick to one particular diet. Except for the three years that I choose, for ethical and health reasons, to eat a strict vegan diet, I've never truly committed to one modality of eating. I have however, been extremely interested in learning about the vastness that is health, wellness and nutrition and have learned to apply what makes sense to me and my life. My natural curiosity began at a very young age and I think I started eating quiona in 2001 before it became the superfood staple that it is today because I read about it's superpowers in a health magazine.

However, I was a bit of a conundrum. Despite my natural curiosity and love of health, nutrition, fitness and personal development, I struggled with body acceptance and the way I looked for a very long time. I spent about fifteen years trapped in a cycle of shame surrounding an, at times, crippling eating disorder. I've shared this journey here if you'd like to read more. 

Fortunately, through a lot of personal growth and discovery and coming to a deep understanding of where my body dysmorphia stemmed from, I've learned the tools to be able to reframe the way I see myself and how I feel in my skin. 

I've also, at a very young age, had my body betray me in the worst kind of way. Getting colon cancer at twenty-four, having part of my large intestine removed, developing a major complication/infection, having to have "The Bag" for three months, more surgeries, lots of recovery and THEN having to learn how to work with a new body that felt broken was to say the least, a lot. 

Learning to find a deep sense of appreciation for the body has been a huge journey. 

So naturally, sharing what follows feels a little superficial but, in my efforts to always being transparent, this is part of my journey too. With that being said, I've noticed over the course of the last few years, as I pass threw my early thirties and climb over that inevitable hill into my mid to late thirties, some new and interesting thoughts appearing about the way I look. I'm starting to realize the importance, now more then ever, to maintain a regular healthy diet and exercise routine and even more focus on acceptance and self-love. 

One of the stories I attached myself to at some point or another is that as you get older, things just don't work the way they use to and that is just the way it is. The damaging part of this story is the, "That is just the way it is." I discovered that I started using this as a way to be more complacent and as an excuse for not doing the things I once loved doing. 

It is true that as you get older, things change. Your body changes. Your ability to gain weight is easier and losing weight feels harder. Things start to droop a little and lines and creases form where you once had none. I remember right after my thirtieth birthday I looked in the mirror and saw the horizontal creases on my forehead and my jaw dropped. I guess I just never thought I was going to...age. I've always felt energetically and physically a lot younger then I was but its inevitable. We all age, we all get older. 

 So a huge part of my growing over the last few years is finding a sense of appreciation and acceptance for my body in a whole new light. Don't get me wrong, I know a lot of people will look at me and probably roll their eyes. I look a lot younger then I am. However, I think it's important to understand that everyone has their shit. Everyone has the stuff they are hyper cryptical of and we all have a past, that at times, can creep back up and start to tell old stories. 

I recognized that it was time to lay out all the stories I have about aging and revamp and redefine them in a way that is aligned to how I REALLY feel inside and how I will allow myself to feel moving forward. 

Then one day recently, as I was scrolling Instagram, I landed on a woman's page, a fellow health and wellness warrior and San Diegoan (is that how you spell it?), and I started watching the things she posted more closely. There was something about her that just really inspired me. Something that left me thinking, "You know, our lives are made up of the stories that we tell ourselves every single day. What stories do I need to reframe? What stories do I, Amanda, have the power to change and reshape?" Eventually I felt compelled to reach out to her and learn more about all of these workouts she was doing and she invited me to join one of her challenges and I thought, why not? There is no greater time then now to be exactly who I want to be or better put, exactly who I really am. 

So about a week ago I started doing the workouts and paying closer attention to what I was eating, careful however, to use the tools I've garnered over the years to not fall back into old, obsessive behaviors. This photo is my before. 

As I mentioned in the Instagram post, my goals aren't exactly to lose weight. My goals are to feel my absolute best, inside and out, as I move into my second half of my thirties. In all honesty, it's been something I've struggled with, especially after my divorce two years ago. With 100% transparency, my whole marriage and the end of it left me feeling broken and self-conscious in so many of ways. I had no idea it would take me so long to put the pieces back together and discover who I was again. My goal is, and always has been since the minute I walked away, was to rebuild myself and life from the inside out. 

So, the number on the scale doesn't mean much to me but the way I feel in my skin, that changes everything. Feeling good in your skin helps our confidence and inner spirit shine brighter. When we shine our brightest we inspire others to feel safe doing so too.

As we pull ourselves out of the darkness of winter and into the lightness of spring (at least in San Diego), I think its safe to say we all feel so much better when we are surrounded by brightness and warmth, am I right? 

So I ask you this, what is something you are telling yourself right now that isn't exactly the truth, is just a story you picked up along the way and made it your own? Now, how can you reframe it to be more truthful and aligned to who you are?


And for those of you that want to know exactly what it is I'm doing, here are the details. 

Workout

21 day fix extreme or 21 day fix
 

What I REALLY love about this workout, like the others I've done, is that I can do them from the comfort of my own home, they are 30 minutes and you walk away feeling like you got a killer workout. You can always add on another if you want a little more. Sometimes I'll add cardio or a 10 minute abs. What is really awesome is you feel and see results pretty quickly.

I love working out from home. I know this seems to be one of the biggest issues for a lot of people, they feel like they just aren't motivated enough, but seriously, the hardest part is putting on your workout clothes and pushing play. Once you are in it, you are in it and the 30 minutes goes by quickly. 

diet and nutrition

superfood shake: Vegan Chocolate

As I mentioned above, I don't really follow a particular diet. This program gives you a plan which is nice for anyone who needs more detailed guidance. I eat pretty intuitively, meaning, I listen to what my body is craving and ask why, then eat according to whatever answers I come up with. This isn't a freebie to eat poorly. If I'm craving junk, well, I know enough by now that I'm probably really craving more nurturing and love. 

I have added in a new superfood shake/smoothie. One thing about me is that I do not like a lot of over the counter shakes. They usually are way too chalky for me but this one is legit. I was a little nervous at first because I truly believe in getting our nutrition from real, whole foods but that is exactly what this is.  The ingredients in this are just that. 

The proprietary superfood formula was designed to provide you with vital nutrients to help you lose weight (if that is part of your goal), maintain healthy cholesterol, and support healthy blood sugar levels. A huge component of this shake is made up of super foods that I was taking already to support healthy digestion, energy levels, thyroid/adrenal support, and longevity. 

Look at these:

Protein derived from (helps build lean muscle and reduce cravings): Chia, Flax, Quinoa, Rice, Pea and Oat.

Super-fruit/antioxidants (immune support):  Camu-camu, acerola Cherry, Bilberry, Goji Berry, Green Tea, Luo Han Guo, Pmegranate, Rose Hips. 

Super-green and Phytonutrient Blend( support health and vitality): Moringa, Chlorella, Spirulina, Spinach and Kale.

Adaptogen Blend (helps body adapt and respond to stress): Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Cordyceps, Ginkgo, Maca, Maitake, Reishi, Schisandra.

Pre and Probiotic and Digestive Enzyme Blend (help absorb nutrients and support regular healthy digestion): Yacon Root, Chicory Root, Lactobacillus Sporogenes, Amylase, Cellulase, Lactase, Glucoamylase, Alpha-Lalactosidase, Invertase. 


So, if you know me you know that all of these ingredients are pretty sexy to me and I bet they sound pretty intriguing to you as well!

So, now you are probably thinking, I've read all the way down to the bottom, what's in this for me? What is this special offer just for me? 

Well, I'm thinking that maybe part of my story resonated with you. Maybe, like me, you want to feel your absolute best, despite your age. Maybe you are ready to let go of some of those old stories that have been circling around your head and adopt some new, life affirming and life changing ones. Maybe you, yourself are ready to join a challenge with me? 

Together, we can, not only change ourselves, but change the way we feel inside and out by leading by example, that no matter where you are in life, no matter what you have gone through, what you are going through, or where you are showing up from today, you can begin by saying yes, signing up and joining in the movement to brighten the world. 

I just think that is so amazing that we have the choice. Don't you?

Want to know more? Email me right now and let's start a conversation on how you can begin feeling your very best. The conversation is FREE, the changes you'll make, well, those are priceless!
 

 

Old Habits Sometimes Die Hard: Thoughts on Dating After Divorce

dating

Dating has been on my mind a lot lately. Some people may say, "but Amanda, you've only been out of your marriage for four months. It's way too soon to start dating" However, what I've come to realize is the complexity of each individual relationship is just that, complex. How to determine if you are truly ready to take that next step is personal and different for everyone going through this experience. Most of what I think about in all honestly is wondering when I will actually be ready to put myself out there again.  How will I know? How do I do it it? Tinder, through friends, dating sites? Is it now? Maybe three months from now? A year? I've been trying to identify what it will feel like when I am finally in an okay place to feel that kind of vulnerability once again. This thought alone makes my heart beat quicken. 

I keep telling myself that I’ll just know. My intuition, my gut, my all knowing, it will tell me.

Some days I feel really excited to explore this unfamiliar world once again and other days I feel like I'll never be ready, like I just need more time. A lot more time.

I need time to continue processing the end of a marriage that seemed too short but at times, far too long. There are days when I need more time to dive deeper, feel deeper, forgive, cry, try to understand. And then there are days, lots of them, where I laugh and smile and am filled with such an incredible feeling of hope and possibility and dating seems sexy and fun. 

I know I want to fully acknowledge and understand what I deserve and want from a new partner. Most importantly however, I just need more time to fall deeper in love with myself before I can fall in love with someone else. 

I use to view dating as this overwhelming obligation because I wanted the end result. I thought it would fix me, make me whole. I wanted what looked perfect on paper, to feel secure, settle down and have kids. I wanted to be in the throws of comfort, that all knowing and move on with the natural progression of what my preconceived ideas of marriage were.

Here I am however, back in a place I was once so happy to leave yet happy to be here once again.

Single. 

This time it’s different though. There is freedom. There is peace. There is excitement. There is possibility. There is adventure. There is a new love for myself, a new love for my life. It's organic and deep and it feels really good. 

Sure, I have days where I'm sad. The past few days have been that way. It creeps up out of nowhere and grabs hold of my tender heart but really it isn't that sneaky, it's always there. Sometimes we find the best distractions to fool us into believing that maybe it is gone. Until you look it straight in the eye however, it will always be there. 

Recently I found myself in a situation where I was flirting with danger. Literally. I had found a good distraction with the attention of someone I was really attracted to, someone I was growing to like, someone who was fun and exciting. Someone who from day one told me he was emotionally unavailable.

In the past, those words were like a drug to me. The more I heard it the more it was a challenge for me. “Oh yeah? I’ll show you. You wont be able to resist me.” 

Old habits die hard. 

It was like a game to me. Part of me wanted to make them realize how amazing I was and the other part of me found comfort and safety in hearing those words because I knew our rendezvous wouldn't last and I wouldn't have to fully expose myself. Eventually, I would end up hurt, and mending my broken heart once again. Within that pain there was also my comfort.

I flirted with danger for a couple weeks until I admitted to my best girlfriend that I was merely going down the same path I always go down. It was familiar, it's what I knew but I want my life to be different. I was preventing real growth and one day, real love from happening. 

I ended it before it really even began and was proud of my decision because it shows that I have come a long way. I am learning from my past. I have grown.

If I have learned anything over the years it is that people always tell you who they are and where they are right away and you must believe them. There is no amount of trying to convince someone that you are amazing and beautiful and funny and sexy. All which may be true but you shouldn’t have to convince anyone of anything. Most importably, you should believe it yourself and then the right person will see it too. They will be available in ways you’ve never experienced before as long as you are ready to receive it.

I think about what I want and deserve now and my priorities have completely changed. As I continue to get to know myself in a deeper, more profoundly loving way, what I want for my life and what I want in a partner is first and foremost, a kind of availability I've never been open to before.

I grow more excited about the possibility of a different kind of love, on a level that is deeper then I've ever experienced. This starts first with myself and then, when the time is right, with a partner.

There is a freedom that comes with putting yourself back out there and having some fun and exploring the world and those who are commingling in it with you. And then there is a freedom in trusting yourself and having your own back when you know something isn't right. 

When I finally arrive at a place where I feel ready to get back out there, which may be tomorrow or months down the road, I want to stay committed to myself, my hopes, dreams, wants and desires. I want to remember why I left my marriage to begin with and remain open to finding someone equally amazing and most importantly, emotionally available.

I am committed to breaking my old patterns and creating new, healthy ones because it's the only way for me to live now. Moving forward, not backwards. 

There is real opportunity here to continue evolving into the women I want to be and honestly, already am.. It begins by listening to my intuition in a way I haven’t in the past, to know that I am worth so much more then trying to convince someone of my specialness. No convincing should ever be needed because all you truly need is to believe in yourself, to love yourself enough.

There may be a lot of fish in the sea but I believe the right one is out there waiting for me just as much as I am waiting for him. In order to find each other we have to continue listening to what it is we want deep down inside, to continue living our own lives, finding happiness, joy and love within ourselves.

Our paths will cross and when they do we’ll look at each other with a knowing smile that simply says, “Oh hey, there you are.”

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