In today’s episode, I’m sharing a Live Coaching Session with Ellie Anne Larsen. You’ll hear us talk about the difference between satisfaction and acceptance, a women's tendency to internalize problems, and, ultimately, what joy means for ourselves. As you listen to this conversation, I want you to be present and answer the questions for yourself and your own journey.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/236
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- The better questions you ask yourself, the better answers you’re going to receive (2:41)
- Difference between satisfaction and acceptance (6:16)
- Acceptance is both a personal and social thing (7:42, 8:15)
- Put up personal boundaries (11:47)
- Stand up for yourself (12:33, 12:55)
- We need compassion for ourselves (21:04)
- You shouldn't internalize that everything is your fault because there is a reason why you are here at this moment (24:52)
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio episode number 236.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:47
Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke. And today is a live coaching episode. Every once in a while, I like to bring on questions that people ask, and the following coaching conversation that I have with people. One, because in this episode, or in this coaching session, we answer a really important question and that is, “How can I be satisfied with where I am presently?” This is a really common question. You may have even thought this question yourself, “How do I have acceptance for who I am or what I look like today, even if I have goals, and does that acceptance of who I am, change my drive and my motivation towards hitting those goals.”
Amber B 1:32
So in this coaching session with Ellie, you'll hear us talk about the difference between satisfaction and acceptance, so I actually talk through that difference, what it means to be satisfied and what it means to accept. We talk about the tendency that we have as women to internalize problems rather than recognize the external factors that come into play. If you have not listened to Episode 102 of the podcast, it's a rant, it's called, “You Are Not The Problem.” I highly recommend after listening to this episode, going and listening to Episode 102 because I dive deeper into the topic of the internalization that we have a lot of times of labeling ourselves as failures rather than looking at the external circumstances and recognizing that oftentimes, we're just trying to fit a round peg into a square hole, and then the last thing that we talked about in this coaching session is what brings us joy, and recognizing when you know what brings you joy, then you can focus on the right things.
Amber B 2:41
Now, as you're listening to this coaching conversation, you'll start to notice that my job, as a coach, is not to sit here and lecture Ellie or tell Ellie what to do. I do some teaching in here, and I do flush out some things with her, but my job is to help, guide her as a coach, and so you'll hear that I spent a lot of the time asking questions of Ellie, and the great thing about listening to a coaching conversation like this is that you can ask those same questions to yourself, and the better questions you ask yourself, the better answers you're going to receive. I make the point a lot that a lot of us are asking really terrible questions, and so we're wondering why we're getting terrible answers. Well, it's because your questions aren't great, and if we ask ourselves better questions, we get better answers, so as you listen to this coaching conversation, I want you to stay present to answering these questions yourself for your own journey, and seeing where we wrap up in this journey of self-acceptance and satisfaction of where you're at presently. Especially if that's something that has been an issue for you.
Amber B 3:53
Alright, let's jump into the coaching conversation with Ellie.
Amber B 3:57
Hi, Ellie. How are you?
So great, I'm just going to tune you up a little bit. There we go. Yeah, so good. How are you?
Amber B 4:06
I'm doing really well. Okay, so will you tell everybody the question or what you want to get coaching on today?
Yeah, so my question was just how you can be satisfied with yourself presently. I think that as women at least for me, personally, I always think that you can finally accept yourself if you're at the place that you've been, and I feel, especially on social media, you see things and it's kind of motivation pictures. Like, “That is going to be when I'm the happiest. That's when I'm going to finally reward myself with clothes or maybe even remind or reward myself by going out.” And I think we fail and especially me personally, I felt to just stay in the present and try to be satisfied with the progress that either I made, or that I haven't made, or just accept yourself in your insecurities so that's just kind of what I wanted to have answered.
Amber B 5:06
Awesome. Cool. So do you use the word satisfied? Like, “How can I be satisfied with where I'm at?” So what does satisfied mean to you?
I think that satisfied just kind of means, “I think no guilt with anything.” I think that it also just means no, I think you're just confident, you're just naturally confident. You don't need to play a game or try to be something that you aren't. You're just satisfied with life, you just kind of go with everything. If you make a mistake, you don't burn yourself out of it. You just kind of keep going. You're just happy.
Amber B 5:47
Okay, cool. And do you feel you're at that place right now? Or is that someplace that you'd like to get to?
I think it's kind of hard right now. I'm about to graduate college, so it's kind of hard to be satisfied just at the moment because you have still so many goals physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. And just trying to be satisfied at the moment. I think that to me, personally, I'm so much looking toward the future, and what I need to do. That's hard to be present.
Amber B 6:16
Okay, cool. Okay, so I'm going to offer you an alternative word to the word satisfied because I actually don't think that we should ever be satisfied. I think that is part of the growth perspective of this growth mindset, this idea that “Life to me is about growth.” And that doesn't ever stop. I don't think when you hit a certain weight, or age or life, whatever that desire to change and to grow should ever go away, so I'm going to replace the word satisfied with the word acceptance because the other thing that satisfied– because what the connotation that I usually associate with satisfied, and, maybe people listening can kind of relate, is when we're satisfied with something, we don't reach for anything else. We just are happy where we're at, we don't need to do anything else, and I think happiness comes from growth, not achieving anything specific but it comes from continuing to push ourselves to grow. I think that's where a lot of happiness comes from, and so I'm going to substitute the word satisfied with the word acceptance, and I think when we can focus on and work on is acceptance of where we are at because once we get to that place of acceptance, that becomes a really powerful breeding ground for whatever it is that we would like to create. So how does the word acceptance land for you? Does that resonate with you?
Yeah, I think that acceptance is both a personal and it's also a social thing. I think that sometimes we get in the mindset that being accepted is more social, but like “I'm gonna be accepted by other people.” So I think it's really hard to get into the mindset of, “If you're accepted, even just by yourself, then what other people think of you doesn't really matter.” But that is– I have struggled with that forever. It's way easier said than done.
Amber B 8:11
Yeah, how old are you, girlfriend?
Amber B 8:15
I was as emotionally mature as you are. That's awesome. Even the fact that you recognize that differentiating between personal acceptance and social acceptance, that's awesome. I'm really proud of you that you even can tease that out in your mind because those are different things, social acceptance, and personal acceptance. And just like you so wisely said, when we get to that place of personal acceptance, we can let the other acceptance go. I don't know if you listened to and it's okay if you didn't, I'm not mad at you, but anybody else who's listening to this conversation, listen to the podcast episode on Tuesday this week because it was a coaching conversation that I had with a woman, and we talked about what other people think about like needing that validation from other people, kind of like you're talking about that acceptance from other people, and where that need comes from. It comes from if we can't provide that to ourselves, then we go outside of us looking to appease that, and that happens with a lot of people with acceptance is if we can't get to that place of acceptance inside, personally, like you were talking about, then we do. We go outside, and we look for societal acceptance, we look for validation from other people, and when we're doing that, then we're It's like being thrown out into the ocean where the waves go and the ebbs and the flows, and you're like, “We can't control the ocean. It just kind of takes you, and whatever the ocean wants to do with you.” And that's what happens when we place that validation and that acceptance external to ourselves. So, man, you're already doing so awesome, so when you said, and you're not alone with that, it's really easy to say that, and then it's hard to do that or to have that show up regularly in your life. What does that specifically look like for you? What does that sound like in your head? Where do you feel like that struggle goes?
I'm just kind of where the socially and the personal kind of it's hard to say.
Amber B 10:08
When you said, “It's easy to say and it's hard to do.” And when I heard you say from that, it's like, “If it's easy to say that if I accept me, then it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks.” That's easy to say but really hard to do. What does that sound in your head when you're in that place where this is hard?
Yeah, I think that just kind of where I am right now is kind of hard just because I'm single, and so especially growing up, there was a lot of, and it wasn't anything directly, but there was a lot of focus on the way you look, and so even growing up, I'm thinking the only reason why I'm maybe not married is that I look a certain way, and so it's hard to come back to yourself and be like, “Yeah, I may be mean it. I make some mistakes as far as some things that I've done but that shouldn't matter but then you're like, “But wait, I could have done better.” And then you start thinking about men, people maybe make comments at you, and they're like, “Hey, age.” And I don't know if they've definitely had places where I did really good. I got to a certain place, I looked awesome, and then I go to a family reunion and people are like, “Oh, what happened?”, “I don't know.” So it's those moments where you're just– it's hard to just say no. Like, “Yeah, this is what happened.” Or like, “I don't know, it's kind of hard.”
Amber B 11:43
Or it's because it's none of your business.
Amber B 11:47
Right. None of your business. And I think, bringing those personal boundaries, you're right. In society, for some reason, it has become okay to comment on people's appearance or what they look like or what they weigh and I think that is dumb for lack of a better word, and I think that we put up those boundaries can be a really powerful thing for you to be able to do like, “No, it's not okay for you to ask me that question. That makes me feel really uncomfortable. End of the conversation.
And I think it's a good way of just– I think that's a good way of staying personally connected with yourself if you allow yourself to not go along with those kinds of comments towards yourself.
Amber B 12:33
Yes. Okay. So this is a really good point that you just made. It is you standing up for yourself, so I want you to think about if you were standing next to your friend, and somebody was saying something mean to your friend, and you stayed quiet, and you didn't say anything, how would your friend perceive that?
Yeah, she would think that you're not your friend.
Amber B 12:55
Right? You're not my friend. You didn't even stand up for me when someone was saying something mean to you, and so if it was your friend, we would speak up, and we would say, “Hey, this is my friend. Don't talk about her that way and I think when we start to internalize that, that's a way to kind of look at a situation from a higher level when we put ourselves back in that situation. Recognize that's essentially what we're doing to ourselves when we stay quiet in those situations is that we aren't being a friend to ourselves, we aren't being there for ourselves and that causes almost a disconnect where it's like, “Who's gonna stand up for you if you don't stand up for yourself?”
Nobody. It's stripped down.
Amber B 13:37
Yep. Yeah. Okay. So something I want to go back to is something I heard at the very, very beginning that I kind of had just cataloged in my brain. You had said something to the effect of talking about that is a very common thought process of, “When I get there, then I will be happy,” right? “When I get there, then I will be able to feel loved.”, “When I get married, then I will be able to feel loved.”, “When I get the six-pack, then I will feel better.”, “When I lose the 20 pounds, then I will be confident.” It's like when I flex and it's almost like, tell me if this resonates with you, it's almost like we withhold happiness, pleasure, joy, any of those good emotions from ourselves in order to motivate us to get to that place. Does it feel like that for you? Sometimes it's like, “Well, if I love myself here, I will lose motivation to get there, and so if I can withdraw that and hold that from myself now, I'll be more motivated to get to where I want to go.” Does that resonate with you?
I don't think quite. I think it resonates to a point, but I don't think it resonates all the way because it kind of does because it's more of just– okay, here's how I think of it right now. Here's the thing: I love food, I love food so much. Food is the best thing ever and I'm a foodie. I love to bake, if anyone has seen my Instagram, it's all cakes, and everything that I baked, so I've been dieting, and I've been trying to lose weight, and I've been going up and down since I was 14, and so the moments where I can't engage in, like acts of pleasure, so maybe going out with my friends and maybe buying a new shirt because I like, “Well, I'm gonna lose that weight anyway.” And it ends up not happening or I'm not gonna get what I wanted in her restaurant. It's kind of what's the point?
Amber B 15:39
Yeah, and I want you to see and just start to notice how, on some level, you're withholding joy from yourself at the present. It's like, “I can't buy that shirt until I get to that certain size, or I can't enjoy this food out with my friends until I'm content with the stress or whatever.” So it's almost an element of withholding that on yourself. Okay. It's okay.
It's all about vulnerability, people. It's important.
Amber B 16:09
Right? And at 23, you already know that. Again, it's a weapon. You're doing awesome, but we will withhold that from ourselves sometimes, and typically, there is an element of like, “If I do that.” It's a technique that we use to try and motivate ourselves, and what I want you to start to realize, and maybe you're starting to, maybe this is what's coming up a little bit for you is this recognizing that doesn't work in a parent-child relationship, that what doesn't work in a friend-to-friend relationship, that doesn't work in a “Boyfriend or girlfriend or girlfriend or girlfriend or whoever you are relationship” where we if we said to that other person, “Well, I'm just gonna withhold my love from you until you change or do exactly what I want,” that would be what's called a toxic relationship, and yet, we do that a lot to ourselves where we're withholding that pleasure enjoyment of life, love from ourselves until we've hit some sort of milestone.
Why do you think we do that? Especially as women?
Amber B 17:16
Well, okay, so I think it's so important that you pointed that out because I do see there's a bit of patriarchy as well in this. Where I see this a lot in women where when something goes wrong, we blame ourselves, and men, is obviously a generality, but men often blame the system. “What's going on?” Everything is external to ourselves and here's a really funny example of that. So I wear contacts, and I wear hard contacts, which most people have disposable dailies. My husband has disposable dailies, but I have really bad eyesight, so I wear hard contacts, and just recently, over the last couple of months, my right contact has been bugging me a bunch. It's been feeling it was dry or it just was really irritating me, and I just kind of was dealing with it. I just went to the eye doctor this last week, and he was looking at my condo. He's like, “Oh, you're right. Contact is stuck to your eye. There's not enough room. It's just not. It's not breathing. That's why it's been irritating to you.” And I was like, “Oh my gosh! this whole time I thought I was doing something wrong. My eyes were dry or something was wrong.” And he's like, “No, there's something wrong with the contact.” And I went home, and I was telling my husband this, and he was like, “That's so funny that your first initial reaction was that something was wrong with you.” He was like, “If it was me, I would have been like, ‘what's wrong with the contact?'” And I just had this moment. I was like, “You're right. My initial reaction was something was wrong with me rather than his, which is something was wrong with the contact.
Amber B 18:46
And I think that often a situation that we as women put ourselves in is when there's something wrong, we internalize it, and we say, “What's wrong with me?”, “What's wrong with the way I look?” Rather than, “What's wrong with all of the guys who are really superficial and not getting to know me for who I am? And they're just looking at me making judgments?” We say we try to fix ourselves instead of saying, “No, I need to be fixed.” The person who comes up to you with the film or you didn't, you didn't do anything wrong. The person was in the wrong. They need to be fixed and yet we internalize them. We say, “Oh, I need to fix myself.” Instead of saying, “No, I'm great. I'm amazing. I'm just like I'm supposed to be. I'm at the spot where I'm supposed to be in life right now and you, sir, are in the wrong. You, sir, are the one that needs to change.”
I feel I need to be pressing the heart pump. But just like, “Heart, heart, heart.” Everyone should listen to that.
Amber B 19:38
Yeah, but I mean, but doesn't that make sense to you? Do you feel yourself doing that sometimes? I've seen like “I'm the problem” rather than, “They’re problems around me.”
Yeah, for sure. Yeah, it totally makes sense, and I heard this like forever ago, and I'm just kind of– and it was something along the lines of like, “Your body is the least interesting thing about you.” And I'm like, “Yeah, the main reason why we are taking care of our bodies is so that they're well-fueled machines. We can do things that we want to do. If we have to move, we can lift that box, or if we want to go to the park with our kids, we can keep up with them.” It's all those things that some of us were like, “No, the reason why we're going to the gym is so that it's all based on looks. I mean, I can see people even at the gym that are like that, and I had a “come to myself moment” the other day where I was like, and there was this guy that was lifting and just looking at himself in the gym. I don't want to be with a guy like that. Even if he does look like that, that is so superficial. And that's just not– that's not right. I don't want to just be like that.
Amber B 21:04
Yeah., and I think we also need can have some compassion for ourselves because it's one of the reasons it's easy to say that and hard to do it is because there are a lot of societal pressures, there are a lot of cultural pressures. There are research studies that show that beauty gets you further in life. There is fat phobia there. Those societal things exist in the world that we live in, and so for so long, so many of us have been told that our beauty is our currency, our beauty, the size of our body is the way to get what we want, or the life that we want, or the career that we want and the sad thing is that their part of there is some truth to that and so it is this back and forth of realizing that society does need to change, and we can play a part in that and a role in that change and one of the best ways that we can fight against that is for individual women to stand in the place of power and acceptance and saying, “No, no, I'm not the problem. You're the problem.” This is not a me problem and we can be in that place.
Amber B 22:14
This isn't a me problem. And saying, “I want to grow, I want to change, I want to hit this aesthetic goal.” I think people feel you have to be an either-or camp. You have to be in the camp of, “I'm gonna accept my body, it's perfect the way that it is, and I don't need to change anything, and I never need to grow at all, and recognize that you can say that, “I am perfect, I am worth it, I am everything I need to be right now in this very moment, and I want to get a six-pack, and I want to eat healthier, and I want to get this career, and I want to graduate, and we can have this. We can stay in this beautiful world of this both and of, “I'm enough.” And, “I recognize that when I set goals, I grow whether or not I hit that goal. I grow through that experience, and, again, bringing it back to kind of what I said at the beginning, I think growth is what makes us happy. Growth is the purpose of life is that process.”
I think it's any kind of goal that you accomplish, and I think so often, it's always physical, and people forget that there are other goals that you can do, which are just as important.
Amber B 23:30
100%. And I would even change that to not a goal you accomplish, but a goal you attempt because I think that there are not goals that are not only valuable when you hit them. Goals are valuable because they align your vision in the way that you want to go, and you change as a person as you reach for them whether or not you actually achieve them. And so, yes, having this conversation of like, “What are the goals that we can have outside of the realm of fitness?” And, “What do I want from my life?”, “What do I want to create?” And recognizing that even if we don't achieve that, that in the process of trying to achieve it on working to achieve it, we, ourselves, develop and grow and change and become in a way that is incredibly beautiful, whether or not you are able to check that goal, and that changes your relationship with goals.
And so just like, “If I fail it, well, I'm never gonna do it again.”
Amber B 24:19
Totally. Yeah, exactly. Which is where a lot of people go. They like, “Label that and that's a failure and I'm never gonna do that, again, that felt terrible.” We focused on the process, then the end result becomes much less important because it's the process that is as beautiful. So, Ellie, that's good stuff on this one. You brought up a lot of really great conversations. I'm curious, what is the thing that you're going to be taken away from In this conversation? What was that “aha moment” for you or that piece that you're going to want to remember?
I think that's just the piece that I always want to remember since that moment with the example of your contact that you shouldn't internalize that everything is your fault because there is a reason why you are here at this moment and so I think that that was the main reason you should be accepted of yourself is there is a reason. This isn't a punishment that you're where you are, it's more of just a blessing and you should use this opportunity to make new goals to grow and just to have that time to recognize that where you are is great but you'll still be great in three years.
Amber B 25:34
Yeah, I love the question of what can I learn right now. Especially, when I'm in those hard moments, right? I'm in those hard times that I don't really love where I'm at. I like to ask myself the question, “Okay, but I'm here. Whether I like it or not, I'm here, and what can I learn here?” And I think that not saying like, “Life is always great and there are hard moments and there are terrible things that happen and we can feel sad, and we can feel all those emotions, and we can get to a place that's like, “Yeah, this sucks and what can I learn? What is possible for me to learn at this moment?” So good. Ellie, you, my friend, are wise beyond your years and I'm just really grateful that you came on.
Of course, of course, thank you so much for having me.
Amber B 26:23
Of course. So good. Awesome.
Amber B 26:26
Guys, so that was free coaching Friday. I hope that was beneficial for you. If you are watching the replay, and you made it all the way to the end, comment, “#replay.” It's always interesting to me to see who actually makes it to the end and comment on your takeaway. Just like I asked Ellie, about her takeaway, the thing that's beautiful about group coaching is that Ellie has a takeaway that's pertinent to her and to her journey, and my guess is that as you were listening, there was something that was pertinent to your journey, and so that may be totally different than what Ellie heard in our conversation, and so I would love it if you listed your takeaway in the comments, and just send what was something that you learned from that you'll be taking for your journey? Awesome. Thanks, Ellie. Thanks, everyone.
Amber B 27:13
Have a great weekend. We'll see yah
Amber B 27:16
Hi, everyone. I hope that was an enlightening coaching conversation. One of the things that are really important after coaching is to get into action. And so I would challenge you don't just be the person who nods through this whole thing and has these epiphanies and these takeaways and, and yet doesn't put them into action. That is the next step. So how can you take what you learned today, take the aha was the breakthroughs that you had listening to this coaching conversation, and put them into action? One of those actions could be going back and listening to Episode one or two of the podcast. We'll link it up in the show notes. But it's called rant you are not the problem. And I dive deeper into this concept of us trying to fit ourselves into squares you know us as a round peg trying to fit ourselves into square holes and then blaming ourselves because we don't fit. So that's a great follow-up episode after this coaching conversation.
Amber B 28:10
If you are interested in being able to get coached live, I really highly recommend getting on the interest list for MACROS 101. That is where I do my coaching that is where I focus my attention. If you want the chance to get coached live by me, then that's the place to do it. We open up doors to MACROS 101 twice a year once in the spring and once in the fall that fall enrollment is coming up on August 29. So if you're wanting to be the first in line when we open doors, go to bicepsafterbabies.com/waitlist, and make sure you get on the interest list. We also have a fun new 14-day Macro Bootcamp. So when you get on the interest list for MACROS 101, you'll get that free 14 Day macro boot camp to get you started get you taking action you know now, and not have to wait all the time until MACROS 101 opens up. So again that's bicepsafterbabies.com/waitlist. That wraps up this episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm Amber, now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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