Tiny Thoughts

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Saturday, May 9, 2020

Body Acceptance with Jenelle

The point of my blog is to create a positive conversation about women, mental health, and body acceptance. I wanted to add another element to this conversation and bring in powerful women to talk about these topics. That being said, I was able to interview Jenelle (pictured above). Jenelle is a mom, creator of Burk & Co, ambassador for Aerie, and much more. Her lifestyle blog is something to talk about. She discusses stories from her life and hopes to have this give people hope and encourage grace. I wanted to interview her because I absolutely love what she stands for. Jenelle also happens to be an ambassador for Aerie. Aerie is an extremely popular company for girls. I know, for me, I absolutely love their clothing and what they stand for. I wanted to ask her about being an Aerie partner and also her thoughts on body acceptance. I hope Jenelle sharing her story will create a positive conversation.

1. Why did you decide to partner with Aerie? 

Actually Aerie approached me. When I receive the email I couldn’t say yes quick enough. I have been shopping with American Eagle for years and with aerie since they opened in 2006. I’ve been following along with aerie in recent years and have fallen in love with everything they are about.

2. What do you feel is the most important part of what Aerie does?

I love that aerie includes everyone. When you shop on their website you feel welcomed because the models look like you or someone you know.

3. What are your thoughts on body acceptance? 

That’s a big question. I can really only speak to my own body but the road to body acceptance can be a long one. As women we have been trained to think we need to look a certain way. Which can cause you to constantly talk yourself down. Now that retailers and media are starting to promote with all types of bodies. It will start to be easier to accept ourselves as well as help the younger generation to accept their bodies sooner.

4. Have you ever struggled with accepting your own body? If yes, how have you handled that? 

Absolutely. I just turned 30 and have been pregnant 4 time’s and have two kids. I really have only just started feeling comfortable in my own body. There were years I hate my body for failing me with miscarriages, gaining weight because of depression and then completely changing during postpartum. For years I would try and find a quick fix to lose weight and try different programs ( I’m guilty of trying to do one this year even) I would lose a little end up going off track and then be down on myself.

5. If you could tell your younger self one thing what would you say? 

Be brave, this doesn’t last forever, enjoy yourself a bit.
Honestly I hated school, once I graduated was when I started to thrive. I was bullied when I hit puberty and in high school I was the “fat friend” to the pretty girl. I was probably a size 12 through high school. I convinced myself I was invisible because if I was invisible then no one would call me out on my size. I wouldn’t socialize for fear of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. I missed out on a lot. Sometimes I wish I could go back and be a little more outgoing or find a better group of people to hang out with or wish I had more positive self talk. If I could have known how self talk can be you’re own worst enemy I would have been so much more social. Thankfully over the years I have reconnected with classmates only to find out I wasn’t invisible and all of them made comments to the extent of “I wish we could have been friends in school but you were so quiet”. But instead of looking back I look forward and I am very happy with where I am now.

6. What advice would you give a young girl struggling with body positivity?

Oh girl! You will move mountains. Don’t let your body define you, you need to define your body! For every negative thought you need to say at least two positive things. Put post it notes of positivity around your mirror and read them to yourself every morning or before bed. Sounds cheesy but it works. Find a mentor or big sister to walk you through the hard parts and celebrates the wins with you. One of the things that has really helped me get to the space of positivity and body acceptance is talking to a counsellor or therapist. Making it okay and to encourage young women to talk to professionals or find someone they can confide in is important. My hope for the younger generation of girls is that this silent fight that we are in with media and retailers to be inclusive will help to create a mind set that every body is different and that’s okay. I hope that one day it will be just a little bit easier for women to accept their bodies big or small.

If you would like to check out this amazing woman, Jenelle you can find her on Instagram @burknco


Monday, April 27, 2020

What People are Struggling with During Quarantine...

It's OK Not To Be OK |

While I never want to draw attention away from the countless deaths this virus has caused, I still want to make sure other important issues are being talked about, like mental health. We are all stuck at home with our thoughts right now. For some people, this can be dangerous. Many people are also losing out on major events in their life such as graduations, proms, and weddings. People are also having their life plans disrupted or pushed back. We need to remember that everyone has the right to grieve during this period. Now, more than ever is the time to take care of OURSELVES. We need to remember, though, to be gentle. This is not a time to be exhausting yourself. Our bodies are going through a global pandemic and that in itself is pretty amazing. That being said, I thought it would be helpful to have some of my friends share their struggles and how they might be dealing with them. This is to remind you that you are NOT alone. 

Viv: During quarantine, I'm struggling with working from home and not being able to decompress or step away from work. I felt like I was sleeping in my office so now in the morning I have a get ready routine so I don't going directly from my bed to my desk. I've started to move around during the day and get up from my desk more. At 5 when I'm done work, I shut everything down and tell myself to start "me" time and I avoid reflecting on work until the next morning when I clock back in.

Cat: Something that I have been having a hard time with during quarantine is loss. Throughout my college career (2016-now) I have always had a rough spring semester. I had really thought this was my year, senior spring semester, graduation just in sight! The semester was off to a decent start but then I got some unexpected news of the passing of a friend. One month later and this loss has been magnified through the loss of the rest of my undergraduate career. No more senior celebrations, no honors recognition, and as of right now... no graduation ceremony.  I know that the current situation is necessary and extremely important, but this loss is hard to process. The first few weeks were okay, however now a month later I’m starting to get back on track. I’ve made a happiness jar where I record one good thing to happen each day and I make sure to get a least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. These two things have greatly helped me, sure there are days that are harder than others but finding things that I can do to make myself feel good has become a huge priority during this time. I know this isn’t easy now, but I think I’m starting to see the lesson in it. My body and mind needed attention and now I am starting to become happier than I’ve been in a long time.  

Nikki: So I was scheduled to take a CNA class in May to become a certified nursing assistant. This would allow me to work through the school year to get hours to apply to PA school. Now with all this craziness I can’t take the class for the certification and can’t work for the hours. Needless to say, I’ve accepted that I’m going to have to take a gap year after college to get hours to apply to PA school. Basically, my whole plan is ruined.

Thank you to my amazing friends for being brave and sharing their quarantine stories! Now, more than ever is the time to reach out to a friend. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Stop saying "It's Okay", it's not.

The Art and Responsibility of the Apology | Unpublished Ottawa

   This past semester, I had the biggest privilege to student teach in a 2nd-grade classroom. Throughout this journey, I learned so much about teaching, but I also learned extremely valuable life lessons. I remember one day the kids came inside from recess and there was an altercation between the two students. At this time, I was still in the observation stage so I was able to witness how my cooperating teacher handled this confrontation between two students. She made each student state both of their sides to the story and it turned out, as usual in 2nd grade, that is was just a miscommunication. My co-op then asked the students to both apologize to each other. After one of the students apologized the other student replied with "it's okay". Me, thinking this was normal, looked at the other student waiting for their apology, but my cooperating teacher said "don't say that, try saying "thank you for the apology", we don't want anyone thinking behavior that hurt you is okay". I was shocked by this. This was honestly never something I had thought about being so important, even into adult life. After my co-op handled the situation, I said to her that she just turned on so many light bulbs in my head. I could think of countless times I told someone it was okay even when they hurt me. I could easily say this was one of the most valuable things I had ever learned. We as people need to stop allowing behavior that hurts us. There are so many ways to reply to an apology without making it seem like the behavior was okay. You could say things such as, "I accept your apology", "I hear you", or "I appreciate your apology". When you tell someone something was okay it's giving them the right of passage to do it again. We need to learn to stop saying "it's okay" when it isn't. 


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Body Acceptance over Body Positivity

At the age of 22, I have heard of and seen more people with body image issues and eating disorders than I should see in a lifetime. Luckily, we have many outlets that are available to help us and get the word out. But, unfortunately, those outlets are always not the best.
It seems that we tend to live in a world of "body positivity", but I believe we should live in a world of "body acceptance".
Many people accept the term "body positivity", but others do not. When you are telling someone to be positive about something, especially their body it can lead them down a path of spiraling negative thoughts. Some people might feel that if they are incapable of feeling positive about their bodies then they are doing something wrong. If someone is feeling ashamed of their body, telling them that they shouldn't can be harmful. This can make someone feel guilty. Often times, this feeling of guilt can bring on "fear motivation". This is a term that I have recently discovered and had made myself aware of. This means that you are changing yourself out of fear to look a certain way. This is not where healthy change comes from. Rather than guilting ourselves or scaring ourselves into changing, if you really want to change you need to accept yourself. This leads me to why body acceptance is so important.
Everyone has their days where they don't like their body. No matter what you look like. That is a normal feeling. Some days you're going to completely pig out on Ben&Jerrys and some days you're going eat as healthy as possible...and guess what? That is OKAY. We need to start accepting ourselves at every moment possible, even at the bad ones. We need to understand that sometimes it is okay to not feel positive about ourselves, we just have to accept it and make sure we don't let one bad thought turn into a bad day, week, or even a lifetime.
Attached below is a 5-day challenge to get you into the mindset of acceptance. I challenge you to do it. The photo is from @thefabstory on Instagram! I highly suggest following them.


Monday, April 13, 2020

Trying this thing again...

If you're reading this, you most likely know that I have started this blog many times before. You might be thinking that I am just going to do a few posts and not follow through again. If this was about 6 months ago, or even a month ago, you would have been correct.
Since the world has come to a halt in the past month, I have had nothing but time to think. I have thought a lot about my past and my intentions for the future. I realized the joy of independence and the importance of self-love and self-care. Within those categories, comes my happiness. One of the things that makes me the happiest is writing and bringing happiness to other people. That is what I am doing now. I am restarting this blog and choosing happiness. I have gained a new mindset and I am more than excited to start this CONSISTENT journey. 
Please explore my website and feel free to give me ideas for weekly writings! I will be uploading at least twice a week.

choose happy.
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