This year, life caught up with me and kicked me in the **s. Instead of drowning in my struggles, I decided to fight the current and try to claw my way back from the abyss of stress, anxiety and misery. Thus, this list of personal development books was born.
You see, I figured out that the habit of exposing yourself to inspirational messages on a daily basis can CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Seriously, I’m not kidding you. IT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!
On the day that this really “clicked” for me, I made this video for my nutrition clients – check it out if you want to hear more of my thoughts about why this habit can be a game-changer for you. Then scroll down farther to see a list of personal development books that I plan on reading.
Personal Development Books
In no particular order, these are the books on my list! I usually put them on “hold” at the library – currently, I have 50 titles on hold – and read them as they become available. I haven’t finished all the books on this list, and I’ll continue to add to the list as I get suggestions from others.
These personal development books span a variety of topics, but all of them are bound together by the common thread of seeking a happier, more fulfilled life. They encompass creative thinking, business, time management, financial fulfillment, parenting, marriage and much much more!
- Big Magic: Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert.
For me, this book was poignant and well-timed. Every page was a “right on” moment, for me.I wasn’t originally sure if this one was going to resonate with me at first, because my business isn’t really artsy fartsy or creative – I’m a fitness and nutrition coach! But then I realized that what I do as a coach IS an art. Helping others to reach their goals requires far more than technical knowledge – it requires creativity. So this ended up resonating with me quite a lot!It also helped me to realize that I need to have outlets for my creativity that have nothing to do with my work.
The Big Leap: Conquer your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level
4. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead,
5. Crush It!: 6. Essentialism: 7. Wild at Heart: 8. The 12-week Year: 9. The Universe Has your Back: The 10x Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure,
You Are A Bad Ass:
Do you run? I’ve dabbled in running for most of my “Fit” life – it’s so convenient and I love being in the great outdoors. I would by no means consider myself a great runner. About 10 years ago, I could hardly run two blocks (truth – just ask my husband. He thought I was faking it). I rarely go over 5 miles now and prefer shorter, faster distances…. but I’m still a much better runner now. Even with my improved performance, I’ve noticed my internal monologue isn’t so great when I’m running. “This is hard. I can’t wait to stop. Are we there yet?” Enter Sports Affirmations for Running.
Sports Affirmations for Running
Years ago, I decided to help change my inner monologue by making an audio track of positive statements about running. Affirmations had worked great for me when I had used them before, so I was excited to apply them to my athletic endeavors. Low and behold, my clients loved using the MP3s too. I made them for my golfers and tennis players, too.
Affirmations are positive statements that help to improve the way you feel about yourself and your athletic performance. As long as you have some shred of positivity about running and YOU running, these MP3s can help magnify those positive feelings and reset your inner monologue (Side note: Are you a complete negative Nancy about running? You’ve probably chosen the wrong way to get fit. I highly recommend contacting me, so you can find a way of getting fit that makes you JOYFUL!). Having a stronger mind means you will run faster and go farther – whether you are a beginner on those first few (very difficult) runs, or a seasoned athlete looking to push your pace in your next race.
After a successful stint on Amazon and ITunes, I’m offering my Sports Affirmations for runners FREE for a limited time. All you have to do is click here and sign up for my newsletter – after you sign-up, you’ll receive an e-mail with a link to your downloads (you can download Sports Affirmations for Golf, Sports Affirmations for Tennis AND Sports Affirmations for Runners!). Even better, you’ll be the first to know when I upload other FREEBIES and you’ll have access to exclusive articles that are only for my newsletter subscribers.
Photography by David Shields
Perfection Isn’t Perfect
As a fitness professional, it’s hard for me to show photos of my body when I feel like it’s not perfect. But perfection isn’t perfect.
I love being a model and I love being fit, but there’s no doubt that I’ve been affected by our body-culture just like everyone else has. The truth is, your body is beautiful at every size and every shape. Yet, saying that is so much easier than believing it.
In my blog post titled Embrace Your Face, I talk about how our mental image of the human face (and body) is skewed.
“You receive most of your ” visual” input from tv, internet and magazines. You see more different faces via technology than in person, walking around. So, your mental registry of what people look like is skewed to what you’ve seen in the digital world and not in the real world. You need to reeducate yourself and reset your mental encyclopedia of human faces. Spend time looking at faces of real people and not faces of models.”
I cannot stay in fitness-model-magazine-cover shape for every moment of my entire life. Why? Because it’s damn hard. It takes a lot of hard work, discipline and time. I don’t always have it in me. I’m not weak. It’s normal.
Confronting Body Image in Fitness Modeling and Beyond
The pictures we see in magazines are snapshots, single moments in time. Models prepare for those photo shoots for weeks, sometimes months. The difference between a fitness athlete’s off-season body and in-season body can be astronomical (granted it shouldn’t be). When you look at a picture of a fitness model, you don’t know a lot of what goes on behind the scenes. Some models maintain their physiques legitimately, calmly, healthily and happily. Many do not. All use tricks of the trade to enhance their appearance for the camera.
Most models practice water cycling before shoots, dehydrating themselves to enhance the look of their muscles. Sticking to low calorie diets means they sometimes isolate themselves from social situations that would create temptation and derail goals. Even worse, some models use banned substances to gain muscle and/or lose weight. And, at the end of it all, they have the benefit of retouching.
Yet those snapshots are immortalized in our minds – they have become a permanent standard that we hold ourselves too instead of a beautiful picture to appreciate. And they are beautiful. But they are not meant to diminish the beauty of other bodies, in other states and reflecting other priorities. We do that ourselves, within our own minds and our own culture. We do it by failing to present other examples of beautiful, different but just as worthy.
Breaking The Cycle
In the photo on this page, my priority was fertility. We were intent on having our second child and hadn’t been successful. My low body fat was a potential problem, although we weren’t sure if that was the root. I consciously chose to gain some fat. A few weeks later, a photographer asked me to come in for a fitness shoot (where he took the photo you’re seeing). I almost didn’t do it because I was too self conscious about my body. All my insecurities were coming out. Then I remembered a line from that blog post: “You need to reeducate yourself and reset your mental encyclopedia of human faces. Spend time looking at faces of real people and not faces of models.” You need to reeducate yourself and reset your mental encyclopedia of human bodies. Spend time looking at bodies of real people and not bodies of models. Don’t forget your own beauty because you are too busy remembering someone else’s. And so I did the shoot. And I thought it was beautiful. I thought my body was beautiful. And then I started sharing it with others, and they thought it was beautiful too. The simple act of sharing an “imperfect” snapshot in time helped me to ground myself and become stronger in my love for myself.
Be proud of your body, no matter what state it’s in. Perfection isn’t perfect.