I didn’t know exactly how I wanted to raise my kids after I got married and we talked about starting a family, I just knew how I didn’t want to raise them. But boy did I not know what I was getting myself into until our first started talking back and saying “no”!
Seth and I agreed that we wanted to be super conscious about our parenting. We understood how we, being their parents, had a huge influence about how they ‘turned’ out and how they shaped their self esteem, how they would take defeat, etc.
Not until our oldest was about 2 1/2 almost 3, my biggest fear started showing up. It showed up and I would take it out on myself. I went to bed a lot beating myself up mentally because of this, this, and that that I did do or didn’t do during the day with my kids. I would feel guilty. I would feel like the worst mom and that my kids weren’t going to grow up feeling loved, valued, appreciated.
My biggest fear was that I was going to ruin my kids!
I was too involved in looking at pinterest and all the ‘1,000 Ways To Be A Fun Mom’. I would compare what I did with my son daily and it didn’t match up to everyone else around me that would take daily walks or weekly trips to museums. I didn’t go through the ABC’s a thousand times in the morning. I felt like a failure of a mom.
As he got older and a little sister came along, I felt like I was becoming worse. My son was getting older and wiser about talking to momma and mommy was not becoming wiser and talking less nicely. There were more “don’t do that’s” and “no’s”, then hugs, kisses, and “yes’s”. It ate at me and I’m sure, well I know, I was being harder on myself than was probably true. But it took a toll on me personally. I hated who I was as a mom. I was exactly who I DIDN’T want to be as a mom, I was doing all the things WAY TO OFTEN, that I knew I wanted to try hard to not do.
I quit looking at pinterest so much for “fun ideas” and tried to just get on their level more and be more interactive. I wasn’t always the most “hands on” mom.
Fast forward a few years and my oldest is now 5 1/2, my girl is 3 1/2 and we added another little guy who just turned one. At the beginning of this year is when I dove head first in wanting to change the way life was going. (It wasn’t horrible by any means) I just knew I was missing something. I knew I could feel more free and not trapped by thinking I was the worst mom to walk the face of the earth. I didn’t like how I felt about myself because of it. I wanted my kids to FEEL and KNOW that I loved them and not just because I randomly tell them throughout the day.
I learned something that made massive sense, but I had never even considered it or thought it.
How I treated my children was a reflection on how I felt about myself. Say Whaaa?! My own insecurities came out on how I reacted to things and showed love and discipline to them.
Then I started REALLY feeling bad, because I had also come to the realization that I did not think of myself very highly or treat myself how I would even want others to treat me. That added a whole new aspect of my biggest fear but at the same time made me want to get rid of all the lies I would tell myself. I didn’t want to be prisoner or victim to my own negative thoughts and I definitely did not want my kids to feel that or LEARN that from me.
I was hanging out with a friend/mentor and I was expressing how it stressed me out to the MAX thinking about all the emotional things I was doing wrong with my kids and how I was ruining them and the thoughts they had about themselves and on and on. She said to me, “You’re kids were already ruined by coming to this earth. And plus, there is always Simply Healed.” (The sessions I started doing beginning of this year to release and re-write the lies and negative thoughts I had told myself all growing up. I laughed, but it’s so true. Our children were perfect before they came to this earth and received a body. JUST by them doing that, they were “ruined”. It does me NO GOOD, by stressing over that daily. It does my self esteem and how I view myself no good at all. Plus, there are ways to release the emotional trauma that we go through 😉
Just her saying that one sentence totally changed my perspective and it was one that really needed to be changed. Instead of just loving on my kids and teaching them by following inspiration, I was sooo worried that I was ruining them, that I wasn’t loving, I wasn’t opening up myself to listen and parent according to what my children’s needs were at that time. And in turn, I was just punching myself further into the negative mental and emotional cycles without even being aware of it.
The more and more I release and do those things I need to to learn and increase my self love, the more I notice I’m able to be more “free”. I’m able to go with the flow of life and being a mom. “Mom” is my number one right now while my kiddies are young and at home. The more that I have focused on them FIRST and then got to what I needed to do, the better each day goes for me and them. The more I get down on their level and play what THEY want to play and do what they want to do, the more I learn to love myself I am able to love them in return more fully.
But let’s be real. Not every day is perfect. Some days are still pretty bad on my part. I’m still learning to choose my emotions and not let them get the best. There are still disagreements and sobbing over what mom is making for dinner. There are still alligator tears when they don’t get what they want. But I’m learning and growing. Learning and growing right along side of them. There are more awesome days then there used to be. More laughs and giggles. More forgiveness and love.
More love that stemmed from learning to love myself first.
I haven’t always purposefully done things to “stay healthy”. I don’t think it ever really occurred to me that I wasn’t as healthy as I could be. Somewhere along the line, I think I just took hold with a strong grip that what I was dealt, I was dealt and I just had to endure through life what that may be. It may stem from my thoughts of myself as not being very smart growing up and so I didn’t care to really delve into learning or really try to retain what I was being taught either.
Sure I took all the required health classes growing up and was always active but to me that is just what I enjoyed. I loved playing sports and being active so I didn’t ever really have ‘non-activity’ feelings to compare it to. After high school, I continued to play any intramural sport at college that I could and I always ate whatever I wanted to and LIVED off of sweets. Swedish fish and milk duds were top of the list. I chose to major in Physical Education and Coaching but still through most of that I never consciously tried to understand what it REALLY meant to be healthy. Half way through college, my older sister was in school to become a trainer and tried to help me understand the importance of eating healthy, but to me, it was too much thought and work to put into eating. All I knew is that it was good to be active and it will keep you healthier than if you didn’t.
After marrying my husband, I learned that he was a pretty conscious ‘health nut’. I remember the first time he suggested that we try and eat healthier. I was so offended! Haha. What, my cooking wasn’t healthy?! I decided to humor him and go along with his craziness. I started to slowly get what he was talking about but still thought it was too much effort to consistently try so hard at it.
THEN there was talk of oils. Essential oils. One night I started feeling the most severe stomach pain and was puking my guts out. I begged for him to take me to the doctor. It was one in the morning. He called his mom and then pulled out this shoe box, inside were a bunch of random sized amber colored glass bottles. He opened one up and told me he was going to rub some oil on my belly. I was ticked! Haha. Here I was in extreme pain (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit) and couldn’t keep anything down and he wanted to rub OIL on my stomach.
“Are you freaking kidding me?!”
Needless to say, I think I was so mad that he didn’t take me to the doctor that I couldn’t tell you if the oil did anything or not. I can’t even remember what it was he put on me. At this point all I could tell you was that I married a crazy man who ate ‘healthier’ and used oils for who knows what and started to talk about how I needed to control my own thoughts because what I thought is what I attracted.
“Alright, now my husband has officially lost his marbles.”
Like I started off with, I didn’t ever think that you needed to add anything extra into your body. What you were born with is what you got. Taking prenatal vitamins for my first pregnancy was a struggle. It was ‘too much effort’ to remember to take anything extra than the meals I was eating daily. I know, I know.
The next few years went on and I slowly, bit by bit started incorporating more healthy choices into my diet. Once again, it was when I joined Iron Rhino, an online fitness program, that I REALLY understood eating healthy and WHY it was so important. I joined about six months after having our second baby and was desperate for change. I was dealing with postpartum depression and just knew something was missing. Along with having 60 extra pounds to lose after that pregnancy, I was ready for change. When I joined, I dove in head first. I stuck to exactly what the trainer told me to do and it. was. awesome. I started to understand and feel the effect that unhealthy food choices had on me. How tired and sluggish I felt. I started to love this extra energy and enthusiasm I had for life by working out every day and eating 80-90% ‘clean’.
During the later part of that first year joining is where I really started to learn the power of our minds. I started to learn mental strength and talking about myself positively. Within that same time frame I met a girl that lived near me that I will forever be grateful for. She helped me understand our spirits and how powerful we as human beings are and instilled in me the love of wanting to help others learn the same. I started releasing blocks, for instance like thinking I wasn’t smart. I started understanding that I had value, I had worth and a purpose and that our bodies are something that we take care of and PUT IN healthy things to continue to be healthy. Our bodies are to be nourished. The bad taken out, the good put in.
I was also ‘re-introduced’ to oils by my older sister. I started to ‘get it’ and used them often. I was fully overwhelmed though by ALL the different options. Things kind of faded out with really trying to understand. I only used them if I remembered to or had something that needed some help physically.
Fast forward another few years and our family relocated four hours south of where we were living, and I was helping put together a health and fitness eBook. During this process, is where my sister and I really started learning about the power of our thoughts and minds. Also my husband, would ‘coach’ me along the way. He is an entrepreneur that totally gets all of this and has helped me to understand it but also help others understand it in simple terms.
During the beginning of launching said eBook, I started doing session calls to release negative emotion that I was holding on to and this is where I started to REALLY understand the power and NEED to love ourselves FIRST. We can’t give what we don’t have ourselves. I believe love is the most powerful thing and if we can learn to love ourselves, imagine the possibilities. Imagine the freeing feeling. No shame. No guilt.
Then it all started to kind of hit me like a ton of bricks. God has given us all these amazing tools to help us. To help us be healthy and learn to love ourselves. I started eating healthy and working out BECAUSE I loved myself. Not only because I wanted energy to keep up with my kids, etc. I started learning and understanding the power of essential oils not only as helping when I had a ‘problem’ but using them daily to support my health and emotions and being able to know exactly what was going on and in my body. I was on an awesome kick for a while and then went out of town and my routine fell to the wayside. I came back home and felt like I had been run over. I craved my routine, I craved my oils.
I realized that one of my blocks was that I didn’t feel worthy of any extra health benefits and that’s why I didn’t take the time to do it or understand it. I didn’t feel loved. I didn’t love myself. I wasn’t even AWARE that I didn’t feel worthy of care or that I truly did not love myself or my body.
Then I learned a step further. Our bodies will tell us what our bodies need. We can be so aware and in tune with our bodies that we know what we personally need to do exercise and health wise. I was stuck on the idea that you had to stick to one regimen to achieve a desired outcome. What I came to know is that, exercise should be fun. Period. That’s my number one and by doing this number two, I believe it will always be fun and something you enjoy. Number two is to listen to your body. If you want to run, go run. If you feel the need to lift. Go lift. Yoga? Go yoga it! Whatever your body needs, do it! You need exercise. It’s all about feeling healthy, strong, having energy, and feeling ALIVE!
The same goes for eating. Once you become aware and in tune with your body. You will feel what eating different foods does to you. Following an eating plan is great. It gives you a foundation, but also know that each of our bodies were created individually. So LISTEN to that individuality and do what is healthy for YOU and your body.
It has been SUCH a blessing and am thankful every day for the things that I am learning and have been introduced to to help me continually learn to love myself and all the different ways that I can fuel that love for myself.
This is our mission, this is our goal and hope that we can help others learn to truly love themselves and learn HOW to fuel that love because you ARE worth it. You DESERVE all the joy, health, love, and happiness that you desire and even more that you don’t even know is possible to have! We were created to have joy. We were created to love. So let’s start by creating YOUR love. Cozy up and learn with us as we share what we have found fuels your own love.
(Reading this may sound like my life was only horrible, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t. There were lots of awesome in my growing up. This just happens to be my story of my internal struggle with loving who I am. This is the realness of what went on onside my head.)
Growing up I had never really paid attention to my daily inner dialogue or was ever really aware of how I treated myself. I just went about each day trying to do and be the best of what I knew how at that time. I was always shy. I can’t recall on my own, but my mom tells me, I was always that way from the get go. As far back as I can remember, I would avoid conversation like the plague if I could, unless I knew someone really well. It was uncomfortable and I didn’t have much self confidence. This shyness around those I weren’t SUPER familiar with attributed to how I started to perceive myself, based on others perceptions of me because of said ‘personality’.
I did well in sports growing up and that was who I labeled myself as because that’s where my ‘confidence’ came from. It came because everyone knew Janica as ‘that Wood girl’ that was good at sports. I was pretty good. I’ll admit to that. I helped our soccer team take state my senior year as the PK (shoot-out) goalie. We won 3 games in a row going into shoot-outs to make it to the final game. I was named league MVP in basketball and got the Female Athletic Award at our School. I lived for sports. I felt important and could feel proud of myself there. I knew my teams counted on me.
I have always been taught from day one that I’m a daughter of God and I know that more deeply than ever before now, but growing up, I didn’t totally get it. All my confidence came from being known through sports.
I was always comparing myself to my two sisters. I have a sister 6 years older than me that gets along with ANYONE and immediately is their BFF. I have a sister 3 years younger than me that is the most bubbly, yellow personality whom EVERYONE loves. Then there was me. Janica. The shy one. Through the grapevine and sometimes straight to my face, I was called stuck-up, b***h, self-absorbed, etc. They saw me with my close friends being talk-a-tive and crazy, but if I was ever in a class where I didn’t know anyone really well I would stay to myself and get my work done then walk to my group of friends, sometimes without saying a word. In my eyes, I wasn’t as ‘likeable’ as my two sisters. The crowning moment that ‘proved’ that point was Jr. Miss. I participated in the program like my older sister, who won the Fitness Award, and also was named one of the runner ups. My younger sister also won the Academic Award and four or more other awards AND was named the Junior Miss of North Franklin.
That HAD to have meant I wasn’t as good as them and so I accepted that as a belief for me.
I was often, if not everyday, made fun of because of my ignorance to certain subjects and it became something that was pointed out and laughed at by sometimes my closest friends in group settings (usually consisting of guys I liked. And in high school, that was a big deal, right?! 😉 ).
I grew up thinking I was stupid and didn’t know anything. And I let that be a part of who I ‘was’. I did EVERYTHING I could to get out of math my Junior and Senior year of high school to avoid being put on the spot and looking dumb once again. Math did not come easy and it took a lot for me to understand what most all of my other classmates seemed to understand easily. I can’t even remember how it was possible, but I didn’t take math my Junior or Senior year and took two straight hours of art instead. I was good at art and no one could make fun of me in there.
I put myself in this victim mentality and I truly believed everything that happened to me or was said to me was how I really was and who I really was. I was Janica Wood, good at sports but shy, self-centered, stupid and not as fun or pretty as my other two sisters.
I was always sick growing up, too. The front desk at the insta-care in town knew me by name every time I walked in. I had mono in 7th grade, had intestinal flu, and I was a frequent to get allergy shots at another health center and had 2 sinus surgeries within a year of each other. No one else in my family was as sick as I always seemed to be.
So sports was my way of me feeling like I was important. I felt like a star there and I liked it there. But it was all coming from outside of me. So what happens when sports ended for me? I chose not to play at a few different junior colleges in Washington for basketball that were interested and instead chose the acceptance into Brigham Young University, merely on the fact that I felt like that’s where I was supposed to go and it must have been a miracle because SURELY there was no way that I was smart enough to get into BYU.
This is where it hit me that I didn’t have much self acceptance or self-esteem to live off of anymore. I cried many tears, okay okay more like I sobbed when my parents left to go back to Washington after dropping me off at BYU. I was rooming with one of my BF’s growing up, but she was a year older and our other four roommates she had already been roommates with for a year, so I was the only newbie and a freshman. That was hard. I cried a lot at night that first month and I’m pretty sure I went home once a month that first semester and it’s a nine hour drive.
I went from being, Janica Wood, ‘the one to watch’ in sports to 1 in 30,000 students on campus. It was rough. I felt like a nobody who was going to flunk out of college because I’m dumb. My roommates were awesome at making me feel accepted and we had good times, but deep down I tore myself apart. That first year, I wanted to be back in high school, I wanted to be on my ‘high of sports’. I wasn’t pretty enough, I wasn’t fun enough, I wasn’t smart enough, I didn’t dress cute enough. I always skimmed by doing the very least I could do to pass my classes in college. Classes where things didn’t come natural in learning, I struggled BIG time. I would stare at my computer screen with the thoughts on replay in my mind, “You’re stupid so how will you ever even really learn or remember any of this”, “If you go ask for help or get a tutor it will make you look even more dumb than you already are”.
During the beginning of my fifth year at BYU, I met my husband and we got married later that year. That brought a whole new aspect of things for me to compare me and my life to. BLOGS. I kept pretty busy my very last semester doing my internship and working, so it was after I graduated and had a job where they only needed me for a handful of hours each week that led to me blogging and blog stalking. I was looking for another job and couldn’t find one that fit my other schedule so I was home a lot. Then came more comparing. Comparing their perfect married life to my less than fantastic first year of marriage 🙂 It was a rough go and I’m positive now that my negative attitude toward myself and comparing to everyone else’s ‘perfect online lives’ contributed to that crappy first year. (Don’t worry, my husband would agree 100% with me that it was pretty craptastic).
I was a big fat mess in my head and I wasn’t even 100 percent aware of what I was doing to myself internally. But I put on a pretty good show on the outside. It got pretty bad at times but I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t know how to change it, I just felt like that was my lot in life and I just had to deal and there was nothing I could do.
I had our second child, and I suffered with post-partum depression. I wasn’t taking care of my body. I struggled with eating problems and had to stop nursing because my health was declining. I struggled with feelings that there was no use for me anymore.
Soon after that, my older sister introduced me to a fitness program she joined and was a part of. I wanted to do whatever she was doing just because she looked awesome and I wanted that physical appearance. I thought for sure if my body looked better, I would feel better about myself and it would fix everything. I knew there was something more to it that I was needing but didn’t know it at the time. She introduced me to Iron Rhino, an online fitness program. This is where I first started to really understand the power of my mental strength. I pushed passed physical limits that I didn’t even know were possible. This is where my wheels started turning and where I started to understand that I could be stronger than the girl I thought I was that looked back at me in the mirror every day. I was getting stronger mentally, but I didn’t quite get it yet.
The next few years I started learning more and more about the power of our minds and about strength and getting rid of old thoughts and beliefs. It was amazing and I felt amazing, but there was still something missing.
Then one day a mentor and friend of mine asked me this simple question in reply to something I had asked her. She asked, “How do you show love to yourself?”
I honestly did not know how to answer that because I had never even thought about that! I had to google “what is showing love to yourself”? I didn’t even know if I even did anything or what that would even entail! After reading through a few things I found, I fit A TON of the ‘not loving yourself’ column. I did do a couple of things but not with the intent of showing love to myself or doing these things solely because I loved me! They were usually things that I did so that I could be a better mom or wife, etc. A few weeks later I asked her that same question back to her and one of her answers were, “…basically I’m the nicest person to myself that I know”. That’s when it hit me. I am NOT nice to myself. I pick myself apart like nobody’s business. I don’t purposefully do things with the intent that I’m doing them because I love Janica.
That’s where things really started to change for me. I started reading ‘self-help’ books, I started purposefully making sure that I did things EVERY morning and during the day that fueled my ‘self-love’. I sought after anything that would help me grow and learn. I got a few mentors and had a lot of sessions that helped clear blocks that I had mentally. I was able to really get down deep. Sometimes it hurt, a lot of the times, I cried. My eyes were opened to the fact that I actually had hated myself and I hid it so deeply that I wasn’t even aware. I wasn’t even accepting all these things I was doing for myself to show myself love. I was doing all these things, but internally wasn’t accepting them. I was denying myself my OWN love because I didn’t think I was worthy of it and I didn’t even know.
Then I was able to be aware of how I was treating other people and noticed that when I took care of myself FIRST, WITHOUT feeling shame or guilt, I was able to be present with my kids and show them the love that they needed. It’s still a work in progress and some days definitely go better than others but it’s been an amazing start and turn around for me.
I now understand the value and importance of showing ourselves love first and then we are able to more fully love, serve, and take care of others around us. It opens a lot more doors, it keeps us on a higher energy level and is just a beautiful thing. I started noticing a lot more in depth of how women specifically don’t give themselves the time of day. They work like crazy making sure everyone else has their needs met and then are too tired or forget about taking care of their own.
That’s when Fuel Love was born. I am excited about helping others learn to love themselves and that it’s OKAY and you NEED to. I’m passionate about sharing those things that fuel your own personal love. Love Is Everything and it starts with YOU. We can create, we can expand and we can LOVE. We can Fuel Love.