Every human being has their own unique smell – both literally and figuratively. This is Whitney Lauritsen’s takeaway from her recent visit to her psychologist, which inspired her to be transparent for this episode. She opens up on everything she wants to do and achieve this 2023 as she delves into the smell she gives off that either attracts or repels people. Whitney discusses the importance of self-awareness, the concept of control, and the idea of being selfish to understand others. She also explains why social media feeds our ego and anxiety at the same time, the power of intrinsic motivation, and how to go into a journey of deeply knowing yourself.
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Understanding Our Unique “Smell”
This day, I overbooked myself. I did it out of good intentions as always, but I had this moment of thinking, “Why did I do this? Why did I think I could do all this in one day?” I know I will do it, but it’s a lot. I want to be honest because it’s important to talk about those things. That’s connected to the theme of this episode, which is a little bit of behind-the-scenes of how I do things and what I’ve been working on, and something that I wanted to try in 2023 or at least the beginning of 2023, unattached to the outcome.
Also, I’m going to dig into a lot of personal feelings, and perhaps do a little coaching on myself. As you might know, I studied emotional well-being coaching specifically in 2022. That’s been a big passion of mine. I intend to make that a bigger part of my work. I started taking on more one-on-one private coaching clients to help them with their well-being in 2022. I also started doing group coaching. I find that incredibly fulfilling.
I often find myself coaching myself too. I met with a new psychiatrist because I needed some guidance on some medication for my sleep disorder, which will not be much of the subject of this episode. My psychologist, who I’m also seeing, referred me to this wonderful woman to talk about medication, what’s the right choice for me, or if I should be taking medication, etc. Through the process of getting to know this new psychiatrist, she asked me a question something around control. I don’t remember what the exact question was, but I think she asked if I find myself being controlling.
There are a lot of negative connotations around the word controlling or at least there are for me. Regardless of how she phrased it, my answer was that it’s hard for me to think about controlling because I feel so self-aware that I’m able to catch myself when I’m feeling controlling. However, I wonder whether that is in itself controlling. Is the fact that I’m trying to not control myself in itself controlling?
A big part of my journey right now is to deeply understand myself. Perhaps that’s going to be my lifelong mission. Now that I’ve uncovered some layers through therapy and through coaching others, which is an amazing way to learn about psychology, I’ve determined that I want to focus on intrinsic motivation in life. It is finding the answers from within, looking less externally and less outside of myself, and observing myself, but trying not to control it. That’s tricky and that’s very hard. A lot of us get mixed messaging around this.
The group coaching that I just finished within Beyond Measure, where I have started focusing on group coaching, has a big element of that private community. We were talking about social wellness and well-being, and how it’s a little hard to understand when we might be selfish. In a lot of ways, we need to understand ourselves and put ourselves first in order to understand others and help others.
I have had it the other way around. I’ve focused so much on how and who I am in relation to others. It’s like I skipped a step and it’s hard to return back to who I am. It’s hard to do things that feel intrinsically good for me. It’s so interesting starting with an idea and starting to talk about it. Even with this show, I often get caught up in what other people think of me. What do you think of me? Will people listen to my show? Will they abandon the show because they don’t like me?
That reminds me of something else I learned in therapy. My wonderful psychologist said to me that each of us put out our own unique smells, and we are going to naturally attract and repel people. Some people are going to love the way we smell, and some people are going to be repulsed by it. That’s not what he said. These are my own words. They are going to be repelled by it. They’re not going to like it, and we can’t change the way that we smell.Each of us put out our own unique smells, naturally attracting and repelling people. Click To Tweet
I found myself in that session realizing that I have been trying to convince everybody that I smell good, going with that metaphor, not literally. Although I try to pay a lot of attention to my body odor. I don’t like to offend people on a physical level but even that, we can’t help. Part of this topic that I want to focus on is struggling with my physical appearance too. Not only the way I smell literally or figuratively, but it’s been a tough few years.
One thing I started working on in the past week since I recorded an episode for the show is uploading videos of these episodes to YouTube again. I took a long pause, mostly because I got overwhelmed. When Jason left the show and I was doing it all on my own, I lost momentum. I finally gained some back. I uploaded four episodes to the Wellevatr This Might Get Uncomfortable YouTube channel. I’m picking up where I left off. I am starting with an episode with Susan Bratton. She’s talking about sexual relations.
There’s an episode uploaded with Brittany Darby, who I absolutely adore and I’ve kept in touch with since then. I am slowly gaining momentum. I think I’m limited to ten videos a month, which is annoying because I’d probably do one or multiple a day. I want to catch up so badly but the software I’m using has a limit, and that might be good. I could be overly ambitious. Maybe knowing that I’m going to do a maximum of ten will be helpful.
I went back to that video with Susan. That was the first one that I uploaded to the channel for more than a year. I saw the video of myself and I thought, “I like the way I look, but I don’t like the way I look right now.” In that video, I felt like my body was more slender and I have a lot of shame about gaining weight so much. Societally, we do and it’s so frustrating.
I’m going to jump ahead a lot here. First, well round up that video. I had fewer gray hairs. Now, I have more although right now in this video, they’re not showing as much as I thought. If I pull my hair back a certain way, they show. I’m a little neutral about my gray hair. At times, I will feel nervous about them. When my hair’s down or pulled up in certain ways, you can’t even see them. I don’t think people notice, but I know I have gray hair. As I’ve mentioned in many episodes, I know myself. This is part of the uncovering process and the intrinsic side of things.
I don’t like dying my hair. I experimented with dying my hair a while ago, and I remember detesting having to go in constantly to get the roots redone. I’m someone that gets my hair cut about twice a year, maximum. Probably every nine months, I get my hair cut. My hair drives me nuts. My hair is down for the first time and it’s driving me nuts. I washed my hair and yet it didn’t dry properly. I feel like it looks greasy at this moment.
I’m terrified because I am prepping to go to a meeting and I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t like the way my hair looks up or down, and I feel in complete panic. I used to love the way my hair looked down. Suddenly, I never want to wear my hair down. I also feel shame wearing my hair up. The core is I feel unattractive as I’m getting older. I feel unattractive with my gray hair coming in. I feel unattractive with my body. I’ve probably gained between 20 and 30 pounds since the beginning of 2020.
In 2019, I was one of the lowest weights of my whole adult life. Thanks to eating a vegan keto diet. In 2020, I started not wanting to eat vegan keto anymore. I still don’t want to because a lot of vegan-keto foods don’t satisfy me. They turn me off texturally and taste-wise. It’s challenging. I wrote a whole cookbook on it. I have access to a lot of things, but it’s hard because of the taste and texture, which I’m super sensitive to.
I started incorporating grains. I shifted my diet and as a result, I gained the weight back. That’s okay. I want to be mindful of how I talk about weight. I’m going to be very honest with you but this is not to buy into diet culture. This is part of me transitioning away from the diet culture because I’m trying to be honest about where I’m at.
I have spent most of my life consumed by the diet culture. I’ve struggled with an eating disorder. I was raised to be incredibly concerned about my appearance and my weight. It’s hard to undo that. It’s hard to focus inward. What I would like to do on a logical level is love myself regardless of how I look. Even saying that out loud to you feels amazing. I know I want that. I’m in alignment with that, but I am still connected to the external validation. It’s constant. It is so frustrating because I feel like it’s almost impossible to get away from.
This Hits The Spot Season 2
That ties into something I want to talk about in this episode. A project that I wanted to focus more on in 2023 is starting back up with This Hits The Spot, which is a podcast that I was doing with Jason when he was part of Wellevatr. We did it mostly as a bonus for our Patreon supporters. We were looking for something that would add value to them and something that we would enjoy doing. It didn’t get many external results. Jason didn’t seem to like doing it.
I always felt like I was forcing him. I enjoyed it but it was a good amount of work. Once Jason left the show, I paused with it. I think I might’ve done one episode by myself. Over the last few months at least, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I miss doing product reviews. It was such a big part of my work with the Eco-Vegan Gal and I love trying new things deeply. That’s very intrinsic to me.
In fact, I wrote up a list related to this and I wanted to share with you the process because maybe this will help you too. In my list, I have, “This Hits The Spot 2023.” I want to do season two of This Hits The Spot but I wanted to make sure this is something that’s sustainable and that felt good intrinsically. I started with a purpose. What is the point of me restarting the show? This is all going to be connected to the appearance stuff, by the way. I’ll connect that shortly if you’re wondering, “How did she transition away from her appearance to this show?” There’s a big connection.
The purpose is intrinsically I enjoy talking about the things I enjoy. That’s why I’m a podcaster. I like talking. I like recommending things and I love it when people come to me asking for recommendations. I love it when people tell me that they’re grateful for it. Perhaps that’s the extrinsic or the external things. There’s a connection to the external. It does help people who are trying to decide what they want to buy and what they want to try.
Part of where I pause with something like this is it’s a lot of work. I’m trying to think about how can I make this a simple and easy process, and one that I won’t face a lot of resistance. How can I stick to the intrinsic? It means that I’m not focused on external results. That is incredibly challenging for me too. I’ve spent the last fifteen or so years learning about the business of content creation. Most people say that you need to focus on the external, which is how many people listen to your podcast. How many people watch your social media videos? How many people seem to care about what you’re doing?
We are encouraged as entrepreneurs and creative people in those fields to develop things that other people like. That’s a mistake. What about what we want? What about what we like? What about what brings us joy? That’s ultimately what keeps us going. I’ve used this phrase, and I’ve heard many people say, “Because of you, I keep going. Because of your support, I keep going. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t keep going.”Entrepreneurs and creative people are encouraged to develop things that other people like. This sets aside what they truly love and the things that ultimately keep them going. Click To Tweet
I have found myself saying that a lot as a way to show gratitude towards someone like you tuning in to this episode. I could say, “Because of you, I keep going.” The truth is, deep down, I keep going because of myself. I enjoy podcasting so much. It’s satisfying. It hits the spot just like this other show. It feels easy for me. It feels fun. Part of that is because I like the audio-only elements. Maybe the resistance I’ve had with uploading videos on YouTube is because it’s focused on appearance. It’s a visual medium.
People aren’t only listening to me. I feel incredibly confident about my voice. Sometimes I don’t like the way I talk. I worry that it’s too tangential, it doesn’t make sense, it goes on for too long, or I’m not concise enough. That is an ongoing struggle that I’m trying to embrace because most of me is tangential. I was talking about this in the group coaching session. I’m not a concise person and it’s incredibly hard for me to be concise, which leads me to This Hits The Spot, which I’ve always wanted to be a concise show. That is hard. How do I make it short?
I also thought it would be nice to post on social media, even though I have a lot of resistance. I’m not using social media right now. In mid-January of 2023, I have no social media apps installed on my phone. The only time I use social media is to check messages on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. As I’ve mentioned, I’m no longer encouraging people to direct message me. If you want to get in touch with me, email is ultimately the best way, unless you like to join Beyond Measure.
That’s the ultimate way to connect with me. I will continue to remind you of that because Beyond Measure brings me the greatest joy. It brings me joy too, as tied into this because the title Beyond Measure is recognizing that our worth is beyond measure. It is not about external measurements of worth. It is not about how many people like something or how many people follow you. It’s not even about what other people think of you.
Beyond Measure is a group effort for each individual member to connect deeper with themselves, and to lean into self-trust, confidence, self-love, and appreciation. Also, work through these tough things that I talk about every week on this show. We’re doing it together and simultaneously, individually. I think it’s interesting that I still yearn to post on social media, but I don’t want to see the external measurements at all. When I was posting on YouTube, I felt uncomfortable.
On YouTube, there’s an upload button. You click that and you enter the title of your video and the description. You upload the file and the thumbnail if you want to use it, etc. You set it all up and then you press a button, and you could leave from there. Behind that and after your video is done uploading, it shows this chart of all your videos. Right next to it, it shows how many people have watched it, how many people gave it a thumbs up, and how many people have commented.
YouTube, like most other social media platforms, is encouraging you to measure your results, and that sucks. Many years ago, I was struggling with the thumbs-downs, and I did for a long time. That was the reason why I needed to step away from YouTube for the most part. It felt like no matter what I did, I got a thumbs down. It felt like there were certain people who every video I did would give me a thumbs down.
It crushed me. It hurt badly and probably because I was focused on the external measurements. I don’t think it’ll ever go away. I wanted it to go away. I wanted to train myself, and convince myself to no longer care about the thumbs down. I don’t know if I’m capable of that truly. I mean that literally. I don’t know if I’m capable of not caring.
It could be my life’s work to not care and I don’t think that I want that to be my life’s work. Instead, I want my life’s work to parallel that. It means to love myself despite feeling rejected. It’s part of my life’s work. I’m not defining it by that, but that feels like my life’s work because so far my life has been a bit of the opposite. I got to put my hair up. I’m going to pause at this moment. I don’t know if it’s like sensory awareness, but I do not like the feeling of my hair down. I like the tightness of it up on my scalp.
As I’ve been exploring neurodivergence, I’m thinking, “That sensitivity feels like it came out of nowhere.” If I am neurodivergent, why hasn’t my hair bothered me in the past? Was I numb to it? This is a great example of how complex this feels, or is it that we change? Do some deep things change within us? With This Hits The Spot, I would like to do things in two ways. One is to stick with the original format, which is an audio-only podcast. I want it to be about 10 minutes long with 7 segments. I have themes written out, or maybe 8 as a bonus. I would do weekly episodes as I used to do with a focus on my favorite drink of the week or sweet or savory snacks. A snack to me qualifies as chips or sweet treats. Also, meals and ingredients that I’ve been using or making, including recipes.
Technology like software, hardware, and games. I don’t play a ton of games, but maybe every once in a while. Five will be body care, including supplements. I don’t know if body care is quite the right word for that category, but somewhere around that. Six will be home. Seven will be books. As you know, I read a ton. It’s going to be hard for me to narrow it down to one a week. If I don’t have a book or if I have a movie or television show that I’m more excited to talk about, that’ll be mentioned to you. Maybe it’s media. That could be a better term. The bonus category, the 8th category that I might occasionally do is travel-related things, mostly when I’m traveling.
Seven to eight themes a week contained in a 10-minute long episode. That brings me joy. That sounds exciting. The part that I find the resistance with, and this is where it ties into the appearance, is that I also yearn to do some social media. Maybe this is part of the practice because I’d like to create 60-second video clips based on each segment. There will be a 60-second video clip of the drinks, the snacks, the meals, etc. I’d like to post those on YouTube using YouTube Shorts, TikTok, or Amazon because I will occasionally be using Amazon affiliate links, at least for now.
My long-term hope is to find a platform outside of Amazon. The reason that I’ve continued to use Amazon affiliate links on this show and in a lot of my work is because that’s where most people shop. That’s the easiest place. I’m trying to meet people where they are, even though ethically, I would rather not. It’s also complicated. One option behind the scenes is with affiliate links, which is where creators like myself can make commissions.
If you go to Wellevatr.com, throughout the show notes, and in the resource section, there will be affiliate links. That can help make money. Although to be fully transparent, if you buy something that’s $10, I might make $1 commission at most through Amazon. It depends on the platform. Whereas outside of Amazon, they might have a higher percentage. I could do a whole episode about the disasters of affiliate marketing for me. It’s not worth the effort in my experience, or at least, it has not been yet. That’s why I’ve been considering posting short videos to Amazon. I love Amazon reviews. Whenever I shop on Amazon, I read the reviews and I like writing reviews as a result to give back. I’d like to attach the video there.
I might post on Instagram. It’s not on my plan right now. At this moment, I’m thinking, “Why not? Why haven’t I considered posting on Instagram?” I don’t like Instagram as a whole, but I know that a lot of people like it and use it as their primary platform. I’m going to put this down. I might make Instagram Reels. This is where the hard part is, my appearance. It’s especially hard now because I put effort into my appearance relative for me. This is where I want to continue being transparent. This is not to dig at me. On a deep emotional logical level, I love myself. I see my value. I don’t ever want to speak poorly about myself, and I’m very triggered when other people speak poorly about themselves. I want to acknowledge this to you. My honesty about how I feel about my parents reflects nothing on you.
I say that because when I hear other people talk poorly about themselves, I start feeling poorly about myself. In general, I would never say these things, but I’m trying to be very transparent. This is healing for me. If this feels uncomfortable to you in a deep way, please don’t tune in to this. I’ve even said things like my weight is hard. I do not like the way my face looks right now with my current weight. I feel self-conscious about my neck. I have for years. People point it out. I have a roundness to my neck. People were concerned for a while that I had a thyroid issue, but according to doctors, I have no issues with my thyroid.
I have like a little neckline. I guess it doesn’t bother me that much, but I don’t like the way my face looks. It sucks, but I don’t know how to change that truly. Is it exposure therapy? Do I just keep looking at my face? I don’t know and that’s hard for me too. I think in the past, I’ve felt fine about how my face looks, especially when I put on makeup. Now, I put on some makeup but I did it very lightly. I used a light layer of foundation. I put on a little bit of blush and a little bit of bronzer. I put some eyeshadow on and after I put my contacts in, I’m going to put on mascara. I do like the way my eyes look with mascara. I also put on lipstick, but I don’t like the shade I got. I wipe it off and dull it down.
If you’re watching the YouTube video, you could probably barely tell that I’m wearing makeup. That’s how light it is, and I like that look. However, it’s frustrating because despite putting on makeup and even blow-drying my hair, I don’t like the way I look. I feel a bit panicked because, after this episode, I intend to record the first episode of season two of This Hits The Spot. That’s my plan. I plan to wrap up this episode and go record that. I’m nervous that not only will I not be able to keep it to 10 minutes with 7 segments, 60 seconds each. That’s my aim. I’m also nervous that I’m not going to like the way I look.
Part of how I cope with not liking the way I look is I don’t look in the mirror that often. If I do, I look at very specific areas, but I don’t like looking at myself as a whole. That’s something I don’t know how to fix. By the way, I’m not asking for advice. This is something I can talk through with therapy if I’d like advice. Sometimes when I publicly share things like this, people will comment or message me and try to give me advice. That’s not helpful for me, and I don’t mean to reject your advice. It’s just that I am constantly working and thinking through these things privately. What I share publicly is not a call for help. It’s sharing. It’s a therapeutic process to share, and also to let you know if you’re facing these things that you’re not alone.
I have found through my well-being coaching training that giving advice to people is not always what they need. Some people only need to share. They want to feel heard. They want to be listened to. That’s what I’m asking for right now. People also can find the answers within themselves or through an expert. This is a huge thing I learned through the well-being coaching training I did. A coach is not an expert. That’s not their role, at least in my training.
Some training may say otherwise. There are different theories when it comes to coaching, but the way I was trained, your role is not to be an expert. Your role is to be there to help somebody draw the answers within themselves. When I say I don’t know what to do about accepting my appearance, I haven’t found the answers within. I’m sure they’re there. I just haven’t found them yet. It is my life’s work to find those answers and to find that love.A coach is not an expert. They help somebody draw the answers within themselves. Click To Tweet
Part of the step forward is to focus on the intrinsic or internal motivations for doing things. That’s also a big part of coaching. It is helping people identify them. That’s why I said I’m coaching myself right now, and coaching you too in how we support others. I think a lot of us have been either trained or encouraged to give people advice. I certainly was. I love giving advice. I love coaching. I love learning and becoming an expert.
It’s hard for me not to offer advice, but I’ve learned through my training to ask somebody first if that’s what they want, whether I’m talking to a friend or any loved one in my personal life. Especially if I’m working with a client, I hold back unless they ask me directly. Even when somebody asks me directly for advice, I try to help them find an answer within themselves first. A lot of people resist that. It’s a quick fix to get external advice, but the reason it’s motivating to do the intrinsic is that’s where you get the more sustainable results.
It’s hard for me now. I thought I’m going to put on some makeup and do my hair. I’m going to sit down and record the first episode of season two of This Hits The Spot and it’s going to go great. Now sitting here, I’m looking at myself thinking, “I don’t feel confident.” When I don’t feel confident, it’s hard for me to show up on camera. I guess I can do it in different settings. If it’s for somebody else, I can show up confidently. When I’m coaching, I could care less about how I look.
I want to look more neutral when I’m coaching somebody and leaning a little bit more towards not done up. I believe that the more down-to-earth I look while coaching, the more supportive it is for someone’s well-being because it’s not focusing on me. It’s showing someone that I’m a real human being, and a lot of people want that. That’s how I feel about showing up for this show. Even though it’s hard for me to look at myself on camera when I upload YouTube videos to the Wellevatr YouTube channel, I can move through it to an extent because the show’s theme is not about appearance. It’s about the internal, not the external.
I would like that to be true with This Hits The Spot too. However, the downside is that when I upload to YouTube, TikTok, maybe Instagram, or probably Amazon, I’m exposing myself to people who don’t know me. I am terrified of criticism. Whether somebody leaves a mean comment or my worst-case scenario is if people I know see me and go, “She’s gained weight. Look at all her gray hairs. I can’t believe she hasn’t dyed them. Her face looks different,” and all of those awful things.
I think back to what my therapist would say if I told him this. By the way, I don’t know if I’ll get around to talking about this in therapy because there’s a lot to cover in therapy. Every week that I have a session, there’s usually a priority. Ironically, this stuff is not usually on my mind. I don’t know if ironic is the right word, but I guess that’s good news. I don’t usually think to bring this stuff to therapy because I have other things I want to explore, but I would be interested in what my therapist would say.
I would take a guess. Is it along the lines of, “Your smell is not for everyone?” This is something I could ask in a coaching session. If you had come to me and said these same things, what would I say to you? At this moment I wonder, what would it be like if you did accept that not everybody is going to like your appearance? What if you could accept that there are people who will not like the way you look or something like that? I don’t know if that would be the exact question, but that’s something I want to ask myself.
I realized in last week’s therapy session that I am trying to be appealing to the masses. I think this is part of my core challenge with social media. Social media trains us to care a lot about what the masses say and not about what the small group of loving and caring people feels about ours. That was a big reason I created Beyond Measure. I felt like I could create this small community of caring and loving people, and we could all tune out the people that are not loving and caring to us or not loving and accepting.
Over the years, even within Beyond Measure, it naturally weeded people out. It’s been an interesting journey. A good amount of people have tried out Beyond Measure, maybe yourself included, and realized it wasn’t for them. Beyond Measure has gone through many evolutions and it’s frustrating for me. I wish everybody could see the current iteration, but I’ve let go of the desire to control how they perceive something like that. It’s hard because I’m yearning for everybody to accept me. I have a core wound around that.
I feel deeply unsafe when people reject me. I feel like I did something wrong. That’s a big obstacle. Given that right now I don’t feel confident in myself. I wonder, “If I don’t feel that, how could anyone outside of me feel that about me?” However, that’s not always true. Oftentimes, people love us in ways that we don’t love ourselves. They see things about us that we don’t see about ourselves. I guess another therapeutic question to ask is, what if you could move forward with something despite not feeling confident, and despite not loving it about yourself in the chance that somebody else will love you for it? I wonder, is that an intrinsic or extrinsic thing?
If I’m posting on social media, is it always about the external? Whenever we show up for people publicly, is that an external thing? It’s tricky. Asking myself and exploring these questions is hard but if I come back around like, “Why would I post on those platforms?” Am I trying to get people to like me and give me validation? No, because I don’t want to look at that. I don’t like either result. I might get high if I happen to have a viral video, but I’ve also had enough viral videos to know they don’t have a long-term impact on me. It doesn’t matter.
I’ve had several videos hit over a million views and get thousands of comments and grow my following, and all that stuff but it doesn’t matter. If that doesn’t matter, why would you continue to do it? That’s what’s hard about social media posting right now. We’re told over and over again that it’s what matters. However, if it’s done for creative expression, that’s a different thing. If it’s done as an outlet, given that I like to talk, I like to share, and I find deep joy in telling people about things I love, that’s the motivation there.
I then started to think if a big obstacle for me is my appearance. This day was good exercise. It’s because I thought for sure that if I put on makeup and did my hair, I would feel confident. I then discovered I still don’t feel confident despite having done my hair and makeup. That’s showing me that hair and makeup do not impact my confidence. Maybe slightly. Part of the reason I did my hair and makeup now is I’m going to have an in-person meeting with somebody. I have respect for them. It’s a professional setting. I’m going to dress professionally. Part of that dressing professionally in my opinion is having my hair clean, brushed, and all that.
Right now, I need to figure out what to do about the fact that it looks greasy still, which is frustrating. That’s aside from the fact. I did some makeup and my hair so I could show up with confidence in the physical sense. That’s easier because I’m not looking at myself. The theory of makeup and hair gives me confidence. I think what was hard now is when I sat down in front of the camera and still didn’t like the way that I looked. That was frustrating but also revealing because if that’s not going to change, then I might as well not spend my time and energy on hair and makeup.
I might as well just show up and do such light makeup. It’s probably not even that noticeable. I might as well skip that step. As I’ve said many times, I don’t enjoy doing my hair and makeup anymore. It’s super time-consuming and that drives me nuts because it’s a precious asset. What I’m getting at is hair and makeup done by myself do not impact my confidence. Thus, how do I make social videos? What if I don’t show myself? That’s the big question I’m toying with now, and then I feel the pressure creatively.
With This Hits The Spot, I want it to be primarily about the audio. That is the main focus, and the short videos are bonuses. Because they’re bonuses, I don’t want to put in a lot of effort with it. I was thinking that I could record some videos on my phone of just the product. I’ll do a demo of what I mean because this will be helpful for me. I have an empty container of this yogurt and I like this brand. It’s called Culina. It tastes good. It has a good texture and ingredients, in my opinion.
If I were to share this in This Hits The Spot and I was doing video-only, I would hold it up and this would be so easy. If I make videos like that, I don’t know if I will feel confident enough to post them if I’m so worried about how I look. If I could change that or if it was easy for me to change that, I might get there. My therapist might ask me that too, “What if.” This could shift but it’s not there right now and I’m trying to focus on what I have right now.
In theory, if I could accept the way that I look and show up and hope that people will accept me no matter what I look like, they’re going to be focused on the product. The pros and cons are that I think people like to see facial expressions and all of that. Maybe people look past appearance. Maybe they don’t care if I’m wearing makeup or what my hair looks like. They don’t care about my face looking fuller, the fact that I am aging, and the fact that I have gray hair.
Maybe, but I’m uncomfortable with the possibility that they will judge my appearance, and that discomfort is a huge hindrance. I could alter my appearance through heavier makeup. I could spend a lot more time on my hair and makeup, but I’m not willing to do that. I could also edit. There are all sorts of filters out there. There are beauty filters, but that is against my ethics. I’m very clear. As tempting as that would be, ethically for me, my values don’t align with that because it feels fake. My core is about authenticity and deep self-acceptance which I’m working hard on.
It would be inauthentic of me to show up with a filter on my face even though it would boost my confidence. I’d be pretending to look different than how I look just to get approval, and that doesn’t feel right. That doesn’t mean I don’t sympathize because I used to do that stuff for years. If you go back, especially on Eco-Vegan Gal, I think I stopped doing that on the @WhitLauritsen account, which is my main account now. I don’t know if I’ve ever edited those. Maybe a little bit, but I used to do that on Eco-Vegan Gal. I don’t feel shame. I don’t regret it. That’s where I was at the time. That’s also been socially acceptable to edit photos of yourself, but it doesn’t feel in alignment with my values. That’s why I stopped.
Doing Things Right
The final option and this is where I think I’m at. This is what I believe I’m going to do right after I finish this because I’m going to go from this recording into This Hits The Spot. I think that I’m going to take out my phone and record a video against a plain white wall, which I don’t love. I think that I would like to find a different background. What’s funny is sometimes you just have to change your perspective. I might turn around and record against this wonderful curtain that I now have as my background. I didn’t think about that. That might look a lot nicer.
Now, the only thing I have to worry about is how my nails look. I’m not someone that does my nails. I keep them short. I don’t want any dirt under them. Maybe I would paint them, but painting my nails, I don’t enjoy either because my nails always chip, and then I have to spend the time to take the polish off. Just like my makeup and my hair, it is an effort. I don’t like putting into things. I think what I’ll try is switching my setup, recording audio but facing backward against this curtain, and showing the product.
Even though it’s only 60 seconds or so, I don’t feel fully satisfied with that solution but it is the best one I have at this moment. I went to film school and spent many years editing videos during film school, after film school professionally, and also through my content creation career. There’s a part of me that’s like, “You need to have multiple angles. You need to show the product in action.” It’s like I want to make a commercial, but at this moment I want to keep this simple and I’m not making a commercial. I’m doing this intrinsically to tell somebody that I love a product, and I’m not there yet with showing my face.
Part of the reason it’s hard to say that is because I used to be so comfortable showing my face. I’m comparing myself to my old self or my previous self who used to show up on camera all the time confidently. I don’t know why it felt easy, but it’s not anymore. Perhaps part of the resistance too is mourning who I used to be versus who I’ve been in the last few years. Maybe the work is not trying to change that because I certainly could lose weight.
I think about that often. I have a history of eating disorders and a history of being immersed in diet culture. Every day I think, “Maybe if I do blank, I can lose weight. Maybe if I lose weight, I’ll feel confident again.” That feels like a solution. Several times a year, I go through phases of trying to lose weight, but it takes a long time. On my vegan-keto journey, it probably took me a good six months or so until I felt excited about the way my body looked, and the changes my body went through.
Even when I was at my lowest weight, even when people were complimenting me, and saying all these things about my appearance, I was still editing photos and I still didn’t feel satisfied. That’s important information. Losing weight is not the answer. Do I want to spend six months trying to lose weight? I’ll be honest. This is part of why I gave the triggering warning. It’s January 2023 and six months from now is summer. It’s like, “Great, this is a perfect time to start.”
What if I cut out this? I could make those shifts. Our society encourages those things. Do you know why that’s hard? It is because I don’t find joy. Do I want to spend 182 days cutting out the foods that I am intuitively eating? That’s what I’ve been doing. Each day, I eat whatever I feel like eating. When I go to the grocery store, I buy whatever I feel like buying within reason and within my budget. Do I want to spend 182 days approximately denying myself that thing? The phrase, denying myself, breaks my heart.
Do I want to deny myself? The answer I keep coming back to is, “No.” I don’t want to deny myself just to get external approval, but our society convinces us and it has convinced me that it’s more important to deny ourselves of something so that we can please others. That’s the habit I’m breaking. It’s so hard and I know that I can love myself in this body that I’m at. I know I can have it all. I can choose not to deny myself. I can choose to eat intuitively and move my body as much or as little as I’d like.Society convinces people to deny themselves of something just to please others. Click To Tweet
I’ve been finding it easy to move my body. The average recommendation is 20 minutes of movement every day, at most. There’s a statistic. I think it’s 150 minutes a week. If you divide it by seven, that’s 21 minutes. The average health recommendation is 20 minutes of movement a day. I can do that with almost no problem. There are days when I don’t want to do that. Usually, I take a walk. Sometimes I use my Supernatural game on the Oculus, but 20 minutes is fairly easy. I try to do 30 minutes of movement with getting my heart rate up each day.
That feels a lot easier than denying myself a food pleasure because food brings me joy. As I said, as much as I appreciate the vegan-keto diet, I stand behind it. I am glad I wrote that cookbook. I loved learning about it. It did work for me in a lot of great ways, but I don’t want to always eat cauliflower rice. Sometimes I want to eat brown rice or white rice because I enjoy it. I love potatoes. Potatoes were one of the hardest things for me to stop eating.
There are all these alternatives that you can eat on the keto diet instead. You can even have that stuff in moderation but the moderation was not enough. I love chocolate. You can still eat chocolate on the keto diet but let me tell you, for me, the keto-vegan chocolate out there is pretty abysmal. There are a couple of exceptions like Evolved Chocolate. They probably make the best in my experience, but most of them don’t work for me. I’m missing the variety.
I can go on and on about the lack of pleasure that I felt. Am I willing to discount my pleasure and joy for 180 days? At this moment, I feel a bit conflicted. Part of me goes, “That’s not so bad. That’s not so long. Think of how great you’ll feel.” That’s what we hear culturally from the messaging. Do I want to wait 180 days to show up on camera? “No. I’m rearing to go with This Hits The Spot.” That brings me back to the current situation that I’m facing moments from now when I end this recording and I go record This Hits The Spot.
I’d like to show up and not put pressure on myself. I’d like to focus on the joy of recording something that’s intrinsically motivated. I’m just going to go see what happens. I’ve processed a lot with you in this episode. Thank you for holding space for me. Normally, I would add, “I hope this helped you too.” I do hope that, but that’s something else I’ve been trying to shift away from because I’m not doing this to please you.
I want to find the balance between doing something for myself and also, the bonus is that it helps other people. I think society focuses so much on doing things for other people. That’s the whole point. I’ve spent so much of my life doing things for others first and it’s resulted in me feeling so conflicted and not great. I want to feel good. Who doesn’t? Don’t you want to feel good? Don’t you want to feel in tune, confident, loving, accepting, and full of joy if that’s what it comes down to?Society focuses so much on doing things for other people. This will only make you feel conflicted. You want to feel in tune and confident in everything that you do. Click To Tweet
I hope that one day I can feel all of those things. I will be filled up with all of those emotions. I can show up on camera for social media without even paying attention, and without any criticism. That is something I could try to work on but I don’t want that to be a big goal because sometimes trying too hard feels like I might try to fake it until I make it. I don’t want to do that. I’m not going to fake confidence or deep self-acceptance.
I need to spend more time reflecting on all the ways that societal pressure has added up to me not feeling good and not to blame it. I still think the diet culture has hurt a lot of us. If you’re feeling that way, know that you’re not alone. If you’re looking for support, I couldn’t recommend Beyond Measure enough because that’s at the core of what we do. There are elements of Beyond Measure that I’m starting to charge for, for the first time. It’s been completely free for years, but as we move closer to the third year of Beyond Measure, I’m finally adding a little bit of a paywall but that’s mostly for the coaching or that’ll primarily, if not exclusively be for coaching.
For the other elements of Beyond Measure like sending messages to me, chatting with people, posting, and sharing, I intend to keep that for free. I’d love to have you there. I’d love to hear from you. I’d love to connect with you. I’d love for you to meet all of the amazing heart-centered people that are on a similar mission. They are the people that align with so much of what has been said in this episode. I am wishing you all the very best with your own journey and processing. I appreciate you. Bye for now.
- Beyond Measure
- This Might Get Uncomfortable – YouTube
- Susan Bratton – previous episode
- Brittany Darby – previous episode
- This Hits The Spot
- @WhitLauritsen – Instagram
- Evolved Chocolate
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