How to Be Nice to Yourself

Are you your own worst critic? Would you allow anyone else in the world to speak to you the way you speak to yourself?  My answers are yes and no, respectively, which is why practicing self-love in the form of self-care has become a top priority in my wellness and diabetes management routine. 

Changing the way you speak to and treat yourself – in other words, being kind to yourself as your default setting instead of vicious personal attacks anytime things don’t go as planned – comes down your willingness to catch yourself in the act, and then doing something about it.

You must continually interrupt old patterns that you know are bringing you down – as they occur in real time – in order to uncondition them as your default response, and in that same moment recondition new responses that are intentionally chosen by you on the basis of self-love practices, positive reinforcement, and personal growth.

Get Intentional About How You Want to Feel

Have you ever woken up in the morning and asked yourself the question “How do I want to feel today?” Have you ever made a clear statement regarding how you intend to feel that day, something like “I intend to feel good today.”

Consciously letting yourself and the Universe know how you intend to feel each day is an extraordinarily empowering practice of self-love, and the difference it makes in how your day unfolds can be miraculous. 

The mental, emotional and physical shift that occurs when you go from the waking thought of “This day is going to suck” to “I intend to feel good and spread love today” is astounding.  It just feels so much better on every level. 

Gaining Pleasure and Avoiding Pain

How would you feel if every time you experienced a setback on a long term project at work, for example, your boss told you that you are worthless, stupid, pathetic, undeserving, that you are just not enough?

You might feel hurt, angry, sad, dejected – I know I would!

Imagine trying to regain focus on that same project with those insulting labels rattling around in your mind – do you think your performance moving forward may be affected negatively? 

Do you think the motivation and excitement you originally felt about working on this project that is truly meaningful to you and those around you may feel diminished because of the negative feedback?

Of course it would. That is human behavior at its core. We are all hardwired in every part of our mind, body, and spirit to move toward pleasure and to avoid pain. Plain and simple.

Now imagine that you are the boss of the long term project of creating and sustaining the state of your mind, body, spirit wellness –because you are. I encourage you to step into and claim that power, because no matter what circumstances you are experiencing in your life, you are always the boss of your choices, and your choices determine your outcomes and feelings.

The long term project your boss-self is working on is creating a sustainable, kind, empathetic, loving relationship with the only body, mind, spirit combo you will ever get in this life. 

After all, the most fulfilling, important, meaningful, influential and impactful relationship you will ever have in your entire life is the one you choose to build with yourself, and unfortunately, most people go their entire lives without learning that all of that life-altering boss power has always been and will always be within them.

And, once you begin to embrace that you get to design and build that relationship however you want to, your life will never be the same again.   

First Things First – Perspective

What is your perspective on you? If the majority of your answers are framed in the negative, then the first thing that must change – if you truly want to be nicer to yourself sustainably – is your perspective.

You see, in every single area of life, our perspectives always determine our priorities and our practices. Always.

If your perspective on something is that it is very important and meaningful to you, it will get prioritized toward the top of your to-do list and you will follow through with the practices that nurture that perspective of importance you’ve assigned it.

For example, have you ever been at the beginning of a romantic relationship where your perspective on your partner was that they were amazing? Where did you prioritize making the time in your schedule to spend with this person? At the top, of course! What were your practices around this person? Did you smile, hold hands, and just choose to be near them as much as possible? Yes? Okay, stick with me.

Have you ever been at the end of a romantic relationship?For some reason, your perspective changed. You received a new piece of information, or experienced a different side of this person – whatever happened, your perspective changed, possibly in an instant, and you knew that the relationship was ending.

The very second you had a shift in your perspective, your priorities and practices changed just as instantaneously. Your priorities became spending as little time around them as possible, and your practices became avoiding hand holding and the like. Are you still with me?

In order to be nicer to yourself, the first and most crucial step is to intentionally choose the perspective that your mind, body, spirit wellness is the most important thing you will ever get to be involved in throughout the entirety of your life, that you deserve love, that you are as deserving of your love as any other person in the Universe, and that you are overwhelmingly grateful for this opportunity, this blessing, to nurture this relationship every single day.

Once you consciously choose that perspective, your priorities and practices will line up in turn. And then it’s simply practice, practice, practice – while being gentle and nonjudgmental with yourself every step of the way.

What Was the Question? Language Matters!

Do you ask yourself any of the following questions, or questions like them, on a regular basis?

  • Why can’t I catch a break?
  • Why do I have such bad luck?
  • Why can’t I get anything right?
  • What is wrong with me?
  • How could I be so stupid?
  • Why does (insert name here) have everything I want and I don’t?

When you ask yourself questions that presuppose that you are unlucky, a failure, not enough, or compares yourself with another person on a regular basis, you are unconsciously training your brain to supply you with low quality answers that will undoubtedly keep you mired down in a self-created sea of seemingly unlucky circumstances, but are mainly manifestations of your own fear-based questions.

After choosing your perspective, you must choose your questions. Instead of asking yourself the above questions when things don’t go as planned, ask yourself questions that are based on self-love – questions that prompt your brain to give you positive, resourceful answers.

  • What action can I take right now to improve my current situation, even by just two millimeters?
  • What step in my action plan tripped me up, and what changes can I make moving forward to create different results?
  • Who do I know that has already achieved the results I am after that I can interview or model or read a book they wrote in order to get where I am trying to go more efficiently and effectively?

Choosing resourceful questions that allow your brain to search for answers in a growth mindset will always produce more desirable results than asking a question that presupposes that you generally suck and that there’s nothing you can do about it. Be nice to yourself, you deserve it!

The Best Friend Test

One fast and easy but extremely effective exercise that I use and teach all the time in order to gauge whether you are being as nice to yourself as you truly deserve is the best friend test.

Here’s how to do it: Take whatever situation, experience,circumstance, or event you are currently examining in your own life and tell it to yourself as if it were your best friend telling you this about themselves. Yes,I am very much suggesting that you talk to yourself!

What would you say to them? Would you offer them words of love, support and encouragement? Or, would you insult and diminish them, and make them feel unworthy for trying to accomplish something?

My guess is that you would love and support them. That you would tell them they did something amazing for trying and to keep their head up and keep at it. And that, my friend, is always the way you must treat yourself– the exact same way you would treat your best friend in the same situation.

I can’t put enough emphasis on the fact that there is no perfect on this journey to being nicer to yourself, only practice. Ebbs and flows. Steps forward and steps backward – this, and all other aspects of life, are not linear. And the more you are willing to practice – just like anything else – the more skilled at being your own biggest supporter you will become.

What is a ZenoBar? + 10% discount

Every now and then I get introduced to a new product through a friend in the diabetes space that is worth sharing.

I’ll be the first to say that I get a little skeptical when I hear about a new snack bar that is healthy and easy on blood sugar levels.

I have my go-to bars that I like as healthier snacking options on the go (I made a video about them here) and often times when I try something new, I’m put off by something in the taste or texture.

When my friend (the lovely Ginger Vieira) told me that she needed to bolus between .50 – 1 unit per ZenoBar and that they actually tasted good and had a list of high quality ingredients, I had to try them for myself.

This description is taken from their website: ZenoBars are made with the best-tasting, most nutritious low net carb ingredients available. We test them on ourselves, as well as other Type-1 and Type-2 diabetics who helped, not only for flavor (fabulous!) but for low-glycemic impact. Some Type-1s report that only a very small bolus may be needed, while some of us don’t require any!

They sent me three flavors to try that I’m listing with my most preferred flavor first: Cocoa Hemp, Strawberry Hemp, Almond Hemp.

I needed just under 1 unit of fast acting insulin to cover each bar (.85 units to be exact which I figured out by the time I ate my 3rd ZenoBar – more to come in a later blog about how microbolusing has massively improved my diabetes management skills.)

I spoke with the owners of this just-started company who are very passionate about their product and about receiving customer feedback, and they offered me a 10% discount to pass on to you if you’d like to give Zeno Bars a try.

Use discount code ZENOBAR10 for a 10% discount on ZenoBars from Amazon (you can read more reviews there as well) or directly from their website.

If you do try them, let me know what you think in the comments below! With lots of love – Daniele 🙂

 




[Podcast] I Used to Pinch My Hand Around Baked Goods as a Mental Anchor… What?

“In this insightful conversation, Daniele shares her secret for steering clear of donuts, plus practical tips you can start applying to your life right now!”

The title of this post is in reference to a mental tool I used to remind myself why I didn’t really want donuts or other baked goods every time I went to the supermarket. I had to recondition my Pavlovian response to the smell of baked goods in order to sustainably create the new habit of consciously choosing when I wanted to eat less healthy foods, versus defaulting to eating them every time I went food shopping! I share this tool and more in the podcast!

When I first started out in the intimidating world of sharing my deep, intimate thoughts, feelings, and hard-earned experiences regarding how to create a life that is filled with much more joy than pain, particularly while living with chronic disease, I had no idea if anyone was ever going to listen (other than my mom, of course).

Now, eight years and countless blogs, interviews and speaking engagements later, I still have that nagging inner voice (ego) poking at me before I publish a blog or a social media post – Who are you to share all of this? Nobody wants to hear you talk about your bullshit!

Then, as I’ve conditioned myself to do (practiced) over and over and over again, I default to my consciously and intentionally chosen answer that shuts my ego up, at least for long enough to hit the publish button – a poem written by one of my most influential mentors and, in my opinion, one of the most powerful spiritual teachers of this lifetime, Marianne Williamson, entitled Our Deepest Fear:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. 
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? 
You are a child of God.

Your playing small 
Does not serve the world. 
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking 
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, 
As children do. 
We were born to make manifest 
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; 
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, 
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. 
As we’re liberated from our own fear, 
Our presence automatically liberates others.

So, with that in mind, I’d like to share my latest Podcast interview for The Diabetes Dish Podcast where I talk about my journey from the mindset of helpless and hopeless self-pity to learning that I, like everyone else, deserves to be loved, particularly and most importantly by myself, and how that changed all aspects of my mind, body, spirit wellness and my relationship with my diabetes for good.

LISTEN TO THE DIABETES DISH PODCAST HERE!

XO – Daniele 🙂




Hard-Won Successes & Knowing Your Worth – Musings of a Professional Speaker

Since it is very important to me to practice what I preach, I was inspired to write this to share a new-ish opportunity I was able to pursue – one that felt like it was hard won over many years.

This story demonstrates that never giving up on something that is meaningful to you is such an important trait to embody no matter how many times you fail or feel rejected, particularly as an entrepreneur and as a person living with chronic illness.

As a speaker, it is much more difficult than one might think to get compensated properly (or at all) for your time, effort, and pre/post-engagement work.

The thing about being an impactful, exciting, dynamic public speaker is that it takes a lot of time, effort, practice, and for me, money spent on various speaker-training programs over the years.

The calm before the presentation.

Hours and hours of going over your main points, speaking to your cats, making sure you have an attractive/exciting PowerPoint slide presentation to accompany it (the vast majority of institutions require that you have slides to go along with your presentation), tailoring each presentation to fit the outcomes the hiring party has in mind, and so much more.

When I first started out with public speaking as a part of my career back in 2011, I was pleased to speak for free at a variety of different institutions such as local YMCAs, Boy’s & Girl’s Clubs, and various diabetes-related events.

I was honing my craft, learning the ropes, practicing – filming myself, studying my performance, taking notes on what I could do better, etc.

However, after about a year of that, I realized that speaking, teaching, and delivering the carefully crafted lessons and actionable systems that I spent so much precious time on were no longer a free service. I knew this time had come because it didn’t feel great to give away my hard-earned professional skills to companies who clearly had budgets for things like hiring speakers for events.

With that feeling in mind, I began to get super clear on what I wanted – paid speaking engagements where I could interact with the audiences and have fun teaching what I love. I’ve written about manifesting in a past blog – it is a very real part of my life and my success.

I wrote it in my journal (and still do), told my husband and friends that I would no longer accept invitations to speak at well-funded professional organizations without compensation, and so much more conscious and intentional mindset work.

Eventually, my outreach efforts began to come around. I can’t stress enough the amount of work that  goes into this on my part – researching organizations, seeing what types of events they put on each year, choosing which ones I’d actually like to be a part of, finding out who organizes the events, getting on their radar, follow up, follow up, follow up.

First in April of 2018 and again last week, I had the opportunity to speak at what was once on my short list of large organizations that I wanted to hire me so that I could go in and share my perspective on life with diabetes, and on life in general regarding creating and implementing sustainable change on any level.

I’m profoundly grateful that the relationships I’ve been blessed to develop organically by actively participating in the diabetes community (both online and in person) guided me to stand on the stage at Unites States headquarters of Novo Nordisk less than an hour away from my house (twice this year) and share with them my thoughts on how our perspective/belief about any person, circumstance or situation always directly influences our priorities and practices around that situation, and further, how we can choose to change our perspective on anything in an instant.

Everyone was extremely kind, welcoming, and receptive to my message of coming together to reach mutually aligned goals that matter to people with diabetes (I talked about the need for and lack of accessibility/extremely high prices of our life-saving insulin, and they didn’t throw me out!)

And, there were a couple of other people with diabetes in the audience – having members of the community nearby is always comforting!

I don’t think I can say much more about it since I had to sign a confidentiality agreement, a release/waiver form, and more, but what I can say is that it was an awesome experience and one that I hope to repeat many more times in the future.

Novo Nordisk did not pay me to or ask me to write this piece – just sharing my experiences, as always. 🙂




Will You Join Me & Love Yourself to Health?

Based on years of community feedback I’ve finally created a Monthly Coaching Membership program, and you can access it right now for just $7! 

We will have 2, one-hour-long group coaching calls each month where we will learn how to PRIORITIZE & PRACTICE self-love and self-care as the foundation of all aspects of your mind, body, spirit wellness – because it is!

You will join a group of like-minded, supportive human beings that have a habit of prioritizing everyone else’s needs before their own, feel like they don’t have enough left in the tank to care for themselves on a regular basis, and are feeling the effects of that on their overall health.

The calls will be on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month at 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific, and all calls will be recorded and available to listen to immediately following the call.

Our first call will be NEXT THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4th! ☎️

The $7 sign-up offer is only good for this first month we are launching the program, so don’t miss out on such an awesome deal! 🙌

Please feel free to share this opportunity with anyone you know and love who needs to learn how to put their own oxygen mask on first. ❤️

I hope you will join us on the phone next Thursday and start loving yourself to health! 💫




Protein powder – do you need it? I don’t, and here’s why…

One of my awesome clients sent me this Consumer Reports article and asked me what I thought about protein powder, which is what prompted this post.

Please – do your own research!

Here’s my two cents about just about every single article, report, study, etc. published by any and all agencies to try to prove or disprove anything: only you can decide what is true for you.

After reading the article my client sent me, then digging a little deeper into the Clean Label Project who funded the study (always find out who funds any study you are reading that is trying to convince you of anything – where the money comes from is a great indicator of the bias of the findings of the study), I found what I find just about every time I dig a little deeper:

A whole lot of he said/she said, back and forth, back and forth.

To be clear – I’m not saying that the Clean Label Project, Consumer Reports, or anyone for that matter is right, wrong, or otherwise.

I am saying that, after performing my own due diligence to best serve my client that involved an intentionally short trip down a rabbit hole, which is where all research leads (I recommend limiting the time you choose to dive into said rabbit holes as it can become never-ending) I will continue to always choose to make my own assessments based on facts combined with how things make me FEEL after doing my own experiments – physically, mentally, spiritually – and using my best judgment and discretion based on the feedback my body provides.

That is what I will always recommend each person do for themselves as well.

Ever since graduating from personal training school in 2010 and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nutrition science, I have always had my suspicions about the efficacy, safety, and necessity of protein powder supplements, but that didn’t stop me from using them consistently for a long period of time.

Back then, I was not nearly as concerned or vigilant about the quality of ingredients I chose to put in my body, however, I was crystal clear on the fact that there wasn’t – and there still isn’t – any regulatory committee that oversees the truth in labeling regarding nutritional supplements, including protein powders.

I knew this meant that protein powder manufacturers could, quite literally, put anything they wanted on the ingredient labels and nutrition fact labels of their products and that nobody was there to ensure they were being truthful.

I used protein powder steadily for more than seven years. Throughout that time I was always active – lifting weights, Crossfit, yoga, Zumba, and a variety of other exercise modalities. First I used Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard whey protein powder, then as I listened to the signs my body was sending me and chose to move away from animal products, I transitioned to both Vega Sport and MRM Veggie Elite protein powders.

Around 2015, I simply began feeling gross – mentally and physically – anytime I thought about having a protein shake. The same shake I had every day for the past seven years, sometimes two times a day, no longer appealed to me and actually made me feel ill when I thought about drinking it.

My body simply did not want me to ingest it anymore, and at that point, I had consciously and intentionally trained myself to know how to first listen to my body – to my intuitive inner wisdom that knows everything about what I need and don’t need to be healthy – and then to act in accordance with the signs I was receiving.

Intuitive eating is how I live and what I teach others to use when building their own nutritional lifestyle.

I simply stopped using protein powders. I did not become protein deficient. I did not lose any of my muscle mass. I did not gain weight. I did not worry about replacing the 25-50 grams of protein I was no longer ingesting with protein specifically – I made it up with a variety of all macronutrients in whatever ratio I felt I needed each day. I felt a lot better overall – the same way I feel when I intuitively reduce or eliminate any highly processed food-like item from my daily nutritional lifestyle.

I was fooling myself into believing two things based on “popular science” and marketing bullshit that I no longer believe to be true:

  1. Protein powder is a healthy food, or that protein powder is food at all – it’s not – it’s a food-like item.
  2. I needed a large amount of protein in my diet daily in order to remain healthy, fit, nourished, and to be able to continue to build muscle.

I know now without any doubt that both of those things are not true for me.

I can’t say what is true for you. Only you can choose to experiment and see what your body really wants and needs, not because an article or a trainer told you so, but because it makes you feel in tune with yourself, satisfied, energetic, and not like you’re force feeding yourself or restricting yourself intensely to reach a certain set macronutrient ratio.

Here’s what I know for sure:

  1. We all have our own internal, intuitive wisdom that, if honed in on, will always guide us to the right choices when it comes to how to nourish our bodies, minds, and spirits. Learning to do this is a practice that will serve you for the rest of your life in ways you can’t even imagine.
  2. I personally don’t need more than 50 grams of protein per day in order to have what I consider the health I desire, including strength, endurance, overall physical fitness, mental clarity, great blood work time and time again (including cholesterol, blood pressure, Vitamin panels, thyroid, Hemoglobin A1C, and more – I love studying my blood work and get more blood work than the average bear, and more often).
    I am a woman, currently 35 years old and weighing 135 pounds that exercises 5-7 days a week consistently in a variety of modalities. I have had type 1 diabetes for 27 years. There are some days get 50 grams of protein, some days I get 100 and some days in between – whatever I need each day, I get.
  3. Eliminating protein powders from my life caused me absolutely zero problems.

I had no plans at all of writing this as a blog post, but once I got to writing back to my client, Misi (a 67 year old highly athletic female with type 1) I realized that I wanted to share this response with anyone else who might want to hear my opinions.

For some levity, check out this short parody that another one of my clients sent me on the topic of intuitive eating. I got a kick out of it, and it drives home the point of needing to know what makes you feel good versus believing everything you read without doing your own experimentation in a lighthearted way. 🙂

I’d love to hear about your experiences with protein powder as your feedback is so helpful in forming a clearer picture on the topic.

Do you love it? Hate it? Indifferent?

Please leave a comment below to help me gather real, community-sourced feedback!

Thanks for reading!




Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Diabetes Parents Support Network Meeting

Super excited and honored to be able to present at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for the Diabetes Parents Support Network meeting!

CHOP Event