Featured Expert - Multi-faceted Unicorn and Coach on Self-Love
It's almost Valentine's Day❣ Whether you have a bae/hunny or not in your life, every single woman deserves self-love and self-care.
Love doesn't always have to come from other people. In fact, it is so important to love yourself. As women, we wear so many hats in this modern day, and sometimes we forget about our own needs because we are so busy taking care of other people - at work, at home, anywhere really.
This interview of Chrystal Rose is about self-love that impacts the mind, body, and spirit. I'm going to be completely honest - this is something that I am 100% still struggling with. I've been bullied and shamed all of my life, a lot of times by the people whom I thought loved me and was closest to me, so this topic is absolutely important to me. Sometimes people don't realize that words really hurt, and they truly don't realize how those words can impact others' self-esteem, self-worth, and self-love.
Chrystal owns Rebellia, the Rebel Babe Cave podcast, and Mental Message. She is also a nutritional coach and is currently working on obtaining a certification in life coaching that focuses on body image and disordered eating from a holistic approach. Chrystal is extremely passionate at what she does and wants to make an impact on women's lives - centering around changing the mindset, achieving sustainability (instead of trying yo-yo diets), and working towards balance.
Wow Chrystal, you've got a lot going on! Please tell us a little bit about each of your brands and projects: Rebellia, the Rebel Babe Cave podcast, and Mental Message.
Rebellia is my online clothing boutique for women with muscles and curves. We know intimately how hard it can be to find clothes that fit the unique body of someone who works out a lot and/or has muscles so we set out to solve this problem for women who struggled with it.
I also coach nutrition and am working on a life coaching certification that focuses on body image and disordered eating so that I can help women not just from a food and weight loss perspective-- putting band-aids on bullet wounds but a more holistic approach that will create sustainable results and a life of freedom in that arena.
The Rebel Babe Cave podcast is essentially a platform for all of my loves. Health + wellness, fitness + nutrition, with a sprinkle of business, self-love and a solid base of woman empowerment.
Mental Message is my nonprofit and what I really view to be my legacy. My goal is to build an app that will send people who are struggling mentally, uplifting audio messages. It's SO hard to reach out when you are going through something but there is nothing like human connection when you are in a tough spot, so we want to provide that for people.
How does everything you do tie together? What inspired you to do all this?
I really feel like everything falls into the realm of helping others feel good in one way or another. It's what lights me up. The inspiration for Rebellia came from a place in my own fitness journey when I was happy with my new, muscular body but found myself in tears in a dressing room unable to find clothes that fit. I knew I couldn't be the only one with that problem and I hated the thought of other women having that awful feeling. I wanted to fix that for all of us.
For my nutrition coaching, I really fell in love with the science behind it because I had always lived in this world of black and white when it came to food. I found an amazing way to diet that gave me structure without restrictions and I wanted to share that with others to help them break free from the endless yoyo dieting cycle.
I created the podcast as another way to not only bring attention to what I am doing, brands I love and women who need to be heard. It gives me another way to share aside from writing which is what I have mostly done through my blogs and social media.
Let's talk a little bit about self-love. As modern women, we tend to wear so many hats and have very little time for self-love and self-care. What is self-love and what should that look like for women?
Self love is all that energy and effort you give freely to others -- only it's directed at yourself. No one tells their spouse or their kids-- sorry but I don't have time to love you. You just love them. And sometimes it's inconvenient but you still do things for them because you love them.
Self-love is not a bubble bath or a mani/pedi (though those can be great self-care tools) but it's showing up for yourself. Healing your past wounds, being committed to self-awareness and growth. Sometimes it's admitting you're wrong rather than being defensive. Sometimes it's asking for help. Sometimes it's taking 5 minutes to scream your head off or taking 5 minutes to sit in silence in your car. Sometimes it's spending more time with others and sometimes it's spending more time alone. It's giving yourself grace and kindness when you mess up-- because you will. We all do. It's realizing there are seasons of life and burners to rotate and being okay with not being 100% perfect. It's asking yourself what you need, right now in this moment and then giving it. We all have time for self-love.
Many of us have horrible relationships with ourselves and what we look like. And that affects the relationship with food. So many women turn to yo-yo dieting and "quick" fixes and end up disappointed. Can you talk a little more about this?
I could literally write a book (and I kind of am) on this entire subject!
I think women focus on how they look because it's the easiest thing to focus on-- and we know that ultimately it's in our control. We are constantly shown images that are impossible to live up to and it's hard not to compare and feel less than. We are criticized and judged constantly for being too fat, too skinny, to muscular too SOMETHING. We have wounds from childhood and past relationships we aren't sure of how to fix so we tell ourself that our happiness with ourself will begin when we get "there" with our bodies -- only that once we get to the weight we want or the look we thought we wanted, we have a new list of things we want to change about ourselves and a new goal weight and the cycle never ends. I can't tell you how many women with seemingly perfect bodies endlessly pick themselves apart-- only for the women who feels less than, to feel even worse because if SHE doesn't like her body, then how can I?
As far as quick fixes and fads-- we have had so many rules, myths, misinformation, shiny diets and documentaries shoved down our throats that most people have no idea what actually does work. Some people will fully believe that a diet worked for them in the past, because they lost X amount of weight-- and that they need to get back on it-- not realizing that if the diet actually worked, they'd still be doing it because it should be sustainable for life. It's far easier for people to buy into the latest fad as something might actually work for them rather than the truth, which in a nutshell is mostly just consistency and patience.
It's so easy to lose weight for a period of time, only to find the weight creep back (and more). Is balance truly achievable in this modern time? How can women find sustainability?
Most people don't realize that the reason it gets harder and harder to lose weight and easier and easier to put the weight back on and then some, is because our bodies are incredibly efficient at keeping us alive. That hasn't changed from our hunter/gatherer days. So when you are in a calorie deficit, your body believes it's in a famine. And when you hop off your diet and just start eating in excess, your body essentially tries to safeguard itself from that happening again now that it's getting the excess calories. It packs on the fat to save for the next famine.
Losing weight fast usually means that it's being done in an unsustainable way. You are cutting out food you actually like in order to lose weight, so unless you are somehow able to never eat those things EVER AGAIN and stick to this diet forever and ever then you will most likely gain it back.
I personally practice and coach flexible dieting. It allows me to get in whole, nutrient dense foods and practice actual moderation with the stuff other diets will tell you is "bad." It's sustainable long term because you never feel deprived.The best diet is one you can stick to and really boils down to eating less than you burn. That's all. It doesn't matter if you sometimes eat cookies, donuts or pizza-- if you are eating less than you burn, you'll still lose weight. It's not as satisfying results-wise because it's slower but the effects are longer lasting.
It's easier to quit on ourselves and tell ourselves that it's too hard than it is to be consistent, patient and watch the weight come off slo o o o owly.
Changing lifestyle to achieve a healthier mind, body, and spirit can be daunting. Where can people start? Any tips and tricks for small changes for those who feel like they don't have any time?
I think a lot of people get it wrong and try to change their entire lifestyle, rather than trying to find what will fit within it first and then introducing small micro changes. Once the first change becomes a habit, introduce another. Set small attainable goals, and then stretch them. For example if you want to start drinking a gallon of water a day-- don't just jump to drinking a gallon a day, you will likely fail. Start with maybe 1/4 of that and once you get a good streak, increase it. If there is a chasm between the person you are and the person you want to be, you have to start bridging the gap little by little to find success rather than making a flying leap and falling to your doom.
As far as time is concerned-- we all have it. It's just a matter of prioritization, and if you don't believe you have any start tracking it. How many minutes do you spend on social media? On Netflix? In the grocery store? Could you get up 30 min earlier? 30 min later? An hour? Can you take a couple hours on Sunday to bulk prep food for the week to make healthy options more convenient during the week? Can you find a gym with childcare? Can you order groceries and pick them up rather than physically going? Can you order meal prep to take it off your plate entirely?
Most of us aren't as productive with our time as we could be and the fact is we are ALL busy. All of us. We all have challenges we face with our time but really it boils down to prioritization.
Mind, body, spirit - each one impacts the other. What happens when someone has been through traumas and is off-balance in all three areas? Which one of the three do you advise to work on first?
Trauma isn't limited to one aspect so only working on one, will leave you imbalanced. The beautiful thing is that our mind, body and spirit all work together. If you are in a bad mood, you can put on music and dance and I promise you, that state of being you were in before will have changed. Changing your physicality is the quickest way to change your mental state. I can't tell you how many days I have felt anxious (mental) or sad (emotional) and gone into the gym to lift weights or boxing or a cardio dance class and emerged feeling lighter in my mind and spirit. When we let all the aspects of ourselves work together, that's when the magic happens.
Fitness or nutrition - which one would you advise all of us to focus on first if we're currently not happy with our bodies?
I would advise to choose whichever is easiest for you. If that is hitting a bootcamp class 2-3x a week because it's next to your work, going for a walk every morning after dropping kids off at the bus stop or dancing like a maniac in your basement for 20-30 min a few days a week then YES, do that! You don't have to lift like a bodybuilder or a powerlifter. You don't have to run marathons or workout 5-6 days a week for 2 hours a day to see an improvement with your health or start working towards results. Find the workout that you enjoy, and you'll stick to it.
If it's easier for you to start making immediate changes in your diet-- then do that. You can invest in a coach to help you and educate you to make it easier, or start by learning true portion sizes. There is no one size fits all approach but if you tackle the mountain that's easier to climb, you will likely start in on the other shortly after.
Changes take time, after all Rome wasn't built in one day. So for all the impatient folks like myself, how much time should we give ourselves for transformations?
You will not like this answer -- but as long as it takes. We are so used to instant gratification in our lives that we have zero patience when it comes to a process that simply takes time. Our bodies are all different. Our lifestyles, metabolisms, the calories we burn, the calories we need to consume, muscle mass, hormones-- they all factor in. I think when you are enjoying the lifestyle and the journey, you are less focused on the destination. When you are appreciating what your body can do versus what it looks like, you will settle in on the path and realize that this is a marathon, not a sprint. This should be a for the rest of your life thing rather than given a due date like for a wedding, vacation or some event that will be a blip in the grand scheme of things.
Of course we all want to see progress and that can't just be measured with one tool like the scale. For most people they only see progress as pounds lost but that doesn't tell the whole story. I advise my clients to take weekly pictures, measurements at least monthly and I even have them weigh themselves daily-- which sounds counterintuitive but I believe it's the key to breaking that horrible relationship and mindset we have around the scale in our weight.
I will say that if you start a new regime give yourself at least a month of consistency to see any sort of progress and again, not only using one tool to measure that progress. If you have lost inches but not weight, it's a still a win because you have most likely lost fat. If absolutely nothing changes, not even your pictures, then that's still a win because you may have found your maintenance and now know what to tweak to start seeing results.
Quitting or changing everything all at once only moves you that much further from your goals. Small changes eventually equal big results.
Is this self-transformation only internal? Do women also need a strong network/community surrounding her to make changes?
I think community essentially helps in all aspects of our lives as long as you aren't using it to compare yourself. But community can provide motivation, inspiration, accountability and really just someone who gets what you are going through and that is just simply invaluable.
What's the best advice you have ever received from someone else to achieve a more balanced, healthier lifestyle?
Someone once told me that balance was like having several burners on a stove. Not all of them need your attention at once. Sometimes you will need to rotate the pots on the burners. Sometimes you will need to turn down the heat or even remove a pot. The important part is focusing on the burner you need to and when you rotate them, focus on the next one. Balance isn't about doing everything perfectly at all times, it's about giving each thing the attention it deserves when it's that thing's time.
Also, a friend of mine, Violette De Ayala shared her 3 circle formula of Health, Wealth and Happiness on my podcast and I found it to be brilliant. I can't do any sort of justice explaining it, but it is episode 2 if you want to have a listen.
If our readers take away one thing from you, what is that most important thing?
Be freaking kind and patient with yourself. Stop expecting yourself to be perfect at things you are unfamiliar with. Know that you are not alone, most of us are out here struggling trying to do our best too.
I know you're currently pursuing a certification. Can you tell us more about what you're pursuing, why you're doing, and who you're going to be serving?
YES. So I am currently certified through Precision Nutrition, have continued education with them as well and studied under amazing people in the nutrition space. I've been coaching for a couple of years now and it's just so incredible to get to help people reach their weight loss or performance goals. I absolutely love it.
I recently started a really intense life coaching certification that focuses on the emotionality behind body image and disordered eating. I really feel like this is the missing piece to my coaching because there have been clients of mine that I simply wasn't equipped to help because while mindset has always been an important part of my coaching, they were too deep in self-sabotage to even show up for themselves when it came to their food. I wasn't even able to get started with them before they quit. There is nothing worse as a coach than to see someone's potential, KNOW that they can achieve what they desire and then feel helpless to help them overcome what's holding them back.
I spent years in yoyo dieting hell. I spent years hating my body, even resorting to extremes like Coolsculpting that actually ended up going wrong and ruining parts of my body. I know how it feels to look in the mirror and hate what you see or pick yourself apart, never feeling good enough or like you measure up. I'm so grateful that I finally found the path I found, but I want to save other women from that pain and give them the tools they need to achieve the body they desire but also create love for it along the way there. I want to help them break free from all this BS around food and body image and just finally feel good in their skin on another level. So few people are actually doing this, I'm honored to be able to offer it.
One last question - What's your hopes and dreams? What do you hope to achieve with everything you are doing?
I love traveling the world, want to keep doing it and hopefully someday I'll be doing that for speaking. I want to create a global impact. I want the businesses I build to help people all over the world in one way or another. I want to save lives.
I also want to build the kind of wealth it takes to turn around and invest in other women and THEIR hopes and dreams. I'm tired of seeing the teeny tiny percent of the pie that women get for funding. I want to be a part of bringing women's ideas to the forefront and give them the tools, mentorship and funds to make it happen.
That sounds amazing; I truly hope you achieve those hopes and dreams, Chrystal!
Phew, what a long interview. Thank you so much for taking time to answer all of those questions! Before we part, where can people find you and learn more about the great work you are doing?
Aside from the links and social media below you can make an appointment to pop into our little storefront located at 18535 Old Statesville Rd. Suite B in Cornelius 28031.
You can also subscribe to my weekly self-love newsletter here.
Well you know I'm going to have to ask this. What is your favorite Roses and Azalea product that you've personally tried and how has it helped you?
I absolutely LOVE the dry shampoo for dark hair! It doesn't make my scalp feel grainy, works fast and works just as well as the conventional brands but without the icky chemicals. I always use it after workouts when I need to look presentable or to stretch out those last couple of days before having to wash my hair. It even helps cover my grays haha!
Well, thanks so much for reading through this topic of self-love today. We truly hope that if you are feeling a little stuck, this will move you in a positive direction. Chrystal and I both are sending all of you much love and positive vibes no matter what.
If any of this resonate with you and you're really wanting a little more guidance, make sure you contact Chrystal! Even if it is that first step of listening to her podcast or signing up for her newsletter, it all matters.
"Where there is great love, there are always wishes." Well, I am sending over so much love to you from Charlotte, NC. May all your wishes come true, beautiful❣
Chrystal Rose is a multi-faceted unicorn and a fierce advocate for self-love, women empowerment (the real kind) and mental + physical health. She has had many fascinating careers and experiences, including owning Rebellia, an online clothing store for women with muscles and curves. After being sick and tired of yo-yo dieting, her fitness journey led her to obtaining certifications in nutritional coaching as well as CFL-1 and CrossFit Kids. She is currently working towards her certification as a life coach that focuses on body image and eating disorders from a holistic approach
18535 Old Statesville Rd.
Cornelius, NC 28031