Life is short. It really is. When you think how quickly this past month has flown by (and that we're already halfway through February!), it's shocking. Every day I hear and read about big dreams that people have, life goals, bucket lists. But how many people go on to accomplish all those things? It's not because of the money, the time it takes, or because they don't have the willpower to achieve. Usually, it's about permission. How often do we wait for someone else to give us permission to move ahead with our life? We wait for permission from our partner, our parents, our children, our friends, our boss... the list goes on and on. We're waiting for someone else to say, "It's ok. Reach for the stars. Do what you need to do."
The things is: we create our own life. We can choose to listen to other people and let them make our decisions for us, or we can choose to step up, own our reality, and create the changes we want. I graduated top of my high school class. I got SO MUCH PRESSURE to go to an Ivy League school. It would've been easy to get in, easy to go the four years and get a degree, but it's not what I wanted to do. I wanted to help people just like me, women who struggle with their relationship with themselves, their body, and food. So I went to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I got certified as a health coach. It may not be nationally accredited, but I was taught by internationally reknowned experts. My classmates were from every walk of life and those who had studied nutrition or gotten their doctorates said that Integrative Nutrition was more comprehensive than their entire schooling. I paid for the school myself, with no help from financial aid, no scholarships, and no parental support.
When I went to volunteer for Heifer International at their learning center for 3 months, it wasn't an easy decision for Jesse and I. I'd been wanting to work 5 years and had been applying for a year and a half. When I finally got the call for an interview, I knew I was going to go. Jesse's told me since day one: "Do what you need to do. I don't ever want to hold you back." I seriously wish every partner and friend would be like that; just letting each other grow without needing to ask for permission. Of course, we discussed the logistics, but the decision was ultimately mine.
When I was diagnosed with an eating disorder in high school, I both wanted and needed as much support as possible. Throughout my recovery, I shared my story, hoping to inspire others towards recovery and raise awareness. There was a girl at my school who was bulimic and who would send me hate mail through Facebook because she was upset that I was so open about my eating disorder. She said that I should keep it to myself. If I had taken her advice, a number of girls wouldn’t have continued progressing in their treatment. I gave myself permission to speak out about what was considered a “taboo” topic and people couldn’t get enough of it! My public speaking and psychology presentations on eating disorders always went over the limit- not because of too much content or lack of preparation, but from the Q&A!
This past week, I was privileged to be interviewed for a book on recovering from anorexia. It’s being written by a woman who works in a residential eating disorder treatment facility. Her patients say they don’t have many success stories for recovery. By giving myself permission to be candid and share all the gruesome details, these women have hope for a better future.
So if you're waiting for someone to give you the go-ahead, don't. You don't need anyone's permission but your own.

Author's Bio: 

Shannon Lagasse, Self-Love and Weight-Loss Mentor, teaches women how to lose weight by ditching the diet and loving their body. By coming a from a focus on pleasure, instead of discipline and deprivation, her clients are empowered to lose weight naturally, easily, and for good. Get your FREE copy of “The 7 Missing Ingredients in Every Diet Program That Are Crucial to Weight-Loss Success” by visiting

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