Do You Know a Man Who Gets Botox? | If Not, Why Not?

Do You Know a Man Who Gets Botox? | If Not, Why Not?

The topic of Botox injections keeps coming up in the most random ways in my life. I can’t explain why. I also can’t explain exactly what I find so fascinating about this as a conversation topic. But I can explain what sorts of related ideas it’s been leading me to wonder about recently, and I think that hearing my story might lead you to consider intriguing questions of your own. 

Botox and Me

I find Botox, Fillers, Wrinkle Threading with Collagen and other similar treatments to be super interesting to consider overall.

I had Botox injections 20+ years ago. I have very deep lines between my eyes. I call them “butt cracks” on my face. They are so deep that my make-up base gets caught in these lines. When I get my eyebrows waxed, she has to separate the lines to get the wax to grab the hair. In the grand scheme of things, this is a minor embarrassment, but these lines are not my best feature.

The Botox did not work for the deep furrowed lines, but my forehead looked great. Dealing with the way the injections paralyzed my face was weird. I had to change my technique for putting on mascara because I couldn’t raise my eyebrow to apply it. My facial expressions changed because some parts of my face were frozen. I didn’t go back. But the experience was fascinating.

Botox Habits

I learned from a friend that she does many of these treatments, and I was eager to hear all about which treatment does what to her face. She goes with a group of gals to the office of a medical person who does Botox in addition to other mainstream work. (I think that’s a brilliant service to offer and a great way to add revenue! It’s also efficient to do more than one person at a time.)

My friend loves the way she looks and she feels great. She is comfortable with the person who does the different injections and the procedures themself.

I have no input about anything anyone does to feel more confident. As long as it’s safe and well-researched, a consenting adult should do what makes them feel better about themself. I think, who wouldn’t want to look better? I’m all for it. 

I don’t see my face as much as my husband does. He is adamant that I DO NOT get Botox on my facial “butt cracks”. He thinks they are sexy. I do not understand this but so far, I’m willing to go along with his wishes. I didn’t like getting it done either. Once you start, you have to keep it up. More time and money. On the other hand, I love lashes. I think I’ll do that again and hope the beautiful lashes distract from the facial “butt crack”. Mostly, no one else cares, so why should I?

I’ve had this conversation with several people.

Then, a male friend of mine brought it up. He was talking about a woman he was dating. She is a Nurse Practitioner and does Botox parties. He said he wasn’t that familiar with it until he started seeing her, but now he is much more aware. He told me she has Botox parties and gives the hostess Botox for free. I am aware of these types of parties. I think they are great if you are interested in this. A Nurse Practitioner is someone easily trusted, and who could easily be researched. Another safe, efficient option. 

“Guys Don’t Do That”

This is not the point. The point is that I asked my friend if he’d gotten Botox. For context, he’s an attractive man of a certain age. Bald, fit, and has some lines he’d look better without. He was a bit taken aback by my question. 

He said that guys don’t do that. I asked why not? He told me he was happy with G-d’s gifts and his face was just fine. And he said I’d look very attractive with botox. Attractive is a word he uses often and I didn’t take any offense. I would look very attractive with Botox. Who wouldn’t? But, why wouldn’t he consider it, too? He would look very attractive as well. 

To put it more starkly: This is a single guy in his 50’s who would look better if his lady friend gave him some Botox, and he clearly had not even considered it. Yet many women, seemingly always considering it, choose to do hair, nails, lashes, plastic surgery, wrinkle creams and treatments, electrolysis, waxing in all kinds of places, dying their brows…the list is long. 

And so I wonder: Do you know a guy who gets Botox done? My point, of course, is not really about a direct answer to that, but more about why it seems so bizarre to ask this question. Do you feel there is a continued double standard at play here, in general and in your life? 

Double Standards and Feeling Stuck

The long list of ways that many women are continually addressing “attractiveness” and the ease with which many men breeze past such considerations is overwhelming. I guess it makes me sad.

I also see how it can make many of us feel stuck, causing us to take up perfectionist habits while trying to keep up with double standards, making us always wonder if something about our “beauty” routine could be affecting how we’re perceived at work, or simply causing general confusion about how treatments like Botox fit into our personal wellness plans.

I’ve previously written about our misuse of the terms “personal care” and “self care,” and I think that maybe these patterns of double standards are part of what leads to our difficulties in knowing which is which, and in turn creating a huge discrepancy in time that women feel they can spend on self care versus personal care. 

I hope that we all get the chance to think more about how much this directly affects our daily lives.

Reach out to me to share your thoughts. What’s your take away here? Do you know a guy who gets Botox? Do your experiences lead to a completely different set of questions than mine? I’d love to chat about it!

Does Anyone Else Miss COVID Lockdown? | Life Seemed More Simple Then

Does Anyone Else Miss COVID Lockdown? | Life Seemed More Simple Then

Please understand that I tend to forget the chaos that was early-COVID lockdown empty shelves of toilet paper and the inability to buy paper towels. Or the uncertainty and expectation that when lockdown was over we would be free of COVID.

I’m simply remembering that there wasn’t much to do but hang out at home, get groceries delivered, learn to cook and work away in my home office. In my memory, I felt safe from decision making because there weren’t any decisions to make then. It seems like a more simple time than today.

Making A Lot of Decisions Hurts Our Brains

No. Really. It literally hurts our brains. My favorite marketing guru, Donald Miller, teaches that if your marketing message confuses your customer, you lose them because the brain prefers not to have to work too hard to figure things out. Expending energy (calories) is exhausting.

Do You Feel Exhausted In These Post-Lockdown Days?

I wish the calories my brain was expending had the same result as a good workout!

Right now, days seem overwhelmingly full of decisions to make: Is it safe to be with people? Am I supposed to wear a mask? Can I infect someone unknowingly who is vulnerable like the elderly or children if I have COVID? Am I with people who are not vaccinated? Why aren’t they vaccinated? Is it really possible that we now believe in two separate sciences and two sets of facts? How is this even possible?

Protect Your Brain

Take care of yourself and determine how you can protect yourself from too much “hurting brain.” Try a few (or all) of these techniques to help reduce the overwhelm and feel unstuck from needless exhaustion:

  1. Limit the amount of news you ingest. It’s ok to listen to a good book and music that fills you up rather than the news which can be exhausting.
  2. Imagine you are in a room with only one way in and no way out. Only let people into that room who lift you up.
  3. Make certain that you take time for a self-care routine, including habits like expressing gratitude, engaging with meditation, going for a massage, or taking a hot bath.
  4. Prioritize your to-do list and really focus on what matters most in your personal and professional life. Sometimes, the more stressed you feel, the more you feel compelled to expand your to-do list. That just creates more stress and brain fatigue.
  5. Be as kind to yourself as you are to your friends. Sometimes it seems like we hold ourselves to a higher, harder standard than we hold others. That’s just not right.

Being stuck with “hurting brain” can make it pretty difficult to get started on any new to-do list item, let alone getting started with changes to your routine that will make a huge difference in the long run. If you’re feeling exhausted at the thought of getting started in this post-COVID lockdown world, sign up for a free 30-minute sample coaching session, and we can work together to bring a little more simplicity into your life. It’s time to get UNSTUCK!

Barb Mason, Coach

I am a coach and jewelry designer. At UNSTUCK Coaching, I help middle-agers make changes toward the most fulfilling employment experience. As my own first coaching client, I know what it takes to get UNSTUCK.

Unlock access to a FREE coaching session and downloadable journaling guide when you sign up for the UNSTUCK newsletter.

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Life’s Too Short. What Are You Waiting For?

Life’s Too Short. What Are You Waiting For?

You’ve been through a lot at this point. It really doesn’t matter what age you are either. You know someone whose life was cut short by cancer, a car accident, COVID, a drug overdose, old age or died too soon. You, or someone you know, has been impacted by a life altering event by way of job loss, business loss, or loss of a relationship. 

How many times has something major happened in your life or the life of someone you know and you say, “life’s too short. I’ve got to start living for today?”  Seems like the moment passes and we quickly go back to what we always did.

Why do we do that? I believe it’s a combination of many things. 

  • If we are going to live our lives differently, then we must be willing to change. And change is so darn hard.
  • We wait for some kind of motivation like there’s a magic motivation wand. I’m here to tell you, there isn’t one.
  • Without a concrete plan, items on your “bucket list” don’t get done.

What’s on your bucket list? 

Do you even have one? A friend was recently diagnosed with an illness that will alter their remaining days. Retirement is within reach so they were already planning for retirement. What were they going to do once that magical day came?  The list was being compiled, but now everything has changed. With limited healthy time left, they have much to consider.

I wish their list had already been written, prior to diagnosis. I wish everyone’s list was already written because then it could be studied and prioritized. Now isn’t the right time to suggest writing an obituary, but I think if we all did that today, while we’re healthy, we could decide how we wanted to spend our time and determine what matters most to us.

COVID brought life’s priorities to the top of our minds because for so many people there were incredible losses. Loss of life, of freedom, of things to do, places to go, people to see. For others there was some gain like spending precious time with the people inside your bubble, or realizing who you wanted to be with and who you didn’t miss at all. 

This is a great time to write down your bucket list, before all that you learned during COVID becomes a distant memory. 

  • Write down what matters most. 
  • What do you want to do while you are healthy? 
  • If you need to make more money to do it, figure out the way to do that. 
  • If you want to travel but can’t find the time? Do it. 
  • If you don’t have a plan, nothing will happen. 
  • Write down your bucket list today.

Can’t figure out how to get your bucket list started or how to prioritize it? Get help from a friend or an accountability partner who will hold you to it. And if that doesn’t work, hire a coach. Because nothing matters more to YOUR coach than what YOU want from your life. 

Still feeling stuck? Book a 30-minute sample coaching session to get UNSTUCK and Imagine Your Life’s Possibilities.

Barb Mason, Coach

I am a coach and jewelry designer. At UNSTUCK Coaching, I help middle-agers make changes toward the most fulfilling employment experience. As my own first coaching client, I know what it takes to get UNSTUCK.

Unlock access to a FREE coaching session and downloadable journaling guide when you sign up for the UNSTUCK newsletter.

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Hoping to Get Motivated? That’s Going to Take a While.

Hoping to Get Motivated? That’s Going to Take a While.

“I’ve got to get back on track; I’m just not motivated.” 

That’s how the conversation started the other day with my client. It makes sense, right? To stay on track to accomplish everything, or even stay on track once you’ve completed something, all you need is to get motivated. Sounds accurate, but actually, I would argue that this is precisely wrong. Here’s why…

The things that get done consistently are not things we are motivated to do but rather the things for which we have a plan and from which we do not deviate. 

An easy example of this is walking the dog. If the only way your dog relieves itself is when you walk it, then you must walk it whether you are motivated or not. No one is motivated to walk their dog in the cold, rain, heat, when they’re tired or just don’t feel like it. But your dog has to go, and so you do.

Think about what’s on your I’m-waiting-for-motivation list. If you’re waiting for motivation to strike, like lightning, then it’s probably not that important to you. And that’s ok. Take the item off the list because it’s just making you feel bad, sitting there, undone. If organizing your closet is on your list, and you’re waiting for the motivation to get it done without a plan? Take it off the list. And if you can’t bear to take it off the list, then it’s important enough to you, and you need to make a plan to get it done. 

There are so many other things on our list that won’t get done without a real plan with defined steps and deadlines. 

A growing to-do list can feel overwhelming, so start with small goals by breaking a bigger goal into smaller bite-size steps. Using the S.M.A.R.T. approach, let’s look at a common goal like getting more exercise: 

S = Specific: Walk 4-days per week for 20-minutes per day

M = Measurable: 4-days per week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday 

A = Attainable: Short amount of time. I can do it first thing in the morning.

R = Relevant: I want to get more exercise. I can do this anywhere.

T = Time-based: I will start this today.

What’s on your to-do list? 

If it’s important enough to stay on the list or take up space in your mind, then it’s important enough to warrant a plan to get it done. And if it’s important, but you’re struggling to get it done on your own, then get an accountability partner. This can be a Certified Professional Coach that you hire or a trusted friend or colleague who will hold you accountable and not let you slide or make excuses. 

The magic of working with a Professional Coach is they have only one agenda; YOU. Suppose you’ve got something important you want to accomplish but can’t figure out how to get it done. In that case, a Professional Coach will help you clarify what it is, break it down into actionable steps and hold you accountable for your commitments.

I can help you move from waiting-for-motivation to Ready-for-Action! If you’re hoping to get motivated, schedule a sample call today to learn more.

Barb Mason, Coach

I am a coach and jewelry designer. At UNSTUCK Coaching, I help middle-agers make changes toward the most fulfilling employment experience. As my own first coaching client, I know what it takes to get UNSTUCK.

Unlock access to a FREE coaching session and downloadable journaling guide when you sign up for the UNSTUCK newsletter.

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UNSTUCK Wellness Is More Important than Dieting

UNSTUCK Wellness Is More Important than Dieting

I wonder how much weight I have lost and gained over the course of my 58 years. Just thinking about it makes me sad. Weight and thinness was a big deal to my mom and her generation of women.  The stories she told me about the shaming of her cousin would make anyone cry. That generation, or at least my mom, didn’t try to change the values they were raised with. She believed that if it was important to her mom, it was important to her and she would parent the same way. Sadly for my mom, I didn’t end up thin. She also promised that being thin meant being happy.  I wish I knew then, as I do now, that wellness is more important dieting.

I remember I reached my full height of 5’ 2” in 6th grade when I got my period.  I think I was 105 pounds then. The next weight I recall was 135 in the beginning of high school and by senior year I was 175. My mom was beside herself. Andy called me Orca in biology class. Freddy made fun of me all around and he was supposedly one of my best friends.  By that point, my self esteem was based on my weight. Both would get worse over time. Some of my mom’s advice included that I would only attract a quality boy/man if I was thin.  I think that was supposed to motivate me to lose weight so I would have a boyfriend.  Instead I dug in harder and realized having a boyfriend wasn’t even important to me. 

I did Weight Watchers, Overeaters Anonymous, Optifast, the 800 cal/day diet and you can probably fill in all the other diets I tried.  They all worked until they didn’t. Finally, in 2008 I had a procedure done called a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. It is a surgery for morbid obesity (BMI over 35. I think by the time of my procedure, I weighed 225). Your stomach is cut down to the size of your finger so you cannot eat much (restriction) and you don’t produce as much Ghrelin-the enzyme that causes the hunger sensation). There is no fix to weight loss.  Everything and nothing works. Wellness is more important dieting. These solutions are all tools for your weight loss use.  You are the carpenter, how you use the tools determines their effectiveness. I lost 95 pounds. The thinnest I had ever been since that 135 mark in Junior HIgh.

To this day, I cannot eat much at a meal thanks to my VSG (vertical sleeve gastrectomy) procedure. Had I used the tool as intended, I would always eat protein first (I can’t usually eat more than 2-3 oz at a meal), then veggies, then a complex carb (potato, legumes etc) if there is any room or hunger. These foods take up all the room in your now finger sized stomach so there is rarely room to go astray if you eat this way.

If you don’t use your tool as directed, it won’t work. Foods like beer, crackers, sweets and the like seem to melt in this new stomach and I could eat lots of it. These became staples of my diet by 2019 and I could maintain my weight easily at 175.  This was fine for me, actually.  I could eat and drink pretty much what I wanted and maintain this weight.  My VSG helped limit the ability to overeat too much and I simply chose to eat pretty poorly though I was delighted at the ability to maintain my weight.

Something went awry in December of 2019 and I gained about 5-7 pounds.  By the time COVID hit in March I went on what I have come to call the Cheezit diet. During the COVID months Herb and I ate whatever we wanted. Which flavor of oreos?  Couldn’t decide so I bought both. Salty snacks, cookies, cheese, crackers, potatoes with sour cream and butter, baking and you know the rest.  At the same time, the gyms were closed because I thought this way of life was going to be quite brief, I didn’t create an at home solution. I call this time the gaining of my COVID 19.

On June 6, as the world started coming out of it’s COVID cocoon, I had a lunch date with my dear friend Kenna. Nothing.  And I mean nothing fit. I got on the scale and weighed 191 pounds. Only 9 pounds away from 200. At the time I nearly died but 8 months later I am grateful I did this to myself.

Enter KETO.  Several years earlier, my massage therapist, Marianne, suggested I try KETO eating to reduce the inflammation that could be exacerbating my arthritis. I shut the idea down hard and said I would rather die than quit drinking beer.  Never mind all the other foods you can’t eat on KETO.  I did know it was a good plan for quick weight loss because any time you eliminate carbs, you lose lots of water weight. At this point in my COVID 19 weight gain, KETO sounded like a perfect solution.  I had to lose some weight as quickly as I could. I lost weight but still didn’t realize that wellness is more important dieting.

I loved KETO eating because the high fat foods replaced the desire for sugar and carbs like potatoes, bread, crackers etc.  My new snack was cheese on cucumber and one of my favorite veggies was mushrooms sauteed in heavy cream and butter. Full fat sour cream and salad dressing replaced their reduced fat alternatives. And vodka and bourbon were suitable replacements for my complete and committed love affair with hoppy high carb/calorie double IPA beers.

My weight went from 191 back to 175. And other changes took place too. My body felt better. My arthritis was a LOT better. And it was better than it was before when I weighed the same 175 pounds. So it wasn’t just losing some weight. I also had been to a rheumatologist for my arthritis and she prescribed hydroxychloroquine. I assume that helped me feel better too.

I know many people eat keto for a lifetime, but that didn’t seem like a healthy way to go forever. Logically, eliminating truly healthy food categories like complex carbs doesn’t make sense over time.  I switched from Keto to Vitalife when my friend and founder of the program, Davis Jaspers,  invited Herb and me to do a training video with him. While his program is amazing, what Davis did best for me was to ask if I was more interested in weight loss or health? Weight of course.  The whole point of a diet is to lose weight and look better. Right? Wrong.

Until this moment, no one had really talked about giving your body the healthiest foods so your body can function at its best. Eat the right foods and you will FEEL BETTER. Your brain will be clearer, your joints will be less inflamed, your skin will not look puffy, your workouts will be easier and more pleasant. 

What I finally learned after all this time trying to lose weight is that what matters most is wellness. If healthy eating means weight loss that’s great. If you feel healthier when you exercise and you want to work on that, we will make it happen. 

Given my years of exploration with wellness, numerous individuals have sought out my expertise. If my story resonates with you, together we can identify your goals, determine what motivates you, and envision your life’s possibilities. Together, you and I can create a future that allows you to embrace wellness. I welcome the opportunity to help you find the joy that comes with surrendering to stamina, vitality, strength, vigor, and making peace with food.

Barb Mason, Coach

I am a coach and jewelry designer. At UNSTUCK Coaching, I help middle-agers make changes toward the most fulfilling employment experience. As my own first coaching client, I know what it takes to get UNSTUCK.

Unlock access to a FREE coaching session and downloadable journaling guide when you sign up for the UNSTUCK newsletter.

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Self-Care versus Personal-Care…Do you know the difference?

I am studying to earn my Coaching Certification from the Coach Training Alliance. I don’t need to do it, but I am a lifelong learner and believe in credentialing whenever I can. Early on in my coursework, my classmates and I had a lively conversation about the importance of self-care. The work we do as coaches can get pretty intense and we need to show up for our clients in the best, healthiest, frame of mind, at all times. Self-care should be refreshing, calming, rejuvenating, and create the space necessary to help our clients Imagine their Life’s Possibilities.

I started to take inventory of what I thought self-care meant and questioned whether I practiced enough of these things. Hair, nails, lashes, and shopping were what came to mind first. Ironically, when I engage in these activities I feel anxious, stressed and uncomfortable in the chair. It feels like time is passing by and I can’t get it back. But, I love how I look and feel afterward, so I’ve imagined the alternative to NOT getting these things done:

  • I thought about going grey but when I saw a preview of that look, I realized I wasn’t quite ready for that change yet. 
  • Having my hands and toes done makes me feel good, but I’ve cut back on how often I have someone else do them, and now give myself regular mani and pedis.  
  • Eyelash extensions are THE BEST! They’re beautiful, and I’m totally obsessed! But, I’m rethinking this one because it requires a lot of maintenance, which requires a lot of time. 

These things all fall into the category of personal care, along with showering and teeth-brushing, but are not self-care.

Self-care, I’ve come to understand, is something altogether different. I’ve committed to daily self-care practices during COVID, and I know I will continue beyond the pandemic. Each of these practices has become vital to my productive day: 

  • Gratitude Journal- I spend the first hour of each day drinking coffee and water. My first cup is savored, in pure darkness and silence. While enjoying the second and third cups, I express my gratitude in a journal. I have so much to be grateful for that the simple practice of writing it down gets my day off to a positive start, so I don’t rush my daily journaling. I also spend about 10-minutes reflecting on the previous day and re-reading earlier entries. 
  • Vision- I created a vision for the next five years and wrote it down. Each day I read that vision so I’m clear on what I am working on, and toward. This takes me about a minute.
  • Health- In my weight loss program, Vitalife, we get body scans that provide us affirmations. I have done three scans and have three sets of affirmations I read daily.  This takes about a minute. Maybe two.
  • Mediation- I use the Headspace app to assist my meditation practice. Did you know that you only need to quiet your mind for three to 10-minutes to gain the benefits of meditation?
  • Fitness- I workout twice a week with a personal trainer via Zoom, and the other days on my own. Before my foot surgery, which I’m still healing from, I did Zoom yoga. Soon I’ll resume my yoga practice as well.

All of these things combine to help me reduce anxiety and stress, which in turn enhances my creativity and boosts my energy. As you can see, I’m not spending hours and hours in self-care.  And, in full disclosure, I don’t do ALL of these things every single day. Sometimes I slip up or miss a day. I’m not perfect, but I know and understand the benefits. I’m fully committed to continuing these practices for life because when I adhere to them, I’m a happier person and a better coach for my clients.

Are you struggling with self-care, either finding the time or feeling worthy of it? As a result, you might be feeling STUCK in life or your career. I can help!