Hello Fitlandians! Welcome back to the show. This is episode number 80 and I am so glad you are here because you are in for a real treat with our guest today! Today we are talking with Byrdie McCoy of Byrdie’s Babes and we are talking about the connection between mental health and fitness. Just a quick word of caution…we do have one curse word included so be mindful of that, though I do hope you choose to listen to our powerful conversation.


I also want to remind you that our next 30 Days to Thriving program is starting very soon! You can head over to sign up for the April session for guidance and support in your fitness journey! Enter FRIEND25 at checkout to save 25% off.

Today we are chatting with Byrdie McCoy. Byrdie is a fellow Portlander as well as an amazing fitness influencer and mental health advocate. Byrdie and Christa “met” via Instagram through a mutual friend and were able to connect via messenger…it was friends at first message! Their messages align perfectly. This episode is all about fitness and mental health and how those two relate.

Byrdie’s Story:

Byrdie has a beautiful little girl and just welcomed her new little prince into this world! Byrdie’s Babe’s is her blog which she created for women to get to know all they ways they can get healthy. It all started a couple years ago when she began offering free Bootcamps for women who had suffered trauma to get moving and feel good. They grew and grew until she decided to start a blog to reach even more amazing women.

The blog is all about showcasing all the amazing ways to move and to help women find the type of fitness that is best for them. It’s a tribe of beautiful babes learning about holistic health and finding support. As you all know, community connection is one of our four cornerstones of fitness and Byrdie is creating a safe and empowering space to feel good.

About 8 years ago, Byrdie was on a Greyhound that flipped on the highway. She was severely injured, breaking 13 bones in her face, severing her clavicle, dislocating her knee and much more. This was an incredibly horrible and traumatic time of her life. She was the mother to a young daughter, a college student, and wasn’t able to do much of anything. It was a dark place and she struggled significantly for awhile and was diagnosed with PTSD.

She tried medication for one day and couldn’t remember anything and immediately stopped taking the medication (this is not the best decision for everyone but was best for her). She started moving a little bit each day which helped her get her mind out of the trauma. She continued to increase the amount of movement she was doing each day because that is when she “felt good” again. She knew she wasn’t the only woman out there going through difficult things and she wanted to share the power of this transition with others and share this message and this experience led to Byrdie’s Babes.

It’s About Openness:

We are all having a human experience and being open and connecting in a safe space makes all the difference! Even if we have significant things going on in our lives, like PTSD or trauma, it is okay to lean on others. Even small steps will make a big difference in your life.

It isn’t healthy to just keep pushing through until you reach your limits. Though many of us, especially us women, like to push ourselves to our limits until we break.

Self care is key. Give yourself permission to do whatever. What makes you feel good? What helps you reconnect with yourself and how can you bring that in to each day?

Boundaries for the Babes:

Boundaries aren’t always easy for women to stick to. Knowing where your limits are is essential to living a happy and healthy life. Byrdie talks about some of the powerful ways that she sets strict boundaries for herself to be the best she can in all parts of her life. To her, her daughter comes first but her business is also still very important to her…and she CAN be great at both.

  • Work only from 9 to 3 (when her daughter is at school).
  • The rest of the day is “Mom Time” where she focuses on her daughter.
  • Schedule time in her week to go and see a movie on her own EVERY week.
  • Get on the bus to enjoy a good book until it stops and turn around and go home.

Christa talks about a powerful experience that she had recently at the beach. She was walking along the beach with her dog, Bandit, and she was so lost in her brain that she literally tripped on a dead bird. It was a jolt of a reality check to get out of her head, to slow down, and to re-prioritize things in her life. She’s since been working only 3 hours each day and learning a lot about setting boundaries and sticking to them.

The ladies talk about how you have to put YOU first. If you aren’t your best, if you don’t give yourself space to feel great, you can’t be your best self for your children or your business or your relationships either. Put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others!

Mental Health and Movement:

Studies have shown time and time again that dealing with things like depression or anxiety or PTSD or any other mental health issue is assisted greatly by daily movement. You’ve got to move every. single. day. in order to help yourself be your best self. It is so easy to get caught up in the negative and spiral out of control. Find out what type of movement works for you and brings you joy and do that!

Byrdie’s Tips:

  • On your fitness journey, focus on YOURSELF.
  • Experiment and listen to your body (not what everyone else is doing).
  • Be inspired by others but don’t compare yourself to them.
  • You’re not alone! Find a tribe that supports you.

Be sure to follow along with Byrdie’s journey and all the amazing things she is working on on her Byrdie’s Babes website and Instagram as well as her personal Instagram.

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