Limiting beliefs to leave behind in 2021

Limiting beliefs to leave behind in 2021

It’s no secret that the last couple of years have been extraordinary, but I think we can agree that many of us have been evaluating and prioritizing what is important. Changes and opportunities are presenting themselves that have changed the course of our lives in the blink of an eye. 

I have some experience with life changing in the blink of an eye. When I became a first-time parent, I was faced with a premature baby who teetered on the brink of life and death for a period of time after birth. The situation did not allow me any space to recover from surgical birth physically nor mentally. Prior to this experience, I was a civil engineer working on projects like sewage treatment plants and municipal water supply. After this experience I decided it was an opportunity to re-prioritize my life. I would no longer trade my time for a career I had trained for but felt no passion toward and whatever I did next would help ensure that no one would experience an isolated, ignored postpartum recovery as I did. Those decisions led me here, to being the owner of Anointment Natural Skin Care, an organic skin care brand focused on perinatal skin care products


and skin care products for new babies.

In 2019, emerging from a period burn out, I felt invigorated to build a stronger community around Anointment, out of which came a podcast called Ripple Effect, so named for the life-changing moment I described above. That decision changed everything for me and the resulting transformation ripples out to change the lives of others. Over the last eighteen months we’ve shared stories from women who have let go of limiting beliefs and made brave, impactful changes in their lives. As we dive into a new year, let’s explore two limiting beliefs best left behind.


It is extremely likely that you have interacted with diet culture. Some of us


became aware of our own body image very young. Those around us may talk about weight loss and use harsh or self-deprecating language toward their bodies. Diet culture is founded on a rigid set of expectations that value “thinness” over physical health and emotional well-being, or even a healthy relationship with food. A tell-tale sign of diet culture is the definition of some foods as “good” or “clean” and others as “bad” or “cheat” foods.

This may blow your mind: the average woman starts 130 diets in a lifetime. Twice per year, lasting on average about four weeks despite the clear science that diets do not work. The restriction required is psychologically taxing and requires an incredible amount of control over your food intake. While some people are initially successful, for most of us the results are temporary. An overwhelming majority of individuals followed at five years after a diet had regained the original weight lost and more. 


We’ve been through a lot over the past two years and many of us have experienced emotional eating and perhaps our bodies have changed shape. It’s okay. You’re amazing and you’re doing your best.

Much of our body shape is determined by our genes. Geneticists can examine a sample of our genes and determine our body shape without ever having seen us physically. I was able to finally acknowledge this for myself only in the past few years when I embraced physical activity: I went from the couch to running half-marathons over a period of five years. My body shape has remained the same: I am a curvy woman by nature, and I remain curvy even as I am in the best

self-acceptance-something-to-practice-in 2022

physical shape of my life at 43.

Imagine the radical impact of self-acceptance. Imagine a morning you step out of the shower and look at your body in the mirror and see something you like. Take a moment to admire it. Maybe it’s one body part. Thank your body for carrying you through another day. Repeat daily. With practice, acceptance will turn to love and appreciation. Body acceptance has the power to change generations moving forward.


Physical activity can be hard and while I’ve done my fair share of aerobics classes and time on an elliptical machine, it was always in the context of wanting to lose weight and burning the maximum number of calories. In other words, in the diet culture mindset.

In March 2020 our entire family – myself, my husband, and three children - found ourselves at home together. Our kids are not highly motivated to move their bodies outside of gym class so right away we devised a routine to keep them accountable. We began a 30-day yoga challenge with Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. Every evening five of us would cram into our TV room to move together. Not only did this provide a bonding experience for all of us, each of us experienced body changes we weren’t expecting ranging from being able to touch our toes, holding a plank pose, and back pain that miraculously disappeared. We didn’t take ourselves too seriously, and enjoyed the adventure. We formed a habit and today still do yoga every evening. Not everyone participates every day, but we have found joy in movement. When you are able shift the “why” from diet culture, movement may take on a new perspective. 



In 2006 I was a member of a new category of entrepreneur: the Mompreneur. The stay-at-home-mom running a business during nap times and after hours. This is a perfect example of hustle culture, in which work-life balance loses all meaning and boundaries are non-existent, leading to burn out. Hustle culture prioritizes work above all else and even ties into women and mothers as martyrs, putting all of our own needs aside for the sake of everyone else, or abandoning ourselves in pursuit of success.


Emerging out of hustle culture is self-care culture where balance: enough sleep, a good diet, movement, and valuing yourself enough to ask for help in meeting your needs, is prioritized. For generations we’ve told women to put their own


oxygen masks on before assisting others while society has largely ignored providing the support to allow this to happen. Slowly women have been clapping back, demanding these supports from their partners and families. As Dr. Saira Athar, MD so succinctly put it when I interviewed her for Ripple Effect, “we do not need to exist as sacrificial beings.” 


Self-care is often conflated with indulgence but in reality, self-care is about having your basic needs met. Self-care can be a struggle to prioritize. Remember that what is scheduled happens. For me that means scheduling important self-care activities very early before the demands of life are pressed on me. I get up early to exercise (my form of coping with stress) or drink my coffee in the quiet before everyone else is up.

Limiting beliefs hold us back from fulfilling our potential in the world. You have a special gift that only you possess. Embrace who you are, accept your body as it is today, move with confidence and let the world see you shine bravely. The ripple effects will reach far beyond measure.


April MacKinnon - April is the owner of Anointment Natural Skin Care, an organic skin care company based in Sackville, New Brunswick, focused on the needs of pregnancy, postpartum, and new babies. April is the mother of three children, a sunrise enthusiast (also known as a morning person), a runner, and the host of Ripple Effect, the Anointment community podcast that explores women’s’ stories of chasing their dreams and letting go of limiting beliefs.

Connect With April Here:

IG: @anointment, @therippleeffectpodcast

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