Day 5 of my weight loss journey ✌🏻

It’s 6:35am. 
It’s also raining and I’m standing outside writing this because being outside calms me. 

I started my weight loss journey on Tuesday, February 21st. My Fitness Pal tells me I need to stay around 2000 calories a day to lose a pound a week. Of course, I could eat less and lose more weight more quickly, but this is a lifestyle change for me. 

No quick fixes here. 

Tuesday was actually pretty easy, surprisingly. I followed what I should eat and even began working out – I haven’t worked out harder than yoga in years, not that yoga can’t be hard, because it is. But the kind I was doing wasn’t. 

Wednesday was also pretty good. I was sore from my workout, but still stayed in my calories and felt pretty darn good. 

Thursday – eh – could have been way better. It was a big day at work and I started my day by falling down the stairs. 

Graceful, I know. I now sport a scrape on my foot and a huge bruise on my shin. 

It was also the first day that I really felt the lack of my normal caloric intake and caffeine. I also worked out Thursday and to my surprise, the workout was just a tad bit easier. 🙌🏻

Friday was the day from hell. I was hungry, grumpy, in pain, and sleepy. I was hungry because I waited on my sister to come over before I ate supper – at 7pm. I normally get up between 4-4:15, just to give a reference. 

So now it’s Saturday. I’m feeling better than yesterday, but it’s early. 

But I feel good, at the same time. I feel like my body is already rejoicing, so hopefully I can hang onto that feeling, because it feels dang good. 

I don’t have any concrete goals. I haven’t weighed myself in over a year and I honestly don’t plan to for a while. This isn’t about a goal weight, this is about my life and wanting to live it to the fullest. For so long I focused on what I thought I should weigh, but now I see it’s truly about how I feel, my health, and the way my clothes fit. 

Well, I guess that’s all for this early morning ramble. 

Dear Girl Who Only Posts Pictures of Her Face 

Dear Girl, 

I get you. For years I didn’t post or even take full body pics. I felt like my face was way better than the rest of me and if I showed the world what I looked like no one would want to pay attention to me. 

I see people who have so many pictures from high school and how they lovingly look back on them. I, however, have very few pictures from that period of my life. 

Don’t get me wrong, I have a few, but I spent that time avoiding the camera from the chest down. 

Why do we do it?

We are trained to think that unless you look a certain way, you aren’t attractive. We see pictures like this splashed all over the internet and magazines and we think this is the norm. 


Or maybe we feel that our chest is too big. Maybe it’s too small. Maybe we think we look too thin and are afraid people will make fun of us. Maybe we hate our stomach. 

There’s a million reasons we don’t like our body and I couldn’t even begin to name them all. We also forget that it’s not just curvy girls that feel self conscious. 

All women feel that way; big or small, tall or short. 

But that’s the thing – if we all feel that way at some point, then why can’t we just be accepting of each other? 

Your body does not define you. Your skin color does not define you. Your clothes do not define you. Your hair does not define you. 

You define who you are. 

Take control of who you are and go on a journey of learning to love yourself. Take those pictures. Post those pictures. Life does not wait for you to decide you’re good enough, so live each day. Enjoy your friends and family. Wear that bathing suit to the beach. Wear the leggings. 

Don’t hide everything but your face. Be proud and unapologetically so. 

Eating Disorders, Anxiety, and Depression. My story of overcoming mental illness and gaining true happiness. 

This is my life journey. I haven’t sugarcoated my story. As the title states, this deals with mental illness. Please read with caution. 

Weight has been something I’ve struggled with my entire life. 

I can remember being in the fourth grade and comparing weight with my friends and realizing that I weight at least ten more pounds than they did. 

I remember my mom calling the plus sized clothing I wore in the kids section “half” sizes so I wouldn’t feel bad. I remember being made fun of because I “was too fat” to wear l.e.i. And mudd (the cool brands of 2000). I remember not trying out for cheerleading because I thought I was too big. 

I remember being in high school and being disgusted with myself because my arms would rub against my stomach when I sat down in my desk. I remember being called fat behind my back by people in my band class. 

These moments all formulated in my head to convince myself that I wasn’t worth love or acceptance until I lost weight. 

The summer before my senior year in high school I lost some weight. Not enough to be noticeable, but enough for it to unconsciously click in my head how to lose weight. See, I had gotten super busy over the summer and as a result I didn’t snack early as much. I lost weight and I knew it was because I hadn’t been eating normal. 

The way to lose weight was to not eat. At least, in my head it was. 

It didn’t trigger right away, but in February of 2007 my nanny passed away from a heart attack. My life was thrown into chaos over night and I found myself feeling completely out of control. I couldn’t control when someone died. I couldn’t control my emotions. I could control my life. 

But I could control what I put in my mouth. 

From that moment on I ate just enough to get by. I would go to the gym to work off what I had eaten because I wanted to consume as few calories as possible. 

I remember having to hang on to my desk when I got up because I felt so faint from lack of food. I remember keeping otc migraine pills in my car because I always had a headache at the end of the school day. 

Oh, but I was losing weight. People noticed. I noticed. Who cared if I felt like death? I was losing weight. 


Winter 2006 or early 2007 above and spring 2007 below 

The hardest part, looking back, was that I felt so huge to begin with that no matter how little I ate, I still felt like I was failing. I wasn’t losing weight fast enough and it ripped me apart. 

I’d love to say that I woke up one morning and opened my eyes to what I was doing to myself, but I didn’t. I settled into a toxic relationship with food for the next five or so years. I’d feel better and eat, only to be followed by weeks of eating every little. Sometimes I’d be so filled with anxiety that I would binge and eat whatever I could, followed by extreme guilt. I never felt like I could talk about it because the perception of someone with an eating disorder is skeletal and sickly. I still could have been considered “fat” for lack of a better word. 

My first year of work led me to passing out at work twice and my mom used to sit and watch me eat breakfast. Honestly, I don’t know if she actually knew, or what, but I remember being practically forced to eat toast. 


April 2008

I had several bad relationships because I never felt like I deserved better, or could even get better. I’ve had ex’s that I told some things to call me fat behind my back after we broke up. I’ve been told that there are people starving and I’m so selfish that I’m upset because I did eat. 


2009

I never felt good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. I struggled with anxiety, depression, and excessive OCD. I’ve coped with alcohol and self harm. I stayed with a man who lied to me bacause I thought he was the best I would ever have. 


2011


2012


Jamaica 2013

  

2014


2015

Then I woke the eff up. 
I began to live my life and gained the best friend I could ever imagine. Concerts, music, shopping, and fun became my life. Little by little I began to start loving myself. 

I still had feelings of not being good enough, until August 2014. 

My. Life. Changed. 

I know not everyone is religious, but I tell you, the day I left my last ex I felt God. I felt him with me, guiding me. I felt him show me how special I am to Him. I’ve been moved to sobbing tears because of His presence. 
Since 2014 I’ve been on a path of self discovery. I’ve been broken down and lifted up. I’ve learned to see that I am good enough. 

Because isn’t that the root of my problems? I never thought I was goood enough. 

I can’t say I don’t struggle with anxiety or sometimes have a bad self image. I’m human and you are too. Sometimes life with be a daily struggle. Sometimes you may feel you’ll never be good enough. 

You are good enough. 

Mental illness, to be honest, is a lifetime struggle. What helps me may not help you and vice versa. We need to take charge of our lives and find what helps us. It is possible to be happy. It is possible to look in the mirror and see someone you love. It is possible to wake up and be so thankful that you’re alive. 

I’m rooting for you. I’m rooting for us all. 

I don’t know if this made sense, or if it will help anyone, but I feel called to share my story. My past may help someone change their future, and if that’s the case then it’s all worth it. ❤️


October 2016

Dear High School Girl,

It’s a start of a new school year, and if you’re anything like I use to be, then you see it as a chance at a new you. 

Now, I could spend this time telling you that you’re perfect the way you are and to just be you. 

And you should!

But I completely understand how you feel. Honestly, even as a 27 year old woman, I find myself finding ways to make myself better. 

Eat better, exercise more, sleep more, dress better, etc. 

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself, but what is wrong is the idea that you can only be happy once you change. 

No amount of weight lost, no amount of in style clothes, no boyfriend, and no job will make you happy if you’re not already happy with yourself. 

I know it’s hard, especially during the teen years. You’re stuck not wanting to be a child, but not yet being an adult. You go to school with girls who seem to have everything and you feel stuck trying to be who you think you need to be.

But here’s the secret…..

Just be you and learn to be happy with where you’re at, at this very moment. Love yourself as you are right now, and that will make any goal reached that must better. 

I can tell you from experience, even when I was smaller, had a boyfriend, and had a bunch of friends I still wasn’t truly happy. 

I always felt like I needed to be smaller, needed to hang out all the time, or whatever else my mind told me I needed. I was always miserable deep down and it allowed me to keep making bad decisions and staying with the wrong guys. 

Now? 

I’m bigger, no boyfriend, and my best friend moved to Wyoming. 

But I’m happy. 

I’m happy because I learned to love myself as I am. 

It’s a hard journey and there will always be times that you find yourself wishing for something else, but at the end of the day you can put all those feelings away. How? By loving yourself and knowing you worth more than the voices in your head tell you. 

I wish I could give you a magic formula to happiness, but it doesn’t exist. All I can say is you’re worth being happy. One day you’ll look back and wonder why you stressed so much. 

Enjoy your youth. Enjoy being young. 

It all truly does work out in the end. 

So I wish you a great school year!


I Have Tattoos (That I Regret)

Roughly 14% (around 45 million) people in the USA have tattoos. And yes, that totally came from Google. 

And yes, I have a hard time believing that only 14% of the American population have tattoos. 

But I am one of those Americans. 

I have seven tattoos in total and I got them between the ages of 18 and 24. They occupy my back, both of my feet, and my right wrist. Thankfully, they were all professionally done in a tattoo shop. I’ll be honest, sometimes I even forget I have them on my back until I catch my reflection in the mirror. 

I regret six of them and have a love/hate relationship with the seventh. 

Now, I don’t hate them to the point of wanting to get them removed, but they remind me of a different time in my life. I look at the deathbat on my left foot and remember the place that I was in when I was obsessed with Avenged Sevenfold. I see the clover on my spine with 3 initials in it and remember the friends I had in middle school through my early twenties. 

That also reminds me that we no longer speak.

I see the word Hope on my right foot and remember the friends I had that would later dump me because I began dating a guy they didn’t like. 

I could go on and on. 

Tattoos are prement reminders. Sometimes of good things and sometimes of bad things. 

We are also ever changing creatures and something that we liked at age 22 might not be what we like at age 27. 

Now, I’m not saying tattoos are bad or that they’re a bad idea to get. What I’m saying is even if it’s something you absolutely love right now, you may end up later hating it. You might regret having to wear a thick bracelet to work everyday because you have a tattoo on your wrist. 

We always tend to hear the extreme views on tattoos; people advocating for them or fully against them. 

But we don’t tend to hear the middle ground. We don’t hear from those who love tattoos, but hate their own. Or from those who just no longer want them on their own body and think they look great on others. 

Or those that love tattoos but just can’t bring themselves to get one. 

Tattoos can be works of art. They can be absolutely beautiful. They can hold special meaning. 

I just personally regret mine. 

And I’m just so glad I never got the half sleeve I wanted. 

Anyone else out there regret theirs? Or anyone else absolutely love theirs?

Let me know!

Yoga is Only for Thin Women? What?

I don’t know about you, but if I ever mention off handily that I like to practice yoga I get the disbelieving stares. 

I know what they’re thinking. 

“How can she be flexible at all?”

“She’s too big for that.”

Sigh. 

It can be incredibly disheartening to hear those words or see them unspoken in someone’s eyes. 

Because it isn’t true. 

Your size has nothing to do with your physical abilities. Just because you’re plus size doesn’t mean you can’t touch your toes, just like being thin doesn’t mean you can run a race. 

Now, I’m not saying that weight can’t hold you back, because it can. But it doesn’t automatically disqualify you from anything you want to do. There are plenty beautiful plus size ladies that are WAY more flexible than women much smaller. 

And of course there are some amazingly flexible thin women, like Kino MacGregor. 

(If you’ve never heard of her and like yoga then you totally need to look her up in Instagram – kinoyoga. She’s mind blowing.) 

I am no where near her in flexibility or strength, but I try and I enjoy my time on the mat. 

I think we sometimes forget or don’t realize what our words can do. By telling someone they’re too big to be doing such and such you may discourage them from doing it. 

How is that productive?

We all need to encourage one another. In times like these it says much more about a person when they build someone up, rather than when they tear someone down. 

That’s not just in yoga. 

That’s in life. 


 

OCD and Me

Let’s face it, the term OCD has become mainstream. You like you money a certain way? OCD! You like to brush your hair 100 times? OCD! Now, I’m not saying that those aren’t OCD tendencies and of course I’m not a psychologist (though I use to want to be one. All those classes gone to waste. Le sigh) so I couldn’t tell you what the difference between being quirky and actual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is. 

However, I can tell you about my struggles with OCD. 

I do some funny things, like I lock the door a certain way while thinking of a tune I made up. I chant things while making sure I armed the door at work. 

I know it looks funny. I laugh at myself sometimes. 

But there’s a whole other side that isn’t quite as funny. 

Sometimes I have to drive back to work to double check that I armed the door – even after my little ritual. I’ve gotten up in the middle of the night to check the door again because I get a mental picture of someone breaking in and murdering my whole family. 

Yeah, it’s not all funny. 

Thankfully most of the time I can control the obsessions and I’d say most people living with OCD have learned to do the same. Some people may need medicine. Some may need therapy. For me, I find that talking about it to people who understand helps the most. 

And of course, talking to God about it above all else. 

Everyone is different and handles their challenges differently. There isn’t one right way to deal with OCD or any other issue we may be having. We’re so quick to want people to pop a pill and get over it, but it’s just not that simple. 

You have to do what’s right for you, regardless of what others may say. Maybe therapy works great for them, but maybe for you it’s useless. Maybe others deal with it on their own, but you find that doctors and medicine help you best. No matter how you cope, never be ashamed. Medicine isn’t shameful, just as therapy isn’t. Dealing with it on your own isn’t something to hide either. 

Surprisingly, more people struggle than you may think. 

And for me? That’s the most comforting thing. 

Because I’m not alone.