New Year’s Resolutions 

We all know this time of year very well. People start thinking of resolutions or goal for the new year to come.

For many, this goal is usually to lose weight. Gyms will start having their sign on specials, health websites will start having sales on supplement stacks, and fitness clothes will be all the new rage.

As for me, this has been my New Year’s Resolution as long as I can remember especially after a holiday season filled with so much food and pictures. Pictures that you see yourself in and think, “I just need to lose x amount of weight and I will be where I want to be, that picture is my motivation.”

I am going to tell you guys something very real about me. This morning, I went on Facebook and saw that my Mom had posted pictures from yesterday and saw myself in one. Mind you, I was wearing jeggings, an oversized sweater, and my hair was kind of messy (I sort of like it that way) but, when I looked at this photo I instantly thought, “I need to lose weight this coming year, I just can’t stand looking at myself in this picture.” After that thought had come and gone, I felt very disappointed in myself. Lately I have been working so hard on breaking away from “losing weight” mentality but, through this journey I have put my health on the back burner. Disclaimer: I do believe when breaking free from the dieting world it is essential to just let go and relax. If that means eating less nutritionally dense foods and skipping the gym, that is 100% okay! Some people need to do this to recover and this is what I did. However, due to this neglect when it came to my health these past few months, I have been extremely bloated and swollen due to the fact that I haven’t been getting hardly any fiber whatsoever and have really slacked on eating fruits and vegetables. I also haven’t been sweating out any of the toxins going into my body from eating some of these not-so nutritionally dense foods which at the time was okay (and still is of course!) but, I want to treat my body better.

So, here they are, my goals for 2016.

  • Eat more fiber: I need to get my digestive system back on track with proper health because I have Celiac Disease and if by chance I eat gluten, I need a healthy digestive system to help me get rid of it.
  • Sweat more: I don’t mean as in, “to count calories burned, etc..” but, so I can treat my body with respect and feel better mentally and physically, in the hopes that I can sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed.
  • Do more yoga: I have been upping my yoga game a lot lately. I try to aim to do it at least two times a week but I would like to get to the 4-5 days a week seeing as the results have been incredible both mentally and physically and it has brought me so much happiness and peace.
  • Forgive myself more: You are your own worst critic in all aspects of life, especially if you are an ex-dieter you know this all too well. This year I really want to work on letting things go and not being so hard on myself all of the time. I need to remember that I am not a perfect human being because things happen, life throws obstacles in your way, and what counts is working to get past them, not beat yourself up about it.
  • Practice mindfulness: This is a huge goal of mine (also: none of these are in particular order) I am always rushing through life whether it be eating, driving, exploring, writing, and so many other things. I forget to appreciate the different sensations and my surroundings and I miss out. I want to see the world for what it is, I want to live in the present because the past is the past and the future hasn’t come yet.
  • Read more: This is my last goal but, I want to read more. Lately I have been making the effort to pick up a book rather than my Apple TV remote but, I want this effort to be much more significant in the new year.

It would be wrong of me to lie to you and say that losing weight didn’t cross my mind, of course it did! I’m an ex-dieter trying to find her way on this journey of self love and body acceptance but, I do want to treat my mind and body right because this is the only body I’ve got. I am happy that I have some goals not related to health because I find that this is an important step in diet recovery. When you have goals solely focused on health, it could appear that maybe subliminally your goals reflect the subconscious idea of losing weight and although those are not my intentions, I think it is important to point this out for those in diet recovery  trying to think of resolutions/goals for the new year.

When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, don’t think too much on it. Close your eyes, envision yourself lets say…six months from now, where do you want to be? What goals could get you to the point? And choose those as your goals. For example, by practicing mindfulness, by six months I hope to not eat so quickly and truly enjoy my food, and to also drive slower seeing as I have a very long commute to work I always tend to drive like a maniac and I would like to slow the pace down and enjoy the views even if it is snow. Having an image of what you want your life to be can really help when choosing these resolutions. Meditate on it, I promise that with some stillness and relaxation, these goals will come to you.

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I am finally free

For as long as I can remember I have battled with myself. From orthhorexia to binge eating to overexercising, this cycle kept going for a long time. Although I had gained control over my BED in 2013, I still struggled with my body dysmorphia. Looking in the mirror all I would see is lumps, bumps, rolls, and bones. I did not see beauty, nor did I see the strength I had inside me.

Back in 2013, I truly dedicated myself to a more positive lifestyle. I tried to push away the negative thoughts and the little voice in my head telling me that I wasn’t good enough, that I wasn’t pretty or skinny enough. It was tough because I felt accomplished for overcoming my BED, but I still found myself loathing who I was and my body.

Working out was an obsession, eating “clean” was an obsession, becoming thin was an obsession. I tried every diet, exercise, meal plan, you name it I’ve probably tried it. Counting macros, hiring an online coach, counting calories, lifting weights, I was doing all of these things that I hated. I hated it all, I had no desire to be a bodybuilder or competitor but, I thought I did at the time because I followed so many young women who transformed their bodies doing these things, and although those things worked for them they didn’t work for me. Your journey is YOUR journey. Just because something “worked” for someone doesn’t mean it is right for you.

So, I was going back and forth between being this “IIFYM girl” to a depressed and frustrated overeater. I couldn’t find balance, I couldn’t find enjoyment in anything health related because it all felt fake. It didn’t feel right for me but, I kept doing it because “No excuses” right? That is some utter bullshit if you ask me. “No excuses” really? If you are sick with the flu and you don’t go to the gym, doesn’t that sound like an okay “excuse” to not workout? Well, if you had asked me that a few years ago I would’ve told you no.

I felt trapped, alone, and confused. I felt like no one understood me until I watched a YouTuber named Josie Mai and her video on Intuitive Eating. I was so intrigued by this I had never heard of it before but, it sounded very appealing. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full, sounds easy right? Not so much. It isn’t an easy journey it has it’s ups and downs and lefts and rights. When I first started my IE journey I was enlightened and felt free, although the next day I was so concerned with what I was eating (i.e. calories, fat, sugar etc..) I just couldn’t get the diet mindset out of my head and that is the biggest concept of Intuitive Eating is that you need to let go of the dieting mindset and put weight loss on the back burner.

Wait…put weight loss on the back burner? The one thing you’ve been trying to achieve for over ten years? The one crutch you’ve had for all of your emotional turmoil? The only thing you felt that you could control? Gone? Yes. That has been the hardest for me to be honest. For so long I relied on weight loss and being on a “diet” to keep myself together, to have some sort of control over my life. I couldn’t control the kids bullying me in school, I couldn’t control the insensitive men I chose to be in relationships with, I couldn’t control my ever changing emotions in regards to my depression and anxiety so, weight loss and dieting gave me a sense of control.

It was that control that sent me spiraling down this black hole, into a place I thought I would never get out of. I was body shaming myself every day, every damn day and I was done. The last few months I’ve been really working on my Intuitive Eating, sometimes yes, I think about the calories in my food but, nothing like how it was before. I am slowly feeling the obsessive and restrictive patterns fall away, I feel so beautiful and sexy in my skin sometimes I just want to cry of happiness because I have never felt this way, but the best part about this journey is I finally am free. You know how good that feels? Fucking incredible. I eat chocolate, fries, pizza, rice, vegetables, fruit, you name it I eat it because I canDo you want to know why I can? because when I am hungry I truly listen to my body, I ask what it wants, what it is craving, and I eat it. I eat it mindfully and when I feel my belly starting to stretch and become full, I try my hardest to stop. I’ll be honest, sometimes I don’t but hey, that is totally okay. Like I said, this is a journey, it is your own, so make it the way you want it to be. The beauty of IE is that you are your own coach, you are the person guiding yourself to your happiness. Do not keep yourself in this horrible dieting mindset, let those insecurities and need to control go. Your body will figure out it’s natural weight and body composition, all you have to do is listen to it.

Fate is a funny guy

I feel like life is one big roller coaster, sometimes were climbing up, anticipating what’s to come next, then flying back downward suddenly, and sometimes the bumps can be more intense than the ride before and how we handle it is what creates the outcome of the second ride, if that makes sense?

Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m constantly up and down, letting small things get in the way of my positivity, and expecting the worst when I should be looking up, allowing fate to take it’s course and that someday it will all make sense and lately it has been. Reflecting on past actions and feelings have really opened a lot in my mind in terms of moving forward on how to better my relationships with people. I know I can be manipulative, selfish, and defensive, this isn’t news to me, but realizing how to all plays into my life really shook me, in a good way though, I realized a lot, how my actions were stemmed from another time in my life, a time that I had no control in some matters, therefore leading me to be a controlling person even subconsciously. I know I have anxiety about what people think of me, or going to social gatherings I can sometimes have a panic attack, and I’ve done a lot in terms of holding myself back from experiencing life and I didn’t even realize that I was doing it, I didn’t realize how my anxiety and inner issues were changing how I was with my friends, family, and significant other and it took me awhile to realize it all and I’m in a good place to make a change, I’ve been changing for the better this entire summer and I’m proud of myself for that. I am grateful that I get another chance to make things right, even if they end up being different than I want them to be, at least I know that I’ve made peace with myself and those important to me.

When I say fate is funny, I mean that it literally takes you by surprise, one day you are this person, and the next you’re someone else and it can be frightening, exciting, and enlightening all at the same time. Although I am scared for what is to come, I am anticipating good things to come along whether they are what I expect, or not.

Time is a crazy concept

It’s so strange to think how different my life was a year ago, or rather two years ago. Granted I’m not always happy or positive, but compared to a different time in my life, I’ve recovered so much from my depression and eating disorder. I used to wake up hating myself, literally wishing that the pain would just stop. Sure, depression doesn’t just vanish, and it’s something I deal with everyday, but I deal with it in a much healthier way. I write, paint, take pictures, workout, and express myself in ways I never did before. Yes, I rant on Facebook about how the world and media are ruining our minds and I probably sound crazy, but I challenge myself mentally to come to those conclusions and I stay active because it makes me happy. I’m proud of myself, and although I’ve gained weight, and have been letting loose a little too often, I still push forward and do the best I can and that’s all I can ask for.

Saturday morning rambles

On my way home yesterday it was about six-thirty in the evening, and air was cool and crisp,it smelt like fall, that sort of damp mud that fumigates all the soccer fields this time of year and it made me feel comfortable, at home so to speak. Fall has always been my favorite season, I thought it was because that’s when my birthday is but it’s much more than that. All the activities, weather, and the way in which the sun rests on the foliage is what makes fall so beautiful, and enjoyable. Cool nights with sunny days, leaves falling, and cider drinking makes for an entertaining time of year and that moment on my way home yesterday made me appreciate the little things even more than I already do. That nostalgia of fall that comes at the end of each summer brings great happiness to me and also some sadness because summer is that time of year where school is out of session, the beach is packed, and chilling outside at a BBQ with an ice cold beer is what occupies many people’s weekends and vacations. However, the excitement of fall in my opinion, weighs out the sad ending of summer. 

I’ve been busy lately, last few days I’ve just worked, gone to the gym, sort of have a social life, and it feels like I just never stop and although sometimes that can be a good thing especially since I missed some work last week for being sick, it can be tiring. I can only imagine what my life is going to be like when school starts next week: school, work, gym and repeat and although those are all great things, I can see in the near future that I’m going to be a nana and take as much chill out time that I can on the weekends because I’m just going to be go go go Monday through Friday, and I’m okay with that. I don’t ALWAYS need something to do, just hanging by myself and having a Netflix binge sort of day is just as awesome, if not better than going out and doing something. I haven’t always been a homebody, I used to hate just sitting in my room and having nothing to do, being with friends 24/7 was something I did almost everyday, that’s how I lived my life for a long time and then, that 24/7 thing started early on with my relationships in high school and it drained me emotionally. That is why I vowed to myself that I will enjoy my alone time and the quiet each night, and when I do decide to be in a relationship again I’m going to take my time, and make sure I have time to myself often. I guess you could say I’m being a little selfish, but that’s okay by me, sometimes in life we have to be a little selfish. 

I want to take more photos, I want to find a really beautiful place that I can just sit on a blanket in the grass and take beautiful photos. Somewhere really green, and the air smells crisp and fresh, where the clouds are bright white and the sky is baby blue, that is what I want to capture with my camera. I got my nifty fifty but I’m scared to use it, I don’t want to screw it up or look like a fool but I’ll never know until I fool around with it I guess. I’m excited to take my photography class, even though I’ve heard that the professor can be questionable, I’ll make sure to be a pain in the ass and ask a lot of questions so I know that I am on top of the game, I am determined to get my 4.0 back this semester or maintain my 3.8 GPA, I’m pretty proud of myself for that, in high school I was always that 3.3 GPA student, not awful whatsoever, but not on top I was never in the higher percentage of my class because lets face it, I sucked at math, chemistry, and all the other logic brain classes that everyone else succeeded at, I excelled at writing, and history, because those classes interested me, but in college, I’ve done well for myself, proved that no amount of ADD can hold me back because I WILL rise above every obstacle and punch it in the face. Being a good student and making my family and myself proud is an accomplishment that can never be topped in my book. 

Speaking of book, I haven’t started my preliminary outline yet, I’m a bad girl. I’ve been meaning to do it but each time I sit down to start my brain is mush and the writers block begins, I think I’m just going to start by writing (physically writing) down my ideas for my novel, names I like, places that will influence the setting, and facts about each thing that can help me create an accurate description or story line. I’m excited for this, it definitely will take some time and I probably won’t ever have it published, but just to be able to sat, “I wrote a novel” would be pretty freaking cool if you ask me. 

I want to promote my blog I think too, not that I write great stuff on here besides my typical rambles but I know I have quite a few followers now (thanks guys!) that read my stuff usually every day, but I wouldn’t mind sharing these posts with other people. 

Well, I think this concludes my post for today, have to get back to the real world, till then my friends! 

Worried

Throughout my life I’ve always wanted to try new things such as hobbies. In grade school I wanted to join the sketching club, I didn’t think of myself as a bad artist and I thought this could be MY thing. I remember walking into the sketching club, run by my art teacher, and seeing all of these awesome drawings my classmates were hanging on the wall. I sat down, opened my notebook and started to sketch flowers, the kid next to me scrunched up his face and sneered, “That’s not how you hold a pencil when you sketch…” he laughed, and then walked away. I looked at my photo, the lines were harsh, not blended, and I always tend to grip my pens and pencils very tight so, the lines were intense compared to the sketches of my other classmates. I was so embarrassed, I went home and never went back to the sketching club because I just knew it wasn’t MY talent, even though I’m not half bad at drawing and with practice I bet it could have been something I loved to do, but my anxiety and embarrassment stopped me from pursing it. 

Then in middle school I wanted to play soccer, I had played when I was about seven when every child on the field runs after the ball rather than having offense and defense players, kids at that age are too young to understand strategy such as that. So, I thought, I know how to play soccer this will be easy, well, with my bum ankle that I broke when I was younger and never healed right I got discouraged, but I knew I could work around it. However, I then saw at practice all the girls who have been playing consistently for years, they had a groove, a natural talent, and here is me, the duck among the beautiful swans, kicking the ball in every wrong direction possible and making a COMPLETE fool of myself, hearing the laughs from my teammates completely broke me so, I went home, quit the soccer team, and never tried out for sports again. 

When I want to try something new, or try to find my “special talent” I try too hard, go too fast, and I give up because I don’t want to be judged or laughed at, I want to be praised and feel like this is something I am good at. My whole life I have been surrounded by people who were good at SOMETHING whether it was drawing, soccer, or what have you, I was always that person just hanging out. I know I’m good at things like singing (in the shower), cooking, I’m pretty knowledgeable in reference to the gym and nutrition, and I’m a half decent writer. I just, I don’t know, every time I wanted to put myself out there it ended with being laughed at and being put down by myself. I know a lot of this anguish is due to my history of being bullied and my own self doubt, but in my defense, it is also intimidating when you pick up something new and meet someone who is literally a genius in that subject or hobby and you are the newbie, the person who has yet to discover much about the said hobby and it is overwhelming, at least for me. But my new “hobby” is more than a hobby, much more than that, I think that is why I am terrified of falling short because it is something I love to do. 

With photography I am determined, yes, it has definitely overwhelmed me but, it is interesting how you can almost paint a beautiful piece of art through a lens. I love how the camera feels in my hands and how empowered I feel, so in control, it is like I am the artist and anything I see through the lens is my canvas and how I create the picture and capture the moment is the paint that puts it all together. Although I won’t be a pro overnight, I am motivated to learn because I’ve never felt this connected towards something, it is like an addiction, holding the camera, thinking of different pictures I can take, and putting it all together just makes me feel so fulfilled and happy. It probably sounds crazy, but when I think to myself, “OH! I can go here and take a picture of this really cool thing, no wait! I can go to the beach and take pictures of the sunset, etc…” that in itself gives me great happiness, I get to stimulate my brain and put together these pieces of a puzzle, I get to challenge myself and push my mind to ideas that I may have never thought of before and I dig that, a lot. I’m just always nervous of falling short or making myself look like a fool, I’m trying to stay positive and hopeful but it is easy to let the past creep up on you and influence your mind set. Moving forward I’m just going to keep going through the motions, I know there will be times where I feel discouraged, but there will also be those moments where I take a great picture and I can be proud of myself for that. Either way, I know I’m moving in the right direction, as long as I continue to be motivated and eager to learn, I know I will be okay.

Today, I am grateful.

I woke up today groggy, since I haven’t been sleeping well, sort of on the wrong side of the bed and dreading the day ahead. My alarm kept going off, followed by me pressing the snooze button, I was awake, but too lazy to turn off the alarm and too lazy to expose my skin to the cold air in my room, given off by my AC. I have to be at work for 12:30pm, I look at the clock at it’s 11:00am, knowing I have to leave at 12pm to give myself some time to park, walk a half a block, and set up my station, I know I should get up. 

“I’m not ready” I tell myself, I don’t want to start this day, I don’t want to shower, do my makeup, and get dressed for work, I don’t want to be a big girl, all I want to do is lay in bed and dwell in my own negativity. Sometimes I don’t know why I wake up with that cloud over my head, or why I can’t just put a smile on and make that day an awesome one, I know I promote happiness and looking on the bright-side, but I can’t help but feel that sometimes my own doubt and moodiness changes that optimistic girl into a glass half empty human being. So, I finally get out of bed after fighting with myself for fifteen minutes, I play some Johnny Cash while I take my morning shower, he always brightens my mood, his music from the beginning of his career, right to the end lightens my heart every time. I planned my outfit the night before, royal blue, three quarter length sleeve, button up shirt with my black dress pants and silver flats. Sometimes when I dress up for work (like I always do) and really do my make up nicely, and wear jewelry I always feel a little better, making yourself feel good on the outside really helps you feel good on the inside. I’ve realized that no one can truly get me out of these ruts but myself. Sure, my mom told me how lovely I looked today which is always nice to hear, I told myself how beautiful I looked too, something I didn’t always do before, but I appreciate my personal beauty, not in a conceded way but more of a self love and appreciation, rather than self hate. 

My drive to work can range between fifteen minutes to twenty since I typically drive in the early afternoon and most people are in work so I cruise, listen to some good music. I turned on “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, I know, most people can’t stand this song because, who writes a song about being happy? Well, this song ALWAYS puts me in a good mood, the beat is such a go-getter rhythm, and the lyrics to me refer to the idea that being happy means forgetting about the outside world, forgetting about the negativity that will always be around you whether you like it or not, and making the best out of the situation and rather than dwell on all the bad things, let go and just be happy. I know it is kind of lame to think of music like that, but I over-analyze everything whether it is pictures, music, writing, movies, tv, literally everything, but I enjoy that about myself, I enjoy that I over think because it allows me to dig deeper, past the surface, and down to the nitty-gritty. I know I tend to ramble when I post, so let me get back on track…

On my way to work I am listening to good jams and enjoying the sunshine while also appreciating the cold AC in my car, I arrive to work early and start putting together my station for the afternoon and evening, talking to my assistant manager and just realizing how lucky I am. A lot of people my age in their late teens and early twenties have jobs where they have to work a ton of hours, or work every weekend and holiday. You could consider these jobs to be ones that most people wouldn’t claim to be their profession or dream job, but more or less to get them through college or a rough patch, primarily food service and retail. I’ve worked briefly in both and I can testify to the fact that these jobs diminish you mentally and physically. They are demanding, time consuming, and under paid and appreciated, I respect those who work for these companies, I do, because I know I couldn’t. 

I go to school full time, granted I commute, but my bosses make it a point to work with my schedule the best they can. Sure, I might be speeding from school to work but I make it work because if they take the time to put the schedule together and accommodate my classes, then I can bring my work clothes to school and change there, or, I can make sure I park closer to my class so I can leave promptly. I am so grateful that I work for this company, I am so thankful that I have this sort of “big girl” job, that I get paid vacations, paid holidays if I am scheduled for that day, and rarely work weekends, and when I do, it is for about four hours and I’m out by noon time. Obviously when I have to literally get up and go to work I’m miserable because I’m such a hermit and love laying in my bed, but once I get up and going and I’m working with my customers, I remind myself how much I love working here, how much I love making my customers happy and feel appreciated. 

Also, this company promotes equality in all forms: gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, you name it! My father works for the same company, were not in the same department or building so we don’t have to worry about nepotism, but my father is originally from Wales, he is not a U.S. citizen and has served in both the U.S. Army and Air Force. He knows more about American History than most American citizens I know, and our company is literally paying for him to apply for his citizenship, that in itself can be over a thousand dollars to get and all he has to do is pay I think, the application fee. He is so happy and I am so proud of him, and proud to work for a company that takes care of their own.

Again I am rambling, but I guess in the big scheme of things I woke up in a bad mood, I legitimately put myself in that bad mood and I was mad at myself for being in that mood, making it worse. I’m proud of myself that I overcame it and realized the good in my life and how lucky I am. I have an incredible job, a loving family, supportive friends, and so much more. Sometimes it takes one good thing like my job, to remind me of ALL of the things in my life I am grateful for, I have come a long way from my dark days, back then I would have let myself sit in that awful mood all day, I would’ve maybe even embraced it, but not now. No, I will never let myself sit in a puddle of self pitty and sadness, I will remind myself of the beautiful world around me, even if it takes some time, it will happen because the benefit of feeling good about yourself and life is a beautiful thing.