Look in the Mirror and LOVE Yourself

When you look in the mirror and for the first time in your entire life, LOVE what you see.

True story: My self image has always been low. I always perceived myself as “fat” and “ugly” and “unlovable.” All my work on personal development, fitness, and nutrition this year has changed this view. I now see myself as STRONG, BEAUTIFUL, AND LOVED. Why?!??? Because God has created me to be that way and He gave me my story to be beautifully unique. And He has done that for you too! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Keep it positive peeps!  Love Ya’ll! ❤ ❤ ❤ me55

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ISONTM!

Hello all!  I know that it’s been fooooorrrrrevvvvverrrrrrr since I’ve been here!  I am busy working on some exciting things with my own business and am super excited to tell you about it!

If you are new here, welcome!  Little update for you, I am overcoming grief, anxiety, depression, and a an eating disorder through a fitness/personal development program.  I know many of you are in the same boat I am and my heart goes out to you.  I love ya’ll so much and want to tell you that yes, those things are horrible and heart wrenching, BUT it is possible to overcome.  I never ever thought I would come out of that dark place.  I was pretty sure that one day I would have ended it all.  My heart, soul, and body have become renewed over this year.  I have shed 60 pounds and learned to love myself, find purpose, control my eating disorder, and stop blaming myself for what has happened in the past.  I have accepted my story completely and am now out to use it to help others who are/were in the same situation as me.  Check out my progress below! That is from January of this year to this month!

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Crazy right?!?!!?!?!  Anyways….Right now, I am searching high and low for new tribe members who want to join me in my journey and business!  So…here is my announcement!  You ready?!?!?!? Here goes!!!!

I am in the works of opening a depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and grief only support group where we work TOGETHER on managing our depression, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and grief through personal development, nutrition, and fitness.  This is aimed at being a support group that comes to you in the comforts of your home.  The goal of this is that it is for you and lead by someone that has personally been there.  While going through my journey, I wanted someone that personally went through what I did.  I found some amazing people through this very blog!  I want to be that person for YOU!  I want to help YOU overcome.  Because you know what, you CAN OVERCOME!

Interested?  Curious?  Drop me an awesomesauce comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP!  Love Ya’ll and remember… YOU’VE GOT THIS!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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Transformation Tuesday!

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A little over two years ago, my life was changed forever when my father passed away. My world was shaken and I endured a long period of grief, anxiety, and depression. I was formally diagnosed with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and an eating disorder. I had also gained 70+ pounds in a year and a half. In January, I decided to not let everything that ever happened to me define me. I got the bravery to reach out to a close friend/coworker for help in taking back my life. Since then, my life has been changed. I am positive and I have come out a million times stronger and more confident than I was. In only 5 months, I had dropped 55 pounds and taken the steps in becoming the woman God has designed me to be. My weekly therapy visits became only once in 6 months. I was also completely taken off one of my three depression/anxiety/insomnia meds. I am no longer ashamed of my story and want to tell you that it IS POSSIBLE. YOU CAN OVERCOME! And you are WORTH overcoming!

 

Until Next Time- Keep it Positive Peeps! ❤ ❤ ❤

Letter To The Girl Struggling To Lose Weight

 

Hey girl!

Sure, you wanted to eat that entire box of doughnuts followed by that ice cream.  And maybe a few days before, you had some pizza.  Or you ate that entire candy bar and then had carbs the rest of the day.   Yes, we all get those binges especially….shall I say it???!?!?! Heck, why not……if we are PMSing.  Yes, that lovely time of the month where you want to punch everyone around you and just curl up with ice cream, chocolate, and pizza.

When we put the food that falls under a “thou shall not eat” category in our mouth, we have the tendency to self-loath.  After one bite, we call ourselves, fat, unworthy, ugly, worthless, a failure, etc.  Then, we convince ourselves that we have ruined all progress, so we should just finish the entire thing.  Here is where I am going to get real with you ladies.  ONE BITE will not make us FAT (insert side tangent here——–> no one IS fat.  Just like a patient with heart disease IS NOT heart disease.  It’s something we have.  We HAVE fat.  We HAVE heart disease, etc.  So, we need to stop calling ourselves FAT.  Ok…end side tangent).

One “bad day” will not lose all the progress we have made.  One “bad month” is not an excuse to keep having “bad months” until we have a “bad year.”  One decision does not define us.

Here’s the thing ladies….we are all capable of being the best that we can be.  YOU…yes YOU, are capable of doing this.  Maybe you need some time off to rest and figure out this whole life thing.  Sure, take the time.  But, DO NOT make it a habit.  You are so worth becoming your best self.  You are worth loving your body inside and out.  You are worth loving your life.  You don’t have to start with running 5 miles a day.  Instead, start small.  Find some form of movement that YOU LIKE.  Exercise doesn’t have to kill you!  Make it fun and you won’t even feel like you are working out!  Once you get moving, you will realize that you are so worth it.

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Girl, I said it before and I will say it again, YOU ARE WORTH IT!  Tell yourself that every single freaking day.  Write it in giant letters on your mirror.  Keep telling yourself it every 5 minutes, even if you don’t believe it at first.  After all, if you tell yourself it enough, you will end up believing it.  That is the beauty of human nature.  You just need to convince yourself.

So, stand up and shout it: YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!!! I didn’t hear you!  Say it again! YOU ARE WORTH IT!

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You are worth taking on this battle, and you CAN DO IT!  Take out your favorite music or audio book and get moving!

Remember that you are beautiful no matter what.  You can take on this journey.  Because you are so worth it.  Now, go get moving girl and stop the self loathing!  What are you waiting for! There is no better day than today!  🙂

❤ ❤ ❤

-Until Next Time- Keep it Positive Peeps!

 

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Upgrade To A Healthier Life, Upgrade Blog!

Hello all!  Wonderful news for all you faithful followers!  As of today, I have upgraded my blog to the premium plan!  That’s right!  This girl is going kicking and screaming into the freelance blogging world!

Recently, I have been looking at freelance writing jobs to help support myself as a ph.d student.  Honestly peeps….it’s been hard financially.  My education does not allow me to hold a full time job and my graduate assistantship job does not pay enough to even cover my rent.  Things are getting extremely tight for me budget wise.  Just like every other college student out there, I am seeing my student loan debt increase and live in a fear of having to start paying it back…..eeeeeeekkkk nightmare right there.

Back to the freelance writing thing….I have been researching and researching and researching freelance writing that I can do on the side to provide some income to make rent.  I looked into ghost writing (pssstt…..authors out there!  If you are looking for a ghost writer, hit me up!  Totally willing to help out!  I am extremely interested in this and would love to be able to do some creative writing typing to take my mind of academics.  I have a journalism background and LOTS of experience in writing up manuscripts! Check out my “Contact Me” page for contact information).  I looked into websites where I can freelance write.   To my dismay, nothing out there seemed legit to me.  Therefore, I decided to just try through my blog.  No harm in trying right?  Never say never!

As my life is upgrading to a more healthy and fit one, I decided to upgrade this blog as well.  You may be sitting there thinking, “Great……ANOTHER fitness blog!).  Sorry friends, but you are wrong there.  This is not just another fitness blog.  This blog is sort of an everything blog.  You may hear about fitness.  You will also hear about other things.  But, the focus is all about dealing with depression, anxiety, grief, PTSD, and eating disorders.  As I endure/d these personally, I want to reach out and help all of you who are also going through this.  It is not easy.  You do feel alone.  So alone.  I want to be your person.  I want to help you and prevent what happened to me when no one reached out to help me.  I want to be your friend.  I believe in you and through this blog, I will help you believe in yourself! ❤ ❤ ❤

I will be blogging WEEKLY now!  YAYAYAYAYYAYAAYAYAYAYAY!!!!! <—–Insert cartwheels here.  I promise that blogs will be coming weekly.  Time is set aside each week to write or vlog for you….yes, I did say “vlog!”  So, make sure to watch for those.  And as always, don’t hesitate to like, comment, or email me!

Thank you so much for your support, likes, comments, and just for being you!

Until next time- Keep it positive peeps!

 

Takin’ Back Life: Challenge for You/Me

Hello from Tennessee!  I am back and getting ready for the semester to start.  It is nice to be back home.  An update for you on changes I have made to my life.  I have started the Core De Force workouts and 21 Day Fix eating plan.  I feel so much better now that I am getting exercise and nutrition again.  After each workout (which is built on the foundations of MMA), I feel more alive.  I feel like I am beating up my depression.  It feels great.  I have already lost weight and am toning up.  I can’t wait to see where this takes me.  My Beach Body coach has entered me into her year fitness challenge/program, so I get a whole year dedicated to hardcore workouts.  She has seen her program decrease depression symptoms and help eating disorders.  I am ready to change this part of my life.  I am sick to the depression, not wanting to get out of bed, and suicidal thoughts.  It is time to take back my life.

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For my fellow followers who also have issues with depression, grief, anxiety, and eating disorders, I want to help you this year as I help myself.  Let’s make this the year we learn to fight back from our mental disorder even harder.  Let’s punch it in the face and knock it down with all we have.  Sure, it will win some days, but let’s fight it with all our might.

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My first challenge for you is to find an exercise you love.  Something that is fun and you want to do it.  Walk in the park, take up boxing, go skiing, etc.  Try something new.  Yes, it is hard to take that first step and find something.  But, force yourself to do it.  I promise there will be some good benefits.  Since I have started MMA workouts, I have noticed a decrease in my depression symptoms.  It works.  Take the first step and challenge yourself to try something.

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Times Need A-Changin’

 

Hello All!  I am back!  Sorry for the long break in writing, but, as it turns out, ph.d school gets insane at the end of the semester.  I survived and completed it with a 3.9 GPA (thanks to one A-). In addition to being busy, I hit a HORRIBLE depression again.  One of doubt and impostor syndrome.  I had continual feelings that I didn’t belong in graduate school.  The work was easy, but I just felt that I couldn’t do it.  That it was a huge mistake for me moving to get my ph.d.  Yes, I made great friends, but the lack of guidance and support made me feel lost.  Attacked.  Defeated.  Dumb.  A loser.  Not at the level of that of the others in the program.  Thoughts of cutting came and another suicidal idealization.

Now, that I have come out at the other side, I look back and realize that I am MUCH younger than most people in the program.  I am 27.  They are in their 40’s.  There is a huge difference.  I have also endured more conflict and issues in my life span that probably most of those people in that room.  They all have families and friends.  I don’t.  I stick out like a sore thumb.  There was also the issue of financial means.  As a graduate assistant, I make very, very, very little to live on.  It’s not even enough to pay rent.  So begins the look for coaching and tutoring positions to at least be able to live.  With all of this begin said, I decided to change in 2017.  I need more confidence.  I need to get my depression to calm down.  I need to focus on making and maintaining GOOD friends.  This is what I am doing to change:

  1. I have joined a co-worker, that works in my shared graduate teaching assistant office, on her Beach Body team.  I am beginning with a 21 day fix and the Core De Force workout.  I am excited to begin hardcore workouts again.  I need to do this to get my confidence back (the enormous weight gain from my depression doesn’t help my confidence AT ALL.  If anything, it makes me want to hide).
  2. I am leading my own research team starting this next semester and working hard to get three of my own studies published by the end of 2017.  I am also entering some graduate research symposiums where I will be able to share my research and start to get noticed.
  3. I am traveling all over the U.S. for conferences in my field.  It is expensive and most of it is on my dollar, but I NEED to start networking to get ahead and start making a difference in this field. I am heading to Florida in a few weeks and Boston in a few months.
  4.  I am going to take charge.  I am no longer going to sit and wait for opportunities to come to me.  I am going to find the opportunities myself.

Wish me best of luck as I go through this.  It is going to take a lot of mind power and maybe starting therapy again.  I haven’t seen a therapist since I moved in July and I think it is time to start.

Depression Has Never Been Better

Two weeks ago, I went to a pet store to hold and play with little puppies for stress relief.  I went right to a white little fur ball.  He rolled over for a belly rub.  I gave him one and we fell in love with each other.  An hour later, I walked out with him.  A 4-month-old purebred Pomeranian.  I have named him Teddy.  Everyone asks if it is because of Teddy Roosevelt.  I just say, “suuuurrreee…”  But no, it’s really because he looks like a teddy bear.

These past two weeks have changed me.  I have noticed that I get more done and turn out better work.  I ACTUALLY get up in the morning because now I have a reason to.   I haven’t had suicidal thoughts in 2 weeks.  That’s a record for me since my father passed.  I noticed this and asked myself, “what changed?”  Well, I now have a reason to live.  I have something that truly loves me and I love it.  We have a bond that I have never had with a dog before.  It’s like he knows my condition and wants to heal me.  Someone told me the other week, “he needs you and you need him.”  I have had two people comment on how I glow now and seem happier.  Teddy is my therapy.  My life will never be the same.  He has saved me.

I am working on getting him to therapy classes to train him to be a therapy dog.  He makes me happy and is saving me from my depression.  He makes everyone he sees happy.  I want him to help others the way he helps me.  My dream is to get him fully certified as a therapy dog and take him to the Children’s hospital here to spend time with the children there.  We are working on it.

So, Teddy…I know you can’t read or talk, but I know you know how much I appreciate you.  You have saved my life.  I will never be the same.  ❤

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Final Stage: Acceptance

Hi ya’ll!  I apologize for not being able to get a post out.  Doctoral school has been insanely busy.  Emails to publishers, doing statistical analysis, reviewing the quality of research studies, etc.  It’s kept me more busy than I have wanted to be, but it’s a good thing.  I have been meaning to write to ya’ll about the final stage of grief: acceptance.  I decided to take some time off from the academics this morning to do just this.

Let’s talk about the seven stages of grief: shock, denial, bargaining, anger, guilt, depression, and acceptance.  Those of us who have lost some we dearly loved know these stages quite well.  Hell, I didn’t even have to look them up.  Pretty much an expert on each of those.  When you lose a dearly loved one, you do go through each of those stages.  It doesn’t happen in any specific order and sometimes you regress and hit several stages more than once, twice, three times, etc.  It’s a true roller coaster.

Through my journey of grief, I found that I spent most of my time in the anger and depression stages.  The anger stage took me about seven months to get out of.  The depression stage, well I am still in it.  Still medicated for that.  This stage got me a diagnosis of insomnia, generalized anxiety disorder, binge eating disorder, and major depressive disorder.  All straight out of the DSM-5.  I was given two different sleeping medications and the highest dose of an anxiety/depression combined medication.  All of these I still take and don’t see myself getting off of them any time soon.  I went through two different therapists with weekly sessions for over a year.  I almost got sent to the ER for an evaluation and an eating disorder clinic, both of which I begged and talked my therapists out of.  I was irrational, angry, not of sound mind, and wanted to end it all.  I didn’t care about me or any of the accomplishments I have made in life.  I had no pride.  I was worthless and not deserving of anything or anyone.  I tried self harm….many times.  Alcohol….went there just once, then never again.  Point being: My grief story is intense.  Many of your grief stories are quite the same.  Grief is intense.  It’s all consuming.  I wish it on no one.

Two months ago, I relocated far away from where my “home” was.  It took this life altering change to snap me back into things.  I am slowly recovering from my depression.  I am a work in progress. I will get there.  Stages still come and go, but I can pull myself out of them more easily now.  I believe I have finally hit the acceptance stage.  I can say, “You know what, my parents are dead.  They aren’t coming back.  That’s the fact.  They are gone.  I still love them like mad, but they aren’t here in person anymore.  They won’t be at anything I do.”  I can now tell people more freely that my parents have passed away.  Before, I used to clam up and never talk when people asked what my parents did.  Now, I am able to talk about how they died, how it happened, and what happened to me when it happened.  I have come to the conclusion that I have a survivor story to tell, so why not tell it?  Why should I be ashamed that my parents have died.  It wasn’t something I could control.  I should be proud of myself for surviving both of their deaths at a very young age.  And you know what, I am.  None of my attempts to end it all went through.  I should be proud of that.  And you know what, you should be proud of yourself too.  You are a survivor.  We can play a “victim of life” role so easily.  But, we must change our mindsets.  We are not victims.  We are survivors.  All of you enduring grief right now remember that.  You are a survivor of the hardest circumstance any human being can ever go through.  You lost a piece of your heart and you survived.  You ARE a survivor.

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