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!

 

Featured post

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!

 

Positive Changes Inside and Out

Hello all!  I know, I’ve been MIA for like 5 months.  I have been extremely busy with the ph.d/working on me.   And honestly…I am doing so much academic writing that the last thing I want to do is write.  But, I am here to fill you in!  These past 5 months have been critical for me.  Let me share with you what has happened.

I started Beachbody and a virtual gym accountability group that a co-phd student/friend of mine coached.  I’ve been doing Beachbody workouts and eating clean for 5 months now.  I am down 53 pounds and have lost over 30 inches off my entire body.  Seriously!?!?!? Seriously…..  Check out the difference.

Crazy isn’t it?!?!?!!?!!?!?! I’ve dropped sizes in clothes and skyrocketed in confidence.  You guys, I am actually truly happy again.  I have actual hobbies again.  My depression is completely gone.  I have made peace with my past and the hurts that were there.  That pain no longer exists.  How did I do this?  Let me tell you!

Part of my Beachbody experience is that of doing 1 hour of personal development a day.  The philosophy is that you can’t change the outside if you don’t change the inside.  It’s true.  So true.  So, everyday I listened to Chalene Johnson’s podcasts, The Chalene Show <—– Can be found on iTunes.  I did this as I got ready in the morning, or during my morning commute.  I became obsessed because her advice on healing past hurts worked.  I endured some hard core reflections as I listened to her and found out so much about myself.  I realized the amount of strength I have and came to the conclusion that I shouldn’t be ashamed of my past.  I should own it because you know what?  It’s my story that I need to share so that it can help others.  So, owning my past I am.  I also no longer care what others think about me.  I am me.  I am unique.  I am designed by God’s plan and doing his works.  So, why should I care what other people think?  I shouldn’t.  So, I don’t.  I have also switched to turning to fitness and hobbies instead of food to regulate my emotions.  This is a huge success for me!

I am so excited to see where Beachbody takes me.  I can’t wait to see myself reach my weight loss goal and to continue getting healthy on the inside and out.  I am loving this process and would love for you to come on it with me.  Are you ready to make some changes?  Are you ready to move on with your life?  Talk to me, and I’ll get you hooked up! 🙂  You won’t regret it!

Love ya all like crazy!  Stay positive peeps!  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Taking One Life Altering Chance in Life

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A few weeks ago, I spent a week in Knoxville, Tennessee to discover what will become my new home.  It was my first ever visit.  People from work have been telling me that I am crazy and have a lot of guts to sign a 4 year contract to a place I have never been and where I don’t know anyone for over 1,000 miles.  I just kept shrugging and saying, “I have nothing to lose.  I took a chance and we will see how it goes.  It’s time for me to find my place in this world.”  I haven’t been nervous about this move.  I have been looking at it with great optimism that everything will work out.  That God wants me here and will provide for me.

I was excited the day I flew out of Fargo.  But, when I boarded my connecting flight in Chicago, I became nervous.  I had butterflies and kept thinking, I am crazy.  What if this place is nothing like I think it is.  I pushed these thoughts aside and kept thinking about the chance I was taking and how much I would make this work.

As I viewed the city from the window of the airplane, I was nervous.  Extremely nervous.  This place was going to be where I lived for the next four years, whether I liked it or not.  I looked more out the window and noticed how beautiful the mountains and surrounding area were.  A smile came to my face and all I could think was, I can’t believe I get to live here.  It is so beautiful.  

My week was filled up with finding a place to live and meetings at the university.  I was lucky enough to love the apartment I looked at the day we arrived.  It was an amazing community that made me feel right at home.  And the apartment….well that was fabulous.  It is NOTHING like what you would get where I am currently from.  It was so “Southern.”  I loved it and signed the lease.  The ladies were extremely nice, well mannered, and made me feel right at home.  It will be a great place to live.

Since I found a place to live so fast, I was able to do the tourist thing on my spare time.  So, I took in the town and area for four days.  I noticed while I was walking through the World’s Fair Park that I was actually smiling and laughing.  My depression wasn’t there.  It was like all burdens and depressive thoughts were lifted from me.  I felt normal.  I felt happy.  I liked how I felt.

My sister and I ate at the Cheesecake Factory for supper one night.  The waiter looked at my ID to make sure I was 21.  I told him to look at where I was from.  He was all like, “Whoa!!!! North Dakota!  Is this real?”  I then told him I was moving to Knoxville to get my Ph.D.  He got excited and gave my sister and I both free sundaes with candles on top and said, “This my ladies, is for your new beginning.  Here’s to new beginnings!”  My sister and I laughed and blew out the candle.  We couldn’t stop smiling.  Everyone was so nice there.  Everything was beautiful.  As we ate our sundaes, my sister looked over at me and said, “Everything is just falling into place for you.  It’s almost like……..almost like mom and dad are making this all happen for you.”  I smiled and thought about this.  As I thought, I came to the conclusion that she was right.  It was like my mom and dad were saying to me, “Darling….it’s finally time for you to be happy again.”  All I could do was smile.  I felt closer to them there then I ever did/do here.  My heart no longer felt hard and cold.  It felt warm and fuzzy.  It felt love.  I could finally feel it beat again.  I came to the realization that I now have to try my hardest in everything I do and love everyone that much more because everything I do shows my parents.  I want the love and kindness my parents had to radiate through me.

On this visit, I had many adventures.  I noticed that I quickly ticked off items from my bucket list.  The ones I can cross of include:

-Rode in a hot air balloon- and viewed the mountains from a good 1,000+ feet in the air.

-Saw actual Titanic artifacts- from the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge (including the $1.7 billion dollar violin and case that was played by Wallace Hartley as he played hymns while the ship was sinking to calm the passengers).

-Hiked in actual mountains.

-Immersed myself in the culture and way of life in a place I have never been.

As I was walking through downtown Knoxville on one of these days, a thought came to me.  This thought was, my dreams are coming true.  All my dreams are finally coming true.  This is all I have ever wanted.  I am going to fall madly in love.  Head over heels in love.  And I know this will be true.  I will fall passionately in love with the place I am going to live and maybe even with a man that I may someday call my loving husband and father to my children.

 

Tuesdays with Morrie Meets Fridays with Musings of a 20-Something-Year-Old

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I had my last session with my regular therapist on Friday.  He is retiring and I am referred onto a new lady therapist in another facility.  To me, it was difficult to say goodbye to him.  He quickly became a trusting figure in my life.  Someone I could safely talk about my emotions with.  He would not get angry with me about my feelings, or ridicule me for having them.  He understood why I was having them and helped me sort the feelings out.  He helped me make sense of this very dark place.

Due to a recent increase of my depression/anxiety med, and the addition of a true sleeping pill, my mood has been altered.  I am no longer foggy and angry as I constantly think about self-harm or ending my own life.  Suddenly, my head has become clear and I can process.  This is a feeling I haven’t felt since before my dad died (March 2015).

My therapist told me right away that he “noticed something different” about me while I was sitting in the waiting room.  He said I looked calmer and genuinely “happy” (as opposed to the forced happy I was before the med change).  We talked the differences I feel then we got deep.  We discussed my life and transition, as well as his life and his transition.  It was like a chat with a friend.

The day before this session, I had the “recurring nightmare” again.  In this nightmare, I am ALWAYS on the Titanic and it is sinking.  The room is always filling up with water, but I can’t get out.  The water continues to rise and I can see it rise over my feet, knees, waist, etc.  The boat starts to tip.  It is going down.  And I with it.  I wake up just before the boat sinks.  This last one was different.  Same beginning, but this time….I got off the boat.  Somehow, I ended up in a dry room and my sister was there yelling because I was intentionally left out of a meeting for my father’s estate.  I woke up in a panic.  I told my therapist this and I noticed something.  He’s not taking notes.  This NEVER happens.  His pen is always going.  Drawing or writing.  He is staring at me.  I look at him and shrug as I say, “What?”  He shakes his head and smiles as he says, “The psychology gods are going to strike me with lightning for saying this, but hell…it’s my last session with you and I am retiring after this.  So, I am just going to come out and say it!”  I stared at him in disbelief, and I am sure my mouth was hanging open.  He continued in a frantic and fast way, as if he was telling a secret he kept for a long time, “The Titanic is your family!  It’s sinking because your family is sinking and will soon no longer exist.  You FINALLY got off the boat because you realized that you are an independent unit and have always been.  You know you don’t need them anymore, so you are letting the boat sink without you.  You got off the boat.”  Then he reclines in his chair and let out a loud sigh as he said, “I have wanted to say that to you ever since that dream started!”  I was in disbelief because it all made sense.  I asked him why he never told me that.  He just smiled and said, “because you were in crisis every week.  My first and foremost goal as a therapist is to make sure you live and see the value of your life.  Every week I had to solve and work on your suicidal and self-harm thoughts.  I couldn’t move on to this because that comes first.  I couldn’t work on this deeper stuff until those thoughts were gone.”  It made sense to me and I began wondering what all he had talked about for the past year.  I was sure there was a suicidal or self-harm thought every single week.  He encouraged me to take up the concept of my family and past with my new therapist.  That I am ready for that now, since the new dose has taken away the suicidal thoughts.  He said it was time to get rid of the emotional baggage so that I can freely move on with my life when I move.  I nodded and agreed with him.  As much as it scared me to.

We got to discussing his career.  I asked him what his “worst case” was.  He sat and thought for a bit.  Then, with a straight and solemn face he said, “I have been fortunate to have clients that I can work with.  My worst cases were never the client.  It was always me.  The worse case was not knowing how to help the client.  Going home knowing that I failed them and didn’t perform my best.  I would go home and keep going over what I could have done better.”  I nodded and thought about how these comments proved to me that he was a good therapist.  We talked about being a therapist and how depressing it can get.  I told him how I want to help the movement of grief therapy/counseling for young adults and children because no one reached out to me when my mother died and I want no one else to experience what I have.  He smiled and met my eyes as he told me ideas of what I could do.  It ranged from starting a support group for young adults and children in the community to writing a book or just talking with someone experiencing grief one-on-one.  His last comment about this was, “I wasn’t a leader to ever do something like that.  I was the one that wanted to blend in and just help one-on-one.  But you….I see you as the leader type.  You are most certainly not a follower.  You make your own way.  You….you can start a movement.”  His words deeply touched me.

Shortly before ending, he did the “summary thing.”  I knew it was coming when he put down his notebook and quit taking notes.  He looked at me and said, “Well….I have to say that you are truly an amazing young woman.  You have been through quite a lot of pain for a woman your age.  In fact, you have gone through things people in their 40s usually don’t even go through.  BUT, you can’t know how amazing and wonderful you are and will be, if you don’t continue to live.  You have a lot of reasons to continue living.  You can’t know what success is in store for you, if you are not there to experience it.  You have to be alive to see it.”  He stopped and stared at me as if he was waiting for a response.  All I could do is nod.  I didn’t know what to say.  He wouldn’t talk.  So, I said, “ya…I guess you’re right.  I mean my suicidal thoughts haven’t been there since I started this new dose.” He nodded and said something along the lines of, “I’m glad.”  Then proceeded with a lecture about how brave I was to discuss my suicidal thoughts with him and continue with the meds because not many people are willing to do this.

As we ended the session, there was an awkwardness that set in.  We both got up and he reached out his hand to shake mine.  I gave him a firm handshake back as I wondered what to say to him.  How do I go on and process what is happening to me without this man that I have become almost dependent on for weekly sessions during the past year?  He shook my hand and smiled as he said, “Have a good life and take care.”  All I could do was pat his arm and say, “You too….take care of yourself and enjoy your retirement.”  I had to get out of there before I cried.  I didn’t know it was possible to become this close to a therapist.  I didn’t think I was that close to him.  But, he has helped me move on with my life amid the crisis that it has become.  I will miss him.  He has surely changed my life, and for the better.  He has always known that there was hope.  That amid my darkness there was a light.  And that someday that light would shine again, if we continued through the muck and mud together.  All I can say is thank you.  Thank you Mr. Therapist for everything.  I am alive today because you fostered in me the will and strength to keep living.  You made a difference.

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Challenge and Hope in Real Bereavement

“Bereavement challenges us to live again, resist diminishment, and learn ways to salvage some happiness from heartbreak.”

I currently sit here and sip my coffee as I wonder, “Is there really anything else that needs to be said about this quote?”  Part of me says, “no…..if a reader has lost someone they truly and deeply loved, they will get it.  If not, they won’t.  It’s that simple, isn’t it?  After all, the world is truly separated into two groups: the grievers, and the non-grievers.  The griever group is one that no on wants to be invited into, but once you get into it….there is no turning back.  You just cannot get it until you get into the group.  The heartbreak, the aching body from emotional pain, the depression…Dear Lord, the depression that takes away your very life, and the learning to continue to live on without a part of you.”  The other part of me screams, “There is so many facets of that quote.  Much to be said about it.  Explain it.”  So, dear readers, I am siding with my latter of the two.

Let’s discuss bereavement for a few sentences.  Anyone can get “bereaved” from the loss of anyone they even sort of knew.  There is a small grief to any loss of a person you even slightly knew.  But, the real bereavement comes from the loss of someone you intimately loved.  A parent, sibling, husband, wife, child, etc.  When you lose someone like this, you truly lose a part of you.  Part of your very identity.  We are almost thrown into an instant identity crisis as we have to discover who we are now without the loved one.  1 year and 1 month after my father’s death, I am STILL asking myself, “WHO THE HELL AM I?!?!?!?!?!”

Now that I have distinguished between “bereavement” and “real bereavement,” let’s get back to this quote.  When we are forced to endure “real bereavement” we are very much challenged to continue to live our lives.  I can ensure that all of us who have lost someone dear to us have at least ONCE thought, “I want to die…God please, please, please take away my life.”  Also, many times we diminish our very lives.  Thinking we are so much more less without this person.  Our hearts are truly broken…shattered and torn.  I am guilty of all these things.  Very much so.

Everything about bereavement is negative.  Nothing is positive.  We are challenged to somehow begin to find happiness from the heartbreak.  It may take us awhile to find this happiness, but think about how much this changes us….and for the better.  I believe “real bereavement” does challenge us every day, but that through this we learn the preciousness and beauty of life.  We learn to no longer sweat the small stuff and began truly appreciating the finer things in life.  All because we have been through something heartbreakingly real.  “Real bereavement” is so very painful….but isn’t there some hope in it?  I see some.  I now see and appreciate the beauty, while no longer fearing the small “issues.”  I live in the moment.  No longer in the past, or the future.  That, my friends, is the hope in “real bereavement.”  The challenge in which it gives us.

 

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