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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Featured post

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!

 

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.

Research and Ramblings

Hello y’all.  I know, it’s been like forever since I have written a post for you.  I have some major ideas and revelations that I have been meaning to get out to you, but just haven’t had the time.  Here’s why….

I am now permanently located in Tennessee and working on my phd in special education.  I am here for a minimum of 4 years.  Life is been pretty busy with research, readings, teaching classes, grading, and basically just trying to stay on top of it all.  This has certainly been a major learning curve for me and has come with major brain exhaustion.  But, let me tell you, this is some pretty exciting stuff.  I’ll just say that something great always comes from throwing yourself outside of your comfort zone.

I will catch you all up with my grief/depression/eating disorder in my next post.  Just wanted to explain my absence.  I promise you some hard hitting info in my next one.

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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Strength Comes From the Weirdest Places

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This weekend I needed a whole lot of strength to keep me going.  This need made me learn something about strength.  My lesson learned was that strength comes from the weirdest places.  This weekend’s strength came from…my toe nail polish.  Here is the story…..

Some amazing blogger friends and I have been texting for a few months now.  A few weeks ago, one of these blogger friends and I found out that we actually go to therapy at the same time.  We both know therapy can be very triggering, so we make sure to treat ourselves after.  This last week, we did our first post-therapy-pedicure.  We got pedicures done at the same time and even got the same color!  It was almost like having a real girl’s date in person!  We have decided that this pedicure date will happen after our therapy and we will keep doing the same color!

It may be strange…but this nail polish is really giving me strength.  Whenever I look at it, I smile and remember that I can overcome this.  I remember how I have the same color as this blogger friend and how I am not going through this battle on my own.  That someone else understands what this is like.  That with others, we can always make it through!  ❤

Post-Facebook Free Life

Due to another amazing blogger allowing me to see how Facebook is negatively affecting me, I deactivated my account about a month ago.  Honestly, no matter how many people hound me to get back on it, I am NOT going back.  Life is sooooooooo much better without Facebook.  I do not miss it AT ALL.  Here is why:

  1. I have MUCH more free time on my hands.  This means more time to read, blog, write, workout, focus on things that will help me better myself, etc.
  2. I am forced to have more meaningful conversations with people.  This allows me to make more real life connections, rather than the “internet facade friendships” that happen on Facebook.
  3. I have found out who truly cares about me because they still contact me even though I don’t have a Facebook.
  4. Negativity = GONE.  There is sooooooooooooo much negativity on Facebook.  This was making my depression MUCH worse.  I hated seeing other people’s happiness and “families” when I wasn’t happy or don’t have a “family.”  It’s just a nesting pool of negativity that triggers bad self-talk.
  5. I no longer have the ability to “stalk” the people that hurt me (or I felt abandoned me) during my grief.  This has helped me stop thinking, “It was all my fault….If I wasn’t such a horrible person…If my dad hadn’t died..I am not worthy of real friends….etc.”
  6. My self-image has gotten better.  I no longer compare myself to other people.  I am ME and no one else.  The world only needs one me.  Sadly, it took quitting Facebook to realize this.
  7. I no longer sit at the dinner table with my phone out.  This means I have meaningful conversations with the person I am with.  I also have time to truly think about what I am eating and savor the taste of each food.
  8. The pictures I take are now more meaningful and silly.  They make me happy.  I am not snapping pictures to just “be able to post it and show people.”  No….I am taking them to cheer me, as well as other people, up.
  9. Family drama that triggers depression is no longer weighing on me because I cannot be contacted regarding it.
  10. I am able to find more meaning in the life outside of Facebook.

Hope Part 2: Finding Hope in Today

As part of my “new outlook” on hope, I am going to make it my goal to see my parents’ love in something everyday.  Perhaps, this will help me with the grieving process.  So today, I am reminded of my parents and they love they gave in:

  1. The wonderful sunshine and birds singing (FINALLY!).
  2. The morning workout I completely conquered……even though I didn’t want to.
  3. The song Stand By You by Rachel Platten that played on my way to work and Angels in Chelsea (also by the same artist) that blared in my ears during my workout.
  4. The new and amazing friends I have made through this site.
  5. The silly selfies I sent to these friends and my sister.
  6. The necklace that currently hangs around my neck.
  7. The watch I am wearing that my father gave to me for my undergraduate graduation.
  8. The observance of the same blue eyes my mother had in the selfies I took.

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