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! ❤ ❤ ❤

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!

 

Top 10 Tips for Weight Loss

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Losing nearly 60 pounds since January has been life changing. This journey has taught me so much about health, fitness, and wellness.  I could not be more grateful for what I have learned.  As I reach my 60 pounds down milestone, I wanted to share with you some of the top tips for weight loss that I have discovered.  So, below I have included the top 10 tips that have revolutionized my weight loss journey.  Enjoy!

  1. Water, water, water, water…..water is everything!  Drink at least half you weight in ounces each day!
  2. You don’t need to eat all those snacks.  Go back to just eating three meals a day.  6 “meals” a day is not what our bodies were designed to handle.  Three meals a day, with time between each meal, gives your body time to fully digest the last meal you ate.
  3. Close the kitchen at night.  Stop eating 2-3 hours before bed.
  4. Figure out what your “power hour” is.  This is the hour that you are the most productive and have the most energy.  It is during this time that you get the most out of your workouts.  If you can, schedule your workouts during that power hour.
  5. Ditch the sugars.
  6. Get those workouts in.  You don’t have to do intense cardio every single day.  Just get moving!
  7. Learn how to listen to your body.  Listen to how it feels during workouts and after eating certain foods.  If a food doesn’t make you feel good, that’s a sign.  Ditch that food.  Our bodies tell us a lot during the day.  We just have to learn how to listen to it.
  8. Get your sleep.  Sleep is extremely important for wellness.  You can’t be your best unless you are well rested.
  9. Don’t give up.  Progress takes time.  I really didn’t start noticing a difference until about a month in.  Give it at least 3 weeks.
  10. You can do it!  Positive mindset is everything.  If we tell ourselves things that are negative, we start to believe it.  Don’t be the Little Engine That Could with “I think I cans.”  Instead, tell yourself that “you know you can.”  Instead of “if I lose the weight” tell yourself “WHEN I lose the weight.”  Make it a reality.

 

Until next time- Keep it positive peeps! 🙂

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.

Exciting News

I believe it is finally time to share some exciting news with all of you.  On Thursday, I got a phone call from a professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  We chatted for about an hour and I was given the offer to come study with him for 4 years in order to get my Ph.D.  I was extremely impressed about what he shared that I accepted the offer in that phone call!  Therefore, I will be relocating this summer to live in Knoxville for 4 years and study/work in a Tier 1 research school to get my Ph.D!  I will be Dr. in only 4 years!!!!!! 🙂

I have some paperwork to finish this weekend and was asked to Skype with two professors on Monday night to discuss the GA spots they both have/decide which one I would like to study/work with.  Both of these spots are AMAZING!!!!!!  I would either be working to write/form STATE guidelines for education or working in a new grant program that is becoming known nation wide.  If I accept either of these positions, my education will be fully funded and I will be an university employee!  I am sooooo excited for this!!!!!!  The doors are opening for me to make a change in education!  This program seems sooooo right for me and I cannot wait to move down there, get started, and become a “southerner/Knoxville Volunteer!”

As you can probably tell, I am extremely excited for this!  Knoxville is a large city, so I am ecstatic to be able to live in a city for 4 years!  I will also be only 2/3 hours from Nashville, close to hiking/the ocean, and in an extremely beautiful place.  I will also have access to a national airport that will allow me to hopefully finally meet/see these amazing blogger blogger friends I have made over the past month (and I will be in their same time zone!)!  I just CANNOT wait!!!! 🙂

Liebster Award Nomination #2!

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I am BEYOND honored to be renominated for the Liebster Award by the blogger, Rise of the Phoenix.  Which makes this the third award for my blog!  Thank you all so much for your support!

I have been watching my WordPress reader these last few days and have seen this precise award being passed around to several mental health/mental health awareness blogs that I follow.  This makes me ECSTATIC.  It shows me how, somehow through the magicalness that is the internet, those of us who go through trauma of some kind have found each other and formed an AMAZING community of support.  That is one thing I just LOVE about blogging here.  You bloggers are absolutely AMAZING!  Keep writing and together we can help each other out!  ❤ ❤ ❤

Without further ado, I will answer the questions asked of me.  After that, I will post the questions for the bloggers I nominate for this award.  If you are nominated by me, it is completely up to you to accept it.  If you accept it, answer the five questions on your blog, nominate your favorite bloggers, and ask five questions for them to answer.  Here we go!  The following are my answers to the amazing Rise of the Pheonix’s questions.

  1. Why did you start your blog?  I started this blog a few years ago as a place to just write, as writing has always been a passion of mine.  Little did I know, this blog ended up turning into a coping device for me as I deal with grief, anxiety, and depression.
  2. What is your most prized possession and why?
    I would have to say my most prized possession is my mother’s engagement ring, which was giving to me at her funeral (when I was 15) when the funeral director got it off her finger.  I wore it the rest of that day, but now store it in a jewelry box.  My dream is to take the diamond out and set it in a cross pendant for a necklace that I can wear close to my heart every day.  My mother’s college graduation necklace is pretty special to me as well.  I got it when I graduated with my master’s degree last month and wear it every now and then.  It brings me comfort as I think about how she wore it and it hung close to her loving and tender heart.
  3. What is your favorite quote?  “Life gives you a thousand chances, all you have to do is take one.” -Frances Mayes in her book, Under the Tuscan Sun.
  4. What is your favorite post you’ve written?
    This is a hard question for me!  Most of my posts are written as they come to me.  They are based on my emotions and thoughts.  Something will pop into my head, or be bothering me, and I will think, “I have to write about that.”  So, I do.  But, going back and looking through my posts, I would have to say that my most favorite would be Lessons Learned From My Students.  This post makes me happy and feel warm inside.  I makes me remember what love feels like.  So, I enjoy going back and reading it.
  5. What is your favorite post written by someone else?
    Another hard question!  There are SO many great posts that I have read out there!  I don’t think I can answer this one!  How about I just say my favorite post I have read within the last day?  That works for me!  This post would be that of: Mercy by the blogger Beauty Beyond Bones. 

 

And because I love sharing the love, I nominate the following bloggers for this award:

Beginning with One Day

Fearless at Heart

Anxious and Shy

My Made Up Hard Life

Cows are Beautiful

My questions for them are:

  1. If you could relive any moment, what would it be and why?
  2. What (or who) inspires or motivates you?
  3. If you could change anything in the world, what would it be?
  4. What is your go-to binge food?
  5. If you could have a private meet-and-greet with anyone (living or dead) who would it be and why?

Much to be Grateful For

This spring, I took a graduate class (yes, during my first year of teaching) from a professor who has been a major mentor for me. This professor has always pushed me to work my hardest. A few years ago, I was in her office talking to her about teaching. It was then that she told me how she knew I would contact her in a few years about graduate school. I didn’t believe her, but…she was right. A few weeks into the class, I emailed her and asked if I could schedule an appointment to talk to her about graduate school because I was frustrated….VERY frustrated. She emailed me back saying how relived she was that I came to this conclusion and we met. Long story short, I decided right then and there that I needed to go on to grad school.

During this class she pushed me more than she had ever done. As my final project, I was to write a literature review (15 to 20 pages long- sort of a mini-thesis) on a behavior related topic and prepare a presentation on it to give to the class on the last class meeting. Struggling with a topic, and writing, I went in for an office visit. She explained the project to me more, handed me a binder on how to write a literature review and sent me on my way. I was frustrated and exhausted, but managed to struggle through the project more. After a little more research, it clicked and I took off on the writing and researching process.

In March, this professor emailed me and told me to submit a proposal to present my paper as a poster session at a national behavior conference. Well, I did it. The result: A few days ago I got this email saying that my proposal has been accepted, but not exactly as a poster session. It was accepted as a lecture. This will be the first time I will ever fly solo at presenting at a conference, as well as the first time I will be doing this at a NATIONAL conference. It will be quite intimidating and a lot of work, but it will be a great experience. I am looking forward to it. Not only will I get my work out there, but I will also have the opportunity to network with people who have the same views as me. It should be an eye opening experience and I will surely be grateful for it!

I cannot begin to explain how grateful I am to have this professor/mentor in my life. She is not only pushing me to do things that I have never thought was possible, but also believes in me when I do not. I count myself very fortunate to have such a great mentor in my life. In the end I am grateful, so very grateful, for this mentor, as well as the ability to have these experiences so early in my career.

~So Grateful

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