Lessons Learned…

So, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus lately…not quite intentional, it’s just that I have so much other stuff with school (graduation in 4 weeks) & starting a new job & trying to keep a “social life”…

But, I work upnights, and as I’ve finished my most pressing homework assignment, and have some things on my mind, I thought I’d write. This is kind of a make-up for several missed #WorkItWednesdaysLovely Sundays, as well as this week’s Tuesday @ 10. The topic over there is: I’ve Learned That…

It’s been a crazy week and a half. I started a new job, my sleeping schedule is all askew now (yay for overnights)…I have been swamped with school work & catch-up paperwork at my practicum. (does one ever really catch up on paperwork?)

Also, considering my field and where some of the people in my life are at, I have spent a good deal of time this week trying to siphon their happiness from the opinions of others…And, it’s not working.

One friend in particular comes to mind. She’s an amazing young woman, driven, beautiful, hard-working. A huge personality and a smile to match.

Enter, a guy; and, guys can be jerks, and, as women, we tend to take their own stuff on as our own. We can tend to blame ourselves when the guy is the one who is treating us like dirt…

What’s wrong with me? If only I weren’t so intimidating….if only I were slimmer….If only I could be big again…If only I wasn’t so educated…If only I was quieter/louder/taller/shorter/prettier/more/less… Then, he (or they) might like me. I’d have more friends, more opportunities. I wouldn’t be single…

These lists go on and on.

And, to be honest, some of these thoughts are what sometimes drive me to the gym when I would rather be reading or sleeping. Thoughts like these are partially why #WorkItWednesdays is a a thing for me, so I stay motivated.

But, honestly, when I do it for others, I run out of steam sooner, I find that someone, along the way, doesn’t accept me the way I hope, or I just realize I can’t really do this to make others happy, it has to be me.

So, when I do this for me (making better food choices, working out, staying on top of assignments…) I don’t give up as easily, I keep going.

And, you know what happens then?

I find that I actually like myself. It’s amazing. I am comfortable with where I am, because I know I fought to be here.

Through all the rejection, all the pain, all the tears. All the celebrations, milestones, and friendships: I became a more refined me.

This week, an amazing thing happened. More often than not, I was comfortable with who I saw looking back at me from the mirror. I even saw her beauty, her fierce loyalty, her motivation, her determination. I saw her kindness and softness, her bold streak and her courage. I really began to feel like I am really at home here in my skin.

And, the times I went back to being uncomfortable, doubting that the beauty existed? Well, those were the times this week I was tired, discouraged.

It’s when I get all caught up that obviously yet another guy doesn’t want me, and that means no one else ever will. So clearly at 26 years it’s time to pack it in and give up on those dreams… Or, I made a tiny mistake during training, didn’t connect with someone, or forgot to do a note, so obviously I am going to be terrible in this field…

It’s times I was over-thinking things & dwelling on things my mind had no business dwelling on. When I allow myself to be swayed by negative voices telling me all the things they try to tell me, believing they must be true (when, really, none of them are)…

During these times, the comfort leaves & I once again wonder who this is that’s looking back at me from the mirror…

But, what I’ve learned this week?

No matter what, if a guy doesn’t want to pursue a relationship with me, my value as a person doesn’t decrease. The amazing things I have to offer someone will (hopefully) one day be recognized by someone who is worthy, and until then, I reserve the right to respect for myself, from myself and others.

And, finding grace for myself in these early days of career-dom… I’m still a novice, a student, learning and growing each day. It only gets better from here.

Most importantly, though, I’ve learned: I am just enough as I am…I am my own best motivation. I really can love myself now, and any attempt to improve myself, push myself, and/or open myself up doesn’t cheapen that.

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10

Mini-Goal #1

So Excited to announce that I am only 1 lb away from my 1st mini goal. Once that goal is hit, that will be about 6.5 lbs down since I “started” in December.

Honestly, I could have gotten further, but, I didn’t try as hard, wasn’t so focused, and often found myself extremely stressed. But, believe me, being so close to the hurdle of this first goal is a big encouragement for me to push forward.

As I was talking to my friend (who also happens to have experience personal training & body building, shaping his body into what he wants), we were talking about goals & how I have a hard time deciding on them; and he asked me about my weight.

I hate sharing my weight (which is why I haven’t done so here…)

“I know, you’re not supposed to ask a woman her weight, but, it’s kinda my job,” he said. Then he started guessing. And, his first guess was 25lbs off – in the good direction.

See, I already look smaller than I am. And, this is why setting goals is hard, because, short of Anorexia, the number on the scale will never be as small as I think it should be.

So, he & I talked goals. “How about size 8? Or a 10, 8 might be too intimidating at first.” he asked.

“I was gonna start with getting down to a size 10 and seeing how I feel. And go from there.”

“Ok, go buy a size 10, and that’s your goal.”

Just talking it out with him helped a lot. Size 10. That’s actually been the goal all along, even the first time I was trying to get away from my biggest size.

But, before I go out and buy a size 10 to work towards, I have another goal: photo (1)

That’s a pair of beautiful Daytrip jeans I have owned for about 6 months now – and they barely fit when I got them. But, I fell in love with them. And, now, they definitely fit better, but not quite right.

However, when they do fit properly, they are going to be “those jeans” – the feel good about myself jeans. Every girl’s got to have a pair. You know, the ones that make you feel as good about yourself as a piece of clothing can.

And, to kick start this progress: No More Soda. It’s my addiction of choice, and it’s impeding progress. It’s got to go – completely. Caffeine withdrawal or not. (Look for a guest post over at Laura Noelle’s soon about using Essential Oils to help weight control & soda kicking).

Along with this, I have what I’ll call a Bonus Goal: while these jeans fit, I want to wear them on a date. You know, work on my confidence, while working the great jeans. Anyway, it’s about time to put myself back out there again.

You see, my ultimate goal is to have confidence in myself. Not to be perfect. Not to be “skinny”. But, to be comfy in my own skin.

Slow & Steady

As promised, I am making up for last week’s #WorkItWednesday.

Honestly, the last few weeks/month have been so busy…I’m either at work, at school, or at my practicum. I feel like I barely have time for the homework and social life that I also need to do to graduate and keep my sanity.

In the midst of all that, forget the gym. After my flu, I got out of the habit of gym time & have only been to the gym twice and worked out at home twice. I also found my way to a couple of mini hikes.

Lucky for me, my job keeps me pretty active, and I have found ways to add extra steps to my days on school days or when I work shorter shifts.

I have noticed that for the past 3 weeks, my weight has been steady – no loss, no gain.

But, my clothes are fitting looser. I feel like I have more stamina. So, i know I’m on the right path.

And, that’s exactly it. It’s all a part of the journey.

Of course, I can’t wait until the end result, when I can show before & after photos. When people say, “Dang, you look amazing!” When I reach my goal of being able to climb the 300+step stair case at the lighthouse without stopping. All of these are going to feel amazing.

But, along the way, I’m trying to enjoy the small progress. The success of a day of healthier eating (or at least, a day of a few less calories 🙂 ). The success of being able to buy a size smaller pant. The success of being able to go farther/faster/longer than I could before.

Because the end results: the showing off, the long treks, the 5ks (and maybe 10ks) – these will all be built on the foundation of these smaller successes.

And, just like the tortoise won the race with the hare, I’m taking this slow and steady.

Final thought:

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it on my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:13-14

Amazing Bodies

This second Work it Wednesday really snuck up on me!

Last week I caught a terrible flu that kept me down for the count for several days. And, I think I tried to go back to my regular routine too quickly, so my poor body is exhausted.

But, last Wednesday, I laid in bed after most of the worst had passed, amazed at what our bodies can do.

Even with little help from modern medicine, our bodies find a way to heal themselves. (Which, for those of us with an aversion to doctors, or to spending too much money, or to medicine, is so wonderful).

It’s not that I had no help, but my basics were: acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and an expectorant in the smallest possible dose. Which, for me, meant I spent a lot of the last week and a half in more pain than I really needed to. Which is also how I’ve recovered from every surgery I’ve had. As little medicine as possible…

But, we don’t always need what they tell us we need. Our bodies can do so much with simple, natural remedies that take the same amount of time and are way better for us. Why would we do it any other way unless absolutely necessary?

So, anyway, I was home last Wednesday thinking about all of this. Just in awe of how intricate & delicate, yet resilient God made our bodies. And, so well able to work with nature.

How well we are able to lose, gain, maintain weight, depending on our needs (or, in today’s world, our lifestyles). Yet, how perfectly balanced it all is for nutrients we need to get the best out of ourselves. Too much or too few and we throw it all out of whack, gaining or losing too much weight for our bodies to do what needs to be done.

And, as I stepped on the scale this morning for my weigh in, it really hadn’t moved much, but after yesterday’s crazy food day (we all have them), it had inched up a few tenths of a pound.

I could look at this as a failure…pulling me farther from my goal that is set for Valentine’s Day.

Or, I could focus on the fact that my clothes are fitting better for some & much more loosely for others. I can focus on the success that I am beginning to, however slowly, change my body into something I want to see in the mirror.

So, because I am in awe of my amazing body, loving the fact that it works exactly as it should, and knowing I made a few better choices today (and some, not so great ones), I am going to focus on the success. On the good. On the things that will motivate me to keep moving forward.

I will also be grateful for the compliments I’m getting from others who are noticing the changes in me. Those kind words are more motivation to keep moving forward 🙂

And, an extra reminder for me to take care of this amazing body God has trusted me with:

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20


It’s the 3rd Wednesday of January…time for my first #WorkItWednesday.

In November 2011 I weighed the most I have ever weighed in my life. I stepped on the scale we had in the office, saw what the scale had to say, & almost cried. I was terrified by the number on the scale. How had I let this happen? After keeping myself from gaining in college?

What happened was, I became sedentary, like much of America. Working in an office with an endless supply of office goodies, Starbucks runs, and very little exercise anywhere else.

And, I was mortified!

This happened at a time when I was trying to figure things out. 2 years out of college, and life was not at all what I had anticipated. So, at that time, I left my job in search of a new one…

Fast forward 6 months…

As of May 2012, I had worked at home depot for about 4 months – every day, on my feet…and, I began working at a gym in the Kids’ Club. More time on my feet & running around. I noticed I was feeling better and more motivated to get fit, and I had somehow dropped my first 15 pounds.

I got myself time with a trainer, began to work out, and focused on what was going in my mouth.

Fast forward another year…

I had dropped 35 pounds. I felt better, looked better, and my clothes fit better. I absolutely loved my job at the gym (I left Home Depot after starting grad school because I didn’t feel like I could handle two jobs and school).

May of 2013 I had just passed a year at this amazing job & was well into my first year of my Masters’ Program. Things were looking up in life.

But, that November, things kind of fell apart: and the weight began to creep back. Over the next year, dealing with stress from school & jobs, as well as working in more sedentary places & around a lot of sweets (oh, hello, Starbucks), I ended up putting on 15 of those lost pounds.

So for those at home counting: I found myself back at only 20 pounds shy of my heaviest weight, and if I didn’t do something about it, I could be staring down at that number very soon.

Luckily, I also found myself back at the gym for the best job ever, and at the beginning of December, I began seriously working out & trying to watch my food.

Between December & January 10th, I lost 3 pounds. But after vacation, my lovely, um, monthly “friend”, and a super stressful beginning to the quarter, 2 of those pounds found their way back (although, I also must remember, I have been strength training, so muscle is being made. Yay, better fitting clothes, even though the scale has barely moved! 🙂 )

So, now, I have to pick my goals:

  • Goal 1: 6 pounds gone by Valentine’s Day
  • Goal 2: 30 pounds gone by my Birthday (July 9th)
  • Ultimate Goal (I think…): 45 pounds gone

In order to get there, I am setting some smaller goals, and the first is my soda intake. Currently, I am back to about 1/day. I don’t like this. So, my goal is for the next month, only 4 sodas per week (16 oz or less). From there I’ll go down to 2, and then only have them rarely/on special occasions (if at all).

I am really excited to share this journey with everyone. To bring in quotes, pictures, tips & milestones along the way. And, I am really excited for  all the things 2015 has in store.

And, because everyone likes pictures:

Sometimes, the work happens in unattractive places at beautiful times.

Sometimes, the work happens in unattractive places at beautiful times.