Tag Archives: Self-Love

Just That Mental Game

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this topic before, so I’ll try not to rant about it too much here. But, you know me: when I need to get something off my chest, half the time, if I don’t blog about it, then it ends up festering, and that’s not helpful or enjoyable for anyone involved.

I want to talk about losing weight.

Specifically, my journey to do that and how half the time, it’s a bigger mental game than anything else. And most of the time, it’s that mental game that is more detrimental or harder to deal with than any lifestyle change I’ve made since I started seriously pursuing this journey, a little over a year ago.

You see, I’ve lost 30 pounds out of my 40 pound goal. I knew the last ten pounds would be hard to lose, but they’ve been particularly troublesome, especially since I haven’t really gotten to work out much, thanks to the cold weather and the fact that I’m not to the point where I’ll work out, regardless of how cold it gets (and honestly, I’ll probably never get to that point). I’ve gain a little and lost it again, but mostly maintained. Which is a good thing, but I find myself getting frustrated that I haven’t really made any forward progress on losing those last ten pounds.

There are a couple of reasons for that, honestly.

One, I haven’t ran consistently since November, which is a huge aspect (and was the only element, for most of this) of my working out routine. I haven’t eaten less to make up for the calories I’m not burning, so it makes sense that I’m maintaining, instead of losing.

I also started doing some strength training, so even if I was stuck indoors, I wouldn’t just be sitting around and doing nothing. Not nearly as high in calorie burn as running, but after only doing that routine for a little over a month, I’ve felt my body change in the way it looks and is shaped. I’ve felt myself get stronger. So there’s a good chance that some of that weight I have now is muscle weight, instead of fat.

I also still have splurge days. Granted, I will admit I could do a better job at not going completely overboard, when those days come up (usually Saturdays, if not the entire weekend, when I don’t have a routine that I follow as much), but I do have those, because sometimes, I just want to eat a little extra and be a little lazy. And that’s totally okay, too, even if it slows down my progress a little bit.

All in all, I’m not doing too badly.

Yet I keep fixating on that number on the scale, how I still haven’t “truly” achieved my goal, since I haven’t hit the number I initially set out to hit.

You know and I know it.

That’s bullshit.

I may not have lost 40 pounds, but I have lost 30. My weight may fluctuate a little bit, but I have keep up a consistent workout routine and changed my eating habits to be healthier and more conducive to the lifestyle I want to live and the body I want to have. I have proved to myself that I can create this lifestyle and keep it up, even when I make mistakes or have to recover some lost ground when I slip up. I have developed a confidence and a self-love with my body that I’ve never had before.

I’d say I’ve achieved a damn lot, even if that number on the scale still isn’t exactly where I want it to be. Even if I have cheat days that sometimes go overboard, like last weekend. Even though my own brain tries to diminish my progress by pointing out what I haven’t yet achieved, thus also trying to derail my ability in attempting to achieve those lingering goals, before I make new ones.

I should be proud of all of that, instead of beating myself up for a bad eating day, a missed workout or that number on the scale. Because at the end of the day, I’m putting in the work, I’m creating a lifestyle I enjoy, I’m happy with who I am and I can look in the mirror without cringing.

And that’s pretty damn important, too.

Cheers.

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The Never-Ending Cycle of Learning Lessons

This freakin’ brain of mine, friends.

This freakin’ brain.

So, as you (might) know, my birthday was last week. *throws celebratory balloons* As such, it was a lot of eating really good food. Including cake. Like, Oreo Blizzard Cake from Dairy Queen (because my family is awesome). Plus, homemade strawberry pretzel salad (because my family is awesome). And letting me choose the restaurants, so places like Olive Garden (because, hello pasta) and Texas Roadhouse (can I have another basket of rolls, please?) were both consumed. It was a glorious weekend.

You know what didn’t happen?

Running.

Or working out of any capacity.

Monday’s are my weigh-in days. Which, in retrospect, makes me wonder why I picked that day, out of any day of the week, because it’s always after the weekend, which is when I usually fall off my eating plan and don’t work out at all, so it’s probably my “worst” weight of the week (as compared to Fridays, after I’ve worked out all week and ate well). Yet it’s also probably the most accurate, so I’m sticking with it.

Anyway, this morning, I was terrified to weigh myself. In my mind, since I went a little overboard with the birthday shenanigans, obviously I’d gained five, ten pounds back and I was going to lose all motivation I had to keep up this lifestyle I’ve now officially kept up with for a year and suddenly I’ve become the cow I always thought I used to be, before.

Dramatic, right?

Everyone told me to skip weighing, do well this week and then weigh next week. And I wanted to do just that, but I couldn’t. I wanted to be honest with myself.

So I weighed.

And gained 0.08 pounds.

Then, I ran three miles and weighed again, just for shits and grins.

And was right back where I was last week, perfectly maintaining.

Related image

I know.

know.

You gotta love that overactive imagination, right? That over-thinking part of my brain that just so happens to be more powerful than other part of my brain? Yeah, it definitely took over this weekend, being so nervous that a couple days of not eating the best was going to ruin a year’s worth of progress. But I don’t believe that was the main factor, the main influence, for my over-thinking.

It was fear.

You see, the most amazing part about this lifestyle change; about losing 30 pounds of my 40 pound goal; about figuring out eating habits that are healthy yet aren’t restrictive; about incorporating working out as part of a routine (and a main part, at that); the most amazing part about all of this has been the self-love I’ve finally experienced, after so many years searching for it and failing to find it.

Ever since 7th grade and I first slipped into the 180 pound range, I’ve hated myself, physically. And that hatred manifested, through depression, into practically every area of my life.

For years.

Until this past year.

As I’ve discovered my strength, I’ve discovered a pause to look in the mirror when I usually stared at the ground. As I’ve discovered my control, I’ve discovered the excitement to go shopping for a new pair of jeans instead of dreading it. As I’ve discovered a healthy lifestyle, I’ve discovered the joy of releasing endorphins, actually creating the way my body looks, enjoying foods that I make myself and eating a healthy amount, all alongside discovering a love for me, and my body.

It’s an incredible feeling. Addictive, really.

I never want to go back to what I used to feel. I never want to hate myself again.

So when I mess up, I get scared. Because I’ve messed up before. Over and over again, I’ve messed up, which is how I got to 200 pounds in the first place, being labeled as in the “obese” category at the doctor’s office. And though realistically in my mind, I know that a few days of poor eating, or a week of not exercising, isn’t going to kill me. Hell, gaining a pound or two back isn’t failure. If nothing else, I should be confident that I can conquer any obstacle, now that I’ve already done what used to feel like an impossibility, so whatever I gain back, I know I can lose it again.

Yet the fear remains.

And that’s the next thing to conquer.

It’s especially prevalent now, that winter is here. Because I know I’m not going to run as much as I’ll want to. It’ll get cold or the weather will get bad and I’ll have no desire to run at all, let alone leave the warmth of my bed. I’ll want to eat warm, filling food and play video games. Plus, we got Thanksgiving coming up, not to mention Christmas. And all that Halloween candy still to eat. It’s the holiday season, paired with the worst weather to run in, basically setting me up to not lose weight. Or maintain, which is my goal. And potentially gain.

I know that, if I set my mind to something, I can achieve it. I know that, if I focus on the unrealistic roots and unfairness of this fear, I can overcome it. I know that, if I learn to embrace forgiveness on the times when I mess up or the weeks that I don’t do very well, this fear will quietly become silent. I know that.

Now, it’s time to learn it.

Cheers.


One of the Neatest Things

Since last November, I’ve lost 19 pounds.

That’s something I never thought I’d write, let alone be my reality.

It is…one of the neatest things.

Part of me wants to apologize for even writing this post, because how braggy can someone get? Yet if you’ve ever stumbled upon this blog or have followed it for years, chances are, you’ve read a post about depression and self-hatred. You’ve read about the struggle I’ve had loving myself, most particularly the way I look. You’d know I’ve been fighting this battle for a long, long time.

You understand how monumental this feels for me.

So my apologies if I brag here for a moment.

 disney supernatural sherlock marvel dean winchester GIF

Like I have so many times before, last November, I told myself, “You need to lose weight. You need to become healthy. You need to create a body that you can look in the mirror and love.” For my height, the healthy weight range is 140-165. My goal has always been to get to 160 pounds and as the years have gone by, the amount of weight I’ve needed to lose to reach that point has only continued to increase. In high school, I was around 185 pounds, but by my senior year of college, I had finally hit that dreaded (to me) point and passed into the 200 range. I had reached the point where I had to lose 40 pounds to get to the higher end of my healthy weight range. I felt hopeless and discouraged in a lot of ways. That sort of weight loss was impossible to achieve.

Eight months later, I’m at 181 pounds. One more pound shed and I’ll be halfway to my goal. Two pounds and I’ll be in the 170s. If I lose a pound a week, I could reach my goal by Thanksgiving. Of this year.

Friends, I am floored at this progress. At this milestone. Of wanting the same thing for so long and finally actually doing something to achieve it. I’m floored to actually be able to feel and see the difference. I’m floored that, every once in the while, I look in the mirror and I smile at what I see. There is still plenty I want to change, but damn if I’m not stoked at where I’m at right now. The lowest weight I’ve been since I was in high school. Shaping the body that I want.

The journey itself has been a bit of a whirlwind. There were plenty of weeks where I gained weight or fluctuated between gaining and losing the same few pounds. There have been weeks where I’ve killed every fitness and eating goal I’ve put ahead of me and weeks where the only movement I got was reaching into the chip bag while sitting on my couch. It’s been a lot of trial and error to figure out what works for me and what doesn’t. There’s been times when I’ve had to forgive myself and times I knew I needed to push harder. I know that this journey will continue to change and evolve, as it’s one I’ll have for the rest of my life, because it certainly doesn’t end once I hit 160. I know there will always be hiccups and struggles and roadblocks and setbacks. That’s okay.

But for the first time ever, I’m confident that I’ll also see progress.

That is…one of the neatest things.

So thank you for your support. For encouraging me and challenging me in this journey. For telling me I’m worthy no matter what my size is (because that’s a capital T Truth). And thanks in advance for the future support and the understanding when I decline that dessert you offer or don’t go back for seconds, even though that food was bomb. It’s a lifestyle change that I’m so excited I’ve finally taken control of and I think it’ll always be a work-in-progress, but your encouragement, support and understanding is phenomenal. And I couldn’t do it without you.

Oh, and just for fun (and because I am so frugal and never spend money on anything), I also wanted to share my rewards for the next 20 pounds to lose. I think having a little extra incentive never hurt anyone, especially as I have a feeling the second 20 pounds might be harder to lose than the first.

  • 20 Pounds: New Tattoo
    • Granted, I’d already planned to get this one in August, but I’m going to cheat and count it as my reward.
  • 30 Pounds: Mass Effect Sweatshirt
    • This one might seem silly, but I’ve been eyeing this Mass Effect sweatshirt for many, many months. And it’s $60, which might not be a lot to you, but that’s always been unjustifiable to me. And I think losing 30 pounds is more than enough justification to get a kickass hoodie that I’ll never take off once I own it.
  • 40 Pounds: Die Hair
    • Again, I hate spending money, but especially on “frivolous” things like doing my hair (even though I feel so fantastic after getting it done). It gets expensive and a lot of the time, I just can’t let myself do it when I should be saving my money. But I’ve always wanted to die my hair darker professionally, even though doing so and getting it cut, too, is a bit pricey. But reaching the weight I never thought I’d reach and having my hair look amazing? Yes, please.

If you have some goals or dreams that you’ve always wanted to achieve but never seem to reach that finish line, I really encourage you to take a scary look at what you’re actually doing to achieve them. Before last November, while the dream of loving my body was very real, the actions I was taking to make it a reality were non-existent and thus, the dream was out of reach. And trust me: you want to know what it feels like to work towards what you believe to be impossible dreams and see yourself make progress, with the knowledge that you yourself are the reason you’re achieving them.

It really is one of the neatest things.

Cheers.


The Surprising Insights Amidst Heartbreak

It’s been awhile since my heart broke.

I’ll let you in on a secret: I didn’t miss the feeling.

I didn’t miss the pain in the back of my eyes from the pressure of crying too much and too frequently, resulting in swelling and redness that I usually just tell my coworkers are allergies and they pretend to believe me as a kindness. I didn’t miss the actual pain in my chest or how my mind constantly runs down various paths of What Ifs and Whys as I struggle to understand how I ended up with a beating heart pieced together by strings that loosen with every choked sob. I didn’t miss the sudden teeter-tottering that follows for days afterwards, where I never know how long that happiness I’m fighting to create will last before a surprise reminder of what could have been–what I miss, what I want but can’t have–suddenly snaps and I go into another sad spiral.

Yeah, I didn’t miss any of this. Yet you don’t really get to choose when or how often you experience this type of pain. You do, however, as John Green penned, have a say on who hurts you. And I like my choice.

Image result for john green quote i like my choices

A classic case of bad timing and one person falling more than the other, this current heartbreak is truly just unlucky. It’s going to take a little bit of time to get over and get used to not having a crush again; not having that hope that maybe this time, just this time, things might work out and I’ll finally find that relationship I’ve always dreamed of.

Unfortunately, at this moment, this time isn’t it, either.

But this heartbreak gave me a lot of insight that I’ve never experienced before. And of course, I have to write it down, if only to find another form of releasing all of these emotions aside from crying into my pillow, running until my legs give out or sending walls of texts to my best friend.

So, here’s what I’ve learned:

        1. I am way too judgmental of a person.

That might seem a little bit harsh, but I promise it’s not your typical self-loathing or self-deprecation that sometimes happens after your heart is broken. Though I have never been in a relationship, what I just experienced was the closest thing to it for me personally (and I’m being purposefully vague to protect the other person’s privacy). And before I experienced it, I definitely had some judgments on people who also entered into nontraditional types of relationships. Judgments that were undeserved, because I certainly didn’t understand what they were experiencing or going through; the reasons why people made these choices and why my judging them is completely wrong–it’s none of my business anyway. It forced me to self-reflect and realize that I need to be more open-minded and less prone to automatically, subconsciously pass judgment on a person or situation that is foreign to me; not just with relationships, but in every aspect of life. Obviously, I won’t change overnight, but I like to think that, thanks to this pseudo-relationship and the least-judgmental man I’ve ever met, I can work harder to be more open-minded and understanding of those situations and values that differ from my own.

        2. The world of relationships is not so black and white.

I had a very black and white understanding of relationships. Or perhaps expectation is the right word. You meet a guy (guy in my case, as I’m straight; please substitute according to your sexual preference). You flirt. You get to know one another, slowly. Eventually, he’ll ask you out. You’ll go on a couple dates. You’ll eventually kiss. You’ll enter into a relationship. You’ll grow together. After a couple years, you’ll get married and the rest is a happily ever after. Black and white. Straight-forward. Simple.

(Hint: life is not like that. At all.)

The world is a lot more gray than that (^^) fairy tale; one I’d foolishly believed was the only real option for romance. Instead, there are so many different types of relationships and ways of falling into–or working towards–being with someone. And no one way is better than the others (as the judgmental part of me believed). Instead, what matters is that the people involved in the relationship are open, honest with one another and comfortable. Everything else can be worked out.

(Another hint: having all this gray is a good thing.)

        3. I rely way too much on other’s approval. 

When I first starting veering towards what was, to me, a very weird type of relationship I’d never thought I’d be in, I was terrified to tell my friends or my family, because I was certain they would frown upon it (in retrospect, it was partly because I usually frowned upon these types of relationships because I didn’t understand them and it “wasn’t how it was supposed to be done” ((see fairy tale))) and then they would advise me to stop, because that was not how you were “supposed” to fall in love (and though I didn’t actually fall in love here, I was definitely working my way towards that). And I didn’t want to stop. I was first surprised by the openness everyone responded with, which was the first slap in the face that I need to fall off my high horse and stop being so judgmental. But then I was punched in the face when I realized that I rely way too much on these opinions of others–even those closest to me–instead of doing what makes me happy–not what I think I am supposed to do or what will make my parents or friends happy. I need to start making choices for me, because of me.

(Notice how those first three tie together really well? Yeah, I have a lot of work to do.)

        4. I still don’t love myself enough. 

I never wanted to believe the saying that you can’t love someone until you love yourself, but I’m starting to see the value of it. Not because you can’t love that person. I think it is totally possible to love someone else and not yourself. But if you don’t love yourself, you come to rely on their love as your main source of self-worth. You start searching for affirmations from them until they grow tired of reminding you of the truths you should already know, but refuse to believe. Sometimes, they could grow angry. And before you know it, you’ve pushed someone good away because they spent the entire time trying to convince you to love yourself and that their feelings were true instead of simply loving you and being loved by you.

Although this isn’t the culprit behind my latest heartbreak, there were definitely signs that I need to continue to work on loving myself and creating affirmations within myself, instead of searching for them from someone else. That’s just not a healthy lifestyle and strains all types of relationships, not just romantic ones.

        5. I’m not needy, but I do have needs. 

Though I want to work on being more open minded, I do know that I need a stable, exclusive relationship to be happy. I don’t like sharing someone. I don’t like being someone’s secret, someone’s fling, someone’s fun. None of these things are bad, if that is the type of relationship you are comfortable being in. But I realized that I need more than that. I want to be able to brag about my boyfriend to my friends. I want to be introduced to his family. I want to enter into a relationship hoping that we can creature a future together. I want serious. And that’s okay to want and fight for and even give up someone you really care about because you need more. That’s okay.

        6. Love is not a checklist. 

My track record with guys is pretty nonexistent. Before this past year, I didn’t really try. And I was really, truly convinced that I would never find love; that I was meant to be alone. After trying, I’ve struck out twice, but I do believe now that love might be out there for me; that I deserve it; and I’ve realized that I can’t search for it by creating a checklist of desires or expectations and turning away everyone who doesn’t meet all of them with flying colors.

I joined an online dating website for a few months, where you could tailor your matches down to desired physical and lifestyle traits. And I know for a fact that the man I just lost would never have matched with me, based on how limited/specific my “match criteria” was. Yet he’s the man whose made me the happiest I’ve ever been (in regards to romance). My standards don’t need to be lowered, but this idea in my head that the one meant for me needs to be X, Y and Z definitely needs to go out the window. Love cannot–and should not–be contained to checking off boxes on a list. It’s about connection and growth and risk and communication and work and choosing that person every single day.

So…yeah. Right now, my heart hurts. I lost a really good guy thanks to bad timing and unrequited feelings. Frankly, it sucks. But no “relationship” has taught me more than he did in the briefest of times. By stepping out of my comfort zone and taking a chance on him, in a weird relationship and situation I never thought I’d be in, sure, I came out with my heart broken. But I also came out as a better person, with a clever vision of what I want in love and who I want to be as a person. That alone is why every tear right now is worth it and not a single regret is felt. Doesn’t mean that I’ll won’t probably be bonding with a pint of ice cream later tonight and my pillow won’t be drenched in tears for a while as I cry myself to sleep, but for this heartbreak and the experience that caused it, I am nothing but thankful–and hopeful, as every hopeless romantic is, for what my future love life holds…even if it takes me a while to get there.

Cheers.


2017: Questing to Know Myself and Choose Happiness

Christmas is less than a week away, with the New Year skittering close after its heels. Though it might seem a bit early for a resolution-like post, when the mood to write strikes you, you ignore it at your own peril. I say “resolution-like” because I can already tell that I’m not going to have a nice, neat list for of goals I want to accomplish, like I have in the past. Quite frankly, I have one true goal, one resolution. It isn’t a new one, but simply a reaffirmation and a refocusing of something that I always want to strive to achieve. The start of another year is the perfect time to remind myself exactly what I want and how to achieve it.

Happiness and self-love.

Finding something to happy in worst parts of your life is the key to success, Here are some great Inspirational Happiness quotes to help you cherish valuable moments of Life 30 Inspiring Quotes ...:

24 is a really weird age. I have more bills than I do fingers. Everything I was “certain” and “planned” to do, I’ve already done, i.e., finish school, go to college and graduate. I’m now in this mixed stage of floundering and survival, where I have goals and dreams, of course, but no longer is my path set in stone like it was whilst I was still in school. Now, more than ever, I have a lot of control in not how how my life is lived, but where my priorities lie, how my time is spent, how my values rank and where I want to steer my life.

That is both liberating and terrifying.

And on an average day, I’m pretty content. I currently average roughly 55-60 hours a week between working two jobs. One job lets me scrape by paying my bills. The other job is strictly going into savings, all of it to be used as funding for my trip to London in the fall with my Mom (and I can already tell you that trip is going to be the highlight of 2017). I’m lucky that I enjoy both jobs and the people that I work with. And though it turns into long days, I’m glad that I am being more proactive, even if my downtime has been cut down and my anxiety of never completing my To-Do List has risen because of it.

 :

I have two goals to help maximize my happiness surrounding my work life: stay more on top of my finances and create a weekly routine and goal list, and stick with it. I need to order a box of checks (considering the last time I bought checks was in middle school) and get a fresh balance sheet for both my checking and savings account and then form a solid habit of tracking what I spend and earn. I get easily stressed about money. And though I know I’m doing fine–I could definitely be struggling more–this stress certainly takes a hit at my overall happiness. If I was more aware of what was going on with my bank account, I think my stress of not having enough would definitely lessen. Plus, this isn’t a bad habit to form in any sense.

I also want to create a routine/schedule that I follow Monday through Friday, probably pretty rigidly. On top of two jobs, I also have freelance editing work, an internship and two free 14-week online classes over Tolkien to balance. And we’re not even factoring in normal health routines (showering, eating, etc.), my personal writing or editing, or my commitment to working out. Life is busy. And I get pretty bummed when I get into writing funks or don’t go to the gym or don’t read for a few days and I know it’s simply because I haven’t managed my time properly. So this week, I plan to map out a schedule that I stick to, with work and eating and things, and a weekly goal list of other things I’d like to accomplish not at a set time; and tape both up by my calendar, so I see them every day. By staying on top of everything during the week, my weekends will be guilt-free days for general laziness, video games or socializing (if this soul stuck in a work cave can actually navigate back to the sunlight that is having a life).

I’m also happiest when I’m writing. Not only writing, but writing consistently. If anything positive came out of 2016, it is definitely that I learned that no matter how busy I am, I can always make time to write and when I do, the results are stunning. I have a lot of projects I need to edit and new ones I want to write next year (but that will be a separate blog post, coming your way soon). These past two months, any excuse I’ve found to not put writing first, I’ve used. There’s no better time than January 1st to recommit to my craft and fall in love with writing again.

Speaking of falling in love, that’s also something I wouldn’t mind doing–both with someone else and with myself. But I can only control one of those and that is my attitude towards myself. Which, honestly, is my biggest focus for 2017–even more so than writing, which shows you how serious I am about this. The biggest way I know I can help myself learn to love myself fully is to pick up working out regularly again. During the fall, I ran for five weeks straight and it felt amazing. And even with so little time, I saw how much my body was changing and I loved it. I could look in the mirror and not cringe (compared to the four weeks after that spurt where every time I pass the mirror, I try to avoid catching my reflection). Even if my body wasn’t changing, I generally just feel happier, more accomplished and proud on days where I work out compared to days that I don’t. This week, I bought a pass to the gym–another sign of how serious of a commitment this is to me, because that pass, while I can afford, I can barely do so. It’s right across the street from where I live and I can squeeze in a workout in-between jobs. So after the holidays, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Every day you have the opportunity to grow and make the decision to become a happier version of yourself. You aren't the same person as you were yesterday. Who are you choosing to be today?  Tag a friend  /// Get the best happy quotes from the week delivered to your email. Link to sign up in my profile. via @angela4design by @happsters:

Of course, then there’s all the little things I hope to do throughout the year. Like rebuild my wardrobe to reflect my personality and style better. Get one or two more tattoos before London. Read a lot more books. Amp up my blog commitments to the three blogs that I contribute to and/or run. Query by the summer. Get my haircut regularly. After London, depending on the job, financial and timing situations, I want to look into renting my first little house, save up for a puppy and potentially getting back into the dating scene, if I’m not in it already. Do more weekend roadtrips. Collect more nerdy decor for whatever home I’m in. Find a single job that’s full-time.

And on and on and on and on…

Basically, for 2017, though this phrasing is going to make it sound pretentious, selfish or even potentially arrogant, I want it to be a year about me. Not in the I’m-the-center-of-the-universe-watch-me-flaunt-it kind of way, but in the I-recognize-my-own-value-and-worth-and-am-putting-that-first kind of way. I’m looking to grow, to discover and explore my own personality, to improve yet also be content with exactly the person I’ve crafted myself to be. Because if there was any time in my life where I had control to be exactly who I wanted and shape myself to be exactly the person I desire to be, the time is now. And I’d love your support along the way. 🙂

Wrap-Up List:

  • Start balancing checkbook regularly.
  • Create a weekly routine and stick with it.
  • Recommit to writing goals and stick with them.
  • Workout for 45 minutes 5 days a week.
  • Take care of me.

Well look at that. Apparently I came up with a goals list, after all.

Any goals, mindset changes, reaffirmations or new risks that you’d like me to cheer you on regarding? Hit me up in the comments about what these are and exactly how I can best support you and let’s hit 2017 with grins, positivity and the determination to not only love ourselves, but also change the freakin’ world.

Cheers.


Hiccups

Life is full of them; hiccups, I mean. Of course, this post is tailored to a specific hiccup in my current life–two, actually, if we want to be more precise: hiccups in running and in writing.

You see, both are commitments that I have made to myself to do consistently, because they are important to me. My stories and my ever-changing, always growing ability to tell them, mean everything to me. I started running almost two months ago as a way to battle anxiety and depression, plus as an avenue to really start loving myself wholly, in every aspect, including physically, which has always been the hardest self-love for me to achieve. Obviously, both of these things are important to me; are so much more than mere hobbies.

So when I find myself choosing to not run and going a few days without writing, I feel pretty bad about it and myself.

Like this:

Or this:

Perhaps even this:

With writing, I wrote a whole separate post as to why I think I have fallen off that bandwagon, mostly paralyzed by my own self-doubt and fear. With running, I was doing really well: five straight weeks running five days a week. Then, Thanksgiving Week hit. I knew, going home for the holidays, that I might not be able to run, but I told myself I would at least go on a walk with my dog every day. I ended up running the day before I left for home and walking the Saturday before I went back to my home, always choosing laziness, family, the PS4 or my own desire to not be in the cold over the desire to run or even walk. Then, the next week, my period and cramps from hell hit and I only managed three days when I was averaging five.

And now, I started another job, making the ideal running time to be 6:30 in the morning. Before the sunrise. Operating on six hours of sleep due to getting off of my first job and getting home at 12:30. In single digit temperatures. Not to mention that I am not a morning person, I usually need eight hours to function properly and I hate the cold.

Yeah, not exactly the recipe for success, here. It’s become real easy to talk myself out of running. But worse, it’s become even easier to feel like absolute shit because of it.

But you know what? A little hiccup in the middle of a journey is nothing to be ashamed about, feel guilty over or beat yourself up because of.

Instead, it’s something to embrace.

Hiccups, mistakes, bumps in the road, even failures…none of these things are even possible if you don’t get started. They are only possible through attempts, trying, making an effort. The fact that I am stumbling in both my writing and developing a running habit is only possible because I have made a decision to commit to both of these things and have put forth the effort to try–and have proven myself that I can succeed. So what if I’ve had a hiccup along the way, messing up my rhythm or ruining a streak? A bump in the road is a sign of an accomplishment, even though my brain tries to trick me into believing it is something to be ashamed of.

More so? It’s natural.

I chose to start a running regime when I can’t afford a gym membership in November, meaning that I’m trying to develop a habit during my least favorite time of the year, weather wise, when the biggest requirement–aside from turning off the silly voice in my head trying to talk me out of it each day–is the weather being nice enough for me to take the trails. So perhaps not the smartest move on my part. But that happens. On a day where it rains and I can’t go run, I shouldn’t feel guilty–not any more guilty than on a day where my cramps hurt too bad or if I simply choose to skip.

Because that mentality–that guilt, that hopelessness, that I’ll-never-get-back-to-where-I-was–isn’t going to do me any favors in the long run. And the long run is where I want to be, both physically and with my writing. I’m not looking to shape my dream body before X date or Y event, setting up the mindset where, if I don’t reach my goals by these deadlines, then I’ve failed. I’m not looking to get published tomorrow and land my dream job of being a published author. Again, setting deadlines with these two aspects are not my focus, even though I’d love to wake up tomorrow, published, living the dream job and loving my body for the first time. I want to create habits that turn into lifestyles. I want to set reachable goals, like writing X amount of words this week or adding five more minutes of running. I want to train my brain to turn away those negative thoughts until eventually, there is never a battle, forcing myself to run or write, because I already want to, I already plan to and I already need to. But most importantly, I want to learn to forgive myself for every hiccup, whether it happens once every full moon or lasts for months at a time. Hiccups are just another part of the journey, a reminder that you’ve started something great already, you just lost your balance for a bit; a challenge for you to do better; a marker of growth; a reminder that you are capable of achieving what you want and you can work towards it again. Hiccups are a good thing.

Here’s to hiccups, forgiveness and trying again.

Cheers.


Teeter-Tottering

Shit got emotionally real with yesterday’s post, The Soft Craving, where I talked about my belief that I’m going to be eternally single, how my desires are the exact opposite of that and I questioned why this juxtaposition is even happening in the first place.

Today, I want to talk about why I’m going to be okay, even if this proves true and I turn out to be the dog lady I always tell people I will be.

This turn around, this emotional bounce back, this teeter-tottering between being completely distraught that I’m going to be alone to being content with my singleness, does not erase the craving that I so distinctly feel. Hell, I definitely still feel that. I will always feel that, until I find that connection that I dream about.

But that doesn’t mean that craving needs my complete attention.

I’ve had a whirlwind of a past month, emotionally, as I started talking to a gent I met online. We went on a couple dates. I was kissed for the first time. And things were going fantastically. We connected on so many levels. I could talk to him so easily. And then…nothing. He ghosted. Of course, my insecure brain kept pointing to every instance of where I potentially messed up, when I said something wrong, when I was being too real, too honest, too intense. Yet those insecurities kept butting heads with everything that was going right and I was left in this pit of confusion and drowning in this fear that when I finally started to trust that I would be able to experience the beginning of what I’ve always dreamed of having, I would lose it. And then I did. And I still don’t understand it, not fully. But I can’t change it, so there it is.

This past weekend, as the last blog post attests, I was pretty down in the dumps. Honestly, I don’t think I truly was able to process and make this emotional turn around until I did two things: write that post and run this afternoon. Somehow, I remembered some things that I’ve always known, between the two: that I can be happy, even if alone. That there are so many aspects of my life that I already enjoy and love and cherish and I can still feel that way even if those aspects would be heightened if I had someone to share them with. And the advice that people had been giving me, that I had written off because it didn’t seem to make sense, suddenly did.

It’ll happen when you least expect it. When you’re just at the point of giving up, that’s when the magic happens.

I’ve always wanted to reject that advice, because a weird part of me felt that by giving up on the hope of finding someone, I was giving up on love. And love is what I believe in most. I was also apprehensive to not actively search for love, because how else would I meet people? What if by not searching, I missed out on finding someone and then I blink, and suddenly I’m 60 with four dogs and never found anyone because I never put myself out there?

And yet…

When I was talking to Sir Ghost, I was so insecure. I thought this kid was so out of my league and I was so focused on saying the right thing and over-analyzing everything. It was honestly exhausting. And it shouldn’t have been that exhausting. I should have been more trusting in myself, in my own worth, and more trusting in him and his words surrounding his interest (even if he disappeared despite such claims). Perhaps, with a bit more confidence, our ending could have been different. Regardless, despite the darkest days where I actually trick myself into believing I’m not worthy of love and being loved, that’s actually false. I am worthy. And I should believe that.

So.

After a shit-ton of reflection, asking advice from so many people and thinking about my desire to live this upcoming year fearlessly, I’m sitting here with a renewed hope and a renewed plan, for as much as you could plan for life. I want love. Of course that’s true. Of course I’m tired of being lonely. But I also need balance. I need self-love. I need to know, without a doubt, that my happiness isn’t tied to my relationship status. I need to choose and work at happiness, every day, as I’ve always believed, but had forgotten, pining after someone who had no interest in me.

So I’m going to work on me. I’m going to do things that I love: write, read, blog, game, edit. I’m going to work on improving my insecurities, especially physically. I’m going to keep running and start challenging myself to improve. I’m working on my damaging mindset I have about myself, shutting it down until such a mindset is only a memory. I’m going to continue to get tattoos and stop fearing that my love for ink is going to prevent me from finding the love of my life. Because that’s just not true. I just might treat myself a little more, too. I may splurge on a new outfit or getting my hair done more often than I have in the past, i.e., never. I gave myself permission to do both, before my date and surprisingly, they also made me feel really good. I wouldn’t mind feeling that way more often, even if it tightens my bank account that much more.

Does this refocusing mean that there won’t be nights where I throw all of this by the wayside and just want to be loved? Of course not. I teeter-totter between being confident and content being alone and craving so longingly to be loved all the time. Welcome to human emotions, friends. And though I want to focus on myself now and have faith that my man exists, is out there somewhere and somehow, we’ll find one another, eventually, I’ll put myself out there again, if I don’t stumble upon him. I’m still not completely sold on the “when you least expect it, it will happen” philosophy. But first, I want to love myself as fully as I am able; focus on knowing myself and appreciating that woman as much as I can. Perhaps by then, the universe will be ready to allow me to experience a love that people write novels about.

And if it doesn’t, then at least I have discovered how to love and find worth in myself in the process.

Cheers.