Summertime fun

Memories are a beautiful thing. They can remind you of a time that you felt lost, scared, angry, alive. It’s the ones we focus on, the ones we wrap ourselves up in when we’re down that can change the course of our lives.

Constantly looking at those memories that caused you pain will only continue to inflict fresh wounds. So what happens when we choose to relive the happy ones. The ones that made you feel incredible, strong, exhilarated?

I look back at the last couple of years, and I see a lot of struggles. I see where I could have allowed the negativity in, could have allowed it to dull that spark within me. It would have been easier, it would have been comfortable, maybe event safe. Sticking with the old, reliving past wounds and allowing them to make your decisions for you.

Or you can choose to fight. You can stand up and say “okay, so my path is changing again. It’s alright. I’m good at making new paths.” Every time you stand up and take charge, you are creating a moment in your life that will always be with you. This little blip of happiness and pride that you can hold onto and remember. You can look back and say “I did that. I conquered the fear of the unknown and I am stronger now because of it.”

In one of the lyrics by a very popular K-Pop group, they say “Never be late to do what you wanna do right now.”

I thought about that often. What that means for me. Tomorrow isn’t promised to us. If you have the chance to do something, do it. Don’t let fear stop you from fulfilling your dreams. Don’t wait for others to join you, or for people to be there for you in case you fall. Have faith in yourself that you won’t and you take that dream by the hand. Guide it to that beautiful memory that you’re sure to make.

Because nothing lasts forever. Your time is now. This moment is for you. Make it for you. Make time every day to celebrate who you are, that beautiful, amazing, and confident person inside. And live your life.

I had many firsts this weekend. I went kayaking, I got on a hammock, and I played “ninja warrior” in the pool with my niece and nephew.

I made many memories this weekend. And I look back and smile, knowing that I just accomplished things I would have been too scared to do just a couple of years ago. That’s big for me. Those memories will warm my soul for years to come. They also have me itching to do something new. To add to the memories of this summer. I want to make 2019 a year to remember. Then I want to make 2020 a year to remember, and the year after that and the year after that.

I’ve spent way too many years of my adult life focusing on the bitter ugly truth of my youth, using it as a shield to protect me from life. It, in turn, stopped me from truly living.

What is something you’ve always wanted to do? Why haven’t you done it? What’s stopping you, and how can you remedy that? Whether it’s physical strength, financial burdens, or mental fear, those things can be conquered. They can be overcome, if we choose to not settle for anything less in this life.

I truly don’t even know how I’m making it financially right now. “By the seat of my pants” as one might say, but I’m still making it. And I will continue to push the envelope… physically, mentally, and financially. Because in the end, all we have is our memories. So, let’s make ’em count.

Discouragement and Courage

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to not get discouraged. My weight loss has slowed down a lot, and that need for instant gratification tends to weigh heavily in my mind. I catch myself wanting to find some cure all pill, or an extreme weight loss diet in order to shed an extreme amount of weight in a short time. And why? I think I might be getting addicted to the attention I have been receiving. I want people to see me. I want people to be proud of me. Is that because deep down I’m still not proud of myself? Am I stuck on a boulder in the path to self love? It’s how it feels. I feel stuck. I feel self hatred coming back full force in my mind. I am becoming increasingly dependent on the opinion of others to keep me going. I need to stop it, but I don’t know how. I started an Instagram page to document my progress, this life altering journey I am on. Today, I noticed that I had lost 8 followers in the course of an evening and I got extremely upset. I began to wonder what I had done wrong to make them leave? Was it the post about watching “The Greatest Showman”? Was it because I posted one too many selfies? Were my photos not professional enough? I wanted answers desperately this morning. I wanted to know what it was that I needed to fix in order for those people to come back. Then it dawned on me… WHAT?!?!?! My inner voice began talking at this point, and this is what she said:Excuse me, you’re upset about what? Because some complete strangers that you don’t even know who they are, where they live, what their life is like, decided to stop following you? You literally know nothing about them, and you’re ready to jump off the fucking deep end in order to impress them?! What is that going to accomplish? How is that going to make your life richer? How is that going to make you happy? You still can’t even look in the mirror without finding something to criticize. Do you think that these people value you? That they will improve your self worth? No, they won’t. This Instagram page wasn’t meant to be about how many followers you got, or how many likes you received. This was supposed to be for you. A virtual journal that you could look back on, and something that you hoped would one day inspire someone else to make those positive changes in their life, too. You are not responsible for their happiness. You are responsible for yours. Stop looking at those likes, or how many followers you have. Stop worrying about being liked by others and get back to learning to like yourself. One day, you’ll find that the self love that you were seeking will be there, because of your own strength and determination, not because of strangers on the internet. Get back to why you started this in the first place. Get back to learning how to love yourself. She was right, on all accounts. My inner voice is a very strong woman. I think I need to let her talk more often. So starting today, I’m gonna work on posting pictures that I like, not ones that I think others will like. So what should that be? 🤔Eh, I guess we’ll find out!

Learning To Not Be Over-Critical

For a little context, the picture attached to this post is (from left to right) December 8th, January 7th, and February 10th.

I have been working out consistently for two months now. I have been watching what I eat, having some splurges from time to time when I’m out with friends. Usually that’s about once a week. Still, I feel pretty confident in the changes I’ve made for myself in my life. Unfortunately, I am still overly critical. Yes, I can see a change, but a part of me tells me that it’s not enough of a change. That I should be further along, that I should be able to see more of a difference. So then I begin to chastise myself for every poor decision I’ve made. Now I should say right now that I have been using the “Lose It” app on my phone, and I love it! I use it every single day, and I’m almost always consistent with putting my food on there. But there are times when I don’t. Like when I go out and have a few too many Coronas with my friends (Thanks to Joan and Jose! Love you guys! :D).

So, after posting this picture on Instagram, I wanted that gratification. A part of me wanted to hear from other people that they can see I’m working hard, that they can tell I’ve lost weight. I was craving that. Why? Because I can’t look at myself objectively and be proud of what I see unless someone else tells me it’s okay? I don’t get it. I don’t understand where that mindset comes from or why I feel trapped inside of it. Is it just from years of self hatred that keeps me from loving myself? Is it so hard for me to show myself love that I can’t look at three pictures of myself and think “Damn girl. You’re working hard. I love you.”

I remember, when I was a kid, any time I would compliment myself or say anything positive about myself, my stepdad would always call me out on it, as if having a positive outlook on myself was being “full of yourself”, being arrogant. Any time I showed any kind of positivity where I was concerned, it was immediately met with sarcastic comments and taunts about my big ego and my arrogance.

I never remember what exactly I said to receive these taunts, but I remember the words spoken to me. I wonder if that is a part of why this all started in the first place? Thinking to myself that any kind of self-love or self-appreciation was selfish and arrogant. I was terrified that people wouldn’t like me because of that, that it was another personality trait of mine that, eventually (as I had been told on several occasions), would result in everyone that I loved turning their backs on me.

So finding it in me to look at these pictures and find pride in the progress I’ve made felt foreign, wrong even. And there’s that person inside me that tells me that if I voice those thoughts, someone will come around to tell me how wrong I am, and put me back in my place, back in that dark hole that suffocates me with self-hatred and depression. I don’t want to get back in that hole. I’ve spent too many years living there, and the world is too bright to ignore anymore.

So here it is. I am proud of what I’ve done. I can see my progress and I can say, with confidence, that I’m happy with myself. I will not stop working to improve myself, but I can look at these pictures and be proud of what I have done. Nothing can change that. Not even some jerk’s nasty comments. I refuse to give them that power. And I may be far from the point that it doesn’t affect me, but one day, it’ll just brush right off my shoulders.

I look forward to that day.

Finding time for excercise

I am addicted to food. I’m addicted to potato chips and cookies, sweet coffee drinks and cheesy anything. That’s me.

Sometimes, the worst part about working out and getting fit is finding time to work out and get fit. It seems that, the closer we get to the holidays, the busier we all get. And the holidays are the worst! People justify letting go of your diet because “it’s the holidays” while also being hard pressed to find time to work out. Adding those two things together, and you’re just asking for a whole lotta weight gain. And how discouraging is that?!?!

I have lost 25 pounds so far in my weight loss journey, and I’ll be damned if I gain it all back within a couple of weeks. So, now the dilemma is trying to find ways to not only resist the temptation to eat Christmas cookies and candies, but to also resist the people in your life that are trying to convince you that it’s okay. Just one, right? No, it’s not that easy. And if they persist enough, you start to think “well, I have lost weight. I’m doing good, what’s a tiny little cookie going to do to me?”

I’ll tell you what it’s going to do to you. It’s going to give you a green light for justifying more. A cookie here, a cookie there, maybe a tiny slice of pie, and then maybe a tiny slice more when that one is done. It starts the snowball effect. I am soooo guilty of this mindset, especially after I’ve seen some results.

I am addicted to food. I’m addicted to potato chips and cookies, sweet coffee drinks and cheesy anything. That’s me. And when I am feeling good about my weight loss, my brain tries to convince me that have those periodically is okay. But it’s never a periodical thing for me. It always ends up being more. So now I have to find a way, after doing so well, to stop this snowball before it takes all of my hard work away from me.

I don’t want to go back to the drawing board. I don’t want to start back at square one. But here I am, a full and busy weekend, thinking to myself “I’m barely going to find time to go grocery shopping! How am I gonna workout?”

Grocery shopping is a must right now, because without it, I’m going to be eating whatever I can afford, which is basically fast food. That’s not a part of my diet plan! But, despite all of that, I can not go the entire weekend without some form of exercise, and since the YMCA closes at 5:30 tonight, I highly doubt I’m going to be getting that cardio in.

But… there is this lovely sight call YouTube. Ah, yes, the place where you can find just about anything. That’s what I will be doing. In fact, I believe I will look for some Yoga for beginners, get some stretching and flexing in, ya know? Something different from my typical routine. I’ve been itching to learn some Yoga, because I know it’s very beneficial in so many ways, including the aspect of weight loss. Maybe my goal should be to get flexible enough that I can do a back bend. I had always wanted to do one, but I never could. That should be my goal, before I get to my bigger goal of being able to climb the rock wall. I think I can make it.

Well, I better get off of here. I have to go do that grocery thing.

(This literally took me less than 10 minutes to jot down, so sorry about any typos)