My Anorexia Story (Part 2)

First off, I want to say a BIG thank you to all the love, comments, and likes on part one of my anorexia story!

I would have never thought it would reach as many as it did. My story has been a long time coming, and just recently I have decided it’s time to share it with others.

An eating disorder is nothing to play with. It not only affects the person physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

Even by the end of high school, although I had recovered (in the sense of the word), I still had a long journey of struggles ahead of me.

I entered college in 2010 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. I was starting off as a photography + graphic design major and had all intentions of being an art major.

I loved taking pictures and letting my creative juices flow on creating things.

I immediately starting meeting new people, making new friends, taking mostly art classes, and I was just enjoying the adjustment to college. It wasn’t just me going to college though. Good ole Ana (the voice of anorexia) came right with me to mess up my thinking and habits.

In the beginning part of college, things were fine. I had starting to pick up running (like, a few laps and that was it), and exploring a couple different fitness classes since I was no longer playing tennis, like I did in high school.

My friends and I would eat at the cafeteria, go out and explore new eating places around Nashville, and even though it was fun and we enjoyed good food, the voice in my head started telling me I need to lose a little, eat better, and pick up more exercise. I wanted to be the girl at college that was pretty and looked amazing, because I never felt that in high school.

By my sophomore year, I had changed majors to Exercise Science and Nutrition, because even though I was still struggling with my own issues in this area, I still knew I wanted (and needed) to major in this field. Deep down I just knew it was MY major.

By the time I started my exercise science classes, I had picked up more running and was actually starting to train for my first half marathon. I loved the feeling running gave me, and I loved being able to see how far my body was able to go.

I actually had a decent balance with my nutrition when I was starting to train, and I had done some research too, but it was also around this time I found My Fitness Pal and started counting calories. I thought If I counted calories, ate the right foods, and kept up with my running, I would be able to keep slim, maybe even lose a little more, and that would make me happier.

I completed my first half marathon in 2012 and it was such a rush that my body was strong enough to run that distance, although it was slow.

After that, I wanted to run more and more half marathons. I wanted to see just how much running my body could do, and I kept counting calories, but unfortunately I was tracking at 1200 calories a day (and that is NOT enough for just about anyone…let alone at all the exercise I was doing). I thought it was ok though.

People had noticed I had slimmed up some, but it wasn’t anything like when I had starved myself. Around this time I was also doing spin classes AND running almost everyday. If I wasn’t starting my morning in a spin class, I was running. If I had free time in my afternoon, I was either running more or catching the afternoon spin class.

By the time 2013 (junior year approached), while I wasn’t underweight, I had slimmed up a lot and refused to eat a lot of foods. I had gotten back to Ana thoughts on what I couldn’t eat because it would make me “fat” again. Now, I wasn’t even fat to begin with when I started college, but in my mind I was.

My best friend was getting married March of 2013, and I was a bridesmaid. In the months leading up to the wedding, I was becoming more obsessed with numbers again. If it wasn’t the number calories I was eating, it was the number on the scale again. I had gotten to a point where I would weigh every morning and if I was up even a little, I would take something else out of what I ate that day.

By the time Staci’s wedding rolled around, I had gotten my weight down to 117-118 pounds. I was still 5’4”, but I was so tired most days, I was cold ALL the time, and I was refusing going out to eat with roommates/friends at times just because I didn’t want to “overeat”.

I was way too focused on what I ate, how much I ate, and how much I was exercising…and it was taking a toll on my body physically and internally.

Backing up some and being a little personal for a minute: Most girls when I was younger started their mentrual cycle at early ages…most before or around hitting high school. Guys…I was 16 when I started. 16. My body was delayed on me starting due to my eating disorder.

Now moving back up to this time during college. I was so low in my numbers (eating and weight dropping) that I legitimately went without any menstrual cycle for close to 6 months. That is NOT healthy when you are a woman. Secretively, I told nobody about this, and part of me was actually happy that I wasn’t having to deal with it, but it was not good for my body.

By the time my senior year rolled around, I was still in the same habits: running lots, spin classes, 2x workouts in one day, eating little/not enough, and going 2-3 months at a time before getting another menstrual cycle.

I was starting to spiral down more by this point. It came to a point that I knew I wasn’t eating enough and was so hungry, but I refused to eat more than I thought I “had” to. It resulted to me eating a bag of steamed veggies most mornings, because it was vegetables and super low in calories. How dumb is that??

I had even more half marathons under my belt by this point, and even a Disney run or two, which was so much fun! Slowly, though, I was starting to get burned out on it and my body just about had enough of what I was putting it through.

It wasn’t long after my roommates and I had gotten back from Christmas break that they sat down around me and told me they were worried about me. They were really seeing how little I was eating and how much I was exercising. Two out of three of my other roommates were majoring in exercise science too, so it was a big deal (and an eye opener) when they sat me down.

Once again, I was overcome with my body image, eating disorder thoughts/habits, and had gotten myself in a dark place again.

Graduation was approaching for 2 of my roommates in the spring, while me and my other roommat would be graduating in the summer. I went home to finish up an internship + a class that summer, and I started trying to do better with my eating, exercising, and body image.

I still dabbled in counting calories and I still ran and worked out, although I did drop it to 1x a day. I was staying busy but still struggled everyday with wanting to look better, do more, eat less, etc. All the same things that I had been struggling with in Nashville, but on a less intense level.

August had rolled around and graduation from college had finally arrived! At this point I was up a little more in my weight, I was eating a little more, but still very cautious, and I had told myself after I graduated I would finally get on the road to self acceptance, body acceptance, self-love, and food freedom.

I can honestly say now I am 95% at a place where I am truly loving my body, accepting who I am, and finding that food freedom…oh and NOT counting calories! But all of that will be in part 3 of my story soon… 😀

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What I talked about in my story above is a common thing for many girls and women. We think eating less, exercising more, and counting super low calories is going to help us reach our goals.

For me personally, I would say I had Orthorexia during my college years.

This is not as common or well known as Anorexia, Bulimia, or Binge Eating Disorder, but is something very prevalent.

According to the National Eating Disorder Awareness website, Orthorexia is defined as:

Those who have an “unhealthy obsession” with otherwise healthy eating may be suffering from “orthorexia nervosa,” a term which literally means “fixation on righteous eating.” Orthorexia starts out as an innocent attempt to eat more healthfully, but orthorexics become fixated on food quality and purity. They become consumed with what and how much to eat, and how to deal with “slip-ups.” An iron-clad will is needed to maintain this rigid eating style. Every day is a chance to eat right, be “good,” rise above others in dietary prowess, and self-punish if temptation wins (usually through stricter eating, fasts and exercise). Self-esteem becomes wrapped up in the purity of orthorexics’ diet and they sometimes feel superior to others, especially in regard to food intake.

Eventually food choices become so restrictive, in both variety and calories, that health suffers – an ironic twist for a person so completely dedicated to healthy eating. Eventually, the obsession with healthy eating can crowd out other activities and interests, impair relationships, and become physically dangerous.

I’d say after all of that, I definitely suffered with this. Their website says it’s not an actual medical diagnosis, such as anorexia, but is something very unhealthy and dangerous.

Please, please, please, if you suspect anyone you know is suffering through an actually eating disorder or disordered eating patterns, look up the NEDA website and contact someone to get them help.

Quick Sunday (partial) Meal Prep

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope you had a great weekend despite the rain and dreary weather. It was more low key for me, but I was able to relax and get some things done as well.

Today I thought I would share with you a few things that I meal prepped yesterday. Normally, I am not a huge fan of meal prepping. I don’t like spending the whole afternoon cooking/baking and placing every meal in its own individual container. If you have an 8-5 job, then it may be handy for you, but it’s just too much for me.

Personally, I like to prep a few things for at least a few days of the week, just so it’s easier to grab. It’s quick, and it helps with your food choices when you have healthy options already made. I am in and out of the house during the week with the way my schedule is, so it’s nice to have certain veggies and other things ready.

I roasted cubed potatoes and brussel sprouts at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. I drizzled olive oil and put a little garlic salt and cracked pepper on both of them. I like roasted brussel sprouts better…and can eat them warm or add to a salad for a little crunch!

I also boiled some eggs for the week. Normally, I prefer just cooking them in the mornings, or making my egg muffins with veggies in them, but yesterday I just decided to boil some for a quick breakfast or snack. My dad likes to take these to work too, so they are ready for him too!

Easiest way to boil eggs? Once water boils, keep on med-high heat for 13-15 minutes. Drain them immediately and run COOL water on top of them. This will allow the shell to ease away from the egg some. Once cool, tap them all the way around, and peel! 🙂

Boiled eggs are also great to put on salads too!

Who loves guacamole?! I am in love with guacamole, and I was in the mood to whip up a quick version of it to have over the next day or so. (Next day really, because it turns QUICK!)

I took 2 large avocados, mashed them, and added part of this guacamole mix packet. I usually don’t feel the need to have the whole packet in there for the amount I normally make.

For dinner I decided to go ahead and dig into the guacamole! I made a spinach salad, topped with leftover sweet potato and a kale + mozerella chicken burger I found at Costco the other day. It hit the spot!

Even though I don’t do any kind of meal prep every Sunday, and definitely not as intense as a lot of people do, I like it because you can do as much, or as little, as you need and want to make things easy and convenient for you during your week. I don’t like having the same meals every single day for every single meal…I like variety!

Questions for you:

Do you prepare any food for part (or all) of your week?

If so, what do you usually prepare? Do you have a go-to?

If You Could Be Any Candy…

…what would you be??

I got asked this question a few weeks ago and I had to sit and think of my answer for a few minutes. Do you know how many types of candy are out there?? HA!

The question was asked to me in regards to what my personality is like. While my favorite candy is Reese’s (in any form), I knew it didn’t describe me well.

After careful consideration for a few minutes, I went with Almond Joy.

Personally, I don’t have these often. I like them, but they aren’t my favorite, so I actually tend to forget about them at times.

I am an almond joy because if you don’t know what is on the inside yet, all you see is an average chocolate bar/candy. But once you take a bite, you get a little bit of sweet (coconut), and a little bit of nutty (from the almonds)!

For many people, once they get to know me more, I open up more and you will see my nutty/goofy side as well. I’m no class clown, but I have my goofy quirks and I can be weird. 🙂

QUESTION FOR YOU!

If YOU could be any candy, what would you be??

Please comment below, or if you clicked on this through Facebook, comment on there if you wish. I would LOVE to hear your answers and get to know people more. Plus, I think it’s fun to answer about your own personality!

😀

My Anorexia Story (Part ONE)

Thank you for stopping by today on the blog.

Today is going to be a more serious post, but one I have been wanting to do for quite some time now.

For most of those reading who know me, you may know I went through an eating disorder around my middle school years, but many don’t know the details of the story or what I have had to deal or struggle with since then.

February is National Eating Disorder Awareness Month, and it is near and dear to my heart.

Let’s rewind back to my childhood years for a quick summary.

As a child, I dabbled in sports here and there, but I loved to do things outside: ride my bike, jump on my trampoline, and even ride my horse that I once had. My dad and I would shoot a basketball around or throw a softball around.

The years of elementary school where I was on the chubbier side was attributed more to what I ate. I didn’t like many vegetables (only if it was the green beans my Granny and Papa grew in their garden), and I remember a lot of Kid Cuisine frozen meals and pasta with butter on it. What I don’t remember is a variety of nutritious foods.

Around the end of my 6th grade year, my best friend and I decided we would start making some healthier choices to lose some of our baby weight. We had both made the junior high volleyball team and transitioning to a sports team and going into 7th grade was a BIG thing to us.

We slowly started having salad with our school chicken nuggets, drank more water, and chose baked chips over regular ones. Between that and the start of volleyball, we ended up losing some of that baby weight we talked about wanting to lose.

The only thing was, while my best friend stayed at a good place, I didn’t. I kept going because I wasn’t happy or satisfied with what I saw in the mirror.

(The speck on my arm is a dust speck from wher I scanned the pictures in)

We start 7th grade…different class schedule, new building, and volleyball practices after school each day. Everything was great, but in my mind I was going to do everything I could to look my best, and in those days, “best” was if I could be as skinny as I could possibly be.

(My 13th birthday party)

I know people knew I had lost weight and really slimmed up, and for anyone who told me I looked good, I saw it as my sign to keep going. I began to eat less and less foods. For me at that point, it was more about how much can I NOT eat, as opposed to healthier food choices or having enough food to fuel me.

I wasn’t fueling my body properly, and I was definitely not fueling it enough. I begin to feel tired and exhausted the whole day at school, I refused to eat much at lunch…if I even ate anything, and most days I would end up throwing out/away what I may have brought so it would look like I ate it or nobody suspected much.

I wasn’t fooling anyone though. Even though most people didn’t come up to me and say anything, I know (and could tell) people were starting to get worried. Mom and Dad could tell what was happening and I had to do weekly weigh ins in front of my Dad. They told me that If I dropped below 90 I would be going to a doctor/therapist.

(Look at my arms!! It saddens me)

(This was after a piano recital. I look very skeletal.)

Even though I didn’t want to go to a doctor, I still kept doing what I was doing. Exercising lots and barely eating.

(Both of these are from an Easter Sunday. At my lowest point here.)

At 5’4”, I had hit my lowest weight of 87 pounds, and mom and dad said enough is enough. I was at risk for admission into a hospital with fear of a feeding tube down my throat.

That was my ultimate wake up call for how I was becoming. The last thing I wanted was someone forcing me to eat. When you have Anorexia and you hear that voice in your head telling you day in and day out to not eat because you’re ugly and fat (even though I wasn’t), the last thing you want is being force fed.

I went to see a doctor and ended up going to see a therapist after that. I will be honest and say I wasn’t a fan of it. I didn’t want to be there and I still had a hard time accepting the fact that what I was doing was unhealthy…both physically and mentally, but I went through with it for a couple of reasons:

1.I was made to and I just wanted it over.

2.Deep down I knew what I was doing was wrong.

After going through therapy sessions and starting on my recovery journey, I started high school at a higher and healthier weight. I was still unhappy with how I looked and the Anorexia thoughts were still there nice and strong. I fell back into a lot of the same habits/mindsets, but slowly started learning what foods were good to fuel me.

I had also found my love for tennis at this time, and after taking lessons and getting on the high school team, I was starting to get at a better place when it came to my body. I knew I had to eat enough to fuel my body for this sport that I fell in love with.

Most of my high school years were great, because I had gotten at a healthier place, and even though I had serious body image issues, I never starved myself like I did in junior high. I knew that was what I didn’t need in my life. I had friends, a great sport I did fairly well in, and a good youth group I was in too.

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An eating disorder, no matter which one someone has, takes a toll on your body…and not just physically, but mentally.

Imagine thinking about what you were going to not eat, how you could trick people into thinking you had eaten, and when your next workout was…ALL. DAY. LONG.

That was me. I could turn my focus on my school work, but for 95% of my day, I was thinking about what to eat, what to not eat, how I could tell certain people that I wasn’t hungry or had already eaten. I particularly remember thinking that if I had over 100 calories at lunch, I would skip a snack or skip breakfast the next day.

Isn’t that ridiculous?? That’s what it was like for me. I am so blessed and thankful I never got into that pit as deep as I did in junior high.

Little did I know how I would still struggle with the after effects for years to come….

Haircut, Weekend Happenings, + Eats

Hello all!

My apologies for only one post last week. U-Verse (AT&T) was out so I couldn’t do anything online!

I figured I’d start this week with a quick little weekend recap, even though the weekend isn’t quite done yet.

Saturday morning started with the usual coffee while I watched the recent episode of The Alienist. This is a new show that started the other week on TNT and it is amazing! It is set in the 19th century (right up my alley), and is all about solving a crime/mystery. If you are looking for a new show, I highly recommend it!

I had a birthday cake protein bar for breakfast while finishing watching the episode, and I ate a banana with almond butter before I headed out for my haircut at 10am.

Before and after!

I was SO overdue for a haircut it wasn’t even funny! I just got it trimmed and had the lady add some long layers. It immediately felt 10x better! It may not be a huge difference to most, but it is to me and I love it!

For lunch I had leftover steak my dad grilled on top of some greens + a taste of turkey sausage he grilled with the steak as well.

In between some blogging and reading, I decided to try my hand at some protein donuts! I made some a few years ago, and I wasn’t crazy over the recipe I went by.

These chocolate protein donuts turned out great! Be on the lookout for this recipe soon!

For the rest of the afternoon, I did some more blogging, put up laundry, and got some things done around the house.

For dinner, mom and dad suggested Olive Garden, so I went straight for their minestrone soup…my favorite soup of theirs! I had half a breadstick with it too. It hit the spot!

The rest of the evening was spent relaxing and before bed I got into the bag of valentine Reese’s I bought myself. 😀

Reese’s are my absolute FAVORITE candy, and these little hearts did not disappoint, like all their others! I have already found the Easter eggs they put out…and let me tell you, I don’t know what it is about those, but they are the best out of them all!

Sunday morning I got up and did some light stretching, and enjoyed my morning coffee while catching up on some reading and other blogs. I had another protein bar for breakfast like I did Saturday morning.

I’m not very stylish, but on days where I don’t have to wear my workout clothes, I try to put more effort into my outfit. Sunday I wore my jeans (from Walmart), a light pink lacy top (from JCPenny), and a lightweight black cardigan on top (from old navy). As you can tell I am a skilled model…haha, not! Awkward poses are my thing…

I was excited to wear my new necklace I picked up after my haircut on Saturday. The salon I went to had a lady selling some clothes and jewelry and this necklace caught my eye. I’m not a huge jewelry wearer, but I do enjoy longer necklaces, bracelets, and rings.

After church, Granny and I headed out to lunch at Dale’s Southern Grill over in Hoover. I enjoyed their blackened tilapia with a side of squash and zucchini.

I also had a side of their carrot soufflé, which is so delicious, as my dessert.

When I got back home I had plans on meal prepping some veggies that I needed to cook before going bad.

I baked/roasted cauliflower and carrots at 400 for 30 minutes, and baked a spaghetti squash at 400 for 45 minutes.

I love spaghetti squash because you can pair it with most things: ground beef/turkey, chicken, etc. I plan on putting some pasta sauce on it later this week and adding some chicken!

As soon as those were done cooking, I wanted to get a low key jog in on the treadmill to move around a little, since it was cold, rainy, and dreary outside.

I ran 2 miles on the treadmill while watching an episode of Supernatural, and walked half a mile to cool down. Nothing fancy, but just what I needed. My lower back was still sore from some deadlifts I did the other day at the gym.

Post run was one of these chocolate protein donuts I made, with a little peanut butter on top. (I’m telling you, I’m a sucker for chocolate + peanut butter)

I made some fresh coffee for dad and I, and finished up with this post and plan to do some other work/reading I wanted to get to today.

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 Some good and positive changes are happening in my life, and I have been happier now than I have been in quite some time. Sometimes it takes hardships in life to realize what you are missing in life…as well as what ( or who) you need to get out of your life!!

I hope you all have a wonderful week, and be looking for a great post on Wednesday that will share more of my personal story! 🙂

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Happy Monday to you all!

I can’t believe we are in the end of January. February starts this week!! That just means it’s closer to spring, am I right?

So, yesterday I finally put my foot down to wash my makeup brushes…because, believe it or not, I’ve never cleaned my makeup brushes! Any of the ones I’ve owned over the years I have never cleaned…and I know that is BAD for my skin. I don’t wear a ton of makeup, and I don’t have a lot of brushes like some girls do, but I knew it was time to do it!

I’m so embarrassed by my foundation brush, you guys!!

There are many things out there on how you should clean your makeup brushes, but I just wanted something simple, easy, and not many steps involved. Who wants to use up too much time just to clean your makeup brushes?

I have one brush just for my foundation, and one brush for my powder, so I knew once I got going it wouldn’t take me too long!

Here’s what you’ll need:

-Your brushes

-small plate or bowl

-Warm water

-dish soap

Step One: mix water and dish soap on your plate or bowl

Step Two: Swirl brush around in liquid mixture until clean (water will turn the color of your makeup, and you may need to do this step a few times depending on your brush)

I had to repeat this second step 4-5 times with my foundation brush!!

Step 3: Rinse out thoroughly under sink + lay out to dry.

Easy Peasy! With one of my two brushes only used for powder, it was easy to clean and not much to come off, but the foundation brush on the other hand… I will have to keep this a regular habit. You are supposed to clean your makeup brushes at least Once every couple of weeks (I’ve heard) so I will have to stay on top of this!

It’s good for your brushes and good for your skin!! 😀

10 Thing You May Not Know About Me

Happy Friday guys!

Today’s post I am sharing 10 facts you may (or may not) have known about me.

1.Before majoring in Exercise Science, I was an art major (photography + graphic design)

(I still love taking pictures!)

2.Sunrises vs Sunsets? Sunrises!

3.I love most crime shows + at one point seriously thought about going into forensics. 

4.My little dog, Jack, is my sweet baby 

5.I enjoy going to the shooting range with my dad.

6.Christmas was my favorite holiday as a girl 

(Halloween + Thanksgiving + Christmas…top 3 in order)

7.My favorite type of food is Mexican, with Chinese as a close second.

8.My current favorite movie is Anchorman…because I only saw it for the first time a few weeks ago! 

9.I love Succelents

10. No matter where life takes me, I always know God has a plan for my life and loves me unconditionally! 

3 Reasons Why Diets Don’t Work

We are not even one week into 2018 and I am already so sick + tired of seeing all of these diet + weight loss ads being advertised.

Yes, a lot of people have goals at the first of the year to lose weight, tone up, or just be healthier; but with all of these companies promising you quick weight loss if you eat this, count this, or buy their product, it’s no wonder people get confused and/or fall off the bandwagon shortly into the year.

(Strawberry smoothie from Neighborhood Brew, off Valleydale)

I’ve fallen into diet traps before in my lifetime, researching different approaches, eliminating certain foods, and of course, calorie counting. All of these got me in bad places and was NOT good for my health, both physically and mentally.

Our bodies are incredible machines. I mean, God made us, how could they not be?

Food is fuel to our bodies. We need it not only for energy, but for our bodies even to be able to function. We must feed our organs too! Food is also meant to be enjoyed.

(Buffalo Wild Wings: Wings + bacon cheese fries)

It is important we have a balance of exercise, feeding our bodies nutritious food, but also feeding our bodies food for pleasure. It can confuse our minds if we fall into all of these diet traps. I am practicing every day to follow more of this healthy balanced, intuitive eating lifestyle, and each day with each step forward, I am finding it more freeing

(night time cereal combo of Vanilla Chex + Fruit Loops)

So, why do diets NOT work?

I’m here to give you 3 reasons why.

1.Diets essentially slow down the process of losing weight. 

But, wait! Aren’t diets supposed to help us lose weight faster? NO. When we put our bodies through any kind of “diet”, it is actually a stressor to (and on) our bodies. Our bodies tend to fight against us when we are going through something like this. That should be our first clue! Extreme dieting, eliminating food groups, and being so restrictive is not what our bodies were made to do or be put through. Dieting just causes our stress hormones (adrenaline + cortisol) to increase.

So, all this time you were thinking going on a diet would relieve some stress? Think again.

(Salad I put together with leftover chicken tenders + orange pieces)

2.They usually don’t work long term/Aren’t always sustainable.

If someone goes on a diet to lose “X” amount of pounds, and they had to eliminate a food group, be restrictive, sacrifice going out with friends + family, and maybe even had a to take a certain company’s product, what happens when this person reaches their goals?

Are they going to continue to miss out on enjoying dinner out with family + friends? Are they willing to continue to pay for the product or eliminate a certain food group the rest of their life?

Realistically, it doesn’t always work.

In many cases, people end up gaining weight back after reaching their goal and getting off the diet, but their happiness may be through the roof if they are able to enjoy things they missed out on before.

Of course, I say everything in moderation, but we must also consider our happiness. Want to enjoy a date night with your significant other and enjoy a good meal + dessert? Go for it!

A lot of this falls under intuitive eating, which I will talk more abut in future posts. All in all, think about going through a particular “diet” for the rest of your life. I’m sorry, but I don’t want that for my life!

(Panera Bread: Side salad, Butternut squash soup, and baguette)

3.Diets usually are NO FUN!

Let’s be real…when has a “diet” ever been rainbows + unicorns? NEVER. There may be some excitement in the beginning, because, hey…I have goals and I want to reach them…but soon that dies off when you are craving a piece of bread, a glass of milk, or even a piece of chocolate. Nine times out of ten, when you eliminate something and tell yourself you aren’t allowed to have it, the cravings for that will only get stronger and stronger. So much strong, that you just might give in, ruin your “diet”, you get down + frustrated with yourself, and you feel you have to start over.

Who wants to live like that?

I used to think I ruined things if I gave in to eating something that I truly wanted. I no longer want to be like that. It DID stress me out, I got frustrated with myself, and it’s not worth it. If you want a food, it should be enjoyed!!

Having a balanced lifestyle of both healthy + nutritious foods, and those foods that give us pleasure, is what it’s about. I am 4 year out from 30 (oh lawd) and I am at the point where I want to give my body the nutritious food it needs to function, but also enjoy foods I love, try new things, and NOT be stressed about it.

(Ice cream of all kinds is good. I have always enjoyed Arctic Zero for a healthier option)

So before you sign up for this “diet” or buy this product, think twice about long term and your happiness and health.

If you need someone to guide you through it, or need someone to help reach your goals without going on a diet, please contact me! I am starting this year as a health coach and I want to help you get where you want to be without falling for these gimmicks and false hopes.

Whether it is for personal training or health coaching, you can always email me at toloveandliveblog@gmail.com.

My 2018 Goals + How to Make Yours Successful in the New Year

Hello my friends and welcome back to a new post after all the Christmas happening!

I hope you all had a wonderful time with family and friends and enjoyed the Christmas season with everyone.

Now that we have experienced Christmas and it is the end of December, we start to look upon a new year and what we want to accomplish.

To me, a new year is full of excitement, new beginning, a refreshed start, and a chance to set goals for yourself.

For many people, though, their New Year’s goals (I don’t like the word resolution) may not last long throughout the year if they don’t set it the right (and healthy) way.

You must be SMART about making your goals in 2018.

What do I mean by SMART? Having SMART goals means setting yourself up for success throughout the whole year.

SMART Goal is this:

S: specific

M: measurable

A: attainable

R: realistic

T: time-bound

Most people just write down their New Year’s goals on a piece of paper in list form, and while there is nothing wrong with that, a way you can be sure you stick to + are successful with those goals, is to go through each one and answer each of these questions for each letter:

S-specific: Who is Involved? What is it that I want to accomplish? Establish a time frame + pick a location. You’re “why”–purpose or benefits.

M-measurable: How much? How long/many? How will I know I have accomplished it?

A-attainable:  plan your steps for this goal wisely and come up with a time frame that will allow you to carry out those steps. (How can I plan my steps?)

R-realistic: Does my goal represent an objective toward which I am willing and able to work for?

T-time bound: When? (In 6 weeks I want to…, By June I want to…..)

If you take each of your goals and follow these SMART guidelines, you are setting yourself up for success in 2018.

An example of this can be a big goal or a small goal:

Say you want to start a health + fitness journey in 2018. Using SMART:

Specific: I want to start eating smaller portions and start working out 3 days a week at my local gym.

Measurable: In 4 weeks I want to be consistent with walking 2-3 mornings before work, and by 3 months bump up to 4 mornings.

Attainable: I will start with small changes in my eating and a couple days a week at the gym. My next step is to bump up my days at the gym and start eating out less. After that, I will try a group class and try new healthy recipes in the kitchen.

Realistic: It is most important to me to be healthy so I can chase my kids around and be around when they get older. Along the way I can lose weight and become stronger and feel better each day.

Time bound: When can I achieve this? By the end of the year I want to be on continuous journey to staying healthy and have it come naturally.

As you can see above, following these guidelines for a goal such as this can help one to be successful even after 2018 is done.

                         My 2018 goals look something like this:

-Read 1 book each month

-Continue to grow my blog

-Become a health coach + help others

-Gain more personal training clients

-Train for another half marathon with Matt

-Be more spontaneous! (I plan things too often)

-Be more present

-Write an ebook (for you guys!)

-Enjoy life, love every moment + everyone in it!

Lessons From a Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas Eve Eve everybody!

It’s hard to believe it’s finally here. This year has seriously gone by fast.

I hope you all have wonderful plans for this weekend, will be able to be around friends and family, and to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

I came across this thing about lessons we can learn from a Christmas tree.

I wanted to share it with you guys today because I thought it was not only cute, but had some great little tips!

Lessons From a Christmas Tree

1.Be a Light in the Darkness.

2.We all Fall Over Sometimes. 

Psalm 145:14-16

3.You can never wear to much glitter.

Afraid or doubting your worth and what you can or want to do? You are SO worthy and loved by a God who created you to do outstanding things. Never doubt that. Put on that glitter! 

4.Bring Joy to Others 

5.Sparkle + Twinkle as Often as Possible

You never know when your sparkle can inspire or touch someone else. When you have God inside of you, you will not fail!

6.It’s OK to be a Little Tilted.

When I came across these on Pinterest, I had to kick off the Christmas weekend with this for you guys. Sparkle + shine this Christmas, give joy, be a light, and be true to who you are, even we are a little tilted or weird!

😀

Merry Christmas!