International Women’s Day

It’s amazing to realize how much you change as you grow up. I realize that’s part of coming into adulthood; the time between adolescence and adulthood is filled with so much drastic change it only makes sense. However, I can see a 95% difference in myself from how I was in my teenage years. Growing up in Bible Belt, Texas I obviously had a more conservative outlook on most things. I didn’t understand the LGBT+ community, I didn’t know any people of color, and I was ashamed of being a woman. 

Anyone that knew me back then versus now remembers the days where I was embarrassed to have breasts and hated going bra shopping. I had conditioned myself to look at my own body and demeanor with disdain because my femininity was wrong or dirty. Having boobs was sexy and sex is dirty and girls are supposed to have purity rings and not be aware of them being sexual beings. Or something like that. All of this was something I had made up or assumed; while my parents never mentioned anything about the birds and the bees to me or made me feel ashamed, somehow I still did. Really, many of these feelings followed me into college and down to Florida. It wasn’t until I began to see body positivity firsthand that I realized my femininity is something to be proud of. 

These days I can say without hesitation that I believe in true feminism. I believe in encouraging girls and women to love themselves as an A cup or a EEE, to love their curves and stretch marks and Fred Flinstone Feet. Women need to hear that makeup doesn’t make you beautiful, but if winged eyeliner and a killer cut-crease makes you feel empowered, then by all means go for it. It is entirely your opinion and choices that matter and not that of society. Show your stomach if you want to! Exposing some tasteful sideboob doesn’t make you a slut unless that’s how you would like to self-identify. True feminism advocates equality for men and women alike, realizing that men face just as many social pressures as women do. Opening my eyes to love myself as I am has made me a stronger woman and I want to encourage other people of all genders and identities to feel the same. 

On this International Women’s Day, I celebrate all women. This includes trans women, women of color, republican women, democrat women, immigrant women, women with disabilities, and every other type of women out there. So much of the mainstream society tries to pit women against each other by making everything a competition and putting them down. Telling me I’m not girly enough or not as thin as this woman is a way to break down my mind to conform to the bullshit. We all need to stand together as sisters and use our differences to make us stronger as a group to defend against that bullshit social norm. 

In the past, I’ve felt guilty for going to Starbucks and being perceived as a “basic white girl” or expressing my emotions and being called “dramatic and hysterical”.  Now I realize how silly that is and have chosen to embrace myself for who I am. If I can choose to be unapologetically me, then maybe I can inspire more of my brothers and sisters in the world. I’ve been brushed off when I talk about not wanting to have children, as if this makes me less of a woman. When I asked my gynecologist about a tubal litigation he told me I was too young to make a decision like that when I know in my heart that it’s not something I am going to change my mind on. I’m louder and more independent than most men are used to, and I’ve accepted that that is the reason I’m single; it will take a very special man to be able to handle me.  I talk openly about sex and zit popping videos and other “non-ladylike” topics and I’m proud of myself for having the freedom to vocalize my opinions and feelings. 

As a woman in the United States I realize how lucky I am. Compared to how women are viewed in other countries around the world, here in America we have so many rights to be thankful for. Not only am I lucky enough to be a woman in America, I’m also lucky enough to never have experienced a sexual assault when 1 in 6 American women have. While I am extremely fortunate to not have this history, I never want to take that for granted and forget the women who have suffered through harmful situations because of their gender. From the women in other countries fighting for education and jobs to the women around the world who have been assaulted or live in fear of assault (not to mention the women who have not survived these battles), I want to live to support them and not let them be forgotten. Because I am one of the lucky ones, I feel like it’s part of my duty to stand with victims and offer encouragement to my sisters to stay strong through whatever life throws at them. 

I’m grateful for the changes I’ve made since high school. I’m proud to be a woman, and I’m even prouder to be the strong and independent woman I am. Being raised to speak up for myself and encouraged to do anything I set my mind to, I’m using my voice to stand with my fellow women in their right to live the lives they want and not the ones expected of them. Liking Starbucks, not wanting children, listening to bubblegum pop music, wearing pink lipstick and getting your nails done, playing sports, being covered in tattoos and liking sex doesn’t make you more or less of a woman. It makes you you. The most important lesson I’ve learned as a woman is that mine is the only approval I need. I want to support women around the world in their own journeys and battles to achieve their rights and find their individual voices. 

The Bullet Journal

For way too long I’ve struggled with craving organization in my scheduling; although “organized” is the last word I would use to describe myself, I know I need structure. Every year I buy the cutest planner to fit my personality and fill it out with important dates and my work schedule. After that I never look at it again. Occasionally I might remember it exists and cross out months that have already passed and leave it to collect dust again.

I’ve decided my problem with traditional planners is that they aren’t flexible. They’re all the same and don’t  work for me. I have dozens of break slips in my pockets with tasks and to-do’s that have a much more linear aesthetic that I prefer. When I sit down to make life plans in a notebook, it gets listed. For me, boxy calendar views are wasteful in the end. I have at least a dozen notebooks scattered around all containing the same information. I need one main journal to keep track of my plans.

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Given my life currently, I don’t have “appointments” or meetings to need to plan in detail.  My work schedule is saved in screenshots in my camera roll so writing them down is useless. My life is tasks and flimsy plans with friends with no time crunch. I need to know what day bills come out and when my dog needs her heart worm medication and when to refill my antidepressant prescription and plan out my running days.

With all of this being realized, I began looking at a lot of posts of bloggers who use bullet journals. It’s been a thought in the back of my mind that I wanted to try the “BuJo” life, but like most people just starting out, I was overwhelmed at the amount of creativity most of the examples had. Still, in my fresh mindset I have decided to jump in.  Maybe it will work for me, maybe it won’t. Still, I want to give it a try. I’m standing by my statement that 2017 is a year of continued growth and logging that in a bullet journal with a more linear task list might just be the way to do it.

In less than 24 hours, I already learned some things I do and do not like and things I want to add or change in the future. I wish my journal was dotted or gridded instead of lined, for one, but I like the size and quality so I’ll survive. Before even starting, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t compare my journal to the Instagram models; I would allow my bullet journal to grow and evolve with me this year. BuJo would be my friend to learn from week to week and month to month.

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I think that’s my favorite part about the Bullet Journal model: complete freedom. If I try something one week and hate it, I’m not committed to it. I’m in an open relationship with my planner. As I was coming up with my pre-plan, I didn’t think I wanted a daily log. I started off with the blank spread, trying to decide what would work best for me. Then I realized i could do both: on weeks where I know I have a lot going on, I can do a daily log, and on weeks where I’m not doing much, I don’t need to waste the paper. I love the potential lack of waste that comes with this process. If my Thursday is packed, then I’ll do a Thursday log and skip the other days, lumping all my tasks into my weekly tracker.

Some collections that are unique to me are my long-term goals and tasks with no time constraint, things like cleaning out my iTunes library and running a marathon; I have a collection of dreams such as buying a new mattress and getting married; my favorite personal collection is my list of dates I go on, complete with a rating system and where we met. A few collections I added are inspired by others I saw online. Gift ideas, favorites of the season, bills and habit trackers, along with a few others are all a part of my bullet journal.

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Something I plan on gaining from this (besides structure) is strengthening my handwriting. This is a big joke, I know. My handwriting has always been horrendous, but I hope that through. My bullet journal I am able to at least have legible scrawl. In the short time I’ve spent making my first spreads, I’ve found a new acceptance for my lack of artistry and cursive/print hybrid penmanship. I discovered that although it isn’t easy coming up with my own doodles, fonts, or borders, I can copy the basic idea from what I find online and make it fit my needs.

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A trend I’ve noticed in the Bullet Journal community is finding a word to motivate or describe the upcoming year. I didn’t think much of it until I kept using the phrase “year of growth” whether it be in my blog, private journal, or even just my thoughts. I mentioned in my last post that “growth” is the word I plan on returning to throughout the year, and I stand by that. Even in the few short weeks of this year I’ve felt a great sense of growth within my self in many ways and I hope to use my new Bullet Journal to continue that feeling.

If you’re curious about how to start or need more inspiration, Modern Mrs. Darcy has some great posts about her own Bullet Journal and her posts include even more links to great resources. Of course there’s the official Bullet Journal website if you want to learn more from the creator himself. For me, I love the flexibility and casualness of this style of planning and I can see myself using it for a very long time.

The Star Wars Half Marathon

About this time last year my friend Skylar and I decided to sign up for a half marathon together. We signed up for the Avengers Half Marathon at Disneyland so we could also plan a trip for the 60th anniversary and holiday events.

When we signed up, we thought we would train and work hard to meet our goal for the November race. I was extra ambitious and signed up for the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge, which meant I was running the 10k and the half marathon. Neither of us did much training, and by “much” I mean, “I don’t think we trained at all.” Life was busy and work days were long and boyfriends and roommates took priority over running. Fair enough.

Because training was low on the list of worries, I was not at all prepared for my 19.3 miles that weekend. Somehow I managed to push through, even though it meant I didn’t get the most out of my Disneyland trip because I was asleep in the hotel for two days after my races. I cried for the last 4 miles because everything hurt and I realized I made a mistake in not preparing at all. There was a point where I didn’t think I would make it and just wanted to sit down and wait for the wheelchairs to pick me up and take me to the finish line.

I was so relieved to cross that finish line, and although I was frustrated with myself, I was proud that I had persevered through the race. I proved to myself that I could finish on time and showed what my body was capable of. With that being said, I also vowed to never sign up for a race that long without committing to at least a little bit of training leading up to it.

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My race medals after taking a loooooong nap in the hotel.

Fast-forward to the beginning of this year. Tax returns came and I had planned on  saving mine to put towards another Disneyland trip with Jay for his birthday later this year. With our breakup, I had no other plans for that return (besides using it to pay off my credit card, which would have been the responsible thing to do). I wanted to start running again to help with my depression and emotions that remained after such an awful heartbreak and I saw there was still registration available for the Star Wars half marathon in April–8 weeks away. I found a training guide and signed up.

Now, I didn’t follow my training guide. In fact, I never ran farther than 3 miles in those 8 weeks. But I averaged walking at least 7 miles a day at work, plus I had friends to encourage me and run with me a few times a week. Even consistently running 3 miles every few days made such a huge difference when it came time for the race on April 17th.

I made it to the race expo the day before my race to get my t-shirt and race packet. To me, the expo is what gives me the motivation to get up the next day for the race. There is so much energy from the people excited to run their various events during the weekend.

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As soon as I saw the signage, it became so much more real that I was actually doing this race.

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All of my race gear ready to go early in the morning.

I worked until seven or eight o’clock on Race Eve, and my alarm was set for two in the morning to be able to make it to EPCOT for parking. It was that moment that I suddenly felt anxious about running this race. I suddenly remembered how unprepared I felt at Disneyland for the race and it scared me for this one. For a moment I lost all confidence in myself and wished I was at home sleeping.

Something cool that happened before the race was that they had several character meet-and-greets out both before and after the race. As someone who isn’t fast enough to factor in character photos during a race, I really appreciated the incorporation of characters during that time before heading off to the corrals. I hadn’t seen the line for Boba Fett until it was too late, but I did manage a photo with the storm troopers.

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Other characters included Darth Maul, Darth Vader, and Captain Phasma.

It really wasn’t until I was in my corral (L for “Last!”) that I realized I couldn’t back out. When the time finally came to GO there was no turning back. While training with my friend Kristen, we had recently developed an appreciation for :30 intervals so that was my plan for the majority of the race. There were times I would walk a few extra “dings” but then I would make up for it and run the same amount of time. Somehow, I felt really good.

IMG_9482During my first half marathon, I was shot by mile 7. It dawned on me too far along just how far 13.1 miles really was. By mile 9 I was ready to sit on the ground and wait for a wheelchair to pick me up. By mile 10 I was in tears because every part of my body ached and felt like my joints were separating with 3 miles still to go. I felt emotionally and physically broken by the time I hobbled over the finish line and went straight to my hotel room.

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I chose one character photo instead of a bathroom break so I could meet Sabine (And Ezra, but Sabine was more important to me).

This time around, none of that happened. Around those miles 8-10 I felt overwhelmed, but I knew it wasn’t impossible. The tears I cried were when I crossed the finish line and realized how good I still felt even with as little training as I did. I proved to myself that I was capable of making great time and pushing myself to complete this massive distance.

I completed Avengers in 03:30:00, and Star Wars in 03:12:23. Going from a 15:51 pace to a 14:41 pace and shaving almost 18 minutes off a half marathon time was so amazing to me. I knew I wanted to “do better” than my last half, but I had no idea I would do that much better.

The race had started at EPCOT and ended at ESPN, so I took a charter bus to the Polynesian and took the monorail to EPCOT from there. During the bus ride I rested and wished my phone hadn’t been dying or I could have gone to a park to show off my medal with the rest of the racers. Instead I went home and napped for five hours, but I deserved it.

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Crossing the finish line.

What Does it Mean to Be Healthy?

I’ve written a lot of posts about rebooting my health goals. Like, a lot. Like here, here, also here, and you get the picture. It’s not that I just stop caring about my health; it just gets hard. Even when I stop eating what’s good for me or lower my activity level, I’m constantly thinking about how good I felt. But let’s be honest with ourselves: “health” isn’t just diet and exercise.

I’ve done a lot of diets and workouts and weigh-ins and measuring and counting. That’s great if that’s what you want or need. To me, my health is not defined by numbers anymore. It also isn’t just about food. Mental health is just as important as physical health.

What does “healthy” mean to me?

  • not biting my nails
  • keeping a consistent schedule
  • hydration
  • not eating only junk food
  • raising my activity level
  • giving myself love and grace
  • not hitting the snooze button

These don’t sound like the epitome of health, do they? But listen, they’re all steps. Having scrambled eggs and sausage for breakfast is better than ice cream (I may or may not have done that yesterday) and even opting out of my daily soda at lunch is a step to making my body happier. Making a turkey sandwich for work instead of stopping by McDonalds saves calories and money–a two-for-one deal!

I’ve never been a “snoozer.” I don’t know what happened recently (actually I do), but I don’t want to get out of bed when I have to. I reset my alarm for a later time and get ready for work at the last minute. I always feel so much better when I just get up and start my day, plus I get to have time to write before work.

Like I said, my health is not defined by numbers. I don’t need to lose a certain number of pounds or eat a certain amount of calories or run this many miles a week. That puts too much pressure and anxiety on me if I don’t meet those numbers. I see nothing wrong with people who need those numeric goals, it definitely works. But that isn’t the best way to motivate me personally. My Fitbit step goal is really the only number I care about.

I’m so incredibly proud of the race medals I’ve earned. Even though I didn’t do as well as I wanted, running a half marathon or a 5k is a huge achievement for anyone. It’s like the quote that says, “No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.” And that’s what I want for myself. Running is so rewarding to me, and after running (mostly walking) a half marathon last November, I got a little taste of the person I could be. I didn’t train like I had wanted to, and that is my biggest regret as far as my health goes. If I could comfortably run three or four miles, that would mean everything to me to be able to work harder for longer races.

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Last night, Enthusiasm asked me how badly I want to meet my goals. It made me think a lot about my past attempts. I won’t call them “failed,” but they were forgotten. Disney costumes are so unflattering, and I’m tired of looking down and seeing my stomach in the pants I wear at work. I know how to dress my body on my own time, but I want to feel better at work. I don’t want to hate myself or feel down about myself for one emotional reason or another. I want pretty fingernails again. I want to be happy and energetic again. Diet, activity, mindset, and consistency are all equal factors to finding peace with myself and my health.

Being healthy, both emotionally and physically, is hard. Creating and keeping healthy habits takes time, but I know just as well as anyone else that it’s so incredibly worth it. So here I am, starting again. I’m picking up where I left off with my health and doing my best to make a better physical and emotional situation for myself.

Relocation and Change

Hello, friends.

There are a lot of changes going on in my life–past, present, and future. These changes are mostly within myself that are expressed outwardly in attitude and decisions, etc. In order to continue with these (I hope positive) mental and emotional changes , I’ve decided to relocate my blog from Blogger to WordPress. I’m doing this so that eventually, when finances allow, I would like to own my own domain.

I’m extremely passionate about writing, and I want to take a chance and start writing more to be able to grow as a writer. Maybe writing professionally isn’t for me, but maybe it is. And I’m sick and tired of being afraid that I can’t achieve the deepest desires of my heart because I don’t think I can survive on writing alone. I have an entire post in the works just on this topic.

Originally, I was just going to make a Facebook status and share the link to my blog. It got real wordy real fast, so why not publish it here? This post is very much just an extension of a Facebook status, without the “continue reading” tab. No one likes to click those. Facebook statuses are supposed to be longer than Tweets but not as long as a full-on blog post. At least that’s my opinion.

Continuing on. I’m working on myself to find inner peace with who I am and what is going on around me. I want my blog to reflect the growth and progress (and the difficulties) that are coming with that mindset. I’ve been reading some amazing books and have had conversations with amazing people in the last week that have given me so much insight to who I want to be and how I want to see myself getting there.

All of this seems pretty vague right now, and that’s because I have future blog entries that will explain in detail what I mean. For now, this is a quick update before I need to get ready for work. Future entries of these subjects will be planned and edited and proofread, whereas this is very by-the-seat-of-my-pants and rushed.

I just wanted to share that this is where my blog now resides. I’ve heard wonderful things about WordPress, and as I grow, I would like my blog to eventually reflect that. It’s still in the works; I’m tweaking and adding and formatting as best I know how, but I’m content with it. If anyone has any suggestions on things to add, I welcome them. Or just encouragement on this journey to see what I’m called to do next.

Thank you for reading, and subscribe via e-mail over to the left (or via Bloglovin’!).

Yours,

Hannah

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When it’s time to change you’ve got to rearrange who you are and what you’re gonna be.

Paleo and Training

Today was day 3 of being Paleo. Usually by now on a “diet” you think “What the hell am I doing?! I want to cheat!” But so far I haven’t had any major sense of desperation as far as food goes. There’s honestly something really exciting about walking around Whole Foods and knowing that it’s a whole new world of health.

I had found some recipes that I wanted to try, and since it was my day off, I went hard-core grocery shopping. A lot of the stuff I got cost more than I would like to spend on food, but much of it was stuff that I’ll use for a while. A jar of coconut oil is $20, but it’ll take me a while to use it. Almond flour is a good $12, but there’s no way I can use it all that quickly. So that how I excuse myself for spending $130 between Publix and Whole Foods. 

I made Cauliflower mashed potatoes which were pretty good (for cauliflower), and Mango bars (which I kind of messed up, but they still taste good) and then went to DHS for a few hours. I’d definitely make both again, and will probably try different fruit variations to the mango bars. It’ll be a lot easier to make those when I have a big food processor. I only have a very small one so had to make it in halves so the consistency was a little off. But overall it was a good recipe.

After being home for a little bit,  I went on a two-mile run. I’m ready to start training for the Tower of Terror run as well as the Princess Half, (oh god…registration for that is next month. Ugh. Money.) so with this added energy from eating right, making a little time for running should be easier–let’s hope.

So, day three and I’m still doing alright!

Refocused on My Health

I didn’t want to write this today. Know that. But my intentions for writing it are not for typical “New Years Resolutions” reasons, so there’s that. It just happens to be written and posted on January 1st, which is a day when normal people set goals and such for themselves that they will keep up with for a month and then quit. I’m done quitting.

As most of you know, 2013 was the year I reached my highest weight of about 250 pounds. I don’t know my exact weight, because I couldn’t stand to weigh myself when I first began losing, But I know I was anywhere from 240-260 so let’s just split the difference and say 250. After gaining the More-Like-Freshman-Fifty, I came home from school in May and made a change; not just went on a diet, but began to make lifelong habit changes. In June, Shay Butler posted a video on his ShayLoss channel on YouTube about starting a five week challenge to get in shape. Because of this challenge, I became very close to a community of people like me who were wanting to make permanent changes. We became the Red Faced Warriors and they became a HUGE part of my 2013 year. Without them, I would not have lost the 50-ish pounds that I did. I would not have gained the inspiration and motivation that I did without this community. 
I did slack on exercise after the summer, I will admit that. But the eating habits have continued. But since October, I have done very little activity other than a few mile runs with my sister. I lost my mojo because I no longer had a goal like the Tower of Terror run. The run was over, so I stopped running. But I missed it. Like a lot. A few weeks ago, registration opened for the Expedition Everest Challenge in  May, and I convinced my sister to run it with me. This has given me a new goal and added motivation. From following running motivation on Tumblr and Instagram, I have a new vision for my 20th year and where I want to see myself. 
Runners World posted this article about setting running goals for the year, and I plan on keeping up with this. My goal as I said in a previous post is to run a half marathon in 2015. I have a year to train, and I know it is going to be a huge year. Making time to run is going to be hard as hell. I will want to sleep in, watch Netflix, go to the parks instead of run. But I have to. I have the DESIRE to run and be healthy, but the DOING is harder. But I never regret it once I’m out there. I want it to be a part of me. I want to feel confident saying “I’m a runner.” 
I want every one of these medals. I COVET these medals. These medals motivate me. I will have them all. But especially I want this one:
I want the Coast-To-Coast medal, meaning I have to run a half (or full!!) marathon at both Walt Disney World AND the Disneyland Resort in the same year. On top of this, I want the other challenge medals like the Dopey and Goofy Challenges. Of course, I want to run other races not just through RunDisney, but I set my mind to running in every RunDisney race, and that is a goal I will achieve. The full marathon will take some major determination that I just don’t have right now, but a half is doable. I did 10 miles in October! Even though my feet hurt so badly, I could see that a half could be feasible with better training. I guess I’ll say while I have no IMMEDIATE plans to run a full marathon, I’m not saying I never will. It’s just a lot to think about at my current level of running. 
On top of the Runner’s World article that is going to help me shape up my running this year, I also got Sean Sarantos’ ebook he wrote about health and nutrition and fitness. I’ve watched him on YouTube a lot recently (NOT just because he’s absolutely dreamy, but because I really do like the information he gives) and have learned a lot through his videos. He’s very good at encouraging people like me (not-fit, self-conscious-when-it-comes-to-the-gym women) to not compare ourselves to others. I like his weekly videos gear specifically toward women, and he’s constantly saying in his book and videos and twitter and everywhere else, that ANYONE can do the exercises he shows. He doesn’t dumb anything down, but explains things that many fitness people assume you know. I’m looking forward to trying out the plans in his ebook and hoping to grow from the experience. It’s not a formal book. He cusses and calls his readers “little birds” and it’s very much like a conversation between you and him. He explains his terms and I really appreciate the informality of the whole thing. 
He also tweeted me back. So it is inevitable that we are going to fall in love now. He grew up in San Antonio. So we have the whole “Native Texan” thing together. 
Of course, the next two weeks are NOT going to be healthy ones. I’m leaving Saturday to spend a week in the car and on a cruise ship. Then starts Disney training and work. Once I get to Florida, though, I WILL have healthy food in the apartment if nothing else. Even if I don’t get any running or weights in, I will have a good diet (Maybe not 100% but at least 85%). 
I know that with how busy I am going to be this year. But I’m ready for the challenge. Health IS challenging. But I’m going to plan ahead meals, and maybe have to wake up early to go run or wait to take a nap until after. But however  it happens, it’s going to happen. I’m GOING to lose the last 50 pounds and I’m GOING to run that half marathon. I’ve got a notebook that I want to use to write down a food journal, running times, other workouts, quotes, progress, etc. I will of course update my blog with this, but not as often. That’s why I want to use the notebook. (YES I know there are apps for that, but I’m old-fashioned enough to want to hand write it). 
I am also doing this #TeamRunDisney photo challenge for January. So follow my Instagram. 
I really hope anyone who reads this that might be feeling like I have: ready to get back at it, but haven’t for whatever reason, joins me this year to complete our goals that we started out with. Message me so we can help motivate each other! Sometimes you just need someone who is on a similar journey as you to keep you accountable and focused. I’m ready to be focused. 

What Motivates Me to Work Out

There are several things that can motivate me to work out:

1) Myself. 
               Because I’m tired of feeling like I do, and looking like I do. 
2) Attractive boys.
               Because I think to myself, “Boys like that would prefer a fit girl.” I don’t say this to upset myself, but to motivate. I know I will find someone who loves me no matter if I weigh 150 pounds or 200. But it’s a pride thing for MYSELF. *I* want to look good for both him and myself. So this doesn’t have anything to do with putting myself down as much as it is giving me a goal. 
3) Tattoos.
               Because I want to work for Disney, I can’t have any visible tattoos. So the only places I can get tattooed (that will still look good and not trashy like tramp stamps) are places that I need to work on at the gym. I love rib tattoos, hip tattoos, thigh tattoos, etc. Of course, it’s all dependent on style and placement and yadah yadah. I just like them generally. 
4) Health.
               Because I don’t want to DIE from something stupid that’s caused by being unhealthy or overweight. 

ShayTober is Coming!

I was trying to post this as a Facebook status, but it got too wordy, so I decided I would just blog it, and post the link. Easier.

Tuesday, October 1st, is the beginning of ShayTober. Like the 5 Week Challenge early in the summer, ShayCarl, along with other YouTubers, is going to be doing a month of motivation and fitness. I’m so excited for this, because I’ve been in a slump the past few weeks when it comes to working out and health in general. I’ve needed motivation, and I haven’t made it a priority. ShayTober is coming at such a perfect time for me to re-evaluate my goals.

Like the 5 Week Challenge, I hope to post frequent videos marking my struggles and my progress. On the 1st, I will post an “intro” video, full of goals, as well as what I expect of myself on a day-to-day basis.

I encourage my Facebook friends to join me. Even if you don’t have anything to do with the YouTube part, I would love to have someone to encourage, and be encouraged by. If I learned anything from the 5 Week Challenge (from here on out I will refer to it as 5WC), it was that having a community of people on the same journey is probably the most important asset you can have. I’ve met some really amazing people from around the country, and around the world, who all share a common goal. We may get there different ways, but we’ll get there if we stick to it. So I want to be a source of encouragement to my Lubbock friends, Abilene friends, YouTube friends, whatever.

Let’s get back on track in October!!

Health and Lifestyle Updates

So many things I want to talk about…and knowing me, I’ll probably forget half of them before I publish this post. But I’ll write what I can and either edit later or just write a second post. I HAVE ADHD, OKAY!?!!

First off, I completed the first week of the ShayLoss Five Week Challenge! In reality, the “challenge” is more of a motivation to continue what I have already been doing since May than any actual challenge. It’s been a way to keep going, and stay accountable because I’ve been blogging more and making videos about weight loss.  As far as any extra exercise, I haven’t been doing it. I’ve really just been doing everything gradually and seeing what is going to work for me in changing my lifestyle.

Things I’ve changed this week:

  • I started doing weight workouts. 
            I hadn’t been concerned at all about doing weights, mainly because I haven’t known exactly what to do or how much to do it. Pinterest has been a great help for that and now I am adding arm workouts at home or at the gym to my activity. 
  • I started juicing.
           Obviously, I’ve blogged about this and made videos. But This is MY update, and I can say what I want.  So I started juicing after visiting our AWESOME juice bar. It’s also a way for me to get more vegetables in my diet. I really love it and it fills me up even more than my morning smoothies seem to. 
  • As I have been since May, I’ve started cutting back on portions.
           When I first began this change, I started with just doing smoothies. After I felt comfortable with that, we got rid of packaged foods. Once I got comfortable with that, we substituted things or got rid of things altogether, etc.  Today I decided to try and not snack quite so much. I felt like I snacked a lot yesterday, even if it WAS better snacks, and would just like to do better.  So the next best thing is just to re-evaluate how much food my body ACTUALLY needs me to consume. 
My eventual goal would be to do more juicing or something equally intense and good. Be able to cut out bread (even Ezekiel Bread) just a little bit more than I already am, and see what happens. I’m trying to do research about juicing while training for half marathons, because I don’t know whether or not I should wait until after my Tower of Terror Run to do anything TOO intense, or if juice will still give me what I need. 
I found a GREAT idea on Runningonjuice.com that I think could be very doable for a meal or two, and maybe still eat a “normal” meal in between. They juiced, then put it in a blender with protein powder, coconut water, and CHIA SEEDS. I will definitely be trying this in the morning. I know Chia Seeds are SO great for you. 
Another thing I found in my research are some good quotes:

“My body is THRIVING (not surviving!) on freshly extracted juice from a wide array of fruits and vegetables.”

“…think of juicing as a ‘gateway drug’ to better health and eating clean.”

I also found the idea to “reestablish a RELATIONSHIP with clean food.” That’s something I’ve never had: a RELATIONSHIP with clean food. Isn’t that a neat thought?!?!

This evening, I was watching old ShayLoss videos in the kitchen and Shay said, “If you want to be fat, do what fat people do. If you want to be skinny, do what skinny people do.” My mom and I just thought, “WOW.” It’s such a “duh” idea, but to hear it SAID just made it click.

Mom also said, “We’re going to look so different in our family pictures at Disney in October. We’re going to be THOSE people. The people who DID IT.” And I can’t wait to be THAT person. To look back at this journey and say, “I’m SO GLAD I didn’t give up when I wanted to.” I already feel like such a better person than I did five weeks ago.

Since today on ShayLoss it was an update day, here are my measurements. I wanted them side-by-side the old ones, so if there are two, it means there was a change. If not, I stayed the same in that area. Made some good progress in a week! I’m definitely proud of myself.

Like I said…I knew I would forget my thoughts. But there’s a great deal of them!!