I’m tired of playing small. I’m tired of talking myself out of feelings that matter. I don’t know why I can’t just put myself out there and go for it. I spend so much time encouraging other people and building them up, but I just can’t seem to do it for myself. In fact, I tend to do the opposite. I think most of us do, don’t we? As soon as I have a great idea or something that I want to work on, I let myself completely talk me out of it – why it would be dumb, why no one would listen to me, why it wouldn’t work, how it’s already been done before, so on and so forth. But I think that our stories are too important to keep cutting it short all on your own. The world needs to hear my voice, and the world needs to hear yours, too, whatever that means. I love to be creative and I think sometimes that I get so overwhelmed with the things that I want to do, that I just figure doing nothing is better. I have no idea why that makes sense in my head, but it’s usually what happens. I’m sitting at the kitchen table at 11:30 at night and I just finished working on some stuff for my day job, and it has me thinking, why don’t I work on stuff that I’m passionate about until this late at night? Why am I content with going to sleep early when I have ideas and projects and plans and goals to work on for myself, but when it comes to the 9-5, I can sacrifice some sleep to make someone else’s dreams happen. I don’t know what this world has in store for me, but I just know that I don’t want to watch it go by. I keep waiting for this to happen, or for this time to be right, and you know what? It never will be. I need to make it happen and make the time right, or next thing I know, it’ll be 20 years from now and I’ll be looking back saying “What if?” I see so many people around me experiencing wonderful success from their own hard work, and that makes me so happy for them. But it also sets me on fire for what I need to be doing to get there myself. I know that I’m not going to make a change overnight. But that doesn’t mean that I still don’t want to try.
It has been 19 days since I decided to make a change. It was scary, I’m not going to lie. I met with the doctor that another doctor had recommended. I went to this appointment not knowing completely what I was in for or what to expect. And I ended up jumping in with both feet. I gave up all my favorite foods and drinks in exchange for supplements and healthy food choices. I wasn’t ready to do it, but really, I don’t know that I would ever get to a point where I was actually ready.
I gave up fast food.
I gave up ice cream.
I gave up cheese.
I gave up pizza.
I gave up pop.
I gave up alcohol.
I gave up chocolate.
I gave up what really the majority of things that made up my diet.
But here is what I also gave up
I gave up feeling like crap.
I gave up doubting myself.
I gave up cravings.
I gave up feeling sorry for myself.
I gave up making poor choices.
And the changes that I have seen in just short of three weeks are more than I could have asked for. So far, I have lost 30.5 pounds, but that’s not even the best part. I have so much energy that I don’t know what to do with myself. I have started taking better care of myself in general. My clothes fit better. I am way less bloated. I have ankles! I actually now crave things like spinach and raw broccoli. Who would have ever guessed that? I never even liked raw broccoli! It really is blowing my mind how easy this change has been and I am so grateful for that. This is just the first phase of the plan that I’m on so I’m not saying that I’m never going to eat pizza or ice cream again and this isn’t a forever way of eating but it’s transitioning into a way that I can plan my diet for my life that is going to fuel my body in a way that I actually can be the healthiest version of myself. Thank you all so very much for your encouragement and kind words, they really mean so much to me! I can’t wait to share more of this journey as I can’t believe it’s only been a few weeks, but having so many cheerleaders makes it that much easier.
Life can just be so hectic sometimes that you really need to focus on taking time for yourself and just decompressing. As much as I love taking trips that are go go go with tons of adventure and experiences jam packed into a short time, I need to balance it out with weeks like this. The water has always called to me. It wall always make me feel calm so a week with nothing to do but wake up and enjoy the day is just what a I need. These are some of my favorite pictures I have of our previous trips. I will have new ones to share with you once I am back!
I hope that you take time just for yourself this weekend, whether it's a getaway or just a bubble bath, it is important. You can't give 100% to anything if you aren't taking care of yourself first.
What are your favorite ways to take it slow?
When was the last time that you started to worry about something? What someone thought about you, after a comment your boss made at work, a friend being upset with you, if you’ll make enough money this month, a family member’s health. A new reason seems to pop up around every corner. All that worry does is add to your stress levels, which can bring about physical changes in your body if you carry too much of it.
Don't get me wrong, it's not an easy habit to break. I still worry quite often about things that I have absolutely zero control over. I had some totally routine blood tests done last week at the doctor and still panicked until I heard back from them that everything was all clear minus my Vitamin D levels being low. And even with that, when I did have the answer and learned I had to take another vitamin once a week, did that really change anything? If it had been something more serious, what would have made the difference if I had been worrying the whole time?
We are conditioned most of the time to go directly towards worry. But what if we chose Joy first? What if instead of worrying after the missed phone call of your mom didn't go straight to wondering if everything was okay and instead went to what good news she called to share with you. What if when worry starts to creep into your thoughts about the way you look changes to what you love about yourself?
What more could you do with your day if you didn't stop and question everything?
Over the past couple of weeks, I have started to really open up and share what has been on my heart for some time. It wasn’t easy, and I wasn’t feeling exceptionally brave, but I decided that I needed to share in some way. I hesitated for awhile; I started this blog over six months ago and decided that what I had to say wasn’t worth being heard. But then I realized that it really didn’t matter to me if anyone read what I had to say, I just wanted to put it out there.
And I was absolutely blown away by the response that I got. I have had so many people reach out to me and share their experiences, offer their support, even offer to jump in right along with me.
It is so easy to think that our experience is only our own. That no one else could possibly be going through what we are. That no one else would want to be bothered with our crap. That it really isn’t a big deal and other people are dealing with way worse. But you know what? It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to share your story. Because someone IS going to relate to you. Someone else is going to feel less alone because they see you. You’re going to give someone else the reason to start something, just by putting yourself out there a little bit.
On the flip side of that, if you read something where someone is being vulnerable, and it resonates even just the tiniest bit with you, share that with them! It doesn't have to be anything more than just a few words, but it can have just as big of an impact.
I know it can be scary, but please trust me when I say it’s worth it. It’s more than worth it. It makes you feel more connected and gives you the chance to brighten someone’s day.
What is one thing that you’ve been afraid to share? Whether it’s big or small, take a step today to share it. It could be just speaking it out loud to yourself, sharing it with a coworker, or put it out there for the whole world to see - or you can share it anonymously in the comments.
There's a song that I hear on the radio a lot right now.
It's called "Last Time For Everything" by Brad Paisley.
A little sappy, mostly lighthearted, in true Paisley style.
And in light of my recent doctor's visit, I'm thinking of a little twist on it.
I have a "skinny" bucket list of things that I can't do anymore or haven't been able to do because of my weight.
So I thought I might share that list with you.
Ride a roller coaster
Go horseback riding
Go zip lining
Shop in a "regular" size store
Fit comfortably in a stadium seat
Walk up stairs without getting winded
Walk long distances without having to stop
Not having to use a seatbelt extender when I fly
Dance all night long
Go rock climbing
So here's to my "Last time" of doing all of these things being not actually my last time.
I read a quote yesterday that has really stuck with me.
Today is the birthday of one of the most important people in my life. It has been just over four years since she left the physical world, but she had really left us quite a while before that. I am so lucky that I got to have so much time with her, but it really never would have been enough.
I have so many memories that my Mormor was a part of. So many vacations, birthdays, summers at the pool, just regular days, she was there. I remember when I was a kid finding out that one of my friends didn’t see their grandma every weekend. That’s what Sundays were for, what was she talking about? It took me a long time to figure out how lucky I was and to really appreciate what I had. I remember so many little things about her that just make me smile.
She gave the best hugs.
She always had tic tacs.
Whenever I said goodbye to her, she would stand up one or two steps so that we would be the same height.
She bought us chocolate covered raisins at the candy store in Yorktown before we went to the movies.
She was always baking. Bread or cinnamon rolls or cookies or brunsviger, there was always something to snack on before dinner.
She wanted everyone to love her food. If you didn’t have at least seconds, you obviously didn’t like it. And she always made enough to feed an army. If there weren’t leftovers, she would say that she didn’t make enough.
She had a great whistle.
I could probably go on for days.
I may be a little partial, but she really was the best grandma. And she made the first twenty years of my life that much better.
What are some things that you love or loved about your grandparents?
I can’t wait to hear them.
This past weekend, I attended a convention with about 30,000 other people. That number is seriously hard to wrap my brain around. That’s enough people to almost fill Wrigley. That’s as many people as the number of days you will live on this earth on average. It’s A LOT. And it feels like even more when you are really not a people person.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very sociable and I love spending time with my friends and even meeting new people. But, wow, was I overwhelmed. I came to the realization that I am still recovering almost a week later for that very reason.
I need to have time alone in order to be myself. I need to not be around other people to feel like a normal human. And I really don’t think that I’m alone in that. It is so important, though, to take care of ourselves and enough people don’t know how to do that. So I want to share with you some of my favorite ways to unplug, take a break, slow down, whatever you need to call it, when I am overwhelmed
Of course you can combine these as well, but the main thing is to find what works for you. I know this weekend I am going to be spending some time doing all of the above. Life is really all about balance and it takes some self-discovery to find what that balance can be for you. What are some of the ways that you like to take time for yourself? I’d love to hear them!
Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a mom. I never fantasized about my wedding, who I would marry or what my dress would look like. But I thought about what my babies would be like all the time. I started picking out names for them in middle school (most of the time based on my crushes or favorite TV shows and movies). I imagined that as soon as I did get married, it would happen.
But, it hasn’t. And it’s hard to say that. I have always had a super irregular cycle and was never able to get a straight answer from a doctor about why or what I could do about it. It always came back to being overweight and that was so frustrating to hear. About two years ago, I saw a new doctor and finally had at least a name: PCOS, or Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. It was somewhere to start. After dealing with this for over half of my life, it felt like something was going to change because I had an answer. Only, I really didn’t.
I only lasted a few days taking it, and it was possibly the most uncomfortable I have ever been. I basically lived in the bathroom and was afraid to drive the hour to work, for fear that I would have to pull over to use the bathroom. I even tried to cut my dose in half and it still was too much for my system to handle. I went back to my doctor and the only option she gave me was to then start birth control. So I was back to square one.
I found a fertility clinic close to work that I decided to try and find a new doctor and see if there was anything else stopping me from having a baby. They did some tests and I even went in for a D & C and everything seemed to be fairly normal. I wasn’t ready to really start fertility treatments or anything like that which is what their primary goal was until I had more of an answer as to why things were the way they were.
Now that I have changed jobs, it made it even harder to go back to that doctor so I found someone new. I have an appointment next week to see if we can maybe get on the path to being a family of three (or more). It’s so amazing to see so many people around me becoming new parents and growing their families, but it’s also hard not to feel a little hurt and a little sad each time.
I know that if it is meant to be, it will happen, even if we have to try a little harder for a little longer. But I can almost see that little face and feel those tiny fingers. Of course I know that I am not the only one out there who struggles with this, and there are so many people who want to be parents, but I just wanted to share part of my story because infertility is still so taboo. I want to be able to tell people that we’re trying, and that we have been trying (or not NOT trying) for five years, but it seems to make them uncomfortable. If you are going through something similar, I just want you to know that you are not alone.
About two and a half years ago, I decided to start a business. Only, I’ve been afraid to call it that. I haven’t been honest with myself about the work that I am doing (or not doing), and when I look back, it shows. I think, like many people, that I am afraid to put myself out there in fear of getting shut down. If I don’t ask the question, no one can say no. But guess what? Then no one can say YES either!
I’ve learned from so many leaders that failure is the only way to success. If you aren’t failing, then you aren’t trying. Every failure is an opportunity to learn something. So guess what? I am ready to fail. I am ready to fail BIG time. I am so grateful to be a part of a team that is not afraid to share their downfalls. Willing to share their shortcomings. Excited even to share when they have fallen flat on their face. If you aren’t willing to fail, then you aren’t willing to grow.
The next time that you want to step out in faith, and be bolder than you have before, just remember this: F.A.I.L. is a First Attempt In Learning. If you are going to fail, fail BIG. And I will be right there with you.