Finding the Light

Lately my depression has been more severe. After the loss of a loved one and all of the challenges that that has brought, I have been left feeling deflated, exasperated, and saddened.

I have worked on getting past this stretch of depression by finding the light. A close friend of mine who has also struggled once told me that it is important to tell yourself that these feelings are temporary and that your depression does not define you.

So instead of wallowing and lying in my bed which is what I desperately wanted to do, I made the effort to spend time with friends and family and look for the light. This time the light came in hearing my friends laugh as I recounted a story, and in the form of a smile from my barre instructor as I worked through a tough move. The light found it’s way in in many forms and I am so grateful for that.

What helps you find your light?

I’m Back!

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Hello!

I’ve been away from this blog for over a year now, and it feels like it is time to revisit why I started and why it is a good idea to return.

This blog began when I started falling in love with fitness. My journey with heath had just begun when this blog started and I used it as a tool to share my love of running and as a way to be held accountable for my workouts. I fell in love with the blog and with fitness and health.

It felt amazing to share my voice and love for this part of my life. This blog is where I first publicly shared my challenges with disordered eating and where I plan to share more challenges. Now feels like the right time to come back because while I have a beautiful life that I am so grateful to have, I struggle with depression. I want to share my journey with others who may be struggling or who try to find an outlet through health and fitness.

My passion for fitness, health, life, and love has only grown over the last year and I am excited to start sharing it with you all again!

Want to change your life? Go for a run.

Do you want to feel like a strong, competent, beautiful person, then go for a run.

Running is transformative. Once you push beyond the pain of training, you reach a state where running is a space for mental clarity and calm. Some of my most body positivity thoughts have occurred while running. I am the best version of myself when I am running; I am happy, at peace, and understanding of myself.

Every chance I have to go on a run, I take it, because I am always a better person afterwards.

So, if you want to feel like a badass, then go for a run. Tie up your sneakers and rock a messy bun and let your inner badass shine, let all the other layers of yourself melt away and just revel in the beauty that is you.

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Stop Beating Yourself Up Over Body Positivity

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Here is the truth, body positivity comes in waves. Some days we feel full of confidence and pride about our bodies, and other days, we find ourselves completely despondent to the wonderful vessel that carries around our heart and soul.

This is common, normal even, to feel this way. Some days I look in the mirror and sob. I cry heavy, full tears because my body is not like the girls on my Facebook feed or like the models on the runway. But, some days I strut around, realizing how wonderful my body is.

Here are some tips for overcoming body-love lows and also for navigating the peaks and valleys of loving yourself.

  1. Remember all you have accomplished.

It is very easy to get down when your body isn’t where you want it to be, but remember how far you’ve come and all that your body can do! Today I tried on swimsuits (it sucked) but I didn’t leave the fitting room in tears because yesterday I ran 8 miles. EIGHT MILES! I made great time and was so proud of myself when I finished. A lot of size two models who look great in bathing suits can’t do that. Be proud of you and all that your body has accomplished.

2. Stop comparing yourselves to others.

Chances are, that if you are a human being, then you have looked at someone else and thought, “Wow, they are prettier, and thinner, and better then me.” You’ve got to stop that. You don’t know that person. You don’t know their story or how they got to where they are. Maybe they work hard for their banging bod and great hair, or maybe they were blessed genetically, regardless, you are not them, and never will be, so let it go. You are a rockstar and there are tons of people who see you on the street and wish they looked like you. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so look at yourself and love it!

3. Accept the bad moments and keep moving.

So you saw a photo  of yourself that made you feel bad or an off hand-comment by a friend has you feeling bad about yourself, go ahead, feel sad–for a minute–and then let it go. Don’t let a bad body thought ruin your day, night, or even your workout. Maybe a girl at the gym has the body you always wanted, instead of letting it ruin your workout, try harder, push harder, and please remember that you are a badass.

I hope this helps you navigate the mine field of body positivity.

Finally

I finally had my moment. After nearly ten years of total hatred of my body, with many peaks and valleys of good times and bad, I had that special moment. I had that “aha” moment that I am perfect the way I am.

I was on the train two weeks ago, headed home from work. I was on my phone, scrolling through Facebook to pass the time until I reached my destination, when I stumbled upon a Buzzfeed article that just somehow made everything click.

It was an article about normal women recreating Victoria’s Secret model swimsuit shots. Each woman, they were all different shapes and sizes, put on an assigned suit and had to mimic the pose of the model. Some ladies had to dunk their heads in the ocean to recreate the look and others had to kneel on the coarse sand. Each woman gave her take on the experience and how she felt about it.

After I finished that article, I suddenly got it. I had a choice. I could spend the rest of my life hating my body, walking around uncomfortable and self-conscious about my body, my weight, and my looks, or I could realize that I was fucking hot. Suddenly my heart was set on fire and all I could think was, “I am fucking hot, and I can run an 8 minute mile, and I have a bitchin’ resting heart rate, and I eat my vegetables, and I’m fucking hot.” Suddenly it just felt like that was true. I had had my “aha” moment.

For years I have worked towards improving my self esteem and body image to no avail. It never mattered who said I was beautiful. It never mattered who called me sexy or hot or wonderful, because I never believed it. For nine months my boyfriend has told me that I am the sexiest and most beautiful woman, and for nine months I have not believed a word of it, and suddenly, it has clicked–I am hot.

I think it comes for all of us at different times. Not everyone is ready to realize that they are amazing. Sometimes it takes years, sometimes it takes months, and sometimes it never happens. For me, I thought it would never happen. Yes, I still have moments of insecurity but now, more than ever before I realize that I am beautiful and that I have no reason to be self-conscious of my body or of who I am.

I hope that one day you have the blessing of having that moment. I encourage you to seek inspiration everywhere, to read the good articles, to listen to what your friends say when they call you beautiful, and to never quit.

It’s easy to quit. Easy to give up on who you want to be. I still have a long way to go in my health and fitness journey, but I am closer than I have ever been before.

The 3 at 3 Challenge

Everybody needs a little push to remember to be grateful for what they have. We don’t always wake up every morning grateful for the little things in life, or even the good things, so I challenge you to take time every day to stop and be grateful.

At my new job my boss has us stop what we’re doing at 3pm and go around and say 3 things that we are grateful for. I know that it may seem silly, but I adore it and think that it is a brilliant way to center yourself during the day and remind yourself of all the things you have to be thankful for.

I challenge you to try doing 3 at 3 and see if it increases your happiness!

Gratitude

When I was a junior in high school a friend of mine told me about the good luck ritual behind 11:11. If you don’t know, the idea behind it is that, if you look at a clock and by chance, at that moment it is 11:11 am or pm then you have to make a wish.

I have always believed in wishing, in magic, in reminding yourself of your dreams on a daily basis. So, whenever I catch the clock at 11:11 I make a wish. I also wish on eyelashes and shooting stars, and all of those other nonsensical things that are unreasonable to believe in.

But, for me, every 11:11 wish or a wish on an eyelash I’ve ever made has come true. It’s not magic. It doesn’t happen immediately. It is months, years of wishing to get results. I count myself as very lucky to have my wishes, my dreams to come true.

But the other day, I looked down at my phone and it was 11:11 and for once in my life, I had nothing to wish for. Everything I had wished for my entire life I had, and for that I am so grateful.

I have a job that I love, a man that I love, and friends that I love. My family is well and my heart is full and I am so happy and content with life that I had nothing to wish for. So today, I am grateful.

I am grateful for the life I have. I am grateful that everything really does happen for a reason. I went through a very rough patch and here I am, on the other side, happier than I ever thought I could be. Wait out the storm. Fight through the hardship and struggle and realize that something stunningly beautiful is on the other side.

Today I encourage you to wish, hope, and dream because every hardship you face happens for a reason and you will get through it. Be grateful for tomorrow because it is leading you to your destiny.