Day twenty five:

Well, the final day of this challenge is here with the all important question:

How do you want to be remembered in life?

A positive influencer

I want to inspire others, particularly women to be strong both mentally and physically.

Not to settle for anything or anyone. Ever!

I want to be seen as a holy person, a role model for people younger and older than me.

To encourage others not to give up or quit when times get tough.

When times do inevitable get tough, people will think of me and say to themselves, “because she did it, I can do it!” and they will stay motivated.

inspire

Can you relate to any of these things?

Onwards & Upwards…

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Day twenty four: advice

What piece of advice would you give to five year old you? Sixteen year old you? Twenty-one year old you? Right now?

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Five year old me:

Keep playing. Never stop learning. It’s okay to be shy, but don’t let it stop you from making new friends and trying new activities

Sixteen year old me:

Stop comparing yourself to others. You are not “fat” – don’t be so hard on yourself. Research and visit as many colleges as you can – start soon. Don’t worry so much about what other people think

Twenty-one year old me:

(See above and add…) Don’t settle – on a job, boy, etc. Stand up for yourself and be firm in your beliefs. DON’T GIVE UP. Trust in God’s plan and everything will work out.

Right now me:

Trust the process and enjoy the “now.”

advice

Onwards & Upwards…

Day twenty three: in a year

Let’s jump forward a year. What would you like to have achieved in the past year?

Piggybacking off of my previous post, below are areas of my life outlined in the seven dimensions of wellness that I want to have achieved (or be close to achieving) in a year:

Social – Reconnect with friends that I’ve grown apart from, hangout with people I’ve met through my young adults group outside of our normal meet up times, and host more gatherings (my social anxiety has got my heart rate up just typing this)!

Emotional – Not take out my emotions/bad days on other people, more yoga/meditation, write and communicate my feelings with others, and see a counselor as needed.

Spiritual – Deepen my prayer life, attend church weekly, and stay active with my new women’s group.

Environmental – Stop getting plastic bags from the store (I am pretty good about bringing in my cloth bags, but could do better), start an herb garden, and refurbish older items around the house or from thrift stores vs/ buying brand new.

Occupational –  I want to continue to grow into my new position at work and take on more responsibilities.

Intellectual – Read more books, become more fluent in Spanish, and complete a crossword puzzle without cheating…

Physical – I want to  have more self-confidence with my changing body as I continue gaining a healthy amount of weight. Build more muscle mass and cardiac endurance

 

orange

Onwards & Upwards…

Day twenty two: areas of life

 

It’s a little bit weird that this 25 day challenge is coming to an end. But I guess it makes sense that I am being asked tougher questions!

What area of your life, right now, makes you feel the best? Which area makes you feel the worst? Why?

Best:

After being jobless, and for the most part directionless, for the past five months I feel like I am finally on track career-wise. I started my new job two weeks ago.  I’m still transitioning to the new routine and adjusting to having to focus at certain times. So far everything is going great and I have no complaints. I’m looking forward to the next few months and seeing what life has in store for me!

Worst:

Body image. I’m struggling with my old clothes fitting tighter, stop my eating when I’m full, and not comparing myself to others. I have “better” days than others, but adjusting to a new schedule does make me anxious. All I seem to do is eat and work out and think about eating and working out…

habit

Onwards & Upwards…

Day twenty one: money

Pretend money is no object. What would you do?

 

As I transition to a new job and living situation, I want a  fresh start – a physical fresh start. I have had so many of my things (office decor, clothes, shoes, etc.) since college (7 years ago) and some even when I was in high school… It can be hard to sort through sentimental belongings and deciding what to donate and hard to come across things that remind me of a less than happy time.

Several times I’ve noticed myself thinking, “I wish I could just snap my fingers and have a new everything, a clean slate”. But of course that takes money that I don’t necessarily have to spend on extras. Even a cleaning service where someone comes in and cleans out my room at my parent’s house would be a blessing! I would gain so much peace of mind.

money

Onwards & Upwards…

Day twenty: more

What do you wish you did more of?

Reading. I used to read ALL of the time, but sadly I have fallen away from that habit lately. I attribute this change to many factors. Starting a new job last week has a lot to do with it. I am a lot more tired when I get home from work and often have less mental resources to read. If I do read, it’s before bed and I fall asleep after only making it through a few pages. I have also been more active in evening/social activities – church groups, spending time with my boyfriend – which lead less time for reading. Once I get more into a new routine, balancing work and my social life, I look forward to being able to read more!

book 1

book 2

Onwards & Upwards…

Day nineteen: excite

Now this is a fun questions:

What excites you?

New (or new to me) things – clothes, shoes, etc.

Thinking about the future – with my boyfriend, job, and family

Upcoming trips & Traveling – Boston (July), Seattle (August), and NYC (September)

exciting
Onwards & Upwards…

Day eighteen: giving

What do you love to do for, or give to others (not an object – something from you personally)?

I LOVE surprising people! In a good way, of course. One of my “love languages” is acts of service. I feel like I am best able to show others how much I care about them by doing thing for them/helping out with out being asked. It is giving of my time – something that is becoming more precious these days… Some common examples how I like to share my love are:

  • Unloading and reloading the dishwasher
  • Taking out the trash
  • Picking up something at the store from someone else’s grocery list
  • Picking up the tab – treating someone
  • Making personalized cards or crafts

small things

How do you show your love?

Onwards & Upwards…

Day seventeen: change the world

You may have noticed that I have been absent the past couple of days. It’s all been for a good reason. After almost exactly 5 months of being unemployed I started a new job! It’s a great opportunity and I feel very blessed. However, that means adjusting to a new routine and not having as much time to do what I used to do. Now that things are starting to slow down, I plan of focusing on the personal growth exercise I started a few weeks ago.

If you could make one change in the world, what would it be?

I would make people less selfish. I believe people’s selfishness create a lot of problems. Our society is so “me, me, me.” We get into traffic accidents because of our impatience. We have a desire to be first, even if it means putting others down or at risk for future harm. We always want to be right and find it so challenging to admit when we are wrong.

When we are selfish we often dismiss the dignity of other human beings – choosing to spend $5 on our morning latte vs. putting that amount of money in a charity.  We binge-watch TV instead of spending one hour of our week or month volunteering. We leave a mess for others to clean up because we are too lazy or just do not care.

No, this is not me saying that I am a saint, or completely selfless person. There are many areas in my life where I need to stop focusing on myself and put others first. I am guilty of all of the examples I listed above. Sometimes I don’t think that we are even aware of our selfishness at times, they become so routine.

This question definitely makes me reflect more on the areas of my life that I need to improve. Small improvements can make a big impact. I truly believe that leading by example can change a lot more than we realize.

world 3

world 2

world

Onwards & Upwards…

Triple Digits

The past month marks the first time in SEVEN YEARS that I’ve hit (and kept on) triple digits. I can’t believe that I’m typing those words. I’m 27 and just now weigh over 100 pounds?! The past year and a half has been particularly difficult. Sometimes I coped well and got stronger, but there were MANY times in which I felt like I was failing…

Initially when I posted this accomplishment on Facebook I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback, “likes” and “loves” left by friends and people I haven’t communicated with in years (or ever, really). The encouraging comments left me in tears – I actually was proud of myself for once.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for my own criticism enter my brain. Despite re-reading comments and encouragement from my beyond-wonderful boyfriend, I have been struggling to shake the feelings of disgust I have with myself. How can I go from feeling so “free” and proud of myself for all I’ve overcome to literally loathing myself?!

“My pants are all too tight, nothing fits right anymore”

“Your thighs look HUGE in those picture from this weekend – I need to increase my time in the gym”

“You’re weak. Why can’t you stop eating and say just say ‘no'”

“You used to be so self-disciplined and in control. What happened?!”

This goes to show how scary and debilitating this disease is. No, it’s not just “about food.” For me, it’s always been about control. When I feel out of control in certain areas of my life (typically my career) the eating disorder behaviors and thoughts are stronger.

It’s good that I can recognize this pattern, though it does not necessarily make it any easier to treat myself with kindness. My therapists reiterates the need for me to practice self-compassion. It’s hard to engage in those kinds of exercises – I don’t even know where to begin. The thought seems so foreign; I’ve been my biggest enemy my whole life.

Maybe that’s what scares me. My eating disorder has been my “identity” for so long that It’s hard to picture who I am without it – who I want to be. I know I need to be more open-minded and put myself out there. It’s overwhelming to know where to start, but the important thing is to actually start AND give myself credit for putting in the effort.

I few things that I have tried to shift my focus to lately:

  • Cooking healthier meals from scratch
  • Blogging
  • Reading
  • Running
  • Weight lifting

I know that I still have a long way to go. Right now it’s important that I don’t backtrack and keep moving forward by focusing on what I want my life to look like in the future:

  • A runner ( half-marathon)
  • An artist
  • A healthy lifestyle blogger/figure
  • A mother

One day at a time – onwards and upwards, my friends!