Don’t Be Afraid to Be You!

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This rang deep and true tonight. I cannot count the numbers of time…a week…I get the age old questions:

“When are you going to stop moving?”
“When are you going to settle down?”
“We have bets on when you’re going to buy a house.”
“Don’t you want to get married?
“When are you going to have kids?”
“How are you going to do [any of the above] if you keep living your life the way that you do?”

Most of the times these questions are pretty offensive. Okay, all of the time. And they usually come from people I know. These aren’t strangers. They are friends, acquaintances, sometimes family members. It gets old trying to explain myself, or even feeling like I have to explain or justify my life to someone else. Because, the fact of the matter is, my life is my own. We’re ALL on different journeys and paths. We all reach specific destinations along that path when it’s our time. 

I’m very deeply rooted in my faith and the belief that God has a plan for me. This was confirmed for me this evening when I happened to open up to tonight’s devotional with these thoughts on my mind:

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“Love Out Loud: 365 Devotions for Loving God, Loving Yourself, and Loving Others” – Joyce Meyer

My plan definitely looks nothing like yours, or yours, or yours over there in the corner. And that’s okay. Because my life is not supposed to look like anything else’s but my own. So, reading this today rang true and clear.

I don’t follow the typical “rules” of society. If that were the case I’d be in the white picket-fenced house with a two-car garage and a family of four, not because it’s what I want, but because it’s what I’m “supposed” to do as a young woman of forever 25. I’m not sure where the seed was planted by society to set up boxes of artificial rules that are only applicable to…hmmmm…NO ONE! And everyone buys into it at some point until you become confident enough in yourself to be okay with “breaking the rules.”

I live my life according to the journey and path God has set out for me. This path is not always smooth sailing; it’s not supposed to be. It’s full of obstacles and detours. But, this life of mine has taken me overseas, allowed me to see places I never thought would be possible, placed me living in multiple states, provided me with multiple job opportunities and a professional career, has removed seasonal people from my life when its their time to go and left me with amazing people who are here to stay. Is everyday sunshine and rainbows for me? No. Are there things that I sometimes wish were already in place? Sure. I’m human. But overall I am filled with a feeling of content and happiness, because I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. 

So, when people ask me “how do you do what you do with the strength in which you do it?”, all I can say is all of THIS is beyond me. In fact, it has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with Him. But, that’s just my journey…

…And I’m sticking to it!

Eating Orange Chicken While Learning To Be Human

It was one of those days today. You know the kind, where you cannot wait to leave work because your eyes are so heavy you’re about to drop. I barely made the one minute walk it takes me to get from my office to my apartment (I guess I’m kind of lucky that way). As soon as I got home I threw on pajamas, poured a glass of wine, and stared at my bed, tempted to just turn out the lights and go to sleep. Did I mention it was 5:30pm?

But I was hungry, out of fresh produce, and the only meal-type substance was the Trader Joes’s package of frozen orange chicken that I intended to combine with left over brown rice. A dinner that I would normally crave every once in awhile, but then close the freezer instead and turn to grilled chicken and fresh veggies. But today the package came out. Because it was a long day, and I was hungry.

As I took the finished chicken out of the oven and poured that oh so yummy orange glaze over it, my stomach turned just a little. What was that? Had to be nothing. One night of breaded, high fructose-glazed chicken wasn’t going to kill me, right?

I got down a bowl, filled it with rice, added the chicken, and made sure to get some of the extra glaze with a spoon. But as I saw down and ate it, I found myself overcome with a feeling of dissatisfaction. All I could think about was “I wish I hadn’t been so lazy to drive the 5 minutes it takes to get to the grocery store and make a fresh meal. How much yummier a fresh green salad would taste right about now.” You know the feeling – when your body is so used to eating “healthy” (a relative term – but for me meaning no fried or breaded foods, low in calories and fat, etc.) and you go off the course KNOWING it’s not going to be good for you, but you give in to tempation anyway? Yet all it results in is a yucky stomach and pounds of regret? Yah, that one.

So as I sat, eating my orange chicken, wishing I had stuck with my gut knowing what the outcome would be but doing it anyways, wishing I had made better choices, I reflected on life choices. I thought about the difficult and challenging decisions I have had to make along my journey to get to where I am today. I thought about being stuck in that moment of feeling that causes us to forget about all of the hard work and hard decisions we’ve had to make for ourselves and our well-being in order to get to the point in which we’re at right now…and for all of it to go downhill or backwards in that moment of weakness. It’s the same story each time, and it only leaves feelings of dissatisfaction, guilt, regret, and sometimes disappointment (in ourselves).

So as I sat, eating my orange chicken, thinking about it’s metaphor for all of the other things in my life, I stopped. I listened to my [now disgruntled] gut and realized I know what’s best for me!

Life’s choices aren’t easy. There’s plenty of times I want to contact someone from the past knowing the end result is always going to be the same and it never turns out any good. There’s that sweet tooth of mine that would rather be eating fruit tarts and Subway cookies instead of fresh made juices and smoothies. Oh, and don’t forget about the infamous Snooze button that I’d rather press in the morning instead of getting out of bed and getting in some exercise.

Life is a constant battle of choice. As I continue living and learning, I’m learning to allow myself to focus on my accomplishments and achievements. I am learning to leave room for forgiveness of myself for the mistakes I am sure to make along the way. I will not get so deep rooted in moments of mishap that I allow myself to get completely off course, because I will recognize that I am human.

We live and we learn! BUT, the next time I see some orange chicken, I will most DEFINITELY be running the other way!

Running for the right reasons

Today I posted this on my Facebook page:

I appreciate my friends and FB community that continue to encourage each other towards health and wellness. We’re all on different paths: some of us trying to incorporate better habits, some looking for the motivation to continue working out, or even just to start. 

Knowing this, it saddens me to see posts resembling discouragement and attempts to gain body image validation. No one needs to hear how much we weigh or what our numbers are. How do we know posts about how “overweight” we think we may be (knowing good and well we aren’t) isn’t impacting someone else who may be really struggling with that issue? 

We all have set standards in terms of body image that we set for ourselves in how we want to look, but let’s continue to EMPOWER and ENCOURAGE one another towards a healthy and long-lasting lifetime. 🙂

Blogging, luckily, allows me to expand my thoughts without overflowing a News Feed. 🙂

I was surprised by how well received this message was. Not because I didn’t think it was a good message, but what it made me realize is how easy it is be consumed by society and its definition of beauty. Why are you motivated to go to the gym? Is it because you want to be a better you? Or are you looking to fit a socially-constructed standard? Sometimes I have to ask myself this same question from time to time. 

History: I always wanted to be a Dietician. If someone asked me right now “If you could be anything you wanted in life right now without any barriers, what would it be?” My answer would be, “To become a Dietician.” Maybe it’s the multiple genetic ailments I am prone to and try my best to beat those inheritances, or maybe it’s just my love of food and finding better ways to eat what I love. Either way, I’ve always been interested in health, fitness and how these things affect our holistic well being. But rather in excelling in biological sciences, I excelled in communication and human development. Darn my interpersonal people skills!! 

Back to the present: In spite of this, I am finding new ways to share and dialogue about my love of food, health, and fitness in positive and transformational ways with others. I can care less about how much you weigh. Heck, I don’t even want to know how much I weigh! With the images on TV and in the media, with shows like Keeping up with Kardashians (who said we had to keep up with them anyways? #sidenote), we’re almost trained to find the flaws within ourselves. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times I looked in the mirror wishing certain rolls, wrinkles, and dents would disappear. But I’m no longer interested in society’s definition of beauty. I’m not interested in society’s attempt to define me in terms of this “defined beauty.” I’m interested in living a full, healthy, and happy life. Posting a freshly made juice here, a new creative dinner there…not only is it fun for me, but I am happy to know that I’m able to be a positive motivator to others as much as others continue to motivate and positively influence me. 

I’m not interested in tearing others done. I’m interested in lifting others up!! Think about how much better the world would be if this were everyone’s life philosophy? 🙂 We all need an extra push here and there. I love seeing friends’ FB posts about their runs, new recipes, and overcoming the infamous SNOOZE button! 

Learning to be no one else but a better me continues to be a long and difficult journey. I work at it every day. But, as I continue to grow, it become easier. 

So, as I continue on the journey of becoming a better me, I thank you in joining me, and I ask that you continue to keep me going, just as I’ll try to do the same thing for you. 😀

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Always aiming to be a better me!

 

Now…where did I put my chocolate bar? Everything in moderation! We only live once, right? 😉

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For the love of dark chocolate…and life!

 

Inspired by You

Life has taken a turn. I am finding myself in moments of peace, tranquility, and contentment in ways I have not experienced before. Life transforms us is multiple ways, and not always through positive moments. I do believe that through life’s challenges we begin to find ourselves.

I have had requests lately by multiple people to start a blog. “What could I possibly talk about that is remotely interesting or worth blogging about?” I asked myself. I really don’t feel that my life is that interesting, but maybe that’s because I’m living it. But tonight I figure, why not? People will either read it or they won’t. At least it will give me the opportunity to reflect back on my life and learn from my continuous forward-moving journey.

So with that said, here is my first official post! I hope to share moments of happiness, challenge, learning, and thoughts on life as I continue learning and living it. I hope to continue to be an inspiration and motivation to others as I continue to be influenced and motivated by those around me.

As I sat at my desk today drinking Yogi Tea (one of my favorite brands), I reflected on the inspirational messages it offered. Maybe it was just coincidence, but I’ll take it as a sign. 😉

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