Before Pictures

Taking before pictures has never bothered me. I mean, it is what it is, right?

You put on a brave face, find some decent lighting, and set the timer on your phone or take a mirror selfie. You have full control over who sees it and WHEN they see it. You also get to take as many pics as you need to before selecting the perfect “before”.

However, when you step into a room of strangers, a professional photographer, and nothing but a tiny bikini on under your sweat clothes. . .yeah, I sweated more in that 10min than I ever have during a workout!

For the challenge, it said that the judging is mainly based on pictures. So being the nerd that I am, I looked at the winners from past challenges. All of their before pictures were in two piece swimwear or active-wear.

I assumed that the other participants would be stripping down to their skivvies too. . .but NOOOOOOO. . .just me, my chubs and my tiny bikini lol

I consider myself a pretty confident person, but let me tell you, I wanted to throw up and get some cardio by running away! But I didn’t. I just said, well, I’m wearing a bikini so y’all get ready for all my glory!

I can only hope that my winter body and skin tone look nice against the black bikini and white background. Maybe the headline on the USA Today paper was engaging enough to draw everyone’s attention to the headline instead of my waistline.

Or. . .maybe everyone there was just like me. Too busy judging their own bodies to give a hoot about the glaringly white, chubby chick, sweating in the bikini.

Take a moment and think about the last time you were anxious about what others thought. Are you giving “them” and their thoughts of you more power than you give yourself? Do you let what MIGHT be going through a strangers mind stop you from experiencing something great?

I didn’t like the feeling of standing there, a foot away from a professional lens with all my razor bumps and super chubs, but I can guarantee I’m gonna like posing down in 12 weeks looking like a winner! (and hopefully with a tan!)201511_1122_aaaba_sm



Break the Cycle

Sometimes you don’t realize that you are a part of a cycle. Sometimes you do, but you don’t know how to break it.

You worry that you will end up just like the people that hurt you. Wondering if you should even take certain opportunities for fear of royally screwing things up.

Guess what- the fact that you’re worried about it is a step in the right direction! You’ve ACKNOWLEDGED that you were hurt. You realize that you have been mistreated. Not wanting to cause misery for someone else is a good thing. However, if your fear is getting in the way of living your BEST life, then it’s time to break the cycle IN YOUR HEAD!

For me, it’s my physical appearance (see my Showgirl blog). It’s like no matter WHAT I look like, I get negative feedback. And for me, I’d rather those people in my life not feel threatened by me when I look good. . .that is until my breakthrough a few nights ago. I was telling my success partner that I know I can get in shape with abs and all the rest- I’ve DONE it before. But every time I’ve looked good, I get accused of forgetting where I’ve come from, being showy, and self-absorbed. Are those things true?? Pft- who knows. . .but I do know one thing, if those things are true, they’ve ALWAYS been there, not just because I look good. The same goes for when I’ve put on weight. The whole “are you pregnant”, you sure have gotten “healthy” and here comes chubby.

Because I’ve always been proud of who I am and consider myself to be a very caring and approachable person, I quickly realized that I would rather be a little chubby & deal with stupid remarks, than to look good and make people feel inferior.

Not any more. I will NOT let the voices of a few, trump the SUPPORT of the many. I want and DESERVE to look and feel my best. Self-sabotage is no longer an option. It is not productive, nor is it fair to the majority of people that look to me for inspiration. Haters will always hate. And if someone feels inferior because of me, then maybe they should take some time to get to KNOW me. . .because I’m the farthest thing from superior. . .just ask my friends ♥

Are you holding back in your life because of physical, verbal, emotional abuse? Are you ready to BREAK THE CYCLE??*kisses*


Holiday Haters

Here’s the deal folks. I’ve always loved holidays- whether they celebrated ME or not! Holidays aren’t meant to be selfish. . . they are a time of giving and recognizing someone else 🙂

Take Valentine’s day, for example. It is NOT about single’s awareness- it is about LOVE. Love comes in all forms. . .Look around for goodness sake!

Loving your pets: and more importantly recognizing that they love you back. . . UNCONDITIONALLY!
When was the last time a human gave you a hug and wanted to snuggle after you left them in the house for 12hrs with nothing but a puppy pad and your favorite shoes to chew on?

How about a roommate that would listen to your drunken whines and complaints about life, even though you haven’t emptied the litter box in DAYS. And don’t even get me started on what you look like in the morning! Trust me- we are all tough to look at. . .yet pets don’t seem to mind. You have a Valentine- do something special for THEM!

My Mom’s Widow Brunch this year!

Widows: yeah I’m going there. Because while you are freakin’ hating life and throwing a full blown pity party- complete with Facebook invites and a Pinterest board- someone else is remembering a loved one they HAD.

My mom has held a Valentine’s Day Brunch (see picture) for the local widows for as long as I remember. My sister and I (and

eventually the master swooner that is my brother!) would be the servers. We got to experience an amazing connectedness and selflessness with a group of people that actually have a reason to HATE Valentine’s Day- send someone that has lost a loved one a Valentine.

Yourself: this is what it really boils down to! Are you ready? It’s very simple: love yourself and you won’t expect it OR need it from someone else.

People that are at peace with who they are, accept their flaws, celebrate their strengths- don’t need the fanfare of any holiday! They can enjoy the happiness that others receive. Because they love themselves, they are COMFORTABLE loving others. When was the last time you reflected on yourself and thought, “You know what? I’m alright. . .I’ve gone through some crappy times, but I’m a darn good person and I love who I’m shaping up to be. I can be satisfied with myself and not steal joy from others because I know I’m complete-“

You don’t NEED anyone- people are just the icing on the cake ❤

The Blank Card

“And finally, the card that represents the future”. . .she flipped over the card and gasped. . .”Oh MY! This is a wonderful card! It’s not even supposed to be in the deck-“.
My card was blank. Clean slate. I could fill it with ANYTHING.

There in that tiny room, my world exploded- I mean, it’s everyone’s hope that they are at a place in their life where they have unlimited possibilities. Nothing holding them back. . .I’ve always been a planner. Never living in the present, always looking forward. Had I seen a blank card even a year ago, I would have had a category 5 panic attack!! But today, when she flipped it over- not even knowing what it meant- I smiled.

For the first time in my life, I don’t know what’s coming, I don’t have plans, I’m not in control. . .AND I’M OK WITH THAT!

ImageRelinquishing control is a matter of TRUST. If you surround yourself with people and environments that you trust, there is no fear of what will happen. If you TRUST your partner, you don’t feel the need to CONTROL their activities. When you TRUST your children, CONTROLLING their decisions is unnecessary. The opposite is true of distrust. Sometimes we have valid reasons for not trusting someone, in which case we need to evaluate whether the relationship should remain a vital part of our life.  Other times we assume worse-case scenarios and let anxiety cloud our judgments of what is ACTUALLY happening.

Take some time to reflect- in reality, we’ve all been dealt blank cards for the future. You may see things differently through the glasses of the past and present. But take the glasses off-  if life dealt you a blank card, how would you react? What would you do differently?