Ok, sooooooo

OBVI… I’ve kind of failed.

I will be damn, completely F******* straight with you in that I have 100% FAILED to stay on plan.

Like completely failed.

Today I had a brownie, a Rice Krispie treat, a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich and some chicken alfredo.

Do I feel bad about it? I mean, kinda.

Okay, since we are being honest, I’m beating myself to a pulp over my lack of all the things as of late.

Let’s start with the positives before I get down and dirty about my habits. 32464407_10157362122731729_5572731121805819904_n (1)

  1. I am officially a face painter! I’ve performed five shows in the past week and painted about 200 adorable kids faces with the likes of Batman, Pokemon balls, butterflies, hearts, unicorns and gotten a smile every time! It’s been an incredibly rewarding thing and I’m learning more every single time. (Side note: I now want ALL THE COLORS)
  2. I am doing amazing at my job as a marketing strategist. I helped design a $50K launch ($32K of that was in ONE DAY) and continue to blow my bosses minds with creative ideas and kickass webinars and presentations. They want to move me to salary!
  3. My boyfriend is amazing.
  4. I have been able to pay all my bills every month and come home to an awesome apartment with the perfect kitten 🙂

Life is amazing. Yes.

But, I’m also human and to top it all off, I’m a woman. So OF COURSE I have come to the conclusion that none of this matters because I’m about 50 lbs overweight and I have done absolutely nothing to improve that situation.

It sucks.

I feel gross. My clothes don’t fit and I have zero to no energy. Side note: Zero to no energy equals out to zero to no sex drive 😦

Here’s a question for all you awesome readers out there: How do you “get in the mood” if you will, when you don’t feel sexy yourself? I adore my boyfriend and want to make him happy, but I can’t bring myself to feel sexy enough to want to play.

I want to like myself in pictures again. I want to feel motivated. I want to eat healthy.

Why is this so hard?

This is a short post to an extent and honestly, probably not a productive one for your day. If anything, I have to say this: Keep going and keep trucking. That’s my advice.

Now I want yours!

How do you amazing and beautiful curvy girls stay confident? I envy your amazing attitudes.

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But here’s my goals, so PiYo maybe?

I have no idea what I weigh right now.

Honestly, I don’t think I really care.

All I know is that I’m not fitting into clothes. Everything is tight, I’m consistently uncomfortable in anything and I simply lose most motivation to do much except sit around on my computer all day.

The crazy thing is, I know how good I feel when I eat well. I know how energized I get when I work out. I know I’ll sleep better, perform better, think better, feel better if I eat well and work out.

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Me working out on a regular basis. Look how happy! 

 

Yet, I don’t.

I was on the phone with my mom last night and her and I have both struggled with weight basically our entire lives. While I was overly involved in sports as a kid, I was never the fastest or strongest. I wasn’t bad, just not the best. But I loved sports so much. Hated running, so I went for the water sports, but still.

Anyway, she said to me that when she has been most successful with weight loss it was because she had set very small goals for herself. For that week, and that week alone, she was going to do A and B. Then, the next week, she could keep those goals and add on, or change the goals completely. More often than not, she would keep the goals and maybe add one or simply go another week pursuing the same. These goals ranged from drinking 2 liters of water a day, exercising for 30 min per day, having sugar only once and not twice, etc.

I’m jealous of people who can do a full 180 and completely devote themselves to an eating and exercise plan right out the gate. I wish I could but I honestly get burnt out way too fast and I end up resenting all things, including myself and loved ones around me because I’m ashamed I couldn’t keep up.

I’ve always been someone who isn’t great about completely following through. I love to talk about things I’m going to do, and I’ll fall in love with an idea for a few weeks and then it fizzles out. Already, in the past six months, I’ve bought everything for face painting, hot yoga, a new meal plan, makeup, and a cat. The cat is doing great and I’m very on top of that 😉 Face painting is in a box in a closet while my yoga mat sits rolled up at the end of my bed.

Ok, so now it’s out in my living room so I can do a Beachbody PiYo workout with it…

Speaking of which, that’s what I want to start today. It’s Wednesday, so it’s not like MONDAY but I plan to follow the plan perhaps with Wednesdays being my Mondays. I love Pilates and Yoga, and Chalene Johnson is pretty badass so figured I would give it a go. I’m combining it, possible with T25 and the eating plan from Trim Healthy Mama. It’s a lot to take on, combined with drinking at least 100oz of water a day (128oz is the goal).

But maybe I can stick this one out. Maybe.

A New Plan (THM)

So……

I got fat. Like biggest-I’ve-ever-been-in-my-whole-entire-young-ish-life chubby.

Ready?

Last weigh in: 215 lbs. 51LXIV1+3GL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

2.1.5.

Yikes.

And no, that number didn’t shock me. I felt my clothes getting tighter, my face rounder, my energy levels at an all-time low and it requiring a hand and a knee to get up off the ground. Yeah, it wasn’t a surprise at all.

But it still hurt.

That number on the scale screamed at me: “This is all your fault!” “You can’t blame anyone else!” “It’s all the sugar you’ve been eating.” “You haven’t exercised in months.” and blah, blah, blah.

And the voices haven’t stopped. I’ve stopped taking photos of myself. I refuse to buy new clothes or even makeup really because I’ve gotten it into my head that I don’t deserve it.

Now, let me pause here and say this: I do not hate my body.

I don’t.

My body isn’t to blame for any of this. My body is overall fairly strong, mostly healthy, surrounded my beautiful skin and is perfectly capable of doing some amazing things. It has taken me to amazing places and experienced wonderful and beautiful adventures.

I don’t hate my body.

BUT…

It’s hard for me not to hate myself. It’s hard not to be angry for treating my body the way I have, taking it for granted and not caring for it properly. I have eaten many foods to avoid boredom or made excuses like “I just need comfort food right now.”

You all know that this happens. Girls are the queens of “I just really NEED this right now.”

And yes, our bodies need food. Like A LOT. But they need better food than what I’ve been giving it.

So…..

I’m trying something.

I’m trying the Trim Healthy Mama “lifestyle.” Heard of it? It SEEMS fairly easy actually, however, definitely a learning curve and I’ll be the first to say that I ROYALLY fucked up today. Like, sooooo much sugar. My breakfast was ALMOST on point until I gave in and had that delicious oatmeal english muffin. I had noodles for dinner and a bowl of cocoa pebbles in the afternoon. Oh, and some pecan bars were thrown in there too, did I mention those? Ooops.

However, strangely enough, this plan is making me a little more forgiving of myself. I did a hot yoga class the other night and remembered what it was like to have compassion and grace for yourself and your body. Yes, I’ve been out of the game for a good year. But it’s not too late for me, not at all.

If you’re trying THM, I would love to hear about your experiences too! Good luck to all of us women who are just trying to stay beautiful in every way thanks to the overwhelming pressures of media and the like. We’re all in this together! ❤

A Craving for A Simple Life

I am writing this as I sit on the cold, gray floor of my Seattle apartment. Above me is the overhang of the kitchen counter, across from me, my closet. Cubbies stuffed with socks, panties, workout gear, tank tops, shoes and books. Shirts and jackets hang next to scarves and dresses. My backpack and halfway-unpacked carry-on lie on the floor. My pink socks match the backpack’s pipe detail.

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To my left sit a brand-new pair of pale pink Converse; I bought them today for a multitude of reasons, one of which being that I really did need a pair of good tennis for the summer tour season. Next to them, my trusty violet yoga mat that has become a favorite possession. To my right, the living room with the comfiest couch I’ve ever slept on covered in decorative throw pillows.

I love it here, but I feel empty.

See, I have everything that I need and really want. I have a closet filled with too many cute clothes, a bathroom drawer stocked with expensive makeup and hair products, a warm shower with a heavenly lavender sugar scrub and a kitchen full of nutritional food and wine.

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I am writing on a decent laptop with an extremely high-quality wifi connection inside a safe apartment in a creative neighborhood of Seattle. I can walk to the yoga studio, Starbucks, grocery store and the lake. I have a car if I need to go further.

Yet, it all seems like too much.

My life is a whirlwind of adventure, of packed and unpacked bags and hellos and goodbyes. I love it. But what if I could make things just a little more… simple?

I’ve told a few of my close friends they are simple and that I love it. They live simply, love passionately and seem to find joy in the everyday. When asked what I was looking for in a life partner, I replied, “I want someone who I actually want to go through the hard times of life with. Someone with whom I can find the passion, joy and excitement in the everyday mundane.” I know that marriage isn’t easy; that more times than not it may be difficult, trying, frustrating and angry. But I suppose I have always had a feeling that if I did decide to get married, I wanted someone who I could embrace those tough times with.

In other words, someone who even if life was simple, it was still great.

I’ve had my share of relationships and I got really close to finding that life partner. We had a house and a cabin, we loved coming home to each other and making dinner together. Life was fairly simple. But I wasn’t ready for that simplicity quite yet. I still had to “find myself” as millennial judgers would say – I needed to travel to Europe, live on my own, go off and do whatever the hell I felt like. And while I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m done, I know that all the cute clothes, exciting new places, and chance encounters are not enough.

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What if it really is true that all of us want to find love? I feel like love is quite opposite of SIMPLE, but maybe my lack of “ignorance is bliss” has caused me to be so jaded by the idea of marriage and long-term commitment. But maybe part of me craves that lake house that I’ve always wanted with my coffee being made in the same place every morning instead of in a hotel room. Maybe I miss real silverware, dinner plates, a kitchen table and someone to make dinner for every night.

I miss not caring about someone coming along who is smarter, prettier, younger and more talented than I am. I miss not caring about whether my outfit is cute, my hair is long enough or the right color or if I am skinny enough to still be seen on stage.  In my industry it is almost a constant competition with other performers who are looking to get work just like you. As women, our battles are doubled when you take in the superficial and aesthetics of it all. Side note: Women – stop fighting against each other and instead, support each other. ❤

I used to think that living a simple life was boring. But there’s joy and excitement in the everyday if you look for it. I guess the simplicity I seek is maybe still a little muddy. In my travels, I have seen many people live much simpler lives and they are incredibly happy.

So, if anything, I leave you with this. Chase after a GREAT PERHAPS but try and find your center. Make life simple: Love fiercely and be kind. Enjoy the simple pleasures such as a good morning text, a hug from your best friend, a Starbucks coffee, blue skies against a still lake, a kid’s laughter and warm cookies. So many of us who travel don’t get to experience these simple things and we miss it.

So, if anyone ever calls you simple, just smile. We all want to be you anyway.

Be confident in your vulnerability.

“Be confident in your vulnerability.”

I heard this quote on a podcast recently called Maximize Your Strengths. The host, Alissa Daire Nelson, is a brilliant woman who I had the pleasure of meeting in Vegas at a convention and who I adored from the second I met her. It could be because her and I share four of our top five strengths… but, she’s also awesome. The quote above was heard during an interview she was having with Murray Guest during his talk on Individualization and I actually stopped the podcast for a second to ponder. Be confident in your vulnerability…

Let me preface this by saying that I DESPISE appearing vulnerable. Growing up, I was known as the girl who wore her emotions on her sleeve, who was dramatic and moody. While I’ll admit that not a whole lot has changed in the dramatic sense of things, I have made it a point to appear tough, put together and confident. I would tell myself that I was always in control of the situation, that I had the upper hand and that I would never let what happened to another person happen to me. In a way, I refused to accept that I was simply human.

I have always been a student of life. I LOVE talking to people from all over the world, learning about them and seeking advice and wisdom so as to maybe approach situations in my life with a little more awareness. I have become incredibly confident in myself and the person that I am, though almost to a fault in that I confuse confidence and control on an almost daily basis. But nevertheless, I always seek to learn from situations, to walk away with some piece of wisdom that I can pass on to the next person I see who is about to act how I did.

Let’s just say, it had been a while since I had truly “learned my lesson.”

To make a long story short, I let my guard down with a guy which resulted in me falling for him, getting incredibly hurt and reacting at a stage-five clinger/crazy girl level. While I should have accepted that he was a complete douchebag who thrived on playing on girls emotions, I was more upset about how I reacted. I was furious that I let him get to me, to get under my skin and close enough that he could manipulate me. I was livid that instead of being the strong girl and just walking away without a word, I tried so hard to “win him back” and to convince him that I was different from all the other girls. I had lost control of the situation that I had such a firm grasp over at the beginning. The ball was not in my court, I didn’t have the upper hand, and I was vulnerable. I didn’t eat for three days and I cried for five.

This loss of control wasn’t necessarily over this guy alone. He was more of a straw that broke the camel’s back that combined with me not having a strong support system, hating my job, in a less-than-ideal living situation, being single during the holidays, and whatever other self-pity nonsense you want to toss in there that caused me to spiral. But I won’t lie in saying that I was SO hurt.

Why is it that matters of the heart can damage us so much more than any broken bone or harsh word in this world?

But as I said before, I like to walk away from any situation with a learned lesson and I was able to add plenty to my list of lessons learned in life after this whole situation. I was able to start the New Year with a brand new outlook and list of goals and passions that I can only fully focus on if I’m single.

But with all of these new goals comes certain vulnerability… but I think I’m ready. Being a human makes us mortal which automatically makes us vulnerable. We are vulnerable walking across the street, eating by ourselves in a café, talking to a new person and taking on a new task. But if we are confident in that vulnerability, if we accept that we are human and not perfect, then we can approach so many things with such a higher level of confidence. And ultimately, that confidence will lead us to do many great things.

So be confident in your vulnerability and embrace it.

A Weekend In Jaco

I originally wrote this post for Tico Lingo, a Spanish immersion school located in Heredia, Costa Rica, as part of a WorkAway program. I wanted to share this adventure as well as some tips about a weekend adventure you could have while visiting Tico Land! 13102866_10154612081706729_5779748262555390554_n.jpg

Wanting to step outside of the valley for the weekend, I ventured to the quirky town of Jaco in search of sandy beaches, pina coladas and a little spontaneity. What I found was so much more than I had originally expected. I’ll preface this by stating that the original plan was to spend a short time in Jaco simply as a stopover to Manuel Antonio. I’ll cut to the chase, however, and confess that one night in Jaco quickly turned into three with absolutely zero regrets on my part.

HOW TO GET THERE

I was able to catch a local bus to San Jose for a mere 550 colones (roughly $1) directly to the Coca Cola station. From there, I asked a few locals where to catch the bus directly to Jaco. (Side note: Always try and get on a “directo” bus. This will be the quickest route to your location.) Many locals recommended I get a taxi directly to the new 7-10 station since the area was a little sketchy and I had a backpack worth of goodies on me. So for 2000 colones I jumped in a red taxi with a yellow triangle (super important!) and got dropped off in front of the station. It looks just like a mall with the tickets being sold upstairs and the boarding downstairs. Cough up 2335 colones for a one-way ticket and jump on the 2- hour ride to Jaco!

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At the base of a waterfall 20 minutes from Jaco Beach! 

The bus will drop you off at the main Jaco station directly across from the Best Western hotel. Take a left and begin your journey down the main drag of Jaco town!

WHERE TO STAY

As I mentioned before, the original plan was just to crash in Jaco for the night and then head out to Manuel Antonio. However, it wasn’t that long before I realized I wanted to spend more than 24 hours in this hippie beach town.

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ROOM2BOARD HOSTEL – Starts at $18 a night

I was ridiculously impressed with this hostel. Not only was the price definitely affordable but this place was literally right on the beach! This boutique hotel offered a luscious pool with a waterslide and plenty of poolside seating as well as a bar that offers $5 cocktails, woodfired pizza and a talented and helpful staff. They also have a giant wall where they project movies or hockey games until 11 p.m. The final icing on the cake? Rooftop hammocks overlooking beautiful Jaco beach and the Pacific Ocean.

BUDDHA HOUSE

A friend and I splurged and booked a private room in this boutique hostel kitty-corner to Le Loft and The Green Room. The weather in Jaco can be brutal in terms of heat so having a room with a private shower and air conditioning was well worth the $25 each. Also, having a private hammock and bean bag chair wasn’t too shabby either.

WHERE TO EAT

THE GREEN ROOM – $6-$10

There are tons of small sodas, coffee houses and bars that offer some delicious quick bites but for slightly above your normal Costa Rican fare. Friends and I stumbled upon The Green Room and we were immediately hooked, eating there three times during our stay! This place offers many delicious and fresh choices such as banana pancakes, vegetarian breakfast burritos and fizzy berry mojitos. Even their water is great as it is infused with mint, basil and cucumber before being served cold. This place has amazing live music every night, plenty of art for sale and fair prices for the high quality.

WHAT TO DO

Jaco is a fairly tourist town so the main strip is covered in choices for ATV, zipline, waterfall, crocodile and biking tours. A friend and I chose Costa Rica Waterfall Tours for our Explorer Tour climbing 10 waterfalls and jumping off a few of them! This adventure took us 4x4ing through the jungle to a serene waterfall where all you could hear was the sound of water and birds. With the help of a local Tico guide, our group hiked down to the bottom of this 10-waterfall canyon and hiked our way up, stopping to jump off cliffs as high as 20 feet! I’ll admit my knees were a little shaky but it was well worth it!