This is pretty nifty

I'm sure you've all seen the new Dove Beauty Campaign that's been circulating around.  If not, here is the link: Real beauty Sketches

I felt that this was a great way to just reiterate the need to recognize your inner beauty and to give yourself credit where credit is due. I think Dove said only 4% of women find themselves beautiful, which, with a small number, one can only assume that there are models and women society finds exceptionally beautiful who are not within that small number.  Just because they have been hyped up in our eyes doesn't mean that they feel any differently about themselves than what we feel about ourselves.

This serves as a very profound reminder that we are all far too critical of ourselves, and I hope that someday, we will be able to, myself included, see our positive attributes and feel that those are the most prominent features as opposed to our negative being the first and foremost in our minds.


Settling into a weight higher than your goal weight and being okay with it.

Hello all! 

So, some of you already know, but some of you don't, I have been dieting and losing weight for the past year (I've been losing for about three, but 2012 when I really started getting serious about it.) And I wanted to share a little bit about my journey! 

So, my starting, starting weight, when I my husband and I started dating was 146.  At 5'6" that put my BMI at 23.6 -just above the middle of healthy.  Which was good!  And doing online research, that was actually my ideal weight. 

BUT - of course I wasn't happy with that, so I lost a few pounds for our wedding and settled at 142 and after our wedding I was at 136, which put my BMI at 21.9, which is right where it should have been. 

I decided though, in 2012, that I really wanted to start getting control of my weight, because I simply wasn't happy with it, and I wanted to make sure I was making good decisions and I wanted to lose a little bit of my belly fat.  I'm naturally apple/banana shaped, so my middle is where the bulge typically happens.  It's not something I'm super happy about, but I can guarantee you pears aren't happy with their shape either, and the same for for hourglass people or inverted triangles or what have you.  Most of the time, we simply aren't happy with what we are and want different.  

I started a food journal, and started to seriously diet.  I wanted to lose a pound a week and so, according to my exercise levels (none at the time) my caloric intake should be 1200.  And I stuck to that, for a year, and actually a little into 2013 as well.  I made very careful measurements on what I was eating to make sure I wasn't going over that, of if I did it wasn't often. 

So fast forward a year...and having grown an inch, weird I know, I lost an additional 21 pounds, putting me at 115 at 5'7" with a BMI of 18.  Whoops.  Guess who's now underweight, still unhappy, still flabby and only eating the bare minimum? This gal!

It wasn't pretty.  Honestly, I loved seeing that number, and my secret goal was 110, for a BMI of 17.2.  The lowest a person can go BMI wise and still be considered healthy is 18.5.  I've always fallen into the habit of wanting extremes and my weight loss and calorie counting was no different. The problem was, I was always moody, and my digestive system, which I'm fairly certain has inherited my dad's digestive issues was starting to really act up.  I was just having issue after issue after issue. 

So! Fast forward to a month ago.  I started working out big time.  I'm doing Billy Blanks Tae-Bo around 6 days a week, and I'm eating around 1400-1550 calories a day.  I've gained five pounds, but I'm still getting thinner because I'm toning up big time, and for the first time I'm actually doing pretty good.  It's bitter sweet because I've always wanted to be one of those "stick girls" because I never was, and I've always wanted to be considered super skinny, but the fact remains is that I know it's not healthy for me, and I know my husband was getting increasingly worried, and honestly I'm kinda tired thinking about food all the time.  And interestingly, something I've noticed is that when I give myself more leway in how much I eat, I don't necessarily feel like I have to push that boundary all the time, which is nice. 

I'm also trying to really balance my meals; we've cut out our sodium intake by leaps and bounds and my next goal is...you guessed it: sugar.  Fat content has never really been an issue for us, but the sugar is really kicking my butt as of late and I'm trying really hard to eat my fruits and that be the only sugar I take in.  I'm still tracking my intake with the food journal and their idea of sugar levels I think is a bit extreme, so I'm trying to be realistic about it all and not stress out too much; just cut out the bad stuff. 

It's been a big struggle learning to accept that my body insists on nutrition, as dumb as that sounds, but looking through the ages and seeing how we have skinnified our society to the point where there is a complete and total misconception of beauty! It's so frustrating! 

Beauty Ideals throughout history This is just a brief slide showing how much our perception of beauty has changed; the feminine figure has always been a struggle for people who were born with the natural version of it because we continue to expect the exception to become the rule.  I'm not saying there is anything wrong with recognizing abnormally beautiful people and thinking they are beautiful, but to say to the person who wasn't born with the perfect combination of facial features, eyes, height, weight, breasts, that the anomaly is now their inspiration is unfair and unreasonable. Plus that, talk about pressure for the 'perfect' people out there!  Kirstie Clements, a former top editor of Vogue Australia recently revealed that models ate tissues - you know, the stuff you blow boogers into, in order to stay full longer so they wouldn't succumb to eating! How ridiculous is that! And not only is that expected, it's accepted! How on earth can a person who's body is normal simply because she eats a decent amount of calories be expected to compare herself to the woman who hasn't eaten in three days other than tissue paper? That's like comparing chicken to a Macaw and saying the chicken is ugly because they weren't born a Macaw! And even that's not an accurate perception because at least the Macaw gets to eat, probably more than the models out there these days. 

I visited a site called Modeling Advice while I was trying to find photos of the average modeling size and came across their article on Fashion Model Size.  From their website it reads:

In checking around it looks like for Fall 2003 they are back to tall and very thin - 5' 9 to 5'10", size 2 to 4 but I think they would love size 0. If you are USA average of 5'6" size 10/12 forget about any hope of being a high fashion model this season.

...Am I the only one whose blood is boiling at reading that?  Seriously?? "Forget about any hope of being a high fashion model this season." So basically, you don't fit in, forget it. And I understand completely that in the modeling industry you have to understand and accept that there are certain things that they are looking for in a person and that's the way it is.  That's not my beef...I guess my problem is the fact that these extremes of  what a human look like are being considered what is normal and to be aspired to.  That's what the problem is.

Argh.  I'm on a roll, sorry.  This has been bugging me for a while.  I understand it's natural to want to look good, but we need to change our perception of what "good" is.  We need to understand that our bodies aren't meant to show our rib cage and we're not meant to eat tissue paper in order not to gain weight...it's so terribly frustrating. I've shared this site on here before, but I want to share it again.  Healthy is the new Skinny because this group is bound and determined to help change the mindset of the too skinny model. Their goal, as stated from the website: 

Healthy is the New Skinny (HNS) represents a platform for women to get information and support that leads to the evolution of each individuals mind, body, and spirit.  The media defines women and beauty in a very narrow way, which has contributed to woman hating their bodies and themselves.  You are the most beautiful when you are happy and healthy. You can’t love life if you do not love yourself.  HNS is a movement to support women all over the world to love themselves and each other. We strongly believe by doing this we can shift the balance of love in the world through the strong love of woman.  We believe women are the source of love in the world and we are unable to spread that love if we have no love for ourselves.  We were not born to hate our bodies or to name more things we dislike about ourselves than we like, these things have all been taught through our culture and media.  At HNS we view it as our responsibility to promote and protect that source of love and in order for us to change the world we have to start my changing ourselves!

 Core Beliefs

  • It is not enough to say “I love my body” how you treat your body is how you show your love and respect for your body.
  • By changing your thought process you can live a realistic and healthy lifestyle by being active and eating foods that are nutritious and supply your body with energy.
  • We believe every woman has her own natural, healthy weight and body size that cannot be defined by a chart or a comparison to models in magazines.
  • You are your most beautiful when you are healthy in mind, body, and spirit. One of these should not be valued over any of the others because together they equal a perfect balance.
  • Be kind and forgiving to yourself.  You are human and this life is a learning environment. You can’t change the past but in this moment you can make choices that will determine who you will become in the future.
  • We believe feminine energy and love will be abundant if we unite as a team to support and love each other and ourselves.
  • We do not believe every single model is unhealthy but we do believe that by showing only one specific body type (abnormally thin and tall) as the beauty ideal for ALL girls and women is creating an unhealthy negative environment.
  • We believe by showing girls all different types of beautiful healthy bodies, not valuing one over the other, this will allow girls and women to be more accepting and loving of their own bodies. This will result in them having less anxiety and animosity towards each other.
  • Everyone wants to be valued.  Every girl wants to be special. Girls are searching for something like the label of “model” to define them as special.  The truth is they are already special and beautiful but because of our beauty culture, girls are not able to recognize the beauty in themselves.  We feel it is our responsibility at HNS redefine what we see and value as beautiful and to help girls see and feel the true meaning of “Beauty.”
I really believe that we need more websites and people like this.  I've been finding myself more and more trying not to focus on that stupid little number on the scale and more on how I feel and how I look and how I'm perceiving myself.  My husband has been a big help because he tells me when I'm starting to wallow in that nasty, "I'm fat" cycle and he'll tell me to eat when I don't want to.  Having someone to help you through that is a big help and quite invaluable in my opinion. 

I also am seriously considering starting to model simply because I want to be able to help the mindset that you don't have to be unhealthy skinny in order to look happy, healthy and model worthy.  I've had a couple of people come up and talk to me about modeling, specifically because I have the long hair, and while I don't want a stranger to take my photos I am going to ask my husband to help with this...it might be small, but I hope it will help a little. 

So that's my rant for now. For me, it just all goes back to being able to praise God for what you have and are, and learning to make yourselves as glorifying to Him as possible. 

I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. - Psalm 139:14


He is faithful

Hello all!

So I'm back from a mini trip, which is why I've been incognito - sort of - that and trying to catch up on work stuff.

We went to Washington, D.C., which is far from my favorite place, but we did see some amazing things while there, and I had several good experiences that I'm going to share with you.

First, the obligatory hair geekery - I used a shampoo for the first time in a month on the trip, mainly because we were sharing a house with all of my husband's family members and I didn't want to hog the hot water with my CO washing method, so I bought a V05 shampoo - not the one I wanted - and used that.  I definitely felt the effects of the detergent soaps and my hair was a little more "sticky", I'm guessing my hair follicles opening up a little bit more than with the conditioner, but when it dried it behaved just fine. I will - hopefully - be able to find a nicer shampoo than the one I used there, I think it was their body/volume/balanced option - can't remember - and I just didn't care for the smell.  I might revisit my Giovanni shampoos to see if those work better, and I'll use them to clarify about once a month.

Here are the results of my hair with CO only and a clarifying shampoo (This is about two weeks after the trip, so keep that in mind.  It's soooo shiny today!:

Okay! Onto the more fun stuff:
So in D.C. we visit the Nature and Science Museum, Air and Space Museum, Asian Art Museum, Spy Museum, Library of Congress, Botanical Garden, The Castle, Arlington, The National Cathedral and I think that was it...oh and we also saw some of the Saint Patrick's Day Parade, which lasted all....day.  It was crazy trying to cross the street to get to the different museums.

Here are some of the photos of the various places we saw:

Botanical Gardens

Library of Congress

Diamonds are forever



I wanted to save the reason for the title for my blog for last, because it was by far the most profound and lasting thing that I experienced on our way out to D.C.  For those of you who know me, I have a petrifying fear of flying...I can't stand it, I go into conniptions, and, before you suggest it, Valium doesn't work.  (The last time I flew and I took Valium I went into a laughing fit at our gate and the flipped out on the plane.  Not cool.)

I considered going to the doctor for quite some time because I thought I could take this pill that kills your anxiety, but keeps you alert at the same time, which is preferable because if I'm knocked out, then how on earth would I be able to know if we are dying?? I don't want to go onto a plane and fall asleep because of a drug knowing that there is the possibility I won't wake up.  I just don't like that at all.

So anyways...after struggling with the idea of medication for a few weeks I realized that I needed to do this without the aid of a pill.  Why? Because fear is not becoming of a Child of Christ, and to indulge in my fears and seek the comforts of the world to fix it just wasn't right for me.  I'm NOT saying that people who use medication to help them fly or through any other situation are doing the wrong thing, but what I am saying is that I felt the absolute conviction that it wasn't right for me.  God very distinctly gave me the impression that I was not to do this through chemical means, but rather through spiritual.  What did that mean?  Pray my butt off, that's what it meant.

So I did...I prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and the first two flights were glorious.  No bumps, easy landings, it was incredibly soothing - I even fell asleep on them!

So going into our last two flights - we had layovers for both journeys to and from home - I knew that I would be comforted.  Which I was, only this time I was being comforted through a CRAP LOAD OF TURBULENCE!!! Good heavens it was terrible!!! I'm pretty sure the pilot had something to do with it, especially when we were landing and he attempted with the plane what I would guess a bucking bronco might attempt when trying to unseat his rider.

But get this...throughout the entire thing I didn't feel a single ounce of anxiety!  I still, out of habit, grabbed the seat in front of me and I still got those stomach in my throat feelings, but so did everyone else because our plane felt like it was skidding on ice.

Our final flight home was much less bumpy and our landing was great, but seriously, guys I cannot express to you the absolute calm I felt through all of them.  My adrenaline was up a little bit on the very first flight, and I can't help that, but the fear and the anxiety and the dread and the knowing with absolute certainty I was going to die in a fiery plane crash just. wasn't. there. Praise. God!  It was awesome.

I know that, had I gone to the doctor and gotten a pill, I could have probably gotten something that would have helped, but that doesn't change the fact that I did what I'm certain God asked of me, and He gave me what I needed, which was entire peace.  I experience peace with the acceptance that if anything did happen, then I knew where I was going anyway, regardless if I got there in a big metal tomb with wings or of old age.  It didn't matter, I would be going to the same place.  It was so nice.

So, just a lovely moment of thanks and praise to God, my Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit for blessing me with this experience.  It's hard to describe this without sounding like - possibly - a dorky, crazy, Jesus freak, but at the end of the day, that's what I am.  Exactly what I am, and I hope that you understand a least a little bit of the encouragement that I'm trying to convey.

That's all for now, I hope you have a lovely day, and I hope to share more with you soon.