This is a very special post for my best friend. Yesterday Eleanor and I were able to spend the day with our friends Justine and Trigger. Sweet Trigger has nasal cancer. Last year Justine and Joey got the news that Trig had cancer and they decided to fight it. They took him down to UF and he received treatment. Trigger was cancer free for a whole year before it creeped its way back in.
Justine asked me a couple weeks ago, “How do you know when it’s time?” That answer was not something I could give her. My only advice was to pay attention to him and he will let you know. Well the other day Justine sent me a text asking me to go with her on Sunday to the dog beach for Triggers, “Dogs last day.” So after brunch yesterday we put all our leftovers in a box and took them to Trig. I picked up my girl Eleanor and we loaded up to go to the beach.
I met this sweet boy the day Justine got him. I received a text from her saying, “I did a thing. I’m coming to see you at work.” I had no idea her “thing” was adopt a puppy, but a few hours later walking through harbor walk comes Justine and the cutest little puppy. He’s been Justine’s rock through many milestones in her life. One of the biggest is being her daughter Henley’s best friend. He’s been loyal, protective, kind, loving and most of all a good boy.
So it was only fitting that we spoiled him yesterday. He played in the water, ate like a king and got tons of love and snuggles. As I write my heartbreaks for their family. I can not even begin to imagine the pain you all are feeling. I love my dogs more than I could have ever imagined possible and can’t think of what a life without them would be like. Trigger lived a life full of love and will be able to drift off peacefully surrounded by those who love him most.
Thank you so much Justine for letting Eleanor and me be a part of Triggers last day. Everyone hug your fur babies a little tighter today. I know I sure will.
One of my favorite quotes I’ve come across about dogs is, “A dog may not be our whole life but we are theirs.” That’s something I try to remember when it comes to loving my fur babies.
How does one date exactly? The last time I was single for a long period of time was when I was 17-19 years old. See I have this thing where I believe in monogamy. Apparently that’s uncommon these days. I have spent all of my twenties in 2 very serious relationships. Now that I’ve been single for an extended period of time and I’ve gone through the healing process from heartache. I am finally feeling comfortable being alone. Don’t get me wrong I have my moments where I miss companionship or feel lonely, but I finally feel okay with being a single. I am comfortable with who I am and being alone. I know what I want from someone else. Getting to this point has made me realize that I am ready to date but what is dating now?
We’re living in a world where you have apps that you can make a profile to put your best pictures on and list what you consider your best attributes for others to decide if they want to give you the time of day or not. Majority of the time all that is for is to hook up. I feel like I have an old school outlook on dating because the thought of downloading tinder or going online to a dating site is the exact opposite of what I personally feel I should be doing. The whole casual sex thing is just not for me. I’m too old for all that nonsense and drama. I’m not trying to get any kind of STD. I’m not trying to get involved repeatedly with people who are emotionally unavailable.
So how does one date in a world where hooking up is the norm? I have watched my friends get rejected and I’ve listened to their stories of “I thought we had a good time and I haven’t heard from him.” There is this delicate balance of being available but not too available. The constant should I text them first? But you don’t want to because you don’t want to seem too needy. Why is it crazy to be interested and vocalize your interest? Why is there this game that has to be played? What happened to being open and honest about what you’re wanting? It’s exhausting 😩. If I’m paying you attention then I’m interested. Why can’t it be that simple?! Currently I can’t figure out the answer to any of these as I contemplate texting someone. 🤦🏻♀️
I get a little cynical when it comes to dating because of failed relationships and because of what I witness my friends go through. I think to myself, ” That is it! I’m never getting married. I’m comfortable alone and I’m going to become the crazy lady with a ton of dogs!” I lose faith in relationships because everyone seems to be so emotionally unavailable. Then my faith gets restored every time I’m around my sister and brother in law. I could not have hand picked someone better for my sister. Kyle constantly restores my faith in men and makes my cynicism fade away. I keep telling myself that there’s some one like Kyle out there for me. I’ll find a partner to compliment me in all the right ways one day. I keep getting told, “it happens when you least it expect it. Don’t go looking for it.” So I mind my own business and keep myself busy. Not actively looking for that someone. Then I have the same people telling me, “put yourself out there. Date.” Umm those statements seem to be conflicting if you ask me.
I have insecurities. I am human and I can not control it. They are there and I focus on them despite knowing I shouldn’t. Everyone has insecurities. I know majority of the time I’m the only one that notices mine but when you’re attracted to someone else, LORDDD! All I can think is “oh he’s going to think my nose is too big or my teeth aren’t straight enough or why does she have stretch marks on her thighs? It’s torture 🤦🏻♀️. Then there is baggage. Everyone has their own baggage they bring to the table. Mine typically makes guys run the opposite direction. I have heart failure. It’s A LOT to take on. It’s a lot to go through as a person. Knowing there will eventually be more surgery, that I can be completely fine and the next day everything can change. Plus I have a long list of other medical issues going on over here. I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to get involved with me because of all that. Hell I don’t want to be involved with all of it.
Dating is hard enough now days as it is and you add all my baggage to it…it’s damn near impossible. Plus I’m awkward. I’m an open honest person. I’m not one to control my facial expressions. You generally know what I’m thinking by looking at my face. I always put my foot in my mouth and say the wrong thing at the wrong time. So how do I date? Do I mind my own business and one day when I’m not expecting it that person stumbles into my life? Do I put myself out there? Do I listen to all this crap out there that says things like, “you’ve met your souls mate by the age of 21?” Why is this so dang difficult?!
Until I can figure it out you can find me cuddling with my dogs binge watching romantic comedies.
As my 27th year comes to an end I am reflecting on everything I learned this past year. I experienced true heartbreak in 3 completely different forms. The first time was with a relationship ending. Love isn’t always easy and figuring out when to walk away is even harder. I learned a lot about myself this year because of this heart break. As hard as it is to admit I will forever be grateful for all the things that were brought to the surface with that break up. It made me grow in ways I wouldn’t have ever thought possible. It changed me and helped me find out new things I wanted from life.
The second form of heart break was on the medical end. I had two of my dreams in life taken away. While it is completely out of my control and I now am at peace with it, when receiving the news it was devastating. I am no stranger to medically devastating news but having to close the chapter on two of my dreams, one of which I had worked very hard at accomplishing, was a whole different kind of heart break. A feeling I will never be able to put into words.
And the last form was losing my Grandmother. I was able to say goodbye with the only words that could come to mind when she was passing. Naturally I thought of all the things I wish I would’ve said, but at the time “I love you” was what was right. I finally get to celebrate her life this weekend and it’s my last step in saying goodbye.
My year wasn’t just filled with heartbreak. I went a trips and made great memories. I spent quality time with my dogs. I grew closer to friends and released the toxicity that was in my life. I got to be involved in many celebrations of love. Finally being able to share my sisters wedding day with her was amazing. I watched a friend overcome many obstacles and preserve with her head held high. I have never been more proud to call her my friend. She’s the epitome of strength.
I learned how important honesty is and that it will be appreciated in the long run. I am not as afraid as I once was at trying new things. I realized I needed to love myself in order to be happy. Learning how to love myself was not easy but, I finally feel like myself and comfortable in my skin again. I grew a lot in my 27th year. It wasn’t my easiest year but it has been one of the most rewarding. And now I’m 6 minutes away at being one year closer to 30.
I started writing this at the end of the 8 week challenge I set for myself. I got distracted and never finished it. I did not document as well as I said I was going to but this post will make up for all of that. I posted pictures at my half way point, at the beginning of week 4. After week 4 it was a struggle. I traveled for majority of week 5 and while I was able to work out some, I did not manage to stick to my high protein diet. New Orleans got the best of me with burritos and bengeits. I traveled again during week 7 and my motivation was not as strong as when I started. I was also sick during week 6. My motivation lately has been non existent. I’m not sure why I am in such a funk. I did notice when I was eating better and working out I felt GREAT. My body has changed so much and while someone who doesn’t look at it everyday, you might not notice it, but I can. I am not where I want to be but I am so much closer. Let’s talk about workouts for a minute. GUYS I didn’t really take pure barre seriously before BUT holy cow! It is a GREAT workout for your whole body. I also did a lot of ab and leg workouts at home. Easier things that don’t require resistance bands or weights. Squats, crunches, burpees etc.. Here we are! The left side and the bottom right are the most recent. And my collage from the start and halfway point are included. I need to force myself and find motivation again to get back on track. To feel better. I have started by trying to get food that is prepared and still healthy. After working, working out, and running errands the last thing I’ve wanted to do was cook. I also don’t sleep much, so when I do sleep I take advantage of it. Mornings are tough for me and making breakfast is even harder. I kept seeing ads for The Daily Harvest and another blogger I follow posted about how she decided to give it a try. So I decided let’s do this. Its all organic and it’s superfoods. GUYS I LOVE IT!!!! The smoothies are easy and great. You add whatever liquid you want and blend. The grain bowls, the breakfast bowls and soups ♥️😍! So far the blueberry cocoa smoothie is my favorite. They have desserts you can order too. I definitely will be continuing my orders of it. If you are wanting to eat healthier and have it be easy to prepare, then I recommend this! At least for the breakfast and smoothies. Start your day off right. I have a code, below, you can get a discount with when you make your first order!
Give it a try y’all!
I have found on a daily basis we as humans need to hear positive words. Sometimes I hear them in song lyrics. I read them in novels. Or I search the Internet for a quote that is fitting and every once in awhile someone tells them to us. We need these words. When we come across them they resonate with us and we apply them to what we have going on in our lives. They bring us hope, positivity, or clarity. Words from others have a huge impact on us. On our psyche.
Some times people say something that is exactly what you need to hear and sometimes they will say something that brings you down. I try to hold myself to the standard of being honest, even when people don’t want to hear it. I feel like a person can not have personal growth if they do not understand how they’re perceived by others. Honesty isn’t always nice. Majority of the time, true honesty, is not something we want to hear. It is something that we choose to ignore or we try to make excuses for. While others opinions of us should not define how we perceive ourselves, I believe we should take them into consideration when evaluating our behavior. We can be blinded by our rational for our behavior.
With all of that being said, holding myself to a certain standard is one thing but, I tend to hold others in my life to that standard as well. That is something I’m working on. Just because I’ve set a standard for someone I care for doesn’t mean they’ve set that same standard for themselves. That’s where all of these positive and negative words come in to play. Some people are not nice or honest. Some people aim to hurt. There is a difference in telling someone an ugly truth and personally attacking them. I’ve aimed to hurt before because I’ve been hurt. I’ve also delivered ugly truths in poor form. But I try to focus more on the positive. Positive words.
On our darkest of days all we need is something positive. We all have demons, we all struggle and we all our fighting our own fight. I’m working hard to overcome obstacles that have occurred due to circumstances beyond my control. I’m also trying to forge a new path for my life because of these circumstances. While I’m not where I want to be and I get defeated at times, these positive words help me get through.
Think about the words you say before they are spoken. Don’t be so quick to judge. Remember that the standards you’ve set are not the same as everyone else’s. And always check on your strong friend.
My life has been hectic the past few weeks. Between trying to hold myself accountable on this fitness challenge, starting a new job, traveling, and trying to rest. I have been tired and in this sort of lazy funk. I have not even bothered to try to write anything because of this funk. I am forcing myself to get back to being productive and one way is to publish another blog. I feel productive and accomplished when I put myself out there and get responses. Writing is something I thoroughly enjoy.
I have had a lot of people compliment me on my writing and blog since I started. I have also had the opposite response. Under handed comments, snide remarks and judgmental looks during conversations about my blog. I knew this would happen and I was prepared for it. However, I wanted to share with everyone the reason I started this. If it becomes a source of income and a career path for me then that would be amazing. If it doesn’t I will be okay with that too.
I believe that some things in your life should be kept private. Not everything needs to be on social media and be public knowledge. There is a lot I do not share. What I do share might be considered over sharing at times and if so…Sorry! Some people may get tired of my yearly post on the dates of my surgeries or get tired of hearing about my failing health. The one thing my health and this life has taught me is that kind words of encouragement can get you through the hardest challenges. Hearing stories from others about how they have faced similar situations and how they felt during them and their process to make it through has helped me tremendously. It’s inspiring. I know that I want to inspire, make a difference, and help others. Even if it’s one person I do this for in my whole life then I will be okay with that.
A few weeks ago I got a message request on instagram. It was from a girl named Mary who is around my age and has a congenital heart defect. She was needing a pacemaker. She was doing her research but when you research into pacemakers and defibrillators you tend to find results for more of the elderly community. It’s difficult to find information on 20 something’s getting ICDs, implantable cardiac devices. She turned to social media and was typing in hashtags. That is how she found me! I do not set my profile to private and this was one of those reasons why I do not. She came across this post…and then a few others I’ve posted. This post however was an extremely personal post. I made it mainly for myself. It was to help me realize just how far I’ve come and how much I’ve overcome. When posting it I knew it was for me but had hoped one day it would reach someone. Well it did! Mary and I exchanged stories and I answered all of her questions on my experience with getting my ICD. I also had informed her that my Aunt recently had one put in and she is only in her 40s. After we talked and she felt better about what she was facing, I realized I did exactly what I had hoped for when I posted that Instagram. I helped someone. It wasn’t in a big way but it made a difference.
The past few weeks I’ve kept up with Mary on social media and her surgery went great. She is now healing and getting used to life with a pacemaker. It is a bit of an adjustment and certain aspects of your life completely change but you eventually feel normal again. Being able to use my experience to help others is such a rewarding feeling. This is why I blog.
I blog because I want to help others. My blog isn’t always going to be about fitness challenges or trying new things. It is also going to be about those difficult things in life that people have a hard time talking about. It’s about self love, finding yourself, and getting through the hard times. I don’t want to be successful and have nice things from life. I want to make my life mean something by helping others. Putting myself out there and making someone’s life better. Making my life better and making this world a better place. That is why I started this blog. Because it makes me and my soul happy.
Here we are at week 4 of 8. The half way point. Sticking to eating high protein and healthy has been hard for me. I love food! I live to eat. I’m always hungry. My appetite has intensified with working out. I’ve wanted to eat everything in sight for the last 4 weeks.
This week I’m trying to meal prep again. My diet will consist of chicken burrito bowls, chicken teriyaki bowls, boiled eggs and protein pancakes! I’m trying to narrow down my recipes before making them tomorrow. I’ll share them after I decide! I will also confess that I have let myself enjoy ice cream more than I should’ve this weekend.
I’m sticking to my pure barre work outs. I have to say it is kicking my ass! Tonight I took the empower class with my girl Jordyn, Jojo, teaching and holy cow!!! I am sore already. I am taking more classes this week than the previous two weeks. Tonight, tomorrow, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday! I’m going to let Friday be my rest day for the week. Saturday I am going to do a workout myself consisting of :
50 jumping jacks
20 push ups (these are still difficult for me with the pacemaker getting in the way)
25 sumo squats
30 bicycle crunches
15 Russian twists
And a 40 second plank
It’s not the most intense but it’s effective! I’m starting to notice small differences with my body and my muscles. I’m accepting the fact that I’m building muscle, but I will probably always have chicken legs. I promised some progress photos. While I can see the changes, because I look at everyday and know my body, you may not be able to see it. That’s okay because we’re just now in week 4 of 8. I can’t wait to see what becoming a little stricter with my diet and adding more routine workouts will do! While I’ve always been thin and I’m still thin with working out but, I am building muscle. I am becoming healthier and I am feeling better. I’ve lost inches and gained muscle. My scale is reading 136 and my pants are tighter in the thighs but loose in the waist. It’s all incredibly rewarding and worth the effort!
Keep an eye out for my chosen recipes tomorrow and a new song of the week on the blog!