Learning to love my body for the very FIRST time..

The struggle is real..

No joke..losing weight has been the hardest thing for me. Whether it’s eating healthy, getting to the gym, motivation, self-care, etc. I’m always struggling with something. I mean I definitely don’t think I’m the only one aboard the struggle bus, but during my everyday life…it most certainly feels like it.

Just a little background on me… I have dealt with weight/body issues my entire life. I remember the first time I ever looked at myself and didn’t like what I saw. I was 7, sitting next to my dad in church, when I happened to look down at my knees. I immediately thought to myself that something was wrong with me! Like what is wrong with my knees, why do they look so big and weird? Why don’t they look like the other little girls? Right then, I let comparison to others distract me from accepting and loving myself. At such a young age I was comparing my body to others and realized that I was not pretty enough, good enough, smart enough, funny enough, etc. What an awful feeling at 7 years old.

That experience was just the beginning of the long road ahead of me called “self-hate”. Ironically, I hate the word hate. It’s just a harsh way to explain the way you feel. To me, hate means that you could care less if that “thing” you hate, lives or dies. What’s awful to admit, is that too often I have come to the point where I really didn’t care less if I lived or died. I hated myself and body so much that I honestly got to the point where one more day living with this body was too much for me to handle. If it wasn’t for God, my mother, and my family, I honestly do not know what would have happened to me.

Starting and stopping the journey to weight loss has been something I’ve done way too many times in my life. It wasn’t until October 28, 2017 that I finally had that moment where I knew I had to change my way of living. It honestly felt like I finally woke up. I realized that on a daily basis, I continuously fight myself to be happy, to love myself, and to live the way God intended me to. For so long I believed that I wasn’t pretty enough, good enough, smart enough, funny enough, etc. that I honestly just thought that living the way I had been for so long was literally the only way to live. I couldn’t fight off the darkness that surrounded me. I eventually gave in and accepted that I’m going to live this life that I most of the time hate. I cannot pin point what it was in that moment in October that my mind switch flipped, but I do know that it was God led. Since then, He has continuously been opening my mind and teaching me how to rely on him to fight my battles. He’s been guiding me to self-love and acceptance for the person He created in me.

I’ve been slowly making changes in my life since then and will continuously do so throughout my life. I have come to realize that this life I’m living is a journey and living in a healthy way is a lifestyle change, not a temporary fix. My goodness it has been hard. I have been back and forth more than I would like with my diet, exercise, mental health, etc. I have had extremely bad days where I have totally felt like giving up was the only option I had left. I have had very good days, where looking at myself in the mirror wasn’t something that I dreaded doing. Those days are what pushes me forward. I’ve never been able to look at the body that I’ve hated for so long and actually feel love for it. I have not lost much weight and only a few inches in size, but because of the mentality I’m working towards, I’m able to learn to love myself. I also have days where I am so emotionally drained from work, the last thing I want to do is get dressed and go to the gym. Most of the time I still make myself get up and go, but there are times too where I just cannot do it.

I also have weeks like this past week where the darkness that I know so well, creeps into my life and consumes every part of my being. My body aches, my heart aches, and my mind is shot. I get so overwhelmed but these feelings of doom that all my energy goes into just getting by until that darkness fades and light starts to peek through. To me, getting by doesn’t always include eating healthy, working out, reading, writing, and/or enjoying the things I love. Getting by, means barely getting out of bed and making it to work on time, barely keeping my eyes open while I’m there, struggling to get up the stairs after work and start dinner, not being able to get off the couch to take a shower before I go to bed, and then when bedtime comes, not being able to close my eyes and fall asleep.

It is also days like to today where I finally start to see some type of light peeking through. A voice calling to me and telling me it’s going to be okay. A time where I’m actually able to push myself to do something more than just get through the day. I was able to get ready, look at myself, and feel okay with being me today. It’s hard work to change a lifestyle, to learn to love yourself, and to surrender to God the battles you face. Have I fully conquered those things, I flippin wish! What’s important is that I’m trying. I’m putting forth effort because I know there is a much greater life to live than what I’m living now.

For I know the plans for you says the Lord. They are plans for good and not evil, to give you hope and a future

Jeremiah 29:11

I know that to get to where I’m going I have to put my trust in the Lord and believe in his word. I have to believe that he does have such a greater future planned for me than I can even imagine. I just have to listen and work hard. It’s small steps that make the biggest difference. I mean I’m posting this today and heck I’ve been writing it for almost 3 months. Yay progress!! haha 🙂

 

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment or email me if you too are dealing with something similar. We all need words of encouragement!

❤ Shay

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Sometimes Depression..

Depression does not always mean beautiful girls are shattering at the wrists, a glorified, heroic battle for your sanity or mothers that never got the chance to say goodbye

Sometimes depression means not getting out of bed for three days because your feet refuse to believe that they will not shatter upon impact with the floor

Sometimes depression means that summoning the willpower to go downstairs and do the laundry is the most impressive thing you accomplish that week

Sometimes depression means lying on the floor, staring at the ceiling for hours because you cannot convince your body that it is capable of movement

Sometimes depression means not being able to write for weeks because the only words you have to offer the world are trapped and drowning…and I swear to God I’m trying

Sometimes depression means that every single bone in your body aches but you have to keep going through the motions because you are not allowed to call in to work depressed

Sometimes depression means ignoring every phone call for an entire month because yes, they have the right number…but you’re not the person they’re looking for, not anymore

-Unknown

 

Sometimes depression is a long road we travel, but no matter what has happened in the past…we always have a road ahead of us and WE decide how we travel it. There is treatment for depression, there is help out there, but you have to be willing to seek it and use it. You are not alone.

Photo Credit: Patrick Monatsberger

Where are you from?

John 1:46

And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

Think about that question, “where are you from?”. Is that answer somewhere you are proud to be from? I know when I was growing up, part of my future plans were to leave where I was from and to start somewhere new. I loved being from a small town, but I hated the way some people treated me because of what my family and I did not have. This was something I struggled with a good part of my life, because society made me think that if I didn’t have an important name, if I didn’t live a certain way, or if blah blah blah…I wasn’t good enough. I never thought that I could be someone great or do great things in the area that I was from. That never felt like a possibility.

I remember being younger and telling my mom that I couldn’t wait to grow up and move far far away so that I could be the person I always dreamt of being. I remember thinking about all the things I could do, all the people I could help, and so on and so forth. I thought that my dreams would only come true if I moved far away and began a new life….yet just as my mom said, here I still am. I am living in the same town I grew up in, around all the same people, and yet my life is great. I love the people in my town, I love the people I work with, and I cannot imagine not being surrounded by my family every day.

Long story short…I remember my mom saying that maybe God might have a different plan. What if God says that your place is right here? What if his plan is to keep you in this community and he will use you here? I fought her. I didn’t want to believe it at the time, but that truly was what God planned. He is using me here, just as he can you wherever it may be that you are from. Where you are from has a great significance to your life whether you want to believe it or not.

God’s people are all in important. We all have needs and we all have purpose. No matter where you live, how small your town is, how beat down it may seem, how little you feel…God can use you there. You are good enough to do the things God has called you to do; no matter the location, the worth, the people..You just have to be willing and obedient..

Anyway..

 

God has a way of dropping something in your lap at random times, on random days, and for crazy reasons. I know I needed to read the words below, just as some of you may need too. I’m sure many of you can relate to the struggle of loving someone even though they have hurt you…or by continuing to give something your all when you feel unappreciated. This poem reached me in many ways, as I hope it does for you as well… ❤

 

If you give the world the best you have, you may get kicked in the teeth

…but give the world the best you have- Anyway

People are unreasonable, illogical, self-centered

…love them anyway

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives

…do good anyway

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies

…be successful anyway

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow

…do good anyway

Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable

…be honest and frank anyway

People love underdogs but follow only top dogs

…follow some underdog anyway

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight

…build anyway

People really need help but may attack you if you try to help

…help people anyway

If you give the world the best you have, you may get kicked in the teeth

…but give the world the best you have

…ANYWAY.

-Shay

Alive..

Sometimes you find words that speak the exact thing you couldn’t say..music does that for me. 

Alive- SIA

I was born in a thunderstorm 

I grew up overnight

I played alone

I’m playing on my own

I survived
I wanted everything I never had

Like the love that comes with light

I wore envy and I hated that

But I survived 
I had a one way ticket to a place where all the demons go

Where the wind don’t change

And nothing in the ground can ever grow

No hope just lies

And you’re taught to cry in your pillow

But I’ll survive 
I’m still breathing

I’m ALIVE

I found solace in the strangest place

Way in the back of my mind

I saw my life in a stranger’s face

And it was mine
IM ALIVE.

My Shepherd..

It’s been so long since I’ve posted and honestly it’s because I just have not been up to it. The last few months have been extremely trying for me. I am unsure as to what is causing this exactly, but I’m tired of dealing with it. I fluctuate up and down so often with my emotions that I am left in a complete haze. I am left confused and hopeless because I feel as if the direction for my life has halted. I have went through numerous hours and days of trying to “find myself” or to understand what I am truly going through. Depression, yes I know…but I never expected to feel so trapped by something in my life. I feel out of control and unable to escape this darkness that I am in.

Some days everything seems to make sense, whereas there are other days where I feel the complete opposite. When that occurs, I feel like I fall deeper into this hole that swallows me. The deeper I get, the more weak I feel, and the more weak I am…the harder it is to pull myself back out. Around and around I go with myself, just breaking a little more every day.

Yesterday my church had a pastor fill in for our Sunday morning service. He had been there in the past and it was then where I discussed some of my struggles with depression with him. He of course prayed with me, but also informed me that I was not alone. He shared that he too had dealt with a deep depression for a long time and that he would be sharing more of this in another sermon; yesterday was that sermon. I was completely out of it, hardly holding my head up but I knew God wanted me to hear what he was going to share.

At first he shared some scripture explaining that there were others in Bible who had experienced some of these trials. He explained how everyone has hard times, but dealing with depression is something totally different. It is not just an emotion you feel once in awhile, it’s something that totally captivates you and takes you away. He gave examples from the bible of those who had experienced similar things; this helped me realize that I am not alone. When he explained his personal story and all that he experienced, I felt a sense of hope. I finally felt like someone understood exactly what I was going through. He explained everything so well and shared some of the same things that I was feeling.

Ultimately what I took from this, was that I cannot define my life by what I am experiencing right now. I cannot define who I am by what I am going through at this moment. I have to have faith that “This too shall pass“. God has promised many things and one of them being that the hard times do not last forever. I have to fight through these struggles and have faith that my God is going to bring me through. He will pick me up when I am down. He will pull me back in when I stray away. When the darkness tries to bring me down, he will fight it off and rescue me just as the shepherd does with the lion who tries to eat his sheep. Even in the times where I have felt so close to death or felt like giving up, the Lord rescued me. He will never leave me, I shall not fear..

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want

He makes me to lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD, forever.

Psalms 23

DIY: Refurbished glitter candle jars..

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Step #1: Remove the wax from the candle jar

~To do this I boiled some water (you could also just microwave water until it’s hot enough) and once boiling, I poured the water into the candle jars

~The wax may automatically float to the top, but mine did not. I waited just a few minutes and with a butter knife I poked at the old wax to release it from the bottom of the jar.

~Once the wax is released from the jar, it has to settle back to solid form in order to remove. To speed up this process I just added the lids to my jars and placed them in the fridge

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Step #2: Clean the jars

~Remove the solid wax and labels from the jars

~Pour out the water and clean the excess wax from the walls of the jar

~To do this, I used vinegar, dawn dish soap, and a scrubber

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Step #3: Mod Podge

~Add mod podge to the desired area of the jar where you want to place your glitter

~I used a foam paint brush and just carefully applied the mod podge

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Step #4: Add glitter

~Pour in a good amount of glitter into the bottom of the jar

~Roll the jar around until all of the mod podge is covered

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Step #5: Remove excess glitter

~I just carefully poured the excess glitter back into the container

(You could just dump it in the trash if you don’t want to risk a mess, or dump it onto a clean piece of paper, fold the paper in half to create a spout and pour the glitter back into the container

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Step #6: Dry, Set, and Use!

~Once the glue is completely dry you will be ready to set the glitter in place

~I just sprayed the inside of the jar with a firm hold hair spray, cleaned up the edges of the jar that got dirty

~Let the hair spray dry and you are ready to use your jars!

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