Attitude is Everything: Fat chick at a Fitness Conference 2.0

I just just stuffed my backpack above me, and sank into my plane seat. I take a deep breath and close my eyes with relief. Im ready to head home and see my family.

I’m exhausted.

Sunburned.

Dehydrated.

And definitely, hungover.

But I feel like I just won the lottery.

My heart is full.

My LIFE is full.

I look down at myself and and survey the scene:

Even though I’m still squeezed in close to my favorite travel teammate, I’m buckled into my chair with ease. It just keeps getting easier and easier for me to travel! I say a silent prayer of thanks, knowing how HARD this has all been for me before.

Walking down the isle of the plane, my sides no longer brush and bump the peoples arms, and it feels amazing to not have to apologize for my existence…walking that gauntlet of shame.

I’m wearing pajama pants, a Palm Springs conference tee, purple shoes, and my purple running man, manicured nails are clutching my purple water bottle and brand new copy of “Love Work” by Chuck Runyon. I notice my “persist” running man, flame tattoo on my wrist and wonder if I’ve not just stepped into overkill territory?

I’m a hot-AF-post-conference MESS!!!!! But, I LOVE IT.

You see, last year I struggled.

( You can read all about that here: https://mandimonblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/fat-chick-at-a-fitness-conference/ )

Last year, I was still trying to be invisible. Despite my efforts, I was still battling with shame, discomfort and embarrassment with my body. And, If I’m being completely honest, not much has changed for me physically in a year. I’m down about 30 more pounds from the Lake Placid Conference. I’ve gained muscle and more endurance, but this time the weight I’m most proud of losing, was in my heart and mind.

This year I was was promoted to manager of my Anytime Fitness club, and I took that position of leadership VERY seriously. I have battled with that dark part of myself that felt fearful and unworthy. I finally surrendered to the fact that my value as a leader was NOT based on a certain number on the scale. If that were the case, I wouldn’t have been offered the position, right?

Being FAT is NOT the worst thing a person can be.

Your value and worth as a human is not worth less if you are fat. But being miserable, ashamed, depressed, suffering with pain and barely alive IS the WORST thing a person can be. And THAT is what has changed for me with the magic of fitness. THAT is what I LIVE to show the people who come into my gym everyday. The scale will move…but I must PERSIST.

My value is here NOW. It always HAS BEEN. I decided to OWN the fact that I am “representing a possibility”.

Ive decided to OWN the fact that I actually have an advantage with my size, and that WONT last forever.

I have the ability to say,” Look at me…I work HERE. I workout HERE. I was changed HERE. I found out who I truly am in HERE. I was welcomed and loved HERE…and so are YOU.”

It has been the most powerful year of my life. Realizing that all of the members in my gym, that I have the honor of representing, are looking to me as an example of persistence, and they are proud of me…that is enough to snap me out of any self doubt or sabotage.

There have been MANY struggles and setbacks…and times where my confidence and resolve was shaken, but there has been a permanent shift in me, and it SHOWED itself this week in Palm Springs.

No longer was I desperately trying to blend in and disappear. I just literally, let it all hang out, and allowed myself to just be MYSELF.

Proudly, alongside my team…my family… just like I am everyday in our clubs. Why would I want to come to conference and be anyone other that who I am everyday with my people?? If I’m constantly urging them to step outside of their comfort zone and believe in themselves…shouldn’t I be??!

Last year I was afraid to workout alongside 2,000 people for a world record breaking 3 minute workout. This year, I jumped into a live, 45 minute group session on the purple turf, in the middle of the trade show, with tons of people watching (and the AF corporate head trainer/she-hero herself, Rachel Prairie!) and did NOT CARE. I know what I am capable of.

This is it. This is who I am, and this is who has been given this amazing opportunity to live in the crazy fitness world and grind.

I TRULY was “hired to inspire” and I am so unbelievably grateful.

To my team, each and every one of you has made more of an impact on my life than you will ever know. You have made me one of you since DAY ONE and I am forever thankful for how you have changed my life and never let me give up. I’m so honored to live this life with you guys.

And, to Brandon and Amber Borden, my club owners, who just won the 2017 O2i of the Year Runningman Award…thank you.

Thank you for changing my life, and then taking a crazy risk in hiring me, believing in me and pushing me to be better and better and BETTER. I am so proud and honored to be on #teamborden and am SO EXCITED the whole AF world got to see/hear how amazing and special you two are. Also, I’m sorry I “Kanye-ed” you on stage. With all this new confidence…I do declare, I literally could not help myself. 😜

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Reining it in

I love that my hair is long enough to pull up into the perfect messy bun.  No strays or stragglers.

I love that I opened this window on my left side and a burst of warm summer wind hit me in the face like a pleasant surprise.

I love that my Pandora is playing all the songs I like so I don’t have to waste any skips.

I love that my dog always knows just when I need her to snuggle up against me and be my friend.

I love that my babies are running through my house having fun despite me yelling at them to knock it off.

I know I will miss their mess and noise someday and I only need a moment of intentional gratitude to sober me.

I love that when I stop and take notice, I am overwhelmed with things to say thank you for.

The hardest thing about being a realist is that you’re really only a pessimist in disguise.

To halt myself from traveling down the familiar gloomy tracks and force instead a stroll down a brighter path…

Well, I’m more comfortable sitting in the shade.

My disappointment hangs from my body,

heavy and always inconvenient.

Protecting me from pain but hard to ignore…and if I’m being honest it only makes it worse.

But I am told to be in the light as He is in the light…

and I was.

Spent the fullness of time feeling welcomed and alive.

Now here we are again, and back to being the last resort.

Wasn’t quite ready to come home to the norm.

I have amends to make and bridges to burn, like calories…and we all know how good I am at that.

Frames and galleries of words that crowd my heart, and the space is getting limited in these chambers.

Bolted with hardware and welded to my arteries.

This kind of blockage requires a skilled surgeon.

Blood pumping through paths I’ve carved out to survive.

A masterpiece.
A bypass of emotion.

Today is a new day that has been made for my gain,

taking a new route and a fresh way.

I will choose gratitude.

What other choice do I have?!

I love that I have mastered the art of coming full circle, even when it seems pointless.

I love that a deep breath and honest words can set my focus strait.

I love that I will turn off this computer and leave the tears behind and get back to living.

Excuse my ramblings today. I just needed to rein it in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gone Fishin’

 

 

Hundreds of friends on social sites but the sight-seeing I do is always alone.

Scenic routes to nowhere.

Breath taking views that always prelude
breath taking falls.

Pride is a faulty fence that won’t hold under your weight.

Especially mine.

I leaned in to rest and got too comfortable.

And I have been trying to dig myself out since.

I hate myself for it.

Because questions only give birth to more questions.

Conversations turn into more conversations.

Everyone is SURE of everything, which is really nothing.

Daring to dig deep but deep thinking doesn’t pay the bills.

 

Talk really IS cheap.

 

I prefer writing poems lately instead.

I like the indirect way it guts my soul.

It  holds me  under the  faucet, like a  fish.

Spilling cold water, blood and secrets.

Baited and hooked.

Filet of fresh foolishness.

Piercing the knife through my belly and up toward that trouble making throat where my voice always escapes me.

Running thumbs up my spine to clear all the waste, (just like you taught me) because no one else is gonna do it.

The sharp blade of reality will scrape the scales and dirt that burden you,

but it never really clears it all.

It only accumulates to add character and flavor.

Wrapped in garlic butter and foil and thrown to the fire to become something worthy of the fight.

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New landscapes

There is much to be said about clutter and disorganization in your home having a direct correlation to your physical and mental health.  The internet is ripe with articles and testimonials about this phenomenon. Today, I was sitting in my backyard trying to have a clear and meditative moment when I decided that this was true.

My back yard looks like a desert wasteland.  You almost expect to see Mel Gibson dressed as Mad Max come walking around the corner of the house, covered with dust and scouring the land for supplies.  It’s embarrassing.   My husband and I joke about this to our friends but it is mostly to cover up the shame we both feel about having let it all go back there.  We have kids and a dog and Game of Thrones, obviously making yard work low on our priority list.  Its more like we warn people before they peek out the window.  We care about what our space and habitat looks like because it says a lot about who we are.  We are FAR from fancy but we try to make a good impression by sprucing and cleaning.  We want anyone who comes into our home to feel comfortable and welcome.  The success of Pinterest proves that we are a generation obsessed with cheap and easy DIY fixes for the home. We want to paint and spruce and decorate so that we feel “acceptable”.

It’s not that different from how we dress ourselves.   We primp and fuss with our hair and makeup, especially if we have somewhere special to be.  Clothes, shoes, bags and other accessories.  Women are known for paying attention to detail.  Lots of men are just as fussy about the way they look as us ladies are.  It’s just a necessary evil right?  We spend so much time showering, sugar scrubbing, shaving, lotioning and dressing.  Brushing, curling, straightening and spraying.  Blending, concealing, highlighting, and glossing.  Finally, we look in the mirror and survey if we are ready to leave the house.  Are we acceptable to be seen?  To step out in the marketplace and participate in life?   Even though these painted versions of ourselves aren’t truly who we are, they make us feel good enough about ourselves to go ahead and try.  We head out the door to conquer our day and the first time someone tells us we look nice we immediately say,”NOOOOOOOOOOOO.  No I don’t, I’m gross. But thank you.”  We mustn’t believe anyone when they actually compliment us, right?

If you busted your ass gutting out your back yard and pulling weeds and planting new sod you wouldn’t dismiss someone telling you how great it looked!  Why?!  Because you KNOW IT LOOKS GOOD GURRRL.  YOU WORKED HARD! It paid of and now you can take a deep breath, open a cold bottle of beer and enjoy.  Doesn’t that feel good?  To have gratitude for a nice space to sit and make memories in?  What in THE WORLD would happen if we treated our bodies the same way?  Like a sacred space, to enjoy sitting in and making memories with?

Looking around my yard and then my home I realized that in the same way I had kind of given up on my appearance because of not feeling good about myself…I had kind of done the same to my space.   Why has this evaded me?  Has there just been a massive point of no return?  Where I have given up caring about not only my body and how I can dress it…but it seems also my home and yard with it?

What would happen if I gave up fighting with myself this summer about how much I weigh, how I look or what im gonna wear and devoted all of that energy instead to rolling up my sleeves and cleaning up and fussing on this home that I have been graciously given?  What if my physical, emotional and spiritual self transformed in direct correlation to my feeling good about my living space as it had the other way around?

Am I crazy?

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Get a move on!

I just sat down at my computer and cranked up the music.

Subwoofer and all.

It feels so  good.  First song to pop up on my Pandora (Love’s Holiday/Earth, Wind & Fire Radio, if you’re feeling funky) is  Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T”.  Just what I need to light a fire under my ass this morning to literally dust this thing off and get down to business.  He  sings,” don’t you know now is the perfect time…” and he’s right, it is.

It has been way to long.

I have been avoiding my blog, my writing and generally all things I enjoy for sometime now.  I don’t know why I do that?   Must be a part of the weird and continual self-abuse that is my default when times get stressful.   I tend to fold up shop on all things productive and go back to the old way of thinking and managing my emotions when something sucky happens. And yes, sucky stuff has happened.  But I am still here.  My family is doing well.  I have a roof over my head.  All is well. Gratitude washes away all the weariness that has threatened to take over.

The good news is, the time between my old default setting and the fresh and ambitious setting that I prefer is getting shorter and shorter.  Thanks be to God!  My desire to THRIVE is greater than the desire to be feel sorry for myself.

One of my best friends reminded me of a great quote yesterday by the legendary Tony Robbins, “motion is emotion.”

Motion is emotion. 

Our body language and energy level is connected to what we think and feel about ourselves.  How we feel about ourselves dictates the quality of what we do day in and day out.  Even though I feel as though I have to learned this lesson over and over…here it is again today and I’ll be damned if a negative attitude hadn’t snuck in and tried to take over again.  Which is a shame because I have so much to tell you guys about the past few months.  I have gone (mostly) sugar-free.  I have started Pilates.   I began acupuncture to help with managing my foot pain and also to promote healing so that I can get to where I want to get with my fitness goals.  I have been enjoying some great accomplishments!  Even though I have a long way to go, I can”t afford to pull the plug and crawl back into my comfortable cave where everything dulls and comes to a screeching stop just because it seems too overwhelming.

You can’t make momentum out of nothing.  

So today I will GET UP.

GET A MOVE ON.

Maybe put on some Beyoncé and get my groove on.  I will not lie down and let poor and lazy thinking allow me to slip into fatigue and depression (again).  I think this is a danger for any of us moms who stay at home during the day (but that is a whole other blog post!).  If I am making the choice to sit and marinate in all of my negative feelings and fears, how can I ever expect any changes to occur or progress?  This was where I always seemed to fail before.  Throwing in the towel and resorting back to the same old thing before the new thing could take hold.   Putting a halt on all of the things that help me feel better and do better  is about the worst thing I can do.

I will WRITE.

I will post it.  Even if it sucks.  Because I know I should.  Because I know it helps me feel better.  Because I know it helps connect me to everyone else who reads these words and resonates with what I feel, and I know I’m not alone.   Because I know it is my art and my gift and if I want to get better at it, I need to quit worrying about who will read it and what they will think of it.

It’s the perfect time.

Especially now that Pharrell and Daft Punk are in my ear telling me it”s time “to get lucky”.

 

 

 

 

 

Greatness awaits!

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My daughter stepped on the scale in my bathroom today while I was cleaning. It was a golden moment from the heavens that I almost missed by being distracted by my own thoughts and busyness.

She stepped on it and said,”Ok mama, let’s see how great I am!”

What.

The.

Heck.

My face still might be slightly numb.
Seriously.
Men may not get this post, but I know women will.

For many of us ladies, the scale represents so many vile things. It boasts the measurement of our worth (or so we’ve learned from somewhere) and it doesn’t lie, right? It can’t be tricked or cheated like the number that we’ve put on our drivers licenses. The scale will expose all of your secret rendezvous with the drive thru, the left overs and the chocolate chip cookies that you thought were safe from the public eye, late in the night.

For me, the scale has been an electric source of regular shame and resentment of myself. A constant pang of disappointment and a truly humiliating reality check of my life as a fat woman.

Not that I would need any help with that. There are plenty of places to look if you want to be “fat shamed”. The internet is riddled with people upset by the mere sight of fat people. How dare we wander into the light of day? How dare we try to dress in whatever might fit and try to run errands or go grocery shopping for our families? Obviously, obscene obese people in public have put themselves out there to be a public mockery, right? They deserve to have strangers secretly take their pictures and post them up on public forums to ridicule and judge them without mercy, right?

Even the “positive” and “motivating” messages and memes can sting a little. “Thinspiration” has become an actual thing. Pinterest boards are wrought with sayings like,” sweat is your fat crying” or “pain is fat crying”. “These burpees and push-ups will make your fat cry”.

Boo.

Why is it that I’m supposed to wanna make my fat cry?

Sounds weird.

Sounds like more hate.
I’m tired of all the hate!
And, I’m damn sure sick of crying!
Leave people alone!

Actually, I’d love for my fat to just politely excuse itself, apologize for lingering so long, and be on its way.
Put that on your Pinterest.

Yeah right!

I know it takes hard work and discipline to be healthy. I’m trying everyday to get there. It’s a long road, but health is my goal. I’m NOT one of these “fat acceptance” gals. I do not accept being unhealthy and miserable. I do not accept self loathing. I do not believe that anyone who is over weight (especially REALLY overweight like me) can be 100% happy with themselves.

Sorry.
I don’t buy that baloney for one second.

It hurts. It’s actually, physically uncomfortable and causes pain. It’s hard to move and do the things you want. It’s embarrassing. I don’t believe that fat is fabulous.
But, I’m beginning to believe you can be fabulous while being fat…and loving yourself regardless of what your struggling through, and that is what I am trying to learn.

That is why, what my daughter said today was so golden.

It’s not because the number on the scale should measure how “great” we are…the subtle lesson was in her innocent approach to the whole thing. She’s not yet learned what “the scale” even means or represents. She’s not yet poisoned by the beauty=worth lie.

She just knows that she’s great.

She is great!

And I pray with all of my heart and soul that that is how it stays for her. That she would see herself as great no matter what comes her way or what challenges she will have to struggle through.

And may it start with me…because I know she is watching.

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An invalid writer is confronted with truth

I could possibly bore everyone I know with writing another unimportant blog post.
This fear has stunned me into a writing coma where I have slept for months,
waiting to feel a spark of inspiration that didn’t feel forced.

Why is it so quiet when it snows?
Is it because the cold hard truth makes you hold your breath and stand still?

Tell the truth?

Well here it is:

I want to make something meaningful.
Craft words and phrases of art.
Powerful.
Inspirational.

The point is to move souls…
Evoke motion…to see if anyone gets me?!
Really gets me?

Im just another copy cat, trying hard to lead the way.
At the end of the day, I just want to be someone important.
I want to be triumphant.
Beautiful.
Exciting.
I want an epic destiny.
I want to climb to the climax of this movie with a powerful score, and blow everyone’s minds with my tenacity.

How selfish, how selfish, how selfish.

The grip of control is tight with its counterfeit…and here I am again worried about me, me me.

My mind swirls with thoughts that are hard to package and share.
I guess thats why I’m a writer.

Lose myself to chance?
Ok.

Pen to paper spilling.
Pushing me to dig deeper.
Urging me forward and I’m forced to keep up.
Stumbling across the page with my words.

I fight against what comes naturally because that’s what good girls are taught to do.

When really, lets just get real…

I’d slice throats if I had to.
I’d steal if I thought God wouldn’t care.
My darkness is ever present.
Can’t trust my instinct because its always going to be sinful.

I’ve been paralyzed on this mat for a year.
Writhing in bitter pain and pity.
Laying here waiting for a miracle.

“Get up and walk.”

Warm light of love starting to thaw my frozen heart.

Praying that this time I’ll trust and obey,
to spring up off of this bed and be healed.


“One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.” (John 5:5-9 ESV)

Progress Report

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Are you living in a whirlwind right now like I am?

There has been so much going on in our life lately. Much of which, unfortunately, I can’t share to protect the anonymity of a couple of beloved peeps. That said, we have been in the thick of some hard stuff.

But aren’t we all?

Life is busy with constant conflicts, complications and stresses. I’ve learned to observe the practice of slowing down to appreciate the constant undertow of blessing that is always lying beneath the flurry. If you don’t stop and still yourself, you’ll miss it and its life giving power.

I feel like my writing has been a little evasive the past week.
Therapeutic for MY soul…but evasive nonetheless. Whatever the case, writing has been my life raft keeping me afloat. Keeping me close to the pulse of God at work in my life and the lives around me. Even if it sucks, I know that my writing has been a gift and a prayer closet. Feeding my spiritual self has to be and is becoming more important than feeding my physical self.

I remind myself each day that my commitment to Realology is to BE REAL. To face the truth as best I can, and write about it with honesty and heart.
My prayer in this blogging project has always been to pursue peace with myself from the inside out and let that it would be contagious to the women around me (most importantly, my daughter).

So, a progress report is in order.
Since I first began this blog in February, I’ve lost 25 pounds (from my highest weight ever that I’ll share someday). Well, actually I’ve actually lost the same 25 pounds two times. Right now I find myself in that weird place of being down 25 pounds and being fearful of not getting past it again. It’s crucial to be one step ahead of myself right now with positive thoughts so that I don’t get into that old familiar trap of listening to old lies.

I have been introduced to a vitamin supplement called Plexus that you drink once in the morning. It was originally formulated for people with type 2 diabetes to help regulate their blood sugar and it was found to have a profound effect on people who needed to lose weight as well.

I’m not going to turn my blog into a sales pitch, but this little pink drink in the morning seems to have muted the ravenous beast that is my appetite. I was VERY skeptical at first, seeing as how I’ve tried EVERYTHING that seemed as though it would magically help me. This is no magic, I still have to make good choices, but I feel like its enabling me to make better choices and definitely helping me with consuming smaller portions. I’ve only been drinking it for 4 weeks. I have found that being consistent with that and with drinking LOTS of water has helped me feel great! Lots of energy and of course, 25 pounds down. Now I just gotta keep going. Here’s the link if you’re interested, http://mandiholden.myplexusopportunity.com/.

Most importantly I have been continuing with working though the 12 steps and making sure that I’m taking the recovery process very seriously. Continuous study on the topic keeps me one step ahead of myself and proactive against my food addiction. I’m reading a book right now (amongst many!) called “Love Hunger”. It’s boring and clinical but I’m getting some good nuggets out of it with regards to food addiction. I know I’m not alone in this battle and I’m glad to share whatever I’ve been learning along the way.

The other thing is I’ve been making an extra effort to wear makeup more regularly. It makes me FEEL better about myself and makes me feel pretty. Even if I’m only staying at my house, it seems to give me a little boost of confidence that I have been enjoying. Not every single day…but when I feel like it, it’s fun.

Well, that’s that.

Hope you are all thriving and living life to the absolute fullest!!!

Boomshakalaka.

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Grow up

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“Grow up! Let go of the baby bottles and pacifiers and grow up. You do not have to be ruled by your feelings, you CAN live your life without getting your way all the time. When you grow in maturity nobody can steal your peace.”
– Joyce Meyer

I’ll confess, I LOVE me some Joyce Meyer.

I often have Joyce (first name basis here) on in the morning before my kids get up. I like to make coffee and listen to her gruff, tell-it-like-it-is voice speak into my morning like a sassy pep talk from a favored old aunt. My friends have often teased me about my love for her because tele-evangelists have a shady track record…but every time I listen to her I learn something good.

When I heard her shout this gem at me this morning, it literally stopped me in my tracks.

Hit me right between the eyes.

Boomshakalaka.

“Grow up!”

Wow.
It really is THAT simple isn’t it?

My battle with disordered, compulsive binge eating has been examined in every way. I’ve unwrapped it and spread out its contents. I have flipped it over upside down and on its sides. I’ve folded it inside out. I’ve exposed every dark, dirty and shameful corner…all in hopes of finding some secret golden nugget of wisdom that would unlock this whole thing and set me free.

I’ve realized this morning what is so painfully obvious:
I’ve been acting like a big baby.

A baby is soothed with milk, pacifiers and swaddled bouncing when they scream and cry. We frantically change diapers and clothes if need be to assure our baby is warm and kept in dry, milky comfort. When they are newborn we jump into action to meet these needs diligently as needed for their survival. Every little squeak and squawk is tended to and fussed over.

Eventually we learn to create an appropriate balance. A feeding schedule and sleeping schedule is necessary. We learn to let the baby “cry it out” when they’re old enough so that it doesn’t learn to demand and command whatever it wants with screaming and fit throwing. (I know lots of moms who care for their babies in LOTS of different ways so there might be some who disagree with my methods here, but for now just go with it.)

If I apply this same thing to my own life it’s very telling. I’ve relied on (if not demanded!) food and eating to sooth my feelings. I’ve learned bad habits to quiet my anxieties and PACIFY me for awhile. But the time has come to grow up…and relearn how to live without my dependencies like a big girl. I’ve just HAD ENOUGH of it running and ruining my life. No one likes a cranky, spoiled baby.

When the time came to let my first born baby boy (pictured above) “cry it out” I knew I had to do it but it was agonizing that first night. I wanted to go in and pick him up but each time I did, it only taught him to scream harder and longer until I gave in. I knew logically that he wasn’t hungry, I knew he was dry and I knew he was safe. I would peek on him every 10 minutes or so to be sure and I would keep telling myself, “he is fed, dry and safe.” After about an hour he finally gave up and fell asleep. I peeked at him one last time, covered him up and with a heart full of relief and gratitude went to bed next to my husband and actually slept. 8 weeks old and he has been sleeping through the night ever since except for the occasional bout with sickness or whatever, but you get the idea.

I’m not saying that my struggle with food isn’t serious, obviously it’s a big deal that many women suffer from in different ways. I know I’m not alone. This is a painful and complicated road we’re on.
But this morning I’m feeling the call to a new level of spiritual maturity.

Maybe, despite how hard it will be and how loud my feelings scream at me…it’s just time to cry it out and tell myself I’m fed, dry and safe?

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Love hurts

My heart has broken for a close loved one who is experiencing a broken heart. An unexpected break up leaving shock and devastation in its wake.
It’s so hard to watch someone you love hurting and in pain when you’re powerless to do anything about it. Though there wasn’t much I could do to satiate my big sister hunger for blood and revenge, I was pleased to at least offer my home as a retreat for a few days for her to hide away in without the risk of running into him.
The truth is, heartache has to simply run its course. There is no cure. (Though, I attempted to distract with a scary movie which may or may not have been the best idea.)

I sometimes forget how it felt to be younger and waiting for my turn with true love. There were days (MANY days) I thought it would never come. That I would be skipped. Many days I believed I was somehow unworthy of being swept up in a grand love that would leave me breathless. Waiting for it felt like an eternity.
Now, I have been blessed for almost 9 years by a husband who is faithful, loving and amazing but even in the best case scenario…marriage is really hard work. It’s not this dreamy, breathtaking love song all day like we sit around fantasizing about. Romantic movies have really done us all a disservice.

There are SO many things I wish I would have enjoyed more in my single days that I had before marriage. (Eeeeeeek! Im not supposed to say that right? ) Christian culture for the female 18+ year old is ALL ABOUT nabbing that godly husband. It becomes quite the obsession. Bridal showers and bridesmaid dresses in abundance. Without realizing it, the message we spread is that our value as women can only be found if and when a man finds it in us. So we all cross our fingers and toes and PRAY PRAY PRAY for that husband to arrive. What does this mean for single women? Or women who have been called into important careers, ministry or missions that feel second class because of not having a husband!? What?! Is that what our Heavenly Father has planned for his daughters?

I read in a book recently that my calling as a woman of faith is not to my husband, house or children as we are taught…it is to Christ alone. It is to be all the me I was intended to be. Created to be. Which will ultimately make me the wife and mom I ought to be if that becomes a part of my life not the destination.

All I’m saying is on the flip side, there was so much learning about myself and loving myself I missed out on in the big hurry to fall in love and set up house.
If there was any advice I could ( and do) give to young, single gals out there awaiting love or mending a broken heart it would be this:

1.) GOD CREATED YOU BEAUTIFULLY JUST AS YOU ARE. YOU ARE PRECIOUS TO HIM. HE IS WITH YOU ALWAYS EVEN IN THE LONELIEST OF TIMES. HE HAS AMAZING PLANS FOR YOUR LIFE!

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”
-Song of Solomon 4:7 ESV

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
-Zephaniah 3:17 ESV

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
-Jeremiah 29:11 ESV


2.) YOU HAVE THE WORLD AT YOUR FINGERTIPS! GO PLACES! DO THINGS! CLIMB MOUNTAINS AND CONQUER FEARS! SOMEDAY YOUR BIGGEST CONQUEST WILL BE A 4FT PILE OF LAUNDRY…DON’T WASTE TIME! ADVENTURE AND SEEK AND LIVE FULLY. DON’T WAIT ON SOMEONE ELSE TO MAKE LIFE WORTH LIVING.

3.) IF A GUY IS TREATING YOU LIKE AN OPTION AND FEELS THE NEED TO SURVEY THE LAND BEFORE HE COMMITS TO YOU…KEEP MOVING LITTLE SISTER. HE AIN’T WORTHY. SADLY, WE SOMETIMES ACCEPT THE LOVE WE FEEL WE DESERVE. THAT IS WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF WELL. THE WAY YOU LOVE YOURSELF WILL SHOW OTHERS HOW TO LOVE YOU. THIS IS THE HARDEST LESSON TO LEARN.

4.) GET TO KNOW YOURSELF. A STRONG WOMAN IS ONE WHO KNOWS WHO SHE IS.

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Day 20 of 35!!! 😊✅✅✅ Today was a CRAZY day, so I had to fit a quick 20 min SOMETHING in this morning! Hey...a workout is a workout! 💪🏽💥🙌🏼🔥💜 #keepgoing #persist #35daysofgainz #notallworkoutareglorious

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