You possess the power of strength, confidence, and beauty

It's going to be hard to stay motivated this week. A birthday tonight...with cake...I know, I don't have to eat the cake, but it's cake.

CAKE PEOPLE!!! CAKE! Maybe just a bite? If I set my intention now to only have a bite or two that should really help when faced with my parents super delicious, yet funny decorating, cake skills

I will have a cheeseburger salad for dinner as we are going out to dinner tonight...or rather a low carb burger. I always forget what the carb crash is like though...that's probably why they continue to slip back in. Such is life though right?

I wanted to talk today about something I've heard twice over this last week. The comment was "I can't stand to look at myself in the mirror, or have people see me."; "I don't feel beautiful."

I struggled with this too before I started losing weight. I thought my entire face, body hair, looked bad. I felt ugly. My flat oily hair...I liked the idea of long hair but could never figure out how to style it...I don't "girl" very well.
My face was riddled with scars from past pimples and acne everywhere. I remember in high school, (I weighed 50lbs more my senior year of high school than I do right now.) I was bigger than MOST girls. Most people gave me a passing glance and often referred to me as "heavy set".

In junior high they used to call me pork chop, because I WAS the biggest girl. I was afraid to do the "Guess my weight" game at the theme park when I went with all the pretty girls on a mission trip for church. I was embarrassed. I had at least 20 pounds on all of them.

My senior year of high school we were auditioning for short plays as part of drama class. My drama teacher knew and understood me well enough that I would connect with a character who didn't fit in because of her weight. I was appalled at the thought.  But, she was right. I could identify with that character. I did identify with that character. It was about a girl who had been accepted into a private school but no one would approach her because she didn't dress the same & didn't look the same. Was tailored poorly and over weight. I remember I was suppose to be sitting on a bench looking out over a pond while these step-ford wive looking students approached me about my existence in "their school" and that I needed to change. I remember falling to my knees by the lake crying, but then feeling the strength within me to rise up and walk away from the situation.

It wasn't just about being over weight though. It was about feeling beautiful enough. I hated the way I looked. I was lucky enough to have a mom who told me that I needed to embrace my curves. I was lucky enough to have a boyfriend (whose now my husband) look beyond everything I was on the outside & see who I was on the inside.

In college, my freshmen year is when I had gained the most weight. Here's where I am gonna break a promise and talk numbers, at 5'4" on a cold fall day, I was at my best friends house getting ready to go to a funeral of a member of the church we attended. I remember standing on the scale and seeing 218 flash across the screen. (The number doesn't quite haunt me like it used to.) All I knew was I never wanted to see that number ever again in my entire least on the scale down in front of me.

I remember right before my wedding I was jealous because my mom had lost 40lbs and looked phenomenal and I had lost only half that. I would have nightmares about a dress that didn't fit & bright red flared acne as I walked down the aisle.

Two years ago I started getting regular facials. She was a God-send. Really helped control my acne, but I still needed to lose more weight. After the doctor last year and the new diet, the acne calmed down even more (Two bad flare ups in the last year but a good 80% under control.) I also finally lost the rest of the weight.

During that weight loss though, I was taking classes that built muscle and helped me feel strong, I was able to do pushups on one leg, let alone...DO A PUSHUP. Between eating right, becoming strong, and regular facials...that's when I really started to feel beautiful. Strength, to me, is beauty.
It's in my friends who see beyond pain of a heartbreak. It is in just laughing and having a good time. Beauty is in smile. Beauty is in what you do. Beauty is confidence, not what you look like.

When you're not comfortable with yourself where you are in your journey it's harder for you to convince yourself that YOU ARE WORTH the journey. It's more than just being a size 2 or having a great butt, it's loving yourself for you.

When you make healthy decisions you give yourself permission to honor your body.

Do yourself a favor post a note on the mirror, on the fridge, on the tv, next to your magazine rack at home that simply says "You are worth the journey."

When it comes to losing weight, my biggest suggestion is remind yourself daily, hourly why you are doing this. What are you sacrificing to gain?

I sacrificed carbs to control my blood sugars. For my future health. 

I gained so much perspective this last year on food and health. Reading labels, sticking to a mostly clean eating diet. I also gained confidence and strength. I honestly can't remember the last time I looked in the mirror and told myself I hate how I look. Sure I have some parts that jiggle...but who doesn't. I do hope to tone those jiggly parts with strength training within this next year, but I love how I look in dresses, I love wearing shorts, I love being seen in public. 

My other suggestion is to start by tracking your food. EVERYTHING. Every little stinking thing. Track it's hard for some and I had to take a month off not to long ago because I was over whelmed and yes fine...obsessed, but it's the best way to realize where you're going wrong. Is it not enough protein? Is it late night snacking? Chips or cookies over fruits and vegetables. LOG YOUR FOOD.

Drink water. Go for walks. Move for just 30 minutes a day. Doesn't matter the exercise but you do have to move. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you're beautiful. Everyday. Do this everyday. Get facials. Get your nails done. Buy yourself a nice suit(if you're a guy) or a beautiful dress when you hit a goal. Reward yourself with a book or a song. Try not to reward yourself with food. Try healthy cheats like chocolate milk over a chocolate bar. Or if you do eat something unhealthy start over with the next bite. Give yourself time. Don't set unrealistic goals. Get mad, get angry, cry, scream, sweat, push yourself if you have too. Work out especially when you don't feel like working out...but no matter what...DO NOT GIVE UP. Failure is not an option. 

Pretty length post but do know that everything you want you have the power within you to achieve the goals you never dreamed possible.