2 Out Of 10

So I had a completely different post ready for today, alas this post came to my mind last night and was written this morning and I’m using it instead.

I have been in a bit of a weird mood lately and I think that has magnified some body issues that I have. It’s no secret I’ve battled with my weight especially since being medicated BUT as I mentioned in a previous post I’ve joined weight watchers and I am down 16 lbs which is huge win because I haven’t been able to drop anything after the 10lbs I lost on my own. You would think I’d be happy with this. Believe me – I am, but I know there is still 10-15lbs to go, thus I am not thrilled with where I am at. It’s not only that. I realized this past month or so that I’ve been killing myself with self talk in the worst way.

Self talk is some thing I’ve blogged about on many occasions and I firmly believe it can make a huge impact on your life. After my engagement photos I ripped my appearance apart. I cried when I saw the photos and I’m not sure if I’ve completely recovered. I’ve never wanted to get cosmetic surgery BUT after that photo shoot the idea crossed my mind on numerous occasions, I even looked into clinics in my city. Furthermore, one of my best friends just a had a minor procedure done. I’m never going to encourage someone to alter their appearance (she is gorgeous without it) BUT it made me want to do it myself.

I look thru social media on the daily and I think that’s also been messing with me. What’s real? What’s fake? What’s photoshopped? Whats not? It’s mind blowing the types of apps they have that alter your appearance. And the types of procedures available to get the “perfect look”.

I feel naive to be buying into the glam that some of these people have but I look at them and I look at myself and I’m like wow maybe I’m a 2 out of a 10. Maybe I’m not, but I’ve been talking to myself like I am.

I used to consider myself someone who was dressed on point, makeup and hair was on point and now – I rarely do my hair in a style, my make up is sub-par and my clothes remind me of a librarian. I think the fact I hate my sense of style is affecting my mood. Heck. I don’t even think I can say I have a style at this point.

To a degree I feel like I’ve lost part of my identity and maybe that’s why I’m so upset. I used to feel so inspired when I put together a look and now I drag my feet because I’m not happy with any of the outcomes. So then I think I’ll look online to find inspiration and BAM it makes me feel like I’m a 2 out of 10 again.

The more medicated I’ve become the less creative flaire I’ve had in so many aspects if my life. I’m calling myself out on it BECAUSE I want it to change. I want to be the girl up till 2 am designing and sewing because fashion was my life. I haven’t sewn in the past 3 years or sketched. Nada. When I go to design I draw a blank. I have no sense of style to build on. I feel like I’ve lost it all.

To add to it…. it’s not to blame but within my religion it’s encouraged to adhere to certain modesty standards and because I want my actions to reflect my faith I adhere to these standards (I haven’t always when I was younger) this makes certain styles and things that I’m drawn towards unacceptable. This is super frustrating and something I’ve struggled with. Like I said I haven’t always adhered to the standards and that’s probably when I liked my style the most as sad as it is to say. Right now I feel so bland. I feel like my selection is limited and consists of the same silhouettes which are boring in my eyes right now – maybe they won’t always be. Maybe it’s my mentality that is preventing me from seeing the style within my limits but I just feel stuck.

I feel like I have a mental block and it’s been there for a while and I’ve been putting it off, telling myself it’s not a big deal or it will sort itself out on its own. It hasn’t. And I’m unhappy with where I am.

At this point I feel like I’ve been a let down for my fiance. He loves me and tells me how beautiful I am BUT he has rarely seen me look completely put together. I think now that I am getting married and in this relationship there is a part of me that is saying “step up your game you have so much more to offer!” I’ve been so numb to expressing myself out side of this blog and writing and even then sometimes I struggle to post because I feel like I have nothing to say.

I feel like I don’t even know where to begin to pull myself out of this bleak hole. I just want to feel creative and comfortable with how I look again. I love me. I love myself. But my agonizing criticism isn’t reflecting that.

It’s important to have an identity with your appearance, and I think that’s why I’m so upset. I feel like I have no identity. I feel so uninspired.

I honestly just don’t even know.

I wish I had some positive outlook to express in this post but I’ve got NIL.

I think I’ll challenge myself to say one positive thing about myself for the rest of the month. I need to get a grip on my self talk and show myself a little more love. Right now my self talk isn’t cutting it. I know it’s a problem that if I don’t face will do damage and potentially ruin all the work I’ve done to have a happy loving relationship with myself. That’s a break up I don’t want.

I always encourage self love and I think that’s why I wanted to make this post. I don’t want to be a hypocrite and this is my journey, I am human and sometimes I fall off the wagon – which I have, and I am presently working to get back on it.

I don’t know my friends.

I guess chin up. I know I’ll come out on the other side. I’ll find my groove I’ll work on my creativity as silly as that sounds. Hopefully sooner than later. I’ll find some inspiration and I’m sure before I know I’ll feel like I can strut down a runway…. or not BUT it’s a nice idea.

I’m sorry if this post seems all over. I’m having a hard time keeping up with everything I’m thinking and I don’t know if it’s translating into a post that makes sense.

I have some serious work to do.

– Steph

What Now?

At the end of the day if you don’t like something – change it. It may not be the easiest change BUT you are more than capable of doing it. Like the quote says, you are not a tree SO MOVE!

It’s so easy to complain about our situation BUT if we are not going to do anything to improve it, I suggest putting a muzzle on and keeping it to yourself.

Why complain? What good does it do? It’s one thing to let your frustrations out when you are going to do something to rectify them or if you want to get feedback from those around you BUT if all you do is complain with no intention of trying to change the situation – all you are doing is creating a toxic train of thought (guilty). You are adding fuel to a nasty fire that consumes everything in its path with self-loathing, resentment and bitterness.

I have struggled with my weight. This is no secret. I gained 40lbs while taking high doses of quetiapine, and when enough was enough I told the doctor I was either going off of my medication or changing to a weight neutral one. Needless to say, he switched me to a new one, I presently take Latuda (and other medications, but that’s besides the point). After the change in medication I dropped 12 lbs alas I haven’t been able to lose anything more. Am I happy at my new weight? Nope. Happier than I was when I was 12 lbs heavier but still not happy to weigh as much as I do. I have been working out and eating moderately well – but moderately doesn’t cut it when it comes to my weight. I am not counted among the chosen few who can eat whatever their heart desires with no repercussion.

I’ve bee surviving at my current weight but my breaking point with my weight was a few weeks ago. I took engagement photos and I was mortified by what I saw. Everyone was telling me how nice I looked, how beautiful I looked – and all I saw was a whale at its finest. I cried at work, I cried at home, I cried to my sisters, I cried to my fiancé – I cried a lot. BUT reality set in when my fiancé asked what I was going to do about, my initial answer was “not eat” a terrible answer fueled by emotion and pattern that I’ve grown accustomed too. When I don’t see the progress, I want I don’t eat – it doesn’t last forever and obviously doesn’t give me long term healthy results, but I go ahead and do it anyways in conjunction with going to the gym.

I went to bed after this conversation with my fiancé and woke up with a dose of reality and new resolve to lose weight, why in the world would I not eat?! I’ve been working so hard to be the healthiest version of me in all aspects and losing weight was not going to be an exception. I would lose weight and dang-nab-it I would lose it in a healthy manner. So, I put my thinking hat on because I needed a plan and direction. I previously had a meal plan from a personal trainer but it was so restrictive I literally felt like there was no enjoyment in what I ate and as far as I was concerned it wasn’t working (I actually gained weight). I need wiggle room. And I know for a fact my nutrition is the biggest contributor to lose or not lose weight, I can spend hours at the gym BUT if my eating is not up to par I am not going to see results.

So, what did I do you may ask? I humbled myself and I joined a program that I associated with old women … don’t ask me why I had that association but I did. I joined Weight Watchers to be exact. I never thought I would be that person because I thought it was silly, but I literally asked myself – what do I have to lose aside from weight? Absolutely nothing. I read into it and it seemed like it would be a sustainable plan AND if thousands of individuals could lose weight on it without even exercising, why should I be the exception. There was a promo going so I bought a plan for 3 months. If I find it works and I am losing weight I will extend the plan until I hit my goal weight and maintain it for a few months.

Who would have known that Weight Watchers was my holy grail? It has been almost 2 weeks and I am down 6 pounds. I have 24 to go until I hit my goal weight. I can totally do this. I have a plan. It is actually not even that hard – their phone app gives me life and makes tracking so easy. I legitimately feel like I’m playing a game and so far, I’ve been winning. BONUS news is that my dear friend joined as well after I told her the results of my first weigh in. So now I have a partner in crime. I am still going to the gym, not as often BUT that’s going to change; this month I am hoping to get my booty into high gear and go with a new level of intensity – again my dearly beloved friend wants to work out with me so this should be a fun adventure we embark on together.

I felt so defeated and was throwing a massive pity party, but now I feel like a woman on a mission with an arsenal full of lethal weapons to get the job accomplished. Cheesy but true.

What a profound question we can ask ourselves – what are you going to do about it? It’s not as though I’ve never asked myself that before, but in connection to my weight it really hit home this time.

– Steph

Face Lift

As you may have noticed my blog has had an overhaul, and I have to say I’m loving the new look. It was a process, I lost sleep over it to say the least (it would be fair to say that I was over stimulated and slightly obsessing over it) BUT holy cow has it been worth it! I can’t however, take all the credit for the work that’s been done on my blog. Like I mentioned in my previous post I paid someone to transfer my blog to the new host because I had no clue what I was doing and there was no way I would have been able to figure it all out without crying myself to sleep.
So, who was my saving grace in this whole process? Her name was Megan, cleverly titled by WordPress as a “Happiness Engineer”. She has been instrumental in remodeling my blog, I’ve had numerous questions and this Wonder-Woman-of-technology has answered them all and gone above and beyond to help me bring my vision to life. She was so friendly and patient and I am forever grateful.

I am so relieved it is done. It has been a learning process and I am sure there is a shwack load of more learning to do, but it is only going to get better from here on out.

This post is intended to get the ball rolling, to let you all know I survived. Hallelujah!

Happy Monday everyone, I hope you all have a wonderful start to your week.

– Steph

Better Than Ever 

This blog post is being collectively being written from various airports and plane rides. My original flight was cancelled and I’ve been rerouted, rather than landing at my destination this evening, I will be arriving the following day. No worries – it’s an adventure.

I have to be honest lately I’ve had this feeling like I’ve won the lottery even though I don’t gamble.

Nicaragua was an amazing life experience – different, but amazing. I am going home to move into my new apartment (which I am incredibly excited about – it represents my independence), I will be reunited with my sisters whom I’ve missed (and my little nutmeg) … and a certain young man that’s made quite the impression.

I am also looking forward to getting back to work (in a career that I love and in an amazing firm) and hitting the gym to smash my goals.

Life is so great.

It’s hard to believe there was a time I didn’t want to live. A time when I would plan the way I was going to die. What a difference.

I know I have bipolar, I know I take 3 different medications, I know I have psychologist appointment every 2-3 weeks, and a psychiatrist appointment every 3 months (it used to be every 3 weeks). I know all these things BUT I know there are moments, where I don’t feel like I have bipolar, where I just am. My sister has even told me sometimes she forgets I have bipolar. It’s unreal how far I’ve come, how I see myself and life differently.

I don’t just function, I don’t just cope – I live.

Being told I had bipolar was the best thing that could have happened to me. It gave me the chance to finally have a life. It finally gave me the answer I was looking for. It opened the door to opportunity, the door to understanding.

Knowledge is power, self-awareness is power. And I was given that power the day I was escorted to the hospital and later diagnosed. It’s ironic I was locked up in a psych ward (terrified) but it was in that moment that I found my freedom.

I love life. I honestly do.

There are times where my mind try’s to tell me otherwise BUT like I said, knowledge is power and I know that I love life. I know my lows will end and I will see the sun shining as bright as ever.

There is so much to do in life, and because of the work I’ve put into my health I get to do it. Sure, I have safety buffers that others without bipolar might not have to worry about BUT if it means I get to step outside of the cage and shackles I was living in before, then so be it. Bring on the buffers.

Invest in yourself- go to doctor appointments and be actively engaged, apply the techniques discussed. Create a support system – people who you can trust and talk to (you are only alone if you choose to be) and educate yourself. When I was diagnosed I read books about bipolar, books about living with it, books about your loved ones perspective with living with someone with bipolar, and cognitive behavioural books and articles given to me by doctors. I made notes, I wrote questions – I refused to sit back and be passive in my own life. I took control of my life once given that chance, I’ve had help along the way but it was a choice I made and I’ve done everything in my power to fulfill it. It’s a never ending process, bipolar doesn’t just go away BUT it can become manageable.

Never doubt what you are capable of. Your happily ever after is a journey and I promise you it’s real.

-Steph

Just Live A Little


Life.

My oh my. 

I’m currently working on making the most of my life. Recently I had someone walk into my life, mind you I showed them the exit… BUT for the brief time they were in my life they caused me to re-evaluate how I was living it. I am the most stable I’ve ever been – this is a fact. But there is more than just being stable. More than just holding the status quo.

I’ve done things in my life, but I haven’t all at the same time. Living was such a struggle for so many years I feel like my life was a bit of a write-off. Perhaps I haven’t completely escaped the mentality of just surviving. 

But I’m here. I’m alive and I want my life to reflect that.

I was asked about my bucket list and I only had 2 things to list off. On top of that the two ideas weren’t even that creative! 

That just won’t do.

Over the course of two weeks I developed a bucket list. Or rather “lists”. One list outlines things I would like to do over the course of 2017/2018, and the other lists things I’d like to do in a lifetime. I’m trying to step outside of my box, escape the mundane routine I’ve created. Add a little bedazzle. Spice things up. You get the idea.

I’m really proud of my list, it took quite a bit of effort to create it. 

It’s so easy to get into a routine, routine is good don’t get me wrong BUT there should be more. More to life. Where did my exploratory nature go? Where is my sense of adventure?

I was going thru a bit of depression the past while, feeling trapped. But I realized I was the one putting myself in the cage or like I referred to it earlier – a box. I was the one restricting myself, no one else.

When you feel trapped you are the only one who can free yourself, whatever that situation may be.

Escaping our box is a choice, and most often it requires that we put in effort and feel a bit uncomfortable. And why must we feel uncomfortable? Because my dear friends, we are stepping outside of our norm and its the price we must pay.

And when I say I want to live life I don’t mean I need to climb Mount Everest or backpack thru Europe, not saying I’d turn down the opportunity.  What I’m talking about is reading books, going to museums and art galleries, taking guitar lessons, joining a choir, going to a paint night (which I just did … my painting was terrible! But I had fun making it, and that’s what it’s all about), simple yet impactful things that will add dimension to my life. 

Dimension that’s my objective. I want to have something to talk about, things to look forward to. I want to meet people, enrich my life with perspective. Expand my way of looking at life and take advantage of the life I’ve been blessed with.

I want to be an actively engaged in my life rather than passively letting it pass me by.

I feel so passionately about this new outlook on life, I feel alive and excited for what is to going to happen because of me making it happen. 

Ask yourself if you are trapped in routine, feeling like life is escaping you – then make a list. Make a list of things outside of your box and start doing them.

It’s been a big year for me. Lots of new chapters with school ending, me getting my dream job, a couple of toads crossing my path. I feel like in my life’s story is picking up its pace and it’s only going to get better! 

Stop thinking about all the things you’d like to do. Take action and do them. Liberate yourself from the box you live in and add dimension to your life. Stay stable but add a little bedazzle. 

– Steph

Good Things People

What better time to write a blog post then when you’re stranded on the side of the road. Looking for the silver lining

Presently that’s me. 

By the time I post this I’ll be rescued BUT since I’ve got the time I’ll write away. 

Life update.

I’ve been doing good. The breakup is going good… he contacted me and wanted to work things out – go figure BUT in the words of Taylor Swift I told him we are never ever getting back together. And I feel great about it!

I started my new job at a family law boutique firm and I absolutely love it! Everyone is so nice. I will be working for two lawyers… it should be interesting and I’m sure I’ll be writing more posts about this new part of my life.

My health is good. It’s amazing what leaving a toxic relationship can do for you! I’ve had doctor appointments and I’m managing well in their eyes. My medications hasn’t changed and I don’t feel like there is a need to. I have a good combo going on right now. 

On to the fun stuff… 

I am going to post my DIY project down below … I finished it early last week and I am so happy with the the final result! It makes me even more excited to move out so I can put them to good use. (January is when I plan to move out)

Just a reminder … the table I bought for $25, the chairs $3 and the stool $3, the fabric for $30 (but i didnt use all of it), the stain, stripper and sand paper probably around $55… I had some at home as well. So not too shabby!

The before: 

The in-between… the stripping and sanding took a long time! 

The finished result:

And there you have it! My new dining set!

It was a lot of work BUT worth it, and I always enjoy these types of projects when it’s all said and done. 

I have all few more coming up so I’ll post those as they come along. 

Life is going good presently and I have a lot to look forward to! (Minus my broken down car set back BUT it could be worse, so I’m still smiling)

On a side note… all that weight I gained (which we determined was from my seroquel) I’ve lost 17lbs … I still have 15lbs to go but I’m grateful for the progress. I think I’ll write a post talking more about it later. 

Good things people. Good things. 

I just feel so grateful and blessed one decision can change your life and I feel like I’ve been making some pretty good decisions lately.

So my dear friends, make a decision today that will give you a better tomorrow.

– Steph

What Matters Most

There is nothing quite as satisfying as having your dog curl up next to you – in my case my dog often curls up in my arms or by my neck.

There is just something about the love of a dog. 

Nutmeg  (my dog) is 6 years old. It’s been an amazing 6 years and I hope to have many more. Life would not be the same without her. 

She calms me down and has given me purpose. To care for her and in turn care for myself. Having her in my life has been one of my greatest blessings. 

If you have a dog I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. And if you don’t have a dog but are thinking about one I encourage you to take that step BUT only if you are going to commit. Dogs aren’t disposable – when you buy one it should be with a lifetime in mind.

When I bought Nutmeg I knew in my heart she was non-negotiable. When I moved around (which I’ve done a lot) I always picked dog friendly buildings. Even if that meant spending more money. I made a commitment to Nutmeg the day I bought her. She’s a loyal little soul and deserves the same in return. 

Even if you’re not thinking about getting a dog, but another animal instead I encourage you to look into it. I researched for 2 years before I bought Nutmeg. It may not take you that long BUT know what you are getting into. 

Through the good and the bad she’s remained constant. Through all the changes she’s been there, and that my dear friends is priceless. The kind of love a pet (in my case a fur baby) can give you and you can give in return is truly amazing and is one of the simple ways our hearts can remind us that we know what it is to feel.

– Steph