My 2018 Recap and Wishes for 2019!

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! 2018 flew by and I can’t believe its over. I’m blown away by everything that happened. Life takes you by surprise and often times, it’s completely wonderful. And then there are other times that bring you back down to Earth and remind you that you’re human.

I won’t spend too long going over my year but the year started with me in a terrible job and then finding a different, better one in March. Literally a day after I started my job, David and I got our first niece and she’s darling! In May, David asked me to marry him (BIGGEST MOMENT EVER!) and the day after, my mom was diagnosed with leukemia. Like I said, life is filled with ups and downs. The rest of the year has been spent wedding planning, dreaming for the future, and more wedding planning. So for 2019….

Big Changes Coming

Last New Year’s I tried to change me. But I wasn’t ready. So this New Year’s I really hope I am. I want to change how I think, how I eat, how I think about eating, and how I think about myself. This is the year I get married and there are so many changes coming my way! I couldn’t be more excited and nervous! So what am I doing to get ready? Creating NEW habits. And I’m praying with every fiber of my being that my habits stick!

gratitude journal and tea

The first thing I knew I needed to change in 2019 was my gratitude. I spend so much of my time wondering why I don’t have this or that and virtually none of my time being thankful for the things I dreamed I would have when I was 20. I’m so lucky in life and I don’t even know it! So I bought a gratitude journal! Here’s the exact one I got. Everyday you write down things and people you’re grateful for and why. Its a nice 5-minute exercise to start your day!
noom app

I also started a free trial of the Noom app. I had seen commercials and what not for this weight loss program and had always been curious. I started a free trial of it and am excited to see how it can help. It doesn’t just tell you how to lose weight, it address the harder part of weight loss- understanding your relationship with food.

I put food on a pedestal. If I’m not eating it, I’m thinking about it. It’s a reward for me. I need to change that! Noom gives you a counselor that helps you change how you view food and yourself. I will definitely be updating you guys in a few weeks to share my thoughts on the app!

Please share your goals with me! I love to hear what other people are striving for!

Why Accepting Yourself can be Your Biggest Challenge

Hey everyone! I wanted to chat about some exciting things going on in my life and share how my mental and physical health journey is going. Some of you may know that I’ve had issues with anxiety and depression (which is why I like to blog about it!) as well as body image issues. All the fun stuff, right? HA! I’ve always tried to be open with others about these personal problems because I think they’re important to talk about. Sharing my journey is at a turning point though- I’ve realized that accepting myself opens a million doors!

The Comparison Game

I’ve spent years comparing myself to other women. I often wondered “why am I not as thin as she is?” or “why don’t I have the beautiful home she does?” All these questions left me drained and feeling unworthy. Let’s be real- how on Earth could asking these questions ever be fulfilling? They’re questions that are designed to tear down the person who is asking them. And I WILLINGLY asked myself these questions.

Comparing myself and my life’s journey to someone else’s is a recipe for depression. Clinical depression isn’t always caused by one particularly thing, sometimes its honestly just a chemical imbalance in your brain, however it can be exasperated and prolonged by upsetting situations or thoughts. I made my own depression much worse and last much longer by asking myself almost every waking moment of the day, why I wasn’t good enough. It literally made me sick.

Understanding My Relationship with Money

I had a revelation the other day thanks to something my counselor said. When I was complaining to her that I didn’t understand why I didn’t have the nice cars other women have, nice home, perfect body etc. she said to me “Your value systems are unique and aren’t the same as others.” My internal light bulb went on. She was so right.

I relish in the fact that I’ve padded my savings account enough that a car repair, an emergency trip home, or a surprise bill won’t make a dent in my budget. I do a happy dance whenever I get to deposit more money into my savings account because it means I’m meeting my financial goals!

Having it All

When I compare myself to other people that appear to “have it all,” I often forget that credit cards and loans are a thing and most American’s carry around a fair amount of debt. The other day I was walking out of Target (not surprising at all) and there was a girl about my age getting into a shiny new Mercedes. I thought to myself “how come I don’t have one too?” Then I thought, OH WAIT! I hate car payments! And if I bought a nice new car, then you better believe I’d have one! So I hopped into my 2007 Ford Edge (a hand-me-down from my future sister in law) and drove away!

My views on money management are simply different from other peoples’ and that’s totally fine. I buy most of my clothing on clearance. I only buy furniture on sale and have no problem doing a DIY if I need to. David and I’s rental home isn’t super fancy but only takes up 1/8th of our paycheck. That, in my opinion, is winning at life. My counselor also reminded me that millionaires can often be hard to spot because they live next door to you and drive old cars. MIND BLOWN. So moral of the story- material items don’t equal happiness, feeling secure and safe does.

Getting Comfortable in My Skin

“If you accept yourself the way you are now, all the things you want will fall into place” this is what my counselor said to me the other day at our appointment. I’ve struggled for the last few years with my body not cooperating with any of my weight loss tactics and it’s been so discouraging.

I didn’t have crazy expectations like having a six-pack of abs or a super lifted booty, but I wanted to see progress in my exercising and calorie-counting regiment. Surprise surprise- my body resists pretty much every attempt at losing weight because of my high stress levels and oddly enough, food intolerance.

Cortisol is the stress hormone and when your body makes too much of it, it can be harder to lose weight. I’m just about the most anxious person I know and something as simple as driving to a new place in Dallas can cause a wave of anxiety for me. Combine my anxiety to simple, everyday things with my anxiety over how my body looks and BOOM- cortisol levels are spiking all day, everyday! So the less I stress about how much weight I’ve lost and how I look, the more likely I am to lose weight. Accepting myself, being happy with the way I was built, and most importantly, being happy with my lifestyle, could actually lead to the results I’ve been pining for.

Surprising Food Allergies

Now let’s talk about that food allergy I mentioned earlier. For years I’ve dealt with constant bloating and stomach pain after eating just about anything. Looking in the mirror all I’d see is a girl with a big stomach in pain. Fun, let me tell ya! It killed myself esteem and made me even more anxious (and sometimes still does). I literally just went to the doctor and he told me I had a severe allergy to lactose. Yeah- my digestive system is afraid of cheese! Insert eye roll here. He told me to take lactose pills every morning and the bloating should subside. One day later, I feel way better!

Key Takeaways

Sorry, this is the longest post ever but I just have so much to say! Accepting myself, my lifestyle, and the way God made me is literally the key to finding happiness and self-worth. How crazy is that? Imagine if we all did that and how we’d feel and even treat others? The comparison game, depression, body image issues, and a million other problems we all have may literally just become things of the past. How great would that be? So I’m encouraging you to reflect internally on who you are, what makes you different, what your value systems are, and how you feel throughout the day. The answers may surprise you!

How to Enjoy Exercising Againย 

fun exercise ideas

Hey readers! Hopefully you had a great weekend and did something fun! Every Sunday, David and I usually get brunch somewhere together but lately we’ve been spending our Saturdays checking out new places to hike or take a nice walk. We both try to stay healthy and in shape, so we wanted something fun and active to do on the weekends together. Exercising is not my favorite thing to do but I’m determined to find ways to enjoy it and so should you. Here’s a few tips on how to enjoy exercising!

hiking near dallas

Remember your budget

David and I are pretty budget conscious and like to find things to do that won’t break the bank. Most weekends we tend to eat our weight in fried food, so we decided to try a few hiking trails near Dallas to offset any weight gain. Mind you, I’m not a real hiker. I have no lung capacity and I’m not a big nature girl, but going on these hikes with David has turned me on to exercising options that go beyond an expensive yoga class.

cedar grove nature preserve

Exercise goes beyond a gym

Going to the gym is a love-hate relationship for me. I like to walk at an incline on the treadmill and lift free weights but I absolutely hate the process of going to the gym. Finding an activity that’s fun as well as beneficial for your body is the key to achieving your fitness goals. No one wants to do something on a regular basis that makes them miserable. Search beyond traditional gyms and classes for a physical activity that you’ll genuinely look forward to! For some people it might be long boarding at a park, but for me it’s a hike with my boyfriend!

Buy cute work out clothes

Any time I need a little push to get back into my fitness routine, I head to Target and find something cute to add to my workout wardrobe. Since I’m a style blogger, everything I wear has to be at least somewhat cute even if I’m not taking photos for a blog post. When I workout, my gym clothes need to be flattering, fun, and functional. Treat yourself to a new sports bra or running shorts to get motivated again!

texas style blogger

Workout with your best friend

David and I are each other’s best friend and favorite person to spend time with! We can be silly together (see embarrassing photo above) and laugh at the same dumb things. Doing something that you both genuinely love to do makes the physical fitness part much easier! Working out shouldn’t be a chore and it certainly should be done with other people.

Get motivated and get active! Go enjoy your week and find a new activity to get you going! Just a reminder- I’m currently taking on newbie or wannabe bloggers for my free consulting service! See this page for details!

dallas fashion blogger

Cute Gym Style for Your New Year’s Resolutions

dallas fashion blogger

Since I’m definitely not the only one that made a New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier and exercise, I thought now is the perfect time to talk about all that fun stuff. Is there anything harder than breaking bad habits? I stepped on the scale about a week ago and let me tell you, nothing motivates you like seeing the numbers just keep rising before your eyes. Absolutely terrifying. It doesn’t matter how thin or big I look to other people, I’m my own worst critic and I want to feel my best! The thing that motivates me to work out is the thrill of getting a toned body and buying new work out clothes!

dallas style blogger

cute workout clothes

Being that I’m a self-proclaimed style blogger, I feel like I have to look cute no matter what I do, and that includes hitting the gym. I’ll never be able to walk into the gym and feel empowered by wearing old gym shorts and a baggy t-shirt. It just isn’t happening because let’s be honest, I’m totally checking myself out in the mirror while I work out. And I know I’m not the only one who does this. I’m studying my form, how my gym style compares to everyone else’s, and whether or not my legs look big in the leggings I’m wearing.

how to look good working out

A few of my favorite places to get workout clothes are from Target and Old Navy. Of course I love Lulu Lemon and the cute uppity-ness going on with their clothing, but it just isn’t affordable right now. I’m always on the hunt for similar styles for half the price. Read on for a few of my finds below!

knockoff lulu lemon

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My “outfit of the day” is probably my favorite outfit to exercise in! Dallas has lots of great places to run but my favorite place is the treadmill inside and away from the cold! Let me know how your resolutions are going and share any weight loss tips with me in a comment below!

Apple Cider Vinegar Detox

mother apple cider vinegar

Oh my goodness, I’m so glad it’s Friday. It seemed like this week just went by so slowly. The only thing that kept me going was the copious amounts of junk food I ate. Since moving to Dallas, I haven’t been able to help my self from trying all the amazing food here. The brunches, Tex-Mex, and farmer’s market finds just keep me from being that healthy, weight conscious gal I used to be. Someone help me!

Speaking of the farmer’s market though, last weekend I came across a booth selling infused apple cider vinegar. It’s a health drink that our grandmothers probably took shots of everyday to stay on the up and up. Not sure what to think about it, I got a sample of the raspberry rose infusion and prepared for the worst. I was so surprised when I actually liked it! The lady that makes the infusions is the sweetest thing and better yet, her taste in designing displays is impeccable.

health detox drinks

I enjoyed the bottle I bought at the market on my balcony later on that day. It was the only healthy thing I ate or drank. Supporting local businesses like hers is so important to me because they add culture and value to the communities we live in. Next weekend, I think I’ll be going back to buy a few more! If you’re ever in Dallas, check out the farmer’s market for this yummy and healthy detox drink!

-Liz