the root of it all

 I fee like I need to give context and reason to anything I write on this blog. The blog I always forget I started. I want it to seem like I had an idea of what I wanted this blog to be when I hastily created it like 2 years ago. But I had no idea and I still don’t. So I’m just going to dive right in. It’s January 2017 and like a lot of people I started the New Year by writing out 25 goals I want accomplish in my 25th year. And just like many, many years before health and fitness made the list! Another year, another desire to FINALLY start losing the weight I’ve seriously been dreaming of losing since high school. I want this year’s list of goals to actually matter and be accomplished. So blogging (or attempting to blog) my way through it is the accountability I probably need to actually make it happen. So thank you for joining me on this journey to completely reinventing myself (an idea that has always been so appealing to me)

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I’ve recently started using myfitnesspal again to track calories. I’m always willing to try new diets and exercise routines but I tend to lack discipline and ultimately love food too much. So I’m giving calorie tracking a more serious shot. I was just browsing through all the things you can do with myfitnesspal and realized there’s a profile you can fill out that has some questions about you and your weight loss journey. The first box to fill in was simply titled “About Me” and it turns out I have a lot of feelings that could be expanded on in a more appropriate place. And well… that place is here.

About Me:

I have always been fat. As a child I was taller, rounder, and lumpier than anyone else my age. I don’t know how much impact being quite chubby with a stomach that somehow had two different sections had on me when I was younger. But I knew there was something off about me. In second grade I had to start wearing the equivalent of plus sized clothing for children. Thankfully JC Penney had a great selection of clothing in those “big girl” sizes and I could still have clothes that matched my friends. But that was the first real marker where I noticed there was something different about me.

The first time I knew I was fat was when I was 10. I took dance lessons for many years and costumes were always kind of an issue. That year the shorts that came with my sailor’s costume were quite small on me. Before I got professional pictures taken my mom took me to some department store and bought me a white skirt that fit properly and would look better in the pictures. I had to buy that skirt in a size 3 from the juniors department. It was one of those moments where I felt cool to be buying clothes that older girls wore but also I was kind of embarrassed.

I spent the summer between 5th and 6th grade trying to lose weight. One afternoon I was at my best friend’s house hanging out and her mom was starting to do weight watchers. I spent like 20 minutes talking to her about dieting and how she lost weight and why she really hated weight watchers. I soaked up all the information she had. She had success at losing weight and it made me feel like I could too. I was so determined to become normal before I entered middle school.

My mom was always a bit more concerned about my weight then me. She did her best to keep me active and limit all those sugary foods kids love. She didn’t want me to suffer and be ridiculed for being fat. She was always trying to help me make better choices and I am so thankful for that. But I hated sports and was terrible at all of them. I just wanted to like everyone else and not have to worry about what I was eating and getting enough exercise. I just wanted to be a kid.

I ended up feeling a lot of tension between being a normal kid and being super aware of my weight. That tension caused me to have a very unhealthy relationship with food. Any chance I had to eat sugary cereal, indulge in Little Debbie dessert snacks/any type of chip or drink non-diet pop I went CRAZY. Being at my friends houses were like heaven. I could have anything my heart desired! No other parent was going to tell  me to stop eating all the delicious garbage they were feeding their kids as well. I had freedom with my food and it was glorious. And I started to realize I could eat all the food I wanted if I did it in secret. So sneaking food and overeating became my most sacred habit. And as I got older, I kept growing bigger and my desire to lose weight was still there but my love of food was always the most powerful feeling I had.

By the time I was in high school I cared less and less about my weight. I was happy, had a solid group of friends and was never made fun of for being fat. At least no one ever made fun of me to my face. I felt well liked and connected with people easily. I never necessarily liked how my body looked or deep down wanted to be the weight I was and have all the fat rolls that I did. But I had enough confidence in myself and I loved who I was. Somehow my weight (thankfully) didn’t really stop me from enjoying my life. I did all the things I wanted, attended every school dance alone or with my friends and was able to fake it til I made it whenever I felt my insecurities about my weight rising to the surface.

There was always the thought in the back of my mind that I wanted to lose weight and stop being everyone’s funny fat friend but I have the worst self control and almost no discipline in my life. As I entered college I realized it was the perfect time to reinvent myself. I started trying to eat healthier and work out but every time I would mess up, I would just give up and decide that I’ll just never be able to lose weight and look the way I want. Luckily my quitter attitude would only last for a little bit and I’d get determined again.

Every few months for the past 6.5 years I’ve attempt a new weight loss/health tool: weight watchers, a new workout program, some fad diet etc. but nothing ever seems to stick. It’s been a constant struggle to make the changes necessary to become a better version of myself. I love food so much. Food has been my ultimate comfort over the years. Through hard friendships, feeling like no one cared about me and just general heart break. Food always made me feel good and was something to look forward to. I always end up feeling  like I have to “deprive” myself of things I really love to ever be successful in getting healthy and taking control of my life. And also my terrible, terrible eating habits. But I can’t let the difficulty of something keep me from changing in ways that will only be beneficial. I’ve got to stop giving myself space to make excuses and  actually just freaking do it.

I don’t want to always have this intense struggle with food. I want to see food the way it actually is: something that keeps me alive. I want to overhaul my life this year and start making things right in more areas that just losing weight. I want to choose health, longevity and the ability to do everything I truly want. I don’t want my weight to control me or my obsession/addiction to food to always come first. I am so ready to change and have freedom from food. I’m ready to experience joy outside of a really satisfying meal. So this is where I am: putting real effort into changing, choosing self control & discipline in all areas of my life and knowing now is finally the time to choose true joy.

This is my letter of accountability for the journey. This year is my year.

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new beginnings

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve thought about the fact that I wanted to start a blog and even longer since I’ve taken the time to publish a post. In general I’m never as committed to “writing projects” as  I want to be and ultimately feel bad about it for a week and then forget completely. Well I’m trying to be better about writing and am lucky enough to have a best friend (Sarah) who helped me make a huge jar full of writing prompts to get through. So as another way to stay accountable to myself, here’s one I worked through a few weeks ago. I hope to see you all here more often. Here’s to a new writing journey.

Write about someone you once knew very well but no longer do

All she wanted was the attention of one person. Her everything. Her true love. Her best friend. Each day that passed was dedicated to capturing his eye. There was no she without he. She wished to be dazzling, radiant, enchanting and unattainable. She desired to be desired intensely. Any gaze, glance, hello or how do you do was satisfying. One day she finally caught him and everything she assumed to be true, was. She was whole. She was satisfied. He was the most satisfying treat to consume. Nothing tasted as sweet as his love did. But his love eventually ran out and as time passed the mission became less about him and more about any and every body on earth. To be known a little by someone was better than to not be known at all. Her loneliness reared its head in the quiet spaces between breaths. Waiting to consume her.

The only choice she had left was to become big. So undeniably noticeable that she could never feel alone. She spoke loud and often. Trying her hardest to make everyone else feel wanted and irreplaceable. Bonds formed between basically every single body she encountered. She felt confident and invincible. She was liked, she was loved, she was worthy. But her worthiness was only found in everybody else. And in the quiet of her thoughts and her bedroom she was still what she had always been: lonely.

Loneliness made her selfish. She searched for satisfaction in all things. She found more “he’s” to capture. She revealed every part of her heart, mind and body to men who never cared about her heart in the first place. Just the body. Just the satisfaction of knowing part of her intimately. But being known a little by someone was better than not being known at all. To her this is what true desire felt like. She was enchanted, dazzled and enthralled by him, so he must feel the same about her. This small idea was all she needed to get deeper into him. True care and love grew inside her but the “hes” of the world let her slip through their fingers. She would never matter as much as they did.

She was fearful, lustful, selfish, needing gratification of any sort and only worthy in the eyes of anybody else. She couldn’t see who He saw. She saw fat, shame, loneliness, and no desire. She saw insecurities for what they really were. A distrust of all true friends and questioning every feeling people had for her. She was lost in the questions of uncertainty and saw no way out. No answer would be good enough. So she sat in lies and made them her truth.

She was: unlovable, undesirable, selfish, lustful, out of control, lazy, obsessive and willing to give anything to be seen by ANY DANG PERSON ON EARTH.

He still waits. Ready to show her the ‘she’ He sees. To reveal the true qualities of her soul. The precious words He spoke into being the moment she was conceived. The phrases He lovingly said a loud eons before she ever existed. The story He hand crafted before this world even came to be. The lyrics of the song He never stops singing for her. She is HIS and HE lays claim on the beauty of the person He created. She isn’t who I knew her to be. Now she is who HE made her to be.

forward

Crying in the shower is the least satisfying place to cry.

The water is pouring down over you and in the midst of that your tears are indistinguishable from what’s raining down from the shower head.

Breathing in humid air while your eyes are pouring out hot tears is exhausting.

Your throat hurts and crying becomes painful instead of what it should be: a relief and a release.

I never like to cry in the shower.

And I almost always enjoy a good cry.

Crying has always felt like a cleansing of my emotions. A way to feel more put together.

Tears are such a beautiful expression. They so clearly convey that a person is feeling SOMETHING.

Tears of joy, tears of pain, tears of frustrating, tears of sadness. Tears encompass so much of what we feel.

And that moment when you take that last big gulp of air before your tears finally stop and you can breathe a sigh of relief is such a glorious place to be!

It’s the moment when you realize that you can handle what you’re dealing with. And have the clarity to take reasonable actions.

All you need to do is just exhale.

After that breath you are ready to move forward.

Earlier I decided to listen to my worship playlist while I took a shower.

I’ve been on a huge a podcast binge the past few months and have listened to a podcast whenever I get a chance.

But worship music seemed like the right choice today.

And spoiler alert: it was.

The first song to come up on shuffle hit me in a way I wasn’t expecting. I have heard this song hundreds of times by now but today it was the first time I actually heard the lyrics.

I’m not going back, I’m moving ahead.

Here to declare to you my past is over in you.

All things are made new, surrendered my life to Christ

I’m moving, moving forward.

And in that moment I was crying in the most unsatisfying place: the shower.

The water takes away the magic and power of tears. Water and tears mix together and at some point you’re not even sure if it’s waters clouding your eyes or your emotions. I could feel no relief in what was happening. It just hurt.

Personally, I hate this. I hate not being able to really feel what I feel.

But what happened in my very emotional shower is that I got to connect with Christ. Something that I haven’t been able to do in quite some time.

Lately, I’ve been really struggling to just move. In any capacity. I’ve felt very stuck and just lacking any control over my life.

I kept blaming my lack of movement on my circumstances

“Living at home is different than college. I can’t change that.”

“My community is gone. how can I grow without their accountability?”

“Transitions are hard. God understands that I can’t figure out a way to spend time with him in this challenging season.”

All these excuses have been piling up and have started to be truths I cling to.

But the reality is that I’ve been trying to hide and push my feelings aside. Making them so small that no one can question where my heart is.

I think a lot people find comfort in crying in the shower. Where tears are indistinguishable from water. And no one really has to know that you ever cried. Or ever felt anything at all.

I’ve been spiritually crying in the shower a lot.

Taking comfort in knowing that no one has to know how I feel.

And how I’ve been falling short.

And barely trying at all.

But that has to end today. Because while literally crying in the shower earlier today I realized that no amount of water and curtains can hide my tears. Because I’m still crying and you know what God sees my tears and feels what I’m feeling too.

God sees my tears guys!

He sees my tears (and yours too!) and wants to be my comfortable place to cry.

He wants to be my place of release and relief.

So I need to be crying in public.

Not behind closed doors.

Or behind walls I’ve built around my heart.

I need to find release in God. Tell him what I’m feeling and let His love, grace and mercy and overwhelming care be my relief

So, will you help keep me accountable?

Are you crying in the shower too?

Let’s find a satisfying place to cry together.

It’s time to pull those curtains back and shut the water off.

Because God makes us new!!

I’m not going back—I’m only moving forward.

snapshot

This is just a snippet of something I’ve been inconsistently working on for a few years. One day I will write an entire novel. For now I will continue to write little moments and piece by piece it’ll all come together.

In that moment I felt more than I ever anticipated. This singular moment of our relationship brought a realization: there are some feelings we never get back. No matter what I give or end up receiving: feelings are always on the verge of extinction. And damn that is hard to accept. I shifted my weight so I could get a better look at Elliot. There he was. Present. Scrunched up in what had to be the most uncomfortable position. Even when he was doing nothing his presence was overwhelming.

How’d we get to this place? In the entirety of our friendship we had never fought. We had never even disagreed. We made each other better. We supported dreams, spur of the moment decisions and ideas you would never want a living soul to hear.

We’ve moved fluidly in the same direction since the day we first met at the beach. For the past six years we had never been out of sync.

But in the matter of six hours everything had fallen apart. Our communication sucks. All trust is lost. The foundation of our relationship demolished.

And now he’s leaving. Moving on to bigger and better things. Things that are better than me. Onto a life where I’m just some person who he once knew. And In the end we are agreeing to disagree and burn our bridges.

I just thought we’d always be happening together.

the heart of the matter

I want to be honest about my feelings-

My dreams are changing lately.

And they are changing into things that aren’t worth it.

I want recognition. To be a person all the “cool” people want to be around and know.

I want status, respect and a creative mind.

I selfishly want to hear people say good things about me more often.

I’m not sure any of these things are actually dreams but they are part of the place I wish to rest and reside.

I think more than anything I want to be known. Known deep and known well.

I’m at a point in my life where I feel kind invisible. And I guess for a lot of my life I have felt pretty invisible and easy to forget.

Whether this invisibility is real, it is a reality in my mind.

But, I don’t think I can ever gain enough recognition and affirmation for who I am.

Mostly because I’m not the things I tend to believe about myself.

And the affirmation I crave will probably never resonate as truth.

I’m not some hidden gem that deserves to be discovered and talked about.

I am simple. I am sassy. I am witty.

But I am nothing special.

I am just so-so.

My dreams are changing because I want people to perceive me in a obscure and unnecessary light.

And now my heart is fully overtaking the logical part of me (which is already so small).

What I really need met are desires that no person can meet.

But my focus is horrible. I look in all the wrong places for comfort, acknowledgement and affirmation.

To be known well is such a beautiful thing. It’s what true intimacy is. And to be known by someone who cares and someone who matters is one of the greatest joys and gifts this world has to offer.

So why is it so hard to ask God for that same relationship? He offers same amount of intimacy in a much better format. It’s totally bonkers that my gut reaction is for people to build me up and know me well when there is a person who knows all there is to know and willingly offers companionship.

Tangibility is something that is making this difficult. I hate that I cannot see or touch God. I can feel his presence and I can communicate with my spirit but the abstract isn’t cutting it lately.

I look to friends and strangers because they are here. In person. Next to me.

I want more from this world but do I need it?

I need more Jesus and I need more intimacy with Him.

But I want to be known, recognized and adored by people. I WANT a sense of purpose and importance and respect.

I WANT to run in circles with people who are creative, and thriving, and inspiring.

I WANT to be surrounded by people with the same heart.

I WANT to lead an adventurous life not constrained by time or place.

But all I really need is more Jesus and more intimacy with Him.

Because without that – I have absolutely nothing else.

I will become an empty vessel, devoid of the Spirit that can give me purpose if I am not nurturing the most important relationship there is.

I cannot afford to be empty. I must be full to offer love.

I must be full to care, extend, and encourage.

I must be full to have adventure without constraints on time or place.

To be full I NEED more Jesus and intimacy with Him.

So, where do I begin?

Here. Right now.

I begin here and right now.

There’s no better time than now.

Welcome friends-

As you can see clearly see, this is my first post! I’ve thought about starting a blog for quite sometime now and after hearing several people affirm me in this idea, I’ve actually started one.

I honestly have no idea what I’m going to be blogging about but I guess we’ll figure this out as we go.

All I know is that I want this to be a space for honesty and a place to share my heart.

Currently, I’m in a newer season of life. I’m in a season of transition and it has been an interesting and sometimes tough journey. The past almost 7 months of post grad life have made me realize how truly boring being an adult can be. But I’ve recently realized that I need have a better outlook on adulthood.

The future is bright, hopeful and joyful. I’m trying daily to incorporate those truths into my attitude and perspective on my current future, which technically is the present.

So join me as I journey through the part of life we all cannot wait to get to when we are kids. Let’s dream together.

xoxo,

Alyssa