I’m on a boat PLANE headed out to Utah!! I might be a little sparse over the next few days with Blend, but I promise to overload my Instagram and Facebook feed with pictures, so make sure you follow on both of those outlets if you can! Did I tell you guys that TRAVIS is coming with me?!?! I’m stupid excited about getting to travel with a companion, even if he does fall asleep within 5 minutes of sitting in the plane seat (and stays that way the remainder of the flight!?!? I can’t sleep on planes.) Anyway, today we travel, so I thought I’d introduce you to my friend Lee and her best decisions! Take it away, friend!
Hello Lindsay’s List readers. My name is Lee and I blog over at In My Tummy. I’m excited to do this guest post for Lindsay on the five best decisions I’ve ever made. Let me tell you, giving my blog that dumb name was not one of them.
1. Moving to Atlanta. I’m from the Washington, DC area. I went to college in Vermont and after I graduated, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself, so I moved back. Though I lived in an apartment with a friend and had a job (actually two; I had a full-time job and I waited tables), I just wasn’t happy so I saved up some money and took a leap of faith. A couple of my friends lived in Atlanta and just sort of decided that I was going to join them down in the ATL. It’s been ten years now and I’ve made my life here and I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I didn’t.
2. That leads to me to point number two and I can’t believe I’m going to admit this because I usually don’t. Trying out internet dating. Right before I met Jason, my husband of almost three years, I had been sort of hanging out with this guy who was a real jerk to me. To sort of get over him, I decided to create an online profile and ended up meeting Jason and the rest is history. I know that it’s common to meet people online nowadays (I mean, hello blogger friends) but I still sometimes wish that when people ask us how we met, I could say something like “in college” or “through friends.” Oh well. I just admitted it to you guys and called it one of my best decisions.
(I promise, we don’t normally wear matching jackets.)
3. Getting a dog. After Jason and I had been together for about a year, we got Murphy from a golden retriever rescue. (Though when we got him, his name was Ricardo. He told us that he felt more like a Murphy though.) He is the cutest golden retriever you’ll ever meet even if he’s a little camera shy. I cannot imagine life without my best buddy.
(Hello crows feet. Maybe getting some eye cream should be one of my next best decisions.)
4. Running. I was not athletic in the slightest when I was growing up. When I was really young, like elementary school aged, I did soccer and gymnastics, but from about age 10 to age 18, I did nothing athletic whatsoever. For a few years after that, I ran off and on, but I really didn’t get into it until my mid-20s when I randomly decided that my first race was going to be a half-marathon. Now, I’ve run ten of them and various races of other distances. While I’m not a particularly fast runner in any sense of the word, running has given me a sense of self confidence that I never had. It showed me that if you put your mind to something, you can do it, even if you aren’t really naturally inclined.
This picture cracks me up. So dorky!
5. Starting a blog. Cheesy answer, but it’s true. I have always been one of those people who kept journal after journal. I probably have them going back to when I was about 14 years old, maybe younger (and they are painful to read)! I kind of view my blog as an online journal. I get to talk about myself (which I like to do!) and meet new friends at the same time. I mean, it’s a total win-win and it’s become one of my favorite hobbies. See, new friends. I bet you recognize some of them.
There you go, my five best decisions!
QUESTION: Share one of your best decisions! Or give me tips on how to sleep on a plane (i just get so gosh darn excited – i must have a window seat!)
Well I’m off to Park City!! Excited to have this chill weekend with some of my very best blends! I’ll be back late Sunday night, but until then, I want to introduce you to Scott (a boy blogger – gasp!). Not only is he a boy blogger, but he’s been my friend ever since high school. (Correct me if I’m wrong, Scott, but didn’t you win Most Talented??) EXTREMELY innovative/talented and incredibly funny, I know you’ll enjoy reading about some of his best decisions!
The BEST decisions… not just the good ones, like passing on seafood salad at the flea market.
Here we go.
1. BEST DECISION! I married the most wonderful, beautiful, adorable, lovable, intelligent and hilarious person in the world. There is no question that this is the best decision I’ve ever made.
“But what if…?” you ask.
“What if you never met this spectacular person? What if through an odd and unexpected chain of events involving stolen library cards, a Hulk Hogan look-a-like, mild food poisoning and not one but TWO hobos named Cornbread…you missed your chance to ever meet your loving wife?”
Well, I can only imagine that instead of this…
My life would look something like this…
2. Getting in Shape!
The decision to lose weight and get healthy is not only relevant to this blog but really is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. In early 2008, I stepped on the scale and saw the number 215. I was so shocked that I let go of all the helium balloons I was holding… that’s when sh!t got real. Two hundred and forty three pounds, I weighed. Which wasn’t all that bad for someone 6’ 3” but since I’m 5’ 7,” I decided something had to change.
So, I did what I was supposed to do. I ate healthy food, I exercised every day and there was so much water going in and out of me, it barely had time to get warm. After a year or so I had lost 60lbs and swore I’d never go back.
3. Learning to Play the Guitar!
Am I the inexplicable love child of Eric Clapton and Chet Atkins? Hardly.
I’m not incredibly skilled or knowledgeable and never had any lessons but I sure do enjoy it. I would encourage anyone to learn how to play at least one instrument because it is one of the most fulfilling skills you can learn. I engage in a myriad of creative hobbies like drawing, painting, woodworking, sculpting, and modern dance (the last one is a lie) and while I may be better at some of those things than I am at playing and singing, they’re not as fun. I actually made the guitar in the video out of a tree I cut down in my front yard, which is cool, but playing it is still the fun part.
5.Skipping Number 4!
I think it was a great decision to skip number four because I’m a guest here and it was mostly just questionable language and obscure references to breakfast cereal commercials from the 80’s.
6. Being Myself!
What a novel idea. It’s sounds so simple and yet so many people seem to struggle with it. To save time for the rest of this post, let’s call these folks Waddles. As in “Waddle people think?” and “Waddle people say?”
Now, the problem with Waddles is that they have a tendency to put what strangers might think about them ahead of what they actually want when making decisions. I strive to avoid Waddling whenever possible.
Beyond your standard Waddles you’ll find the Extreme Waddles. These are individuals who go to incredible lengths to appear as if they couldn’t care less what people think about them… because they actually care so much that they’d rather pretend to be someone they’re not than be seen as who they are.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I don’t care or don’t think about what other folks might think about me. You can’t just ignore it. Well you can, just don’t be surprised when the job you’re hoping for goes to a person who didn’t wear paisley overalls and a captain’s hat to the interview.
I’m Me… and that’s cool because nobody else is Me. Only Me. You ain’t Me. You can’t be. Because I’m Me. See?
Now you’re thinking “Wait a minute… I am too Me!”
Nope, you’re You. You can walk around all day long calling yourself “Me,” my friend, but everybody else knows the truth. Don’t think so? Just wait until the next time a stranger needs to get your attention. I’ll bet they won’t yell “Hey ME! Yeah, Me in the blue shirt, come here for a second.”
Everybody’s Me and everybody’s You. That’s why We are Us. Dig it?
Okay, the whole Me/You thing just then was really stupid, I know, but it was really fun to write and I like fun… so there. I know a lot of folks will read that and think I’m weird and I’m fine with that. Think what you want, that’s my point.
7. Starting My Blog!
I know it’s supposed to be “5 Decisions” but I’m done after this one, I swear. As I mentioned earlier, I have a lot of creative hobbies and as you may have figured out, I’m a bit of a right-brained person. So, needless to say I’m not a big fan of boring day jobs. I thrive on creativity. I love humor and I love creating things and ideas. For these reasons, I created kindofsketchy.com which I’m hoping will someday earn its place as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made (and get me out of my boring day job). It is my venue to share what I do and what I like because I’m going to do all this stuff anyway so why not share it? Maybe someone other than me will enjoy this stuff too, who knows? I’m really just getting it started so there is so much to be done and so much to add. It is my hope that I can use my blog to not only entertain and interest people but to create interest in my artwork and other creative skills. I believe that someday I will be making a living doing the things I love to do and I will then be able to say without a doubt that kindofsketchy.com was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Lastly, I want to thank Lindsay for allowing me this opportunity and of course all of you LL readers who actually stuck around and read all of my rambling. And like I said, I’m new to this blogging thing, so any advice and tips are most welcomed and appreciated!
If you would like to see a lot more of my artwork, you can visit my facebook art page. You can also follow me on Twitter @kindofsketch and of course, check out kindofsketchy.com if you get a chance… maybe something on there will make you laugh.
Welp. I’ve got another sick child on my hands – Miss Clara this time. This stomach virus reminds me of ….well, I can’t think of anything as bad as this thing is. Brooke Hogan, Vanilla Sky, even Crystal Pepsi…they all pale in comparison to the foulness that is this toddler stomach virus.
We’re hanging low over here, but I didn’t want you guys to suffer. So I thought it would be a great day for another installment of the “Best Decisions” Series. Today, meet Maureen! An inspirational, 120-pounds-lighter actress who I love! Check her out!
The 5 Best Decisions I Ever Made:
1. Committing myself to a happy & healthy life.
I spent the majority of my life not just overweight, but obese. By the time I was 16 years old, I weighed 246 lbs (and I’m only 5’2). My junior year of college, however, due to a variety of factors, something clicked within me. I started eating right and exercising, losing 120 lbs. Unfortunately, I went through a period where I was too obsessed with exercising and calorie counting and I gained some of that weight back during a period of binge eating and depression. I’ve committed to a healthy, happy life, free from my disorder and I’m finding my way back there now. I’m finally on my way to discovering a healthy balance between food, fitness and fun, and I couldn’t be happier.
2. Getting involved in Theater.
Theater has been an integral part of my life since I was little. Ever since I did my first play at 10 years old, I’ve been hooked. The thrill and adrenaline I get performing in front of a crowd. The passion and joy I get from theater is like no other high in the world and I can’t imagine my life without it. It has given me so much self-confidence, so many wonderful friends and innumerable treasured memories.
3. Studying Abroad.
During my sophomore year of college, I made a rash decision to study aboard, and honestly it was one of the best things I ever did. I learned how to be independent and how to travel and fend for myself. I made lifelong friends that I never would have met otherwise. I connected with family I hadn’t seen in years. I was lucky enough to travel across Europe, being a young, carefree teenager, and I will always be grateful for that. I left a part of my heart in Ireland, and you can bet I’ll be back one day to get it back (or leave more of it there!) J
4. Making my college choice by following my heart.
I faced a lot of pressure my senior year of high school to attend a college that was “worthy” of me according to my high school teachers and counselors. However, I chose to attend a smaller, lesser known college that gave me a full academic scholarship and placed me in an honors program that would allow me to make meaningful connections with wonderful professors and friends who remain an integral part of my life until this day. I was blessed enough to be chosen as the commencement speaker for my graduation and it was the perfect end to a perfect college experience.
5. Appreciating how important family and our culture is.
My family has always been incredibly close and we act as each other’s support system. Our Irish heritage is very important to us and we use it as a means through which to stay connected and tied to each other’s life. My family is like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” Irish Edition, and I wouldn’t have it any other way J
Thanks for listening to my ramblings! If you’re interested in reading more, please check out my blog! <-thanks so much, Maureen!!
Don’t forget to head over to the Blend site and enter our FITMIXER giveaway!! Remember – we’re giving away something EVERY SINGLE WEEK leading up to Blend! Oh, and we still have tickets available!
Hi guys! I’m having a blast with Technogym! As is IHRSA! As is VEGAS! As am I. While I’m out of town, Natalie has agreed to share one of her BEST DECISIONS - take it away, friend!!
Hello! I’m so honored that Lindsay is allowing me a little time to share something very special with all her awesome readers. When I saw her call for posts about “The Best Decision I Ever Made” I didn’t even have to think about mine.
Whenever I start talking about this particular subject, I feel like I need to introduce myself as if I’m in a support group. Hello, my name is Natalie, and I’m addicted to backpacking.
I routinely strap a thirty pound pack on back, and haul myself up mountains. I sleep on the ground, and eat nothing that requires newfangled technology like refrigeration. I go for multiple days without showering, and have gotten very used to using nature’s facilities. I have hobbled for miles on a knee that just couldn’t go anymore (I do not recommend that!), gotten scabs on my hips from my backpack straps, and lost two toenails on a memorable trip that ended in a visit to Urgent Care. And here’s my little secret. I love every minute of it.
I haven’t always felt that way. My husband had been backpacking a few times, but I thought that was going to be his “guy thing”. It used to sound as crazy to me as I’m sure it does to some of you. If someone had told me that backpacking would become something I start to plan whole vacations around, I would’ve laughed them out of the room. That all changed in the spring 2010 with a simple decision to enjoy a truly beautiful day. My husband and I headed to a local state park for some day hiking, and, at the top of one of the hills we had climbed, I told him it might not be so bad to go on an overnight trip. Looking back, I blame it on an adrenaline rush!
That first overnight trip near our home in Oklahoma quickly spiraled into longer trips that have taken us to Glacier National Park, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah. In the three years since, backpacking has become my passion. There is nothing quite like the feeling you experience when you realize you’re surviving completely on what you can carry on your back or the beauty of the backcountry that relatively few people will ever see.
Backpacking gives me a sense of self-confidence that was missing before. It has taught me what it means to be both physically and mentally strong, and has shown me that I am capable of far more than I thought. That’s a gift I’ll carry with me long after I’m forced to hang up my boots (not that I intend that to be any time soon!)
For now, there are always new trails to explore and another mountain to climb. I’m always on the lookout for the next awesome trip, and my husband and I even dream about someday backpacking the Continental Divide which is a 3,000 mile trail that stretches from the Mexican border to the Canadian. Of course, we’re going to have to figure out how to get that much time off work first! In the meantime, we’ll be embarking on a 150 mile section of the Colorado Trail this summer. Ten nights, no shower? Sounds like heaven to me!
Remember when I put the call out for guest posts a week or so ago?? I got SO many responses that I’ll probably be featuring one a week for the next 6 months (THANK YOU!!!!) I thought I’d kick off the, “Best Decisions,” series by writing one myself. I have one to share with you this week and if you’re in a place where I was just 5 years ago, you might NEED to read this.
One of the best decisions I ever made was purposely DITCHING THE MATH.
Let me elaborate…
I’ve talked about my ED numerous times before, but for new readers (HI!), you might not be aware of my history (go here for the full series). Basically, from my Junior year in High School until my Sophomore year in college (so 4 years), I had an eating disorder (anorexia & bulimia). It started out as most ED’s do – with a DIET. I remember wanting to get skinnier for Cross Country season and to do so, for the first time in my (albeit short) life, I started paying attention to food. I turned every package over and read the label. Not only did I read those numbers, but I MEMORIZED the fat grams, calories and sugar content of probably 20 different foods. 20 food items doesn’t sound like a lot – because it isn’t. When you have disordered eating habits, you stick with the same boring foods, over and over and over again. Because they’re safe.
Because you’ve done the math on them.
For four years (and honestly, for four more after that), I did my math. I counted every calorie that I put into my starving/angry/despondent body. Going out to eat or to parties were not in my comfort zone. I hadn’t done the math for those foods. How could I really KNOW?!!? How could I be in control?!?
Looking back, I wouldn’t say those years were lifeless or horrible – I had friendships and love and laughter. Instead, I would say that I was ignorant. And very lost.
When I turned a corner on my ED and started to recover, I had to ditch the math. Counting calories just wasn’t conducive to my recovery. It was hard at first and even now, my tendency is to be intrigued by apps like MyFitnessPal (downloaded it, had to delete it) and other numbers-based programs. If I’m doing my math, I’m easily hyperfocused on those numbers. This is the exact opposite approach that I would give to any weight loss client – we track food, we write everything down. Tracking can be a great and valuable tool in the right hands.
I know enough about myself to KNOW that those aren’t my hands. In my hands, I turn these types of things into IDOLS.
These days, I eat intuitively. My focus is on whole foods, but I’m flexible in my approach. I’ve ditched the math – I go to functions and don’t have to bring my “safe” foods with me. It has taken YEARS to get to this place. I just want to encourage anyone who might be reading – if you’re stuck in a place where DOING THE MATH is controlling your life and your food choices….STOP! Delete the apps, throw out the journal and start TRUSTING your body to know when it’s full and what it craves.
The math might steer you in a completely wrong direction….but I promise you, that your body will not.
QUESTION: Do you count calories? Can you do this safely and without addiction?? <-email me please if you need any further suggestions!
Friday. Friday. Gotta get down on Friday. Something something for the weekend. (I should probably learn those lines.)
You need to get down low on Fridays. It’s really the only day of the week when it’s acceptable.
It’s also acceptable to dress like this….
Anyway, I’m so very thrilled that it’s nearly the weekend. Travis had a hellacious schedule this week (1pm-10pm), which left us crossing paths…well…never, so I’m happy to have the next two days to spend with that guy. We’ve got some work to do at the new house – painting, cleaning, etc. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve all but given up on trying to update you on the progress. Real quick – we hope to move in by the end of this month – we have one room to paint then the floor guys will come in and refinish all the hardwoods (should take 1 week), then new flooring in the kitchen (should take 1 day). I pinky promise that after it’s finished, I’ll go in and take some “After” pictures! Exciting!
Today, I have a request for you guys. I need guest posts! Over the next three months, I’ll be traveling quite a bit so I want to give this platform for anyone who wants it. I’m creating a new series called, “The FIVE Best Decisions I Ever Made,” where the guest poster tells us all about his/her life through decisions they’ve made. (You don’t necessarily have to provide 5 – just pick as many as you want.)
For instance, one of my best decisions would be going to UNC-Chapel Hill. It’s where I met Travis, got a killer degree (that I don’t use – ha!), and where I overcame my eating disorder. Like any posts, they should have pictures and be at least a little funny.
If you’d like to help me out and write a post, please email me at lindsayslist AT gmail DOT com. You don’t have to be a blogger to submit a post! There really is no deadline – I’ll post them when I get them (and as I need them). Can’t wait to learn more about you through these posts!
HAPPY FRIDAY, friends!! On Monday, I’ll have a “Back To Basics” post for you.
QUESTION: What are your plans for the weekend? Anything fun and exciting?