Thursday Thoughts

Cupcakes, Lent, and Thoughts [Thinking Out Loud #8]

I look forward to every Thursday because I can just talk about random things since I’m linking up with Amanda from Running With Spoons for Thinking Out Loud.

1. Yesterday was the beginning of Lent. I don’t really talk about religion much on here because it’s usually not relevant to my topic, but I am Catholic. I went to mass yesterday and got my ashes for Ash Wednesday, and then I headed up to my aunt’s house. My grandma can’t get out of the house easily anymore, so I gave her some of my ashes. The whole thing made me smile. This selfie is for you, Arman:

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2. I just saw on GMA that the lip balm Lupita Nyong’o dropped into Ellen’s hat at the Oscars sold out and Clarins has to rush in a new shipment. Our culture is nuts sometimes. Sorry, I really just had to tell someone that fun fact.

3. Back to Lent. Are you giving up anything for the season if you practice it? I’ve never felt fulfilled giving something up only to go right back to it. I don’t think that makes a difference in my life. This year, I’ve decided to instead practice yoga at least once per day. It will help me both spiritually and physically and act as some “me” time. Yay yoga!

4. Speaking of yoga, I went to a new yoga studio around the Pittsburgh area yesterday with my friend Kaitlyn. It was so fun! I really liked the style of the hot class. It was fast-paced and such a great workout. The studio was beautiful as well. If you ever travel to Pittsburgh, feel free to email me if you need yoga studio recommendations!

5. At my grandma’s last night, I had one of the best cupcakes I’ve ever tasted. It was from a new little bakery in my town, and there were assorted flavors in the box. I happened to choose one that was mint chocolate flavored – my favorite! It wasn’t overwhelming at all, and the center was filled with a minty, fugdey, chocolate icing. omgitwassogood.

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6. I get to finally meet this girl today! I had to cancel on Erin on Sunday because the town I drive through ran out of salt. They were in a state of emergency! I got about ten minutes away from my house… thirty minutes after I left. Thankfully, we have good weather on the map for today, so there’s no stopping me 🙂

Have a wonderful Thursday!… it’s almost Friday, hang in there.

Question of the Day:
>> Describe the best cupcake you’ve ever eaten.
>> If you celebrate Lent, what are you doing for it?

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Body Image: The Way My Stomach Looks [Thinking Out Loud #7]

I’m going to explain something to you that I don’t like to admit often.

I don’t like the way my stomach looks.

There, I said it.

Today, I’m linking up with Amanda from Running With Spoons for Thinking Out Loud Thursday with a different spin. This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) Week, and Amanda asked those participating in the link-up to share a personal story or angle on eating disorders. I’m doing this because I think that people need to be more aware that these disorders are silent killers. Not enough people get the help and support they need to recover from eating disorders; far too many lives are changed forever by the battles we wage with our bodies every day – I’ve seen lives changed by them first-hand, to people I love. We need to understand that there should not be a stigma about getting the help we need to live.

I believe that body image is a big player in eating disorders, but it is also an entity of its own. Body image is still something I struggle with. I don’t need to be told that I’m “not fat,” or “look so good!” I know that. I do. I’m not fat. I do look good. But I have never liked my stomach. I don’t know if I ever will.

What got me thinking about my stomach specifically this week? I mentioned Monday that I participated in a nearly naked run over the weekend. Everyone involved wore their sports bras and shorts. No real shirts. The race was something I always wanted to do, but it was a big risk for me.

It was difficult for me to feel confident being around other girls with flat abs, no fear about baring their stomachs. I don’t even really like to wear bathing suits, so this was tough. Maybe you think I’m being dramatic here, but I’m just being honest. It’s something I’ve never been comfortable with. It partially stems from the weight I did lose when I was in high school as well as being surrounded by friends for my entire life who had great abs. And what I’m about to do, post a picture of the stomach I don’t love? That’s just as much a risk for me.

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Thankfully, I’m at a place in my life where I know that when I feel the worst about my stomach, I won’t drastically drop my calories or beat myself up for having that extra spoonful or two of peanut butter earlier. I’m going to continue to eat extra peanut butter, cake, and other things that will keep me from getting “perfect abs.” I’d rather be happy than restrictive these days. That’s fine. I know that I won’t have perfect abs. They’re probably not in my genes, anyway. It doesn’t really help that I have a scar next to my bellybutton now, either. Still, I also know that I look fine the way I am. But honestly? I don’t think it’s a crime for me to be self-conscious about my stomach. We all have our insecurities. I am not made of steel – no one is, as far as I know. This is my insecurity.

I have a lot of other awesome assets. I love my hair; I love my eyes; I love my legs. I think I’m funny. I have amazing friends. My family is the best I could ask for. I am a good person, and I do love myself. I just don’t love my stomach.

So here’s my final thought: It’s okay if you don’t like something about your body. Just know that there are so many other parts of you and that one part will not define you unless you let it. Don’t let your insecurity define you and control your actions. Recognize that you are great, because you – and I… we’re great.

No question today. Just your thoughts. 

Thursday Thoughts

I’m feeling kind of sporadic this week! I am just very excited about weekend happenings ahead and how little time I have to get all of the work I have to finish this semester done! Before I know it, I’ll be on my way home for Thanksgiving.

(Let’s consider that thought number 1.)

2. My dad is coming tomorrow! It’s Dad’s Weekend, which is one of my favorite weekends of the year. We always have a blast. On Saturday night we’re going to see Nick Offerman do a comedy show. I don’t watch the Parks and Recreation but I love going watching comedians, especially with my dad, the funny man himself.

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3. I have a bone to pick with society. So, around this time of year, everyone breaks out the leggings. And by that I mean I break out the leggings. I wear them at least three times per week, no joke.

A lot of people say that leggings are not pants, with their argument being that they are revealing. Now, you all may disagree with me on this, but leggings are definitely pants. Let me show you why. These are “pants” in the traditional sense:

Um. Those go up to her crotch. What would the back look like?! And you’re telling me the outfit below covers less?

If short shorts (and yes, I have seen girls really wear shorts like that in person) are considered pants, then leggings are pants.

3. Last Saturday I did a modified version of this workout. I started at 10 burpees and kettlebell swings instead of 15, because I hate burpees but think they’re a very efficient workout. It. was. KILLER. Killer, I tell you. But I managed to complete it, and I think if I do it again I will actually start with 15 burpees.

4. Can I tell you a secret? I wash my hair once per week. Cassie first told me about the benefits of washing less, and now I use dry shampoo every day. My hair texture got really bad over the last few years. I never needed to use product or a straightener, but then it started frizzing at the ends, even if I put product in. So I used a straightener, and that obviously caused more damage. Vicious cycle!

Anyway, not washing as often has helped immensely. I can actually go out in public without using a straightener and not feel self-conscious now. I love Dove Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo.

5. Target has let me down with their holiday commercials. I was a huge proponent of the crazy obsessed Target lady, and I even liked the catchy song they had last year. This all matters because I am a commercial freak and like to analyze them, and I am not satisfied for this season. Ah, the good old days.

I think that’s enough large paragraphs for today. Make sure you stop back tomorrow for the second week of National Peanut Butter Lovers Month! I have a recipe to share that I’m really excited about.

(Okay that’s thought number 6.)

Question of the Day:
What’s your favorite holiday commercial?