Thankful Thursdays: It Works on Friday Too

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So, I’m a day late.  But guess what? Expressing gratitude works on Friday just as much as it does on Thursday. Hell, it works any day of the week. You’ll still get those happiness points if you stop to say thanks for all the little moments that make life truly special.

That said, let’s move on to the nitty gritty. Here’s what I’m thankful for:

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The Value of Honesty

That last point about honesty has become a major turning point in some of the relationships that are taking shape in my life. It seems a bit unnecessary to point out the importance of honesty because I think it’s safe to say that’s a quality we expect from all the people we embrace as friends or partners.

But how often are you truly open about what you’re feeling, especially when it turns out that feeling isn’t on the happier end of the spectrum?

The vulnerability and fear that comes with sharing some of those more difficult emotions have often led me to keep others at bay. For all of my self-awareness, I am more likely to stay tight-lipped about the things that make me upset, simply because it’s easier than fully confronting the issue head on.

This is changing. I’m beginning to see that closing myself off in this way has caused me more harm than good over the years. The really awesome part here is that I’ve managed to speak my mind in ways that are both healing and constructive, which has yielded some amazing changes in my personal relationships.

I have no clue what the future holds. None of us do. But for now, I can say with a bit of certainty, that the future can be a much brighter place if you make it a point to stay (constructively!) honest not only with yourself, but with those around you.

Been Around the World

Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.

-Gustave Flaubert

I spent a good chunk of last week catching up on old episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations I never got around to watching when the show was still on air. There’s something about the combination of Bourdain’s sarcastic wit, smart commentary, beautiful cinematography, and mouth-watering meals that makes my heart sing, each and every time I watch that show.

My wanderlust was stirred. Badly. I’m usually spending this part of the year planning my next big trip to somewhere new. This is the first year in as long as I can remember that I do not have a trip on my agenda.

Sadness does not even cover it.

But in the middle of watching Bourdain sip his caipirinha on Ipanema beach in Rio, I realized that I’ve been a lucky duck when it comes to travel. I’ve spent the last 13 years exploring whenever I could with whatever resources I had because there is SO much of this world that I want to see.

No matter how far down in the dumps I go, or how difficult this part of my journey seems to be, I can always turn to these travel experiences as a reminder of just how fortunate I’ve been to see such incredible sights.

So in an effort to keep the gratitude going and keep my spirits lifted, I decided to go back and take a look at some of these glorious moments. Then I thought I’d share them here too. There’s nothing like a photo to help transport you away from the here and now. Enjoy!

What are you thankful for this week?

Feel free to share your thoughts below!

As always, keep paying it forward. Stay healthy! 🙂

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Thankful Thursday: What I’m Thankful for this Week

imageDo you believe in the power of dreams?

I’ve never been the kind of person to sit and analyze my dreams. I can never find the symbolism in the randomness and the memories fade so quickly that I’m left clawing at the fog, no closer to figuring out just what the heck was going on in my subconscious.

But being the overanalytical sort that I am in my conscious mind, I do feel the way dreams resonate with me after I’ve woken up. Instead of remembering events or faces, I feel what each image evokes. Fear. Trepidation. Joy. Anxiety. Calm. Hope.

It’s been a long time since I’ve dreamed.

I lost touch with the fantastic in my own life. I allowed myself to get boxed in by doubt and fears, further fueled by exhaustion and a creeping apathy. Why was I doing all of this? What is the point?

This site has bared the brunt of this burden. I’ve kicked it about and ignored it when it was calling to me. I never returned messages and I kept putting it in my “I’ll get to it later” pile. I’ve been a terrible girlfriend.

And you always appreciate what you had once it’s gone.

I come back here each Thursday as a reminder to dream. There are so many things I want to share with all of you and too many articles in my mind that I have yet to commit to words. The journey is ongoing. My exploration is tireless.

The amazing part here is that I can still dream and dream big. I welcomed back the butterflies in my stomach that usually accompany the whimsy of my dreams. There’s fear. There’s trepidation. There’s some anxiety. But there’s also joy. And more importantly, there’s hope.

A testament to those butterflies came in the form of two major wins for me this week.

I’ve avoided the scale for about six months. It’s not a secret that I have an issue with numbers and what they mean to me. No matter how many times I look at my reflection or feel the way clothes fit, the numbers on a scale always manage to make me feel much heavier than I actually am. I zero in on my weight as the end-all-be-all for everything, when in actuality weight has no bearing on the significant strides I’ve made this year to be healthy and fit.

So I threw the scale under my bed and forgot about it.

I decided to take new measurements to track my progress from six months ago and part of that process includes weighing myself.

I won’t go into the number. I will say that it’s my lowest body weight since I hit puberty, but that’s not the victory here.

I got on the scale, looked at the number, let the shock course through my veins, and then stepped off. I put the scale back under my bed and walked away.

In the space of five minutes, I’d realized how monumental this was for me.

I worked so hard to lose weight these last four years because my goal was to be thin and to look a certain way. I have no shame in saying that because aesthetics will always play a part.

This was the first time that I’d stepped on a scale and let that process have a very clear beginning and end. I didn’t step off thinking to myself, “this is good, but let’s bring this down another 5lbs,” the way I’ve done every single time I’ve weighed myself in the past. I didn’t obsess over what that number really meant compared to my reflection. I didn’t think about how cool it was either.

I stepped off. Put it away. And moved on.

Weight is such a small piece in the big picture of healthy living. The real work I’ve put into myself comes in the form of positive thinking, self-motivation, and testing both my body and mind by pushing myself to try new things in all areas of my life.

None of that comes up on the scale. I don’t get a happiness rating when I check my BMI. My body fat percentage doesn’t come with an assessment of my worthiness as a human being.

I’m finally beginning to understand myself on a deeper level, and that right there, is one of the biggest victories I’ve had this year.

My second win this week is much more direct. I’ve come back to powerlifting with more ambition and dedication this past month. My goal was to hit a 225lb deadlift by my 30th birthday in December.

Yesterday I realized that I aimed low and that I should never ever doubt myself.

Instead of going into the specifics, I thought I’d show you instead. The lift wasn’t pretty, but I got it done.


What are your big “wins” for the week?

What are you thankful for?

As always, keep paying it forward. Stay healthy! 🙂

Thankful Thursday: What I’m Thankful for this Week

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I’m keeping it short and sweet this week. My cold is keeping me from a lot this week but that’s what happens when you don’t get enough sleep and don’t eat enough greens (obviously, pie doesn’t count!).

Either way, sharing three things to be grateful for is an exercise I can’t miss no matter how sick I am.

Tell me, what are you thankful for this week?

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy Halloween!

As always, keep paying it forward and stay healthy!

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