Happiness and Smiley Faces and Sparkles and Glitter

I’m still here. And today, for the first time in what seems like forever, I do not have school and I am not working. I’m spending the day in sweat pants, with messy-bun hair, drinking coffee in excess…oh wait, this sounds like everyday. At least today I’m doing this at home. {Side note: at work I heard one of the doctors tell someone that for every cup of coffee you drink, you should drink two cups of water…if I’ve done my calculations correct, I’m about 1,392,473,945,745,980,287 cups of water in debt for the year.}

Gloriousness.

With my lack of free time, it takes something pretty big to ignite my motivation to actually write something these days…and that happened on Monday. I {filled up my jumbo size to-go coffee cup, put my hair in a messy-bun, and donned sweat pants...} went to class to listen to a lecture on anxiety. Fitting. We spent two and half hours talking about causes of anxiety, levels of anxiety, how to treat patients having anxiety, parasympathetic and sympathetic symptoms of anxiety…all very important things in nursing…blah, blah, blah.

Blah.

But then…we talked about dealing with our own anxiety as nurses…as students…as normal human beings. And our teacher…our highly, highly educated, specialized-in-mental-health-nursing teacher told us the importance of turning our negative thoughts into positive thoughts. She emphasized the “fake it ’til you make it” method of positive reinforcement.

I thought to myself, um, that’s what I’ve been saying all along! {Duh, have you read my blog?!} 🙂

And then, the next most glorious thing happened. The teacher had us all write an affirmation on a notecard and share them with the entire class.

Affirmation

{Another side note: writing the affirmation was actually homework to be completed before class. In true overwhelmed-and-overworked nursing student fashion, most of us forgot. Sooo, another student had some old, used notecards with nursing notes written on them…in which we all erased to write our affirmation. Again, very fitting.}

If you know me at all, you know that affirmations are pretty much my favorite things ever. As everyone read their card aloud, my heart was bursting with happiness and smiley faces and sparkles and glitter and all things wonderful.

Definitely a lecture well loved.

ang

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A Friday Affirmation: Your Arms

I’ve always thought that limbs were kind of weird.

I mean, if you think about it, a human is a body with four limbs. Four gangly, weird limbs.

But boy oh boy, I sure do love my arms.

They let me give hugs as often as I want. They allow me to pick up my princess Tia. They give me momentum to run faster. They give me the ability to lift heavy things. They’re there to let you know that I love you this much.

Have you told your arms that they are beautiful lately? Ever?

Spread them out as wide as you can.

Remember to love your arms that much.

ang

A Friday Affirmation: Your heart

You have a beautiful heart.

source

It gives you the drive to follow your dreams.

It sustains your life in this world.

It keeps going, even when it is hurt and broken.

It gives life to the rest of your body.

It continues to beat, after three miles, after six miles, and after twenty-six miles.

It allows you to give love and to have love.

Yes, your heart is beautiful.

ang

Change Your Thoughts…Change the World

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. I haven’t been posting my Friday Affirmations very regularly, and I am missing that. Sometimes it is a challenge to come up with an affirmation every week, but it is a good way to dig down deep and figure out the things I love about myself. The things that we all love about ourselves.

But I’ve been thinking about how these affirmations, or any affirmation, compliment, or kind words can impact a person. Does it really make a difference? If a person looks in the mirror and tells themselves they are beautiful, does that mean they will believe it? Do I believe it?

One thing I do know is that the more a person tells themselves that they are ugly or fat or unworthy, the more they will believe it. So shouldn’t it work the other way around?

I have a challenge for you (and myself). Let’s change our thoughts to positive thoughts, and let’s send a message to the world. It’s okay to love ourselves. It’s okay to think we are beautiful just the way we are.

1. Change your thoughts. Look in the mirror each day and tell yourself one things that you absolutely love about yourself. It doesn’t have to be something big. It could be that you love that little freckle on your nose. It doesn’t have to be something physical. It could be that you love that you have a caring heart. No matter what it is, tell yourself something new you love everyday.

2. Change the world. Tell someone else that you think they are beautiful…and tell them why. Let someone know how important they are to you. Give a complete stranger a compliment. However you want to do it, make an impact on someone else…everyday.

The more we are able to share the beauty of this world…the beauty that is you and me…the more the world will start believing it.

ang

A Friday Affirmation

Happy Friday everyone! I’m so looking forward to this weekend because Sunday is the twenty-eighth birthday of the most handsome man on the earth!

I have had this idea for awhile to start a series of affirmations on my blog. So, before the weekend begins, I wanted to leave you with the first ever Friday affirmation…

Tia even cherishes her pretty paws!

True story: When Matt and I got her we couldn’t decide on what to name her. She ended up being nameless for three days. We kept going back and forth suggesting different names…each of which the other one absolutely did not like. Matt, for instance, wanted to name her Slugger. Um, she’s a girl…we weren’t about to name her Slugger. I’m pretty sure he came up with a few other ridiculous names.

I, on the other hand, kept coming up with adorable names. One of the names I had come up with was Frenchie. I thought of the name because all four of her little paws had white fur on the tips…like a french manicure! The husband didn’t go for it.

We came up with her name on the fourth day of having her while the husband was brewing some sweet tea in the kitchen. He looked at the jug of tea and said, “Why don’t we name her Tea? Tea…a. Tia!” Oddly enough I loved it and it stuck!

So there you go…an affirmation and a cute story to start your weekend! Have a good one!

ang

P.S. I’d love to have you be a part of my Friday Affirmation series with your own affirmation, so if you are interested e-mail me at a.habermehl@yahoo.com! Thanks!

Kelly and Me. Me and Kelly.

Good afternoon pretties! It is funny how almost each week I can relate my book club posts from The Girls From Ames to something that is going on in my life. This week’s post is all about the chapter Through Kelly’s Eyes. However, you do not have to be reading the book for the content of this post to have meaning for you. Also, if you are not caught up on the reading, that is okay…here is what you may have missed so far:

Kelly and me. Me and Kelly. I’ve said from the beginning of reading this book that I don’t think I have very much in common with Kelly. I thought Kelly seemed a lot like my sister…more of a free spirit, not afraid to say what is on her mind. I don’t think those two descriptions necessarily describe me. I mean, if you say something that upsets me, I’m probably just going to keep it to myself. I have this nifty talent (sarcasm) for pushing down and burying my not-so-happy-go-lucky feelings.

Well, that was the case…until I started writing this little blog.

Anytime I’ve ever had a pressing issue on my mind, I have found it worlds easier to write about rather than talk about it. I remember in fifth grade when I got my first “boyfriend.” I was so excited and embarrassed at the same time, but I wanted my mom to know. So what did I do? I wrote her a note. Whenever I knew I needed real help with my eating disorder, what did I do? I wrote my mother a note. I’m pretty sure that my husband has a secret stash of all my old notes to him throughout the past nine years.

So, this blog is just a compilation of a bunch of little notes that I want to share with the world. It is a place where I actually can speak what is on my mind without feeling scared or embarrassed or judged.  It is a place where I can actually see myself relating to Kelly Zwagerman on so many levels.

Like Kelly, I have also given much thought to the question of who I am now and who I want to be as I continue through this life, and I find myself coming up with the exact same answers…

“I want to be a strong female role model.” I’ve always, always, always believed in leading by example. I feel like now it is my duty to live a life fulfilling a positive body image and healthy lifestyle.  

“I want to be an inspirational and motivational teacher,” or rather nurse in my case. I so desperately want to work as a nurse in an eating disorder unit so that I can give hope to patients and hopefully motivate them to take the right steps toward recovery.

“I want to be a parent (someday) who builds a network of love and support for my children.” Goodness I want to be a mom someday…..so, so much. I can’t even look at my husband without getting giddy imagining him and me being parents someday.

And of course, I too, “want to be a kind and caring friend.” 

I truly, from the bottom of my heart, support Kelly on her “health as opposed to glamour” focus. I’m not necessarily opposed to glamour…I’m definitely a girly-girl who likes to paint my nails on a daily basis and wear make-up to workout in. I enjoy getting all dolled up for things and feeling pretty. So, maybe I’d say something more along the lines of “healthy is glamorous.”

We definitely do need to “combat” this culture that has been created through the media that thin equals beautiful. We’ve been given countless images, literally unreal images, to compare ourselves to…to make ourselves feel unworthy. Less beautiful.

But, if we all can look deep within ourselves, we know that our beauty does not come from a size. It does not come from a weight. It does not come from a lack of cellulite. Or wrinkles. Or stretch marks. Beauty does not come from these things that we have been told over and over again in magazines.

Beauty truly comes from inside. From your heart.

And the fact is, we’ve been taught that too, from early on in life. We’ve all heard our mothers tell us that it doesn’t matter what’s on the outside, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts. However, I had a coach once tell me that for every negative thing you say to someone, it takes eleven positives to counter the one negative. So how can we fill ourselves with the thousands of positives we desperately need to counter everything that magazines and television are throwing at us?

Well, here are my eleven:

  1. You have a beautiful heart. You are so caring.
  2. Your smile lights up a room.
  3. You are so talented. Think of all the good you can do with your talent.
  4. You are so loving.
  5. You are so worthy of being loved. Someone is sure lucky to know you.
  6. You are a nice person. Your kindness is overwhelming.
  7. Your personality is so welcoming.
  8. You are thoughtful.
  9. You are radiant.
  10. Your kindness is contagious.
  11. You are gorgeous just the way God created you.
Thank you Kelly, for making me realize that my words can serve a purpose. Hopefully these eleven on this little blog took one negative away from someone reading it!
I guess we have more in common than I thought. 🙂
ang


My Pinky Toes Take on Weight Stigma

I’ve always wanted to be Miss America. Like really, really, really bad. However, since I am a married gal now, I will never actually have the chance to actually be her. Is there a Mrs. America? Please let me know, because I would like to try out. 🙂

Miss America Crownsource

I’ve thought about it a lot over the years (okay, I’m a dork) about what I would do if I had the opportunity. I know I would have advocated for eating disorder awareness and promoted a positive body image. And even though I am not Miss America, and never will be (tear!), I am still trying to do everything I can to fulfill my Miss America mission. That is why I was so excited to find out about the blog carnival about weight stigma hosted by Kendra over at Voice in Recovery.

Before I get into my thoughts on weight stigma, I first just want to say how refreshing it is to read Kendra’s tweets throughout the day. If you are ever in need of an uplift, you can always find it from her. Thank you pretty.

Weight stigma. Yuck.

Let’s travel back, oh, about seven or eight years ago. School just got dismissed and I am walking through the hallways of my high school trying to gather my things to get ready to go to diving practice. I had been burying myself in many negative eating disorder habits for awhile, and for a split second I decided to ignore that voice and go ahead and eat a poptart. I know poptarts aren’t the healthiest or best food to eat, but it was what I wanted at the time, and I needed some food.

I pop my change in the vending machine, quickly open the plastic package, and start to devour the delicious little poptart. Strawberry favor with little sprinkles.

My friend comes up to join me in the hallway. He says,

Oh.

So, that means divers are supposed to only eat healthy.

So, that means divers are supposed to be skinny.

So, that means the world has this idea of what I should look like.

So, that means that I must not be good enough.

Right?

Fast forward to now. I don’t blame my friend for saying that or for the after effects of a negative body image. The truth is, that is what “the world” has taught us…that certain people should look a certain way. Weight stigma.

(quote from “Who Calls Me Beautiful” by Regina Franklin)

What if we lived in a world where everyone rejoiced in our uniquenesses? No one should have to think poorly about themselves because they don’t fit into the cookie cutter image that the world has created for them.

What if the norms of “the world” were positive affirmations rather than put downs and negative self talk.

Let’s make it happen…

…starting today!

ang