Scatterbrained

I am pretty scatterbrained as of lately. I go through my day, come across something that sparks an interest, make a mental note to blog about it (or update my status, or tweet, or instagram about it), then I go on to the next thing and forget. I thought I’d have more time come summer, but so far it is proving the opposite.

So, since I don’t set aside enough time in the day to write a thoughtful, inspiring blog post, here goes a post of random things that have sparked my interest over the past few days.

First of all, did I say summertime? It’s summer! Summer is totally, without a doubt, my absolute favorite season…time for some sunshine and smiles. I love summer so much that I feel like I should have had a grand countdown to its arrival.

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I said that I didn’t set aside enough time to write thoughtful posts, but that wasn’t completely true. You see, I’ve reignited my addiction to pinterest, which means that my blog-writing time has turned into searching for pretty (or yummy) things that I want to make, but actually don’t have time to make.

I love pinterest and I love the creativity it opens up in me again, but like I said before, there is still a love/hate aspect to it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to stop repinning cute outfits, yummy looking treats, or ideas for my dream home someday. However, you will never see me repin a “workout for your love handles” or a picture of a skinny girl as inspiration. A place where people with common interests to share their ideas and what inspires them is a great invention! However, some of these pins are degrading and aimed at making you feel bad about yourself.

But, I did repin this little gem…

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Word.

Did you know that I love Demi Lovato? Even if you didn’t know that, you probably could assume I loved her based on my background in eating disorder recovery and what she stands for. What an amazing (and real, might I add) role model to have out their in celebrity-land. Her song Skyscraper…pretty sure I could listen to it over and over forever and not get sick of it.

So, that’s what I’m doing right now. ­čÖé

Did you see she was on the cover of Cosmo? Love that. You know what I didn’t love, though? As I waited in line to pay for my groceries, I picked up this magazine (because this is pretty much the only place where I get any reading done) to try to flip through to see her article. I had to flip quickly because it was almost my turn in line, and I opened the magazine right to the article How to Get a Bangin’ Body For Summer (or something along those lines).

You know I’m all about fitness. I love being active, I love running, and I love anything that will give me a good workout. I love endorphins. However, I don’t love all these things because I think it will give me a “bangin’ body.” I love these things because they make me feel empowered. Confident.

Come on world. Come on magazine peeps. Let’s write an article How to Love Your Already Bangin’ Body that God Gave You This Summer. If I saw that article advertised in the grocery checkout line…I think I’d actually buy the magazine. (Cosmo…if you need someone to freelance write that article for you…)

So speaking of fitness, after taking a week off I went for a run yesterday.

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But today, these shoes were made for walking instead. Yesterday I felt fine for about two miles…and that’s when I should have stopped. The ol’ knee started acting up during the last two miles. I think it’s getting better, but I need to stay off of it a little bit longer. Better be safe than sorry. I’ve been hitting the weights hard, though, and I’m absolutely loving how strong I feel. If I see you in person I will probably have to show your my new guns. ­čśë

Did you like that last photo? Yeah, I discovered instagram. Love it. Find me, follow me.

Hey guess what? Joplin called. The hubs and I are going to jumpstart our road trip vacation by volunteering with Rebuild Joplin in July! Totally stoked. I hope I get to make my daddy proud and wear a hard hat.

And on that note, I think I’ll go make another cup of delicious coconut mocha coffee.

ang

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Oh Lovely Pinterest

About two weeks ago I made a discovery that has changed my life.

I have spent hours exploring this discovery, and yet I still don’t really know what I’m doing. It has jumpstarted the wheels in my creative head spinning, so much so that everyone in my family should expect homemade Christmas gifts this year. I have ideas exploding in my head, yet I haven’t put many into action yet. It has made me become even more unproductive than I was before.

If you are at all familiar with it, I’m sure you have already guessed…

…and if you are not already familiar with it, get onboard! Join the bandwagon. You won’t even miss all the wasted hours browsing other peoples boards!

I like to think of Pinterest as a tool to create online inspiration boards. You can “pin” photos of absolutely anything to boards for your own personal account. Currently I have several boards…one for products I want, one for what my dream home might look like, but by far my favorite board is for things I want to try to make! (If you’d like to see my boards, just follow me here!)

Pinterest inspired me to get out a needle and thread yesterday and cut apart a couple of t-shirts. While I do consider myself a creative person, I definitely would not say that I’m handy with a needle and thread. Just ask my mother-in-law who I ask to sew anything and everything that needs fixing that comes from my home. (This would include sewing a button on a pair of pants…pathetic, I know. In fact, so pathetic that my husband decided to learn to sew a button himself, and he ended up fixing the button on my last pair of pants!) It’s not so much that I don’t know how to sew…it’s just that I don’t want to.

Or rather, that I didn’t want to.

But, Pinterest made me want to! The proof…

I made this scarf! The directions for this scarf did, in fact, require a sewing machine. I didn’t want to wait to find someone with a sewing machine and then have to drive to their house (which would at least be an hours drive from where I live), so my impatient booty threaded the needle and went to work!

I think it’s rather cute. (So family and friends, which of you would like a scarf like this one for Christmas?!)

But…I discovered something about this lovely website yesterday that made me think of it as not so lovely. I realized that you can search pins by categories. One of the categories that caught my eye, obviously, was the fitness category. Fitness equals loveliness in my book. So I clicked on it and began browsing. I found many lovely pins…many of which were inspiring phrases. I found this lovely pin called a runner’s prayer…

Lovely, right?

Then I found other images that I’d fit into the “thinspiration” (gag) category…images of women who do not look healthy or fit. I found phrases that expressed negative words about being “fat” and about what foods should be eaten (or rather, not eaten). There were phrases designed to make someone feel guilty about themselves.

Not so lovely anymore.

I do understand that on Pinterest, people can “pin” literally anything in the cyber world that they want. Therefore people can share these more or less tough-love (er, no love?)type of images or phrases. But how is the idea of thinness equals beauty ever going to change when so many people believe in it? How will this ever change?!

Little by little, it can change. We just have to believe in the good things. We have to remind ourselves what real beauty is. Not numbers. Not weight. Not what you look like.

Then, my faith was reignited in Pinterest when also in the fitness category I found this little gem…

(Image pinned from Operation Beautiful)

There is always going to be some negativity coming from somewhere in the world. It is just up to us to ignore it and look to the positive.

ang

Fitness, Mood, and Body Image

I have come to realize a few life facts…

is directly related to:

When I’m focused on fitness and loving what I’m doing, my mood is great. I feel strong and empowered. When I no longer have a fitness goal, my mood is no longer so stellar.

I’ve also learned that:

is directly related to:

When my mood is amazingly happy (like when I finished my marathon!) my body image is awesome. I can actually say that recently I’ve looked in the mirror and thought Wow, there is nothing here I’d want to change!

But when my mood is not so amazingly happy (like three weeks post-marathon) my body image is not quite as awesome. I find myself getting caught up in the comparison trap every now and then.

The funny thing about this, though, is that marathon training actually made me gain a few pounds. (I do not weigh myself regularly, but did so every few weeks throughout training.) And now, with my appetite being back to that of a normal person and not someone running thirty to forty miles per week, I’m actually back to a more “normal” weight for myself. (Again, I do not weight myself often <Mom>…marathon training was a long process.) Obviously a few pounds more or less on me is not going to make a physical difference…this is just an observation that proves the irrationality regarding body image.

But I can’t rely on the highs from marathon training to provide me with a positive body image. I’m not going to be going on twenty mile longs runs anytime soon, and ultimately that is not a healthy way to solely achieve some kind of happiness.

I need to learn:

I need a solid balance between fitness, happiness, mood, and positive body image. That is my mission!

What are your tips for achieving balance in life?

ang