Be unique!

 

“You have to be odd to be number one.” –Dr. Seuss

Embrace your originality! 

Appropriately Attired

Today I wore my wicked-fly workout clothes. Between my ultra-reinforced compression leggings, a super slick sport bra with titanium-laced (and very unforgiving) elastic bands and an aerodynamic athletic quarter-zip top, this girl had every inch of jiggle on lockdown. Back flab on notice, ya’ll. Locked. Down. 

I’m not ashamed to admit that I gave every last ounce of energy that I had this morning and, frankly, I worked up quite a sweat. At one point I was gasping for air and I’m sure my eyes were nearly bulging out of my head. You know that vein that stands out on your forehead in times of extreme exertion? Check. There were times that I felt like throwing in the towel. But you know the old saying, “no pain, no gain”. I was in it to win it; never give up, NEVER SURRENDER!! 

Believe me when I say I *felt*the*burn*!! But I will tell you this: the money I spent on my new exercise duds was worth every cent. I got SUCH a workout from getting into that ridiculously cute outfit… I’m sure I burned at least 500 calories. I would *highly* recommend putting on compression-based clothing as a rigorous form of exercise to anyone. Not only do you get a highly demanding workout in, you look great afterwards (as long as you take a moment to readjust your ponytail, ladies).

For those of you looking to take your workout a little further, you can keep your calorie blasting session rocking out loud when you try to get OUT of that sports bra in the evening. For ultimate total-body conditioning wait until your pre and post workout beverages kick in (thumbs up for staying hydrated, girls!), then try to wrangle out of your workout gear while doing a potty dance. If dancing isn’t your thing, you can still do some killer leg crosses to “hold it in” while you’re struggling to liberate your lovely lady lumps. Just tighten those glutes and HOLD.

Here’s a little pro-tip from yours truly: start a stopwatch when you begin prying your spandex chest manacle off. Try to “best” your time each evening but don’t neglect to stretch beforehand. Nothing says “I overdid it” like a dislocated shoulder.

Sometimes feelings lie

Those of you who know me well know that I go through seasons of self-loathing in my life. I think that everyone enters phases where they feel like the sun is hidden from them. To be frank, I talk a big game. The personality I present to those around me is so much larger than the person that I truly am. I drive myself to be and to do more than I am comfortable with. I press myself to go outside of my comfort zone. I encourage others when I am wholeheartedly discouraged with myself. I help others when I feel helpless and I put on a brave face when I am terrified of my own voice. I talk like I am in control and I know what is going on when, really, I haven’t got a clue. I lead others… sometimes when I’m positively lost myself.

Today, I’m silencing the negativity in my mind for a moment. Any other day I would look at a picture of myself and cut myself down. I would magnify every flaw and become angry with myself. But no, not today. Because right now I am choosing to believe positivity and I’m reminding myself that I *am not* a failure.

I'm looking up!

Tonight I am looking at a woman whose eyes are full of hope and optimism. I see someone who is looking forward to tomorrow. A mother who loves her children fiercely and whose heart is overwhelmed with pride. I am looking at a wife who can say, without a moment’s doubt, that she made the best decision of her life on the day that she said, “I do.”

Tonight I see a woman who has experienced the pain of loss but has not been defeated. I see someone who has been afraid but has not let her fears immobilize her. I see a woman who has held secrets in her heart to protect the ones that she loves. A woman who has known the heartache of abandonment but chooses still to love. I see a woman who lost her baby, alone, in a public restroom because her body wasn’t strong enough to carry her sweet, tiny child. I see a woman who vowed to never cry another tear unless it really meant something because life is too short to allow herself to be swallowed up by her grief. This woman is strong, and she is brave and she is kind. She is is broken and she is beautiful. She has seen tragedy but she holds onto hope. In this woman’s eyes I see peace that transcends the harsh realities of the world in which she walks. I see a woman who looks up to the heavens with triumph because she knows that death and hell and the grave have been defeated by an omnipotent creator. Tonight I am looking at a woman whose eyes can pierce through veils of deception and not allow herself to be overcome with fury. I see a woman who has let go of hatred and made a conscious decision to move forward in her life, seizing the opportunities she is given with gratefulness. I see a woman who is not afraid to open her heart to hurt because she knows that pain cannot consume her and love is stronger than darkness. I see a woman who has learned to find peace in the midst of the chaos that surrounds her every single day that she draws her breath here on this earth.

I see me.