Skinny Doesn’t Equal Happy

To The Gym Instructor who Changed my Life –

I’m writing this letter because, quite frankly, I am appalled at your behavior.

When I entered your class the other morning, not only was it my first day of your class, or any class at all for that matter, but it was also my first day at the gym. Yes, here I am at 28 years old going to the gym for the first time. I am a confident, overall fit person, but the gym is an intimidating place for me. I’ve always enjoyed a nice run outdoors or an at-home workout tape. I don’t know if I’m using the weights correctly, I don’t know how long to stay on certain equipment or how many reps I should be doing, I don’t know if my exercise combinations have any rhyme or reason with one another. Yes, I can ask these things, but like I said this is one place I’ve continually felt out of place.

Anyway, your class went really well and I really enjoyed myself. I was also quite proud, if I’m being honest. I’d made myself go to the gym and I’d had a great time!

A few minutes after class you saw me leaving with my 9 month old daughter in tow. You and a few other ladies from the class, who you seemed pretty close with, approached us with smiles on your face. Oh, I felt so welcome and comfortable at last.

“How are you sooooooo skinny right after having a baby?” you asked. I kept a smiling face, but inside I groaned.

“I’m actually struggling with my weight now and have a very high metabolism……” I started  to quickly explain, not sure where my courage came from on this particular day, but thinking I’d have an ally in the gym instructor. I mean you’re a professional, right?

“She has a fast metabolism,” you, the instructor of all people, say to the other women, with a laugh.

I was crushed and I didn’t know what to respond with at that point and turned the attention to my smiling baby.

“Skinny” was one of the the words I always thought I’d want to hear one day as a new mom.

Not now.

Not that’s it’s really any of your business, but since the birth of my daughter my weight has plummeted. My doctor is concerned about my high metabolism (which is apparently hilarious to you) and I’m 15 pounds less than before I even got pregnant. I am losing muscle mass. I have one pair of pants that comfortably fits me.

While others look at me and see that I’m so lean, I look at me and see a long road ahead. The week beforehand I had signed up to work with a trainer on the muscle mass problem. I am trying to eat tons to keep up with what I’m losing between the breastfeeding demands of nursing exclusively and for having a metabolism that’s off the charts. I am also being overly conscious of my intake because I don’t want my weight to sky rocket once the breastfeeding is done.

Aside from all this, I’m still getting used to my forever changed body from childbirth. My sagging breasts, my stretched out belly button, my thinned hair. And although I’ve lost a lot of weight it doesn’t mean I’m tone. Part of me looks skeletal, part of me looks deflated. I don’t like to look in the mirror. It’s a lot to take in. I wish I didn’t care but I’d be lying to say it didn’t matter.

And what a strange question, anyway – “why are you so skinny?”

Is it okay to go around and ask people why they’re “so short,” “so pale, ” “so fat?” You probably wouldn’t (hopefully wouldn’t!) do those things, yet you think it’s okay to ask someone why they’re “so skinny.”

And what’s sad is my trust is shaken now. You completely humiliated me! I took the leap of faith and pushed myself to attend to the gym. I immediately trusted you since you worked there, especially since you were a female instructor. I felt you were someone safe I could talk to. I’m the new girl. The one whose doctor wanted her here. Yet, now I feel like I have to answer differently. Giggle it off and get nowhere, like I’ve been doing.

As I sit here writing, however, I am learning a lesson myself.

I know there’s times I’ve said something about someone’s height, weight, hair, body size, or skin! Maybe even some sort of awkward question that I didn’t really think out before letting it leaving my lips. I’ve never been purposefully hateful, it’s all been out of love, but still! There’s probably been a time or two I’ve made someone uncomfortable.

And I am so, so sorry!

For some reason our society has it embedded in our brains that it’s okay to make remarks about the tall and thin but you wouldn’t want to say the words “short” or “fat.” They’ve said that tall and thin is the way to be but the fact is here I sit tall and thin and more insecure than ever before. Just because someone’s body looks how we think they’d be happiest with it, it doesn’t mean they are.

I am hurt by your mocking and laughter that followed my true answer when asked about my weight. I’d like to open my eyes and forget it, but unfortunately it still stings. I forgive you, however, because my hope is that you didn’t mean it to be as hurtful as it was.

I forgive you if for no other reason than the fact that society has trained us to not be gentle with one another. To zero in on a body type and assume everyone should look like that, and that those that do, are happy, and those that don’t, are not.

And honestly, looking back now, I’m thankful it happened. It hurt me, but it taught me more about myself. It taught me to love myself when I’m doing the best I can. It taught me to love the process, especially since this body is what brought my daughter into this world. And even more than that, I’m thankful because it taught me to love others more than ever before; to always be careful with my words and actions because we never truly know anyone’s inside battles.

And for that, I thank you.

Sincerely,

A Changed Woman

{Before you make a comment about someone’s body, reconsider it. Unless you are telling them how BEAUTIFUL they are, don’t open your mouth.}

{XOXO}

Must Have Mondays

Must Have Mondays – Issue 12

Hey love bugs! It’s the last Must Have Mondays coming to you in 2016! The next one will post January 2nd of the new year and will be my first blog post of the New Year. How exciting!

Until then, here’s my faves this week!


This week’s recipe is Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini by Bombshell Bling

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Photo courtesy of Bombshell Bling

You guys! This recipe is SO delicious! It’s pasta and has a creamy sauce, do I really even need to say more?! Seriously though, this is such a great winter recipe. Nice warm pasta with a creamy spinach, tomato sauce. Perfect to throw in a bowl, grab a glass of wine, and get cozy on the couch! It’s also a really simple recipe and has been our go-to many nights when we are scrambling to get dinner on the table. We don’t normally have leftovers for long with this one though! Yum!!!


This week’s blogger is Jacki Quinones of Crazy Life with Littles

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Photo courtesy of Jacki Quinones

This girl right here y’all! I can’t even handle her! She is a spit fire and I just love her blog! She is HONEST, she is REAL, she is FUNNY! Oh yeah, and she takes great pics, likes wine, and has cute kids! I mean why aren’t you following her already?! Seriously though, she is a mommy blogger and has some really awesome posts! On your blog you can find great kid product reviews, fashions for both moms and kids, recipes, DIY projects, and party planning ideas. She did a potty training party for her daughter and it was the cutest!!!! Check out her page, you won’t be disappointed!


This week’s product is the toy along from Hny Baby

I received this product in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts & opinions are 100% my own. 

This product is so great! One of my daughter’s favorite things to do right now is throw things out of her crib, out of her carseat, out of her stroller, and just throw things in general. (Please tell me it’s not only me!) Because of this habit she’s become quite fond of, the toy along has been a life saver. (Or should I say toy saver?? Haha) It has an adjustable strap that fits around many different toys and then can be attached to things with just a snap. Literally. Hny Baby has lots of great patterns and colors! Along with the toy along, they also carry a sippy strap and a handful of other great products!

XOXO

6 Ways To Stay Organized

I received a product mentioned in this post, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

I am a mama, wife, and (obviously) a blogger. Organization is key unless I want to lose my mind. And the thing is, while I am those three things, staying organized was important before any of those things were identities of mine!

The new year is right around the corner which means new year’s resolutions, or what I better like to refer to them as, GOALS, are running rampant. That’s a good thing, but one of your goals this year should be to actually stick to them!!!

With that being said, if getting organized is one of your goals for 2017, you’ve come to the right blog post! 🙂

Below are six ways that I stay organized.

1 – Pack any and all bags the night before.

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Whether it be a lunch bag, a diaper bag, a suitcase, whatever it may be, make sure it is packed the day before said outing, event, trip, etc. This will save lots of time in the morning, even when you’ve planned extra time! It also leaves you 12ish hours to think of something random that you may have forgotten and you’re able to throw it in the bag.

2 – Use a filing system.

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This particular file was made by one of my best friends as a baby shower gift! (Score!!!)

The filing system doesn’t have to be anything fancy. File folders and expandable files are super cheap at most local stores. Simply take a few seconds, label the tab, and insert the documents. Then when you need those documents again, they’re right where you left them. (This can also be with emails; most email providers have folders you can drag and drop emails in!)

3 – Write yourself notes.

Don’t assume you’re going to remember, you’re not mostly likely not going to! Whether it’s an adhesive note on the bathroom mirror or a piece of paper on the table by the door. If it’s something that you don’t normally do, write it down, and put the reminder somewhere you’ll see it.

4 – Make sure you have a planner. (And use it!)

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I’ve gotten {lovingly} picked on by my friends since high school for always having a planner. It keeps me organized because I am able to instantly pull it out and add dates and times as needed. Appointments aren’t forgotten! I am aware of the time of an event way ahead of time! And I also don’t overbook myself. There is nothing more embarrassing than telling someone you’d be able to make it to something and then realizing you already told someone else the same thing. (Okay so maybe there’s a time or two in my lifetime that I forgot to use my planner!) That won’t be happening now that I’ve found the best planner of them all – a Start planner.

5 – Keep clutter down.

Whether you’re working at your desk or playing with your kids in the floor, once you’re done there, clean up the mess! It seems daunting to stop and do it at that moment, but it’s something I’ve recently started doing and it’s helped so much! I hesitate for a second and want to say, “I’ll do it later,” but when later comes, guess what? I still don’t want to do it. At least if I did it then it is done and more importantly if I’m looking for a particular toy or piece of paperwork, it will surely be found quicker, if the space it’s in is neat and tidy.

6 – Keep a notepad and pen by your bed.

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I may or may not have also been picked on for this little trait of mine before, as well! I don’t know about you, but my mind is really going when I’m trying to sleep at night. I remember things I forgot that day and things that I don’t want to forget the following day! By keeping a notepad and pen in my nightstand, I can quickly pull it out and jot down what I’m thinking. Not only does it clear my mind so I can sleep better, but then in the morning I’m not trying to remember what I thought of half-asleep the night before!


As you may have seen hyperlinked above, I have officially ended my lifelong journey to find the PERFECT planner. My Start Planner is a game changer. It has tabs for goals, finances, list making, and of course, daily and monthly calendars. Aside from its extreme functionality, it is gorgeous. The front of the planner is an actual watercolor painting. It also has beautiful gold corner details. It is sturdy and spiral bound and there is even a folder on the inside cover.

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Well today is YOUR LUCKY DAY!!!!! I have partnered with Start Planner to give away a 2017 planner! Not only are they giving you the chance to win one, but they are also giving you a FREE party download just for entering! Good luck! Click here to enter!

Now tell me, what’s one goal you have for 2017?!

XOXO

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Baby’s First Icecream

I don’t know what has made me so nervous about Adalynn trying icecream for the first time, but she finally did it!

img_2613Thank you to Halo Top Creamery for sponsoring this blog post. 

It was my mom’s birthday about a week or so ago, so what better time to try icecream for the first time, right?!

Besides the obvious, I purchased birthday cake flavor because the packaging made me think of a certain cake we’d make for EVERYONE on their birthday that was white cake with sprinkles in the batter! Yum! Any of my college besties reading right now?!  You know what I’m talking about!

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Adalynn knew something yummy was coming from the second I pulled it out of the freezer! She knows that anything that comes out of that big silver box in the corner of the kitchen is something she can eat or drink! And this girl is a fan of food!

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She was actually getting a bit sassy in this picture because she couldn’t figure out how to get the top off and was upset that banging her spoon against the top wasn’t helping.

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Mommy to the rescue! But wait….why is it cold? And solid?

And then came the first bite…

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“I think I like this stuff…”

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Those eyes! Haha She was lovin’ it!

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And then I remembered her bib…just in time for the last bite! Oops!

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Thanks again to Halo Top!

Must Have Mondays

Must Have Mondays – Issue 11

Yay! Finally back on schedule with these posts!!!!

If this is your first time checking out Must Have Mondays, it’s a biweekly series here on my bloggidy blog! It features a blog/blogger, a recipe, and a product. The blog is one I love to read, the recipe – a yummy one, I’ve most likely pinned on Pinterest, and the product – a tried and true one that we use in our home.

Enjoy this week’s round up!


This week’s recipe is Chicken in Creamy White Wine Sauce by Go Eat & Repeat

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Photo courtesy of Go Eat & Repeat

Give me all the cream sauces, all the wine, and all the bacon! I knew this recipe was a must try when it first graced my computer screen….and it did not disappoint! It also is a chicken dish and if you know me at all you know chicken is a staple in this house! This recipe has just enough perfect, yummy ingredients and hits the spot. And it’s even more delicious paired with a glass of wine, duh! It’s also super simple, made entirely in a skillet, which is always a win for me! Check out the recipe and pin it so you can make it for dinner sometime soon!


This week’s blogger is Christina Boyce of Blissfully Boyce

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Photo courtesy of Christina Boyce

Christina Boyce! If you haven’t heard of this gal and you’re in the blogging world you may live under a large rock. If you haven’t heard of this gal and you’re not in the blogging world, I forgive you, but you must go check out her blog RIGHT NOW! This girl rocks the blogging and social media world like no other and after meeting her a few months back I like to think I can now call her a real life friend 😉 Seriously though, she is a tell it like it is girl and she blogs what she wants, when she wants! Her posts about faith, motherhood, and life in general always leave me smiling and often times laughing hysterically. Check her out right now!


I received this product in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

This week’s product is Snap & Shop Tray

Oh my gosh you guys!!!!!! This product is seriously a game charger! My child eats all the time, but I always either forget to bring a snack or don’t bring enough. Now I just leave this holder next to my car keys and fill it up before we head out for any long errands. I usually would have to buy something in the store and then just pour it into the shopping cart cover. Gross! But hey, anything to prevent a temper tantrum!!!! You with me?! Anyway, this little tray fits snugly to the cart handle (it has different settings) and it also works with a cover, as I’ve shown. It is pretty deep too so it holds lots of goodies! My non-stop eating actually didn’t even finish everything! (Anyone that knows her, knows that’s unheard of!) Check them out! You’ll be impressed by how affordable they are, as well 😉

As always, thanks for stopping in!

XOXO

Wine Lovers Gift Guide

Before I was a blogger one of my favorite things to read for help during the holiday season were the gift guides that filled the Internet! They always had such wonderful ideas AND most that I would come across were so unique!

Well now that I am a blogger I decided to make my very own gift guide this year!!!! I’m so excited! I have rounded up five awesome small shops!

They’re all wine related gifts, because let’s be honest, how can you go wrong with that?!

Anddddd one of these awesome shops is offering a coupon code as well!!!! Enjoy!


I received the mentioned items in this post in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts & opinions are 100% my own.

Wine Socks

Chelsey’s Card & Gift Creations

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Everyone loves graphic tees, now you can have a witty saying on your feet as well. Chelsey’s Card & Gift Creations has a ton of other adorable and cute signs, home decor, and clothing, among other things.

20% off entire order using code: andthenlife20

Portable Wine Table

Enjoying Life Our Way

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Such a cool product! Portable so you can take it with you anywhere – the park, the beach, or your own backyard! Check out this shop for this and other gorgeous wooden wine racks and caddys. Beautiful, great quality wood work!

Wine Wall Art

Redefined Rustic

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I love buying wall art for friends because it’s a fun gift and doesn’t have to match specific decor. Check out this shop for a ton of seasonal and year around signs for your home, porch, and business! AND if you happen to not find anything, she offers custom orders!

Wine Graphic Tee 

Nap Time Creations

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I love an awesome graphic tee! And this one was obviously a must have. I mean give me all the wine please! Haha Also, the first thing I said when I opened this package was “oh my gosh, this shirt is sooooo soft!” I’m not 100% sure I will be wearing anything else in the next couple weeks.

Portable Wine Glasses

Goverre

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I live in an area that has a plethora of parks, beaches, hiking trails, and a bunch of other wonderful outdoorsy activities. Having a portable wine cup is a must. This one is particularly awesome because it is actual glass. The silicone sleeve protects the glass and the top prevents spills. They have a variety of different color sleeves!

HAPPY SHOPPING!

xoxo

Like what you see? Want to save an idea for later?

Pin it!

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I Wish I Missed It…

It’s been about two months now since Adalynn stop breastfeeding… and I don’t miss it.

And I wish I did.

I am carrying some guilt around because of it and I keep reminding myself to drop it for good.

When Adalynn was born I pictured this magical moment where’d she’d be laying on my bare chest and latch immediately, both of us snuggling and bonding. NOPE. She came out and couldn’t even be placed on my chest because the umbilical cord was wrapped around my placenta (or so other medical explanation that sounds better and more accurate than that). She was screaming, facedown on my lower abdomen. When I finally had her on my chest, she continued screaming, and she wouldn’t latch. She was slightly hysterical so her mouth just stayed open. I thought, that’s okay, we’ll try again in a bit. Fast forward, two days, more screaming and crying (the screaming from her, the crying from me). I was beginning to get frustrated but trying to stay strong. The doctors all disagreed about her tongue tie (how bad it was, whether it needed to be snipped, if she even had one!!!), she still wouldn’t latch, and the screaming continued. Seriously she didn’t cry when she was trying to learn to nurse, she screamed hysterically. Fast forward another day and I’m now officially the proud owner of a nipple shield. (Sorry to any of the men that may be reading) I wasn’t happy about it but after about a day she was KIND OF getting the hang of it! A few days later, nursing was going okay, but I was having intense pain…a month later, she was still nursing from the shield (great but ugh), I was still in pain. Meetings with lactation consultants, video after video on YouTube, online forums with other mamas, there was almost constantly discomfort and breastfeeding never felt 100% wonderful for 13 months.

I loved moments we experienced together while I was nursing her but I don’t think I ever grew to love breastfeeding. I love the wonderful things it did for my daughter’s development, I love all the snuggling we did, I love the fact that she truly deeply needed me and I love that no one else could provide for her like me, her mama. But I never loved breastfeeding.

I was completely worn out come month 13 and between her getting teeth and losing interest, I knew it wasn’t going to last much longer. I wanted to cry the last time she nursed but I was too happy to be done with such a grueling journey. It pains me to say that, and hope she doesn’t read these words one day and have her heart broken, because I would do it again, every single bit of it, if I had to choose again.

Looking back I wish I’d written down the date she last nursed, but I can’t beat myself up about that because at the time I just needed to be done and know that that was okay.

I am incredibly proud of what my body was able to provide for her for 13 months, more than a year of her life, and how strong I was in the trying time.

I am filled with love when I think of the wee hours of the morning while the rest of the world slept and it was just her and I, her asleep in my arms from just filling her body with milk and love.

And like I said, if I had to go back and choose, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat, but right now I just don’t miss it.