A Different Kind of Transformation

Friends. We need to continue our conversation from last night on Stories. It’s after midnight and my head is racing after my dinner chat about my relationship with food and how many of y’all said that you were in the same boat. I thought I’d dive in a little deeper here and share what’s on my heart.

So. Here we go.

I have had a TUMULTUOUS relationship with food pretty much my whole life. I am, without a doubt, the pickiest eater I know. I acted like every day was a “Treat Yo’self” kind of day. I worked at a bagel shop in high school and at a restaurant as a hostess. Although I had food readily at my fingertips, I’d also stop by Wendy’s or Sonic on my way home for my 4th meal of the day. And I’d hide the evidence from my family, finding a garbage can before going home.

Fast forward to college and it was a rollercoaster of pounds. Coming on (freshman 20 was v real for me) and coming off. The summer between junior and senior year was when I decided to get a “handle on my weight”. This entailed starting to work out, go for walks after class, and watching what I ate. Some weight came off and I thought, okay, let’s keep going. I bought a scale and started weighing myself every day. I went on medication that suppressed my appetite and restricted my calorie count. I also amped up the workouts to two hours a day and go for a walk around my college town. I got down to a size 6. Everyone was telling me how good I looked and I LOVED IT. I’ve always been confident in my own skin, but I was finally being seen (even if I was tired and anxious all the time) and I felt valued. How disheartening for me. That I put so much of my worth behind what my body looked like in the mirror.

I kept this up for almost two years and ended up not being able to sleep for days on end. This was also in part to being in grad school and the pressure I put on myself (but that’s another story for another day). My anxiety got so bad that I had to go on anti-anxiety meds, and although I looked like I was an “average” size and weight, I wasn’t nourishing my body. I was depriving it. I had developed poor eating behaviors by being so restrictive.

At this point, and many years later, the pendulum has swung far the other way. And honestly I feel damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I’ve been feeding my body junk because it was easy and convenient. I comfort myself by eating. Happy, sad, stressed. Whatever. I have to be better to me. I set an intention this year of making better decisions for my bank account and my body. Making dinner at home Monday through Thursday and it’s been going well. I’m trying some new things and it’s become pretty fun. I still love Whataburger and will probably treat myself this weekend. And you know what? That’s a-okay!

What’s the point in me sharing this? Well, here’s what I’ve learned. What we eat and how we treat ourselves cannot be an all or nothing mentality. The shame and guilt I felt at 21, when I broke my resolution to eat under 600 calories a day, was overwhelming and I am strong enough to not let myself go there again. I’m more mature now and see how there can be better decisions made to serve me more; more balance to be achieved, and more overall wellness to be had.

The girl on the left, although it may appear as such, is no more happy than the girl on the right. Both are confident, strong, and funny (if I do say so myself). How sad that this 21 year old on the left didn’t know what the 31 year on the right knows now. Your weight and the size on your dress tag DO NOT determine your health, your worth, or your happiness. I’ll say it again louder for the folks in the back…
Thanks for reading. I hope this resonated.

Pretty Pastels in Winter

Friends! Happy Friday! We made it through the first full week of January and I’ve got to say I’ve had some wins! I got dressed and put on a face every day for work (and hung my clothes up at night!), did my skincare routine every night, and made dinner during the week 3/5 days (next week, we’re going for 4/5)! What wins did you have?!

This look is one of my faves! The colors are so pretty and it’s almost all on sale plus 50% off. Say whatttttt

Shop: sweater, skirt, shoes, bracelets, earrings

Xx

Hey There! Welcome to the 20’s! 2020, that is!

FRIENDS! First, hi, how are you?! Thanks for stopping by my little space on the interwebs today. Can you BELIEVE we are in a new decade, let alone a new year?! I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.

I, for one, am so excited about a new decade. This last one taught me so much. It saw me through major wins like graduating from undergrad and grad school, starting what I thought was my dream job, and finding myself making a big career shift and city move at 28. It saw me through celebrating my friends as they embarked on marriages and babies and loss and grief as I said goodbye to toxic relationships. It saw me through moments of joy, moments of sadness, and so much GROWTH.

I will say I am ready for a new decade of me and at my age (31) people put so much pressure on themselves that they should be married, have kids, be homeowners. I’m not anywhere near that and this last decade really challenged me to think about what I want. I really don’t play the comparison game, but it’s hard to see so much happening for others and not think, well, what’s wrong with me that I don’t have these things?

You know what I do have though? Community. I’ve made my own little community here at That Blonde Rebel. And stability. Since starting my new career 2.5 years ago in Corporate America, I’ve been promoted twice and am proud of the work I’ve done. I do think I have worked my tail off, both at work and at the blog, and it sometimes feels like I can’t catch my breath.

On that note, I have picked my word for 2020.

F O C U S.

I want to focus this year on continuing to grow both at work and at the blog, getting back on my wellness train, and growing my finances.

I talked about this last year, but I don’t think setting resolutions is good for our psyche. There’s all this pressure we put on ourselves and the feeling of disappointment is overwhelming when we don’t accomplish or meet those resolutions. Instead, I call my goals INTENTIONS instead. These are things I want to do, I intend to do. So here they are, in no particular order:

I want to quit doubting myself.

I want to learn how to integrate work and life better.

I want to try to dance more. For fun. I MISS IT!

I want to have more dollars in the bank! My goal is to save three months worth of salary this year. Emma, from Emma’s Edition, broke it down. You add up three months of salary and divide by 12. That number equals the dollars you need to save each month to get there.

I want to start restyling my clothing items for y’all. This will also help with the above so I’m not just cycling through clothes for the sake of showing NEW NEW NEW. It’s too much. I hope y’all will appreciate how I show how something can be worn a couple times.

I want to continue to be a source of humor, clothing/color inspiration, advice giver, and friend to all of you!

I’m going to stop eating out so much. I am so guilty of stopping for fast food on the way home from work. I need to start putting easy options in my kitchen for quick dinners. Do y’all have any great recipes I should try?

I want to be more joyful and easy-going in 2020. Believe it or not, I’m a pretty structured person who needs to have all her ducks in a row. While that is great and I can’t really change my DNA, I’d like to be more in the moment.

Here’s to these intentions and my F O C U S in 2020!

I’m looking forward to all that is to come this year and in the coming decade.

Cheers!

Xx

A Top With A Little Extra

Polka Dots. Tulle. HERE FOR IT.

When Atlantic Pacific announced her collaboration with Nordstrom, my heart skipped a beat! I love her and get so much Inspo from her. I knew when the top below previewed, I HAD to HAVE. It’s sadly only available in some sizes, but I still wanted to share! I also rounded up some similar tops you may enjoy, that are available!

PHB (24 of 251)PHB (33 of 251)PHB (60 of 251)PHB (69 of 251)PHB (99 of 251)PHB (151 of 251)PHB (188 of 251)PHB (200 of 251)PHB (213 of 251)PHB (234 of 251)

Shop: Top, Headband, Jeans, Earrings, Shoes

And here are some of my current faves if you’re looking for a top that’s similar:

Shop (top left to right): Polka Dot Sheer Blouse, Plus Corseted Dot Blouse, Plus Dotted Sleeves Top, Corseted Dot Blouse, White Organza Bow Blouse, Polka Dot Sheer Blouse, Plus V Neck Dotted Sleeves Top

Xx