My Changing Body – Another Uncomfortable Topic

For the sake of staying on track and sharing every uncomfortable issue with everyone under the sun, let’s discuss the changes that happen to women (overnight) once you enter your 30’s.

I am healthier and more appreciative of my body than ever, so what the hell is this crap!

Throughout my teens and 20’s I abused my body in ways I would now find unimaginable. I am ashamed to say I drank too much, stayed out too late, even occasionally smoked cigarettes (a thought that now makes me gag beyond belief). There were even times where I would obscenely binge on Taco Bell and Dairy Queen (oh God… the things I would do for a cookie dough Blizzard) with basically ZERO consequences. If I even entertain the thought I eating that way now, I would suddenly gain 20 pounds!

 

Throughout my teens I actively participated in dance and cheerleading, and consistently stayed on the very low end of the BMI chart, partially from training and partially good genetics. As many women often do, I took my body for granted and even nitpicked my body for no reason whatsoever. I had no idea the changes that would happen as soon as I celebrated that 30th Birthday two years ago!

I now enjoy staying active (especially hiking, climbing & yoga), and cooking is a hobby for me so I prepare dinner at home most nights and prep most of my lunches for the week. Even with those healthy changes the days of wearing size 4 dresses and crop tops are gone; instead I have to learn to honor my womanly body with all its curves, and what at one time I viewed as imperfections. I have boobs and a booty and when I am not eating right a little belly too. I am by no means overweight, but am definitely not the size I used to be and I am slowly becoming accepting of that fact – you could even say happy about it.

I am healthier today than I have ever been. Every day I try to be grateful for my body – it takes me on beautiful adventures, allows me to dance, play, run, and hike. I try to be conscientious of what I put into my body (forgoing the excessive late nights and things that go with that). I try not to pick on myself and really focus on not speaking negatively of other women because I really hope to be a source of encouragement for others. We all have “flaws” and we all harshly compare ourselves to others, but lovingly accepting ourselves and others brings a sense of solidarity and peace – even if it is total CRAP that I bust my ass with half the results of the girl I was in my early 20’s lol.

 

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Fitness Spotlight – B.YOU

Ugh the winter rut…

Over the last month I have been feeling the winter blues, and I am craving warmer weather and the beginning of daylight savings time (summer please get here). I feel like I am tired all the time, while also not being nearly as productive as I usually am. If you have been following my blog, you know that I heavily rely on my fitness routine for mental motivation, and that is especially true at this time of the year.

I also need to have fun while working out, otherwise I just won’t do it. Last week I was invited to attend a class at B.You Fitness here in Louisville, KY. This place is such a hidden gem! The first thing I noticed when looking at the website was how fun the classes look. B.You offers Barre, Bounce and Silque classes – I really can’t wait to go back to try out the candlelight Silque yoga class (if you don’t know what Silque is refer to the picture below on the right).

As soon as I walked in, I was impressed with this place. I was greeted with friendly staff at the desk as soon as I arrived. I was running a bit behind (nothing unusual there) and the instructor was nice enough to get my spot set up while I put my coat and purse away. The facility was clean, and the cheerful colors immediately put me in a more positive frame of mind.

Before taking the barre class, I really thought the class was going to be a breeze, but I have to say that I worked my butt off and felt great afterwards! The class was challenging, but being in a room full of supportive, positive women provided a powerful amount of motivation, especially after a long stressful day at the office.

Needless to say, if you’re stuck in a winter rut and want to try something fresh and new, you need to check out B.You Fitness! If you are interested in trying out a B.You class without any commitments, they will be at the Junior League of Louisville’s Tulips and Julips Art and Gift Market on February 24th (10:30AM) at Slugger Field.

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Details: $15.00 – includes 45-min fitness class, admission into the market & a complimentary mimosa ticket! To purchase tickets follow this link.

Uncomfortable Truth

Even as I just write this post, I am beginning to feel quite self-conscious and anxious. Partially because the topic has been stigmatized, and though I have mentioned it in passing on other posts, I have never focused completely on this topic. I am the face of someone who copes daily with anxiety and depression. It is something I have struggled with since my early teens, but there are times it seems to rear its ugly head more than others. This often surprises those I’m not super close with, especially since I try to share mostly positive images of my life.

The fact is I do feel really positive in my life right now, but there’s sometimes a quiet whisper in the back of my mind that likes to focus on the fact that I’m not at the place I thought I would be at this point in my life. I have mentioned this before, but it often feels lonely that I haven’t found someone to share my life with, and that I am not sure if having children of my own will ever be something that happens for me (if my dating life is any indication – probably not). As horrible as it can make me feel, sometimes I am jealous when I see others moving through the phases of life like motherhood, and I feel left behind.

It also hasn’t helped that my dating life has been less than extraordinary. I’ve been in countless relationships that start out AMAZING, but somewhere down the line I tend to begin investing too much. I invest my time, and energy, and emotional support to make someone else happy, which is certainly fine to do in a balanced relationship, unfortunately I tend to be the giver and wind up feeling completely drained and empty. In past relationships, I have spread myself far too thin, as I feel many women probably do. I become the cheerleader, the confidante, and I try so hard to be light and positive with little given in return. Often after these relationships end I slip into a bit of a depression because I have invested so much time and energy and I feel betrayed.

This is actually how the hiking hobby began for me. I had ended a toxic, long term relationship, moved to a new city where I didn’t have any close friends, and began a new career. The first 6 months were lonely, and although I told no one, a lot of tears were shed. I desperately needed to feel strong and independent – I already was, but needed to prove it to myself. Hiking began to make me feel empowered, and I often do it when I need to clear my mind and feel strong, and capable on my own as a woman.

Aside from hiking, I try to be healthy and active which is a natural mood elevator for me. I also say “No” more – without guilt. Sometimes if I am feeling off, I back out of plans. I do this, not to be an ass, but because I know that is what I need to feel recharged. Sometimes I’m a crappy friend because I don’t text right back, but its because I need some time to myself to refocus my energy. And I am not writing this as a personal pity party, because I am slowly getting a handle on my life (I think). Really, I wanted to share this because I feel like if even one of my friends feels lonely, heartbroken, or like they just aren’t where they feel they should be, that they aren’t alone.  As we all share (myself DEFINITELY included) the happiest, most beautiful parts of our lives, and rarely give glimpses into the darker corners, it feels more important than ever to share my struggles.

I want others to know it’s okay to put yourself first, not answer your phone sometimes, and choose to do the things you enjoy. It’s okay to leave unhealthy, unbalanced relationships behind, because you want to invest your energy where it’s wanted and appreciated. And it’s okay to do these things unapologetically.

How Junior League Has Impacted My Life

Today marks the 97th Anniversary of the Junior League of Louisville, and a little over a year ago I was lucky enough to go to my first Meet & Mingle where I made the decision to become a provisional and join. When I first joined I really had no idea what to expect, or if I would even enjoy it; now looking back I can’t imagine my life in Louisville without this group of motivated, intelligent, and empowered women.

When I first moved to Louisville in September 2015, I really didn’t have many friends in Louisville. Many of the people I met were more acquaintances than actual supportive relationships. After a year went by, and desperately feeling the void of not having any strong female relationships, I decided to make the leap and see what Junior League of Louisville was all about.

I also must admit, at first I had some preconceived notions of what it meant to be a “Junior Leaguer.” I had images of white-gloved ladies gossiping, all while they sipped tea ingrained in my head. I quickly realized (within the first meeting) that this was far from the case! These women come from all backgrounds, but they all have their love for the community and their compassion in common.

Since joining JLL I have been privileged to no longer just live in Louisville, but become an active part of the community. I have gained the confidence to use my voice, because I realize now that I do have the power to make a difference. My leadership skills have improved and I trust myself more because I am given opportunities to learn new skills. I have worked with numerous non-profits, hosted wonderful events like Mother’s Day Tea at Gilda’s Club, helped mentor kids on school and career goals, all while making friendships I know will last a lifetime.

If you are interested in learning more about the Junior League of Louisville, please feel free to message me, as I love meeting new potential members, or visit the Junior League website by following this link.

Volunteers of America

Volunteering has become a very important part of my life, especially since joining the Junior League of Louisville last January. For me, volunteering has provided valuable insight into the community I live in and I love having an opportunity to give back. It has certainly made Louisville feel more like home. Most of my friends know that I work with many local organizations, but I want to begin sharing some opportunities where you can become more involved.

Last night I was fortunate enough to attend a meeting and poverty simulation at the Volunteers of America facility in Louisville, Kentucky. Until last night, I had heard of this organization, but didn’t really know much about the work they do throughout the region. This organization serves as a shelter for the homeless community, but not only that, they are unique among other homeless shelters because they are able to keep entire families housed together. They also serve as a launching pad to help people overcome the challenges associated with pulling themselves out of poverty. The organization provides:

  • Addiction Recovery Services
  • Veterans Services
  • Developmental Disability Services
  • HIV Services
  • Homeless and Housing Services

The Statistics

  • 4,025 people are homeless in Kentucky (Kentucky Housing Corporation, 2017)
  • Largest percentage of homeless are in Fayette County (Kentucky Housing Corporation, 2017)
  • The fastest growing homeless population is 18-24 year olds (KET, 2017)
  • There were 1,330 overdose deaths in Kentucky in 2016; 31% were among people ages 33-44 (Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, 2016)

The best thing we can do to help our community is spread the word and step up and get involved. If you are interested in learning more about getting involved in Louisville, feel free to message me. If you would like to learn more about the work that Volunteers of America does in our community follow this link.

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Living My Best Life at 32

And no where close to where I thought I’d be.

This week I celebrated my 32nd birthday (yep… the BIG 3-2). Birthdays have always been a bit melancholy for me. I think because it is a reminder of how quickly the years are going by. Often times, I seem to catch myself focusing on the milestones and goals I haven’t yet achieved.

Honestly, if you had asked me 5-10 years ago where I would be at 32 my vision would have been very different. Back then, I felt sure that I would’ve been married with children by now. Sometimes that isn’t always an easy pill to swallow, especially as I watch my friends begin that phase of their life. It has been a challenge for me to accept that there isn’t a “right” timeframe for life.

One thing I can undoubtedly say is that I love the life I am living. It isn’t always perfect and some days are better than others. My 30’s have been amazing so far and I feel less pressure to fit in and more relaxed in my own skin. I have fun, I challenge myself and try new things. This past year I have been fortunate to make new friendships with some of the most talented, compassionate and intelligent women I have ever known.

As I reflect on the last year, it definitely had its lessons and challenges – oh did it ever! But I am grateful knowing that everyday I am becoming stronger, braver and growing closer to the woman that I would like to one day be. I am living my life for me.

Louisville Lady Adventures

I tend to hike alone quite a bit, I love it because it gives me time to myself to recharge. It’s been a hobby of mine for a while to spend weekends hiking and taking photos for my Instagram account. Since I started doing this on a consistent basis I always have friends who mention how much they would like to join. Since starting this blog a couple of weeks ago, it sparked an idea to create a Facebook Page just for that. A place where I can plan various meet ups and adventures with other individuals who enjoy the outdoors.

Last night I created my Facebook Page called Louisville Lady Adventures (*follow me*). I have already created my first two events. The first is a hike at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. The second planned event is a hike is one of my favorites (Hansen’s Point) at Red River Gorge. If you’re in the Louisville area and are interested, feel free to join us! I will also plan some casual meet ups and other adventures like kayaking, rock climbing, and zip lining once the warmer months get here.

Anyways, if you are interested at all follow me on Facebook at Louisville Lady Adventures and on Instagram @thelouisvillelady. Also, if you have any ideas for hikes let me know! I would LOVE to know what everyone is interested in!