Tip of the Week

Roll with the punches! Life is gonna smack you right in the face when you don't expect it. If you're head's on straight, you're certainly gonna handle it just fine. Roll with it. Complain a little bit, and let it go.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


There's my bank account total.

Sure, maybe this crosses the line as far as personal info goes on the internet...but I'm over it. It's the internet! Freedom! :)

Here's the truth: That $11.88 is gonna last me a week till my paycheck hits the bank. And because of that $11.88 being so low, I was able to buy apples, oranges, cheese, and get my moped fixed. Thank you, Life, for that.

Well, Let's Talk about Things Past

Remember months ago, when I mentioned "OH MY GOD! I WANT TO GO TO HAWAII!"


Remember that?

Well, it happened.

That's right, ladies, I've been living in Honolulu, Hawaii for the past four months.

First of all, I apologize to the few of you who actually follow this blog for not posting. The guilt kills me, as it does ANYONE with a blog that doesn't post. I'm over it, though. I was just thinking, "Man, oh man, I want to start a new blog." Then I realized that maybe I should take care of the ones closer to home, first. Granted, I thought that missing my payment to the blogger domain would have obliterated this beautiful piece of art, but nay, here it be, and here art I.

So, let's discuss this, yeah?

I went to Hawaii. I started with the idea.

1. "Going to Hawaii will make me happy."

I moved into the plans of it.

2. "Where am I going to get the cash for that? How the heck am I going to make this worth my time?"

Apparently, if I was going to go to Hawaii, I wanted it to have some semblance to do with the rest of my life. So I started researching. What do I do? I act! I'm an actor! There's got to be theatres in Hawaii, right? RIGHT.

So I found one. The BEST one, and I've been interning for them for four months now. What does this mean, exactly? Well, to make a short story shorter, I've absolutely thrown myself into whatever I possibly can with the theatre. I've stage managed, acted in NUMEROUS shows, helped move and build the new theatre, and even been harassed by the homeless, all for the sake of art.

I was supposed to be in Hawaii for 1.5 months. Alas! I did not. I could not leave. So I bopped my little happy rear home to Texas for my brother's wedding, which was GORGEOUS. I shall post on that soon, but then back I was. All this was made possible by incredibly good luck:

A. I was, essentially, an "exchange student" with a family here in Hawaii for the first 1.5 months.
Then, I realized I needed to stay, and I started looking for new housing.

B. I met and fell in love with a heartthrob named Jacin. He's in France, now, and we're not together, but wow oh wow, wasn't he incredible.

C. Jacin lived in a flat in a place called Kaimuki, and his hanai mother invited and okayed me to move in with him. We had a great time! We played all kinds of silly games, decorated the walls and ceilings, slept out on the roof and on the lanai, planned oodles of surprises, and both prepared for the next phases of our lives.

But, wait! What are these phases? (you may ask...) Well, Jacin moved to France. I'm finishing school. And my "new blog" I wanted to start, was going to document the next six months of me, in an art conservatory, finishing it all up, and getting the heck outta dodge. Who doesn't like to hear the trials and tribulations of an artist/a person moving/a funky girl? Right? Right.

D. I've met and worked with incredible actors.

And all kinds of other lucky stuff. I'm driving a moped around now. That I borrow. Jacin took care of the rent for the extra month I'm here. All kinds of things that make my life possible. Thank you, world, you are the bomb.com.

So that's it! I've been in Honolulu for the past four months, without a computer, without a cell phone (I got poor real quick here), and having the time of my life.

Health wise, I was 147 lbs when I got here, and 140 when I met Jacin. After Jacin left, I re-evaluated my life and realized I'd gone soft...literally. I was up to 154 lbs. You know what though, dear blogoworld? This does not phase me in the least. I learned that I was a pushover, previously. I'm gonna meet somebody fantastic in this world, and I'm going to say, "Hey you. Impress me. I'm incredible already--whaddaya got that's gonna change my world?" And I'm going to be strong and beautiful and take care of myself. The world's changing! I'm changing! And it's all quite wonderful.

So, here's to the taking up and documenting of a life. Health is inevitable. Inspiration is inevitable. You ladies are getting an upgraded version of a pretty cool blog (when it's in session.) :)

All my love,
Allyson West

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Friday Find: Milk Ads

I love this campaign! Sometimes the ads are so compelling.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thursday Things Thin Girls Know, Archive Edition: Leah Watson

Today's Thin Girl is a Miss Leah Watson from Denver, Colorado. Leah maintains a strong, healthy body through constant exercise, a healthy diet, and guilt about drinking malts. She shares her thoughts on being thin with us:

Well, first of all, I know for a fact that I wouldn't have transitioned from childhood through adolescence as successfully as I did without soccer. That definitely kept me from gaining weight through middle school and high school while setting me up for the exercise habits that I have now.

I also know that fitness and a sweet toned body are not things that happen overnight, or because of dieting by itself. It takes time every day (or every other day) and energy--because that's the point, you expend energy and your body responds by toning the fuck up. It's a habit and it won't ever produce results unless you make it one.
The most important thing though is that you figure out a way to enjoy the process of working out, because if your only aim is to be hot (or toned or whatever) then you're probably going to fail-- you have to love the way that it makes you feel after [working out], and then the physical part will follow. But it's not the immediate result. If that's all you're in it for, you won't see the physical results fast enough to stick with the working out.

So-- figure out a way to love how it makes you feel and one day you'll look in the mirror and see the results.

So suck it up and go to the gym or get a friend to drag your ass out of bed.

Miss Watson herself has been that friend to drag my ass out of bed. Our conversations often went something like this:

(There is a knock on Allyson's dorm room door. Allyson is laying in her bed, pretending to not exist. The knock happens again.)

Leah: (in a sugary sweet voice) Come on, little girl. It's time to get up and go to the gym.

(Allyson, of course, still does not answer.)

Leah: Little girl, little girl, come on, it's going to be fun.

(The door opens and Leah enters the room. She climbs on Allyson's desk and begins to poke Allyson, who still has not moved.)

Leah: Little girl, come on. (Poke) You know you want to come with me to the gym. (Poke)

Allyson: Leah! I hate you! Get out of my room!

Leah: (jumping off the desk and pulling Allyson's running shoes out of her shoe rack) Little girl, come on, you know you're going to love it.

Allyson: (throwing a text book at Leah from her lofted bed) NO! I DON'T WANT TO GO! LEAVE MY ROOM!

Leah: Come on, you're going.


Leah: (still in the absolute most annoying sweet girl voice) No, you're not. You're coming with me. (Hops back up on the desk and proceeds to poke Allyson)

(Allyson groans, and rolls her lard butt out of bed.)

^This is an actual event, everyone. I really did yell to Leah that I hated her, and she really did not even care. Guess what? She got my butt to the gym, and I am more than thankful to her for it. She is the person that has set my exercise habits. Thank you, Thin Girl Leah Watson!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Watson Wednesday: Where to go?

"If you aren't living on the edge you're taking up too much space."

I've thrown the usual order to the wind. I'm writing about what inspires me. Last week it was a spirit of perseverance; this week a spirit of adventure and experience.
Last summer I developed nodes in my legs, which, without a proper medical diagnosis, were anything from inflamed lymph glands to Hodgkins Lymphoma. Needless to say, in the several days between the surgical biopsy and results phone call, I hoped for the best-- but prepared for a long bought of chemo and treatment, which, most certainly, would have changed who I was at that moment.
The diagnosis for me was a good one, but for a lot of others it isn't.

Have you ever wondered what you would do, think, or feel if someone told you that you were going to fight for your life or die? I forget sometimes that I very nearly experienced that. Do you want to know what I fear the most? That fear will stop me from doing or being something remarkable. Regret. I fear regret. Looking back I rarely regret the things that I have done, I regret the things that I didn't. I have no need for regret, only for living.

Face the fear, see the view, take the step. You may be surprised how easy it is to fly.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Truth Tuesday: Nutritional Information on the Cheesecake Factory

I went out to eat Saturday with Abby, Jordan, and Mikayla so that we could all have a good cry fest about our lives and catch up. We planned on making dinner and slowly ingesting copious amounts of wine throughout the evening, but we ended up at the Apple store, and then at the Cheesecake Factory, which was just around the corner. Here's what I have to say about the Cheesecake Factory: I'm over it. Sure, the desserts ARE good. But what isn't going to be good when it's full of sugar, butter, cream, chocolate, etc? That makes sense.
What does not make sense is the four pound difference I read on my scale after eating 1/3 of the Fish Taco appetizer, a single avocado roll, and about 1/4 of my Flying Gorilla (which I only got because the name sounded awesome) sans Whipped Cream. Four pounds?! Are you kidding me? I'm over that. Anyway, it was all retention--I'm back down to 143 today, and feeling better about it, but seriously...I am not into doing that with my body. Cheesecake Factory, you are my choice when and only when I need someplace open late to celebrate with dessert. Hell, I could get a just-as-satisfying cheesecake at Meijer (open 24/7) at that point.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Momentary Mondays: Opening

I was reading through my Anne Bogart notes last night, accidentally. The "accident" part of finding the notes ended up being compelling enough that I really hit on some good stuff. For example, Anne says that the best actor training is to pick six really difficult things to do a day. When those six things get too easy, pick six more. Be brave enough to find the challenge.
Later on in the notes, I came across another quote: "When we become satisfied, we begin to die very quickly." Hmm. That may not be the exact quote, but it's along the same lines of find new ways to challenge yourself.
I've been dealing with my fear a lot lately. Not in ways that show my Warrior self bucking up against my Cowering self, but more in ways that show my Serene self looking at the large and vast contradictions I as Myself cannot help but have and create. Those contradictions, and the space between them, is terrifying. But I face it in order to grow.
Today I left the house with a few goals in mind. For today, attend all of my classes, go to yoga, run 4 miles, prepare properly for rehearsal, and have at least four lines of dialogue with another person I will never see again.
The last was the hardest, because I have never really actively attempted it. I opened up to the possibilities, and met Leroy, a construction worker for 17 years in Cincinnati. We talked about yoga. :) So today, do the same. Face a small fear, and conquer it. It's really not so bad. :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Soapbox Sunday: A String of Somewhat Related Questions, Answered

Hey, Blogoworld! Wow, I've been offline for a couple of days now. I'm telling you what, the first week of classes can certainly do that. Well, here I am, and I'm very happy to be here. Here's a few of your questions, answered. And by "your questions," I really mean, "putting the things I want to say in a fun format for me."
Allyson! Where have you been for the past few days?
Well, Blogoworld, I've been settling into my new life. New classes, new home, new schedule, new relationship status, new braces configuration, new(ish) rehearsals...It's all very time-consuming, and painful (especially in the case of the braces.) I am so sorry for leaving you 26 loyal followers in the dust. :( My computer is also as old as time itself, so blogging is somewhat of a time-consuming task. I am sorry!
That's okay, Allyson. We know things happen. So let's go back to the basics of this blog...why are you the Smelly Girl?
Oh, Blogoworld, how that title haunts me. It harkens back to my freshman year, the year I became aware of nutrition, exercise, and the precarious balance of all of them. I hath not know that girl scout trefoil cookies were so addicting, and I hath not been tested on the perils of thus. I began working out to combat the food. And I was always smelly because I was always coming from the gym
What has your weight loss been like?
Well, it wasn't so great for awhile. It's taken me months to really begin understanding what works for me, but currently, I've been nailing it down solid! I've lost a total of eleven pounds since the beginning of my weight loss journey, and I'm still going strong. I'm thirteen pounds away from my goal weight of 130, and I've got 13 post-it notes just chillin' out on my wall, waiting to be pulled down.
What do you think about the Cheesecake Factory, Allyson?
Gosh, it's a good thing you asked, Blogoworld, because I was just thinking about this. Man...the Cheesecake Factory kind of sucks. I mean, even if you buy the Fresh Fish Tacos (without the creamy avocado sauce), and only eat kind of one of them, and then the guacamole and tomato things, and a little bit of an incredibly over-priced drink, you still feel like you've ingested a month's worth of crap calories. (Crap calorie = anything that does not truly contribute to overall health and fitness). I mean, sure, the Cheesecake Factory is open late, is commercial (so it's easy to sit in), has lots of variety, and seems like a good idea....but it's not. Friends, let's not go there again soon.
Well, Gosh, Allyson! You sound like you're doing pretty well right now!
I sure am, Blogoworld, I sure am. I'm excited for weight loss (even as I treat myself to Easter candy), excited for my life, excited to be living. Cool.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Watson Wednesday: Because I Forgot

I'm keeping it short and sweet this week, dear readers. When things get fast and furious, sometimes it is best to just keep it simple. Take time to look. To explore. To discover.

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”

Look up and dream big. The stars are the limit.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Going to a BBQ? I wish!

Know what's in your sauces as you reach for them.

  • Kansas City: Thick, tomato-based sauce with lots of brown sugar. Use sparingly.
  • Memphis: A well-balanced sauce made with both tomato and vinegar.
  • North Carolina: Vinegar-based sauce with a kick of spice from cayenne pepper. Go nuts.
  • South Carolina: Also tangy, but made from mustard; a little sweeter than its northern cousin.
  • Texas: Spicy tomato-based sauce blended with peppers and cumin.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Momentary Monday: Love Thineself

Today, like every day here at http://www.asmellygirl.com/, is an especial day for self-love and appreciation. If you felt like serenading, serendade yourself. Poetry is especially welcome, and all forms of flattery appreciated.

Here's your task for today.

Make a list of all the reasons why you are especially scintillating. Do not stop until you run out of things. Once you do run out of things you are good at/like about yourself/just kinda think are interesting, pause....get some lemonade, then come back and write down all the things you thought of while you were having some lemonade.

If you'd like to be entered to win this cute pair of earrings, publicly follow my site using the "Follow" tool on the right side of the page, and list your top five reasons for being as fantastic as you are. The most interesting, determined by my roommate, will win the ear gear!

Have a happy Monday, blogoworld.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Success Story: How to Not Spend a Night Frozen in a Car in a Blizzard Outside your Pal's House

Hello Blogoworld! I promised this great story, and here it is.

So, here we go. First and foremost, I've spent not as much time as I would've hoped with the dear Leah Watson from our very own Watson Wednesdays. We've done much great fitness work within that time! Apparently, CorePower Yoga offers a free week of classes to any and all, and we certainly have made great use of this within the past few days. God, yoga is something we've got to talk about soon. Discipline. Training. Focus. Intensity. Things I love. We took a hot yoga class last night, and just let me tell you that I sweated my balls off.

Secondly fantastic about being with the Miss Watson is the wonderful chemistry that allows us both to really get our goals set, regardless of the topic. We discussed our "five year goals" (with her mom, no less, another kick ass woman of exponential proportions), and I really am set to go for the next month, life-wise. Here's what I've got coming up:

1) since I'm on the go, anyway, all the time, packing my food conclusively in calorie-labeled containers. I want to know what I'm eating, and I really want to learn how to budget my eating based off of my body's needs. I like this idea, but am a wee bit hesitant to run with it. I'm sure it won't be a problem...but anyone got any advice to share? That might help me refine this idea, and it certainly can use some refining.

2) Getting a yoga pass. When I was in high school, oh so many years ago, I was the captain and number one in command of the Farmersville Farmerettes Drill Team. Yes, it IS as intense as it sounds. :P Anyway, I loved the discipline and focus of practicing every day, the stretching and resistance that came with movement, and I am pumped to now find another option that allows me to fulfill what I liked most about dance. Yes, I have done yoga before. No, I have never regularly attended classes. Here we go!

3) Hey! I'm signed up for cardio classes at school! Again! It's the greatest way to really work on what is important to me and my career--my body. I'm pumped.

And now...on to the title of this blog post.

Two or three moons ago (and by "moons," I mean days), I made an asshole out of myself in Portales, New Mexico on the tail end of my break-up, and finally came to terms with the fact that the healthiest thing for me to do was leave. So I left. Watson herself wasn't due in to Denver until Wednesday afternoon, and it was, in fact, Monday morning. I trailblazed my way up to Denver, anyway, eating guacamole and chugging water. Eventually, that combo wasn't quite satisfying, as I am sure, you, dearest, fittest, reader understand. :) Anyway, I ended up staying with some incredibly distant relatives on the fly. For their hospitality and just gosh darn niceness, I am truly grateful. Eventually, it was time to leave their home. So I did. :D

I decided to leisurely spend the day in downtown Denver. I went to the amazing Body Worlds exhibit, looked at some muscles, some lungs, some fat, some hearts, some babies, some organs, and then spent awhile getting in some "exercise" at the Cherry Creek Mall. And then I left.

This is when the blizzard began.

The snow fell. The visibility increasingly got worse. Quickly. I ended up turned around, backwards, flip flopped around in my little suzuki reno (which, may I add--is NOT a great car for Denver Blizzards).

Watson talked me through directions to her house. Her mom had just finished a half-marathon (I told you---KICK ASS) in Moah, Iowa, and was trapped on the highway. Watson's flights were canceled, and she was stuck in Las Vegas. But I was there, and I was given every welcome to park, find the spare key, get myself into the house, and make myself at home.

Here's the thing about Watson's home: It is impossible to get into. Ya see, Watson's dad is a smart man. He proofed that thing within an inch of its life. Furthermore, the snow was blanketing everything. I was given specific directions to the so-called key, and was absolutely LOST in the heavy blankets being thrown on my head and on everything around me. The phrase, "needle in a hay stack" kept popping into mind.......there's something to be said for searching for a key in a blizzard.

Anyway, this story gets more intense. Ya see, I had forgotten, but apparently my cell phone drops any, and ALL, functions within ten feet of Watson's property line. Watson certainly talked me through directions to her house, but as soon as I parked, we dropped the line. I got out, scrambled around, tried scaling the nine foot fence surrounding her house, could not, went back to my car, tried to get ahold of her, realized I had no reception, drove two blocks, parked, and called her back.

Of course, she is hunting down her own back, so I sit frigid and wet in my car for forty minutes till we can touch base again.

She gives me directions to the back of her house, talks me through a three-step procedure while I take diligent notes for getting through the back, we hang up, and I attempt again. No luck. I back track, drive around the block, call her back.

We try again. Now, Watson is in the middle of securing a cheap hotel for a spontaneous night in Vegas (...), playing middle man to her mom who is trapped on the highway up in the mountains because of the blizzard, and trying to get me into her house. She gives me directions again, and this time (upon driving back, of course) I was able to break past the garage, sneak past the falcon tethered there, and start a mad scramble around the back yard for the damn key. NOTHING. The snow has blanketed everything.

Believe me, I searched. There are a lot of details being left out here, simply for the fact that my mind has needed to block such adventure from my mind. But the yard was wrecked. I searched my little heart out.

I trod off to hop in my car, drive away, and call Watson again.

This happens three more times. The first (of many), she asks me to search the front yard. Search the old hiding spots. The second time, I'm given directions to a nearby neighbor's house....who is out of town. The third, we break back through and search every nook and cranny of their damn yard. :)

Each of these conversations is spaced out. We're both flying around, and we have at least thirty minutes between each attempt. The neighbors have called Watson's dad, alerting him to the terrifying shadow lurking on and around their property, and he is helpless. He's working a 24 down at his station, quite some distance off. Finally, I go to a bar. And sit.

And Watson comes up with a master plan! She calls a friend, he agrees, and I drive 20 mph for the next hour and a half to meet and spend the night with a fantastic Brian Kief, my newest dearest friend. :)

Huh. Exercise wise, that WAS quite an adventure. I was frozen, wet, sweating. I was wearing summer jeans, and thank God I changed into my cowboy boots. The whole while, I kept thinking about how funny this entire situation was, and how I would love to share it (and play damsel-in-distress) for the Former Love of my Life. And then, that just seemed too silly to handle. My jack-assery in Portales came about only because I wasn't comfortable with how strong I felt throughout the whole situation. Believe me, I know I can stand on my own two feet...but knowing it while doing it was something I just wasn't used to. Wow. And sitting here in the middle of a Denver blizzard, telling Watson I was perfectly happy to sleep in my vehicle in front of her car, having her respond that I just didn't understand, and knowing that it didn't matter whether or not I really understood, was a great way to remember I was alive, living, and really happy with who I am. Strength is practiced, learned, trained for. I had been training my heart for awhile, and it was ready for me. Way to be a champion. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Friday Find: Today is the Day


If I am still alive, I'll post you all up soon.

I love you, Blogoworld.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Watson Story

Hey all! Watson spent last night in a hotel in Vegas. Surprisingly, she got snowed in, as did most of the midwest and west, and won't be back till tonight.
Guess what though? I'm totally at her house. I even slept in her bed. Crrrreeeepy!
Our West/Watson Reunion is about to be in full swing, so stay tuned. Tomorrow I have a great story for you about the Night I Almost Spent in my Car in a Colorado Blizzard.
All my love!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Truth Tuesday: Just a Little Quip about Soba vs. Udon Noodles

Soba noodles are thin buckwheat noodles, while udon are thick and wheat-based. Think of udon like normal spaghetti, while soba can save you calories and boost your fiber intake.

Truth Tuesday: Jimmy Johns for Non Meat-Eaters

This is Jimmy John, himself. Terrifying.

Gourmet Veggie Club
856 calories
46 g fat (15 g saturated fat)
1,500 mg sodium

Jimmy John's is liberal with the mayo-Hellmann's alone adds 25 grams of fat to your lunch. Stick with mustard and win back all 25 grams.

Eat This Instead!
Vegetarian sub
Avocado spread, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts
290 calories
1.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat)
628 mg sodium

Monday, March 22, 2010

Momentary Mondays: Get Yourself Out of a Dangerous Situation

Hey all! By a bizarre fluke, I spun out across the ice on my way to the Grand Canyon, thirty miles outside of Kaiao's house. Thank God he was gone. Anyway, I was hopeful, so I waited around for him to get home, and we talked.
....and now it is time for me to leave. So. When you're in a dangerous situation, and you know it, get yourself out of it. Don't be a dummy, like this one. :)
See you all! Wish me luck!

Momentary Mondays: Six Hard Things

Today, you must make a list of six nearly-impossible things to do. This is the best actor training, says Anne Bogart. :)

In fact...do this every day. When it becomes too easy, change it. Make it harder. Challenge yourself.

What's on your list?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Soapbox Sunday: Hawaii is RIGHT

Ahhh...many, many months ago, I had a strong desire and passion to once again visit my dearest, most beloved Hawaii.

And, damn it, Blogoworld, if I am not going to do just that. :D

Two days ago, I was diligently checking the flight prices of a flight from DFW to HNL (that's Honolulu.....as in....Honolulu, HAWAII.) And the price was remarkably LOW! Can you believe it?! 680 dollars for a flight. to. Hawaii.?! I just about passed out. That flight is 200 dollars cheaper than I've seen it anywhere else!

Of course I bought it immediately.

Are my plans for Hawaii finalized? Of course not. I'm interning with a potential of four theatre companies while I'm there. I have no idea where I'm staying (so if you know anyone who wouldn't mind hosting a lovely little lady for a few days, I'd be honored to hear from you, and ever so grateful), and I certainly don't know how comfortable I'm going to feel hanging out with the Forgotten Love of My Life and his misplaced interest in his fake family. But. All of that does not matter, of course! :D

I am going!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday Success Story: What a Great Feeling to Achieve a Life

Hey Blogoworld!

I ended up in Lubbock, Texas today, just in time to have a Mom/Allyson day. Mom came to Lubbock to help my older and massive brother Tim get his life in order. The day consisted of a fantastic number of errands, including a visit to the marine and navy recruitment center. What a place. I love walking into those institutions. Military men just look so clean. Hmmm...turn on? Perhaps too much.

Anyway, the day concluded with us pouring ourselves into a booth at On the Border. Apparently, mothering her 23 year old son is proving just as challenging to my mom as keeping up a competent facade is to me. Needless to say, we both enjoyed our margaritas as they deserve to be enjoyed.

So when I decided to leave Portales, New Mexico (which I did immediately following an expected heart-to-heart with the Forgotten Love of My Life), I had three options. I could

A) speak with my friend, Miss Leah Watson, and spend an extended time with her in Denver.
B) Fly on back home and have some more family time with the twins and Chet. Oh such delightful creatures! I do miss them so.
or C) Well....why the hell not? The Grand Canyon's only ten hours away.

The answer is.....C. Leah is cheering her mom on at a marathon in Utah, then spending some time in Cali. I do love my family so, but I'm looking for ways to not run home when something incredibly disappointing happens. So, C it is.

I just spent an hour mapping out my destination for the rest of my trip.

Lubbock to Flagstaff, Arizona

I joined an amazing non-profit recently called CouchSurfing.org. Essentially, it's composed of many open-hearted people all over the world that open their living rooms and/or futons to those weary travelers in need of a place to stay. Am I nervous about staying by myself with a stranger (even if said stranger happens to have roommates, is female, and sometimes is really ye olde?) Of course I am. But, as usual, I refuse to let fear rule my life. How do you live an active life? By allowing yourself the capability to be an active participant in it. Open yourself up to the possibilities, not the probabilities!

I am concerned about the money portion of this trip. Not in its immediacy, but in its eventual course of events. I know I'm going to be logging some serious $$ on gas, alone. Bananas are cheap, so I bet I'll be eating a lot of those. :) Anyway, How does one pay for tuition AND travel? Oh dear reader, we shall see. I was having quite an anxiety attack over this particular conundrum, so, I showered, and then I put my head on straight. I'll worry about problems when they occur. Until then, I'll seize my opportunities and plan as well as possible for the future.

Flagstaff to Denver, Colorado

While GoogleMapping my destinational possibilities, I realized that by driving a mere twenty more minutes, I could spend (probably, at most 30 minutes at) the FOUR CORNERS NATIONAL MONUMENT! :D Dearest Blogoworld, I am pretty pumped about this. My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Stevens, first mentioned Four Corners back when I was a wee tike with foppish, red hair. Not much has changed except for the wee part, and here I am, happy and silly with the opportunity to do something illegal in four states at the same time.

THEN, I drive another eight hours to reunite again with the incredible Leah Watson. I go through the Rio Grande National Park, and I'm pumped about that. Am I going to get out of my car? Not at that point. But I surely will wave to it as I drive by.

Watson and I spent four(ish) days together, sky dive that Friday morning, and Saturday morning, with the grace of my banking account, I strike out for Cincinnati, to once again begin a beautiful spring quarter in the company of those that I enjoy, inspire, am inspired by, and even occasionally love.

Denver to Cincinnati

...or, Denver to St. Louis. Where I'll soon find some place to stay for a night, and then...thank God....then, I'm back to Cincinnati right before school begins, and I have another many things to tackle.

Next Quarter is surely going to be an interesting and unpredictable one. For the first time, I have a sizable, juicy role in a show (that I'm handling quite capably, I might add.) The Forgotten Love of My Life is going to be in town for two months, and despite any challenges we face, we surely do have fun, and it's going to be nice having a substantial history with someone in that city for once. I'm working two additional days at Ten Thousand Villages, the non-profit closest to my heart, and even hanging out with a bunch of animals from Africa on one of those days. :) My weight loss is going to sky-rocket; I signed up for two exercise classes and am designing my new room with a silly ode to a scale and weight loss. And speaking of that, I've moved into a new house, away from the Millionaires, and finally...finally get a space to breathe in. Whew! So fantastic!

And then I go to Hawaii.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Friday Find: My Blog Lies!

Hey Guys, so I"m not actually going to FitBloggin' anymore. Yes, this is tragic, indeed, especially since I paid the registration fee oh so long ago.
I am, HOWEVER, going skydiving with none other than our so-called wicked workout partner, Leah Watson. Wish us luck!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Change is Hard, I should Know

The Love of my Life has been going through a rough past three months. His work is taking its toll, and his focus has shifted to surviving a job that makes him quite unhappy. In this time, his relationship with me has waned. Substantially. I worked to make things happen, to work on our relationship, to give it the due it needed.

But, in three months time, the Love of my Life has lost his connection with me, and isn't sure that what he needs is a relationship, right now.

Cue my mind.

I've been through one real break-up before, and it was the most horrendous thing I had ever yet had to deal with. This one is different. Kaiao was honest. And in that honesty, lies my solace.

Yes, this changes plan I had for me for the rest of my life. Yes, this forces me to adjust to the shutters around his eyes, instead of opening them. Yes, this is making me sit up at four in the morning because I can't sleep. :) Ah well. Such is life. Such are my possibilities.

I'm at his house right now. I'm leaving tomorrow, and I'll see him quite substantially in April. But a friendship it shall be, and a friendship is going to be, eventually, just fine.

On another note--have any of you ever had your heart scream at you while your outward appearance remains almost perfectly calm? It's an odd sort of coma, isn't it? :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Watson Wednesday!

Welcome to this week's Watson Wednesday!! Those two exclamation points should indicate how excited you and I both are to be here this week! Get pumped!

This week I have two great songs to sync onto that iPod. It's all about what makes me feel sassy, sexy, and gets me up dancing around my room. After all, how good can a song be if you won't even dance to it in your own room. So, drum roll please! *Epic Drum Roll* This weeks winners are....
1) When I Grow Up by The Pussycat Dolls
2) You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift
These songs get me on my feet, swaying my hips, and singing out loud. Hopefully they will do the same for you.

Arms, arms, arms. Push ups, push ups, push ups. That is how to get it done. They are painful, they hurt, they make grown men want to cry, but they do the job. Why? Because they hurt and because they are hard. Like Jesus said ladies, "No pain, no gain."

So how do you do a push up? You suck back the tears and you start from the ground up.

Some rather irritating individuals would call these women's push ups, but we're just going to stick with the name Bent Knee Push Ups.

Place yourself with your knees on the ground under your hips and your hands on the ground underneath your shoulders. Shift your weight forward into your hands so that you arrive in a modified push up position.
1) Check that your back is straight
2) Make sure that your butt isn't sticking up into the air
3) Ensure that your fingers are pointing towards the wall in front of you and your elbows towards the back wall and
4) Decide whether or not you want to cross your feet and lift them off the ground. Once you are situated you will lower yourself by bending your elbows (keeping them in tight to the rib cage) until your upper arm is next to your torso and then push back up again.

Start with 5 and try to work up to 3 sets of 15.

This is a fantastic way to tone the tummy, biceps, and triceps.

Summer's around the corner so toned arms couldn't be more important. Let's get ready shall we? Pull out the tube tops, plug into the tunes, and start toning those arms!

Your Wicked Workout Partner,
L. Watson

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Soapbox Sunday: Love Conquers All

Know how I've been confessing my fear of a scale lately? Well, I brought this issue up with Watson the other day, and she simply said, "Well, if you are, in fact, running away from the scale--at least you're burning calories."

Obviously, she was no help at all.

But we talked about it, we joked about it, and it suddenly wasn't so terrifying anymore. And gosh darnit, if I didn't hop on up and see a total weight loss of five pounds! I was pretty excited. I realized that I was so terrified of the scale because any failure on its part was a direct expression of my own failure, my own apathy, my own not being all that I can be. It's a huge pat on the back, a strong reassurance, to know that my "not my best" is still going where I want it to go.

Furthermore, it's a huge pat on the back to know I can go farther. I'm really happy in my life right now. I have fascinating people around me, healthy habits that fuel me, and lots of great things to look ahead to. Way to go, Life!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blips and Quips: Spring Break

Road Trip! Dearest Blogoworld, what could be the greatest thing in any college student's life right now? Could it be spring break? Oh, yes, it certainly could. :) Could I be having the greatest spring break ever?! Well, it's definitely competing with Freshman Year New York Train Trip, and Sophomore Year Florida/Heartbreak Combo, but...I do believe the Junior Year American Road Trip and Sky Diving Adventure may be the greatest yet!
That's right, my loves. I'm going skydiving.
With Watson.
How could that get any better? We're doing it to teach ourselves how to be alive. In reality, I have no reason not to. I'm stoked! This is going to be amazing!
Wish me Life!

Saturday Success Story: Dawn from the Internet

Weight was never an issue for me in my childhood or teenage years. It was never something I had to think about, never something that was a part of my life. As many people do, I started struggling with weight gain in college, but I didn’t do much about it at the time. In the following years, my weight fluctuated.

At age 34, I became pregnant with my son. I was overweight and had very low self-esteem. Spending my days eating pizza and ice cream, I found myself nine months later pushing 270 pounds, on a 5-feet-4 frame. Although giving birth to my beautiful son, James, was one of the best things that had ever happened to me, I still felt miserable afterward. I had always known that my weight gain stemmed from my not being happy in certain aspects of my life. When my weight settled at around 215 pounds, I realized that I needed to be happy and believe in myself for me and for my son.

I discovered Jillian Michaels when I started watching The Biggest Loser, and I was hooked. Jillian’s words hit me — hard. I was determined to become the “biggest loser” in my own home, and nothing was going to stop me. It might have taken a reality show to wake me up, but Jillian inspired me to believe in myself and believe that I could change my life and gain control of my future.

I knew that holidays were a hard time for me, both emotionally and physically. I knew how easy it had always been for me to fall off any “diet wagons” in the past, and I didn’t want it to be the same this time around. I signed up for Jillian’s online program after completing the self-assessment and immediately went out and purchased two of her books, Winning by Losing and Making the Cut.

I just returned from a cruise, where I was able to actually eat and drink what I wanted without gaining any weight. Portion control and exercise were the keys to my success on that trip! I am still 5 feet 4, but I now weigh 134 pounds and wear a size 4!

There are so many things that I love about the new me. Right now, I think what I love most is the fact that I have this new level of confidence that I haven’t had in more than 15 years — confidence to move forward, to reset goals and priorities, and to gain control over my life. It’s an amazing feeling to know that I can achieve any goal as long as I do the work necessary to achieve it, and as long as I believe in myself. I love knowing that I can now be the best me (and the best mommy) I can be!

Activities now: Before losing weight and getting healthy, I didn’t participate in any activities. I was overweight and embarrassed to go anywhere other than family functions. I felt as if I had become a hermit! When my son started walking at age 1, I couldn’t keep up with him! I was unable to run around and play with him the way I wanted, because I was always too tired. Now we play soccer and chase each other around outside, and with my new energy level, I never get tired before he does!

Best compliment: I was at a family party when a friend whom I hadn't seen in more than six months said, “Wow! I can’t stop looking at you! You look amazing, like a different person!”

Advice for others: I’m so proud of myself and how far I’ve come. Jillian’s online program (as well as her radio show) gave me the push I needed to keep going whenever things got rocky, and I developed some healthy strategies that helped me along my way:

Incentive clothes: I had an Armani suit that hadn't fit in more than five years, and I was determined to get into it. Not only does that suit now fit but I actually had to take it in because it was way too big!
Staying focused and positive, waking up every day and saying, “I can do it!” — and believing it!

Staying hydrated! I have been very successful by making my beverage of choice water, cutting out alcohol, and reducing the amount of coffee I drink to one cup in the morning and one at night.

Keeping count! It’s important to count your calories and keep track of what you’re eating. Invest in a heart rate monitor for when you work out and you’ll be able to monitor how many calories you’re burning.

Music: I assembled a selection of songs that I use to keep me going when I work out, as well as a selection I can listen to when I’m having a hard day.

Friday, March 12, 2010


This is Genevieve. You probably remember her from here. That all being said, I cannot get over the simplicity of this photo. She's happy and hearty and healthy and lovely. So peaceful, so at ease, so charismatic. All of the above. I heart you, Genevieve.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday Things Thin Girls Know: Katie Moss

Hey All! Today's Thin Girl is the FASCINATING Katie Moss, currently from College Station, Texas! Katie and I went to high school together, and she is just one of those girls that I love to be with. She's got her life together, her world evolves, and she's fascinating. Effervescense. What can I say? The lady's got it. Read on. And take especial note of the "DO NOT PUT JUNK FOOD IN YOUR HOUSE," part. This is my own personal law. :)

What advice would you give to anyone losing weight?

First of all, don’t put yourself on a diet. Make a lifestyle change. Forcing yourself to refrain from eating a certain food group is horrible and can only lead to a midnight run to the local grocery store in search of anything and everything sugary and calorie-laden. Change the way you eat. Eat from each of the food groups, but only in moderation. Consume four or five small meals throughout the day, instead of larger meals three times a day. This will make you full longer and keep you from overeating.

Make conscious decisions about what you’re eating. Start looking at the nutrition labels and serving sizes on food to see how many calories, fat grams, sugars, and carbs are in that particular food. I never realized how many calories I was actually consuming until I started keeping track of them.

Also, when trying to lose weight, exercise is very important. Exercising is so much fun for me. I love running, lifting weights, kickboxing, pilates; pretty much anything active. I feel as if I’ve accomplished something great when I finish a workout. I feel refreshed, energized, and more positive. However, I do realize that the majority of people do not share this attitude toward working out. For many, working out is more like a horrible chore. To make exercising a more enjoyable task, find a workout partner that will encourage and challenge you. Also, find an activity that you like to do. If you absolutely hate running, then don’t run. Find something that interests you. If you like to dance, try a hip hop, or kickboxing class at the local gym. If you’re more athletic, try a cardio, weight lifting, or step-class. Make exercising a routine. It makes you feel great and will definitely produce results.

Live a little. If you want that piece of chocolate cake, go ahead and eat it. Don’t feel guilty. Just tell yourself that you’ll do better the next day.

How do you feel about your body?

For the most part, I’m happy with my body. However, I do know that at 5’0”, I definitely have to pay close attention to what I eat and how much I work out because I know that extra weight will definitely show up on me since I’m so small. Although I am in very good shape from running every day, I must admit that I definitely miss my high school body that was solid muscle from working out twice a day. I’m currently trying to become more toned, especially since summer is quickly approaching! Also, I’m hoping to run a half marathon with some of my friends next fall.

What is the one habit you swear by?

DON’T KEEP JUNK FOOD IN YOUR HOUSE! Bottom line: If it’s not in your pantry, you won’t be tempted to eat it. I must shamefully admit that a few weeks ago, I ate a big bag of M&Ms in three to four days. Gross, I know. When it comes to chocolate, I have absolutely no willpower. Instead of stocking your pantry with chips, cookies, candy, etc., find healthier alternatives. Believe it or not, there are healthy foods that taste good! To satisfy your sweet tooth, make a smoothie with low fat yogurt and fresh fruit.

For a savory snack, try low-fat cheese and sliced avocado on multi grain crackers. These yummy options will leave you more satisfied than the empty calories in junk food, and will also be lower in calories. By cleaning all of the unhealthy foods from your pantry, the temptation to snack on fatty foods will become nonexistent.

What are you fascinated with?

Now that I only have a year left in college, I have become fascinated with the future, and the many wonderful opportunities that are available to me. I have learned so many things about life, love, and careers from my friends, experiences, and professors while in college. Now, I am starting to see many of my friends move on to bigger and better things- whether it be a career, marriage, or a new adventure. I am so excited that I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and cannot wait to find out what new and exciting things are in store for me in the near future!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Watson Wednesday: Oh, Colorado (Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Plains)

Goal Number Four: I will snowboard six times.

{If you’ve been paying attention you will notice that I skipped number three. Well diligent reader, I’m going to hold off my third goal (losing 6 pounds by my birthday, April 12) since it's only March. Instead I’m going to tackle and destroy goal numero quatro.}

I’m from Colorado. This large rectangular state is home to, among other things, 1) people who think it’s appropriate to drive 50mph in the fast lane 2) the Denver Broncos 3) Chipotle 4) and some of the best ski resorts in the country. In my childhood years I was forced to reverently observe this regional ritual of skiing. My mom (who moved West for the mountains) enrolled me in skiing lessons at an early age. Every weekend we would wake up early, get dressed in the appropriate garb, and drive the hour or so to the ski resort with the expectation that I would come to love the sacrament of snowy downhill slipping and sliding. These lessons were meant to instruct me in the culture of my people and make me a more assimilated Coloradan, but mostly they functioned to free my mother from the burden of an uncoordinated six year old while she enjoyed runs on her own.

Of course, with most things of this nature, I grew up and started to resent the whole event. I didn’t want to get up early, dress up like a marshmallow, and strap sticks to my feet just so I could slip down a hill and play “Don’t hit the tree or the tourist.” Arguments ensued and eventually we stopped going.

*Zip Zap!*
Fast Forward

During my junior year of high school, my mom and I were invited by family friends to spend New Year’s at their ski condo in British Columbia. We arrived in a blizzard and a proverbial winter wonderland of skiing, boarding, and the most incredible snow you can imagine. I had face planted into the Mecca of winter sports and the pilgrims who sought it out. The enthusiasm of the environment was contagious. I woke up early, battled my ski boots onto my feet (if you’ve ever worn ski boots you will understand this), clipped into my skis, and hit the mountain. As luck would have it I hit a mountain that hit back. Punch after punch sent me skidding and slipping all over the sloping battlefield and try as I might I could not reclaim the skiing glory long since lost to my youth. It was in this moment of turmoil and despair that I was converted.

As I dislodged myself from the upteenth snowbank of the day, a snowboarder went gracefully racing past. Snowboarders (for those of you not familiar with winter sports) are the vulgar, hip, and much hotter arch enemy of any two stick sporting skiier. This particular boarder was a wonder to my goggled eyes and so I resolved to ask my mom if I could trade in my chunky boots and skiis for snowboarding equipment. My mom agreed. The next day I went out with two other girls, put my new boots on, and stepped into the bindings. I felt like a champ, I could do anything, I could be anyone. Look out world! After this brief moment of ecstasy I spent half the day toe heeling down the bunny hill and the other half on my back side. Clearly the ease that I had seen in the more experienced boarder came after years of practice. I was on day one. But don’t despair! By day two I could turn (then I would fall, get up, get going, turn, and fall again.) By day three I could link two turns. By day four I was so sore I couldn’t move.

This was the beginning. I came back to Colorado and was so excited by this new activity that I started going up every weekend with friends. Even when I was at school in Ohio I would devote at least two days of my winter break to boarding. Now I’m the one who asks my mom to go to the mountains. Why? because there is nothing like it. You never know who will cut in front of you, or where a jump will be, or which edge could send you tumbling; every turn is new. You can’t anticipate anything; you are alive in every moment. No other sensation compares to turning on a snowboard, being on a mountain, knowing that if you ride harder you’ll get better and faster. The faster you go the closer you get to flying.

Your Wicked Workout Partner,
L. Watson

Monday, March 8, 2010

Truth Tuesday: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Calories...

Momentary Monday: Make a List

Make a list this week. Every. Single. Day. When you get near the end of it, put "go to bed." If you, like me, have problems remembering that your day is actually over, it'll be a good reminder. :)
Every day. Let me know how it goes.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Soapbox Sunday: Schoolin' Myself

Here's what I love about blogs: I'm constantly figuring out what I need to be figuring out. Novel, idea, yes? I started this week's post trying to "figure out" just why I was so terrified of stepping on a scale. And by "terrified," I want to clarify that I literally convinced myself to forget when and how I was to step on the scale, and the time just passed. Oh, if only I could be that specific and focused in my acting. I was terrified!

But I figured it out!

Here's the thing: I need to plan better.
I'm looking at some pictures of my face, and it's lookin' kinda chubby, I'm not gonna lie. I go through my days, looking/watching what I eat, making smart choices, and hoping not to fall into one of my recurrent pitfalls. But sometimes I fail.

So here's a novel idea: If I'm going to plan for one of my PITFALLS, why don't I just do it because I plan to? Chances are I'm going to make smarter, more rational choices, and really learn how to balance out the rest of my diet (healthy eating habits) around that.

I have come to realize that I make GREAT choices. I make great choices because I am the guiltiest woman after making bad ones. And I refuse to let myself do that over and over again. What is the point, at that point? :P So I'm gonna start planning.

Also, how inspiring are the Oscars? I'm flipping my shiz here at my house. YES SANDRA BULLOCK!

Anyway, I'm a bit sidetracked right now. Sandra Bullock is amazing. Bottom line: when I plan, I get shiz done. So I'm gonna plan. What do I want for breakfast? Cake? Sure. One piece. Dinner, make it good. Make it work. My life is gonna be active, awesome, and I'm gonna be in charge of it.

Love you all.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday Success Story: Jillian with No Last Name :)

Christina, New York, New York

I was always active growing up and very much a tomboy, playing ice hockey in high school. When I met my husband six years ago, I was in my early thirties and still in shape, but in the years to come I slowly started to gain weight and do my workout routines less and less. Then I had several major medical issues that really sidetracked my health — and my life. Five days after my 35th birthday, I was hospitalized with a blood clot in my lung and was later diagnosed with a genetic blood-clotting disorder. After I recovered from the blood clot, I began experiencing extreme pain and had stomach swelling that was later diagnosed as endometriosis, a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows in other areas of the body. To finally relieve the pain, I had an operation and reconstructive surgery on my belly button. I made a promise to myself when I was recovering that I would become healthier. Back then, I had been eating junk food at lunch and ordering take-out dinners four times a week. I didn’t fit into any of my clothes — and my husband was only two pounds heavier than I was. When I had no pain or excuses, it was finally going to be time to get back in shape!

My husband and I always watched the Biggest Loser, and I loved Jillian's approach to fitness. I bought her Making the Cut book and stocked my refrigerator with healthy foods, while setting up my living room to start doing the workouts. I lost more than ten pounds with Jillian’s book and enjoyed the food and routine so much that I also signed up for Jillian's Web site. I have lost 25 pounds* to date. I love to cook and got in the habit of bringing all my meals and snacks to work so I always have healthy food and I never get too hungry.

I have followed the program strictly and incorporated rebounding, a mini-trampoline class at the gym, three days a week into my cardio. After the weight loss, the Web site's workouts have continued to tone and challenge me — so I never have an excuse not to work out. I never thought I could get back into the shape I was in when I was 20 and be healthy inside and out. I just turned 39 and have finally learned how to control my weight and eat healthy while enjoying life. I love my sculpted arms, and my new belly button looks great with my toned abs! Now guys at the gym ask me for advice on toning their abs — which makes me smile.

The scars from my surgery for endometriosis show the journey that my body has been through, and I am very proud of my strong body now. I started wanting to lose only ten pounds, but I have continued this new way of life with Jillian's guidance and have made a total life change. I feel like I can do anything, and I continue to reevaluate my goals every time I meet one. I never thought I could wear short shorts again, but since I lost over six inches from my hips, my legs are looking toned again for the first time in 20 years. I am still realizing that I have changed, and the picture of me in my mind is slowly catching up to my body's real image.

Best compliment: Trainers at the gym, my family, and my coworkers have all been so complimentary of my weight loss, which has kept me going. I received the most meaningful compliments from my coworkers who say I am their inspiration for starting a workout routine again and getting in shape. I did this for myself, and I am in awe of how my journey is starting to help other people realize that it is never too late to get back into shape.

Activities now: I now have the confidence to try new classes and incorporate the strength routines from the Web site into the weight room at the gym. I switch my cardio routine weekly to incorporate a Zumba dance class, rebounder class, cardio sculpt class, and Jukari, a unique class which is inspired by Cirque du Soleil and combines aerobics, strength training, balance exercises, and core training — and gives you a sensation of flying). For my strength training, I use Jillian's online circuits, which always give me the best workout. Now, I am able to lift twice the amount of weight I used to, and I can run for one hour on the treadmill — even after my hour-long cardio class.

Advice for others: If you want to make a change in your life — whether it is losing weight or eating healthy — always set up your environment so you are less likely to fail. Stock your fridge with healthy foods, get a set of weights, remove all toxic chemicals from your home, and get rid of all the processed foods in your fridge and freezer. I cook 90 percent of my meals, and that keeps me healthy and in shape — and saves me money. I love Trader Joe's since it stocks so many organic choices at great prices and snacks (for my husband) without artificial flavors or preservatives. Keep a food journal and be sure to weigh and measure everything so you have a record of how much food you eat — and should be eating. Set small goals for yourself, and, if you have a small setback, get back on track. You will succeed if you put your mind to it.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Friday Find: Derriere

Once Upon a Time, I had a great ass.
It has since disappeared.
But it's a gonna come back, because I be doing some squats and lunges. Word.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thursday Things Thin Girls Know: Brooke Cook

Hey Blogoworld--it's that time again, Thursday Things Thin Girls Know! Today's Thin Girl is Brooke Cook, my junior high best friend. That's right, Blogoworld, Brooke and I were at our most awkward times together. :) It's fun to think about. One day, I'll post a really horrendous photo of myself from that time. It's gonna be great. Anyway, Brooke is a beautiful lady. Simple, honest, nothing more or less than everything she is, and smart. She's a counselor, a teacher, a guide-er. Yes, I made that word up. But her interview oozes with guidance; she presents her story, her experience, with no strings attached. How valuable to have someone else's life experience without it being loaded with emotion! What a gift! Read on, you'll understand.

As a thin girl, what advice would you give to a woman losing weight?

If I could give any advice to women, it would be to set attainable goals for themselves while striving for their goal weight. A good way to become motivated is to experience success. I know if I set and meet my intermediate goals, it always motivates me to finish whatever task I have started. I would also encourage women to use the buddy system. I am not very successful at starting and maintaining a gym routine if I do not have someone to hold me accountable. If you do not have a workout buddy, a great alternative is group exercise. Group exercise is a fun way to meet new people and many find that it can be quite entertaining. My final piece of advice would be to make sure you are losing weight in a natural way. By working out and eating healthy, you will find that it does not only stimulate weight loss, but it also fuels your brain, so you will experience better memory, as well as improvement among other cognitive processes. You will also find that you have more energy, which is caused by an increase in endorphins. These are the types of benefits that will make being healthy a life style, not just a reason to lose weight.

How do you feel about your body?

Today, I can say that I am very happy with my body, but it has not always been that way. I have dealt with having a very negative body image, for the past couple of years. After leaving home and moving to college, I became obsessed with my body and my weight. In high school, I was very active, competing in different sports all year long. But, once I got to college, I found myself stretched in so many different directions, that I was not making time to take care of myself. I did not make time to go to the gym on a regular basis and I started to feel the difference. I found myself feeling sluggish and I was not very motivated to do anything. I started to see myself differently. I did not feel pretty when I looked into the mirror. All I could see were the imperfections. This negative body image that I had created in my head haunted me day and night for about a year and a half. One day, the thoughts became overwhelming and I knew something had to change. At the college I attend, they offer free counseling and I walked over and made an appointment. For the next twelve weeks, I learned a lot about myself, but most importantly, I learned how beautiful I am, on the inside and outside. I leaned that working out and eating healthy were definitely important routines that I needed to get back into. It was amazing at how drastically my body image changed, just by eating three healthy meals a day and spending 30-45 minutes at the gym four times a week. I also enjoy the social aspect of working out. If you find a friend who will go with you, working out can be something you look forward to, not something that you dread. I also took up rock wall climbing and water aerobic as hobbies. Who knew you could get such a great full body workout, just by spending an hour climbing a rock wall or working out in the water? All of these things have contributed to the new positive body image I have of myself today. I encourage anyone who may have a negative body image to search their soul and find the beauty within them. No matter how many people tell you how beautiful you are, it does not mean anything unless you believe it too.

What is the one habit you swear by?

The one habit I swear by is exercise. You can never get enough. Even if it is doing lunges and crunches during commercial breaks of your favorite T.V. show or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, you can always find alternative ways to work out, if you are pinched for time.

What are you fascinated with?

I am fascinated with why people do the things they do. I know this is a very broad fascination, but being a psychology major, it is difficult to narrow my fascinations down. If I had to pick a couple of main interests, they would be: young women and body image, partner selection and attraction, and the affects of abuse and violence on women and children. These are three completely different areas of study, but being an undergraduate, I have not been forced to pick a specific area.

What else would you like to tell me?

Remember this quote:
“The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”

Be strong and know that no matter what, you are beautiful!