Colorful Glamour

Fashion, Beauty, Splashes of Color and Honoring my Inner Bombshell


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Day 7: Controversial Post: Diet and Fitness Extremism

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(I love Panera Bread! So delicious, and so many healthy options! It’s a fun place to eat out. This isn’t an example of extremism -just a yummy picture.)

Day’s 7 post is all about taking a stand on a controversial issue or hot topic. I feel like I’ve covered a lot of topics during this challenge, two chief among them being weight loss and novel-writing. Although my novel is my passion, my blog is mainly for helping other women. So, I’ve decided to cover a controversial topic in the diet and fitness industries –extremism.

In our society, we have so many pressures as women to be perfect –perfectly beautiful, perfectly healthy, perfectly successful and so on. And when we’re not, there are a thousand products just waiting to “change our lives.” Most promise quick results in a short amount of time, dangling a golden carrot over our heads. While I know that intensive workouts and super restrictive –but healthy –eating plans can work for some people, it doesn’t work for others. In fact, most dieters end up failing. I personally believe that this is because we choose to run before we’re ready to walk.

I guess I am advocating for smaller changes over a longer period of time. Yes, eat better, exercise, get enough sleep. But in my experience, a 180 degree change all at once just isn’t effective. Make small goals and reach them. Then make slightly bigger goals and reach them. :) Line upon line, precept upon precept… That’s the way we were designed to adapt to the challenges of life.


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Day 6: Vulnerability and Overcoming Self-Criticism

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To be honest, when I first listened to the challenge for Day 6, my first thought was “Ugh.” I don’t like sharing vulnerability. Then, I decided that maybe this challenge will be really good for me. :)

So, today I decided to talk about verbal abuse –towards one self. I’ve been on Pinterest long enough to know that I’m not the only woman out there who struggles with being self-critical. You don’t have to search for long to find posts reminding us that we’re special, that we’re enough, and that we’re filled with glitter and sunshine. :) And yet, even though I know I’m not alone in self-criticism, it can seem really isolating. So often, it can seem like I’m the only one who spends way too much time saying unkind things to myself.

Sometimes it can seem like I’m just being honest –that I’m just speaking the cold, hard truth to myself. Most of the time, however, that’s not the case. While self-improvement is a good thing, and working to overcome weakness is also a good thing, self-destruction is not. I think a lot of what makes this key distinction between the two is the tone, or the attitude in which we talk to ourselves. Self-critiquing can be effective when paired with compassion, patience, and a belief that we can change. But when it becomes a downward spiral filled with shame, and hopelessness, it veers into the territory of self-hatred.

I believe strongly that we are all children of God. We have worth beyond measure, and the capacity to grow exponentially. I think that when done right, we can objectively look at ourselves, determine how we want to change our lives, and reach those goals. But I really think this needs to be done with kindness towards ourselves, not harshness.

But how does this apply to me? Well, let me tell you… I have struggled so much over the years with social situations, simply because of how unkind I am to myself. Time after time, I have come to the event, my heart pounding, worrying that I everyone will hate me, that I will say something stupid, and that somehow, I will have ruined everyone’s day. And then, after each time the evening has ended, I have been ready to cry, convinced that I have ruined other’s perception of me, that I was beyond awkward, and that I have ruined future chances for friendship. Most of the time, this isn’t even true. Most of the time, I just came off a little shy. While I do still struggle with this on occasion, it has -thankfully -gotten much better.

This past time losing weight, I decided to take a different route than my usual. I took small, reasonable steps, and most importantly, I worked on being kind to myself. Instead of looking at photo-shopped models that I wanted to aspire to be like, I looked at pictures of my highest weight, and said kind things to that girl. I then cheered myself on when the mirror indicated I was losing weight. I cheered myself on for getting stronger. I cheered myself on for cheering myself on! And this optimism, this embracing of myself helped me to want to reach out more, and in a very real way, it helped me to reach my goal of losing weight in away verbal self-abuse never could.

I’d love to be able to say that I’m 100% over perfectionism, and self-criticism, but I’m not. What I can say is that I have come a long way in this regards. I can feel the difference. And today, I’ve decided that I want to take this up as a goal again. I was talking to my awesome dad a week ago, and he told me about a study that indicates talking to yourself in 3rd person can alleviate chronic self-criticism (in your head of course). That may seem a little funny, but I’ve tried it, and it seems to work. After all, I’m a lot more compassionate towards others. I’ve found that it helps me to think more objectively about myself, and about the situation. So, I want to use this technique as often as I can remember over the next week.

Also, here’s a list of 5 things I have done in the past that has helped me with positive self-talk:

  1. Writing a “happy” list. I have written about things I am grateful for, or a list of my favorite things. Also, I’ve written lists about things I have done right during the day (instead of what I didn’t finish on my to-do list). I’ve even done lists filled with positive attributes that I have.
  2. Reminding myself that it’s okay. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to experience. I can move on from where I am. This particularly helps when I feeling stressed about being stressed, or angry about being angry. :)
  3. Using a creative outlet. Now, when I say this, I don’t mean that long novel you’re editing, or the piece of art that you can’t quite get right. I mean something fun. I’ve made collages, or played with acrylic paint. Sometimes I make up a silly song. I think the combination of creativity and play allows me to be more accepting of myself.
  4. Pray For Help. I know there are a lot of religions and faiths out there, and I also know that most faiths include a God who loves us and cares for our well-being. I personally believe that Jesus Christ loves me and wants me to be happy. I know when I pray to God for help in any area of my life, that I feel a sense peace, and feel divine aid. I think that no matter is too little to bring to Him, and that praying for help in loving ourselves will be answered.
  5. Forgetting Myself. This one can seem counter-intuitive, but it does work. When I take time to try and make sure those around me feel loved, I tend to forget my doubts about being lovable myself. There are many different ways you can do this, including volunteer service, reaching out to coworkers or family members. (Of course, please don’t neglect your personal needs in the process.) This can be a great way of overcoming self-criticism.

Now, again, I don’t advocate running from challenges, or for a lackadaisical approach to life. I simply think that we should exercise the same love and compassion for ourselves that God would give to us. After all, the scripture said “Love thy neighbor as thyself” –not “love thy neighbor and hate thyself.”

Well, that was me getting vulnerable. I hope I’m able to reach out and help someone today. :)


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Day 5: Weight Loss and Sharing Tools

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“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” ~Ayn Rand

Day 5 is called the “Helpful Post.” Basically, I was asked to write something or share something that would help me readers. This post was actually pretty hard for me. What do I have that would help others? Yes, I could talk more about my book, or how to write a book, but somehow it didn’t feel right. As I thought about it, I decided that I want to share one of the tools that helped me lose weight. It’s called SparkPeople, and it is a free website that gives tools to help you lose weight. It includes basics like a food and exercise diary, weight recorder, and mini exercise videos. But what I really loved about the website were all the opportunities connect to other people losing weight, and the encouragement I found there. Also, this site isn’t about extremism, or burning yourself out in 6 weeks. It encourages you to make small, good decisions, and to make them consistently. I used this tool to lose 35 pounds, and I really love it. If you are looking for something to help your reach your health goals -one that is realistic and effective -I would really suggest Spark People.

I guess I would also like to give my own personal words of inspiration. I believe really strong that we as women can reach our goals. So often those around will discourage us, telling us that it isn’t realistic to reach for them. They may be well meaning, but in the end, only you can decide whether a goal is worth reaching for. Whether it be weight loss, another area of wellness improvement, or in other areas such as creativity or talent development or whatever it is that you want to accomplish, I believe that you can do it. I’m here to cheer you on!

In the comments, if you have goals or dreams you want to share, please do!


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Ten Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me!

Ben and I

Day 4’s Challenge is about opening up personally. She talked in her video about how we need to open up in order for people, to like, know and trust us. So, today’s challenge is to simply share ten things about myself!

I am in love pumpkin flavored anything. Waffles, muffins, pie, hot chocolate, bread, anything… really. And, I don’t just love it during the fall. I buy cans of pumpkin and make it year round. :) That said, I did find John Oliver’s rant on pumpkin spice to be hilarious. 

I love to write letters and send cards to people. Partly it’s because I love writing in general. Part of it, though, is because it is a fun way to help others feel important and noticed. I know I get excited when I see a letter –a real letter –from someone in my mailbox. My main problem in writing letters is remembering to stock up those stamps…

I secretly want to have a homestead someday. For some reason, growing my own crops, raising my own chickens, and even having my own beehives seems like a dream come true.  Maybe I should blame it on the Harvest Moon game that I played in middle school (it’s similar to Farmville on facebook). :) The self-reliance, and throwback to my ancestors also sounds really appealing. I’m not sure if that dream of mine will be realized, but it is one that I daydream about. At the very least, I plan to have a garden! With blueberry and raspberry bushes, and of course and cherry tree!

I have a deep fascination with rainbows. Whether they are in the sky, bouncing off the walls from a chandelier, or trapped inside a bubble, I just love rainbows. They are so beautiful, and to me, they are a reminder that God loves me. I plan on putting up a chandelier in a future house, so I can be surrounded by rainbows on a daily basis.

I want to travel to Ireland someday! I want to try authentic Dublin cheddar, step into an old castle like the Rock of Cashel, and see the Cliff of Moher. Of all the countries I want to travel to, Ireland is number one of my list.

I have recently grown a love for tumbled stones. Yes, you heard me right –I have a rock collection. :) I love looking at them from both a geology perspective, as well as a metaphysical perspective. Right now, I have a collection of 61 tumbled stones, and will be getting another one pretty soon! My favorite pieces are a piece of snowflake obsidian, and a blue onyx stone shaped like a teardrop.

I love candles. And I mean, I really love candles. Growing up, whenever my siblings didn’t know what to get me, I would be sure to get a candle of some sort. I always loved it too! There’s something comforting about the dim, flickering light, and all the fun scents fill me with a childlike joy. I’m living in an apartment that prohibits candles, which is a big bummer. But, I have recently discovered wax melt warmers. :) It’s not as awesome as a real candle, but still pretty cool. Right now, I have “exotic woods” in my wax melt warmer.

I am still a big Harry Potter fan. I really want to go to Harry Potter World at Universal Studies in Florida. And, I’m super excited for the three Fantastical Beast movies that will be coming out in the next few years. On a side note, I took the Pottermore quiz and I was sorted into Slytherin. I didn’t like that and tried to trick the hat into giving me another hat. I finally had to concede defeat. J I am ambitious, so it does make sense. :)

My favorite novel is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I was able to read it from a feminist perspective, and it was intriguing. I love how feisty Jane is, and that she doesn’t compromise her morals or life vision to the love of her life, or to the demands that society has put upon her. The way the language is crafted in this novel is breathtaking. I only hope to be able to write as well as Charlotte Bronte someday.

I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. The fact that He would love me so much, that He would take on all my sins and all of my trails, is just beyond me. Though I can’t understand why He would love me that much, I am so grateful that He does. Through Christ, I have learned that I can reach my potential, and that I truly am a child of God. I am so grateful for His everlasting grace.

And, that’s about it for today’s post! I hope you liked it and learned a little more about me. :)


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Feel Good Challenge Day 3: How To Make Spinach Ice Cubes For Smoothies!

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Today’s Feel Good Blogging Topic: Tutorials, or How-To (Day 3)

I looked high and low to find today’s blog challenge, and almost gave up –but I found it! (Here’s the link, by the way: Feel Good Blogging Day 3). Today’s challenge is all about bringing value to the reader. As I thought about what I could share for a tutorial, I decided to go with a recipe that I created yesterday. I had a whole bunch of raw spinach that I really needed to use, and decided to make spinach icecubes out of it. This is perfect for smoothies, as it adds a shot of veggies, and simplifies the actual smoothie process. After all, you won’t needs as much icecubes! I really hope that this simple idea will be good for my readers –who doesn’t want an easy way to bring some added health to your day? I know one of my biggest deterrents to living healthy is the added effort. Why not make life easier? On to the recipe:

Things You’ll Need:

  • 2 bags of spinach
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice (or, if you want, you can simply use water)
  • Ice Cube Tray
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Blender or Food Processor

Directions:

  1. Place raw spinach leaves with the 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice into the blender. Blend thoroughly, until it starts to resemble the paste. If the mixture does not blend properly, add more lemon or lime juice.
  2. Spoon the spinach mixture into an ice cube tray. Try to make sure they are all even, and pour any remaining liquid in the blender/food processor into to the tray. Then, leave for at least 8 hours.
  3. Remember to take the spinach ice cubes out and place them in a Ziploc bag! I find that if I leave them in the ice cube tray, I’ll forget all about them when it comes time to make a smoothie.
  4. And come morning time, pop an ice cube or two into your smoothie to add some extra green. Or, if you’re in a green smoothie mood, put in lots more!

You can also try this with kale, collard greens, or other leafy vegetables that you might want to add to your smoothies!

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