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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Stop Comparing (Part 2)

     Hi everyone! I thought I would do a continuation of Tuesday's blog. 

     Comparisons aren't always physical. Sometimes we choose to focus on someone else's skills. "I wish I could be as assertive as so and so" is just as dangerous for your self esteem. Every single one of us has a skill or two that was learned, worked at, and more or less perfected. 

     I know people who were timid and abused their whole lives, and then decided to change it. Sometimes your circumstances and events in your life push you to do things you didn't know you could do, and then you become really good at those things. Then there are people who were maybe born with those skills. I have been loud and outspoken my whole life, but I also understand that  it is partly personality and less of a learned skill. I still struggle with what not to say.

     Please please please make the list I mentioned if you struggle with your own worth. I can't stress enough how much this simple task did for my self image.

     I know this was short, but I felt that I really needed to add this to my earlier blog. Have yourselves a fabulous weekend. :)


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Stop Comparing

     Hi everyone. I asked on Facebook what you would like me to write about today, and one of you said, "Comparing yourself to others". This is a very lengthy topic for me because I am so intensely opinionated about it. I will do my best to keep this brief and to the point, but please forgive any rants that may occur.

     I have mentioned in the past that I went through some eating disorders as a teenager. I can recall a few instances where people my age and even older in some cases would make comments like, "I wish I was that skinny, how do you do it?" And I so badly wanted to blurt out, "I'm starving myself so other people like you won't think I'm fat!" I never did, but the thought process that you need to do whatever is "working" for someone else really needs to be removed completely from our society. 

     Our bodies are unique. Maybe I can handle more weight resistance than you, but you may have more endurance and can do more cardio. Maybe I have asthma and maybe someone else has a thyroid problem. When we start comparing, we are assuming that the other person is functioning at 100% and perhaps even better than we are functioning. I am a pear shape. It does not matter how skinny I become, I will forever be a pear shape. It is how my bone structure is formed, and my genetic makeup. If I were to enhance my chest, then I would be closer to an hour glass but would still gain the majority of my wait in the lower half of my body. I can dream of being an hourglass all I want, but it just won't happen. I could waist my time and energy wishing I had someone else's figure, or I could be happy being the best me.

     I have heard so many stories of someone telling an old friend after time apart, "You look amazing, and you've lost so much weight!" Although this seems innocent, what if that person has an inner struggle with eating disorders? Maybe she lost the weight from stress, maybe she has cancer and the medication is causing weight loss. Compliment others on something other than weight and looks. "You're so generous" "You have great taste in music" "You are so kind". Why do we think we have to tell everyone how beautiful or cute they are? Because that's what we want to hear ourselves. We want to know that the effort made in the mirror this morning paid off. If you realize just how beautiful you are on the inside (character traits, personality, your virtues, your intelligence) you will feel beautiful on the outside.

     I can remember a conversation with my mom about wanting to be a figure skater, and her response was, "You'll lose your chest" I didn't realize that was important until she mentioned it. This thought that I would never be attractive because I would be too athletic? But if I didn't excercise I would get too fat, and if I was too skinny people would be grossed out. What was the solution?

      We have all been in a place where we saw someone and wished we looked like them in some way, "I want her legs" "I wish I had hair like that", etc. but these thoughts are so dangerous. They can lead to depression, eating disorders, body dis morphia and an overall lower self esteem. How do we stop this process? A few months ago I challenged my readers to make a list of the things you love about yourself, physical, emotional, spiritual or otherwise, make a list of things you do well, have accomplished or simply know you are stellar at. Here is a sample of my list: 
I love how outspoken I am.
I love my freckles, they make me unique.
I have an awesome sense of humor.
I am loyal to others.
I am a great friend.
I have a very large list. Some of you may think that is conceded, but I am embracing who I am and who I have become through significant events in my life. This is not arrogance, but everyone should know their worth.

     So I am re-challenging you. I would even ask that if you are feeling too low to make the list yourself, ask a good friend or someone that you trust, to make a list for you of all the things they love about you. I have had my husband do this for me during times of self deprecation.  

     Everyone in this world has their own struggles. If you had to trade someone else's troubles for your own, you wouldn't. We all go through things. Comparing yourself to someone else is a false idea that they have everything together. They don't, and they probably wish they could have something of yours. Please look within and find that you are worth while, and you have so much to give this world. You. Not your looks, but you as a whole. You are beautiful.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fall Haul

     Hey everybody! I mentioned last week I would be doing some Fall shopping and show off the great things I got, but then I got sick and wasn't able to do that. I have never been super into scarves other than as an accessory, and have only really warn them for warmth. 

      Well I am hooked on scarves! After knitting some really cute ones for friends last Christmas, I bought two, thus beginning my collection. I went shopping and found four adorable scarves that I know I will wear a lot this season. Here they are!

     I couldn't pass this one by. It's a cool taupe color with little ivory owls all over. It is very light weight, so I won't be wearing it for warmth when Winter is here. So cute!

     This one is reversible. I tried to show that off, but I'm not sure that I did a good job of it. It's a soft white with a blue paisley floral pattern on one side and blue with with the reverse on the other side. It's a very soft material, but a little heavier so it can easily be worn in Winter as well.

     Put a bird on it! Or several in this case. This is another one that is very light weight. It is a dusty blue color with a tiny bit of fringe around the edges. I love the birds!

     I just might be wearing this one the most this year. It's heavier material, and the picture does not do it justice. It's a muted teal color with shimmery threads throughout. It has an ivory and gold paisley floral pattern that is very subtle. This will go with a lot of things in my closet.

     The other thing that I have managed to not own, is rain boots. I live in one of the rainiest places and have never owned rain boots. What?! Well, I went hunting for a pair of cute boots, and found these gems.

     I love these! They're very cozy, and the tops are a all weather material instead of rubber. I've worn them a couple times and am excited for the rainy season.

     Well, I know it's not really Friday, but I left the house without the IPad last night and didn't get to finish it until today. Hope you enjoyed! Have a fantastic weekend and I will talk to you all on Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

No Longer Under Wraps

     Hi everyone! So sorry about my Friday blog and Thursday video. I was so sick, and still am. I will hopefully be back on track this week.

     I think Summer is officially over here in the Pacific NW. Our dreary days have begun, and it started getting dark at 6pm today.

      Due to me being ill, of course I was not able to do the Fall shopping I had planned on for my Friday blog, so I have a completely different topic.

     I had told you all several weeks back that I had some surprise projects that I couldn't talk about just yet, but now that they are solidified, I can!

     I joined a public speaking organization by the name of Toastmasters. I was affiliated with them many moons ago through 4-H, but never really did anything with it. Now that my Image Consulting is doing well, I will be speaking at some local Battered Women's Shelters on the topic of overall image, first impressions and self esteem. I am really excited and passionate about this and can't wait to get started. This is still 2 or 3 months away, but the process has begun and I am ecstatic! 

     I will have my first speech in a few of weeks, and was hoping you all could help me out with what topics you think I should cover? I have a 4-6 minutes time guideline/limit. 

     Though I am not new to public speaking, there has been about an 8 year gap since the last time I spoke. I am fairly certain I can do a good job, I just get very emotional when I am excited or nervous. A few months of speaking in a small group should definitely help with all of that, and I can't wait to tell you how the first speech goes.

     So I will leave you now with an embarrassing picture of me doing a Public Presentation for 4-H when I was 12 on the subject of Endangered Species.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Starting Over Sucks

     Hey all! I hope you all had fantastic weekends. I had a very productive one that involved new furniture and ordering more furniture. Very exciting!

     On Sunday, my husband and I picked up his parents from the airport. Remember my brother and his family who moved away? My in-laws drove cross country with them, and then flew back. It's really starting to settle in that they are not here anymore. We got to hear fun stories of how the kids are adapting and fun adventures along the way.

     Although it was nice to get updated on everything going on, it made me feel sad all over again. Not only did I not get to experience those things with them, but hearing about it actually made them feel further away. I don't know if that makes sense. My sister in-law was very good about posting pictures along the way, and it made me feel like I was right there with them. But now that the trip is over, it's almost as though I am processing the information for the first time. They are gone.

     I'm really not trying to make this post a downer. I want to be open and honest with my readers and truly share my life.

     On a brighter note (kind of...) my husband and I started with a new gym, and had our first workout in a couple months (ouch). I have realized that starting over is not worth it. Starting over hurts, it's often uncomfortable, and harder than it was the last time. Why do I keep starting over? If I could just stop quitting, starting over would not be an issue.

     Starting over for me is a complete reset. For some reason, when I let my exercise go, for whatever reason, my healthy eating habits go with them. Without going into too much detail, I have a few (like more than 2) digestive conditions that cause me to have to be a little careful with what I eat. Regardless of physical pain and discomfort, the past 2 months have involved me eating whatever I want and not thinking twice.

     Time to reset goals and remind myself of why this is important. I want to be healthy and live a long and full life. I have quite a few obstacles to overcome being that I am only 27 and have health challenges as well as past injuries that like to remind me that they are there. My husband and I do not plan on having children, so we would really like to stay present in our nephews and nieces lives. In order to do this, we need to be at our best. So! It is back to a somewhat strictly primal lifestyle of eating for me and a more active lifestyle for my husband who works an office job.

     I challenge all of you to reset goals, or maybe even make new ones. As much as I hate starting over, it's nice to have reminders of how wonderful life is, and how you can enjoy it so much better when you are healthy. Start over as many times as it takes to start healthy habits, and don't beat yourself up when you "fall off the wagon". It's so small in the grand scheme of things.

      I plan on doing some Fall shopping this week, and hopefully I will have some haul pictures for you this Friday. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Productivity... I've missed you.

     Things are happening in the Martin household, people! I am sitting and typing while my husband puts together a DVD cabinet that actually... Get this, matches our living room decor! What?! My living room has become our sanctuary in the last couple of months. It has been a long drawn out process getting things organized. We have a huge swivel love seat and sectional couch, toss pillows (!), an accent rug, and we got rid of a ridiculously bulky entertainment center and replaced it with a pull-down projector screen and projector. This project has really opened up the downstairs and made it so welcoming.

     I will post a picture when I feel that it is truly perfect (lol). Pictures and decorative mirrors hanging on the walls, ottomans, matching towels in the guest bathroom. If you knew me, you'd be gasping at everything in that sentence. We lived in an apartment for 3 (THREE) years and never fully unpacked. I bought a gorgeous 3'x5' decorative mirror, that literally stood in a corner and never got mounted.
     Things really get done when my husband and I get motivated together. Our upstairs has been a disaster area for an embarrassing amount of time, and I am so excited to be getting organized. We're donating quite a bit to Good Will, and posting some things on Craigslist. I fully intend to bring you all along with me on this journey with me. I will post pictures of all of the closets as I go, and I promise to show you each room after it is finished.

     I know that this won't seem like a huge deal to a lot of you, but let me give you some back-story. I don't talk about this much, because it has been highly embarrassing for me for the majority of my life so far; my mother is a hoarder. If you have ever seen the show Hoarders, then you have had a tiny glimpse into what my childhood was like. I believe this has a huge part to play in my lack of organization. My mom doesn't throw things away and everything is all over the place. I never learned how to file things, balance my checkbook properly, or really how to keep things neat. My room was usually the cleanest in the house, but believe me it was only such after piling things in corners and closets because I wasn't sure what to do with them.

     I have been trying so hard as an adult not to let those things dictate how I live in my own life. I married a passive person who also lacks organizational skills, so this has been really hard for both of us to deal with in the short time we've been married.

     My house getting organized is such a huge step for me as far as handling things in an adult manner. Put things where they belong, don't make piles. It sounds simple, but it has been everything but. I am on the road to being a semi-organized person and I could not be happier about this. Messes totally overwhelm me, and then I get overcome with depression. Unfortunately, this is the exact way in which my husband feels about messes. We have a lot to learn together...

     There will always be a small part of me affected by my upbringing... If there is a surface, it fills up. I think that is the sort of mess I can manage. This month is so exciting for me. I love throwing things away, and I love having a place for everything even more. I feel like September will be a very healing and liberating month.

     I promise to keep you updated as I go along, and post pictures of my progress. I hope you all are having a wonderful Summer to Fall transition.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


     I love shoes. They are my obsession. I can't go into a department store without checking out the shoes. If I find a pair I love, I rarely leave them behind. The biggest part of "people watching" for me, is watching their shoes. This got me thinking, how important are shoes to a first impression?

     I consulted the internet, and found that gijobs.com says this about someone who had a 2nd interview and was up against one other person for the 3rd and final interview: "When he received the call a few days later it was to inform him that the other candidate had been chosen. Of course he asked why he was not chosen and the human resources manager said, "Do you remember when we were walking up to the CEO’s office?" and he said "Yes." "Well I looked down and noticed your shoes were scuffed up. Now you are going to say “What did his shoes have to do with it?” Well only one person is going to get the job. The organization has to use what ever it can to differentiate you from other candidates. You had control over the shoes and did nothing about it. So the assumption is that you do not pay attention to details."

     The number one reason people don't get hired is their appearance. I know that sounds unfair to some of you, but this is why I am an Image Consultant. To help people make good first impressions. Forbes magazine says this: "Think about your ornaments. Clothes, make-up, jewelry, watches and shoes are all types of ornamentation and people definitely take these into account when making initial judgments. I highly recommend getting some of your favorite outfits or ornaments together and asking friends you trust what they think of when they see them." 

     I would be interested to know what people think based on just my shoes... Or maybe not. I like wearing crazy shoes, I'm going to be me!

     I have just converted an old CD rack into a home for 18 pairs of shoes. I'm thinking I need another one! Also, if any of you have cool ways to display boots, please share, because I haven't figured that out yet.

     I am so excited for Fall because I can break out my boots!

 Please pay no attention to the mess on either side. I am in the middle of a process...
 Those red ones with the polka dots on the inside were the shoes I wore for my wedding.

This is also an interesting article: http://www.wellesley.edu/news/stories/node/26872