Monday, December 31, 2018

"Don't do anything stupid"


I keep looking back on 2018 and I can't decide how I feel about this year. The 3 things that I write about below have been the biggest lessons in my entire life and have filled me immense happiness. At the same time, I have suffered so much this year. I lost someone so dear to me that it still, somehow, doesn't feel like she's really gone. It feels as if I'm just waiting for her to come back from Hawaii so we can celebrate New Years. I had to make a really hard decision to put down my best friend of 12 years. I think, in the end, I know I've had some incredibly high highs that accompanied incredibly low lows. I am so beyond thankful for the people who have been here for me, through all of the insanity that is 2018. You are loved.

Instead of an end of year wrap up, I wanted to talk about some things I learned this year. I originally thought 10 was a good amount of lessons. Then it went down to 5. Then, I kept looking at the list and only 3 popped out to me. So here are the 3 lessons I learned this year. I hope that you can learn from them too.

People can change, but you can't change someone
Listen. I'm a girl. We, somehow, are born with this thing in our brains that wants to change guys. The lucky ones end up figuring out that this is a very bad idea. The unlucky ones spend a lot of time on broken guys we can't fix (I am looking DIRECTLY at you Ariana). Everyone says, "Find a guy who doesn't need to be fixed" and you can just suck a duck, okay? Everyone can use some fixing up. That's why we're humans. We are not without major issues. We change and evolve all the time. I am, undoubtedly, not the same person I was 5 years ago. So, why does anyone expect a guy to be the same person he was 5 years ago? Being able to see one man grow, evolve, and become a different person has been such an amazing experience. Throughout most of the year, I spent so much time going, "Well, he USED to be like this" and "the OLD him would do this thing"... Until I started really realizing that he isn't the same person he was before. Maybe I had something to do with that. Maybe I didn't. But I can tell you that I never, once, told him to change. I left, not caring what happened (okay... I cared a lot about what happened but not publicly). I didn't care who he was as a person anymore. All that change. All that growth. That came separately from me. I had been so brainwashed into thinking that people remain one way, for all of their lives. Only the people who want to remain one way for all of their lives will. Once you notice something you don't like about yourself. You do something about it. And he did. But, it wasn't about me. It shouldn't be about someone else. It should only be about how you feel about yourself. 

This year has been a rollercoaster of growth for myself as well. I am stronger, more confident, and happier than I've ever been. I have found a group of human beings who make me feel like the badass I am. They push me to do crazy things (backpacking for the first time, solo international trips). They encourage me to live my best life. In the end, though, I have learned that other peoples' opinions about me, what I do with my life, and who I have in my life doesn't really matter anymore. I got this.

Backpacking!
Nature can recharge you in a way nothing else can
I spent more time in nature in 2018 than any other year. For goodness sakes, I flew to Germany and hiked in their INCREDIBLY INSANELY beautiful forests (I did not run into any talking animals, evil Queens, or dashing princes though so I'm majorly disappointed). Since there was a bit of a language barrier and we were tracking wolves, most of the hikes were fairly silent. I was able to think about everything and sometimes, just get lost in my own head. The forest enveloped me with healing vibes. It was exactly what I needed. 

Right after I had to put Harley down, I had a 2 person back-packing trip planned with a friend of mine. She told me that it would be no problem to back out of the plans, after what just happened. I wanted to go anyway. I needed to get out of my house and away from it all. Neither of us had ever been backpacking in our lives. It was a huge challenge for us and I would never trade that experience for the world. I got to heal from my two incredibly huge losses this year in the best way I knew how. Outside. When you don't know what to do, go outside. Sit in nature. Ask yourself questions. Just get everything out there. Nature will let you know what's up.

Hiking in Germany!
Exercise is not a punishment
I have viewed exercise in a negative way for my entire adult life. I was always "burning off" that extra helping of mac and cheese. When I ate something I "shouldn't" have, I would punish myself the next day by getting on the elliptical machine for 45 minutes to burn off approximately 500 calories. That was the routine. Eat bad. Get on elliptical. Burn off bad stuff. Eat bad. Get on elliptical. Burn off bad stuff. Continue until you hate yourself. 

This year has been my biggest food struggling year yet. I was finally fed up (pun intended) with watching what I was eating and counting my calories and how many calories I burned off and watching the scale fluctuate and seriously guilting myself for eating a slice of pizza and blah blah blah blah I'm over it. This year, I finally said "fuck it". I'm not going to be super model thin. I will never be that thin. Figuring this out unlocked the secret. Exercise is not a punishment. Exercise is a reward! Food is fuel for my crazy fun workouts. I stopped analyzing everything I watched this year and I think I've eaten the healthiest. It's funny how, when you stop really watching something, the magic happens. I recognized what helps my workouts and what hurts my workouts (I'm never giving up Taco Bell I don't give a fluff). Every time I add a higher weight to the machine, I get overly excited. My butt is getting bigger and I'm actually happy about it! I have a healthy body that I get to drag to the gym or to some studio to workout. I am so incredibly fortunate and how dare I ever think that being able to workout is a punishment, when so many people can't workout. If you currently view your workouts as "burning off" last nights pizza, come see me. I would love the opportunity to change your mind and your body.
*I will leave you with this one piece of advice from my best friend. "Don't age like an open can of soda."*

- so I can sigh eternally -


 lauren. 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Three. Zero.


See ya later, 20s. It's been real. And by "real", I mean holy crap I don't know how anyone survives their 20s. That was a rollercoaster of 10 years. From falling in love, to getting my heart broken (several times). From losing myself in the confusion of wanting to fit in, to finally finding myself apart from the crowd. In the past year, I've learned the type of people I want in my life and I am slowly learning how to say goodbye to the stagnant people who exude negativity. Simply, I'm too old for that shit.

I don't want to get deep this year. You can have that later. Or you can look at 28 and 29. But for 30, let me just entertain you.

This list represents all the movies I believe you should watch before you turn 30. If you want a list of classics, this isn't it. No one cares that you watched Shawshank Redemption or Breakfast at Tiffanys (only one of those movies is genuinely good). These are some of my favorites and these are my stories about them. I'll fight you on the quality of each and every one of these.

(Side note: Blogger keeps deleting random trailers I've posted. If it's not here, I'm sorry. I tried. A new one disappears every time I save this thing.)

30. The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)


Fun fact: Henry Cavill was Stephanie Meyer's top choice to play Edward Cullen but he was too old by the time the movie was being made. That's the only reason I rented this movie so there's that embarrassing fact. This movie was so good, they even named a sandwich after it (send help I'm turning into my father).

Napoleon: In life, we are kings or pawns.

29. Romeo + Juliet (1996)

Shakespeare. They took the words of Shakespeare and put it into 1990s SoCal and it's the coolest most perfect thing ever. I was obsessed with Leonardo DiCaprio during this time too. Leo and I share a birthday, which was a very important thing to me at the age of about 10.

Mercutio: If love be rough with you, be rough with love. Prick love for pricking and you beat love down.

28. The Hangover (2009)

I feel like you were not expecting this movie to be on any of my top lists but I like to surprise people. I can quote this movie easier than most other movies and that's probably because when I went to Europe in 2010 with Nami and Thea, Nami and I annoyed Thea by constantly quoting The Hangover. We even managed to quote it AT Caesars Palace which confused our tour guide and probably reiterated the whole "Americans are dumb" thing but that's okay because we didn't need anymore wolves in our wolf pack.

Stu: She's got my grandmother's Holocaust ring!
Alan: I didn't know they gave out rings at the Holocaust.

27. Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)

I can't tell you why I love this movie so much or how I even found this movie but I found it this year and I freaking love it. It's ridiculous in only the way that 80s movies can be ridiculous. Patricia Arquette is a boring house wife with a cheating husband and she gets amnesia and thinks she's Madonna's character. Hijinks ensue. Trust me on this one.

Gary: What are you wearing?
Roberta: A jacket. It used to belong to Jimi Hendrix.
Gary: You bought a used jacket? What are we, poor?

26. The Addams Family (1991)
Do I actually have to justify this one?

Wednesday: I'm a homicidal maniac, they look just like everyone else.

25. Remember the Titans (2000)

This is the best sports movie and I will gladly fight you on this (I'm looking at you, Jacob). I wore out my VHS of this movie. CCR is in the soundtrack of this movie! My volleyball team recreated the dance/cheer from this movie during Nationals one year (where we took 2nd place). This was before I realized I was far too short to play volleyball.

Coach Boone: I don't scratch my head unless it itches and I don't dance unless I hear some music. I will not be intimidated. That's just the way it is. 

24. Heathers (1988)

Heathers is Mean Girls before Mean Girls was even a thought inside Tina Fey's head. Which just goes to show that high school girls are the literal worst creatures on planet earth. You should really just watch it for the fashion alone. Oh and Christian Slater. What. A. Babe.

Heather Chandler: Well, fuck me gently with a chainsaw. Do I look like Mother Teresa?

23. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

I'm hoping this isn't a surprise to you, but I'm Greek. And when you're a little Greek, you're a lot Greek. I love being Greek. It's a fantastic group of people who like to eat really good food, party, and be incredibly welcoming. Also, family is above all. Honestly, I feel like so many different cultures have been able to watch this movie and relate. It's funny, honest, and heartwarming. Watch it with your mom.

Toula: [narrating] My dad believed in two things: That Greeks should educate non Greeks about being Greek and every ailment from psoriasis to poison ivy can be cured with Windex.

22. Hocus Pocus (1993)
 

Come on guys.

Dani: It doesn't matter how young or old you are, you sold your soul! You're the ugliest thing that ever lived, and you know it!

21. Willow (1988)

I was shocked to find out that everyone in the United States hadn't watched this movie growing up. Seriously, who raised you people? First and foremost, Val Kilmer is in it and he has glorious hair and you see his chest most of the time due to a v. low cut shirt. This is a classic fairy tale type of story. Evil Queen, baby who can take over the world, unlikely hero, hot dude, hot chick, magic, more hijinks (so many hijinks during the 80s). Did I mention that Val Kilmer is in this? If you don't like him, too bad cause he's further down on this list and I don't like you.

High Aldwin: Magic is the bloodstream of the universe. Forget all you know, or think you know. All that you require is your intuition.

20. Practical Magic (1998)

Sandra Bullock is pure hair goals in this movie. I feel like far too many people call this a chick flick, which is very sad for those of you who have avoided this movie simply because ew gross there's romance bleh barf. Grow up. This movie isn't about a stupid boy. It's about family. It's about trusting yourself. It's about growing the strength inside of you. And it's about how I really wish I was a witch. Also, holy crap that house.

Aunt Frances: My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage!

19. Dogma (1999)

Kevin Smith was a movie genius in the 90s and early 2000s. Jay and Silent Bob were the best duo since Batman and Robin. This cast is just bananas. I love the tongue in cheek jokes about the Catholic Church and how religion is viewed at this time. Can Buddy Christ actually become a thing? If so, I'll gladly go back to church.

Ariana Grande was right. God is a woman.

Serendipity: Leave it to the Catholics to destroy existence. 

28. Clueless (1995)

Clueless is the movie that your boyfriend claims he doesn't like cause it's a chick flick but secretly loves. Paul Rudd is like, 12 in this movie. Alicia Silverstone's hair is just perfectly perfect and all I wanted in the 90s. I still dream about her closet software. Granted, the whole Step-Brother romance thing is kinda gross but you should blame Jane Austen for that (Yes, it's based on a book). It's so 90s.

Tai: Why should I listen to you, anyway? You're a virgin who can't drive.

17. Girl, Interrupted (1999)

My mom wouldn't let me watch this movie in theaters. I remember my sister going. This was one of two movies (both on this list) that she wouldn't let me go see. And I was furious. Therefore, as soon as this bad boy hit Blockbuster, I waited for a week when mom was on a business trip and dad rented this for me. This movie is one of those that changed my life. I related to a lot of the moments in this movie during my late teens/early 20s. It takes the story of a very lost girl and shows how she was able to find her own way.

Angelia Jolie too, guys. Babe.

Susanna: I didn't try to kill myself.
Dr. Potts: What were you trying to do?
Susanna: I was trying to make the shit stop.

16. Mallrats (1995)

There was this older boy I had a crush on in 8th grade who said this was his favorite movie. So I watched it. Did I really understand all the Volkswagon jokes? Nope. Did I become obsessed with autostereograms after that? You betcha (and I always saw the sail boats, bitches). I'm a sucker for movies that take place in one day. I will never eat chocolate covered pretzels due to this movie. Also, Ben Afflecks suit. Lol.

Brodie: You're going to listen to me? To something that I said? Hell, most of the time I'm just talking out of my ass... or sticking my hand in it. 

15. Cruel Intentions (1999)

I watched this movie cause Buffy is in it and she plays this character so freaking well. Why are so many books obsessed with Step-Brother and Step-Sister romances? SMG and Selma Blair won the MTV Movie Award for best kiss cause it was the 90s and "OMG TWO GIRLS KISSING" was still a ~thing~ that people freaked out over. Sebastian also launched my obsession with journaling. I had tried to start a few years earlier but didn't really get solidly into it until about 7th grade. Also, this soundtrack is phenomenal.

Kathryn (Buffy) is problematic af, don't get me wrong. She sucks. But I really feel for her, which is why I chose the quote I chose to go below this. She had "masculine" traits that women just aren't allowed to have. They are things I've been accused of most of my adult life. A man does it and it's fine and dandy. A woman does it, and she's an aggressive bitch. Blow me.

Kathryn: Eat me, Sebastian. It's okay for guys like you and Court to fuck everyone. But when I do it, I get dumped for innocent little twits like Cecile. God forbid I exude confidence and enjoy sex. Do you think I relish the fact that I have to act like Mary Sunshine 24/7 so I can be considered a lady? I'm the Marcia fucking Brady of the Upper East Side, and sometimes I want to kill myself. So there's your psychoanalysis, Dr. Freud. Now tell me, are you in... or are you out?

14. Fight Club (1999)

This was the other movie my mom refused to let me go see in theaters. To be honest, I wish I was older when I first watched it so that I could fully grasp the twist and everything that went on. I probably had to watch this movie at least 5 times before I completely understood it and loved it. I dreamt of owning that house that Edward Norton and Brad Pitt lived in and renovating it into something epic simply because I loved the kitchen. Meatloaf is in this movie.

Tyler Durden: Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everyone else.

13. The Lost Boys (1987)

14 Year Old Lauren in Blockbuster:
The Lost Boys? This looks cool. Dad, have you seen this one? Will I like it?
Dad: You haven't seen this yet? Who the hell raised you?

See where I get it? If you knew 14 year old Lauren, you'd know I was obsessed with vampire movies. Anything dark and goth and edgy, that was my jam (tbh, it's still my jam, I just have lots of jams). This movie had everything I loved. Vampires. Cute boys. Motorcycles. Glitter. A hot chick with the coolest skirts in the entire world. All the glamor of 80s outfits. 80s music. Plus, the Coreys!

Grandpa: Well, now, let me put it this way. If all the corpses buried around here were to stand up all at once, we'd have one hell of a population problem.

12. The Craft (1996)

I cannot, for the life of me, remember when I first watched this movie. It's like this movie was birthed out with me or something. I do remember having already watched it by the time I hit high school and when my classmates finally caught up, I do remember having multiple people ask me if I think I'm one of the girls in the cast (making fun of me). If they had watched the movie, they probably wouldn't have asked me this cause I would have put a hex on them, obviously. Listen. Teenaged Lauren was very emo and anything to do with "dark stuff" was so cool. Whatever made people think that I could put a spell on them made me happy.

Tbh. It still does. Be nice to me.

Nancy: You know, in the old days, if a witch betrayed her coven, they would kill her.

11. Empire Records (1995)

Quick fun fact: Robin Tunney wrapped filming for this movie directly before shooting for The Craft, which is why she wears a wig in The Craft.

I didn't watch this movie until college. I remember my best friend, Jessica, had watched it and said to me, "I'm sure you've already seen Empire Records" and I was like "nope, what's that?" We immediately went to a computer to watch this movie. It was love at first site. Kick ass soundtrack. 90s movie. Takes place in one day. Is set in a record store. Everything about this movie is perfect.

Lucas: Damn the man, save the empire!

10. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Lol. See what I did there? This is number 10 on the list. And it has 10 in the title. It's funny. (Sorry, apparently my dad learned how to blog)

We had a small video store by my house that my parents finally let me walk to (by myself!) in 6th grade. My first non-parent related rental was this movie. It was because Andrew Keegan was in it. When I picked up the case though, Heath Ledger caught my eye, so I had to rent it. This is another Shakespeare movie on the list (it's based on The Taming of the Shrew). Kat was my idol. Badass, no nonsense, punk girl who was intelligent af and she was a feminist before it was cool.

Kat Stratford: I guess in this society, being male and an asshole makes you worthy of our time.

9. Lady Bird (2017)

This movie was very lightly on my radar. It was a, "Eh, someday I'll watch it" movie. Shout out to Gabby for making me watch cause this movie is so freaking good holy crap. If you want to know what it was like going to a Catholic High School in California in the early 2000s as a chick, this movie is it. It felt like I was watching my life on screen. The mother/daughter relationship is the most accurate one I've ever seen on film.

Lady Bird: The only thing exciting about 2002 is that it's a palindrome.

8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Add this to a list of movies that my dad thought an 8 year old could watch.

I love horror movies. I always have. It's something my dad and I bonded over when I was a kid. He was able to show me all these super cool horror movies (and Tales from the Crypt). Silence of the Lambs is the creme de la creme of horror movies. It is refined, sophisticated, and intelligent. This movie is what got me "into" serial killers.

Hannibal Lecter: Well, Clarice - have the lambs stopped screaming?

7. Se7en (1995)

When I was 18, I had Jessica over at my house and we were just hanging out. I don't remember what happened, but the movie Se7en came up. We immediately turned to my wise, movie watching dad for a review of this movie. My dad stares at the two of us as if we'd each grown an extra head and hands me a twenty. He tells me that I need to go to Rasputins and buy it right now. Here's something you need to know about my dad. He is not a fan of re-watching movies. In fact, the only ones he willingly watches multiple times are: Tombstone, A River Runs Through It, and Oh Brother Where Art Thou. If you haven't seen those movies, do it now. But start with Se7en cause it's on Netflix.

Never ask what's in the box.

Somerset: Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.

6. Labyrinth (1986)

If you know me, you know my love for Labyrinth. It's the first movie I remember watching. I didn't know English but I could recite all the dialogue. David Bowie was my first crush and I am still not over his death. This movie is ridiculous and if you're an adult and watch it for the first time, you probably will not like it cause it's puppets and overly 80s and the visuals are cringy. But it's fantastic. I even have a Labyrinth tattoo. In 6th grade, I had a sleepover for my birthday and I tried to get everyone to watch this movie. About 10 minutes in every deemed this movie "weird" and made me stop it so we could watch Mr Deeds (since one girl literally carried that movie around with her??... But I was the weird one).

Sarah: I can bear it no longer! Goblin King! Goblin King! Wherever you may be, take this child of mine far away from me!

5. The Saint (1997)

Back when Neftlix was a wee baby, I saw this movie and thought "This looks cool." Approximately 30 minutes into this movie, I realized I'd seen it. Like, 10 million times. So I called my dad and asked him. He informed me that when it first came out on VHS, I insisted on renting it all the time from Blockbuster. I was 9. Going through this list has really shown me that 9 year old Lauren had bomb movie taste. Val Kilmer gets to have like, 10 accents. He is also this really cool spy type person but also helps people. And he's cute. So. There's that.

Emma: Who are you?
Simon: Nobody has a clue. Least of all me.

4. The Crow (1994)
 

I discovered The Crow by watching that MTV show, Raid My Room. One of the contestants on the show had this poster in his room. It was dark and emo and edgy so I immediately wanted to watch it. We watched it as a family. My mom and sister immediately said, "That was a weird movie" while I said, "I LOVE THIS MOVIE SO MUCH". I bought it on VHS and watched it literally everyday for 2 months. I was even able to convince my drama teacher, a few years later, to have us watch it during drama class. Only one other person actually enjoyed it and 2 people made fun of me, to my face, for liking this movie. Man, I hated high school.

Sarah: People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can't rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right. 

3. SLC Punk (1998)

This is another movie I'm shocked to find out people haven't seen. I regard SLC Punk as being one of the most important movies of our times! It's another movie I can't recall seeing "for the first time" which makes me assume that it was birthed out with me. Heroin Bob's girlfriend was my faaaavorite. She was this edgy, beautiful, human being who was so punk rock it hurt. It also set a very real tone that showed how many people tried too hard to fit into a subculture they didn't really want to be in. A subculture that was created for the misfits but also had the gate keepers of the misfits denying entry to misfits. It was a topsy turvy world.

Stevo: Posers were people who looked like punks but they did it for fashion. And they were fools, they'd say "anarchy in the UK". What the fuck's that? Anarchy in the UK. What good is that to those of us in Utah, America? It was a Sex Pistols thing. They were British, they were allowed to go on about Anarchy in the UK. You don't live your life by lyrics.

2. Blindspotting (2018)

If you have seen me this year, I have talked to you about this movie. I have nothing to say other than this is the best movie I have seen this year. Easily. Hands down. No contest. The ONLY reason it's not number 1 on this list is because the number 1 on this list is my baby. It's like my first born. I'm sorry. But Blindspotting is phenomenal and there is nothing that I dislike about this movie. It is beyond relevant. It hits so close to home. It will open your eyes. Go watch this movie right now.

Also, shout out to my girl Corryn for doing the boom operating for this magical movie.

Collin: You monsters got me feeling like a monster in my own town!

1. Scream (1996)
This is another movie that dad thought an 8 year old could watch. I love my dad.

I spent a LONG TIME not including Scream on my top lists because I cared too much about what people think of me. Most people probably watched Scream once and disregarded it as a B Horror Movie (I'm looking at you, Reece Witherspoon). It is so much more than that. Seriously, give this movie another go. Scream changed the horror movie genre and flipped it on its head. It took all the "rules" of the horror movies and challenged them. Drew Barrymore was supposed to be Sidney but talked Wes Craven into letting her be Casey because no one would believe that they killed a Hollywood star in the first 5 minutes. There are no rules. (Also... Spoiler Alert? Sorrynotsorry)

I don't care anymore. Scream is my all-time absolute favorite movie and if you think that's stupid, you can bite me.

Randy: There's always some stupid bullshit reason to kill your girlfriend. That's the beauty of it all! Simplicity! Besides, if it gets too complicated, you lose your target audience.

Happy 30th Birthday to me.

- so I can sigh eternally -


 lauren. 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Dear Food: It's not you, it's me.

I have been absolutely obsessed with my weight since I was 11 years old. I was definitely not a fat kid. I was athletic, danced hula, and my parents were very active people. Before the age of 11, life was great! I was totally adorable. Raise your hand if you've ever felt personally victimized by puberty. I woke up with my period and worse, boobs. There are two types of girls who get big boobs at a young age. There's the ones who immediately buy push-up bras and tight shirts. Then there's the ones who wear two pairs of sports bras to squish everything down as much as humanly possible. I was in the second camp and I remember my mom forcing me to wear a real bra and hating her for it (sorry mom!). Soon after my period and boobs came acne ALL OVER MY FACE (side note: I don't know who it was but someone out there lied to me about acne being a teenage thing cause I am 29 years old and fuck you). Then I grew to be 5'6 and literally have not grown an inch since. Then, after I got used to all of the above and towering over all the boys, I was suddenly fat. How did that happen?

Here's the thing though, I wasn't actually fat. I just thought I was.

I was a chubby kid, sure, but fat? No, not really. I was still within a healthy weight for my age and my height. But around 7th grade, I distinctly remember understanding the fact that I was, in fact, not skinny. And that was not okay. All the boys liked skinny girls. Skinny girls were the popular ones. Why couldn't I just be skinny? How does one become skinny?

At that age, I didn't really understand dieting. I know that my mom and aunt sometimes drank Slim Fast and would workout to Sweatin to the Oldies but I figured that's just what adult women do. You hit 18 and you begin drinking Slim Fast while watching Richard Simon in way too short of shorts. It wasn't a diet or a workout thing. It just was. In high school, I really realized that I was fat. I continued to play volleyball (which I was getting much too short for). I didn't care about what I ate and I ate everything. Then I stopped playing volleyball and continued to eat everything. I still didn't correlate dieting to losing weight. I wasn't a perfect size 2 but, in high school, the largest size I ever got to was a size 12 (for a comparison, plus size model Ashley Graham is listed as a size 14 to 16). All I knew was that I hated my size and I directly blamed my weight for every issue I had in my life:

"If I wasn't fat, my teacher would cast me in the school play."
"If I wasn't fat, that boy would like me."
"If I wasn't fat, I'd have more friends."
"If I wasn't fat, I'd get better grades and my teachers would like me more."
"If I wasn't fat, I could do all the cool things with all the cool people."

I literally let my fat be the thing that ruled my world. Since high school, I've had a handful of people call me fat (mostly on the internet). The largest pant size I ever reached was a size 16. That's it. When I got to that size and weight, it didn't take me too long to decide that I wanted to lose weight. I think that it finally kicked in because I was finally ready to do it for myself, no one else. I'm a muscular girl and I always will be. I kept telling myself that I will weigh more because muscle weighs more than fat, WHICH, it totally does but that truth can only take you so far. Once I tipped the scales slightly over 200lbs, it was time for a change and something that I did for myself.

I never, in a million years, thought that simply wanting to lose weight would have thrown me into an obsessive spiral that would take me over 5 years to crawl myself out of.

I lost 60lbs in a little over a year (and did so in a very healthy and positive way). I started with just calorie counting. I slowly added in cardio and weight lifting. And then I started my job at Poshmark and that all went to shit so let's add the Posh 15 onto that 60. Despite losing all that weight... I still constantly think that I'm fat. Constantly. Since I started losing weight in 2012, I have deprived myself from eating things I actually want to eat. Since 2012, I have had MyFitnessPal downloaded on my phone to intermittently calculate everything that I eat and drink. I have made myself throw up food many times because I felt guilty after eating too much or too poorly. I have starved myself for dinner many nights because I was already over my calorie limit for the day. I have put myself through the Cabbage Soup Diet three times in five years. I consistently weighed myself multiple times a week for five years. When I didn't lose weight, I hated myself. Hated. There were so many times I cried on the bathroom floor because I gained a few pounds. There were times where I refused to buy new clothing because I just wanted to lose 10lbs before I bought a new pair of jeans. I have left stores in tears, teetering on the edge of a mental breakdown, because I deemed myself too fat to wear anything cute. If I was going out to eat with friends, I would look at the restaurant menu beforehand so that I could calculate what I could and could not eat. And the days that I didn't eat right, I literally hated myself. Any problem in my life, I correlated with my weight. If a boy didn't like me, it was because I was fat. That was the biggest one for me. Boys didn't like me because of my weight.

I cannot believe I allowed myself to act like this.

I would develop these patterns. I would eat super healthy and good and be great and awesome and oh man, someone brought in donuts to work, I'll just have half of one. Dammit. I ate half a donut. I want to throw up. Why did I do that to myself? I'll just only have salad for lunch, it'll be fine. Shoot, now I'm hungry and I have a workout to go do but there's only chips. Ugh. Fine, I'll eat the chips. I already had half a donut so I guess I'm just going to be fat for the rest of my life, might as well eat the fucking chips.

But guys. Those chips? They tasted awful. Because every time that I took a bite, I hated myself for taking a bite. Every. Single. Time. Jesus, I couldn't even enjoy shitty food because I was too busy hating myself for actually eating said shitty food.

I have spent so much time obsessing over food. Five years of non-stop obsession. Five years of thinking that I'm not good enough because my BMI says I'm (still) fat.

And I am so incredibly exhausted guys...

I'm done.

I'm just so done with caring so much about my weight. How in the world am I going to let three little (or big) numbers rule my existence? I am so sick of going to restaurants and not eating what I want to eat because I'm scared of gaining weight. I'm sick of cutting out carbs or sugar or alcohol. I am so sick and tired of being obsessed with weighing myself. I am so tired of counting my calories and depriving myself of eating what I want to eat. I'm just so fucking tired.

Earlier this year, my best friend (HI JESS) told me she was deleting MyFitnessPal off her phone. Jessica and I have spent years mutually obsessing over our food and our weight, so for her to do this and tell me about it was HUGE. Later that day, I mentioned this to my friend Scarlett. I told her that I was thinking about deleting my app too because I was just so tired. Scarlett thought it was a fantastic idea. That got me thinking... How many other people in the world are ready to do this? How many of us are out there? How many of us just need a damn cookie?

Here's my challenge to you if you see yourself in everything I just posted. Delete the app. Eat a burger. Go for a walk. I still eat healthy, for the most part. I actually enjoy healthy foods and usually crave those. But I'm writing this post while eating a pint of Ben & Jerry's non-dairy desserts. Because motherfucking balance. I love love LOVE working out. No not at a gym cause lol I'm not that disciplined but you can catch me in a studio class at least 5 times a week and using my new favorite app, Tone It Up, any other day. I will squat you into oblivion but please, for the love of God, don't make me run. In a zombie apocalypse, I'm staying and fighting cause even the slowest zombie will be able to catch me right away.

It's almost March. That means it's been 2 months of me eating what I please and you know what? I couldn't be happier. I have no idea what I weigh and my jeans still fit. I know that I will never be a size 2. I'm learning to be comfortable at the size that I am. My middle is a little pudgy and probably always will be. That inner thigh fat ain't goin nowhere. And I am cool with that. I'll admit, I've had a few days of touch and goes, but earlier this year, I was able to wear a bathing suit without having a full on panic attack. I call that a win.

No, I'm not going to spiral into a fast food daily binge while frying all my oreos and drinking a liter of soda with a family size of chips because that sounds absolutely disgusting. I still love eating healthy and clean but I won't beat myself up for eating Taco Bell every once in a while and next time one of my coworkers brings donuts, I'm eating the whole goddamn thing.

So please, get out there, find what physical activity makes you happy and eat a slice of pizza. You can thank me later.