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Begin Again (Part I)

I began this post at the beginning of this year — in January 2017. I had determined that 2017 would finally be the year that I committed to losing weight and transforming my life to be more healthy. It felt like time. (It’s always felt like time.) And so, I started writing the words below. I love the irony of starting a post titled, “Begin Again,” that I never finished or published. Because I also never started my new “weight loss journey.” Until recently. Like, just last week recently. And so, I wanted to post my words from almost 10 months ago. And then post some more in a continuation post. And start this dialogue — with myself, with my body — all over again and through this blog. Because what other choice do I have… but to begin again and again and again? Until I arrive where I want to be.


 

It has been four years since I started this blog.

At the time, I was 24 years old. I was a sexual health educator with Planned Parenthood. I had decided to quit the youth spoken word program I co-founded with my friends because I was burnt out and wanted more time and energy to focus on myself and my personal dreams. I was depressed, frustrated, and confused about what I wanted in my life. And most importantly: I hated my body and, to some extent, I hated myself.

And so, I embarked on a journey to change both of those things. At the time, I weighed 265 lbs.—the heaviest I’d ever been. I asked for the guidance of my older brother, who was working part-time as a fitness coach. He’d had a lot of success with clean eating and weight lifting and transformed his health. I enlisted the support of my family, friends, and colleagues. I completely overhauled my eating and exercise habits. I went grocery shopping every weekend and prepped all of my meals on Sundays. I bought a membership to 24 Hour Fitness and worked out 4-5 days per week.

To this day, I am so proud of 23-Year-Old Me, who took charge of her health and her life. In three months, I lost 25 lbs. My face slimmed down. My sugar and fast food cravings decreased. My skin was clearer. My endurance and stamina for exercise increased. And I even looked forward to sweating for 45-60 minutes on a treadmill. But the thing that I cherish most about that time was that I tackled a problem that had seemed impossible for most of my life: to lose weight and find a sense of joy and purpose in doing so.

Growing up, I was always chubby. There was never a time in my life where I wasn’t a bit more rotund or pudgy than the other children my age. But for the most part, my parents never stressed about my weight too much. I mean, they’d encourage me to go outside and play. And when my dad decided to lose weight in his late-30’s, he made sure the whole family was on board for healthy eating. (We ate so much brown rice and vegetable stir-fry, y’all.)

But then I went through puberty. And my parents split up. And around the same time, I developed curves and a habit for emotional eating. I was no longer a girl with baby fat. I was an overweight adolescent. I was teased. My parents talked to me constantly about losing weight and being more mindful about what I ate. I remember being so depressed and so ashamed. But I stayed fat. No matter what they tried during this time, I stayed a Fat Black Girl. I learned to hate my body, but also to see weight loss as a punishment of sorts. Even though I know they were coming from a place of love and concern, the focus on my appearance—on my weight—always felt ugly and hurtful and like an attack.

And so, 13-year-old… 14-year-old… 15-year-old… 16-year-old… every version of Teenage Michelle hated her body and her fatness, but also hated every person who made her feel like shit. And y’all, there’s no way you can concentrate on taking care of yourself and weight loss and being kind to yourself when you don’t fundamentally love yourself.

To be continued…

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Just Listen

In the past week, I have been thinking a lot about my health.

I have been thinking about much more than how much I weigh, because I know that true health transcends just the body. 

In the past week, I was crippled by my depression. I’m sure it was only exacerbated by my oncoming period, but still… I always realize this after the fact. “Hey, I was damn near suicidal two days ago… and now I’m bleeding from my uterus. Oh, wait a minute…” is a typical excerpt for my internal monologue. 

Sitting at home, overeating and feeling sorry for myself was awful. When I am not emotionally well or at my mental best, I tend to abuse my body. Then I hate my body and myself for my poor behavior, thus starting the cycle over and over again. I have been stuck in the same broken record since I was a small girl. 

I am 25 years old now. And I really don’t want to live my life this way anymore. I don’t want to continue slowly killing myself in this way anymore. 

I am currently unemployed. It’s very stressful, but it also makes you feel pretty worthless. We live in a culture that values productivity. Ever notice how when people ask, “What do you do?” we always respond with what our occupation or employment status is? And so, if I am not “working,” it is easy to feel as though my value and worth as a human being has diminished. 

But also, being unemployed means I have a lot of time—potentially, time to spend working on things that really matter. Like my health. Again, not just my physical health. But my emotional, mental, and spiritual health as well. It’s all interconnected. I can’t be a whole person without any of those components. And doesn’t health derive from healing, and isn’t the definition of healing “to make whole again”?

I want to be whole.

I wanted this post to be more coherent and articulate. I feel like it’s a little all over the place, but that’s OK. Because I’m finally saying what I’ve needed to say to myself, to the big outside world for a while. I am finally understanding that so much of the issues I’m facing with my physical health stem from deeper-rooted problems. And finally, I am ready to address all of the issues together. I don’t want to be the girl who just pays attention to one. Who cares if I lose 100 lbs if I still haven’t learned how to forgive my parents for their traumatizing divorce or that guy in college for sexually assaulting me? These are the wounds I keep trying to cover up. Who cares if I can practice better eating and exercise habits, if I’m still afraid to leave the house because I’m so sad all the time?

For once, I have no qualms about being completely honest about all the all the ways I am hurting and broken.

I am a fat girl who is addicted to food and hides away so no one can see her body.

I am the child of divorced parents who lost themselves for a while, and I’ve never forgiven them for it.

I am a sexual assault survivor who gives herself away to men too easily, because she never fully learned how to love herself?

I am smart, talented, funny Black Girl who lacks self-confidence and has suffered mental health issues for most of her adolescence and young adult life.

I am a ridiculously sensitive and intuitive person who gave up on God a long time ago, but misses her relationship with Him/Her/The Universe everyday.

But I am going to re-learn how to love, how to forgive, how to be strong, how to trust myself, how to have faith, how to live joy. And I’m going to write about it here on this blog, for all the world and my future employers to see.

I call, “Do Over!”

Well, this is embarrassing…

My initial attempts at losing 100 lbs, changing my lifestyle, and practicing some wellness-based self-love crash and burned almost a year ago. In September, I stopped calling it a “hiatus” and owned up to the fact that I had failed somewhat. Publicly, miserably. I spent a lot of time going from feeling ashamed and embarrassed, to trying to pump myself up to start Project Love Yoself 2.0

Close friends and family members asked me, “What happened? Why’d you stop?” (I’m ever-so-grateful that they never used the word quit. My fragile ego couldn’t handle it.) Each time, I gave some long-winded, half-ass excuse: Oh, well, I didn’t quit. I just decided to take a break, and it’s been longer than I expected. But I really am working on getting back on track. It was really hard for me to come to terms with giving up on something that so many people were invested in. My brother was training me. My therapist/spiritual guru was checking in, giving input. My mother was begging me to return to cooking. My coworkers were confused when I started going to get burritos with them for lunch again.

I have finally accepted that I gave up. There’s many an excuse I could give. But that’s the honest-to-goodness truth. I gave up. I decided that not exercising and eating crap food was easier, more comfortable than everything else. And it’s been a decision I’ve been reconciling with for almost a year.

In the past few months, I’ve really come to appreciate how important that short-lived journey was. I had never felt so empowered as when I was waking up at 6am to get to the gym, or eating tilapia and sweet potato for breakfast. I lost almost 25 lbs. My face slimmed down. My body’s stamina increased. It was remarkable. It proved to me that when I really do want something to happen and work towards it, shit is real possible. 

It also made me realize I have a long way to go. And I still got a lot of shit to deal with when it comes to my body. Even though I haven’t been actively participating in a weight loss/healthy living program in a year, my brain still processes that way. I’ve become hyper-aware of how my weight and nonexistent activity levels is affecting my body, especially since I work from home and spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer screen. I have joint pain and back aches again. Standing or walking for long periods of time is exhausting. I hate bending down, going up and down stairs, or anything that slightly resembles cardio. My skin decided to act a fool again. My period is all haywire. And I ended up getting an abscess two weeks ago, which I know is somehow linked to the fact that I’ve gained 20 lbs.

I look at friends who are fit and healthy, and I recognize that it’s not some super-human ability. It’s a respect and reverence for your body. It’s a natural preference for wanting to live a life of good quality. And honestly, it’s part of growing up. Real OG adults don’t treat their bodies like shit. They drink water. They eat vegetables everyday. They move around. I’m always amazed when I’m out with friends for dinner and they stop eating when they’re full. It’s something so basic, and yet it’s an action that speaks volumes to me. My intention is always to finish what I’m eating, is to get to the place where I’m so full, I’m uncomfortable. 

I have recently committed to giving Project Love Yoself a new life. I’m turning 25 in three months. And I’m a bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding around the same time. Of course, the bridesmaid dress is a short, little one-shoulder number. So both my chubby arms and my thick legs will be all exposed. Pure vanity makes me want to be as small and toned as possible on that day. But the realization that I’m turning 25 makes it a little deeper. That’s such a Big Girl age, you know? It’s the age in which I imagine Beyoncé’s “Grown Woman” playing on repeat in my head for 365 days straight. I never thought that I’d turn 25 with the same body and poor eating habits that I had when I was 14. Like, I’ve graduated from college. I pay taxes. I’ve traveled to Europe twice. But I still haven’t mastered the ability to be healthy?

It makes me sad. I’m too damn old to still be fat and sad, y’all. I have pretty much been fat and sad my entire life. It’s gotten old. Rigid beauty constructs be damned. Learn to love yourself as you are! Go to hell. I’ll be 25 this year, but I won’t have much to show for it. That really fucking bothers me. And I don’t just want to feel bad about it and do nothing, thus re-instigating the vicious cycle, so…

I’ve begun working out again. (Thanks to my wonderful friend who’s agreed to act as my trainer!) I’m eating moderately healthier. I’m trying to kick into gear full-steam in the next two weeks again. At first, I wasn’t going to write about it until I’d lost 20 lbs. But I’m in a forthcoming mood tonight. And this is all part of a much larger existential crisis that I’m having, that I’m trying to document on my non-health-related blog. It’s just time, I think. To grow up. To force myself to take care of myself, while I still have time to save my own life. 

I will probably do some things a little bit differently this time around. Like, I’ve recently discovered how amazing it is to incorporate full-body workouts and strength training. But the core principles and guidelines that I followed last year will stay the same. My goal is to lose a little over 100 lbs, to get down to 150 lbs. And to have really toned, built thighs and forearms. And for my pancake butt to round itself out again. And maybe to be able to run a mile in 8 minutes or less. Or to be able to hike without taking wheezing breaks. But mostly, I will to feel present and at home in my own skin. I want to feel like I tackled and achieved something.  

I want to never again have to write or say the words, “I’m fat and sad.” 

DAY #225: 08.11.13

I’ve been a bad girl.

It’s been almost two months since I’ve last posted on Project Love Yoself. I haven’t been to the gym since March? Maybe April, but I definitely think it was March. I basically started this wonderful journey, became overwhelmed, and then I gave up. I fell off. I fucked up.

There’s no sugar-coating it. There’s no pretending like it was just a “hiatus”. I stopped. I quit. I feel hella guilty about it. Everyday, I tell myself, “OK, I’m gonna get it back together. For real.” But then I don’t. When you want things to happen, you don’t talk about them happening… You MAKE them happen. You move from the place of thinking about it, talking about it… and you just DO. I mean, yes, changing thinking patterns is important. Planning and visioning is important. But after awhile, you just gotta get ‘er done.

Plain and simple.

But in this quitting time. In this failing time, I’ve learned a lot. I do not regret starting Project Love Yoself. And I do not regret failing miserably at it. I know food is a huge issue for me. I have a problem. Some of it is laziness. Some of it is carelessness. But a lot of it goes much deeper than that. People will say what they want: You’re not trying hard enough. You’re making excuses. You’re not serious about wanting to be healthy. If you really wanted to change, you would just do it. Blah, blah, blah… I’ve heard it all before. You’re not saying any new shit.

What I have learned is that my journey with clean eating and fitness and healthy living is MY OWN. I can seek support, encouragement, inspiration from others. I can seek partners to help in the journey. But at the end of the day, it all comes back down to me: What do want? Am I willing to do the work? Am ready to change unhealthy habits? What do I need to do, what needs to be sacrificed to make it all happen?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the answers to those questions. But in 18 days, I will be all out of excuses not to return back to living healthy and taking care of myself. I will have more time. I will have a less stress. I won’t have money to spend on eating out everyday. I will have limited income, so I either need to cancel my gym membership or get my money’s worth. Most importantly, I will be committing to living an entire year authentically, holistically, and healthily. For twelve months, I’ll be doing nothing but creating the life, self, and experiences I want for ME.

So, I guess I can think of it as PROJECT LOVE YOSELF 2.0? Maybe, I don’t know. What I do know is…

  1. I will be preparing clean meals 2 times per week. I’m excited to get back in the kitchen, to play with flavors and recipes and get creative with clean cuisine. Plus, eating week-old food wasn’t very healthy.
  2. My mom has super shitty eating habits, but she always makes excuses… and then comes at me for how I eat. Well, we’re about to be in this together. Plus, I keep telling her she’s got to live forever.
  3. I’m getting back in the gym—cardio and strength training. It’s not enough to burn calories. I need to build muscle. I need to be strong. I want to be able to kick someone’s ass, not just run away from them.
  4. I’m looking to be more active in general. I’ll be taking salsa dancing. I want to try yoga again. I miss going hiking on the weekends. I bought a subscription for boot camp on Living Social that I still need to use. I need to be out in the sun more often, because I live in Los Angeles and getting out the house has a huge affect on my mental and emotional health.
  5. The focus is still going to be physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It is not enough to just be physically healthy. I’ve got to take care of all my realms. I feel much more confident than I did nine months ago. A lot of that started with taking care of my body… but it also comes from taking care of my heart, mind, soul, and spirit.
  6. I need to keep it simple. I have a track record of trying to do too much, too soon. Enthusiasm is great. Being an overachiever helps drive me to reach my goals. It can also set me up for disappointment, because I focus on trying to be perfect instead of just getting shit done.
  7. It’s about improving the quality of my life, not focusing on my quantifiable value. The best thing that’s happened during these “off” months is realizing that I don’t give a shit about a scale or a dress size. Seriously, I may be fat forever. Who cares? I don’t want to fit into a predetermined beauty standard. I don’t want to be skinny. I just want to have the kind of life I’ve always dreamed of: being able to walk into any store (“regular” or “plus size”) and find clothes that fit; wearing a swimsuit and not feeling self-conscious; putting on short-shorts in the summer and not giving a fuck; being able to climb stairs without huffing and puffing. Eating without feeling guilty or compulsive. I’m after positive, affirming experiences—not affirmation through others.
  8. This is a lifestyle change, not a fix. This doesn’t end after I get to a certain weight. I have to be committed to being healthy forever. It doesn’t mean that I won’t fuck up. It doesn’t mean that I will walk the worth forever without eating ice cream again. It just means I have to change my approach.
  9. I will relish every single part of the journey. I will be present. I will not wish to fast-forward through the tough parts. When shit is rough, I will roll around in how rough it is. And I will be grateful for it. Grit is necessary to transformation. When I feel accomplished and powerful, I will scream it from the mountain tops. And I will be grateful for it. Taking ownership of my body is a revolutionary act.
  10. I will be triumphant. I have no choice, no other options. This is not a matter of if I can do this; it is a matter of when I will begin trusting myself enough to make it happen. But I can and I will make it happen.

Now excuse me while I go dance along to Beyoncé in preparation…

DAY #171: 06.18.13

MY BODY IS NOT A DISEASE.

Today, the AMA (Association of Medical Assholes*) announced that it officially recognizes obesity as a disease.

Um, cool… Wait, no. HOLD UP.

I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching and heart-reevalating and bullshit-checking during my “hiatus”. Part of all of this has been learning how to weed out the thoughts and opinions I have about my body that are not mine. Learning how to accept the fact that having a larger, rounder doesn’t necessarily make me unhealthy or gross or unattractive has been one part of this re-education.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’ve joined the fat acceptance movement (although, I don’t have a problem with the fat acceptance movement). I would say that I am more body-positive than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I make sure to not only check the negative thoughts I have about my own body, but also about others’ bodies as well. If I don’t want anyone policing my body, I gotta stop policing theirs too.

By classifying a whole type of body as “diseased”, the AMA is really fucking up my whole embrace-yoself-as-you-is gravy chain… and pissing me off. We don’t tell people who are abnormally tall that there’s something “diseased” with their bodies. Instead, we teach them how to play basketball and give them million-dollar contracts. (And for those of you who are all like, “But, um, Michelle, have you ever heard of gigantism?” As a matter of fact I have, and even it is not classified as a disease. Why? Because that’s fucked up!)

Am I saying that being extremely or morbidly obese doesn’t have severe and dangerous health outcomes? Absolutely, not. What I am saying is that by labeling a type of body as diseased, you’re also tacking on a negative meaning to the people who live in those bodies. It’s bad enough that I’ve been told—and internalized—a bunch questionable hate-speech my entire life because of how much I weigh and how much space I take up. But now, I get to be diseased on top of that? COOL STORY BRO. Actually, not cool at all.

And yes, the New York Times article also mentions that recognizing obesity as a disease may also help to get insurance companies to pay for treatments and services related to obesity. But also, how about we try to stop shaming folks for being who they are? I have literally been overweight/obese MY ENTIRE LIFE. Some girls got called pretty or beautiful when they were younger. I got called “solid” while stranger-relatives grabbed at my stomach and thighs. (Don’t even get me started on how people also assume that girls/women’s bodies are property.)

In general, I just want the discourse around bodies and fat and obesity and health and attractiveness to change. I would love for people to not equate fat with ugly. Because what people really mean is, “according to our sociocultural norms, fat strategically placed in some areas on (women’s) bodies is sexually arousing—breasts, thighs, buttocks, hips—while fat on any other place isn’t”. I would love for when my friends—skinny, slender, average, lumpy, chunky, and fat—exclaim, “I’m getting fat! I gotta change this!”, they think about what they’re saying first. And perhaps, instead, say, “I don’t like the way MY body looks/feels right now and I would like to do something about it, so I can feel better about MYSELF!”. (In a perfect world, everyone would just be like, “I LOVE MYSELF THE WAY I AM!” But, you know… This ain’t a Disney movie.) I would love for people to not ask me, “Have you lost weight?” when first seeing me after a while. But instead, “Have you read any interesting books/seen any thought-provoking films? Have you created a new art piece? Written a new poem?”

Being overweight is not a disease. Being fat is not a disease. Being overweight does not automatically equate to being unhealthy. BEING UNHEALTHY EQUATES TO BEING UNHEALTHY. And for some people, gaining weight/fat is an added consequence.

Just… let that marinate for a while. Replies are welcomed in the comments below.

– – –

*That’s not their real name, but it should be. Also, aren’t I clever?

DAY #151: 05.29.13

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK.

I am trying to figure out a way to say everything I want to say in this post… and have it still make sense. At this point, I don’t think that’s even a possibility. So I’m going to break this post into three parts and hope you are all able to follow. I’m embracing my many selves here, y’all, so just stay with me. I mean, if you want to. 

Part I: Clean Eating & Fitness Updates

As many of you have probably guessed, I haven’t been posting in PLY as much… because I don’t have much to say. I know, I know… but it just be’s like that sometimes. Since returning from damn-near back-to-back trips to the East Coast, it has been very difficult for me to gather the motivation and gumption to get back on track. I have made several attempts at preparing clean meals for the week, but I usually fall off track by Wednesday… if I actually get around to cooking at all. 

Because I’m not cooking, I have made a lot of unhealthy food choices. I have basically broken all of my cardinal rules of clean eating at some point over the last two months. I can feel the difference is my body, in my energy levels. I know what I am doing is unhealthy. I know that it’s a self-fulfilling shame spiral going on. Y’all the only thing I can tell you is that it is the end of a very challenging school year and I am EXHAUSTED. Eating garbage doesn’t help, but the convenience, immediate comfort, and instant gratification of eating out or emotional eating is winning these days. 

(And let’s not even talk about fitness… because I can’t talk about it. I haven’t been to the gym in months.)

When I discuss my journey with others, I still talk about clean eating, fitness, and a healthy lifestyle in the present tense, though. I know that this is still part of the overall journey. I refuse to be a defeatist. I refuse to believe that just because I’ve been fucking up, that I’ve ruined everything. I know that’s not true. I know I can make changes at any time. I know it’s hard, but I also know that it is do-able. I’ve done it before. I can and will do it again. I think I just need to find a way to balance everything out.

My overall life focus right now is my health, well-being, happiness, and wholeness. I’ve been making changes and decisions in other aspects of my life (which I will get to in a moment) to further bring myself “full circle”. But eating clean and working out everyday at times felt all-consuming. My hope is to be freed from feeling like food consumes and controls my life—not obsessed with it, but just on the opposite side of the spectrum. I want to have a better relationship with eating, with my body, with how I view myself. I’ve been thinking of how I can make some alterations to my original food and fitness program, so it doesn’t seem as extra’d out. I think at this point, it’s just moreso about actually making the jump and getting back on track. I expect that to be sometime in the next week or two. 

I have been incredibly inspired by a friend of mine, though. I don’t want to put her on blast. But she’s been a huge inspiration to me! She began her own health journey in August, weighing close to 300 lbs. And she’s lost more than 65 lbs to date! And she looks fantastic! She can run! And she likes it! She eats clean and exercises… but she also eats what she wants. She’s completely changed my idea of what it can mean to be in this life for real. It doesn’t have to be about numbers and strict regimens and end results. It can be about the experience and the process… and yes, discipline too!

There is a joy that she has in being healthy. And that’s how I want to feel about my journey as well—that it’s JOYFUL. Yes, I want it to be challenging. Yes, I want to feel successful. But I want to find a joy in fully being present in my body and doing what is necessary to not only look good, but also feel good. 

 

Part II: OK, But What Else Is Going On?

I’ve decided to quit my job at the end of the summer. So much of my energy and time has gone into this decision and preparing for how it will affect my life. It’s literally the only thing I think about when I’m not at work. My brain is going going going ALL day, so it’s difficult to also think about food and the gym.

I’ve decided that I cannot talk about being healthy and loving myself… if I’m not in healthy environments and doing what I love. I want to be an artist. I want to be a writer. I want to perform and tell stories and create things that matter to folks. And so, that’s where I’m trying to dedicate myself to. I don’t want to quit my job and then not be able to support myself, so I’ve been putting a lot of effort into what I need to do to make sure this transition is what I hope it to be. 

Part III: And Finally…

Even though I’m all over the place right now, I have never been happier. I am still committed to transforming my life. I am still committed to becoming a strong, healthy, fit, kick-ass woman. I think I’m still making that happen… I’ve just had to shift my focus a little bit. 

It’s all part of the process, though. All of it.

 

DAY #134: 05.12.13

IN ALL HONESTY…

I have needed to write this post for a while.

Believe me, I’ve made several veritable attempts. But… well, but.

This is a journey. I have written that many times in the past few months. I could have never anticipated what kind of journey it would become, but I knew it wasn’t going to be quick, painless, or easy. I have been overweight my nearly my whole life. To adopt a healthy lifestyle and lose weight in the process… I can’t even begin to articulate what that has meant for my self-concept and self-esteem. In many ways, it was empowering and gratifying. I mean, I was taking ownership of my body; making conscious decisions to reclaim my body from the brink of diabetes and heart disease; and asserting that I could be more than The Fat Girl. Friends, family, and coworkers began to see me in a light because I demanded that they do. You know, I can’t deny the positive affects beginning Project Love Yoself has had on my life.

But it’s hard to maintain. For the past two months, I have just been stuck. I remember how incredible it felt to be doing the work. I remember the joy and sense of accomplishment whenever I would do my weekly weigh-ins and there were 2 or 3 more lbs lost. Even now, I still reap the benefits of my 20-lbs weight loss. I damn good whenever someone comments on how much thinner my face is, or how much slimmer I look, or even the fact that a lot of my clothes are too big. (And then I feel guilty when I realize I’ve done little to nothing to earn these compliments.)

I am trying to do the self-work necessary to get beyond this road block. I do not want anyone out there who has been following my journey to believe that I have quit, that I couldn’t get ‘er done. But… (there goes that word again) I don’t know. There is just a huge part of me that is still like, “Fuck you!” to the world and its views on my fatness. I mean, honestly. And in the past two months, I’ve really been trying to unpack and rectify those conflicting messages that I’ve received about my body from others and myself.

I am just in a very weird place with my health and fitness journey, y’all. I can’t really say it much more simply than that. I know I am not done. I know some of it really does boil down to me finally sucking it up, getting back to work, and handling my emotions later. I just don’t know if that day is today… or tomorrow… or anytime this week. I also don’t know if it won’t be today… or tomorrow… or anytime this week. I am being kind to myself and allowing myself the space to process and be, without a lot of pressure or guilt. But I am also pretty adept at being like, “OK, but really, though… When is you gettin’ back on track?”

Soon. I promise. It will be soon.

In the meantime, I do feel the need to share that a beautiful consequence of the work, despite the hiatus, is how much more positive I am about life. Before Project Love Yoself, I was an extreme Negative Nancy. My mind’s default setting was on Daria mode, all the time. Especially when it came to how I viewed myself. I was always not enough.

I have made a lot of progress in being a more optimistic, hopeful person. Even though my eating and exercise is out of whack, I do feel empowered to make better decisions about my life overall. I got tired of putting myself on the sidelines, of being a passive and supporting character. I have done a lot of internal mental work to change the way I think about things.

It’s late and I feel like I’m not making too much sense. But for those of you who are still cheering for me, thank you.