Make Me Better But Never Perfect

Tonight’s Yoga Intention:


You are beautiful.

I have been on the Whole30 for two months (approaching the end of my second round), I work out five times a week, I practice hot yoga at least twice a week, and practice for 20/30 minutes after exercising on non-studio days… I feel healthy inside and out, and yet, sometimes I’m insecure. Sometimes I don’t want healthy, I want perfect, and I am beginning to see that the two will never meet.

Most days I can see my 5’11″ self, with my tiny waist, long legs, and wildly curly hair; and I appreciate the beauty in that, and how fortunate I am to be made the way I am. But as photo-shoots approach and scales/measurement don’t move, all I can see is the extra fat on my long legs, the extra tummy on my tiny waist, and the fact that I am not, and have never been exactly where I want to be as far as my body is concerned.

Unfortunately, today is one of those “you’re not pretty enough, postpone the photo-shoot” kind of days.
So tonight, when I’m exhaling my stress, I will focus on what makes me beautiful. I will focus on my heart, my mind, and my body, in attempts to understand that they work together to make me better, not perfect.

Much love,

Lucy Loves Life… and getting ready for the camera xx

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Whole 30, Day 10: The Struggle is Real

Has this happened to any of you Whole 30-ers?

I finally had a moment of ” I hate this, I want ice cream,” yesterday. I was unbelievably cranky and totally down in the dumps.  For what reason? I don’t actually know, all I know is that I wanted sugar.

I didn’t want to get dressed up, I didn’t want to go out, I didn’t want to exercise, and I really didn’t want to crack away at my massive list of “things to do before New York.” I wanted a lazy day, but I also didn’t want to sit around. I was basically miserable and the only remedy I could think of was cake.

With that, I took the day as slowly as I could. My workout consisted of walking on the treadmill, while watching Russell Howard’s Good News (HILARIOUS), and staring out of the window. I figured at least getting my steps in would count for something, right? I went to my happy place (the kitchen) and whipped up a new recipe (yum) for dinner, which always lifts my mood a little bit…

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Can you tell we really like mango salsa?

For dessert, I did something totally against the rules and made banana and egg pancakes. I know, I know…OOOOOH Lucy cheated.

It was fantastic. Letting myself “cheat” took away this intense anxiety and miserable feeling I was having, I didn’t technically eat anything against the rules, and no one died; that’s my idea of a win-win situation.

So maybe I failed at getting beyond that psychological hurdle; but with a 10 page essay, a psych exam to study for, a room to unpack, a suitcase to pack, and other random activities on my to-do list, conquering my psychological attachment to banana-egg pancakes was the least of my worries.

On the bright side: I am seeing a huge decrease in bloating, and loving it!

Much love,

Lucy Loves Life…and mango-avocado salad xx

Whole 30: Week 1 and Already A Junkie

I have officially completed week one on the Whole 30.

I’m not going to lie, I have pretty much loved every second, even the difficult ones. Why, you may ask?

  1. I have kind of fallen in love with cooking, it is my new happy place
  2. I no longer obsess over what I’m going to eat
  3. I eat because I’m hungry, not because it’s “time” or any other stupid reason
  4. I don’t obsess over working out
  5. I don’t feel deprived

So, first of all…I really have fallen in love with cooking. After a long day, I really look forward to finding a new recipe and giving it a go. The Whole 30’s new way of eating opens up a whole new way of cooking and eating, and I’m not going to lie, I’ve been geeking out over it this week. My favourite recipe? BOOM. I am literally obsessed, try it.

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So I know I said I’m obsessed with that dish (and I could totes eat it every night); but I don’t actually obsess over what I eat. Because I know everything I eat under the guidelines is a step in the healthy direction, I have no stress. I don’t worry about how many times a day I am going to eat, I don’t measure anything, I don’t eat because it’s time, or stop eating because there is an allotted portion. I eat when I’m hungry, I eat until I am no longer hungry, and food doesn’t control my life.

Neither does working out. I stay active, I wear a fit bit to track my activity to make sure I am moving enough, and I make sure I keep that activity by doing things I enjoy. Do I workout? Of course, that is part of staying healthy; but I don’t obsess over it anymore; I don’t put myself down if I could only fit in cardio but no weights or vice versa, and I will turn down a hard core gym session to go for a bike ride with my little brother.

Last but not least, I don’t feel deprived, not even a little bit. As a girl who’s house is filled with bread, wine, and dessert every Friday night, I know all about temptation.  I was actually really worried about this weekend, but I happy to report that I wasn’t at all tempted; on the contrary, I took a sip of grape juice and felt like someone had punched me. It was so sweet that all things dessert/sweet/diabetes inducing became terribly unattractive after that. I was glad to trade the apple pie for some mango, and all was good with the world.

So the the fun part; Results

Not only have I found my independence from the ball and chain that is health and fitness, I also lost 3.5 pounds. I know that you’re not supposed to weigh yourself, but it does help me stay motivated (or show me where to make some improvements), and that’s exactly what it did this week.

Granted, I’m sure some of that is water weight from the significant drop in bloating (because dear lort my body loves to hold on to water), but that is kind of amazing. I dont slave over food, I dont slave over workouts; I live happily and carefree and I still lost 3.5 pounds. Amazeballs.

How are you guys doing? Let me know!

Much love, 

Lucy Loves Life…and coconut “rice” xx 

 

Whole 30 and A Whole Chicken

Today is only day five, and I kind of promised that I would only update once a week, but today has been serious. I heard of the tales of the dreaded “Whole 30, day five,” and as I have had a pretty smooth ride so far, I wasn’t exactly worried.  Well, day 5 did bring a serious challenge and I am wondering if any of you deal/ have dealt with the same thing.

At around 10 this morning, I started to get a little hungry and immediately after realizing that, I was craving a rotisserie chicken. Seems simple enough, right? WRONG.

I live about an hour (45 minutes in good traffic) from the closest kosher market, so getting your hands on a fresh rotisserie chicken is no easy task…but I NEEDED it. When my significant other/delivery service told me how inconvenient it was, I had two options in my mind 1. starve or 2. cry everywhere. I chose the unmentioned third option, complain/beg for chicken.

I mean, how ridiculous is that? He was offering to bring me salmon with veggies, eggs with veggies, a burger, all kinds of delicious goodness; but I NEEEEEDED the chicken. 

So day five wasn’t hard because I was craving junk food, I actually still don’t miss any of it, not even when I am hungry… But day five flipped this switch that most people would baccarat me for; I am hungry, I have my mind set on what I want to eat, and if I cant have it, I literally rather starve…or cry until I’m not hungry anymore. Yes…seriously.

The struggle was real.
The struggle was real.

I am happy to report that my near tears plea worked and we drove 45 minutes to get my chicken. I happily devoured half of it with my bare hands, and with an enthusiasm that may have my coworkers concerned… #noregrets

I was Whole 30 compliant, full, and happy with life.

Has this ever happened to any of you fellow Whole 30-ers?

Much Love, 

Lucy Loves Life… and clearly, chicken xx

Whole 30 with a Student Who Never Sits Still

If you haven’t done so already, check out the Whole 9 (the brand and basic ideology behind the diet) and Whole 30 (the diet). This is the diet/lifestyle change I have taken on for many reasons ranging from weight loss to better skin. I figured this would be a cool adventure to take you guys on as I not only follow the program, but do it while keeping kosher, traveling, and going to school full time. I am a busy girl, but what good is a diet if I can’t follow it and live my life?

To the fun part: What I ate today.

Without too much fluff, let’s just jump right in!

For breakfast, I feel like I ate an unbelievable amount of food

Avocado baked eggs, sautéed kale, and an entire mango made up the ultra satisfying breakfast I had yesterday (I’m still dreaming about making that again).

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For lunch, I was in the blogging zone enough to take a picture, but here is a recipe for the beautiful burger I had, along with a side of sweet potato wedges.

 

Dinner was also very exciting, and after a workout, even more exciting! Salmon with avocado and mango salsa with asparagus to top it all off.

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Though you’re not supposed to snack, I did have 4 dates before a workout as I was feeling a little hungry and needed the energy to get through it.

To the even funner part: How I felt today.  

One word, incredible. Granted, there is still time to go through withdrawals, but I’m going to say that today my healthy-ish diet before the Whole 30 has paid off and lessened the blow. The only thing that really reminded me that I was doing this whole sugar-free lifestyle was the awesome headache due to caffeine withdrawal. I don’t miss coffee yet, but my body really did.

I have gone into this with a very positive attitude as I really agree with the ideas presented by the Whole 9. I love the emphasis on doing things you enjoy to workout (even if it’s just a walk), being outdoors, spending time doing activities with your family/spouse, and really focusing on being healthy as opposed to taking the quickest (most painful) route to skinny-land.

So, I’m not sure if it is my attitude or the true effectiveness of the Whole 30; but it’s day one and I feel amazing.  I didn’t spend the day feeling miserable as I worked towards fixing a body I hate. I felt like I was fueling a body that I love (and want to improve) on a level greater than just a number. I didn’t spend any time hungry today, I got through a decent workout (that I actually enjoyed), and I really felt like I was in tune with myself.

I won’t be doing a day-by-day of this whole thing, just because I myself wouldn’t want to read that. But I will update weekly with progress, thoughts, and my favourite recipes!

Much love,

Lucy Loves Life..and mangos/avocados xx

The Pretty Girl Stereotypes (BUSTED!)

drafthouse.com
drafthouse.com

We have all seen the movies with the pretty girl that has it all. She is beautiful, sexy, well dressed, popular, in a relationship with some hunky dude, she pays people to do her dirty work (homework, test, job assignments, etc) because she is too stupid to do it, she always gets her way, and she never eats. If I had to name a movie off the top of my head, I would say Mean Girls is a pretty appropriate example of what I mean when I described the stereotypical pretty girl.

I am extremely over the misconceptions made about the “pretty girls.” I am guilty of assuming these things when I see girl I consider to be “too pretty,” but one day I woke up and realized I was that pretty girl. Before you carry on reading this thinking that I am full of myself…hear me out…

As a young girl, preteen/young teenager age, I didn’t have a whole lot going for me. I was always just a little bit too fat, my teeth were crazy, I had no idea what I was doing with my makeup, my sense of fashion was a train wreck, I wasn’t doing all that well in school, boys bullied me relentlessly (middle school jerktards), and my overall self confidence was garbage.

I used to watch the naturally skinny girls with clear skinned smiles who had the boys drooling over them as if they were the lepers. Immediately I attached the stereotypical, Mean Girls, pretty girl label on them, because it almost made me feel better to have a reason to hate myself, and them. I envied them, I wanted nothing more than to be the pretty girl, and then one day….

I lost loads of weight, got my braces off, watched endless makeup tutorials until I got it all right, learned to dress my figure, earned my perfect GPA, shut all those boys up, and learned to love myself. Oh. M. Gee. I became the pretty girl. I became the girl everyone loves to hate…and you know what…it sucks! It sucks, SO hard!

Why? Well, let’s examine the pretty girl stereotypes and destroy each one to fully discover why it is that I wish I had braces again….

1. Pretty girls get all the attractive guys.

WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. I remember feeling a bit irritated by an innocent comment made by one of the few pre-teens I have as a Facebook friend.

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I posted this photo and she commented with “You’re so pretty Lucy. Tons of guys are probably head over heels for you!” I laughed…and then got angry as more and more people began to like her comment.

Why? Because part of me thought she should be right. Part of me thought “I look freakin’ hot today, and everybody who has ever seen Mean Girls knows I should be adored by every male that lays his eyes on me?!” But there I was, and the other part of me was thinking, adore me? Dude, I’ll take like me, or even speak to me.

My break up with Simon was fresh, and her comment poured salt in the massive wound that was my heart, because regardless of how pretty she thought I was, it wasn’t enough to make him love me. I felt pretty, and beautifully empty. My beauty didn’t buy me love, it really didn’t even buy me happiness. I busted the myth that pretty girls always get the guy, because in reality, at the height of my attractiveness, I was more alone than chubby/ugly/frumpy Lucy ever was.

I’ll go a step further and say that Simon fell in love with chubby/ugly/frumpy Lucy, and broke up with the pretty girl version.

2. Pretty girls have loads of friends

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They say that every group of friends needs the ugly girl to make them all look better…well, I was the ugly friend. I was the ugly duckling in a pond full of swans. I thought I had loads of friends because I have a cool personality, but as I became the pretty girl, I realized that was not the case. I stopped being their charity case, and became the girl their boyfriends wanted to hang out with. My friends turned into “haters,” and I wasn’t quite sure what I had done.

Years later I realized that it had nothing to do with me. My personality didn’t change… I was still the overly weird girl, who wasn’t afraid to release my man laugh if the joke was good enough.  I just became a threat, and they began to tear me down and make me feel as if I was the problem.It was then I realized that I needed friends that were secure in themselves. I needed friends that would encourage me to blossom and reach my full potential.

I needed friends that would compliment my outfit, tell me I looked pretty, and be genuinely happy for me instead of spitting it through gritted teeth. It was and still is very hard for me to ever think anyone could be jealous of me (because I am still half Oompa Loompa in my mind) but after a few major hits to my self esteem, I began to realize that being pretty does not win you friendship, it brings jealously from most, and genuinely wonderful friendships from the rest.

As the pretty girl, I have less friends than I ever have, and I am happy with that. The friends I have now want to see me succeed,they want to see me happy, they build me up, and one by one, I add another genuinely wonderful and loving friend to my group, cautiously.

3. Pretty girls are stupid.

Same outfit, different day
Same outfit, different day

A few weeks ago, I met with the honors program coordinator at my college. I was bubbling with excitement, as I waited for my meeting with her to finalize my induction into the honor society. I dressed in my usual Lucy fashion (I tend to err on the slightly overdressed but professional side of things), did my hair in a pretty, but modest style, and kept my make up as subdued as possible. I walked into her office, handed her my transcripts and my portfolio, and shook on the inside as she reviewed all of my information.

“You’re too pretty to be in this honors program,” she said in a joking manner with a slight chuckle under her breath. At first I smiled with her as I took it to be a compliment, but a few hours later, it actually really insulted me.  I was really hoping she would’ve commented on something important, like, ooooh my GPA, the exam results I stayed up until three in the morning studying for, or even my community service with domestic violence victims. But instead she felt the need to tell me I was too pretty to have the sort of accomplishments that I had.

I would love to say that it is just her, but to be honest, there is something about a woman that knows how to apply a bit of make up, pop on a pair of spanks and hold an intelligent conversation that really freaks people out. I am very ambitious, I have very well formed opinions, and there are very few things in this world that make me happier (or more heated) than a conversation with a person who challenges those opinions and forces me to think. So for her to just whittle me down to pretty face and assume that I couldn’t possibly be as smart as the transcripts in front of her described, was infuriating, insulting, and above the rest, disappointing.

4. Pretty girls have the perfect life. 

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No. No. No. There are some days I wish I could just be the version of myself I was too busy hating. Sometimes I wish I could go back and enjoy that time in my life. I wish I could go back and tell fourteen/fifteen year old Lucy that her idea of perfection wasn’t going to win her the handsome boyfriend, a million friends, and loads of respect. I wish I could tell her that there is more to life than that. I wish I could tell her that sometimes being the pretty girl makes life harder than it needs to be. I wish she knew that the clear skinned girls she hated in high school were not nearly as fortunate as she gave them credit for. Most importantly, I wish she knew that happiness, true love, genuine friendship, and respect, are more important than straight teeth, clear skin, and a number on the scale.

Solution:

You will always find that girl who seems to have the perfect life, but as I’ve just told you, things are not always as they seem. Being the pretty girl doesn’t make life better, as a matter of fact, sometimes it gets worse. Be encouraged that you are worth more than what you look like, because pretty girls have awful days, sometimes awful lives, and no amount of physical beauty can fix that. By the same token, there are pretty girls that really do have it all going for them, but just in case you haven’t picked up on this yet, it wasn’t their face that brought them that life.

Work on yourself, so that when you finally achieve your perfect life, you will be beautiful from the inside, out, instead of just on the outside like a Mean Girls character. Work on yourself, become who you want to become, and I guarantee that the right guy, the right friends, and that picture perfect life you dream about, will find it’s way to you, sans burn book.

P.S. #5 Pretty Girls Don’t Eat

I love ice cream, and burgers make me giddier than a school girl.

If you feel the need to live on a diet, I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems, but being hungry ain’t one.

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Lettuce wrapped burger, because bread is one of the 99 problems I have

That is all.

Why Dieting Doesn’t Usually Work

Why? Because our brains are not designed to live on a controlled diet… Need more of an explanation? Watch the TED video below, for an explanation that changed the way I view dieting.

Although I didn’t know the exact science, this video perfectly sums up my main point in my Confessions of a Naturally Un-Skinny Girl video, and I hope it offers you as much insight as it gave me.

 

 

An Attitude of Gratitude

Well guys, life has been good. So good, that I may have slightly run out of sappy, soap box type, inspirational post.  Like I mentioned in my last post, some of my best writing comes in times of sadness and growth. Because I am currently over-the-moon happy…I have no real pull to write one of my Lucy-esque type blog post, but instead, I will share with you why it is that I am so happy.

Not quite all of this...but you get the idea
Not quite all of us…but you get the idea

Reason I am happy number 1: I am home with my family.

As you all know, I was away from home for about a month, and in that time I truly got to appreciate just how wonderful my family is. We step on each others toes, it’s ALWAYS loud, and sometimes the very thing I love about them all, kind of makes me homicidal…But we are a family. When we gather around the table on Friday night and mention each other in prayer, before sitting down for a family meal, I am reminded of just how fortunate I am. When I wake up to a delicious (and low carb because she is that considerate) breakfast made by my mother, I am reminded of how fortunate I am. Even the sound of my siblings shouting at each other as they argue over the television makes me feel just a bit more grateful.

They drive me up the freakin’ wall 90% of the time.. but after being away for a month, all I can think about is the fact that this won’t last forever. One day I’ll be far from home wishing we could all meet around the table, craving some of my mom’s random egg concoction that she makes me every morning, and when I sit in my very first apartment that is so quiet you could hear a pin drop, I’ll miss the chaos that was “tv time.”

I am a very fortunate girl. On top of all the other blessings I have been given, I also have five people who are always ready to smother me in love with a splash of insanity.

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Reason I am happy number 2: My love life looks less like a horror flick.

As a matter of fact, it’s kind of starting to look more like one of those movies Nicholas Sparks wrote while he was PMSing/MANS-truating (sorry Nick).

But in all seriousness, we are great, and life is bright. Our little break in the action helped us grow as people, and in a weird way, together. We have had some serious heart-to-heart conversations over the last couple of days, and even the heated ones (I am very passionate when I argue) have just given me more reason to believe that he is the one…my one.

We are both terribly aware of how quickly things can change and just go completely wrong… but I’d like to think about what happens if it doesn’t. We have stayed madly in love against the odds associated with an ocean between us, young love in general, and a break up. If we can get through that, I’m willing to take my chances with the rest.

I was fortunate enough to learn the lessons I did from being apart, without actually losing my first love. That may change, but for now…I’ve got butterflies…and right or wrong, I am grateful for it.

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Reason I am happy number 3: I’m meeting my goals

At the beginning of the last school year, I was really down on myself. After four years of homeschooling, I was terrified to begin my first year of college. I was convinced that I was no longer the hardworking smart girl, but instead the average, just enough effort to not fail girl…and the average girl I had become wasn’t going to be able to study abroad or be accepted into big fancy schools in other parts of the world.

Well, somewhere a long the line, I proved myself wrong. I am now through my first year of college, with a 4.0 GPA, and a recent induction into the honors society. That has opened doors that I would have never imagine possible. With a little help from the big man, a little faith in myself, and A LOT of hard work…I became the smart girl version of myself that I thought was lost forever.

I went from being a beaten puppy who was terrified to dream big, to an honors student who took those big scary dreams, and turned them into big, attainable goals. With as much work and growing as it required from myself, I am grateful, because I couldn’t have actually done this all on my own.

I am so very fortunate it makes running out of awesome things to write about worth it (almost). But I will be back at it this weekend, as my happiness has inspired just a few, I’m so thankful, type writings.

Thank you all for reading, as you are all something I am grateful for as well.

Much love,

Lucy still loving life xx

Give Me Your Advice!

Hey Guys! So as you might know, life has been SUPER crazy since I got home! Because of that, I have so many things to write about, and no idea where to start! I am hoping you all can get me over my writer’s block.

I have gotten person request for a tutorial on how I tame the beast other wise known as my hair, how I keep life so balanced with school, and even why I think everybody should write. So many awesome request, but I can never get to many personal opinions from you, my readers! So PLEASE let me know what you want to read. What do you want to see me add to this site? What would you like more of? Let me know! My favorite part about blog land is getting feedback from you all!

Thanks for voting! I look forward to chipping/writing away at all your awesome ideas.

Much love xx

 

What A Month Can Change

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Well guys, I’ve made it through my first month in blog land. I’ve decided that after every month I will recap what the last month taught me, and my new goals for the month to come. We will call this Where Is She Now: Lucy Edition. Like that Oprah show, but a thousand times cornier, and without, ya know, Oprah.

Because I have a million different things going, let’s break this into segments:

Diet & Fitness:

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Wow oh wow. Quite a bit has changed in the last month, in a way that looks nothing like I thought it would a month ago. I made this trip with the intentions of completing the Whole 30, being a little cardio bunny, and looking super awesome when I left, see here for more detail.

Long story short, that didn’t happen. For the first week, I was eating really well, keeping the Whole 30 detox plan perfectly…and then my love of ice cream hit. It became pretty obvious that this extreme dieting wasn’t going to work out, as realized here. So I kind of just stuffed my face and started scrambling for something different. After watching Fat Head, I decided to give the 100 grams of carbs or less a day thing a chance. OH. MY. GOODNESS.

Where has this been all my life?!

I could live with this
I could live with this “diet”

Life was splendid. I knew how much I was eating, I could plan for a cheat (that wouldn’t actually screw me up), and life became simple/freakin awesome.

As for fitness, if you hadn’t guessed…I didn’t become a cardio bunny. On the contrary, I lift, like… properly. My workouts mainly consist of weight training, with two cardio days a week. The result?

Prepare yourself…

I ACTUALLY HAVE A BUTT!!!!

I would post a photo but that’s just rude.

Granted, I’ve always had a booty, but in a month’s time, it has lifted and firmed up in ways I didn’t think possible in such a short amount of time. If that weren’t enough, I’ve also really come to love having a different form of progress. When being fit goes beyond the scale, and into a measurable change in my own strength, I feel empowered instead of just thinner… That is priceless! I didn’t expect a booty out of this whole thing…I just wanted to be skinnier. The scale has only moved two pounds, but how can I argue with this booty thing?

Emotional Changes:

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At the beginning of this month, I sat in the airport, holding back tears while examining the state of my life at that point in time. I was disappointed as I saw my family change and experience amazing things, while I just wallowed in the fact that my life had disintegrated in a year. Last month I sat in the airport as a girl still crushed by her break up, still mourning the summer before, terrified of what the next year had to bring, and still grieving everything my life no longer was without my boy… I won’t go into full detail, but here is a little glimpse into why I was having said meltdown. I am a professional pity party thrower, and that is exactly what I did.

A month later, and the only thing I have learned was how much I have learned! It was when I found myself all alone that I realized I needed to learn to love and grow myself, by myself for my sake, and for the sake of those around me. This month, I have done just that. Being away from my family/friends, having no distractions, and being so single it’s crazy, I had time to really find out who I am, and as it turns out…I really like myself.

When I wrote Are You A Psychotic Girlfriend?” it made me realize just how much I have grown and blossomed on my own. As a result of all this new found confidence and stability, I am a better daughter, partner, friend, and person. The relationships I have with those I love are currently the best they have ever been. It wasn’t until this month that I realized that I was impossible to love, because I thought I was unlovable, not because I actually sucked at life. I crippled my own self esteem, and made everyone that came into my life, fix it. So once I changed that, life got brighter, the birds sung louder, and I cant think of anything to say more clique than that, so you’re welcome.

Moving forward:

 

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I owe all of these changes to my beliefs, the change in my family life, maturity, and my independent need for constant change and growth. So to keep that change and growth going, I’m going to go ahead an outline my goals for the coming month. Because my ultimate goal here is to build the very best version of myself before leaving to study in the United Kingdom (well, England), so naturally all of my goals are centered around those two things.

In the next month, I will be getting all my school stuff squared away, finalizing the papers for my induction to the honors program, studying for the SIX exams I have to take in November, writing an amazing personal statement, spending as much time with my  friends and family as possible, and maintaining all of the awesome things I have achieved the previous month (especially the booty building thing). All while enjoying my summer and new found lessons.

A huge thanks to all of you that have commented,subscribed, shared, and helped to make this blog more successful than I could have ever imagined in such a short time.
Much love,
Lucy xx