Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's Not The Miles, It's How You Live Them

Watch the video below.

And I DARE YOU not to smile.

Welcome back.

You smiled, didn't you!?


When I first watched the above video, I was immediately inspired for my race on Saturday (my fifth half marathon in case you've missed me talk about here, here, and here).

It's not the miles themselves that matter during my half marathon...it's how I run them.

Honestly, I'm not sure if I will hit my PR on Saturday.

I'd LOVE to finish in 2:45 or less.

I'd be HAPPY with finishing in under 3 hours.

But above all, I'd be happy if I can look back and say I enjoyed every single minute of my race.

I'll smile at every spectator that catches my eyes.

I'll thank every single volunteer.

I'll laugh and find inspiration in every sign I see on the course.

I'll high five my friends when I see them on the course.

Heck, I'll high five complete strangers.

I'll stretch when I need a break.

I'll take pictures.

I'll live tweet (follow me @AshleySieb) during applicable walking breaks!

And I'll definitely be thinking about how far I've come on my weight loss journey.

November 2011:

238 lbs.
Word that comes to mind: Struggling.
I cried for an hour straight when I saw these pictures last year. Why?
Don't make me say it..

October 2012:

222 lbs.
What that comes to mind: Flying.
I smiled really big when I saw these pictures. Why?
You can tell I am much happier in my own skin.

You know what, I take that back.

I'm pretty positive I'll hit my PR on Saturday.

"Your belief determines your action and your action determines your results, but first you have to believe." - Mark Victor Hansen

Much love,


Oh Maya, I adore you.

And in case you are wondering....

Rainy days help me appreciate the sunny days.

I've never lost my luggage. But I also keep my most important items in my carry on. Now, if I lost my favorite pair of boots forever- well kids - I might be heartbroken for a few days.

And tangled Christmas tree lights make me laugh. Mainly because Justin is the one who puts the Christmas lights on the tree.

Try to see the positive (at least you are safe + have your carry on).

Don't worry about things you can't control (rainy days).

And learn to laugh off silly frustrations (tangled Christmas tree lights).

Your sanity will thank you later.

Much love,

Monday, October 29, 2012

Half Marathon #5: My Playlist

I asked my beloved friends, family, and blog readers to submit me their song suggestions and inspiration for my fifth half marathon this Saturday, November 3.

First and foremost, thank you to everyone who submitted their ideas...it means the world of me. I promise I'll be thinking of each and every one of you during the songs you submitted.  

You will all be with me through these 13.1 miles.

Theresa Robinson:
Hats Off to Larry by Del Shannon (A song my Grandpa Larry requested we play at his funeral. Yes, I'll be bawling this first mile, but I am dedicating the first mile to my Grandpa Larry. Thanks for the inspiration, Mom!)
Some Kind of Wonderful by Grand Funk Railroad
I Wanna Talk About Me by Toby Keith

Heather Lauren:
Where the City Meets the Sea by Getaway Plan
Shut Up and Watch Me Go by Ting Tings
Werk Me by Hyper Crush

Meggie Dials:
Get Back by Luda
Remix to Ignition by R Kelly
My Body by Young the Giant

Emily Grounds:
Domino by Jessie J
Freak'm Dress by Beyonce
You Oughta Know by Alanis Morrisette

Hilary Rose:
Let It Be from Across The Universe Soundtrack
Crank Dat by Soulja Boy
Gossip Folks by Missy Elliott

Melissa Webb:
Born This Way by Lady GaGa
I'm Sexy and I Know it by LMFAO
Because We Can by Fatboy Slim
Elizabeth Eastes:

Fight Like A Brave by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Seven Nation Army by White Stripes
Toccata-Trans Siberian Orchestra from Night Castle CD

Chad Hinen:

Renegades of Funk by  Rage Against the Machine:
Run This Town by Jay-Z
God's Gonna Cut You Down  byJohnny Cash

Justin Sieb:
Till I Collapse by Eminem
Ni**as in Paris by Kanye & Jay-Z
Gangnam Style by Psy

Josh Dials:
This Is How We Do It  by Montell Jordan
Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine
Let's Go by Matt & Kim

Ryan Green:
Warm Night Glances by Ryan Green
Swirl by Ryan Green
Safe and Sound by Ryan Green (a song Ryan wrote about we finished our first 10 miler together!!!) 

Sarah Eutsler:
Here It Goes Again by OK Go
Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance by The Black Kids
I Don't Feel Like Dancing by Scissor Sisters

Sarah Murray:
Wanna Be My Lover by La Bouche (from the Night at the Roxbury)
Backstabber by Ke$ha
Remember the Name by Fort Minor
Let's Go by Lil Jon, Twista, and Trick Daddy

Melanie Allen:
Wolf Like Me by TV on the Radio
Call Your Girlfried by Robyn
Saturdays by Cut Copy

Taren DeBolt:
Take Me Over by Cut Copy
Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
Moving like Bernie

My Extra Picks:
Distubia by Rhianna (for Ann Semon)
Don’t Stop Believin by Journey
We Weren’t Born to Follow by Bon Jovi
Bulletproof by La Rou
Runnin Down a Dream by Tom Petty

I have a sneaky feeling this will be my best half marathon yet. 

A reminder.

And to my fellow friends running the half and full marathon on Saturday morning with me:

But really, if one of these has to happen- let it NOT be the latter.
P.S. I tried to capture all of the song ideas, but if I missed your song submissions send me an email or comment below!

Much love,

A Small Price to Pay for a Smile

Today's blog post is sponsored by the life of Ashley Sieb:

"Well, I've gained my all weight back..."

Yes that means I am back about up to around 228 to 230 on any given day ...bahhhhh.

But instead of stating the obvious (aka I've been stressed out - not working out as much - and eating poorly), I've decided to focus on the positive events that occurred today.

The Compliment

While walking to the bathroom earlier this morning, I saw Jami at her desk.

She had a giant smile on her face and waved when she saw me walk by. She was talking to Jeremy, so she didn't have time to chat...but her smile was bright enough to perk me up.

Lesson One: Smiles are free!

Later that morning, Jami and I had a meeting together.

"By the way," Jami said. "You're looking really thin! I wanted to tell you that as you walked by earlier this morning!"

"Jami," I said. "God love you. I've gained nearly ALL my weight back. And I've been feeling fat and miserable...and okay, I don't want to go on a tangent here. Thank you SO much for saying that...it really made my day."

"Oh, really?" Jami asked. "I never would have guessed. Well, you look great!"

Maybe I've gained some water weight.

Maybe I'm bloated for eating cheese all weekend (you guys, I know- but I am addicted).

Maybe I'm "gaining muscle weight." 

Either way, Jami's compliment made my morning.

Lesson Two: A compliment is free. 



And appreciated.

The Random Act of Kindness

I stopped by McDonald's on the way home (insert reason #45040 why I have problems losing weight + keeping it off). I only got a Medium Fry (which I shared with Justin- so technically a small fry) and an unsweetened iced tea...in case you couldn't sleep without knowing what I ordered.

Anyway, this McDonald's was one of those stressful "two at a time" drive thrus. You know- the ones that usually result in one person getting angry with the another person about "who should go first."

Per usual, I couldn't tell what the car in front of me was doing, so I pointed to him and said (as if he could hear me with his windows up), "Are you going or am I going?"

He was an ADORABLE old man - not like 100 years old - but probably late 60s. And if you know me- you know I LOVE old people!

He smiled and signaled for me to go ahead.

What a sweetheart.

So kind.

And happy.

I decided at that moment I was buying his dinner. I didn't care if it was $1 or $50- I wanted to make his night for being so kind.

I pulled up to the window and said, "Hi! Can I please pay for my meal and the gentleman behind me in the black F150?"

The young girl at the drive thru looked shocked. As if no one had ever done such a thing....

"Oh wow, you want to pay for him?"

"Yes please!" I said. "And just tell him I said 'Have a great night!'"

She smiled.

"Sounds good!" she said. "His total was $2.18."

"Oh that's completely fine," I said. "Thanks for letting me know."

I pulled forward and tried not to be a giant creeper as I watched the young girl tell the older man I paid for his meal.

I saw his face light up again.

Much brighter than before.

He leaned out his window and shouted, "THANK YOU!"

I could hear the joy in his voice, and it melted my heart.

I leaned out by window and said, "You're welcome! Have a wonderful evening!"

Lesson Three: $2.18 is a small price to pay for smile.

His sincere smile couldn't escape my mind. While driving home, I had my radio up loud and I was excited to get home to my family. 

Just then, I saw a police officer pull out. I looked at my speedometer and I was going 15 over. 

"Oh great," I said to myself. "I'm going to get pulled over now. Oh the irony..."

But to my luck (which I never have), the cop didn't pull me over. 

I smiled.


Do good to others, expect nothing in return, and good will come to you...

Much love,

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Success Tastes Salty

Usually the night before a race, I am a wreck.

I am worried sick and over-analyzing every mile.

I panic over my pace...worried the struggle bus will pick me up!

But on Friday night, I was the complete opposite. I was relaxed (well as relaxed as I'm capable of feeling) and most importantly, I was excited. I even went Happy Hour for a few drinks right after work, which was a blast. The laughs were much needed after a long week.

When I got home, I quickly packed my bags for a sleepover with the girls. Carla made an incredible dinner: two kids of pasta, bruschetta, salad, and pumpkin cheesecake.

Carb Heaven.
And unlike any other race before, I spent the night before drinking wine and laughing with my new and old friends.
My sign: Success tastes salty, not sweet.
And Carla surprised all of the girls with hats, gloves, and socks!
Carla and I stayed up late watching "Raising Helen" and talking about our boys, work, family, health, children, Joe Biden's smile, friendship, knitting, and the race- not necessarily in that order. I also learned that Carla has done 14 half marathons, how awesome is she!?

Anyway, we decided our marathon relay was 100% about having fun and cheering on our girls. I said I wasn't out for a personal best, even though I secretly wanted to hit my goal pace and finish around an hour. Our team name was ROY G BIV. And we all decided to dress like a color in the rainbow (obviously).

Race Morning

Despite having a "stress free night", I woke up race morning anxious. I was in full blown "Ashley Stress Out" mode, which means:
  • I couldn't find my cell phone. Thankfully I wasn't driving or I would have lost my keys too.
  • I misplaced my safety pins for my bib number.
  • I forgot to charge my iPod the night before.
  •  I realized I didn't bring my comfortable running underwear (stay tuned for more info on that one).
Carla, knowing me better than I know myself sometimes, was perfect at calming me down. She helped me find my phone, get my safety pins, wait while I charged my iPod, and well- I left the underwear concern to myself.

Before the race! ROY G BIV girls!
Here We Go

The relay had four legs:

Leg 1: 5 miles (Me- purple)

Leg 2: 7.5 miles (Lindsay- pink)

Leg 3: 6.55 miles (Carla- green)

Leg 4: 7.15 miles (Jami- yellow / neon)

Walking to the start line, I was flooded with emotions. My running journey has been incredible, and this race is where it all started two years ago. I had two great friends by my side as I completed 13.1 miles for the first time in my life. And on Saturday, I had 3 more friends by my side as we tackled 26.2 miles together.

Carla walking with me to my corral!
Before I entered my corral, we all put our hands together and did a loud cheer together. Our chant was the perfect way to say goodbye before I kicked off the race. And then I was alone- stuck inside my own head.

When should I start my music? I asked myself.

Should I start it now? Well, what if I miss people cheering for me before I cross the start line and it looks like I am blowing people off.

Okay, I'll start when I cross the start line. But what if I am too focused on trying to start my music and I trip over the rugs? Then I'll get trampled all over and die.

 Just start it now.

No, no- just wait until you are a quarter mile in!

Just then, I heard the girls yell my name. I turned back and waved to them. A few seconds later, I heard my name again.

Am I hearing voices inside my head?

No, sure enough I did hear my name again and my friend Kiersten came running up to me. She was running her first half marathon! She looked incredible! I heard she ended up killing her first half marathon and finished strong. I'm so proud of her...and honored that she said I was an inspiration to her during her first half marathon journey.

"I saw someone dancing and I knew it was you." - Kiersten, as she came running up to me
We parted ways and I was alone again.

It was just me, the adorable old lady next to me, and my iPod- which I still didn't know when I should start playing it. Despite my anxious mind, I took a few minutes to soak in my surroundings. I looked around at the beautiful leaves changing colors, happy faces, dancing old ladies, and families cheering on their loved ones in the race.

Beautiful Fall morning.
Leg One

One minute into my run and I was miserable. Why?
Well, my shirt was riding up my stomach, so I had to keep adjusting it.

And remember how I forgot my comfortable running underwear? Well, the pair I had decide to ride down my butt  and were slowly rolling into a thong. Honestly, I've never been so uncomfortable. Ever.

I was getting hot, so I wanted to ditch my gloves and hat immediately. As I was doing so, I ripped my earphones out and one of them broke.

You can't be serious right now...

Just then, I ran into a friend from high school - Ashlee. We chatted for a few minutes and then I couldn't handle my situation for another second.

"I'm so sorry, Ash," I said. "But I have to pull off the course to get my life together."

I hopped onto the sidewalk and then:
  • Ripped off my hat and gloves.
  • Pulled down my shirt and prayed it would stop riding up (or I would stop noticing it).
  • Attemped to fix my earphones. 
  • And most importantly, adjusted my underwear.
Finally, I was ready to run again, so I jacked up my iPod...and my pace!

Running with music was awesome. I put my iPod on shuffle and tried my best not to watch the clock. And I purposely didn't turn on my Run Keeper app.

Around mile two, I seriously considered going into the bathroom and just ripping off my underwear. Hulk Hogan style.

But, I didn't want the clock against me so I kept running.

I maintained a pretty consistent pace, despite a few walking breaks and hills.

Around mile 4, I ran into Carla and her boyfriend, Alec. When Carla saw me, she started screaming loudly. Her loud cheers were the PERFECT pick me up. She started jumping up and down like she was at a Backstreet Boys concert and said, "You are doing AMAZING."

She jumped in to run with me and said, "Look at how fast you're going. And look at your little booty, you look incredible!"

She slapped my butt, wished me luck, and ran back to Alec.

I didn't know how much longer I had, so I looked at my watch and decided I would take a 30 second walking break - just to stretch out my legs and fix my underwear (obviously).

Five seconds later, I ran into Jami (my other teammate).

"YEAHHHHH ASHLEY!" Jami yelled.

I ran over to her and gave her a high five.

"You're so close, Ash! Just right up the road and you're there- finish strong."

So much for that walking break. 

I laughed and then kicked it into high gear.

The mile 5 sign kept getting closer and closer...and I could see that I was minutes away from an hour! I was going to hit my secret goal!

The moment I saw Lindsay, I sprinted up to her. I was pleasantly surprised with the strength I still had inside me. I felt like I could have kept running- yet another good sign my upcoming half marathon will go well.

Lindsay and I switched the ankle tracker, exchanged encouraging words, and then she was off to tackle the longest leg of our course.

Nailed it.
I finished around 1:05, which included the time it took to transfer the ankle tracker to Lindsay. Either way, the official race pace put me at 13 minute miles. My last half marathon pace was exactly 14:28 minute miles...needless to say, I was ecstatic!!! 

Becoming a Cheerleader

The rest of the day, I was a cheerleader.

I cheered my teammates- who ROCKED their legs. I even got the chance to run with Lindsay during the final minutes of her leg. She was FLYING, so I was surprised I could keep up. I was so insanely proud with how all of the girls did. I think everyone walked away from their leg feeling accomplished and pleased with their pace. 

I cheered for friends I spotted on the course (Cindy, Emily, Meghan, and Amy, to name a few).

And, I cheered for complete strangers.

A few times, I got so emotional just watching the expression on people's face as they approached the finish line. And by "a few times," I mean I cried at least 10 times.

I loved watching the expression on people's face change when you told them something encouraging. You could tell when your shouts gave them that extra burst of confidence to finish strong.

Some people were happy.

Most people were in pain.

A handful of people were crying - probably both from happiness and pain.

The End To Be Continued

Jami had a strong ending for the ROY G BIV girls. I toyed with the idea of jumping in with her to cross the finish line together, but honestly she was FLYING and I didn't know if I could keep up with her. My heel was hurting and my muscles were tight.

"Jami, you're amazing!" I shouted. "Great finish!!!"

Medals and smiles.
Together, we completed the marathon in 5:02.

And we immediately started making plans for next year.

Thank you so much to everyone who cheered us on - your tweets, Facebook messages, text messages, and phone calls meant the world to me. And most importantly, I couldn't have done this race without such amazing, strong, and inspiring women by my side.

Less than two weeks and I'll tackle my fifth half marathon. Our marathon relay was a huge confidence boaster. And don't worry- I'll buy new headphones and wear my comfortable underwear. Some things you just learn the hard way...

Much love,

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Secrets of Adulthood

My stress level has been at record highs in September and October. I can't even tell you how excited I am that my life is finally "slowing down."

In order to cope with my stress and the chaos I call life, I started reading a book called, "The Happiness Project."

I am only a few chapters in, but I've already determined next month I am creating my own Happiness Project.

And what's my focus for the first month?


Finally, right?

Three items on my list for next month include:
  • Start Yoga
  • Spend (at least) one day surrounded by nature
  • Leave my computer at work unless I have a major project due
I'll have my entire Happiness Project mapped out soon. In the meantime, I'm creating a list my list of adulthood secrets to consider throughout my project, which is something the author also created in her Happiness Project.

Here is my current list of adulthood secrets:

The real way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you take in. Weight loss simply comes down basic math.

Speak your mind- most people aren't mind readers.

Hangovers get worse with age. In an attempt to avoid feeling like death the next day, drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume.I promise it works!

You can't change other people, but you can change your attitudes and perceptions of those people.

Stand for something or you will fall for everything.

You can say "NO" - the world will go on.

Mistakes happen. Own up to your errors and learn from them.

Most everyone has an agenda. What's yours?

People are in your past for a reason.

Be on time. Better yet, be early.

Don't talk bad about people.You can never take back the words you say aloud...

Karma- it's real and always comes back your way. Good or bad karma, well - that is up to you!

Always send a handwritten thank you note after a job interview.

Hold the door open for everyone. You never know who will open up a door for you in the future.

Bacon makes everything better. Everything.

Don't talk about religion or politics while drinking.

Black really does make you look thinner.

Always tip your servers 20 percent (or more if they were awesome) - they only get paid $2.13 an hour!!

Strive to always to see similarities in people instead of fighting over differences. 

Few women can pull off red lipstick.

You will work with someone you don't get along with...but you will become a better and stronger person as a result.

Don't harass the DJ at wedding receptions.

Be kind to everyone...you never know what sort of battles they are facing.

Time is the best gift you can give or accept.

If you don't like something, change it. Don't complain.

Runners high is a real emotion-feeling.

Perception is reality.

Giving is more rewarding than receiving.

Ask questions until you fully understand your project, purpose, and mission.

Failure will teach you more lessons than winning. It's perfectly normal and acceptable to fail.

The rainy days help you appreciate the sunny days.

Taking a deep breath and counting to 10 really does work!

Don't worry about things that haven't yet happened.

You're only one person. You physically can't be everywhere for everyone all of the time.

Your parents are right 97.5 percent of the time.

You can do absolutely anything you set your mind to accomplishing.

Go to bed early so you can wake up early- every minute of your life is a gift.

Much love,

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Mile in Your Honor

I’m tackling my fifth half marathon in less than a month.

My first goal was to finish the race (despite an awful bike accident the week of the race).

My second goal was to get a PR (and it ended up being the worse race ever).

My third goal was to get a PR (AND I  DID!)

My fourth goal was to survive (I was battling an injury the entire course).

My fifth goal- this year- is to again, get a PR. The one that I’ve been striving for ever since I first started: 

I want to finish the race in 2:45 or less.

So, I’m mixing up my race strategy.

First – I’m running two-10 mile milers during training (previously, I’ve only done a 10 miler ONCE – if at all!).

Second (and relative to this blog post)- I’m listening to music throughout the entire race, which I've never done before...However, I’m thinking the music might keep me motivated and inspire me to run harder.

Here is how you can help…email me, facebook me, tweet me, or comment below THREE SONGS! 

Why three songs? Well, it should take me about 3 songs to complete a mile! 

Explain why you picked those songs for me and I’ll add them to my playlist. While running, I’ll think of you and why you picked these songs for me!  So, in a way- you’ll be with me during my half marathon. 

I’ll post my final playlist before the race- stay tuned!

Much love,

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Don’t Let Bullies Define Your Self-worth: A Short Memoir

The scars of bullying can last a lifetime.

The cruel words seem to never escape our minds.

While I’ve been blessed enough to have some AMAZING, ENCOURAGING, and LOVING family members and friends (like you reading this blog post)…it’s taken many years to let the positive words beat the negative comments and stories. 

And when I saw this video today about a beautiful woman who defends herself when a man called her fat, I felt so inspired to support and spread her words! Go watch this video and then come back to my blog. I'll be waiting...

Thanks for coming back! Isn't Jennifer AMAZING?!

Back to my story...It’s taken many nights crying myself to sleep to realize that people in your life who are worth it won’t make you cry.

Not like that.

They won’t make you cry until you can’t breathe.

Unless, they are gone from your life all together.

Growing up, I was awkward.

Those were the "chubby girl" jeans I rocked all the time!
Thank goodness I had the best sisters around to constantly perk me up.

Plain and simple.
Elementary school - pre major weight gain. Just extremely tall.
I was probably in 4th grade here and I'm almost as tall as the Christmas tree.
And yes, I'm dressed as an Elf in a red trash bag.

My parents and Grandma Kaye will tell you I was the “most beautiful teddy bear brown eyed girl in the world” – but in reality, I was tall, chubby, and loud.

People didn’t understand me.

And many times, I didn’t understand me.

But isn’t that what growing up is all about? Understanding who you are…

Anyway, elementary school was the hardest.

I was so much taller than EVERYONE!

I was constantly teased about my height and weight.

I can’t even tell you how many times in my life another kid called me fat.

Or say things like, “Hope you don’t break the swing set!”

And at other times, they’d ask, “What’s the weather like up there you jolly green giant?”

To this day, I hate wearing green in fear of comments like that…I’m older, wiser, and stronger. But as I said, the scars last a lifetime.

Going into middle school, got slightly more complicated. A few times I would be walking down the street, and older kids would yell out the window at me.


Oh god. That day.
I’ll never forget that day.

I cried the entire way home from school.

And unfortunately, I had many days like that growing up.

Kids at the pool would make comments about the swimsuit I was wearing.

Or say things like, “I wouldn’t ever date a girl like her, she’s fat!”

It hurt.

Oh, it hurt so bad.

I remember one time in middle school, I forget my lunch money. I only had 50 cents, and a slushie was 50 cents. Now, it wasn’t a nutritious meal, but it was something to hold me over until 3 pm. (And thankfully, I never skipped breakfast).

While walking out of the cafeteria, one of the most popular boys in school yelled out, “Hey Ashley- are you finally on a diet or something?”

The other kids at the table started dying laughing and I walked away fighting back tears.

Eventually, I “peaked” in high school. I lost my extra weight (though, not in a healthy way). But looking in the mirror, I often saw the chubby and tall girl from fifth grade.

I let the words of bullies define my self-worth.

Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and blogs weren’t as popular (or available) when I was in elementary, middle school or even high school. So cybering bullying wasn’t a big worry for me…but the in-person bullying was hard enough. I truly can’t imagine all the pain and hurt kids go through today with these outlets available for bullies to hide their faces, yet still say hurtful words to others.

To the children getting bullied, I tell you from experience: you’ll be the one laughing one day.

The kid who asked if I was finally going on a diet? He has been in and out of jail. Meanwhile, I have a college degree and secure job doing what I love.
Office Olympics, anyone?

The kid who called me fat at the city pool? I’m skinner than them today.

And I probably run faster than them too.

The kid who said no one would ever date a fat girl? I’ve married the most amazing, incredible, loving, talented, and handsome man I know!!
And we have a blast together.
Do not let the words of bullies define your self-worth.

My advice for overcoming bullying?

Surround yourself with positive people.
I find it impossible to be sad when I’m around certain people. How can you be sad when you’re laughing and smiling until your cheeks hurt? And you may or may not pee your pants from laughing so hard? Those are the people you need in your life. Those are the moments that matter most in life.

Tell someone- anyone- what you’re going through with bullies. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable telling your mom or dad, so tell a friend, cousin, aunt, uncle, teacher, mentor- it doesn’t matter who you pick, as long as they support you and lift you up when you need it the most.

Focus on the “shouts of many.” There are SO MANY people who love you. Who want you to succeed. Who think you are beautiful. Who think you could do anything in this entire world, if only you have the confidence and heart to do so.

Stand up for yourself!! This doesn’t mean being a bully back…because often you’ll find that bullies are saying mean things and starting fights because they are unhappy with who they are…or maybe they don’t have a happy and healthy home life. Instead, tell them straight to their face:

“Your words mean nothing to me.”

“You will not bring me down.”

“I’m better than you say I am.”

Because you ARE better than they say you are. Way better.

And finally, to end this blog post…I want to encourage ALL OF YOU to stand up against bullying.

Be that friend, cousin, aunt, uncle, teacher, mentor, parent who helps someone get through the bullying (which by the way, can happen at any age…from preschoolers to middle schoolers to college students to middle-aged people to retirement homes…bullying is everywhere)!

If you see a kid- who you might not even know- getting picked on, stand up for him or her.
It might just change his life or her life.

Or better yet, save their life.

So, my weight? I still battle with it every single month, week, day, hour. But I'm finally comfortable in my own skin.

And the weather up here? Well, it's a lot brighter now that I'm defining my own self-worth.

Much love,