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Those who know me are well aware that I adore social media and try my best to use it’s power for good and not evil.  I’ve been hearing bits and pieces of something called #100happydays from friends, but surprisingly there has been no mention of Chachi.

To complete this self awareness challenge you must sign up, then post a photo via your choice of social media of something that represents “happiness” to you for 100 days straight.  All the while making sure to use #100happydays to organize your images.  This was not created to brag, it was created to inspire. I’m on board with that!

The website shares that people successfully completing the challenge claimed to:

 – Start noticing what makes them happy every day;
 – Be in a better mood every day;
 – Start receiving more compliments from other people;
 – Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have;
 – Become more optimistic;
 – Fall in love during the challenge.


Today I decided to take on the challenge because:

1. I love taking photos

2. I love sharing on social media

3. I love any reason to focus on happiness

I challenge you all to join me on this journey and sign up for your own #100happydays.  Once the challenge is successfully completed you will get a little 100 page book for free of all your images. Don’t skip a day!

Here is my first #100happydays image.  It’s a post card from a former student worker who is now serving in the Peace Corps teaching in a small fishing village in Cambodia.  She wrote to thank me for my letter of recommendation which helped her get accepted into the program.  My heart swelled with pride when I read it.


Please follow me on Instagram if you want to learn what makes me happy every day! I will gladly follow you back!


Long Time, No Write.

I would like to express my extreme gratitude to my readers who have helped me achieve over 10k views in 5 months.  I was on vacation for a week and not really posting much over the past month, so when I logged in today I was all smiles!

It has been a very surreal past few months for me.  My personal life is in a place I would not have believed if told details 6 months ago.  I’m in a wonderful new(ish) relationship with an old flame, I’m in a new living situation I’ve never been in which is pretty awesome, and my sister is getting married in a little over a week with me as Maid of Dishonor. But this is what I’ve been feeling like doing instead of going to the gym…


It’s that horrible spiral I find myself on when my health routine gets interrupted.   But these are life’s curve balls that get thrown at you whether you are sick, have little ones, have a full social calendar, or go on vacation and your gym/workout schedule gets pushed to the side.  I attempted Yoga while on vacation, but in an environment with lots of bugs and humidity in a cabin with NO AIR CONDITIONING I gave up after 2 days.  Then upon return from vacation my boyfriend moves in with me the very next day.  Not finding time to get to the gym because I’m hot and exhausted from our road trip and the move makes me realize I’m just coming up with excuses.  So I get down on myself.  This leads to a week of adjusting to the new living situation with a house in disarray and going back to work for the week.  I do have time for the gym if I made an effort, but I’d rather get the house together so it looks presentable than focus on myself making sure I look presentable.  Once again I need to change my way of thinking.

no time gym

I will stop thinking like the photo above.  I need to get my priorities back on track, I need to start making time for my own well being, and I need to remind myself it’s not too late.  I mentioned in a previous post if you fall off the healthy living wagon for a day, a week, a month, or even a year, it may be difficult to get back on but not impossible.  Of course it would be ideal not to fall off the wagon at all, but pshaw, I’m far from leading an ideal life!  What I do need is to take my own words of advice and not feel like I’ve permanently messed up my health regiment.  Time to get back to making better decisions!  It’s something I need to do, and I will.

I will take the feeling of tight jeans, joint pain, and lethargy as a reminder that I need to start moving just a little bit each day instead of feeling depressed and sabotaging myself when I go down the dark path of healthy destruction.  I will remind myself that my usual daunting 2-3 hour gym routine doesn’t have to exist.  Running for 20 minutes is better than nothing, don’t you remember that amazing feeling you get from the endorphins after a workout!?  Believe me, once I get moving, I’m good to go.  It’s the getting moving part that I have trouble with, I seem to psych myself out instead of up.

Stupid Newton and his physics laws of motion.

This blog helps keep me accountable for my actions and I cannot thank the blogging community and readers enough for it’s support and outlet for people struggling with body image and health issues their whole life.   Writing has always been easier for me than speaking face to face (though I’m definitely pretty open in person too) but it’s when I’m not open in either area when things are probably bad.  This blog helps me get out of that dark place and back on track.  I suggest anyone thinking about starting a blog should create one as a therapeutic resource on top of any other personal reasons.

So far, It’s worked for me.

This Trendy “Strong is the New Skinny” Thing (and what it could mean for the next generation of girls)

I want this woman to be my new BFF. Strong is the new Skinny! 🙂


*UPDATE: Here’s a PG-Version of this blog post, for those of you who wish to Spread the Strength among those of innocent ears*

First of all, hi everyone. It feels like I haven’t blogged about anything sociologically substantial in a while, and I might be a bit rusty so please pardon the potentially poor prose.


Now that I’ve graduated from McGill and no longer have to whittle away the hours of cushy student life by blogging nonsensically about sociological things, what have I been doing with myself?

WELL. That brings me to today’s topic.

My strange, wonderful, and illuminating journey working in the fitness industry.

View original post 2,342 more words

H&M embraces the soft and curvy

H&M Quiet Integration of Plus-Size Model Gets Loud | PLUS Model Magazine.

I love reading articles (like the one above) about how companies are using a wider range of body types, ages, and ethnicity to market their products whether in store or in print.  I especially love it when it’s one of my all time favorite clothing stores, H&M!


I think what I love most about the new softer model in the above ad is she looks curvy and healthy and still has some adorable flabby flesh in her midsection.  Most plus sized models are toned and probably photoshopped to be a larger version of a “perfect” model.  The stomach is one of the toughest place for most women (and men!) to lose weight once they get past 30!  I think most women can relate to the image of the model on the right.  Seeing this woman embrace her “average” shaped body and own her sexy & healthy body in a bikini, most of the female population will hopefully learn to do the same.

The buzz with this H&M ad right now is how it’s not loudly displayed as a “plus sized” photoshoot and the company did not set out to draw attention to this choice in models.  The swimwear is not labeled “plus sized” swimwear and there is no obvious label on this advertisement spread to that effect aside from the subtle + sign after the H&M.  The larger model is an above average model sized woman, a size 12 standing at 5’10”, which has always been the size labeled as “plus sized” in model land.  A size 12 is actually one size below the American average size of 14.  The model, Jennie Runk, actually gained weight to become a model in the “plus sized” category but hopes one day that the term “plus size” doesn’t exist anymore. I love that mindset.  I bet Kate Moss is rolling over in her grave…oh, she’s still alive (and actually looks much healthier these days yay!).  All in all, this is one great step towards body acceptance.  I’m yet again pleased with the marketing decisions being made by this trendy and affordable company.

A while back my social media feed blew up with the photos and articles about the Swedish store with plus sized mannequins.


I naturally approved of this body size variety, but realized they are not the pioneers in larger sized mannequins.  Lane Bryant has been the leading fashionable option for curvy girl fashion forEVER and use appropriately sized mannequins to showcase their 14+ sizes.  I think it’s not recently recognized because they have always been a “plus sized” clothing company, but they too should be applauded for traditionally showing their clothing on average body sized mannequins.


Stuck Between 2 Sizes.

I can fit into a size 14!!!  But the question is, can I move?



Since I’ve been focusing on strengthening and not slimming down my body over this past month, I found myself stuck between a size 14 and 16.  Ultimately my dream goal is to fit comfortably into a size 14, but I’m also happy being a strong and healthy size 16.  I was a size 12 before after I lost 100 lbs. the first time, and I looked emaciated for my 5’9″ large frame (but I also took short cuts to lose the weight).  My body structure is not meant to be a size 12 or below, without losing my kickin’ curves, and I’ve learned to accept that.  But I am feeling very frustrated being stuck between 2 sizes; one is slightly too big and the other is oh so tight.

My weight has stayed steadily at the increased 240lbs. and I still struggle with the negative notion of the numbers not decreasing even though I have been obviously eating more with my increased appetite from more intense physical activity.  Fortunately I feel great, look great, and I can tell my body is getting stronger with more muscle definition.   My legs are still as strong as ever, prepared to kill anyone who dares mess with me!  I love working my legs and glutes since they are the strongest part of my body, even though I know I should focus on my weak areas (like my core and arms).  But I’ve been sucking it up and doing Yoga and Pilates at Urge Fitness and truly feeling a difference in my core strength.

How do I get myself comfortably into that size 14?  Well, it’s pretty simple, I need to make a change in my diet.  With my increased exercise activity, my hunger is more rampant.  I’ve been eating whatever I want (but still logging calories) and maintaining my weight, which is my end goal, not my mid-goal.  But It’s good to know that once I hit my end weight goal (40 pounds to go, eek!), I have learned how to maintain.  I never knew how to properly maintain once my weight goal was reached, I always went back to my poor habits.  That is what I can take away from this plateau, but now it’s time to kick myself into full on road to wellness mode.  I am still keeping track of calories and activity on MyFitnessPal and have really noticed my poor choice in high calorie foods.  I think once I change the way I think about how I eat, again, I will start to see the results I desire.  With an increased appetite, I must choose my foods wisely.  If I feel the need to eat more quantity wise, I need to choose low calorie foods and more fruits/veggies.  Hopefully then I will see a change on the scale.

Man what a pain!  This battle of the bulge is exhausting, ongoing, but it will be worth it to lead a long healthy life where I can bug my loved ones until the end of time.

size 14

4/24/13 – 240 LBS size 14 jeans

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