I’m Fat Now

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To everyone who has noticed that I’ve “gotten bigger since I got married”…

You’re right. I have.

I went through a terrible break up once and stopped eating real food for 3 weeks, or maybe longer. All I ate were Doritos and coffee. I am really not exaggerating. But I felt like I looked awesome. Now, looking back on pictures, I think I must have finally achieved my magical goal weight. I have never had an exact number as a goal weight. I figured I’d just know it when I’m there. But that’s not true because even in those dark days when I was so sad that I could barely keep anything down, I still thought I was fat. I still looked at that time as a chance to reinvent myself. I could finally become the thin, cool girl I had always wanted to be. Now that I didn’t have a boy to go to dinner with and eat ice cream on the couch with nothing would stand in my way. The weight I look back at now, while not “skinny” in the way we think we need to be skinny, looks almost too thin. Then again I would have said, “I can still be thinner.” Couldn’t we always be just a little bit thinner?

Now look at me. I’m 40 pounds heavier then my lowest adult weight. I don’t really do anything about it. I have bad eating days, and I have normal eating days. I have weeks where I think I’m really gonna build a habit. I meal prep fresh veggies and nuts and fruits. I’ve even gone through a few smoothie phases. I recently had a gym membership. I saw a trainer once or twice a week for a couple of months. When I started gaining weight and couldn’t stop thinking about the numbers I quit. Sometimes I work out in my living room while watching tv. Other times I work out while watching an exercise video. Other times I just practice squeezing my abs and clenching my butt cheeks while I’m driving myself to work. Every time I do one of these things, I always think, “If I can just do this X many times per week, I’ll weigh X many pounds and then I can put pictures of myself on social media or attend a social event and I’ll prove people wrong.”

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My body is a bikini body.

See, I have this belief that girls are so absolutely aware of my weight and my size and the shape I take up in my clothes that they’ll base my well-being and my happiness off of my appearance. Like my success as a wife is determined by what size jeans I wear and if they’re bigger or smaller than the one I wore the last time my friends saw me. I have this image in my mind that all the ex-boyfriends and crushes I’ve had stalk me on Facebook and think about how I used to be hotter.Before I continue I just want to clear something up. I know that other people weigh more than I do. All I can do is speak from personal experiences that shape my perception of myself. In my world, I’m fat. This is the reality for pretty many girls I know.

I am fat.

I’m so afraid that someone notices I’m fat so I notice it on others too. I’m constantly searching for other bodies that look like mine to justify the pounds I carry.

So for any ladies wondering, I’ve gained 2 cup sizes since high school and 4 pant sizes. Yet I fear that each time my husband says I look great or he likes me the way I am there are 3 more girls noting my weight gain.

I feel like I’ve been trying to keep it a secret. Covering myself with my husband’s shirts, wearing sweats all day, layering hoodies under jackets, buying baggy and loose fitting shirts. If I pretend not to know I’m fat maybe no one else will? But what’s worse is someone thinking I’m fat and believing that I don’t know. What kind of crazy person would just walk around being fat and not caring about it?

Well, me.

Here I am telling the world that I’m fat and I just want to not care about it anymore. I’m already reminded every single day when I put my clothes on and something doesn’t quite fit. Every time my bra digs into my back or shoulders or when my pants tug at my waist. I am releasing myself from the real or imaginary tally sheet in the minds of my friends, acquaintances, former friends, enemies, and strangers.

My marriage is great, even though I’m fat. Sometimes I eat my emotions. Sometimes I don’t eat because of my emotions. I just don’t want to give an eff ANY. MORE.

I’m gonna wear the clothes, and take the picture, and not give a damn.

 

 

*Update: Since so many of you have mentioned that you love the swimsuit I’m wearing in my photo. I’m wearing the Cocoship Retro 50’s Halter High Waist Bikini Carnival print in XXL.

When You Give Up On Quitting

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I have felt like a dried up well of creativity for a long time. For so long in fact I started wondering if I was even creative at all anymore. As a child I used to draw all the time. I think I had a natural talent in it but when I finally started going to school and being around kids instead of in my homeschool bubble, I realized there were others who were better than I was so, I quit.

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In high school, I wrote poetry with my best friend in a notebook we shared. Someone found our notebook and made fun of it and I was so embarrassed. Shortly after, my grandma found some of my journaling and said it was ‘depressing’ so, I quit.

College brought to my attention the fact that I wasn’t as good of a student I always thought I had been. I was truly under the impression school was my “thing”. Now I could barely force myself to write a 3 page paper the night before it was due. Yet, there were people winning teacher-led contests for having the most handwritten notes in a semester.

This is not a post about being homeschooled, nor is it about me finally realizing my true talent, and its not really about comparison either. Although, all of those are stories in and of themselves and may found themselves being told another day.

Being homeschooled for a large portion of my education did mean that I didn’t have many to compare myself to. I may have had some unrealistic perceptions of my aptitudes in certain subjects. This is not to say that I didn’t have anyone to push me to learn or try hard. I had some pretty high standards set by my family. Really, I was already falling behind in their eyes. I was supposed to be on track to graduate at least two years early from high school. Unfortunately, I was just one year ahead :/  I was excelling at things that I didn’t even give a damn about to please other people and basically never doing a single thing for my own pleasure. Anytime I would find something that brought me joy and I was “bad” at it, I quit.

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I have spent a whole lot of my life running away from things that feel good and make me happy because I didn’t excel at them immediately. The shame from not being able to measure up to impossibly high standards for “important” things kept me from running ahead in the fun parts. Work first, play later, right?

Well, it’s time for that to freaking change. Because when will later be?

This week I have been making a conscious effort to open my mind and let ideas come. I’m tired of feeling about as shallow as a shower. I want depth! I want creativity and lucid dreaming and brainstorming and collaboration. I want to give ideas freely because it feels good to use my brain and not only when it serves a purpose in the “real world” and can pay the bills.

You know what has happened since I have opened up my mind?

I seem to have bloomed and found my soul.

Tell me; have you kept your creativity hidden? Do you let fear of being “bad” at something keep you from things you really love?

xoxo,
Jess

The Big Move: Pt. 1

Today I’ve been on this adventure for roughly a month and a half now. When we first left Idaho, we packed what we could fit in and on top of our car and headed out at 5:00 in the morning. First stop: Colorado Springs, CO! We figured that if we were going to take a road trip we should at least fit one friend in on the way.

A slightly drugged and mostly miffed, roadtrippin’ Lady Bird

I’ve been a member of various online groups and book clubs for the past couple of years and have made some genuine connections with a handful of really wonderful women all across the country. This trip just happened to line up perfectly with being able to meet my friend Laurie. She and her boyfriend hosted us for one amazing night at their super duper cute apartment. We unloaded our cat and headed in for the home-cooked meal and beers awaiting us. It’s not often that you meet someone after only knowing them through technology and they end up exactly as you hoped they would be. When we woke up and walked to Laurie’s favorite local coffee shop the next morning, it felt just like we had been friends for a lifetime and we just picked up chatting where we had left off on our last hypothetical coffee date.


Not my best photo, but totally road lagged(?) and blissed out from meeting this gal

After our whirlwind stay with Laurie and Kevin, we headed back out onto the road, and this time to Kansas City, MO. We arrived late in the evening and just went straight to our hotel, kitty in tow. We had just enough time to relax and watch a little tv before bed. The next morning had only one thing on the agenda before beginning the last leg of our journey. We need COFFEE. Shortly before our trip I had met up with my friend Stacey and she had gifted us with some giftcards to use on our trip. One of them happened to be a Starbucks card so we gladly used that. Unfortunately they hadn’t released their fall drinks yet, so I had to settle for a caramel macchiato instead of my salted caramel white chocolate mocha.

Just 8 short hours later we arrived at our destination, Hopkinsville, KY. Now, this was not our ultimate destination, but rather our temporary homestead while we searched for our own apartment in Nashville. We were welcomed by Connor’s mom and little brother and their dog Kamiah. Inside there were two cats as well, but they didn’t really care all the much about us.

While this ended up being just a short stopover on our way to having our own apartment, it felt so good to unpack our things and start learning how to call a new place ‘home’.

To be continued…

XoXo, Jess

photo via city farmhouse
photo via city farmhouse

P.S. A BIG BIG thanks to my Impractical Dreamers girls for encouraging me to write something today. Thank you ladies!

Where have I been? Pt. 2

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Greetings wonderful beings!

Phew! The last week has been craaaazy. But, WE’RE HERE! We made it safely to our temporary destination in Kentucky. Before I catch you up on all the latest happenings on our move I first want to catch you up on the second half of our summer.

In the last post I left off with Connor’s graduation. Around the same time we were moving out of our very first apartment. Now I’ll catch you up from that point:

June: 

Celebrated my first wedding anniversary! And we had our very first fancy weekend getaway/staycation. I watched a lot of “The Bachelor” with my friend Christina, listened to live music in Downtown Boise with Payton and Isaac, and CELEBRATED MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN IDAHO.

My love and Me

The Riverside Inn

Fun couples date with Payton and Isaac

July:

We went to a lot of parties and visited with a lot of people this month. I spent lots of quality time with my “Birdies” from work. Connor and I spent Fourth of July with my best friend Chelsea and her husband, and then finished the evening with my other best friend Karlee who happened to be in town. My family from Oregon visited. We went to baseball games. I reconnected with an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in about 14 years, SAW THE DECEMBERISTS IN CONCERT, and I tuned in for the season finale of Kaitlyn’s season of “The Bachelorette.”

Birdies from Dutch Bros on Kelly’s birthday

A best friend kind of Fourth

Visit from Karlee

Getting our cider on at the Hawks Baseball game

Me with one of my oldest friends, Olivia! All the way from Alaska

August:

This was a month of tying up loose ends, visiting with loved ones, and having as much fun as we possibly could before we left. We spent a lot of time at this amazing bar called Press & Pony, saw more baseball games, at lots of chicken wings, drank lots of beer with friends, and had a mini road trip to see our family and friends on the west coast before we headed east. I religiously watched Bachelor in Paradise with my girl Christina. This was also the month of our goodbyes. This was our month of ‘lasts’, ‘firsts’, ‘gotta do before we can’t’s’.

Boise Hawks!

Beer flight at Crooked Fence Brewery

Us with Madi at Bandon Beach

Sunday tradition with Christina

First time at Barbacoa with the best couple ever

Last coffee at Banducci’s with Karlee

First college roommates, last dinner together

These were some bittersweet memories we built but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. The only part I would change would be how desperately tired I was toward the end. Connor and I were working every day and any time not spent working was dedicated to getting last minute things done before the move and visiting with friends.

I know this only scratches the surface of our last days in Idaho but each one of these pictures could have its own post. In future posts I’d love to go into further detail. My heart holds so many words for each and every person in these photos. I hope you’ll each stick around long enough to give me a chance to speak a few to you.

Until next time,

Jess

Where have I been? Pt. 1

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Well hello, beauties!

I know, I know. It’s been so long. Am I still even blogging? Well, I haven’t been. But I’d like to continue. And I’d love to have you all continue to be patient with me and tune in from time to time.

So I’m sure you’re very curious to know why I’ve been absent so long and why I am choosing now to begin again. Short answer:

I’ve been dealing with a lot of anxiety lately. It started getting worse after I got married and continued into the summer. My typical response to anxiety is to cease all creativity because I get really caught up in perfectionism and obsessing which keeps me from actually putting anything out there. So I’m trying to reframe and create even when it’s hard and NOT being too hard on myself. I really want writing to be something that I carry on with in all stages of mental health.

There you have it.

You may be wondering, where have I BEEN this whole time? What HAVE I been doing? Well I’ll tell you:

February:

I quit one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had, which is saying something because I’ve had some really terrible jobs. I visited one of my best friends in Oregon & came back and at the most amazing job I’ve ever had.

Madi & Me before seeing “The Imitation Game”

March: 

I celebrated my 24th birthday and had one of the best parties with my very best friends surrounding me. I also bonded deeply with the rest of my coworkers at my first staff meeting and really felt like I belonged. I coordinated all the wedding day details for my former college professor and finished the month off volunteering at Boise’s annual Treefort Music Festival.

Me, Chelsea, Karlee on my favorite birthday so far

The best work family ever – Dutch Bros stand night
Genders – the cutest PDX band @ The Neurolux, Treefort 2015

April: 

I took my husband to Jack White’s secret $3 concert at the Egyptian Theater. We had two of only 750 tickets sold in a matter of only an hour or so. Lifetime dream of Connor’s come true.

My lucky wristband!

Our ecstatic faces before seeing Jack White LIVE in concert.

May:

This was mostly a big month for Connor. We celebrated his college graduation AND his 21st birthday. We also made the big decision to move to Nashville, TN. More information about that coming up in my next post! Just days after Connor received his diploma, we moved out of our very first apartment. It was a bittersweet month.

Lady Bird helping us pack

My cutie husband picking out his first cocktail

I could write a whole post on each of these memories, but since I obviously didn’t utilize this space during that time, I’ll skip on that for now. Just know that my heart is in each and every one of these snippets. So much has happened and I am deeply and forever changed. Even MORE happened during the summer. I can’t wait to tell you all!

Love,
Jess

An Open Letter to Ashley Beaudin

designed by Mandi Holmes for #fireworkpeople

Here’s what I need to say to you Ashley:

Ashley, I’ve known you for a very short time. In fact, you’ve known who I am for much less than I’ve known who you were. You say you’re all about the impact you make on this world.

Well here it is:

About 3 years ago I was engaged and he left me shortly before our wedding. I was ANGRY. For years. I was stuck. Moving on with my life, but still angry. Nothing that anyone said worked. Nothing made the anger dissipate.

I was at the point where I started believing that it was part of me now.

But Ashley, that doesn’t cut it for you. You don’t believe that for a second. You believe in the good in people when they don’t believe it for themselves.

You wrote an ebook called “33 Questions to Ask Your Heart”.

source: brightandgutsy.com

I only got through question 5.

“Are you holding onto any pain in your heart + if so, why are you holding it so tight?

And just like that, I realized I didn’t really have a reason anymore. It was over. And I didn’t HAVE to hold onto pain.

Ashley, your simple question helped me believe that I didn’t need to be in pain, and I didn’t to poison myself any longer. And now about 8 months later, I know you. And things still work the same way with you. You won’t let me believe that I don’t deserve goodness.

Not only that, but you oversee a facebook community of over 1000 women and treat them all the exact same way. No one gets left behind, no one has to believe that they don’t deserve goodness.

I love you, lady.

Sincerely, Jess

P.S. If you haven’t joined #fireworkpeople yet, you should just so you can know Ashley.

designed by Mandi Holmes for #fireworkpeople
designed by Mandi Holmes for #fireworkpeople

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 26

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Mmmmm, this question comes at just the right time.

Today it was raining off and on over the already frozen ground that is Idaho in the winter. Freezing rain, y’all.

But you know what’s best during freezing rain? Soup.

Today’s prompt asks, “What is your favorite food?”

And today I’ll tell you my favorite food is the meal I make for my husband and I while we curl up on the couch and watch A Young Doctor’s Notebook and wait out this dreadful weather.

The only thing on tonight’s menu was soup, but it was a delicious one.

Tomato Basil Soup with Three Cheese Tortellini.

I forgot to take a picture of it before my husband so kindly put it all away for our lunches tomorrow. But the original recipe I started using is from Rachel Schultz on A Household Almanac.

Photo found on A Household Almanac

I, of course, have modified it. Not to make it any better, but to satisfy my laziness. I didn’t measure anything. I made a giant pot of this to make sure we’d have lots of leftovers.

Here’s how I did it:

2 packages of Bertolli Tortellini cooked al dente.

2 16oz cans of tomato sauce
About 4 cups of vegetable broth
Heavy Cream – a splash? Just enough to make it the color I wanted.
A BUNCH of pepper and Basil
Approximately 1 TSP of Garlic Salt

Hubby approved and so did my tummy. I’m in love with this meal almost as I am in love with him❤

What’s your favorite food?
What’s your favorite thing to cook on a cold day?