Sunday, May 29, 2016

Thank You, Thank You, THANK you

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and comment on my last blog post. It means a lot to have your support. It's incredible to me how many women feel the same way I do. It's sad (because I know the struggle first hand) but comforting to know I'm not alone. It's also really heart warming to hear you say that you appreciate my honesty and ability to share the deep parts of me. Honestly, it took me about 3 months to get the courage to actually draft that post and then almost one more to actually hit the "publish" button. But I'm so glad I did. It feels like part of the healing process, in a weird way.

Anyway, thanks again. I love you all. I wanted to share this super awesome book I recently read (and will very soon re-read so it all sinks in) because it has helped with my self love quest as well... It's pretty rad and really delivers what's promised. 

I'm trying to put into action some of the things I read. Gotta do that work! One day I realized that I could kill two birds with one stone by practicing my calligraphy and repeating the love statements at the end of each chapter. (totally winning!)

I might frame it and put it somewhere that I will see it often... every little bit helps.. Sometimes I feel like loving myself is hidden inside of this gigantic glacier and I am chip-chip-chipping away, clinging on to the side for dear life. Bravely trying to conquer this treacherous mountain. I will get there. I can do hard things. One day I will chip and an avalanche will fall and I will be that much closer to freeing myself. Until then, thank you for your support. I love feeling like this is a safe place to talk about my journey and keep it really real. I'll be back with something that's more fun really soon! ;)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Holy Personal, Batman: Weight Addition

Hi there.

Ok. So I haven't posted a real life post in quite awhile.

This usually happens when I've been stewing about something I want to write but don't quite have the balls to yet. Well, I think I found them.. my balls, that is. So before I lose them again I want to let you in on a big part of my life.. and me as a person.. something very few know about. It's what really goes on in my mind.

I don't like my body. Like, at all.
In fact, I really kinda hate my body, if I'm being real.
I think I'm gross.
I'm embarrassed.
I hate photos of myself.
I don't even like to look in the mirror.
It rules life in a lot of ways, this disgust. It's sad.

Now, I'm not saying this because I want you to be all... oh but you look great, or you're pretty, or any of that stuff. I'm not fishing for compliments. and I don't mean to make anyone out there feel bad about themselves because of what I'm saying about me... I'm only sharing because I think maybe there are people out there that feel the same way about themselves. Maybe they are tormented by the same demons and it would help them to not feel alone. (and also, to be accountable for how I'm treating myself.)

I don't want you to think that because I judge myself harshly or think my own body is yuck that I think that about people around me. I have honestly never seen someone and thought any of the horribly negative things about them that play on a loop in my head about myself. I can appreciate curves on other women. I can value them without regard of their size. (as it should be.) I can see their beauty.. judge them only by their character. When it comes to other humans, weight, size, etc.. it's not even on my radar. I have no problem with others. My problem is with me. I'm only cruel and judgmental to myself. I've always been this way.

So here's the real deal:
I have an addiction to sugar that is like, for reals, ridiculous.
I eat way too much fast food.
I consume mostly junk throughout most days.
I am fat.

There really is no surprise that I'm overweight. It's not a mystery. I eat terribly (most of the time) and don't burn enough calories to make up for those poor decisions (yes, even with roller derby). I go through phases where I am focused and dedicated to making better choices and I value how that makes my body and mind feel.. and then I fall into a bag of donuts. I tell myself I'll start again Monday and then gorge and when Monday rolls around.. well, you can guess what happens.

I've spent almost a third of my life now chasing a certain goal weight. Reaching it, feeling amazing and fit... and almost worthy.. and then I self sabotage and gain it back. Over and over and over this happens. You could set your calendar to my chins. I am the queen of yoyo-ing, (not the fun thing on a string kind) and I hate myself for it. I'm disappointed. I'm embarrassed. I don't have control.

Why can't I just get it together already? I am a grown ass woman that knows what it takes to be fit and strong and healthy.... what the heck is wrong with me?! More importantly, why does it make such a difference to me?

Why is my emotional well being so tied into my size?
What does it have to do with my self worth?
If I don't take weight into consideration with others why is it so crucial when it comes to me?

If I'm being really real with myself I can admit that I have deep rooted emotional problems that relate to me being overweight. Things that have manifested from my past and push me to self sabotage every time I get anywhere near weight goals. It's just one of those things that in my damaged brain I think.. when I reach this goal then life will be like this... I will feel like this... I will like myself... I will be my happiest...  If I lose the weight I'll be fine. right? problem solved?


I've been there. I've lost all the weight. Nothing changes. My body is healthier but my brain is still sick... so I'm not capable of maintaining the self care. I look in the mirror and see a worthless person (and I will admit have a case of body dysmorphia.)

I think somewhere deep down I think I am not worthy of being happy.. of feeling good when I look in the mirror... of being healthy and taking good care of myself. So the cycle starts over and I feel like a big loser for going off track and gaining and loathing and gaining and loathing and losing and still loathing that I gained in the first place. Big, small, fat, fit, I still hate my body.

Like, what even? Is this what I'm doing with my life?

Avoiding the mirror?
Tugging at my clothes?
Waiting to buy something nice for myself because I'm not the size I hope to be some day?

I am so done.

I am DONE letting this consume me. I am done self shaming and hating what I see in my reflection. (I realize this is not a switch I can flip and just magically like me.. but still, I am making a focused effort to change it.) (although I realize most of this will actually have to happen on the therapists couch)

I want to accept myself. Fully, completely, for exactly who I am in this very moment. Irrelevant of the number on the scale. I want to appreciate what my body is capable of (because it can do some pretty incredible things).

So here is my first attempt at swapping my thinking. . I, Elizabeth Gardner, am, on this here random day in May, stating that I want to love my body.  (that was hard to type. I'm not gonna lie. but I will get better. and it's the first time I've ever written something nice like that so here's to many more..)

I am beautiful and worthy at any size.
on any day.
on every day.

All those negative thoughts about myself are bull. They are not true. They have no more power.
I am enough, just as I am, right now, in this very moment. Size 16 or size 6. Chin or chins.

I'm done with this crap where I see a photo like this of myself and think... ewww. look at how fat my face is. or toss it away because of the double chin.

I want to think.. look how happy I am. Oh that night was so fun, look at that awesome shot of Hottie and I.

I want to see this and think... yes! GET it, girl. You are living your dream out there!
Instead of what I originally thought.. which was holy crap is my stomach really that big? and look at my neck! ew! delete, delete, delete.

NO! Don't delete. Celebrate. I want to force myself to see the beautiful things.. not the flaws. This is my call to action (to myself, really, but hey, why not join me, people?!) I am DONE fat shaming myself. I'm changing my focus to what my body can do in it's current state. How strong and capable I am. How beautiful.. not because of what is happening on the outside.. but because of how I feel and conduct myself on the in. How I love myself, every inch of me. (oh boy. another tough statement that I desperately want to believe.)

This year is all about self love (wrote about that here if you're curious). It doesn't start with weight loss, like I originally thought.. it starts and ends with love... unconditional, all encompassing self love. It's long overdue. The time is now. Thank you for reading and not judging. I appreciate you all.

Friday, May 20, 2016

LuLaRoe Elizabeth Gardner

Guys! I am like two weeks away from being a LuLaRoe consultant. What in the world is LuLaRoe?? you ask. And what is a consultant? you wonder. Well, let me give you the bullet version. LLR is a really rad clothing company. They produce clothing for all body types (size 0-24 and XXS to 3XL). They only print enough of each design for 1000 pieces, which means their stuff is all very unique. 

Being a consultant means that I will buy my inventory from them wholesale and then sell it. Basically, I will be my own boss. I will own my own business. I will sell online and at parties that people host. I will be in charge. 

It's nerve racking and exciting and terrifying and exhilarating, all at once.

And I can't wait! I'll be sure to keep you posted on how everything goes and will even let you know how to get into the group where I will be posting items for sale, if that's your jam. Until then, feast your eyes on these ridiculously gorgeous, exceptionally comfortable clothes!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Me Series 2016: February//March//April

 Hey! I haven't shared my Me Series page in like, forever. So why not do that today? I'm still loving this project... and the idea to use the same stamp//watercolors//color schemes for each month. Those elements tie the pages together and that's pretty cool. So here they are!


 I'm particularly excited about this layout. The watercoloring just turned out so cool! I was sort of experimenting with blending the colors and creating some sort of rainbow. Love it!

The background for March was made using the leftover egg dye we had...

So this is me, so far, and the pages I made about me. Things on the horizon: a big roller derby tournament (Beaver Fever) in Toronto, Canada. (That's right. I'm a pretty big deal. I skate internationally.) ;) Setting myself up to own my own company (What?! What did she just say? Bury the lead!) (Much more on this later.) Summer break with the kids (lord help me, baby Jesus, I can do this, I can do this, I can totally do this... sorry, sometimes life calls for a little pep talk.)

See you soon. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Citrus Twist Kits: May Pocket Life Kit

I'm back! I told you I'd be back! Today I'm sharing the projects I made using the May Citrus Twist Pocket Life and Embellishment kits. So here ya go! This spread includes the Pocket Life kit only...

This one has Pocket Life and Embellishment kit goodies...

I didn't have many photos from these two weeks in April so I went ahead and did one spread for both of them. I like the way that worked out. I might try it more often!

Here is a look at the full Pocket Life kit. You can order it here.

and here is the Embellishment kit.. You can buy that here.

and here is a little bonus project, because you know I can't help but use up every last bit of these kits..

SO thats that. I have an office full of projects and I'll share soon. I also just got done reading this awesome self help book and I am super motivated and excited to tell you about it. (I swear, it's not as lame as it sounds.) See you soon, my friends!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Messy Hair, Totally Cares

Whats up, ya'll? Long time no talk at! This happens when I have something very specific on my mind to write about but don't do it... well, I actually wrote a couple of really deep and honest blog posts but then wimped out and archived them. Soooooo. Here I am with a little surface, fun times, information instead... I changed my hair! (a sentence you will hear about 8 more times this year, I'm sure.)

When it's not filtered (as below) it looks indigo. Like right between able and purple. I LOVE it. I loved the purple too... especially when it was new and practically electric... but at least 6 other people I know have purple right now so I quickly itched to switch it up.

What do you think?! I'll be back soon with some projects to share. (Not sure I will find the cahonies to actually post my deep dark secret post.. but we shall see. You know I like to keep it real with you guys and this would be like, FOR REALZ.) But I will be back, for sure. Talk at you soon!