Beauty in Imperfection

There is no such thing as perfect, but we live in a culture that claims that it exists. Currently, this is the second time I’ve tried to write this post. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it just “magically” dissapeared for no reason. So eff off inter-webs, I’m going to write my Goddamn piece whether you like it or not. I’m going to tell people, everyone, that they don’t have to be perfect to be good people, or be attractive. I’m going to let women know that they don’t have to look sixteen forever to be beautiful. I’m going to tell men that that they don’t have to look like a juiced up Ken doll to look attractive. People need to know that they can be beautiful without an insane amount of plastic surgery. So your shitty industry can kiss our cute asses. Asses that haven’t been injected with chemical-laden junk produced in your sterile lab. ANYWAY.

Beauty is found in imperfection. The only thing we can rely on is change, and move with it instead of fighting against it. It’s a far cry from 17, and sometimes I tear up going through photos, but we need to stay out of our “it’s just gone” mentality. You are not gone. You are still here. You are a little different, but you’re here.

My journey with health began when I was about 15. My mom put us on a no-sugar diet for a plethora of health reasons (all legit, really, just super hard to follow!) and went through the kitchen one day and threw out ALL products that had sugar in them. I’m talking salad dressing, ketchup, macaroni sauce…you name it. If it had sugar in it, in the bin it went.

For a while it was fine. We had tofu for dinner, fine. The new soy milk kind of tasted oatmeal-ish, which I liked, fine. But the sugar thing? I didn’t realize how bad I was addicted until I was rummaging through the cabinet one night and found a small jar of jelly my mom had overlooked. I ate the whole damn thing with a spoon. A SPOON. Not even thinking to make a piece of damn toast. YOU TELL ME that’s healthy and in balance.

I didn’t want to admit it, but I was going through sugar withdrawal. After the sugar high, the sugar crash, and the two pimples that showed up on my nose the very next day, I could finally admit that my body craved sugar much more than it actually should. I would binge on pop-tarts and penny candy when I could sneak them, and ignore everything they gave me to deal with. I knew better. I tried to balance our new juicing habit with healthier chocolate and home-made desserts, which I tried to convince myself were better for you. Not true…

These candies and desserts and little treats that are shoved in our faces every day are sabotaging even the best health efforts. It is incredibly hard to say no to something tempting that’s pushed in your face everywhere you go fifty times a day. How is that even reasonable? You can’t even go to get construction materials without being tempted for candy, snackies, and sugar laden energy drinks.

It is everywhere and it’s killing us slowly. It’s killing your metabolism and your drive. It’s killing your long-streak of healthy eating. It’s killing your resistance to unhealthy food choices. It’s killing your ability to say no. It wears on you. You know what is waiting for you wherever you are. In short, you can totally have a healthy diet and achieve many fitness/health goals VERY easily! The answer? Don’t leave your house! EVAR.

Of course, this is totally unreasonable and not suggestible by a long shot! I can’t not leave the house for more than one day, and I don’t think a lot of people can function like that either.

But we can do our best. We can fight our personal best. We can achieve something reasonable that is beyond our sixteen year old self. Before true puberty hit. Before we had children. Before we had a real-live job, or college, or started a business, or decided to support spouses and family members through huge undertakings. My body has rollercoastered beyond belief, and I’m finally (long time coming!) close to being happy with what I’ve achieved over the years.

True, starting out at 21 I clocked in at a slim 104. After getting married and going on birth control pills, I gained weight to 115. No big deal, until our first pregnancy saw me gain about 60 pounds. I lost almost all of it only to go through 2 miscarriages and a pregnancy. After having baby #2, I got down to 113 by the time he was 1. Add in a hellacious deployments and working my own business and helping with construction and no time for the gym , my weight fluctuated back up to 127. I’m not kidding when I say that two shitty men asked my husband if I was pregnant, as IF they are fucking perfect. A nervous breakdown led to me dropping 16 pounds in one month, and my brother bringing over pizza and telling me he wasn’t leaving until I ate at least two slices. Cue in a revamp of my life, a new gym membership, and new dieting techniques. I’m not where I want to be but damn, I’m not stuck in my old rut. I’m on my way. I’m healthy, I have energy, I can keep up with my kids, and I know I’m healthy on the INSIDE, which is the most important.

You have a little to pinch? Stop stressing or your body will hold onto it. This didn’t happen overnight, and it won’t come off overnight. You have thin lips? Well, you have awesome hair, and that’s way better! You have freckles? They are freaking adorable, please stop bleaching them! We all have things about ourselves that we don’t like, but we tend to magnify them to a proportion that isn’t realistic. Our imperfections make us what we are, who we are. If I didn’t have this extra few pounds with stretch marks, my kids wouldn’t be here. If I didn’t have unkempt hair and undone fingernails, I wouldn’t have as many projects done.

You can pop pills. You can drink energy drinks all damn day. You can live on fitness shakes and dream about real food to eat. You can eat a meal replacement bar when you could have an organic chocolate bar that will fulfill you instead. You can be as skinny as a rail, and look good on the outside. But on the inside–what do you have? You have an unhealthy body and a frazzled mind. You have a body that has no muscle, no sustainability, and no endurance. What is it worth to you?

Do not ever sell yourself short on the unstable and unrealistic platform of perfection, you have loved, helped, and changed so much more than you know.


Buon San Valentino!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! (The title is in Italian, of course!) Even if you are single, you can still celebrate Valentino Giorno because there will always be someone in your life that you share love with. Don’t forget parents, friends, and siblings that are dear to you. They would love to get a card telling them that you care, just so you make sure they know. A little thought goes a long way. Read below for a How-To:

I know a lot of people write off Valentine’s Day as a “Hallmark Holiday” and grump around about it, but I feel like they’re not looking at it the right way. It’s not just another day people spend money on others. It’s a day to take a little time to tell the people you spend most of your free time with that you care about them. Cards and gifts do not need to be expensive or extravagant. In fact, the best gifts I’ve ever received were gifts that were made, drawn, baked, or painted!

I decided to make Valentine’s Cards for my husband, sister, bff, and gfs that are near and dear to me. I love to craft, but really, anyone can whip this right up. With the babes running around I was short on time, or there would be glitter absolutely everywhere.

1.)  Get your cards, labels, or tags that you’ve either bought or made. Set them out to decide which tag goes with what chocolate.
Use a paper punch to put a hole into the tag. The one I have just happens to be a butterfly, but you could use any! Feel free to go crazy with themes here! I’m more hodge-podge…

2.)  Punch le cards/tags. If you have a punch like this, and are punching watercolor paper like I am, you’re going to get a workout. Other crafters will be smart and use cardstock at most, and be smart and use a real-live paper punch. But I like life in the fast lane.

3.)  Using shiny plastic ribbon, attach tags, tie and curl with scissors.  Ensure it’s only theee beeest chocolate. Every other day, regular store varieties are perfectly fine. But for special occasions, go the extra mile. You don’t have to spend $35 on a box of truffles, although I’m sure that will not receive any complaints! All I’m saying is…one bar of extra fine chocolate goes a long way! Go to Betsy Ann’s Chocolates! I swear to you, they are better than…well, I’m not going to bash any other brands, but I seriously think you’d have to go to Belgium to find anything better!

4.) Give! And don’t forget to give your friend/partner/family member/husband/wife a hug after doing so! Duh. That’s the most important part!

I’d also like to add for all the “Humbug Hallmarkers” (HAHA I JUST MADE THAT UP FOR REAL!!!) that Valentine’s Day is actually a REAL holiday. It actually has a few different historical backgrounds from various cultures that can be found in this synopsis. The Italian version is that St. Valentine wed couples in secret. He believed in love and promoted love. I think it’s beautiful that centuries later, there are still people that hold a day aside in the honor of love!