Journey to the Sunshine State

Well hello beautiful people! I can’t believe it has been over a year since my last blog. That’s unreal to me. So much has changed since then but I’m not recapping over a year in this blog right now so let’s just fast forward real quick to the here & now ūüôā

If you did not know, I left Buffalo, NY on July 11th to start my trek to Fort Myers, FL where I will be teaching second grade. Gosh typing out makes it sound so easy BAHAHA. I know, I know, I did this TWO years ago when I went to Charlotte and that didn’t necessarily pan out but we can’t focus on the past or taint this experience because of that. #mindset.

Okay so the journey here let’s discuss. I took the seats out of my car and only took the essentials. AND YES I SOLD MY BED ON MONDAY AND I MOVED WEDNESDAY #bossstatus

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If you need someone to pack up your house in 3 days and fit it in a PT Cruiser, I am your girl! That was one of the most stressful things I did and I lost a lot of sleep those 3 days because I am a procrastinator but damn I purged a bunch of shit and only brought the essentials which felt GREAT! ūüôā

SO first stop was Carlisle, PA for a car show that my dad and sister go to every year (Wed-Sat) and last time I attended was when I went to Charlotte in 2016 but went for a few years as a kid too. My dad had his 1969 Road Runner in the survivor tent and this year he trailed his car with his new 2018 RAM truck and I was so happy for him! Normally he drives his 91 Ram Charger and the trailer is not a fan of that. He kept saying how he could have kept driving to FL it was so easy, LOL!

dads cars

The morning we left my sister texted me something along the lines of, “Hey let’s get tats in PA” and I legit texted her back, “ARE YA NUTS” well needless to say we spent that 5 hour drive creating our matching tat and well here ya go ūüôā I could write an entire blog about how we came up with this so stay tuned! Hers says, “I’ll keep you wild” and mine says, “I’ll keep you safe” and well that’s self-explanatory as I am the more reserved, conservative one and my sister is well…the wild child ūüėČ

Tats

I left PA Saturday morning at 8AM and headed to visit my good friend Taffy in Charlotte, NC! When I left for Charlotte in 2016 my dad cried and it literally broke me so I told both my dad and sister, NO CRYING. Here is our way too early selfie, LOL!

Leaving PA

The drive to Charlotte said 7 hours and 20 minutes and I knew I would be fine because I did just do this TWO years ago. Ironically I stopped at the same Dunkin’ Donuts in Maryland from exactly TWO years ago. I drove from PA-MD-VA-WV and I made it to Taffy’s outside of Charlotte about 5:15PM.

Our entire trip may have revolved around food but I ain’t even mad about it ūüôā She makes me laugh until I cry and I am so blessed to even have met her! Our last night was my favorite as we went to Pinky’s (which has been on Diner’s, Drive Ins and Dives) and then blasted Barenaked Ladies, “The Old Apartment” as we went to see my old apartment LOL along with the most epic car snap karaoke on the drive home. Thanks so much for the hospitality Taffy, LOVE YOU ‚̧

Taffy and I

I left Charlotte 7AM on Monday to start my 10 1/2 hour trek to THE SUNSHINE STATE. Shoutout to Taffy for documenting my drive off. If I’m being honest, this is when I was the most nervous because well I was prepared for the Charlotte Drive but had no idea what to expect on my drive to Florida and I just have one thing to say: IT WAS LONGAF. I am so so glad I left at 7AM because I did not pull up to my new place until almost 8:45PM.

Leaving NC

I think I stopped for gas 3 or 4 times? It is all a blur right now BAHAHA. All that matters is that I made it here. AM I RIGHT? Well, if you do not know, I found this couple on craigslist that I am living with, I’m just renting a room from them and I skyped like over an hour with them initially on June 15th. They told me they had 1 dog and 2 cats. I got here and there is 1 dog and FOUR cats. Legit the night I got here they were all in my room and I took this video panning the bedroom and I legit felt like the crazy cat lady. I cried a lot that night. The first night is always the hardest. Trust me, you know I love cats but FOUR plus a dog, I am just so so overwhelmed! Peep them all over my bag the first night. All I did the first night was bring in my bedding and shower.

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If you have not seen my snaps or Insta story documenting my journey here so far basically they are slobs. When I talked with them via Skype I do remember her saying that he hurt his back. I got here and it’s the same story. He does not work and is the most lazy human being I have ever met. I swear he is a drug dealer or something. It is not adding up.

This place is a legit mess and my motto is “I’m doing what I can with what I have.” I realize that everyone has different standards for cleanliness but when someone gives you $250 for a security deposit and then $500 to rent the room for the month–Why in the actual heck did I find a candy wrapper, a pen, a hair tie, cat poop behind my bed? I also went out and bought a hand vacuum little dust buster thing because the amount of just dust and cat food along the molding of my bedroom is UNREAL. I do have my own bathroom but this is another level of filth. Do you know what living in filth does to one’s mentality? AGH it is fucking me up HARDCORE fam.¬†My bedding makes happy though and I went and bought these scent cones that I had at home which is the same scent as my fabric spray. You know the stuff that makes you feel at home? Yea, trying to fill myself with those things ‚̧

FL Bed

Now that it is Thursday and I went on the cleaning rampage on Tuesday, I am feeling a little bit better. I try and get out for a good chunk of the day. My first full day here I went to explore the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve and tried running a little over a mile on the boardwalk but later found out you’re not supposed to run on it. WOOPS. Going to try and explore more parks and get more runs in over the next few days here. I went back to Weight Watchers this morning and feel really good about that and tracking today.

6 mile cypress preserve

I did finally empty out my car as well and I have been getting familiar with the area. Exploring has allowed me to figure out where I would like to live and I have looked at 6-7 places the past two days. I am living in Lehigh Acres right now which is about 20-25 outside of Fort Myers so if I go and do anything in civilization, I make sure I do what I need to do before heading home. Gosh that makes me sound crazy but I’m used to like my 7 minute work and gym radius back home. I know I will feel better when I move closer to the things that I like to do.

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The end of the blog brings me to MINDSET and how much I have evolved since the last time I did this in Charlotte. I shared a little about this on my Insta live earlier today but when I moved to Charlotte and shit went down I was crying like everyday. I am happy to report that I did not cry yesterday or today and I am super proud of that. IT IS NOT EASY TO MOVE TO A NEW PLACE FAM. Yes I have done it before but Florida is FAR. Like over 1,100 miles FAR. Anywayssss today this leasing consultant asked me if I had any friends or family here and I was like well I have one friend from social media but we have not met yet HAHA.

I just keep telling myself that this beginning stage is the legit hardest and if I can make it through the hardest part: not having many friends, not loving where I live, not having a paycheck, etc. THE REST WILL BE CAKE. Because what I do have right now is all of you on social media. I have the ability to go OUT and make new friends. I have a roof over my head, a shower, food, a car, etc. Once you add up all that you DO have. It’s not that bad.

BUTTTT I can NOT wait to look back on this moment in a few months and laugh and be like, “hey, remember when you lived at Dr. Dolittle’s?” And then I can just laugh until I cry about what a joke this situation is at the moment. I realize that this is just a blimp in time and I just need to make it through ONE day at a time and then once all the days add up I will look back and be like WHOA you made it through THAT. I am just filling my time and days with doing things that make me happy. Trying to establish some what of a routine and making it similar to what I would do at home. First step was getting back to Weight Watchers this morning. Next step is getting back into an exercise routine. So now that it is almost 1AM, I want to get up and go run at this Lakes Park tomorrow and then find me an acai bowl. (I already have it all mapped out) Maybe look at more apartments? Apply to the one I want? I may or may not have already put myself up on Bumble and I may or may not have a pizza and bowling date tomorrow night ūüėČ ARE WE SURPRISED? MAKIN ALL DA DAMN MOVES FAM ‚̧ Until next time! If you read this far…#bless!
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The Calculator

 

Something I’ve always struggled with is letting the negative and nasty comments of others define how I feel about myself. (SO GUILTY!) How many of us have done that though? Raise your hand! Don’t leave me alone in this, raise them up!

Most recently, I shared very publicly on social media a message from ¬†someone on a dating website–my response is in blue ūüôā¬†12232905_10156298385140297_6781713292635362687_o (1)

In the past, I would have cried all day long. All weekend long. I wouldn’t have even answered. I would have hid in the shell of my body and let him walk all over me. But now I am above that. Now I have control. Now I am strong enough to have a say. Some may argue that I shouldn’t have even responded. I disagree. Being silent would have let him win and I’ve worked way too damn hard to let that happen. He totally deserved that!

I can also remember when a¬†Canisius employee asked me when I was due during my junior year of college–actually if I was having twins. Not to mention the comment my second-grader made that started this lifestyle change for me. (That had a positive outcome) All of those comments have an impact. They sting. Salt in the wound. BUT–

The instances and comments don’t even matter to me anymore it’s all in the learning how to react to them that does. I found this quote recently

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I want it tattooed on my forehead actually. No for real. Just stop. Pause. Think about it. “If you want to IMPROVE your self-worth stop giving other people the calculator.” HOW GENIUS IS THAT? It went off in my brain like a light-bulb, a spark, a firework, whatever, something explosive! Universes colliding! It’s so so true!

WHY¬†IN THE WORLD was I going to let someone else’s comment about my appearance define me?!

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Thinking about it now, I ask myself, “What do they know?” “They don’t even know me.They have no idea what I’ve been through.” So why why why give that person the time of day let alone allow that person to impact your value. (See amazing quote above) Seriously though, the people that say these mean things to us like, “Oh, do you need that second cookie?” “You look heavy to me.” GREAT. Is it your body? NO. You have ZERO say. There is clearly something wrong with YOU. Something YOU are struggling with and you don’t need to dump that issue into my lap. Thanks.

But for real. The idea for this blog also stemmed from a podcast from Chalene Johnson that was titled, “Never Call a Kid Fat.” It’s really good so I had to post it here! Go listen or read the transcript! —Never Call A Kid Fat

Basically, what I took from that podcast is that WE ARE THE ROLE MODELS. Children or not–we must DO BETTER. Once a comment is made to a child about their body image it stays with them FOR LIFE. They bury it deep inside of themselves, letting it eat away at their soul. Hello, someone made a comment to me when I was younger. IT HAPPENS.

At the same time, we also need to treat ourselves better. We need to know our own worth and realize that we are beautiful and capable of GREAT things! Know who you are, stand your ground and don’t let anyone dull your sparkle. That’s my new motto! ūüôā I am planning to create a Facebook page around this idea of positive self-talk, body image and embracing ourselves for who we are. It’s going to be epic and I can’t wait for you to join in the movement! ‚̧ Dream Big. Get Fit. Love you all!

I am awesome

Thankful for the struggle

Thankful for struggle

Wow it’s been a hot second since my last blog post and for that I sincerely apologize. EEK!! In the past six months I can say that I’m thrilled with where life is taking me! There have been many changes in my life–I officially became a Beachbody coach in June, got a new car in August (bye bye mini van) and moved into my very own apartment in September. YAY!

I’m so beyond blessed with life right now!! BUT I can assure you that it hasn’t always been this way. I haven’t always been this positive and cheerful. I believe that the only way I am able to fully appreciate each of these wonderful aspects of my life NOW is by reflecting on my past struggles. I’ve been through A LOT in my life-I mean who hasn’t? We all have baggage and stuff that has happened to us. However, it’s all about how we handle those obstacles and struggles. I love the quote posted above so very much and it couldn’t be more true.

“I’m thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength.”

It’s no secret that my move from Buffalo, New York to Raleigh, North Carolina after graduating from college in May 2012 was very very hard on me, if not one of the hardest things I have EVER done. My first year of teaching and living on my own in a new state was quite the challenge. Not only was I anxious and homesick 99.9% of the time but I felt so conflicted in the fact that I didn’t think teaching was for me. I remember calling my mom sobbing–telling her I was going to pack up my car and head home SEVERAL TIMES. I even researched what it would cost to rent a U-Haul and trailer my car home, that’s how miserable I was. It was nobody’s fault, I was just so uncomfortable with being me and navigating this unknown territory just sent me in a downward anxiety ridden spiral. The only way I knew how to make myself feel better was through my anxiety medication (which I don’t think ever helped) and eating (until February 2013). I found comfort in gorging myself on any fast food that I could find. I looked forward to weekends with Ben and Jerry and Netflix–that is before Netflix and Chill was a thing…I was trapped in my own body and I was in denial that I had an eating problem.

While I was in North Carolina I had this attitude that I was the victim and everyone should feel bad for me. I always dreaded the flights “home” from Buffalo to Raleigh. I cried on my drive home from the airport before stopping at McDonald’s and then curling up in my bed full of tears to nap away my misery. I just assumed I was destined to be anxious and miserable and that’s how my life was going to be. I didn’t see it getting any better and I felt very little purpose in life. I was truly going through the daily motions and hoping for a miracle.

November 2015 TransformationMy miracle finally came on February 6th, 2013 when I decided to join Planet Fitness and attend my first Weight Watchers meeting because one of my students in my class told me that I was the biggest. I was so embarrassed and heartbroken in that moment. I felt so hurt and ashamed that I let a second grader define my size. BUT I had been struggling for so very long that I truly NEEDED that. That student was the voice of so many family and friends that wanted to say something but couldn’t because they probably didn’t want to hurt my feelings. This student didn’t care about my feelings but I’m so much stronger now because of that comment. I let that comment define me in the moment but it truly changed my life for the better. That comment sparked my healthy lifestyle and I’m extremely thankful for this journey.

It’s truly not about how much weight I’ve lost anymore. It’s not about a number on the scale. It’s not about the fastest mile. It’s not about the heaviest squat. It’s not about how many Beachbody customers I have. It’s about what this journey has taught me. It’s about appreciating and embracing the fact that I came from a very low place in North Carolina. I went from letting my anxiety and struggle with emotional eating control me to loving life as a Beachbody coach with BIG goals. The fact that I just typed that brings tears to my eyes. Happy tears just streaming down my face. I never ever thought that I could help myself let alone inspire anyone else.

This journey has brought me strangers from all over the world that I now am blessed to call my friends, an amazing team, confidence I never knew I had, and a much bigger purpose in life. I couldn’t say any of this in February 2013. Dream Big. Get Fit. 2016 is going to be the best year yet. Love you all. ‚̧

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What the scale WON’T tell you but my smile will

Yesterday, I finally returned¬†to my favorite Sunday Warrior’s Weight Watchers meeting for the first time since my FIRST half-marathon and my SECOND half-marathon with a trip to Disney in between. SHOCKING. I thought to myself, “I’ve been so determined, what the hell happened!?” Well I realized that life happens and that it’s okay. The scale slips away from everyone but most importantly what I’ve learned from this whole process is that you have to OWN whatever happens¬†and most importantly, keep kicking ass and taking names!¬†I will say with confidence that I am actually HAPPY I gained 1.6 pounds. Yes, call me crazy but I was expecting at least a 6 pound gain from Disney¬†(that damn Mickey ice cream!) and losing track over the past few weeks. Regardless, it’s definitely a weight off of my shoulders (I’m so punny)¬†since¬†I anticipated the absolute worst but was pleasantly surprised. I tend to do this a lot, as you will realize later…..

Enough about a number though. Really, what is ONE number (okay, more like¬†three numbers strung together sometimes 4 because you can weigh like 135.2) going to tell you? Yesterday my leader (whom I adore and is super inspirational and motivational and just ALL OF THE GOOD FEELS) said something that really stuck, “Do not let 10 seconds on the scale determine your week.” This statement really got me thinking that everyone in that room is so much more than a number and we should not let the scale dictate or measure our happiness. You’re really going to let ONE number tell you that you ran 66 miles this month?! YOU BETTER NOT. I believe that anyone who is on a weightloss journey should not let one measly¬†number define them. I mean for goodness sakes if I let a number control and define me, I’d have quit the first time I gained. Not to mention, I’ve run TWO HALF-MARATHONS since the last time I sat with my Sunday Warriors. The scale won’t tell ANYONE that.

The scale won’t tell you how my body was yelling at me during Saturday’s half because it was 88 degrees outside and I was so dehydrated. (Never doing that again!) I don’t think you understand unless you have actually ran in a 5k or half marathon or marathon that your brain starts to think some pretty crazy stuff.¬†I wanted people sitting outside their houses to just turn their hoses on and cool everyone off. I envisioned the children standing on the road running inside and getting me a damn freezie pop. That’s when you know you’ve lost it, like when this one woman handing out water told me she could see the finish line at the 11 mile mark and I thought to myself, “NO YOU CAN’T. DON’T YOU DARE LIE TO ME.” In all reality I know she was trying to be encouraging but don’t tell me you can actually SEE the finish when it’s INSIDE the stadium and TWO miles away. I’m dying here, THANKS. After I saw someone on the side of the road with an ambulance I thought to myself, “Chelsea it’s hot, you need to slow down, who cares what your time is you are just aiming to finish standing up at this point.” So that was my mentality for the rest of the race. I figured my time was going to be a lot slower compare to my first race due to the hills and heat. So here I go with the whole anticipating the worst thing…..I mean not that I’m obsessing over numbers or anything but¬†my first half marathon was on May 25th which I ran in 2:31:11 and Saturday’s 50 yard finish was 2:28:52. The¬†scale won’t tell me that I actually beat my time! ¬†The scale won’t measure the happiness that I felt when I found out that I beat this time earlier today. The scale also won’t tell you about the real smile in this transformation picture but I will.

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That smile comes from over a year of hard work, persistence, determination, dedication and defeat. I feel it’s important to discuss the defeat I have experienced as¬†this journey is far from perfect. That smile also comes from the fact that in February 2013 I could barely run 13:20/mile and just last week in¬†Delaware Park I ran one mile in 8:40. TONIGHT I RAN ONE MILE IN 8:35!!! That smile comes from an endless list of accomplishing¬†things that I never thought were possible. That smile comes from the fact that I was once wearing size 18 pants and now I fit into a size 8. That smile comes from the fact that I no longer wear XXL shirts. That smile comes from the fact that I can be comfortable in shorts and a tank top. That smile comes from the fact that even when your body wants to quit, when every muscle is aching, your head is pounding, sweat is in your eyes, you want to faint, puke and collapse all at once, YOU DO NOT GIVE IN. That smile tells you that others will¬†support and encourage you but at the end of the day this is your OWN journey and you have to rely on yourself and do what makes you happy and successful. I find myself thinking about another quote from¬†Silver Linings Playbook….

The world will break your heart ten ways to Sunday. That’s guaranteed. I can’t begin to explain that. Or the craziness inside myself and everyone else. But guess what? Sunday’s my favorite day again. I think of what everyone did for me, and I feel like a very lucky guy.

I can totally relate to this quote. I used to run everyday in high school. I had a specific 4 mile loop around the village of OP. Throughout the years I lost sight of that but now running is my favorite again. Sure, a lot of stuff happens in between but you must remain grounded. You must have a constant. I’ve learned through experience that there are going to be setbacks along the way, the scale may lean one way, you didn’t run your best race, you experience a heartbreak, or you’re stressing out about school/work. Whatever the situation is, at the end of the day, if you want it bad enough, you will do what it takes to figure it out. You have to push all the bull**** aside and remember what you truly want. Nobody is going to go out there and get it for you and sometimes you need to be selfish in what you are after. Finally, the scale will not tell you that I am a fighter or that I refuse to give up on myself, only my smile can do that. Do not let the scale run your life. YOU run your life. Thanks for listening! Stay tuned for more =)

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P.S. I got some new kicks tonight and I’m even MORE pumped about running. I’m not sure where Brooks have been my entire life but I’m glad I found them =)

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Changing my mindset

I’ve been meaning to blog for a few weeks now so¬†waking up to this lovely¬†(sarcasm much?) Instagram comment seemed like the perfect opportunity to share my thoughts! This person (who will remain nameless) recently expressed their thoughts on this transformation picture,

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“OMG PUKE’nnnnnnnnnn so gross @luvtobfit”

First, let me begin by saying that I understand there are several consequences that come with sharing ANYTHING and EVERYTHING via the interwebs. I GET THAT. I know that we do not live in a perfect world. I realize that people aren’t ALWAYS going to be nice.¬†What I do not understand is why certain people were not properly educated about the phrase,

“If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all.”

What is so hard about that?! When I first read the comment, my heart was racing and tears began to fill my eyes. I told myself to stop as this stranger/internet troll was definitely not worth my¬†tears. What is so wrong with you that you think you can tell me that I’m gross when there is a clear visual of how I’ve worked my ass off changing myself for the better. (Yes, using ass is necessary.) Then I started thinking of all of these choice words¬†that I really wanted to nastily type to this wonderful individual. ¬†However, I soon came to the realization¬†that that is exactly what this individual was¬†after. They wanted a reaction. They wanted to set me off. People are nasty in order to get a rise out of others. People say mean things because they have their own personal issues that they just don’t have figured out yet. People want to feel better about themselves so they put others down. I learned all of these things way back in kindergarten.

So once I rationalized this comment I began to shift my thinking into something more positive because my fat self¬†would have dove right into a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s at 7am. (No, but really, I would have.) As a thinner self, I was positive that¬†I didn’t want HIM to be the reason¬†to set the tone for the day. I refused¬†to let this individual define how much time and energy I have spent attaining this¬†healthier lifestyle. I am stronger than that. I know deep down within myself that I have spent over a year (15 months) bettering the obese individual on the left to a healthier, confident and glowing Chelsea on the right. That is why I believe that there is absolutely not one single thing in this world that is going to take that away from me. I will not¬†REFUSE to let that happen.

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I believe¬†that in today’s society¬†we focus wayyyyy too much on the negative things that happen to us that we forget to highlight and truly¬†appreciate the positives. I mean I can think about all of the negative things that happened to me on my way to work today. I burned my bagel thin, the 190 was at a stand still for NO REASON, it was raining, someone cut me off and my iced coffee was just blah. However, in the grand scheme of things, thinking and spending energy on these thoughts is useless. ¬†None of those things matter. I didn’t really need the bagel as I had plenty of snacks packed for work, traffic happens, we need the rain and the person who cut me off didn’t cause an accident. Sure, it was one internet troll who wanted to have his voice heard about how gross I appear to him but now I intend¬†to focus on the positive. ¬†There is always a positive. I¬†know that the growth in confidence that I feel¬†within myself in addition to people telling me that I am an inspiration to them is a feeling that can’t be replaced. So I guess I need to stop venting and instead thank the¬†internet troll for making me realize that I am so much more than his¬†nasty comment. (I mean let’s be real, the first thing I will probably tell him is that “PUKE’nnnnnnnnnn” is not a real word) Most importantly, I don’t need his comment¬†to define me. Me, myself and I are solely responsible for the direction I take on this journey. ¬†I’m feeling better than I EVER have and that in itself is rewarding enough.

¬†“Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadow.”