It’s Official, I’m Moving to…

Most of you know I recently graduated from APU with a degree in Psychology… and you probably also know that I don’t know what career I will be pursuing in the future quite yet. I decided against grad school mainly because I don’t know exactly what I would study, and also because of the money. I have lots of student debt to pay off and have no intention of adding to it anytime soon!

Anyways, I knew that I had to figure something out for my life, but wasn’t sure exactly how to go about this. A couple years ago I visited the DC/Maryland/Virginia district for the first time in MANY years and fell completely in love. The scenery, the culture, the architecture, the history… you might be surprised by that since I have lived and breathed California air since birth, but I’ve felt for a long time that I was meant to be in another state! Heck I almost went to Oregon for college!

I have thought that I should move to the east coast since the first day I saw D.C. and Virginia in June 2016. I knew it felt like home from that moment and wanted to make it so in the future. I still had a couple years left of college so it would have to wait a while. Once I graduated this past December, I decided to make it my goal to move there by the end of this year. Little did I know that God would have a plan for me that I never would have expected!

Last October, my friend from work at APU sent me a link to the website of the place she had been working at for the previous 5 months. She told me she thought I would be interested and said to look into it. I was surprised she didn’t explain much about it, but I am glad that she didn’t because it forced me to look into it and research it for myself. Once I saw what the job was, I was surprised that I wasn’t immediately reluctant about it since it wasn’t something I thought I would ever do. I was shocked that my initial feeling was actually curiosity and even peace.

I began reading on the page about a place called “Jill’s House”, a Christian non-profit organization in Vienna Virginia that provides respite care to families with children that have intellectual disabilities. This was so random that it actually peaked my interest even more. The next thing I did was continue messaging my friend and asking questions, probably too many if you ask her… lol. I told my family about it, and they all had mixed opinions; my dad mainly just wanted to know where it was and if it was a safe area, where I would be living… ya know all the logistics. Others of my friends and family were telling me I had to go and would be crazy to turn the opportunity down.

For the next 4 months I wrestled and went back and forth on the idea of applying for this job… the benefits of it seemed insurmountable and it also presented itself as the only way for me to get to the East Coast. I knew I needed to actually want the job though, and not just the location. Before applying I honestly had almost decided to not go through with it, and looking back I think Satan was really trying to keep me away from this because he knew it would be good for me. Thankfully, my boyfriend Daniel encouraged me to go for it because I would regret it if I didn’t at least try. I knew he was right, so I went for it!

A few days later I got a call back from Jill’s House saying they wanted to interview me via Skype. (talk about intimidating!!) I have never done this before and had no clue what to expect. To my surprise, it went so well, and I felt SO comfortable with the people who interviewed me. I could tell they came from a place where Christ was the center, and that put my heart at peace with the process! A few days later I was told that I was selected for the “Finalist Weekend” where Jill’s House flies me out to Virginia for a weekend of interviewing and shadowing. This turned out to be an amazing experience.

Throughout that weekend, I felt so at ease that it honestly started to freak me out. I didn’t know why I wasn’t nervous like all of the other girls, and seriously didn’t even treat it like a job interview. It felt as though I already had the job (and I really don’t mean that in a boastful way!) and that it was already my “home”. Working with the kids while shadowing current “fellows” (what I will soon be called!) was something I was most nervous about but ended up being the most enjoyable part of the weekend.

Going into my shadow shifts, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have one cousin who has Autism, Ethan. He is quite a bit younger than me, and I actually remember him being born and seeing him as an infant! As he started to develop, doctors diagnosed him with Autism and said he would never talk or function typically. I don’t remember this happening super well, but I do remember him crying a lot as a baby. After tons of prayer and trust in God, Ethan made leaps and bounds in his development, and today his Autism is very mild. He functions very well and speaks, just like the doctors always said he wouldn’t do.

When I was younger and Ethan was growing up, I remember my Aunt Gina (his mom) telling me I had a “gift” when it came to interacting with Ethan. I didn’t quite understand what she meant at the time, and eventually forgot about this. During family gatherings though, I could tell that I was a little better at communicating with Ethan than most others. My aunt told me I would work with children with disabilities someday, and I didn’t even remember this until I started talking about this job and my mom reminded me.

This was just another thing that piled onto the stack of things telling me I needed to move to Virginia and take this job. So many “signs” it was almost impossible for me to deny it. I’m not always open to that sort of thing, but I just couldn’t get past this without seeing the obvious signs in front of me, which I believe were put there by God.

So, two days after this finalist weekend, I got a call from Jill’s House saying they would like to offer me this job, and that I would need to respond within those next three days… I was surprised by this since they had previously said it would take a couple weeks. But I already knew what my answer was. Actually, I had known deep down what my answer was for quite some time.

A couple days later, I emailed them that I would like to accept the job offer. I knew that would start a difficult journey for me but knew it would be the biggest and most rewarding life change for me yet. I was excited, and I hoped that everyone around me would join me in that feeling.

This was a while ago, and I neglected to announce publicly for a few reasons. One of those being out of fear. I honestly did think that once I told everyone I’m moving to Virginia, they would automatically assume it was for Daniel. You wouldn’t believe the number of people I’ve told personally who have made comments about that exact assumption. While it really feels insulting, I understand why people think that at first.

Many of you might even still believe that after I tell you he isn’t the reason. But I am still going to defend myself in this regard if I can. I am making this move for myself. I am taking this job for myself. Heck, I’ve been dying to move out since I was like 14 years old. It’s not because I hate my parents (I really don’t), but rather because my parents have raised me to be SO independent. I envied my sister because she got to move to Hawaii and live on her own. I was still a sophomore in High School! This has been on my mind for years, and it’s finally happening.

I have two years to basically do whatever I want, grow, learn and build my life up. In June 2020, Daniel will commission as an Officer in the United States Navy. No one knows yet where he will end up, but the way it’s looking now, I will be joining him. I will never say that I’ll be “stuck” to follow him around (at least in a serious manner), but the reality is that I will have to go with him wherever this country sends him. For the next two years, get to decide where to go, where to live, and what to do with my life. This is what I am choosing.

For those of you who think this move will make it easier for me and Daniel, I get it. I actually thought that too at first. But thinking it over, it might even make it more difficult. This summer when Daniel comes home for leave, I will be in Virginia working full time. It will be the first time that he’s home when I’m not. It will be weird, and honestly really hard for me. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make though.

With this job, I’ll be working 44 hours per week minimum, and my days off will be Monday and Tuesday; weird right? Well, Daniel’s days off are Saturday and Sunday… so when will we see each other you ask? That’s a great question… one that will only be answered in time. I will be the busiest I’ve ever been while working at Jill’s House. This won’t make anything easier, but it’ll definitely make everything more rewarding. I’ve said that word a lot, but for good reason.

My Fellowship at Jill’s House will only be one year. After that, I don’t know what my next step will be. I don’t have a clue where I will be mentally, spiritually, emotionally. Most of the current fellows have said this has been the hardest yet most fulfilling year of their lives so far. I am looking forward to taking part in this as well. I have been looking for something to fulfill my life, and I truly believe this will be what does that.

I don’t know that this job will lead me to a similar career path, but I do know it will be something challenging yet rewarding that I will continually learn and grow from. I honestly can’t wait to move and get started, to just see where the Lord takes me.

So you’re probably wondering… when and where exactly are you moving? After wondering the same thing myself I have finally found out the exact day I need to be there, which is June 3rd. Training starts on June 4th, and it’ll be a long ride I’m sure. My new home will be Fairfax, VA and my new workplace will be in Vienna, VA!

Thank you for your support and kind words for those of you who I have already spoken to about this. It means the world!

If you would like to read more about my job at Jill’s House, you can read about it here.

If you want to see me before I move, PLEASE contact me. I seriously want to spend these last less than 2 months cherishing everything and everyone there is in California. While I say that “I hate California” pretty often, I know there are so many things about it that I will miss, especially my friends and family!

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10 Signs You’re Only In Love with their Potential

I started writing this blog when the song “Potential” was released to iTunes by Danielle Bradbery. It sat in my drafts for months and I’m finally deciding to finish and publish it. I immediately fell in love with this song when I heard it, and I knew instantly that I had to write about the subject it presents. Because of the sensitivity of the subject, I was afraid of what people might think. Regardless, I decided that it is important for me to get this out there, and if it can help people see the reality they’re in, it is so worth it.

If you don’t know who Danielle is, you probably don’t watch The Voice, or you just don’t like country music. Regardless, I’ve been listening to her since she won The Voice in 2013, and I really enjoy everything she has released to date. Out of her entire new album that was released at the end of last year, “I Don’t Believe We’ve Met”, this song was my all time favorite. In it, she explains that she is in love with a guy’s potential rather than the person himself.

“I can tell myself that you’ll get there, but the more that you don’t the less blind I am.”

From “Potential” – Danielle Bradbery

I think more of us have experienced exactly what she describes than we realize. Some of us might even be in relationships like this right now. In the chorus of this song, Danielle sings “I’m not in love with you, I’m in love with your potential.” Putting this together with the rest of the song, one can understand that she has realized that the more she expects something from her significant other and that does not come true, the less blind she is to the fact that nothing is changing. The relationship is at a stand-still because her significant other is not changing; is not reaching his potential. 

Like I said before, most of us have probably been in a relationship before where our significant other would be perfect if only they would just reach that potential. But no matter how many times they say they will improve, they never do.

I have seen so many girls around me (and guys) date people who don’t necessarily reach the expectations and needs that are expected, but they have so much hope for change that they don’t care about the shortcomings. It makes me so sad to see people with significant others that may have that potential there, but never reach it like they say they will. This causes people to be in love with that person’s potential instead of the person themselves. You’re in love with the hope rather than the reality. 

There is a huge difference between dreams and visions. Visions are created based on the recognition of our potential, the drive to reach those potentials, and the plan to carry those out. Dreams are created by the ideation of a potential, the mere desire to see that potential come true, and pure hope. One of these will almost always become reality, and the other will almost always remain a fantasy. You can probably guess which one is which.

In the song “Potential”, Danielle sings “who you are is who you are and it’s alright but it’s not right for me”. I think this is such a clever and eye-opening way to put it. Being someone that does not realize or achieve their potential isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But being the significant other of that person can be extremely confusing and ingenuine.

“I get fed up and then you show up, and you act like I’m so perfect. A shot of stronger keeps me longer, and I hope that it’s worth it.”

From “Potential” – Danielle Bradbery

This part of the song touches on the unhealthy cycle that is normally involved in a relationship like this. Most of them have a point where one person gets fed up, and they might even break it off. But odds are the other person will show up and reel that person in somehow. Maybe it’s with guilt-tripping, or maybe they suck up to them. Either way, they once again fall into this vicious cycle where hope is their only weapon. Hope is a powerful thing

This can become even worse when the significant other is abusive in any way, whether that be physical, emotional, verbal, or otherwise. (And abuse is likely to be existent in a relationship such as this). They can talk all they want, but do they ever really change? Do you constantly tell yourself they will eventually stop abusing you? Or maybe you consciously make yourself blind to the abuse or even believe you deserve it. Do they assure you that “this time is the last time” and then it never really is? This is a scary thought because of course, we want to believe that we are with someone who is worthy of our love and trust. If they act this way though, they really aren’t worthy of anything.

How do we go about deciding whether we are in love with the potential of someone rather than their real self?

Here are 10 signs that you’re only in love with their potential:

  1. The number of times they’ve disappointed you significantly outweigh the number of times they’ve followed through. (And because of this, they probably say “I’m sorry” a lot. But even then they will throw the blame back on you.)
  2. They are indecisive about most things in life, but especially the things that are important for their future.
  3. You talk more about the future with them than you do about the present.
  4.  They don’t allow you to encourage them towards goals for their future.
  5. They cannot take any type of criticism, especially if it involves their own personal development.
  6. No matter how much you change and improve yourself, they always stay the same.
  7. You feel that if you leave them, they will certainly never reach their potential.
  8. When you try to develop yourself and change for the better, they don’t encourage you or they might even discourage you completely.
  9. You have taken multiple breaks in the relationship because of this stationary state that you are in.
  10. More people question your relationship than the number of people that support it.

Now of course there might be more signs than just these, but I have witnessed these the most in my own life and in those around me.

If you’re in a relationship with someone that has great potential but never reaches it, you will probably read this and still defend them. Of course, you want to believe that you are in love with a person rather than an idea. But I really must ask the question, when will enough be enough?

“Dreams are created by the ideation of a potential, the mere desire to see that potential come true, and pure hope.” – Me

I’ll never claim to know everything about this subject. I know that many relationships have had issues with this and have succeeded anyways. BUT this song really got me thinking about this topic because it really is so relevant. I have experienced something similar to this in the past. I am so thankful that relationship ended after being on and off for multiple years. I know that I was never really in love with the person. I know that my infatuation was only with the potential that I believed existed, and I probably created it all on my own anyway.

I know it is hard to get out of it. Most relationships like this last way longer than they should. It is so easy to get caught up in this, especially when you don’t know what you want, and when you don’t know your worth. Today, try to think about these things and ask yourself, “when will I stop being blind to this and finally decide that enough is enough?” The person you’re with might not even be a bad person, but how long are you going to sit around waiting for them to meet even the most mediocre expectations?

Listen to this amazing song here.

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Eating & Living Healthy for 30 Days

A wonderful blog post from a wonderful woman!! Proud to know her and be a part of her journey to healthy living!

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How I Transformed my Body in 30 days

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The first picture was January 9th, 2017 on the first day of my detox, and the second picture was February 10th of this year at the end!

“You are what you eat.” I’m sure you’ve heard that saying about a million times. Or maybe that’s just me… but believe it or not there is so much truth to it. Nutrition itself is actually what fuels our body and allows it to function properly on the inside and the outside. So how can we expect our bodies to look and feel good if we are not filling them with nutritious foods and all the nutrients and vitamins that we desperately need?

The answer is, we cant expect that at all. Some of you might be young and some of you young people might feel that you can get away with eating garbage and keeping your nice bod. For a lot of you, that is actually true. But most likely, your 30s will roll around and you will no longer be able to eat whatever you want. Metabolism slows down, maybe some digestive enzymes stop to work as well, and next thing you know you’re putting on fat that you would normally burn easily, and your body is bloating up because your body can’t handle certain foods anymore. Sounds scary, but for many people, it’s a reality.

Am I 30 years old? No, I am actually 22. But ever since I started college, I could tell that my metabolism was changing drastically. I can remember back to High School when I wore a size 1-3 throughout the 4 years, and my weight was pretty much always at 115 lbs. Fast forward to college, and there is no way I can fit into a size 3 anymore, let alone a size 1! Size 5 is where I’m at now for jeans, and I’ve learned to be okay with that.

BUT, on top of my size going up, my weight went up too. The heaviest I’ve ever been is 128 lbs. Some of you might look at that and think “omg that’s not even heavy.” Which is probably true, but for me, my body did not look anything like I wanted it to. Last summer I decided to make a change and get a gym membership. I even went as far as to pay for personal training TWICE (and no, it was not cheap). BUT it was honestly a life-changing experience in the way that it taught me how to work out effectively and try to push myself when I hit the gym.

My personal trainer definitely challenged me, and he saw potential in me that I honestly did not see in myself. It was hard for me to believe him when he told me how much weight I needed to squat or press, but he always knew what I was capable of before I did. That experience affected me and made me want to continue that fitness journey. While my body changed a little bit in that experience, I still wasn’t where I want to be, and I still had stubborn fat in annoying places.

I remember getting my weight down to 122 lbs. I was ecstatic. My dream at the time was to get down to 115, but I know now that with my current goals, my weight might actually end up rising because of muscle growth. Anywho, working out definitely made my body LOOK better, and it allowed me to shed a few pounds. But honestly, there was something missing and I couldn’t figure it out.

Don’t get me wrong, I ate pretty healthily MOST of the time. But I definitely allowed myself to eat out once or twice a week. Not only was that hard on my wallet, but it was even harder on my body. (Actually, it might have been harder on my wallet lol). But in all seriousness, I was not feeding my body in a way that served it. On top of my “healthy diet”, I would allow myself to splurge way too often on sugar, processed foods, and so many other things that my body did not handle well. Heck, I had salt & vinegar potato chips almost every shift at work… and I worked at least 4 days a week! Little did I know that these unhealthy habits were keeping me from my dream body!

Fast forward to a little over a month ago. I graduated from college on December 16th and then moved back home. (That in itself could be a whole different blog post, honestly.) But once I moved back home, I inevitably started eating healthier because as most of you probably know, my family is pretty “granola” as my boyfriend likes to call us. I could tell my body was feeling better already, but the entire 3 weeks that Daniel was home from December to early January I was still splurging pretty often.

Once he left, you would think that I would have gotten back on track, but I was actually feeling super depressed all the time because I had no job and pretty much nothing else to do with my life than job search online (which I soon found out would not get me a job). I started going to the gym just to get out of the house, which is fine because at least I was working out. I began this workout plan and it was actually making the gym fun. But I was still feeling crappy on the inside and breaking out more than usual. I knew something had to change.

That was where my diet change came in. My family has been eating this way for a long time, and they often will do the same 30 Days to Healthy Living detox that I decided to do. I’ve always known that it could be good for me, but never wanted to give it a try because I didn’t want to “give up” certain foods. Well, I decided that I wanted a healthier body more than I wanted the foods that I was afraid to go without for a month, and boy was it a life-changing decision!

So, when I tell you exactly what this detox entails, you’re probably going to stop reading this. And that is fine! Some of you might not need this (you probably do, but you don’t think you do), and others of you might just not be at a place where you’re ready for this type of change. That is also okay… but a lot of you might be where I was before I did this detox plan. Some of you might be in an even worse place than me.

YOU are the reason that I am writing this blog post. It’s not to show off my body, and it’s not to get you all to buy into something fake. It really is because I want to help you change your bodies inside and out, and get you to reach your goals like I was trying to do for so long. This blog post is for you, not for me. I hope it can help you in some way.

The detox is based on five key areas of fitness:

Eat Clean

The plan focuses on eating organic, non-GMO foods that are free of preservatives, additives, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, artificial flavors, and all other toxins. If you want your food to be fuel for your body, it can’t be full of poison! The plan actually teaches you how to eat this way, and you’ll find that it’s easier and cheaper than you might think!

Increase Nutritional Intake

So many foods today no longer have the nutrients that we need. Most food today is processed, pre-packaged, and sitting in a fast-food restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, it can be great to eat on occasion because, yes, that food is normally delicious! BUT it’s almost never nutritious. This plan helps you to not only get those needed nutrients from food but to also get them from supplements because odds are we all probably have nutrient deficiencies! I promise, not all nutrient-packed foods are gross or flavorless… lol

Eliminate Allergenic, Addictive, and Acidic Foods

  • No Dairy
  • no wheat/gluten/yeast
  • no soy
  • no sugar/artificial sweeteners
  • no vinegar
  • no alcohol
  • no coffee!

I know, you’re probably thinking “okay then what CAN I eat?” That is a very common question. And honestly, there is a lot that you can eat on this. I could have eaten a lot more if I wasn’t so picky, and but, yes I still survived and felt great the whole time! I had my cravings for chocolate sometimes (and I honestly gave in and had a square of dark chocolate some nights), but for the most part, I didn’t cheat! The only time I did cheat was for my birthday weekend where I had lots of alcohol and some chips. But seriously, it barely affected me because this diet has changed my body for the better!

All of the foods you must cut out on this detox are known to feed Candida yeast. Overgrowth of this is what causes a lot of people’s “normal” health issues! According to a study at Rice University, “70% of Americans are living daily with an overgrowth of yeast and bacteria.” So odds are, you probably are too!

If you have any of these issues, you are likely suffering from yeast overgrowth!

nasal congestion and discharge, nasal itching, blisters in the mouth, sore or dry throat, abdominal pain, belching, bloating, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, rectal burning or itching, vaginal discharge, vaginal itching and burning, worsening symptoms of PMS, prostatitis, impotence, frequent urination, burning during urination, and bladder infections.

I know, some of those sound gross… but these are all pretty common issues for people, and while this plan isn’t guaranteed to take your problems away, there’s a good chance it could help! I had some of these issues before starting it, and I really haven’t had them at all for the past two weeks! When people eliminate the foods listed above, they repopulate their intestines with friendly bacteria which help the body fight off the Candida, and strengthen the immune system!

Balance Blood Sugar

This clean eating program encourages eating low on the glycemic index for many reasons. The glycemic index is basically a way to measure how a given food affects your blood-sugar levels, and each food is given a numbered rating. The lower the rating, the more gradual the infusion of sugars into the bloodstream and the more balanced the blood sugar!

When you eat high glycemic meals, they actually cause you to feel hungry again, faster. Low glycemic meals will allow you to feel full longer and will reduce your food cravings. You might think, just like I once did, that high glycemic foods are just cakes and candy, but in actuality, it’s much more than that. Pasta, bread, potatoes, white rice, and even some high glycemic fruits are responsible for elevating blood sugar!

“Scientists have established that anything that causes a rise in our blood sugar results in inflammation on a cellular level, and I believe that inflammation is at the basis of virtually every disease process such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and wrinkled skin.” – Dr. Nicholas Perricone

Support Elimination Organs 

Although the clean eating program helps your body, it would be incomplete if it did not also support the four elimination pathways: the liver, kidneys, intestines, and your skin!

If toxins enter your body faster than they are removed, you will experience signs of toxicity. If, on the other hand, you give your body the support it needs to eliminate these toxins, it will perform optimally. 

This plan allows for the elimination of toxins by cutting many of the normal toxins we get daily from our diet. But, the products you use in this plan will supplement this as well! This was probably the thing that helped my body the most, because it removed toxins that have been built up and were trapping my fat, and allowed me to lose it!

My Results

My goal for this diet was to reach below 120 lbs because I honestly don’t remember the last time I stepped on the scale and it said anything below 122. Oddly enough, Day 1 of my detox I stepped on the scale and it read 121 lbs. I was surprised, but at the same time I had been living at my house for over a month eating pretty healthily and had gone to the gym a good amount. But this also made me think I wouldn’t be able to lose as much weight on the plan.

Yesterday morning, I weighed myself and I am officially 119 lbs! So essentially, I lost 2 pounds in the last 30 days. That probably sounds really lame, but I didn’t actually have much weight to lose in the first place, and I was going to the gym pretty often so I might have put weight back on in the form of muscle. Anywho, an exciting result was that I lost 2 inches in my waist, 2 inches in my hips, and 1 inch in my booty! I was really hoping to cut fat, so I was glad to see those inches melt away.

All in all, this last month was not nearly as difficult as I had expected, and was even more worth it than I could have imagined. The experience itself was really rewarding because it made it feel so in-tune with my body, and allowed me to almost start with a “clean slate” again. My skin is really clear, including my face, shoulders, and back. I normally have issues with that, especially when I have dairy! My stomach hasn’t had nearly as many issues as it normally does, and I’ve never felt more energetic than I do now. I actually feel more motivated, too! Before this plan, I was staying up till 2 and waking up at 11am every single day. Now, I get tired around 11pm, go to sleep at midnight (at the latest), and wake up at or before 9am! Like who am I?!

Seriously, I could go on about the amazing results that I had with this detox plan, but it would probably end up getting annoying. I wanted to share this all with you because it was a life-changing experience that I put off for a really long time. I wish I would have done it sooner because I would have been happier in my own body much sooner, and feeling way better sooner, too.

Deciding to do the 30 Days to Healthy Living Plan

So if any of you read this and thought “wow, this is something I need to do” or “I’m ready to change my body”, this plan might be right for you. I believe everyone should do it at least once in their life. It really teaches you how to recognize what foods your body doesn’t like, and transforms it from the inside, out. My body looks and feels better than it has in years… and I truly wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. It isn’t meant to be done forever, but as a way to get your body back to where it should be! From there, you can decide what foods your body doesn’t digest well, and use the health and diet tips for life!

Throughout the plan, you’re using 6 Arbonne products that help to support your body’s detox process and fill your body with necessary nutrients that most of us are lacking! Vegan protein, detox tea, fizz sticks, digestion plus, fiber boost, and a choice between a 7-day body cleanse or greens! You get added to a private facebook group with tons of other people who are going through the same thing! There is so much support for you throughout the plan, including shopping lists and meal ideas.

A typical day for me on this plan was like this: wake up and have a Vanilla protein shake with cinnamon (tastes like a cinnamon roll), then a digestion plus and a fizz stick for energy (basically a replacement for coffee)!! For lunch, I would normally make myself chicken, sweet potatoes, and maybe some berries! After a workout, I would have another protein shake for recovery. At dinner time, I would usually have a meal that my family was eating as well, which could be anything from chicken tortilla soup to turkey burgers, broccoli, and brown rice! Before bed, I always had a cup of detox tea, except for the third week when I was using the 7-day detox. All in all, it was completely doable and the plan itself was literally laid out for me; so easy!

The pictures included with this blog show a few different things, and I tried to make the pictures as similar in composition as possible to show the true results! I can see big changes between each picture, but that might just be because I know my body best. My favorite thing about this is how much thinner I feel (but also stronger!), and how my body just feels so healthy! It is truly crazy what diet change can do vs. exercise alone!

I guess I should stop rambling now… I didn’t expect this to be so long, but I guess it just shows how passionate I am about it now! Please comment your thoughts or questions, or just contact me personally! This plan really does have the potential to change your life…

 

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WHY is Long Distance SO Hard?

If you’ve ever been in a long distance relationship, you’ve probably asked yourself this question. I can pretty much guarantee that someone who has never been in a long distance relationship before, has tried to answer this question for you. Or maybe it was someone who has, saying “It’s because you barely get to see him”, or “you don’t have time to talk to each other”, or “you just always miss him.”

Most of my current relationship has been “long distance”, whether it be one hour away, or 2,600 miles away, and I have to say, these answers have all been my belief in the past. All you ever hear about long distance relationships that fail is that they were too hard because they never saw each other, or because they missed each other too much. Maybe at first, this is how it feels, and maybe this is true for a while… but once you’re going on year 2, you start to realize exactly what makes long distance so hard.

I truly didn’t realize this fully until my boyfriend explained it to me. As one can expect, we are not that perfect couple that never has issues. We definitely have had them, and we still do. This last summer and semester though, have been particularly hard for us, and I really didn’t understand why. After months of wondering, Daniel put it all perfectly into words for me, and it truly makes more sense to me now than ever before. “We have learned to no longer need each other.”

What? But don’t we need one another to be happy, to feel secure, to avoid feeling alone? No, actually we don’t. Living across the country from someone who gets an average of 4-5 hours of sleep per night and is up to his eyeballs in homework, etc. throughout his days, you kind of learn to be independent if you weren’t in the first place. I’ve always been independent, so this really just made me even more so. We have literally created, and are now living in, our own completely separate lives.

Daniel has no clue what it is like to live a day in my shoes, and I most definitely have no idea was it is like to live a day in his. Wouldn’t life be so much better if we did? Probably. But you see, this is what happens when there’s 2,600 miles between you and your significant other for an extended period of time. It’s not like he lives in Maryland for a few months and comes home for a few. Maryland is his new home, and it will continue to be until 2020.

When Daniel told me he doesn’t actually need me in his life, I was a little thrown off guard. Of course he needs me, I’m his girlfriend right? Well yeah, I am, but that does not mean he needs me. And if I’m being honest with myself, I don’t really need him either. He explained that all of his “needs” are fulfilled at the Academy. Friends, peers, mentors, fun activities… these all fill his daily needs, where I used to be while he was at home. I used to be someone he hung out with for fun, now he has new friends. I used to be the person he went to for advice, now he has peers and mentors. I used to be the person he did fun things with, now he has his own activities and friends to do them with.

“We have learned to no longer need each other.”

As depressing as that sounds, how beautiful is it, that he is out there living a new and exciting life? As much as I have loved being all of these things for him in the past, it is simply amazing that he has been given new sources to live his new life with. I honestly could not be more happy that he has found new friends and is experiencing something as amazing as this. I want him to live his life to the fullest while he spends four (short) years at the Naval Academy, and if that means we become more and more independent, then so be it.

I know what you’re thinking, how can you have a relationship when you aren’t depending on each other? Well, I wouldn’t say that we never depend on each other. He is still my boyfriend, I still ask him for advice about things, I still vent to him about my crappy week when we have time to talk, I still complain about the jerk that cut me off on the freeway even if he can’t read my text right away. He’s still a constant that I can always count on, and he still makes time for me, especially in those times when I need him most.

So yeah, long distance is hard. But it is not because we miss each other all the time. It is not because I only see him during summer and holidays. It is not because we never get to talk. It’s because our lives have become independent of each other. We no longer live lives that are intertwined, and we no longer have a need for the other person in our lives. We have all of our basic needs met by other people and things, and this is what makes it so hard. 

Long distance makes you realize what it means to want someone. You really don’t need them anymore, in fact, nothing in your daily life would actually change that much if they no longer existed, except for the amount of notifications on your phone. At this point, you’ve reached that ultimate decision. The question will come to your mind, “I know that I don’t need this, but do I want this?”

This question has come to both my mind and Daniel’s, and our answers have been “yes”, if it wasn’t obvious. Many people decided that their answer is “no”, and that is okay. Living an independent life from your significant other isn’t easy; it takes choosing that person every single day to really make the relationship have any sort of substance. That is what makes it all worth it, though.

I have grown more than I ever thought possible in this process, and I know Daniel has as well. It doesn’t quite get easier, but it becomes a little more bearable as time passes. People ask if I would ever tell someone to pursue a long distance relationship, and in the past I have said that I would never wish it on anyone. I’ve slowly realized that it’s because the difficulty has made me forget the beauty and benefits of the journey.

If I were to answer that question today, I would say, it depends. For those who need their “needs” fulfilled by a significant other, maybe long distance isn’t for you. That’s honestly okay, because it isn’t for everyone. If you can handle having two separate lives with your significant other, then by all means, take that leap of faith if it presents itself. I knew going into my relationship with Daniel that his plan was to leave, and I was okay with that. But little, naive me really had no idea what it would be like.

I honestly thank God that it took a couple years for Daniel to get in. Despite the really tough times of rejection and uncertainty, it honestly made me stronger, and I think it did the same for him, too. I don’t think we would have survived had he gotten in the first year, because he would have left 6 months into our relationship. We didn’t have that maturity yet, and we truly weren’t ready to live independent lives yet.

Fast forward a couple years, and here we are. He’s in his first semester of his Youngster (sophomore) year, and it’s definitely the hardest one yet. I think we are really starting to understand what it’s like to choose each other each day, and to truly want this, rather than feel like we need it. It makes it much more difficult, but it is way more rewarding. I can’t really imagine what our relationship would be like if it weren’t long distance. I truly believe it is preparing us for the future, and although it is hard, I’m starting to understand why that is, and the next step is finding out how to truly make this work.

Because learning why is almost always the key to figuring out how. 

 

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