DIY, HOME, THE SIMPLE THINGS

DIY Faux Marble Top Table

01/24/2019

I am in love with Pinterest. There is an endless sea of possible DIY projects out there and I have a running list of ones I would love to do.

One project that I pinned years ago, while still living in Florida was a faux marble countertop project. Before we had our countertops replaced, I was constantly looking for a way to change the turquoise color to something more appealing. I had seen ways to paint your countertops as well as a technique using contact paper. I never followed through because my husband and I decided to replace the countertops instead – of course as soon as they were done we were transferred to DC! LOL.

Last month while finishing up some Christmas shopping I saw a roll of the faux marble contact paper at Walmart for around $6. Although I did not have a specific project in mind, I decided to grab it because it was a good price and I knew there would always be a way I could use it.

Fast forward about a month – I have been working really hard on finally settling us into our home.  We’ve been here for 6 months now and I feel like I have a better understanding of our movements and habits within the home and have been trying to organize and declutter in such a way to help the intentionality of our behaviors. In the process I’ve also been re-decorating to some degree – moving pictures around, adding area rugs, buying house plants and changing around furniture. I figured our coffee tables could use an upgrade as they are just the basic black metal and glass Vittsjo nesting tables from Ikea. I had seen on Pinterest many hacks where people have painted them and added the marble contact paper.

But as I got ready for the project and was scanning the room, I became concerned that the white of the marble would look unbalanced with our new cream area rug. I glanced at our dining table, which I had bought used off Craigslist (with chairs) for $80 in the fall. I had already painted and reupholstered the chairs, but I left the table in its original state. The table seemed too dark for our home, as well as for the white chairs – so I decided that was where I wanted to use the contact paper. I polled the family and everyone seemed on board, but I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to pull it off.

After a quick search on the good old internet I saw some tips and tricks and decided, what the heck, it would only be a $6 error if I messed up. So I went to work.

Before I began the project I cleaned and dried the table so that the adhesive would stick properly. I did not want any dirt to come back to haunt me.

The table was larger than the contact paper, so the first step was to cut the contact paper into sections to cover the table – for me it was three strips.  I then started in the middle and peeled back just a bit of the paper backing revealing the sticky adhesive. I left enough paper to hang over the edge and placed the sticky side down onto the table. I used a plastic card (my metro card, but any credit card or gift card would work) to smooth down the paper and remove any air pockets. I continued to do this until the entire sheet was adhered to the table.

I then sat in front of the edge of the table where it was rounded. I removed the adhesive and using a tip I found online, used my blowdryer on low to heat up the paper creating a little bit of a stretch. I gently pulled the paper over the edge and tucked it under the table. I continued this process slowly until I had finished the entire section of contact paper. I could not believe how perfect the finish was. It totally molded to the curved edge. I then went and smoothed down the contact paper on the underside of the table.  This part is a little less than perfect and I could have benefited from using less paper – or trimming it – but no one will see it, so no harm, no foul. I used the blow dryer to make sure the paper adhered to the underside and that it was staying put. I then completed the other side in the same manner.

The next phase was a bit harder because I had to line up the seams. I was able to find the match in the pattern and I lined them up perfectly. I pulled back a bit of the paper to expose the adhesive and I placed it down and lined the two edges up.  There was a lot of trial and error during this process, but the adhesive is forgiving and allowed me to try and try again (and again and again). At one point I used the blow dryer to try and stretch the material to fit better – I do not recommend doing this. It didn’t really work and it made the process go slower. I started at the far end and and traveled from left to right, but when I did the third portion I started in the middle of the table and came outward towards the end of the table which worked lot better.  Once the table was covered I followed the same method as described above (with the hairdryer) to do the edges.

On the second side I totally forgot to match the material before I cut the excess, so it left me with a mismatched pattern. Oh well – at least faux marbles forgiving, right?

When all was said and done the table was far from perfect. Using the blowdryer in the middle to try and join the seams worked against me pulling extra material and causing slight overlaps. I worked on pressing these down and minimizing them as much as possible, but I had to move past the idea that the table would be perfect. I also had areas where there was a slight gap between the seams (we are talking millimeters, but I could definitely notice). Again, I had to just accept that it wouldn’t be perfect – which was a great learning lesson and tool as my eight year old daughter was helping me with the task.

Once the table was done I had an idea to add some paint to the gaps in the seam and to add some faux marbling as well to the side where I forgot to line up the patterns. It worked and finished the table off well. The paint does change the surface texture of the table in the areas I added the paint, but I’m okay with that because you only notice when the light hits it just right. I may eventually redo the table with the tips I’ve now learned, but only if the current contact paper gets used and abused.

If I did it again, here is what I would do differently:

  1. I’d try to better match up the print so that it lines up continuously. I did this on one side, but not the other.
  2. I would not blow dry the top at all – this messed me up a bit when trying to line up the seams.
  3. I would worry less about perfection knowing that I could add a little paint to smooth things over.

Overall I am thrilled with the table. I think it takes our dining area up a notch and it certainly lightens up our home. What do you think? Have you ever used faux marble contact paper? If so, tell me about it! I’d love to hear!

BEST SELF, GRATITUDE, HAPPINESS, MY TRUTH, TIME FOR CHANGE

It’s All in the Numbers – Turning 38

01/18/2019

My birthday is rapidly approaching – only 11 days away as I post this article. I will be turning 38.

It is not a milestone birthday, merely another trip around the sun, but I do have a thing about numbers and I have a feeling it’s going to be a good year.

I was not necessarily looking forward to 37, as the numbers just didn’t feel right to me. It’s such a wonky thing to say and I have a hard time explaining it, but 37 just didn’t feel right. I’m not into numerology as a study, although perhaps I should start looking into it, but for whatever reason that number seemed jarring to me. Perhaps it was because it was an odd number? Although 33, 35, and 39 don’t bother me. But there is something about that seven. It seems like a sharp, free floating object, not anchored down or tethered to anything, ready to hurt.

And 37 did hurt.

This year brought a lot of pain and sorrow with it, but it also brought a lot of growth. I was able to adopt some really great new lifestyle habits and focus on a lot of personal development. As I think about it now, 3 and 7 are both prime numbers and prime numbers are the building blocks of whole numbers.  Perhaps I unconsciously knew it was going to be a hard year – one of challenge and self discovery, but those building blocks allowed for a year of growth that I am forever grateful for. So as I finish up my last days at 37, I look onto this year of growth with gratitude and closure and walk humbly towards 38 – a number that insights joy and vitality in my heart.  

As I started thinking about the number 38, the first visual that popped into my mind was the plumpness of the 8.  I write my 8s as two balls stacked on each other in a snowman like fashion. When I first started visualizing the number I saw a 3 and a plump little me. Well, that’s not going to happen. No sir, no ma’am – this woman has these lifestyle choices on lockdown and I’m not going backwards.  That couldn’t be it. I had to explore this some more. I had felt all year that 38 was such a strong and powerful number. That it was a year of change and empowerment. It was not the year of a dumpy little me.

Then, last night when completing some personal development worksheets on finding your hourly value, the number I got was $333.33. With the randomness of the 3 repeating I went ahead and looked up the significance of the number 3 and was shocked when I read that three, biblically signified divine wholeness, perfection, and completion.

In addition to that, there is a thing called the “Angel number”, in which  333 signifies encouragement and aid. It noted that the angels are close by, reassuring you that your plans are going well, that your prayers are answered, and that what you requested is in route to you.

Wow.

So 3 was more powerful than I realized. I closed my eyes and meditated some more and as I visualized the number 38, I saw the number 3 pushing down the 8 and knocking it right over – and with this motion, the infinity sign appeared.

Double wow.

This was it. The image which matched my feelings around this number. Yes. This is the year where great things are happening. Where I will stretch and grow beyond measure. The year I push myself outside of my comfort zone and see what happens.

Thirty eight. A year of wholeness and infinite possibility.

When completing the recent development workbook yesterday, one thing I really took away was that at this point in my life, I am less fearful of what others will think of me and more fearful of the regret I will feel if I keep pushing aside my dreams and goals in fear of other people’s opinions. I’m still not sure what my end goal is – or if I even have one. Right now I am just enjoying the journey of self discovery as I focus on vitality. Some days I still feel like a 17 year old girl trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Grow up – what an idea. So instead of focusing on this end goal of what I want to be – I’m just focused on being. I am challenging myself in ways that make me feel more alive and more connected to this universe and all those within it now. That’s what I am working on and I am so excited to see what the next chapter brings.

And if reading this article left you thinking “Man, this is one quirky chick, trying to find signs and meaning behind all things” well, you may be right – but hey, that is just me.  And this year is all about me embracing me. So, cheers to that, and cheers to 38!

 

BEST SELF, HAPPINESS, THE SIMPLE THINGS

Cleaning House

01/11/2019

I have read Marie Kondo’s book Spark Joy several times. I first came across it about three years ago shortly after we moved to DC. I had already done a significant amount of purging as we had to par down our belongings about 75% before heading to DC to live in in 850 square foot apartment, but her process takes everything to a whole new level.

There is a lot of intentionality behind what you hold onto.  Everything serves a purpose in your home, with the main purpose being that it brings you joy. If an object in your home does not bring you joy then it is to be thanked and removed.

I love this concept and I try to hold true to it, although being an American, I do think that consumerism still runs very strong through my veins.

Although I love the act of organizing, keeping things organized is a challenge. And as I age I prefer a clean house, I also know that my default is mess. I was honestly the child growing up who never cleaned and where you could barely step foot into my room because it was that messy! My siblings didn’t call me Messy Jessi for nothing.

If I am left to my own devices, I can end up reverting to that behavior very quickly, so for me I know that it has to be a continual grooming process.

I am a definite empath and as a result I have a lot of emotional charge around objects. Disconnecting from that can be a challenge, but I find that the Kondo way is helpful in our condo way.  Do you see what I just did there, LOL. I crack myself up. The objects are allowed to elicit emotions, but the motion must be joy – just holding sentiment is not enough.

Perhaps it’s because of the New Year or the lifestyle changes I am making an other aspects of my life, but I have been on a bit of a kick this past week organizing my home and decluttering. We always have a donation box in our closet so that as we notice things are no longer being used, don’t fit, or don’t have any purpose, we put them in there and about once a month I drop them at Goodwill or another donation spot. That said, I think it is wise to do a quarterly cleaning to make sure that we are being intentional about what is being kept and that’s what I’m focused on at the moment.

Though the idea of a minimalist life sounds enticing at times, I don’t think we are at a place where we will be minimalists anytime soon, but I do think adopting some of the mentality around minimalism is important.

My husband and I watched a sermon about 5 years ago focused on creating breathing room. And one of the main aspects of this is decluttering. When you have so much stuff around you it is hard to feel like you have room to breath. Clutter makes your life feel cluttered. There are more things to attend to, more things to feel out of place, and more things to take up your precious time.

I don’t know if in a past life I had to deal with the great depression, but I am definitely someone who again, left to my own devices, could be quite the hoarder. I share this because the minimalism movement goes against the grain for me. But I am learning quickly that new behaviors are able to be learned and that I have a more fulfilling lifestyle  when I focus on the tasks that may challenge my status quo. It may be hard, but once we have adopted a new behavior, life is so much more divine.

I have done some recent grooming of our books, and reorganized the kids room and family room, but I haven’t done it full on Marie Kondo style. Today that will change. I am starting with me though.

Today I’m emptying MY closet of all the clothes and intentionally putting back the ones that spark joy. I’d rather have six items that I absolutely love and adore than 60 that create stress in my life. We will see how it all turns out, but I am optimistic that a world with less stuff offers more room for a life of more living. Wish me luck!

Have you completed a Marie Kondo style cleaning? Or an organization real? I’d love to hear your experience!

BEST SELF, HEALTH, NUTRITION, RECIPES

Ten Whole30 Meals to Start the New Year

12/31/2018

With the New Year right around the corner it is a time of reflection. We often take stock of the past year and evaluate what has worked for us and what hasn’t. As a result people often vow to make changes and let the fresh year work as a trigger for these changes, hence we create New Year’s Resolutions.

While I believe there are many positive aspects to these resolutions, we often bite off more than we can chew, or in terms of losing weight and changing habits, perhaps we bite off less than what will actually satisfy us. It is important as we work towards our goals for the new year that we make sure they are SMART goals. Yes, the old acronym we learned in grade school – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Bound. It is also helpful to create macro and micro goals. The micro goals are smaller goals that work towards your larger goal.  For example, your macro (or larger) goal may be to adopt a healthier more active lifestyle, but your micro goal – or goal of the day may simply be to put gym clothes on first thing in the morning. Conquering smaller goals that establish healthy patterns and habits can be more efficient, achievable, and maintainable. These then build upon future goals. I like to look at what my year end goal is and then reverse engineer my steps. If we are truly resolving to make changes in our lives then we need to make sure we are setting ourselves up for success. Unfortunately, most people have given up their resolutions by Groundhog’s Day, where they revert to doing the same old behaviors again and again.

One of the behaviors I changed within 2018 was my eating habits. I took on the Whole30 Challenge and completed it in three sequential rounds. Doing 30 days at a time was a SMART goal and I was able to achieve it and then follow up with secondary and tertiary rounds. I am now in a maintenance phase and it has simply become my new way of living.

I’ve already had several individuals reach out to me to let me know that they are going to be starting their own Whole30 challenge in the new year, so I figured I’d help out by posting some of my favorite, quick & easy, go-to meals. I’m always here for encouragement  and support – so don’t hesitate to reach out or to comment. The more community you build, the easier it is to follow through. You have people that support you and are rooting for you – just make sure you are looking for them!

Alright, here are some of my top ten favorite Whole30 meals:

1. Coconut Curry Shrimp with Zucchini Ribbons and Peppers

Wash zucchini and bell pepper.  Use spiralizer (with ribbon attachment) to spiralize the zucchini. If you don’t have a spiralizer you can either use a general peeler or just thinly slice with a regular knife. Add one tablespoon of olive oil (or coconut oil) in the frying pan and heat on medium.  Add zucchini to pan once warm. Cut bell pepper in half and removed seeds, stem, and interior flesh. Slice thin strips of bell pepper and add them into the pan with the zucchini. Cook on medium for 6 minutes, then add one cup of coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of curry, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and 2-3 shakes of Adobe Salt (without pepper).  Mix all together and then add a handful of de-veined, de-tailed shrimp. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until shrimp are pink. Put into a bowl and top with shaved coconut and a handful of pepitas. Dig in!

2. Italian Style Potato with Egg

Wash, dry, and place 3 baby potatoes (or a small regular potato) in the microwave for 3 minutes.  I do not pierce the skins – I just put them on a microwavable plate or paper towel. Place a teaspoon of olive oil in the frying pan and crack two eggs into pan once heated. Add salt to taste and cook eggs thoroughly, flipping as needed. I usually leak my egg while cooking that way it incorporates into the white a bit without making them scrambled. Once cooked chop up the egg.  Place cooked potatoes into a bowl and smash. I sometimes use a knife to help out in this process. Add a cup of Whole30 compliant pasta sauce. I use Rao’s or Victoria’s basic marinara. Add in chopped egg, and top with 1/4th a cup of hemp seed (for extra texture and nutrients), and 1/4th cup of sliced natural black olives. Enjoy!

3. Baked Potato with Sunny Side Up Eggs and Roasted Onions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Wash baked potato. Add a little olive oil to the exterior skin and one crank of the Himalayan Pink Salt.  Wrap it in foil and throw it in the oven for 45 minutes. Finely dice an onion. Add a teaspoon of olive oil and throw onion on a baking sheet.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until edges are browned. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a frying pan and let pan warm. Crack two eggs into pan and let them cook, flipping once.  I like my eggs to be slightly runny so that it gives moisture to the baked potato, but you can fully cook if you prefer. Once the potatoes is finished cut into half. Add the two eggs on top and pierce the yokes. Then add the roasted onions on top and enjoy!

4. Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Onions and Peppers with Guacamole

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Wash sweet potato and bell pepper. Slice sweet potato long ways into thin wedges, first cutting into half or thirds, and then cutting into 4-6 strips (depending on size of potato).  Cut onion in half and then into sixths and leave layers in tact. Cut the bell pepper around the stem, pulling out the stem and seeds. Rinse to make sure all seeds are out. Leave pepper whole and turn on its side and slice in small strips creating rings. Pour about one tablespoon of olive oil on your hands and massage into the potatoes and onions.  Put bell peppers onto one side of the baking sheet and the potatoes and onions on the other. Season the potatoes and onions with either Himalayan Pink Salt or Adobo Salt (without Pepper). Cook for about 35 minutes, checking periodically. While veggies bake, slice avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop out avocado into a bowl and add two shakes of the Adobo Salt (without pepper).  Mash up. Once veggies are done, plate veggies and add a side of the guacamole. Enjoy! Also, really good with a sunny side up egg – or if you eat meat, feel free to add meat to the dish!

5. Roasted Potato Medallions & Baby Carrots with Sunny Side Up Eggs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Wash baked potato. Slice the potato into thin slices creating small medallion looking slices. Place on baking sheet.  Add about a cup of washed baby carrots to baking sheet. Pour about one tablespoon of olive oil into your hands and massage into the vegetables.  Add two to three crank of the Himalayan Pink Salt. Roast in oven for approximately 30 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, add a teaspoon of olive oil to a frying pan and let pan warm.  Crack two eggs into pan and let them cook, flipping once. Once veggies are done add them to plate and top with the two eggs, piercing the yolk and letting the warm liquid flow over the veggies.

6. Salmon with Roasted Balsamic Green Beans & Brussel Sprouts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Clean Brussel sprouts and green beans.  Slice Brussel sprouts in half. Put in bowl and toss with one tablespoon of olive oil, one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and one tablespoon of coconut aminos.  Place on baking sheet. Throw washed green beans into bowl with leftover oil, vinegar, and aminos. Toss around and then add to baking sheet. Throw in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Lightly cover the bottom of a baking sheet with olive oil and place salmon on baking sheet skin side down.  Pour about one tablespoon of olive oil into palm of your hands and massage it into the top of the salmon. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Cut one lemon in half.  Slice one half into quarters and the other half into round slices. Squeeze the two quarters onto the salmon and then place the round slices on top of the salmon. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes. Ideally you will put the salmon in once the vegetables have cooked for about 20 minutes so that all the food will come out hot together. Plate and serve!

7. Sautéed Shrimp with Zucchini Ribbons and Mushrooms

Clean one zucchini. Use spiralizer to create thin ribbons of zucchini.  If you don’t have a spiralizer you can simply use a mandolin, a handheld peeler, or just slice up the zucchini thinly with a basic knife. Slice up mushrooms into thin slices. Add half a tablespoon of olive oil on the frying pan and throw veggies on once warm. Sauté veggies for about 5 minutes and then add a cup of de-veined, de-tailed shrimp.  Add two cranks of black pepper and two cranks of Himalayan Pink Salt. Gently stir veggies and shrimp to make sure all get cooked. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Pull of stove and pour into bowl or plate and serve!

8. Shrimp Stuffed Peppers

Clean one large bell pepper. Cut in half and removed seeds, stem, and interior flesh. Cut avocado in half and remove pit. Empty avocado into a bowl and add two shakes of Adobo Salt (without pepper) and mash up.  Fill bell pepper halves with guacamole. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil into the frying pan. Once heated add a handful of de-veined, de-tailed shrimp. Add 1-2 light shakes of the Adobo Salt and cook for 3-4 minutes until shrimp turn pink.  Remove from pan and place on top of the guacamole! Eat up!

9. Roasted Veggies with Fresh Rosemary

Preheat oven to 425. Wash eggplant and cherry tomatoes. Dice up eggplant and onion into very small cubes. Place diced vegetables in a bowl and drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil. Mix together with your hands, massaging it into the vegetables.  Add two cranks of the Himalayan Pink Salt. Spread veggies out onto baking sheet. Throw a handful of cherry tomatoes on top. Roast vegetables for about 30 minutes. Finely chop one sprig of fresh rosemary. When veggies are done, throw them in a bowl and add rosemary.  Mix up and serve. Feel free to add a protein to this by adding egg, meat, fish, or nuts & seeds.

10. Smoked Salmon with Cashew Cream on Sweet Potato Toast

When you purchase smoked salmon, make sure to look at the ingredients – a lot of companies add sugar, so make sure to get one that doesn’t! Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Wash sweet potato. Cut the ends off and then stand it up tall. Cut downward into thin sheets (about 1/4 of an inch thick) to make slices of “toast”. If you are preparing ahead of time, soak a cup of cashews in a cup of water overnight, if you are making this meal in the moment, then you can simply microwave a cup of cashew in a cup of water for three minutes to soften.  Drain cashews and blend in blender with 1 tablespoon of herbs de provence, and two cranks of Himalayan Pink Salt. Blend until creamy. When the sweet potatoes are done cooking let them cool for about 10-15 minutes, or throw them in the fridge to speed up cooling time. Once cool, spread the cashew cream on top and add a slice of the smoked salmon. Enjoy!

I hope these recipes are helpful! I’m always here for tips, tricks, advice, and encouragement!

Wishing you and yours the happiest New Year full of love, laughter, and lots of adventure. I’d love to hear what your goals are for 2019, so feel free to leave them in the comments. You’ve got this – just make sure you are set up for success – preparation is key!  

BREAST IMPLANT ILLNESS, GRATITUDE, HEALTH, MY TRUTH

Breast Implant Removal Surgery // Two Years Later

12/19/2018

As I sit here getting ready to write an update about my breast implant removal surgery, I am in such a state of gratitude.

Two years ago I was lying in bed struggling with the decisions I had made in regards to my life choices and overall health. The surgery proved to be complicated and the recovery process even more so. They had a challenging time bringing me out of the anesthesia, I had secondary issues with draining, and got an infection which resulted in a need for a follow up procedure.

I was in a dark place, wondering what I had done to myself and wondering whether I would ever be able to function normally again. I questioned my reasons for getting implants in the first place, berading myself about the selfishness of the decision. I could not get out of bed easily and was relying on others to help me with everything. This included friends of only a few months. The pain was just barely tolerable and my body looked botched. My motion was limited and I feared that I would never regain full use of my arms and shoulders again. I felt broken.

I truly questioned whether this was the solution. Would my symptoms go away? Or were they unrelated and there was some deeper underlying issue that I was dealing with?  Did I have an autoimmune disorder that had not been identified. Was all this pain and suffering for nothing?

For years I had been dealing with symptoms including chronic fatigue, with bouts of extreme fatigue, dizziness, lethargy, chest pain, hair loss, mood swings, depressions, weight gain, and inflammation. I followed a group of women online who were going through similar journeys, and before my surgery I found the group to be immensely helpful.

But after the surgery, the group became painful to engage in.  Everyone seemed to be healing much quicker than I was. Some were even up and about days after the surgery, where for me it took about 8 weeks. There were some that looked better after surgery than I had even looked with my implants – and here I was with one tiny breast adhered to my chest wall in a puckered position and the other, slightly larger, but droopy with extra scarring due to the infection. What had I done to myself?

Lucky I learned that those who seemed to be healing well tended to have the energy and excitement to post more readily their success stories, where as the rest of us who had alternate paths of recovery were a bit more reluctant to share.  After I posted about my own struggles, I got the love and support I needed – with a lot of mirrored stories. This was indeed helpful, but the journey of recovery was long and mine to walk.

Fast forward two years and I sit here in the peak of my physical health.

What a dichotomy.

For the first time in my life, I am treating my body with love and compassion. I am fueling it with clean foods and focusing on strengthening it through moderate exercise. I am no longer using and abusing it, or taking it for granted. I even completed the Marine Corp Marathon this past fall, without any injuries or excessive soreness after the race. I’m constantly amazed at the healing process of the body and am positively pushing the limits of what I thought it could do, daily.

But it was not an overnight process.

It took time, it took patience, and it took change.  

I have cut out processed foods, sugars, and alcohol. I use my body and challenge it in new ways – staying active. I stretched and worked with my body increasing the demands I put on it, slowly and mindfully.

Yes, my body has pretty much healed itself.  And yes, the symptoms of Breast Implant Illness have all seemed to go away as a result of having my implants removed, but it took time and it wasn’t without work, and I think that is a very important point to understand.

Just as getting implants did not solve my poor self esteem overnight, it didn’t take removing them to heal my broken body. It took love and nurturing.  It took compassion. And it took time.

In my case, I am talking about a surgery to remove implants – both elective surgeries – but for others struggling with recovery, it may be an injury, a health related surgery, a weightloss journey, or a chronic illness you are dealing with. Regardless, of what your journey specifically entails or where you are in the process, I have three pieces of advice that will help you immensely in your process:  

You must be patient with yourself in your healing process. It takes time for the mind, body, and heart to heal. If you move forward a little bit each day, you will eventually get to where you are going. If you try to rush the process, you will only frustrate yourself. I try to look a year out at all times. Where will I be a year from now gives me a lot more of a realistic timeline of the healing process and gives me adequate time to make gains. Take things in small steps so they don’t feel overwhelming, and before you know it, you too will be discussing your story two years later.

Secondly, you must be intentional about what you do. Be an active player in your healing process, don’t just let it happen to you. Do any exercises or stretches you are supposed to do. Push yourself a little each day. Fuel your body and mind with positivity – consuming healthy foods and optimistic outlooks is vital. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and in your healing – and if you don’t have those people currently in the physical sense, find communities online and engage there. Be the captain of the ship and steer the boat where you want to be. There are always elements of the recovery you cannot change (for me the aesthetics of my body), but there are plenty of areas to focus on that you can control (i.e. strength and outlook).

And lastly – but perhaps most importantly – BE COMPASSIONATE. Treat yourself as if you were caring after your young child. Forgive yourself for the mistakes that may have gotten you into the position you are in today. You can’t change the past, you can only focus on the present. A very wise aunt of mine once told me that focusing on regret is a wasted emotion – and she is so right! You can’t change it, so forgive yourself and move forward. If you treat yourself with the compassion you’d treat others with you’ll be able to move past a lot of the mental roadblocks that hold us back or arrest us in our development. So make sure you are coming from a place of love with all you do – especially in regards to how you treat yourself.

I hope the takeaways from my experience can help you with your own personal journey. If you have your own advice or stories to share – please join in on the comments – I love to hear from you.

Interested in learning more about my surgery or healing process  – here are the links to my previous articles, discussing my journey:

Thanks again for taking the time to read my words. Wishing you all the best.