Songs that inspire me…to inspire you

It’s no secret that I’m someone who is very driven and motivated by various quotes and sayings. I have them plastered all over my bedroom (even some in my bath room lol), written in my planner, and saved on my phone. With that being said, I’m also someone who listens closely to the lyrics of songs and interprets them in my own way.

Here are a few of my favorites. I hope some of them inspire you as they have for me.

New Romantics– Taylor Swift

 

“Baby we’re the new romantics/ The best people in life are free”

Probably one of the few T-Swift songs that I enjoy (I have nothing against her, she just usually isn’t my style), but this song in particular caught my attention because of her message. The people that are going to stick by you in your life are the ones that love every part of you. You love each other despite any flaws because when you’re together the outside world doesn’t matter.

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Really Don’t Care– Demi Lovato

“But even if the stars and mood collide/ I never want you back into my life/ You can take your words and all your lies/ Oh oh oh I really don’t care”

First off, I love that Demi is not afraid of being super authentic in this song….or in life for that matter. The message is plain and simple. Why keep something in your life that is bringing you down? Get rid of it and never look back. Then own who you are and never apologize for it.

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Catch My Breath– Kelly Clarkson

“I’ll spend the rest of my life/ Laughing hard with the windows down/ Leaving footprints all over town/ Keeping faith, Karma comes around/ I will spend the rest of my life”

I’ve talked a few times on this blog how when you go through an ED, you lose your life in the sense that you don’t allow yourself to go out and actually LIVE. This song is exactly about that. Kelly talks about how she used to hold back and be afraid of things. Now she’s let it go and is getting back the life she lost. That’s why I connected to this song. I lost my life and now I’m getting it back.

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That’s My Girl– Fifth Harmony

“Destiny said it, you got to get up and get it/ Got some dirt on your shoulder, then let me brush it off for ya/ If you’re feeling me, put your five high/ That’s my girl”

This song was basically my anthem fall semester of my senior year. It was my hardest semester that I had ever had (thanks to all the Kines classes I took). There were a few classes that I was seriously worried about passing. After breaking down on the phone to my mom one night, she reminded me, “Marlee, you have overcome things FAR greater than this”. For the rest of the semester, I blasted this song whenever I could. It was a reminder to me that I can overcome ANYTHING that’s thrown at me.

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Fix You– Coldplay

“Lights will guide you home/ And ignite your bones/ And I will try to fix you”

I couldn’t do this list without a bit of Coldplay because they’re just awesome (and my FAVORITE band <3). What really spoke to me in this song was getting through struggles with a support system. We are the ones who have to correct our problems, but the ones we love can help us along the way.

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Scars To Your Beautiful– Alessia Cara

“There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark/ You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are/ And you don’t have to change a thing, the world can change it’s heart/ No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful”

LOVE THIS GIRL SO MUCH OMG! This song is a personal anthem of mine. For me this song means, there is no one in this world that can define what beauty is. YOU define your own beauty. We’re all different. There’s no point in trying to conform to someone else’s standards of beauty. We’re all unique in our own way and THAT’S beautiful.

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Wild Things– Alessia Cara

“Find your grace, don’t you hide your face/ And let it shine, shine, shine, shine, shine”

Once again this girl hits it out of the ballpark with this song. It’s all about embracing yourself and being unapologetic for who you are. You don’t have to hide the real you in order to please others. Let others see you for who you are. The world would be a much better place if people didn’t hide the real person inside of them.

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Heavy Crown– Iggy Azalea

“To everyone who said I’d never make it/ Oh Lord, weren’t you mistaken/ I got a dinner date with greatness”

STORY TIME! I remember my first attempt at recovery from ED. Back in high school (when I didn’t realize that I had a problem), I was seeing a nutritionist in my home town. The woman CLEARLY did not specialize in ED cases. Each session with her felt like an interrogation session and it always felt like she doubted every word I said to her. One time I remember her saying to me “With where you’re at right now, you are NEVER going to get better” (umm….yeah….something you don’t say to someone with an ED…..and just anyone in general for that matter). This song is all about overcoming struggles and coming out on top. For me, whether it was that woman or just all the struggles I’ve had in general, I’ve proven them wrong about me. When someone says to me I can’t do something, my response is always “WATCH ME”.

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Restart– Sam Smith

“And the truth is I’m better on my own/ And I’m the one to leave it apart/ So let me restart”

I LOVE THIS MAN ❤ So, restart=new beginnings. Whether it be from a break up (as Sam talks about) or coming out of a personal struggle. You start anew. Clean slate. Yes, your past is still there. But that’s just it…in the past. So it’s best not to dwell on the past. Move forward and embrace a new life.

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Love Myself– Hailee Steinfeld

“I’m gonna put my body first/ And love me so hard til it hurts”

Self love. That’s the take away message from this song. Self love in all parts of yourself. Body, mind, personality, your very BEING. Acceptance from others or society does not define what you think of yourself.

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Amazing Day– Coldplay

“Oh thanks God, must have heard when I prayed/ cause now I always wanted to feel this way”

Why not strive to make everyday amazing? This song is all about embracing the little moments in life. A laugh with a friend, a hug from someone special, kindness from a total stranger….these little things are what make life amazing. We take so much time in our lives to embrace big events. Continue embracing the big events, but also take time to cherish little moments as well.

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I hope these songs have inspired you as they have for me 🙂

❤ Marls

Welcome to Adulthood

TCU Alumni Class of 2017.

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I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept of that……it’s been almost a month since I walked the stage to receive a half million dollar piece of paper (maybe exaggerating….maybe not…it is TCU after all ($$$)).

That day was full of graduations for me. My graduation was in the evening, but I had friends who were graduating in the morning and afternoon. Every time someone I knew walked the stage, I cheered so loudly that the people around me probably didn’t appreciate it. Did I care? Not really. My friends and I were graduating. I’ll do as much cheering as I want.

When it was my turn to graduate, I couldn’t help but think “OMG this is happening…is this really happening? This is happening…OMG”. During line up, I saw all my Kinesiology classmates, some friends, and some people I hadn’t talked to since freshman year. Looking around at everyone in their cap and gown was kinda mind blowing considering where we all started. A wise man named Drake once said, “We started from the bottom, now we’re here”. Those words couldn’t ring more true to me in that moment.

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Four Horn Frogs ❤

Walking out of graduation, diploma in hand, I was overcome with emotion. I started tearing up a bit (shocker I know). All that hard work, stress, ups, downs, lessons, and more had led to this. I can’t believe that its over. I saw one of my closest friends and nearly squeezed the dear life out of her. This chapter of my life was over. Did I want it to be? Yes….and no…..I don’t know.

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The hat that’s circled? Yeah thats me on a graduation highlight on NBC 😀

Reality hit quick for me. I started my new job as an Exercise Specialist later the next week. Do I get much of a summer? No, but I’d would rather dive into and adjust to my new life before I get too comfortable with doing nothing. Plus, I get bored pretty easy.

The first week was rough….not that is was bad in the sense that my job is hard. It was rough in the sense that this is my first full time job and adjusting to working 40 hours a week. Definitely something I’m not used to. My coworkers have been AWESOME with me though and have played a big part in helping me make the adjustment to becoming a working woman.

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Perk of being the newbie: got to try an outdoor yoga class 🙂

I also moved away from Fort Worth. 😦 I needed to move to be closer to my job (and I was not about to continue commuting 45 minutes on I-35 for five days a week). I was super sad to leave everyone in Fort Worth. The days leading up to the move were full of emotional goodbyes and last hurrahs. On the bright side though I’m living with my college bestie. She makes up for all the goodbyes I had to make to people. We’re also excited to get to explore the new town that we’re living in.

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The last workout at the place that changed my life 😥

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Thanks for the memories ❤

 

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Bye weight room bestie 😥

So to give you a basic recap: I graduated from college with a BA in Kinesiology-Health & Fitness, started my job as an Exercise Specialist, and moved to a new town….all within one month. I don’t know about you but just reading that makes me exhausted. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to learn how to do new stuff like setting up utilities for an apartment or signing up for insurance benefits. Thank goodness that my roommate was a math major because I don’t know how I would do most of this stuff without her. Now that it’s been a month, I feel like I’ve adjusted to working 40 hour work weeks. I’m getting to know my coworkers and they are slowly becoming my new work family.

I have more adventures to come I suppose. Well I guess I shouldn’t suppose I’ll have more adventures. I KNOW more adventures are coming. What they will be? I have no idea. Only the big man upstairs knows. I might change jobs, move to another state, fall in love, fall out of love, etc…who knows what could happen? Change is scary but it’s inevitable. Trying to avoid it doesn’t help. If anything it causes more anxiety and fear. NOT a good combination my friends. I have been guilty of avoiding change. I don’t do it as much as I used too but from time to time (in the right circumstances) that anxiety and fear of change takes over.

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How about this? If I embrace change full force, will you do the same? Change is scary but it can be a wonderful thing. And if it doesn’t turn out the way you want, what did you learn from it? There is always opportunity to learn from unfortunate circumstances.

So if you’re hesitating about something, do something about it. Don’t wait for change or avoid it all together. Take the bull by the horns. Go forth, conquer and I will do the same.

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❤ Marls

 

 

To my high school seniors

A few weeks ago, I spent Easter with my family in Dallas. During brunch, my aunt and uncle asked what college advice I could give to my cousin who will soon be starting college.

“Only one? I need some time to think about that….”

Now I have lots of cousins. I mean A LOT. If you’ve ever seen the movie, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, my extended family can be like the Irish Catholic version of that family. Big. Loud. Kinda crazy. But one thing for sure is our unconditional love for each other. We may be crazy, but we’re crazy for each other. My family has 5 graduations this year. FIVE. When did all these kids start growing up? Two college (me being one), 2 high school, and one law school graduation. I remember when we were all little kids, playing in my grandparents’ backyard, doing Lord knows what.

Trying to think of one piece of advice for my cousins who are about to embark into what I consider to be Level 1 of adulthood was hard. Naturally I just thought of it a few days ago, so it felt appropriate to do a blog post about it.

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Photo creds to my BFF Paula ❤

Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.

Simple as that.

Well….maybe easier said than done.

Getting out of my comfort zone was THE BEST decision I’ve ever made.

It started with me going to school out of state. A school where I knew absolutely NO ONE. Was I scared out of my mind? HELL YEAH. Who wouldn’t be?

Then I made the decision to take control of my life. Definitely scared to do that too. BUT it was much needed.

I talked to people. People I didn’t know. People I probably would have never even tried to talk to in high school. Some good…some not so good….

I got involved on campus. #RushRec

I choose to speak up about issues that I’m passionate about. I was tired of being silent. My voice and everyone else’s voice deserves to be heard.

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What has all these things gotten me?

New experiences in new places.

A healthy body and mind.

The BEST friends I’ve ever had and co-workers that have become family.

My own voice.

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So baby cousins (yes you will always be considered babies to me…stop growing up), I know how this time for you is a whirlwind of emotions. Excitement, happiness, anxiousness, sadness…trust me I get it. I was rising college freshman once. But believe me when I tell you, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. One of my professors on our first day of class told us “get comfortable with being uncomfortable”. Life begins when you get outside of that safety bubble.

This is college. Barely anyone knows each other. There are no cliques. You’ll meet people from all over the world. So force yourself to do new things you would have never done before. You might discover something new that makes you happy. Introduce yourself to someone you would have never talked to before. Literally college is all about meeting people, good and bad. Get an on campus job (once again #RushRec). Your coworkers just might become your second family.

College is about so much more than getting a degree and moving on with life. If you go to college just for that purpose only, you’re wasting your time. College changes your life. So much that it’s kinda mind blowing and you don’t actually realize it until you hit that senior status. But through the ups and downs of it all, it is SO worth it.

So get out of your comfort zone my young grasshoppers. Don’t be afraid. Go forth and conquer.

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Proverbs 31: 25

 

Love you big cuz,

Marlee

Closet Cleanse

I purged my wardrobe. Literally, I had clothes scattered across my bed and floor. Why you may ask? Well I was running sprints one morning, and I noticed how my shorts were bunching up on my thighs. I had been noticing it a lot lately and I was kinda beating myself up about it. Why? Because my shorts fit just fine in the summer. All my shorts fit. I knew that I had gained weight but the fact that stuff that was fitting over the summer wasn’t fitting now was making me self conscious.

But before that self discriminating voice got louder I thought “Why am I trying to wear clothes that don’t make me feel comfortable and confident?”

Some of my clothes were ones that I got back in high school or during my first two years of college. As I thought about it more, I wondered if I was trying to hold on to some old part of me. Why was I trying to hold on to a person that I no longer am?

As soon as I got back to my apartment, I started tearing my closet and dresser apart. I created two piles of clothes: one for clothes to sell and one for clothes to donate. I didn’t hold back. I didn’t think twice about getting rid of something that was cute but no longer fits me.

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Literally my favorite workout outfit at the moment 😀

Its still a hard concept for me to wrap my head around. Most people don’t realize, that ED survivors may recover, but we still deal with the side effects on a daily basis. Becoming comfortable with yourself is a process and a struggle. I felt like these clothes were holding me back from embracing my body even more than I already have. We should wear clothes that make us feel comfortable and confident. We shouldn’t be wearing clothes that make us feel insecure or uncomfortable.

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From my epic migration back to my childhood home in The Plains 🙂

I don’t want to wear shorts that bunch up on my thighs. I want shorts that hug my thighs and show off their strength. I don’t want shirts that make me feel self conscious about my ab-less belly. I want shirts that flaunt my curves and make me feel confident. I want dresses that make me want to twirl (an indication that I like something btw) and a swim suit that makes me want to do a cannon ball into a pool (I promise I’m 21 years old).

I’m not the size I was during my ED. I’ve gained weight since last year. I realized though that a number is so meaningless in defining my self worth. Some stores I wear a size 4 in jeans and in others I wear a size 6. But you know what? WHO GIVES A DAMN?! It’s a stupid number and sizing in the clothing industry is SO screwed up. I’m gonna pick clothes that fit me and make me feel confident. And I’m sure as hell not gonna stress over the size, because really what does a number or letter mean? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

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Age 18 (2013)->Age 21 (Today)

Purging my closet and dresser was refreshing and invigorating. You should have seen me. It was like something out of a movie. I had music blasting in my room, throwing clothes out on the floor, singing and dancing the whole time. Doing that instantly made my day SOOOO much better.

So the moral of this whole story: meaningless material objects should not define you. If something makes you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious, DON’T WEAR IT. Hell, GET RID OF IT. It’s not worth it to keep wearing something that makes you feel horrible about yourself. You deserve to feel confident, strong, and beautiful in what ever you’re wearing. And when you feel good about yourself, that confidence radiates around you. And that is the most important thing you can wear.

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WORD via Belle & Bell

 

Love,

Marls

4 Things I’ve learned in 4 years

I feel like I just got the hang of this whole “adulting” thing. Soon I’m going to be expected to do it FULL time after I graduate. I still feel like a kid. Sometimes I still wish I was a kid. My mom always reminds me of one time when I said to her, “Momma! I want to be 8 years old forever! I want to wear size 8 clothes forever! I want to be in the 4th grade forever!” Sometimes I wish I was still that little girl.

On the other hand though, growing up has been a blessing in disguise. I use the phrase “blessing in disguise” because, lemme tell ya, the process of growing up is not fun. Sure it has it’s fun parts. But, it has a lot of not so fun parts too. It is  through those tough parts though that you truly discover who you are as a person. If it weren’t for my struggles, I would not be the person I am today.

Therefore, I present to you the top 4 things I have learned in my 4 years of college:

  1. PERFECTION IS A LIE-It just is. I was that kid in high school that made straight A’s, never got in trouble, and pretty much was your classic goody two shoes. I get to college and the first two years were fine. But then my last two years, when I got into more of my major classes, I was getting a lot of Bs, a few Cs, and the RARE A. Now I know what some of you are thinking-“It could be worse…” I know, but remember I was the “perfect” kid in high school. So coming to college and not doing so well was a lot for me to process. I was thinking “What the hell is wrong with me? These are not the grades that I’m supposed to get!” After a lot of turmoil and tears, I realized something very important. Was I any lazier now than when I was in high school? No. Was I not working harder than I was in high school? HELL no. If anything, I was working harder. So why was I beating myself up over a number or a letter? A letter or a number does not define how intelligent I am. I know how smart I am. When I apply for a job, employers don’t care if I got a C- in a class. All they care about is if I have a bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University. Am I a genius? No. Never have been, never will be. I’m doing the best I can though. And you know what? I’m happy with my work. I know how much effort I put into things. My grades don’t always reflect my effort, but I’m done with grades defining me.

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2.  PEOPLE ARE PRETTY AWESOME-My friends at TCU rock. Some I’ve know since my freshman year and there’s some that I met this year. I have such a diverse group of friends, from all walks of life. Different states, countries, backgrounds….the list goes on and on. It’s amazing to think about how different we are, yet we care about each other in every way. Some of my favorite memories are with these people. Late night silliness, study “breaks”, deep conversations over coffee, weight room shenanigans, new experiences…..These people are have been my rock through the ups and downs of college. We’ve been there to encourage each other, comfort each other, laugh with (and sometimes at (lol)) each other. If I had decided to go to a school other than TCU, I would have never met these awesome people. To be honest, I don’t know what my life would be like without these crazy kids. They are truly such a blessing to me and I couldn’t be more thankful for the amazing friendships

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3. ROCK YOUR BODY-The Marlee that entered TCU was in the thick of an eating disorder. She hated her body. She worked out because she wanted to look like other girls. She finally realized what she was doing to herself and decided to take control of her life. She came to realize that NO ONE’S body looks the same. Health is not cookie cutter. Now, I strive to rock my body. I workout to celebrate what my body can do. I LOVE seeing what it can do. I’m not a supermodel. I’ve got curves on my belly. My thighs touch. My face is round. I’ve got muscles and fat. I’m five feet tall. But you know what? I’m so GRATEFUL for this body. This body could have easily quit on me. BUT IT DIDN’T. It fought for my life. I’m strong as hell-physically and mentally. I could care less about what a number says on a scale.The only numbers I care about are the plates that I’m putting on a barbell. I don’t restrict what I eat. Why deprive yourself of what your body wants? Does your body want a salad? Do you have an immense craving for a pizza? Want a drink? Life’s too short to deprive and restrict ourselves. I’m not gonna sugar coat this by saying I don’t struggle any more. I still have days where I struggle because I’m human. Occasionally, I have bad body image days and those ED voices creep into my head. I feel a slight urge to restrict or to workout to “fix” something. But on those days I stop myself and remind myself of the girl I used to be. I WILL NEVER be that girl EVER again. I kinda like this Marlee WAY better than the old one.

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4. UNAPOLOGETICALLY ME-My body isn’t the only thing that’s changed in the past 4 years. 18-year-old Marlee is completely the opposite of the 21-year-old I am today. I used to be so shy and insecure. I hated how emotional I was. I thought people thought I was weird. I kept to myself and didn’t talk to a lot of people. I was scared of what people would think if I showed them the real me. I was scared of myself. Slowly, I began coming out of my shell. Then sometime during my junior year I realized “Why do I care so much about what other people think of me? What do I think of me?” I realized that I have friends and family that love ME FOR ME. It was from then on I decided to embrace myself. ALL OF ME. The fight, emotions, quirks, strengths, weaknesses….just ME. I realized that if people can’t handle who I am, I don’t need them in my life. I realized there was nothing ever wrong with me. I’m an awesome daughter, sister, and friend. I’m not scared anymore. I’m not afraid to let people see me laughing one minute and then sobbing the next. I’m not afraid to show off my inner dork. I’m not afraid to start up a conversation with a stranger. When someone tells me I can’t do something, I’m not afraid to say “WATCH ME”. Now I smile more, laugh more, and enjoy life more since I’ve decided not to care what other people think of me. I want to be me and nobody else. Besides…being normal is boring.
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Never in a million years did I think I would endure such a transformation. I’m a completely new person. In a weird way, if I had to go through all that struggle to become who I am today….I’d do it all over again. I believe all things happen for a reason. All that struggle, lessons, experiences…led me to this point today. Embrace your struggles. No one wakes up one morning and says “I’m gonna have an eating disorder today” or “I’m gonna be depressed today” or “I’m gonna worry about (blank) today”. NO ONE DOES THAT. The things we go through are supposed to teach us something. We have two choices in this situation: let it defeat us OR push through it and LEARN SOMETHING from it (pssst…I suggest you do the second option). When we learn something from a bad situation, it teaches us more about ourselves. And when we find out more and more about ourselves, we become more content with who we are.

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I’m ready. Ready for the next chapter of this crazy thing called life. A part of me is anxious about it. But…the other part is curious about the future. I’ve made it this far, so why stop? I don’t know what’s in store for me, but I intend to find out.

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❤ Marls

Life Lately & Autumn Spiced Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

Saying that the last couple of months have been busy for me would be an understatement…..so I’ll give you the short version:

  1. School & Finals (Psssst I passed A&P!!!! 😀 )
  2. Senior internship
  3. Move into new apartment
  4. Exercise Physiology

YEP. Oh and I still work in the weight room at the Rec while all of this is going on….

But now I’m done with my internship and Ex Phys, so now I’m just working the rest of the summer! No more school!

Well until August…..a couple of weeks ago at work I was checking in a group exercise class and I heard the instructor telling a member, “My son said to me the other day, ‘Dad! Football season is only 100 days away! Oh wait…that means school starts again soon….'” I told the instructor to tell his son that feeling doesn’t go away, even when you’re in college. Luckily, I’m going to be a senior this year so I’m in the home stretch!

Regarding other highlights of my summer, I turned 21 recently! No, I didn’t do anything crazy for my birthday. I’m not the kind of person who really likes to go out to bars and stuff. If I do go out, I pick going to dinner with friends over bar hopping with friends.

Plus (as weird as this may sound I know…but I’ve already established I AM A VERY ODD PERSON #normalisboring), I don’t really like alcohol. Straight up alcohol I find bitter and gross. If I am going to have a drink, I need to have something flavored so I don’t taste the bitterness. I also don’t like how alcohol makes my head feel. I can’t drink much until my head starts feeling dizzy and that’s when I stop. I know people say “oh you just have to get past that feeling!” I DON’T CARE. I DON’T LIKE HOW MY HEAD FEELS.

Rant over. You wanna see pictures? Well I’m going to show you anyways.

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Dallas Blonde Ale was my first “legal” drink. I was surprised that I actually liked it because it wasn’t a flavored beer. Yes my dad wanted to be in my first “legal” picture. I also shared the Amaretto Sour that my mom ordered. I actually liked it! Does anyone else think it tastes like a Jolly Rancher?

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Strawberry Shortcake from Carlo’s Bakery. I’ll just leave it at that.

I also got to see my POP sisters over this past weekend at a POP Pilates training workshop in Frisco! This was my first training that I attended as an instructor. It was really cool to watch the new trainees go through what my fellow instructors and I went through to become certified. And it’s always a treat to watch Mama Jules teach! 🙂

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So that’s life lately….and now on to probably one of the best recipes that I’ve ever come up with on my own.

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So these sweet potatoes happened by pure accident a few weeks ago. I was throwing together dinner for myself (my go to when I’m out of left overs is two sautéed/roasted veggies, Trader Joe’s Salmon burger or scrambled cheesy egg whites, and flatbread made with this recipe), and I saw that I had a leftover sweet potato in my fridge. Y’all, I LOVE sweet potatoes so of course I had to do something with it. Originally, I sliced the potato into wedges and put them in the skillet. I seasoned them with pumpkin pie spice and then I accidentally put in more coconut sugar than I meant to. I decided to leave it. Then, as the potatoes cooked, the coconut sugar got all caramelized and suddenly my apartment was filled with the aroma of pumpkin pie.

They tasted just like fall. Cinnamoney, nutmegey (if those are even words), sweet, and there’s this awesome crust that the coconut sugar creates. My only problem with them was that they weren’t as soft as I wanted them to be.

So last night, I decided to make them as a side to my dinner (I used this meal prep for dinners this week, except I shopped at Trader Joe’s and not Whole Foods). Instead of using the skillet, I popped them in the oven. The result was AMAZING. Same taste, but I finally achieved the softness I wanted. AND I still got that crust that I liked 😀

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I was originally going to name these “Pumpkin Pie Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges”, but I felt like the title was sort of contradictory. Now enough of my rambling. See the recipe below? Yeah, go make these. Don’t ask questions. JUST GO.

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Autumn Spiced Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

Makes 1-2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • Pumpkin Spice Seasoning (to taste)
  • Coconut Sugar (to taste)
  • Olive Oil (enough to coat wedges)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees
  2. Slice sweet potato into wedges
  3. Put the wedges in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil
  4. Season the wedges with the pie seasoning and coconut sugar
  5. Mix together everything in the bowl until everything is coated
  6. Place the wedges on a baking pan and bake for 20 minutes
  7. At the 20 minute mark, toss the wedges to prevent any sticking and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the edges are crisp to your liking
  8. Remove from the oven and EAT

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You’re welcome 🙂

 

~Marls

 

Thank you Cassey

I’m sitting in Starbucks right now eavesdropping on two high school girls quiz each other on the muscles of the body…the basic ones…

Oh when life was easier…

ANYWAYS!

Spring Break finally came….

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This semester has kept me so busy….busier than last semester. However, its been an odd combination of stress and happiness…..anxiety and joy….tears and memory making…

Does that make sense?

I didn’t think so…it makes no sense to me either….

On a happy note: I attended a Pop Pilates Instructor training a few weeks ago and it was one of the best days of my life 🙂

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AMAZING people, AMAZING instructor, and just an over all AMAZING day ❤

I had been contemplating becoming certified ever since Cassey Ho (creator of Pop Pilates) created a certification program. When I saw online that there was going to be a training in the DFW area, I jumped on board! Cassey’s body positive message has been one that has had a lasting impact on my recovery. Love your body for what it can do…NOT by what it looks like.

I saw on Instagram a few days ago a post by a Pop Pilates instructor that perfectly sums up what I want to do with my future career in fitness:

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THIS is exactly why I want to pursue a career in the fitness industry.

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All that’s left now is to make a final evaluation video and send it to the Pop Pilates program directors. Then they let me know if I passed!

OMG OMG OMG…its both exciting and nerve racking at the same time!

Oh wow… now 3 girls just walked in and I SWEAR they are the epitome of “The Plastics” from mean girls. One of them is complaining about her parents but she can “totally like do whatever the hell” she wants because she has a phone, a car, a debit card…..

Sweetie those things can EASILY be taken away…..JUST SAYIN’

Has anyone else tried people watching at Starbucks?

It’s quite entertaining!

I know…I’m rambling….my friends and family wouldn’t be surprised by this…

ANYWAYS back to what I was talking about before….

If you haven’t heard of Cassey Ho before, check out Blogilates. Not only are her workouts fun, but she is also such an inspiring person. She has been such a driving force behind my recovery. She promotes a body positive message that has really helped me come to terms with how I look and also who I am.

She has this infectious bubbly personality that is completely real. She doesn’t hold back and she doesn’t apologize for who she is. When I was at the Pop Pilates training, the instructors totally embodied this. At the end of the day, we went around in a circle and said the most important thing we took away from today. I said that “it’s okay to let out my inner crazy”. Most people see me as this very serious person, which I am. But my close friends know that there is a bubbly side to me! For so long I felt too shy to let other people see this side of me. I still am pretty shy about it, but I think I’m slowly coming out of my shell.

Cassey has also helped me embrace my new body. She recently came out about her eating disorder. This goes to show eating disorders aren’t that uncommon and they need to be talked about more. She embraces her body for how strong it is and what it can do. That kind of confidence in her body shows and I think she looks great. Its helped me learn to love my own body for how strong and powerful it is. I mean, I just deadlifted 120 pounds the other day! I think that’s pretty bad a**! I could not have done that without all the muscles and fat on my body now.

Will I ever be a size 24 again? Pssssh no! Do I have days where I feel like stuffed sausage in my jeans? Hell yeah, but I’m only human!!! Geez!!! I am NEVER going to be that insecure, depressed, underweight girl EVER again.

Life is too short to be worrying about what other people think all the time.

And to not eat food…like dark chocolate….and peanut butter…and pretzels….just to name a few ;D

I hope I can spread my own self discovery to other people through my future career.

Thank you, Cassey, for helping me learn to love myself.

❤ Marlee

 

 

Link Love <3

YAY!!!!!!! I’M DONE WITH HALF OF MY SCHOOL YEAR!!!! 😀

Y’all, I could not be more happy to be home on break than I am right now. I was so close to ripping my hair out of my head by its roots because of the amount of stress that I was experiencing towards the end of the semester.

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Oh…and to top it all off….I PASSED ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY 1!!!!! 😀

Did I get an A? Hell no. But, I’ll take what I got. I passed and that’s all that matters to me! 🙂 Now on to A&P 2 next semester…… 😦

It’s been forever since I wrote a post. For this one I thought I would share some of my favorite links. I like looking at these from time to time when I’m bored or need a break. Some of them are funny, some are inspirational, some are just random…..

I hope you enjoy!

“Advice for my 20-Year-Old Self” by Fit Foodie Finds

This is one of many food/health/lifestyle blogs that I look at on a daily basis. This post really hit home for me being that I’m currently 20 years old. Like me, Lee has also over come an eating disorder and so a lot of her experiences I can relate to. In this post, there were a lot of good reminders to me to respect my body, be my weird self, and to relax.

Jennifer Hudson Carpool Karaoke

My mom showed me this video one time when I was in desperate need of a laugh. Boy did it work. I was laughing so hard my gut was hurting! And I still have the same reaction ever time that I watch it! There are dozens of videos like this with different singers, but this one is my favorite! 😀

Susan Cain: The power of introverts-TED Talk

I had never seen a TED Talk before until I started college and now I’m obsessed with them. TED talks cover a HUGE range of topics, each of which are interesting to listen to. I especially like this one because I consider myself to be an introvert and I’ve struggled accepting it. However, Cain informs her audience on just how amazing introverts really are. For all the introverts (like me 🙂 ), this is a good reminder that there is nothing wrong with us. We are extraordinary people and it’s okay to show the world just how awesome we are!

What happens when American Football Players play musical chairs

Don’t ask questions. Just watch it and prepare to laugh hysterically.

Sam Berns: My philosophy for a happy life- TED Talk

Another excellent TED talk. This young man is such an inspiration to me. I first saw this video when I was beginning my recovery. I was going through a lot of other personal stress outside my ED. Despite all his challenges, Berns shares how he leads a positive life. I have shared this video with my family because I believe he is a good reminder to anyone going through a hard time that life does get better.

“Why not to go on a diet” by immaEATthat

Not only is this probably my FAVORITE blog for many reasons, but this post is particular is absolutely AMAZING. We’re getting to that time of year where everyone is making New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, go on a diet, etc…. But what irritates me is that eating healthy doesn’t mean eating less. Depriving yourself of food that your craving only hurts you in the long run. By not listening to your body and what its craving, you’re never satisfied and it can lead to a cycle of disordered eating. If you really want to eat better, intuitive eating is the way to go. Intuitive eating is all about listening to your body’s hunger cues and respecting them. Intuitive eating is something I believe everyone should do. Food shouldn’t have rules. Food is supposed to be enjoyed.

“Watch This Female Powerlifter Crush Fitness Stereotypes”- Greatist

Too often I hear, “you’re strong for a girl”. I hate that. What is “strong for a girl” supposed to be? Girls are expected to not lift a lot of weight and be small. As the girl in this video, Molly Kelly, says “I’m just strong”. Well said indeed.

Jackie Kuczynski:”Why Gaining 17 Pounds Was Such a Positive Experience”- Spoon University

To gain weight, the key is that you have to WANT IT. This girl sure did want it and because she did she gained 17 pounds, restoring her pre ED weight. I am proud to say that I too have restored my pre ED weight. I have gained a total of 27 pounds. And you know what? I love me 27 pounds heavier. Clothes fit better (length is still a problem though 😦 #shortpeopleproblems), I look better, I feel stronger, and I acutally feel healthier. Was it easy gaining that weight back? HELL NO. After two years of a lot of tears and sweat, I’ve finally gotten my body back and its stronger than ever. Do I wake up every morning and think “I LOVE MY BODY”? No, but I’m only human! I’m learning to love myself more every day and thats much better than tearing myself apart.

Happy New Year Everyone! 😀

Marls

 

Keeping my head on

Workout

Eat

Study

Go to class(es)

Eat

Study

Eat

Study

Eat

Study or watch TV (if I can…)

Sleep

Repeat

This has been my life lately. All my friends that are juniors in college like me agree that this is probably the most stressful year we’ve ever had. Sure the first two years were pretty stressful. But this year its like *BOOM* “HERE’S YOUR WORK. DO IT RIGHT OR FAIL.”

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Some weeks are good….and then I have my hell weeks where I have papers, assignments, and exams all scheduled into one week. The amount of work that I’ve had this semester is mind boggling…and I’m only taking 13 hours of classes this semester.

Anatomy & Physiology 1 has definitely been a big source of stress. I learned that I literally can’t go a single day without looking over material from class.

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SIMPLY is the key word in this meme. Yes its possible to get an A but if you do…..you must have a photographic memory or something. There is SOOOOO much material to remember. Lots of long unpronounceable words, long processes, different regions, types of cells, different tissues…..the list goes on and on………

I’m not gonna lie….I’ve had an emotional breakdown at least 2-3 times per week the past couple of weeks. We had fall break a few weeks ago, which was nice, but it needed to be longer.

To combat the stress, I still have my hour or so in the mornings where I work out and I forget all my stress and worries. I’m still cooking which also makes my stress a little bit more bearable. Talking to my parents and my brother help as well with my stress. I try to leave some time for myself at night before bed to decompress and relax. Also spending time with my friends, whether it be skyping with my childhood BFF or going to brunch with one of my TCU besties, helps make me laugh and smile 🙂

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It’s hard to keep a good head on my shoulders but I’m doing the best I can. I have wonderful family, friends, and faith to keep my sane. Before I know it, it’ll be time for winter break and I’ll have time to reset my head 🙂 I need to remind myself that the stress is only temporary and that everything is going to be okay.

Have a lovely weekend friends 🙂

❤ Marlee

This or That?

One of my favorite blogs, Carrots n Cake, posted this fun survey that she got from another blog. After reading it, I knew I had to do one too! So here it is!

Chocolate or Vanilla?

I’ve always been a vanilla girl! It’s not that I dislike chocolate, I just prefer vanilla. I love vanilla protein powder, cookies, cake, candles….even my lotion and hand sanitizer are vanilla scented!

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Innie or Outtie?

I’ve always had an innie 🙂

Hot, Hot Summer or Snowy Winter?

Hmmm…that’s a hard one. I guess I would have to say summer because I hate being cold. I don’t like feeling super hot either, so it kind of depends. Plus, we don’t really get any “snow” here in Texas. It’s usually is just ice…which is no fun because literally everything shuts down. (FYI: Don’t be deceived by the picture….that’s not snow….)

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Save or Spend?

Because I’m a college student, my first inclination is to SAVE. Coupons have literally become my best friend since I started school.

Elliptical or Treadmill?

Treadmill all the way 😀

Banana or Apple?

I have to choose one?

Morning or night?

I’ve always been a morning person. My body just naturally wakes up early. Plus I love how everything is so peaceful and quiet in the mornings. And sunrises never get old 🙂

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Love or Money?

Love always!

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Lip Balm or Lip stick?

I don’t own any lip stick so that answers that question!

Butt or Boobs?

I’d have to go with boobs since I’m so flat chested….

Alone or with others?

While I enjoy being with others sometimes, I’ve always been kind of a loner. I definitely enjoy my “me” time.

Coffee or Tea?

Tea. Coffee is too bitter for me :/

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Straight or Curly?

I would say curly because my hair is already straight. My mom always says we always want what we don’t have!

Three squares or Graze all day?

Three solid meals for sure. My day usually consists of three meals and then a snack before bed. I find that if I just snack during the day I either over eat or am starving.

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Right or left handed?

Right!

Beach or Mountains?

Love the beach!

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Mac or PC?

Mac

Shy or Outgoing?

I’ve always been more of a shy person. However, I’m definitely more outgoing when I’m around my friends!

Marlee 😀