When you don’t feel worth it…


When you feel so broken wondering why you’re like this. When you wonder if you’ll literally ever be able to love someone in a healthy way. When you’re wondering where your self worth went. When it’s breaking your heart that you can’t see yourself the way your parents do. When it’s crushing you to see their eyes well up when you tell them you don’t love yourself. When you hear them tell you you’re worth it. When you’re wondering why someone that’s harbored feelings for you for years won’t even make it work with you. When you miss your ex. When you doubt if it’s love or you’re just holding onto something that makes you feel good. When you wonder why you need to hold onto someone to make you feel good in the first place and can’t be satisfied with your own self. When you know that fall is coming and probably along with it your depression. When your favorite shirt is dirty. When you text that guy because you’re bored or lonely or some other lame excuse. When no one shows up for your birthday. When you realize how far you still have to go. When you’re wondering why you’re not fixed yet. When you’re wondering how you’re so messed up. When you’re lonely. When you’re sad. When you wish that guy you have a crush on would just pay attention to you. When you know he isn’t the one for you. When you say something mean. When you say something passive aggressive. When you speak out of turn because your feelings are hurt. When you don’t get a reply. When an “I’m sorry” won’t work. When you’re broke. When you just want to delete everyone out of your life. When you believe you’ll never be married because you can’t be 1000% single for one single second. When you wonder what that is inside of you holding you back. When you’re sorry. When you’re broken. When you’re depressed and being so makes you even more depressed because you think of all the people pulling for you that really love you. When you think about how much your family loves you. When your heart is absolutely smashed like a month old Halloween pumpkin. When you think about how many people haven’t shown up for you in your life. When you remember the ones that do. When you don’t want to read that message that’s gonna hurt. When you feel weak. When you feel strong. When everything is sh*t. When everything is incredible. When you’re sick. When you can’t find your people. When you’re waiting. When you can’t understand why you’re not as far as you thought you’d be. When you don’t get that job. When you don’t have a loft in Deep Ellum. When you get married. When you date again. When you’re sunburned. When you’re healthy. When you find your people. When no one shows up. When you’re homesick. When you’re anxious. When someone dies. When you feel isolated. When you realize, again, that you moved away from everything familiar. When someone takes something from you. When you wreck your car. When you feel like no one loves you. When you feel more hopeless than you’ve ever felt. When you want something but can’t get it. When you feel worthless. When you think you’re nothing. When you wonder who spoke that to you and why you let it in. When you can’t shake the incessant down talk you hear your soul speaking to you. When you want to adopt every homeless animal. When you think you’re too far gone. When you want to jump off your balcony. When you feel higher than that one time you got your wisdom teeth out and were under anesthesia. When it’s raining and you’re happy. When you’re elated. When you kiss someone you love again. When you’re a girlfriend. When you’re a wife. When your dream doesn’t come true. When you finally let it all go.

 

Love yourself. Somehow find the strength deep down inside to keep going. And remember, it’s all going to be okay.

#YDMGoesNatural: Whole30 Update

Well, we’re about halfway done with Whole 30 and despite some very minor setbacks, I’m doing great! I wanted to give an update on what I’m eating, how I’m making it work, and my thoughts so far.

SETBACKS

At Chuy’s for lunch one Sunday, I’d had a coldbrew coffee for breakfast (bad idea, already starving) and we waited for our food for three hours. Sue me, I ate some chips out of sheer starvation. When I say starvation, I mean the kind of starvation where you see your dead relatives floating around you beckoning you into that foggy meadow over there. Then there was that time a LITERAL teaspoon of cheese was mixed in with the breakfast taco guts. And that time I put in two of those tiny plastic half and half cups in my coffee and I couldn’t pour it out because the person who’d just made it was standing right next to me in the break room. And I’m sure the two times I’ve been out to eat haven’t been 100% kosher, either. But, hey! I’m halfway done and feel really good about myself despite The Chip Incident.

GETTING CREATIVE

During the first week, it was easy. Chicken, vegetables, fruit, repeat. No big deal. But when you eat chicken that way that often, it can get old. So you think of things you’re hungry for and figure out a Whole 30 way to make it! Ergo, my homemade mayonnaise, hollandaise and tarter sauce! There’s millions (probably) of recipes for Whole 30/Paleo sauces out there; ketchup, ranch, barbecue, steak sauce. My perception with Whole 30 was that if it’s rich and creamy, it’s out. But that’s not true! Like I said, you’re eating like a caveman. If cavemen had almond milk. It’s impressive how many recipes come up just googling “Whole 30 recipes.” I mean, things you thought were off limits have suddenly been transformed into something natural and delicious. The hardest thing to do during these 30 days is plan a meal. If you can do that, you’re golden.

Here are some of the things I’ve made so far:

-Chicken and broccoli stir fry
-Creamy foil packed potatoes and onions (I made this up! Want the recipe?)
-Turmeric and dill pan fried tilapia
-Tarter sauce (homemade mayo + dill + pickles)
Hollandaise
Mayonnaise
-Mixed greens and vegetable salad with balsamic vinaigrette
-Grilled chicken and vegetables
-Mashed potatoes
-Cherry lime-aid

WHAT I CAN’T WAIT TO EAT AGAIN

Breakfast has been the hardest for me. I keep oatmeal in my drawer at work and normally eat that, but oats are off limits with Whole 30. BUMMER. I’m not a huge fan of eggs either, fried or scrambled, I mean, I’ll eat them, but they’re not my #1. I usually just eat fruit. So, oatmeal. Cereal. WHISKEY, for God’s sake. Cake. Chocolate. Chips and salsa. CHEESE, DAMMIT. Sugar! (It’s literally in EVERYTHING.) Whole grain mustard. I really don’t miss a lot of things. I haven’t really been that much of a bread eater this last year, and I’ve severely cut down how much sugar I intake. Whiskey, though? I miss it. Not like in a dependent sort of way, like, I’m at a concert and want a drink kind of way. Before I started Whole 30, I ate and drank literally whatever I wanted. These 30 days are forcing me to be more intentional and thoughtful about what I eat and the things I buy.

HOW I EXPECT TO LIVE WHEN THIS IS OVER

I expect to live lighter. By that I mean, keep being intentional and thoughtful about the food I eat. I’ll still eat whatever I want, just less often than I did before. I’ll eat better fats, still cut out a lot of sugar, plan meals more, cook at home more often than not and generally be mindful. Can I make something at home instead of buying it? (ie: mayonnaise!) Probably, yes. Can I eat a salad for lunch and then cake for dinner? Sure. You’re an adult. Should I walk the dogs for an hour or keep binging on the Olympics? Probably binge on the Olympics, but w/e.

THE NEXT FIFTEEN DAYS

They’re probably going to hurt. But now that I’m on the downhill slope, maybe it’ll make it that much easier to resist temptation. Or that much harder. While at my parents’ last weekend I had a dream I ate a bag of chips from Chili’s. Like, I’d hidden them in a closet and ate them in my sleep. It was the saddest dream I’ve ever had. AND SHOULD TELL YOU HOW MUCH MY BODY MISSES CARBS. My brain is literally talking to me and asking me what is happening because we never go this long without carbs. Someone wrote out a timeline of how most people feel during the thirty days and it’s hilarious. I should’ve read it before I started this whole thing and maybe I’d have been more prepared. Last week when I was exhausted for no reason, right on schedule, I realized my body was finally starting to learn to live and run on good things. Not carbs. Way to go, body! You’re pretty cool.

 

Now the question is, who wants to take me to dinner September 1 when this is all over? #whiskey #missyou

 

xx

Dallas Bucket List: Nasher Sculpture Center

Just a quick post this morning! I remembered that I marked something off my list! Yay!

Downtown, there’s this incredible museum with all kinds of sculptures displayed. Throughout the year, they host a big party in their backyard. There are food trucks outside and a band and popsicles and beer and when it gets dark, they start a movie on a big inflatable screen. My friend Cait and I finally got to go to one this summer! On the night they do these parties, the Nasher and the Dallas Museum of Art offer free admission! It’s a perfect way to see all that art. Just be prepared to be surrounded by people all night.

A perfect evening to cross one off the bucket list! We nearly melted in the heat, but a couple of Steel City Pops kept us cool. Along with some beer and food truck sushi. I can’t wait to go when it FINALLY gets cooler here in Texas! String lights overhead, hot chocolate…yay fall!

 

 

xx

#YDMGoesNatural: Whole 30 + A Fitness Challenge

On August 1, someone at work thought it would be fun/funny to start a company wide fitness challenge. In a baptist building. Where there’s cake more days than not. (WHY.) So, I think just to save themselves, they put up a cash prize. And if I’m being honest that was the big hook for me getting involved. $$$. Everyone that wanted to participate put up $25 and weighed in. On the last day of the challenge, October 31, we’ll all weigh in again and whoever loses the most weight percentage wise wins the $$$!

Remember on my Facebook page (why don’t you like it?!) when I said I was starting to transition to an all natural, toxin-free lifestyle (post to come on that, too!)? There’s no excuse for me not to do this challenge. I think it’d look a smidge hypocritical if I’m chowing on Chick Fila in the break room watching my coworkers suffer but hey I’m wearing all natural/toxin-free skincare can you tell. It literally will not kill me. I (probably) will not die from trying to eat better and exercise.
Coincidentally, the day I found out about the fitness challenge one of my dental hygienists turned friend (hi, Jennifer!) posted she was starting the Whole 30 challenge the same day our fitness challenge started. I’m a skeptic so I read up on wtf Whole 30 even is, decided it didn’t sound like a cult, and joined her. The hardest thing about this challenge? No alcohol. Or butter. Or sugar. KILL ME. (No, no. Don’t. I put this upon myself and not drinking will not kill me. Right? I mean, the sugar withdrawals might do a serious number on my psyche, though.) My goal is not to transition to a Whole 30 lifestyle 100%, although that might work for some of you, it’s more of a reset for me. A test of what’s left of my will power, if you will. I’ve never been one to go out of my way to be challenged, but I’ve found myself this year asking for hard stuff to be handed to me. (Don’t ever do that, btw. Because it happens.) The only reason I can think of to not do this is because it will be hard. (But Whole 30 kinda busted that theory out of the water.) AND I QUOTE:

“It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.”

*Gulp* Besides, who couldn’t benefit from a little challenge?

WHAT IS WHOLE 30?

I’m the wrong person to be asking since I literally just read about it four days ago, but I’ll try to sum it up. Whole 30 is a 30 day challenge where dairy, sugar (real or artificial), beans and legumes, alcohol (even in cooking), MSG and all grains are banned. You can eat whatever you want–inside those parameters. (Jennifer made ranch!) The point is not, however, to cheat the system and make Whole 30 approved pancakes or ice cream. (Don’t get them started on pancakes. Geez.) The point is to rid your body of junk and to teach it to live almost like a caveman, if cavemen had almond milk. Whole 30 will never hold a gun to your head and force you to eat anything. (It’s an inanimate website. It can’t.) It simply gives you a list of yeses and a list of nos. Abide by them. You’re an adult, for God’s sake. No cheating, no weigh-ins, no slips for 30 days. If you want to read more from the website itself, I’d start here, then go here, and end up here. If you’re serious, just read the whole thing!

 

WHY AM I DOING THIS?

I once did a juice cleanse for five days (but ate dinner!) and got dozens of weird looks and comments that sounded like, “why are you doing that,” “that’s so stupid,” “you’re an idiot,” “you look ridiculous,” “I’d be so hungry. I can’t understand why you’d want to do that,” “why are you licking the counter where I just made a sandwich,” so God knows I’m not doing it for the attention. My goal for years growing up with insanely low self-esteem was to lose weight. I’m talking the entirety of my teenage/early 20s. That damn BMI scale screwed up my brain and I always thought I needed to lose 20 pounds. (I didn’t.) After I got divorced and finally found some self worth, I decided I liked myself! (WHAT A CONCEPT!) Like, loved myself for the first time in 22 years. It was pretty awesome. Then I moved to Dallas and started a list of restaurants I had to try, and while (most) everything I’ve eaten has been utterly delicious, I’d like to maybe save some money and cook more at home. And hey, maybe eat a little better too while I’m at it. Oh, and probably do that workout DVD that literally has six layers of dust on it because I haven’t touched it since I moved. I just want to be a better steward of this kick-ass body while I’ve got it.

THE PARAMETERS:

  • Fully complete Whole 30 with no cheat days or resets
  • Exercise at LEAST three times a week, preferably five
  • Only water and black coffee
  • NO sugar
  • NO alcohol
  • NO grains
  • NO dairy
  • NO beans or legumes
  • NO artificial anything
  • ONLY what is on the approved list and what I make from it
  • Ignore the haters
  • No weigh-ins for 30 days

THE GOALS:

  • To challenge myself and win
  • To lose one jean size (losing weight isn’t my ultimate goal, but it’s a welcomed side effect)
  • To develop a habit of working out consistently
  • To treat dis body good, girl, and mean it

 

So here’s to me! Here’s to treating my body better and ultimately feeling better. Here’s to the next 30 days.

 

Today is August 8, day 8 of 92 of the fitness challenge and day 7 of 30 of Whole 30. Be sure to follow me on Snapchat (@melodyrich) where I’ll be documenting all my meals!

xx

Granny Shades by the Water

See? I really did add more dresses to my wardrobe! A few weeks ago, Old Navy was having an $8 sale on dresses and this is one of the three I snagged. I don’t normally go for brighter colors but I’m glad I jumped on this one. It’s one of the more flattering dresses I now own! It also has adjustable straps. Very cool.

I was entirely too hot for anything other than the thinnest dress imaginable. We took the water taxi over to Charleston and walked around a bit to get a feel for the town. When I tell you that my entire body was covered in sweat, I mean my entire body. Okay? 

dress: Old Navy, booties, earrings: Forever21, sunnies: thrifted

I’m eternally grateful to my past self for buying these flat booties. They’re pretty masculine and I love them. They’re also fuede*. Have you ever been to Charleston? I’d love to go back with a much smaller group and explore the city more and learn all its history. What were your favorite places?

xx

*fuede: [fwaid] fake suede.

Getting To Know You: Cait

Two years ago I launched this series in an effort to get to know the people I was spending every day with a little deeper. Since moving to Dallas I’ve expanded my small circle just a little bit wider. I’m bringing this series back to highlight the relationships in my life that influence me. You can read more about the beginning of this series here and here and read all of the posts in it here.

The story of how I met Cait is a wild one. Five years ago I attended the Passion conference, a Christian conference aimed at high school seniors to college seniors. At this conference, where there can be up to 25,000+ attendees, they break you up into colors of about 1,000-3,000 people. Then they break you up into family groups of 10-12. This particular year I met a girl in my family group named Stephanie. We’d appointed Stephanie to be the leader of our group and at the end of the conference we decided to stay in touch via social media. We lived in completely different states; I in Texas and she in North Carolina. Last year I posted this picture on Instagram. Apparently, one of Stephanie’s friends had just moved to Dallas the month before also and she thought we should hook up. At this point I’m thinking this girl must live in one of the suburbs of Dallas and couldn’t be that close to me.

After Stephanie tagged us both in her comment on my photo, a Cait Butt private messaged me offering to help me move in and gave me her number. Turns out, Cait lived less than 10 minutes from me! I didn’t need any help that day, but she messaged me again a couple of weeks later and had an extra ticket to Shakespeare in the Park, an outdoor ampitheater that shows, you guessed it, Shakespearean plays in the summer. I met Cait and three other brand new people that day. We sat on a blanket and she brought wine and cheese and fruit and we had a picnic and watched Romeo and Juliet. Despite having just moved to Texas a month before, she welcomed me with open arms. Because that’s who she is.

Late last year, her roommate got engaged. (THE WEDDING WAS BEAUTIFUL.) They were breaking their lease and Cait needed a new apartment. After one in Grapevine half an hour away fell through, she texted me and one or two other people asking for prayer and any advice on what to do. She had to be out of her current place by that weekend. We had always joked about how funny it would be if she ended up moving into my 12-unit building. Two people moved out at different times in the months leading up to Cait needing to be out, but they were leased already and Cait wasn’t ready to move just yet.

The day Cait texted me in a panic, I looked out my back window. One of my very long time neighbors was pulling a U-Haul into the parking lot. I could not move my hands and fingers fast enough to text my apartment manager about that place. She said Cait should come by the next day for a showing. I was crossing my hands and fingers and feet and heart all day. Daniel, the greatest landlord on the planet, was there and so was one other applicant. I was nervous and so was Cait. But the place was so perfect for her. A couple days later I got the news. Daniel decided to give the place to Cait. The winning factor? That she was my friend. And that she is.

Cait is warm. She is welcoming and outgoing. Actually, outgoing is too mild a word for her. I think it’s safe to say that 100% of the people she’s met so far in Dallas she has either walked up to or gone to a place or party where she knew no one. Save the ones she’s met online. 😉 Cait is bold and smart. She’s decisive and full of self-discipline. At the moment I’m writing this she’s finishing up a three week juice cleanse. THREE.WEEKS. HOW. She’s loving and full of family. She’s rich in friendships and knowledge. She’s a photographer. A creative. A leader. A friend. I don’t think anyone that knows Cait has ever felt unwelcome in her presence. I sure haven’t.

Every time you see her you will be greeted with a big, genuine hug and a question about your life. She’s invested and genuine and real. She never hesitates to be known or share her life with you. That’s her whole goal, actually. I didn’t even have to ask her any questions for this post because she makes herself so well known. Cait wants to share her life with you. And I am so changed because of the fruits of that. I am one of the fruits of that. I know that if I need a lime or a cup of sugar or some ice I can knock on her door and she’ll help me out. I know that she’s always down to experience something new with me.

Her moving into my building was a literal answer to my prayers. I was lonely and depressed and God moved a friend four doors down. Daniel joked we should set up cans and strings between our doors so we could constantly talk to each other. Why haven’t we done that yet?

Cait has introduced me to new foods, new places, countless new people, new things, new music. I got to meet and hang out with the dudes of Jared and the Mill a couple of times and I’m now apart of a small group for a church I’ve never even visited because of her. Now those people are an invaluable part of my life.

Today marks one year since I met Cait. I cannot say enough about this person. She is good. She is beautiful. She is my friend.

Happy Friendaversary! I love you!

 

xx

 

PS. Girl really loves coffee, y’all.