atlanta · life & love · love · npcbikini · self care · self love · wisdom

What I’m Thankful For This Year

As the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaches, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about gratitude. I honestly cannot believe 2015 is coming to a close – it seems the older I get, the faster the years whiz on by. There have definitely been some highs and lows over the past year, so I decided to embark on a gratitude journey – appreciating all of the lessons I’ve learned over the past 11 months. If you haven’t tried a gratitude exercise, I encourage you to do so. Studies and research show practicing gratitude improves your physical and psychological health as well as overall self-esteem and mental strength. 

So let’s flip the script and cultivate gratitude this holiday season rather than succumb to complaining about holiday mall traffic, being the only single one at the family holiday dinner table, or whatever else may be weighing on you as the season quickly approaches.

2015, thank you for:

My New Home
I mean, look at this beautiful spa-like bathroom! 🙂 

In all seriousness, I was blessed with the ability to purchase a beautiful new home this year. One in which I was able to re-design essentially from the ground up. I had so much fun working with a skilled contractor gutting nearly 75% of my 1960s ranch-style home. Some of my favorite touches? My all-white kitchen, 7 ft island perfect for entertaining, huge dining room which will be hosting my very first Thanksgiving, a beautifully feminine bedroom complete with an adorable chandelier that hangs over my bed, nearly an acre of peaceful, private land… and the list goes on. 

Phenomenal Friends
Boy have I been blessed with amazing friends. They’ve supported me all year long – from coming to cheer me on at my bikini competition, to being my listening ear, letting me be the third wheel, putting up with me bringing tupperware to fancy restaurants, calling/texting/emailing/showing up at my house when I just needed support, and so much more. I feel beyond blessed to be surrounded by such strong, supportive and loving women.

A Strong Mind and Resilient Body

Competition prep was anything but easy this year. Dropping 10% body fat while putting on lean muscle mass over a short 4 months was hard. There were days – especially as my show came near – where I had barely enough energy to get out of bed. Juggling a full-time career, spending 2-3 hours a day in the gym, living on less than 1,000 calories and around 5g fat a day left me EXHAUSTED. Yet somehow, I pushed myself beyond my limits and made it to show day unscathed. I am beyond grateful for making it through without a single physical injury. Sure, I missed out on quite a few memories and my lady friend still hasn’t returned, but all in all – my body and mind stayed strong and kept pushing… even when all I wanted to do was quit (which I debated daily!).

Maturity to Trust the Timing of My Life
This year, I finally stopped swimming up stream. I spent nearly the entire year single, embracing the opportunity to spend some time on myself. I taught barre, took some vacations, prepped for my first bikini competition, worked my tail off, received a promotion, sold my condo, bought and renovated a new (to me) home, nurtured relationships with friends and family and just “did me.” I spent lots of time reflecting on past decisions, future desires, and worked on aspects of myself I was less than thrilled with. It’s been an incredible journey – one that I am particularly proud of considering embracing singleness has always been a point of contention for me. I am beyond grateful I took the time and am so very excited to see what the future has in store for me. They say you have to be your own before you can be someone else’s… and for the first time in a long time – I feel like I am the person that the person I am looking for is looking for. 

Well, friends… what are YOU thankful for??


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