Thursday, December 4, 2014

Adoption over Abortion

I read this Matt Walsh Blog Post the day he posted it and felt I had an experience I wanted to add. The fear of putting my heart out there stopped me at the time but I have a burning feelings to write something about it again this morning.

To Any Woman Unsure of What to do,

Maybe you just found out you're pregnant. You've made the decision already what you are going to do. Maybe you are now questioning it. Maybe you are 7 months along and still have no idea what to do. For 7 months I thought I was going to be a 17 year old mom, unsure of how I was going to finish my senior year of High School. I was pregnant with a baby boy. I had hopes and dreams for him. I wanted him to have the best. After much prayer, I'd decided the best thing for my boy was to have a married mother and father who were older than me who could love him as much as I did and take much better care of him.

Let me tell you about adoption.
When you hand your baby over, it will break your heart. Your arms will lock up and it will make it almost physically impossible for you to let your baby go. You've heard the phrase, "time heals all wounds." This is not true. You will go home feeling empty. The person who has been with you constantly for 9 months has been taken from your body and took your heart with it.

You will see other babies of the same gender and same age and wonder what your baby is doing. You will find that you have a month of sadness surrounding the time of your baby's birthday. You will know exactly how long he was, how much he weighed, his head circumference, the time he was born and all the details because that it all you have left of him. If you get pictures, you will cherish them. You will hold them to your heart and cry.

You will have times where you think you could have done it. You could have been a mother. You are right. But it wasn't about you, it was about your baby.

You will look in the mirror and not recognize your body. You're once perky boobs now sag and you're still a teenager or in your 20's. You will have stretch marks in places you didn't think you could. You have something called cellulite, (which you thought was an old person's thing) on your legs because your previous 105 pound body couldn't support a pregnant belly. You may have to explain to someone why your body is the way it is who doesn't know your story, when you wear a swimsuit. You think of a lie because you don't want to pour your heart out to a stranger. You work your butt off to get in fantastic shape because who's going to take you to prom looking like this? I'll tell you this though- You ARE beautiful! That light will show through and people will tell you that you have a glow about you. You'll look down at your imperfect stomach and you may smile, because it's evidence that the love of your life, once lived there.

There will come a day when you decide to have a child. You will worry. What if all of a sudden you can't have kids? Or what if you do get pregnant and you miscarry? What if something happened and now you've placed the only child you could biologically have for adoption?

Mine came 9 years later. I was pregnant. Like me, you might pray for another little boy (or girl if that is what you are pregnant with now). You will beg for that same gender child. My heart was longing for a little boy because I was missing a little boy. Girls are great too, next time. "God please, I beg you, let this be a little boy." You go in for an ultrasound. Fingers crossed. It seems like it takes forever for them to tell you what the baby is. You are told the gender... Exactly what you wanted! You are thrilled. You feel happiness and so much hope. You finish your pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. You cry hysterically. Your husband cries. Everything is perfect.

And then you get home

My plan was to place my baby in his crib and have him sleep in his own room. I couldn't do it. I couldn't let him out of my sight. He napped in my arms or my husband's for the first 2 months of life. Every nap was in our arms. Most of his naps still are and he's almost 6 months old. When he's in the bassinet at night you can't sleep. You check on him constantly. What if he stops breathing? You can't handle the thought of losing another baby. You can't sleep because all you can do is stare at him and make sure he's still alive. If you lost this baby it would absolutely kill you.

Sometimes you'll feel like you're cheating on your baby. But which one? For years, the child you placed for adoption had all of your love. That was the baby you've wanted. Are you cheating on that one now that you love a new one? Or maybe you are cheating on the one in your arms. You will tell this one that it's the cutest baby ever, when you know in that back of your mind that its the other cutest baby ever. You will begin to see what your baby now is doing and wonder when your first baby started to roll over and crawl, etc. You will wish you had seen those times in your first baby. You will appreciate every little thing your baby does, like watching them sleep and sometimes even watching them cry because it means they are real and there. You will feel this gratitude for them deeply. You will look at your baby in a happy moment and start balling your eyes out because there are not even words to describe how grateful you are that you have this little miracle. You will thank God every day that you got the chance to be this baby's mother.

You may find out that your first baby knows he's adopted. This will bring you joy. He knows you exist! For years you've been in love with someone who doesn't know you exist and it's an amazing feeling. But then you wonder. How did he react? Is he thinking about me? Will he want to see me one day? What if he doesn't? What if he's got his mom and that's all her needs? Or what if he does want to meet me? What will we talk about? Will he like me?

You may wonder if your babies look alike. How would they have treated each other? Don't dwell in that mind set. It won't happen, he has a family and it will only hurt more to dwell there.

In your hard times I want you to think about these things...

1) Remember WHY you placed your baby with that family. You wanted to give your baby its best chance. Your baby has a good life!

2) Remind yourself that if you were like me and was suppose to wait until marriage to have sex, that this child would not have ever existed. Remind yourself what a blessing he is to them.

3) Put yourself in his mother's shoes. What if you were 25 years old, married, college graduate, had so much going for you, except you couldn't biologically have kids. All you've wanted was a family. Think of how unfair that was for her. Feel her pain. I now have a special place in my heart for women who cannot have children. You've given her the BEST thing anyone could ever have. YOU made her a mother. YOU are selfless. You choose to be selfless everyday that you are not bitter. When I wonder how he's doing, I stop myself from emailing her because he is her child. I wouldn't want someone else imposing on my family. I sometimes dread the day he says "I want to meet my birth mother" because of her feelings. Maybe she will wonder, "Is he going to like her better?" Maybe she's scared or intimidated by the relationship you could have one day. I do not want her to feel this way. It's not fair that she should have to worry about this. He is her child. Think of her when things get hard. Think of how happy he's made her because of YOU. Love her. This helps me more than anything else!

4) You will be happy again. You will not regret Adoption over an Abortion. God will bless you. I promise you this.

Maybe you will choose a different path for your child, but I BEG you not to chose an abortion. Please turn a selfish act into a selfless act. Be honorable. Give your baby a life!

With so much love,
-A-

Thursday, October 16, 2014

To Opinionated Mothers

I'm a new mom, my baby will be 4 months old, 2 days from now. It seems that everywhere I look there is always contention on what is best for my baby. Breast Feeding vs Bottle Feeding, to Immunize or Not, Delivery with Medication or no Medication, Induction?, Crib, Bassinet or Your Bed, Stay at Home or Working Mom. Everyone has their opinion on what they think.



Well here is mine.. CHILL OUT!

*Breast Feeding vs Bottle Feeding*
Before Jaxon was born, Jordan and I were very set on Breast Feeding. The lady who taught our 'Preparing for Birth' class was a lactation consultant, so OF COURSE she was going to talk up nursing. Jaxon did well with latching on (some babies don't). But just 2 weeks after he was born my milk supply basically diminished. I felt I was starving him, so after a few weeks of nursing and supplementing, he became just a formula baby. For ME this made my life easier. It is nice being able to have other people feed him. I don't need to nurse to bond with my baby. Anyone who sees Jaxon and I together can see how much we love and adore each other. I was stressed so much while nursing, it hurt my uterus (which I didn't mind so much because it was contracting smaller), but it felt like my energy was being sucked right out of me and into him. So he had energy and I was a zombie. Also, due to wanting to catch up on sleep in the morning, I didn't eat breakfast until noon or 1-2 pm much of Jaxon's first month of life.. of course I was going to dry up, I didn't have enough calories. I was also stressed every moment that he was sleeping if he were still breathing. I know a lot of mother's worry about that but mine is a bit extreme. For those who don't know, I placed my first baby boy for adoption when I was 17 years old. I am very protective of Jaxon since I've waited 9 years for him. So the stress of his safety also took a tole on my body. As long as your child is being fed, I don't think God has a preference on this in general. For me, not breastfeeding is a blessing, for others breastfeeding is beautiful and they love doing it, and that's fantastic too! There is no medal either way for how you choose to feed your child. Do what is best for you and your baby, it's not the same for everyone.



*To Immunize or Not*
Let's be honest.. my sister and I choose to immunize, but let's say she decided not too, how does that affect Jaxon? or How would my immunized child  affect hers? It doesn't. Period.



*Birth with Medication or Not, Induction?*
I don't like to refer to birth without medication as 'natural birth' because guess what?! My babies still came out down there! Also, I don't like using 'natural birth' as a term for 'vaginal birth' because I in no way want to devalue the birth of mothers who deliver by Cesarean. I had an epidural with both of my boys. I LOVED it! My first came on his own a week early and my second was induced a week early. I LOVED BOTH EXPERIENCES! My sister's water broke on its own, but contraction didn't start on their own, so they were induced. She also had an epidural. Again, had she had a medicine free delivery at home, how again would that have affected me or my son? It wouldn't have. Every person is different and so is every pregnancy. When I have another child, I don't know if I will be induced or not, it will depend on that time what seems best. I know I will have an epidural again though. I don't want to go through all that pain. Some people say "well women have been doing this forever with out medicine" Well my answer to that is a lot more women and children used to DIE during birth too, so No Thank You! I'll do it my way and you do it yours. Again there is NO MEDAL, NO AWARD, NO RECOGNITION other than a "good for you" for doing it anyway you want. There is no special place in the Kingdom of God for Women who gave birth a certain way.



*Crib, Bassinet, Your Bed*
Before Jaxon was born, there was a book I read that I was set on following. There was a schedule and I was planning on having him sleep in his crib from the moment we got home. Well, that plan slapped me in the face! I couldn't part with Jaxon and neither can my husband. I hadn't even purchased a bassinet because I was so set on him being in his crib. Anxiety kicked in as I thought about Jaxon being all alone in another room. I knew I would be put every 5 mins to make sure he was still breathing. Jaxon also could not sleep if it wasn't right by me. Jordan and I decided the best thing for us was to have Jaxon sleep in the bed with us. We ALL slept better this way. Jaxon didn't even take a nap without laying on one of us at home until he was 2 months old. After 2 months I was able to put him down for naps in the bassinet and it transitioned into him sleeping there at night. Now I am transitioning him into naps in his crib so that eventually he can sleep there at night. Jaxon might be ready to sleep in his crib, but honestly, I'm not. I can't handle him in another room yet. Jordan and I are luckily on the same page. Sometime Jaxon will start fussing at 5am and I just put him in bed with us and he calms down and sleeps again. I remember trying to justify this to Jordan and he just said, "It's okay, I don't mind him in the bed with us." WOW! That was such a relief for me. Our next child might not have to sleep with us, or maybe it will. But either way, every mom deserves the right to choose for her child what SHE (and her partner) feels is best without judgement. Maybe Jaxon will be that kid at 5 years old who gets scared and comes in our bed cause I 'spoiled' him.. We don't care. If my child needs my comfort he is more than welcome to come to us to get it. I don't even care if he does that when he is 15 years old! I want him to always come to me when he needs comforting. Some may say that's wrong to have him sleep in bed with us, but again... How does it affect anyone else? Jordan and I find plenty of time other than at night to be intimate and have our alone time. It isn't affecting our marriage negatively, so don't let it affect you :)



*Stay at Home vs Working Mom*
I have been a stay at home mom for 4 months now. I do not plan to work full-time every (unless after they have all graduated, I choose too). I want to work though. I plan to get my Master's and work Part Time as a Marriage and Family Therapist once I'm done having kids and they are all in school. Part Time because we plan to live within the means of my Husband's income so that my income is fun money income or savings income and because I WANT to work but I also WANT to go to my kids games and activities. I've heard so many opinions from "I don't miss those days" and "I would have had more kids if I knew they'd be fun when they get older" to "these days go by so fast and then they grow up" and "enjoy it now." I've seen working mom's who feel superior because they work and mom who feel superior staying home because it's the "harder job".

Neither is superior. I love my son like any other mother. But I also love me time and get out of the house and work time. But I also could not work full time given the choice because I don't want to miss most of my son's waking hours. Stay at home mom's try to justify how 'hard' it is to stay home. I KNOW that it can be difficult, but nothing else is as rewarding. I don't want Jaxon growing up to me talking about how 'hard' it is raising him.  I don't want him to think he's a burden. Whether you think working or stay home is the more difficult job, again There is NO REWARD for having the "Harder" job. I don't even want whatever the "harder" job is! When you focus on what's harder you don't leave much room for enjoying life and appreciating the beauty. I want the easier job. I am not interested in a 'who's job is more difficult' battle. You can win that game all you want.



Please stop giving advice, (unless asked) on motherhood. Each mom will be guided to what is best for her and her baby. Let other moms enjoy their roles, stop trying to belittle them for not doing what you'd do.

Believe it or not, God gave us commandments to make our lives easier and more enjoyable. So in all my decisions I'm looking for the easier, least painful, more enjoyable choices. I will enjoy being a mother. There are plenty of other things in life to suffer through and think are 'hard'.. Parenting (and my Marriage) aren't going to be them.


With all due Respect,
-A-




Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Want the Best for Your Children? Step 1: Put Your Marriage First!

I want to start by saying I have nothing against single parents. I know children can grow up to be wonderful when they have fantastic single parents and there are a lot out there. I have high respect for those people. I am just focusing on marriage for the point of this blog.

I was recently referred to the book "On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep" by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam, after I had asked for advice on whether our baby should be sleeping in the same room with us or a separate room. Thankfully, Jordan's wonderful Aunt Kim suggested I read it. I looked up reviews online about the book, and after some research, then reading the book myself, I realized it's something I want to follow.



My hopes were that it would get right to the point, and tell me exactly what to do. I was surprised when the first Chapter on "Right Beginnings" talked all about your marriage. This threw me for a curve, but the more I read, the more sense it made. Here are a few of my favorite parts:

"From the first breath to the last day on earth, nothing will impact a person's life more than the influence a mom and dad bring to the home environment"

"A healthy home environment starts with Mom and Dad's commitment to each other, from which a more perfect love is communicated to their children"

"It takes work and sacrifice, and it requires that both mom and dad be intentional in their love for each other"

"They become that way only through self-sacrifice, patience, and a devotional commitment to the happiness and welfare of each other"

"We believe if you really love your children, you will give them the gift of love, security, and a sense of belonging that can only be derived from an on-going demonstration of your love for each other as a husband and wife"

"Healthy parenting flows from healthy marriages"

"Children need to see an on-going love relationship that includes mom and dad enjoying each other as friends and not just parents. They also need to see their parents talking, laughing, working together and resolving conflicts with a mutual respect for each other. We cannot over emphasize this point: the more parents demonstrate love for each other, the more they saturate their child's senses with confidence of a loving, safe and secure world"

You probably get the point they are trying to make in just that bit I've summed up for you huh?



My favorite professor in college, Dr. Matthew Draper, told our class once that he can sit in church and point out the couples who most likely have marital problems just based on the way their children act. I believe it, and hope that after I have a Masters and years of experience I can be able to do that as well. Your children are a direct reflection of your parenting.

In church just a few weeks ago we had a gentleman who works in the criminal justice field say, "the #1 factor on if your child is going to be a criminal is if they grew up without a father." This does not mean every fatherless child is going to be a criminal, but most criminals did not grow up with fathers.

Something interesting I learned in school from a few different teachers was this:
1) Happily Married Parents have the BEST overall out come for your children (with school, jobs, success, marriage, just overall good person)
2) Separated/Never Married/ Divorced Parents who respect each other and get along are in second place for the best situation for their children
3) Separated/Never Married/ Divorced Parents who do not get along/argue/custody battles are next
4) Unhappily Married Parents are the worst overall for their children. When you continue in a loveless marriage "for the kids" you actually are doing them a disservice. They have the lowest high school graduation rates and are least likely to marry in the future. Can you blame them though? If that's what you thought marriage was would you want to marry?

I was asked by a couple women last summer if I thought they should leave their husbands, after telling me about their current situation. Although an unhappy couple is the worse off for your children, my first answer is No, do not divorce! I want every couple with problems working on their marriage before that even becomes a consideration. If you think your spouse is ready to give up, you need to do everything you can to make it work first. This person is worth fighting for. They are suppose to be the #1 person in your life. Make them feel that way! If they can see that, they may start trying. If you both try to make it work, it will!

Your spouse should be your #1 priority, NOT your children. I know I am not a parent yet, but I have been a child all my life and I can tell you that the stability of marriage holds your life together even when everything else in life seems to be falling apart.

"A good man is hard to find, but easy to keep."

Sadly I think a lot of unhappy couples start when women put their children before their husbands, become nagging, disrespect/belittle their husbands and stop caring to impress him. For a reality check women, read the book "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. I highly recommend this book.



Go on weekly dates and talk about things other than the kids. Take a couples vacation and do the little things for each other that make the other happy. I'm very pregnant right now... I've held the football a few times where Jordan asks me so he can practice kicking field goals. I go with him to pass the soccer ball so he can practice getting goals. Is that fun for me? Well... I like to make him happy lets's put it that way. I'll continue to do it when we have baby Jaxon.. I'll put out a blanket and leave Jax in his carseat, on the blanket, on the grass while I help Jordan because I will always do what I can to make him happy. Does he love playing board games with me or rubbing my feet? ... Not so much, but he loves to make me happy. That's marriage, putting your spouse before yourself. This will have the most positive effect on your children than any thing else! Have your children grow up and tell their friends, "I want a marriage like my parents." That will be the most flattering thing my children could ever say about Jordan and I.

You can say I'm new to this marriage thing, don't know what I'm talking about, or to wait a few more years and see how I feel. I will never take marriage or parenting advice from those people though, because I still look at my husband with the same love and admiration as the day we were married and that's never going to change.



"Once you have children, your marriage matters more not less, because now other people are counting on you." (Fatima Dedrickson)


Yours truly,
A

Monday, March 3, 2014

Appreciate the People in Your Life

Life is too short. For some it is even shorter.

I feel it is all too common to hear a story about a brother hiking in the mountains he's hiked several time who falls to his death, or young husband dying hours after the birth of his first child due to some bad headaches experienced for only 2 weeks leaving this new mother a widow, or a young child who by some every day accident falls in the backyard but its this child's turn to leave this earth. Or two older children while sacrificing time serving their Lord and their Church must return home early for the funeral of their parents and younger siblings who have died in their own house from carbon monoxide poisoning.

It all makes me sad. I stop and say a prayer each time I hear of a story like this. It always seems to happen to the best people too.

What about those moments leading up to these tragedies? There are certainly a lot loved ones who will soon be broken. Are we expressing our love and appreciate for them on a regular basis? I am not one to think "That would never happen to me," anymore. I may have let my hormones get the best of me 2 weeks ago as I sobbed in bed thinking, "What if that happened to my husband? What if I was left on earth without him." He was sweet to hold me and let me know everything was going to be okay, but "Okay" doesn't mean "It's going to turn out the way you want it." Okay means "I'm not going to kill myself over this" to me. So of course I still cried. We make sure to tell each other we love each other 50x's a day and we do have honest conversations about why we love each other and how much often. I never want him to doubt that and so he must hear it often.

.........................

Exactly 14 years ago from tonight, I was 12 years old. I was babysitting and for whatever reason, the parents were not going to be home until late that night and so I spent the night at their home. It was about 9:30pm when I had a feeling I should call my Grandma and tell her that I loved her. I didn't have a cell phone then and I did not know her phone number by heart. I had the thought to call my parents to get it so I could call her but then it seemed too late to call and also odd that I would do that because I never called her. So I brushed off the feeling thinking "I will do it when I get home tomorrow."

The next morning came. I was dropped off at home by the parents I had been babysitting for and I walked in my house. I remember it was a nice day out. It was sunny, which was odd for March 4th in Michigan. I believe it was my father I saw first, because I remember my mother had left before I got home to go to her mother's house. He told me that my Grandma had passed away early that morning. Later from an autopsy they believed it was around 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. I went down to the basement where my bedroom was and couldn't even make it to my room before collapsing to the ground in horrified tears. "She just died?" There wasn't anything wrong with her before this morning. There were no warning signs.

Her heart just stopped.

The regret came just moments later when I realized the impression I had the night before to call her. "I didn't even get to tell her I loved her." I had the feeling to call her just a few hours before her spirit would leave her body.

..........................


And here we are 14 years later. The only regret in life I have was as a naive 12 year old who forgot to tell her Grandmother that she loves her. I am sure now that she knows I love her and I know she loves me. But I wish so badly I would have told her over the phone. At least then I could have heard her say it back.

My grandmother had 15 children, 77 or so Grandchildren and even more great grandchildren. She died just before seeing the 5th generation. In all of her posterity, I do not know if anyone else had the impression to call her that night, but I did. A 12 year old granddaughter who was able to receive inspiration but did not act on it.

Don't take the people you love for granted. Tell them you love them often. Show you love them even more. They will not always be around. Life is short and you never know when it could end. Tell your spouse how much you love them. Show your kids how much they mean to you. Call and visit your grandparents. Let your parents/brothers/sisters/aunts/uncles/cousins/friends and everyone you care for know how much they mean to you. Even though grandparents maybe old and it's not as much of a shock as the younger members, it still hurts.

Do not let them ever doubt your love for them. You must tell them and you must show them.


*In loving memory of Corine Banks*

Yours Truly,
Allessandra Corine :)






Friday, February 21, 2014

Stop Comparing Yourself

I got on facebook this morning to see a picture of Adele and T-Swift side by side that said something like, "Same age, one is a mother, one is stuck in middle school." I didn't find it funny. Why are we comparing these two very talented and accomplished women? Why? Because everyday we are comparing ourselves to other people. "Wow, we had a baby at the same time, she's already lost all the baby weight," or "He/She's got a great job and career and I'm still struggling," or "Why can't I be more like so and so," "Why can't I be married/have kids yet," "I wish I were young again", "I wish my relationship/friendships were like theirs."

STOP IT!

These are terrible thoughts and they eat at you. I know this because I've had so many of them. Here's a silly one. In high school, most of the time I weighed 105 pounds. I was always fine with this until I heard of some girls who weighed 102 lbs. No matter how much I tried (with the exception of an eating disorder) I could NOT weigh 102 lbs. consistently. Why did I care so much? I felt a little better when my friends weighed 110 lbs. This is silly! I didn't even stop to think that my 110 lb friend was also an inch taller then I was and that the 102 lb girl was a tad shorter than me. So essentially we all were VERY skinny!

Or when I thought I looked cute but went out and there was another girl who's outfit I liked better or her hair and makeup looked better and then I didn't feel so good about myself. Sometimes that girl would come up to me and tell me that I looked good or she liked something about me. Why did it take that for me to feel better about myself? Because we always think the grass is greener on the other side.

This might sound silly because it is from a rap song but I LOVE this line, "The grass ain't always greener on the other side, it's green where you water it."

How do you water it? One day a week write 10 things down that you like about yourself. Also one day a week just write down 10 things you are grateful for. I started by writing 3 things a day, try this if you think it would work better for you. I say 10 once a week due to a book, "The How of Happiness" by Lyubomirsky I had the pleasure of reading in my positive psychology class a few years ago. Make goals, long-term and short-term. Also if you think someone else has it all, I suggest you get to know them better. Everyone has their struggles and insecurities. A lot of the closest friends I've had, I once held on pedestals. I still think very highly of them but no longer in an envious way.

Most of us are doing the best we can. Take pride in that! Enjoy your life right now. I didn't get married until I was 25.. In Utah County that is OLD! My single life felt miserable after age 23 because all I wanted was to be married and have kids like all the other girls. Terrible thought process!! I wish I had more fun the last 2 years before I was married. I will never be single again and although I am grateful for that, I wish I had enjoyed that time and learned more.

The last suggestion I have for "How do you water it" is Exercise!

What is the difference in me in these two pictures?


**This top picture is a girl who looks fantastic. She's in shape. Her hair looks great. She's about to have a blast snowboarding. Her legs and arms are strong and she's feeling confident even though after all the snowboarding gear no one is going to tell how good she looks. As you can see you're already losing some her after putting on the sweater and snow pants.


**This bottom picture is a girl who needs to lose some weight. Her arms aren't toned. Her thighs are too big, and her hair is a mess. It doesn't matter that her soon to be fiance thinks she looks gorgeous. She actually requested this picture be retaken so she could suck her 'fat' stomach in. This is the retake. 

You know the real difference between the two? Weight wise.. NOTHING! I decided to start exercising regularly in the top picture and stop drinking so much Mt. Dew... I stopped exercising in the bottom picture. I saw myself completely different once I started taking care of my body. On the days I skipped the gym I did not feel as good about myself. Then I felt like a rockstar the next day when I did go running. I actually had a hard time finding the bottom picture because who takes and post pictures of themselves when they think they look terrible? Exercise isn't always running. I hate just running most of the time. It can be playing a sport, pilates,  yoga, going on walks, and so much more. The type of exercise you like to do tends to be the one that works the best for you! I hate going to gym, but I sure love leaving it.

I hate all these "quick ways to slim down" or "how to get rich fast" ads, suggesting that you are not good enough right now as you are. YOU are a child of God. HE Loves YOU. You ARE good enough. Stop comparing yourself to other people. There are things about you someone else wants. You have envious qualities. Stop comparing yourself to the 'smaller' or 'better' version you used to be. Of course we can all become better. Life is about growing and progressing. Work to build your self efficacy not try to be like someone else. Take care of your body, the number on the scale doesn't define you. Be grateful for what you have now. Making more money later, losing more weight, looking better, or buying the things you want down the road won't bring you happiness if you can't learn to love yourself first.

I hope that all makes sense.

Yours Truly,
A.