if it jiggles, you can lose it.

As many of you remember, it was my new year’s resolution to run a 5k and in March, I actually did it! And on top of that, I’ve started really training for my next one which I think I’ll complete in the next few months or so. My goal is to keep running 5ks, work up to a 10k, and possibly¬† (in a few years or so) a half marathon. (Not sure how I feel about a full marathon yet. Nothing about that sounds fun, you know? A 5k can be fun. A 10k, even. A half marathon is work but I’d feel accomplished afterward. A marathon? Ha. I think marathon is Greek for “anti-fun.”)

It’s not that I love to run. I really don’t. It’s okay, but when I’m running I’d much rather be doing something else. (Painting, reading, playing piano, sleeping, pulling out my eyelashes one by one.) But as long as I can remember I’ve been so obsessed with body image and picking apart my body.¬† It started when I decided I wanted to be a competitive dancer. That chunk of my life has forever warped my sense of “beauty” and “perfection” that it’s hard to get through one day without wishing I had smaller boobs and a dangerously low BMI. I took up running races not to achieve that unrealistic (and unhealthy) standard, but rather so that for just ONCE in my life, I could be proud of the body God gave me. And running gives me reason to be proud. I mean, dang, when was the last time you ran longer than 30 minutes? It’s not easy! Your body is super rad! It can do amazing things if you just believe in it.

On my run yesterday, I couldn’t help (for obvious and jiggly reasons) but mentally repeat a phrase I was told by one of my dance teachers:
“Lindsay, if it jiggles, you can lose it.”

Ohhh, my boobs. I got so much flack from my dance teachers for having them. I was told they were “slovenly” and that I needed to run more (on top of the several hours a day I was already dancing) to lose them. But no matter what I did, they wouldn’t get smaller. I duct taped them down and wore ace bandages and sports bras to bed. Good GOD I did everything I possibly could to be a flat-chested dancer to please these people. I stopped eating and dropped an alarming fifteen pounds in three weeks, and they stayed the same (and even looked larger against my emaciated frame!) I was made to feel like having boobs was my fault, even though it wasn’t my fault. It’s not like I went to the boob store and was like “HEY let me pick up a pair of the biggest ol’ boobs you got!” I didn’t sit in my room all day and rub Miracle-Gro on them, or take funky vitamins from the black market to boost my bust. Rather, I just looked down and cursed my Creator for burdening me with such a disgusting exterior.

So now, anytime I run, that phrase goes through my head at least once. “Lindsay, if it jiggles, you can lose it.” When I’m running, pretty much everything jiggles. Clearly my boobs happen to jiggle most, but everything is in motion. This makes it extremely hard to ignore the fact that if I “worked hard enough” and “ran long enough” I would lose these troublesome boobs once and for all.

But then God and my husband intervene.

I could lose part of the body that makes me me. I could lose something that is fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14.) I could lose something that was designed specifically to be found beautiful by the man God had set aside to be my husband, even before I was born.

The other night, my body-hating world got turned upside down. I was having dinner with a friend who confessed to me that she’s decided to get breast implants that look like mine. I was in complete shock. While I absolutely condemn this for so many reasons (are you saying your God didn’t get it right? are you crazy? your body is incredible! are you saying you want to accidentally slam doors on your giant boobs like I do? are you saying you want to not be able to wear tank tops because you’ll look slutty? are you saying you want to get cat calls from skeezy men on the street? are you saying you want to go through the emotional pain I go through every single day?!) it really got me thinking. Wow, this person is going to pay thousands of dollars to intentionally change her body to be the way mine has always been naturally. All the while, I put myself down, claiming to be worthless because I can’t fit into Victoria’s Secret lingerie. And now, someone else wants to intentionally do this?

Not only am I heartbroken for her, but I am also heartbroken for myself and the thousands of other women going through what she and I both go through: being told (both verbally and suggestively) that we’re not good enough the way we are. Our Creator clearly made a mistake. We won’t be beautiful until we weigh X lbs or have X hair color or wear X eyeshadow or consume less than X calories a day OR DON’T JIGGLE WHEN WE RUN.

Listen, ladies. If it jiggles, you can lose it. But you can also KEEP IT. I dare you to love your body the way it is and I double dog dare you to let other people love it, too.

Yes. Yes I did. And you just read it.

on hot baths, spontaneous sushi dates, and letting life happen.

The newest (albeit most sensible) trend in our household amid my quest for domestic perfection is sitting down with my husband on the weekend surrounded by cookbooks and foodie blogs to plan out our meals for the week. Then I make a list and we go grocery shopping for what we need to make said recipes, versus blindly heading down to the store and combing the aisles saying, “That frozen thing looks good. *plop into cart* Hey how about this? You’d eat this, right baby? *plop* We eat fruit out of cans, right? And we always need some sort of pasta!” *plop plop plop*

Novel concept. I know. I should write a book or something.

Then I write on a dry erase board on our fridge what our week looks like via dinner.

Monday: Turkey macaroni casserole
Tuesday: Lemon chicken piccata
Wednesday: Voila
Thursday: Shrimp couscous salad
Friday: Dinan in a pan
Saturday: BBQ

Even though the schedule is merely written in dry erase, my OCD suddenly turns the plastic white board to stone and the marker to engraving. For whatever reason, I can’t seem to let the schedule go. That’s the schedule. Why stray from it, especially if anxiety promises to rear it’s ugly head? No, thank you.

Last night I came home hoping to cry on my husband and then curl up into a ball-o-pity after making a big mistake earlier on in the day (accidentally stumbling across this dream-crushing website) but when I got home, my poor husband was asleep fighting illness.

Well CRAP.

I didn’t want to EAT anything (wah wah wah) let alone put the effort into cooking anything and my poor husband wasn’t up to it, either. But, as he usually does, he spoke love to me by dragging his sickly self out of bed, drawing me a hot bath complete with soothing oils, lighting candles, putting on one of my favorite records, and demanding that after my bath we go out for my favorite food: sushi.

Every inch of my body was in resistance. BUT THE SCHEDULE?!?!?! It’s not sushi night! It’s LEMON CHICKEN PICCATA NIGHT, DARN IT!!!!! How is the world going to continue to revolve if we stray from the SCHEDULE!?!?!

About fifteen minutes into soaking in the bath, I was putty in sushi night’s hands. The schedule could suck it. I’ll make lemon chicken piccata tonight and the world will continue turning.

Sometimes, you just gotta let go and let life.

the gospel according to emily.

Another fun thing about my recent career change is the fact that I suddenly have much more time I can devote to writing. Oh happiness! So, naturally, I figured one blog wasn’t good enough anymore. Had to create a second one.

As a lot of you know, in my (minimal) free time, I help lead the junior high ministry at my church. Not entirely sure why this is one of my callings. I happen to be one of the most broken and messy individuals on this side of the dirt. But regardless, this bruised and beaten twentysomething drags herself (along with all of her excess emotional and spiritual baggage) to church every Sunday to attempt to love on middle schoolers and show them the brilliant light that is having a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Think about middle school years. So much innocence left, yet strong personalities and curious ambition are rampant. It’s truly spectacular to watch. (And oh, the hormones!) Looking within myself I feel pretty disqualified to minister to anyone, let alone children who are clearly blossoming into free-thinking adults right before my eyes. I’ve made so many mistakes and carry around so many regrets that it seems like a horrible idea to have me speak into anyone’s spiritual development.

But any Sunday I’m feeling particularly like an epic failure, one 7th grader in our group opens her mouth and speaks truth into my life. When I’m supposed to be the leader, the one who has it all together (ha!) this student (her name is Emily) effortlessly utters biblical and spiritual truths in such a way that makes me chuckle at first and then stop and think, “Wow. You’re monumentally profound. Teach me things, oh great 12-year-old teacher.”

So I’d like to share with you Emily’s musings. I invite you to take a look at the gospel according to Emily. It’s just now getting started, so bear with me in its early stages. But I’m pretty proud of this one.

stressed about not being stressed.

Okay, okay, okay. I’ve been sucking at this. Sorry. Please forgive me; I’ve changed jobs and I’m trying to get myself acclimated to this new life. But alas! Here I am!

Four days in, I really like my new job. I went from broadcast news to web marketing. It’s under the same giant golf umbrella that is mass media, but at a much different pace. I’ve come from having deadlines that approach in minutes to deadlines that creep up in days and/or weeks. Believe it or not, I’m having a very hard time getting used to this. It’s difficult to suppress the urge to speed through my projects that aren’t due until October. But I think I’m getting the hang of taking it slow and steady.

I’m also getting used to the idea of having sick days and holidays off. What is this notion? I don’t know.

My schedule is also throwing me a bit. You wouldn’t think so but an hour and a half makes a world of difference. I used to head into work at 9:30 a.m. but now my work day starts at 8:00. So it’s hard for me to balance working out in the morning and getting to work in time, since the gym doesn’t even open until 6:15 and running around my neighborhood in the dark (or light, for that matter) is a plea to be raped, robbed, murdered, and/or eaten. Eeek. But! I always get a lunch break (that I don’t feel guilty about) and I’m headed home by 5:00. I’m even on my couch in time to watch the news! (My first love, you know.)

And I can also be home in time to cook dinner! Yay! That’s what I’ve been wanting forever! To get home with enough time and energy to cook my husband a delicious and healthy (and creative!) supper!

This is the part where I’d blog about some snazzy new recipe I’ve found in the past week. But naturally, I haven’t felt like cooking all week. Our meals have varied from Zaxby’s to Jimmy John’s to a swanky local French bistro (where I had a lamb/pasta/olive oil/tarragon dish that I’m almost positive I could have whipped up myself for much less money. Sigh.) But! I will not be discouraged! I’m headed in the right direction!

And we got a nice little jump start by getting a sweet one-year wedding anniversary presents from one of my wonderful bridesmaids: a ten-piece stainless steel cookware set AND a one-year subscription to Cooking Light magazine! I was absolutely floored. What a sweet gift. We haven’t gotten an issue yet but the cookware set cooks like a dream. Thankfully we were able to get rid of all our old, scratched up, chemical-emitting Teflon pans. How amazing!

I’ve also subscribed to All Recipes and get a delicious new recipe in my inbox everyday. For all you cooking newbies, this is the way to go!

Where else can I go to transform myself into the perfect wife? Leave me comments and let me know!