tuesday tip: move!

Last Wednesday, I twisted my knee something fierce at my contemporary dance class. At the time, it seemed like nothing, but when I woke up in the night screaming in a fit of pain because I’d moved my leg, I realized it was more serious than I’d originally thought. The next morning my sweet husband drove me to a walk-in clinic and we got some x-rays done on my knee. No broken bones (yay!) which means it’s either a torn or sprained ligament (boo!).


Guest starring: jorts!

I have to go in on Friday to have my knee re-evaluated, and if it hasn’t gotten any better, I’ll get an MRI to see what’s wrong and if (God forbid) I need surgery. But here’s the deal: I’m rocking that stylish knee immobilizer and some sexy crutches for an indefinite amount of time.

This makes me sad because that means that for GOD KNOWS how long, I can’t practice this week’s self-love tip. So, for all you able-bodied folks who can, here’s today’s tip!


If by now you haven’t been told by at least a hundred people that exercise is good for you, I’d like to get the address of the rock you’re living under so I can personally come by and take you on a bike ride.

Here are all the reasons that exercise is great, according to the Mayo Clinic:

  1. Exercise improves your mood. When you move your body, your brain releases “feel-good” chemicals that actually make you happier. No joke! And, because exercise keeps your body in tip-top shape, your confidence level rises, too. Basically, you can walk around like the sun shines out your ass. (I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR A REASON TO USE THAT PHRASE FOREVER. Points to whoever names that movie!)
  2. Exercise fights chronic illness. Heart disease? Diabetes? Osteoporosis? HA! Not for the physically active! Exercise keeps your cholesterol and heart pressure at healthy levels.
  3. Exercise helps you manage your weight. OKAY HEAR ME OUT HERE. When I say “manage your weight” I don’t mean “make you super-skinny.” Exercise keeps your body at the weight that suits your UNIQUE frame best. Even at my healthiest, when I was dancing 20 hours a week and eating super healthy things, I was still about 5 lbs overweight according to the BMI charts. (This, by the way, is where I am now.) Exercising builds muscle (which weighs more than fat) and burns fat. As long as you’re staying active, you’re healthy, no matter what a scale or a BMI chart says. It “manages your weight” healthily. I cannot say that enough. (Oh, I also can’t say enough that your “weight” is just a number. Just like your GPA is just a number. No one can tell what you weigh by looking at you any more than they can guess the GPA you scored in college. Mine was a 3.6, in case you care.)
  4. Exercise boosts energy. The experts say the best time to exercise is first thing in the morning. It gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing and your metabolism kicking in the morning when you need it most. And then, your body continues to burn more calories throughout the day. Win! I, however, can’t seem to forfeit extra cuddle time with my hubs in the morning in order to go running, so I do it in the evening. But still, when I come home from a nice long run in the evening, I have lots of energy to spend making dinner with Dan or chatting with friends or whatever tickles my fancy! (Another phrase I’ve been meaning to use. SCORE!)
  5. Exercise helps you sleep. This makes sense, right? The more energy you exert throughout the day, the more rest your body will crave and ultimately get. As a former insomniac, I can totally attest to this.
  6. Exercise can make your sex life better. After celebrity blogger Perez Hilton lost 90ish pounds, he looked at himself in the mirror and said, “I’d do me.” That was a huge turning point for him, and frankly, I know what he means. I never feel more sexy than I do when I’ve been consistently running or exercising regularly. But honestly, do I really need to explain this one? Or have you all already shut off your computers to go for a jog? (Dan my love, are you still reading this? Why?)
  7. Exercise can be fun. This is the main point I want to drive home to you. Please don’t join a gym after reading this because you feel like you have to because I said so (have you been reading closely? I never said join a gym. Where did you get that from?) Exercise because you “want” to. Find an activity that you love and do it! Is it walking? Dancing? Swimming?  Biking? Hiking? Wii Fit? Playing soccer? Football? Tennis? Whatever it is, do it! If you do something you love, you’re more likely to stick with it. If you hate running and you sign up to run a half-marathon, you’re going to hate your life for the months leading up to it because, hello, you have to run. You’ll either be miserable when you exercise which will make you want to plant yourself on a couch indefinitely or you’ll quit. Don’t set yourself up for failure.

Okay so! Hopefully I’ve been able to sell the idea of exercising to you. If you aren’t already active, I challenge you to try incorporating just 20 minutes of physical activity into your life each day. Journal about it. See if it doesn’t lighten your mood a bit and make you feel better. And, if I can’t convince you, just look at First Lady Michelle Obama. She’s working the “Let’s Move!” campaign to fight childhood obesity and, in case you don’t already know, she’s freaking hot.

diet coke 12-pack FIREWORK EDITION: week of july 4, 2011

This is my salute to the good ol’ US of A — my weekly list of funny and inspiring links I’ve found on the Internet.

If  mindlessly surfing the INTERNET doesn’t scream LET FREEDOM RING, then I don’t know what does. Have a great weekend, soldiers! See you next week!


Party on, Wayne!

things i love thursday! (july 7, 2011)

As I write this post, I am sitting in a coffee shop with my knee in an immobilizer and a pair of crutches leaning up against my chair. Even still, this week was baller! Here’s my TiLT list for this week!


  • Free pizza and beer with my MYSTERY SHOPPING FRIEND Felicite!
  • Going out with friends for Kelby’s birthday.
  • Kyle’s antics during karaoke.
  • Singing “Love Shack” with my husband!
  • Babysitting the sweetest, prettiest little girl ever. (Kylin Mae, of course.)
  • Teaching Kylin how to knock on doors and say “Knock, knock!” (Which, in Kylin speak, sounds like, “Dock, dock!”)
  • Canada Day celebrations with the bestie and her cute boyfriend!
  • Free beer bottle openers.
  • Canada’s existence.
  • Joint birthday/bachelorette festivities with my favorite ladies.
  • Triple Lindsey!
  • Forgiveness and grace.
  • Road trips with my husband.
  • Panama City Beach!
  • Dayle, Zach, and Jasper!
  • The Writer’s Manicure (see photo.)
  • Pool parties.
  • Hot tubs.
  • Barbecue flavored potato chips.
  • Watermelon.
  • Babies in buoyant clothing.
  • Pretty tattoos.
  • E-Mealz.
  • The Book of Mormon soundtrack! SO GOOD!
  • Mike Myers hosting SNL in the 90s.
  • Tina Fey hosting SNL in the 2000s.
  • Netflix.
  • Teaching Jasper how to point to his toes and say “Dee dee dee dee” and LAUGH A LOT.
  • Cheetos.
  • My husband’s internal clock waking us up on time.
  • Making music and worshiping God with friends.
  • My j-hi kids.
  • Lunch at Fusion with Nora.
  • Small worship gathering in Thomasville.
  • Dinner with Elizabeth, Cody, and Katie.
  • Cody and Katie’s newlywed digs. They live in a barn-turned-loft! Super cute!
  • A day off with my husband. (Yay for sleeping in!)
  • Waffle House.
  • Cooking with my husband.
  • Margaritas and Cranium at the Steele house!
  • “Tom Brown for smart people.” AKA catching the fireworks in a field by a McDonalds with Kyle and Kelby.
  • McFlurries!
  • Watching Dan, Kyle, and Jesse play football with six or seven little kids.
  • Playing ultimate frisbee! (Even though we lost. Fun game!)
  • South Park.
  • Dance class! (Even though it was at dance class I became injured, haha.)
  • Being in a knee immobilizer and trying to use the bathroom.
  • Being in a knee immobilizer and trying to do. Well. Anything.
  • Crutches! Ha.

Alrighty friends! Your turn! If your good friend Lindsay is on crutches and still loves life, you can too! What do you love this week?

on labels and identity.

My first boyfriend was a total dick.

I know. As a good pastor’s wife, I should probably avoid publishing colorful language like that if I can. But, I’m a journalist, so I like to report the facts. (And there is no word in the English language that accurately depicts how evil he was — and probably still is — so “dick” will have to do.)

In the first couple months of our relationship, he sat me down to have a very “serious” conversation with me.

“I don’t know what you are, Lindsay,” he sighed in frustration.
I was confused. “Well. I’m a girl,” I replied.
“No, no, no. I know what you are, but I don’t know what you are.”
I stared at him, blank and bewildered, prompting him to elaborate.
“You see,” he started, “I’m a punk. I like punk music and I do punk things. Your friends are preps. They’re preppy and do preppy things. But I don’t know what you are. You’re not preppy like them, because I would never date a prep, but you’re not punk like me. So I don’t know what you are.”
“Oh, I see what you’re saying,” I lied.
“So, you have to figure that out,” he continued. “If I can’t put a label on you, something’s wrong with you, and I can’t date you.”
“Hmmm. Well, I guess I’m a little bit of everything,” I offered.
“No. That’s not a label! That doesn’t count! What are you?”

This conversation shattered me. I was shocked because he labeled himself a punk and not a dick, but I was also upset because at 15, I was happy being just me. I was perfectly peachy going about my life doing the things I liked to do and wearing the clothes I liked to wear and listening to music I liked to listen to. (FYI, in case you didn’t know, it’s completely cool and not lame at all for someone to rock out to Gloria Estefan’s greatest hits for an hour and then switch over to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for a minute before they settle on falling asleep to Black and Blue by the Backstreet Boys.) Before this conversation, I had no idea how important it was for me to have a label — my entire (awful and abusive and destructive) relationship was depending on it. So I panicked and did some research. After Yahoo!ing it (what I did before I learned it was better to Google things) we settled on labeling me “emo,” though I think that’s completely ridiculous looking back on it. How can a girl with Hanson posters plastered all over her wall fall into that category? Whatever. (I guess my appreciation for Dashboard Confessional carried my fate on the “Which Label Are You?!?!?!” quiz I took on AOL in 2001.)

Courtesy: Ashley Poole Photography

If I would have taken that quiz today…

The importance my 15-year-old dickfriend put on labels when we were kids is incredibly astounding to me a decade later. How can you possibly know “what” or “who” you are at that age? More importantly, what the hell does anyone else care?!

I asked my Twitter/Facebook friends if they had any labels for themselves. I heard:

  • Old soul
  • Nerd
  • Feminist
  • Hipster
  • Awesome
  • Short and fat
  • Off
  • Scientist

Now that I’m in my mid-20s I’ve found that the truth is a lot of people care. Even though the labels look a little different, they are still incredibly important. Why’s that? Well, if you’re at all normal, you probably looked at those labels and immediately pictured a type of person to belong to each. People cling to labels for two main reasons:

In a chaotic world comprised of grey areas, labels give us security in a firm sense of identity and allow us to pass judgment on people without even getting to know them.

My dickfriend needed to label me “emo” because he couldn’t be seen dating a prep. If he was seen dating a prep, people would form opinions about me (and us) immediately before talking to either of us. A punk kid dating a prep? What? That doesn’t make sense! Oh wait, she’s emo? Phew! I was worried! Labels have power, evidently, even when they don’t change a single thing about the person actually walking around carrying them.

When a good friend of mine referred to himself as a hipster I laughed. A lot. Then, I orchestrated the biggest, most over-exaggerated eye roll I could muster. Now, I totally love this dude. But hearing him call himself a hipster instantaneously generated a particular picture in my mind (one that I obviously didn’t approve of.) When I hear “hipster” I envision a weird, lanky person who wears deep v-neck shirts and over-sized non-prescription glasses, never showers, thrives on a strict organic and vegan diet, and is a snob about any and all things artistic. Though this friend is very lanky and absolutely a total art snob, he isn’t any of those other things that I would call “hipster.” So I laughed at him. Like a good friend should. Because a “hipster” label doesn’t say anything about his ability to inspire people around him, or make anyone feel important, or his awesome sense of humor, or his great taste in books, or his extensive spirituality. Nope. To me, hipster just screams, “Smells like hemp.”

The reality is that labels just sell us short. Plain and simple. They don’t make you sound fancy or smart or witty or artistic. They associate you with a predetermined, tired mold that the maker has no plans of breaking. I want to be more than that. What about you?

How have you been labeled in the past? Was it by someone else or was it self-imposed? How did it make you feel?

tuesday tip — smile!

I can’t tell you how many emails/Facebook messages I’ve received from people saying things like, “I just don’t know how to be happy with my weight” or “I don’t know how to look in the mirror and not hate my reflection,” etc. They think that because they’ll never lose “enough” weight or have clear “enough” skin or rock toned “enough” thighs that they can’t possibly ever be in love with themselves and their bodies. That’s so sad to me, but it’s a fact. In our airbrushed, photoshopped, perfection-obsessed, objectifying world, most of us are in that boat; we literally do not know how to accept ourselves, let alone love ourselves.

So, the most frequent question I get is, “How can I love myself?”

The first thing you must know about self-love is that, sadly, it doesn’t happen overnight. Not only have we all been immersed in this beauty-obsessed world for years, but we also wake up to it every, single day; we can’t just decide one morning to break down the paradigm we’ve clung to for years in one positive comment. Some days you’ll be on fire. Some days, not so much. But no matter what, you have to commit to fighting against it each morning because as soon as you leave your house you’re going to be stepping out into a world that profits from your self-hatred.

Because I like organization and themes (and alliteration!) I’ve decided to try something new: TUESDAY TIPS of self-love. Each Tuesday I’ll post a little somethinsomethin that I do each day to remind myself that I’m worth loving. I encourage each and every one of you to take a vow right now (go ahead, raise your right hand) that on every Tuesday I post a self-love tip that you try it. Maybe not that day. Maybe not even that week. But at least try it at some point.

Since today is my first ever try at this, I’m starting out simple.



And then take an awkward picture of yourself doing it. Just kidding! That’s just me.

Reasons you should smile each day:

  • The obvious: smiling makes you look even more attractive! This morning when I first woke up, I was rocking some bedhead and crusty eyes. But I smiled at my husband and he immediately expressed that I was so pretty! If me smiling can bust through my just-woke-up look, I might as well do it more often during the day.
  • It lightens your mood and reduces stress. Smile more, and you’ll be happy more!
  • It’s contagious. It’s almost IMPOSSIBLE for me to not smile when someone smiles at me. Spread the love!
  • It’s a drug. When you smile, your body releases endorphins which make you feel good. (Exercise does too, FYI.) Heck yeah!
  • It boosts your immune system. Your immune system recharges when you’re sleeping or relaxed, and smiling relaxes you.

It may not seem like much, but smiling every day really does wonders for you. Give it a try. And remember, self-love is a journey you take one step at a time.

diet coke 12-pack: week of june 27, 2011

Happy Canada Day and happy 4th of July! Hooray for countries being independent (even though Canada is still part of the commonwealth under the queen BUT WHATEVS!) I hope you all had a great week. Start off your holiday weekend by drinking some Labatt Blue and ginger ale whilst consuming some delicious Interweb snacks.

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week. Peace, lovers!


Bye now!