Yoga, It Might Actually Help

Did we think - even three months ago - that I was going to roll into this next season of my life as a budding little yogi?

No, duh.

But! Here we are.

Suddenly I'm going to yoga two to three days a week, learning how to touch my toes, and what a downward dog really looks like. Plot twist I am really really loving it.

Arguably, that alone is a bit of a surprise.

And as much I would like to think I go into all things with an open mind and open heart - that is just not always the case. This though, this was different. Once I plucked up the courage, it was just as simple as, I am going to yoga. I wasn't setting up expectations for myself, or what I would find there. I was simply going to go.

What I found was that my heart really needed yoga.

How many of you just rolled your eyes and said, "oh here we go?" Hear me out.

From what I can tell so far, yoga is about moving through a practice that encourages your body to feel it's own strength, and utilize it's own energy to cultivate or release something within you.

The show of physical strength is obvious through the majority of any practice. Though I'm not breaking out a Firefly anytime soon, it's the simplicity in things as "basic" as a plank, that remind you it is all about what your body can do.

That is transposed against the notion of deciding what you want to embrace, or focus on, during your practice.

Or, in my case, more often than not it is about what I want to let go of during my practice. Whatever I choose to set aside, to say shut up to, or to leave outside the studio - that is entirely up to me. And it is that choice, that focus, that brings in the element of softness.

Though it probably wasn't until I had been going for about a month that this dichotomy showed up for me, once it did, it was as if it had been in my peripherals for weeks.

Strength and softness.

While it is not always obvious, I've been trying to be pretty strong over the last five months or so. This fall, and even the start of this winter have been hard. Unbelievably hard. It's been a lot of I'm fine and I'm just exhausted. 

And yes, let's include heartbreak here, but I don't want to give it all the credit.


I've been trying to be pretty strong.

But the reality is, that strength, it takes constant effort. And even when I feel like I'm throwing my whole body into the notion of strong, and okay, and making it work - it often doesn't feel like I am that strong.

So, the softness.

The notion of their duality in one hour of my life, two or three times a week, it helps. It's not gonna fix me in two months of yoga. But when I give myself that whole hour - to choose strength and softness - I leave feeling just a bit better.

My practice is nothing close to perfect. I still have runner's calves. I still can't touch my toes without bending my knees. My improving.

But I feel like I've maybe put myself ( maybe just a big toe, but not my whole self quite yet,) into a new community, and sister, whoa did I need it.

I needed blanket acceptance for what I was going to bring to this party. I needed understanding that not everything I do is going to work. I needed the notion that we can be practicing our strength and finding that we have to embrace softness at the same time.

Whoa, did I need it.

And, shout out to all of you folks that have reached out about this yoga endeavor. Because some of you have just said, yay! and I feel the same. And some of you have said, yikes! and I feel that too.

Let me add this: if you think you might wanna join, give me a shout. Because I promise, I will look weird in class too. I am nervous too. I am awkward in new places too. But, it's totally worth it.

Namaste, y'all.

Let Me Update Ya

I have a few reasons why it has been quiet over here.

But they all really boil down to this: it's been a hard few months, and I don't have a new way to say that.

So, I'm going to hit you with a few random updates and hope that we (I) can get back on track here.


Returning from Ireland: 

Well, for one, jet lag was not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Actually, neither was driving on the right side of the road again.

Oddly though, within about two or three days, it felt like a weird memory of a trip that didn't totally happen to me. I think a good part of that is depression-brain. But it a dream. Not in the magical fuzzy sense. But in the sense that right now my brain works in flashes, and I get pieces of it back and think, Oh, right. That was me. 


The Godforsaken Glasses:

I got these a few months ago - and for a few months I've been talking about them enough that it is now just plain annoying.

They are blue-light computer glasses. And basically they protect your eyes if you happen to spend many many many hours a day staring at a screen. (That's most of us, right?)

My thought process was well, I wake up and look at my phone at home, go to work and look at my computer, to come home and look at my phone again. And though I love boasting that I have 20/20, I'd really like that to stay true.

So I bought them.

Now, I don't use them as often as a should. Because, quiet frankly, I've never had glasses, and it is just not a habit I have. However. I love the style, they are totally comfortable, and they've been great for days that I know I'm going to just focus on my inbox for approximately 1600 hours and need to ward off a headache.



It has been a long time since I've had a running related injury.

Almost a year actually (lol, princess half.)

And this set back has been, well, hard. I've relied so heavily on cardio and the chance to just run in peace for the last few months. In the last three weeks or so, not being able to run has been consequently brutal.

I'm doing all the good things - rolling it out, stretching - you know. But I really think as hard as this spell has been, it has been much harder given that I can't go for a long run.


Up Next:

The Depression
The Tattoo
The Yoga

Quick Hit Guide to an Upside Down Trip to Ireland

It had been 15 years since I had been to Ireland when I boarded a plane last week at Logan. And part of me was so dang excited and part of me was so dang sad.

When I say that I planned this trip for two people, I'm guessing you can figure out which two.

So, when it became clear that I was either going by myself, or going with someone else, I didn't even begin to entertain the idea of just not going at all. Why? I mean, for one, it was bought and paid for. But two, honestly, I came up with the idea of us going to Ireland. I planned our route through the country. I booked the AirBnBs. I planned all of it, and I didn't want to not go, just because I wasn't going to be going with him.

Now, that's not to say it didn't sting. I was pretty clear with the people in my life in the days before the trip that I was excited, but not as excited as I had been. 

There was a whole trip that I had to mourn before I could get excited about the trip I was really going to take. And sister, that is hard.

But, I went. I got on the plane. I drove the car. I picked out restaurants. And I did the full blown tourist thing, left and right. 

And with that, I'll give you, the Ireland Itinerary.


dublin ireland


We stayed:

Just outside of City Centre, about a 25 minute walk away in The Liberties neighborhood. It was perfectly tucked away from the high traffic of the city, but was very much inside the city as well. 

It was small, but in the best European-small way it could be. Here's the AirBnB: Little Dublin Studio.

We ate:

The Riddler: With walls, pillows, and tables covered in actual riddles, and a menu that boasted "modern Irish dishes," we were hooked. Also, we found it when we desperately needed coffee and had been up for roughly 27 hours.

Bestseller: It was one part bookstore, one part coffee shop, and one part bar. So naturally I got another latte, and a very Irish morning treat: a sausage roll. And what does Julia get? Hot. Wine. Warmed chardonnay with mulled apples and cloves. It was insane, and delicious.

The Temple Bar: Of course, Guinness and goat cheese crostinis were ordered. If you ever get to The Temple Bar take time to walk around - it's a big space, and often crowded - while we quickly got a great spot, it's worth getting a feel for the place. Plus! Legend has it there is a UVM Rescue patch in the collection of the bar's famed wall.

temple bar dublin ireland

We did:

We visited the Dublin Castle, Trinity and Graton Streets. We stopped for macarons. We ogled at all the flower vendors. We went to a for real Disney store.

While we were at it we spotted a Duck Boat. You know the ones in Boston, they're the boats/trucks that do city-wide tours, and then hop in the water too? Well, they've got them in Dublin. Only, they are called Viking Tours. 

I was sold. So that night, while we ate quesadillas in bed, we booked ourselves a tour.

The Viking Tour was exactly like you'd expect. There were funny hats, and we grunted at people on the streets, and we even had a cheeky driver who made corny jokes.

viking tours dublin



This was the beginning of our long trek around the country. Which, after we made it through many many kilometers of farmland, was actually going to take us into Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.

But on the way there, we decided to stop at Newgrange. A 5200 year old tomb in the middle of Boyne Valley. It was a stunningly beautiful day, there were tons of sheep, and we felt v cultured.

newgrange ireland

We stayed:

When we finally made it to the AirBnB (in the middle of a hospital plaza) we were starving. Thankfully, we had the bests hosts and this one left all sorts of restaurant guides and tourist info.

We ate:

Deanes at Queens: We got cocktails, we were surrounded by older Irish couples, and we awkwardly bopped along to their jamming restaurant tunes. (Yes, it was amazingly delicious. Yes, we recommend.)

Thyme Deli: The "best" sandwich joint in Belfast. Oh, you guys, talk about chips. These were garlic buttered fries, next to my amazing turkey bacon sandwich that was served with banging pasta salad and sweet-chili Doritos. I was in heaven.

thyme deli belfast

That night, we got late-night Burger King delivered to the AirBnB, and I tell you what, I felt zero shame.

We did: 

Again, this is a totally walkable city. We hiked our buns over to the port side of the city and visited The Titanic Experience. As my dad has mentioned three times since I've been home, my great-grandfather was a steel worker on the Titanic - so this was extra exciting, if you ask me. 

The museum was great - really interactive (there is a ride inside the museum,) really informative, and about so much more than just a ship that went down.

Finally, before starting the trek up and over the northern most points of Ireland, and landing in castle county, we made it to Giant's Causeway. I could likely write a whole post on the nostalgia, the views, the awesome-included audio guide, and how wonderful it was to hike up literal cliffs - but, the point is, if you can go, you must.

giants causeway belfast



We stayed:

This AirBnB is one we really wish we could've stayed in longer. We arrived late after our day at the Giant's Causeway, but tucked in nicely to all the amenities. It included cookies, a Nespresso, and loads of DVDs.

We ate:

Mary Murrins Pub: Though just one town over from the AirBnB, it was a world away. We sat next to the perfect little fire, got a few looks from the locals when we walked in, made friends with the waitress, and got them to play Sweet Caroline.

Olde Castle Bar: Situated neatly across the street from Donegal Castle with a very traditional Irish menu, and nice cold hard ciders. It was the perfect long lunch on a rainy afternoon.

We did:

At this point, we were plumb tuckered out. So we slept in, took it easy, toured the Donegal Castle and strolled through the town on our full day here. We also got some shopping in, watched some movies, and just took a bit of time for actual leisure.



We left the Dunkineely area pretty early to head way down to Corofin in Galway county, and phew, that drive was good. Coming down through the north into the heavily fished southwest, was stunning.

We stayed: 

This was the only AirBnB that operated more like a B&B, and honestly, not that bad. (Coming from someone who isn't big on forced socialization with strangers.) The real sweet spot was the location, it was very much in Galway, and still not in the heart of the city.

We ate: 

The Quay Street Kitchen: Finding this gem was one of my better accomplishments. In the center of the city, on what easily could be called restaurant row, this little place was tucked away serving amazing and unique Irish dishes. (I had a veggie burger that I still can't shut up about.)

The Dough Bros: We started the morning off right with a pizza-brunch, on day two in Galway. This was good pizza, I mean, damn good. And yep, we had more cider with it.

The Bunch of Grapes: Stopped in for a couple pints and what honestly was one of the best mocha lattes of the trip. Perfect little pub with a fire, an old paper, and a quiet bartender.

O'Reilly's Bar & Kitchen: As we headed out of the city for the night we stopped at the Salthill Promenade and grabbed a light, and very quiet, dinner here.

We did:

Well, we started our time in Galway County with an 8k road race in Corofin. A very unique...bizarre?...experience for someone who has a good history with road races. It was great! A good course, nice people, well managed - but everyone but us was part of a running or athletic club. There were no Joe Schmo's off the street that came to run.

We also spent one quick morning in Salthill walking along the beach before heading into Galway for plenty of food, shopping, and walking.

Finally, before heading back to Dublin, we made it to the Cliffs of Moher. One of the top things on my list when I booked this trip, and boy, it did not disappoint. The wind was unreal, and at one point there was hail. But it truly was unlike anything else.


Dublin, Again:

We stayed:

Before flying out I knew I wanted something simple and relaxing, and well, this cabin-like AirBnB, was also fitting for my OG travel partner. It was a good 15 minutes outside of Dublin city, and was a true tiny house-esque cabin. Absolutely delightful before a 25 hour day of travel.

We ate:

On the road. McDonalds, if you want to know the truth. And you know what? It was the chicest McDonalds ever, and it was delish.

We did:

We unpacked, repacked, and slept.


And that's it!

The long and short of it is this: plan an adventure, it's worth it, always. It might surprise you that the weather, the people, the food, and the views are all absolutely perfect. And yes, Ireland is a great place to start.

5 Tips for Your 5k

This weekend I will likely run my 4th race in 5 weeks.

I say likely because I technically haven't registered yet because I'm broke and lazy. Yay, 25.

Anyways, it is not that big of a deal. But I do really like running road races, and I especially like 5ks. For those of you that don't give a hoot about running, that's 3.1 miles. Not much in distance. But it makes for a nice run, and of course when you are running around Vermont, it is usually a great course too.

That being said, since I've been a "runner" a handful of people over the last few years have asked me for some pointers before their first 5k.

And I thought, who doesn't love unsolicited advice from me? I'll share it with y'all!

So here we are...


1. Relax!

I still get pre-race jitters, regardless of how long the race is. But let me tell ya, the easiest thing to think about before a race is just, I'm going on a run. I'm just going on a run. 

While I totally still nervously use the port-a-potties, and have to wear certain socks to every race, it helps!


2. Run!

Seriously! If it is your first 5k or your fifteenth, I wouldn't recommend going into it without having run...recently.

There are a lot of "couch to 5k" programs out there that - while slightly insulting in their title - all make the same argument, start slow and gain endurance as you go.

For what it's worth, when I started running in college I did the run for 2 minutes, walk for 2 minutes, schtick for weeks. And here I am today with two half marathons under my belt.


3. Hydrate!

Most 5ks are early enough in the morning that I stick with my regular race breakfast, and just add about 24-36 ounces of water to my morning.

Ideally I like to have my 24 ounces done about 2 full hours before the race, then I tack on an extra 4 to 8 ounces in the last 30 minutes before the race.

If though, you get dehydrated easily, or didn't get enough water the day previous, you're going to need more!


4. Have fun!

Yes! I did hate typing that nice little cliche! 

But it's true...road races, especially up here, are so low-key and they are meant to be enjoyable. Knowing that will really help you relax and have fun on the course, regardless of time, pace, or distance.

Bonus points if you get a running buddy too.


5. Prepare!

I'm all about my pre-race routine.

I set out my bib, and my race clothes the night before. I pack my race bag with my hat, my headphones, my running belt, and sneakers. I double check the race time, set my leave time, and even make sure I know how to get there.

I don't often look at the course ahead of time (1. I don't really care. 2. I don't want to psych myself out.) But a lot of people like to know what they're getting into, so to speak.

And that's that. Then the next morning, I'm ready. I eat my breakfast, drink my water, go to the bathroom 24 times, and head out.


I will say, your first 5k is going to be so daunting. It will feel like everyone knows what they are doing. Everyone is faster than you. Everyone is more of a runner than you. And so on, and so on.

But I guarantee two things: someone else in that pack is totally as scared and as new as you, and it is absolutely not daunting after the first 30 seconds.

So, give it a try. You might just love it for the t-shirts and medals, like me.

Me Too

To some degree, I don't even know where to begin...

I'll start with this: if you don't know why you've been seeing "Me Too" in your Facebook newsfeed and Twitter timelines, it is time for you to find out.

Much like many things designed to blanket social media in a single unified message, it is really simple (almost too simple.) The idea is that if every woman who has been sexually harassed or assaulted posted "Me Too," or #metoo, the general public would have a better image of how pervasive of a problem it is.

So if you've seen that, now you know.

If you haven't, well, that's a bigger problem.


Because here's the thing, I shouldn't have to name myself as victim for you to understand this is a problem. I shouldn't have to tell you my story to justify the notion that these are pervasive issues. I shouldn't have to join in with a chorus of "me toos" so that someone will believe me.

I don't like this idea that through "Me Too" we are giving a voice to this.

The voices are already speaking, loud and clear. 

There is no reason I should have to use a hashtag to say, what he did was wrong, and just because I was confused, and ashamed, and a year older than him, doesn't mean it has to go by any other name.

I shouldn't have to explain why I had a fear of being in a certain department in my last job.

I shouldn't have to tell cautionary tales to girls my junior about positions I've held.

That shouldn't be a thing.

But it is. And more over, nothing there is new.


This idea that suddenly because another high-profile pig is being called out all over the news and social media that we now need to start talking about sexual assault and harassment is nucking futs.

This happens every day.

And every day someone's voice is silenced because, "it's no big deal," or "that's not what he meant," or "you shouldn't take it so personally," or "maybe you shouldn't have said anything," or "well, did you look in the mirror today," or "it probably wasn't that bad."

I shit you not, all of that, each of those phrases, has been said to me.

So, ask yourself, why in the hell would I want to keep speaking up if that's the shit I get in return?

Can you imagine being in that position?

Can you imagine hearing that your experience is invalid because it makes someone else uncomfortable?

Well, if you can, you're probably a woman.


And that's my problem with Me Too.

If we, as a gender, have the ability to blanket entire social media outlets with the affirmation that we too have been sexually assaulted and harassed, then why the hell aren't they just listening in the first place?

Beyond that, I don't want anyone to feel like they have to say, "Me Too" to be heard, or validated.

There is no time limit on this stuff, and to say that this is the time to speak up and say, "Me Too" doesn't give room for the fact that this is deeply personal, hard, scary as hell, and...

You should never have to say Me Too, on social media, or elsewhere, to make other people believe you, hear you, and support you. 

I can't be okay with the notion that we need a freaking hashtag to convince people that this is real, constant, and serious.

Moreover, I can't be okay with the fact that this freaking hashtag still doesn't cover the notion of why so many sexual assaults go unreported, why we still perpetuate an air of shame, and why you have to claim your survivorship in order to get other people to accept this reality.

So, sure, me freaking too.

But dammit, why do I have throw my story into the ring, and make my pain public, just so that someone out there will believe that this is a problem?

Hello Fresh(ly Single)

Let's talk about dinner!

Alright, well, we know that I have changed my dinner and cooking habits a lot in the last four years.

Four years? Yikes. Old. 

Post-grad, at least for almost two years, I was either eating at my parent's house, or bringing their food back to my apartment. Any way you slice it I was eating semi-regular, home-cooked meals.

Pre-Miss Vermont and pre-Miss America, I was obviously in full prep mode. I was meal prepping pretty much all my dinners and lunches while counting macros etc.

Post-Miss America, and really post-Miss Vermont, I gave up prepping all together.
Which is also to say, I gave up cooking regularly. Because I was tired of feeling beholden to meals, and grocery shopping, and truthfully other parts of my life were wearing me down.

Fast forward, and we are seven months post-Miss Vermont, and one month post-happy-and-in-love body.

So I made this plan - I kid you not, a week before becoming single - I was going to try another meal delivery service. Because I'm horrible at getting groceries in a timely manner. I hate having food spoil because I get too tired to cook it. And I'm notorious for getting home late and just giving up on the notion of a regular dinner.

I have dabbled in meal delivery before, but I got a coupon for Hello Fresh, and you know your girl loves a good deal, so yep - I signed up for my first box, with three meals, each for two people.

And I thought, oh great! We can cook together! Or I can have leftovers for lunch! Amazing! 

Unsurprisingly, like everything in my life that week, the plan was foiled. The box never showed.


So I called, cried to a Hello Fresh customer service rep, (as I did at three other companies that week, more on that soon, promise) and I found a manager that was the kindest, most earnest, human being I have encountered on a customer service call.

And he was so adamant that I have a chance to try Hello Fresh, that he gifted me a box and half.

Joy amongst tragedy!

Anyways, I've now gone through two boxes, cooked six meals, and not only do I have something to say about it, I've a giveaway!

What what 

But seriously. I want one of you to be able to try this. I can't even begin to explain how easy the whole process is.

I get to decide on my own menu from the selection each week. I can skip a week, whenever I want. And I can even skip super in advance, so I don't forget! And I'm not only eating regular, healthy, delicious dinners three or four times a week - I've also not stressed about getting to the store even once. And I haven't thrown out spoiled food in weeks.

This is huge for me. I feel like dinner is such a pain point in my day-to-day, because of course I want a home-cooked satisfying dinner, but especially right now, I often don't have that much drive.

The Hello Fresh box makes it easy, it makes it quick, and it means I've been so much happier with my weekly approach to dinner.

So, the giveaway!

I'm giving away a totally freeeeee Hello Fresh box!

To enter, leave a comment here and tell me your favorite dinner-time recipe. Then! Hop over to my Instagram, find the photo of me hugging my Hello Fresh box, and give it a like! (Also make sure you are following me!)

The giveaway is open to anyone in the U.S., over 18 years old, no purchase is necessary, prize is valued at $69.95. Giveaway ends Monday, October 16th at 9 PM EST. 

No Diet Is The Best Diet

Now that I have a post-pageant body, and a post-happy-and-in-love body, I am suddenly in a whole new phase of what I am doing in the gym, the kitchen, and just, you know, in general.

And funnily enough, more than once in the last month or so - especially since jumping back on the personal training...train - someone has asked me about my diet.

Which, we should probably talk about. Because I have maintained - for as long as I have had to prep - that unless you are dieting with a specific, health-based, realistic goal, you should not be dieting.

I am so serious. And I am on no diet, at all. I eat what I want, when I want, while simply understanding that no one made salt and vinegar chips with the intention of them being consumed at every meal.

If you are prepping for a pageant/competition/race, fine.

If your doctor has given you a low sugar/low sodium diet with specific measurable goals for your own health, fine.

If you have been told by a medical professional that you need lose weight and thus cut calories, fine.

But there is no reason that you, as a healthy individual, should be on any sort of regimented plan without a specific purpose and a specific end-game and date.


Uh, literally just this: disordered eating.

If you are cutting calories, you ought to first know:
Are you already eating too many calories for your lifestyle? 
If so, should you be looking to just up your daily physical activity? 

The reality is, unless you're pounding something like 3500 calories day (a, congrats. b, wow.) you probably just need to be more active. Is it always that easy? Hell no. But before you start restricting your food intake for the sake of calories, look at how much you're burning each day against what you are consuming.

If you are prepping meals and doing the whole protein shake thing, you need to ask yourself:
If I don't eat a prepped meal, how does that effect my plans and my goals? 
At what point do I stop pre-making three meals a day and eating just that? 

I'll add here that there is a distinct difference between making your lunch ahead of time, planning out your groceries, etc. and sticking to three/five pre-cooked meals a day without room for "mistakes."

And if you are cutting carbs/fats/certain foods, you should be able to answer:
Is this something that I need to maintain long-term for my personal well-being, or am I looking for a short term fix? 

Carbohydrates are important. Fats are important. To eliminate these - or restrict what you consume of them, is just another way that you are distorting your idea of what healthy meals look like. Plot twist: they include carbs. And carbs can actually be bread, and that's fine.

Because listen, I have been there.

I have done the disordered eating thing. And I have done it while prepping, and I have done it while cutting carbs, and I have done it while adding protein shakes into my day-to-day.

And it was as simple as this:

Oh, I can't have that, it's not in my meal plan. 

Oh, that has too many grams of carbs, I'm already at X grams today. 

Oh, I'll just drink this protein instead. 

That alone is unhealthy. That alone is why I am by no means on a diet of any kind right now.

Because if your meal plan means you have to say "no" to any food (that's not an allergen or, like I said, been prohibited by your doctor,) that meal plan is causing you problems.

If you cannot eat something because of what you have already consumed that day, you are restricting food. That's a problem.

And, I don't know how many times I've explained this to girls during a pageant "season," but I'll say it ten thousand more times if it have to...there is no such thing as a meal replacement. 

Stop, stop, stop living under the assumption that you should be replacing your meals with anything.

First of all, sitting down, enjoying and chewing a meal is a really important part of the eating process. Both to your brain and the rest of your body. And there is a lot of value in looking at your plate of balanced, (solid,) and measurable foods. This is how you learn how to eat well.

Second, any time you are creating the notion that you need to replace food with liquid, you are distorting the value of perfectly nutritional food. (Fair to note, often any meal replacement shake or protein powder is loaded with synthetic products, added sugars, and chemicals.)

Finally, it is almost always more expensive per serving than actually buying food.

And I will tell you right now, I own and use protein powder. But it is not a meal replacement, and it does not get consumed instead of something else.

If I have to work early (like 5:45 AM early,) it is totally possible that I'll make a smoothie with a scoop of protein in it. While I'm doing my makeup, or brewing three pots of coffee, or driving around Chittenden County, I'll enjoy my smoothie. But you better believe that I'm making a real breakfast when I get back to the office.


Because I know that I need food, real food, to get me through the day.

And that's also why I am not on any kind of diet.

Did I lose three pounds in the first two and half weeks of this new season of life? Hell yes I did.

But it is because I started cooking regular dinners, instead of grabbing Moe's. It's because I started doing cardio four times a week, also instead of just eating Moe's. It's because I have a new personal trainer. It's because I don't happen to have any chips at my house right now.

That being said, have I been to Henry Street? Heck yeah.
Ordered pizza? Yup.
Eaten hash purples more than once in a week? Better believe it.

I am literally just eating what I want, when I want, and maintaining a healthy level of physical activity. Because I'm a grown-ass woman, and I don't have time to be re-learning how to eat three healthy meals a day every few years. That is boring, and lame. And dangit, I have enough anxiety, and you know, problems in general. I don't need to be adding disordered eating to it.

That is the whole story. 

So let me say this: if you think that by cutting calories, following a regimented meal planning, drinking protein shakes, and carb cycling is helping you, you might be right. But if you don't know at what point that stops, and you stop "being on a diet/meal plan," you need to stop now.

It is sometimes really hard to recognize disordered eating in ourselves - and it took a moment of me, standing in my kitchen, a month after Miss America when I felt like I wasn't supposed to order pizza - for me to realize, alright, it all has to stop. No form of diet or plan is worth that feeling.

And maybe you haven't hit that point, but if you know you're following some type of plan right now, I urge you to look at those questions again. Look at your own behavior. Look at how you feel about going outside of that plan. That's how you'll know.

Frankly, I gotta tell ya, eating whatever the heck you want is great! It means last week I had an insanely tasty english muffin for breakfast and a pumpkin muffin as my morning snack. And that's it. I didn't change my lunch because of that. I didn't run for an extra half hour. I still just did my thing.

And, later this week, I'm sharing the one thing that I have added to my life in the last month that I think is helping with my goals of spending more time being active, less time worrying about when I'm gonna get groceries, and still eating a regular delicious dinner. So, as they say, stay tuned.