Monday, August 31, 2015

I can’t live like this: postpartum depression

I attended a church convention this past week that I go to every year. I would say that it has been about a year before I really remember the postpartum depression symptoms getting bad. The symptoms started to get bad during the church convention last year. I love to go, and I need to go for the benefit of my soul, but the fact that there are so many people and that I have social anxiety means it is very stressful for me.

I was handling everything really well the first couple of days, or so I thought. On Friday night I actually commented to hubby that I was so happy at how well I was handling everything and that maybe I was finally getting better.

When we got home and I put baby girl to bed and I laid down, finally able to relax, it was like a switch flipped in my head and suddenly I was this depressed and anxious person. Literally, just. like. that. No warning.

And that’s how it continued for the next two days. It took over my whole body. My body began to “buzz”, which is the only way I know to describe it. My jaw is literally sore from clenching it. I was so tired that I didn’t want to do anything but crawl under the covers and sleep. I felt myself taking shallow breaths—thankfully, I can recognize these symptoms and I know when to start practicing my coping skills to get the anxiety part under control.

But I didn’t feel like it was so much anxiety this time as it was just this overwhelming sense of sadness, of feeling simply overwhelmed, like I was incapable of handling anything, like I was not meant to be a mother, like I am simply not good enough for my hubby and baby girl. Like I didn’t want to exist.

I was lucky to have my mom’s help and hubby’s help and to be honest, I feel like they did more of the work than I did—so I’m really not sure what this is about. But I hate it. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I cannot live like this.

Sometimes I don’t know why I was given such precious gifts of a husband who loves me to no end, or a vibrant and social little girl who I feel so incapable of meeting her needs. I feel like I’ve been placed into someone else’s life—a life that I don’t deserve but want to deserve so badly.

Usually, I feel completely refreshed in my soul after being at the church convention just a short while. I was so distraught when I realized that I hadn’t heard anything that had really, really fed my soul. I felt like God was disappointed in me and had turned away from me.

I prayed and prayed that night that God would speak to me as He always has in the past. The next morning, a minister spoke about depression specifically and the guilt that it can make a person feel. And then I knew that God had heard me. The minister continued on that Satan can use those thoughts to try to discourage us, but we need to just turn a deaf ear to those thoughts because Jesus can cover all of our imperfections. And now if I can just learn to do that.

I realized that it has been a long, long time since I really felt like myself. I would even venture to say that I was slightly depressed while pregnant. That’s almost over two years of not recognizing myself and of being trapped somewhere while my mind and body have taken over to become my worst enemy. Imagine your worst enemy being trapped in your mind and constantly telling you lies that you begin to believe even though you don’t want to.

How is it possible that I’ve become like this? How do I make it stop? Will it ever stop? Will I ever be me again?

I am still clinging to hope that I will find myself again. I’m going to make an appointment with my doctor to see what she can do for me. I also have a counseling appointment tomorrow.

There are some positives to this experience: 1) I have more empathy for others, 2) it has made me “hate” life enough that I have a greater hope for eternity, 3) it has made me feel a more desperate need for God, 4) seeing my husband’s unconditional love for me has opened my eyes to the perfect love of God.

And so I will take it one moment at a time—sometimes taking it an entire day at a time is too much. But I will continue and keep hoping for improvement! But I cannot shake the feelings of guilt for why I am not happy with all that I have been given—it’s not that I am not thankful. I’m trying to convince myself that I am just sick. Mental illness is hard because it doesn’t really show—it’s only felt.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Inspiration Sunday

You, Yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection Buddha Quote Inspiration

Friday, August 28, 2015

Weigh in Day: Cancelled

I'm just being real! I ate late last night and it was salty. I stepped on the scale but I know the number was water weight so I'm not going to let it get to me! 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

9 Tips for Achieving Healthy Living Goals & Finding Life Balance

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SamsClubMag #CollectiveBias

9 Tips for Achieving Healthy Living Goals and Finding Life Balance

Almost eight months have passed since you set those new year’s resolutions. Are you closer to achieving those goals or have you made steps in the wrong direction?

My progress has been slow, but I continue to make small changes with the ultimate goal of creating healthy habits that will last a lifetime and not just a couple of weeks.

With August being Health Awareness Month, it’s a good time to take a look at your health (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) and make sure that you are finding the right life balance. It’s a balance that takes mindful planning to achieve.

These tips are some of the ways that have helped me achieve success with my healthy living goals in the past and making this list has been a good reminder for me get back on track with my goals.


1. Do the Prep Work


There’s a lot to say for convenience. I am notorious for making bad food choices when I’m hungry. I’ll open the fridge and say, “There’s nothing to eat…”, and proceed to stuff my mouth with whatever is convenient.

Here’s the good news—with a little preparation, even healthy foods can be convenient.

For example, cut up fruits and veggies and have them ready to eat in the fridge. Fill small plastic storage bags (or small reusable containers) with the recommended serving size of your favorite snack to prevent overeating. Cook chicken or salmon on the weekends so that it’s ready to grab for a quick and healthy lunch during the hectic work week.


2. Prioritize Quiet Time

Quiet alone time is essential

We live in an over-scheduled, noisy, and violent world. It’s important to take time to be quiet and listen to nothing other than our own thoughts. If you’re not used to this practice, it may seem difficult at first—but after a while you will come to treasure those peaceful moments.

There are a variety of ways that you can make the most of your quiet time. Sit down and read that book you’ve been meaning to read. Journal your thoughts and enjoy the therapeutic benefits. Meditate or pray to benefit the soul. Even just leisurely sipping a cup of coffee and taking in the scent and taste can be centering.


3. Take Vitamins/Supplements

Sam's Club Healthy Living

If you’re already taking a daily multivitamin, give yourself a pat on the back! There are a variety of supplements that can benefit body and mind. Taking fish oil can have numerous health benefits, including supporting heart health. If you have trouble sleeping, melatonin supplements can often help. Consult your physician to find out what’s best for you.

When shopping at Sam’s Club, I love to browse the Healthy Living section. They carry everything you could possibly need to stay happy and well. And they have the most heavenly produce section that makes it easy to eat nutritiously. I love being a Sam’s Club member!


4. Lend a Hand


Doing good for others is a natural mood booster. There can never be too much kindness in the world. There are a millions ways to give—donate your blood to save lives, volunteer in your community, visit the elderly, drop off a freezer meal at a tired new mom’s house, hold the door open for the person behind you, or shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk in the winter. The possibilities are endless.


5. Hydrate


The average human is made up of approximately 65% water. Think about that—over 1/2 of you is water! It’s pretty amazing to think about and proves how essential hydrating with H2O is to human life and health. I feel a million times better when I am well hydrated and I feel even better when I’m using a reusable water bottle—saving the environment one sip at a time!


6. Checkup on Your Health

Free Health Screening at Sam's Club

Getting a regular health checkup can save your life. I’ve heard countless stories of people who, during a regular checkup, find out they are in the early stages of cancer, and the fact that it was caught early meant that they were able to effectively treat it. I’ve also heard countless stories of people who ignore the symptoms and end up finding out they have a terminal illness by the time they go to the doctor for a check up. Make yourself a priority and keep tabs on your health.

Sometimes achieving good health means having a health screening done and facing the facts so that you can set goals for improvement. Once you meet those goals, monitoring your health is important in maintaining it. On September 12th, Sam’s Club is offering an in store free health screening—the perfect opportunity to check up on your health.


7. Make Physical Activity Fun

Make a race bib collage

I struggle to find exercise that I love to do and I know that’s the secret to being consistent with it. I love to go for bike rides and explore nature trails. I love to swim. Sometimes being active just means that I do whatever I have to do to keep moving—such as going to the mall and walking around window shopping.

I have also enjoyed running numerous 5Ks and saving my race bibs to make a fun collage, which is displayed in my workout room. I’ve earned one medal for participation, but it is a goal of mine to someday earn a medal for placing in my age group. Setting goals like this can make exercise more fun because you have something to work towards.

But the struggle is real and that’s why finding an exercise that you enjoy doing is so important. You have to love what you do!


8. Be a Lifelong Learner

You literally can never stop learning. Isn’t the thought of that inspiring? There is so much more to learn and discover!

One of my favorite ways to continue learning is to listen to podcasts while I’m cleaning the house. It makes an otherwise dreadful task more bearable. I am a bit of a nerd, so I listen to a podcast about grammar, but I also listen to podcasts about finance, personal development, creative inspiration, current events, and healthy living. I know that I am better because of it.

I also love to read, whether it be literature, news stories, or light hearted essays. The Sam’s Club Healthy Living Made Simple Magazine is a great source for keeping up with healthy living topics.


9. Unplug and Unwind

Picnic 2

While scrolling through social media is enticing, you can waste a lot of time reading about the lives of others while you’re completely wasting away your own. Every once in a while, completely unplug—put the phone down, turn off Netflix, and shut down your laptop.

Grab some friends and family and have some good old-fashioned fun. Go for a picnic, play a board game, toss a ball around, or even run through the sprinkler. Live life. Enjoy life. You’ll never regret it and I’m also willing to bet that you’ll be much happier with the memories of a good time spent with loved ones than you would be if you sat on the couch looking at your phone.

Making good memories will give you something to smile about later—it’s just simply good for your health!


These are just a few of the many ways to find life balance for physical, emotional, and spiritual healthy living. Sam’s Club has everything I need to work towards my healthy living goals.

What’s your favorite item at Sam’s Club that helps you work towards your healthy living goals?

P.S. Don’t forget to get your free Health Screening at Sam’s Club!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Guest Post: I Don’t Have an Eating Disorder… or do I?

I am happy to have Christina as my guest writer today! She is a fabulous writer and I love her blog. Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us, Christina!

Hello! My name is Christina and I blog over at Love Yourself Healthy. I live in New Orleans with my husband and 2 children, and I am thrilled to be writing a guest post for Alissa! When she first asked if I’d like to write a post for her blog, I immediately said “sure!” Coming up with a topic was a bit more challenging, but a few of her more recent posts inspired my topic for today: “I don’t have an eating disorder… or do I?”

It was April of 2014 when I first started to think that I might have a problem; not a simple, “Ijustlovefoodsomuch” problem, but an “I think I might need professional help” problem. I’d always struggled with my weight, and I’d jump on one weight loss bandwagon after another. I’d lose a little, then fall off the wagon, give up, and gain everything back and then some. Every one of these failures resulted in an epic loss of “willpower,” an all-out binge, and I’d start the cycle all over again.

I never knew there was a name for what I was experiencing—and until recently, there really wasn’t. Binge Eating Disorder (BED) was finally added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) as an “official” eating disorder in 2013. It is the most common eating disorder among US adults (surprised? Yeah, me neither).

(I would like add that it was very difficult for me not to go off on a wild tangent at this point, but I’ll save that for another day!)

According to, the symptoms of BED are as follows:

  1. Regularly eating far more food than most adults would in a similar time period and in similar circumstances, and feeling that one's eating is out of control during a binge.
  2. Binge eating episodes that include three of the following:
    1. Eating extremely fast
    2. Eating beyond feeling full
    3. Eating a lot when not hungry
    4. Eating in secret to hide how much is being eaten
    5. Feeling terrible after a binge
  3. Feeling very upset by eating binges.
  4. On average, binge eating at least once a week for three months.
  5. Unlike people with other eating disorders, adults with BED don't routinely try to "undo" their excessive eating with extreme actions like throwing up or over-exercising.

It is important to note that not everyone who binge eats has binge eating disorder (source). I’d experienced periods of binge eating all throughout my life, but I don’t think it was actually BED until maybe the year prior to when I actually got help. The triggering event was the loss of my job.

My job loss could be a whole post in and of itself, but the important part is this--it took a HUGE toll on my self –esteem and I felt like garbage. I started to believe that all the crazy things at my former job were actually my fault and that I was a horrible person and a terrible employee. We eventually had to sell our house and move to New Orleans for my husband’s new job, and after that I was certain that if I could just get a job, everything would be better.

After a year of unemployment, I did finally get a job, but it didn’t make me feel any better. I questioned everything about myself that I’d always thought to be true, and I didn’t trust my abilities. Through all of this, I continued eating through my feelings. Every negative thought was squashed with a candy bar. Every time I felt angry, I ate until I quite literally couldn’t eat any more. I have a lap band (it’s unfilled and I don’t utilize it anymore, but there’s still a limit on how much I can stuff myself), so I’d throw up a bit and then continue eating. Every feeling of sadness, of loss, of anger, of failure, was stuffed down until I couldn’t stuff myself any more.

The final straw came in April 2014. Easter candy was on sale and I went to the store and bought all kinds of candy and ate it in my car on my lunch break from work. I remember thinking, “Oh my God, I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to feel this way anymore, but I can’t stop. I CAN’T STOP.”  And I finished every bit of it, tears pouring down my face.

I went back to my office and immediately joined Weight Watchers, and then I starting googling Weight Watchers blogs. Now, before that day, I’d never even heard the words “binge eating” or “binge eating disorder” in relation to what I’d been experiencing, but the first two blogs I came across were women who’d struggled with binge eating. That, of course, led me to more blogs and then I did some research and realized that I just truly needed help. I found a therapist who specialized in eating disorders (binge eating disorder was actually specified in her profile), and it took a few days but I was finally able to make an appointment.

That, my friends, was probably the single most important thing I’d ever done for myself. I saw my therapist weekly for a while, then moved to every other week, then once a month. Maybe 5 months in, she finally convinced me to meet with the nutritionist she worked with, and I’m glad I finally did that. (I was also going to my Weight Watchers meetings every week.) I did this for 10 months, and my “team” was amazing. I worked through so much, so many experiences, so many feelings I didn’t even know I had.

I still struggle—in fact, I’ve made an appointment to see my therapist next week. I still struggle with depression, with binge urges, but now I have tools. I have tools to use to help me fight off those urges, and I feel empowered. I learned that in a world full of things I cannot control, the one thing I can control is myself—how I react to different people or events, the food I put in my body. It’s all my choice, and I have the power to control these things—no one else.

If you think you might have a binge eating problem, don’t be afraid to seek help. It’s so hard to take that first step, but it’s so worth it once you do it.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and thank you, Alissa, for allowing me to share a bit of my story on your blog today!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Follow A Journey to Thin on Social Media

I’d love to have you follow along on my social media accounts! Click the icons below to go to my social media pages.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almondmilk Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk. I was sent a container of Almondmilk, all opinions are my own.

Using Blue Diamond Unsweetened Almondmilk is a great way to cut calories, whether you drink it straight, add it to cereal, or use it in recipes.

My personal favorite is adding Blue Diamond Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmilk Coconutmilk blend to my Cheerios and topping the bowl off with fresh blueberries.

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Coconut Giveaway

Yum! Yum! Yum!

This is a great alternative to dairy if you are lactose intolerant. It is free of dairy, soy, lactose, cholesterol, peanuts, casein, gluten, eggs, and MSG.

While I am a fan of cow’s milk, I do like to change things up in my diet every once in a while and this is a great way to do so!

I am giving away a coupon for one free chilled Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almondmilk! Please enter through Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Inspiration Sunday


Not Promised Tomorrow

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sale Saturday: Planning your Big Day?

This post contains affiliate links and if you make a purchase after clicking on a link, I will receive a small commission from the sale. Thanks!

If you’re planning a wedding, you need to check out Wedding Paper Divas, who is offering 10% off your entire order!

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It's not too late to save on all your wedding day staples so head on over to Wedding Paper Divas now.

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Sale Saturday: Free Disney Backpack Offer

This post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Thank you!

Get the school year started on the right foot with a free Disney backpack from Reebok! Just purchase any children's footwear, use the code FREEBAG at checkout between 8/21 and 8/23, and Reebok will give you a free Disney backpack!

Offer: Get a free Disney backpack with the purchase of any children’s footwear at Reebok

Valid: 8/21-8/23


Friday, August 21, 2015

Weigh in Day Surprise: The Journey of Renovation in Weight Loss and Self-Love

Close up of scale on white background

I really messed it up this past week. I mean really badly. I was out of control with my eating.

I think it’s because I have been stressing about having a guest today. I’m feeling a lot better at the moment because I finally finished cleaning the entire house, with the exception of our bedroom—which will be my next project. I mean really and truly clean—hardly hiding any messes! You know what I mean? ha

I also have been pushing myself outside of my comfort zone in some relationships. I am a work in progress and I am seeing change in myself that I thought would never, ever happen. And it’s rewarding to me. It has brought me peace of heart in a way that I cannot explain. But it has been a little stressful for me—but as I keep going, it will get easier and more comfortable.

But anyways, I was expecting a gain this morning. I feel horrible. I look horribly bloated from the terrible food choices (sugary sweets). I don’t know how I did for points because I stopped tracking, once again.

In the midst of all of this, I am paying attention to how I am feeling, how I’m reacting, and I’m journaling it all. I just know I am going to conquer this lifelong demon that I have let control me (a part of myself without good judgment).

So get on with already, Alissa!

I lost 2.2 lbs. this week. Total loss of 9.4 lbs. I didn’t earn it in the least bit, but I’m going to take it and let it motivate me to do better.

Now that I think about it, I have made some positive changes and progress that doesn’t show on the scale but that I think will help me in the long run. I’m in the midst of transformation and renovation.

Everyone knows that a cocoon isn’t very beautiful, but the butterfly is.

When an old building is renovated, there’s a lost of dust, junk, and a lot of mess. But when an old building is renewed, it’s sometimes even more beautiful than it was in the first place.

This process is messy. It’s ugly. It even hurts sometimes.

But just like when I don’t have the energy to truly clean the house and it’s easier to just hide messes, I refuse to just hide my problems and struggles so that I don’t have to acknowledge them.

Not this time.

Not ever again.

I’m under construction right now, but after a lot of hard work and dedication (not just on the scale) I will be transformed into something more beautiful than ever before.

The walls I’ve built up will come down. The junk will be emptied out of the drawers (and my trunk - ha). I will be renewed and ready to face down those demons once and for all.

But for now, I am still a work in progress.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Things I Love Thursday #6

This post contains a couple affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission which helps keep A Journey to Thin running. Thanks!

Things I Love Thursday

And we’re back with another edition of Things I Love! I’ve finally figured out how to create a link up, so please link up with me on this and share what you’re currently loving!

Laugh of the Week


Funny video

Hehe! Who remembers trying to hit those impossibly high pitched notes? I laughed so hard the first time I saw this.


Hipsy Headbands

The headband I’m wearing above is a Hipsy headband. It’s kind of hard to see because of the Instagram filter I used, but it’s a sparkly gold color and is my current favorite headband.
I don’t just love Hipsy headbands for how cute they are, seriously they have so many cute patterns and designs, but what I love even more is that the company has a lifetime guarantee. Sure enough, when the band broke on my first one, they had excellent and prompt customer service and sent me a new one free of charge AND a discount for another order! LOVE.
You can find them on Amazon also.
As a side note, I took this picture because this is the second time baby girl has stayed sleeping when we pulled into the garage—she ALWAYS wakes up!

My New Shoes


I have been looking for a comfy pair of flat shoes for a long time. I found these Rampage grey Sharlene slip-on loafers on clearance for $15 at a local store. Oh my goodness—they are so comfortable.

My Blog Mentor

Have you noticed some changes taking place here at A Journey to Thin? These changes are based on recommendations from my blog mentor. I have had the privilege of being assigned a blog mentor for the month of August. She blogs over at and has a very successful blog—plus she’s a super nice person! I’m learning a lot from her and I’ve loved it.

Entenmann’s Vanilla K-Cups

Entenmann's Vanilla Capsule/K Cup 10 Pack
Have you ever noticed how sometimes flavored coffee doesn’t taste all that flavorful? I was delighted with the delicious flavor of this coffee! It’s really good. I actually found this at a scratch and dent store, but you can find it on Amazon too.
Share what you’re loving this Thursday, either via the linkup or by hitting up the comments!


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