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Alaina  22 • Michigan Mental Health Awareness Self Love • ED Recovery Isaiah 41:10 💌Alaina.selfloveandstrength@gmail.com 👻Snapchat: xolaina

https://selfloveandstrength.wordpress.com/

Word vomit coming at ya.

I'm exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed, and unmotivated.
I'm also thankful, excited, relieved, and eager for what's to come.
I have a lot on my plate right now and in the past this would've caused several anxiety attacks. I've had my fair share of cries this week but nothing compared to what it could be.
Though I'm incredibly stressed, I'm trying my best to keep it together.
Between work, suddenly making the decision to move (so apartment hunting like crazy), planning a wedding, and everything else...I'm so overwhelmed.
I literally cried at work last Thursday. 🙄
On the outside, I seem to have it together, but my depression is really affecting me. I'm extra moody, have zero appetite, less patience than normal, and have been a terrible friend because even texting people takes a lot out it me mentally.
I was in a dark place a couple days ago and felt as if I wanted to harm myself.
I don't feel like myself right now but I know that everything will be okay. I'll BE okay.
Reminding myself to lean into God during these tough times.
I feel weak but I know I'm strong.
I have a good feeling about this move.
I see positive things happening in the near future.
I hope to be happy again.
I just want to turn my mind off and sleep. I swear it does not stop going a mile a minute.

It takes 10 seconds to set up the perfect picture.
There are 86,400 seconds in a day.
What do you look like for the rest of the time?
Do you love yourself the other 86,390 seconds?

I didn't think I could wear a crop top because I didn't think I looked like the models I saw on IG.
I thought that if people posted pictures like the left photo then they ALWAYS looked like that.
Walking around, flat stomach, booty poppin', at all times of the day.
Some people may look like that at all times. Whether they work for it or because their bodies are naturally that way.
My body doesn't.
but, that's okay.
My body is my body.
Sometimes I can feel extremely confident in my body and seconds later I can rip it apart.
Now, I can say that I focus more on how I really feel instead of what I think people think of me.

Spontaneously going out and SOCIALIZING
Spontaneously going out after a full day of eating WHATEVER
Spontaneously going out and wearing a CROP TOP
Spontaneously going out and LIVING LIFE
Spontaneously going out and doing these that make me UNCOMFORTABLE
I feel cute tonight.
It's OKAY to think you're cute.
yeah, I'm okay with this. ☺

I want you to know that I understand.
I understand that it's hard to sit down and feel your stomach roll over your pants.
I get it when your jeans feel so tight that you have to unbutton them before you make it home.
I know that part of you wishes that cellulite didn't exist and that stretch marks could disappear.
I get how loose skin can make you feel insecure.
I know that some days you can't focus on anything else because your mind is too busy ripping you into pieces.
I've experienced crying about my body a billion times.

I also know that it gets better.
I know that sometimes you have to push yourself through an even more uncomfortable stage to embrace those things that you might feel are the end of the world right now.
A year ago would I have posted a picture like this? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Those stretch marks, cellulite, loose skin, and fat are all beautiful and they help make up Y O U.

I've had cellulite since middle school. I have stretch marks all over my body, especially on my arms (yep, my arms). I actually store most of my fat in my thighs and booty and it made me extremely insecure during my teenage years.

I've lost 80(ish) pounds and I've gained 20(ish) pounds over the past few years. I've learned that you can lose and you can gain. Weight is weight. But changing your weight will not make you love yourself. That's a journey that you have to do separately to truly find your inner acceptance.
Key: Inner acceptance.
Learn to love YOU for YOU and the rest will begin to fall into place.

Old photo but swipe to see my TWO YEAR OLD!
Today is my fur child's birthday and I celebrated by waking up early and baking him a mug cake.
I started to think about when I first got him, which was Christmas 2015.
No, he wasn't a Christmas morning surprise that I woke up to.
He was a...I had been begging Donnie for a puppy for months and Donnie finally said on Christmas morning that we could "start looking" for a dog.
Well, that's all the confirmation I needed so a few hours later I found this guy in an ad on craigslist and suddenly Donnie and I were driving an hour away on Christmas Day to "check him out" (we all know we were not leaving without him 😏)
On the drive there, Donnie told me that the reason he said yes to this was because I needed this puppy and this puppy was going to need me. Donnie told me that I couldn't allow myself to backslide or relapse because I needed the energy to take care of this guy.
Little did I know, I REALLY needed the energy. I love my cattle dog more than anything but they do not stop moving.
Even when I didn't realize it, this dog motivated me to keep going and to take care of myself.
When I would be on the floor in the middle of a panic attack, he was don't there.
He's annoying and sassy and always hungry so he's basically just like his momma.
Dogs are everything.

Today is World Mental Health Day and I decided to go through all of my pictures from the past 365 days and pick the moment when I was the happiest.
I never thought in a million years that it'd be a picture of me sitting in a bikini on the edge of a hot tub.
Looking at this picture, I don't see a girl who struggles with bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and an eating disorder.
Looking at this girl, I see happiness and freedom.
For the longest time I thought that my mental illnesses were who I was. What defined me.
I'm Alaina. I have mental illnesses but there is more to me than that.
For someone who hated them self for most of their life, I'm happy to look at the girl in this picture and claim her as me.
I'm not ashamed of my struggles.
Realistically, I have no clue who I would be without the obstacles I've gone through.
I'm proud of myself.
I'm proud that I can be proud of myself.
I used to not be able to imagine my future because I didn't think I had one. I didn't think I'd live to see a life of growing old.
Now I do. I see a life of me growing old, marrying the man I love, having babies, and sitting on the edge of more hot tubs.
I see a future for you too.
#worldmentalhealthday

I think this shirt speaks for itself #dontsaydiet 🙂
But seriously...
The holidays are beginning,
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years.
Don't worry.
Don't freak out.
Don't listen to the dieters around you.
You do you, boo boo.
Enjoy this time of year.
Remember, food is part of the festivities but food is not all the holidays are about.
Spend this year focusing more on the point and less on the menu.
If only Michigan would hurry up and cool down so it would feel like Halloween is 3 weeks away 🙄

Today has been SO productive!
In the past, if I didn't work out in a day I would label myself as "lazy". I wouldn't consider it a productive day and I would dwell on the fact that I skipped the gym.
Well, my friends, let me tell you about my day:
- I washed my hair (this alone is SO productive)
- I went grocery shopping
- I bought myself a coffee and a book (BIGGBY is life. Michigan followers, where ya at?!)
- I drank the coffee and read part of the book #selfcare
- I did my laundry AND folded it (I do laundry maybe once a month literally because I hate it)
- I washed our sheets and comforter
- I meal prepped my lunches for the week
- I emptied and refilled the dishwasher
- I dusted the dining room
- I deep cleaned the bathroom
- I prepped snacks for Donnie because he's leaving for a roadtrip tomorrow #wifegoals
- Now I'm thinking that I may take my pup for a walk and then give him a bath because his birthday is in two days ☺
- I ALSO CUT A PINEAPPLE WHICH IS ANNOYING.

Being productive is different for everyone. What did you do today that was productive?!

I wanted to take up less space.
To disappear and be smaller.
With everyone compliment, my disorder became more powerful.
When the compliments turned to concern, my disorder grew stronger.
I couldn't shut my mind off and all I could think about was numbers. Weight, calories eaten, calories burned.

I remember that day on the left. It was a "cheat" day spent in Detroit eating ALL the Lebanese food in sight. I didn't wear a coat and it was very chilly so Donnie offered to buy me a coat. I fell in love with this one but remember there only being an extra small left. I remember thinking I needed a size much larger than that to fit. Little did I know the extra small was the one I needed but I didn't see myself that way.

I look so empty. My hair looks dull and my eyes look foggy. I was in a dark place and hated having my picture taken. I felt weak.

A lot has changed since then but the biggest change is how alive I feel. My life has a bigger purpose than losing weight. I have a future planned that doesn't include obsessing over my calories. I have light in my eyes again and I can smile. Truly smile.

Sure, sometimes I wish I had the body that I used to have. I miss feeling petite and small.
But just because I'm taking up more space in the world does not mean I'm any less worthy. It doesn't mean I've failed. It doesn't mean I have no self discipline. It doesn't mean any of those things.
It means that I had enough strength and respect towards myself to do what I had to do to find my self worth. I am not my body. I am Alaina. I have always been Alaina. My body is simply my home, my canvas, my shield. I will protect my home from disaster, enemies, and harm.

Thursday night reminder that you have survived 100% of your bad days.
It WILL be okay. Things may be dark now and you may not see the end but I promise there are good days in your future.
You do have a future.
You do have a purpose.
You are here for a reason.
You matter.
You are loved.
You are worthy.

Self-Love and Strength.
The username I selected over two years ago.
The username that was what I wanted to achieve.
It's more than a username or identity.
It's my motivation.
Before this, my username was "recoveringtolovemyself"
Learning to love myself has always been a big part of MY journey and recovery.
It has taken time.
But I'm getting there.

Before #transformationtuesday is over, here's a bit of a growth transformation - mentally and physically.
Today I found myself looking at pictures from 2015 and early 2016 when I was at my "fittest" and I was amazed at how distorted my mind was at the time. I remember taking the photo on the left and not being satisfied with how I looked. It was taken in March 2016 and though I was not at my leanest, I was far from unfit or "big", which is how I felt at the time. It's crazy how our minds can trick us into thinking we're different than how we truly appear.
Looking at myself now, I'm proud that I've gained the weight that I have. It has been difficult and some days are more discouraging than others but I have such a fire of motivation inside of me right now. I do not regret ANYTHING about my recovery because it has made me who I am today. A warrior.
I'm excited for what is to come, especially with the healthy mindset I have right now. I'm making some changes and I'm ready to make myself even prouder. There are great things to come.

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