They say there is no better time than the present. Usually, I am the one who thinks "well, but I could take a nap and do it later"... But I've decided that it's too long overdue to start embracing that sentiment. Today starts the first day of a new Mandy. I know I've said this countless times before. And sometimes I am new for awhile before I morph back into the same old, same old. But things have to change. And I have to be the one to change them, and I have to change them for myself most of all.

I have been chubby/fat/overweight/obese/chunky/husky/fluffy (take your pick!) my entire life. Well, I think there were a few years in the beginning where I kept myself on track... But still - for as long as I can remember, that has been an adjective that I could confidently apply to myself. I shopped in women's sizes in late elementary on, was constantly afraid of fitting into things and places, and carried around a layer of physical and emotional padding everywhere I went. I've managed to hold my head up high most of the time, and keep a smile on my face and a laugh in my voice because, for the most part, that was exactly how I felt. I have learned through the years that even though I'm carrying this weight around, and this is who I am on the outside, it's really easy to just shut it out most of the time. I'm surrounded by so many people who are a new layer of padding, who keep me safe, and support me no matter what, and for that I am so grateful. I have never lacked support in my life, no matter what stage I was at, and for that I am the most spoiled person in the world. :) But still, there are lots of times that get me down, and there is no way to not confront the painfully obvious: I am incredibly overweight, and something needs to be done about that. 

But today marks Day 1 of becoming a new me. Today I start Weight Watchers again, a program that I was very successful on before. And today I commit to the fact that I'm going to be a new me. My reality is changing day in and day out, and will continue to improve with the effort and care I put into it. I guess you can say I'm putting on my plus-sized big girl pants, and really buckling down. Something feels different this time around, and I'm choosing to embrace that and harnessing it for good. Because there are so many things that I want in my life right now... I wanted things before, but not badly enough to really stick with it. And the things that I want are so much bigger than they were before. They are things that will impact my life for the rest of the time that I am given here on earth (and stretching that time out is on the list!). And bettering myself physically is going to open up a whole new world for me, and will allow me to accomplish these things, however small or big they are. Things like being able to have children safely, to be able to move and interact with them more freely, to be able to fly comfortably or fit into a theater seat better, to lessen the amount of medication that I take, to being able to buy cheaper clothing because it's sold in regular stores... Some of my reasons are petty (liking myself in a photo), and some are huge (wanting to be a mom sooooo badly but knowing the risks that I bring to the table the way that I am right now). But all of them are mine. They are personal, and real, and valid. And today is the day that I kickstart myself, and start running - with these, and all of my family and friends and supporters, cheering me on. Reminding me not only that I can do it, but that I need to do it, want to do it, and will do it. 

So wish me luck, my friends, and feel free to follow my journey and keep me accountable. Because I know that I'm going to need it every step of the way! 


My, my, my... Look how much we've grown!

It happened. I passed 30 with flying colors, so they promoted me to being 31! How exciting! They figured that since I rented a great house, got a new job, starting commuting like a champ, and kept my boyfriend, I'd get to make the leap to the big 3-1. And this is going to sound really, really strange -- but in the last few days, I feel way more grown up.

30 was fun. In the immortal words of Jennifer Garner, I felt "30, flirty, and thriving." I got to tell people that I was 30, make a few semi-grown up decisions, watch my hair turn a little greyer, and all in all just feel like a more worthwhile human being. But for some reason, in the last week or so, my new age has felt like a gift. I am sitting up a little straighter, eating soup for dinner sometimes, and finding myself a little wittier and fresher than I was a week ago. I know, I'm crazy, right? Wrong. I was told by SO many people before I turned 30 that their 30's were their favorite. They loved everything about them - the freedom, the life changes, the responsibility. And even though I'm already one whole year in, I am just now starting to feel it. 

I joke a lot. We know that about me. But last night, as I was driving back to my house from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, with my passenger (my new orthopedic/memory foam/heavenly pillow), I thought to myself "I'm totally transitioning."

Transitioning, changing, metamorphasizing, molting -- whatever word you want to use for it -- it's happening to me. I am feeling like a new version of myself every day lately. And it feels so refreshing. I really have felt different the last few days. Maybe it was because this birthday was different... there was less fanfare (which I actually loved!), there were more sweet wishes from kids that could totally have parents my age, and there was a lot more introspection on what this coming year and even decade may bring for me. But don't worry, there was still ice cream cake, and my brother discussing inappropriate topics at a public food establishment. I said I was changing, not that I was a different person entirely. 

I am content. I have an amazing family, spectacular friends (WAY cooler than your friends. unless you ARE my friends, then that doesn't make sense.), and a sweet and loving boyfriend who treats me so wonderfully. I love coming home every day, and I love going to work every day. This is such a rare feeling for me... I just feel like at this very moment in time, at a little over exactly 31 years of life -- I am right where I need to be. 

And so, as I grow, so will this blog. I have done other blogs before, that are super deep and philosophical.  I have done blogs that are meant purely to make people (and myself, let's be honest), laugh. But this one will be different. You'll still get a little of column A and a little of column B, but it will be a good healthy mix (which reminds me, I really need to start taking vitamins). This one is ME. Growing, changing, creating, deepening, laughing, adventuring... 

Let the journey begin! (I'm bringing my memory foam pillow with me, of course.)