I’m sorry I’ve been MIA on this blog. I always tell myself I’ll put more time here but I can only keep up on my Instagram right now. I post on there daily – my breakfasts, lunches or whatever recipe/post I want for the day. I’m more consistent there because it’s easier to just throw together a meal, take a photo & upload it with a quick caption. I love blogging though. Right now, I’m in the process of applying to dietetic internships. For those who know what that’s like… please pray for me. There’s days where I have a mini panic attack and go a bit crazy. But I always the most supportive boyfriend & girlfriends who talk me through it, pray for me & remind me that there is purpose in this. I mean.. if it doesn’t challenge me, it doesn’t grow me! I need to stay optimistic. I’m very thankful for this blog and this Instagram community for driving me towards my goals more and more everyday.
Anyways, it’s almost 2018. Where did time go? This year was filled with experiences I never thought I would have. I’m going to share about several favorite moments of 2017 and some reflection questions!
1. I met my current boyfriend in January!
I’m extremely thankful for him. He challenges me in so many ways – to pursue God in all I do, thinking more intuitively and more about the future. I’ve had several stress breakdowns this year but he always knows how to process through it with me. He’s made me laugh when I’m stressed.. haha! He helps me see things in a wider perspective and asks about certain things I never thought about. Maybe I’ve briefly thought about it but it hasn’t formed into a full thought until he asks. Then I realize, it’s pretty important to think about! He consistently challenges me to become a better person – as a woman of God, as a girlfriend, as a daughter to my parents and as a friend to others! So grateful to walk this journey with this loving man in my life! So many good moments together!
This was first before this is in chronological order of months – nothing is ranked here!! LOL
2. Road tripped from California to Nevada, Utah and Arizona.
I got to go to Utah and Arizona in February! I have a blog post HERE of a recap of my trip. I went to 3 national parks. We took a car and made it a big road trip from California, to Nevada, to Utah and then to Arizona! I went with the best travel group! 🙂 I got to touch real snow, FOR THE FIRST TIME!
3. Started my new job at Reason’s Eating Disorder Treatment Center.
This job constantly reminds me the importance of proper nutrition & eating intuitively. It has exposed to me the severity of malnutrition because I am exposed to patients who are undereating. It’s also taught me that many eating disorders are a way for my patients to cope with their depression, alcohol/family/sexual abuse, feeling unworthy, etc. I’ve learned how to assess patient needs, changing the way I can care for them nutritionally. This job has opened my eyes to a new world of nutrition that I previously didn’t realize. I love my job and I’m constantly challenged every time I go into work. I learn how to be more assertive (which I do have a hard time with at times), more responsible as a worker, working well with a team, creating proper patient boundaries & learning how to more compassionate and patient with my interactions with people. Being that this job makes me focus on how ALL FOODS FIT. This means it’s okay to eat that donut or cookie. It means it’s okay to bake with white flour and not whole wheat flour. It means you can have a croissant or pastry for breakfast instead of toast, eggs and fruit. It means you can have WHAT YOU TRULY crave without feeling guilty. Working with disordered eating patients is hard. There’s not one day that goes by that’s easy – but that’s WHY it’s worth it.
4. Expo West – Anaheim
I went Expo West and met SO many amazing food brands I collaborate with. Nothing is better than meeting the faces behind a brand and realizing they’re even cooler than I expect.. making me even more supportive of their products! 🙂 I got invited to a Disneyland trip with PerfectBar which was the BEST surprise EVER! I met so many of my IG friends in real life for the first time on this trip! I also was working with Wild Friends at this time & met all the other current “friendly faces” as well! EXPO WEST 2017 was SO MUCH FUN. I can’t wait for the one in 2018!
5. LA Influencer Events
I got to go to Siggi’s Breakfast for Dinner event & Purely Elizabeth’s new granola launch! My favorite thing about these events is meeting up with other bloggers who support and love the same brands. At the Siggi’s event, I got to meet many RDs and even some RDs working in a Eating Disorder Treatment Center! How awesome is that?! At the Purely Elizabeth event, I got to reunite with many food instagrammers I’ve met from Expo West! It’s always great to have these events so I can see everyone again instead of just the daily virtual IG interactions. So thankful for brands that put these together to get us together – they’re always a blast!
6. FNCE – Chicago
I went to FNCE with Siggis! I had many conversations w/ RDs while working the booth – it’s always great to hear about what an RD is doing. There is just so much you can go into once you become an RD and that’s what I LOVE! Also, I love being with other future RDs (you all know who you are) who motivate me to keep persevering in what I do. Did I mention, I met these awesome people through Instagram? This IG community is amazing and I am SO SO grateful for it! Also, I LOVE Chicago and I need to go back.
Portland was gorgeous – trip recap HERE. The best part, I got to go with all my high school friends! It’s nearly impossible to get all of us together but it was perfect how it all worked out for this trip! I’m someone who LOVES nature, hikes and outdoorsy stuff so Portland didn’t disappoint. I got to hike, go ziplining, do obstacle courses, eat bomb food & appreciate the beautiful trees (seriously… you ACTUALLY see fall here). Also, my friends surprised me early for my birthday!!! <3
This year, I’ve been challenged with not feeling like I do well enough. I’m didn’t feel good enough at my job. I wished I was a better student. I put in so much effort to get results below what I expected. Blah blah blah. These thoughts don’t depict who I am. These thoughts only bring down who I am and hinder my growth. When I have these thoughts, I realized it was because I was caught under the comparison net.
Aside from these highlights, I’ve had many lows this year. Through the lows, I learned more about my character. I truly believe every experience, good or bad, plays a big role to who I am. Each experience in my life exposes to me about my own personality. I get to see how I react to the situation and how I deal with it. Also, how would I change the way I approach similar situations next time? I think about many decisions I regret this year but also situations I am dang happy and proud of.
Here are some questions I reflected on:
1. How did you deal with your stress?
Is there a reason this is my first question? Haha, I’m someone who has a hard time dealing with stress. When I have a lot to do, I have mini breakdowns and I feel very clouded. I get emotionally and mentally drained and I feel like a fish out of water. How I dealt with stress this year differently is to remind myself to take it one step at a time. See where my priorities are instead of just repeating to myself I’m overwhelmed. ALSO, I’ve been sharing my feelings of HOW I feel with others. I have the most supportive boyfriend and sisters around me who talk me through tough situations. This leads me to my next question!
2. How did you work on letting people in?
This is DIFFICULT for me. I have a hard time letting people in because I feel bad. I feel bad putting a burden on others. I feel guilty telling them I’m sad because I just want to be happy. I tend to say everything is ok when I’m not. I’ve been consistently challenged on this and I know it will be ongoing. Reminder, WE NEED people to walk through life with. We should have people in our life that lift us up, who pray for us, encourage and support us through the thick and thin. We need to let people in that can help us be a better person.
3. How did you learn to sacrifice for others?
You do not always need to do things for others to receive back. Just go for it, serve others. Wouldn’t the world be crazy if you only gave to give back? I mean, of course there’s some expectations at times but go treat someone out to lunch, buy a small gift for someone if it reminds you of them and give up time you initially scheduled for yourself to catch up with someone. Be more intentional, spend time with people.
4. How were you taking care of your relationships?
One thing I’ve decided to do this year is to reach out to people randomly. This isn’t a birthday, Christmas or New Years text but rather on a random day with no holiday. This means sending a text to a friend I haven’t talked to in a while just to let them know I care about them. I ask how they’re doing, how I can pray for them and to catch up a bit. Just a small text to a friend or family member can really show that you genuinely care and think about them! Also, I make sure I make time for people I love – my friends, family, boyfriend, etc. It’s important to get enough social time with those you love! <3 Those moments are really what matter most!
5. What was the main occurring theme for the year?
My theme is learning to love myself for who I am. I still have a hard time with that. There’s times where I’m hard on myself and refuse to be happy with myself. This year, I was challenged to throw away that comparison mindset and to focus more on how I can be a better person. I learn my lessons and move on by asking myself how I can be better next time around. Through my flaws, I am the person I am. We all have strengths and weaknesses – that doesn’t make us a better or worse person!
6. How were you growing/challenged spiritually?
This year, I was able to plug myself into a new church after searching for a church for the longest time after graduating from college. It was challenging because I didn’t want to find a church just to find a church. I wanted a community that would serve my spiritual growth and I can serve as well. I love this new church because they are a group of God-fearing, intentional, sacrificial and loving people. Church community is important to me – it’s essential to my spiritual growth and I’m SO thankful for all of them! I’ve met so many amazing people through my church and I can’t wait to get to know them more!
7. What do you wish you did more of this year?
I wish I was able to spend more time with others – friends, family, church. It’s hard with my work schedule and when I did have free time, it was my personal recharge time which we all need! But with this upcoming year and so on, I want to work on better time management so I can invest more in the lives of people I love!
8. What did you do this year to pursue or further your future career?
This year, I was able to meet many people through Instagram that have answered many questions regarding my internship applications (which I AM SO SO thankful for). I went to FNCE and actually bumped into the internship director of my number 1 choice for my internship!! She was my professor in my undergrad LOL I also started working at an eating disorder treatment center which has developed my clinical, interpersonal, patient skills and more! I have learned to be more confident when talking to patients refusing care. It’s hard but I’ve learned that working in a clinical setting.. this will happen ALL the time. It’s important to remain calm and to try to understand from a patient perspective while being respectful and firm.
9. What did you learn in 2017 that you will carry onto 2018?
So many things. Learning to be more loving and intentional with my friends and family. I want to do more little things like writing little cards, getting small gifts and giving the gift of quality time more often. I want to continue to challenge myself to open up to others because it’s rewarding. I want to know people more personally through my time with them. I want to serve others and to watch them grow! I desire to be a positive impact and help those in need. I want to continue to learn how I can be a better woman of God and serve my church. Lots of things I want to CONTINUE and grow in.
I’m thankful for each and every one of these moments. I’m thankful for the opportunities to branch out of my comfort zone to meet other people. This has stretched me to be a more social person compared to who I use to be. I use to be SO introverted – I was SO anxious at social gatherings. The connections though Instagram has played a big role in my personality today. Don’t get me wrong, I still have that introverted and shy side of me but I’ve learned to get out of that shell more often – and it’s always worth it! :’) This year was pretty great. On to 2018 I go. Let’s make this year great, woo!
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! <3 Hope you all have the best one!
<3 Winnie L.