I decided to take a break from studying and preparing my swimming/diving and gymnastics recaps to write this instead. This post is specifically for hayleyghoover but maybe the rest of you will find something interesting in it as well.
Hey Hayley. I just wanted to take a little time and say thanks to you for helping make my life what it is. To some degree you've changed my life, but that always sounds a little overdramatic to me, so let's just say you helped make it what it is.
I'm sure you'll remember the time you finally wrote that post about losing weight and just getting to feel good about yourself after not really owning up to it online for some time. I remember reading that and thinking, "Man, Hayley's got herself together. And that is awesome." That really made me want to get myself together. (This is not to say I think you always have it together or anything like that; we all have bad things happen to us that mess things up. I don't even think it's possible for college students to really be okay with everything going on in their lives. But you definitely have some great things going for you, which is freaking awesome.)
And so I kind of started trying to do that. I was never a terribly unhappy person but I knew I could be happier, both about how I looked and about how I felt. In August 2010, I even made the goal that I wanted to lose 25 pounds by May 2011. I'll come right out and say it: that didn't happen. I don't think I've even come close. However, and this is a big however, I did lose some weight and start acting differently in some ways without even doing anything specific. I don't know how I did it. I mean, I made the conscious decision back in August 2010 to eat healthier and to exercise more but I still eat some pretty craptastic food at times and I'm no example of exercising on a regular basis. Whatever I've been doing, it's been working. Over Thanksgiving break, I went shopping with my brother and his friends. I needed some new jeans and saw that PacSun was having a pretty quality sale of buy one get one free. I could not pass that up. On a whim, I decided to try on jeans a size smaller than I'd ever worn there. And they totally fit. Like, really well. So well that I was genuinely surprised at myself. "When had this happened?" I wondered. I wasn't complaining, that's for sure. And now so many of my t-shirts fit better. I always wear somewhat loose stuff but nothing too drastic apart from my soccer jerseys which are meant to be that way. The shirts that had been snug before, though not necessarily in a bad way, suddenly fit perfectly.
The coolest thing about all of the changes that have occurred is that I'm happy, sometimes ridiculously so. Between you and ShayCarl, I've been able to become someone I'm really proud to be. I'm not just happy about how I look, I hope that's not what you glean from this. I'm happy to be who I am. I like who I am in so many ways and I love how I'm living my life.
I e-mailed you once before talking about some of this stuff, Hayley. But I wanted to let you know again how magnificent and influential you are. You mentioned (somewhat) recently on your blog how it's legitimately difficult to be this role model for all these different people. I just want you to know that I'll support you in all your endeavors, no matter what you're posting or talking about. (Well, maybe not support you in ANYTHING, because the day you swear off pizza rolls . . . We're through.) But really, I want you to post whatever, even if it might change people's perspective of you. You give all of us these little insights into your life and it's only fair that you get to be honest about who you are and share what's going on in your life if you want to. I never want you to feel as if you can't share something based solely on the fact that people might react poorly. That's really unfair to you and I wish I could stop people from acting that way at times. (What the crap is wrong with people on the internet?)
I am truly grateful to have encountered the fiveawesomegirls one day way back when and since then to have made your acquaintance in the way that only the internet can allow. Some day in the not too distant future maybe I'll get to truly make your acquaintance in real life.
And if I may be so bold as to offer you a little bit of advice: Come what may and love it.
Last YouTube video I watched: Swings: Los Angeles (I think I've used this video at the end of my posts at least three or four times. I just really like it a lot and watch it a lot.)