27 things I’m welcoming into my life

I’m a big fan of New Year’s, but actually, I think your birthday is an even better time to set intentions. After all, it’s like your own personal anniversary. I’ve been really big into manifestation lately, so I’m clearing mental space for the following to come into my life this year. So without further adieu…

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Yesterday, I officially turned twenty-seven. I celebrated with a few girlfriends and lots of food I’m “not supposed to eat” because of my health stuff, but hey, it was my birthday! A few days ago I reflected on 27 things I want to let go, and now, I’m reflecting on 27 things I want to WELCOME into my life, because I think it’s important to start the year off on a positive note ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m a big fan of New Year’s, but actually, I think your birthday is an even better time to set intentions. After all, it’s like your own personal anniversary. I’ve been really big into manifestation lately, so I’m clearing mental space for the following to come into my life this year. So without further adieu…

1. Alignment:

I spoke about misalignment in my previous post, so naturally, I’d like to welcome alignment into my life. Aligning my thoughts with my words, my words with my actions, so that everything is symbiotic for what I truly want in life.

2. Abundance:

I also spoke about letting go of a scarcity mindset. Enough of that. I want ABUNDANCE. Abundance of love, happiness, health, money, friends, family – everything. No need to deprive yourself.

3. Health:

SO, SO IMPORTANT FOR ME. If you’re not up-to-date, I’m having a few health issues (you can find other posts about this on my blog if you’re interested!). It’s draining, but I absolutely need to get it in check this year. So, I’ll be working on truly switching my mindset and making the right moves to welcome health in. And of course, I’ll continue to document on here ๐Ÿ™‚

4. Freedom:

Freedom – health freedom, food freedom, mental health freedom, etc. I’ve felt very constrained by a lot of these things in my life, and I’m hoping to move away from that mindset and feel more free.

5. Acceptance:

Acceptance is just a great feeling, don’t you think? The word itself just makes me feel less stressed. Learning to accept your past mistakes, accepting other people, accepting that we cannot control everything – I think this mindset will be helpful for me.

6. Meditation:

This is hard because it takes practice and I’m just not great at it, if we’re being honest! It’s a very disciplined practice, but everyone swears by it. With my stress levels, I know it’s important.

Something I actually have been loving is this app called “Beatfulness“. It’s binaural beats (learn more here) that can focus on different things you’d like to work on such as deeper sleep, stress relief, etc. I have been using it to fall asleep to, and I can honestly say that I have started to feel more rested! It’s not exactly meditation, but it’s been helpful, no doubt.

7. Mindfulness:

Somewhat similar to meditation, but what I mean by this is being mindful in the moment. Making sure to be present, instead of letting my mind wander to the past or future.

8. Getting Weird:

Okay, only my family and closest friends know this, but I was a WEIRD kid. Just super quirky – always making faces, being goofy, etc. Somewhere along the way, I grew out of that, but honestly, I miss that little girl. I miss her carefree attitude, her zest for life, and silly nature. I want to get back to that because life is too short to be serious and boring.

9. Spontaneity:

I’ve never been great with this, but I hope to work on it! As a Taurus, I love plans, structure and consistency. I don’t mind change, but it definitely makes me feel a little anxious and pushes me out of my comfort zone. BUT growth doesn’t happen by staying where you are! I’m looking to make some awesome memories this year, and sometimes the best memories come from things unplanned.

10. Discovery:

Like I said, I want to make some awesome memories. I’m looking to welcome in discovery – discovering new things I like, new places, new events, new people. I want to discover more of myself.

11. IRL Living:

“In Real Life” Living: I mean this in the simplest of ways — less time on social media, more time in the real world.

12. Community Engagement:

Going along with the “IRL” theme, I want to become more of a citizen of my local community – attending more local events, actually learning about the community I live in, etc.

13. Deeper Relationships:

I have some AMAZING people in my life. Truly – sometimes I sit and wonder why I have been so blessed with my friends and family. But I have to admit – I sometimes feel like I could do a better job of deepening those relationships. So, I’ll be working on that this year. (WARNING: Friends and family, if I start loving on you TOO much, just let me know – I won’t be offended).

14. More time with girlfriends:

See the above point – I want to spend more time with all of my favorite gals because they are always my ROCK. For instance, yesterday on my birthday, I was standing in line at Sprinkles to get some more cupcakes (duh), and I started to feel really sick. I almost passed out, and my friends Emma and Haley were the MVP’s and literally were pulling my jacket off of me, patting my head with a water-drenched napkin, pulling my hair back, warding off boys who were trying to flirt with me while I’m literally dying (WHAT), and coming up with a master plan to get me out of there ASAP. AND, they still got my cupcakes for me.

Girlfriends are the family you weren’t born into, but somehow found you along the way because God knows you need them. It’s so important to maintain those relationships and hold them close.

15. New Relationships:

While I love all the people in my life already, I am always open to welcoming new friends in! Also, seriously wouldn’t mind meeting a guy one day, ya know, organically, like in one of the movie scenes like I talked about… LOL.

16. Family Time:

Family is everything. I spend a good time with family already, but I’m always happy to spend more time with them. I have nieces and nephews, and I love watching them grow up and getting to know them as they get older! Auntie life is the best.

17. Continued Learning:

I’ve always thought about going back to school, getting a certification in something, or learning a new skill. I’m not sure what this exactly looks like yet, but I definitely want to find something where I feel like I’m continuing my education.

18. Art:

The fine arts – I used to be so obsessed with musicals, dance, music, etc… and somewhere along the way when life’s responsibilities crept in, I pushed all of those passions to the back-burner. Recently, I’ve been able to see two musicals (Jersey Boys and Hamilton, both great!), and it reminded my how ignited my soul becomes when I experience art in that way.

This year, I want to see MORE musicals, go to art exhibits, etc. I always feel so culturally engaged and my soul is happy when I am experiencing art.

19. Color:

Black is a color… right? No? Oh… I want to bring just a liiittle more color into my wardrobe… but it’s just so hard because neutrals. are. life. This will be a struggle.

20. New Hobbies:

Similar to continued learning, I want some new hobbies! It’s always fun to introduce something new into your life – coloring? puzzles? knitting? The opportunities are endless! (Okay, now I just sound old).

21. Traveling – for real:

Finances, health, work… I’ve had a lot of excuses not to travel. But now that I have a very generous vacation policy, I MUST take advantage of this! So excited to travel more this year… where should I go?! Comment below ๐Ÿ™‚

22. Writing:

I actually really enjoy writing. I often don’t know what to write about, but when I do write, it is so cathartic. I love the feeling of my fingers whisking across the keyboard, and my internal thoughts suddenly becoming visible. I often wonder if writing is a dying art form – I mean, who needs to read blogs when everyone has a podcast, after all?! (Not bashing, I’m an avid podcast fan). But there is something to be said for the written word – a homage to both things that have passed and things that are to come.

Anyway, I hope to continue writing more this year, whenever inspiration strikes.

23. More Cooking/Baking:

I’ve really started to appreciate trying to recipes. There’s something adventurous about it: will it look like the Pinterest picture? Or better yet, will it be edible? The anticipation is real, people!

I think it’s so important to learn the art of cooking and baking – it’s something that you can always take with you, and you can share both the food AND knowledge with others. A gift that keeps on giving!

24. A personal trainer?:

I’ve been debating getting a personal trainer. I’ve come a long way on my fitness journey, but in terms of form and lifting, I’m pretty much self-taught. I’d love to work with a trainer to perfect form and improve, because I’ve been feeling pretty stagnant lately.

Chicago friends, any good recommendations?!

25. Strength:

Going along with the personal training aspect, I really want to improve my strength! I took a [solidcore] class this morning, and even though I’m in the gym 4-5 days a week lifting weights, this class KICKED. MY. BUTT. It was different than anything I am used to doing, and humbled me big time. It just goes to show you that your body has different modes of strength, and I still have improvements to make!

This is important to me because I have chronic pain issues due to arthritis in my back (guys, I swear I only turned 27), so improving your overall strength is imperative to pain management.

26. Creativity:

I want to tap back into my creative side this year – I think this will come naturally along with some of the above points, so I’m excited to open myself up to that side of me again.

27. Fresh Flowers:

Honestly, I just really love fresh flowers.

I’m so excited to see where this next year of life takes me. I was feeling somewhat blah about it this past week, but I shifted my mindset. I made it another year, I have so many blessings to be grateful for, and I have the opportunity to continue to live an amazing life. Can’t ask for anything more!

xx

happily Haleigh

It’s been a minute!

Just a little update on what’s going on in the world of Haleigh!

(or 4 months, same thing)

Hey everyone!

Isn’t it kinda weird that we start off posts with salutations, as though we expect people to be reading these updates? I highly doubt many of you read these, but to those of you out there, hello, again ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, I realized that I hadn’t posted since 2018 (oops, you all know I’m bad at this), so I thought it was HIGH TIME I wrote a little update on life!

Actually, quite a bit has happened since I last posted, so let’s break it down into some handy-dandy bullets:

  • Fitness update: I stopped adhering to a strict bulk. Ugh I know, I was so committed. Feel free to yell at me, but with my health issues, it was hard to keep up with. I have found that I am just not able/don’t want to go to the gym quite as often as necessary to stick to a proper bulk, and right now, I’m committed more to trying to listen to my body than a program.
    • In terms of fitness programs though, I’m going to start Meggan Grubb’s Peach Plan next week – has anyone else tried this?!
  • Health update: Still dealing with the SAME OLD ANNOYING ISSUES OMG HOW.
    • Endocrinologist – I started working with one, and we checked my pituitary for any tumors. We found a 2mm one, but she doesn’t seem to think that’s causing my hormonal imbalances (although, I still think this could be a possibility – anyone with any experience here?) Now she is sending me for ovarian and uterus ultrasounds since I haven’t had a period in 2 years.
    • Gastroenterologist – I started working with one of these – she basically told me I’m super backed up (duh, and sorry for the TMI), and I had to go through this super cleanse that they put you through before a colonoscopy. It was hell. AND it didn’t really even help. She’s having me take Miralax everyday, but I still have issues. This morning, I went in for a hydrogren breath test to test for SIBO – to be continued here…
    • General health issues I’m still dealing with:
      • No period
      • Hair loss (has stalled, so I’m hoping this was seasonal and hair starts growing back soon)
      • Acne
      • Weird, peeling skin on my face
      • Joint pain
      • Fatigue
      • Gastro issues
      • FUN FUN FUN
  • Career update: I STARTED A NEW JOB!ย In January, I started a new job at amazing consulting company in downtown Chicago. Honestly, this job has been a God-send. I struggled so much in finding a job with a company that I valued and respected, and a role that I somewhat enjoyed but also paid the bills (city living is expensive, ya know?). But this year, I found it! Everyone here has been so great, and I no longer dread going to the office everyday. It’s a great starting point, and I feel less stressed in my work life – MAJOR win.
  • Other life updates:
    • I’m still single
    • All my friends are getting married or having babies
    • I am enjoying new co-worker friends
    • I am BEYOND excited for Chicago summer
    • I’m trying to get back into practicing piano again
    • I’m so ready for my favorite show The Bold Type to come back like I cannot wait.
    • I’m looking forward to more life changes later this year!

Alrighty, that was short and sweet, but sometimes, in a world where we’re all “connected” on social media but don’t actually speak, it’s nice to write things out, in case you care to know anything about my life.

I sincerely hope you are doing well, and if you aren’t and you’re reading this, I want you to know that I am always willing to listen to any word vomit you may have. Let’s chat.

xo

Haleigh

Week 4 Update

Four weeks already?! Whaaaaa….. Crazy.

Anyway, I actually shared the below vlog a week or so ago now, so we’re actually in week 5. BUT, if you’re interested, check out the following vlog for a few little updates on how my bulk and health journey are going.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional vlogger, so please excuse the lack of quality! This was uncut and unedited because it was just what I was feeling and dealing with in the moment.

UPDATE SINCE THIS VIDEO:

  • Continue to deal with weight fluctuations – went all the way back down to 116lbs but now I’m stable around 120lbs.
  • Eating around 1850 per day – I’ll probably stay here for a bit just because I know I have the holidays and work travel coming up, and I’ll probably inherently end up eating more in those coming weeks – natural bulking :p
  • Still dealing with hair loss (obvi) and IT IS THE MOST ANNOYING.
  • I have a doctor’s appointment with a new endo next week – I am PRAYING that this doctor takes all of my past and current medical struggles seriously. Curious if anyone has experience knowing what thyroid tests to ask for? I know that you have to be really proactive with the information going into one of these appointments. Comment below if you have any tips!

So that’s the little update – enjoying bulking so far, taking it slow, trying not to freak out about all my health ailments and keep my stress in check which is virtually impossible because money sucks, life is hard, and health is silly LOL.

xx

happily haleigh

It’s bulking season… and *I guess* I’m here for it.

Hey hey hey!ย 

If you keep up with me on instagram, you probably saw a recent story of mine chatting about how I plan to do a bulk this winter, starting now.

Hey hey hey!

If you keep up with me on instagram, you probably saw a recent story of mine chatting about how I plan to do a bulk this winter, starting now.

Now, I’ve attempted to do bulks before, but have always stopped because my goals of having visible ab lines and no cellulite have outweighed any other motive. At the first sign of fat gain and fading cut lines, I’d stop, lower my calories again, and up my cardio, just continuing a vicious cycle.

However, I had a somewhat frightening wake up call the other day. I realized my once thick, full, crazy-curly hair has suddenly become EXTREMELY thin. I’m talking you can see my scalp in certain areas thin – something no 26 year old should be worrying about! Aside from this most recent symptom, I have been dealing with health issues the past year and a half now, things that I truly need to get sorted, and things that I hope this bulk will help with. Let me take you through some Haleigh history.

Here’s a quick snapshot of my health journey the past few years:

  • High-school: I was a stick, danced 6 hours a day, didn’t get my cycle until my senior year.
  • College: Stopped pretty much all physical activity, put on a good amount of fat, started getting my cycle every 3 weeks (annoying!) so I went on BC.
  • Post college, started doing some workouts like BBG, super basic things, etc.
  • August 2016 (after switching to a new BC that caused me extreme water retention to the point of pain), went off of BC because I was sick of hormones. I lost my period then (normal after going off of BC), but end up getting it back in January 2017.
  • October 2016: I was sick of being “skinny fat” and wanted to be a fit instagram gal. I stumbled across this amazing online trainer who preached about reverse dieting (adding more food and getting leaner, heck yes!). I reached out to him and started working with him for 6 months. This is what kicked off my fitness journey and I fell in love with weight lifting.
  • January 2017 (got my period back)
  • March 2017: My leanest point ever.march2017
    I was feeling on top of the world. I was up to eating 1800 calories a day. I felt great. Except for the fact that this is the point I lost my period, and have not had it since.
  • Moving forward from March 2017: I’ve dealt with continuing digestive issues, no cycle, hormonal acne, water retention, fluctuating weight, lack of energy, frequent injuries, pain, hair loss, now having to eat less, just feeling blah about life, etc. FUN FUN FUN.
    • I have had multiple sets of tests done including food sensitivities, hormone testing, neurotransmitter testing, and in a nutshell, I had developed a bunch of food sensitivities (although I have avoided them and I still don’t feel much better), my cortisol was/is so low that I don’t follow the typical rise and fall pattern (it’s just always in the basement no matter what time of day!) AKA adrenal fatigue, and my estrogen and progesterone is low.
    • I have tried progesteral creams (starting this again), herbs, supplements, you name it, and I’m still dealing with all this crap!

So, reluctantly, I have challenged myself to put on weight. Now, strangely, I’m not NEARLY as lean as I was when I lost my period (as you’ll see below), and I’m actually eating less food (sadly, at about 1650/1700 calories a day) because I probably did some damage to my metabolism after becoming so lean. So in theory, I feel like I should have enough BF to have my cycle again , but alas, that is not the case and I’ve been without it for over a year and a half now. My thought process is maybe I’m actually under-eating for my activity level, so my body thinks I’m starving myself so it’s holding on to weight/water it doesn’t need truly? Not sure. I might just need more food and nutrients to heal than I’m thinking, and I may just have to be okay with gaining some fat.

Gaining fat. Ugh. I know this sounds so vain, but when I worked with my trainer, I worked SO hard for the body I achieved, and I honestly will be so, so sad to watch that fade. I know I shouldn’t be so concerned with my appearance, but my body image has always been something I struggled with (that could be a whole separate post). So, sticking to this bulk and seeing my body go through changes I don’t necessarily want (added fat, cellulite, saying by to my abs, being fluffier), is going to be so difficult. And, I’m struggling because I’m not currently as lean as I would want to be before starting a bulk, but I guess that’s the issue that landed me here in the first place… Logically I know that I need to do it, but emotionally it is stressful.

I realize that this post and journey actually comes at an interesting time as today is World Mental Health Day. I want to verbalize that I know that much of my struggles are as much mental health struggles as they are physical health struggles. I own that, and hope that if anyone else is going through something similar, that you know you’re not alone!

 

Recently, I found the KK Fit twins (@kk_fit_) on instagram. They are so open and honest about their fitness journey, how they put on a good amount of fat on their bulk, and how they came out the other side and added healthy muscle and are now basically beasts in the gym. Seeing their progress, I bit the bullet and got their 10-week bulking guide, and honestly, they have been so supportive and interactive so far, even though they aren’t technically coaching me!

So following that 10-week guide with very slooooowly upping my calories, I hope to start healing myself this fall/winter, and if you’re interested, I’m going to be very rawly and openly documenting my journey with weekly updates right here, and possibly some vlogs. I’ll be uploading progress pics, weigh-ins, nutrition information, bullets on how I’m feeling/what I’m experiencing, and anyย  tips and tricks I discover along the way.

So to start off, here’s me, week 1 of the KK-Fit bulking guide and the first week of increasing my calories slightly.

Side note 1: I’m stressed posting these photos because I’m not happy. I personally feel I’m far from where I’ve been before, so I’m bummed, and stressed that I’m going to have to get even more uncomfortable with my appearance before it gets better.
Side note 2: Not looking for pity comments or “Haleigh you look great though!” comments, because we all live in our OWN reality, so all we need to do is support each other in how we feel ๐Ÿ™‚
Side note 3: I’m flexing so hard in these lol. The light is helping, but I left these unedited for that #reality.
Side note 4: You can see that I just look kinda puffy – a lot of inflammation, a little fat from celebrations, but I guess I’ll need to get used to that!

P.S. Looking back at these pics, I noticed my little card that I have displayed “You are one badass female” and I really feel that I just need to vibe with that more, ya know???

Week 1 Calories: 1,750 a day || P: 113g || C: 200g || F: 55g

Weight: 124.9 lbs (already 4 lbs up from where I was averaging… again probably water retention). I also took measurements, but I’ll share those at a later date.

How I’m feeling: hesitant, already fluffier, trying to resist the urge to go do cardio as we speak, slightly sad, honestly stressed, but hopeful.

Alright y’all, that’s all for now! I’ll be updating my journey weekly! If you are or have gone through something similar, I would love to connect with you!

xx

happilyhaleigh

 

 

Here we go again…

I’ve done this before, but I’m restarting my blog. Actually, I’m starting fresh on a lot of things.

Hello, hello!

I’ve done this before, but I’m restarting my blog. Actually, I’m starting fresh on a lot of things.

For some of my close friends, they already know I’ve been dealing with these feelings, but I have continued to feel lost and unfocused, continued to struggle with health problems, and have just generally not felt like “Haleigh”.

You may not be able to see this from my instagram, but it’s true. I can remember days when I was full of energy, a brighter (and slightly weirder and crazier) version of myself — and I want her back. I’m sure it’s a combination of societal pressures and my imbalanced hormones, but I’m struggling to feel energized and passionate, and I know that’s just not me!

So I’m restarting this blog not to promote it, not to be a blogger, not to be anything to anyone except myself. I’m keeping this as a space where I can be happily Haleigh, talking about my health struggles, the things I love, making it look how I want, and not worrying about the feedback I either receive or do not receive on it.

While this is my space, I’m happy to share with you. I hope that if you do stick around and follow along, that something resonates with you! Always feel free to drop a hello – friends are fun ๐Ÿ™‚

As I post more, I’ll share more in depth about the future content of this site, but I wanted to keep it short and sweet. Briefly, things I’ll be posting about:

  • Hormone imbalances and the quest to get my period back (sorry if that’s TMI but not really that sorry LOL).
  • Food intolerances – living with them and alternative recipes!
  • Fitness routines
  • Fashion/Beauty
  • Pop culture things I love
  • General commentary/venting pieces

xx

happily haleigh