27 things I’m moving on from

In no particular order, here are 27 things I plan to leave behind when I turn 27, or at least try to. Hey, nobody’s perfect, but I gotta work it, again and again til I get it right… okay I’ll stop.

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In no particular order, here are 27 things I plan to leave behind when I turn 27, or at least try to. Hey, nobody’s perfect, but I gotta work it, again and again til I get it right… okay I’ll stop.

1. Misalignment:

I’ve been getting a little “woo woo” lately, and one of the podcasts I listened to spoke about manifestation. It’s a very interesting concept that has been talked about for years and years, but really what I’ve taken away from it is this: Manifestation is not just about wishing or envisioning something happening in your life.

Girl, YOU GOTS TO DO THE WORK. You can’t just say “I want x” and then just sit on your couch and expect the universe to hand it to you on a silver platter. No. You want a new job? Guess what, you have to be open to opportunities AND you have to apply and go to interviews.

Are your actions aligned with the life you want? This is something I’m going to be consistently assessing this next year, and I’m leaving the misalignment behind me.

2. Dating Apps:

Okay hear me out here: I have always been the girl who is perpetually single, and to be frank, I’m fine with it. Honestly. Even my mother has told me that she thinks I may never get married, and I wasn’t offended in the slightest by that statement!

But I have always said, that if I do meet “The Guy”, I want it to be organically. Yeah, I want that somewhat movie-magic moment where things just fall into place. Maybe it’s the other part of me that’s a hopeless romantic, but dating apps just seem forced, and have ruined dating culture. I could go on and on about this… But I’ll leave it here:

I’m leaving the apps behind because (to my previous point), having them is not an action that aligns with what I want to welcome in. So catch me in real life, knights in shining armor!

3. Scarcity:

“Minimalism!” Honestly, NO. Guess what, I don’t want to live minimally. Do I want to have a bunch of stuff I don’t need in life? No, BUT, I can’t totally get on board with this trend.

Life is meant to be lived LARGELY and when I’m living in a state of scarcity, I am a sad Haleigh. And this blog is call happily Haleigh. That would be misaligned… so bye bye scarcity! HELLO TO ALL THE THINGS IN LIFE.

4. FOMO:

Oof, this is a tough one. I’m not sure one can truly do away with this mentality, but I definitely am aware of how awful I feel when I have this emotion.

Fear of Missing Out is a construct of society though. Fear that something you say “no” to will be that one magic moment where your life has so much value added to it that you have completely missed the boat by not attending.

Guess what – life gives you what you need, and if you’re trusting your intuition, the decisions you make should make you feel grounded. Know that those decisions are what are right for you, and you’re not missing out. What was there, was not meant for you. And your Netflix in bed probably saved you from a truly horrific night.

5. Fake Likes:

Again, SOCIETAL PRESSURE IS REAAAAL. Have you ever felt like “Oh I should read more because I’m supposed to like reading.” Or ooo, ooo, better example: GAME OF THRONES. (Come one, you don’t all actually like that show).

So, you pretend to “like” something because everyone else does, or you’re supposed to, or it will make you look like a better human. Well no more of this. I shouldn’t feel shame because I prefer watching a good show vs. reading most nights. I shouldn’t feel the need to keep up with certain celebrities that I truly don’t care about.

Stop pretending to like things. It’s dumb and make you a robot.

6. Fake Friends:

Same goes with friends. Stop pretending to like people you don’t like, and stop trying to keep people in your life who don’t actually like you. Plain and simple.

7. Second Guessing:

CONFIDENCE, COHEN. (If you don’t know this reference, you’re a fake friends and I can no longer associate with you. Kidding, kinda).

8. “What If’s”:

Ah, yes, “what if” is a classic and extremely well-known term to any ruminator. I’ve spoken about ruminating before – I’ve done this my WHOLE life. It’s in my blood. I’ll probably still have a lot of these moments the rest of my life, but I’m going to do my best to be more aware of when I get in my head.

9. Saying “Yes”:

I like to make people happy – plain and simple. I don’t like to be difficult, because I think the world would be better if we all just tried a little harder. But sometimes, I hand out “yes’s” like Oprah handing out cars – “You get a Yes, You get a Yes, Everybody gets a Yes!” It gets draining! Knowing my health issues, I have to be a little more protective of myself this year. So if I tell you no, it’s not because I don’t love you, I just have to love me more this year 🙂

10. Saying “No”:

I know, I’m contradicting myself, but I have a point. Some of the things I say “yes” to, I could definitely cut back on. However, I could also stop saying “no”. No to opportunities, no to new people in my life, no to things that could welcome awesomeness into my life.

Basically, I need to work on a better balance between “yes” and “no” this year.

11. Hiding:

Isn’t it so easy to hibernate in your room, in your bed, under the covers, watching Netflix or endlessly scrolling on social media? It’s so easy. Especially when you have a valid of excuse of “I’m really not feeling well, I need to rest, etc.” (this is valid in my case).

And yes, knowing things I’m going through, I do need to rest and take care of myself. BUT I do NOT want to become a hermit in this world. I live in the most beautiful city, with awesome people, and amazing experiences. It’s a shame to hide from that, and it’s a shame to hide myself from the world! Again, balance.

12. Society’s Timeline:

BOY BYE. Do you feel like everyone you know is getting married, having babies, buying houses, etc? Yeah, I feel that too. And it’s polarizing when you are no where near that point in your lie. But remember, God isn’t putting that timeline on you – society is. And you know what God doesn’t care about? Society. Yeah, he really doesn’t lol.

You know the only thing you should care about? Your timeline that God has given you. He has it worked out. Don’t stress.

13. Comparison:

MUST. STOP. SCROLLING.

Again! Don’t compare your chapter to another’s chapter – YOU’RE IN A DIFFERENT BOOK! Of course they won’t look the same 🙂

14. Control:

I’ve also touched on this before on my instagram, I believe – trying to give up that need to control EVERY little thing in my life. As the great Carrie Underwood once said: “Jesus, take the wheel”. Amen, girl.

15. Other people’s baggage:

Repeat after me: “Other people’s baggage is not yours to carry”.

Do you work at the airport? Are you a taxi driver? NO. You are not a baggage handler!! Let people figure their own stuff out. It’s great if you want to help, and I think we should all help each other. But don’t carry it. DO NOT.

16. Band-Aids:

Netflix, food, social media, coffee… you name it. We all have a lot of “band-aids” that we turn to when we are stressed or wanting to feel numb. Band-aids don’t have to be anything “bad”, but I definitely know that there are things in my life that I use to distract myself from feelings or thoughts.

17. Resentment:

I mean, this is just never a good thing, I think we can all agree on that! I don’t carry a lot of resentment, but I do have a hard time forgetting when someone hurt me. I carry around little nagging feelings, and they are sometimes hard to shake. But, I have to shift my mental picture on this to understand that this emotion does not affect the other person, it only affects me… not cool! So buh-bye!

18. Boring Nights:

Now let me clarify, I will still revel in my Netflix nights. But what I mean by this is shifting my mindset. Some might say a typical week-night at home is “boring” because it’s normal, nothing special, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable! I’m going to practice shifting my mindset to enjoy all of my nights, even if it’s my normal meal-prep, dinner, netflix bed routine.

19. Things I just don’t want or need or use:

Stuff. Get rid of the Stuff. ‘Nuff said.

20. “I’ll be happy when”:

Oooo yes, “the grass is greener”, “I’ll be happy when”‘s… LIVE IN THE MOMENT HALEIGH. We are not promised tomorrow, so just be happy now.

21. Guilt:

Past mistakes are in the past – the guilt will eat you alive, and cause you stress, and make your health issues worse, so stop that.

22. Perfectionism:

I will never truly be rid of my perfectionism, so this is more of a thing I’m always working on. But, I know that it contributes to my stress levels, and again, I’m trying to zen out over here.

23. Waiting:

Because I am a very “what if” person, I tend to think on decisions for quite sometime. Sometimes that is good, but sometimes you just end up waiting. Waiting and doing nothing. Because Hamilton is on my mind, I related so much to “Wait for It” sang by “Aaron Burr”. I’d like to think I could be more like Hamilton, but maybe a mix between Burr and Hamilton would be better…

24. “Just”:

I’ve pretty much successfully erradicated this term from my professional emails because I once read an article that women use it to justify themselves in business settings (ain’t nobody got time for that).

But I realized that this word creeps into other areas of life:

“Oh I’m just going to brunch with a friend” – NO. You are going to brunch with a friend!! You have a friend! You have money to buy brunch! You will be fed! You will be creating memories! THIS IS AWESOME!!

“Oh I’m just hanging out at home” – NO. You have a home to hang out in, a roof over your head, a place to keep you safe! THIS IS AWESOME!!

“Oh I’m just doing laundry” – NO. You have clothes to wear! You have money to buy clothes and do laundry! You have a way to express yourself! THIS IS AWESOME!!

Do you see how diminishing the word “just” is? Nike should get a new slogan.

25. Tension:

I literally feel stress and tension in my shoulders every day and that just needs to stop. Maybe I just need more massages?

26. The past:

All I have to say is this:

“There’s only us, there’s only this
Forget regret, or life is your’s to miss
No other path, no other way
No day but today”

(again if you don’t know this reference… ugh.)

Mic drop.

27. Coffee

LOL. You thought I was serious.

xx

happily Haleigh

So, I’m turning 27…

(on May 11th – mark your calendar)

And for some reason, I suddenly feel inexplicably old.

I know I still have three years until 30, but approaching 27 feels like a final countdown. Maybe it’s because I’m 26 and don’t feel like I’m where I should be by society’s standards. Or maybe it’s because I’m 26 and am dealing with health issues that steal much of my life and energy. Or maybe it’s a combination of things, but I’m having somewhat of a hard time with this birthday.

I normally do like my birthday, after all – it’s supposed to be a day all about you with a bunch of friends, cake, and celebrations. But this year, when I think of indulging in treats, I just think of my health problems and how I should’t be eating a cupcake or donut or whatever (but you know I will be LOL). When I think of celebrating with friends, I run into scheduling road blocks and distance road blocks because a) May is busy b) at 26, I still have not cultivated a unit of friends that mirrors the Sex and the City girl gang and c) a lot of my dearest friends are not even in Chicago. When I think about celebrating, I think of the money I’m spending on one day that I could be putting away for something else.

Basically, as an almost 27 year old, I feel like a boring old lady, and it’s almost causing me to be down on myself, which, is SO sad.

You should feel awesome on your birthday! But I don’t feel super awesome. But then I try to remember this: I’ve made it to 27 years on planet earth. That’s pretty neat. Nothing guaranteed me making it here, so that’s a great birthday present in and of itself.

Thinking forward, I know 27 is going to be another huge year of growth. Working through health issues, continuing in a new job, some other big life moves, vacations to take, upcoming weddings, friends having babies – there’s going to be A LOT happening.

Knowing this, the rest of this week I’ll be taking time to reflect and look forward to reset some expectations and goals, and to appreciate all the good and lessons I’ve experience thus far.

Stay tuned for some more posts throughout the week! 🙂

How do you celebrate your b-day? Still taking suggestions over here!

xx

happily Haleigh

#slayingSIBO // general update

SO.

Here I am, 3 days after finishing my two-week round of Xifaxan, and I feel… the same.

In fact, I might feel worse? Because along with not finding relief, that ROUGH round of antibiotics left me with some fun side effects: breakouts, weird rashes, swelling in my limbs, worsened joint pain… super fun times, my friends!

Thankfully, I have another appointment with Dr. Nicole on Monday. The plan is to chat about anything she found in my bloodwork, and discuss about next steps (remember that super fun test I talked about previously? Yeah, that’s probably gonna go down LOL).

In the meantime, I have also secured an MRI for my chronic lower back pain and emailed a doctor about my toe pain (I was set to actually have a toe surgery in January, but getting a new job threw a wrench in that!). Not only is my original, right toe still hurting, but now my left one has started bothering me. OOF.

Today in Chicago, it is snowing. Yes, in April. And honestly, while I’m not THRILLED about it, it’s given me the perfect excuse to take this Saturday and truly do nothing. As I’m typing this, I’m laying in bed in the middle of the afternoon with no plans for the rest of the evening, and it’s glorious. I did start my day off nicely though – woke up for a workout where I met a new friend, grabbed a coffee, went to my first therapy session, and wandered Whole Foods just because (does anyone else do this?! Didn’t even buy anything – I just love it!)

Tomorrow, I’ll be attending a restorative yoga session – yoga, something that doctors have told me time and time again to partake in for stress management, and something I usually blow off. However, in the spirit of working on my mental health, I’m going to try. Again.

So anyway, this post was really not substantial because truly, there has not been much change. More to come, and I’ll keep you all posted, but until then, I hope your life is beautiful and your days are wonderful.

xx

happily Haleigh

Talking to yourself – weird or necessary?

It was an interesting thought: your body has been listening to your mind your entire life. Every negative thought, your body has heard and absorbed. Kind of eye-opening, right? I thought about all the negative thoughts I’ve had in my 26 years on earth – every self-diminishing thought, every “what if”, every “you’re not good enough”. Thinking about that, it’s no wonder the physical pain you can feel and damage you can experience as you walk through life.

This week, I took a little break from scouring the internet for SIBO information. I could feel myself getting a little wrapped up in it all, so I’m just chilling. I’m on the antibiotics, so I’m just letting them do their thing (more on that later), and I’m trusting that Dr. Nicole will be reviewing my previous labs to decipher a killer plan of action for when I see her next (April 29th).

Saying that, taking a step back allowed me to use my brain power for other things – a few podcasts that I enjoy that I had putting on the back burner, for instance. Podcasts are amazing – you have access to knowledge and new ideas for FREE. #blessed.

One podcast that I’ve been loving lately is Almost 30. Honestly, these girls are the GOAT. Krista and Lindsey are so fun to listen to, and caring for their listeners. Their podcast focuses a lot on wellness, bringing in amazing guests to chat about mental health, physical health, mindset, manifestation, etc. A few episodes I’ve listed to recently have been helping my mindset this past week.

On one recent episode (I can’t remember which one), they were chatting about shifting how you communicate with your body. It was an interesting thought: your body has been listening to your mind your entire life. Every negative thought, your body has heard and absorbed. Kind of eye-opening, right? I thought about all the negative thoughts I’ve had in my 26 years on earth – every self-diminishing thought, every “what if”, every “you’re not good enough”. Thinking about that, it’s no wonder the physical pain you can feel and damage you can experience as you walk through life.

So what if we flipped that, and actually thought kind thoughts about our bodies and communicated that internally. It seems silly, but what if you stopped yourself every time you had a negative thought and turned it positive; better yet, what if you just started your day or took time every day to proactively say positive things about yourself and your body.

I’ve been trying it the past few days – and honestly, this will sound a little “woo woo”, but I swear it has helped. It has helped me release tension from my body. I never really realized how much of my day is spent in tension until I actively tried to relax. My shoulders are typically always raised, my breath shallow – almost as if I’m perpetually in a fight or flight mode, ready to be stressed (which aligns with the fact that I do have adrenal fatigue, so makes sense!). But I’ve noticed when I take time to think positively and just truly breathe, some of that tension instantly drops, and I feel a little more relaxed.

A little mantra I’ve been starting the day with or saying throughout the day when I need it: “Good morning/hello body, I am thankful for you, you are safe, I love you.” It sounds ridiculous, I know. But try it, I swear it’s euphoric.

I’m starting to realize that for the past two years, I have felt like I’m in a state of fighting with my body. Part of it is because of my symptoms I’m feeling – stressing about them, being angry about them, trying to get rid of those symptoms, etc. Part of it is because I’ve been striving to achieve a certain image – a socially accepted image (probably a deeper rooted issue here, I know).

So I think moving forward, some of the work I need to do is flipping the switch from fighting with my body to working with it.

I wish it was as easy as just “flipping the switch”. Honestly, as I type this, it feels so silly to even have this issue. Why would anyone ever feel at war with their own body?!

But I don’t think I’m alone, in fact, I think a lot of people feel this, but just don’t openly discuss it. I am beginning to crave so deeply to feel one with my physical self, in both functionality and visual acceptance.

So how do you practically go about achieving this? Well, that’s the million-dollar question, now isn’t it?! I think it’ll be a continued practice and journey that I’ll have to intentionally focus on. I’m sure I’ll continue to discover new things about myself, what works and what doesn’t for helping me stay aligned, but for now I’ll stick to my little morning mantra and just remind my body that it’s safe, and I’m taking care of it.

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 🙂

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! 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

Easy Budget Template!

Raise your hand if finances stress you the heck out?! *Stands on chair to raise her hand as high as possible*

A few weeks ago, I asked on instagram if anyone would be interested in having me share a budget template that I use to track how much I’ve spent each month and on what, and the response was overwhelming! So, I’m finally sharing and just in time for holiday spending!

Honestly, money stresses me out SO much. LIFE IS SO DANG EXPENSIVE AM I RIGHT?! But I find that when I actually sit down and look at where I’m spending my money, I have a better understanding and therefore game plan of where I can cut back, or where I have money to spare.

At the bottom of this post, you’ll find the link to the google sheet that you can make a copy of for personal use, but first I’m going to quickly walk you through how to you use it! Feel free to skip to the bottom if you already feel like a google sheets whiz!

Your Budget Template:

This is what your google sheets budget will look like. There will be two tabs — the budget tab and the transactions tab. Each month, you can change the headings to reflect the month you are budgeting for.

Your Budget Tab:

This is what your budget tab will look like. This is the tab that you will project what you will be spending, where you will see what you have ACTUALLY spent (more on this in a bit), and the difference between those two values.

Let’s go through some of the different cells and values you see in the budget.

  • Project and Actual Income: These are both manual entries. Typically they stay the same, but of course if you have less traditional means of income, that may change more frequently. Just check your direct deposits to see how much you’ve actually brought in each month! *Note* I base my budgets off of what is actually deposited and available to me – NOT a salary. Then you would have to worry about entering taxes and such and ain’t nobody got time for that.
  • Projected, Actual and Difference Balance cells: These are all formulas that will update based on what you enter in your budget sheet!
  • Projected Cost columns: Each month, you will want to manually enter your projected expenses. Often times these will be the same for fixed expenses, but some areas of spending will change! Take time each month to reflect on the past month and adjust for the upcoming month if necessary.
  • Actual Cost columns: This is probably the most important column to look at when tracking your spending. If you click the cells, you’ll see that these cells actually have formulas – these formulas will pull transactions or expenses you track in your transactions tab to the appropriate budget cell. MAGIC.
  • Budget areas/headers: The budgets in pink and the titles going down the first column within each budget are TOTALLY up to you. These are what I use, but you can alter and change them to fit your needs and spending! If you do change them or add lines, just be aware that you will have to make some changes to both the budget page and the transactions page (more on this in a bit).
  • Projected, Actual and Difference Total Cost cells: These are all formulas that will update based on what you enter in your budget sheet!

Your Transactions Tab:

This is what your transactions tab will look like. This is the tab that you will input transactions or expenses that have happened within that month. I list everything: rent, utilities, groceries, i.e. everything I have listed in the budget tab!

Typically, I’ll take some time on Sundays and just go through my spending from that previous week and enter it all in.

Now sure, there are apps that “track your budgets”, but the hard thing is when you go to a store like Target, and you buy groceries, beauty products and cleaning products, the apps will only attribute that total expense to what you have Target listed as. So if you have Target listed as a Grocery budget place, it will say you spent that entire total on groceries, which may not be accurate.

This is why manually tracking is helpful, especially when you are trying to stick to clear budgets. Keep your receipts, and go through them each week and track them manually!

When you enter an expense, you’ll enter the date, the venue (where you spent your dollars), the payment source (which credit card or debit card used or if it was cash), which budget it falls under (there is a drop down with all your budgets listed!), the cost, and any notes associated with the expense.

The magic part? Every expense listed here will AUTOMATICALLY be entered into the “Actual Cost” cell of the associated budget. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Adding/changing budgets and formulas:

  • Adding budgets:
    • If you want to add new budget areas, you can do that pretty easily! Insert a row where you want to add the budget, and format it as needed. Once it’s added, you’ll want to make sure the formula for the transactions tab is copied the the “Actual Cost” cell for your new budget. All you need to do is select a cell with the formula, hit copy, and paste it into the new budget “Actual Cost” cell. Easy! The formula will automatically adjust to be the correct version for the cell to which it is copied.
    • For your reference, this is what the formula is:
    • Once this step is complete, you’ll want to make sure that the transactions tab knows about the new budget. To do this, head to that tab and select the Column E drop down menu, and click “Data Validation” as pictured:
    • In the Data Validation box, you can add your new budget name to the list, separating it by a comma. This is also where you should delete any budget titles that you removed from the budget tab or change any that you altered.

How to get your google sheets budget template:

When you click the link below, it will take you to a view only version of the template. Simply go to the File menu, select “Make a Copy”, and that copy will save an editable version to your google drive!

Each month, I just make a copy of the the previous month’s budget and adjust. I keep all of my monthly budgets in their own folders for future reference.

Fun tip: You can OF COURSE change the colors to suit your personal style, but ya know your girl was gonna go with pink 🙂

GET MY Google Sheets Budget Template!

 

If you have ANY questions or need any help, please let me know! Also let me know if this was helpful and if there is similar content you’d love to see from me.

Happy Spending and Saving!

xx

happily haleigh

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

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.

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 any  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 🙂
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