As someone who has always been a people pleaser and struggled with self-esteem, it has taken A LOT of time, trials and tribulations to learn and truly understand that I am not defined by accomplishments, failures or by the perceptions of others. I've spent a good deal of my life worrying about what others think of me, suppressing certain qualities that seemed undesirable and letting my anxieties control my actions. And despite striving otherwise, I often still find myself wrestling with the question of whether I am doing the "right thing" or "good enough."
We live in a world where there are so many people and things in life that try to tell us who to be, define our self-worth, or place limitations on what is acceptable, realistic or appropriate to do. Our world seeks to classify, put a label on qualities or characteristics, and from those labels we derive judgements or assumptions. Meanwhile, we over analyze and gravitate towards similarity with fear of the unknown or that which is different.
Over the past 3 years in blogging as Real Food For Fuel, I've transitioned from being a newly married, newly minted dietitian looking to find her place in the professional world to ... well, where I am now. Does the journey ever end? Six months ago I took a leap of faith in walking away from the security of my full-time job into a world of unknowns. Not because I was necessarily unhappy-- I loved what I did -- but something inside of me was yearning for something greater, something that more closely resembled the life I wanted to live. One of the more important life lessons I've learned is this: the world will tell you a lot of things about how to live your life and who to be, but it's up to each of us to sit in the driver's seat, determine our destination and live by our own standards.
" Freedom is the oxygen of the soul "- Shalane Flanagan
As a young professional, as a wife and as an athlete living in a world of high expectations and ever increasing demands, at the end of the day I just want to live in freedom and be accepted as the flawed and imperfect me. The me that is forgetful, clumsy and oblivious to most things in life, who is rebellious yet loves to daydream, who thrives on soaking up sunshine and having dance parties in the middle of the kitchen while cooking. The me that loves to eat kale and get outside and be active just as much as I love to lazily cling to the couch with my coffee cup and eat chocolate and peanut butter.
There are a lot of things in my life that I am thankful for -- to be surrounded by loving and supportive husband, family and friends that accept me as I am, to own a home that keeps me dry and warm, to have a job doing what I love and to be able to passionately pursue my dreams. I am thankful for this blog and all who have taken the time to read and follow me over the past few years. I am thankful for the sacrifices that are made within our country so that I can live comfortably in safety and peace. Above all of these things, I am thankful for the grace of God and the freedom to be me.
In honor of my 3rd anniversary of blogging, I am hosting my first giveaway! Jenny of Mountain Primadonna has generously agreed to share a custom designed "Freedom to Be" necklace with you all. Here are the rules for entry:
The giveaway will run through Monday, June 1st at midnight, after which I will select and announce the winner in my next post early next week!
Thanks for celebrating with me!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
– Marianne Williamson
Kristen Chang is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and triathlete residing in southwest Virginia with her husband and dogs. Follow along as she shares favorite fueling recipes, general wellness and sport nutrition tips and stories from her athletic endeavors.
Another year has flown by, which means it's time to sit back and reflect on the past season. It has been a season of challenge in many regards, and most definitely not the season I had hoped or planned for. Thinking back to my coaching meeting in January, coach Jim and I had discussed taking things to the next level and I set some pretty high goals for myself. That remained the plan through June, until I through a complete 180 by dropping Chattanooga and deciding to focus on my health. I can vividly remember that day, sitting next to the pool after a short workout when coach asked if Chattanooga was still in the cards. I don't remember whether or not I actually responded, but I do remember the emptiness and defeat I felt in that moment knowing in my heart that the answer was no. I consider myself a "fighter"... being Italian makes me stubborn to the core and I am very loyal to the commitments that I make. However, in that moment God was calling me to let go of my own personal plans and trust in Him instead. As humbling and difficult as it was to walk away from Ironman training this past season, I'm incredibly glad that I did.Hearty Miso Soup
My Motto for 2018
2017 End of Season Wrap Up
Training Updates: 3rd Quarter 2017
Asian-Inspired Fish & Veggie Platter (The Recipe Redux)
Peace is always beautiful
Tart Cherry & Orange Sports Drink
Crew Report: Tahoe Rim 100
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Stress Buster Trail Mix
Proud Athlete Of
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