Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Food Fears

Okay, so time and time again I've heard that "body image" is believed to be one of "the biggest issues facing young people today." Though this would likely never be my answer when asked by a panel of judges, many of my friends (most of which I have posed this question to are not in the pageant circle) have told me that this is what they believe. I have been slender my entire life - I've got a little food baby every now and again, but I've grown to appreciate it - so weight has never been a problem for me. This may make me seem ...I don't know, somewhat distant, or like I don't have the ability to empathize, but I've never felt like I've had a serious complex with my body and neither have many of my closest friends.

Body image and body complexes have only recently become an issue for me as I toy with the idea of "dieting" in preparation for Miss Virginia. My mother, a registered nurse, has always told me (somewhat jokingly) that a diet is what you eat - not what you don't eat. I don't actually desire to lose any weight between now and June: between zero and five pounds and I wouldn't freak out, anything more than that and I think I'd have issues. I'll work on toning up and making better heath choices (the idea of a "diet" has had me stuffing my face with cinnamon buns, gummi bears, and dark chocolate, as of late).

Maybe it's the fear that my body could actually look a few times better than it does now, if only I made a concentrated effort to eliminate some things and incorporate a few, menial changes. This is something to think about. I'm off to Google about "healthy foods" that help your tummy stay flat (Dr. Oz said almonds and olives are good for that); I'll probably text my friend Daniel who rowed at UMW about work out plans; and, I'll bug Roosevelt one more time about going to the gym during this break.

Disclaimer: In no way do I not believe that weight, health decisions, and body image are not important issues that young people deal with. I believe that as a society when need to encourage healthy decisions (not just concerning food), balanced meals (my mother believes that if your plate has a lot of color on it you're heading in the right direction), and a better appreciation of self and self-worth. We are not all built to be a size 0 - men would be bored if we all were: embrace your body - love it and take care of it.

My love of food is documented below for your viewing pleasure:
Cookie platter for our IB Senior Party in '07

Salad with Ashley at McDonald's in '08

Funnel cake (my fav) at Disney in '09

SUSHI! in NY, '10
A Philly Cheesesteak in Philly, '10

I had this for dessert a few hours ago :)
Yo Gala in the Mall = AWEsome

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sisterly Love

Today is a special day - no, not because it's Christmas - it's my sister's birthday. She was born today, 20 years ago. I am blessed to have a best friend who is as:
 talented, creative, funny, loving, sarcastic, emotional, smart, and unique as she is. She is my queen today.

Happy Birthday, Baby Sis!
When I asked my mother if she wanted a picture, too, she laughed and told me, "No, I'm a queen without a crown." So, to every girl out there - be like my mother: proud of what you have to offer, crown or not.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Yes, I am aware that Christmas is still a few hours away - but nonetheless: "Merry Christmas!"

My girlies & I before Hampton's Holly Days Parade 

Anne kept fussing at me to get off of my phone! *hehe*
It was refreshing during the Hampton Holly Day parade to only hear the crowd tell me "Merry Christmas" - not "Happy Holly Days" ;) like I had expected. It reminds me that He is truly the reason for the season.

Though most people use Thanksgiving Day as a time to express their thankfulness for the blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon them, I find that I have been giving thanks more now, than I did a month ago.

I am seeing that the people in my life are not there due to fate, my heart has not been broken due to happenstance, and people have not left my life by accident - it is the hand of my Heavenly Father that has moved, blessed, and tried me time and time again. For those who have taught me to never give up; to demand respect from everyone, most importantly from myself; to believe in love; to encourage others; to be a good friend and sister; to be a believer; to not be afraid to take chances or be vulnerable... -- I thank you. For I know that without your words or actions, I would not be the great woman that I am today.

....So grateful for the opportunity to serve an area that has given so much to me.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Crummy Attitudes

Customer: << agitated voice >> "Is somebody working here?"
Me: "Sure, ma'am"
Customer: "How much is this?"
Me: "Good morning, how are you?"
Customer: - Silence -
Me: " $24.99 "
Customer: "Well, fine you all can have them then..." << walks off angrily, without the merchandise >>

This was my first exchange with a customer at work this morning. 

What a way to start your day, right? Thank goodness the Lord had blessed me with a good spirit this morning, because I didn't let it phase me. One thing my mother told me when I first started working retail - in a nutshell: your customers don't care if you're having a bad day. I try to remember this philosophy in not only avoiding bringing drama to work, but also remembering that just because one customer is rude doesn't mean the next one will be, too.

But, I think customers forget this "golden rule" as well - I don't care (to an extent) if you're having a bad day. Just because I am a sales associate doesn't mean you can speak to me any way you please. You should respect me and say, "Excuse me" instead of "Hey you..." (I had one father call me in this manner in front of his daughter, and I wondered what kind of an example he was setting for her.) I wonder sometimes if customers realize that speaking on the cell phone at the checkout means I can't offer you a coupon; that when you lean over the counter attempting to decipher my computer screen, I feel like you're leaning over my desk trying to tell me how to do my job; or when you come to the counter and silently stand there expecting me to know exactly what it is that you want, that I don't read minds.

Now, don't get me wrong...the majority of my customers are courteous and kind (even during the holiday season); however, there always seems to be that one customer that just plucks a nerve.

* chuckles * Merry Christmas, everyone.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One month "anniversary"

One month ago, today, I woke up to see a four-point crown on the edge of the night-stand: just where I had left it the night before. I smiled. I never doubted for a moment that it had happened - I didn't need anyone to pinch me to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I was Miss Hampton-Newport News 2012. The journey of a lifetime had begun and I was more than ready to take on the challenge.

The four points of the crown represent:
Style, Service, Scholarship, and Success 
I want this blog to represent my journey in discovering my potential - not only as a Queen, but also as a young woman who is trying to make a difference in her community.