Jun 15, 2014 by

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I have never been one to put too much stock into what I look like. I don’t wear make-up on a daily basis, and when I do it’s just lip-gloss (12-hour stay so I don’t have to remember to re-apply) and mascara. I have some nice clothes, but usually opt for jeans and a hooded sweatshirt. I don’t do designer labels, I get my hair done 3 times a year and I don’t put myself out there for everyone to see.

This has been a place of pride for me-I don’t NEED to do these things. Look how confident I am in myself-I can go through my day without make-up or a cute outfit and come out the other end feeling just fine.

Upon some reflection this spring, I’ve realized it’s a bit of the opposite. I don’t do these things because I’m terrified that if I do, I will feel like I’m putting all this effort into myself and still not feel/look great. Even if I put on a make-up ‘mask’, buy expensive clothes and style my hair, I still won’t be good enough. So I’ll skip all of the above and stay average.

Does that even make sense? Talk about terrible self-confidence and a barrage of negative self-talk. Blech.

I’m tired of feeling that way. I’m tired of making it about how I think other people are viewing me. I want to make it about ME and how I feel about MYSELF. I do not feel good about myself when I wear a black T-shirt and flip flops to school. I do not feel good about myself when I look like a corpse because my face is so pale and my lips are all cracked. I do not feel good about myself carrying around extra weight so I can’t fit into my clothes.

As scary as it is to put it down in writing, it’s true. I do not feel good about myself.

And so this is the summer I plan to do something about it. I am dubbing this ‘The Summer of Kat’. I am going to be selfish with my time and money. I am going to focus on myself. And while the items listed below may seem superficial, I’m using them to boost not only my confidence in my appearance, but the value that I put on myself and taking care of my body.

Here goes nothing.

I am determined to loose 15 pounds this summer. I had 8 weeks to do this as of last week. I figured that is about 2 pounds a week, which a safe, healthy amount to loose. To do this, I need to cut my calories back to 1200 a day. I’m a creature of habit and tend to eat the same foods every day when I need to stay strict, so here is my proposed meal plan for the next 7 weeks:

Breakfast- Apple and Peanut Butter (165 calories, before walk)
2 Eggs and 2 Tb of Peach Salsa (128 calories, after walk)
Lunch- Trader Joes Chia Seed Flour Tortilla and 2 slices of Turkey (147 calories)
Yoplait Yogurt and 1/8 cup Grape Nuts (150)
Snacks- Banana (100 Calories)
1 Bell Pepper and 2 Tb Trader Joe’s Tomato red bell pepper hummus(60 calories)

This will put me at 750 calories, which leaves about 450 for dinner and any other snacks I might want to grab.

I will also be focusing heavily on physical activity. While I enjoy running/walking endurance races and have done Crossfit for many years, I am not in the best shape right now. I’m letting that go and just focusing on moving for 2 hours a day. Right now my plan is to stick my son in his stroller at 7am each morning and briskly walk our outside neighborhood loop for 2 hours while listening to podcasts.

To help with both the nutritional and physical aspects of this goal, I have a few tools in my belt! I have a Nike Fuelband that I wear everyday. My goal is 3000 Fuel Points. If you have a Fuelband or use Nike Plus and want to link up, my user name is Kat Uppman. I am also using My Fitness Pal to log all food I eat and activity I engage in. This app/program is AMAZING. I love watching the numbers align at the end of the day, and you can simply can the barcode of the food you eat to enter it into your diary. If you use My Fitness Pal and want to link up, my user name is kmoorez.

I need comfort. I need easy. I need cheap. I don’t want boring, sloppy, too-casual or worn-out. What’s a girl to do? Engage in a total closet over-haul! I spent the last two weeks on vacation scouring Pinterest for teaching outfits that fit my requirements. I’ve decided that while I lovelovelove pencil skirts and heels, they aren’t comfortable or practical. If I fill my closet with those outfits, I’ll always gravitate towards my sloppy looks when it’s 7am and I need to get out the door. So I looked for pins that still included my beloved jeans and pants, but in a more put together way.

I examined the outfits I was drawn to and found several patterns: blouses under sweaters, boots and a-line skirts. So I printed out a copy of my Pinterest board, crossed out the outfit pieces in the pictures that I already had and made a list of the major pieces I’d like to get.  I then hit up every Goodwill, outlet mall and garage sale I could find in CO and MI. I did really well! Like, an extra suitcase home well. There are still items I need, but I’m getting a better feel for how I might put outfits together. I’ve decided that I will be putting some money towards riding boots this fall, as well as investing in a few pieces of nice jewelry (Claire’s will do for most of my bling).

To combat the problem of what to wear in the morning, and a feeling of being overwhelmed by my closet, I’m going to start hanging up my outfits as an entity. The entire outfit will be hung up on a hanger together. When I told my husband about this, he immediately pointed out that the same pair of pants might go with several outfits. If this happens, then I can hang those outfits next to each other. But honestly-right now I have many pairs of pants that never get worn at all because I can think of what to put them with! I’d rather have fewer complete outfits hung up together than a hundred separate pieces that I have no idea what to do with. I’ll be working on my closet overhaul this week and will post pictures of the outfits I piece together as I get them done.

I’m going back to middle school, or high school, or whenever it was that you had slumber parties and all the girls did each other’s hair. I’m watching YouTube videos, pinning blog posts and buying things like the Conair Perfect Bun Maker. Oh, lord-did I actually just write that?!? I need quick, easy solutions for my hair in the morning, so I’m practicing styles as I find them, and then printing out the ones that work for a binder that I keep in the bathroom. I figure the summer is a perfect time to improve the speed in which I assemble hot rollers on my head without burning myself, right?

Brush, floss, whiten.

Manicure every week to strengthen. At $12 a pop, it’s cheap enough. Pedicure every other week. With my gross endurance-race feet, it’s a must. My flip flops aren’t completely disappearing-they’re just getting fancier.

I feel like a total lost cause here. I have loads of this stuff in my bathroom, but I’ll be darned if I know how to use it. I’m going to make a few of those free appointments at difference counters at Macy’s, and see if they can help me. Someone, please help me!! I need simple and something that doesn’t make my face itch. I’ll post before/after pictures each time I get one of the make-overs.

Inner Self
The most important part of all of this. Each morning before my son wakes up, I plan to do at least a half hour of meditation and prayer. I’ll write more about it later, but this summer I want to focus on a few Joyce Meyer books-Battlefield of the Mind and Approval Addiction. I’m working to be more at peace with myself, engage less in negativity and practice more positive self talk. I’m looking forward to this time greatly!

So there you have it. Not too much, right? 7 weeks should be plenty of time to whip this poor, unfortunate soul into a gleaming fifth grader teacher, both inside and out. I would love to hear about your self-improvement plans this summer, if you have any! And let’s all take a moment to thank our lucky stars that we are given this period of time in which to rest, rejuvenate and reset ourselves!


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