Monday, March 21, 2011


"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."

–Anna Quindlen

I saw this quote on someone's facebook status today and immediately connected to it because it is exactly what I'm trying to do these days. I just got back from workshop weekend/TN Outstanding Teen pageant..and for the first time in 4 years, I wasn't there as a competitor. I thought I might feel sad or regretful for not competing, but suprisingly I felt relief and a sense of peace about the decision I made not to compete this year. However, I was incredibly nervous about being there because I have gained weight since I stopped competing, and my weight was always my struggle when I was competing. I am a very confident person, but for some reason, I was so intimidated and scared of what people there were going to think about my weight. I know that "pageant weight" is not normal weight, but for the last 4 years, "pageant weight" was normal to me because I was trying SO HARD to be perfect. So now, I am trying to figure out what healthy, normal weight is for me. I know it isn't where I am now because unfortunately my jeans don't fit these days! I also know it isn't where I am right now because I literally eat everything I wasn't "supposed" to eat for the last 4 years! haha! And I can count on one hand how many times I've been to the gym since September! I think after so many years of eating grilled chicken and veggies twice a day - and 2 hours a day, everyday in a gym - I just got burned out - and well, I became a true rebel of healthy eating and exercise habits and hopped on the junk food band wagon!'s time to figure out what works for my lifestyle (and wardrobe). And I'm hoping that if I share it with other people, that I will actually stick to it (b/c I have said "my diet starts Monday" almost every other week for 4 months)! So, this time it's not a diet! This time it is going to be healthy choices - not eating out as much - smaller portions (lol) - and exercising at least 3 times a week for now. I also just want to feel better about myself and I always feel better physically and emotionally when I'm working out regularly.

So, back to the quote at the top - I'm officially throwing perfection (and pageant weight) out the window because it will never happen, and I am going to figure out what to do to make myself feel beautiful, regardless of what the "judges" think!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Now what?

I started this blog for several reasons. One, I like to write and be creative. Two, I feel like I am in this weird transition period in my life and I know I'm not the only one. Three, I'm a former beauty queen, and I have some pretty funny things to talk about.

So here's the rundown. I spent the last 6 years of my life trying to be Miss America. I got close to a state title, but it never happened. Like many other pageant girls, being Miss America was my dream, and preparing for that job took over my life. In college, I skipped social functions with the girls to do community service. I skipped the pizza on Grey's nights at my house and opted for air popped popcorn with no butter (via my trainers orders). I spent hours in the gym, never got to go on Spring Break, and my mom and I haven't been on a family vacay in 6 summers.  Now, don't get my wrong, I am fully aware that I did all these things by choice - but it was what I thought I needed to do to win, and I don't regret any of those decisions. I think I am a better person for my years of competing - and I credit a lot of who I am today because of my time competing in the Miss America Organization. I wouldn't know a lot of my best friends, I wouldn't have had some of the opportunities I was granted, and my skin would probably not be as tough either.

But - because I opted to make being Miss America my first priority, I forgot to focus on what the heck I was planning to do with my life once competing was over. I guess I always thought that after I won a state title, opportunites would open up for me - it never crossed my mind that I wouldn't win b/c that wasn't an option in my head. Unfortunately, that's where I am now. Although I could have competed again this year, I chose not to. I have a rule about competing in pageants: when it stops being fun, stop competing. And that's what I did.

So - I moved to Knoxville with my best friend Ashley last fall on a whim - I just thought I needed a change. I got a job working in development, and although I'm overjoyed to have a job in this economy, I don't think development is what I want to do for the rest of my life. But here in lies my next problem - I wanted to be Miss America - that was my career goal. I also want to be a recording artist - but again, that is another career that requires a lot of luck. (right place, right time, right set of judges) So I'm trying to figure out what to do with my life! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! My mind changes everyday - singer, teacher, PR Exec, Fashion Buyer, grad school, law school, boutique owner...this list could continue on and on... so for now I'm going to do what Dolly Parton sings about, and work 9-5, blog, consult on the side (will discuss in a future blog), get back in shape, and try to figure out what the heck to do now that I've been de-throwned....

Until next time...