End Of Summer Adventure

To close out an amazing summer of adventures, I met up with Slater in Toronto for five days and spent another five in a small and off the grid beach town in Quebec, called Metis Sur Mer.

This was my first trip to Toronto without a winter coat, so it felt like a completely different city! Toronto is really a great place, friendly people, beautiful neighborhoods and a ton of things to do. On other trips I’ve done the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium and Raptor’s games, but this trip was all about the distillery district, the waterfront, and the Blue Jays( and soon much Tim Hortons)!

Metis could really have its own post, but there is no picture or post that can capture just how special of a place it is. For starters, many of the cottages have been passed down for generations so family is everywhere. Many of the people I have met over the years have been family friends since their great grandparents started visiting.

The nicest part of visiting up there is how off the grid it is! Luckily where we stayed had some internet and cell reception, but the lack of high speed internet and a television felt so freeing.

Nature is such a happiness trigger, waking up to open windows and spending the majority of the day outside was exactly what I needed after a hot few days in Toronto.

Our days were filled with poutine, reading and hiking (the best trifecta). We hiked Bic National Park, Metis Park and walked the entire Metis Gardens. I can’t remember the day I have spent curled up with a book and nothing else to do, so this was a dream vacation!

The Toronto/Metis combination was great, we saw a ton of family and friends, got our Jay’s fix and got to really unwind for the beginning of a new semester.

 

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Podcasts To Listen To

If you’re new to the site, my world revolves around finding joy even on the crappiest of days. My joy literally came from eating peas yesterday (yeah, I don’t know… I like peas). Recently, I’ve been trying to find ways to find joy and new ways to cope when I’m feeling down.

Recently, podcasts have become a staple in my day, whether I’m folding laundry or am trying to get my mind off of stress, I am imaginary friends with some of the most interesting people! Moving and working made it hard to meet people at first, so listening to podcasts made me feel like I was getting a one on one with some of the most successful people in the world and helped me keep my eye on the prize.

Right now, these are just a few of my favorite ones to listen to!

Oh Boy! By Man Repeller

Monocycle with Leandra Medine

Women of The Hour

Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin

Stuff Mom Never Told You

Girlboss with Sophia Amaruso

Celebrating 8.25.16

Today was an awesome day at school but I haven’t been feeling great all afternoon and I felt really sick and lonely tonight(sometimes you just want to snuggle with your puppy and have your mom take care of you). Instead of getting really upset at myself for getting upset at all and feeling needy and feeling like a loser for celebrating thirsty Thursday with a bowl of pasta and my roommate, I decided to turn it around and celebrate all that went right today!

Time to go to bed without a devil on my shoulder!

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What It’s Really Really Like To Lose 132 Pounds

Just the other day, I read a Buzzfeed article explaining the journey of extreme weight loss and it got me thinking just how intense/rewarding/scary/exciting it has been. It’s not black and white and my story I’m sure differs from many.

For the first 19 years of my life, I weighed close to 300lbs. I think my story starts out a little different because I took my role as the fat funny girl very seriously. I ran and won class president, I was extremely out going in my classes and lived in the role society gave me. I had friends, I went to parties, I found a way to love fashion and I got by in high school never having received a swirly or knuckle sandwich.

At this time, the body positive movement was becoming well known and models like Tess Holiday and Ashley Graham were really starting to take off. Through Instagram and Tumblr, I found a community that didn’t judge me for me weight and actually told me that being fat and using the word fat wasn’t a bad thing at all. I adapted a mindset of “this is what god gave me, so let’s go with it”. I finally started accepting my stretch marks, my thighs that touched when I’d walk and my cute double chin. I loved the feeling of belonging and knowing I, too could be part of this world.

Along with all of this new found self love, there were still destructive eating habits, a lack of motivation and a frequent reminder that I had “such a pretty face”.

Because I am a human and we live in a vain society, sometimes I’d wish I were one of the hot girls with a thigh gap and perky boobs that hot guys would want, but for the most part, being a fat girl with a pretty face and a good sense of humor was ok to get by. It was what I was used to.

It’s not to say I never had boyfriends or went on dates, but any girl (especially plus size girls) can attest to the few shitty types of guys that stereotyped a size 22 woman. Some expected me to lather my body up in Ben and Jerrys (I would never waste a pint on that) while others didn’t want to introduce me to their friends because they wouldn’t get it. The stories are endless and some of them even pretty pathetic they thought they had a chance.

Eventually, after my first semester of college I was scared into losing weight for health reasons and decided the gastric sleeve would help put me on a path to healthy living, finally being society’s definition of beautiful and that if shed the weight, all the reasons I was depressed and anxious would also melt away.

So…. Here I am, 132lbs later and a size 10 and I’m not even sure who I am.

The first real time I felt different was somewhere after the first 80lbs, when a new friend had no idea I was ever heavy. My old identity was apparently somewhere else and I was now someone else. The people that did know me beforehand, were giving me compliments left and right. I was getting high off of the compliments, but I still felt a mourning for my old self.

I told myself if I just kept going and could get to my goal, I will finally see what they see. That didn’t happen. I still felt like an outsider to myself, I didn’t really know how to look in the mirror and feel joy or see beauty because I had no idea who I was looking at.

I hate writing that sometimes I cry writing these posts, but right now I am actually drowning in tears and just had to take a minute because I was heading into ugly cry face/ snot down the face territory.

If someone asked me if I’d do it again, I’d say yes in a heartbeat. I love how easy it is to walk around all day, how I can sit on an airplane without fear, how the mall is no longer a place with nothing for me. Adapting to my new lifestyle has been a challenge but a challenge I accepted

It’s still a horrible thought to think because my pants were a size 22 society saw me as a nobody. It makes me sad because my insides will always have the same heart and sense of humor and personality. Without my 300 pound frame, I wouldn’t have the life I live today.

What it’s really like to lose a ton of weight is hard to explain all at once, it’s the most complex relationship I have with myself. On one hand, I’m not at peace with where I am, but I am a work in progress and on the other hand losing weight saved my life and is one of my greatest accomplishments.

Weight loss is a pretty damn big thing to go through. One minute you are who you’ve been your whole life and the next, you’re given a new shot and being told you can be better in every way. That’s what it’s really really like to lose 132 pounds.

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Baker’s Bay with Bae

I have finally got around to writing and uploading my pictures from the Bahamas!

Originally, Slater and I had planned a trip around March, and it was just our luck there was a hurricane that shut down all island transportation. Luckily, we rescheduled and got our butt’s in the sand eventually.

Baker’s Bay is a paradise in the Abacos, only 45 minutes by flight.  Once we landed, Slater and I were immediately greeted by a smiling staff member waiting with a car to bring us to the dock where we’d get on a boat to the island.

Once we arrived at the marina, we were met with Baker’s Bay punch and we were officially in vacation mode! The first thing we did upon arrival was change into our bathing suits, grab some conch fritters and jump right into the perfectly crystal clear water!

The days seemed to morph into one another but our routine is always the same when we go. Wake up to the ocean, grab a quick breakfast, take a walk around the island, spend the rest of the morning at the beach club, eat lunch and snorkel by the house or take a swim in the pool until nap time.

While my golf career did not last long (6 holes throughout my life), occasionally I can be swayed to going barefoot to the driving range and having a drink (this not only welcome, but encouraged)! My favorite part of the island, surprising to almost no one, is the Sip Sip a golf resting stop to many, candy shop to me. After a day in the sun, sometimes you just need an old fashion glass bottle Cola and a handful of gummies.

There is no place more beautiful or perfect to go for a long relaxing weekend. From the staff to the guests, there are only smiles.

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Call Me Smart, Not Pretty

This morning I woke up feeling like I had the sex appeal of an old beaten mini van with years of waffles ground in, the seats covered dirt and the central locking system permanently broken. Today, I feel and look as attractive as the clunker making its way into the parking lot that you want nothing to do with.

My skin is breaking out, I’m on my way to catch a 6 a.m. flight out of Montreal after 16 days away and 7 flights in that time, I am surrounded by French women with perfectly winged eye liner and I have just eaten a chocolate bar for breakfast. Oh, and my boyfriend just let me know my hair is frizzy!

I have been so down on myself and feeling in such competition with the Instagram ladies of the internet, if I wasn’t so exhausted I would be in a ball crying at my outward appearance.

Today, I don’t feel pretty. I feel well traveled, proud of my latest writing and kind because I offered my outlet to a stranger, but pretty is not on my list. Maybe today is a breakthrough, I don’t owe this airport, or anyone for that matter my prettiness.

I am mad that society expects physical beauty out of me. This is a complicated grievance. I am obsessed with Man Repeller and Into The Gloss, I love fashion and beauty blogs but getting good grades makes me feel way more attractive than any outfit ever could.

Beauty is a cherry on top, that sometimes, I have time for. I’m no stranger to a flat iron or the black hole of Sephora where I have justified $50 primer, so I can justify $50 foundation. I have also justified $220 AG jeans because who are you really if the pockets of your jeans don’t let the world know. My drawers are full of makeup and palettes and my Pinterest is dedicated to the perfect daytime makeup routine, so I do have a background in vanity.

“Pretty” is all add-ons in my opinion. A face full of makeup and some really well ripped jeans means nothing in my world if you can’t back it with some good humor, a kind soul and a hardworking brain.

Society prioritizes physical appearance so highly for women. They tell us we should become physically ill and wear waist trainers and we should contour our faces until we are all rectangular prisms. These are the ways to act like ladies in today’s world.

What if in some magical land, I don’t want to be remembered for being pretty? Will my tombstone read, “Emily Liber, above average beauty to some, below average beauty to others, never learned to contour”?

The answer is no. So while I have this short time on Earth, I want to make sure I am remembered for being mindful, smart and generous a thousand times over than just being pretty.

Beauty is weird. You can lose the weight society tells you to, you can look like a goddess floating on air in the disgusting humidity and somehow, these are never enough to make you whole.

I’m trying to be whole and for me, pretty is pretty low on the list of how to get there.

It works itself out when it doesn’t work out

My biggest fear used to be being left behind and dying alone. My second week of college, I met a boy, nope actually, he was a man. He was older, successful and didn’t care about my weight. He challenged me and was the first guy I ever met that made me feel beautiful.

At 18, it was a whirlwind to find a guy who could pay for things, had a car and didn’t drink Natty Lite. I thought a relationship at that time was someone who would take me on real dates and answer my texts before 2 a.m. Maybe my sights were set a little low, but what do you know about life or love when you’ve only dated one other person and your mom drove you on dates?

My new relationship quickly lost its luster and became a game of how much less important was my life was because I was a few years behind. If I was stressed about school, his work was more stressful. If I was homesick, he considered that childish.

Sometimes he would do this disappearing act for a few days at a time making me miserable and extremely confused. If he didn’t feel like answering my texts, he didn’t. If he decided to flake, he flaked. For months I chased him, doing everything I could for him to love me (or even like me, honestly) and it never worked.

Looking back now, I see what an idiot we both were. I was a freshman with a lot of opportunities I did not make use of, and he was a 28 year old guy toying around and kept me just far enough away from his real life.

For some reason, I still stuck around as he had me on the backburner. Every time we would hit a high, we would hit an even lower low. At some point, the line was drawn in the sand. It was done and I was alone. My heart was broken and I never thought I’d see the light or date ever again.

Little did I know my first week of my freshman year would open up one of the life’s greatest secrets; sometimes it’s better when it doesn’t work out. At that time, it was an important relationship that helped me see what I valued in a partner and how much of myself I could really give.

After we broke up, Italy seemed like the perfect place to find myself and was my first step of independence. I was in new countries every week for three months and for the first time, I really started to like my life. I was meeting new people, getting into new situations and my heart seemed to pick up its pieces and become whole again.

By the time I went back to school, the memories of our crappy relationship became another chapter in story much larger than our breakup.

I was talking about this with a friend of mine (who lived through every screenshot and crying facetime), and her response was, “the older guys were such a catalyst for life lessons but also a lot of bullshit”. Part of me growing up was dating someone closer to my brother’s age than mine, pissing my parents off and creeping out most of my friends.

That time of my life seems so foreign now, I thought I knew the world and was ready to take on an adult relationship when I was still just a kid, barely out of high school. Now that I am actually in an adult relationship, it takes two people, a lot of work, brutal honesty about who you are and never compromising your values to fit into someone else’s life.

Growing up comes from a lot of going down the wrong path and getting thrown off your horse. It took a bad guy to realize what I wanted from a good guy. It took a lot of the wrong things in a relationship to see what the right things in a relationship are.

I laugh at how dramatic it all seemed. I never thought I’d meet someone better, but literally anyone would have been better. Now, that part of my life is so far behind me and all the things that didn’t work out, have worked out for the better.