Is your glass half full or half empty?

Are you a glass half full or a glass half empty kind of person? A person who focuses on the positive or focuses on the negative?

In my full-time job, I focus heavily on employee engagement. And at times, I have to deliver news to the staff that I may not agree with or may not be highly positive. Over time I’ve come to realize it’s not the message that’s negative, it’s the outlook on it that will change how you feel.

I recently ended things pretty final with a man I’ve been dating on and off for about 2 years. My feelings for him are very strong, and same on his end (or so they were, unsure now). But, our glasses were very different.

I’m a cup half full kind of girl. And if your cup is half empty, I’ll do everything in my power to pour into you and fill you up. Literally. But if your cup has a hole, a roadblock that will allow you to be motivated in any way, then there is no way we’ll ever get to the same levels.

Ok, stick with me here. I’ve got a point. 

Since 2016, I’ve been on a journey of self-development and growth. And although I’ve taken some steps back at times, I feel as though I’ve changed a lot in the last two years.

I am constantly looking for new ways to motivate myself and to learn. I listen to podcasts on my way to/from work. I read those girl power, self-development books. I do my best to eat healthy and get my body moving. When I walk the dog (which I do daily), I typically don’t bring my phone.

It’s uncomfortable, it’s hard work, and it takes focus. But, I know that if I don’t push myself out of my comfort zone then nothing will change.

No one will ever love you as much as you love yourself. You can’t give your love to someone else and show them appreciation unless you can do that for yourself first.

So with that, I’m using the next 8 weeks to focus on a mentality shift in myself. On Wednesday I’ll be sharing more about what that means in the literal sense, in case anyone wants to join me on the journey, but also to hold myself accountable.

Until then, a word to the wise.

  • Take a look at your glass – whether you’re a wine glass, a mason jar, or a vase. Where is your water level? Ask yourself if it could be higher. 
  • Take a look at whose glass you’re helping to fill when they are need of a top off. Do they do the same for you? And if not, should you still be focusing on their glass?
  • What’s draining your glass? How could you focus on plugging that hole that’s slowly stealing your water (or wine)? 

Remember, self-care is important. 


Release the Negativity

Forgiveness is freaking hard. Although it sometimes feels easier to dwell on who has done you wrong, or the negative things that have happened in your life, the result can cause much more wrong than right.

It’s been close to three years since I lost my Dad from cancer (in September) and ended a long-term relationship (in July) – both of which I feel like I have not completely dealt with.

And frankly, the mind works in mysterious ways. I’ve been having nightmares lately. Every night. In fact, a few times I’ve woken myself up crying because of them. And I truly believe that my subconscious mind trying to release toxic emotions that have been sitting there stale for too long.

In order to overcome the negative, you have to focus on the positive. So, how can you do that?

Learn & Grow
Whether it’s a new book or a Podcast, continuing to learn about yourself and life is such a gift. I have a number of books on my Kindle and following a number of Podcasts that teach me something every time I turn to them.

If you’re curious where to start, Brene Brown is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve recently started to love Oprah’s podcast “Super Soul Conversations” and Brooke Castillo’s “The Life Coach School Podcast.”

Clean Up
Yes, it’s important that your space be clear of chaos so that you can have a clear mind. Clear out your closet, storage unit, kitchen cabinets, toiletry drawer, etc. Get rid of anything that you haven’t touched in the last 60 days and anything that has dust on it because it hasn’t moved since you put there in the first place.

But, the cleaning doesn’t have to stop there. Go to your Facebook, Instagram, and cell phone. Clear out photos that don’t serve you any longer, accounts you follow that you haven’t seen in your feed or contacts that are just taking up valuable memory space. If the account is not bringing anything valuable to your life, it’s taking up valuable space for something better. 

You only get one life. Some people go to sleep at night and don’t wake up again the next morning. But you did, otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. Remember how special life is and how lucky you are to get the chance to have it.

Take yourself for a pedicure. Eat something that helps your belly dance. Press play on that work out that makes you feel alive. Turn your favorite song up on the radio and dance it out. Whatever it is, enjoy yourself.

Man. That’s hard. I listened to a Podcast the other day – “Elizabeth Gilbert: The Whole Human Experience” on Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations that really changed how I feel about this.

In short, her comment was that when serving as a caregiver, you can’t give your all without someone caring for you as well. The animosity that I have in my heart is towards the one who I feel left me when I needed someone the most. But rather than focusing on the negative, I’m forgiving the fact that he was not designed for that type of task and instead focusing on those in my life who stepped up to the plate when he dropped out of the game.

You never have to lower your expectations and what you want out of life and a relationship because your current situation is not serving you in that way. Instead, forgive and focus on something greater.


Summer Time Life Update

I don’t recall if I did one of these posts with my re-vamped blog, but they were one of my favorites in the past. I’ve needed to write on this blog for a while now, but every time I go to hit the keys something “more important” comes along and my “need” becomes a “like to.”

In an effort to see if anyone still reads things I share, I thought I’d give you guys a quick update on life lately.

Binging my Bravo faves (Summer House, Vanderpump Rules, etc) but not really hooked on much TV. I tried out the series on HBO about Chernobyl but was bored.

A romance novel. No joke. It’s the second by this particular author. It’s called “Tied” by Carian Cole and I literally can not put it down.

I’m obsessed with Christian Rock music lately. It’s how we start out Sundays out at church and I find it so relaxing when I’m working away in my office or driving home after a busy day. It’s not all gospel-like, and Jesus-obsessed but rather really relaxing music that you may even have heard on your “regular” stations.

Memories! It’s the summer season and I’m all about being at the beach every Sunday. In addition, I’m really enjoying this season of being single and enjoying my life while still focusing heavily on myself. Granted, I’d love to find someone I could build something with, but I know it’ll all happen when it’s supposed to and for now I’m really just enjoying life.

Sunburnt! As soon as the temps hit a steady 75+ I need to be outside as much as possible. I laid out this weekend at the beach and at home and I can definitely tell those tan lines will be prominent.

Some changes this month in my health and fitness. I have a blog post coming up soon to share why I’ve been so unsuccessful with Whole30 after successfully completing it last January, but it’s no excuse for me to eat like crap and not get my body moving. I’ve been starting off slow, but I’ll be sharing soon what my journey looks like and hopefully encouraging some of you to do some sort of fitness challenge with me in July.

The fact that on Sunday morning, when my 6:30 a.m. alarm went off, Elphie (the dog) laid down right next to me and wouldn’t get comfortable until I wrapped my arm around her to snuggle. As she gets older (she’s 5 now), she’s definitely slowing down a bit when it comes to activity but at the same time, her affection is growing strong.

Do you guys enjoy these type of posts? If not, what are you looking for me to share on soon? 


Valentine's Day Gift Guide

It’s been quite some time since I’ve had to purchase a Valentine’s Day gift. Thirteen years to be exact! I’ve either been single for Valentine’s Day, OR dated someone who didn’t really recognize the day (in other words, I cooked).

Although this year I’m being treated to dinner (can’t wait to share more about this blessing in my life – swoon!), I wanted to put together a little gift guide. Whether you’re adding to your wish list, shopping for him, or treating yourself these sweet treats won’t disappoint.

  • First and foremost, I LOVE the REDEFINE regimen and Lash Boost from Rodan + Fields. The winter months can be tough on skin, and this combo provides the perfect amount of hydration while battling fine lines and wrinkles. Adding the Lash Boost will also give your gal the lashes she covets without having to pay for those pesty fakes!
  • This Samsung NX3300 camera is great for taking high-quality pictures and video. We use our phone for quick snaps, but for really great photos you can blow up and hang on the walls, it's best to get a high-quality camera
  • I've really taken to listening to podcasts while walking the dog every night. Having a great pair of wireless headphones would be a great addition to that, or even to a workout. I've heard great things about these Jaybird headphones (which means your lady probably has too!)
  • I love me a good designer bag, but have really taken to lower-priced handbags recently. Women tend to carry a lot - food, grooming products, extra shoes, etc - so a large tote is key

  • How great would it be to have a cup of coffee on the road that stays hot? These YETI mugs are great because they are shaped like a traditional coffee mug but have a lid (to prevent spills) and will make sure that roast stays roasty
  • The new beau LOVES his "house shoes" and Ugg slippers can't compare to any other brand I've worn. I love how warm they keep your feet, but there is also a gripper on the bottom so you don't slide around on the hard floor
  • Is there anything sexier than a man in a pair of Ray-Ban Aviators? Ok, fine... maybe if he's also flexing his biceps and in dress pants
  • Keep that man of yours hydrated with the Rodan + Fields Active Hydration Body Replenish. You'll trick him into being consistent with a skincare routine and he won't feel too girly because of the great packaging - it's a win-win!

  • I've heard AMAZING things about the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer and let me tell you, they were right. I plan to do a full review of this thing soon, but a sneak peek: Dries my mop of a head in 15 mins flat, gives great volume and movement, and is ONE tool!
  • I paint my nails all the time, but since using the Essie Gel Couture line I've noticed I get much more wear out of my manicure. And, the top coat not only sets the polish but helps it dry quick too
  • Feel like you have no time to take care of your skin? The Rodan + Fields Active Hydration Serum is probably the only product you'll need. It keeps your face hydrated and looking fresh and takes .3 seconds to apply
  • I am a huge fan of dainty jewelry, and although I have an entire jewelry armoire of costume jewelry I tend to reach for my simple silver pieces on the daily. I love this cute knot cuff and can see myself wearing it to work or to dress up for date night


Oh hello 2019

Happy New Year!

I have been off from work since December 21. It’s been such a blessing to be able to sleep until my body is ready to wake up, relax in sweatpants and walk the dog during the day, and just truly relish in being unplugged and relaxed.

I had so many intentions for my time off, most of which have not been done. Despite my lax nature over the last few days, I’ve used the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019 (as in yesterday and today) in full-blown planning and productive mode.

If you’ve been following along with this blog over it’s lifetime (pre-relaunch and as of late), you’ll know that 2016 was my most challenging year yet.  Further, 2017 was a bit of a fog as I lifted myself out of a deep depression and some crazy self-destruction.

I had every intention of 2018 being my best year. I even termed it “The Butterfly Year.” I was pretty much out of my fog and really started the year off well with doing the Whole30 and completely detoxing my life. But alas, the year did not turn out as I had expected.

Don’t get me wrong. The entire year was not a wash. I had a lot of highs, some pretty bad lows, and overall learned so much about myself and where my life is going.

So, as I embark on a new year, I’m not naming my year. I’m not choosing one word to set the stage for the next 12 months. And I’m not making any resolutions.

Instead, I’m stopping with the excuses. I’m going to be putting in the hard work to reach my goals and get myself healthy (emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially).

I’ve got some pretty exciting things on the horizon for 2019, which I’ll begin sharing in due time here.

I hope you all celebrated the new year how you wanted to, with who you wanted to, and did so safely.

In the meantime, there is a group of us starting another round of Whole30 tomorrow, and I am SO ready to see what this next round brings to me.

What are you most looking forward to in the new year? 


Breast Reduction Surgery: Your Questions Answered

If you’re new here, I had my breast reduction on November 23. I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately so I figured I’d just throw them all together and write a quick post in case YOU were wondering the same thing but nervous to ask.

You said your GYN wasn’t thrilled you were having the surgery. Any reason why?
She was not very happy that I wanted to get it done. She’s a close friend of my best friend’s family so she and I have a different relationship than most patient/doctor duos. She’s very opinionated, hilarious, and has a very strong personality. I was already emotional going into the appointment to talk to her about it, so that didn’t help the conversation go well.

Her concern was that I am still rather young, unmarried, and with no children. The procedure typically eliminates your ability to breast feed (although some women have been successful post-surgery). I remember her saying something along the lines of “God gave you such a beautiful gift, why would you want to take it away? He made you this way for a reason.”

I remember listening to her in the exam room, tears rolling down my face, and wincing at the pain in my back as I sat up on the table. She didn’t sway my decision, just altered the route. I still love her, and am still glad I went through with it.

How long is the recovery process (ie, how long out of work and till you can exercise again?)?
I’m not allowed to drive for one week post-surgery. I work at a hospital, so we have what is called EIB (Extended Illness Bank). It’s time that is accrued separate from vacation time so that I can use it if I have a surgery, an illness, or even a baby. So, I’ve been using that time this week.

Luckily, I work in a “desk job” so if driving this weekend is still not great, I have the flexibility to work remotely if I need to. However, I’m REALLY looking forward to getting back into the office and into a routine.

As far as working out, I thought I was going to want to start lifting weights and doing sit-ups immediately – match the rest of my body to the smaller boobs. I am actually terrified right now of even helping me dog up on the couch, so I can’t picture working out or leaning too hard on my arms.

After 2-3 weeks I should be cleared to walk with the dog (someone else will be holding the leash) and doing things like yoga. But, my research has found that I won’t be able to lift more than 5 pounds for around 2 months. So, I may look into doing some Barre3 online workouts for the next few weeks.

Have you pooped yet?
OH my god. If you’re getting ready to have this procedure done, stock up on all the Colace and MiraLAX you can. I’m not even kidding. Yes, after a few days things are finally getting back to normal.

What size were you? What size did you go to?
I was a 36H, but pushing out of it. I refused to buy larger bras since I was confident a reduction was in my future.

I’m pretty swollen right now but my surgeon said I’ll end up being between a 36C and 36D. Which I’m happy about. I requested a C and he said a D would look better on my frame.

Any post-surgery symptoms/needs you weren’t expecting?
The bathroom thing I was expecting but I was NOT expecting it to be as bad as it was.

My right thigh is also numb on the outside. Which is so weird. The surgeon said it may be because of the weighted brace they had on me during surgery. I think it also may be the way I sit/lay down. During the day it’s not a huge deal but at night when I’m trying to sleep it’s really uncomfortable.

Sleeping is also really challenging. I’m a belly sleeper, so having to sleep on my back and slightly elevated has been painful. Not literally, but literally annoying. I’m writing this less than one-week post-surgery and I was able to lay slightly to my left side, which has helped with the numbness in my right leg. But, it’s still not completely comfortable.

How much weight did you lose from the surgery?
I didn’t to this for weight loss. I did this because of the pain in my neck and my back, but I knew that it would help in my weight loss journey, since exercising was nearly impossible with torpedoes hanging off my front.

From 11/23 (morning of surgery) to 11/27 I lost 7.6 lbs. I think about 4 lbs is boob, and the rest of water weight. I’m on strict instructions to drink A LOT of water.

Did your insurance cover it? And if so, how did you get it approved?
This was quite a process. I have an OMNIA plan with Horizon BCBS of NJ, but also work for a large hospital system. So, I encourage you to do research with your insurance provider.

Last summer I reached out to Horizon customer service to inquire on what I needed to get the procedure approved. I was told that I needed it to be proven medically necessary. I would need 6 months of preventative treatment and letters from two medical professionals, one of which specializes in the spine, saying it is medically necessary as well as the information from the plastic surgeon (measurements, details on surgery, photos, etc).

From there I started going to the chiropractor. He then referred me to a plastic surgeon. And then I made an appointment with an orthopedist to make sure my spine was ok.  He prescribed physical therapy, so I started on that. We submitted everything to the insurance company and it was denied.

I went back to the orthopedist to see if any of my preventive measures (chiro and PT) were helping. Unsurprisingly, they were not. So, he wrote another letter to the insurance company. The resubmission was approved within 2 weeks and the plastic surgeon and called and got me on the schedule.

Some insurance companies require more documentation, some require less. Others base it off how much will be taken. I cannot express enough how important it is to call your insurance company and ask the questions. All of the them.

For example, my procedure was originally scheduled on October 23 at a location closer to my home. I called to find out if it was part of my plan and was told it was, but not at the highest coverage. So, I’d end up paying close to $7,000 out of pocket. Because I called to check, I saved myself A LOT of money. 

Any tips for someone preparing to get the procedure?
Aside from the obvious of writing down your questions for your surgeon, joining an online support group, and doing your research? Do as many sit-ups and squats as you can every day until your surgery. I had no idea how much I was going to rely on my stomach muscles and leg muscles since I couldn’t use my chest.

If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.


Breast Reduction Surgery: Surgery Day

Xanax is the only reason I got a good night’s sleep. I was nervous as heck. And even wrote out instructions for my aunt to paint my nails, in case I didn’t make it through surgery.

I woke up at 4:30 a.m. Took a shower, blow dried my hair, and then stared at myself in the mirror for a little bit. This was the last time I’d see my chest like this so I wanted to soak it all in.

I was heading into breast reduction surgery.

We hit the road at 5:45 a.m. and arrived by 6:15 a.m. 15 minutes earlier than expected, in true Meg fashion.

It was like an out of body experience. I was going through the motions, in complete disbelief that I was actually doing this.

The staff at the Ambulatory Surgical Center where I had my procedure done was INCREDIBLE. They were so understanding of my nerves and showed so much compassion.

I had a little moment with my nurse when she asked about the tattoo on my wrist – “I love you” in my Dad’s writing. I finally let the water works go and let those tears flow.

Man, that felt better.

I have no recollection of time from the moment I got there until I left from the procedure. But, I felt like it was only a few minutes before my doctor came in to do the drawings.

I was so impressed at how precise he was. He was like a master finishing his canvas. He measured EVERYTHING. Everything was symmetrical. It was so impressive. I’m grateful at how intense he did everything, because... ya know. They are my boobs.

The first thing I said when he was done was, “THAT is where my nipple is going to be?! All the way up there!?” He just laughed. So did my mother when I recreated the moment and showed her what the drawings looked like.

The anesthesiologist came to ask me some questions (I can’t remember if it was before or after the drawings) and I remember him asking specifically about heartburn. I told him that I only get heartburn if I have too much wine.

Next thing I knew, I was walking (yes, walking) into the operating room. There was 6 or 7 people in there already. They told me to lie on the table and put my arms out on the pads and I got really emotional. The nurse who walked me in said, “Don’t worry, we’re just getting things prepped before you go to sleep.”

Then my anesthesiologist spoke to my heart. He said, “Ok Meg. I’m going to give you the biggest glass of wine you’ve ever had. And this one will not give you heartburn.”

Sweet Jesus. He did me good.

I don’t remember much after that. The conversations afterwards are kind of fuzzy but according to my mom I asked everyone how they looked.

The ride home is a blur. I woke up 2-3 times to see where on the highway I was. And then slept for a good portion of the day.

I’m writing this Day 3 post-op and feeling slight discomfort and pain. Moving is not very easy. And I am peeing like crazy because of how much water I’m drinking.

I’ll do another post later in the week, but so many of you were asking about surgery day so I wanted to share a quick update.

I will tell you that this was 100% the best decision I could’ve made. I already feel so much relief in my neck from the amount of weight that has been removed. It’s amazing. And now looking at pictures from before, I’m actually grossed out at how big my chest was.

I can’t thank you all enough for your kind words, prayers, and comments on my posts leading up to this surgery. I’m so grateful I decided to share my story because it’s helped so many of you.