“There’s a Japanese word, kaizen, which means making a big change by making one small change every day, doing one little thing differently.”

Since 2006, I made small changes every single day that ended up being one huge change in the end. I lost 100 pounds. I ran Hood to Coast. I biked 55 miles. I swim 1.5 miles in 50 minutes. Who would have thought 5 years ago that I would be 100+ pounds lighter and buying a bikini? It seems like a trivial thing to even care about, right?

But I’ve never owned one. Not even as a teenager that wasn’t overweight. It just wasn’t me, or something I ever thought I wanted. I was always shy, self-conscious about my body. I thought I was “Fat” even when I wasn’t–just a little chubby “baby fat.” It wasn’t until I did get fat, and then lose the weight, that I became more comfortable with my body.

Now at 144 pounds I’m fit and proud of my accomplishments. I’m still self-conscious about my body parts though. I am working hard to change that. After years of feeling every flaw, it’s a hard habit to break.Β  I do get stuck in that “Fat Talk” Loop in my head on occasion.

Which is funny because I am okay with my body (like I said yesterday) EXCEPT for this one part: my stomach. My arms and legs are super muscular, I’m toned in every part of my body but this one area. And unfortunately, for someone who lost a significant amount, it’s probably only remedied by plastic surgery (not an option right now).

Over the weekend I bought a bikini. It’s the first one I’ve ever owned. I have no tropical vacations planned in my future and I honestly don’t know that I will EVER wear it in public, but I bought it anyways.

I figured at the very least, I could wear it in our backyard this summer when we’re working in our garden. Our backyard is very private and I wouldn’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable or self-conscious about my body. I can just enjoy that my hard work has paid off and I’m sure Michael will like the bikini, too. πŸ™‚

But now I have one. I felt empowered when I wore it last weekend. Sure I was self-conscious of my stomach but at the same time I felt confident and happy that I could finally own something like this.

QUESTION: What’s one small thing you can do today to make a change?


I hadn’t planned on eating out two nights in a row but it sort of happened that way. My cousin Anna had some big news to share with me so I made the exception.


We met at one of my favorite Portland Restaurants: The Sapphire Lounge on SE Hawthorne. It was originally a “turn of the century seedy hotel in Portland Oregon inhabited by sailors, travelers and ladies of the night.” It’s a dark, romantic, eclectic restaurant now with amazing food and even yummier martinis. An old friend joined us as well.

Anna and I arrived just before Happy Hour ended so we ordered a few things right away to get the discount.

I got a glass of the house red and the Sapphire Salad: Citrus vinaigrette, candied walnuts and shredded Parmesan.

(Yum! Candy on a salad? Yes please!) For dinner I got my FAVORITE dish! Butternut Squash Enchiladas: baked in a jalapeΓ±o Emmentaler sauce that’s both sweet and spicy.

I’d intended on eating half the entree and taking the rest for lunch but it was smaller than I remembered (and Anna had a few bites too) so I ate all of it.

I don’t think there’s actually tortillas in the dish. It’s just oozing with cheesy,Β  spicy goodness and a crispy topping. I love this dish. And I’ve never had one that compares to it (although I’d love to try and make this!).

It was a good night and it was nice to go out with the girls. It felt just like old times.

QUESTION: Have you ever reached a goal and rewarded yourself with something you’d never had before? Like a bikini?