Say it with me, "I love my body. I am beautifully and uniquely made."
I know that I'm not alone in the struggle with my body and body image. I was a chubby kid. And, I had a hard time loving the way that I looked growing up. One thing that I have learned is that there is a healthy way to take control of yourself, and an unhealthy way.
I don't claim to know everything, but in the past year I've learned how to take control of my body and love it. Learn to love yourself, as you are. Self care is the first step to loving yourself. If you don't take care of yourself.. who will?
Here are some of the things that I have done in the past year that have made a world of a difference.
Oh... So you don't have a boyfriend?
My relationship with the concept of "having a man," has changed immensely since being in college. It's still changing every day.
But, growing up I felt a need for validation from guys to actually feel pretty, to actually feel desirable. (Super problematic, I know.) This is something that continued until I was about a sophomore in college. As a sophomore, I was in my first real "situationship," that was not great for me at all.
In this relationship, I felt like I had this attention and I had to do whatever I could to keep it, because who else would give it to me?
However after a year, countless tears and enough friends telling me you deserve more for yourself--I realized that I need to give myself that love and attention.
I gave myself that love and attention.
So this past year I intensely loved myself. Granted I had my slip ups along the way... DMs that should've gone unsent and unanswered, standards that should have been a little higher and tears that should've gone uncried.
It took accountability partners.
But, I learned from each of these situations and I've actually tried to apply this learning to turn it into growth.
I don't need a man.
While I've always "known" this, I now believe it. I have been successful, happy and thriving without a "man." Honestly, life has been better when I have focused my energy back into myself. I'm at the point where I see people pining over someone to tell them to focus that energy back into themselves.
In this past year, I've also learned how bold I am. I have no issue "shooting a shot." If I make it? cool. If I don't? cool. Why?
I'm not a professional basketball player, my shooting average has no weight in my life. Sure, your ego might be bruised for a second-- but, having someone or not does not make you any prettier, any smarter or any better.
It solely means that in this moment someone just enjoys your presence and company and wants to be around you a little more. Having a boo doesn't change you.
Now that I have said all of this, y'all have permission to get me in formation if I start acting up.
July 23 was lit, lit, lit this year. Not because it was the launch of "Oh, Kayla" or because it was my twenty-first birthday.
Those things were pretty great but, the cherry on top of July 23, 2017 was... the premiere of the second of Issa Rae's insecure on HBO.
I will save you the paragraphs and pages of plot details and character analyzation that I could get inot with this show. You can find a bomb synopsis of the first season of Insecure by Janice Williams of Newsweek here, but get to HBO and watch it now.
Issa Rae has been in my life since I was 15 via "The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl" (shoutout to Tumblr for putting me on). It was the first time that I felt "seen" in any form of media. This 24-year-old got me.
Here was a woman who was still figuring it out, was over everyone at work, made "eh" decisions when it came to love-- and rapped to herself in a mirror. Automatically a fan-- for life.
Insecure captured so much of MABG, but it was grown. And last year when it premiered, I felt a lot more "grown" than I had at 15.
Seeing these successful, "carefree," real millennial black women on television, it was like seeing Girlfriends for the first time (which deserves its own post... heck a whole blog dedicated to it.)
A moment of silence for the gone, but not forgotten Girlfriends.
For 30 minutes every Sunday, I feel like I am looking into the not so distant future-- that wasn't overly romanticized. Issa was stuck in a job that she once had a lot more passion for, and a boyfriend who had become one with the couch for the past four years. Molly, a powerhouse lawyer, is struggling with her own wellness and can't quite stop self-sabotaging her love life.
I felt each bit of awkwardness. I was managing my own anxiety (still am), trying to balance leadership and schoolwork and navigate my life after ending a not-so-great relationship.
The music-- I got so hype hearing my favorite tracks and discovering new ones (C'mon Jazmine Sullivan in the credits of the season 2 premiere??!?! WHEW, also here's the amazing Season 1 playlist; the scenery-- those palm trees, my goodness, the homage to black living in L.A; the FASHION -- yes, we all immediately looked up the N*ggas pullover, and then clutched our college bank accounts when we saw the price tag and yes, I did tweet at the costume designer to see where they got Issa's jeans. Everything felt curated for me. In reality, it was. Black writers, black directors, black stylists, black actors--- all black everything. I was seeing what I actually want, and not what people think I want to see.
It's amazing to see how many people love and identify with the same thing I do.
Insecuritea, the official podcast for Insecure, blends the cackles and hilarity of The Read podcast's Crissle and Fran from Hey Fran Hey's own brand of sunshine. Listening to them makes me feel the exact way I feel when I watch in a room of friends.
During the show, the #InsecureHBO hashtag is absolutely everything and super quick with the memes and gifs. #LawrenceHive is... I have no comment.
I'm so excited for the amazing content to keep popping up like the fashion curation on IG @theinsecurialist.
CONGRATULATIONS to Issa Rae and the Insecure team. Thanks for telling a truth that is rarely shown on the screen.
Thank you for helping me shed my insecurities for 30 minutes every Sunday.
Insecure on HBO 9:30CT/10:30ET.
Comment your favorite things about Insecure! Are you #TeamLawrence or #TeamIssa? #TeamMollyDoYouHaveErrands? #TeamThugYoda
YOU! Yes YOU!
Thank you so much for making this first week such a success. I've had over 300 unique visitors and over 800 page visits.
It may not sound like much, but to know that people are actually reading these thoughts and being inspired and telling others... that has done so much for me.
I did not expect such an outpouring of love, each and every word has touched my heart.
I am so grateful for all of the support.
Thank you, thank you.
- Kayla W.
P.S. Drop a comment below of some things that you'd love to see on "Oh, Kayla"
Last week, I came across a scripture that took my breath after I read it. I immediately stopped and said "Wow."
I knew this is how I needed to live my life.
"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."
I want to keep building myself. I don't want to self-sabotage. I want to keep inspiring myself. I don't want to limit myself. I don't want to tea myself-- my house down.
We are our own worst enemies. We know where the cracks are in our foundations. We know where the drafts pour in. We know how to make the stairs creak. We know how to hurt ourselves.
We are our own best protectors. We know the best spot to sit and read. We know the best time and window to stand by for that perfect selfie lighting. We know the perfect blanket to pillow ratio to make sure that we're as comfortable as possible. We know how to embrace and love ourselves.
We just have to feel worthy of this love that we deserve to give ourselves, because He gives us His love unconditionally.
This verse reminds me that I am worthy to be built. I am worthy of my own love.
Whatever gender you are, build your house--never tear yourself down.
Hi, my name is Kayla and I love astrology-- Queen B even made a whole song about The Zodiac.
Yes, yes I have been captivated by astrology since I was eight via the website zodiacgirlz.com.
Zodiac Girlz they were mad inclusive (in the most 2000s way possible) and all about girl power (surprise, surprise from me). (Also, just found out that there were Zodiac Girlz dolls... with outfits designed by JASON WU.)
But, the website is now defunct. R.I.P Zodiac Girlz, pour one out for them.
LEO is a BADDIE-- but, of course because all Leos are baddies. This is all in good fun, but I really do believe that there is some correlation between when you were born and your personality.
Do I read horoscopes every day and base my life decisions around them? No.
Do I look up sign compatibility between me (a Leo/ Cancer-Leo cusp) and possible partners? No Comment.
But, all of this is in fun. I think that the memes are hilarious and I send them to all of my friends. Yes, I think it's great to laugh at Geminis (but, it's okay I have a soft spot for y'all. )
Enjoy my quick and yes, v biased rundown of the signs.
So what's your sign? Leave a comment down below. ;-)
Aries (March 21-April 19) Some people say you have an "anger issue," I say you're passionate... and always ready to defend (read as argue) your point. Ride or Dies. The fiery-est of the fire signs.
Taurus (April 20-May 20) The bull, you know? The saying actually goes as stubborn as a Taurus. You have strong convictions, and sweetie that's okay. Y'all also like really nice stuff which is good, because I like nice things too.
Gemini May 21-June 20) FAKE! NEXT. Just kidding... sort of. Geminis have a reputation for being flaky. I'll just call you "free spirited." But seriously, if you want to have a good time call a Gemini, they may flake but... give them a call.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) Sweet, sweet Cancers... too pure for this world. Everyone should be in touch with their emotions like you, and it's okay to go have a good cry every now and then.
Leo (July 23-August 22) You know some say perfection doesn't exist. It doesn't, but Leos come so so close. We like for things to be the best they can be. And others find it to be... bossy? For some reason? Idk.
Virgo (August 23-September 22) Y'all truly value self and need to teach the rest of us about self-care. Virgos are the originators of "reclaiming my time." Also did I mention.... BEYONCÉ? BEYONCÉ? BEYONCÉ? Yes, she's a Virgo.
Libra (September 23-October 22) Balanced. Y'all like for things to make sense. If they read you for filth... they're completely right 10/9, so get yourself together and in formation.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Literally every meme you see about being fine and everyone in your circle being at the same level of fineness-- that's a scorpio. Think of the fiercest woman you know, she's probably a Scorpio.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) If you want the truth... ask a Sagittarius. I can't even make a joke about Sagittariuses, y'all just keep it real all the time. The best listeners, just remember to ask them how they're doing.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Capricorns, you're about your business. If someone crosses you or your "business," it's just not good. So I'm going to stay as far away from your lane as possible. The real bosses.
Aquarius (January 20 to February 18) Y'all are here for a good time not a long time. So what your jokes make people cry from time to time? It's okay because... you laughed. Live in your truth.
Pisces (February 19 to March 20) Y'all know how to do "you." If that's reading an exhaustive list of every Disney easter egg and sharing it with friends, or staying up until 4 A.M. watching "Making a Murder." Honestly, you're probably doing both. So RaNdOm@!
My God. Rumi and Sir Carter are here on this planet, and were introduced to the world in the most glamorous fashion.
Beyoncé said it best, "At 14 they asked me what I want to be, I said 'Baby 21, so I get me a drink.'"
Yes, turning 21 is probably the biggest birthday that you will actually want to celebrate. But there are still do's and don'ts for celebrating your 21st year of life.
*I am in no way endorsing underage drinking... "Teen drinking is very bad..." -J-Kwon*
For my inaugural postings, I figured that some of you might want to know who I am.
Originally, this was going to be a post about my trip to Wilmington, but as I began to write I realized.... I don't really care about writing this down, so I know that you don't want to read something that I didn't care about writing. So here's a piece of me and I can't wait to share more.
I LOVE ALMOND MYLK.
Since November 2016, I've decided to be dairy-free. (Yes, no cheese no ice cream-- how can I live with myself?!) It honestly wasn't too hard to cut out milk because I drank almond milk exclusively. Cheese was awful because who doesn't love pizza (I'm a former pizza fiend) and queso when going out with friends for Mexican. And eh, never really grew up eating ice cream.
Ditching dairy has made my skin POP, helped tone down my allergies and has helped sustain weight loss. You can even make your own mylks to drink and even mylkshakes.
Check out the recipe below to make your own almond mylk (recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker), you can even make your own mylkshake by giving my recipe a try!
Share any dairy-free tips and tricks in the comments below!