Friday, April 21, 2017

The Struggle.


I have had these thoughts running through my head so many times and have been trying to find the words to type it out so it makes sense to those who may read this. Maybe only those who have been through an eating disorder will understand or maybe not. I’m not really sure. I find myself struggling and thought I would take a moment to be vulnerable. Show everyone I am human. I am not perfect and there are days that I struggle.  


Yes, I overcame an eating disorder and I am proud to say that. What people don’t understand sometimes is that it can be hard some days. There are times when I am down on myself and these thoughts of how I don’t have the "perfect body", I should workout more, or eat less run through my mind… but then I have to consciously stop myself… I stop and make the choice to be healthy and love myself. I make the choice to keep following the road I am on to be the best version of myself that I can be.


I have been working out and eating healthy and you may think this is easy for me but what you don’t know is how hard it can be to find balance sometimes. When I am working out there are days when I have to consciously tell myself that what I am doing is okay because I ate today and I am doing this to be healthy and fit. Cutting out junk food and sweets can be hard because that’s how my eating disorder started back in high school. Now, I don’t deprive myself from all of the good stuff (Sorry Rita). One reason I don’t is because IT’S GOOD and the other reason is, it can be scary. When I notice myself saying “I shouldn’t eat that” in my thoughts, it takes me back to my eating disorder. There is a difference though, I am saying this about fast food, Oreos, candy etc...foods that don’t help on the road to fitness! Before it was every single meal. There is this balance between knowing that what I am doing is to become fit in a healthy way and knowing I am not taking it too far.


Then there’s the people who make me question myself and what I am doing. I ran somewhere the other day and when I walked in the door, someone made the comment “you don’t need to run or workout, you’re already thin”. Last week, I was at the gym and had two people say “Why are you here?!” like I didn’t belong in the gym. These comments can really affect someone and their fitness journey. It’s definitely affected mine! It makes me question myself like, “Wait, I am doing this healthy lifestyle thing right?” or “Should I not be working out?”, “Are other people at the gym thinking the same thing about me?”. Yes, I may be naturally thin but I am trying to make the right choices to be a healthier and happier version of myself. I am on this journey to be fit and overall, feel better physically and emotionally each day. I have to be confident in myself and the choices I am making each day regardless of the comments people say! I am confident! 

I refuse to stop making the choice. I will keep the balance. I am going to stay confident.

Find the Beauty,
Johannah Michale

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Those "Dang Onions"

Helloooo... hello,

       So it has been a quick sec since I last blogged but that’s okay, I am here now and super excited about it! I thought I would use this blog as a way to share what I have been up to and where I am in life at this very moment. I am currently sitting at my desk in the 6th grade classroom where I am students teachers after a long day of watching my students take the Iowa Assessments....sounds fun right?

       All jokes aside, I am over halfway through my student teaching experience. Crazy to think about it but life is happening. It's happening real fast. To keep things (somewhat) short, I will start in January. I was at Kalona Elementary with 25 kindergarteners and let me tell you, that was a very eye opening experience to say the least. They impacted my teaching abilities don’t get me wrong, but it was so much more than that. Those 25 kindergarteners influenced my life in the most positive way, I learned more about myself than I ever thought possible.  

       I started out using the skills and knowledge I learned at Iowa State as best as I could, but one thing I learned is that it is impossible to teach someone classroom management in a college classroom. It was the one thing I was most nervous about walking into a classroom. Needless to say, those 25 students gave me a run for my money and tested my patience. There were days I was discouraged and frustrated. There were days where I thought I was invisible… (seriously… some days, I thought about wearing the caution yellow vest used for recess all day to keep these kids’ attention.) Putting all of that aside, there was one thing that NEVER happened. I never wanted to stay home. Those kids impacted my life so greatly that I wanted to come to school every day to see them. My cooperating teacher, Mrs. Billups reminded me that every day is a new day; that tomorrow everything that happened today won’t matter. When I learned this and kept this mentality, I woke up happy and couldn’t wait to see and hear the funny things my students would do that day J I miss those kids more than I ever thought possible.

       Moving into my 2nd 8 weeks of student teaching, I started at the Washington Middle School in March. I currently have 3 weeks left here and then I will graduate in May. (Whoa… I have three weeks of college left. Yikes.) I am in 6th Grade Social Studies with a wonderful cooperating teacher. This placement is exciting because I am able to put my social studies endorsement to use. My goal when specializing in Social Studies was to make it more exciting for students and I feel like I have done that (at least I think I have!). These students have also been challenging at times, but I am able to build stronger relationships with them, plus use a little favorite.  

        I have continuously been looking for jobs and applying to numerous places. I recently found out I will be the new Washington High School Dance team coach for the 2017-2018 school year. Super pumped about this and excited to put my dance abilities to use! Better yet, I received a phone call yesterday that I was chosen for an interview for a teaching position I applied for. I never realized how excited I would be when this happened! It was reassurance that my resume stuck out and someone was interested in me and my abilities as an educator. It also confirmed that schools have received my paperwork through Teachiowa too…. all the teachers out there, you know the struggle!

       In addition to all of this, I am also competing for Miss Iowa this coming June! I am super excited for this year and look forward to the week with all of the other contestants. My platform is same as the last two years, Find the Beauty: Anorexia Nervosa and Prevention. This may be my platform for Miss Iowa but it is beyond that. Find the Beauty is an everyday platform and reminder to myself and everyone to look for the beauty in each and every day. I have had numerous encounters with people who have been affected by an eating disorder or struggle. I was just recently paired with a student to discuss what they are going through as I went through the same thing. I have also been working very closely with the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA). Though I cannot attend the Iowa City, NEDA walk this year I have been helping as much I can! Currently looking for raffle prizes, so if you know someone willing to donate a prize…J I will be coordinating a 3rd party event to raise money as well, stay tuned!

       I am  raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network, one of my favorites! Having a niece and nephew both battling Congenital Disorder of Glycosylation (CDG) type 1 they make many visits to the children's hospital and their chances for extended stays there are increased as well.  The Children’s Miracle Network supports the research, training, equipment and uncompensated care for them and all the miracle children who need them. Having this personal connection really motivates me to obtain the Children’s Miracle Maker Award for the 3 year in a row this year! I will be having two fundraisers in the coming months, be on the look out and consider making a donation, any amount helps!

       Okay… So I think I touched base on almost everything, so there is my life in a nutshell. There are days when we get frustrated and stressed. Certain situations give us a run for our money but we have to remember to Find the Beauty. Embrace those little moments like getting an interview or that kid still (fake) crying because of those “dang onions” that were on her pizza for dinner the night before. ß yes, that happened. These are the moments I live for and that keep me going. What about you?

Have you found the beauty today?