Thursday, July 31, 2014

Three C's of Love

I study public health. I counsel. I am an unattached young professional ;)  A lot of what I study, work in and converse about revolves around love.
What is love? What makes a relationship work? I've heard, read and experienced a lot.

Basically, what it boils down to is: find the best human you can. Not the most helpful, not the most attractive. The best human. The person you admire most for what they are. Try to be that person yourself. That couple will have mutual respect. Strong character. The relationship will be stable and secure.

Based on some real love theories (from people who know a heck of a lot more than I do) I've gradually developed what I call my 3 C's theory of love.

Chemistry is that connection. That primarily physical and emotional attraction. When you look into someone's eyes and you understand what they're thinking because you're thinking the same thing (Jim and Pam). When you touch someone and it's like you can almost feel what they're feeling. You're connected. It's undeniable. It's an understanding. It's emotional. When this is the only part of love, it can be deadly.
Chemistry is the part of love where they say "opposites attract." Masculine and feminine.You have high levels of chemistry with people to whom you are attracted who may have different personality traits. The differences make life fun. It's shocking to see someone so different from you and suddenly realize you're exactly the same and you share a deep connection of understanding that you just don't have with other people.
A relationship of just chemistry is a fling. I think that's why chemistry/attraction gets a bad rap. It's unsustainable. However, it's an important part of Consummate Love. Because realistically, you will find people throughout your life with whom you have that chemical spark to varying degrees. You will definitely want to have it with your spouse.

Compatibility can take a little more time to feel out. It's more mental and spiritual. Compatibility is the part of love where it's best to be as similar as possible. It's having the same values and life goals.
The thing about values and that most humans value the same things. Most humans value God, family, service, education, hard work, kindness, good jobs, looks, money. BUT they value them in a different order. That's why it takes time to feel out. It's easy to say, "Family is important to me." Of course it is, you're not a heartless beast. But is it more important or less important than money? Than service? Than looks?
For example, I really value my religion. If someone cares more about looks than religion, we're probably not compatible. I really value caring for my family. If someone is more concerned with prestige, we're probably not compatible. I really value public health. I tease about it a lot, but if someone can't connect with me on this important thing, it's not going to work. If two people disagree with each others' very passionate values they're probably not compatible, because that's part of who they are at the core.
Compatibility comes when your major values and goals are ranked in (at least close to) the same order. There may be slight differences, but the closer they are the better. And compatibility increases over time, because people's vision becomes more and more united as they share experiences together. A relationship of just compatibility, is a friendship. You're like brother and sister. You love to talk and work together, but there's no attraction.

Commitment is being both willing and able to sustain a relationship. Willing, means you both want to make it work. If you have great chemistry and great compatibility, but one or both aren't ready to commit, it can't last.
You both have to be able to commit. A lack of self-esteem can cause someone to be unable to commit. So can unstable life circumstances. Or immaturity- needing to grow up and develop character. Or recently getting out of a relationship.
Commitment is what keeps a relationship going even when you're not feeling that spark. When you disagree. It's the work, the effort, the choosing each other every day. It's doing the "little things" to sustain, protect and nurture your relationship and make the other person feel valued and safe. It's refusing to let other people come between you and your partner. It's making plans for the future with your partner. Selflessly sacrificing and meeting the other person's relationship needs. It takes maturity and character.
A relationship of just commitment is a relationship of duty and honor. Some people are afraid of the idea of loveless commitment and therefore don't like to exercise commitment. Ironically, though, consummate love can only be achieved when the sometimes difficult, growth-inducing matter of commitment is in action.

Consummate Love
When you have all 3 C's, you have consummate love. This is the strongest love. It involves passion, unity, and security. Chemistry, compatibility and commitment. This is the kind of love that will survive every internal and external threat. This is the kind of love we want to carry us through the eternities.

Interesting to note is that none of these things can be easily changed or forced to be different. They are all intrinsic to the way we temporarily or permanently are. Most breakups are just from discordance in one of these areas. So the goal, rather than to be exactly what someone wants, is to cliche-ly just be yourself. Be so true to yourself. Be as excellent a human as you can. And meet someone you admire, with whom you're a good match. Get to know people. Get good at building relationships.
If you liked this post, you might also like: The Dating Treatment Matrix.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


We went up to Hope campground up Provo Canyon and it was amazing!!! I love this spot because it's seriously so close. You do have to pay a small fee, but it's a great campground. It gets pretty crowded, so you'll want to reserve during the on season. They also have firewood up there, which is a plus! Vault toilets, and (sometimes) running water. Just call ahead to ask about the water situation:)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How to Clean Out Your Closet for a Style Reset

I've attempted it. Many, MANY times before. It usually ends up with me throwing away one or two ratty old tshirts. Not this time. Wow.

Yeah, so this is my closet! (I wish;)

I was getting super frustrated. I'd barely been able to squeeze my clothes into my closet when I'd do laundry, and yet I still felt like I barely had enough options to get me through the week. My winter clothes were still in there, and it had been a long time since I went through and pulled out old stuff. There were also a lot of things that needed mending. 

I did a little surfing for new ideas on how to tackle the task, since nothing had really worked for me before. I came across this fantastic article! I gave it a try, with a few edits. First (I think due to my frustration) I very brutally got rid of things. Bags of things. I realized I am pretty sentimentally attached to clothes. Not like I remember specific things associated with them, more like, "Ohhhhhh, but what if I want to wear this someday? And I reach in my closet and it's not there???" Not this time. I got rid of clothes I haven't worn that I've been toting around for years. I pulled out the pile of mending and put it in a separate area. I threw away a bunch of old stuff that no one would want (why did I have it?) and the rest I took to Plato's and the DI:)

It's a little ridiculous to see all the clothes exploded all over my room. But WOW, putting things back in my closet was so Feng Shui. Everything was neat and organized. There were no longer "zones" on the shelves, I can see every article of clothing. I know what I own. My "what-if-I-paint-or-mow-the-lawn-or-build-a-house" pile of ratty clothes was down to about one set. Win. 

When I started putting away my clothes, I didn't even have to do the step in the article that said to choose colors. It was kind of done for me already:) I was a little surprised. Turns out, my wardrobe is currently consisting of coral, blue and light neutrals. I failed at the no shopping rule in the article, I admit. I did buy a few new things from Plato's and the mall. I've just learned in my lifetime that when you find an article of clothing that sings on you-- buy it. If at all possible. Because there are way too many times when you want to find things, but can't.

The backwards hanger trick is good for making sure you wear all the clothes in your closet
Now I feel that everything in my closet is wearable. And my closet is super navigable. It's like those word problems in math, where half the stuff in there is just meant to distract you from what's important. The first step is to eliminate those superfluous distractions and get to the usable stuff. I feel like everything is semi-coordinated now, like I can mix and match with ease, without having to think about it much because most everything "goes" with each other. When I was shopping, I was able to think of my wardrobe and what would go with the things I have. And shopping within my colors of choice made it so much easier.:)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Taking in a Dress

Ahh, nice and baggy ;)

I bought this dress for six bucks at Plato's.  I really like it, but it was extra big on me.  I decided to buy it anyway, and take it in.  I actually do this to most of my dresses so I can get a good deal ;)

This one was a little tricky, because of the gathered v neck front, v neck back and extra wide armholes with a side zipper.

I ended up taking in the front and back seam down below the dresses waist to just above my natural waist.  If there's one complaint I have about Downeast dresses, it's that they make their dresses for short, rotund people, no matter what the "size."

I took in the right side seam up through the armhole, and I created two new seams from the waist to armhole on the left side on either side of the zipper.

I did a quick tack together of the sleeves on top in a V to create a more fitted sleeve.  That's another thing I do to the sleeves of most dresses I take in.

It's not a full body shot, but here's the finished product!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

What Does Caloric Density Mean?

Here's an excerpt of a post I wrote for our website at work, Please check out our podiatry website! There's a lot of info about foot pain and how to prevent problems with your feet.

In the mean time, when I tell people I studied nutrition, I get a lot of questions about what to/not to eat to maintain health and especially to stay or get to a healthy weight. Some people think the trick to losing weight is eating "less." False! Starving yourself is just setting yourself up for failure and can be very unhealthy. Instead, eat a diet low in calories, high in food volume and vitamins/minerals (micronutrients.)

Here's what I said about calories for a post on Valentine's Day Chocolate, it's a tiny bit technical, but it covers the basics of Caloric density:

Chocolate can cause weight gain due to something called caloric density. Caloric density is how many calories are in a given mass.  For example, one pound of broccoli will have far fewer calories than one pound of chocolate. There are two reasons for this caloric discrepancy.

First, the type of macronutrients in the food.
This shows how many calories are in a gram of fat, protein, carbohydrate, and alcohol. 
Fat: 1 gram = 9 calories
Protein: 1 gram = 4 calories
Carbohydrates: 1 gram = 4 calories
Alcohol: 1 gram = 7 calories 
Chocolate has a lot more fat than broccoli.  Fat is one of the four “macronutrients,” or nutrients that give us energy. It has the highest caloric density, 9 calories in each gram, compared with 4 calories per gram in carbs and protein.

Second, the proportion of macronutrients to other food volume.
Chocolate is almost pure macronutrient: sugar and cocoa (carbohydrate); and butter (fat). Each bite is pure energy. Broccoli has macronutrients (mostly carbohydrate) but also contains a lot of fiber and water, so there are fewer macronutrients in each bite.

So, if you are choosing a diet that’s not calorically dense in effort to lose weight, consider:
· Do you have a healthy balance of macronutrients (fat, carb, and protein)?
· Are you eating foods high in fiber?
· Are you eating foods high in water?

Take home message: It’s Valentine’s Day, enjoy some chocolates!:)  Eating a few chocolates won’t wreck a healthy diet, but for every day eating, stick with foods that are less calorie dense.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Girls Only Want Boyfriends Who Have Great Skills: Media Case Studies of Skills and Confidence

Napoleon Dynamite came on in the gym the other day. I started to think about how it, and many other movies, resonate the lesson taught in  this really excellent post on (warning, there is some very uncouth language). It talked about how yes, it's essential to be nice and good and true inside, but ONLY BECAUSE OF WHAT IT MAKES US DO. Said another way, faith without works is dead.

If you are not a surgeon, you will not be able to operate on a gunshot victim, no matter how worthy your desire to do so.  Similarly if you don't have "skills," some kind of commodity you can offer the world, you won't be successful in any aspect of life, love, work, school, friends. From the Cracked post:
"What, so you're saying that I can't get girls...unless I have a nice job and make lots of money?"  
No, your brain jumps to that conclusion so you have an excuse to write off everyone who rejects you by thinking that they're just being shallow and selfish. I'm asking what do you offer? Are you smart? Funny? Interesting? Talented? Ambitious? Creative? OK, now what do you do to demonstrate those attributes to the world? Don't say that you're a nice guy -- that's the bare minimum... The patient is bleeding in the street. Do you know how to operate or not."

I love this. Everyone has something to offer on the inside! But, if you only have it on the inside, the only person it benefits is you. Why do you need skills? Why would it be important to have a boyfriend (or girlfriend, we're not being sexist) with skills? With something of value to offer?

Because people have real needs.
The people around us need things and they will find someone who can offer what they need. In a great exchange two entities (like a couple, a work place and employee, etc.) have something the other needs. They are both richer for the exchange. The miracle of business.

Here's the real shebang: having skills gives us that most magical of all words, Confidence.
Guys hate that girls only like "confident guys," thinking all confident guys are jerks. False. Confident guys are confident because they know they have skills. Once you have a skill and you know you have it, it's impossible not to have confidence. Are you ever worried that you'll fail at writing your name? Does your hand get sweaty as you pick up that pen and prepare to write? No. Because you have mastered that skill and you know you have. Confidence isn't something you have to try really hard to have. It's impossible not to have once you've mastered a skill.  And the cool thing is, the more skills you master, the more confidence you have, it transfers from one skill area to your overall being. You have confidence in you "skill" to master skills. (Ha:).

If we want to be successful then, we have to have skills, be aware of them, and use them to benefit the world.

Now we're going to have some fun exploring this concept in a few movies. 

Napoleon Dynamite knows the truth: 

Ah, poor Napoleon. He can't get the girl of his dreams, because he has no skills. What happens? Throughout the movie he a) Gains skills (horseback riding? dancing obviously, karate, campaigning) and b) Demonstrates them to the world (dancing in front of the school, helping Pedro run for SBP) and c) Gains confidence through his successful mastery of those skills (when the school applauds him, when Pedro wins).
After doing all this, he has CONFIDENCE enough to ask his main squeeze to play a round of volleyball. Righteous. He didn't when he first met her. He had nothing of benefit to offer her at their first interaction. She felt uncomfortable. But as their friendship grew and she saw that he was a great guy with a good heart that he manifested through external acts, she started liking him. How would the story have been different if Napoleon hadn't learned to dance? Campaign for Pedro? Do karate? He would have been a "nice guy" who she wrote off. Not BECAUSE he was nice, but because he didn't do anything with it to benefit people external to himself.

Walter Mitty knows the meaning of LIFE:
"To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life."

Walter daydreams because he's unhappy with the life he's living. He has skills for sure, but not all the ones he wants/needs and he's not confident in the skills he has (i.e. introducing himself and his job to the beard guy, he's hardly confident). He goes adventuring and does actual things that are important for him to do as a TIME Magazine worker. Like actually travel, and chase down a needed picture.
He a) Gains skills and uses skills he didn't know he had (traveling, swimming in shark infested waters, hiking, talking to people) and b) Demonstrates them to the world (chasing down the picture, not giving up, traveling to get the missing photo) and c) Gains confidence through his successful mastery of those skills (talks confidently to Cheryl, talks confidently to the beard guy, gets the photo). In the end, he (spoiler alert) ends up with his face on the cover of LIFE Magazine, has a chance with Cheryl, and gains some respect from beard guy. What if Walter hadn't pursued those new skills? He would have nothing to offer beard guy for the magazine cover, Cheryl would have no reason to talk to him, and he wouldn't have hundreds of winks on his eHarmony page.

 Tom understands the painful irony of not using your skills to benefit the world:
Partygoer: So Tom, what is it that you do? 
Tom: I uh, I write greeting cards. 
Summer: Tom could be a really great architect if he wanted to be. 
Partygoer: That's unusual, I mean, what made you go from one to the other? 
Tom: I guess I just figured, why make something disposable like a building when you can make something that lasts forever, like a greeting card. 

 Tom meets a girl he likes while working at a greeting card office. They kinda like each other, but in the end, Summer doesn't feel right about it.  After the break up, Tom starts to revolutionize himself.
He a) Gains skills (applying for jobs, dressing professionally) and also brushes up on skills he already has (drafting architecture) b) Demonstrates them to the world (preparing architecture draft samples, applying for jobs, not giving up) and c) Gains confidence through his successful mastery of those skills (interviews at places way more professional than where he was working before). In the final scene, Tom is professional and confident as he shows up to an interview. He meets a girl and after a brief hesitation, confidently and respectfully asks her out. Remember, when he met Summer his techniques were wayyyy less confident, like playing music, dropping hints, showing up at office parties. His confidence increased because even if he's not 100% where he wants to be right now (he's still unemployed) he's using his skills to try to benefit others. What about Autumn? Would she have been impressed if she met the rumpled greeting card writer he was a year previously? Probably not. Not because he's a nice guy, but because he wasn't doing anything productive with his life.

So, there are lots of variations.

We may be a Napoleon, with no skills: get crackin' on learning some skills.

We may be a Walter, someone who has skills but doesn't really know that yet: start exploring and trying those skills in the real world.

We may be a Tom, fully aware we have skills, but lacking the external manifestation to benefit others: step up and start blessing other people's lives with our rad skills!

Read what Elder Richard G. Scott says about friendship being based on personal merit and selfless service.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pre-Fourth Celebrations! :)

I dropped by my family's home for a surprise visit! We were all dressed super patriotically! Didn't even plan it. Also, family #nomakeup day. Also unplanned ;) Happy summer!

Aw...Look how patriotic they are!

The flag kept falling down, so mom was holding it and pretending it was staying by itself.

Too much cuteness for one photo.

My mama's literally the greatest.

Sometimes, you just hug your mom. 

Mom made such a cute table cloth and runner for the 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Round Brush Heaven

All I'm if you want volume on the top region of your head, use a round brush. Teasing...well you can do that I guess. I just love my hair and it's not nice to tease. I have taken to blowdrying my hair with a round brush lately, and it's the best structured volume I've ever experienced! I just picked up a cheapo 3" soft bristle round brush from Ulta. I really love using it on my bangs, I kind of pull them up/forward/to the side. But I also love it all over my head:) It gives my curly hair so much more bounce and makes my straight hair look so much less drab. I have really thick hair, which is a huge blessing, but it's weighty, and I struggle to keep it volumized on top and avoid the dreaded pyramid hair. This is my top hair volume salvation:)