Pumpkin and Pizza Face

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Thanks to your support, Jess raised more than $700 for cancer research through her Win a Garmin 305 raffle!  The winner was Jennifer.  🙂 Jess says thank you so much for supporting her.  🙂


I have figured out why I am so obsessed with canned pumpkin.


Canned pumpkin pumps the volume up for my granola/yogurt and oatmeal without adding a lot of calories!  Plus, I get this extra dose of vitamins, beta carotenes, and FLAVOR.  Mmm, mmm, mmm.  If canned pumpkin all the time is wrong, I don’t want to be right.


My oatmeal contained:


  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rice milk
  • 1 sliced banana
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
  • Toppings:  Brown sugar and flax


In other news….


I have the hugest pimple on my cheek.  I had to write about this because I can actually SEE the pimple in my line of sight if I look down.  I kid you not.  


Getting pimples as an adults always reminds me of my very awkward teenage years.

out of shape

For example, I had unnaturally orange hair (and roots, apparently) from 1997 – 1999.  Really.  I tried to dye it blonde (at home) and it turned orange.  I just couldn’t get the color out.  I was also out of shape and about 10 pounds heavier.


Combined with my social uncoolness, middle school was a disaster.  I get a lot of Operation Beautiful emails from middle school girls, telling me that the “popular girls” have been mean to them or a boy called them ugly.  I always say, “Middle school will be over before you know it, and then high school is better, and college is amazing.  You’re cooler than you think you are.”  🙂 But I know 3 years sounds like a long time when you’re 11.


The Husband had bright red hair, which apparently makes you a target for teasing in England.  I think red hair is hot!  Anyway, then he moved to America when he was 16, and instantaneously became the coolest kid in his small Pennsylvania school (he’s British!). 


Were you an awkward teenager, too?  Come to think of it, I’m still pretty awkward.  If you ran with the cool kids, I would love to hear about your experience! I’m curious.



  • megan January 21, 2010, 8:50 am

    I was definitely an awkward teenager. Actually, i’m pretty sure I’m an awkward adult too. but at least now I have a better perspective on it. 🙂

    I actually just recently read how to win friends and influence people. thought it would be cheesy and dumb, but really it’s a great book with lots of practical advice about just in general being a nice person and showing interesting in other people. that helped me be less self-conscious 🙂

    • Caitlin January 21, 2010, 8:50 am

      oh! i’ve read that book, too. it’s really helpful for learning how to make small talk (which i was very awk at too).

      • Heather January 21, 2010, 12:32 pm

        have decided i must find this book to learn how to be better at small talk and not reply to the statement “It is in Texas” with “It is hot there.”


      • Heather January 21, 2010, 12:32 pm

        have decided i must find this book to learn how to be better at small talk and not reply to the statement “It is in Texas” with “It is hot there.”


  • Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life January 21, 2010, 8:52 am

    I think everyone had their awkward moments.. I remember trying so hard to fit it and driving my mom nuts!

  • Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete January 21, 2010, 8:53 am

    Oh, hello?! Can you guess how awkward I was from the name of my blog? haha. Yes, I was very awkward, and I didn’t get my boobs until college (late bloomer). I was called Pinocchio and big nose through high school. College was amazing, and honestly, I wouldn’t do anything different. That whole awkward hs experience has made me who I am.

  • Jessica January 21, 2010, 8:54 am

    Red Hair on guys is super hot…
    esp. if they have freckles too.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet January 21, 2010, 8:54 am

    Kids always called me chubby. I was always thick, so I guess to them I WAS fat. I heard it for more than 15 years. Luckily, I learned to tune it out easily. It’s why I became a personal trainer!

  • Sarah (Shep) January 21, 2010, 8:57 am

    my awkward stage began around age 3, when my mom gave me THE. UGLIEST. HAIRCUT. EVER. (think bowl-cut, but shorter) and when i stood up my belly hung out like i was with child. we all bust out laughing everytime we look back on the photos. the middle school years were definitely awkward as well. oh, and gingers? they’re my FAVE

    • Mama Shep January 21, 2010, 9:00 am

      She’ll never believe it, but Sarah was SOOOOOO cute with her little pixie haircut…….but I guess it was the kind of cut only a Mama could love!!

  • Jennie {in Wonderland} January 21, 2010, 8:57 am

    Yes! I was always the new kid [army brat], always overweight, and always a bit awkward. I read a lot and so people thought I was strange. I only really became comfortable with myself a bit in High School, but really in University. It’s a long, hard road!

    I worry that my future daughters or sons will feel awkward and sad about going to school. I also worry that I will feel the urge to punch their potential bullies in the face 😉

  • Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) January 21, 2010, 8:57 am

    Oh my gosh, look at you back in the day. You’re so young! I love seeing pictures of my friends from when before I knew them. So amazing to see how they’ve grown and changed…and yes, you’ve changed. 🙂

    Totally awkward myself not too long ago, and you are so right…high-school was much better than junior high!!!!!

  • Becky January 21, 2010, 8:58 am

    I went from a bubbly, social kid to an awkward self conscious teenager in a matter of a few years! I was definitely awkward looking too for a few years, with braces, a bad haircut and since I developed sooner than most girls in my grade, a couple extra pounds. Thankfully, my bubbly social side has come back in full force now that I’m an adult with a bit more self-confidence! Still working on it though 😉

  • kristen January 21, 2010, 8:59 am

    I had glasses, braces, and I was in band. So yes, yes I was an awkward teenager.
    Although I also had a lot of self confidence and I have no idea why…I guess the world hadn’t “beat me down” enough at that point and I genuinely didn’t care what people thought or said about me. Looking back, I have NO IDEA how I managed to do that…although I think being in band and feeling like I “belonged” somewhere really helped. I may not have been one of the cool kids, but I was just fine with that.

  • Laura Georgina January 21, 2010, 9:01 am

    Can definitely relate to the awkward teen years–I was the first girl in my class with boobs and a real bra (at 11!) and the school uniform had this awful bib thing that made it so obvious. I also had my head in a book at all times and blushed just being around boys…. Eeek. Thank goodness we’re all past that now!

    • Caitlin January 21, 2010, 9:02 am

      Obviously, I had the boob problem too. Apparently, all the weight I lost came out of my chest, which is disappointing now that I’m an adult. 🙁

      • Laura Georgina January 21, 2010, 9:12 am

        Awww…mine disappeared this year–I went from a ridiculous E to a more manageable D. I’m still not used to seeing my feet when I look down 🙂 I’ll go down to a C and send you the extra, ok?

      • Alison January 21, 2010, 9:13 am

        That’s the first place you lose it! I think it’s some sort of sick joke.
        I was rather endowed as a teenager/young adult, but a good 20 lbs overweight. Losing weight coupled with two years of nursing has left my chest smaller and um, not so perky. Blergh.

        • Jessica January 21, 2010, 12:15 pm

          funny mine didnt go anywhere when i first started losing then one morning i woke up and it was like WHAT?!?!?!?

      • Laura @ Strong and Steady January 21, 2010, 2:43 pm

        Um YEAH had to buy all new bras this fall – 20+ lbs, one full cup size, and one chest width number (what’s the proper term for the “36” part?) smaller!

        I was also the girl to develop earliest… I remember it being the most frustrating when I was 14/15 and all my friends were wearing little skinny-strap shirts and I couldn’t without looking wayyyy inappropriate (I now appreciate my mother’s intervening on my wardrobe choices, but at the time it was quite the fight).

        One thing that’s interesting is that even though I now weigh about what I did in high school, my boobs were the same size then (Ds) that they were through my weight gain (college), up until they shrunk this summer (Cs now)! So weird.

        I feel like there could be an entirely boob-devoted post… they’re such an important factor in a woman’s emotional development, sense of self, etc etc. (not only because men objectify them, but also because they’re an external symbol of our gender identity).

  • chandra h January 21, 2010, 9:01 am

    lol… random but i just went from my facebook newsfeed to your blog & one of my friends had posted as their status literally 2 minutes ago: “i have the hugest pimple on my left cheek!”
    so maybe they are going around 😛

    i was so socially awkward in high school! ah. have you ever read the book ‘prep’ by curtis sittenfeld? THAT was high school for me, totally.

  • Meredith January 21, 2010, 9:01 am

    I’m 21 and still an awkward teenager.

  • Alison January 21, 2010, 9:07 am

    Sheesh, I’m still awkward and I’m 33! I’ve always had a low body image and self esteem and still feel like a kid around other adults.
    After dealing with acne for half of my life, I bit the bullet and took Accutane. It’s a brutal drug and it took two rounds, but I’m finally acne free. I kept saying, “I want to have skin with a youthful glow, but I don’t want the skin of an awkward 14 year old anymore.”
    My daughter is turning 8 today and I know the awkward tween/teen years aren’t that far away and man, I am SO not looking foward to that! Perhaps I’ll have to get a copy of Operation Beautiful for her to read in the future.

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels January 21, 2010, 9:14 am

    funny that I didn’t have acne as a teenager . . . but now that I’m an adult and in the beauty industry, I have really acneic skin!

  • Katie January 21, 2010, 9:15 am

    Never had acne but awkwardness? Oh boy, yes! I was in marching band, enough said!

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance) January 21, 2010, 9:16 am

    i’m definitely one of the most awkward people ever. i kid you not.

  • Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place January 21, 2010, 9:17 am

    gotta love red hair!! i’m a natural auburn red head along with most of my family. I love the uniqueness of red hair! tell your hubby his red hair his beautiful!

  • Karla January 21, 2010, 9:19 am

    Ugh I hated middle school. I was the fat kid in class up until the 9th grade when I started eating well and exercising. I still think I’m a tiny bit awkward but no biggie!

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers January 21, 2010, 9:22 am

    Awkward isn’t a strong enough word 🙂 I made the mistake of letting my mom be the judge of whether the glasses I picked out were “cool” or not. Love my mom, but fashion advisor she is not. I regretted those glasses for YEARS!!

  • Sara January 21, 2010, 9:23 am

    Middle school was awful for me! I had the worst hair which was unmanagable in its frizziness and it was just 3 years I’d like to forget 🙂

  • Marianne January 21, 2010, 9:24 am

    I think the ages of 12-15 are awkward to a degree for almost everyone. I was miserable in middle school and felt fat, ugly and extremely insecure.
    The worst part though, is that when looking back at pictures, I was NOT FAT AT ALL! I weigh 60 lbs more today than I did then, and my goal is to get down to the weight I was then. So sad.
    I wish there was a way to tell all middle-schoolers that they are AWESOME, and they would actually feel better. My sister’s 10 years younger than I am, and it breaks my heart the things she’ll say sometimes. About a year and a half ago she was crying because one of the “pretty girls” at school had told her that she was lucky she couldn’t afford miss sixty jeans because they probably don’t even make them in her size.

    • Caitlin January 21, 2010, 9:25 am

      ahhhh kids are so mean! i could fill a notebook with the mean stuff the cool girls said to me. why does being cool mean being nasty? i wish there was a popular, but nice girl in every school.

  • Kalli@fitandfortysomething January 21, 2010, 9:27 am

    it was the worst for me too! i am a middle school teacher now and i really understand the akwardness and try to be supportive whenever possible.

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) January 21, 2010, 9:28 am

    I was SO awkward and wouldn’t go back to it for a million dollars — although now as a much more confident adult, I wish I could talk to my 13-year-old self. I was overweight, wore glasses and braces, and was a total nerd (well, still am a nerd). I hate even looking back at pictures from middle school … but it made me who I am today so you have to take the good with the bad.

    I always wonder how the “popular” kids feel about middle school. Were they as insecure as the rest of us?

    • Caitlin January 21, 2010, 9:29 am

      i am guessing yes… i would love to hear feedback from the “popular” girls.

      • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) January 21, 2010, 9:31 am

        I’m guessing yes, too, which is crazy because even then they were so much more confident than I was. Maybe they just realized that outer confidence made them shine…

        Popular kids, respond! 😉

        • RhodeyGirl January 21, 2010, 9:44 am

          My cousin (the cool one who was in my class and every boy wanted in high school) says middle school was super awkward and bad for her. She said she was probably showing her insecurities when she would kiss boys or make fun of other kids or skip a class to “be cool.”

          But honestly in my school the geeky ones WERE the popular ones (band members, straight A students, etc)… but the cool kids were just in a league of their own.

        • Jenny January 21, 2010, 4:09 pm

          I was pretty well-liked in school (I hate the word popular). I don’t think I was outwardly mean to anyone. I tend to be nice to everyone because I had a rough childhood and I didn’t want to treat anyone badly.

          I will say that my bff was the blond that all the other girls wanted to be- a skinny dancer, smart, pretty, well-rounded. She was nice to pretty much everyone. What no one knew was that she suffered from very serious depression and very low self-esteem.

          And maybe it’s a Rhode Island thing (wink, wink), but in my school it was cool to be smart and geeky, too. Cheerleaders and football players were looked down on. I think that made it easier on lots of people socially, too.

  • rachael January 21, 2010, 9:31 am

    I had a really bad hair dye experience in high school myself. My mom even told me I looked like rainbow bright!

  • Stephanie January 21, 2010, 9:31 am

    Definitely an awkward one! I didn’t even grow out of some of that awkwardness until Junior year…when I started running cross country. I wonder if there’s a correlation there? And like Erin, I’ve always wondered how the “popular” kids felt about school.

    My husband has red hair too! He used to shave it in school because people would make fun of him for it…CRAZY! I’m so glad he’s grown up and is growing it out. It’s gorgeous hair!!

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner January 21, 2010, 9:31 am

    Oh definitely, I had the glasses/braces combo going on! But I actually loved middle school! Maybe I am the only one?

  • Shannon January 21, 2010, 9:33 am

    Oh man, I was so freaking awkward. In 3rd grade, I had to get glasses and the only ones for kids back then were perfectly round. And then in 6th grade I got braces – quite an awful combo. I refer to 4th grade through 8th grade as my “super awkward phase” because I still do awkward stuff all the time. I had a tight group of friends in middle school but we were by no means the “popular” crowd. Luckily in 8th grade I got contacts and the braces came off soon. High school was much less awkward, and college was amazing!

    I don’t think there’s enough money in the world to make me go back to middle school. My experience wasn’t hellish by any stretch of the imagination, but each phase of my life (high school, college and now “the real world”) has been so much better than the previous one.

  • Lyss January 21, 2010, 9:35 am

    I wouldn’t go as far as to say I was a “popular” girl, but my friends and I were all very involved in school and well-known. Basically, many of my “best friends” were known as “popular”… hate that word! Anyway, despite that, I WAS SO AWKWARD. I had braces up until senior year of high school, I was a bit overweight, I had horrible highlight in my hair, my clothes were ugly and unflattering… just awful. Lots of my friends were insecure too! Never thinking they were pretty enough or skinny enough… all that jazz that everyone deals with. Just because you’re “popular” doesn’t mean you’re perfect!

  • Meg @ Be Fit Be Full January 21, 2010, 9:40 am

    Who wasn’t awkward as a teenager? I have plenty of photos from middle school that make me cringe 🙂 I mostly hung out with the “athletes” because most of my friends were involved in the same sports I was. There was definitely a group of very pretty, always put together, prissy girls in high school. I never fit in with the “girly girls”, but I’m not complaining!

  • Miriam January 21, 2010, 9:41 am

    I’ve been to my high school 10 years reunion last year and because of it I’ve come to think about it. The truth is that I FEEL so much better about myself than I did in middle and high school! My weight did not change really (I’ve always had a “normal” weight), I had no pimples or anything very wrong with my appearance, but I wasn’t popular, I wasn’t cool (I was somewhere between the cool and the nerds) and guys liked me as their friend. I guess I look more like a “woman” now, I now know how to put on makeup and dress up to my advantage (!!!) : I am no more following trends because they are trends, I wear what fits me and what I feel comfortable wearing (I look terrible in a skinny jeans, you’ll never see me with that!) and I am a LOT more confident about myself (this has something to do with me been active, eating great food, looking for balance). It is true what you say about school, don’t worry it will be over soon and you’ll probably laugh about yourself later when you’ll see pictures of you, that’s life! There will always be some people who are better looking than us and some who are worst. I do like been in the middle : do you know how much pressure “popular and magazine material people” have to put on themselves in order to stay like that all the time, no thanks!

  • RhodeyGirl January 21, 2010, 9:41 am

    I was the girl with the highwaters. I shot up a bunch of inches in one summer and my mom didn’t think it was necessary to buy me new pants. When I sat down my pants rode up so high half of my calf would show. I am not joking!

    Also, I would never break rules or kiss boys and my cousin, on the other hand, had a field day. I sort of credit her for making me cool/ have friends at first, because I was decidedly uncool to my peers.

    I was always involved with lots of activities and always friends with everyone but I decided to never be part of a group, or clique. I think that saved me from any serious meanness or teasing.

    OMG I just remembered something else. I used to sit at the front center of every class if I could so I could really pay attention and learn. I DID get teased for that, but I just shrugged it off.

    And when I won student council president in 8th grade this friend of this girl was sitting in the bus in front of me and called me a “stupid bLtch” and more for beating her friend. That is the one person that I had real hate for in my childhood. Funny that I still remember that moment so clearly.. my palms were racing and tears were stinging my eyes but I tried really hard to fight them back.

    Ummm thanks for that trip down memory lane. I forgot about how awkward it was!

    • Jenny January 21, 2010, 4:12 pm

      I hear you on both the growth spurt and the no cliques thing. It was better to be friends with everyone! 🙂

  • Gillian January 21, 2010, 9:43 am

    I was an awkward artsy teen – I wasn’t a SUPER nerd, but I may have been in band, thus my cool level was not that high. In college I started to grow into my body more and have more confidence in myself. I now am in arelationship with someone who was the super jock “hottie” prom king of his high school. That’s right – the band geek snagged herself a prom king – bahaha – I tease him about this all the time. Odds are we wouldn’t be dating if we went to the same highschool, but its funny how things change when you get into your 20s and CRAP from highschool just doesn’t matter!

  • Morgan January 21, 2010, 9:44 am

    Was awkward, still am awkward. I straightened my hair, but it never looked right, had braces, acne, and wore stupid brown lipstick with brown lip liner (so Jersey!). I was really concerned with being trendy, but never got it quite right!

  • Danielle January 21, 2010, 9:44 am

    Oh the awkward teen years! I hadn’t learned how to style my hair yet, it was scary 😉 but very memorable.

    I adore pumpkin in my oats, your breakfast looks delish because of it, lucky you!

  • Amy January 21, 2010, 9:45 am

    I hung out with the popular girls group. I was the token ‘fat popular girl’

    I can say, I was totally insecure. I think it was because all my friends were beautiful and skinny… and I stood out like a sore thumb.

    On top of that, while my ‘popular friends’ were into boys and sports.. I was part of the music crowd which was definitely not cool at the time.

    This is really bad of me to admit, but I was kind of embarassed to hang out with the music kids… I was their friend in music class and band practice but not really outside of that. Horrible.

  • RhodeyGirl January 21, 2010, 9:47 am

    And since we are on the topic I have to mention… the shave your legs conundrum.

    At 11 I remember wanting to ask my mom if I could shave my legs (I am Italian & Jordanian! I was one hairy legged kid!), but I was too shy/nervous to ask. So I wore these ugly Limited Too flowered capris and pulled my tube socks high over them every day until I gained the courage to ask.

    • Caitlin January 21, 2010, 9:59 am

      hahah my mom wouldnt let me shave my legs, but i was 11 and it was time. so i shaved without her permission and when she found out, i got into SOOOO much trouble until i explained how DIRE it was that i start shaving.

      • RhodeyGirl January 21, 2010, 10:00 am

        You’re lucky. When I finally asked her she made me use rotten-egg-smelling NAIR for a couple of years! EW!

        • Cassie January 21, 2010, 10:13 am

          i can’t help but relate to you guys – when i thought it was time for me to shave, i found my dads razor and started shaving with it – i don’t even think i was in the shower! razor on dry skin… yeah that didnt feel very good. my mom got pretty mad when she saw how i tore up my legs, and i wasnt allowed to shave for a long time after that!

      • Laura @ Strong and Steady January 21, 2010, 3:01 pm

        hahahaha very similar experience here! moms should be more understanding – nobody likes a hairy-legged preteen! i remember my mom pushing makeup and hair products on me all the time from a pretty young age, but for some reason i was still too young to shave my legs!

  • My Life As I Live It January 21, 2010, 9:49 am

    I was overweight, had acne, and wore glasses, I was the picture of awkward. Now I’m only slightly overweight, I have contacs and I have an acute case of adult acne, so I guess even in adulthood I’m still kind of awkward, but I do feel more comfortable in my skin than I did in my teens.

  • My Life As I Live It January 21, 2010, 9:49 am

    I was overweight, had acne, and wore glasses, I was the picture of awkward. Now I’m only slightly overweight, I have contacs and I have an acute case of adult acne, so I guess even in adulthood I’m still kind of awkward, but I do feel more comfortable in my skin than I did in my teens.

  • Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story January 21, 2010, 9:49 am

    I’m pretty sure I was an awkward teenager and I’m also pretty sure I’m an awkward adult. 🙂

    I love pumpkin. I ate so much as a kid (toddler) that my nose turned orange! Well, pumpkin and sweet potatoes, but still. Orange.

  • Teacherwoman January 21, 2010, 9:49 am

    Oh my, I was a very awkward teenager, and finally started feeling more confident and less shy by the time I was a senior in high school. I hated middle school – everything about it. It seems like I got more confident as I got older…

  • Melissa (Project Bare) January 21, 2010, 9:50 am

    I think being “popular” is somewhat overrated. I look back on my teen years and I wasn’t popular in the typical sense of the word, but I had great friends and I was involved in the things that seemed right to me; I didn’t do them for anyone else. I actually feel sympathetic now for those “popular” kids; many of them spent so much time in high school trying to be loved that they didn’t concentrate on the more important things–working hard in school, being involved in the things they were truly interested in and, most importantly, loving themselves! Now, I see these girls for whom high school was the high point in their lives and it makes me sad–so many of them didn’t go to college, work in dead-end jobs and had kids too young. Sometimes being popular is not all it seems to be–being yourself is much better!!

    • Caitlin January 21, 2010, 10:00 am

      well said!!!

  • Danielle C. January 21, 2010, 9:51 am

    I am so right there with you on the canned pumpkin, I’ve been having it in my oats for 2 months now and am nowhere near sick of it. SOOOO good. I also tried to “dye” my dark brown hair blonde and ended up orange (okay I was 13 and tried to use a whole bottle of Sun In on my hair).

  • Tammy @ Defining Wellness January 21, 2010, 9:54 am

    Middle school was awful for me and scarred me for a long time. I was 12 and in the 7th grade when I first developed an eating disorder, in large part because I was trying to escape from all the bullying around me. Unfortunately, girls continued to bully me throughout high school. I am a much stronger person today because of all of that, though, and the biggest lesson I learned was to BE CONFIDENT WITH WHO I AM and to simply BE NICE. Many of those girls never learned to be nice, and you know what, when you’re older, meanness shows all over your face. I can look back and be proud of who I was. Can they?

    • Caitlin January 21, 2010, 10:00 am

      so true that meanness shows on your face. it really does.

  • skinnyrunner January 21, 2010, 9:57 am

    haha, love the flashback picture! im gonna have to say brown hair looks better on you!

  • Britt @ Runnerbelle January 21, 2010, 9:59 am

    I had way too much fun with my hair in high school… well in reality it wasn’t like I was dying it pink but I did the light, to dark and then tried to go light again….. which of course resulted in the orange. LOL

    Yep, I remember being so frustrated with my weight in jr high & hs…. in reality it was fine!

  • MelissaNibbles January 21, 2010, 10:01 am

    I had orange hair for the same reason. Only I didn’t know it was orange at the time and I thought I was FIERCE!!

  • Cassie January 21, 2010, 10:02 am

    in middle school i was certainly not popular. and the real killer was that my friends and i would invite the even less “popular” girls to sit with us at lunch, etc – and that would cause the others to laugh at us even more. looking back, it’s so sad that we were teased for doing a nice thing!

    high school was a lot easier because while we werent the cool kids that had all the latest fashions and would drink/smoke after school, i had a lot of friends. no one really bothered us, and we didn’t bother them. and now when we go out together, all the “popular” kids come up to us like we are old friends.

    what doesnt kill you makes you stronger though – my best friends are still the girls i was friends with in middle school and high school, and i wouldnt trade their friendship in with anything, especially phoney “popular” friendships.

  • Sam January 21, 2010, 10:02 am

    i “ran with the cool crowd,” but in a good way! i was mean mean mean in middle school until i woke up and decided to change. it’s not fun to be rude and loud all the time! though, it doesnt matter how involved or outgoing you are… we all have our moments of self doubt and self consciousness, and the label of “popular” may mask it to the public, but not to yourself. i had a wonderful time, but also a really hard time.

  • Kirsten January 21, 2010, 10:04 am

    My hair looked exactly like yours, I used sun in and it turned orange and was like that for a long time haha.

  • Julie January 21, 2010, 10:11 am

    I was totally awkward from 3rd grade to junior year in high school. I had 2 horrible perms back to back in 3rd and 4th grade and they were not cute. I totally got made fun of for them. One girl once told me I’d break a mirror if I looked at it. Bitch. I went to a real small Catholic school for middle school so we were all “friends” but some were nicer than others. I am guilty of making fun of kids (which I honestly feel bad about to this day), but I was nowhere near “popular”. In high school I was quiet, but I finally learned how to do my hair and how to dress so I didn’t look terrible. It sounds unbelieveable, but my school really didn’t have “cliques”. Yes, people still grouped off to their own groups of friends, but we were all friendly to eachother. I hung out with cheerleaders and honors students and METCO kids (bused in from the city). My close friends and I didn’t party with the cool kids though, we were too immature for that. We’d rather drive around all night on a Friday and stalk our crushes houses 🙂

  • Nicci@NiftyEats January 21, 2010, 10:12 am

    My akward and teens years were from 13-15. I don’t know what I was thinking with the side ponytail and one earring look.

  • Therese January 21, 2010, 10:13 am

    OMG awkward is an understatement. Must be a redhead thing…


  • Helga January 21, 2010, 10:14 am

    Oh, I was such an awkward teenager! I was in a marching band, got good grades and was very self-conscious about my looks and horribly shy. So it kind of goes without saying that I was never one of the cool kids…
    I really hated these years, I’m much more comfortable with myself now that I am 24.

  • Vicki January 21, 2010, 10:19 am

    Middle school was a nightmare. I really, really dread the time when my girls get to be that age because middle school girls are just horrible. When I was 12, my nose seemed to grow overnight and it was way too big for my face. A boy in my class called me a “pointy nosed witch”, which scarred me. While my nose remained big, the rest of my face grew into it a bit by 13-14 and that same boy asked me out. Umm, no thank you, little punk!

  • Deva (Voracious Vorilee) January 21, 2010, 10:20 am

    My teen years were interesting. I was homeschooled, so I didn’t really run with any particular crowd. It took me quite some time to develop a sense of self and to realize that nobody really cares about the acne (and now that I’m an adult, I just want to know when the magic year will come when I wont’ break out anymore!).

  • Niki January 21, 2010, 10:24 am

    I wasn’t really awkward but I wasn’t really that cool either! Haha! Just kinda in the middle! But it still was tough! I think everyone, even the popular kids, felt awkward as a teenager at some point!! My fiance had red hair too! Gotta love those redheads!!

  • andrea January 21, 2010, 10:26 am

    I was so awkward, such bad hair! Bad clothing choices though that was really not fault the earlier 90’s were not good fashion years and braces. It is hard when you don’t grow into your looks until later in life, but oh so amazing when you realize that you are not that awkward girl and find the confidence to be a strong women!

  • Matt January 21, 2010, 10:28 am

    I was pretty nerdy in middle school; I will admit it. Once you get to college, things are a lot different because no one strives to be the “popular” one. It is just a big diverse group of people and it is awesome.

  • Melissa S. January 21, 2010, 10:29 am

    I was def awkward. i didn’t go through puberty till i went into high school and i hated the fact that i was getting boobs, a butt and hips. I wanted to tape my boobs down…if that tells you anything. and to boot, i got braces, and ugly glasses frames all at once. i was most certainly not one of the popular kids.

  • Julie @savvyeats January 21, 2010, 10:30 am

    Ugh, you could not pay me enough to make me go back to the awkward years of middle school. Eighth grade was the year that my ‘best friend’ convinced all my other friends that I wasn’t cool enough anymore and they should stop talking to me. Clearly, I’ve made much better friends since then.

    I admire anyone who is willing to be a middle school teacher and deal with the drama every weekday. Seriously.

  • Amanda January 21, 2010, 10:31 am

    I was always teased in middle school for being overweight. In highschool kids were much nicer for the most part and then in college it really wasn’t an issue at all even though I was definitely the heaviest in college (about 260 pounds!!).

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) January 21, 2010, 10:31 am

    i was totally awkward…i tried to straighten my curly hair, which made it super frizzy (obvi), and i had braces for 6 years! high school was definitely better…i played sports, and having a group of girls who have your back makes a huge difference!

    p.s. my husband has reddish hair and a red beard, and i think it’s SOOOOO hot too 🙂

  • BethT January 21, 2010, 10:31 am

    I was pretty awkward and tortured in middle school. Seriously – people were SO MEAN to me. I tried really hard to fit in and be nice to people, and I never understood why they made it so hard for me. Wah! My one fear with having kids is that they’ll go through the same thing and I’ll be helpless to help them 🙁 It’s a sad time.

  • Caroline January 21, 2010, 10:34 am

    What is particularly frustrating is not having a problem with acne during puberty but going off birth control as an adult and learning to deal with break outs! Gah!

  • BethT January 21, 2010, 10:35 am

    Might I also add that my life was more miserable with help from MIDDLE SCHOOL GYM TEACHERS, who a) made us SHOWER – naked – in all of our ugly puberty-dom; b) made us do strength tests and gave nerds like me failing grades when we couldn’t do pull ups; and c) weighed and measured us and didn’t hide what they were writing down, so everyone saw I was 4’9 and a cool 140 lbs in 6th grade.

    OK, rant over.

  • Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life January 21, 2010, 10:38 am

    I was such an awkward teen!

  • Kelly January 21, 2010, 10:39 am

    Oh gosh…middle school was the WORST! I had stringy brown hair, braces and I was SO skinny. Like awkward skinny…ugh…not pretty! Glad middle school was only 3 years!! haha…you’re right…high school and college are much better!

  • Amber K January 21, 2010, 10:40 am

    I am having basically the same breakfast! With greek yogurt on the side. =) Yumm…

    And I was COMPLETELY awkward. Middle school, high school, ugh. I was let’s see….about 40-50 pounds heavier then and extremely insecure, shy beyond belief, and had braces. I would not want to relive that for anything!

  • Amanda January 21, 2010, 10:42 am

    Middle school was such a funny time – I guess that I was technically part of the “popular” crowd, but I never actually thought that I was! I was pretty insecure and boy-crazy for guys who never thought of me as more than a friend. I don’t think I’d go back if you paid me 🙂

  • Jennifer January 21, 2010, 10:43 am

    I was the most awkward teenager ever. I had no fashion sense and often paired flannel shirts with soccer shorts (huh? yeah). I had frizzy, uncontrollable hair, glasses, braces, pimples and I was taller than most everyone else. The cool kids picked on me…in fact one of them started a rumor that I called another cool girl a bad name and they held it against me until the day of graduation from high school. College was where I truly found myself, and my husband. I had figured out how to use a curling iron, makeup could be applied in no time, and I had so many wonderful, kind hearted friends. I have a great life now.

  • Sara January 21, 2010, 10:46 am

    Hey now, Caitlin, you were the coolest one in our group of friends! So if you were awkward, the rest of us were awkward cubed! Though I can’t help but chuckle when reminded of your Copper Top days 🙂

    • Caitlin January 21, 2010, 10:53 am

      HAHHA awwwwwww hi sara! dude, glades was rough. do you want to go back? what if i pay you $1000000? i wouldnt go back for ANYTHING.

      • Sara January 21, 2010, 10:55 am

        Oh, hell no! Well…that’s a lot of zeros, how long would I have to go back for? Can I go for one day and then take the money and return to my decidedly non-awkward adulthood?

        • Caitlin January 21, 2010, 10:57 am

          No. You would have to relive all 3 years, including writing Mr. Tuohy’s longest paper ever, getting your bra snapped by Doug Whats-His-Name, and personal humiliation at lunch time outside. Oh, and I would have to be dumped again by Danny because I wouldn’t French kiss him.

        • Sara January 21, 2010, 11:01 am

          No amount of money would make that worth it!

  • Anne @ the doctor takes a wife January 21, 2010, 10:50 am

    Middle School is so awful. I think everyone should just skip those three years.

  • The Paris Food Blague January 21, 2010, 10:54 am

    haha, yes, the hatred for the gingers!

    i have to try pumpkin oatmeal one of these days. between you & katheatsrealfood, i’m sold!

    a bientot!
    The Paris Food Blague

  • tra January 21, 2010, 11:00 am

    oh man, in middle school i was hated on by EVERYONE! (mostly the girls) i think they hated that i was getting good grades. i also had THE WORST acne ever. UGH! and in high school i was crazy chubby! totally not cool.

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat January 21, 2010, 11:04 am

    I was totally awkward! I too dyed my hair blonde until I was 19. Not to mention that time I thought shaving the back of my head was cool or my eyebrows. Dear Lord…

  • LindsayRuns January 21, 2010, 11:05 am

    I work with middle schoolers, and they are so mean to each other. While I was desperate to be a popular then, (I was in the middle group, not an outcast, but not in the in crowd post school hours either) And I laugh now because the “popular kids” are the most retarded acting/self loathing/self concious ones of the bunch (from the adult perspective. If you are a cool girl here you wear a hairbow in your hair every day, or youre not cool anymore…how stupid is that?)

    Totally feel you on the zit, I’m working through a bad round if it myself, yuck!

  • Gracie @ Girl Meets Health January 21, 2010, 11:10 am

    I don’t think I was ever *that* awkward. Junior high was definitely my worst, though. My friends and I went through a “gangster” phase where we all scrunched our hair, wore big hoop earrings, LOTS of make-up, and Timberland boots. That faced changed pretty quick, though, and then we got into the whole “alternative rock” thing. To this day I have a HUGE band t-shirt collection 🙂

  • Retta @ RunRettaRun January 21, 2010, 11:11 am

    I was cool in my mind haha. But my friends and I were pretty awkward. We had each other and are still friends 13 years later! I am definitely more comfortable in my skin and with myself when I hit 30.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg January 21, 2010, 11:17 am

    Ugh. Middle School.

    Seriously, does anyone NOT feel self-conscious and uncomfortable in their own skin at that age?

    And I totally still get adult acne. And wrinkles. Awesome.

  • Nikky January 21, 2010, 11:25 am

    I wouldn’t say I was awkward… painfully shy though. I was lucky enough to have a hard ass who fought all the time for an older brother, and to make friends with the kid that would become Football Star early in elementary school. My brother kept the older kids from picking on me (by name association alone), and the one kid in Jr. High who made a comment was promptly pinned against the wall by Football Star, and informed that I was “really cool, so back off”.

    I was just the quiet, basically invisible (unless someone needed homework answers) girl who blushed every time she spoke in class. Which I still do now that I’m in college, but at least I’m not quite so shy!

  • katecooks January 21, 2010, 11:33 am

    i put pumpkin in my oats every day for those reasons! i also love to add cinnamon and curry powder. tastes amazing i think!!

  • j.l. January 21, 2010, 11:33 am

    hey caitlin, did Jess mention which Jennifer won the garmin? i’m the only jennifer on the donation list, which makes me wonder, but i didn’t hear anything about it…

    • Caitlin January 21, 2010, 4:45 pm

      She contacted the winner already 🙂 Sorry.

  • Rachel January 21, 2010, 11:34 am

    hahaha I had such a long awkward phase in my life.. braces from 7th to 11th grade, horrible clothes, slightly chubby, super self conscious. i would never want to go back to high school or junior high!

  • Avery January 21, 2010, 11:40 am

    I was actually popular in middle school and high school (don’t hate). It was more that my boyfriend was popular and therefore I was by extension (we dated for NINE freaking years! And got married on the same day-to different people). I was sooo awkward though: taller than everyone, bad skin, and super athletic. I was basically a professional athlete for ten years and looked the part. No boobs, no hips, not very womanly. It was actually pretty hard for me because my mom was a beauty queen when she was younger and people constatnly compared us. I was pretty much the opposite of her. Eventually, I stopped caring about what other people thought and realized how fortunate I was. There were a couple years in there where I had a lot of pressure from my trainer to be thin (like that scene from knocked up: he never told me outright to lose weight, just “be fit”). Eventually I got a new trainer and new look on life. I am still really athletic, though I no longer compete (I was a horseback rider). One day I looked in the mirror and was shocked: I looked exactly like my mother. It only took 22 years for me to realize that I too was beautiful.

  • Kathleen January 21, 2010, 11:53 am

    I love the message in this post! I had an awkward phase in high school because I skipped 8th grade (making me 13 in 9th grade and clueless) and I was very unpopular with the new class. I suffered through high school and then all of a sudden at college I was Miss Popular and my being Asian was an asset instead of a negative. I had received death threats, had things thrown at me, been called every name in the book in high school for being Asian. Apparently, college boys like Asian girls…who knew?

    So hang in there to all the girls suffering in middle school and high school…it really does get better!

  • Neely January 21, 2010, 11:57 am

    Grade school was the worst for me as I was at least one foot taller than everyone, boys too. That was very rough.

    But the in middle and high school I was pretty popular… with the guys. I mean, if you know what I mean. Winky-face.

    Girls hated me though. Probably because I was hot.

  • Shannon January 21, 2010, 11:57 am

    Oh, and did anyone else plan their outfits w/ their friends to coordinate in middle school? No? Just me? Awesome. Middle school is weird.

    • emily January 21, 2010, 2:20 pm

      this made me laugh 🙂

  • Christina January 21, 2010, 12:02 pm

    I was super awkward in middle school, I mean like.. hanging out with the “weird/goth” kids, having super italian-hairy arms, the WORST bowl haircut EVER (bad for someone with curly hair lol), I mean I could go on and on. But for some reason, as soon as I got to high school I got “cool”-I was still in band and was a “smart kid/nerd”, but that stuff didn’t really matter somehow. I played a lot of sports and was friends with pretty much everyone-from bandOs to the geeks to the jocks and cheerleaders. I also had a huge group of friends (guys and girls) that were just like me and we’d hang out all the time-so we were all pretty well known I guess too. I know most people don’t want to go back to high school but I really had the time of my life there-I wasn’t really insecure, had great friends, and didn’t have any social problems at all. College was hard for me because I was taken away from all of that and put on my own instead of relying on my friends you know? I didn’t come out of college with a million friends like I think everyone expected me to, but thats fine with me 🙂 I miss high school haha

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion January 21, 2010, 12:03 pm

    I was an awkward teenager! I had braces and head gear…it was bad!

  • Evan Thomas January 21, 2010, 12:08 pm

    Those are great reasons to love pumpkin. I’ve always said Libby’s my dealer 😉
    I was so awkward, but so was my entire class so we were awk together; that’s what you get when you go to a really nerdy high school

  • Jen Papaya January 21, 2010, 12:20 pm

    UGH. Middle school. Gross. I was definitely the awkward girl. But it gives you character!

  • caroane January 21, 2010, 12:24 pm

    I wasn’t awkward, I was jsut weird. And still am 🙂
    I also used canned pumpkin to pump up the volume of meals!

  • katherine January 21, 2010, 12:27 pm

    Oh boy, I was awkward. I was 50 pounds heavier, had glasses, braces, acne and a spiral perm AT THE SAME TIME. How I survived and made it into the real world is still beyond me.

  • Freya @ foodfitnessandfreya.wordpress.com January 21, 2010, 12:30 pm

    Oh gosh I’m definetly an awkward teenager! Everyone said to me ‘6th form will be better’..’uni will be better..’ yet I still haven’t found where I belong! All everyoe at uni wants to do is eat junk, not work and get drunk, but I want to find fellow health and fitness freaks lol!! (I have nothing against getting drunk btw…) I’ hoping when I’ve LEFT uni, then I’ll find ‘my’ people!!
    Btw, you look younger and SO much prettier now! Your dark hair suits you 🙂

  • Morgan January 21, 2010, 12:35 pm

    Does anyone from the ‘popular’ crowd actually admit that they ran with the popular crowd? I think our school was divided, but then it wasn’t. The ‘popular’ crowd was actually quite large and it included a healthy mix of “artsy-fartsy” types, athletes, etc. Most everyone in high school was some sort of athlete and that translated to who made the good grades. Our salutetorian was a cheerleader all of her life and also, “popluar”.
    And looking back on the 10 year reunion, the “popular” crowd organized the reunion, and I thought everyone was pretty friendly, but it was the people in the non-popular croud who complained about being not included the whole time. First, why bother in attending? And second, everyone has grown up since high school, so who’s to say you (Mr/Ms. unpopular) can’t approach someone and have a conversation!?! It’s a conversation for crying out loud!! I think the “less-popular” group sometimes (and this doesn’t mean everyone) plays this “woe is me” song. I’ve never seen anyone outright make fun of someone to the point of tears-but people did pick back and forth. It was playful.

  • Lisa January 21, 2010, 12:44 pm

    I was extremely awkward, and I guess I still am to a certain extent. I moved around a lot so I was always the new kid, I had and unfortunately still have ridiculously curly/frizzy hair (I hate it–but nothing helps. Trust me, I’ve tried it all!), I was a serious violinist who practiced quite a bit daily (although at least now I’m getting paid to do it!), I had braces and I was home schooled. Yeah, about as awkward as they come!

    But life goes on. I have now grown to have a lot more self-confidence and things are much better. Thank God.

    P.S. I love canned pumpkin, too! 🙂

  • Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty January 21, 2010, 12:48 pm

    I was totally the awkward *fat kid* .. who shopped at KMART – that was my tag line growing up… Then I went to a smaller school (only 20ish kids) in grade 8 and I became the popular girl… huge change, and I came out of my shell completely! I ended up winning the school spirit award every year… I wasn’t one of those mean popular girls though, I was nice to everyone, and really tried hard to make those years fun for everyone!! 🙂

    Funny thing was, nothing about me changed, I just changed schools! 🙂 Great post!

  • Jenna January 21, 2010, 12:56 pm

    Everyone is awkward in one way or another in their life! Nobody is that cool!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 21, 2010, 12:56 pm

    I agree about the pumpkin. I LOVE pumpkin oats because it is so delicious but it also keeps me fuller longer 🙂

    And I was the definition of awkward teenage.. braces, out of shape, bad hair, the whole bit. Middle school and high school were hell for me BUT it all changed in college. The middle school part reminds me of my cousin who is 13 and going through the phase where she thinks she is ugly and fat one minute and then the next she can’t stop looking in the mirror. It’s odd. But she goes on and on about being fat and she’s like a stick… it KILLS me to see her going through that 🙁

  • Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness January 21, 2010, 12:58 pm

    LOL yes! I was super akward until midway through 8th grade. I was a late bloomer, and I think that’s when the womanly hormones finally kicked in.
    Some examples of how akward I was… I played trombone, wore thermal shirts under t-shirts like every day, my t-shirts had either planets on them or “art” jokes, or oh yeah CAT t-shirts! I had those kitten posters like the “Hang in there!” one, all over the walls in my room. Nerd alert!

  • Beth January 21, 2010, 1:01 pm

    love the hair 😉 GAWD, that age was so awkward! I had mall bangs and a perm! My BF is English and moved here at 16 to, but everyone made fun of his accent and so he worked hard to rid himself of it, which makes me sad. Lucky for K people thought he was cool!

  • Alison January 21, 2010, 1:19 pm

    First time commenting, been reading for a few months. (Love the Operation Beautiful concept and look forward to all the great things that come from your book – congrats!) I just had to pipe in and say that red hair is definitely HOT! My husband is a redhead and one of my twin girls has red hair. LOVES IT!

  • Ashley @ Good Taste. Healthy Me January 21, 2010, 1:34 pm

    Haha I was not the cool kid, but I wasn’t the “loser” either. I was just kinda in the middle. High school was alright but college was the absolute best!

  • Deirdre January 21, 2010, 1:41 pm

    I was kinda a cool kid in middle school, but only because it was a REALLY small school. I definitely had my awkward years in high school. I didn’t get braces till my sophmore year and I was at an all girls school where there were TONS of cliques. I had a good group of friends though and survived high schoo and then LOVED college. It was the best experience and sometimes wish I could go back, lol! I totally agree with your statement. I tell anyone I know who struggles in their younger years: Just wait for college!

  • Caitlin in MD January 21, 2010, 1:53 pm

    Everyone is awkward in middle school. Everyone! I actually loved those years, though. I was solidly middle-of-the-road, as far as popularity goes (not cool – not a total nerd), and I can remember specific incidents of being made fun of or laughed at by the popular kids…guys and girls. And I was blazingly insecure about my looks, at times, too. But overall, even with those things, I can’t complain about middle school. I had phenomenal friends and we had so much fun together. And I had (and still have) an incredible family who made me feel like a princess no matter what I looked like, how much money we had, etc. Those things MADE my youth.

  • Foy Update - Cook. Garden. Write. Repeat. January 21, 2010, 1:59 pm

    I think being a teenager is about learning where you fit in socially. I consciencely worked on becoming who I am today.

    I’m about ready to hit 30 and I realize I have no trouble calling people I don’t know, or talking to strangers, or even speaking in public. It’s such a huge relief. I like being who I am and having confidence.

    I’m not really sure how I got here. I’m sure a lot of it had to do with great parents and finding my husband so young. (We started dating when we were 16, even though we didn’t get married until we were 26.) But it wasn’t just having good support. I worked at it. I put myself out there and tried new things and was open to learning. I’m still open to learning. I love reading self-help books and taking classes and exploring new places. A passion to learn keeps me humble and allows me to keep improving.

  • Raya January 21, 2010, 2:39 pm

    Oh my gosh!! I was picked on SOOOO much in middle/high school! It actually started the VERY FIRST DAY of sixth grade and lasted until the end of my junior year and that’s only because the four girls that would pick on me were a year older than me and they graduated! They were so mean to me, called me names, threatened to pour NAIR in my hair (ah!) and once they even dumped hot chocolate on my head on the bus. I still to this day don’t know what I ever did to them to make them dislike me, but I look back now and think it’s funny. I sure will have interesting stories to tell my kids! And it helps that I look sooo much better now than I did back then! I also wonder…did the popular kids even know they were popular? Or were they just as insecure as everyone else on the inside?

  • Amber @The Minimalist Dia`ries January 21, 2010, 2:51 pm

    I absolutely HATED middle school. The cool kids in my middle school were horrible kids – really mean and starting to dabble in drugs and really into the goth scene. Once I got to high school everyone was so much more accepting (at least at my school) The cool kids were the smart ones who were also in the band and cheerleaders/football players. I had a great high school experience and a fabulous college experience – not really dealing with much “in crowd/out crowd” drama. However, since I’ve gotten out of college and gone to less bars/parties, I seriously find my social skills slipping. Meeting new people has become much more awkward and it really frustrates me sometimes since I was so social before! – has anyone else had this problem since leaving college??

  • Jessica January 21, 2010, 3:05 pm

    Of course! I was 230lbs in grade 8 and usually around 210-220 all through high school. I’m down about 99lbs but even now I sometimes catch my reflection in windows and mirrors at malls and I don’t even realize its me. I also still have a hard time making conversations with guys I’m attracted to and find myself gravitating towards awkward girls to make girlfriends with…Is that unusual? Should I be making more therapy sessions?

  • Courtney January 21, 2010, 3:05 pm

    I think my awkward years were from 5th grade to my sophomore year in COLLEGE. I think I’m still pretty awkward. I’m not very social especially at school. I’m a senior now which is good because then I wont have to deal with all of the people around me that are trying to talk and I’m the one reading a book before class and while I’m walking. Even in high school I was teased in the basketball team. It felt like everyone clicked with each other except me. What’s weird is that it happened to me on my team when I lived in CA and in AZ. I must just not be a very good social person in large groups. Oh well. I’m happy just having the few very close friends I do.

  • Angela (The Lady Loves to Eat) January 21, 2010, 3:43 pm

    my awkward years were 6th grade til about freshman year maybe sophomore year of high school. I wasn’t one of the “popular” kids really but I had a ton of friends, all of my friends were-and still are-musicians in punk bands so I don’t think any of really cared what people thought we were cool in our on minds haha. I still have all of the same friends from middle school, we are like a little family, we have a huge thanksgiving dinner every year together. So I’m glad I wasn’t a cool kid because I had much better friends!

  • Stephanie January 21, 2010, 3:51 pm

    I accidentally ended up in the “popular crowd.” I was really quiet and shy, aka nerdy, all through elementary and middle school. In high school I somehow attracted the attention of a really popular guy and ended up dating him for 4 years. So I think I was popular by association. Overtime the girls that used to pretend I didn’t exist, started talking to me because of who I was dating. I can honeslty say I tried my best to be nice to everyone, but there were defintely times when I’m sure people felt victimized by some of my so called friends. I think that everyone, popular or unpopular, in high school feels insecure at one point or another. It’s sort of a part of growing up, and I bet most people who came off as confident back then were faking it.

  • Mandy @ University Cooking January 21, 2010, 4:16 pm

    I was pretty awkward in high-school. Although i did have a large group of friends. Couldn’t talk to a guy to save my life though. Now i think I’m a lot more outgoing, although still shy at times.

  • Amanda @ Cakes and Ale January 21, 2010, 4:17 pm

    I was always awkward, hyper and nerdy! I went to three different high schools and I always found the social structure to be frustrating… but nothing is worse than middle school! Middle school girls are MEAN!
    College is obviously the best. You can be yourself and let your freak flag fly if you wanna!

  • Gabriela January 21, 2010, 4:25 pm

    Pumpkin is in no way wrong…there’s no way something that tasty can be!

    I was definitely not a cool kid. I look back at middle school pictures and cringe…my insecurity then manifested itself in my ED in HS. Interestingly, the “cool girls” and “hot guys” started paying way more attention to me when I was the skinniest, and also the most insecure. And we wonder why there’s so much pressure to be thin! I’ve realized I’d much rather have friends who actually like me for ME, than friends who will drop me if I gain twenty pounds, but at a young age, that’s a tough realization!

    Thanks so much for bringing this up…great topic! I recently started my own blog, and yours was one of my biggest inspirations. Thanks for all the positive posts!

  • Kayla@Wholesome January 21, 2010, 4:35 pm

    So, I FINALLY tried your punkin yogurt…holy crap it was GOOD!! Awesome suggestion.

  • Samantha January 21, 2010, 4:38 pm

    Middle AND high school were horrible for me. I was ugly, I was called ugly, I was called other “slurs”, I spent most my time alone. College was only marginally better. I’m having the time of my life in my early 30’s. But that’s one reason OpBeautiful touched me so much…because younger girls especially can always use a little boost. Mean girls can cut to the core! (and mean boys too!)

    Very much looking forward to the book and hoping there’s no trouble getting it here on Guam when it’s released. Congratulations on your marathon…that’s amazing work! And good luck in your upcoming goals!

  • Maria January 21, 2010, 4:52 pm

    Lol…I’ve been awkward my entire life!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) January 21, 2010, 6:19 pm

    I hung out with the cool kids, but I was totally awkward! I teach adolescents, and I always tell them that once you finish high school, it doesn’t matter who you were in school … everyone is on equal playing ground.

  • Laura S January 21, 2010, 6:44 pm

    I had a pimple like that on my cheek a few years ago and ended up going to the dermatologist. He gave me a shot of cortisone and drained it-he said that if you get them that large then you should come in to have it taken care of-otherwise when the pimple goes away your skin can kind of “cave in” where the pimple was and leave a crater like mark on your face. Yuck! IDK how bad yours was but I could see mine when looking down too-you might want to go see a dermatologist to take care of it for you!

    Also, I had big boobs in high school/college even though I was skinny and I was so uncomfortable-not only physically but emotionally. It was hard to dress cute and guys were always staring at my chest. I ended up getting a breast reduction and it was the best thing for my health and self confidence!!

  • Erin January 21, 2010, 7:21 pm

    I was an awkward teenager. Heck, I’m an awkward adult, but that’s o.k., I’m the only female web developer in my office, so I’m paid to be awkward!

  • Catherine January 21, 2010, 7:36 pm

    Haha was I an awkward teen? That would be a yes. I did cheerlead and do all the stuff one would think a “cool kid” would do, but I never felt comfortable in my skin until I started to really figure out what I was all about in college.

  • Jessica Lee January 21, 2010, 7:56 pm

    I wish they made canned butternut squash, acorn squash and kabocha too. Wow, that would simply be AMAZING.

    Well I’ve seen people post about canned butternut squash but I have NEVER seen it in stores around me.

    Awkward teen years? You know pink the singer? I had my hair cut that short because I thought it was cool 🙂

  • Diana (Mymarblerye) January 21, 2010, 9:41 pm

    Um. I was the EPITOME of awkward…imagine an asian girl with long damaged hair and thick eye glasses who was a library aid! Was it hard in elementary school and middle school? Heck yes, it sucked having NO ONE you like like you back! Revenge came in high school…when I finally got contacts and CONFIDENCE about my brains. I’m lucky, alot of people never come to terms with what they can offer the world.

  • Jennifer January 21, 2010, 10:45 pm

    Awkward teen…Yes, tall, slim, big feet. The food looks great! Oatmeal included! Make your healthy lifestyle pay http://beachbodycoach.com/kendrick3900

  • Ann of pressure cooker reviews January 22, 2010, 12:09 am

    Pimples and unmanageable hair were my greatest struggle when I was a teenager…now that I am a mom and will soon have a teenager in a few years, I am already contemplating on what advice or help I can give to my daughter once she goes thru this stage in her life…

  • Julie Loses It January 22, 2010, 12:37 am

    Hey, Caitlyn, are those adorable spoons you use the Condiment Spoons from Crate and Barrel? I’ve noticed them before and have been trying to track them down, but I only see white on the website. I love all the colored ones you have!

    • Caitlin January 22, 2010, 7:05 am

      why yes it is!

      • Caitlin January 22, 2010, 7:05 am

        i think they bring out colors seasonally.

  • Jenny January 22, 2010, 9:22 am

    I’m late catching up on posts-sorry!

    But I wanted to say that I definitely had some really awkward teenage years. And my complexion was so bad that this guy in my class used to ask me if I washed my face! How cruel, right? Well, now my face is clear and acne is the least of my worries. I wish I would have believed my mom back then, when she said the awkwardness would fade!

  • Jen January 22, 2010, 1:44 pm

    One of my all-time favorite “awkward” high school comments is something I still repeat to this day. A group of friends and I were talking about having big boobs versus small boobs. I’m definitely on the small side, and I lamented this fact. One of the bigger girls immediately shot back with, “Well at least you can fit through the cat door on ‘Scream’!” I laughed so hard, and always tout my horror-movie survivability now.

  • Kate January 22, 2010, 5:35 pm

    I’m currently an awkward teenager! I’m 17 and just recently, and very unexpectedly, got braces which has made me somewhat self-conscious. I know I’ll get over it in the long run but for now I’m just going to be awkward; I’m also very pale and have very large feet, so that adds to it. Great blog btw 🙂

    • Caitlin January 22, 2010, 5:36 pm

      AWW. well, as you can see, most awk teens become confident adults – and you’re less than a year away from adulthood 🙂 you are beautiful, braces and all!

      • Kate January 23, 2010, 6:35 pm

        Aww, thank you so much! Your comment totally made my day. Yeah, when I hit eighteen in the summer I’ll suddenly bust out of my shell…maybe 🙂

  • katie April 26, 2010, 2:15 pm

    Oh yes I was definitely awkward. I was overweight, had braces, glasses, bad acne and huge, frizzy hair. (Until I was in 9th grade I had no idea mousse/gel could help curly hair!) I was so insecure; I wish I could go back and give my younger self a hug.

    I’m so glad that middle school girls are reaching out to you. Its so important for them to be able to hear about the “light and the end of the tunnel.” My hubby and I work with middle/high school students and I try to stress to them that I *does* get better!!!

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