Friday, February 24, 2017

Who Am I?

Anyone who reads this blog realizes I am honest.  Also, you realize my blogging is very inconsistent.  If you notice, I have not written anything for over a year.  There is a reason for this and I'm about to get honest about it.  I'm not sure this blog with contain as much humor as you are all used to but sometimes I am just not laughing. 

Close your eyes and imagine the best version of you possible. That's who you really are, let go of any part of you that doesn't believe it    C. Assaad

I posted the above statement on my Facebook page a few days ago.  It has really stuck with me and I have been pondering it the last few days.  Another thing I have been thinking about since 2008 when my mom died is what people would say about me at my funeral.  In the last 9 years, I have lost my mom, and both my husband's parents.  I was blessed by all the wonderful things people said about three of the most important people in my life.   It was good to laugh at stories and share memories or crazy things they did or how they made you  feel.  I recalled no one mentioned what kind of house they lived in but the feeling you had when you came into their house.  Their willingness to care for you and feed you and love you.  Simple.  If you asked the three of them about their earthly lives, they would say they did not accomplish much.  They would talk about their children and grandchildren and great grandchildren.  They would talk about friends and family.  

I realized that really what is important in life is how you make people feel.  Good or bad.  So when I came across the about quote by C. Assaad, it went hand in hand with that.  Who am I and how do I make people feel?  What is the best version of me?

So this is what she looks like. 

She makes people laugh.  She always sees the good in people.  She is kind and loving.  She is not depressed or negative.  She always looks on the bright side and is full of hope  She doesn't worry or fret because she knows God is in control.  She believes in Jesus and is so confident in Him and His promises that when she prays, it is with such authority and confidence, circumstances change.  Her relationships are honest and pure.  She is not full of fear.  She is fearless.  When people walk away from a conversation with her, they feel better about themselves and their circumstances.  She is a world changer.  She is an encourager.  She if a fighter. She is loyal.  She loves hard and completely. 

I read that and think, "yep, that's the real me".  Problem is I for years have let that girl be suppressed and pressed down.  Truth is for the last few years, I have experienced a depression that has crippled and hidden that girl.  She has been rendered useless (if even only in her own eyes)  The world has not been fair to her and she has crumbled under the pressure.  She has forgotten her first love (Jesus in case you were wondering) And she had lost all joy.  She has woken up  in the morning and been filled with dread. 

This is why I haven't blogged.  I feel like what do I have to offer in this state?  But the truth is, I know I'm not alone.  I know many of you struggle with joy and purpose and life.  So I decided to tell the truth.  This is who I've become.  But, I have  a God who loves me and has been calling me out of the dark.  Its funny, I relate so much to music I  just heard Gloria Estefan belt out, "COMING OUT OF THE DARK."

So there you are.  I know this blog probably did not make you laugh, but I promise the best is yet to come.  Because after all the first requirement of my best version is "she makes you laugh." 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Don't Stop Believing

My mom used to love to tell me the story of when I was just learning to walk.  We had a long living room and I would toddle myself to the other end and from the couch my older brother would throw pillows at me and knock me down.  It seems rather cruel, but according to my mom, I would get back up and "just laugh" as she would tell me.  My brother was 12 years older and I can always remember him telling me I was tough.  He actually nicknamed me Butkus after the linebacker who according to my google search was "the most feared tackler in the NFL history". 

Over the years, I have often thought of that story and related it to so many obstacles in my life that have literally knocked me to my knees.  But yet somehow I manage to get up, dust myself off and keep going.  Really,  it is just the way life goes for ALL of us. 

This past weekend after a rather rough week, I pretty much locked myself away in my house contemplating life and quite frankly feeling sorry for myself.  I call these times a  mid-life crisis but really they started for me in my younger years.  I never go out and have a crazy wild affair on my husband or try to buy a new car or dye my hair pink.  I just go through a depression that is sometimes paralyzing.  It is usually brought on by the fact that I decide I am not where I am supposed to be in life.  Thank God for my husband, who is a glass half empty type of guy most of the time.  I made the comment, "I'm 45, nothing great is going to happen to me."  The look on his face said it all.  "You're ONLY 45....".  There he goes again  trying to pour some more in my glass that I'm pretty sure is empty.

Anyway, in that brief moment, it was like a slap in the face.  A reality check if you will.  Later that afternoon, I thought, " I am a quitter."  I quit everything.  At least everything that pertains to myself.  Let me explain.  I will stay in a relationship that is not good.  I will stay at a job I hate.  BUT, if it is something I want or do for me....I quit.  This blog is a good example .  I just quit.  I don't know why.  I said I didn't have time.  I said my kids needed me.  I said "no one reads it anyway."  The point is anytime I get discouraged I quit.  Over the years I've joked that when I played Monopoly, as soon as someone else bought Boardwalk or Park Place, I would quit.  I just assumed the game was over.  Why couldn't I just buy up Baltic Place and Oriental Avenue and put hotels on all of them?  I just assumed the game was over and I had already lost.   I joke all the time about my husbands competitive family, but truth is, I am competitive too.  Only difference is I decide if I can't win before the game is over and just quit. 

Again this weekend I was reminded of that little girl who got knocked down and got up and laughed each time, I wondered what happened to that tenacious little girl.   Who was not only determined to get up, but laugh about getting knocked down.  I think basically it was because of discouragement and disappointments over the years.  Its like each attempt of trying became easier to quit based on previous let down. 

I am not one who believes in New Year's Resolutions anymore.  I feel like it sets you up for guilt and failure.  Its February and most of them are forgotten by now.  All the eagerness to change has become replaced with guilt of not doing what you said you would.   There is a quote that I want to put on my daughter's bedroom walls.  It says, "She believed she could, so she did."  That is my goal for 2016. First I will believe I can. Can what?  Not sure.  But I need to believe in me.  I'm still here, I'm still breathing. So therefore I believe I can.  I pray that if you are experiencing a "mid life" or have been discouraged this little rant of craziness has helped you believe too.  God bless and in the great words sung by Steven Perry.....Don't stop believing. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Aha Moments

A few months ago, I did my morning routine of stepping on the scale to check my weight. It is a habit I have tried to let go of, but like the Diet Coke it still is something I can't seem to let go of. This day was not unlike all the ones before, The 000 flashed a few times as I anxiously awaited only to display a number that was larger than the day before EVEN though I had been so good that day. I know what you are thinking. Weighing yourself everyday is stupid because your weight can fluctuate several pounds each day. I know, I know. But for some silly reason it has become a habit. I am so fearful that if I don't get on that scale everyday I will not have a "check" about my eating. Before I know it I could be bed ridden eating loaves of bread and pounds of bacon a day unable to walk. I would be on some show where a teary Richard Simmons would show up and cry with me and promise me to get some help. God bless that man for the work he does with the fatties. I know he gets it having been there himself. But, if I had him in my room begging me to let him help me I would only agree if he would promise me to get rid of those dreadful shorts he wears. He would have to promise, no satin, no stripes and not so short that I fear his giblets are going to play peak a boo while he is doing a pelvic thrust to tighten his "tush". But of course his "parts" are probably neatly and tightly tucked in those pantyhose he wears.

Hey, I love me some Richard, so don't think I am hating on him. We all have our stuff. His just happens to be on the verge of falling out his satin shorts. I can remember buying a Richard Simmons workout RECORD. Yes, I am not lying it was a record that played on a turntable and shouted out the next exercise. You had to learn the moves by looking at the guidebook that demonstrated them. It also had cheesy songs he sang if I remember right about it not being about potato chips or something. This is before I graduated and moved on to Jane Fonda with her "Complete" workout that had this chubby stumbling around my parents living room in an attempt to learn aerobics. That thing was 70 minutes long. Hey, it served its purpose, I may still be fat but to this day I can nail a grapevine!!!(that is an aerobic move in case you didn't know)

Back to the scale that day. I stepped off and of course the nasty thoughts came into my head. I don't need to tell you what they are but basically I convince myself I will be fat forever and I should just give up. BUT, what was different this day was the fact that I had this thought, "would I EVER speak to a friend or family member who was trying to lose weight the way I speak to myself?" OF COURSE NOT. If my sister called me and said she was up a few lbs I would never say, "You are never going to lose it you know?" "I mean why don't you just give up?" If a good friend called me depressed and said she got pictures back from a family function and felt horrible about herself what would I say? "Yep, you look really fat in that outfit." "Every picture of you looks like the "before" pictures on The Biggest Loser."

As Oprah would call it, I had a light bulb or aha moment right there. Why are we so hard on ourselves? I know we see every flaw. I often hear we need to be happy with our bodies. And every time I think "easy for you to say you are not morbidly obese." But I also had this thought, regardless of what my body may look like, it has served me well. It has allowed me to have two babies, it is still allowing me to walk around and move and experience life. That alone is a miracle with all the crap I've done to it, all the wrong foods I have put in it. All the chemicals I have put on it. That alone should have killed me. I mean with all the products and makeup and smelly lotions I have put on myself, I am practically a walking science project.

So, that is where I am. Can I put on a bathing suit and run down the beach without a cover up? NOPE. Can I put on a bathing suit and look in the mirror and be happy with what I see? NOPE. Do I look at the number on the scale and think, "I can live with that"? NOPE. But I am all I have. I've only been given one body and I refuse to spend the rest of my days hating it. Because it is amazing. Maybe not by Cosmopolitan standards, but still amazing.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Plateaus and tantrums.

Wow, it occurred to me that it is March and not only have I not lost any weight this year, I am up 11 lbs since Thanksgiving. Now before you go thinking the holidays threw me over the edge it really wasn't until January that I lost my focus. While everyone else was making their New Year's Resolutions to lose weight, I was digressing and falling away from my strict eating plan.

I have looked back recently to figure out where I "went wrong". I can tell you for me after working hard for a while on a new heatlthier life style I suddenly become like a rebelious child and begin eating the wrong things and ditching the exercise. I have examined when I began to lose focus. My lowest weight was on Thanksgiving morning. I got on that scale and resolved to stick to the plan that day. So while everyone else was munching down on the mashed potatoes and sweet treats, I stuck to the turkey and my Paleo pumpkin pie with the nut crust. I then proceeded to make cracker candy and cookies for all of the people at my husband's work and 6 of my surrounding neighbors without eating ANY!!!

So surely with all that determination and dedication, I continued to forge ahead in my get healthy plan right? NOPE. The scale WOULD NOT MOVE!!!! We then went on a cruise in January, where I allowed myself to eat carbs. I came home and actually the few lbs I gained was gone in a couple of days. BUT, the problem was I was angry. Angry that I had been so "good" over the holidays and no weight came off. Angry that I saw people of "normal" size pigging out on the cruise only to see them strut by me in a bikini on the deck the next day. The injustice of it all through me over the poor pity me edge.

I become like a little kid who didin't get their way and falls to the floor and kicks their feet. Although, I don't kick my feet, I rebel by eating foods I know I shouldn't. It is a horrible pattern I just recently recognized. I am like well if I am not going to lose weight I might as well enjoy food and not worry about it. It is almost like I am punishing my body for not responding to my efforts. The plateaus get me everytime.

So this blog is almost a confession. The good news is I recognized it before I packed on all 41 lbs back on. I still however am avoiding an appointment with my doctor because I don't want to feel like a loser. Nothing anyone can say will be worse than the things I say to myself. BUT, that kind of thinking is only going to put me in a downward spiral that will cause me to hit the fast food drive thrus and be eating frosting out of the tub with a spoon at midnight. I do love that my doctor recongnizes that not all "skinny" people are healthy. He assures me some of my numbers are better than some "normal" weight people but the superficial me thinks its better to look good in a bathing suit than have a good cholesterol panel. I can't carry my bloodwork around the beach and say hey look I'm a fatty but my HDL is great.

The good news in all this, is that The Color Run is coming to my town this year and I am already signed up. So my determination is still there. Reminds me of the words to a song by Chumbawumba...I get knocked down, but I get up again, you aint never gonna keep me down....the journey continues.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Money Back Guarantee!

While up early again with my coffee, trying to motivate myself to get on the treadmill, I come across a slew of informercials. I have mentioned this before but they always pull you in. You see the people trying to convince you that they are just like you. They have tried everything to lose weight, get rid of their acne and grow hair....or have hair permanently gone. But you know, this is the ONLY product that worked for them. Then you always see the flash of the bottom of the screen saying something about these are real people and not actors paid for thier testimony.

Let me just say, I am not naive enough to believe everything I see on T.V. or read on the internet. But I always think, if you truly struggled with weight or acne or no hair or too much, could you possible go on national t.v. and lie to people who struggle with the same thing? I mean doesn't that make you a mean person?

Being that I have been overweight most of my life, I can't imagine lying to anyone with that struggle to make a few bucks or see myself on t.v. I also sit and wonder, if THAT really worked, wouldn't fat, bald, acne ridden and hairy people be extinct? Why do we still have all these problems if all that stuff works?

As you can tell, I am a deep thinker at 4:45 in the morning. It may be the only time my brain truly functions (before the kids are up). It has given me the idea to actually try some of these products and blog my results. I mean I am not gonna lie. I am going to give you the truth. I am known for being too truthful at times, but I appreciate knowing the truth no matter how painful.

My first product I would like to "try out" is that Tummy Tuck Miracle system. It is basically a band you wear around your belly after putting on their special cream. You wear it for 10 minutes while doing some little toning exercises. Then you take it off and go about your slimming belly day. It says you can use it in addition to diet and exercise, but of course you don't need to. Its one of them eat like a pig and sit on your butt all day and watch your belly shrink and then switch over the QVC and buy yourself some new jeans cuz your gonna need em you hottie. And I realize that was a run on sentence but I did it for visual effect and humor content.

Let me just say, I am a firm believer in the true way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise. But considering I hold most of my weight in my belly what have I got to lose? I know $40 right? BUT, I figure I have spent more than that on "miracle creams" before and if it doesn't work, I'll have a mosturized gut and a cheap girdle. I mean I paid way more for my Spanx.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What would you say?

A popular question posed by interviewers of famous people is, "if you could say something to your 16 year old self what would you say?" I've often pondered that question. My first instinct is just to plainly say, "it will all work out in the end" Or, "Don't sweat the small stuff". But this journey to health this year has brought up so many things inside of me that I would have to write myself a book.

With all the horrible bullying that is going on in our schools and neighborhoods, it makes me reflect on my jr. high/high school days. To be honest, no one gets away from it. If your fat you get picked on in life. If you "too" smart you get picked on in life. If you have sex in those years you get picked on. If you don't have sex you get picked on. And believe it or not if you are a cheerleader or plain out seem "to have it all together" you get picked on. Maybe not to your face. But it is happening.

Its ugly. Its sad. I look at my two girls and want to do EVERYTHING I can to protect them from it. But I know it will happen. Because even if they are not picked on by their friends or schoolmates, the media will tell them they do not have the right body, or nose or complexion. Something will always be wrong.

On reflection, what I would like to say to my 16 year old self. That boy (that you secretly had a crush on) that called you and ugly lard ass as you left the school bus. He ends up divored and alone. He can't mantain a relationship with anyone. That girl that made fun of you on the beach during Senior skip day? She dropped out of college, lives with her parents and is addicted to meth. Almost EVERYONE that picked on your weight, now struggles with their own. I am not saying these things to laugh and say, "ha, ha, you got yours." I am simply saying no one knows how things will turn out for people. Just like the bullies who didn't know that girl or boy would go home and take their own life because they couldn't take anymore.

Another thing that people may find shocking for me to say to my 16 year old self. "Someday, you will look back and be thankful you were overweight." Shocking I know. But I can tell you that nothing like struggling with a weight/health issue can give you compassion for others. I see people that are hurting. I feel their pain. I don't like to see anyone embarrassed. I like to make everyone around me comfortable and to know that it is O.K. to just be yourself with me. It makes you see others as God does.

Now, those of you who know me, know that I have yelled and been angry at God for my situation. I have envisioned a life so much better if this was not my struggle. But as I move to clarity of my mind and taking better care of my body, I can honestly say to my 16 year old self. "Don't wish for something else, this will lead you exactly where you need to go." I leave you with one of my favorite verses in the Bible. Roamans 8:28."And we know ALL things work together for good for those who love Christ and are called according to his purpose."

Friday, October 5, 2012

Diet Coke please light ice!!!

I know it has been a while since my last blog but life is always busy and this happens to end up last on the list.  I mean I think my children and husband should be fed and have clean clothes to wear before I am blogging away about my crazy me old fashioned!

Since my last post, I have visited a new dr. and nutritionist and am happy to say they have listened and gave me an action plan in my weight loss/health journey.  Things are moving in the right direction so I feel hopeful that I can turn this ship wreck around.  This new dr. believes in mind, body spirit health.  I like the fact that he see the whole person as all being connected and not just willing to throw a bottle of pills and me and tell me to lose weight.  He is actually giving me the tools and support to do so.  WOW.  Such a difference to what I've experienced in the past.

During my first meeting with the nutritionist, she told me I was built for famine.  SEE, all along I was right.  I have said for years my ancestors lived where they only got a couple of meal a year so they stored it all as fat and held on to EVERY calorie for survival.  I also happen to believe they were in a cold climate, therefore having to produce tons of body hair to keep warm.  Yep, my family is full of hairy fattys.  (BUT WE ARE GOOD PEOPLE)

I realized after my first appointment with the doctor, I forgot to mention my dirty little addiction to Diet Coke.  Of course, I quickly scanned the "acceptable" drink list they gave me and guess what?  No Diet Coke listed.  So this last appointment, I fessed up.  I thought he would brush it off as no big deal.  But he says, "oh?"  And I heard.  "You will die by midnight if you drink one more."  But then he tells me they give it to lab mice and they get fat and no one really knows why for sure.  So I set out a plan before him of how I plan to kick the habit.  My plan is not to buy it at home, therefore forcing me to have to go out to get it. 

Fast forward a week later, when I am hurling curse words (under my breath, I have children in the car) at the construction workers at McDonald's for putting up the stop sign and letting the other traffic move right when I was getting ready to pull in the drive-thru.  I mean I almost got the shakes here.  It is 3 in the afternoon and I have not had a Diet Coke for over 24 hours.  So I finally get my "fix" and as I drive away with the first sip sliding happily down my throat with its familiar burn and sachrianny taste ( I am pretty sure sachrianny is not a word, but give me a break, I blog not write masterpieces) one of my favorite songs from the Black Crowes comes on the radio, its called She talks to Angels.

It is about a women with an addiction.  As I turn it up, I hear this line...."theres a smile when the pain comes, pain gonna make everything alright."  OH HELP ME LORD!!!  I am officially a Diet Coke addict.  I literally smile and take a few deep breaths with my first sip every time.  I smoked for years and cigarettes never gave me that kind of feeling.  I got it bad people. 

So, being that this blog made me do a 5K, due to the fact that I am a person on my word.  I have chosen a date this month (with another addicted buddy who shall remain nameless) to kick the habit. 
That is my plan.  Its now out there for the world to know.  I am a person of my word.  So I have to do this.