Monday, January 31, 2011

The balancing act continues....

I'm actually happy it's Monday which is freaking crazy I know!  I might even actually fart a gumdrop or two. 

I've been working out like I used to - which means every day.  I've been on track with my food.  I have literally cooked meals for Rambo and I for the whole week that put us at or under 1200 calories a day. 

Rambo has been working out every day with me too which always helps me.  If he's downstairs sweating, I feel guilty if I choose not to do the same.

I am still working on balancing....and I feel good about that.  I'm working all day and still managing to work on my other jobs at night and still work out and between all that - I have made a major effort to hold and kiss both my daughters in ways I didn't even a week ago. 

On the facing my fears and not letting my social anxiety win...ugh...that sucks a fat baby's ass.  I got a call from my neighbor to take the girls with her to an indoor swimming pool.  I lied and said we had plans.  We did not.  My daughter heard me lie.  It wasn't pretty but I didn't have the mental stamina to do it. 
And I knew that. 

Later that night we all went to a friend's house to play Wii and drink and hang out for a few hours.  Halfway through my stomach hurt bad, I only watched people play Wii and made excuses not to play myself and I sweat enough to soak my cute thong and sweatpants.  Lovely.  I am not getting better.  It pisses me off.  And still - I haven't had the balls to tell Rambo how every single outing effects me.  He was surprised that when we got home I got sick - because - again - we know all the people.  I've got to find some cahoneys and tell him so he gets it.

Also, today makes 31 weeks until I run the 1/2 marathon.  And yes, I am counting down already. 

Tomorrow I'll report my workouts, miles gone and calories burned in January.  I'm excited to finish strong!!

Oh and below (my 2011 word and mantra) is what I now have as a screensaver and on my desktop and on the side of my blog page.  I have printed it and put it everywhere in my house too!  Whaddya think?

Friday, January 28, 2011

BYOC Friday!!!!! **Bring Your Own Crazy**

Hello Peeps!


I wasn’t going to do a BYOC (Bring Your Own Crazy) today because my heart isn’t in it because of what our friend Barb has been going through but then I decided I would. Barb wouldn’t want any of us to stop living or doing what we normally do or finding joy in the little things in life. That wouldn’t honor her pain or Mark’s life.

BYOC can bring us closer as we learn more about each other and it can make us smile or cry or feel emotion so this one is dedicated to Barb and the beautiful memories she'll always have of Mark.…..and people everywhere who love each other and feel emotion with reckless abandon like we all wish we could.

If you decide to do BYOC this week…think of Barb….

I heard from Barb and she took some time with her daughters to read the blogs. I wanted you all to know she saw all of our words. The outpouring of love seen in blogland yesterday was nothing short of magical. I am honored and proud to be a blogger with you all and to call so many of you my friends.

I kissed my daughter goodnight again last night and I know my daughter is wondering what caused this change. I don’t have the heart to tell her that it took a kind soul leaving this Earth and a friend’s pain to wake me up. But that’s the truth.

On to BYOC….

1. Do you believe in love at first sight?

• I do believe in this. However, I also believe people say “I fell in love with him the first moment I saw him.” too flippantly. I think it happens, but I think it’s rare. From across a room – the only thing you know is outward appearance. I think it takes speaking and meeting and talking to fall in love. But the dreamer in me believes it happens and I love to hear stories about it. As for me, I met Rambo when I was 6th grade and I had no idea what love was. In fact….I hated Rambo. I still have diaries that say those words. He picked on me incessantly.
2. What’s your idea of a romantic evening?

• This probably sounds ridiculous but for me, it’s staying in. Then again – being the social freak I am – I guess you could have predicted that. Rambo and I go all out sometimes and blow up an air mattress in the living room and pile it high with blankets and get a movie and pizza and watch and laugh and just be. Those moments are perfect.

3. Who was your first crush?

• Celebrity-wise I think it was Kirk Cameron from Growing Pains. In real life, it was a guy one year older than me. I was petite back then and this guy was HUGE. Like linebacker huge – all muscle…and super cute. We dated for a while and he was super nice and we’re still friends today. Good times.

4. What do you believe is a stronger emotion – love or hate?

• You know – I don’t have an answer for this. Like many of you, I’ve seen in real life and in movies that love can bridge any gap and move mountains. On the other hand, anger can destroy nations and even cause war. In my own extended family, both my parents have siblings they haven’t spoken to in over 20 years because of anger. Love can easily be replaced by anger. It seems anger being replaced by love is a lot harder to accomplish in my opinion. In one act, one betrayal, one word – it seems love can disappear and anger takes its place…..and it remains. I’d love to answer that love is stronger because that’s what I want to believe…but I just don’t know.

5. Repeat question: Summarize your life in blogland and in real life.

• Obviously in blogland there was a tragedy among one of our own. Tragedy often brings out the best in people and I saw that happen here. I also challenged myself and anyone else who wanted to join – to work out the remaining days of January (6 days) and so far I’ve done that. 2 down, 4 to go. So far this week, I’ve lost 5lbs and that makes me pretty happy.

• The pain of blogland is spilling over into my real life. I find Barb and her family on my mind all the time. And to honor that I’m trying to be a better wife and mother and not let the people I love wonder if I do. I found my 2011 word and mantra and am working on plastering that everywhere in my life.

P.S…..I love you all.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

For Barbara....

Not more than 6 months ago, I had the privilege of meeting 50 amazing women in Chicago. One of them was Barbara.


Barb has eyes that sparkle, a contagious laugh and a sassy blonde hairstyle to match her fiery personality. At our “fancy” supper, I got the chance to talk with her one on one…and right now I’d give anything to have that moment back so I could hold her tight and tell her how sorry I am.

Barb’s husband, Mark, courageously fought a battle with cancer…and his body was tired of fighting and he passed away.

Helpless is how I feel, how I’m sure we all feel as we read about her pain and heartbreak.

When I ran on the treadmill last night - my wish with every tear that I cried that fell onto my shoes – was that for every one of mine it would be one less Barb would cry. There’s nothing else I could do…

And then it was bedtime. Normally, I hug my girls goodnight or yell I love you from the kitchen. My 10 year old always wants more. More hugs and a kiss. I rarely do it. There’s something intensely scary about her needing me that much because of how it makes me remember how I felt as a child her age. I didn’t say my reaction was right – I’m just being honest.

Last night was different. My daughter was blowing me a kiss from her bed and I was in the hallway….like always – with distance between us.

And then my daughter met Barb’s husband’s spirit because I willfully and purposely walked in there and hugged her tight and kissed her. She glowed. I closed the gap.

And again as I laid next to Rambo – doing the normal cursing at his snoring and getting ready to put earplugs in – I stopped. I laid there as the tears hit the pillow and I listened to the sound of the man I love next to me and thought about what it would be like to not hear it.

I swear God always puts the good angels to work immediately…because Barb’s husband’s spirit was in my house though he just left this Earth not even days ago.

Barb…your pain will not be for naught….I vow to you that each night I will kiss my little girls no matter what - in honor of your husband's life.  From so far away – it is the least I can do.

And Barb – as you go through ceremonies and gatherings and you hit the point of exhaustion and you think you can’t go on….

Close your eyes.
Put your hand on your heart.
Put your other hand out – palm up.

Can you feel it? The strength, love, and prayers lifting you up and surrounding you? That is about 50 BOOBS and tons of other bloggers who love you holding your hand and saying…

You are not alone.
Lean on us.

When you think you can’t cry anymore – you can stop – and know that WE are crying for you from all over the world.

Be well, my friend.

And Mark…rest in peace big guy. For Barbara to love you – you must have been one hell of a man.

Oh and my little girls says “thank you” for nudging her mother to close the gap.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Late for the party...my 2011 word and mantra....

While I know it’s nearly February – I have finally decided on a word for the year. And because I need to be different, I have also decided on a mantra.


Being a self-imposed over-achieving perfectionist – I, unfortunately, have an “all or nothing” attitude quite often. If I find a new hobby – it’s balls to the walls gung ho can’t focus on anything buy enough stuff to feel like I’ve been an expert in the hobby for years instead of minutes - mindset. I let everything else fall to the wayside. I live, breathe, eat and sleep whatever the newfound passion is. It’s all about being the best…it’s all about my ego. And it’s not good.

It happens with everything. If I focus on 1 job heavily – the other 2 falter. If I decide to start working out – I won’t miss a day and anything less than an hour isn’t good enough. If I decide to diet - I research, journal incessantly, plan and probably eat too little. On and on it goes until there’s room for nothing else but the one thing I’m focused on. And come on…we all know that can’t work forever.

Soooo – my word for 2011 is BALANCE. I’ve never been good at balancing but I’ve always wanted to be. I’ve got to find a way to focus on my 3 jobs, working out, eating right, being a mom and a wife, blogging, volunteering at school and having a life outside of those things – simultaneously. The ratios need to be even – and now they are lop-sided.

It drives me crazy. But not for much longer.

I’ve been working on this since the new year started and I’m doing well. I’m seriously letting go of always having to be on top of everything. I’m pacing myself. I’m breathing in and out instead of constantly hyperventilating.

Yesterday was a perfect example. I worked a 9 hour day. I ate GREAT all day – on plan. I went home. I ate a healthy meal with the family. I watched a show with the family for 45 minutes. I did some work on my 2nd and 3rd jobs for about an hour. Then I watched a show I wanted to watch for me – while I ran sprints – for 75 minutes. I read some blogs, tucked in the girls, and went to bed. All by 8:30pm.

I laid my happy little ass on my pillow with wet hair - soaked with sweat from running - just like the good old days.  I slept for 10 hours straight with no nightmares.  Freaking heaven.

Mission accomplished. Everything in my life got its due time. Everything got a little something and I don’t feel behind and I don’t feel any guilt for neglecting any one thing. Hell, I even took a phone call while on the treadmill for the 3rd job. Multi-tasking whore I am!!

Yes, yes – the word is gonna be BALANCE. It’s an elusive little word that has managed to escape my grasp for most of my life but no longer.

Oh and the mantra? I stole it from my friend Lori (LDSwims). She wrote a blog one day and it stuck with me and I’m stealing something she said as my 2011 mantra. It is:

Embrace the real. Love the journey. Find the peace.

Really – is there any better way to sum up all my aspirations in this life than the above statement? I think not.

Just so you all know I’m not giving up entirely on my “balls to the walls” lifestyle – I’ll have you know I will be setting out to plaster this word and my mantra everywhere over the next few days.

In my planners.
On my fridge.
On the mirror.
On my computer screen.
In my journal.
On Rambo’s forehead.

Everywhere. In fact…I’m going old school. Heading back to kindergarten even. Getting out the crayons, markers and scissors. I plan to redo my Vision Board with these new words.

Our family has a Vision Board in our office. One corner for each of us with our visions and goals for life. While I can’t compete with my 5 year olds “vision” to meet Hannah Mont*na….I’ll give it a shot.

Maybe I’ll take a pic of it when I’m done.

Do you have a vision board? Do you have a word or mantra for 2011? If yes – tell me how you keep it at the forefront in your life…

Oh oh – one more thing. Does anyone want to join me in a mini challenge to work out every day for the remaining 6 days in January? Lemme know if you do! I need to finish January strong!!!

How about you?

Floating in existence....

***** Please note....I wrote this yesterday and didn't post it until today.....today's blog will be on a much happier note...written from CareBear Land....so just disregard the crap below.  Mmkkayy?

Today I’d like to share with you my definition of an enabler. His name is Rambo and this is our conversation.

Me: Wow...my boobs totally get bigger when I gain weight. (picture me holding both boobs in my hands)
Rambo: Really?
Me: Yes – look. It’s a fact that when most women lose weight they lose it in their boobs first and for me when I gain – it goes to my boobs first.
Rambo: Want a cupcake baby doll?

I totally asked for that comment didn’t I? Wow.

I also found out this weekend that I have too many shoes. I can no longer deny it. As I was gently shoving my 5 year old out my closet AFTER I told her to take off my 5 inch heels before she broke her neck – she stomped out – turned around and looked me square in the eyes with her hands on her hips and said, “What Mom? It’s just like a shoe store in there.”

Shitballs. I’m busted.

Cute stories huh? Also a good way to stall so I don’t have to say this -> I’m struggling just a wee bit and all you Superheroes out there (that’d be anyone with a fah-gina if you ask me) know how impossibly difficult it is for me to say that right?

I can barely type the words. And that pisses me off. What the hell is so hard about saying I can’t do it all and that I need help and that I’m exhausted? Oy.

I’m a hamster running on a wheel – never really getting anywhere – sweating and stressing and running faster hoping it’ll get me somewhere so I can finally rest. It’s seriously time to get off this effing wheel. The scenery is getting old.

I think what sparked this new “I’m hanging by a thread” mantra as of late is the fact that I am working out again. Which takes time. Another hour in the day given up for just me and my health. Another hour I don’t have available for everything else.

And yes, I’m perfectly aware that the everything else I speak of – was chosen by yours truly. I get that. And I also get that everyone is busy, everyone has jam-packed schedules, and everyone is tired. I get that I need to suck it up. And I will.

Tomorrow.

Today I’m just floating in existence. I’m here – but I’m not really present. I’m not aware of my surroundings because that requires too much energy. I want to take a bath in Skittles laced with caffeine. I want to dry off with a chocolate towel so when I’m not in Skittles, I’m covered with chocolate. I want to cry. One of those big chest-heaving, puffy-eyed, snot-dripping oh-so-pretty cries while I hang onto Rambo with white knuckles and he whispers in my ear, “Let it go baby, I’m right here.” I want to lay down in a field of sunflowers like they do in movies and not have one single bug crawl into my underwear while I’m laying there.

In other words…I want to keep right on floating in existence. I’m gonna keep being here – but only in body form. Mentally – I’m taking a vacation from this body and this life and the self-induced stress and the jobs and the kids and budgets and high standards and perfectionism. I’m giving myself a time out.

Not a single thing is going to get crossed off the pages long to do list today because I know for a fact that even if ignored today, the list will remain tomorrow.

I will get through this day by letting go. The only thing I really have to do today is breathe.

Oh and run an hour of sprint intervals.

Jesus, whose idiot idea was it to get healthy anyway?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Unwind with a little rewind Tuesday.

It's Tuesday here in Care Bear Land (and everywhere else frankly)...so that means I find a post from the past...to see where I came from and how far I have left to go and to reminisce.  When I was searching for a post...this one spoke to me. 

I'm having trouble loving my "lumps and bumps" lately and I need to remember a lot of the things I said in this post back on 4/6/10.  Feel free to join me and find a post from your past...

**************************

Lumps & Bumps

There is one thing I want to do that I keep forgetting. Shaggs posed a question to me after my tummy tuck post. She asked if I will ever be 100% happy with my body (because I still see bumps after my TT and she didn’t) and if I’ll never be perfect naked where most don’t see me, why should I try to look perfect dressed where most see me and go under the knife for it?

Really good, thought-provoking questions and they deserve an answer.

About seeing the lumps and bumps – I will probably always see them. That isn’t the same as saying I hate them. I just see them. I think for me I will always be critical of my stomach because first of all – I paid nearly $6000 for it and though my expectations were realistic – a teeny part of my brain was hoping for perfect. A girl can hope right? However, it does not mean I don’t love my stomach. Because I do. I really do. I never have but today – I do.

There is no skin hanging and it’s pretty close to flat and after stretching it reeeeaallllyyy far over the years and two preganancies – that’s priceless. And for me – seeing bumps and lumps or flaws on my body is okay – again – it doesn’t mean I’m not in love with my body. But for me – I need flaws. First to keep realizing I am not perfect, don’t have to be and will never be and that’s okay. Second to realize I’m a work in progress and I have to keep working or those flaws become big ol Sheniquas and they become dangerous to my health. If I look in the mirror and say well done – now relax and enjoy – um, yah – weight comes back FAST. It’s a daily battle and those flaws remind me to keep trying to be the most healthy I can be. If I couldn’t see those flaws – I wouldn’t keep trying nearly as hard. I think that’s part of why I gained 20 lbs after my TT.

I always told myself that when I was at goal weight and when I loved every part of me but the skin and once the skin was gone I’d be all set and done with this journey. Then the skin was gone and voila! - I gained 20 lbs back – and while none of it went to my stomach – it went everywhere else and my BP and cholesterol suffered. Though not obese even with the 20 lbs - the point is I wasn’t healthy. I have to watch my weight every day……..it’s become as natural as breathing.

Also – on having the surgery question. Shaggs was right – it’s your own choice and she said she would not have had the surgery. For me – I had to. It was the end of a couple year long quest. It kinda felt like I went to college for years to become a lawyer – but then didn’t pass the bar. Would you have said to me – “Oh well, go work at McDonalds then and forget the bar.”- knowing the sweat and sacrifice I went through for years? I doubt it. You’d tell me to never give up and find a way to pass that bar, keep trying, etc. I tried for years to no avail – “I” could not fix this….I had to find another way.

While it’s true that how I look naked is for ME – the truth is also that the surgery was for ME. For the first time I made a decision to put ME first…and it wasn’t easy. Now I also had no idea the amount of pain and swelling and the aftermath and how difficult recovery would be – but for me I was still willing to risk it. Plastic surgery wasn’t about perfection for me – it was about fixing something I couldn’t fix myself….I had no control over that piece of skin so I put it in someone else’s hands. There was just something in me that knew without this surgery – the real me would keep hiding under clothing and low self-esteem. And I also knew that if I made the decision to have this surgery – I’d have to commit to taking care of me forever or it’d be like throwing $6000 away. Having this surgery was sort of my way of committing to this new healthy body forever.

And about seeing the lumps and bumps – I keep it in perspective with the people I love. I have a husband who can’t keep his hands off me and a best friend who tells me I’m gorgeous and perfect and sees no flaws on me just like I can’t see any that she sees in herself. They keep me grateful and keep me real. And for me – it’s a balance that works. So while I never ever thought I’d ever have plastic surgery – much less twice (breast reduction too) – I have not one single regret.

Now if anyone wants to give me another $5k I’ll seriously consider lifting the ta-tas. I promise to give you a full review in return for the money. That’s a good deal right? By the way – many plastic surgeons do breast aug and a tummy tuck in the same surgery, same day – in case you’re thinking you’ll need both some day. Had I known my boobs would keep shrinking I may have done that but it seems wrong to have them reduced by 6 lbs and then have them added to later….LOL.

Friday, January 21, 2011

BYOC Friday!!!!! ♥♪ Bring Your Own Crazy ♥♪

It’s Friday – so it’s BYOC – Bring Your Own Crazy. 5 questions you can copy and paste into your blog to give your brain a break and to get to know each other better!


Ahem – before I start – those of you getting ready to start a mob with torches and pitchforks aimed at me because you think I have no cellulite due to yesterday’s thigh pictures….um…how do I say this?

YOU’RE MISTAKEN. I’ve got me some cheesecurds…on my butt….under that swimsuit in the picture and NO – you will never get to see them but I wanted you to know they are there so you can put the pitchforks down and go back to liking me mmkkaayy?

And beyond that – I may be relatively cellulite free but I won the lottery in the stretch mark department. If I’m brave enough you’ll see them when I feature my stomach. Ugh – gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.

Now to BYOC:

1. For $50,000 – would you go without brushing your teeth, showering or wearing deodorant for 3 months?

• This question just seems wrong to ask and answer doesn’t it? Okay – if I had to pick one it’d be the teeth. I think I could get around the icky feeling with gum, mints, and mouthwash. I can’t imagine not washing my vagizzle and I sweat buckets every day so no deodorant is just not possible.

2. Is it harder to tell someone you love them or harder to tell someone you don’t love them back?

• Well this one seems easy to me. It’s harder to say I love you. I come from a family that finds the “three little words” nearly impossible to say. In fact, I’m certain some of my siblings have never heard it from my parents and vice versa. Even when it’s love love and not just family love – the fear of rejection is pretty poignant and when you haven’t heard it spoken for most of your life – saying it for the first time is a clear cut recipe for an instant panic attack.  The only man I've ever said those three words to is Rambo...and thankfully - he said it first.

And about telling someone you don’t love them back….I’ve had to deal with that before I met Rambo but I never had to literally say, “I don’t love you back.” I think if you don’t love someone – your actions prove that and the person in their gut knows. Saying it out loud to them was never necessary for me…
3. What is on your bedside table?


• Seriously – can I just say I never set out to make these questions perverted but somehow they always come out that way.

Anywhoozle – I have a huge basket on my bedside table and it has relaxation and meditation CDs in it. I have two alarm clocks – no idea why. Bottles of water. Kleenex. Nighttime herbal sleep spray for my pillow which I never use. Hairbands. Ear plugs. My glasses. Crosswords. And the remote.

Clearly – there isn’t room for me to have anything perverted on my table…..

4. If you could be invisible, who would you kiss?

Okay, first of all – I totally thought this question would be fun and I’d have a HUGE list but now that I’m trying to answer it….I just can’t. Yes, indeed – it may be the corniest answer EVAH but I can’t imagine intimately kissing anyone besides Rambo.

How the hell is it I can answer questions about sex with a Superhero then? I don’t know….I agree it completely makes no sense. Maybe it’s because a kiss means so many things….I love you, I’m sorry, I need you, it’ll be okay, you complete me, hang on, I’m here, you’re the only one, I missed you….and on and on and I can’t imagine having that emotion with someone else. God – I’m even mad at myself for not being able to answer this one…how dumb.

I'm a Rambo sap today clearly...I miss him...he's been working OT.  So there...that's my excuse.

5. Repeat question: Summarize your life in blog land and real life.

Blog land – the story about my Dad was really uplifting to write and posting my thigh picture was really hard. I stared at it forever before I could hit the “post” button and I contemplated re-doing my hands hoping none of you would notice. It’s hard to do…love myself – physically – body part by body part. Even just as a woman – it feels somehow wrong or arrogant to say out loud that I love parts of me. Women just aren’t used to loving themselves much less proclaiming it to other women you know? Oh and it was fun reposting the whootenanny stuff….good times.

Real life – I’m still kicking ass, farting gumdrops and pissing rainbows. I have worked out EVERY day this week – despite multiple board meetings and Rambo working OT – I refuse to find excuses. I’m up to running at 5mph and am doing interval sprint training now.

My diet is good. My sleep is still not great but I only had one migraine. I have stayed on top of my 2 part time job’s workload, full time job is good AND I have managed to clean my house. Contractor comes tonight for our possible kitchen or bathroom remodel. And every day that passes brings us closer to Spring right?

Oh and for all of you who asked and are dying to know – the candy is Brach’s jube jelly hearts. That’s it – hearts. No sprinkles or frosting or fancy colors. Plain red hearts….the kind that feel my soul.

Love you all!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Triple U Thursday - Unclothed, Unhidden, Unashamed....

It's Triple U Thursday....which means......

I promised my best friend that in 2011 I'd learn to love every part of my body - piece by piece...and I'd do that publicly and in pictures on my blog.

I have detailed my hands and my calves so far.....

Today...I picked my thighs.

(try to be kind, my friends)

My thighs allow me to run miles and miles with strength and fortitude on my treadmill.

My thighs will lead my calves and feet - step after step -  to complete my 1/2 marathon.

My thighs allow me to kneel upright when I'm bowing my head to pray.

My thighs give curve and attitude through their connection to my amply boot-ay.

My thighs allow my little girls to sit on my lap while I hold them and kiss their tiny heads.

My thighs look smoking hot courtesy of a mini skirt and 5 inch heels.

My thighs may indeed be the next place I get a tattoo.

I love my thighs...because they are mine.


Now....come on...lemme see yours. It's only fair.

P.S.  Is it okay to admit that saying all these "lovey nice" things about my body parts is EXTREMELY hard? 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Candy for my soul.....

Hello peanuts! I can already tell I’m going to be long-winded today….so beware.


• I’m still on track with my diet and have been working out each night. Last night I did sprint training (walk 2 minutes slowly (while panting like a dog and catching your breath) followed by sprinting at a high speed for 2 minutes) for 45 minutes. I was a sweaty mess and if you’re a long time blog reader of mine – you know I love me some sweat. I felt exhilarated and the whole time kept thinking – “Man, I missed this feeling.” Tonight I plan to do more sprint work but I’ll be running them in our school’s long hallway. Walk one stretch – sprint the other. It’s the best for weight loss and building my lung endurance back up quickly so I can begin distance training for the ½ marathon.

• I forgot to tell you that this weekend out of nearly 175 tattoo entries, one of Rambo’s tattoos got 2nd place. I also want to say that despite the fact that I have gained weight and it’s the middle of winter I wore a bikini top and entered my back tattoo which meant I had my shirt off in a store filled with people for more than 5 minutes. If that’s not motivation to keep losing weight – I don’t know what the hell is.

• I have given myself a little challenge lately to try to complete each day…and now I’d like to challenge you to the same. The background is our comfortable-ness. (yes, another made up word)

Routine, mundane…comfortable. So many of us do the exact same thing every morning – from the moment the alarm clock rings. We do our makeup and hair and shower in a certain order, probably followed by coffee or getting your kids up or starting your car followed by taking the same route to work at the same time each day. Followed by punching in, taking off your coat, etc. etc. Lunch at the same time. Leave at the same time. Take the same route home you do every night.

Except today.

See, I thrive on routine and schedules which isn’t bad BUT when a wrench gets thrown into my routine I lose it. The day is almost shot. I can’t regain control. I feel off balance. In 2011n I want to learn to be more spontaneous, more free and less tied to habits and schedules and “doing what I always do”. So? My challenge to me is to do one thing different each day.

It isn’t always physical either. For example, yesterday at work there was a huge mixup. Bad news bears. I was in the middle of it but it wasn’t my fault. I wasn’t in trouble. I did my job. But the panic-stricken worrier in me still felt bad. I wanted to fix it. I wanted to run to everyone and tell them I was sorry……which would be me apologizing for something I had no part in.

Instead? I did nothing. I made myself stay in my office and not go fix and not run around making things better. It wasn’t my problem. I didn’t need to do anything – but go on with my day. THAT was something very different for me. I let it go. It didn’t consume my day. I never talked about it again until I got home and told Rambo. I did something that was not routine, not comfortable and not usual. And it felt good.

The day before I did something physical. I took an alternate route home. Sounds ridiculous – but it made the ending of the day seem totally different and new. Not routine. Not predictable. Spontaneous.

Today I have decided the first thing I always do when I get to work – which is get a soda – will not be that. Today it will be water first…and maybe a soda later. One change. One thing I don’t normally do.

Because life is more than routine and I need to learn to deal with constant change in a good way – instead of a panic-stricken way.

Care to join me?

• Lastly – and most importantly – I need to talk about some candy…

When I was growing up, my Dad was always a fan of candy. But the candy was always his. We weren’t allowed to touch it – much less eat it – unless he gave it to us. Every January – pre-Valentine’s Day – there is a certain candy that comes out in stores. It was his favorite and the unique thing about this candy was that in our area only one store carried it. So not only was it his favorite but it was scarce and hard to find. Naturally, I loved this candy because he did. Because I loved what he loved hoping that would make him love me more somehow.

As I got older, it became my thing each January to scour the stores in the area to find this candy. For years again, I could only find it in one store and I’d buy every bag – no lie. It became my thing to take my Dad a bag of this candy because I knew he loved it, because it was hard to find and because it was a link we shared. It has since become an unspoken contest about who can find it first in what store…and when we do – we bring the other one a bag of it.

The other night when I went to my parent’s house I walked in with a bag and my Dad turned around and handed me a bag. We both found them this year at the same time….and we both thought of each other. That night I left my bag for him and forgot to take the bag he got for me. No biggie – I had literally 10 more bags at home.

Yesterday for some crazy reason all I could think about was this candy. I wanted some BAD but they are only at one store in a different town and I’ve already gone through 10 bags a week ago. I have to draw the line somewhere. And still? All day – that candy – was on my mind. I almost called Rambo knowing he’d be in that town to tell him to get me just one more bag.

I was working hard at my desk with my head down and the day was nearly over. I looked up and there was my mom – followed by my father. (if you recall in 11 years he has only been to my office one other time – last year – to bring me flowers – when I nearly passed out)

There he stood. And he laid a bag of the candy on my desk. It took everything in me not to break down at that moment. We had already exchanged bags this year….so I was shocked at his presence.

I know how hard it is for him to walk into a building of people he doesn’t know. I know how his stomach feels walking past my co-workers. I know how fast his heart is beating at that thought of seeing me and not knowing what to say. I know his chest is probably covered in hives….because 30 seconds after he walked in mine was too.

He cannot actually say that he loves me. He cannot physically hug me. He cannot say that he is proud of me. He cannot stop in to visit me without looking like he has a reason. And today - the candy provided the reason.

He takes all those things he cannot say or do – and puts them in a bag of candy and he musters up the bravery to bring it to me. He loves me in the ways he can. And no – it’s not conventional and not usual – but it is true and real….and I’m lucky enough to call it mine.

So yah – to my co-workers who saw him come and go and leave me a bag of candy – it looks like a nice gesture by a father. However, I know better. It is that and soooo much more. It is his love for me – and that bag of candy affords him the opportunity to show me that. I literally found myself shaking for hours after he left. I let the tears fall on my way home. I was barely out of the car before I told Rambo what had happened – and he knows what it means. He knows it is big.

This one small gesture will carry me for a long time….so yah…thank God for Valentine’s candy.

It not only tastes good….it feeds my soul.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Unwind With A Little Rewind Tuesday...

It's Unwind With A Little Rewind Tuesday for me.  That means I go back to my old blog posts and find something to repost.  It's fun to see where I was, how far I've come and how far I still need to go. 

Yesterday my blog was pretty "heavy" and not all that fun so today I picked an oldie but goodie that isn't serious at all....because I needed a laugh.  A bunch of you probably remember this post because it's about the beloved whootenanny shaving.  I think it might be the first of many once we all broached the subject. 

All over blogland for a good week or so - all we read and wrote about was whootenannies.  God....it was fun.

So join me.  Go back in time for a bit.  And smile.

*************************************from 3/15/10.....

This is the “ain’t gonna be pretty part” you’re all waiting for. No bodily fluids – just body parts. I can’t really believe I’m going to type this but I can’t always talk about the effing scale and what I’m shoving in my mouth right?

Oh and from here on out – in the tradition of naming things and cuz I hate typing the word vagina – my lady part is gonna be known as Candy.

Mmmmkay….soooo…..I was coerced into trying a new project last night by someone who shall remain nameless (her initials are A.W.). She was all bragging after my Brazilian wax question….she was all “I don’t spend money on going to someone, I do my own, shave it myself, no razor burn – smooth as a baby’s butt, totally easy-peasy.”

I think she lies - a lot.

Sooo I email Miss Unnamed privately and say, “Nu-uh – how the hell can that be possible – no razor burn?” She gives me pointers, tips, suggestions – yes – we are swapping shaving tips about Candy……unbelievable I know. But sometimes a girl’s gotta ask if she wants to know right?

So I say “ Heck I can do this – I’m not stupid – I’m gonna save money and embarrassment – no problemo.” I begin to prepare mentally in my head….these things cannot be done on a whim – your head must be in the right place before proceeding. That is to say craned so far near your ass it’s pretty much up in there…..women aren’t made to bend that way. Ugh.

I say to the family – leave me alone – I need quiet time – I’m shutting the door. I get out the materials. I line them up on the bath tub’s edge. I say a prayer. I begin.

30 seconds in and my back and neck hurt. Note to self – ask A.W. exactly how she sits/stands/lays when she attempts this de-hairing.

5 minutes in I realize there is too much water in the tub. I cannot possibly hold my ass/Candy up in the air for as long as this is going to take. Note to self – ask A.W. if she does this in the shower or tub or outside in the backyard pool. I drain some water. This is a helluva lot of work. This better be worth it.

On I trod. New shaver – check (the better to knick myself with). Hubby’s shaving cream – check (better to smell like a man’s face with). Tweezers – ha – I’m kidding. (Scared you, didn’t I?)

So whatever – I do my thing and the whole time I’m telling myself “Stop thinking about A.W. – that’s just gross to think of a fellow blogger in such a private moment – focus on Candy – this is important – you screw this up and you may never recover. Pay attention.”

Halfway through – I’m concentrating so hard that I don’t hear my daughter come in…I look up – shaver in Candy….and die of embarrassment.

“Whatcha doing Mommy?”

Well I’m certainly not doing what it looks like I’m doing. NOW GET OUT!

I continue and all I can think is “JESUS – how many nooks and crannies and crevices do these things have?” I’ve got enough here that when I’m done I can make a hairpiece. I think I’m done and voila! – nope – there’s a whole other area I missed. I’m having serious doubts that one teeny shaver can handle this. I probably should have done a pre-shave. I feel like I’m holding up thawed pieces of chicken trimming the fat off of them. This is like a frigging science project and I feel like I’m going to be graded when I’m done. It’s like trying to mow grass with one of those old-fashioned push mowers – in grass that hasn’t been mowed in um – years.

FINALLY I’m done – well let’s just say I’m done with the parts I can see. I cannot bend that far and those pieces/parts are just gonna have to live that way. There is no way I’m just gonna blind-shave in a part such as Candy. That’s inhumane. Not to mention wrong.

I get out – I’m sooo proud of myself. I slather on the lotion. I step in front of the mirror.

OH THE HORROR. What have I done to Candy? What IS that thing? THAT is what it looks like without hair? Are you kidding me? I’m a porn star – a real life porn star. (Oh stop pretending you haven’t seen one.)

Except they make it look good. What the hell? Can I superglue the hair back on? I can’t walk around like this. (Yah for a minute there I forgot I get to wear clothes over it.)

OH MY GOD – is that itching already? Holy mother of God it’s been 30 seconds since I dried off and I want to itch myself with a freaking hair brush just to make it stop. This cannot be happening.

Breathe. Calm down. It’s not so bad. It’s just new. I’ll get used to it and the man will have to appreciate it right? No more forest to get to the cave. Men love that right?

I exit the project area. I go see the man.

Do you know what he says??????????????????????????

"Nice but I like a little strip on top…you know maybe even a lightening bolt shape."

Did he just say that out loud and with an effing smirk? What do I look like – a freaking artist? You can’t make custom requests! Are you bending into shapes women weren’t made to bend into? Are you exploring caverns that you never knew existed? Do you know what Candy and I have just been through?

Dude – it’s gonna be a long time before you see this porn star’s weird-ass looking Candy. And by the way….you might wanna pick up new shavers before you shave next time. I used six of them. That’s right – all for the cause buddy.

When I let the lightening bolt grow back – I’m gonna use your toothbrush to comb it all pretty. Jerk.

Morale of the story – do not try this at home. Unless you’re A.W…..

Monday, January 17, 2011

Just adjectives....if I let them be.

This weekend I shocked myself.  Not in a good way.

I went to a supper that our local firemen put on as a thank you to anyone who works for our village.  Rambo went with me.  I rushed to get ready.  I actually completely didn't allow myself to get nervous or scared or anxious.  I stayed excited - new outfit, with Rambo and no kids all night.  I could sleep in the next morning.  I was well on my way to another "leaving the house" success story.

Let it be said that I am NOT exaggerating.  I walked into that firehouse - a room full of at least 50 men - firemen, village workers and townsmen.  I was the ONLY woman besides one other girl I knew.  Walking in first - because I allowed Rambo to hold the door open for me - was nearly nauseating.  Almost torture.  I wanted to turn back around and run - or pass out.  I did not

I took off my coat and bee-lined it to sit next to the other woman.  I survived.

I ate.  Two slices of meat, mashed potatoes and gravy and one piece of cheesecake.  Nothing major.  Nothing spicy.  And yet - about an hour in - I had to look across the table at Rambo and say, "We have to go."

My stomach could not take it.  I was in pain.  Literally swollen.  Hear me now those of you thinking of having a tummy tuck...I am 2.5 years out from my MINI tuck and I still swell and hurt depending on stress and what I eat (high salt).  This night it was the nerves and stress.

Rambo knew I was hurting.  We left. 

I got in the car and he said, "What's the matter honey?"

I kind of got defensive and said, "What do you think?  I had to leave the house.  I'm nervous."

He said, "I didn't think that happened when you knew everyone there."

I said, "Seriously?  I feel like this when I go see my own mother and father."

So there - I said it.  I am afraid to even see my own family.  Probably because I know how my coming over makes my father feel.  I am the cause of his anxiety when I visit...and therefore I feel my own.

I swore I would never be him.  And yet - last night in the car - I pretty much admitted I am. 

And add to that the fact that I just realized I have hidden how intense these feelings are to a man I consider my soulmate for 20 years...which means I am still dealing with shame and still hiding.  I am quite sure I have said over and over that it is hard for me to go anywhere socially - but I just now realized that in 20 years I have never ever really told Rambo how it literally physically and mentally disables me. 

I find it funny that there is one person on this Earth that knows things no one else does about me...but I kept this huge part of me hidden.  It is something I am ashamed of...though I know I shouldn't be.  It is something I don't want to say I feel - because I hate seeing it in someone else who was supposed to love me - in spite of it. 

And many times - that someone else let his anxiety win.

There are days I think I'm beating this.  Kicking its ass.  Curing myself.

And then I realize my own husband has no idea how outings make me really feel...and I realize I still feel the need to hide.

Depression.  Perfectionism.  Impossible standards.  Self-criticizer.  Over-achiever.

Really - can't the above list be enough on anyone's resume?  There's just not enough room to add social anxiety disorder too.

I realize once again that I am a pretender.  I am not my authentic self.  I refuse to be molded by words on a medical chart or my life's resume.

There has got to be more to me than those words and feelings....they are just adjectives.

I.
am.
more.
than.
that.

I will keep fighting.  And it begins with sitting Rambo down and telling him - word by painstaking word - what my mind and body go through each time I leave the house.  I have to let go of the fear that he will love me less once he knows the degree of my anxiety. 

I have to begin somewhere.

And I'm certain this is where.

Friday, January 14, 2011

BYOC Friday!!!!! ♥♪ Bring Your Own Crazy ♥♪

It’s Friday which means it’s BYOC time. That’s Bring Your Own Crazy….5 little questions you can copy and paste into your own blog to give your brain a break and to get to know your fellow bloggers better.


Enjoy!

1. If you were on death row, what would your last meal be before your “death”?


• Seriously hands down – though it’s predictable and not very exciting….pizza. I tell you – I could eat pizza all day, every day, in the shower, when I’m peeing, during “dessert”, and in my sleep. For that matter – I could sleep IN pizza and I’d die a happy girl. Hmmm….addict much?

2. If you drive a car, do you speed?

• Not now. I used to. When I first got my license within two years I got picked up for speeding by the SAME cop, on the SAME road, on the SAME day one year later. Too freaking karma-ish for me to ignore. From that day forward cruise control became my best friend. I’m way too scared of cops now and I’m wayyyyy too cheap to pay a ticket. And then there’s the fact that now I have two children in the car with me…

3. What movie(s) do/can you watch over and over again?

• Cmas Vacation with Chevy Chase, Pretty Woman, Overboard, and Beauty and the Beast (What a ridiculous list!)

4. What’s your favorite blog topic to read about and your favorite blog topic to write about?

• To read about – probably running. I love most everything I read or I wouldn’t follow the person BUT when I read about running it reminds me I am a runner too and I never used to be and that I love it and I consider it an accomplishment I never even set out to reach.

• To write about – hmmm….probably exactly how I’m feeling. I love to be able to say exactly what I feel – even if it’s selfish and lame to anyone who reads – it’s deeply personal to me – and therefore deeply healing. Discovering myself through not holding back has been a great journey.

5. Repeat question: Summarize your week in blogland and in real life.

• In blogland – all is well. Karen gave me an award which I’m very honored to receive. People are really blogging away again since it’s the New Year with new goals. I downright SUCKED at comments this week. Comment block or something. I vow to be better next week. Oh and Read asked me about organizing so I got to talk about it in an email which was comparable to a Skittle bath for me.

• In real life – all is well. My diet is spot on. I have worked out each night either walking, running or doing interval training – and Rambo has joined me. We are thinking of doing some kitchen and bathroom remodeling so I’ve had lots of lists to make. Rambo finally has a weekend off so we’re going to a tattoo show and a party in town. It’s totally all gumdrop farting and rainbow peeing in Care Bear land for me!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Um....I have no idea what to title this.

A little email I got today:

***************
Dear God,
All I ask for in 2011 is a big, fat bank account and a slim body.
Please don’t mix these up like you did last year.
Amen.
******************
Ain’t that the truth?  I thought you guys would enjoy that.

Ah yes – TUT (Triple U Thursday) is here. And yet – no picture of a body part of mine today. Stop freaking out – I have legitimate and not so legitimate excuses reasons.

First off – I do know which body part I’m featuring next….I just can’t take a picture of it by myself and Rambo had to unexpectedly work a 16 hour shift at the prison so he wasn’t home to take the pic. Legit right?

Not so legit? Well…simply put. This is hard. When I promised Jenny I’d learn to love every part of me – part by part – I thought it would be easy. It’s not. I’m finding out there are quite a few parts of me I don’t like and don’t want to see in a picture. Add the fact that I gained weight over the holidays – and whammo! NOT in the mood to love myself.

But no worries – I will keep on it. The point is to love my body – ALL of it – at any size at every moment. And I will do that. Just not today.

I would also like to mention that I ran across Buttwad #2 yesterday and the convo went a little like this. Well wait – little back story. This convo took place with a woman who got the sleeve thingy on her stomach. She’s lost tons of weight since then. Let it be known I supported this woman daily with emails and such before she got her sleeve and after re: her weight loss and such. I have ALWAYS been in her corner.

She came into my office yesterday, looked at me and said this:

Her: You look different today. I saw you yesterday and thought the same thing. Something is different about you.
Me: Ha! Maybe I’m chubbier.
Her: Really?
Me: Yah – I gained the usual 5-10 pounds over the holidays.
Her: Yah, maybe that’s what it is.

Um a-hole – you didn’t have to agree. You could have easily said, “Oh no – that’s not it….you look as freaking thin as ever!” Ever heard of a little thing called tact?? Wow.

And lastly there’s just something I have to say about people who un-validate and un-importanize (totally made that word up) and minimize a woman who has 20 pounds or less to lose. I don’t appreciate it. I don’t like it and it makes me angry.

A girl here was complaining about how she needs to lose about 30 pounds and I, in agreement and camaraderie, said, “Oy – I know what you mean. I’ve got about 15 to go until I hit my goal.”

Immediately – I get the eye roll. The “psssh – 15 pounds – that’s nothing – you’re fine the way you are.”

I wanted to yell SCREW YOU. Really? I could say the same to her. She looks great – seriously – fashionista great. She’s probably a size 14 and knows how to dress and looks wonderful. I could have said the same to her. Stay the way you are – leave it alone – you’re crazy.

Sure – I may be down to 15 lbs left but don’t forget the 55 I lost before that. If you ran a marathon that was 70 miles long – would you stop at mile 55 and say, “Meh, that’s good enough.”? If you needed 70 therapy appointments to be fully healed from something – would you stop at appointment #55 and call it done? If you needed $70 to buy something you’ve always dreamed of…would you earn $55 and say the hell with it and give up the dream?

Yes, I admit I look okay. I could stop. But are you aware if I do, I’ll be put on cholesterol meds and high BP meds? Are you aware I get more migraines the heavier I am? Are you aware that I have heavy cancer risks on BOTH sides of my hereditary health history? Are you aware I have a goal – and I set it for a reason? Are you aware that these last 15 mean as much to me as the prior 55? Are you aware these 15 will take all I’ve got and be harder to lose than any before them? Are you aware my self-confidence falters and I feel less sexy with these extra 15 on me? Are you aware it’s not vanity pushing me through?

Please understand weight is weight. Whether 5lbs or 50lbs or 500lbs…it all hurts and feels the same and is hard to get off. When you minimize my last 15 pounds – somehow you minimize me and I’ve been working my ass off to stand out – not stand down or stand behind or stand under.

Put away your jealousy for one second because you’re angry that I’m closer to goal than you. If you knew the work I put in to get this close – you wouldn’t be jealous. Maybe you’d be impressed instead. Maybe you’d encourage me to keep going. Maybe you’d realize I have always been a strong advocate in your corner…

Would repaying that kindess really be too much to ask? If it is….at least stop rolling your eyes at me. That’d be a start.

Rant over.

BYOC tomorrow my little chicken nuggets!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Buttwads and flip switching.

Hello nuggets…..it’s Wednesday and I’m still farting gumdrops and pissing rainbows here in Care Bear land….and I just have to say….


Some people are real buttwads. The other day in the grocery store, I was in the sugar aisle (I was simply smelling and touching sugar – not buying it in case you’re wondering). There was this cutest little old lady and she picked up a bag of Nutrasweet and put it in her cart. No big deal right?

Wrong. According to Mrs. Buttwad in the same aisle anyway.

I heard Mrs. Buttwad in her oh so arrogant, I know it all voice say, “Nutrasweet causes cancer” as she looked down upon us mere mortals in the aisle with her.

The little old lady was scared. Her eyes got really big. She kept saying, “but my husband is a diabetic. Why do doctors recommend sugar substitutes like this if they cause cancer?” The Buttwad rudely said, “Because the doctors are stupid and don’t give people any other options so they just do it.”


Why yes – that’s a known fact isn’t it? Doctors are stupid aren’t they? Them with their fancy 25 years of schooling and high IQs and their ability to save lives every day. (yes I’m aware that not all docs are great – I’m generalizing)

The little old lady continued to be scared – thinking she was going home to feed her husband cancer pellets.

I wanted to slap the Buttwad. If Nutrasweet caused cancer like cigarettes did there’d have to be a surgeon general’s warning on them. And yes folks, I’m aware they could find out down the road that it does cause cancer. And yes, I’m aware of all the research that says how bad artificial sweeteners are for you. I get all that BUT who is this Buttwad? Does she have a medical degree? What gives her the right to scare the hell out of an uninformed old lady?

I’m sorry – I have my opinions and I’m passionate about them – but the minute I spew them at perfect strangers in a grocery store when they didn’t ask for them and I try to cram them down their throats anyway – I just look like a fool. I guess this is a why I’m a research junkie. When Buttwads like this approach me – you can bet your ass I want to be informed enough to either agree or disagree.

This little old lady wasn’t informed….she was just scared….of the possible cancer pellets. And the Buttwad was to blame. I wanted to kick her and her haughty ass into a vat of Nutrasweet.

Moving on.

My diet is going guh-rate! Seriously – I’m eating fruit like it’s the nectar of the Gods and staying under my 1200 calories like lightening will strike if I don’t. I have worked out every day for an hour. I have begun my preventive migraine meds. I am journaling.

For me – it’s all about flipping the switch. I always know when I suddenly want it bad enough. It’s that “rock bottom” thing people talk about. While I hate rock bottoms – for me they are a necessary evil. People always say once you hit rock bottom – the only place to go then is up. I think that’s donkey caca.

I could easily stay at rock bottom. Stop caring. Go off meds. Eat sugar like it’s water. Sleep all day. You know – make rock bottom a career.

But that’s not who I am or who I want to be. While rock bottom spurs me to want to climb the ladder to get back to the top – I know it’s definitely not a place I want to stay in.

Rock bottom for me happened this weekend when I had a party to go to. I shopped all day for a shirt to wear (99% of them didn’t fit) and bought one I sort of liked. Come party time I put it on and just looked like a woman trying to cover up fat rolls. I was pretty close to not going – ever so close to tears. It’s the first time in a really long time that a reason I didn’t want to go was because I felt overweight and non-sexy. Usually it’s just mind/social anxiety and physically at least I feel I look okay….but not this time.

And then the doc called to say my bad cholesterol was bad and my good cholesterol wasn’t good either. Shitballs.

Enter rock bottom. Flip the switch.

I’m back with a vengeance. I can feel the ache inside to get back to the top. I felt the burn inside when I was running last night – wanting to stop – and not allowing myself to….knowing I could do at least 5 more minutes and another 5 and another 5. I started caring again – about my health and myself – in a way I haven’t in a while.

It is a choice. A minute by minute choice to follow the path to health.

It’s a choice to give up an hour with Rambo when I only have 3 (awake) hours a night to see him to begin with.
It’s a choice to give up an hour with my girls when I only have 3 (awake) hours a night to see them.
It’s a choice to let go of my part time work that is waiting to be done upstairs.
It’s a choice to not sit and read blogs.
It’s a choice to do this for me.

It is a choice. A minute by minute choice to follow the path to healthy.

And I’m going to make it. Because I’m worth it.

Are you?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Unwind With A Little Rewind....Underneath the Blanket

As I said last Tuesday, I couldn't wait until I had a year of blogging under my belt so I could do something I'm calling "Unwind With A Little Rewind". I'm going to go back - waaaaay back - and find a post I wrote and re-post it. For me. Because sometimes I can't believe what I wrote or that I'm still writing or that anyone is still reading. And I think it's good to look back. And it's something I've wanted to do for a while. So here is today's edition.


Oh and feel free to join in each Tuesday. It's kind of fun to go back in time and see where you were...because it's so easy to forget how far you've come. It's also quite convenient when I'm having blogger's block or too completely lazy to write something to knock your socks off.

I wrote this on 1/28/10...and it was called.....Underneath the Blanket...

**********************************

Yesterday I read a blog recommended by a friend and I found it very thought-provoking. The woman was talking about body dysmorphic disorder (sp?) and how after you lose weight you can’t see yourself thin. That got me to thinking about me and my incessant need to still go automatically to plus sizes when I shop….I even convince myself the clothes are much cuter there anyway.

How do you break a habit like that you’ve had your whole life – in just months or a year? Is it possible? Does any woman really do it? I mean YES – of course it’s part of the dream – walking into a store and shopping in regular sizes and looking good but to me that isn’t what happens.

For me – it’s not that I don’t see myself thin – it’s that I don’t see myself as thin “enough”.

There’s comfort in plus sizes because no matter what I pick up off the rack it’ll fit and it might be a little big but it fits. There’s no sucking in air, zipping zippers into skin, cursing in the dressing room, etc. It just fits. If I were to break the habit and go right to my real size – there’s a chance it won’t fit – just like it never did all those years before. There’s a chance I have to put it all back and then go to the plus section where I should have started anyway. There’s a chance the size I thought I now was – isn’t – not in this brand anyway and I can’t take that rejection – not one more time.

I think the perfect invention is a blow up life-size before picture of yourself that you could fold up and carry in your purse. Just imagine me standing in the dressing room thinking – “Are you freaking kidding me? I ran 5 miles every day this week and my fat @ss still won’t fit in a size 12?” – when suddenly before I break into tears and whip out the Twinkie in my purse - that I could get out a picture of me at my highest weight and stand it up next to me while in that dressing room…..THEN – yes THEN – I wouldn’t feel like such a failure knowing I have to reach for the next size up.

I could “see” it – right there in front of me. Because for me – I forget how far I’ve come, the hills I’ve climbed, the struggles I’ve faced and how big I was. I think we all want to forget it so we do…but remembering is part of the key. I suppose this is why people who are successful at weight loss carry a picture of themselves at their highest weight around with them. Forgetting doesn’t work….it’s pretty much denial that a fat me ever existed.

It’s the same with staying home instead of going out because you can’t find anything that looks good and you’re afraid of what people will say. I thought that would go away after losing 70 lbs – turns out no – the feeling is the same, just a different reason. Now I’m afraid I haven’t lost enough, still nothing looks right and my God what if someone notices and says something like “how much weight have you lost?’

You’d think that would be a celebration but for me it’s not. Saying I lost 70 lbs is flat out admitting I had it to lose. Saying I lost it is admitting to the public I was overweight. It’s like admitting I had a problem and who the hell wants to admit that? It’s all part of the journey I realize now – saying yes – I let myself go, I didn’t care, I had issues, I had problems, I didn’t make myself a priority, I wasn’t healthy – sometimes to complete freaking strangers….but every time you say it – it gets easier to believe. And every time I have to walk out of the dressing room and put the plus size clothes back and go get a smaller size – it gets easier to see.

Part of me loved the fat girl in me – because I told myself I was happy with me as me – fat and all - and confident enough to be fat in my own skin and know people still loved me. I filled myself with good lies every day and I believed them. It was a good fat world……until the sun went down and darkness fell and I was still fat. I guess now there’s a difference – I’m awake even in that darkness now.

I’m doing this for me. Though I have lost almost 1/3 of what I was – I’m more of a person today than I was then. But I will never make the mistake of thinking that weight was just fat. It wasn’t – it was a symbol of a million things I couldn’t face or talk about or live with.

Fat is like a blanket that covers you up and keeps all the ooey-gooey stuff nice and warm on the inside while you go on living on the outside. You lose it and it’s like someone stripped off the blanket and you have big arrows above you flashing and pointing like a neon sign saying “Look at this girl. Look what is under her blanket. Sins. Misdeeds. Imperfections. Lies. Pains. Heartaches. Come one come all – open for everyone to see!

It’s scary as hell.

And beware - it's not like as a kid when your mom ripped off your bandaid in one swift move. Oh no - this blanket stripping is slow and drawn out - painstakingly slow at times.

I have told anyone who asks – losing weight is easy science. Calories in – calories out – work out – done. The emotional weight loss is a whole different story and it’s not for the feint of heart. That’s why I believe so many people gain it back.

So many say, "Well I stopped working out and I started eating cookies again." Sure you did - but why? I believe it’s because the emotional weight loss was starting to take hold and facing that inner you that you haven’t seen in years is more scary than carrying around an extra 50 lbs.

But if you want – blame it on the cookies – I’ll never tell….I’ve been there. Done that.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Nothing too exciting here....

It’s finally over. It’s been like a butt boil that won’t go away.


Christmas that is. I had my LAST Cmas party for work and LAST family Cmas gathering this weekend. I did cartwheels when I left. I know it’s ridiculous BUT I feel like NOW I can finally begin my New Year’s intentions. I can finally let go of the holiday mindset and move on. This year it was just mentally daunting for me.

My week was intense. January is a huge month for my two part time jobs and so I feel extra swamped. I am a busy, busy bee. Yet, this social anxiety freak still managed to get out of my comfort zone and accomplish some things. I went to an event every night of the weekend. All three were social events. All three I was seconds away from backing out of.

For one, my sitter got sick. Hallelujah! Perfect reason not to go…..if I was the old me. The new me made some calls and got another sitter and we went. Score! And 2 of the events I walked in first. I nearly died but I did it.

I saw the doc last week because it’s time to do something to prevent my migraines instead of treating them when I get them. They are weekly and I just can’t live like that. The doc is giving me something to help me sleep which also prevents migraines and I’m thrilled this could work. My migraine trigger is lack of sleep because I rarely sleep an hour without waking up. So – can you imagine? Sleeping more than an hour or two at a time? It sounds too good to be true. And maybe no more migraines? Holy shitballs – 2011 is gonna be good huh?

I finally let them do labwork – so I’m sure they’ll be calling to tell me that my cholesterol is WAY bad. Ugh. I’m severely dehydrated too…which never helps migraines. I’m a walking mess folks….but I’m fixing it little by little. Keep your fingers crossed.

Oh by the way – another fun tidbit. At my weight, according to the BMI chart at the doctor’s office, I’m OBESE. Nice. That is the nastiest word on Earth I swear (next to the C word of course). To be not obese…I’d have to weigh 135. Um yes. My left leg weighs that. I don’t think so. Who the hell makes up these charts?

Today makes 34 weeks until my ½ marathon. I’m doing interval training on the treadmill today. I read every weight loss journal I’ve had since 2007 last night and re-read Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean book too. I’m motivated and ready.

How are you guys doing? Do tell….

Friday, January 7, 2011

BYOC - Bring Your Own Craziness...(plus a little rainbow farting)

Lollipops!  Look what Miss Katie J found for me.  A little person farting rainbows...and about to pop a neck vein doing it.  I freaking love this.  I'm not going to ask how Katie found this.  I can't imagine what she had to Google to get this.  LOL. 
Okay - on to BYOC!  5 little questions we answer to get to know each other better and to give our brains a break from coming up with blog material!  Copy and paste and enjoy!

1.  If you could have only three electrical items/appliances...what would they be?  (Um...whose gonna be the first to say you know what?  (Perverts - all of you!!))

*  Is it completely and totally vain to say I'd want a curling iron?  Too bad if it is...I need one...or six.  And yup, for sure my PC - the blog, F*cebook, email.  Then I'd have to say the TV.  Who needs a washer when you have a sink?  I *need* stupid, fake, lame reality TV that I can zone out to. 


2.  What do you think Satan's middle name is? 

*  Totally Leroy.  Can't you hear his mother yelling?  "SATAN LEROY - you clean your room right now or else."

(Seriously - who the hell makes up these questions.  Oh shit...that's me isn't it?)

3.  Name two things you are VERY good at.  (Again - can't wait for these answers)

*  I'm good at caring for people in a profound way.  Deeply.  With loyalty. With little gifts just to make you smile.  With words so you know never wonder how much I love you.
*  I'm good with numbers and organizing those numbers.  Hence why I'm an accountant in all 3 jobs.  Hence why I kick ass at it if I do say so myself. 

4.  What is your favorite sundae topping?

*  Easy freaking peasy - hands down - butterscotch.  NOT caramel....yes - there is a total difference.  I used to work at Dairy Queen in high school.  I am a topping expert.  I think that may have been the beginning of my weight gain.  Oops.

5.  Summarize your life in blog land and in real life this week.

Blogland is a happy place with all the new found challenges and motivations and resolutions.  I like it here this week.  Well then again...I like it here every week.

Real life is a shitstorm of crazy busy.  January is tax time and bill time for the 2 PT jobs and the FT job just never stops being busy no matter what month it is.  Oy.  Double green donkey dicks. 

I played volleyball and worked out some days.  Other days - not so much.  I had an all out pity party one day. 

And I survived. 

And I'm still here.  And I posted pictures of my calves.  So there. 

How goes it for you?  Do tell.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My body picture post is gonna have to wait another week.

Why?

Because.

This is more important.

Please go here.   And read.  And please participate.

Do what you can....like so many others.  No scam, no hype - just real live people reaching out and asking for help. 

And take advantage of company match if you can. 

Tell your neighbors.  Post it on your blog.  Put the link in your FB status.

Do what you can.  Please.

I know the woman behind Chickadee and I know the woman behind this post.

It is nothing short of an honor to use my blog for either of them.

For whatever you do...even if it is a simple prayer each night...thank you.

Seriously....thank you.

Dead ends....apples...and sustenance.

Ever heard anyone use that whole apples to apples analogy thing-y? Today – driving to work – I couldn’t stop thinking about it.


They say you should only compare apples to apples – NOT apples to oranges. Or in my world – NOT apples to green donkey dicks.

Today - I have realized I could use a refresher course on this apple, orange, dick thing.

I’m a woman – news flash I know! – and that means I compare myself to others like nobody’s business. And it gets me nowhere. It’s like choosing to go down a dead end street when you know damn well it won’t lead you anywhere. You can choose to drive down it and get to the end and sit there….and you have two choices. Turn around and go back and embrace the journey and respect the dead end drive. Or throw it in 4 wheel drive, jump the curb, and drive through fields and ditches for as long as your car can take it. The first gets you somewhere. The second gets you a hefty car bill and probably some bumps and bruises and you feel (and look) like a raving lunatic.

Do I have a point? Yes.

My point is that lately I’ve been feeling like Care Bear dung. Migraines nearly every other day and debilitating fatigue – and after another long night of no sleep and another migraine I wanted to come into work here and cry to a co-worker about it. I want to have a pity party. I want someone to feel sorry for me. I want compassion.

I want to whine about how 3 jobs is too much, being a mother is too much, working out is too much, volunteering is too much, dieting is too much – life is just too much. I had all the words ready. Tears were on the tips of my eyelashes.

And then? I thought no. I cannot complain. How dare I? I have the things in life that matter most. Love, children, family, a roof, a job….and on and on. Who the hell am I to cry?

And yet the urge to shed tears remains. It’s been months since tears have fallen from these eyes and yet, today….it’s all I want to do.

I remember being bedridden and feeling many, many things but a HUGE one was guilt. How could I not get out of bed? I had everything a person could ever want and I couldn’t move? How was that even possible? There were others with real problems – like loss of a loved one or a job or sickness. Things that mattered.

I was comparing my life and my pain to others. Dead end street. NOT apples to apples. Though I felt for them – my pain was mine. And it was real and valid.

I remember dieting and working my literal ass off and seeing my size 4 sister eat entire pizzas and not gain a pound. I was comparing my body to hers, my metabolism to her, my 15 year age difference to her – NOT apples to apples. Dead end street. Though I can wish I was her – my body is mine. And it is real and beautiful.

I now think of today – the stress, the fatigue, the overwhelming anxiety, the difficulty of daily life – and then I compare my life to others who have real issues and real problems and I feel guilt and I hold back the tears and I tell no one how I feel. The truth is – I have no idea the pains they are hiding. I am comparing my life to someone else’s. Another dead end street. NOT apples to apples. Though I can think my pain and stress is trivial in comparison – it is not. It is mine. And it is real and I feel it.

So today I say to you – I am learning. Learning to give a voice to what I feel. Learning it’s okay to say, “Hey – I feel like hell today. Could you hold my hand and tell me it’ll be okay? Can you reach out and wipe my tears away if I let myself cry them?”

I’m learning to reach out. Learning to stop comparing.

It’s all part of my intentions list – being enough, feeling enough, having enough and reaching out and being more instead of doing more.

I am human. I hurt. I feel.

And though I have everything a person could ever need and want – I’m still allowed to feel pain and stress and hurt. Once in a while you have to sit at the bottom to realize what you have at the top. I don’t want to stay in this mental place…and I won’t…but once in a while it’s okay to visit.

I must give myself permission. It’s really not normal to be okay every single day. Even Wonder Woman gets her period or gets shit on by Superman or gets a zit or something right?

So yah – today I’ve chosen to go down the dead end road and I’m just sitting there. Right at the decision point. Turn back, embrace the path that took me here, embrace back-tracking and finding a new, better road OR choose to jump the curb, risk injury and pain and knowingly enter the jungle.

It’ll be okay. I’ll make the right choice. Today though? I’m just sitting. Waiting to decide. Allowing myself to feel scared and stressed and worried about making the right decision.

I’ll learn to trust myself. I’ll learn this is MY path and MY journey…and no one else’s.

I’ll learn to stop comparing. Comparing leads straight to dead ends. And folks? Sitting at dead ends sucks green donkey dicks. Trust me.

Thank God I farted some gumdrops so I have something to munch on while I decide which direction to choose. And you thought I farted those just for fun didn’t you?

Nope. Gumdrops = sustenance. Enough said.

Tell me, do you compare? Do you knowingly enter dead ends? Do you turn back or jump the curb? Do you allow yourself to sit BEFORE you decide which direction you’ll ultimately go?

And most importantly – what do you pack to munch on while you’re sitting there?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Unwind With A Little Rewind and hot dogs in butts.

Do you guys ever go to the Stats page on your blogs?  There's a tab that shows you what people search your blog by.  Wanna know what my top two are?  The first one is simply the word Drazil.  Very good.  Understandable.

The second?  Um.  Okay.  Here it is. 

Can I put a hot dog in my butt?

WHAT???  I've never talked about hot dogs and I don't use the word butt because I'm primitive so I say @ss like a real classy woman does.  A hot dog in my butt?  What the holy hell?

Moving on........

Okay - blog today.  I couldn't wait until I had a year of blogging under my belt so I could do something I'm going to call "Unwind With A Little Rewind".  I'm going to go back - waaaaay back - and find a post and re-post it.  For me.  Because sometimes I can't believe what I wrote or that I'm still writing or that anyone is still reading.  I think it's good to look back.  And it's something I've wanted to do for a while.  So here is today's edition. 

Oh and feel free to join in each Tuesday.  It's kind of fun to go back in time and see where you were...it's so easy to forget how far you've come.  It's also quite convenient when I'm having blogger's block or too completely lazy to write something to knock your socks off

I posted this on 1/26/10.  I called it "It's Just Me, Drazil & Sheniqua...fighting addictions."  Some of it is REALLY hard to read - knowing I didn't do what I set out to do and some of it is liberating - because I did indeed accomplish it.  Looking back is so therapeutic. Reading my words from back then feels reassuring that I'm still here - still trying...never giving up. 

*************
Addictions – we ALL have them. Yes – ALL of us. Some of them are just more dangerous than others and some we’re willing to admit, while others we can’t….or rather – won’t. Let’s just put it out there – I’m only 5’3” and I weigh 169 pounds…..and the extra 15 or 20 I carry around with me is named Sheniqua by the way. You may be reading and thinking “I’d love to be 169 pounds” but for me – it’s not healthy – mentally or physically and my addictions are the cause of it. And really 169, 269 or 569 – fat is fat – it all makes us feel horrible, it’s all hard to lose, it’s all something we’ve comtemplated cutting off with a knife now and then….whether 5lbs or 500lbs – the feelings about our fat are very similar. That being said I’m sure the addictions that get us there are quite the same too.


So in the spirit of full disclosure – here we go…my alias name is Drazil and I’m an addict. I drink Pepsi – only a teeny amount but it’s enough to make me addicted to caffeine. I am addicted to berating myself like a broken record player over and over in my mind (what woman isn’t?). I am addicted to blaming my mother and father for adding their own words to that broken record. I am addicted to living in fear that every blessing I have will be taken from me at any moment.

I am addicted to thinking I should change because the me I am today isn’t worth a whole lot to anyone. I am addicted to sugar like it’s meth….give me sugar and all I can think about it is the next time I can have sugar. Yes, I am the girl who can eat an entire large bag of candy between home and work…um – yah – it’s only a 20 minute drive. I am then addicted to giving myself a guilt trip my mother-in-law wouldn’t be able to hold a candle to – and let me tell you – she’s a pro at guilt trips.

I’m addicted to the cycle of letting life get in the way of my mental and physical health. I’m addicted to lying awake at night wondering how and if I’ve scarred my little girls like I was as a child. I’m addicted to wondering if this is it? If this is all I’m going to offer the world or if I’m going to jump in, take a risk, and grow some balls (big hairy ones if you ask my BFF)? I’m addicted to reading self-help books…and even taking notes…and pretending they fixed me.

But not all my addictions are bad – well – it depends who you ask….but right now I’m also addicted to anything Dave Ramsey (financial guru). I’m addicted to missing my husband because he works too much overtime. I’m addicted to kissing my girls and telling them I love them way too many times in a day because I was never told enough and I want to break the cycle.

I’m addicted to de-cluttering my life and every room in my home. I’m addicted to organizing until I’m blue in the face – it’s like some kind of high for me. I mean really – who needs drugs when I can make a junk drawer look like an episode of DIY. Can you imagine – next on DIY – “Woman cleans junk drawer and suddenly her life is perfect! Watch how she does it!”

I’m addicted to finding a way to let go of the past and live in the present. I’m addicted to tattoos – but only ones that mean something profound – mostly in memory of people I’ve lost that everyone else seems content to forget. And mostly mostly because it pisses my parents off.

I’m addicted to learning how to let go of the anger I still feel at an Uncle who took his life at 22. I’m addicted to wondering how my body would look scarless - no breast reduction, no tummy tuck, no c-section – but then I’m more addicted to loving every one of those scars and what they mean to me. I’m addicted to doing everything in my power to never lose the best friend I have that I’ve waited my whole life for. I’m addicted to finding a way to never lose the man I’m married to because without him – it’s hard for me to breathe.

Whew – that’s about it – well I suppose in reality that’s a short list but the thing about 2010 is I’m changing the bad addictions. I haven’t had a Pepsi in 5 days. I have begun to exercise – nearly every day of this month. I am blogging (lucky you!) as a form of therapy and meditation. I am eating better – even going some days with NO SUGAR.

Now yes, I do go into convulsions and foam at the mouth and grow horns on those days BUT still – I do it.

I have made a vow to change the record player in my head – this may be the hardest change of all because it’s been playing for 35 years you know. I have dug deep and decided to let go of some of the pain of the past knowing I had no power then and I had no good cards in the hand I was dealt at the time. I did the best I could at that moment and that’s all I’d ask of anyone.

I have quit spending like nobody’s business. I have a plan to be debt-free in a few years instead of when I’m 80. I am writing down dreams – and really thinking of about acting on them. I’m going to travel outside my tiny town for the first time ever with my family to meet more family I never thought I’d meet. I have tracked my food and fitness daily. I have tracked my migraines and I have a plan in place to fix them. I have vowed to my best friend that this is the year I take my power back from my mother.

So yah, I will inevitably be changing but hopefully only in good ways. And while I’m aware some of this is going to hurt – it doesn’t even scare me. I have certain people in my life I never had before and the kicker about that is – that this time I may indeed fail yet again…but this time I have a husband AND a best friend to tell me it’s okay, to laugh at me looking like a crumpled mess on the floor right before they pick me up, to tell me they will kick my fat baby’s ass if I dare to stay on that ground, to sing from the rooftops when I succeed and to watch me excel with tears in their eyes because they are sincerely happy for ME.

So yah – I guess that’s another addiction – I’m addicted to having that kind of people in my life and never taking it for granted because as we all know – you can’t beat addictions on your own. It’s gonna suck so why would I want to do it alone?

Some of my addictions make me who I am – and I’d rather die than change them…..but some are destructive and they eat away at my soul a little more every day that I decide to just get lazy and comfortable and let them win. I’m done with that – if not now – then when? If not me, then who?

NOW.

ME.

Addictions be damned….me and Sheniqua are a force to be reckoned with….well at least until she’s not on my hips anymore! Then I’ll fight on my own….and not for one moment will I look back. Addictions, schmaddictions…..you won’t be seeing me on an episode of Intervention….nope….no way...no how.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Welcome 2011....and my intention list.

I feel like I’m in some alternate universe. Why you ask? Because this is the second week in a row where I’M IN LOVE WITH A MONDAY! I’ve made it pretty clear that I love a new year and the hopes and changes it can bring. Mostly I love it because it’s a valid reason to make another list. I’m all about “seize the day” and I understand not waiting for a new year to make a change and all that but I still love it.


And let’s face it – for those of us who have spent the better part of our lives dieting – every Monday is like January 1 right? Seriously – how many times have you re-started a diet or a change or a habit breaking or something new - on a Monday? Ha – maybe this is indeed why we all hate Mondays. Could be.

For me, New Year’s is more than just intention list making though. For me and this routine-craving holiday-hating body – it means my social anxiety, overwhelmed senses can finally calm the hell down. The “hoopla” is over. The toys are already broken. Sugar cookies are non-existent. Fat, jolly guys only come in the form of co-workers. All is well.

Soooo it is time then – for my intention list. You should calm down – it’s nothing spectacular. I did that on purpose. Usually my list is astronomical. Off the charts ridiculous. Things on the list couldn’t be accomplished by WonderWoman even if under her leotards and tiara she doubled as Martha Stewart and Betty Crocker. Lofty. Downright dumb really. It’s a failure guarantee and the perfectionist in me starts hating the list eventually and I give up.

No more. I’ve got me a completely do-able list this year. And it only numbers to 10. I am fighting the urge to add more. It’s nearly killing me. But I refuse.

This is the year I stop DOING more and start BEING more.

Drazil’s 2011 Intention List:

1. Practice self-love. (specifically body part by body party via my blog on Thursdays)
2. Incorporate daily meditation (stress reducer)
3. Complete ½ marathon in September 2011 with Rambo.
4. Be enough – have enough – feel enough.
5. Continue frequent blogging as a means of self-therapy.
6. Renew wedding vows with Rambo (15 years married this year!)
7. Continue on Dave Ramsey financial plan. Embrace and embark on major coupon journey!
8. Think outside the box –> try new things –> face fears --> re-awaken old dreams I let go
9. Keep “life” journal current – food, fitness, migraines, daily health, moods, vitamins taken, water drank, etc.
10. Reach out more – tell people how I feel – ask for help = stop pretending to be Wonder Woman.
      Just. Be. Me.


Speaking of #7 and couponing – OMG in heaven and green donkey dicks!! Rambo and I watched a show called Extreme Couponing the other night just for shits and giggles. Amaze-balls. One woman bought like $1700 worth of stuff (12 cartfuls or something) and paid less than $75 for ALL of it! These people have enough stockpiles of stuff to live for years and have paid little to nothing for it because they use coupons. During one shopping trip – one woman used over 1000 coupons. I need to start becoming a coupon whore and the best part?

These people make lists, color code and they all have binders. Oh my! Can you believe I’ve been missing this? LOL

That’s about it for me. Rest assured I have my new fitness spreadsheets ready to go. My health journal is all pretty and new. I’ve got a blogging plan. I have walking dates every night this week with a girl who is potentially doing the marathon with me.

And lastly – you know the best part about January 1st rolling around????

MY SHOWS ARE BACK ON!!!! Desperate H*usewives, Brothers & Sist*rs, C*stle, Bigg*st Loser, What Not To W*ear…the list goes on.

There. I’ve come clean. My super dirty secret little passion is TV. Lots of it – while I work, while I work out, while I sleep….ha…..there’s never ever enough background TV to zone out in is there?

Welcome 2011. You’re going down…..as a good one.