Friday, February 25

For the love of myself...

Not with food, or what I weigh, but with accepting myself as I am.

I have noticed that everytime I look in a mirror, I am not looking to see how I appear. I am looking for flaws. A fat roll here, a poochy tummy there, arms that never seem to look like Michelle Obama's...

It's almost as if I want to find something to beat myself up over.

Maybe it's just the period talking, or maybe this is something deeper. Perhaps I have a mindset that needs to be changed. Because one day, I won't have fat or rolls to hide under. I will be the best version of Charlie possible. (It's still pretty far away, but I know I'll get there!) And once the fat is gone, where will I hide?

Will I hide in my inexplicable need to be the perfect wife? I fail miserably at this, but Matt continues to love me through and through, with no expectations. He embraces me better than I embrace myself. No matter what my weight, he believes in me, and wants me to accomplish all I set out to do. He is an unending flow of support for me. I wish I could see the me that he seems to see.

Will I cower under attempting to be a supermom? I struggle with this daily- how much of myself to give to the kids, and how much of myself to keep... it gets rather muddled in there, because kids (no matter what their age) are demanding. They need constantly. I want them to learn to be self sufficient, and yet I struggle with letting them grow up too fast. Mostly, I want them to see a mom who tries her best and doesn't freak out when there are sticky situations. Who hugs without question and isn't afraid to step up to the plate when necessary. Who enforces rules, but loves fiercely. That's how I try to parent, but some days I fall short. Every parent does, I know, but somehow we keep getting up day after day and trying again.

Will I hide under my faith? I could be centered on the rules of my Savior, but instead I choose to focus on his love, his peace, his grace. To know him deeper than I ever though possible- that's what I strive for. I could spend a lifetime with just me and him, but the world keeps turning, and I have to pull my nose up once in a while and see what else is going on. I try so hard to make my actions a ministry, and I fall flat on my faith a lot. I can hide under his wings for a while, but it's a much better view if I walk beside him.

My point is- when it comes down to it all, stripping away the relationships, the kids, the faith- who is under there? A broken little girl who thinks that love is tainted? A strong woman who knows that love covers all?

How do you learn to really love yourself?

I wish I knew the answer to this. It would make life so much simpler. Then I could quit looking in the mirror and finding fault.

This morning during Bootcamp (which was level 7 hell, I tell ya) I struggled. I struggled with negative self-talk, wanting to quit and walkout.

"It's too hard! You could just go home and snuggle in your bed for an hour! Why are you here?"

And as I huffed and puffed through those dang step exercises (which suck because I can't see the steps because of my boobs) I questioned it over and over. Why was I there? Why was I working out like a fool and double timing standing mountain climbers?

Because that's what I am.

I'm a mountain climber.

I've never seen the view at the top before. Sure I've seen pictures, but I've never been there myself. I want to take it all in. Drink up the view of a new me. Know that nobody else could do the work for me. That I pushed myself over and over to get the top. This climb, this journey, THIS DIET- isn't about the weight loss. It's about learning to believe in myself again. Learning how to love myself again.

Because when I love myself-
Marriage gets easier.
Mothering gets easier.
Knowing God gets easier.

Who are you underneath it all? Are you a mountain climber too?

If you aren't, do you want to be?

Wednesday, February 23

Charlie, McMuscles, and the Flash Blob

Be patient....


Sunday, February 20

Cooking with Margaret the Saint

And I'm not going too. But she is one of those people that you are better for knowing, and I feel compelled to bless your lives by introducing you to her. My mom is kind, generous, and I get all my funny from her.

And technically, this is NOT facebook. (((GRIN)))

This video has been years in the making. And by that I mean I have attempted to make her famous "Icing" for my entire life. Never once have I succeeded in getting it right. And it's all my Mom's fault, because she dumps instead of measures. So in the hopes that I can actually make it like her, I filmed her working her magic. I swear she throws in fairy dust or something when I'm not looking, but as the video shows, she doesn't do anything special except laugh her way through it, and make an insanely delicious icing.

So here we are, Margaret the Saint and me, making icing.

This video is about 10 minutes long, but I PROMISE it's worth every single second. And I finally figured out how to make my camera HD like, (I've had it on the wrong setting this WHOLE TIME! Figures...) so the quality will be better from this video on out.

And I HIGHLY recommend clicking the 4 arrows so you can make this video full screen. It's way easier to see what she's doing.

Cooking with Margaret the Saint from Charlie Hester on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 16

Beneath the Tundra

The snow and ice are almost completely melted.


My rump is thankful.

I went back to workout for the first time since my back started acting up after my front porch step rump-ba, and chose water aerobics. Thankfully, Dina was teaching the class, and she made sure to do a long portion for stretching out our backs. When we did the water jogging bit, I had to hold my right cheek under the water. I'm hoping it looked like I had my hand on my hip, instead of copping a feel on myself! After the class, I felt like a new woman!

Water aerobics is one of my favorite activities.

Fun + Workout = A Very Happy Charlie!

And then I came home and saw the sludge that used to be my yard. There is grayish brownish grass under there, and lots and lots and lots of MUD.

Mud is one of those things I dislike very much. It has the slickery properties of ice, and the stainability of spaghetti sauce. Throw in my illustrious lack of grace... well, let's just say I'm choosing my next steps very carefully.

The snow seemed so peaceful at first, didn't it? As it was falling down, we were filled with sweet thoughts of Christmas and Little House on the Prairie. But as it's bulk started accumulating, it started getting dangerous. People started falling, freezing, wrecking- beautiful as it is- snow can be dangerous.

Are you seeing where I am heading with this?

In the yard of my life, I started making poor decisions. Instead of dealing with emotional hurts and my past, I began eating. At first, it wasn't so bad. But the more the "snow" (aka- fat) piled on, the more difficult it was for me to see what was really hiding in my yard. (For the record, I have unearthed a treasure trove out in my actual yard- a spoon, some cups, an earring, a screwdriver {from when Tim decided to climb Kilimanjaro in his imagination and used it as a mountain climbers pick} that I have been looking for for weeks...) There were hurts in my yard. Weeds that had taken over the tomato plants and daffodils, broken sidewalks of relationships gone sour. All those things were hiding under the snow.

And as the snow has started to melt- I have been left with a muddy messy pile of nonsense that I have to make sense of. Because I'm not letting the snow come back. And that means I've got to take care of the lawn I've got. Make it better. Make it prosperous. Learn how to grow again in this new season of my life.

I will no longer think that food is an appropriate response for my feelings. Sometimes it WILL be my response, but I know now that I must find other ways as well. I need to face my fears instead of running from them. I have to accept that my yard is unlike anyone else's, and embrace it! I have to let enough sunshine fall on the mud I've got so it dries up and new things can be planted.

New plants, veggies and flowers with stunning display.

I'm ready for spring. I want to deal with this haggard lawn and make it beautiful again.

Because no matter what it looks like now, I know that there is LIFE hidden beneath the Tundra.

Tuesday, February 15

Instead of Blogging...

Instead of blogging, I have been:

Tumbling down my front porch steps on ice ONE DAY before it started melting.
Bruising my butt and wrenching my back.
Learning how to crosstitch.
Writing massive amounts of emails.
Sleeping and not moving, trying to get my back in working order again.
Purchasing an analog scale and realizing I need bifocals to see the numbers on it.
Returning a scale because that’s easier than admitting I need bifocals.
Learning how to make meringue cookies with Splenda Brown Sugar.
Trying to figure out how to make giving Matt a tattoo late for Valentine’s day romantic.
Looking at my floors and deciding I need to mop.
Playing with the idea of getting bangs, a la Rockabilly style.
Making heart shaped ranch burgers for the family for a Valentine’s Dinner.
Getting to hear from 4 people unanimously that I don’t suck at cooking too much. (But I do. I’m much better at baking.)
Wishing I could take a cake decorating class.
Getting a coupon from The Coupon Queen for a package of FREE Poise Pads. (She totally gets me!)
Getting 2 samples of Shakeology in the mail from longtime friend Stephan, which I am anxious to try. Cause I wanna be Yum Yucky when I grow up.
Learning that the keynote speakers for Fitbloggin are going amazing!

So, that’s what I’ve been up to since last Friday. I can’t wait to get back in the swing of things.
What about you guys? Anything interesting that I’ve missed?

Friday, February 11

From Fatville to Thinnydom?

She had lived there her whole life, and never thought twice about it. Until one day, she saw a friend who had moved someplace new.

Someplace Charlie had never gone before.


"It's really great there," declared her friend, "and I can't believe how much better I feel now that I have made the move! But it's super tough to get in."

Charlie decided that even though she wasn't close fitting in over in Thinnydom, maybe she would start to see how close she could get.

And even though it took her a long time, she kept plugging away at moving things around in her life. Preparing herself for the big day when she might reach Thinnydom and belong.

One day, right in the middle of her daily routine, someone from Fatville said "You don't belong here anymore. You need to move to Thinny."

Charlie freaked out. "But I've lived here all my life in Fatville! I can't possibly go yet! I still have so much left to do here! I have to help others start to change. I have to keep changing myself! No, I am not leaving Fatville. Not yet. Not for a while."

But that someone from Fatville insisted, "Yeah, but you don't really look like you're a resident of Fatville anymore. You've changed. And people are starting to forget you ever belonged here."

Tears welled up in Charlie's eyes.

"But this is my home...."

"Not anymore. It's time to move on."

Well, Charlie was NOT PLEASED about this change.

She needed to make the change on HER terms. Sure people could say she belonged with the thinnys, but she knew without a doubt that the folks in Fatville were HER PEOPLE. Her outside had changed, but the inside hadn't. She knew who she was on the inside, and no amount of weight loss or muscles could convince her otherwise.

But pretty soon, after her address changed from 26W(est) to 9, she found herself living in the city limits of Thinnydom. And after a while, it wasn't so bad. She started getting used to the people and constant barrage of broccoli. She started feeling more at home.

Yet every once in a while, she snuck over to Fatville and picked up a cake at the old bakery like she used too. She would eat that cake and have warm fuzzy memories of the home she used to know.

The residents of Thinnydom were none too pleased about this behavior.

"You have to make a choice. You can't live in both places. It's Thinny or Fat."

Charlie pondered this for a moment...

then for an hour...

then for a day...

and that turned into a solid 30 days of struggling with where she really wanted to live. She had spent years planning for this move, but now that it was here, she was torn. She loved belonging in Thinnydom, but she knew some fantastic people left in Fatville. And THAT'S WHEN IT HIT HER.

"You thinny's didn't really invite me over. In fact, you kinda snubbed me when I made the choice to start moving over here. And I really didn't like that. But now that I'm here you like me and I like you! So I am going to help you AND the wonderful people in Fatville. I'm going to be an ambassador. I'm going to share the wonderful things there are to offer here in Thinny, and invite the folks from Fatville to c'mon over. I want them to know that moving into Thinnydom takes a lot of work, but it's worth it in the end. I mean, heck- look at MY end!"

And the thinnys agreed. They even gave Charlie a special cape to assist her in her quest. And she flew from Thinnydom to Fatville on a daily basis, inviting and encouraging others to come over.

And she loved every second of it.

Because she had found her "th-inner superhero."

The End

PS- If you are on a quest to go from Fatville to Thinnydom, please check out THE GREAT CLOTHING EXCHANGE where a woman on her quest can swap clothes as she goes down in sizes. This is a fantastic opportunity to save a buck, and to get some great clothing for your changing body! Thanks to Leaving Fatville for inspiring this post.

Wednesday, February 9

The Poise of a Woman

Monday, February 7

Charlie, the Church, and the Baby

Friday, February 4

Scared Straight (leg)

There is a PAIR of brand new jeans sitting on my bed. They are 9's.

And I'm terrified to try them on.

My 10's fit comfortably, but 9's? That's a whole new size for me.


I have often wondered it this day would ever come at all. After the cake and cookie setbacks, the stalling, the plateauing, the emotions constantly pushing me to eat...

And I wondered how I'd feel about it. Lots of people have worn a 9 or smaller their enitre lives.

But me?


This is the girl who wore the 26W pants. Who one day (not that long ago, I might add) had a 50 inch waist. My waist was over 4 feet round. Now it's under 3 feet. And I'm not sure how I feel about that. Because in my head, I see other gals wearing size 9's, and wish I could look like them. I want to be their size. And I just might actually be.

But in my head- OH LORDY MY HEAD!

My head still tells me I'm barely out of that 26W. It tells me how much more work there is to do. How this isn't about just losing weight anymore. It's about becoming strong and healthy. FIT.

People are starting to tell me I'M THE THINNY. And it makes me want to scream at them "NO! I am exactly like you!" Because that has been who I was for as long as I can remember.

I've never been the thin one. Not once. 

But those jeans... those jeans keep calling out to me! Because why couldn't they fit? I've been working so hard for so long- walking around for days being sore every place on my body. Sweating out gallons of persperation, lifting, moving, running.

And it all boils down to this moment.

Am I really ready to be a size 9? Is my body becoming a size 9?

I could handle a snug 16.

I was thrilled about a 10!

But a 9?

Will they fit?

And how will I feel if they don't?

I suppose we are just going to have to find out.

Thursday, February 3

Another SNOWDAY???

I miss the YMCA.
I miss "my" time.
But I'm thankful the kids are home with me.
Except that Tim almost started a fire making pancakes.
And then he tried to make Hot Chocolate Toast.
And Natalie decided Puppy would rather have marshmallows in her food bowl.
And Amy wanted to learn how to use eyeliner.
And this was all before noon.
I made a choice that they could watch "The Office" and they have been netflixing it the better portion of the afternoon. I've had to explain a couple of terms, but nothing worse than what they have heard at school. I was desperate, people!
Then I smelled myself. Sweet mercy. I realized I haven't showered for 3 days. And it was WAY PAST TIME. So I made a video. Not of me showering, but trying to remember while cooped up in this house with youngins that I am a woman, and no one- NOT EVEN A BLIZZARD- can take that away from me. So here's my movie.

Edit after the fact: Due to inquiring minds, I'm going to answer some questions.
The stuff I keep rubbing on my face-
Starting from the top- ;)
Anti acne lotion from neutrogena.
Oil of Olay Regenerist for eyes
Garnier caffiene roller with tint
Then foundation.
Then powder.
Then highlight powder.
Mascara comes after the eyes have been tinted and powdered, so it has time to set.
I took some regular lotion and put it on my eyelash curler for 2 reasons- the white parts get hard and will cut off your lashes like scissors. And also, because I put mascara on first, it tends to stick to the curler. The lotion solves both problems, as long as I don't get it IN my eye. :)
Liquid liner requires lots and LOTS of practice.
And YES, MARI- I did this just for YOU GUYS!!!!!
Glad ya'll are enjoying this!!!

Wednesday, February 2

Blah-zard Update

But then, following my new way of life, I measured my waist. 34.25
I've lost half an inch.
So I suppose I can't really complain about my itty bitty gain.
I'm going back to my scale, but with control. No more weighing myself time and time again in a single day. I get one in the morning. AND THAT'S IT.
 And now if you'll excuse me, I need to go eat my lunch and do some Fat Girl Yoga.
I'll be back tomorrow. And we will see what happens next!
How are you all surviving the big storm of 2011 so far?
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