Over the past few weeks, I’ve been losing losing losing.
I think that trend is over for the moment, because I have fallen into hungry times. I just wasn’t interested in food before this week, but lately it’s been nothing but hunger pains in my tummy. So I’m eating.
But I’ve enjoyed the wonderful feelings of self acceptance that came with this last 15 pounds of weight loss. Knowing that I can keep losing is wonderful- but to be frank, it was going a little too fast for my liking.
As weird as it sounds, I prefer a slow loss. And it’s taken me 3 years to get to this point when I can say that with confidence.
So, if you are my friend on Facebook, you may have noticed that the kids are on Spring Break, and I am doing my best to keep them entertained during the day. Last Friday, Natalie (our 10 year old daughter) helped me on a silly project I’d been wanting to try for a while.
I gave myself a temporary tattoo “Quarter Sleeve.”
For those of you who don’t speak tattoo-ese, a quarter sleeve looks something like this-
Tattoos on your arm, from the shoulder down to above your elbow. We decided to give it a shot, and Natalie happily helped me arrange all the tattoos and apply them. (She is the QUEEN at temporary tattoo art. Every single one of them (and we did about a hundred) came out perfect!)
It’s something I’ve been wanting to wear for a while, because I think that if you decide to get a tattoo, you need to be 100% sure that you can live with it. So this was the cheapest way to try it out. (cost me 5 bucks)
On Friday night, after the kids left for their weekend away, Matt and I went to see Julia (sister-in-law and BFF of 20+ years) in a show at Red Mask, our community theatre. I wore a cardigan sweater with a sleeveless shirt underneath, so I could pull it off and show people to see what they thought.
Here’s what I discovered- I am definitely a tattoo girl. It works for me. And Matt loved it too. Which was all the confirmation I needed. It was fun running around being the girl I feel like I am inside. A little rock and roll and all that jazz.
And, I got to see McMucsles, who I haven’t seen for a while- since we are down to one car, my workout routine has been totally scrambled up. I got to chit chat with him for a while and remind him of my everlasting adoration of what he has done for me so far, and that I will be back in full force soon enough.
When we got home Friday night, Matt thoroughly enjoyed checking out the “new ink” on my arm, and kept telling me that I was a hottie.
Now, we fast forward to Saturday. Some of the temporary tattoos had rubbed off a little (especially on the underside of my bicep) and I knew that I wanted to really test the ink that night. I would be doing makeup for the cast of the show I had watched the night previously. It would be in their face, and I just wanted to see the reactions. It was especially cool because while I knew some of the people, there were lots of folks who didn’t know me. I wondered what their perceptions would be. I applied some fresh tattoos to the sleeve in the places where it was a little messed up, and lotioned the whole thing, so none would be peeling off.
And I fixed my hair vintage style (like I like it) and went about my makeup assignment for the night. While the show was going on, I hung out in the makeup room and took some quick pics.
And it was fun. I had a great time. I even got to see Margaret the Saint at the show and show her what Natalie and I had done!
When I got home that night my arm was itchy. I tried really hard not to scratch it, but it was SO ITCHY! And of course, the tattoos began to flake off. Matt and I went to bed that night, me scratching my arm like I had poison ivy, and I tried to get some sleep.
I woke up on Sunday morning, and my arm felt WEIRD. I tried to do my morning stretch- yawning with my arms above my head- except that my arm was STUCK to my side. CRAP. I had to work the skin loose from my side, which wasn’t very pleasant. Matt was meeting a co-star of his show before practice to run lines, so I didn’t have time to scrub the stuff off. I threw on a hooded sweatshirt over my top half, and took him to rehearsal. Then I went to the store, got crickets for our new bearded dragon, and picked up a few groceries. My arm was still itchy, but not unbearable.
When I got home, I knew I had to scrub it all off. The weird part was that if I rubbed the tattoo part with my fingers, the material used on the tats would gum up and roll into gooey little balls that stuck to my fingers.
So I sat in a hot bathtub and let the tattooed arm soak for a while. Then I began Operation Tattoo removal.
I started using one of those pouf things you use for body wash. Those HURT. It felt like I was using sandpaper on my arm. Then I tried using my fingernails, which was just as bad as the poufs. There were millions of teeny tiny goo-balls floating around in the tub, which was a good sign that the tattoo was coming off at last.
What I found worked the best was a regular old washcloth. It seemed to get the most goo off with the least amount of resistance and pain. My arm was finally scrubbed clean and while it was tender, it wasn’t much worse for the wear.
I got out of the bathtub, dried myself off, and threw on some clothes. I puttered around the house a bit, and was having a nice quiet day. Then I had to pee.
I went into the bathroom, sat down on the toilet and let it rip.
As I grabbed a wad of toilet paper and began to wipe.
That’s when the trouble started.
The toilet paper seemed to be sticking. REALLY BAD.
In fact, it was like trying to run a brush through a hairsprayed bee-hive from the 60’s. IMPOSSIBLE.
What the heck was going on?
I looked down at the area in question, and realized that those itty bitty goo balls that had been floating around the bathtub had found a home.
In my lady pelt.
And by trying to wipe, I had essentially smooshed them into long sticky strands of glue. Which were holding pieces of toilet paper firm. And keeping the area stuck together. Hair and all.
I took off my clothes, got back INTO the tub, which dissolved the toilet paper, and started squirting conditioner “there.” Then I took a fine tooth comb and started working out the bits of goo. They were everywhere. And I had to stay on my knees, above the water line, otherwise they would re-congregate where they had landed before, which would only exacerbate the problem.
After about 20 minutes of furious combing and conditioning, I got the bulk of the glue out.
I then decided that maybe I should look into a Brazilian wax before I try this temporary experiment again. Or just bite the bullet and get a real tattoo.
No dancing today. I was 164.0 and no amount of peeing was going to change it. I’m waiting until tomorrow. And I’m totally fine with that.
But yesterday, something happened at the store that I wanted to share with you. And I think it’s best to bring back another installment of Says, Means, Hears to explain it all.
This is how the conversation went down standing at the checkout line at the Dollar Tree. (Cause we shop high class establishments in this house)
Natalie: Mom, can we get some Peeps if we only eat the right serving size?
Mom: Sure, kiddo. You can have a treat.
Natalie: Thanks!!! Want me to get you a box too?
Mom: No, hon, remember that whole diet thing I’ve got going on?
(Natalie begins giggling uncontrollably. It's a running joke that mama's on a diet.)
Cashier SAYS: You don’t need to diet. You look skinny.
Cashier MEANS: You look good.
Charlie HEARS: Yay, here's an opportunity to spread my diet message like Jesus is coming back in 10 minutes and I have to save this woman!
Charlie SAYS: Oh, but I do need to diet. I’ve got 25 more pounds to go. I’ve lost 75 pounds so far.
Charlie MEANS: I’m going to hit that 75 pounds lost in the next 24 hours, and I’m never going to see this woman again, so bumping my number up by one pound isn’t going to hurt. It’s not lying, it’s like appraising a house a little higher for insurance purposes.
The Cashier HEARS: I need to lose weight.
Cashier SAYS: Wow! How did you do it? Got any weight loss secrets for me?
Cashier MEANS: I only want to hear that you ate grapefruit for a week and the weight fell off.
Charlie HEARS: Oh, boy, here we go again.
Charlie SAYS: It’s taken me 3 years to get this far. I eat right, exercise, and never give up.
Charlie MEANS: I have spent the last 3 years of my life busting my butt to get this far. I have been in an emotional fetal position trying to deal with the idea that I had a food addiction, and am just now getting to the point that my life is not dictated by Domino’s Bread Bowl Pasta and pizza. I have had failures, successes, but through it all I stayed true to the fact that I would try my best no matter what the scale says. I have had to step out of my comfort zone DAILY to bust through plateau after plateau, I have driven my family NUTS with the constant observations of calorie contents and how my body is changing and can they see the difference in me… I’ve had to remove the instinctual nature that people will make fun of me because I open up about my feelings and my body, and have put myself in a public forum where people can not only read the nitty gritty about my life, but can also comment on it. If you are willing to go through all of that, you can lose 75 74 pounds like me.
Cashier HEARS (while rolling her eyes at my 3 step solution to dieting): That sounds like too much- eating right, exercising and never giving up. I’ll just go eat a snickers on my break and forget about it.
Cashier SAYS: Well, good for you.
Cashier MEANS: I could never do it.
Charlie SEES another fat chick giving up on herself.
Aren’t we all like that in the beginning? We are so used to wonderful things happening to everybody but ourselves, we never dream we could accomplish something like losing weight.
IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE BUT ME.
We know that isn’t exactly true, but it sure feels true. The truth stands tall- if you are willing to put in the work, the time and the effort, you can do it.
But you have to be willing to accept a few realities:
1. The weight is NOT going to fall off you biggest loser style. Not unless you have 8 hours a day to work out. And most of us don’t.
2. You will not lose every single week. It’s like going on a job interview. Sometimes you get the job, and sometimes you don’t.
3. You have to be willing to deal with the emotional baggage of why you are fat. If you don’t deal with it, the weight will come right back on.
4. You have to have support of some kind. You can’t be a lone ranger dieter. You need a group of people around you to help carry your through.
5. You have to be willing to be uncomfortable. Sometimes, you will feel hungry, hot, sweaty, deprived, frustrated- all of these things are normal.
And finally (and my personal motto):
6. You have to be willing to laugh at yourself. This makes the journey much easier. And fun!
Today, I wanted to share just a couple of things. I'm making this quick, because the kids are on Spring Break (for 3 weeks) and they NEED my computer to keep them from being BORED. They are cracking me up! Why is it I have so much to do and they seem to have nothing???
Today, I was at 74 pounds lost. I was hoping to get my 75 pound goal today, but I was right on the verge for the second day in a row. But I'm doing lots of housework and packing, so it's going to come off soon.
Also, I am wearing size 8 jeans for the first time I can remember as an adult. Do I have a muffin top? Oh, big time. But can I breathe and move and work? YES YES YES!!! It's amazing how something as silly as a size on a tag can brighten your day!
Finally, we are looking at a house this week. Keep your fingers crossed that this one is "THE ONE." I've had it saved on my realtor.com account for months, but we haven't looked at it yet. So Wednesday night is the night we find out. It's got 4 bedrooms and wait for it... 3 toilets!!!! Seriously, I never thought I would be so excited about toilets, but I'm doing a major happy dance inside. Plus, it's big enough for our family to expand, it's in our price range, and our dear friends the Williams live just a block down. It's mid-construction, which is perfect for some do-it-yourselfers like me and my man. We aren't scared of drywall and painting. We kinda like that type of work.
So that's all the stuff going on in our world. Things are looking up! We are joyfully embracing the challenges ahead, and feeling great about making some big moves for our family.
Now all I need is to hit that 163 tomorrow, and I can really dance!!!
(Oh, yes, there will be horrid white girl dancing if I make it! I'll be posting that video for sure. Make sure you check back on Tuesday morning to see if I made it!)
I know that not all of you believe as I do, so I wanted to tell you up front this is about my relationship with Jesus.
Feel free to skip it if you want, but if you are hurting, I encourage you to keep reading.
3 years ago, I was utterly and completely broken. I was overweight, we had just moved into a tiny crappy rental, and I was deep in a depression.
In my previous life (before Matt came along as my knight in shining armor), I was told some very destructive words.
You are fat.
You have no talent.
You cannot be a good mother.
You can never support a family on your own.
You cannot be happy without me.
No one will ever love you.
Words are a funny thing- they are spoken to you, you hear the sound, and those words are gone. Except your brain imprints them into your being. I wrote a song called Survivor and one of the lyrics says this:
A few days more and all the marks he left will go away,
But time can’t make her heart forget the words he had to say.
And those are the most honest lyrics I could have ever written.
So powerful, so fleeting from our mouths, so PERMANENT.
3 years ago, even though I had already married Matt and moved on, those words spoken so long before still held power over me. They lorded over my life as if I was wearing a tattoo on my forehead, and knew the whole world could see it. While I intrinsically knew those things he’d said about me weren’t true, my mind constantly ran them over and over like a top 40 song being repeated on the radio.
One night, as I wrestled with those words- ugly, fat, talentless, unloveable- I reached my breaking point. It was 2am, the rest of the house was asleep, and I fell on the floor in agony.
“God, show me that this is not who I am.”
And I cried. I cried out, I bawled, and I begged God to come to me.
As I sat on my floor, drowning in my sorrow, the most amazing thing happened.
I felt arms from behind me hold me. No one was there, because I looked. But I knew the arms of Jesus were wrapped around me, and in that moment, I was sitting in the lap of God. His was the only lap I wouldn’t have crushed at (at least) 238 pounds.
I have never known such a peace amid my devastation. There were no words that I heard, I just felt comfort. Broken as I was, God unveiled his glory to me when I needed him most.
I sat and cried for 2 hours. And he was holding me that entire time. I told him every hurt, every memory I could recall, and he took it all in like the KING he is.
Finally, as the tears dried up and I ran out of things to say, I felt him slip away as softly as he’d come.
I stood up from the floor, laid on the couch, and went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, I knew what I had to do.
I had to change. I had to forgive. I had to grow. I had to choose to trust in love. And I had to learn how to let Jesus be the one to lead me.
Now, here I am. 3 years later.
I no longer believe the lies once spoken over me.
I KNOW they are not true.
I was fat, but I’m not now. And it’s taken me the last few months to be able to say that. But I’m saying it now.
I have talent. I am artistic and creative. The fact that so many of you are reading these words today prove to me that I have much to offer this world.
I know I’m a good mom. We don’t spoil our kids, but handing them the world isn’t being a parent. It’s the bedtime kisses, listening about their days when they get off the bus, wiping away their tears, teaching them how to deal with opposition as peacefully as they can. Training them to be socially active if there’s an injustice. Letting my heart break 10 times harder than theirs when they have been hurt by fickle friends at school. Listening to them, and not telling them what they think. Teaching them to think for themselves.
I can support my family, but Matt has graciously allowed me the honor of being a stay at home mom. I owe him the world for that. Every penny he makes supports these children, and they are not biologically his. But they are his kids, to be sure.
I have found happiness. Sure, my life is not often a bed of roses, but that has nothing to do with my personal happiness. My happiness comes from knowing that whatever is going on, there’s a joke to be found somewhere. We can always be thankful and happy that even though our lives aren’t perfect, we are together as a family, and we don’t need things to supply a sense of joy. In fact, the less concerned we are with things, the better life gets!
And I am worth loving. I am loveable. Matt loves me, no question. But at last, I have learned that I truly love myself. At last. Did I deserve to be a victim of domestic violence before? No, not one person in the world deserves that. But being broken by someone makes the love of someone else even sweeter. I can appreciate and embrace that my life is very full of love indeed.
I know that something like a diet seems so trivial to others on the outside, looking in. But my life has been forever changed, and continues to change as I press on to the final goal. I have learned so much about myself and what I am capable of- if I lean completely on Jesus. Together, he and I have healed some serious emotional wounds that I thought I might carry around forever.
But most importantly, I have learned that when you are broken into a million pieces, you can be made whole again.
My shape is different, my heart is different, and I am different.
And I never would have known it if I hadn’t been broken.
There is beauty in my brokenness, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
1. There is no springing involved. In fact, it seems to have the opposite effect on most members of my household. I usually have to pry them out of bed with a crowbar. Hence, no springing. I find that we are much more agreeable to the falling back.
2. An extra hour of time before noon gives all the morning people the upperhand at making us night owls look bad. No offense to you morning glories out there, but seriously, ya'll. I do not deal well with morning people.
3. I have to remember how to reset the clock in my van. And I never can.
4. All the annoying people who go around on the Saturday before saying "Don't forget to spring forward!" I only need one person to tell me. Then I remember. After that, it's like you are rubbing the fact I'm being robbed of an hour's sleep in my face. Next year I'm going to wear a t-shirt that says "I already know about Spring Forward."
5. The fact that Mommy has to seem like the bedtime bad-guy because she sends the kids to bed early. Even though there are still 3 clocks in the house that say 7:30.
6. The fact that we have SO MANY FLIPPIN CLOCKS in this house.
7. The fact that my 8 year old son stumbled out of bed into the kitchen at 6am this morning, hugged me and said "It's early." (I don't hate the child or hugging portion of this. I do hate that it feels like torture to us all.)
8. It is now Monday. And I'm still going to feel like a zombie until at least middle of next week.
9. Insomnia + Time Change = No sleep for me.
And the final reason I hate Spring Forward:
10. I my sleep deprived brain couldn't focus on anything else to blog about.
It's hard to believe I've written on this blog 300 times over the past 3 years. My oh my, how time flies!
Time flies like the wind, but fruit flies like bananas.
I'm not going to get nostalgic or anything, but my ratio of pound vs. blog posting is 4.25 posts per pound. I guess I need to start writing posts 5 times a day, huh?
My friend Shari posed an interesting question to me the other day. It’s one of those questions I assumed would have a very simple answer.Here’s how the conversation went down.
Shari: (talking about one of her friends) “I told her a bit about your story and she says she wants to talk to you - she's inspired by you!”
Charlie: “See, this is what gets me. I kind-of understand why people are inspired by me, but if you saw what I looked like at this moment (pj pants at 2:22 in the afternoon, no bra, haven't brushed my hair or teeth yet today, and I'm pretty sure this shirt hasn't been washed since last week when I wore it everyday) I laugh at the idea that I could inspire anyone. That's healthy humility, right?”
Shari: “Why does your worth rest on how you look?”
The simple answer should have been conveyed in 2 words.
But that’s a lie.
Because my worth does rest on how I look. It shouldn’t, but I’d be lying if I said otherwise. My highest and lowest moments in life confirm that fact.
When I sang a solo for my high school showchoir as lead soprano. HIGH. Totally costumed and makeuped out.
Breaking up with my first true love over the phone. LOW. I was wearing a flannel shirt, leggings and a ponytail.
My marriage to Matt. Obviously HIGH. (Even if my “something borrowed” was a tampon which I discovered I needed 30 minutes before the ceremony. Ah, memories…)
Being in the women’s shelter. LOW. I couldn’t even tell you how I was dressed, other than it was summertime, and the clothes I had were in garbage bags.
So in all of these experiences, I’ve deemed that the moments I really shined, great care went into the preparation and outfits. And the low moments were painful and I probably could have been inducted onto “thepeopleofwalmart.com” for what I was wearing.
Does my worth as a person rest on how I look? No, not exactly.
Does my measure of “how successful I feel” rest on how I look? Yes! Yes! Yes!
I know I am a person of worth, but the scales of success tip back and forth like a boat in the ocean.
And isn’t that what we are all striving for? To feel successful in one area or another of our lives?
I know Shari understands. Her high school experience was a lot like mine. We have spent years trying to FORGET the bulk of it. We both felt awkward, out of place, and frustrated at the people around us.
But here’s the cool thing. Even though Shari and I both FELT that way, I never knew that. In fact, I considered her one of my most coolest, interesting and exotic friends! (Not only was she from the New York area- which basically meant anywhere north of Ohio- she was also Jewish!) She was one of those girls that I remember wanting to live up to her expectations, especially because I was 2 years younger than her and it was an honor to just be included in stuff with her. But after high school, she got out of Dodge and we lost touch.
Now, as women who have grown up and reconnected through the powers of Facebook, our paths are very different. Shari has become a self made professional woman, and I am a stay at home mom who blogs. We are pretty much polar opposites in that department.
Yet even on different paths, we still struggle with the idea of worth and success. Both of us. At ages 29 and 29. (cause we have hit that age where we don’t go past 29 ever, even though we are 2 years apart.) We still swing from moments of glorious success to feelings of “Why am I even here?”
Is there a way to become settled in the inbetween?
Maybe somewhere positive between “I can do it” and “I should do it” would be a great place to land. A place where we know our actions relate to the betterment of ourselves. No more emotional eating in the car after a long day. No more stress decisions for ice cream at midnight.
Instead, we should be stepping into the shiny shoes of success each and everyday, knowing the world isn’t going to throw anything at us we can’t handle.
Maybe that’s the key to worth. Maybe it’s the emotional dressing of our souls. If we surround our hearts with self affirmations, brilliant ideas of how we can make the world a better place, ways we can both help someone else and pay it forward- those are things I consider worthy to wear.
No more of this down in the mouth constant state of frustration. Honestly, that’s where I’ve been for the better part of the week- I’ve been Mrs. Crankyhead.
I’m wearing emotional sweatpants. I don’t feel motivated to care, I’ve committed myself to the couch, and because of that- I’m struggling with my worth.
Today I am making the choice to put on some emotional sparkle shoes. Ones that speak about the person I can be! Bright, tall, a little out of the ordinary, but still shoes I can fill.
So, yes, my worth is based on how I look, but I’m going to start considering how the inside looks. Making sure that’s dolled up first.
Then I’ll deal with how I look on the outside.
And hopefully, one day, the emotions and the outside will match perfectly!
In exactly 5 pounds, I will be the thinnest I have ever been as an adult. Right now, I'm at 167.1, and the least I've ever weighed in at is 162 for 2 days. That means I'm one thing.
(Picture sent to me by Daphne T.)
And living in the Hester House of Hurling, I am in an optimal position to change my life forever.
OK, seriously, I don't condone hurling your way to the top. But if the flu hits me, I'm going to take full advantage of it.
Last night, when I was at the Kmarts (on shopping trip number 2 in 2 hours cause I keep forgetting stuff) I thought the flu had finally hit me from behind.
As I was sitting in the public restroom, checking my email while stuck on the can, I felt really bad for the lady who walked in, smelled the air, and promptly walked out, telling her child "We are going to the other bathroom."
"But Mommy, I really gotta go!"
"Not in there, you don't."
Fantastic. Then I was giggling and pooing. It was not pretty, but it was pretty funny.
This morning, I had Matt get the kids ready for school. Part of the deal for me to stay at home is I get the kids ready for school every day. Unless I'm sick. And today, I was thankful for a man who jumped out of bed on my behalf and found matching socks at 6 in the morning. I'm super lucky to have a fellow like him.
I slept until 11:30 today. It felt great. But I still need to shower and stuff. My tummy is better, but I'm not hungry at all. A cup of coffee seems to be just enough today.
Now, I'm on a mission to scrub the germs out of my house. I've already started tackling the kitchen, scrubbing anything I can reach. And I'm going to keep going. 3 rounds of flu since November 1 person at a time has added up to far too many puke buckets to scrub out. I've had enough.
Have all of you struggled with the flu this winter? Stuff that keeps coming back? What are you doing to clear your house of the germs? I'm looking for ideas.
Matt really likes them, and for the first time in my life, my bangs accentuate my previously chubby cheeks by making my face look thinner!
I would post a picture, but the reality is that I have YET to actually do my hair since I cut them. (I've been sporting a ponytail the whole weekend. Out of laziness? Or busyness? You decide!)
Bangs, like so many other facets of my life, were a tough call. And the build-up to the decision was much harder than living with the decision. Once I made up my mind, I enjoyed the fact that I had cut the hair. I felt lighter and more approachable. And it felt like I had made the right move.
It was the same way with running. I was scared of it for so long, but once I made up my mind and started working towards it, it became something I wanted to do. Something I kind-of enjoyed.
I'm really working towards making big changes. Appreciating the changes I'm starting to feel in my body. Looking forward to some new opportunities. Sharing some of those wonderful changes with you, so I can be a living breathing Barbie Doll of possibilities for you to look at. That's the goal.
Showing you the WHAT IFS.
But this is scary for me, being open like this. For some odd reason, the more public I become with my journey, my confessions, and my transitions- the more ALONE I feel. Not that I'm not surrounded by friends and family. Because I am.
But there are times when I feel no one else understands my journey. I think it's part of the human condition- we isolate our feelings so that no one else can help us overcome them. It's our safety net. Even if we cut our hair, or lose the weight, or win the lottery, we will still struggle with the idea of feeling alone.
But when I feel most alone, I start to remember the things I can be grateful for.
One of the things I am most thankful for is my husband, who reminded me of his love by saying those 3 little words I long to hear:
YOU ARE SAFE.
That's what I get from my husband. The opportunity to explore who I really am. There's no pressure to be someone I'm not, or to be perfect. Instead, he gives me the chance to investigate the person I am.
When was the last time you explored who you are? Do you really like doing the things you do now, or do you repeat them because you don't want to venture out into something new? If you discover something about who you are that you don't like, are you willing to put in the work to change it?
I don't like the unknown, and so I stay in my bubble of what I'm already comfortable with. I have this routine I like to keep, and if it falters, I kinda lose my bearings. Right now, with Matt and I having one car between us, I'm going stir crazy. I'm used to hopping in the van and taking off if I need to, not wandering around my house looking at the walls. I can take Matt to work, but it requires 2- 45 minute trips, and that's just annoying. If it was warmer, I'd just walk everywhere, but it's still wintertime, so I'm not excited to take a cold walk.
My point is- I'm being whiney because I'm inconvenienced.
The main goal of this week is no longer going to be what can I point out that's wrong in my life. Instead, I'm going to start counting my blessings. And I'm starting right now.
1. I am NEVER ALONE. I am surrounded with wonderful relationships that make my life better.
2. We only have one car, but we have A CAR. There have been times in my life when I didn't even have that. I need to remember that even though I have to wait to go to the grocery store until night time, I can still get there without having to ask someone to take me or pay a taxi.
3. I have a roof over my head, and a husband who fully supports the decision for me to be a stay at home mom, and we can afford to do so.
4. My husband has a kick butt job. That's a blessing all it's own.
5. I have fantastic kids who have a great sense of humor. And if one of them gets sick, Matt and I don't have to scramble to figure out who stays home with them.
6. I have lost 71 pounds, and I'm still going. I haven't lost steam. Instead I'm looking more and more toward the end of this journey.
7. My blog readers are better than anybody else's. PERIOD.
8. I am a fighter. And I never thought I would be.
9. We are really really really close to getting a house with an additional toilet. Just like with having one car, I can't imagine the relief I will feel when we get that second can. ;)
Today’s post may seem like one of those emotionally empty completely vain posts. But it’s not. Really.
I am trying to decide what to do with my hair. And I can’t figure it out.
I would love to have bangs again, because I’ve got issues with my hair covering my face when I sleep and dreaming that I’m drowning. (Yeah, I do.) But I know the MOMENT I make that first cut, bangs will be deemed completely out of style, and then I’ll have to wait a year before they grow back out, and we all know how irritating that is.
The issue at hand here is that I love my long hair. But I also struggle keeping up with it. And because I like to “vintage style” my hair...
...it requires a lot of teasing and backcombing, and because I bleach my hair, it’s already pretty brittle. I've got lots of split ends texture on my head.
If I go to a salon, I’m scared they will tell me to cut it all off and start over.
Yet, this is not just about my hair.
This is about my body image. I use my hair to hide. Sure it’s kind of outlandish at times (I love me a good victory roll) but I often fix my hair so people won’t look at my body.
It’s the same reason I used to make power point presentations when I would sing at church at 230+ pounds. It’s all about the art of distraction.
This issue of hiding is a big emotional trigger for me. I am an extreme introvert who likes to think she’s an extrovert. (Which makes no sense unless you don’t think about it. Or know me.) I have serious boundary issues. Part of that is from my past, and how I was hurt back in the day. And because my past is not longer going to hold me back, it’s time for a change. And that means full exposure.
I don’t want to keep hiding. I want to live my life front and center.
This week, due to a combination of reasons, I didn’t audition for a musical that I really wanted to be in. But the biggest reason why? BECAUSE I GOT SCARED. I got scared that I wouldn’t be right for the part. I got scared that someone thinner would walk in and blow me out of the water. Instead of putting on my brave face and trying, I stayed home and let the chance pass me by. That is living like I used to every day. I don’t want to do that!
I haven’t been to a salon to get my hair cut in 5 years. Every haircut I’ve had during the last years was one I gave myself. They were imperfect and qwerky, just like me. To have a polished look felt like false advertising. Because I’m not polished at all. I’m more of a hot mess.
Is there shame in being a hot mess? No, I don’t think there is. But is there shame in pretending like you can’t be anything else? I think there is.
Can I be thin? Possibly. If I’m willing to do the hard sweaty work to get there.
Can I be polished? Maybe. If I take the time to work on the rough stuff.
Can I live life front and center? Sure, as long as I get off the couch.
Can I be a leading lady? I can, as long as I learn how a leading lady acts.
If you like what you see, be sure to follow the new blog and leave a comment! I won't post on there more than once a week, but I needed a seperate place to talk about motherhood and not have to associate it with dieting.
As always, I hope you enjoy the good laugh, and you can be thankful this didn't happen to you.
Almost 8 years ago, I walked out of a very bad marriage. I took my 3 babies and left for good. When I left, I had no self esteem. I was so beaten down, even breathing was a chore. I thought I was a no talent loser who would never be successful. My dreams and hopes were dashed. I had 3 little lives depending on me to be strong. But I had no strength on my own.
In fact, I had nothing. No car, no home, very little furniture, and beds for my babies in a storage shed.
All of a sudden, the outpouring of my community began. I was able to rent a tiny house, I got a job, my friends helped provide for me, friends of friends donated dishes and end tables. I lived for 3 months sleeping on a couch in my tiny house, until the principal at my mom’s school gave me a bed.
Everything that I needed was provided. EVERY SINGLE THING. I would even get anonymous gift cards in the mail for places like walmart and Papa Johns and the gas station. They seemed to come out of thin air, exactly when they were needed most.
I didn’t have extra, but I had enough.
3 years ago, I was in a bad place for my health. I was overweight, depressed, found it hard to get out of bed in the mornings and was STILL fighting those feelings of inadequacy. No matter what I did, I never felt good enough. I had managed to find the most extraordinary man out there, who happened loved me back, and together we had raised 3 well-balanced kids (I won’t use the word normal, but MAN! They are fantastic kids!) and created a life.
But even though I believed in everyone else around me, I never believed in myself. I lacked confidence and willpower. I shuddered away from controversy and conflict, even when it would have been in my best interest to fight back. It was obvious that I could love everyone else in my life but myself.
And one day, I decided I had rolled over long enough. I decided it was time to start fighting back. It went slow and was amazingly emotional, but somehow, I found the strength to fight, and lost 70 pounds of my former self. And I'm still going.
Today, I saw a victory in my life. For the first time, I saw a change that would benefit my family for years to come. It wasn’t a huge win, but it was enough to remind me of what I am fighting for. That I’M WORTH fighting for. I had forgotten that. The woman who had given up and rolled over is gone. She’s not there anymore.
There’s a new sheriff in town. She’s a fighter. And she’s not pulling any punches.
When was the last time you really thought you could do something about your situation? Maybe you aren’t in a bad marriage, but you are struggling with another type of relationship. Maybe you are abusing your body with food. Maybe you are dealing with depression. Or maybe you have just given up hope that things will ever work in your favor.
I have spent years feeling like a loser. Feeling like no matter what I did, the truth didn’t matter. The facts didn’t add up in my favor.
But today, this loser got to be a winner. I got to experience firsthand that truth DOES matter.
Surviving is about a whole lot more than getting through something tough. Surviving is about coming out on the other side to tell your story to others. Sharing what you have learned on your journey. Helping others.
Are you a loser wondering if you'll ever win? Have you given up on yourself? Is food your companion that you need to leave?
I can’t tell you how to live your life. I can’t make you change your habits and your ways. But I will tell you that YOU ARE WORTH THE FIGHT. I know you feel like a victim of your circumstances now, but you can get through the tough times. It is only when we are completely broken and burned out that we can rise up from the ashes as a new person. Reformed, restored, renewed. TRANSFORMED.
All of those moments when we feel like an empty shell- those are the times we can fill ourselves up with anything we choose. Anger, happiness, sadness, or joy- it’s our choice. I chose joy.
I never realized what choosing joy would mean. It would be viewing the bleakest situations with a positive outlook. Even if there wasn’t one. It would mean sucking it up. Sweating it out. Waiting when no change ever seemed to come. And laughing through it all. Even when things weren’t funny.
Chosing joy meant trusting God when I couldn’t see His hand, and THANKING Him for the hard times. The fat times. The scary times. The same-situation-as-yesterday times.
My joy is overflowing today. Not because I’ve lost a certain number of pounds. Not because I’m in a healthy loving relationship. Not because my kids are great. Sure, all of those things are wonderful!
But today I am joyful because my past no longer holds me captive. I have made peace with my past. There are no more chains to the person I was. I no longer think I am worthless.
I have value.
And I will no longer carry the nametag of VICTIM.
From this point on, I am officially a SURVIVOR.
And that, my friends, is how a loser becomes a winner.