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Best kept secret weapon...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sorry, no big revelatory message today. Just a mild epiphany or sorts, if you will.

I had stark moment of clarity this morning while sitting on the toilet (don't be horrified--it's where some of the best thinking gets done--LOL). I was thinking back to my periods of past weight loss, looking for the common denominator and WHY I had been successful. I came to ONE very simple realization--I was utterly relentless in my drive, determination and most importantly, my DESIRE to change--to be healthier. Notice I did not say "skinnier" as that is just a by-product. However, in my overarching desire to be FITTER, to be able to leap several stairs in a single bound without breathing heavy, to eat healthy, to get better sleep, to be strong, to see my muscles pop, to look better clothed AND feel good nekkid, I lost weight--and I did it one day at time making what may have appeared to be small, insignificant decisions that all added up to one BIG lifestyle change.

I may have climbed on and off the weight loss rollercoaster on occasion but I know what needs to be done--cuz I've DONE it. And I can do that again--take small steps everyday that lead to a better, healthier, cuter ME-- again and again and aGAIN.

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After all--my best kept secret weapon is, well, me!

Let's see how we can make it the best. day. ever. And the day after that. And the day after that. And the day after that...Until. And during those "in-between" periods when we might not get it "right" all the time, let's just decide to love and treat ourselves gently, shall we?


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEADYBEAR77 11/6/2012 6:44PM

    This is a great word. Weight loss begins in your mind with the determination to never quit.

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MISSROCKABILLY 11/3/2012 11:30AM

    That's a little more than a mild epiphany, sweetie, that's huge! Lots of people never seem to realize that at all. I'm glad you're striving for healthy, not skinny, too. That's my goal also.

Love this, and love you!!
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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 11/2/2012 10:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIVELAUFLUV 11/1/2012 5:33AM

    Thank you so much for posting this! Congratulations on your success emoticon

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MSMOSTIMPROVED 10/31/2012 8:46PM

    AMEN! I'm a firm believer in learning to speak kindly to yourself. The attitude is key and you are simply radiating positive beams in this blog!
Hey Cutie!LOL!!!!
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LADYGSC 10/31/2012 8:20PM

    Well said!! Let's do this because we can!!

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BLUE42DOWN 10/31/2012 2:38PM

    emoticon

Keep that secret weapon primed and ready to use!

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/31/2012 2:24PM

    Great blog. I'm voting for it. Thanks. (Very true!)

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REFFIE1 10/31/2012 2:22PM

    Wonderful blog, full of inspiration. It is totally true that healthy changes practiced consistently works. Slow and steady is maintainable. Congratulations on that great insight and for sharing it with us all. emoticon

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OKBACK2ME 10/31/2012 12:13PM

    Great Blog! Yes determination is definately the key!

Have a great Halloween! emoticon

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Coulda' Been Worse

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

I am happy to report that my coping skills have become MOST impressive over the last few years, if do say so m'self. Oh, this level of calm has not come without a lot of trial and error, I'll be the first to say. However, as sit here, I find myself contemplating yet another one of life's major disappointments (of the relationship variety-the worst kind), I ALSO find myself looking to more productive ways to handle it. And if you don't count the (3) Oreos I had yesterday (and even if you do), five, two or even ONE year ago, those (3) Oreos might have been a large fry, a double scoop of chocolate malted crunch ice cream or NINE Oreos .

As I've gotten older, one important thing I've learned is that it really IS better to feel whatever emotion you're going through, to not NUMB the pain and that's exactly what food has the power to do. So instead of lamenting my current relationship woes, I did a kicka$$ 5-mile workout DVD by Leslie Sansone. Oh, and did mention, the natural mood-boost as a result? SO--not only did I remain within my calorie target but I managed to get in a 90 minute workout AND elevate my mood, which was important, even if it was a bit temporary and fleeting. Still...

Anyway, I think its important to acknowledge and celebrate these kind of smallish victories, for in the end, they add up.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GENTLEMAN77 10/9/2012 10:24PM

    Keep up the good work. This is an awesome victory!

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 10/6/2012 12:02AM

    Good for you!
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REFFIE1 10/3/2012 10:27AM

    You mentioned that the natural high from exercise was temporary. Well, the 9 oreo cookie high of the past would have been just as temporary only there may have been a lot lingering regret and pounds to boot! So, congratulate yourself on making a modified splurge and having the motivation to exercise even when feeling down. Hey, if some once significant other has hurt you, wouldn't a round of kickboxing be fun! Just sayin..... Working through your feelings instead of a bag of oreos will help you heal and move on! emoticon emoticon

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CANDOSUE52 10/3/2012 10:03AM

   
I think you're doing just GREAT!!

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LILAC_LANE 10/3/2012 6:54AM

    That is a victory (the oreos)
It's so great when we can look back
and see how far we have come down the road
of our journey. :) You really inspire me.
I love the poster at the end.
Good stuff.
You have a great day!
~J~

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MISSROCKABILLY 10/2/2012 9:50PM

    I'm sorry that you are going through some relationship woes. No bueno. *hugs*
I agree with how much better it is to feel your emotions, good, bad, and everything in between. Otherwise it's not much like living, just existing. I was on meds for my headaches a number of years ago that was also used for depression, and I had to wean myself off the pills because I couldn't stand the side effects of not really caring for or feeling anything. It's very disorienting emotionally. It sounds like you are handling things in a good and healthy manner.

You know where to find me if you need me, girl...anytime, seriously.
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In memoriam: Nancy Beatriz Cholo, April 22, 1941 - September 18, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Isn't it funny how all the things you thought were important turn out NOT to be so much when you learn that someone you have known almost your entire life is sick. And not just kind of sick but REALLY quite ill?

Two months ago I found out that the mother of one of my long-time childhood friends was diagnosed with cancer and not first or second stage either. This "thing" took up almost one entire lung. Even without the final test results in, it appeared she would need to undergo radiation and/or chemo just to shrink the cancer to a size where it could be CUT out. With her condition seemingly rapidly deteriorating, my friend's mother was pretty adamant about NOT wanting to fight this. Her body was already breaking down, wracked with pain and no treatments had even begun yet. "And for what?" she asked me, half in English, half in Portuguese, when I spoke to her back in mid-July, a week following the diagnosis. "So I can live half a life afterwards IF my body survives the radiation treatments? No, I have lived a long time (aside: she was 71, same age as my mother), a good life. If it is my time, then well, I am ready to go. The only thing I wished is that I could spend more time with my Jude. At least til he was five." Jude is my friend's bundle of joy that she gave birth to 4 years ago. Did I mention he was diagnosed with autism within the last year or so? She had two other "grown" grandchildren, my friend's son and daughter from a previous marriage. With all the things she could have wished for, one more year with her youngest grandchild, to see him "grow up" more was all that she asked. What a simple request...

A little bit about this woman who so influenced my formative years--as much if not more than my own mother in a lot of ways because I was ALWAYS at their house when I wasn't sleeping at mine (or at the local library). One of my oldest friends in the universe comes from a multicultural background. Her dad is Colombian and her mother is (was *sigh*) Brazilian. With a child who was kind of a misfit--an outcast of sorts, in grade school (her last name is synonymous for a slang word for Mexican gangster--so between that, the shyness and the eventual braces that would soon follow) my friend got teased LOT. So as her daughter's occasional protector on the playground, part-time math tutor and full-time best friend, she welcomed me into their home with all the enthusiasm and love of a new parent bringing home an adopted child for the first time. I became a member of their family readily and by extension, a member of the small but close-knit Brazilian community that had sprung up in this part of Orange County in southern California. It was as foreign to me as it was exciting--I didn't speak a lick of Portuguese but I'll be goddamned if all the Spanish I had been picking up as child and eventually went on to study in high school wasn't paying off. Additionally, as a black child growing up in white Orange County, where we were (and continue to be) less than 2% of the population, it was as if a whole new world had been opened up to me--LITERALLY. I had never SEEN so many mixed racial backgrounds--Japanese, Hispanic, Indio, Caucasian, African--all eating the same food (YUM) and speaking the same language which united them. Mrs. Cholo was the first person, EVER to tell me on regular basis how pretty I was and she thanked me constantly for befriending and looking out for her daughter. She introduced me to this most rich and diverse culture where my skin was treasured, something to be admired. Consequently, I had never felt more accepted, alive or beautiful which, as you know, is almost an impossible feat during one's adolescent years under the BEST of circumstances. The approval and acceptance I found within that enclave helped to shape my view of the world, my willingness to be open to "the other", my verve for life, in fact, and to revel in being my most unique self--lessons and love which I have never forgotten and for which I will be forever grateful. Because of my early childhood experiences, this woman, along with her daughter, helped to give me the gift of well, ME.

So now that I am dealing with this most recent loss along with the rest of the crap I continue to try and manage, some days better than others, I have entered yet another period of mourning which has resulted in this overwhelming urge to make peace with many key areas of my life--my dissatisfaction with my career, ongoing financial challenges, my imperfections--both inside and out, the break-up of my 15-year relationship, my new solitude...None of these things are really THAT important in the BIG, overarching scheme of things. This is IT folks--LIFE--the good, the bad and the god-awful. Look, I'm not saying I've had this big ol' epiphany necessarily because I could no more stop being a sarcastic, smart-a$$ed cynic (not that anyone would know what to do with me ANYway if I had)--it's as much a part of my charm as the rest of my effervescent and sparkling personality. emoticon However, what I AM saying is that life really IS too EFFing short to sweat the small sh*t.

Now excuse me but I gotta go find something else to b*tch about.

Peace out.
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P.S. Thirty-four years later, even now that she's gone, I can STILL hear her sweet, Portuguese-laden accent saying my name "Shauntayzinha". Obrigado para tudo Senora. Cholo. Adeus. (Thank you for everything Mrs. Cholo. Good-bye.)

(Zinho/Zinha: an ending originally from Brazilian Portuguese added on to names to make nicknames. In Portuguese, it describes something as being small, or shows a certain degree of affection towards it, similar to the word "cutie.")

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

N2LAW1 11/10/2013 7:18PM

    Such a touching post one which I can definitely relate too, thank you for sharing.
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MISSROCKABILLY 9/25/2012 11:40AM

    I'm so sorry for your loss, sweetie. This was a beautiful tribute to a woman who meant so much to you.

I'm sure that she would be very proud to be the catalyst of you re-examining your life, and proud of you. I am too.
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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 9/20/2012 2:30PM

    I am so sorry for your loss - she sounds like a totally amazing person and the world will be a lesser place without her presence. Fortunately, I can see the wonderful influence she's had on you so you will be honored to carry her with you forever and pass on her essence to others around you. Peace and blessings!
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GOODGETNBETR 9/20/2012 9:12AM

    Sorry for your loss. May she rest in peace. emoticon

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ZACEVETOB 9/20/2012 5:09AM

    Awesome blog, nice tribute.

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RISINGBLUESTAR 9/19/2012 10:06PM

    This is a wonderful tribute to the woman who had such an impact on your life.
I am very sorry that you and your friend are suffering this great loss.

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LILAC_LANE 9/19/2012 9:06PM

    I'm trying to find the words to express how touched I
was when I read your blog. It sounds like you made as big
of an impact on Senora Cholo as she made on you.
May you find comfort in your memories of your beautiful friend.
Sending hugs,
~Lilac~

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SPARKLISE 9/19/2012 8:36PM

    Lucky you to have somebody like that in your life! emoticon

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BLUE42DOWN 9/19/2012 4:12PM

    emoticon

What a beautiful woman and a great way to remember her!

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MSMOSTIMPROVED 9/19/2012 3:52PM

    What a beautiful tribute. My condolences to you and your dear friend. She sounds like a wonderful and kind-hearted woman.
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CANDOSUE52 9/19/2012 3:30PM

   
Thank you for this, it was touching and beautiful and quite a tribute to a woman you've loved. I'm sure she would be so proud of you, and would want you to have the best and happiest life possible. It's within your grasp, never forget that.

blessings, Sue

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'Nuff said...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIANGLE-WOMAN 9/19/2012 1:22PM

    emoticon

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LILAC_LANE 9/16/2012 8:19PM

    I know where to go when I need a smile.
That was awesome just like you!
Have a great week of awesome-ness!
~Lilac~

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GOINGTODOTHIS2 9/16/2012 8:13PM

    I have to remember to remind myself of this. You are awesome. You have encouraged me today!
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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 8/29/2012 9:53PM

    Very cute!! And I was thinking about you this week so we must be on the same wavelength. I'm starting a 'slower paced fitness hike' on Thursday nights, starting at 6pm, and I really REALLY want you to join me - if you're interested, shoot me a sparkmail and I'll give you the details. Either way, I hope to see you soon - this is ridiculous to just be too busy to get together at all.....right?

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LASKIE2 8/29/2012 8:06PM

    emoticon

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NEWYEARME 8/29/2012 7:28PM

    You are awesome!!!! We all are. Just remember it!!!!

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Feeling My Mortality

Monday, July 30, 2012

Isn't it funny how all the things you thought were important turn out NOT to be so much when you learn that someone close to you is sick.

Two weeks ago I found out that the mother of my long-time childhood friend was diagnosed with cancer and not first or second stage either. This "thing" takes up almost one entire lung. Even without the final test results in, the doctors have already told my friends mom that she would need to undergo radiation/chemo just to shrink the cancer to a size where it can be CUT out. With her condition rapidly deteriorating, my friend's mother is pretty adamant about NOT wanting to fight this. Her body is already breaking down and no treatments have even begun yet. "And for what?" she asked me, half in English, half in Portuguese, when I spoke to her last Wednesday. "So I can live half a life afterwards assuming my body survives the radiation treatments? No, I have lived a long time (aside: she's 71, same age as my mother), a good life. If it is my time, then well, I am ready to go. The only thing I wished is that I could spend more time with my Jude. At least til he was five.") Jude is my friend's "surprise" bundle of joy that she gave birth to 4 years ago. Did I mention he was diagnosed with autism within the last year or so? All this after raising 2 teens from a previous marriage--a son, now 18 and a daughter, 20. With all the things she could have wished for, 2 more years with her youngest grandchild, to see him grow up more was all that she asked. What a simple request...

A little bit about this woman who so influenced my formative years--as much if not more than my parents in a lot of ways because I was always at their house if I wasn't at mine (or the local library). One of my oldest friends in the universe comes from a multicultural background. Her dad is Colombian and her mother is Brazilian and with a child who was kind of a misfit of sorts, an outcast in grade school (her last name is synonymous for a slang word for Mexican gangster--so between that, the shyness and the eventual braces that would soon follow) my friend got teased LOT). So as their daughter's protector on the playground, occasional math tutor and only REAL friend until high school for sure, they welcomed me into their home with all the enthusiasm and love of new parents bringing home their adopted child for the first time. I became a member of their family instantly and by extension, a member of the small but close-knit Brazilian community that had sprung up in this part of Orange County in S. CA. It was as foreign to me as it was exciting--I didn't speak a lick of Portuguese but I'll be goddamned if all the Spanish I had been picking up as child and studying in high school wasn't paying off. And as a black child growing up in white Orange County, where blacks were (and continue to be) less than 2% of the population, it was as if a whole new world had been opened up to me--LITERALLY. I had never SEEN so many mixed backgrounds within ONE culture before--Japanes, Hispanic, Indio, Caucasian, African and all speaking English, Portuguese and Spanish. Consequently, I had never felt more accepted, alive or beautiful which is not always easy during one's adolescent years under the BEST of circumstances. This family and the rich culture of this community helped to shape my view of the world, my willingness to be open to "the other"--my verve for life and to revel in being my most unique self--lessons and love which I have never forgotten and for which I will be forever grateful.

So now with the advent of this news coming on the heels of the not-TOO-recent break up of my 15-year relationship 10 months ago (although some days it feels just like yesterday), I feel like I am entering yet another period of mourning which has resulted in this overwhelming urge to make peace with many areas of my life--my dissatisfaction with work, my weight, my failed relationship with my EX, the failed relationship with my mom, my new solitude...None of THESE things are really THAT important in the BIG, overarching scheme of things known as LIFE. Look, I'm not saying I've had this big ol' epiphany cuz part of me really enjoys being a sarcastic, smart-a$$ed cynic--it's as much a part of my charm as the REST my effervescent and sparkling personality. emoticon However, what I am saying is that life REALLY is too short to sweat the small stuff.

Now excuse me but I got go b*tch about it being another Monday.

Peace out.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNDALOVES2HIKE 7/31/2012 10:10AM

    Wow, that's a lot to deal with in a short time - so sorry about your friend's mother and all the other topics but I hope you will realized that you do not have any FAILED relationships, only relationships that have helped you grow. Of course, it doesn't always feel great to go through the transformation but if you find a way to step back and examine the PATTERNS, you'll see that work, ex and mom, along with other aspects of your life, are all part of the same energy.

Anyway, you are such a wonderful person, I feel very lucky to have met you and hope we can find time to get together once in awhile because I'd truly love to know you even better!

Peace, indeed!
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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 7/30/2012 9:17PM

    Your second mother sounds lovely and very wise. What a wonderful tribute!

And now you can tell her that it is your turn to help influence a young life and open someone else's eyes....how happy will that make her?

I can only hope someone will think of me in such a way someday!!

Blessings and be well....

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SWEETYOUNGTHING 7/30/2012 6:38PM

    What a lovely blog. I'm so sorry that you are all going through this trial. Remember, god does have a lot of miracles just waiting to be used. Even if she doesn't opt for chemo she may live longer than expected. How beautiful that she feels ready to go if, in fact, that is what God plans. You will all be in my prayers. emoticon Pat

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NIKKICOLE83 7/30/2012 4:08PM

    I am sorry to here about your second mother as well as the end to your relationship. Sometimes life humbles us and it forces us to reevaluate things. Good luck and I hope your mom pulls through.

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ROCKMAN6797 7/30/2012 4:01PM

    Life is short and needs to be appreciated! The alternative isn't very appealing.

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MERRYMARY42 7/30/2012 3:32PM

    Yes so true, Life is short, and no guarantees along the way, I am 70 feel like I am 29 look like I am 70 but that is my age. I have lost 4 of my siblings to cancer 2 younger and 2 older, I understand your friends Mother, the chemo is a terrible thing, and it is a decision that you have to make yourself.
I enjoyed your blog, and I am happy you had a second home and the experience you did growing up.

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