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Making your weakness your strength

Thursday, April 07, 2011

(Sorry about all the blog entries. I'm just feeling inspired to write.)

A week ago, I posted a status update that said something like: "Take your greatest weakness, and make it your strength."

What did I mean by this?

This actually comes from one of my favorite books, "A Game of Thrones" by George RR Martin. It's a fantasy series that is based roughly on the real "War of the Roses" in England. The House of Lancaster versus the House of York, with the House of Tudor winning. In "A Game of Thrones", it's the Lannister's versus the Starks, and probably the Targaryen's winning, but the series isn't finished yet.

One of the characters is Tyrion Lannister, who is a dwarf (as in dwarfism or midget). He is overshadowed by his "normal", attractive siblings. He'll never hold the same clout as his siblings because of his disability. He says this line to Jon Snow, who is a bastard son of Lord Stark. Being a dwarf and a bastard in noble families makes them outcasts.

"Take your weakness, and make it your strength. Then it can never be used against you."

I read this book many years ago. I'm starting to reread it because the fifth book will be released soon. This particular line has always stuck with me.

I'm 5'0", and have always been the 'runt' of my classes. I was always picked on and ridiculed for always being the shortest person in the class. Lots of my friends went through growth spurts in middle school, and I stayed the same. For a long time, short jokes really bothered me.

There's nothing I can do about my height. I will never be supermodel tall. I'll always have to hem pants in order to fit. I'll always have to use a step stool in order to reach cans on the top shelf. But I refuse to be treated as 'helpless'.

I didn't like the short jokes because it was really making a dig at a personal insecurity. Something I wish could be different, but is not within my ability to change. If you don't like your nose, you can get cosmetic surgery to change it. If you're petite, you're petite and that's it. When I would get upset, the person saying it usually told me to 'get a sense of humor' or 'it was just a joke'.

When I started taking martial arts classes, once again, I was the smallest person in the room. I had to work harder on my technique, because I didn't have arm/leg reach or mass as an advantage. 5'0" and 115lbs (at that time).

The end result was, by my mid level belts, I had cleaner technique than many of my other classmates. I rose through the belt levels quickly.

My master instructor took me to demonstrations along with the black belts (I was a green belt). He used me to show that it's not about size, it's about technique. I would throw one of my classmates who was 6'0" and weighed 220 pounds over my head. This particular demonstration with the tiny girl tossing the big guy around was a huge hit with the kids. We got lots of surprised gasps and cheers from the kids.

My master instructor used to have me spar with classmates much taller than me. A lot of them would go in thinking they had the advantage, then quickly end up on the ground. I used their size - their advantage - against them. They only had the advantage when at range, so I would quickly close the distance and get right up next to them. I was a grappler. I would grab their kicks and punches, then pull or step in close. Once I was on the "inside" space, the advantage was mine. I could sweep their leg or twist them to the ground quite easily. People have an innate dislike of others inside their personal space. They don't like being grabbed, and they don't like someone too close. My advantage was psychological as much as it was physical limitation that I would never have long reach with my arms or legs.

I often won the first fight against someone who never fought me before because they underestimated me, and overestimated themselves. Which is why my instructor would have me spar them in the first place. To teach them their size does not mean automatic win.

The *only* way I could achieve that was with proper technique. If I stood the wrong way, or didn't place my hands right, the big guys didn't budge. A lot of the big guys could brute force moves since they had the size, and room for error. I had no room for error. I had to do it right.

After that, I no longer cared about "short" jokes. I would smile, and secretly think to myself that I could toss them over my head, if I wanted to.

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I believe a lot of them only said these jokes because they knew it bothered me. When it ceased to bother me, it strangely ceased to be funny to them.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELPIE57 4/8/2011 1:56AM

    I say that your strengths taken to an extreme can become weaknesses, and it is so good to have such a superb example of the opposite. Thank you.

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JSPEED4 4/7/2011 3:34PM

    emoticon Thanks.

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Dancing with the Stars

Thursday, April 07, 2011

I'm a fan of dance shows. When I was little, I used to watch Solid Gold, Star Search, and even Lawrence Welk with my mom.

I can't dance myself being rhythm impaired, but I always appreciated the grace and the athleticism. I have pretty steady feet and balance due to my martial arts training, but choreography is a bit beyond me. Dancing is an extroverted activity, and I am very introverted. I feel too uncomfortable when I have too many eyes on me. Performing arts was something I shied away from. I preferred team activities like soccer.

My fiance absolutely refuses to dance. Funny, when we first met he said he was taking salsa lessons. He won't take lessons with me. I conclude he only took salsa lessons to meet girls. He's never denied this.

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We're a mismatch for dancing, anyway. He's 5'10" and I'm 5'0". However, he *will* dance at our wedding!

I love how athletic and strong the professional dancers look. The girls have strong, muscular legs. I strive to build my body like them. Strong and sleek, not thin and emaciated.

I don't watch reality TV shows in general, but I love Dancing with the Stars. This season is particularly good.

Can I just say that I have a crush on Ralph Macchio all over again? emoticon

I was in 4th grade when "The Karate Kid" came out. He was probably one of my first movie star crushes. It's amazing how well the story has aged over the years. A story of hard work, overcoming those who try to keep you down, and personal achievement. Mr. Miyagi was the ultimate mentor: tough, but with love and respect.

And it's amazing how well Ralph Macchio has aged over the years. 49 years old? Good grief!

I love how proud Ralph is of his movie roles. Many actors hate their fame of their most popular characters. Sean Connery hates James Bond. Ralph embraces "The Outsiders" and "The Karate Kid". He's still just so cute and makes me feel like a school girl crush. I want to post a picture of him on my wall, just like 4th grade.

Ok, I won't. emoticon

I'm rooting for him as my favorite. He's having so much fun dancing, and he's quite good at it. I think the judges have been too hard on him these past two weeks. His enthusiasm is electric. I want him to win because he says he will do the "crane kick" if he wins the shiny ball!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VHALKYRIE 4/7/2011 8:24PM

    I found Anne Widdecomb on Strictly Come Dancing on YouTube. OMG! Anne doing the "sexy" salsa was hilarious!

Not good dancing, but funny!

Comment edited on: 4/7/2011 8:36:04 PM

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ARCHIMEDESII 4/7/2011 3:36PM

    Personally, I don't know how Bristol Palin was determined to be a "star". but then again... they had Kate Gosslin too !!! I will give Bristol credit because her dancing did improve. however, she wasn't any good. You could see she was struggling. Kyle Massey had some talent. He was very good, but I think the fix was in for Jennifer Grey. She was the favorite to win.

Of course, I know this isn't really dancing. I love watching the PBS Ballroom Dance Championships... now that's dancing !! However, DWTS is fun. I get a kick out it.





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KELPIE57 4/7/2011 3:31PM

    You should check out the UK version and Anne Widdercome, when it comes to viewer voting

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VHALKYRIE 4/7/2011 3:26PM

    So You Think You Can Dance was good too!

Eww. Bristol Palin. Terrible dancer. One of the problems with the 'viewer voting' concept.

Her weight gain on the show is a good example that exercise alone does not cancel out bad eating.

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KRAEG3 4/7/2011 3:07PM

    Okay, I too love the dance shows but, I typically do not watch Dancing With the Stars. I have only caught 1 episode. Now, as far as Kisrtie losing 5 lbs a week...lets not forget what the Palin girl did when she was on the show and actually gained weight.

My favorite dance show is So You Think You Can Dance! Now that is dancing! I have shows on my dvr from 2 years ago that I just can't erase.

P.S. I wanted to be a Solid Gold Dancer! Those gold shiny outfits and their signature moves right before a commercial...never forget it. emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/7/2011 3:10:19 PM

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THINRONNA 4/7/2011 1:20PM

    I don't watch the show but I just googled him and you are right...he is cute!

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VHALKYRIE 4/7/2011 12:51PM

    Maksim's fall was so shocking! The look of pain on his face was terrible. I can't believe he managed to finish his performance. I remember pulling a muscle in my thigh once, and I had to lie on the floor for about half an hour before it stopped burning!

Kirstie is quite good! I'm not too surprised that the two actors are at the top right now. I think their training as movie stars is an advantage because they have to be able to get into a role. Right now, they are in the 'dancer' role.

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SKUTRGAL 4/7/2011 12:12PM

    I've been a fan of DWTS since the very beginning. I, too, am rooting for Ralph & Kirstie. I love Ralph & his little boy face in his 49 y.o. body. Kirstie I'm not a fan of generally, but on the show I am becoming a fan because of the way she moves her large body in her 60 y.o. body. I just hope Maks isn't too injured after this week to continue. He & Kirstie make a great team! I am hoping that Kirstie doesn't get eliminated because of America's dislike of fat people. It's happened on the show before. We'll see...

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EATNBOOGERS 4/7/2011 11:39AM

    I watched the first episode with my mom, and I will admit that I feel the same way about Ralph. And he was *awesome*. But I'm also rooting for Kirstie. I think she's obnoxious, but I think she did *so* well, and I like the fact that her age and her weight didn't stop her.

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ARCHIMEDESII 4/7/2011 11:29AM

    Okay, I'll admit it. I've been known to tune into Dancing with the Stars occasionally. I tune in for the dances, but tune out during the talkie parts and commercials. LOL !!!

Now, while I was a fan of the Karate Kid (great movie), I'm rooting for Kirstie Alley ! I think she has a chance of making it to the finals. She said in one of her interviews that she wants to lose 5 pounds per week for a total of 40 pounds if she gets to the final rounds.

I doubt she'll lose 5 pounds per week, but I am watching to see what transformation she does have. Kelly Osbourne lost a lot of weight because of the change in diet and extra exercise. So... I'm pulling for Kirstie !!

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I Feel Like Such a Heel

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Just a recap in case you haven't been following my continuing saga. I've been complaining the past couple of days because the fiance came to me earlier this week with some 'changes' that he wanted with my cooking. At first I was offended by his demands because I have spent the past 8 years of my life working on making healthy food. I've spent years on Spark and other websites studying how to balance nutrition for weight loss. I felt a bit unappreciated, like he didn't know what he got. I mean, if he had dated my Texan roommate instead of me, he would be getting Frito Pie for dinner. Not healthy marinated carne asada, rice, and fresh green salads. Oh, and fresh squeezed margaritas.

Tonight he came home, swept the floor, mopped, vaccumed, and emptied the dishwasher. I asked him what prompted this. He said he saw that I had started sweeping the floor, tidied up the office room a little bit, and made dinners. He felt guilty coming home for a few hours, then clearing off again (he had to go back to work tonight.)

So...I'm feeling way guilty. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESS0107 4/7/2011 11:43AM

    It's a good thing for him to help you. You are getting married soon and ya'll share the house with equal responsibilities.

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VHALKYRIE 4/7/2011 6:52AM

    Haha! You may be onto something there, Sedgey! emoticon

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SEDGEY 4/7/2011 2:19AM

    How sweet! (I realize that statement is a bit whacked, but oh well.)

Maybe *he's* feeling a little guilty for thinking you were cooking unhealthy food if he's been googling around for his new "diet". Cleaning house is easier than admitting that you actually weren't frying food. ;)

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TRAXINA 4/6/2011 11:07PM

    It is so great to have a good man! A realization that leads to that kind of action is a lasting one.

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SIMPLEPLUM 4/6/2011 6:53PM

    Don't feel guilty! It's good that's he's contributing too! And it means that he appreciates and values your contribution. emoticon

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Wedding Planning

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

We're getting married next year, so it's time to get a hustle on organizing. We've at least finally settled on a rough plan of where and when. We want to do a destination wedding because neither of us really want to do the work of getting a cake, catering, photographers, reception, etc. We really just want to show up somewhere nice and have someone else manage all that stuff.

I'm also not very traditional. A big wedding was never really something I had in mind. I've always been very independent, and marriage for me was always going to be 'under the right circumstances' with a particular type of guy. Fortunately, that guy came along.

One thing that is very important to me is having a handle on my own money. We have a shared bank account where we handle the bills and vacation money. We also have our own separate accounts where we can do as we please. No arguments about buying shoes or power tools. As long as we contribute our portion to the bills, the rest is ours. We never fight about money like many of our other couple friends. It works for us, so we're keeping this as is after we're married.

We are also maintaining our own separate retirement accounts. After we're married, he'll become beneficiary on my retirement accounts, and vice versa. It gives me the feeling of autonomy that's important to me. He's got his retirement funds, and I've got mine. In case of mid life crisis where he runs off with a 22 year old, I'll still be able to take care of myself.

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I need to get back on my wedding diet. I have the same 10 pounds I've been wanting to lose forever. I can do it, I just need to get it done. The biggest thing that throws me off track is when we go on a weekend vacation. It just throws me off track in the worst way. I gain weight, then we come home and it takes me weeks to get back on my regular schedule. I need to get this moving because I need to get a wedding dress. I know what kind I want, but I'm probably going to have it special made. I want a simple dress with a V neck, high empire waist, and an over the knee pleated skirt that best flatters my figure. It should be of lightweight material suitable for a beach wedding. I'm fitting comfortably in a size 6 now, but I think I will be a size 4 in another 10 pounds.

One of my side hobbies is making jewelry with bead weaving. I plan to make my own wedding jewelry, but I need a dress before I can make something that matches. If I can find the V neck style dress, then I already have a pearl necklace design. If I end up with something else, I'll have to adjust. So the wedding jewelry is on hold, pending the dress.

We started discussing honeymoon options a few months ago. The first thing I said was I had some place like Antigua or Aruba in mind. I wanted to go deep southern Caribbean as it is not a normal destination we can go any weekend. That was too imprecise for my engineering fiance. He spent weeks putting together a spreadsheet. He went through hotels on every island in the Caribbean. We went through the spreadsheet and hotel pictures together, narrowed and ruled out options. The hotels and islands with the stuff we like to do with the best value for what we want to pay? Antigua or Aruba.

Ahh well. At least we are in agreement!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTTAGENT 4/11/2011 11:55PM

    Congratulations on planning your wedding! That is wonderful.
It is great that you have discussed money issues already, and glad that you agree on where you want to go.

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TREEBELLA 4/7/2011 7:08AM

    I like your ideas about finance. Apparently money is one of the top reasons people get divorced along with not discussing children before marriage (I can't believe some people get married without talking about whether they want children or not, crazy!). Best of luck to you, I hope your wedding day is a happy and beautiful one!

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NEURONERD 4/6/2011 1:32PM

    Congratulations! Getting a date and starting wedding plans is always nice. It took me 6 yrs before I decided to set a wedding date with my husband. I wanted to have my bachelor degree before getting married.

Don't stress too much right now, just enjoy the ride! I can't wait to see pictures of your wedding dress and jewelery. You will look so beautiful!

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JESS0107 4/6/2011 10:40AM

    Congratulations! Just don't be stressed from now till then. I would love to go to Aruba but whatever you choose, you will have to show us some pictures.

My husband and I never wanted a big wedding and I didn't want to deal with all that mess either. So we went to the mountains and eloped. The best thing in the world! I wasn't able to get the dress that I wanted so when we renew our vows, he told me to get the dress I really wanted.

Ya'll are on the right track and you will get to your size 4 beautiful wedding dress soon!

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BTVMADS 4/6/2011 10:23AM

    One of my friends from work is getting married in two weeks in the Caribbean, and she says it was the best decision she ever made (the first time she tried to plan a DIY affair for a crowd, it temporarily ended the engagement!). You're guaranteed a beautiful wedding day with only those closest to you, and no migraines! Anyone who gets married without a wedding planner is nuts, lol.

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MYTURN11 4/6/2011 9:16AM

    Yah, always for agreement. Your wedding destination and associated plans sound fantastic.

With regard to finances. This is my second marriage and we have been married for 19 years. We have always had separate accounts and share where applicable. This process works great for us.

You will be a beautiful bride. Enjoy your wedding event planning.
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I Hate My Hair

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I have the weirdest hair. In high humidity, it goes curly. In low humidity, it goes flat. It's impossibly thin and prone to breakage just by brushing.

I want to get a wig. Seriously. It's pre-styled, and looks the same everyday. No having my hair tediously straightened with a flat iron only to have it ruined by a high humidity day. With a wig, I could have layered styles I've always liked that are impossible to do with my naturally thin hair.

Only problem is, I imagine in the Georgia summer, it would get too hot to wear a wig.

Sigh.

Gloomy about yet another bad hair day.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LADYROSE 4/7/2011 12:31PM

    Doodette... go to Naturallycurly.com or get the book "Curly Girl" - awesome resources for dealing with hair and encouraging it to do it's thing within reason... finally loving my hair again. :)

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TREEBELLA 4/7/2011 7:26AM

    I hate my hair too. I'm trying to grow it down to my waist, but whenever I go outside I get these huge tangles in it. I've asked my mum if I can get it cut and just get extentions once I've lost weight and she freaked out at me and said it was a waste of money. I don't know if theres any point having long hair if you don't know how to style it properly and if you can't wear it down outside.

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KRAEG3 4/6/2011 10:45AM

    We always want what we don't have. As my mom has always says "The grass is always greenest at home". I love the olive oil treatment that Archimedes recommended but I too have fine hair and think it may weigh it down. The products I have been using for three months now are Wen by Chaz Dean. These products have worked wonders for my thin/fine hair. Good luck!

Comment edited on: 4/6/2011 10:46:42 AM

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ARCHIMEDESII 4/6/2011 10:27AM

    I can't tell you how much conditioner I have to use to keep my hair from looking like Albert Einstein's in the morning !!! LOL !!!!

Do you blow dry your hair ? If so, stop. Blow drying your hair damages a person's hair. Try just toweling off and air drying. Also, have you ever tried olive oil ? What you do is take a liberal amount of olive oil and soak cover your hair in it. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, the wash out normally. It's a drag to get the stuff out, but I love how my hair is afterward !! It's soooo soft !

Now, something to consider, are you getting enough healthy fats in your diet ? If your fat intake is lower than 10%, that causes hair to get very dry and brittle. I noticed that when my nutrition improved, so did my hair and nails. both are much much stronger than when I was a teen.



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LITTLELADYHOPE 4/6/2011 9:51AM

    Wigs may not be a bad idea. My cousin chopped her waist-length hair and started wearing wigs and she loves it.
Straightening your hair is most definitely contributing to the damage. That's gotta change. Maybe braid it for awhile, or pull it back--Just not too tight, or that'll cause breakage too. Get some strengthening formula stuff, it'll really help, if you don't already. I actually have crazy thick partly curly hair that's prone to breakage too, so I use Cost Cutters brand stuff, it's still reasonably priced and you get all the good salon stuff. Maybe talk to your stylist and find out some better products to use? And don't underestimate the importance of a wide-toothed comb!

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JMAYS831 4/6/2011 9:46AM

    I vote for shaving your head - saves times and money (no need for shampoo)

Just a thought...lol

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MYTURN11 4/6/2011 8:17AM

    Try Wen Lavender emoticonAlso like Bickey11's idea emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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VHALKYRIE 4/6/2011 8:10AM

    Sounds like a good idea to me!!



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BICKEY11 4/6/2011 8:06AM

    Maybe its time to move to a less humid climate????? Maybe Las Vegas! ;)

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