Tuesday, December 10, 2013
For me the month of December has always been that month where a black cloud tends to hover right above me...never quite pouring down on me but just dark enough to feel its presence. Let me explain...more so for me than any reader out here. Sometimes it's just easier for me to write things down, somewhere that i can go back on a later date and reread...it's easier for me to capture why i feel a certain way when i write it all down...i need it to stare me in the face to truly understand it.
In my heart December is the month where family gets together old and young, new and well seasoned. We come together to celebrate with one another over drinks and good food. Maybe that's what my heart has always longed for because it's not at all what i've ever had.
Growing up we always had gifts but they came at a hefty price. My dad was an alcoholic and my mother was a stay at home mom. He's often get his paycheck, cash it and go out drinking. How did i know this? They rarely hid anything from us - i mean they didn't cover up their screaming matches or fights - by fights i mean they'd both walk away with hair pulled out or black eyes. As a kid what did i know...i thought this was the norm.
Sure, we'd always have a tree with gifts underneath it all wrapped up in shiny paper...but what was under the tree was not anything i ever really wanted. The games were nice. The dolls were adorable. But what i wanted you couldn't wrap up.
Even as a young kid i remember wanting things like a hug from one of them. I wanted to hear my dad say he loved me.
dammit...even typing this i have to pause because i refuse to cry about it.
I wanted security. I wanted to know that things were going to be ok. I wanted to feel safe. But growing up that's not what i ever received.
My first memory that i can recall happened around Christmas. I was somewhere in the rang of 3 to 4 years old. My dad was drunk...again...and my mother refused to allow him in our apartment. How do i remember that at such an early age? Because of this...regardless of how hurtful he was, he was still my daddy. What little girl didn't want their daddy's love? Anyways, he stopped pounding. My brothers and i went into a bedroom and started to watch tv when all of a sudden my dad jumped through the window from the fire escape. Glass went everywhere. My younger brother, being about 2yrs old started screaming due to all of the noise. I remember watching my dad pick him up and throw his across the room...THUMP was the sound as his little body hit the wall and slid to the floor. My older brother being about 10yrs old grabbed me by the hand and my little brother who was screaming (thankfully not dead looking back at it when i was older to fully understand what happened and what could have happened) and took us to a neighbors place while my parents fought. This was common. It was normal.
Fast forward to my being married. I was with him for a total of almost 10yrs. I THINK we spent about 4 of those Christmas's together. The others? There was always some excuse...work, he would pick a fight and storm out (i don't yell so it was basically him screaming for no reason like a fool and storming out). Looking back he went to spend Christmas with one of his girlfriends.
If i go back to Chicago during Christmas i spend it with one of my closest girlfriends and her family. But her husband likes to make snide comments about how i'm not really family.
The month of December...it's that month that i aim to just get through and survive. It's my "gloomy" month. I guess it really starts at Thanksgiving for me, but...
Every year I look at December and it reminds me of everything that i don't have...
I don't have family...i don't have children...i don't have someone to tell me that they love me...I still wish for that hug from someone...I still want that sense of security...i want to know that everything will be ok...I want to feel safe.
December...that month that seems to showcase all of my dreams that are still floating around out there unanswered and not to be seen...
I don't walk around looking or acting depressed. Quite the opposite. I'm the one that gives EVERYONE a card and some small gift. I want others to know that someone is thinking about them. I try to make so many others feel special. I never know when or if someone out there feels the way i do and i want to place a smile on their faces...even if on this side of heaven i may never realize it.
I'm typically great with words of affirmation. I love to tell people just how special they are and what great accomplishments they have made, because what if i'm the ONLY one that has ever said it to them? If i love someone, i'm not scared to say it or express it...the down fall of this...the ONLY downfall is that my heart gets crushed when i never receive it in return.
Why are people so afraid to be loving and caring? Sometimes just a simple hug can make someones day be the shining star in their ever dark world...sigh...
this woman will continue to hope for what she wants, but in the mean time i'll continue to love and care for others without reservation...
Oh December...we are half way through...
Monday, November 25, 2013
Self image and self worth is something that i've struggled with a lot in my life. Even as the weight melts away, it's still a constant battle with myself. It can be debilitating.
This past weekend i was at he gym with my running partner. She and i work well together. We encourage one another to strive for better. We are open and real with one another. What we say to one another may sometimes be difficult, but we know it's rooted in love and respect for one another. She's a sister to me. Well, we were at the gym and after our workout we were walking back into the locker rooms and the locker room is FULL on mirrors - floor to ceiling mirrors! And there's no escaping your reflection. And i made a simple little comment..."these mirrors are weird." She asked me why i thought they were weird. I told her that whatever it is it makes it appear as though i'm smaller than what i really am. She looked at my reflection in the mirror and said, "no...That's exactly what you look like." I just stared at my reflection and as the tears started to swell up in my eyes i quietly said, "really?"
You see when i look in the mirror i still see the 320+ pound woman starring back at me. Not all the time but a good amount of the time. So to see this smaller woman in the reflection was an eye-opener for me.
I've talked about self sabotage before and how i get to a point in my weightloss and then get scared to actually lose the weight so i gain it back. This is mainly because i'm scared of the unknown. I only know how to be the fat girl. I don't know what it will be like to be healthy and smaller. A big part of me is terrified at the thought that i may be exactly the same. It's so easy to blame things on my weight. I didn't get asked out because of my weight. I didn't make the cut because of my weight. I was this or that because of my weight. My weight became my excuse. And i was terrified if that excuse was missing, and everything else still remains the same then the issue is just me. Then i'm not ENOUGH of whatever it is...for me that's something that i've worked against my entire life.
I grew up in a household where i wasn't loved or cared for. Beatings were a regular part of my life because my parents hated their lives...not so much us kids but just their own misery. I married a man that didn't love me because i felt i didn't deserve more...you get what you pay for, right? He cheated from day one and i kept a blind eye to it. He was verbally and emotionally abusive. He used scare tactics but never actually laid a finger on me. My entire life has been lived with this belief that i was the problem...that i was just not enough. I can remember many nights laying next to my husband and him talking out loud and saying things like, "I wonder what it would be like to lay next to a skinny, beautiful woman." I never said a word about it. This was just something i was used to my entire life.
After the divorce i dated a man for almost 9 months. it was to soon too fast. I should have taken time to heal. But because i didn't I walked right into the same type of verbally abusive chaos. So i ended it because i needed my sanity before it escaped me all together.
I decided not to date (not that i really had offers). It was around that time that my employer decided to transfer me from Chicago to Dallas. I gladly took the offer...i needed a fresh start. In moving here i had just me to depend on as i knew no one at the time. This was what i needed to heal and learn to love myself. I needed to find value in myself before i could ever allow anyone else into my life.
So two years ago i started on this journey (It took me almost 2 years of living here on my own to finally start making changes in my health). It was in these last two years that I learned my value. Others may not always see me as they should but that's ok because i love me. I'm not perfect in any way, but i do know how valuable i am.
Seeing my reflection in that mirror this weekend was just another swipe of the cobwebs. The cobwebs are removed so i can see a little more clearly now.
There are things that i do for friends because i know what it feels like to not have it done in my own life. I have a set group of friends that i tend to text every night. Even if it's just my sending them something with no return. It's my way of letting them know that someone cares about them. That someone is thinking about them. I struggle with that all the time. Does someone out there ever think of me? Does someone care about me? It's hard and i often have to battle with my past - a time when i knew i wasn't cared about. A time when i questioned if i were to be missed if i were gone...dead. Would anyone ever miss me or think about me. I don't want my friends to EVER feel that kind of hurt...so i reach out and i give them that little something that lets them know they are cared about and loved and that someone (me) is thinking about them. That's what i want.
Self image and self worth are a battle. Even if you lose the weight we need to work on losing the negative self inflictions and perceptions.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
All too often we only celebrate the HUGE accomplishments, but those small victories are what gets us to those large accomplishments. You don't just wake up one day and realize you've lost 100 pounds. No, more than likely every week you steadily saw the scale produce a number that indicates some of your hard work. Remember the scale is only one measurement of success, there are so many others. So why don't we celebrate all of the small victories along our journey that leads to the ONE accomplishment we all hope to achieve?
So i'm going to do that for myself.
a few years ago, this was me...
I was miserable...i was lonely (even though i was married)...i was uncomfortable. Everything i did took so much effort to accomplish. Walking up the stairs hurt my knees, made me sweat up a storm and i always felt as though would pass out. I didn't feel loved...the truth is how can someone else love you if you don't love yourself. I didn't love myself. In fact, i hated looking in the mirror. Every time i did i felt sad looking at the girl that was staring back at me.
This is me today...
While i'm no where near my goal, I am so much happier with my life and with myself. I've learned and continue to learn to love myself. I've realized that i'm extremely goal oriented. If i set a goal for myself, hell or high water i'm accomplishing it! I'm more out-going then i ever have been..and those stairs...so what, give them to me!
A few years ago this was me...
I did very little activity. In fact, if there were social gathering centered around sports or any type of physical activity i automatically took myself out of the equation by not attending. I didn't want to embarrass myself. I didn't want to get the "pity" pick. I didn't want to cause a team to fail. I never even tried.
This is me today...
I'm all about the activity! In 2012 i did over 15 5k's for the year and this year alone i've completed a few 5k's, a 10k, 2 half marathons and the Susan G Komen 3-Day, 60 Mile walk...whew! I feel amazing! Not because i did all of these events, but because i WAS ABLE TO COMPLETE each of these events. I never thought i would ever be able to do the things i can do now. I've even taken a liking to running and am aiming to run (the entire race) my first 5k in 2 weeks and then continue on from there.
There are so many accomplishments over this past year or so...
* Good-bye 300's
* Hello 250's
* Completed many races and long distance events
* Got out there in the real world
* Fell in love with the person that I am
* Accepted me for me...perfect or not
* Encouraged 4 other women in my life to move more and go further...they've all accomplished amazing things over this past year
* Advanced from walking to running
* Went from a size 26 in shirts/pants to a size 18/20 in tops and a 20 in pants
* Feeling more confident in myself
Every victory, whether small or large, should be celebrated. I remember the first, the VERY first time i started to run i celebrated running for those few minutes because i knew what it took for me to get there. It was a mental battle. I was nervous...i didn't want anyone to see the jiggle of my belly or thighs. But i can always laugh at myself and i did. Let's be honest. As a bigger woman, people KNOW i'm big and will jiggle...so i needed to get over it. And you know what? So often when i'm running people will just call out, "Good job" and "keep it up" or "looking good." I love it!
Victories are anything WE decide to celebrate. So celebrate NOT having that second cookie. Celebrate knowing when you are full and walking away from the food. Celebrate the pants you just wore that didn't place a permanent line across your waist. CELEBRATE EVERYTHING!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I had my alarm set for 4:00am but who can sleep with so much excitement? I was up and ready by 3:30am. Opening ceremonies didn’t start until 8:00am! The team I joined, Pink Soles in Motion, rented a charter bus to take us to the opening ceremonies and we needed to be on the bus by 5:00am. We were going to arrive in style. We were the first ones on the scene with the exception of the crew and volunteers.
This is a father/daughter walking team! We loved them…they were SPUNKY!
Even the Plano Fire Fighters were out there supporting us walkers!
And why wouldn’t I get festive for the nightly activities? Let’s be honest…when do I EVER pass up a chance to put on a costume of some sort? Our team, being the LARGEST team, took up an entire row of pink tents and we decorated our area as a Pumpkin Patch of Hope. BTW…we won 1st place for decorating!
Day 1 ended with us walking just over 23 miles. I went to sleep that night a little proud of myself and ready to take on Day 2.
Day 2 started bright and early. What was on the agenda for the day? 20 miles!
Now Carrollton’s fiercest firemen were on the scene to cheer us on! Could we really pass up the opportunity to take a picture with them?
Sometimes you just have to laugh at the silliness!
One of our team member and a dear friend celebrated being a 10yr survivor while out on the walk!
Even Santa Claus took time out from his busy work at the North Pole to support us!
What I REALLY loved about Day 2 was that I had so many friends come out and cheer me on!
Day 2 was done and I logged just under 44 miles.
At the end of the night our team celebrated being the top fundraising team and we were provided with GIGANTIC cupcakes and special seating.
Oh yes! You better believe I partook in a cupcake. This girl burned over 8000 calories EACH day…I DESERVED it! OK, maybe deserved is a strong word…I WANTED it! We also learned chair yoga!
I went to bed that night with sore feet and ankles. I knew Day 3 would be the tough one. We always trained for two back to back long walks. BUT never a third.
This was it! This was the day that I would complete walking 60 miles in 3 days. This was the day that I could check off one more item on my bucket list. This was the day that ALL of my training would pay off. This was it…the final count-down.
The excitement was in the air…
I will confess. This third day was brutal. While I had a smile on my face for every picture taken, what was not captured were the tears that were pooling nmy eyes. From mile 3 through mile 11.2 (lunch stop) I was in PAIN. My ankles were so sore that every step I took I had to make a conscious decision to keep one foot in front of the other. Training always called for two back-to-backs. The third day was a pure physical and mental challenge. I just kept telling myself that I trained too dang hard to stop; that I did NOT want to HAVE to do this agin (choosing and having to do something are two very different things); that I wanted to cross that finish line KNOWING that I accomplished something so huge. My will power HAD to beat out what my body was telling it to do.
During our lunch stop this amazing 18yr old girl who is a part of our team AND as a senior in highschool is focusingon sports medicine, stretched me and adjusted me enough to where I could walk semi-pain free! I could now smile and mean it….aaahhhh sweet relief!
We had but 5 miles to complete the 60 mile trek. We were determined!
The Harley Davidson crew are part of the Pink Soles in Motion Family and they came out on Day 2 and supplied mimosa’s and on this third day they had celebratory beer at mile 58! Since I do not drink beer I simply took pictures and drank my water.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE…
JUST ONE MORE MILE TO GO!
Guess who just completed 60 miles in 3 days? THIS girl did!
This was THE most physically challenging thing I have ever done. And I am so dang proud of myself!
Will I do it again? Maybe, but not in 2014. What I am doing in 2014 is volunteering for this event. I will be out there making sure that the thousands of walkers have what they need to complete their journey.
Here are some additional pictures for your viewing pleasure…
NOW…I want to show you what training can do for you. I attempted to walk the 3 day back in 2009 but I did poorly with my training. And my feet paid for it. The first two pictures were from 2009 and the third picture was taken after this event.
Again, thank you all for an amazing experience! I could NOT have done it without your support.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
I enjoy making things with my hands. I'd rather create it myself than purchase something someone else has made...even if the cost is a bit more. I want to make things my own. This past weekend i completed a wall project...
To some people this wall may be a showcase of the events i've completed. To show off the BLING i've received for completing certain events.
That's not what it is to me.
For me, this is my inspiration wall. I can easily sit on my bed and stare at this wall and just ponder how different my life is NOW compared to just a few years ago.
A few years ago I could barely walk a mile without wheezing, being short of breathe and having my feet hurt. Today I can run and BREATHE and enjoy life as if i'm living it for the first time. I can go further and faster and my heart loves me for it.
A few years ago i hated...actually, i secretly longed to belong to some sort of group where i could fit in. I never thought it would be a competitive group such as this...the running world,all these races i've been in, the people, for the most part, are encouraging. They see me, still a big girl, out there giving it my all. THAT'S WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT and they know it!
Just to try...just to gather up the courage to try and dare to be more than what you thought you could ever do...
I can easily stare at this wall and the tears will start streaming down my cheeks...
I'm MORE than what i ever thought i was...
I'm more than what I thought i was capable of doing or being...
AT some point I realized I was more and I decided to go after it. I decided to stand up, put on my shoes and just get out there. That's where it all starts..just winning the battle over ourselves to just TRY.
So this wall is so much more than the bling and bibs that hang on it. It's the dreams that went behind each one of them. It's the goals I set for myself before any of the bibs ever came into my hands. It's the notion that I am more and capable of more. It's a showcase of love...of dedication...of dreams...of goals...it's my wall and it tells me that i decided to love myself and think of myself as something greater than i once believed.
It's my wall of inspiration...it's my love letter to myself...I finally told myself that I loved me enough to change my life...
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