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A Whole New World, for real

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What would you do if you suddenly felt like the world was *actually* limitless? If you could take flight at any moment? Would it be empowering? Overwhelming? Frightening? Freeing? Confusing? ...or beautiful?

(www.deviantart.com "Free_Spirit" by ~randomsurprise )

It has been all of those, and more, for me in the past few hours. My husband is moving across state lines to Arizona, with the help of some of his friends. While I lived for quite some time out-of-love with him, trying to find a way to break our co-dependance, rationalize separation, and eventually come to terms with the concept of divorce, for me, this is a bit like staring out into an unknown universe from the shores of a whole new world. EVERYTHING looks different.

Not only that, but this feels even more important and I have a greater sense of responsibility than ever before. I am responsible for myself. I am responsible for finding my own solution to my impending bankruptcy and filing divorce paperwork, and preventing homelessness. His plan is set and in motion. I worked for so long, for the 6+ months since we first talked about divorce, to try to include him in my short-term solutions, and make sure he was provided for. I kind of lost sight of what *I* really needed. This echoes some issues from our marriage. I just found out today that he's moving, while in our final counseling session. And I felt isolated and alone, afraid of shouldering the burden of that mountain of stresses I keep talking about. I felt a little betrayed, used.

No wonder he wasn't worried about finding a job here... Or maybe he painted himself into a corner and this was his best option out. Either way, what was supporting us (my unemployment) is ending. And my plans for selling much/most/all of our possessions have not really taken flight - yet. I have SO MUCH to do. It will need all of my strength, lots of focused effort, and energy for action after action after action. Because that's what it's going to take to make sure that this doesn't crumble into devastation.

After feeling angry and used, I noticed that the anxiety in my stomach turned from fear to burgeoning excitement. It helps that I spent my evening with my friend, and burned over 500 calories (on the Arc Trainer, as I planned!). I'm worried - only just enough to have the adrenaline pumping through my veins urging me to organize. I have a plan. I have a goal. I have a deadline. And I have a back-up. In my self-talk I reminded myself that I initiated this. I refused to feel like a victim. This is what I wanted, ultimately, even if it seemed like it was coming before I was ready.

Never before has the proverb/saying that floats around SparkPeople, that I've seen a million times about weight loss and lifestyle changes, felt so true:

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over...

...She became a butterfly!"

I want so badly the growth that will come from this, that it burns a little in my soul. I want to keep that fire. I'm tired of stagnating. This is the first time I've faced adversity, and felt energized instead of drained... faced it fiercely instead of crumpling into a heap of depression. Am I strong enough?! HECK YES I AM! The demands of what I've gone through in the past years were worse than this, and didn't have the promise that lies here. I've worked for a few years to change my thinking, BE more positive instead of think it, stay active and pursue healthy thinking, healthy actions, and healthy relationships. And if this feeling is the payoff, then I want more, like the victory of accomplishment!

I need to find a job, a place to live, file for divorce, for bankruptcy, sell almost everything we own, etc., and most of it I have do to alone. I have to move by myself for the first time. I have to continue to find new friends, as I'm unsure of what the fallout will be from our 170 mutual friends (according to Facebook count), and learn that I can be engaging in conversation, instead of relying on him to entertain friends. My mom and sister live on the other side of the country. My biggest supporter, and friend in his family (mom) passed away in March. It is scary, but it should be, in a good way. That will function to help keep me safe and work to ensure my security.

(Free Spirit Painting by Amanda Cass)

Since 2008, my signature tag has been a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, from a magnet I had in my office before I was laid off: "The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience..." I can do this. I have to do this. I will succeed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWCASTLE7B 7/14/2011 8:03AM

    emoticon You are going to come out of this with ALL the growth that comes from these types of tests. My mom was in a nasty divorce for about a year and a half. Now it is finally over and she is trying to put her life back together, but it is honestly very hard on our family, and I personally think a lot of why it is difficult is because she appraoches the situation as a victim. Having the right mentality for this change is 90% of the equation. You WILL blossom, you already are. emoticon

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ROYABOYA 6/25/2011 1:25PM

    I met you briefly at the sparkpeople convention in san diego, and just wanted to tell you that you ARE engaging and someone that random strangers would want to talk to! I remember about 3 people from that very full and crowded day, and you are one of them.

Good luck on everything, don't forget to turn to sp for the support you might feel you are missing sometimes!!

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IVYZAMORA 6/20/2011 1:40PM

    I just read this post and I am so proud of you and your hard work that you are now putting into motion! I will be praying for you and know that lots of love is coming your way from TX!

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CHUBBYVEGAN 6/5/2011 8:52PM

    Someday in the future you will look back at all of this and it will just be a vauge horrible memory. Thanks for bearing your soul, it helps the readers just as much as it helps you to vent!

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CLPURNELL 6/3/2011 5:33PM

    emoticon emoticon

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REDSKINGIRL 6/2/2011 12:35PM

    You are amazing! With an attitude like yours Failure is not an option!

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NCONSTANT 6/1/2011 7:13PM

    You have a plan and this makes a huge difference in how the next days and weeks will play out. I will say a pray for you.


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ANEWBETHSTL 5/27/2011 7:52AM



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SLIKITTY97 5/26/2011 1:36PM

    Such a great blog! You are a strong and beautiful woman and you have so got this! Just work at things one step at a time and try not to let yourself feel overwhelmed. -hug-

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FEATHERHEATHER9 5/26/2011 1:26PM

    I love the Eleanor Roosevelt quote. And good luck as you start your new life. emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/26/2011 1:27:09 PM

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MISSROCKABILLY 5/26/2011 11:15AM

    Best of luck to you as you prepare to enter a new chapter in your life! I'm so glad to hear that you are excited for the changes to come, despite the fear and uncertainty. That's a great attitude to have, and I know that it will get you far!

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BETTERJULIA 5/25/2011 4:57PM


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NGCHILD 5/24/2011 3:09PM

    I have faith in you Jocelyn. You can and will do this AND succeed! I am here for you if you have a need for an ear!


Comment edited on: 5/24/2011 3:10:12 PM

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GINNJEN2000 5/24/2011 4:49AM

    And you will succede. What a great and soul exposing blog. Thanks for sharing it all with us.

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    You are strong and I have NO DOUBT you will accomplish all you set out to do. Stay strong. Stay focused and never lose sight of the goal you have. Because in the end - the only one who can make these things happen is you.


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JPREACHER13 5/23/2011 11:38AM

    You are very inspiring. Great attitude. I believe you can do it. You've done so much so far. Never Give Up!

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LANILUNA1 5/21/2011 3:53PM

  what a beautiful job you did in putting this blog together; making it more personal with the pictures! Today is the first day I've been back on this website since you and I last communicated. And I am truely sorry for not staying in touch with you. I felt so sorry for you, I had questions, but didn't want to ask you so many, and I also felt like I was at a loss for words. Upon reading your blog I can tell you are handling it really well! I have a good feeling I will be on this website more often now, I am happy to be an ear for you if ever you need to vent! emoticon

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4SPARKLEKITTY 5/21/2011 11:35AM

    So often in life we are given gifts in packages very unexpected. Loss, change, challenges all bring amazing thoughts and processes into consciouness...
You are strong, you are in process, not stagnating!
It is hard to let go of what is familiar, what has been safe in the past..but as we know from losing weight, there are weights inside that can burden as much as the physicality
I am excited for you and the journey you are on! I am truly sorry for all that is difficult in your life right now, and hope very much for a smooth path..
Honey, you ARE a butterfly!
Take care of yourself, remember to be gentle with yourself along with the ass-kicking.
Cat emoticon

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MOM5INFL 5/19/2011 9:55PM

    Thank you for you kind words on my blog! I appreciate your comments. I am really excited for you! I know that you have some rough days ahead but your dreams of the future have be to amazing now that you are free! I can feel your excitement! I'm looking forward to seeing you achieve your goals! Birdie emoticon

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PJH2028 5/19/2011 8:26AM

    You are not "alone". It is your journey. And while I don't know the details, sounds to me like one day at a time you will discover, create, and blossom. emoticon *paula

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ATR_1983 5/19/2011 2:51AM

    Jocelyn, you can and will do it and make it through this even stronger. As for your mutal friends, If they are true friends they will still be there for you. If you ever need a friend you have me and if need be I will make the 2 hour drive up there. I am here if need me emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ABB698 5/19/2011 1:43AM

Your honesty in so admirable. You truly have a beaufitul soul and will be just fine on your own. Like Bonnie said, we know you for you, so your husband does not define you, and if you were the glue holding you as a couple together, he will fall apart, where you will be the stong, brave, awesome woman we have all come to know and love. Hang in there, let me know if you need any help with anything! emoticon

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 5/18/2011 11:09PM

    emoticon emoticon I'm here if and when you need to vent my friend. Change is hard but like the butterfly, the results are beautiful! Love ya, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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SILENTE8 5/18/2011 10:23PM

  I love this blog. You are so strong and (already) so independent. You have a lot on your plate, but I'm sure you can spin them all at once. I am sorry times are tough right now, but you'll get through this. If anyone can, you can.

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VALERIEMAHA 5/18/2011 10:15PM

    I believe in you 100%, Jocelyn. You will move through this period and come out the other side READY for the next chapter!

Rainer Maria Rilke

Want the change. Be inspired by the flame
where everything shines as it disappears.
The artist, when sketching, loves nothing so much
as the curve of the body as it turns away.

What locks itself in sameness has congealed.
Is it safer to be gray and numb?
What turns hard becomes rigid
and is easily shattered.

Pour yourself like a fountain.
Flow into the knowledge that what you are seeking
finishes often at the start, and, with ending, begins.

Every happiness is the child of separation
it did not think it could survive. And Daphne, becoming a laurel,
dares you to become the wind.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DMPRIDER 5/18/2011 9:59PM

    I know you have a lot on your plate, but I love your attitude and I KNOW you will succeed. Best of luck to you as you enter this challenging phase of your life. Hugs.

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FITKITTYMAMA 5/18/2011 4:13PM

    I love this blog! Staring out into the unknown is incredibly scary, but it is also completely empowering because you are now free to write your own story, your way. And you have so much energy and strength that I see amazing things ahead of you.
One note on the friends... you have an abundance of people who love and care about you all over the place and true friends in several states, so I wouldn't worry about having difficulty making friends, you are incredibly magnetic!
Good luck as you work through the challenges that you are facing at the moment, but I know that you will succeed and power through them!

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FRENCHTOSD 5/18/2011 1:27PM

    I'm praying for you, Jocelyn. And I'm so excited and optimistic about your future. Hang in there, baby!

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    I bet you find out it was harder to be in a loveless relationship than it will be to be independent. Best wishes to you. Your track record is good. Now you can focus even more on your own goals. Good luck girly. You will be great.

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MARCHMAID 5/18/2011 11:33AM

    Eleanor Roosevelt also said "Do something that frightens you everyday."

In an odd way, after 43 years of marriage to a really good man, I envy you. I've always wondered what else might have been better or different. Wished I been a little more risk taking.

You CAN do this--you have your health and your youth and no kids to hold you back. Good wishes and good luck follow you!

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PATTILYNN224 5/18/2011 7:38AM

    You've been on my heart lately and now I know why. Praying for you. One day at a time girl.

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PILLOWFOOL 5/18/2011 12:51AM

    {hugs} love, luck, and prayers to you in this exciting and scary time in your life. believe in yourself and you can do anything!

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ADVENTURE-GIRL 5/17/2011 10:30PM

    Jocelyn, wow!! Since I met you and only you (not your husband) I can say without a doubt you are an amazing person on your own. As you said you have shouldered so much and now its time to focus on YOU and there's freedom in that! I know these next couple of weeks or so are going to be hard and emotional but you will get through it. "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." -Friedrich Nietzsche. Your new life is waiting for you. If you help with anything I can help.

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GEORGIA_KAY 5/17/2011 9:24PM

    I found solace in this poem after my first marriage (many years ago):

by John Dryden (1631-1700)

Why should a foolish marriage vow,
Which long ago was made,
Oblige us to each other now
When passion is decay'd?
We loved, and we loved, as long as we could,
Till our love was loved out in us both:
But our marriage is dead, when the pleasure is fled:
'Twas pleasure first made it an oath.

If I have pleasures for a friend,
And farther love in store,
What wrong has he whose joys did end,
And who could give no more?
'Tis a madness that he should be jealous of me,
Or that I should bar him of another:
For all we can gain is to give our selves pain,
When neither can hinder the other.

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.DUSTY. 5/17/2011 8:14PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

You CAN do this!

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KSGROTHE 5/17/2011 7:50PM

    I'm glad to see that you are seeing the opportunity in this change in your situation! It took me a while to see the opportunity in being on my own after my husband left. But really, he did me a favor by leaving, and you may find that your husband's unshared plans to move away so soon do you a favor as well.

Listen, if you want some help moving when the time comes, I could probably drive down on a Saturday or Sunday to help. I'll bet there are other Sparkers who would help, too. Let us know.

- Karen

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FLOWER1967 5/17/2011 7:22PM

    Wow....HOW EXCITING !!! Sorry...thats how I see it. 15 years ago I went through something similar. Separation and then moving out on my own with 2 small toddlers. Had to find a job. Losing a lot of friends. But...Here I am today, happily married, teenage children well adjusted, our own home. And I am the WEAKEST person you could ever meet. Strength will appear from deep down inside you...strength you never knew you had !
This is such a WONDERFUL time in your life. It will be exciting, frightening, exhilirating......much like a roller coaster. Just enjoy the ride Jocelyn......

Remember part of my signature.....you are losing *insert amount* lbs of ugly fat. (no offence) What a weight will be lifted from your shoulders ! You will literally float from now on !


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HIKINGSD 5/17/2011 5:26PM

    *hug* You are going to find that your strength is greater than you know. You can and will pull through this.


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MCJULIEO 5/17/2011 4:14PM

    You can DO THIS! We are all rooting for you!

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SUSIEQ432 5/17/2011 4:08PM

    You can do it....
I did it 15 years ago, was told I would never be anything by my exhusband....It was not always easy. I slept on the floor, had nothing and day by day grew stronger and became the independent woman I am today. I no food and only the clothes I wore to work...You can do it too....turn all of your energy into positive things...I rose above him and found myself after being lost in him....
I had to file bankruptcy too...it does not define who you are. It is just a temporary state to be in.
what type of work do you do? can I help you...if you wish contact me via spark mail...

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BUTTERFLYROSE1 5/17/2011 2:58PM

    What you have just written is an amazing and moving entry. Time for you and only you.
emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 5/17/2011 1:39PM

    Super scary, yet exciting stuff! Take those emotions like feeling "angry and used" and turn 'em into ACTION! Time to shed the dead wood and SPRING ANEW!

Don't know if this song might give you a boost:


But know that you're SparkFamily is here 24/7 and rooting for you BIGTIME!!


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KALISWALKER 5/17/2011 1:16PM

    You have some many opportunities when you are your top priority. I know you will be happy with whatever you choose to do. We are all here to cheer you on.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 5/17/2011 1:13PM

    He's been a weight dragging you down for long enough. This is probably actually one of the best things he could do for you, is to let you go, fly free, unencumbered.

Change is super scarey. I know. We're here for you if you need an ear.

Fly free, little bird!



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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 5/17/2011 12:47PM

    emoticon Wow, you are going through so much and I know you will come out on top in the end! emoticon

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WILDBLUEORCHID 5/17/2011 12:08PM

    You can totally do this. It may not be the easiest journey but you're taking on the challenge with strength and positivity so you will come out on top. And you're not alone, you're SP family is here to see you through. emoticon

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LOTUSFLOWER 5/17/2011 12:02PM

    YOU are a strong woman. There's another quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: "A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." emoticon

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NEWSGIRL2177 5/17/2011 11:44AM

    You're a genuinely good person and you will succeed. You're a phoenix! You'll come out the other side of this stronger, more vibrant and happier in the end.
There's a lot to do in the near future, but you'll do fine. I'm here if you need me.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FIT_TERI 5/17/2011 11:26AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
I think it's great that you were so quickly able to turn your anger and frustration into motivation and excitement. You do have a lot to do, but you're strong and smart and determined. I'm sure it will be hard, but it seems like you're prepared for that. As others have said, it's all about you.

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CBAILEYC 5/17/2011 11:20AM

    Yes, you CAN do this, and you WILL succeed. From here on, YOU decide what your life will be like. What an amazing adventure you're embarking on.
emoticon emoticon

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Dusty Ankles & Spider Secrets

Monday, May 16, 2011

I walked along a local "lake" water reservoir trail for a few miles today with NEWSGIRL2177 (Heather) and another friend. We got our ankles all dusty from the brisk pace on the (mostly unpaved) trail! It was the first time I coordinated an event where I hadn't previously been, so I was particularly proud of myself. It worked out well, we had a good time and missed the drizzle that started well after we returned to our cars. Yay!

During the walk I was all dreamy and sighing about nature, and thinking about the few childhood years I spent in Fallbrook, CA, playing in empty fields, and exploring. Heather spotted a crazy yellow & black snake by a creek we decided not to cross. (Looked like this one)

I think it was a California King Snake (Heather - that's nonvenomous, and considered harmless to humans. Hooray!) Plus I think it was deceased.

When we were taking a short break on the boat dock, we saw a Forster's Tern take a dramatic dive into the water after food! The lake was populated solely by Clark's grebes. And there were plenty of Sage Sparrow, and a couple of Great-Tailed Grackles fanning their tails near our turnaround. I wished I had brought my camera.

Feeling like such a nature-girl, I was planning my next hike and explorations, had coffee, got essentials at Target, and finally returned home. After awhile of tracking the trail on Spark Fitness, I was drying off from the shower when I pulled out half of a dead spider FROM MY EAR! It was so weird that I was a bit incredulous at first, but quickly wanted to remove anything else that was in there with minimal damage to my body.

(Okay, side-note, one of the few actual fears I have is bugs in orifices. It's what makes the harmless silverfish bug so creepifying to me.)

So with my mind racing, I asked my husband to grab a tiny flashlight and look into my ear. He thought he saw something still.. I quickly grabbed the bulb irrigator from the bathroom that I've used a million times in helping him with ear wax, and go to the kitchen to prepare water for a flush. He said, "Okay! I'm going to shower now!" But I couldn't do it myself, and he had no experience using it, so it was frustrating for us both while my panic and creep-factor was rising. We managed.

I genuinely like spiders, just not when they are ON me (or in me, eww). I needed a method to help calm myself down, and start trusting that there aren't spiders hiding in my towels, or jumping onto me in the shower, etc., or that the risk of bodily invasion is too high to enjoy another trail. I've tried all day to think of this experience differently. Like: What secrets would a spider be trying to tell me that I could apply to my life & stressors?

So far I've only got a few:
*You can always make a new web!
*Diligent work pays off!
*Good things will come your way!

It's working! Mostly. ;D
I just want to recapture that nature girl feeling...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SECRETMUSIC 6/4/2011 8:05AM

    I lost track of you for a while (my ineptness, not yours) and was SO happy today when I saw your name pop up as I followed some friend feed activity!

I like spiders and snakes too, although they do startle me a lot when they pop out at me. I like them best when I am the approacher and not the approachee!

I enjoy very much your idea of getting the message from what is "bugging" you (sorry, couldn't resist). I do that with people all the time; I'm going to branch out now!

Thanks for a fun & ponderable blog!

Comment edited on: 6/4/2011 8:09:23 AM

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BEESPARKLE 5/29/2011 1:00PM

    Peroxide is the best thing. I live in the country and believe me. Bugs love me and spiders and Blackflies yell when I come out. Here she comes. Buffet.

Spiders are freaky.

Interesting blog but as Dawn said. She likes them.

I am not a fan of spiders. Yikes.

Continue your day then may the evening be awesome!


Comment edited on: 5/29/2011 1:01:39 PM

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HIKINGSD 5/17/2011 1:19AM

    The walk sounds lovely. Congrats on setting it up.

Sorry to hear about the spider situation.

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ABB698 5/17/2011 12:14AM

    Ewww CREEPY Joce! Hope it's all better now and you are on the mend!

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FLOWER1967 5/16/2011 8:40PM

    EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW !!!!!! Spider in your ear !?!?!?!!? Ok...theres a good reason to listen to an Ipod while you walk !


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FIT_TERI 5/16/2011 8:13PM

    Yikes! A spider in my ear would freak me out, too....normally I don't mind them at all. I hope you get the nature girl feeling back. It's so nice to get out there and enjoy it - especially in the beautiful part of the world you're in with decent weather all year.

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CHAITEAKITTY40 5/16/2011 2:58PM

    Feeling really glad the exterminator came by our apartment today!

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VANNASMOM 5/16/2011 1:50PM

    My husband had a dead one in his ear a few years ago. I HATE spiders so upon seeing it I screamed, threw everything that was in my hands, and called my mother to come take care of it! Peroxide! You put a few drops in, it bubbles and the nasty little booger comes rolling out. I made him go to the Dr.'s to check for remnants, he said peroxide was the best thing we could have done and was also kind enough to explain exactly how common this is. I still sleep with cotton in my ears!

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 5/16/2011 12:24PM

    Hopefully you got all the spider removed and can go on with your lovely day. Glad that you had an excellent walk. Sounds like fun. I personally love spiders. The message that I would get from being whispered in my ear is NEVER GIVE UP. No matter how many times someone or something comes along and destroys the spider's web... spin spin spin, they rebuild it again. Thanks for such an interesting Blog title. It brought me to your page and you write very well. Love, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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NEWSGIRL2177 5/16/2011 12:06PM

! The spider thing would have had me climbing walls! I'm glad it worked out OK. Yikes.

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MOONBIRD 5/16/2011 10:52AM

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time! The spider thing is freaky! I am not normally scared of bugs or animals, but I would freak if one were on me or in me. Eek. I love nature and hiking is something I want to do more of, now that I can. :)

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 5/16/2011 10:23AM

    I do NOT like spiders.

I think I would especially dislike one in my ear. The only good thing I think I could take away from that scenario is knowing that it was DEAD. And having half of it still in there??? Oh God.

...then I'd wonder if there were ANY MORE in there...


The walk sounds awesome, though...

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RUSSELLORAMA 5/16/2011 10:19AM

    Okay, the spider thing is the stuff of nightmares, but I'm glad you were able to turn it into something positive!

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ZURDTA- 5/16/2011 9:12AM


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CAITB21 5/16/2011 9:03AM

    Haha, ew! I would be totally creeped out too, but glad you are putting a very positive spin on it! It's a totally random event that I'm sure will never happen again! Sounds like you had a great hike, keep it up :o)

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TJHIERS 5/16/2011 8:47AM

    sounds like you had a great hike, but bugs and snakes freak me out , especially if i come across them while on a walk.
glad you are doing good, keep up the good work.

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XPHOENIX 5/16/2011 8:31AM

    Awww, nice that the hike worked out so well and I admit that I chuckled with the spider bit, though... I would have a small heart attack if that happened to me. Once, I was cutting the grass and went inside to take a shower and ran my finger through my hair and there was a TICK IN my head!!!! I was freaking out and my dad was like "would you calm down, please?" so relaxed. I was like "dude, there's nothing chewing on your scalp, get this thing off of me!!!" lol So yes, I understand. Bugs are good, just when they arent ON you :) Phew. hehe

P.S. I love it that you are a nature girl :) XOXO

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    aww that sounds like such a good time. Being a nature girl is so much fun, and kind of makes you feel like a kid again.

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SWEETZMIX 5/16/2011 7:49AM

    Glad you had a nice time minus the spider. I am not a fan of bugs at all. I would of had a heart attack, sO I am happy to see that you have a positive side to all of this.

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ZUMBAMAMMA3 5/16/2011 7:13AM

    beautiful nature always recharges you, bugs not so much lol i love your blog

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BUTTERFLYROSE1 5/16/2011 3:08AM

    Good to know you worked out today (Sunday) and so did I! Miss our get togethers. I have been reading your past posts and I always feel like I can do what you do. Your - No matter WTH happens to me, attitude- inspires me. I understand the stressors of your life and marvel at how open you are. Here, in this safe environment called SPARKPEOPLE.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Zumba Spoiled & Stress High

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I'm actively working on a couple of big things right now. But most importantly, I need to manage my stress level, and its effects. That will help make me strong enough to deal with everything else!

-There's so much to do before the month is up, and we're already at the midway point. We need to sell a lot of stuff in our apartment, maybe even furniture too, as fast as possible, but as smartly as possible so that we don't simply give away everything. The ONLY asset we have right now, and potential for extra cash, is the things we already own. It feels overwhelming, but the impending negative (disastrous) outcome would be worse.

-I talked to my husband again last night about needing him to get a job. My unemployment is about to run out. It's difficult to motivate him to take action because we will be divorcing. But it was difficult to do it before, because I always supported us. Nothing has really changed, I suppose.

-I've only tracked my food (completely) for 2 days in the past 2 weeks. Not surprisingly, I've gained/maintained weight. I need to be mindful of what I'm consuming.

-To help negate the effects of stress I need to faithfully exercise every day. Without fail, it makes me feel better.

BASICS: Sleep, Eat, Move - Babies do it, and that's how they grow. Adequate Sleep, Mindful Eating, Joyful Movement will help me grow past this difficult point into a better place with lots more sunshine and I will find even more happiness!

I need to muster more delight for the things I love. Some of the negative thinking, anger and frustration about the rising demands and challenges of my situation have polluted the things I once enjoyed. I am Zumba-spoiled. I've taken Master classes with Heather (NEWSGIRL2177), and we found THE MOST FUN ZUMBA CLASS EVER in Bradley's instruction. The problem is that he doesn't teach at the 24 Hour gyms anymore, so it would cost extra to take his private classes. And, frankly, everyone else pales in comparison to his super shiny awesomeness. HIS enthusiasm is infectious. But I've let my own enthusiasm for dancing and moving to slip away and be obscured by my dissatisfaction with the other instructors, and slight annoyance with other attendees. So rather than criticize, I will actively work to find things I LIKE about any given class. Top 3 recently:

*A week ago the instructor didn't show up and I actually lead the class (for one song) when a gym member brought the CD in. It was a lot of fun, and I was excited to be helping.

*The recent classes seem to be lower-energy/impact than what I'm used to. But this is actually helpful because I'm still rebuilding my strength and endurance after being sick a few times in April.

*There are MORE classes being offered in my hometown. With the price of gas, this is great news that I don't have to trek all over North County to find a class.

And bonus: Once I take these new instructors' classes a few times, I'll be more familiar with their style and their songs, so I can just focus on perfecting my technique instead of learning which way to turn or feeling a bit lost.

So there! I feel better already. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LANILUNA1 5/21/2011 4:00PM

  that's so awesome that you lead the class that time!! sweet!! ;)

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ZUMBAMAMMA3 5/16/2011 7:18AM

    you go girl! rock it out

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AARONSGIRL420 5/15/2011 11:15PM

    Way to look at the positives when things have got you down. Stay strong.

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XPHOENIX 5/15/2011 12:16PM

    You will just probably never know how much you inspire me. I am in awe of your strength. You rock!! WOO HOO :)

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AMY_1217 5/14/2011 6:26PM

    I know its easy to say and harder to do, but don't let the stress get you down. If there's a solution to be found, you'll find it. Just be open to it.

I haven't done my Zumba dvd for a few weeks now, so I think I'll dust it off and flop my body around the room today. lol I know what you mean about having to "break in" another instructor. It sucks when you find someone you like and trust, and then you have to change. It feels like a huge roadblock is thrown up in front of you. You never know though, you may find someone else you enjoy just as much.

Have a great weekend, and don't forget to take a little destresser time for yourself. :D

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HOTRODSANDY 5/14/2011 1:24PM

    Congrats on leading a zumba song! You're such a natural leader/motivator!

Sorry about the divorce and financial difficulties. Both are hard individually, but to face both at the same time... extra emoticon coming your way. Hang in there!

Comment edited on: 5/14/2011 1:24:59 PM

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KALISWALKER 5/14/2011 2:57AM

    Jocelyn I can understand the stress. A divorce is blow, but now more than ever you have to take care of yourself!

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DDOORN 5/13/2011 10:25PM

    So TOUGH when pressures such as yours are mounting to hang in there and keep finding your SPARK...but somehow, you're doing it!

GL and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for things to "turn the corner" and become more manageable...!


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FITNESSJEN11 5/13/2011 4:00PM

    Hang in there! You'll make it through this challenge and be much stronger on the other side!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CBAILEYC 5/13/2011 2:35PM

    Way to find the positive! Keep your chin up and hang in there. You've got my positive thoughts coming your way for less stress and more joy.

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ADVENTURE-GIRL 5/13/2011 11:46AM

    Jocelyn, I know you have a lot to deal with right now and I am glad that you are finding some relieve in exercise. Stress can really take a number on a person, so please continue to take care of yourself.

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JESPAH 5/13/2011 8:45AM

    You can always find the silver lining. :)

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SWEETZMIX 5/13/2011 8:15AM

    Joce through it all you have still managed to find some sunshine during your cloudy days!


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LECATES 5/13/2011 6:31AM

    Men can be such downers---my dh is finally going back to work after 6 months on short term disability----he would like to stay out longer---but Doc said back to work---Thank God!----wish I could find a zumba class I could afford---or one to try for free---they do sound like fun!

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ABB698 5/13/2011 4:42AM

    You will find light at the end of your tunnel soon! emoticon

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CHELAGETSFIT 5/13/2011 2:17AM

    I firmly believe that every difficulty in life is there to make us stronger. You are an incredible person, an incredible woman, and I know you will pull out from this situation a stronger one. Remember to always seek the good in everything. There's a song I really love and I think is very appropriate for you right now. Check it out when you get a chance.

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CROWGIRL9 5/13/2011 1:45AM

    Rar! I am so sorry for your chaos. :(

The Penny Saver has a coupon on the back this week for a free Zumba class at Eveoke in North Park or NTC in Point Loma-- my roomie and I were going to try the Eveoke class since it's right down the road here. I've never done it, but I hear nothing but awesome about it-- have you tried there yet?

Keep your head up, doll. :)

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IMREITE 5/13/2011 12:56AM

    That is what i hate about getting in a rut or a funk. everyday joys don't interest me. Sometimes i'll get a new workout video from the library to see if i can't motivate or excite myseld a little.

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.DUSTY. 5/12/2011 11:19PM

    Stress is a Biatch! Stay Strong Girl! emoticon

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VEEJAY3 5/12/2011 9:20PM

    Hmmmm. You need a little fairy dust.
There. See? Your stress is melting away ... all Zumba instructors are improving ... that perfect job awaits around the corner ...

Dang it! emoticon emoticon That fairy needs to be a little more generous with that dust ... AH! That's better: Paris Hilton needs a whole bunch of stuff for her new apartment like NOW, and she doesn't care WHAT she pays for it, and she's waving cash at you.

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MCJULIEO 5/12/2011 4:47PM

    Hang in there.... you know we're rooting for you! Really!

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MZSASSY 5/12/2011 4:22PM

    You got it out now it time to make some changes

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GMO_JEN 5/12/2011 3:55PM

    I am so sorry for all of the stress-it can be overwhelming. But, you seem to have a great plan in place. getting sleep is always the hardest for me when i am stressed, but hopefully working out will help. And, it's awesome that you led a zumba class-very cool. and, fun, social interaction can always help get the stress down a little.
Hope your day is going better!

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KMTOOLEY 5/12/2011 2:07PM

    I hope your stress level decreases soon! Take a few minutes to close your eyes and just take some deep breaths that always seems to help me when things get hectic.

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MRSMELVIN1 5/12/2011 1:29PM

    Oh you have so much on your plate these days. Here anytime you need to talk.. emoticon

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SUSIEQ432 5/12/2011 12:33PM

    hI! I am sorry to hear of the stressful situation you are going through at this time. KEEP YOUR FOCUS! did you know that you were part of my blog last week? You are such an inspiration to me....I was feeling like giving up and then WOW...I stalked your SP page and got inspired again!
Stress is a killer....I know I have had my share in the past 3 years. A sick daughter, change of job, and now my own injury to heal from and not working.
Keep your focus. You will be in a better place....try to not stress over things you cannot control and keep tracking...it makes all the difference in the world. TRACK TRACK TRACK.....
SUSIE emoticon emoticon emoticonU CAN DO IT!

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 5/12/2011 12:22PM

  Wow. You DO have a lot on your plate right now. But you WILL get through it all and you will be stronger from it all.

At least you have Zumba to relieve your stress.


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CECE0330 5/12/2011 11:36AM

    emoticon I don't envy you the ugly business you have on your plate at the moment. I went through a divorce, and at a low point got a fortune cookie that read: It is always darkest before the dawn. Cheesy, but I kept that fortune for a long, long time and every time the stress/loneliness/fear crept in, I reminded myself that it WOULD get better.

YAY for finding the good things to reconnect you to zumba! There's always certification yourself down the road too! emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/12/2011 11:36:23 AM

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Reason #007: Waterfalls

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

To see this photo bigger on Flickr.com click on this link:

"Why I Work To Stay Fit" Reason Series #007: Waterfalls!!!
I was born in Hawaii, the land of waterfalls. Tropical breezes tease my hair, and I have hips made for hula (in my mind). We moved to Southern California before I was 2 years old, and I once gave up the dream of ever going back because of my size. I haven't visited yet. But, I'm done limiting my dreams now! I will shower beneath the warm falls!
Many summers (back when my parents were married), we drove from California out to Colorado to visit family. I've seen the 7 Falls in the daytime, and glowing with lights at night, appearing to practically be on fire. As they describe it, "Located in South Cheyenne Canyon, Seven Falls cascades 181 feet in seven distinct steps down a solid cliff of pikes peak granite..." The smell of that wet granite is intoxicating, and I would be lost in flights of fancy, high on the whimsy of the falling water the whole time we were there.
At the age of 8, while attending summer daycare, I avoided the (optional) hike that was offered a few times even though there was the promise of an actual WATERFALL at the end. I remember thinking it was too hot! Too far! Too hard! And I was too fat. But really, that was all too bad, because I wanted it. I've hiked now, twice! So it's just a matter of time before I get someone to let me back on the Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton to discover the hidden treasure I missed so many years ago!
When I was 13 my imagination was swept away in the currents of the Colorado River running through the Grand Canyon. I treasured my single keepsake from the trip - a set of waterfall postcards. The camera & film for the trip were lost on one of the stops so I used them to decorate my room when I got home, not able to bear parting with any by mailing them off.

We can take a virtual 360 view of a Yosemite waterfall (see link), but nothing compares to flooding your senses in person. www.destination360.com/north-america

There are so many beautiful, wild, and wonderful things to discover and experience in the world. I will never blanket my life with limitations again!
"SPARKPEOPLE: Make Your Life an Adventure"
Me: "Yes, please!"

..Building my book to print (I have a list of dozens, and hundreds more bouncing around in my head)..
#001: Me
(Not made yet)
#002: Lap

#003: Abs

#004: Zumbawear

#005: Carnival Rides

#006: Make Believe

#007: Waterfalls

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRB13_1 5/11/2011 6:12PM

    Enjoy planning your trip to view as many waterfalls as you can, and don't forget your camera! Don't forget to look for the rainbows in the mist. emoticon

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    For me, waterfalls = happiness. I just love them! :)

And from now on, there'll be no more "too hot," "too far," "too hard," or "too fat." NO MORE!

- Michelle

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JRIMM4 5/11/2011 12:13PM

    With hiking/backpacking as my main focus for activity, I really identify with your 007: waterfalls! The ephemeral streams near the trails I frequent are beginning to flow and I'm finding waterfalls, some tiny and some majestic, all over the place! So different from hiking in the fall and winter. I'd love to visit some of the falls you've described in your blog!


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JESPAH 5/11/2011 9:37AM

    I love you and I love this statement:

" I will never blanket my life with limitations again!"

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DIFROMWYOMING 5/10/2011 11:50PM


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XPHOENIX 5/10/2011 11:33PM

    Beautiful. You.... and the waterfalls. You're just awesome! XO

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ADVENTURE-GIRL 5/10/2011 7:10PM

    I love this reason! What a beautiful part of nature to experience. Hawaii is one of my dream vacations too. Are you saying there is a waterfall at Camp Pendleton? If there is we have to go, lol.

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FITKITTYMAMA 5/10/2011 6:43PM

    I absolutely LOVE waterfalls and they are one of my reasons for living a healthier life too, so that I can travel to, hike to, and visit as many gorgeous waterfalls as possible. There are 3 or 4 images of waterfalls in my vision collage. When you are ready to go to Hawaii let me know... I'll come to and we'll visit as many waterfalls as we can!

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AMY_1217 5/10/2011 5:30PM

    I love this! You are amazing! That was me as a kid. Too hot, too tired, too fat. Thank you for posting this.

I'm going to wipe the tears from my eyes now and do my workout videos! Thank you!!!!

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RYDERB 5/10/2011 5:27PM

    Another great blog. Now that you're getting into hiking, you should check into Mammoth Lakes in the summertime. There's just so many beautiful hikes you can take. You could spend the whole summer, and still not see everything.

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APRILBLESS 5/10/2011 12:50PM

    Yes, I second that. Absolutely beautiful... emoticon

Now I have to plan my own waterfalls trip, lol!

Comment edited on: 5/10/2011 12:51:24 PM

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ZURDTA- 5/10/2011 8:30AM


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MCJULIEO 5/10/2011 8:11AM

    Hips for hula?

Now, I think that is a POSITIVE attitude!

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ME_FIRST 5/10/2011 7:44AM

    I love that you numbered your reasons as 3 digits. I think we can probably think of 999 reasons why we want to lose weight and get healthy and active.

Travel and adventure is one of my big top 5 reasons too. Funny that you mentioned it today because I was thinking about traveling when I woke up this morning. I want to go to Hawaii, a 9 day women's cooking tour of Tuscany, China, and Austria to name a few.

It's just a matter of determination and time and we'll be there. Yvonne

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FERRETLOVER1 5/10/2011 7:23AM

    I LOVE waterfalls - I will have to visit Hawaii one day!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 5/10/2011 6:31AM

    I'm all about waterfalls too!

...just from a slightly different perspective.


Someday when I'm healed and more skilled I will run the Grand Canyon.

There are some nice ones around here that I can show you next time you visit. There are bumper stickers that say "Ithaca is Gorges" for a reason, LOL

Also, when is the last time you saw Niagara? The best view is from the Canada side and I have this awesome hotel I stay at on the Welland Canal where you can watch the giant freighters locking up and down the Escarpment right from your balcony while reading where they're from, what they're carrying, etc

Comment edited on: 5/10/2011 6:36:40 AM

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LECATES 5/10/2011 6:12AM

    I love waterfalls, too---not many around here though---I live on flat land!

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KMTOOLEY 5/10/2011 5:08AM

    I love seeing your reasons! They always make me find new reasons to keep motivated.

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FLOWER1967 5/10/2011 5:01AM

    Lovely Blog. You were born in Hawaii ? Wow....you ever been back ? You should. Waterfalls are beautiful. Its only water but its full of power.

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WA2MCD 5/10/2011 3:25AM

  Thanks. I felt like I was looking at the falls. Sharon

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The First Step Was the Easiest (FEF^2 Blog Challenge)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

I've been thinking about this all week, over-thinking it, then avoiding thinking about it, finally forgetting and then reminding myself to think about it. This last half hour of Saturday is my final moment to get the points this week for my Challenge Team, The Cute & Shady Sweeties, so here goes...

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MAIN CHALLENGE: For the main challenge, blog about why you decided to change your habits to become a healthy, fit person. Even if we arenít at goal, we have ALL made lots of changes. What motivated you to take that first step? Many of us donít take enough time to think about what brought us here, but holding on to that could help you to motivate yourself when you hit a plateau of have a rough week. Share your thoughts in a blog so that other participants in the FEF challenge who are not on your team can comment.
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By the end of 2007, at 29, I had spent more than half of my life obese. I did Jazzercise for Kids as an overweight child, and dieted with Weight Watchers as a pre-teen. When my mom took me to a lap-band/gastric surgery at 17, I decided I was completely finished with trying to lose weight. That option wasn't for me, so I figured there really wasn't anything out there that would help me tackle weight loss. (I think my exact thought was, "Okay, well, I'm just going to be fat forever," in a stubbornly defiant tone.) So I played up my best features, and tried to develop confidence. --But all of this is a different blog, one with lots of pictures, that can come later. Back to the topic.

And refused to talk about my weight loss, appearance, size, or any of that with anyone except my husband. I was fortunate enough to avoid any major disease, but I suffered from migraines almost several times each month, barely slept, and was in pain at nearly 400 pounds.

2006, not my highest weight

Inside, I was hurting. On the outside, I tried to be as pretty as possible, and enjoy the few things I could find. Here's a typical "why are you taking my picture" face, followed by the pose (because I wanted to have something other than a frowny picture for MySpace.. Remember that site? LOL!):

2006, not my highest

But those weren't the only difficulties I had. My work was challenging emotionally, and my home life was worse as I tried to help my husband handle his internal demons. In a way, changing my lifestyle was the only thing I could do. I felt like there was no hope anywhere. I struggled with the same intense depression and suicidal thoughts that I carried since childhood.

But two things happened in January 2008. My friend, Kelly, sent me on a wild goose chase to find her page on "this new site that's totally addicting", and my co-worker and confidant, Shane, suggested that we try walking outside during our "meetings" instead of office hopping.

The first steps out the door at work were the easiest... To get away from prying ears, and breathe in fresh air was a relief. The next steps after that (just getting around the building) were HARD. My lungs burned like they did in P.E. at school, and I never felt like I could make it for the whole 5 minutes. I complained a bit, but he persisted. And I started exploring some of the articles on SparkPeople, still determined that losing weight wasn't my objective, wasn't going to be part of my life.

Learning about how nutrients actually help to fuel the body, and feeling like doing what SparkPeople suggested wasn't at all like the dieting I did as a teen, actually MADE SENSE from a scientific perspective, was what turned my doubt into hope.

And finding success that first month with that little bit of occasional walking (I lost 10 pounds without changing my food), convinced me that my body was crying out for change.

I made a SparkPage and started thinking about how nice it would be to be able to tie my shoes by simply bending over, or crossing my legs (you know, without having to stretch my leg out across the bed and holding my breath to reach). I thought about being able to hold my nephews without having them sit on my tummy and slide off of my "lap". I was about to grow out of the largest size available in stores near me, and was dismayed at the thought of online or catalog shopping, because I like to TRY ON my clothes... And I thought about all kinds of other benefits, too. They were all related to functional ways of getting through the world, markers of fitness and health that are much smaller than running a marathon.

I saw examples on Spark of people who had lost 50 pounds, and thought that I could tackle my extra 200. And so I did.

These pictures related to this phrase showed up recently on my friends' Spark Pages (like Annie's)... And I completely relate to it!

I'm more than half-way there. But I'm fully into pursuing things that make me feel good -GENUINELY feel good- eating well, and moving often.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KINSBAILE 5/11/2011 12:53PM

    As always you're an inspiration! *MWAH* :)

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HAPPYWRITER7 5/10/2011 2:43PM

    I love reading about your journey! Ive always felt that if we were in the same class or something we'd be friends!

the sparker formerly known as reluctant

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LOTUSFLOWER 5/10/2011 1:12PM

    You are AMAZING and inspiring. emoticon

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KSGROTHE 5/9/2011 7:48PM

    You know, I thought and overthought about my FEF-Squared blog last week, too! emoticon

You're doing great! Keep up the good work! emoticon

- Karen

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RYDERB 5/9/2011 4:46PM

    Another great blog. You're always such an inspiration. Thank you.

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THEMIGHTYLEX 5/9/2011 3:01PM

    Excellent blog!
I'm so proud of you and how far you've come.

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APRILBLESS 5/9/2011 1:03PM

    emoticon... you are an inspiration. Made me think and smile for the day.... emoticon

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LESS_IS_MO 5/9/2011 9:04AM

    Beautiful blog. Congratulations on your success and every wish for continued success! We deserve it!


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SWEETZMIX 5/9/2011 8:14AM

    You are always an inspiration.


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EFFLORESENSE 5/8/2011 11:01PM

    Thank you for sharing this. It was quite inspirational to me.

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XPHOENIX 5/8/2011 10:32PM

    I just love you. You amaze me. Proud to be your friend! XO

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FITKITTYMAMA 5/8/2011 5:49PM

    I think one of the reasons I find you so inspiring (aside from the fact that you are just an amazing person in general) is the way you are able to communicate so beautifully in your blogs. Thank you as always for sharing your journey with us!

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MACEWOMAN 5/8/2011 1:35PM

    "She believed she could so she did." Wow, how much stuff would we do, if we believed in ourselves. Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes "What would you do if you werenít afraid?" from the book "Who Moved My Cheese?".

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READY4CHANGE81 5/8/2011 12:47PM

    I can relate to so much of what you said in this blog! There was a time in my life where I settled for being the fat girl and "played up my best features."
I am so glad you are on here to post about your journey. It has inspired me and so many others!!
Spark People is amazing & I'm so glad to have you as a buddy!!

Keep up the amazing work!!! emoticon

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AMY_1217 5/8/2011 12:06PM

    What a wonderful blog! I had a lot of the same issues. I even came to terms with my weight for a while and decided that when none of my clothes fit anymore, I'd just order moomoos (sp) online and wear them. And I didn't see anything wrong with dressing like Mrs. Roper! lol I thank my lucky stars every day that this didn't happen.
You're such an inspiration! Thank you for being you. Everyone could use a good example to follow, and you're it!

Have a great weekend!

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FINDINGLUV4SELF 5/8/2011 10:53AM

    emoticonBlog! You have totally motivated me today. I was ready to delete my account because I felt like a failure. But I realize that I've got to do this for me. I am important. I deserve to be healthy. emoticon emoticon

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ZOEYBLU 5/8/2011 10:43AM

    I love that phrase .....

And you DID !


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FLOWER1967 5/8/2011 8:16AM

    Thanks for this Blog Joce. Wow...you sure have come a long way. That pic of you frowning....Ive never seen you frown. You can sure give the evil eye !!! lol.
Isnt Spark People an AMAZING place ! Where would you be without it ? Where would we ALL be ? Probably still struggling ....

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JESPAH 5/8/2011 8:04AM

    Yanno, the initial inertia is the hardest bit to get through and get over. It's that first hurdle. I need to remember this, too. Thanks for reminding me. I do believe you have given me tomorrow's blog topic, m'love.

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DDOORN 5/8/2011 7:12AM

    Go Jocelyn GO!

Thank you for sharing SO MUCH insight and caring with all of us throughout your journey toward reclaiming your life!


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LECATES 5/8/2011 7:04AM

    Glad that you found Spark and for sharing your journey.

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ZURDTA- 5/8/2011 6:17AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon gosh, I have no words....

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SLIKITTY97 5/8/2011 3:07AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Thanks so much for sharing. I'm sure a lot of people can relate. I have also been overweight most of my life though I tended to yo-yo a lot with my weight going way up and way down. The only time I was a very low weight was when I was taking diet pills, chugging slim fast instead of eating and working out with a personal trainer- this time I want to do it right and I want to make it stick for life. I can easily see myself still using sparkpeople 30 years from now! Seems like you've made a lot of changes for the better! Keep em comin'!
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ABB698 5/8/2011 3:03AM

    ......and so the journey began! Yay for that step that lead you to being strong and healthy today! You are amazing, and are what SP is all about! Keep on keeping on Girlie!! emoticon

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