Monday, November 19, 2012

My Final Mamavation Monday Post

Sometimes in life you hold onto things because you want them to be the way they were. You figure that if you hold on long enough, everything will go back to being ok.  Then one day, something happens and you wake up and realize that's just not the reality of life. Sometimes in life, you have to move on. It's not necessarily because you don't care anymore. Sometimes it's because things have changed and they can never go back to being what they were.

Sadly, today is one of those days. Today, I am officially leaving the Mamavation group. When I first joined the group, nearly 2 years ago, it was a smaller group and everyone was really supportive of one another. It really was like a band of sisters working together to help each other get healthier and to lose weight. Over time, as the group grew, that support dwindled off. It may have been because the group got too big for us to be there for one another like we were previously. It may be because life knocked a few of the most supportive on our asses and we were fighting to be ok ourselves and didn't have the energy to be there like we had been. It could have been any number of things or a combination of a lot of things.

What matters is that the group changed. The dynamic changed. When my life fell apart, I turned to the leadership of this group and their response was pretty much, "Well good luck with that." This wasn't the reaction I was expecting, not from the people who I not only looked up to but thought were my friends. However, I took a deep breath and told myself, 'Ok, what you're dealing with is hard for people to know what to say. Maybe it's not a lack of support, but a lack of knowing how to help.'

When things started to balance back out, I eased my way back into the group. What I picked up on was a tension that hadn't been there before. Not only tension but pressure. I'll be honest and say that I considered not rejoining but some women were there that I dearly love and wanted to help support. Even after today, a few of those women will still be there and I hope that they realize that I am still their friend and still want to support them, but the group just isn't for me anymore.

Today, I was unfriended and blocked by the woman who owns and runs the group. There was no reason for it. I hadn't posted anything to her wall or publicly posted anything negative regarding her or the group. What I did do was post on a private group that she is not a part of that I hadn't felt the support that I needed within the Mamavation group. I am dismayed that someone took the time and effort to copy and paste a private groups conversation and sent it off to someone not within the group. However, I am even more dismayed that the group who has made it their official policy* that if there is an issue with leadership, they are required to go and try to talk to that person, has a leader who unfriended and blocked me without any explanation or conversation with me regarding this. Hypocrisy sucks.

Now, before anyone calls me out for not running to leadership whining that people weren't supporting me, let me make this clear. My issues originally weren't with leadership. Heck, for a while, I was a part of leadership. It wasn't until I stopped busting my butt because my butt was needed elsewhere that I started seeing the flaws. They weren't 100% the fault of leadership and I felt that leadership was doing their best with a rapidly growing group. Plus, let's face it. There were other places to get support..namely within myself because at the end of the day, the person I'm doing this for is me and not any group.

This week would have marked my first appearance back at Mamavation tv. I was going to dive back into the group and support as many as I could and work harder at being healthier. Then, this happened. Sadly, I cannot be a member of a group whose leader has rejected me for doing absolutely nothing wrong. So, this is it. My official farewell to Mamavation. I didn't want to go but I've been forced out. It makes me sad to know that I will no longer be a part of a group that had such amazing potential. However, I walk away knowing that I will remain friends with the true friends that I made within the group. I also walk away knowing that there will be those who unfriend me, block me and/or never speak to me again once I hit post on this.

So, for those of you who have been there on my very winding and bumpy journey, thank you. I hope that you will continue to stop in and say hi and leave your words of encouragement. If you would like me to stop by your site, just let me know and I'll add you to our friends of the site section so that I have a reminder. I'm not going to stop caring about anyone simply because I'm leaving the group.

This also doesn't mean that I'm going to stop trying to be healthier. It's no great secret that I've more than fallen off the horse. I fell off the horse and got run over by the hay wagon it was hauling. It's ok though. Each day is a new day and a new opportunity and I know that I can do this if I really want it. So, I'll be here and I'll be posting. It might not be every week or only on Mondays, but I'm not quitting and I hope that those of you who do read here won't quit on me either.

*When you join the group, they have you sign a contract agreeing to this. I never signed it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mamavation Monday: A Change in Habits

Another couple of weeks have gone by and I haven't stopped in to say hi. I could have. I should have. I have no excuse. Last week I sat here staring at the screen and I had no idea what to say. Something happened in my life that stopped me in my tracks. I won't go into detail here simply because posting about it publicly gives someone power who doesn't deserve it. They have no power over me. Their words are just that. They're words and I am stronger than that. So, I sat quiet and I grew stronger and I came through the other side and now I'm here again. 

I've had this graphic  for a while now and from time to time, I pull it out to remind me that no matter what anyone has ever said about me, I am the one who is the creator of me. Nobody gets to make me into anything. Not anymore. I am stronger than that. My weight seems to have become an issue for folks lately. I can count at least three times within the past two weeks where someone has mentioned it. The first time was to be cruel. The second was as a character description in a story and the most recent was to use me as a comparison to someone else. In the past, this would have crushed me. I'm stronger than that though. My weight can change. It can change but I have to make the changes. Nobody can do them for me. This is my body and my life and I can do this. 

I am lucky enough to know that I'm not alone out there in making these changes. Through Mamavation and other avenues in my life, I have met people who have lost huge amounts of weight, people who are trying to lose weight and people who are all over their paths to weight loss and healthier lives. 

One of those people, I met via my "day job" as a comic book reviewer. Sometimes you find people in what feels like the most unlikely of places and you become friends. I'm lucky enough that I get to call Keith Thomas a friend. I'm also lucky enough that he's allowing me to share this excerpt from his upcoming book. When I read it, I grinned because this is just so him. I also related to this post (does that make me a lesbian, Keith? or at least bi?) and knew that so many of you would as well. Remember though, you are in charge of your life and your choices. Wendy is a big girl (no pun intended) and can take care of herself. It's your job to take care of yourself.

Dear Wendy, 

We have known each other for many years but it has recently come to my attention in light of my recent pursuit of a better me, that our relationship has never truly been mutually beneficial. I have tried to fill the emptiness of my life with your tasty charms and chocolaty frosty wiles. In the end, all you've really done is taken my money and left me with potential heart aches such 
as cholesterol and weight.

My dependency upon you has spilled over and beyond, for in times that you were not near me, I satisfied myself by visiting the King, the Colonel and sometimes even that Clown down the street. This has brought my attention to the fact that you are not a love, dear Wendy, but an addiction. One that must be let go of and cast aside. You will tempt me no more with your delicious juiciness nor your cheesy smile you little harlot. Even though you encompass the three defining traits I love most in women, you are always available, cheap and easy, we are through.

Don't cry little girl, it's not you, it's me. I know that sounds cliche and maybe even childish but it's true. At first you may miss me, but with a population obesity rate of about 70%, you will find another like me soon.

Your former slave,

(A small excerpt from my forthcoming book about how I've changed my life, The Vanishing Elephant. There is no ETA at this time for the book's completion as it is a work in progress.)

If you're friends with Keith, you've seen some pretty humorous back and forth retorts between Wendy and Keith. I think that the poor girl really is going to miss him. Just remember though..that when it comes to your diet the slogan Have It Your Way doesn't mean you have to hit a drive through on your way home. Your way can be whatever you want for it to be.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mamavation Monday : Eek!

Eek! I'm a day late posting this. I wish that I had some brilliant reason...actually, I do have a reason. The police. Yep. The police are why I didn't have this up yesterday. What happened you ask? Well, let me tell you.

On Saturday night, after Roger's last football game, I was driving home with Ben. We decided to stop at the gas station to get a drink. I pulled in, up against the giant dumpster, turned off the van, look in the rear view mirror and I'm pinned in by a big 'ol police suv with all of its lights a flashin'. I waited. Nobody got out. Finally, I got out and went to the sidewalk. The policeman asked if I knew my headlight was out. Umm..nope, sure didn't but I appreciate knowing. Hand him my information. Crud. My insurance card expired on my birthday. One warning and one ticket later...yep, I spent yesterday getting the headlight repaired ($14.87), new ink for my printer ($15) and then coming home and printing out my proof of insurance. Really, I'm lucky. This oops cost me $30 and this afternoon, the ticket will be thrown out. Dramatic, no?

So here I am on Tuesday and still posting. I don't really have anything brilliant for you, other than that comic up there. I was looking for something to do with walking and found that. It cracks me up and hopefully it does you too. Plus, since I'm just getting over bronchitis it felt appropriate. none of this has a lick to do with weight loss or even really any sort of genius post, but you know what? That's just fine and dandy. It's just a bit of me talking to all of you and saying hi and how are ya and I hope things are swell. I kind of have to go now though. I'm going to Austin this weekend and I still have laundry to do, posts to write, a ticket to get thrown out...oooh..and here we go, weight loss related... a pedometer to get a new battery in! That's right. I'm curious how much walking I actually do at a con. My feet say miles. I'll fill you in next week once I'm home again. I warn you though..I'm not flying back until Monday so it will probably be another Tuesday posting.

Have fantastical magical supernominal weeks and get those steps in!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mamavation Monday : Farmville

The one thing that spending hours on the road driving gives you is plenty of time to think. Without fail, if I have any kind of trip going on where I'm spending an entire day travelling, my mind drifts into thinking about Farmville.

I know what you're thinking. Of all of the things I could think about, my brain chooses to think about a meaningless Facebook game. My question to you though, is it really meaningless?

Let's stop and think about this game. In the basest of senses, it's just a way to waste time that we could spend doing other things. However, let's take things up a notch. What does the average farmer do on a stop in this game?

1. He plants and harvests crops in the hopes of completing missions or obtaining a part that he needs.
2. He travels from farm to farm. I believe, with the inclusion of Haunted Hollow, that there are now 6 different areas.
3. He travels to his friends farms and helps them out.
4. He works hard in the hopes of improving his own farm.
5. He relocates and reorganizes things in the hopes of fitting just one more thing into the space he has.

When I look at the game (and yes, I do play it), I sometimes actually wish I were more like my little farmer girl. She goes in and does what she needs to do and then she moves on. Over the course of playing this game, I've developed a system to get everything done and then exit the game. So, my little farmer girl is efficient.

Not only is she efficient, but she's worked for everything that she has in the game. She works hard planting thousands of crops and she always has a smile on her face. Her life isn't easy but she never gives up and she never loses her optimistic grin. She's always willing to help people out. She may not even know them but if they need something that she can give, she jumps right in.

Yes, I want to be more like her and the reality is that we can all be more like her. We may not be planting crops, but every day we sow seeds. When we smile, we're sowing the seeds of joy and happiness. Very few of us sit at home all day long. We're a society of movers and travelers and when we go, we take those seeds with us. How many of us have discovered that a simple smile can change someone's day?

I know that I've had more than one waitress, check out person or just person I've bumped into thank me for having a smile and a kind word or two for them. Positivity can change lives. So can hard work. My little farmer girl busts her tush from the moment I load the game to the moment that I head back to my Facebook feed. She plants and harvests and feeds animals and does what she needs to do to grow her farm. I'm pretty sure that she looks upon every land expansion as a reward for what she's done.

Hard work isn't a foreign concept to most of us. Yes, there are people out there who have had everything handed to them and there are some people who have had nothing handed to them. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle of that range, but we've learned that if we want a newer car or a nicer house, we're going to have to work for those things. Heck, how many of us have woken up in the morning and thought, "Man, can't the house clean itself today?" Wishes are nice, but they're not going to get us anywhere near what we can do if we work at it.

Let's face it. Our homes didn't get messy, our bodies didn't get chunky and our brains didn't get filled with negative thoughts overnight. The opposite isn't going to happen overnight either. Don't get me wrong. I would absolutely love to wake up one morning to a television show level of clean (think any kitchen you see on Food Network), a size 12 (yes, I'm a realist.) wardrobe that fit like a dream and depression banished forever. It's just not going to happen. If I want those things, I have to get up each morning ready to work for them. It won't happen overnight. In the case of my weight, it will probably take years. In the case of my home, to get it how I want it might take the next year. As for the mental attitude, there will be days when it comes easy and days when my brain chemicals are threatening to drive me insane.

However, just like my little farmer girl, I can do this and so can you. Know that you can do this. If it's important to you, you will make the time and the effort and you can get it done. It's when it's not that important that we make excuses. So, decide today what it is that you want to do with your life and just do it. So what if it takes days, weeks, months or even years. What matters is that you're doing it, one step at a time. Have faith in yourself and before you know it, you'll be just like our little farmer girl, happily setting an upgraded life up on her property.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Baby Steps Work!

I was going to post something super educational as my picture for this week...right up until I saw this. It makes me wonder if this is a serious issue around this country. Do people randomly urinate and deficate in public so much that we need signs? Or is this like hot McDonalds coffee and it was just this one person, this one time? Granted, a couple of summers ago, I had to ask my neighbor to ask their friend to stop peeing on the side of their house (the back door was mere feet away, I kid you not) because I was getting tired of looking out the window and seeing it. I guess you just never know, huh?

Anyway, enough about public toileting and on to something far more fun and least for me! Remember how we talked about baby steps last week and I showed you the before picture of my weekly project? I have an after picture! I warn you that it kind of sucks because my camera batteries died and I had to use my phone, but it's a picture! Ready? Here goes....

Ta da! It actually looks even better now. The clear space under holds my potting soil bucket, the lawnmower gas can and the shop vac. All super accessible and not buried under mounds of stuff! I've had people coming out from Freecycle for the past few days and things are finding new homes. And you know what? It feels good! It feels good to be shedding physical weight from this home. It feels good to watch the garbage go and the things left behind are only things we love and use.

Similarly, I know it's going to be a great feeling when I start shedding the food garbage from this house and start bringing in only what my body needs and loves. It's going to feel great when my body starts shedding the unneeded and unwanted garbage (weight) from itself. Just like it took baby steps to create that happy space in my barn/garage, it's going to take baby steps to get healthy. It's ok because I can do it!

My next project is to get my kitchen back in useable order. Each day this week, I'll take baby steps to get it functional and beautiful. Before we know it, it's going to be another happy space that makes us smile to walk into it!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Baby Steps

Most of you know that I've been a bit out of the look for the past..well year or so. Life handed me some rougher times and my focus was on surviving those. If you've been reading here, you might have seen or maybe sensed that I'm coming out of the darker times and back into the light. I'm not rushing in but taking baby steps to get back to where I left off.

One of those baby steps is my home. I learned a long time ago that when my home is in chaos, more often than not so is my brain and my life. If you asked me right now about working out, I would probably snort, look around and ask where? That's right. There isn't a single spot in my home right now where I could work out. It's messy. It's overflowing and it's chaotic...and that's ok.

Yep, I said that's ok. Now, before you shake your head and think that I've finally gone off the deep end, let me explain. Just like the extra weight that I carry, my house didn't get like this overnight. So, just like I'm babystepping my way back into healthier habits, I'm babystepping my way around the house. Right now, I'm taking this :

and working on turning it into something more like this:

My thanks to for this picture!
Clearly this is a project that has a whole lot of babysteps! It's ok because I can do it. I'll start by making sure that I have a full bottle of water to go outside with me because that's the healthy babystep that I'm working on! 

~When life seems like everything is piling on, just remember that all of those things can also be removed again. Don't give up, just take it one piece at a time. ~

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Procrastination

We all know that putting things off only hurts ourselves in the end. Let's face it, it doesn't matter how good we get at independent study, it really just cannot replace a good round of homework with the right person. Doing something, be it getting in a good workout, eating right or even completing a project can be the same way. There's a natural high that comes with finishing something. Plus, if it's a workout that you just finished, you may also be sweaty and glowing just like a good round of homework.

So, instead of putting things off and in the end only falling further and further behind, let's jump right into life and get things done. In the end, we'll only feel better for it!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mamavation Monday : Voices in My Head

It's Monday and we're back from vacation! I love our annual camping trip. Justin flies in and all four of us drive up North and just spend the time together. For the most part, we lock out the outside world and just enjoy being our little family.

This year, we went up to Wilderness State Park. For those not familiar, it's about 11 miles West of Mackinaw City, Michigan. Just for the fun of it, we took the long way and stopped off at a little ice cream shop in Benzonia. It had been suggested to me by a friend. I didn't know that it was actually her family that owned it, but let me tell you, that single scoop of ice cream was the most yummy thing! If you're ever in that area, I can completely and totally recommend stopping by Hill Top Soda Shoppe. They make all of their ice cream and use beet sugar instead of corn syrup.

All in all, it was such a wonderful trip and all of the driving gave me plenty of opportunity to think. Driving led to this picture and this picture led to me having a serious think.

One of my biggest issues, in life, are the voices inside my head.  We all have them. They're those voices that tell you that you can't do something, that something is impossible, that you're just not good enough and all of those negative thoughts that just stop you in your tracks.

We all have them but we can also all choose to ignore them. We don't have to give them free space in our heads. When I first saw this building, I couldn't help but laugh. I'm sure that was the intention of the sign. However, once I stopped giggling, I started thinking. Those voices are a lot like what we put into an outhouse. To put it in a polite sense, they stink. They're the waste that our bodies (and souls) don't need.

Having the thoughts is normal. What we do with them is what matters. We can rent them space for cheap and before we know it, they take over everything. They're bacteria, they're viruses, they're cancer in our bodies. Or we can acknowledge them and then dispose of them. We can flush them out of our systems by putting in healthy thoughts. In the end, the decision is up to you. Do you live your life in a smelly, cramped space or do you do what you have to do and then open that door and step out into the sunshine?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Exciting Life

My thanks to for this comic!
Life has been never ending busy around here and for the most part, I haven't minded it. I'm still very much a creature of habit and so having the youngest start football has thrown me completely off, but for the most part, we're managing and we're getting things done.

It got me to thinking though. I've had people, who have heard excerpts of my life say to me, "Wow, your life sounds like it's so much fun and so exciting." It always throws me for a loop because I don't really think my life is all that exciting. It's life.

So, I started thinking. Why would people, who don't know me, find my life so exciting? Then it hit me. Editing. Those people only heard small pieces of my life. Quite often, the discussion was revolving around some trip I had just taken or some comic related event I was just returning from. To them, I was shoulder to shoulder with comic book genius and I was flying off to all of these events, quite often with a media badge. I was some sort of celebrity myself.

While this makes me feel pretty dang good, the reality is that I'm just like anybody else. Due to "editing", they didn't hear about how it takes me weeks or sometimes months to prepare to attend one of these events. They didn't hear about the anxious insecurity involved in applying for one of those shiny badges. They didn't hear about the nights alone in the hotel rooms while others are off having fun because I'm attending alone.

Folks, just because something looks glamorous from the outside that doesn't mean that it always is. In the same fashion, just because someone's life looks perfect from the outside that doesn't mean it is. There are a lot of people on this planet who are very good at editing. I've had people say to me, when did depression become an issue for you? I've never seen it. Again, my answer is editing. When you mostly deal with people via online or text based forms of communication, editing is easy. It's the real world that's harder.

So, just remember. When someone looks like they have it all, maybe they do..or maybe, they're just really good at editing. Love the life you're in and not someone else's. After all, maybe they're looking at you in the same way that you're looking at them.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Phoenix

Two days ago, I had something brilliant to write about here and of course, a kiddo started not feeling well so I never made it over here to write. Really though, that's ok because I want to tell y'all about my trip to Phoenix. Is it weight loss related? Nope. Could I tie it in if I tried really hard? Of course. If you try really hard, you can tie any two things together.

So, what to say about Phoenix? Phoenix was fantastic. Some of you know how I feel about that city, some of you don't. Let's just say we have a long and complicated relationship. I had publicly stated that if I cried sad tears while on this trip, I was never going back. I honestly can't say that I didn't cry this trip, but it was short lived and not caused by anyone or anything. I was just having a moment. I let myself have it and then I picked myself up and I moved on. Honestly, yay me because in the past, I might not have been able to do that.

Ok, I'm going to be honest here. This post is just stuck. I had planned on filling y'all in on what I did, etc but it's just not feeling right to me at this precise moment. I feel like there's something I should be writing about but I'm not even sure what it is. It may be about the fact that I bought a puppy when I was in Phoenix. It started out as a joke when I posted that my friend's cat was trying to go home with me but she needed to stay because he needed a female watching over him. His response was that he'd get a dog..I said yay puppy shopping and less than 24 hours later, he had a new puppy. Technically, we co-own her. I bought her and he takes care of her. It's a nice arrangement for someone who can't have a dog at the moment and for someone who wanted a dog.

Here's the thing though..I am filled with frustration over this sweet puppy. Why? Because we've owned her a week and she still doesn't have a name. I know you're all shaking your head in total disbelief, but it's true. I started trying to name her the night before we picked her up, (We had gone and seen her at the shelter the night before we adopted her.) but Eric said we had to wait until we were sure we were bringing her home. Fast forward through an entire week of me and others suggesting names....

There was Kayleigh, Lily, Ebony, Peanut and probably a dozen others that I've forgotten since then. At least twice I thought we had settled on a name. Once it was Kayleigh (which he insists on spelling Kaylee) and once it was Lily. Today, she still doesn't have a name. I swear that Eric is waiting for her to scratch it out in the sand or something.

As for me, I consider this like naming a child. I didn't wait for my children to start to talk so they could tell me what they wanted to be named. I/we gave them names and they've grown up with them. When they were infants, they didn't immediately respond to it but as they grew, they learned their names and responded to them. Just like them, this puppy will learn to respond to whatever name is settled upon.

How do all of you feel? Do our pets name themselves or do they learn to respond to whatever name we give them? How have you named your pets? Did you just choose a name or did you wait to see which name they responded best to? Help us out before I have to take an emergency trip back to Phoenix to sort this out!*

Yep, this post turned into a vent and maybe that's good for my health and well being. ;) Hopefully, I'll come back next week with not only a name announcement but something relevant to weight loss and health. ;)

*Please note that I most likely cannot return to Phoenix until November, at which point, I would be far happier doing other things than calling the poor girl nameless puppy #1.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mamavation Monday: The Side Effect of Camping

So, I think I told y'all that I was going camping last week. We went and it was fantastic! I was nervous before we went because it'd be the first time for just the three of us. Seriously though, it went awesome. The boys and I had a great time just hanging out, talking, reading and playing cards. Each of the boys got to be in charge of the fire one night and they both cooked their own food. It was fantastic seeing them gain confidence. A year ago, they wouldn't have done anything like that.

There was one side effect though. I actually ate three meals a day. Those of you who have been following along for a while know that this is a big deal. For a while, I went days sometimes without eating. Over time, I've been working on eating again. When we went camping, I had a meal plan and we ate three meals a day, nearly every day. I think one day we skipped lunch because we got a late start.

Now that I'm home, I'm discovering that my body is going huh..that was a good idea. Yay! I still have my moments where I don't want to eat, but they're slowly becoming fewer and further between. On top of that, today I started to clean up/clear out the space where I used to workout. When life became overwhelming, I let that space fall into chaos as well. It's not quite ready for me to get back to work, but it's about halfway there.

Of course, now that things are falling back into place, I'll be leaving home for about 10 days. Yep, that's right. Starting this Friday, I'll be in Phoenix for 10 days! I'm a little bit nervous and a whole lot excited. Instead of rushing places, I'm going to get a chance to sit and just relax with friends. Honestly, I don't do this very often. This is the first time, other than when I go to Canada, that I'll be taking time with friends just for me. It's going to be awesome.

So, my friends, if I'm not here next'll know why! I don't think I'm going to have an internet connection much, if at all, while I'm gone so I probably won't be able to post. However, when I get back, expect a new post and maybe..just maybe...some pictures. I know some of you have been waiting to see the pictures from back in May and rumor has it, they've had to be passed on to a second editor. I'm told that's because of my day glow sunburn and not because I looked wretched. I had considered doing another small shoot when I go out there but we haven't managed to work anything out. Who knows, maybe he'll get a new toy and he'll use me as his guinea pig again.

Until I return...have a great week!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mamavation Monday : Life's a Happy Song

This song will always have meaning to me. It could be because my best friend's name is Walter or that I took my boys to go see the movie it's in and so began their love of The Muppets. It could be any number of things, but at the end of the day, I love this song.

The other night, I was talking to Walter. We were talking about comic book reviews. You see, Walter is an inker in the industry. He's just starting out but already he's done a few books. Back when we were together in Phoenix, he signed one of his books to me :

"To Katrina,
The awesome of awesome. Let life always be a happy song."

I don't know if he knew how much that meant to me or not, but I mentioned the lyrics to this song the other night..Life's a happy song and he pointed out that there's a clause/a caveat on that line..with someone by your side.  It suddenly occurred to me one of the things that has changed for me lately. I no longer see myself as alone in this world.

I told him how that line doesn't have to mean a life partner or anything romantic at all. He's part of what makes my life a happy song. So are my kids and the amazing friends and people that I have surrounded myself with.

It's taken me a long time to realize that the person I need most is me, but that those that walk right along side me are the harmony. They're the rests when I need a break or the fun and silly runs when I need that. Life isn't always easy but it's always a blend of a lot of different notes.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mamavation Monday : Taking Ownership

Only I hold the key to my life.
Do you ever feel as if you have no idea who you are anymore? That's where I've been for the past month or so. When my grandma died, I felt as if one of the very last things holding me to this planet was gone. I wrote last week about my depression and this week might be a branch off of that.

You see, I sat here in tears one night and all I could think was who am I? Almost all my life, I've lived under titles. I was Millie's granddaughter, Peter's wife (or ex-wife), Ben and Roger's mom, but who was I under all of that? I realized that I honestly didn't know. I knew that if I asked those closest to me, I would get a laundry list of adjectives. People would say that I was kind, loyal, funny, smart and a variety of other things. The thing is, that's what people saw me as. Who was I? Who am I?

This led to my 28 days of all about me decision. When I started this part of my journey, I had 28 days left until I went to Phoenix to visit friends. I made the decision and a public declaration (Ok, it was on Facebook.) that for the next 28 days, I wasn't going to take on a single outside project. I would be there for my friends, but to please not approach me asking me for help with anything that would be more than a conversation. For this time period, I would only be doing things for me, my children or our home.

It's been 10 days since I made that decision and in 10 days, I haven't lifted a finger for anyone else. I hope that this doesn't sound selfish but this is really what I needed and those who love me, understand. They know I'm only a phone call, text or im away but for now, I'm not volunteering my time. Do you know what I discovered? When I'm not living my life for everyone else, there is suddenly time for things like cleaning and laundry. There is time for me to read review copies and write my posts. I discovered that I really do love to learn and so I started studying Irish again. Not only that, but I'm reading an autobiography.

Do you know what else I've done? I've stood up for myself. It made me laugh when two of my friends actually cheered for me when I did this, but suddenly I realized how much I've let my fear of being alone affect how I sometimes allow people to treat me. So, the other night when someone implied that I was a bad person or more accurately that I was doing something morally wrong with my life, I reacted differently. I will admit that for a couple of hours I felt really bad, but then something happened. I got angry. I got angry and I said no. I am not a bad person. I am smart and kind and nice and a good person. I got angry and I said that if people honestly couldn't handle how I live my life, they can choose to not be a part of my life. I stood up for me.

This is good. This is me discovering that deep down, I honestly believe that I'm worthy of being treated right. I'm worthy of being treated right not only by those that I allow in my life (discovery moment: I get to choose!) but also by myself. A friend joked a couple of weeks ago about getting me drunk and having I Am Important tattoed on my forehead. I said you'd add the words to others in there, right? He said no because it's more important that you be important to yourself. He's right. I need to matter to me. So, as another friend told me..This is more than a path of self-discovery. This is you learning to take ownership of your own life.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Support

Wow. According to the clicker, which knows these things, I haven't posted here in a month. I seriously didn't think it had been that long. I guess life came along, scooped me up and before I knew it, time had flown by.  It's late in the day for a Mamavation post but here I am anyway because it's never too late to get, ask for or offer support.

Over the past couple of weeks, some people may have noticed that I haven't been my usual sunshiney self. I was having a really hard time finding the good in most anything and that's really not like me. It wasn't until one of my children asked me why it was that I no longer came downstairs that it clicked with me. While I had been fooling myself that I was happy on the outside, on the inside, I had fallen into the dark arms of depression. I was doing the minimum for getting through each day.

Thank goodness for kids who don't even realize what they're saying sometimes. It was that wake up call that said woah, hang on here. What are you doing? It was that wake up call that led me to reaching out to some of my closest friends and it was knowing that they were out there if I ever needed anyone that helped lead me back into the sunshiney place. It was a really rough week though and it led me to do some looking at myself and figuring out how I can help me and be a better mom to my boys.

For those that don't know, I'm headed back to Phoenix in a mere 26 days. Phoenix is a city that has chewed me up and spit me out more than once and yet, I keep going back. This trip..well, I'm hoping that the 3rd time is the charm and I don't come home in tears again. The purpose of the trip is no more than a vacation. Yep, that's right. For the first time ever, I'm going on vacation all by myself. Eric, who some of you may remember as "my" photographer and one of my closest friends, has agreed to put up with me for a week. This is going to be good for me. Eric will take care of me. If nothing else, he will ensure that I eat. Eating is still a struggle for me but it's one that I'm working on and Eric won't take excuses for why I'm not eating.

Plus, Eric is Mr Popularity. The man is everything socially I never have been..or maybe what I've never allowed myself to be. He's part of the contingent that tells me how much people love me so he might back me in believing that socially perhaps it's been me that's held me back. After all, how can people invite me to do things if they don't know that I exist out here in the middle of nowhere? It might be time to start easing back into circulation. Anyway, the point of me saying he was all popular was the thought that I don't see him letting me just sit in my comfort zone while I'm there. I highly suspect, if we can get transportation, that he'll have me out and about doing things.

Both of those things will be a great help to my mentality and my mindset. Lately, I've been thinking that I need to get back into getting healthy. It's one of those things that when I fall into a depression falls by the way side and it becomes a vicious cycle. However, I did it before and I can do it again. While I've gained back some of the weight that I lost, I haven't by any means gained back all of it. I started out this journey at the low end of a 28 and I'm still a 24. I have the tools and I have the support. I just have to reach out and ask for it.

I have been so amazingly blessed in my life, especially over the past 6 months or so. I've made some incredible friends who hold me up when I'm down and celebrate my successes with me when they come along. They've encouraged me in my writing and they've spent hours listening to me when I just needed an ear. They're helping me get over my fears. I'm a very lucky girl and I can do anything. I just have to believe in myself to try. After all, I didn't become a reviewer by waiting for people to come to me. I had to open the door and go to the people. I won't get anywhere waiting for life to happen to me. I have to make life happen and with the support and love of my friends, I can do that. I don't have to live in a cave..not when there's a whole shiney world out there waiting for me..and y'all know how much I love shinies.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Friendship

The past year has been one of those that if I had to go back, it'd be one that I'd like to change..except, I wouldn't. If you've been here long, you know parts of the story. You know about the sickness and then passing of my grandmother, the woman who raised me, the woman who was my mother. You know of the betrayal that I've felt as I've watched one person after another, people I thought were my friends, turn their backs on me. I've never hid my life from the world and that's not something everyone can understand, but it's part of who I am.

Knowing everything I know though, I wouldn't go back. I wouldn't go back because if I did it would mean that people like Kate, Eric, Ross, Ian and others wouldn't be known to me. These are just a few of the people who have come into my life over the course of the past year and I feel so blessed to have not only met them but to consider them among my friends.

It would also mean that I wouldn't have met my best friend. In fact, if I even tried to change the past 6 months, I might not know him. Don't tell my heart that though. It's pretty sure I've known him forever. I know this will sound sappy but well, you know me, I'm a sappy girl sometimes. The thing is when I met Walter, my heart went ah ha! I know him! It recognized something in him and over the course of a few months, we slowly got to know each other. Then, one day, everything changed and our gradual process went into some sort of hyperdrive and we've never looked back.

Over such a short period, a period really too short for us to know each other this well, we've become this amazing duo. People see us together, even online and it makes them smile. I have to say that I like that. The fact that our happiness together brings others joy is an absolute bonus in something that is already awesome. I know that people roll their eyes when we say we're each other's best friend. What we are doesn't settle easily into society's definition of best friend. Guess what? I don't care. We're redefining the word for what we want and what we are. It's kinda fun being a rebel, ya know.

When I sat down today, I hadn't planned on writing about him. I had something else in mind entirely. Then, I saw this image and all I could think was, "Yes, that's my relationship with Walter, right there." The shadow bit is a bit of a joke between us. Y'all know that I'm all pale and white..even when I think I've a bit of a tan, I'm still all pale and white. Walter, due to his heritage and the fact that the sun doesn't burn him through windows, is a lovely darker hue so when we're together, it is as if he's my shadow. It makes us both laugh when we hold hands to see our skin up against each others. Yes, we laugh at the silliest of things ...and yeah, that's just part of what makes us awesome.

I don't know that, that's not true..I know that we've both cried since we've known each other and that we've both been right there to hold each other and to be each other's shoulders. Just like I know we always will be. No matter what life throws at us, we'll always be there when the other one calls.

He once told me that I was his smile. Those are actually some pretty powerful words but I wouldn't change it. I love him and I will do anything within my power to keep a smile on his handsome face. It's all part of love and friendship. I hurt when he hurts and he hurts when I hurt.

Want to know the best part though? It's that last part. I'll just be me. In life, there are so few people that you don't have some sort of filter with. Walter is my non-filter person. I'm not afraid to tell him anything. I'm not afraid to be sappy or silly or just close my eyes and curl up against him. Together, we have a freedom together that is so hard to find. Neither of us is perfect but we don't judge each other.

This was a rough week for the pair of us. We listened to the voices that were trying to define us and let it get into our heads. It took us nearly a week to realize what this was doing to us and I'm so very thankful that we took the time to work it all out. I'm thankful to our friend Nicki for being the catalyst to shove us back together. I know that she loves us both and while she did choose sides, she's not going to stop loving us or wanting us to be happy.

Here's the thing though. I love Walter. Walter loves me. We really are each other's best friend. As for what anyone else wants us to be, well that's on them. I/we cannot control what other people think or feel or want. What's important right now is what we think or feel or want. We may not be conventional in any sense of the word, but c'mon folks, I don't remember the last time anyone used that term to define me. Why would this amazing thing I have with an amazing man be any different? So what if we're not the traditional definition. It's kind of nice to be undefined. For those who know me and my ocd, stop and think. When was the last time I was ok with anything being undefined? I'm ok with this. That's pretty major for me.

So, here I the end of a long blog post that I know will have some friends gritting their teeth because they saw my tears this past week. Thank you for being there for me when I needed a shoulder. Thank you for caring enough to get angry on my behalf. I'm asking you now though to forgive. Forgive him for hurting me and forgive me for hurting him. I posted this elsewhere but what we did, even in hurting each other, we did together. This was on both of us. Your anger only harms. It harms you as it burns up on the inside. It harms me because it hurts to see you upset, even if it's on my behalf. Maybe I had to let go of something this week, but it was something that was never meant to be there..or if it was, not quite yet.

I can't predict the future, no matter how many of you suspect I can at times. I can only say that right now, in this very moment, I have been blessed enough to have an amazing man (and his fantastic kids) as a part of my life. I can't go back and change the past and I wouldn't choose to if I could. The past brought me here. It brought me the wonderful friends that I consider so incredibly blessed to have in my life. Thank you to those who defended me and my heart this week. I noticed and it meant so very much to me. I want us all to move on now, though..let's move on and work on bringing each other joy, not sorrow and anger.

As for the rest of the world, I know what you see when you look at us and that's ok. You can call us whatever you want because that's your definition. We don't have to live by that definition. We're stronger than that. We've proven that this week. Walter, for the record, even at the end of this long post, I love you and I'm so happy that we're in each other's lives. We may have tripped over each other but the best part of that? I get to hold your hand while we help each other back up.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Photo Shoots & Me?!?

This is my friend, Eric. Anyone wanna guess what he is? Go on..I bet you can given what he holds in his hand and the title of this post..Go ahead. I'll wait...
Ok, I know you got it. He's a photographer. He's a very talented and skilled photographer. He's amazing. He's also convinced me to let him take pictures of me. Yeah, me. Plain, boring, needs to lose 100 pounds me. He'd also thwap me..ok, he wouldn't thwap me..but he'd chastise me for saying those things about myself. You see, from the first time we spoke practically, Eric has told me that he thinks I'm beautiful. I tell him I'm not. He tells me I'm not allowed to say I'm not. It might have taken him weeks before I consented to let him take pictures of me.

Now, in less than 1 week, I'll be standing in front of him, nervous as can be. I think I must be crazy to have agreed to do this. I've seen the girls that he shoots. They're gorgeous. Me? I'm just me. There's nothing special about me. I'm going to do this though..part out of this see, I'm going to show you that you're out of your mind, Eric mentality and part because I'm hoping he'll prove me wrong. I want to see myself as he sees me. Two totally different mindsets but still both very real.

On top of this, I've had three different people request photos of me for use on their websites. People must be losing their minds! Luckily, at least one is just a hand shot. Seriously. I'm being sent (and hopefully they arrive on time) a pair of mittens to model while in Phoenix. The owner of the site wants pictures of her mittens at the Phoenix Comicon and around town while I'm there. I don't think that Eric will be doing those unless he happens to catch me while we're both at the con. You see, he's actually one of the official con photographers. Seriously, the man is mega talented. So, those pictures will probably just be done with my own camera. He'll be doing the others though.

I'm betting y'all may be wondering how I'm handling the stresses of something like this. Honestly, I'm doing ok with them. I actually enjoyed a small ice cream cone yesterday without worrying about anything. I just enjoyed it. I did fairly well with eating this week. There weren't any intentionally skipped meals, not even after I had to spend two days bathing suit shopping.

On Thursday morning, I fly to Phoenix. I know that Eric, Justin and my newest friend, Walter will all be there. They all know about my eating problems and will be there to support and encourage me on days when skipping meals would be incredibly easy. For some unknown reason, they all love and care about me and even think I'm beautiful. You know, I just realized they all wear glasses..maybe that's the problem. ;)

In all seriousness, I'm doing ok. I'm beyond excited for this trip and the fact that I'm going to be wrapped up in love and hugs for the entire weekend. Hugs are my healing drug and I'm going to stock up on as many as I possibly can.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Rollercoasters

Welcome to another week. Mondays, for some reason, have always been one of my favorite days of the week. It always feels like a fresh start and in life, fresh starts are important things.

When dealing with food issues/eating disorders/life, knowing that tomorrow is a new day and a new chance is an important thing. When I left you last week, I was happy and excited about life again. It's funny how quickly emotions can change.

On Tuesday, I was faced with something that I didn't see coming. I can't talk about it here though. Not because it's personal but because it's private between me and another person. This person still means the world to me and I won't risk that. What I can share is that it messed me up. I went from someone who woke up happy and singing and excited about the prospects of the day to someone who wanted to curl under a blanket and hide. The food thing kicked in and it kicked in hard. I didn't eat on Tuesday. That night, I was asked what I'd eaten and the honest answer was nothing. I didn't want to eat. I wanted to hide. I was an emotional wreck who hated herself. I hated my body. I saw no reason to feed it. It was probably one of my lowest moments so far. By the end of the day, I could almost feel my body turning on itself. I was in physical pain.

I did eat that night. I was begged to eat something so I did. I ate an apple. It was hard. I had to force myself to take bite after bite, chewing and swallowing, but I did it. I ate it. Since then, I've slowly been healing. My heart was hurt and so was my self esteem. Those two are tough areas to overcome. I did eat the rest of the week, although after Monday, my body rejected everything that I ate on Tuesday. The rest of the week was easier, as far as that goes.

It's still hard. I was hungry this morning so I ate some cereal. After about 2 bites, it no longer tasted good. I finished it though. I know my body needs fuel. I know my brain is confused. I know this will take time and will always be something I have to watch out for. I'm thankful to not be alone in this. I have good friends and good people in my life who check in on me. Their support means so much to me as I struggle to find my balance again.

I can do this though. I'm not giving up on me or on life. Phoenix is in 9 days and I can't wait. Life holds so much beauty that I'm not going to let something like this stop me from enjoying it. Besides, there are those in Phoenix who will probably put food in front of me constantly..and while I don't need to gain 10 pounds in a weekend, it feels really good that they care about me enough to take care of me. I am loved and I am not alone in this.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Healing

I'm a day late but I don't care. Isn't that selfish of me? I guess I don't really care about that either. What's important is here is my post. The date at the top or the bottom doesn't matter. It matters that it's here and I'm here.

Not only am I here, but I'm here and I'm healing. I just got back from a weekend in Canada and I honestly had no idea that by driving 14 hours or so round trip, my heart would start to heal. It did though. I just needed time with the people who really and truly love me, who accept me..all of me..and who I can just be with. I don't have to be mom or in charge or anything, I can just be.

Am I making any sense? Honestly, I'm not really sure. My thoughts are scattered today, but the one thing that keeps coming through my head is that I am loved. I know people tell me that all the time, but sometimes..just need to physically feel that. I had that this weekend. I was hugged on Friday. I was hugged so many times on Saturday. I was hugged on Sunday. I was hugged on Monday. Those hugs were a healing catalyst. They reminded me that I'm not alone in this world. All I have to do is reach out and people are there.

Not just any people, but my family. We all know that the family given to me by blood is ..well...not the healthiest thing in my life. With the distance and everything over the course of the past year, I'd cut off a piece of myself and locked it away. I'd convinced myself I didn't need this anymore. Being back with my family, the family I was blessed to have found during another period when I felt alone, woke up that part of me. I need that part of me. I need to be all of me, not just parts of me..not just the parts that people find socially "acceptable".

So while this post might seem disjointed, it's only because ...well, a part of me has woken up and I'm filled with huge amounts of emotion today. This time, however, it's not negative. It's..well like rainbows and sunshine are filling me from the inside out. I left a piece of me behind in Ontario, but what I brought back is so much more. It's as if each of those hugs came together to form some sort shawl and I can feel it wrapped around me. It's holding me tight and it's keeping me safe as I heal from the damages that have happened.

I am so beyond blessed to have some seriously amazing people in my life and today, I celebrate being a part of life. Today, I am loved as I was yesterday and so many yesterdays before that. Thank you, my friends and my family for reminding me of who I am...and ..well, for making me human again. Thank you, Rob..for pointing out just how far I'd slipped. It was good to be home.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Mamavation Monday : 52 Reasons...

Happy Monday, everyone! Yes, that's right. No gloomy Katrina/Katie* here today! I'm actually in fairly good spirits. As always, there will be good days and there will be bad days. Sometimes, there are in between days. How's that for covering all the bases?

In all seriousness, I'm doing ok today. Am I 100%? No, not even close but I'm better. Already today I've been struck with moments of terrible sadness. Eric asked me the simplest question and it threw me. It's ok though. I can take that in, take a deep breath and move on. I'm not paralyzed by the emotion.

For those wondering, I am eating. Last week Tuesday-Sunday, I actually ate 2 meals a day. Granted, sometimes those 2 meals meant 2 bowls of cereal but it's progress and I'm counting it. Today, I'll be in town for a chunk of the day and will be having dinner with the boys. I'm not sure yet what we'll have. It depends on what their dad has on hand.

Sometimes life is about babysteps and that's what's happening with me right now. For perhaps the first time ever, I'm ok with that. I'll get there. Life's been tough and a life like I've had lately would have knocked most people on their ass. It did me. Ok, that's fine. Now, it's time to get back up again and to keep going.

The best part is that I'm not alone in this journey. I have some really great friends. In fact, if any of you remember back when Rob was posting here, I get to spend this coming weekend with him and his beautiful fiancee, Nicole. It's been something like 18 months since I've gotten to see them and I've missed them something awful. It's going to be a long drive but totally and completely worth it. Now, I just have to do laundry! I suppose I ought to drop Rob a note to make sure I don't need to pack anything special.

Once I'm home, it's only a couple more weeks until I'll be in Phoenix. Phoenix..ahh Phoenix..Y'all have no idea how bad I want Phoenix to get here. Justin will be in Phoenix. Eric will be in Phoenix. Other fine people will be in Phoenix. I will be getting massive amounts of love in Phoenix. Phoenix will be the most amazing 4.5 days of the year. I'm also there for the comicon with a press badge, so I expect I'll be bringing home more review work for over at Life With Katie. Yes, Phoenix will be good. Just saying the word Phoenix puts a smile on my face.

So, that's life here..busy preparing for multiple trips, end of the school year wrap up..Speaking of which, how is it possible that my baby is going to 5th grade camp this week? It also reminds me to get his sleeping bag into the washing machine so that it's ready for him. He's going to have a ball but this mama is just a tiny bit sad that her babies aren't even close to being babies anymore. Next year, they'll both be middle schoolers.

Yes, life moves on but now, it's moving on with me as a part of it. I know there will still be bad days. There will. It's ok. I have so much love in my life..I only needed to look around to find it.

*How many of you know me under which name? I'm curious.
** Does this post scream ooh shiney syndrome to you? Note that nowhere else do I ** to even make you look
*** The title of this post refers to the graphic on the side..a thought that's been in my head as a project that might be worth doing not for someone else, but for myself.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Being Appreciative

I want to start this post out by thanking those from Mamavation who stopped by to leave their comments. I appreciate the support. Support is something that's been so very important to me over the past few months and yet, the ironic thing is, I've pulled back from a lot of people. I can honestly say, it wasn't personal. It was/is a defense mechanism. I was/am dealing with so much that I just didn't have the energy to deal with ...well, being who I normally am. So often, I spend a lot of my time listening to and trying to help others and during this period, I just didn't have the energy. I know that looked as if I don't care. I do care. I care deeply for the people who are in my life. I sometimes care far more than I should because that same level of care isn't returned. That's who I am though and I would rather take the risk of caring than not. I know that over the past few months I haven't been the best friend a girl can be and while I could apologize for that, I won't. Sometimes life happens and sometimes life runs you over, then backs up over you and runs over you again. That's been my life the past few months.

Because of that, issues that I thought were dealt with cropped up again. Outrageous levels of insecurity for one.  I've always been insecure but over the past few weeks, it's been at an all time high. I know that part of that is that there's someone new in my life and he came in at a point where my life has been insanity and the demands on me have been insane. With everything happening, I've been not only physically but emotionally exhausted and it's been harder to silence the negative voices inside my head. He's good for me though. He's seen me at some of my lowest points and he's still here. I flat out asked him if he wanted to be stuck with me even though I'm all sorts of levels of crazy and he said yes. How sweet is that? Like I said, he's good for me. He makes me laugh through the tears. He tells me that he thinks I'm beautiful. Yeah, I'd like to keep this one around. I just need to convince him of that. ;)

Combine high levels of insecurity with high levels of exhaustion and you get where I've been food wise for the past month or so. It starts out innocently enough. You're just too tired to eat. The effort isn't worth it to you. Before you know it, it's as full blown as it was for me on Monday. I'm better today. I've actually eaten 2 meals a day for the past 2 days. Eating at night is easier. I think that's a habit that goes back to my college days when I was living on a king sized snickers bar and a glass of orange juice. A roommate caught on and started making me mac n cheese and watching me eat the entire box myself. It's more of an issue during the day where I get busy, don't watch the time and so don't bother. I've made the effort though for the past two days and yes, eating has been hard and after, it feels like a lead weight in my stomach but that's ok. I know I need to do it and my body will readjust again.

I worry vaguely about the weight gain that might come with me eating again but if it does, it does. I know how to lose weight in a safe, sane and consensual manner. (bdsm joke anyone? no?) I can lose any weight I put on and the reality is that it's better to eat and gain a little back than to starve myself and end up a sick shell of who I really am.

I want to thank those who stopped by and gave me your support. Even happy thoughts on the internet are still happy thoughts. I won't lie and say bing bang boom I'm all better. I'm not. It will be a while before I can easily eat 3 meals a day. That's ok. Life is a journey, one step at a time and while I won't be seeking professional help with this, I understand the suggestion. I know the problem and I am beyond blessed to have two men in my life who won't let me fall. One makes sure that I have food to eat. He bullies me some and that's ok. The other reminds me to laugh and tells me how proud of me he is when I do the littlest thing. It might sound selfish, but it helps to know that there are people who are worried about me. I don't like these guys to worry but I am always honest with them. They know the good days and the bad days and through out both, they remind me that they think I'm beautiful and that they're proud of the woman I am and the things that I do. Right now, that's what I need. I just need love and support.

I'm not asking for anyone to fix me. Fixing me is up to me. I'm not helpless. I can choose to give in to the negative voices or I can fight. Some days the fight will be easier than others. I know this. Some days, it will be all I can do to drink some juice and eat a few bites. Other days, will be easier. Either way, I can do this. I have the love and support that I need. I am one of the luckiest girls in the world right now and I'm not going to waste that by wasting away.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mamavation Monday : Bondage

I'm sure that most of you never expected me to title a post anything to do with bondage or the like. Before you get excited, I'm not using that in the literal sense, though those who know me, know I'm a big fan of rope.

Today is more about the emotional bondage that I seem to be in right now. My last post talked about my eating issues and I wish I could say that they're better, but they're not. If anything, I'm becoming more and more comfortable with the fact that I don't want to eat. I have no desire to eat.

I told someone yesterday that it wasn't about weight. Food and eating just don't appeal to me. Today, I'm not so sure that's true. Someone special to me did a fetish style photo shoot last night and as he told me bits about it today, I found myself thinking things that never should have entered my mind. I quite literally told myself that it's ok not to eat, that I don't need to eat. Even if I don't eat between now and the time I'll see him in a month, there's no way I'll be thin enough, maybe I need to add in working out as well. Thank goodness he won't read this. He's been here before but he doesn't come here all the time. I don't want to worry him or have him upset with me.

I know this way of thinking isn't healthy but I've become more and more comfortable with it. Other than some candy, I didn't eat anything until about 9pm last night. Then, I only ate because it was expected of me. Had I been left alone, I wouldn't have eaten anything. Tonight, I will make dinner for the boys and eat with them because they expect me to.

I don't really want to eat. I know it's bad but right now, in this moment, I don't care. I just want to be thin and beautiful...and that's the voice that I hear in my head. I'm scared for me. I'm scared I won't be able to break free from this. I'm already getting tired all the time. I know this path isn't worth it but I don't really know what to do. He wants to take pictures of me in a month and I'm just not thin or pretty enough. He'd be angry with me for saying that. He'd tell me that I know it's not true. That he thinks I'm beautiful. I just wish I thought I was too...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I Need Help

Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been here lately. There's good reason for that. My grandma died about 3 weeks and my life has been chaos as I attempt to tackle my own home, tackle her home, deal with a family who is insane at the best of times and at the worst, well they'd drive a saint to drinking and also handle my own little family.

I thought I had everything under control. Progress has been made on my house, progress has been made on her house and the kids had excellent report cards. From the outside, everything looked ok..just don't look too closely at the inside.

The truth is, I'm not handling things. I'm just pushing through and not dealing with anything at all. I clean the house so that I don't have the time to think about the fact that she's really gone. I go through her boxes and it's as if she's just inside the house and at any time, I can carry something in and ask her to tell me the story behind it. I know she's gone and yet I'm still in some sort of suspended animation. I'm still in denial and in those moments where it hits me that she's really gone, I've turned to food for my comfort.

I've been using food to try to fill this horrible void inside of me. Then, I realize what I'm doing and I go the other way. I stop eating. I go all day and then eat something like a bowl of cereal for dinner. I've become the queen of Fruit Loops and Capn' Crunch. I'm rapidly sliding back into eating disorder days and I feel completely incapable of stopping it. More and more, I find myself into this negative headspace of what does it matter anyway? Nobody can tell. Nobody can see just how badly I really am doing right now. Nobody knows that thrill I feel when I allow a piece of food to actually go into my body and that rush to keep eating and that equal rush of being able to stop and control it.

Eating disorder anyone? The thing is, I'm wrong. There are those that are affected by this. Tonight, I let these thoughts fill my head until I was back at that place where all I could see was the weight. It wasn't just a number, anymore. It defined me. It defined me to the point where I stepped on a scale to prove to someone that the number was real. I took the scale to the front porch and I stepped on it...289 pounds. They told me it didn't matter what the scale said, they had seen me maybe 6 weeks ago and it was clear that I had lost a large amount of weight. They told me it wasn't possible that I had gained back all that weight in that amount of time and my pants were still falling off of me. I told them it must because I'd worn them so much without washing them that they'd lost all their shape. They made me put the scale back where it'd been when I was weighing in regularly..264. If that's accurate, I've gained back about 15 pounds..

The reality is that it doesn't matter if that number is accurate or not. I'm not healthy. I'm not in a healthy mental state. I'm headed down a road that dangerous. I know it and I don't know how to stop it. I don't know how to deal with the emotions that I've bottled up inside of me while I try to save the world. I don't know how to mourn. I don't know how to mourn while everyone leans on me. I don't know how to do this when the very people I thought would support me the most have supported me the least. So many people that I have helped in the past, the people who have called me when they considered cheating on their spouses or when their world was upside down, haven't been here for me. I was good enough in the bad times but not when the bad times have found me. I thought there'd be support from those who have gone through this and yet, nothing. For months, I would leave dozens of comments for my Mamavation sistas and yet when I need it most, so few have even noticed my absence. It's hard.

Tonight, I am in a bad place. I don't know how to get out of it. Tonight, I said things to someone who had become incredibly special to me over the past few weeks. I said things that I think hurt him, because he cares about me. I jumped to conclusions based 95% around my own negative mental image of myself. The truth is..I don't know what I look like. I only know that somehow I have to get through this...and I don't know how.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Functioning Spaces

Image courtesy of
How often do you feel like this fellow over on the left? More often than not, this is just how I feel. I feel wrapped up in chaos. I walk into a space and my brain short circuits. "I can't deal with this. There's no way I can make this work." These are the phrases I've told myself. It's frustrating to walk into a space and not have the first clue where to start.

Today, I'm here to help with that. In fact, when I'm done, you're going to say duh and leave me some comment about how this whole post is pure common sense. I'm ok with that. I write for myself as much as I write for anyone out there who may come across this.

Since this is my handy dandy blog about weight loss, I'm going to focus on the kitchen as our space. Let's face it. Without an effective kitchen space, this weight loss journey becomes ten times as hard as it should be. I can't tell you how many times I've walked into my kitchen, looked around, sighed and turned right back around and begged Justin to order me a pizza for dinner. Why? Because somewhere along the way, I lost control. My house became something that you'd see on an episode of hoarders. Life overwhelmed me and it took me a while to get back to the point where I felt like I could start to take back that control. One of my first steps? Turning this...

Empty boxes, dirty dishes, groceries and more..just waiting for me.

Into this...
Cleared space combined with organized canisters makes me happy!
I walked into my kitchen. I looked around and I chose one space. It didn't matter what space. What mattered was that I got started. For me, I needed an area where I could at least make a sandwich or a wrap. Up until this point, there wasn't a clean surface for me to do anything. I won't lie. This process wasn't always the easiest. My kitchen sinks still aren't draining and there hasn't been enough money (and the house hasn't been in good enough shape) to get another plumber in. This meant I grabbed small totes and filled them with dirty dishes. Then, I lugged them into the bathroom and I did them in the bathtub. Was it fun? Heck no! Every time I wanted to give up, I went back into the kitchen and I looked at the progress being made. Want to know a secret? This whole the horrible condition it was in...took me less than an hour to make into a yay spot in my home. 

In less than one hour, I gave myself a clear space that helped me in multiple ways.  Every time I looked at it, it made me smile and when you smile, a little of the stress disappears. This weekend, for the first time in quite a while, I cooked dinner for myself and the boys. I actually had enough counter space that I could break out our new Foreman grill and I made us some burgers. 

So, who wants to know the secret of where to start? Anyone? I bet not. I bet y'all know it by now. The secret is that there is no secret. Take one space in any room or in any part of your life and just take babysteps. For me, it's my kitchen. My goal for this week is to actually have walls painted. Then, I will move on to my living room. We spend so much time in there and we need it to work for us. I will clean and reorganize. I will repurpose containers and I will even clear out a space for me to workout.

Life is hard but if we take it one babystep at a time, we can do anything.

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