Who Knew?!

I have been feeling pretty low about my career situation lately.  I went to school for this amazing degree, that I love everything about it.  I love literature, I love criticism, I love discussion, and I love analyzing.  I LOVE MY DEGREE!  I worked so hard for it, and I feel like it just sits on the shelf gathering dust, as the diploma that came with it. I have been asking myself, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” a lot lately. The answer is still a teacher, a helper, and a motivator.  Not a coordinator.

For once in my life, I can say I am happy with everything else.  I am happy with my relationship.  I am happy with my friends. I am happy with my hobbies, let me rephrase, I have found hobbies, and I am in love with them.  I am completely head over heels for Maci, the new fur baby in my life.  As well as her daddy, which is a good thing, considering we are coming up on two years.  He definitely has my heart like no other ever has.

I feel like I am getting my creative juices flowing again, writing, painting, creating, and getting the energy out.  Also, I started focusing on my health.  My workout regimen is on point, and I miss it if I miss a morning, and feel weird until I do it.  I have learned to listen to my body, rest when I need it, and push it a little farther each day.  I have registered for a 5K on April 4, and I am stoked!  I have never been excited about doing anything healthy.  It is a new lifestyle and I love this life.

Tonight, I was invited in on an opportunity which I think is amazing, and feel so blessed to have been asked to be a part of.  I have worked hard at finding out who I am over the past few years.  You tend to lose yourself, or really not know who you are until after college.  You are so caught up in working and going to school, and doing what everyone else wants you to do, that you forget to find out what you want to do, or like to do.

After school, I could not even tell people what my hobbies were.  I had not had enough free time to even know what I enjoyed anymore.  I loved to read before, but not the sight of a book made me cringe.  It took me almost two years to pick up a book and read it for fun.  I had read so much throughout my undergrad and my graduate studies that I just wanted to go blank and stare at a TV for hours.  Now, I am finding me, and have spent a good while convincing myself it is okay to put me first for once.

I have been posting a lot of “self-discovery” blogs lately, but I just want people to know that it is okay to put yourself first.   Women tend to put others first, always and forget that they have to take care of themselves as well.  In my plus-sized support group, most of the women are in their 40s and 50s, stating they have forgotten to care for themselves through marriages, children, jobs and so forth.  They are just now realizing how unhealthy they are.  Health is not the only thing that can go to the wayside, happiness, life, and just enjoying the small things tend to be forgotten, and then before you know it, POOF, you realize you lost yourself somewhere along the way.

I am 31, almost 32, single and childless.  I am very thankful for this time in my life.  It is allowing me to focus on me, whereas a few years ago, I was upset and felt like a failure because I ended the relationship I thought was going to be the forever happily ever after.  I fell into a deep depression, I rarely left the house, I slept all of the time, and I was miserable.  Slowly, I came out of my fog, and started venturing out on my own, and realized there is still a life to live.  Even though I hate my job, at the moment, I am blessed to have it.  However, I am so glad I started my journey to fit, because without it, I would not be where I am today.  I have a great group of ladies that I get to communicate, encourage, and see their struggles daily.

Today, I am a happier, healthier me.  I am blessed, and this group, and lifestyle change has opened so many doors for me.  I honestly can say that I have never been happier with myself or with my progress.  I just hope I can motivate, help, and hold hands with other women like myself, that need a little pick me up, or soundboard at some point in their lives.  Women should encourage other women, not put them down.  We are all struggling with our demons, why not help someone through theirs, instead of a *tsk tsk*and a head shake in disappointment or sorrow for them.  Offer a hand to lift them up.  Do not look down on someone unless you are lifting them up.

Reality Check

As most of you know, I have been working on the 21 Day Fix, with Beach Body.  I have enjoyed it so much, as well as all of the ladies I have been working with, that I decided to become a coach.  This does not mean I am in the gym every day, or pushing my program on people, I am merely sharing.  Now, if you are interested in finding out more about the program, or trying it, let me know though, ok? J

I have found that this choice to make a change in my physical lifestyle has helped me in so many ways.  I know exercise is a natural mood elevator, I just did not realize it was this awesome.  I have battled with depression for a few years now, I would say the better part of 10 years.  I know some of you may know this; however, a lot of you do not even have a clue as to how bad it is.

There have been weeks where I have isolated myself in my house, not leaving for anything, except to gather necessities.  If you have ever seen me out on one of these hunting and gathering experiences, more than likely, my hair was not washed, and had not been for days.  I may have had a shower, or may not have.  I usually always shower, because I just have to.  Washing hair?  Not so much.  I never wear make-up out in these instances, and I usually have on a pair of yoga pants and a sweatshirt that is three sizes too big.

I do not share my depression with people. I do not talk about it much.  There are a few people that know how bad it has really gotten, but most do not.  Unless you have suffered from severe depression, there is no way to explain it.  There were weeks I would see my therapist two or three times.  Every day would be the same.  We would sit in her office; I would drink my coffee and cry.  She would nod and ask me questions.

A person can look completely normal and suffer from depression.  I am usually a really joyful person.  I talk to everyone, I laugh, I smile, and I am genuinely nice to everyone.  When I have an episode, I stop talking to people, I sleep or do not sleep, and my diet sucks.  There have been days where I have slept 20 hours out of the 24, and then there are days where I sleep four hours, out of the 24.  People who do not suffer from depression cannot understand what it is like.  They may see you somewhere, or wonder where you have been, but they never really understand.

There is such negativity surrounding depression.  So many people think it is a “fake” disease.  People use it as an excuse to not have to live life.  This is not true.  There is nothing more a depressed person wants to do.  They want to live life, they want to go out and not feel like they are about to burst into tears if someone asks them how they are doing.  They really, really want to live.  It is just harder some days.  Some days, they just cannot make yourself do it.

I am sharing this, because I have found that even though I still have days where it is physically hard to get out of bed and live my life, the change in my physical life has really helped.  I know this is not the case for everyone. There are still days that I have to make myself get out of bed, make myself workout, make myself shower, and make myself leave my house.  Some days I make myself look nice, so I will hopefully feel nice.  It does not always work.

I think sharing this about myself is part of my journey.  My journey to fit is also my journey to love myself, and my life.  It is important to stop hiding things from people, and share who I am.  This is important for me to embrace myself, as I am.  There are private things in life, but depression is not one you should be ashamed of.  I have been for a very long time, and it makes me feel like I am not always sharing the real me with people.  Throughout the years, I find the people that truly love me will love me anyway.  They will love me through my non-hair washing funk, and they will love me after.

The Daffodil

The sunlight hit my face, warming it while the chilly late winter breeze blew through my hair, and nipped my nose.  My nose is cold, it is always cold, but I am bundled up with my scarf, my hat, and my late winter, spring wear.  I am ready for spring.  My favorite season, the season of renewal and of birth.  This year, I will be renewed and reborn.

I have been working on a project of me.  I have taken the focus off of everything else in my life, and focused on me.  I am focusing on my health, my finances, my diet, and my career.  I am in a good place in life.  It is March 7.  The fact hits me hard.  So hard, it knocks the air right out of my lungs.  Tears sting my shaded eyes.

Today is his birthday.  Today, we would be celebrating 82 years.  Today, we are not celebrating.  I get in my car, turn down the radio and reflect.  I call my grandmother.  We chat and talk and even bring him up.  We bring up his love of warm milk on sleepless nights.  I share a story of him making me warm milk in the middle of the night a few times.  Apparently, she never knew.  It was like we still had little secrets that were just between us.  I laughed saying, he was probably sleepy and wanted me to go to sleep, so he gave me milk so he could.  She laughed too.

We end our conversation, not mentioning it is his birthday.  I continue driving to my boyfriend’s house.  I do not listen to the radio on the way.  I drive in silence, surrounded by memories of birthdays past.  Mine, his, Mom’s, Granny’s, Heather’s, everyone really.  They have always been big days in our family.  They are the day you were born.  You came into this world, all new and shiny.  You had yet to be tainted with the world and it’s harsh realities.

Birthdays are good days.  Today’s birthday is always bittersweet to me.  I smile and think of all of the happy times, and funny times, and good times.  I wipe away a tear at lost memories that were never had.  I wonder what he would think of me now.  I am 31 years old.  I live alone.  I have a job that I find mediocre.  I have a degree that I love, but never use.  What would he say?  What would his advice be?  Would he be proud of me?  Would he be disappointed in me?

I pull up to the curb, and start to unload my stuff.  I know that inside there will be a happy home, filled with puppy love, and snuggles from my love.  I know that we will relax and enjoy each other’s company.  I know that we will discuss our lives and important details, like what is for dinner.  We will discuss our parenting with the new puppy in our lives.  We will be happy.  We will be content, and both completely in love with our new little furball.

I glance around, squinting against the sun and see it.  There is only one, but it is there.  Earlier than normal, but never too early for me.  A daffodil.  There it is.  Alone.  On the edge of a neighbor’s yard.  I smile, tearing up again.  Many memories were lost, but he is still there to say hello, and remind me he is there for me, even now. Under my breathe I tell him I love him and I miss him so much.  I take a moment to just stare at the flower, loving it; treasuring it.  I walk inside with a small smile on my lips.

Beemon and the Beachbody

I have had so many people ask me about the program I am doing.  I wanted to actually share some of it here with you.  I thought it would be easier than trying to update the information in a Facebook status.

I joined a Challenge group, hosted by my new celebrity (to me) BFF, Coach Tulin Emre.  I LOVE HER!  I cannot say this enough.  She is an amazing woman and inspiration, not only in fitness, but it in life.  She has so much insight and wisdom to share on so many levels.  My coach focuses on plus-sized women who are battling PCOS, Endometrioses, Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, and all of the other health issues that can come with being a “full bodied” person.  (I use this term in honor of Leonard Nemoy.)   I also say can come with, because not everyone suffers from the same outcome, so there are many different health problems/risks for anyone, not just plus sized women.

I found out a year ago I had endometrioses.  This was devastating for me.  I researched and I realized  a lot of women suffer from this same issue.  I have had surgery, which has helped with the physical issues so far.  During the process of my research, I found Coach Tulin.  I watched some of her videos, about modification of exercises for bigger women, and I watched her helpful hint videos.  I sat for hours watching the content.

During my private viewing, I not only learned the had lost 80 lbs., but she had lost everything a few years ago.  She had been homeless with two kids, and a husband who had lost his ability to walk due to MS.  Now, this is a rundown, if you want to hear the whole story, look her up on YouTube.  She was inspiring as a person to me first, and then eventually a physical inspiration.  I stalked her online for over a year.  I had reached out and made contact a couple of times.  It took me almost a year, but I finally decided to go all in.

She mentioned her Challenge group on Facebook first.  I stalked around, and eventually reached out.  Her first question to me was, “What are you looking for in your life?”  I sat stunned for a minute, why is she asking about life when I’m talking about her Challenge group to workout.  Then it hit me, after all of my stalking and creeping around her social media sites, she is interested in the smaller details to get to the BIG result.

I told her my story.  I have had gastric bypass.  I have lost 150 lbs. in 3 years.  I have gained 30 lbs., if not 40 lbs, of that back.  I had stopped being active and started being lazy.  I wanted a workout that I could do, a plan that I could follow, and I know she could help me get that.  I mean we were the same weight, and she was doing!  I had to be able to do it.

Now, I have never been athletic.  Ever.  In my life.   As I shared before, running a lap around the football field during band camp terrified me.  This was a challenge, but I did not that I felt better than I had before, but now I was not feeling so great.  I knew it would be a challenge, but I also knew the challenge group was a support group, as well.  She told me about her group, what she expected.

She expected me to show up.  That is it.  She is a coach, not a coddler.  She would work for me, if I worked for me.  If I disappeared, she was not chasing me.  It was all up to me.  I know me well enough, to know that I need some sort of structure in my life to make a change.  She told me about cleaning eating, and for me, some of it has been a challenge, but since my surgery, I ate pretty clean, except for the Starbucks.  (Dramatic music here…)

She did not tell me I could not have Starbucks, she just said, you have to find what fits you.  This is the plan I recommend.  I looked it over, I thought, I can try anything for 30 days.  See if I like it, if I see results, if I don’t send it back for my money back.  I even signed up as a coach so I could get the coach’s discount.  Any discount is better than no discount.  Am I right?

So I signed up for the 21 Day Fix and Shakeology.  I have done protein shakes pretty consistently since my gastric bypass, so I was prepared.  Oh honey, I was NOT prepared. It was delicious!  So nom.  With my package, I received two 21 day Fix workout DVD’s (30 minutes of intense workout a day), I received the 21 day Clean Eating Guide, the containers that they recommend to measure your servings with, my Shakeology, and the blender bottle.  Oh, and a bonus PLYO workout DVD.

I felt like a sponge.  I could not get through all of the material fast enough.  I read everything, I looked at everything, I felt like it was Christmas.  I even watched all of the workouts to see what I was getting into.  I saw it and thought, I can do this.  If I need help, I have Tulin.  She is literally a phone call, a message, or an e-mail away.  She is there for me.

Needless to say, I have not looked back since I started this journey.  I love it. I have not regretted making my decision to start the fix, and I find that I feel better.  I have more energy.  I crave my Shakeology.  By the way, this is not a protein drink, or a liquid diet.  The drink is dense nutrition.  I will post a link to the video that tells you everything that is it in.  It is amazing. It is like a so many superfoods that taste like chocolate.  Hello, my love…. I eat more now than I ate before I started, but I am making healthier eating decisions, and never feel hungry.  I actually do not like to call it a diet, because it is not.  It is just a different life for me.  It is a lifestyle change, just like getting healthy has always been.

I just wanted to share since I have had so many people ask me what I am doing, and how it works.  Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have, I LOVE talking about my journey with everyone.  Also, I am a coach, so if you want to try anything that I have mentioned, ask me!  Don’t just depend on the website and google to help you.  Ask me!  You all know me so well, and know I will be so honest it hurts sometimes.  So ask me!

As promised the video: (watch until the end, it’s funny and short!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwgaeGBvm4c

Snow Day Fun Day

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This is how I work, guys!

Today, is a snow day in Alabama!  We have 10 inches, and it is still snowing.  It is so rare and so far between that it is amazing when it happens.  I have been looking at Facebook all day of pictures from home, and man do I miss the country.  I am happy I have power though, which my parents do not.  I will stay right here in my city snow wonderland.

My 21 Day Fix is still kicking.  I am so proud of myself for having constant movement and exercise for three week.  Of course, there are rest days in there.  I have decided that I really like my yoga at night, and I think I will pick it up again.  It helps stretch my body at night after sitting at a desk all day.  Not yoga with Autumn, but Yoga with Adriene.  It is much more relaxed and about finding what feels good, which I love!

Yesterday’s workout was a challenge, but a good one.  It was Total Body Cardio, which I feel gets me moving and stretch really well.  I feel like I am working my whole body, and my heartrate really gets going.  I was at the boyfriend’s so Maci was helping me workout.  She did really well for the most part, until the ground workouts hit.  She decided when it was crunch time, she would lay on my chest.  I let her stay, and it was actually pretty effective.  I think she liked it too.  She loved chasing my pony tail too. That was the challenging part.  Keeping her off of my head.

Today, was snow day number two.  I woke up around 7:30, got my workout in.  Today was upper body.  It was amazing!  I got a resistance band last week, and it really helped.  I did not feel like I got a good upper body workout last week, except for planking, push-ups, and abs.  Which was still good, but my arms did not really feel anything.  That is not.  With my band, my workout was so much better and I loved it!

My booty and legs are a little sore today, which as my friend, Danielle, says.  She loves that feeling, and I am loving it too.  It means my body is working and I am getting results.  When I do not feel a little stiffness the next day, I actually feel a little sad and know I did not keep my form as well as I need to.  I really concentrated on keeping my core engaged today.  Every time I breathed in, I would “HA!” out to get my core re-engaged.  I am really hoping for some sore abs tomorrow.

For the rest of my day, I am going to enjoy not having to do a thing.  I have my comfy clothes on, some books lined up, Netflix on and my meals planned.  Next up, scrambled eggs, sweet potato hashbrowns, and turkey bacon.  I am drooling thinking about it.

I wish I could bottle the happiness and excitement I feel about my new journey and lifestyle.  The lifestyle change is the workout every morning.  I am loving it.  I feel like I am waking up from a long, lazy, energy deprived state.  I know there are some of you out there reading who may be interested in my program and want some more information.  PLEASE, do not hesitate or be scared to ask me.  I am absolutely excited to talk and share with people.

Keep in touch, my lovelies!

Me? Me? Or me?

I have struggled with depression for most of my adult life.  I am sure I struggled with it as a teen too, but never really thought twice about it.  I sucked it up and moved on. As an adult, it has been much harder.  I think as we grow up, we realize that life does not always get better, there are hardships that we face, we lose loved ones, we lose loves, we lose friends, and we ever lose ourselves.

I lost myself.  Once you lose yourself, it is so hard to find “you” again.  The you that was lost is never the you that is found.  For me, the me I found was so much different than the one I lost.  I went from the girl who sought constant approval from everyone to the woman who did not care if you approved.  I realize that I am the only one that has to be happy with my decisions.  Coming from my family, that is hard to realize and accomplish.  My grandmother’s favorite phrase is: “If I was you…” (Yes, I know that is incorrect grammar.)

So in the “If I was you” world, it is hard to decide for yourself. I have my grandmother telling me what is best, my mother telling me what is best, and me telling me what I want. Of course, Granny and Mom are always right, but sometimes the decisions that they would make, are not the decisions that would benefit me.  I am creative.  I am sensitive.  I am loving.  I am considerate.  I am constantly thinking ahead and over-analyzing everything.  Not all of these traits are good traits, but they are mine.

My traits make me, me.  Plain and simple.  I  think everyone likes to look at themselves as breaking the mold of whatever mold they feel stuck in; I know I do.  My mold is this:  overweight my entire life, band geek, good at school (not so good at life), loves reading, introvert that loves to talk, opinionated, animal lover (more so than people lover), and sensitive. (Oh, did I mention sensitive?)  These things make up me.

The overweight part of me has made me sensitive in a lot of areas that I do not think other people are.  I never really thought a lot about my weight growing up, because I was not really picked on because of it.  I am from a small town, and it is just the way I always was.  Everyone accepted me, loved me, friended me, and included me.  I always wanted to play volleyball.  I never did. I could not run like the rest of my friends, I joined the band.  The worst part of band camp – running the ONE lap around the football field.  Yes, I said one.  I hated it, I dreaded it, and it almost gave me anxiety to think about it.  Literally, I wanted to call in sick to band camp for this reason; however, there was no calling in sick to band camp.  I sucked it up and finished last every day.

When I went away to college, this is where I started noticing the difference.  People did not really comment, at least the people I knew.  I would get rude remarks walking into a store or out of a restaurant.  I would just ignore them and act like I had not heard them.  I did hear them, and they hurt.  I knew I was a “big” girl, but I was still a girl.  This is where dating comes in.  I never really dated in high school, because all of the boys were like brothers.  I knew them from age 5 to now.  We knew everything about each other, and I did not want to date that.  I am sure they did not want to date me either.

In college I met and dated quite a few guys.  One specifically sticks with me, because he was a chubby lover.  The bigger the girl, the more he liked it.  I found this out very soon after we started dating.  It always made me feel uncomfortable, and never good about myself.  I just felt like a side show of sorts.  We dated for almost two years.  Why?  Because he liked me and was there.

As the years went on, I dated lots of men who were more like boys, and I really never had a connection with.  I never really felt like any of them knew me, because I would not let them know me.  I was proud of my education (because I was good at it), and this bothered some of them.  (Strong woman, strong mind – scared little boy.)  I did not care that it bothered them, I dumbed it down so they would not feel threatened.  I felt like I needed to do this, for them.

Along the way, and through the years, I lost myself.  I lost who I was.  I stopped putting myself first.  I put school, work, and whatever boyfriend I had at the time first.  My mother never encouraged this, please do not misunderstand this.  My mother always preached independence and not letting a man take care of you.  A woman need to be able to take care of herself in any situation.  I learned from an awesome mother, who was single for a part of my childhood, and did everything by herself.  She was amazing, and tried to instill that in me as well.  It just took longer for me to realize it.

Fast forward a few years, I have graduated, I have moved, and I have started a new job.  I also have a new boyfriend.  This one was a complete game changer for me.  He knew me.  He understood me.  He got me.  He loved me.  The last thing is important, because in spite of knowing every little secret and thought I had, he loved me.  I loved him for this reason.  He helped me find a part of myself again.  He helped me realize that I am worth more than I thought.  I have more to offer than just a fancy education, and that I am amazing all on my own.  Granted, we are not together anymore, but he gave me something no one else can.  He gave me the ability and confidence to find myself again.

I have found myself.  I am by no means comfortable in my own skin, and I kind of lost sight of me for a bit.  It was a hard journey out of the depressed state I was in, but I found the light that is me and within me again.  I realized while in my challenge group, that all of the ladies with me have also been through some sort of self-discovery all on their own.  They are an amazing group of women, who inspire me to be even better than my best self as of today.  I have a family and friends who are supporting me so very much.  I have an excellent, understanding and so very considerate boyfriend that I adore more and more every day.  I have a job with excellent co-workers.  I have goals.  It is good to have me back again!

Wow-zah!

So today was my day 3 of the 21 day fix challenge. I did my workout, around the same time I do every morning; however, this morning was different. I stayed at the bf’s last night, so our little monster, Maci wanted to join Mama for the fun of working out. By working out, I mean she lays on one end of the yoga mat and chews on it.

I actually enjoyed my morning with Maci, she was quite the encourager. She forced me to get higher legs and lower squats, due to her either being under me or jumping at me. She was happy I was working out too. Every time I looked down at her, her little nubby tail would just wiggle. It made my workout a happy one. Of course, I don’t know if the bf liked me working out in the middle of his living room while he was trying to get ready for work, but he was awesome and encouraged me throughout.

I felt really odd working out with him there. I mean I know he knows I am not in shape, but it is different when you are sweating and huffing and puffing away, all red faced and guzzling water. I mean, that’s not the sexy I want him to see. I want him to see the finished product of sexy. Granted, I will never be a finished product, I will always be a work in progress. It is something I have realized and embraced.

For those of you who are keeping tabs. I am really enjoying my Coach Tulin Support Group. All of the women are feeling what I feel, facing what I face, and all have helpful insight as to how to help each other. I find myself throwing out little tidbits of advice from time to time. They are most certainly an amazing group of women, and I happy and blessed to be able to travel this journey with them.

I want to talk a little about the program I am working and how it is helping me. I am doing the 21 Day Fix at home workout video. It is 30 minutes of high-intensity workouts each day. Now anyone who knows me knows, I am not the most graceful or athletic person in the world, which is why I love the fact that they have modifiers! The modifiers are very helpful for moves that I either cannot do, or have trouble doing. I can modify the move to still get an intense workout, but using movements that are better suited for me.

Now, where my coach comes in, and is wonderful and unique, is she is a plus-sized motivator and fitness coach. She is amazing. I would not be doing this program without her, and I check in with her daily. She is super supportive and insightful, because she has been there! She is still there. She calls herself a chick on a journey, and I like that. She has been doing the Shakeology Beachbody workout program for a year and a half and has lost 80 + pounds. She has done it strictly through this program. She posts her workouts and her results regularly for us to see. She is a true inspiration for anyone who has ever struggled with weight. Please, take a moment to check her out – Coach Tulin. Google her, now!

Now guys, I am not about the gimmicks, or the fads, so when I heard about this, I actually put it aside the first time, but the second time something told me to try it. I felt like I was at a better place in my life, and I was ready to take on this challenge. It is day three of the 21 day fix, but week two of my yoga, and I am loving it! Yesterday, I was so sore I could barely get up and down, but as my friend, Danielle says, “I LOVE THAT FEELING!” Why do I love this painful, slow process? BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM IMPROVING! I am improving me, and those little aches and pains remind me that I did some work and that work in worth it! I cannot wait for my 21 day results, so I can share with you all. Also, if you are interested in any of the workouts or the actual shakes, please let me know. I am a coach (mainly for the discount), so I can help set you up on something. Try it for 30 days, if you don’t like it send it back for aa full refund. Guys, it is worth it!
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