Repurpose

It has been a while since I last updated the masses on the happenings in my world, so what better time than the beginning of a new year.  Happy 2016, everyone!

I am always happy to see a New Year come bursting forth with the fireworks, ball drops, and drunken people into the streets; however, this year, I was PUMPED!  2015 started out pretty rough as far as dealing with some sickness and work stress, but it took a turn, and ended really well.

I got a new job, one that I have been wanting for a while, it happened at just the right time.  I am loving my new job, and so blessed to have it.  I feel like a completely different person, full of life and happiness.  I do not dread getting up and going to work.  I enjoy getting dressed and seeing what my day will hold for me.  I am happy to have found a place and a job that allows me the freedom of doing what I love, and a company that I feel is just as amazing as the job itself.  I am really blessed.

The BF and I , (more like the BF, and I help), took the adventure of getting a puppy in January of 2015, and she is now a year old.  Her name is Maci, and anyone that knows me well, knows she is the love of my life.  She is a furball of happiness and surprises every day.  She makes me world a happy place, and reminds me that there is always happiness  in the simple things.  I could ramble about her all day and all night, because I love her so much, but I will spare you and just leave you with the cutest photo of her EVER!

 

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See what I mean?! Adorable and fluffy and pure love.

Two of my cousins had babies in 2015, both boys, and a month a half a part.  I have enjoyed watching the two boys grow.  I cannot wait until they are older and actually causing mischief together.  I’m sure they will be raising all kinds of hell in their future.  I will enjoy all of it, and their parents’ faces when the stories come out!

I also completed three 5K’s in 2015.  I had a goal of completing a 5K when I was 30.  I didn’t meet that goal, but I did complete three of them in my 32nd year, and I am completely okay with that.  I feel like this past year has really allowed me to get to know myself.  I feel like with everything that has been going on over the past few years, I have lost a bit of myself and my way.

In 2015, I found myself, and was reminded of who and what I am.  I am happy with me, work in progress that I am.  I have learned some valuable lessons in life and in love.  I am so very lucky to have found a man that I am completely head over heels for, and that has shown me what it’s like to “grow up”.  I know this sounds crazy, but everyone has parts of their life they are not proud of, and they need to work on.  I am okay with admitting my problem areas for the first time in a long time, and I am working on them.  Slow and steady wins the race.

The year of 2015 was a recovery and rediscovering period for me, and 2016 will be the regrowth year.  I am ready!  I have decided to focus on my faith, finances, and my relationships.  This really is the year of growth and regrowth for me.  I hope this year is a year of joy and blessings for all of you, as well!

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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.

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!

Positive Thoughts

With all of the commonality women have, why can’t we all just get along? We, as a “weaker” sex, have banned together to get our way throughout history. We have made huge leaps as women. We can now vote, we can now work in the same jobs as men, we can also make just as much, if not more than men in the workplace. (This is a generalization I know, there is the gap; and no, it’s not the thigh gap, it the salary gap of $0.67/hour between men and women.) I am saying all of this to you, to prove a point and ask, why can’t women band together to love each other as well?

We have all been guilty of sitting with our girlfriends, and seeing a woman that looked different from us, “Look at her, she’s kind of skanky, right?” I know I am guilty. Hell, this past week on the beach I saw a 6’+ woman who was very, slender, almost sick looking. See, I did it again. She may not have been anorexic, or bulimic, but I am sure she has been labelled that by her appearance. As I saw this very tall woman on the beach, I tried to push labels aside and really look at her. She was beautiful. She had porcelain skin, her angular cheeks had a blush of pink from the heat, and her pixie hair cut was super adorable! I loved it, and her bikini was rockin’!

I, being a plus sized woman, have been labelled, lazy, and gross and just plan out fat. I am none of these, well I am not gross, except for those Sunday’s I am extremely lazy, and refuse to shower until 3:00 p.m. (We all have those days, right?!) I have been judged my entire life, called names, and stared at by random people on the street. I had a girlfriend from high school tell me once, that she, as well as my other classmates, never thought of me as different. So my question to all of my female and male readers is this: Why can’t we all just see each other for who we are, and not what we look like?

As some of you know, I did have gastric bypass surgery three years ago, resulting in a drastic 150 lb. weight loss. Now, you may be asking, if she isn’t concerned about looks, why did she want to lose weight? Losing weight, for me, was a health concern. I was 27 with high blood pressure I had developed diabetes, and seriously hated the idea of having to walk up the stairs to my apartment. This was an issue for me. I opted to get healthy and after many, many failed attempts at diets and exercise, bypass was the only legitimate outcome. I chose to do it for my health and not my beauty; after all, I was already beautiful.

Do not think that anything I said above calls larger people unhealthy. It is not. I know plenty of people who weigh more than I do, and are healthier than I am. This is just a choice I made for myself, with no judgment to others who choose not to. I am not a doctor and cannot say what is better or worse for anyone out there. What I can say is, no matter whom you are or what your friends come to you with, be honest with them, and discuss their options openly. This can be plastic surgery because someone is uncomfortable with their crazy (lazy), eye (I have one), or what color or cut they should get at the salon next go around. Just be honest and up front without your opinion. They will value it more than your sugar-coating.

I guess all of this is to say, in my first opening blog, that I wanted to discuss an issue that I thought strongly about. This is it. Body shaming of either men or women, (yes, men get it too), should STOP. That’s it. Stop it. Stop talking about that woman down the aisle from you at work, or the man you pass in the elevator every morning, stop judging by outward appearance only. Take a moment, stop, and actually take a second to think of something nice about that person. Have you actually taken a moment to say hello? Take that moment. Say hello, and get to know the person, not the body.