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Back on the Bandwagon

Who knew life could be this normal? This is not normal in a bad or boring way, no, quite the opposite; normal in an amazing, satisfying, happy and fulfilling way. A life I thought I did not deserve has found me.  Love, joy, laughter, family, friends, even just a daily routine… life is good, very good.  Some might argue that everyone (well almost everyone) deserves some basic happiness.  Maybe this is true. Life is neither always fair, nor are we capable of understanding why things happen or don’t happen the way we might like them to. Given the aforementioned, I will neither question nor attempt to understand how or why my life is good – it just is, and I am very grateful for it.20160815_064810

Romance has put a few pounds back on – yes… I haven’t been careful enough.  A lot of eating out and a lot of simply enjoying myself. I know how to take it off and my intentions are to do so. My journey however has taught me personal joy apart from the weight I carry, or the size clothing I wear.

I have embraced my role as a survivor and a voice for sexually abused women, but I am no longer a loud lone voice. Thirty years later I have an army of women and men behind me.  I am not fighting the battle on my own.  I am standing with thousands of others who now hear me, whose voices resound with strength and power. I have passed the torch to those with the power and strength I can no longer afford to offer.

For me happiness is not about settling or acceptance. It is about savoring joy, passion, feeling content and connected. The “pursuit” of happiness now seems somewhat futile. I feel happiness comes when you are meant to have it simply because you now understand it, and can appropriately appreciate it.

So once again I embark on weight loss and fitness training.  I am very happy, but I am aware that sustaining a healthy BMI and staying in shape will enable me to remain happy, and physically and emotionally strong for a long long time.

I am embarrassed to say I have put on about 15+ pounds and I haven’t been exercising with any regularity.  Back on the bandwagon for me.  But like my tattoo reminds me each and every day – PERSEVERE. The 15 will drop off and I will regain my physical strength again. I love my family, my partner, my friends, my home, San Diego, my job, my garden, my writing, etc., but I must love me more and put my health, and ultimately long term happiness first.  I know how great I feel when I am healthy and satisfied with my appearance. I am healthy and satisfied with my appearance, but I feel it slipping and it scares me after everything I went through to get where I am.20161018_08280320161018_082716

With the support and love of everyone around me I will get back to the best me I can be.

Body Shaming

I think it takes a strong person to ignore the opinions of others, especially when you are young. Body shaming needs to stop – some people are just not built to be Twiggy. Kids do not need to be bullied to the point of suicide because they don’t fit today’s mold of “beautiful” – I am sure these teens are all beautiful inside and out. Being overweight is not ugly, some people can’t help their size due to medical issues and those people need to focus on being healthy. Others are overweight for a variety of reasons: emotional eating is obviously at the top of the list. This is hard to overcome but I hope to help those of you in this position realize that there are other things to make you happy and being healthy will help with being happy.

At this point in my life (because I know what makes me happy and how to pursue that) I really don’t care what others may or may not say about me, the way I dress, the way I do or do not wear make-up, etc. I suppose that is why I posted my before pictures and had it put up on national television without thinking twice.

After all this weight loss I have quite a bit of excess skin hanging around (particularly around my abdomen). I can’t afford the surgery to remove it – and although I would do it if I could afford it, I’m okay with it being there and when I want to hide it for some reason or another (i.e. an audition, a date night, etc.) that’s why I own spanks. I’m so okay with it, here is a pic:

my belly
Yes pretty panties make me feel good, LOL!

People are beautiful in all shapes and sizes. Its part of what makes us unique. And what matters is that you are confident and comfortable in your body but most of all are HEALTHY and HAPPY.

It’s not about being “skinny” or about wearing certain clothes (although a new wardrobe is a really nice benefit), its about feeling good and taking care of yourself for you and your family. Don’t let your goal to be as skinny or thin as so-and-so – set your goal to be the best you you can be. Take into account your height, your bone structure, whether or not you have had children, etc. Be realistic and strive to be your best self. After children your abdominal muscles are the most difficult to return to pre-pregnancy. And those of you who know me, know I have 5 children all of whom I am very proud of, and all of whom took a toll on my body. I nursed them all and my boobs look a lot like my abdomen (another surgery I have no money for)! I wouldn’t let anyone cut on my face, but I know a flat belly and some larger boobs would make me feel even better. I am happy now and those things do not determine my happiness I just think they may enhance it – LOL!

I NEVER thought I would be a size 6. Even though I weighed less pre-pregnancy than I do now, I was an 8. I’m sure the fashion industry has changed the sizes a bit to make us all feel better about ourselves, but my dress size does not define me. I never set a goal to be a 6. I set a realistic weight goal and when I achieved it was going to be satisfied with whatever “size” I was. I will admit it is nice not having to shop in stores tailored to larger women because the stylish things have still not completely caught up with the average woman (unless you have a small fortune to spend). I no longer ONLY wear black but it is still one of may favorite go to-s, it’s a hard habit to break and I guess I really enjoy wearing black as well – it goes with everything. And for me ORANGE is NOT the new BLACK (although the show is great – from what I have seen of it). Orange, like yellow makes this pale chick look a bit jaundice.

I can wear heals again – which is a double-edged sword. I don’t’ really like to wear them, but they do complete a nice outfit and according to my future wife they are very sexy (even though I tower over her in them). I don’t wear them often as they are not great for your feet, but with the musical theatre dancing I have had to wear character shoes quite a bit. Still uncoordinated and falling over, but the shoes don’t really make much of a difference with that tendency.

About make-up: I don’t wear it everyday. I likely never will. Probably because growing up I heard things from my mother that I interpreted negatively whether or not they truly were meant that way. Every time I wore make-up I was told the same thing: “You look so beautiful when you wear make-up!” or “You look so nice you should wear make-up more often.” I internalized this to mean basically I was ugly unless I had make-up on. Well I’ve over come that sort of. I wear make-up now if I think it’s going to make me feel good that day, or if I need to for an audition or performance. I know someone who hasn’t even let her husband see her without a full face of make-up and they have been married for close to 10 years. I personally think that is a bit extreme, but to each his own… again do what makes YOU happy for YOU – not for others. If she is applying make-up every morning because it makes her feel good about herself, then why not? Here is a pic of me without make-up, and one with. I like both!

Just keep moving forward.

The Ass of Death

I used to work in an office where it was common place to blow off steam by having Nerf gun fights.  Yeah… this SOUNDS like fun.  But the bigger you are… the larger target you make – LOL! Believe me it’s good to be able to laugh at yourself.

Anyway it was another one of those Fridays when we were all at our wits end, and Nerf bullets were being pelted at any and every breathing target.  I had learned from prior experience that when a bullet came your way, it was in your best interest to keep it, hide it and begin hoarding.  This strategy proved profitable on numerous occasions, and enabled me to be a formidable opponent. Having little or no ability to aim, nor time for target practice, it came to quantity over quality.  Stealth movements were equally important.

While working away quietly at my desk (yeah – LOL), a bullet came flying into my cube and onto my keyboard.  Well whoever shot that one missed – I thought to myself with glee while I pocketed the ammo. Before I had the time to successfully hide the bullet three more came flying over my cube wall.  Well… that’s how you want to play this I thought….

I grabbed all available ammo and loaded my weapon.  I jumped out of my chair and Rambo style shot at everyone in sight hoping in the very least to frighten off the individual who had been targeting me.  Bullets were flying everywhere they came at me, from behind me…and the wounded began piling up.  I sank defeated into my chair because if memory serves me correctly not only was I one of the largest targets and ergo the most wounded but the least coordinated and hadn’t inflicted any semblance of a retaliation.

After the battle settled down, we all returned to work.  Needing information from a co-worker I rose from my desk to make my way across the office. Upon return to my cubicle – I find my then co-worker and now best friend hysterically laughing and holding up a bent and deflated Nerf bullet retrieved from the seat of my chair (politically correct way of saying – from under my ass).

From Wikipedia: Nerf foam is made from a solid, spongy cellular material. To produce it, polyester resin reacts with another compound in the presence of CO2 from another reaction. It is this gas that creates open pockets within the polyurethane that, in turn, make the material soft and light (and apparently permits it to spring back into shape).  With continued research I have found: Darts deform when the air bubbles in the foam get crushed. This happens when they are continually compressed. The longer they are kept in that state, the less “spring” they’d have when they are released. The scary thing was, I wasn’t seated for very long.  I also know very little about NERF bullets in general, but here is a chart in case you are curious, and I am uncertain which of these bullets I decommissioned – however it did started off looking like one of the NERF suction darts.

It ended up looking… well… let’s say nothing like a dart/bullet.  Hence my lovely nickname at work moving forward… “the ass of death”.  If I could kill a NERF dart, who knows what other damage my ass may have been capable of.  TALK ABOUT MOTIVATION!!!!

I still laugh, and this nickname continues to be lovingly used by my now BFF.  It’s also a great reminder of what was then and what is now. If you are embarking on a weight loss journey there are a few things I recommend at the outset:

  • Definitely take BEFORE pictures – full body pictures (not only will you want to have them for comparison when you attain your goal, but you will want them as a constant reminder to stay on course)
  • Take BEFORE measurements (your waist, your hips, your biceps, your calves, your neck, your chest, etc.) because even if you are not immediately seeing the pounds melt away seeing the measurements decrease keeps you staying positive.
  • Keep one pair of BEFORE jeans. Don’t keep them where you can potentially wear them, just put them in storage or give them to a friend to hold so that you can look back periodically and see your progress.  I could not believe that I transformed from a 2-3X to a size 6.  Now I wish I had kept just one of my old jeans as an additional reminder of just how far I’ve come.

Many people reading this blog will have already seen some of my before and after pictures.  In my next posting I will include a few – maybe this will help encourage those of you who have yet to see the transformation.

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