Begin Again

It’s November in Northern Nevada and the weather has just started getting wet and cranky.  I’m standing outside my gym in the rain.  My body is hot, and I can see steam floating up off my arms as I lean against the wet wall and let allow myself 1 minute to cry.  I had been pushing all of my built up emotions down and down and down, as far as I could, throughout the whole workout.  I finally had to step out so that I wouldn’t choke on my own feelings lodged in my throat.  “1 minute, that’s all you get.” I tell myself.

Pushing yourself physically in a workout will ALWAYS break down those walls we work so hard to put up.  It exposes you, makes you feel vulnerable and you cannot hide.  That is part of why working out is so uncomfortable for most people at first, and we don’t like to do it!   But eventually, it turns into a magical, victorious, HIGH, that us weird fitness people chase like a drug.  That feeling when you’ve conquered the initial discomfort and you start to feel stronger, faster, BETTER. Suddenly there is NOTHING you cant face out in the world, once you’ve faced yourself in the gym.

Fitness magic.

But…starting over is SO HARD.

“I am so tired of feeling this way.  Is this ALWAYS going to be how it feels?  Why did I do this to myself? Why did I stop??!  Will I ever get where I want to be?” I think to myself, as I struggle to catch my breath.

So MANY valid excuses…that mean absolutely NOTHING in this moment, because I feel defeated and robbed of all my confidence I had worked so hard for.    I lean over with my hands on my knees. I take in deep breaths and let the rain fall on my back, and my mind race.  Tears rolling down my face.   “Here I am, eating my own words.” I say out loud to no one, and laugh.

I stand up, wipe my face with shirt and head back in to the session to finish, because even though I fell off my wagon for a bit, I CANNOT quit.  Too many people are counting on me to BELIEVE in what I talk about everyday.

So here I am, walking my talk.

My 9 year old daughter has been asking everyone in our family if she is fat.

It’s been very subtle, but I have discovered that she has been privately polling multiple family members at different times and it shatters my heart.  She is NOT fat, though I know there have been kids at school who have called her fat, and she has become sensitive to it.  I recognize those feeling all too well.

I worry, is it because of ME? Because her mom is in THIS body? And her mom was in another body before that? And working on another body still?  Has she, despite my best efforts, inherited my shame?  Has her being present and aware of my weight loss journey/body image journey/self acceptance journey, done the opposite of what I had hoped? I wanted to show her that despite everything and ANYTHING, I am capable of AWESOME…so that she could KNOW that she is too?

Even just typing this, I can feel my insides start to ache with the thoughts of her not knowing how beautiful and magical she is.

I watch her when she doesn’t know I’m  looking, and wonder how I made this human.  Her little 9 year old girl face. Her nose is freckled like mine.  Her hair is thick, blond and short. She likes it just long enough to tuck behind her ears.  She is a tomboy who loves to fight and wrestle and get dirty.  She LOVES karate.  She hates pink and loves black and green.  But she also thinks boys are SO CUTE (especially Justin Bieber and her 20 year old karate instructor, AJ).

She is in love with love.  She thinks shes going to grow up and marry her dad.  She loves to hug and kiss and crawl ALL over us, and declare her love for everyone, much to the dismay of her big brother.  She’s obsessed with all kinds of animals (except creepy crawly ones) and her heart is so tender,  she cries instantly if an animal is lost, hurt or wounded in movies.  She loves to crank her music up and sing at the top of her lungs…but gets embarrassed and shrinks all the way down to the floor if she catches us listening.  She loves to laugh.  Once she starts up its hard to get her to settle down.

She is our favorite girl in the world!! My ladybug.

And some asshole kid called her fat?

Who could ever know the depths of how wonderful she is just by looking at her?

But isn’t that true for all of us? How do we so quickly forget that we are harboring all the BEST parts of ourselves inside of these bodies, and not the other way around??

Coming home from our conference in September was a climatic whirlwind. There was an overload of praise, contentment, pride and satisfaction with ALL THE THINGS!! And there was also recovery from being dehydrated,  and off of my regular routine of steady workouts and usual diet.   I happily let myself enjoy it ALL, and honestly never quite made it back to “normal” before going on another trip and adding insult to injury.  Slowly and surely I started to make excuse after excuse and feel like crap.  Days turned into weeks, weeks turn into months and lbs turn into more lbs. I gained some weight back, and started to spiral downward and feel out of control and lose heart.

The good news is, it is my job everyday at my club, to convince people that no matter how far they have fallen off the wagon…they can get back up and try again. It is my job to assure people that even though it SUCKS in the beginning…it turns into magic when you start to love yourself.  It is also my job to continue to KEEP IT REAL. All along, sharing this journey, with all of its ups and downs.

And my most IMPORTANT job, is showing my little girl that my value as a woman is not defined by the state of my body, but the state of my heart!

So, I had to begin again.

And, however many times I have to start over, I will. Again and again, I HAVE TO. Because I have to show my girl that there is so much more that makes a person special than what their body looks like!!

And, for those of us who continue to get back up and keep trying, despite seeing the results we want to see immediately, and despite all of the doubts, fears and setbacks…KEEP GOING.

Push through, until it is magic again.

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Reining it in

I love that my hair is long enough to pull up into the perfect messy bun.  No strays or stragglers.

I love that I opened this window on my left side and a burst of warm summer wind hit me in the face like a pleasant surprise.

I love that my Pandora is playing all the songs I like so I don’t have to waste any skips.

I love that my dog always knows just when I need her to snuggle up against me and be my friend.

I love that my babies are running through my house having fun despite me yelling at them to knock it off.

I know I will miss their mess and noise someday and I only need a moment of intentional gratitude to sober me.

I love that when I stop and take notice, I am overwhelmed with things to say thank you for.

The hardest thing about being a realist is that you’re really only a pessimist in disguise.

To halt myself from traveling down the familiar gloomy tracks and force instead a stroll down a brighter path…

Well, I’m more comfortable sitting in the shade.

My disappointment hangs from my body,

heavy and always inconvenient.

Protecting me from pain but hard to ignore…and if I’m being honest it only makes it worse.

But I am told to be in the light as He is in the light…

and I was.

Spent the fullness of time feeling welcomed and alive.

Now here we are again, and back to being the last resort.

Wasn’t quite ready to come home to the norm.

I have amends to make and bridges to burn, like calories…and we all know how good I am at that.

Frames and galleries of words that crowd my heart, and the space is getting limited in these chambers.

Bolted with hardware and welded to my arteries.

This kind of blockage requires a skilled surgeon.

Blood pumping through paths I’ve carved out to survive.

A masterpiece.
A bypass of emotion.

Today is a new day that has been made for my gain,

taking a new route and a fresh way.

I will choose gratitude.

What other choice do I have?!

I love that I have mastered the art of coming full circle, even when it seems pointless.

I love that a deep breath and honest words can set my focus strait.

I love that I will turn off this computer and leave the tears behind and get back to living.

Excuse my ramblings today. I just needed to rein it in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New landscapes

There is much to be said about clutter and disorganization in your home having a direct correlation to your physical and mental health.  The internet is ripe with articles and testimonials about this phenomenon. Today, I was sitting in my backyard trying to have a clear and meditative moment when I decided that this was true.

My back yard looks like a desert wasteland.  You almost expect to see Mel Gibson dressed as Mad Max come walking around the corner of the house, covered with dust and scouring the land for supplies.  It’s embarrassing.   My husband and I joke about this to our friends but it is mostly to cover up the shame we both feel about having let it all go back there.  We have kids and a dog and Game of Thrones, obviously making yard work low on our priority list.  Its more like we warn people before they peek out the window.  We care about what our space and habitat looks like because it says a lot about who we are.  We are FAR from fancy but we try to make a good impression by sprucing and cleaning.  We want anyone who comes into our home to feel comfortable and welcome.  The success of Pinterest proves that we are a generation obsessed with cheap and easy DIY fixes for the home. We want to paint and spruce and decorate so that we feel “acceptable”.

It’s not that different from how we dress ourselves.   We primp and fuss with our hair and makeup, especially if we have somewhere special to be.  Clothes, shoes, bags and other accessories.  Women are known for paying attention to detail.  Lots of men are just as fussy about the way they look as us ladies are.  It’s just a necessary evil right?  We spend so much time showering, sugar scrubbing, shaving, lotioning and dressing.  Brushing, curling, straightening and spraying.  Blending, concealing, highlighting, and glossing.  Finally, we look in the mirror and survey if we are ready to leave the house.  Are we acceptable to be seen?  To step out in the marketplace and participate in life?   Even though these painted versions of ourselves aren’t truly who we are, they make us feel good enough about ourselves to go ahead and try.  We head out the door to conquer our day and the first time someone tells us we look nice we immediately say,”NOOOOOOOOOOOO.  No I don’t, I’m gross. But thank you.”  We mustn’t believe anyone when they actually compliment us, right?

If you busted your ass gutting out your back yard and pulling weeds and planting new sod you wouldn’t dismiss someone telling you how great it looked!  Why?!  Because you KNOW IT LOOKS GOOD GURRRL.  YOU WORKED HARD! It paid of and now you can take a deep breath, open a cold bottle of beer and enjoy.  Doesn’t that feel good?  To have gratitude for a nice space to sit and make memories in?  What in THE WORLD would happen if we treated our bodies the same way?  Like a sacred space, to enjoy sitting in and making memories with?

Looking around my yard and then my home I realized that in the same way I had kind of given up on my appearance because of not feeling good about myself…I had kind of done the same to my space.   Why has this evaded me?  Has there just been a massive point of no return?  Where I have given up caring about not only my body and how I can dress it…but it seems also my home and yard with it?

What would happen if I gave up fighting with myself this summer about how much I weigh, how I look or what im gonna wear and devoted all of that energy instead to rolling up my sleeves and cleaning up and fussing on this home that I have been graciously given?  What if my physical, emotional and spiritual self transformed in direct correlation to my feeling good about my living space as it had the other way around?

Am I crazy?

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Realology

 

 
The real me.

I don’t think you can handle the real me.I don’t think I can handle the real me, which is why I spend so much time and energy trying to dress, suppress and cover.

The real me keeps up with Kardashians and enjoys every ignorant drop of pop-culture, and  I know you do too…or they wouldn’t be rich. We all watch.  The real me has been known to set the DVR…don’t want to miss any rubbish.  The real me watches all the awards shows, red carpets and live coverage even though I pretend like I’m above it.

The real me sings “laa laa laa laa, wait till I get my money right” while I type this.  Because sometimes, the real me listens to some dirty, filthy rap and hip hop.

It’s poetry.

I love it.

Can’t help it.

I’m jealous of it.  Its art.

It is.

It’s real and raw and I can’t help but appreciate.

The real me has the mouth of a sailor. I try not to, but sometimes…you just gotta…I’m tired of pretending I don’t.

I have the sense of humor of 8 fraternity brothers.  Every damn lewd thing under the sun I think is hilarious and it’s probably extremely inappropriate.

The REAL me likes a good love scene in a movie. You won’t catch me blushing or turning away.  Bring it on, I’m not afraid.  My husband has no complaints.  He knows the real, real me and luckily he loves me anyway.

The real me thinks its funny.

SO funny!

The real me can take a joke and surely throw one your way.  The real me will likely make fun of you, it’s an unfortunate self survival technique.  Because making fun of myself is what has kept me alive.  It has saved me.  It’s what I know..so I also know how to apologize.  They go hand in hand.

The real me likes to get tipsy every now and then when my kids aren’t around.  Tie one on and have a silly good time.  Sing oldies at the top of my lungs and laugh at everything.  I like a margarita or a simple beer…which is a sin nowadays.  Everyone is a beer snob and expert.  Maybe I’m just insecure and lame because I feel like the fancy beer tastes terrible.  The real me won’t care because if she drinks enough (which is rare) she likes to smoke a cigar.  The really sweet and cheap ones from the gas station.  The real, deep down me wont feel gross, guilty or in trouble…because she has nothing to hide.  

 

The real me knows..that God already knows.  

 

He already knows the real me that sneaks leftovers from the fridge when everyone is asleep.  An extra scoop here, a bite there.  The real me that over eats to stuff down the urge to go ahead and just be the real me, and let it all hang out.  The real me that loses battles against pastries, bagels,calories and food journals.  Clean eating plans that fall short despite how hard I try or how firm my resolve.   So I try, but I want to have my cake and eat it too..and show no evidence of it.

Don’t we all?

The real me questions God and the bible and if this whole thing isn’t just a big scam.

The real me wonders if I’ve been brainwashed all along.

The real me knows I can’t say these things out loud because (gasp) what would everyone think?

Well, the real me doesn’t need your prayers.

God is always here for me, however that works.  The real me knows that God is real and loves, even the real and raw hidden me.

 

The real me needed your true friendship …you know the kind that you thought you had already given to me and then bailed on when you found out that I was TOO much?

The real me has few real friends.. you wouldn’t approve of.

We laugh at crazy stuff and talk about the dark things that crowd the soul with the practice of keeping them silent…but when they reach the light of day the power hold they had on me fall to the ground like a pile of rusty chains.

Hold on, there’s more.

The real me likes to be alone, but its hard to do things alone.

The real me wishes she could beg for help but she wont because shes prideful.  So,so, so prideful.

I’d rather die than ask you for help again.  Ever again.

The real me wishes I could say that to your face but I wont.  I know that deep down, the real me isn’t that polite.  The real me would shrug and keep walking because the real me doesn’t pretend like everythings fine. The real me is so damn tired of taking the fall.  So tired of taking the blame .  So tired of being responsible. So tired of being at fault.

But the real me cant say that out loud.  We must always keep up appearances.

 

The real me has secrets and regrets.

Darkness. Beyond what you could even imagine.

The real me has carried it a long time.

The real me is so sorry,  You wouldn’t believe how sorry! I could never express. It’s buried too deep.  But the real me is on her way to freedom.  Digging these old things up and letting them go.  So, let go and just let the real me hang on out there…good, bad and ugly, this is what it is.

We’ll see whose still standing here after.

We are all liars, thieves and pretenders.

What would be the harm if we just sat in our discomfort and exposed who really are and what we really feel?

So lets just get real.

Realology.

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Get a move on!

I just sat down at my computer and cranked up the music.

Subwoofer and all.

It feels so  good.  First song to pop up on my Pandora (Love’s Holiday/Earth, Wind & Fire Radio, if you’re feeling funky) is  Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T”.  Just what I need to light a fire under my ass this morning to literally dust this thing off and get down to business.  He  sings,” don’t you know now is the perfect time…” and he’s right, it is.

It has been way to long.

I have been avoiding my blog, my writing and generally all things I enjoy for sometime now.  I don’t know why I do that?   Must be a part of the weird and continual self-abuse that is my default when times get stressful.   I tend to fold up shop on all things productive and go back to the old way of thinking and managing my emotions when something sucky happens. And yes, sucky stuff has happened.  But I am still here.  My family is doing well.  I have a roof over my head.  All is well. Gratitude washes away all the weariness that has threatened to take over.

The good news is, the time between my old default setting and the fresh and ambitious setting that I prefer is getting shorter and shorter.  Thanks be to God!  My desire to THRIVE is greater than the desire to be feel sorry for myself.

One of my best friends reminded me of a great quote yesterday by the legendary Tony Robbins, “motion is emotion.”

Motion is emotion. 

Our body language and energy level is connected to what we think and feel about ourselves.  How we feel about ourselves dictates the quality of what we do day in and day out.  Even though I feel as though I have to learned this lesson over and over…here it is again today and I’ll be damned if a negative attitude hadn’t snuck in and tried to take over again.  Which is a shame because I have so much to tell you guys about the past few months.  I have gone (mostly) sugar-free.  I have started Pilates.   I began acupuncture to help with managing my foot pain and also to promote healing so that I can get to where I want to get with my fitness goals.  I have been enjoying some great accomplishments!  Even though I have a long way to go, I can”t afford to pull the plug and crawl back into my comfortable cave where everything dulls and comes to a screeching stop just because it seems too overwhelming.

You can’t make momentum out of nothing.  

So today I will GET UP.

GET A MOVE ON.

Maybe put on some Beyoncé and get my groove on.  I will not lie down and let poor and lazy thinking allow me to slip into fatigue and depression (again).  I think this is a danger for any of us moms who stay at home during the day (but that is a whole other blog post!).  If I am making the choice to sit and marinate in all of my negative feelings and fears, how can I ever expect any changes to occur or progress?  This was where I always seemed to fail before.  Throwing in the towel and resorting back to the same old thing before the new thing could take hold.   Putting a halt on all of the things that help me feel better and do better  is about the worst thing I can do.

I will WRITE.

I will post it.  Even if it sucks.  Because I know I should.  Because I know it helps me feel better.  Because I know it helps connect me to everyone else who reads these words and resonates with what I feel, and I know I’m not alone.   Because I know it is my art and my gift and if I want to get better at it, I need to quit worrying about who will read it and what they will think of it.

It’s the perfect time.

Especially now that Pharrell and Daft Punk are in my ear telling me it”s time “to get lucky”.

 

 

 

 

 

A few weeks ago…

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The following is a journal entry I wrote almost three weeks ago right before leaving for camp. I had been really struggling since my “sober” living had crashed and burned.
I had no intention of sharing this on my blog publicly, but I’ve been healing and learning such good things that in order to share in some of my joy you’d have to appreciate the depth of the REAL (gotta keep it real over here!) depression I was digging myself into:

I see myself in the reflection of my friends sunglasses and my heart sinks because it reminds me that I am much much bigger in real life than I think I am in my head.

Wow.
I really am THAT big?

The past few weeks have been the first time in my life I have felt different and actually fearful in public. People can be truly cruel and I am shocked sometimes by what people have the balls to say to my face. At least have the decency to laugh behind my back.
I am terrified of my upcoming camp and family reunion commitments but at this point I cant get out of either of them.

Timidness is an interesting feeling as an extrovert, not a feeling I have been accustomed to. It seems a new level of social anxiety has set in.
I feel paranoid constantly that someone’s cell phone is turning me into a fat person gif.

Gulping down (no pun intended) the harsh reality that the things I used to get away with as a “normal fat girl” (like squeezing into booths, behind steering wheels and movie theater seats) are becoming almost impossible as the obese (morbidly, technically) woman I have allowed myself to become. I am quickly running out of things I can get away with. It is so frustrating because each attempt at weight loss seems to only catapult me into a new level of miserable fat-ness. Gaining more weight and losing only hope.

Outings out with family are more and
more unpleasant because I know I am an embarrassment. We went strolling about for my sisters birthday a few days ago and I couldn’t wait to get back to the car.

That isn’t me!!

I grow more understanding of recluses who hide away in their homes with each jaunt out. I understand what motivates people to stow away inside dark rooms enjoying the relationships they’ve made with television characters because they are one sided and can’t look at you with condescending sympathy. People look, gawk and stare in real life. It’s much less awkward and painful just to stay home. My hubs thinks I’m paranoid…but he just doesn’t know the reality of the harassment I’ve encountered.
I’m glad he doesn’t.
It would be that much more shameful.

My bones are groaning for a change.

My time is running out before my
body starts to turn on me. The person I am on the inside is full of energy and life and doesn’t match this person I’ve become on the outside.

This isn’t me.

31 years old is too old to be tempting fate. My peeps need me.
My hearts desperate prayer is to put an end to this madness and be the version of me I am supposed to be.

So why do I continually find myself getting worse and worse?

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Healthy Hopes

“Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.” -George Weinberg

“Because now that it’s finally morning, the shadows are beginning to fade, the shadows that have been covering my mind and my soul. Now that they’re gone, I can almost start to see the way, and it’s different from the one they’d convinced me was all I could have.” -Vixen Phillips

The war I find myself in against my body continues.

I haven’t shared in awhile about my recovery process and to be honest it’s because I had given up hope for awhile. I find myself going back and fourth between two extremes. When I’m good, I’m really very good. When I’m bad…I’m bad all the way. Tis the way of an extremist. The spiritual revelation is that freedom lies somewhere in the middle and to arrive at the destination will require a surrender. So many times I feel I’ve arrived at that surrender point only to find that the surrender is constant. Daily. Even hourly.
I’ve dug up the bones of this…I know that my out of control eating is to maintain this sense of actually feeling in control. Which is the deadly trap.

Last weekend I spent some time with my cousins who are Buddhist. I had never really talked with a a Buddhist before and I found it fascinating that so many of the principles and disciplines that they strive to practice aren’t far from what I’m called to as a follower of Christ.
My favorite one being that of “The Beginners Mind”. I found this little excerpt that explains the correlation I felt beautifully:
“In Zen, beginner’s mind is the ideal state. It is a mind that has no preconceptions about the world, one that is open and eager to learn. Even someone who has studied Zen for many years tries to retain this attitude of receptivity. A beginner doesn’t have to unlearn anything. With no preconceptions, he or she can approach the world with the freshness of a child. Perhaps Jesus meant something similar when he said, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Lori Erickson , Belief Net

The concept is that whatever we approach we must try and do so as if it’s the very first time. There is joy in the moment to be found when you can look at each experience this way. But it requires discipline. It requires making up our mind and choosing not to look at things in the same old dead way.

It requires HOPE.

God willing, may it be so.

This was a poem I wrote this week while thinking and praying about where I’m at again with my twisted relationship to food. May I have a beginners mind today and not the mind of the expert of self-destruction that I’ve been so familiar with.

I am the buffer.
Buoyant with secrets.
Slave to my insulation.
Absorbing hits, dings and slices.
This has always been my way.
Daggers and knives.
Teeth, tongues, lips and lies.
Makes no difference.
They are no match against this armor.

Except that-
they consistently win.

It’s a lie.
A fable.
A cover.
I’m deceived.
It always has been,
and will be.
Unless I surrender my grip to be free.
Fighting to recover.
On repeat daily.

As if this casing is really safety?
As if I’m fully living lately?
As if my hearts convinced you don’t still hate me?
As if there is NO maybe?
Maybe would just be crazy.

This issue is just TOO weighty.
The outcome is too shaky…

So my grip gets tighter.
Writing is hyper.
The gap grows still wider.

Hope that today will be kinder.

The cold hard truth

Well I’ve been typing and deleting, back and fourth all morning. Unsatisfied with any of the blog post ideas I’ve been working on.
The truth is, as much as I search, I can’t seem to find any clever and insightful things to share with you today that feel right.

So, I’ll just go with raw honesty?
That always seems to work.

I’m not sure if it is because the novelty of my 30 day challenge has officially come to an end or what!? But the past two days have been EXTREMELY hard for me. As I write this, I am still technically “sober”. I have not strayed from my “in bounds” eating and am still practicing the lifestyle I adopted during my rehab. However, I feel like my addiction and the “panic” that comes with it
( I’ve shared about this feeling before, read about it here: The panic | Realology
https://mandimonblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/the-panic/ ) is starting to creep in. This gripping obsession with food, eating to soothe and the ugliness of this mind-prison is really NOW starting to show itself. Starting to goad me. Compelling me to give in. It scares me to death.

The adage of “one day at a time” has never been truer than it is for me now. I feel so much better, I know I don’t want to go back to the way I was feeling. I’ve lost about 20 pounds and while I know that is amazing, with SO much to lose, it barely seems to skim the surface. Still, it’s 20 pounds I DON’T want back on me.
So I will continue to turn this over to God, because I KNOW I don’t have to strength within me to resist my raging appetites that bid me to say, “f&$# this! I’m having a pizza!” just to relieve my mounting anxieties. It seems so stupid to be a slave to pizza and food, but it is so real.
I have to be kind and loving enough to myself right now to hold firm and stay this course. I deserve to be free and live the life God has for me.
It’s so much harder than you’d think, but the accountability of this blog truly helps.
Thanks ALL of you for your prayers and support.

Mommy dearest.

“Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.” (Ecclesiastes 7:9 NLT)

I hate it when someone says,” Hello” to my kids, and they respond flippantly or even ignore them. I know I’m not supposed to freak out, but it reflects back on me, and I feel it is embarrassing and rude. My kids are too old for that kind of behavior! I can’t help but think it disrespectful and how I would have gotten thumped for doing that as a kid. This trend with the “H” kids is beginning to ruffle my feathers.
It started my morning off wrong dudes!
I corrected my son, he rolled his eyes and acted like I was interrupting his morning.
I didn’t think I’d have to deal with aloof, teenage behavior until, well…my son was a teenager. ?
What ensued was something that sounded shockingly like my dad stomping around in his work boots. I’ll spare the details…but I made myself pretty clear as to how I expect him to show respect when people address him. I hate being a grown up sometimes. It’s more fun to spoil him and take him to the movies.

I remember being pregnant with him and daydreaming the whole time about baby toes and little onesies. Planning baby portraits and nursery decor. Blankets wrapping this warm little bundle, smelling like Dreft detergent and baby soft cheeks smelling of Johnson’s and Johnson’s…singing to and rocking my baby with the glow and confidence of a championed new mommy.
He arrived and much of that came true…but there was also the jaundice, throw up, scary fevers, the diapers, the horrid and painful breast-feeding, the crippling lack of sleep, and the sheer terror of trying just to keep him alive. I honestly remember thinking to myself when he turned 1 month old, “Wow! We kept him alive for a month!”
Ha! That sounds so grim. Eventually we got the hang of it. Sort of keeping the thought in the back of my mind that once we get out of this baby/toddler phase, things will get a little easier. The moments of pure joy are cemented in my mind and heart forever, and there are assuredly times I wish I could have them both be babies again for one quick second. But honestly, life with little ones is hectic and very demanding. We seasoned through our son and when my daughter came along, we forged through her babydom as well.

Now, we celebrate not having diaper changes to deal with or big bags to lug around everywhere we go. We are overjoyed to not have to have a stroller. We have been excited about being able to “sleep-in” on the weekends till 8:30 or so. Our children can clearly communicate their needs which eases a lot of stress. But this new phase also brings its own set of demands. Hectic-ness. Heartache. This time I won’t be naive enough to think it’ll get any easier. It seems I’ll never feel quite prepared and “ready” as a mother. I love them so much and the desire of my heart is just to be a good mom for them. I don’t want them to act like entitled brats! It’s such a hard-line to walk, giving them the world while also giving clear boundaries and expectations…this parenting thing is ROUGH sometimes. The diaper phase may have been the easiest part after all…

That being said, I had to make a choice this morning to turn myself around. I could have settled in very comfortably into bad mood for the rest of the day. That’s not fair to my kids OR me. I am realizing more and more about myself that the success of my day is directly related to how I choose to behave and conduct myself. How I choose to think and behave and treat those around me has to be filtered through love, not anger. Anger really does make you think and act foolishly, and it so EASILY ensnares us. I can’t allow myself the luxury of a being in a foul mood these days. I don’t want it to upset my “sober” living and give me an excuse to binge. I feel like I have to be extra mindful of my emotions, but shouldn’t we all be?
Lots of little annoying, disrespectful, lame things creep up on us all day, may we choose to shake them off and control them so they do not in turn, control us.

The panic

At this very moment I am scattered. My phone is nowhere to be found, the iPad charger has been compromised. The computer upstairs is refusing to cooperate. I feel panic and nakedness. Okay, okay, first world problem I know. But as I make due typing this on the kids kindle I find myself thankful for first off, deciding to get that iPad. Secondly, grateful that panic and anxiety cannot consume me, though sometimes it’s so intense it feels like it can.

The best way I have been able to describe my food addiction reality to my husband and inquiring loved ones is by calling it “the panic”. The inner hurricane of panic that I feel compels me to engage in my behavior…the eating then becomes the drug that calms and soothes. The panicked feeling coming from this repeated tape in my head saying that I have to seize this opportunity to eat! I need to eat it now in case I never have it again, so I actually better eat a lot, just to be sure. The leftovers that call to me just because they are there. The second plate of food that is acceptable to consume, so consume I must. The secret drive through trips just because I’m a grown up and I can. Soothing and numbing my way up the scale and into total misery. Every social gathering as an excuse for a last horrah. Every “deal” on a meal too good to pass up. Excuses and compromises all day. Surrendering to the “panic”.

Day two of my in home rehab/boot camp has me asking myself the question, “what if I don’t surrender to the panic? What if for once in my life I just go ahead and feel whatever it is I’m trying so hard not to feel? What if I just go ahead and throw up my hands and surrender my control. I’m not managing everything as well as I’ve tricked myself into believing. So, just for today, I will wave my white flag and admit that I am scattered, naked, panicked and broken. I am confident that the God who is big enough to hold the universe together in intricate detail can handle it. I have faith that I will not be consumed but rather be filled with peace and strength. I am BELIEVING this today.
Seeing this all typed out and ready to send out to the world to read feels stupid because it’s so intimate and revealing but I know that there are many others who can relate in one way or another. Talking about the hard stuff takes the power out if it.

Now, I HAVE to go find my phone!

Day 20 of 35!!! 😊✅✅✅ Today was a CRAZY day, so I had to fit a quick 20 min SOMETHING in this morning! Hey...a workout is a workout! 💪🏽💥🙌🏼🔥💜 #keepgoing #persist #35daysofgainz #notallworkoutareglorious

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