Super Powers and Force Fields

Dear person who walked by me today at the outdoor mall…while I was killing time with my kids before we went to see Captain Underpants, 

I wonder what it was you noticed first?

The mole on my face? 
Or was it how my fat rolls/skin hangs down low in my front now that I’ve lost a big chunk of weight? I jokingly call it my front-butt, but I am FULLY aware that it’s the first thing people see when they look at me.  
Were you offended that I had the audacity to be wearing leggings? 
I saw you look me up and down and lean in to whisper something to your girlfriend as we passed each other. Out of decades of practice, I quietly stopped, turned around and waited for a moment. Sure enough, she turned around to “see” whatever it was you must’ve pointed out about my appearance that was too good to miss, but she locked eyes with me instead.  She was so startled when she saw me waiting to catch her in the act, she didn’t even try to casually turn around. She knew she was busted, and picked up the pace to get away from me. 

 It’s my favorite thing to do now. Stop and stare you right back in the face.  

I turned and kept walking.  
Watching my two kids just steps ahead of me, trying to balance on the edge of the planters, being normal kids. Excited to be on an outing. Un-phased that any kind of micro-bummer-social-event had ever happened.  

I let the sting of it, roll over me and dissipate into the air like a vapor…as I’ve learned to do.  
But it happens. It happens constantly. 
ALL. THE. TIME.  

Anyone who is overweight KNOWS that this is real.  These tiny social stabs that happen constantly out in public.  The exact REASON we are terrified to join gyms…let alone be vulnerable enough to move around and excercise in front of anyone!!
 Despite loved ones insisting we are just paranoid, and no one is looking or whispering about you…they are.  
We know. 

Dear guy about 30 minutes later,  who tried to push his friend “Anthony” over a stair railing to bump into me “accidentally”.  

You were laughing and yelling, “this is Anthony! He’s single, can he have your number?” as I was playfully racing my kids, who had challenged me to run up to the top of the stairs. 

 “Anthony” scrambled to maneuver away from me as quickly as possible, obviously uncomfortable and embarrassed at his friends “light hearted joke”. He just looked at me sheepishly and said,” I’m so sorry!” 

This is actually a pretty common move with groups of dudes when I’m out in public without my husband, so sadly I’m used to ignoring it.  I actually ended up feeling bad for Anthony, who had the balls to face me and apologize, so I just nodded and kept running up the stairs to meet my babies who had already beaten me up there.  
“We beat you mom!!” they laughed triumphantly, while I stopped to catch my breath. “DANG IT!!” I yelled as I smiled big and high fived them both.  They didn’t see what happened, they were just having fun with their mom who can actually DO stuff like that with them now.  

But you and Anthony don’t know that.  

You don’t know who I am, or how far I’ve come.  

You have no concept of my accomplishments.  

You have zero understanding of my ability or power. 
SUPER. POWERS.

My FORCE FEILD of genuine confidence that I HAVE EARNED. 
It protects me.  It tells the TRUTH of who I really am.  I wear it like a belt.  

You have no clue that you cannot hurt me anymore with your judgments. 
You see, I have earned this loose, jiggly skin.
I have earned the right to wear leggings! 
I no longer freeze up with social anxiety, and try to make myself as invisible as humanly possible, to somehow take away the pain and shame of merely existing.

You have NO IDEA that my heart beats LOUDLY with pride and passion for this new life that I get to live! 

Today, I want to THANK YOU.  
Yes.

Thank you, man with nervous girlfriend and random guy with Anthony…
Thank you for reminding me (again!) what it feels like to be/look different in this culture we have.   May I NEVER forget the sting of it…and forget how scary and intimidating it can feel to try and step out into a world that will not easily allow you to love yourself. 
 

May I allow this feeling of strength inside me to ROAR greater than the snickers and whispers of idiots, so that I can continue to “blaze the trail” ahead of me so that others like me, can follow and find their superpowers too.  


When I hear the term ‘blaze a trail’ I tend to imagine someone forging ahead with a torch of burning fire and vigor, leaving a smoldering trail in their wake, which is AWESOME and gets me FIRED UP.  

However, I learned that is actually not what the original term meant when it was first “coined”.  

“A blaze is a notch or mark, like the blaze marks seen on horses’ faces. So, ‘to blaze a trail’ was to mark it out by notching trees so that others could follow. Trees are also often marked this way to single them out for felling. The use of blaze to mean the chipping off of a small piece of bark to mark a path or boundary is American in origin.” -The Phrase Finder 

Which means that while it does seem WAY more fun and valiant to talk of torches and smoldering fire blazes, super powers and epic force fields…the reality is that each time this happens, and it feels like someone has just come by and taken a chunk or chip from the bark of my heart, it is not in vain.

I have been marked. 

But it WILL mark a path for others to follow.  

That pain used to derail me for weeks…shake my confidence, send me into eating binges and spirals of self-doubt. 
 But not anymore.  
That pain is not wasted.  

That pain paves a way to the possibility that you can overcome ANYTHING.  

Please do NOT let the fear of pain or shame keep you from discovering who you truly are!!! 

People HAVE NO IDEA.

YOU will have no idea, unless you push through and find out.

 I didn’t. I’m still finding out every damn day.  

KEEP PUSHING.  

And to think I actually wanted to go see Wonder Woman instead of Captain Underpants?! I don’t think I need to. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜œ

Real Talk

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Realology is about keeping it REAL. I am reminded often about how important it is to keep the documentation of my journey as honest as possible. I am no phony. This is the real deal here. No filter. No fuss, no fluff. Just me, fighting through all these crazy feelings to get to the core of who I am and learn to love whoever that is in the process.

It seems every time I start to feel like I’ve figured this thing out and I’m on my way, I experience something that takes me down a notch or two. This game really is a mental “one-step-forward-two-steps-back” situation.

MENTAL being the key word. The confidence gained inside the gym can be swiftly snuffed out by an unflattering glance in the mirror or a picture taken of myself from a terrible angle. It can be crushing. I feel that old voice in the back of my mind saying,” See? Did you really think that this was happening? You haven’t changed at all.” And just like that, I’m at the bottom left to struggle to climb back up on the wagon and keep going or throw in the towel. That’s usually when I’ve turned to stuffing my face for comfort. Eating my way through all of those gross and painful feelings. Only (of course) to make things worse.

That emotional roller coaster is the hardest part of this whole journey. Choosing to fight against that urge is something I’m faced with, sometimes multiple times in a day, which if you’re a person who has dealt with binge eating like me, it can be an extremely hard behavior to change. Not allowing yourself to “use” your drug of choice which is food.

So, real talk and confession time? I have been struggling the past two weeks with clearly hitting my nutrition goals. I keep going over the boundaries that I’ve set for myself (not by much…but still) and it feels gross, like I’m being dishonest. I’ve been consistent with my workouts and consistent with logging on my fitness pal, but little by little I keep allowing myself a little leeway here and a little leeway there…and I don’t like it. If I were treating my “sobriety” with the seriousness that an alcoholic would, letting a little slip here or there would be unacceptable. I don’t want the old mentality and dependence on food to sneak back into my mind.

Training my mind is the hardest part!

So, I’m throwing it all out here publicly to hold myself accountable! In trying to achieve a balanced life, I know that I’m gonna have a piece of heavenly pineapple cake or something like it once a week, but I have to quit letting one cheat meal turn into 25 tiny compromises on the weekends! I want to walk by a mirror and not let it crush my day because I believe the TRUTH about who I am and NOT what that voice is telling me.

So today I’m deciding to fight this wall and not let it set me back. I am recommitting myself to my eating goals because I know that THAT is being good and loving to ME. Allowing cheats and binges is abusive to myself and not loving…even though enjoying pizza presents itself as “treating” yourself in the moment, it always leaves me feeling crappy!

So here’s to a Monday morning and fresh starts!!

Taking Inventory

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“Laziness casts into a deep sleep, And an idle man will suffer hunger.”
Proverbs 19:15

This is a scripture that I came across yesterday. It completely represents how far I’ve come spiritually on this journey.

I was constantly tired and constantly hungry. Constantly eating…but never satisfied. And sadly, deeply depressed. This was haunting to read, because it is hard to be honest with myself and admit that that was me.

Idle is a term which generally refers to a lack of motion or energy. I was an idle woman.

Self discipline is doing what needs to be done even when you don’t feel like it.

I’m still working on this virtue, but now I can honestly say that my days are filled with energy and motion!
I love it and I’m sad I waited so long to make this change. Every day I keep pushing forward and stay consistent is another day it all just becomes a normal part of my life.

And not just the gym grind, but also household work/chores and keeping commitments…being on time…being a woman of my word. Slowing down and being more intentional with my kids and following through. Planning ahead…making healthy meals. Even silly stuff like taking the actual time to do my makeup and hair on a more regular basis. I like that I’m becoming someone who takes care of her business. I like being someone who no longer wastes the time I’ve been blessed with.

The more self respect I gain, I am more comfortable shedding the tolerance for negative attitudes, vibes, relationships and habits in my life. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

I’m enjoying this snowball effect. As I continue to take care of myself, I am finding that I am taking care of all my “stuff” too. It feels amazing. 😍

Reblog: Water Weight

This was a post from last summer. I found that revisiting it this afternoon put a little bounce in my step and reminded me that big girls are allowed to enjoy summer too. Check out my point of view:

https://mandimonblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/water-weight/

Greatness awaits!

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My daughter stepped on the scale in my bathroom today while I was cleaning. It was a golden moment from the heavens that I almost missed by being distracted by my own thoughts and busyness.

She stepped on it and said,”Ok mama, let’s see how great I am!”

What.

The.

Heck.

My face still might be slightly numb.
Seriously.
Men may not get this post, but I know women will.

For many of us ladies, the scale represents so many vile things. It boasts the measurement of our worth (or so we’ve learned from somewhere) and it doesn’t lie, right? It can’t be tricked or cheated like the number that we’ve put on our drivers licenses. The scale will expose all of your secret rendezvous with the drive thru, the left overs and the chocolate chip cookies that you thought were safe from the public eye, late in the night.

For me, the scale has been an electric source of regular shame and resentment of myself. A constant pang of disappointment and a truly humiliating reality check of my life as a fat woman.

Not that I would need any help with that. There are plenty of places to look if you want to be “fat shamed”. The internet is riddled with people upset by the mere sight of fat people. How dare we wander into the light of day? How dare we try to dress in whatever might fit and try to run errands or go grocery shopping for our families? Obviously, obscene obese people in public have put themselves out there to be a public mockery, right? They deserve to have strangers secretly take their pictures and post them up on public forums to ridicule and judge them without mercy, right?

Even the “positive” and “motivating” messages and memes can sting a little. “Thinspiration” has become an actual thing. Pinterest boards are wrought with sayings like,” sweat is your fat crying” or “pain is fat crying”. “These burpees and push-ups will make your fat cry”.

Boo.

Why is it that I’m supposed to wanna make my fat cry?

Sounds weird.

Sounds like more hate.
I’m tired of all the hate!
And, I’m damn sure sick of crying!
Leave people alone!

Actually, I’d love for my fat to just politely excuse itself, apologize for lingering so long, and be on its way.
Put that on your Pinterest.

Yeah right!

I know it takes hard work and discipline to be healthy. I’m trying everyday to get there. It’s a long road, but health is my goal. I’m NOT one of these “fat acceptance” gals. I do not accept being unhealthy and miserable. I do not accept self loathing. I do not believe that anyone who is over weight (especially REALLY overweight like me) can be 100% happy with themselves.

Sorry.
I don’t buy that baloney for one second.

It hurts. It’s actually, physically uncomfortable and causes pain. It’s hard to move and do the things you want. It’s embarrassing. I don’t believe that fat is fabulous.
But, I’m beginning to believe you can be fabulous while being fat…and loving yourself regardless of what your struggling through, and that is what I am trying to learn.

That is why, what my daughter said today was so golden.

It’s not because the number on the scale should measure how “great” we are…the subtle lesson was in her innocent approach to the whole thing. She’s not yet learned what “the scale” even means or represents. She’s not yet poisoned by the beauty=worth lie.

She just knows that she’s great.

She is great!

And I pray with all of my heart and soul that that is how it stays for her. That she would see herself as great no matter what comes her way or what challenges she will have to struggle through.

And may it start with me…because I know she is watching.

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Why I am not a mommy blogger

I have resisted the term “mommy blogger”.

I kind of hate it.

Not that I have anything against “mommy bloggers”, I just don’t want to be labeled one. But then I have to ask myself why? Is it because I feel the term leaves so much out about who these women might be as human beings? Maybe, knowing all my inadequacies keeps me from feeling worthy to dub myself as such, implying some sort of expertise in the field…which I am far from?

Perhaps? Who knows.

It makes me sound like a jerk for insinuating that there might be more to a woman than just her being a “mommy”. (GASP!) Many of the faith based mommy blogs are so…well…sweet.
They are nice.
Lovely.
They are perfectly color coordinated. They are filled with triumphs as moms and tender accounts of motherhood. And it seems, all of them beaming with spiritual maturity. Some women find these inspirational, I find them to be more of bright gleaming light on my insufficiencies, stained carpets and frumpy clothes.
I am not well put together or polished. I have dirty dishes and unidentified smells going on around here. (My project after writing this post, lucky me.) No matter how hard I try, I am not organized or scheduled. I sometimes long to be. This could very well be my aversion to the “mommy blog” world. That perfectly cleaned, frosted and accessorized realm of the Internet that bids the “mommy” to come on in and have a cup of coffee while we swap some tips on how to be awesome?

I’m just not invited to that party.
I’d have nothing to wear.
My attempts at making hand made invitations to perfectly themed birthday parties to impress my friends lasted about 2 1/2 years or so…my poor second child will never know of these sorts of grand affairs and she is perfectly content with her Walmart birthday cakes, thank you very much.
My scrapbooks? Don’t even ask.

The truth is I am a mommy and I also am (for whatever its worth) a blogger.

I have talked very openly here about my battle with food addiction/recovery and self esteem. Sharing this process of learning how to genuinely love myself and be kind to myself. (Still working on that one!) I’ve grappled with beauty and body issues. And YES, I’ve confessed much about my efforts as a mommy and a wife.
But also as a sister, friend and daughter.
I want evaluate my life for REALS and look upon my friendships and relationships in a real way. In hopes of growth.
Not just because I am a mom, but because I am a human being trying to get it right with this one life I get to live.

Throughout all of this I’ve been constantly examining my faith. Steadily combing out all of these different layers of my life with fine toothed bristles of honesty, especially where my faith is concerned. If there is anything I can say about myself, it is that I DO NOT want to be a phony. This might put some people off…but this is REALOLOGY, so we gotsta keep it real.

I was set free recently and resonated with Rachel Held Evans when she wrote in her book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, β€œAs a Christian, my highest calling is not motherhood; my highest calling is to follow Christ.”

Wow. Stop.

That’s all I really need to hear to get me through the rest of this day. What a wonderful reminder that despite all of the different denominations and camps…controversies, interpretations and commentaries and yes, even bloggers, there is but one thing I am called to as a woman of faith…

Jesus replied, β€œβ€˜You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: β€˜Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
(Matthew 22:37-39 NLT)

Love God.
Love people.
Love myself.

Okie dokie.

>>New adventure<<

&andshelivedhappilyeverafter

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