Wednesday, October 30, 2013

We CAN do it!!!

So it has been a little while since I posted last, but I am doing great. I signed up for the gym last week like I said that I was going to. I ended up going that next day and I worked out too! (Man, this accountability thing can be tough but it works!)

I went to the gym three days last week, and so far, I have been three days this week. I am planning to round out the week by going tomorrow and Friday. I am a realist and I know that I probably won't go every day of every week, but I am enjoying it right now so I'm gonna keep the momentum going. In addition, two of the girls at work signed up with a possible third joining this week. That has been a great motivator and a lot of fun. It is always nice to have accountability partners.Thanks Ash, Melissa and Chris!!!!

This week we decided to try out a couple of classes. They have been interesting. It is kind of fun to switch it up and see what the different options are like. Monday was Zumba Gold. Basically, that is Zumba for senior citizens. (No offense, it really is! lol) It is a much slower pace and easier movements. Ashley went with me and we figured that was a good place for us to start since neither of us had done a Zumba class before. It was okay, but we definitely didn't feel like we had gotten much of a workout. (We actually spent the last ten minutes of our lunch on the ellipticals to get some hardcore in.) Tuesday, Ashley worked out on her own and I tried the regular Zumba class. It was a little better but still not what I was looking for. I want a little faster pace and to really feel like I am "shaking my tail feathers". (I used to be pretty good at that back in the day. lol)

Today, Melissa, Ashley and I tried out a Body Bar class. Basically you have a set of weighted bars and you push your body to the limit with repetitive lifts and movements. It was intense to say the least. We were all sweating and shaking by the end, but there was a lot of laughing too. Needless to say, we ALL felt like we got our workout in today. I don't know that I will be able to move tomorrow! I liked it though. I think down the road it will be a good class for me. I need to get to a higher fitness level before I will really enjoy it. There weren't many "larger" people in the class and probably for good reason. lol I have to be careful with my knee though. There were a couple of things that I either couldn't do or had trouble doing so I had to modify. Sucks getting old!

 (This WILL be me one day!)

So, all of that and walking every night on top of it, and where do I stand on the scale you say? Let's just say that we are having a love/hate relationship right now. All of that work and it hasn't budged...not one single pound! Stinks but I am okay with it. I know that it takes awhile to get on track. Right now, my body is adjusting. My metabolism is changing. And I am breaking down muscles to build them back up. It's okay that the same number is on the scale because I know that it is only a number and in a week or two (or however long it takes), that number will start to go down. Right now, I am focusing on the fact that I feel better. I am doing something about the problem, making positive steps in the right direction and I am moving my body. That is a whole lot more than I was doing before so I am proud of the effort that I have been making. Hopefully in a week or two, it will just become habit and the results will start showing up.

So, what did you do today??? And if you didn't do anything, that's okay! Let's make a commitment to start tomorrow. We CAN do this!!! All it takes is one little step to get yourself moving.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Accountability - Part 2

So, here we go with the accountability again. Didn't work so well for me the last time (well, I guess it did until I quit posting, lol) so let's see how it goes this time. I am hoping to continue blogging regularly so I guess I need to come up with a schedule. Most blogs that I read have specific topics for the days of the week like MILF Mondays, Throwback Thursdays, Freaky Fridays... I think I am going to need to incorporate that so that I can stay on track.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand, last week I made the decision that I was going to get back on the weight loss wagon. I started out at 205 about this same time last year and then I joined the Lunchtime Losers program at work. Through that program, I lost a little over 20 pounds in 10 weeks. I think that my lowest weight was 183.2. I wasn't doing too bad until a couple of months ago even though I had slacked off with the diet and exercise. I wasn't losing anything but I was maintaining about 185 which was an improvement from the 205. (Pretty good considering I was eating my Momma's cooking every night!)

Well, I stopped weighing myself about that time as well. I can't say that I was shocked last week to get on the scale and see 192. Disappointed in myself, yes. But definitely not shocked. I felt it in the weight that I was carrying around and could definitely tell it in my clothes. 190 was a number that, at one point, I swore I would never see again. That was pretty much the kick in the pants that I needed to get back on track.

It started out okay. I watched what I ate for a few days. I tracked my calories on the MyFitnessPal app and I tried to make better food choices. I ate salad a couple of days for lunch and took yogurt and cheese sticks for snacks. I even did two nights of Jillian Michael's workouts which made me want to die! lol I increased my steps a little each day and felt like I was doing something productive. I managed to lose a couple of pounds in the process but then after a string of bad days, I just gave up.

I'm changing all of that starting tomorrow. I am not a quitter, and I am not going to let my weight define me for another day. I am better than that. I am more than that. Tomorrow I am getting back on track...again. And I will continue to get back on track for as many times as it takes. My ultimate goal is to be 150 so that means I have 40 more pounds to lose. It is a lot and if I am completely honest, it is extremely daunting. But I know that I have it in me to do this. I want to feel better about myself. I want to be able to do more things with my kids. I want to walk the stairs at work without getting winded!

Weight loss is hard. It takes work and determination and dedication, but it is possible. Tomorrow I am going to sign up at the gym at work. I have already proven that I can't do it on my own time. There is no possible way that I can do it in the morning. I already get up at 4:30. By the time I get home in the evening and get dinner (most often, thanks to Mom), homework, showers and kids in the bed, I am pretty much done myself. There is no motivation to do anything but go to bed. So...that leaves lunch time. It worked out well for the Lunchtime Losers program so here's to hoping that I can make it work for workouts. They have several lunch time class offerings and every kind of equipment imaginable. I am excited and a little bit nervous. lol

I hope that you will join me on this journey and follow along. There is going to be good, bad and probably a lot of extremely ugly. I know that I will need to be accountable though to keep myself in line. And, hopefully, though it all, I will be an inspiration to someone else on their journey to healthiness. Thanks for reading and supporting me. I truly have the best friends and family around and can't wait to get started!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happy Anniversary

So today is my 13th Anniversary. It's hard to believe that 13 years ago I was standing in my parents yard under the arbor that my Dad made just for my special day. I was marrying my best friend, the one that was supposed to cherish me and love me forever. The one who promised to love me, forsaking all others. I pledged my life to him with the words that I had written straight from my heart. In fact, I wrote the whole ceremony, tailoring it specifically to us and the life that we were supposed to be building together.

We were so young. I didn't realize at the time that things weren't exactly as they seemed. I guess maybe I did, but naively I thought that I could change him. I was supposed to be the "special one". The one that he had never gotten over, the one that had gotten away, the one that he could finally be happy with. Boy, the lies that we tell ourselves when we are young!
Over the last 13 years, I have come to realize that we are not the keepers of other people's souls. We cannot make the important choices for them or compel them to do the right thing. We certainly cannot make them love us. It took a lot of growing up and soul searching, but I don't think I could have done anything more than I did. You just can't change human nature. You cant make someone be someone that they are not, and you certainly can't force them to stay where they don't want to be. It is a losing battle for all involved.

All of that being said, I don't regret that day 13 years ago. We had a good run. We created three beautiful children that definitely got the best of both of us. I see him in them every single day and honestly, I wouldn't change that. They were meant to be the people that they are becoming, and we were meant to be their parents.Without that day under the roses, I wouldn't be a Mom and I also wouldn't be the strong, capable woman that I am today.

I can't quite thank him just yet because the hurt and the pain are still too fresh, but I won't regret the time that we shared. I have found forgiveness and through that am finding grace. Even if it didn't last and we are moving into the final stages of our divorce, he will always be a part of my past. He gave me three amazing blessings and for that I am grateful. As much as I am ready for the next chapter, I still feel a little sad tonight about closing the book. Only natural, I guess.

So, Happy Anniversary to me. Hopefully the very last one of it's kind.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rough Day

I am emotionally exhausted. Today was so hard. I went to the memorial service of a dear friend's wife. I didn't know Kandy well but Ben is a former boss and a mentor. He was like family and I knew that today would be rough but I don't think I realized how rough. 

First of all, I don't generally do funerals. I just don't like them. I have gone to only a handful in my life and most were family. I don't want one for myself either. When I go, I just want a simple pine box and a hole in the ground. I don't want the flowers and fanfare and hooplah. Not that there is anything at all wrong with that but it's just not me. I understand the need to celebrate a person's life and completely respect that but it's not my preference. 

Today's service was a memorial service and it was beautiful. Kandy was loved and admired by so many. It was so hard to look at the pictures of her and Ben and the family and to imagine what they are going through right now. All three sons and Ben spoke and it just tore my heart out. I honestly don't know how they did it but what a testament to how much she was loved. She had just become a Grandma five weeks ago and I know that meant the world to her even though she didn't get to really enjoy it very long. 

Everyone who spoke talked about her love and compassion and her faith. She knew that God had a plan for her and she trusted that plan. She is no longer suffering and no longer in pain. Her faith and trust in The Lord shine to all as a great example of what it means to believe with your whole heart and to have a relationship with the Father. I know that Ben and family find comfort in the fact that they will be reunited one day on the Streets of Gold. 

I am so amazed with how they are coping. I don't know that I would be able to do that. I certainly wouldn't be able to speak. I am praying hard for comfort and a measure of peace for all of them tonight. 

Kiss your loved ones and take advantage of the time you have been given because tomorrow isn't promised. Make sure that they know today how much they mean to you and don't leave things unsaid. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

C'est La Vie

Wow, so obviously my vow to post more often seemingly went by the wayside. It is hard to believe that it has been almost 10 months since I posted last. So many things have changed and yet still so far away from the ultimate goal. One day at a time...

To begin with, we did move out of the trailer finally. We got the house right across the street from Mom and Dad and it has been a Godsend. No more daycare. The kids can play in the yard, ride bikes, have friends. Mom and Dad are always there when I need a hand. I don't know what I would have done without them through all of this. They have truly been one of our biggest blessings. I couldn't manage otherwise.

Still circling the skies in the "SC Holding Pattern". Who knows when that will ever be resolved. We hit the one year mark back in August and are still no closer to being final. I was hoping that it would be over this year so we could all have a fresh start in 2014 but that isn't going to happen. I was pretty depressed about it for awhile but I have decided that what will be, will be. No use worrying over it because I can't change it. Our 13 year anniversary is next week. Man, seems like a lifetime ago. I can't regret it though because I have my kids and I wouldn't change that for the world.

The kids are all doing well. The two little ones had to change schools and leave all their friends which was really hard. They seem to be adjusting well though so that is good. Peyton is in second grade now and Brayden is in fourth. Skylar is in seventh and man, I don't know what to do with her sometimes. The preteen, hormonal girl angst is in full effect. She has made a new bff though which is great because I have worried about her not having any friends. Allie is the daughter of one of my old friends from high school and a really sweet girl. They are like two peas in a pod and they remind me a lot of me and Laura. I only hope that their friendship will last as long and be as strong as ours has been.

As for me, I have kind of been in a holding pattern myself. I lost 20 pounds at the end of last year and then I don't know what happened. I just gave up. I didn't gain it all back (only 5lbs) but I also haven't lost any more and I stopped doing things. I stopped dressing for me, I started eating everything and was really unhappy with myself. After an interesting weekend this past weekend, I made a few promises to myself. I was going to start working out again and eating better. (I AM going to lose that last 40 pounds!) I vowed to be more conscious of my appearance and not walk out of the house feeling less than the beautiful woman that I am. I have done pretty well so far. I am on Day 2 of my new workouts. (Jillian Michaels is a witch with a capital B, BTW!) And I have made a conscious effort when picking out my clothes to be more upbeat and stylish. I even bought some new makeup and hair products...

So, anyway, that is life as we know it today. A friend of mine asked me today about my blog and I figured it was about time to get back to it. Apparently, I am an inspiration to some people...who knew? lol I was quite flattered and really am going to try to get on here more often and update on my/our progress. I will share my weight loss struggle, the realities of raising kids, how I maintain my faith and hopefully in the near future some funny experiences from the crazy world of dating...that is if I ever have one! :-( Life as a Golden Girl is seriously looking better and better. I can't decide if I want to be Blanche or Sophia. What do you think???

Monday, February 25, 2013

Half Way Point

Wow, it's hard to believe that it has been 6 months already. 7, really, if you count the month that we were separated before he moved out but 6 months since the actual "legal separation" began. That means that I only have 6 more months to go. August 21st is the date that I can finally file for divorce. I can do this. I know I can.

It has been a half a year of ups and downs but we are making it through.The kids are doing okay, and we have settled into our routine. I am hanging on as well. I am just ready for it to be over with so that I can really move on with my life. I feel like I have wasted so much time already. It's time to get out and rediscover who I am. I tell people all the time that we are in the "South Carolina One Year Holding Pattern". It sucks but I guess it's what we have to do. There are not any other options.

Right now, I am looking for a place to move to because he wants to sell the trailer. I want to stay in Moncks Corner for the kids' sakes but it is hard to find a place that we can afford. All the houses are like $1200 or more for rent and I just don't think that I can swing that. It is stressful because I just don't know what I am going to do. I would love to be out in Pimlico to be near Mom and Dad but the options are limited. If we do find a place, then I might have to get a second job or one on the weekends and I just can't imagine how that would work.

Not much more to report right now. I have been working on some artwork but nothing that is ready to share. My birthday is this week. I can't believe that I will be turning 39. It doesn't seem like I should be that close to 40. I certainly don't feel it. lol Time just keeps flying by. The kids will be grown and gone before I know it.

Well, anyway, I have been up since 3am and unable to sleep so I just wanted to give a quick update on how things were going. I know that I need to get back to sharing on the blog and I am going to. Sitting down this week to develop a course of action. I need to put a schedule together and prioritize activities. Look for more posts soon.

Laters, Baby


Monday, January 14, 2013

Living the Creative Life 2013

So, 2013 has begun and like everyone, I made New Years Resolutions. Not resolutions so much as what one person described as "intentions". I have a list of things that I "intend" to do in 2013 and you will be hearing much more about them in the weeks to come.
In the art community, there is also this thing known as your "One Word". You pick one word to define what you are seeking or hope to achieve in the year. One word to guide you along the path and give you direction. I have a list of words so far that I am narrowing down. I haven't found the "ONE" yet that just speaks to me. When I do, I intend to blog that as well so stay tuned my friends.
Today's focus is "Living the Creative Life". One of my first "intentions" is to put more time and effort into pursuing my creative side. I want to get better and develop my artistic skills. Mom and I are taking one of the coolest classes called LifeBook 2013 and I am hoping to take some other courses as well. My goal is to do something creative everyday. So far I have done a couple of art journal pages that you can see below.

This is my first fairy art-mother. For the class we are taking, the first assignment was to draw a fairy art-mother who would be your guide in the journey. She would give you pep talks and get rid of all the negative thoughts about your art. Because we hadn't gotten in the class yet, I didn't have a chance to watch the video but I felt inspired to do it anyway just from the pictures that I was seeing in the FB group. So, in the spirit of 2013, I JUST DID IT! I think this is probably the first time that I have ever sat down to create something strictly on my own with no point of reference or directions to follow. For that reason alone, I just love her.
This second fairy art-mother is based on the course video. She is totally out of my box with the strange colors and the kind of whimsical feel to her. I am hoping that as the course goes on, I will get more comfortable with different styles and incorporate more of them in my work. There are things that I would like to change about her but I am just letting it go. I am not as happy with her. I ignored the lesson that she was trying to tell me and I listened to outside influences (even though they were well-meaning) that led me to go back and make changes that I really didn't want to make. Going forward, I hope that I take that lesson to heart and listen to my own inner voice.
I think I had the most fun with this one. Back in December, I found a wonderful artist named Sandra van der Geest who works in a collage-y type, mixed media style. This was definitely way out of any box that I ever conceived for myself but I just fell in love with the quirky-ness of it and how the process all came together. After watching several of her videos, this was my take on it. I just love Pink and was immediately drawn to her pic in one of my magazines. The broken heart and the lyrics just seemed fitting at the time. Art journaling can be a way to work through pain and begin the healing process. I think this page is going to be an amazing part of the process. It really got me excited about creating again.

And last but not least, I created this page yesterday while I was sitting at the park watching the kids play. This is the quote that inspired this blog and I have had this vision in my head ever since I read it. I just wasn't sure that I could translate it to paper. Again, new year, new me...JUST DO IT! I had a lot of fun playing with my new Neocolor watercolor crayons. I think that I still prefer my acrylics but it is fun to branch out every now and again.
I hope that you all are having a fabulous 2013 so far. Do something creative everyday. Do something for yourself. Enjoy life and the process. That is what it is all about.

Friday, January 11, 2013

December Recap

Well, I took a blogging hiatus. We'll say it was for the holidays...yeah, thats the ticket! lol So, since it has been awhile, I figured that I would do a December recap before starting off 2013. The holidays were good. It was an adjustment for everybody but we made it through with minimal drama. Everybody played nice. lol

This was our annual picture in front of the Christmas tree at the Festival of Lights. We go every year and take this same picture. It's really neat to see how much the kids have grown...and of course my ever changing hair styles/colors. One day the kids are going to look back and be worried about who the strange lady is in the picture. lol

This was also the year of the handmade Christmas. I crocheted these owl/Angry Bird hats for the kids, learned how to knit  ruffled scarves and even created a Scrabble tile art piece for Mom.

Thank goodness for Mom and Dad because they helped the kids make these wonderful gifts for me. They were so proud and I will treasure them always. Skylar's owl is just too cute with the three little baby owls on top of my trophy. Brayden made me the Auburn earrings because he knows where my heart is. And Peyton's hand print on the ornament made the cutest little snowmen.
Skylar performed in her very first play in December and was fabulous. She was definitely born to act and gets that from her father. We surprised her with flowers after the show and she lit it up the room. Her valley girl/prep was spot on with the eye rolls and finger snapping. 
Brayden put together his very first Lego set all by himself and followed the directions. Took him about 3 hours but he was so proud. I was amazed!
 And Peyton discovered her inner artist. She has been watching all of my creativity lately and has been very curious. Water colors are a favorite and she got sets for both our house and Grandma's house for Christmas. Look out will be paying money for these one day!
We had a little excitement at our house the day before Christmas Eve. The kids went to play outside (Okay, they were driving me crazy in the house so I banished them to the outside!) and decided that it would be fun to decorate each others faces (Well, for Skylar to decorate their faces). The problem is that this isn't washable is SHARPIE PERMANENT marker! I was so furious with them that I immediately drug them in the house and threw them in the shower after a few choice words, of course. lol But, in the midst of the chaos, being the photographer and the scrapper that I am, I had to capture the moment for posterity (and future blackmail!) Can you tell by the sheepish look who the very guilty party is?
New Year's Eve was spent with these beautiful ladies watching Clemson win their bowl game and ringing in the New Year. It was so much fun and we ended up closing the club down after dancing the night away. I love these girls and can't wait to spend 2013 with them causing a little bit of trouble and having a whole lot of fun!
And last but not least, here is my accountability portion of the recap. Not too bad because I didn't gain over the holidays which is amazing in itself. I tried to watch what I was eating and kept my portions small. I lost a little bit but I have to get back on the wagon now that it is January and start losing again. Goal is 10 pounds by my birthday which is March 1st. Bought two more Jillian Michaels DVD's for Christmas so she is going to whip me into shape!!!
Here is the before picture and I can't wait to add the after by the end of the year. I am not totally unhappy with this because I have lost 20lbs but I have a long way to go still. Eyes on the prize and hopefully it will be a brand new me by 2014!