the Day. 

*This was scheduled to post June 18, 2014. Needless to say that I NEVER posted it.*

Father’s Day just passed and it made me really, really sad. Why? Because I’m still hurting. All these years later.  I sort of feel that I don’t have a dad to celebrate because of well… you know…issues.

I texted my little sister telling her that Father’s Day makes me sad because you hear all of these people telling all of these wonderful, heartwarming stories about their dad and I’m just there like, “…[queue chirping crickets]”   So, in reality, Father’s Day make me jealous of the experiences that other people had and have) with their super awesome dads.  (Man, I am just on a super honest roll here lately…)

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I wear my crown like a boss.

I wear my crown like a boss.

I saw this photo while on a social network and I just had to share. It reminds me of my friends. All of whom are strong beyond belief. All of us have overcome (and are in the process of overcoming) various struggles that we weren’t certain we would make it through. At the time there may not have looked to be any hope. But, all of those tough things have made us into the beautiful, brave, witty, uncommonly wise people we are today.

If we wish to change the past, we must remember that we wouldn’t be who we are today had we not gone through the things that we went through. It was all for a reason…for our testimony. Through the telling of our story- the choices we’ve made, the choices that have been made for us, and the choices of others- our trials, struggles, triumphs can be used to uplift another person.

Look around. People are struggling every day and they feel alone. They feel like no one knows their pain. Don’t keep your testimony a secret. Share it! You will bring hope to a person who feels alone. This may be a person who looks as though they’ve got it all together. Don’t be fooled. We all have issues. Some of us just have more issues than others which means we will have a more robust testimony to tell. Share your story and reassure yourself that your story, your pain and your triumphs were not (and are not) in vain.

Not impressed.

I’m one of those people who thinks, “If I don’t post it on Insta, Twitter, FB, etc. then it didn’t really happen.”  The “it” is exercise.  I post just about every run on social media.  And every time I practice yoga.  And every time I do ANYTHING fitness related.  It’s just what I do.  I just want everyone to know that I’m exercising.  I do it partially for accountability and partially for the glory…

impress

Yep.  I said that.  For the glory.  I didn’t realize about the glory part until today.  Crazy but it’s true.  I saw a picture on Insta and it strung a chord in my heart.  My friend, Liel, always talks about examining our hearts for our ambitions in life.   Am I exercising to get fit?  Or to look good for Wes?  Or to gain some other external satisfaction?  What is the point of it all?

 

When I first began exercising, it was to prove to myself that I can do whatever I put my mind to.  I can run if I think I can (and if I practice).  I can do yoga if I think I can (and if I really, really, really practice and then practice some more). But it’s not really about whether or not I think I can; it’s more about being empowered by God to get my butt MOVING!  I cannot let my pace or time or distance become an idol in my life.  I can’t let fitness become an idol in my life either (although I’m not quite sure how I’ll know that I’ve put it on an altar).  Like in Jimmy Needham’s song, “Anything I put before my God is an idol/ Anything I want with all my heart is an idol/ Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol/ Anything that I give all my love is an idol…”

I don’t want exercise and running and fitness to be an idol in my life.  Because of this, I am no longer going to post my pace for my runs and walks.  Who am I trying to impress?  Who should I be trying to impress?  No one.  I may write my times down if I do something extraordinary that I didn’t think I could do but as a general rule, I will no longer post the pace.  Why?  We are all in a different starting place and a different point in our regimens.  I don’t want my friends comparing themselves to me to make themselves feel worse (or better) about where they are in their fitness life.  Let’s just cheer each other on no matter how fast or slow.  No matter how many miles travelled.

And that’s just what I will do.

sam

Pump the brakes.

So I made all of these goals for 2013. When I did this, I had no idea that I would begin the year at a full downhill sprint. Not downhill because it’s been “bad” but downhill because I’m just running. Arms flailing. Attempting to catch my breath. That kind of downhill.

I started this new lifestyle that consists of eating whole foods (nothing processed) for 30 days (as a jump start). This was hard for me. Re-programming my brain to not crave sugar and other crappy foods got a little hairy for a little this month. But, as an accountability factor, I have been uploading pictures of my food (on most days) to Instagram and Facebook. I thought that I was crazy to try something like this but this (along with the whole running thing) was another of my friend Jen’s great ideas. “Hey, you like challenges. What do think about this one? It starts in five days.” And the rest is history.

I celebrated my myfitnesspal anniversary by running 5.19 miles in 52:16 minutes! My goal was to run for 36.5 minutes (get it?) without stopping.

mfpanniversary

I completely surprised myself by doing that. Last year, when I went for a walk with Dee, she told me that the following year I’d probably be running. I told her that she was crazy. Look at me now. Eating my words.

Also, I also realized that if I changed a few things around, I would be able to graduate a whole semester early from graduate school. So, I signed up for the courses that I needed to take and am on the path to graduating December 2013.

I said all of the above to say this. My achievable goals for 2013 may not be that achievable. I need to modify them. Dave Ramsey said that there are some things that are needed to make goals achievable but he gave a list of things that you SHOULDN’T DO:

  • Be as general as possible.
  • Don’t worry about gauging success.
  • Time limit, schmime limit.
  • Be sure you’re making others happy.
  • Don’t bother to write anything down.

I think I had my heart in the right place but some of my goals were a little too specific (is that even possible???) So here’s my modified list:

  1. Run/walk/jog 365 miles this year (this may be pretty easy to do considering goal #2).
  2. Complete the Tucson Half-Marathon (running/jogging the whole way).
  3. Complete no less than five AT LEAST ONE Bible study in YouVersion (finish SheReadsTruth: Colossians, Debt: A Biblical Exploration, ReThink Life: 40 Day Devotional—that’s three).
  4. Blog once a week MONTH (no matter how much or how little I have to say).
  5. Have a completely vegetarian eating day once a week EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE.
  6. Read at least two A book completely for fun (they may be related to work or school but they must be books that I choose completely of my own volition). I can complete this task by reading before bed each night.
  7. Log every morsel of food I consume on MyFitnessPal (no matter how crappy I’ve eaten on any given day). Paleo and Whole30 doesn’t require food logging (I’ll play this one by ear).
  8. Take the pups, Curious George and Nala, on a walks MORE OFTEN of no less than one mile twice a week (these miles can be included in the 365 mile yearly goal).
  9. When a person comes to mind, send them a text or email or Facebook message to check on them. I made this a goal for last year but, well…
  10. Clean out my closet getting rid of all of the shoes and clothes that haven’t worn in recent history (try that trick with the hangers, facing them all in one direction on laundry day and then facing them the opposite way when I put them back in the closet. The ones that are still facing the original way are “tossed.”)
  11. Stick to my weekly cleaning schedule STRAIGHTEN UP THE HOUSE MORE OFTEN. CLEAN UP AFTER MYSELF MORE OFTEN. (No matter how busy I get. I can think better when the house is clean anyway… no matter how much I try to convince myself otherwise)…rotating days with Wes, of course.
  12. Make Christmas gifts for at least a third of the SOME OF THE people on my Christmas gift giving list.
  13. Not sure for this one… Oh, I got it. I saw this idea on Pinterest for you to put a note in a jar every day MOST DAYS with something good that has happened that day. I’ve decided to do this project (and Wes is doing it with me). On December 31, we’ll read through all of the wonderful things that happened in 2013. I already have the big jar, I just need the follow through.
  14. Not sure to work this in to the 13 but, I also want to train myself to enjoy black coffee (thanks for the nudge, Dee). To accomplish this, I will use less creamer in my coffee and purchase the lighter roasts at the store.

A little modified but I think I can accomplish these. I’m gonna leave this open so that I can modify as needed. This is not a cop out. This is me realizing that I may have stretched myself too thin with all my goal making. As my sis in ❤, Dawn, says, “be spirit led; not driven.” I want to make improvements but I don’t want to kill myself in the process.

sam

Serial quitter.

fbstatus
I wrote the above note in a fb conversation with my older sister before I realized how profound it was (yes, I’m patting myself on the back). I did. I used to quit EVERYTHING: relationships (the very few that I had), college (over and over and over again), work, easy work, hard work, New Year’s resolutions (yep, I decided they were useless and “resolved” not to waste anymore time setting myself up for failure). I was good at it, too. I would see myself getting close to a goal and then instead of running toward it, I would put on the brakes, then reverse: sprinting in the other direction (and that was BEFORE I started to like running).

It’s hard to imagine that girl now. But, she’s still there. Inside. She’s comes out every once in a while and then I have to shut her up by reminding her that: 1.) I am capable. 2.) I am not the loser that she tells me that I am. 3.) I can do ALL things through Christ… He is much, much bigger than any deficiency that she sees in me. 4.) I’ve set lots of little, accomplishable goals and have had success in completing them (how many times do I have to mention that I actually graduated college–she was in my head a lot during those years. Like a lot. A lot).

These things prove that I am no longer a serial quitter. No matter what she thinks. Or maybe…

GiveupGivingUp

…I am still a quitter. I am my biggest obstacle. My brain and my heart battle it out constantly (this is where my stubbornness is NOT handy. It’s actually kind of frustrating sometimes). I really have given up giving up on myself. I think. Or at least, I’m working really hard in that area. The little goals I make are all (and always) pieces of a larger goal (even when I don’t really realize it). But, looking at the big goal is way too much for me (and for her) to handle. It’s like if God told you your whole life story. Every obstacle. Every victory. Every single thing that happened to you. Would you be able to handle it? Or would you totally freak out? “You mean, this guy that I’m talking to isn’t “the one?!?!?!” He introduced himself to me as, “Will… God’s Will,” I had no need to question it. I just assumed it to be true.” Would we be able to recover from the setbacks? From the failures? Would we be able to pass up the “once in a lifetime” opportunities that come our way?

For me, getting my body and my mind into shape is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I need to do it now to make my future better. I am learning things about myself. I am learning coping mechanisms… ones that are more productive than gorging myself with Kraft Caramels (a.k.a. little pieces of heaven) and Sonic chocolate shakes with oreo pieces (yum!). Way better than nagging my hubs (he is so patient). And better than sleeping my life away (I’ve tried that. I still managed to wake up with the same problems).

I’ve decided to work my butt instead of my buts. No excuses. Failure is not an option.
workourButts

So, ya, I’m still a serial quitter… but not in the way I used to be.

sam

Exercising for my sanity.

At first, I was exercising because I wanted to lose weight (mostly so that people wouldn’t ask me if I was pregnant or when my baby was due or any other rude comment in that vein). I kept exercising because I really began to like the “rush.” I also read about the many positive effects of exercising regularly (aside from losing weight) such as aiding in coping with depression and then I was pretty much sold.

I was not wrong about the way that exercise makes me feel. I feel good about myself but, I also feel more sane. Wes might even say that I am MORE sane! I started making goals for myself:
-30 Day Shred (Jillian Michaels’ DVD) in 30 days (it took me something like 45 days the first time I attempted it).
-Significantly cutting the amount of sugar that I consume (I’m doing quite well with this goal, but I have replaced real sugar with artificial sugars this will soon be rectified).
-50 miles in 14 days challenge

There have been more (I think) but I can’t think of them right now. Needless to say, I am showing myself that I am capable of more than I ever thought I could do and keeping my sanity intact at the same time… as best I can.

sam

The worst part (thus far) about weight loss.

*Warning: rant ahead.  Proceed at your own risk.*

Uuuummm, so  why doesn’t anyone talk about the downsides of losing weight?  Maybe because the good outweighs the bad? (no pun intended).  But, seriously, I am freaking annoyed.

I have this frenemy.  She comes to visit whenever she’s least expected. She makes my stomach hurt. She makes me moody.  She makes me crave sweets.  All I want to do is eat. anything. that’s. sweet.  She makes me put the fruits of the spirit into practice. The one that she usually has been “helping” with is self control.  (This could be a good thing but, I don’t want to think of it that way while I’m ranting).

I should’ve known she was coming because all week all that I have been wanting is caramel and whipped cream.  I thought that it was my rebellious spirit acting up (which, unfortunately, is quite normal).  Especially since I’m cutting down on sugar.  But, no.  That was way too simple.

I woke up this morning feeling like crap.  I didn’t want to exercise because I was feeling like crap but, I was freaking hungry!  I ate and was full and I still sat around for a little bit.  As I sat, my stomach started to feel better.  “Oh,” I think to myself, “I think I’ll wog intervals this morning since I’m feeling better.  Walk a minute run a minute for 40 minutes.” 

I get dressed and go out and I’m on pace for 4.2 mph!  Pretty impressive, if you ask me.  Then, I spot a coyote.  All of my survival skills fly out the window and I start walking.  My 4.2 mph will not keep my from being mangled by a coyote.  And I really don’t want to die that way.  I end up walking behind the coyote the rest of the way home.

You may be wondering, “why not take another trail?”  Well, I have a terrible sense of direction.  I get lost going to work if I take a different route.  One night, I went for a walk after I put meatloaf in the oven.  I could walk for about 60 minutes because that’s how long it would take it to cook.  I had been walking for about 40 minutes when I realized that I had no clue where I was or how to get back to my house.  I started panicking because I just had visions of the meatloaf exploding and my neighbors’ houses getting burned down all because I took a walk and got lost.  I’m not joking.  And then there was that time that Jen and I were hiking on a well known trail and we got lost…scary.

Back to the point.  I came home and started feeling sick again and I said to myself, “Why, why, why didn’t anyone warn me about this?”  So far, I’m down about 17 lbs.  My friend has come to visit right on time two months in a row.  I.am.not.happy.  I wouldn’t be sad if we only talked every few months.  Seriously.  We have nothing to talk about.

period-comic

“Monday, March 05, 2007
An Open Letter to James Thatcher, Brand Manager, Proctor and Gamble

Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your Always maxi pads for over 20 years, and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core™ or Dri-Weave™ absorbency, I’d probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I’d certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can’t tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there’s a little F-16 in my pants.

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from “the curse”? I’m guessing you haven’t. Well, my “time of the month” is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I’ll be transformed into what my husband likes to call “an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.” Isn’t the human body amazing?

As brand manager in the feminine-hygiene division, you’ve no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customers’ monthly visits from Aunt Flo. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it’s a tough time for most women. In fact, only last week, my friend Jennifer fought the violent urge to shove her boyfriend’s testicles into a George Foreman Grill just because he told her he thought Grey’s Anatomy was written by drunken chimps. Crazy! The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in capri pants. Which brings me to the reason for my letter.

Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: “Have a Happy Period.”

Are you fucking kidding me?

What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness—actual smiling, laughing happiness—is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you’re some kind of sick S&M freak girl, there will never be anything “happy” about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlúa and lock yourself in your house just so you don’t march down to the local Walgreens armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory. For the love of God, pull your head out, man. If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn’t it make more sense to say something that’s actually pertinent, like “Put Down the Hammer” or “Vehicular Manslaughter Is Wrong”? Or are you just picking on us?

Sir, please inform your accounting department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flexi-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending bullshit. And that’s a promise I will keep. Always.

Best,

Wendi Aarons
Austin, TX”

The open letter is from Wendi Aarons’ blog.  She puts it so candidly.

My sentiments exactly (minus the profanity).

 

sam

Partially victorious.

Today, I didn’t get all dolled up (as if I usually do) but, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “She looks good.” That’s when I realized that I was looking at myself in the mirror. I haven’t lost a lot of weight but I am halfway to my goal. What I have done is proven to myself that losing weight is possible without sacrificing much more than a little time and effort. I. Am. Doing. This.


I remembered two nights ago when I was getting ready for bed: cleaning nose piercing and putting on the baby bandaid so I don’t have to spend $40 (again) on nose rings and so I don’t have to look crazy (again) because my nostril is more swollen than it was the day I got it pierced and so I don’t have to subject myself to the pain (again) of re-inserting my almost healed nose piercing into my nose (I do not have a high pain threshold); I moisturized and wrapped up my hair and caught a side glimpse of myself in the mirror. “My butt’s getting smaller!”

So, while I don’t see a beautiful person when I look at myself in the mirror, lately, the woman I see doesn’t depress me either. “I will praise You, [Lord], for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” Psalm 139:14

This scripture – my favorite in the whole Bible- also reminds me of a song by David Crowder Band that I didn’t fully understand the meaning of until two Sundays ago when Wes and I were on our way to church.  The chorus of the song goes like this: “You make everything glorious and I am Yours… What does that make me?”  The answer, of course, being glorious!  I’ve sung this song many, many, many times and it takes the process of me being more comfortable in my own skin to realized its meaning.  Crazy.

sam

No whining.

This is what I looked like this morning trying to give myself an excuse as to why I couldn’t do the 30 Day Shred video today:

image

 

 I thought about my last blog talking about saying that “I’ll try” to do this or to do that.  I thought about a blog that I read today which was about telling yourself to do the things you may not want to do (within healthy means).  Telling yourself that laziness is not in your nature.  I certainly wanted to be lazy.  I was up for an hour before I finally exercised.  I should’ve known there was going to be a problem because I need to “exercise before my brain knows what I’m doing.” 

But, I did it.  I’m glad.  Laziness had no hold on me today.

 

sam

Two things.

#1.  I think my feet are losing weight.  This is not a bad thing by any means (as I was able to comfortably wear a very cute pair of sandals today that had been sitting in my closet).  But, I didn’t know that feet get fat.  I didn’t know that a person could actually lose weight in their feet… I am pleasantly surprised.

006

#2.  I have officially worked off 10 pounds.  I’m pretty excited about it.  So, in honor of meeting my first mini goal (reaching 187 lbs.) I bought myself some legit workout clothes.  Yoovie, I’m taking your advice.

I wanted to wait until I knew for sure that I was going to stick with this fitness thing before I decided to buy new clothes.  I’m one of those people who will sometimes buy all (or many) of the “tools” for something and never do it.  I didn’t want this to be one of my “projects” as fitness is my lifestyle; just like my faith is my lifestyle.

I went to Wal-Mart (my least favorite store in the whole wide world) and looked through their fitness clothing section because I knew that carry the brand that I like: Danskin.  I purchase two sports bras (gotta hold these girls in with two), two pairs of yoga pants, two pairs of leggings and two dri-fit shirts for $50.  Yep. 

And, I saved my money just for this.  See, my hubbs and I are also on a pretty strict budget via the Dave Ramsey method.  We want to be out of debt so that we can give more and have more freedom to spend our money the way we want to spend it… or, as Dave would say, “live like no one else so that we can live like no one else.”

sam