Apr 2015

Before and After

I read this blog post by someone that had reached her goal weight, and she describes how she may be at her ‘after’, but that she will never be done with the challenge of reaching ‘after’.

This writing totally resonated with me. It’s a journey, not an end goal. And I’m enjoying the journey and the experience.

She mentions, “truthfully, I have no idea who I am without “needs to lose weight” being one of the primary parts of my identity.”

I’m not at my ‘after’ yet. I’m not even sure where my ‘after’ would be. I think it would be at 199 pounds. Simply because that’s a number that I’ve wanted to be at since have my oldest son, Travis, who is now getting ready to turn 29. But, is that really my ‘after’? I don’t know. Will I keep going? Will I want to? Maybe I don’t know how to be a person without “needing to lose weight” as part of my identity.

I’ve also been thinking of this as a journey. It’s taken me 10 years to lose this 90 pounds. And I’m not as much in a hurry to lose the next 10 I need to lose to get to 199 pounds. Is it because I don’t think I can do it? Because I don’t want to be at the end of the journey? Because I’m afraid of falling off the wagon and gaining it all back? Everyone else seems to be in a hurry for me to lose it. Even this morning, I stepped on the scale with the trainer and had gained back 2 pounds. I thought he was going to have a hissy fit. Up 2 pounds. Big whoop. I could not eat today and lose that weight. Instead, I’m not going to worry about it. I don’t have an end goal. I don’t have an end time. I don’t know what ‘after’ looks like. I’m enjoying the journey though.

She says, “There is no After – happily ever or otherwise. There is only today. Just today – During.”

I love this idea and will continue to journey and experience the new things I can do because of the weightloss and strengthening.

About her Before picture, she says, “Don’t look at her as an abomination, because enough people, myself included, did that already. Don’t tell me I look better; I don’t. I look different. Don’t congratulate me on no longer being her; I still am her. And doesn’t she deserve to be? Don’t speak of her as if she is a poor, piteous person. She’s not. She is me. “

Wow, do I totally agree with this. When I show my before picture, I almost don’t want to see the reaction of the person I show it to. Because when people react to how large I am in that picture and they say anything negative about it, or turn around and say something positive about the current me…..I want to remind them that I am the same girl. The person they are putting down in the before picture is standing right in front of them. I’m not better now, I’m different. And I’m still me regardless if I’m Before or After. I am deserving of love regardless of what size I am. The Before deserves just as much love as the After.

Life is a journey and we are still ourselves. And this is during.

Yes I’m proud of the work I’ve done. But, it’s also about learning to love me where I’m at. And to do that I have to love all of me, including the Before and the After and the During.

I’m enjoying this journey, doing things I’ve never done before. I’m enjoying the new experiences with buying clothes and jogging, and everything else I do.

I still struggle with food. I’m still militant with sugar so that I don’t fall off the wagon. I still make exercises a very high priority. And after 10 years of this, I’m still not at my After.

Oh yea, there is no After. I’ll just continue doing what it is that I’m doing so that I can continue to have new experiences.

It’s almost time to take that next picture next to the frog.


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Spring is Here


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Spring is here, and I’m craving being in the woods.

Before starting this job, I was able to go hiking in the woods anytime I wanted to. I would make a point to find a new place and just go walking in the woods by myself. I’ve bring a water bottle, a map, a journal and a weapon tucked away in a pocket. I’d just walk. I’d feel the energy of the woods around me.

I miss this. Walking the dog on the sidewalks just isn’t the same.

I’m thinking about disappearing for a little while on Sunday morning while in Dayton. I’ll let D’art and Michele clean their house and I’ll go try to find a hiking place. Then, in a couple of weeks, I’ve got a weekend before my birthday, with nothing really scheduled. I think I’ll try to find some place to hike. Hopefully, I can find someone to watch the pup, so that I can just go out and be with nature instead of trying to control her. Mammoth Cave? I’m not sure. I might head to a Michigan beach. Anything within 6 hours of Columbus would work for me.

Just the idea of going for a long drive sounds thrilling. Windows down, breeze and music. Maybe I’ll just pack a bag, jump in the car and pick a direction. Road Trip! With the woods the final destination.

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I miss the woods and I just don’t get the chance to go hiking anymore, nor do I have anyone to go hiking with. Maybe that’s what I should look for next, someone that is into hiking and asks me to go with them. Instead of me always having to ask someone else or trying to convince someone to go with me.

I’d love to spend some more time on the Appalachian Trail.
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Mud Ninja


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I can feel the fear in the pit of my stomach.

Recently, we were invited to do the ‘Mud Ninja’. I actually find this idea a little terrifying. Yes, I can walk a half marathon. Yes, I can jog a 5k. Yes, I’ve lost almost 90 pounds in the last 10 years. But, the ‘Mud Ninja’….. I watched the youtube video and it’s a lot of upper body strength stuff or jumping across pits.

I’m not sure I’ve lost enough weight to do that. Even after a full year of working with my personal trainer, I’m not sure that I have the strength. The person that invited us, specifically says…..” And if you can't do a single pull-up, it might not be fair to expect us to pull you over every obstacle we come to.” I totally agree with that, but I know that I can’t do a pull-up, and don’t know if I ever will be able to.

So, can I do this? It would definitely give me a goal to work towards, though I’m working on spending up my time for running a 5k as it is. Can I work on both? I’m not sure. And I was just getting comfortable with giving up my trainer. I don’t know that I can prep for an event like this one, without his help.

Honestly, I don’t want to be the ‘big girl’ being pointed at. Logically, I know that won’t happen, but emotionally it’s a different story.

Though, there is a child inside of me that thinks this would be fun. In the past, I’ve been too big to allow that child to come out and play. She would be disappointed and in the end, humiliated. But, maybe it’s time to move past that.

But, I’m almost 48. What am I thinking of? Then again, if not now, when?

And mud. Lots of mud. I’ve done that before when I got to stay and play on Great Fox Island in the Chesapeake Bay in Jr. High while attending a summer camp. But, we were playing and hiking through the mud. This event will be about trying to get through mud pits and walking logs, and ….mud.

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At least their won’t be fiddler crabs and fish eggs/poo in the this mud. I hope.

It’s time to train.

This event is at the end of July. That gives me 3 ½ months to train. Strength training for this event and working on my speed for running the 5k. Should be interesting, since I’ll have to work on my eating as well.



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Warrior vs Goddess



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There have been many times over the last 10 years or so, that I’ve had friends tell me that I should embrace my Warrior side. I understand why they say this, but I’ve resisted it. I can see why they would think I needed to do this, because of the issues I’ve had on my healing path and while trying to make these poly relationships work.

I resist the idea because I’ve felt like I’ve been in warrior mode most of my life. Either warrior or victim, it would flip-flop. And I don’t think that the opposite of a victim is necessarily a warrior. I believe it can also be a Goddess. I know the Goddess exists within me. I’d like for her to come out and shine. The warrior has served her purpose.

I’ve thought of this a lot over the years. And though I’d like to be the Goddess, and have worked hard towards it, the warrior seems to be getting stronger and stronger in my life again. It’s not what I want. I haven’t liked some of the changes that has been happening to my personality recently, but didn’t feel that I had a choice. I’ve been in positions where I’ve felt like the only person that can protect me, is me. That’s an old feeling and one that makes the warrior stand at attention and the Goddess take a step (or two) back.

Recently, I was going through some old papers and printouts, looking for a tax form, and I came across this article I printed out 14 years ago. I love that I still have some of these printouts from when I was getting deep into my spiritual and healing journey. Especially since this website that I got it from (spiritweb), doesn’t exist anymore.

This article is titled, “Warrior to Goddess – How to Transform the Feminine”. It has some stuff in it that resonates with me, whether the stuff is currently valid or not. But, even if something isn’t currently truth in my life, if anything is going on that makes me feel like it’s truth, it becomes the feeling of truth. That’s hard to explain.

So, many people think that being a warrior is a good thing. Let me explain the difference between a warrior and a Goddess…..and I bet it will help explain why I love my power exchange as well, and why being a slave seats me in my seat of power.

“ A Warrior is powerful, independent, self-reliant and successful – because she has to be. Yet, she resents all of the responsibility and obligation that goes with her role. She’s the only one around who can get things done, and get things done fast enough and perfectly enough. (so says Suzanna Kennedy)

She is bitter (at least inwardly) towards men, who she believes get all the breaks, but do little of the real work. She sees men as the weaker sex, responding emotionally and acting illogically – when they act at all. She believes herself to be surrounded by wimps that she count’ trust to punch their way through a paper bag. She says that men are only good for one thing – moving furniture. Well, two things – maybe.

She respects other Warriors, yet has no tolerance for ‘weaker’ females who don’t carry the Warrior’s sword. She may be a good wife and mother, protecting and providing for her family. Yet she expresses even these roles through the stance of the warrior.

She has grown tired of fighting. She has battle wounds that she has displayed proudly in the past. But has made as many conquests as she cares to. Her armor had grown heavy and she longs to remove it for good. She longs for the Goddess within, yet believes she couldn’t survive without her Warrior’s sword.

The Goddess is quiet simply – the embodiment of the Divine in a female body. She is discerning and acts with integrity. She has a core of inner peace that is unshakable. The Goddess radiates an energy that is so powerfully beautiful, loving and soft, that others are drawn to her like a magnet.

She may have been a Warrior at one time, but she has healed her wounds. She has let go of the anger, pain, fear, guilt, and judgement. She has let go of feelings of betrayal and abandonment. She has replaced those lower vibrational emotions with compassion and joy. She has transformed her limiting beliefs, attitudes, and thought patterns into a loving allowance for all to be as they are. She has no need to change anybody, for she sees the Divine in all beings. She understands that any attach is simply a demonstration of fear. She remembers fear, and yet knows how to neutralize it with her unlimited flow of love.

The Warrior and the Goddess – two powerful female archetypes. One tired and wounded, one radiant and healed. “

See the difference? I want to be the Goddess that is radiant and healed. Part of this has happened by the face that I’ve surrendered to a Dominant male. I don’t think the same healing would have happened if I had become a Domme, or surrounded to a Domme. The puzzle piece I needed was to surrender to a male that had earned my trust. Someone that protected me and got things done. Someone that I could let things go to and he would make sure they got done. I could lay down my sword.
And though he doesn’t think so, I still need this. When, I try to step back from this role, I pick up the sword again and old habits come back into play. Resentment and judgement comes back into play. It’s not a good place for me to be in. I need to lay down the sword and become the compassionate person that I want to be. Well, I don’t need to become her…..I AM HER. I just need to let her out. But, she is blocked by the warrior. How can the warrior protect me, if compassion controls my decisions?

I can tell that I’ve picked up the sword again. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to lay it down for good? Or if I should? Maybe being a Goddess is a dream and I’ll always have to have a short sword in my back pocket?

It’s a little frustrating though. The Phoenix ritual that I did years ago, was about dropping the sword and embracing my wings.

In the past, when I use a tarot card to represent myself, I always choose the Queen of Swords. I wonder what I would choose now?


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The Goddess Box


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Today, I finally completed another goal on my ‘101 in 1001’ day’s goal list. It’s been on my list forever. Mainly because I had this image in mind of what I wanted, but don’t have the skill to make something along the lines of what I envisioned.

It’s a Goddess Box.

Because of what I have in mind to do with it, I wanted something smoky and mystical. Painted or multi-media type stuff. But, I’m in need of one at the moment before I have a nervous breakdown. So, I’m been percolating ideas. I finally thought about using a tarot card to make the top of the box. I wasn’t sure which tarot card, but not the one that I currently had on my altar. I had gotten that one from twisted tryst last year and had hoped to repurpose it, but after studying it, it just didn’t feel right. Actually, what felt right was the ‘Fool’ card and the ‘World’ card. They are the ones that show motion.

Here are a couple of meanings that spoke to me:


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The Fool:

The Fool is always an indicator of newness; as well as the purity and open-hearted energy of a child. This is generally considered a positive card, with the caveat that it's important to take time to be sure that you are "looking where you're going."

Other people may not understand or support your new ideas and/or proposals, but if you know that you're right, press ahead, and try to help them to understand where you are coming from. This sometimes will indicate finding a new position - or even that the time could be right for you to "go off on your own" and start your own business.

In terms of finances, the Fool is an extremely positive significator. You can expect increase, and furthermore, you will find it in yourself to know that no matter what happens financially, that you will be all right and will "come out on top." Trust yourself, work hard, and you will do better than you expect.


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The World:


The World can signify that you are figuratively feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders, which is not an easy place to be. It's an excellent time to review how well you do at "asking for help" when you need it. Remember you don't have to do everything on your own.

This can often be a card of completion. You've worked hard, and you are almost to the "finish line" in some way. Don't quit now that you're almost finished! You're almost definitely in need of some well deserved rest and relaxation; don't be afraid to take it. You are getting closer to "who you really are," at your deepest levels.

If money has been a bit stagnant for you - this is a good sign that this "blockage" will soon break and you'll find yourself "flush" once again. Don't go mad with spending, when it breaks, though. This is an important time to begin saving and protecting yourself so that if hard times come again, that you'll be ore prepared. But for now, you should be able to rest easier about money.

Perfect!

What is a Goddess Box?

For me, a Goddess Box is a place where I can ‘Let Go and Let Goddess’. In other words, it’s where I can drop my fears with situations, my grief, my annoyances…..anything that is in the way of me being happy….anything that is occupying my thoughts way too much……and give them to the Goddess to take care of.

I write these items on a piece of paper, kiss them good-bye and ask the Goddess to take care of them as I put the slips of paper into the box.

I used to have one of these, and then figured that I was strong enough to deal with anything that came my way on my own. I forget how empowering it is to give my problems to the Universe. To surrender to the experiences that I’m experiencing. Being the observer (a Buddhist concept) only goes so far for me on some days, when my life becomes overwhelming. I have to do something physical.

Last night, I created the Goddess Box and put it on my altar.

It doesn’t look anything like I imagined. Instead of handcrafted, smoky and mystical….it’s a round, mass-marketed printed cardboard with green designs and flowers. But, it spoke to me. Then, I took black magic marker and wrote “Fool -> World” around the rim of the lid. And added “Let Go and Let Goddess” on the bottom. And somewhere on it, I wrote “I release my fears”.

This morning, I blessed the box and dedicated it to the Goddess, with the intent of releasing my fears, so that I could let go of the issue. Then, I sat on the couch and really thought of what I’d like to let go and let the Goddess work on. She has more time than me anyway, and knows what my next step should be.

I thought there was only 3 things I needed to let go. Nope. I’d been repressing some stuff it seems. And 7 pieces of paper later, each kissed and placed in the box, I was feeling a little better because I had taken a step to work through this depression, instead of telling myself that I shouldn’t be depressed.

I’ll take a picture of the box and add it here.

But, I’m feeling a little better.

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Running my first 5k



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I can’t believe that I finally jogged a 5k. It’s pretty amazing that I finally did it after 10 years of trying to train for it.

The first time was around 10 years ago. Dan used to walk/jog behind me with a clock and tell me when it was time to jog and time to walk, using the couch to 5k plan. The actual goal was to be able to outrun monsters while LARPing. Or to at least have the stamina to run.

So, I was training. Then, we went to a week long at Vargas camp, and I ended up stepping on a stone, which caused a heel spur, which I didn’t know I had, to rip through my tissue in my heel. It was months of healing and cortisone shots. It took me a couple of years before I tried again.

A few years back, after losing some weight, I tried again. The laptrack at the gym was my friend. This type I ended up with a euethral cyst that needed to be removed. Surgery. The stalled me again.

After recovery, I gave up on the jogging and trained to walk a half-marathon instead. I accomplished that. I put myself through a lot of pain to do that training, but I didn’t break anything.

Unfortunately, I had stressed the hip flexor while training for the half marathon, but pushed my way through it. Even sleeping on my sides at night was painful. There were many nights where tramadol was my friend. But, it was worth it to reach that goal. I did end up in enough pain to have physical therapy ordered. Oh yay! Not.

Then, I started a new job which really cut into my training time. I just didn’t have the time to train for another half marathon, so I switched back to the c25k. I’d lost a lot of weight, walked a 13 mile race. It was time to try the running again. I printed out the c25k plan, doubled the time from one week to two weeks for each week and started at the lap track. About 4 weeks into the plan, which was really 7 weeks because I had doubled everything…..I was feeling all cocky at the gym on the laptrack and misstepped a mile or so into my jog. Tore that stressed hip flexor.

More pain. But, damn it, I was closer than I had made it before and I was determined to try again. This time I would do it smart though. With the new job, I could now afford a personal trainer. Luckily, my husband had been suggesting that for years, so it was an easy decision for him. I hadn’t had any luck with trainers before. They just couldn’t work with my physical issues, or my weight or whatever and I actually considered most of them morons. But, I went on facebook and asked around and someone was suggested, actually highly recommended, for large girls by a large girl. So, I gave him a try.

Wow. What a great decision! I’ve been going to him for a year, and last Saturday I jogged my first 5k.

I’ve been seeing Steve twice a week for a year, and it was well worth it! I see him again in two days for the last time. He’ll go over some plans he’s designed for me so that I can continue to work out on my own. And I’ll be training to race another race in 2 weeks.

I think I can outrun the monsters now.

Maybe I should sign up for a zombie run.

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Fear of Losing Weight


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I know I’ve written about this before. But, for many years I’ve known that I’ve been scared to lose weight.

I used to joke about how my weight was my armor. And the night I asked a kiniesiologist what my problem was with the fact that I couldn’t lose weight…she was able to pinpoint how I used it as armove because of the abuse I exposed to as a child. (of course, this experience with her was the catalyst that threw me into the fire of my healing path)

Fast forward to last night. I was looking through some paperwork that I had stored in my black cube in the livingroom, looking for my folder from last years taxes. Instead, I came across old journals and old guided meditations, among some other interesting papers that I’m going to scan. In these journals was my fear journal that I used to keep. This journal is from 2005.

Funny, I was just talking about that journal at work, because the main fear I wrote about was my fear of guns. In this fear journal, I had a picture of a gun, I wrote about how I witnessed my parents fighting over one, and there was also a receipt for the concealed course I took so that I could learn how to face my fear. Great stuff to re-read.

Then, I went to the next entry. It was about my weight and how my next fear to punch through was losing weight. I did some free form writing in that journal and wrote about how I knew it was time to work on it, because I had been in a restaurant recently and when I went the bathroom, there was a little Japanese women going in in front of me. She looked at me as if to say, ‘American women, so glutonus with no control over their eating.’ And my thought was, ‘well at least I don’t look like a little girl’. And how that threw up a red flag as to what my issue was, once again. It was a physical reaction when it happened. It was time to realize that I’m not a little girl anymore and that I can protect myself from the predators out there.


That was in 2005 when I was probably at my highest weight. 298. It was soon after that , that I developed a gluten intolerance that kept me from eating well for a couple of years. It took that long to figure out what was going on with my stomach, and during that time I lost about 30 pounds, which was the beginning of my current weight loss streak. In the past 10 years, I’ve lost 87 pounds and have walked a half-marathon, and am currently training to run a 5k.


I highly recommend walking through fears.


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