#VBSTRONG

The flags are at half mast today as they have been most of the week… as they have been more in the past few years than I ever remember they were throughout the years before I became an “adult.” As I drive by the flags and recognize that they are lowered, I try to consciously remember the reasons each time: a former president’s passing, an attack on a government installation somewhere in the world, another mass shooting in another state I’d never been to. And for a quick moment, I try to take a second out of my day on my commute to remember… to force myself to really think about the reason for the memorial through human eyes.

However, it simply doesn’t ever seem to process quite right. It all feels more like remembering the trailer for a scary movie I had seen on TV earlier in the week. We see these tragedies more and more and more throughout the world and it is something I feel myself becoming numb to and I do not like it. But, I comfort myself in the knowledge that if it happened here locally, I would feel different. It would impact me and I would really feel something deeper and more human about it all.

Last Friday, I get a random notification on FB.

“Mark yourself safe from Virginia Beach Municipal Center Shooting?: I am safe or Does not apply to me.”

Wait, what?

“6 people have been confirmed dead- 4 hospitalized.”

Did that say the Municipal center? As in … the courthouse complex?

The Facebook messenger starts going off from a friend in Canada.

-“You ok?!”

-“Yeah”

-“Good, was worried”

-“Why?”

-“Shooting in Virginia Beach… 11 people killed”

(Wait… its 11 now?!)

-“Oh. That. Yes, different side of town. Completely crazy. Thank you for checking on me.”

… different side of town… as if that made it as far away as Sandy Hook or somewhere else I was unfamiliar with. But, it wasn’t unfamiliar. I used to live in Courthouse Estates just a few blocks from the center. I regularly go to the municipal center for permits and licenses for my business.

And yet, it still wasn’t registering.

“12 people killed in Virginia Beach Shooting on Friday. Deadliest mass shooting of the 2019 so far.”

I hear this on the news Monday at the doctor’s office in the waiting room from some national news channel.

“…so far.”

Today, I sat on my therapist’s couch and mentioned how disconnected I feel to it all. Literally, I feel so guilty and cruel because I don’t feel what I thought I should. She shares with me that she has had similar conversations with many people this week. We all are feeling disconnected from it.

It all seems very surreal to me. But everywhere I go this week, I see shirts and stickers and it written all over the marquees of all of the businesses: VB Strong.

But, I don’t feel strong. I feel numb… and vulnerable because I feel I shouldn’t.

The thing that really gets to me is how I know how it feels to have a mental break… but, I’ve always felt that I could always ask someone, somewhere for help. The man who did this worked for the city IN the courthouse complex… at anytime, he could have walked into any building… the courthouse, the jail… anywhere and told someone that he was a danger to himself and others and he would have gotten the help he needed within a matter of moments. But, did HE know this?

We are taught so many things throughout our lives. We learn about ‘stranger danger’, ‘stop, drop, and roll’ if we catch fire, the warning signs for a choking victim and how to render aid. However, we aren’t ever taught what to do when WE are our own enemy. What are the warning signs of mental health? Where are the posters on the back of doors in breakrooms at work outlining who you can go to for help? We get annual physicals for every part of our body, but we never take a look at mental health and we really rarely even talk about it. Hell, and if you do, there’s a stigma upon you because you’re “crazy.”

I don’t have the answers, I really wish I had even one solution, but I don’t. All I know that I am going to keep going and talking to my therapist to help myself learn how to connect better with those around me and to prevent the world of social media friendships, text only communication, and a revolving door of heinous acts of violence to desensitize me any further. Most importantly, I will continue to be a advocate for mental health awareness… for myself, for the victims, for our community. That is the only answer I can give and how I can be strong for my community. I just wish I had a better answer for all this. I really do.

The Weight Loss Saga – The Struggle is Real

My depression has derailed my wellness. There. I said it.

I spent so much of my time last year focused on macros and ketosis and deadlifts that I forgot about meditation and kindness and deadweight (or the letting go of all of it). I threw myself into my weight loss to show that I was “getting better” when really I let my mental and financial health slip.

Another string of failed attempts at dating. Another week not being able to get outta bed. Another week of faking it.

Two weeks ago, I stepped on the scale and I damn near cried. All the “treat yo self” moments and I’m gonna nap if I wanna moments led to my muscles going weak, my metabolism going to shit, and the scale doing what the scale has done for most of my life.

If only my bank account could do what my scale does… but I digress.

So it hit home for me that this is a lifetime thing for me. It’s always going to be a lifetime thing. Some people have to take medication to deal with certain conditions of the body. This is what my condition is- I struggle with my weight. Always have always will. Not that I’m saying that in a negative light. Just that it’s something I have to accept.

So I joined weight watchers. Again. Hey, it works for me. But this time, I started going to meetings. Weighing in on their scale for consistency. First week, I lost 5.4 pounds. This week, I will be happy if I maintain. I’ve struggled to get outta bed. I’ve struggled to stay awake. Why?

Because boys. Oh but of course it’s not the boys. The boys don’t tie me to the bed. It’s when things go south. When the expectations and the reality don’t match. When they never can meet up to the level set by the One. But the One hurt me too. So I can’t blame any of it on them.

It’s all me.

So, we’re scrapping the dating scene for a while. I’m learning that I. Me. THIS girl right here… has a LOT of work to do. This time we revisit things with a more BALANCED approach.

Mental/Physical/Financial/Spiritual

It’s ALL health. It’s ALL important.

And until I find the balance within myself, I will never find balance outside of myself.

5.4 lbs down… this time around (so still -45 lbs over all) … Maybe give or take based on this week’s marathon sleep campaigns. But we’re moving in the right direction and with the right mindset.

Goal is 30 down this year before the Paparazzi Convention end of July.

Ultimate goal: Peace- inside and out.

…And Then Life Got in the Way.

I feel like there is so much THAT-ness in that title. Every season, things change for me because the pace of my life has always been entirely too fast, too hectic, with so much muchness that I feel like I’m always just a breath away from bursting at the seams… which is probably a very good way to describe anxiety now that I think of it and THAT is exactly the mode that my brain has been in recently. But, what I absolutely know to be certain is that I am in desperate need of returning to myself. 

So, let me fill in the gaps of the past few months as best I can.

First things first… I determined, yet again, that I do too damn much. I always aspire to be one of those women who have a flourishing business, well adjusted children, a tidy home, pinterest made crafts, a hobby, a rocking body, writes a best selling book, and is dedicated to a daily yoga and meditation practice. But fuck, I can barely remember to pack a lunch, stay awake to help my son with his homework, and pick up dog food on my way home. But, when I talk to people about what I am “up to these days” I always get told I am doing too much and yet, I feel like I can never do enough to make myself or anyone else happy. So, Ive been piling on the busy work… and well, something had to give. I’ve taken a step back from weight loss and my own personal training to focus on studying for my personal training certification exam. I stopped doing online fitness coaching and for a while even stopped dating. 

I am proud to say that I passed that exam and am now a Certified Personal Trainer through NASM – something I NEVER in a million years saw myself doing, but I’ve learned so much about the fitness industry and the body and yet… I still find it all intimidating. It’s like now that I have this fancy piece of paper and this amazing accomplishment I should be feeling totally empowered to hit the gym and train like a beast right? Ok, so I say that to say this… I am very proud of what I was able to accomplish through hard work and sacrifice in studying long hours and late nights to learn something on my own that was a completely foreign concept to me; however, at no point should I rely on another piece of paper to fulfill me or make me happier or more readier to work towards my goals than I am (or you are) in this very moment. Everything that one needs to be a badass is inside of the little passion bubble that beats in the chest. 

So it’s time to make a plan, set a new goal, and get back to work. 

And then there’s the whole “pursuit of happiness” element… how do I say this in a way that makes sense… I am still working on acclimating to the silently still vastness of being single. I understand that will make no sense to many of you but for those who it does, I wish I could hug you right now. I have lived my life as part of a half – as the “other part of the ampersand” since I was 12 years old and the longest I’ve ever been single up until this year has been 2 weeks. To those of you who have spent long lengths of time seeking a partner, I understand how that sounds like complaining… but, being alone without a text message or a call to respond to at the end of the work day or someone to ‘do something’ for or with is… uncomfortable… Like wearing an itchy wool sweater you cannot take off. It has been nearly a year now since my live in partner of 3 years packed up and walked out of my life while I was at work one day and I am still finding myself struggling to decide how to fill the hours of my day without someone to ‘check with’ to determine what “our” plans for the day were. Hell, it took me a few months before I could even remember that I was supposed to order my taco salad without cheese because he had always done that for me.

Being single still feels very unnatural to me. However, after this year of having fallen in love with someone who hurt me deeper than anyone before or since and then being involved with a man who’s life motto is “I have no clue what I want from day to day” I have become cynical and very, very picky. 2018 has been the year of forced emotional antihistamine… I would rather force myself to be ‘itchy’ and walk away from anyone who wont fully choose me than to choose to settle just so that I am not alone.

So, with that realization in mind, the pursuit of happiness is not in the hands of another, but in finding out through exploration what makes ME happy. I am focusing on my goals, my relationship with my family, my businesses, developing my tarot and divination skills, reading, writing… and being my authentic self.

… so that is the Cliffs Notes version of where we are.

More Happy. Less Bullshit. Chaos Cancelled.

The Weight Loss Saga – NOT Pretty for a Fat Girl

IMG_5184

 

I feel like I should rename this section of the blog because that scale ISN’T moving. I haven’t even looked at it in over a week. At the start of all this, I was obsessing over that number. Staring constantly at it as if I was willing for it to move like some weight loss ouija board. But, that’s not how it works apparently.

For those who have been following the chaos that has been my journey, I started studying for my Certified Personal Trainer exam back in May and became a Coach with Beachbody in June so it has certainly been a whirlwind the past month of studying, learning, working out, and realizing that I have absolutely no reason to be attempting to get back into the dating scene when I am still all up in my feels about my ex. Soooo…. here we are, a little bit of chaos, a whole lot of busy, and trying not to eat myself into the bed permanently. The good thing is, since I’ve started this way of living, I don’t crave the more harmful foods like donuts and french fries. I crave sushi and good chicken tacos. So that certainly does help. Also, I’ve been weight training consistently so I am seeing my shape change and my peers and clients are taking note.

IMG_5173As the saying goes, don’t take the advice of anyone who’s never actually done anything. So, despite the scale not moving, progress is being made and it is allowing me to help others now join me on this path and feel more confident and healthy in their own lives.

Confidence has been a huge thing for me recently. I’ve been really struggling to find who I am without my other half or ANYONE else for that matter. It is getting better. I bought my first 2 piece bathing suit. I started wearing shorts in public. These things seem normal, but for the girl who is perpetually the “fat girl” in the room, it is a huge shift. I actually overheard that an older gentleman had been speaking to one of the trainers about me recently and said what was strangely one of the most motivating statements (at least for me) to date.

“When you first see her, she looks like she could kick your ass. But, then you see her and realize she is just really, really pretty.”

I cried a little. I have to admit. I’m so used to being “pretty for a fat girl” or the “big girl with the pretty face.” I will take “she looks like she could kick my ass” any day of the week over “she looks like she likes cake.”

 

So… my focuses right now aren’t on that number, they are on that feeling. I am seeking mental and physical strength…and some of that emotional strength, too. I want to help others, help myself, stay consistent…and pass this damn exam!!!

A Chapter on Forgiveness and How to “Elsa That Shit”

adult art artist artistic

Forgiveness is a bitch. It is a concept that has really been pressed upon me recently… the art of forgiveness and letting go. I find I am reminding myself to “Elsa that shit” more days than I don’t so its obviously something that has been presented to me to work on. That’s how I like to see life. If it is something that you’re repeatedly challenged with, that’s your lesson that you need to be learning. That’s the “chapter” of life’s textbook that you’re supposed to be working on right now.

I tend to get very attached to people and situations very quickly. I go from the gut and the heart and when I actually feel butterflies, it’s a BIG deal. So, when things end or go a way that varies from my expectations, I know it is my own attachment to the outcome that makes it hard for me to deal and let it goooo.

So, this year the Great Spirit has blessed me with some very big life lessons in the form of two humans. One will do anything to try to hurt me the other will say anything to try to tear me down. In both relationships, I have bent over backwards to try to salvage the relationship and make them happy, even at the sake of sacrificing what I felt comfortable with taking.

This is what I have learned.
1) Manage my expectations – I cannot expect for everyone to act and do as I would in any given situation, they are living their own journey which is molded my their past conditioning and karma and I am here to live my journey along side theirs in this chapter.
2) Their words/actions are not a reflection of myself – There is something that is the catalyst for their actions and as long as I have done the best by them that I can, that’s all I can do. I am a good human in and of my own right. All I can do is love them and wish them better days on their journey.
3) I am okay – Seriously. Whatever happens it is not the end of the world, just the end of the chapter. I am okay. You are okay. Even if what you did/said/didn’t do was not, I just have to accept that it is something that I have to release (along with you) and move forward.
4) Moving forward and moving on are separate things – You can still love someone and continue in your life without them. If someone crosses your boundaries in a way that cannot be repaired. It is ok to love them, forgive them, and go on without them as best you can. Just because someone you love hurt you does not mean that you have to stop existing and it doesn’t mean you stop loving them in your own way.
5) Closure is bullshit – Yup, I said it. Closure is a concept that rarely ever pans out. If you don’t receive the closure you crave, it doesn’t mean it isn’t over and that it SHOULDN’T be over… because it should. Just because you don’t get closure, doesn’t mean that the connection is a healthy and strong one. It just means that they never came up with the words or the actions to make you feel better. They didn’t do it while you were together, they probably never can.

So, it’s a process. I am still learning and healing and with full honesty, I hope they are, too. We all have to be good humans here…and it is fucking hard when we are dealing with our own karma and past hurts, bad programming and fears. I just have to accept that people come into your life for a reason and sometimes that reason is to teach you in a hard way what you need to learn the most and that is why the best thing I can do for myself and for them is to be grateful for the lesson, send them my love, and let it go.

The Weight Loss Saga- My Independence Day (Trigger Warning)

black chain

I’ve NOT been consistently meeting my goals. Let’s face it and call it what it is and move forward. I’ve been struggling with some serious shit in my life and I’ve been really, really depressed. I thought I was handling it ok, saying that my studies were keeping me from being as diligent. But, my laying in bed trying to sleep it away has been keeping me from doing what needs to be done.

First, my nutrition suffered. Since my scale hasn’t been moving and I haven’t been making progress, I haven’t been writing anything here either which keeps me on track. Sure, I’ve been getting my bare minimum workouts in and still helping coach others towards their goals… but I haven’t done a single workout in a week until today. I’m afraid to step on a scale and all I want to do is sleep and cry.

I am being very gentle on myself because, all things considered, I am doing VERY well. The smile you’ve been seeing on Instagram recently has been a coping mechanism. In the spirit of the holiday, let me declare my independence and speak with full disclosure and truth. I am recovering from an emotionally abusive relationship with a narcissist. (I actually just sighed after typing that one out) I say I am recovering because even when it was happening, I knew it and was starting to seek help. I have been living with a demon in my brain for the past 4 months. Even after I walked a month ago, it still continued… the verbal and emotional lashing for hours and sometimes days on end. I literally cannot imagine what those who experience this for YEARS are going through. I am jumpy, depressed, irritable, sleepy, shaky, uncertain about everything, and numb.

A few weeks ago, I saw a military helicopter pass over the parking lot at work and I jumped in my car thinking for a brief second that he was coming to snipe me and then it hit me just how far and how much damage had been done as I sat in the back seat of my car thinking I would somehow avoid a bullet that way. Completely illogical and irrational because that would never happen…but… this is where my brain has been living. Fear. Paranoia. Depression. They will rob you of your motivation and ability to function towards achieving your goals each and every time.

Yes, I am getting support. Yes, I have wonderful people in my life who I’ve shared a bit of what has happened with and are helping me to see that all the things he told me about myself aren’t true. I am being shown my value and worth. I am being treated how I deserve. Yes, I know that he will somehow read this and I may even receive messages of retaliation and this is why I will never speak openly about who… just that I want to speak and continue to speak so that I can help others to know that they are not alone.

Depression… abuse… whatever is keeping you from your goals, whatever is causing damage to your soul. I am here with you. Let’s get through this and show them that we are coming for all the things we were told we could never have.