Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A silent strength...

It's funny how when you go through something it feels as if you are moving in slow motion and what feels like a struggle really isn't.  My life changed drastically 3+ years ago.  I never envisioned myself going through a few life changes all at once or so it felt that way.

I had lost a whole bunch of weight and was slowly over time changing but yet, I was still there.  As confusing as that sounds, I was going back to me.  I had lost me and I thought I was finding myself by losing the weight when in fact, it was really the journey where I was finding me and not "hiding" under the many layers of my weight. 

I really haven't given myself credit enough for making it this far without losing it mentally.  And I'm sure that there are a few people who know me well enough to say, "Monica, you were already mental"!  LOL!  It really is life changing when you lose a big amount of weight, you go from being a stay at home mom to working, you go from being married 21 years, never being on your own, to suddenly being on your own.  You go from putting everyone else's needs first and then struggle with the idea to put yourself first for once. 

But I also have had so many teachers along the way that have either helped me, supported me or taught me a few life lessons that I had to go through to appreciate the good and real, in some people.  I look at everything that a person goes through as a lesson.  Some of those things that you go through teach you way more than you want or way more than you need but it's something that happens.  You either learn from it and it changes you or get real bitter about it.  And as much as I hate to admit, I can hang on some shit for a really long time.

Those first few months on my own was a real eye opener.  I did more crying than I think I had ever did before (which if anyone knows me real well would be like laughing at that comment).  Not all of the tears were sad.  I was overwhelmed with everything.  I was learning how to do things that I never did before.  Even though I was 42 years old at the time, I had to grow up real fast.

I used to think being strong was not crying.  I used to think that it was a major imperfection of mine...almost a curse, of sorts.  I have found out that strength is waking up every day and putting your big girl panties on and doing what you need to do.  It's not letting the world break you.  Strong is being you in a world that is always trying to change you.  And the most important sign of strength to me is admitting your faults and trying to learn and grow from them.

I knew a long time ago that I was different from everyone else.  And as I keep on growing and learning from all of life's lessons, I see that I need to celebrate and be proud of the woman that I am becoming...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Giving control of your feelings and thoughts away...

I have spent the better part of my life letting others determine what to feel, how to feel, what to think, you name it.  And I don't know if I'm just slow in "getting it" or I just need a proverbial "smack" in the face or what.  I had a wonderful conversation yesterday and I walked away with a little bit more help in that department.

I don't know if it was how I was brought up or a learned habit.  All I know, is that it sucks!  To give people control over your life, your mind and everything else is probably the worse thing that you can do.  I need to retrain my brain and it has been rather difficult.  I think that has a lot to do with being stubborn.  To admit to this fault is somewhat of an embarrassment.  It shows people your imperfection and then you risk to be taking advantage even more.

I have always prided myself on trying to be strong but I'm not.  I'm nowhere near being the strong, confident woman that I need to be.  I have imperfections and yes, I'm human and I need to learn to love my imperfections but some are really toxic and should not be celebrated or worn like a badge.  To rid one of these toxic imperfections is a task that is very daunting.

I have learned through this process is that you can feel what you want and you can say what you want and do what you want with your life.  You shouldn't feel guilty about it.  And you should try to be empathetic to others and their inner battles.  They are allowed to their feelings, their opinions and their choices.

I know as a parent, that I have had to step back and let my kids make their mistakes (just like my parents did with me) and I have learned to accept what they think or feel and not try to change it.  I try my best to let them have their feelings and respect them (even if I disagree with them or they hurt me).  We all have had to go through many things in life and you can either just let it happen or learn from it or let it happen and define you.  I would rather learn from it.  I am so guilty of letting it define me, to take over my thoughts and feelings.

I have been blessed to have two amazing children who have been given that freedom.  They are well adjusted and seem to be able to navigate through the potholes in life.  I'm proud that I have had a part in showing them how to do that even if I have had trouble with that in the past.

What a wonderful mantra to live by and this is something that I wish that I could have learned a long time ago.  Just another thing that I'm blessed to be learning in this beautiful journey I call life!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Just a little bit of insight...step inside my soul!

I've been thinking about this a lot lately and figured I needed to write about it.  I have heard this more than once and it bothers me....bothers me enough to vent about it.  I have heard that if I loved myself then I could accept the whole goal thing with my weight.  Nobody really knows what goes on in my head 100% of the time.  And to be honest with you, I really don't want to have's my feelings, my thoughts, my journey.

I do love myself!  I must love myself enough to have started this journey 5+ years ago.  I didn't want to not be around for my kids.  And right now, as I sit here around 39 lbs on my butt, it is really getting to me.  I look at pictures from a long time ago, when I was super duper heavy and then I look at ones where I was 2 lbs away from goal and the whole transformation of me, as a whole.  I'm proud of what I have accomplished so far but I'm still not done.

I have mentioned it before and I swear I'm like the teacher in the Peanuts cartoon, Miss Offmeyer, where I'm talking and no ones hears a word I say.  It's okay cause I don't expect people to get in my head.  There is a handful of people who get it but then there is so many others that mean well but just don't get it.  To have an extra 39 lbs on my small stature is not a healthy thing.  There is more aches and pain, digestive issues, breathing and sleep issues cause of it. 

And yes, I know that I shouldn't worry about gaining everything back that I have lost so far.  I don't think that I could let that happen.  I am a different person now than I was 5+ years ago.  I have been through more in these past years than I thought could be possible to experience.  I went from being a married woman to a divorced woman.  I went from being a stay at home mom to a working mom.  I went from being an unhealthy woman not just body wise but also inside of me to getting the inside of me healthy.

I gained a little bit of insight when I was close to goal.  I did see how obsessed I was.  I was running, I was biking and I was walking.  But I also was not eating as much as I should have and I found myself on the verge of eating issues.  I would put something sweet in my mouth, chew it, enjoy the taste of it and then spit it out.  I knew right then and there that shit had to stop. 

I think that was my "Come to Jesus moment"!   It pretty much was when I really knew that I loved me enough to not let me go down that path.  And without getting too personal, it was just another moment that stood out for me as an awakening of sorts.  I had that same awakening when I started this journey of mine 5+ years ago. 

Yes, I'm a little critical of myself and yes, I'm a little insecure with my body and my looks but really, isn't most women like that?  I know that I'm not the only one and that does not mean that I don't love myself cause I do!  

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm learning a lot in this journey of mine.  And the major one that stands out is for me and that I'm trying to get better at practicing is that I don't need to apologize for how I feel or be ashamed by it.  I'm me and I'm pretty damned unique!  And I can feel whatever emotion I want.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

An unattainable bar

I had a day yesterday that pushed me to my physical and emotional limits.  And I probably could add mentally to that too!  I struggle with stuff like that.  I push and push till I can't go any further and in the process, I get me!  Maybe it's to teach me a lesson?  To learn how to balance everything in my life or to just help me learn to put my "bar" to an attainable level.  I have been told that I do that...that I set it a little high.

I struggle with this.  I wonder when in my life did I ever begin to set a bar for myself?  My breaking point today was a simple thing that was in my work mailbox.  I cried like a big baby when I read them!  It was 3 certificates for training for work that I had around 6 weeks ago.  You would have thought I just got my doctorate.  I wasn't the only one that got them but in my little world, I just attained something that added to my self worth.

Self worth, self esteem, self confidence...I see a pattern here that I have had trouble with my whole life dealing with and it's because of that bar.  An imaginary bar that I somewhere down the line put in my head.  It's a nice thing to have goals and/or strive for something but to set yourself up for failure? Not a good thing.  And it's truly a wonderful thing the ability to see in yourself a flaw that can be fixed.

My life completely changed almost 3 years ago.  It actually started changing back when I started my weight loss journey 5+ years ago.  I started to find myself again.  For so many years, I was buried under my weight.  And as the weight was shed, I was going through so many changes physically, mentally and emotionally.  I had so many people tell me that I had changed and I fought them...tooth and nail.  Somehow, in all this process, I started on an even more self discovery than I thought I could go on.  I am slowly and I mean super slowly seeing what makes me tick, what are my accomplishments and what are my flaws.  My good, my bad and my ugly!

Today, I took the time to be "me".  To not have any bar set!  To have no expectations set for myself!  To just breathe!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Don't let the world take away the "YOU" that you are supposed to be!

There are days where I really don't understand people.  I know I really shouldn't give a rat's ass about anything that doesn't concern me but I was brought up different.  There is just something in me that does give a shit!  I really think it's my naivety.  As my Dad would say, I'm still wet behind the ears!  Does that ever go away or is that just something parents say to their children?  I would think by the time that I hit 70 yrs old that I might not be so naive.  LOL!

I'm quite the different person.  I believe in seeing the good in people till they give me a reason not to.  And even when I'm royally pissed off, I still can't hate.  And maybe it's the analytic thinking that goes on in my head but I like to question why people do the things they do.  Take for instance when someone commits suicide.  Maybe it's the compassionate side of me but I see in them a hurt so deep that they couldn't get away from the pain.  I don't condone it...just see that the person is truly sick and shouldn't be judge.

I'm truly blessed by a few people in my life that have shared with me their life experiences.  They don't realize that they are my teachers and I'm the student.  And I have even found myself in the teacher role.  In a strange sort of way of thinking, I prefer to be the student rather the teacher.  All I know, is that I listen to what they have been through and take from them that wisdom and a lot of times what they show me is not what to do.

In this world, people are out to get each other and/or screw each other over, disrespect each other and/or their feelings , belittle one another or stab each other in the back so it's refreshing to see that there are a few people like myself that want to believe that the world won't steal their sweetness.  I guess that is where my naivety comes into play.  I would prefer to keep those rose colored glasses on so I don't get any more hurt than I have already been in my 45 years of life.

I'm guilty of letting the world get to me and it was stealing my sweetness because of being hurt.  It was making me be a different person then what I was brought up to be.  When I lost most of my weight, people used to say that I had changed.  I used to fight them cause I didn't want to think that I had changed but I did.  I had bottled up a lot of hurt and the shedding of lbs brought out a new "me" but it also brought back an old "me" that was just hidden.

I may be naive and soft but I will not let the world make me hard.  I will not let pain make me hate and be a bitter person.  It's just something that is not me!  I guess this is all part of my weight loss learn new things, to get experiences from others and to become a better me not a bitter me!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A little food for thought....

I heard a quote the other day and for some reason it just seems to be sticking with me and I'm trying to wrap my pretty little brain around it and what it means.  Yes, over thinking things isn't always the best but this particular quote can be a bit of helpful advice for anyone dealing with life and it's struggles.  It could be how they feel about themselves or how they are with their jobs, their families, their relationships; be it with their children or spouses, significant others, you name it.  I don't care who you are, everyone has troubles now and then.  And the ones who say they don't are either in denial or they are perfect.  Imagine that?  A perfect person!  LOL!

The quote that I heard was "Be happy with what you have, be okay with what you don't"!  And I'm sure that can be taken a million ways.  But what I get out of it is this:  You need to be okay with not having everything.  You need to set your bar a little lower.  I'm not saying you need to give up your dreams, goals and etc. But you will set yourself up for constant failure if you are constantly striving for that "perfect" life.  We aren't meant to be perfect.  I have questioned this lately of myself where my "bar" is.  And to be honest, I come to the realization that my bar has been a little high (like so high that I would need superpowers to see it, get to it, etc.)  

And while it seems a little crazy to some to think about stuff like this, I don't see it that way.  I'm glad that I'm open to these kind of things.  I want to grow!  I want to learn!  I want to be better!  I have struggled with many issues most of my life already:  my weight, my self-esteem, my confidence, my self-worth.  And the more I think about this quote, the more I think it's really a good thing to think about and a good rule to live by. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Hiding behind masks....

I found this quote and it kind of hit home to me.  I run into people all the time and they say "Hello, how are you" and then they proceed to walk away.  What the hell would they do if a person (me) said back to them, "I'm not doing well at all"?  Would the person still walk away or would they take the time to truly see what is wrong.

So many people hide behind masks and for many reasons.  And it's their own business, if that is what they want to do but REALLY, why would you want to be fake?  And I have been guilty of that myself so I'm not judging.  I learned how to put a smile on and act like nothing is wrong a long, long time ago.  But there are a few people that truly know me and can see through me like a crystal clear window.  And I love that those people can do that.

Some people would be creeped out by that, not me.  I'm glad that these people know me like that...that they took the time to not take "I'm fine" for an answer.  I'm surprised more people don't see through me easier.  I don't hold my emotions back too much.  Anyone who knows me has seen me cry.  I have cried in the middle of Kroger's, Walmart, church, in a driveway, while running, in the middle of a rock concert, the beginning of a parade, the end of any race that I have ever ran in.  I don't care where I am at. 

There are so many reasons why people hide behind the "I am fine" mask.  They don't want to bother anyone with their problems.  They are afraid to be looked upon as being "too sensitive".  They have their reasons and it's their prerogative to not share that with anyone.  I find it therapeutic to write about my feelings and also to talk them out with certain people.  And I'm finding out that there are others like me.  

So, the next time I see someone in a store and I tell them "Hello, how are you", I will pause to listen to them, if need be.  And the next time that I wish that I wasn't such as big baby, I will remember that it's so much better to not "hide" behind that mask.  There is nothing wrong with crying when you need to cry, screaming when you need to scream.  It's okay to not be okay all the time!  So, try not to hide those things about you that you don't like because the more you start to accept yourself for who you truly are, the smiles and the laughs will be truly genuine.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Let your voice be heard!

There is one thing that I'm striving to learn and that is to not stifle my voice or let others stifle my voice, for that matter.  I grew up with hearing that old adage..."children should be seen and not heard".  And in my generation, if you spoke up then you were considered a brat.  Well, I learned early on to not say a damn thing.  I wasn't going to be considered a brat.  I was going to be this "good girl"!  Well, that's great and wonderful till you need to ask for anything or let your voice be heard.

I had a particular phone conversation where I was talking to a customer service rep and I was trying to tell her all the info that she needed from my end.  She told me at one point to let her talk. All I could hear in my head is "Monica, you need to shut up"!  I was so mad and it really set the tone for the rest of my day.  It got me to thinking about how often I have chosen to remain quiet rather than say what I needed to say.

I think it sucks that people can't say what they want to anymore.  Yes, I was hurt that she told me to be quiet.  I was trying to help her with my info.  But there are so many instances where people need their voice to be heard.  I really am envious of the people who can say what they want, to talk back when they don't like what is being said, to stand up for themselves.

Standing up for myself is something that I'm trying to learn how to do.  Yup, 45 years old and I haven't always did that.  I have let others take care of things like that or chosen to remain quiet and not upset the apple cart, so to speak.  I really think life would be so much easier if we just say what we need to say or do what we need to do.  

I have watched this particular movie around 3 times and the part that always speaks to me is where the guy says that when he is nervous about something...count to 3 and just do it or say it.  What is to fear, really?  Rejection?  Somebody thinking you are too assertive or that you are considered a brat?  Others do that so why can't I?  Because of those words that were instilled in me many decades ago. 

I am finding out that even if I don't like what my kids say sometimes to me, it's their voice and they should be heard.  I'm trying to break the habit with myself but first and foremost, I'm making sure that they don't grow up thinking that they can't talk or stand up for themselves.  They will be much stronger than I was at their age.

I'm continually trying to learn and grow.  I know there are times to be quiet and there are times to speak.  And as I get stronger, the fear will go away. The self doubt will go away.  I will be heard and I won't second guess about it.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

"Alone" time daily...a sanity saver or a person's worst nightmare?

Alone's a thing that some crave.  And it's a thing that some have trouble with!  Namely me!  LOL!   It doesn't matter how busy I am or how NOT busy I's still the same!  I have my moments where it's great...where I am able to just be "still" and have it be quiet.  And there are those times where I am completely alone with my thoughts and feel very "alone"!  I sometimes wonder if I'm just this "freak of nature" and wonder if it will ever change.

Do you ever really get rid of the demons that haunt a person?  And before anyone decides to have me committed, this is not just myself that fights those feelings.  I have talked to a few others about this particular subject.  My thoughts on this...those feelings a person has...are like a sweater.  You try to get rid of the sweater, you burn it, you rip it up, you give it away.  You put the sweater on...on the days where you aren't so sure about yourself.  And there are times, you feel amazing and rip that sweater off and strut around like you are this proud peacock!  LOL!

I am very grateful though!  And I'm learning it isn't bad to admit that you aren't perfect!  The only bad thing is to ignore it.  And the good thing is when you have people in your life that see those bad things and love you, still the same.  They see the best in you and they want the best for you.  And as much as I hate to admit it, time alone in thought every day is what a person needs.  That is where you find out so much about yourself.

I'm seriously thinking that when I have those times when I want to put that "sweater of doubt" on...that I am going to journal it (privately) rather than give in to putting that "sweater" on.  And while I write down those things that bother me, I need to also look at things with a grateful heart and journal those things too!  

Life is all about learning and I guess I'm learning that "alone" time daily is beneficial to one's sanity!  

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A little letter to myself that I should have written many years ago...

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one in this world who understands that I have issues and that I want to fix those issues myself.  Nothing against doctors and etc. but you have to fix you and you can't expect anyone to fix you.  You can just hope that you have people in your life that are there for you, to support you and love you through it.  And before anyone starts thinking I'm mental, I'm matter what anyone says!  LOL!

I guess I don't understand people.  And it really isn't my job to understand anyone else but me...but I get a little curious about those people who are oblivious to anything that they do.  I know that I'm guilty of throwing blame on others for certain things.  But I also am not to blame for everything that has ever went wrong.

I was brought up to say sorry when I have wronged people.  I was brought up to be a good person, to see the good in people, to be friendly, compassionate to others, put yourself in their shoes, and etc. The problem with that is I became somewhat of a doormat.  People started to take advantage of that niceness, that naive little girl. 

There are days where I just would like to kick my own ass.  If I could write a letter to myself many years ago, I think it would go like this:

Dear Monica,

It's not your job to fix all the problems of the world.  All you need to worry about is to be the best YOU that you can be.  It's not your job to put blame on others for your issues with your body image or for the way you feel about any other issues.  It's not your job to say yes to everyone when you want to say no.  And you sure in the hell are entitled to say NO and not feel guilty about it.  

It is your job to love people that love you.  It is your job to take care of the people in your life that have deemed themselves worthy of that special treatment.  It's your job to be the respectful person that your parents brought you up to be.  To not hurt others and that includes not taking your frustrations out on the ones that love you.  It's not their fault, it's yours because you chose to not stand up for yourself.

Remember this, my dear Monica...You can fix those things about you that aren't healthy (mind, body and etc.) but don't change those major things that make you, YOU!  Remember that you are special, that you are one of a kind, and that you can't make people act a certain way, think a certain way, or be a certain way.  You be you and let others take care of themselves.  And remember these two things.....STAND UP FOR YOURSELF and TO BE TRUE TO YOURSELF!

Love Always, ME!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pre Weigh-in feelings

It's the day before weigh-in and I have no clue how I did this month.  I usually get a feeling ahead of time, almost like a premonition.  It might be that or it might be that I "protect" myself from the disappointment by being pessimistic.  I just know that some months it is worse than others.  I will feel down from a day or two ahead of time to a week ahead of time.  And as I write this, it sounds so stupid of me.  It really does.  I need to stop that shit.  There is so many things that I need to stop doing.  Habits that are not healthy for my mind. I can blame everyone else but when it comes down to it, it's me to blame. I have to love myself and be kind to myself.  And I also need to own up to the fact that I have allowed many people to walk all over me, to tell me what I should feel, and what I should think.

And as strange as it sounds,  my goal is mine.  It's more than a goal to's an accomplishment and I'm trying hard to attain it.  It's been a long 5 years and no one understands what I feel and what I go through month after month.  I'm not trying to get super skinny.  At one point, when I started my weight loss journey, I wanted to look a certain way.  And I was very close to goal but I was obsessed and it wasn't "healthy".  Last month, someone showed me how to look at it differently.  For 3 1/2 years or more, I have kept close to 80 lbs off...maintained...not that I wanted to maintain just quite yet!  LOL!

So, as I sit here trying not to think too much (which is very hard to do for this analytical girl), I need to remember a few simple things.  1. I need to celebrate the fact that I have maintained for this long, that I haven't gained back every single pound that I worked so hard to lose in the first place.  2.  I need to be more gentle with myself, to show myself the compassion that I show others.  3.  To love me, regardless of whether I am a size 2 or size 12.  4.  And probably the most important thing...that I am more than that stupid number! I am me and I am worthy!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Living your life in chains!

It's been far too long since I wrote on my blog and I figured it was time.  I get inspired by something I'm feeling or something I'm dealing with or a simple quote will jump out at me and inspire me that way.  Today, it was a little of all three!  LOL!

As much as I hate to admit it, I like to blame some of my issues, okay...maybe all of my issues...on other people.  My weight problem was my parents.  If I wouldn't have feared being in trouble or to lose out on a reward (you better clean up your plate, Monica or your don't get your 8:00 snack) then I might not have had to lose so much weight or had a weight problem to begin with.  My self esteem problem was being called a dog by the boys in elementary school.  My self worth problem was not being treated the best by people in my life.  And my self confidence problem was not hearing any praise.

Well, the more I read what I'm writing, I am realizing that I need to accept blame.  And the sooner I accept that, the sooner my chains can come off.  I locked myself in these chains to protect my feelings, to deal with life the only way I knew how to.  I listen to my inner voice a lot but I think I'm getting that inner voice mixed up with negative thoughts.  And that is keeping me locked in a vicious cycle and not letting me be the best me that I can be.

There is small circle of people who keep me in check and have helped me on the path of unlocking those chains.  They can be brutally honest with me and I respect that. They tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear.  They have no clue how much that means to me and how they are helping me.  I don't expect them to fix me.  That is something only I can do.  But they are like teachers to me.  They have had life experiences that they have shared with me, to show me what they have been through and have grown from.

As much as anyone hates to admit it, they aren't growing if they aren't open to a little bit of constructive criticism from others.  To live your life thinking that you aren't to blame for anything, that's absurd.  The best thing you can do for yourself is to be open, to let the walls come down, to forgive yourself, to forgive others, to leave the past in the past (something that this girl fights daily but will win).

When it comes down to it, YOU HAVE THE KEY TO THE CHAINS THAT BIND YOU!  Use the tools that you are given in life to learn, to grow, to accept and then let yourself be the best you can be.  I'm a work in progress and I'm not going to blame people and even better yet...I'M NOT GOING TO BLAME MYSELF FOR BEING HUMAN!  :D