Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Still Alive & Well Ya'll!

So as I was reciting the alphabet with the little one this morning, I had a bit of a brain fart and stumbled across this little moment here...


And this is when I realized, I should probably get out more. Or better yet... I should probably BLOG more. Why? Because blogging kept my wheels turning. And while the pressure to come up with material is a little daunting when the memory of having brushed your teeth in the morning (or not) is a little foggy... that can be a good thing. Blogging is to my brain what weight lifting is to muscle. If you don't use it, you lose it... right? Googling the alphabet to double check my work cause I can't recall whether or not "Ss" has always been THIS far at the end of the alphabet is where I draw the line. 

But first let me explain... See, what had happened was... The little one was singing "X" while I was singing "S" but because I was so focused on correcting her "X" to "S" I ended up writing "Xx" instead of "Ss". That and I hadn't taken but a few sips of coffee so really... this could have happened to anyone. 

So, to fill ya'll in on what's been going on in the last errr... month & a half or so...

I write my best at night. Late at night. I was working out in the morning. I say was because it's been a few weeks since I've been to the gym (not proud of this ya'll), but it has. While doing this, once I got home, I was pumped and energetic and because that hardly EVER happens to me, the last thing on my mind was sitting down. And since I spent a lot of my day not sitting down as much... I slept at night again. For the first time in FOREVER. And I still do. And it's wonderful. 

I FINALLY read a book all the way through which is a HUGE deal since it's been a few years that my attention span has allowed me to do so. Nevermind that it's a short book and that the entire 209 pages are packed with pure, thought-provoking, inspiration. You'll find quotes such as:
"A pure heart is the end of all religion and the beginning of divinity."
&
"Cease your complaining and fretting; none of these things that you blame are the cause of your poverty; the cause is within yourself , and where the cause is, there is the remedy."

Hmm...
Reading this book lead me deeper into my inner search for peace, love, happiness and focusing on accepting my current circumstances as just THAT... current. Meaning, they will change along with my thoughts. I highly recommend this book to all my fellow soul searchers and seekers of happiness. It's called 'As A Man Thinketh by James Allen. (*ehem* as shown... just above.)

My days have also been filled with such time consuming things as:
Potty training. (Or lack there-of.) I've done this twice before so you would think I'd have this whole potty training thing down-packed. I don't. And neither does she... yet. 


Cupcake baking, fondant making, picture taking & business planning. Some of these recipes I've GOT to share!


Performing a search for the perfect DIY balayage/ombre hair color & dyeing method and did it without losing all of my hair like I always feared would happen if I bleached my hair... (Semi-tutorial coming soon.)
      

Kept up with some of my fellow mommy bloggers and some serious baby momma drama... 

Waiting for and soaking in as much SPRING and daylight as I can get after the LONGEST winter EVER...

Laundry.

Stressing. 

Body accepting.

Kids. Lot's of em.

But mostly cupcakes... Lots and lots of cupcakes... and the occasional cookie. 


And soon some more gym time. 











Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On Finding My Motivation... & A Little Focus Too.

First and foremost... I know I've been M.I.A. But see, WHAT HAD HAPPENED was... I'm trying to focus. I suffer from what Elizabeth Gilbert describes as "monkey brain" in, Eat. Pray. Love. Where your thoughts are like a monkey swinging from one branch (thought) to the other and you can't get the damn monkey to stop swinging no matter how hard you try. Yeah, well... I had to tranquilize the mutha sucka once and for all. In order for me to do that, I had to develop some sort of tunnel vision. Which is already hard to do when you're a mom with 3 monkeys plus 3 more every other weekend and king Gorilla that can't go completely ignored.

But enough about monkeys... (See how quickly I lost focus there? Told you.)


Anywho... I've been focusing on my health, more specifically on losing weight. (No, this isn't a new year, new me thing y'all.) But since the thought of losing weight alone was never enough to motivate me to drop the 50+ lbs I've gained since having baby #1... I had to readjust my focus.

Even at my very best... I've never been 100% happy with what I saw in the mirror. That has to do more with correcting my mind than it does correcting my body. As a matter a fact, the happiest I could ever remember being with what I saw in the mirror was at 232 pounds... and that's because I changed my thinking. It wasn't until I changed my thinking that I lost 40+ lbs and stayed there for some time. It makes no sense to make a goal based on how I look physically when my body is worth loving exactly at it is now... I just need to work on that.


I also find it difficult to stay motivated when too much of my focus is on numbers. YES, I'm keeping track of what I'm losing because ultimately it's what I want to do. HOWEVER, I have a tendency of being hard on myself. I don't know if the 1-5 pounds I gained are from bloat or from gaining muscle and I sure as hell don't want to focus on the number so much that I get discouraged and quit. THIS has been my downfall all along and it wasn't until recently that I realized it was the reason I quit every single time. I'd get frustrated that I was putting ALL this effort into moving and fighting through pain to get this exercising crap done. I let my kid keep his Butterfinger for once. Seriously, in my world... food = happiness. ESPECIALLY when I'm down, or anxious, or depressed... or I dunno... pissed that I've given up all the sweet and tasty things that made my tummy happy and have ZILCH results!



SCREW THIS! I RATHER DIE HAPPY THAN HUNGRY!!! Nom, nom, nom...

BAM!!! 

Here's the thing... My tummy wasn't happy. (I have IBS... 'nough said.) I was full. TOO full. I was bloated. The heart burn was becoming a menace and I was in PAIN. Not just a little pain... ALOT of it. Pain causes you to be tired. Even when you don't WANT to be tired... which causes depression... which leads to MORE pain... and because food = happiness, I eat. I eat enough to fill whatever void it is that's causing to me feel this way. And after so long of eating my way to the bottom of those delicious white cheddar popcorn bags (quickly)... I know now that what I'm looking for, I'm never going to find in the bottom of a chip bag. Whatever it is that I'm doing... it's clearly not working. No matter how much my stomach aches... I'm never full enough. I'm not- happy.

A genius once said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Mr. Albert Einstein... that dude gets it right all the time. I'm completely insane. I have to make changes. Which leads me to another quote from one of my personal favorite geniuses of all time...


For the record, I never tried to shoot my husband (not the current one at least)... but you get the point. I'm focusing on making my mind happy. Aside from the obvious benefits of exercising and eating right and all those great feel-good hormones I'm producing... it's great feeling that I'm accomplishing something each day by doing this. Each workout that I'm able to push through despite being in a lot of pain is a little victory. F%#@ you Fibromylgia... You couldn't keep me down today. It's nice to feel like a bad ass for THAT reason as apposed to just feeling bad for downing an entire mug of ice cream. The difference in my mood and overall being when I don't move around is DRASTIC. I spent the last week and half home due to snow days and a nasty stomach flu outbreak in our house... I also spent my Saturday crying into a pillow. It. Makes. A. Difference. It WORKS.


I'm also starting to think of working out and eating better as a gift to myself. Looking at it from this perspective is helping me value myself more than I've been willing to for some time now. I mean, you wouldn't repeatedly give a gift to someone you didn't appreciate, right? I'm definitely finding the more I do this, the more I appreciate myself just as I am now. After all it's my big, curvy body that's doing the work- It's worthy of taking up as much space as it needs to do it. Not just in the gym...in the world in general.

Now that I have a better understanding of how my mind works since I'm not drowning my thoughts out with Pepsi. I've also decided that I'm NOT going to make eating certain foods completely off limits. I'm a foodie. Always have been, always will be. I'm just trying to learn to appreciate how what I put in my body makes me feel. It takes a little extra prep time compared to a drive thru window, but the better food choices are just as good. (Minus the guilt.) And while I've been trying really hard to drastically cut down on the sodium, sugar, portions and snacking (my absolute weakness)... it's also human nature to want what we can't have. It's built in our DNA ya'll. For the people who claim they rather indulge in a granola bar over a pint of your favorite flavor ice cream topped with a warm chewy brownie, you're LYING! I'm just learning that if I'm eating it every day, it's no longer "indulging"... it's just eating. You're not "indulging" in anything when you're just going through the motion of eating just to eat. It's nice to indulge once in a while and I intend on doing just that.


I refuse to deny or deprive myself of the occasional goody also because I don't like anyone telling me what to do. That's right. Don't tell me what I CAN or CANNOT have. No one judges what I SHOULD or SHOULDN'T be eating but ME. Even if it IS me telling myself, "DON'T eat that doughnut, Jess." I'm all like...

BITCH. Don't tell me what to do! I eat WHAT I wanna eat, WHEN I wanna eat it, OKAY!?...

I just don't want it right now. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy Super Late 32nd (33rd?) Birthday Babe!

I know it's a little late but my babe celebrated 32 years of life last month (or was it 33?) and while I started a post dedicated just to him, my A.D.D. got the best of me and I got distracted.

Oooh look! A kitty! *runs off to chase cat*

SO... To finish what I started a few weeks ago, I wanted to take a moment to recognize the man that makes things happen around here. When my mind and our world is in chaos- he finds a way to make it all right again with such ease and grace reminding me of just how much of a drama queen I can be. Now, I could name 32 (or 33) billion reasons why I fell butt crazy in love with this man, but he'd probably leave me in the process of ignoring him to list those reasons.

So, here are just 10 little reason why my babe is the very BEST!


1. He smells yummy all the time. 



2. The kids don't miss me much when I'm gone... (& I don't feel the need ask why.)

                             

3. He doesn't need IKEA instructions because he has "common sense."


4. ... Most of the time. 


5. He's a nerd.


6. He doesn't make me feel bad about my struggles...


7. ... Cause we're in our struggles together.


8. His twisted sense of humor & that only he would know why this ecard is so damn funny.


9. His obsession with backpacks with lots of pockets and the fact that he would use the word "SEXY" to describe a backpack.


10. This smirk...


But most especially he's the best cause he's all MINE! (Okay, okay... 11 reasons.)

















"You threw off my groove!"

So last night the babe brought it to my attention that I haven't blogged in a while...

I miss your blogs.

Well... I miss my blog too. Like, A LOT!

As of Saturday January 4th @ approximately 8:32 PM eastern time, we sang Happy Birthday for the 6th and final time within a two and a half month span. For me this means... I'M BACK! Now, I know I said I would blog about all of the stuff I'd be doing throughout the last couple months and I shoulda had a ton of material to write about. But when I sat at my laptop to blog NOTHING came out. Cause when your head in swarming with thoughts of Christmases, birthdays, cakes, making everyone feel special and happy, wondering if we care TOO much about making everyone feel special and happy cause it's making you miserable, tired, crazy and MEAN after you convince yourself that you're NOT going to literally drop dead from stress, thinking of ways of saving money to spend money, and like, a GAZILLION other things... You sorta come across a mental block.



It reminds of that scene in the Emperor's New Groove. Me and my blogging are the Emperor Kuzco and his groove and the last couple months are the little old man that TOTALLY got in his way...

"You threw off my groove!"

So now that THAT'S all over, I can re-focus on things that mattered before the holidays threw off my groove... Like my blog. Or focusing on controlling my A.D.D. long enough to focus on my blog. Or...




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winter. A.D.D & A Tanning Booth...

It's been a long while since I've blogged. As much as I've missed sharing with ya'll... I just can't seem to get out of my funk long enough to focus on writing anything worthy of reading. (I DO have a ton to share tho!) Anyone who knows me or judging by my past blogs it's safe to say I'm NOT a winter person. I'm not a snow bunny. I'm the one tip toeing and cursing my way through my drive way swatting the snow flakes away from my face. Kids behind me happily catching snowflakes with their tongue.

I absolutely envy those who seem so in tune with the seasons here. Which right now seems to be everyone but me. It was a huge step in my adjustment to New England weather to have been sucked in by the beauty and wonder of Autumn. And while I've absolutely fallen in love with the scenery, the smells in the air and the ever changing colors...

I STILL. CANNOT STAND. WINTER.


Third year here. Still can't stand it. Love the season. Hate the weather. I attempted living in Pennsylvania between the ages of 19 and 22. I never left my apartment. I'm 30 now. My bones, muscles and MIND can't take it.

Where most people associate the sight of bells and candy canes with the "happiest season of all"... I now associate them it with a deep longing for sunlight, relentless aches and pains, sunset at 4:30 pm, and the strong urge to take a baseball bat to any speaker that dare blast their cheerful Christmas songs as you squander away your life savings on toys and giant bottles of Aleve. (Except for Mariah Carey's, All I Want For Christmas... I like that song.)

No. I'm not an ungrateful person. Yes. I'm extremely blessed. No. I'm not unlovable. Yes. I could be unpleasant to be around when I'm miserable. But I swear... in a few months I'll be dancing with the birds among the trees and kissing butterflies.


It's just that... the Floridian in me, associates "winter" with Christmas Day. Not the whole dang season. Once that one day is done and the presents are ripped apart and all the excitement of breaking the bank is over, that's it! I'm ready to ditch my Santa hat and scarf (worn mostly for shits and giggles) for sunblock and flip flops. I mean.. we DO get a winter. Temperatures drop to 12 degrees and I've dealt with a little frost here and there and even that was pushing it. I'd pull out my credit card, scrape the frost off my glass (feeling a little cheated at the fact that I even HAD to do that living in Florida) and I went about my business.


I can't do that here in Connecticut. The credit card or the flip flops thing. Well... I could but I like having all ten toes. It's also a big ol' fashion no-no. Even worse than wearing the hubs' bleach stained sweatpants to Target. (Which I may, or may not have done.) But that's not what we're discussing right now...

"So... Go back where you came from." You may say. Maybe someday, we will. But it ain't gonna be today.

SO. I'm determined to battle this thingy.

It might be needless to say, but I'll confess it anyway... I struggle a bit with depression and anxiety. I don't take medications. Mostly by choice. That said... I didn't realize until after my move up North just how much I relied on the sun, (yes, the sun) to keep my spirits up. So after last years long bout of the winter blues... I decided to get a gym membership. It had nothing to do with maintaining my Baywatch figure or as an addition to my new strict diet. You try and take and my goodies away you can expect to lose a finger. (Or two.)

And since we don't have the space or funds to convert a room in our house into a light box (used to treat the winter blues... you gotta google it)... it's a good thing my gym membership includes use of their tanning booth. Which I'd read some time last winter that being under the lights of a tanning bed could serve as an instant mood lifter because the rays produce a certain type of effect in the body releasing "feel good" hormones and what not. 

Now, I'll beat most of ya'll to the punch by saying... I know. I too associate the use of tanning booths to skin cancer. I swore no matter how well this works... I absolutely wouldn't use the tanning booth for more than a few minutes once every couple weeks IF that. What's worse, I'm a hypochondriac. A hypochondriac with freckles. I'm almost certain every chest pain, numbness, twinge and new freckle is a sign of impending doom. Yeah... Laugh now!


However... on this particular morning... I was desperate. 

I rolled out of bed at 8 am but from the looks of it, it resembled sun down. It was grey. It was cold. It was ugly. I had to go where I've never gone before to get me out of this funk.

So I walk into my gym that morning and approach the nice lady at the front counter. My fear of sounding like a complete dumb ass for not knowing how to use a tanning booth cause SURELY I was the only person in the northern hemisphere to never use one went out the window. My anxiety over being enclosed in a tiny space, clumsy as I am and surrounded by fragile light bulbs was put on the back burner...

Hello. I need some light. How do I do this thingy? I was getting down to business ya'll.

The nice lady was patient enough to walk me through the steps a little more than once. I asked her to repeat herself in order to ensure the instructions stuck and I wouldn't accidentally fry myself. She assured me the lights will automatically turn off in 3 minutes. 

I step in to the booth... make sure my door is locked... get nakey... and stepped through the chamber door into this little light capsule.

This massive, loud fan starts up above my head. And because I'm 250% sure I have some sort of adult A.D.D... The thoughts in my head went a little something like this...

Sounds like it's gonna suck me right outta here. I shoulda googled this before I did it. But what would I have searched? 'What to expect when tanning'? 'Tanning booth 101'? 'tanning booth parts'? If my hair were down... would that fan suck it up into those blades??? Is that even possible. 3 minutes... Ok 3 minutes... 

The blinding lights come on...

Should I be looking into these bulbs? Should I be wearing something over my eyes? Shouldn't the lady have TOLD me that I should wear some sorta SOMETHING on my eyes??? I mean... you should never look directly at the sun right? So is that what I'm doing now? Looking into the sun. 

I look down at my toes. I look up. I turn about 180 degrees...

Should I turn? For an even tan you need to turn. But I'm SURROUNDED by lights! Gosh Jess are you kiddin me... I laugh at myself a little.

Yup. Just me and the lights. Just me and the lights and I'm naked. I'm standing naked freakishly close to the front desk at the gym. I swear I should be wearing something over my eyes. Close your eyes, Jess... DUH! Get it together... You got 3 minutes of this to go... 3 minutes is a long time... right? Close my eyes, I gotta close my eyes. 

But before I close my eyes... I notice handles up over my head...

Is that an escape route?! Wait... it couldn't be. Could it? Let's say I get locked in this thing and I need to escape... I'd be trapped in the ceiling... so it CAN'T be an escape door. Wait... the lady said there was no way of getting locked in here. *sigh of relief*

I reach up and grab the handles...

I bet these handles are here to avoid tan lines huh? Yup. I bet they are. So do I hold on to them for the whole 3 minutes? But I'm naked. I'm naked with my arms up holding these handles. Omg... did I lock the door?! (Double check the door...) Dude OMG... that woulda sucked!!! Has anyone ever walked in on anyone standing in buck naked holding on the these handles like this *chuckle* Glad it ain't gonna be me... Okay, Okay... 3 minutes of this is nice... I can do this for 3 minutes...

Just as I start to feel that all too familiar toastiness on my skin that I normally get from the sun...

Aah yes... I could feel them happiness chemicals running through my veins now. Smiles to self...

Is it... a little... TOO warm in here? Is that normal? If I've only been standing here about a minute, does that mean people sweat in here standing for 10 minutes?! From light bulbs??? That can't be good. I hope this floor was cleaned right. What's TOO warm tho??? Seriously... it's freezing out but it's warm in here it's WEIRD. Jess... relax. Enjoy it. You get these 3 minutes to relax and enjoy the lights... *relaxing*

I got this. Okay... This actually feels kinda nice. I can do this for 3 minutes EVERYDAY! Okay Jess... shut your brain up and relax. You have 3 minutes...

And just as I got the hang of this whole tanning thing...

The lights turn off.

Dangit! Has it been 3 minutes already!?

I walked out of the gym that day feeling like a brand new woman.

I went home and googled 'Tanning booth without goggles'....

"You should NEVER enter a tanning booth without eye gear!!!"

"You'll go blind!"

"You can burn your cornea and damage your sight!"

"NEVER. NEVER. NEVER."

"Closing your eyes won't help! You'll burn your eye lids!"

"Good luck with your new cancer!"

Oh shit. Wait a minute... My vision HAS been a little blurry come to think of it...

Omg, Omg... I'M GONNA GO BLIND!!!