Thursday, December 13, 2012

Be the Change

One day recently I saw a lady yelling at the owner of a shop that sells items to smoke marijuana with among other things. The thing I noticed about the yelling lady was that she was more than a bit overweight. I notice that sometimes judgmental Christians are also overweight (the ones spewing hate to gays like Westboro Baptist). Yes, people who buy marijuana and smoke it are harming their bodies. Yes it's illegal, but that is a whole other blog. People who are fat and continue to stay that way are not any better at loving themselves than drug users or alcoholics.

I know I may be hurting feelings here and that is not my intention. I want to be honest and if the epidemic of overweight and obese people keeps getting sugarcoated, the problem will not get better. I have never been obese but I have been overweight before. I worked extremely hard to return to and continue to work hard to maintain a healthy weight. I feel better about myself and life in general even when bad things happen in my life. I work out almost daily. I take the stairs. I park far away from an entrance. I eat a mostly healthy diet limiting eating out, buying premade/processed foods, and sweets (even though I LOVE them).

I have been paying attention to some of the behaviors noticeable in social situations and some posts on social networks by overweight people. I notice that many of them are not active on a regular basis, the diet they choose encourages the weight to stay on, and they even appear to have low self-esteem the majority of the time. They seem to emanate the "I can't do it" attitude about exercise and try diets for a few weeks or months instead of making lifestyle changes for LIFE.

I used to behave differently and I was totally out of shape, mentally defeated, and tired all the time. I was a couch potato. Roller derby changed that for me. I started working out 2 hours 3 times a week. Loving this sport so much motivated me to do even better. I started working out at least 5 times a week OUTSIDE of derby, many times doing 2 workouts in one day. I liked the changes in my body, and it wasn't just noticeable weight loss or muscle definition, it was changes in my mental clarity, positive attitude, circulation, sleeping patterns, no more migraine headaches, blood pressure, and many more noticeable healthy benefits.

The sad thing to me is children modeling the behavior they see in parents with bad eating and activity habits just like they model other negative behaviors. This epidemic seems to burden overweight/obese children with a lifetime of health problems and/or death at an early age. Then they pass it on to their children and so on. It is just getting worse over time. states that the percentage of overweight children is growing at an alarming rate with 1 out of 3 kids being considered overweight. It  saddens me that I can go to an event and see mostly overweight people in the room. It is overwhelming to think a room full of people don't love themselves enough to do something about their weight and stick around for the people that love them and need them. If you don't love yourself how can you possibly love anyone else?

Find your roller derby. And even if you don't find your roller derby start by making small changes like never taking elevators/escalators and only using the stairs or parking far away. Start making time for a 15-minute family walk each evening. Ride your bike to work. Stop buying crappy food. Cook from scratch or learn to cook if you don't know how. READ about it. If you know what changes you can make and don't make the changes how can a different result be obtained?

Look at your children. You would do anything for them. Do this.

I have things to work on like perfectionism, toxic parenting, and patience. I am not perfect and I am not judging overweight people for not being perfect. I am bettering myself and I just want the same for other people. I want everyone to love themselves so in turn they can love the world. Being better starts with a beginning but it does NOT end.

Friday, September 7, 2012

If Courage was Contagious...

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.-Maya Angelou

Whirling thoughts have overwhelmed me lately. I think about all the mistakes I have made and what some of my mistakes have cost me. I think about the courage I have found to admit my mistakes and how I am no longer afraid of what people think. I am not a bad person. I am a good person who makes mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone can admit their mistakes or faults. It takes a great deal of courage to do this.

I feel like I need to scream, laugh, and cry all at the same time. I miss laughing. Sure I laugh, but I miss the deep hysterics I have on occasion with close friends where your face hurts afterwards. I don't miss crying, but I feel like I need to do it a lot these days. I am not one to scream, but I feel an overwhelming rage sometimes and feel like screaming might quiet that rage somehow. But things cannot be undone. I look forward to the day that the rage is gone forever.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.-Winston Churchill

I have had to face myself and my imperfections. Everything is not pretty, but I am still proud of who I am. I work hard, I love my children and my husband, I take care of myself, and I try to help others and be kind to people. My experiences have led me to where I am today and put me just where I need to be to deal with the life-changing events that I am facing now. I am sorry it took such a devastating blow to teach me these lessons, but I am also glad to know what I know now. I am gaining some necessary tools through this experience to enrich my life and the lives of those I love.

How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.-Benjamin Franklin

I have done so many things I thought I couldn't in these last months. If you want your life to change, you have to start with you. Maybe you need to leave an abusive relationship, stand up for what you believe in, forgive someone, lose weight, or simply get out of bed on days you don't want to (I have a lot of those days) and your mind is telling you to just give up. I choose not to listen to the voice inside myself that gives me excuses or tells me I can't. I choose to listen to the voice that tells me I can. The more I listen, the less I hear the stupid excuses in my head. This is courageous. I acknowledge my fears and then do it anyway. Kinda like roller derby. When I fall or get hit hard, a voice in my head might be telling me to give up and not get back up, but the voice I listen to is the one that tells me to get back up QUICK time after time and that I CAN.

The one character trait I hope my children "catch" from me is courage. I am strong, and I hope for my children to be even stronger. I hope they get back up every time, even when it's the hardest thing they will ever do.
We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.-Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I have been away tooooo long! My work computer wasn't allowing me to blog there for a while. But I finally got around that by downloading Firefox and now here I am.

I have a lot going on in my life right now. I am still working out hard, riding my bike to work at least 3 times a week and going to derby practice (we made it to regional tournaments btw). I have been doing pushups and working to be able to complete 50 pushups at one time. I have maintained my goal weight since May.

Anywho...moving on to the point.

I have been annoyed by some posts I have been reading lately on social networks. You know those posts that say "FML" or "this is the worst day of my life" or "my life sucks" and "I might as well die" crap? Are you ALIVE? Are your kids alive? Do you have food to eat? Do you have family? If the answer is yes then shut the F up!!! I want to shout this to people who post woe-is-me Debbie-downer statuses.

I had the worst day of my life on February 3rd, 2012 (and I am pretty sure it is worse than the average worst). I had many bad days after that. I still have them. But my kids and my husband are alive and we are all getting back up, dusting ourselves off, and learning to live life to the fullest. Bad life situations hopefully bring about necessary change. Life is not meant to keep you down when you get knocked there. Tough situations bring us even closer to those we love and closer to strangers we may never have met otherwise. Life experiences build our empathy. Mine has grown tons these last months.

I can see the ripples that were made over the last 16 years of my family life. When you see that, your eyes are open WIDE. It is very enlightening, and very humbling. It hurts very deep and I will never forget. Things that I thought were, just weren't after that horrible February day. And they still aren't and probably never will be again. Even though that day was horrible I am thankful for knowing the truth and what that truth has taught me. I am thankful for the people in my life who have supported me in this difficult time.

The most important thing I have learned in this life experience is to LOVE, really love. Don't try to fix people. You can only fix yourself (and if you need fixing, recognize it and do the work). Don't judge ANYONE. Don't think you know it all because you probably know the least. Talk to people. Get to know them. Help people, don't hurt them. Build your children up, don't tear them down, even if you're just teasing or being a perfectionist who has to fix everything. Everyone needs love, no matter who they are or what they have done. And they need someone to believe in them. Love can change the world. It has certainly changed me.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Love Does NOT Exclude

As a mother, I have learned so much about life. Life is like a puzzle. Sometimes things just don't make sense. When you are a mother, you can sense your children and their distress. You may not know why, but you know when something just isn't right. Then smack!!! Some piece of the puzzle is revealed and it all makes perfect sense.   

Yesterday, while sitting in church listening to my pastor (who happens to be gay), I had an epiphany, or realized something I hadn't before, and now God's love makes perfect sense. The sermon, about how God's love is so great he gave his greatest treasure to die for our sins so we can have a relationship with God. God's love is unconditional, much like a mother's love, but maybe even greater than that. But the thing some self-righteous Christians don't get, is that God's love does not exclude anyone, no matter their "sin" or YOURS.  We shouldn't diminish God's gift by excluding people because they are not like us.

I point out that my pastor is gay, because my church is not a typical Christian church, even though those who attend are Christians, which only means they believe in Jesus Christ. Most that go to my church believe that the bible is not to be taken literally word for word, and sin is what separates us from God. They are "free-thinkers." They believe that what is important is the relationship with God, not whether you are a good or bad person, and that we are all imperfect. My pastor basically pointed out in her sermon that we are NOT here to point out the bad we see in others. God loves us all, with ALL of our imperfections and he wants us to love each other that way too. He tried to show us how deeply he loves us and how important it is for us to love one another in sending his son. A parent's love is the only love that can come close to the unconditional love that God has for us, and still doesn't quite compare.

I believe that sin against others only makes more sin against others, against others, and still others. Whether it be a hate crime against a gay person, a harsh word, a violent fist fight, beating your wife or child, sexually abusing someone, or lying; all these things and more bad bring more negativity to this world because it hurts others and then most of those hurt people act out negatively in retaliation. I believe that we should not point out what is wrong with others. Instead we should love them and build them up, and stop making fun of people and excluding them from your "group" because they are different and instead accept and love them for who they are. We cannot keep harming others to deal with the pain of what we have endured. Instead we must reach out for all the pieces of the puzzle that we may not have to help us learn the compassion that the world is lacking. We must get to know ourselves and the change we can accomplish within ourselves. The more we let go of anger, hatred, jealousy, and all the other negative feelings, and truly let LOVE lead the way we treat others, the more peaceful we are inside ourselves.

I cannot tell you all the reasons I truly believe this, except that my family situation calls for me to forgive something I never thought I could and love someone I thought I would hate. I will do this, because if I don't I will affect not just my life but the lives of many others and those I love most deeply in this world. Hatred and the unwillingness to forgive will only get in the way of the healing that my family so desperately needs. I would die today so that the pieces of my family's puzzle could already be complete and we could be over the hurt, but at least now the edges and some of the middle are filled in. I have to be very patient and strong to be able to complete the rest of the puzzle, and that is why I seek a relationship with God, because He gives me patience, strength, love, comfort, forgiveness, compassion, and wisdom to endure this life. I find God in me and I want the relationship to grow strong because I need it. God's love is the most beautiful love I have ever felt, and with the ugliness of the world, I need beautiful more now than I ever have in my life. I am not here to point out that everyone else needs God, that is for each individual to decide on his/her own. 

And if you think I'm weird or crazy, I love you anyway. Aren't we all weird or crazy or maybe a little of both?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This Crazy Life

Wow it's been a while!

Work has been getting way busy, which is one excuse for the length of time since my last blog entry. Also, family life has gotten extremely complicated recently. These are only excuses for not writing. I do not have any excuses for not working out, because I have kept that part up.  Yay me! It paid off too, because my team recently beat our biggest rivals, the No Coast Derby Girls of Lincoln, NE. It was a great game ending with a score of 154-151.

I have still been doing at least 2 workouts a day including stairs, agility, running, strength and of course derby.

I hope this winning streak continues, and I hope the winning motivates the rest of my team as it has motivated me to keep up the good work!

On the weight loss end, I HAVE HIT MY GOAL WEIGHT! Meaning, I lost those pesky last 10 pounds I have been hanging on to for more than a few years! I utilized My Fitness Pal online, which also has an app for electronic devices. I have a Blackberry and the app works great for me. This website keeps track of your calories, exercise, weigh-ins, and goals. It is capable of graphing your progress and lets you make changes to settings. For example, it lets you decide how many grams of protein or fiber that you want to take in each day, and how many pounds you want to lose each week and adjusts your calories accordingly.

As complicated and difficult as family life has become, I continue to work out because it helps me relieve stress, stay positive, and focus on the real issues.

Here are lyrics from a song that completely describes how life can knock you down but you just keep getting back up and giving it all you got:

Whoopsi-daisy, whoopsi-daisy, whoopsi-daisy
Come, we gonna catch that
Whoopsi-daisy, call me crazy, whoopsi-daisy
Come, we gonna catch that

Fire, takin’ it from warm to hot
Fire, gonna give it all we got
Fire, whoopsi-daisy, call me crazy, whoopsi-daisy
Come, we gonna catch that

I am going to continue to give all I have, even on the days I feel I'm losing it or have completely lost it. Call me crazy.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Still Hard at Work...

Just a quick update...

I have been getting super busy at work with not much time to blog!

I have been keeping up on my hardcore regimen of 2 a days plus practice.

I do cardio on the weekday mornings for up to 20 minutes plus push-ups and pull-ups. I do stairs or agility work with a friend every day at lunch. I still run, but my new running shoes are not breaking in well and are causing me pain. I have to do something about that. I am still attending practice 3 times a week for at least 2 hours each time.

I realize I need to do more yoga as I have been having more aches and pains the last couple of weeks. Hopefully I can incorporate this on the weekends.

I have been doing okay with eating, with a few weak moments for those sweets. Damn those sweets! Especially those Girl Scout cookies! I am down a total of 5 pounds with 4 pounds to go for my goal.

To my girls who have been keeping up with me...Keep it up!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Making Progress...

I have been a machine the last 2 weeks! Watch out!

I didn't keep track of the exercises I did last week, but I did exercise 6 out of 7 days.

With the new year, I don't typically make resolutions, but I am focusing on being as healthy and fit as humanly possible going forward. To aid me in doing this, I got a composition notebook and made a fitness plan for each day of the week as well as a food chart. 1 page=1 day. On each page I note the day/date and keep the food with calories, protein, fat, and fiber. I also write down my exercises and glasses of water. Each Friday I weigh in. I also use app on my Blackberry to help me keep track when I can't write in my notebook.

Starting with Saturday (NYE) I ran 4.08 miles in 40 minutes. I took NYD and the next day off from exercise. Starting with Tuesday I did 780 stairs, 30 push-ups, and 3-1 minute wall sits at lunch. In the evening I did pull-ups, which I can only do a maximum of 3. I am working on increasing that number.  On Wednesday I did 17 minutes of elliptical with arms burning 193 calories. At lunch I did 30 push-ups, pull-ups, and 3-1 minute wall-sits as well as a short run. I had a 3-hour derby practice in the evening as well.  Today I ran for 18 minutes in the morning and did the Deck O Cards workout using planks, push-ups, V-sits, and mountain climbers.

I also stuck quotes to motivate me all over the front cover and throughout the pages of the notebook. I have a partner, my derby wife, working right along with me everyday to encourage each other in our dedication to this healthier and more fit lifestyle. We also wanna kick some ass this season and we know from experience that it takes a lot of hard work to be at your best performance level.

I encourage anyone to follow in my footsteps and would love to share my notebook with anyone who wants to make one of their own.

Happy health! And Happy New Year too!