Today I had to try on dresses for an upcoming wedding in a few days. As I lugged the dresses into the dressing room I told myself not to get depressed if clothes didn't fit. Kind of a mini pep talk to prepare me for what was coming.

All in all, it went well. Some dresses were too small, some fit, and the sizes were varied so all in all a typical trying on session that most people would experience. I even found a cute dress with a shrug and it was on sale. Score!


I didn't really register a change in my overall mood until I went to pick the kids up at the sitter. I had worked today and been away from the boys all day yet, my nerves seemed to already be running thin with them and I had just picked them up. The bad mood continued after we got home. It took a while for me to figure out I was sad. I was feeling upset about trying on dresses and how I looked in them. The fact that the dress I ended up with was a size 24. The fact that I have several dresses in my closet, and some of them may have fit, I didn't try them on yet, but the one I wanted to try on in my closet wouldn't fit because it was a size 18. I wore it to a fancy wedding in 2007 when I was a lot thinner.

My mood progressively got worse. I was snappy with my kids. Angry at my husband. And just plain sad. I didn't really connect my sadness about my weight and the dresses with why I was so upset until we sat down for dinner and I realized I was just tired.  Tired of everything. Tired of preparing meals, listening to kids whine, the routine.  I was unhappy. Deep down inside I was tired of the weight. Tired of losing weight only to gain it back. Tired of feeling like a failure. Tired of wearing a stupid size 22/24. I have been in and out of a 22/24 my entire adult life. I'm sick of it. Tired of thinking that even if lose the weight again, statistics show that I have a 95% chance of regain. And Lord knows, I know something about regain already.

It's times like this, when I think that losing weight for good is impossible that I feel the lowest. I wish I could just make it go away. But that's not going to happen. I have to walk through this road. I have to lose every pound, walk through all the emotional garbage, and get through it.

The only thing is I don't have to do it alone. But inside my head I was alone. And the task was insurmountable. That's why I felt so sad. So unhappy. Overwhelmed.

So after the boys left the dinner table I told Greg what I was feeling. And I started to cry; surprised at the emotional-ness of it all. He asked if I wanted to talk about it and I shook my head no. But the sadness I felt was deep.

Eventually I was able to share how I was feeling with Greg. He opened the door, I just had to pick when I wanted to walk through.

What I have learned in therapy is that I am unhappy on the inside. And no amount of losing weight on the outside is going to make me happy. It's just a whole lot easier to focus on what I can see and be unhappy about it than what I can't see. When I was younger I turned the unhappiness on myself. As a teenager I remember writing horrible things about myself. I would turn all my unhappiness on myself.

Now I know I am supposed to be kind to myself. Love myself. Not criticize myself. Not rip every part of my body that I despise. I'm not supposed to despise my body, I am supposed to be thankful for everything it has done for me. I'm not supposed to tear myself down. And that's hard. It's a lot easier to focus on what I see and is tangible ... like FAT....and focus hate on that rather than owning feelings and emotions.

See, everybody gets tired. Everybody gets worn down. That's why you need a support system. That's why we don't do it alone. This blog helps too. I share my feelings and I am way more transparent online than I am in person. It still shocks me when people talk to me about the blog and I go, 'oh yeah, I said that. Oops!". LOL!

Step by step I am getting there. It's a process. Recognizing that I struggle with depression and anxiety and have to work on those issues constantly rather than focusing on something negative I can see and not deal with the pain. I also have ADHD, and I know a lot of people say they are ADD or ADHD, but for reals, I have been diagnosed and with it a plethora of feelings around low self-esteem, failure, forgetfulness, guilt and shame come from experiences with that too.

And for the first time I am facing them. So I get sad. Add to it life's little stressors (that are also tremendous blessings) and it can be overwhelming. But, face them, I do. And this was one of those days.

I had a visual reminder of why I am unhappy and it led to deeper revelation about what I am truly unhappy about and even though I can't change this phase of life I am in, I know I won't be here forever and dealing with it now brings healing, so that next time, I can move a few steps closer to health.

If you struggle with anything significantly, I'm sure you've figured out that the path to healing is anything but linear. It's does not have a beginning and an end. I've figured out that healing is ongoing and sometimes messy and hard. It's a journey, not a destination. 

Here's to one step closer to healing. 

Love Every Inch!

Today I met a medicine ball during my workout. My trainer introduced us and he said some interesting words. He said I could use the medicine ball to get rid of pent up anger and frustration. I was instantly intrigued.

My trainer went on to explain today I was going to be throwing the ball at the wall. I could picture him there if I wanted (not a chance) or if I was angry at someone or something I could picture it there and work out my frustrations. I thought that was an awesome idea.

Since I have so much anger/shame that has turned inward, I can be kind of intense sometimes. I am well aware of it, have been told that, and have wanted to change that for sometime. Until I realized that I had the power to release all this shame myself, I had no real way of dealing with this deep seated anger. I had no idea that it was my shame that was causing most of the anger and reactiveness. It has been very eye opening and healing to understand where the brunt of this firestorm comes from.

My anger comes out in many ways, but the most frustrating way for me that it comes out is anger or aggravation at the people I love.  I used to bottle of my feelings so much and it would build and build and build that I would take it out on random people. This mainly happened when I was single and didn't have a lot of coping skills yet, plus I didn't have a significant other to project those reactive feelings upon. My immediate family felt the brunt of it during that time, for sure. Ugh, what a mess when I think about it.

Now, I feel my kids get the brunt of my frustration and I really don't like it. It's something I desperately want to change, yet, seem to struggle with each month. While I can see much progress and offer myself grace time upon time again and always apologize to my kids when I am being reactive, it still hurts and I worry the affect it will have on my kids. Maybe some of this resonates with you. My hope in sharing my story is ultimately to help others. Maybe seeing how my anger presents, you can take a deeper look at your own insides and reflect on how to best deal with whatever baggage you have left.

Anyway, getting back to the medicine ball and my workout.... When I was throwing the ball at the wall I pictured the word SHAME. I thought about the ugliness of it, the  years of pent up anger and frustration and I thought about freedom from it. How it no longer has a place inside. The shame needs to get out.

Needless to say, this was very liberating since I am really not angry at people, even people in my past that have hurt me. I've dealt with it and processed it and feel I have healed from it. It was liberating to realize that *I* can own my fear, frustration, shame, embarrassment, negativity. Nobody does those things to me anymore but I turned them so much inside over the years and had such negative talk about myself that it is literally taking YEARS to undo all that damage. I am just at the beginning. 2014 was like an epiphany for me. I have held on to so much negativity in the midst of overcoming a lot of obstacles. I didn't see it. It's like I was working at so hard at succeeding and overcoming that I missed healing the deep, deep insides of me.

I focused so much on the outside, losing weight (then gaining it back), and placed my happiness meter on what I looked like on the outside that I didn't see the hot mess on the inside, even though I knew, deep down, that it was there. When I gained weight I had deeply depressed feelings and I cannot even begin to tell you what I thought of myself. It all goes back to all the negativity during my adolescence and really never getting over that. Instead of being angry at other people I blamed myself and hated myself and all of that hatred turned inward and was unprocessed because even though I eventually forgave everyone else I never forgave myself. Enter SHAME.

I have no idea if this is making any sense, but the point of all this is that I am OK. I am better than OK. I have overcome a lot. I have healed a lot. But my focus has been misguided all these years because I never got past hating my adolescent self and anytime I lost weight I liked myself better, and tied my feelings about myself and my self-esteem to what was seen on the outside. With all the weight I have lost I have regained so........ So you can see that if I focus on that alone that no wonder I have felt like a total failure for the last 30 years, even though I have accomplished much.

If I am not happy on the inside, no matter what I look like on the outside, I'm still not going to be happy. I have to understand why I am unhappy to begin with.

That means I have to feel feelings. Yuck.

Not really yuck, but unfortunately, I can either feel my feelings or drown them in something else and I'm kind of tired of drowning them. I'm tired of being reactive and angry. I'm tired of feeling shame over something I don't need to feel shame about. I want to understand and overcome this process.

So throwing that medicine ball at the wall was quite therapeutic. I need to focus my anger and frustrations in other areas, not myself. Exercise is a great way to do that!

It's time to love. It's time to take care of myself. And it's time to thank this body that I have been given and fall in love with every. last. inch.

Because when I do that, I am not going to be able to tear myself down ever again.

Whew. Lots to chew on.

Take today and love on yourself. All of you. Every last inch. Thank your body for everything it has endured. Don't hate it. Start to embrace it. I say start because it is definitely a process.

The cellulite on your it.

Saggy it

Saggy boobs......what have those boobs done...I have to remember that I fed 2 babies from those boobs. Pretty awesome. Love it.

The butt and thighs with cellulite on it? Well, they may have very well carried children for 9 months. Love it.

Stretch marks...try growing a 8 pound human inside your tummy and see what happens. Love it.

Think about it.

A process well worth following through on.

What is a part of your body that you literally hate? My task to you today is to find how that body part has gotten you through this life. Supported you. Never let you down.

Think about it and let me know what you come up with!

Fight Back With Joy - a Review

I have had the privilege of reading Margaret Feinberg's new book, Fight Back with Joy. I am excited to share my review with you, but more importantly,  I'm excited to share one of my favorite authors and speakers with you!

Last year, Margaret was diagnosed with breast cancer and embarked on a journey of diagnosis, surgery, treatments and much more, as she describes in her new book, Fight Back With Joy.

I have talked about Margaret on my blog before. Everything that I read of hers is just fresh to me. I've grown up on a lot of wonderful, godly women and their bible studies, but there is something about the way that Margaret writes and speaks that just reaches me. Hearing her share stories from the Bible always brings with it a new perspective.

This book was so refreshing because even though Margaret was sharing her private story, it wasn't every gory detail about her cancer diagnosis. Margaret used humor as only Margaret does, telling her story and how early on she and Leif made a commitment to face the future with JOY, no matter what. Margaret only gave glimpses to the gravity she might possibly be facing with her diagnosis. However, she shared plenty in the book about the her and Leif's fears, the surgery and subsequent treatments and how each of their relationships with Christ was strengthened through this process. Margaret is real about the ups and downs, the trials and strains on friendships. She discusses how she processed her feelings and how in every way she turned to God as much as possible for Him to guide her and for Him to be the gauge for how she should be reacting to things. I was very impressed with how she dealt with and handled her journey.

Intertwined in each chapter is a connection to a story in the bible. Something that helped her through a difficult time, something she felt would help deepen the story of each chapter.

Along with Margaret's journey, there is Leif's journey, the caregiver. At the end of the book there is a wonderful reference section that helps people going through the cancer journey to make their load lighter or a little clearer. Leif even gives some tip and suggestions on being a caregiver but also knowing how to take care of yourself so you can be the caregiver.

This book is an easy read, written in Margaret's down to earth musings about God and life and of course, JOY.

This book is for anyone affected by cancer or not. It is encouraging, insightful and helpful. It is also inspiring to see someones journey and commitment to look at a cancer diagnosis square in the face and trust God in those matter what.

Check out THIS promo video to hear more from Margaret about the book! There is also a fabulous Bible study that you can order and this video gives you a peek inside the Bible study!

I hope I've given you a glimpse into a book that will make it on your must read for 2015.  If you've never read anything by Margaret, then definitely start with Fight Back With Joy....and then ask me for my other favorites!

Click on the AMAZON and BARNES&NOBLES link to buy the book NOW!

HERE is the link to purchase the 6 week bible study!

Enjoy! And let me know what you think!

Here's To 2015!!!!!!

Happy New Year!!!

We have had a completely relaxed Christmas and New Years season. At times I was bored, at times I was really  rested, but most of the time I just enjoyed the time. The time with my kids (although we have had our moments). My husband took an entire week off of work during this time and it was awesome!!! He works from home, so he is usually here, but he is very disciplined and stays upstairs in his office during the work day. It was nice not seeing him go up the stairs every day.

We didn't hang with a lot of family or friends. We had a very quiet, relaxing season. I obviously needed the rest. And even though I am ready to get back to my routine and have the boys back in school, I have to say I am loving the ages of my boys right now because they are independent, but still need me, sort of. Ha! But all in all, they can occupy themselves, or we can all just hang in the living room. We can play games (successfully, if you know what I mean. We actually can complete a game to the finish). We have sung karaoke, the boys have played on their new toy, the Xbox. I have tried to read ( I have so many books, I'm overwhelmed with where to begin), we have watched movies, laughed, cried, ate and slept. Its been good.

As much as I am looking forward getting back into our routine, I am not looking forward to the 6-6;30 AM wake up call on Monday. Nope. That's going to be brutal.

But at least I have caught up on some rest, spent some time with my hubby and kids, reflected on the past year, looking forward to all the positive changes coming in 2015 for myself, and my family. This weekend we are getting together with close friends and it will be nice to entertain. I didn't get everything done I had imagined I would these past two weeks. I did continue to work out (yay me!). I haven't gained any weight over the holidays (yay me!) And even though making permanent life changes can be challenging, sometimes you just have to count your small successes and focus on the positive instead of looking at the big picture.

When I try and look at the big picture instead of living day by day, I get overwhelmed, sad and depressed. And a few days ago I was there, for about 24 hours. I am thankful for forgiveness, for small steps forward, for do-overs and grace.

Here is to 2015! May it be everything you want it to be and more.

What are some of your goals for 2015? I don't do resolutions, but I have goals and as a family we have goals. I'll share some of mine if you share yours!!!

Happy New Year and God bless!!!!