Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

I’ve loved you since I met you. We’e been together since I was young. I think I was about 15 or 16, but I knew you way before that. I knew you when I was a little kid. It feels like it has been forever. In reality, it has been a very, very long time, just not forever. You drew me in with your beautiful smell. You drew me in with your amazing color. I loved it. I loved you. 

I craved you. I couldn’t help it. I became addicted. How could I not have? We did everything together. We woke up together. We spent the mornings together. We always spent after lunch together and even evenings. We did this for many, many years. But then you started causing problems for me. I started feeling weird and I started having issues with my body. You were harming me because I couldn’t get enough of you. 

I had to start hanging out with your less than fun younger brother. He wasn’t bad, but I liked you better. I loved you better. It just wasn’t the same. It took me a while, but I stopped thinking about you. I actually started to feel better without you. You left me alone for over six months, maybe longer.  I felt free. I really felt better without you.

One day, I saw you again. You were just right there. I couldn’t resist you. It was like heaven. We only hung out in the mornings though. It felt just right. You weren’t being mean to me. You weren’t making things go crazy. It was nice. I loved you again. You loved me again.  The weekends were the best. We hung out all day. Just like we did before. It was wonderful. 

But now, you are starting to not be so great again. You’re starting to drive me crazy. I can’t sleep at night. I lie there in bed, just staring at the ceiling. I think and think and then think some more. You are doing it again. You’re starting to be mean. 

I’ve come to the realization that we can only hang out in the mornings. That’s it, no afternoons or evenings. Even on the weekends, it can only be in the morning. The rest of the time, I will be hanging out with your brother again. He’s just not as good though. Why can’t he be just like you, except without the meanness? Why can’t he? 

I really do love you more, but I have to be disciplined. I have to be strict with you. Even though I want to hang out all the time, I have to stick to my guns. 

Coffee you have been so important to me. I really have loved you forever, but it’s back to your brother, decaf. I will see you in the mornings, but that’s it. I just can’t spend that much time with you anymore. I have to take a break from you. 

Zoom Out

It was about a month ago. Now time. Not kid time. I tried on five pairs of pants. All the same size. All fit different. None of them fit. Every single pair were too small. Or I was too big. However you want to spin it. They didn’t fit, plain and simple.

Old me would have been devastated. Now me is slightly concerned, but not throwing a tantrum. Not getting rid of all the food so I can starve myself. Not freaking out. The now me is bucking up and taking responsibility. I know I have been slacking. I have been eating too much and drinking too much wine. I know it’s time to clean it up. For me. I needed to quit eating whatever I wanted and however much I wanted.

It’s interesting how we let things slide. And now here is my point. Why do we have to slide? Why can’t we be okay all the time? Why can’t we just eat to stay healthy? Why do we feel like we have to eat all the things or drink all the things? Life is curious that way. Once we realize that we can stay in check and eat good food and drink once in a while, I think that mindset shifts and it is easier to stay on track. You have to nurture yourself. Take care of yourself. Think about what you are putting in your body. Do you really want to eat crappy and feel crappy all the damn time? I sure don’t. Take ownership of your eating. Understand how food makes you feel. Start with the basics and learn. Learn and then develop your skills. Zoom out. Take a hard look at what you want your life to look like. What you want to look like. Is it matching how you are now? If not. Do something. Take action. Make a change. Be positive and enjoy the journey.

I understand and I get it. Sometimes making changes is hard. We want to change, but actually doing the work and taking the steps and taking responsibility for our actions scares us. It just does. It’s easy, yet we try to overcomplicate it.

Well, I decided to take responsibility. I quit eating like an asshole. I started cleaning up my diet. And by the way, diet is not a dirty word. Diet actually simply means what you eat. Your diet. But, nothing can be simple in society, so it has been complicated beyond belief.

I actually started an online challenge and did the challenge right along with the people in the group. I gave them a nutrition plan and a daily workout. I stayed consistent, I ate well. I didn’t eat crap food. Like I said, I was consistent. I feel stronger, I feel better, I have more energy, I sleep better and I lost weight. Because I wanted to. Not because society told me I had to or because someone made a snarky comment. It was because I wanted to. It is okay if you want to change your body. It is okay if you want to lose weight. It is okay if you want to gain weight. Nobody gets to decide that for you, except you!

Just remember consistency is the key. You can consistently eat well and get results and you can consistently eat crappy and get results. It’s your choice, you get to pick. You get to own your results. Either way.

Angela

Angela Schweigert

My workout buddy

My work buddy

My drinking buddy

My recipe trying buddy

Her laugh

Her sincerity

Her

Her laugh was contagious. Kind of a snort but kind of not. You couldn’t help but laugh right along with her. 

She always named her cars.  At that time she had Cosmo. Her dad knew what the hell was up and he had that car running like a top.

We were in high school. She was at that time the best friend I had. It’s funny how people come and go, out and in, stay and play, and make their mark on your life. They touch your heart and they touch your life. They make your life better. You never forget them or the fun you had. They are special people. Truly. Life rolls on and you see things about them once in a while on Facebook. Or you see a parent passed. Sometimes you see the out of state plate parked at the parents house and you wonder how she is doing and wonder why you didn’t stop. But it’s okay, you just know. Because it goes without saying. It’s not necessary. Those are the best kinds of friends. That’s the kind of friend Angela is. Everyone needs those kinds of friends. They are the best. Always true. Always sincere. Always.

She was tall and lanky. She had long arms and long legs. She had a ton of long, wavy hair and a face full of freckles. She was a great listener and a great friend. 

We liked to work out. We wanted to be in shape. We used to ride our bikes out to Twin Bridges at least three times a week during the summer. It’s a jaunt. We used to laugh about the road kill we would see, unless it was a snake. That was disgusting. Other days we would go for runs or slap on some ankle weights and see how far we could walk, uphill, of course. On one of our runs, we stopped the Schwan’s truck and asked for ice cream. He obliged. We were happy. It was hot out that day. 

At that time the drinking age was 18. Not the hard alcohol drinking age, but the beer drinking age. It was winter and it was cold. It sucked. Angela’s parents were out of town, so we decided to make daiquiris. Yummy flavors. All the fruits. We had strawberry and peach and a couple other flavors. We decided to pretend it was warm out and we wore Hawaiian shirts and leis. Because that’s how we rolled. Why not make the best out of a bad situation. Winters in South Dakota, called for desperate measures. 

I remember another time we tried to make pita bread. The oven had to be extremely hot, like 500 degrees hot. I thought for sure we were going to burn down her house. It seemed like the oven was malfunctioning and the kitchen filled with smoke. I think maybe one of the 12 or so we made turned out. Obviously we weren’t bakers. 

We worked together at Sooper Dooper. We always had the dreaded 3-10 shift and 3-9 shift. It was terrible. It dragged on forever. We laughed though. We did stupid things so the time would pass. One time we put flower pots on our heads and customers thought we were crazy. Angela said we were pot heads. We got a good laugh out of that one.

We had a lot of good times. A lot of good friend times. Thanks for the friendship Angela. I will always, always remember how much fun we had and next time I see your car, I will stop and catch up. 

Sorry Kevin

My 7th grade math teacher’s name was Mr. Curl. Wallace Curl. Math was not my favorite subject, but it just so happened this was the class I was in when one of the most embarrassing things in my life happened.

Junior high, or middle school as it is called these days, is where it happened. I was shy. I mean really shy. If a teacher called on me, I shrunk in my seat and turned several shades of red, like the phases of a ripening tomato. I hated it. I couldn’t help it. I’m not sure why I was so shy. Does anyone really know why they are shy?

I sat in the middle row. It was the old part of the building. It smelled like old books. I really liked that smell. It also smelled like old wood. The wood floor creaked as feet walked across it. The classroom had windows, so at least when I was daydreaming, I could look out the window. I recall our desks faced north and the windows were to the west.

Kevin Maskovich sat in front of me. He had broken his leg so he was on crutches. He was really nice to me and always took time to talk to me. For the life of me, I can’t remember anyone else who was in this particular math class with me. Tunnel vision and tunnel memory may be real. I do remember Mr. Curl standing at the front of the class with piece of chalk in hand, at the ready to scrawl the math problems on the board, beads of sweat running down his forehead. He had his suit coat hanging on the back of his chair and his shirt sleeves were rolled up to his elbows. Heaven forbid I would have to get up and go to the board. That would be like pulling my fingernails off with a pair of pliers. Actually, pulling the fingernails off may have been better.

Everyone was tired. This class was right after lunch. We had hot ham and cheese sandwiches that day. I have never in my life eaten another one after this tragic day. It was hot in the classroom. There was no air conditioning in the school. I didn’t feel well. I was sweaty and nauseous. I was getting worried. I was afraid I was going to be sick. I didn’t have time to ask to go to the bathroom. I couldn’t stop it. It was like a lava volcano erupting up through my throat. I barfed. I puked. I hurled. I blew chunks. Oh God!!! What just happened? I wanted to die. I wanted to absolutely die! How could this happen? Idiot! Why didn’t I run to the bathroom? Why?????

I remember Kevin saying, “What was that??!!” Well, buddy, it was barf and I got some on you. Poor guy! I felt terrible. He did move his crutches out of the way pretty fast though.

Mr. Curl got the janitor. They brought in that disgusting smelling cat litter-type sawdust product to cover up the vomit. You know, that reddish brown stuff. Vomit powder. Supposedly this helped clean up the mess, once the product absorbed the liquid. GAWD!!! I still wanted to die. I just wanted to slither away. I wanted never to be seen again. I just wanted to go home.

I remember watching the janitor sweeping up the vomit. It almost made me vomit again. Someone came and got me and took me home. It was probably my mom. I was devastated. I was embarrassed and I just wanted to shrivel up into nothing.

The experience was traumatic. I had a hard time going back to school. I think it actually took almost two weeks for me to go back. Every time I thought about going to school I would become physically sick. It was hard. I know I wasn’t really sick, but I couldn’t go back. I just couldn’t. One day when I thought I was all better, dad gave me a ride on his way to work. We pulled up to the school and I told him I couldn’t get out. I told him I felt sick. He took me home. I would have to try another day.

I finally got my shit together. I knew I would have to go back at some point. I knew I would have to face my fears. I couldn’t be “sick” forever. My grades were going to go to crap if I didn’t get back. I forced myself to go. Even though it was the last place I wanted to be, I forced myself to go back. See, sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do. It’s part of life. It’s part of growing up. It’s part of becoming a better human. So, I had to.

 

** As I was searching Kevin’s name, I realized that he passed away in 2010 from cancer. May he rest in peace. Sorry for puking on you, Kevin.

** Mr. Curl passed away in 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeanie, the babysitter

Her name was Jeanie. A babysitter. Our babysitter. A once-in-a-while babysitter. One of many. We went through a lot of them. She lived close by. Maybe two blocks away. She lived on Euclid and East Seneca. She lived in a small white house with concrete steps leading to the front door. There was a railing too. It was made of wrought iron and was black in color and decorative, pretty much like all step railings at that time. 

She came to our house to babysit us. The Euclid house. This was an evening. I’m not sure why we needed a babysitter at night. The parents never went out. I’m not sure what was going on, but anyway, she came to babysit. 

We were excited, Jeanie was a fun babysitter. She was really nice. She was going to make macaroni and cheese and we were going to watch movies, maybe play some games and have Jiffy Pop Popcorn later on in the evening. Something else also happened in the evening. 

Sherry and I were super excited. We were going to have a slumber party. Not that Pasty was staying overnight or anything, but we were just pretending it was going to be a slumber party. We got all of the pillows and blankets and made a bed in the living room. Awesome! This was going to be so fun. 

We had already eaten macaroni and cheese and now we were ready for the Jiffy Pop Popcorn. I loved that popcorn. I wonder if they still make it. Whoever they are. We watched intently as Jeanie made the popcorn. She patiently shook the pan until the foil started to expand and fill with popped popcorn. She was careful not to burn it. There is nothing worse than burnt popcorn. I think we even got to have pop with it. Our parents used to buy the quart bottles of Coke or Pepsi. The glass ones you had to pay a deposit on. They came in a six pack. I preferred Coke. There is nothing like the combination of popcorn and pop. Mmmmm, so delicious. 

We were eating our snack and then decided to play a game. I can’t remember if we were going to play Monopoly or Sorry. I hope it was Sorry. I really don’t like Monopoly. It’s my story, so I am going to say we played Sorry. Once we finished that it was time for the other thing that happened that night. First we changed into pajamas.

We decided to have a pillow fight. I really don’t know whose idea it was. It was probably Sherry’s. My story, so it was Sherry. Now, Jeanie was a big girl. She was overweight, but we loved her anyway. We didn’t care what she looked like. She was a fun babysitter. 

Jeanie was sitting on the couch. I was standing on the floor facing her and Sherry had her back to Jeanie and was facing me. All of a sudden with one big swipe Sherry was on the floor. Completely flattened. Lying face down and not moving. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I mean, think about it. Someone gets body slammed a pillow. Completely flattened by said pillow. Funny, right? I think so. At the same time I was a little concerned she may have been dead. 

We waited for what seemed like forever. In reality, it was probably 15 seconds max. Was it going to be an ambulance call or just a “I’m telling mom” call. This is Sherry we are talking about, so it’s just a “I’m telling mom” call. She was the biggest tattle tale ever. 

The wind had been completely knocked out of her. Every last bit of it. Once she came back to life, I started laughing. I thought it was so funny. I can still picture it. It was like it was in slow motion. Jeanie taking the pillow up over her head and behind her and then swinging it back to the front with a crap ton of overweight babysitter force. The pillow hit Sherry with such force that her nightgown flew up to her belly. Her knees didn’t even have time to bend, she was instantly flattened to the ground. I mean flattened. She didn’t crumple to the ground, she just flattened. Facedown flattened. 

Jeanie felt terrible. I could tell. I am pretty sure she thought she would get in trouble from our parents. I think she just gave Sherry extra popcorn and pop and all was good again. I’m pretty sure there were no more pillow fights after that incident. 

Adventures in babysitting. Always a good time. 

right here, right now

How long? How long are you going to do those meal replacement shakes? How long?

How long before you wake up one day and think of all the things that have passed you by because you were busy chasing a less than ideal body. A less than ideal lifestyle. A less than ideal mindset. You can’t live off shakes forever. Your body wants to feel satisfied. Chewing food satisfies the cravings. Chewing food helps the digestion. The texture of food satisfies you. 

When we are constantly chasing skinny, you are missing out on your life. Why are we chasing it constantly? Why can’t we just be healthy? Why can’t we just eat instead of constantly dieting or finding the next magic pill or the next magic power? Why?

How much life have you missed out on because of hating on your body? Have you ever been to a party or a social gathering and totally deprived yourself of any fun because deep down you were disgusted with your body? I have. I am willing to bet a lot of us have. 

Maybe you should try something different. Try something that is out of your comfort zone. Try not being so hard on yourself for how your body looks. Try loving yourself where you are right now, where you are right in this moment, where you are in this space. Then and only then can you start to heal from the chase. 

Start giving your body the fuel it needs to function optimally. Think of food as something your body needs and wants in order to make it easier for you to walk up that flight of stairs. Feed your body. Feed your soul. When you eat better, you feel better. 

Eat real food. Enjoy real food. Learn to taste your food, instead of shoveling it in your mouth so fast, you don’t know what you even ate. Learn to slow down. Quit using food as feelings. 

Food and feelings go hand in hand. I know it can be super complex. I know these behaviors can be used as a coping mechanism. Changing our behaviors can be extremely hard. We often start out with great intentions and then just plain struggle with being consistent. What’s keeping you from making this lifestyle change? Do the benefits outweigh the cost of what you are doing right now? I say yes. I say you can do this. 

I say, get curious about why you do the things you do. Work on it. Every single day. Work on yourself. Love yourself. Right here. Right now. Begin to heal. 

City Pool, Chicken Shack and Suckers

It was the summer. It was the Prospect house. Could have been the in between house, the Central house. I can’t remember for sure. It doesn’t really matter. It may have been 4th or 5th grade. 

Summers were hot when we were kids. Extremely hot. We went to the City Pool a lot. The water was blue and the sunburn was free. It was basically the only pool in town, unless of course your parents were members of the Elks Club and then you could go swimming there.

That pool was a really nice pool. We used to go there with the Kleins, Barb and Cindy. Luckily our uncle was a member, so when we said the name Friman, they let us in. Thanks Uncle Bob and Aunt Sandy for helping out your nieces with our summer shenanigans. 

The city pool was far away from our house. Not like Narnia far, just far. It was about a mile probably. Sometimes we rode bikes, but most of the time we walked, towel wrapped around our shoulders, wearing our swimsuits and clutching our money in our hands. It was all downhill. The best kind of walk. It sucked going back home after swimming though. Being dead tired from swimming all day and then having to walk home all uphill. We went swimming with the Klein girls, Barb and Cindy, a lot. They were our best friends. They were awesome summer friends. 

It cost 15 cents to get into the pool. It probably still does. I know it was not very expensive at all. The pool opened at 1 and closed at 5. The line would be long waiting to get in. We would try to get there early to be the first in line. 

The pool had a slide and a diving board. In order to use the diving board, which was in the deep end, you had to demonstrate to a lifeguard that you could swim across the pool and back. They obviously didn’t want any kid to drown. I would test it once in a while. I would go jump off the diving board in the deep end. Sometimes they wouldn’t ask me to test it. Sometimes they would. I remember it seemed like it took forever to do it. We never had swimming lessons, so it was just kind of a learn to swim on your own type of thing we did. I could dog paddle and I could American crawl, kind of. Finally, one day I did it and I didn’t die. I then had the blessing, the lifeguard blessing, to go off the diving board and to be in the deep end of the pool. Legally. My summer was made. 

When swimming time was over, every single time we walked out of the pool and down the street on our way home, we stopped at the Chicken Shack. Chicken Shack had amazing food. Chicken of course, but it was broasted chicken. The super crispy on the outside and yummy and juicy on the inside. You know, the full of grease, which made it taste even better. I don’t remember getting to eat out as a kid, but I do remember our parents getting Chicken Shack chicken. The smell was always amazing. The building was painted bright yellow. It was on the corner of Crow and Dakota. Everyone knew the Chicken Shack. Everyone went there to carry out broasted chicken and broasted potato quarters. In case you were wondering, the best way to eat broasted chicken is by peeling back the skin and shaking some Lawry’s Seasoned Salt on the meat. So delicious. Chicken Shack was the busiest place in town once the pool closed. Every single kid was in there buying something, anything, to eat, because we were starving after a long afternoon of non-stop swimming. 

We usually got suckers. That’s what we had enough money to buy. Once in a while we had enough for a candy bar, or a Chick-O-Stick. I always remember the suckers though. We would buy those Charms suckers. They were decent sized and cheap. A good treat for the long haul home. There was also another kind of sucker we would take our chances with. If you bought this sucker you could sometimes get another one free. It was a Tootsie Pop. If you found an Indian on the wrapper shooting an arrow at a star, you could get another one free. Score. Jackpot. We always tried it. We didn’t always win. 

Our adventures at the pool were always fun. We got sunburned and then the next day would have to wear a t-shirt in order to protect our skin. Apparently we never had sunscreen. We also got green hair out of the deal. Because our hair was so blonde, the chlorine would turn it green.  Green like slimy kale, not a pretty green the way everyone dyes their hair now. We were always so embarrassed, even though we didn’t need to be. We just hoped the green faded before the school year started…

Those were good kid times. We squeezed every single drop out of those hot summer days. 

Let’s try…

I sent out my weekly email on this morning and I got A LOT of comments, so I wanted to add to this a little bit and publish it here for my weekly blog. 

The fitness industry is an interesting thing. The industry preys upon people’s weaknesses. The quick fixes, the pills, the powders, the wraps, always trying to persuade the public to buy them. Always promising they work. We know they don’t. We know it’s a farce. We all know it. I’ve told you a million times eating good food consistently and exercising consistently and practicing patience will make all the difference.

I want to unpack this a little bit more though. I want to know why are we always wanting to change how we look? Why do we let ourselves be defined by a number? Why do we let ourselves be defined by what others might think of us? Why do we spend seemingly our whole lives trying to change? What is wrong with us that we feel we need to? Think about those questions. Think about how you react to them. 

We were always told from a young age to accept people the way they are. To accept our friends as they are. To not judge people. To not judge period. Yet, it seems like that happens more and more and more. People are getting judged for how they look or for how they don’t look. There are so many judgments being thrown at everybody. We are constantly judging ourselves as too. 

When did that become a thing?

Growing up, I don’t ever remember my mom worrying about how she looked or what she weighed. I do remember my grandma, however, always worrying about her weight and how she looked. Has being overweight always been something to hate on? Or do we know being overweight is not healthy and that may be why we are constantly trying to change how we look? Let’s take it one step further. How did we get overweight in the first place? If we were eating healthy and moving a little bit each day how did we get overweight enough that we feel we need to change? What is the tipping point?

We spend so much time focusing on our appearance that we forget to live. We are so obsessed about if this outfit looks good or if that outfit makes us look fat that we totally lose ourselves. We miss out on so much LIFE because we are living in a world of judgment.

How about we try and live our lives and stop stressing about changing. What would happen if you weighed ten pounds less? How different would that make you feel? Why did you want that in the first place? I just wonder what is different. Your confidence? Your self -esteem? Your whole life? Why?

One of the comments I received from an email reader was that for her it is how she feels in her clothes and how they fit. She also does not care about the size, it’s how she feels. I totally agree with this. Who cares if we have a bigger or smaller size than the “ideal” size for those judgers of our bodies. If it fits and you feel comfortable, who cares. 

Another reader said it was about health for her and not so much looks. I LOVE this statement. I think we all feel like we could be a little bit healthier. Me included. I enjoy my life though. If I go out to eat, I’m having the glass of wine. I’m not going to have 3 or 4 and I’m fine with that. I do not feel deprived at all. One is plenty. That took me a long time to figure out. I used to feel like one was not enough and the next one was too much. It’s all about perspective and mindfulness.

Another reader talked about how she feels way better eating healthier and working out consistently, yet will go back to eating not so healthy and then feels like crap. That usually stems from feeling deprived. That’s why I feel like it is okay to eat off plan. What usually happens is we are excellent eaters during the week and then here comes the weekend and the whole damn train derails. We feel deprived during the week and go all out like it’s our job on the weekend. Plan a few off plan meals or treats during the week and see if that doesn’t help you during the weekend. 

We all want to look good. We do. Don’t pretend you don’t. Don’t pretend. But my point is find a place where YOU feel good and where YOU feel healthy and where YOU feel confident and then rock it. Don’t worry about what anybody else says or thinks. This is for you. Make sure you find your reasons for change. Make sure you want to change for YOU. And if you don’t want to change, awesome!!! I love that we have the choice. We have the power. Find your reasons. Whatever choice you make, make sure it’s your choice. Change or don’t change for YOU!

I also think we all need to be a little less hard on ourselves. We need to be a little bit nicer to ourselves. We need to back off a little and just live. We need to learn to live without constantly worrying about how we look. We need to stop obsessing. Live your life.

Let’s try. 

Strong Women – Be Them – Know Them – Raise Them

Today, I thought I was going to write Chapter 2 of the Sooper Dooper Chronicles. I have been working on it all week. I was all ready to write it tonight, until I saw something that fired me up.

Larry Nassar, the team doctor at Michigan State University and the olympic gymnastics team doctor for years, was sentenced today to 175 years in prison. He should have been sentenced years ago. He should have been stopped years ago. He should have been.

Gymnastics was my sport. I lived and breathed gymnastics. Every.Single.Day. There are so many things that we are faced with as children and if we have some common sense and if our parents warned us enough, we know when something is not right. These little girls that he molested, didn’t have that opportunity. But you know what? They knew something was wrong. They told. But nobody would listen. Nobody would help them. It continued and it continued and it continued. This monster continued molesting kids for over 20 years. He molested over 160 children. That number is only the ones who have come forward. I would bet money it is double that number, if not more. This monster was enabled by many many people and organizations to continue molesting throughout his whole career.

It makes me sick that this happens in the sports world. I know this is not the only instance, but I bet it’s the worst instance, and it’s the instance I am writing about here. In no way, shape, or form am I dismissing other instances of abuse.

I listened to the victim statements of many of these survivors. Heart-wrenching. Gut-wrenching. The abuse they endured. Not only sexual molestation, but cruelty by coaches. Physically, mentally and verbally. The abuse is shocking. I am going to link a blog post here of a gymnast named Katelyn Ohashi. https://behindthemadnesssite.wordpress.com/2017/08/24/dear-standards/  Ohashi writes about the abuse, her abuse. About not being able to eat. About working out until she looked ready to practice. About becoming bulimic. The body image issues. My God. Do people not know what happens to girls mentally when things like this happen. It scars. It scars for life. The scar may fade, but it never goes away. The words never go away.

When I was in gymnastics, I was told I needed to lose 10 pounds. I weighed 116 at that time. There was no way I could lose 10 pounds. As I have written before, this developed into a full blown eating disorder called bulimia. What makes it so hard and actually kind of twisted, is that we look up to these coaches. We want to please them. We want to do well, even if they are hard on us. We want to do what they tell us to. They are supposed to be there to guide us and help us make decisions. They aren’t supposed to be there to mess us up. They aren’t supposed to be there to make us be ashamed of our bodies. I never went out my senior year. I didn’t like the coach. I got the creepy vibe from him. Thank God I am pretty good at listening to my gut and intuition. There was just something that told me I didn’t need gymnastics anymore. One of my teammates and I were at practice and the coach told us to lay on our backs, which was probably our best position anyway. I couldn’t believe I was hearing those words come out of a coach’s mouth. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to say. It shook us up. My teammate got an apology. I never did. I was pretty much done after that. I just couldn’t do it anymore.

The sport I loved. The sport I cherished. What did I get out of it? An eating disorder and a perv for a coach.

My experience is NOTHING compared to these girls. However, it was my experience. We all have our own hell. We all have our own experiences. We all do. One way my experience has helped me grow is because of it, I am now helping other people overcome these hells. This is the positive that came out of my hell.

I hope now by shedding a huge, huge spotlight on these practices that it stops. I hope the abuse stops. I hope ALL the abuse stops. I hope every single person responsible for letting this monster keep molesting kids is held responsible. They knew. They knew. They could have stopped him many years ago. If they had listened. If only they had not hidden it, so many of these survivors would not be in court verbalizing their stories.

These now adult women are brave and strong to come forward. Even if they didn’t want to, they still had the courage to do so. Their stories were moving, and emotional and eloquent and sad. You can’t help but empathize with them. And really, why wouldn’t everyone. As little kid women, they tried. They tried to tell and were stifled. They were innocent. They didn’t deserve what happened to them. If there is a good thing that came out of this it’s that they are now strong. They are now loud. They are forever strong. What happened to them does not define them. It empowers them.

Strong Women – Be Them – Know Them – Raise Them

“Each time a woman supports herself…she stands up for all women.” —Maya Angelou

Ebb and Flow

As I was sitting down to write today’s blog, I was having a hard time thinking of something to write about. Sometimes, it just isn’t there. Most of the time it is. Today it wasn’t.

I started to reflect on 2017, so I decided to write about that. I decided to write about my 2017 life.

Life ebbs and flows. Business ebbs and flows. Eating healthy and working out ebb and flow. It’s a constant. It’s not any different than it has ever been with anybody. It’s the way of the world. Some ebbs are lower than others. Some flows last longer than others. All in all, that’s what happens in our lives though.

I had some things fade away that needed to fade away. I had some things fade away that I don’t know the reason why yet. I had a lot of progress in 2017, and a lot of good movement.

I learned a lot about myself. I worked really hard this year. I launched an online training business and worked hard to learn the ins and outs of all things related to it. I learned I could do it. It was hard as hell, but I persevered and did it. I built my own website and sent out weekly emails to a list I set up and created. I released training programs and sent out a lot of free content to my list. I also put together a Women’s Retreat, Body Image Without Prejudice, this past fall which was really fun and eye-opening. I believe women shouldn’t have to worry about how they look. I feel like we shouldn’t be told how to look. It is a super important issue for me. It is a passion of mine.

I wrote 65 blog posts. My goal was to write one every single week. I did that and more. My writing style is my own. I don’t try to copy anyone else. The words land on the paper the way I would say them if you were talking to me in person. It’s how I am. I feel I am real. I feel I am honest and kind and authentic. I don’t like fake and I don’t do fake.

I became a certified nutrition coach through Precision Nutrition. It is a habit-based nutrition program. Level 2 was a year long study. So was Level 1, which I finished in 2016. I also am working on a few other certifications. One is strictly geared toward women, specifically pre and post pregnant women. It is so interesting. It is just taking longer than I wish. I am also working on an online trainer certification, which is also going slow.

This year I learned that stress has definitely affected my health. I presume 6 plus years of 12 plus hours a day tends to catch up with a person. I wasn’t eating right, I was drinking too much wine and I was definitely not getting enough sleep. I have corrected those things and feel much better now. My body has been out of balance, huge ebb, and is now heading toward the flow. I am starting to feel more “normal.” I am progressing.

I have done a lot of forgiving this year and it has freed a lot of energy and creativity for me. I have let go of a lot of things from my past. I can’t control them and I won’t let them control me. It feels great.

I learned that I can do whatever I want to do. I learned to not hold back and to just go for it. I didn’t want to look back and wonder. I just didn’t.

Heading into 2018, my goals are simple. I don’t do resolutions. I do real. I do realistic. I want to continue to grow my business. I am going to be launching some exciting programs in studio. I want to read more. I want to finish up the projects I have going on now. I want to finish up the certifications I am enjoying right now. I want to finish what I started.