Diary of a Former Chubby Trainer/Nutrition Coach – another entry

Diary of a Former Chubby Trainer/Nutrition Coach

My story starts in grade school. My story is a long one and it’s not a pretty one. It’s full of winding roads and uphill climbs and some straight roads. I feel like I have been aware of my body image and aware of food my whole life. It became evident to me that my body wasn’t ideal. It became evident when a coach, someone I looked up to, would be the one to tell me my body wasn’t ideal. This started a snowball effect of dieting and bingeing and purging. The snowball got bigger and bigger and bigger. 

I was told to lose ten pounds when I was in gymnastics. I was a sophomore in high school. I weighed 116 at the time. Not 115, not 120, but 116. I remember that detail like it was yesterday. On my 5 feet 4 inch frame that is pretty much considered “ideal.” I have never considered myself ideal. 

There was a time previous though that it was also evident. I was in 6th grade and the school lunch program came out with weight watchers meals. Not the business Weight Watchers, just weight watchers as in watching our weight and what we were eating. In other words they were letting us chubby girls know that we should change. Our school lunch program gave us that option, in 6th grade, a billion years ago. Why? I remember eating tuna, with nothing on it. It came in a styrofoam cup container with carrots and celery. As I type this right now, I wonder if I was even chubby then. I mean, I must have been, right? The indecision runs deep. The trap runs deep. The emotions run deep. 

I take responsibility for my own actions and while I am not very damn happy about my gymnastics coach having a hand in really pushing me over the edge into an eating disorder, I know I made the choices. I did. It was me. I tried every diet. I really did. I couldn’t stick to anything. My after school-before practice-snack was a Reese’s double peanut butter cup and some kind of diet pop. Tab was a favorite. Because the diet pop canceled out all those extra calories, right? Interesting, the ignorance, the irony. 

I always wanted to be skinny. I was always muscular. I was always strong. I thought that was good. I thought it was what it took to succeed in gymnastics. It did take strength and muscles, but at that age, how was I to know I could be strong and muscular and not overweight. That train of thought carried me for years. Strong and muscular became my motto.

I struggled with my weight for what seemed like forever. Years and years. If I tried a diet I would lose some weight, never over ten pounds, but then would just eat what I wanted again. I could never maintain a weight loss. This yo-yo dieting was ridiculous. Bulimia became my eating disorder. It owned me. I couldn’t control it. I finally overcame the eating disorder after a few years. I was very fortunate I didn’t damage my body. 

The way we perceive ourselves is real. The negative self-talk is real. Have you ever looked in the mirror and called yourself a fat ass? I have. Have you ever looked in the mirror and told yourself you were a fucking pig or a lard ass? I have. 

Fast forward to about 2010. That sounds weird to fast forward to the past, but you know that I mean. I became a trainer and a coach. A personal trainer and nutrition coach, something I had always wanted to do. I am not sure what held me back. As I unpack things in my life and am growing in figuring my shit out, I actually think it may have been because I felt like I couldn’t be a trainer because I wasn’t skinny. I didn’t really look the part. I was muscular and strong. One would think that is what a trainer should look like, but in reality that was an excuse. It was an excuse for being overweight. I steadily gained every year. Up by 5s. 

I used strong and muscular as my excuse, my go to excuse. I used it all the time. I TOLD myself this all the time. I told myself I looked good. I was getting really good at lying to myself. 

I got fed up with it though. Every time I weighed myself, which wasn’t that often, because hey, you go by how your clothes fit, or hey, you go by how you feel, so why should I need a scale. Well, when your biggest pair of jeans become tight, it’s fucking time to pull out the scale and take a peek. I was shocked. How could this happen? I told myself again, I was muscular and strong. I let this go on for months. I kept gaining and gaining some more. Here I was a personal trainer AND a nutrition coach. What the hell? 

I was done. Bottom line is I didn’t have a slow metabolism. I didn’t have any thyroid problems (I got tested). It wasn’t my hormones. I didn’t have any kind of disease that would cause the weight gain. I was eating like an asshole, plain and simple. This was not rocket science, not at all. This was called eating way too much. No calorie deficit for this girl, no fucking way. I was eating way tooooo much. That was the problem, not that I was strong and muscular. 

I told myself to wake the fuck up. It was time to take responsibility. I was the only one who could change this. I had to. I was feeling like crap. I was tired all the damn time and I didn’t even care if I worked out. My skin looked like crap and my sleep was miserable. I had hit rock bottom. It was time to change.

I hired a coach. Shocker, right? It shouldn’t be. Even though I am a trainer and nutrition coach, I needed the accountability. I really needed it. You would be surprised how many trainers have coaches. Everybody needs a coach. 

I could feel this time was going to be different though. There was something different about this way of eating, whatever you want to call it, flexible dieting or if it fits your macros or macro budgeting. There was no magic pill. There were no magic powders or wraps. It was hard work. It was changing what I normally did. It was holding myself accountable. It was not eating whatever the hell I wanted when I wanted. It was portion control, which is really what I needed.

My excuses were done. 

I am still in a losing phase and so far am down 38 pounds and about 11 inches off my waist. I made myself a promise that I would never go back to that ridiculous number on the scale. Who cares if I am strong and muscular. That was an excuse and a big whopper of an excuse. 

No more. Losing weight is easy. The hard part is keeping it off. I plan to show up for the hard part. I plan to do the hard part. I plan to make myself a priority and to respect myself enough to stay on track. 

I am doing it. I have finally connected the daisy chain into healthy habits, into learning, into being accountable, into not eating like an asshole anymore. I feel like I am the healthiest I have probably ever been. At 55, I’ll take it. 

The pic is in black and white. Why? Because in color it seems so much worse. I still struggle a little bit seeing the before pics. I know I have come a long, long way, but there is still that inner voice, who sometimes has to pop in and just give you that tiny bit of doubt. I can squash it most of the time and I really, really do. It’s just once in a while…

I can say I finally have my shit together. It only took 55 years. If you need help getting yours together, get a hold of me. I would love to help you!

Diary of a Former Chubby Trainer/Nutrition Coach

Diary of a Former Chubby Trainer/Nutrition Coach—

Chubby, you say? What does chubby mean? To me, it meant that I was slightly overweight, not a ton, but enough. Six years ago, chubby. Six months ago, fat.

2013 – chubby

2018 – fat

But how? The excuses got me. My build is bigger. I have a lot of muscle. I carry my weight well, thank God. I don’t really feel big. My clothes fit pretty well. I don’t look that bad. My hormones made me gain weight. I don’t eat enough, probably. My metabolism is messed up. I’m just meant to be this way. Soon, I will lose weight.

Those were my excuses and I am sure I had plenty more. As a fitness trainer I felt there was more pressure for me to look the part. Even though I am just as strong as I was when I was chubby, that really doesn’t mean shit for a lot of people, including myself. I was judgmental. I judged myself and put a lot of pressure on myself. Just like we all are, I was my own worst critic. Cliche, I know, but true. As a nutrition coach, I mean come on!!! How could I not figure this out?

I had enough. I was done. The excuses were paper thin. They didn’t hold light or water. The darkness needed to go. I needed to survive. I needed to get healthy and I knew right then I wasn’t, even though I thought so. What an idiot. What a fat pathetic idiot. Don’t like my self talk? Quit reading. It’s the way it was and what finally started the snowball rolling for change.

I am usually a really positive person, but that was my low. I had to get there in order to move forward, in order to succeed.

I hired a coach. Because everybody needs a coach at one time or another in their lives. 

Several months previous to my Day One, I remember going to the doctor and getting procedures done because I felt like crap and thought something serious was wrong. I had some scans and a colonoscopy. I got cholesterol shamed by the nurse and I could tell she was judging my weight. I told the doc that I just kept gaining weight and told him I didn’t know why. I got that look. You know the one. The one that makes you never want to go back.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with me except that I was fat. 

Despair. You’ve felt it, I bet. Feeling like you have tried everything and nothing works. Feeling like there is no hope and you are just going to be fat forever. But I kept making the excuses, because the fear was crippling. What fear? The fear of failing? How much worse could it get? The fear of looking good. That can be a real fear. Usually a counter to that is self-sabotage. I know I did a lot of that. The fear of succeeding. The fear. I was afraid. I knew I wouldn’t be in control. But in reality, it was all in my control. Me. I was the one who controlled everything. Nobody else. That is the beauty of changing, it was up to me. Nobody could do it for me. Just me. I was the only one who could change. I was the only one who could put in the hard work.

So I did. 

Up by 5s

Diary of a Former Chubby Trainer/Nutrition Coach:

April 14- 2019

Up By 5s

I think my weight would go up by 5s. The lowest I ever remember weighing was 116 when I was a sophomore in high school. That was when my normal life changed and my dieting life took over. The coach wanted me to lose ten pounds. It made me feel fat. It made me feel not good enough, less than, shitty. That is when the eating disorder developed. That is when my life changed. That is when I became obsessed with food and diet and body image. How many calories are in a piece of bread? I could tell you. What about an apple? I could tell you. What about that candy bar? I could tell you. Control. I had it. Me. Just like now. I have control about how my body changes and how I look. The difference this time is because I want to change. I’m not doing it for anyone else. I’m doing it because I want to, not because I have to. Mindset is huge when it comes to changing. Attitude is everything. That shift is huge! It’s not be all end all. It’s learning along the way. It’s being aware along the way. I want to be healthy. I’m not losing weight just to lose weight. I’m not chasing a number. I’m chasing that chubby girl. I’m running after her. I’m telling her she needs to do this in order to live a healthy life. I’m telling her I love her and that she needs to love herself. She needs to give a shit about herself.

When John and I got together I was not overweight. I was confident in my body image. My weight was “normal” for what the experts said it should be. I might have even been a little higher. The weight slowly creeped up, but only by five pounds. I stayed at that weight for many years. The post-Tayler weight. I felt okay at that weight. 

Then I was up five pounds from that weight. I stayed there for a long time, always trying to lose. Never happening.

Then all of a sudden I was up five more pounds. I stayed at that weight for quite a while. I was at that weight for my RKC certification, I think that was 2013 maybe.

And then I just steadily gained. And the excuses came with the weight. I was gaining muscle, right? I am just bigger. It’s hormones, it’s my thyroid. I’ve tried everything. Nothing works. How stupid. I guess I am just going to be overweight forever.

Pretty soon I was up by 5 again and again and again and finally again to my highest weight ever. I wanted to die. I know that is over dramatic, but I bet you know exactly what I mean. Something had to change. I had to change.

It’s not about the number they say. I understand that. But it is about a number. A number where we feel good. Not a specific number, I get that and would never want anyone to think they have to be a certain number. Like I said above, I’m not chasing one. It’s how you feel. It’s how your health is. It’s how your clothes fit. It’s how comfortable you are with you!

I was not comfortable with me at all. I felt self-conscious at my certs especially this last RKC. I was at my heaviest and everything felt hard and uncomfortable. I remember after the snatch test I had a pounding headache right after it. “For fuck sake stroke out why don’t you,” I told myself. That was kind of a wake up call too. I was getting unhealthy. Even though I was still in okay shape I was overweight by a lot and it was starting to affect my health. I had to change, now. I needed to let go of the fear. The fear of failing, the fear of succeeding even. I needed to move forward and take a step.

So I did.

Story One – The Trunk — PL

Story One – The Trunk — Peggie Larsen

Her hair was blonde, her eyes were blue and her mouth was sassy. She lived down the gravel road from the main highway in a small house with eight rooms. The house was at the end of a gravel road. There was a giant field beside the property. It was full of what looked like corn. 

Annie roamed. Her mom worked and her dad wasn’t around. She was old enough to take care of herself. Eleven is responsible enough her mom always told her.

Annie never thought much of it. She always believed she was responsible. Enough. Besides she had her dog, Billy, to hang out with. Billy was a good dog. He was her best friend. Billy was four. He was a medium size dog, a mutt. He was Brown and white with some speckled spots around his mouth. He went everywhere with Annie.

School was out for the summer and it was Annie’s favorite time of year. She could sleep in. She had chores, of course, because her mom didn’t want her to be one of those kids. Annie always wondered what she meant by that. 

Annie had to load the dishwasher every day and if the dishwasher was full, she had to turn it on. She also had to do laundry and pick things up around the house. Her least favorite job was outside picking up the dog poop. She decided she was going to make Billy start pooping further away from the yard, out in the shelter belt. Then she wouldn’t have so much to clean up.

Sometimes she got lonely. She lived a few miles out of town, so it was hard for friends to come to her house and play. Oh well. She was fine with that. She had Billy and she had things to do. 

Annie always wore the same outfit during the summer. A t-shirt, cutoff jean shorts and Converse tennis shoes. Preferably high tops. She had several pairs of high and low. Black was her favorite color. 

Annie finished her chores around lunchtime and decided to head outside and roam. She practiced shooting her bow. She only lost one arrow today. She threw a toy for Billy for what felt like 100 times. She sat on the step and ate an apple and stared at the trees as the light breeze blew through the leaves. She loved that sound. She shared her apple with Billy. Billy ate anything she did. It was hot today, just how she liked it.

They got bored so she and Billy walked up and down the gravel road. She stopped a lot to inspect things. Things like bugs and rocks and pieces of garbage thrown out of car windows.

As they were walking, she heard a car. That was unusual because there wasn’t much going on during the days on her road. The car was going really slow. Something told her to hide. She ducked behind a tree and Billy followed. The closer to them the car got, the louder Billy growled. Something was out of place. Something wasn’t right. She could feel it. Her intuition was always spot on. 

Annie peeked around the tree to look at the car. It was a four door. It was a weird brownish color and had an unusual decoration on the hood. The decoration or hood ornament for proper terminology, looked like a dog. Weird. The car came to a stop about ten feet away from them. Annie was scared. She was looking right at the man driving the car. He was heavy set and had a lot of dark colored hair. He was wearing a blue t-shirt. He was looking around, as if he was looking for something he lost. On the other side of the gravel road there were a lot of bushes and tall grass. The man looked around some more and then got out of the car.

Annie didn’t know what to do. Billy was low growling. She was afraid he would start barking. Billy was a good dog and he always listened to her. She whispered and told him to hush. He listened.

She continued to watch the man. He walked to the trunk of the car. He looked around some more and then opened the trunk. Someone was in the trunk. Annie was shocked. She wondered what was going on. Annie then saw the girl. She was wearing a white T-shirt and what looked like jean shorts. She looked like she was a college kid. She was beautiful. She had long hair. It was blonde, like Annie’s.

The man pulled the girl out from the trunk of the car and then shut the trunk. Annie couldn’t help but wonder why she would be in there. The girl stood behind the car. The man told her to turn around so her back was to him. He grabbed her by the hair and shoved her against the car. Her face was against the trunk of the car and she was looking right at Annie. Annie froze.

How could she help her? Annie was trying to think of what she could do. She looked around. She saw a rock by her foot. She picked it up. It was small, but not too small. She thought she could throw it across the gravel road so it would make some kind of sound and distract the man. 

She threw it. It landed across the gravel and made a loud noise. The man immediately let go of the girl and looked around. The girl turned around and elbowed the man in the face and then kicked him in the stomach. She ducked underneath and ran towards Annie.

The man started to recover and was looking for the girl. Annie told the girl to follow her and Billy.

Annie knew all the shortcuts. They ran back behind the gravel road through the backyards of all the houses on the way to Annie’s. Billy followed behind. They made it to Annie’s house. They were all out of breath, including Billy. The girl told Annie her name was Sam. She said the man kidnaped her and told her he was going to kill her. Annie wondered why the man wanted to kidnap her.

Annie told Sam they needed to call the police so they could catch the man. He would get away if they didn’t. Annie heard a car. She told Sam they had to be quiet. Sam looked out the window. She said it was the man.

Annie called the police. She quickly told them what happened and told them to come and arrest the man. She couldn’t help but wonder if they would really listen to an 11 year old with a sassy mouth.

As Annie hung up the phone she could see that the man’s car was stopped in her driveway. He slowly got out and started looking around. Annie quickly ran out the side door of her house. She told Sam she would be right back and not to worry. Annie told Billy to stay with Sam.

Annie snuck around her property and got her bow and an arrow. She was extremely quiet and was making doubly sure not to make any noise. She didn’t want to find out what would happen if she did.

The man just stood outside his car and looked around. It looked as if he was looking right through the window and into the house. That wasn’t possible, or was it.

Annie didn’t want the man to get to Sam again so she had to think fast. She snuck back to the house and then circled around behind the man’s car. She thought to herself, why not?

Annie asked the man if she could help him. He was startled and Annie almost started laughing. It would have been a nervous laugh though, not a funny laugh. She was indeed nervous and a little scared.

The man told Annie he was looking for his daughter. She tried to run away from him earlier. Annie asked him if it was because he was beating her up. The man looked surprised. He asked Annie what she was talking about. Annie told the man she saw him smashing the girl’s face against the truck. The man asked Annie if her mom or dad were home. Uh oh, thought Annie. 

Annie told the man her dad was out cutting trees in the shelter belt.  Annie hoped he wouldn’t go look. Because Annie had no idea where her dad was. She didn’t know if he even lived in the same state. 

The man was really creepy looking. Along with his blue t-shirt he was wearing weird looking shorts that had a super loud pattern, something Annie thought a man would never wear. They were like capri pants. He was also wearing flip flops. Annie thought that was strange too. His face was round-ish and he looked old, like probably about 40, Annie guessed. His eyes were light green. Annie had never seen eyes that color before. They stood out because his hair was so dark colored. 

The man asked about the girl again. Annie told the man the police were coming because she had called them and told them about Sam and the man. Annie asked him what his name was. He asked her why would he tell her what his name was. He started walking towards her. 

Annie was really scared. She didn’t know what she was going to do. She reached  back for her arrow. The man started laughing. Annie asked him what he was laughing about. He told her there was no way a kid was going to stop him from getting the girl. Annie told him she could. He started getting closer. Annie drew the arrow and pointed it right at the man. She told him to stay put. She again told him the police were coming and they were going to arrest him. Annie could feel her heart beating in her chest. She wondered if he could hear her breathing. It sounded like a freight train. Her hands were beginning to shake. She was really, really scared now. He kept coming.

Annie looked toward the house and could see Sam in the doorway. She hoped that Sam could read her mind because the only thing Annie needed right now was for Sam to let Billy out the door. Billy would die before he would let anything happen to Annie. The man noticed Annie’s eyes. Just as he turned around, Sam opened the door. Billy came flying out the door and jumped right into the man and kicked him to the ground. The man was screaming and kicking and trying to get Billy off him. Billy wouldn’t give up. He was biting and growling and pulling on the man’s arms and legs. Blood was everywhere. Annie didn’t stop Billy. What would he have done to her if Billy hadn’t been let out by Sam? 

Annie could hear sirens. Finally! The police were coming. She was so relieved. She wasn’t sure she would have been able to shoot the man. Maybe she could have, she thought, but she was glad she didn’t have to find out. She thought maybe if she would have had to shoot him, it would have been on his foot. She thought that probably would hurt pretty bad. Once the police were there, Annie called Billy off. The man didn’t move. He didn’t try to get away. Billy had done a good job protectin her. 

The police put handcuffs on the man and called an ambulance to come and get him. They asked Sam a lot of questions and were going to take her to the police station so she could get in touch with her family. Everything was okay now. Sam ran to Annie and hugged her and told her thank you. She got close to Annie’s ear and whispered something Annie couldn’t quite hear, but whatever it was, Annie knew this wasn’t over.

The police told Annie they needed to call her parents and let them know what had happened. Annie gave the police her mom’s cell phone number so they could call. Annie couldn’t wait to see her mom, to tell her about her “responsible enough” day.

Screaming, Yelling, Blood and Tattling

It was just another day at the Euclid House. Yelling, screaming, tattling. It must have been a weekend because mom was home. It could have been evening, but it seemed like it was during the day. 

As you have seen from previous blog posts, we were just a little bit naughty. Some people may say we were just kids being kids. Okay then.  

We had been playing in my and Sherry’s room a big part of the day. I wonder where Jeff’s room was, and Wendy’s. I can’t remember. Strange how some parts of the house have faded away. This part hasn’t though. Our room was right by the laundry room. In fact, the sound of the washer and dryer would put me to sleep at night. There was a bathroom at the end of the laundry room area. The other way was the kitchen, dining room and living room. The house kind of went in a circle. You could get to the bathroom from two sides. Maybe the master bedroom was at the other side of the bathroom. Apparently Wendy and Jeff didn’t have bedrooms, because I can’t remember them. 

There was a weird root cellar room that you could get to from the kitchen. Maybe it was just a kind of basement. It had a dirt floor and wooden shelves. Anyway, that’s a story for another time. 

On this day other than screaming yelling and Sherry tattling about everything, we were kind of getting along playing in our room. We usually were doing things we weren’t supposed to, like lighting matches and starting fires. Today was different. We were playing Superman or All Star Wrestling, without the wrestling, just the flying through the air. We climbed up on the dresser which was one of those five drawer tall ones. It was against the wall by the closet. I think the paint was kind of a faded pink or peach color. It was solid wood. No tipping over when kids climbed up it. The bed was against the far wall. We pushed it there so we could get more air time. 

Shit got serious in that bedroom when the butter knife went in the door frame to lock the door. It was happening. Obviously, we knew we shouldn’t be doing what we were doing. Everything was set in place; the bed, the dresser and the knife. I was going first. I didn’t care if Jeff was older. I climbed up on top of the dresser and took a flying leap to the bed. I landed face first on the bed. The bed scooted further along the floor until it was fully against the wall. Oh My God was that fun!!! I wanted to do it again and again and again. I felt like I was flying. I was squealing with delight.

Back up to the top of the dresser. Jeff climbed up and we were both crouched down on the dresser. We couldn’t stand completely up because the ceiling was too low. Jeff was going to take his turn. I told him to just count to 3 and go. It was easy. Just jump out and fly. I wanted him to hurry up so I could jump again, but he was taking his sweet time. I was wondering what his problem was. There was absolutely nothing scary about this. Nothing. Then I noticed, he slipped as he was trying to jump. He had socks on. Why??? 

He was sprawled out like a starfish. I saw him land beside the bed on the floor. Oh wow, it looked like his face hit the bed frame. Dang! I thought oh, at least he didn’t get hurt. Then he got up and blood was running down his face. Oh No! We were going to be in big trouble. As soon as the blood started, he started screaming. Of course. Now we were really going to be in trouble. I was trying to get him to be quiet because I didn’t want to get in trouble. Not good. 

Pretty soon, mom was banging on the door trying to get in the room. “Um, just a minute,” I said. She asked what the hell was going on in there. I opened the door and Jeff ran out to the kitchen. Blood was running down his face. Mom sat him up on the counter and was wiping the blood off his face. Holy crap! He had giant gaping cut right above his eye. I could see the bone.  It was really cool!! Now, I kind of felt sorry for him. Until he opened his mouth. I was so worried about him, until he opened his mouth. He told mom I pushed him! What???? I didn’t push him. He slipped. What the hell did he think was going to happen when a person wears SOCKS to jump off of something. Seriously! What did he think would happen?

I got the death stare. You all know that one your mom gives you when she doesn’t have time to beat your ass, but wants you to know it isn’t over. Yeah, that one. 

Saved by the cut. They left for the ER to get stitches on the eye. 

Moral of that story is that your brother shouldn’t be so accident prone. 

Minutes To Memories

I had been waiting since November. I purchased the tickets then. The concert wasn’t until April 18th, 2019. A Thursday. I dragged Tayler with me. Even if she wouldn’t have been able to come with me, I still would have gone. By myself. I would not have felt one bit awkward going by myself, sitting by myself and tapping my foot by myself. 

The concert was at the Civic Center, in the Fine Arts Theater. A small venue. A more intimate venue. Up close. People shuffled in, drinks in hand, merch bags in hand, and excited. Most of the people were in their 40s and 50s. Some other lucky kids had been dragged along by their mothers too. I saw a few. Lucky kids. 

People were getting restless, waiting. It took a while. There was about a 20 minute documentary-type film that was shown before the actual singing started. It was interesting listening to him in that voice. A young kid voice. A punk voice. He had such a baby face. He fought authority back then and he still does today. 

The set list was amazing. The sound was amazing. The band was amazing. He was amazing. I felt so lucky to be able to see him again. I loved him all through high school and always fantasized that he would be my person. I mean, he was only 12 years older. Big deal. That’s nothing. He is 67 now and he is still rocking it. 

I caught Tayler tapping her foot to a lot of the songs, even though she thought we were going to the Tom Petty concert. GAH!!! Rest In Peace Tom Petty. I set her straight.

Here was the set list:

1. Lawless Times

2.Troubled Land

3.Minutes to Memories (one of my all time favorites)

4.Small Town

Here he took a little break to interact with the crowd with the long gone song.

5. Long Gone (from Bowlin’ Green) – so fun!!

6. Stones In My Passway

7. We Are The People

8. Lonley Ol’ Night (another favorite)

9. Check It Out

10. Longest Days

11. Jack & Diane

12. Easy Target

13. Overture – in other words cigarette break I told Tayler that when this happened it meant it was a cigarette break for him. He came walking back in, strutting in really, while playing his guitar and blowing out a mouthful of smoke. I love him!!

14. Rain On The Scarecrow

15. Paper In Fire

16. Crumblin’ Down (the crowd went wild with this one, everyone was singing) 

17. Authority Song/Land of 1000 Dances

18. Pink Houses

19. Cherry Bomb

20. Long Gone reprise. 

He really is an amazing artist. I feel fortunate to have been able to see him. I feel fortunate that Tayler was with me. I love spending time with her. I love watching her enjoy things. I glanced at her a lot. She reminds me a lot of myself. I want her to do well. I want her to be happy. I want her to have a great life. Life is fragile and we just never know what is going to happen, so enjoy every single moment you can. As Mellencamp says in Minutes to Memories, “you are young and you are the future so suck it up and tough it out and be the best you can”. Be silly. Be fun. Be present. And most of all, be yourself. 

And whenever he tours again, I told John, the hubby whose name is John, that he is coming with me. 

Life Soundtracks

Music and Memories – 

Music, the soundtrack. The life soundtrack. Your youth, your middle years, your now years. Have your music tastes changed? Are they still the same as far back as you can remember? Is anything different? 

Music has such an impact on lives, I can’t believe there are people who never listen to music. I mean, seriously, how can you not? How can you drive in the car and all of a sudden not be singing along to a song or tapping your fingers on the steering wheel? 

My days usually start and end with music. At the studio, during my clients’ workouts, music is always playing. Some days it is hard to find a playlist. Just because I am sometimes searching for something a little different, or something I haven’t heard in a while, but it usually always comes back to what I know. It just does. 

The Prospect House – the middle room, I guess it would be a pretty formal dining room. We kind of used it as just a room. It had the stereo/record player in it. The old ones, in the cabinet. We listened to music all the time. The Carpenters, the brown jacketed album. The one I wanted to break in half because it was apparently the only album Sherry knew how to play. I hated it then. I love it now. 

Black Sabbath and Deep Purple – Wendy’s favorites. I really never got into that music. But, I remember it, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, bbbboom, smoke on the water. I was never really an Ozzy fan either, I, I, I. 

I clearly remember listening to Madonna’s very first album. Madonna. She was so new and so different. Her voice really is amazing. Like her or hate her. Every song on that album was good. Holiday. Lucky Star, Borderline, to name a few. 

My favorite part of albums was reading the lyrics. I would study them for hours. I used to follow along to every song. It was such a routine with me. Every album I got, I was so happy when it included the lyrics. 

I remember when Katie Jahraus turned 16. A bunch of us piled into her family’s station wagon and cruised Euclid. Unrestricted driver license status. I remember The Cars song, Good Times Roll, playing on the radio and Billy Joel, Only The Good Die Young. Whenever I hear that Cars song I think of that time and whenever I hear Only The Good Die Young I always think of Hattie Whitney. The Cars album has to be one of the best all time. THE songs Good Times Roll, My Best Friend’s Girl, Just What I Needed, You’re All I’ve Got Tonight, and Bye Bye Love. So many good songs, that when you hear them today, it takes you right back. They never get old. Never. 

Fleetwood Mac Rumors album – sweating for hours and hours of my life at gymnastics practice. Wendy Buechler introduced me to that album. Thank you Wendy! It has never gotten old, nor have the memories. 

AC/DC Back in Black because who does not know that song? That is still a classic and always will be. 

I think it was later during my sophomore year I was introduced to Prince. The cover of the album had a blue background and prince had long hair and was shirtless. His voice was so high and so amazing. You could just feel in your bones that he was going to do special things and that he was going to make his mark in the world. Thanks Angel Oscarson. You always had great taste in music and I loved it. I also remember you listening to Smokey Robinson. 

Next up, is my boyfriend, you know who I’m talking about, don’t you? I can remember being parked at the causeway and standing outside the car with my real boyfriend and some other friends. And then John Mellencamp’s, Ain’t Even Done With The Night played. I was hooked. Never looked back. He has always been my favorite. In fact, I will be seeing him tomorrow night (April 18th) for a concert in Rapid City. I’m dragging Tayler. She needs to appreciate him. I love mother/daughter memories. I hope she loves him as much as I. 

I’ve been priming this week for the concert. Spotify did me a solid. I have been listening to John Mellencamp Radio all week. I got a good blend of him, The Eagles, Hootie and the Blowfish, Steve Miller Band, Styx, Night Ranger and Tom Petty. It’s a great channel. 

Whatever music means to you, I can bet that when you hear certain songs you are taken right back to where you were. Right back to the time you first heard it or the 100th time you heard it. I hope your memories are happy memories. I hope your life has a good soundtrack. 

He was nice like that…

He always let me pick first. He was nice like that. No matter how much he wanted the one I picked, he let me pick first. Always.

It was the Euclid House. Probably second grade. I played with him every day. He lived a weird kind of kitty corner across the street. Our house wasn’t on the corner, so technically it wasn’t kitty corner. He had blond hair and we were about the same size, it seemed. His house was on the corner. It was a nice house that his family built. Behind it was a big hole in the ground. That’s where we played. 

We climbed up and down into the pit. We played and played and played. Hours on end. It was always so hot out. Summer. Summer fun. Summer friends. I always had boy friends. I always got along with the boys. They were fun. I was a lot like them. I was a tom boy. I was strong like the boys and I could do anything they could. 

After we had played for what seemed like hours and we could hear the hunger calling, we went into his house to get them. We were so hot we needed something to refresh us, something to replenish our energy so we could get back out there and play. I mean really, what else are two second graders going to do all day. 

It was decision time. Popsicle time. My favorite time. Every single time I hoped my favorite was there. I hoped the root beer one was there. I had to pick, yellow or brown. Banana or root beer. Sometimes red or orange, but I always hoped for brown. I hated the banana ones. Maybe he knew that. Maybe he knew I liked root beer better. Maybe that’s why he always let me pick first. He was nice like that. 

We trudged back out into the heat and sat on the edge of the pit while we ate our popsicles. We contemplated our next move. We talked about things second grade kids talked about. We talked about playing and we talked about eating popsicles. Life was simple. Life was fun. The Euclid house was fun and Rikky was fun. 

I was bamboozled

And people say kids have no respect…

It was my flight from Dallas to Philadelphia last Friday. I was tired. There had been several delays already. I was finally boarding the plane. I was ready for a comfortable bed and a good night sleep. I had so many text messages from American Airlines. Your departure time has changed to 3:30 pm from gate A19 in terminal A. Then, your departure has changed to gate C22 in terminal C. Then, your departure changed to gate C26 in Terminal C. Then, your departure time has changed to 4 pm. Then, your flight departure has changed to gate A11 out of Terminal A. Then, your departure time has changed to 4:20 p.m. Yeah, I was ready to be done. 

I made my way to my seat. I picked my seats when I made my reservation and this was a window seat. I couldn’t wait to lean my head against the side of the plane and sleep. The plane was full. I was in row 15, seat F, the window seat. There was a lady seated in the aisle seat and an older gentleman seated in the center. I said excuse me, that’s me at the window, meaning can you please get up so I can make my way to my seat. The man asked if I wanted the window seat. I said that was my seat. He then said they could just scoot over. I thought when he said, “they,” he meant the lady and him. I said okay. He then said he wasn’t very mobile anyway and scooted to the window. But, the lady said she had the aisle seat. I was stuck in the middle. I told her I thought they were together. 

I tried to sleep. I did a little. Out of the corner of my eye, I studied the old man. He was probably in his 70s. He was small. He was wearing all black. A black sweatshirt and black sweat pants and Nike tennis shoes. He had a dangly silver cross earring and a silver post earring in his left ear. He had a bandaid on this left hand between his thumb and first finger. It looked like it had still been bleeding. He did look a little frail. He also looked a little asshole-ish. 

I tried to sleep some more. It was time for drinks and snacks. I politely declined. He ordered the hummus and it was $9.75. Wow, that’s some expensive hummus. I thought it was strange he ordered hummus. I’m not sure why, I just did. He unzipped his fanny pack and whipped out his credit card. He also ordered Ginger Ale to drink. At least when he was eating his hummus, with the cucumbers and carrots it came with, he didn’t crunch or smack. If he had, I’m not sure what I would have done. Ask for ear plugs possibly. I don’t think he had any carry-on or any luggage for that matter. Nothing was under his seat. He just looked straight ahead most of the time. I’m sure he could sense me studying him. We usually can sense when someone is starting holes into our heads. 

Because the flight was so late taking off, the crew asked that anyone not connecting to please stay on the plane so the other people could deplane quickly to make the connecting flights. When the plane was coming to a complete stop, I asked him if he had a connection to make. He said, “Yes ma’am.” So I let him go in front of me. He sure was mobile enough to practically jump over me to get out into the aisle, I thought. I waited until most of the connecting flight people got off the plane and then I proceeded to grab my backpack and then found my carry on suitcase and left the plane.

As I exited the plane and got to that spot where people usually have to wait to get their carry on bags if they put one of those airline tags on them, I saw him. We locked eyes and then he looked down. He didn’t have a connection. He lied. He was just standing there. He wasn’t in a hurry at all. He was just an asshole. 

A double-edged sword

A few thoughts about food – 

It’s everywhere. It’s what we need to survive. It is something we are around every single day. We live on it. Sometimes we live for it. We need it in order to live. We need it in order to thrive and survive. It’s a fine line. It’s a comfort. It’s a coping mechanism. It’s everything sometimes. It’s a double-edged sword. 

Do you remember as a kid being told that if you were good you would get a treat? If your mom was going to take you with to the store to get groceries, you were told that if you were good, you would get a treat. If you weren’t good you weren’t getting any candy. In order to get candy or a treat, you had to have the behavior expected. 

It’s been that way forever. Why are we rewarded with food? Why is our behavior centered around food? Why can’t we just enjoy food and eat food and be normal around food? It’s no wonder so many of us have so many issues with food. 

We are conditioning our kids that their behaviors are rewarded with food. Look what you are teaching them. Really take a step back and look at what you are doing. When we are sad, we have food. When we are good, we have food. When we are happy we have food. Everything is about food. I hate it. 

Have you ever had a bad day? Well, duh. Everyone has bad days. Exactly. Have you ever heard of anyone having a crap day and texting her friend to help her make her feel better? What does that consist of? Drinks and food is what it consists of. I bet 90 percent of the time it consists of drinks and food. How about text your friend and tell her you had a terrible day and ask her is she will take a walk with you and talk about things. 

Ever heard the phrase, “eat your feelings?” How many times have you done that? How many times have you gotten home from work and just needed to have a little hit of alcohol to take off the edge? Well, the edge usually gets sharper and then you start to eat and eat and eat. It isn’t usually the most healthy food either. It’s usually chips and crackers. Sometimes it’s loads of fat-laden foods. Or sometimes you don’t even eat at all, you just drink your feelings and your supper. 

When did this start happening to us as a society? Has it always been this way? I can remember my mom leaving the house and when we asked her where she was going, she responded, “Crazy.” I wonder where she went. I don’t think she really drowned her feelings in food. It was mostly coffee and cigarettes for her.

I think ultimately it is a less than optimal behavior that we are accustomed to. It’s usually over eating, or over drinking. And yet, on the other hand, when we do something great, we reward ourselves with food! I got a promotion, let’s celebrate. Drinks and dinner. Why can’t we just be? Maybe reward yourself with something that doesn’t involve food. We really need to change how we think about food. 

If you have young kids and want to teach them anything about health, teach them to enjoy food, but not to use food as a reward. Teach them how food helps their bodies to perform optimally. Teach them about nutrition and teach them about their feelings! When they do something great, buy them a book, or a new shirt or something like that. Stop rewarding with food. Stop feeding their pain. Stop feeding their accomplishments. 

This year when you are buying easter presents for your kids or even for your grandkids, try buying non-food items. Just try. Why do they need all that candy. They don’t.

Chew on that.