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.

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. 

Another Update for Frugal February

The shopping ban is going well. I have not felt that tempted at all to buy new things. I even stashed away some money this last week. Winning!

The rules were pretty clear and concise. How did I do?

No new clothes – CHECK

No new shoes – CHECK

No new workout clothes – CHECK – UGH!!! This one was hard. Peloton had a sale on their boutique items. These items are normally ridiculously expensive and if I want any, they have to be on sale. They are that expensive. It’s dumb. Notice how I said WANT and not need. I told myself I was not missing out, to cool my jets and just move on. You guys, FOMO is alive and well on the internet. There will always be sales, always. Resist. You can. I did. CHECK

Groceries – of course. I haven’t stopped eating. I have noticed that I ask myself if I really want the food I am buying or if I need it. That is a whole new perspective. Try it. Nobody really needs a bag of chips now, do they?

Shampoo, makeup, etc. – I did buy face wash. I was out. A girl has to wash her face and with my aging skin I needed some good shit.

No new notebooks, etc. – CHECK

No new books – this is another hard one. Audible keeps telling me about book sales. So far, so good, but like I said, this one is hard. CHECK

I am still unsubscribing to emails. This is crazy. These companies are sneaky too. I bet I have unsubscribed at least 6 times to the same one. Did they not get the damn memo. Leave me alone. I don’t want to buy all your amazing stuff!

That’s it. This week I have felt pretty confident with my spending or should I say spending resistance. Ha.

I will be back soon with another update. Thanks for reading.

 

 

Frugal February – UPDATE

Well, my shopping ban is in full force. I am one week in and feel pretty good about it. I have opened the extra savings account and have unsubscribed from and deleted a crap ton of emails. They seriously are tempting and can cause some serious FOMO issues. Because, really I might need that product. It’s 25 percent off. Whatever, all marketing tactics. I am sure when I want to buy that product two or three months from now, there will be another sale. There always is. 

Let’s see how I have adhered to my rules: 

  1. No new clothes – CHECK
  2. No new shoes – CHECK
  3. No new workout clothes – CHECK
  4. Can only buy things as they run out, for example deodorant or shampoo. How many of you have a shit ton of shampoos and conditioners? Haven’t had to buy anything yet. 
  5. Can buy groceries of course. A girl’s gotta eat. – Yep – I gotta eat. 
  6. No new notebooks, notecards, pens, etc. – CHECK  – this one is hard!!
  7. No new books, except for my business. February purchase was Pat Flynn’s book. I also purchased a kettlebell program from him and Aleks Salkin. I support my friends. It was important to me.
  8. I will unsubscribe to emails that are trying to persuade me to buy their stuff. Believe me, that is a lot of subscriptions. – CHECK
  9. I can buy gifts, if needed – CHECK – a friend’s mom passed away and I contributed towards flowers for her visitation. RIP Bonnie. 
  10. This is the last rule, but the most important rule. When I buy something, I will be asking myself if I really need it or if I just want it. This goes for everything I will be buying. THIS, is the most important rule. 

I have used the last rule. A lot! I am good about asking myself every time I pick something up if I want it or need it. A few days in, I was al Walmart buying groceries and I noticed how easy it is just to grab stuff. There were several items I put back because I really didn’t need them. I just wanted them. It’s nice to be able to tell the difference. 

Thanks for reading – will be back with another update in about a week.

Frugal February – Money-Saving March

Frugal February anyone? Money-Saving March anyone? I’m doing it. I am imposing a shopping ban on myself for the months of February and March. Have you ever done that–imposed a shopping ban on yourself? I really never have. I don’t go overboard with spending, but I want to change a few things and form some better habits when it comes to money.

If there was one positive that came out of the most recent government shut down, it taught me how to get by with less, way less. I’m still in less mode. I’m still in the basics of basics mode. Why not continue? 

There are many unanswered questions. Can I go that long? What can I buy? What can’t I buy? Can I really do this? Do I really want to do this?

I have made myself some rules. If you are on my email list, you might remember a book I read about a shopping ban. It was called The Year of Less by Cait Flanders. The timing of that could not have been more perfect and really, maybe it was a sign. A sign to get my shit together and just quit spending money. A sign to start saving more. A sign. 

Like I said, I don’t go overboard but there are definitely some places I can cut back and not feel like I am being deprived. 

So, here are my rules, if you will, or my I can buy this, but not that list:

  1. No new clothes
  2. No new shoes
  3. No new workout clothes
  4. Can only buy things as they run out, for example deodorant or shampoo. How many of you have a shit ton of shampoos and conditioners? I bet a lot of you. Same with makeup.
  5. Can buy groceries of course. A girl’s gotta eat.
  6. No new notebooks, notecards, pens, etc. I am a notebook whore. Not even kidding. I love journals and notebooks and notecards. Any size, all sizes. I want them all. This one will be tough for me.
  7. No new books, except for my business and then I will limit that to one per month! I have enough. I really do. I love books. I love reading them, I love listening to them, but I have enough!
  8. I will unsubscribe to emails that are trying to persuade me to buy their stuff. Believe me, that is a lot of subscriptions. 
  9. I can buy gifts, if needed.
  10. This is the last rule, but the most important rule. When I buy something, I will be asking myself if I really need it or if I just want it. This goes for everything I will be buying. THIS, is the most important rule. 

I think this is a great place to start. I also plan on opening a separate savings account and stashing as much money as I can in there every month. 

I have decluttered my closet and bathroom already and I have a few more things to declutter. I am ready to just get rid of crap.

If anyone wants to join, I would love the company and the accountability. 

I will be checking in and updating at least once a week, and possibly more. I will let you know when it gets hard. I will let you know when it feels easy. I will let you know. 

…off to unsubscribe to a crap ton of email lists. Later. 

My review of Pat Flynn’s book–

I read Pat Flynn’s new book – “How To Be Better At (Almost) Everything,” because it has Pat Flynn’s name on it. If something comes from Pat Flynn I pay attention. Because I care about you as well, I wanted to give you a quick (maybe) review. 

By way of background, I have known Pat Flynn for several years. He was my coach, when I was training for my first RKC (kettlebell certification). It’s been a minute. I think that was in 2011. I had my HKC and was now moving on to the next level. He made the difference for me. I have kept in touch with Pat since then. I am a member of his inner circle and Strong On and follow him on all social media platforms. 

I’ve never done a book review post before, so I am not sure if there is a proper format or if I get to just say what I want. Is it like grade school, like a book report? You know, where you explain the main characters and the plot and all that jazz. I’m not sure. So, you know, I will just say what I want. 

This book is a refreshing punch in the face. Is that even possible? Yes, I think it is. It will be a wake up call to a lot of people. 

Pat’s subject is generalism. What does that even mean? “Generalism isn’t about learning every skill or technique in the world ‘just because.’ It’s about being better at just the right number of things and then combining those things to form a competitive and creative advantage.” So, figure out what skills you want to learn and then the practices within them.” 

Generalism is being great at many things, but not the best at any one. I compare it to kids “these days.” If you specialize in a sport, say football, say grade school, middle school, high school and college, think of how you are taking it to a point where it can destroy your health. Kids especially should try different sports. I think in the long run this will save their bodies. 

Pat says, “The problem with specializing is that you can actually take fitness to the point where it destroys your health.” It means that you don’t specialize. You don’t become so damn good at one thing that you sacrifice. It is kind of common sense really, and why wouldn’t someone want to be good at several things? I think it’s brilliant.

Pat breaks down the process of generalism and introduces the reader (you) to skill stacking. We have been led to believe, since a young age, that specializing is what we should do. This book puts an end to that, an end to the goal of specializing. Pat breaks down his theory and tells the reader how to become a generalist. He lays out the five key principles and goes through them step-by-step. 

Pat is funny. Like really funny. Like a super dry sense of humor that some people may not get. There are some good one liners in here. 

I have several favorite parts. I’m not sure why these spoke to me and I’m not sure why I picked out these parts. Sometimes you just have to listen and hear. 

The first one: In Pat’s house, in his attic, he keeps a picture of himself, around third grade. Pat was a fat kid. He will tell you so. He was not athletic and hated to exercise. He doesn’t keep the picture to be motivated or to feel bad about himself, rather, he uses the picture to remind himself that he doesn’t want to be JUST successful or JUST good at things. He wants to do what’s important. He wants to do what matters. He wants his life to have meaning. He wants to make a difference. I would say he has made a difference in many, many lives. I think he accomplished that one. 

The second one: This part of the book is probably my favorite. Pat talked about how he was frustrated and annoyed and needed a break. He decided he would go to a local church. The next several pages, along with the spiritual practice plan, are worth the price alone. It’s touching. It’s heart-wrenching, and it means everything! To me, it did anyway. He articulates why there is suffering and wrongdoing and injustice in this world. I loved it. Read the book just for that.

The third one: He talks about his grandfather and it so meaningful. His grandfather aspired to everything because he aspired to love people and to be a man of faith. His grandfather taught him that faith was not just believing but also trying really hard to make good on those beliefs, no matter how many times you fail or don’t live up to your own expectations. 

Ultimately, we want to be happy. 

This book has everything, diet, exercise, religion, meditation with a little bit of sex, drugs, and rock and roll sprinkled in. 

There are so many great one liners. Here are just a few:

“Don’t make things harder without making them relevant.”

“Goddamnit, Judy!”

“If you want to do something, you’re going to find time to do it.” 

“Faith will stop you from taking shortcuts.”

“Training to failure is often training to fail.”

“Get the basics down. Stick to the fundamentals.”

This book is great. I loved it. I think you will too. Pat Flynn is a great teacher. He is authentic and trustworthy. And, he’s really funny! I have so much respect for him. AND, I get to meet him in person in March. I am really looking forward to that. 

You can get the book on Amazon and it’s on sale. https://www.amazon.com/How-Be-Better-Almost-Everything/dp/194688541X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1548983943&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+better+at+almost+everything

You can find Pat everywhere on social media. Facebook: chroniclesofstrength/ Instagram: chroniclesofstrength. He can also be found on YouTube: supmuhhumbruh and he has an amazing podcast: The Pat Flynn Show. Check him out. 

Cash Money

The other night, John and I were watching American Pickers. We rarely watch that show. For some reason there was a marathon of them leading up to the Season Premiere. In this particular episode, Mike and Frank were somewhere in a giant building going through crap looking for treasures. Same as pretty much every single episode. Mike found the most awesome tin sign. It was green and white. It was probably 2×3 feet. It looked to be in great shape. It was an S&H Green Stamps advertising sign. Remember those? Remember green stamps? 

The History: 

copied from the web:

“S&H Green Stamps were the first trading stamps popular across the U.S. and Europe, although the company did have competitors. “S&H” stands for the Sperry & Hutchinson Co, which was founded by Thomas Sperry and Shelley Byron Hutchison in 1896. 

It wasn’t until the 1930s that the company’s reward programs became popular nationwide, and the little green stamps were distributed by various retailers as rewards for shoppers. The stamps could be collected into booklets – the backs had an adhesive like that on postage stamps that had to be wet to adhere – then the booklets were redeemed for “rewards” ordered from S&H catalogs, or picked up at one of several S&H centers across Alabama. The centers, found in Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville and most larger cities, were like department stores, offering everything from linens to china to furniture to sporting equipment.”

S&H green stamps, small for a dime and large for a dollar. Sooper Dooper gave them out when customers spent money on groceries. A lot of them. We had a green stamp machine, kind of like a rotary dial phone. People would get mad if we, as checkers, forgot to give them their green stamps. And, if a person was really lucky the person in front of them, who didn’t collect them, would offer them to the person behind them. Score. They were a premium item. 

Who cares about green stamps, you might be asking? Well, we did. Sherry and I did. They used to have a green stamp store here in town, way down on Pierre Street, next to the funeral home. Anyone could go in there and turn in their stamp books for a discount on all kinds of products. You had to fill them in first. Lick and stick. But, the most important thing, THE MOST important thing was that a person could cash in the books for money. Cash money. And when I say person, I mean me. I also mean Sherry. I am not sure how we found out about this great program. Who knew? Winning! 

Prospect House. Mom kept the green stamps in a drawer. It may have been a basket. The memory is fuzzy. We had a ton of the empty stamp books, so we, as in Sherry and I, would lick and stick and fill up the books. We had to be careful though. We didn’t want it to look like we were taking the stamps and using them for our own purposes. I realize taking is kind of a weak word here. Okay, okay, I was stealing. Again! I think this is the last time though. Seriously. Anyway we had to be strategic. We couldn’t just fill up all the books and then go cash them in. I mean, really, we had to be better thieves than that. 

We would head down to the stamp store. We were there for no other purpose than the cash. Cold hard cash. It was good money too. The store itself always kind of creeped me out. It always seemed dark and it smelled weird. The lady who worked there was meticulous. She had dark puffy hair and glasses and wore a smock. A store smock. She was tall and skinny. I never saw her without lipstick. She always gave us the look when we walked in the door. The look of non-trust. The look of the brats are here again. Like I said, she was meticulous with these books. She made sure every single page was filled and every stamp was in its place, licking her finger and then separating the pages, making sure, page by page. Ken and Egghead from The Cottage must have told her the pop bottle story. The word may have gotten out about our lying and stealing ways. This was a small town after all. She reluctantly handed over the cash, after asking every single time if we were redeeming the stamp books for something such as luggage, or a toaster. Ummm, cash please. 

Cold hard cash. Score. I have no idea why we needed the money. It wasn’t like we were supporting a drug or alcohol habit. It could have been a candy habit though.

Most people saved the stamps and put them in books.

Most people saved the stamps to buy products at a discount.

Most people did the right thing.

Sherry and I weren’t most people. 

 I swear stealing has ceased in my life. I grew out of it. I developed a conscience.