Hello Blog!

Oh how I’ve missed you! I haven’t written a new blog post in, well, for-ev-er! Life has a way of throwing curve balls just when you think the track couldn’t get any curvier. That’s when you strap in, hold on and find out what you’re really made of.

You also find out who is there and who isn’t when the dust has cleared somewhat. And that’s always surprising isn’t it?

I’m back from vacation. It was wonderful to be away for two weeks and enjoy the sunshine, palm trees and beachy air. We found places in Florida we love and it has confirmed our decision to move. The Florida life is what this girl needs. I think I can handle one more winter here, knowing it will be my last.

Our favorite 2 places were Punta Gorda and Venice. Punta Gorda is a completely different lifestyle as every house has a canal in the back with a boatdock. The canals lead to straight to the Gulf of Mexico. I mean, how amazing is that? Venice has two of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen and the town itself is small and has little shops lining the streets. It reminds me of Uptown Westerville and has a small town feel to it. I could picture being in either location and loving it.

The downside, I ate WAY too much on my two week hiatus and was shocked at the scale when I got back on the first morning. Nothing jump starts motivation than a backward step. I’ve been watching the calories and back to my work out routine (which in all honesty, did not suffer while I was gone. I did yoga, went on bike rides, long walks, but oh dear Lord did the diet go on the back back back burner!) and I’m happy to say I’m only 3 lbs away from where I was before vacation. I know I’ll get there and won’t make that mistake again!

I have my class reunion this weekend too and plugged into my calorie calculator how to lose 20 lbs by this Friday. It kept saying “error” so I yelled at it and put it away. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life!

Oh, and speaking of getting back into the groove of things, I went to my yoga class Saturday and for the first time ever, I “flipped my dog”. After all this time in yoga, I’ve been terrified to even try it. But I did on Saturday, figuring, what’s the worst thing that can happen? I fall? Ok. I fall. Who ever learns something from not falling and failing? But I didn’t fall! I’m sure it wasn’t the prettiest thing and I’m fairly certain I wasn’t doing it completely right, but I flipped and did it. That hand was reaching for the sky baby!

Some day I’ll blog about my hiatus and reach out to others about it, but for now, I’m back! The good, the bad and the ugly surround us all every day. It’s our reaction, and our perception and our ability to move forward in situations that brings us to our knees that defines who we are. And most of the time, when we’re on our knees, we’re there for a good reason. Stay there. Pray about it. Meditate about it. And you’ll be amazed at how you can once again get up and move on with new perspective.

Namaste.

Venice beach

Mark it Down baby!!

I finally finally finally hit my all too elusive goal! And what’s even more astonishing is it happened the week after Thanksgiving! I have officially lost 70 pounds. 70. Seven Zero. 70 big ones. Say WHAT???

I have been hovering around the same weight for about a month. Very discouraging when I’m trying and not really doing anything different. But I stepped on that scale and my magic number came up and I was doing the happy dance in the bathroom! I know, not a visual you need in your head. Sorry.

I am transformed. Inside and out. And the questions I have received have really made me take inventory of my own life. This is MORE than just weight loss or numbers on the scale. This is truly about life altering all over internal changes, which brings about the bonus of external change.

It was soooo easy to resign myself to “this is me” and the “I’m not changing my diet/exercise” or whatever else it is that everyone tells themselves because I’m perfectly happy the way I am. So what if I have to shop in the Women’s Department? So what if everything I do revolves around what food I’m making, or someone is bringing, or what restaurant we’re going to? So what if this is my third piece of pie? No one is counting and screw ’em if they are!

When I started blogging about my weight loss, I shared that I was in a very fragile place. I had lost my bff of 25 years and felt like I was a ship lost at sea. A boat without an anchor. (Ok, I’ll stop with the boat analogies) I said how in that loss, I turned to food even more than I did normally when I was stressed out. Which seemed like it was too often. I was turning to an external fix for internal problem. How many of us do that? Food. Alcohol. Drugs. Sex. Gambling. Oh, it’s fun alright, don’t get me wrong! Having a night out with friends is something I look forward to. I did it just last night and we had a blast! I’m doing it again tonight with different friends. I will be a blast too! But it will be fun because of the people I’m with and the joy that comes from being with them. Not about how much or little we drink, how much food we order and eat or don’t eat. It’s about the time together and shared memories. What happens when that last bite is gone? Or the last drop from your alcoholic beverage of choice is gone? What happens when that last quarter is dropped into the slot and it comes up a loser again? Are you satisfied and can walk away? Or are you already thinking of the next bite/drink/chance?

In my weight loss journey, I have become bolder. Yes, me. Even BOLDER than normal. If you thought I was bold before, look out baby! I have pared down my Facebook friends, I’ve cut my Christmas card list (If you haven’t sent me a card for the past few years, you’re CUT!) and I’m spending time with family and friends who in turn want to spend time with me. I no longer mourn the loss of what might have been or what I should have/could have/might have done differently. That was a monumental shift for me the perpetual people pleaser.

I truly, honestly, passionately have found inner peace. Inner happiness. I have no time for people who continually let me down, lie, make promises with no intention of keeping them, or don’t make time for me. I count just as much. No chasing, no begging to change, no fear of being alone. Because I’m quite happy with myself. When I can take a few moments to take a breath, to calm my mind and actually be present, I find things can go much smoother. My previous way of thinking was always a blur, going 100 mph, saying the first thing that came to mind. That usually got me in trouble and/or made the situation worse.

And just to clear my own conscience, I certainly don’t want this post to come across as me preaching. It is soooooo far from that. It’s the opposite of that. I have no control over anyone but me. And that’s what I’ve discovered to be the biggest key in all of this. I can control me. If you can’t control yourself, that’s no longer my concern or my problem. If you want my help, ask. I would be there for you in a New York minute. But in shedding that weight, I have come alive. I feel empowered. I feel confident. I feel healthy. I feel happy. I feel FREE!

I was telling my friends last night that I would love to lose another 10 pounds. I think they think I’m becoming anorexic now. (I love chocolate, and ice cream and yes, wine! lol) I am focusing on being healthy, on being the best me I can be. And there were still plenty of jiggles as I danced around the bathroom this morning. Perhaps “toning” would be a better choice of words. Toning and firming. And getting my arms ripped like Linda Hamilton in T2. Which is still a goal.

If anyone would like to have more information about my amazing yogi, trainer and friend Yolanda and her website, please visit http://www.strongcalmsexy.com and learn more about her program. Your body AND your mind will thank you.

meditation

It’s Friday, right?

All day long it’s felt like Saturday. Ryan didn’t have school today due to a teacher waiver day. I saw lots of cars in the high school parking lot, so the kids might have had the day off, but teachers and/or admins didn’t. Michael took the day off to fix the boat trailer before we pass her along to her new owner. So, yea, it feels like a Saturday. Have you had days like that? Where you have to stop and think of what day it really is?

We got the trailer all fixed up. It needed new wiring and lights from years of being abused by the constant bumping of being stored inside. The turn signals were broken and the right hand side didn’t even work at all. Not a big deal when the most we used the trailer was 1 mile, 4 times a year. Repairing it fell very low on the priority list.

Then there was the broken board that occurred when Michael tried to drive the boat sideways onto the trailer. Yea, that didn’t work out so well. So he tried to fix it with about an entire roll of duct tape. It worked for awhile but then it just started sagging in the middle where the board was completely broken in half.

Fixing it all cost about $75 from the bottom line of the selling cost, but we couldn’t in conscience allow her new owner to drive away on an unsafe trailer. $75 was worth the good karma.

With the trailer fixed, we can move on to homecoming weekend now. Awwww, homecoming. What memories does that bring to mind? Happiness or disappointment? Fun or terror? Pleasure or loneliness? My own memories tell me it depends on the year!! 

The parade is going to be starting soon, the game should be a great match up and then the dance tomorrow night. The parade goes right down the middle of my neighborhood and goes into the school with the homecoming court riding in the back of convertibles, waving the Miss USA wave at the adoring crowd lining the street. 

Ryan should look quite handsome in his new dress clothes. He’s going with a group of friends and I’m glad. He doesn’t have a serious girlfriend, and I think sometimes the pressure to take a girl to the dance can be a bit intimidating. But instead of caving in to what he thinks he should do, a group of guys decided, hey, we can go and have a great time and not worry about some girl and her friends. Good for them!  No corsages!! No matching clothes!! No expensive dinners!! Just guys going to BW3s. Wearing dress clothes. 

I’m glad I don’t have to or wish to chaperone. I feel bad for the ones who have to. Twerking? Really?? Or grinding. Or whatever it is they do now. I think it’s still twerking, right? Every generation pushed the envelope a little bit. But twerking?? Get out!!! 

So as they leave for the parade and football game tonight, I hope they realize these are the days and nights that they’ll look back on and remember. Hopefully fondly. Cuz at 16, it’s hard to believe these are some of the greatest times of your life. But they are. I hope they all stay safe, and are smart.

Cuz it’s only Friday night and there’s a lot left for them to do. 

Scars and Triumph

I had someone suggest to me to that I write about my scars and enlighten those who may not know how I got them and shed some light. Well, I can certainly do that and can also answer questions anyone may have. I will say I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered that this person thought I could contribute anything meaningful on the subject or once again embarrassed by the appearance of my scars. I will outwardly chose the former, although inside I know it’s the latter.

Cancer. The big C. One of the most dreaded words in the English language. It’s scary because it’s usually a death sentence. By the time it’s caught, it’s usually too late. I think everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed with some form. It affects all ages, races, rich, poor, men, women, everyone. It definitely does not discriminate. “Oh, you live in this big house and carry that gorgeous Prada bag….we’ll just skip you on this whole cancer thing!” Yep, doesn’t matter.

I have Melanoma. Multiple melanomas. My first diagnosis came when I was 27. I was just married to my second husband (also known well as Michael! I should start calling him my current husband so no one is confused.) my oldest son was only 5 and I received the call. Now, it is not like they show it on TV. I wasn’t called to come in and sit down in my doctor’s office and her saying, “Chrissy, I have your test results back. I don’t know how to tell you this, but you have cancer…..” (Cue the sad music) It was actually much more factual than that. They told me over the phone that my biopsy was positive for melanoma and I would need to come in and have another surgery to remove more tissue and have clean margins. Clean margins. That phrase has been repeated to me so many times I can’t count at this point. The area was in the middle of back, right between my shoulder blades. I now have a roughly 3 inch scar that was my first. She also had to go in extremely close to my spine, but thankfully, it had not spread that far.

I cried and I cried. I cried because I was scared, I cried because it hurt, I cried over the little things like how was I going to wear a backless slinky dress ever again because, ya know, I was soooo known for wearing backless slinky dresses!!! I cried because my Grandma died from melanoma and now here I was at 27 being diagnosed with the same thing! I’m only 27!! How can this be???

As I said, I have many, many scars, quite a few additional ones on my back, a few on my left arm, and the ones I’m most self-conscience about….2 huge ones on my left leg. One on my shin going vertical, one going horizontal across my thigh just above my knee. Wearing shorts and a tank top for me is quite a spectacle and it took me awhile to be brave enough to actually leave the house! The surgeries on my leg were pretty rough. The each required more than one surgery to get those clear margins and the cuts were long and equally deep. Some muscle was taken from my thigh along with the surgery. My doctor keeps saying the scars will fade over time. Ummm hmmmmm. Still waiting.

The recovery from each one was boring and horrible. I wasn’t supposed to move unless I was going to the bathroom or after a week, I was allowed to shower. Shower, back to bed. It exhausted me anyway, so I was glad to lay back down. It does NOT help my physique however! And it seemed like every time I would be cleared to resume normal activities, another one would pop up! For quite a few years, I was having a surgery every 6-9 months. That’s a lot of scars!!!

Now here’s the question (or I should say statement, because everyone seems to like to it point out) that I get all the time… “How can someone who has been diagnosed with cancer keep going in the sun and hanging out at the beach and and and…….” Well, let me address this one with “Because I can!!!” My doctor (who by the way and for the record, is one of the best skin cancer doctors around and I have gone to her since before my first diagnosis and I trust her with my life!) knows that I go to the beach. She knows I go out on my boat. She knows that I go to the pool. She knows I have been to tanning beds. She knows all of it. My type of melanoma is due to 2 factors; heredity and early long-term exposure. Neither one can I do anything about now. I can sit inside, or slather on SPF 100, or wear long sleeves and a huge sombrero (well, I couldn’t, but you? You could totally pull that off!) but that isn’t ME! The beach is ME! Sunshine and warm breezes and cool drinks with little umbrellas and cabana boys coming over to mist me so I don’t get too warm…. that is ME!!

I have done all of the above mention taboo activities even after my initial diagnosis. I am now……over 27! My doctor rocks! Do I want to hear on the other end of the phone “It’s melanoma again, let’s schedule something for this week.”?? Hell no. But I’m also not going to let it keep me from living my life. I can claim triumph over my life, and live with the scars.