When God Aligns the Stars, Planets, and Ducks, and Flashes All The Neon Signs

2017 has been a year of change for me. I’ve taken control of my health, and I now do things and eat things that I said I never would. Lots of my every day supporters know how many blessings I have received this year, and it isn’t even over just yet.

My close family and close friends have been told, so it is time to share with the rest of you. After 13 years of my career at Thomas, Feldman & Wilshusen, L.L.P. in Dallas, I have resigned from my Legal Assistant Position. My last day at the Firm will be on Friday, September 1, 2017.

I have accepted a position at a reputable Firm in McKinney. My new career journey with The Burress Snellings Law Firm PLLC begins on September 5, 2017. The area of law that they practice in was my favorite back in the day, and I cannot wait to jump back in.

While I was super nervous and scared to leave my work family at TF&W, I took the leap of faith by accepting the position in McKinney. God planned this. He aligned everything for me, and all I had to do was show my faith in His plans for me. There were just too many positive things to walk away from. It was one of those situations where I wasn’t looking for a job, it just presented itself, and everything fell into place.

Exciting things are happening for me. I know this is one of the best moves for me and my family. They are all super excited, and I cannot wait to travel this journey in my life. I have chosen to dance and not sit out on this amazing opportunity. I Hope You Dance – By Lee Ann Womack was the 1st song that I heard getting back into my car after my interview. I believe that was another sign coming from the Heavens.

Goodbye to my TF&W family. Many memories were made, many tears were shed, many late night hours burned. It has been a pleasure and an honor working for you. I appreciate all the kindness you have expressed to me over the past 13 years. I have grown a lot as a Legal Assistant and a person. I wish you nothing but success and growth in the years to come.

 

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I Put on My BIG Girl Pants Tonight

You always hear people say that “you just need to put on your big girl pants” for certain situations, right? Well tonight was a time when I needed to do just that. You see, all of my “smaller” pants and skirts have been falling off me, and I was starting to have to use safety pins to hold them up. I decided that it was time to buy new pants that would stay up all on their own. 

Walking to the clothing section I immediately went towards the Plus-Size department.  After shifting a few hangers around, I realized that I needed to go to the “other” department with smaller sizes. Before I did that, I shifted hangers around again and looked at tags because I knew my size was on the plus racks, it had to be. Sigh, those won’t fit. I walked over to the other rack. I knew my smallest size is way too big, so I grabbed 2 different sizes and headed to the fitting room.

Not really paying attention to the size I reached for first, I was able to pull the pants on with no problem.  Buttoned them and zipped them up without having to suck anything in. I looked at the size of the pants, and I wanted to shout out with excitement,  but I remembered that I was in a public place so I smiled big instead.  LOL Let’s just say that I’m 16 whole pant sizes, or if you want to count by 2’s, 8 sizes smaller from where I was when I started low carb,  high protein on January 4, 2016.

When I got home, I immediately went into my closet to pull out my most favorite pair of Big Girl Pants. I layer them on the bed, and then I placed the new ones on top. While there is a noticeable difference, this photo does not show the true difference in sizes.

I then thought to myself that I needed to put my Big Girl Pants on to see just how far I’ve come in a year. To my surprise,  I fit into one pant leg. I have enough room to share them with a friend. I was having to hold these tight so they wouldn’t fall.

Wow, these were my pants I’d wear to all my photography gigs because they were comfortable.  They were my “go to” work pants because they were dressy and stretchy. 

There’s no way I could wear them anywhere at this point without people wondering what was up. I don’t think safety pins or a belt would do the trick.

I’m not quite at my goal weight, but I’m almost there.  I’ve lost 141 pounds from January 4, 2016 to February 2, 2017. To meet my goal weight, I have about 11 more pounds to lose.

I’m a work in progress,  but I’m also living proof that you can lose the weight if you set your mind to it and give it 100%. You have to believe in yourself that you’ve got what it takes to accomplish your goal, and it will happen. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, and those that have given me words of encouragement. Thank you to those who have stood by my side during this transformation.  I couldn’t have done any of it without you!

9 Months and 125 Pounds Later….

A full-term pregnancy lasts 9 months. During that time, a woman’s body goes thru so many changes both internal and external .  When I was pregnant with my kids, my body took a while to change on the outside. It wasn’t obvious that I was pregnant . I just looked like I was fat and had a squishy belly. During each of my pregnancies,  I gained about 28 pounds . I was so proud of myself for not gaining a gazillion pounds because those 20+ pounds wouldn’t be hard to lose, or so I thought. Up until recently ,  I was still carrying around the “baby weight” from my 2010/2011 pregnancy ,  and then some. Due to my PCOS, I gained so much weight, and I kept finding every excuse in the book not to do something about it.

There was a time when I wouldn’t even step foot on a scale because I was afraid of the number that was going to flash up on the screen. If I’d go to the Doctor , I’d be in denial about my weight, and I would tell myself that my clothes and shoes surely added 5 to 6 pounds. If my appointment was at the end of the day, I’d throw that factor into the mix. The number on the scale wouldn’t phase me because in my head, it was inaccurate. Flash forward to the end of December 2015 when I saw myself in pictures that someone had taken of me. Yes, I had seen myself in photos before then, but there weren’t many, and I really never took a good look at them. I was always on the opposite side of the camera to avoid anyone seeing the overweight person that I was.

That was one of the eye openers for me. Regardless of how many times I heard my Doctors talk to me about weight loss for my own good, nothing “spoke to me” as the photos did. I then braved the whole getting up on the scale thing. I couldn’t believe that number that was flashing back at me. It was the highest weight I had ever seen for myself . Was it right? How did I get to that number? I knew right then and there that this had to stop. I didn’t want to get to the next higher up three digit number series. Mind you, I wasn’t feeling bad at my “high” weight, nor was I experiencing any medical issues that were not PCOS related.

I had seen some before and after photos of people who had done low carb, high protein . All the Doctors that had mentioned weight loss to me had told me to go low carb. I did minimal research, and jumped right in to the low carb way of eating. I didn’t carb load or anything before getting started. I just said, “hey, this is starting NOW”! Here I am today, still sticking with it.

So, it will be 9 months of my lifestyle change tomorrow, November 4th. Much like a woman’s body changing during the 9 months of a pregnancy, my body has taken a major change. Guess what? It did take people a while to notice this change as well.

I have  gone from wearing a 3xl shirt/dress,  to wearing large/medium. In pants/skirts, I’ve gone down 12 sizes. We won’t even discuss bra sizes. LOL Just know that it too has changed drastically. Oh, and one of my biggest accomplishments presented itself to me today when I didn’t have to ask for a seat belt extender on the plane. It has quite a bit of slack to it.

It is the little things like this that help me to realize how far I have come in my journey.

If you’re wondering what “number” I am at now for pounds lost, the answer is 125 pounds! I’m still not at my overall goal, but I’m a lot closer to it now than I was 9 months ago.

Thank you to those who have supported me on this journey. Thank you for the words of encouragement. I can’t tell you how much it has helped me stay focused.

They Say The Hardest Part is Letting Go

When you experience a loss of any kind, there is always something that you hold onto. Whether it be a photo, letter, t-shirt, etc. There is always that one thing that is going to remind you of a special time, place, or person.

I’ve been on my weight loss journey since January 4th. Here we are August 12th, and I am having a problem with letting go. Letting go of what you ask? Well, I have yet to clean out my closet and dresser drawers to get rid of the clothes that no longer fit due to them being too big. I know that once I do decide to let go, my closet and dresser are going to look rather bare. I actually had a dream that someone went into my closet and removed all of the bigger clothes. I freaked out because my favorites were gone, and there were dresses in there that I just wasn’t ready to get rid of. I remember waking up, getting out of bed, opening the closet door, and being so happy that it was only a dream.

I cannot even begin to tell you how many articles of clothing I own. Right now, there are only a handful of things that fit the way they are supposed to. One thing is for sure though, there is not one piece of clothing in there that is too small. As a matter of fact, I need to go shopping to buy some stuff that actually fits without me having to fold the waistline over just to keep them from falling down. My dress shirts swallow me up, and the t-shirts are really big. Some of my most favorite dresses hang too low in the front and on the sides, and if I choose to wear them, I have to wear an undershirt or something with them to not expose parts of my body. LOL Sad, I know……

Then there is the decision of donating the stuff or trying to sell it to make some money to buy new stuff. I know that there are plus sized women who would rock the dresses I have, and they’d look awesome in the skirts, jeans, and shorts that are feeling neglected right about now.

Why am I so afraid to let it all go? I know that I don’t plan on going back to where I was before. I’ve come so far, and I do not want to take any steps back. I’ve lost 95 pounds, and I’m not done just yet.

I have favorite t-shirts from special moments in my life. I can’t see myself parting with a few. I will keep them to sleep in since my gowns and night shirts are just way too big.

So, here’s to letting go…. I’ve let go of 95 pounds, and I don’t want them back, so why can’t I part with the clothing to go along with it? I’m going to pray for peace to help me start the process of letting go.

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Words Are Like Weapons….

If we don’t accept who we are, flaws and all, how can we expect others to accept us? These are my words to someone else, but this is one of my BIGGEST struggles. I have a very hard time accepting my appearance, my weight, and who I am because of things I’ve been told during my lifetime. I don’t want to be that way, but when I think about things that have been said, I can’t move on to think about myself any differently.

I always wonder what others think of my appearance or if they are making fun of me in any way. What are they thinking? Are they talking to themselves in their head about how I look? Do they think I just sit around eating tons of crap? I know that’s not what we are supposed to feel, but I just can’t help it at times.

I’ve always struggled with my appearance as far back as I can remember. My friends were thinner, prettier, wealthier, etc. I have always felt like I was in someone else’s shadow, not the person in the lime light. I know that we aren’t supposed to compare ourselves to others, but I have done it all my life. One of my friend’s Mom would always mention something about my weight, even though I was skin and bones, and had been questioned about having an eating disorder. That was the first time in my younger years that I remember questioning myself as to whether or not I was overweight. Are young children supposed to be thinking about things like this? Why would adults put down a younger person by saying something about their weight unless there really was some truth to it? That day is vivid in my mind. I remember staring at myself in the mirror for a long time before taking a shower that night. I couldn’t see what she was talking about, but then I started convincing myself that maybe she was right. I mean yeah, my legs did have a little thickness to them, so the title of “thunder thighs” (as she put it) did apply to me. But where was this fat she mentioned? I felt like I was pretty thin, but yet, I questioned my appearance because of a comment that was made. I was always self-conscious about myself when I was around this Mom after that day. I still am, but the good thing is, I don’t see her very often.

There was one time that I felt super confident with myself in my adult life. I was confident with who I was, my appearance, and where I was in life. I wore cute clothes, and I didn’t see any “bad” in it. It wasn’t until one day that I read something that someone wrote about me. It stopped me dead in my tracks, and those words still haunt me to this day. That person was talking about me being fat, along with some not so nice things about my appearance. I was shocked. This was someone that I confided in for so many years, someone who I would do anything for. Is this really what they thought of me? What made them say this? Why do they act differently to my face when I ask for their opinion? I remember being hurt for quite some time. Heck, just thinking about it brings back so many mixed feelings. They don’t know that I ever read that. Would they try to explain themselves for what they said? Would it even matter? Words are words, written or said, and they cannot be taken back. I never even told them that I knew what they thought of me. I was just way too hurt to even bring it up. To this day, unless they are reading this and remember writing that, they have no idea that I know what they really thought about me back then. What does this person think about me now? Do they still call me fat behind my back? Do I care about their opinion….yes, I really do, but now I know better than I did back then to think that they fully accept me for who I am and that they are truthful with their words.

I really do hope that my girls will never have to go thru any of this. I do not want someone’s rude, untrue words to play mind games with them all their lives. I know that people say things sometimes just to be hurtful, and I know they will go thru heartaches, but I hope it isn’t anything that anyone has said about their body and/or their appearance.

NOBODY needs to deal with ANY of this! It breaks my heart to read things on social media where people are body shaming others. What’s the purpose in doing that? Do you feel that insecure about yourself that you have to put someone else down? Why not say something to try to help them up? Do you know the path they have been down? Do you know if they have any illnesses that keep them from appearing healthy on the outside?

I’m slowly starting to feel comfortable in my own skin. I’m a work in progress, and I hope that writing out these instances will help me be able to heal and move on. I’ve carried these things with me for so long, and it is now time to “let them go”. Will that be easy to do, no, the scars are there, and they always will be. Do I hold a grudge for what was said? No, I’ve “forgiven” them a long time ago. It’s taken me a long time to be able to discuss these things “out loud”. I believe it is part of the healing process.

So, if you take anything with you from this blog post, I hope it is this:

NEVER USE UNTRUE WORDS TO BEAT SOMEONE DOWN. THEY WILL HAUNT THAT PERSON FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES WHILE YOU MOVE ON! THEY MAY PUT ON A FAKE SMILE IN FRONT OF YOU AND ACT AS IF THEY ARE OKAY, BUT DEEP DOWN INSIDE, IT’S EATING THEM ALIVE!!

30, 44, and Losing Part of Me

You’re probably wondering what the subject of this post is all about. Well, I will explain it all now. It’s probably not as exciting as you’d like for it to be!

30 – That’s how many pounds I am down now. Some of it has come off quickly, while some has taken it’s time. I’m excited about what’s been lost, and I can’t wait until I lose more. I know the process is slow, and it takes more time to take it off than it does to put it on, but I’m ready to hit another milestone in this journey. Baby steps to the finish line!  Thank you to all of you who are by my side, supporting me along the way!

44 – That’s how old I turned today. I don’t feel my age. I feel younger. I remember when I used to think 40 was old. I didn’t really dread my 40th birthday or cry over it. I didn’t feel like I was really going to be in my 40’s at that time. It’s hard for me to sometimes believe that I am the age that I am. Being in my 40’s isn’t bad at all. Yes, metabolism and other things have changed, but it is all part of becoming older and more mature. At least that’s what I keep telling myself! 🙂 Today I was told, “just wait until you’re in your 50’s, it doesn’t get any better.” Haha! I don’t even want to know what will happen then. For now, I’m going to enjoy my 44th year of life that God has given me. I know I will learn more than I already know, I will give my best,  and I know that I will experience things that I never have as well. I know that some of you don’t believe that I am 44 because you think I am younger, but I promise you, I was born in 1972!!!!

Losing part of me – Well, see, what happened was….. I had a minor medical procedure yesterday. I had a cyst under my right shoulder blade for as long as I can remember. It ruptured once, but it came back. I consulted with a surgeon a couple of weeks ago because it had gotten bigger and it had started to hurt. He agreed that it needed to be removed. So, I had my procedure with him yesterday morning. I was awake during the whole thing, and I did feel some pain. I let him know when I could feel what he was doing, and he’d inject more stuff into my back. It took a little longer than he anticipated for the removal, and it was bigger than what he thought. For some reason, when I have surgery, that seems to be the story of my life…always more than the Doctors/Surgeon had expected. I wanted to see the cyst, as he took it out as a whole, but it wasn’t anywhere to be seen when I was finally able to get up, move around, and look around. Yes, I’m weird like that. That stuff fascinates me. For some reason, I felt the urge to cry after the procedure was over and I was walking out to my car. I don’t know if it is because something that had been a part of me was gone after all of these years or if my body was just going through emotions from the procedure. I did manage to hold back the tears, but they were right there had I let them flow.

So, that’s it! Thank you to all of you who take the time to read my blog!! ❤

16 Goals for 2016

I know that making new years resolutions is so cliché, so I’ve decided to set goals for myself instead of resolutions. Yes, they may sound the same, but setting goals just sounds better and easier to do.

1. Join a Bible Study
2. Go back to Church
3. Set realistic deadlines
4. Visit family more often
5. Paint at least once a month
6. Take the girls on more dates
7. Hand write an actual letter to family/friends
8. Start taking better care of myself
9. Read to the girls more often
10. Write more poetry
11. Read God’s Word at least once a day
12. Spend more time with friends
13. Take a minute to smell the roses
14 Find some “me” time somewhere in the day
15. More random acts of kindness
16. Focus more on what’s important in life

Making this list is harder than you think! Here’s to a positive 2016!!

2015 Year in Review or Something Like That

Hi, it’s me! I know it’s been a while, but I’m back. I didn’t think I was going to write a “year in review” type blog entry, but Mr. M to da Z mentioned to me today that I should. So, here is my attempt at talking about the highlights/lowlights of 2015. I hope you have plenty of hot chocolate and popcorn to enjoy as you read this. Make yourself comfy because it is kinda long!

January came and went very fast. RyRy turned 4. How is that even possible? Wasn’t she just born? We ended the month with adding Black Beauty (a new Ford F-150) to our family. She is shiny (metallic black). I still can’t get used to driving her because I think in the time that she’s been part of the family, I have driven her maybe 5 or 6 times.

February is a blur to me. I had sinus surgery. When my ENT told me about the procedure, she told me that I could come out of the surgery center looking like I went one or two rounds with Mike Tyson. I was afraid to look at myself in the mirror for the first time before I was released. I sent a picture to my neighbor. She told me that I looked very “California” with the tape/bandage on my nose. LOL Guess that’s a good thing. Luckily for me, I had no bruising.

March – I was so excited for March, as it is my birthday month. I thought for sure it was going to be a fun month. Unfortunately, my month didn’t go as planned. One Friday, I walked out of my office, thru the parking lot, and got into my vehicle. When I started my vehicle, it was very loud, and it vibrated from the sound. I turned it off and turned it back on again thinking that it was going to be different, but it wasn’t. Come to find out, someone stole the catalytic converter off my Honda Element. It was not a cheap replacement even with insurance paying a majority of it. Talk about an unexpected expense due to someone else’s doing. I learned that this is a common thing, but I had never heard of it before that day. It takes about a minute for thieves to cut it off and drive away. There was a plus to the month, we welcomed 2 new members to our family (bunnies). They were super cute, and the girls love holding them and watching them jump around.

April – We enjoyed Easter with the girls. They wore beautiful dresses, and they found lots of eggs. We read the story of Jesus’ resurrection.

May – I wore a heart monitor for most the of the month of April and May. I had an abnormal EKG when I had my surgery in February, and then I had another abnormal one when I met with the heart specialist. He had me wear a heart monitor, and I also had an echocardiogram done. Thank God everything came back normal.

June -The girls got out of school for the Summer. They were both sad that school was over for the year, as they both enjoyed their teachers and friends very much. I had my 6 month mammogram diagnostic exam. Things still need to be monitored, but so far, nothing has changed. They just want to make sure it stays that way. I also had an MRI of my left ankle/foot. It kept hurting me, would get swollen, and I could hardly walk on it. Come to find out, I had/have 6 torn ligaments. Sigh….Ain’t nobody got time for that.

July – Tim had to go to California for work. The girls and I got lucky and were able to tag along. I FINALLY got to meet Karalayne. She and I have been friends for about 8 or 9 years. We met on Fertile Thoughts, and we have been friends ever since. I was excited to finally get to meet her and her family. The girls and I spent time with her and her kiddos during the day while Tim was working. The girls were so sad when we spent the last day with them. They are ready to go back for a visit to go see their friends. I got to scratch one of my bucket list items off. I saw the HOLLYWOOD sign in person! YAY! I also got to stand outside of Eva Longoria’s restaurant – Beso. It was too early in the day for her to be there. I’d like to go back and eat there one day. We went to Venice Beach…..talk about a great place to go for people watching. So much to see there! Santa Monica Pier was fun as well. We got to watch a firework show. Overall, it was a fun trip. RyRy has decided that she wants to move to California when she turns 18. CJ tells her that she’s going to need to find a job to make money to live there. LOL My CJ turned 7. She’s growing up way too fast. I wish we could pause time. Had to get an MRI of my right ankle after our trip to Cali. The front part of my ankle was super swollen and tender.  I somehow tore an anterior tendon. Yay me….how does that even happen?

August – Hank and his family came into town the last week of July, and were in Texas until the first week of August. Hank and his family, Matt his family, and me and the girls all went to Corpus Christi to spend time with our parents. It had been way too long since we were all under one roof. Us kiddos enjoyed some beach time together on the last night we were there. The kids had fun in the water, but us grownups didn’t want to see if jaws would make an appearance when it started to get dark. LOL The girls went back to school after a nice and relaxing Summer.

September – I got the opportunity to travel back to a part of South Texas where I lived back in the day. The town looked so different. Everything is different now. It’s no longer a sleepy little town. It was kind of back to see part of “my history” change so much from when I left it. I guess that goes to show that things are forever changing, and nothing ever stays the same.

October – We got lots of rain throughout the month. The storms were very loud and scary. Halloween was fun. The kiddos enjoyed trick-or-treating. We didn’t have as many trick-or-treaters as usual. I’m guessing since Halloween fell on a Saturday, there were lots of parties, and organizations had things going on for their members.

November – Thanks to our wonderful neighbors, I got to experience an Evanescence concert VIP style. I must admit that I was unsure what to expect since it was a “rocker” type band and not something I have experienced before. I met some cool people, and I will be forever grateful for that night.  Thanksgiving is made to be spent with family and friends. We invited some “new to America” friends to our house for the festivities. It was their 1st Thanksgiving ever. I believe they enjoyed it, and we were blessed to have them join us. My parents came to town to celebrate with us as well. I love spending holidays with my family, and I cherish those moments with them.

December – December is supposed to be filled with laughter and cheer. The Grinch decided to visit us the week before Christmas, and he stole our Star Shower Lights. The girls were very upset about it. I can’t believe that people are brave enough to walk into someone’s yard and take their stuff. People have major balls that’s for sure!! Christmas was exciting. Santa was very good to the girls. I caught him in action when he came to visit our house. The girls enjoyed seeing the photos I snapped of him when he stopped by.  We met a new family in our subdivision. They have a daughter who will be attending our elementary school, and she is in 2nd grade like CJ. I believe they hit it off pretty good. I’m excited to get to know her and her family better as time goes on.

Besides never ending soccer for both girls, and always having somewhere we needed to be, we survived 2015!!!! Thank you Jesus!!!!

2015 Was a great year for me overall. I am a very blessed individual whom is grateful for all the blessings bestowed upon me!! I spent time with family and friends, and I’ve made some new friends along the way. Some family and friends have stepped out of my life for reasons unknown to me. I’ve tried to communicate with several of them, but my attempts didn’t get any type of response. I cannot make anyone want to be a part of my life, but if I know that I did nothing to make them not want to be in it, I have to question myself what went wrong. While everyone says to just let it go and move forward, it is very hard for me to do that.

I have come to realize that I am not Wonder Woman, and I cannot do everything that I’d like to do. There are just not enough hours in the day to get it all done. In 2016, I need to learn how to balance things better, and I need to learn how to say “no” more, and I need to occasionally ask for help. That is so hard for me to do, but I’m going to do my best to do it more in 2016.

There is so much that I’m going to work on in 2016. I have so many personal things that I want to change to better myself, and I have to be the one to make it happen. I need to get back into church, and I need to get back into the word. That is one of my biggest goals for 2016. I’ve ventured away for way too long, and it’s time to find my way back.

So there you have it, a glimpse into my 2015. Tonight I will ring in the new year in my pajamas, possibly watching Netflix, and just relaxing. This girl has no energy to do much of anything else.

Thanks for reading! I know it’s long!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 2016 HERE WE COME!!!!

Life’s Storms & Seasons

So many of my friends are having storms in their lives right now, while others are chasing rainbows. I’ve got prayers lifted up for so many who need to see brighter days ahead. Just when you think you are beginning to see the silver lining, life steps in and throws you a curve ball. Sometimes,  it leaves you questioning something that you once felt so positive and strongly about or it adds more fuel to the fire that your soul has been extinguishing for days.

During times like these, I try to find something positive to focus on to take the attention away from the storm. While my storm may not be as big as someone’s hurricane,  I remind myself that this too shall pass and that it could be a lot worse.

During these dark times, I feel comforted when I reach out and talk to God. I thank God for his many blessings and for the gift of life. I talk to him about what’s on my heart, and about my fears and concerns.  I lift up my family and friends who really need Him, as well as those who are grieving. I know that I cannot hear Him when he answers me, but I know that he hears me. He knows my struggles, my concerns, and my heart. He is by my side guiding the way even when I feel lost and alone.

This journey I am on is a tough one, but God has mapped out every step of the way. This is just a season of my life that will last for a little while before it moves on to the next one. I WILL NOT let this season dictate who I am!

If you’re riding the waves in a stormy season in your life, let go and let God no matter how tight you feel you need to hold on. He’s got this!!