How’s that Journey to Health Going?

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Well, I’ve been on plan for 4.5 months now. The amount of joy and love I feel because of this incredible lifestyle is impossible to describe in words. My mood has completely been rebuilt. I was so full of depression and anxiety. I’m still struggling to balance, but I feel like I have some actual control, and have only had two panic attacks since getting 100% on plan compared to the minimum of one a week I had before. My family life has changed as well. My son, who I was worried about being too thin, has gained and looks so much healthier. My other half has lost weight as well, which is helping his self confidence, though he doesn’t like to admit that he ever needed to lose some weight.

This plan has brought me closer to God in my search for myself. I’ve learned to pray when I feel weak. I’ve learned to not put others before him, my other half, or my family. I am still struggling, but progress is being made every day.

My pain, which I certainly didn’t want to admit was from my weight, is so reduced that I can walk ten miles a day easily without feeling like I’m going to collapse. My stomach, which was torn apart in the worst way, now treats me well because this plan helped me figure out the foods I was sensitive to (corn being number one, and corn syrup being removed is a real blessing).

And… frankly, the results make me unable to stop smiling. I’m just humbled by the difference. I had to change my shorts before taking these pictures, because my size 18/20 shorts were falling off and not allowing these pictures to properly represent my difference. I started this plan at the beginning of March at a size 4x and 297lbs. Today I woke up at 244lbs, and my clothes are all too big so I’d say between a Large and 1x. It absolutely blows my mind. I used to never wear shorts, but I live in them now. I’m so much more comfortable in my body…

I’m so grateful for the people I have pushing me to become the best me I can be. I would like to share some links with you all including a link to a beachbody coach that has been helping me where it comes to exercise and my youtube and instagram link.

Ariel’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thefitveganmom/
Ariel is a mom of five, a dedicated unschooler, and one of my biggest supporters on this journey to health I’ve embarked on.

My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mommisami/
I don’t have a ton on there yet, but I will be posting more and more.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SamiJordynn
I have a little bit of everything posted here. Health stuff, music stuff, parenting stuff… Please subscribe!

YOU ARE LOVED!

 

Weaning Remorse for the Both of Us

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About four months ago, this sweet boy suddenly decided to wean. I didn’t really know how to feel about it, but I also dried up quickly without pain. I was sad, for rather selfish reasons. I had always expected to nurse much longer, and felt like somehow I had failed him by allowing him to wean. Yes, I know it makes no sense. I don’t know how to deal with it really though, and can’t help those feelings. Moving on…

For two months, he didn’t want to nurse at all. Snuggles would totally suffice when he needed some extra love or comfort, and he was able to go right to sleep at night without nursing and stay asleep. There seemed to be no problem; no real affect on either of us. Until of course there was.

All of a sudden, two months ago, he’d go for sips. He’d just want to love the boobie. Kiss it, squeeze it, or use it as a pillow were some of his lovey ways. Then he started really trying to nurse, and his poor heart would break every time. He was very frustrated that there was no more milk, and would still try. This would hurt my boobs, but he’d be hysterical if I didn’t at least let him try. I instantly regretted not doing more to keep my milk. I could have pumped and given it to him in a cup! I could have pumped and donated it until he wanted it. I didn’t do either, and gosh I’m full of regret now.

Our solution, that he decided on and that I’m not overly pleased by, is to use a bottle once a day to have his cup of milk before nap time. The nipple of the bottle soothes him, and he will snuggle with us drinking him “milkies” until he falls asleep.

It’s really not the same though. I miss our connection through nursing. In the past I could scoop up my crying little love, give him the gift only I could, and he’d be soothed. Now when he’s upset it takes so much more, which is okay, but I feel like I let him down. I know, I know, I’m doing what I can… but…

Thanks for listening to me internet. Sometimes I just have to let my mommy fails/regrets/sadness out.

YOU ARE LOVED!

Sami, What Do You Think About Addicts?

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Good question internet people. Good question indeed. First, let me ask you something: when you think of an addict do you think of loving, hard working, strong women like my mothers pictured above? Probably not. Do you think of people who get up and go to work every day as a managerial team? Do you think of people who would give the shirt off their backs to anyone they met? Probably not, because society presents an addict as someone who lives for nothing besides the next high, someone lazy who uses those around them, and someone who deserves to die. I have a serious issue with that.

My city is currently plagued with heroin use. In the last seventy two hours, TWELVE people have overdosed, with one dead, and another on life support. The girl on life support is only eighteen years old. The people in my community have been very vocal about what they are feeling towards the dealer(s), users, and anyone else involved. For the most part there is an outcry to send people after the dealer. Totally, get that person off the street. On the other side of things, the thing that is breaking my heart, there are people shouting their hatred for the addicts. Now, I get it. Don’t get me wrong, I was angry for a long time even at my parents. How could they chose drugs? How could they become so sick that they’d have to die to stop the addiction? Well… there is no easy answer. These people spilling anger out into the public, have every right to feel anger. These are people afraid for those around them, afraid for their parents, children, friends… these are people who have no idea how to help those around them, and are putting up a wall to keep themselves safe. I have the utmost respect for their feelings, but I can’t help but feel serious sympathy for the addicts and their families who are being forced to see the hatred directed at their loved ones who are on the brink of death, or already dead.

Drugs change your brain chemistry. One taste of a serious chemical can hook you. It’s not always as easy as just stopping. Most addicts don’t even recognize their own addiction until it’s too late. “I feel great!” “I just need a little extra energy today!” “Just one more time!” That’s not the person talking, that’s the drugs, and it’s a tragedy. If these addicts don’t know they need help, or can’t admit it, they won’t be able to receive help, and that’s another tragedy. You might ask, “Okay Sami, but they still decided to try drugs in the first place. It’s their own fault right?” Yeah, I struggled with that question the longest. My first instinct was always to agree, and it fueled a lot of anger for me, but then I asked myself… what led up to making that decision? Was it ignorance? “I’ll just try it this once with my friends. I’m sure once won’t hurt.” Was it depression? “I just want this pain to go away, my life is truly that miserable, maybe this will help.” Was it a cry for help? Was it an accident? Oh what, it can’t be an accident, it’s always a choice! Well…

My mothers both had serious medical conditions. They were PRESCRIBED the drugs they were addicted to. Then, they were prescribed more drugs be a certain doctor that I’d like to have fired. Then, those drugs called to them. It made their pain, mental and physical, go away. It helped take away their sense of responsibility. It made them feel good. Addiction took a bite out of them like a literal monster and didn’t let go until the day(s) that they died. Do I WISH they had enough control to stop? That they could have resisted their impulses to pop another pill? Of course I do… But, I don’t know that they could have.

So here’s something that might shock some of you… I, too, am an addict. Let me explain for a minute before you judge the heck out of me. After my C-section they gave me percocet. Within a week I was mostly healed, I didn’t need the pills, and I gave them up, because at the time I was a happy new mom who could totally get through the little bit of pain to be the best mom I could be for my son. Well, a year later my back started killing me. Someone close offered me percocet, and I took them. And took them. And kept taking them. I’d take them at night, and the thoughts in my head wouldn’t go around in circles any more. I could relax and fall asleep. I’d take them in the morning, and everyone around me was a little bit less scary. My anxiety would go away… One night, after an especially stressful day, I thought to myself, “Damn, I really need another pill.” And that’s the same night I flushed what I had left, because I realized I had become an addict and needed to stop. I didn’t WANT to be an addict, I didn’t want to abuse pills, and I didn’t think I’d ever get to that point. I naturally have an addictive and obsessive personality. I can’t drink or take pain pills without forming an addiction. That experience gave me a new perspective to look at other addicts through. If I, someone fiercely opposed to using drugs, can become an addict, literally anyone can.

So, to be honest, I don’t have any real answers for you today. I asked more than I answered in fact. I ask you to take a step back before you point the blame and hate at people with an addiction. Think about their family witnessing your words. Think about the hurt they are already feeling. Think about the pain that’s already in the world… instead, spread some love.

 

YOU ARE LOVED.

Love: It’s Really That Simple

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With the first anniversary of #LoveWins upon us, I’ve been having a lot of emotions pop up. Apparently I still have a lot of anger towards the people in this world who oppose same sex marriage. I mean, I really can’t wrap my head around it. Can you believe there are people out there that would rather a child be left in foster care than have two moms? Or that they actually believe that some random relative the person has never met should have say over their medical care and that their long time partner shouldn’t?

I’m so proud to call these two women above my mothers. They showed me love, compassion, how to treat my child, trust, and most of all acceptance. They showed me that being honest is a gift. They showed me that love is the most important thing in this world. They showed those around them what hard work looked like. I posted this picture on my facebook today, and the comments make me cry. The love that others felt for them, how grateful they were to know my moms, all the gifts my parents gave them… wow!

Here’s the kicker for me today though. Caleb and I were looking through some pictures of my moms, and we come to the one posted above. Caleb points to the heart and says, and this is a direct quote, “They’re in love. That’s my grandmas.” Queue my heart shattering into a thousand pieces. He’ll never get to meet them. He’ll never get to hold their hands, snuggle them to sleep, or learn from them like I was able to, and that breaks my heart. It destroys me at my core. Yet, despite that, his statement is profound and powerful. This little almost three year old child gets what far too many adults don’t. Love is love. Love is everything. Love is the ONLY thing that matters.

Today, I challenge each and every one of you to show a little love for those around you. Bonus points if you show love for the LGBTQA+ community. There is enough hurt in the world. Today, let’s aim for love.

 

You ARE Loved!

I Help?

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I stand at the sink washing the hundredth dish of the night, when this sweet boy comes in. “What you do mama?” he asks me. “I’m cleaning up baby,” I tell him. He walks around for a few minutes, comes and watches me wash a few dishes, and then he takes a few steps back. He asks me, “I help?”

Way to melt a mama’s heart. I told him that he could pick things up from the floor and put them in the trash if he wanted. He did just that, and he did it happily. I thanked him for helping me clean our home. We finished up our work together, and went into the living room to snuggle a while.

I’ve never made him clean up. I will almost always ask him to pick up his toys, and often he will, but if he doesn’t I do it for him. Usually if he sees me cleaning up his toys, he comes to help me. When I do my own household duties, I try my best to do them cheerfully, because I have little eyes watching. He sees me happy to do these things, willing to do all of these jobs to help our home, and he picks up on it. He will now happily help without asking, because we always made it just another part of the day for our family instead of a chore, a pain in the butt, that just had to get done, because I said so.

Our family works together to make a home, and he is part of this wonderful home. And… I am so grateful.

You Are Loved!

Love Shouldn’t Have to be Won

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In 2009 my mothers passed away. On June 26, 2015 gay marriage was legalized, forever too late. From the time I was four, when my biological mother and father got a divorce and my mum started dating another woman, I knew three things: some people hated lesbians, my moms couldn’t get married, and this woman was my other mother.

Somehow, I never questioned their love, or how my mother could love another woman. Even at four years of age, I grasped that love was love. The important thing was that I had a parent who cared for me, taught me things my biological parents couldn’t, and accepted me as her own. I remember once, when I was in Kindergarten, that an older girl on the playground once told me my parents were disgusting because they were lesbians. I went home and asked my moms what she had meant. I didn’t understand how two people in love, who loved me, could ever be disgusting or wrong.

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For a heterosexual couple in 1999, dating and getting married was just what happened. No one questioned it, and no one thought of it as wrong. That marriage allotted them privileges that weren’t available to homosexual couples. Unlike a stepfather, my other mother couldn’t adopt me. She had no legal right to me. My mothers couldn’t get married and my biological mum couldn’t take my other mom’s last name, nor could I. My mum had many health problems and Ramona, my other mother, didn’t have the ability to walk in and say, “I’m her spouse, I have a right to see her, and I can make the decisions for her care.” No heterosexual couple goes through these problems. These basic rights -things that should be based on true love instead of religion and politics- were kept from my mothers, and the results were devastating for our family.

At the time, Vermont had already legalized gay marriage. Both of my moms loved visiting Vermont, often doing so while I was at visitations with my father, and desired to move there. Legally, because of me, they weren’t able to. My father had partial custody of me, and the law said I couldn’t be moved that far away. Despite how much my other mother loved me, not being able to move and live her life happily caused resentment for me to grow inside of her. I found this out slowly, but surely.

I’ve been asked how I can still love, forgive, and think so highly of them despite knowing how they resented me. I never felt the need to ask myself this question, but now that I’ve found love I have an answer. The first few years that I was dating my fiance we were unable to see each other regularly. We were kids, but our love was and seven years later still is strong.The fact that I had to get up each morning knowing that I wouldn’t be able to see him, touch him, or publicly show my deep love for him hurt, yet I knew that one day I would be able to marry, move in with, and create a child with him without any law or prejudice stopping me. If that pain didn’t have the light to keep us going, and if everyone around me had no problem receiving those things while I didn’t, I don’t know what I would have done, but I do know that I’d be miserable and no where near as kind to the people around me. My mothers felt that pain constantly for ten years. For seven of those years, I had no idea.

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With all the issues they faced, both of my moms became very depressed. Our family physician at the time prescribed them both high doses of antidepressants. Unfortunately, these drugs didn’t mix well with the medication each of them were on; my other mother was on medication for epilepsy and my mum was on pain and anti-anxiety medications. The toxic mix of high potency drugs led to a dependency when I was in the sixth grade and only eleven years old. As they became more addicted, with me around during their stupors, I learned of their inner pain and resentment towards me. It was a rough time for all of us. My other mother’s parents were very homophobic and had made her feel crazy as a youth, going so far as to institutionalize her during her senior year of high school in an attempt to “make her straight.” With that, the inability to marry her true love, and the hatred our society showered her with led to an overdose and the end of her life.  Two months and two days later my mum, in a rehabilitation center, also passed. Our family truly believes that once her love died she just gave up to move on to the afterlife with her. How did we get to the point where dying is preferable to living?

We have made progress. Through rallies, education, celebrities using their privilege to speak out, and by electing a supportive president we have gotten this country on the right track. We aren’t, however, finished. Forty percent of homeless youth are part of the LGBT community. Thirty-three percent of LGBT students attempt suicide. These numbers are so high, and that’s because we are not yet part of a society that wholeheartedly accepts who people love. The day after gay marriage was legalized, my other mother’s mom posted on her facebook wall a message protesting it. Even after her own daughter died because of that hate, she still posted such an ignorant and disrespectful thing. There is more we need to do to turn this world into a place where love is understood. You can tell me that we’ll never get there, that people are entitled to their religious beliefs, and that hate will always exist. I disagree. No one is entitled to hate, or bully, another human being because of what they may or may not believe.

So, as happy and grateful as I am for gay marriage now being legal nationwide, and the shift society has taken towards less hate and more acceptance, I am angry. I’m angry that because of prejudice, because someone at some point decided they could tell us all what love was, and that love between the same sex was wrong, my parents had to leave me so soon. I’m angry that they didn’t have the chance to give me the love they wanted to, because in the back of their mind there was always that resentment. I’m angry that my son won’t be able to meet his grandmothers. I’m angry they never saw me graduate, won’t be able to dance with me at my wedding, and I’ll never be able to go to theirs. I’m angry that if only love had won sooner, or rightfully didn’t need to be won in the first place, my mothers would be here today, legally married, with the rights of every heterosexual couple, and finally happy. Love shouldn’t have to be won.

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Toddlers: The Personal Space Invaders

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Last night my sweet, adorable, loving child decided that the only acceptable place for him to be… was glued to me. Now I love snuggling, really, but snuggling (that really means being climbed all over, pushed, prodded, and jumped on) for ten straight hours is just really not my cup of tea. I would stand up and the banshee scream would come out of his small body. I had to go potty at one point and actually shut the door. The poor thing stood outside the door and cried, but my skin needed just a moment to relax and not be touched before going back into the prison like state this little being had put it in. I had been feeling a little ragey and really needed that few minute breather before I made bad choices.

I’d put him down, and he’d cry to me, “I want huggies, I want huggies!” I’d comply every time, because I will NEVER say no to a hug from my child. He’d lay right over my whole chest, and despite how much discomfort I was in, I took a deep breath focused on how much I loved him. Because… my mommy intuition knew there was a reason for his extra lovey and needy state. Sometimes you really do have to drop everything and just BE there for your child, because a need might seem silly to you, but make all the difference for them.

Him and I had just been away from Corey for most of a week, then with him constantly for two days because his days off came up right when we got home. Yesterday his daddy went back to work, and his sweet heart just couldn’t deal with it. He really missed his daddy, and was using my touch to console himself. I just couldn’t bring myself to be the strict, mean mommy that put him down and left him to cry out his pain. I know when I used to miss Corey so severely, before we lived together, I would have done anything to have someone hold me and tell me it would all be okay. Of course I want to be that for Caleb.

I can’t always/don’t always do the right thing. Sometimes I just NEED my space, but last night I knew that he had to come first. Today, he’s been eating like crazy, so I suspect he was also having a growth spurt yesterday and probably feeling some pain in his joints not helping with his already broken heart. Soon as daddy got home last night he was, of course, fine again… but all in all I don’t regret giving him that extra love yesterday.

I’m really not sure of the point for this post, but I felt compelled to share about this scene with my sweet boy. Today, I look at him and I am just filled with love and I’m so grateful that he will always know love, because not everyone has that privilege.

 

Remember, YOU ARE LOVED.

Upcycling for My Cloud Lover

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See that plain white dresser up there? Yeah, it fell apart. A few drawers fell out, broke into pieces, and then it just felt a little useless. We got rid of the drawers, and pulled it into our room for safety, but there it sat for a few months. I thought of all these different things I could do with it, and thought maybe a book shelf would be nice, but didn’t know exactly how to make that happen. I’m not very good at building things, but like most, I had big ideas.

I started taking an awesome class at the Adult Ed. called Creating Success. Part of the class was fixing up a piece of furniture, and it dawned on me that it was the perfect time to work on this bookshelf/whatever it was going to become. I spent the first half of the semester trying to decide what I would do, and wanted to do the best I could to make something Caleb would actually want and love. The night before I was supposed to start working on it, we went for a nice evening walk. Caleb looked up at these incredible dark clouds, and got so excited. He told me he loved clouds, and for half an hour we sat and watched them. We talked about them, and why he loved them. “Mama they in sky and cool. Clouds rain and are ice.” (Thank you Tree Schoolers for getting him interested in learning that awesome tidbit!)

When we got home I took pen to paper… and this is what I came up with!

This my friends is Caleb’s own personal book nook! As you can see, the outside is the sky covered in hand painted clouds. The inside is painted as a rainbow (something else he really loves!) with a sparkly blue “C” just for Caleb. Originally I was going to just build a shelf inside for him to sit on/the books to be held under. My awesome teacher came up with a much better plan though! Instead we built him a bench that could fit inside, but would also be removable so that he could take it out of the nook if he wanted to. I painted a big piece of canvas, with the help of my friend, and stapled it to the bench. The legs were off another chair and were perfect “trunks” for this tree he’d be sitting on. The books fit neatly beneath it, and the legs keep them in place. I’m planning to get book ends for when he wants to remove the bench, but I’m not too worried about it for now.

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I was so excited to bring this home for him to start using. I snuck it in before he could see, got it all set up and ready, and brought him in… He was ecstatic! He turned to me and said, “Mama this Caleb’s?”

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“Yes sweet boy!” Gleefully this little love of my life said, “Thank you mama!” He ran right over, sat down, got off, grabbed a book, and sat back down to read. He loves his books, and now I find him sitting there looking through his stories for a while every day. This book nook is just full of love. My grandmother had just given us the curtain I painted, so her touch is in here. My friends helped make the paint color to match, and another friend helped prime the inside and paint the seat cover. These are friends who love Caleb, and I’m sure he can feel that love. It took about nine hours to complete (between taking the old pieces apart, priming, painting, assembly, and finishing touches. It was all worth it though…

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Remember, You Are Loved!

So we covered Health…

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The last six months have been a journey, and for sure my journey to health has been the biggest, but there is more to share. Family, death, life, school, work, and emotions I feel like need to be shared as well. These are things that have helped me grow, even at the worst moments, and I don’t regret “having” any of them.

I’m going to work through this a little backwards, but I’m not sure how to organize all these thoughts, so please bear with me. I chose to go back to school this year, back in September. I felt so incredibly blessed to have that opportunity, though nervous since it meant Caleb would also be attending preschool. I was on this path to become a special education teacher, specifically for deaf children in public schools. I was doing double duty taking classes at both the local college and the adult education. I excelled in my adult ed. classes. My grades were near perfect/perfect, and that really boosted my confidence. I became a happier person because I’d actually gotten out of the house and made connections with other people for the first time in a long time, and that was great. Until it wasn’t. I’d go home every day exhausted, not wanting to do anything, and my heart would ache because of the time spent away from my family. Caleb loved preschool, like really loved it and excelled. He was in the three year old classroom at only two years old, and could out count/letter/color the kids. Yes, I’m totally taking a moment to boast about my kiddo, because I’m just so proud of his love for knowledge. Though I can’t take all the credit. Shout out to Rachel Coleman and the others at Two Little Hands Productions for helping him learn so many incredible things, such as photosynthesis… Anyway. I was getting more and more depressed. The college classes were online each night, and I was falling farther and farther behind. I managed to pass one of the three, but I regretted taking them online at all. My time was being eaten by school, and my family was suffering. The house was no where near clean enough, Caleb didn’t have my full attention even when I was home, and Corey and I were running on opposite schedules. School is finally over as of two weeks ago, and I couldn’t be happier. I have made the decision to change paths a little bit. I’m going to work on earning the money I’ll need to be a certified Signing Time instructor. My true passion is language access for all children, and I think this will be the ultimate career for me, because not only will I be helping children and parents learn to sign, but I won’t have to be away from Caleb the same way I would teaching in public schools. We are still on a home school path, and teaching just isn’t realistic for our lives. I am grateful for the last school year, but I’m also glad to know that it wasn’t the correct path for me.

So where does that leave me currently for work is the question… Well, in my last post I talked a little about the dinner that inspired my new “lifestyle” (diet) plan. Those dinners are weekly and I met a wonderful woman because of it. A few weeks in she told us she was opening up a daycare in her home, because she was ready to stay home with her daughter instead of her having to be in daycare. A few weeks later she asked me to babysit her kiddos one night while she went on a much needed date with her husband. I of course agreed, because I LOVE watching children and can understand that need for some hubby time. Her daughter and I absolutely bonded, and she bonded with Caleb as well. I understood her. Her mother and I both practice peaceful parenting, and it made it very easy to work with her. Later that night, as her mom drove me home she said, “So, tonight was a test. Normally by the end of the night the baby sitter is running, because (daughter) can be a bit much. She loved you though. Which leads me to this… Would you be interested in working with me at the daycare?” Cue total excitement and a ridiculous amount of “YES YES YES” coming out of me. I am now her substitute and three days a week for half the day co-teacher, and it’s perfect… because Caleb gets to come with me! She knew that was important to me, which is part of why she offered the job to me. I feel so blessed to have this opportunity, and I adore all of the kids we have. They are all so unique and have some awesome quirks. And I have to add… I love being able to contribute even a little money to the home instead of leaving it all for Corey. It’s a great feeling.

Life and death are hard to separate. My two best girl friends are both pregnant. I am so excited for both of them. One little squish, and one shine… Those babies are already very much loved by all of those around them. I’m over-joyed to be part of their growth before and after birth. Now, for the selfishness, I’m absolutely jealous of them both. Yes, I already have Caleb and he will always be all I really need. However, Corey and I have been trying for another baby for over a year now with no progress being made, and the green eyed monster in me pokes my heart whenever I hear someone I love is pregnant. That doesn’t mean I’m any less happy for them, it just means I’m a little bit sad for myself… I don’t think that’s a bad thing really. I also can’t help it. I wish I could, I want to just be nothing but happy, but the reality is my heart is big enough for many kiddos. I’m okay with only ever giving birth to Caleb. In another three years and two months (when I turn 25) we will start the process to become foster parents and work towards adopting. It annoys me that you can’t foster till you’re twenty five. I mean really, can a twenty two year old not show a child without a home love and care? I think they can, but…

Another aspect of life and death though… Death. Where I live is over run with heroin. It’s a real tragedy for my state/area. Not long ago, I found out that one of my cousins over-dosed and died from his heroin use. Now we weren’t especially close, and his death alone didn’t really have an affect on me, but I am very close with his mom and one of his sisters… Seeing their pain has triggered me immensely. I feel their pain, I feel how deep their hurt is, and I know that I have no way to make that pain go away. I feel angry that there are people making this dangerous choice, especially people with family that is so willing to help them (emotionally and financially) get clean. I’m mad that his two children will grow up without a father because of his choices. So, despite us not being close, ever since his death something very weird has been happening. I see him everywhere! Mostly in cars driving by. I see him, and I feel angry and sad. Those words don’t even come close to describing the true feeling though… Maybe fear would be closer. The people around us could be gone in a second, with no warning, and that is terrifying. `

So in my last post I talked about how easy this diet has been, and all the great progress I’ve made, now I need to tell you about how hard it’s been and where I’ve failed. For the most part I’ve been completely on plan. I’ve felt amazing. My anxiety, which was absolutely killing me, has nearly “cleared up” since cutting out all added sugar and gluten. Last Thursday I went through something, and all weekend I stuffed my face with all of the junk of the past. Friday night I had my first panic attack in months. Saturday and Sunday I was just depressed and spent the entirety of both days sleeping. Monday I woke up feeling like complete junk. My body ached, I felt like crying, and wanted to do absolutely nothing. Instead, I pushed through. I jumped back on plan, ate lots of healthy fats, and today I can honestly say my mood has stabilized, I have much more energy, and I feel love and hope once again. The lesson here, is that when you’re already going through a hard time… don’t decide to eat your feelings my friends. Or instead eat a bunch of berries and healthy fats. My emotions are closely tied with the food I eat. My body can not handle sugar and bad carbs. Now I know this, and it’s inspiration to stay on this healthy plan, because I certainly like me a lot more when I do.

Well, I think that covers… Oh right. I’m getting married! Corey bought me an engagement ring for Christmas, and it didn’t fit, so we didn’t announce it because I was feeling awfully down. After losing about thirty pounds, the ring fit and we announced it (right after Mother’s Day.) A few days later, I went to visit my grandmother… and she pulled out her engagement ring from my grandfather. She opened the box and while looking at it lovingly said, “Now that you’re finally engaged, you can wear this. I was going to wait till I was dead, but you might as well now.” I am in love with that ring, and the love I feel from it makes it mean just that much more. Corey understood completely and had no issue with me wearing that instead of the one he got me. We will be getting married next year on June 24th, and the theme is going to be Wonderland. I’ll be filling you all in on this stuff soon enough, but for now…

Thank you for reading about my crazy life! You are all loved!!

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I’ve Been on a Journey

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Well hello there my incredible followers. I’m always amazed when I come back from a stupidly long hiatus and find out that you’re still here. Thank you. Thank you for trusting me to return, and thank you for inspiring me to open up to you again and again.

Today I need to tell you what has kept me away, and more importantly what has happened in the last SIX months. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, but the date stamp on my last post doesn’t lie. It’s been a roller coaster ride, and I say that in the most positive way I can muster. Health, family, death, life, school, work, emotions… well, here we go.

Around New Years I weighed myself for the first time in apparently far to long. I had managed to let myself go and gained so much weight that the scale painfully read: 295lbs. My heart sank, the tears poured from my eyes, and I laid back down onto the couch wondering what on Earth had led to such an unhealthy place. Yet, nothing changed. I continued to eat everything in sight, the cheapest of things, and feeling just awful. My back was in excruciating pain, my knees would click every step, I physically could not tie my shoes without losing my breath. Playing with Caleb was a huge no go because five minutes in I was too sore. I would play with him while sitting, but knew it wasn’t enough for him. My clothes were all too small or I’d wear things many sizes too big because finding a 4x was somehow impossible. Not to be too raunchy, but even sex was ruined because of all the weight I’d gained. I couldn’t do much besides lay there, and even then it was terrible, which poor Corey could surely feel. The littlest bit of pressure would suffocate me, the extra fat pushing onto my lungs and rib cage. I couldn’t be on top, because I didn’t have the stamina or strength to make it work.

Still feeling awful about myself, I decided to cut soda out and only drink water. I figured that one change would be a good start, and it was! I lost twenty pounds in the month of January, and though I felt great, once that weight was gone, my body was unwilling to lose anything else. Then I started baking. I baked these delicious treats every day, and suddenly those twenty pounds, along with another two, were back in no time at all. I had almost decided to just deal with it. I figured I wouldn’t be able to make the changes I need, so I should just used to it. I couldn’t exercise, I was in too much pain. I couldn’t eat vegan or any weird plan because I couldn’t afford it with Corey refusing it.

That’s when I was invited out to dinner with some dear family I hadn’t seen in a while. My sister-in-law and her awesome mom had lost a ton of weight, and I couldn’t stop staring! These were not small women getting super fit, but instead women like me who struggled with weight and it was like they’d just melted! I didn’t dare ask how though, because I was so sure I couldn’t do it myself. Once dinner came my sister-in-law, unable to contain her excitement, filled me in anyway. It was this “new” lifestyle (not diet) plan that they’d been on called Trim Healthy Mama. She explained that it was separating fuels and that her mom showed her it. Her mom then told me that every week they had dinners for it and that I could come. This was the middle of February, I wasn’t so sure, but figured it would be nice spending time with them anyway and free food can never hurt.

What incredible food that night was filled with! Cheese cake, lasagna… CHEESE CAKE. There was no way that it could be diet food. No way. Not possible… I went home and researched. Hours upon hours, reading everything I possibly could. I printed out pages and pages of tips, recipes, information, charts, motivation, and bible verses. This was food Corey would eat, food to keep Caleb healthy, food that I could afford, and best yet, according to my own family it worked! Corey thoughtfully purchased the official book and cookbook for the plan, and we did our first big shopping trip… He loved everything I made and this “lifestyle” plan was a go.

A friend of mine approached me, seeing that I was on this journey to fitness and health, and invited me to these week long exercise challenges. I accepted her offer, and got my butt totally handed to me. The first week was squats. The next was clean eating (already happening) and mixed exercises. I kept doing these challenges, but not really giving them my all if I was being honest. Then she started a core challenge. I had herniated a disk the week before, and was just barely rid of the swelling, but I told myself I HAD to go for this challenge. I knew my core was weak, and a lot of my pain came from that. I did that work out every single day for that week, and it hasn’t stopped. My back pain is nearly gone, and my whole body feels stronger in the best way. Might I add I also won two contests for that group that week, and that felt pretty darn awesome.

I started this journey at the beginning of March weight 297lbs and a 4x in clothing. Currently I weight 250lbs and I’m an XL in clothing. Those are incredible facts, but the non-scale victories outshine them every time. I can now run around with Caleb for a good hour. Walks that used to take me an hour and leave me miserable now take half the time and are done almost daily just because I enjoy them. I no longer suffer from chronic pain, but it is instead manageable with turmeric supplements. I’m a better mother and fiance. Sex, yes sex, has never been better. I’m so much more flexible, agile, and we can finally enjoy that time together again. This path has been, surprisingly, easy! Well, relatively. It’s hard, every step is hard. Making the choice to eat the salad over pizza, making the choice to prepare food every day instead of ordering something, choosing to do the dishes ten times a day because you use so many mason jars… yeah it’s hard. Getting up an hour earlier to go for a walk and do a Jillian Michael’s workout DVD… that’s hard! You know what’s harder? Being constantly tired, in pain, and knowing that you aren’t the mom you want to be. Nothing kills me more than knowing that my kid had to suffer because I wasn’t willing to make these choices till March. Now I just continue because not only is it the best for him,  but for myself as well.

My life is so full and blessed. I can’t afford to stop fighting to improve me. I can’t stop, because this life is a gift that can not be wasted. Below is the difference that three months of this journey made for me. Originally I was going to fill you lovely readers in on the last six months completely in this one post, but I think I’ve made you read enough already. I’ll be back to fill you in tomorrow though!

You are loved!

94 days-three months