High Heels and Lipstick

High Heels and Lipstick

Okay, I have a confession to make.  I am physically in the worst shape I’ve EVER been in.  (Unless you count the time that I was going through postpartum depression which you can read about here–  https://wp.me/saQCV7-adrift ,  and here– https://wp.me/paQCV7-E. Fair warning… It’s dark)  I’m freaking out of shape y’all!!  I weigh more now than I did when I was full-term preggers with my 10lb 4oz son!  I have to remind myself that I had a bit of a battle with my depression not too long ago and it took a toll on me mentally and physically.  The key is to get back on that horse baby!  Which is what I’ve been doing and writing about the last 6mo.  It took me longer this time to get where I am now mentally.  I had been taking a very low dose of an antidepressant that had worked for years, yo! YEARS! I didn’t think I could fall as low as I did again, but I did.  This depression thing isn’t for sissies’ people.  I finally had to bite the bullet and go see my doctor to talk about adjusting my meds. I should have done this a long time ago.  Even now, after going through all that I’ve gone through with this illness, I STILL occasionally feel shame for having to seek help. I hate that society has yet to accept depression as just another treatable illness.  Guuuys… that’s all it is! People live with it every day!  But we shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help.  Once I got my meds adjusted and they kicked in I started to slowly feel better and better. I stated in my last post that I was feeling better… Well, guess what? This month I feel amazing.  I had to up my dose of antidepressant and add a mild dose of another RX.  I shouldn’t feel bad that this adjustment is helping me feel like myself again… I just shouldn’t.  So, you know what?  I don’t!! I just hope my brain isn’t pulling the placebo trick on me and making me believe this new treatment is helping me when it really isn’t and then I end up back at square one.  It could happen…. It HAS happened.  I really should seek out a therapist just to double up on my fight against depression but good counselors, that you click with, are so hard to find.

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(Author of quote above Unknown… but thank you! This is so true!)

Now that I feel better the only problem is… I’m paying for all the bad treatment I put my body through during my down time. I don’t fit in my clothes. I don’t feel good physically. I’m not nearly as strong as I used to be. It takes a lot out of me to do a work out because I’m not used to it.  I’m carrying around about 25 extra pounds. It’s frustrating because the ‘me’ 4 years ago could run laps around the ‘me’ today.  I was in the best shape of my life about five years ago.  It annoys me that I physically can’t do the things I used to be able to do (with ease) a few years ago.  But, on the positive side…. I know I can do all of that again because I’ve done it before. It just takes work!  In the words of Brittney Spears

“You better work bitch”

Seriously, The first pic is me in 2014/15…ish. I looked and felt really good! The second is from a few days ago.  Now, I don’t want people (especially my kids) to think I’m body shaming…(myself?) because I don’t feel shame for the way I look right now.  I just don’t feel good, physically.  I don’t fit in my favorite summer shorts. In fact… I wear a lot of leggin’s, elastic waist skirts, and dresses right now. I don’t think I look horrible… I just don’t feel like myself.  And yes people, I want to feel sexy… call me anti-feminist if you want. That couldn’t be further from the truth! But if wanting to be and feel sexy is anti-feminist, so be it. I like looking like a confident, sexy, smart, strong, and classy with a little sassy.  I don’t see that as a bad thing.

So… to help myself feel better I’m doing things I like. Hence the title.  I like wearing lipstick! I have about ten different shades in my purse, no joke. I love it. It makes me happy, so I’ve been wearing it nonstop.  I think I get it from my grandma. She loved bright pink lipstick and it looked beautiful on her.  The other thing I like is wearing heels.  Granted, I can’t wear them for as long as I used to… I have bunion y’all.  Bunions… ugh.  Age does crazy things to the human body.  Anyway, I call it “Half-day, Heel Day.”  I wear heels when I work half days or if I work full days, I take a backup pair of flats for round two of my work day.  I love heels. They make my legs look sexy and the make me feel hot…ish. For a 44 yr old.  In fact, I was wearing heels yesterday and a female… I repeat, A FEMALE told me I had nice legs.  Getting a compliment from a female that isn’t a friend (however really close friends tell you when you look good AND when you don’t) are hard to come by, so when you do, they are usually for realsies.

All that being said/written, I’m so excited guys! I started running again and my girls and I started a summer fitness challenge that we love… although we are all super sore.  It’s called Blogilates Summer Sculpt Challenge. We workout nightly together.  It’s fun, good for us, and I love bonding time with my kids.  Also, I recently bought a hands-free leash so I can run with my dog and he loves it as much as I do.  I wish I could explain to you how excited I am to run and work out again… I’ve been mentally unable to feel like working out or running. I had to force myself.  I dreaded it and I hated it during the work out. It was awful.  Now I feel like I used to.  Guys, I used to workout 3 to 4 x per week… and I loved it.  When my two oldest were young I’d run 3 to 5 miles, 4 to 5 x a week or swim a mile at least 3 x per week. I used to do yoga and step aerobics. I used to lift weights with a trainer. I loved all of it!  I couldn’t get it back this time.  I stopped doing everything to stay physically fit. It literally took all I had in me to do any kind of workout. But I feel like I’m back and I couldn’t be happier about it!!!

Here are my goals for June…

  • I swore off my weekend beer ☹ for now.  I love beer!  But, with the exception of our annual dance family party and a weekend in Vegas with my oldest girl and a BNL (a concert)… no beer.  I may incorporate it back into weekends in July, but we will see.  When I feel good, the way I do now, I only drink for fun. When I’m sick it’s a different story… I’ve learned when I need to be more careful. I pay way more attention now.
  • Blogilates Summer Fitness Challenge. Check it out. It’s on youtube and super fun! Ill put the link to the first one here… https://youtu.be/YdnqNGcmhqA
  • Intermittent Fasting.  I’m just trying this one.  I’m good at intermittent fasting because I’m not much of a breakfast eater.  I stop eating at 8pm and start eating again at lunchtime the next day.  So far its worked okay and I’ve lost 2 pounds. 🙂
  • Counting calories with My Fitness Pal.  This really helps me be more mindful when eating throughout the day. It also track macronutrients.
  • Running with my dog.  Just a mile or two per day to start.  We both have to get used to running together and to the hands-free leash.
  • Reading, Writing and singing. Because….. that’s why 🙂

Bring it on June…. See you in a few weeks y’all.

PS:  My http://janestclair.home.blog deals with a lot of really dark times.  If you read it please read the trigger warnings and only read it if you are in a good place mentally.  I don’t recommend it for anyone under 18 yrs old. If you have any questions, concerns, or are in need of any help please contact me or call the suicide lifeline 1-800-273-8255.

Off the Hook

I’ve been bad about writing lately.  I really wanted to write two blog posts per month. I’ve been writing only one. I’ve been enjoying the warmer weather and I’ve been busy with my kids and all their extracurricular activities. So, I really haven’t had much time to write but I’m going to squeeze this one in for May.

If you read my old blog, you’d probably find something very similar to this one. I use a lot of Barenaked Ladies songs for my blog titles. I have to admit, there was a time in my life where BNL was the only thing keeping my afloat. I often referred to them as my lighthouse leading me home or a life jacket keeping me above water.

Now that I’ve learned how to swim on my own, I’ve decided to let them “off the hook” …. a hook they probably had no idea they were on. With depression, the longer you have it, the more you learn about it and you learn coping skills. They (BNL) were my mine during one of the hardest times in my life. I think letting that dependence go will be giving myself permission to enjoy them for the right reasons.

Of course, they will always be my favorite band! Of course, I’ll listen to them as much as I always did! Of course, I’ll still buy their music and go to as many concerts as I can!! None of that will change. I just want to be a silly ‘fangirl’. I want to enjoy their music the way it was meant to be enjoyed. I will always and forever be grateful to them for pretty much saving my life during those dark times. There is no way for me to repay them for that. NO WAY! I’m alive because of them.  For whatever reason their music and my need for them crossed paths at the right time. As I said before… there is no way for me to repay them. All I can do is say “Thank You!”  It just seems so dumb. I want to give them more than just a few words.

Once I came to my senses and my major delusional, illogical, unreachable school girl crush on Ed Robertson came to an obviously self-made, heartbreaking, unrealistic, stupid halt…

“You thought that he was wanting you,

but he was only wanting you to let him off the hook”

I knew it was time to let go of the lifesaving hold I mistakenly thought was in his hands. He and his band were my heroes when I desperately needed them…. I think that had me thinking we (BNL and I) were more than just a band I liked and a fan of that band. I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to live inside their fantasies? I’d love to be all their best friends, sing back-up for them ( a woman’s voice would add lot to their sound… yes? no?), or play the cowbell (I play a mean cowbell) with them on tour… but real life doesn’t work like that.

“He was (they were) your imaginary friend,

you were partners ‘til the end,

then something bends,

and then it breaks,

your worst mistake…”

I needed to realize that I am my hero too.  I made it through that time.  I worked hard at getting better.  I went to the specialists I needed to go to, took the medication I needed to take, I worked on my mental health, learned my coping skills and got physically healthier (physical health is so important and it totally play a role with my mental health). I studied about how to get better and so on. I’m STILL ALIVE!! I am my biggest hero! Barenaked Ladies are the soundtrack to my hero story. The only band I’d ever want to be the soundtrack to my life❤️. I honestly think that my story with their music would make an amazing musical or movie that could address the suicide epidemic and help people. Why? Because my story DIDN’T end… that’s the best, most happy ending you could have to any movie or musical! Because all of those suffering…. their stories don’t have to end either. I seriously love BNL’s music and they are amazing people inside and out! They will always be apart of my life. But now I’m giving myself permission to be one of their biggest fangirls with no strings attached.  Like I said, they have no idea how much I held onto them in my time of need. They have no idea how much I revert back to them when I’m falling. But now instead of grasping out for them I’m learning to look inside and be my own superhero. Honestly, when I was first learning how to keep myself alive (I feel a Queen solo coming on…… Nailed it!) I was grasping onto anything that made me feel good instead of…. well, dying. Now I can save myself. I can swim without a life jacket and find my own way home.  I know, I know my illness could still take me down.  I know it can catch me off guard and start pulling me into the abyss.  All I can do is put my cape on and keep fighting back.  I certainly hope that if it ever gets its dirty clutches on me and I can’t break free that I’m strong enough to ask for help from the other superheroes in my life, including BNL.

Just so you know, I feel great right now! SO GOOD! Mentally I’m in top form…. Physically, meh, I’m working on it 😊 I extended my April goals into May and I’ve done just okay… I’ll do better with my June goals which I’ll post in a few weeks.

This is the song that goes with the title of this post and the lyrics within it. “Off the Hook” by Barenaked Ladies.  Its a good one! If your interested in reading about the time BNL saved me I’m re-sharing the post I’d written about that time in my life on my Jane St. Clair blog here http://janestclair.home.blog … It’s very dark! Please read the warnings before you read it. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone under 18 or anyone in a bad place mentally.

Odds Are

Well, wasn’t I a negative Nancy with my last few posts?! It’s how my brain works guys. I try my best to pull myself out of it and most of the time I do, sometimes I don’t. The thing is…. This is every day for me. The ups and the downs.  I always go through it solo. I typically don’t share moments like that with anyone. So, I’m actually happy that I got to share it here. I don’t think many people are reading this blog and that’s ok but for those that are, I’m not always this gloomy. However, writing about my Debbie downer days helps me. So, thanks to those who are following along.

This blog was intended for my 2019 goals and keeping me on track. Yes, I took a slight detour. I’m ok with that as long as I find my way back. I’m back, and “odds are I’m gonna be alright.”

These last few posts are nothing compared to what I’ve gone through in the past with my depression. No joke. I’m going to start sharing my old blog post through a different blog attached to this one…. Here is the link…      https://janestclair.home.blog/2019/04/02/demons-haunting-us/       

This is the first post I wrote about my mental health struggles before I knew how to properly care for myself… Some of these posts are very dark. I’m sharing these posts because I’ve stumbled down that caliginous path many times before and have always found my way back. Sometimes on my own and sometimes with a lot of help. I guess my point is that if you think the last few posts were depressing… well, that’s kinda what my life is like all the time. Don’t get me wrong… I’ve got some amazing days, weeks, months, years too. This is just what I went through the last few months and it happened to be right when I started this blog. So, if I’m going to succeed with my writing goal this year which is the very reason I started this blog again… you get the good and the bad.


Anyway… I’m actually doing very well right now. I’m mostly happy.  I’m a work in progress most days. This month I’ll mark down as a reset month.  You know how when your phone or computer start glitching out and freezing up?  What do we usually do? Turn it off and back on. That’s literally what I did with myself this month.  I slowed down a lot. I watched movies with my kids, played fetch with the dogs, took a few much needed naps, took the dogs for a lot of walks, stayed home a lot, gained 5 of the ten pounds I lost on Keto back…. You get the idea.  I functioned enough to keep up with my mom duties and work… but just barely enough. It was perfect and just what I needed.

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pic cred: Word Porn, Bruce Alder

 

Speaking of Keto, I didn’t like it, guys. At first I did but then it became too…. heavy. Is that a word you use to describe food? It was so much cream, grease, oil, meat and cheese. I like all of those things in small doses, but this was just too much for me.  It did work! I lost about 10lbs in a little over a month. Keto is just not for me. I’m not going to pull a Jillian Michaels and say it’s a bad idea for everyone because I know a lot of people who’ve lost a lot of weight on Keto and they love it.  You’ve got to go with what works for you. Keto wasn’t it for me.  But, cheers to all those people its is working for!     

So, tonight I finally wrote my goals for April. So here it goes.

 

Walk 1/2 every day

Cut back on sugar and alcohol

Track calories with My Fitness Pal

Body Boss

Write

Sing

 

It’s going to be a great month y’all. Spring is springing and It’s my birthday month! Squeeee!!! Look, these beautiful flowers are already blooming! I smile every time I walk outside and see them!IMG_0121 The title of this post is from a song called “Odds Are” by Barenaked Ladies. Give it a listen 🙂

One Little Slip

My life has been quite a series of “little slips.” Granted, some (ok most) of them are my own doing, but a lot of them are out of my control. My most recent slip was about 2 1/2 weeks ago and it extended to today. I fell off the “goal wagon.” My form of self-destruction this time was chocolate covered strawberries and wine because, Valentines…Duh.😉 Only, I chose to make V-day last most of February. I’ve been told by past therapists that I may suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). I rarely catch this one in time. I don’t think about it until I’m up to my neck in SAD by mid-Jan early Feb. My therapist was on to something because there have been a few winters where I’ve vacationed somewhere warm and tropical. Those vacations where I’ve gotten my dose of sun and ‘vitamin sea’ have kept SAD from getting its ugly mitts on me. The winters I stay in the cold, I end up…well, here. Light therapy helps if I start it early winter but I need to start way before I slip into “SADland!” This year, I missed the boat.

No worries, SAD doesn’t affect me as much as my depression does. With SAD I lose all motivation, interest in things that I love, energy… I just want to stay in and wish winter away while I wilt away. I don’t usually end up in the ‘land of no return’ (severe depression) with SAD unless I was already headed there before it hits. I HATE winter! Yes, hate it!  No friends, I don’t want to go skiing, or snowshoeing, ice skating, snow-mobiling, tubing, etc. Why? Because I don’t… and that should be enough of an explanation but I’ll explain a little more. This feeling takes over me, makes me sad, makes me feel like a pile of shit. I become unmotivated and my energy goes on hiatus. If that makes people in my life uncomfortable then you’re not my people. If you can deal… lets go to a movie, an indoor swimming pool, bowling, or just stay home, have a glass of wine and talk. I used to tough it out when my kids were younger because I didn’t want them to miss out on winter wonderland because of me. I did the sledding, snowman building, snowball fights, etc. I still will if they ask. But, never once did I think “that was fun, I want to do that again”, like I do with warm weather stuff. Why? Because I don’t like winter and SAD usually makes it worse… but, I’m super happy for those of you who enjoy this season. I really am. I just don’t like being cold.

So, I slipped this month. We won’t talk about how I messed up. Instead, let me tell you about a few times I’ve had “one little slip.” Because anyone who tells you that their life isn’t occasionally difficult is lying to you! I feel it’s just as important to share the ‘slips’ as it is the to share success stories.

One slip that I feel I hold on to waaaaay too much and sometimes let define me is when I was told I made the cheerleading team my sophomore year in high school and then moments later told that they made a mistake. I had already celebrated with my friends and told my family when the head cheerleaders from the previous year pulled me aside and said they made a mistake. I found out I was one girl away from making them team after one of the older girls’ moms had complained that there weren’t enough older girls to fill the varsity squad because enough didn’t try out and not all of the ones who did made the team. I got pushed out because they decide to keep all the older girls that tried out whether they technically made the team or not. One of the older girls’ moms found a loop hole and used it to secure a spot for her daughter. So, basically, I made the team fair and square but got kicked to the curb because I was a too young. My mom, rightly so, was furious about how it was handled! She went to the principal and told him what happened. They told me I made the team, gave me time to celebrate with my friends and family, then told me I didn’t make the team!! I had to tell everyone I just told that I made the team that I didn’t!?! For a 15yr old that’s kind-of a big deal. Well, long story short… the principle decided to keep ALL the girls. I was blamed for all of it. I was the reason that so many girls were on the team. It was all my fault according to my hometown. Rumors spread around town that I tried to kill myself and so that’s why they put me on the team. That simply wasn’t true. I’d never once in my fifteen years of life EVER considered suicide. That wasn’t until much later. But I live in a small town and when rumors spread that’s the end of any truths. I was then known as the girl who tried to kill herself to become a cheerleader. I was devastated, but I finished the year as a cheerleader…… and never tried out again. Even though I loved it.

Another slip I can’t let go of is when I wrote a letter to the editor of our local newspaper. I stated how I was disappointed at how our local beauty pageant for young girls leaned more towards young girls shaking their booties while dressed like adult dancers as opposed to an intelligent little FIRST GRADER that had learned EVERY USA state and its capitol and sang them for her talent. Apparently when you tell other moms that their first graders are wearing too much makeup or that their asses are hanging out of their costumes, they get mad. Ok, that is a slight exaggeration. They didn’t look that bad and I didn’t use those words in my letter. I guess I just thought it was pretty impressive for my first-grade daughter to learn all 50 states and their capitols and perform in front of a room full of people…. I mean, I didn’t learn them until 5th grade. Anyway, I was seen as a disgruntled mom who was mad her girl didn’t win. Whether my point was valid or not didn’t matter. It was never my intention to hurt anyone. In hindsight, I wish I’d have chosen a better outlet. I was a young, naive mom and I tend to share my opinions more than people like me to. I was also transitioning from a warped body image. I was taught from a very young age that girls shouldn’t dress inappropriately because it causes boys to have impure thoughts and that “modest is hottest.” I still thought girls shouldn’t show too much skin, especially young girls. Anyway, all the moms pretty much hated me after that… still do, in fact. It was a slip that tainted my image of a good, conforming small-town girl…. a step further than the previous slip. I think I wrote an apology the next week but I don’t remember. My brain blocks out difficult times and I can’t remember them. I believe that is something my brain learned to do when I was very young but that’s a different post.

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Designer unknown. I don’t know the designer of this image but thank you.

One more slip was when I wrote a blog about leaving my hometown religion. In my town the religion is the central element of the culture. It’s what almost everyone does here. They all go to church together, weekly activities, firesides, camps etc. If you don’t do those things with them… well, you’re not one of them. You don’t get invited to events, your kids don’t get to play with their kids, you’re looked down upon and used as an example on what not to do. You’re a level below everyone else. It sucks, but I couldn’t stay. I did A LOT of research. I did a lot of soul searching. I realized it was a lie. I finally came to the conclusion that I prefer facts over beliefs. I understand that everyone is entitled to their beliefs. Believe what you want. But, when you ignore the facts staring you right in the face that’s called ignorance… probably caused by cognitive dissonance, pride, and fear of letting go. I get it, I was scared to. I’ll share the blog post that put me on my hometowns shit-list here. (I think you need Word to open this) That post was read by over 3000 people. I never expected that. I thought maybe a dozen or so…. But not thousands! Mormons aren’t supposed to read things that aren’t church approved but if any of you are wavering start with the CES letter (google it). It’s a rough transition and I’m here for you. It’s hard to accept that everything you’ve been taught is false and it’s hard to walk away from the culture/community you love. It’s way easier just to stay. I get it. So, stay if you want. That’s ok also. The problem is when they expect or even demand that everyone else live by their beliefs or look down on them when they don’t. The post I shared above along with one other past blog post pushed me completely out of the box that was my hometown. All, I could do was stand outside of their box made of glass and watch everyone together. Having fun, taking care of each other, their kids playing together, going to church together, and being a loving community… but, were they a loving community? I had been a part of that since birth and now all I could do was watch them from afar knowing full well the glass box around them was completely shattered but also knowing they would refuse to acknowledge it was even broken. They have way too much pride to see any faults in their beliefs. To them its crystal clear. I couldn’t go back. It was the best decision I ever made! I couldn’t put my kids through that. I couldn’t put them through what I went through. I knew I was making the right decision but that didn’t make it hurt any less.

Obviously, I’ve had MANY more slips in my life, including last month. I’ll continue to slip up and I’ll continue to learn. It’s called being human. I think it’s important to try and understand that when others mess up… the reason they did may be deeper than you understand. Instead of judging them and believing you’re a better person because you didn’t make the same mistake, maybe just talk to them. Ask questions. Stop slinging mud back and forth and reach out your hand. Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is to listen and try to understand why they did whatever it is that you don’t agree with. Granted, there’s a certain point where you have to draw the line. Some mistakes are unforgivable. But, most…. sometimes we just mess up, guys…

So yah, I slipped this month. Why? I believe it has to do with SAD. I don’t like making excuses but sometimes my depression, in one form or another, has complete control over me and I just have to work through it. I got this! Spring is right around the corner and things are lookin’ up. I’m not writing about goals in this post. I’ll get back to that next month. Happy March everyone. Thank the flying spaghetti monster that winter is in my rearview mirror!

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Artist unknown. Came from pintrest and list land. Thank you and R’Amen.

The Title of this blog came from a song by Barenaked Ladies Called “One Little Slip.” It was in a movie called “Chicken Little” made by Disney.  Its an excellent song. Give it a listen….. you won’t be disappointed.

“I get the feeling in this town I’ll never live ’til I live down the one (++) mistake(s) that seems to follow me around.”

 

 

Bad Day

Well, I did it… kinda. My January goals are in the bag. I’m (mostly) proud of myself. There were a few exceptions. Like the day where I wrote in my planner, “I don’t fucking care about my goals today because my son got screwed over in his basketball game tonight!” Or, the day I wrote, “I’m really sad today so I’m going to lay on the coach and take a nap with my dogs.” Granted, this was AFTER I’d gotten the kids to school, did a batch of dishes, went to the store and got treats for my sons basketball team, took the treats to the basketball team, did a batch of laundry, took the dogs for a walk, picked up the kids from school and got my youngest to her dance class…. but, yes, I did skip my Body Boss workout and take a nap with my dogs on the coach and it was perfect. I have one day off a week and, as you can see, my day off is usually just as busy as the days I work for a paycheck.
Years ago, before I realized how to deal with depression, I ignored all these signs from my body. When I was sad it confused me so I’d act out usually by being very self-destructive. Now I know when I’m sad I have to trudge straight through it as messy as it may be. I have to feel it and let my body and brain process it. Speaking metaphorically, if you’ve ever seen the movie “Inside Out”, Sadness needed her time. You know, Sadness, the cute little blue girl with glasses? Her very presence makes her friend, Joy, cringe. The hopelessness in her voice makes Anger more angry, Fear more stressed, and Disgust roll her eyes out of her head. Sadness may not be the favorite character but she is just as necessary as all the other characters… as the movie progresses you’ll see. If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommended it. Sadness gave me a visit this month. She needed her time. She took me out of the game for a few days but, it’s ok. I hurt, I went through the mucky feelings, slept a little, and hid out in my house for an entire day. Then I managed to get my feet back under me and I started walking forward again. It’s how it works, people. If you’ve never dealt with it… it’s no fun but worth it to crawl through the disarray that is depression.

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c/o Disney

That being said, I didn’t do too bad with my January goals. My Commit30 planner was written in every day. Even the days I struggled with my goals. I fell a little short on my water intake, instead of a full gallon (120oz), I usually ended up with around 80oz. I don’t consider that a fail though. A full gallon was too much for me and I didn’t like drinking that much water. I was peeing constantly and felt bloated. 80oz was perfect! I’m gonna stick with that. I did Body Boss almost every day. As you read above, I missed a day or two, but I’m not too upset about it…. I’ll do better next month. My biggest success was the Keto diet! I lost 7 lbs in a month. I’d consider that a success. However, it’s not my favorite meal plan/diet that I’ve ever tried to be honest.
The KetoDiet works. I have no doubt about that now. I love some of the fat options you can eat on keto…. avocados, bacon, cheese… god, I love cheese. The hard thing for me is ALL the fat! I’m a 90’s girl. My teens and early adulthood were when the “low fat” craze was all the rage. The less fat the better back then! It was instilled in my psyche. It was though to shift to a 70% fat meal plan! But, I did it and it wasn’t all that bad. More importantly, it worked! I miss the rice, apples, potatoes, beans, bananas… etc. I didn’t miss the sweets at all as I’m not much of a sweet tooth. I did miss chips and crackers. I missed the healthy (what I thought was healthy) stuff more… the beans, apples and potatoes and such.

So, with what I’ve learned while being on keto I’m not sure I’ll stay on it long-term. I am going to continue through February with a slight twist. I’m going to add intermittent fasting. I used to do this with my old trainer and it worked. I’ve heard good things about intermittent fasting combined with keto. So, here are my February goals.

  • Keto with intermittent fasting. I’ve got Keto down so I’ve got to see if I can handle adding intermittent fasting. I can do anything for one month so here I go. I will be basically eating only between 12pm and 8pm every day.
  • Body boss. Same as last month. This program goes for a couple of months and I like it so I’m sticking with it. https://youtu.be/hBa-k5DegtM
  • Voice practice. I used to take voice lessons years ago. I miss it. I downloaded an app. We will see how it goes.
  • Working on new instrument. I took piano lessons as a kid. I was just ok at the piano. I can play by ear and I can read notes… but putting the two together is a different story. I glitch like Vanellope von Schweetz on “Wreck It Ralph” when I try to get the notes from my head to my hands. I bought a ukulele, y’all. I’m gonna give it a go.

Bring on February. Basically the month that everyone wishes we could skip 😉. One or two bad days in January can’t take away the rest of the progress I achieved the last month! Baby steps, people. Baby steps…

The Song “Bad Days” is from Barenaked Ladies children album called “Snacktime”

 

Anyone Perfect Must Be Lying

Hello world! As stated in my previous blog post this blog is all about my 2019 resolutions. As a working mother of four with depression I’ve struggled off and on taking care of myself. I forgot that I have a life, goals, and dreams of my own. I’ve been very busy trying to help everyone else in my life achieve theirs. Which I will continue to do! We don’t give up on people we love… at least I don’t. I will be in their corner cheering them on, giving the best advice I can, and picking them up when they need a lift. That’s who I am and I can’t imagine not being there for those people. Always! When you love someone you want to see them succeed, you support them, no matter how hard or crazy or impossible their pursuits may be. That’s what I do. The weird thing is I haven’t seen anything like that coming back from the people who love me. Not including my kids. It’s my job to take care of them, not the opposite. That “rule” doesn’t apply to them when it comes to me. Their love for me and living a good, happy, fulfilled life of their own is all I need and want from them… and maybe a little help with the laundry and dishes.😊 I’m talking about the people that have been with be from the very beginning. They get what they need from me and turn away when it comes to my desires. I blame me. I’ve heard that we teach people how to treat us and I believe that to be true. Usually when someone asks if I need help, I say no. I don’t allow people to go out of their way for me. I don’t want anyone to think I can’t do stuff on my own. That doesn’t mean people have to believe me. Everyone needs a little help every now and then. I don’t want to take all the blame for people looking past me by me making them believe I’ve got everything under control. I mean, come on people…. In the words of Barenaked Ladies “anyone perfect must be lying.” Truer words have never been spoken. I’m am the furthest thing from perfect! I need support from the people who love or like me… or even those that know me a tiny bit or not at all. Everyone needs help sometimes.
That being said, I need to share a little more on the side of me that people don’t see. The part of me that I hide. Depressed Jen. I’ve made a little chart that may help people understand this part of my life. This is an original Jen drawing. ha-ha….

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You see depression is very unforgiving when it comes to people’s schedules, goals, life events… everything, really. I could be inches away from reaching a goal and… BOOM, it takes me down. I have no control on when it decides to rear its ugly head… none! I have more experience with it and know triggers and coping skills or when I’m beyond helping myself and need a professional. Yes, I’ve learned a lot along the way. My biggest weakness is that I hide my low points. If I can’t pull myself out of the bottomless-pit I’ve fallen into I don’t want people to know that I need them to pull me out. I understand I need to be more open to asking for help. Especially when I know I need to get a professional involved! Because sometimes when I get to that point I just want to disappear.
You can see on the chart that at the end of 2015 beginning of 2016 I hit a wall. I was in the best shape of my life, happy, thriving, hitting fitness goals, writing goals, mom goals, travel goals… I was in a good place. I was getting ready to start making new goals and moving even father forward and then… I fell. Nobody knew this. I kept up with the happy-go-lucky image on the outside but I was a hot mess on the inside. The winter of 2017 I was done. I stopped doing everything I loved. I isolated myself, self-medicated, stopped working out, eating terrible, stopped writing, and gained about 20 lbs. I quickly ended up in the worst shape of my life. Until about 2 months ago. I feel good now but I have to make up for the damage I did to myself. Granted, when I was younger, I dealt with my depression in a more destructive way. I landed in the hospital several times which I may share in future blog posts.
I think I’m a little more versed on how to deal with it now. It scares me sometimes though because I know that even while learning and growing with depression and believe I know what to do… there have been several others who share my ‘special’ ailment (or something similar) that have lost their way and ended up with more than just an attempt at suicide. Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell… to name a few. It terrifies me to know I could still reach that point. Don’t worry, I’m nowhere near that. But the people I mention above were older, like me, and nobody saw it coming. You just never know and its unsettling to me sometimes.
I started my blog back up again because I know that I do much better at life when I set goals. I know I do better when I write, I know I do better when I take care of myself physically and mentally, and when I challenge myself to get outside of my comfort zone. This year I intend to set monthly goals and long-term goals. Here are my January goals
Ketogenic diet. I’m actually going to extend this one through February because I really want to understand how it works and how my body reacts.
Commit30. A planner that I LOVE! It has everything you need to set monthly goals. You can do anything for 30 days, right? Hence “Commit30.” It has vision boards, pages where you write long and short-term goals, weekly/monthly planner, stickers… the works.


1 gallon of water. I have been drinking like shit the last several months. Meaning, my choice of water wasn’t the sparkling version…. It was…well…BEER. Yes, you heard me right people…beer. I’ve always loved my beer but I’ve been over indulging. Like, instead of just indulging on the weekend I’d have a few during the week, and on most days that end with a Y. 😉 No, I haven’t reached the point where I need to be committed. I just liked a few beers after the kids went to bed… and with breakfast. I’M KIDDING! Let’s just say my body misses the good old H2O.
Gratitude. When I’m in the deep dark depths of the bog of eternal sadness, I forget all the things I am grateful for… which is a lot, guys! I have so many people that I’m thankful for!! I have a roof over my head, a job, food on the table, amazing kiddos. I am so grateful for my life and everything in it! So, I’m making a point to write it down every day.


Body Boss. I bought this program last year and have started it a hundred times and then fell off the wagon the same amount of times. It’s a good program. I really like it because I can do it at home or really anywhere. I don’t have the gym or personal trainer expense. I just have to stick with it!

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I’m not affiliated with any of the above programs! I simply like them and would recommend them to you. I make no money off them. That’s not why I’m here. I’m here because I like to write, I like blogging, and it helps me with my goals. Don’t get me wrong… making money would be awesome but it’s not why in doing this. I love blogging. Oh yah, back to my blog. I’ll be trying to write at least twice a month and vlogging too. You’re welcome 😊

Here is the song that belongs to the lyrics I chose for the title of this post. Band: Barenaked Ladies. Album: Maroon. Song: “Falling For The First Time.”

https://youtu.be/ibsxpihjKmE

 

 

 

Get Back Up

It’s never too late… just begin

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This blog is a tough for me. You see, I had a blog. It was a great blog! It was one of the hardest things I ever did. I wrote about a difficult time in my life.  It was like reliving that time all over again. I cried a lot. I had panic attacks. I felt every emotion you could possibly feel within a few months time. Why did I write it? I needed to. It helped me heal. I’m glad I wrote that blog and I’m thankful for those that read along. It was somewhat successful… to me anyway.  I had a handful of readers. Some would reach out to me, some even thanked me for sharing my story.  I took it down because I no longer needed it.  However, I’m slightly regretful that I did.  Which is why I’m here again. I’m not ashamed of that part of my life… without it, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I just didn’t need it anymore. At least, I thought I didn’t.  Yes, my old blog helped me heal but I didn’t realize that blogging helps me on so many different levels! 

I feel like I have a voice when I blog.  Maybe a little validation to help push away the insecurities I bottle up inside.  I hold myself more accountable when I write.  I want to excel when I believe someone may be listening.  I’m a better person when I blog. Often times, when you’re a mother, wife, employee, among everything else in a working mom’s life, you forget about yourself. Sometimes you feel unheard or like you’ve lost your voice. You feel like no one is listening to you because everyone is asking of you.  You get lost. I got lost. Blogging helps me find myself. It makes me happy. Even when I write about unhappy things. Unhappiness isn’t a bad thing, it’s necessary.  We all have to go through unhappy times and work through them to find our happiness and have more gratitude for all the good in our lives.  It sucks, but unhappy times are inevitable, unfortunately… or fortunately depending on your perspective. Sometimes the best things come out of unfortunate events. If not, you grow and learn regardless of the outcome. 

So, here I am again.  This is my space. This is where I get to be me. This is where I feel heard. This is my voice. My old blog was about my struggle with depression and my transition from organized religion. Both were extremely difficult and both intertwined with one another.  I will share excerpts from my old blog. Fortunately, I have my old posts saved. However, I might be a little gentler towards the religion part as I was going through my angry/bitter phase of recovery while writing my old blog.  The depression part… well, there are no gentle parts when it comes to that part of my life which still affects me even to this day.      

I have debated whether to share this blog on my Facebook page.  I have some bad memories attached to the people who are my fb friends and my old blog.  How can I put this?  Many of my Facebook friends that have been with me from the beginning of Facebook happened to have been born and raised in my hometown. We share a unique upbringing.  We were all formed from the same cookie cutter, per say. Not the same parents…  Mormons haven’t practiced that part of the religion for quite some time.  I mean, we were all raised the same.  Our culture was quite atypical which I didn’t realize until I was around my mid-twenties.  I thought everyone was like us.  It was eye-opening for me to learn that only 2% of the country were raised like us.  Long story short, small town, very religious culture, mostly conservative, same eternal consequences, same head-stuck-in-the-sand-supposed-to-be-able-to-trust-and-believe adult authority figures and so on.

When I grew up and moved out of that “cookie cutter” culture, I decided to frost myself a little different than the rest of them. I added color and lots of sparkly sprinkles. Well, they don’t like sprinkles…and they hate anything sparkly.  That may be a bad analogy but it makes perfect sense to me.  Basically, most of them don’t like me.  Those that have stayed fb friends with me and haven’t unfollowed or unfriended me think very little of me. So, I guess if I do share this on fb, they probably won’t read it anyways… but, I’m not sure if I dare. I literally had someone on fb call me ‘the dumbest person he knows’ when discussing my views on gun control, and another call me a “Yeti” when discussing religion…. Wtf is that even supposed to mean? Among other nasty comments. Sure, I got good feedback too but, in the words of Julia Roberts on Pretty Womanthe bad stuff is easier to believe. I feel more comfortable with WordPress and Twitter.  I have a few “real life” friends on twitter… but they are the type of friends who would stand behind me no matter what. The type of friends who believe in me while keeping me grounded.  Then again, I guess constructive criticism is good…and I know I wasn’t perfect back then either. OK, Facebook is in. But, the first person to resort to name calling instead of having a grown-up debate/conversation is going to be blocked. I may or may not write about ‘hot topics.’

Anyway, this may be difficult but I made a bunch of new years resolutions and this is one of them.  I want to write again.  This blog will follow me through this year and my progression towards my resolutions.  I share family stuff on social media all the time so this space is for me! I’m sure I’ll share mom stuff as that’s a big part of who I am…but I want this to be mostly just mine. So, here it goes….

I’m a 40-sometime year-old woman. It’s frustrating to know that middle aged women are so overlooked!  Ageism is real. Especially for women. We are still relevant ladies!!! I don’t feel old. I mean, 40ish isn’t old! We can’t let “them” keep looking past us, ladies. In the words of Glenn Close to women…

”we have to find personal fulfillment, we have to follow our dreams, we have to say ‘I can do that and I should be allowed to do that.’”

https://youtu.be/8Wg14oDYm48

(Youtube/NBC)

I’ve had dreams for years that I put on hold for everyone else.  I’m not, by any means, saying that I would change that!  I have amazing children that are my whole world! If I could go back 20 years and choose between being a mother to them or fulfilling my dreams, I would choose them EVERY TIME!!  I’ve learned so much by being their mom and they teach me every day how to be a better person. So, no… I wouldn’t change anything about my life. That doesn’t mean I can’t start chasing my dreams now. In fact, the little girl, teenage girl, young adult, even the woman inside of me a week ago, won’t let me forget my dreams.  My past “Me’s” are feisty, naggy, bitchy, strong, determined badasses that won’t leave me alone. It’s scary though, my dreams are very difficult… but, as a middle-age woman…. essentially impossible.  But that’s not going to keep me from trying. 

I have a list of goals I’ll be sharing in this blog and working towards. Follow with me if you’d like.  Or not. Either is fine with me. I’m going to do this regardless.  After all, the most important part of any goal is to…. just begin.     

One little addition: My old blog included a lot of Barenaked Ladies song titles, lyrics and links to their music videos.  I haven’t decided if i’m going to continue that trend here.  They helped me so much during that time in my life and I am forever grateful for that… and them.  However, I don’t know all the rules when it comes to adding other people’s material to my work even while making sure I give due credit… band name, album, song name…etc. The title of this post is, in fact, a title of a BNL song, “Get Back Up” from Barenaked Ladies “Silverball” album. So for this post…. here you go.  

 

 

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