How to Really Get Skinny…

“The key to losing weight is really diet and exercise” says everyone EVERYWHERE! Blah, blah, blah. It’s the same song and dance. You read it in books, hear it on talk shows…everything in moderation, eliminate junk food or what they don’t say but usually ends up happening, trying the latest ‘fad’ diet. I’m here to tell you it’s all bullshit. It always has been and always will be. Anyone who tells you the key to their weight loss was ‘diet and exercise’ is full of shit. Sure, to some extent I bet it was. For instance, the show ‘Extreme Weight Loss Challenge’. They diet and exercise…but do you know how much? I read they work out from 6-8 hours a day. A DAY! Who has time for that?! And they have no junk food, none!

First, I should start off by saying “Damn it Jim, I’m not a doctor!” (that’s for my dad and any of you Star Trek fans out there). But really, I’m not a doctor and/or any medical professional and have no medical degree or background that would make me an expert to speak on this topic. I, however, have lots of medical people in my family ranging from nurses to doctors, but none of whom I consulted with before this post, lol. I also have dealt with a lot of food issues my entire life and have probably tried every fad diet out there (yes, I did the Beyonce ‘Master Cleanse’ diet…I made it four days, HAHAHAHAHA!).

So back to the topic at hand, the secrets to getting skinny. Are you ready? I mean, this is really mind blowing!

Wait for it…..

DON’T EAT! Don’t eat and have lots of stress. I hope you’re laughing but seriously, I’m not kidding. Have you ever seen the show ‘Survivor’? Do you wonder why they’re all skinny? BECAUSE THEY DON’T EAT! Have you ever had one of those stressful busy days where you haven’t even thought about food because it’s been so hectic? Have those every day!

Or, do like I did…move into a new house with a baby and have five weeks to prepare your new house (which is substantially larger than our previous one) for your daughter’s first birthday party that you invited over 100 people to (and 85 RSVP’ed yes!). Yes, the stress of moving, trying to furnish a new home and being a mom caused me to lose weight. Oh, and I didn’t eat. And when I say I didn’t eat, I didn’t. Maybe one meal a day. And it wasn’t on purpose…it just happened. I was too stressed.

Am I happy about this? You know it! I fit into all my pre-pregnancy clothes. But is it healthy? Not at all. The sad reality is, why can’t women just be happy with the bodies we have been given? Why can’t we confidently accept all of God’s gifts without all the complaints (‘my hips are too wide’, ‘my nose is too big’, etc.)? Trust me, I complain. I have complained about my body for as long as I can remember (hence, trying every ‘fad’ diet). But it’s wrong…it’s so so wrong. There is more to life than your body image. There is more to YOUR LIFE!

I want my daughter to grow up in a world where she doesn’t feel like she has to conform to what society deems as ‘beautiful’. I want her to feel beautiful in her own skin. I don’t want her seeing celebrities or reading magazines and believing that’s what she needs to look like. In case anyone has been living under a rock for eternity, those images are Photoshopped! And false advertising! Do you really think those girl’s eyelashes look like that from mascara? Ironically, she’s wearing ‘false eyelashes’. Do you really believe celebrities don’t have bruised knees, scars and cellulite on them? Because they do! They just airbrush them out.

We have become a vain, vain society. We are obsessed with looking better, no matter what the cost. Everyday there is a new product that reverses wrinkles, shrinks your fat, makes you skinnier, gives you more muscles and even surgeries to reduce, enhance or remove anything you want! And why wouldn’t you want to? It’s shoved in your face every chance it can be. And the worst part is we start to believe it. We start to think we need all these products and procedures. Heck, I just said the other day I need Botox! 

So, what can we do? For starters, love and accept yourself the way you are. Get in shape for YOU and no one else. Don’t let anyone make you feel less than beautiful because that’s just what you are. Second, don’t compare. I have a lot of skinny friends with amazing bodies. I let it bother me way too much in the past. Why can’t I look like that? I would think. But then I got over it and myself. How could I be anything less than thankful for what Gos has given me? So I have bigger thighs…that’s just me. I can either dwell on it or accept it. Third, be happy! If a diet is making you miserable then maybe it’s not the one for you! Life is too short to waste it sacrificing your own happiness! And finally, be grateful. You are blessed in your own ways. Find comfort in your own skin. Be confident!!! And most of all, love yourself…because in the grand scheme of things, if you can’t do that first, you can’t love someone else. 

Ps. Before any of you ‘health’ people get all worked up, my post was meant to make light of losing weight. I realize to many degrees diet and exercise can allow for weight loss…so chill:)

How to be a Partner in Your Marriage

As a wife and mother, I think it’s hard to remember how to be a partner in my marriage. I get so caught up in telling my husband all the things he needs to do that I stop telling him the things I should like how much I love and appreciate him. I forget about the feelings we had when we first met, the love that grew over time and all the special moments in between. They become distant memories and at times, so does our love.

My sister, who was the maid of honor at our wedding, said something I’ll forget, “Always remember how you feel on this day and try to live each day like that”. I haven’t done that…we haven’t done that. I’m too focused on my to-do lists, my stress and my anxiety. I don’t treat him like a partner and I don’t act like one either. I become resentful towards him for all the things I do as a wife and mother instead of how grateful I am for everything that he provides our family.

It’s easy to get angry, feel frustrated and place blame. It’s harder to be understanding, loving when you want to be yelling and accepting of each others flaws. Marriage is so tough, it really is. It’s something you have to work at every single day. It’s a partnership that requires participation from both parties. Of course there are times when one person is giving more effort than the other, but that’s when you go the extra mile. That’s when you comfort instead of criticize, love instead of leave and really be a partner instead of a pessimist.

The balance of wife, motherhood and work is challenging. I am constantly finding myself in an internal battle of how to manage and at times, an external battle with those I love most. I think the best way to be a partner in your marriage is to just be there. Be present. Put down the phones, share a meal together, have a date night (even if it’s in your own home!) and communicate. The biggest fights can sometimes come from miscommunication. Men and women have different roles in marriage but the common ground begins with love. After all, isn’t that what brought you two together in the first place? You fell in love. You saw this person over time as someone you can truly spend the rest of your life with. You got engaged, you got married and along that way maybe you’ve had a few kids (and pets!). But the one thing that should never change is your love.

Be the kind of partner you want your spouse to be. And never, ever ever give up. You took the vows and you made the promises. You are a team…so partner up and enjoy the ride!

Managing Stress.

I don’t manage stress well. I think everyone in my life knows that. I go into a panic mode, feeling like I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown and could cry at any second. I love this picture above because I think it perfectly depicts my face on a daily basis…you want me to do what now?

Yes, I’m an awesome multitasker and say that proudly, but when it comes to handling stressful situations, I suck. For instance, my daughter’s freak tooth accident, I cried more than she did and was sick to my stomach for days. DAYS!!! But to be fair, it’s really impacted her daily activities from eating (only solids, no sharing of ‘our’ food which she loves doing now) to playing (no toys in her mouth which she also loves mostly because she’s teething). She was also in a good amount of pain which has gotten better, but still broke my heart because there was nothing I could really do.

So, how do you manage stress? Well, I’m definitely the wrong person to ask! I manage stress the way I manage money…I don’t! I have been trying to find healthy outlets for my stress but I usually just end up eating chocolate or chips and having a good amount of wine (lately it’s been my new obsession, hard cider!). While I think it’s important to treat yourself every once in a while, I don’t think making this a daily habit is going to help me in the long run.

After taking some time to think about it, I realize my stress comes from two places: fear and love. I fear the unknown and things I cannot control. I fear life without to-do lists, organization and plans. I am not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants person and never will be. I thrive on order and prioritizing. The second part of my stress is love. The love I have for God, my daughter, my husband, my family and even myself. Sometimes I don’t have enough love in these areas and sometimes I have too much. Sometimes I become needy and insecure, or sometimes I become distant and unsure. While my stresses continue, both are driven by these factors which seem so opposite but really are quite similar.

Both are motivators. We do things out of fear and out of love. They drive to do better, be better and try harder. Both are destructive. We can let fear and love control us. They can cause blind decision making. They can destroy our self confidence and self worth. Both are consuming. We can become so wrapped up in our love or our fears that we lose ourselves. But most importantly, both are feelings that can be controlled. We can control what we chose to fear as well as what and whom we chose to love. While we don’t have the power to control our lives, we do have the power to control our feelings.

I probably stress out about something on a daily basis. Lately, it’s been about 10 things a day. I realize this isn’t a good way to be so I’m working on it. Aren’t we all a work in progress anyway? Currently, the box checked for my stress management is ‘needs improvement’, but I hope in the near future it moves to ‘satisfactory’ and maybe even one day ‘exceeding expectations’!