Archive for the ‘peace’ Category

In a world that screams “be better, faster, stronger, thinner, happier, healthier, smarter, bouncier, boingier, etc”, we become our own worst critic. I believe in change, but not when it threatens the acceptance of who we are at  our core of beautiful personalities, which makes us special, unique, quirky and dynamic.

The most tumultuous battles I fight are with myself are because I’m not measuring up with what “I think” people need me to be doing, saying or being at this very moment.  “PEOPLE PLEASING” is a disease and it can literally kill your soul, your creativity, drive addicts to use again, incite aggression and make people mentally breakdown. I know from experience that when I am not being true to myself and my beliefs and I’m “buying in” to what other people are “selling” (metaphorically and literally) and I am not listening to my gut instincts, I end up in situations of regret and resentment.

Yes, we absolutely need to be considerate, kind and strive to help out our fellows. It is the times when we extend ourselves to others in full self abandonment, we end up on an empty gas tank forgetting to “fill~up” the most important person in the relationship equation, ourselves.  Self ~ Love does not mean becoming a doormat for others and saying “yes” to every request and demand. People who truly love us want us to say “No” or let our voices be heard.  People who thrive on YOUR “people pleasing”, are not loving you, they are using and manipulating you to gain something for themselves.

So why is Funny Lady Scrappie-Momma being so serious? I have been doing a lot of soul~searching, trying to find the real cause of my anxiety. I , like many, suffer from anxiety, depression and “projectile~future~vomiting”. Trust me , its LIGHT YEARS better than it was in my twenties and even thirties.  The truth is, the more peace I feel daily,  the more PEACE I need to feel daily,  and to shut the mental wars in my mind that occur in my brain.  I can create a tornado of distress in the middle of a sunshine filled day if I do not keep the “projectile~future~vomit” “inner voices in check.

I grew up with a lot of chaos. I finally provided a glimpse of my horrendous foster care  and schizophrenic Mom stories with my son and his response was “Wow, Mom you are the most interesting person I know!”..Wow, what a revelation,  rather than feeling shame or trepidation from my roller coaster childhood, I have amazing knowledge, strength and passion I can share my story in hopes to help others overcome barriers to full inner peace. (book!)  For me, when I feel peace, my brain is wired to say “OH SNAP, THIS SHIT ABOUT TO GET REAL, WAIT FOR IT SOMETHING INSANE ABOUT TO POP OFF BRO” (because my inner voice is most definitely a hip hop artist) . The reason my brain is wired like this is because for thirty years, it’s exactly how it happened for me!

In my childhood and through adulthood something “popped off” every one, two, to three years without fail. In a mirage of inconsistency, the one driving constant for me was turbulence.  Foster care, death, suicide,  divorce, alcoholism, anorexia,  etc. etc, either circumstantial or of my own , and at the time I thought, innocuous creations.  After 18, I definitely would subconsciously create sabotage, drama and mayhem because I thrived on burning the candle with a million ends. I use the terms innocuous and subconscious because I had developed my very own PHD from the”auto-pilot-drama” academy, where I was the student, teacher and graduate, completely oblivious to the sabotage I created for myself and to those around me.

In closing, this blog post started out as a Facebook post on my blog page I lose people after 140 characters and it took on a venue of its own.  The only goal I have for myself is to do things that bring me PEACE. I SIMPLY cannot be the Mom trying to outpace other Mom’s in whatever societal race we have created to raise Super Children. I cannot buy into the sensationalistic articles ( if you read them all, which I did for two years as a “health~coach”)  ,after all deductions and conclusions of said reading, I surmise facetiously, Organic Kale is the only food that won’t kill us. As Jim Gaffigan so eloquently stated in his recent stand up Obsessed, “Kale tastes like bitter spinach and hair”, and  after MANY attempts to try and like Kale, I have to agree. I just don’t like kale.

 

 

 

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Shortest Blog ever by Scrappie Momma:

I stopped counting the calories,
I put the scale in the garage,
I refuse to be addicted
To this perfectionist mirage

Everyday can be struggle
Of “omg is this organic??”
Bc every health article I read
Seems to send me into a panic

Health will ALWAYS be a part of me
BC my 9th grade health teacher was Hawt
Ok that’s not entirely true
But I think I just laughed a lot

I’m trying to live in moderation
Break the chains of control that confine me
So if you see me reading a label in deliberation
Tell me its ok, life is a gift, let it go & be free

I rarely blast out rhymes
This literally just popped into my head
I blog most of the time
Possibly, I just lost my Rap Street cred*

My head is a Rolodex in the wind
Where I control the uncontrollable around me
Somewhere I learned enjoying food was a sin
But thankfully I’m slowly learning  to just BE

I have no clue how to end a poem
The words don’t flow as easily
Just a quick glimpse I have shown
& help my day go more readily

 

* Kind of an inside joke, a lot of aspiring rap artists follow me on twitter. I mean not a lot, but enough where I’m wondering if Scrappie Momma is being mistaken  for Lil Momma or Drop Dem Rhymes Momma?  Who knows, I just hope there is no misconception that I have 1) any street cred because I grew up on farms,  a fishing village and in Shaker Heights Ohio, and 2) that I can rap, because I do try and it’s horrendous.

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This quote “don’t need much splainin'” but I’m a writer so, ‘splainin’ is my business.

I’m a messy perfectionist betwixt a swiss cheese layering of benevolent narcissism.   I struggle with thinking my best isn’t ever good enough (for who ?? See below) and as much as I try NOT TO,  I absolutely do compare myself to my peers. Im human. I am shocked when people really LIKE me and I sm just as shocked when they don’t really LIKE me.

My therapy? Group therapy. Writing. Mediation. Music. Specifically , bootie music (I have blogged about this a few times. :)) Exercise (in moderation). Apologizing when I am wrong. (Which is a lot) . Good food. I am a foodie. Bc I do love layered foods and I hate feel deprived or ‘hangry’ as the hipster call it. (Sometimes healthy &sometimes because I want a piece of lemon pound cake. ) Moderation. BALANCE. Writing. Writing. Writing & more writing. Laughter. Laughter. Laughter. And more laughter.

I need to read more and analyze less. I need to chill more and analyze less. I need to ‘be in the now’ more and analyze less. I need to feel more and analyze less. When I was a child, my father constantly and consistently told me to ‘slow down’.

If you take away one thing from this short blog, it should be this. You will never regret to moments where you just let youself accept yourself where you are at this VERY MOMENT.

Dream and Grow but don’t criticize yourself for all the you are and all that you will be AT THIS VERY MOMENT.

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Footnote ** I “stole “don’t need much splainin'” from Jason Derulos new song and “benevolent narcissism” from Rob Lowes description of himself. Read Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon.

First of all I’m blogging this in the blinding Florida sun, on my phone and do not have immediate access to computer so there will definitely be typos and grammatical tragedies. I know its not an excuse.

We are Florida junkies. Our kids are at the “I MUST be entertained at all costs” stage so we come to Orlando a lot.  Disney. Sea World. Universal.
Lego Land. Apparently I didn’t get the manual for anything, so I decided to pay it forward with a list of rules for Amusement Park frivolity:

1) Bring drinks. Smuggle them in like Heisinburg if you have too.
2) DON’T GO JUNE THROUGH SEPTEMBER. Unless you like being soaked in humidity and scorched by a blinding, hot white heat thats so intense you will wonder if Orlando = Purgatory
3) Don’t eat a stack of protein bars prior to going in attempts to mitigate prolonged hunger because I can’t function hungry. Or “Hangry” as the hipsters coined.
3a) I ate too many protein bars and my stomach was so distended I almost bought a pregnancy test.
4) Don’t cry when your children are crying because of long lines, Purgatory humidity and alien baby stomach. It makes you look weak and it will piss off your spouse. Or family, if you thought it would be fun to go as a giant group.( Im not going to comment on “giant groups at Disney” . Ill let you think that through as to whether this invokes fun or “lets go here no lets go here no lets go here no I’m hot no I want to see Cinderella no lets eat lets pee lets cry lets sleep”)
5) Don’t put on self tanner before the big trip. No matter what you do, it will literally streak off in the hellish humidity
6) Don’t look cute. As in, dont flat iron your hair, wear heels or think “oh I just have to wear this ‘adorbs’ ensemble from the Premier Outlets. It will all be ruined within the first hour, and as dumb as I am when it comes to comfortable foot wear, I know enough to wear sneakers to an amusement park. (I did wear pointy heels to walk around NYC, so if you were insulted by #6, less I remind you, I make dumbass shoe decisions all the time)
7) Don’t show intense anxiety for death~defying, no wait death~invoking roller coasters
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Due to my intense fear and “hell no MY kids are NEVER GOING TO BE TALL OR BIG ENOUGH for that shit” (pictured above..), they are now terrified of all rides. Even the little ones. Yes, my husband blames my ‘outward rolller coaster hatred’ for the kids’ intense anxiety at the tea cup Antarctica ride at Sea world. There was a 10 month year old on the ride, and my 9 year old wanted me to hold him in the ride. My husband could not stop shooting intense looks of disdain my way, wondering too, “Did my wife really NOT get the manual when the kids were born?” No. And I rarely babysat either.
8)Don’t argue. Arguing in the humidity is like trying to blow dry your hair in the rain.
9) Plan out bathroom trips or DON’T drink any water and completely dehydrate your family. Being dehydrated seemed easier than schleping through 780085 mini theme parks (within the one giant park) to pee or know an accident is on its way…which..brings me to #
10) Pack a change of clothes for every age. Even yourself. Even if its a bathing suit. You will be either soaked in humidity, someone will pee on themselves, throw up or something tragic will happen to the CUTE OUTFIT I TOLD YOU NOT TO WEAR
11) Be ready to people watch. I counted 150 daisy duke wearing ladies and lets just say my two piece has More coverage. I ain’t mad at cha, if you got it flaunt it and I think it appeased my husband’s irritation at my incessant belligerence towards my protein~alien~baby~ Sigourney Weaver ~stomach problems.
12) Dont think the kids will want to go out for thai food and sushi after 15 hours at an amusement park. SCRATCH that. Dont think anyone will want sushi and thai food, except for this alien babied stomach protein bar eating fool.

Okay, again, I can’t proofread this for a few days because word press HATES my phone and vice versa. So don’t hate the playah, hate the game.

picture to be uploaded later..child snack out the door crisis….
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I always over shop before we have to go out of town and man I get teary eyed thinking about wasting a whole thing of hummus. My sister babysits our lizard (whole other blog on that so ..) I literally leave notes everywhere about what she needs to be eating daily so it does not get tossed in the garbage. I get displeased with myself when I waste food.

Now that I am eating the hummus, I think already went bad. EwWWWW as Jimmy Fallon would say, just ewww. I have moved on to banana and peanut butter, because yes my bananas are going bad too. I wish my kids like more fresh food, but because I went against the chagrin and incessant berating of the La LECHE League, by bottle feeding my children, they are drawn towards preservative filled foods. GASP. Turn me in to the SuperMom food police.
Short blog because well I wasn’t breast fed either and my mom smoked camels with the windows rolled up so I have  untimely management skills and have not been able to blog much or for very long. The whole ‘not being breast fed, camel smoking Mom thing’ really is best left for another blog. Maybe a haiku by Eminem?

The moral of the story, do not chain smoke with the windows rolled up, maybe roll the windows down,  eff the breast milk police because well, yeah that too would be another another blog  on how I was shamed by  NurseMaids a Milking Peeps (NMMP?) at the hospital and beyond on how I failed my children by bottle feeding.

Finally –  do  not ever stock up on perishables, especially hummus because, one or two things could happen:

1) You were not breast fed and have poorly planned food waste management skills; thus will have to toss food or leave sticky notes for your lizard sitter to eat rotting food.

2) You could be forced to evacuate your home for a Zombie Apocalypse; leaving rotting food for the people heading to Terminus in The Walking Dead,  but they will never find it because there is always a “people be crazy up in here” crisis than ensues during a food run. Also, Zombies do not like White Bean Hummus.

3) You are reading this and now you are angry because you thought it was an article about breast feeding. Sorry. At least it was short. Hopefully you got some good Zombie /Hummus pointers.

 

…………And also if you do not understand the Terminus reference, I highly highly highly suggest you catch up on all seasons of  The Walking Dead.  You think it’s just about Zombies? oh SON  you JUST DON’T KNOW !!!.  I could also blog about The Walking Dead till the cows come home, understandably there are probably a large number of brilliant Walking Dead Bloggers in the blogosphere right now, so I will stick to what I know.  Hummus. Rotting Hummus. And Humor. and Not chain smoking with the windows rolled up.

That is all I got today.

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Pictures, why did I post them? to remind myself of my “why”~ that what I do matter! Even if its as simple as wiping my bleary eyes to wipe my children’s bleary eyes (and crusty as hell , and wow where does all that nose funk come from??) to help them get ready for school.  My job is important. Sometimes , I do not feel like it is important because I do not have a career , and I have failed as a 21st century female commandeered to bust that glass ceiling. (I do break a lot of stuff because I am quite clumsy so..that must count!)

I invite all moms , dads, guardians, coaches, teachers, preachers, working, stay at home, part time working, aunts, uncles , etc~what have you, to give yourself a BREAK. BE vulnerable, honest and KIND to yourself. Raising children is the toughest job I will ever love so much that it overwhelms me with emotion.

You are trying to teach little gremlin~terminator~heart,~melting diabolical minions ~ how to survive when a) you barely have it figured out yourself all while b)  Lady Gaga is trying to out~do  Miley Cyrus’ gargantuan tongue slide tour with vomit wielding artistry???.

I invite you to come out from the “suburban supermom persona” (dad etc, trying to relate to all roles) and give the laundry pile,  the bird, you can wait one more day” !! ….. I did,. I left that sad sack of clothes right on the sofa and the angry dirty pile half in the bathroom , half in my closet. I’m a bad mama jama.

The other night , I was so overwhelmed because of some minor parenting fails and litany of chocolate milk thingy things & smores graham cracker wrappers.  slammed cupboards and begged my kids to “please please for the love of God clean up after themselves momma gonna lose her mind, up in here, up in here, yall gonna make me act a FOOOL UP IN HERE UP IN HERE” ….ok maybe Im confusing my rant with a DmX song, but I think you get it.

Anyhow, my point is, forgive yourself for not being the parent that you see on Facebook or in the magazines! Leave the bacon in the pan and linger a while longer over breakfast..(if you are vegan, leave the toffutiacon in the pan, I made that up? is it a thing?). Pat yourself on the back for NOT signing up for some personal self~ development weekend course because you realized that its just not the right time for you. Tell yourself it is okay to not want to be the hottest Mom or Dad on the block so maybe skip the workout OR start one; whichever you need to do to FEEL HEALTHY on the inside rather than show people that you “can do, have and be it all”! Stop Frontin & Start Livin’

Its okay to not be the leader, the most successful person , the superstar, or legs~with~a~gap~in~thigh~woman
( Sweet Mary I didn’t even have that when I had dangerously low body fat, so I’m hoping this trend dies hard and fast) .

Dali Lama said it best :

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And TLC said it best, “Don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and lakes you are used to..”….
….. This does not mean settling for what you have, it means accepting what is right in front of you and  cherising it for all that it is at the very moment.

I have been stress case largely due in part to my fear of feeling like I do not measure up to what???? To other moms my age? To the poor Target models whose already tiny frames had their “areas” chopped out and ribcages removed to look even tinier ?? (WTF Target ??) Who exactly
am I trying to measure up to these days? I will tell you who, ME.  Im a Non cabinet closing, 2 term Pres Obama votin, hip hop beastie boy Jay z blarin,  bad driveway drivin, burpin, hair drain
cloggin, clumsy bike ridin, microwave glass breaking , Scrappie Ass Momma thats who!   **

Today I beg you to get up a be you! Stare at the mirror and say “yes, dammit maybe its Mabelline and Im so damn worth it , we have come a long way baby!!” (I mixed three slogans there). Hug the first person you see today, or smile if that is to awkward. Blare DMX, Gregorian Chant, Carrie Underwood, Metallica or Michael Buble on your JAMS today. Rent a movie that makes you laugh so hard you cry! (Or google the top 25 autocorrects, omg I almost passed out laughing). Just effin do it brah.

I gotta stop here, its late and I have a lot of FUN to accomplish tomorrow!!

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Took the picture of pile of clothes this am!

* I think Gaga/Cyrus have talents, ….so anyways, I will let some other blogging soul twerk that blog out all on its own. Please, do not assualt me on musical debate, it was meant to be humorous :)

** note, my hubs, my sister, some of my friends voted Republican so before you get your panties in a wad thinking I’m some screaming extreme liberal who doesn’t shave her legs , calm down. I shave them in the summer.
Meaning, this is not a  political blog!!!!

Earlier, I had a bad case of good old fashioned, PMS. I walked into my daughter’s room to strip the beds and Little Pony and her diva hustling sisters had a fraternity party with every teeny, tiny, ‘itsy’ ‘bitsy’ figurine known to mankind.  They had infiltrated every square inch of her room. This all happened in a matter of an hour because she had just cleaned her room meeting this one Scrappie Momma’s expectations (which are, “PLEASE FOR the Love of GOD..GET EVERYTHING OFF THE FLOOR OR I’M GETTING A GIANT BAG and sending THEM ALL BACK to SANTA).  Here is a glorious “selfie “of me  eating Ice Milk or NON Milk or Coconut Goat milk some kind of healthy version of  ice cream or non ice cream, with the goal of this  “‘faux’ ice cream” to abate my PMS symptoms versus bagging up all the little ponies and sending them back to the Pony ranch or to Santa or whatever it is you believe they would go if Big Bad Mommy bagged them up and sent them along their way.

ice cream blog

Speaking of  Santa,  “DUDE, WHY DID YOU BUY HER THE MY LITTLE PONY TENT THAT TAKES UP HALF HER ROOM WITH AGE LIMIT OF 3 SO IT GETS BEATEN DOWN BY MY LONG LEGGED DAUGHTER and RAUCOUS little pony fraternity parties , daily.       Obviously, I bought the tent so in case you are all like “oh gasp, that was kind of a tough dis for Santa”, I have only myself to blame for this insidious tent and all its debauchery. However if you still believe in Santa, then I am still mad at Santa and he is the one to blame in this situation.

As for my son’s room, he has a lizard in his room; while at the same time, the sun cascades its blinding, white rays of sizzling heat making it the hottest room in the house (except for the garage, in August)  Due to the fact that I am irritated by this onset of hormones (  I googled the word ‘hormonely’, it does not exist; hence, “onset of hormones” was a replacement for my made of word of ‘hormonely’) Yes that was all extremely necessary and pertinent. My point being,   I knew better to engage in any kind of “why is EVERY LEGO FIGURE FROM HERE TO KINGDOM COME HAVING A  SEANCE TRYING TO CONJURE UP MORGAN FREEMAN FROM THE LEGO MOVIE, HE’S NOT COMING!!!!!!” I was just too damn hot and cranky to deal with Legos and Morgan Freeman apparitions. (if you are like wtf does Morgan Freeman have to do with Legos, please delve into the Lego Movie, it’s a freaking riot).   A caveat to the word “hormonely”, it was not even hot in his room that day, but I was hot; hence you see my point.

Calm, level headed Scrappie, knows that my children’s’ room will never look like a Pottery Barn magazine. (you know, kind of organized, kind of messy but altogether fabulous because even the “mess” is organized, monogrammed and dotted with glorious patterns of tweed and ________________ Paisley?) I do not know my pottery barn schematics very well.  PMS infiltrated DEF com five Scrappie which is agitated by the slightest “imperfection of perfections”. Yes, John Legend’s super model girlfriend would absolutely irritate me when my hormone levels go from ” furrowed MOMMIE dearest brow”  to “OMG, dial up my shrink, something’s terribly wrong, why am I crying so hard?” to “WHO ATE ALL MY DARK CHOCOLATE AND WHY IS THIS ICE CREAM SO FROZEN, HOW LONG SHOULD I PUT IN THE MICROWAVE TO MELT THIS HUNK OF ICE???”.  The synapses in my brain go all haywire. Thankfully I only get this type of PMS every four months, it’s like a quarterly report for my husband who provided a range of opinions from “it’s OK let it all out” (good feedback) to “why are you arguing with a 6 year old” (not so good feedback).  In my PMS mind, arguing with a 6 year old (who acts like a 16 year old) makes COMPLETE LOGICAL AND SANE SENSE.

Fast forward to our Soccer Game, I am still a little torqued up; yet my emotions start to slowly level out and dissipate.  I am enveloped by a sense of calmness as I hear the screaming kids (screams of joy!) pattering throughout the turf fields. My kids are full of vim and vigor and raise their hands wildly to yell out their ideas for the team name. My daughter asks to take a “selfie” with me so she can show the world her lost tooth.  My son offers to play goalie, which makes my heart soar because I drink in the confidence my kids set forth into the world.   Suddenly, little pony mosh pit parties and Legos that paralyze my bare feet into “fall down on the floor holy sh&% wtf did I just step on ” pain, all seems to disappear and the echo of the referees whistle through the woods sounds like harp to my ears.

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PS. This blog is meant to be facetious. It is therapeutic outlet for my PMS or whatever feeling that has transcended upon my psyche.  I am not looking for PMS cures or meticulous parenting advice or on how to get my daughter to clean up her my little ponies. Trust me, if I need tips on how to organize rooms, Legos, ponies and twisty ties, or how to parent my children, PINTREST, FACEBOOK and my husband’s aunties have PLENTY of information to assist me with these types of conundrums.    Some people “get” the type of humor I put out there in my blog and on social media  some absolutely do not and see it as a window to shower me with all sorts of remedies for what seems to appear to them as a very problematic life strewn with maladies and bad parenting decisions.  Oh and I do not need to lower the temperature of my sons room either, we good.

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….BECAUSE I FORGOT HOW TO SPELL THE MAN”S NAME, WOMAN?.. ARE YOU INSANE..???

Today was Book Reading Project Day. The Crafty Mom’s dream, the Mommy Issue’s Mom – nightmare and crafts, projects and hair conundrums are my nemesis. I really try and the adage “our last mistake , is our biggest lesson” never comes to fruition for crafty craftsmanship, in fact it progressively gets worse and there is neighborhood concern that I may one day super glue my hands to my daughter’s ‘french braid’.

I post this undoubtedly adorable picture of my children on social media and directly beneath it, from a neighborhood mom (or Dad, I’m very PC)  is Cindy Lou Hoo HERSELF.. (Do not ask me what my son is, something from Harry Potter, a squawking phoenix? His screeching squawk can break the sound barrier, so have fun today Teach!) .

You could run a roller coaster through the loops, hoops, dips and hops on my neighborhood’s daughter’s hair. It is truly magnificent. I am not in any way disrespecting her craftsmanship with this blog, I’m blown away by its aesthetic artistry.

I am just curious though,  what happened to me when they were handing out the gene that they give to Mommies ( and Daddies!! Again PC) that makes them so prolific at crafts and hair? Was I in the bathroom? Was I break-dancing? Did I pass out? Are my hands not shaped in craftsman “craftymanship” crafty form?

I am sure there are a few of you out there too that were break-dancing with me when the “craftonator” descends upon earth and hands out crafty craftsmanship genes to all the new Mommies (or daddies, I’m extremely PC you see, as I have repeatedly mentioned to thee) . I’m here to tell you, do not sweat it bro, just go with the to and fro, YO!  We all have or loops and hoops dips and drops AND POPS AND LOCKS because we know how to break dance!!! Remember???

In my defense, if there was any pretense in my husband’s mind that I posessed the crafty, hair , pottery~ barn decorator gene, he simply missed the pre~marital signs because he was smitten with my transcendent beauty. Signs such as:

  •   Burping
  •   Wiping the counters with bottom of  my t-shirt
  •   Brushing my hair with a plastic fork
  •   Heating up food in oven, IN STYROFOAM
  •   Identifying, WAY TOO MUCH, with the crazy, younger mom in Divine Secrets of the Ya Yas (you fell asleep honey, The signs were ALL THERE)
  •   And so on so forth- henceforth.

I’m not lamenting the fact that I missed the “Craftonator’s” calling. I’m not complaining. I’m not sad. Or mad. Or blue with a shoe. I’m actually moving more money into Cindy Lou Hoos bank account so she has enough for her therapy sessions, and break-dancing.

ADDENDUM :
End of the day conversation with my Cindy Lou Hoo:
Daughter: “Mommy, um, people kept asking me who I was..And Mommy, so & so’s Mom put a cup on her head and then the hair to look like Cindy Lou Hoo and Mommy so and so (aforementioned in.blog) REALLY looked like CINDY LOU HOO”
Me: “I’m sorry baby, Mommy has bad hair skills, but do not fret child , Mommy & Daddy have tucked away a rainy day fund for therapy and break-dancing”
Daughter Shrugs: “okay”

First off, I’d like to say, or apologize to my three followers, wait maybe it’s two, I’m sorry it takes me so long to get another blog posted, and I’m not minimizing the amount I appreciate YOU.  I do write a lot, but it’s on stickies, journals, notepads and the whole process of getting it put into computer is one that does get lost in the shuffle of my ADHD mind and life.  I’m NOT complaining, and I will aim to do better.  I had a laptop but for all you parents of ‘younins’ out there, Minecraft stole it’s heart and  soul and crucified the “heart” drive into a withering mess that even the boys at Geek squad cried a little when I took it in to be “fixed”.  Yes I mean heart drive.  (Hence why Geek Squad rejected my application of employment.)

This topic has been on my brain ever since I stopped teaching fitness classes and decided to stop paying the fee to be a health/wellness Coach.*  It’s not like I woke up one morning and said “I AM DONE”. Decision making was something I generally scored as average or as my husband might say “Good GOSH Grapes woman, make up your mind!” OK OK, He doesn’t say Grapes, I’m not sure he said Gosh either. Maybe sometimes there could be an expletive in this sentence because, I usually go to him with all my decision making conundrums, which come up frequently.   Stay tuned, because I will have some blogs that outline some of the fabulous “notes” I have written him when my feelings were “hurt”. Usually those notes end up by the coffee pot.  They are fun. really fun.

It all started when I I joined a rather large gym and took this sassy, funky, kickboxing class.  I fell in love with the first “jab cross pound pound” to some heart thumping – Lil Jon- club-remix;  where, I felt like I was at the club, but in actuality my babies were in day care and I had my Umbros on (yes I think I wore Umbros from college when I started going back to the gym, don’t worry all you fashionable gym people, I upgraded my wardrobe a tad as the years wore on, insert cute winking smiley face here). Also no one was vomiting in the bathroom from too many Hagar (sp?)  shots or my wedges weren’t sticking to the floor of sloshed Budweiser.  All the club music fun without having to soak your clothes in tide for a week.  Well, if you sweat as much as I do (apparently to the point where it causes medical concern, that comes up later in the blog :)) , you might have to soak your workout clothes in tide, just no club “stench” to overcome.

I had arrived. I was officially a bad ass. I was a dancing fighter.  Usher meets Million dollar Baby. Michael Jackson meets Missy Elliot meets J Lo from the movie ENOUGH.  I simply did not give a french fry if I was burning off french fries or if I was working out my “abs”.  It was SO FREEING. I was having a freaking blast and I really felt “okay” for the first time since there were 5000 people looking at my “hootie hoo-hoo-haw” because my first child decided he was going to hang out for a bit…. and my obstetrician look like John Stossel. So um yeah that.   Also, let’s just say  I DID NOT EXCEL AT ALL at new mommy-hood.  Like we are talking D minus, minus. I blame the fact that my parents didn’t have more babies for me to practice nor did I have enough babysitting jobs with little babies.  It’s really all their fault. (insert facetious-ism, seriously, some people think I’m being serious when I’m being diabolically ironic.)   More on that topic way later, Maybe another blog.

I felt like I had entered into some kind of “West Side story/Micheal Jackson Thriller-I’M BAD” remix video while I was kicking some serious “bootie.”  It actually was not “dance” per say, it choreographed in a way that punches synchronized so succinctly with every heart thumping bass , I literally felt I was inside the MATRIX of kickboxing and Lawrence Fishborne had me “downloaded” into some Jiu-Jitsu-Lil-Jon-Dub-Step-ReMix. I do not think I ever told the instructor this, but there were several times I started crying in her class (tears of joy) because of all the incredibly motivational cues she we would shout out during class.  I did  not turn into a blubbering post menopausal mess, I got choked up because I was so freaking inspired and I simply did not feel like I was at “the gym”.    She would say things like “You got up and got out of bed and You are here!!! be proud of yourself”  or “You aren’t here to just change the outside of your body you are here to change your body from the inside out.” I’m paraphrasing due to the fact that it was several years ago.  The bottom line is, she made me feel like I was exercising for the right reasons. “What the eff does “exercising for the right reasons mean???? Laurie Jane??”   Please, hang with me…this might be one of my longer blogs but it’s worth it because hopefully it will make you laugh and possibly alleviate stress in your life if you are struggling with a decision.

I had a tremendous amount of guilt with my membership because I did not work AND I  felt like I didn’t deserve it as a “stay at home mom”.  Looking back, I had severe post par-tum delusions after my first child, and mildly depressed after my second, I actually was just depressed. I hate typing that out because most of the world thinks that shit is controllable and it’s mind over matter. If you do think that depression can be controlled by just flipping a switch, please do more research.   I digress, the POINT I AM TRYING TO MAKE,  Is this instructor alleviated the insane, ridiculous guilt  I felt from going to the  FREAKING GYM! (I’m just not a the point where I can drop the actual f bomb in my blogs. A lot of successful bloggers let it all out…again I blame “others” for this..(diabolically ironic!!)  I’m still wondering if “shit” is too much…but I’ll edit later. Maybe).

Fast forward a couple years, taking a variety of classes, with this particular class and mixed martial arts classes being something I was drawn to on a consistent basis, I decided that I wanted to become a fitness instructor.  Yeah I know. At that time, I was 38.  I do not know what I was thinking either.  This was the best and worst decision I had made at that time.  How can that be?  It was the best decision because I truly learned how to perform a task that I did not possess natural skills to perform on a consistent basis.  I may have excelled at taking fabulous classes at a gym, but TEACHING fitness classes was almost the antithesis of taking them,  and I had to go through this process to figure out it was not something that pulled from my natural strengths and abilities.  I am not saying that you should shy away from difficult tasks, ignore your weaknesses or avoid putting yourself out of your comfort zone.  I am saying that if you are so far out of your comfort zone it is negatively affecting every aspect of your life, you may want to rethink the journey or path  you have embarked upon.

To elaborate upon it being the best decision in my life.  I learned SO MUCH about myself, the fitness “world” and how I interacted with other people. and MOST IMPORTANTLY I have a new found respect for Beyonce.  We besties now. “Hi B!!!” –  Beyonce, can move in ways that I would end up in the Emergency room if I attempted, and SING, like really SING from the vast recesses of her lungs ~WHILE-  AT THE SAME TIME – NOT LOOK TIRED.  I was say things like “punch jab punch punch kick jab etc”, while performing as said such tasks (not even singing like my bestie Beyonce or  ‘bootie’ maneuvering in any way shape or form) and would be so exhausted and “HANGRY” by the end of class, I would almost fall into my food at night.  To illustrate my “not looking tired point above”….. I had a participant ask me one day  if I was “Okay” and look deeply concerned for my overall well-being.    She recommended I get my thyroid checked because I was literally drenched in sweat and could barely speak after class.  This was kind of my first clue that maybe the outer Pluto rings of my comfort zone was not necessarily the best place for this 40 something Mom of two high spirited children and one very busy working husband.   Next time you go to class and you think the instructor doesn’t appear to be working hard enough, or start to get all critical,  think really long and hard before you give feedback. I use to run crazy 90 degree hill trail races in college and even got trophies for it, okay it was a small college, BUT STILL. I thought I was in damn good shape and it kicked my ass.  So I learned a TON about learning something from scratch and the black hole space that comes after your comfort zone. Insert Winking smiley face jumping emoticon here.

As for it being the worst decision, maybe that’s unfair terminology for myself; yet, there were many times I was in self inflicted tears of frustration because I never felt “good enough” or that I measured up to my counterparts.    I guess I should have known better with my eating disordered past that I was not as tough as I thought I was in deflecting the ‘self obsessiveness’ that the industry as a whole seem to manifest upon my psyche. I thought I could shut those voices down but inevitably the cons started to outweigh the pros.    As a competitive runner, it completely consumed me and I suffered health consequences from malnutrition and electrolyte unbalance and heat exhaustion because I did not have enough fat on my body to properly function and cool myself. Huh, Maybe that’s why I sweat so much now. Anyhow,  Sounds dramatic, but true and it will be in my memoirs..  Henceforth, so on and so forth,  I felt like at every twist and turn I had to monitor what I put in my body , I was over training,  and it was negatively affecting myself and my family.

As a caveat to my career in fitness I decided to become a “Health Coach” and used   Multi-level Marketing fitness shakes and DVDS  as an adjunct to promote this way of life.   I know it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out which company I chose to align with ; however, there are currently a
“Bandunkadunk” amount of these companies.   It’s not important because the company itself had nothing to do with my decision to stop participating in this field.   However, the somewhat convoluted and  pervasive “online coaching atmosphere” of SOME of the Coaches,  in SOME of these companies, (not just the one I was apart of) did have something to do with my decision. I have re-written this section like six times. The first time I wrote it, I ended up sounding like Lewis Black on the Jon Stewart show and I have been told that extreme sarcasm comes over quite poorly, unless it’s delivered by Lewis Black himself.

Instead of providing a  montage of all the things that grated my nerves like tweezers on a chalkboard, slowly and screechy, (I’m sorry¿ was that image bothersome?) I will try to summarize in one small paragraph without sounding indignant.( Fun Fact here, I was going to use the word resentful,  but I feel as thought it’s overused.  Anyhow, I go-ogled the synonyms for resentful and low and behold the FIRST Google search that “popped up” was “resentful Beyonce”  What???  Who is resentful at my BFF??? and how can anyone be resentful at the woman who masterminded the song that every man, woman and child is screaming  at the top of their lungs in their car  (……..boyimdrankin…..grindinupindatclub..surfboardgraininondatwoooooddd) ……My apologies to your boss if  you are reading this at work and just played Drunk In Love in your office and tried to “twerk”.

I digress. Seriously girlfriend,  Beyonce!!! Stop infiltrating my thoughts with your naughty music.  I became disenchanted with the MLM fitness entity because quite simply, it was not my scene. I did not feel comfortable displaying before and after pictures of my stomach or my arms or my saddlebags or whatever body part I incessantly felt like I needed to “Fix”.**  I was tired of being asked to do a “cleanse”  or a “challenge” when quite frankly, all they did for me was made me feel like sleeping OR I wanted to rob a bakery, and then I felt guilty because I was starving. Whe I did the cleanse and was told it was a highly caloric cleanse (1500 calories?) and I shouldn’t be feeling hungry.   I NEVER EVER felt like being moderately healthy  was enough and I ended running around all wide eyed and freaked out because “OMG I did too much cardio and not enough strength or I hadn’t learned the hollow back handstand and OMG LAURIE why aren’t you more flexible you really need to focus on that what’s wrong with you???.”

My brain had become a level 10 roller coaster of negative health thoughts.   I felt like I was eating too much and I should be constantly tracking my calories and my calorie burn.  I was constantly striving to be in smaller pants or have bigger biceps but not too big just big enough to look a certain way and this swirling mass of disenchanted thoughts HAD TO STOP.  Yes the problem absolutely became MY problem and it was turning me into an obsessive health freak that had banned “cheezits” from the house.  I DID NOT WANT TO BE THAT PERSON.

Some of you might ask, why couldn’t you have stayed in the health and fitness/mlm “thangy thing” and stayed moderate and balanced.    I could not because  my career choice HAD BECOME the gasoline to the fire for  obsessive, extreme behavior.  I also did feel like there were fitness leaders in that particular industry that sent a somewhat obsessive message (IN MY OPINION) and I just did not want to be a part of that culture any longer. AGAIN,THIS IS MY OPINION.   Some of you that read this might be saying I’m a “hater”, but really it’s not that, I applaud the athletes who have overcome giant obstacles to be leaders in this very complex and growing industry. I just chose to distance myself from the message that I did not agree with on a daily basis. I am not going to give examples, but if you are curious,  Google leaders in an fitness industry and follow them for a bit, you may feel undoubtedly and incredibly inspired, I want you to to make up your own opinion if they send a balanced message or one that promotes unrealistic body image expectations.   I do not blame anyone else and take full accountability that this industry was a dangerous place for me to rest my career laurels upon on a day in and day out basis.

In closing, I would not trade the short (but eventful!) stint I had as a fitness professional? (OMG, am I officially retired, if so where my pension be hiding???? ) Seriously  the best way I can surmise this blog is with a quote I had written on my social media account in January. “I’m SO grateful that I became some of the things I was. To truly realize who I AM.. who I am NOT. and who I can BECOME.” (LJF) Sometimes you have to go through it, in it, do it, see it, be it,  to realize that you do not want to be “it”.

*mlm fitness shakes & videos, I’m not going to go all into brand-name etc, because well I’m just not..I tend to over explain and I seriously do not want to lose you on some needless drivel

**I’m NOT  disrespecting ANYONE that does show before after pictures etc, it simply made me uncomfortable in a way that was not needed for ME.

I used to think I needed to work out harder, longer, eat less, eat more twigs, or jump on the latest fintess fad, gadget, parallel bar (have you seen these things??) to get rid of the extras that come with being a mom, getting older and just LIFE!!
  Im grateful that right now at this very moment~Im ok that stuff jiggles on my body (other than the twins up top). Ive fallen in love with myself again. (I do not mean this in the Kayne sense of thangs..I still have my humility :-)). I am ok with exercising like a “normal” person (whatever the hell that means??)  and I do not have to do 1000 burpees if I decide to eat a giant piece of cheesecake.
No, Im not saying I have gone to the other extreme of being completely unhealthy. Im saying I think I finally understand what it means to be moderate and good golly that is not an easy task for the “omg I want to be a superstar~master~athlete~director~of ablogistics” tomorrow because I liked  dance~fighting~aerobics more than I like your average aerobics” (I know no one uses the word aerobics, but my periodontist wrote “no aerobics until pain goes away” and I found that amusing because for my two years emerged in the fitness world that word was used for flashback 80s classes).
My brain does not automatically work in moderation mode. I have to conscious of my actions at all times because extreme (insert electric guitars) was my middle name. Extremely manic or extremely in bed dead. Its no way to live and I can do that to myself if I do not watch “it” ~ no don’t ask me what “it”is because I do not know.
  Healthy is truly a state of mind and it concerns a whole body connection. Ok. Im not dr Phil or Oz, but if I have learned anything its you simply can not enjoy what you are doing if you have to be obessed with the outcome of being perfect or having the perfect body or if “more” is never enough. (More money more “stuff”.) Less is usually more when it comes to a truly healthy, balanced lifestyle AND I DO NOT MEAN THAT IN THE CALORIC SENSE _ remember I just had a GIANT PIECE OF CHEESECAKE!

Be healthy. Find confidence. & shake what your momma gave ya!

I wrote this diatribe on my phone so forgive the typos…ill edit later.

We live in a world of polarizing extremes.   I recently got rid of a book I purchased a few years ago, titled ” So and So’s method to a flat stomach” I don’t know why I even purchased the book, lets just say it was an impulse buy during a massive outbreak of PMM- Pre-menstrual-mania. I’m sure I even purchased the book at some super cute Starbucks-BarnesNobility along with a frosted orange-cranberry -scone (my favorite treat , in case you were wondering what to bring me as a baked-good surprise.  )

I’m not immune to the strobe-light eye-bulging-pings of pictures of muscled up models , with their fashionably tousled,  frazzled hair and looks of  undeniable pain and beautiful desperation in their face with quotes such as “If you do not look like me while you are working out, then you should go eat that orange-cranberry -frosted scone while you sob in the corner for not pushing yourself this morning, you lazy , sad person”  Yes, I’m being facetious with my quote; however, unless you live in a hole, you have seen something of this sort somewhere in a magazine, in social media or at the nail salon while buffing up your nails.

I have been down the exercise-lunatic road-  secretly running at 3 am in Boston Massachusetts, ironically “hiding” my completely obvious obsessive compulsive-exercise disorder in the depth of the pre-Team Jacob  hour, praying that no-one would notice my mania.  I would- pretend I was “just taking out the trash” when I came back dripping wet, limping from overused tendons and shaking from hunger in my “running clothes.”  I have had to ceremoniously burn all my fitness fanatic magazines as a form of therapy to rid myself of the demons to have what I thought might have been the perfect figure because I imagined that punishing myself for eating would bring me peace, content and eternal happiness.

I really do not know many women (and some men) who struggle with their body size, image & food intake,  etc on a daily basis. Lest, here I am again , teaching fitness , joining a run club and blogging about what continues to creep into my mind , yes sometimes on a daily basis  Am I dancing with the flame that burnt me to the ground twenty years ago? Should I teach Dance as fitness? (which I came to the conclusion after a few classes that , no , this might not be my skill set , as Carlton Banks tried to sue me for stealing his patented moves)  I have also listed other questions that pop up in my mind and minds of others due to the insidious ADHD’ness of the fitness-fanatic posts..

“Am I working out enough? Am I eating too many carbs?  Am I eating enough carbs? Are carbs and grains really that bad for you?  Seriously now fruit has too much sugar in it??  Am I doing the right exercises? Should I be lifting weights more because strong is the new sexy which is the new skinny which, inevitably the people lifting still look pretty darn skinny so that’s just totally confusing and overwhelming? Should I try to lose 5lbs because someone asked me to be in their challenge group to “get fitter?”   STOP!!!

I want to inspire and motivate people to be and live a healthy lifestyle; yet not let it consume them in a negative self-centered, controlling manner.  I haven’t figured out the best means to carry out this message, but I am learning slowly that standing up for the us “middle-grounders” is a good place to start.  You can be healthy, run, exercise, walk, jog, crawl, teach, box, tae-bo, turbo, ski , jump, hop , bungy jump , swim, zumba, dance, frog jump, play red-light , green light or what have you  and ENJOY IT!  I guess I just feel like health& fitness on social media sends the message that inevitably frightens people the most that really need a reason and an authentic, stimulating catalyst to get up and start appreciating exercise as a part of their life that’s flippin’ fun! not agony!!!!

As I am trying to put into my own words, I’ll lean on the very media that sometime pushes the negative voices in ourselves to an advertisement that literally makes me want to cry because I’m so in love with the message.  I’m referring to the Special K advertisement currently on tv. (google it!).  In a nutshell it’s a variety of beautiful women, all different shapes and sizes, trying on “size-less’ jeans ,with words of inspiration as tag instead of “size x, y or z”.  This advertisement is such a breath of fresh air betwixt the other messages of “do or die to get to a size” .

The inspiration for this blog was my post on Facebook today “What do you think of the popular fitness/health Facebook post “Abs are made in the kitchen”.    Here is a quick summary on how I feel about this post:

  • Being healthy & exercise is more about how I feel than looks. Yes- I want to feel confident about myself- but quilting my way out of something enjoyable to have ripped-up abs- is just not my cup of Joe- Plus Cups of Joe should be starting in the kitchen..For me, it about feeling peaceful & healthy and intuition and moderation play and major role in my decision making when it comes to eating. I do not measure, count calories or weight myself.  (ok, occasionally I step on the scale, but I really try to avoid at all costs)  I am not saying that people who want to lose weight – should follow my protocol, I’m just saying that if I’m not listening to my body in terms of what I feel like I need to eat , and stop when I am full and I’m going by a calorie counter- I end up feeling deprived, restricted and angry.  
  • Please let it be noted, I’m not disrespecting anyone who uses these methods to stay healthy, I think that’s awesome! I’m a HUGE HUGE fan of weight watchers and my fitness pal.c om because it does encourage moderation and nothing is “off limits, I’m simply referring to how my brain works and hoping to inspire people to think about a variety of ways to be healthy, lose weight, gain muscle – etc!

In closing, Do not let your self worth be determined by number on a scale, jean size at  Jones, or a flat stomach flapping in magazine in front of you.    Ok, I wanted my blog to have more of a humorous slant, but for me this is a serious subject too because of the fact that anorexia and obesity are one of the same disease. They are eating disorders, and both should be treated as such. Do you know that when I was anorexic, my therapist made me go to Over-eaters Anonymous?  What the frack?  Well, what I realized is that OA, is not just about – overeating!, it’s about using food to control your emotions!!!  Therefore, my message to anyone that may be struggling with eating and health,  if you feel like you have a serious problem- there is help, and getting control of the emotional aspect of literally “what’s eating away at you”, is the first step in freeing yourself from emotions that bind you into using food/exercise (lack of /overuse) I will list a few hotlines, links below.  Thanks so much for reading! I hope i have inspired or helped at least one person to take the step for a health life , that is not driven by a jean size or a scale number.

http://www.oa.org/

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/

http://www.recoverymonth.gov/