Boog just came home and handed me my Mother’s Day gift. In tears. As he is apt to do, he got a little rambunctious on the walk home, tripped, and my traditional Mother’s Day flower pot broke into pieces. He was devastated.
I gave him a big hug and told him that I loved it and he did such a beautiful job on the painting. We’re going to fix it and find a new flower to plant in it.
Things that break due to an epic fuckup are still worthy of love. Don’t forget that.
In the last post where I blathered on about my food and exercise, I think I kind of made it seem like the skies opened and everything is calm, cool and happy and I am just going about my life. Truth be told, things aren’t as hunky dory as they seem.
Things have been way busy here. I’ve had a boatload of things to say but not a lotta time to throw up the words. First off, I got myself an amazing new job as a designer/creative for a small studio on the east side of Cleveland. It is absolutely fantastic and what is housed within the company’s walls is pretty amazing. Beautiful, high ceiling spaces and I have a 25″ monitor as a supplement to my 27″. There is a couch area where we all gather and discuss the complexities of logo design. My weirdness is embraced and I am encouraged to go over the top, as I am apt to do. This is, hands down, the best job of my entire career, and what I’ve been dying for all this time. There was a moment there where I thought I was just completely burnt out on the design thing, but in retrospect, this burnt-outedness really didn’t have anything to do with my chosen profession. I know now that part of it was due to just not having the right job. The rest of this burnt-outedness is due to a wad of complexities that I am slowly now unraveling.
So, if you recall, my last post was fueled by exhausted rage. In the last 3 months, I gave myself a lot of attention to figure out just WTF is going on. Extensive medical appointments proved everything was functioning normally, so I was thankful for that.
This is a post that I have needed to make for a while. It’s about high time I wrote it, because the level of rage I have is immense. So, if you’ll excuse me, I need to rage like a motherfucker.
Advance warning: I AM GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT MY UTERUS.
So if you are acclimated to the Fitness World and are on the internet, you’ve more than likely come across images like these. Images of fitness models with Random Inspirational Quote #45024214 where the intention is to get you to PUT DOWN THE CHEESECAKE, FOR FUCKS SAKE SO YOU CAN GET SOME AB DEF ALREADY.
And while I will recognize that these kind of images are inspirational for some, and just maybe they DO just give you a little pause before you devour that cheesecake. But, I also think that these kinds of images fabricate a fantasy world in which we all head to the gym with shorty shorts on and perfectly sculpted calves and hit the treadmill and watch our abs glisten with sweat. And, just maybe, there are people out there who will not do anything to better their health because they think the gyms are full of the type of people pictured above.
It’s a fantasy. It’s a fantasy that I think wrongly distracts us from the reality of ourselves and prevents us from truly appreciating the reality of ourselves. Turning a blind eye to all the awesomesauce we currently have in ourselves. You are still worthy even if you’re carrying an extra 10/20/30/50 pounds, or if you jiggle when you deadlift, or look like an Italian sausage if you put on shorty shorts.
I am that last one, btw. Pass the onions and peppers.
This is what I want: I want to create a gallery full of *~inspirational images~* full of us regular folks. I definitely do not look *~hot~* (I love doing *~this~* to words. Its so *~MySpace~*) when I head to the gym. When I leave, I’m sweaty, full of chalk, and my hair is sticking up. I could possibly also be stinky. I want to create a resource of wonderful, truthful photos picturing people of all shapes and sizes celebrating their own selves and bettering their health. You never know – that person sitting on the bench next to you could very well be battling some inner demons that are telling her (or him) that they are not good enough because the fantasy lady (or dude) in the photo keeps telling them they’re Not Quite Right.
This is what I’d love for you to do:
Take a picture of yourself at your gym. Or outside, whatever. Doing what you do – whether its lifting, or running, or walking, or Crossfit, or Hungarian Toe Sloth Hot Yoga. The pose is up to you, but full body is preferred. There is no hiding here, there is no shame. Flaunt what you got.
Include your own *~inspirational quote~* if you so choose. It could be deep. It could be real. It could be something you’ve learned on your own journey on this here Earth. It could be some thing like “I pee when I OHP”. Whatever.
Put that quote on your image with your photo editor of choice. Here is one available online. You could feasibly get all blingee on me, but I do not want you to block your body. If you really want a quote on your photo and have trouble doing so – send it to me with the quote and I will do it for you. Trust me, I’m a designer.
Credit where credit is due. Tell me who you are and where you’re from.
Pack that shizz up and send it to me in an email. I will collect them all and start our own regular peeps *~inspirational gallery~* that we can consult often when we come across the feeling of Not Good Enough. Because that Not Good Enough feeling is crap, no matter who or what you are.
Both Dudes and Chicks apply here, btw. Oh, and you really buff people? You bring it on, too. I will honor all body fat percentages.
Spread the word. Share this post wherever you can. I want many images of all kinds of people. I think this could turn into an amazing project full of things that we really need – most importantly, appreciation for ourselves.
Fantasy is great sometimes. It can help with creativity and expand your horizons. But to stay submerged in a fantasy world 24/7 can lead to a deteriorated appreciation for what you have right now. That is what is truly important.
I look forward to your photos.
- hold myself accountable for my actions and my words.
- find something i am good at.
- discover my calling.
- make adventures.
- cultivate friendship.
- find peace.
May 2013 allow you to look back and be amazed at how far you’ve come.
We have an inordinate amount of boxes filled with Christmas tree ornaments, as I am sure many of you do. We have a handful of ones that have special meaning to us, of course – either ones that have been handed down to us through the generations, or ones commemorating special events. But the rest is just crap – meaningless filler purchased over the years to fill up space.
I don’t like crap too much.
So we decided to make our tree a bit more meaningful and uniquely us. In case you missed the memo, we’re very much outdoorsy people. Most, if not all, of our vacations are spent in tents. This is us. D and I took a lovely hike through the pine forest a few weeks ago and collected pinecones and acorns to serve as the base of our decorations. We then spent an evening with Boog coating them in glitter and paint. Shut up, glitter totally occurs in nature.
Our church is having an experimental service on Saturday nights throughout August. We decided to attend last night instead of the usual Sunday morning and now I am feeling strangely Catholic.
But I would like to tell you about the Homily. Mind you, this is my own recount and it might not be verbatim. It ended with a guitar riff, pyrotechnics, and the priest moonwalking back to his seat, although D said he didn’t recall that part happening.
At the Homily, the priest talked about diet. We are told what to eat by various authorities – our doctors, nutritionists, yadda yadda. We make choices and consume things for various purposes – losing weight, getting healthier, getting stronger.
He then pointed out that we also have a Christian diet. We are instructed to practice various things by our holy authorities. We make our choices and beliefs by these instructions, and our own personal reasoning. We choose what to consume as a Christian.
However, he pointed out, that there’s a lot of fear going on today and the instructions for both are reflecting that. Eat X because Y will kill you. Eat A because B will make you fat. Believe 1 because 2 is something scary. This is truth because Authority Told You So. Be Afraid. If you don’t, the consequences are disastrous.
He told us it was necessary to really take a look at what we are consuming, believing, and doing as Christians and really consider why we’re consuming, believing, and doing those things.
It never ceases to amaze me how, when, and where these Messages From the Universe come to me.
Do you practice your beliefs because it is good and right and it makes you – and those around you – feel good, or is it out of some kind of fear of the alternative?
Are you suffering because Some Authority told you this is what you have to do in order to be a Good [insert Noun here]?
^^^^^ There are so many labels you can put at the end of that sentence.
Christian. Atheist. Person. Athlete. Skinny Person. Vegetarian. Paleo. $Label.
Are you killing yourself trying to get skinny because you’re afraid of being fat?
Are you dealing with the pain because They said if you don’t, you’re a pussy?
Consider this all today. Take a look at what you are feeding your body and soul and really think about why you’re doing that. Are you making the choices to be – and do – good because you want to be and do good? Or, are you consuming dogma out of fear of other things?
Do things and be things and consume things for the right reasons in every aspect of your life. Fear is not a very good reason.
Actually, no. I’m going to be honest here. At first, I was like, yes. This is awesome. Up your butt, Victoria’s Secret, with your waffer-thin models dictating what is supposed to be attractive. REAL women do not look like that. And I sat there all smug and validated and feeling good about me and my life for approximately 7 minutes, when my sense of objectivity bitchslapped the hell out of my need to be validated and grabbed the cranial wheel.
This image really ain’t right.
Yes, I’m going on and on and on about this program. Deal. I cannot tell you just how life changing this program was for me. In fact, the ‘getting ripped’ part of it? I consider that the side effect. I will sing this program’s praises until my lungs collapse and shrivel up into raisins from the lack of oxygen. And then I will keep singing and look like an idiot because hi, no oxygen.
Anyway. One of the mens finalists, Peter, is doing something awesome. He’s offering up a scholarship that covers the cost of the full year’s program. Everyone, regardless of financial situation, deserves an opportunity to experience something like this. I am sitting here, right now, thanking all the powers that be that I am finally free of pretty much everything that was dragging me down mentally and physically. And yes, this freedom was because of LE. LE helped me conquer some really deep shit in my head that I have failed to conquer my entire life.
At risk of divulging too much of my own personal financial situation, I fell unto some *rough* economic times during the program. I sacrificed a lot to stay in it. If I didn’t have D backing me up I probably would not have made it. I am currently sitting on the aftereffects of some of those sacrifices. I don’t pull this kind of stuff, ever. THAT’s how much this program meant to me. To have someone out there offering something like this to me would have been an absolute blessing.
Herein lies the link:
If you are considering the program, but are worried about the money, please do sign up. You deserve it. If you are rolling in cash and know me and realize just how much this has meant to me and think to yourself, “hey, if batty received SO MUCH from this program, it must be pretty awesome,” please consider donating to Peter’s scholarship fund.
Well, shit howdy, check me out:
(I’m #8, btw.)
As I’ve been told, 450 women were enrolled in LE for this round. 450, and narrowed down to 20 finalists, and there my ass is smack dab in the middle.
Those other women aren’t competition, though – 10 of them were on my team and will forever be labeled as ‘sisters’. Others have become friends. All of them, even those not listed, have amazing stories to tell and I have nothing but mad respect and love for who they are and where they’ve been. Because – and I will tell you this over and over and over again until my last dying breath – those outsides cannot have lasting changes applied to them if the insides are not in check.
Our team was named the Cynergistas, named after our fearless leader, Cynthia, who was a past winner herself. She coached, and supported, and guided, held our hands when shit got difficult, and cheered us when we were able to go on our own. God, I love that woman.
We had shirts made. I might have had a hand in making them. Heh.
Same goes for the dudes. A lot of fine, solid men on that finalist list.
I told maybe all of 5 people I was doing this program. I didn’t tell more because I was afraid I’d fail. What’s funny is that failure is no longer a catastrophic demonstration of incompetence for me – failure is how I learn. Failure is how I grow. Failing is great because I get smarter and wiser and leaner and faster and stronger.
I know there’s a lot of you out there who have been following me and my epic body transformation journey since the post pregnancy days. I know you know just how much effort and energy I’ve put into all of this. What makes me awesome *now* is that I get it. I get it all. I get that there are some things you cannot get in some mindless attempt to go on cruise control for the rest of your life. I get that there are things you just can’t *get*. Your life is a journey, not a path to a destination – there is no ‘there’. Its a series of failure and experimentation and success and experience.
Anyway. I am proud and honored to be one of those 20 women. I’m in amazing company.
So. Freakin’. Proud.
“You know, they have things to prevent weeds and stuff.”
But, I do not want things in my garden. Putting things in my garden is, like, the equivalent of having a kid and then sending them off to a nanny to be raised. What’s the point in having it if you’re not going to do anything with it yourself?
Plus, everything tastes better if you have a hand in growing it. That includes kids.
My gardens are my zen moments. I go there to recharge and recenter, or to process the noisy in my head. Bad day? I hit the garden to weed. I peek out the window every morning – just after firing up the coffee pot, of course – and just observe. Like a black cherry tomato is going to bust a move right in front of my eyes or something. Between my efforts and what we get from Bay Branch Farm, we benefit from some pretty good eats for a majority of the year. My garden isn’t a novelty, it’s a necessity. It is my responsibility.
Yesterday was D’s birthday. I cooked for him. Well, I always cook for him but I made it extra special last night IF YA KNOW WHAT I’M SAYIN’. He remarked on how I have changed his palate – that he now can appreciate the intricate complexities of avocado used in a cheesecake because it’s not drowning in several cups of refined sugar.
Our food is a necessity. It’s our responsibility. It should not be an afterthought. It brings us joy and love and strength and life and the will to live. This stuff is golden.
You cannot forge quality relationships from a base of corn syrup solids.
So I have not blathered on at length about fitness and/or nutrition on this hear blawrg for quite some time. If I recall, it’s been way over a year.
There’s a reason for that. I f@#%@)^ed up, big time.
If YOU recall, and God bless you if you do because you’ve been THAT interested in my life as to keep track of such things – that flatters me. Anyway, the last thing I admitted to publicly doing was Paleo. Primal. Whatever. About 2 years ago. (Holy shit, 2 stinkin’ years?) And, shortly discovering the message of P/P, I ended up looking like this:
Not too bad, eh? Well. Then Stuff happened. My BGOD wasn’t looking as enticing anymore. I got tired. I got tired a lot. Many things required effort. I could not hear a lot of what was going on around me over the sound of my own self righteousness.
A mere 3 months (no, NOT an exaggeration in the slightest) after the above photo was taken, the below photo happened.
Whoa there, homeslyce. WTF happened? Truth be told….*I* happened.