Timehop is Tough

So I am sure most of you have heard of Timehop. It is an app that lets you look back at your social media history for the last few years and relive the past. It is a fun tool most of the time. It lets you relive fun things that may have slipped your mind. Little moments of joy, peeks into the biggest joys of your life, or successes, also lets you know if you are straying from your ultimate goals.
With most “time travel” things it does pose that risk, bringing you back to bad memories. I’ve relived deaths in the family, loss of friends, memories that are tender. Right now I am batting through what ended up being the last month of employment with the job that led my healthy lifestyle so far off the rails I cannot even begin to describe it. Aside from the weight gain I incurred with that job, despite trying things like changing gyms, and different food plans I was the worst on my mental health.
I am watching little flashes that I let be public on social media, that didn’t nearly display the horrible state that I was truly in. Yesterdays timehop showed me a post about Mark. Mark was the man who passed away as I started my job. A friend. A friend whose job I stepped into, I got the job because he was at death’s door with lung cancer. He drank, and did pills to numb both the pain of the cancer, but also the pain of the job. He told me not to become a lifer in the job. I still hear his words in my mind, I remember my last visit with him before he passed as I sat with him and his daughter sharing laughter and wisdom, kindness and fear.
I am so thankful that I am not where I was a year ago, but I am sad for that part of me, the part of me that allowed myself to be made a victim by my employer. Treated poorly, by being disrespected, not trusted to do my job when I did it better than anyone that had been in the position before me.
I look at timehop and see the epic meltdown backbuilding. I feel the anxiety in myself… I right now in present day feel it. I shouldn’t feel it… but I feel it with a bit of laughter, along with all the fear and stress. When I left that job I did have a backup plan. It wasn’t a fool-proof plan… and it was a plan that too would fail… The failures have led me however to a place where I feel that I am finally happy.
I should be able to let go of that pain at this point.
I feel almost as if I am dealing with some sort of abuse syndrome, because I can’t let go. Part of it is probably because my husband still works there.
My husband makes it a point not to involve me in the politics of the office, but does pass along to me that I am missed by my coworkers. I have in fact received countless texts and calls, even now approaching a year later I still receive texts and calls asking me to please come back and ask for my job back. As if I was fired and did not leave on my own accord. I often think, if they had paid me more would I have stayed… and the truth of the matter becomes, the way I had been treated, or perceived being treated could not have been outweighed by even a doubling in my salary.
Has my mental health recovered at this point? …I fear it has only partially recovered. I worry often about my employment status at my current job. I was finally brought on full-time in December, so I am no longer a temp with the company which means stability for myself. I work with a great team of people, and company with values and a mission that match my own. The fact that I have the ability to effect lives and help people, even if I can’t directly do it, means the world to me. It takes more than one person to do it, and a team can effect change. I do still worry about those I left behind at my former job, when I get texts complaining about *whatever it is* be it the working condition of a vehicle, the hours, the attitudes etc I simply say perhaps it is time to move on.
We all have to reach our tipping point on our own.
unfortunately I can see that I reached that tipping point, the boat flipped, and I climbed back on to try to save everyone… and that was just simply the wrong thing to do. You can’t save everyone Kris, especially when you yourself are so lost. My heart hurts for the old me… but is open for the opportunities in front of me.
I am on Day 12 of eating right and tracking my food. It is nowhere near the years of tracking I had as a streak before but every record starts with two in row and I need to start somewhere. So here I am… water, coffee, yogurt and my iPad finding a voice in the darkness as the clouds start to clear.

Big Dreams for 33, and Food For Thought.

33… Yep, a double digit birthday. I am choosing to look at this birthday that has just come to pass as the birth of a positive year.  There are a lot of traditions and stigma about the number 33.  I believe (but am not sure so don’t quote me on it) that it is the Chinese that believe the number 33 and women are a bad mix.  There is some superstition about buying meat and chopping it?  What a waste if you aren’t going to eat it in my mind.

I am looking at 33 as holding extra possibilities for positive things to come my way this year.  33 when separated forms two prime numbers.  Two positive prime numbers.  I am welcoming the positive things into my life.  I spent my birthday setting a positive intention for myself, and for the future of others.  It can’t hurt right?

Thank you so much to everyone that wished me well for my birthday! It meant a lot to me that so many people from all over the world took a moment from their day to think of me and wish me well.  It lifted my spirits so high.  Thank you.

So I had planned on no cake for my birthday this year… and I mostly made it… mostly.  But the #JustTrollin side of me says it is time to fess up.  There was lots of cake… Sunday I made cake balls… actually Saturday and Sunday I made cake balls, but not for myself.  I made cake balls for a baby shower, and it was so much fun.  I sampled a bite of one.  That was enough.  There was also a very small Carvel ice cream cake that made its way into my house on Sunday night.  It was the smallest ice cream cake I have ever seen.  I only ever eat the vanilla ice cream off of those cakes so it was in the end a very successful birthday when it comes to food consumption.

I am working on putting together a training plan for myself this week.  With my epic sunburn still healing and my cold still in partial swing I have been a slacker at the gym.  I have been yelling at myself for not going already this week. Tonight I went to a new pool! Not a new gym… a new pool!

Bloomington PoolI confess… I love to swim… however I do not think that I have been swimming outside, since I was probably 16 or 17 years old.  Yep, I’ll wait while you do the math… yes, that would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 16 years of indoor only swimming.

Today I was brave.  I joined my friends Maria and Jean (and Jean’s son, my favorite little boy in the whole wide world Dexter) and went swimming after work!

imageI couldn’t get over how different it felt to be in the water outside in the sunshine.  Obviously I am a summer baby.  Mom tells me stories of how I could swim before I could walk… and how she spent the Fourth of July on a boat on the lake in a bikini because it was too hot for anything else and she just didn’t care what it looked like she was pregnant and uncomfortable.

I felt comfortable at the pool in my suit with my friends.  I jogged and bounced around in the water.  I swam around.  I soaked up some rays, carefully sunscreened 30 mins prior to going out in the sun this time.  I don’t need anymore nasty burns like the one I am still dealing with.

I can’t honestly wait to go back to the pool again.  I think this may have to become a supplement to my summer activity, and it might just be what I have been looking for to change up my summer routine.

Do you have a favorite activity that is different indoors than outdoors?  I know running has to be very different inside than outside, but I never thought swimming was all that different depending on the pools location.  This has been some great food for thought for me.

Crying During Bootcamp

So Monday morning I went to my very first Water Bootcamp. Many of you know that I have been a HUGE advocate of water aerobics for years. It dawned on me as I introduced myself to the other ladies of the morning class that I have been doing aquatic fitness classes for over 20 years now. I am so glad that I went Monday morning before work… little did I know I would end up crying during bootcamp.
October of this past year Margaret V. passed away. She was my water aerobics instructor here. She was an amazing woman. Thanks to my crazy schedule I hadn’t been to many of her classes in recent years, but she still managed to keep in touch with me. Word of her cancer, and her quick passing hit me, but not as hard as it should have. I wasn’t able to attend her memorial, but I have a book that sits on my bookshelf from her. So thats all good right? I moved on? I still think I will run into her at the store, I still think I am going to hear her laughter somewhere.
As the workout wound down memories started to fill my mind. I thought about her smile, and the sparkle in her eyes. I thought about her sassy attitude, and how welcoming she was. I thought about how she introduced me to her daughter because she was inspired by my dedication to my 5k’s. I thought about how sad I was that I had fallen off my path, not that I had given up, but that I had veered from what I loved. I thought about Margaret, and Buzz and how we would all yell hello as he walked past the pool. I thought about how she would talk about Chelsea and her grand-babies.
The tears pushed toward my eyes and I started to feel… I was feeling things I hadn’t really let myself feel before. I have taken a few water aerobics classes since Margaret’s passing, but nothing had connected quite like this class did. I am unsure why this class was different but it was. I can’t wait to go back, it will be my Monday, Wednesday, Friday tradition before work. I guess it will be my way of honoring my old Monday Wednesday tradition with Margaret while getting back into honoring myself.

Walk For the Cure

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Look at all those people. Is there some sort of concert about to go on at Mall of America? Some sort of movie star or book signing? Nope! This photo was taken yesterday Feb 22, 2014 at Mall of America during the Walk to Cure Diabetes. Friday night Jen mentioned she was heading to MOA for the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes on Saturday my heart was elated to know someone walking. Many years ago my brother Rich was diagnosed as Type1 diabetic. This is the kind that you can’t fix with eating right and exercise. This is the “childhood” type, the kind where your body breaks down. (Notice a trend here with my family… our bodies fail) His pancreas crapped out and he has been on insulin since I was in middle school.
When he was diagnosed, I became a fundraising machine, I dont remeber if my first year was the inagural year for the walk, when it was actually called “the walk for the cure” or if it was the following year, but I was involved for several years. Since the JDRF is based out of the Philadelphia area it was only logical that I go to the luncheons, find out the tips and tricks for asking how to raise money and be involved with a charity that hit so close to home. I was a kid, truly I was about 12 years old and I rallied a team, wrote letters, even did the walk… which was LONG!!! Several miles if I remember, which means the “first 5k I did” with Charities Challenge and the #f2fpack was not my first, it was just another supressed memory. However I don’t think doing stuff as a kid really counts anyway. 🙂 As I got older, it because easier to write a check, or drop my spare change in a bin than do the work to walk or raise funds for something.

So all that being said, yesterday I joined Jen and her coworkers at MoA and did the Walk to Cure diabetes. It was SO heartwarming and SO energizing to see 20,000 people there raising awareness hopeful to find a cure for diabetes. Young people, old people, moms, dads, mascots marching bands, it was a-freakin-mazing!!! I have NEVER seen anything like this. The walk I remember was nothing like this, and I don’t know if it has changed now that it has been 22 years (I can only imagine it has!)! This was amazing, truly heart warming. I texted my brother a few photos from the mall, and got a little choked up at one point as I was aout to leave, thinking about how many people want a cure, and how many things out there NEED cures, Cancer, Lupus, Alzheimers, MS, and I got a little overwhelmed. Can’t do it all, but I can do a little bit and every bit helps. Maybe I need to work on being a bit more active in the community again…

So that’s how my Saturday started out… finding 20,000 people to be thankful for… Honoring my brother by walking, and honoring myself with a walk around the mall, inside where it is warm and safe away from the bitter cold and ice. What did you do this weekend?

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8 Years.

*looks around*

Time sure does fly. It is strange to be in the pilots seat of ones own life. Whether we believe that we each control our lives or not destiny or chance, choice, free will it’s not up for debate here. I am in the pilots seat of my life.

Scary.

This weekend marks 8 years since I moved here. Eight years of struggle to find my way into the drivers seat, trying to steer this thing called life onto the road I want it on. I suppose as long as I am heading somewhat in the direction I want to go I am ahead of the game… Right? Keep it between the navigational beacons as it were.

I look upon this weekend as a celebration of how much my life has changed since I moved here. A way to rekindle my life, the fire of passion I had for my relationships, the budding start of a new life. The world of unknown. I am actually working on branching out into a new life. Looking for new opportunity to test my limits, find my strengths and see what is out there for me. I long for a change.

I will find it… I found a home here, I stumbled into the drivers seat, managed to right the out of control car I was in and it has only just begun!
Look out world because maybe just maybe the next 8 will bring me somewhere even more crazy!

Looking Back, a curse as a blessing.

It’s no surprise that I was a fat kid. I was to my recollection for almost my entire childhood the biggest kid in the class, almost the whole school! There was one other girl who was heavy in my grade, and we were not friends, in fact I think we kinda hated each-other. She had nicer clothes than me, parents had more money, etc etc. I was the forever awkward one. The but of all jokes. Unfortunately there was no place in my life where I wasn’t the target of teasing.
My dad grew up in a family where that kind of behavior was ok. My dad grew up living above a bar that his parents owned. 😦 Alcohol is toxic, I am not going to preach about it. I am not here to judge, I have a drink on occasion however what it can breed is awful. He was bullied because of his weight, he lost quite a bit of weight as he got older as a result, he says, of that torture. Since that was the only way dad knew how to interact with people, it trickled down to be his way to motivate me. I had no “safe space” to retreat to. I begged and pleaded with my mom to get my dad to stop the teasing. My brother, who also had a weight problem would get to jump in on the fat bashing bandwagon. (In the #Fitbloggin community this week someone mentioned the old SpecialK ads with “Pinch an Inch” and that bring back a flood of pain like I never remembered)
My school had no “anti bullying” policy when I was there. They have one now, I have been told it was my ending up in treatment after trying to take my own life (for many reasons) along with the Columbine incident, which happened right about the same time, that in part spurred the “zero tolerance” stance on bullying.
Even when I was around other teens that were overweight I wasn’t really able to make friends. When I was about 11 I started (read: was forced) Weight Watchers, it was a 45 minute drive to the meeting every week, and I would weigh in, sit in the corner, then leave. It was miserable. I was miserable.
I could never really figure out WHY I was the object of such ridicule in school. I didn’t really have many people I would call “friends” during middle or high school. Just because you know someone, or see them on occasion, or hang out from time to time really doesn’t make them your friend. I had a few people that I was close with during school… My “best friend” moved away in second grade and I was never really the same. Her name was Trista and from what I can recall, and what I am told, I wasn’t quite the same after that. I remember writing her letters for a while, but it is hard for a second grader to keep a long distance friendship alive.
I wasn’t good at making friends, and due to the fact that it was such a small town I think it was a case of once one person decided you weren’t liked you were S.O.L. I was the one that was the “do I have to invite them” person, last one picked odd man out, and you know what that is ok.
When I went off on my own I found my own voice, away from the, what I have come to think of as closed minded people that I was around for so long. I had certain responsibilities that I needed to fill when I was younger. I had things that were important and thats okay, but the stigma of being the overweight kid in bifocals, by first grade is a hard one to shake… and it only got worse as I got older.
I hear from friends now, whom I forged friendships with via a virtual medium (voice chat on Xbox Live, mIRC, LiveJournal etc.) and now interact with in the real world, that they cannot believe how amazing I am. (Not to toot my own horn… ok a lil toot toot!) How I can bring out laughter in peoples hearts, smiles from the darkest spaces, make people who felt so alone so welcome so loved and just plain valued because you know what they are! When I am told that I make someone feel special because I remember something about them, or I spent a bit of time with them, it wasn’t because I felt sorry for them, it is because they are. I don’t know if it is a “gift” that I can see the value in people, see potential where others see too much of a challenge, but I adore it. I now know that I can light up any room, (she can turn the world on with her smile) give me a chance and I will show you what I can do. I never got that chance when I was younger, I lived in a shell. Hidden, beaten down, unable to break free to let my heart and soul be as big as they needed to be, and perhaps that is part of why I got so big, I was trying to keep too much in. (yes there are other medical reasons but lets be honest here… cupcakes, cheese and bacon are delish!)
I want to be the one to say that the relentless agonizing teasing stops someday, and if you surround yourself with the right people it does… but inside your own head does it ever stop? Do you ever stop hearing those voices telling you that you are too fat or that you are going to fail or that you aren’t good enough for *whatever*? I live to be a cheerleader, perhaps it is as simple as that, because I spent so much of my life feeling like not a single person in the world was on my side that I NEED to be in the corner fighting on the good guys side. I am the underdog story. Perhaps the reason I never had “friends” was to prepare me for a lifetime of bringing people out of their shells, the underdogs, the people who are afraid to use their voices. Maybe just maybe someday I’ll help someone write their underdog story. From fearful to fearless because you know what… lots of things scare me in life… but as I’ve said so many times in the last few years… you have to jump before you soar and right now… I’m flying baby!

A Moment for Healing

Friday nights, quite possibly the single best night of the week for me now.  The end to a 50-plus hour work week, the prospect of 2 glorious days without an alarm clock to go to work. As bad as a Friday at work can be, it can be over when I shut the door to the office look up and the sky take a deep breath and walk to my car.

This past Friday was a shining example to me of a life I never thought I would have.  After work I headed off to the store to scoop up things for a dinner party, but not a party at my house… not yet. We were celebrating change in the life of a woman dear to me.  A very close friend had just finished a grueling course schedule, along with a super demanding job, and is getting ready to move! Talk about a reason to party.  I loaded the car with all kinds of stuff, chicken, cake, tons of veggies, booze, flowers, and hit the road windows down!

I sang and danced in my car in traffic, yes I am THAT person.  I sang loudly, I laughed at the people getting angry as people did the zipper merge, I felt the sun on my skin through the open windows.  Life was good.  I pulled up to Manda’s place with the radio cranked up singing.  We laughed at the amount of stuff piled in my car… Kelly was there, she helped by steadying the shopping cart as we loaded it full of stuff… As I parked my car I smiled, this is my life.  Friends.  As we unloaded the stuff and I situated things around the place, I got a call wanting to know if I was still going to need help… friends… people who help when you are in need… My heart was heavy, one of my very best friends was too ill too attend.  I respect her need to be home, I was happy to have shared a chat on the phone with her earlier in the night.  I busied myself in the kitchen, everyone was hungry.  We were going to eat in stages on this night.  Diving into food it was so funny to watch everyone laugh and chat and come together as a group.

We are all so different, from all over the country really, some native to MN, some have been here since they were kids, brought here from the west coast others landed here from the east coast.  All different strengths and weaknesses, so different yet so much the same.  We all walk the same path, we all struggle, and lift one another up in our time of need.  This is family, friendship, love, and strength.  This is what community is about.  When they say it takes a village to raise a child… this is what they are speaking of.

I watched Sean dance with a young girl, Manda give horsey rides, and I watched newer friends meet older friends.  I did what fills me with so much fulfillment, and cooked with love for my family.  Served up with love!  I think it made Manda a bit uncomfortable that I was serving people but it is what I do!  Advice, discussions, silliness, and sincerity continued late into the night.  I hated to leave at the end of the night.

I was the last one to leave.  I lingered in the parking lot talking to Manda long after everyone left.  I didn’t want the night to end. There was a time when my weekend nights involved sitting home playing xbox live… those people were my friends.  They knew I laughed loudly, and flirted outrageously, and had a big personality… and a heart to match. They didn’t have to see me, I never had to see them… I was protected, I was safe.

I don’t have to live that way anymore, I shouldn’t have had to feel like that was the only way to live before.  I am so blessed to have so many freakin amazing people in my life right now, and I know I would never have found them without going through all of the crap that I did.  I am so thankful for each and every friend I have, I wish there was some way for me to show, or tell those in my life ow much they mean to me, but there isn’t. There are no words to tell those that you love, you changed my life, gave me hope and make me a better person to the degree that my friends have made me.

My friends are my family, and I would lay down my life for them.  I never thought I would find so many people that I could love like this, but I wouldn’t trade them in for all the money in the world.  This is who I am… I do not recognize myself, my heart is healing from the hurt and I am finding that I am okay with that.