Why I …

Why I… Was in a relationship with a man who was 18 years older than me, had an abortion, and forgave a man that was physically abusive.

I figured that it would be easier to combine these 3 scenarios all into one post seeing as they are all connected in a way. And they are all important events of my life- part of my story.

I joined the Army when I was a senior in high school.  And while I was only 17 and my parents had to sign forms also in order for me to join, I felt like I was such an adult.  After I attended basic training and AIT and came back to get situated with unit, I met someone. A man. I was now 18 years old and let’s fast forward a few months.  This man wasn’t some rich older man. He was real, average, and gave ,e the attention that I thought I needed.  As a young adult who had never really had a real relationship, aside from one in AIT, that ended all too soon, I think somewhere in my subconscious I felt that at my age I should have more experience and should be in a relationship.  So I pushed for this one.  Being in the military – when in your unit, it didn’t really matter our ages.  We were all different ranks but we were a team nonetheless.  We were given tasks and we worked together to tackle them.  So this 36-year-old man who was showing me attention didn’t feel like I was doing something wrong… Especially since it started out as a friendship.  We never really disclosed our ages.  I mean, I knew that he was aware that I was young and fresh out of high school and at 18, everyone older than me was old anyway.  He was experienced in the military and sort of knew the ins and outs and ways to get away with things and that worked to my benefit.  It all sort of started out innocent.  Group get togethers with a bunch of us and then it slowly worked its way into one on one time,  When I moved out to UCONN for school, he was the one who helped drive me around to get last-minute stuff or let me use his car to run errands.  I slowly allowed him to consume my life. He was older, had a car, 2 jobs, his own place and he “liked” me.  The whole “relationship was all nice and simple for such a short time.  Pretty much everyone around mew armed me and told what a bad idea it was to be involved with him in the way that I was.  But I was stubborn, hard headed, and immature so I paid them no mind.  I lost my virginity to him (insert abortion story- I’ll get to that in a moment) and then the downward spiral began.  I began even more attached, unhealthily dependent and needy towards him.  His past was consistently inserted itself into my life and causing drama in ways you could never imagine.  I became fed up… I would get the sense to leave, and then he would reel me back in with tears and false promises.  Typical young girl falling for it all.

Shortly after I lost my virginity, the abuse crept its way in.  Everything from this moment on was fast, like   awhirlwind- so much happenign in such a shirt amount of time.  In the moment it felt like an eternity- like an nevr ending nightmare. It began with typical fights that would end with slight pushing and angry words.  And then it increased to full-out hitting, hair pulling, scratching- things you couldn’t even imagine and things I would never wish in my worst enemy( one time so bad involving a wire hanger resulting in an emergency trip to the gynecologist at the college health center)  It became a more frequent activity and more out in the open.  Even happened once in a tent while on Annual Training in Ft. Polk, Louisiana, while people were right outside the tent.  I kept most of it to myself. I think mainly because I knew it was wrong and I knew I deserved better and more.  But I never left. Why? I wish I had an answer for you but honestly, I have no idea.  There were threats from exes, cheating, drugs, the abuse.  None of it was enough for me to just get up and leave.  There was something about being with this man who was like an addiction to me and I just couldn’t shake it. Even on the worst days, I craved him, longed for his presence, just needed him.

I mentioned losing my virginity to him.  I have heard that there is something about the person that you lose your virginity to, that creates some “bond”- but I don’t know if that is what kept me there.  But here I was- suddenly no longer a virgin and then finding out I was pregnant. Thinking back, I don’t remember what his response was when I told him I was pregnant.  I remember feeling so sick and just not knowing what the heck I was going to do. I do remember sitting in his apartment alone with a list of things I would need to take care of and get if I kept this baby.  I remember writing on the list that I would need to leave him and do this on my own. We were not even at the worst parts of our relationship, but I knew leaving would be better than staying.   I had already given up so much to stay with him- friendships, experiences, self worthiness…  I know that I toyed with both keeping the baby and having an abortion for a few weeks. I made a few phone calls and then finally just set up the appointment for an abortion. I am so afraid of anesthesia I asked for just local anesthetic so I would be awake for the actual procedure. I also remember having to ask my best friend, who is COMPLETELY pro-life and against abortions to help me pay for it. I didn’t have near enough money saved and well, my boyfriend- at this point, I have no idea where his money was going.  Now my friend helped me out and on Valentine’s Day 2002, I walked into Summit Women’s Medical center with my boyfriend and proceeded with  the abortion.  No need for details as it was not a pleasant experience and I don’t think most people would want To read about it anyway.  I remember sitting up immediately after and being given saltines and water.  I cried quietly and the nurse asked me, are you crying because of physical pain or emotional pain.  I wonder if I ever answered her. I had to wait for him to come and pick me up, but he wasn’t too long.  He took me to McDonald’s and then dropped me off at his apartment as he went out.  Months went by with the same patterns of abuse and then I found myself pregnant, yet again. This time with Madison. Where was my “boyfriend” at this point?  I am not quite sure.  I know that he had lost his job, gotten discharged early from the military due to a positive tox screen, and was nowhere to be found.

Fast forward to where I am now- I am not angry with him. I do not harbor any ill feelings towards him. I have found it within myself to forgive him for the pain(both physical, and mental). I feel good that that’s where I am now- I feel that it is right.

Now that I have given you most of the backstory  — let me see if I can answer some questions I know are out there.

Why would I possibly want to be with someone so much older than you?  Good question – I ask myself this often.  I’m not sure- I used to think that the circumstances were weird because we met in the military , but now, over 15 years later I think it has more to do with the fact that I was immature.  And then – I think it also had to do with his maturity level as well.  I was an inexperienced, naive 18 year old and truly had nothing to give towards the relationship.  Maybe he was a bit manipulative and that is sort of what drew him towards me- maybe he thought that he could turn me into what he “wanted” – but the way things panned out between us- the world will never know.  I don’t know exactly what was going through my mind during that year and a half.  I sometimes look back and reflect on that time and regret the time I wasted- the time I should have been living and I was stuck in a standstill. But you know what- in this new journey- looking back and living with regrets isn’t going to help in my progress. I aim to just be grateful for the good times that existed between the bad, that my time with him allowed me tap into some inner strength I didn’t know exist, and the fact that without him, there would be no Madison.

 

Why would you, how could you forgive him for the abuse?  This is also a difficult one to answer.  There are so many variables to why I have forgiven him.  First let me tell you- he came with a lot of baggage and with that baggage a lot of people hurt me.  His ex girlfriend and mother of one of his children was the person who called my mother and told her of my abortion. This same person contacted my father and told him intimate details of my relationship with him.  She helped him try to make me out to be a horrible and neglectful parent in the court systems resulting in endless court dates and parenting classes. But about 9 years ago – I realized that I was holding on to some pretty hurtful feelings towards her.  I was a bit more religious back then, and took it to the alter and gave it to God.  It wasn’t for me to handle.  I couldn’t change her or the things she had done- I could only move forward.  I actually consider the two of us as friends now.  And I realized at the same time that if she was worthy of this forgiveness than he most certainly was too.  Second, those closest to me know that he is extremely sick now and I think many think that I forgave him because I out all the blame on his illness and feel that this is what caused him to do the things he did. NOT TRUE!  I hold him accountable for every hit, shove, thrown item, the hair pulling, all of it.  I remember each one vividly and I won’t ever forget.  But being angry- only hurts me and those that are there for me now.  When I am living with hatred towards him, I start making other people pay for the mistakes that he made. I also didn’t always act my bestand wouldn’t want to consistently be judged for that either. Because of his illness, he doesn’t always remember much- or even me at times, and that breaks my heart.  I don’t see him much and when I do – I always wish that I could tell him that I forgive him, but I know that it won’t mean anything to him. at lot from that time period is trapped somewhere in his brain. I do believe in Karma to some extent- but I wouldn’t wish his illness on my worst enemy.    I don’t think he is a horrible person. Even back then-I think he was hurt, and misguided, and pumped full of drugs and other toxins that impacted his actions at times, but still choices he made.  I do wish that I had been able to make more of an impact before he started losing control of his life and ruining the relationships all around him.  But it wasn’t my job.  Wasn’t my purpose.  I guess that just wasn’t meant to be a part of my story.  And lastly, I think one of the big reasons that I found it easier to forgive him, is because he left me.  Like just up and abandoned me.  I know he wasn’t doing much for me anyway, but when I found out I was pregnant with Madison, that came at a point where I hadn’t heard from him for a couple of weeks- he wasn’t returning any phone calls or texts from me, and I had no idea where he was staying.  But it was that – him leaving – which forced me to move on.  If he had still been coming around and been there throughout my pregnancy with Madison- I don’t think that I ever would have found the strength to get over him, to move on, to focus on living again.  It was one of the hardest transitions that I have ever made in my life because I truly felt like I was going to die and that I wanted to.  But by him just leaving and letting me go- I was forced to realize there was no hope for the two of us and that I needed to get up each day, go to work, and focus on what I was going to do next.  Yes, I was also pregnant and there was the thought in my mind that no matter what was happening I would always be able to keep a piece of him close to me since I was having his child, but as I got further on in my pregnancy- that is when it hit me. I didn’t need him or better yet, want him around me or our child- since he had already proven that he didn’t want to be there for either of us.  And I thank God for him for making that decision for me.  And that was my first step to forgiveness.  I truly believe that he knew that I didn’t have much to offer him and he knew for damn sure he had NOTHING to offer me and that Madison and I would both be better off if he were not around fully. I know he left because he was losing his apartment adn needed somewhere to stay and I wasn’t able to provide that for him since I was living back at home with my parents. So he had to find someone else who loved him and would be able to take him in and care for him as needed. We ended up getting back in touch again adn I saw him a couple of times throughout my pregnancy.  He was even present for Madison’s birth- but nothing had changed. He was still gone and I still needed him to be gone. I never doubted his love for Madison or any of his children- he just struggled with how to show it.  There were custody battles and child support issues which brought out the worst in both of us.  But eventually the court dates stopped and the custody issyes faded as he got sicker and sicker- and then it was almost as if he were truly gone.  Honestly now, Madison and I don’t visit him nearly as much as we should and I do try to call him at least once a month- but one thing is for sure- he is forgiven.  And I know when I do see him, I sit next to him, hold his hand, and tell him that I care about him and I hope amidst all the confusion in his mind- that he has found some peace.

Now onto the extremely heavy question — Why did I have an abortion? What kind of horrible person am I?  The answer isn’t simple, isn’t black and white.  And yes- to many I am a horrible person because of the decision I made. What kind of horrible person am I – only those people can answer. I am as horrible as person as they believe I am.  I may lose friends and respect as people realize that I made this decision at one point in my life..  And if that is the case- then so be it.  I was scared? I don’t know. I was selfish? Probably.  I was confused? Sure. No matter the answer I give , someone will have a comeback.  And to each his own.  I made the choice.  I don’t beat my self up about it, but I do think about it every Valentine’s Day.  I don’t sit and wallow in sorrow- I  let it cross my mind and then I let it go.  It’s part of my story- it’s part of who I am.  No matter my reason, my beliefs, my feelings now— it happened. I did it. I am NOT ashamed.  It does not define me, but it is a a part of me.  It is not something that I am extremely proud of either.  It was a decision that I thought about and thought about and eventually just made.  I may not shout it from rooftops, but I am not afraid to share my story anymore.  And I have SOOOOO much more to share. Ask me if you ever want to know – I am more than willing to share.  Maybe I will just keep on writing my story out for any and all to see.

And let me tell you- if you ever find yourself at a crossroads with any decision- you can come to me. Not for the answer- I probably won’t have it- but with all that I have been though and all of the decisions, both good and poor, that I have made — I most certainly will look you in the eyes, honestly and WITHOUT judgement, grasp your hand and let you lean on my shoulder while you work through it to come to the decision that is best for you.  And with each decision you make- just know that you are creating yet another chapter for your own unique story…

In all things- find beauty,

Michelle xoxo

 

And so it begins…

Almost exactly 2 years I headed out to NJ to spend the weekend with my sister in law Karina.  She had married my brother in law just 3 months earlier and I was determined to build a better relationship with my new sister.

Such a simple thing and most wouldn’t understand why it was such a big deal, heading out to NJ to spend quality time with Karina.  Well let me be the first to tell you – IT WAS HUGE FOR ME!!  I am not a people person, I cannot stand being outside of my comfort zone, and I am easily intimidated.  I had created like the perfect little storm for an extreme anxiety attack by planning and actually follow through with my plans that weekend.  I ended up having a great time… and that weekend changed me.  It was almost 2 years ago during that weekend that I knew I needed to make a change.  I needed to find myself and stop being who I thought I was supposed to be all the time and just be myself.  So began my findingmyself journey. 

This journey had not been an easy one.  Not easy in the slightest.  I mean, I have been reading books, writing in my journal like always, listening to podcasts, etc. I try to be more aware of what is around me.  Trying to be more open and social. (okay, well I have been doing “kind of” well on them ore social front).  SO why do I still feel empty? Why do I still feel lost?  What exactly am I even trying to find, and why am I even trying to find it?  Are any of these tears that I have been shedding – do they symbolize anything, have any meaning behind them?

Why, in all of the books that I read does this journey seem so much easier.  I mean, there are struggles and such, but it seems as though they get through it much quicker and with more definite answers.  what am I talking about- I know that isn’t entirely true.  It’s just hard to tell the actual time table when reading or listening to book.  I just feel like such a failure, like I am not progressing the way that I should be. In 2 years shouldn’t I feel like I have found myself  or feel like I closer to finding myself.  Uuuuugggghhhhhhh!

The truth is- NO! Not necessarily.  Since when was there a set guideline on”finding yourself” and how long it should take?  There isn’t. But my need for control gets in the way. My need for control SCREAMS that I am failing, that I am too slow, that I must be doing something wrong.

Then reality sets in- Why the hell do I feel the need to put rules on ANYTHING, everything for that matter.  Every time I choose a goal- and as you can tell by my sporadic blog posts, that is quite often – I create all of these rules in my head, some attainable, some extreme, some absolutely ludacris.  It’s like I am utimately setting myself up for failure.. because the moment I fall short on one of these “rules”, I beat myself up. Criticized myself. Feel sorry for myself.  Treat myself in a way that I would never treat anyone else(or at least hope that I never would).

And at that moment- the moment that reality actually set in- I was listening to, “The Love Warrior,” by Glennon Doyle Melton in my car. I don’t know exactly what Glennon was saying, but I do know that something clicked and I burst into tears- ugly, loud, sobbing tears.  At a stop light, getting off the highway to pick up Myles and Mayci, crying hysterically while trying to keep the tears from blocking my vision- I realized that I was going about this all wrong.  It is isn’t that I am doing anything wrong.  It isn’t that the person that I currently am is wrong.  Those are lies that I have been telling myself and believing for years.

The truth is, I was never lost. It isn’t truly about finding myself.  I have been hiding. For years… Decades even.  Who I am hasn’t been locked away or even far away. That person has always been right beneath the surface.  I just covered it up with layers upon layers. As I was growing up,  I suffered from anxiety then too- just more silently than I do now. That’s the thing with growing up, having kids, and wanting to “find” yourself- you start to be a little more vocal about things.  But anyway, as I was saying, as I was growing up I allowed the thing to made me anxious take over and build a small barrier over who I was to help protect me from the next time. I allowed myself to peek through these layers at times, but then I would expose too much and pull that layer blanket right back up over my head, until that weekend in NJ when I realized that these blankets were making me feel lost.  So then I started my finding myself journey.

But, nope – IM NOT LOST!  Through an ugly cry in the car, I realized this finding myself journey is really just a self discovery journey.  I am rediscovering the person that I am.  I am relearning how to love myself. Not in the conceited , I am better than everyone way- but in a way that is so pure and so raw that it allows me to be able to love on others the same way.  We cannot give from an empty cup and I had allowed my cup to be completely empty.

I am crawling out from my hiding place.  I am no longer trying to find a person to become and call that person me. I am crawling out from my hiding place. I am ripping these layers off one by one… Painful it may be, but do it I shall!  I am going to live! Like, really live! No rules! No guidelines! No self deprecating! I am just going to do. Just going to be. Just going to show myself and LIVE! I am going to do things that make me scared. Do things that make me nervous. Do things that I love. Do things that may be wrong, but I am going to do them all the same.  The thing with all of this hiding is that I allowed myself to miss out on so much.  I haven’t ever lived.  I am going to stop being afraid to post my blog posts. I am going to sing out loud in my car regardless of what others may think. I am going to attempt recipes even though they may fail horribly.  I am going to finish school and finally get my bachelor’s degree. When someone upsets me, I am going to tell them, respectfully of course  I am going to tell them.  I will accept reponsibility for my actions and no longer blame others for my unhappiness.  I will work hard but learn to play hard too.  I will not allow the world and upside factors to harden me.  I will be soft and gentle and teach the same to my children.   I will volunteer like I always want to and help to make a difference in the world. I will begin to put my family first.

My goal in life is to be a kind, gentle, warrior. I want to break down the very walls that I have built with grace and love. I will create an environment in myself that makes other feel safe and secure. I am crawling out from my hiding place.  It is going to be a slow and steady crawl, filled with pain, sweat, and tears. For the first time ever, I am going to really FREE MYSELF!

And so it begins…
 

 

WeightWatchers Journey—- is this farewell??

Alright, so it has been about 8 weeks since my last post about my WeightWatchers journey.  I certainly wish I had much more to post, but honestly— not much has changed.  I am at a current weight loss of 26.8 pounds.  My current weight is 136.  I will let you do the math to figure out my starting weight, lol.

And I will be candid and tell you that I write this while I catch up on General Hospital and am eating Birthday Cake Fudge Striped Cookies with tears in my eyes– go ahead and Judge me………

My goal weight is 125, so I am still 11 pounds away and I have a feeling, that it will take me a little while to get to that weight loss.  I am sort of at a stand still right now.  I know that is normal and I know that 26 pounds lost is a great thing.  I actually feel bad that I am not as happy about it as I should be.  But, realistically- I have not been working quite as hard as I was before, so I haven’t been expecting much!

I have a reached a point where I am just ready to give up.  My confidence is soaring, I am feeling amazing, but there  is just something that pulls me to the other side.  The side of me that wants to eat what I want, when I want, the amount I want.  The part of me that doesn’t want to track everything that I put in my mouth, and then feel guilty when I choose the “wrong” things.

And, to be perfectly honest.  I HAVE given up.  I haven’t weighed in in about 3 weeks.  I haven’t tracked any of the food that I have put in my mouth, and I haven’t really been doing much in the area of exercise aside from the occasional dance class and work out video here and there.  Jen and I have been talking and we are thinking of trying something new that starts on Monday, but I am still not 100% sold on that either.  Why is it that the more work I have to put into something, the less I want to do it?  Am I really that lazy?  The answer is … yes!  I really am that lazy.  And it just plain sucks.  Over the past month, I have been complimented more than I could ever imagine.  I have been praised for my weight loss.  My boost in confidence has not gone unnoticed.  I carry myself slightly differently, I smile way more than I have in a long while.  I was even told, just recently, “Wow, I can actually put my hands around you, which means you must be losing weight” (Wait a minute, was I that big- I don’t think so, but the fact that someone could comment like that makes me realize just how drastic my weight loss has been)

Why would I want to sabotage that?  Why throw all of this hard work away?  Unfortunately, if I had the answer, I probably wouldn’t be writing these questions one.  SO if you come to these posts for motivation– click off NOW- You will NOT get motivation here.  You will get real life.  Real feelings, real self sabotage, real self pity, real ME!

I am not just my weight loss. I know that.  I know that there is so much more to me than that. I am extremely happy and grateful for as far as I have gotten.. I don’t take any of it for granted.

Let me close this by saying– Yes, I am giving up Weight Watchers. And yes, I acknowledge all of the good that it has done for me.

BUT NO — I will not just stop trying to lose the weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  My journey with weight loss and the journey to find myself is so far from over. It has only just begun………

 

~~~~~Michelle

xoxo

I love my kids, and yet….

God knows that I love my kids. I really do, I mean it.  And yet, which in reality is just my fancy way of writing BUT, yet sometimes I don’t like my kids or even want to be around them.  I know right now all of those perfect parents are out there thinking to themselves, “how on earth can she say those things, what kind of mother is she?”  I know people think that because people have said it to me.

Well, I feel that I am a normal mother. A real mother. A mother that isn’t afraid to speak the truth.  Maybe not a “typical” mother, but normal according to my definition of the word.  And that is all I care about.

I can honestly say that I am not one of those mothers that always misses my kids when they are away.  Sometimes, I am just so grateful that I have time to myself and don’t have to entertain anyone or fetch anyone some juice, snacks, lend a listening ear, etc.  Yup- sometimes I plain just don’t want them around.  And because of this “alone” time, I am also extremely grateful that my kids all have activities, friends, and family members that keep them busy and want to actually spend time with them.  I am one lucky lady.

Now my kids are amazing kids.  Pretty well behaved for the most part and extremely intelligent and self sufficient.  But nope, I still don’t always like them.  I have even caught myself resenting them at moments.  Yup– I am not afraid to admit that anymore. I also think that in the moments when I have felt that resentment, that it is probably best that I a, away from them for a moment. Don’t think that I wrote that I regret having my children.  I am so glad that I have each and every one of them.  They have each taught  me many different things about my life and brought a special something to our family dynamic.  With that being said, yes- I have thought about how different things may have turned out had I not had kids.

Please remember, that right out of high school, I had no intention of becoming a mom.  I never wanted kids and always wanted work to be my first priority.  Then reality set in.  I wanted to have sex, I made the not so smart decision of not being “on point” with my birth control, and then came child #1.  Fast forward a few years and I got married and then we decided to try to have a child and here comes child #2, Child #3 was not a surprise by any means (I’m not an idiot, I know how babies are made), but we weren’t exactly planning that child.

3 children was definitely the limit for me.  I know darn well that I would not be capable of handling anything more than what I have.. .even sometimes the 3 of them pose a challenge for me.  Maybe that is why I am not the super loving mom that society tells me I must be.  I am not the cuddling type.  I don’t eat after my children.  I certainly won’t kiss them on the mouth.  Yet – I do love my children and I try to show them in the best ways that I am able to.  I tell them that I love them at least once a day.  I make sure they have a place to live, food on the table, and even some extras at times.  I listen to them when they are telling me long, drawn out stories about things I have no interest in hearing about.  I help them wipe their butts when they need me to.  I stay up until the wee hours of the morning helping them straighten their hair for pictures and dance competitions.  I drive them to all of their activities and spend the majority of my money on things for them. I clean up after them.  I am the Secretary for their school’s PTO, help out at dance recitals, and let them pick out food while I am grocery shopping.  I wipe away tears when they are hurt (normally because I am the one that has upset them). Stand up for them when necessary.  I correct them when they do the wrong thing and I hold them responsible for anything they do- good or bad.  I will sit in silence with them when they have had a rough day and just need quiet time.  My ways of showing my kids love may not be conventional- but they are real.

So when you hear me saying I want time away or I need alone time, please just respect it.  It may not be your style.  You may not even approve.  And you are entitled to that.  Just know, I love my kids, and yet…

12 weeks in – My FINAL weight loss and WeightWatchers journey

Okay, so I am 12 weeks into my WeightWatchers journey and figured it was time that I started documenting this journey. Mainly for myself and also for the accountability factor. When I know there may very well be some person reading about my journey and since most people are judgmental-what better way than to hold myself accountable to anyone that has access to this blog.

First, let me jump right in and talk about why I took the step to join WW. It is honestly because I am just tired of being “overweight” and out of shape. It takes a lot to really admit to yourself and others that you are overweight and out of shape. And I started to admit it to myself about 2 years ago– like really admit it. You know, the say it out loud while looking in the mirror with tears in your eyes. Alright- so maybe you don’t know, but that’s what happened to me. I got out of the shower, started getting ready and really took a long hard look at myself in the mirror. Now, my family tend to think that I am extremely vain and conceited honestly though, I have not been a huge fan of the mirror for a while. Mirrors = reality to me. A reality that I don’t want to always accept.

I have spent the majority of my life looking like I was in phenomenal shape. It’s only been in the past 6 years that I have truly started to “look” like my reality — out of shape, a little “fat”, and frumpy. It doesn’t help that I prefer sweatpants and hoodies to nice clothes. I as slowly increasing my clothing size and made my way up to the double digits in pants size. I recognized my problem long before I reacted with a solution. Some people seem to just be nicer than others. I am all for being honest. But there is a fine line between honesty and tact and just plain rudeness and insults. And I just don’t think that everyone understands that line. Several people felt that t was their job to act as my personal mirror and tell me just how much weight I had gained. And even still….. no changes were made on my part.

And then that day came at work when I decided to weigh myself one morning. You know the drill… walk up to the scale, feel intimidated, take of your bracelets, earring, rings, shoes, name tag – but leave your glasses on because come on, seriously, how much of a difference can THOSE make… and then star at the scale a little longer. Wait, that’s not what everyone does? Hmmmmmmmmmm…………
But anyway, after I lost my staring war with the scale, I realized that I had been defeated long before that moment and stepped on.  And the number on the scale was one that I knew was NOT acceptable– 164 lbs!!!

I made the decision with my friend, Jen, to sign up for Weight Watchers on January 17th of this year!  I must say — I am so happy with my decision.  On January 17, 2016, my official weigh in weight was 162.8.  I am now 12 weeks in and have lost a total of 20.8 pounds.  I was down a little bit more, but at my first weight gain of 0.4lbs this week.

It has not been easy.  It hasn’t always been fun. It hasn’t always made me happy.  BUT- it has all been WORTH IT!  It has taught me so much about portion control.  Things that I should have already known, and I think I do, but something that I clearly needed help on.  It has caused me to have to buy new pants– I mean, I haven’t bought any yet, since I mainly live in sweats, but I am in desperate need of some new SMALLER jeans.  It has helped me with my self confidence… yup- some of my self confidence is based on my weight. Call me vain if you want, but it’s the god honest truth and I am not ashamed to admit it!

I still have about 20 more pounds to go until I reach what I consider to be my “healthy” weight.  And no, I won’t be too skinny, no I’m not crazy, and yes, I know what I am doing.  I figure I should get those answers out since everyone always says something to me when I talk about my goal weight.

I also need to get more focused on my exercise.  I was running and then spinning almost consistently.  But running as taken a back burner to everything else in my world and the times for spinning just haven’t been working for me.  I do dance twice  a week, but that is not nearly enough.  I plan to start back up with running very soon and am also hoping to get back into Yoga. No set plan or anything- just things I know need to be done.

All in all this experience is going much better than I had originally anticipated and for that I am grateful.  Most importantly, I am very proud of myself – I am known to be a quitter.  And while I have gotten a little more relaxed with my food tracking, I am FAR from quitting!

Maybe 12 more weeks from now, I will still be going strong and will be able to give another update.  And maybe even be brave enough to post a before and after pic 🙂

Day 21 – My 10 favorite foods

Wooooohoooooooooo — this is an easy one.  I like to eat and am very simple with my tastes.  No super fancy food over here in my neck of the woods!!

 

  1. Rice – any kind– most recently Rice and beans have been an ultimate favorite
  2. Chips and Guacamole — not sure if this should count as 2, but I don’t care haha
  3. Macaroni and cheese
  4. Chocolate chip cookies
  5. French fries
  6. Morning Star spicy black bean burgers
  7. Bean and Cheese burritos
  8. Snap peas and Green Beans
  9. Onion and Pepper Pizza
  10. Steamed broccoli

Okay, so now I am hungry and want a little bit of all the things mentioned above hahaha.

Day 14 — If you won the lottery….

Okay, so in typical Michelle fashion, I have fallen behind on this challenge already.  BUT– to change it up, instead of just giving up, I am going to jump back in.. and hopefully back track on some of the days as I make time to.

Today’s challenge is, If you won the lottery……

Definitely  a challenging question and while I think about it all the time (don’t we all), I have never really THOUGHT about it.  t doesn’t give a dollar amount that you won, so I am just going to assume that it is a pretty substantial amount.  Possibly one that would mean that I would not need to work anymore and could still manage to live quite comfortably.

With that being said, I probably would NOT quit my job.  I mean, I don’t think that I would necessarily stay on full-time, but I would certainly work part-time for as long as possible.  I would also pay off any of our big “loans”. Damian’s student loans, the house, my car.  I would finally add-on the additional bathroom that we don’t quite have the money for right now.

Of course I would like to help out my family members as much as possible as well.  So yes– all of the normal things that I feel like most people would want to do with some of their winnings.

THE #1 THING I WOULD DO IF I WON THE LOTTERY, would be——————————————————————-

GO ON A VACATION!!!!  Well to be honest, 2 vacations really.  I would like to go on a vacation with just Damian and I and then an additional vacation with the whole family.  This is so important to me!  We haven’t been on a family vacation since before Mayci was born. When Myles was 1 and a half we spent a weekend away so we could go to the Bronx Zoo and then to the New England Aquarium.  Not even what I would consider a true vacation.  And Damian and I, we took a long weekend for our anniversary about 4 years ago.  And we have done a couple of overnight stays in NJ/NY at his brothers places a couple of times since then.  I want a true getaway.  Like more than a few days and somewhere longer than 3 hours away.

So, see– I wouldn’t be too greedy if I won the lottery.  It would just be nice to be able to live comfortably for a time.  Something that we don’t always do, depending on the time of year.

Unfortunately, I don’t play the lotto, so if I don’t play, I guess I will never win!

 

What would you do if you won the lottery??