Tag Archives: Change

Plump and Circumstance

One size does not fit all.

Whomever decided that particular description was an accurate size determination, was clearly never a size that was more ample than the norm.

Over the years, I had grown wary of the one- size-fits-all label, because when you don’t even fit into a one-size-fits-all, you begin to question whether or not there is some alternate subspecies outside of “all” that you fall into.

Like one size fits everyone… but me.

I had worked really hard towards earning my Design degree during the three years that I spent going back to college after my divorce. I had thrown myself into my college education with 100% of my effort. And now I was graduating with honors and distinction, and finally getting my much sought after, formerly elusive, college degree.

Initially, I had gone to college right out of high school up in northern Arizona with the idea of becoming a nurse. But after being out on my own and deciding that nursing school was not for me, I had spent the rest of that first year aimless and floundering, with no direction or course of study. I had partied a little bit too much, and pushed the limits of my self-discipline (or lack there of) to the point to where, after only a year, I had given up, dropped out, and moved back home to “find myself”.

But all I found, it seems, was a part-time job at Jack-in-the-Box, and a whole lot of yearning for something more.

I eventually ran away to the beach in California to follow my bliss, and left my college aspirations in the dust.

Life happened, and after a while, I just forgot about my foray into higher education, and accepted my current circumstances as “a choice that I had made”.

After that, I got married, had two children, and worked as a nanny, a barista, and as a video store employee for minimum wage.

I made due.

It wasn’t until I got divorced, and became a single parent, that I realized that I really needed a college degree in order to give myself the best chance possible to provide for my two little boys. My job at Starbucks was not enough to build the life for us that I had wanted.

So I packed up my pride, transferred my job, and moved back to my childhood home in Arizona. Into my old bedroom, where my Scott Baio posters still hung on the closet door, in the hopes that my parents would help me to get back on my feet, and also, so that I could return to school to finish what I started so many years before.

During those three years back in Arizona after my divorce, my weight went up to my highest on record of 293 pounds.

Those were three very stressful and difficult years while simultaneously juggling single parenthood, work, and school… but I did it.

I worked really hard, and surpassed all of the expectations that I had for myself academically. 

But still, here I was, on the verge of graduation, staring at a box that held my cap and gown, and my Phi Theta Kappa sashes, and feeling nothing but dread when I noticed the tag on the commencement gown…

One-size-fits-all…

My heart sank.

I hadn’t tried it on yet, but it made me nervous, and here we were, on the very day of graduation.

I started to feel uneasy.

I pulled out and looked at it. It looked big enough, so I began to put it on…

But alas, it did not fit. Continue reading Plump and Circumstance

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The Real Life Hunger Games

There it was…the supermarket, looming in the distance, the arena for Round One of the games.

Set against an ominous backdrop of foreboding skies, it was a place once filled with frolic and folly, where in bygone days, I had shopped willy nilly, and without pause while purchasing whatever struck my fancy.

A label was of no consequence. I would throw caution to the wind…”labels, schmabels”, I would say. But those carefree days were over.

For I had volunteered as tribute, and now I stood here with a purpose, eyeballing that monolith with cat like cunning. Oh it was ON…

Now it was a diligently planned endeavor, I was a girl on fire, and I was on a mission.

I had a strategy, and endless contingency plans…and a pocket full of magic faerie dust.

Now, I had lists, and bar code scanners, and meal plans, and a whole route laid out.

I was armed to the teeth with coupons and Pinterest recipes, and a fairly comprehensive knowledge of seasonal produce. I had points, and priorities, and Eco friendly re-usable bags.

I was a force to be reckoned with, and I was going to march on in there and take no prisoners…

But, even the most determined intentions can waiver.

And even though most of the time, I could deflect a nefarious snack item from a pretty fair distance by wielding my enchanted shield of Unicorn magic, it did seem that in some cases I was still vulnerable and easily distracted by certain specific tasty vittles.

I still felt like I had to be constantly on the look-out for dastardly delicious delights and daunting desserts of doom at every turn.

Because sometimes, I would find myself at the end of my trip to the supermarket with a whole suspicious pile of items in the cart that I had no intention or recollection of accumulating. And then, I would have to go park it somewhere in an empty corner, and have a serious conversation with myself about what needed to go back on the shelf, and why.

As if keeping it in my cart was going to get me pulled over by the Point Po Po, or frisked at the checkout… Continue reading The Real Life Hunger Games

574 Days After Day One

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The story continues…

Once Day One had come and gone, I was terrified that failure was inevitable.

That first week was a big wake up call, and I knew that I that I needed to pace myself.

Because, after my initial nosh fest with the Weight Watchers food on Day One, I had returned the following week, to discover that I had actually gained 1.2 pounds.

Seriously?? I wanted to give up.

My Day 8 was 282.2 lbs.

It all felt so hopeless.

But I tried to to stay the course, and I decided that I needed to once again make a list of all of my reasons not to throw in the towel.

I then faithfully continued to drive to all of my meetings for the next several weeks…

But I never went in.

I just couldn’t.

I just sat in my car, hiding in the parking lot, crying, angry with myself, and trying to work up the nerve to walk back inside.

A couple of times I had even stopped at the McDonald’s drive-thru on the way to the meeting, with the mindset, that since I probably wasn’t going in anyway, it didn’t really matter whether or not I ate the Sausage McMuffin and the hashbrown. (Okay, so there MIGHT have originally been TWO Sausage McMuffins and TWO hashbrowns in the bag, and some of it MIGHT have (hypothetically) never made it all the way to the parking lot)

I just couldn’t bring myself to go in there, and see yet another higher number on the scale.

So I just figured, that sooner or later, when I got tired of beating myself up and feeling bad, I would gain control of my downward spiral, get myself together, and actually walk back in.

And then, it finally came to me-

A divine moment of clarity disguised in a fast food wrapper…

While nibbling small bites of a hash brown, I remembered what my mom used to say about how to eat an elephant…one bite at a time, right?

Strange phrase, but the message was there. I paused …

I needed smaller goals.

Yes! I just needed something I could wrap my brain around …

Something that didn’t make me feel like I was going to have to climb Mt Everest with nothing but two forks and a shoelace… Continue reading 574 Days After Day One

Day One

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It all starts with Day One.

Day One is hopeful-

Day One is brave-

And Day One is the metaphorical line in the sand.

It’s the day that we finally protest, “Enough is enough”, and declare “I want more!”

It’s the crusade of a Warrior headed into an epic showdown for all the marbles.

When we come to the place where we cannot march forward without taking decisive action-

It’s the battle cry of the weary,  and it echoes,”I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I’m ready for a change!”

We raise our collective fists to the gods of circumstance and shout, “Let’s do this!”, with all of the motivation and good intentions that we can muster.

It’s the day that we put our foot down with purpose, and then silently ask, “What the French toast have I gotten myself into?”

Because, let’s face it, Day One is a gigantic leap of faith.

It’s a promise that we make to ourselves to make better choices and continue to follow through.

Day One carries with it a crucial mindset that you have to hold onto, even after the initial Day One has passed.

It’s a turning point, a fork in the road, and a new beginning.

The essence and spirit of which needs to be renewed for each and every subsequent day that comes in its wake.

It is the first step on an arduous journey that challenges both your body and your mind.

Its the stirrings of a fierce determination to wrestle a beast of burden and bring balance back into the fold.

And it’s the deep breath that you take before you dive headfirst into the unknown.

Day One is the very origin of greatness,

And Day One is where it all begins….

My Day One was a chilly overcast morning in October of 2012.

I remember sitting in the parking lot giving myself a well rehearsed pep talk. Continue reading Day One

The Maiden Flight of a Once Flightless Bird


As I looked up, my eyes followed the sound of a gaggle of geese just below the cloud line.

Their chatter was intense, and I watched while they kept their perfect formation as they passed. 

They were so purposeful in their instictively choreographed unity towards a shared destination. There was such an intrinsic beauty in their flight, and so I pondered how very similar we are to birds. 

Some of us fly instinctively, and others of us shun such ideas, and make our lives on the ground while watching others fly, and wishing we had the ability.

Some of us are flightless birds, and some of us are just afraid to fly.

But even flightless birds have wings.

You see, there is comfort in discomfort. Continue reading The Maiden Flight of a Once Flightless Bird

Alice in One-derland

I’ve definitely had to manage and navigate some pretty difficult relationships in my life.

But the most complex and complicated relationship, by far, has always been the one with myself.

It can be hard to find the necessary balance when you are your own worst critic. When you’re dealing with yourself, for instance, you may forget that there are such things as manners. Continue reading Alice in One-derland