Sep 28, 2014 - General    No Comments

Alert and Ready to Go

Here it is, two weeks down since I began with Fitness Together, since I cut out sugar, dairy and grains, two weeks in to a better me.
I feel better even after two weeks, I feel more awake, I walk into work at 6:00 AM ready to start the day, annoyingly awake and happy. I feel stronger already and I am down 7 pounds. I don’t know how many inches; we are going to do full measurements, weight and fat measurements at the one-month mark.
I have never looked forward to being measured in my entire life! How crazy is that?! I will tell you this, Friday I wore jeans that I could not even get into two weeks ago, that is my litmus, how my clothes fit.
I am eating better, no more junk food, sodas I gave up a long time ago, well over a year, no more Cheetos. I miss those, dark chocolate I can have, which is why I think I am sticking to this eating plan, if I can have chocolate once in a while I am good to go.
The new season has begun on television, and on the majority of my shows, it is a total wow factor, can hardly wait for Castle tomorrow night. I need to see how they are going to get out of this one, how will Rick have lived through the fireball that his car became.
Bones just about broke my heart; I will not go into details in case some people are catching up on their DVR viewing. S.H.I.E.L.D. did not disappoint, Joss was on point as usual, no surprise there. I have too many shows to name, so I will stop there, television is my hobby, that and reading, I could be happy living in a cave as long as I had television and books. Oh and the Internet, must have Internet.
There is so much going on in the world today, and rarely is it good, I am saddened by the reports of child slavery, of killings and the talk of war. If things keep going the way they are, I have to ask is WWIII inevitable? Will the U.S.A. be victorious as they were in the past? It seems everyone in power is really looking out for themselves, not the people they were sworn in to protect. This is a sad state of affairs indeed; hopefully we can all work together to change this woeful happening.
We should all be concerned with others before ourselves, always reaching out, even if it is with a kind word or smile. You never know what that will mean to the person you smile at, even a stranger. You could be the only human contact they have that day, so smile; it costs you nothing and could mean the world.
I know that is a simplistic way to look at things, I’m not stupid, I do not think a smile will save the world or stop a war. However, it starts with us, kindness and happiness is infectious, and for Christians you cannot share Christ with someone if you have been mean and nasty to them. Jesus fed the body then the mind, take care of physical needs and spiritual will follow.
Must go for now, have television to watch, checking out How to get away with Murder on demand, seeing if it deserves a spot on my DVR.

Sep 21, 2014 - General    No Comments

Cloud Coverage

One week down with no sugar, no dairy and no grains, so far so good, oh side note, coconut milk is gross. I do find it challenging finding enough to eat, to get in the calories that they want me to have. 1200 to 1500 a day. Dairy used to be a staple, cottage cheese, yogurt and well, cheese, not to mention whipping cream in my coffee. I really miss that, tried coconut milk in my coffee, literally thought I was going to die. I finally found some non-dairy, sugar-free creamer and it is ok, not fantastic, but better than the coconut milk.
I am muddling through the working out, I feel clumsy and clunky, but I am doing them! I am already starting to feel better, I know what sugar does to me, I always feel better when I eliminate processed sugar, no bloating, no tired feeling at the end of the day. It’s crazy how things that we have eaten all of our lived really effect our bodies. We don’t even realize it until we give it up.
Today I will be trying spaghetti squash; with organic, sugar free pasta sauce, this will be interesting. If it works out, then I will take leftovers for lunch tomorrow, I am getting tired of protein smoothies. I hate protein powder, no matter what else I put in it, banana, peanut butter or almond milk, nothing masks the taste.
A few weeks back when I picked up Tess from school, there were all these big, fluffy white clouds in the sky. I asked Tessa if she had noticed them and weren’t they pretty. The following is our conversation:

Me: Tess, did you see all of the pretty clouds?
Tessa: yes I did, God must be doing a lot of flying today.
Me: What?
Tessa: Gigi, you know that when God flies over us to check up on us He uses clouds to cover up.
Me: I forgot.

At that moment I look out of my window and I see a cloud in the perfect form of an Angel, I thought to myself, she’s right. God was doing a lot of flying that day; I will never look at clouds the same way again.
Children are amazing, they see things we have forgotten about as adults, things we take for granted are truly miracles in this world. Even something as simple as a big, fluffy white cloud.
I shall report back on the fitness journey, if you are thinking of making a change, Fitness Together is the place to do it. If you are like me and have yo-yoed your way through life then call them. I think they still have the Groupon; you can give them a try for a few weeks and see how you like it. After one week I am seeing a huge difference. Even people around me are remarking on it, my son and a couple of coworkers have said they can already see a difference.

Sep 13, 2014 - General    No Comments

My Journey Begins

Well, here I sit, doing it once again, going all in on a weight loss episode, only this time feels different. I have joined a place, Fitness Together, that works on the whole thing, physical activity as well as nutrition, I have been asked to give up diary, grains and sugar for a month. I am going to do it, I know when I give up sugar I feel better, I am less bloated, I feel less tired and am clearer headed. So for a month I shall give up these things and begin a work out regimen four times a week to begin with.
At the end of the month we shall see how I feel giving up those things, they said at that time we will add things back in. this way we can see if I have a food sensitivity, which makes sense.
I am going to miss cheese and milk the most, I give up sugar all the time, so that won’t kill me, plus I can still have honey in my coffee so I’m good there.
So, this weekend, before I start on Monday, I am eating popcorn, cheese and cereal, maybe some ice cream in there somewhere. I need to say goodbye properly to things I love, and I do so love cheese and popcorn.
Going over what I currently eat, I was told I am not eating enough, and really not enough of the good things. I would tend to agree with this, so I am going to be going on 1500 calories a day, which will be a challenge to get in for me.
I used to have energy, I could come home, do laundry, clean up a bit and stay up later, now I find I come home and just want to sit down. And I sit all day! There is no excuse for this. Fitness Together is owned by a husband and wife, Ray and Amy, Amy asked me if I was tired after eating a baked potato, because carbs tend to cause your body to wind down so it can digest them. I didn’t know how to answer because I am literally tired all of the time. I go to work and I come home, I rarely leave my home on the weekends, I just want to sleep, if I am not sleeping I am sitting.
Not a good way to live, there are times I don’t even feel like shopping, yes, I said shopping, and I love shopping. A lot.
After watching my friend Gladys, go through this amazing transformation over the past year, I decided to give her place a try. She, along with BBFF another friend, Vicki, have inspired me to take my life back, my health and my fitness. I am incredibly tired of being, well tired; it is time to wake up. The older I get the harder it will become; it will be a challenge as it is at my age.
50 is old to begin this intensive of a workout, however I am determined, I shall do it, and I shall do it for good this time. I need to live a really long time; I have so much to live for, my children, Tessa, friends who need me to give them advice well into my dotage. Ok the last part was made up, but it does make me smile to say it.
I, of course, shall take you all along with me while I suffer through the withdrawals and the pain of getting my muscles back. I come from incredibly strong people, physically as well as mentally; I have no doubt I will be channeling them and persevering.

Sep 7, 2014 - General    1 Comment

Achilles Heel

Well hello old friend, I have missed you, I am sorry I have not been inspired to visit you, however I am here today and have some things to tell you.
When I am not in a good place emotionally I gain weight, that is the way I have always been. My entire life, this is the way of my metabolism, so for the last year I have been packing on the pounds, enough is enough. I refuse to live in a body that is not what it should be. Even at the age of 50 I should be prettier than I am right now, I am taking things back into my control.
I have been watching my friend Gladys and my friend Vicki becoming disgustingly healthy for a while now. A long while. Gladys is local, and goes on and on about the place she is going to. I decided to follow suit, she pointed out there was a Groupon to her place and suggested I purchase it. Then she took it a step further and told the owners about me and one of them began talking to me on one of Gladys’s posts. Long story short, I purchased and have an appointment Monday to go see them and get my physical life under control.
Once the physical is under control, the mental follows very closely behind, it is a sad statement that my inner shows on the outer. Physically, not emotional wise, if you spoke to me you would never know the turmoil that goes on in my brain.
After my mom died I went on a binge and it was horrible, it took Elizabeth Anne saying mom, you are grieve eating to make me sit up and take notice.
Notice I did, shedding more than 100 pounds; I so do not want to go back to that Angie and will fight not to.
I have always been a chunky thing, starting at birth, I weighed over 9 pounds then, large for then, large for now. And just kept going, I don’t know why God chose me to give this affliction to, I just know it is something He wants me to conquer, it is my cross to carry. My row to hoe, my albatross, and any other metaphor I can come up with.
I gain weight easily, one slip up leads to another and another and another, I am not a person who can ever say oh I forgot to eat today. My goal is to be skinny, I do not care how that sounds and I do not want any criticism for it. I grew up in an era of skinny women. Twiggy, Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, they were all the stars of the day and they were skinny, I so wanted to be one of them. But I was a chunky teenager, living on celery to maintain a normal weight. Oh and let’s not forget my BFF, Tammi, she was and still remains thin, I have always been envious of her non-weight issues.
So, here we go again, back to my horrible cycle of losing weight, it has and always will be my Achilles heel. Please, no arrows at it, it is vulnerable.
Besides Dean Cain will NEVER notice me if I am not skinny…. Must be skinny will be my mantra… See you on the other side.

Sep 1, 2014 - General    No Comments

The Empress has Spoken

I saw something on Facebook, of course, a page called Queen of your own life, I am instantly intrigued. Not enough to click on it, of course, but enough to add my own two cents here.
I often say I am an Empress, a Queen, not a princess, I am not here to put anyone down that wants to be a princess, I am just saying why not be the Queen.
Being an Empress is not all fun and games, while I can see the draw of being a princess, the draw of being an Empress is so much more. My way of life comes with responsibilities to my subjects, I provide for them and enable them to grow and become their own beings. Just in case you are not getting the obvious reference, my subjects were my children, not actual people who I boss around.
I find it disconcerting I no longer have subjects to guide, watch grow, help do house work, clean the garage, you know things of that nature. Those things I have to do for myself these days.
Some days I wish I were a princess, they are told what to do, what to wear, where to go and who to say hello to, this lifestyle takes the guesswork out of everyday decisions. I think I might like that for an hour or two, then I would try and stage a coup de’etat and lives would be lost and it would be a mess.
So, an Empress I shall stay, being the Queen of my own life is way more interesting anyway.
Today is Labor Day, we can all thank a Union for this day of rest, if you are enjoying this day and didn’t realize it was a Union led initiative that had enabled this great day of rest, now you know. You can go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_Day to read more about this uniquely American Holiday, I am going to sign off now, as I have floors to mop, laundry to do, and as Empress I am in charge of it all.

Aug 29, 2014 - General    No Comments

Happy Birthday Jeffrey

Well today has arrived, a day 29 years ago that I looked forward to with anticipation, joy and trepidation. Today is Jeffrey’s birthday, he was born 29 years ago and it was a truly joyous occasion. Marred only by the fact he was born with water on his lungs and had to spend 5 days in the neonatal unit.
Jeffrey has always been an old soul, from the very beginning, he was bright, curious, but there was always a look in his eye like he had seen it all before. He would say things that were jaw dropping, like the time he told me he missed Jesus.
I said, what do you mean you miss Jesus; he said you know, that time before I was born and Jesus played ball with me. I miss that.
That almost caused me to drive off the road, when we would drive by the fire station he would tell me he wanted to be the one that worked on the fire trucks. I asked him why he didn’t want to be a fireman; he said that he wanted to make sure the fire trucks always worked so the fireman could be on time to save people.
He was always so smart it was maddening at times, due to the fact he had no interest in school yet could (and still can) speak intelligently on a variety of subjects.
I am so proud of the man he has become; he is intelligent and continually educates himself on current events and politics. He is a truly amazing father, there are times I just watch him with Tessa and am in awe. He has such patience with her, teaching her so many things. Manners, patience, perseverance, helping her with her homework and so many more things.
He comes to my rescue as well; making sure my car is in working order and helping cook family dinners.
So, today, Happy Birthday to you son, I love you beyond measure; you are my heart, my joy and make me proud to be your mother every single day. I am humbled God entrusted me to be your mother.

Aug 25, 2014 - General    No Comments

Growing Up Owasso

As I sit getting a pedicure it seemed like a good time to write. At this moment and time my feet are encased in heated towels and my calves are being massages with hot stones. I have very literally gone to heaven.
Recently I have become a member of a Facebook page dedicated to sharing memories of growing up in Owasso.
You see, we are a unique people, Owassoans, we are loyal, fiercely so, to our city, our fellow graduates and especially the ones who taught us so much.
The posts are bringing back so many memories, Mrs Dunn, one of my favorite teachers. Not only did she foster my love of Shakespeare, she taught us real life skills.
She taught us etiquette, yes, in that small town in Oklahoma we learned which fork was which. We learned proper posture, we walked with books on our heads. Mrs Dunn used to say today you are in Owasso, Oklahoma. Tomorrow you could be dinning at the White House, I want you to be prepared.
Mrs Richie who saw I hated math taught me to balance a check book and told me that I would indeed use math in every day life.
Mrs Farrimond who recognized I loved words more than people at times, was the first to encourage me to write down every thought I had. She told me I was good at it and needed to pursue a career where I could write.
I do believe I shocked her by reading the English lit book at the beginning of the year. Yes the whole book, not just one story, which she discovered after assigning a story the 2nd week in. Telling is to read the story on page 200, and answer the questions in the back. I flipped right to the questions and began answering them.
She was in front of me in a flash demanding to know what I was doing. I said answering the questions, she said I said read first. I said I already did, the look on her face was priceless, she snatched that book up, flipped to a random story and began to ask me questions. I answered every one correctly. She did this 3 times, then she handed the book back, walked off and said I can work with this.
She was so completely awesome, I wish I could tell them all how much they all meant to me, the atmosphere of learning and fun.
I miss Owasso so much at times and long to return, however I know my Owasso does not exist in this world. It was a moment in time that can never be recaptured.

Aug 23, 2014 - General    No Comments

Whatever

Let it go, that is the theme of the day, so many things to let go of, shaking it off and moving on.
I have God, I have coffee and I have the truth, that is all that matters, oh yeah and my amazing children, granddaughter, cousins, nephew one aunt and uncle left, life is good.
I marvel at the goodness that is left in the world, in the face of all of the brutality that is happening in the world, I find myself surrounded by incredibly, genuinely good people. I often say that I am very fortunate at work; I have never sat by anyone I could not get along with. In fact end up being real friends with them; it is awesome to me the people that God puts in my life.
This time at work is no different; we do our work and manage to laugh all day long at some of the silliest things. Sometimes we have a serious conversation and work out some of the things in the world that is weighing on us at the moment. I am fortunate indeed to come into contact with the people around me.
I do not believe in coincidence, luck or happenstance, I believe in the divine and in destiny. I believe I am put into the places and situations I am for a reason, sometimes the reason is clear, others I may never know until I get to ask God in person. By then I may not care, I’ll be too busy, lots of people to hug, praises to sing and golden streets to walk.
Last night another family dinner went down, everyone was here except Alex; he was tired and begged off. Lots of laughter, food, conversation and a general feeling of togetherness. He was missed; I hope he makes the next one.
Tessa spent the night and we watched a movie and two cartoons, her newest cartoon love is Clarence, I don’t know who laughs harder, her or me.
Today will be cinnamon toast and chocolate milk, coffee for me, gotta go, we are hungry. Have a great Saturday, remember, only you have the power to determine what bothers you, what you let go and what you keep.

Aug 14, 2014 - General    1 Comment

My Opinion

My most prized possession is a letter from 1959, May 3rd to be exact. It is a letter written by my grandfather to my grandmother, he was working in the oil fields and they were parted by miles, but not by their hearts. I thought about scanning it and posting it for my family to see, however, some might not be so happy to see what it is in it. I do believe I will keep this one to myself; perhaps I will take it with me to the next family reunion and let people read it. Not touch it or anything, but they can read it.
In the letter he talks about how lonesome he is without her, you see, he never saw her flaws, others did, but he never did. To him, she was simply his Lela; he was her world, which completely imploded the day he left this earth.
Since the announcement of Robin Williams’s death I have been doing a lot of thinking, reflecting, on what really matters on this earth.
Robin Williams seemingly had it all, a thriving career, children that loved him people around the world adored him. Yet with all of that, it could not penetrate the darkness that enveloped his mind.
I will be honest here, I used to think all people who committed suicide went to hell, cut and dried right. It’s what the church has always taught, not just the Catholic Church, all churches have taught that.
Having said that, there are cases where I don’t believe that to be so, allow me to explain. When a persons mind is filled with clouds and is not behaving clearly, we say they are not in their right mind.
If someone is not in their right mind, can they really know what they are doing in that moment of desperateness? My mom had Alzheimer’s; she was not in her right mind a lot of the time towards the end. During one of her moments of lucidity she told me she wanted to go home, I knew what she meant, she wanted to go HOME, to the Lord. I said I know, you will, she looked at me and said I don’t know anymore, I feel it, when I’m not right. What if I do something I shouldn’t? Will I go to hell? The look on her face would have broken the hardest heart in the world, I told her that God knew what she was going through and would not hold it against her if she happened to do something when she wasn’t clear. This reassured her, and I know without a doubt it is true.
God would not hold it against someone what he or she did when they were not in their right mind.
Now comes the judgmental part of me, I believe this for the truly, deeply depressed humans. Not the ones who do it because they are about to be ousted as a misogynistic, womanizing “pretender of the cloth”.
However for the ones that are deeply effected by depression, there is forgiveness, and a welcome home. That is simply my thought on the whole issue, for better or worse that is what I believe.
I firmly believe that God welcomed Robin Williams with a giant hug and gave him the peace he sought on earth.

Aug 10, 2014 - General    No Comments

Soap Box

Real letter in Dear Abby:

DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a divorced man, “Chris,” for four years. He has a son who is 16. On the weekends Chris has his son, I become the “invisible girlfriend.” Sometimes the three of us will go to a movie or out to eat, but I am never welcome to spend the night.
Chris and I have talked about living together, but never in depth. Unless I bring it up, he never says anything about it. When Valentine’s Day came around, Chris asked if we could celebrate it a few days late because he was scheduled to have his son that night. I was heartbroken because even a Valentine dinner for the three of us was out.
I am beginning to think there is no future with Chris. He seems fine just dating and seeing me every other weekend as someone to hang out with, but not to commit to. Suggestions? — DISMISSED IN DENVER
DEAR DISMISSED: When you started dating Chris, his son was 12. It seems to me that what he has done is put his parenting responsibilities before anything else, and I respect that.
If romance and marriage are what you’re looking for, I suggest you stop asking Chris about living together and ask instead about whether the two of you have a future. Chris has been treating you like a friend with benefits for four years. The pattern is set and it isn’t likely to change by itself.
Me again, so this dad is doing it right, he is putting his son before his girlfriend, and this woman has issues with this. Wow. That is all I can say, wow. I say kudos to this father for putting his son first, for being a father who is worthy of the name. Father. What this woman wants is a devoted boyfriend, to only her, and if she wants that, she deserves it, however, this man is not the man for her. He is, rightfully, devoted to his son, who did not choose to be in this world.
I want to make this clear, the woman is not selfish, she is simply with the wrong man, I have no idea why she has been with this man for 4 years. She knew up front that his son was going to come first; I cannot imagine he would not have been upfront with that little tidbit. Not with how she describes their four-year relationship, she should have moved on within the first month. I say that because she will never be what she wants to be to this man, number one, she will always come in second. When his son gives him a grandchild, she will become even less of a focus for him, she needs to find someone who will give her the kind of attention she craves.
I think this man is awesome; it is a rare thing in this world where a man puts his child first before a woman. I see it all the time, this woman could have her pick, my BBFF is one of those rare men who puts their child first. He is to be commended for the way he takes the role of dad to the highest level. He gives me hope for fathers everywhere. My son is another; he is devoted to his daughter, and puts her first over women. These two show what it is to be a devoted father, it’s easy to be one when you are married to the mother of the child, you have two parents in the household sharing the responsibilities. When there is only one parent in the household the work and responsibilities and also the joys are there just for you. Going it alone is not the easy road (not that parenting is easy for the married either, just focusing on single parents because it is what I know the best) keeping the course and focusing on your child (or children) is a lonely row to hoe. However, it is worth it, the sacrifices, the nights where you have to do all the work, caring for a sick child, or three at once. When they are adults, and well adjusted, because you made the sacrifices you made, letting them know they are number one, are so worth it all.
For my single parent friends, stay strong, keep the course and never allow society or anyone pressure you into making decisions that would adversely affect your child.

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