Oct 19, 2014 - General    No Comments


I hate October, there, I’ve said it, October is not a great month, tomorrow marks 4 years without my friend Sandi.
I know I have talked about her before, but this year seems more poignant, with so many things happening that I want to tell her about. I still have her number in my phone, with her picture.
Yesterday, the Ladies that Lunch gathered, we told stories of Sandi and laughed, such a bitter sweet time. Everyone at the table was brought together by Sandi; she brought all of us there. I wonder if she knew, if she had an inkling of how much we would need each other after she had gone home.
Her beautiful mother was with us as well, even before Sandi left us, she was our surrogate mother. She is simply amazing and it is easy to see where Sandi got her awesomeness from, the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I still remember the last time I got to spend quality time with Sandi, it was at the Mary Kay Seminar in 2010, right before she passed away, I could tell that she was really sick even then. She tried to hide it, but her slight frame was even slighter, she seemed so frail, yet so strong. And there she was, standing straight and proud, she crossed the stage as the winner we all knew her to be.
A month and a half later she would be gone, we would all be left here, to miss her, to grieve and to carry on. Carry on we have, Wanda has become our new leader, we meet once a month, keeping the bond that Sandi created within us.
I will not leave you with sadness; I will leave you with a picture of her and myself, I love this picture of us.PICT0020 (2)
I miss you so much my friend, you were my mentor, my friend and my sister, all wrapped up in one little dynamo of a package.

Oct 15, 2014 - General    No Comments

What 30 Days Can Do

My first 30 days with Fitness Together is up, today as a matter of fact, and the question that comes to mind is: was it worth it?
It was, it was worth giving up processed sugar, grains and dairy for 30 days, I do miss real cream in my coffee, which I will be adding back in, not going to lie. But I don’t miss cheese as much as I thought I would, even though my diet was heavily dependent on dairy, it was not missed. I really didn’t miss bread or pasta because I really didn’t eat it that much before. I missed cereal, but that was out on two counts, sugar and grains, oh wait, three, milk.
At the end of thirty days I can do 10 pushups at a time, I can run around the building that houses Fitness Together with only having to stop once, when I first started I had to stop 4 to 5 times and it was a struggle to get around the building. I still don’t look good doing a burpee, I struggle with it, it’s not pretty, but I get it done, and they have this one exercise done with sliders called a mountain climber that I cannot do to save my life. I do a modified version, but I am working on doing the real thing.
I am finding good, fresh food to eat, I still crave sugar, especially when I go down the baking aisle in the store, I can smell the sugar. It’s literally torturous for me, however, I still crave diet coke and I have not had that in a year and a half, the addictions stay, the behavior changes.
I have lost 12 pounds so far and 10 inches, I am feeling better in my own skin, I don’t enjoy being overweight and out of shape. I don’t believe God wants us to live our lives like that, as it makes us sluggish both in body and in mind. We can’t fully achieve what He wants for us in that state; we have to be at our best. It is not easy; I will be the first to tell you, I have struggled through every one of these workout sessions. I have to stop halfway sometimes for a few seconds and gather myself and carry on. I am not the strongest in the classes, I am not the fastest, but I am getting there.
This place, Fitness Together, they don’t make you feel like a failure if you have to modify things at first to get through a workout. They do encourage you to power through and make it to the end; Gladys asked me if I had a favorite trainer. Well, I do, but I am not going to say who, they are all good, some are just stricter, which I need. Because trust me I can slack, which I do not want to do this time around.

Oct 11, 2014 - General    No Comments

Controversial Thoughts

My journey continues, I am down 12 pounds and almost 10 inches in three weeks, that is exciting to me!
I have so much to talk about and some things I have been forbidden to say online, so I shan’t, I shall move on to things I can discuss.
I think I have started a firestorm on Facebook, Adrian Peterson, we have all seen the photos and heard the story of how he took a switch to a four-year old. Everyone who is from the South has had this done to them, it is a fact, the media keeps saying it was a tree branch, it was not, it was a switch, repeat, not a tree branch. Let’s get that fact straight, I am not going to defend the actions, taking a switch to a 4-year-old and whaling on him or her is not the correct way to parent. However, let’s look at a few things, we do not know how long the 4-year-old had been misbehaving, and we don’t know how many times Adrian Peterson “got onto him” (another Southern thing), we don’t know what caused him to snap.
As a parent I can understand the final snap, it is the reaction to the snap that is important, his reaction was to do to his child what was done to him. Not that this is the correct reaction, however, if we have never been taught a different way, we do what we are taught.
Yes, he went overboard on that 4-year-old, but I do not believe he deserves felony charges, I believe he needs parenting classes, some supervised visitation until he completes the classes, then check ups to make sure the lessons were learned.
There is a woman in Pennsylvania that made her daughter eat cat liter and she is being charged with simple assault, I’m sorry, cat liter is way more extreme than a switch (once again, not a tree branch). This woman deserves felony charges, not simple assault charges, if Adrian Peterson were not famous, were not a football player, this would not be a felony.
I’m going to tell you this, my grandmother made her grandchildren go get their own switches, we kids thought the thinner ones would be the best ones. Don’t be fooled, those things stung worse than the bigger ones, I am not advocating what he did by this statement. I am simply letting you know I understand his upbringing, he was doing what he was taught.
Once again, not an excuse, but this is a man who was immersed in a sport that takes all of his concentration, he really didn’t know any better. Instead of prison time, why not get him some much-needed parenting classes, have him do some community service with abused children. He doesn’t deserve prison time for this, I have spoken to someone who went to school with him at OU, he says that Adrian Peterson is a really nice guy. A little dense, but truly nice, get this man some parenting classes, open his eyes to a better way of disciplining, allow him to rehabilitate without costing the taxpayers money.
The woman who made her child eat cat liter, I’ll gladly pay her prison stay.

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.

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