Why I Gave In to Yoga and Where It’s Taking Me

I’ll be the first one to admit, I’ve been that asshole who used to be like “Oh yoga?   Not for me, thanks… I like to WORK OUT.”

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Yeah, I know.   I was a complete jerk.   I also didn’t know anything about it, other than a vague idea in my head that involved hippies, patchouli oil and people who might be less familiar with regular bathing and razors than I was.     I may or may not have a habit of dismissing things with a haughty wave of my hand when I’m out of my comfort zone.   (Those of you who know me, shush right now.)

For those of you who don’t know me at all, I’m not a complete dick.   I promise.    I was simply, for many years, a girl not connected at all with yoga in any shape or form resembling a contemporary practice.    In recent years, I have connected with several friends who are very much involved in a yoga practice, and one in particular who has subtly (and not so subtly) over the past 4-5 years suggested that my wound tightly, stress filled, type A, list making, OCD, easily overwhelmed, pulled in a million directions self would benefit mind/body/spirit from a little yoga in my life.

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Of course I poo-pooed this for the most part because I had realized that I wasn’t ready for the walls practicing yoga would break down.   I’ve spent a good portion of my life carefully constructing safety nets for myself emotionally.   I don’t do vulnerable well, and I certainly don’t share my soft marshmallow center with strangers.   Thanks, but I’ll stick to kickboxing, my 6am bootcamp, and other rapid fire, adrenaline pumping, wipe the floor with me when I’m done exercises.    Redirect anger and stress that way.    I’m good with that.    Hold the pain, wounds, and places that have been hurt inside, because those who have hurt you don’t get to see that.   (There’s a very long story for another blog or 30.)

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Fast forward past the wedding I worked so hard to make perfect in 2013.    I’ll admit, it was fabulous.  But the stress of working, planning, and DIY’ing the entire thing left me wiped out.     In hindsight, hand making all of my flowers with coffee filters probably wasn’t the best idea, but they kind of turned out fantastic.    Long story short, I ran myself ragged, even though I knew better having gone through severe adrenal fatigue about 5 years before.    My body was toast.

I started gaining weight.   My migraines began increasing in frequency again.   Allergies flared up.   Hip pain was growing exponentially worse, to the point where it took me 10-15 minutes to get out of bed.    Everything hurt all the time.   I just wrote it off as my thyroid under functioning again.

My body ended up so incapable of fighting infection that I got sick while on vacation in Vegas with my husband after Christmas this past holiday.    Turns out it was strep, which got so bad it landed me in the hospital, twice, with a peritonsillar abscess.    Three rounds of hardcore antibiotics, and I feel like I’m 100 years old.   2 months following, I finally get in to see a new endocrinologist, and thankfully, we are on the right path to regulate some of the hormonal problems I’ve been experiencing.     (Side note: YAY!)

Bad news?   The doc said MY STRESS MADE ME SICK.  What?   Hey, shut your face doctor who I know is right but I have to still be indignant because I wanted not that answer to come out of your mouth.   So what can I do?    Well, I have a list of foods that are creating inflammation in a body that’s trying to kick its own ass already, so that’s a lot of fun.    Oh, and I’m supposed to sleep at least 7 hours a night.    Sure, also funny.    The little one goes to college in about 8 years.

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I’ll just go back to low carb and get back to the gym.

NOPE.   Sorry, you can’t do that.    It’s too stressful on your body.

I’m sorry, what?   I can’t go to the one mother fucking way of eating that works for my stupid post hypothyroid body and I can’t go to kickboxing?    Sweet.    So, I’ll just go to Wal-Mart, buy myself some stretchy I gave up clothes and settle into middle age with zero style, grace or self esteem.   Could you please point me to the nearest oven so I could stick my head into it?

My sweet endo, who becomes exceedingly uncomfortable when the freckle faced 40 year old amazon woman either rages or cries in his office, pats me awkwardly on the shoulder and starts talking to me about diet options.   Modified low carb, staying out of ketosis, limit caffeine (my life is over), limit alcohol (goodbye unhealthy coping mechanism), no processed food, and all that jazz.    Ok fine, I’ll do it.

Exercise?   No kickboxing.  No bootcamp.   No running (which is fine, because now I have Dr’s orders to avoid something I have tried to love but I hate it, it hates me, so again YAY).

Skip, hop, jump through some personal stuff, some soul searching, some hard lessons, and I find myself really REALLY needing to take care of me.   And also really REALLY needing to work out.

It's a meme with Adam Levine talking about yoga.    Yes, please.

It’s a meme with Adam Levine talking about yoga. Yes, please.

So I give yoga a go.   My friend B, yes, the one who knew years ago I needed this, warned me that I might get emotional during some poses.   Great.   I’m already an emo mess thanks to hormones, but whatevs.     I’ll just curl up in the corner and make up a new pose called Weepy Mom Embracing Houseplant.

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Confession?   I loved it.   I loved every sweaty, awkward, stretchy, bendy, tearful moment in that class.   I sank into pigeon for the first time in my life, and as soon as that hip opened, apparently, so did a lot of old pain, because tears dripped down onto my mat.

I sat in my car.  Cried a little more.   That door was open for a while.   Something was working through me.    I felt emotions come to the surface from my divorce.   Old hurts from people long ago.   Recent wounds I’d pretended didn’t bother me.    It was uncomfortable.   But for the first time in a very long time, instead of fighting those feelings, I let them happen.   I let them be OK.

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That day, I cried a lot.   I cried because I was scared of what I was feeling.   I cried because I had forgotten what it felt like to be kind to myself.   I cried because for that one hour I didn’t hate my body.   I didn’t hate my body for being broken, and sick, and in pain.    I’d been fighting it for so long, even when I was doing what I thought was “healthy” I was fighting it, pushing it too hard, not listening to what I needed.    My body and my mind have been in a war against one another since it first betrayed me following a horseback riding accident where my thyroid was damaged.

That day I made a decision to work with my body.  And to work with my mind.   To listen.

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I made the decision to do something for ME.   To stop a pattern of self destruction, and to stop hating myself for not being who I was 20 years ago, or 10 years ago.    As a woman who has always had to be the best, do the best, out perform, be smarter, better, than everyone else, this was hard.

On that day a few weeks ago, I decided to treat myself with love.    Not when I’m back in my skinny jeans.   Not when I’ve made X dollars from a sale.    Not tomorrow, or next week, or next year.    I’m going to treat myself with respect, and love, and if I can’t say I “love” my body RIGHT NOW, I can at least say I don’t hate it.   It’s a step.

Something inside my head changed.    I had a lightbulb moment, and I rarely have those.

I just wanted to come back.  So I did.   I came back.   I did a sweaty class at another studio with two friends, and didn’t judge my 40 year old body in the mirror next to the 20 something girls with their fluid movements and pre-baby bodies.   Where was the self-loathing and shame for “letting myself go”?  It wasn’t there.

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The tears still keep coming.   Emotions bubble to the surface during class, and I’m learning to breathe through them, and just let the tears fall onto my towel without losing breath.  Sometimes,  bits of white hot rage course through me.   That takes me by surprise.  But when I walk to my car, I find I’m lighter of spirit, as I’ve left those negative feelings in a little puddle of sweat on my mat.

And that’s empowering.   I can sink my body into beautiful (at least in my head) poses, and take one hour each day for me.   One hour to breathe.   To quiet my mind.   To still the voices in my head.     It’s beautiful.    I’m more responsive as a mother, as a wife, as a person in general.

I want to know more.   I want to read more.   Learn more.  Practice more.   I’m challenged to push my body.   I’m ‘excited to see what this perfectly imperfect body can do.

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While yoga is a newfound love, I think it’s here to stay.    If I have reached a place in my life where instead of making excuses for what I can’t do physically, I’m celebrating what I can do, and seeing progress every day, then I will embrace the tools that gave me that success.

It may have taken me 4 decades to learn to be kind to myself, to stop berating myself for not being perfect, but I realize I might never have gotten here.    I will take the gift of self love, an open heart, a clear mind and a strong body in my 40’s and beyond.    And I will embrace a life with a lot less suppressed hurt, fear, anger and pain.   Right now is all we are guaranteed.   I want to live right now without the shadows from yesterday interfering with my joy, or the worries of what might come holding me back from embracing an experience to its fullest.

I know myself well enough to know that somewhere ahead there is a big pile of sabotage waiting.    Being comfortable has never been comfortable for me.    But today, I’m in the moment, and as I sit here with a body feeling fatigue in muscles it forgot existed, a mind spinning with ideas for paintings, a sweet husband lying next to me, and the gentle snores of our dogs on the floor at our feet, I’m comfortable.  I’m happy.   And I don’t care how zen I get, I’ll always have a warped sense of humor and say “fuck” way too much for polite company.   I’m not gonna down dog all my sharp edges away.

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Namaste, bitches.

XOXO – Carrie

Posted in Fitness & Health | Leave a comment

Marriage Equality! The End is Coming… Oh, Wait… Maybe Not

The past 24 hours, my Facebook and Twitter feed have been overtaken by beautiful rainbows of harmonious love, happiness, and joy.    Aside from a handful of narrow minded bigotry, the United States survived not only the recognition of marriage equality, but the start of Pride, and on a more personal note, my bathroom remodel should be completed this weekend.

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY ME!

Now in other news, some folks are mad.   Outraged.   Sickened.  They are railing against the injustice handed out by SCOTUS, blaming Obama, throwing out Bible verses, calling for the end of days, and fearing for their children.

Um, why?

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Here are a few discussion points I would like to share on the topic.   I’m not in any way saying that a person has to agree with marriage equality.   Or that a person needs to change his or her beliefs on what marriage needs to be in his or her eyes.   One must simply accept that in our country, ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL.    Period.   That includes straight men, gay men, white men, black men, women, trans men and women, and any other human as a citizen of the USA.

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It wasn’t that long ago it was forbidden for an interracial couple to marry.   Can you imagine that now?     Women were not allowed to vote.    Segregation was a very real thing, and still is in practice in many places, even though legally it was abolished decades ago.   Read your history books, and do the math… how long ago was it when people were allowed to OWN other human beings?

Our country has gone through many changes, and progress is a natural part of growth.   Every major change that has affected a large group of people, be it  gender, race, socio-economic, or sexual orientation debate has been met with resistance and argument.   Passionate protests were made against abolishing slavery.    Passionate protests by men and women standing and shouting with a Bible in their hands.

Protests were made against women voting.   Because if we allow the other HALF of our population that right to vote, what is going to happen?   They might actually USE that and have a say in what happens in what was previously a patriarchal society.   Don’t they know their PLACE?

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Protests were made, people died for the right to sit where they chose in restaurants.   To use public restrooms.   To share water fountains.    And this was met with resistance.   By the people who did not want to share what was “theirs” by someone who was different in their eyes.

I’m seeing the same narrow minded bigotry over marriage equality.    People are saying that allowing same sex marriage “ruins” the sanctity of marriage in God’s eyes.   How many of you sat down and had a one on one with God about this?     Because until you do, your argument, even if you pull a snippet out of the Bible to use as your ammunition, it’s YOUR argument.  Not God’s.

Courtney Blair holds a sign during National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A on Richmond Avenue in support for love, equality, and the real definition of family Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Cody Duty)

And taking it a step further, nobody is asking you to change your religion.    Or demanding that a pastor in a conservative church perform gay weddings.    If a Catholic priest refuses to marry a same sex couple, he has that right.    Just like he can refuse to marry a couple if one partner has been divorced, or for a host of other reasons.

What this means though, if you happen to work at the county courthouse, you can’t tell a couple you refuse to issue their marriage license due to your beliefs without a risk of getting fired.    And I have heard how unfair that is, because it’s not respecting your beliefs, etc.   I would suggest not working in a government office if you are not capable of performing the duties of your job due to your personal beliefs.

Before you get all pissy with me, think about this.    A police officer is sworn to protect and serve.   His or her personal beliefs may be strong.   But that officer is not going to refuse to help a citizen who needs assistance because that person is gay, or Jewish, or not white.

Marriage equality is not an indication of the end of days.    We aren’t bringing the wrath of God upon us for recognizing the very real need for people to enjoy the same rights and responsibilities most of us were born having.    At the end of the day, allowing couples to get married, be it a man/woman, man/man or woman/woman has little to no bearing on your life unless you let it.

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In a time where people try on marriages like pairs of shoes, I find it lovely when the notion of commitment is strong enough for people to fight, and fight hard to experience it.   I am close to several same sex couples, some married because they live in a state that recognizes it’s 2015 (Hello, Texas… just saying… can we please come up to speed now thanks), some not.     Acknowledging their relationships, their marriages, does not diminish my own.

The only people who can diminish the sanctity of my marriage?   My husband and I.   Period.   Allowing other people the joy of marrying the love of their lives in no way devalues the vows I made to love, cherish and honor my husband.

So give love.   Accept people for who they are, what they stand for, and their rights as human beings.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it until I’m blue in the face.   You do not have to understand another person to accept him or her.     There is no need to be afraid.   I’m certain there is no big liberal “gay agenda” determined to take away your beliefs.

Take a deep breath and relax.   Change is here.   I hope acceptance ain’t far behind.    So put on your rainbow colored glasses and raise a glass to a beautiful victory.

marriage-equality-cake

Posted in Rainbows & Puppies, Serious Stuff | 1 Comment

Why This Mom is Furious Over the Caitlyn Jenner News

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It’s not why you may think.   I’m not about to hop up here on my high horse and preach about “normalcy” and what it means to be a woman.    I’m not here to spread more hate, more fear geared toward a group of people who are already the target of so much misunderstanding and wrath.

This mom is pissed off after reading the nasty words people are spewing about a person they don’t know, a process they don’t understand and a struggle they have never felt.    While Caitlyn Jenner’s experience is not typical for a transgender person, mainly due to fame and millions of dollars, her public transformation has created an opportunity to open a dialogue.   At the very least, due to the reach of the Kardashian fame machine, there will be people who may begin to understand just a touch of what trans folks go through, where they are coming from, and how this is not a “choice”.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 6:  Participants march for the rights of Transgenders during the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney on March 6, 2004  Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jon Buckle/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 6: Participants march for the rights of Transgenders during the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney on March 6, 2004 Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jon Buckle/Getty Images)

I am not an expert by any means.   But I am not unfamiliar with the topic, and am learning more so that I may educate myself and my children.   I do have friends who are trans and have gained quite a bit of insight lately that I am thankful for.    I want to understand what other people are experiencing, because it’s short sighted to think that my own experience is the only one that matters.

People have called me a “dirty liberal” or made fun of the fact that I accept people for who they are, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender.    I know, it’s crazy.    And as a family, we are raising our daughters to see people as equal even if (wait for it, WAIT FOR IT) they aren’t exactly the same as us.  transgender children

This is where I flew off the mother fucking handle this morning.   Comment after comment from people using words like “it”, deliberately making fun of her appearance, playing down the horrific struggle a transgender youth will go through in his or her lifetime trying to figure out how to fit in, crying out to “make this go away” because they didn’t want to see this in their news feeds?

Cry me a river.   How is this news hurting you?    How is acknowledging another person’s journey, whether it matches yours or not going to affect your life?       Pretending this doesn’t exist will not make it go away.   People tried to do this for years with homosexuality, and still do.   How well did that work out for the parents whose narrow minded views kept their gay children so afraid to come out they either cut all ties with their families or ended their lives?       Putting our damn heads in the sand and ignoring an issue we’d rather not deal does not help anyone.   Blinders simply keep people ignorant.

I have had quite a few messages in the past when I have stood up for equal rights, or gay marriage, or anything not “normal” in the eyes of the Normal Police.   The most common is “But what would YOU do if YOUR CHILD was GAY!?!?! What then?  You’d change your tune.”

As if that was going to make me suddenly go, “Oh no, not my child, they would never.” Nope.

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No matter what, my children are my children.   And if either of my daughters comes to me and tells me she is gay, or is struggling with gender, I’m here for her.   Period.   She will not be treated like she’s “sick” or “weird” or “wrong” or needs to be “fixed”.   Because you can’t pray away who you are.   You don’t go to a doctor to get fixed, or hardwired back to someone else’s idea of “normal”.

You find someone who can help you understand what you’re feeling, how to deal with it, and where to go from there.    I tell you what, though.    NO matter the subject, there is nothing on this earth that would make me turn away from my child.   Instead of judgment, I’d try to understand.

Every-bigot-ever

And that’s at the heart of all the crass jokes, the outrage, the Bible beating, the shaming… people fear what they don’t understand.   Always have.   So, make fun of what you fear.   Find a group of people, form a pack of like minded fear mongers, and make fun of what you fear within a safe haven of numbers.    Reject the notion that your “normal” isn’t really how the world is, because opening your eyes would mean accepting that THOSE PEOPLE and THOSE IDEAS have been here all along…

Terrifying, isn’t it?

jesusSo, put down your bullshit argument that trans people are an aberration, and should be happy with “what God gave them” because anyone who has ever had an illness remedied, a tumor removed, or altered his or her body in any way at any time has changed “what God gave them” and is a hypocrite.

Stop using the handful of verses in the Bible you remember that are conveniently used by people when they want to write off what they’re afraid of.

If you’re going to be hateful, own it.   Be honest about it.   Admit that you’re scared because if it’s true that there are transgender folks out there, and have been for a long time, then everything you’ve ever thought about traditional roles, and rules, and people and everything might just be antiquated, in need of a little update.    Admit that you’re uncomfortable with gender reassignment because it’s just too far out of your comfort zone.

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If you’re going to be a bigot, don’t hide behind the labels of “traditionalist” or “Christian” or “mother” or “man” or “normal” because it’s offensive to the people who wear those labels without spreading hate.

I applaud Caitlyn Jenner for being brave enough to come out and be herself, because her story might help one person feel like he or she is not alone in this world.    Shame on those of you who say nasty things and spread hurt around like it’s a game.    That kind of  holier than thou judgment has a lot to do with what’s wrong with our country right now.

Posted in Parenting, Pissed Off, Serious Stuff | 3 Comments

Why Victimizing Josh Duggar Slaps His and Other Abuse Victims in the Face

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We live in a society built on appearances.   Children are taught to fear the creepy, weird looking dude down the street or watch out for someone who looks/acts/speaks differently than they do.    We are trained to embrace those who seem like “us”.    When news comes out regarding a disgraced public figure, the outcry is “but he has a family”, or “I never saw that coming” or ” this couldn’t be true”.

We don’t want to believe that something awful, something twisted could be inside such an innocuous shell.    Because if evil dwells in him or her, could it be inside our friend?   Our children’s teacher?   Our youth leader?

jack nicholson in the shining

The answer is yes.   Predators don’t look like predators most of the time.   Rapists don’t look like rapists.   Abusers don’t look like that one actor with the creepy eyes that always plays the crazy husband on Lifetime movies.   The real world doesn’t work that way.

Pedophiles look like the guy down the street.   Like your Uncle Bob.   Like the lady who runs the cosmetics counter at Walgreens.   They look like PEOPLE.

Creepy-van

And fun fact?   The US Department of Health and Human Services reported in 2010 that 1 in 5 girls, and 1 in 20 boys would be the victim of sexual abuse.   Keep in mind that only about 1/3 of sexual abuse cases are ever reported.   (Do the math here, it will make you sick.)

According to the US Bureau of Justice statistics, 93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker.    More than 34% were family members.   Only 7% of the attackers were strangers.    We are taught to fear strangers, we are taught “stranger danger” when the bigger threat is most likely closer to home.

When it comes to the media storm the Josh Duggar story has created, there is outrage on both sides.     While I have tried to understand how some feel that they need to defend this person because what he did was “so long ago” and he has “expressed remorse” and “paid his dues”, I can’t.   Because really, has he?   Let’s take the emotion out of it and look at facts.

  1. Adolescent sexual abusers generally have some common traits.   Many have an inability to control the impulses and desires stemming from normal hormonal changes in puberty, whether from lack of a natural sexual outlet, a learning disability, or mental challenge.
  2. For up to 80% of these perpetrators, they themselves have been sexually abused, and this is what sex is to them.  This is what they have learned.   There is a power-control-sensory connection that is hardwired from the abuse.   They tend to take the powerlessness they felt at the hands of their abuser, and turn it to someone they can feel powerful over.   Add in the physical part, which feels good, but the brain says is “bad”, this can create a huge guilt/desire cycle.
  3. The triggers that go along with a systemic abuse of several (at least 5 from what the published reports state) young girls over the course of more than a year would not just go away.   A few months of hard work and a lecture are not going to suddenly take away the need to touch, the need to exert power from this boy/man who needs it.

The fact is, this was never “dealt with”.   Nobody with any actual experience dealing with sexual assault (except maybe the state trooper who had a thing for kiddie porn, and I’m thinking maybe he’s not the best choice for a mentor in this case) was brought in to counsel these girls and let them know first and foremost that THEY DID NOTHING WRONG.

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THEY.  DID.  NOTHING.  WRONG.

The parents did everything wrong.    The cover ups hurt everyone.   Except them.   And yes, covering up this abuse hurt their son, because this is now a man who has had to live with guilt, shame, and feeling he has no way of coping with.    Who knows how much damage has been done?    Who knows how many women are going to come out of the woodwork and say that he did it to them too?    There will be more, I am willing to bet on it.   And it could have been stopped.    Josh could have seen a real counselor, gotten into an effective program designed for teens just like him.   Learned how to deal with triggers, and redirect impulses.    Learned coping mechanisms.   Same as an addict does in rehab.  You wouldn’t ask someone to give up heroin after a stern lecture, would you?   And believe he or she was clean because he or she showed remorse?

children

How many of you have experienced addiction?   Or compulsive behavior?    How easy is it to stop?

What makes this any different?

It’s not.   Except nobody wants to believe it’s true, because if it is, then you know someone it’s happening to.   And you know someone who’s assaulting another person.  Or a child.

But it can’t be him, or her, right?   They’re so nice.  He drives a Mercedes.   She plants flowers in the yard.    They have the best cookies for the church 4th of July picnic… those kinds of people don’t exist in your circle, do they?

Except they do.   And there are women who are victims of Josh Duggar.    For every person out there screaming that he’s being victimized, please remember that the real victims here are the girls whose voices never mattered.   And don’t believe for one second that a day goes by that what happened to them doesn’t taint one small piece of their happiness.

People who do bad things show remorse all the time.   Usually right about the time they get caught…

Posted in Parenting, Pissed Off, Serious Stuff | Leave a comment

Epoxy Countertops, Plywood Plank Floors and Mosaic Fireplace DIY

Hello Hello Everyone!     It’s been way too long since I blogged, and I’ve missed it.    Albeit, I have been crazy busy getting married, starting a real estate career, and remodeling our house from stem to stern. So I’m working on a series of “How-To” posts on the following projects we have tackled. 1.  Epoxy Countertops – so much fun, inexpensive, and can really liven up a dated kitchen without shelling out $8000 for granite counters! counters 2.  Plywood Plank Flooring – Not for the faint of heart.  Lots of work, but when you have a huge amount of square footage to cover on a shoestring budget, and hate the look/feel of laminate, you can create the look of reclaimed wood or longleaf pine with PLYWOOD. livingroomfloorsoffice 3. Glass Mosaic –  We have an ugly, dated 80’s cultured marble fireplace surround, which is my current DIY project.   Easy (though time consuming) update?   Glass mosaic.   It’s not for everyone, but can be designed as fun and funky as you want. fireplace   That’s all for now, folks!    Check back soon for detailed instructions on renovating your home on a shoestring budget.    Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Art & Creativity, Food & Domestic Crap | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why The F*CK Are You Not Sweating?!?!?

You may notice over the course of the next several months that my blogs are going to focus primarily on the gym, the people at the gym, what I’m eating (or not eating, or want to eat but can’t), progress I’m making, etc.

people-don-t-want-to-hear-about-your-diet.american-apparel-unisex-fitted-tee.white.w380h440z1There are two reasons for this.  One, I don’t feel like writing about wedding shit.  In fact, as the wedding draws closer, the more people mention IT to ME, the more my right eye starts twitching and I sorely regret giving up processed food, alcohol and cigarettes until two-thousand never.

Two, it’s my blog, and as I’ve stated many times, I will write about whatever strikes my fancy.   When I was prowling the online dating circuit, I wrote about the veritable buffet of top choice dudes and their winning pick up lines.  You’re welcome.   I taught women how to groom their lady bits so they stood a chance of getting a little something something down there on the kitty in case they missed the memo a couple of decades back that the 70’s porno bush is out.   Except in Japan, but don’t get me started on that.    Those weird fuckers invented tentacle porn.

Warning_tentacle_porn_ahead_by_kaaskopAnyway, I digress.   Today’s rant is brought to you by a mild case of insomnia, and a little bit of irritation brought on by whatever planet is aligned with whatever other planet making people act like douchetards this past couple of weeks.   So let’s get started, M’kay?

I’ve spent a fair number of hours in the gym working out.   Pretty sure you guessed that by my amazing body already (“Sarcasm, Lana”), but in case you weren’t aware, know that I’m not a stranger to the physical fitness.   This ain’t my first rodeo, folks.   And no matter what class you take, what area of the gym you’re working in, what program you’re involved in, there is always someone who thinks that they’re different.   They’re special.   They don’t have to do the same work, push with the same effort, or do what EVERY OTHER PERSON THERE IS DOING in order to have results.

Fat-Guy-with-Pink-DumbbellExample.   I overheard a girl recently telling a trainer she wasn’t going to use heavy (meaning more than 5 lb) weights because she didn’t want to get “big”.    I’ve heard that a LOT.   Women say that often, though every bit of information out there says the exact opposite.   They are afraid to lift anything other than the adorable pink coated plastic pretend weights because they want to “tone” not “bulk up.”

NEWSFLASH:   Men get big because they are designed to do so.  They have testosterone.  And lots of it.   That’s also why they grow facial hair and act like Neanderthals when some other dude looks at their girlfriend’s ass.

Women, as a rule are not designed to get huge.   It takes a lot of work, specific nutrition, supplementation many times, and an incredibly regimented program to get “big” as a woman.    Your average woman coming into a boot camp situation and lifting 15 lb dumbbells for 3 sets of 12 isn’t going to start looking like Lou Ferrigno.   It’s just not going to happen.   So, let’s not use that as an excuse not to push our bodies, OK?   Look around the gym.   The people that have been doing exactly what you’re being asked to do are not beefy lumberjack looking chicks.

They’re lean, ripped, strong and healthy.

If you’re not struggling to get through the last few reps of a particular exercise, you aren’t really doing much to change that set of muscles.   Sorry.   And speaking of not doing much, let’s talk about sweating.

If you go to my morning boot camp and you aren’t sweaty by the end of it, you are not doing the program.   Because I’m not a sweater, at all.  My normal body temperature is approximately two degrees less than normal people’s (thank you under-active thyroid), so even getting warm enough to sweat takes considerable effort.   And when I’m done with boot camp, I’m drenched.   My pony tail has sweat dripping out of it.   I’ve sweated through my bra, sports bra, and my t-shirt.

makeup-at-the-gymSo you, yeah you there with your dry t-shirt, who keeps hopping on the elliptical machine in the middle of the work out instead of doing what we’re supposed to be doing?   Go catch a Zumba class.   Or join a Silver Sneakers workout.    I don’t understand why anyone would pay the money to do this intense program (which is not cheap) and not do it.

You can’t change your body by simply swiping your credit card.

You don’t lose body fat just by telling friends you belong to a bad ass gym, or show up at boot camp.

You get out of this program what you put into it.   Mentally and physically.   Not just financially.     When I first started, the fact that my husband had purchased this for me kept me going when my body thought it was going to die.  I wasn’t about to waste the money he spent on me.

Now I get up at 4:15 in the morning to drive 27 miles into Austin for boot camps because I love the way I feel when I’m done.   I’m learning to trust my body again, in a way I haven’t been able to in a very long time.   I’m getting stronger, and it’s happening quickly.

I’m still fucking slow.     I still have to modify some of the exercises I am not quite able to do, but I’ve noticed significant strength gains in three weeks, plus I can complete much more of each workout than I could when I started.     I’m focusing on progress, not perfection.   On pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, even when I’m tired/sore/lazy/insert excuse here.

sweaty-womanI’ll get there.   And I for damn sure won’t be one of the many who starts this program only to fall to the wayside, or give up, or just not try.

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My Ass Hurts… And Not in a Good Way

So, last week, I started week zero of what will ultimately be a 12 week program at Body by Frame.    The first 6 weeks gets me to my October “wedding” ceremony and 6 weeks following that, we’re supposed to be on a tropical honeymoon.

Ok awesome.   Strapless wedding dress.  Bathing suit.   If you’ll hold please, I’m going to go stick my head in the oven or throw myself in front of a speeding bus.   I spent most of the summer sitting on my ass, which while glorious in its own right, is roughly the size of North Dakota and a bit jiggly for my taste.    I will not indulge in twerking, though I have a feeling I could put a few sisters to shame with the junk I’ve got in this trunk…

Don’t even get me started on how far off plan my eating went this summer.   I didn’t meet a beer, a nacho, or a chili cheese tater tot that didn’t strike my fancy.  Margaritas?   Yes.   Wine Wednesday?   Ok.   Jesusfuck… no, I wasn’t drunk all summer, but in hindsight maybe I should have been.   I would probably have eaten less.

Magically, I didn’t eat my way out of fitting into the gorgeous wedding dress that costs approximately 1.4x the amount I paid for my first car, but I also didn’t drop the 25 lbs I wanted to this summer either.  FAIL.

Panic sets in.  Then I, in my special kind of self critical fashion beat myself up severely.   Because I’m not stupid.   I’ve been down this road before.  More than once.   I’ve gotten myself in such good shape, put in the time for education and worked with others to become a certified personal trainer at one point about 6 years ago.    It would be better if I didn’t have the knowledge.   If I’d been living in a bubble for years and didn’t know anything about exercise, or nutrition, and could use that as an excuse.   But nope.   I mindfully, willfully and knowingly set myself up to be here.

Here I go again.   Starting over again.  Not from my worst point.   Not from my highest weight, but from a really challenging place mentally.   It’s probably the most difficult emotional challenge I’ve had to overcome during a lifestyle change in my life.   I had a huge dose of in my face reality that I wasn’t ready for when someone I was close to let me know I’m not the sexy woman I used to be any more.   That I’m “just” me.

Ouch.

That’s never happened.  EVER.

Fat or thin, I’ve always had that.   I’ve always owned my appeal as a woman, and carried it with confidence.

I cried on that.   Slept on it.   Cried again.  A lot.   Don’t mind me while my confidence gets hit in the face with a motherfucking brick and I just want to curl up in the fetal position and die.

Then I came to the following conclusion:

FUCK. THAT.

I’m not ready to give up on me.  I’m not ready to admit defeat and say “Hey, I’m 40 years old, and I’ve got to work harder than I did at 22 to look hot, so fuck it, let’s stop trying.”

I’m not going to sit down on my sizable (and don’t forget glorious) ass and quit.   Again.

Because at the end of the day, I’m doing all of this for ME.     No one else really counts when it comes to the why’s.   This past couple of years has brought with it significant change, much of it to do with my relationships, setting healthy boundaries, and learning to say “No” to people I care about.

I’ve lost some folks that needed losing, seen true colors come out in others, and deepened bonds with people who proved they are meant to stay.   I’m learning to live my life deliberately, to love the people in it with the passion they deserve, and to plant my feet in the direction I want to go.   If connections are severed as I take steps on my personal journey, as much as I’ve mourned the losses, it means others simply had a different path to take than mine.

Right now, my path wakes me up at 4:15 to be at bootcamp at 5:30 with an adorable trainer who reminds me of my little brother and thinks I’m crazy.   I’m pretty sure he does anyway.   I’m the slowest person in the class, which kills this girl who’s always had to be perfect at everything, but I’m going to keep doing it.

My body hates me right now.   I’m sore in places that aren’t normally sore unless I was doing something really acrobatic in bed.   Then fell off the bed.  And maybe got stepped on by a rhinoceros.   Who then pooped on me just to be mean.   (Because rhinos are assholes.)  But my mind is grateful.

For the first time ever, I’ve finally learned that it’s OK to take care of me even if it sometimes makes things inconvenient for others.    The past two years have been spent building a circle of support and taking stock of the people in my life.   This is the time for me to use the permission I gave myself to do this.

Anyone who thinks I don’t still have it can eat a big bag of dicks, washed down with a side of bite my ass.  Because this girl isn’t ready to give up.   This girl isn’t ready to call it quits on the woman she is on the outside, since the woman she is on the inside is a sexy motherfucker.   I’m not going to tell myself I’ll be hot again “when” or “if” or any of those self-depreciating things women say.   F that S.   I’m hot now.  And “just me” is just about damn fabulous.   The fab factor is just going to go up the more I take care of myself.

The me in two months doesn’t deserve any better treatment than the me now does, simply because she’ll wear smaller clothes or have less body fat.   My heart is still the same.   My mind is still the same.   My sense of humor is still that of a slightly perverted 17 year old boy.   You’re welcome.

So you can find my slow ass sweating every weekday at 5:30, causing my poor trainer to look at my with a face that says “OMG, she just said that, didn’t she?” and sporting one of several dozen ridiculous t-shirts.   (Today was my Great Cornholio shirt… yay!)

I reprimanded myself already for allowing the opinions of others to get to me in a rare moment of complete vulnerability.   I’m over it now.   Because I don’t know if y’all are aware… Carrie doesn’t normally give two shits what people think of her.

Be prepared for updates on my training, maybe recipes, a photo or something if you’re lucky… I would have posted one today, but I haven’t spray tanned since Jesus was in short pants, and really, nobody needs to see that.

Be good to yourself, folks.   Especially when nobody else is.    And also, kick a mean person.   That always helps. 🙂

 

 

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