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Friday, January 27, 2012

Transforming My Dream Into Reality

The other day, after a restful sleep in my new king-sized bed, I woke up and realized that I am ready for my new mission.

It began the previous night as I shut off my light and tried to prepare my brain for sleep.  Sometimes I just have to refocus my brain on something pleasant so that I can have a peaceful rest.  I started thinking about the things I am addicted to OTHER THAN FOOD.

For a long time, and even before I started to sell AVON, I enjoyed experimenting with makeup.  I probably started wearing my first eye make-up in middle school.  My first eyeliner that I can remember was the Maybelline kohl eyeliner in Navy.  I admit I've had my bouts of being too made up especially in high school and then again after I graduated college and worked in my early twenties as a single girl.  During college I was sporting a tan so I left make-up for the evening or special occasions.  And, once I had kids?  Well, if you are a mother, you pretty much can agree that you just didn't have the time or desire to put your looks on the front burner.  But, even in those times, I always made sure I had something on my lips.  Whether it was lipstick, lip gloss, or lip balm I would not leave the house without it.  Lip gloss is my mainstay cosmetic.  I am addicted and most recently I've expanded my own personal product cache with the mark. product, also sold by AVON.  I just love the 'hook-up' cosmetics that are portable, interchangeable, fun to wear, and are among my favorite to wear.

As I began to go into my slumber I also thought about my vast array of sandals in my closet.  No, not shoes, but specifically, sandals.  Sandals are the reason why I started to sell AVON in the first place.  One day, almost three years ago, I was at my mom's house and browsed through an AVON catalog that she offered to me since she was planning to make a purchase and wanted to know if I saw anything.  In my mind, I thought AVON only sold cosmetics, jewelry, and perfume.  But, when I realized that there was a cute array of clothes and accessories including shoes and handbags, I was sold.  From that point, my mission was to be able to shop and save money as a representative.  Signing up to sell AVON was inexpensive and easy.  I really just wanted the discount.  Let's just say, my closet is overflowing with my favorite footwear, sandals, thanks to AVON.

The third thing I realized, as I was trying to fall asleep, is that I am addicted to bathing suits.  Or, swim suits.  This penchant for swim wear began way before AVON.  It probably began when I was at college in Florida.  Back then, I actually had a figure to wear a bikini if you can believe it.  I was not skinny by any means.  But, I was confident enough in my body and curves (and year-round tan) to sport the two-piece in public on the beach.  There were times I would even have a male approach me, flirt, and ask for a date.  I was probably a size14 back then.  I had a very cute purple bandeau-top bikini, a light pink-striped bikini, and a multi-stripe bikini.  For years I kept these in a box along with my sexy lingerie and teddies that I wore when my husband and I were dating.  I only got rid of this box four years ago but I still reminisce about the contents and regret that I did not keep it.  It was supposed to be a motivation tool.  Well, that never really panned out, did it?  Or, did it?

The other night I continued to think about all of the bathing suits I've acquired over the years.  A lot of them unworn and purchased with the intention of motivating me to do something about my appearance.  Whether it was from Newport News clearance online (a very affordable resource) or Old Navy closeouts at the end of the season, I've accumulated many pieces of swim wear.  Some are bikinis, some are sexy one-pieces, mono-kinis, and I even have a sexy zebra one-piece that I got for 97 cents last year from Old Navy.  There was no way I could pass that bargain up!  Sadly, I've never been able to wear about 80% of the suits I own.  I believe I faced my reality last year when we scheduled a vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC and I realized there was not a bathing suit in my closet that I could adorn in public.  We made a last-minute purchase from an online store with women's-sized one piece grandma suits.  It wasn't terrible but in no way did it make me feel like the cool, hip mom that I feel like inside.  I felt fat and frumpy; basically, the way the world most likely sees me on the outside (because they don't know the real me; the person I am inside).

Anyway, I woke up with a mission!  I am ready to face the way the world sees me from the outside and I am ready to change that perception to how I feel on the inside.  My goal is to fit into a bathing suit by the summer that will not embarrass me or my family when I hit the beach.  It will realistically be a one-piece but by next year I hope to be sporting something sexier and maybe even a two-piece or mono-kini. That would be awesome!

But this is quite a goal and I realize the road is long and winding and perhaps even never-ending.  Making such a change will require an entire life change.  Changing mind, body, and soul.  I finally realized that I want to live!  I want to be with my family and see them achieve their goals.  I want to be healthy and feel better.

So, on Wednesday, January 25, 2012, I signed up at the Diet Center to weigh in and make a 12 week commitment to lose 25 pounds.  I have much, much more than that to lose but I must break it down into increments of 25 pounds so that I keep motivated and can celebrate each goal as a step in my journey to transform my life and LIVE!

I'll keep you posted on my progress...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Back to Life, Back to Reality

So, it is three days into the new year of 2012 and real life begins, again.

I'm up at 5:15 a.m., gathering the tubs of dirty laundry from upstairs and dragging the entire load down the stairs, one step at a time.  While the kid is in the shower, I begin to sort by color:  greens, reds/purples, black, greys/beiges, blues, and whites.  I end up with a total of seven loads not bad for a family of four over five days.

The bagel is made, the lunch (already made the night before) is placed near the book bag, and I open a cup of yogurt.  By 6:10 a.m., I grab my big grey sweater and greet the 20 degree early morning with a shiver as I unlock the car door.  I'll warm up the car for a few minutes before I drive the kid to the bus stop.  Kids are spoiled these days.  In my mind I find myself saying (to myself), 'back in my day, I had to walk to the bus stop and wait for it to come no matter what the weather; even in rain and snow.'  But, there's only three and a half more years left until he graduates so why stop now?  I think we agreed this year that we would drive him to the bus stop in the morning if it was raining or under 40 degrees.  So far, we've been blessed with a mild winter, knock on wood.

I restart the boiling pot filled with the leftover chicken carcass from our Sunday dinner.  I plan to make homemade soup today, using the bag of spices and vegetable soup mix that my mom gave to me over the holidays.  After the meat cools and I pick off the meat and shred it I'll prepare the carrots and onion.  I'll also add some diced tomatoes and great northern white beans for texture and flavor.  The chicken broth already is permeating throughout the house.

By the time I'm done folding my first load of laundry I am peeling a grapefruit.  My neighbor gave us some beautiful fruit for the holidays.  So, while I didn't specifically declare losing weight as a New Year's resolution it is kind of a no-brainer that I will adopt a healthier eating regime with the promise of a new year and fresh start.  The grapefruit was pink, plump, and delicious.  I already feel 50 pounds lighter.  Ha!

Okay, now to weed through my 'in' box.  Sorting receipts from the last couple of days and gathering the most recent stuff to add to my pile of 2011 tax documents.  Working on the tax stuff is priority one this week and next.  I hope to have my spreadsheets completed by next week so that when we get the W-2 I can get to H&R Block, file, and then complete the FAFSA so that my kid can continue to go to university.  No pressure.  Ha!

I've got an entire Sunday newspaper to go through today in between cooking and laundry.  Read, go through coupons, cut coupons, organize coupons, and file coupons.  Yes, organization is really not a problem for me.  I've got some thank you notes to do, birthday card to sign, and then back to taxes this afternoon.  Load  number five is in the wash and I have a hankering for something warm.  How about a hot chocolate with marshmallows?  Of course, and don't forget the pumpkin spice muffin that we got from Mimi's the other day.  Delicious on a cold winter's morning!

Other stuff on the horizon this week?  Organizing the linen closet to accommodate my new linens for my new KING size bed that was purchased on New Year's Eve.  Yes, we are super excited since we never owned a bed of such stature.  Plus the fact that it's been over ten years since we had a new bed of any sort.  We had a fun time searching for some bargains yesterday when I hit the retailers with mom:  Marshall's, TJ Maxx, and Home Goods.  I hate spending money but I love getting a bargain, if you can call it that.  I got two different comforters(one is Ralph Lauren, yay) and three sets of sheets.  I will be preparing our room in the next seven days to welcome the new addition.

Later this week I'll be heading toward Greensboro to drop off our eldest back to his dormitory for his spring semester.  Before I get to that point I promised myself to devise a budget for him and a daily time management calender so that he can begin with his best foot forward.  As parents, we have to give our kids the tools they need to succeed.  The rest is up to them.  I will continue to nag, support, and encourage.  Oh yeah, and pray.  A lot.  And, crossing my fingers wouldn't hurt either. 

Dr. Phil is on now, as background noise, while I think about everything that kept me from a good night's sleep last night.  I may have gotten a full two hours of sleep.  I'll see how long I last today and whatever I don't finish today, I'll finish tomorrow.  Hakuna means no worries.  Yeah, right.  Actually, I am off to a great start so far.  I am proud that I had such an ambitious list of things to do as I hit my reality head-on.

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