Thursday, February 28, 2013

More of my story - NSV

Looking within can be so difficult.  It makes you feel vulnerable and raw and emotional on so many levels.  Learning about who you are as a person is something that is essential for success in all areas of life.  Dedicating time to myself is something that I've always struggled with, especially now as a mother. 
I'm linking up with KTJ to celebrate the non-scale victories.  I consider it a huge victory that I'm doing more than just eating right and exercising this time around.  I'm actually taking time for myself to figure things out. 
I've discussed before that I had gastric bypass at 24 years old. I was young and immature and really didn't prepare myself mentally for what was to come.
For all the changes that would take place.
For how I'd feel.
How I'd have to feel because I couldn't eat.
I eat to avoid feeling things.
Now, while this doesn't sound deep or complex it was. At 24 I was living for the moment. I was impulsive. You can include 'weight loss surgery' to the 'impulsive' list.

I wanted a quick fix. I wanted to have the surgery, lose weight and be normal.
Little did I know what normal really meant.

Within a matter of 6 months I attended a seminar, learned about the surgery, completed all the required doctor visits and medical check-ups and then I was deemed ready for the surgery.
I lost over 200 lbs in one year. It was successful. Or so they said.

Within that year I was super restricted on the amount of food I could eat. I made good choices because I had to. There was no room for more food to go and most things made me sick.

In August 2009 my grandmother passed away and I was devastated. This one event caused me to completely backpedal on my weight loss. I was making poor choices all around. Eating the wrong things, drinking too much alcohol, spending time with the wrong people and I was quickly spiraling out of control. I quickly stopped myself from drinking and seeing the wrong crowd but the poor eating habits still stuck around.
Between August 2009 and January 2010 I was slowly gaining weight here and there. 
January 19, 2010 I found out I was pregnant. 
I used the excuse "eating for 2" all the time and eventually ended up where I am today.  The bad eating habits went from once in a while to my normal routine.  Constantly making poor choices.  Foolishly thinking the weight would just fall off after I had Olivia and now look where I am. 
2 1/2 years later and I'm even heavier. 
Lately I've been really focused on thinking about my past.  Events that have led me to where I am in life, things that have happened or not happened that make me who I am today. 
Some people say that I'm over-analyzing. 
That I need to just get over the past and do it this time, exercise, lose weight and not worry about the past. 
I feel differently. 
Figuring out the what and why and how is essential for me. 
I need to know these things in order to prevent the back pedaling from happening again.

Friday, February 22, 2013

White Mountain Vacation Day 1

Day 1 - down. We got an early start heading out this morning to make the 4 hour drive. Car was packed, stopped for coffee and even at the mail box for a last minute drop before leaving. Hop on the highway and we're cruising right along. Olivia's in the backseat singing her favorite 'hallelujah' song and my husband and I are chatting away.

Then he says it.

"I bet you're excited to use your new camera and take a bunch of pictures!"

Cue me freaking the freak out! I immediately took the next exit as my husband sat there wondering what the heck I was doing!

I forgot my camera.

So, we turned around and made the 30 minute drive back home. When we pulled in the driveway Olivia exclaims 'yay! Vacation! We're here!' Haha, not so much kid.

Joe runs in the house and grabs the camera. Lets try this again!

I'm glad to say that 4 hours and 30 minutes later, we made it safe and sound with our camera in hand.

Vacation wouldn't be vacation without a few mishaps!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

White Mountains here we come!

My dear husband turned 30 on Monday and in celebration of his birthday our little family is taking a much needed mini-vacation to the gorgeous White Mountains in New Hampshire.

This is our first vacation since I got m new camera and I can not wait to try it out in the most beautiful natural light.

We don't have much planned other than enjoying each others company, taking in the sights and maybe taking a ride up Mount Washington on their snow coach (a van with massive bulldozer tires).

We're staying at a little resort that's family owned and operated. One thing in looking forward to the most is their weekly Saturday night bonfires and marshmallow roast. It just sounds so perfect to do in the snowy mountains!

I'll be back sometime next week with (hopefully) some great pictures to share!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

When faith escapes you.

Faith is a funny thing, well, for me it is. It's been almost a year that my family has been consistently going to church, surrounded by like-minded faithful people (for the most part) and reading the word.

Depending on the circumstances, a year can seem so long or like it flew by. In this case it's the latter. I've made some amazing friends over the past year and so many people have embraced us and prayed for us and loved us when we were struggling and I'm so so thankful that God placed those people in the exact right spot at the exact right time for me.

Over the last few weeks something is off. I feel disconnected? I think that's the right word. I've been slacking on reading my bible, slacking on praying and even slacking on attending church (mostly for weather related reasons but still).

For me, church and Sunday school are necessary to revive me for the upcoming week and the everyday stresses that come along with life. I need to be there on Sunday morning and Sunday evening listening to our pastor preach the bible . I need to hear the message that God has placed on our pastors heart and I need to hear the message intended for me that day.

So, that being said, what's keeping me away? What's causing me to feel disconnected?

I'm not 100% sure but I think it has to do with feeling frustrated with myself and my lack of self worth. What I'm forgetting though, is that I am worth it to God. I'm lovable and worthy of His love, even when I don't love myself. That's such a hard concept for me to understand. To grasp. I wonder how He can love me when I mess up, time after time? How can He possibly forgive me for all of my many shortcomings? Why am I so important to Him but not important to myself?

Questions like this forever plague my mind. I'm a thinker. What I've been doing lately is thinking these thoughts but leaving out something huge, PRAYING about these thoughts. I need to pray to clarity and peace of mind. Pray for help with my self esteem and self worth. Pray to have just 1/100th of His love for myself. Pray for understanding about this path He has set me on. Pray that I'm following what He wants me to do and pray that I'm making a difference in the world.

I'll be praying today.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Love

30 years ago today the love of my life was born, today is my husband's birthday.

From the moment I met you 10 years ago at the young and naive age of 20 I knew that we would be together forever. We were so young and had no idea where our lives were headed!  Who knew that the boy I met would become my husband, best friend and father of our beautiful daughter.

10 years ago I had dreams of what I wanted for my life and because of you they've come true.

Joe - I love you. You're the best husband, friend and father to Olivia I could have ever asked for. You're kind and caring and fun and loving. Spending my life with you is a joy. We laugh and bicker and laugh again. You make our lives so much richer and I thank God for you. Happy birthday love.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Why does it matter?

People's words, actions, lack there of etc - why do they matter to me? Within the past week I've been in situations where I wanted to just crawl in a hole and wait til dark to come back out.

At Target the other day, I'm with my daughter and being Valentines week the store was kind of busy. Minding my own business we're walking along and I hear 2 teenagers talking. Now, I couldn't make out exactly what was being said but the comments, what I could put together from them, were geared towards me and my weight. There's a chance that maybe, just maybe, please God let it be, that I was mistaken, but I'm almost 90% positive that their conversation was about me and it was mean.

I don't know these people, they shouldn't matter to me, their words or opinion of me shouldn't rate anywhere on my radar, it shouldn't have an effect on me or my self esteem but it did, it does.
And I'm still thinking about it.

Yesterday I ran into someone I used to know. We caught eyes for a second and I thought I knew who it was but I wasn't 100% sure. Then there was laughter, legit in my face laughter. It was a mocking laugh that stuck with me all afternoon. I've never done or said anything to this person before that would warrant this type of response to seeing me. The only thing I can think of is maybe they read my blog? Maybe they were mocking me because they know my struggles and thought it was something to laugh about?

Maybe they're just rude.

Again, I don't have any investment in this person nor should it matter to me one bit what they say or think of me. But, you know what? It still hurts deeply. It's been on my mind all afternoon. So much so that I reached out to them on Facebook, I can see they read my message and yet there's no reply. Which sort of indicates to me that I'm right. That they were laughing at me.

I know I'm overweight. It's pretty obvious since I see myself every day in the mirror. This week in general has been difficult with some self sabotage and then these 2 encounters. I could sit here and validate these 2 things and make my self esteem even that much lower, but right now, I'm going to try talk myself out of it.

They don't know me. They have no idea who I am, as a person, a mother, a wife, a Jesus follower, a friend, daughter. They don't know that I'm kind and funny and friendly and sensitive (so sensitive) and shy. They don't know that I'm probably one of the most approachable people in the world and I'd do my best to try to help anyone if I can. They don't know that I wake up at 3:30 in the morning to go to the gym because I'm trying to lose weight. They don't know the core of me, the woman I really am.

And with that mindset, that #1 its ok to make fun of people #2 people who are different aren't worthy, with that mindset, they'll never get to know me and they're the ones missing out.

So, I had a good cry. I talked to one of my best friends who really helped put things in perspective and while the hurt is still there, I'm ok.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Link up

Today is the day of L-O-V-E and I'm linking up with Sel and Hallie to share a little bit about me and my husband.

So here's the deal - head over to Sel or Hallie's blog, grab the button and link up by answering the questions below.

~ Here goes ~

1.) How did you meet your significant other?
Joe and I met in 2003 online, in a good old fashioned AOL chat room with dial up internet. 
Wow, that makes me feel old! 
We started talking and I had to run out the door to meet up with a friend. 
It was late and for some strange reason I gave him my number. 
I was super insecure at the time so I said "listen, look at my pictures, here's my number, if you're still interested, call me - I have to go."  Not even 30 minutes later my phone rang.  We talked for hours and decided to meet up.  ...the rest is history!  

2.) What/where was your first date?
Our first date was dinner and then we went to Newport and sat on the beach.  We talked and laughed and really got to know each other that night.  It was also the night of our first kiss!

3.) What's your best relationship advice?
Honesty and unconditional love - our relationship, like any, has taken many turns, hit rough patches, significant changes and challenges and through it all we've come out stronger and better than before simply because through it all we've remained honest.  Our love isn’t based on conditions.  We choose to love each other through all things, whether good or bad, messy or fun, difficult and easy.  It's a vow we made to each other, the Lord and in front of our families when we got married and it's not something we take lightly. 

4.) What is your most embarrassing moment in front of your SO?
This is funny now but at the time I was really embarrassed!  Now remember, we started dating back in the day, when boys would ask girls to "be their girlfriend".
(I have no idea how that actually works now-a-days)

We officially started dating on November 20, 2003,
but we should have officially started dating on November 19, 2003. 
We were at his house and he handed me a beautiful bouquet of flowers, I read the note thanked him and gave him a hug.  I couldn’t tell you what the note actually said but it was something sweet.
The very next day we saw each other again and he handed me a single rose with another note. 
This time the note was more detailed and specifically said "Will you be my girlfriend?"  I of course said yes! 

He then tells me that he tried to ask me out the day before with the previous note but I didn’t get it. 
ummm... cue embarrassment!  Whoops!

5.) What most attracts you to your SO?
His love of the Lord, me and our daughter.  Obviously this isn't what first attracted me to him but over the years this is what it has grown into and it's beautiful.

6.) If a movie was made about your SO, what actor/superhero
would play their part?
Not really an actor but I'd have to say either Mike of Frank from the show American Pickers.  My husband loves all things flea market, yard sale, thrifting etc.  This show is all about that and he dreams about hanging out with these guys!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Weigh in Wednsday - Bad habits

Linking up with Erin and Alex today for Weigh in Wednesday.  I actually did not weigh myself this week because I messed up.  I need some time to recoup and get my mind back in a good place regarding this journey. 

It's so easy, so very easy, for bad habits to come creeping back in without even realizing it. This past week/weekend were hard.

We were slammed with a blizzard and in preparation of being snowed in we did some grocery shopping. I made the big, huge, gigantic mistake of 'picking up a small box of chocolates'. You know the heart shaped boxes for Valentine’s day? Yea, those. Well, in my mind I totally justified it saying that I'd only eat one and it was no big deal, they weren't for me - they're for everyone else, I don't even WANT them. Who did I think I was fooling? Guess where those chocolates are? That's right, they're gone. All gone. Because I have zero self control.

And in an effort to keep it real around here because who am I fooling, I also had some Fritos. Want to know why that was justified? Well, ready for the biggest lame excuse of the year? I had to stop at a local convenience store for eggs. They were $3. The store has a $5 minimum debit card transaction. The (2 bags) Fritos were .99 each. Perfect right? Fat Laura thought so... So they came home with me - only to be gone the very same day. No moderation. No portion control. No second thought until it was too late.

So, now that I've admitted it, thought about it, felt guilt over it, let food control me AGAIN, now what do I do? Well. The old Laura would let this be the very first step down a slippery slope of complete self destruction... But now? That's NOT me anymore. Did you hear that Laura? That's not you anymore. You will not let this ruin you. You will not be the victim of your own self sabotage again. You will not let this be the mistake that sets you off.

I will let this be a very big lesson. I am not ready to have 'just one' of anything. It’s just not in me. I'm not ready to allow myself to cheat. I haven't earned that right yet. I will not let food win. I will not go back to where I was on December 31, 2012... Even though its only a measly 14 lbs heavier I will not go back there.

And even as I typed that I haven't earned it - why the hell would I want to earn a food reward? This thinking makes no sense. Why does food have control over me like this?

I wish I had an answer to that.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

On Giving

Lately I've been feeling the nudge from God to give. Give more time, money, love, possessions, etc. It's not that I wasn't a giver before, but before there were wrong intentions behind my giving.

It all started back in November. Right before Thanksgiving. That time of year, that season in general, always pulls on my heartstrings. I think of people who are less fortunate, who can't provide for their families, who struggle and it saddens me. As our family is easily planning our large Thanksgiving dinner I realize that there are families out there in my very own community who aren't and can't do the same thing.  Then I had an idea and THIS HAPPENED.

Since then its been little things that I've wanted to give. My husband and I bought new furniture for our daughters big girl bedroom and had to get rid of some odds and end pieces that we were using in her room before. We had planned on selling them. Listed them on Craigslist and received some replies, set up a meeting time and place and then once again felt the nudge to give. We felt we were being pushed to not take money for these items just give them away. So we met up with the people who planned on purchasing the furniture from us and we did just that, gave them away.  We gave of ourselves because we felt pushed to do so by God.

It's also been little things here and there, paying for the order in the drive thru behind me, doing a chore for my husband and vice versa, watching his favorite show on tv instead of mine (sometimes!).

Most recently my heart was so touched by this encounter. Driving home from work on a cold day I see a young mother with two children - a toddler and a baby, no more than 6 months old. She's walking down a busy main street holding her daughters hand and carrying her baby. She bends down to pick up and carry her toddler who is obviously tired from walking uphill. Immediately I feel the need to give her my stroller.

I'm stuck at the red light and I'm having this conversation with myself all in the matter of minutes...

"I'm crazy! Give her my stroller?"
"We barely use it."
"But what if we need it?"
"Olivia always wants to walk so it should be fine, right?"
"It's expensive!" 
"What should I do?"
"She'll think I'm crazy pulling the car over!"

But in those few minutes I knew that God was telling me to do it. To give.

So, the light changed. I drive down the street she's on, pull over, get out and offer her my stroller. She was so appreciative, thankful and humble. In the end she doesn't need it, she has one but can't take it on the city bus. She thanks me and I head home.

I guess the point of this, of me writing it all out, was to try to make some sense of WHY I'm bring pushed and nudged to give. I've been praying about it, to show me why, to help me understand the purpose, for Him to put the right people in my path, to make sure I always give the glory to God.

I guess there are certain things we just won't understand and maybe this is one of them. But, in the meantime, whether I understand His ways or not, I'm going to keep listening.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Non-Scale Victories

Linking up with KTJ and Lex to celebrate the non-scale victories!  Most of the time we put too much focus on the number on the scale and ONLY that, this link up is to remind ourselves that this journey is SO much more than that.  There's other changes and decisions along the way that really aid in our success.
~ Today was the day, my first day at the gym.  I woke up super, super early - like 3:30 am early, threw on my gym clothes and headed out the door.  I'm really out of shape, like really.  I realized just how far I physically have to go today, but, I was there, I went and I worked out.  I did the treadmill, elliptical and recumbent bike.
~ I took the stairs at work.  It's second nature for me to walk right by the staircase and hit the elevator button... which is exactly what I did today, however, when the doors opened, I turned around and walked away.  I walked back to the staircase instead.  
~ I skipped Dunkin Donuts this morning.  After my workout I really wanted a coffee but I just kept driving and decided against it.  I have my water and that's enough.
~ I've been staying prepared.  I packed today's lunch & snack last night so I wouldn't be scrambling last minute this morning.  I got my water ready and gym bag packed. 
Failure to prepare is preparing to fail - right?
Now head on over to KTJ and Lex's blogs to link up and share your non-scale victories.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weigh in Wednesday

I've been staying away from the scale on purpose - the last time I weighed in was January 9th
At that point I was down 4.6 lbs and feeling good.  I've been eating well, drinking a lot of water and trying to avoid emotional eating which is something that's really hard for me. 
The last week and a half was a big struggle for me because I had my lovely monthly visitor and cravings were out of control.  I did indulge every once in a while in a handful of chips but that's nothing compared to how I used to eat. 
A month into this journey and I'm sticking with it.  For me, that's a huge accomplishment.  I'm very much satisfied by instant gratification so sticking with diets has never worked for me in the past. 
What I'm learning about myself and what I'm mentally and physically capable of doing is more important in the long run than reaching a specific number on the scale. 
~I'm learning that if I put my mind to something I will see results. 
~I'm learning that it's ok if I don't have that extra helping at dinner. 
~I'm learning that it's ok to crave something and NOT eat it. 
~I'm learning that I'll live if I'm a little bit hungry.   
I'm learning that the JOURNEY is just as important, if not MORE important than the GOAL
With that being said, onto the good stuff. 
Last night I took my measurements and compared them to when I started this journey.  I've lost at LEAST a 1/2 inch if not more from each measurement!  I can feel that my clothes are fitting better and I can see a slight difference in my face.
I also got on the scale and drum roll please....
I've lost 14.4 lbs! 
(since January 1)
I'm proud of myself so far.  I know that I can do this and now it's time to step up my game.
This happened yesterday - my husband and I joined the gym!
...and a little something that's been motivating me lately.
While I'm doing this for me and my health - there's SO much more to it than that.  Being a good role model for my daughter is one of my biggest worries.  Olivia, I'm doing this for you too!
She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future. Provers 31:25
Linking up with Erin and Alex today for Weigh in Wednesday - go there and check out their progress along with everyone else who has linked up!
PS - I'm also participating in a blogger giveaway with a total prize valued at $120!  Check out the details HERE!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Misc. Monday

Here's a bunch of miscellaneous thoughts for your Monday morning reading.
~ I woke up with a migraine.  Monday + migraine = a super long day.
~ Olivia is getting new bedroom furniture delivered tomorrow and I can't wait to set up her new big girl room.  She'll have a full size bed, dresser with mirror, tv stand, new tv and toy box.  We bought some wall art this weekend and I can't wait to share the reveal on my blog when it's complete.
~ Speaking of her new big girl room, preparing for this meant that we had to literally empty her room.  Her old tv - gone, tv stand - gone, toys - packed etc.  I'm pretty sure she's a bit traumatized because she keeps telling us that "daddy took" her stuff. 
~ I'm participating in a group giveaway on my blog - details will be shared tomorrow!  Make sure you check back for a chance to win.  I'd like to win the prize I'm giving away, just saying!
~ This week I'll be sharing the story of my sister-in-law's delivery and how awesome it was to experience being in the room with her.  Check back for some adorable pictures of my brand new niece!
miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fab Friday

Linking up with Laura from The Everyday Joys again!  Like I've said before, I love ending my week on a high note and reflecting on all the good that's happened.
This week was pretty fabulous!  Here's why.
~ Wednesday was, hands down, one of the most amazing experiences of my life!  I got to see my niece being born, I was my sister in laws labor coach.  Lillian Eve is beautiful!  I'll share more pictures next week.
~ I've been letting my nails grow and they were finally long enough to paint.  I haven' painted my nails in years!
~ I treated myself to an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts this morning.  It's been a while and it tasted delicious.
~ Having dinner with my cousin tonight and looking forward to some adult girl time!
~ I've been practicing using my new camera and I think I'm getting the hang of it.  So far, I'm really happy with the picture quality.
~ I joined Twitter today - follow me here.  User name LBeau107. 
~ I'm participating in a big blogger giveaway - the details will be shared next week!  Check back.
~ My husband and I started a cross wall in our bedroom.  I love how it's coming along.
~ After almost 3 years of marriage, we finally hung our wedding pictures up!  #wifefail
Head over to Laura's blog and link up for her Fab Friday series.
The Everyday Joys
Happy weekend!