Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Let It Be Christmas

I learned about love and happiness riding in the backseat of a white Dodge Dynasty looking at Christmas lights with my Poppa Leon and my Grandma Carol. Every single year when we were little, they would take Ethan and I around Hastings looking at all the lights. Little did I know at the time just how big of an impact those memories would have on my life.   I can still hear Grandma singing to Bing Crosby Christmas (on cassette, of course) and Poppa humming the wrong tune to it. It was during these times that I learned the true meaning of family.

Grandma Carol loved Christmas. We would come visit for Thankgiving dinner and her house would have been transformed in to this Christmas wonderland. She even had Christmas hand towels for the bathroom. Each week her house would get more and more holiday-fied. She wanted her whole family together for the holidays. She loved each of us for our unique qualites and ALL of us because we were hers.

 She would wake up long before the rest of us on Christmas morning to start the holiday dinner. Then we all waited patiently until everyone was awake before we could look at presents from Santa. All five of us grandkids were still reeling from seeing Santa (Poppa) the night before.

Later on in the day, we would open presents from the rest of the family. Grandma had this tradition, presents were opened in the order of youngest to oldest, she, of course, being the oldest. I think mainly it was so she could sit back and look at all of our reactions while we opened our gifts. As the years have passed life has changed us. Our family structure has changed. We have welcomed new life, new love and have mourned the loss of three of our main characters. I feel a little sorry for our spouses and significant others because they have to be initiated into the chaos. The rest of us have had our whole lives to adjust to our nutty family. :)

We keep some of the same traditions and have added new ones.  Dad still tries to get us to skip over his turn when opening presents and Mom still gets to talking and just opens out of order. Teri and I are no longer the babies and Uncle Doug has to open his presents last, but the love and hope that Grandma and Poppa instilled in us will always remain.

You see, Christmas with Grandma and Poppa was not about the gifts. It was not about the food.....okay it was a little bit about the food, but you can't really say you lived if you never tried Grandma's cooking. Christmas is about family. It's about unconditional love. It's about making time in our busy lives for each other. It's about laughing and carrying on.

This Christmas I am filled with this bittersweet nostalgia. I long for those holidays of my younger days. Somedays I miss my grandparents so much I can't breathe. I can't figure out this heaviness in my heart this year. This is not the first Christmas I have spent without either of them..... I don't know if it's because the world we are living in is so full of hate and ugliness or if I'm just getting older and the magic of Christmas has faded.

My advice for today,  just let it be Christmas. Enjoy your family. Sit back and truly enjoy each other. Revel in the memories that you are creating. For one day, those memories will have the be what holds you throughout the holiday season. Merry Christmas!!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Will I Ever Like Running?????

 You know those people who describe themselves as "runners"? The ones that have it on a list of things that they actually enjoy? I WILL NEVER, EVER BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE!!! EVER!! I know it's good for me. I know I feel better after I do it. I know that it is necessary for a healthy lifestyle....but I straight-up do not like running. I am beginning to think that people who run over five miles in one setting are obviously "running" from something far bigger than my scope-of-practice, as a social worker.....If you are one of these people, you should definitely consider contacting Dr. Phil to help you figure that all out.............Kidding! I will probably never whole-heartedly love it, but all due respect to those who do. In all honesty, working out is getting easier. I am so blessed to have such an excellent support team that encourages me to go work out. They are with me every step of the way. They hold me accountable; which, let's face it, is something that I need.

Nichole and I are looking into doing some 5k's in the early spring in preparation for The Warrior Dash. I mean, I need to know if I can live through an ordinary 5k. If I can survive that, the probability of living through The Warrior Dash increases greatly. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I have serious concerns about my survival during that race. Did you know that there have been actual fatalities during these races? I'm pretty sure that information is never used in a marketing campaign.We are thinking about the Color Me Rad run in May. It just warms my heart to know that both of these runs are near Omaha and Lincoln where physicians are at the forefront of the most innovative care. :)

I have been continuing to do research on the best eating plan for my lifestyle change. I think the best approach is low-carb, clean-eating. Tonight, I cooked chicken thighs with a little olive oil, lemon juice, and Italian Seasoning mix and with it some sauteed onions and green peppers. I have to add that as I was finishing supper up, I wasn't sure or not if it was cooked fully. I asked my sister if we had a food thermometer. As I am asking I am thinking to myself, "why would we have a food thermometer, we probably don't even own an actual thermometer?" Much to my surprise, she informed me that we only had a regular thermometer and I feel it necessary mention that Jennifer did not find it funny that I wanted to use it to temp a couple of chicken thighs. Everyone is a critic.

I also have to report that I am still only down 34 pounds. The reason that hasn't changed is that over the Thanksgiving holiday I kinda went all crazy. I clearly have problems with moderation....I can't even do moderation, in moderation. Boundaries, people, I need boundaries. Obviously, I forgot that Bud Light is not a food group and that Texas T-Bone, Prime Rib, and Mcdonald's probably are not okay all on the same weekend. Sadly, It's taken me a few weeks to take off the extra pounds. It's frusturating because I worked so hard to lose them and in a matter of days they were right back. I have to keep reminding myself that it is okay to not eat well all of the time. The important part is to get back on track because I don't want what I have worked so hard for to slip right through the cracks.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sticks and Stones............

Obese Mannequin Offends Some Reddit Users

 Take a minute to go to the above link and look it over.

Before I go on...

 Is it just me or are the similarities uncanny?

I read the above article today on the way home from a conference in Omaha. Don't worry, I wasn't driving. On the three hour commute, I also had a chance to read through some of the debate on the Reddit Website. I want to take the time to address those with the negative responses, not that they will ever see it or be enlightened enough to process it, but perhaps it will give me some peace of mind.

I am more than a little offended by some of the statements that I read. I realized that most of those negative comments are made by passive-aggressive morons who hide behind a generic screen name and terrorize others in an attempt to make themselves feel better about their menial lives. I have my doubts that if one of those individuals, who were so bold, in the comfort of the cyber world, were standing in front of me (or any other overweight person) they would be so brazen. It's pry a good thing because I would most likely go a lil Redneck on their dumb asses.

Having sometime to process this, I was able to distinquish the true difference between me and the "fat haters" and it has nothing to do with weight. It 100 percent has to do with perception. Perceptions of themselves and those different from them.  My parents taught me to stand up for myself and for what I believe in. They taught me integrity. They taught me that I had value and worth and that those two things have absolutely nothing to do with the size of jeans that I wear. Every day growing up, they told me I was beautiful. They told me that I could be anything I wanted to be. They spents years building up what strangers could knock down in a series of words.   I have to step back and realize that not every one was blessed with the support system that I have.  Most likely, no one ever  took the time to tell them they were worthwhile.

I am in no way promoting my body size or lifestyle choices. I accept complete responsibility for being overweight. It was my choices and mine alone that lead me to where I am. I am fat but for the most part, I consider myself healthy and each day I feel a little bit healthier. Even if from this point on I didn't lose anymore weight I would be okay. I am reminded of my friend, Whitney's words, that the battle I am fighting right now is not about weight, it's about health. I want to get healthy and be healthy.

I have spent my whole life being the fat girl. I have smiled and pretended it was okay when people (friends and even family) made comments and jokes about my weight or other overweight people. I held my head high when people said these horrible things about how I look, because I was taught that I was better than cruel words-that they do not define me. In my mind, I know that both of those things are true, it's just my heart that I sometimes have to convince.

 My personal favorite was when someone came up to me and said, "Laura,  You're never going to get married until you lose some weight." Really? Really?  Had I been thinking on my toes, I would have said, "That's funny because you found a husband and you're ugly AND have no personality." Good thing ladies don't say such things. :) The fact that I am not married couldn't have any correlation with the fact that the majority of guys in the area are D-bags, now could it?

All of this rambling on an article about a mannequin....sheesh..... I think the part that I was most bothered by was the fact that being plus-sized is synonymous with ugliness. Notice that the depicted mannequin's hair is not done and that she is not wearing make up. That is absolutely accurate, fat people don't care enough about themselves to even bother looking decent. I like to think that although I am overweight, that I usually look presentable ( Please note that I use the term presentable rather loosely if when you see me falls on a weekend). To my knowledge,I don't think people meet me on the street and want to throw up, but I guess, I could be mistaken. I have found that the people that truly matter in life care far more about what's inside of your head than outside.


People are always going to find something to be conflicted about. The people on the Reddit website are worried that obesity is going to be considered the norm.   I, however, am worried about living a world where I have to tell my daughter or son that they will be judged by how they look, not who they are....that's the kind of shit that keeps me up at night.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


In true Thanksgiving spirit I thought it would only be fitting to take the time to express some of the things that I am thankful for each and every day.

My Parents- I share my last name with two of the craziest people who have ever graced this earth. They are also the greatest people who have ever lived. Two people who have never been handed anything in their life. They have worked their asses off for all that they have. They taught me that I could achieve anything that I wanted. They gave me roots and wings and told me I could be anything we wanted to be. They have been the greatest example of unconditional love, honesty, and integrity. Apparently, being stubborn and hard-headed are recessive traits; and because of this I am not afraid to stand my ground and fight for what I believe in. For that, I 
                                                                                                       will always be thankful.
                                                                                             Love you both to the moon and back!

Jennifer- The sister that God forgot to give me. It's probably a good thing that she isn't my biological sibling, being as though she married my brother, because, if I am not mistaken, that is illegal and generally frowned upon, unless, of course, we resided in Arkansas. :) I will forever be thankful that she is a part of my life. I am all the better for knowing her. She taught me that family has less to do with blood and more to do with love. She is also one of the strongest people I have ever me. She has been through so much and yet she never gives up hope. I love you, big sister.

Ethan- I am thankful for the 23 years I was given with my brother. I am thankful for his support, for his friendship, and for his laughter.

My Family- I am thankful for the rest of my crazy family. Again, some of the greatest people to ever live and by far, the funnest. We all share an unrelenting bond that transcends generations. I love you all so much.

My Friends- I have the greatest friends ever! Each and every one of them different but all so wonderful in their own way. Some that I have known forever and some only a short time, yet all of them fantastic. It doesn't matter if I see them every day or once a year, we all just pick right up where we left off. Also, it is an amazing feeling knowing that when "the chips are down" that my friends will be there, no questions asked. Thank you all for being you.

Second Chances- Every day I am thankful for second chances. I am thankful that I have been given the opportunity to make the life changes necessary to be healthy. I am thankful that my wake up call came before it was too late. I am also thankful for all of the support that everyone has showed me in this journey. You are all wonderful.

Work Out Buddies- I am thankful for my Nichole and Deb, standing by me, and giving me the motivation to consistently work out, even when I don't want to and make about a bizillion excuses not to do it. Thank you for not dealing with my nonsense and for listening to me complain-You guys are the best work out buddies, ever.


It has been a while since my last blog and  I have some fun updates.......

 At my last weigh-in, I was down 34 pounds!!!!!!!!- Small progress, in the long battle that I have ahead of me but, progess, none the less. I am proud because each and every pound was a hard-fought battle. A battle between what I wanted to eat and what I did eat. The choice is up to me. This time, I will win. I am not saying that I am the portrait of healthy eating all the time. I don't always make the best food choices but I make adjustments and know that I don't have to deprive myself to be successful. The key is to always get back on track. I also think alot about the battle I have losing the weight, I know that the battle to keep the weight off will be a lifetime one but a small price to pay for a long life.

I run now..... without anyone chasing me. Okay, I use the term run pretty loosely, because, it is more of a SLOW jog, but dammit, it is way more than I was doing just a few short months ago. I "run" for about 30 seconds and then walk for several minutes, ya know, until my oxygen levels return to a safe level. It's exciting and frustrating and exhilirating, all at the same time....

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Temporary Bouts of Insanity......

Pahaha....More like permanent bouts of insanity mixed with short periods of lucidity.......story of my life.

 I have some exciting news. My friend, Nichole and I have registered for The Warrior Dash this coming June!!!!! It's officially, official. Until yesterday, I had no idea what The Warrior Dash was but like all paramount decisions in my life, I first agreed and then gathered the facts. Little did I know that this race would entail mud bogging, barbed wire, wall climbing, and FIRE. My inner-pyro was more than a little pumped about the fire aspect.

I know what you are all pondering to yourselves..."I have never seen Laura Whitesel run." And that thought would be absolutely accurate. I am not much of a runner. In fact, I hate running. It doesn't even look fun. I have always maintained that one should not run unless they are being chased.... So why did I agree to an extreme 5K, you ask? Well, that is simple-I am nuts. Plus, it's not a huge secret that I may have problems with moderation. So something like The Warrior Dash seems right up my alley.

 I am at a point where I have found myself at many, many times before. The only thing different this time is that the story doesn't end here. I am picking myself up and brushing myself off because I may have stumbled but this time I will not fall. Nichole suggesting The Warrior Dash couldn't have come at a better time. This last week I have been lacking in inclination. I am eating things that I know I shouldn't. I am not exercising like I should be. I needed that push. I needed some motivation. Knowing that I have already registered holds me accountable. It also gives me something to be excited about and something to work towards. I also forgot to mention that each registrant will receive their very own viking hat. I'm not trying to brag or anything but I'm fairly certain Nichole and I will make pretty B.A. vikings.

I am all about setting attainable goals so because this is my first run I am only going to have two very simple goals. 1) Survival-my greatest hope is to live through the race :) 2) Finish the race-it doesn't matter if I am the last one to cross the finish line six days later, I am going to do it.

Stay tuned for all the training shenanigans.....there's bound to be a few good stories involved.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Day Grief Came To Live At My House.....

My story is in no way unique. By sharing it, I am in not asking for people to feel sorry for me or for my family. All that I am asking is that if you knew my brother or even if you didn't you would take some time today to remember him and his zest for life and smile. He would want it that way.....

October 29th, 2008, should have been an ordinary Wednesday. A mundane day spent finishing up my final classes before my December graduation. When I went to bed on that Tuesday night, I had no idea that in just a few short hours, life as I knew it would forever be changed. Every thing from that day in ingrained in my mind, in my soul. I remember the call from my mom that came at exactly 5:33am. She used the word unresponsive. She never spoke the words that he was gone but deep in my heart, I knew. I remember trying to rationalize in my mind that his blood sugar had just gone too low. He would be fine. He had to be fine. This was Ethan we were talking about. In retrospect, I was flashing through Kubler-Ross' stages of grief at warp speed. Even on the four mile car ride to my parent's farm, I remember bargaining everything thing I had or could give if he would just be okay.

Four years later, grief still lives with the Whitesel's. It's a visitor that was never invited yet will never leave. Grief is no longer a constant companion. It no longer consumes us, although it is always there. Prior to this, I thought those stages of grief that I had learned about in so many classes were just theories. Boy-oh- boy, was I mistaken. The fantastic (sarcasm) thing about grief is that no one is EVER on the same stage in a family. We all found our own way to grieve. We were all set on paths to navigate through our grief and it was up to us, individually to find our way. Admittedly, I got lost along the way, several times. I did and said things that I could have never thought possible.

I found anger real fast and held tight to it for a long time. I understood anger. I was living in a world where my basically healthy 26 year old brother went to bed and didn't wake up. So in a world where everything I understood to be true was turned upside down. I reached for an emotion I understood. I couldn't pinpoint who or what that anger was directed towards, all I knew was that I was pissed.

I remember trying to figure out how I would get through the next four minutes without my brother and still am in disbelief that four years has passed. I can remember thinking to myself, "how long is this going to hurt?" I know now that the answer to that question is as complicated as it is easy: forever, it's going to hurt forever. I don't care it is has been four years or forty, the void that was created when he left this life will always be there.

I still miss Ethan every.single.day. We all do.

I miss his love of life. I miss his advice. I miss his compassion. I miss his bullshit and his stories.... I miss him every time I look at Mom and Dad. He was this beautiful mix of both of them. I miss him every time Dad laughs-exactly the same as Ethan. I miss him every time Mom says something that sounds bat shit crazy because that apparently is hereditary :). When I see what a wise ass Jennifer has become, I smile because without Ethan showing her, her true value she would still be settling for other's treating her badly. I miss him most when I see my cousin, Trevor. They have such strikingly similar facial features that sometimes when he walks in to a room it feels like the wind has been knocked right out of me because for a nanosecond my mind plays a trick on me and maybe this has all been some kind of horrible nightmare. Thankfully through Trevor, we get to see Ethan in small glimpses.

On a side note, I also have to laugh every time I see a Mini-Cooper because he wanted one so bad; I just am not real sure how the logistics of him getting in one would have worked but guaranteed he would have rocked it.

Four years later, my family and I continue the process of healing. Life will never be what it once was but we are adjusting to this new normal. A reality that isn't ideal. One, if given the choice, none of us would have picked, but like it or not, we must adapt. Some days it feels like we've got a grip on this new life. Others, it feels like the wounds are brand-new. Physically, Ethan has left us but I know he will always there. The times that I feel the most alone, I have to believe that is when he is there by my side saying, "Stop being a dip shit, Lou, and pull your head out of your ass." He was the first person I would call with good news or with bad. I still have to consciously not dial his number when I need someone to talk to.

Four years later and I am finally choosing to let go of my anger. If I really want to honor my brother's life, anger is not the way to go about it. I want to think about his life with happiness. I want to live every day the way he did, with no regrets. He may not have always made the right choices. His mistakes were plentiful yet he always saw the best in everyone A quality I have yet to master. He took the time to forgive those who didn't always warrant it. Never once did that kid hold on to anger.

By releasing my anger I am allowing myself to forgive. It's taken a long time for me to realize that my forgiveness has the be threefold. I am forgiving God for taking my brother, for His plan is far beyond anything I can fathom. I forgive Ethan for leaving us. When the good Lord calls your name, you gotta go. And finally, I am choosing to forgive myself for living. Feeling guilty about living pays no homage to Ethan's life. Having the opportunity to truly live and denying myself that is the only true disservice to my brother's memory.

Four years ago grief came to live in my house and I will never, ever be the same.

In Loving Memory of Ethan Edward Whitesel
February 5, 1982 to October 29, 2008.

To A Life Well Lived.....
Miss You Every Day, Bubba!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A trip to the city.....

I spent the better part of this week in Omaha for some training. It's hard enough to make good food decisions while at home but put me in a situation where eating out is the only option and I am a train-wreck waiting to happen. Overall, I was able to make quasi-good choices......kinda. I do notice a big difference in what I can eat since starting this healthy lifestyle. My stomach can't tolerate food the way it used to eat. Apparently it is possible for your stomach to shrink. Even if I make a not so healthy choice, the amount that I am actually able to eat is not what it used to be.

 I have always said that I was meant to be one of those skinny girls who could eat everything and never gain an ounce. The only problem was that God must have been so wrapped up in the awesome creation he was about to share with the world that he COMPLETELY forgot to include the metabolism neccessary. So not only can I eat like a lumber jack, but hell, I can look like one, too.

It seems like everywhere you turn there is some type of restuarant in this town. I also must mention that whoever designed Omaha obviously was hardcore AND drunk. I have never gotten lost so many times or met so many disgruntled drivers. Last night I was headed to a friend's house. Somehow or another, I wound up in the wrong lane and was headed straight into on-coming traffic. People get soooooo touchy when you are about to collide head-on with them. I got the bird from a one of those smart cars. Seriously, someone who drives a scooter with doors is in no position to cast judgement.

I have always promised to remain honest with this blog. I have to admit that I haven't been as faithful with excercise as I ought to be. I still excercise several times a week but I need some motivation to do it more. Any ideas for some motivation? I got up this morning at 5 and got in some time of the elliptical, which, by the way, is my favorite machine. It's like pretend running. Also, my severe attention problems make it so I am easily bored. Gotta keep it fresh and find that same motivation for excercise that I had in the beginning.

If you eat chocolate cake while drinking Diet Coke, do they cancel each other out?

At this training there has been a huge amount of snacks offered. This afternoon we were served this chocolate cake that was plainly made by angels from heaven. It looked so delicious. I wanted to eat the entire cake, I compromised and ate half of a small slice. It's okay though, because I chugged a Diet Coke with it so they definately cancel each other out. When I began working in health care I was quickly introduced to this way of thinking. Health care professionals are some of the most unhealthy people I have ever encountered. I don't mean for that to sound negative but it seems that we are all so busy taking care of others that we often forget about taking care of ourselves. If only there was a magical combination that counteracts bad food choices.............looks like I have some inventing to do. ;)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

This one is for you........

Today is my 27th birthday. Some days I feel like I am about 75. Other days, I barely feel 16. Some days I feel like I have a grip on reality; others I feel like I am barely hanging on. Such is life, I guess. Maybe one of these days I will get it all figured out but hopefully not, 'cuz what fun would that be?

I often wonder what my 18 year old self would have to say about where my life has taken me. Back then I had it all figured out......I just thought I knew exactly who I was and what I was going to do with my life. In retrospect, I didn't know jack. Turns out being awesome does not constitute a profession and that when you go to college, a major will eventually become a necessary evil. I would have laughed my ass off if someone would have told me I would be doing what I am doing today and that I would be loving it. Funny how things turn out. Pretty much, my life is everything I never knew I always wanted.

I must admit, my first 27 years have been pretty outstanding but there is a part of my heart that is heavy with the celebration of my 27th year. For the last three years, I have been unable to spend my birthday with my best friend and until the good Lord calls me home, he will be absent from the celebration, but if I know Bubba, he has never been one to miss a party, so as this day in tinged with sorrow, I know that he is watching over and celebrating as well. (Probably drinking a few Old Milwakee Lights with Grandma and Poppa)

Being almost four years older than I, Bubba always got to do everything before I did. By the time I was old enough to do something, he had done it, it was old news... He went to school first, he learned to drive first, he went to college first, so on and so forth. Turning 27 is the first thing that I have ever done that he didn't get a chance to do. The thought makes my universe stall and humbles me to a point where there are no words......The only comfort I am given is that, that kid lived the hell out of the 26 years he was given.

My friend, Fallon, shared with me these words shared by her pastor: "When you lose a child, you lose your future. When you lose a parent, you lose your past; but when you lose a sibling, you lose your past, your present, and your future."

I am going to be honest, there are times that I am so damn mad that Ethan was denied the opportunity to live a long life that I cannot even process it. Sometimes I am mad at God. Sometimes I don't even know who my anger is directed at.  For the last three years I have let that loss and that anger take over my life. I turned to food to comfort me when I couldn't comfort myself. To fill the void, the remove the emptiness I felt in my soul. Look where that got me.

The loss of my brother will always be the cross that I bear, that my family bears; but it will no longer control me. So the only fitting way to honor my brother on my 27th year and to know that his death wasn't in vain, is to get healthy. Get healthy for me, for my family, and for him. Every year that he was denied, I vow to live with the same borderline reckless abandon and zest that he would have. I am going to stop hiding behind my grief. I am going to face it.

This one is for you, Bubba!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Community Responsibility???????????


If you haven't heard about Jennifer Livingston, please take a moment to view the above link.

Every feeling, every emotion that I have ever felt when someone points out my weight issues are summed up perfectly by Jennifer. As she states, it isn't the fact that she cannot handle the truth, she is overweight, she knows that,  it's the fact that the gentleman, who dispensed his opinion without a request for it, went about his message in an entirely inappropriate manner. His tactic apparently was to bully her into his ideal of what was healthy.

From what I can see, Jennifer Livingston is an accomplished reporter. She is poised and educated. She is charming, confident and beautiful. She is a daughter, a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend, and a professional. Yet the author of the letter states she is not a proper role model for the public, especially young girls. So, the message he is sending is the previous mentioned attributes mean nothing if an individual weighs over 125 pounds. I am sorry but Body Mass Index has nothing to do with a woman's accomplishments and postive traits and I believe his beliefs are archaic, to say the least.

In the words of Bob Marley, "If you are going to point fingers, make sure your hands are clean." I don't specifically know the author of the email to Mrs. Livingston, however, I have met several variations of him throughout my life. Those who are insecure with themselves typically have to point of the flaws of others to build themselves up.

The statistics that I have read about bullying, quite frankly, scare me. One out of four teens are bullied every day.  As if growing up isn't hard enough? It is such a struggle trying to find your place in the world. For most of us, it takes years and years to figure out where we belong and who we are. Hell, I'm a week away from being 27 and I still don't know.

When I was 13 years old, I was at a Jr. High track meet. A boy from a town west of Kearney was at this particular track meet. For a whole year, every time I saw this boy at sporting events he made some remark about my weight or some gesture insinuating that I was a big ol' heffer. Like I said, this happened many times over that year. Finally, at this particular track meet, I had, had about enough. When he verbalized how fat I was, I lost control and decked his ass. Now, I'm not saying what I did was right. Violence is never the answer and it was on this day I retired my boxing gloves and decided I was a lover not a fighter.

 Please take in mind that none of this happened in privacy. We were in front of our coaches and teammates along with other surrounding schools. We had an audience. Our coaches intervened. I remember waiting while my coach went and got my mom. I knew my ass was grass. I was fairly certain my parents would frown upon such a thing. The wait seemed like forever.........finally my mom appeared from the bleachers. I braced myself. She was going to crucify me in public. To my surprise, she trotted right passed me, went up to that boy's coach, put her hand on her hip, stuck her finger in that coaches face, and said, "This WILL be the last time that boy speaks to my daughter like that and he WILL apologize.". If you know my mother, you know that if you see a hand on the hip and a finger in the air, you probably have a few problems on your hands. The coach, knowing that the women in my family were prone to violent outbursts, did his best to diffuse the situation.

Ultimately, the boy had to apologize to me plus I'm sure having his ass whooped by a girl knocked him down a few pegs. When my mom told my dad about the day's spectacles, my dad stated in the wise way he always does, "What goes around, comes around, baby girl." He then said, "Don't tell mom, but I am proud as hell of you." As I said above, violence is never the answer. I had cosequences for my actions and had to answer for what I did.

  I saw that boy many, many times throughout the remainder of our school years. He always seemed to be on his best behavior.....Years later I found out (on the news) that, that boy had been subject to huge issues with domestic violence in his home life. For years, I carried around this hatred for him, when I heard what he had to endure, what his family had to endure, the only feelings I had for him were those of sympathy. Cruelty is learned. It wasn't his fault. I know that now.

The moral of the story: this all occurred approximately 14 years ago and I remember it like it was  yesterday. I remember the boy's name and probably always will. I remember his words. I remember his taunts.  Fourteen years and the actions of a troubled young man are ingrained in brain, in my soul.

 Also ingrained in my soul is the out-pouring of my family and friends. I found out that my mom got a little feisty when it came to matters of her children's heart. That my dad would always be proud of me for standing up for myself and for what I believe in. That my friends, my true friends, would love me regardless of what I looked like and what others had to say about it.

So, dear friends, choose your words kindly. For once they are said, they are rarely forgotten and almost always taken to heart.

And to Kenneth Krause (the author of the letter to Jennifer Livingston) please refer to my blog posting: nine, subheading: three, paragraph: four.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Week 5

Today is weigh-in day. Excited to announce that I am down 20 lbs. Technically, I maintained this week because I didn't blog about last weeks weigh-in, but I am gonna count this week as a success. I was discouraged because the weight doesn't seem to be coming off as quickly as I would like but while I was shopping with my mom this weekend I picked up a five pound bag of flour, then I picked up four of them. When you have an absolute to measure the amount, it seems like a much bigger triumph. Another indicator is the fact that I have never felt better. I didn't even realize that I felt terrible. Being tired and sluggish was just something that I was so used to, it became the norm. It wasn't until I started feeling good that I understood just how bad it has become.

I feel as if my soul is lighter, as well. I am becoming more at peace with, not only my body, but with myself. I am stripping away the armor that I put in place years ago for self-preservation, because if I wouldn't let you in, there was no way you could hurt me. Thank the Lord, there are many people who saw right through my facade and showed me that there was much more to me than I gave myself credit. They didn't just see Laura the fat girl, they saw all components of who I am. They were able to see who I truly was even when I couldn't. There are many words that would describe me: funny, crazy, smart, witty, quirky, compassionate, adventurous....unfortunately the word I chose to define myself was Fat. Not anymore.

This journey continues to be one of the most difficult things that I have ever done. Every single day is a struggle. Every day I have to make the conscious decision to make healthy food choices and incorporate exercise because it does not just come naturally. I wonder if it ever will? It's about taking one day at a time. I work towards existing goals and I continue to add new goals each day. Side note: Nichole and my quest to conquer that awful hill in Red Cloud continues. I still get winded and am unable to talk/breath during  that portion of our walk and my brain can't process complex thoughts for at least 42 minutes after, but it is getting a little easier each time.

I am still enjoying the Nutri-system. I love the simplicity of the program. A few nights a week, I try to cook some meals because it isn't realistic to remain on the program for the rest of my life. I am eventually going to have to cook healthy meals all the time. Tonight, I made a low-fat cheeseburger pie. I got the idea from a meal that was served at work and tweaked it to make it so I could eat it. It was also filling. I am a "more bang for your buck" type of girl and if you can get a lot of food for not a lot of calories or fat, I am all about that. Plus that fact that it was pretty damn delicious didn't hurt either.

Here is the recipe I came up with:
1 # ground turkey ( I got the 97% fat-free kind)
9" frozen pie crust
 (I used baby dills and chopped them but any kind will work)
roma tomato
fat-free shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven according to temperature directions on pie crust (350 degrees). Brown ground turkey, drain. Put ketchup and mustard in bottom of pie crust (approx. 2 tbsp each), place browned turkey over ketchup and mustard mix. Add 2 cups, FF cheese. Onions, pickles, and tomatoes. I put ketchup on the top of this as well before baking. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.
Next time I make this, I think I am going to try to make a Swiss Mushroom Burger Pie. I think the ingredients can easily be rearranged to meet anyone's favorite burger preferences.

I am enjoying researching different recipes. You can basically make any recipe healthy with just a few slight changes. I think the challenge of this is what is keeping me intrigued. I like learning new things and this helps me to feel more in control of this process.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fancy Meeting You Here....

It's been awhile since my last post. Continuing to take things day-by-day which seems to be the only thing that any of us can do. I wish I could sit here and baffle you with tales of how I am cured. That wouldn't you know it, if given the choice (with no repercussions, of course) I would always choose the celery over the french fries without even batting an eyelash. I wish I could tell you that this is not one of the hardest things that I have ever done. Don't get me wrong, I thank my lucky stars every single day because it could always be worse, however this life change has proved to be a worthy adversary. However, on a brighter note, for those of you who know me well know that someone just has to tell me one time that I won't be able to do someone and by golly, I'm gonna do it. Although, I can honestly say it is getting easier................sometimes.......

This week will be the ultimate test. I have been at a conference all week and didn't bring any of my Nutrisystem meals, for two reasons. 1) Who wants to be the nerd at conference who brings a sack lunch, I would get eaten alive in the health care world (as if my severe awkwardness wouldn't be cause enough)?  2) I know that Nutrisystem is not going to be my long-term eating plan. Eventually, I will have to make healthy choices on my own. For the most part, this week has been a success, with the exception of this evening..........

Confession Time:

I went to Cheddar's tonight with the girls from work and Savannah. I had every intention of ordering a very nice salad- no cheese, dressing on the side. Driving over there I was just sure that I was some kind of Weight-Loss Ghandi. So noble, so diplomatic........apparently so full of it. It was as if I had full-blown Tourette's when the waiter approached. I had this rehearsed in my head. Salad-no cheese, dressing on the side. Salad-no cheese, dressing on the side (in your head sing this to the tune of We Are The Champions). Finally it was my turn, remember I had this all planned out, I go to say, "salad-no cheese, dressing on the side" but instead I blurt out,  " Give me the tenders and shrimp," before my brain had time to comprehend what had clearly word-vomited out of my mouth. After I did realize what I did,  I in no way, shape, or form attempted to retract that order, I went with it....and felt extremely guilty. I did remind myself of something, though, I can't deprive myself or I will make          hair-brained decisions on a whim. I can also gladly say that even though the tenders were fried, (and on a side note, abso-frickin-lutely delicious) the shrimp was not, and my side was green beans. So, essential the only damage done was with the chicken tenders. I have to allow my body the things it craves. If I avoid everything I will eventually break and possibly open myself up to go straight back to old binge habits. Moderation, friends, moderation. In the end, it all evens out.

Today one of my sessions was about dealing with conflicts and difficult people. It was geared towards the professional world, but some of the insight rang very true to my personal life. The speaker discussed how our society thinks that anger can only result in negative reactions but in all actuality, anger ultimately sets the stage for change, be it positive or negative. I think back to four short weeks ago, finding out about the damage I was doing to my body by being so unhealthy, quite frankly pissed me off, but the only person I had to be mad at was myself. I made those bad choices. I decided to not exercise. It was my choice and my choice alone. I was mad at myself for letting my health get so out of hand and I was mad at the universe for being born with the metabolism of a yak. Now, I am grateful for that anger. Anger pushed me to make changes. Anger opened the door for acceptance. I know what I need to do and know that I am gonna do it, come hell or high water.

The speaker also discussed how our society accepts mediocre as the "gold standard". Now, I know what those of you who went to high school with me are thinking, "Laura Whitesel, may have started this mediocracy standard" and not long ago I would have been in total agreement with you. It is true, though. We accept mediocre in many aspects-customer service, job performance, etc. For many, many years, I accepted mediocre in regards to my health....thank heavens for the wake-up call. Who knows how long mediocre would have gotten me by.......

Monday, September 10, 2012

Eating Your Emotions and Other Bits of Random

My name is Laura and I am an emotional eater........

 Happy, sad, mad, stressed, bored, to celebrate an accomplishment, to celebrate a break-up ( trust me, with the clowns that I have dated, the end of the relationship was always cause for celebration), or to fill a void....the list can go on and on. If any of the above listed occurred in my life, it was usually followed by some snackage (Spell check just told me that snackage was not a word, I beg to differ, Mr. Webster, I beg to differ.)  Anyways, today during a particularly stressful time, when I would have eaten a rug if it would have had the right kind of dipping sauce, I had to find some strategies to keep myself from stress-eating. I drank about three glasses of water and chewed gum like it was going out of style. I removed myself from the situation.  After a while, the feeling of wanting to go to Taco John's and order two of everything subsided. Turns out, problems can be resolved without food. In order to improve my health, I must also work on improving my mind. This battle is just as much a  mental struggle, as it is physical.

The bike riding continues......
 Tonight Jenny and I made it to 2.5 miles. This may be the lack of oxygen to my brain speaking, but I am really, really liking exercising or maybe I like the way I feel after. I cannot believe how bad I felt before I started this journey and I didn't even realize it. I probably wouldn't have let things get this out of hand had I simply realized this sooner. Live and learn, I guess.
I have found that I am kinda a chicken when it comes to riding my bike. I like even, non-graveled roads. When I was younger and my bike was my main source of transportation, I was fearless. Now, I have this deep fear of crashing. Really, it's not even the soaring through the air that frightens me, it's 100 percent the dismount that causes me so much anxiety. I'm a lot of girl and cement does not have a whole bunch of give.


I found the above quote particularly fitting. Regardless of how hard you work and how hard your struggles, there are always gonna be people who are assholes. Three things in this life that are inevitable: death, taxes, and assholes.  People make fun of fat people for just being fat. Then they make fun of fat people while they're excercising. We can't win. How about you don't point out my short-comings and I won't point out yours?
 There are going to be people who put you down, who question your intellect, your abilities, and even your value because of how you look. Remember, there is nothing wrong with you, the problem lies with them. If I could offer you any words of wisdom it would be: Don't worry about what anyone else thinks. You are beautful. Love yourself first and the rest will fall into place but love yourself enough to live healthy.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I can't figure out why I am fat

A Vanderbilt University study found that the average adult burns 1.3 calories per minute while laughing. I will be the first to shout from the roof top that I come from a long line of crazies. Serious, we are all nuts, not in a creepy way, but in a 'not afraid to get down with our bad self's', kinda way. The majority of the time I spend with my family I am usually laughing at someone's shenanigans. Over the years, this has paved the way for quite a few entertaining stories. You will hear a lot of these stories through this blog. Although, I can't help but wondering, if laughing burns calories, how in the hell did I end up fat? Apparently you can't out-laugh a bad diet and sedentary lifestyle. Who knew?

Anyways, speaking of stories, I believe now is the time to dispense a goody from last night....


Who needs the fair when you are a direct descendant of a 3-ring circus?

Yesterday we went out to the farm to help my parents load their goats into the stock trailer.  I should mention that these "pet" goats are about as tame as wild zebras. I should have known that things were not going well when we arrived because Mom zipped by us on the 4-wheeler, shouting something along the lines of Dad losing his mind and wanting to shoot the goats. (Oh, good, something different for a change)

Turns out, catching these goats was no small feat. It involved three ropes and about 750 variations of the "F" word, from my father. We finally got them caught and all seemed to be well. (Hang on children, this is where the story gets good.) Dad was leading the roped goats to the coral when one of them decided he had, had enough of Kendall's B.S. and rammed his horns into the back of Dad's knee, knocking him to the ground. It was then that I witnessed all rationality leave that man. He put that goat in some sort of head-lock (Whitesel Farm meets W.W.F, real classy) declaring that he was gonna break the goat's neck using his legs. This whole time he had the craziest look in his eyes.  I am also gonna have to leave out the direct quotes of that series of events, as this blog must remain PG-13. Long story short, Mom intervened, the goat lived, Dad's blood pressure has finally returned to normal.................Just another day in paradise.

 I think the thing that is most amusing to me is that from the outside looking in, my Dad appears to be the only one in our immediate family who has it together. Always the calm one. Always the one to think things through. Always the mediator. Truth be told, he is just as bat-shit crazy as the rest of us he just USUALLY camaflauges it better than we do.

On a side note, today was my two week weigh-in. Down 11 pounds since starting Nutrisystem. Overall, the food is still really good. There are a few meals that have been a little less than delicious but that it to be expected. I had a meatloaf platter last Friday that tasted exactly like tequila and stomach acid, which left a little but to be desired. 

I was worried that there would be little to no flexibility with this program, but the exact opposite is true.  I can still go out to eat. I am rarely hungry and if I want something, I eat it. Funny thing is, the healtier that you eat, the more you crave those healthy foods. I never thought I would say this but I like vegetables and kinda get excited for my afternoon fruit. Much different than my 3 o'clock trip to the vending machine. Glad to say that those days are over, forever.

Each and every day I feel a little bit better. I continue to walk every week day and bike several evenings a week. I know deep in my heart that this time is/will be different. I am still having trouble putting into words how I feel about it. It's difficult to describe, it's like each and every pound I lose off of my body lifts this gigantic weight that I've been carrying around off of my shoulders.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Disclaimer: The below opinions and/or statements are said only in jest. I do not mean to intentionally degrade, berate, or disrespect anyone. It takes all kinds to make this crazy world go round and I am all for free self-expression, but sometimes, it would just feel unnatural not to make some comments....Please proceed with caution.

What an amazing weekend this has been! Last night I got to spend time with some of the greatest family and friends that a girl could ask for. Today, I went to the State Fair with Papa Bear, Mama Whitesel, Aunt Kendene, and Jenny. Both of these situations could have been potentially dangerous considering there were lots of foods around that could have spelled disaster for me and my new healthy habits. However, I am pretty proud to report that I made good choices in both settings. Social situations can occur without focusing on food. I think that was where I always went wrong. Food is not what I should look forward to, it's all about enjoying the time spent with those that I love. It's also about enjoying the scenery, whatever it may be...................................................................

I have always loved the fair (or any type of carnival, for that matter). I guess there is a part of me that still believes that I am going to fall madly in love with a nice "carnie", get him some new teeth, have a  shot-gun wedding, and drive off into the sunset in his 1976 Winnebago..........A girl can dream can't she. Fairs also are a prime opportunity for people watching. Nothing like a good old fashioned carnival to really bring people, "outta the wood work".

Here is a list of  my four favorite things from this years trip to the fair:

Neck Tattoos

If I would have saw one more neck tattoo, I probably would have went apeshit. Nothing screams, "I've gone as far as I possibly can in life" like a neck tattoo. I am not against tattoos, by any means, but........ really? If you really think about it, people think different things about those who sport that kind of inking. I don't know about you, but I'm not entirely sure I would want my brain surgeon to have a marijuana leaf tattoo'd on his/her neck nor would I want my accountant to have "Wasted" permanently stamped below his/her ear. Not acceptable. Placement, people, placement. It's all about location.

Questionable Hair Colorings and/or Costumes:

I also want to pose this questions, how old must one be before solid pink and purple hair is not acceptable? I have to admit, some people can pull it off in the highlight form, but not now nor ever will a 50 year old with purple hair be taken seriously.

On a side note,  if you are male over the age of 30, hell, let's back pedal, if you are a male over the age of 19, Affliction shirts are NEVER okay. You are a grown-ass man, your shirt should not be bejeweled. I wanted to go up to every middle-aged man in those ridiculous shirts and say, "How's that midlife crisis treating ya?" I refrained, reminding myself that as a lady, this sort of question was frowned upon.

Misperception of Oneself

I'm all about any and every person having self-confidence-Owning your looks and your body. I also am a firm believer of those living in glass houses not throwing stones and am fully aware that my house is ALL GLASS...... That being said, I love a person with a completely delusional sense of self, so imagine my utter delight when I hit the clown-show jackpot when woman in a " Hot Girls Have More Fun" shirt sashayed past me in the Exhibition building. Not only had this woman apparently never even so much as glanced in a mirror but obviously was having waaaaay to much fun to purchase herself a toothbrush.

Hybrid Psuedo-Celebrity Look-a-likes

I had the pleasure of meeting the perfect combination of Elvira and Tammy Faye Baker. She worked at the janky bracelet shop that guranteed the cure-all for whatever ails ya. Elvira + Tammy Faye Baker+ Russian accent = Perfect Combination. Throw in her rambling about the  importance of the universe being completely aligned and it was then decided that she was my new write-in candidate for the upcoming election.

Coming in at a close fifth place:

My Family's Perception of Diversity

For those of you who know my dad, know that the closest experience he has had with any type of alternative lifestyle is wearing shorts (serious). He is the greatest man that has ever walked this earth but he has about as much tolerance for differences that I do for stupid people. Anyways, I was so excited to point out to him the very stylish lad in the western shop who has wearing flip-flops, a cowboy hat, and had one of the prettiest bedazzled purses that I had ever seen. Unfortately, this fellow will always be the 'one that got away' because he pranced away before I got a chance to point him out  to Mr. Whitesel and witness his facial expressions but the reaction I got when I told him all about it will definately do for me.

Moral of the Story:

All joking aside, every person that I spoke about above, had the balls to do, say, or wear whatever they wanted. They obviously didn't care what anyone else thought of them.They all also had two things in common, every single one of them was happy and every single one of them loved who they were. I have to admit, as I am poking fun of them, I am also jealous of them. Now is the time to start loving myself, warts and all.....

Monday, August 27, 2012

Confessions of a Fat Girl

I've mentioned before about weekends being the hardest time for me. When I started this blog I promised myself that I would always be honest and hold myself accountable, so here goes. I cheated this weekend. Like not just a small hiccup, like a full-blown train wreck. On Saturday, I had pizza for lunch. Casey's pizza. Several slices.....What a disaster. Then (oh, yes, friends, there is a then) I had Taco John's for supper. I have learned my lesson, however, not only did I feel this huge amount of guilt, I felt physically sick. I had the worst stomachache and heartburn that began at my knee caps. I couldn't sleep but had no energy..... One day of my old ways and I felt like I had been ran over by a snow plow.....So not worth it.

Old habits die hard, apparently. The important part that I try to remember is that the next day I started from square one. This is one thing that definitely has changed. Past experiences say that I  would have continued down this path of destruction.. I would have considered myself defeated. No sense in trying right? Not this time. BOOM! Back on track!

I started Nutrisytem today. So far so good. I am amazed every day what I am learning about what healthy eating actually looks like. It's about being in control. Planning ahead and not putting yourself in situations that lead to bad choices (if only someone would have pulled me aside in college and enlightened me with this advice, which applies to far more than just food choices...baha). The best part about Nutrisystem is taking the food and making it into something entirely different ( Thanks for this tip, Whit). It's also pretty exciting to take the tiny (seriously, tiny) portions and making them into a human-size portion. For Pete's sake, I am not a Barbie. This girl needs some sustanence. For lunch tomorrow, I took the package of Red Beans and Rice and mixed with it one tablespoon of bread crumbs, one tablespoon egg whites, green peppers, and half a light string cheese. Then I took this mixture and put in in a Portabella mushroom cap and baked it for 30 minutes. Viola, a satisfying portion that is healthy and filling.

I am also surprised at what I am learning about myself. I can't bury my emotions in food any longer. If I am upset I cannot "eat" what is bugging me. I have to face it. Face whatever it is head on. After 26 years, this is a very foreign concept to me.Weird, how my career focus is on encouraging others to face and feel their emotions and all these years I have not practiced what I preached. Through all this I have had to remind myself that experiencing emotions is not a sign of weakness. There is a certain amount of bravery that comes with embracing your emotions for exactly what they are. I think I have cried more in the last three weeks than I have in my entire life. Only, this time I am not ashamed that I have done so. I am also learning that asking for help is not a sign of failure. Sometimes, we cannot do things on our own. It is a real and simple part of life. Ask for help when you need it. Don't be ashamed.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

One Week-A day late.

Yesterday was my weigh-in day. Down four pounds this week. A total of eight since this whole ordeal began. In the grand scheme of things, four is not much, virtually nothing. For me they are hard won. Medals of honor, if you will. Four pounds closer to a goal that I only allow myself to think about in the comfort of my mind, far too large yet to even speak aloud. Although the scale may not be showing me the results that I want but I feel good. It has been forever since I have had this much energy. If I feel this good in one week, I am excited to see what the future holds.

 Ginika and I have been getting up at 5 am ( THAT IS BEFORE THE SUN COMES OUT.......I wasn't aware of this prior). We are doing that Monday through Thursday. We take Friday mornings off because the sleep deprivation begins to make us delirious by Thursday afternoon.  Getting exercise in first thing in the morning guarantees that I actually do it. Sometimes when I get home for the day I don't feel like doing anything.  Plus, being up this early allowed me to scope out the Amish (not even joking) hotties that were building a shop for the neighbors. I was fairly certain they would have thought I was the funnest thing since electricity but decided not to risk having them fall in love with me because my hair would look way stupid in that bonnet and I have never been able to pull off pastels. I also had an elaborate plan to microwave some hot pockets to take to them-show them how domesticated I could be...but again that bonnet haunted my dreams.

The truth is, I don't know why I waited this long to do all of this. I think that losing weight and being healthy is a lot like falling in love. It all boils down to timing. If the time is not right, it is not meant to be. It won't work out. It will not be successful. So similar to a relationship. Along with timing, it is about commitment. It is about work, hard work. It doesn't just happen. It is about consciously making good decisions. There is an easy way and a hard way........The choice is up to me.

On Monday, Jenny and I are starting Nurtisystem. Possibly the only diet that I have never tried. We got our first shipment of meals today, but I cannot start until Monday because let's face it, Who starts a new food program on a Friday? It will just throw off the whole feng shui. It also may take until Monday for me to process that I will be eating freeze-dried meals. Basically, I am an astronaut without the sweet gear.... I haven't read through all the information that came with it, but it sounds like it teaches lots of ways of incorporating healhty carbs, veggies, and fruit into the meals.

My new favorite:

Thank the good Lord for salsa season. Last Sunday, Mama Whitesel, Jenny, and I made about three gallons of fresh salsa. THE.BEST.SNACK.EVER. You can have a pretty good size portion for not a lot of calories. The fact that it is delicious doesn't hurt either.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Celebrate the Milestones

Good stuff first:

Over the weekend, Aunt Kendene contributed to the "Laura and Jenny are poor as hell fund" and got us some sweet new bikes. Let me take a few minutes to review with you the rules my parents have established for our new peddlers. Oh yeah, this happened, I couldn't even make it up. Here we go: 1. Hands must remain on the handle bars at all times, no exceptions. 2. No wheelies. 3. No taking bikes off any sweet jumps. 4. No giving rides to our friends on the pegs on our bikes. 5. No sitting on the handle bars and riding backwards (Now with this one they are just encouraging behaviors).  For some reason I get the feeling that the rules pertain more to me than to Jenny. For heaven's sake, I am still in awe that I can remember how to ride the damn thing. I am not going to jeopardize my limbs on the first day. I am gonna wait at least a week to start my "stunt riding".

Anways, If I could dispense any words of wisdom it would be this: don't get too busy to celebrate the milestones.  Tonight Jenny and I rode our bikes 1.3 miles. When we finished you would have thought we just completed the Tour De France. We whooped and hollared and truly celebrated.  Perhaps, this is because we only made it 4 blocks ( I think I am being generous in this estimation) last night and were celebrating the fact that we lived.....Regardless, we went farther tonight than we did last night. The plan is to extend it even more tomorrow night.

The point is whether we go half a mile or four miles, we are still going. It may not be fast.  It may not be attractive. We may have to wait until after dark to go, but by God we do it, which is far more than we were doing just a few short weeks ago....

Sad stuff Now:

I am only "officially" weighing in on Wednesdays but I have cheated and hopped on the scale a few times this week.The scale hasn't seemed to drastically moved. I feel like I am eating the right things and moving more than ever but nothing seems to happen. Slowly, I am beginning to see that the numbers on the scale do not define me or this journey. Have I lost 5 pounds this week? No. Do I feel better? Yes.

Reminder to myself:
The weight did not come on overnight nor will it leave in such a fashion............ 

Saturday, August 18, 2012


I know I am still very early in this process but I have to say it is going well. I am learning a lot about myself. Learning what works for me and realizing what doesn't.  There is something about this time around that seems different or maybe it is me who is different. I am seeing that it's not about deprivation. I eat when I am hungry. I eat what tastes good I just don't eat three helpings of it. I love to cook and am researching recipes and finding ways to tweak them to make them healthy. I quit drinking soda. I was only drinking diet but since I have stopped I don't crave sweets like I used to. Small, seemingly unnoticable changes that in a short amount of time have made a big different. I am not saying that the urge to eat badly has left. I would still do obscence things from some Taco John's Potato Oles but I know that if I avoid such tempations all together I am not put in a postion to make bad choices.

Weekends are going to be my most difficult times. It's not so bad when I am out and about but  I think I need to munch if I am sitting in front of the TV. I'm not even hungry, just bored.  Instead of doing what I would have normally done, I went out to the farm to harrass my parents. Changing my environment helped. It got my mind off the fact that I thought I needed to eat. Besides, for those of you who know my parents know that it's guaranteed to be entertaining. By the way, I don't know what I would do without those two crazies. They support me, they make me laugh, they love me even when I am least deserving, and they call me out on my bullshit, which we all know I need every so often.

 I have also realized that I will have to find a hobby. One would think that after 26 years I would find some sort of interest. Besides being awesome (kidding), I have no real hobbies. I dabble here and there in various things but nothing has ever stuck...Anyways, I'm open for any suggestions but please keep in mind that my patience is about as long as my attention span, just saying.

I began my morning with a walk. There is a profound serenity that comes with being up and going before the rest of the world.  It goes without saying that I have never been a huge fan of excercising but the more I do the more I look forward to it. There is a certain amount of clarity that comes with it; it doesn't matter what's going on at work, what's going on at home, all that matters is that for that hour there is only me, my Ipod, and the road.

Last night I had the pleasure of witnessing a 104 year-old take her first trip in a hot air balloon. This was an item on her bucket list. I was brought to tears being able to see the joy and excitement in her eyes as she took off on an adventure that she had always dreamed of yet probably never imagined she would get to do. Watching all of this happen, it cemented in my mind that I am doing the best thing for myself by getting healthier. At 104, that beautiful woman still had dreams and aspirations.   It really never is too late. I have so much I want to see and want to do. I want to get my doctorate. I want to write a book(s). I want to travel around the world.  I want to teach at a university. I want to be able to afford to build my dad the shop he has always wanted and my mom the addition she has always dreamed of. I want to fall in love and have babies. I want to see Jenny have babies. I want to watch my friends' babies, whom I love as my own, grow up and see the extraordinary things they will do with their lives.  If  I don't get my act together I will not get to see these things happen.......

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day 1

Today was my official weigh-in day. I have been thinking a lot about the goals that I want to achieve with this new journey. To be completely honest the long-term goals are too lofty. I don't want to set myself up for failure by trying to look too far into the future. So, for the time being, I am going to focus on short-term goals. Hopefully the smaller goals will eventually open the doors for the bigger goals.

Below are a few of my near-future goals:

1) Survive the gigantic hill in Red Cloud that Nichole and I brave on our walks. This baby is steeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.
2) Not get winded on said hill on our walks.
3) Eat breakfast-this is going to be one of the more difficult ones for me as I have never been a big breakfast eater. Unless you count 4 a.m. truck stop breakfasts on the way home from the bar (That's an entirely different blog all together though, isn't is?) I am going to sacrifice 15 minutes of my morning to eat a healthy breakfast.
4) No more fast food ( Subway doesn't count).
5)Walk or do some sort of excercise 6 days a week.

This list of goals is a work in progress, the plan is for it to continually be updated and expanded.

Right now I am super excited. I know what I want and I know that I want to get this done. The trends of my past dieting experiences have been that I start out so motivated and then little by little it dwindles and I am right back where I started. This is when I am going to have to remind myself that this is not a temporary fix. This is for life. I have to get over the fact that God did not give me a metabolism. I can ponder the vast unfairness of the situation, but at the end of the day, I am always going to have to be vigilant about a healthy lifestyle.

When it comes down to diet, I am just going to focus on balanced healthy eating in moderation. The sad part is that I know what I am supposed to be eating. I get it, calories in versus calories out...yada...yada...yada... I have taken numerous nutrition classes. I know the risks of an unhealthy lifestyle, but rationalizing the right things to eat with what I want to eat is a constant battle. Because I know this about myself of I will constantly have to self reflect. I am going to have to be brutally honest with myself-Do I really want that double cheese burger or do I really want to live to my 30th birthday?

Listen closely, children, now is the time for one of Aunt Lou's pet peeves. I am always taken aback when people approach me who automatically assume that all fat people are lazy and uneducated. The ones that think that if a fat person really wanted to be healthy they would just do it. To these fine individuals I just want to scream, "YOU MEAN TO TELL ME ALL I HAVE TO DO IS EAT LESS AND EXERCISE MORE? I FINALLY GET IT!  THANK YOU FOR FINALLY SHOWING ME THE LIGHT. YOU MUST BE SOME SORT OF PROPHET, LEADING ALL THE FATTIES TO SALVATION. ALL I NEEDED WAS SOME IGNORANT ASS TO PUT IT ALL INTO PERSPECTIVE!" (I love typing in all caps, makes me feel like I am yelling). However, we all know I am too much of a lady to ever say such words aloud.

All-in-all, the day was a success. I am proud of myself and the choices that I made.

One of my friends started my day out with this text:

You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.

On that note, dear friends, here's to new chapters and new outlooks.

* I also want to thank everyone for the support, for the kind words, for the calls, for the texts. Knowing that this is not a battle I will have to fight alone makes it so much easier to face. I love you all.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


This blog is a chronicle of my new journey. A journey that I want to share with others. A journey that I realize will be happy and sad and ugly and beautiful-all mixed into pages and pages of my rambling....The only thing you need to ask yourself is, "Are you ready for this?"

 I am your typical 26 year-old. I am a social worker in a long-term care facility. I just finished up my Master's Degree in Gerontology. I have the greatest (craziest) family and friends anyone could ask for. Laughing is pretty high up on my priority list. I speak sarcasm fluently. I have a knack for singing the wrong words in every song and I can quote any Will Ferrell movie (be jealous). I am also harboring a long kept secret. I AM FAT! Okay, okay, it is not a secret. You just have to to have me in your line of vision to realize that I am 'Large and In Charge'. 

All my life I have had problems with my weight. If I had a dollar for everytime I have heard, "Laura, you have such a pretty face, if you would just lose a little weight...." I would have enough for Gastric Bypass, a hot-ass trainer, and some sort of brain surgery to destroy the part of my brain that makes me feel hungry. Name a diet, I have probably tried it...and probably cheated at it...and probably failed at it. This time, though, the stakes are a little higher.

The relationship that I have with food and my body is a love-hate one, at best.  I LOVE to eat. I HATE being overweight. I am even in this constant state of denial in which I  refuse to refer to myself using the "F" word. Call me anything, just don't call me fat.....Call it what you want: big girl, fluffy, hefty, plus size,  solid....regardless of the terminology that I have sugar-coated it with, the only fitting word for what I have let myself become is unhealthy.

I received news today, after a series of tests, that carrying around this extra weight has taken a toll on my heart. This news was quite shocking to me, as I thought my last boyfriend took my heart with him when he left years ago, but alas, apparently it's still there, just not in tip-top shape.

The news that changed my life, came at 9:29 this morning. My doctor's office called with the test results. After a complete and total melt-down and a heart-to-heart with a great friend and my parents, I have decided that the time has come-a complete and total lifestyle change is in store. I am going to stumble, trip, power walk, and eventually run (even if it kills me) down this new path. I am going to completely makeover my diet. I am going to (gasp) incorporate excercise into each and every day, and by God I am going to do it while continuing to be fabulous.....stay tuned ,friends, stay tuned.