Tuesday, October 29, 2013

To A Life Well Lived...

The Good Lord Giveth And The Good Lord Taketh Away
Ethan Edward Whitesel
February 2, 1982 - Ocotber 29, 2008

I am afraid that I am going to forget his voice.

Of all the things that could keep me awake at night, it's the thought of forgetting his voice that haunts me deep down in my soul. If I forget his voice, what else am I going to forget about my brother? What happens if all the memories fade? What happens if I forget his stories? His laughter?  Perhaps, my true fear isn't that I will forget at all, but rather that I will always remember and forever be broken?

 Today marks five years that my brother has been gone. Not a single day has been easy. Time does not heal all sorrows. That is a damn lie. Time distorts grief. Packages differently but never really ever diminishes it. It is no longer all consuming but every day, it is there.

It usually happens during a happy time. A fleeting thought during a celebration, during a holiday, during a perfect moment. That is when I miss Ethan the most. A thought that makes me feel like the wind has been knocked out of me. It is in these moments that I realize that this darkness can eclipse the brightest of days and I am reminded of all the things that he will miss out on. My spouse will never meet my brother. He won't stand up with us on our wedding day. My children will never meet their Uncle. They will never feel the unconditional love that Ethan bestowed upon his family and my heart breaks because of this. True, they will never meet him, but they will always know him. That I can guarantee.

Five years without him feels infinite in relation to his life. The only comfort is that that kid lived the hell out of the short amount of time he was given. He talked too much and too fast. He made choices always with his heart, rarely with his head. He loved and trusted with this reckless abandon that even now I cannot fully understand. He didn't need me to understand. He didn't need anyone to understand. He understood and that was all that mattered.

I have to admit that I haven't had a decent argument since he has been gone. He had a way of making me look at the world differently. I have this terrible habit of thinking I am always right, even when I am absolutely wrong. Mix that in with foolish pride that makes me rather eat rocks than admit that I am incorrect and you can imagine situations got a bit heated.  Rest assured that being my best friend and brother, Ethan, took it upon himself to always call me on my bullshit and let me know when I was being completely ridiculous, which of course made me lose my mind. It's funny that you can even miss fighting with a person.

He also had tendency of telling me what to do. Usually he was right. I am a big believer that everything that happens is all part of this grander plan. In the five years since he has been gone, many new people have come into my life. Some for a short time, others have become more permanent fixtures but all have came with a lesson. Sometimes it is so blatantly obvious that Ethan had his hand in the mix of these various individuals that I have to look up and say, "Alright, Bubba, stop pushing."

 Today marks an anniversary but there will be no party. There is nothing to celebrate. There are no happy memories that correlate to this date that changed us all at our core, five years ago. This day will always serve as a reminder that life is not fair. However, I do have a wish for you all, if you knew him or even if you didn't. My wish is that you try to see the world through Ethan's eyes. That you look for the best in everyone that you encounter. That you believe that every single person is capable of good. That you always have the courage to defend others. That you stand up for what you believe in even if you have to stand alone and that you forgive even if it is not necessarily deserved. Make a few choices without thinking it completely through. Laugh, just because you can and remember that we are guaranteed nothing in this life, not even tomorrow, so tell the people you love how you feel. Today do that for me...and for him.

Missing you today and every day, big brother.

Rest Well, Old Friend.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Clean(er) Eating

I have spent the last two weeks focusing on eating cleaner. Avoiding processed foods. Focusing on lower carb. Sticking mostly to leaner meats, vegetables, and fruit. I have done bunches of research on the Paleo Approach to eating. Seriously, if you ever want to scare the heck outta yourself look into what preservatives do to your body. Perhaps, do a bit of research on Margarine or low-fat butter spray.....YEEEEEEEEEEE............The basis of my version of clean(er) eating/living is similar to Paleo except I eat cheese and Ranch and I still drink the occasional beer. Not because they provide any major health benefits but more so because I LOVE them! Changing my lifestyle has been about living better in the hopes of impoving my health and essentially extending my life. I have decided I have no interest in living in a world where I can't have some damn Ranch dressing. Chose your battles, I guess.

 I am slowly learning to like fruits. Okay, that was kinda a lie. My favorite fruit is and always will be Jello with salt on it but I have been forcing myself to try a different variety of fruits. My most recent  snack has been frozen Lemon Drop Melon. Not too shabby! I have to get pretty creative not only with what I eat, but with how. I have a huge texture aversion. If it's anywhere near a mushy consistency, I cannot handle it. Stick a traditionally mushy (ish) fruit in the freezer, Viola, I don't have to gag on it. Sounds like a win/win situation, if you ask me.

Tonight I tried cauliflower "rice" for the first time. I took a half of head of cauliflower and ran it through the food processor. I sauteed it in some butter with Worchestersire Sauce and fresh garlic. I had it with a pork chop and some greens (WITH RANCH AND CHEESE...BOOM) and a couple slices of tomato. Pretty darn tasty!

I am continuing with Boot Camp workouts three times a week. I really  love boot camp because it is always something different. If there are things that I cannot do, the trainer modifies them so I still get all the benefits of the excercise. The hardest part is the act of getting there. Once I am there, I am fine but I fight with myself all day over what I want to do versus what I should do.  I have also been trying to mix in some walking and jogging throughout the week, as well. Basically, it's just an excuse for my to jam out on my Ipod. I tell you what, I can rock Chicago's "Inspiration" like nobody's business. I can also thug out to T.I. like I was raised in the ghetto......it really is exhausting being this awesome. :)

Stay tuned......More of my nonsense coming soon..................

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How Do You Measure A Year?

Oh, all the changes a year can bring!

 I started this journey to get healthy exactly one year ago today.

A year ago, I sat right where I am at now, scared out of my mind. I knew I needed to make some changes. Some big changes.  Ultimately, I had two choices. Change the way I was living or die. Simple enough, I guess. When I started this all I thought my fear was of dying. I think in retrospect, the true fear that I harbored was in actually letting myself live.

I am not the same person who sat in front of this computer a mere 365 days ago.  Time changes us all. I remember the very first blog entry. I cried the entire time I wrote it. Hell, every blog I write, I still cry. It's cathartic. I'm probably gonna cry at some point before this one is finished. Putting myself out there for the world to see my weaknesses has been monumental for me. I have a pesky little habit of letting my pride get the best of me and God forbid someone see me at a weak moment, in my mind that is just unacceptable; but I knew that if I was going to succeed at this, I had to be able to let others see my vulnerabilities. In the last year I have learned that sometimes the only way to exude strength is to be strong enough to show my weaknesses

When I started this journey I set a goal. I wanted to be down 100 pounds today. I wish I could sit here and tell you that I reached all my goals. That I lost 100 pounds. That my life was perfect. That losing the weight made EVERYTHING better, but alas, I would would be lying. Regretfully, I have not lost 100 pounds. I have lost 60 pounds and have maintained that loss over the summer.

I have a ways to go. It is slow moving but I will get there. One step at a time. Realizing today that I fell short of the goal I set a year ago is just the motivation I need to get my ass back on track. It's bad enough to feel like I let everyone else down but it pisses me off to no end that I let myself down. Here's to a new push to continue to get healthy. So beginning Monday, I am back on track...hold me to it, friends.

Truth is, losing weight is only a small equation in this process. This process is about learning to love myself enough to live healthier. There will always be times where I fall short,  where I return to old habits. The important part is to start each day with a clean slate. I have also learned that  I have to love myself at every size. If don't love myself fat I sure as hell won't love myself thin. I will still be the same person just in a slightly smaller package. My body isn't ideal but it's the only one I've got so I have to treat it right.

 Confession time: I still hate to exercise. Absolutely hate it. Some things never change. I do a fitness boot camp three days a week.  It's a mixture of core exercises as well as cardio.  I die a little inside on cardio day. Every day I can think of a million reasons not to go but I know that it needs to be done. I know I could easily fall back into my inactive life so I have to push on.

And in this year I have learned to really live. For so long, I was merely existing. Now, I do what I feel. I surround myself by people who make me happy and I distance myself from those who don't. I have learned that if I don't want people to expect me to change, I had better not ask them to do so either. That if I don't want people to judge me, I better not judge them. Some lessons this year have been easier than others but as promised this ride has been every thing I expected it to be. It's been beautiful and it's been messy.  I've had some of my happiest moments and  I have experienced some of my saddest. I have faced my demons. I have made new friends and I have lost old ones. I am thankful for all of my family and friends who have loved me through all of this, especially on the days that I wasn't strong enough to love myself

...and for this entire journey, I am becoming a little bit better every day.

P.S. One year later and I would still do unspeakably obscene things for Taco John's Potato Oles.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


He will always be more at home on an Allis Chalmer's tractor out in a hay field than in an office. He can fix just about anything on this planet, whether it be a broken window or a broken heart. He is a man of few words, but you can bet your ass when he has something to say, it's worth hearing. He is loving and caring. He is funny and he is wise. He can curse for three minutes straight without taking a breath. He is the strongest man I have ever met and he is the glue that keeps our family together. He is my Dad and I would not be who I am without him.

There are two  things in life that I know for certain:

1.) I drive my dad bat-shit crazy.
2.) He loves me more than I can even comprehend.

It's safe to say that my dad and I are very different. He is as level-headed as I am nonsensical. He likes to have a plan for everything. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants. He is focused and, I am, well......not. Sarcasm is typically lost on that man, whereas, I speak it fluently. As different as we are, he has never once discouraged me from being anything but true to myself. He may not always understand me but I know without a doubt, he ALWAYS supports me.

On my eighth birthday, I had a skating party at the roller rink in Hastings. My mom and I had it all planned out- basically the party of the year. However, the day before, she was invited to one of the big Husker football games of that year, by one of her friends. Not wanting her to miss out on an opportunity to have fun, dad traded in his cowboy boots for roller skates and took a group of unruly eight year olds to my Barbie skate party and insisted that she go to the game. This is one of my first recollections of his selflessness. He sacrificed his sanity to insure that both my mom and I had the best time. Plus, I'm sure he wore the hell out of that Barbie party hat!

When we were kids, he was an over-the-road truck driver and was usually gone 3-4 nights per week.  Every night he called to talk to my mom but he would always take a few minutes to talk Ethan and me, too.  He would listen to our stories and the happenings in our little lives and made us feel like we were the most important people in the world. I have to add that when Ethan and I were fighting and driving mom nuts, he would tell us that if we didn't straighten our asses up, he would jump through the phone and do it for us. I wasn't a super smart kid, but even I knew that, that was bullshit.... but, hey, it usually got our attention. Even though he was gone a lot he always made sure that he was there for the important stuff. There were few games, programs, or concerts that he missed. He may have had to come in late and stand in the back, but he was always there.

He has always sacrificed so that we had/have everything we need. He is my hero....not because of what he does but because of who he is. He believes in hard work and honesty. He believes in a man's word being their bond and on a handshake being their contract. Qualities that you don't find too often in this day and age. In a world full of uncertainties, he is one of the few constants in my life. I know how lucky I am to have been raised by such great parents but I am doubly lucky because as I have gotten older they have also became my friends. 

I watch as his mom battles end-stage dementia and am in awe as I see the same patience and caring that he has always had with his children shines through in an effort to help calm her. I know that every difficult decision he has to make weighs heavy on his heart yet he remains strong; for that is all he knows.

And I know as we come together to celebrate Father's Day, that this too is a day tinged with sadness for him. No parent should ever have to bury a child. Ethan was his best friend and days like this further remind him of his loss.  I worry that he has been so busy helping us girls through our grief that he hasn't had an opportunity to fully process his own.  Many of the things that he once loved, he no longer does, because those were the things they would do together. Life isn't fair...... I just wish I could shoulder that pain for both of them.........

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

 I don't tell you enough how thankful I am for all you do.

 Love you the most!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Warrior Dash

Several months ago when I agreed to do the Warrior Dash, I instantly thought of my Dad's famous last words, "Don't let your mouth write checks that your ass can't cash". Unfortunately, I was raised in a way that if I had given someone my word that I was going to do something, I had best do it, but I am not going to lie, I had a few doubts on whether finishing the race would even be feasible but alas I knew what had to be done.  I also knew that I would probably perish during and that next year they would have to rename it "The Laura Whitesel Memorial Dash".

Well, yesterday, I did it. I crossed the finish line. Granted, it was nearly two hours after I started but I finished. It wasn't graceful, it wasn't cute, hell, the majority of the time, it wasn't even dignified , but I finished. I went around the majority of the obstacles. I quit the race approximately 10 times throughout. I also quit life about the same amount of times. I should also mention that you have some crazy ass thoughts when you are out in the middle of nowhere in the pouring rain enduring the seventh level of hell that you had to pay for. Do you remember that movie, where rich hunters paid to hunt humans? I think it was called The Game. At one point, I had myself convinced I was part of a situation like that.

It was one of the hardest things I've ever done but along the course, I found something that I have been looking for, for a long time: clarity. It came in a simple sentence from Nichole. We were about a mile in and had just been passed by about 300 people when I told her that I was having some pretty bad thoughts about those people who were running in way that seemed so effortless. She said, "The only person you need to complete with is yourself." I had about two miles to process this which got me thinking to the Laura from this same time last year.

I think back to a year ago.....June 8, 2012- I was the Laura that I don't even know anymore. The Laura that was sedentary-that could barely walk around the block without getting winded. The Laura that was 60 pounds heavier than the one now. The Laura that questioned her own worth. The Laura who was slowly digging herself into an early grave..... I may have finished that race in the worst time in Warrior Dash history, but in every single way I was the victor. Crossing that finish line represented everything that I have worked so hard for in the last year. A journey that I have just skimmed the top of.

Basically, I Jump Through Fire Like It's My Job!

It's funny, in a moment where I felt so weak, I found strength. I was again reminded of why I was working on becoming healthier. It's not to be skinny. It's not so some guy will think my ass looks hot in Yoga pants. This journey is about living life the best way possible and pushing myself to become a little better each day.

Words don't even do justice for how immensely I felt loved yesterday. We were on the last stretch of the race and we came over the last hill and there standing by the fence line were the four most important people in my life, cheering me on in the cold, pouring rain. All having a million things they would have probably rather been doing but being there for me. Like I said, in every way I was the victor.   Unconditional love is a rare thing to find in life.What would we do without family? Every single day I thank my lucky stars for them. It doesn't matter how old you are, that moment when both of your parents tell you how proud they are of you, in that instance everything in the world was right.

I also have to give a shout out to my running partner, Nichole. She stayed with my every single step of the way. She walked with me even though she could have ran ahead. She talked me off the edge every single time. She was with me when I began this journey almost a year ago. She sat with me while I cried after I got the results of my stress test.  She is not afraid to call me on my bullshit. She has been my rock. Basically, she is the ultimate bad ass and one of my best friends! Thank you for everything.

P.S. I also feel the need to take the time to apologize to the event volunteer that I had less than nice thoughts about. We were at a point where it felt like we had went about 46 miles and he mentioned that we were barely half way. I can't recall all the specifics because I was not getting a whole lot of oxygen to my brain, at that point, but I am certain he was not the names I called him, nor was his mother.....

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Mom's Cooler Than Your Mom!!

She is beautiful, smart, sassy, and funny. She makes me laugh. She makes me cry. She frustrates me. she challenges me, she pushes my buttons. She supports me. She believes in me when I don't believe in myself. She taught me the true meaning of unconditional love.  She is fiercely protective  and may God have mercy on your soul if you mess with her family.  She is the first person I call with good news and with bad.   She makes my world a little better...She makes me a little better. She is my mother, my best friend.

My parent's were super young when they had my brother and me. In a way, we all kind of grew up together. I'm sure it wasn't always pretty but it was always fun. I know how much they sacrificed for us and have never met two people more selfless. I watched both of my parents work their asses off to give my brother and I the best life possible. One thing that I didn't see was them struggle. Money was tight and they went without a lot so  Bubba and I had everything we always needed. I didn't even realize this until I was older. They never once complained about it. They taught me that that the world would provide me with nothing, I had to work for everything I had. I didn't appreciate it then but establishing a work ethic was one of the greatest tools for success that they could have ever bestowed upon me.

I watched my mom raise my brother and me and then in an instance it switched to her becoming the care giver for her parent's. She put her life on hold to insure that they were always taken care of. I watched her become a fighter, an advocate, a warrior. She only did for her parents what they would have done for her. Good parents are not a coincidence. Good parents are raised by good parents. So, for all the things in life I am unsure of, I know that parenthood is one thing I will not fail at.

I have watched as she has lived every parent's worse nightmare. No parent should ever have to bury a child. She has navigated those waters with poise and strength and has been the glue that has kept our family together. Sometimes I am in disbelief of just how strong she is. I know that every Mother's Day that comes around is a little bittersweet because she is reminded of what she has lost.

So on this Mother's Day, I want to just take a minute to tell my Mom how much I love her and appreciate her. I don't say  enough, how amazing you are and how blessed I am to have you in my life. Thank you for being you and being the best Mom ever!

 I love you the most, Momma!

Ladies and Gentlemen....A mere example of my awesome childhood. 
Check out that hair? This style was not just for the special occasion of pictures. My mother insisted that my hair looked like this every.single.day. I can't complain, I was always preparted to accept a Country Music Award, should the need arise. Also, Ethan was never really into being a cowboy. That is probably Dad's hat and  mom needed something to off-set my big ass hair with that ever so sleek bow and my giant buck teeth.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I think your shirts are stupid anyway.....

Before you read any further check out the link below:


Now for the disclaimer:

In this blog post I am going to make fun of Mr. Mike Jefferies. I am going to be petty and juvenile and make comments that are equally as small-minded as the ones that he made in his interview. It is not okay to judge anyone by their looks. I know this is wrong but in my only defense,  HE STARTED IT!!!!!!!

Granted this interview took place in 2006 so some time has elapsed but since the interview has recently been republished in Business Insider, apparently Mike Jefferies maintains his stance on not wanting fatties to wear his clothing.  I have seen this story shared several times on Facebook and never one to miss an opportunity to rant, I decided to do a bit of investigative reporting.

I know what your thinking. Mike Jefferies has to be insanely good looking. You know, "an attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends". Let's take a minute for me to blow that shit out of the water....

I'm not a doctor or anything but I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that he most likely will not be appearing in his own ad campaigns. Just a guess. Is this a joke? A mugshot gone wrong? An allergic reaction? Sir, were you stung by a bee prior to this photograph?

I think that if I was a gizillionaire, selling only cool clothes to only cool people, I would invest some of that revenue on fixing my face.......or perhaps my personality? Some day I am going to design a line of clothing that excludes people with abnormally misshapen heads and faces... Sorry Mike, you won't be able to run with the big dogs.

I understand that he thinks that he has monopolized the clothing industry by being exclusionary in who is able to wear his clothing label but seriously does he have to be such a dick? Pretty people do wear his clothes but can the majority of them spell clothes? No wonder the ads are always so graphic, clearly his target group aren't much for reading or interpretation, for that matter.

 Any idiot can sell thread-bare shirts with a stenciled logo but it takes a real business man to do so in a way that does not offend people. Maybe Mr. Jefferies should attend a Nebraska State Fair and see that his view of people wearing his clothing may be just a tad bit warped?

As I have said before, I am not promoting being plus-size. I am all about being and living healthy. What I am promoting is that people be valued on more than the label plastered across the ass of their sweatpants.

In conclusion, I know that Mr. Jefferies will never see these words nor would he even care if he did  but I want everyone who does read this to know that it doesn't matter if you buy your clothes at Abercrombie, Walmart, Old Navy or Good Will; the true meaning of happiness is finding those who love you regardless of what you have or what you wear.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Give Me One Reason

Why is it so hard to make the right choices? I try to be completely open about all of my struggles with my weight. Every day is a battle. That  battle will be lifelong. I go weeks where I am right on track and then I fall clean off of the wagon and go right back to old habits. It just seems to snowball. Then I have to re-evaluate why I needed the change in the first place. I know all the risks I am facing by not losing the extra pounds. I know what I have to lose. I know.

 I went to my first weight loss support group meeting tonight. I have been thinking about going for the few weeks. I guess the hardest part was walking through the door. Maybe it's because I had to admit to myself that I can't do it alone which is never an easy thing to do.

Some will disagree, but I truly believe that food can be just as much of an addiction as drugs and alcohol. I don't know what it's like to struggle with a chemical dependency but damn I could write volumes on emotional dependence. How do you overcome something that is essential to living? You can quit drugs. You can quit alcohol. You have to eat.

What the leader of the group had to say tonight were the exact words that I needed to hear. She told us that there are so many reasons to not choose a healthy lifestyle but all you need is one reason to succeed. So, which reason am I gonna choose? If you are struggling, which reason are you gonna choose?  I can't count on both my hands and feet my reasons.  It all comes down MY choices and MINE alone. It's important to be reminded of this. I will always struggle with this. I know this. I don't like it but I know it. And struggle I will but in the end I know I will overcome it.

On to more exciting news.....slowly but surely, I have reached my 50 pound mark! Actually, I reached it several weeks ago but ever since I have  been fluctuating back and forth but  now I am finally back to 50 lost.  Each pound representative of lot tears, lots of laughter, even more tantrums, endless support from my family and friends, and something else I can't quite put my finger on......maybe it's strength....I'm leaning more towards hope.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Are you out there?

 If the timeline of my life would have went as I had always planned it, I would have been several years into marriage and beginning my own family, living the "American Dream".  I was wrong.  Ten years ago, I hadn't even given my college education a second thought and a graduate degree wasn't even anything I had ever imagined, in my wildest dreams...but here I am Master's Degree in hand and a continued journey within my career. My path has lead me down a much different direction than I think anyone could have imagined, trust me, no one is more shocked about this than I.

Lately, I have been painfully aware that I am one of the few in my  group of friends that hasn't met that special someone and settled down. The majority of my friends are married and having kids and it just feels like our lives are on two entirely different spectrums. Don't get me wrong, I am content with my life and enjoy the hell out of it, however, one day I would like to plan a real wedding, not just my imaginary Pintrest wedding. :)

I don't want to tempt fate or anything. I believe everything happens in due time......but I can't help but wonder....

 Maybe we have yet to meet or perhaps he has been there the whole time and the universe never lined up perfectly. Maybe he is a wild card, someone no one could have ever imagined I'd end up with or maybe it is so painfully obvious that we were meant to be together that no one saw it coming. These things I won't know until they have happened. The list of unknowns is endless although there are a few things I can tell you for certain about him:

His family is his number one priority. He does an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. Maybe in an office, maybe in a tractor, please God, not in a KFC uniform. He is the funniest guy in the whole world....to me. He makes me laugh more than anyone else.  He gets my off color sense of humor and forgives my tendency to be melodramatic. He finds my awkwardness sexy. He is strong in his morals and knows exactly who he is. He loves his mom and dad and he strives to make them proud each and every day, much like I do.

He will know that I am a feminist contradiction. He understands that I expect to be treated equal to any man but I also don't mind having the door opened for me and Heaven help him if he walks into a room ahead of me. He will know that he will never get to lead while dancing ever again.  He is patient with my short-comings and not afraid to call me on my bullshit. He will learn to love the fact that I always think I am right even when I am blatantly wrong....He can thank my mother for this inherited trait.

He forgives me when I am being ridiculous and doesn't judge my habit of throwing around the "F" word. He will be blessed with a tough exterior, a soft heart, and an open mind. He will be secure enough with his masculinity to know that my speaking to a member of the opposite sex does not mean our relationship is doomed. He will know that when I make a commitment to someone it is for forever, not just a while. If I love you once, I probably always will.

 He will shake my dad's hand and look him in the eye when he speaks to him and he will know that you never, ever sit in Kendall's chair while visiting.  He will tell my mom that she is beautiful and he will make her laugh and make her love him too, because if Momma Whitesel ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.He will have the foresight to ask my dad for my hand before he proposes, regardless of how old we are and will not run for the hills when my dad tells him, "Remember, she's your problem now".

He will know how to stack a hay trailer correctly and if not he better at least fake enthusiasm in learning how because like it our not he will be the newest non-paid employee of Whitesel Custom Hay. The pay sucks and the benefits are awful and the work conditions leave a little to be desired but it will be one of the greatest jobs he ever holds.

He will be understanding when my sister lives with us our first year of marriage and laugh that she is only returning the favor from when Ethan and she took me into their home during the first year they were married. I was the 22 year-old child that they never wanted. I can only imagine that Jennifer is going to pay that forward.

And may I have the an open mind to see what is right in front of me and an open heart to be everything he needs me to be. May our life together be long and happy and full of surprises.........
I know he is out there. He may not be everything I always thought I wanted but he will be everything I need. I don't know when or where we will meet but when the time comes, I am ready. ...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Whole 30

I've been doing a great deal of research on what the best eating plans consist of.. I've really been focusing on the Paleo-approach.I just finished reading, It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig and Charles Hunt's, Eat Fat, Get Fit. Both focus on our dietary needs from a very primal standpoint.

So, today I started the Whole 30 plan. Basically, it removes sugar, artificial sweeteners, bread, grains, flours, alcohol, simple carbs, dairy and anything  processed from your diet for the next 30 days. There's a lot of mumbo-jumbo that goes along with it. I'll spare you the boring details. Pretty much, I am allowed to eat meat, non-starchy fresh vegetables, raw nuts, and fresh fruit. It also allows for oils such as EVOO and Coconut oil. This diet sounded so rational when I was reading the damn books, however, while I am actually living it, I am less than convinced. Day 1 apparently is an easy day.....Easy, my ass.

They say the hurdles comes with days 2-4. This is when your body is in some sort of wicked food hangover as it purges all the toxins and build-up from your system.....sexy..... Research shows that eating all the above listed food on the naughty, no-no list send our biological make-up into some sort of crisis state which leads to lots of potential complications.  Approximately, 16 hours in and I would auction off my first born for a Diet Mountain Dew.

I did some grocery shopping this afternoon. Shopping is not near as fun when you have to check the labels on absolutely everything..... Sometime take a look at the ingredients in some of your favorite foods. Chances are you can't pronounce half of them. Shouldn't we know what we are putting in out bodies?

Both books mentioned the use of coconut oil, for cooking, not sunbathing, of course. I was kind of hesitant to get any because it is kind of pricey and I wasn't sure I wanted to spend a lot of money on something I wasn't sure I was going to like. Today, I was pretty much a renegade, and decided to try it any way. OMG, I SURE AM GLAD I DID! It is absolutely delicious plus it smells like a day at the beach while it is heating up. I pan fried some salmon in it tonight.YUM!  I also made a lettuce salad with hard boiled egg, avocado, fresh salsa, and a dash of vinegar.  I'm attaching a picture at the end, cuz I think it's kind of pretty.

I'm being a tad melodramatic. It will all buff out. Get through the next few days and it will be smooth sailing....

P.S. I really could use a beer. :)

Supper-Day 1

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Four years ago, I began working as the Social Worker at the nursing home in Red Cloud. Funny, I barely remember the girl who walked through the door that very first day. I was 23and fresh out of college. I was scared and lost and was still naive enough to think that the world owed me something. Nearly four years to the day later, I closed one of the greatest chapters of my life.

At Heritage, I found my calling, I found my voice, I found my inspiration and I will never, ever be the same. I have had the absolute privilege of working with some of the nuttiest, funniest, silliest, smartest, bravest, and strongest people who have ever graced this earth and I am all the better for knowing each and every one of them. It truly has been the pleasure of my life.

This week I am starting a new journey. Last month, I accepted a position at Mary Lanning as a Social Worker. Leaving Red Cloud was one of the most bittersweet things that I have ever experienced.  Starting this new journey, I am still scared-all I have known for the last 12 years is  long-term care (in some capacity or another).  I am excited to use my skills in a different capacity. Most importantly, I am excited to be one step closer to my dreams.

I have never been much of a planner. You know those people who knew what the wanted to be since they were very young? Ya, I was never one of them! Planning really isn't my thing. How jealous I am of those who were blessed with such self-awareness. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. All I knew was I wanted to change the world, I still do.

 I also had huge aspirations to be a horse jockey but those plans fell through, probably, at birth. Looking at me, one would tend to assume I would lean more towards a career as a Line Backer or Body Guard. Thankfully, with a whole lot of hard work, a little bit of luck, and a dash of  Laura's special craziness and everything kind of just fell in to place. The path hasn't always been smooth but from the depths of my soul, I know I'm where I'm supposed to be. Life has a funny way of working itself out.

I still question whether I made the right choice. I am a creature of habit and fear the unknown but even more so, I fear a life of mediocracy. I have to take risks and accept new challenges and continue to be hopeful that everything will continue to work out the way it is supposed to. Meanwhile, I am going to sit back and just enjoy the ride. I leave you with some of my favorite words:

"Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will."-Hope Floats

Monday, February 4, 2013

Oh, No!

It seems that it has been quite some time since I have posted and there is a perfectly logical explanation for that......I have not been doing very well with this process and I am a chicken-shit. I don't want to disappoint anyone, namely, myself. So, instead of facing the facts, I avoided this blog. Simply, acted as if it didn't exist. Avoidance....I basically invented the concept in relation to health.  If I didn't admit I was struggling then maybe it wasn't true...


So, here it is........I AM STRUGGLING!!!

Not just a little bump in the road, either. Like full-on train wreck, struggling. I am struggling in a way I have never struggled before. It's like passion I had back in August when I started this journey is gone. I have lost focus. I am not eating the things I should. I am not excercising the way I should (like not at all). It started small. Sneaking a dish of ice cream at work. Skipping one night of working out, then two, and then well, would you look at that, I haven't worked out in a good two weeks. I know I have gained some of the weight back I had lost, because I can feel it. I can't tell you an exact number because I have hid the scale....Avoidance.

So there it is. Everything is out on the table. Right now, I am struggling but that does not mean I have failed. I may have stumbled but I promise you, this time I will not fall.

I could sit here and tell you that it's because I am stressed out. I could sit here and tell you it's because, essentially, my life is changing in a drastic way and I feel like I'm losing control. I could sit here and tell you that it's too hard, that I'm not strong enough to win this battle....but I'm not going to.

What I am going to do is sit here and tell you that I am going to get my shit together. I am going to hold myself accountable. Such a new concept for me. I am going to do what I know I can. I'm strong and capable and will not let these last few weeks define my journey.

They say the truth will set you free, here's hoping "they" are right...........

Tomorrow is a new day.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

It's been awhile.......

Losing weight.

A simple enough statement. How hard could it possibly be? I began this journey roughly 5 months ago. I figured that once I got down the "basics" of living a healthy lifestyle that the rest would be a breeze........Riiiiiiight, about that........

Five months later, I continue to struggle. I struggle with what I should eat compared to what I want to eat. I struggle with excercising daily. I struggle with my emotions. I struggle with who I am. I am learning that I have to give myself some room to breathe. If I want to have a king size Reese for supper and nothing else, it's okay, as long as I don't make that a staple in my diet. It's okay if I don't excercise every day as long as I don't allow myself to become sedentary again. It's okay, Laura, it's okay.

The stuggle with myself is another story. I have been in this huge funk lately. I feel like I have my life all lined up- I have a house, a good job, a Master's Degree, an awesome family, the greatest friends, and yet I feel like I am just sitting back waiting for it all to start. It's hard to put in to words, but it's like I'm watching from the audience. Here's hoping that one of these days everything just clicks.

Yesterday, I weighed in. I have finally lost all of my holiday weight. Nothing pisses you off more than having to lose the same ten pounds that you just finished losing

 The grand total is 40 pounds.

Forty pounds, such a romantic notion in theory, however, any female that has ever lost weight knows that the areas that we want to shrink never do and the areas that we wish would stay the same are the first to go. That being said, at this rate, I should be rocking a 32AA in no time flat. The hard-core, militant feminist in me says, "THAT'S JUST FINE!" the hypocrite in me screams, "IMPLANTS!"

The battle will be long and in the end it's only with myself.

A year from now I hope to start a post similair to this opening; only it will read:

Lost Weight.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

No Looking Back Now.....

What a year 2012 was! A whirlwind, to say the least. A year that was mostly good, a tad-bit bad, sprinkled with a dash of crazy....just to keep things legit.  I think I have learned more about myself this year, than any before.

I learned that I was living a lifestyle that was digging me an early grave one double cheeseburger at a time. I learned that living healthy looks much easier than it actually is. I learned that I am stronger than I ever thought possible. That asking for help is not a sign of weakness. That I am much more of a whiner than I even knew. I feel bad for my workout partners because I complain the whole time I am exercising without exceptions. Seriously, THE WHOLE TIME! Hell, I start complaining about an hour prior to even starting to exercise.

Most importantly, I learned that I am the luckiest girl alive because from the moment I realized that I needed to change I have had nothing but unconditional love and support from my friends and family. That support inspires me on days that I have trouble finding the motivation.

I have to admit, the holidays have not been good for me. Mistakenly, I gave myself permission to lose focus the last few weeks.  I haven't exercised and basically reverted back to my pre-August eating habits....Big mistake...Big.... HUGE! :)  Live and learn, I guess. I know now how easily one bad meal, leads to two, leads to a complete loss of control. A snowball effect, if you will.

Today started a New Year. I am not going to wallow in the fact that I back pedaled. I am going to move forward. Start fresh. That's what this is all about. It's not realistic to be good all of the time but it is a definite reality for me that I have to keep on trucking down the right road.

This year there is not going to be any hindsight-should have, could have, and would have's. I am through with that mentality. I am going to continue living healthy. No resolutions that I give up on in a month. No resolutions at all.....just health, plain and simple.

This year I am going to run my first 5k and pending my survival of that, hopefully the first of many. No looking back....I've got a good feeling, kids.