I’ve been scrapping


The other day I got my desk moved around and got out some of my scrapbook stuff. Some of it is still scattered around, but in time I will be organized again. In the meantime, I have been doing a little scrapbooking. Yay!!! I thought I would share a few pages with you. Some of them are ones that I did before and some are ones I’ve done in the last few days. I am always working on a bunch of different scrapbooks at once and right now is no different. I am working on a calendar book of the year 2006, a book of Shawn and I’s songs and a scrapbook of songs that I have dedicated to Rissa. I also scrapbook ongoing pictures and I am gathering supplies to start a scrapbook about my weight loss journey. Most of what I’m working on is the songs to Rissa book, but there are a few others mixed in. So here they are. Tell me what you think 🙂

 

Changes Are Coming!


Look out, cause changes are coming! I became a Body by Vi promoter today. I’m feeling lots of emotion right now: excited, nervous, anxious, optimistic and proud. I an always a little anxious and nervous about starting new things, but I’m excited about taking this step. I am so very optimistic about where this might lead me to. If you read my blog, or you know me, you know that this year has been one of ups and downs.

At the beginning of the year I was almost back up to my all time high weight and was at a pretty low point in my life. My health was, again, taking a turn for the worse and I was afraid that I wouldn’t make it to 40. We’ve been struggling financially, honestly we’re more than struggling, we’re fighting a losing battle. Shawn has been trying desperately to find a job, but hasn’t had any luck. I am still not physically strong enough to go back to work so I am not much help. We get a little bit of assistance and some help from friends and family and even that isn’t enough to get us through.

In January, I started changing my diet, exercising, and getting more healthy. I have lost a lot of weight and am feeling better. Unfortunately, our financial health has continued to decline. For months now, my awesome friend, Cindi, has been nudging me to try The Body by Vi Challenge. SHe said I could lose weight, feel better, AND make money. She assured me that it is just what I need to help me physically and financially. I, of course, was resistant and I kept blowing her off. (Sorry Cindi)

So there we were at the end of June.  We were still struggling financially and my weight loss, while still impressive, has started to slow down. The stress is getting to me, Shawn, and our relationship. Once again, my friend Cindi pops up to say, what have you got to lose at this point? TRY IT!!! I was still totally skeptical, but I was also becoming desperate, so I did…(cue dramatic music)…AND…

I LOVE IT!!!

I wasn’t committed to becoming a promoter, but I was willing to try the challenge. I started on Sunday with 2 shakes a day and right away I felt a little different. I had a little more bounce in my step. By Tuesday I was totally feeling more clear-headed, more energetic, and Tuesday night I noticed that I was sleeping better. I thought maybe it was a fluke, but every night this week I have slept better and every day I have had more energy. The Vi Shakes are the only thing that I have changed this week so they are the only explanation.  My Body Media arm band tells me every morning how I slept. It tells me how long I slept and how efficient my sleep was. Normally on a good night I get about 82% efficiency and on a bad night it can go as low as 50%. Last night I got 93% efficiency!! That is awesome! I totally am in love with the Vi shakes. I love the way that they taste, the way they make me feel and that they are so healthy! Cindi was (and is) SO right!

With all that being said, I had no choice but to become a promoter. I cannot live without these shakes. Besides, if I am going to tell everyone how awesome they are (and they REALLY are!) I might as well make some money, right? Cindi tells me that it’s possible to make lots of money and that’s cool. For me, personally, I really just want enough to get my bills caught up, pay everyone back, and maybe have a little left over for fun stuff like scrapbooking 🙂

So, that’s what’s happening. I am totally psyched to get going. I got a cool website and if you want to check it out, that would be awesome. Let me know what you think and check back tomorrow when I have my first weigh in on the challenge. I’m hoping to lose at least 3.5 pounds, if not more. I’m pretty sure that I can do it and I think you can too!

http://mindiraley.myvi.net/

 

It’s Not a Question of Whether or Not to Scrap My Weight


I’ve been gathering supplies, slowly but steadily, for the last two years so that I can make a scrapbook of my weight loss journey. I have some cool paper, some great stickers, and a lot of pictures. I have a few very specific ideas and some general directions that I would like the scrapbook to go.  I also have some uncertainties. I write this blog in an effort to figure things out for myself, but also for any advice and opinions any of my readers would care to give.

One of my questions is that I wonder when I should start the weight loss scrapbook. I’ve been overweight my entire life, but I don’t want the book to be of my whole life. My weight loss journey has been an on and off battle for many years. I have never been so successful before as I have been in the last six months. I had thought that I would do a few pages of my early life and some of my previous attempts, but make the main focus of the book my current victories.

Another thing I wonder about is whether I should start making the book now or wait? If I start now while it is all fresh in my mind it might make for a more interesting book; however, I have a tendency to overdo things a bit. If I start too early I may end up making too many pages. Would it be a bad thing if I ended up making five books instead of just one?

I want to do a scrapbook (or several) of my entire life. I wonder if my weight loss should be included in the regular books. It is such a big part of who I am, where I’ve been, and what I’ve been through. It is hard to separate my weight from who I am.

These are some, but not all, of the questions I have about scrapping my weight loss journey. I appreciate you reading this and giving any advice, insights and/or opinions on the questions I have asked here. You are also welcome to offer any other suggestions you might have. Even if you aren’t into scrapbooking, your opinions are still valid and I am grateful for them. Some of my best ideas have come from my husband who is not a scrapper. Whether or not I use your suggestions, I ALWAYS appreciate them.

As always, thank you for being a friend 🙂

10


Lately I’ve been in a funk. I’ve been feeling bad about myself and my life. I’ve been focusing on the negative and feeling sorry for myself. I have been letting the fear and sadness overwhelm me. Yes, right now life is hard and it may very well get harder before it gets easier, but that’s a part of life. I know better than to let myself sit in a funk and feeling sorry for myself never helps anything at all. So today I was scrolling through facebook and I saw this:

Want to join me in a gratitude festival?  List 10 things you're grateful for.  I'll start...  I'm grateful for the bird's song.  I'm grateful for the Flowing with Change members.  I'm grateful for my son, my home, and my sense of purpose.  I'm grateful for my friends.  I'm grateful for Essence, this breathe, awareness.  I'm grateful for Facebook!

I figured it was a pretty good way to start digging myself out of my bad mood. Let’s get back to the good stuff! So here’s my list:

  1. Marissa. No big surprise there. Anyone who knows me know that she is my biggest blessing.
  2. Shawn. Even though sometimes he is more trouble than he is help, I know that I can always count on him to have my back. He makes me smile and is the only one who can always make me laugh even when I REALLY don’t want to.
  3. My fur babies. Smokey, Paisley, and Doodle, and maybe even Rissa’s rodents (Taz, Edward, and Spotty) They are all warm and soft and they love me unconditionally (as long as they have kibble).
  4. My parents. No, we don’t always get along and we argue more often than I would like, but they have always been there and this last year they have really helped keep us afloat.
  5. My friends. My friends are awesome and I appreciate each and every one.
  6. Facebook. I know that facebook gets a bad rap and some of it is deserved, but the truth is that I love it. When I need a quick answer that I can’t find elsewhere I know I can post on facebook and someone will know. I can talk to friends who live far away. I can get suggestions for a problem or encouragement when I am down. I can play games and share pictures and have fun all from the comfort of my little house.
  7. Scrapbooking. It is a source of enjoyment, relaxation, and creative output. It not only preserves memories from the past, but also provides insight for the future.
  8. My home. It may not be much, but it is mine. I may not get to keep it, but while I have it I am grateful for it.
  9. Wii. It allows me to have fun with my family, to relax and unwind, to challenge my mind, hand/eye coordination, and mental flexibility. It gives me many ways to exercise so I can get stronger and healthier. It is more than just a game system to me.
  10. My health. No, I am not super healthy or physically fit, but I am still alive and kicking and I’m getting stronger every day.

I realize that I have a lot of blessings, a lot of good things in my life, and I have a lot more than many others. I am thankful for all that I have. What are you thankful for?

 

 

Why Can’t We Be Friends?


I never used to have a hard time making friends. I used to have lots of friends. The older I get, the harder it is for me to make friends. Since I moved to Perry County last summer, I have not made one friend here. It is a little disheartening. I would love to have a scrapbook buddy to scrap with, an exercise buddy to lose weight with, or a couple of friends to hang out with and play cards. It would be nice to have friends over for a bonfire on a nice summer night. These are things I miss about living close to a lot of friends. I don’t know why it is so hard to make friends now. Maybe people, myself included, are too mistrusting. Maybe we’re all afraid of getting hurt or getting involved with someone crazy or unstable. I don’t know. I only know that I try to always be a good person and some days I’m better at it than other days. In a perfect world there would be a nice couple around my age that Shawn and I could be friends with and they would have a nice girl around Rissa’s ago for her to be friends with and we could all be great friends. In a less perfect world I would settle for mostly sane, half intelligent people who understand that my daughter comes before all else in my world. We don’t smoke, but we don’t have a problem with smokers as long as you don’t smoke in our house. We drink occasionally, but don’t care if you drink or not. We like to hang out, watch movies, play video games/cards/board games, bowl, hike, and enjoy nature. I love crafts, especially scrapbooking. He loves cars and Nascar. We’re pretty open-minded for the most part. I think we’re good peoples 🙂 We’re not perfect, but we try to be as good as we can be. Why can’t we be friends?

Opposite Extremes


The last week and a half I have been in a lot of pain. It’s not any one thing in particular, but several things have been bothering me. My back hurts every day. It has for several years now. Some days it hurts less and some days it hurts more, but ti always hurts. My left ankle is also a frequent and recurring source of pain. My right knee has been hurting off and on for about a week now, especially when I am getting up and down on the floor or in and out of bed. My shoulders and neck have been particularly tight and sore, probably because of stress and tension. Lately my muscles ache and feel heavy. I think it probably the fibro causing the fatigue and weakness. The fibro and the diabetes are both responsible for the nerve pain and the numbness that I deal with on a daily basis. When I was first diagnosed with fibro, and actually for about six months before that, I used to have down days several days a week. During those down days I barely moved. I would get up out of bed, get my daughter on the bus and lay down on the couch to go back to sleep. I hurt so bad all over and I had no energy at all. As I lose weight and get stronger physically I need less and less down time. I haven’t had a full down day for over a month. I still have days where I sleep more and move less, but I force myself to move some, even if it is only a little. I wonder if I am pushing myself too hard sometimes. I wonder if I should take a break from exercising for a day and just relax. On one hand that sounds kind of nice, but to be honest, on the other hand it terrifies me to even think about it. I am so afraid that if I stop moving, I will lose my ability to move. I’m so afraid that if I relax, even a little, that I will slip right back into my old ways. I don’t want to ever go back to where I was six months ago, let alone three years ago. I have come so far and I want to keep going. I am going to keep going. I just have to be careful, because I am the type of person who goes to extremes. I was such an extreme food addict that I got up to a weight of over 600 pounds. I was so out of shape that I literally could not walk 25 steps without stopping to rest. I don’t want to go too far to the opposite extreme of exercising too much and eating too little. Shawn already says I exercise too much some days. Maybe I do. I want to get rid of this fat as fast as I can, but I also want to be healthy and going to any extreme is not healthy. I know that. I just have to keep reminding myself that slow and steady wins the race. Yes I will get there, but if I push too hard I’m only going to hurt myself and that will slow my weight loss down even more. So maybe tomorrow I will take it a little easier on myself and I will spend more time scrapbooking than exercising. That’s my idea of relaxing!  🙂

Music


I have to admit, I’m kind of a musical slut. I love music, almost any and all music. I have a wide variety of tastes and if you doubt me, you should listen to my mp3 player on random or take a peek at my Pandora list. I laugh when someone asks me what my favorite music is or who my favorite music artist is. I always ask them how much time they have. I cannot name one kind of music that I like the most let alone one writer or performer. I love so, so many and I love them all in different ways, for different reasons.

My parents both like country music, so growing up we listened to a lot of country. My mom also loves 50’s,  60’s and 70’s music. She loves Elvis, Janis Joplin, and the Eagles, among others. From one brother I got Steve Miller, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Stevie Ray Vaughn, southern rock and guitar. From the other brother I got into rap when rap was a very young art form. My sister introduced me to The Bangels, Cyndi Lauper, and Madonna. Of course I was a child of the 80’s so I loved all the pop bands and also the hair metal bands. I started listening to classical when I started in band. As the 90’s started I got into hip hop, r&b, and alternative rock. With every new genre of music, my love grew. I never stopped listening to any of my old favorites, I just added more and more to my long list of musical loves. With every new friend I made, every new person that I dated, I seemed to acquire a new band, singer, artist, and/or genre of music. My friends, Ben and Dave got me into punk rock and new wave rock. I dated an older guy when I was 15 and he introduced me to classic jazz. I stumbled into the blues after I watched a movie with a song that I fell in love with and I have loved the blues ever since. Of course I was a teenage girl in the mid 90’s so I loved all the Lilith fair, girl power, women of rock and pop. In 1998, I got a fantastic job at a music store and my eyes (and ears) opened up even more. I found acid jazz, reggae, indie rock, funk, and even some gospel and religious music. I surprised myself by liking some easy listening and adult contemporary. Over the years, I found that I also love singer/songwriters very much. It’s usually much more powerful music when the same person writes and sings. Of course I am a theatre nerd, so I love show tunes and soundtracks. I love to dance, so dance music is also among my favorite. When I became a mom, I added yet another genre to my collection: children’s music. Yes, some is incredibly annoying and mind numbing, but some is actually clever, intelligent, and fun. I LOVE Rafi and Laurie Berkner! I never thought I’d say that, but it’s true.

Yes, I love music. I love it all in different ways and at different times. All the genres are like old friends that take me to different places. Some music makes me happy, some makes me sentimental, and some makes me feel silly. I have my go to music for when I am angry, sad, hurt, or stressed. I have music that relaxes me and music that energizes me. Some music makes me want to shake my butt and some makes me bang my head (in a good way 😛 ). I love songs that make me feel something. I love to scrapbook songs that relate to my life and my family. I love telling someone about a song or artist and them loving it too. Music is so very much a part of me and I can’t imagine ever feeling any different.

So I leave you with these questions: how do you feel about music? Do you have a favorite genre? A favorite performer or group? Is there any type of music that you never thought you’d like, but now you love? What does music mean to you? And the question I’ve asked the most in the last few months, what music do you move to? What song (s) and/or artists do you exercise to/with? I’d love to hear your feedback on this one.

As always, thanks for reading along!