Monday Morning Pep Talk

Avoid the victim mentality by truly understanding that your life is not defined by your circumstances but instead by the choices you make. Think back to every hardship you’ve been through, think of the strength you’ve had to amass to get out of bed some mornings, think of all of the times you’ve been validated by someone’s sympathy for the struggles in your life or your bad luck. Now imagine if you could commit to battling your weaknesses the way you’ve battled your circumstances. Validate yourself with compassion and commit to confronting your weaknesses, the same way you confront hardships in life.  By looking inwards & leaving behind that “Why Me?” victim mentality and replacing it with – Romans 5:3-5 We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, & endurance produces character, & character produces hope, & hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit…”  or try replacing it with, “Fuck yeah its’ me, your worst nightmare, come at me LIFE, I Dare you”, you’ll learn to be proactive, rather than reactive when it comes to life’… ya bitches. :*

To read the article: The Moral Bucket List – David Brooks

To read the bible: Romans 5:3-5 

A Recap on Spring So far

So to focus on some good, I’ve been having a really good spring. I got a chance to take a quick vacation – Tuesday thru Sunday off at the end of March & got some visitors! Rosa & Adam flew in & stayed with me Tuesday thru Friday. Fuck, it was so much fun! First off, the weather was perfect. The first two days were a little wet but we just hung out in Tacoma, got some good food & local beers – saw some nature. I tried to take them to Chambers Bay but it was pretty much shut down for the upcoming U.S. Open Championships, which I am not looking forward too. Chambers Bay is a few minutes from my apartment, which means traffic is going to be insane. That’d be a really great time to rent out my apartment & go on another vacation. 😉 Thursday & Friday thought we spent in Seattle & you couldn’t have asked for better weather. It was 70 degrees & sunshine all day. Thursday was so fun, we stayed in Seattle for 12 hours straight doing a bunch of touristy shit, Friday too although we went up later in the day & got caught in 4 o’clock traffic on our way to the airport.

I think the best part though was getting to hang out with people I’ve known for 10+ year in my new home. Next year marks the 1 year anniversary in Washington & I’ve made plenty of new friends, met new people, experience new things but nothing can beat picking on Adam & getting slap happy with Rosa, laughing until we cry. It made me that much more excited to go home in a month to see all my other friends!

Here’s some picks from our #SpringBreak2015 in Seattle

 

I feel like 4 days was the perfect amount of time to share a 1 bedroom apartment with three people & two cats. But I’d gladly accept them as my new neighbors! I’m so happy & blessed to have friends who are willing to travel across the country to come visit me. ❤

As for friends in town, went to the Tulip Festival Last week with Billie, Matthew & Ashlee – besides having a clogged ear that I couldn’t hear out of, oh & allergies, it was fun. Again, great weather -sunshine & a little bit of chilly wind but definitely worth that trip. At least once. Pictures include 1 shameless seflie.

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Can you tell I just learned how to put slideshows in my posts? Also, it’s been a while, so I feel like I have to catch on everything with a mass upload of things for you to be jealous over. Even though you’re probably already my friend on Facebook & have seen these pics already.

Ok, one last one… Here’s a little update on my Psoriasis, the first two images were taken this week. So, you can see the cream I’m using does work. There has not been any change to the Guttate Psoriasis on the trunk of my body since I stopped light treatments two weeks ago. The psoriasis is no longer on my ankles.

I start slow pitch softball on Monday, I’m mostly excited, partially nervous. It’s been a while since I’ve played. I’m thinking it’s possible I run even slower now than I did years ago when I still played, which some may find hard to believe but I’m going to guarantee it. I guess I have to hit a homerun e’ry time I get up to bat. HA I will make mention that the first team we play is called BALLS TO THE FACE, & our team is called S.W.A.T.  I won’t tell you what that stands for, but you can guess. The more raunchy you get, the closer you’ll be. Haha! >.<

You Can’t Heal a Body You Hate

I haven’t done a very good job of keeping up with this blog but with the realization that I am human, I’m not going to apologize to anyone but myself. And it’s funny because my last post was all about positivity & how a negative mind won’t get you anywhere. It’s as if, as soon as I wrote that -Poof- my ability to see the bright side of the story disappeared.

The week that I wrote my last post, I was sick. Little did I know I would be embarking on 4 months of cycling through bi weekly sicknesses. But November was the worst, I had strep. Since I have had my tonsils removed I didn’t even think it could be strep, so I self treated what I thought was the flu. My lymph nodes were the size of ping pong balls, I had a fever, sweating with the chills, no voice & I’m pretty sure I worked through most of it, sipping on green tea & choking on cough drops. Towards the end of my bought of strep, I finally went to the Care Clinic. Not for my strep though, instead I went for this rash that had broken out on my check & abdomen. I was given some basic steroid cream & made an appointment with a dermatologist.

I was diagnosed with Guttate Psoriasis.

Psoriasis is not contagious but it is genetic, it is incurable, there are several different types of psoriasis, all of them are considered disorders in the immune system & a detrimental blow to your self esteem. As in all cases, it could be worse. Guttate Psoriasis is specific to having strep throat, usually the break out only happens once & goes away within a few weeks or months of the out break – or so the pamphlets say because as of right now, that’s not the case.

The break out was the worst on my chest & probably what I’m the most self conscious about, not that many people are seeing my chest. It was also on my legs, mostly around my ankles, on my back, the trunk of my body, a little on my face & horrifyingly enough, even more embarrassing the the break out on my chest, it was on my scalp. Which of course caused the worst dandruff I’ve ever had in my life, which only got worse when I tried to use T-gel.

I’m currently using steroid cream- Clobestasol Propionate Cream, USP 0.05% on my chest, the doctor told me due to the severity of the psoriasis on my chest, it may not be guttate but instead the forever psoriasis that can only be managed, not cured. The cream does pretty well at managing but if I take the recommended 2 weeks off from the cream, it comes back with a vengeance. I also use a Clobestasol Propoinate solution on my scalp & God Bless, that shit works like a dream. Usually I can do about two or three treatments & won’t have to worry about it for a couple weeks.

For the rest of my body, I was going through UVB light treatments at but after some faulty customer service & a lack of change during the past 3 months of treatment, I’m exploring some new options. Although there has been some significant changes during that time. It’s no longer on my ankles or legs, the trunk of my body is manageable as long as I keep my skin moisturized, Epsom salt baths, sugar scrubs but it’s still there.

When I found out I had psoriasis, I let it get to me. Mentally, emotionally, physically I expressed to the universe that I hated my body, through the shame I felt towards my body. My thoughts were 100% negative, I said some really hateful things towards myself that I would never say to anyone else. I quit working out, I completely let my desire to learn yoga slip right out the door, I was consumed by my lack of energy & enthusiasm. I worked really hard to accept the fact that I’m plus size & suddenly, I found myself comparing not my weight but my skin to other people, like I traded one vice for another.

The thing about having strep throat & psoriasis is my immune system was weakened by the untreated strep throat- this gave the psoriasis an opportunity to attack my immune system. I used my weak immune system to slow down, to sleep in, to revert back to the negative thinking, low self esteem, angry person I’ve spent so much time healing. And I think that’s what I’m the most ashamed of. I’m not ashamed of my body, I’m not ashamed of my psoriasis. I am ashamed that I did exactly what I berate many other people for, I became the victim of my circumstance.

It’s comfortable to give in to your circumstances. It’s comforting to succumb to fear when uncontrollable circumstances are presented to you. It’s comforting to wallow, when the alternative is to recognize that you are an all time consuming project & positivity & your faith, your spirituality requires all your effort, your thoughts, your beliefs. It is the ultimate comfort to let depression wrap you in its warm embrace & hold you right before the line you cross when you decide to push past the unknown. The peaks & valleys of depression give me a chance to reflect on what made the peaks so great & it’s always the choice to love. So, again, I choose to love, to be mindful of my love, for my entire being.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. John 4:18

How My Cats Are Helping Me Get Healthy & Fit

You know that Pinterest picture that shows like one jar full of marbles and every marble is a lb and you move the lbs you’ve lost into an empty jar to track your progress?

I got a better idea…

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HA! So, here’s the deal I have set a goal for getting fit and losing the equivalent of two kittens & the Boy before I go home for Xmas. And so far, I’ve lost a kitten. Now that’s the kind of motivation I can get down with.

Also, I am so good at Photoshop, I can’t even.

I recently got some free health tests done at work in an RV outside of our office building, which was weird. But these are my results:

Echocardiogram Ultrasound: Normal #holla
Electocardiogram: No significant abnormality seen
Stroke/Carotid Artery Disease: No visual plaque or thickening shown
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: No aneurysm seen
Peripheral Arterial Disease: Normal
Arterial Stiffness Index: Normal

And my blood pressure was prehypertension. Which I have never gotten a bad reading on my damn blood pressure and we are going to fault that to the 4 hour fast I had to endure before the tests.

So far, so good, huh? I mean a highly skilled medical technician not only saw me without a shirt on but also told me I was normal. That’s never happened before!

But then there’s this:

Total Cholesterol: Borderline high…
HDL cholesterol: Moderate…
LDL cholesterol: Borderline high…
Triglycerides: Normal
Blood Glucose: Normal
Blood Pressure: Prehypertension
BMI: well, we’ll just say I should have that black card for Taco Bell and if you were to stick a fork in me right now, my blood may actually be pizza sauce.

I debated on whether or not I should get this testing done and honestly, it was a couple months ago and aside from the occasional post work work out. I haven’t really been making an effort to get healthy until now.

But what is healthy? I find myself mostly focusing on that scale number, contemplating never eating pizza again. Which almost always insures I’ll be eating pizza within the hour. Contemplating weight loss pills and other extreme measures to get that quick fix.

Obviously, that’s not going to work. I’m smart enough to know that it’s a lifestyle change, not a magic pill that’s going to get me fit. And I’m smart enough to know that being fit isn’t a number on the scale. So, instead I’m losing cats instead of LBS because it’s cute and I’m going to start focusing on how I feel in my body, not the size of it. And yes, losing weight will change the size of my body but if my body feels healthier, if my body feels stronger and I can get up a flight of stairs without wanting to take a nap in my car before I drive home, I don’t think I’ll need to get back to the 9th grade high school weight.

Side note: My hair is a hit at work, today a coworker told me that every day she sees me with it, she likes even more. and this it just suits my face and my personality. And the cashier upstairs in the cafeteria asked to take a few pictures of my hair so she can take it to her hairdresser and get the same thing. 🙂

I’m a goddamn inspiration.

 

That Before & After

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 That before, that after & the after after. The many phases of my hair in Washington.

 

& here’s that 2007 throwback, when I had the same exact haircut.

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I liked my long hair, it was pretty amazing. But that was domestic Brooke, I’m about to get married Brooke. Idk man, there’s a profound amount of confidence that I feel with short hair, the kind that makes it possible for me to post that selfie with no make up on & then post a pic from 2007. That takes confidence. Haha

It was a task though, to get it done. I wasn’t about to spend the $100 on highlights & the cut from a salon so naturally, my bargain hunting ass went to Groupon. I found a $45 Groupon for cut, full highlights, deep condition & style. And I must have only saw the price because I did no research on the salon. If I had, I may have spent more money somewhere else. It was kind of a hole in the wall salon, nothing professional. When you walk in, the first room you’re in looks more like a storage room than a business. There’s couches, with boxes piled on & a folded up basket ball hoop game. The room to the left is wasn’t organized at all and had some really tacky decor. It was just me & the hairdresser, we introduced ourselves, went over what I wanted & then she offered to put in a movie since it would take a while. Fine with me, except for the fact that she did not say another word to me the entire time I was there… which was 3 & a half hours by the way. The only thing she said to me was you can come to the sink or come sit underneath the dryer for 15 minutes.

Needless to say, after 3 & a half hours, I was over it. My hair looked nothing like what I wanted and the low lights I wanted were not a soft brown.. they were black. And it wasn’t until I got home that i realized the highlights didn’t even come to my roots, meaning you could see the very obvious line where they laid in my blond hair.

008I ended up cutting my hair myself, at least the front of it but I still didn’t like it. I couldn’t sleep Sunday night because I was contemplating calling off work so I could get my hair fixed somewhere else. But I ended up going to work, and even though everyone was a good sport & complimented me… I went to damn Great Clips right after work & paid $14 to get that shit fixed. I dig the Great Clips in Lakewood, they’re good & the girls who cut my hair are real with me, especially when the one told me that she could see every line cut in the back of my head, that hadn’t be blended at all.

Now, domestic Brooke is dead . And Badass Brooke is revived.

 

 

 

 

Body Acceptance

Someone at work asked me today, “So, how much weight have you lost?”

My response: PFFTTTTTTT NONE. Shitttt.

“What do you mean none?! You’re always eating healthy food.”

“Yeah well, I’m not worried about losing weight. I’m just trying to eat healthy.” I said so fucking casually that you might have thought I was telling the truth.

But you know, I think I was telling the truth. Sure, I’d like to lose weight and obviously I didn’t start eating vegetables for my own pleasure. Although now, I actually like eating them. For example, Brussels sprouts are my shit. I ate them with my dinner two days in a row this week. If I had another Steam-able, I’d eat them right meow. Anyway, the point is, yes there are plenty of moments in my life where I feel inadequate, unattractive, invisible and unhappy about my body. I fantasize about coming home and everyone asking if I have a terminal illness because I’ve lost so much weight. I’m pretty sure the best compliment I’ve ever received was when my cousin asked if I was anorexic after I lost 30lbs back in 2009. And yeah, a lot of the time, I think being skinny will make me happy.

Albeit the norm for most women, I know it’s not right. So, instead of worrying about weight, feeling guilty every time I have #pizzatime … Arby’s motzarella sticks or Cheesy Gordita crunches, think I’ll just focus on putting as much healthy food in my body as I do junk food. And not be apologetic about my body.

Want to see a little bit of my inspiration for these feelings?
Check out Kelley Coffey’s article, “5 Things I Miss About Weight More than 300 Pounds” & then check out Huffington Post to see discussion between her & a few other expert Fatactivist, including one of my personal faves: Virgie Tovar.

Kelley Coffey

Huffington Post

XOX Peace & love from a Chub 🙂