[NaBloPoMo] Day 4 — Favorite Holiday

November 4th Prompt from BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo page.
What is your favorite holiday memory? (And yes, you can pick any holiday, including your birthday.)

I truly struggle with this idea. I don’t have many happy memories. I don’t know if it’s due to a lot of negativity in my life or maybe it’s high expectations that weren’t met or it’s possibly sinful nature that we sometimes dwell on bad things. No matter what the cause, it is difficult for me to think of good memories sometimes.

After much thought, I do recall having a special birthday one year.

It was my 9th birthday.

We were living in Washington D.C. at the time; my dad was in the Navy.
My parents seemed to be in a big rush that morning. Breakfast was made and set out on the table. My sister and I were told not to waste time, “Hurry and eat, then go get dressed and ready to go!”

“Go where?”, I thought, while chewing. “There was no family near enough to visit and there was no shopping to do. At least I don’t think they would take me shopping for my bir–…”

“Hurry up!”, dad called, interrupting my thoughts. I quickly finished breakfast, then ran upstairs to my room to get changed and ready to go.

Almost done, and from the hallway downstairs I hear, “We need to leave now or we’ll miss it!”

(“Miss what?“)   “OK! I’m almost ready!”, I shouted.

I think I was the last one out the door and in the car.

I don’t remember the drive there. So many thoughts swirling around inside my head. I wonder where we’re going? I hope it doesn’t take forever to get there. What if Grandma is making a surprise visit?! I hope she brings Missy. Missy was her poodle.

I remember pulling up along side the road. There must have been a parking lot or something. Traffic wasn’t very busy in that area.
We got out of the car and walked along the sidewalk to an open area near the river; the Potomac River.

“What are we doing here?”, I asked. “Just be patient and watch. You’ll see.”, said mom.

Several minutes pass. Then several more.

And then, I saw something. “What is that?”, I said to myself. It was getting closer, and closer.

It was a schooner. Behind that came another tall ship. And another. And another. I was really excited! I thought this was all for me! A parade of tall ships just for me on my birthday!!

I asked my mom what all this was. “The tall ships are coming through. They are making a trip through the ocean to the Great Lakes. We thought that you would like to see them.”, she said smiling. My face was gleaming. “This is NEAT!”, I cried.

We stayed there over an hour, maybe two, watching ship after ship. I don’t know how many we saw but I enjoyed every single one of them.

I believe there was a replica of at least one of Columbus’s ships, and maybe the HMS Bounty. I will have to check with the parental units. There may be some editing to do later.

Fallen But Slowly Getting Back Up

It has been several months since I have worked out and it irritates me. When school started my personal schedule changed. Why? Because I homeschool my kids.

I have yet to figure out how to get my workouts in. It might be best to include it in our school day; Phys. Ed for them and a good workout for me. They’re young enough to engage in that. I’ve just got to get the scheduling figured out.

On another note, I have my computer back and I’ve been trying to get more done with my other blog. So I’ve been busy working to get things done for that too. Sometimes it seems like there isn’t enough time in a day to accomplish much of anything. sigh

It Takes Guts

For months I’ve debated even sharing my story.
I know I shouldn’t care what other people think or say about me, but I already have self-esteem (confidence) issues. Being morbidly obese magnifies them.

There I said it.
YES, I’m morbidly obese; I’m not just “fat”.
It’s hard to admit it to myself, let alone publicly.

Today I have a new page that I’d like to share. It’s my untold (except in my Facebook group), incomplete fitness story. It tells when & how my struggle with weight started and how some of life’s circumstances landed me where I am today.

My [Incomplete] Fitness Story

Fitness HappensPhoto is from the internet.

“The Biggest Loser”

This is not regarding the controversy over the Season 15 winner. There is already too much judging and criticism.

I love the show. It is both an inspiration and a motivation.
I missed most of Season 15 but I did watch the last 4 or 5 weeks.
I am so proud of each contestant. They all have done so well and look so good;
David especially. He has had an amazing transformation–he doesn’t even look like the same person. These people have accomplished more than just weight loss. They have gained confidence, security in themselves, and so much more.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m making a life change; I struggle with weight issues. And the truth of the matter is I could possibly qualify to be a contestant. But I don’t know that I could handle going through what they do & have.  I don’t necessarily mean the hard workouts, I am just so self conscious of what I look like, I wouldn’t want to be seen on tv. I wouldn’t want to dress in biker shorts & a sports bra for weigh ins and have ANYONE, let alone the nation, see me. The contestants have something I don’t–bravery. But I am starting to break out of that shell little by little.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I started my lifestyle change June 22, 2011–the day after my oldest child’s birthday. I had finally gotten sick and tired of the way I looked and my lack of activity. I was fairly sedentary. I was a SAHM turned WAHM.
I have finally had enough of myself.

I had heard about or seen an advertisement for a website that had some really good reviews that helped people lose weight. So I decided to check it out. It seemed legit. There was a slideshow of testimonials that caught my attention. At first I thought, “these people probably only had a few pounds to lose”. And yes, a few only had 30-60 to lose. But then I saw the testimony that made me decide to give the website a shot. A female site user lost over 100 pounds.

As I mentioned earlier, I started my lifestyle change June 22, 11. A year went by–I had lost 75 pounds. A few months later I got really sick. I don’t know if it was a cold or a flu bug, but I was sick for 6 weeks straight. As an asthmatic, it was struggle to breathe just from walking across the room. So forget exercising.

They say it takes 3 weeks to form a habit…
I had gotten used to not exercising. So when I was well again, for a while I didn’t. I was making bad choices or over eating on top of it. And TOM wasn’t helping (I’m ravenously hungry the first couple of days).
I started working out again but not as often as I had been when I first started. A workout here, skip a few days, another workout, miss a day, workout again.  I was still over eating.  Anyway, I ended up gaining about 30 pounds back over that next year and a half.

By November 2013 I was working out a bit more but still struggling to control the over eating.
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas I was doing better but still dealing with excess calories and I almost gave up.

FeelLikeQuitting

But something inside me… a little ember still burning with a desire to keep going… suddenly changed from a tiny glowing ember to a raging inferno. I was NOT going to give up. I had come too far to go back.

January 2014
I renewed my commitment to keep going.
I made a pledge.

I Pledge

I’m getting stronger. Gonna live longer.
I try to workout 5 days a week, giving time to rest my body.
I weigh-in once a week.
I don’t diet. I eat what I want, keeping my portions reasonable.
I haven’t lost much since my pledge. I’ve lost a little, gained it back and re-lost it plus some. But I’m looking forward to Sunday’s weigh in this week because I have been kicking my own butt.
As we used to say in one of our challenge groups
“Keep on kicking fatty’s tail”.

I am on the road to bettering myself.
“If for whatever reason or excuse I don’t workout, it’s a day that I’ve lost to better myself.”
~Yours Truly (xCraftyChickx)

NeverRegret

So that’s a snippet from my life.
If you’re struggling with weight loss, I want to encourage you.
You CAN do it! You CAN lose weight.
I would like to invite you to my group on Facebook.
Encouragement & Support for Weight Loss
or you can follow it on Twitter: @WLEncouragemnt

Be the BEST that you can be.
(Harder Better Faster Stronger ~~ Daft Punk)
Not my vid but sharing one of my ‘theme songs’.

Daily Prompt: Memories of Holidays Past

Several holidays are special to me. While I was growing up we always had Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas at my grandmother’s house.
The house was full of life, laughter, smiles and of course the wonderful smells that accompanying whatever was baking in the oven.

What has stuck with me the most have been the times, when as a teenager, I stayed over at my grandmother’s house Thanksgiving night. The next day she & I would get up early and go shopping for her Christmas tree, wreaths, and some greenery garland. A couple of times she bought two trees; one for the upstairs living room and the other for the basement where we sometimes held family Christmas festivities.

We would come home, unload the trunk of her car and get busy decorating.
We wrapped the greenery around the banister of the front porch and hung more greenery above the garage, attaching large, bright red bows between each of the scallops. The wreaths were hung on the front door & the side door  with red bows and gold cording.

Once the outside was finished, we would go inside and have a mug of hot chocolate before decorating inside.
By now her gentleman friend was here to help get the tree in the stand. She would help me put the lights and garland on. But then she’d go find other decorations and let me finish the tree however I wanted. I think she enjoyed seeing my creativity.

When the tree was decorated and the tree skirt put on, she would bring out a tattered old box and set up the old train she had. I don’t know how old it was, but I was amazed to see that it still chugged along the tracks and still blew steam from it’s stack year after year.

Then it was on to putting out the other decorations: a little wooden NOEL train, a ceramic Nativity scene, some scented candles…
mmmm peppermint!

I spent a lot of time with my grandmother, as a teenager, during holidays or taking mini vacations. We always had fun together. Now that I live so far away from home I cherish those memories.

Daily Prompt: Safety First [I’m a Survivor]

I do not wish to re-live the times I have felt unsafe, as there were several times during my previous relationship (which I refuse to call a marriage), due to domestic violence.

Stemming from those 2 1/2 years [of hell], however, on occasion I still feel fearful when my, now, [beloved] husband is not home.
I have dealt with panic attacks, sometimes topped with asthma attacks. You feel like the walls are closing in all around you, and you can’t take a breath; true horror at it’s best.

I used to be a victim… but I have been healing. So, not only am I a survivor…
I am an overcomer as well.

Daily Prompt: Fright Night

What’s the thing you’re most scared to do? What would it take to get you to do it?

My greatest fear is water.

When I was little my sister and I spent a summer with our grandmother.
One particularly hot day our aunt came over to take us swimming in a neighbors pool. Neither one of us knew how to swim, so my aunt put me on an inner tube because my feet couldn’t touch bottom. My sister was tall enough to touch bottom and she just kind of bobbed around the pool.

Just before leaving to go back to grandma’s house, my aunt ran into the house for something and my sister attempted to take me out of the inner tube. I told her no [several times] and to wait for our aunt, but she insisted.

I remember hitting bottom, and hearing my sisters muffled screams, and then a SPLASH. The next thing I knew,  I was up out of the water, spitting, sputtering and coughing up water. To this day I swear I fell through the inner tube. My sister says that it flipped over.

I have never learned to swim. I don’t like going in water any deeper than my waist, not even with a life jacket on; I don’t trust them. I enjoy boating & fishing on a boat, but I get nervous knowing we’re in deeper water than I could stand in.

Will I ever learn? I don’t know. I don’t know if I could get past that fear.