First we Renovate, then we RISE ðŸ¦‹

“I will beat her. I will train harder. I will eat cleaner. I know her weaknesses and her strengths. She is going down. I know her well. 

She is the OLD me. 

That was my phone screen, my daily reminder, the first motivational quote my coach sent me….12 weeks ago.

 I beat her.

 For the first time in 43 years, I won the battle over my mind. 

The dress in the picture below is so symbolic for me. It’s A petite XL. Kind of ironic, I’d say. It’s measurements are equal to a size 14/16. 

Now, I never really used to get hung up on a size. It’s just a number, I thought. Until it was me. You see, I’m down to a size 6, almost 4. And what I have “gained” in the loss of weight is more valuable than anything I have ever learned…and I truly mean that. Ever. I am becoming self aware. 

In an effort to take control of my mind for a BAG(Big Audacious Goal) I have, my coach and I decided this would be step 1. We needed to take control of my thoughts, so my body can do what I want it to. 

I went on a 90 day “diet” last year, so this second round should be a piece of cake. Well, I thought wrong. But, one weak moment in week 9, there was a piece of cake..an amazingly moist marble piece. I devoured it, brushed myself off(crawled to my coach to confess) and kept on going. 

This last nutritional journey was a rough one. My trainer, husband, close friends and children can attest. I was a bear for about 30 days, while my body withdrew from carbs, sugars and mostly from dependency. I never realized how emotional my eating habits were! 

Bad day at work=Chinese food. Happy= “Let’s go have a beer!”  Sad,excited,tired, envious,any other emotion known to man=SUGAR!!!!!!!

Now, try to imagine living life, with all of those emotions, and for the first time in 43 years, being stripped of your security blankets and forced into feeling these things. I mean, really feeling them. Sitting with my water bottle and gum and feeling sadness, happiness and fear. Kind of cool, actually. Especially the first time I acknowledged what was happening. 

I have learned self discipline, self worth, and have opened(and closed)some interesting wounds from my childhood as well, some I didn’t even know still existed. One of the most interesting parts of the journey was when I started acting cold and actually feeling anger towards my coach. I was hungry, dammit. Why wouldn’t he just let me eat what I want? I thought he wanted what was “best” for me?

 We had an interesting phone conversation one afternoon. I told him I wanted to QUIT. This is too damn hard. He said,”You told me to never let you quit, so you’re not going to”. I went on to say I could do whatever I wanted…I sounded like an 11 year old girl, really. And at that moment, I was. I remembered my Dad and how there wasn’t any food at home. I remembered the ache in my belly. I told my coach I didn’t like feeling uncomfortable. I realized that I lived a very comfortable life and I wanted it back. He reminded me of my WHY and all of the success I had to date. But I wanted to eat what I want, when I wanted…..and then we talked psychology and what the need for these foods really meant. 

And then I remembered my WHY. 

This time, I was restricting my intake for growth and taking control back of me. In opening up, I felt an old familiar emotion. Hunger, coupled with Anger. You see, as a child, I was hungry a lot. And….dry spaghetti noodles don’t often do the trick, just as the shakes don’t. You are starving. And I didn’t like that feeling. I don’t know that I have actually been truly hungry in many, many years. 

 I was so angry at my coach for not “taking care of me”, but he actually was. He was doing the exact thing I had hired him to do…..help me take control of my thoughts, so they can longer control me. I finally realized my block was the fact that I had not let go of some childhood fears and once that happened, I was in control and on my way. 

I was reminded that I’m not the scared, 11 year old girl anymore. I am a grown woman with total control and I am CHOOSING this, it’s not being forced upon me. 

Once I changed my PERCEPTION of things, it all became so much easier. 

There isn’t enough time in a day to share all that I have learned from this journey. But, I know I have changed. I feel it inside. It’s like the seed that’s planted quietly in the late spring. It absorbs the rain humbly, warms itself with the sunshine and then , POOF…it blooms! It hasn’t bragged of it’s blossoms, because only that tiny seed knows all it has overcome to see the light. It has been a silent fight in the darkness and a strength that comes from within. And, in that overcoming, glorious changes have occurred. 

 I have grown, shed years of baggage, shed old beliefs, shed fears that were holding me back. And my new pants size now reflects that release. And that is WHY I began 12 weeks ago. 

I want to thank my coach, Dave, my husband, my children, my family and close friends for their support, patience and belief in me. I couldn’t have done it without them. 

I needed to do this in order to move forward with my purpose in life; what I was brought here for. I challenged myself and remodeled my interior. And in doing so, the exterior now shines. 

I am more ME today than I have ever been and I cannot wait to see where the next chapter will take me!

Stay tuned, friends…..I’m just getting started!

We did it (Dave, Brian, fam and friends)….first we renovated, now we will RISE. 

“If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies 🦋 ”
Much love,

Linda 💜🦋🦋🦋

Walk the walk

I’m really good at remaining calm for others.

 In sticky situations, with health scares, or if they are doubting themselves…I am a Rock. When it comes to myself, uh….not so much. And I am not sure why. 

I recently had some “unexpected ” questions about my body come up at a routine appointment. I was “logically” calm, but my anxiety took over and then…..I traveled down the rabbit hole, at a very rapid speed. 

I heard the Dr. say it was probably nothing, but I then proceeded to research the internet. Big mistake. I was reading an article on my phone, when my daughter looked over and said,”Mom, what are you doing?”  I said, “Reading”. She replied, “Weird, you are pushed back into your chair”. 

 Well, friends, yes. I was. I was in the beginning Stages of one of my awesome panic attacks. My body was Tense and I probably had eyes the size of flying saucers. 

And I thought…”Hey, I remember you “.  That racing heart, the burning face, the absolute panic that something horrific will happen at any moment. To me. 

I used to wake each morning, as a child, heart racing and in a sweat…sometimes before my feet touched the floor. You see, I never knew what I was waking up to each day. 

I grew up in an alcoholic home and that is a very scary, uncertain place to be. 

Fight or flight for me. 

As a child, I thought I was sweating because it was hot in my room. Maybe I’m shaky inside because of the hunger. And maybe, just maybe, my heart is racing because I had a nightmare I couldn’t recall. 

But, as I grew into an adult, got pregnant, had babies, had health scares, got injured, and at 42, had wisdom tooth surgery……I figured it out. 

It was a very familiar feeling each time I struggled with something unknown in regards to my health. Will I be ok? What if? What if? What if?

And down the rabbit hole I go. 

I recently accepted the fact that I have anxiety and panic attacks. Health related issues (in regards to myself) are my triggers. I did some reading and found that they can be triggered by anything for anyone. Unfortunately, adults that suffered childhood trauma are more vulnerable to them. And I fall into that category. I do recall being ill with different things as a child and feeling very frightened and helpless. Mom and Dad are drunk, not home, fighting…and here I sit, burning up with a fever, can’t swallow, and the list goes on. I am guessing it’s part of my childhood experiences. 

Great. Another hurdle to overcome from my past. 

This last time, I really did a number on myself. 

I felt like I was consumed by fear. I felt like my body was on fire and I could not get the awful thoughts of death and the worst case scenario out of my head. 

Then, I went in for that appointment. Calm, actually. I think because I was completely drained. And guess what?

All was well…. perfectly normal and healthy. Praise God. But then I realized, I wasted 4 days of my life, my joy, my happiness…..dwelling on a made up scenario????? 

Yup. Once again. 

To explain how dramatic anxiety makes your mind…here’s a random example. 

You cut your finger on a sharp piece of metal. It gets infected. Most “reasonable” people would bandage it and watch it. Anxiety pushes you to wonder if the infection will go into your blood, and you can’t afford a hospital stay, and what about your job, kids, all the plans you have made?!?!? Crazy hey? 

And very, very exhausting. It paralyzes you with fear. 

I became very aware of what my mind was doing this last time and even so, I feel like it won.  

In talking with a friend, I said, “I just don’t understand. I have great faith in God and know He loves me and would never harm me”. What is going on? Well, part of it goes back to the last blog I wrote. “Life is calm, good, I am happy…now I wait for the bad stuff to come”. 

My friend reminded me that I was out of alignment. FAITH and FEAR cannot be in the same room together. And next time, I need to choose. 

I let my FEAR control my mind and my life. The very thing I have been training myself not to do. 

So, I decided. 

Next time, I will fight harder to let go of the old record playing in my head. Life is good and God is good. 

Just because there is happiness, there doesn’t have to be trauma. I will pray harder and TRUST the plan God has for this life he has gifted to me. 

I won’t be afraid and if I am, I will pray the fear away. 

I share this, even, somewhat cautiously. As this is one of my darkest struggles. 

I have found, however, in sharing and releasing, there is freedom. 

I am real. I am broken. I am scarred. But I am perfectly made. 

I laughed when reflecting on the perception of my friend…..FEAR and FAITH cannot be in the same room. That was my advice to him….not so long ago. 

In order to talk the talk, I must walk the walk. I may just take a daily dose of my own advice from now on😉
And, on a more serious note….for those of you reading this, struggling with the anxiety/panic disorder demon, there is HOPE. Seek out a counselor, practice breathing techniques, workout, and don’t forget to GIVE it to GOD. 

He has your best interest at heart all the time. ❤

Be strong and don’t forget to always believe in the POWER of you. 

Gods got you. This, I know🦋
Much love,

Linda💜

JOY….part 2

After much reflection, the past few days, I wanted to “piggyback ” on my last blog…in regards to JOY.

Surviving childhood trauma has taught me many things, and most of the time, I am grateful for all I endured. I don’t talk about it much anymore, as I feel I have outgrown it. However, every once in awhile, the resentment for what “they” put me through comes about. 

My friend and I were talking, the other day, about how difficult it can be to feel and accept JOY. We chatted about how our similar backgrounds really make it difficult for us to know true happiness…..even if it’s staring us in the face. 

We both are successful, have built very comfortable lives, and in the eyes of the world, have it all. So, why won’t we allow ourselves to “feel” it?

Well, in “self diagnosing” ourselves, we realized that as young people, whenever something good was brought to us or happened to us, something horrific usually followed. As a child, you thrive on routine and certain things become a part of your world. 

I got an “A” on my test and Dad beat up Mom tonight.

 I made the cheerleading team…and they got drunk tonight.

 I got asked to prom and now Dad got arrested. 

You see? 

Great things can’t be enjoyed without great sacrifice. And these are learned behaviors. 

And they take a lot of strength to “unlearn”. 

In my adult life, I feel like life is going very well….but I only allow my JOY to be at about 60%…..just in case. Wouldn’t want to jinx anything. I want to live loud, at 110%!!!!! So, it appears I may have some growing to do. 

I have found in my recent journey, as I break through psychological barriers, that I want that happiness. I want the screaming excitement with every surprise, I want the dramatic overflow of love for my family to be felt, I want to jump for JOY…literally. And I have decided, no matter how much it frightens me, I will. I will do it! I can handle the good with bad, because life as we know it, will happen anyway. 

So why have I been wasting so much time on worrying???? Because that is what I had been doing for 42 years….worrying and living in fear. 

My last bike ride was so freeing and mind Blowing to me. I allowed myself to enjoy the moments of true JOY and nothing bad happened that day, or the next, or over the weekend. I am learning to allow my emotions of happiness to come and remembering to feel safe. 

God is in control. 

In telling my husband these intimate details of how I feel, he questioned it….because he doesn’t understand. And that, is ok. He was brought up with safety, love, assurance and consistency. Like all of the innocent children should be. But, unfortunately, that is not real life. Everyone has a different circumstance and comes from a unique background that doesn’t always allow for that. 

I hope that you, the reader, can’t fathom this either. I hope that you grew up feeling safe and sound. 

But, for those who endured, I know you know exactly what I am speaking of. We are always in “fight or flight” mode. 

And it is for you, that I write this. It is for your empowerment that I share my inner demons. 

We survived. 

It doesn’t matter how, or to what degree, how long it has taken us, or how many mistakes we have made along the way. It matters that we are HERE. 

What I plan to do for the rest of my days is enJOY the freedom, I so longed for as a child. I plan to taste the success in all I have accomplished, bask in the sunlight on a warm day, laugh out loud at life’s follies and LIVE. 

I didn’t fight so hard to escape my old life to be a prisoner of the new one. 
Ride that bike…WITH NO HANDS!!!  Break free of the barriers that hold you back!!!!

And feel the JOY☀️☀️☀️☀️…it’s in every breath we take. 
Much love💜

Linda 

Someday I’ll wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are far behind me

So, I rode my bike today. No big thang. 

Although it was. 

You see, I got that bike as a birthday gift 3 years ago, hoping to get into shape. I thought that if I did something I loved doing, it would be easy to exercise on a regular basis.

 Ha! I am a comedian. 

I enjoyed riding the bike on the flat part of the bike trail, near our home and sometimes a little farther. But you see, there was this hill I had to ride up before I could enjoy the flat part. And, unfortunately, I always ended up walking my bike. I could never seem to get up that hill. 

Grrrrrr. 

I had been riding the bike faithfully for a few weeks…why couldn’t I just ride up the damn hill?

 Well, for one, I was out of shape. Probably in the worst shape of my life. I was about 40 pounds heavier than I am today, and I really didn’t eat well. I also didn’t truly work out. I mean, you can’t ride a bike once a week for 20 minutes, or walk the dog casually and expect great results. 

So, I changed. 

I joined a crossfit gym, then started eating clean, then continued to change my life, in all sorts of unexpected ways. 

There’s obviously a lot more in between, but you get the picture. 

I was able to get up that hill, last summer, for the first time ever. At the top of the hill (it’s more of an incline, and if you saw it, you’d think I was pathetic)…I was elated. 

I did it. I conquered the hill!

There’s a lot of symbolism with this story as you can tell. 

The climb is always hardest just before it gets level, the feeling of exhilaration when you reach a goal(the top), I could go on. But, I won’t. 

I know you get it. But, in order to change or excel…you really need to get it💥

So, back to today.

 Almost 3 summers ago, I started taking control over my health, my strength and my life. And as I was riding my bike today, in the beautiful sunshine, I felt JOY. I felt free, like I was flying. 

I always Listen to music as I ride, as it takes me even farther away. Today, the song “Somewhere over the rainbow” came on. 

I smiled as big as a young child as the phrase, “Someday I’ll wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are far behind me” played. I was riding that bike, with the wind in my face,  thinking of how far I have come. 

No more soaking through my clothes, having to stop halfway and turn back, no huffing, just freedom. I also noted that I hadn’t given up on ME. 

I can’t exactly put into words the pride I felt at that moment, when I realized I had fought so hard for what I wanted, where I wanted to be…physically and mentally. 

And now, this is me. 

The bike, the hill, the struggles in between. 

We are meant to be where we are at this very moment for a specific reason. 

My gratitude for the climb is endless. 

I will ride again tomorrow.

 I WILL go farther. 

I WILL go faster. 

And those clouds?

 From now on, they WILL stay far behind me. 

Go after what you want, friends. 

We all have to start at the Beginning….🌈
Much love,

Linda ❤