Optimistic

I’m on the highway and traffic is at a complete stop due to road construction. 25 minute delay. It’s been 45 minutes, of sitting here. I thought the lack of traffic on the highway this morning was odd. Now it all makes sense and people are ticked off.

Yesterday I couldn’t get anything done at work our printer was down. Many things were “off” yesterday, as today as well.

Trying to stay optimistic and positive. My Rhodies are in bloom and their colors give me great joy. Our patio is slowly coming together nicely. I have to have the busy work. When I don’t have it, I get anxious. Right now I wish I was working on my patio rather than sitting on this damn foresaken highway for who knows how long.

Image by Robin Moreau

I’m completely annoyed at something I have no control over, except my attitude.

And I don’t like it.

Image by Robin Moreau

So I will think of my Rhodies until I can be in midst of their beautiful blooms later this evening.

Image by Robin Moreau

P.S. We have babies in our tree!

Image by Robin Moreau
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Adulting is Hard

Life is like a highway isn’t it? Chock full of turns, sharp corners, sometimes downgrades and falling rocks. Then the occasional straight, clear highway comes along and the speed limit increases. Finally, predictable days with the horizon in view. Full speed ahead!

The highway yesterday morning was eerily beautiful. I had to capture it. I haven’t posted much, I know. My mind has been wrapped up amongst the lives of others who are struggling and wrapped up in myself (not going to lie) of how and what am I going to do with myself.

Image by Robin Moreau

I’ve been thinking of how I can make a difference and how I’ve wanted to make a difference for so long and yet all I do is care for others and lift their souls. Noticeably the only difference I’m experiencing is pure exhaustion. I cannot tell you how internally exhausted I am. Not one soul could understand.

Right now on this highway I feel like a hen gone astray. Running around barely missing the traffic buzzing by me at full speed, and ducking for cover when rocks and pebbles are tossed at me like grain in the coop of an angry farmer. And all the roosters, little chicks and other hens are hen-pecking me and the foxes nipping at my tailfeathers.

Yet, there is nowhere to go. One side is a wall of cliff that goes straight up and the other side is the drop off to the ocean below and I cannot fly. Not much of an option. No way to turn around, only full speed ahead with sharp turns in the distance.

And yet I continue driving, despite the weight of what feels like snow chains and a seatbelt suffocatingly keeping me snug in the seat.

And I drive. The fuel magically, continuously flows, never allowing a pit-stop.

And I drive.

Radiance Diffused

Well the weekend is here and someone stole the sunshine. It is nasty as all heck outside, raining and crazy windy. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest coast. And of course it is my day off.

I am disappointed. The teaser of sun and warmth, I just knew was too good to be true. I stare at my plant babies outside with newly born blooms, hanging on to their cribs for dear life. I crave the outside. For me being outside is an incurable disease…an addiction.

And here I sit. The screaming banshee singing and praising her weathered soul, while I sit pouting and staring at images of the Cayman Islands.

I love the beach. It doesn’t matter if it is here where I live, or the Islands afar. A beach is a beach but it must have sun and warmth.

Image by Robin Moreau

I know the sun will be back and will permantly stay for a few months. But I want it now. *STOMP STOMP STOMP*

So here I sit…in my robe, the all-to-familiar friend that wraps its warmth around me for days like this. My flip flops and sneakers back in their place yet again, their existance cut far too short. Devil!

Live, Love, Learn

My baby – Image by Robin Moreau

My dog was so happy to see me this morning. She always wakes up in a good mood and no matter what room I walk into, if she’s there, she wags her tail in pure joy to see me.

There is alot we can learn from our pets. This is what I’ve learned from mine:

1. Wake up in a good mood. We should be thankful we wake up and we should be happy about it!

2. Just because it is hard to get out of bed in the mornings because our bones creak and we hurt, doesn’t mean it should set bad vibes for the day.

3. It’s okay to do nothing. And even nap! I always feel guilty for not staying productive and resting. But why? That’s my body telling me I need it. I should listen to it more.

4. Be happy to greet your loved ones and friends with a smile. No matter how bad your day is. Let’s face it, they are with us every day and we should be thankful to have them in our lives.

5. Don’t like something? Let it be known! Our guts tell us when something isn’t right and we should always listen to it.

6. Enjoy the fresh air. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, my dog wants out. I should really try to be more like her and be outside. Even if it is cold or raining. Sigh. This one is hard for me.

7. Don’t stay mad. Staying mad at someone is hard on our minds and bodies. When we forgive, we don’t hang onto unnecessary tension or stressors.

8. Be on guard. Be aware of your surroundings and be ready to protect yourself and those you love.

9. Don’t bite. Biting causes conflict and sometimes it’s difficult to forgive. Sometimes a nip here and there is okay, it just tells others we were hurt, offended or caught off guard. If you nip, let others know why so it doesn’t happen again. Just don’t nip too hard.

10. Play! Who doesn’t like to play? Talk about a stress reliever! I sometimes forget to play and shame on me. We can work hard, but play often!

The Weight Loss

There came a point in my life, when I realized I was not as healthy as I should be. What was sad, is I couldn’t believe I had let myself go and I ignored it and refused to notice it until one particular day.

A little bit of history.

I had kids. I worked the night shift at the hospital because I didn’t want to put my kids in daycare. Which meant I ate all night and tried to sleep all day, but with kids at home, sleep was not an option until they reached school age. I gained weight. A LOT of weight. I was pushing almost 300 pounds. Fast food, sugary drinks, lots of bread and lots of desserts.

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Me, at almost 300 pounds – Image by Robin Moreau

Fast forward.

We moved to Washington and I secured a position at the local hospital. At the beginning of the move I promised myself I would take better care of myself and lose the weight. The kids were older, the weather cooler, so there was no excuse. Once I had made the decision, I was going to do it. I worked on the second floor so I started taking the stairs, rather than the elevator. I couldn’t even make it to the second floor without having to stop and catch my breath. Ridiculous.

I started going on hikes with the kids, and jogging in the park. I tried to jog. At first, I couldn’t even make it to 30 seconds without having to stop. I thought my heart was going to explode. But I stuck with it, everyday was a tiny bit easier. I’ve tried to lose weight in the past, but I always gave up. Even my own husband didn’t believe that I would stick to it.

I quit drinking sugary drinks and I limited my bread intake. I ate a larger breakfast, and I had a snack under 100 calories every couple hours. My dinner was my lightest meal.

The weight started slowly coming off. First 30 pounds, then 40, then 50. Eight months later, I had lost 80 pounds. I kept going. I lost another 20 pounds. Below is a picture of me 50 pounds lighter, with my Uncle Phil on the fourth of July. (May he rest in peace)

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50 pounds lighter. July 4th. This is my Uncle Phil. – Image by Robin Moreau

 

But I didn’t feel well. My chest was tight after I would eat, and I was sick at my stomach all of the time. My throat would sometimes feel funny, like I was going to catch a cold. Not scratchy, but puffy feeling. I finally went to the doctor.

During my check up she stated my labs were amazing compared to the prior year. I had dropped my cholesterol and glucose levels. She stated I had remarkably changed my labs to “text book perfect” on my own, just through my healthy habits. Then she sent me to an allergist.

After several blood tests and skin testing, I found out I was allergic to many, many things. I was allergic to many, many foods. She told me I would have to change my diet. But I had, and it was not enough. I cried. What would I eat?

I cried all the way home. My husband didn’t say a word. I went home and scoured over all the labels of everything I had in the cabinets. Everything had to be thrown out. I couldn’t eat any of it. I cried some more. Then I was mad. MAD.

After adjusting my diet, yet AGAIN, I lost another 50 pounds. People started to worry. They thought I was sick. But I have to admit, I felt fantastic! No chest tightness, no puffy throat, no nausea. I was allergic to most of the foods I had been eating.

fat picture
Before and after! Image by Robin Moreau

My weight finally stabilized and my anxiety eased. I learned to cook with the limited foods I could have. Which literally, was fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and certain meats. No fish, grains (except rice, corn and quinoa), no shellfish, no dairy, no eggs, no packaged, preserved anything. No eating out. I even had to watch my spices and teas. Thankfully I could eat nuts because my diet literally consisted of nuts.

My husband wasn’t happy with the diet change, but he lost over 100 pounds too. Together, we lost over 300 pounds! That was over 5 years ago and yes, we have both kept the weight off. Let’s face it, a person cannot gain weight off of meat, fruit and vegetables.

I get asked all of the time; did you have gastric bypass? No, I lost the weight the REAL way, diet and exercise. Determination.

Lesson learned here: Always listen to your body. You know it better than anyone. I am the healthiest I have ever been.

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My weight stabilized, 5 years later. – Image by Robin Moreau

Little Bit of D

I don’t know about you, but I’m in dire need of summer to be here. I’m pretty positive my Vitamin D levels are low as I am sluggish and feel like a sloth on Valium. I need energy, I need the sun!

Every year, I say the same thing; I won’t allow the winter to bring me down. I will exercise despite the cold to keep my energy levels up. But my gosh, every year I dread the cold. I despise the cold. It doesn’t matter how many boots, scarves, jackets or sweatshirts I purchase, I cannot get myself outside.

Image by Robin Moreau

So here I sit, Friday morning, happy Friday by the way, in bed with the fireplace glowing. It’s toasty warm in our room and honestly I could stay here all day.

How does one fight the winter blues? It’s not seasonal depression disorder, it’s the pure dislike of cold weather without the sun.

This weekend I will hit the pharmacy for Vitamin D and in a couple of weeks I should be out of this funk. A few handfuls should take care it. I’ve been here before and this too shall pass. One year it was so bad, my doctor prescribed me 50,000 IUs of Vitamin D, my levels were so low. I even went to the tanning booth to get the warmth and rays of toxic energy. 3 days later I felt like a new person, tan and all. By far I don’t recommend the tanning booth, as swapping happiness for potential skin cancer is not wise. But when it’s bad, this works for me. Out of the past 10 years, I’ve had to do this twice.

I’ve been told there is a lamp for this which supposedly helps for the winter blues. I can’t see purchasing, staring at, then storing a lamp year round for just a few weeks of potential energy. I will take my chances and when the sun is out, I will bask in it’s glow despite the cold. I will fulfil my love for tiny, gel like pills of the big D. Then as the sun decides to stay, it will be difficult to coax myself indoors.

Happy Friday!

Burden of Truth

I believe it is within nature as humans or animals, to instinctively show compassion for, or care for, loved ones, friends or those we characterize closest to us. But how do we define ourselves as caring individuals when we cannot embark upon an organic state, when we have the burden of truth looming over our heads?

In the 1992 movie, A Few Good Men, Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) was interrogating Col. Nathan R. Jessup (Jack Nicholson) and he yelled out “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

We ask for truth, we reach out for help, we ask for opinions, yet when the truth of these matters are provided, the receiver is either hurt, appalled, or in denial and suddenly the provider of truth is burdened and on a long road with a one way ticket straight to hell, while standing face to face with satan, and hot breath steaming up our hair causing it to frizz.

Road to Hell – Image by Robin Moreau

This burden of truth comes with just that….burden. How does one help when one doesn’t want help, doesn’t understand the help needed, is in denial or simply wants to continue a destructive path of negativity?

I have been there. I have felt so low at certain times in my life, I have made poor choices and brought nothing but negative energy amongst those I love and literally drained the life out of them. I have questioned my very own existence and self-worth and I knew for a fact that I was being punished for something I had done, and the the gates of hell would freely open upon my arrival. Despite the fact I had done nothing wrong.

One thing I can share though, never give up. In difficult times I have persevered, and would lose sleep trying to find ways to change current situations. When things fell apart, I admit I was angry and hated the world. But I kept going and tried again.

During those times all I wanted was someone to listen, and sometimes someone to provide me with insight of how I could have changed the situation. There is never a right answer and those bad moments felt like a lifetime; but not nearly as long as an eternity of hurting those we love the most and leaving them cowering at safe distances while waiting for some cue or surrender flag to come out and feel welcomed again.

Can I Come Out Now? – Image by Robin Moreau

I have found that when we are going through a hard time, both anger and sorrow can cloud judgement, and fog positive energy leaving nothing but a state of feeling sorry for ourselves and bringing those who surround us down.

Maybe I am different. I will do anything in my power to change a situation I don’t like. And with situations I cannot change, my attitude controls the dial of how much misery I will experience.

However, one thing I have learned for sure….

Misery loves company.