Preparing for Day 1 Arbonne Cleanse!

For about 39 years I never worried about my weight.  In fact, unless I was pregnant or nursing, I didn’t even have to watch what I ate. (what a $(@&* …. I know.)  I was a comfortable size 6 at about 5 foot 6 inches.  I always felt sorry for overweight people.  I felt sorry for women who were losing their hair.  I would be comforting and say, “No, you’re fabulous!” But inside I was feeling, “Please God, don’t let that happen to me.”  Truth.  Ugly, but true.

I didn’t want to get “old” – not that at 41 I am but let me just say ladies …. at 40 the tides become to come in and they just aren’t soft and subtle.

So here I sat, a 41 year old who suddenly weighed 234 pounds YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT.  I went from a nice steady 140 to 234 pounds …..and had lost some height and stood at 5 foot 5 inches. I’d lost so much hair that from any direction you can see how white my ugly scalp is.  I was miserable.  What happened to me?  Life I suppose.  My medications for anxiety and depression had some to do with it (Weight gain side effects are for the birds, and my husbands 4th tour overseas with the military didn’t help).  But then, I quit smoking on top of everything.  I was a smoker, yes.  For 28 years.  Two packs a day.  Until Pneumonia nearly killed me about 8 months ago.  So instead, I ate.  Ugh.

Skinny girl in a fat body.  I mean, for those of you that have known me through the years thank you, thank you, thank you for not mentioning WTH has happened to me!  I sware to you ….. just last week I was walking by a mirror in a department store and I thought, “Oh, gosh, that poor girl.”  Holy crap.  That girl was me.  ME.  The girl who can’t get up the stairs without stopping to take a break.  My ankles feel like they’re breaking, I eat fifteen tums a day, and my bowels?  Oh TMI.

So …. when my co-worker started feeling healthy and losing weight on a cleanse of course I wanted to hear about it.  Then, I learned it was an MLM.  The Arbonne Cleanse. Ugh.  Not my first rodeo here folks.  Been there, done that.  However, she was so excited about her own success I couldn’t help get excited with her.  I don’t have to sell it, just use it, right?

My husband was leaving for two months for Leadership training with the military and I knew, if I was going to make a move on my health and weight …. now was the time!  How fun to surprise him!  Hmmmm …. how to really stabefore-fronty motivated?  My son!  I have a 21 year old son in the military also who happens to be living at home right now (no pressure from me to move in whilst dad is gone. lol), and I wanted to see if we could do the cleanse together.  Mama and son.  He was in.  Not just in.  He was helping me afford it.  *insert tears.

We met Heather on a Thursday night in her new home, she was literally just moving in.  She was friendly, open, warm and inviting.  She also had a military background.  She explained the product, let us try some stuff, and then stepped back.

I told her and my co-worker we would think about it.  But, we were in.

Hence the food prepping tonight and the preparations to start this 30 day journey.  Here, you’ll find my “Before” picture.

 

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Here were my top 3 requests:

1.)  It’s gotta be easy.

2.)  It’s gotta be easy.

3.)  It’s gotta be easy.

Then, I learned I have to give up coffee AND martini’s.  Holy smokes.   So, tonight, I’m getting ready to dig in tomorrow.  My meal prep’s are all done for the next few days and I’m about to embark on a new journey for 30 days to change my eating habits and begin to develop a healthy lifestyle.  Please, don’t ask questions tonight ……. I’ve got a full martini and I’m enjoying the living heck out of it!  🙂  Love you all and I’ll keep you posted!

If you’ve done the Arbonne http://www.arbonne.com/pws/homeoffice/tabs/home.aspxcleanse, let me hear about it!

 

 

The Give Up Hotel: Have you Checked In or Out?

hotel

For the last week, I checked in to a placed called The Give Up Hotel. The service as you can imagine sucks, the air in the room is stale and it hasn’t been redecorated in decades. There is no such thing as room service – everything that happens here you take care of yourself. You choose to check in and you choose when to check out.

I’m not depressed for those wondering. I’m exhausted. I’m tired of holding it all together. I want to throw a tantrum that would make any three year old jealous as I stomp my feet into the floor for attention.

So here I sit. I checked in to this place to sulk, maybe find some clarity, and hoping that something in the outside world – my world – would change for the better by the time I chose to check out. Guess what? It has been a week and nothing has changed. I don’t know if I’m more frustrated with my circumstances or the fact that I removed myself and checked in to this lousy escape.

A week of poor sleep on this squeaky, no support bed; cutting myself off from others; looking for answers in mind numbing activities so I didn’t have to deal. That’s right. The woman who has the encouraging and challenging words for everyone else just told you she buried her emotions and ideas for a week in order to be numb to the world around her. Not healthy, I’ll be the first to admit. And, certainly not a solution.

Life sucks and it is never fair. Sometimes there are not answers staring you back in the face the second you ask a question. Sometimes you have to make choices that don’t excite you. Sometimes the wait is hard and the emotions in those moments are devastating. Sometimes you feel like a zombie who hasn’t slept in months and all you want is a break. A breather. A reprieve. Or, even a brand new life far, far away from anyone who knows you.

Life is hard and full of things that infuriate us. But, at least we are alive. At least we feel. Because with every struggle we grow, we stretch, we learn, we move forward, we fight. We have the choice to engage with our moments. We have a choice to not be stuck.

So as I walk back out through the door towards my reality, past the broken ice machine and the barely functional sign flashing “Vacancy”, I can’t tell you that I’m done with this attitude of mine. But, I can say that I’m making a choice to engage it, deal with it and win. I am a fighter. I don’t give up.

“Here I go again on my own. Walking down the only road I’ve ever known….” is piping through my mental speaker as I trudge back towards my path to complete this journey. Truth? We are never alone. Sometimes it looks like it when we glance around the landscape of our path but we are not. Focus on the horizon and press forward. Stumble and dust yourself off. Join with fellow travelers and guides on the road of Life. Stay true to who you are and live life fully along the way.

>>> Let’s start an authentic conversation around the moments we look to throw in the towel >>>>

COMMENT FROM READER:

Kris Buringrud Johnson You, lovey lady, are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing, laying it out in the open, being authentic, transparent and vulnerable…everything that you are teaching us to do. I was raised to set the example for others (Easier said than done). This post, is setting the example for the rest of us. It is easy to verbalize celebrations, but lets not be afraid to admit when we are scared, frustrated, stuck, lonely, angry…there is absolutely nothing wrong with those feelings, they are natural, normal, and dare I say it…healthy. But, what isn’t right, is staying in them for too long, we must move forward, just as you are doing, and the best way to move forward is to be brave enough to ask for help or to find help. The first step for many who are scared, unsure, frozen, is simply to join a group and sit back and listen/watch/read the conversations regarding the experiences of others and how they overcame their obstacles, their mountains. Even though someone might not be actively joining the conversation, doesn’t mean that they are not reaping the rewards of the conversation. Slowly but surely those who are absorbing will reach out themselves, will begin to ask for help, advice, they will contribute their stories, their failings and their successes. So I am right there with you let’s start authentic conversations about when we want to throw in the towel….anybody with me?

You Were Born For This – Highlights and Podcast!

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Podcast Highlights

Innate Talent’s are your inherent pathway to your future!  There is something within you that you were born with that is destined to guide your vision for your life.  The origin of YOU … everything you need for success is within.

Your Innate Talent is something that you were not conditioned to do or that you learned from your experiences, it is something that is deeply embedded into your personality and characteristics.

Once you identify your innate talents, it’s time to hone and perfect them in action – that action being to EMBRACE your vision and create a life that embodies it.

Embrace means to accept willingly, to avail oneself of, to adapt, to take in with the eye or the mind.  Seize.  It’s the posture of accepting what is running towards you and from within you.

Know your Innate Talents.  Embrace Your Vision.  Refine it.  Align yourself with your path.

Failure, along the way, is an opportunity to seek a divine understanding of self.  It prepares you for the journey – if you give up you aren’t honoring your vision.  Instead capitalize on your mistakes!

You are going to face opposition.  If you embrace the vision deep within you, you will not look to others for the acceptance and the validation you desire but rather the hard work and results of YOUR efforts will produce those emotions for you.

The “HOW” isn’t so much the important part.  It’s about the passion.  It’s about connecting to who you really are.  Once you’ve mapped out your innate talents, take a step back and figure out if you’re really in alignment with them.  Are you engaged with them?  Are you actively working on them?

There is a difference between an occupation and a vocation.  An occupation pays the bills.  A vocation drives your spirit.  If you follow your dreams and embrace your vision it is truly possible to have both!

Listen in for a HUGE SPECIAL only for our podcast listeners!

 

CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK:

Let us know if you are interested in a group coaching as you unwrap your vision and move in to it!

You Were Born For This: Embrace Your Vision

YOU WERE BORN FOR THIS EMBRACE YOUR VISION _ IGNITEYOURTRUTH_EP06You Know You Were Born For This And You Know It.

What exactly is a vision?

Shift your thinking, go after the things that you want!  How do walk it out?  Where do you start?

There is something within you that you were born with that is destined to guide your vision for your life.  The origin of YOU … everything you need for success is within. Have you always known you were meant to do something specific in your life?

LISTEN NOW > CLICK HERE

Podcast Highlights

Innate Talent’s are your inherent pathway to your future!  There is something within you that you were born with that is destined to guide your vision for your life.  The origin of YOU … everything you need for success is within.

Your Innate Talent is something that you were not conditioned to do or that you learned from your experiences, it is something that is deeply embedded into your personality and characteristics.

Once you identify your innate talents, it’s time to hone and perfect them in action – that action being to EMBRACE your vision and create a life that embodies it.

Embrace means to accept willingly, to avail oneself of, to adapt, to take in with the eye or the mind.  Seize.  It’s the posture of accepting what is running towards you and from within you.

Know your Innate Talents.  Embrace Your Vision.  Refine it.  Align yourself with your path.

Failure, along the way, is an opportunity to seek a divine understanding of self.  It prepares you for the journey – if you give up you aren’t honoring your vision.  Instead capitalize on your mistakes!

You are going to face opposition.  If you embrace the vision deep within you, you will not look to others for the acceptance and the validation you desire but rather the hard work and results of YOUR efforts will produce those emotions for you.

The “HOW” isn’t so much the important part.  It’s about the passion.  It’s about connecting to who you really are.  Once you’ve mapped out your innate talents, take a step back and figure out if you’re really in alignment with them.  Are you engaged with them?  Are you actively working on them?

There is a difference between an occupation and a vocation.  An occupation pays the bills.  A vocation drives your spirit.  If you follow your dreams and embrace your vision it is truly possible to have both!

Listen in for a HUGE SPECIAL only for our podcast listeners!

 

No More Excuses!

Choose to Change!

Excuses are pesky beasts that steal our will to accept our responsibility to change.  Excuses come in to our thoughts because we allow fear to open the door.  Our feelings of inadequacy and lack of self-confidence house our fears.

Is it time to clean house?

She’s been in an abusive relationship for the past ten years, and as she cries in my office while re-living those big red flag signs of torture, I ask her … do you want the situation to change?

Nodding her head, she says, “Of course I do.  But …”

No matter the tremendous what if’s, no matter the perceived reasons that change isn’t going to happen, the first step is looking within to the house of her Spirit.  Her own responsibility.  Her fears.  Her inadequacies.  She was a victim … but because she feels without choice to change she has locked herself in the house of fear.

b_is_for_bipolar_disorder_by_tashythemushroom-d2zfysr“I am abusing myself.”  Responsibility.  She tells me, “I am in a relationship with me, and I don’t treat myself with anything but condemnation.  When did I start to feel this way, and why can’t I change it?”

Suggestions of counseling are met with excuses.  There is no health insurance, it is too expensive.  I can’t drive.  It’s too far.  My counselor won’t see me every week.  I hate therapy.  It doesn’t work.  No one can really help me.

Others try to get her out of her house more often, friends who call to keep her from isolating.  Yet, she tells them, “I don’t feel good.  I don’t have any money.  I can’t leave, I don’t have a babysitter.  I just want to be alone.”

Another beautiful woman, miles away, sits in her bedroom with her laptop and tells her online friends that she doesn’t ever see how things are going to get better.  She reads through all of the inspirational post cards and cries, not because they empower her, but because it’s not that easy.  The chat room fills with good hearted and well intentioned people across the expanse of the country who cheer her on, and give bits and pieces of lack luster validation that will not last past her shut down key.  She will be alone tonight when she cries.

In a tiny office another woman dons a mask of resilience, and puts on air’s that she is so well put together that she is unbreakable.  During the day she feels pity for the other women who talk about issues better kept quiet and to themselves, and she wonders why people just can’t get over crap.  Hours later after her high heel stiletto’s are kicked onto the plush entry way carpet, she sits in her living room with a glass of wine and promises to herself, “Just one drink won’t hurt.”  Just when she tells herself, “I’m fine.  I’m absolutely fine,” she finishes the second bottle of wine and rushes to the cabinet to see if she actually did throw out the Vodka she meant to the last time she binged.  No one must ever know.

Excuses clutter our ability to take responsibility for our own change.  How do we get rid of the excuses?  We face the fear.  We admit our vulnerability, and we get to the root of our feelings of inadequacies.  Map them out, put them down on paper – take away their power and admit to yourself that you’ve had enough.  It’s time to clean house. Time to really reach out, in your truth.  Without excuse.

9867418Tell your story a new way; to yourself.  Face yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful.  That you can succeed.  That you can be real.  That you have value.  When you’re tempted to tell someone about all of the terrible things you are going through; STOP.  Take a deep breath, and Change your Words.

“I am not happy or fulfilled in my life right now, yet I am STRONG and I CAN change.  I’ve survived this much, this far, and I haven’t caved.  No more excuses.  I deserve MORE.”

You’re not alone.  We are all these women.  What we’re doing hasn’t been working so far … so let’s tear down the house of isolation and expose the lies we’ve been telling ourselves.  Let’s take back our power.

 

Choose to Change.  It starts within.  No more excuses!

Are you ready to Choose to Change?  Do you want to EMPOWER yourself and get rid of the Excuses?  If you live in the Tennessee area, there is a LIVE EVENT on June 6th that WILL ROCK YOUR WORLD!  If you aren’t in the area, contact Jen TODAY for life coaching that will completely change your direction and motivate you to discover the BEST you that you can be!

Check it out:

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Live Interview Scheduled for June 6th!

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Our Guest: Courtney Frey is the author of, ‘One Birth mother’s Emotional Truth on Healing, Recovery and Success,” (Adoption Press, 2002, discontinued) and is the proud mother of three teenager’s.  She lives in Iowa with her children, holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and is Editor in Chief of www.disabilityloopnews.com.  She has bi-polar disorder and as a mental health advocate, has spoken across the country on issues relating to mental health and adoption.  Her novel, Restitution, will be available for purchase this coming June, 2013. Visit her website at http:///www.itsneverinvain.com

Expose Yourself … Authentic Friendship

Expose Yourself”

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Women make judgments as quickly and with as much passion as they make connections.  The power of both can shape a women’s life forever.  I was a big city girl, landing a job in advertising sales with a play on big words and a low cut shirt, sitting fluffed with pride in an outdoor lounge chair surrounded by new co-workers that I was sure, this time around, would adore me because I would finally be able to hide the craziness hidden within.  I’d moved from the city to a rural Iowa community, leaving behind mountains but not stilettos.  I basked, or should I say, slowly got drunk, on the new attention of country folk eager to know my story.

It was that moment I chose to decide I would be calm, cool, and graceful.  I would be the very woman each of them saw on first glance.  I would fight to keep her new image, no matter what it took.  I loved being her.

And then there she was.   Oozing and bubbling over with energy and personality, a short bobbed cut in dazzling reds and brown’s, against a tiny size three frame … stealing my stage as she easily plopped down onto the eager lap of our creative director.  All eyes on Turner.  She demanded attention.  I hated her instantly.

She was one of them, but none of them – the lead actress in a play they merely spoke words to so that she could breathe life into them.  I had not found my way out, after all.                                                              To add salt to my wounds, she was a media buyer and I just a mere sales rep.  This fueled my drive to out-sell the veteran’s and slowly I worked up the ladder of sales.  No matter the money I made … I couldn’t seem to break into her “group.”    Despite being the mysterious, beautiful, new city gone country girl with a fabulous sales record … they continued to turn heads to her.

Finally, my opportunity came … our advertising company would enter a short film contest and by 6 pm one evening we were all gathered in a bar to dole out ideas and roles.  I was an actress!  Born and bred, and had held roles on large stages – okay, albeit community theater roles … I knew I had this one!

Only several hours passed, as only ideas were handed out … I was growing bored from lack of creative thought and refusal of others to hear me.  When I noticed, she had been gone for quite some time.  I found her friends, outside the women’s restroom.  “She’s in there, she won’t come out.”  At first I thought they were kidding, “Well, go in there and get her!” I was laughing.

But then they turned serious, “We tried.  She’s locked herself in a stall … she’s crying.  She won’t let us in.”

I’d been there.  On her side.  Locked in a stall with my knees red on the hard tile floor in front of a toilet begging for the end.  I’d turned away friends, refused to unlock the door.  Wanted to die.  I knew where she was.  I also knew … she needed someone to get her out.        Pushing her friends aside, I entered the bathroom and crawled under the door.

That was the night Heather and I became friends.

When we realized that the reasons we hated one another at first were the very reason’s we often hated ourselves.  The show of it, the pretending – the ache and desire to own a stage that on our own, we would never have the courage to claim.  We faked a lot of who we were.  Main characters and applause winner’s during curtain call … but in the dark … we were alone, we drank, and we cried and we grieved.  We were on the outside the epitome of what every woman wanted to be … on the inside, we were fueled by vodka and Prozac.

That night, Heather lifted her head from the toilet as I stroked her hair away from her face, after she threw up all the truths of her real pain … “If you really knew me … this is what you would see.”                                          And she was more beautiful in that moment than I’d ever seen her in days before.

Many years later …. I finally had the courage to do the same.   “I need you to bring your camera and come take a picture of me.” I told her.  She’d started to dream out-loud about becoming a professional photographer and I had thought of hundreds of ways to help her but in the end, had only come up with one.  I would expose myself to my best friend.   An avid and new photographer, she was thrilled with the idea and assured me she was on her way.

I thought for sure, “This is the moment I will lose her forever.  She’s going to know I’m crazy.”

From that night in the bar bathroom, Heather had given me the greatest gift of all.  She’d shown me that even in what we perceive as our weakest of moments … there is true strength in allowing our true selves to be known.   To paint ourselves on a canvas that we think no one else can or should see … and then, to show it.  Just to show it.  For no other reason than to feed that tiny hope that who we are exists.

So, I took her out to the river, and dressed in thigh high black leather stiletto’s, wearing a black negligee’ and black fiberglass wings.  I made my way to the middle of the fast-flowing water, and climbed up onto a long log that was stuck … and I perched.  I posed … like a Raven.  And she took the shot.

I was a grown woman with three children and I was dressed like a vaudeville character in the middle of a raging river on a log that could give any minute … but it wasn’t ridiculous at all.  She, in her own reasons, knew why I needed her to take that picture.  And she did.                                             And because she did, I saw myself.  And I was real.  And someone saw me back.

We go on with our everyday lives, and we work at our jobs and we love the men we love, and we have lives that are good enough to plan for great enough … we have girls night out, and we have hobbies, and we have dreams.

But for Heather and I … the foundation for the living we have the courage to do is often times settled on the vulnerable truth of sanctuary … the guarded walls of friendship that bind us and often free us, if but for a moment’s rest and breathe ; where we are seen for who we truly are and allowed to be.

As the years passed, our friendship tossed and heaved like a tiny boat on a massive ocean as if to test the very fate’s of the God’s.  We weaved in and out of turmoil, often times separated for months, even years, without a single word.  The hard part about being vulnerable with someone is facing the reality of her when the choice is to throw the only life vest you have.  And with Heather and I … we both needed the life vest.

And that is Heather and I.

Once you expose yourself for who you truly are, without fear, you become real.  Like a photograph that stops time and doubt and irrelevance, one single second of truth.

Captured.   If only to remind you of who you are when you had the courage to show it.

Heather has gone on to become a successful photographer and custom jewelry designer, please visit her page at http://www.sassyhat.net