My Brain is Wrong

I know that I post a lot of ‘motivational’ things on my Facebook wall. I know that sometimes it can be a bit annoying. While it may seem that I am sometimes preachy or filled with rhetoric, I’ve come to realize that the only person I’m preaching to is myself. You see, my brain tells me things. My brain tells me that life is hard, that people are hard, that the world is hard. My brain assigns labels to things telling me this is good and that is bad. It assigns labels to people, pigeonholing them in convenient little boxes. My brain tells me that in the end we all die, so there is no point. My brain teaches me about fear–fear that looms like a wave, waiting for the right time to ebb into high-tide. My brain tells me that I came into this world alone, that I will leave it alone and that I will live it alone. My brain spews the lessons that it has learned in life, telling me that decisions were mistakes, that relationships were make-believe and that dreams are just imaginary forms of escape. My brain sits in the corner like the pious, judgmental church lady condemning everyone including herself, purse-lipped, wrinkled and filled with disdain.
But, my heart, well, yeah that’s a different story. You see, my heart, it never learned any of those lessons that my brain dwells on. My heart believes in fairy tales. It believes in laughing until you cry. It believes in love without condition or labels. It tells me that I can fly in ways my brain cannot see. It whispers quietly while the brain sleeps telling me that not only can I, but that I must love and allow myself to be loved. It tells me that dreams are a beautiful thing. My heart is a bare-footed little girl with crooked pigtails and scabby knees. Her gapped-tooth grin is almost as crooked as her pigtails and freckles dot her rosy cheeks. She jumps in mud-puddles and blows the little fairy-brooms from dandelions. She kisses kittens on the nose and chases lightening bugs in the twilight hours. She believes in first kisses and laughter. She believes in dreaming and of being dreamed. When a decision does not have the expected outcome, she kind of thinks, “Well, huh, that was cool.” She has faith in life, in people and in herself. She also thinks my brain is a big ol’ bully. So she sneaks around and posts motivational stuff, to remind my brain that it is wrong and maybe to remind a few other bully brains out there of the same.

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How did you get to be so funny???

I get asked that question a lot.  Sometimes in general conversation people will just stop, look at me and ask, “How did you get to be so funny?”  At first, I would just be confused, but the more I was asked the question, the more I began to ask myself the same question.  HOW did I get to be so ‘funny’?  Am I really even that funny?  I’ve always considered that question to be a compliment.

At first I assumed that I inherited my sense of humor from my family.  When we get together, we are the funniest people I know, each one trying to outdo the next.  Always pushing the limits and nowhere NEAR politically correct.  Damn, I love them.  However, certain changes in life have given me the opportunity to reflect and learn more about myself these past few years and have learned a lot about myself.

I have been the odd kid right out of the chute, probably even came out sideways.  I was always that kid that people would look at and wonder, ‘what in the hell are they doing/thinking?’  Life events occurred early on that caused me to be even more withdrawn and less socially adept.  I did well through elementary school, but was blessed to attend a very small, rural,  close-knit school.  Junior High school was a completely different story and my oddity made me a target for those who needed one.  Kids can be very creative in their forms of ridicule and exclusion.  So many days I would wake up and play sick, usually very unsuccessfully.  The busride to school was often similar to a death-march in that I knew as soon as I walked in the door the torment would begin.  Tiny jabs throughout the day when a teacher was turned away was typical, but the bathroom was ground zero. 

I remember watching movies such as Goonies and Stand by Me and completely relating to the protagonists.  I cried when I watched Carrie for the first time because I cheered for her acceptance and my heart was crushed when it was all taken away.

What I’ve realized, however, was that I learned to laugh at myself before those other people could.  I became very good at self-deprecating humor, actually too good.  I also have gotten quite good at using humor in completely inappropriate situations.  I would make jabs at myself before anyone else could. 

Frankly, I’m thinking about creating a club titled, ‘the league of funny fat chicks’.  I get tickled at the gym when seeing a fat chick working with a trainer because we really are funny.  I don’t know about them but by the time I became willing to go to a trainer, if I hadn’t laughed, I would have cried.  Actually, I did a few times.

I guess what I’m really trying to say is this:  to all those people, the plastics, the perfect people, those who derive the joy from making other people feel less-than, ‘Thank You!’.  Sincerely, thank you, so very much.  Out of all the gifts I have been given in life, humor is one of my favorites, and while your intent was to make me feel less-than, you were unsuccessful.  It may have taken a lot of years and a lot of pain, but today I can say, thank you and truly mean it. 

Being Healthy Doesn’t Happen in a Vacuum

When I started this blog a while back, I did so with the intention of only blogging about my weight-loss, and the things I am or am not doing regarding that.  What I’ve come to realize is that losing weight and being healthy does not happen in a vacuum.  How nice it would be if it did.  It would be so wonderful if the only thing I had to focus on was what I needed to do to be healthy, lose weight and treat my body the way it wants to be treated.

The problem is….life happens.  Friends are lost and found.  Schedules change.  Jobs become stressful or less stressful.  Financial difficulties occur.  Family members become ill or pass away.  Romantic possibilities flare.  Life happens.  Some things are expected, but most are not.  Even the best laid contingency plans fail spectacularly.  We stumble.  The question is, do we right ourselves and continue the path laid out before us, or do we continue to fall back into that slow suicide? 

Several months I went to the gym, waiting for it to become ‘fun’ like so many people had told me it would.  It got to the point where it was less painful, less of a chore.  Then life happened and happened HARD.  It landed on me with both clawed, reptilian feet and screamed, “Here Bitch!  Take this!”  I fell.  I slipped into a depression and contracted a case of the ‘fuck-its’.

Excuses began to get easier and easier.  First two days passed, then three.  After two weeks I noticed how ‘bad’ I felt.  It wasn’t the being depressed bad, but just bleck, and icky.  I wasn’t sleeping well any more, I wasn’t as energetic and I just felt not like me.  Then I tried to give blood and for the first time in 6 months, I was denied donation because my hematocrit was too low.  I had this problem in the past but since going to the gym and eating better, it had gone away.  While I knew I was slipping in this journey, this glaring number was a neon sign that I was so glad that I saw. 

The next day, I went to the gym, it was hard.  My ego kept screaming, “You know this is going to be way harder than it was when u stopped.”  It was.  The regulars that had trudged along side me for the past few months, smiled and told me how happy they were that I was back.  They had been watching my progress over the months and like the underdog in an indie film they had been silently rooting me on.  Wanting me to succeed.  I posted my check-in on Facebook and many friends who had noticed my absence commented in much the same manner.

No, being healthy, getting in shape do not happen in a vacuum.  It actually happens much more like a stone thrown in the water, causing ripples and waves that reach places the pebble never even imagined.  I had NO idea.  I have never in my life been so grateful or humbled to learn that I, indeed, do not live in a vacuum.

The gym has become my god-place.  I put on my headphones, turn up the music and for the next 90 minutes, it is me and god.  Muscles burn, shake and groan but we work.  The feel of sweat first breaking the skin is like arriving at a much sought-after destination and I love the way my arms glisten in the fluorescent lights of the gym. 

I hope, no I believe, that I have stayed on this journey long-enough to continue.  It’s become too much a part of who I am.

Gettin’ Bored…

already.  It’s been almost 4 weeks now, and I’m getting bored with the routine.  It has been approximately 30 minutes on the elliptical/cross trainer then weights, but the 30 minutes have started to feel like F…O…R…E…V…E…R, so I’ve split it up and am doing the first half before the weights/machines and the last half afterwards.  It has made it better.

I find it very ironic, that I’ve always been one to crave routine, but when I get it, I’m bored to tears by it.  I’m sure part of it has to do with appreciating the stability that routines provide, which I think directly conflicts with my complete lack of focus and attention.  😛

I have upgrade to an official (goodwill purchased) duffel bag that has the logo of a hospital I never worked at on it.  Although I did have one of my girls there, so maybe THAT counts.  Anyway, I did get tired of carrying around my clothes in the official luggage of rednecks everywhere, aka, a Walmart bag (collect the whole set!).  I do think my shoes have sprung a leak because when it’s really quiet, I can hear this ever-so-faint whistle coming from my feet when I walk, and I KNOW I’m not lighter than air…yet.

I do go to two different gyms (two locations of the same company), and I must say I do prefer the one I signed up at.  It is under construction and they keep moving the machines–there they go, messin’ with my routine–but they seem so much friendlier.  Plus, every time I go to the other one, I feel like I’m crashing someone’s family reunion.  Now, don’t get me wrong, they aren’t mean or anything, but they aren’t high-fivin’ me and yellin’ at me for not sitting correctly when working with weights.  Either way it goes, though, it’s really not their job to keep me interested is it?

So, I’m always on the lookout for new music, new ideas to keep me interested.  Winter is coming up quickly and frankly, I don’t want to let it set me back at all.