Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Jack Hammered?

Budweiser. He drank it from the time he woke up to the time he went to sleep. He even drank it while driving...always. He was such a high functioning alcoholic that he passed sobriety tests when pulled over, which, wasn't very often because he drove like he was sober even when drunk. He kept beer in his truck and when he took breaks at work, would go out and sit in his truck and drink it. He always smelled of beer to me. I'm not sure how he stayed employed, honestly, but he managed to hold down a job at MichCon for a long time. Up until a couple of years ago, I cringed when I saw Budweiser anywhere. It reminded me of him.

His name was Jack.

He was my Mother's second husband, for not even 24 hours. Let me back up for a moment and share some other things with you prior to getting to that. On the weekends, Jack would stay in the master bedroom and literally not come out, not even once. There was a master bath and my mom would bring him food and beer. I'd go in occasionally to say hi to him. He always seemed off. Although, I never could place my finger on it. Although, the night of their wedding it all came together for me.

The wedding itself went well, but after the wedding things took a turn for the worse. It was after the reception actually, but no one could find Jack. My mother was frantically looking for him everywhere. He was eventually found in a compromising position with one of the bridesmaids. It was then that my Mom shared that he was high on heroin and then that I realized that's why he seemed off on the weekends. He'd basically go on drug binges in the master bedroom every weekend.

Anyways, after finding him with the bridesmaid, my mom and him went their separate ways. And by that I mean he kicked us out of the trailer we lived in with him and we moved into a trailer in a different trailer park. We lived there for two weeks (or something close to that) without utilities. This happened during my sophomore year of high school. I believe he died a couple years after that of Hepatitis C, most likely, from sharing needles.

I made this for my mom and find myself thinking of this often...and especially with this post.
Why, if Jack was such a negative influence, would I share this with you all? Well because I've been thinking about it a lot. Not because I'm lamenting about my past but because I'm thankful. Thankful of how situations like this helped me grow. In fact, I'm still growing from them. Even negative past experiences can impact us in the most positive of ways. I'm fortunate to have a great family and friends that I love dearly. You people are the best. Thanks for being a part of my life.

Later gators!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Last Year vs This Year

Hello out there!! I'm sharing something I never thought I would in this post...pictures of me in a bathing suit!! Deep breaths....deep breaths....ok, here I go...

After having my kids I focused on them more than myself (something I think lots of moms can relate to). Although, while I didn't focus on my physical appearance at that time I learned a tremendous amount and grew emotionally. My mother passed away during that time too and it was (and is) an incredibly difficult situation to go through. Your mom is there and then...she's gone... forever... You will never hug her or hear her voice again. People who place judgement on those grieving should let that sink in for a moment...and that's all I'll say about that. I will say, the grieving process (for me) has resulted in growth in many ways.

Looking back I realized I needed the time to focus on introspection and internal growth. I am thankful that I focused on that and am happy to say I'm back to focusing on my health and feeling confident in my (2-Baby and 2-Laparoscopic surgeries) body. 

When I met Binderclips I was in great shape, but I focused on muscular strength more than anything. My approach now is to address all the major components of fitness (I do have a couple degrees in this stuff, after all); body composition, flexibility, muscular strength & endurance, and cardiovascular endurance. Since I've been back to it  - I run, do yoga, weight train (I do not belong to a gym and mostly train at playgrounds - some of the best and most fun workouts I've ever done), do HIIT/tabata, I try to pepper in pilates, barre, & suspension training (TRX), and watch what I eat also (although I could improve in that area greatly).

I'll be perfectly honest, folks, sharing pictures of me in a bathing suit is terrifying. I took these pictures to review by myself and see my progress over the last year, I did not plan on sharing them. However, I think I need to for a couple of reasons:

1) My goal is to continue to improve how I feel & look, so I need a time stamp to measure progress against. Here I am now, I can't wait to see if I can make more progress in the next 6 months to a year and after.

2) If I can motivate others to make positive changes in their lives, that would be awesome.

3) And most importantly - I can show my little girls what beauty is; being confident, strong, smart, courageous and to be passionate about the things they love and life in general.

So, here I am...before picture was taken in May of 2015, the after pictures were taken within the last couple of weeks.

I'm going to keep working at it and I'll keep documenting my progress too. I hope you get something out of this post. :)

Later gators!

Full body
Close up of the abs