Broken. Nearly Shattered.

What an absolutely insane past 8 months I have had. Around 8 months ago my life completely changed. I guess I can’t really do this blog without touching on the ending of my relationship. The future I imagined myself having walked out the door on a Monday in November. I can honestly say it was one of the worst days of my life that I can remember. I can’t begin to explain the way I felt that day or the days surrounding it. Having the person you care about more than anything, who you felt loved you as unconditionally as you did them, tell you that they want something different for their life than what you were offering is a really difficult pill to swallow. Everything I thought that I knew about life or about myself was broken in the time it took to hear those words. I was numb. I was frozen. I idly stood by and watched my ‘happily ever after’ walk out the door. I didn’t put up a fight. I didn’t argue. Thats a funny thing about love. Even in my darkest of moments I still loved him enough to let him go.  I didn’t want him to stay with me and be unhappy. I didn’t want him to feel that his dreams couldn’t be a reality because I was interested in a ‘settled down’ lifestyle.  I still wanted/want what I’ve always wanted for him…to be truly happy. It still hurts to this day. I still cry when think about it or write blogs like this, but it is something I really have to continue to release in order to grow from.

Thank Buddha for his teachings and my willingness to live by them because I feel it has helped me to handle my situation better than I could have otherwise. I don’t hold any grudges. He and I still talk almost daily and remain friends. I still love him but it gets easier.

Fast forward to where I am today. I have sold the house that we used to live in. It was the first home I have purchased but honestly, without him being there it felt less like a home and more like a building. A building very far from where I work. I close on the sale of the home this Friday and it will help me get myself back to being financially stable and mostly debt free. The house was a good house..a great investment and full of a lot of really happy memories but it was also a constant reminder of things that didn’t work. I felt alone there. I felt sad. I didn’t feel like I was growing anything more than more depressed.

Thanks to my incredible family we were able to whip the house into shape and sell it within two days of listing. My family is such a godsend. I really lucked out when they were handing out parents. Not only did they help with the house but they have been so helpful in getting me into a new apartment, closer to work in a beautiful neighborhood that I’ve actually loved for many years. I truly believe it’s kismet that I’m here. For the entirety of living at the house I had a canvas on the wall of a photograph I had taken in this very neighborhood where I’m now living. Its beautiful here. It’s peaceful and quiet and filled with nature. It’s exactly what I need right now during this transformative period of my life.

Which brings me to the future. Where do I go from here? Who is single, independent Mindy? How can I build my confidence in doing things on my own? Will I be in this area after a year? I have no answers for any of these questions. If I have learned anything over the last 8 months it is that the future is never certain.  My plan is to just take each day as it is handed to me. My plan is to fill each day with intention. I want to be more present. I want to write more blogs. I want to get back on track with a healthier lifestyle. I want to read more books and be on facebook less. I want to learn how to cross stitch. I want to cook more often. I want to focus on experiencing my amazing friends and family without a cell phone attached to my hand. So welcome to my new journey my friends… I hope to update more frequently…maybe even with some “Mindy Gets Healthy Version 5837584920” posts as well lol

namaste. ❤

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Skin, Drugs and Rock & Roll?

Its now been a week and a half since my doctor’s visits and starting on my diabetes meds. Taking the meds is a big pain in the butt, but I must say, already I’m feeling so much different. I have SO much more energy it (and I’ve only been taking half doses to get my body used to it!) and my appetite has slowed down dramatically. I’ve yet to prick my finger to see where my B.S. is be sitting. Honestly, I’m afraid of that finger pricker. Because I KNOW it hurts, I can’t imagine doing it to myself intentionally 🙂 Sooner or later I’ll muster up the courage though! But, based on feelings alone, I’m optimistic!

I’m a little scared to start taking stronger doses of everything (the amt the doc prescribed). What if my blood sugar goes TOO low? What if my body can’t handle a bunch of medication due to unforeseen circumstances? I know I’m just paranoid. The doctor definitely knows more about how to treat me than I do. But I’ve never been a fan of medication. I’m that person who will either push through my symptoms, ignore them completely or search for natural remedies before even considering putting man-made medicine in my body. I think it all goes back to my core issue of needing to feel in control. Currently, my body is out of control and I can’t control it without outside help.  Yet.  I WILL if there is any way possible defeat this disease and not be medicine dependent the rest of my life on this planet!

One thing I will say is that I’m so incredibly blessed and thankful to have the partner I do in Brian. I can’t really say it enough. From the moment I told him I had diabetes, he started making lifestyle changes himself to help me along my journey. He has a ‘we’ll fight it together’ mentality that helps keep me strong everyday.

In other news, I’m going to get back to reviewing products here on the site. I did a few reviews for books, and I’ll be continuing that as well. I figure I’ll be trying lots of new things in the months to come 🙂 So look for reviews on Michelle Visage’s book Diva Rules, You Are A Bad Ass by Jen Sincero and also Rodan + Fields Soothe Skin Regimen in the near future.

One final note… I just did the most fun workout (at home) in a long time! I’m a big fan of zumba so I always try to find zumba workouts on youtube that I can do on my off days from the class at the gym. A friend shared this video with me and I fell in love with this guy! He has an entire youtube channel and some playlists with a full workout. I just clicked on the playlist called ‘warm ups’ today. And if those are warm ups I’m definitely not ready for the real deal. ha! I did 11 songs in the warm up playlist and got a GREAT workout! This sweat did not make itself!

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Until next time my sweet friends, namaste!

Happy Birthday… you have Diabetes!

One week before my 37th birthday [yikes! did I really say 37?!] I receive a phone call from my gyno. My blood test results are in. I kind of expected her to say the words “You’re diabetic”, so it wasn’t a shock when she did. My mother has been living with diabetes for years and to say the least I was certainly not taking precautions to avoid it. That being said, it is harsh pill of reality to swallow.

If you look back through my previous posts you’ll see I’ve always been on some sort of cycle of trying to eat healthy and get my lifestyle right. As per the current diagnosis it’s obvious that hasn’t happened yet! I intend to take this diagnosis and use it as my motivation though. I know how bad of a disease that diabetes can be, especially if it is not treated and met with healthy eating habits and exercise.

So I decided to start up my blogging website once again to chronicle my journey, however long it may be, into diabetes and getting better. I haven’t felt healthy for a long time and I’m hoping that now with getting this treated along with my other issues (high TSH and high cholesterol, yay) that I can start to feel like my old self again. I’m challenging myself to stay active with Zumba 2-3x per week and DDPYoga on my off days. I actually started this last week when I took my Day 1 pics (see below).

I’m also thinking that putting my words out into the universe on things (not just my health) will get me back into being the introspective person I used to pride myself on being. These past few months, hell, year seems I just go through the motions. I have a lot of wonderful blessings in my life these days the least I can do is make sure I’m enjoying them to the best of my abilities!

I have always said that by the time I turned 40 I’d be in the best shape of my life. Well, that gives me 3 years now to get it done!

Also, I like to try and choose theme songs for my year. Last year’s theme song was Secrets by Mary Lambert. This year’s jam is going to be Meghan Trainor’s Me Too. If I can believe about myself what she’s putting into those lyrics, it’ll be a great year 🙂

In other news, had a great pre-bday week weekend! Full of drag queens and musical theatre. Can’t really go wrong there! Enjoy your week everyone and be good to yourselves!

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Doomsday For Crappy Foods

Today marked the start of my “Doomsday for Crappy Foods Detox”.

Ever since the fiance and I went on vacation over Memorial Day we have been ingesting nothing but what I like to call Frankenfoods. Frankenfoods are foods that consist of more chemicals than they do actual nutritious stuff. You know, the food we all love and that fills us with absolute joy and happiness? Yep, those foods. Fast Food, Restaurant Food, Pizza, French Fries, Potato Chips, Cookies, Donuts, Bread, etc. are all Frankenfoods. Of course, we all know that eating a ton of crappy food all day everyday is going to “Super Size” your body and give you a plethora of medical conditions to worry about… yet, as a society, that does nothing to stop us from gorging ourselves over drinks with friends. Oh! And drinks? Let’s not get started even talking about the deliciousness that is Soda, Beer, Liquor, etc. Unfortunately these Frankenfoods aren’t only hiding at restaurants and in the middle aisles of your grocery store… they are also hiding amongst the so-called Low Fat/Low Calorie foods! So what on earth is someone to do?!

I’ve heard about Clean Eating for years now. It’s never been something I’ve tried, though I can certainly see how the benefits would be enormous. It only makes sense… our bodies, before all of these chemicals started being pumped into them via food, medicine, etc, were meant to survive on the environment around us. As wonderful as it all sounds though, this blog is not about how I’m drastically, cold turkey switching to clean eating. Nope, I’m not that adventurous just yet. What this “Doomsday for Crappy Foods Detox” is about however is some simple steps I’ve decided to take to try and jumpstart my way into a healthier eating style. In all honesty, I’m doing it because I have a doctors appointment and bloodwork looming ahead of me and I don’t want the doctor to see that I’ve done nothing to improve myself in the last 3 months. I’m also doing it because I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been in my entire 34 years of life and I don’t even know what I weigh… I just know I’m quite a bit over what the docs think I should be. (I don’t really agree with medical standards on weight… but, I digress on that topic.) And lastly, I’m doing it because darn it, I just need to.

So I’ve devised an eating plan that I think I can stick to. It is not completely “Clean” but it is light years ahead of where I am now on the “healthy” Richter Scale. It certainly won’t be easy as I’m accustomed to filling my belly with delicious bready products and a bucket of Coca-Cola on a near daily basis, but we will see what happens. I’m sure that I’ll be “doing it wrong” (aren’t we all “doing it wrong” according to someone else’s opinion?)… but at least I’ll be “doing”, so please no emails about my follies.

Below is a list of what my day to day will be like. The list likely will be the same everyday, so my next updates will be very short or even not at all until I’ve completed the week. Follow along with me if you’d like, or don’t, this is really just to keep me honest 🙂

“Doomsday For Crappy Foods Detox” Day 1:

7:30 a.m. Breakfast:
Blueberries, Strawberries and Blackberries mixed into 1 serving of vanilla yogurt (the style of yogurt I got was 1 cup per serving).
1 Bottle of Water
1 Banana

10:30 a.m. Snacklet:
1 serving of mixed nuts
(if you are following along, WATCH YOUR SERVING SIZE! Nuts are great for protein, but also can be super fatty. Which is what we are trying not to be!)

12:30 p.m. Lunch Time:
Spicy Veggie Soup
(Formerly known as Chicken Tortilla Soup… I omitted the chicken and the tortillas because I’m a rock star! This soup is absolutely delish and FILLED to the gills with veggies. I don’t have a clue on calories or fat, because I’m not watching those things this week, but if you want to check it out here’s the link: http://alishagratehouse.com/chicken-tortilla-soup-crockpot-recipe/ . My fiance claims it smells horrific when cooking… so delicate noses beware! Also, I should have added more than one fresh jalapeno… but I was a chicken. Next time!)
1 small nectarine
1 small apple
1 bottle of water

3:00 p.m. Snacklet:
1 serving of mixed nuts

6:30 p.m. Dinner Time:
Bacon Peppercorn Rotisserie Chicken (skin removed)
Steamed Garlic Cauliflower (I bought frozen, should have opted for fresh)
Raw Carrots
1 glass of Apple Juice

10:00 p.m. Snacklet:
1 serving of Skinny Pop Popcorn (If you haven’t tried this stuff, please RUN do not walk [think of all the calories you’ll burn running!] to your nearest store and buy some. Heaven in a bag… AND all natural!)

The rest of this week’s menu will be much the same with the exception of possibly cottage cheese instead of yogurt, and the inclusion of some scrambled eggs. Dinners are going to be difficult, but we have plenty of chicken breasts in the freezer and salads [minimal dressing] are always good in a pinch.

On to the next I say! And enjoy these little words of wisdom below! Thanks Oatmeal!

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If Only…

Do you often find yourself thinking “If only…”? I know I have!

If only I had a different job, I wouldn’t be so stressed.

If only I could lose 10 pounds, I’d be happy.

If only I made a little more money, I could be happier.

Today’s world is ever-changing. Technology is constantly bringing forth new gadgets and gizmos that are supposed to make our lives easier and more fulfilled. But are we?

A lot of us look at our past with rose colored glasses. We reminisce of yesterdays when it seemed life was easier; we were more carefree. But were we?  Really?

I’m of the opinion that we aren’t and we weren’t. I’ve come to believe that our happiness is based solely on our thoughts and feelings in relation to our current situations. Back in 2011, I found a great post (whose author has since been forgotten) that describes our “feelings” and how they can determine our happiness…

Think of your feelings as your children. You made them. Sometimes they are pure joy. Sometimes they give you grief. But you are the parent and the one who sets the rules. Sometimes, in the proper environment, you let them go wild. Sometimes you have to rein them in. You don’t ignore them of course. You let them be. But they have to follow your rules.

Whenever your feelings start to get the best of you, try to remember this metaphor: If you let your children rule the house, you’re going to have a pretty chaotic house. But if you ignore them or refuse to let them express themselves in any way, your family won’t be healthy and you won’t be doing your job as a parent.

If you begin to feel your mind leaning toward the “If only…” try to stop yourself  and reframe the thought. “If only I could lose 10 pounds, I’d be happier.” could become “I may need to lose a few pounds, but darn it, I’m alive and able. I have the opportunity to change this.” Every day we are in control of the choices that determine our happiness and every situation we are facing can be looked at with at least two perspectives. This doesn’t work everytime, but I’ve found that in the time span that I’ve been focusing on trying to do this that I am far better prepared to handle any situation life throws at me. As time goes on it has gotten easier and easier to replace any possible negative thoughts with positive ones. But similar to learning any new skill, you have to keep practicing.

One of many teachings I received from a lovely Buddhist monk focused heavily on the topic of our perception of time. She focused on the fact that there is no tangible form of the Past or of the Future. Both the Past and the Future are only in our minds and created by our thoughts. Neither the Past nor the Future can be altered in this moment…. so we must try to live only for this exact second and make it worthwhile. When we look back on our past memories, whether those from 5 years ago or only a week ago, our mind fills in the gaps that have since been forgotten. In the moment that we lived the “past experience” we may have had a very different feeling than we do now thinking back. We cannot truly know if things were ‘better’ then versus now. We cannot assume that the future will be any “better” than the now. The only control that we have is in our perception of this very moment.

What will you choose in this moment? Will your children run the house or will they follow your rules?

The Girl in the “Popples” Panties

I can pinpoint the exact moment when I began to feel uncomfortable in my own skin. It was in the first grade during PE. Back then, thankfully, the teachers selected your teams rather than the other kids deciding who they “liked” the best. At that time, I wasn’t really what most people would have considered to be ‘chubby’, though I did have a round face that adults loved to pinch. It was during this fateful PE class that one of my classmates, one of the popular boys, would refer to me as Ms. Piggy. Now, don’t get me wrong, these days I love that sassy, frog-loving swine… but all that my first grade brain registered was “piggy”.

By 5th grade, however, I had “blossomed”. I could definitely see the differences in my body versus the other girls my age. While the other girls still had slender athletic bodies I was starting to get rounder and squishier. My mother, bless her heart, would tell me that I was just developing more quickly and that I had a cute figure. I certainly didn’t feel that way.

Though I was struggling with my body image, I always managed to have a strong circle of friends. I wouldn’t say that I was popular by any means in school but most everyone either knew me or knew of me. I wasn’t the girl that everyone wanted to invite to their birthday party, but I also wasn’t the girl who received negative ratings in the many “Slam Books” that were spread around. (Incase you don’t know what a “Slam Book” was, it was an awful notebook that listed the names of your classmates. You would then rate each of the classmates on a scale of 1-10 on how attractive they were or if you liked them. There were an unfortunate few who were brutally rated by their peers, I can only imagine how that would have felt.) I was just there.

As puberty began to hit most of my girlfriends and I in 7th grade, boys were becoming much more interesting and interested… well, in some of us. We all had our crushes as most young adults do. I sat by and watched as friend after friend began having their first “boyfriend”, their first kiss, their first “date”. As it became clear that no boys were going to be interested in me, I began to devote my crush energy to unobtainable boys; my older brother’s friends, out of state boys and anyone I could convince myself  (and others) had my affection. I made it to only one middle school dance, and that was accompanied by a group of girlfriends. The idea of going dateless to a dance even in middle school was far too uncomfortable and embarrassing to me.

The summer before high school a couple of my closest friends and I went to Adventure Island, a water park here in Tampa Bay. I had purchased a new swimsuit for the occasion… one that looking back I can say was probably better suited for an adult woman with a nice figure rather than a squishy teenage girl. It was a one piece bathing suit though looked like a bikini with the stomach area being a black see-through mesh and I thought it looked pretty decent. We were all having a great time and then I heard it. It came from another girl… one who was quite a bit older than me, I’m guessing in her late teens-early 20s, and who looked great in her 2-Piece. “She should NOT be wearing that!” I didn’t need to acknowledge her to know she was referring to me. I don’t think any of my friends heard the remark so I quietly filed it away in my memory banks, put on a smile and vowed never to wear that swimsuit again. And I didn’t.

High school is awkward for a lot of people. Everyone is growing and changing by that point. As a freshman you are thrown into the mix with peers who are close to being adults. There are high school dances, boyfriends/girlfriends, football games, proms and scantily clad cheerleaders… all of which can either make the high school experience a great time or an incredible esteem damaging time. My social calendar didn’t improve much as I entered into high school. There were no boyfriends to be had, I never attended even one football game, no homecomings or proms and I wished to look as cute in a cheerleader uniform as many of my friends did. I tried out for color guard and didn’t make it. I still had an amazing group of friends but often I’d find myself becoming a little more withdrawn at school whenever they weren’t around to lift me up, to make me feel important. I did notice that though I didn’t seem to be turning any high school aged  boys’ heads, I was getting a lot of attention from much older adult men. I even found myself dating someone 13 years my senior before graduating. I tried to convince myself that the high school boys were just that, boys, and that I was doing well by having “men” interested in me but I was never fully able to.

It’s been 16 years since my high school graduation. There have been many ups and downs in regards to how I feel about myself physically (more downs than I would say ups). Fortunately after high school I was no longer like kryptonite to men… I’ve been in my share of long term relationships and dated a bit as well.  I have been on about every diet known to man, I’ve even tried seeing a doctor and getting B12 shots. One thing remains constant and that is that I’m almost never comfortable with my appearance. I’ve never felt confident being naked or even in a swimsuit. I don’t know the feeling of appreciating my curves. I feel the need to apologize to anyone who has to look at me. I don’t really know what it feels like to feel ‘pretty’. My poor fiance has to hear about how horrible I feel and has to see me cry more often than he ever should.

Please don’t take this post to be my saying that I don’t like myself as a person. I am not an unhappy person. Quite the opposite, really. I have spent a lot of my life, especially since I hit the milestone age of 30, focusing on emotionally and mentally getting myself in a state I feel completely comfortable with. The problem I have is that I have spent so much energy learning to be kind, compassionate and accepting of others that I have forgotten to learn how to be the same toward myself. Brian, my fiance, asked me recently after showing me some old photos of myself if I believed I looked good in the photos. I said that I did. He then asked me if I remembered how I felt about myself when those pictures were taken… the answer… I felt EXACTLY the same then as I do now. I felt exactly the same in highschool, in middle school and even back in elementary school… which teaches me that the problem is not my body it’s in my mind.

It’s time for me to start putting energy into learning to accept and forgive myself. This body is going to be with me for the rest of my life, though it may change in size, shape and color… it is still mine and I need to appreciate it. In some ways I feel this will be one of the most difficult lessons I’ve ever set out to learn.  I’m afraid of failing… but in the words of the late Maya Angelou, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” And that is exactly what I intend to do.

Is this real life?

I’ve never been ‘that girl’… the girl who dreamed of finding and marrying her Prince Charming while wearing a poofy Cinderella dress. Yet, somehow, I’ve found myself in what I feel is a modern day fairytale.

When I met Brian in 2010, I had been single for 2 years. Prior to my relationship drought, I had been in a relationship with someone who left me emotionally scarred very deeply. The first year of my singlehood was left trying to understand and give myself closure to the ending of that chapter in my life. By the second year I was focusing solely on myself and making sure that I felt strong and happy on my own… without the need to find it in another person. This was a great transformational year in my life. I learned so much about myself, I was in the best shape of my life and I felt like I needed no one. What I didn’t realize at the time was that though I had benefitted greatly from being single and learning to take care of myself, I had also become so emotionally independent that I wouldn’t let anyone break through the wall I had built around myself.

I found myself scouring the online dating sites. Online dating was a way that I could talk to men without actually having to make a true emotional connection. I went on a lot of “first dates” during that year and I met a lot of nice guys… unfortunately I was never emotionally available to any of them.  When meeting people online I always insisted on a ‘friends first’ meeting. I didn’t want to go on ‘dates’ with people I hadn’t met before. A lot of the guys balked over that idea… and those were the guys I decided not to meet at all.

Brian and I struck up a conversation over mutual interests. Neither of us were looking for any sort of relationship. In fact, he seemed to be more interested in fixing up his single friends with me than actually meeting me himself. This made me infinitely more comfortable.

A few months later, Brian and I finally met with a group of his friends and a group of my friends. My attraction to him was immediate. He was confident, smart, quick-witted and strikingly good-looking. I’m not one to believe in love at first sight but I was certainly intrigued at first sight. I absolutely adored both him and his friends… knowing immediately that they were guys I could trust. They were like no one else I had met in the last year and I felt safe with all of them. We had a great night of bowling and karaoke.

I saw Brian once or twice after our first meeting at group gatherings but never anything romantic. I was having a great time and had made some great friends that I knew would be in my life for years to come.

A month or so later the guys were heading to MegaCon, a sci-fi/comic book convention, in another city. They were making a weekend of it for Brian’s birthday and he invited me. Having only known these guys for a month, I was surprised by the fact I was willing to stay in a hotel room with them for the weekend. I knew before going that something about that weekend would change my life. I wasn’t sure how or why I felt that way but I was excited… and right.

The first night at the hotel, Brian and I stayed up late watching videos on his laptop. We fell asleep holding hands. It was so purely innocent and sweet, I had butterflies. Was this the life-changing moment?

At the weekend’s end, we parted our separate ways… him traveling back to St. Petersburg with his friends and I heading to my neck of the woods across the bay. It hadn’t been 5 minutes since our parting that I received a text on my phone. “I like you”. “I like you too” I responded.  From that weekend on, we have been inseparable.

Falling in love is beautiful.

It was the weekend of June 8, 2012. Our room was absolutely beautiful, as only a Disney room could be. Brian had always wanted to stay at The Contemporary in a room with a castle view… so it was no surprise when I stepped onto the balcony and saw a perfect view of the Magic Kingdom. I remember thinking to myself how awesome it would be to be able to sit on the balcony with a glass of wine and watch the fireworks without having to fight the crowds. I started to relax and was ready for a fun birthday celebration for Brian’s mom who would be staying with us.

We made reservations to celebrate his mom’s birthday at Chef Mickey’s which is at the lower level of the resort. It’s a buffet style dining experience in which characters frequently walk around and interact with the guests. We had a dinner full of laughs as we posed with Tigger, Minnie and Goofy. This birthday weekend was off to a great start!!

A friend of ours decided to make the trip to Orlando to spend time with us at the resort to enjoy the fireworks as well. We all poured out onto the balcony to get our seats for the fireworks that would be starting in minutes. All of a sudden, everyone’s cheerful chatter quieted. Brian glanced over at me and asked, “Are you nervous?” I chuckled. “Um, no, are you?” “Yes…  and…” he dropped to his knee. It took me a few minutes to notice he had pulled a ring box out of his pocket. Everything at that moment completely disappeared other than he and I. My memory of all of the beautiful words he said to me is completely clouded due to the fact I was in complete shock by the moment (thankfully we have a video). The words I do remember in clear, pristine detail however happened when he took my hand and said “Will you marry me?”

After I rambled off a few “Is this for real?” “Nah-uh, you are not!” and “Oooooh!” I finally said “YES!” Minutes later the sounds of “Wishes” came drifting into the room and the first of the fireworks exploded over the castle. Though my focus was purely on the man holding my hand, my Prince Charming, the man I’d be spending my life with, those were the best fireworks I had ever witnessed.

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