I love having a family that wants to do things together. For Spring Break this year, my "keep it simple" mother suggested that we take the kids to Disneyworld. HAHA! There's nothing even remotely simple about Disneyworld. Just thinking about it gave me nightmares for months. That being said, my immediate reaction was "YES!" and we booked the condo a year ago.
In the weeks leading up to the trip, reality set in and I realized I was going to have to do some serious planning. Two kids, my mother, father, sister and me....we were going to need some direction. The nice thing about staying in a condo is that we cooked most of our meals, taking away the stress of eating out every night. We learned many things during this trip. We learned about how to use (and not to use) Disney's FastPass program. We learned that Universal Studios Express Passes are worth every damned penny. We learned that bean burritos are, indeed, the best picnic lunch. And, most of all, we learned that we still love being with one another.
We only nearly killed each other twice. Pretty good for a seven day vacation. My mom and I rode way more rides than we ever thought we could (though we expressly avoided rides with the word "hurl" in the title). It was the vacation of a lifetime! And one that I can now safely check off my list of things I'm only ever doing once.
Spring Break. Check. Now, on to summer vacation!
(PS I'm working on my "how to survive Spring Break with your parents and your kids" as we speak!)
When I was eight years old, I was diagnosed with a visual impairment that would require surgery and massive doses of oral steroids to save my eyesight. Legally blind, I was suddenly unable to participate in PE (depth perception is sort of important, especially in sports). The result: I weighed 100 pounds by the time I was in third grade.
From that time to this, I’ve struggled with my weight. I remember feeling downright cute in high school when I’d managed to get down to a size 18. My choir uniform never did fit quite right. And back then, finding a “plus size” prom gown in a small town was next to impossible.
As an added complication, I developed a pretty formidable case of generalized anxiety and I love me some comfort food. New Mexico born and raised (and with a Mexican grandmother who made the best enchiladas on earth – as well as everything else), I crave beans and rice and chips and tortillas. Yum. As you may have guessed, none of these foods figures very heavily into a low-carb, low-calorie diet.
When you’re overweight, you sometimes feel like you have to hide. You hide behind baggy clothes, mistakenly thinking they make you look slimmer. You stay out of public places, or you put yourself in a corner, trying to stay mostly invisible. It can be a lonely life. Luckily for me, I’m an extrovert and I love people. It’s hard to become a recluse under those conditions. But I’m definitely human and I’ve had my feelings hurt by strangers and loved ones alike. Being told I have a great personality and then having a loved one explain to me that that’s the kind of compliment people get when they’re fat. (Yep, that happened).
It wasn’t until last year, really, that I finally came to a place in my life where I decided that I was ready to get healthy. Not thin, mind you, just healthy. I have kids and I want to grow old with them. Now, in some cases, it takes a health crisis to prompt this kind of decision. Not so in my case. I’ve always been pretty healthy, except the vision problems of course. And I think that’s one of the reasons I’ve been able to make progress. But losing weight, for me, has been all about attitude.
It hasn’t been easy. Some days I look in the mirror, and I feel GOOD. Some days, I retreat to my office with a box of cookies (that I know I shouldn’t have bought and definitely shouldn’t have with me, alone, in my office). Sometimes I am strong, reaching for a bowl of fruit instead of a bag of chips. But sometimes I falter, and in pretty spectacular fashion.
I had a conversation yesterday that put me on the defensive and made me feel bad about myself. Today, I’m making a choice. Two choices, actually. First, I will accept myself just as I am. I may never be thin. But I can be healthy and happy. If thin happens, great. If not, I think I’m pretty stinking awesome (yay for self-affirmations!). Second, I’m redoubling my efforts to be mindful of the words I speak. It’s so easy to say something that is unintentionally hurtful or demoralizing and, quite frankly, we get enough of that crap. I don’t need to add to the pot. Who’s with me?
I'm back on Examiner.com writing about community issues in Alamogordo and the surrounding area. Come follow me!
As part of my continued effort to evolve professionally and academically, I am going to start offering consulting services. I've got a lot of experience in a lot of different areas that could really benefit businesses and organizations here. And while my priority is always SANE, this will allow me to explore my interests and hone my skills in politics, the law, business and other favorite past-times. Contact me if you think my expertise might fit your needs.
More information about consulting services can be found HERE.
I am reading Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists & Other Sex Offenders which is a memoir and cautionary tale told by Anna Salter PhD. This book will give you nightmares, but it is a fascinating study on sex offenders and how they think. Dr. Salter has compiled anecdotal evidence, as well as direct quotes from incarcerated sex offenders, that illustrates how alarmingly methodical and cunning offenders can be and how even the most expert professionals can be fooled time and time again. This book has a particular focus on sex offenders who pray on children and while it probably will make most parents a little bit paranoid, I think its worth a read-through and some frank community dialogues. Law enforcement professionals, prison staff and attorneys / legal staff would also benefit greatly from reading this book.
Note: This book is disturbing. It WILL affect you. I am not going to downplay this because I know that some people will have a hard time coping with the material. That said, I think that the way we, as a community, end sexual violence is to start an open dialogue even when the topics are uncomfortable. And I believe wholeheartedly that you can't read this book without talking about it.
Honestly, I can't say I ever expected to be writing about different blood spatter patterns, but I'm really digging this Forensic Law class. When I started college in 1996, I thought maybe I'd go to law school. Instead, I majored in Political Science and Philosophy, started my own business, had a family...you name it :) Now I'm starting to wonder if law school is in my future. I'm so excited by the material we're covering in class and I'm looking forward to throwing some Psychology into the mix next semester. Life is a funny thing.
It's been a wild and crazy year so far and I'm glad to find myself on the downward slope toward 2013. It's been a year of personal strife. A separation. Adapting to single motherhood. A new relationship. "The Crash" New job. Sale of my business. A new chapter. I'm feeling good about the future and hope that things will stay calm for a while.
Among other things, I'm starting work on my Master's in August. I've been looking for the right program and I think I've finally found it at Western New Mexico University. I'll be pursuing a Master's in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration on Political Science. First course - Forensic Law! I am so stinking excited. (don't you feel the same way - forensic law...tee hee).
So, at the end of that day, even though it seems like the busiest, craziest life ever...I am finding a balance between work and home life, love and serenity and things are falling into place.
I'm generally pulled in a million different directions and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's a glimpse of my life - hope you enjoy it! And if there's a big lapse between posts, well, that's the way life goes in Amy's world.
Be My Guest!
#WhatsYourStory? Are you an author? I'd love to hear your story and so would my readers. Email me for more information.