How to stop eating your kids’ candy.

I see you there, Reese’s Peanut Butter cup. I see you. Mmmm-hmm.

I know you are chocolatey goodness. I know this ALL TOO WELL.

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Halloween is over, friends. Did you know? Last night, as I walked from house to house, holding my hot tea and trying not to stumble over curbs (It was dark! And cold! And I think people who I chatted with thought I was drinking! Because I tripped about five times! But only in their presence! When it was just me, I could walk like a Victoria Secret Model on the runway! But, with more clothes!)*

Halloween is OVER.

PRAISE THE LORT.

Our house currently looks like Willy Wonka blew up all over it. Both children seem to have the genes of their papa, because they have actually acquired more Reeses than I think is even polite. I know at one point that Red actually said, “TRICK OR TREAT WHERE ARE YOUR REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUPS, LADY?” whilst we were out last night. Because, you know, he is so polite and well-mannered.

It’s possible we had to stop all trick or treating for a full-on lecture that went like this:

Me: YOU SHALL NOT ASK FOR CERTAIN THINGS. YOU SHALL SAY THANK YOU. YOU SHALL NEVER EVER ASK SWEET LITTLE OLD LADIES FOR SPECIFICS, OK? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.

Small costumed Star Wars cherubs: Yes ma’am. We will agree to basically anything as long as we can resume our chocolate safari, ok?

Me: Then perhaps I should also add that you two will detail my car tomorrow, ok?

Small costumed Star Wars cherubs: SURE. WE DON’T KNOW THAT THAT MEANS BUT OK.

Anyhow. We carried on. We got home, cold and tired, after a hard day at the chocolate mines, and proceeded to lose our ever-lovin minds. (Red: sobbing. Blonde: sullen. Me: grim.) Such is the way of Halloween. It always ends with the monsters coming out.

But NOW, I am sitting here, eyeing all that candy, and thinking, if I start in on it, I will proceed to eat my way through my feelings and the feelings of everyone else here, and end up in a pile of fluttery orange wrappers and despair.

I am telling you true; I really need to lay off the candy.

Last week a friend of mine worked on filming me for a promo video for a speaking gig. It was awesome and fun and funny and even involved SOCK PUPPETS. AND ALCOHOLISM. I KNOW. HILARIOUS.

But, as I was watching the video’s final edits… I couldn’t focus on the message at all. In fact, I couldn’t really focus on much of anything except that I had about fourteen CHINS.

I do realize that the camera adds some yardage, but… does it add thirty pounds? and fourteen chins?

I asked the husband: “I look fat. Do I look fat?” He blinked a few times, knowing full well taht answering this will not go well whatever angle he takes, so he simply kissed me and said, “I love you.” Which of course means I am a freaking hippopotamus. But a well loved one.

Sigh. I know. You’re going to say: “Dana, embrace yourself no matter what. You are a child of God. You are beautiful inside and out. Don’t even.”

Well. I KNOW that. Duh.

But. I don’t feel good. And sometimes… do you find yourself inhaling Nutter Butters and they don’t even TASTE all that good? I think I have just lost my tastebuds. They are buried under processed sugar and carbs, y’all.

November. I see you. You are my month to reset, renew, re-imagine…

Resolve some food issues. And I’m gonna do it all here with you as my audience. Because, accountability. Plus, maybe… just MAYBE there are a few of you out there that want to join me?

So, stay tuned! I’ll unveil my FABULOUS NEW NOVEMBER PLAN-O-RAMA FOR…NEW FABLOUSNESS.

(Perhaps the first thing I need is to come up with a new title for this. I’m a work in progress. 🙂

Love all of y’all. Anybody out there (*taps mic) feeling tired? Feeling like sugar is taking over? Feeling like you need a little Re-new? What are your best tips for tackling such issues? I’d love to hear from you!

 

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*Halloween so used to be a drinking thing. But, not anymore. We alcoholics in recovery don’t drink on Halloween. Or any other day, for that matter. Just so you know.

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Working Out When Old.

Ok. I’m not OLD old. I’m just, mildly old. Sorta medium old.

On the threshold, so to speak.

Knocking on the DOOR of old. Actually, more like knocking, and then running away because face to face door stuff is hard.

Is this getting old?

Anyhow. I have been running again. And no, not FROM anything. Just running. Just for my own personal enjoyment. Wanna know why?

BECAUSE I AM FLIPPING CRAZY.

I mean, really. Why? WHY? Why so fast, Momsie?
I’m not sure. Sometimes I like to pretend I’m being chased by rabid squirrels. Because my life lacks suspense, I guess, and rabid squirrels do the trick. Other times, I just make sure my ipod is on endless repeat of “We Are the Champions” and I pretend I, too, am a champion. And I’ll keep on fighting, ’till the end.

Ok, here’s the deal. I am running again because I actually missed it. I missed the feeling of being fleet and strong and attacking a hill with venom like I OWN that hill, that is MY HILL and RAWRRRR and all that. DEATH TO ALL HILLS! BWHAAAA HAAAAA!S

Etcetera.

The problem is -while my HEAD was attacking hills in a sleek pony tail?

The Sledgehammer of Reality is all:

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I would like to state for the record that I am not fifty. Not yet. Not that there is anything WRONG with being fifty. Nope. Fifty is just nature’s way of saying, “Ha! Told you!” to all of us.

Really, I don’t want to make fifty mad. If I do, it might come back and bite me in the a$$. Fifty can do that.

So, I continue to run. Yesterday I ate chips and guacamole before going out into the six pm wind and heat, and that run went really well. And for the people who live one street over, I am so very sorry. I don’t even know how to clean that up. I’d like to blame it on my dog but he just stood as far away from me as possible and looked embarrassed. Just pray for rain and avoid your northwest corner.

Also, I now do something called HIIT! (I added the !, for flair) which I think stands for High Intensity Interval Trauma. I think we should just go ahead and add the “S” to it, but you know, it’s not that kind of blog.

I HIIT! things on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and afterwards I do this:img_5863

Here I am, post HIIT! Just trying to stay alive, here. Breathing in and out. Eventually the goal was to get up off the floor because the dog was really worried and one cat was starting to lick my calves, in a “Hmmm, this is sorta like Tender Vittles” kind of way. I figured I better get up, or that’s how they would find me – surrounded by cats and with really bad hair.

I tried to blog. My arms were so rubbery that I basically had to fling my arms onto the keyboard and hope for momentum just to try to type something. Making coffee was harder. I gave up after a bit and just sat on the floor and smelled the bag of coffee beans.

And so, that’s me these days. Just thought I’d let you know.

Someday, someday, as God is my witness, I will go on a run and it will be all Chariots of Fire. Me, on a beach, all smiley and British, in glory.

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But until then, I slog on. No Chariots of Fire soundtrack. More like, the intro song for The Muppets. You get the idea.

But, may  I add, no one should EVER run in white. I don’t care how good it looks on a beach, it’s just not a wise fashion choice. Don’t you see all the muck you’re getting all over your pristine white shirt, Mr. Toothy British Guy? Your momsie would be horrified.

 

 

 

 

Send in the clowns.

So, this morning, I was up with the chickens.

Literally. Chickens. SOMEONE in my very respectable neighborhood is HARBORING CHICKENS. I can HEAR you, rooster! I know you’re around here somewhere. And, as I want to buy eggs from these people, I will say no more.

Anyhow, I was up EARLY, y’all.

Wanna know why? Well, I shall tell you.

But FIRST:

I worked out:

IMG_5834.jpgThis is what Steve does when I do my HIIT stuff. He feels so bad for me, gasping away to the tiny girl on the glowing tv, that he reaches his paw out. As if to say,

“Dude. Take a break. Sit. Be still. Like me.”

NO, Mr. Fat Furry! I still have fourteen burpees to do, and they are so fun! And so aptly named! Kelli, al la Fitness Blender is a tiny and sweet girl who manages, somehow to be perfectly toned with washboard abs but still totally not annoying, gets me through something where I plank and slap my arms and sing the Star Spangled Banner, all at the same time. Then, she asks me to do a lateral hop, which sounds cute and like a bunny, but  only if that bunny has a death wish. And then, I die.

Nope. DIDN’T DIE.  Even after the hopping. I then had coffee, and I put on real, adulty clothes. Usually it’s all running shorts and tshirts with holes in them around here. But No!

Not today! Know WHY????

I’ll tell you. In a minute. But FIRST:

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BEHOLD. EYELINER. AND LIPSTICK. THIS IS THE BIGTIME.

Ok. I’ll tell you. I am substituting today. I know. I built all of this up to make you think I was meeting with California people who wanna make Bottled into a movie. Still waiting on that one.

AND this:

I showed up three hours early. Evidently I am not supposed to come until 12:30. I am just way too excited about this gig.

Wanna know WHY?

BECAUSE IT’S FOR MUSIC OH MY GOODNESS I AM GONNA GET SIIIIIIIING.

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Oh yea. You better believe you can google “Singing cats” and find lots of options. You’re welcome.

Have I ever told you? I have always kinda wanted to be a back up singer for Pink. I mean, I don’t think she even has backup singers, but in my head I made them up and I was one of em! Because that’s what my head can do!

My head can also put me in the lineup to interview The Rock one day and also, to win the Olympics in dressage, OR rhythmic gymnastics. Take your pick.

So, anyhow, whilst making breakfast for the wee cherubs this morning we had this conversation:

Blonde: Mom. Mom. You’re gonna be my teacher today.

Red: *silently chewing.* He doesn’t speak much until 8 am. That’s when he turns on and he doesn’t shut off until 12 hours later. Quite the battery on that one.

Blonde: Mom. MY teacher. I’m not gonna call you Mom though. And I will also be really good in class. So, you don’t need to worry about nothing.

Me: I KNOW. I am SO EXCITED. And I get to SING! Music teacher! BOOM!

Red: *coughing* Mom. I know it’s before I’m supposed to speak, but I gotta say-

Blonde: Don’t. Sing. Just no. Please. For the love of God. Do your duty. No singing.

 

It’s ok. I’ve got a backup plan. I’m bringing THIS:

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And I’m gonna tell them allllll about how I was first chair, and in KU marching band, and then?

I’M GONNA PLAY “SEND IN THE CLOWNS.”

My children will be so proud.

Here is, by the way, an obligatory first day of school pic. I know. I am just NOW posting this because I kept forgetting. That’s because I have way more important things to do. Like practice my scales and figure out if an interpretive dance while flauting is over the top.

Besides, this might be the last picture I have of them, because after this afternoon they might not speak to me again.

#Goals.

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Choosing to Change

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Y’all. All of life is a choice. All of it. And lately?
I have been choosing to take a slow train ride to Slugsville.

Slugsville is a pleasant, albeit slimy place. It is a place of stillness. There’s lots of carbs involved, usually the ones with the double-stuffed centers. There’s a lot of pillows.

Also, some self loathing. But, the milder kind. Like, the kind where you watch twelve straight episodes of Property Brothers and think you should get some granite counter tops because everyone else has them, but first you might have to clean the kitchen first, but we just had breakfast so it looks like a crime scene, and maybe you will just eat half a box of Nilla Wafers instead. That kind of self-loathing.

“One day,” you think, “One day I will FIX ALL THE THINGS.”

So, I’ve been in a rut. It’s kind of understandable. It’s summer and I’m surrounded by nutball boys and wet swim suits and the endlessly tedious job of Putting Tiny Legos Back Where They Don’t Really Belong Because There Millions and They Keep Having Lego Babies.

Also, I have been a bit heartbroken about our world. So there’s that. And being a “little bit” heartbroken is kind of like saying, I’m just gonna watch E.T. and I might cry just a “little bit.”

Change, it seems, can be good. But, as one who has dealt with a “little bit” of depression all my life (yes, I know, I am being rather blithe about the depression thing, but not really. I am just talking about it in the way that is familiar and chatty, because we are very, very comfortable with each other, depression and I, and I am NOT going to write a depressing post today about depression. There is enough angst already, y’all, on the internets.)

ANYHOW.  As one who has dealt with depression, I recognize the road to Slugville.

And I want to turn the heck around.

Here is what I do when Slugville looms on my horizon. I start to make little changes – watching my sleep. Reaching out to friends for lunch dates. Baking cookies. Making sure I walk the dog every morning. All those little shifts in the daily in and out help.

But also? I read.

Well, I read all the time, anyway, but I make a point to find something new, inspirational, and probably waiting in the large pile of books by my bed anyhow, just sitting and waiting patiently for me to open its covers and get some help.

And so, I present to you:

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*Truth? It is an e book so it wasn’t waiting in the pile by the bed. It was waiting in the computer. Same diff.

I met Tam when I spoke last year at the Whole Women’s Weekend in Maryland. She is adorable. And she is really funny. AND she is a powerhouse for Jesus, so my goodness, she is just straight-up GOOD PEOPLE.

And here is what her book is like:

You know when it’s been a hot, muggy summer all… well, summer long? And then one night there is a really huge, torrential downpour, and you go out onto your porch before dawn and you can smell it, a coolness, a hint of Autumn, and everything is washed down and clean and even the flowers seem to stand up straighter?

That’s her book. It’s a deep breath. It’s a shift in the weather. It clears out cobwebs.

Tam starts out by asking three simple questions:

  1. What do need to CHANGE?
  2. What do you want to BECOME.
  3. And when will you CHOOSE to begin?

And then, she answers with three truths. And I’m not gonna tell you any more because the book is super short and super good and I want you to read it for yourself!

Tam’s book is available on amazon if you want to take a look. Click here.

Also, if you want to know more about the lovely Tam, click here.

What do you have to lose? Because, despite what the slugs say,

“Change is good.”

 

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First, when there’s nothing but a slow glowing dream.

Warning: Unless you know your 80s music, this post is gonna make about as much sense as listening to five year old try to describe the Super Mario Dragon Ballz video game he played at a friend’s house. Lotta passion. Not a lot of point.

Walking into Zumba class…

Cue the music…

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That your fear seems to hide deep inside your mind

I snap my spandex back into place, check my bangs.

There is music in my soul, but it’s the polka.

All alone I have cried, silent tears full of pride
In a world made of steel, made of stone.
Ok, I get it. This is metaphorical city talk.  She’s alone, in a gritty world of welding and tiny, frayed outfits that only fit on one shoulder.
I live in a small town in the Midwest. There is corn.
Also: I cannot take off my bra while my shirt is still on. If I attempted this while my husband was watching he would:
1. Say, “Oh, honey. You poor thing.”
B. Start laughing because you got the clasps stuck in your hair. Again.

Well, I hear the music close my eyes, feel the rhythm

Nope. Nope. Nope. Well, there’s rhythm and yes I can hear it. But as far as feeling goes? I am still a white girl that has switched from the polka to The Muppets Show theme song in her head.
I am trying to shake my booty. I really am. The instructor is shaking hers. Where is mine? I look about as if it is going to come up and tap me on the shoulder and say, “Hi there. I am your booty. Please SHAKE me and get DOWN with your bad self. Ok? If not, let’s just step-ball-change our ways outta here cuz there is Latin music all OVER the place and you are doing your old drill team moves from 1987. It’s embarrassing.

Wrap around, take a hold of my heart

Pretty sure I shouldn’t have worn a thong under my yoga pants. Alas, yes, there is wrapping. The thong has rhythm, y’all. In fact, I think it’s starting to hum along and is gonna dance for its life right out from under the spandex. It’s facing south, southwest. I am sort just facing west… We are not in sync. But at least it’s taking hold of something, just pretty sure it’s not my heart.
What a feeling, being’s believin’*
Well! That’s true! Whatta feeling!
Now if only I could manage to get everything feeling in the same direction!
Oh Lord have mercy now she’s shaking her bosom all over. And this, I guess, means we are to do this as well.
I look like I’m having a seizure. There is nothing there to shake. It’s like trying to get coconuts down from a maple tree.

I can have it all, now I’m dancing for my life

She just did a grapevine! Hello step aerobics from 1995! I can do this! I am music now!

Take your passion and make it happen
Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life

Well, I don’t know about passion but I just did a booty shake AND a bit of a twerk in the same 8 count and I think I am just the sexiest thing to happen to middle aged white moms since… I don’t know…  There are no television moms that I can relate to anymore!
Well, not since… Samantha from Bewitched? Or maybe what’s her face, the I Dream of Jeannie lady? And I do realize both of these have supernatural powers so I am thinking there is some therapy that need doing in there somewhere…
OH! I know! Lucy! I am Lucy Ricardo! Because also, Latin music! Now let’s go drop it like it’s hot!
Now, I hear the music, close my eyes, I am rhythm
Don’t, whatever you do, close your eyes. This will only cause me to injure to the other poor souls in this class. Except for the blonde chick who is so good at this that I think I might have to try and trip her before the hour is over. She is all about the rump shaking and I don’t think it’s appropriate.
Great thumping bass there she goes with the hip stuff again. I didn’t know this was Bollywood film, people. I just wanted to lose a few calories.
Hmm. I think I am doing what is called, “Sexy Dancing” now.
It is a moment in history.

In a flash it takes hold of my heart 

Not really my heart. I am thinking I have a side stitch, so that’s all.
My booty is on one side of the room, and I am still over here. That’s different.
Helloooooo chest shaking again. Paired with some “Ieeeayyyyyeeeeeee!!!” That sound does make the chest shaking part work better for some reason.
I can have it all
My Lord. Please forgive me.
I just twerked a little. I really can have it all.
Zumba is fun. But not for the faint of heart. If you have no booty? Dust it off and shake it anyway.
Thank you, Irene Cara for your constant input. At one point in the class I finally, FINALLY started to enjoy myself and let’s just say I started to bounce what the good Lord gave me all about, all willy-nilly. When I did look up the entire class had moved on to a softer, gentler step-ball-change, and there I was all Showgirls in the corner. All I needed was some hair glitter.  “I am a DANCER!” I hissed at the others, and sashayed to the front.
And then reality smacked me upside my vibrating bum,  and we took it down a notch. My bum thanked me later, as we both collapsed on the couch and felt a bit sore. “That was really crazy back there,” my bum said. “Thanks for not, you know, overdoing it.”
“Safety first,” I responded grimly. And sat on an ice pack.
But deep down.. I know. I KNOW. I can have it all.
I am dancing for mah life.
And now I must go. It’s time to shake what my momma gave me. Thank you, Zumba.
*Being’s believin? WHAT ON EARTH DOES THAT MEAN?