Forgive…Yourself…It’s Way Past Time

Forgive Me, But Forgiveness Ain’t Easy

How many times have you been hurt by someone, and you were able to forgive them?  Sometimes, the friendship or relationship was able to weather the storm, and sometimes it wasn’t because the devastation of it was just too great.  Sadly, the relationship had come to an end.

There were also times wherein you hurt someone.  You sincerely apologized because you felt just awful.  You talked it out with the offending party, and they absolutely forgave you.  The thing is, you couldn’t forgive yourself, try as you might.  You constantly beat yourself up about it.  Every single time you see them, you can’t seem to relax because you thought that, perhaps, they were still thinking about it, even though they treated you normally and had actually gotten over it.  The unforgiveness that you had for yourself loomed over the relationship like a black cloud that seemed to follow you everywhere.  The fact of the matter is that, when we hurt someone, we should feel bad; however, we shouldn’t carry it around with us forever, particularly, if we’ve apologized.  The flip side of the coin is that sometimes people don’t forgive you because they just can’t find it in their hearts to do so, and we have to respect that.  You have apologized and there’s nothing more that you can do except allow them to have their space as they deal with the hurt; however, learn from what you’ve done to cause the pain.  There are times, we say things to people out of anger but, when we come to ourselves, we realize we’ve gone too far.  One of my favorite sayings is, “It’s not what you say but how you say it.”  One of the Elder’s at my church said last Sunday, “sometimes we need a little sweetness on our tongues when we talk to people.”  Boy, was she correct in saying that.

I can’t speak for you, but I can say that I’m toughest on the people that I love the most because I expect so much more out of them and, sometimes, I go too far.  Sometimes, we think we’re helping people and say things that we hope will trigger them to think about their negative behaviors only to discover later we cut them to shreds.  We don’t really mean any harm but we are hoping to give them a wake up call.

Perhaps, the person you hurt passed before you got a chance to tell them just how sorry you were or that you didn’t really mean it, and you’re torturing yourself every chance you get because you were never able to apologize.  Maybe, you gave your parents what we older folks call “a run for their money” in your youth, and feel it’s the cause of their health problems today.  Perhaps, you cheated on a spouse or boyfriend, which not only destroyed the trust, but your relationship as well.  Maybe you couldn’t get your life together enough to raise your child and he or she had to be taken away from you, and you’re left everyday wondering if they are being treated well.  There are so many other ways that we hurt people; however, I’ve only listed a few.  I could certainly fathom how one would feel just awful and absolutely refuse to forgive themselves.  The reality of it is, none of our hands are clean.  We’ve all hurt someone at some time or another.  However, it’s time to forgive ourselves.  Why continue to let the guilt of “yesterday” haunt us year after year?  Yes, we’ve hurt someone and, perhaps, pretty badly.  The remorse of the hurt we’ve caused can leave us with many sleepless nights, and have us  totally stressed out as we deal with it day in and day out.   The truth of the matter is that if I could go back and undo some of the things I’ve said or done, I would; unfortunately, that’s just not possible.

Wouldn’t you like to know for just once what it would feel like to be free — completely free?  Today, I want you to tell yourself, “I forgive you” and totally mean it.  Wrap your arms around yourself and have a good cry, if necessary.  Forgiving yourself is a process, so don’t expect it to happen overnight.  However, if you want deliverance, you have to find a way to get beyond your feelings of shame.

The sad truth is that we have all hurt people at some point in our lives (most of the time it’s unintentional); however…

The power of forgiveness can break the chains that are holding you captive.

  • You’re human.

  • You will make mistakes.

  • Today is the day to make peace with yourself.

  • It’s TIME TO LET IT GO!

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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The Runaway Train…

Your mind — that is.

IMG_7909I can honestly admit that I have an extremely overactive mind and imagination and, there are days that my feelings and emotions WERE all over the place.  In speaking with other women, I realized that I wasn’t the only one who HAD this issue.  When my best friend shared this on Facebook, “Train your mind to be stronger than your feelings”, I knew I had to write about it.  The funny thing is before I could begin my blog, I saw it posted again by another one of my FaceBook friends.  Wow!  Talk about confirmation.

Let me start off by saying that it’s great to be in touch with our emotions and feelings but the truth of the matter is that we, as women, let our imaginations drive us straight down the steep hill without our seatbelts on to protect us; thereby, making a complete “train wreck”  as we are ejected from our seats.  When we are in such an emotional state, we can’t think clearly and often jump to conclusions because we haven’t thought it through — we haven’t processed it to see if it’s our own “wild” imagination or if there is, indeed, any is any validity to it at all.  I could write a book alone on how I have, in the past, allowed by emotions to govern my mind, but no more!

Why is it that some assume the worse in every situation?  Why can’t the situation be just what it is?  Why does more have to be read into it?  Those are questions to truly reflect upon.  Unfortunately, I can’t answer those questions for you.  However, I can give my thoughts on it:

  1. Distrust.
  2. Low self esteem.
  3. Insecurity.
  4. Uncertainty.

Perhaps, you can come up with your own views on the matter.  At the end of the day, this shouldn’t be how you want to live your life.  You have to find a way to turn that mechanism off because it is extremely unhealthy and can (and probably have) a lot of disruption in your daily life.

Train Your Mind

1.  Recognize you have a problem:

Can’t stop overthinking everything?  Recognizing you have a problem is the first step in solving a problem — acknowledge it.
Yep, I had to recognize I had a problem because I was driving myself absolutely insane.  I overthought so much stuff that it wasn’t even funny.  I couldn’t seem to relax my mind and once I thought something, it stuck.  The funny thing is I could come up with a million different scenarios for each situation I was faced with.  Boy, was that intense and mentally as well as physically exhausting!

2.  Don’t hate yourself for it:

The brain is actually hardwired to think out all the possible outcomes at any given moment, so overthinking is natural.
Overthinking is actually an understatement for my behaviors.  I was so bad that I’d even replay conversations that I had with people over again in my head.  I just couldn’t stop.

3.  Breathe deeply:

When you’re thinking a little too much, take some deep breaths and really break down what you’re thinking about.  Jotting down your thoughts in the form of a list might help you make better choices.
When I thought too much, my mind would begin racing at 100 miles a minute.  I couldn’t turn it off nor could I shut it down.  The only thing I could do was think nonstop about what I didn’t really want to think about.  I have found, though, that deep breaths do help me sometimes, but not always.  

4.  Talk less:

When we’re racked with too many thoughts, we tend to want to talk it out, which may not work out as well as you’d like.  According to research, talking about things you are overthinking releases cortisol, the stress hormone, that can actually get you more worked up.
Oh, my goodness.  This is the absolute truth!  There was a situation that I was dealing with and the more I talked about it, the more worked up I became.  I had heart palpitations and my armpits became so sweaty that I actually had to wipe them off.  Thank God for deodorant or, let’s just say, I would have been in big trouble that day.

5.  Practice meditation:

Meditation is often misunderstood as a strict practice of clearing your mind completely.  You can try it that way, but the best type of meditation for overthinking is meditation that allows your thoughts to roll pleasantly through your mind.
I don’t use meditation techniques but prayer instead, which eventually clears my mind, when I take a deep breath and “learn to relax.”  Deep breaths, deep breaths!

6.  Get outside:

Nothing makes you stop talking and clearing your thoughts like a hike or a bike ride or a fast paced walk.  Get out and get your heart pumping a little as you process your thoughts.  Again, don’t overthink by forcing yourself to think about everything at once.
Personally, walking helps me and the writer is correct because I can’t talk while I’m walking briskly as I immediately become short of breath.  However, I feel so much better after my walk and my mind is definitely a lot clearer.

This article entitled, “Train Your Mind” was taken from Higher Perspective website.

For those of us who are over thinkers, we’re not bad people but are just “wired” a little differently and have to find a way to turn off, shut down and unplug, which isn’t always easy for us.  We have to find a work around.  Sometimes, talking to a family member or friend can be a way to bring you out of that negative mindset.  They can “talk you down,” so to speak.  If you know someone who is struggling with “overthinking”, throw out the lifeline.  Whatever you do, please “don’t let them self-destruct.”

For those of you who may not be able to turn off this feature in your mind no matter what you’ve tried, perhaps, you might want to seek talk therapy.  I know some people are opposed to it because they don’t want to “let people into their business.  Trust me, I get it.  However, there are some very good therapists around.  If that still doesn’t help, maybe your doctor might prescribe medication for when you’re feeling extremely anxious.  Be completely honest with your doctor and don’t be ashamed.  The only way to get the proper help is by opening up about what you’re struggling with.  I understand that some are opposed to taking medication of any kind, so I will tread lightly here.  However, my stance is would you rather contend with “wild thoughts” every day of your life or would you like to have them managed, so that your mind can relax and stop the constant racing?

There were times when I would talk to my sister about some of my “far out thinking,” and she would almost scream at me “JUST STOP.”  There were times that one of may best friends would have to “talk me down as well.”  When you allow your mind to runaway with you, honestly, you can’t fully enjoy life because you’re always wondering what’s going to happen around the corner, and you think, think, think way too much!

Working through it all is definitely a process and it doesn’t happen overnight; however, as the old saying goes “practice makes perfect.”  It’s a struggle.  As my co-pastor said, in a conversation I had with him, “eventually, the light bulb will come on.”  Perhaps, it’s flickering right now, but it will “eventually turn on.”  Just hang in there.  You will have your “aha” moment, and then decide that you’re going to overcome your “mind racing behaviors.”

The last thing I want to leave you with is that overthinking can “hinder” friendships, relationships, and actually stunts your growth.  Learn to “LET IT GO!”

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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Moving Into “2020”

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Happy New Year!

 

Can you believe it’s already 2020?  Where did 2019 go, and why does it seem like it went by at the speed of lightening?  As I reflect on the past year, I’ve had some good moments, some not so good moments, and some downright bad moments — in other words, I experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I’ve had some chapters in my life closed, and some new chapters open.

People have said they couldn’t wait for 2019 to end and were eagerly anticipating 2020 because they felt it would be a much better year, certainly far better than the turbulence experienced in 2019.  I’ve seen numerous posts across the various platforms of social media wherein everyone was claiming 2020 to be “their year,” and “desperately” clinging onto every shred of hope they could muster up.  As I was leaving work the day before New Year’s Eve, one of the gentleman, who works in Environmental Services, said to me in response to me wishing him a Happy New Year, “I sure hope next year is better.”  I replied, “Me too.”  For some, 2019 was a really catastrophic year; therefore, they couldn’t wait to “slam the door shut” and run (not walk) into the New Year as they held on to some semblance of expectation that there would be a brighter tomorrow.

We all wish that the New Year will bring us nothing but pure happiness, delight, and joy, but let’s face it, it’s not always in the “cards.”  There are people whose lives have already been struck with tragedy, and I’m sure they are saying anything but Happy New Year.  In fact, they’re probably saying what’s so happy about it?  Trust me, I get it.

This will be the best year for some as everything they touch will seemingly turn into gold; they will be in the best of health, be financially stable, get that promotion, etc.  However, other’s will have the absolute worse, tempestuous year ever as they are shaken to their very core by situations that will knock the “wind out of their sail.”  The truth of the matter is that none of us knows what life has in store for us although we all pray for the best.

While most of the world celebrated seeing the beginning of a New Year, there are those who didn’t make it because they passed before the year ended.  I’ve never heard of so many deaths as I have in December 2019.  I received numerous texts and phone calls as well as read about people’s passing on social media.  Some deaths were a total shock while others were anticipated due to illness.

81245014_1279277358924820_2243859136414482432_n.jpgMy oldest paternal aunt died in December, a few days after celebrating her 88th birthday.  My 4-year-old granddaughter, who doesn’t really comprehend death and dying (nor do I expect her to),  said to me several days ago, “I’m mad and angry that Aunt Jeanette died.”  Those were her true feelings because the one thing she understood was that she would never see her great, great aunt again.  The reality of it is death is difficult for everyone, no matter the age, because we know it’s “final.”  Jordyn-Marie expressed her grief by saying that she was angry, but everyone handles grief differently, and no one can or should ever tell you how to grieve or how long the grieving process should take.  Some of you may have never had a chance to say goodbye because your loved one passed unexpectedly, and you are not only shocked but devastated as you face your days in total disbelief.  For those of you who had an argument for which you never made amends, stop beating yourself up about it and quit living on “Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda Boulevard.  Give yourself a break; you’re human and make mistakes, as we all do.  Maybe you’re one of the people who think had you been there you could have stopped their death.  The reality of it is, no you couldn’t have.  Perhaps, you were the caretaker for your loved one and you had to make the decision to place them in a nursing home where they passed. You’re left with feeling guilty because you felt like you could have changed the outcome. You did what was needed for your loved one. As much as we don’t like to talk about death, sadly, we must all face it at one point or another.  Even if your loved one was expected to pass, it doesn’t make it any easier for you to process.  The passing of those we love is one of the most difficult things in life that we will ever have to endure. If you find that you’re having an extremely difficult time processing and coming to terms with your loss, you might consider grief counseling. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed should you need to seek this service; they are there for you and perhaps you may find it easier sharing your true feelings with a counselor as opposed to a family member or friend. Having said that, the counselors can’t make your pain go away but they can help you process and begin to heal.

As we go into 2020, let’s embrace our friends and family by loving on them because life really is short; we are only here for a mere moment.  Don’t wait until they’re gone to express your feelings; tell them while they can hear you, show them while they can appreciate it.  While you’re at it, don’t be afraid to use the words “I LOVE YOU” every now and again.

Yes, we’re all hoping and praying that 2020 will be a better year than the previous one, but in the event we are faced with some turbulence, let’s be sure to brace ourselves and hold on.  No matter what don’t let go.  As difficult as it may be, we will get through our storm(s).  I pray that you will be encouraged and strengthened in 2020.

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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I want to leave you with this — it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to feel as you work to process your pain…

While working on this post several days ago, I accidentally knocked my cup of coffee over and it fell into my laptop, which died.  Then, my desktop, keyboard, and mouse didn’t want to cooperate and couldn’t seem to get in sync with one another.  I’m glad I persevered and didn’t give up because, during the conversation that I had with my cousin today, it was confirmed this was the topic I was to write about.

 

 

Decorating On A Budget…

When I moved into my apartment two years ago, I had to purchase all new everything with the exception of some smaller items that I had stored in my best friends attic.  IKEA was one of my best friends because I could get everything reasonably priced.  However, everything needed to be put together.  I purchased my dining room table from FaceBook Marketplace, which was a really great find.  Then, I just had to have an electric fireplace, which I purchased through QVC (monthly installments, sweet!).  Prior to moving in, I came up with this grand idea that I wanted my kitchen appliances, Keurig, and table ornaments red and purchased red table mats, red balls to go into my silver tray, and red chair mats.  However, I later decided to have a theme each month, which has been quite a bit of fun.  For me, it’s nothing like walking into my dining area, and seeing a different setting from month to month.

I have various colored chair cushions, plates, mugs, glasses, napkins silverware, vases, flowers, bows, etc.  I bought items from Amazon, AC Moore, and even the dollar store.  I learned to mix and match the items after accumulating enough.  Sometimes, I would have two different colored chair cushions or I’d use the different vases with flowers or stones.  Believe it or not, my Dollar Store finds weren’t bad and, unless you looked really closely, you would never know.  AC Moore is notorious for their coupons, and I would wait until I had a pretty decent one to shop.  I even got a few items from the thrift store at my place of employment.  My point is, everything doesn’t have to be expensive.  You just have to know how and where to shop for the best deals.

I love seat cushions because I think they add flare and a pop of color to my wooden chocolate colored chairs.  However, I refuse to pay an exorbitant amount of money; therefore, I do some comparative pricing before making my purchase.  You can get some good prices on Amazon, but I also saw seat cushions at Walmart for $5.00 each although they are limited in their selection of colors (this was in the store, not sure about online).  I have also gotten chair cushions from the Dollar Store but they were primarily just for decoration as they were extremely thin, but what do you expect to get for $1.00 anyway?

Since we are in the Christmas season, I thought I’d share some of ways that I decorated my dining table — all on a budget…

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Christmas 2017 (first Christmas in my new place) – Gold tree and table runner from the thrift store at my place of employment, Santa chair covers from the Dollar Store, and red cushions from Amazon. Entire set up for less than $35.00.  The cushions were the most expensive item.

 

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Christmas 2018 – Tableware (plates and mugs) compliments of the Dollar Store, centerpiece purchased from the thrift store at my place of employment, chair cushions from the previous Christmas. Total for this set up was $20.00.

 

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Christmas 2018 – Stocking from Oriental Trading Company, rocking Santa that snores, picture frame and gold tree (same tree from previous year). This set up cost roughly $31.00 (only because of the rocking Santa).

 

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Christmas 2019 – This year I was going for simple elegance. However, I was still on a budget. Chair mats (from 2017), silver plates from the Dollar Store, red plates from Amazon (purchased last year), red and silver rhinestone ribbon (compliments of my son), wine glasses (gift from years ago), vase (another gift), pine cones (Thanksgiving 2018), gold tree (from 2017), ribbon and stems in vase (AC Moore). Total cost for this year’s theme was approximately $30.00.

 

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Christmas 2019 – Sleigh is from 2018, stocking is from 2017 (added ribbon to cover initial), picture frame and rocking Santa from 2018. Total cost is $3.00.

As you can see, I’ve paired my decorations with different things for each year with the exception of the red chair cushions.  To get the most out of your decorations, try mixing and matching.  Not only will you feel like you’ve gotten your money’s worth, but also like your “old stuff” is “new.

I’m sharing this short video clip of the rocking Santa because it’s my granddaughters absolute favorite.  According to her, this is what I sound like when I’m sleeping.  I certainly hope not.  LOL!

 

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Why break the bank when you can decorate on a budget?

Start with an idea, and build from there.

Remember, always shop around for the best prices.

Love ya,

Grace

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When You Love Food, But It Doesn’t Love You in Return…

Lady eating and contemplating Binge Eating Disorder vs Basic Overeating

These is how I felt on days that I just couldn’t seem to stop eating…

Image: An overweight woman on July 16.

Don’t you just hate it when people look at you non-discretely because you’re a little on the heavy side?  You see them and either they are unaware of the look they’re giving you or they simply don’t care.  Either way, it still hurts.

We’ve all seen people at the Smorgasbord (all you can eat restaurants), and wonder how they can consume so much food.  Heaven forbid if they are really on the larger side, then they get the side eye.  People ask “Why are they here, and how can they eat like that?”  I’m ashamed to admit that I used think the same thing in my younger days — that is, until I matured.  The reality of it is we don’t know what drives people to eat the way they do, so we really shouldn’t judge them.  Is it healthy to be overweight?  Of course not!  We all know that.  Being ample brings on a string of health related illnesses — some we can control if we lose weight, and for others we have to take daily medication to manage our disorder(s).

At one point, I weighed 206.4 pounds, and was told by my doctor that I was obese.  That was the first time someone had said that to me.  I was like, “Whoa, what is she talking about?” I thought to myself, “I’m not anywhere close to being obese“.  Chunky, yes — obese, definitely not!  I later came to realize that I had packed on the pounds because of the stressors in my life.  Food was my comfort — the only thing I could control and didn’t have to share with anyone else (except for when my son used to help me eat the snacks that I had bought for myself; I didn’t ask him to nor did I want him to — they were for me and me alone).  The funny thing is that when I was younger and weighed only 115 pounds, I couldn’t eat when I was stressed; thereby, losing weight when I couldn’t afford to because it left me pure skin and bones.

When I was a teenager and into my 20s, I desperately wanted to gain weight.  I ate and ate and ate and ate some more, but was still as thin as a rail — that is, until I reached the age of 30.  I had finally reached a weight that I was pleased with.  However, by the time, I reached 40, I had started to really put on weight.  Although I knew what the numbers on my scale read, I didn’t realize exactly how much weight I had actually gained until I looked at photos.  I couldn’t believe that was really me.  However, that wasn’t enough to make me change my ways.   I continued to eat and just bought larger sized clothing, and completely ignored the fact that I needed to do something.  I couldn’t bring myself to stop my out of control eating habits; therefore, I continued on a downward spiral.

After years of eating and a pretty sedentary lifestyle, I decided to do something and managed to lose 27 pounds, and finally felt pretty good about myself.  However, I allowed my stressors to control my bad eating habits again, and gained most of the weight back.  The next time I attempted weight loss it was extremely difficult because I was going through menopause.  Due to this fact, it was virtually impossible to shed a pound without adding exercise to my daily regimen although I had cut back on my eating.  Do I have a number of stressors in my life now?  Heck yeah, but I can’t allow them to drive me back to overeating.

We consume tons of food on a regular basis (let’s face it, for a good majority of us, what we eat is unhealthy).  Some have become fast food junkies because you don’t have time to cook or are just too tired after a day’s work.   You have convinced yourself that it’s so much easier just to pick up something on the go, so that you can go home and relax a little before you start your daily routine again the next day, all the while failing to take time for yourselves.

Some people are extremely disciplined, and are able to diet by eating what is called clean food.  If I had to diet, I would literally die.  Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration and is certainly overkill, but you get my point.  I’m not that disciplined, so I don’t deprive myself of anything that I want to eat — I just eat less of it.  What I have learned is not to set myself up for failure by setting unrealistic expectations (so no dieting for me).  I’ll admit that I have cut out sodas for the most part, only having one or two or three on rare occasion, but then I have to detox because soda is sooooo good but loaded with lots of sugar and calories.  I’ll have my calories in my food, thank you very much.  LOL!

Unfortunately, a lot of our unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise precipitates various illnesses, including high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and yes even hair loss (this topic will be covered in a later blog).  Some have developed joint pain (bad knees, back and/or hips) as a result of carrying too much weight on their frames.  Ouch!

Several months ago, my 4-year-old granddaughter touched my stomach.  I said to her, “I’ve got to lose it”.  Her response was, “No, I like the fat”.  LOL!  She has since changed her tune.  Recently, she rubbed my stomach and said there was a baby in there.  Okay.  I guess kids do say the “darnedest” things!  However, that was not funny at all! After her comment, I know that I need to stop playing and do something.  I have to take my life back and be more committed.  I have to make the time.  Thankfully for me, my place of employment started a walk/run challenge a few weeks ago, and I try and be devoted to walking and running a little five days a week.  I’m down several pounds, my knee is getting stronger (from a previous knee injury), and I’m able to get into a dress that I couldn’t even think about wearing (the pockets sit out a little, but give me a few more weeks).

As we close out the month of October, Thanksgiving and Christmas are quickly diet concept. frightened girl in the stress and flying around thapproaching.  Now, these two holidays are my biggest weakness because I love all of the food associated with them.  I’m going to have to exercise wisdom and good judgement so as not to overindulge in all of my favorite foods.  Food, I hear you calling me, but I’m not listening.  “Lalalalala!”  My menu usually consists of macaroni and cheese (no less than four or five different types of cheeses; my kids wouldn’t let me live it down if I didn’t fix this because it’s their absolute favorite), fresh greens cooked in the crockpot with hammocks (yummy), sauerkraut with pigtails (love it), sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top (I want some now), fried chicken or turkey, and roast beef or spare ribs.  Oh, and how can I forget cranberry sauce and rolls.  Some of this is unhealthy, and you may be asking yourselves, “Does she really eat that?”  The answer is, “Yes, I do”.  I’m salivating right now just thinking about it.  Sooooooo, this year, I’m determined that I will not allow my eyes to be bigger than my stomach (although I must admit that’s pretty big; one of my friends calls it a “booty do” and that means that your stomach sticks out more than your “booty do”; I know, I know, gotta do something about that).  I will decide which holiday to go all out for and scale back on the other one.  Boy, is that going to be tough.  These two holidays are not just tough for me for a number of people as we are exposed to cookies, cakes, pies, egg nog, and all of the delicious foods.  It’s extremely difficult to resist these temptations.  We can enjoy them all, but we have to remember that moderation is key.

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For those of you who exercise portion control and discipline, I really do applaud you.  You
have control over your life, and told the food that you’re in the drivers seat.  I do ask one thing of you, however, and that is that you be patient with those who aren’t quite there yet.  Please don’t judge people’s poor habits.  For some, it’s extremely difficult.  So rather than looking at them with disgust and asking, “Are you really going to eat that,” maybe you could say “I make a mean (whatever your healthy dish is), I’ll let you try it the next time I prepare some.”

Ladies (and gents), portion control does indeed play a huge role — but let me just say for those of us who are in this struggle — it ain’t easy; however, it’s not impossible.  Take one day at a time.  If you fall off the wagon, don’t stay off — get back on.  Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up about it and wind up throwing your hands up in the air in defeat.  You can do it!  You got this!  We got this!

Why wait until the New Year to start working on the “new” you?

You can start now and get ahead of the game.

Start off slow.

Then, gain momentum as you become stronger and more disciplined.

 

These photos are from 2014 when I was at my heaviest weight.

 

These photos are all from 2019; however, the weight is from 10/31/19.

 

Halloween – 2014 vs. 2019

As I look at the photos that I’ve posted, I realize just how much of a journey it has been for me these past years to lose the weight, and try to keep it off.  I imagine I’ll be in this struggle for the rest of my days because I love food.  However, I can’t and won’t give up.  I’ve come too far — no matter if I should fall off the wagon from time to time.

P.S.:  By the way, if you have a recipe that you’re just dying to share with the world, please forward it to me at grace.deveraux@yahoo.com so that it can be featured in one of my upcoming blogs sometime between the beginning of November and the New Year.

P.S.S.:  If you have a topic that you would like to see posted, please contact me at grace.deveraux@yahoo.com.

Always remember, GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-E…

COMMUNICATE:   To convey knowledge of or information about : make known communicate a story; to reveal by clear signs; to cause or pass from one another.  To transmit information, thought or feeling so that it is satisfactorily received or understood by two sides failing to communicate with each other.  

Image result for communicationI cannot express just how vital communication is.  Recently, I almost lost the relationship that I had with one of my best friends.  We were communicating via text message, and I thought they were saying one thing and I responded the way I understood the comment.  Needless to say, I misunderstood their message and took the entire conversation out of context.  They, in turn, took my message out of context as well.  A couple of days went by and I couldn’t stand the silence any longer, so I reached out to them not knowing if they would be willing to communicate with me or not.  They did, and things were ironed out.  Sometimes, you just have to use the traditional method of talking face to face.  I’m all for technology, but there are times when you have to go old school.

Communication doesn’t just exist between a husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend or friends, but it exists in every facet of our lives.  We use the art of communication daily no matter the relationship (children, coworkers, etc.).

Image result for communicationCan you read my mind?  Absolutely not!  How many times have we gotten upset with someone when they didn’t do something we desired of them, but we never communicated our requests with them to in the first place.  Perhaps, we figured our thoughts were being transmitted telepathically.  Really?  The poor unsuspecting person had no idea why you were so ticked off with them as they scratched their heads in the wonder of it all, which is totally unfair to them.

Sometimes, you are attempting to communicate; however, it is very apparent that the other party is either distracted or clearly not interested in anything you have to say.  When my sister and I were growing up, it seemed like whenever I opened a book to read, she wanted to communicate about one thing or another.  Because I loved to read, I really wasn’t listening.  I figured out a way to say, “Uh, huh” at the right time; however, she caught on that I wasn’t really listening and would quiz me on what she had said by asking me to repeat it.  Of course, I was unable to do so.  It hurt her feelings, so I learned to listen and communicate with her.

Have you ever met someone that it’s virtually impossible to communicate with because they misconstrue everything you say?  Now, that’s a topic that I could write a book about.  There was someone that I couldn’t communicate with to save my life.  We’d start off talking, and then it would inevitably turn into a full blown argument.  Why, you may ask?  They didn’t really hear what I was saying, but rather made it about them and didn’t really care about my thoughts or feelings.  Of course, that didn’t fly with me; therefore, we didn’t have much of anything that we could communicate with one another.

Some people like to communicate when they are angry.  Let me just tell you, if you haven’t already figured it out, that’s not the right time because things are often said in the heat of the moment that you can’t take back.  Feelings are hurt and, even though you apologize, the wound is there.  I’m the type that needs to walk away to cool down if things really get out of whack.  You have to know yourself and what you can or cannot handle.  It’s okay to excuse yourself and say, “Can we discuss this later because right now I’m pretty angry and I need to calm down and process?”.  Now, the person may be willing to do that or they may just be determined to continue down the path where no one wins or hears each other.  I remember the time when I first realized that I needed to walk away from an argument, so that things didn’t get ugly.  The person followed me into the next room before I had a chance to get it together.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work out too well because I was extremely angry and all sorts of words spewed out of my mouth.  What I said was true; however, I would have been able to effectively communicate my true feelings a lot better in a much calmer fashion had I been given the opportunity to cool off.

There was a time in my life that I didn’t think I had a voice, so there was very little communication from me — part of it was due to the fact that I was extremely shy.  Now, I talk ALL OF THE TIME.  One of my friends calls me “Chatty Kathy”.  One of my other friends tells me to get to the point when she is limited for time.  Other people probably say to themselves, “Here she comes.  Let’s head in the opposite direction”.  My kids tell me that I “repeat myself.”  I had one of my friends laughing when I told them about an incident where a man used to say, “You can’t tell it all”.  They told me when I get wound up from this point on, that’s the phrase they were going to use.  LOL!  Sometimes, we can communicate too much and people tune us out because all they hear is blah, blah blah.  You have to pay attention to the signs and learn when to end the conversation without driving the other party insane.  Okay, I’m still learning this technique.  LOL!

Whether you have a little or a lot to say, please use your voice — communicate.  Don’t walk around with your thoughts and feelings bottled up inside of you.  That’s one of the worse things you can do.  You deserve to be heard.  Again, don’t overdo it.  It is okay to save some for the next time.

Lastly, communication is a two way street.  If you communicate your feelings, allow the other person to communicate theirs as well.  Don’t just be a talker, but also a listener.  Remember, that it’s not just about you and what you think or feel, but about the other person too.   I can’t tell you how crucial that is in any type of relationship.  Oh, and, one other thing — communication is not a shouting match.  If everyone is screaming at the top of their lungs, no one is being heard.

You have a voice

Don’t let it get lost

“Learn” to express yourself

You’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off

your shoulders

Don’t wait until you’re going to blow

Because that is not the right time

 

No matter what, always remember #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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Dying A Slow Death…Part I

…your heart.

I’m recently divorced after being married for 20 something years.  Oftentimes, people will say, “I’m sorry,” when they hear about it.  My response is always, “Don’t be.  It’s okay.  Things happen”.  In this post, I’m not going into the particulars of why my ex and I divorced; however, what I can say is that there was a lot of hurt and pain, words that were said, and things that were done.  It took many years to come to the conclusion that the relationship wasn’t working for either one of us.  However, during the course of this time, my  heart was dying a slow death.  Little by little, any feelings that I thought I had were disappearing (this will be a topic for a later post).

In relationships, as the saying goes, “It takes two to tango”.  I might not have done a lot in my marriage, but I sure reacted quite a bit — that is, until I matured and realized that every little thing didn’t need to be addressed.  

Marriage is work.  Let me say that again, “Marriage is work” if you want it to be successful, and no it is not the responsibility of one person to carry the relationship.   Relationships can be quite turbulent.  Sometimes, it’s due to the simple fact of marrying the wrong person.  It’s like trying to fit a square into a circle — it just doesn’t work.  That was the case in my situation.  I had three different people come to me and say,  “Don’t do it.”  Did I listen?  Of course not!  I did it my way.   They saw what I refused to see as I walked around with blinders on.  In life, we should always be cognizant of the fact that there are consequences for our actions — good or bad.  I could definitely write a book about that.   Having said that, however, I did learn a lot about myself and life, in general, during the course of my marriage.  In essence, I grew up.  The scared, insecure woman who had been living inside me for most of my life realized her self worth, and decided that she had made a mistake.

When I was married, I spent years being on a “mental” roller coaster ride — one minute I was leaving and the next I was praying that things would work out.  One day, I came to the conclusion that the issues were “unfixable,” and there was never going to be any type of reconciliation.

The day that I knew it was over for sure, I have to admit I was pretty terrified because I hadn’t been on my own in years.  What was I going to do?  How was I going to make it?  Where was I going to live?  Etc., etc.  Once my anxiety calmed down, I was able to think and make plans for what the next step needed to be.  I didn’t want to sneak out like a “thief in the night,” so I gave my ex five weeks notice because I wanted him to be prepared mentally and financially.  Some people believe in just leaving without letting the other party know and, perhaps, in those cases it might be best, particularly, if it’s a safety issue (you have to know your partner).  Did things get crazy during that period of time?  You betcha they did.  However, I’m grateful that on moving day, everything went well (with the exception of my vehicle not starting and they had my name in the system at U-Haul but no truck assigned to me).

When people talk about and agree to marry, most do so with the expectation that they and their partner will grow old together.  For me, every time I see and older couple together, it touches my heart.  I watch them as they care for one another.  They may be out to dinner and, perhaps, one is cutting food for the other because they can no longer do that for themselves or maybe they are holding hands or maybe one is pushing the other in a wheelchair, etc.  No relationship is perfect nor is it exempt from disagreements; however, couples who last have found a way to weather the storm —  they’ve found a way to make it work.  During difficult times, they learned how to put their pride aside and agree to disagree.   The flip side of the coin is that there are those relationships that end because both parties are too stubborn to say, “I’m sorry.  What can WE do to make it work?”

There is that group of people who don’t reach out to their partner because they don’t want to feel like they are kissing their backside or be viewed as crawling back to them.  That is absolutely ludicrous!  If you love a person, why shouldn’t you express it to them?  Why can’t you wear your feelings on your sleeves?  Why can’t you be vulnerable?  In my opinion, it’s okay to show your raw emotions.  When did we stop fighting for the one we love or is it just so much easier to walk away?  Perhaps, you’ve done all of this and the two of you still ended up going your separate ways, but at least you let them know they mattered — that the two of you mattered.  You attempted to do something as opposed to being completely miserable without them and doing nothing whatsoever to repair your failing relationship.  By allowing pride to get in the way or pointing fingers at the other party or simply walking away, and not being mature enough to talk about the issues, no one wins in your relationship.  Do you want the love of your life to slip through your fingers without first trying to work things out?  Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”  I totally agree.  Personally, I believe that if you are able to catch your relationship before your heart completely dies, it can be salvaged, if that’s what you two decide.

Gurl go get your guy.  Guy go get your gurl.  It really is okay to reach out and say, “Can we talk?”  No, you’re not a weakling by doing this.  In fact, it takes a lot of courage to start a dialogue about how you feel and what you want out of your relationship.  It can be scary because, quite honestly, you don’t know if your partner is going to be receptive to what you have to say.  Don’t try and read their minds or assume they are going to respond in an unfavorable way.  Remember, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

Always remember:

#GurlYouGotItGoinOn

#GuyzYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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P.S.:  Please stay tuned because there will be a Part II to this topic.