Month 9 Week 3

“Mistakes are proof you are trying” -Unknown

After a long pause my husband has started working out again. I see him struggle the same way I struggle. You can have all the tools available in your arsenal and still struggle.

I continue to push myself daily and I’m beginning to see my husband do the same. I’ve often heard women say it’s easy for men to lose weight and men don’t even have to try. If that were the case there would be no fat men. Let’s be honest they are struggling just like we are.

My husband has to resist the same cake that I resist. The double chocolate cake I baked for my sons birthday. It sits on the table calling both our names. He has to resist the ice cream in the freezer. He has to drink water and drag himself to the gym.

I often forget that he struggles just like me. When I fill the house with snacks he’s tempted just like me. Time and time again I would get angry when I emptied the house of snacks and he would find his way to the store. I realize he’s probably just as mad at me when I fill the house with cookies and cakes. We both say it’s for the kids when we know that a lie.

The irony is when I decide I’m not eating snacks I won’t eat them. I don’t pause and realize that someone’s going to eat them. They don’t magically disappear.

I need to do better.

This week on my “To Don’t List” I’m writing don’t buy sugary snacks. This small change will help us all. I have to reduce, not eliminate. If I eliminate the snacks next week I will just buy double, I know myself.

This weeks goal is to help someone else. Whether that’s my husband or my kids I’m going to try to be just a little better. Make a healthier meal, have more fruits and veggies, and of course less snacks.

We may not both decide at the same time we need to be healthy, but I can do my best to support him even when I’m struggling. Together we should be able to get a couple of steps further along in our journey. If not we will just drag the weaker one.

I guess you could say that’s a major part of marriage. Helping your spouse when you’re not very steady yourself. Maybe it’s just a part of my marriage.

Gardening #13 – Onions

“Onions are the bullies of the veggie world. The strong ones make you cry” M.Ross

I’ve done so many post about potatoes I figure you wanted to know some other easy veggies that I grow.

For the past three years I’ve grown onions and this year I attempted leaks. I will tell you that as much as I rave about the ease of potatoes, onions are just as easy. Onions are very forgiving. There are days when I didn’t make it out to the garden because it was just too hot. Some crops need constant care. Onions do not.

I would suggest you grow onions a variety of ways. First you can buy bulbs at any garden store. I usually get 100 bulbs for about $4 a bag. This will yield you quick easy green onions in about 4-6 weeks.

Second way to grow onions is of course from seed. You need to plant these rather early and then transplant them into the garden. Truth is this was my least favorite way. Transplanting onion seedlings is tedious. I watched video after video on YouTube and several people said it was stress relieving. Um, no. No it was not.

The last way is of course to direct sow. If you plant early in the Spring you can get descent size onions in the fall with minimal labor.

Pro tip- label your onions. When they grow they resemble grass. If they are not labeled you will find yourself pulling onions thinking their weeds. Also make sure you leave proper space. If you want large onions leave large onion space. I usually interplant onions with other veggies like green beans or spinach. This provides me with a lot of growing space.

We ended up with so many onions this year I decided to purchase a dehydrator so I could have them all year long. It was a toss up between dehydration and freezing and my lack of freezer space made the decision for me.

Let me know some varieties of onions you love. This year I grew red, white, yellow, Evergreen Long, Crystal White Wax, Bulk Warrior, Guardsmen, Red Burgundy, and Pikant shallots.

Month 9 Week 2

“I’m not beautiful like you, I’m beautiful like ME” – Unknown

Today I got to celebrate another birthday with my son. He turned 13. I still can’t believe I have a 13 year old but I’m even more shocked that I have a 20 year old. As I was looking back at pictures of my son I just kept saying how cute and tiny he was. I think that’s what every parent says about their kids. I then looked back at baby pictures of myself and thought the exact same thing. I wasn’t a tiny child, but I was cute with my little pigtails and ribbons. I couldn’t help but smiling.

This made me think. When did we stop liking ourselves? What happened to us that made us question if we were cute or small or funny? Did someone tell us that or did we just tell ourselves? For many people I know they can remember the exact moment when that happened. This post isn’t about that moment. This post is about the moment you change that language.

In our mission to write our “To Don’t List” I also want you to begin to write something you like about yourself. I know it sounds crazy, but I also know some people may struggle. I’m going to leave this comment right here. If you don’t like you how can you expect anyone else to like you. You have to know your own worth and learn to value yourself. Stop waiting on someone else to validate you. It’s time you learn to love yourself.

Today I decided I loved my hair. I didn’t always love it. I always wanted hair like someone else. I can’t say that I wanted straight hair or curly hair. As I kid I just wanted hair like other people. What’s funny is my hair was in the middle of my back and I hacked it off around 7th grade. People would have killed to have hair as long as mine and I was chopping mine off. Let’s say I didn’t appreciate myself in 7th grade. I’m sure you all can relate.

I want you to notice the grey which I love. I’ve earned every strand of that grey and even when I dye my hair the grey doesn’t really go away. I’ve had grey hair since I was eight. Both my kids also have that trait. Notice how some parts are curly and others are straight. It simply does what it wants and honestly I’ve learned to be ok with that. It can be long or short. Depends on the day and what it plans on doing.

My hair does what it does depending on the day. I can’t tame it and I’ve stopped trying. I’ve just learned to love it as it is. Imagine how amazing I will be when I learn to love myself the way I love my hair. Hopefully this exercise gets me one step closer.

So add to the “To Don’t List” don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t do yourself any harm. Hopefully when you are done you smile just a little.

Bonus – Healthy

“A healthy outside starts with a healthy inside” – Robert Zurich

I read a book where the author was basically telling us how bad dieting is. The point she made that stuck in my head was that we don’t even say diet. We say lifestyle change. She mentioned restricted foods, calorie counting, and working out until you can’t move. While I would normally tell you who the author is ironically this could be a million authors. While I would love to tell you I agree or disagree I have to say I’m torn. Let me explain.

I don’t want to diet. I don’t want to change the way I eat. I don’t want to count or measure anything. Hell I really don’t want to drink water. I would like to consume all the available butter, potatoes, cheese, red meat, and cake I can handle. I would like to sit around and read, watch tv, garden, and veg out while dropping 50 pounds.

The truth is simple. I can’t.

Whether it’s a diet or a lifestyle change I have to do something different. I want my knees, back, shoulders, neck, feet, ankles, and head to stop hurting. I want to walk from my basement to the second floor without being winded. I want to step out of my car instead of climbing or rolling out. I want to run miles until I’ve reached my destination, not until my feet are throbbing.

This blog will be simple and short. If you need to lose weight to feel better about yourself do it. If this is your decision, not society, your partner, or your families choice DO YOU! I think as adults we need to own our shit. Yes I hate being on a diet but that doesn’t mean that’s not what I’m on. I can call it an anti-cake binge but when it’s all done I’m trying to make my body smaller and stronger.

What I’m saying is get to your level of healthy. If you are healthy and strong at 300 pounds then keep your ass at 300 pounds. If you can’t move, breathe or function at 300 pounds then get your shit together.

Make your own decision. Make your own choices. Get healthy and happy on your terms. I’m all for being body positive, but I’m also positive I need to do something about my body.

Month 9 Week 1

“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do” – Steve Jobs

I am the queen of making a “To do List”. Each night I make a list of the things I plan to do the next day. Yesterday I wrote I needed to get my blog done today. I seriously think you always need a plan if you plan to get anything done. My list are a little more lax on the weekends but come Sunday night you will catch me with my planner and fancy pen getting ready for Monday.

I am also a big fan of time blocking. I decide what my “One Thing” will be and make sure I get that accomplished first thing in the morning. If you have not checked out that book you need to. It really transformed how I think about things on a day to day basis.

Plug for “The One Thing” by Gary Keller.

Ironically this post is not about a to do list. It’s about a to don’t list. I didn’t even plan for this to be my thing for the month but as usual God had another plan. Last week I took my son on The Donut Trail. The Donut Trail consist of twelve local donut shops in our area. You start off by getting a passport from either a donut shop or online. At each stop you collect a stamp and when you have all the stamps you get a free t-shirt. For the past three years my son and I have done the trail in one day. Yes we drive to twelve donut shops and each get a donut and a stamp. When we are done we pick up our free t-shirt then head to breakfast. If you are thinking this is insane it is. What makes it crazier is we have to start at 6am-7am because many of the donuts shops run out of donuts and close. If you miss one stamp you get no t-shirt. That would defeat the purpose of the adventure so we set our alarms and get moving.

To be clear you don’t have to do the trail in one day. Its just so much fun and such a bonding thing its become tradition. We look forward to our free shirt and we always wear them for the first day of school. We almost missed this year due to Covid but we were so glad all the shops were able to reopen. Not only do we get to support local businesses but just spending time with my kids is priceless.

As you can imagine coming home with twelve donuts a piece is crazy. What stresses me more is that all the donuts are delicious. I am not going to post pictures of the donuts but I really wanted to. My favorite is The Buckeye. This is a cake donut with peanut butter cream in the center drizzled with chocolate. It’s as good as it sounds. My sons favorite is a glaze donut that is topped lucky charms. If that was the extent of the great donuts we wouldn’t be fat. No there was a cheesecake donut this year, apple fritters the size of bears claws, something called a sugar square which is exactly what it sounds like, and a chocolate/vanilla twist. Every year I think I have seen it all and these artisans surprise me. Donut making is an art and I give these bakeries all the credit for getting up at 1am to make donuts. FYI- two of the shops open at 3am.

I’m sorry. I have you all wanting donuts. Snap out of it.

Anywho because of this donut wonderland the first day I ate three donuts. The second day I ate three more. I realized at this rate I would eat a dozen donuts in four days and that just sounded fat. Not as fat at eating a dozen Krispie Kreme because you see the “Hot and Ready” sign but just as fat. By the way I don’t eat Krispie Kreme donuts. I’m not a glaze fan but I put the reference in the blog for my best friend. She better be reading this. I hope the shame prevents her from eating the whole dozen.

Getting back to my point. By day three I realized I needed to do something. On the top of my journal I wrote “I will not eat a donut today”. That was it. That simple phrase. I was going to call it a win if I made it through the day without eating a donut. Guess what? I did.

I don’t know if that was the spark that got me going in the right direction but it seemed like I got my mojo back after that. The next day I wrote “I’m not going to sit during my conference call”. I didn’t write what I was going to do, but I knew I wasn’t going to sit. When the time came for the conference call I got out of my chair and figured I might as well walk on the treadmill. Twenty minutes later I had a mile in and had completed another task on my to don’t list. As much as I loved checking off the boxes on a to do list. Putting a check mark next to the to don’t list felt ten times better.

I wasn’t beating myself up. I was simply naming one thing that I wouldn’t do that day. Each day was different but each day meant something. Another day I wrote “I will not drink soda”. The funniest one for me was “I won’t complain about eating vegetables”. Each time I didn’t do that one thing and each day I felt like I had accomplished something. You want to know the best side effect of all this? I felt my depression leaving me. I was having more good days versus bad days. As a bonus I lost a pound. Yes I am back to 270. Being prediabetic I decided to start testing my sugar again and I decided I like the way I felt so I wanted to keep it going.

I believe timing is everything. Always having a list of a million things to get done was not working. Here is an example of what my weight loss to do list would look like:

  1. Drink 64 ounces of water. I never did this
  2. Eat three healthy meals
  3. Don’t eat any snacks. Didn’t even come close.
  4. Workout for 30 minutes
  5. Meditate or do yoga. It sounds good.
  6. Close your Apple Rings.

Do you see the kind of pressure I put on myself. I was writing this list every day and usually it was much longer. Please note this is my weight loss list, not even my list for work or home stuff. Just getting this on paper each day was a chore. I went from all of the above to “Don’t sit during your conference call”. That was the switch I needed to get myself together.

I’m so glad I was able to finally begin to get over the hump of the depression haze. I’m not turning off my brights just yet but I am better. I’m a little behind my weightless schedule but I am much better than I was before. I’ve lost 20 pounds in nine months and I have no intention on gaining it back. Even with the weight I gained back over this time there are 10 pounds that are gone from my frame forever.

My message this week is to create a to don’t list. Stay focused so you can spend more time celebrating your wins instead of killing yourself with things you need to do. I tell people all the time “You know what to do. You don’t need me to tell you what to do”. I need to take that advice myself. I know what to do. I just need to focus daily on listing the one thing I won’t do for the day so I can celebrate all the things I did do. I’m changing my mindset a little each day.

Month 8 Week 4

“I love myself enough to push through the hard things” – Unknown

There are days when you think everything will be easier. The sun will come out, the clouds will part, and everything will get better. I want to tell you that this is one of those times, but it’s not. Like I told you all last week, we don’t get to decide when the depression goes away. We don’t get to snap our fingers and wake up happy. What we can do though is keep pushing through the hard things, and guess what? This is one of the hard things.

This week was a tough week for me at work. We had a coworker lose a parent. The team had to rally together to get everything done, and I was traveling on top of the madness. I am happy to say that not only were we there for the coworker, but we also got everything accomplished we set out to do. That did take a toll on me though. I didn’t get to workout like I wanted to, and I was extremely fatigued all week. I’m still not feeling 100% myself and each day I don’t accomplish something I feel a little worse. Yes I know, it’s the cycle.

What I have discovered is I have to decide what my pausing point will be. Let me explain. Many people talk about their breaking point. If this last thing happens, that is it! I remember when I was gaining weight I would say “If I get to 300 pounds, that is it!” I got to 290 on the scale which was not my heaviest. After I got to 290 I stopped getting on the scale, so I never knew what my heaviest was. I didn’t want to know what would happen at 300 because I had no plan after that. My “this is it” moment sucked because there would have been no repercussion had I gotten larger. I’m sure I would have just changed the number. My new line would have been “if I get to 350, that is it!”

Knowing myself I knew I needed a pausing point instead of a breaking point. Truth be told I’m not trying to get to a breaking point. My pausing point is when I feel myself getting out of control and know that I need to pause. I need to think about how I got in this place and take an honest assessment of what is going on.

Is everything out of control, or is one thing out of control?

Is the whole world against me, or is there one person getting on my nerves?

Can I not do anything, or am I having a hard time doing this one thing?

Do I want to lay down and just give up, or do I just want to stop trying to do a certain thing?

Do I need to pause or do I need to stop?

When I pause I can ask myself these questions. Brene Brown talks about this tactic in her books. It’s called “the story I am telling myself.” I feel like I’m always telling myself the worst story possible. My story has no happy endings and no one is a winner in this madness. I only discuss worst case scenario’s and believe me I always have a plan to solve them. Problem is in my worst case scenario world I never appreciate when things are going well.

My madness has caused me to begin keeping a gratitude journal. Funny thing is I have to remind myself to write something to be grateful for daily. Now if I kept a doomsday plan journal you best believe I would fill that thing out daily. I could come up with a great doomsday theory daily, but gratitude is a huge struggle.

So what am I working on for this final week? Still moving a mile. I got you. You thought I switched :). No I have to stay focused. I really think I have some form of OCD that I need to look into. If anything in my life changes everything is thrown out of whack. I can deal with change at work, but change in my life turns me into a hot mess. If someone has some advice on this, please fill me in.

As I wrap this month up I don’t know if I can call this a win. I can’t even call this a tie, let’s call is a forfeit lol. I don’t want to say I lost because I gained some good insight but I didn’t lose any weight. Depression keeps up on my hard and made for a rough time. Is the haze lifted, not sure. I do feel better than I have in a long time. I do feel like I’m on the path of better.

Who would have thought These 30 days would have been so rough. I have to regrouping to do. I’m praying you all are doing better than I am.

Honest moment- I did not want to blog. It is so hard to keep coming here and not sharing anything new or anything showing I’m moving in the direction I want to move in. As a perfectionist this is probably the toughest thing I’ve had to do, but I vowed I would blog for a year. I’m keeping that promise.

Month 8 Week 3 – Options

“Having only one options is not an option” – Unknown

A funny thing happened to me this week. I think I’ve mentioned before that I decided to go back to school in my 40’s. I took a pause during Covid when I needed to become a teacher to my youngest son, but this summer I signed up again to continue pursuing my degree in Agriculture. I signed up this summer to take math, which I struggle with. I figured taking the class for the entire summer would give me a better chance of passing it. I was wrong.

For the first time in my life I failed a class. Read that again. That first time in my entire life. Now if this was the first time I had taken this class maybe I would not have been so crushed. I attempted to take it a few years ago and had to drop it because I was just not getting the concepts. It’s like my brain could not get wrapped about the fact that I was actually supposed to be calculating math problems. I figured I would revisit the class again when it was mandatory and guess what, it’s not mandatory.

At my school they will let you take half of your credit hours before you must complete this math course. Essentially I can’t graduate if I don’t pass this class and the university does not want you to get too far in the process and then fail this class. I could see a lot of people losing their minds if their diploma was withheld for one math class. I guess the solution is to stop you in the middle of your studies and force you to get these math credits. As I type this I realize the language I’m using is harsh. Force, make you, can’t graduate, don’t pass. All these things pretty much sum up how I feel about this whole process. As if you have not guessed it I am not happy.

Not passing the class made me think long and hard about if and why I wanted this degree. I had to have some honest conversations with myself and decide if I was doing this for me or someone else. After I failed the class I cried while talking to my husband because I seriously did not know what to do. Again I have never failed a class. After my emotional breakdown I decided I would simply let the thought of getting this degree go. I’m at an excellent place in my career and honestly I could spend the time I spent studying doing something else, anything else.

I sent a message off to my coordinator and told them I was going to withdraw from the program. I told them I felt as though I was taking a spot of someone who could really benefit from it and passing this class had become a barrier I simply could not pass. After I hit send I simply waited for a response to see how to proceed to withdraw.

The following day I received and email from my coordinator that told me to reach out to my advisor and see what programs the school could offer. What? Is that a thing? Schools offer programs to help you pass courses? Now you might be sitting here thinking I have lost my mind. Why would I not think to reach out? Why would I be so stressed when I had not even asked anyone for assistance? What was wrong with me?

As with everything else this made me think about more than simply school. This made me think about so many things that affect my day to day. When I am struggling with weight, life, school, my kids, my marriage, any and everything I try to solve the problems myself. The truth is when you are in a mess you can’t figure out how to get out of that mess. I had nothing. I couldn’t even think of getting help from the school just like I don’t think about reaching out for help for other stuff.

When I don’t reach out for help, and dig within myself I get stuck. I eliminate all my options. Crazy part is if I just speak up someone will help me or give me options.

I want you all to let that sink in. Pause and find someone, anyone who can help you with options. When you are in some mess I want you to think of at least one person who can help you. If you can’t think of a person then I need you to ask a stranger. The stranger to me was my coordinator. Yes I know who the person is, but sending an email was still a struggle. Telling this person I was failing at something was hard for me to admit. Looking back I wish I had reached out for help sooner. I might have actually passed the class.

This week I want you to talk to someone. Talk to someone about anything that’s bothering you. You don’t have to pour your heart out, but they may give you solutions that you had not thought of. They may have some ideas to help you get to where you need to be. A friend might offer to walk with you. A coworker might offer to eat lunch with you. A spouse might offer to sit with you. A stranger might offer to listen to you.

Help comes in many forms. It is up to us to ask for it.

This week I plan to continue moving one mile per day. I commit to doing something that makes me feel better about myself. I plan on doing something that celebrates my tiny wins.

This week again I have lost no weight unless you could the weight of stress. I have decided again I will not beat myself up but will continue pushing forward. The win as usual is I didn’t gain any weight. I have to always take wins where I can get them regardless of how small they are.

Removing The Haze Month 8 Week 2

“Sometimes we need the fog to remind ourselves that all of life is not black and white” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

For the past two weeks we have been getting our bathroom remodeled. We did a full gut and I was not ready. Initially we were thinking about just taking out the tub and doing a walk in shower, but decided we might as well get everything the way we wanted it.

Once we decided that we were really going to get this done and got the money out of the bank I went to work on the details. I drug my husband to every home improvement store in our area and some about an hour away. I also went shopping on every website you could think of. The packages were coming to the house daily. It got so bad we converted a room in our home just to hold bathroom stuff. The biggest purchase by far was the vanity, but it was the double vanity we had dreamt of.

When we initially thought about doing the shower I wanted an insert instead of tile. Truth is I was being lazy and I just didn’t want to clean tile. Tile is a lot of work. Problem was when we selected our contractor he specialized in tile, so of course we had tile.

Let me pause right here and say the tile work is nothing short of amazing. I can clearly see why this man specializes in tile, it’s like he was born to do this. We went with an intricate pattern and to make stuff harder I asked for a full length shelf and a foot insert. He did a fantastic job. So why is there a post about this?

After he finished we noticed there was this haze on the tile. I tried cleaning it with soapy water, Clorelean, and several other bathroom cleaners. No matter how much I scrubbed this stuff it was not coming up. The haze would not go away. Finally we called him and he suggested a vinegar/water mixture to remove the haze. I went online and got the correct mixture, sprayed and scrubbed. Within an hour the haze was back. We then researched and found a product online that stated it’s purpose was to remove grout haze. I thought that was so funny because clearly this was a very popular problem. We purchased this, sprayed but the haze was still there. This haze still remains on my tile at the time of this post.

As I was sitting here googling again how to remove this haze it dawned on me that I’m like this tile. There is a haze on me and no matter how much I scrub and try I can’t get it off. I try all the stuff that is recommended, but nothing. The haze still remains. I keep searching for that “one thing” to get me back in my groove and make me feel “normal” but for two weeks I have not found it. Online searches, new activities, taking meds, and even going to therapy has not removed the haze, but its not all bad.

Each thing I do removes a little more haze. Each time I try lets me know that I haven’t given up on trying to get better. Each little thing is a step in the right direction. Eventually I’m going to find the thing to remove the haze from my tile. I’m also going to find the thing to remove the haze from myself. I may not get all the haze, but I’m getting closer each day.

Sometimes I get amazed at how hard things can be. I wish I could just snap my fingers and make it all better, but no. Sometimes you have to just live though the haze until it gets a littler better. Last week the haze got me and I didn’t move as much as I wanted to. As of today the 9th I’ve walked five times. Not where I want to be, but that means I’ve fought through the haze five times. That’s five times that I picked myself before my madness.

The goal for the coming week is to be better than last week. Hell I just need to be better than yesterday. My weight did not go up or down so for me, a win. I need to walk more days than I sit. I need to be grateful more days than I’m ungrateful. I need to be positive and keep encouraging myself to move forward.

I know one day this haze will clear. One day I will be better and everything will seem to come into focus. One day I will be happy. Seems like such a simple thing, but for me it’s really all that matters. Simply getting back to happy. Simply realizing haze is only temporary and eventually I will find that one thing to remove it.

Week 8 Week 1

“I’ll be ok just not today and probably not tomorrow” – unknown

As I enter month eight I realize this month is not like any other. This month is different because this is the month I enter my challenge knowing I am depressed. I was starting to get depressed in week seven, but I missed the signs. I missed what I would normally pick up on and I didn’t make the necessary corrections.

Normally I catch myself getting tired all the time. Not a “oh I don’t want to go to work tired”, but a “I don’t want to get out of bed tired”. It’s not an “I don’t feel like working out issue”, it’s an “I will keep ordering stuff to workout, but I never do”. See depression plays tricks on me. My mind wants to do a million things yet depression makes me believe my body is not cooperating. That’s a lie. I think I want to do a million things but depression takes over my mind and I do nothing. I’m sad to report though, that is not all.

Depression then makes me feel bad for all the shit I did not do. I sit with list and get mad at myself for not have the energy, or drive to get things done. I then get into this spiral and believe I’m not worthy of even trying. The list goes on and on regarding how depression hits me, and instead of pushing though it I knew I needed to talk about it.

A family member was telling me about someone today who was having issues. As he described everything to me I immediately said “oh they’re depressed.” So funny how I could quickly catch it in someone else, yet not catch it in myself. I was also quick to point out that they needed to get help and they most likely didn’t even know they were depressed. Look at me diagnosing depression while wallowing in my mess.

My mess that over time kept getting bigger and bigger. I was trying to tackle too much yet doing nothing good at all. This weekend that all came at me like a freight train. We had people working in our bathroom which required me to make decisions on what I wanted done. My kids were coming back from vacation and my oldest was moving out the next day to his own apartment. I had two projects due for school and I was in no way prepared. My youngest was starting football. My husband and I had just returned from vacation and we were trying to get our lives back on track. My house was a filthy mess and last but not least my garden was overgrown and showing signs of pest damage.

Yea I know. These all should have been clues but they were not. I believe my mess came tumbling full force when I realized a big job project was closer than I expected and would require much more work than I had planned. That was it for me. I had a breakdown. I talked to my husband (who listened by the way), but I realize that wasn’t going to cut it. I needed to talk to someone who could help me. I was going down a dark path and I needed to be stopped.

I went back to therapy.

Making the decision to go was not hard. Finding a therapist and getting in to see someone was the struggle. Thank God for the internet. I actually found a therapist who took my insurance and she got me in as soon as she could. My first visit was last week.

I’m not going to tell you the details of my visit, but as she recapped my childhood she looks at me and goes “are you ok?” I was shocked because I was more than ok with that stuff. I smiled and told her I had not even gotten to the good stuff yet, the reason why I came to see her. She explained that your childhood dictates your life regardless if you want to admit it or not, all of which I understood. This was not my first therapy rodeo, but I did want to get to the “help me” parts :).

Apparently I was really messed up because I got a star next to my name which means she’s going to call me as soon as someone cancels. My real appointment was scheduled for another month. She was apparently really busy, which was good. Looking back I was even a pro at being messed up. Look at me going to the front of the therapy line. I don’t think that was a good thing.

I do want you all to know I’m ok. Well I’m not ok, but I will be ok. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but I will get there. I wanted to skip the blog. I wanted to walk away and come back when I had good stuff to say, but that’s not how life works. Life is messy and mine is a hot messy mess right now. The only thing I can do if push forward and keep it moving.

I did not lose my four pounds last month and remember I said I actually gained some weight. Today I weight in at 271 so that is two pounds lighter than last week. Ironically I’m ok with that, maybe because my mental health is taking priority right now.

With that being said my therapist told me I needed to focus on self care for 30 days. What I’m deciding to do for self care is move one mile for the next 30 days. I will walk, run, or skip but I will get my mile in. I don’t think that’s hard, but everything is hard right now. I have my new fancy shoes and I have enough workouts clothes to dress fifty women. I just need to put the clothes on and move. I feel like I need to add that if I ride my bike I must do five miles. I’m not taking that off the table. I’ve paid too much money for that damn thing.

I need you all with me more than ever right now. To keep me accountable. That was the whole reason I started this blog and paid for the subscription. It’s not to be some famous blogger (I’ve got too much going on). It’s not to get rich and famous (again too much going on). It’s to have someone hold me accountable and call me out when I’m not at my best. I started this blog to help one person and also let people know the different faces of depression. This face is a 44 year old African American mother of two fantastic boys, a wonderful husband, and a job I love. I don’t drink and I don’t smoke so there are no substance abuse issues other than food. You nor anyone else would ever look at me and think I suffer from depression but guess what, I do. I am the face of depression and I’m showing you my face so you realize you can never look at someone and tell they are depressed. We are always smiling.

Let’s Start Gardening #12

“The farther we get away from the land, the greater our insecurity” – Henry Ford

I know a lot of you out there are pulling up your lettuce, green beans, cucumbers, and hopefully some tomatoes. As you begin to harvest everything you can from the plant you are left with what should be piles of dirt. If you container garden like me, you are left with large containers of dirt. I’ve received a lot of questions from people asking me can they reuse the dirt?

Of course you can. You spent a lot of money on that dirt. If you are like me you went and got Miracle Grow which can cost as much as $8 a bag. There is no way you are throwing that out and purchasing new soil. No no no. We are going to save our money, gardening is already expensive enough.

Earlier in a blog I showed you how I sift my dirt at the beginning of the season. I call this a soil refresh. You can do this same thing in the middle of the season. Example, I harvested my green bean plants from my 10 gallon pot. I then took a spade and my hands and mixed the dirt up in the pot. I pulled out large roots along with rocks (don’t ask), bugs, and anything that simply didn’t belong in my soil.

After I do that I then dumped the soil into a five gallon bucket. This way it actually mixes a little more and you are able to pull out more debris. You will notice I’m not sifting the dirt at this point. Honestly its because I’m lazy. Sifting dirt takes a lot of time so I honestly try to do it only once a year if I can.

After I get the dirt in the bucket I try to stick with a two part mix. 1/2 old soil, 1/2 compost, and some fertilizer. It’s not an exact measurement because that would really depend on what type of fertilizer you are using. You have just completed a mini soil refresh.

If you are a fan of succession planting you are ready to go. I’ve already replanted some cucumbers, I did not have success this year. I also plan to thin out the garden before I start planting more veggies. Remember you can still do fall planting even if you missed the spring garden season.

In conclusion don’t ever through out soil unless you’ve had some disease or fungus on your plants. We are already spending too much money to add unnecessary expenses. Hope this post saves you some money and some time, and as always Let’s Start Gardening.