Tag: #Weightloss

Month 1 Wk2 Yr2 – Organic vs Non Organic

“Once upon a time all food was organic” – Unknown

There is a huge debate about organic versus non organic fruits and vegetables. I have to admit that I had not given it much thought until I decided I was going to eat an apple everyday. Of course Google was stalking me and I started seeing a lot of articles about the pesticides on my apples. I decided I would do a little research.

I found out that my love for Granny Smith apples came with a price. Turns out for me to get that glossy green color I would be ingesting a high amount of pesticides every time I bit my apple. The apples are sprayed to preserve the color and work as pest control. The pesticides adheres to the skin and then leaks into the core. Not only am I getting all the outside pesticides, but now they are inside my apple as well so washing the apple is not very effective. Research shows that these pesticides are harmful to the brain, nervous system, and due to toxicity may cause cancer, hormone disruption, as well as skin/eye/lung irritations. This is just the tip of the iceberg for apples.

So in a nutshell I bought organic apples for my second week.

I’m going to be honest, the color threw me off. Not only were they not glossy green, but some were even a yellowish color. I also had to ignore that some had brown spots. What organic was translating to me was funny colored apples. I figured if I was giving up on color I would get it back in taste. I wish I could lie to you and tell you the apple was amazing. They were not. They were not worse than other apples but it was not better. I’m going to chalk that up to apples being out of season.

When I grow stuff in the garden it’s amazing. The flavors are some of the best things I’ve ever tasted. I thought organic would translate to be the same. Nope. Now for transparency I got these apples at Walmart and they were only $1 more than non organic apples. Next week I’m going to try apples at Whole Foods and Kroger and give you an update. I need to give a fair assessment.

So what is my verdict? I’m going organic for the apples. That $1 more is not worth the risk of the pesticides for me. I also might go organic for other fruits and veggies as well. If I’m making one change I might as well make some more. With all my other issues I can’t worry about pesticides.

Now I am not telling you all to make the switch and I’m not saying your apples are bad. What I’m saying is if you can’t grow it yourself make sure you are eating the best foods possible. I am also saying eat what you can afford. Don’t feel bad for eating a regular apple instead of organic. That’s better than eating that candy bar you’ve been eyeing in the checkouts. We are all still learning how to navigate this world. Don’t beat yourself up about an apple.m

Stock pictures to show the color difference. My apples were not even this green.

Month 1 Week 1 Year 2

“We are born to belief a man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I never thought I would blog for a whole year, yet here we are. This year will come with some changes, changes I hope are for the good. Along with weight loss I want to continue to spotlight my passions. Those include gardening, cooking, and combatting depression along with a host of other things.

I thought this year I would be traveling and spending time with family and friends yet I find myself still trapped. Trapped by a new variant of Covid. I know we all thought this thing would be gone yet it just keep fighting and fighting. So many loved ones have been affected and with no light in sight our new normal is now just our normal.

I took a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to do in year two as I continue to make positive changes in my life. When I reflected I realized how much I had grown and how much better I feel. Depression did not get the best of me last year. That alone made the journey worth it. I could have dwelled on the weight I didn’t lose instead I focused on what I learned.

For transparency I started the journey at 290. Today I weigh 268. I lost a total of 22 pounds last year. Nothing to write home about, but guess what I’M WRITING HOME. Normally I gain 20 pounds a year and this year I lost 20 pounds. Yea I’m winning.

Last year I told you all about a weight loss drug that promised 10% weight loss in one year. I’m 7 pounds away from that goal. So what’s my plan to accomplish that?

For January I plan to focus on eating fruits and veggies. Specifically to start I plan on eating an apple a day. Let’s see if it keeps the doctor away.

So why apples? First off their delicious. They range from super sweet to so tart you pucker when eating them. They are packed with fiber which we all know makes us feel full. They have anti-inflammatory properties, Vitamin C, lower risk of cardio vascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Not convinced, visit Google. Apples are going to be my January superfood.

Month 12 Week 4- End Of A Year – Shoes

“We will begin by learning how to tie our shoes” – John Wooden

There is nothing a fat person hates worse than tying their shoes. If you look closely at really over weight people you will notice they have opted for either Velcro or slip ons to make their lives easier. FYI this post is not to shame them, it’s about me.

The other day my shoe lace came loose while in a store and I bent down to tie my shoe. As I was doing that I realized that I had not tied my shoe in public in years. What I would typically do if my shoe lace came loose would be to tuck the lace in my shoe until I got home. Why?

It took everything in me to bend over and tie my shoe. Even while home I didn’t dare bend over and tie my shoe. While sitting I would prop my leg on my other leg and then tie my shoe off to the side. When I got home that day I wondered if all my shoes had been tied this way.

Clearly they had. This was the mate to the shoe I was wearing that day. Now follow me as I try to explain why this is important.

When you are large you make adjustments. Adjustments you don’t even realize you’re making. First you don’t tie shoes, then all your pants have elastic, next you’re searching for a home with no stairs. I also realize things I normally did changed. I’m not walking miles shopping, I’m not doing activities that require a lot of movement, and I’m blaming the weather on everything so I never have to go outside.

The worst part about what I noticed is right now I’m no longer in pain. My back is not hurting constantly and my knee has not hurt in months. Why is this bad? I now realize I had these ailments due to weight and weight alone. Yes my doctor had given me this information but honestly I always thought there was something more. It could not be that I and I alone had caused these issues. Um yea, it’s me.

As I end this year and go into the next I’ve decided to do one thing, stop and tie my shoes. I don’t do New Years Resolutions because I’m always evolving not just on January 1. For me today I’ve decided that I’m no longer making excuses, no longer tucking the laces in the sides. I’m simply going to bend down and tie my shoes.

Month 12 Week 2 – It’s Ok To Not Be Perfect

“There is no perfection, only beautiful versions of brokenness” – Shannon L Alder

Have you ever wanted to try something new? Skiing, roller blading, or a kale? What has stopped you from trying those things? If you said broken bones has stopped you from skiing I’m going to agree with you right there. If you said fear well then you should keep reading.

Years ago I decided I wanted to low carb. I knew I needed some support so I actually started an online group called “Queen Newbies.” It was a group of women who all followed a low carb plan and encouraged others. The group was a descent size and I have to admit I found one of my closest friends from that group.

The main reason I started the group was to prevent me from messing up. If I was going to low carb I was going to do it right. I was going to avoid all bread, place complicated fast food orders, and pee on sticks to see if I was in ketosis. I was going to do it right. FYI- I really did all those things.

Full disclosure- I did it right and I lost 60+ pounds. The girls and I did two retreats to St. Louis (this was our midway point) and really bonded over our anti carb stance.

Again you know my story so obviously I didn’t keep doing this. I also stopped running the site and fled back to bread at the first sign of stress. I went strong for two years, but when I moved back to my hometown my whole world changed. A series of events sent me into what I now know as depression and since I couldn’t be perfect at low carbing I decided to just stop.

Fast forward and to now and what I’ve learned is you can cut back carbs without cutting them out. I can avoid toast for breakfast and skip all the biscuits and rolls with dinner. It’s ok to find out what works for me, yet not be crazy. It’s ok to not be perfect at avoiding carbs yet reap the benefits of simply being better.

If you want to do something but your scared because you won’t be perfect, guess what? You won’t be perfect so just do it. You don’t have to tell anyone, and you don’t have to announce it. You can dip your toe in the water and see if this is something you want to do.

Do you want to try a cleanse, try it. Do you want to start fasting, try it. Do you want to attempt yoga, try it. Do you want to start running, try it. Try, try, try, try, try it.

Tip- I am not saying to stop following the slow weight loss plan we have been doing so far. What I am saying it’s it’s ok to try something new without blowing everything up. If you find you like how you feel after a one day cleanse maybe you can do it once a month. If you find fasting works for you, or your church is recommending it I say try it. Again I am not saying jump on the newest bandwagon and throw everything out the window that you’ve done this far. I’m saying look to see if you can incorporate this into what you are already doing. A great tip of what to avoid is simple. If you can’t work it into what your current plan avoid it. Too many restrictions will mean failure in the end.

Moving right along…..So following the plan of only using what you have I want you to try something new that you haven’t done. Does your app have a boot camp? Try it. Do you have a book that talks about fasting and cleanses? Try it. Do you have a cookbook with some fantastic recipes? Try it. Do you have scrapbooking stuff laying around? Try it.

Something that might bring you joy is probably already in your home yet you’ve just been too scared to try.

So for week two you will either continue doing something you’ve already started or ADD something new. DONT stop doing the first thing you’ve started. You don’t get off that easy. You’re also going to keep it to yourself. Don’t even tell me. That way you eliminate that fear of trying.

Remember the first step is always the hardest. After that it’s just one foot in front of the other. Let’s take some baby steps towards change.

Month 12 Week 1 – Use What You’ve Got

“You have everything you need to get to where you want to be” – M. Ross

As I was watching television a weight loss ad came on. I had to admit I haven’t seen one in a long time so I was actually surprised. We switched to a new service so I haven’t seen the Weight Watchers or Nurisystem ads that normally played fifty times a day. The crazy part is I know that over the next month tv, internet, magazines, and social media sites will be flooded with programs or products that will help you lose weight.

I want you to notice that I said they will help you lose weight, because they will. I’ve been on Weight Watchers and it works. Like I’ve said before, programs work, I did not. This journey over the year was to help me realize that I had everything I needed to lose the weight I wanted.

I have to admit that I was doubting my success. As of this blog I’ve lost 21 pounds. I was thinking that I should have done better. My goal was to lose 52 pounds and as usual I was beating myself up, then I saw the ad. There is a new weight loss plan called Calibrate. The program promises you weight loss, coaching, and medication. The program is one year which I loved, because I have kept saying quick weight loss is not going to happen. Everything about this program sounded great until I saw that they had financing. Why does a weight loss program need financing? The program needed financing because it cost $1620. I know you don’t believe me. I will pause while you go search Google for yourself. I will also wait for you to notice that you can finance the weight loss for $135 a month.

If you are thinking “You know what Machon I really want to lose weight and $135 is not a lot of money.” I’m going to tell you that you are 100% correct that is not a lot of money. I now want you to read the fine print. At the end of one year they are promising you a 10% weight loss that you will maintain. Guess what? For zero dollars I am 8 pounds away from reaching that goal.

Just when I thought I hadn’t done well I’m reminded I’m exactly where I need to be. The best part is I’m here for zero dollars. I should smack myself for even thinking about financing weight loss. Now I know thousands, if not millions of people will sign up for this program. I wish all of them well. I want you to know that if you’ve followed my plan this year you’ve probably lost 10% of your body weight and didn’t even know it. Look at us being all successful.

With all the above madness I’m sure you’re asking what the challenge is for this month. The challenge is to use what you have. If you are like me you have at least one app, one weight loss machine, one blender, one scale, or one book. I want you to use that one thing you have for seven days and evaluate how you feel. For once in your life don’t spend money. Don’t buy the next best thing or the next gimmick. Look on your phone and see what you have.

For seven days I’m going to use that Peloton App. I got mad at myself because Calm and Headspace were running 50% off sales and I wanted to purchase the app. I’ve had the free versions on my phone for years. My point is I was going to buy them for meditation. I was going to buy an app to meditate when I already had two apps for meditation. Apple has the Breathe app and Peloton has more meditation classes than I know what to do with. I told myself I wanted the app for the sleep stories. Then I found out Spotify has sleep stories and guess what? I already pay for that.

My point is I’m not going to buy any new stuff for weight loss for 30 days. Hopefully I don’t buy anything past this 30 day mark.

Disclaimer- if you decide you want to use that fancy blender or you need to get special food for the next seven days I’m also going to caution you against that. Buy just 2-3 days worth. Eat it all, then buy more. Yes you have to make extra trips to the store. What I discover when I try to do this is I get all this food and after three days its still in the fridge. You don’t know how many cucumbers or bags of lettuce I’ve wasted with my high hopes. I’m sure if you look really hard you have some healthy foods to throw in that blender.

Let’s lose this 10% and then let’s go on a fancy trip with that $1600 we just saved. For fun I’m going to to try to stash away money I would have spent on fancy stuff. For December I’m going to add the $40 I did not spend on the app. I am also going to hide all the apps I’m not using so I’m not tempted.

Let me know what you are going to try for 30 days?

Let’s Calibrate for free.

Month 11 Week 4 – Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

“Remember why you started”

Let the eating begin!

Isn’t that what it feels like. Once you hit Halloween it feels like an all out food fest. Starting October 31st it becomes ok to eat all the chocolate and candy you want as long as it’s Halloween themed. After most of your can’t is gone you blink and you are baking pies for Thanksgiving. When you finally get your waist to fit into your pants again it’s time to eat every treat you can as long as (you guessed it) it’s Christmas themed.

This time of year becomes a literal food fest for me. I actually have two bonus holidays that others may not have. I cook more food for the Ohio State vs. Xichigan game than I do for Thanksgiving. Then if I have not eaten enough by birthday comes after Christmas which brings another reason to eat cake. YES I still love cake.

I’m writing all this as I’m telling you I’m ending my no snacking month. In my warped mind I did not snack I just replaced meals with snacks. Not good advice at all, but I’m being honest. For lunch today I had fried apples and vanilla ice cream. I will eat dinner tonight and no snacks after that. Clearly this month has been a struggle for me. For some reason I simply could not stop eating crap unless I removed it from my house. I didn’t buy chips at the grocery store last week because I couldn’t stop eating them. My family is not very happy about this.

So what’s my plan. My plan for this last week is to lose back the weight I’ve gained from Thanksgiving. I don’t think I’m going to lose anything in December so the only goal I have is to not gain weight. This year has been so up and down I’m surprised I’m still at it. Accountability sucks when you don’t want to so something :).

As a recap for those following the my current weight is 269. This does not include the Thanksgiving pounds. My goal is to end next week at 269 pounds. For me that is a total of 21 pounds lost for the year. Not one pound a week but much better than the 20 pound gain I have with other years.

For me this year I’m thankful. I’m thankful that I kept this blog going for a full year. I’m thankful that I did in fact lose some weight. I’m thankful that I’m working diligently on my mental health and I now 100% understand how it impacts everything I do. I am thankful with how I’ve grown over the past year and really focused on improving myself.

I encourage you to reflect on how much you have improved over the year now. Don’t wait until New Years and make resolutions. Don’t wait until December and then purchase crap you don’t need. Hint- next months focus will be using what you have.

We are better than we were 11 months ago. You might not realize it now but hopefully you have been keeping a journal and you can reflect on how you have changed. We may not be where we want to be, but we are much closer than we were before. Keep pushing forward.

Month 11 Week 3

“The scale (devil) is a lie” M.Ross

A few months ago I decided I wanted to upgrade my scale. All over social media I kept hearing about this scale called Renpho. This scale not only gives you your weight, but gives you BMI, body fat, fat free body weight, subcutaneous fat, visceral fat, body water, skeletal muscle, muscle mass, bone mass, protein, BMR, and metabolic age. Yea I can feel you rolling your eyes right now.

The issue was I thought all this information would be amazing. Remember as kids we were told “the more you know.” I thought I wanted to know more. I was wrong, ya’ll know that’s coming LOL. Anywho, I was excited and didn’t really think hard about buying the scale because it was under $20 on Amazon. The scale I already owned cost more than that and didn’t do half of this amazing stuff. Oh did I mention it gives you all this information via bluetooth to your phone. WHAT!

Ok so scale was ordered and of course it arrived at my home two days later. If you are a weighing pro you know you can’t weigh yourself in the middle of the day after you’ve sipped water all day LOL. You have to weigh first thing in the morning after you pee and after you have taken off all your clothes and jewelry. This is the only true way to weigh.

The next morning I was all excited to step on my fancy scale. Oh I need to mention I was already expecting my weight to be off because new scales never show the weight of your last scale. They always add a few pounds. Yes this is my story and I’m sticking to it.

Sooooo what happened? The scale hurt my damn feelings. The weight was not the problem. The weight was actually the same as it had been on the old scale. That’s what pissed me off. That means the damn thing was working properly. What upset me was all this other data I thought I needed. You know that saying “the scale doesn’t know how much muscle or fat you have.” Well this scale did and I was a hot mess.

I stepped on the scale and weighed 271. Again the weight was not the issue. My BMI was 40.1, not shocked. Here is where I went crazy. My Fat Free Body Weight was 129 and my Metabolic Age was 49. First off my head is too big to weight 129 and I was 44 when I got the damn scale.

Now before you all go acting crazy saying you have to carry some fat to live, if you think I don’t know that stop reading. Remember being fat makes you a pro at all things weight related. The shock to me was that I had 149 pounds of weight. You look like you need some reference.

Things that weigh 150 pounds: white tailed deers, red kangaroos, cougars, mountain lions, 1/2 small panda, 2.5 Dalmatians, or five car tires. I’m just going to focus on the last part for more visuals. An average passenger tire weighs about 27 pounds. So I was carrying a cars worth of tires plus a spare. Yea irony huh. My spare tire was literally a spare tire.

Moving right along. I was feeling like hot garbage. Why did I think I needed all this stuff? What did I think it would tell me? If I didn’t think I was fat before, this scale was a reality check. This was not a good purchase at all.

After I regrouped from my shock I realized this scale did exactly what it said it would. It told me all the stuff it said it would. The box had a huge picture showing the display and how it would provide me with data. I thought I could change the outcome of the data. I thought I was special.

This scale reminded me a lot of a long term relationship I was in. For years I was cheated on. The man would look me in the face and tell me he loved me then sleep with someone else probably the same day. I want to tell you this happened one time, but this blog is all about truth and the truth is it lasted almost ten years. I fell in love in my teens and into my twenties I let this man dictate my worth. Problem was he was a Renpho scale. He showed me everyday who he was, yet I thought I was special. I thought if I stepped on the scale the right way, if I ate some different stuff, if I did what I thought he wanted me to do, the outcome would be different. It never was. Over time without me knowing, this beat me down, and was the beginning of my battle with depression. Therapy got me here people.

I’m about to shock you with what I say next. I don’t blame this man. I don’t blame him because again he showed me who he was, time and time again. Women will always tell you about the little things. The little things that happen that let them know something is off. These were big ass things that I chose to ignore, and that was all on me. The reason I don’t blame this man is because while he broke me he provided me with something I love more than life itself, my son. My son was also what helped me leave this toxic relationship. I needed to set a good example to my son, and his dad cheating on his mom was not a good look.

Years later my sons dad apologized. Ironically it was just one week prior to his death. He was accidentally killed in a motor cycle accident. As you all know I believe everything happens for a reason. I haven’t gotten to the bottom of all the reason but what I learned is when a Renpho shows itself, you need to listen. You saw the signs and you chose to ignore them, stop ignoring them.

My husband has a saying which I love. “Fix Yourself.” Right now that’s where I am. I’m fixing myself. One day at a time I’m reducing that number on that scale. One day at a time I’m putting my life back together. I not only need to shed some spare tires, but I need to shed some hurt feelings. It’s hard not to bring our old baggage into new relationships, but as Erykah Badu said:

Bag lady you goin’ hurt your back

Dragging all em bags like that

I guess nobody ever told you

All you must hold on to

Is you, is you, is you

One day at a time. One Pound @ A time. I’m improving and I hope you are too. Look at that number on that scale and vow to change it. Look at your current relationship and decide how you are going to make it better or let it go. My back is already jacked up. I need to let some shit go. I can’t keep dragging all em bags like that.

Month 11 Week 2

“You have to live in your shit” – Unknown

I have been a wreck for two week. Hell probably longer than that. I was actually thinking about ending the blog and stopping the weight loss journey. Now before you freak out every fat person goes through this, but I’m going to be brave enough to tell you about it.

It started when I was filling out my weekly journal. It asked me to list all the things I accomplished against all the things I didn’t. Well my list was amazing. I had family movie night, cooked dinner with my kids, spent time with God everyday, spent time meditating three times that week, passed a math test, wrote a paper, killed some work goals, and the list went on and on. I was thinking “look at you rockstar”. Then I had to list things I had not accomplished. Oh Lort. I didn’t drink water daily and I didn’t lose my one pound. What?

I then began to look at that list and told myself maybe I didn’t want to lose weight. Shouldn’t I be thankful for all that I have? I have my husband and my kids. I have a good job and we are able to take care of ourselves. We are not struggling and thank God no one in my family has contracted Covid or had to live with the devastation of the pandemic. I am able to work from home and I have the ability to provide for my family during this time. Let me add that for my economics class I had to watch a movie about women struggling to survive in Haiti. Yes I was comparing myself to a third world country. Now before you drag me please understand that these women seemed to have everything against them and through all odds they were determined to push forward. They were making pennies a day yet paying $12 a month to send their kids to school. The story had me in tears. With that, who was I to gripe about weight when there were people suffering?

There are times in my life when I realize how good I have it. There is also a twinge of shame when I have that feeling. Being an African American female I realize the deck is stacked against me in so many situation yet I’ve made it though it all. Not alone by any means, but I’ve made it though it all. Now lets go back to the weight. I have all this stuff and I dare to complain.

Then a weird thing happened. I ended up watching the Adele “One Night Only” special today and this women had me on the edge of my seat. I was supposed to watch it with friends when it came on, but I didn’t. I ended up watching it alone today. I am a firm believer that God does what he does for a reason. I was meant to watch this special today to get my mind right. Adele talked about lifting weight because she had all this time on her hands and she needed to kill her anxiety. WHAT!!! Even Oprah was shocked because Oprah said she ate. Amen Oprah. I’m eating right along with you.

I could write a whole post about that special and maybe I will, but let me say this. What I learned was there are other ways I need to handle my stress and anxiety. I also learned that you have to live in your shit and fix it. My shit right now is my weight. I can’t say I want to be healthy and not put in some work. I can’t say I want to be around for years to play with my grandkids yet not put in the work. I can’t complain about being fat while doing nothing to be skinny.

I’m going to take some time this week to live in my shit. I need to decide what I really want to do and if I really want to change. Don’t talk about it, be about it.

As I stated I did not lose my one pound. I snacked twice and honestly that was impressive considering I was snacking daily. Today I don’t want to stress about the two days I did snack. I’m going to have joy in the five that I didn’t. I need to work on my mindset because I’m getting on my own nerves. The depression is creeping in slowly. Right now my job is to fight like hell to get my mind right.

Month 11 Week 1- The Holidays

“We are a little extra this year” – Jackson Square Creative

This is the time of year where you blink and the year is over. The year starts off all optimistic as you make a million New Year’s resolutions. You typically throw them out the window by March but that’s ok because it’s Easter. Blink again and it’s 4th of July and time to embrace the summer. Turn your head and the kids are back in school and we are looking at the leaves fall from the trees. Now this can go one of two ways. You can be excited to begin celebrating the holidays or you can panic because you realize you haven’t done half the stuff you thought you would. Where do you fall?

I fall in the later category. I can’t believe the year is over. Not only have I not reached my weight goal but I have another set of stressors in my midst. I’m still dealing with the death of my uncle and we also learned my husband has to have a surgical procedure done. While I wanted to stay focused I did what I always do. I went to my trusty friends and decided to let them sooth me. Stop thinking that that’s a good idea. My friends were chips, ice cream, and candy.

They kind of came to visit out of the blue. First candy showed up. It came under the disguise as Halloween candy. I thought it would just be around for a few days and then it would leave. Six days later and it’s still here. Now the amount of candy is half of what it was, which is why I have the problem. I’m the one eating the candy.

To not feel alone ice cream came next. I started having these crazy ice cream cravings for a specific flavor from a particular brand and like an idiot I tried to eat around the craving. If I’ve learned anything I’ve learned when I have a craving just eat what I’m craving. I’ve probably eaten more stuff trying to avoid the craving and I still didn’t eat the thing I wanted.

So now random ice cream and candy are around and I need something to combat the sugar so chip come by. Yep its a horrible horrible rabbit hole that I didn’t realize I was in until it was too late. I discovered it as I sat eating a bag of chips while thinking they didn’t even taste that good. The light bulb went off.

Now I am not going to beat myself up because that would just cause me to eat more junk. I don’t need more depression on top of the depression. I’m going to accept that I ate crap and move forward. That did help me come up with my next challenge.

NO SNACKS!!!!

I’m pulling the plug. Nada. Now for clarity when I say no snacks I’m not even talking about “healthy” snacks. The reason is I’m eating and I’m not hungry which makes no sense. I simply need to stop snacking and pay attention to my hunger cues. If I’m hungry have a meal. Stop trying to have a snack and then wait to eat a meal. I’m just eating twice as much.

So what’s my plan for the holidays. I’m already going to plan on eating one desert which means I can only make one desert. I would lie if I told you I wasn’t going to eat my once a year homemade doughnuts or my cheesecake cookies. That’s the reason we bought the KitchenAid mixer. What I will promise is to not eat them everyday for a week. That’s my weakness. I will eat something everyday until it’s gone.

So now that I’ve confessed I need you all to watch me. I’ve got two months to finish the year strong. First I can’t believe I’ve been on this journey this long and I can’t believe I’ve blogged about it. If you’ve read from the beginning, THANK YOU. The fun is really about to start.

Bonus- You Are Loved

“All of me loves all of you” – John Legend

This week I have been struggling with what to blog about and I have also been battling being honest with myself. My uncle passed away this week and it hit me hard. It actually hit me much harder than I thought it would as I started to realize the impact the man had on my life. He drove my mother to the hospital when she went into labor. He purchased my first bike. He got me a set of school books so I wouldn’t have to carry my books back and forth to school. He let me read to him and listened to all my madness. He was honestly the first father figure I ever had. Correction. He was my father, the only one I had ever really known.

His passing brought up all those memories, all those memories that led me to the realization that I am 100% the person I am today because of this man. He along with my grandmother fostered my love of learning. He listened to me practice the violin and believe me in the beginning I was not good. He even listened to me practice the recorder. Ya’ll know how horrible that is.

So why am I writing here instead of telling my family about this. Simply put, it was stolen from me. The opportunity to tell others how much I love this man was stolen from me when my family decided not to have a service. Yes we are still in Covid times, but this could have been done safely and most of us are vaccinated. The pain and anger rushed in when I learned this news and immediately it took me back to my nephews passing. Yet another service my family and I were robbed from attending.

I could spend this whole blog talking about that, but I won’t. What I want to say is that no one has a right to dictate how you grieve. No one has the right to take away how you want to honor a person. I will not let them steal that right from me.

I loved these two people with all my heart and soul and God knows that. I want my uncles family and friends to know that he was loved. I loved him. I want him up in heaven to know that I love him. My nephew never saw his first birthday, but he should know I loved him. My husband and my kids loved him. He will always be honored in our home.

Please listen to this message if you don’t listen to anything else I say. Honor the people you love. Honor the people who mean the most to you. I’m not going to tell you to rush out and tell people you love them, because you know you should do that. This is for people who are gone that you need to make amends with. The one’s you never got to say goodbye to. Do it on your own terms. Create your own memorial, or like me write your own letter.

As you all have guessed I have wanted to eat everything under the sun. Emotional eaters raise your hands. Regardless of what I eat the pain is not going away but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to eat. What I really need is hugs. I need lots of hugs. There are very few times when I just want a person to sit and hug me. No words needed, no explanation. I just want a hug to feel safe. Safe enough to simply cry. One day I will get there, one day I will be ok. Today is not that day.