twenty.sixteen

It’s officially 2016!

This is going to be the year of Megan.

I don’t have any resolutions, but I do have GOALS and PLANS.

Recently, I sat down with the intention to write down the things that make my soul HAPPY. Those things were my family, friends, doing good deeds/volunteering, and trying new things. I decided I’m going to make it a priority to incorporate these things into my schedule by committing to having dinner with my family once a month, spend one-on-one time with 2 friends a month, volunteer at least once a month, and do at least 10 things from my “40 Things to do Before I’m 40” list (aka try new things).

I’m also excited because for the first 5 months of the year, I’ll be taking Brené Brown’s Living Brave Semester because I really connect with her work on vulnerability and wholehearted living and it has tremendously helped me so much in the past 8 months that I want to learn more.

On top of that, I’m also going to be starting a blog that I hope can turn into a business, more on that to come, but right now I’m still reading and learning the ropes.

AND IF THAT ISN’T ENOUGH, my biggest goal for this year is going to be my new business. As you know, I’m currently studying for my personal training certification,  and right after I will be studying for my health coach certification.

I have big dreams for this new business (name to be revealed when I actually make it a business). I want to help shift the focus from dangerous dieting and grueling exercise to a more holistic healthy lifestyle.  My business will be about positivity, self appreciation and loving yourself, being happy, being active, and being healthy. I want to do multiple things with this business:

#1: I want to be a mobile trainer/health coach and specialize in the more overweight clients. I know how intimidating it is to step into a gym, so I want to be able to provide this service so there are no excuses.

#2: I want to have a plus size fitness community (but any BODY is welcome) where all of us can have fun and be active in an inviting environment. This is where I want to host sample fitness classes so people can try them without being in the back of the class. I also want to have walking and hiking groups, maybe even a group that trains for races together. I want to have teams in different sports leagues. I want to host fun, activity days at a park. So many ideas with this!

#3: I want to start an after-school club or a club at the Boys n Girls Club to work with young girls and body image.

#4: I want to come up with a club/program/something to combat childhood obesity and getting kids active again! I have yet to figure out this plan, but it’s on the to-do list.

I don’t expect to get everything for my business done this year, heck, I’m hoping to just get my certifications and some experience in the next 365 days, but the vision will come alive in the near future!

So, as busy as my 2016 looks, it’s full of everything that makes me HAPPY.

For the longest time in my life, I reflected on the Marianne Williamson quote “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE. It is our LIGHT, not our darkness that most frightens us.” I made the entire quote a wall art in my place. I even wrote a blog post about the quote because it was my life. I know I have what it takes to be something great and I feel it in my soul that I will be “famous” (in the sense that people will know who I am), and it terrified me for the longest time because I was in a place in my head that felt like I didn’t deserve it. I was petrified, literally stalled in life because I was afraid of the greatness I could become.

BUT NO MORE. I am dreaming big and going big and great things will come from my efforts and I am not afraid, I’m EXCITED!

Here’s to a new year, new ambitions, new goals, new outlook, new LIFE!

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Here Comes the Bride?

…more like “Here Comes the Model!”

I got to model for a bridal magazine photoshoot for Strut — a plus size bridal store here in AZ (and Long Beach) — and it was SO  MUCH FUN! Check out the pics below

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The "Before" Pic

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Hair up and setting

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Make up done!

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Sweet Micky was only barely 5' talk, but she made it work!

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Hair and make up done by Babydoll Weddings

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Back of the hair

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Side view

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Back again

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Micky from Babydoll Weddings and Salon in Mesa, AZ

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Beautiful pearl jewelry!

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Magnificent dress from Strut!

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Another view. This dress was everything!

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Who couldn't take a selfie being this dolled up?

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I felt so very pretty! Women dream of being married to be able to dress up like this! I did it all for free!

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Had to share this cuz cleavage.

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The shoot was at the amazingly beautiful Chateau Luxe in north Phoenix

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A before and after comparison! I think i look like two different people!

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Just trying to sit comfortably while waiting for my turn

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Having a drink and laughing with one of the other awesome brides

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Whenever I saw Ashley from Strut taking pics, I'd make a face at her

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This is me working my modeling skills!

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The 4 brides (from L to R): Golden Bride, Out there Bride (who happens to be my neighbor in real life), the Vintage Bride, and the Classic Bride

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Boom.

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Again with the face

Sunday “Slim M” Check-In

Weighed in this morning (technically this afternoon #lazysunday) and I was down to 262.8!!

It’s my goal to hit 259.9 this coming up week. 3 lbs is a lot in a week but I’m hoping to kick start some changes this week that will hopefully restart the weight loss again.

Also, I’m on my dot, so I’m probably gonna lose a pound or two of water so I’m really hoping to get out of the 260’s this week!

What Oprah Calls an “Aha! Moment”

In my 33.75 years on this planet, I have wanted to be dozens of different things “when I grow up” ranging from a ballerina to graphic designer to day care owner to makeup artist to (most recently) a paralegal. And yet my jobs have all consisted of customer service call centers and my current job I’ve been at for 8 years, document processing.

You would think of all the things I wanted to do that I would pursue them, right? But I think what I was lacking was the passion.

I never considered myself a passionate person and I remember having several pensive moments where I would ask myself what I was passionate about? When I didn’t have an answer, I’d wonder why am I not passionate about anything? Am I broken? And sometimes it really bothered me that I never felt passionate about anything.

While writing this post, I Googled the word “passion,” and I came across this HuffPost article that gives 15 quotes about passion and within the first few paragraphs, the author writes:

Passion is the energy that keeps us going, that keeps us filled with meaning, and happiness, and excitement, and anticipation. Passion is a powerful force in accomplishing anything you set your mind to, and in experiencing work and life the fullest extent possible.

Ultimately, passion is the driving force behind success and happiness that allows us all to live better lives.

WOW.

Yeah, I have definitely been lacking that in my life!

Well, that all changed this past week when I had a mind/soul awakening experience that I believe showed me not only that I am, indeed, passionate, but what I’m passionate about the most, and also what I feel to be my true calling. It was like my own Aha! Moment.

I HAD AN AHA MOMENT, MAMA O!

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So, if you don’t know me or my story, I’ll give you a brief-ish overview. I’ve always been overweight. I was 9lbs 5oz when I was born. I was a chubby toddler, child, teen, and now an adult. Being overweight was never a big deal to me. I never had a moment where I felt bad about my body. I always played outside with my cousins or neighborhood kids. I played basketball since 1st grade. I was involved with sports all the way through high school. I never felt too fat. I had boyfriends and dates. I had a lot of friends. I didn’t have that depressed mentality that society thinks you should have when you’re overweight.

Well, then adulthood hit me and then life hit me pretty hard with bad relationships, miscarriages, losses, hardships, etc. and I did become depressed for many years and began a rollercoaster of weight loss and gain. I decided in 2008 that I was gonna beat the depression and signed up to do a half marathon. I was over 300lbs but I was gonna do it and I did it. (Shout out to Team Prevention!) Crossing the finish line at that race changed me on the inside. I swear, once you do something like that, you realize you can do anything. That is an amazing outlook to have in your life!

This also planted the seed in my head that I can show others that they can do whatever they want to no matter their size.  I went on to do 3 more half marathons and, most recently, a triathlon.

You’d think with my love of being active, that I would be super skinny, but I’m not and never have been. Yes I would lose weight while training, but I’ve lost weight many times with many different ways from every fad diet imaginable to medication to going beastmode in the gym for 6 months straight, but I always gained the weight back.

So that’s been my life up until this point.

This year I decided to try a new direction for my weight loss and started going to a therapist. It’s made a tremendous difference in my life! And it has opened my eyes to the whole healthy living concept.

In 2011, I was studying to be personal trainer, but it just didn’t work out. I still have all that knowledge and I know how to work out and how to eat healthy but I just couldn’t get my shit together internally.  After months of working through some issues I’ve carried with me, I can finally see clearly now.

It hit me suddenly when conversing with the lovely Dr. Kaplan last week about my identity and how it would change if I lost weight. I was thinking in my head that if I lost weight, I couldn’t be a fat activist anymore. Dr. Kaplan said it seems like my message is more that I advocate for being healthy at every size (HAES), not just fat activism. I sat with that and it’s true. I just want people to try anything, regardless of size (or age or abilities for that matter).

My second realization came about when I’ve had several friends try to talk to me about different diets they are on: Advocare, Isagenix, It Works, and HCG. Now, I don’t knock anyone for trying to be healthier and if these products help them, more power to them, but in these conversations about their approach to weight loss and health and my current journey to health, I’ve come to realize for myself how crazy the diet industry is.

#1: The regimen is not sustainable. You can’t live the rest of your life on that stuff. I don’t care how much you love the products, what happens if they go out of business? You don’t know what to do with yourself because you don’t know how to eat normal food without the help of this stuff.

#2: The main focus of these companies is to sell products and make money. They don’t care about your well-being, your happiness, your day-to-day, your family, or the rest of your life.

#3: I’m not saying these diets don’t work, you can lose weight on them, but when you reach your end goal, then what? If you haven’t discovered the reason why you were overweight to begin with, if you are feeding something other than your body (stress, boredom, emotions) and you haven’t fixed that root problem, you’re going to gain the weight right back, and maybe even more.

When thinking of these things, I just wanted to help my friends be happy. I want to shake them and let them know, that I know from my own experience, work on being happy. Invest in being happy. When you don’t have any of that darkness bottled up inside, when you are truly happy and genuinely love yourself, you will take care of yourself. Then you will naturally reach the healthy weight for your body. And I don’t mean a BMI chart number, I mean, when you’re happy and taking good care of yourself and living a balanced life, if you’re still pudgy, that’s the weight for you. That’s your happy weight.

So this brings me to my third realization last Thursday morning when a friend of mine posted on Facebook about fad diets and which ones do you wish would go away and with the topic of the MLM diets on my mind, I went off about it. And, of course, he made a statement along the lines that while he agrees with people loving themselves, but being excessively overweight for the long term is not healthy. So I made the point that I’m all for being fit and healthy at any size, not just be fat. That’s not healthy to not take care of yourself. But I know you can be fat AND fit and that’s my whole point.

And then it hit me… OMG, this must be what “passion” feels like. And it all clicked.

I felt the confirmation in my soul!

This all solidified my decision to be a Health Coach. I need to get this out there to the world. This will be my contribution to society. It is combining my love for helping others, being active, HAES, and being HAPPY and bringing light into other’s lives.

I have to do this and it feels right. I have never been happier for my future!

Forget the Pink Stuff.

For as long as I have had a cell phone, this was me:

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I always carried my phone (and ID, and debit card, and cash, and lip gloss, and keys, and anything else I needed when not carrying a purse) in my bra. On the left side of my left boob to be exact (just like the picture). I started doing this back in my clubbin’ days, probably around 2002 when I got my first flip phone. There’s no way an old school Nokia would fit in a bra LOL! But what started as a convenient way to carry my phone, ID and cash during the weekend turned into a daily habit that I carried on for the last 14 years… up until a month ago.

The morning of September 30th, I was up going through my normal routine getting ready for work when I was in the shower washing my lady pillows when I noticed a lump. Now I do self exams here and there and I’ve always thought I had lumpy boobs to begin with and I always thought to myself “how does one know what a real lump feels like when the whole thing feels lumpy?” Well, to me, this lump stood out. And to make matters worse, it was right in the area I carried my cell phone.

I instantly panic and start worrying. I kept feeling that area and the area around it to make sure I wasn’t crazy. And I Googled. And we’ve all seem the Dr. Oz bit about a 21 year old getting breast cancer reportedly from her cell phone, but my Google search brought up that there’s really no correlation between the two. It didn’t help my panicking, though.

I get to work and I immediately emailed my doctor’s office to see if I could get a quick 15 minute appointment with my doctor so she could tell me I’m crazy. And thank goodness she could see me on my lunch break!

When I got there, and they took my vitals, my blood pressure was sky high! Now, I’m at my doctor’s office weekly for therapy and they take my bp every time so they knew this was not the norm which reflects how stressed I was over this situation.

Anyways, I see my doctor and she couldn’t feel what I felt. Unfortunately, I had felt too much and totally bruised/inflamed the area where I felt it, so she told me to not touch it at all and let it calm down and to come back in a week. Let me tell you, my boob hurt for 3 days from my aggressive examining! Anyways, the good thing that came out of this visit us that she explained to me about my lumpy boobs and that it’s called “fibrocystic” when they are lumpy all over. Google revealed to me:

Fibrocystic breast disease, commonly called fibrocystic breasts or fibrocystic change, is a benign (noncancerous) condition in which a woman has painful lumps in her breastsFibrocystic breast disease isn’t dangerous, but it can be a bothersome condition because it can cause discomfort. The condition is common.

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This calmed me down 99%. Why isn’t that common knowledge? All you ever hear is lumps=breast cancer.

Anyways, it took me 2 weeks to see her again and she finally felt what I felt. She said she didn’t think it was anything to be concerned about due to me not having any other symptoms, but scheduled me to have an ultrasound anyways just to be sure.

So that happened last week. I don’t care what anyone says or how strong a person is, having a routine test with even the slightest possibility that the result could be cancer is scary. I was a nervous wreck. From my doctor’s appointment to the day of the ultrasound, I was distracted, stressed, irritated, stressed, upset, stressed, worried, and stressed.

The day came and I handled it like a boss. I was nervous about someone staring at my boob for like 15 minutes, but it honestly wasn’t that bad.

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The ultrasound tech was very nice and comforting and she really didn’t even look directly at my boob except to see wear to put the ultrasound thingy and then she stared at the screen the rest of the time. *phew*

When it was all over, the radiologist came in and told me that they didn’t see anything to worry about. They also suggested I do a mammogram because the full markup for a woman over 30 with a palpable lump is the mammo and ultrasound but my doctor only requested the ultrasound. They asked if I wanted to wait while they try to get an order from my doctor, so I did, and after 30 minutes, the ultrasound tech comes to tell me they ran it through my insurance to see how much the mammogram would be and it was over $200! No thank you, ma’am! I am content with the ultrasound so I skipped my happy ass outta there!

So, how’s that for dealing with a breast cancer scare during breast cancer awareness month?? I thought this post and my experience would be more appropriate than wearing anything pink or going without a bra for a day.

And just so you all know, I haven’t put my phone in my bra since that day. 🙌

Monday “Slim M” Check-In

I’ve been in a funk lately when it comes to my blog and I’ve been busy on the weekends as well and haven’t had time to properly weigh in (aka strip naked and wait until after I poo) but I did weigh in this morning and I was at 265.5.

Pretty safe to say I’ve held steady around 265 for the last 3 weeks. I’m actually shocked that I don’t weigh more because I have been very inconsistent with my food/eating and have pigged out on more than one occasion.

But that stops today!!

I went grocery shopping and will be on a schedule from now on.

I realized that letting myself get off track for the wedding week made it super hard for me to get control afterwards. I’m 3 weeks late and I’m barely getting there. I could’ve lost another 5lbs by now!

But here’s to another day, another week, another go at it!

I may have moments where I forget my goal, but I’ll never give up on it!

Best Bitch

So a couple of weeks ago (yeah, I’m late) MY SISTER GOT MARRIED!!!

I had the honor of being her right-hand man, and in this case of it being a lesbian wedding and her being more “groom-ish”, that made me the Best Man–or as she so lovingly coined me, the “Best Bitch” 🙂

It was a great day full of family, friends, love and fun! I’m so happy that they have finally made the jump after 7 years together and it’s LEGAL!

Here are some pics from the happy day…

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My sister and I watching her bride walk down the aisle.

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