This is Trust Your Gut | What Did My Brain Just Tell Me? Trust Your Gut is a series of blog posts that began on February 2, 2017. In this first blog, I introduce the concept of the category and begin to share my own story. In this blog, specifically, I write about something very dangerous. Denial.
Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues. It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on. Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real. The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people that have weight issues, on either end of the scale. If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Home page for this blog. I know there are people out there that want to help people like them, as I do.
The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name. If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story. The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors. I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.
Here is Trust Your Gut:Tish’s Story; Part 83.
In just about every online space you go, these days, at least in the platforms I use on a regular basis, people are talking a lot about mindset. The power of the mind is a miraculous thing when it is being used for a greater purpose. It can also lead people down the wrong path. I am not writing about the criminal mind, nor the mind of people who have mental health issues in this case, though. I am writing about how it can make you believe something that just isn’t true. In this case, I am writing about denial.
I love to read, especially fantasy and science fiction.
This love for reading has allowed me to expand my own creative horizons and write two books, with many other projects, and more to come, God willing. I love my imagination, and the way I can create worlds in my writing, with the hopes of fascinating readers with what I publish. When you read for pleasure, you also read to capture a bit of escapism from the real world.
I have been reading some books by Jim Butcher, who is the author of The Dresden Files. The main character, Harry, is a wizard for hire in these books, and I quite enjoy reading all of the trouble he gets into and manages to wiggle his way out of. It is a similar type of character that I have created more than once when I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons. Some of those characters have had fantastic adventures, the kind legends are born from. By doing the same thing as this wizard, in their own way.
Not too long ago, I was reading one of these books, called White Night. In this book, a character description made me pause and shake my head at what I heard myself thinking. The character was a mafia bodyguard, male, and he was described as massive, at over three hundred pounds. I thought to myself, “That’s not that big. I weigh over three hundred pounds.” It was at this moment I had to stop myself from reading, to process what I was thinking in response to that character description.
I then thought to myself, “Wait a minute. What did my brain just tell me?”
It was at this time I reread the paragraph and took a moment to process the amount of denial my brain has been feeding to me for the majority of my life. Three hundred pounds IS big. The distribution of the weight also plays a huge factor in this realization.
A person who is significantly taller than my five foot two and three-quarters of an inch in height would have the benefit of a larger area to distribute this much weight. Plus, it is a character described as a bodyguard, which would also have a different muscle to fat composition than I do. This character would be healthier, and not morbidly obese. Yet the weight of three hundred pounds is described as massive. I needed to proceed carefully as I processed this information.
I am still very mobile, even though lately I have had a hard time catching my breath. I can get up and down, walk and dance. I can sprint if there is a short distance to be covered and time to recover on the other side of that sprint. But I know that the distribution of my weight is all on the front side of my body, and it is more fat than muscle. And I got on the scale last week. I now weigh more than I did when I took that picture. It was really disappointing, but it is one reason why I am trying to do better.
I’m not going to make the mistake of thinking I am massive.
A part of last week’s story comes from the fact that people tell me I don’t look as big as I am, and that I carry the weight well. I am tired of not looking the way I feel. I do not see myself as massive, nor do I see myself as morbidly obese. When I look in the mirror, I just see myself. When I step on the scale, I see a number. Higher or lower than the last time, but nonetheless a number. This past week, it was 336.4 lbs. I am not in a hurry to get back on a scale after seeing this number, but when I do, I will share it for accountability. It is time to start dancing more every day.
On a positive note, I sang with the radio in the bathroom today to, “I want to dance with somebody” by Whitney Houston. I was done in the shower, and stayed in there to sing my heart out, and dance a little bit. When the song was over, I peeked around the corner at Roy and sang, “Don’t you want to dance, say you want to dance, don’t you want to dance?” His reply was, “Oh, I heard you singing.” He is not a fan of my singing, not at all. I said, “GOOD!” as I bopped down the hallway. We both laughed. I am doing better because I am trying harder. For now, that is what I am focusing on. Just doing as much as I can to be better.
When was the last time you had a reality check? #TrustYourGut
Here is Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 82 | Reflections
A lot has happened since I last wrote a blog in this category (or any category, for that matter). The scale has even crept a little higher than what you see in the cover photo. That terrifies me so much I have stopped stepping onto the scale. I know it can be an obsession if I get on it too frequently, but also dangerous for me to be oblivious about what my weight is. I watch shows like my 600 LB Life and The 1000 LB Sisters. I don’t watch because I want to be like them or to be on one of the shows. I watch to remind myself what is going to happen if I continue to make bad choices.
It is early January 2022. My husband and I went on a road trip, the first one since July of 2019. We traveled to Nova Scotia to stay with his mother for the week. It was a nice visit. My mother-in-law knows I love lobster, and she made sure there was plenty for me to have as a treat during our visit. I ate my fill, and then some. After all, it was the holiday season, and with the world the way it is, we didn’t have plans to paint the town red during our visit.
We did go out one evening to see the Christmas lights. There were some really great decorated houses to see, and it was a nice break from having to stay the blazes home. (Hey, I was IN Nova Scotia, where this song came from…)
While I was away, I had a lot of time to think.
Too much, if you ask me. I got inside my head a bit, and when that happens, it is not always a good thing. When I am being creative, it can be wonderful, but when I am just left alone with my thoughts, they aren’t always nice to me.
One change my mother-in-law has made in her home since inheriting it is the layout on the ground floor and adding an ensuite bathroom. Before, when we visited the home she grew up in, there was a bathtub but no shower. I am not a bath person. I might take one from time to time, but I love a good, long, hot shower. At home, I often run out of hot water before I am finished, and it is something that irritates me a lot. I do think in there, and that does happen when the water is running. So believe me when I tell you, the showers I took while I was away were glorious! Not only were they in a brand new bathroom, but the shower had a light in the ceiling, the shower head was detachable and held in place with a magnet, and I had plenty of hot water. I did not feel rushed, which I often do at home.
She also has a lovely oval mirror hanging on the back of the bathroom door. It is wider than the ones you find on sale in September for the college crowd. It has a lovely wooden frame, possibly oak. and it is hung at the perfect height on the bask of the bathroom door in the ensuite. With no real schedule to follow for a week, I was able to take my time in the shower, and in getting ready, so everything I needed was easy to find when I got out.
I found myself admiring the mirror.
Of course, when I had undressed to get into the shower, I looked at my reflection. Something I do not stop to do very often. What I saw was a person who carries her extra weight on the front of her body, for the most part. From the thighs to my chin, the excess weight on my body hangs on the front half. Sure, there is room for improvement all the way around, but the majority of my weight issue is all in front of me. And it was obvious to see as I looked at my reflection. I just don’t know when the last time I stopped long enough to take a good look at the side view of myself was. Or to be honest, if I ever really did before.
I did not look with any thoughts in my mind. I was not bashing myself for what I saw. I just took a real good look and was objective about it. This is where the weight is, and these are the areas that need the most work. It didn’t affect me emotionally to do this. Which is both good and bad. Let me explain.
Obviously, if it made me feel bad about my self image, it would have been devastating to see my reflection. It is a good thing to be in a place of reality when it comes to my weight. I understand that I have a lot of extra weight and that the only way that changes is if I change. Which is good. But being okay with what I saw isn’t the healthiest outcome, either. I am accepting myself at face value, and not in a desperate panic to change how I look, either. It won’t change overnight, but there needs to be some feeling there to make me want to change, and I am not sure the feeling was in me.
This is what I look like.
Sometimes you need to give yourself a reality check and a wake-up call to understand what others see when they look at you. When you come from a place of kindness to yourself, it makes a world of difference. It means I didn’t spiral out of control with food, and I allowed myself to have treats, just enough to be something small, but not overindulgent. There are no selfies accompanying this blog, as I saw what I saw, and I have moved forward with the start of a plan for 2022.
I am making the effort to prep cook and meal plan this year. I am also going to live up to my word for 2022, and dance every day in 2022. As a result of this, I will be more active, and I will be able to leave the dead weight of 2021 behind me. Now that is something I can commit to.
What are you doing in 2022 to move forward in a more healthy way? #trustyourgut
The time of year to clean and purge is upon us, and I have started with my makeup. I will admit that I had a difficult time choosing what to keep and what to toss. I made some tough choices, but that is what happens when I don’t set boundaries and take in things I really don’t need. Let me explain.
Since starting my part-time job, I have been given a lot of product samples. There were a bunch of makeup testers destined for the trash if I didn’t take them home. I went through the pile, found out how to safely disinfect them and clean them to make them safe for me to use, bagged them up and took them home.
I got the cleaning supplies for them. Do you know what happened next? They sat on top of my vanity for several months, in the bag.
Why did I leave them there?
Since I have become more intentional and focused on the makeup I am selling, I have been struggling with what to do with my other makeup. On one hand, I love the products I had bought, and I was given a great gift to help me practice and get better with makeup application.
On the other hand, I want to use only the makeup from my company to promote what I love, and help people learn how to use it. I thought about just using all of the makeup I had in my Adventures With Makeup Club, since it was adding to what I have to work with in the art of makeup.
I started purging. It took an hour or so, and then I had some indecision about some if the makeup I had been hanging on to.
One thing about me is that when I make a decision, I take action. I may think about it, and sleep on it first, but I do take action once that decision is made.
I left the garbage bag out, and thought about the few items I was uncertain about keeping.
Before I went to bed, I made my decision. Even though it hurt a little, I tossed almost all of the makeup I had that was not from my makeup company. I still wonder if that was the right thing to do, but it made organizing my makeup easier than if I had kept some of the other products.
Creating space for the products I want to tell people about, and share my adventures with, has made the adventure easier to think about. Plus it was a great start to the purging of what I do not need to hold on to.
Now that I am organized, I feel so much better about investing in my business. It is tidy and organized, so that I can find what I need quickly and easily when I want to enhance my natural beauty with the accessory of makeup.
It is time to revive this category on my blog. My last entry was in 2019, and coincidentally enough, I was preparing for company. It is a year and a half since I wrote it, and my how things have changed.
I have been working part time at a day job. I work a lot of weekends, and that is okay, because it is what I was hired for. It is in the beauty industry, and relates to my direct marketing jobs with clothing and makeup. I wasn’t kidding when I wrote about changes.
One thing stays the same. I am still working on cleaning and organizing my home. This year, I am trying new tactics. I am not trying to finish one job before I start the next. I am working on multiple areas at once. I get it to the end of one phase, and I move on. I am slowly making progress, more than I have in the past.
I am giving myself grace. I don’t have any deadlines for company at the moment, but I am working on it anyway. I have been watching Cas from the Clutterbug on Youtube, and something she said made sense. It changed how I look at the whole concept of cleaning. I need to retrain my brain, to understand that I will be cleaning because I love to live in a beautiful, inviting home. I am a long way from getting to this goal, but I have made some small steps in the right direction.
I grumble under my breath as I put trash where it belongs. In the trash. Not all over the kitchen. Sometimes I get lazy about it, and other times I am picking up after my husband. The point is not who dropped it, but that it needs to be taken care of. It could be a bread tie or the seal from a milk carton. Nothing to cause the kitchen to be deemed unsanitary, but just enough to make my eye twitch as I grumble on the way to the garbage can.
I am not cleaning the dishes every day, but I am working on getting there. We use the dishwasher frequently, we take turns with it. The same goes for laundry. As I am working on changing my mindset in other areas of my life, I am finding it is easier to do in terms of housekeeping too. I want to have a home that welcomes me when I get home from work. It isn’t there yet, but I know I am going to find my way.
I am also watching a month-long declutter series on Youtube, set up by The Minimal Mom. I am not a minimalist, but I do see the value in having fewer things. I am working on how to incorporate some of the things I learn into my lifestyle. Last week it was about the kitchen, and this week it is about clothing. There will be a week about paper clutter, and I am not sure what the other week will cover. I am watching and learning.
One thing about choosing the word BALANCE for my word of 2021 is that I need to continue learning, but to also take more action. The learning is no good to me if I just absorb information and never do anything with it. I am trying new things, and this year I am learning about Bullet Journalling. I feel like it might be an answer I have been searching for. I am still setting it up, and I have 2. The good news is that it is helping to relieve my tension as I am working on it.
Yesterday I worked. I took the evening to catch up on TV and relax. Today I took my time. I slept in, watched Mass For Shut-ins on TV, and a few more shows. I went to an online book club meeting, and will be attending a weekly goal setting meeting, also online, later this evening. In between the meetings, I am working on dishes and laundry. Changing the bed. Things I can start and walk away from or things that can be finished in a short amount of time. I decided to take a few minutes to share about my weekend because I am working on getting back into the blogging, and I really used to have fun with this category.
When I get these chores done, I can then work on a creative project as a reward. I need to make time for crafts and writing so that I find inner joy in more of my days. Being creative brings me to life. I need to allow myself time for this so that I can cope with and manage the things which aren’t so much fun.
I also used my face cleanser machine for the first time today. I am learning about skincare, and I want to improve how I take care of myself, too. This will be done over time, by making time to do it. It is important to do something for me, and while one of my two bullet journals will be for my health, the other is for me. My lifestyle, goals, and ideas. Things I need to write somewhere so that I don’t forget about them. With so much on my mind, I am finding I am forgetting things, and I am trying to find a way to build the habit of writing things down, in a pretty and functional space.
All things considered, I feel like this weekend is a win. I am not at the end, yet, but I am going to keep working on things so that I can complete the plans I set out to do. Working on finding a balance in all areas of my life is the tone I have set for 2021. I really feel like I am on the right path.
Hello to my Beautiful Friends. I know it has been a hot minute since I last wrote in this category. I will not apologize, sometimes I need a break to fill my own cup, run my spoons through the dishwasher, and just be with myself. I plan to be writing here every other week for a while so that I can get back into the habit of blogging and sharing my Adventures With Makeup.
Like so many people on social media, I am a direct marketer. I still have a lot to learn, and I am happy to say that 2020 provided me with some new opportunities. I gained a part-time job in the beauty industry. I can continue to grow and challenge myself there while serving the local community of stylists in a retail store. Physically, I wasn’t sure that I could ever work on my feet again, but this job has allowed me to build up my stamina. I still have moments when my nerve pain bothers me, however, my doctor has been able to prescribe something to help manage it. I am gaining confidence in my ability to work on my feet, and in my expanding knowledge of the beauty industry as well.
My business offered some wonderful bundles of makeup throughout the holiday season. In 2019, I was only able to purchase one of them. In 2020, I made it a mission to get them all. I have received all but the last holiday bundle to date, and I am eagerly checking the tracking information for updates. I had mini celebrations here as bundles one through nine arrived in my mailbox. I have not tried out all of the products, yet. I have tried a few, and I am impressed with all of them so far.
You see, I had a plan when I decided to get the holiday bundles for myself. I wanted to have my own products to use, so that I can give them my honest reviews. I am honest to a fault, and I value my integrity immensely. I am an optimist and I do my best to find the bright side of everything I can. So even when I review products, I will be honest if I am not happy with them, explain what I do not like, and then spin it to aim towards people who like the things I do not. I am not in the business of destroying anything or anyone, I look for something good in everything and everyone.
Today I wanted to set the stage for the next entries. I will be scheduling time to use the products I received in the bundles, to help me to grow my business. It is hard to tell people why you love something if you have not tried it yourself, and I now have more to work with. It is one reason for the title of this blog, and why I decided to invest in my business.
The other reason is personal. I have found that I really enjoy playing with makeup! I do not wear it every day. For me, it is something I have worn in the past for special occasions only. I sometimes share eyes only posts, because we have to wear masks due to the pandemic to minimize the spread of Covid-19. I wish I could have written this blog without referring to the pandemic, but it is here, and we are adapting as much as we can to be able to survive it. So many people have died from it, and many are suffering, either from fighting the illness or from the loss of loved ones. Others are struggling with mental health issues. If you missed the connection above, filling your cup and running out of spoons are references to mental health and wellness.
One thing you can do to make yourself feel better is to do makeup on your eyes only if you have to wear a mask. When you have a day off and do not plan to leave the house, it is a great excuse to do a full face of makeup to make yourself feel better and to snap a new profile pic for your social media. Show people your blank canvas, and then enhance your natural beauty with makeup. There are lots of tutorials on Youtube for different makeup trends, and if you are going to play, why not learn something new at the same time? It could be a technique, a new style of makeup brush to use, or if you splurge, you can try new makeup and learn from makeup artists online.
I am working towards a collection of my own makeup, from my own company, so that I can show people how to use it and what the benefits are for the products. There is a skincare line, and it is something I am working towards earning more of in 2021.
I have slowly been growing my makeup biz, and I am constantly looking for new ideas of how to make it more successful. I am sharing my first official ‘look’ photo above, and two more here. When I do a full face of makeup, I like to take numerous selfies, including some with my glasses on, and some without. Then I can show how the makeup looks whether you wear glasses or you don’t.
I feel like I am improving my skills, and that will translate to more customers in the future. It is the ultimate goal of any entrepreneur to grow their business. As I work on this, I always want to remind myself that we are all Always Beautiful and that applying makeup is a skill we can use to enhance our own natural beauty. I believe this is something that I am learning myself, and I am happy to share the journey with all who are interested in following me on this path. I know I am beautiful on the inside, but for years, I would only want to be the person behind the camera taking the pictures, not being in them. I have come a long way in five years, personally, and I am looking forward to the future with hope. I share the good selfies, and the bad ones, to show that I am learning and that it is okay to share the not so perfect pics because they aren’t all the best pictures of me. They are pictures of me, though, and I do not use filters. Whether or not I am wearing makeup, I have gained so much confidence in myself that I don’t think twice about sharing the silly selfies. They make me human, and that is something we all have in common.