Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Gift of Being Present

I always come across angry FB posts about the war on body image. People going on rants, upset about fat mannequins or super thin models or overly photoshopped images, etc...

Here's the reason why I don't give a shit about any of those:

People go on and on about how those things give young people, particularly girls, a wrong sense of what society expects them to look like - ok, before I go on, let me clarify that I don't have daughters. I have a house full of boys and perhaps having a daughter or two might make me think differently (though I strongly doubt it) but I really feel that the key to all of this is to be present.

Yes, I find it quite simple.

I truly feel that amount of time I spend with my kids and how present I am in their lives has a much stronger impact on them than any overly photoshopped magazine image or super thin runway model.

It's a choice. I can run around Facebook "liking" pictures about how "real women" have curves ...which, by the way, I have fluctuated in weight and body types many times, I have been with and without curves, and both ways I felt quite real... or I can sit down to have real conversations with my children to tell them how incredibly unique and special they each are in their own way. And I can teach them healthy eating habits and encourage them to stay active and invite them to join me on my jogs and workouts.

When my boys come across ads and commercials with seemingly "perfect" looking people, they will know that their mother thinks they are beautiful people inside and out. They get their "body image" from ME. They get their confidence and self-worth from ME. Not from TV ads or FB memes. The world is ALWAYS going to be full of crap and bullshit and people looking for tiny, weak-minded souls to prey on. There's nothing I can do about that, but I CAN raise strong, smart, productive children. *I* am raising these kids, NOT the world.

One day they will grow up and choose their own paths. Right now their hearts and minds belong to ME. I work hard every day to shape them into decent, kind, healthy human beings. I go to sleep emotionally and physically drained every night, knowing that every word that came out of my mouth today is going to affect who they are tomorrow. Of course some days are better than others. I am human, after all. I mess up. Some days I feel like I don't know what I am doing, but they go to bed every night knowing their mother thinks the world of them.

The truth is it's an ugly world out there. My job is to prepare them for that. I have to teach them, not only to survive in this ugly, ugly world, but to thrive and rise above all the ugliness. To find the beauty hidden in the ugliness, despite what the world has to say. To accept people for who are or who they choose to be. To know the difference between encouraging and judging. To believe that if they want to make a difference, they have to start with themselves.

So, who cares if some magazine editor went a little photoshop crazy or if there are famous voices everywhere constantly telling them what they should look like. At this moment, while their minds are still growing and being molded, my face and voice are stronger in their lives than ANY image or celebrity. They see ME and hear ME more often than they do anyone else. Until they get sick of me and move out, that is...

I  may not be able to give them a lot of material things, but they have ME.

Thank you for reading. Now drop your phone or your laptop or your tablet and go be present. Go on, now!

I will do the same.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Hay cosas que solo una persona que crecio en medio de dos culturas sabe. Como el Spanglish que vienen siendo palabras inventadas por Latino Americanos creadas al combinar el Espanol y el Ingles. No son correctas pero son aceptadas. Son utilizadas por grandes y chicos y son usadas hasta en papeles de la escuela y el trabajo o en anuncios en la calle.

He creado una lista -just for fun and because I'm bored and bilingual..

Puchar: Empujar - Push. Ejemplo: Ve y pucha a tu hermano en el columpio!!

Kiquear: Patear -Kick. Ejemplo: Kiquea la pelota, menso!!

Mixtear: Mezclar. Combinar - Mix. Ejemplo:  No te mixtees con la chusma!

Parquear: Estacionar - Park. Ejemplo: Mira ese pendejo no se sabe parquear bien.

Chequear: Rebizar - Check. Ejemplo: ahorita te voy a chequear la tarea y si no esta terminada te voy a chingar!

Yonque- Cochinada. Basura. Junk. Ejemplo: este pinche carro es un yonque!

Troca- Camioneta. Truck. Ejemplo: Ya se volvio a chingar la troca!

Esta no es palabra pero la gente aqui asi dice:

"Al rato te llamo patras" - "I'll call you back" - quiere decir que al rato te regreso la llamada o te vuelvo a llamar.

That's all I remember for now. Seguramente me faltan muchas.

Dime las que te sepas:

Ready. Set. Go.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Back to Blogging

You've missed me, don't lie.

Kidding, but seriously, I miss writing. It's one of the things I truly enjoy doing. It's hard to find time to do it right now, because I have four kids (five, counting my angel), including two babies, so I usually prefer to use my spare time to sleep, eat and wash off the sweat. 

As I type, I have Noah trying to close the laptop and poke random keys on my keyboard which, by the way, is missing the letter "Y" so I am forced to push this little plastic nub any time I need it. And with my foot I am rocking Ben to keep him from screaming.

Needless to say, the past couple of years have brought lots of changes. Sometimes I can't believe how much my life has changed. I'm still coping with lots of different emotions but I can honestly say I am the happiest I have ever been.

About 15 years ago, when I was I teenager and I thought I knew everything, I would have never imagined that before the age of thirty I was going to have to survive a rocky relationship, a divorce, the loss of a child, and the loss of my grandparents. I suppose I saw the latter coming. But it was still hard. I still cry every day. More on that later.....

So... after having three kids in three years it is no surprise I am about 70 lbs overweight. I've lost them before and I'll do it again, but UGH!!! what  a pain!! I'm gonna complain and mope and complain some more but it has to be done. I don't like the way my body feels or looks this way. I'm always tired and have frequent headaches and my knees HURT! I wish I could be one of those people who are big and happy, but personally, my body does not function properly at this weight. 

I know you find me fabulously fluffy, but if I expect to keep up with my posse (my four boys) I better start getting healthy.

Let me warn you I am bored AND sleep deprived so I may be updating frequently and talking a whole lotta nonsense at times. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

You Get What You Give

Note: Please ignore the typos and grammatical errors. I don't like to edit what I write , because it makes me want to change it and it takes away from the pure emotions I felt as I wrote it. So unless it's a school paper or such, I write what I feel, then breeze through it once, hoping to catch most errors. 

My brain is especially weak today. I've been up for two nights in a row taking care of sick babies.  Perhaps I can blame the fatigue for my harsh thoughts yesterday. I hate it when I am quick to judge without hesitation. I can usually put myself in my place and replace judgement with compassion, but I've been feeling quite hostile due to an unfortunate series of events in my life.

I'll be honest. I'm a little disgusted with myself. After all I've been through during the last few years, I should know better.

I don't even know where to start. I have so much to say and the words just aren't coming.
I'll do my best. I apologize in advance for my brutal honesty (and my ignorance). I promise I am not into brutality. I need to make a point and I can't do it by sugar coating the cruel thoughts that ran through my head.

You've been warned.

Yesterday, after a morning of errands and doctor's appointments, the boys and I ended up at McDonald's. We were hot and hungry, so we got a couple of happy meals and I sat  while the boys took their time running back and forth from the table to the play area. I quickly noticed an older gentlemen sitting alone directly in front of me. He was tall, well over six feet, lean and fair-skinned. He was dressed nice. Slacks, a dress shirt and a cotton pilot hat. A cotton pilot hat? in the middle of summer? His skin looked damaged. He had red, dry patches on his arms and his face. The left side of his face was droopy. But his most noticeable physical feature of all was a big, open sore on the left side of  the bridge of his nose. It looked raw and moist.

Gross, I thought. I hope whatever that is isn't contagious.

My kids kept running by him as they quickly took bites of their cheeseburgers and french fries and ran back to play. Don't worry, I made them sanitize their hands each time they ran back. Because of the germs, I mean. Not because they were running by him.
I kept catching myself thinking about how he shouldn't be out around children like that. What if it is contagious? what if my kids catch it? I wanted him to leave. I wanted him to move away from the children's play area. What the hell is that thing on his nose? It looks so disgusting! I thought over and over. I watched him as he pressed a napkin against it numerous times, as if to dry off the fluid from the sore. It looked red and raw and concave.

He was there almost as long as we were. He took his time eating, then I watched him as he pulled out a bunch of change from a pouch and separated the coins. He sat there quietly, minding his own business. He didn't even look up when Julian ran so close by him that I thought he was going to run right into him, as my oldest boy often tends to do. Usually he runs into things (mail boxes, signs and such) but I have seen him dart right into people a few times. But that's a whole other story. Ahh, that boy of mine. I wonder about him sometimes...

Anyway... as a professional WebMD surfer and former (still working on it) hypochondriac, I resorted to the data base in my cluttered head to diagnose the poor, oblivious man. In my mind he had a flesh-eating bacteria, or perhaps he was allergic to the sun. I saw that on the Discovery Channel once. How else do you explain the cotton pilot hat in August? I believe I even gave him AIDS and cancer and then blamed a recent stroke for the droopiness in the left side of his face.

I sat there judging him for a good hour or so before I realized what I was doing. So many adjectives came to my mind.
Insensitive, cruel, mean, unkind, callous...
But sometimes I really just have to call myself a bitch.  So...bear with me as I appropriately scold myself and put myself in my place. *Ahem*

You bitch! who the fuck do you think you are? why don't you take a mirror and look at yourself before you criticize others. Your own nose looks like a cross between a cat's and a pig's nose, you cold-hearted jerk. You don't like what you see, then look away! Mind your own business! you want to diagnose something? then diagnose my foot up your ass after I get done with you, asshole.

Ok, I'm done. I have a few more choice words for me, but I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. I've had a rough week and I want to believe the recent events in my life have made me more hostile and bitter than the average human.

The truth is I am not perfect. I teach my kids to be open minded and kind, but I do the complete opposite when no one is looking. For a moment, I made myself feel better by putting someone else down. What if he needed positive thoughts and vibes and I sent out nothing but negativity? His eyes looked sad. What if he needed a smile? What if I made him as uncomfortable as he made me? What if he just wanted to have his lunch in peace without people like me staring at him?

I'm sorry. I hope he is well. I hope his skin feels better today. I hope he is happy and healthy.

And if you're one of those who is thinking "Ehhh, who cares? it's not like you said it out loud or  pointed and laughed at him.."  well, that still doesn't make it right. I truly believe that what you put out is what you get in return. Call it karma or whatever you'd like. Put out hate and ill will and you will get it right back. Put out compassion and kindness, it will come back to you.

I hate that I allowed my mind to assume and jump to conclusions so quickly without stopping to think about what a day in his shoes might be like. As humans, I believe it's natural to wonder and then fill in the blanks with whatever will keep our minds satisfied, even if it means being unkind and ignorant. The question is can that cycle be broken? Can I go out and not care about what people wear or how they look or how I think they should have handled themselves in a situation. Can I? Can you?

I'm so tired. The baby is asleep and I should be resting, but I can't stop thinking about that man. Wherever he is, I am sending out good thoughts to him. Goodnight.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Four Pounds

I honestly didn't even give it my all but I must have done ok because I'm down four pounds. Just goes to show that a few changes can really make a difference.
This week I:
-stopped eating three hours before bedtime.
- added one serving of veggies to all my meals.
- Didn't drink any sodas or fruit juices
- replaced afternoon sweets with fresh fruits and sugar free jello
- went out for brisk walks
- walked to the store several times

Don't get me wrong. I do mess up and give in to temptation more often than I care to admit. I'm only human. But this week I learned that I don't need a huge fizzy drink with my meals or a giant pb&j before bed.

I didn't have much time to work out last week, but hopefully I can get a few workouts in this week.

Four down. Fifty six more to go.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

1 Down - 29 To Go

Weight and measurements as of now:

Weight- 185.4 lbs
Waist- 39 "
Thighs- 28 "
Hips- 45 "
Calves-  18 "
Neck- 15 "
Biceps-  14 "

Yesterday I made a blended concoction of power foods. I used kale, spinach, chia seeds, banana, coconut milk and water. Unfortunately, the taste of the kale sort of took over. I need to play with the ratios. I drank it anyway. It was drinkable, but not exactly pleasant. Gave me a good burst of energy, though.

Yesterday I went for a short walk ( about 1.5 miles), it would have been longer except Spring time is really rough on my allergies. I'm still recovering from this tonsilitis too. I look like a zombie right now.

Anyway, I'm on my phone and I don't know how to place the pictures where I want them, so somewhere along this post you will find pictures of a few of my meals. Mostly veggies, with some sort of protein. I tend to use a lot of bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, hard boiled eggs (no yolk), tilapia, small steaks, etc...

The baby is asleep right now so I'm going to take advantage and do some cleaning.

Monday, June 3, 2013

30 Days

I've always wondered how much weight I could lose in one month if I did nothing but workout and eat clean for 30 days straight. It took me over two months to lose ten pounds, but I wasn't giving it my all and I kept falling off track any time something delicious was around me.
I love food. I love homemade food, I love junk food, I love fast food, I love microwavable junk and things in brightly colored packages and things with insane amounts of sugar, things with cheese and sprinkles and... well, you get it.
The last time I lost forty pounds, which was right after Tyler was born, I was going through withdrawals. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but it's true. I was shaky and anxious, because I couldn't stuff my face silly. I wanted cookies and cake and pizza. As I get older, I can see the consequences of my bad eating habits making themselves more evident. My immune system is at it's weakest, I developed gestational diabetes during my last pregnancy and I'm always tired. I love food, but I refuse to spend what's left of my 20s as a tired schlob who can't keep up with her three (four) crazy boys.
I meant to start this on the first of June, but I managed to start the month with a painful case of tonsilitis. I'm on antibiotics and about 50% better now. Also, bear with me because I am doing this all via my phone as I am currently too "financially challenged" to afford internet.
So, here it goes. I have about 60 lbs to lose. Lets see how close to my goal I can get in 30 days. Just to make it clear, this is just me and some common sense knowledge about health and fitness. No weird, trendy diets or expensive personal trainers. I'll post my beginning stats as soon as baby gives me a minute. Right now he has other plans.


Ready. Set. Go!