Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The one where Blake has another existential crisis.

They say that when the seasons change you as a person change as well. I believe this statement to be generally true however I would apply it to the decades you go through as your age. First comes the rough and tumble teenage years where you hide away all those essential parts of your personality that makes you an individual in order to “fit in”. After being thrust forward in life to your twenties where you will spend the first half exploring who you are in the world, releasing those hidden traits and finding that it is exhausting trying to fit in to such a little square peg. So you make yourself a posse of friends from various backgrounds, and you start staying up late, making adventures, falling in deep love for the first time, and then the late part of your twenties hit. The holy shit where am I going with my life, this is what I got my degree in but I’m not happy, where do I want to work? Suddenly people are getting married because they want to not cause they have to. All the sudden the wild child is married and has two kids and no one freaks out.

Oh then you turn thirty and this is the age where you learn all the lessons from the mistakes and adventures you had in your twenties. I call it the Look at me I’ve reproduced, bought a house, ran a marathon, gotten divorced, and am fighting to get noticed in my job stage. Oh. Suddenly the I needs to show up in your dreams. I need to save for retirement, I need to travel, I need to spend more time with XYZ before they are gone, and I need to lose weight shows up. So the question lies when do you start feeling confident in your life?  Is this a product of the society that we are a part of?
Last week I was sitting in church having gotten a walk around from the single’s ward. Let me explain. When you turn thirty one they kick you out of the single’s ward sending you a letter stating basically you have two options. A. Go to the mid-level there’s a reason why you aren’t married single ward, or you can return back to the family ward where hopefully someone has a fat sister they can pawn off on you. All the sudden you’re married friends say this lovely sentence I have the perfect person for you to go out with BUT something. Usually the BUT is something that is something you can’t ignore. He has a great personality BUT he has constant gas and sounds like a car that backfires every five seconds. They mean well. Because your married friends don’t like being just the two of them since they have decided to swear lifelong fidelity to each other they need someone else to date. Otherwise they are forced to deal with each other. No they aren’t looking to add someone else this isn’t Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. So you endure these blind dates, these I mean well set ups because well there’s only so many times you can flick through the Netflix queue and realize you are wearing the I give up sweats and eating a pint of ice cream. *I only know this for the sake of research or as I like to call it every Saturday night*

I’m trying to figure out how do you deal with the boredom of your thirties? You aren’t broke poor like your twenties, you are still saddled with a great load of debt from your free loving twenties (by free loving I mean those lovely student loans) and the idea of staying in hostel no longer sounds romantic but rather dirty and gross. You may be poor but you’ve upgraded to a better mattress and you clean your sheets every week now why would you want to sleep on sheets left on a bed from the Nixon administration? Plus staying up past ten at night deserves an award. Basically if you can get me out of my house past 9 there better be ice cream or fried foods available. 

So what I’m trying to ask is how do you capture the essence of your twenties in your thirties?  With earlier curfews of course.  Is your thirties your last shot on doing those dreams you told yourself that you would do in your twenties? 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The One Where Blake Goes to a Wedding

Whoo. Ever want to feel old? Watch the youngest sibling get married. It was a beautiful wedding, reception, dinner and such. Yet in my mind when I looked at my little brother I saw the little boy who wore camo everywhere and dressed as James Bond for Halloween. Every year was a different animal to hunt the cutest being two ducks. The hard moments of watching him navigate the tumultuous journey that is middle school and high school. Waiting each Monday for the weekly email to come while he was on his mission.

It goes so quickly how fast they grow up. One minute they are this thing that you can’t stand and the next moment they meet someone and you see them falling in free fall in love and suddenly they become like a MGM musical. Their feet don’t seem to touch the floor. At first when Hunter introduced Ashley to our family I realized from the moment that she was something special to Hunter. It doesn’t take long to you to realize how lucky you are to gain another sister.

So it’s wonderful.

It’s marvelous.

That they could find each other and found love and I wish nothing but the best for them.  Cause in this day and age we need more love stories and less stories of people falling apart. The moment I fell apart is when they were doing that little awkward first married dance as a couple and I hope that they will always look at each other the way they looked at each other in that moment.  How time seemed to speed up and slow down it’s a look I’ve seen in brief moments when my mother found my step father. The moment my sister married my brother in law. The moment I saw Thea. The last time I saw my Grandma look at my Grandpa before she cut the strings and freed herself from her physical body. It’s that look that says in the best way you will be the death and life of me.
It’s the look that says I’ll never let you go and that I’ll be right beside you. That feeling when you fall back and you let go and that person catches you. I’m grateful that in this moment there is a little bit more of love and joy than sadness and hatred in this world.

So to Hunter and Ashley on their wedding day I wish them nothing but love and joy. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The One where Blake Goes to a Rehearsal Dinner

It finally happened. That magical day when both my siblings have changed their tax statues and have left me as the last single child. Lucky me. Last night was the rehearsal dinner/ family meet and greet, basically the last chance for the bride to decide if she really wants to be joined in holy matrimony not only to the prince of the family but to the rest of us as well.  The dinner was beautiful, the church house was wonderfully decorated, and everyone got along great. However since I am the most awkward person you will ever meet at a party I was proud of myself for not saying “MOVE YOUR BLOOMING ARSE!” during the whole event. However here are some reject answers to those invariable questions about my life that I thought y’all would enjoy. 

On Being Single:

“I just haven’t found the right person in the tax bracket that I aspire to.”

“I really just want to focus on my art and career right now.” 

“The other personalities just don’t think it’s time to introduce a new person to the mix.” 

“The other wives are against it”. 

“My life partner Mark/Rick/Steve (points on catching the Steel Magnolia reference) wouldn’t approve”. 

“I’ve seen what happens after the age of forty. Am now seeking therapy to deal with the horror.”

On My Job:

“I was a stripper until I got too fat for it”. 

“Are you sure you want to know? I work in Mammography. You know cranky old lady boobs.”

“Why no I wasn’t aware that your son was involved in the latest pyramid scheme coming from Utah Valley. I’m so interested tell me more.” 

On Exercising:

“Why no I didn’t know rubbing essential oils will break up the fat. Tell me more about this”. 

“Eating is my sport”. 

“ My sister is the Ironman. I just eat the sympathy carbs”. 

Lastly Why no this isn’t going into my blog. 

The One Where Blake Wants a Doughnut

Today is the eleventh day out of the 146 out of this challenge to myself. Or as I like to call it the day that the doughnut craving kicks in. I just want a doughnut so freaking bad that it’s not even funny. I woke up and the conversation in my head went something like this:

Me: Oh yay. It’s Thursday. I’m up.


Me: Festus we don’t eat doughnuts anymore. While they are magically delicious with their white glaze and the artfully placed sprinkles it will just bring around the feeling of guilt and bloated.


Me: UGH. You don’t love bloated. Bloated makes not fit into shirts and have to wear the muumuu to work. (The muumuu is a shirt I had to buy when I was so fat I couldn’t wear any other clothes.) We don’t like the muumuu. Look let’s enjoy this lovely cup of herbal tea. You like tea remember?


It’s been a non-stop party going on here. While I’m fighting that little fat bastard (aka the Festus) I’m proud of myself for not going to Krispy Kreme and ordering all the doughnuts just because I have all the feels. I’m realizing that this doughnut craving is nothing more than just that a craving of stress. I know that I would eat the doughnut. Feel guilty and not really enjoy it. It’s not as magical as my sugar craving brain would have me believe. It’s just too bad that broccoli doesn’t take like a doughnut. It will pass and I’ll be able to squeeze myself into a suit tomorrow for the blessed event. (AKA the wedding.) Let us pray the Spanx hold out. Two layers. I’ll be sweating bullets but the Festus will be looking like he’s under control!



This is how the rest of the day is going to go. Hope you have a great day! 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The One Where Blake Lays Some Ground Rules

So I realize that this is kinda a fitness blog/baby book for Festus. However I wanted to clarify what my goals are in writing this. I have to write this down so I don’t find myself becoming a stereotype. Cause I’m a special snowflake.

The things I promise not to do:

1. Write inspirational post on generic fitness health information. Y’all have Google or better yet Pinterest. I don’t have a degree or medical training in weight loss. All I have is five years of fatness and a really nice trainer. I hate that kind of post.   You know what I’m talking about the thin girl who’s never been fat in her life telling me what to do? No thanks. Go eat a pint of ice cream, sit on the couch and be quiet. Those "5" pounds you want to lose is what keeps you visable. Lose it and when you turn sideways Poof! No more you. 

2. Lift my shirt up and take pictures of the FESTUS. It’s better for everyone involved.

3.  Grunt loudly at the gym. So awkward. One time I was lifting my little 15 pound weight and this thing ( I call him a thing cause he was like the Hulk and a Koompa. Fake tan and big muscles) starts grunting and moaning as he was lifting weights. Most. Awkward. Moment. Ever.

4. Food Prep pictures.  You don’t want to see my Tupperware. Hell I don’t even want to see my Tupper ware. FYI I’m avoiding the whole look I made week’s worth’s of chicken and rice pictures.  You will never see my food scale unless I’m tossing it out the window.

5. I’m not doing cross fit. There will be no talking about boxes, snatches, weezes, lunge ups, gross pictures of my palms or preaching the cross-fit gospel. Or somehow working it into a conversation. Last week at lunch we were having an I depth discussion on who was better Debbie Gibson or Tiffany. (Team Tiffany all the way.) granted this wasn't my usual lunch group when out of no where the crossfiter was able to sneak it into the discussion and how it related to her crossfit family. I was nice and didn't say anything but in my head I went you just wanted to talk about crossfit. Please don't hurt me crossfiters as I am fat and pudgy. I admire your love for doughnuts. 

6.  I’m dressed to workout selfie/I’m working out/ Post workout Selfie. I’ll describe them in three words. Gross, grosser, and the grossiest. (Yes I know that’s not a real word however I did use it to win scrabble one triple word score so win for me!).  Yesterday when I was dying on the treadmill the gentleman next to me pulls out his camera does a duck face and then posted it on Instagram. All I could think of is really? Now is the perfect time for a duck face? (FYI? It’s never a good time for a duck face.)

7. There will be no guilt inducing, shame based posting going on here. I made myself fat. Now I’m trying to make myself less fat. It’s simple as that. This is MY journey. I only ask that you hold me accountable to my choices. I have issues when I’m on Instagram and I see the fitspiration post on 3pm on a Tuesday with the script over the picture “no excuses”. That’s great I’m proud of you for going. Way to go fat hand clap. This is my journey and I’m inviting you along. There will be no humble bragging kind of post. They type that starts with “I wake up at five and run ten miles and then get up to make breakfast for my kids”. Look I’m just happy if I put on shoes that match each other. Plus can we stop the shaming? Please? I get so annoyed when I open up Instagram in bed and half of the Insta population is out running marathons with the #no shame# running in the rain# no excuses.  I’m guilty of this but I’m trying to stop!

8.  There will be no shake promoting. Taste nasty. Give me real food.

9. Pretend that I have my life in order.  When I post a good recipe or pretty food just know that my kitchen will probably look like the great chocolate chili disaster of 2014. Tomato sauce. EVERYWHERE. In my hair, on the ceiling, on the floor and I lost a good shirt that day. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

The One Where Blake Goes to the Gym

Eight days ago I posted a picture of the virtual contract that I wanted to hold myself to. I’ve been doing some studying lately on habits, weight loss, and change. I’ve been really nervous about holding the magnifying glass up to myself and seeing all my faults and the things I’ve been avoiding. To put it differently this is how I feel about cleaning my bathroom. I absolutely dread it. I let it fester. It sits on the back on my mind of something that I have to do. I put so much energy on it that by the time I actually get to doing it I’m exhausted and I haven’t started. Meanwhile new life is growing in the shower. It’s not that gross I promise but that’s how it feels. Yet when I do it I realize it’s only a brief hour to clean my bathroom from top to finish and it never is as awful as I thought it was going to be. That’s how I feel about starting a new exercise plan, eating plan, etc. but after the shiny-whoo I’m doing something new feeling wears off it takes on the level of dread that I feel about cleaning my bathroom.  It becomes even more WORK or another thing I have to do.
So after completing my fourth whole 30 I sat down to Festus Baby book (aka my weight loss journal. Festus is the name of my food baby. Cause when the Princess was pregnant I looked more pregnant than she did.) And I wrote to myself what do I NEED?  The word came back clearly. Play. Rest. Learning. This last year really did a number on me. If I could describe 2014 I would describe it as the year from HELL. I got slammed hard by life. It was as if the year said Yeah you want a piece of me well yeah let’s see how you handle this! BWAHAHAH. Or as I call it with great affection the year where KARMA kicked me in the ass. Since my new year is starting next month (I believe your new year starts on your birthday month not January) I sat down and wrote down the manifesto. Now here comes the plan.
I needed to be more Martha Stewart and less Oprah. See Martha is the type that gives you the plan on how to de-clutter your life and breaks down her recipes so that even me the person who almost lost an eyebrow can do it. Seriously. Google her buttercream cupcake frosting. It’s amazing.  I love Oprah I love her positive statements but she’s more of the type to tell you to say the statement and then not follow through. Martha on the other hand? She’s been in prison. She’s going to hold you to it.
So here’s what I’m doing now. Last October I joined Snap Fitness because I was on fire with the whole 30 and I thought okay cheap gym, small place no one will go, and I can slowly work on getting rid of the Festus. Added bonus I got six free training sessions and the trainer who set me up for my membership seemed to click with me. Ha. The gym was over crowded, further than I thought, and while I loved the trainer dearly it was when I told her what I needed and she promptly ignored me and we spent a half an hour of our training session on the elliptical just doing the random sections that I went oh no. This is not what I needed. So we broke up. Both the gym and the trainer.
Sometimes what you think you need is often different from what you need. So I joined Anytime Fitness, started with a trainer who has worked with people who have shown amazing success and I give myself an hour. So here’s the plan so far. I’m counting my macros nutrients (42 carb 25 protein 7 fat) which when he introduced the concept I about cried. Changing food and math?  I hate the math. Math and I broke up in 2009. And we are NEVER. EVER. GETTING BACK TOGETHER. Like ever. However in this modern culture there’s thing called the APP store. I found the highest recommended Macro counter APP and so far it’s been working.
Second he studied  my current body state and really wanted to focus on the goals that I had. So well here we are. It’s been a tricky start since he’s currently in Hawaii, we have a blessed event (aka the Prince’s wedding) and then I’m going on an adventure. Yet I’m working on not taking on more than I can chew. The whole 30 removed a lot of my bad romance with food. I have to work harder on my choices yet if I choose something that’s a little more sinful I don’t label it a cheat, a mistake, or a bad decision.  I merely move on and tell myself this must be something I needed. I read food labels. I avoid sugar as much as I can and I eat natural food that isn’t processed. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen but I like it.
The plan is I’m doing this till I go to KONA in October so in 139 days I hope to have lost most of the Festus.
It’s a good way to spend a summer don’t you think?

The One Where Blake Writes a Manifesto

It’s been that kind of weekend where I’ve hidden bed long enough. I’ve written enough pages of woe that I could see them turning them into chains chaining me to the pillars of self-doubt and the belief that I’m never going to be free to live the life that I want. So I wrote this sentence and I posted it on my fridge “I’m going to be Free and I’m going to be fine” and I decided to take back the freedom that my depression had taken from me. The freedom that I’m allowed to love myself. In a moment of defiance I threw open all my windows, and I turned up my music and I could hear the bells from the Lutheran church and I didn’t know I was a dancer but I started dancing in the day light. I made a paper pillar with all the list of myself hatred and lies that I believed about myself. Then I tore it down and made a big mess and I danced upon them and I knew in that moment that I could be free. Free from the doubt free from the hatred that I allowed myself to believe about myself, and I became a believer of myself I know I’ll fall down but I’m not carrying around these chains of problems.
So join me in this moment of defiance and tell your self-doubt, your hatred, your fear, your shame that you no longer give them power and open yourself one stitch at a time and allow the sunlight of love enter your soul. I’m allowed this freedom and so are you. Let’s stop giving our shame the ability to hold our mouths shut and tell our stories. Let those scars know that they made you stronger not weaker. It’s a different kind of danger but can you hear your bells of freedom ringing out and shake off the chains that claim your feet and dance on your problems. Then leave and go move out in the daylight. Cause the truth of the manner you deserve to have freedom from your problems, you deserve that you are going to be fine. You don’t have to be the best dancer but life is too short to hold up those pillars of doubt when you could build up pillars that you are worthy of love, life and belonging.
It takes courage to live this life. It takes faith that you are going to be fine. When you finally announce to the universe that you are ready to live this life it’s amazing how fast our Heavenly Father moves in and fills your life with the things that you didn’t know you needed. I’m not saying that you aren’t going to experience hard times its part of the deal when we agreed to this life but you know what? We also agreed to live this life to the fullest. In the light of my St. Jude candle (patron saint of Lost Causes) I know that while some things may not have the answer and haven’t been resolved in the way I wanted or answered true faith is the belief in the unknown but nothing that I will receive the understanding one day.
Yeah so just had to share that AH-a, wow, my life has changed in this moment cause I’ve declared my freedom will you?
Tell me how you plan on changing. Cause we are going to be free and we are going fine.