Saturday, August 23, 2014

Keep Breathing

These last few months haven't been easy. I know I know life isn't suppose to be easy but damn it did every month need to bring a lesson for me to learn? I feel if I make it to Jan 2015 I deserve a medal that said I made it! I survived 2014. The moment I knew this year was going to be the year of lessons is when I got a phone call on Jan. 14th letting me know that my best friend and Grandma was beginning her transition into taking her last breath. I remember running down the hall at work and feeling that overwhelming panic that I wasn't going to make it. That I wasn't going to get the time to say goodbye. As I got into car after frantically looking for my keys I sat in the car. My hands shaking I tried to start the car and I remember hearing myself say to myself all you can do in this moment is to keep breathing. 

At the funeral I remember as they closed the casket I remember telling myself there is nothing more I can do in this moment and in this time other than keep breathing.  When I lay there in the hospital trying to breathe all I knew was that I was breathing. I wanted to change myself but in that moment all I could do was sleep. 

When Thea was born I was just grateful that she was breathing. When I held her for the first time and our breathing was in sync and I sat there holding this miracle of life I closed my eyes and was so grateful that I was able to be there lulled into a sense of calm of mutual breathes reminding me that I was alive.

As I reached in the closet this morning on day 53 of the whole 30 part two I took out a pair of jeans that I had hidden from myself for two years because I had gotten to bogged down with the sadness of life and not so smart eating choices. I of course hadn't forgotten about them. They lay in the back of my mind reminding me that at one point I could put them on with ease. At one time I could wear them with out laying on the floor with a pair of pliers trying to zip them up. With ease I used to be able to wear these pants and bend over and not fear that I would explode out of them like a fat stripper. 

With a deep breath I told myself that if they didn't fit at least I was still breathing. That I was here. That no matter what that I was enough to handle the out come. As they slid on fast and I was able to zip them up. I stood there in shock and awe. In this year of painful lessons there was a moment in which I was able to put on a pair of blue jeans. There is nothing remarkable about these jeans. Simple Levi Strauss jeans. No sisterhood is attached to these, no magic hidden in the pockets. 

Then it hit me. 

Through fat and thin.

That through this difficult year at least I was able to keep breathing. Through each breath I have been through joyous and hard moments. Each breath allows me to live in this life. To acknowledge that I'm here. That by my breathing I am enough. I am enough to be a part of this society. That by breath I able to stand up to any bully and say I am here too. 


In haling. 

I'm here. 

I'm breathing. 

I am enough. 

Today I'm enough. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Stay with Me

It's day 32 of my whole 30 experience. Yesterday morning I woke up and for the first time in thirty days I was free to weigh myself and eat whatever I wanted. It was absolutely terrifying. What if I got on the scale and nothing had changed? What if I ate one thing off the plan and it is my gateway drug and I end up going on a sugar binge eating everything in sight? For those of you with a normal relationship with food I envy you. The only words I can use for what I felt yesterday morning was abject terror. 

So when I got to work yesterday morning I walked in and went to our fancy hospital scale (I call it the digital terror) I prepared myself as I took off my watch, my lucky red shoes, and emptied my pockets if I hadn't been at work I would have taken all my clothes. As I stood in front of the scale waiting for the familiar three beeps as it clears the previous person's data  it flashed zero and waited. I stood there in my bare feet and I took a deep breath a familiar voice repeated the words that had gotten me through the last thirty days "I am enough" I am not a number I am person and I will love myself no matter what is flashed on that numerical display. 

With a step of courage and trepidation I stepped upon the scale and as the machine flashed three red dashes and then the number flashed upon the screen. Ah. I said. Oh. Said my body. How much did I lose said my brain. I'm not so great with the math skills. So getting out my phone I pulled up the handy calculator plugged in the numbers and that unholy number thirteen popped up. I was grateful it wasn't just two pounds. 

So what have I learned in this thirty day experience? I've learned that I've romanticized food. I've made it the villain, the lover, the need, and the desire. Yet when I break it all down food is just to fuel the body to get us to the next day. While I wanted ice cream, cookies ( I had a dream one night everyone I worked with was a girl scout cookies) Coke, peanut M&M', mocha chillers (on day 11 I was willing to shank someone to get one) I realized that while the logical part of my brain was learning that good food is good bad food is a slut and will haunt your dreams like a really bad one night stand. On the white knuckled night a night of desire for a pint of Talenti Gelato I sat there in my in my house holding on to the table talking to myself out of driving all the way to Harmons and getting my drug that's when I knew it was working. When facing this dark side of myself I realized that if I could make it to the next day it would be okay. I would be okay. 

This experience hasn't been all bad. I've learned that I love to cook. I love the whole preparation, the transmogrification of turning one substance into another.  In cooking I've learned you have to be brave. You have to trust yourself that what you create is going to taste wonderful. One night when I made my shrimp carbonara I caught myself groaning in pleasure. When have you done that with a box of rice a roni I ask you? 

It's my weekend. I have twenty four hours before I start another round. While I've left the 260's and down in the 240's I realize I've begun a journey to change myself. I could stop and go okay and end up back where I was a month ago or I can keep on going and see what I my potential could be. I don't want to be sad anymore. I don't want to be addicted to food that makes me feel blah. I've wasted enough time, energy, and money in things that make me feel blah and shamed. I'm tired of feeling ashamed of who I am. These next thirty days are going to be fun. Anybody want to join me? 

For all of you wanting to know my meal plans and such I'll try to post them and where I've found my recipes.
Follow me on instagram too for pictures of what I'm making my id is BFARRU8422. 


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Just Around the Riverbend

I have had a bad romance with food. I mean one of those deeply terrible wait till they call heart stops and starts kind of feelings. The kind of romance in which you know the characters are so deeply wrong for each other but in the moment they are passion personified. That's why we had to break up. Cause love means never having to say your sorry. In the midst of my breakdown I realized that as I felt worse about myself the more I ate. It was a vicious cycle of I hate you I love you don't leave me I'll change kind of feelings. When I stumbled upon I realized that I wasn't alone. Cause that's how shame works. It makes you feel that you are on the island of misfit toys. Alone and forgotten. Unlike most addictions you can't stop eating food. You kinda need it in order to survive. So I couldn't quit cold turkey. Yet I needed something. 

 With all the noise and the chaos my life was creating I needed to do something to find a place of solitude and have an honest conversation with myself a true heart to heart. Having just finished Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert I realized that I was experiencing  many of the similar symptoms of despondency and lack of participation in my life.  Since I'm of limited means (A.K.A poor) I couldn't go off to Italy, India, and Bali to find myself. However I could take the main lessons of the book about connecting to a higher power, listening to yourself and allowing yourself to become vulnerable to the hard truths and learning to love your faults and talents. I decided that I would break my journey into a three fold journey. The first area being EAT, the second PRAY, and the last one being LOVE. See what I did there? Wink wink nudge nudge.

With this bad romance going on with food and 30 days of giving up my drugs (see mocha chillers, coke, sour patch water melons, Almond Snickers, Frosted Sugar cookies from Harmons, Talenti  Gelato, Tony's Pasta, Piccalo Brothers Pizza, Fries, Warren's Onion rings, Chocolate cake, and as I write this no wonder I was fat(er) I could go on) I decided to focus on just one area how do I change my relationship with food? How do I keep my self from going crazy?  So I wrote a simple list of rules adapted from the Whole 30 program 1. Tell myself every morning that I'm enough. 2. Don't weigh or measure yourself for 30 days let your clothes tell your story. 3. Take pictures of what you make. 4. Use Pinterest to help you find things that you want to eat that are compliant . 5. Don't play the Martyr card. Nobody is making you do this except you so man up Princess. This is a direct quote on my fridge. 6. Journal your experience. 

As it is day 19 I had a breakthrough this morning when I was eating my breakfast egg casserole that you are what you eat. If you eat heavy processed food you begin to look like it grey looking and blah. What I mean is you are never the advertisement picture but rather the real product the blah hamburger on a bun with a piece of watery lettuce and weird tomato. You look alright but your insides feel meh.  I was looking through my *Insta photos (cause I'm a vain narcissist sometimes) I realized that all my meals were allowing me to explore my creative side. Most would say that this is restrictive process. I would agree with you. I ignored my ability to just play. So  When I'm in the kitchen throwing things together I get to see the colors mix together to create a wonderful piece that just taste awesome and its like coloring in a coloring book I don't have to stay within the lines. Except for when your food explodes and you spend 2 hours cleaning your ceiling due to a chocolate chili atomic explosion seriously it was a mushroom cloud of ground turkey, tomatoes, and onions all over the place. Creating with food has allowed me to create mini art work that actually makes me excited. Plus I turn on the Pandora and  I sing and dance in the kitchen (my poor neighbors) . My relationship with food is changing and I like where I am going. 

Change is hard. But as in all things sometimes that what is hard is what makes us stronger. 

*Follow me on Instagram BFARRU8422 if you want to see a lot pictures of my randomness. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

When It Don't Come Easy

I will freely admit that I took a rather long blogging vacation and here' why. I had a mini mental crisis. I turned thirty, I became an Uncle, I got fat (er) , I lost my best friend, a friend got breast cancer, I got pneumonia and I couldn't write anymore.  As in I couldn't write anything that wasn't morose or super dramatic and oh so WOE is me! My life is so hard crap that no one really wants to read. I had pages and drafts full of rather dark and twisty Blake.
So I said to heck with it. I call it the breakdown cause I essentially went from participating in life to merely surviving it. Which at first is nice cause you get numb to all the feelings if its good or if it's bad all I felt like saying was meh shrug my shoulders and eat. Oh yes. I ate a lot. Apparently I had a lot of feelings to shove down. I ate ice cream, big hunks, sour patch watermelons, I drank mocha chillers, I drank coke like it was water. I limited myself because I allowed that nasty voice inside my head tell me that I wasn't enough. As in I wasn't perfect enough, fit enough, that I by my existence wasn't enough to be part of life. It wasn't pretty folks. 

Till I read Brene Brown's book the The Gift Of Imperfection . This book changed my outlook completely. I won't ruin the lessons that the book teaches only that it deals with key themes of being vulnerable, shame, and trying to be perfect in an imperfect world so basically everything that I have been dealing with. There was one line about how shame creates these feelings of not enoughness. She recommends when we feel shame creeping in to acknowledge it with three simple words "I Am ENOUGH". At first I read that sentence and went hah! That's cute. Later on that night it was as if all these negative emotions came through and said GET HIM!  As I laid there throwing the world's best pity party a strong voice (my voice) told the negative duo of depression and sadness that I was enough! I had a right to live my best life. 

For the first time in forever I slept well. It was rather odd. I mean really.Who knew being nice to yourself would change things? As I was instagram stalking I noticed my good friend April was doing this thing called Whole 30. Whole 30 I asked? So I went and saw this challenge to go gluten, dairy, legume, sugar, and alcohol free for 30 days.  So I thought well why not? So I created the 30 for 30. I started June30th and as of tonight it's day 17. 

Its been hell and life changing all at the same time. Since I'm passed the half way point I thought I could try writing about this experience. So forgive me. I'm a little rusty as I enter back into this world being more vulnerable and open to change. Wanna join me? Blake-o-lution the Oprah edition is what I'm calling it. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Superman (It's Not Easy)

So. Let's play a game of how much I really love 2014 so far. It seems every month has brought about some new joyous learning experience which has taught me that life is really unpredictable. Yet as the Sondheim song goes "I'm still here!" I'm alive! Not dead yet! 

Many of you have been asking me  how did I end up in the hospital this month. It goes like this I work in hospital with lots of sick people. I mean a lot. I do my best by washing my hands, sanitizing my hands and not touching people. No seriously people hand me stuff and I'm like no no I'm good you keep it. Yet somethings just happen. I got a virus. I call it the firestorm virus. It laid waste to my immune system. Fever, sore throat, ear ache, head ache, and muscle ache etc. It started two weeks ago on a Friday. No big deal I thought I'll die on the weekend and come back on Monday and be fine. Famous last words. 

So I took Monday off. Cause really when you are sick who wants to go back to work on a Monday? That's just mean. I being the genius came back to work on Tues looking like death warmed over and sounding like a 4 pack a day smoker named Delores. After being at work for a few hours my boss came up to me and said that Mammoland had voted and that I was being voted off the island till I felt better. Which at that point I was so tired and so worn out I just handed my torch over and let them extinguish it and went home to go back to my BFF my bed.  That night I woke up coughing so hard I couldn't breathe and it scared me. I'm not the type to go to the ER.I know how much one of those visits cost and secondly I believe the term EMERGENCY not I have a cold make me feel better. Yet I was like uh can't breathe this is kinda scary. Yet I got my breath back and I propped myself up with lots of pillows and called in to work. 

At this point I was it finally hit me to go to the Doctor. No more pioneer medicine for me. Pioneer medicine is what I call my stay at home care it mainly consist of sleeping and taking drugs that make me sleep ( I heart you Nyquill) and usually I'm good. So I wore my good sweats and a ratty USU T shirt and I went to the Dr. At this point I was so tired, so worn out and coughing so hard I would have gone in my bathrobe. After explaining all my symptoms I was waiting for my Dr. to go oh here's a Z pack or a prescription for antibiotics. Instead he was giving me the worried look and goes I'm thinking of admitting you. I was like oh no you aren't. I'm 29 years old and no no you aren't besides I'm not prepared to stay here and I don't want to have a sleepover at work! I'm here too much as it is! He relented and ordered blood work. See I hate needles and I was dehydrated. I knew I was dehydrated yet they came with their tubes and big needles. I begged for water and a moment to get somewhat hydrated. I'm a bleeder and people love to take my blood cause it goes fast yet I knew this wasn't going to in my favor. The MA ignored my request for water so I was like fine GF you aren't going to like this when I'm on the floor.  

When you pass out you go instantly to dreamland and its kinda nice. When I woke up my first question was "Did I pee my pants?" in high school there was a girl who gave blood too fast and peed her pants when she passed out. Since then its my worst fear if I pass out. Then I saw I had quite the audience. Nothing like having a lot of people look at you while you lay on the floor and I saw my Dr. and I looked at him and said let me guess I"m getting admitted aren't I? He nodded and said yup. 


I went in to the Dr's office and I won an overnight stay at work. WOO! 

When they admit you they suddenly think you are an invalid. No more walking for you. So as I sat in my wheel chair I realized that this was lunch time and I was going to go pass everybody I knew. I'm a big believer if you act like its not a big deal people respond to how you act in the situation.  As I was being paraded in the hallway I acted like I was in a parade. A. I didn't realize I knew so many people and B. Its kinda fun to wave to everybody. With everybody asking me what was going on I just told them I won an overnight stay at the hospital! 

More tomorrow. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


They say life is like the weather. Wait five minutes it will change. In the course of the last four months I've lost 20 pounds, almost lost my dad to a scary blood clot, lost my best friend and grandma and on thurs found out a good friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. 

While I wouldn't stand up and declare these to be the best months ever it's made me so grateful for the opportunity to realize how life is so fragile. I realize I would give up the things I've realized are meaningless in order to have this fire of belief in me that allows me to wake up and go okay! I'm here. I'm flawed but I'm here.

My friends come and stand beside me cause lately I'm feeling so lost. The storms have come up on the horizon and I'm standing a little scared a little alone. Then I heard a voice call out and stood beside me while the rains of change came. There is nothing more wonderful in life when you have someone stand beside you and allow you to weep. When you realize how wonderful the miracle of grief and how it changes your perspective on everything.  

I'm far from perfect. Yet I realize all the times I've been selfish and unkind I've hurt people and I'm sorry. These storms will come and go in life I realize now yet as I get older how much more the joyous moments over shadow the bad. I used to always try to live in the future. Play the what if game. Now I'm trying to live in the now. To ride all the good things and bad things in life with an attitude of gratitude.  

Thank you to those who have been with me lately in spirit or in presence. You have lifted me up in ways I didn't even know I needed. What I'm trying to say in this post is that I've changed a lot in the last few months and these months have taught me that we all have hurt buried deep within us and when others come to lift you out of it it's the most wonderful gift. 

So I'm here. Flawed and imperfect but I'm here and I'm holding on for another day. 

Monday, February 3, 2014


Look I'm sorry it took me a while to get back. I suffered a wee bit of an emotional trauma and well nobody wants to read angsty-I'm-so-sad-woe is me my feelings are all black and I just sit here on the couch watching Netflix post. I've got them but who wants to read them. Truth is when you are grieving they (the fancy book people who write books about feelings) say that people who are grieving tend to expand (see fat) and be a little depressed. Well since that was pretty much the theme of last year I have been working harder to keep myself moving. 

Enter The Biggest Loser.

I have such a love/hate relationship with this show. I love it for the fact that it motivates me and I relate so much to each of the contestants. All of their stories feed into mine. Midnight binge eating? Social withdrawal? Fat clothes. Check. Check and check. I even love the emotional moments when the trainers get them on the treadmill and they are falling over and they are like move! Move! I don't care what happened! Keep moving. To tell you the truth I get a little jealous.  I don't have a personal trainer I just have Pinterest and really great clothes that I can't wear to keep me moving. 

Now let's get to the fun stuff shall we?

I hate this show for the fact that you start your weight loss journey and you are like yes! I didn't eat for an hour! Go me! Then you work your fat self over and over again and you get on the scale and you expect to see big numbers and either you stay the same or gain. Plus don't get me started on this whole 40 minute show business. I miss my 2 hour specials! It feels rushed. I need that emotional connection. Plus where's the screaming and the crying?! Seriously though. What the heck NBC?

So there's that.