Sunday, October 15, 2017

A letter to my family and friends

Dear family and friends,

A few months ago, well around April, I decided I was tired. Am I too young to be tired? Maybe... or maybe I'm too old to finally be realizing it, but I am. I am tired. I am so tired of trying to change me, be thinner, skinnier, more toned, weigh less... etcetera. I was tired of worrying about what others thought of me. Tired of hating my body. Loving everything about me, but not my body, it has never been good enough, thick or thin, I have always seen it as something that needed to be changed. And as I have said before in this blog somewhere... I have tried every diet out there... everything... besides surgery! All in the name of being thin. All in the name of changing my body to please others because then I would be loved more or of worth or be able to get that promotion I want. Everything will be better just if I was skinnier. So I would restrict, diet, go on the next new eating plan, try different exercise plans and shortly after I would mess up... I would eat something I shouldn't, I would miss a few days of exercise... and I would give up and I would be ashamed and hate myself for it. Then guilt kicks in, because this body grew two beautiful beings inside of it, working a miracle twice over, and I'm ashamed that I'm so ashamed and hateful of my body! It's an aggressive continuous circle and I have become tired of running it.

So I decided I was going to start working on the inside. Not to lose weight but to love me no matter my size, because then, and only then, will I be able to breathe. So I stopped dieting, that was step one. But then what? Besides weight gain... then what? I had no idea, I was in this foreign territory and I didn't know what to do with myself. My whole life, well the parts that I remember, has been filled with my plans of losing weight... that's all I remember. Sad right!? Maybe...but it's true. So I did what every person does when they don't know something nowadays... I googled, "How do I love my body?". There is a whole movement out there of body love and esteem. So I stopped running and took my first step to loving me on the inside. I started listening to podcasts! These podcasts pointed me to meditation to guide and control my negative thoughts and directed me to look for activity and movement that my body enjoyed instead of trying to punish the sweat out of every time I couldn't stick to my eating plan or felt my body wasn't changing how it "should" fast enough. Listening to these podcasts also helped me realize I wasn't alone, that many many women (and men) feel the same way that I do and have gone through the same things I am going through and two books kept coming up as ones that helped them on their journey to their inner happiness ... so I bought them and am reading them. (The podcasts and books I will share in a later blog post).

So I'm writing this letter to help you understand...and know how to support me... in finding me whomever that whatever body that is.

  • So please, I'd appreciate, if you don't tell me about a new eating plan you've done or are doing just because you feel it would "help" me.  
  • Please don't ask me why I'm not still on the last eating plan I tried where I lost weight.
  • Please don't ask me the next time I'm going to work out because I looked so good then
  • Please don't bring up "back when" stories where I looked so cute (when I was thinner).
Instead, let's chat about "back when" I did something good for someone or where we laughed really hard at something or where we enjoyed something to eat without worrying what was in it before we ate it, where we experienced the food. 

I may gain weight during this journey, I may stay the same, and I may even lose weight, but please try not to focus on the outside appearance, try to focus on the inside, because that is what I will be doing.  Some days are going to be rough for me because I have to retrain 25 plus years of hate, negativity, and attached worth around my body. I will have really good and positive days and I'm also going to have days where I won't be able to control the negative thoughts inside my head and I may cry, and feel bad about myself, and doubt everything I'm doing. That is when I will need your love, support, and encouragement to stay the course.

I know with every fiber of my being that if I stay the course of this journey, I WILL have more positive than negative days, eventually, and will have retrained my thoughts to assist me. How am I so sure of this? Because I've tried everything else. Through this, my hope is to love my body and the miracle of it, regardless of its size, and be less judgemental of others bodies.

Here is my plan... I plan on figuring out when my body is hungry and when it is satisfied, what foods feel good after eating them and what foods my body naturally doesn't like by how I feel after I eat them which will help me know the consequence of the foods I eat. So I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, but will be more attuned with how those foods will make me feel after.  I plan on finding what my body loves to do to keep it active and functioning with different movement and exercise that I enjoy and want to continue to do. This will be done with never restricting myself again with foods, movement, or by giving myself rules.

I'm not going to lie, I'm scared. My whole worth and what I've felt equates to beauty has been wrapped up in my body size. I never knew how to judge those things any other way. I've always felt I was "letting myself go" if I wasn't dieting or exercising in a restrictive and punishing manner.

However, with the few months I have dedicated so far to this journey I am realizing...I'm not letting myself go, I'm loving myself more.



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

One year...

Today it's been one year.  One year since my world was flipped upside down. One year since my sister, Lisa Stoddard, passed away.

I remember the day as if it was yesterday, cliche, but true.  I remember getting ready for work so I could go train the person that was taking my old position and hoping that for once I could be on time.  I remember looking at my phone as I was heading to the car and seeing that my mom had called a few times and had text me and I had thought to myself, "I'll just call her when I get Jami all set and ready to work for the day".

I remember my husband had to take me into work, I don't remember why he did, but I remember he drove me to work.  I remember thinking how dirty my van was and that "FOR SURE" this weekend I would clean it, just like I had told myself every Monday for months.

I remember walking into work and getting my things situated when I look up to  see my new boss walking towards me.

I jokingly said, "What are you doing on this side of the block?"... his face was grim and he asked me if I had talked with my Mom.  I remember still not being worried.  I was happy, I was in a good mood, I had NO intuition that something was off.

I said, "Funny thing you say that, she has tried to call me but I've been trying to hurry to get ready to get here and so I haven't called her back yet, she must really be desperate to hunt you down to find me!"

He said, "I think you should call her".

I was like, "uh... okay."

He said, "Do you want to call her somewhere more private?" Why would I? I was smack dab in the middle of a room full of cubicles...

I said, "No, I'm good, I'll just call her and tell her I'll call her back".

So I called my Mom.  I thought it was weird that my boss was just waiting at the end of the cubicles... watching me as I called her. I remember my mom answering the phone and yelling, crying, screaming, uncontrollable, trying to tell me something, but I couldn't understand.

I said, "MOM, what are you saying? I can't understand you? What happened?"

The next words that came out of her mouth were jargled but I got, "Lisa... accident... dead".

Of course I had heard her wrong and I asked again, "MOM... what? Who got in an accident?"

Then again, "Lisa... accident... dead... my baby, my baby is dead."

I guess I screamed, my knees buckled and standing seemed so difficult, I groaned and moaned and instantly tears were at my eyes and rolling down my cheeks... I didn't hear my cries and moans and groans, but the only thing I remember after that, is getting rushed into a more private room by my boss and an incredible co-worker and being left in there as I said over and over, "NO MOM, not Lisa, you have to be wrong, it can't be Lisa! I can't live without Lisa! Anybody but her... NO MOM... NO MOM... no mom." Lamenting, crying, groaning, my mind going a million miles a minute.  I kept thinking, Maybe if I can get to her I can help her... How do I help, how can I undo this, how do I wake up, this isn't real! All the while saying out loud, "No MOM, not LISA... no mom NOT Lisa!!!" while my mom is saying, "My baby Shelle, my baby... my baby is dead... not my baby... my baby is dead."

The rest of that week and the weeks following are a blur and yet certain feelings are crystal clear.

I was just sad.  I had a constant stream of tears from the time that I found out to what seemed like forever.  I cried when my husband picked me up to take me to my parents house.  I cried with my family at my parents house... (both my Mom and Dad were crying like little kids... completely grief stricken... I have never seen my Mom cry like that, and most assuredly have NEVER seen my Dad cry that way). I cried on the plane ride up to be with her husband and kids.  I cried when I held each of her children.  I cried when I sat with her husband, on his bed, as he lamented and moaned and groaned and asked "why" over and over and over again.  I cried that night as I went in and out of sleep dreaming that it was all a dream and then waking up over and over again realizing it was not.  I cried at the funeral home.  I cried when I saw her for the first time after her death. I cried as we did her make up and dressed her for her casket. I cried reading each and every post people had stuck up on social media and blogs.  I cried at every beautiful gathering put together for her honor.  I cried at the viewing.  I cried at the funeral.  I cried at the graveside. I cried talking with my family.  I cried more than I ever remember crying in my life.  I have never felt such soul wrenching grief.  I had lost one of the most influential and important people in my life.  I was sad and it sucked.

But I would have brief moments of reprieve where I would laugh at the most ridiculous things!  It was strange.

Another stage I went through was like a numbing stage and it happened in between the sad stage.  I remember at the viewing hugging people and consoling them, saying, "It will be okay, we will see her again."  It was the oddest thing, more like an out of body experience.  People would come up to me, some old friends, some I've never met before, hugging me and crying on my shoulder, I would pat them on the back and console them, going through the motions, understanding their sadness, yet wanting to make them feel better at the same time.

Then I went through this "Fake it until you make it" stage.  I got home from everything and went back to work and I had people constantly telling me how sorry they were and I would say things like, "Thank you" and "I'm as good as can be expected" and "Oddly, I'm feeling okay about it all.  I know I'll see her again, so I am okay, I'm doing really well." And I fooled myself into thinking I was absolutely fine.  I think I found out I wasn't doing "fine" when one day, about 5 or 6 months after Lisa's accident my hair dresser had cut my bangs... they looked just fine, but to me it was shorter than I had wanted, so I walked into my boss's office and sat down and said, "My hair girl cut my bangs too short..." and I started bawling... I mean like huge tears of sadness, over my bangs... being too short.  My boss looked at me and said, "I think this is bigger than your bangs".

So after talking to her I went back to my desk and made an appointment to speak with a counselor... and the last six months I have seen a counselor and read the most life changing book by Brene Brown entitled, "The Gifts of Imperfection". (Seriously, that book is amazing). I also have recently gotten my hormone's balanced and I finally... actually... feel like me.  I feel my life again... light and happiness and beauty.

Grief is an unwanted guest.  It stays with you until you do something about it.  Coming out of that dark hole can't be done alone.  I had my Father in Heaven, I had my faith and knowledge that I will see Lisa again, no doubt, no question. I had my family and my friends.  I had an army to help me grieve and help me climb slowly back to myself.

Sidenote: It's odd, you're life stops after something like this, and for me, I climbed inside of myself, I felt frozen and unsure and I questioned everything I ever believed in... but everyone else's life continued on.  I remember thinking, "STOP, everything just slow down and stop, please don't move on, don't forget her... don't keep moving forward... stay here with me, with us..." and I felt like I was at a standstill... moving through life, but not being a part of it, because what was life without our Lisa?

One of the greatest things my counselor said to me was this, "Lisa would want you to honor her by living your life". So simple and so true.

Lisa was selfless, compassionate, funny, easy to be around, a peacemaker, spiritual, a good role model, an incredible teacher, a perfect listener, the best big sister, a wonderful and endearing second mom, and one of my bestest friends.  I believe that there were many people there to greet her in Heaven, I believe she was embraced by our Savior, I believe she is happy and working hard.  I have had special and sacred moments where I know she is and has been with me...and...I miss her... everyday I miss her... still.

I will always have moments of sadness, I will embrace them, and then let them go.

I'm probably going to cry today (and probably laugh too)... I'm going to remember who she was to me.

Then tomorrow... I'm going to continue living.  I'm going to continue working at being the kind of person that will be able to live with her again...alongside my family, Brother Jesus Christ, and my Father in Heaven.

Nothing else matters.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Wow... it's been a long time since the last time I posted.  Everything on Blogger is different and I hope this post even goes out!

I haven't been posting on this blog because I've been dealing with life and I took a very long break.  But I have a post in my heart and I feel like I'm probably not the only one that goes through this.  So I have decided to write it down and maybe it will reach someone out there.

I'm going to talk about weight.  Doesn't seem like it should be a relationship issue... but I think it is.  I have probably done EVERY diet in the book, what a cliche right?  How many times have you heard that exact line when someone writes about a weight loss success story?  Well this isn't that kind of post, at least not yet. I have yet to lose any weight, it seems like every time I try to lose weight I am successful a little bit, but then I'm right back where I started.  I have a major food addiction I think.  I'm not overly obese, but I LOVE food.  I eat when I'm happy, when I'm sad or depressed, when I'm excited or bored.  I eat and I love tasty food.  Do I necessarily always feel good after I eat certain things?  No.  I sometimes feel horrible and sick and bloated and yucky.  Sometimes I feel happier, but it doesn't last for long.  Just like a drug addiction, I wait for the next short fix.

Having my belly issue affects my marriage because it affects my sex life.  We aren't remiss of sex, it's just that I don't always feel comfortable or sexy, and I hate that.  It's more intimate when I can let go and just enjoy the experience... but the minute I feel the jiggle or look down at the extra weight, I zone out and I don't connect with my husband like I should.  It's sad, and I know I have a few choices, do something about it, or change my way of thinking.

Maybe though, those things go hand in hand.  Maybe I need to do something about it AND change the way I think about myself?  The only thing is,  I'm scared.  I've failed SO many times that I'm afraid to let myself down again.  I have to make that lifestyle change not only for myself but for my relationship.

My husband loves me, he always tells me how beautiful he thinks I am, but inside my mind it is so ugly that I can't help the depression that comes over me when I see the numbers on the scale or the reflection that stares back at me in the mirror and it frustrates my husband.  He doesn't like that I feel that way about myself and he doesn't know what to do about it.  He tells me he doesn't understand how I can see something so different than what he sees, yet I do.  And it affects how I am behind closed doors which affects him.

I am lucky that I have the relationship that I have, but my weight does make a difference and I WANT to be a success.

So here is my accountability.  I am going on the Fat to Fit journey.  I am going to do the meal plans, continue with my exercise, take the pictures, take the measurements, and do it.  Day by day.  Inch by inch.  This isn't a new year's resolution.  It has to be a saving grace, it has to be a lifetime resolution.

I'm seeking any critique's, words of encouragement, kicks in the butt, or just thoughts. Am I alone in this?  Does anybody constantly constantly fail because they can't seem to hurdle over there own fears?

That is, if anybody even reads this blog anymore!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Validation is imcomparable

It's like you each gave me a boon to remind me that I wasn't alone. Validation is incomparable I think. It's the one thing about blogging that will always be missed. I think unless someone blogs and gives it a try for a few months, they will never really understand the depth of feeling we actually begin to feel for one another or the loss of it once we either HAVE to give it up or CHOOSE to.

You guys definitely reminded me of your friendship and love and I can't express to you how incredible your comments and personal emails were. It reminds me I'm not alone in my thinking. So if you guys ever need someone to complain to or vent or support you in anyway... I PROMISE... if my green light is on then hit me up in chat or email me... I would love to be there for you.

Here's a funny story that happened to me. We finally decided to move out of my parents basement. We found someone that would rent to us on a month to month basis because we are still looking for a more permanent job for my husband so we don't know where we would be in the future and didn't want to sign a lease only to have to try and get out of it later. So we moved across town into a house that has 4 bedrooms and 2 baths. It fit us perfectly.

They had been trying to sell the house and have had it on the market for years, so the MLS for it was old, and they told us of this but also said they weren't too worried about people wanting to look through it or buy it since it had been years and nothing had happened.

With all of this knowledge, we decided we still wanted to take the plunge, it was time to be on our own and maybe take a baby step forward from our stagnant position.

We moved in and have LOVED it. It was just the change we needed. And then...

A few weeks ago...

They call us, someone wants to look at the house, "Don't worry, nothing will probably come of it, but..."

Long story short.

The house is practically sold. So we head back to the parents basement.

It is meant to be I'm sure and if or when I'm still blogging in however many years, and my life becomes perfect, someone please remind me of this time in our lives...

It is funny now...

and Amen.

Here's my son at his football game:

He's kind of tall...

Hope you all had a good weekend!



Thursday, September 15, 2011


I know it's been forever and for the first time in a long time, I feel like when I first started my blog and wrote about stuff on my mind, knowing nobody was really out there to read or hear it.

But I finally have something I want to write about. My loved ones and close family and friends are sick of hearing about it and so I find myself having, again, no where else to go but the vast emptiness that can make up the World Wide Web.

I got on the scale today. Up 2 more pounds. I don't know what it is about seeing that number, but it does something to me. My inner bully starts attacking my self-worth... basing it on my weight, even though I know conscientiously that my worth is based on who I am as a person, how I treat people, especially those closest to me- and how I am behind closed doors when nobody is there to watch or judge. I know it shouldn't be based off of a number a scale spews forth whenever I step on it.

So I find myself, again, telling myself this is the day I eat better. See my problem has never been, really, the exercise part. Although there has been times I have been more lacking in that area--it's always something I have tried to continue to do. This last year I have been consistent in going to CrossFit--a very intense way to work out. Barring these last few summer months... I went everyday during the week and sometimes on Saturday's. I know I got stronger, I know I lost inches, yet that scale wavered maybe one or two pounds at the most. Summer months were busy, with work, and photography, and traveling, lots and lots of traveling, I got an infection that I had to stop working out for a bit and just recently have done something to my shoulder (Not work out related). So I've still gone and worked out... but only like 3 times a week. So I KNOW my eating is what is my problem.

So I told myself today after I stepped off the scale that I am marking this day as the Day one of Finding Healthy Shelle. The infamous lifestyle change that I know is just out of my reach. I have this new resolve, yet in the back of my mind I see defeat. "Shelle you've said that before" or "I won't hold my breath". I KNOW that in order to change my body, I need to be really strict for a while and as I get to where I want to LOOK not necessarily weigh... then I can lessen up on the strict a meal or two here and there. But I am my own worst obstacle. How do I change this? What can I do mentally to make THIS time the time it works?

I know it can. I know with eating better and the exercise are an equation that just works. At my CrossFit box it has worked repeatedly. Do these people just have more control? Do I have a serious food addiction? Am I weaker? How did they do it and I seem to struggle so much?

All things I think about constantly. I don't want to be a dreamer... I want it to happen, I want it to work, I want to NOT make it such a big deal anymore.

I don't know where I was going with this. Probably no where. I just spewed forth anything that was on my mind, which is constantly on my mind, day in and day out.

Better stop now though. If there is anyone out there still getting my feeds. I hope you are doing well. I miss blogging, I really wish I had more time to do it everyday.

Here you Go SciFi Dad