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Move or die

Lately I’ve been thinking about the energy I allow in my life and the decisions I’ve been forced to make toward living a healthier lifestyle. The weight loss journey is not exclusive to a change in eating habits and exercising more, the most challenging part of the weight loss is changing your mindset and your attitude. I define energy as the people you surround yourself with and some of these people may drain you emotionally and keep you in a negative head space. Disclaimer: I don’t believe in blaming anyone. I’ve done that for so long in my life that I refuse to go back to playing the blame game. This post is not about blame but what I’ve learned.
Ok, now to regularly scheduled programming. I’m a codependent love addict. There have been people in my life in the form of friends and boyfriends who have fed this addiction. I made the decision several months ago to create healthy boundaries and for some it worked marvelously specifically with my son’s father and with others it destroyed the relationship and I lost my closest friends. It hurt me and left me second guessing the decision in trying to have healthier relationships. Weeks passed and then I realized I felt free. I no longer felt emotionally drained. I didn’t have to worry about others’ emotions or my emotions as a reaction to their actions. I didn’t worry about other people’s problems and instead worried about my own. Constantly worrying about others’ and their life decisions allowed me to live in a perpetual denial of my own decisions, actions and feelings. I have abandonment issues, repressed anger, trust issues and crippled by insecurity in every aspect my life. Once those people walked out of my life, my life was refocused on me. Getting myself healthy mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically. I have the power to allow people in and out of my life. I have the power to change myself and transform myself into an incredible woman but it will hurt. I will hurt but when this process is complete, I’ll be the product of every single experience I’ve lived. I can’t be anything but proud of that. This is life.
You either move or die. I choose to move.

Why not me?

This week was a weird week. I ate all kinds of unhealthy foods and refused to work out. I say refused because I would say

Monica go work out

and my answer was always

um no thanks, leave me alone

. Then in the midst of unhealthy overeating and lack of physical activity, I was trying to make a decision on whether or not I should join Weight Watchers for the millionth time and be a failure again. I knew that my current plan of calorie counting was aiding and abetting my self destructive behavior with food so a change was definitely needed. The question was

why Weight watchers again when you’ve failed so much on that plan

the answer is simple. The first time I joined several years ago, I weighed 167 pounds and I just needed to lose 40 pounds and in two months I lost 13 pounds and then I quit. I know for a fact that this plan works if I actually work it. The decision was made yesterday when I weighed myself and like a slap in the face, I gained 8 pounds in almost three weeks. Story of my life, I gained so much faster than I lose. I joined Weight Watchers online yesterday and personalize my page but while I was doing that I was watching an old season of

The Biggest Loser

and I made huge realizations about my journey while listening to these contestants struggle during their journey.
1. I give myself permission to feel it: if I’m angry over my loss, feel it; if I’m sad and I miss them, feel it. There is no need to stuff these feelings down or pretend I don’t have them. I have them, acknowledge them and feel them through. This is the way to accept it and this is the way to eventually move on from the loss.
2. I need a parent and it’s going to be me. Growing up the loving words were few and far between but the discipline was hard and swift. I decided to talk to myself and treat myself the way I talk to my son. When the thoughts of defeat come into my mind, I’ll talk to myself with love and tenderness. I will also parent myself. For example: I want to watch my reality show, ok you may watch but only after you have tracked all foods, packed tomorrow’s lunch and worked out. In this journey I need a parent so why not me??
3. The last one is why not me?? I’m worthy to lose this weight. No one on that show is better than me or stronger than me so why not me?? No one is standing in my way but me so there’s just one thing left to say:

Excuse me Miss, you might need to step
aside because a beast is on it’s way and that beast will knock you down!!

the time is here and now so WHY NOT ME?!?!?!

Only the brave

Weight loss is only for the brave. It’s a struggle and I know what all thin, physically fit people are wondering,

How did you get so overweight to begin with?

Seriously, if I absolutely knew then I wouldn’t be in this predicament. The honest to God truth is that there are several factors that have contributed to my decade long struggle with weight. The first was the availability and access to food, growing up my family could not afford junk food. Then I became an adult and worked so I could afford fast food for lunch and dinner and I indulged. The second was depression. In my early twenties I had several disappointments in romantic relationships. A boyfriend had been arrested for beating me on my nineteenth birthday so my self-esteem was on the floor. I had no self-worth so good became my refuge. I used it to self-medicate as well as alcohol and drugs. The third was my lack of knowledge, I knew nothing about dieting or exercise. I knew you had to diet to lose weight but I tried extreme diets with no results and resulted in crazy binges that would last months. As I became more overweight, I became more depressed and then I had my son. I really wanted to be healthy for him but it only brought on more desperation. It began a vicious cycle of trying diet after expensive diet with no result. Frustration and tears and anger at myself became my new normal. I’ve tried it or considered it all even weight loss surgery but I’m too afraid of going under anesthesia to have it be a viable option. Here I am, 100 pounds overweight, it’s taken me 10 years to get here. I’m brave enough to say that I’m here. I’m brave enough to try one more time. I’m brave enough to overcome my weight. I finally think I’m worthy. I finally believe that I can lose this weight because in the end, weight loss is only for the brave.

Unconditional Love

April 30 has become one of my favorite days of the year. On April 30, 2007 God introduced me to the most important person in my life, my son Aaron Jacques. Today, we celebrate his sixth birthday and I could not be more proud to be his mother. He is funny, bright, kind, generous, lively, caring, stubborn and fun. He is everything wonderful in my world. He takes care of me, he is affectionate toward me. In so many ways, he’s just like me and in so many other awesome ways he’s a complete opposite. He is the perfect balance of all that is perfect in me and all that is perfect in his father. He loves unconditionally and he makes it his mission to make people laugh. I love him tremendously. Him and I sing “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers to each other because no other words make more sense to us then these…. ” I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweet”
Happy sixth birthday sunshine bear!!


Let the past be in the past..

As a little girl, my father was my life. I remember going to work with him as a little girl and I would light up around him. We talked a lot and he always called me “Nene de Papi”. One day he left. There was always fighting in my house. There was always yelling. I blamed my mother for him leaving. I begged to go with him but he responded that I had to stay with her. “Her”, I grew up hating her and worshipping him. I saw him every other weekend and every Wednesday afternoon. I talked to him almost every day. There were times he wouldn’t show up when he would say he would. There were times that he was short with me or my little sister. I remember verbal insults as a child like “idiot” or “stupid”. The day I realized I could never love him the way I had was when he told me his girlfriend, we had never met, was five months pregnant. It was the betrayal, it was the deception. At nine years old, my life was shattered, my father had hurt me so profoundly. It’s been 22 years since that day, when I think of it, I just want to scream. I realized that day that he not only lied and cheated on my mom for years but he lied and cheated on me as well. He had two children with his girlfriend. Two beautiful kids to replace the two girls he had when he was young and reckless. He became a family man for those kids. He went to their school functions and went on family vacations. I was forced to look at pictures of their happiness when I visited on weekends and slept on the couch. I felt like a non-thought. He abandoned me so many times. As I grew older our relationship grew more distant. There were moments as an adult that I thought, “I don’t need him, I don’t want him, I’m ending this relationship today” but I was always too afraid. Too afraid to confront him so I took the passive aggressive way and I wouldn’t answer his calls for weeks. I didn’t want to talk to him. I grew hate, resentment which became hate and resentment for the men in my life. I dated men exactly like him: distant, cold, verbally abusive, liars and cheaters. The ridiculous part is that I longed for him to love me, to tell me he was wrong, an acknowledgement. Something, anything!!! Then in 2010, he was diagnosed with stage 2 tongue cancer, there I was faced with the possibility of his death, faced with his mortality. I remember praying for him to make it through and I would turn our relationship apart. God spared him and I tried to be there for him as much as I could. He survived, God blessed me. Where are we??? I have never told him how I’ve felt all these years. I haven’t forgiven him. He seems oblivious as to why I’m so distant from him. I never fulfilled my promise to God. Three years later and more heart break in my relationships with men and feelings of utter failure because I’m in the same place I was 22 years ago with my dad. I’m one step closer to speaking to him about it. This picture is him and I last night celebrating my 31st birthday. It might be time to fulfill my promise. It might be time to actually forgive. Maybe this birthday might be the beginning of a renewed relationship with my dad. Maybe….



My 30+1 birthday

My 30+1 birthday

When the only beer you have on your birthday is on a birthday card…. Welcome to your THIRTIES!


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