My Social Media Detox, Three Days of Reconnecting.

Social media is defined as “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.” Some examples of social media include Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and the list goes on and on. Over 1.5 billion people utilize Facebook and that is not even counting the other heavily utilized social media platforms. I am one of those people.

I have a Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and semi inactive Twitter account (only because I have no clue how to “Tweet”.) I utilize these platforms mainly for business purposes but I have one “private” Instagram account (how ironic really, because there is nothing private about it.) I spend a minimum of twenty minutes to “on average” two hours or less, on social media per day. This time is mainly devoted to my business but who would I be kidding, if I said I didn’t do mindless scrolling and clicking. It is when I get trapped in that cycle, that I know I waste the most time. The real question is, why do I do this? Why do most of us do this?

So with anything in life, there are certainly pros and cons involved with social media. I mean first and foremost we get to connect and network with people from all around the globe. Over 1.5 billion people on Facebook alone, it is safe to say our network multiplies like rabbits, when we are on social media. We have this unique opportunity to expose ourselves to so much more, than if we were just restricted to our personal and professional networks. We would be limited to just who we know naturally which is a pro and con, depending on your purpose.

The most negative part about social media is the addiction to it (please tell me others feel the same too.) If you do not believe it is an addiction, just step out to a public place and take a look at all the rounded necks. It is absolutely insane to witness. Everyone is participating in someone else’s life, except their own.

I mean for my own observations and experiment I have been much more cognizant of this. I notice that pretty much every person in a restaurant is eating, scrolling and ignoring the person they are in the company of.  More often than not, that person is scrolling too. I thought in my head, ugh, this is an epidemic. It is everywhere though. Work, walking here or there, exercising, eating, I could make an endless list. People are disconnecting by connecting. What an oxymoron, if you ask me.

To be honest and maybe this sounds cold, I am exhausted when it comes to investing my time in people, who constantly check their phone. When in a conversation with others it would only be polite to be respectful and put the phone away for 8.12 seconds. I truly yearn for face to face, undistracted conversation with others.

So as I looked in the proverbial mirror and saw I was just as guilty of the same sometimes, it was at that moment, that I decided I needed a break from social media. I longed to disconnect to reconnect and reunite with just living “simplistically” again.

In my case checking social media became routine, like brushing my teeth. Almost like a drug (sounds dramatic but I am dead serious), I had this robotic routine. I would check it for a few minutes every morning right when I was having my coffee and breakfast. Then all day long, I would visit in small increments just “catching” up on who knows what. Sitting here or there, ahh might as well check out social media. Every free second of the day was just filled with mindless scrolling. The ironic part was, I was never actually “free.”

I mean the uncanny part about social media, is that it provides you with this false connection and a bogus tie to people, we do not even know. So many times people will say, oh wow I saw this post or that post of yours and it almost seems like a privacy violation, yet it is not because we choose to share it. We are so open, then so surprised, when we have zero privacy. Yet we have no problem opening our book of life up, for anyone to read. We have created this monster of always feeling “connected.” When in actuality, it could not be further from the truth. People are more disconnected than ever.

I remember one time seeing someone who I was friends with on social media out in public, out of the computer realm, OMG people actually exist in real life. Well,  that person politely said hello and we exchanged the normal how’s it going bit, perfectly sweet and effortless. There was one problem though. When that person left, I was feeling quite perplexed, as I was left wondering how I “knew” them. It turns out we were Facebook friends.

I mean you can have as many followers, friends whatever you want to call them as you want. The problem exists because we feel like we’re friends but that is not possible with strangers. I mean reflecting on it all, it is just our need as humans to feel validated. In exchange, it brings us to this point of developing false relationships with people. Can you believe thirty-six people liked my picture, on vacation in Dubai? Weird, I actually only “know” three of them. We have to ask ourselves, how much sharing is too much sharing? When is enough, enough?

One of my biggest cons was  I would have certain tasks that I would want to complete and then by the end of the day, only some of it would be done. When peeling back the layers of the day, it was because I spent on average, two hours or less, on social media both professionally and personally. I lost focus easily and then by the end of the night I was kicking myself in the butt because I was left with that days responsibilities piling up for tomorrow. It was like a vicious cycle.

You see we are always immediately available to everyone via our devices. Email, social media, text messages, phone calls etc. We have to immediately answer to quench other’s needs. I have to tell you that it can wait. There is never a moment when I was just at peace with a naturally quiet mind.  I would mistakenly think, that sitting quietly and scrolling through these sites was “rest” but I knew better, because my mind was begging for a break. It never stopped, even when I thought it was.

In all honesty as I work to change my life and become the person I need to be, I find I roadblock myself unintentionally. I was inadvertently bringing my own energy down. If it is not the laundry list of complaints littering social media, it’s bad news, political debates, medical debates, people passively aggressively fighting with others, the keyboard warriors of social media, just setting this unexplainable toxic tone.

Out of every ten posts, there is maybe one really positive one. When people are happy on Social Media, most followers refuse to share those feelings with others publicly, instead mocking the person on the social media sidelines (we all know the keyboard warriors.) As I was reflecting I thought why is it so natural to question why people are happy? Aren’t we supposed to be joyful? It is like the world is addicted to fighting, being miserable and consumed with what everyone else is doing, except what really matters, ourselves.

So as I conclude this detox, I am now a little over three days free from Social media and guess what? I am still here to tell you about it! Initially I only set a goal of one day but I felt so fantastic, one day turned into two days, which turned into three days. Believe me, I am not trying to sell ice to an Eskimo but I have to tell you, to be fair, the following things I have observed personally, by participating in this involuntary “detox.”

  • I have more clarity
  • More energy
  • More focus
  • I slept like a baby
  • Fewer interruptions
  • I have made gourmet meals
  • I spent even more time with my kids
  • I have been a better wife
  • I have been happier
  • I have felt more hopeful with humans
  • I read a magazine
  • I read some of my book which I have been turtle pace reading and still never finishing
  • I have used more of my creativity
  • I have focused on self-care
  • I have focused on working out again
  • I listened to music
  • I was more mindful
  • I was able to truly listen to the people who matter
  • Given decent advice to others
  • I was a better friend
  • More helpful, without feeling stressed
  • My safety has improved, I have not used my phone while driving (This one is huge)

There is a lot more, trust me. This has been life changing.

Again, I am not trying to sell ice, to Eskimos but if you are feeling foggy, overstimulated or just bla in general, I highly suggest trying this out for yourself. You will be completely stunned at how free, mindful and optimistic you feel.

My new addiction is feeling like this longer. However, I know social media is an amazing tool, which has opened up the world to us. Now, I just promise that I will only open it up, a little at a time.

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.

 

Follow us on social media before or after your detox! 

Instagram

@doing_life_17

Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/mamadoinglife

Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Think Differently

I am a huge Tony Robbins fan. I listen to his podcasts on my way to and from work. If you have never heard him speak, simply put, you are missing out!

While I listen to his speeches, I can’t help but feel this energy seep into my soul (deep right?). His optimism, paired with simple solutions to change your life, both personally and professionally, make even the most lost find hope again. Sold yet?

I don’t know about you but I love the idea of simplistic solutions in regards to personal improvement. It makes it impossible to turn on the excuse generator, which most rely on for safety, including myself. Human nature is quite a miracle.

So here is what I request of you. Think about your own attitude  and answer the following questions below honestly.

How is your attitude on average?

Positive, negative?

Now think about the top five people you surround yourself with.

What is their attitude like?

Is your attitude similiar to your top five?

If you answer as truthfully as possible, more often than not, it is going to be the same as your own attitude. If you have a negative attitude, you most likely place yourself in an environment with the same type of people. You know, the whole birds of a feather, flock together deal. It is really accurate.

I know, I know, escaping negativity is sometimes very challenging. Things like work, family, well they kind of matter, so escaping negativity in your environment seems impossible but that is part of your trained mindset. Things can improve just by retraining your mind to think differently. You might think, how do you know? I have actually improved my own life by thinking differently! Over time, one challenge at a time, I have slowly made progress, in transforming my own life and attitude.

For example, I caught myself responding “same shit, different day” constantly, when people asked what is up/what is going on? It was kind of my go to response, when basically saying nothing much is up but not wanting to get sucked into complaining. Not necessarily a bad response but not a good one either.

SAME SHIT. DIFFERENT DAY. Ugh, I could cringe just typing that. As I peeled back the layers, I realized how negative that sounded, even when that was not my intention every single time.

Why did I trap myself into thinking this response was positive because I did not attach actual complaints to it?  I realized though, that just by releasing this response, I potentially dampened the person’s mood I was responding to. How selfish right? I mean I never thought about it that way, until hearing this particular Tony Robbins speech. I have to tell you, that it only takes one simple choice to be prepared to choose joy.

So, the premise of Tony’s speech is to control your thoughts, responses and start thinking differently in your personal and professional life. Nothing crazy!

“Every one of us right now could get into a state of absolute joy, by thinking of all the great things in life, just as we could have everything and still be unhappy if we always focus on something negative. If you find someone who is incredibly happy, the reason is probably that they focus continuously on what makes them happy.”

-Tony Robbins

By responding “same shit different day.” I inadvertently was robbing the joy out of my own day and maybe the person I was responding to, too. Even if there was no negative connotation I could have just chose to say the day is great, can you believe how pretty the snow looks? Or maybe, I am having an awesome day, I can’t wait to get home because my son is having his winter concert. Whatever the case is Tony Robbins wants to awaken and retrain your mind. Challenging us to think differently, so you can experience all the joy, which life offers us. He is selfless and incredible.

Think about how much easier it is to get caught up in a negative state. So much easier than pushing yourself into the positive most of the time, if that is already your pattern. As we know from the past, one upset happens and it seems to snowball into a collection of them by the end of the day. Or so we think. We choose to continue collecting the negatives and not the positives. We essentially punish ourselves because we do not think differently.

That is why most people, we encounter in our daily life, don’t choose joy. These people, we all know some, focus on the one or two bad things that happened during one day, ignoring anything good. Most people like this, thrive on the attention that the negative brings. We need to stay away from these people, if we can’t help them think differently too. Toxic people, choose to stay sick. Don’t catch anything from them by staying too close.

Here is the ultimate example of how powerful, thinking differently really is.

Tony tells a story about a man who had gone swimming one night in Hawaii. He was an avid swimmer. While swimming he was attacked by a shark in an area he knew was infested at certain times. So what do you think happens? Bingo! As he swam in the Hawaiian waters, a shark mistook him for feed and wound up biting his leg. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it(you’ll read later), the swimmer wound up losing his leg.

I want to stop there though.

How would you feel if this was you?

If you were swimming in the waters and wound up losing your leg to a shark bite?

Be honest.

I know when I answered honestly, I “think” I would be devastated. I “think” I would most likely feel sorry for myself and just feel so resentful and angry. I assume there would be a lot of people who would feel the same way too.

So, Tony continues on telling the story about the man feeling sad. I knew it! He feels like I would too!

NOPE.

WRONG.

He feels sad for the shark. Say what? Sad for the shark? That beast just ate his leg off! The man felt sad for the shark because he realized, that it was actually his fault this “accident” happened. He was where he should not have been swimming and he paid the price with the loss of his leg.

The man took responsibility and acknowledged that he was swimming at a time when sharks feed and he unintentionally attracted the shark to him. He knew that his decision to swim at feeding time, ultimately made this accident his fault. He did not blame the shark. He actually felt bad for the shark because this would cause people to become angry and start killing sharks in the area. Can you say unimaginable mindset?

Just imagine, the sheer strength it would take to have that mindset? To realize, that choosing to focus on something other than our pain and transforming it, well that is truly the key to thinking differently. To finding the joy in our own situation, despite the fact that others would never blame you for being upset. There is certainly bad but we focus on the good only. That is exactly what thinking differently means.

Look, I am realistic though. Everyone has days that are rocky. I get it. Since hearing this speech , I have made a valiant effort at changing my thinking. Focusing on the positive instead of the negative and guess what?

Within one time of choosing positive over negative, I instantly felt better. Now, the naysayers are thinking bullshit. The positive people are saying, AMEN! I have to tell you  though, that it is no joke. I have noticed how miserable people are just by making this change and I don’t want to be that way.  I mean when I say we rob ourselves of joy, WOW, doesn’t that sting? We literally and figuratively steal our own happiness.

Next time you decide to react. Take a moment. Pause. What are you about to say? Is there any way that you can spin your negative, into a positive? I would bet a coffee and pedicure, that there is! Try it! You won’t be let down.

As you start perfecting, thinking differently, continue challenging yourself to do this more often. You will live a more joyful, fulfilled life, focused on the good. Life is too short to be miserable. We should only have time for joy, isn’t that what life is all about?

Check out Tony’s video below!

 

http://www.tonyrobbins.com

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs. 

We’re So Social!

Follow us on

Instagram

@doing_life_17

Facebook

facebook.com/mamadoinglife

Pinterest 

 

 

 

 

There is More 

There is more to this life than you might believe

It is hard to see when your vision is cloudy

Missed opportunities to see clearly

We silently give our permission to be held down

Unable to see, there is more

We allow ourselves to drown in the waves

Tides controlled by others

Fighting to get back up

Missed opportunities to see our treasure

We silently give our permission to be held down

Unable to see, there is more

We allow ourselves to hear words of fiction

Misinterpretations whispered by others

Struggling to hear our truth

Missed opportunities silenced

We quietly give our permission to be held down

Unable to see, there is more

 

Release other’s beliefs

Reclaim your life

There is more

It’s time to stand up

No longer held down

There is more

Hear your heart

Follow your vision

There is more

Fear no opinion

Believe your facts

There is more.

 

Continue Doing Life your way, not theirs.

Writing has always been a therapeutic tool for me. I have been writing for a very long time and after a decade hiatus, returned to it because I felt I was being called back for a purpose. I could have kept this blog private or even continued writing in my journal but I wanted to share. Share my words with whoever wanted to read.

My main goal is to inspire others. To help women regain confidence and chase their goals. To find their voice and start owning their life, regardless of other’s opinions. Little did I know at the time that some of the topics I was writing about, would come back to help me, as I dealt with things during my own journey. The irony!

If you read this blog and it helps you, I want you to know that YOU are the reason I share.

If you read this blog and it does not help you that is okay too, you are still the reason I share.

If you’re reading to just be nosey and check up on me, thank you! You are the reason I share. (notice a pattern there?)

The entire philosophy of this blog, is to show anyone who is out there struggling, that there is more. So for the people who like this, the ones who don’t and the curious out there. Stay positive, stay focused on YOU. Your life will change, when you release the opinions of others.

Realizing that everyone is not always going to be happy for you, does not mean that your life has permission to stop. There is more. Keep going.

January 15, 2018

 

Highs and Lows

The tides aren’t always calm

the waves rip through

 disturbing what’s in its path

The waves finally find their calm

the smoothness of them rolling in like sheets of glass

It leaves you wondering

why life makes riding these waves so challenging

Getting tossed down

we somehow return back up

never forgetting

 the perfectly calm waves are imminent.

Hope washes over us

We never sink

We only rise up.

 the perfectly calm waves have arrived

The tides have transformed.

I wrote this poem after reflecting about life. Not just my life but other people’s lives too. I wonder why some people are so resilient, even though they continue to face all of the lows in life.

I also wonder why some people are so miserable even when they are facing all the highs. What is it about the highs and the lows that leaves us feeling so defeated and undefeated at the same time?

Humans are certainly exceptionally tough. We endure and find a way to adapt to whatever life hands us. Regardless of the highs and lows that we face, we always continue to move forward. Never remaining the same. Just like the ocean and the waves. Everything changes with the tides.

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.

Genuinely, Fake.

It is pretty phenomenal to see how humans evolve if they are open to change.

In my observations of people though, it is baffling to witness others who can’t accept another person, trying to change. The baffling part exists because that person almost looks like they are oil and water in a frying pan, bubbling around angrily (cue visualization.)

These people, well they have no idea what to do or where to go. As people in their lives evolve and make positive changes, they are just stuck. They are stuck fighting their way around, until something happens and well typically it’s not good. People unravel as they see people starting to change. I still have not figured out why but it is like they’re mad that they are still stuck. The ironic part is, they don’t have to be stuck.

You see a lot has changed in my life over the past few years. A large majority of the changes have more often than not, been positive changes (thank God.) A lot of the positive changes I attribute to one thing. Realizing, my energy is better utilized, focusing on the people and things that matter. Utilizing my valuable energy on bullshit, is something I have zero time for.

So evolution, well it isn’t all just rainbows and butterflies. There have been changes that required making myself very uncomfortable too (poor me.) I mean I am human. I have fucked up. I have made bad choices. Ok, really bad choices. I have been undeserving, at times, of people and things as well. I mean, I  have been so ugly at some points in my life too, I am not ashamed to admit that. I have ripped myself up from the inside out during this process of change. Trying to move forward and adjust my life accordingly. The positive thing is, that the causes of our pain and discomfort also help us to propel forward.

Anyway, as I deal with my life evolving I realize the trials and tribulations attached to it.  What you see is what you get. I do not ever pretend to be someone I am not. That will always stand true. Which is why I have a difficult time dealing with people who are genuinely, fake.

Basically, one thing that I have learned as I make changes to improve my life , is that there is no longer any room for people I can’t trust. I have always wondered why trust was such a hard concept for people. Like just be a good fucking person and rally for the people you have in your life. You don’t have to be their number one fan but you shouldn’t be a motor mouth either. Just keep it real. Be good, get good. Simple karma.

Image result for people who talk shit quotes

I have been around so many people in all areas of my life, that have a hard time keeping’ it real. People that should not have a hard time keeping it real because we have reached the age of “maturity” go figure. So depending on who the audience is, is how they decide to behave. Sound familiar?

The main gripe about all of this is there are so many people who constantly talk shit. The ironic part about that is after talking shit they have no problem smiling at you. FAKE and people aren’t stupid. Everyone can spot a knockoff Coach bag at this point, if ya catch my drift.

I know this is real life, people deal with this behavior, like it’s normal, but it’s not. The difficult part is, that we believe we have to accept this type of behavior too. I mean why should you not be able to trust the people in your life? That is fucking sad. If you can’t trust someone or count on them, then don’t count them.

Honestly, I can count on one hand, the people I trust in my life and it’s actually less than a handful. I confide in about four people on this Earth, at this stage in the game. I have found out that I like it that way too. It makes me feel a lot happier, believe it or not.

So here is my life rule. One that I have found a lot of success following. If you want to be genuinely, REAL. Do this too. You’re welcome.

You better believe anything that comes out of my mouth, comes out with the knowledge that it will be passed forward by someone. I have lived a large majority of my life only telling people the things I know I would not be upset if other people found out. Duh, how can we get mad or feel let down, if we shared it from our mouth?

I also follow this same rule of thumb, when a conversation with others, turns into talking shit. Would I, without hesitation, admit to this person that I was involved in talking shit about them?

If the answer is yes, carry on.

If the answer is no, shut up.

I have to tell you, this has made my life quite different. I am a lot quieter.

Image result for people who talk shit quotes

I realize how poorly people behave from observing them in my business too. I overhear way too much. A large majority of the time, the other person is physically present in the same environment, they’re just not within earshot. On occassion the person isn’t there though. I don’t know which one is more fucked up to be honest.

So it goes something like this…….

OMG, I can’t even believe she’s here.

Her husband just told her he wants a divorce

Look at her pretending no one knows, what an idiot. Should she really be spending money, if her husband is leaving her?

(Cue dumb laughter.)

-Wow. Cool.

– So, your friend is here, obviously needing support and you are dogging her.

– I am making an assumption but she doesn’t look like the idiot right now. You do.

This is so troublesome. It legit makes me ill, hearing grown ass women act like this. How can you be “friends” with someone and when they turn their backs, you literally rip them to shreds? News Flash, she’s not your friend.

There is so much of this type of bullshit. I know through telepathy, that you are nodding in agreement.

It is like we have disconnected our ability to be genuine, trustworthy, kind, compassionate and REAL. If there is one thing about me. I will always keep it real. I am an open book. What you see is what you get. I have a problem with people who can’t/don’t do the same. Do you not like yourself, enough to be YOU?

I promise when you stop surrounding yourself with genuinely, fake people, giving a fuck about what they think, what they do, who they talk shit about, what is going on with this one and that one, you will have more time to focus on YOU. The only person that truly matters. Be real. Be cool. Don’t be genuinely, fake.

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.

We’re So Social!

Follow us on

Instagram- @doing_life_17

Facebook- Doing Life

“Females don’t Fall” – Tammy

IMG_20171217_115212_647_resizedIMG_20171229_004355_100_resized2017-09-26_08.20.13_resizedSPhotoEditor-20171224_105529-1_resized

What is your full name:

 Tammy Greiss

How old are you?

44

Give us a little biographical information about yourself

 Ok here we go…. I have struggled with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) my entire life. I was obese my whole life because of PCOS. I was in my first children’s weight loss camps at 8 years old. I have always been self-conscious of my weight since as early as I could remember. It was a horrible way to live. I could never understand why I was so different from my friends. Why could they eat cake and pizza at a party but if I did I gained weight? I was more active than most of my friends too! I was not diagnosed with PCOS until I was 27 years old. I was kind of happy that it wasn’t just me and my lifestyle that caused my obesity. I finally had a reason behind my weight problem! But at my heaviest of 289 lbs. it felt hopeless… At 27 years old and newly married my only goal was a baby. So for the next several years that is what I worked on. I did have 2 amazing boys through the grace of God! It is very hard to conceive with PCOS. So I am so blessed!

So now I have these 2 amazing son’s and I think life is great. WRONG! Now I find out that my husband has not only gambled away our entire life savings, but he is also online dating!! What??!!?? Now I am really hating my life. I was 34 years old and I think this was my lowest point. I was so broken. I felt like why am I even here? Then we found out that our 13 month old had cancer. Well now my husband’s issues got put on hold because I needed to focus 100% on my baby. From the day I found that tumor to the day of his surgery was less than 2 weeks.

Through all the testing, mri’s, cat scans, needles, blood work this poor little boy had to endure, all I thought was, please God let him get through this! Please! I promise to take care of myself if he is ok. I promise to get healthy and live a better life for him! The day of his surgery came and I was surprisingly calm. I knew he was in God’s hands and I just had to trust in him. When the Dr. came in to tell us how the surgery went, he told us that we hit the lottery! He said it was nothing short of a miracle. The tumor was benign!! He could no believe it! I could not believe it! My prayers were answered! I was so happy! Nothing else mattered anymore! My son was going to live!!!

He did have 3 years of 6 month check up’s to make sure the tumor did not return. It still has not! He is now a healthy 11-year-old and has no memory of the ordeal he went through. He is my miracle!

After his years of testing and no more tumor, it was time for me to keep my promise and get heathy. I was 38 years old and at this point I have done every weight loss program out there! I could lose weight, but I could never maintain it. So I joined weight watchers for the umpteenth time. In 1 year I lost 85 lbs., I was on my way! I got to 199 lbs.! ONEDERLAND! Then, my husband’s issues with gambling and woman surfaced big time again. They did get brushed under the rug over the years, but more so I think I just didn’t want to face them. But now I was ready to. I felt good about myself so I was going to kick him to the curb. It was very ugly for about a year or so. In and out of court, lawyers, police. It was a nightmare. Then on my 40th birthday I was sitting on the beach with friends celebrating, and he said he couldn’t come because he was tired and had to work that night. But I found out that he was online chatting with someone and rather talk with her than be with me. That moment changed me forever. I didn’t even get mad. I just stopped feeling. I became numb to him. I packed my boys up and left. No warning. No letter… nothing!

This was the day I started to put me first. Before anything, even my children. The next year I focused on my health, both mentally and physically. I met with my doctors and we all decided that weight loss surgery was the best thing for me  and my PCOS. I thought it over and researched it for about 8 months then went for my consultation. I had the Verticle Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) on 2/4/15 and I have never looked back! I have lost a total of 130 lbs. from my heaviest weight, I have maintained it for almost 3 years now and I have become an avid runner and I train in Crossfit!

 

The best news is through deep therapy and Gambler’s anonymous meetings and counseling, my husband and I have mended our crazy relationship! It took a lot of patience and understanding on my part and a lot of soul-searching on his part. He is the amazing man I always knew was inside of him! He also had the VSG surgery almost 2 years ago and lost 175 lbs.! We have been through so much in our 25 years together that we decided to renew our Vows this past summer! It was such an amazing day! Even better than our Wedding Day! We both encourage each other to live healthy and stay both mentally and physically healthy! He now counsels people with their addictions and I run a support group on Facebook for PCOS and weight loss surgery! We love helping others and sharing our crazy love story with the world!

If I asked your closest friend, to give me 5 words they would use to describe you, what what he/she say?

  • Determined
  • Faithful
  •  Strong
  • Loving
  • Fighter

Do you see yourself the same way as your closest friend does? Yes/No explain.

Yes I do now. It took me just about my whole life to finally see my worth. I was always very insecure an unsure about my capability to achieve anything in life. Then one day I wasn’t anymore. That day was 4 years ago when I turned 40. I finally started living my life in my 40’s!

What does happiness mean to you?

Being content with the way my life is going.

 Not worrying about fitting in or pleasing everyone around me even if it meant my life suffered. Making sure I take care of me first makes me very happy and makes me a better wife, mother and friend.. just a better person all around.

What are some things that stand between you and complete happiness? Nothing… I have finally found my happiness. My weight and my health always stood in my way. But I found a love for myself at my heaviest weight first.. I had to in order to make changes.

If you could send a message to the world in 30 seconds, what would you say? Live your best life for you and no one else! You’ve got this!

What chances have you passed up on in your life that you now regret? There were many when I was younger because I was too insecure to think I could do anything. I stayed in my “comfort zone” and out of the spot light!

How do you apply the learning from this regret to your actions today?

The past 4 years of my life have all been about getting out of my comfort zone. I stopped passing up opportunities. No matter how scary, I now face them head on! I am not scared to tell my story. That was a big fear of mine. To let people know that I was obese and I had a failing marriage and my life wasn’t perfect. I am not afraid to take chances at work and I am no longer afraid to let people who treated me poorly know about it. I called each and every “friend” out on it and let them know they could no longer walk all over me. I now know who my real friends are. I can count them on one hand and I LOVE that!

 

What would you do differently if you knew no one was judging you? Why do you care if people are judging you?

This was a huge obstacle for me to get over. Judgement… It is a horrible thing to feel. I always felt I was being judged for my weight and my willingness to work out my marriage. I now do not care if someone judges me. I know my story and I am proud of it. I am not scared of judgement anymore.

What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you and how did you continue to move forward?

The worst thing was finding out about my husband’s online dating and gambling. All explained in question 3.. lol!

What is the best thing that ever happened to you and what did you learn from that?

The day I found my confidence! I learned that I am in the only one in control of my life. It is my choices that make my life good or bad. I took some horrible situations I was faced with and I chose to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I chose to not let it break me. Because of my choices I am happy. Because of my choices my children are happy. Because of my choices I live my life on my terms.

If karma was coming back to you, what would happen to you?

I honestly think my karma would be good. I think I put out positivity into the world!

What terrifies you the most?

I have always been terrified of losing my children. Like that they literally get kidnaped. They are 15 and 11 now and I still fear this! The thought of them just not coming home one day and not knowing where they are, if they are scared, if they are hurt… it terrifies me!

What did you want to be as a kid, why? Are you doing that now? If not, why not?

I wanted to be a rock star and/or Wonder Woman.. lol! I am no rock star even though sometimes I think I am. I love pretending! And as far as becoming Wonder Woman, I did for Halloween if that counts! Lol! Some say I am Wonder Woman because of how I changed my life around.. I’ll take it!!

Whose life have you had the greatest impact on?

My husband’s. I honestly believe that if I did not come into his life when we were just 11 years old, that he would not be here today.. he tells me that everyday.

Who has had the biggest impact on your life and why?

My mother! She is my Wonder Woman! She is one of the strongest woman I know! She was raised by a strong woman too, my Nana! My mother endured a lot in her life also. Her father died when she was barely 7 years old. My Nana was left with 3 young children, when he died, and she raised them all to be strong adults. As my mother did with my brother and myself. My mother was also married to an addict. My father was an alcoholic and could be quite a handful at times. He became sober my senior year of high school and stayed sober for 22 years! He was a wonderful man and we loved him more than life, but he succumbed to his disease and died 6 ½ years ago. Addiction is so hard. She struggled with his disease and fought hard for her marriage. I guess that is why I refused to give up on mine. She is so independent! Even widowed, she never gave up. She learned to live alone. She is super active in her new senior community and she found a “friend” that makes her so happy! I am so happy for her! She has never let the obstacles in her life bring her down. She always found a way to face them and move forward.

What do you want most out of your life?

To continue to live happy and healthy! I want to make a positive impact in the weight loss surgery community and PCOS world! I want people to understand that weight loss surgery is not the easy way out, or a lazy choice. I want everyone to understand how much hard work you must put in for the rest of your life. That surgery is just a tool to get you started and yes surgery is not for everyone. I want people to understand that PCOS is a real disease that affects your weight. That all overweight woman with PCOS are not lazy, most of us eat a healthy diet and exercise more than the average person to just maintain 200+ pounds.. It is a daily struggle with pcos. Some days it may work with you and you have a good day, but most days it is a struggle just to get out of bed. I want all my PCOS Cysters to know that they have a voice and there is an option to help them. That weight loss surgery is not scary and will help them as long as they are willing to do the hard work.

 

How do you plan on getting there? What is your goal and outcome to achieve # 19?

I want the support group that I started on Facebook for PCOS and weight loss surgery to grow! My group is calls “Our PCOS~VSG Journey & Support” I want everyone who needs this support to know it is there for them. I will do whatever I can to promote it. This is an awesome way to do that! So I thank you for your consideration to post my story! I know it will help others!

 

Would your life be better or worse, if you knew the time and place where you would die?

 I think it would be worse. If I knew, then I would just worry about that day coming and I don’t think I would be able to enjoy my life as much.

What would people say at your funeral? Are you happy with what would be said? Explain.

I think people would say that I was a good person and that I lived my life happy. They may say I was a dancing fool too!! I am comfortable with what people would say about me. I am happy with how I am living my life and I honestly feel that I am nice to others and that I have now made friendships that are genuine.

If not now, then when?

Always now. I try not to put off things to long. I have learned that tomorrow is never promised.

Are you holding onto something, you need to let go of?

Yes. I sometimes fall back into that ugly place where my husband and I were at our worst. Like a certain situation will make me feel sad about things we went through and sometimes I will allow it to ruin my day. But it is getting less and less. I work hard with my therapist on letting these things go.

Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?

Strength! It means you are in tune with your feelings and are able to let it out. It means you are secure with yourself and your feelings. It is a good quality to have.

If you had a friend/family member who spoke to you in the same way you speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?

Forever! The way I speak to myself now is good! It took me 40 + years to get to a good place with myself, but I did it! So if I had a friend/family member who was positive to me like I am to myself now, then that would be a life long friend!

When have you felt as if life was unfair? Explain.

When they told me my 13 month old had cancer. 10 years ago I found a lump on my son. Through 2 weeks of tons of tests from cat scans to mri’s and tons of blood work they told me he had a Rhabdomyosarcoma tumor. He needed immediate surgery to remove it then 3 days a week of radiation and chemo treatments. My world stopped! I thought why my son? Why us? Why now? Why? Why? Why? How unfair is life I thought!

Time or money?

Time! Definitely time! Money comes and goes, but time is limited and so precious. Memories last forever. Money is temporary.

What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?

I would regret not telling everyone in my life how much I appreciate them. I would regret not living my life happy.

What was the best or worst part about working on this activity?

The best thing was remembering what I have been through. The good and the bad. It has all brought me to this point in my life and I couldn’t be more happy and grateful for it all! The worst is trying to put it all into words. I want to say so much but it is so hard to put it on paper and make sense. Lol!

 Would you like your to be featured on our blog ? What is something you hope that other readers take away from your responses?

YES!! I would love to be featured! I really hope people would see that if you stay positive you can face just about any obstacle that comes your way. To never give up on yourself and your happiness. That you deserve to be happy and to put yourself first. You are the only one in control of your life.. You and only you!