Changes · Random Spouting and Ranting

I Miss You.

I’ve missed you.

I’ve missed everything about you.  The strength you give me.  The feeling of hope that I can do this.  The accountability.  The things that kept me moving along the path to a healthy life.

So, why do I continue to stray?

Why do I find it so hard to write down my struggles and my successes?  I have thought about this over and over again.  For the last several months, maybe a year.  I ask myself why did I stop?  I think it’s because I wasn’t seeing the results I expected and I didn’t want to face that on a blog, where everyone can read about my failure.  And once I went down that ugly trail of defeat, I actually became defeated.  I have been self sabotaging for the better part of a year.  I do really well, I start to gain strength and lose weight and then I slip.  And when I slip, I fall hard.

I can’t keep coming back to this blog saying, “Here I am again!  Ready to do this!!” when I don’t know if I am ready.  I made a commitment to myself and a friend that I will write as much as I can each morning.  Like the Morning Papers in The Artist’s Way, except I will need to work my way up to three full pages each morning.  I am truly hoping this inspires me to get back to my blog.  The joy it brought me, and the encouragement I received to keep going is something I need back in my life.

Also, I fucking hate the way I am feeling.  So, maybe if I talk more about the feelings I am having, I will stop sabotaging myself when I am enjoying how I feel.

Cheers.  I will be around.  I really should blog about my hot yoga experiences.  And my Shakeology fun.  And how I have been avoiding exercise because it’s HARD AS FUCK to do something that makes your body hurt more than it already does. But those will be topics for another day.  Today I just wanted to say, I miss you.

Binge Eating · Changes · Random Spouting and Ranting

Motivation – Kicking it in gear, for a minute

Insert all positive affirmations here.

I strayed too long.  I was avoiding what was happening.  In real life, I was spiraling backwards on my road to a happy, healthy destiny.  I was letting my addictive behavior rear it’s ugly head with food.

Food was my release.  I was throwing myself, both feet first, into my recovery from drugs and alcohol, but I wasn’t including food as a part of that recovery.  Now that I am actually doing my part and working the steps, my eyes are opening.  The same feeling of escape I received from drugs and alcohol were being achieved via food.  Some food addicts have specific trigger foods.  Sugar, pasta, baked goods.  My trigger is all food. Do you chew it and swallow it?  I will eat it.  And I will eat all of it until I snap out of my mindless food binge and realize how sick I am making myself.  Then the guilt and frustration cycles through and sends me on another sad pity party.


Positive thoughts and affirmations coming my way.  Besides, my sponsor encourages me to journal.  I am bad at journaling.  I lose my journals and start new ones.  This will be the perfect spot to journal.  If it’s just too personal, I can make my entry private.  Although, for the most part, I am an open book.

Let’s see how this pans out.  Time to have a healthy embrace once more.  No Maureen, not that kind of embrace…

Changes · House & Home · Make It Happen March

The Garage

Make it Happen March Strikes again!

Instead of thinking for months about doing something, I just grabbed my daughters camera (thanks Riley) and decided to share with you my project.  Which I decided to take on right this moment, and by sharing with you all I feel like I will actually MAKE IT HAPPEN!  So, without further ado, here’s my garage!

Hopefully, the video doesn’t scare you away.  Hopefully, if you are in a similar situation (buried in junk) it will encourage you to dig yourself out.

Alright, time to get busy.

Changes · Random Spouting and Ranting

Alice Found Her Way

“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
-Alice in Wonderland

Some days I feel like Alice in Wonderland.  Completely upside down and backwards, lost in a place that makes no sense.  In my effort to stick with my New Years resolution, I am going to take those feelings and turn them into a positive.  I can always go back and retrace my steps, and then I should see where there is another path in the road.  I am feeling refreshed and hopeful.  I see good things that are just out of reach.  But that other path, that other path will take me straight to where I need to be.

It’s going to be great 2013.  I can already feel it.  Can you?

go ask Alice, Alice when she's 10 feet tall
Feeling a little stretched
Beauty · Changes

I Feel Pretty – Part 1

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young lady girl name Gina.  (Gina was never a lady) Gina had confidence and a sense of style.  Granted, her style was kind of gutter-punk-esque and sometimes Goth-on-a-dime, but she had a sense of style.

Goth -on-a-dime Gina

And she was happy.

There was always skirts and dresses to be worn on the days she didn’t wear the horribly over-sized and baggy cut off jeans. There was baubles and rings and make-up and fancy colorful hair.

Gutter Punk Gina (aka Female Garth)

And she was happy.

Not saying she was well put together, or that they were good looks, but they were looks she put effort into putting together.  Even if she was just going to a friends house to lounge around in a bedroom smoking and talking.  (Not proud, but there was a lot of smoking that happened in the 90’s. A lot.) She did her best to look “good”.

Little Darkie Gina

And she was happy.

One day Gina grew up and became a mommy and worked in offices that were unlike the video and record stores she grew up working in. Now there was a certain look she felt she needed to fit into, and so she tried to fit in, but it was a difficult transition.

There were overalls…

Sadly, I thought I was hiding fat that didn’t really exist.

There was jeans with black t-shirts, and ponytails…

Hair is much easier to deal with in a ponytail.

and yet more jeans with black t-shirts and ponytails…

8 years later, still rockin’ the look.

And she was happy…

kind of…

She loved her kids, and loved her family, and enjoyed being a responsible adult.  But somewhere deep inside, she knew there was another way.

I have set out to find my own personal style.  Something beyond jeans, black t-shirts, and ponytails.  I will keep you posted as I find what works and what doesn’t.  And if I find any great deals or tutorials, I will happily share them with you.  Wish me luck.  This is not going to be an easy fix.

Body Image · Changes

There’s a Girl in the Mirror

There’s a girl in the mirror
I wonder who she is
Sometimes I think I know her
Sometimes I really wish I did

Girl in the Mirror  Britney Spears

It’s rare that the words of a teen pop star would reflect how I am feeling, but today Britney spoke to me.  I have been attending a gym recently, to add more regular cardio to my workouts.  I haven’t spent much time on the actual floor of the gym where the elliptical machines, treadmills, recumbent bikes, etc are housed.  I have been attending the classes.  The classes appeal to me in a couple different ways.  One, they vary, so it’s not like doing the same dvd workout over and over again.  Two, there are other people in the class and I am not about to be the person who quits and walks out mid class.  That’s something I do when I am at home.  Since taking these classes over the last few weeks I have found there are a couple reasons the classes don’t appeal to me.  One, I am uncoordinated and while I think I am the bomb in my head I am quickly reminded that I am NOT by my number two reason for the lack of appeal.  MIRRORS.  EVERY WHERE!

I catch glimpses of myself in these mirrors and I am shocked at how unlike the instructor my moves are looking.  Even in the strength training classes, I find my abs aren’t pulled in quite as tight as I thought they were.  If it weren’t taboo for me to stop mid class, grab my iPhone and snap a shot of myself compared to the instructor, there would be multiple shining examples included in this post.  Sigh…

Thinking about how shocked I am by what I am seeing started making me think.  A lot of thinking.  Here’s a collection of those thoughts:

1. Why have I been avoiding the camera for the last ten years?  The world sees me for who I am?  What happens if I am included in a photo, or two, or 20, with family and friends?  Hell, why not just be party to some fun freaking photos at my daughter’s birthday party?  (And so, I participated in our makeshift photo booth.  Which was really f*&king fun)

Sheriff Panelli ready to nab the Pink Cowgirl Bandit!
Pink Caps Guns, that’s how we roll.

I look at these pictures and want to nit pic all of my flaws. Why?  Not one other person has said a thing about those things I see.  Most likely, I am the only person who sees them.

2. Why is it so hard to look into a full length mirror and just admire me for who I am?  Why don’t I see how “bootylicious” I am, when I oh so very much so in my husbands eyes. I can’t see how pretty my eyes are because I am so focused on how fat my arms are.  But as I was thinking of these things, I realized I have felt this way for my entire life.  Even at 19 when I was running around on a stage in a corset and stockings (for a respectable play) I was afraid of what people would see and signed up for a gym membership.  At the time, I even joked I was just signing up because of the trainer with the giant amazing muscle thighs.  Really, it was my fat thigh insecurity.

3. The mirror is a reflection of who I see.  It’s not really who I am.  I am more than that person I see in the mirror. I just need to see the person I know I am.  She peeks out at me from time to time, so I know she’s there.  I won’t let that reflection bring me down.  I am on a good path, and I intend to continue on.

I am a strong and loving mother of two gorgeous daughters.  I don’t want them to feel these insecurities the way I have.  I want them to always embrace who they are, as long as they are healthy about it!  I want to encourage them in their hopes and dreams, and teach them that when they look into a mirror it may not always be what they expect to see, but there is more than just the reflection they see.

Yup 🙂

Welcome – A New Place to Play

Hello and welcome to my newest blog, Gina’s Healthy Embrace.  I created this blog after another project sent me on a life changing experience.  I was living my life in a cloud of sadness, depression, anger, and regret.  I was on the verge of leaving my job because I couldn’t get out of bed to go (and to get out before they decided I wasn’t worth keeping around), and I was in bed all day leaving my kids to fend for themselves.  This meant hours of tv and frozen pizzas for dinner.  I was miserable to be around and I even hated being with myself.  I randomly signed up to work with a personal trainer, Dawn, who was an aquaintance of mine and a good friend of my friend.  I knew I needed help to get back on a healthy path, but I never knew she would give me my life back altogether.  I can’t credit her with everything. but without her, I know I would never have gone to a naturopathic doctor.

I had been visiting traditional doctors my entire life, especially the last several years.  I was suffering from severe depression, horrible chronic back pain, and then they diagnosed me with perimenopause and high blood pressure.  That was it, I took my trainers advice and called the naturopath.  He opened my eyes to a new way of looking at caring for myself.  My body was telling me what it needed all along, and I just wasn’t listening.  I was inflamed, in so many parts of my body and prescription drugs were increasing the inflammation and also just putting a band-aid on my problems.  What it took wasn’t easy to accept, but I listened because my body responded positively almost instantly.

Diet and exercise.  And not just lower your calorie intake and up your activity type of diet and exercise.  It was to eat foods that were natural, low in sugar, and non-inflammatory.  It was to follow a weight bearing exercise regimen to help keep my bones and body strong.  I wasn’t able to do it all right away, but by starting slowly I was able to see how effective the changes were going to be.  I was sold and within a few weeks my skin started to clear of psoriasis, and I wasn’t having any itchy pimply spots on my face.  My mood began to change and my energy increased, and over the course of a few months I was able to eliminate my anti-depressants and A.D.D. medication.  I was becoming the woman I knew was hiding within me.

Along the way I met several new friends who helped guide me to a healthier me.  Heather Morgan of Muffin Top Make Over gave me tools to start losing the weight I had put on over the last fifteen or so years, and helped keep me motivated.  I met her husband EA, who runs EA’s CrossFit in Sonoma, who encouraged and trained me through sweat and tears, and showed me I was a strong, kickass woman!  Finally, I was reminded of how my family and friends support me in all that I do, and encourage me to go further.  Now I hope to continue to meet new people via this blog and to encourage others to become their own kickass self.  SO LET’S DO THIS!