Thursday, August 22, 2013

I wore a bikini to the beach...

Ok, so two questions probably came to your mind when you read the title:
  1. Why?
  2. Why are you telling me about it?
I'll answer both of those for you (you probably have many more than that, but I'm not a mind reader).

I didn't wear a bikini to the beach because I look like a super model. I didn't wear a bikini to the beach because I have a perfect body. I didn't wear a bikini to the beach because I have super high self esteem and I didn't wear a bikini to the beach because I love every inch of my body. (I have never met a woman who does love every inch of her body, we all have a hang up or two.)

I wore a bikini to the beach because I wanted to prove to myself that I could (plus this pasty white tummy was just screaming for a little color). I'm insecure. I'm a girl, I think we are all born with at least a little insecurity bred into us, the media helps take care of the rest of our insecurities. I have stretch marks and cellulite. I have freckles and uneven skin tone. I have a belly, sagging skin and my thighs touch. I'm not photoshoped or air brushed... (I know, shocker!) Even the medical field adds to it, according to their BMI calculators, I'm currently over weight and have been obese most of my life.

But here's what the bikini doesn't show (or my BMI for that matter)... I can do 90 minutes of hot yoga without stopping. I can bike 14 miles at a 12 mile pace. I can jog a 5k. I can spend the day doing manual labor. I can keep up with my 3 year old (most days). I am fit, even if my body doesn't show it. 

Want to know what I learned from this experience? No one ran from me in sheer terror. No one pointed and giggled. No one stared and whispered. No one even gave me a double take. I'm not sure what I thought would happen, but it was ridiculously uneventful. Well, aside from the fact that I opted for no sunscreen because we had a canopy up and I got fried, on that pasty white tummy that I am sure has not see much of the light of day.

Now, on to why I am telling you about it. Well, because if I can do it you can do it... conquer your fear that is. Your fear may not be a bikini (and by the way, it was very tasteful suit, no tiny bikini's), but it can be conquered. I'm not saying that it has to be a huge fear that you conquer, start with the small ones. Then the big ones don't seem so unattainable.

I know I sound extremely superficial and/or narcissistic, but if you ask my hubby, you'll see what a real fear this was for me. No matter how confident I come across in person, I am a big ball of self doubt at home. I am working on just loving me.

I even remember the first time I felt heavy. It was Easter and I was about 7. My great-grandma gave me a cute, stuffed, yellow Easter bunny with fluffy white cheeks. She said that she got it for me because it reminded her of me, chubby. No, she meant that in the most loving way, but that's what sticks with a 7 year old girl. I'll have to find the picture of me from that year to share.

Let me know what fears you want to conquer... :)

to the moon and back,

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I'm not a hugger

I'm not a hugger, never really have been. I don't think I got that gene. I read an article about the benefits of hugging and I thought to myself... "Meh... whatever..."

I think most people are born with an innate ability to appreciate hugs. Not me, I'm not touchy feely, just ask my husband, it drives him crazy. I feel like I should be a hugger. It would probably make things so much easier, especially since my hubby's love language is physical touch.

"What's this 'Love Language' you speak of?" Well, if you have to ask, then, apparently, you haven't read the "5 Love Languages". The basic idea is that everyone "speaks" a different language when showing their love. So if your love language is gifts and your spouse's is quiality time, it doesn't matter how many gifts you give him, he won't see it as love. It's like speaking English to someone who only speaks French. The 5 love languages are:

  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Gifts
My primary language is Acts of Service. Fifth on my list? Yep, you guessed it, Physical Touch. I don't know why I am that way, I just am. It's probably because I didn't come from a huggy family. Generally, if you got a hug, it was at a funeral or on a holiday. 

I have gotten better about receiving hugs, especially after having Moose, but I'm still definitely not a giver in that respect (except for with Moose). I think it's because I'm an awkward hugger. I'm not a good judge of when it's a good time to hug and what type of hug is appropriate. Should I go in for a full hug? A half hug? A half hug with a pat on the back? A hand shake hug? There are too many choices and quite frankly, I'm too indecisive for that mess.

If I do decide to go in for a hug, I end up switching the type of hug mid way and I sorta come across as creepy or grabby.

I am not above personal growth. So in an effort to teach myself how to be a hugger, I scoured the internet for tips. Here's what I found:

I think that's a good starting point. I like #6 the best. I think I can pull that one off.

Moral to the story, if I don't hug you, it doesn't mean that I don't love you, I'm just not a hugger. Just think you could be caught up in a super awkward half shake, kiss on the cheek, full on hug and no body wants that. However, if you hug me, I will hug you back or kick you in the shin, it's a toss up.

to the moon and back,

Friday, August 9, 2013

I am called to love...

I am called to love
I am not called to judge
There is no grey area
Your sin is no greater than mine
I am called to forgive
I am not called to hold harbor anger
You need the same forgiveness as I
You were given the same forgiveness as I
I am called to be satisfied
I am not called to be jealous
Material things are not lasting
Our rewards will come
I am called to accept
I am not called to condone
My heart is open all
But I am not here to enable
I am called to love the person
Regardless of race
Regardless of sex
Regardless of sin
I am called to be like Him
He who ate with tax collectors
He who did not judge the prostitute
He who died for all sinners
I strive to just love

These words have been swirling in my head the last few days.

to the moon and back,

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pasta-less Lasagna Recipe (sort of...)

Ok, I know I'm not the only one who loves Italian food but doesn't want the carbs from pasta. Soooo, I threw together a recipe using no pasta. I use the term "recipe" loosely because as anyone who knows me knows I never follow a recipe to the T and if I'm winging it, I don't write it down. It drives my husband crazy, because we never get the exact same meal twice.

Here's how I feel, though, food is a feeling, you just have to go with it. I find that I improvise a lot depending on 1. my mood and 2. what's in my pantry/fridge/freezer....

Anyway, I came home from work and I knew that if I didn't use the eggplant that I got the other day, then I'd be throwing it away. Jon has been asking for pizza lately, so I thought lasagna was a good compromise. This could also easily be a vegetarian meal if you omit the ground turkey.

So here it my best attempt at a recipe (this makes 4 generous servings could be 6 if served with a salad or something):

Pasta-less Lasagna

Sauce Mixture (throw it all in a skillet minus the sauce and cook until meat is cooked thoroughly, you may need to add a splash of olive oil for a little fat. Once the mixture is cooked, add the sauce and heat through.)
1/2 lb Ground Turkey
1/2 Medium Onion Chopped
4 oz (or 1/2 package) Sliced Mushrooms
1/2 Chopped Frozen Spinach (or 1 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Spinach)
1/2 Chopped Broccoli Florets
1 Jar Classico Tomato Sauce
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cheese Mixture (while the above is cooking, mix all of the following ingredients together in a mixing bowl and set aside.
1 Cup Low-Fat Shredded Mozzarella (set aside about a 1/4 cup or so for the top of the lasagna)
1/2 Cup Part Skim Ricotta
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1/2 Tbsp Basil (I used the stuff in the squeeze tube found in the produce section)
Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Blend, Oregano, Salt & Pepper to taste

Pasta Replacement
1 Medium Eggplant Peeled and Sliced into Faux Lasagna Noodles (not too thick)

Preheat oven to 375. Take a baking dish (I used 9x9) and add a layer of the sauce mixture, then a layer of raw eggplant "noodles", then smear a layer of the cheese mixture on top of the eggplant then another layer of sauce. Repeat until you have either filled your pan or run out of ingredients. Top with a final layer of sauce and a layer of mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is nice and brown!

Ok, here's a secret, you don't want the eggplant sliced to thin because they will over-cook and be to mushy, but you downy want it sliced too thick because it won't get done. There's a fine line, but you do still want it to have a little bite so it mimics al dente pasta. It's also nice because this lasagna recipe doesn't get watery which is sometimes a problem with lasagna.

Enjoy and feel free to improvise! Live a little!!

to the moon and back,