Day trip

Sometimes you just need to get away from your home and your city for a day and surround yourself in a new environment to recharge. This past weekend was one of those weekends for me. I needed a change of scenery for a day and so I hit the road to Columbus, Ohio on Saturday to see my friend Jen at the Arnold Classic. I left home around 5:30am because I knew once I hit Indiana I’d be in the eastern time zone and wanted to make sure I got there in time to see Jen at her signing. The drive to Columbus was super peaceful with the open road, music, and getting to see the sunrise was just what I needed.

I got to the Arnold Classic with no problems at all. I figured there would be a line to see Jen, so the booth she was at was the first stop I made. the line wrapped around the booth, which made me so happy to see so many out to see her. As the line moved she looked over at one point and saw me and came over to give me a hug. Some people in line were looking around and Jen said she’s known me for a long time now. Once I made it to my turn to actually see her, she and I had a good talk and then again after her signing was over we talked more. She really made me think about things that have been holding me back from making progress and I shed some tears.

Sunday morning I woke up at 4am and that’s when everything she talked to me about really started to set in about what’s holding back my progress. I thought it was just a couple of things, but then I had an even bigger revelation later in the day. It was one of those holy shit moments where I realized that there have been some things I’ve been suppressing. I’m grateful for the talk and homework Jen gave me.

Sunday was a good day too. After getting some stuff down on paper, I took a nap since I was up so early processing stuff. Later in the day my friend Bri and I went to see The Greatest Show Man. It was such a good movie and I’m glad I went.



I mentioned in a post I made a few days ago that I’m joining Shape Magazine and Jen Widerstrom doing their 40 day challenge. Being a caregiver so long I really didn’t take care of myself the way I should have. I ate like crap, gave into temptation sitting next to the person at work who is always bringing donuts, cookies, and candy in. As hard as these last four and a half weeks have been without my dad, I realize that this is a time in life where I get to rediscover who I am. I don’t have to constantly worry about my dad throughout the day or not get enough rest because he needs help with something in the middle of the night. Don’t get me wrong, I wish he were still here because he was the best dad I could ever have ever wanted, but I knew in the back of my head that I was putting my health on the back burner to make sure he was okay.

The timing of this challenge has been fantastic. Today is day five and since it started I’ve been cooking meals instead of eating out. I’ve been making chicken dishes, healthy sandwiches, eating salads, fruits, and going out of my comfort zone by trying new things like couscous. It’s amazing how in just five days I feel like I have more energy and that my body is functioning better because I am putting good stuff into it. I’ve also significantly cut back on soda, except for a sip or two to get medication down. When I was six I choked on a life saver and my mom had to do the Heimlich on me, so getting pills down has always been an issue for me, and the carbonation seems to help that. If you know of something else for me to try, let me know!

With the ShapeGoal40, there is a fantastic group of amazing people who are all supportive of each other from all over the world and many of us have posted our goals so we can all help each other stay accountable. I want to post that here on my blog as well, so that I make sure I am not only accountable for myself, but for anyone who may be doing this challenge who reads this, can also keep me accountable.

For the first time in almost seven years, I feel like this huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I love my dad dearly, but now that he’s gone and truly seeing the toll it took on me that I couldn’t see, but everyone else could has been a huge eye opener. 2018 is going to be focusing on me and rediscovering myself and my joy. As I look back in 2017, I don’t know how I managed to do all that I did for my dad. There were times that I was pretty much at rock bottom, but was able to put up this façade to make it seem like everything was fine. I’m ready to conquer 2018. I’ve got big goals and plans for some of the most special people in my life. I really couldn’t have made it through this last year without Justin, Katie, Bri, Gina, Kelly, Jen and so many more.

Here I come 2018 and here are my goals below!


Taking Care of Myself

For the first time in almost 7 years I have the opportunity to focus on myself and my needs. Being a caregiver to my father who had many health issues was so hard, but I would do it all over again if I had to. My dad was my rock and I can’t believe that it has been a month today since he passed. It doesn’t feel like it has been a full 30 days. I remember vividly the week before he passed when I asked him one day how he was doing he told me he felt like he was dying. I told him he wasn’t and that his infection and other labs were getting better. By 11/28 he could tell it was his time to go. I was in the waiting room with a couple of friends because they were going to get my dad cleaned up. During that time he ended up getting sick and was really agitated, so the nurse called me and asked me to come back to his room. When I did, I could just tell he looked different than he had before and he was more alert. I walked over to his hospital bed and held his hand. He looked at me and said “Remember what we talked about last week baby, I think it’s time”. Hearing those words were heartbreaking. I gave him a big hug and then because I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to my mom, I was able to get video of my dad telling me he loved me. I’m grateful I was able to get that and I still have several voicemails from him, but something else special that I have is songs that he sang. My dad sung pretty much all his life, and loved Elvis. Once I was done taking care of his arrangements and other running around that needed to be done, I sat down at his computer and pulled up his music. I found a folder that had several songs he recorded and also found a record in the spare bedroom that he was on when his high school choir recorded a Christmas album. I’m so grateful to have these things.

Since my dad’s passing I have been having a hard time with cooking at home. Until last night I had been stopping on my way home to get something through a drive thru or a microwavable dinner. I know those aren’t good for me, so last night I went shopping and actually got some healthy stuff. Yesterday I started a 40 day challenge called ShapeGoal40 being hosted by Jen Widerstrom and Shape magazine. Back in February this year I met Jen after the release of her book Diet Right For Your Personality Type. We talked for a few minutes and she remembered me from one of her DietBet’s I did. She and I have kept in touch since then and I knew that this would be the perfect time to tackle this challenge head on. I have my goals written down and posted to my Instagram (cubbie_87). I convinced a friend to sign up and I’m super excited for these next 40 days. Life has a crazy way of timing sometimes. Part of my goal is to lose weight because I have put on at least 30 pounds since meeting Jen. But there is so much more to my goal than the weight loss, so if you are interested go check out my Instagram and while you’re at it go follow Jen on their as well (@jenwiderstrom). She’s had such an impact on my life and I love that she and I have been able to keep in touch.

As time goes on I will share more about my life as being a caregiver and more of my story, but I felt like today these are the things I really needed to share. It hit me pretty hard this afternoon and needed to get it out so it doesn’t eat away at me inside. If you are interested on doing the ShapeGoal40 with me, you can search for Shape’s page on Facebook and all the information you need is there. I also have a Planet Fitness membership that allows me to take a guest, so if you want to join me at the gym, let me know!