Being Brave, Challenge, Goals, Mental Health

Lent is Quickly Approaching

I was confirmed a Methodist, raised by a Catholic and a Lutheran, and I was married Catholic. I consider myself a Catholic. For me the Easter holiday season is a season of fresh starts and cleansing. It is also a time to focus on what is important to us. You don’t have to be a Christian or a Catholic to make the Lentin season a season of cleansing for yourself.

The Lentin season is quickly approaching. We party on Fat Tuesday, then on Ash Wednesday (March 2, 2022) we start our cleansing and penance to Christ.  I have been thinking about Lent and what I will be giving up for 6 weeks.  It was a pretty easy decision this year.

Normally I give up soda or sweets. One year I even gave up being negative and judgmental. It was very helpful and even today I try to think more positively and I try not to judge others. This year I thought I would give up something much harder for me. Fast food!  Why is fast food harder… because it is easy!

Stopping for fast food on your way home from work is easy or having that pizza delivered… easy! On the weekends who wants to cook? Whataburger? Sure why not! The great thing about fast food, besides the fact that it is easy, is the fact that you can fit (most) fast food into your calorie budget if you are counting calories or into your macros. It’s easy! With that being said, everything about fast food is easy, which makes not eating it hard!

In the past I would have said that fast food is cheaper than cooking at home. For the most part that is no longer the case. I can feed my family a much higher quality meal for far less money than McDonalds. In most cases the dollar menus are no longer a dollar and the value menus are not always a value. Even the $1 McDonalds sodas are no longer $1. What’s up with that?

Can we talk about the sodium and the calories in fast food? The calories are killer. I can make a hamburger and fries at home but the calories will not be close to what a Whataburger meal will cost me in calories. Don’t even get me started on the sodium. How on earth do they find so many extra calories and salt to stick on a bun? Maybe that is why they taste so good? Damn you Whataburger!!!

I digress… So besides giving up fast food, I will also be giving up meat on Friday as always. Giving up meat is never a problem for me. I can easily eat seafood or a cheese quesadilla and be perfectly happy.  Have I told you that I could eat seafood day and night? There is no way to cook a shrimp that I don’t like.

I have been slowly easing away from fast food since the beginning of the year so I don’t think it will be too hard. The only time I see that it could be a struggle is when times get tough and I need an easy out for dinner or lunch.  I can also see it being hard at lunch time when someone offers to pick up lunch for the group.  The days that will probably be the hardest for me will probably be on my 9/80’s two Fridays off a month. Normally I grab something for lunch on my way home from running errands. I guess this Friday off will be my last Friday eating out for lunch for quite a long time. I am good with that.

I am actually looking forward to the challenge. Honestly how much of a challenge will it really be? Just tuck and roll and I will come out better on the other side. I have been enjoying my February daily exercise challenge. I did miss 3 days because I had a stomach bug. I was already dehydrated enough. I didn’t need to sweat more out. I don’t think I could have moved for those 3 days anyway.

I hope that you think about joining me and giving up something that is a distraction in your life right now. Maybe it is social media? Maybe you are not taking enough time for yourself and need to give up a time killer in your life? TikTok has to be the ultimate time killer. I highly recommend giving that up. I gave it up 1/1/22 and honestly I only miss it when I am bored. 

I hope you will take this time to discover something that is missing in your life or something that you need to remove from your life. A cleansing time simply means a time of fresh starts and self-discovery.

Whatever you choose to do during this Lentin season I pray that you know that you are always better off being brave. Take a chance on yourself. You are strong and you can do it?

Fitness challenge? No more soda? No social media? Removing toxic activities or friends (family) from your life?  There are so many options!!

Being Brave, Fears, Greif

Can you see me now?

Photo by Alexander Dummer on

The one thing that I have learned about being fat if that as a fat person I am invisible. Doors close in my face. People will look around me or through me, verses actually seeing me. It is not unusual for people to walk right in front of me as if I wasn’t even there. It is amazing to me that these same people who can’t see me suddenly have their vision restored as soon as they are ready to make fun of me. At that point I become 100% visible.

Do you ever get tired of not being seen? I do… to most people I am just a mass. I am not human, and I have no feelings at all. I am their punching bag to beat up when the mood hits them. Although it has never been physical in some cases it wouldn’t hurt any worse if it was physical.

Why is it that you can be in a small group of people, but if a new person is introduced to the group, the only one that can’t be seen is the fat person. Again, just an inanimate mass…

I never got asked out by high school students when I was in high school even though I was not overly overweight. I needed to lose weight but not by any more than 30 pounds. Now I could lose 100 pounds to be at my happy weight. School dances would come and go but no one was interested in me. Football games, prom, homecoming, you name it, it was never happening for me. I was much more quiet than I am now. I am not quiet at all now. There are times I wish I would have had the personality I do now in school, but I am not sure it would have made a difference. I went to a very superficial high school where image and money was all that mattered. I was no one’s image of a date, and I certainly didn’t grow up with money.

I got the feeling at times that there were guys that wanted to say something but never did. I am sure I would have been too embarrassing to be with. I am sure they feared the repercussion of dating me. I get that. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to ever suffer that pain that I had to.

As I write this, I want you to know that I am not writing for a pity party. I am just putting it out there for those people who get it. You are not alone. Someone else gets it and cares. I hate it for anyone. Right now there is someone being bullied, shamed, or ignored, because they do not fit the traditional social standard that society has deemed “worthy.”

You are worthy even if the world can’t see your worth…

You are valuable even if right at this moment you feel less…

YOUR PEOPLE see your worth and see your value…

YOUR PEOPLE want to spend time with you and love you even if you don’t feel very loveable…

You are a beauty! You are created in God’s image. I don’t know about you, but I am not going to question Gods creation.

Be Brave, Have Faith, Ignore the hate

Being Brave, Fears, Greif

There was once a new guy at work

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I remember the day (very clearly) it was in December of 2019. My department was getting up our Christmas decorations. Everyone was laughing and having a good time. Down the hall I spotted the new guy who had just started.

I pointed out to the ladies unboxing with me “hey that is the new guy in Bob’s department.” I literally said nothing more. There was no way he could have heard me, but I think when everyone in my group turned to look, that changed everything. I am sure it gave him a clear indication that we were talking about him. I regret I ever said a word.

It was nothing more than one line, but that one line changed everything… (I assume)

From that moment on, he seems to despise me. He won’t acknowledge my existence. If he stepped on me, he wouldn’t even notice. If I am in his sight line he finds a way out. It is almost comical.

There are two things I think may have happened. Either he thinks I have a crush on him, or it is because I am overweight. The reason I would lean in this direction (not trying to be that person) is because it seems to be more like he finds me reprehensible verses he just doesn’t like me.

I get not liking me, ignoring me, avoiding and all of that if I gave him a reason to. I would certainly understand that but I haven’t. If people looking at him is the only reason to be so rude (especially when he just started working at a new company) then his problems run deep. If he doesn’t like me because I am overweight, then what can I say? There is nothing I could have done to make him like me.

It not only hurts my feelings but it makes me sad too. My office is always full of people laughing and having a good time because I have that office that people tend to gather. He could have made a friend in me or at least a passing by “how are you doing kind of person,” but instead he has made nothing more than an enemy (said loosely) out of me. I joke enemy but that is truly not the case.  I wouldn’t help him no matter what. I would not vouch for him if needed and I certainly would not recommend him for anything. Petty yes! The reality is that I am higher on the food chain than he is and you never know when you may need someone higher to give a helping hand. The one thing I have learned in the professional world is that you never know when you might need someone’s help and you never burn a bridge. You never know what is around that corner… just some food for thought.

My point to this whole story is there are times nothing you do, or did, will make someone like you. They are not required to like you and you are not required to like them. It would however be nice if you gave them a chance not to like you (snicker snicker). You may exchange glances and know that this person is not “your people.” Not everyone is going to like you and you never know their reasons. I have no interaction in my job with this man. Our departments have nothing to do with one another, but for whatever reason he doesn’t like me. It is rarely something you have done that has made someone dislike you. Most of the time it is just their perception of you or their clear judgement of you that makes them dislike you. It’s easier said than done to say, “don’t take it to heart.” It is human nature to want everyone to like it. Reality is there are some people that are YOUR PEOPLE and there are some people that are not. We were not put on Earth to be people pleasers! Just a reminder that you are always better off being brave.

Challenge, Goals

February Challenge

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I have started a February Activity Challenge that was created by Lauren at im_louiseLane on Instagram. So far it is going good. It is not too late to join in if you are interested. I have been making sure that I get at least 10 minutes of movement a day. I know that does not sound like a lot (because it isn’t) but it is a start. I have been walking and riding my Peloton bike.

I took a Peloton Disney Encanto class but I only lasted 10 minutes. It was great but it was way too advanced for me. I have noticed that all of the specialty rides are geared toward people who are either more experienced or more athletic. I am neither of those things, but I will get there and that is all that matters.

I will be taking another class tonight. It is good for me to move my body. I am enjoying the challenge because it holds me accountable and it makes me happy that I did something. It is so easy to let life consume us. More often than not we forget to take care of ourselves.

I typically work on my activity after dinner but I must admit there are times that is a struggle. I could do my activity in the mornings but I already get up at 4:30AM so the question becomes, do I really want to get up earlier? Most days’ no, but I have been having trouble sleeping these days so I might think about reconsidering that decision. If I am up already why not be productive?

I haven’t posted on here much because I have been allowing work life to weigh me down. It has been very challenging lately. Very!

I hope you all are doing well. Don’t forget to join the challenge if you are interested.

Don’t forget you are always better off being brave.

Being Brave, Goals, Mental Health

Get Out of the Dust and Start Setting Goals!

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12 days in to our 2022 “Fresh Start” and I already feel left behind in other people’s dust. I am not comparing myself to anyone else, but I really need to get it together and focus. I think my head has been all over the place and focus seems to be …out of sight/out of mind.

I started a new job at the same company last week and I have yet to be told what my job is going to entail. I have no software access right now so I go in for 9 hours and essentially hang out. I assure you, that is getting old. My boss has been too consumed with getting all of his work done to make his deadlines to worry about me. I get that! I think the part of my lack of focus is due to the lack on being needed at work.

By the time I get home from work I am so tired from doing nothing that the nothing then carries over at home and I don’t feel like doing anything there either. I have masses amount of laundry that needs to be folded, and put away, plus a few dishes in the sink but I am not too worried about that…

My biggest lack of focus has come in my eating and exercise. I think my Christmas vacation of being a slug has carried over into being a slug in 2022!

My goal this week is to come up with a healthy menu plan with the intention of cooking some of it this weekend. I am want to come up with an exercise plan even if it is only 15 minutes a day for a while. I think it is going to take me a little time to get back into the swing of things. I need to get my husband motivated to do the same thing.

I am trying to cook based on what I have at home, adding fresh veggies and all of that. Unlike most people I am not trying to shop what I already have to save money to pay off those pesky holiday bills. I am doing it because we have more than we need and I need to start clearing out the freezer and pantry before I buy more. Our goal is to move this coming summer. It would be an easier move if we only have a few things left in the freezer. Right now the freezer is stuffed full. To give you an idea as to how full the garage freezer is, last night I stuck the ladder in front of the door fearing it was going to pop open.

So my goal: For this week it so come up with a Menu Plan, Exercise Plan, and plan something fun to do as a family.

One day at a time … It’s better to be brave, than to always live in fear of the unknown…

Being Brave, Greif, Mental Health

Where did the year go?

Apparently I left off writing in May and never came back. 2021 was a tough one for me. My year started off with my mom in the hospital, then she passed away, and then I gave up on life and myself. I would have probably been better off if I had kept writing.

I never hit any of my weight loss goals. I never checked off items from my bucket list. Instead, I just wallowed in self-pity and never looked back. I preferred to feel sorry for myself, missing my mom terribly along the way. The very sad part of it all, is that my mom would have been so disappointed in me. She would have told me that she was fine and she was no longer suffer, and it was time for me to stop suffering also.

I could tell you that 2022 will be different. I will lose 100 pounds, check off all 20 items on my bucket list and rule the world, but you know how that goes. I won’t even go there. I will tell you that I have come to the realization that my mom isn’t coming back but that doesn’t mean I can’t come back.

Somehow I have managed to function the last 9 months (as of today) without her. Somehow I got a promotion at work and somehow I am seeing rainbows at the edge of all of the darkness. I still miss her. I miss her so much but I also know she would kick my ass for wallowing. She would tell me to get up and get it together. Therefore, I will get it together.

I am going to hold myself more accountable and take a new and lighter approach to life. I have only flipped off one person so far this year and I am feeling pretty good about that (HAHAA) that was on January 3rd.

One day at a time… We are always Better Off Brave!

Being Brave, Fears


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I do not believe that there should be a size or weight cut off when it comes to wearing a bikini. I do however think it takes a lot of bravery and courage to wear one. I don’t care what size person you are talking about. You have to be brave. I am NOT that brave!

If you are overweight, there are going to be those obvious jokes! Let us not forget the discouraging looks and remarks you have to look forward to. I am sure the haters find those remarks to be very helpful and uplifting.

I am not convinced that it is any easier when you are thin or just average. Since people cannot remark on your weight they will find something else because mean people are unhappy. When they are unhappy they need to insure that you will be unhappy too. They are just givers! Is that a stretch mark? She’s too thin… eat a hamburger. Did you see she has cellulite?

News flash everyone has cellulite at some point in their life. Oh yeah, and while we are flashing lets also recognize that everyone struggles with weight some people just handle it better than others. Most people with the “idealistic” body type still watch what they are eating, or they exercise or they do something that keeps them trim. That is what makes them different from me and maybe you too?

In this game of life, we are all the same. We may look different, think different, or even sound different, but our hearts all beat the same. I will never fathom the concept of shaming anyone for anything. I especially don’t get the concept if this person can’t change what you find amusing. If someone is born with a long wide nose, what makes people compelled to shame them over it? They did nothing wrong, they didn’t ask for the nose, they can’t change it without surgery, and even better… how does their nose impact you?

How does someone’s weight or cellulite impact you? You can feed me your bullshit and tell me that someone who is overweight cost the country so many billions of dollars a year, and it is not fair that everyone else has to pay for it. Maybe you are right! It is also not fair that I have to pay for those who cannot take care of themselves. It is also not fair that I have to pay for those who get cancer from smoking… I mean the smoking was their choice as the eating too much was my choice. There is no difference.

We all have choices and even if I didn’t make the harmful choices I still often have to pay for them. I have to pay for children who get government assistance because they need to eat. I have to pay for public school even if my children are in private school because that is life and that is what we do. Life isn’t always fair.

Wearing a bikini even if it upsets other people is OK. It is your right to do it just like it is their right to wear jeans at the beach. We all make choices that don’t always make others happy however if those choices make you happy than just do it. Be brave and put on that bikini! Don’t let your weight, cellulite, or even that birth mark hold you back! You are much better off being brave!

XOXO -Nicole

Being Brave, Fears, Greif, Mental Health


Photo by Kat Jayne on

When I started this site with good intentions in mind, then my world fell apart. Five weeks ago my mom passed away. I feel fairly confident in saying that my life will never be the same again. My mom was my best friend. She was always there for me, as a mom, but also as a best friend. I could tell her anything, the good and the ugly. I haven’t done a lot of things in my life to be embarrassed about but whatever I did do, she was aware of it.

Growing up my life was not easy. My mom and I became a team. We used each other to stand, to push through, and to cope. My dad could never physically hurt anyone, but he was an alcoholic who was rarely sober when I was a teenager.

My dad got to the point where he could no longer hold a job instead he spent his days drinking while my mom spent her days and nights working to support his habit and support our family. It is not a joke to say there were times we did not have food, we did not have heat, electricity, or even water. Life was hard but mom and I were strong, and even stronger together. As long as we had each other we had everything we needed.

My mom would go on to divorce my dad after I graduated high school, but it would not change just how hard life could be. It was just a different hard. It was still a money struggle hard, and emotional hard. We still had each other. My dad would go on to pass away in 2001. That same day was my parents wedding anniversary. Again, life was hard…

My dad was a great man. He really was… he just had an addiction that he could not break. I don’t judge him in any way because I have a food addition so I get it. I asked him one time if he thought it was possible to get help and stop drinking. He said no, he didn’t think he could do it. I knew then I had to accept him for who he was and love him despite his addition. I did… he was an incredible dad. I miss him like crazy too. He was part of “my people” he was always there for me no matter what. I was angry at him for leaving me for a long time, but I have since learned to cope with it. The best you can cope.

My point in all of this is that life is always going to be hard, but it is much easier if you have the right people in your corner. You can make it through anything. Making it through with “your people” makes it just a little sweeter.

I keep asking myself how on earth will I be able to go on without my person with me? She has always been the one in my corner trying to fix it, make it better, or going head first in it with me.
I really don’t think I have ever felt so un-brave (is that a word) in my life. I know that brave doesn’t always mean you have it all together. Is also doesn’t mean that you are not scared or that you are not strong.

When the hospital called me to tell me to get there I didn’t feel brave. As a matter of fact, it took every bit of brave for me to remain calm and make that last drive to the hospital knowing that it was to say goodbye.

I didn’t realize that the goodbye would come so fast. Within 10 minutes of my arrival my mom would make her journey to the Lord and cross over. I am blessed that the Lord got me there in time, and I am even more blessed that I was the one that got to help her cross over. I was scared, I was shattered, but I held it all together…. for those 10 minutes.

After that… not so much. I was as calm as I could be on that drive home. I knew I just had to get home. My husband couldn’t make it to the hospital on time. There was no way. He was waiting on me at home. He would now be the only member of “my people” left. You see even if you have a million friends and family me members sometimes you are still alone. I had never felt so alone and so scared.

Why would I be so scared? My mom had set me up for success. She helped me get my bachelor’s degree, helped me through getting my master’s degree, and I have a good job. I wasn’t making ends meet because of my mom. I was getting through life because of her. At least that is how the irrational side of me felt.

My husband has been an amazing support. I can’t even begin to tell you the man he has been. The support has been unlike anything I could have ever imagined. He has more tear stained shirts that he can probably even count. Life is tough but I know that I am tougher. I know that regardless of my past and the trauma I have endured I know that I can do anything I want to do. I know that God has a purpose for me. I know there are still great things left for me to do. Great things that will make Him proud, but also great things that will make my parents proud.

Sometimes it is really hard to be Brave!

XOXO -Nicole

Fears, Greif, Health, Mental Health

That Time I Had To Be Brave


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As if 2020 wasn’t hard enough, at the end of 2020 my mom had to have her mitral valve in her heart replaced. She hasn’t been home since then and it’s been 11 weeks. She has had a lot of complications since then. Some have been kidney issues, and some have been pulmonary issues.

The doctors believe the reason her mitral valve had to be replaced was because of her need for radiation when she had breast cancer many years ago. This year my mom will be cancer free for 10 years. What a blessing that is. The sad part is now we are having to deal with this. She has been through so much. This is the reason I have let myself slide back into bad eating habits.

I have allowed what my mom is going through to dictate my own bad behavior. Instead of learning from what she is going through, I instead have chosen to wallow in it. It’s been tough. I mean tough. Last year was the first year in my life that I spent Christmas without my mom. She is my best friend. Not having her there for Christmas and knowing that I could not see her in the hospital because of Covid was devastating, heartbreaking, and almost broke me. Yes, I said almost, but it didn’t.

Now that I can see my mom again, I see all that she has gone through when I couldn’t see her and how strong she is. I decided that not only do I have to be brave, but I must be strong. Strong means eating better, exercising, learning new things, and getting outside more. I need more in my life that is filling and not draining. Life is draining enough isn’t it?

So, I am going to try to find me again. I lost me when I became a grad student. Between work, home and school I had no time left for anything else. I gave up everything else so that I could graduate with my MBA. I graduated in December 2020 the day before my mom surgery. That day should have been the day I got my life back but instead the next day it would all fall apart with my moms’ surgery. Everything seemed to be ok until it wasn’t.

For the last 11 weeks I have put life on hold waiting for my mom to recover. She is recovering but it is very slow. She is just starting to learn to breathe on her own again, then it will be physical therapy while she learns to walk again on her own. When you have been in bed for 11 weeks walking is not an option. I do not think she will be out of bed anytime soon, but it is coming.

I pray that God still has big plans for my mom and I to live our lives to the fullest. I pray we can go to New York like we planned before Covid happened and I pray we can get our trip to the zoo and to the beach in like we planned. There are so many things we want to do.

So, what I am saying is that it’s been 11 weeks and it’s time for me to get my shit together and start living again. Living again with or without my mom around is what she would want for me. She would never want me to be so sad that I can’t do things in life that make me happy and that make me … me! She would want me to get healthy, get back on my weight loss journey and to get crafting, and living.


Being Brave, Fears, Greif, Mental Health


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I haven’t written anything brave lately because I have not felt very brave. I have shed a lot of tears lately for myself, feeling sorry for myself, and for my mom who has been in the hospital for months. Life hasn’t gone as expected. I have essentially stopped living because of what is going on with my mom. Daily I am just going through the motions. I get up, start working, go to the hospital, then handle my household as needed. Other than that, life has stopped.

My mom would be livid if she knew what was going on at home with me. She would be so angry that I stopped because her life is hanging on and slowly healing. It’s not what I want for myself, but I have had trouble getting past it.

I eat my feeling something fierce. Even when I eat, and I am not hungry, I feel guilty. I find at times I eat something for no reason at all, but instead of just moving on, I feel like I have binged. One snack size bag of chips is not a binge, nor is it a reason to feel guilty. It is however a lesson to be learned that if you are not hungry you do not need to eat. You need to walk away and come back later. It isn’t going any place.

I am trying to figure out how I can move on without my mom being at home right now. I don’t know that my mom will ever get to come home again, but at the same time I don’t know that she won’t. I pray PRAY she does. I need to be an example to her because regardless of what her future looks like she is going to need a lot of physical therapy.

I think some days I would prefer to wallow in my own self-pity and self-doubt than actually get on with my life and accomplish all things. What is crazy is that is not easier to feel sorry for yourself, it is actually so much harder. Literally some days for me are one minute at a time.

Eating is not a comfort, even if it feels like one at that moment. I often feel miserable because I over eat and can hardly move my body. I am going to be returning back to the office in two weeks. I am hoping that being back in the building will help. The bad part is, we will still all be locked in our offices unable to socialize thanks to COVID-19. I think I am missing the socializing.

I never realized how much I need people until COVID-19 hit and then to top it off my mom went into the hospital. Working from home was no big deal as long as she was home. She lives with my family and I so we had lunch together every day, we would meet at the coffee pot for a chat and so on. She helped keep me on track with my weight loss journey.

It all came to a halt when she went into the hospital. My daily support system was gone. My husband is at work all day so I don’t see him. The house is empty during the day. At night, the house is always a mad house as we try to get one day ended and the next ready to start.
I didn’t start this blog for sympathy. No way am I looking for that. I simply started it as a way to express how I am feeling in hopes that voicing my feelings will give me what I need to move forward and get back on my weight loss journey.

Life is tough! It is tough on everyone, but especially right now. I am over COVID-19, and I am over being isolated from the world. I always thought I hated people, but it turns out I am missing them. I am sure I will get back to the place where I don’t want to be around people, but we will pick those battles as they come.

Today is off to a good start and I hope your day is going good as well. What I need to remember today is, life is hard, but you have to choose which hard you want to live. The hard part of losing weight or the hard part of being overweight. Both are hard, and hurt, but one comes with an amazing life at the other end.

No matter which “hard” you choose you will always be… better off brave!