This Is Long… But It’s Good! :D

So if you’ve been keeping up with me at all.. & if you haven’t, you’re missing out.. I’m loads of fun! 😀 ) you might remember that I recently mentioned I’ve been actively losing weight. Well guess what? I have officially lost the entire 30 lbs I set out to lose in February. — I may lose an extra lb or 2 before it’s all over & done with for good… but I have at this point reached my goal weight. — Which begs the question, what next?

— We’re gonna pause right here cause my dog is looking at me like she needs to go outside & potty, stand by……………………………………………………..

I’m back! 🙂 Not that you would have ever known that I left & then returned in the first place, but since I shared it with you.. I did take a few minutes to trot outside with the pup mid-blogging this here post. 🙂  (Yeeeeahh… the word ‘here’ shouldn’t be before the word ‘post’ as it’s redundant & totally unnecessary… but I like it so it stays! Let’s just toss proper grammar out the window for tonight. — I feel like breaking the rules. 😀

Okay, where were we before I got distracted? Oh yeah. What next?

I recently blogged a bit about how I have learned so much about things like motivation, discipline, & determination from my weight loss journey & it’s really changed the way I see tasks that I’ve set for myself.

It’s easy to be motivated & disciplined when it’s fun or you’re in the mood for it. When you’re seeing results & when you’re optimistic & ready to go & get at it. But what I had to learn is staying disciplined & determined when I didn’t feel like it. You don’t lose 30 lbs in 4 & a half months by keeping with it only when it’s fun or you feel like it. You do it by keeping with it all the time. No matter how you’re feeling about it any given day.

I’ve never fought so hard to reach a goal before. Not without quitting a thousand times along the way. (Which I also talked about in a previous blog post.)

I went from no exercise to exercising every day. I can’t tell you how many times there were days when I just didn’t feel like it & on many occasion had talked myself out of it. But I would rally & get up & do it anyway. & sometimes I would be annoyed the entire time, just grudgingly going about it because darn it I would rather be reading a book or watching tv. But I would tell myself, 1 hour & then you can watch tv or read or whatever you wanna do for the rest of the day or night or what have you. But first…. 1 hour.

The same goes for changes in my diet. Portion control & calorie limits & making due with teeny, tiny, minuscule, barely there, slices of chocolate pound cake cause one regular slice contains more calories than an entire meal! That’s hard. It takes discipline. It takes determination. Let’s be real… it also takes the mighty hand of God! For it is not my strength, but His! 😀

So what’s next? Writing. That’s what we tackle next. I have to take the same tactics that I took with losing weight & apply it to writing. It’s easy to do when it’s fun or I’m in the mood or it feels good or it makes me happy. Not so much when I don’t feel like it or it’s not coming together or I’m terrified I’m a talent-less hack. (Let’s be real, that last part’s not true.. but there will be days I’m sure I’ll feel like it!)

So that’s where I’m going next. I’ve said it before over the years. Probably a million times. The difference in then & now… is that I have learned so much about myself from this journey that I know what that journey is going to take. — Ya girl here is about to fight for her writing. I’ve been fighting for myself. For my self-worth, & my body, & my soul, & my spirit, & I’m not finished in that arena. — On top of that, I’m about to add to it.

A couple of paragraphs above, I wrote, “that’s what we tackle next.” We. I don’t do any of this alone. I’d never make it. I joked about God’s strength helping me with pound cake consumption… but if I’m being real with you, I need you to know that I didn’t do any of this on my own or by myself. I exercise 1 hour every day, but that hour is God’s time. I spend it with Him. I pray, I talk, I worship, I listen, I learn. Some days more than others. I just want to be clear that while it has definitely been my willingness to stay disciplined & keep going…. it has always been His love, & His grace, & His mercy, & His strength that make any of this possible. — So when I say we… I literally mean, we. 🙂

I haven’t figured out the logistics of a writing schedule or anything like that yet. But in the next couple of weeks I’m going to see what unfolds & what I work out. So we shall see what happens!

Until next time… 😀

 

 

 

 

A Purpose Lies Ahead…

I wanna say a little something real quick.

While working out earlier it hit me that some times in life we get in places where we can’t see past where we are currently at. Especially when those places are painful. When we don’t know which way is up or down & we can’t seem to claw our way out of the darkness we find ourselves in. It can get hard & tunnel vision becomes a real thing.

I’ve been there. As I’m sure most people have been. — Once upon a time I couldn’t see how or why in the world I was ever going to make it. It’s now years later… & I can see it.

I used to think there was no hope. I used to think that I was so incredibly broken that I would forever be in pieces. I couldn’t understand why in the world God would have me here, on this Earth, so shredded & torn apart. & I used to ask Him, why? Not why am I in pain or why is this misery in my life… but why am I here at all when this place is breaking me & I could be with You instead? Because I knew back then.. Ya know, this is a fallen world & full of sin & it’s bound to be a hard place to be sometimes. So that’s not the question I had for Him when asking why… it was why am I here, rather than why does it hurt so much.

In those moments, when I was lost in my own misery, He would always show up. Never giving up, never quitting on me. He would show up with an I love you, it’s going to be alright, I’m with you, you’re not alone. But I would still struggle with the why.

Because I could never see past the pain. I couldn’t see down the road, to the future. I couldn’t see what was on the other side. Or even a light at the end of the tunnel. It appeared to be darkness ahead.

All I saw was my shattered soul & broken spirit. A girl getting swallowed up by the world.

All those years ago I asked why. I begged & I pleaded. Why? But there was so much pain & turmoil I couldn’t see through it.

God has a plan for my life. It made zero since to me back then. I couldn’t fathom how that girl, who she was all those years ago… how she would possibly fit into any plans He had. So it didn’t make sense & I couldn’t see it.

But I can see it now. Because that girl… she fought, clawed, & climbed her way out of the darkness. (Slowly & not of her own strength, mind you.) — & when she came out on the other side… she was no longer the same person. She could see.

Every day I still fight the good fight, trying to keep my head up above the water. I keep moving forward, little by little. Good days & bad days, doesn’t matter, I keep fighting. Because I know why now. & because I know why… the will to fight doesn’t come from just trying to survive anymore… it comes from knowing that God has a plan & a purpose for me & my life & I have to keep moving forward to execute it.

So to anyone out there who reads this… God has a purpose for you. Whether you can see it or not… it’s true. So if you ever find yourself where I once was, feeling like you’re lost & you can’t figure out why in the world you’re here. That’s why. — & it’s a beautiful reason to be here. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lies I Told…

I don’t care what anyone thinks of me. I don’t care if they think I’m not good enough. I don’t care if they think I’m stupid. I don’t care if they think I’m ugly. I don’t care if they think I’m pathetic or embarrassing myself every time I speak. I just plain don’t care what a single soul thinks of me.

& I just lied.

I care. I care very much & it’s one of my biggest problems.

I hear people say what I just said, how they don’t care what anyone thinks of them, and I wish I could say it with as much certainty as they do. I can’t though.

I care when someone thinks ill of me or little of me. I care if they think I’m unattractive or unintelligent. I care. It matters to me. It bothers me & that’s a problem. One that I need to solve.

Because while I care & while it bothers me… one thing remains the same…. it does not matter what anyone thinks of me… unless I allow it to matter.

I believe it was Eleanor Roosevelt that said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” (It was, I looked it up! 😀 ) & she was entirely correct.

Lately I (& God) have been working on me. Losing weight, exercising regularly, building myself up, working on the negativity that tumbles around in my head & turning it into something better, something positive & honest. Something worthwhile. I’ve been battling out the negativity I feel towards myself at times. The low self-confidence & feelings of not being quite good enough. They’ve ruled the roost, so to speak, for a long time. & I’m a work in progress.

I still care what people think of me. Too much. & I have to find a way to, simply put, just not care.

If someone doesn’t like me… oh well. If they think I’m a big ol dummy.. Okay, good for them, moving along. If they think I’m not worthy of them… cool, whatever… you do you, Imma do me. — I have to find a way to make this my reality. — If someone just does not like me, I have to be okay with that. & not let it turn into something ugly that seeps into my soul & convinces me that I should feel bad about myself because so & so says so.

It doesn’t matter what so & so says or thinks or anything else. I have to hold on tight to what I know. It matters what God thinks & it matters what I think. I line up with what He thinks, we’re on the same page. Every one else can go on thinking or saying whatever they want. It’s irrelevant. I know this… but I have to believe it, even in those moments when I can feel that negativity trying to creep in. I have to stand with what I know matters. & the negative opinions of other people are not what matters.

So I’m going to keep inching forward, little by little, til I get there.

In fact, some lady gave me some ugly looks at the eye doctor’s office last month (my mom was with me & says she thinks the lady didn’t like my shorts. Which were appropriate mind you, I’m not about to wear booty shorts up in the eye doctor’s office. Especially not mine.. he has crosses & bible verses hanging on the walls. Jesus is all over that room! I mean, come on, that’d be awkward! Jesus, The eye doctor, me, & some booty shorts all in the same room? I don’t think so! 😀 ) Anyhow, that lady looked right at me all rude & such. & at first I looked away cause it made me uncomfortable… & then I was like, no. I didn’t do anything to her. — So instead I looked her straight in the eye, like I got your number lady & I don’t care, & then I proceeded to walk around with my head held high like I owned the place. 😀 — She only got to make me feel inferior if I let her. & I didn’t.

Now I just have to apply that to my entire life! All the time.

Work in progress. 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read This… Pretty Please? :)

Haven’t been on here in ages. Just went scrolling through my old blog posts… reading & such… after a while I was like… wait.. I wrote this? Holy crap… I can write! — Haha!

Cause we all know writers are their own worst critics & after writing things wonder if it was a big mistake that made about zero sense. Turns out…. I’m pretty good. (takes moment to pat self on back 😀 )

So now that that’s over…. all that humble “go me” stuff & such.. I have stuff to tell you all!

First… I made lifestyle changes. We all know that means someone went on a diet… amiright? But seriously…. I did! I prefer to think of it as a lifestyle change tho… cause I can’t go back to what I was doing before. It’s why I needed to lose 30 lbs to begin with. — Anyhow… I don’t drink soda very often anymore… water is my primary source of hydration beverages. & surprisingly (Okay.. it surprised me.. maybe it won’t y’all.) I don’t even crave coke anymore. I used to drink it every single day. Waaaaaayy more of it than I should have been too. Anyhow… not the case anymore. — Water, water, water! (Tho every once in a while I do have a little coke. A treat, if you will. )

Lifestyle changes continued: I exercise! Every. Single. Day. — Without fail! — (Okay, mostly without fail. I have skipped a day here or there… but it’s rare & I usually replace it with some other calorie burning activity when I do. — I’m no slacker! ( she says as she conveniently ignores that she’s a slacker in regards to things like writing consistently..  😀 . Moving on… — Coupled with this… I watch my calorie intake & make sure I burn more than I consume on the daily. — For real… I have notebooks & every thing. All of this is written record.

Anyhow.. Started this in February.. It’s May… I’ve lost 25 lbs! (Okay it’s technically 24 lbs.. but come onnnnn…. I’m right there… just let me have it.. ;D )

Also.. I love exercising! I get super cranky if I have to go several days without doing so. (Which did happen when I tweaked my knee a few weeks ago… I was one big ol’ grump!) Anyhow…. Once I’ve lost all I intend too..  I’ll just change-up the calorie intake… burn the equivalent through regular exercise as often as possible & drink water… cause.. well.. I like it… & my body thanks me. lol! — So yeah.. that’s fun stuff, right? —

Ohh… btw.. I’ve always had slightly bigger ears than I wanted growing up. Not super big… but bigger than I would have preferred. You know, as a young lady. Anyhow.. I noticed last night… like.. why are my ears so noticeable all of a sudden? They seem to pop a little more in the mirror… what’s happening? & then it dawned on me… my face is thinner, my neck is thinner…. anddddd my ears are the same as always… just now they are like hey, here we are. You forgot about us because we blended in.. but now we stand out. Lookie lookie! — Yeah… that’s a thing for me now. But luckily… I’m an adult now… & way less self-conscious about them than I used to be. So we’re just gonna roll with it… the price you pay, I say.

Moving on…

Imma start writing again. I’ve really been focused on a better me. Like.. mentally, emotionally, & physically. All this exercise & losing weight & being healthy… has also been coupled with working on a better head space. A more confident me. A me that believes in me & invests in me. So I intend to roll back in with the writing also.

After reading through some of my blog posts there are several that I know good & well I didn’t share on the Facebook because I didn’t want to ruffle feathers or offend anyone. I’m a peace keeper, I am. But.. peace keeper or not… I fully intend to share them. I write. It’s what I do. If someone doesn’t like what or how I write… that’s their problem.. not mine. (Seeeeee… look at all the personal growth!) 🙂 — It’s the water… all the wisdom.. comes from the increased water intake, I’m sure.. 🙂

Anyhow.. this is already too long! So… lovely chatting with you all… talk soon! 🙂

 

 

 

 

I Have Returned… :)

I’ve been a bit off the radar for a while. Part of me had no idea what to write about on here anymore and another part of me felt extraordinary pressure to work on my current project. I felt like if I didn’t, then I was somehow failing. Although I have worked on writing my book a bit here and there over the last few months… I wasn’t doing nearly what I could have been doing.

About two weeks ago I sat down one day and just worked hard. I poured more into those few hours than I had put into the last few months. When I was finished, I saw a path to the future. For the first time, since I started this journey, with the blog, two years ago… I saw everything come together in what seemed a lot like an epiphany moment. It’s hard to explain, but I now see a future in my work.

I now see a path to completing this first book and going on to do more. A path which I could not see prior to that day. Which is part of what made it so difficult to keep going. I couldn’t really see where it was going or if I’d even make it there.

I’ve worked with these characters so much that I feel like I know them personally, lol, I’m not crazy. It sounds a lot like imaginary friends and fictional buddies… but really, it’s not as insane as it sounds. 🙂 — It’s what makes this whole thing so worthwhile. I want to share them and all that they have to offer with everyone else. I just have to get their stories out of my head and onto the paper in just the right way. So that you can all know them like I do. — You’ll like em, they’re pretty cool. 🙂

Anyhow…

I have a goal: To complete the first run-through of this book by December. I made that goal in January. I have now lost 6 months of time to really work on it. However, I will not change my goal… I will just work twice as hard to reach it.

You guys will meet these people eventually, I promise. 🙂

Heather Marie. 🙂

 

 

With Pen & Paper….

It feels so incredibly good to spend hours with a pen & a notebook.

Typing is great. Flipping open my laptop and writing away the time is good stuff.

However, there is still nothing quite like writing with pen & paper.

I just filled page after page with notes, characters, & plot details. — & for me, doing that on paper is so much more enjoyable than typing it up. — Eventually I have to bust out the laptop for almost all the book writing… but in the beginning stages, before the real story writing begins….. you’ll always find me with a pen & paper.

Book Update: It’s going really well! I’m just getting started, but I’m definitely off & running. — I’ll keep you guys updated. But I think for sure, one of the best things I’ve done lately was deciding to follow my heart & instinct on this whole book change thing. — I’ve known these characters and their stories for years… I just never thought that was the type of writer I should be or the type of genre I should be in. — A tragic love story was never the road I thought I should travel down. But in these characters and that of their family & friends, I have the ability to breathe the life into them that I’ve always known was there. — That’s exciting and it’s even a bit magical. — How could I possibly pass on that?

Book Update — Big Change.

The title says it all.

I have, for the foreseeable future, tabled the book I have been working on.

When I decided to write my first book I didn’t realize that I was going to get lost in the mechanics of it all, so to speak. I didn’t know at the time that I was going to let genre choices, people, expectations, and pressure dictate the story I told. — But that’s exactly what I did.

Instead of focusing on a story that I was passionate about…. I made up a story that I thought would fit where I was trying to make it fit. — I have been trying to write in a way that hasn’t been true to me or who I am. I have been trying to write a book about something that I have zero passion for. I didn’t get lost in my characters & their lives…. I’m the writer, & I wasn’t even interested in them. I’m still not interested in them.

Honestly, I was so worried about the readers I would alienate if I didn’t try to find some way to pull them in, that I made up a story that I thought would fit in several different boxes. — Only, it didn’t make me happy… & I’ve struggled to write it.

A few nights ago, I was outside enjoying the cold night air & listening to some music (My favorite way to relax & to just think, btw) & some characters & a story that goes along with them popped into my head. — That may seem strange to someone who doesn’t think in stories like I do, Lol, I’m not crazy, I promise. It’s just the writer in me. These characters weren’t strangers. Their story is one I thought of a while back & considered writing. Only… it’s more along the lines of a tragic love story… which I thought at the time just wasn’t good enough. — I was wrong.

So I’ve made a decision to change course.

I’m going to write it. I’m going to write my romance-y book & forget all about the people who dislike romance in their books. If that is the case, then I may not be the author for them. & that’s okay. —- It just took me a long time to realize that it’s okay.

I decided to write my first book & then pieced a story together based off what I thought a majority would want to read. — & it hasn’t been working.

I thought if I changed what I was writing, that I was admitting failure. & maybe I am. I’m admitting that, for now, I have failed to make it work. But I started failing from the moment I began…. when I came up with an idea for all the wrong reasons.

If you’re a writer, then maybe you’ll understand what I’m about to say. Most of the time, we don’t choose the stories we tell… they choose us. & it’s those stories that are interweaved into who we are… and so we tell them. — With passion & with fire, we fall in love with what we’ve created as we share it with others.

So as much as I hate to even say it, because it makes me feel like a failure, I have to follow my heart. I screwed up in the beginning and even though I’m headed in the right direction now… I know there will be people who think I just couldn’t do it or that I’m just not dedicated. — That reality kills a little bit of the joy I have found & the confidence I have gained… but I won’t let it stop me.

So until next time,
Heather.