Wednesday, June 21, 2017

McFarland Memory Lane

I graduated high school in 2003. That year and for a few years after that, my friends and I hung out at "The Trailer." There were older guys, no adults, loud music, and endless amounts of fun. There was drama, sometimes there were fights, there were tears and there so much laughter. We would hang out late nights into early mornings, or we would spend the day sitting around watching movies, taking naps, or fishing. We played drinking games until we couldn't see straight. If we were not supposed to do it, we did it out there. It was a parent's worst nightmare, yet it was some of the most fun I have ever had.

Ben was the type of guy who would show up to anything with the same attitude. Whether church, work, class or a party. He had a laugh that was incomparable to anyone else's. He was always smiling. Ben drove a big green truck and worked every day that I knew him. He would be dirty and tired and even still ready to have the best time. He was instant friends with anyone who knew him.

I can remember playing Presidents and Assholes with him one particular night. We played that often, but the night I am thinking of my best friend Beth and I had split a half gallon of CHEAP Vodka and we were cheating (like we always did). Somehow Ben was trying to see my cards and I jerked and my entire chair flipped upside down. I was stuck in this little bitty computer chair with my legs straight up in the air. All 250 lbs of me was upside down and all Ben could do was laugh. I was laughing too, but I was mad because he couldn't help me up because he was laughing so hard.

Those times, times that I can barely remember, were some of the most wild and fun memories I will ever make!

Life pushes you in so many different directions, and some of us have grown apart. But we will all always have the times we shared with Ben. The memory of his sweet smile and his infectious laughs. His ability to play hard but to work even harder.

This makes me want to drink cheap vodka, in a smoky trailer with rap music in the background. Or put on my hoodie and head to 2 Mile with some Crown Royal. Rest in Peace Ben Allen Burns. I hope there is plenty of Crown to welcome you home!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Fat Chances

So as you all know, I am a big girl. And when I say I am a big girl, I do not mean in that cute "everybody loves a thick chick" type of big. I have been considered morbidly obese since probably the 5th grade. Who knows why! Is it genes? Is it inactivity? Is it thyroids? Do I really eat that much more than the average Joe?

I suspect I have a slow metabolism. I also work at a job where I am sedentary 90 % of the day. I also have begun some piss poor eating habits that include late night munching and loads of sugar.

I know that most of you have been with me throughout this whole journey. You watched as I lost 135 pounds! You watched as I transformed my body! And then I am sure, you felt a surge of disappointment as you saw my weight loss dwindle.

I could never describe for you readers my feelings about my weight. Frustration, Exhaustion, Despair, Anger. Those words can't even begin to describe my feelings. But something I didn't anticipate feeling was sorrow, embarrassment, and guilt. If I am being completely transparent with you guys, letting down the people who were so excited for this journey with me was not something I was concerned about until I started to see the level of enthusiasm this blog got!! I get it, everybody struggles with weight in some form or fashion. Whether they are too skinny, too big, uncomfortable in a bathing suit or just uncomfortable in jeans. Everyone can relate. And transformations are always fun to watch.

The attention was well received and I am not entirely sure what "went wrong" with my journey except to say that I am burnt out on dieting and meal plans and food sans sugar. I didn't want to mess with it any longer. I still have my "tool" of a smaller stomach and my knowledge from all my nutrition classes. And all the support I could ever need.

This post is to let you know I am grateful to all of you, and I am still here, still big, still beautiful, and still determined to live my best life yet.

Stay Tuned ...

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Kids on a Farm

When I was younger, we had a family farm out in a small town called Habit, Ky. We had a barn that was built over an old cemetery (where I saw my first ghost may I add), we had an out house, some rolling hills, honeysuckle, crab apple trees, and a well. I was too young to know the danger of the well, but there were many precautions around it ensuring that we were unable to fall in. As a kid, I have so many memories of this farm.

I ate frog legs and okra there for the first time. Used the outhouse for the first (and ONLY) time in my life. Ate honeysuckle straight from the vine. And went on numerous exploring adventures with my other cousins. I had an older cousin, Sarah, who was 5 years older (and much cooler) than me. Then there were 2 cousins, Rachel and Kathryn, that were very close in age to my brother Clay and I. There were other cousins (and a brother) that were born at that time or much later, but for purposes of these stories - they were much too young!

So, the Fab Four - myself, Rachel, Kathryn and Clay - would line up with our backs to our uncles and they would throw ICE cold WELL water on us!!! It was so cold it took our breaths away! I have no idea why that was fun for us, but we would beg for it!!! If any of you have never felt or tasted well water, you'll have no concept of how cold it could be. I am surprised our bodies didn't go into shock! I have certainty if I were to do the same thing today I wouldn't survive.

I can remember one Sunday afternoon my dad had all of us kids out at the farm for some reason by himself. In the midst of our day, he swallowed a bee that had flown into his coke. It stung his uvula. Still to this day he says that the whole ride back to town he thought he was going to die, that his throat was going to swell shut and he would suffocate. Thankfully it is a story we can laugh about.

My brother Clay got his first BB gun during one of the summers we spent at the farm. I say first, but I venture to guess it is the only gun he was allowed to have under my dad's roof for two reasons. One is that he shot one of the neighbor girls from a very far range - not thinking he could hit her. He shot her in the face, while she was on a horse. So while Clay had scarily good aim, he also didn't have a lick of BB gun ettiquette. Cut forward to the next weekend, as my dad was locking the barn to leave one day he noticed there was glass on the ground in front of the barn. He looked up and the lightbulb of the second story barn had been shot out. When he asked Clay if he knew who shot out the light, Clay without hesitating told him that our next door neighbor Steven that had spent the day at the farm with us did. Furious, my dad asked why Steven would do such a thing. My innocent, sweet little brother who was probably 12 years old responded simply "Because I missed"

Friday, June 2, 2017

Spiritual Journeys

I was raised in a Christian home. My mom was raised Church of Christ and my dad grew up in the Baptist church. I went to a Private, Christian school from Kindergarten through the 8th grade. I was active in several youth groups, went on several mission trips, and attended church camp almost every summer. It was an amazing childhood and I wouldn't change anything about it. It taught me to be a kind, respectful person. I forged so many memories in those years, and made some incredible friends.

But in my adult years, I have let humans and their inherent sins, effect my own personal walk. I am so over organized religion. I am not over God! I am not over Spirituality, so please don't misunderstand what I am saying. I am over the church being judgmental and exclusive. I am over condemnation and narrow minds. I am over it being about money and other humans. I think, the worst thing about Christians that I have ran into in my life is that they somehow lost the point. I respect all religions, to a certain extent. I have an issue with atheism and radicals, but not enough of an issue to speak out about it. I also respect their rights to believe whatever it is they choose to believe.

If I said that I was questioning my faith, which I am not, I think that my mom (and her entire family) might have a heart attack. That is not what I am doing. I am simply searching for an alternative way to connect spiritually with God. On this journey that I am on, I have found that I believe there are a few things that I know in my heart to be true. I believe in Karma. I believe in energy. I believe that if you make a choice to be positive, that in any situation, you will have a positive impact. I believe that those emanating Good Vibes will receive Good Vibes. I also believe if you do wrong, you will have consequences. Maybe not immediately, but they will come. I believe there is a higher power, and that that higher power is in control. I am just not sure that I believe that for centuries the religions that were practiced throughout the world were suddenly wrong one day. And that then centuries later, that religion was also found to be wrong. And that there is one true religion in the universe, and I happen to be lucky enough to be born into that religion.

I want to love with reckless abandon, and if ANYONE tries to put down or "infect" my vibes with closed mindedness or naivety. I don't want it around. Be open. Christians, God is love! He commands us to love our neighbors! I am so sick of seeing the hypocritical believer. Be humble. All that we have can be taken away from us in an instant. Do good! I cannot stress that enough, DO GOOD!!!

My favorite verse, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. These are all things that God says we will "bear" when He is within us. That doesn't look like many of the Christians I have encountered, and that is disappointing to me.

Believe what you Believe. But ALWAYS do good!