Maximize with Jillian

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How far would you drive and how much would you pay to “Maximize” your life?  Well, it turns out; I would drive 53 miles and pay exactly $65.95 x 2.  Concord, New Hampshire would soon be hosting Jillian Michaels and her “Maximize Your Life 2014” tour.  I was so excited the see the drill Sargent from the biggest looser and anxious to soak up her advice on just how to maximize my “stuck in a rut” existence.  (For details about my rut read previous blog “Stuck in a Rut”)

Last Saturday, Corinne and I hopped into the cab of my Tacoma.  (Note to self:  Order and purchase side step… Corinne needs help with her hop) Midnight had consumed a tank full of premium octane and her freshly washed exterior glimmered under a New England Winter’s sun.  Okay…technically it’s Spring but mother nature either didn’t get the memo or she’s decided to celebrate April’s Fool a bit early this year!  Not only that, she was preparing to flip us the proverbial middle finger by sending  an “explosive cyclogenesis.”   You may ask, “What the hell is that?”  Well, according to our well informed meteorologists it is quite simply a freaking snow bomb; a cyclone that intensifies and dumps a load of snow upon the dwellers down below…which just happens to include “moi.”  However, as fate would have it, this freak of nature went further out to sea, taking its snow with it.  Hooray for the fish!  Mark Twain was wise indeed when he said, “If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes!”   Anyway…back to the quest of maximizing your life.  Exercise guru, Jillian Michaels knew the secret and promised to deliver.

Corinne and I went inside the Capital Center for the Arts building, bought a tee shirt, a diet coke, a beer and then secured our seats which were located very close to the stage.  SWEET…GOOD SEATS!  The rest of the one thousand seekers meandered into the auditorium filling every seat in the house.  I smiled at my fellow “rut dwellers” and felt an overwhelming sense of comradery.  We were all in the same drifting boat awaiting our orders from Captain Michaels.  Jillian did not disappoinjillian-michaels1t!  She was the same “kick-butt, in your face, move your ass or get out of my gym” love bug we’d all come to adore.  She delivered her message with sass and wit that kept the audience rolling with laughter.  She recommended doing everything fast except for sex and with that she advised all five men in the audience to, “Slow that shit down!”  Not wanting to ignore her male fans she further pointed out this  scientific fact:  For every thirty pounds lost their member would grow an extra inch! How’s THAT for motivation!

“Janice her trusty side-kick from, “The Jillian Michaels Podcast” (I highly recommend this podcast.  It can be downloaded for free from ITunes) joined her later in the show and the one-to-one interaction with the audience commenced.  This dynamic duo  wielded information and motivation like swords.  Batman and Robin (Xena and Gabrielle) would have been gasping to keep up!   After all was said and done it was finally time to unveil the secret.  The very secret  the audience of a thousand had paid to hear and the same one  I’m going to give you, my readers, free of charge.  The magic formula is…  are you ready for it?  The solution to becoming a better you…DRUM ROLL PLEASE…IIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS:  Eat less and move more.  BATTER-BOOM-BATTER-BANG!

jillian-michaels-main-landingOf course, it goes without saying, everyone in the audience, including myself, intrinsically knew this to be the answer but,  DAMN, it felt so good to have our hero scream it to our faces.  We were comforted in the knowledge that she too had struggled with  weight issues and were assured that if she could do it then so to could we!  No, Jillian didn’t say much I didn’t already know, (Except for the grow an inch thingy) but the motivation that was dished out was absolutely delicious.  The presentation was superb and the high each one left with was intoxicating!  It was worth every dang penny I paid and then some!   I can’t say enough good about Jillian Michaels.

If she comes to an area close by, you truly owe it to yourself to go and enjoy!     

Ode To Fred Phelps

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Fred Phelps was dying.  I read the news with a cup of coffee in my hand.   He and his followers of Westboro Baptist picketed so many funerals.  In 1998  they began their public ministry at the funeral of a young gay man who had been savagely beaten, crucified and left alone to die.  They carried signs that read, “Matthew Shepard Entered Hell Oct. 12, 1998.”  There was not one drop of empathy to be found within their hate filled hearts, even more frighteningly the look of glee upon their faces confirmed their sick enjoyment.   This evil was to be witnessed over and over at many funerals throughout the years.

Is just me or does anyone else find it ironic that Fred Phelps lay dying virtually alone upon his death bed?  His faithful followers had turned there backs upon him a year ago for being “too sympathetic.”  What hate must breed between the walls of their church. I can’t even imagine.

I was actually saddened as I read  the article.  As a gay individual I felt no glee or sense of vindication at this man’s soon demise.  I felt fear for his soul.  Fear at how his god (note the little “g”)  would receive him into the afterlife.  I would not want to be his soul.

These feelings of sadness and fear led me to write the following poem about Fred Phelps:  (At the time I wrote it I wasn’t aware of his death)

Is He Dead Yet?

Is he dead yet?  I really don’t know.

It’s been a while since the rooster crow…

Was tall, proud..And full of hate

I wonder if he’s met the date?

All we there…A path to trod…

One day to lay within the sod.

A worm doth eat…A maggot chew…

To feast upon the skin of blue.

A cold and dank miserable place…

Is he there yet?  What of his fate?

I would not want his soul to be…

Seeping, gasping desperate to flee…

To say ado, farewell, goodbye

Exit the body and into the sky.

Flittering, fluttering and on it’s way

To hover before his judgment Day.

Naked afraid and trembling be

Recompense? Damnation?  Or… mercy?

Will earthly words that left his face

Follow him to this ethereal  place?

“Death Damnation…Ye sinners and fags…”

Souls into hell…For Satan to drag.”

Mercy or Hell?  Pardon?  The latter?

The words we say…What doth they matter?

Is he dead yet?

I really don’t know…

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Morning Musings…

01DSC_0054Today’s been slow.  I got up fixed a cup of coffee and had a piece of cake…Not the best breakfast in the world.  I justified it by promising myself a run before work.  Now I’m second guessing the promise…

Did some Face-booking and checking out the world news as I sipped my cup of magic…same ole crap…just a different day.    Sure wish they could find out what happened to the missing plane, though…it’s so weird.

The birds are singing outside and the sun looks inviting but it’s so hard to make myself get out there.  I’m just  tired…and a bit Melancholy.  I wonder if going to bed within thirty minutes of when I get home at night (12:30am)  will help?  I think I should try it tonight….we’ll see…

Maggie and Danica are resting on their beds…they’ve eaten and have played awhile outside….so they’re happy puppies.  I hear Luna in her box scratching around and Morris is outside enjoying the sunshine.  What a wonderful brood… I love them so much!!

Well…going to read from my devotional…maybe I’ll come back with a few… insights…

….well I’m back…

…this is what jumped off the page to me as I read:

For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it….  Hebrews 12:11 

Well there goes my idea of skipping a run/walk for the day!!  I guess it’s one thing to know and talk about discipline but quite another practicing it.  After all what good is discipline if you don’t put it into action?  Absolutely nothing!

I am reminded that faith without WORKS is DEAD….and to be ye doers of the word and not hearers only…deceiving your own selves…

OUCH!!  Now that’s where the rubber meets the road…LITERALLY!

Excuse me while I go pound the pavement…

  My Running Mantra for the Day:   God’s grace is sufficient for me, for His strength is made perfect in weakness. 

 

Stuck in a Rut

181405_10201415639497915_1616016583_nI was in that dreamlike drowsy kind of sleep when I heard them…footsteps on the stairs.  Not the timid “don’t-wake- Mama -who -works -second -shift” kind of footsteps.  Oh no…they were the “I -don’t –give- a- damn/I’m –pissed” kind of footsteps.  The bang, bang, bang in rapid succession jolted me from my sleep.  It was 8 am and my daughter was outside my door, with heavy snow boots galloping across the hard wood floor.  She should have been gone long before in order to make her morning class in Boston.  Something was wrong so I immediately went to investigate.  I discovered an angry Beth and a window view of her Toyota up to its axils in the snow dumped from last night’s winter storm.  The situation was dire indeed.  She had tried to dig the gray bugger out but to no avail.

Suited up with snow wear and armed with shovels we both went outside to attack the situation.  Upon closer examination I realized she had attempted to cross the snow barrier left by the plow trucks instead of clearing out the path beforehand.   Being a mother I so wanted to point this out to her; however the cross scowl on her face and the memory of the stairs deterred my motherly instinct.  Instead I filed the idea away for later use and began to dig at the white stuff.  It didn’t matter how much snow we shoveled the wheels kept spinning in place.  The car was stuck in a rut.  After a long while of vigorous exercise a light clicked somewhere in my daft brain and illuminated the root of the problem.   “Traction, you idiot….the wheels aren’t getting traction!”  With this revelation, and a few scoops of salt pellets under the front wheels had Beth and her Corolla  on the way to the big city.

My life is like Beth’s car.   I’m stuck in rut and I can’t seem to get out.   I hate the hell out of it!  It’s the ultimate love/hate relationship.    I hate it and yet I keep doing the same thing over and over again.  I’m like the spinning wheels of her Toyota.  I wish there were some concoction I could throw to magically free my imprisonment.  However, I’m bright enough to know there are no quick and easy fixes.   Damn, sometimes I hate to listen to reason!  Just once in my life could I please have E-A-S-Y!  Is that too much to ask?  We all know the answer…

The answer to my dilemma is indeed” simple; however it will require work and lots of it to propel me from the rut.  Work will be the salt that creates traction to get out of this mess and I must be ready and willing to put forth the exertion required.  I will get out of my rut the same way I got in by repeating something over and over until it becomes habit.  It’s never easy substituting bad habits with good.  It takes discipline… plain and simple.  Ruts are never dug by one turn of the tire but by the spinning; however the spinning begins with one turn.

Last year at this time I was in the middle of training for a half marathon.  I ran faithfully almost every day.  I watched what I put in my mouth. I drank lots of good fresh water.  I tried to go to bed at a decent time in order to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep.  I tried to cross train by biking, hiking, racquetball, walking my puppies…anything that was fun and kept me moving.  This was the rut to be in!

Now I still watch what I eat.  I watch as I stuff  donuts, cookies, brownies and chips and then wash it all down with soda.   I sit up late and end up falling asleep in front to the television.  My cross training now consists  of Face-booking which is fun but not profitable  in excess.  As a result of such crap habits I’ve gained a good ten pounds and my fat ass can barely survive a mile run. What happened to 13.1 I could do last year!  I’m ashamed and embarrassed, and I’ve wallowed in self-pity, like a pig in mud, for way too long.

My plan is to pick just one thing to change and with God’s help I will discipline myself to repeat it until it once again becomes a part of my life.  After that success I’ll send another bad habit to hell by replacing it with something good.  I can’t do this on my own because I know I am weak and will cave to temptation.  I know I’ll need some supernatural strength to get back up when I fall.  Luckily, I’m blessed with knowing the God of the supernatural so I’m going to ask Him for help.

With this settled in my mind the next question is this:  Where do I start?  Hmmm…perhaps…my running…I’ll keep you posted…

Verses I plan to use to strengthen and encourage me:  (They are short so they can be my mantra when working out)

God has not given me the spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.  [II Timothy 1:7]

The Lord my God holds my right hand; He is the Lord, Who says to me, Fear not; I will help you!  [Isaiah 41:13]

Because the Lord God helps me, I will not be dismayed; therefore, I have set my face like flint… and I know that I will triumph.  [Isaiah 50:7]

God’s grace is sufficient for me, for His strength is made perfect in weakness.  [II Corinthians 12:9]

I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.  [Philippians 4:13]

I trust myself to stand fast in the grace of God.  [Acts 13:43]

 

 

Vamp Juice and Utters

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I took the girls for a photo session last week.  They say cheese only once a year now.  During the cancer scare it was once every six months. The C-word is but a faint whisper so the poking, pulling and smashing is an annual rather than a perennial. Mammograms are not pleasant but necessary. Being the good girl that I am I loaded the girls into a safety net and fastened the seat belt behind my back.

Nervous during the exam I try to fill the silence with conversation.   Between the grimaces and groans I inquire … “…so I guess it’s harder to maneuver and manipulate the smaller breast?”  The woman smiled warmly and said, “Nope, we pretty much mash em all the same,” and then she cranked down on a lever proving her point.  Ouch.  After that I kept my mouth shut.  When I was finally able to walk out the door I felt like the proud owner of two certified yogi utters.  They would have no problem with downward facing dog.

After the “mammy-grammy” this ole heifer rode the elevator to the first floor.  My next mission:  to fill two vials with some of my all-knowing vampire juice.  Periodical blood testing has become the regime as a result of my medicinal cocktail. The magical pills successfully combat rheumatoid but apparently the bastards can wreak havoc on the liver.  Talk about Yin and Yang!

Blood is an amazing life force that wears many hats, not only can it tell the state of my liver, it can diagnose, it can save a life, it can convict the guilty and even cause vampires to drool.  According to Christianity it’s the very blood of Christ that saves sinners from their sins.   There is power in the blood.

Middle age really changes the body. Things become difficult.  It’s tougher to see, to hear, to walk, to squat, and even to poop.  Nothing comes easy, no matter what Jamie Lee Curtis says!

I’m trying to come to terms with the changes in my body.  At 48…she’s sure not the winner she used to be, but she gets me where I need to go.  You see…we have a deal…her and me.  I do the maintenance and she keeps a chugging.  Sometimes, I admit, I fail her by neglecting sleep, eating junk, remaining sedentary, and drinking one too many beers.  However, she always nice enough to get my attention and always makes me pay for it!  When I was a kid I was oblivious of the  contract…didn’t even know it existed.  Now that I’m older I realize the importance of adhering to the contract.   It keeps the body happy and when the body is happy nine times out of ten we will be also.

Right now she’s tired and begging for vacation, and who am I not to give it to her!   I purchased two plane tickets (one for her and one for Corinne) to Myrtle Beach SC. That made the ole girl smile.

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Listen to your body…it knows what it needs…treat her well.