The Posie Hudson

A virtual "blogship" carrying the ramblings of a retired guidette from New Jersey with a penchant for tripping over air, 80's pop culture and eating ramen for my cheat meal. I have mad skills at twirling a baton, paranoid mothering, Jersey Girl antics and sarcasm. My ship is filled with a new passion for fitness, humor, helping others, extreme love of music, movies and writing. I hope to inspire you and make you laugh while unloading my crazy cargo one blog post at a time. Welcome aboard!

Navigating the Mothership of Grief on Mother’s Day – A Tour Guide

Posted on May 13, 2017

Mom collage paterson pink dressMemories, Mom Scenes and Songs that make us Sob:
Navigating the Mothership of Grief on Mother’s Day – A Tour Guide

Step away from the card aisle. No, seriously. My golden rule is and has always been not to go near any card aisle during the Mother’s Day season.. Partially because Mom was a greeting card Ambassador…like actually worked for Ambassador Greeting cards. For real. I can recall going with her to the Mill Creek Mall in Secaucus and spending hours in Sam Goody shopping for cassettes while she updated the card stock in the supermarket there. Cards were here thing. Little did I know back in the early 90’s that those cards would someday be my own personal troll triggers of grief.

I have been sailing on the Grief Mothership for over twenty years. I used to navigate this vessel of heartbreak in only the roughest of seas. I chose to be consumed with my mother’s death and allow it to cast an iron shell around myself. I refused to sail near the sun and the calm waters. I felt an obligation to my grief. I was drawn to it. I felt that I would be a horrid daughter if I lifted the veil of iron sadness and for even a second didn’t exist in the shadow of my grief. And boy did that fuck me up. I mean it. BIG TIME. My grief catapulted me into my own obesity and food addiction. I charted that course of self destruction despite the blessings and love of my post Mom death life. My husband, my kids my friends and family….I existed among them but I wasn’t living. No. I was stuck on that fucking ship and I really REALLY needed to find a Port of Peace. And the whole time I existed this way it never once occured to me that this behavior would be the last thing my Mother wanted for me . It took twenty years for me to get this …

T W E N T Y  Y E A R S.

Each passing year the Mother’s Day “season” would internally destroy me. I almost welcomed it. When you lose your mom, at least for me, I found a strange comfort in torturing myself with the all the Mom movies and all the Mom songs that literally would break my spirit even more. Like when a person cuts themselves to block the emotional pain. I equate this behavior to that same act. I mean, how many times could I listen to Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work” – and wait for that haunting scream singing… “Oh darling…make it go away… make it go” … she was talking about grief… the stabbing pain of it. I can recall marathons of Mom flicks… I once watched The Joy Luck Club twice in a row.. Hands down the greatest Mom Daughter film ever made. There is a scene when one of the members recalls the morning of her Mother’s death. In voice over she states clearly that her Mother chose the date of her death to have power over her enemies. A strong and mystical account. I nearly fell off the couch because my Mom’s death was a brutal week of maybe she’ll live to …yeah… no nevermind… she’s not going to make it. Doctors couldn’t understand nor explain how she was still surviving despite a massive heart attack post cardiac stent surgery followed by an emergency bypass surgery when two days after she still held on. TIGHT. There was a reason. The morning my Mom passed I remember looking at the clock and then gazing at my Dad. IT WAS HIS BIRTHDAY. Although I believe my Mom forgave my Dad for his long term affair with a real life Cruella De Ville meets Ursula from the Little Mermaid meets Mona, Cosmo’s GOOMAD in Moonstruck… (yes still bitter lol) .. I know in my heart that she held on to pass on his birthday so he would never forget how much she loved him and to never allow that evil mistress to have a birthday with my Dad where the memory of my Mom didn’t haunt her.

I once repeated the scene in StepMom when Julia Roberts describes her stepdaughter’s wedding day without her mom.. “Look down the road… I’m fixing her veil .. and she looks and says I WISH MY MOM WAS HERE”… I would watch that scene over and over again.. snots and mascara rolling down my neck… sobbing… torturing… why?  YouTube… omg … just stay away from youtube .. I would listen to “You and Me Against The World” and remember my Mom humming it to me while driving in our 1984 Cadillac El Dorado Baritz…Champagne Gold … like her hair… that memory still takes me down.

One fine Saturday Night Live evening a few years ago… a new band called Alabama Shakes performed a song that has become one of my favorites. Not just a favorite.. a top five favorite. The name of the song is Hold On. When the lead singer Brittany belted out this war cry of survival. I. WAS. IN. AWE.

“So, bless my heart,
Bless my mind,
I got so much to do,
I ain’t got much time
So, must be someone up above
Saying come on baby girl,
You got to get back up.
You got to hold on.
Yeah you got to hold on”

It was as if I could hear my Mom saying “STOP LIVING LIKE THIS. GET UP. HOLD ON.”
I heard her. Loud and clear.

The truth is this. The only way to navigate your Grief Mothership is to take with you all those memories of her love. Feel the joy in those moments and relive them. SMILE. TRY. She wants you to be happy. I know my Mom does. I know she wasn’t fully at peace all these years because I was obsessed with my grief and not living. I know in my core this was the complete opposite of what she wanted for my living after her dying. It may have taken me many years to learn and to heal but now that I have I feel an obligation to show others that I finally sailed my ship into warm and serene seas. You can too. You have to. Live each day in the light of her love and memory. The last thing our Mom Angels want is for us to live in the dark and stay in the storm. Let her guide your ship.
Have a Happy Mother’s Day. HAPPY. Got it?   GOOD OXOXO

Klutz Walks Into A Gym

Posted on March 28, 2017

TCDSANI EC064I am a klutz.  Been that way since the crib.  Literally launched myself out of my crib at a year old landing on a parquet wooden floor smashing my face and getting my very first (of a few) concussions… it was the beginning of my lifelong career of tripping on air and knocking things over…  I’m Dennis the Menace meets Mary Catherine Gallagher’s “Superstar” complete with chair crashing skills and destroying perfectly placed product displays in stores and malls.  Pretty sad I know but I’m happy that I’ve perpetually provided friends, fam and foe a well-stocked library of hilarious remember when Rose crashed moments and of course… my Mother’s beloved face palm reactions to such events…

Now that you have this knowledge, you can begin to visualize the mayhem that ensued over the years I’ve been in a gym atmosphere.

One shining moment was in fact in gym class, Junior year… 1992.  Mr. C our teacher thought it be a splendid idea to parlay actual gymnastic activities into the lesson complete with a vault and that launching spring thing.  We were going to learn how to do a basic “jump” off of it.   I was elated.  You see, once upon a time after viewing the made for TV movie “Nadia” in 1984 I became completely obsessed with Nadia Comaneci and all things gymnastics.  I would reenact scenes in the living room and attempt cartwheels and all sorts of moves only to take out numerous Lenox figurines on my parents wooden encased Zenith TV.  Despite the porcelain massacre and 87 black and blues,  I prevailed in my imaginary sessions with the one and only Bela Karolyi.   Fitting that same year was the year of the one and only Mary Lou Retton, who I was disturbingly jealous of.  She was trained by Bela FOR REAL.  Whatev Mary Lou.  WHATEV.

Anyway, the sight of that gym equipment in my high school gym awoke that nine-year old Nadia wannabe and I was ready.  All we had to do, all we were ALLOWED to do I should say is ..run real fast… jump on the launching thing and just “touch” the top of the vault table.  That’s it.  Mr.  C. CLEARLY yelled… do NOT jump over it.  Just touch it.  THAT IS IT.

I had other plans.

When it was my turn I launched into full Mary Lou speed and jumped with every ounce of strength in my LA Gears on that spring-board and attempted a hurdle over.  My legs never saw the other side.  For a brief moment I saw black and felt a stinging pain across my Mandees issued sports bra that was enough to make me lose my breath.  When I looked up I was a good distance away from the board which made it quite obvious as I observed the aftermath that I bounced off  BIG TIME.    Before Mr. C had a minute to rush over to see if I was alive, he literally couldn’t breath… from laughing.  He didn’t even get to laughing stage it was that air laugh before you find breath.  Seconds later I would find my breath again only to laugh so hard I felt my ribs pulsating in agony. Thankfully only bruised ribs and not broken.   It was the greatest dismount in the history of my klutz career.  So after that experience I knew that me PLUS gym equipment EQUALS bad.

Sure I had joined gyms over the years, sometimes I tackled the person in front of me during a step class.  Sometimes I ended up on the back-end of a treadmill belt being slammed into a wall (way before the YouTube videos existed) but no matter, I never broke a bone or caused major damage to equipment.  However, the anxiety of knowing my ability to crash or trip around such equipment grew over time.

Cut to January 2016…when I entered my current gym.    At first, I was in a state of shock that I found the courage to commit to exercise, never mind changing the way I ate… but to make a solid covenant WITH A TRAINER to actually WORK OUT… in a PUBLIC SETTING… WAS A FUCKING MIRACLE.  Forget about the laziness, forget about the fact that I never truly exercised in well over 15 years… I was fixated on that dark inner voice in my head whispering ever so gently “THIS IS YOUR INNER KLUTZGIRL…YOU KNOW YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE A TOTAL ASS CLOWN OUT OF YOURSELF IN FRONT OF EVERYONE IN THIS PLACE” .. .  She knew me so well.  I became so hyper aware of my surroundings that when I first walked into my very first training session I developed this level of focus that was foreign to me.  I kept repeating the mantra… “I’M NOT GONNA TRIP. PLEASE DON’T TRIP. NOT GONNA FALL…” So each time I would walk from one area to the other, I would be laser focused on my feet and not tripping over them or something or even a person. With me the possibilities are endless.  I can say with all honesty, I have yet to crash in front of anyone and I’ve been there for nearly fourteen months.  This is a miraculous fact. Although I did nearly lose it on the treadmill last week while watching the finale of Stranger Things (Thank you Demogorgon) I saved myself before anyone noticed.  I have to say.. I’m proud.. I’m sure Mr. C would be too.

So as far my current klutz status in the gym, I give myself a perfect 10…. Nadia style.

Nadia

A LOVE LETTER TO MY SNEAKERS AND THE CONCEPT OF “TRAINERSHIP”

Posted on March 8, 2017

All Aboard the “Trainership”

But first… a love letter…

Dear Sneakers,SNEAKERS

We met in the Westwood Marshalls.  You were there … on the clearance shelf… marked down to $34.99.  You were waiting for me.  I could feel it.  I looked past those other sneakers and their memory foam insoles and as if a bright light shone on you from up above.  You glowed…. And there I stood praying in front of those disheveled boxes that I would see those numbers…EIGHT POINT FIVE…. 8.5 RIGHT THERE  …  first box on the top.  Only ones left in my size…a perfect match.  I didn’t even try you on.  I knew.  We were about to begin a very difficult and rewarding journey together … and so we did … and we never looked back.  I want to thank you for your support and the way you carried me.  Those early days of training where I was so scared I would stay up at night wondering what jackass maneuvers I would do or what klutz filled chaos would ensue the minute I stepped on a treadmill or better yet … an ELYPTICAL machine.  Those times where I thought I would pee my pants after drinking boat loads of water and barely making it to the bathroom after my drive to the gym.  You floated me right through to the bathroom without fail.  You were with me the whole way.  You were there.  You comforted my feet and at times yes.. I think you even walked for me. Actually, I’m certain of it.   You have never left my side… and I love you.

Ok yes… I’m not cracked in the head… you just read a love letter to a pair of shoes.  But you know what?   they friggin’ deserve it.  Why?  Because when I first started working out with it was ME and My Trainer and MY FEET … and my trainer John said those first phrases to me that became the mantra of my mission…

“one step at a time… one foot in front of the other”.

My sneakers took on an actual personality as my “sidekicks” no pun intended….well… lol they were more like the great Mick in Rocky “Get up you son of a bitch!” they would shout if they could.  I will always keep these sneakers close to my heart.   While I’ve moved on to a new pair. I keep them right next to my desk as a reminder of how far I’ve traveled in my training.  I owe them so much.

 

Trainership…   The ship that saved me.

There is one thing I know in my core is this.  I could not have lost 125 pounds without having a personal trainer. Everyone is different, everyone has to plot their own course but for me, after trying every plan and scam, the solution for me is truly having a trainer.    I’ve often questioned this fact asking myself “how is it that I have more loyalty to a person I’ve just met than to relatives and loved ones that have been trying to reach me and support me for years in my attempts at weight loss?”…  The answer is complex but I’m confident that I know the secret.  It’s a concept called Trainership.  Trainership to me is the combining forces of Mentorship, Friendship and Partnership.  Yes friendship… how can you not become friends with a person who is going to help you change your life? What is the one thing a great friendship needs to thrive?  HONESTY.   Mentorship solidifies the bond of teacher to student because after all, this is a learning process… critical in this journey for me…because I had ZERO clue what the fuck  I was doing (see future blog…Klutz Walks Into The Gym…lol)   Partnership is the tunnel that connects loyalty to dedication.  If you commit to being dedicated to the process your trainer creates for you than you are in total allegiance with your trainer and that is a recipe for ultimate success.  From the very beginning of my journey with John, I knew, no bullshit excuses were ever possible because he would see right through them.  There was no hiding so I was fully exposed.  Also, I couldn’t shake the fear that I would disappoint him.  That fear kept me from eating crap not on the plan he gave me.  The fear that anything less than 100% effort on my part would be a major time waster for both of us.    Again, why would I have a mega supply of respect and loyalty for a person I just met? I’ve had relatives beg me over the years to stick to a plan……hundreds of broken promises and attempts… the answer was finally clear.  I was never ready to commit to the process…. but when you are finally ready to commit to the lifestyle and meet the person who will help get you there you know you are in the presence of greatness.   The timing was perfect.  I was given an opportunity to be on board one of the greatest Trainerships that existed.  John became my Captain…eventually leading me to BE my own captain.    An outstanding personal trainer is a person who dedicates their life and time to helping others improve their lives and attain their personal best on their fitness journey.   They have the right balance of discipline and heart.  The trainers that truly go above and beyond are like having your own Mr. Miyagi.  When the skills they teach you can be applied to life in general.  It is a rare gift.  They are a special breed of angels I think. I know mine is.  He saved me.  The real truth is the process taught me how to save myself.

If you choose this path to fitness, know this…a fully functioning Trainership runs on two fuel sources:  HONESTY and TRUST.  IF you are not honest with your trainer your ship is doomed and your goals will never be fully realized.    You absolutely have to be an open book.  Otherwise, you are wasting your time, money and energy.  Be honest with yourself.  Be honest with your trainer.  TRUST.  You absolutely must trust your trainer.  Every ounce of wisdom they bestow on you.  Trust it.  Follow it.  Embrace it.  Even when you think that they are insane… you must trust them.  When they tell you 5 more reps when you already forgot your name and feel like you peed your pants, trust them and push forward.  When they tell you to add something to your meal plan that may confuse you …just shut up about it and follow their instructions.  Let them lead you and soon you will lead yourself.

Fear is a fucked up thing.

Posted on March 7, 2017

Thank God for Elizabeth Gilbert.  The same week I began my blog and poured out my first entry with brutal truth, I picked up her new book, Big Magic.  The timing of my purchase was not only perfect but lifesaving.  Days following my blog launch I experienced a paralyzing fear flu.  It crept into my brain like a gut launching stomach flu that consumes households with school aged kids in winter.  I tried to mask it with the “time management” excuses and “I’m planning my posts” etc. anytime I was asked by friends and followers…but I was full of shit.   The simple truth is that I’ve been scared out of my mind.  How do I go from unabashedly sharing details from the darkest rooms of my heart to feeling timid about writing my next entry? It was all fear.   So, I read.  I read Elizabeth’s words like a devout apostle and the clarity of her truth about fear calmed me.  Fear is a fucked up thing.  But it is a necessary thing.  To be creative in whatever realm we desire we have no choice but to conjure up the courage for our passions to coexist with our greatest fears.   There is really no way to navigate around those fear storms.  You have to sail through them to slay them.    So I choose to slay them.  You should too.phbigmagic

From Lazarus to Leia: My Year of Losing 100lbs of Cargo…

Posted on January 30, 2017

This is dedicated to anyone who is battling their weight, the heartbroken and the perpetual New Year’s “resolutioner”… those who began the year with a resolution to finally lose the weight or achieve a life goal and after one month into 2017 are ready to dock your ship in a port of no fucking results.  This is your official order to get back on and sail that bitch back out to seaRight now.  I was you… I too carried more hope in that damn ball in Times Square every New Year’s Eve for as long as I can remember.  The hope to change in a new year…to transform to a healthier version of me. ..and by the end of all those January’s up until the first or 3 plates of wings at a Superbowl bash…I… WOULD…. FAIL…but…Last year… last year I did something miraculous.  I held onto my last rope of hope in my heart and pulled my ship in.  I’m sharing this saga because I was that person… who NEVER ever thought they could attain a goal like this.  EVER.  I need everyone who struggles with weight and depression to know that it is possible.  You can do this.  I did.

When I began this journey last January  I was 283 pounds… 40 years old and MISERABLE.  I was the queen of procrastination, excuses and I was addicted to eating my stress and grief away.   I barely moved.  I hadn’t “exercised” since my guidette years in the early 199o’s and danced to Freestyle music in my fitted black Z. Cavaricci pants.

I won this battle and I’m really proud of myself.  Something I never dreamed of gaining out of this experience.  Being PROUD of myself. After a lifetime of self-doubt.  Proud.   First time for everything right?

While I knew the year would be a MAJOR year of transformation for me, I never imagined that it would also be the year that iconic performers and artists of my childhood would no longer exist by the time that giant crystal ball began its next descent.  This ever present death parade would only further my determination to live this lifeNot just exist in it.  So, in essence, those same icons I grew up listening to and watching… inspired me in their deaths during the most self-developing journey of my entire life.  For that, I am grateful to them.  I am indebted to them.  When I decided to “take over my ship”   David Bowie had just passed away … and the last day I weighed myself after a year of learning what “beast mode” in the gym actually means and feels like…(resembling a Nick Nolte mugshot photo along the way)  we lost the first female icon my earliest memories of playing pretend are preserved in …. Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan…aka General Leia Organa aka one of my all time favorite writer’s most of all… Carrie Fisher. The day she died I had reached a weight loss of over 120lbs.  Although she never knew me…I know she would be proud of that little girl who once wrapped herself in her Mother’s good white curtains from Bambergers and jumped from couch to coffee table pretending to be that badass royal princess …slaying and fighting and battling… still. She was my Obi Wan Kenobi.

leia

I was frozen with heartache as her own mother passed the next day… and all I could do was reflect on the similar titanium love bond I had with my own gorgeous beloved Mother who by the way looked as glamorous and glitzy as Debbie Reynolds ever did.

The Bereavement Buffet:  A History of My Grief Eating Addiction….

I had always battled my weight as a kid… always the chubby tap dancer at the recital.  My family ran legendary bread bakeries and restaurants over the years, so my exposure to awesome food began at birth…and the bad eating habits snowballed from there..until… my eating addiction went into full force in January of 1996 when my Mom passed due to a four year battle with Coronary Artery Disease, Type 2 Diabetes after a lifetime of stress and hardships that she endured like a warrior.    She was only 51.  At 20 years old, my world was shaken, stirred and devoured… and then… the food came.  Deliveries arrived with those overflowing shrink wrapped sausage and cheese gift baskets filled with globs of sodium and sugar infused treats in shiny ugly wrapping. It was like a buffet of bereavement at our doorstop.  My Dad was a waterfront hiring boss so we would get at minimum three baskets a day for a week from fellow delegates and teamsters.  Non-stop.    They were the equivalent of crack cocaine for me.   Our neighbor brought a tray of baked ziti that I sat and ate with a fork in my room in the middle of the night before the funeral through crying fits.  An entire tray of baked ziti. GONE.    It was full steam ahead on the “ship of gluttony” to suppress a raging case of a broken, grief stricken heart.  By April of 1996 I had gained over 60 pounds and weighed 201 pounds.    I would hover over the 200lb mark for the next twenty years.  I would also be a walking testament to every failed diet scam on the market. I’ve tried them all.   There was even a time I jumped on the Phen/Fen train as well… and took those pills determined not to be an overweight bride on my wedding day.  I managed to lose 70 pounds (and not get a heart valve issue that those pills were known for) …   Then, on our honeymoon I gained 20 pounds in two weeks  because I simply refused to accept that my Mom wasn’t alive to be at my wedding or any part of my future.  I couldn’t shake her absence so I decided on room service…and so the eating continued…

The year after we were married, my already dysfunctional relationship with my Dad took an bizarre and twisted turn.  After an investigation in organized crime and racketeering in North Jersey led to a separate case against him that ended in a murder trial that would rival even the most outrageous court scenes in any film.  It was a surreal, devastating, strangely comedic and emotionally torturing circus ride all at once.  To follow that, months after he had been incarcerated, he was diagnosed with advanced bladder cancer.  My older sister and I had only a short time to rally together and forgive him for some heavy trauma he caused us over the years as he was dying in a state prison.   How did I deal with this?  I ATE.  Late night binge eating became my Prozac…my personal prescription for keeping this trauma at bay.     

I managed to have a healthy pregnancy in 2000 while gaining another 40 pounds and by the grace of God gave birth to a healthy 9lb baby girl without complications. I still cannot fathom how I didn’t have gestational diabetes.   Blessed with a healthy daughter began to heal my heart but at the same time, being a mom without a mom absolutely SUCKS.  Being a new Mom with your Dad also dying in a prison …well… that sucks even more.   A girl wants her Mom when she’s a Mom.   It’s a brutal and bittersweet truth.  Ask any motherless new mom.  It simply sucks.  There is no eloquent way to say it.  It blows.  In the months following my Dad came to the end of his life only able to see a photo of his new granddaughter instead of holding her.   When he passed the loss catapulted me into a month long binge fest.  It was another bereavement buffet.  The crushing reality that my parents would never know my children was one of the most disastrous heartstorms I would sail against.  It cracked my spirit into an abyss.  I continued to eat right through it.

Six years later I would go on to help my husband battle and beat Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006 while pregnant with our son.  Six months of chemotherapy with him while we anticipated the birth of our second child AND raised our six year old daughter despite weekly visits to the cancer center.  It was another circus ride for us.  That was ten years ago.  He remains a cancer survivor and I am in awe of him every single day.  My greatest strength in every storm has been my husband Gary.  He is my tugboat.  He has pulled me and pushed me when I couldn’t move myself.  Looking back on that battle now, I realize that I was strong enough to be his tugboat too.  Despite my own depression and anxiety.  We conquered it.

So.  By now you’re probably saying “ok… that is a ridiculous amount of hardships ..WTF does this have to do with losing weight????”  ……Everything.    In these past twenty years I ate my way to 283 pounds to COPE with all of this hell.  Why am I sharing this raw account of all this emotional eating baggage?  Because I need people who struggle with their weight and have had deep emotional traumas to see that they can survive.  That they can do this.   Because I was missing life.  I was removing myself from it.  I was sabotaging myself…and I was in denial of it.  From my sister to my aunts to my mother in law to my closest friends…. they all tried to help.  FOR YEARS.    All the love my amazing husband gave to me and my children…couldn’t crack this behavior…. I suffered from extreme depression.  Physically I was shot.   Barely able to breath while talking and walking at the same time.  Pain?  Everything hurt.  ALL THE TIME.  The only thing that hurt worse was knowing that my living this way would no doubt shorten my life.  My kids and my husband, the three people I live for and who have healed my heart in every way would go on without me.   It was a reality that I was ready to face.   The fact that I’ve lived these 20 years obese and have had no diagnosed medical issues yet was a pure MIRACLE.  Heart disease is so embedded in my Mom’s family that it’s like a relative.  A mean, nasty, greedy relative.  My Mom passed at the age of 51, her Dad was only 49 when he passed of a heart attack and her eldest brother also passed in his early 50’s from heart disease.  I was literally playing a death game with this heart gene…..    AND THEN IT HAPPENED……

The Lazarus Epiphany provided by the Goblin King Himself… lazarusphgoblin

The week before the 20 year anniversary of my Mom’s death everything finally changed.  When suddenly, I viewed for the first time David Bowie’s “Lazarus” video.  It was the most haunting and electrifying video I had ever seen.  I’m an 80’s kid, raised on MTV. Bowie videos are like gold.  So as I’m watching him, his movements, rushing through the final moments of his life and casting out his final creative treasures before his death…a death he was ready for..the lyrics to his song…”Look up here, I’m in Heaven…I’ve got scars that can’t be seen…I’ve got drama can’t be stolen” ….these words scared me to my core.  I still search for the reason why this was my epiphany but … It hit me.   If I continue on this path of self-destruction, I won’t be here.  Anymore.  I will be a remembered loved one at family functions and holidays.  My kids will mourn and suffer the loss of parent gone too soon same as me.  That book I’ve been writing and re-writing for what seems to be forever will never be known because I’m too exhausted with depression to forge through my final edit.  One I’ve been trying to master for over nine fucking years.   My husband, the love of my life who literally saved me at the darkest times of my life will be alone to raise our kids while continuing his own journey to remain cancer free.   Without me. WITHOUT ME.  

The same week that I saw the Lazarus video, I encountered several people in my life who approached me about my obsessing over my Mom’s 20 year death anniversary.  They were instrumental in helping me evaluate my grief laden identity.  THEN..as if my Mom herself was sending messages through loved ones, I was approached by my cousin who was my Mom’s Goddaughter whose daughter is also my Goddaughter.  Full circle. She broke down sharing her concern for my well-being and reminded me of how heartbroken she was when her Godmother died.  She didn’t want her daughter to experience that loss.  She got into my head and introduced me to renowned trainer, John Wardell, Owner of Body Chemistry Fitness in Norwood, NJ.  I met with John and his team and was honest about how I got to 283 pounds and asked for their help.    I left all my excuses at home, I only brought a sense of commitment and determination to lose 100lbs without surgery.  I chose to follow John’s guidance and wisdom without question.   I was scared beyond words.  Food was my drug.  I’m Irish and Italian and potatoes and pasta were my main “dealers”. I would eat French fries as if my life depended on it.  I said goodbye to them that day …And so my journey began on January 16th 2016 at 40 years old.    The irony for me was surreal, on that same day, twenty years earlier I buried my mom in the remnants of the great blizzard of ’96.  The blizzard of Birthday and Sorrow as call it.  My Mom passed on my Dad’s birthday. It was a haunting date.   The grace in this theory as I write this is my own revelation that  I know she is finally at peace now BECAUSE I am at peace NOW.  Finally.    Never imagined that twenty years later I would reinvent myself and I have never looked back since.   I follow the Evolution Program created by John ….and I’ve Evolved…  It is a lifestyle program of healthy eating, weight training and guidance that has provided me the tools I needed.  It took me at least three months to overcome the behavior of eating while stressed with walking instead.  I’m allowed one cheat meal per week.  That cheat meal is the key.  I OWN that cheat meal (usually Ramen and Sushi because I love them lol)… a big contrast to the late night, couch and tv binge eating meals I used to depend on to deal with stress and depression and GRIEF.     I’ve lost over 120 pounds so far.  I move around without gasping for air. I have a new found love of BOXING …   I have energy and can sit in seats without spilling over the arm rests. I don’t bump into things. I can BREATH.  I went from a size 28 to a size 12.  I fit in a size medium.  I haven’t seen a size medium since I was seven years old. CRAZY.    I feel like I’m living and not just existing.  I’ve made my family proud and secure in the knowledge that I’ve extended my life.  The depression I’ve once suffered from has been replaced with a new found strength in making new memories with my family and friends, writing and working out. I’ve developed my own discipline and focus that has driven my ship into a better horizon.  I’ve inspired others and helped them to begin their own journey.  I’m privileged to be able to say thatNever dreamed of inspiring others.   I hope to continue to inspire people and make them laugh along the way with this blog.    Now stop wasting time…get back on your ship …OWN YOUR SHIP……….SAVE YOUR SHIP….we only have one life…. revamp your resolutions and goals .. and make this your year…. Anchors Aweigh!!!