Stand Up 8

There is a Japanese proverb, “Fall down seven times, Stand up eight.”

I once dated a guy, he told me, “It usually takes 4 times for an addict to get sober.”

I think of this proverb and this maybe true maybe not bit of information and I can’t help but wonder, “What is it about human nature that is so apt to fall?” Is it that we are weak in spirit? Are we just natural addicts to something in life and it’s just finding the positive to be addicted to? Are we afraid to succeed? Are we scared of the work it takes to succeed? Or is it just that we give up?

I gave up. I thought, “I haven’t been there in ages…It’s just the high school me.” I remember crying in my college apartment because my size 8 jeans didn’t fit. My boyfriend just kept telling me I was beautiful. I wouldn’t have any of that. I never embraced the size 10 that followed. I moved quickly out of those. Instead of going back to my beloved size 8 gap stretch boot leg jeans, I moved to size 12. I didn’t feel at home at size 12. So I moved to size 14, then to size 16. I kept moving till I found a more permanent residence in Size 18. I stayed there for years until I didn’t. I fought. I stood up for what I thought was the eighth time. I moved back to 16, then 14.

I fell. I didn’t cry when the 14 didn’t fit. I didn’t when the 16 didn’t fit. I just got married. I said, “After the wedding. After the wedding I will find my way down.” After the wedding it didn’t matter. I found the beauty in tunic tops and maternity pants. Almost to the day twelve months after my wedding, I welcomed my Birdie into this world. She was all that mattered. I found home in her.

I found home in the way she does a catfish grin. I found my home in the way she grabs my bottom lip at bedtime. I found my home in her adult laugh. I found my home in the way she bites her tongue. I found home in that little girl. Insulin Resistance and Obesity found home in me.

When you find home in your child, you will do anything to stay there as long as possible. So I stood up again a week and a half ago. I took a long hard look in the mirror and stood up. I stood up because Birdie and my step-daughter are examining my every move. I stood up because my husband deserves more than a quitter. I stood up because I deserve more than a daily pill to control something I could have. I stood up because I don’t like crying in my closet over clothes. I stood up. Again.

So you will look at the previous post and see, it’s been a while. It’s been a while because I fell down, but I saw me, and I stood up.



Cracklins & Juicing

By this point I am assuming you have read my last installments of this little wedding we had 9 days ago. If you have you know that  both were about me crying in wedding dresses. Crying over sample sizes or a lack of paper airplanes. Rest assured, I do not cry in a wedding dress in this story. I do not cry at all. This is about my 24 hour breakfast, lunch, and dinner of a champion bride. (From this point forward I shall refer to myself as “champion bride” because quite frankly after writing about my dramatic breakdowns in dresses, I deserve to refer to myself as such.)

I decided about a week out that I would do some juicing. I may be the only bride in the history that uttered, “After the wedding, I will start working out again.” Since Ben and I started dating, I have gained about 20 pounds. Happiness is a beast for one’s waistline. So the juicing…I decided to start juicing as i didn’t want any type of bloating when I zipped up that dress. I drank 2 juices a day and attempted to avoid a lot of salt or breads. So we get to the rehearsal dinner…but first lets back up.

I get one craving most of the time. One single thing that I crave. When I get a strong craving it is for one thing these days. That one thing is cracklins. I want cracklins in the morning. Cracklins at lunch. Cracklins in the evening. I truly believe I could sustain my life on cracklins alone. I have faced some resistance from my digestive system, but I persevere.

So I walk into my betrothed’s parents house to see this…

cracklinsJuicing be darned, I was about to chow down on some friend, salty, piggy parts and love every minute of it.

It wasn’t till about midnight that I started begging the universe, “Please let my dress zip. Please let me dress zip.” I woke up and chugged a glass of kale and pineapple juice hoping that it would help. Then I ate two handfuls of cracklins. I was a hopeless champion bride. Hopeless…but the dress zipped and the wedding day forged ahead.

That’s really the whole story. The previous 368 words were really just my ode to a platter of salty, piggy parts called cracklins. You are welcome. If you are a fast reader you can never get the past 3 minutes back, if you’re a slow reader than, I am really sorry about the 10 minutes you can never get back, but there is a lesson in here.

Lesson to champion brides everywhere: Cracklins, contain no calories and are pretty much equivalent to eating celery. They have no affect on belly size…I don’t care what anyone else says. Eat what makes you happy. Your wedding day is all about setting the stage of bliss, and I can’t think of anything more blissful than cracklins.

Stay tuned, super serious post coming soon over at We Three Kids. (please note that as of August 10, 2014 this post is not up yet…this is for you “Linda with an L.” Give me a chance to write it.”

Sample Sizes

Instead of “congrats” or “best wishes” or “I am so excited for you,” people should say, “Go to the doctor right now and get a perscription of Zoloft.” or “You should consider taking up yoga.” Maybe, “Hope you have a healthy relationship with whiskey.” or even, “You should start juicing today and lose as much weight as possible.”

I figured wedding dress shopping would be fun. I expected not to be able zip them up. What I didn’t expect was that a size 6 is a size 0 in jeans and they are made for pre-pubescent girls. When getting married you should consider having no hips and definitely no butt. Sample sizes do not allow for that.

It was about the time that the lady pulled on the bottom of the top of the dress and kept saying, it’s stuck on something. I had to swollow my pride and say, “It’s stuck on me. That is my hip bone you are trying to get passed.” When she stepped out of the dressing room it took everything I had not to slide down the wall and cry in a puddle of tulle and bridal satin. I kept it together and cried standing up. In the middle of the fourth bridal shop I walked into, I cried. I cried because I was at a point in my life when I was happy with me. These dresses…these sample sizes are ripping that away. My biggest fear was that I would be self-conscious my entire wedding day.

Whit4I would not succumb to the sample sizes. I kept on keeping on. I finally walked into the place I was trying to avoid, David’s Bridal. It wasn’t that they didn’t have beautiful dresses, but they seemed to have the same ones that everyone else wore. They also had other sample sizes. Their biggest size on the rack wasn’t a size 8. They had 10’s and 12’s. By golly they even had a 14 and 16! I put on a dress. I put on another. Each one going over my hips. Some zipped up, some didn’t, but they all went over my hips.
It was about the tenth dress I fit over my hips that I picked one. I loved it, but then there was another. How does one choose. They both made me feel beautiful and not like a killer whale trying to fit herself into a dolphins body. I left without the dress, but came back 2 weeks later and put it on. It zipped again. It wasn’t a fluke. The dress was bought immediately.

I guess if I could tell any bride about wedding dress shopping who is above a size 8, it is this. “Sample Sizes are not indicative of how beautiful you will feel on your wedding day. You will find your dress…save the tears for your vows.”

Now there was everything else to worry about. Invites. Pictures. Decorations. Food. Guest list…oh the guest list.



This blog is the first of a series. You can catch the next installment over at Paper Rainbows.

Big things!


So big things are in the works for this site. There will soon be some new contributors and a bit of rebuilding! We can’t wait to get this site in shape. It is on a 14 day make-over plan. Please stay tuned. Stay patient.

Gloves are going on and time to get to work!



Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

-Maya Angelou

One can only hope that my daughters will know that their beauty is in their love, they confidence, the sweet words that leave their lips. Their beauty lies in them, being them.

I said this

I was sitting there at a gymnastics show off day. I was in awe of how this little girl was throwing her self over the bar with such veracity that she couldn’t stop herself from flipping twice around the bar. Her daddy commented on how tiny she was and how we need to fatten her up this summer, and then it came out of my mouth. “There’s a wedding in August. Not too much, we have already bought the dress.”

I heard myself. I instantly couldn’t believe what I said. I knew my intentions were good. By no means did I think that she would not be as attractive. I was just trying to save a buck. You see the dress size was the only one we could get in time, not the size up. I didn’t mean that this precious girl wouldn’t be precious no matter what size. My only saving thought was that she didn’t hear me, but it came out. It was a humbling reminder that I am much more obsessed with the size on the tag than I would like to admit. What is a buck saved when I just commented on the size of a child’s dress? I was ashamed. I am ashamed.

Here I am, getting married and now all the sudden I am focused on how the dress looks on me. How a dress looks on a child. How my make up is done. I scrutinized my engagements because my arms looked like “squished boudin.” When did this happen? Furthermore, when does it stop?

Here are things I know:
1. I look gorgeous in my engagements. Seriously, my hair is falling perfect in all of them. My eyes are great. I am glowing. Furthermore, I look at those pictures and realize that I am marrying the most handsome and kind ma. Even though he whispered in my ear about this picture:

JOP_2604That I looked like I was wearing a maternity top. I laughed, I then pushed him off the light that we were standing on. It was just like a maternity top. He was right, but I loved it and laughed at this man, because in it all, I knew he thought I was beautiful. Why don’t I look at me the same way, all the time?! I looked at those pictures and the same girl who we bought a perfectly fitting dress for looks beautiful. Her eyes, her skin, her smile is radiant.

2. I know that I not only apologize to the girl cutting my hair, the girl working the make-up counter, but also the girl in the mirror. I apologize that I can’t give them something a bit better to work with. What is wrong with me? This question alone make the following Ted talk both heartbreaking and right on point.

I see me…W



Believe it…

Finding motivation to work out is tough sometimes. I like working out, I don’t like the feeling of starting over. It never fails that I am reminded how hard it is to start over every couple of months. I fall of the bandwagon somewhere.

Before dinner the other night Arg and I decided to go work out. She was excited. It is easy for a 7 year old to get excited about working out when you have the energy of, well, a seven year old. We did the block and then went inside for sit-ups, push-ups, and squats. As we are really getting into all these work-outs the most dreadful thing came out of her mouth, “Geez Ms. Whitney, I can’t believe you are tired.”

Humbly I responded, “Believe it…”

I would have loved to blame it on my 31, almost 32 year old body getting old, but that’s just not true. I simply start and go, start and go, start and go ad nauseam.

I would say that this simply can’t go on any longer, but judging by the past 15 or so years, it can go on, with no end in site. It is just a matter of how bad you want it I suppose.

My question to you: How do you keep going? How do you stay interested in the workouts? I can’t keep letting  a kid show me up!


Dear Ben…the other one

Have you been busting a move? You know as it stands Forrest is kicking our butt. So this is my proposal.

About a year ago I remember the three of us doing a 21 work out. Weights over our head. Sit ups. Squats. We were in beast mode. We didn’t quit. We rocked it. I don’t know about you, but I probably wouldn’t make it through. So here I am…starting over.

Let’s start over together. I challenge you to the 21 work out come July 12. July 12, 2014 we show down. You in?



Smoked Tuna Enchiladas

Ben and I had a revelation today. We are not satisfied with how we have let our bodies go since we have found each other. Why is it that just as you get happy in a relationship, you realize that you are not happy with your abundant softness? Needless to say we were both grossed out. This day did not start like this however, so let’s back up.

We have been complaining about getting soft for a bit. In an effort to turn that around we planned out some meals. The Cabbage Wraps were part of this week. On the same evening we whipped up said cabbage wraps, my mom hurt her knee pretty badly. So like the amazing man he is, Ben brought our ingredients for Smoked Tuna Enchiladas over to me, starting with the smoked tuna.

photo 3

I have to say, I have given Ben more than a hard time about this tuna. He and his family went fishing a couple of months ago. There was a plethora of tuna caught and needless to say, we have been eating tuna over and over and over and over again. I had the bright idea to use tuna instead of chicken in our enchilada dish. If you asked him, he would say that it was his idea. Classic he said/she said debacle. Needless to say, it happened and it was wonderful.

SmokedTunaEnchiladasThe rice side was honestly a combo of all the veggies in the fridge and a bit of rice left over from the last of the gumbo. The nutrition breakdown doesn’t factor that in. Could this be a bit better…absolutely, but could it be any more delicious? For my own personal pride I am going to say, “HECK NO!” Ben and I’s theory, more homemade food in the right portion sizes and we will be well on our way to a healthier us!

Smoked Tuna Enchiladas

The breakdown is as follows: This recipe serves 4. Each serving is: 664 calories, 54g carbs, 23g fat, 60g protein, 1406g sodium, 4g sugar