Getting By With a Little Help

Left: July 2011. Right: May 2014.

I posted this photo earlier this week on my personal FB, the Instagram and the BITF fan page.

On the left is me. Smiling the biggest I knew how at the time. In the middle of a party celebrating food. Holding a jar of lemon curd. This was after I had lost the first 15 pounds and I felt pretty great.

On the right is me. Smiling the biggest I know how. Fifty pounds lighter than the girl on the left. Celebrating the fact that I was returning to Crossfit after a 2-3 month self-imposed hiatus. Celebrating the fact that I have muscles and know how to laugh genuinely and without shame.

I enjoy both of these people so much. The one on the left had to exist. She had to be sad and cushion herself with food and hiding on the couch and all the heartbreak and fear and heartache and sadness so the person on the right could come to being.

The person on the left had to happen in order for the right one to be a better, stronger, happier version.

Sometimes you have to tear a house down to the studs because there’s peeling wallpaper and the toilet is cracked and broken and the foundation is crooked and there is a weird tree and the tree’s roots have grown up under the house and there’s an attic full of raccoons and the chimney fell down and the roof is leaking and there’s dry rot.

Oh, and the walls sweat.

Sometimes, you have to reach the very very bottom of yourself while you are curled on the bathroom floor sobbing quietly at 3am so you don’t wake the children and actually LOOK AT the dark parts in order to air them out and let loose the skeletons and embrace them and be ok with them and let them go and THEN AND ONLY THEN can you repair your “relationship” with food and stop using it as a faulty security blanket to make yourself feel better when things get tough.

Because things get tough. And you need coping mechanisms that don’t involve bread.

I am not, under any circumstances, suggesting that you face your demons without help. I have the best series of friends a girl could ask for (and an AMAZING THERAPIST). They pray for me. They offer me advice, even when I don’t want to hear it. They drive me places and invite me places and bring me food and go get their nails done with me and send me random cards in the mail and check in on me when they haven’t heard from me in more than a day and laugh at my jokes and tell me jokes so I can remember how to laugh, and above all, every single one of them has been patient with me while I figure out how to be a human being and a functional member of society.

So I am a lucky girl indeed, that between the girl on the left and the woman on the right is 3 years ago, 2 houses and an apartment, two amazing children, 50 pounds lost, three jobs, a hundred miles or more run, hundreds of miles driven, ups and downs and sideways and countless interactions with people who bring me light and life and were quiet with me when I just needed a friend and rejoiced (with or without me) when I learned a new lesson and became a bigger brighter person.

I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Pulling Back the Curtain

I had a completely different post scheduled to go up today.

But this morning sucked. I’m running on about 4 hours of sleep for the past week, my house looks like a bomb went off, I’m not sure when the last time I took a shower was, I have a cat scratch on my nose, I shook my shaker bottle full of Spark and the lid wasn’t on all the way, I miss Chuck, I ate half a pizza for dinner last night and I sobbed at my boss for fifteen minutes this morning.

So it’s not all sunshine and roses at Chez Cupcake every day. Birds do not tweet and I’m not twirling in my perfectly tailored pantsuits with my hair expertly coiffed and my children eating nothing but organic foods cooked to the style of Martha Stewart.

And that’s ok.

That’s life.

Sometimes things fall by the wayside and your nails look like garbage and one eyebrow is plucked but you got too tired to do the other one and you fed the kids lunch but forgot to make food for yourself and holy potatoes when is the last time you colored your hair and is the laundry done and do you have clean underpants? AND WHY ARE THERE SHOES ALL OVER EVERY ROOM OF THIS HOUSE??

And seriously. That is ok. You don’t live life in a bubble where nothing bad happens. Things get dirty and yes you have to deal with your ex(es) and sometimes you have to put a smile on and you really don’t want to.

It’s how you deal with those moments that define you. How you handle the crises and what kind of face you put on and whether or not you implode like a Fourth of July fireworks display.

So pull up your bootstraps, straighten your big girl/boy panties and make it happen, people.

If I can do it with this cat scratch on my nose, you can too.

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Friday Funny Strip

About 5 months ago, I entered a local photographer’s contest, where there was a different prompt every day and you took photos with your family.

One day was “dress like superheroes and go save the world.”

So we went and made our own comic strip.

Without further ado, I give you “Super Cupcake and Friends”.

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Hard

Sometimes it’s tough to get up out of bed. Get up and go to a job that may not be your favorite. Have people say hard things to you and have your heart break just a smidge. Have your kids not do their chores and the cat poop on the floor again and there’s cat hair everywhere and OMG why is there hair everywhere. Oh and btw, the dryer is broken.

Sometimes things are hard.

Sometimes you really just want to lie down on the floor and eat a box of Triscuits.

Those are the days it requires more effort to get up and do your hustle. Take your small steps and make things happen.

Slow progress is still progress.

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It’s been hot here lately. I don’t want to go out and do crossfit or run or do anything except lie in front of a fan.

Plus my coworkers keep bringing donuts and pizza.

So I have had to remind myself what my goals are. Do I want the donut, or do I want to dead lift more and be able to give my kids piggyback rides? (Yes, one of my goals is to give my 14 year old son a piggyback ride) Do I want to watch another episode of Sons of Anarchy (despite the fact I’m mad at that show) or do I want to go for a run so I don’t look like a doofus when I go to disneyland for my half marathon in November?

You have to figure out what drives you. What makes you move. What gets you out of bed in the morning.

Then use that as your motivation. When I drive past mcdonalds and my car tries to turn into the drive thru, I tell myself “do I want French fries or do I want to buy something fun at disneyland?”

You have to push yourself. Because nobody else can motivate you or torpedo you as much as yourself.

So make it happen.

What’s your motivation?

Joy to the World

I used to be a very angry person. I wanted to have everything go the way I wanted and when real life didn’t meet my level of expectation, instead of disappointment, I would be so so angry. I was sad too. A lot.

So I was pretty much a mess.

I couldn’t figure out why I was so disappointed in myself all the time. I never could do what I wanted. Never could meet my own expectations. I let myself down a lot.

I have to be brutally honest here, because that’s what we do here at Bruises in the Frosting. We pull back the curtain and figure out what’s up with the wizard.

I have been gaining and losing the same 20 pounds over the past two years. My high was 240, my low was 209. I am currently sitting at 218.

But I look exactly the same as I did 6 months ago. And it took forever, but I have figured out why.

I didn’t like myself enough to allow myself to lose the weight.

I didn’t like my life enough to continue with Crossfit, I thought I should stop because I was having a good time. I didn’t allow myself to enjoy anything because I thought I should IMG_1134be punished along the way to being the best me I could be. I could not allow myself to be happy on a journey I thought I should have to slog through.

Then this photo came along. I was at a waterslide park with Boy Wonder’s 8th grade class to celebrate their graduation from middle school. I was the only mom wearing a bathing suit. and I did not care.

I love waterslides, and I was not about to let a bathing suit stop me from having a good time. I was tired of sitting on the sidelines because I felt fat. Instead of spending hours at the store trying on bathing suits, I didn’t bother. Grabbed a size I thought would fit and bought it. Done.

Wore it and went on every single waterslide, while all the other moms were being all serious. Not that anything is wrong with serious, but it’s a waterslide park. Do your thing, ladies.

That was such a great day, and I can’t imagine what would have happened if I had sat at a table instead, watching the fun. I’d much rather wear the swimsuit and ride the water slides and have a photo like this.

Life is so much better with joy and fun and spreading your love everywhere, I realized. I know that may sound obvious to people, but look at your life. See where you are unhappy and figure out if your joy spreads there too. Try to have a little fun. Try to spread the love. Choose joy.

So now, I can let go of my proverbial weight to get to a healthier me now that a big roadblock has been removed! HOORAY!