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Freelance writer & editor. My mission is to help families get fit and stay healthy.

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Happy anniversary

Work has exploded as we are about a month away from the final deadline for this issue of the magazine. I have been totally overbooked the past few weeks, with work and my son’s American Legion baseball schedule. Then last Wednesday, it occurred to me that I had 5 articles due for one of my online clients, and I hadn’t started on any of them. And they were actually due a few days earlier. Not sure what you call it when you have to go into panic mode when you are already in panic mode, but that’s what happened. It got done – this is one of the reasons I love this particular client so much. The work is very enjoyable, which makes it a lot easier to do, especially when you’ve completely spaced on a deadline. But that also set me back in making progress on my other work, so I felt like I was treading water all week. On Friday, I had 15 things on my To Do list -  just work-related stuff, nothing to do with keeping up the house, taking care of kids, etc. – and I was glad that I got 11 of them done. Now it’s a new week, and although I still have way too much to do, I’m better organized and feeling more in control. When all you do is put out fires, it can be exhausting.

I have a lot to say. I want to talk about some NSVs, share some recipes, talk about some good choices I’ve been able to make in spite of everything being batshitcrazy. But … I am so pushed for time. Although I earn my living writing, I still believe a picture is worth 1,000 words, so I’m going to take the easy way out this morning and show you a picture. But of course, there’s a little story to go with it.

Last year, one of my oldest and dearest  friends invited me to his wedding in CA. We grew up next door to each other. I should mention that I was fortunate to grow up on a long street, filled with kids my age, give or take a year or two. The catch? They were almost all guys. So, I learned to throw a football and play Horse and climb trees, and all that ‘guy’ stuff. I never thought twice about it because we accepted each other as friends. There were a few awkward junior high and high school moments when that guy/girl thing got in the way, but we all got over it. To this day, we’re all still friends. In fact, one of those guys, whom I’ve known since 1st grade, is coming into town today and staying for a week while his son is here playing in a soccer tournament. Last year, I saw his twin brother at the wedding, and it was like we hadn’t missed a day.

So, back to the wedding. It was a big deal for me to fly out to CA by myself. It meant missing my son’s first baseball game in 8 years. But he had a commitment here. And I wouldn’t have missed the wedding for the world. My friend had left a marriage that was very destructive, and he found a wonderful girl who shared his interests and really brought out the best in him. I was so excited to go. Except, I had to find a dress. Being so big on top makes it difficult for me to buy dresses, so I am almost always in separates. But I found this cute black dress, with a draped neckline and very flattering cut. It was still a little snug, but not bad, and I was thrilled to be able to buy a dress in a ‘regular size.’ I wore it to the wedding and felt pretty good.

On Saturday, I attended a funeral. I realized that my friend’s one-year anniversary was the next day. It just so happened that I wore the same dress. I felt smaller, tighter, but sometimes I wonder if those little changes I see are visible to everyone else. They don’t see me every day. Well, to be honest, some of the people who do see me every day don’t ever seem to notice things, either. But I thought, “Hey, this is a unique situation, knowing I wore the same outfit exactly one year ago. I should take a picture to see if there’s a visible difference.”

I dunno, what do you think?

black dress before and after

L: 6/9/12. R: 6/8/13.

On the left is me before the wedding, June 9, 2012. On the right, getting ready for the funeral, June 8, 2013. My hair’s a little longer. Otherwise, it’s the same dress, shoes, and camera. But it’s a very different girl.

The girl on the left felt OK, but knew she was making the best of things, living on Coke Zero and still eating recklessly while maintaining an average workout schedule.

The girl on the right is feeling strong and in control. She hasn’t had any alcohol in 7 months. No soda in 5 months. And she’s been rolling nearly grain-free, with limited sugar and processed foods, for 2 months. She works out 5 days a week, most weeks. She’s down 19 pounds for the year. She’s stoked that she can wear almost all of her old wardrobe and knows there’s more progress to come. In fact, about half of her old wardrobe is too big. She’s tired from so much work, but realizing that she’s able to handle it.

And she’s ready to kick ass, so watch out.

3 comments to Happy anniversary