Thursday, July 27, 2017

Non Scale Victory

I saw myself in a video yesterday and could see the weight I've lost and how I just look healthier.  I often dread finding myself in photos and videos from events, but this was nice.

Making a long range plan

I am ready to start training again.  I thought I would get ready for the Monterey Baby half in 2018.  I don't think I can be ready for this year - too far to go and I want to be smart about this.  Then I was looking up info on the Mother Road Marathon.  It's been on my bucket list for awhile and I was just thinking about it.  As I was looking over information, my plans changed.  That's what I'm going to do.  I might still do Monterey again but my goal is to do the Mother Road Marathon

This year I'll do the 5k
2018 and I'll do the half
in 2019 I'll do the whole thing.

I've wanted to do it because it goes through 3 states.  Plus the medals are always cool

My training is starting out slow because I need to get my body used to moving like that again.  For now I'm going to just focus on getting my steps.  My goal is low, 8k a day.  When I've done that for a week solid, I'll move it to 10k.  Yesterday I slipped up, so today I start over.  I will try to remember to post my steps to help keep myself accountable.  If you're on fitbit add me.  I'm StaceyLynn

My Kid is getting married!!!

My oldest daughter is getting married!  I'm happy for her, not terribly surprised, but very happy.  Of the 4 kids, she looks the most like me, though on the surface she acts the least like me.   We are very different in day to day stuff, but actually quite a like in the stuff that counts.

She and her boyfriend gave marriage careful consideration and much discussion...Dan & I said, "hey let's get married" one day while we were at the mall in Springdale, Arkansas.  We did it a week or so later.  At the time it seemed to us to be the best solution to his parents cutting his college off for dating me. (they had never even met me, but his mom hated the IDEA of me)  As a married person he qualified for financial aid and so that's what we did.  We've been married for 30 years now.   And next month my first baby will be the first one of our children to get married.  I'm excited for her BECAUSE she's excited and happy.  That's what I want - for her to be happy.

There's not going to be a wedding.  Susi thinks they are a waste of money and I have to agree.  That's a lot of $$ to spend on a day that will never be as perfect as you wrote out the plan for.  People get so stressed that I see brides totally unable to enjoy their big day.  It shouldn't be that way.  For Susi & Justin it won't be.  They will have a party to celebrate.  Two parties actually.  One for the KC folks and one in Illinois for Justin's friends and family there.  The actual wedding ceremony will take place at a courthouse halfway between with the parents and maybe some siblings in attendance.

That's a smart move. I can't imagine trying to plan an actually wedding with this particular kid.  Even the wedding topper would be a pain. I looked through lots of images of them trying to find one for this post and it took forever.  So many show the bride as subservient or the groom as being trapped, shackled or caught.  They are partners and she would HATE all of those.  That's a small thing.  A bigger issue would come with his family being ultra conservative, religious, non drinkers who supported trump.  Us, not so much.  I'm spiritual in the neo pagan sense, Dan is Jewish, two of our other kids are atheist and one is agnostic.  We drink on occasion, though none do it regularly. My hair is blue, green and purple, so it's obvious that I'm not exactly conservative and we all voted for Hillary.  Dan & I are fairly active in progressive politics and attend quite a few protests.  All of that just sounds like a headache when it comes to planning a reception.  I envision it being like a middle school dance with the boys on one side and the girls on the other.

But none of that will be an issue.  There will be parties celebrating their union instead of a years worth of wedding planning to stress over.  I hope that overall, they stay as happy as they are during those celebrations.  There will be ups and downs, hugs and arguments, but it's the average of all those days that counts.  I want their average to be on the positive side.

When my baby was my baby

Monday, July 24, 2017


4 moths ago today I decided to be vegan.  Why?  Because I have diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, gout and a desire to not have those things any more.  So far so good.  My bp is normal, my blood sugar is getting there, I haven't had a gout attack in the past 4 months and I've lost some weight.

And I feel good.

Yeah, some days it sucks to not have the junk foods I crave.  Having a stroke sucked more and while a vegan diet might now work for everyone it does for me.  I feel better and am getting healthier.

I didn't have a problem giving up the stuff I thought I could never live without.  I just had to choose myself over the bad foods.  I had to choose my health over my childish need to consume.  I had to choose life over death.

and for 4 months I have.

Really Good Friday

Monday has started off good too, but I can't share that yet because I promised I wouldn't.  so let's talk about Friday.

When I found out I have type 2 diabetes they tested my A1C.  The result came back with 10.9  That's a really bad number.  I didn't know it until I googled it later but, yeah, that sucks.

On Friday they told me that my second test put me at 5.7.
My weight was down, my blood pressure was normal and I'm getting there with my blood sugar.  

As if that wasn't enough...My husband also go a job!!!!  He's been unemployed since May and $$ is getting tight!  I'm good at stretching a nickel but even I have limits.  

So life is looking good right now.  

Go, Angela Go!

A woman I know just did the San Francisco Marathon and she totally rocked it!  It's a hard one with all those hills and I am super impressed with her.

Since I'm in Missouri I couldn't be there to cheer her on in person so I decided to enlist some help and send her some extra support.  I made signs and asked people at the market to hold them.  It was the hottest day so far this year and there weren't many people out, but I got some great pics anyway.

These first two ladies I actually know from local activism.  It was a surprise to run into them at the market, but  they were happy to help out.

This guy runs and hopes to do a marathon one day

He's done the KC marathon. Also a hilly one.

She was just a hoot.

This beautiful lady has lost 250lbs!  I'm so impressed with her and her accomplishment!

Two girls visiting Kansas City.  Sweet kids and I hope they enjoyed their stay.

 This nice lady was the first one to agree.  She had stopped to ask me directions and was happy to help out.

People are great when you give them a chance. It's easy to forget that with all the mean spirited stuff that seems to populate the news.

I know how much people's support has meant to me and I was happy to have the opportunity to pay it forward.  And Angela has helped me too.  Just seeing her excitement got me excited.  I miss running.  I miss walking long distances.  I have been so sick for so long and I didn't know if I was ever going to do it again.  But I can and I am and I did.  Or at least I started.  This morning I hit the pavement and got some miles in.   I'm planning for a 5k in October and a half at that same race next year.  My ultimate goal is to do the full race the year after that.  It's one that has been on my bucket list for a long time. I'm not going to live forever so I better get doing if I want it done.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


That's how many days I have been alive.  It's a lot of days, more than many people get.  When I turned 50 a lot of people told me how it wasn't so bad.  50 is the new 40 or 30 or whatever.  Of course it's not so bad.  The only alternative to turning 50 is to be dead.  I'll take 50.  

I made the mistake of using a life expectancy calculator the other day.  If I change nothing I have an estimated 10,220 days left.  I played around with it and factored in the changes I've been working on - reaching my goal weight and getting my diabetes under control - and that put the number more inline with my family's average life span. My grandfather lived well into his 90's despite having diabetes and 4 heart attacks.  If I make the changes I'm working on the estimation went up to approx 16,000 days.   I like that number and I'm going to use it.

Will I make it to the end of all 16,000 days?  Maybe, maybe not, but I'm going to give it a shot.  and I'm going to LIVE as many of them as I possibly can. I've existed.  I've survived.  I've lived, but not nearly as much as I should have.  

My weight has to change.  That's a given.  Healthy at any size only goes so far and this extra fat is putting a strain on my body.  I'm going to start running again.  I loved it.  I stopped when I got sick.  I didn't know I was ill, just that I didn't feel like running - or doing anything.  I'm getting past that and I want to recapture how running made me feel.  Free, alive and fast.  The fast was mostly in my imagination,  but how I see things is really all that counts anyway.  I want to get back to that.  

I'm going to dance too.  Dancing is great for weight loss but it's also great for mental health too.  It lightens the soul.  A P.E. teacher once told me that people don't dance when they feel uncomfortable in their own skin.  She was right in my case, but her approach was not helpful at all.  Telling me that I'm too awkward to dance didn't help me get past it.  Just reminded me that I sucked.  I didn't suck, but 15 year old StaceyLynn was pretty negative and hard on herself.  Now I can dance, badly, but that's no reason not to do it.  16,000 days and there is going to be dancing on at least 5,333 of them.  Hopefully more.  I picked once every 3 days because I can do it every day now if I choose, but I don't know what 80 year old me is going to be capable of.

Also for my mental health is embracing a more minimalist lifestyle.  So will meditation.  I can't set aside time for meditate. I don't do well with structured schedules.  Instead I promise myself to find time every day do so something meditative.  Running, creating, writing or actual sitting in one place quietly while thinking.  There are a lot of paths to my particular goal.

Learning.  I have 16,000 days to learn stuff.  Learning is my favorite.  I'll work on my ASL again, brush up on my German and maybe actually learn to make glass.  I've been fascinated by glass making for months now.  Whatever I am learning I want to keep it up right until I take my last breath.

Creating.  This is the only area where 16,000 days seems like far too short a time.  I have so many ideas.  So many things I want to make.  Creation doesn't just feed my soul, creation is my soul.  I'm going to make stuff.  Lots of stuff.  Stuff I care about. Stuff that shows the world me.  That's what art is to me.  It's a way to show the world my deepest being.  You may look at my work and see a crocheted scarf.  What I see is a memory.  A time I walked for miles in California with the path stretched out before me and a bottlebrush tree giving me shade.  It's a moment in time captured in string.  

An important one - I have 16,000 days left to find a comfortable bra.  Thought I would throw that onto my list.   Surely such a thing exists although I have yet to find one.  Or maybe I"ll give up on bras entirely and set the girls free.  That's a valid option.

Mostly I've tried to keep my plans painted in broad strokes.  You can't plan life in detail.  Who knows what's going to happen tomorrow or next week or next year or even today.  You can have an idea, but life has a way of surprising us all.

To sum it all up.  I have lived 18,474 days.  I will live some number of more days.  Going to make those days count.  Gonna wake up every day and be grateful for another chance to live.  Gonna go to bed every night grateful for whatever the day has brought.  In between that I want to make that day count.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My Tribe is NOT who the family I was born into

Every woman needs a tribe

I'm 50. I'm too old to keep trying to convince my parents to love me.  I guess it might be better said that I'm too old to keep trying to get them to like me.  I assume they love me on some level.  Either way I've spent too many decades trying to prove my worth to them.  I'm old enough to accept that it just won't happen.  My brain has known this truth for a very long time.  It's just taken my heart awhile to catch up.  Hearts are like that.  Formed in our early years the can be rigidly fixed on the lessons learned by people too small to know other truths.  Tiny people with tiny upturned eyes opened wide, eagerly absorbing love and lessons, or the lack there of, from parents and caretakers.  Tiny ears listening to every word. Tiny hearts recording every interaction.  Every moment shapes us.  No experience will be perfect.  There will be bumps and bruises, mistakes and misunderstandings.  Hopefully the good times and love are greater than the bad.

For me they weren't.

I wasn't abused.  I have no horror stories for you to hang your sympathies on.  I'm can not look back and tell you stories of beatings and torture.  What I can tell you is how it feels to be a child alone. Not an only child, I have a brother who we will get to later.  I was just a child alone who somehow raised herself.

Loneliness permeated every part of me.  It started from deep inside and worked its way through my being. It came from the insecurity of knowing I wasn't good enough and yet being given high expectations at the same time.  Knowing that I probably would never be good enough.  Mistake were met with withdrawal of affection.  It was a loneliness that no amount of friends could fix.  Especially since my friendships were often just formed on the surface.  I dreaded letting people into the real me.

I was also often physically alone.  To save money on a sitter I started coming home by myself at 7.  My brother was still at the sitters, but I was home alone from 2:30 until 6:30.  A vivid imagination is both a blessing and a curse for a child alone.  43 years later and I'm still a little convinced that there are vampires waiting just outside and every closed door hides a ghost.

I was an Army brat and that might have been my undoing, but it wasn't.  In the end it was what saved me.  Because we moved a lot I was exposed to many different places and cultures.  That fed my hunger for stimulation and experience.  It taught me to be open and that it's ok to be different.  Lessons I was not ever going to get at home.

For every day I've spent trying to please my parents I've spent at least 2 resenting them.  My head got sore from banging it against the wall that stands between me and their unconditional love. Love and respect was contingent on NOT having opinions and accepting their "constructive" criticism.  It was to be welcomed and standing up for myself always led to accusations of being the attacker.  After all fat people do smell bad and I would have more friends if I was thinner and prettier. I would never grow up to find a man if I didn't change my attitude.  If my brother could get all S+'s in Kindergarten, why wasn't I doing the same in 5th grade?  And so on.

That was my experience.  My brother saw a different side.  No matter what he does there is love and support.  Too much and I don't think it's any more real for him than for me.  Just different.  He has done some really awful things which eventually resulted in prison where he totally failed to learn anything about why he was there.  Still somehow there is always forgiveness and I was expected to join in the praise parade.  Not gonna lie.  I was jealous.  Super resentful. Why him?  Why was he better?  I was born first, wh did I come in second place?  It took me a very long time to realize that blaming my brother was unfair.  He wasn't any more responsible for it than I was.  In many ways he was harmed to a much greater degree.  Sure they didn't call him fat and remind him that he was unattractive and only sort of lovable.  Instead they made sure that he can't survive without them.  He's 45 with 6 kids via 4 women at least one of which he has never seen.  My parents only like 4 of them, so they only help him support those 4.  He's an occasionally employed alcoholic, but that's Obama's fault. (my mom really said that he was unemployed because of Obama) My parents are 70.  Sometime in the next 10 years they will die.  I don't expect my brother to survive 5 years after that.

I'll be ok.  My tribe will be there for me and my life will go on.  I was born into a family that didn't work out so I created a new family.  My tribe.  One that gives me the love and support I needed, not just to survive, but to thrive.  I've always been pretty good at the surviving part, but it took me until midlife to really thrive.

Now I have 4 kids that I love unconditionally. Even when they mess up.  Even when they have different opinions.  I have been married to their father for 30 years. It's not always perfect, but in the end he believes in me.  Often more than I believe in myself.  I have a job I love.  I'm not rich in money, but I always have what I need and most of the time I also have the things I just want.  

My parents are not part of my life these days.  They are on the outskirts, sometimes calling and trying to rope me back in but I'm not interested.  Neither are my kids.  My dad has seen my youngest daughter twice in her 18 years of life.  Liking her pictures on facebook does not make up for that.  Recently he attacked me on social media because I am a "libtard" and mean spirited Democrat.  My tribe had my back and comforted me privately while defending me publicly.  I'm not alone anymore.  Even when I'm all by myself.  That's nice.

My tribe is there.  They celebrate when I'm happy, comfort when I'm sad and call me out when I'm just full of it.  I found them by looking within and doing things.  Things that are true to ME, not true to who people say I'm supposed to be.  Some are people I'm related to, some are people I only know online.  Whoever they are and however I know them - I'm blessed to have each and every one of them in my life.

Find your tribe.  If you were born to them that's wonderful.  You're in a good starting place.  If you were born into a different situation then don't despair.  Your tribe is out there but you can only find them by finding yourself.
so that's how I'm restarting this blog.  I thought about deleting the older stuff but I'm far too lazy for that.  I have a lot to share and catch up on.  I've had a stroke and have diabetes, but I have also grown and changed a lot in the year since I last blogged. I think I"m ready to share.