Many of my biggest changes in life come during the time of Mercury retrograde.

Here's a video where I talk about why I believe in the effects of Mercury retrograde and what the last three weeks have done to me.

I like to view Mercury retrograde as a positive time for me, even during the madness and anxiety that sometimes I suffer during it. My soul is ready for a change and Mercury brings those things to light. I always end up wiser and filled with more love for myself and others after the struggle of Mercury retrograde.

Is it odd that I don't want this year to end?

2015 and 2016 I was ready to burn down in mania and enter the new year. Those years were rough.

2017 was too. But it's been the most wonderful learning exprience. I've learned more this year about me, about my gifts, about Christ, about God's power, about love and serving others than I have in my last ten years combined. I worry letting this year go before embarking into the great unknown (2018) may be finding me with another downer year like 2015 or 2016.

But I'm hopeful.

I don't have any new year's resolutions. Usually in December I assess how I'm doing and whether or not I feel I need to ring in the new year with a desire to change some aspect of me or my life.

But this year blew by so fast I never had the time to be so reflective...and I feel that's my cue to enter the new year with an open heart and open mind and what will be, will be.

One small change I've made (because lawd knows I could write a novel about all the changes) is that I don't think I'm going to be so public about this blog, as in linking it on my social media (except G+, for now); neither updating friends when I post something new. If you find this and read it, welcome, and I hope you stay. I hope you like what I write.

I have been feeling pressed to talk about the things on my mind and the emotions I carry within my heart, but I've decided that who finds it and reads it are the ones who need to, or should...not I trying to project my thoughts and feelings on others and await a response in return.

I have realized while my advice may be decent, that sometimes it isn't the best for the person I'm giving it to. And that's ok. Everyone's path is different and the best advice for my life will not always be the best advice for someone else.

(It's also frustrating to give advice and watch the person do the absolute opposite.)

So instead I'll go within and speak quietly what lies there, what burrows beneath the surface that I show the world...and write about it here where it's public, but safe at the same time.

Most people seem to find my blog from my "Why I'm No Longer the Type Three Woman" post. But rarely does anyone care to read what else I've written or especially what I recently post about. And I find comfort in that...oddly.

I often think about this blog and yearn to write in it. But grow in anxiety over feeling like I must share what I write. But I remind myself that in writing and in keeping a blog, there are no rules. Who says I have to blast my writings as far as my social media will reach only to chew my nails over the possible reaction of the friends/family reading it?

I hope to enter the new year (ok, wait, maybe this is a new year's resolution?) to write more musings on a regular basis. But there are no guarantees. To do so would be to have a quiet moment in my day where the madness in my mind is far away, where I don't have people needing my attention, where I don't have my mental list of daily things haunting me. While I'm reflective quite a bit, taking the time to write my reflections down can be mentally draining and time consuming.

But I'm hopeful. :)
Socrates said, "Thou shouldst eat to live, not live to eat".

My life has been a mix of both.

And I am certain almost every human being has been the same at one point in their life or another.

I've lived through moments where food was in control, and moments where I controlled food, including to the extreme.
Anorexia to Binge Eating Disorder to both. 
All control, or none.

(2000, in recovery.)


I look back on my life and see how much the thought of food has been a demonic companion of mine; whispering lies in my ear that I was clearly well aware of, but bending my mind such until it won. Scene change and you'll find me hastily making brownies and consuming almost all of it (if I hadn't finished it after the batter was made, claiming if I got Salmonella that it would have been worth it) or running to either a fast food place or the store and buying whatever it was I was craving at that moment.

I've never had a healthy relationship to food.

This past year some members in my family have taken on a healthy regimen and weekly we will update each other on our progress. 

The other day a family member shared:

"Weigh in: I weighed myself on Monday and was down 1.5 lbs, which shocked me because I've been a super slacker lately.... I didn't care to weigh myself this morning (Wednesday) because I binged on tons of junk last night, got sick to my stomach, and soon wallowed away in self pity. :( I'm so mad at myself...I know better and I know where my life will go if I don't whip myself back into shape. I will be MISERABLE and I can't go there again! I just can't!
"My complaints were this: I'm sick of eating the same dang (healthy) food all the time, I hate tracking and I don't want to do it for the rest of my life, why can't I just eat whatever and not have it affect me like how it is with (some) women!? Bottom line is...I am BORED with (healthy eating). It's a pain in the butt to follow, especially for the rest of your life...
"I have to keep telling myself that I HAVE to do it or I will be miserable...just like how I feel right now. Sick, fat, and no confidence. :( Anything that's worth having you have to work hard for, it's just life and I need to quit whining and find joy in it again. Who else is with me!? Let's do this!!! Let's give each other ideas on how to find the joy and motivation again! We CAN do it! And if we fall, we gotta forgive ourselves, sincerely, pick ourselves back up and keep going!"

Reading this post threw me back to the many mornings I felt exactly like my family member did. Why did I eat so much, knowing I was gonna feel like crap later, and still did it? Almost every night I would buy the large bags of PB M&Ms (the 18oz bag and if I'm not mistaken that was about 2800 calories) and eat all of it, in one sitting. It was my reward after surviving what I felt like was another a long day with the kids. I then decided to cut out chocolate because maybe that would help me get healthy again. 

Nope. I replaced the PB M&Ms with a whole bag of powdered donuts. 

I used to think that because I overcame anorexia, that it was a free pass to eat as often as I wanted. I hated how my clothes got tighter, how I was exhausted constantly, and how sad I was...but it had to be better than before, right? But where's the control I had before? Why can't I find even a smidgen of that control and use it to eat better?

I would then force myself to go hours without eating until I couldn't take it anymore, tell myself I'd have a small sandwich and before I knew it, was consuming my third Nutella and PB sandwich and now onto making a box of mac and cheese to eat. The whole box if I could keep my kids from seeing it.

My mind didn't understand a healthy control to food. All I knew was how to eat none of it, or all of it.

And so all of it, I did. It must be the better option!

Upon reading article upon article on anorexia as well as binge eating, I've found both are terrible for your health. One is truly no better than the other.

"I have to find a balance", I remember thinking. "How do I have enough control over food without going back to having too much control?" Control is a scary thing to have, when you know you have and can abuse it. 

I feared myself. For I had within me the power to destroy myself. 

.......but was I not already destroying myself?

My sister shared this article with the family, titled, "Why Moderation is a Poo Emoji".

Some foods, for my health, must be avoided.
And that made me sad...letting go of something I loved, something I felt lifted me up, something I could rely on. But no, it was for something much different....

And this is where I wrote a reply to my family member's message:

"Being healthy, or trying to stay on the bandwagon, is hard. It does get easier with time though. But that's why I allow myself a cheat day. A health-guru friend told me years ago, 'allow yourself three cheat meals a week, or a cheat day'. Now, I can't just do a cheat meal without destroying the rest of the day. But I do like that option. So let's say you and hubs want to go out Friday night and you know you're going to Cheesecake Factory where you're gonna buy fried mac n cheese, a hamburger with fries, and a slice of cheesecake (this is what I always get) but it's your daughter's birthday today and it's Monday. Have a slice of cake and ice cream but on Friday, wait until late afternoon before going crazy with the food.
"I personally hate documenting my diet. Maybe it's because I'm not structured enough but man do I burn out hard with counting calories or carbs or proteins or macros. (Ok, I do count carbs with this diet. Ish.) But I've learned that what really is best is going with what FEELS good. We all know in a moment of desperation what we think feels good is a whole plate of graham cracker cookies (guilty) but it's so important to listen and know your body when it's giving you the "uh-huh" and the "nuh-uh" (how I feel my body speaks to me). And sometimes we have to slap our own hand before consuming the remaining quarter gallon of chocolate milk sitting in the fridge because we must tell ourselves what the next few hours will be if do that. We know it'll bring on the cravings, we know we'll feel miserable. We know we'll end up ruining dinner and buying Burger King because we don't want a healthy chicken breast now that we've got our palate ready for some real good food.
"I know for some of us, moderation is hard or should be avoided all together. I remember (Sister) posting an article a while ago about how sometimes avoiding certain triggering foods is truly better than attempting moderation of those foods when we know they'll throw us off the bandwagon eventually.
"Remember that you're worth fighting for. That your health is worth skipping out on those cravings when they hit hard. Last night I was craving all things chocolate and it was *rough* to not whip something up and escape life during the five minutes I'm consuming something that will ultimately have me living the rest of the evening in regret.
"For some (read: ME, this whole paragraph is ME) food is an escape. It's a 'forget that I have a million bills to pay' and a 'forget that my child is having a hard time and I don't know what to do' and a 'forget that I have three loads of laundry to fold and oh yeah, dishes too'. When I find what I'm escaping from, usually the craving will subside because when you think about it, food only bandaids the problem, doesn't solve it... the problem will always resurface and food will always be there. What we're doing is conditioning ourselves to believe that food is the remedy to our hardcore emotions, when it's not. Sometimes we cave not because the food is good, but because the emotions become too much. So is feeling crappy after eating these foods really worth adding to how crappy we already feel?
"I just want to feel good and look good. I don't think that's too much to ask. And yet, there's times when it feels like it is. My volatile relationship to food is real. It's literally like being in an abusive relationship...but the other person is FOOD. Which makes it sound even more stupid that I allow IT to win. The only mind games from this relationship are from ME, not the food. It's all me, it's all in my head.
"Sorry for the novel. I feel I can write a book about food, diets, weight-loss, fitness and how that has affected me these last few years. I feel like I'm always trying to create a new relationship with food. It's like I make healthy boundaries, something happens, I let my guard down, feel fat/gross, get trampled by my cravings/emotions and then I finally say, 'to hell with this!' and am starting the cycle over again. Good news for me, the cycle can be started as many times as I darn-well please. There's no limit to the amount of chances one can have to try to be healthy. <3
"As I say, over and over, YOU'VE. GOT. THIS. <3 WE'VE. GOT. THIS. I believe in all of us. We're worth it."

Every weekday morning I post a picture on my Instagram story of me before I go to the gym. I started doing that I-can't-remember-how-long ago (maybe a year and a half?) on Snapchat (which I no longer use) to keep myself accountable. How I love the gym! But I was just getting out of a painful rut where I was only attending half the time and doing half the workout. I hated the days I didn't attend, letting myself and my health down, but it wasn't in me to do more.

Posting a daily picture was proving to myself that I was worth getting myself out of bed early for, for me, for my health, for those that I love. I want to prove that I won't quit. I won't back down. I won't let life's crap hold me down from what I love, neither let it hold me back from loving myself.

I must start my day with me, my health. For it sets the mood for the rest of the day and in return, I can give more to others, for I'm not living off emotional/mental/physical fumes.

I've since coined the phrase, "I never regret a workout, but I almost always regret sleeping in".
August 17, 2017:

Yes, I liked my own post! It was HARD getting out of bed that morning. :P

I struggle, every day, with being healthy and eating right. I still look at the mirror and don't like certain parts of my body. I still find myself fighting the urge to buy myself half a dozen donuts (which I will eat all, in one sitting). But I promise you that the longer you keep at it, the easier it becomes. And no, your addiction to food will not change overnight. But you can be one day stronger than your addiction. If your addiction is a monster and you're a mouse, every time you grow in strength, your monster shrinks. Become the monster to your addictions and devour them.

While this post was in draft, Facebook notified me of a post I posted a year ago. Here's what it said:

Ten years ago, I searched incessantly for that "miracle pill" that would have me shedding the weight and feeling great because that's what was promised and therefore that's what I believed. #gulliblemuch? After trying a handful or so of different diet pills, and after noticing how miserable, unhealthy, and in pain I was once the pill bottle was empty, I begrudgingly accepted that I needed to put work towards being healthy, not leave it up to a pill whose ingredients are a big question mark.

It wasn't until three years after this realization that I made up my mind to do anything about it.

The above post came after I had a conversation with a friend. She would come to me every six months or so and say, "Ok, what is your secret?" and I'd tell her what I listed above, each time. After a couple years of this I said, "Wait, do you think I'm taking diet pills and not telling anyone about it?" to which she replied, "Well, I used to think so...but not so much any more".

You guys, there is a miracle pill. 

It's already in you.
It's the belief you have in you. 
It's the knowledge that you're powerful, priceless, and worth the damn fight.

Ignite the power within.
And watch your whole world change.
Don't let anything or anyone stop you.
Quit caring what others think of you.
Love yourself and you'll find those that will love you too.
(Insert photo that would make a decent thumbnail.
Texas sunset, April 14, 2017)

I am exhausted.

Two kid of my three kids are sick today.
My husband is out of town.
My mind was a running mess last night, so sleep hardly happened, on top of being scared awake by a sick kiddo, and my alarm going off a 5:30am (and getting up after hitting snooze for an hour).

I should be napping instead of writing.

My bed calls for me.

But the call to write won't. go. away. And therefore,
Here I am.

So, Easter.

Growing up I didn't see Easter as different than any other Sunday:

I got up.
Sometimes (read: almost always) begrudgingly.
Put on a dress.
Slapped on makeup. Maybe.
Fixed my hair.
Grabbed my scriptures.
And would always make it to church on time.

And, for the most part, every Sunday we talked about Christ.

What made Easter unique to me was the candy and gifts I'd get; actually I'd expect, on top of a nice dinner, sometimes with a house filled with loved ones.

And this went on all my life.

Cut to today.

I sit in the front row. I like it here. It's less stuffy up here, although it is a little uncomfortable being right next to the person giving the lesson as many times they look to you when asking a question. However, up here I feel I can breathe and not be distracted by those in front of me.

But these past several Sundays I've found myself tuning out the person speaking and looking in this direction:

And drowning myself in that painting on the wall:

(Christ visiting Mary Magdalene, three days after His death)

These past few years has taught me many things about Christ. But it's so hard to have it summed up in a brief paragraph when a person asks, "What makes Christ special to you? What makes His atonement special to you? How has your relationship with Him been strengthened in the knowledge you have of Him?"

I can't answer with scriptures or quotes as I can with personal experience.
If you ask me, if you want to know Christ better, read the book of John.

What I will tell you is this:

I have come to many crossroads in my life, on my path to finding truth.
I have come to battle every last thing that was told to me as true, and had to go within to find if it really is.
I have waded through the murkiest, deepest waters as I realized that I am questioning everything of my mortal existence; my last 30+ years on this Earth.
Questioning everything I leaned on, everything that I was told would support me in this world and in the heavens.

And unfortunately,
I watched as everything crumbled around me. My inner empire, dismantling.
Every "truth" I ran to fell to the ground, only to turn around and find my next place to go, in shambles.
My sky was dark. My world shook. And I was alone.

But underneath it all. Underneath the rubbage, I found solid ground.

"We'll rebuild you, piece by piece," I heard God say to me. We, meaning He, Christ, and me. A team that required action on all parts.

I found that when I've questioned everything, even the most terrifying things to question, one thing always remained: Christ.

Even my believe in God has changed...but in expansion of understanding the Being that He is.

So--"What makes Christ special to you?"

How about that one day, March 2014, when I was hit with some heavy news? News that shook me to my core. News that affected the rest of my empire. News that had what was left of my beliefs cracking and finally, after my attempts to hold those remaining pillars up, I let it go, defeated.
Two days later, while walking out to get the mail, the day dreary and rain drizzling, I could feel Christ walking alongside me and I could feel Him say, "I am sending you this rain, to show you that I understand how you feel. I'm with you, Ok?" He didn't say to suck it up and feel better. No, He didn't say this was for the best. No, he didn't say that the heavy news I accepted was something I needed.
He was simply PRESENT.

What I have found is that:

Christ is a personal Savior.
What you feel He wants for you, is not going to be what He wants for someone else.
...if that were the case, we'd all be born into the same life, the same mindset, the same traditions.

Christ knows too what you need from Him.

I often wonder why Christ appeared to Mary Magdalene first, after His death. I love the idea of He and Mary being married, but not only that, He and Mary having a special bond, a soul connection so deep, that maybe she was led to find Him, as she knew, instinctively, that He would be there.

I look at that image of Mary, how she kneels before Him, no doubt in emotion, let alone to the Savior of the world, and I beg to know what's in her mind.
She reaches to Him and He tells her she can't. "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended unto my Father..." (John 20:17) He sees her, before going to God. He makes it a point to be with her first. He knows she's mourning. He knows she wants Him. And He gives her that. He becomes PRESENT.
How must that have felt, Mary? To have watched a person you love so deeply, who loved you that much (and more?) back, suffer the worst physical, emotional, and spiritual pain as they die before you, with you having no way to save Him from it? How you must have felt His pain, to some degree.
How must it have felt to be relieved to see Him, but upsetting you can't express that through even the most simple of gestures as an embrace.

I wonder a lot of other things as I stare off, into this picture.

How Christ expressed his love, care, and profound respect towards women while he served during his 30+ years on this Earth.
How Christ didn't see first the sins of those around him, but the soul (1 Sam 16:7).
How Christ, even knowing the sins of others, never judged. But expressed a love so quiet, yet powerful, that it changed lives.

Just as He changed mine. And made me better.

Happy Easter. I wish you, with all my heart, a day full of love, happiness, and warm embraces.
I miss my kiddos being little.
Every time I see a picture of them as a baby or a toddler, I find myself fighting the sobs. Nevertheless, water will fill my eyes.

My kids will ask why I get emotional when I see these pictures.

I will say, "I cry because it makes me wish I could go back in time and hold you all, snuggle with you all real tight one last have grown up so fast. I miss your littleness."

And while that is's not the full truth.

What I really mean is:

I cry because it makes me wish I could go back and in time and first hold myself, tell myself to quit beating myself up over the fact that I felt like a terrible mother, an ugly wife, a miserable friend, a confused child of God due to an unknown anxiety that plagued me so fiercely I could barely function, on top of the wrong medication I was taking that had me a zombie.

Then I would hold my kids, hold them so tight; savoring the moment, a moment I felt too overwhelmed to take the time to do, and tell them just how precious they are to me and how proud I am of the people they have become and how everyday I feel honored to know I have the privilege of being their mom. 

I cry because these are all things I wish I could do, now that I'm outside of that old world, now that I have a different mindset. Now that I'm pain-free, anxiety-free and depression-free.

I'm showing you these pictures not because I feel that being overweight will make you miserable. I have full confidence that if I were leading a better life at this weight, I would have been truly happy, confident, and felt sexy in my own skin. Weight is a number....and no matter the number, it won't bring you any form of happiness, confidence, and feeling of beauty if you aren't doing all that you can not only for your body, but for the growth of your mind, heart, and soul.
Even at my lowest weight in life, I was unhappy and felt good for nothing.

But I cry because I remember how much I hated what I saw in the mirror. I hated that no matter how I did my hair or how I did my makeup, that it was all a bandaid to how miserable I was, forgetting that it was my heart and mind that needed help, not my looks.

I cry because I woke up depressed, every day, counting down the hours until the kids' bedtime just so I could stay up to a ridiculous hour, binge watching TV while binge eating until guilt had me finally crawling in bed, knowing that my day would start in just a few hours.

I cry because I didn't know that it was ok to say to those around you, "I need a break. I need your help. I need you to help me."

I cry because I didn't know that to love myself was what God not only wanted for me but wants for all of us and that to love yourself does not mean you'll become arrogant, vain, prideful.

I cry because I was so confused with how the path I felt I should continue on made me feel repressed and of little value, but was told may have some great reward in the end--if I make it and IF that's even true.

I cry because I felt I was measured best by living in a mold that didn't honor me.
And that I had no value if I didn't endure to the end in this mold.

I cry because I lost friends as I didn't understand how to show unconditional love. 
Because to love someone as they are, with no exceptions, was scary.

I cry because I tried fitting others into a mold which only showed them that I loved conditionally.

Finally, I cry because this mindset was of a person attempting to raise three kids, to teach them how to be the best little humans this planet needs; to love others as God loves them...and yet, I didn't even have the basics within me to stop and love them like I feel I should've.

But then, I stumble across photos like this:

 (July 2007)

And I'm reminded of God's tender mercies. How He helps us where we lack, how He takes control when we feel we can do no more. How He understands our mindset, and also our heart. How He sees that many of us are just doing the best we can, with what we know and with what we have.

And, in looking at my kiddos today, and in looking back on these past few years of finding my truth, and in turn, knowing how best to be present for my kiddos and to teach them the things of importance, I feel quite blessed.

I want to say, or shout if it helps, the importance of taking time for yourself. 
The importance of finding something that will help you know who you are.
The importance of turning inward and knowing the soul God created that resides in you.
The importance of not allowing fear to control your actions, or worse, to allow it to control how you live your life.

I can finally say that I'm happy. Truly happy.

And that every day is a gift.

I got to where I am at now through the pure grace of God.
I dunno if I ever cried to Him for help during those years, 
but He sure found it necessary to help me.
And He knew exactly how.
Through specific people that I have no doubt He put on my path.
And because of them, I cry.
And because of them, I had the courage to try.
To dare.
To be willing to put Him first, above all else.
And to be willing to dare to try what He tells me to do...regardless of how anyone will perceive it.

I'd be lying if I said it was easy. It has been hard as hell at times. It has been hard to break poor conditions, degrading mindsets,  manipulative relationships, learning to say no, learning the importance of putting myself first, learning to cut people from your life who strive to hold you back, learning that some people only love you to an extent and the after that, push you away...
...just like I used to do.

And with each sunset, my heart cries (if I don't openly). 
Because I was given another chance to see life how God wants all His children to.