Worth every bite!

I went to a Weight Watchers meeting yesterday morning and the topic was about knowing the difference between internal and external hunger.  And how planning to eat at regular times can help us to combat that external hunger, the hunger cued by environment, our senses and our emotions.  Keeping from getting too physically hungry can help us to not give in to the external hunger….sometimes.

So, after my meeting I planned my day and made sure I had healthy food to eat.  I had been sick for the past week and  a half, only able to eat plain toast, saltines and bananas.  Now I was able to finally add back in some real food, careful in my choices.

Until…… this happened.

Cue the external hunger!  Big time!

I was reading a local paper when I happened upon the ad for this newly opened cookie business, just up the road from us…..I shared it with my husband and after checking the website we ordered.  Why wouldn’t we?  They were offering free delivery and the cookies would be warm when delivered.

This was a perfect example of external hunger taking over!

Was I truly hungry?  NO!

I had already eaten dinner, just 45 minutes prior.  It was getting late and I hate to go to bed after eating… but Wow!  These cookies looked amazing!  Especially the smores cookie.  And did I mention, they would be delivered warm!!


It was late, so I told my husband I would save the cookie for tomorrow.

But….external hunger doesn’t let go and give up that easily!

And when the cookies arrived and I smelled them….well, I just HAD to have one.

So, I did.  I ate the entire huge smores cookie.  OMG!  It was amazing!  Delicious!  Heaven!

Darn that external hunger!

Before my journey with Weight Watchers, I would have given up, the guilt weighing me down.  Not so kind words would have run through my head and I would have eaten more.

But I have learned many things on my journey, with one of the most important being to be kind to myself.

I ate a cookie, albeit a GIANT cookie.  A gooey, decadent cookie! And I am sure it was more than my daily points budget. Heck it may have even been more than the weekly extra points budget I have.

But it is okay!

I have tracked this week.  I have had extra points each day.  I have not used any of my weekly overdraft points budget.  I CAN fit this into my plan, my life and it works!

One splurge does not negate all the positive strides this week.

So, I ate a cookie!  It is not the end of the world.  It does not mean I failed.  The great thing about Weight Watchers and this lifestyle I live is that I CAN have what I CHOOSE.  That is so empowering!  I get to CHOOSE what I spend that budget on.  I get to CHOOSE what I eat.  I. Get. To. Choose.

Yes, sometimes my choices are cued by external hunger rather than physical hunger.  But it still works.  Will I never eat a cookie?  Will I never have steak?   Will I never go out to eat?  Will I never slip up? NO.  I get to live my life, make my choices and still can become the healthiest version of me!  It is about living my life.  It is about avoiding deprivation.  It is about eating to be healthy the way that I will eat for the rest of my life!

Yes, external hunger won out last night.  So what?  I did not fail.

That cookie was worth it. Every. Single. Bite!

Here is to living my life, my way.  Becoming the best and healthiest version of me, one choice at a time, one step at a time, and one leap at a time!

Circle of Inspiration

Yesterday morning I completed another 5k, the She Power 5k.

20190128_152212_hdr copyI had signed up for this 5k back in July 2018.  A while ago.  I had done this race in February and loved the race and the medal, so I knew I wanted to do it again.  And the medal this year was beautiful!  Who doesn’t want the bling from a race, isn’t that why we do it?  Well I also signed up with the intention that this was going to be a PR for me.  My fastest 5k race was in January 2009, 10 years ago.  I was 10 years younger and 20 lbs lighter and had trained for a couple of months.  6 months was plenty of time to get ready to make this 5k a Personal Best.  Sometimes the greatest intentions don’t always work out…..

I did not prepare for this race other than a couple of walks here and there and a 5k in November that told me I was REALLY out of shape…. But I still had time.

Everything was pretty much stacked against me for yesterday’s She Power 5k… no training, extra weight, my husband wouldn’t be able to be beside me and encourage and motivate me along the way…. Yes, things were stacked against me.  And thoughts did enter my mind that maybe I would just walk and set a goal for next year, putting off my goal for a future date.  The problem with that is that the future date usually doesn’t arrive.

Yes, circumstances, lack of preparedness and my thoughts were threatening to keep me from this 5k, until….

My Circle of Inspiration.

We all have a Circle of Inspiration, made up of friends, family, co-workers, strangers we meet or see on TV or read about, individuals who walk into our lives for a moment and so many more.  Many individuals form our circle, inspiring us along the way.  And we find inspiration and give inspiration within this circle.  The great thing about a circle is it has no end; the inspiration is all around us.  What a wondrous thing to be able to find inspiration in so many ways, from so many different individuals.

I have a wonderful and wide-spread Circle of Inspiration I can draw from.  And it is in this circle that I find the strength to fight on, to work harder, to keep going when all I want to do is quit.  Whether it is about just getting through my day, getting out of bed, stepping outside my comfort zone, continuing my journey of health, facing hard things in life or crossing a finish line when I don’t think I can, inspiration is there.  My husband, my sons, my daughter-in-law, my extended family, my friends, the strangers I have met and so many others inspire me to just do it, to take the leap and fly!

20190127_073024 copySo, with everything against me, what made the difference for me yesterday morning was these ladies, part of my Circle of Inspiration.  Some had done a 5k before and for some of them this was their first.  And they inspired me on my journey.

When I worked as a WW Coach (formerly known as a Weight Watcher Leader) I had the privilege of getting to know many individuals who inspired me every day, every week.  These women met in meetings I led.  And I was blessed these past couple of years to have been a part of their journey.  I have laughed with them, cried with them, celebrated with them, and commiserated with them.  And I have had the privilege of getting to know their individual stories.

Each of these women came to this race yesterday for their own reasons and with their own goals, inspiring each other along the way.  That Circle of Inspiration.  Some struggled with physical limitations, and some faced mindset challenges, yet each of them was willing to set aside the challenges that could have kept them from walking this 5k and instead they chose to step outside their comfort zones.  I have often said that stepping outside that comfort zone is where our greatest growth happens, and these ladies were proving that to be true.  Having the privilege of knowing their personal stories gave me the strength to show up and to cross that start line.  And they gave me the courage to push myself beyond what was comfortable so that I could finish strong.

We gathered before the race and lined up at the start together.  When it was time to go, we went at our own paces.  Each of us had our own personal goal we wanted to reach.  And that was scary for some of us, maybe for all of us.  But because of this Circle of Inspiration, because of the support we found in each other, we were able to push forward.  One-step-at-a-time, literally!

I was inspired by all of them, whether it was their first race or one of many…. I was inspired by their enthusiasm and excitement at completing a race.  I was inspired by their determination to push past the physical barriers that had kept them from even 20190128_152234_hdr copydreaming of doing a 5k race, those physical barriers that at one time kept them from even walking around a block, let alone 3.1 miles.  I was inspired by how they changed a mindset from “I can’t” to “I think I can” to “Yes! I can”.  I was inspired by the support and encouragement they showed each other.  I was inspired by those who conquered their fear and were willing to do this race with little preparation. I was inspired by seeing the empowerment that comes from believing in oneself.  I was inspired by the resolve to finish faster than the last one.  I was inspired by their faces, the joy, the pride after finishing this race. I was inspired by the courage shown to finish a race despite a fall and injury, and not just finish it, but finish strong, something I am not sure I could have done.

To say that these ladies inspire me is an understatement.  Each one of them is an inspiration and I am so very blessed to know them and be encouraged by them!

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Congratulations, my friends! You thought you could and you did!

We all finished this race yesterday morning, proud of each other and proud of ourselves.  We each met or exceeded our personal goals.  And yes, we are ready to do it again!

I know that without these ladies I would have still done this race, but I am not sure how hard I would have pushed myself without my Circle of Inspiration, those who inspire me every day in my life and these ladies who gave me the strength and courage to push myself faster and to see what I was capable of.

I didn’t finish with a PR, but I finished faster than the She Power 5k 1 year ago and faster than the 5k I did in November.  I walked and I ran, knowing these ladies were somewhere amid the sea of women and they were pushing themselves too.

I was just 3 ½ minutes slower than my fastest race 10 years ago……imagine what I can do with a little inspiration, a little training, and being a little healthier….  Next year will be my year, I have no doubt!

With a vast and far reaching Circle of Inspiration, WE CAN…. I CAN …do anything!!

The Power in one word


A question.

A word.

There is a lot of power in that one little word.

Last week I led my last workshop for Weight Watchers, having resigned my position last month.  One last meeting and the topic was on our why.  That word.  Why.

I did a lot of thinking about that 3-letter word as I prepared for my last workshop.  Why do we do anything?  Why don’t we?  Why do we start or stop something?  How can getting in touch with our why help? 

I wrote about finding my why last year (here) after realizing that my “why” was missing and that was part of what was holding me back.  And now I had an opportunity to delve deeper into the why, the reason for what we all were doing on this journey to get to a healthier us.  And deeper into the power of that one little word.

You see, the why…that reason, is what fuels us.  It gives us the energy, the fuel we need to achieve what we have set out to do.  Our why gets us to our goals. 

And the why is different than the goal.  The goal is what I strive for, my focus.  But my why, well that is the whole reason for doing it, for working toward that goal. 

And it hit me when I was preparing for that last workshop that a missing “why” is what makes New Year’s resolutions not work, at least for me.  I have written and shared that I don’t set New Year’s Resolutions anymore because they just don’t work for me.  I am not good at them.  And now I realize why they don’t work for me.  That word was missing. 

New Years Resolutions were always the same—set them on New Years eve for the New Year.  Lose Weight.  Get Healthy.  Exercise.  And I set them for many years.  Because that is what one does for New Years.  I just did it. 

But why?  Why did I set those resolutions?  What reason would fuel me?  I set those resolutions without a reason, without the personal why that made them my own.  The reason that meant something to me. 

Setting a goal needs to be one that means something to me.  One that is mine and not a goal someone else sets for me.  And then I need to ask myself why?  Why this goal?  What does this look like for me, in my life?  Why do I want this? 

Our why is the fuel we need to move forward toward our goals.  And setting a goal without a “why” is like driving a car on empty.  Yes, we can get a few more miles down the road when the fuel light comes on, warning us we are about out of fuel.  And then we stop.  Our travel ends.  Our progression stalls.  We don’t get anywhere without more fuel.

That is what our why does for us.  That is what my why does for me.  My why is my fuel.  Without it, I am not going far.  And I won’t reach my goal.  And sometimes I lose sight of my why and need to remind myself the reason I keep doing what I am doing, the reason I want to reach certain goals I have set for myself.  When we have the fuel we need, the gas in our tanks, the why for doing this, well then, we can achieve anything we set out to achieve. 

I can reach any dream or goal I set as long as I know why!

There is a lot of power in that one little word… why.  What are your goals?  What is your why? 

Taking the Leap into 2019

It is that time of year again. Time to reflect. Time to learn from the past year. Time to look toward the new year with anticipation.

As I look back over 2018, I am filled with peace. It has been a while since I have felt this amount of peace at the end of a year. But after the past couple of years, well, this feels really nice.

This past year has brought more good than bad. My family is doing better this year than the last couple of years.

My son is finally getting real, effective help. He has a team supporting him. And we are no longer alone in the fight for our son. A huge burden was lifted when that realization happened right before Thanksgiving. We are no longer fighting this fight alone…. There are others fighting too. My son is happier. He is more present. He is more a part of our family than he has been in a while. And we are not forcing him to be! We are better today, at the end of 2018 than we were at the end of 2017. What a difference a year can make!

We started the year with a trip to Disney World and my first 10k race. We traveled to see our youngest son and daughter-in-law. We explored more of Arizona. We went to movies. I supported my husband as he planned and then completed one of his bucket list items—hiking the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim in one day and the bonus was our youngest son and daughter-in-law hiking it with him. We had visitors. We hosted Christmas events. We had a backyard oasis created and I spent lots of time in our new pool. And I reconnected last month with a long-lost dear friend, a sweet unexpected gift this past year.

2018 found us rediscovering “us”. And leaving the stress behind.

As I sit her reflecting on the past year, I am not only at peace, but I am enjoying the memories, the lessons learned and the personal growth that occurred this past year.

And I am ready to leap into 2019.

I am excited for what this next year holds for me and for my family.

As I have said in the past, I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, because they just don’t work for me… I am not good at them. So instead I commit to new things, new ways of thinking and mantras. The past couple of years have involved pushing past my fears and embracing adventure. I have spent the past couple of years saying yes and pushing myself to discover what I am capable of. And it has worked. Most of the time, anyway.

So, as I look toward the new year, I am excited. 2019 is going to be a year of discovery, growth, taking chances, trying new things and change.

Change has always scared me. Change has always been uncomfortable. So, I want to embrace change and use it in this New Year to help me to grow, to rediscover or maybe to redefine who I am and what I am capable of. I know I am stronger than I thought I was and that was proven the past few years. But now I want to know what more I am capable of and what my next adventure, next calling is.

And that is what 2019 will be about for me.

I am starting this new journey with a change in the first weeks of January. I am making a change that has been a difficult decision for me but once I made it, I found a sense of calm. After 10 years, the last 4 years here in Arizona, I have decided to resign from my job with Weight Watchers (now known simply as WW) and yes, I have already let my boss and managers know that I am stepping down from my job as a Wellness Coach. I have loved helping others on their own journey to health and weight loss. And I will miss my weekly workshops. I will miss my teams. I will miss those I helped. And I will miss those I was inspired by each and every week. But it is time for me to move on and to take care of me. Time for me to focus on my family and myself. Time for me to step outside that comfort zone and make a change.

2019 is still 2 days away, but it is already getting off to a fresh new start.

And I am ready.

I am taking the leap….. let’s see where that leap takes me!

Just keep swimming…..

This past June I asked the members who attend my Weight Watchers meetings to set a summer goal and asked them where they wanted to be when September arrived.  Goals help to keep us focused and give us something to strive for.  And summer can be a difficult time… routine changes, kids home, travel, visitors, hot days and so much more can make summer a challenge when on this journey of weight loss and improved health.  So I asked them what would make them feel successful this summer and set the goal.

And then I did what I asked them to do and I set a summer goal for myself as well.  This summer I wanted to focus on what would get me back on track, help me feel more in control and help me to continue improving my health….physically and mentally.

20180528_072329_HDR copyThis year we got a pool in our backyard… really we had an entire yard built for us, pool and so much more.  The pool has been my calm place, my meditative place, and my active space.  I love the water.  Our pool is 31 feet in length so that I could swim laps.  I love to swim the length of our pool over and over.  It is so soothing.

It was while I was in the pool that I decided on my summer goal—I would swim the length of our pool 100 times.  When I set the goal I was swimming 10 lengths and then pausing before doing another 10.  So, okay, goal set!  It may take me all summer….maybe into the first week of September, but I was going to do it.

A month into the summer I got up early one morning and swam 70 lengths of the pool… 70!  This was going to be easy to hit my summer goal.

And then I went back to 50 lengths.  It was hard to keep track of the laps in my head and starting out it sounded like a lot to do.  But I was still enjoying my swim time.

In July I joined a team to participate in another challenge that got me walking again and had me figuring out how many lengths in the pool I would need to do to swim a mile—170!  That was too many!  85 lengths for half a mile was more achievable and would help me get to my summer goal, so I started swimming a half mile in the mornings…. Not every morning, but some.  It felt good, but boy was I tired by the 85 length.

A quarter of a mile was more achievable for me, so that became my normal swim.  And then last week I checked in with my members to see how their summer goals were going…we were now in our last month of our summer goal.  And that is when I realized I still had not met my goal.  I had until the end of the month to achieve the goal of swimming 100 lengths of our pool… 3100 feet!

Yesterday I didn’t have a chance to get in the pool, so I decided last night that I would get up and swim early this morning and just add 5 lengths to my half mile for a total of 90.  Okay I could do that!  It was just another 5 beyond what I had already shown I could do.  And then by next weekend I could hit my goal.

This morning I got up early and stepped into the cool water in our pool.  I needed some way to keep track of these laps because 90 was a lot and I knew I would get lost in my thoughts.  And really, 90 seemed like way too much.  How would I do this?

Determined to do this swim, I grabbed 9 small rocks from our yard, 1 rock for every 10 lengths of the pool.  Okay, looking at the rocks, yes that seemed doable.  And I began to swim…. First 10 and a pause to move one rock to another area.

And I swam another 10, moving another rock.  Wow, this was easier than I thought.  I was focusing on 10 at a time and I didn’t need to count higher.  Each rock I moved meant I had done 10 and then I would say I could do another 10.  I kept going and before I knew it I had more rocks in the done pile than in the need to do pile.  That was motivating.

Finally, I moved that 9th rock!  Done.  But I could do 10 more to hit my goal.  I know I can…. So I did another 10.  100 laps, 3100 feet, more than half a mile!  I was so thrilled to have achieved a goal I had set for myself…..

And then I thought well, how many for a mile….. okay let’s see what I can do.  And I grabbed 7 more rocks, not really expecting to get to 170 lengths but I was going to go until I was too tired to go any farther…. And I swam, focusing on 10 at a time and moving a rock after every 10.  After moving 3 of those rocks, having now completed 130 lengths of my pool, my mind was telling me that I had already gone beyond my goal, did I really need to continue?

Yes, the mind is powerful and my mind, my doubts, were working to get me to stop, to be happy with what I had achieved.  I had reached my summer goal a week early and didn’t need to do more.  And yes, I was very happy with myself at that moment, but as I moved that 4th rock, I said, just 10 more….. and I kept going….. just 10 more…..

rocks 2And then I moved that last rock.  I had done it!  1 hour and 15 minutes after starting, I had completed 170 lengths in my pool and 1 mile!!  I DID IT!

Not only did I hit my summer goal, I crushed it!  I pushed through my thoughts of stopping and completed something I wasn’t sure I could do.  I kept going.  And it was because I broke the bigger goal into smaller goals.  Saying I was going to swim 100 laps seemed daunting, but 10…well that I could do.  And when I reached that 100, I was able to push myself outside that comfort zone beyond what I thought I could do and go farther, 10 lengths at a time.  Just 10.

Weight Watchers is about more than counting points and losing weight….so much more.  Because of Weight Watchers I have learned so many skills, changed habits, discovered just how much I can do, and found a belief in me that my younger self never dreamed was possible.  I am grateful for all that I have learned and continue to learn through my journey with Weight Watchers, becoming the best and healthiest version of me that I can be.

Setting goals keeps me motivated and gives me something to strive for.  And when the long-term goal seems too big or too far away or unreachable, setting a smaller goal makes it more achievable.  And that is what I did this morning, just 10 at a time and all those 10’s added up to a BIG 170!!  Reaching goals, well it feels AMAZING!  It gives me a boost in my confidence and has me feeling like I can take on anything and conquer it!  IT may take some time, I may not be perfect at it, but I will get there. One step at a time, one small goal at a time!

I will get there by taking that leap….. one small leap at a time!

Finding Calm in the Water

Water…. soothing, peaceful, healing……

I have always been attracted to water whether it was a stream, lake, river, ocean and yes, even a pool.

For two summers in a row while I was young, my mom would take us on summer vacation to Bend, OR, and we would stay in a hotel right on the river. I loved that spot. I would walk down and climb around the river, listening to the sound the water made as it ran through, over and around the rocks. I loved that sound…. It was soothing. And there on the river I would relax.

There was also a pool at that hotel and I swam as much as I could. My mom called me a fish. I loved to be in water, feeling the coolness roll over my skin, floating…. letting the water take all my cares away.

There have been many pool, lake, river and ocean swims since those early summers with my mom, each bringing peace to my soul.

I told my husband many times over the years that I would really like to have a pool of my own, in my backyard that I could use anytime I wanted. We both dreamed about the forever home we would one day have and the pool we would build (even if it had to be an indoor pool in the Pacific Northwest!).

And then we moved to Arizona…. a pool year ‘round!

This past week our pool was finally finished and we could swim.

I knew I would love having a pool, even with the work it would take to keep it clean and running…. I just KNEW I was going to love it…

I was right. I have been in our pool at least twice a day, and sometimes more, since it has been full of water and running. I love swimming. I love floating. I love the water.

And I have found the place where I can be mindful…. And just breathe.

I knew I would love the pool but what I didn’t realize was just how much I needed the pool and how much my time spent in it would soothe my soul, bringing peace and calmness to my crazy life.

So early in the morning, before anyone else was up in the house, I got in my swimsuit and headed out to the pool. The water was COLD! At first anyway….

I braved the cold and swam. I started out swimming laps for exercise. But soon, I was not counting the laps anymore…I was just swimming….and noticing……

The birds were serenading me as I moved silently through the water. One bird, in particular, sang to me… different notes, different sounds…all from the same bird. It was if the bird was trying out every “ring tone” it had in its repertoire, making me smile as I listened and swam. Birds were flying above me and they were beautiful.

Early morning, just me and the birds… oh and the cow! At first I thought someone was disturbing my peace and yelling, but alas it was a cow that had wandered from its home and it was talking to me through the wall. I laughed.

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As I swam one direction in the pool, I could feel the cool water passing slowly over my body. And then I noticed my shadow, swimming slightly ahead of me. Beautiful. My inner child was there swimming with me, enjoying the serenity of the morning…. Happy!

Swimming back the other direction, instead of my shadow swimming, I noticed the light from the sun dancing along the bottom of the pool, creating light green and blue designs that delighted my heart and mesmerized my soul. Stunning!

And then I noticed the sparkle of the sea glass and abalone in the pool interior. Wow! It was if there were hundreds of crystals and gems sparkling just for me. Again, I smiled.

I floated for a bit and noticed the dancing light bouncing off of the water, dancing on the wall and trees beyond. Dancing just for me, to the music created by the birds all around. Beautiful. Soulful.

This was my moment. My mindful moment. Here I was, alone with the natural world around me, soothed by the water. And I was just there. Present. Mindful.

I spent time last week talking with the members in my Weight Watchers meetings about being mindful… present….. in the here and now….. and how much our minds and souls need those moments to just take a pause, a step back and breathe.

And that is just what I did for the couple of hours I was in the pool. I was there. Present. Mindful. And I just breathed. The worries of yesterday were gone. The worries of tomorrow were gone. The “to do” list for the day forgotten. It was just me, the water, the birds and my prayers.

Mindful, present moments help us to recharge, renew and begin the day in a calm way.

Who knew that having a pool would be one of the things I would need to soothe my soul and take my cares and stress away?

You will find me, many times a day, in the pool…. swimming, enjoying, relaxing and breathing!

“I have been waiting my whole life for this”

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I have heard this phrase many times….and even shared it with the members who attend my meetings. I talk a lot to others about being kind to ourselves….

“Would you say that to a friend?” “What if a friend said that? How would you respond?”

We are our own worst critics and sometimes…. actually often…our first thoughts, those words we say to ourselves are not kind…

“That was stupid!” “Really? How stupid was that?” “I am so fat!” Well, you get the idea.

The thing is, I talk to others about being kind and about that voice inside their heads. But I forget to listen to my own advice sometimes….don’t we all?

And today, as I looked in the mirror, I said some not so nice things…out loud. And my husband was there. And he looked at me and asked, “What would you say if one of your members said those words?”

SMACK! Way to hit me with my own words!

And I stopped and thought about it for a minute. What would I say when someone says “I am so disgusted! Look at this! Just disgusting!” I wouldn’t agree with them that is for sure. I would tell them they were beautiful! And I would ask them to focus on that one thing they find positive about their bodies, instead of the things that is driving the negative voice.

So, my husband was right to ask me that (please don’t tell him I said so!).

And that little exchange had me thinking or rather rethinking how I am talking to myself and about myself. Because, yes, my body hears EVERYTHING my mind thinks and says. And I have worked REALLY hard to get that voice out of my head…the one I grew up listening to that told me I was worthless, not pretty, not funny, not…. anything!

I have worked REALLY hard to get rid of my dad’s voice telling me at every chance he could that I wasn’t good enough…..NEVER good enough…..and his words became my words…..after all, I must have been ugly, disgusting and worthless because my own father, the one man who was supposed to protect and love me, said those things about me.

It took me more than 40 years to FINALLY realize that I AM WORTH IT! I AM BEAUTIFUL! And I got there by believing in myself, by looking for the positives to focus on rather than the negative, by saying those four words (I am worth it!) every day looking in the mirror and by forgiving my dad (more one day about forgiving someone who never believed they needed to be forgiven). It took a lot of my life to finally be my own friend and to treat myself as I would a friend.

Still, there are times that despite the changes and despite thinking that I have gotten rid of that voice, well……it creeps in and it takes me a minute to realize what is happening…..and then I kick that voice right out of my head. My dad was the one with the problem, not me. And it was because of his inner ugliness that he had to make me feel less than…..

But no more. A loving reminder from my husband and I am back to being kind. It took me a long, long, long time to get here and A LOT of tears….so there is NO going back. I may slip into an old habit, we all do, but I will not stay there.

I am no one’s victim! I am me…beautiful, caring, loving, adventurous me! And I am worth it! Every day!