Sunday, July 6, 2014


Numbers are hard to talk about because numbers don’t lie.  It’s easy to talk about ideas and dreams and goals because those things don’t *have* to be real; if they never come to fruition, there are means to justify why.  But numbers… they are concrete.

When it comes to losing weight, numbers mean a lot.  And it’s not simply the number of pounds – calories eaten, weights lifted, miles ran, sizes worn, inches lost, and so on.  Simply relying on one doesn’t tell the whole story.  Together they are a collection of where you were and where you are going; what you achieved.  Yes, you can have a goal to run 13.1 miles, but there are so many more miles run in between.  Yes, you can lost 10 pounds, but you might have gained muscle and lost a certain number of inches or dress sizes.

It’s a nice idea to say that numbers don’t matter, but at times when your goal is to take one more step, lose one more pound, or anything concrete to feel accomplished and to feel like what you’re doing is actually worth it, it is important to have something that reflects the challenges and that feels like a reward.

And I am a numbers person.  I am judged by my numbers in my job – making cost, meeting schedule, analyses resulting in impactful ways, etc.  So is it any wonder that numbers flow over into my non-work / everyday life?

So this is where / when I need to be honest to myself.  Unfortunately I haven’t tracked a lot of the numbers listed above over the years, but I have tracked my weight and while weight isn’t reflective of the whole, it is something tangible at this point in my process.

Today I weigh:
- 21 pounds more than I did the day I was married.
- 2 pounds more than I did the day I gave birth to Anna.
- 40 pounds more than I did the day I went back to work after giving birth to Anna.
- 12 pounds less than my heaviest weight ever, which was when I was pregnant with Raven.
- 80 pounds more than the day I graduated from high school.
- 53 pounds more than the day I graduated from college.
- 33 pounds more than what my driver’s license says.

I don’t have to tell you what that number is.  When I reach my goals, perhaps you’ll be able to back figure it out if that is your desire.  By then I won’t care.  Today I care, today it hurts, and today it speaks to me as to what it is I need to do.

There is the truth.  The black and gray and white of this situation.

Other thoughts:
- In preparing for this blog post, I read some fascinating articles on “vanity sizing” and how sizes have changed over the years.  It was interesting and a bit bothersome to see that today’s size 00 is a size 8 from 1950.  I truly hope that size 00 girls don’t see that and try to figure out how to make themselves even smaller.
- Even though we as women are still very mean to ourselves, we’re a whole lot nicer than we were “back then”.  Shaming isn’t healthy, no matter what.


I’m pretty sure that calling girls “chubbies” didn’t help them and could have easily been onset for eating disorders or other issues.
- I have to be careful around my girls because I don’t want them to see a mom who is sad about herself/her appearance, I don’t want them to see a mom who shames herself.  I really don’t know how or where my girls learned the word “fat” already, and I sure as heck hope it wasn’t from me, but my daughter already knows that I am “fat” – and she is six. 
- There’s a fine balance between becoming healthy and fit and being obsessed with being healthy and fit.  Keeping that in mind on this journey is all important.
- I’m really glad women don’t really wear corsets anymore.  Though Spanx and the like are fairly popular, so maybe we do and we just call them something different.  Yep, I think that’s it.  (They CAN make clothes look nicer on a body – “can”, being the operative word.)
- It is okay and necessary to feel good about yourself as a person along the way.  Shaming oneself into submission, so to speak, doesn’t work very well.  It never has for me in the past and won’t now.

So.  For now.  And a few thoughts with respect that.  A very hard post to write; a harder one to publish.  Hopefully one someday I can look back on and be proud of.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Tale of Two Tattoos

On June 14, 2013, I found out that I had leukemia.  This was also the day of my first bone marrow biopsy.  I held it all together fairly well while I was in the office, listening to the information, learning as much as I could, learning about a drug trial, reading my numbers and being taught what they understood, and enduring a biopsy.

I wasn’t so calm and collected while driving from Aurora to Arvada.

It was on that drive that I decided I would get the tattoo I always wanted to get when I knew I was done having children, and on that day, I knew.  I knew I was done having children.  So I drove to see Adam at Colorado Plus, and then I drove to a tattoo parlor.  And I got this:

photo 1 (2)

This tattoo – the idea of this tattoo – spoke to me.  It grounded me.  It reminded me from where I came, who I had been determined to be, and who I was in my life – a physics-geeky engineer, a wife, a mother.  Cancer had nothing on me.  Cancer has nothing on me.  I didn’t let it that day.  And as I sat in the tattoo parlor chair enduring some slightly stinging bites into my wrist, I willed away the pain in my pelvic bone and relished my life.

That was almost a year ago.

A couple of weeks ago my friend Chrissy came to visit; she has been one of my dearest friends for over a decade, and we have lived apart longer than we ever lived in the same town.  We had a lot of good discussion about her life; about my life.  About our passions.  And one of the things we talked about was getting a tattoo together; something we had considered many years before but there never was one we had settled on.

Chrissy had introduced me to this Jim Carrey commencement address, during which he said, “So many of us chose our path out of fear disguised as practicality…… I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

Love over fear.  Choose love over fear.  Love expands your world; fear contracts it.  Even the Bible preaches this and it was ironic that just the week before we had listened to a sermon series about movies during which they discussed the Love and Fear in the movie Frozen

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

Discussing this; it felt as though the very tattoo we were expected to get together was born.

And of course we had to add a bit of geek to it.  Love.  Over.  Fear.  Get it?

photo 2 (2)

And this is where things got a little Twilight Zone on me.

We went to get our tattoos at the same tattoo parlor (Old World Tattoo) that I had gone to last year.  And, crazy enough, we had the same tattoo artist that I had last year.  And then it hit me.  It was exactly a year to the day that I had gotten my left wrist tattoo of the atom; here I was getting one for my right.  A year to the day.  June 14, 2014.

This is where you say, “hey, cool, but whatever, you are all crazy stoked over something dumb,” but people, it’s been a long year.  While my life might not nearly the hardships that others have had, it had been a wild year.  There were ups and downs and so much so that I felt like I was coming to the end of the right of a very intense roller coaster.  Adrenaline.  A little bit of let down.  Fatigue.  Anxiety.  Excitement.  I have been a bundle of nerves and a bundle of emotions and a bundle, period, for the last year.  The intensity doesn’t have words.  I have struggled with my faith, I have struggled with my role at work, I have struggled with my place in life.  And yet that one weekend was so uplifting and the acceptance of love over fear so freeing… there is so much to do and so much to say and so much to learn and yet, I feel like I have turned a corner that I didn’t believe existed.

So now I’ll get a little more nerdy on you.

I’ve been thinking about this blog post for a few days.  Love over fear.  Love over fear.  Love expands; fear contracts.  Love is infinite.  Fear becomes nothing in the face of love.  Infinity over zero is infinity.  Fear cannot win when overcome with love.

The end.