Give Up OR Give Thanks?

I just realized that I missed doing yesterday’s Thanks post on my Body By BrendaT Facebook page.
But seeing how Day 24 – Wisdom
and Day 25 – Lesson from a Trial
Both hit me in quite the same place in my heart right now, I decided to do them together as a blog since I knew it would go a little long 🙂
I am beyond Thankful for the Wisdom that I have learned during the past stressful year and a half. I know it may seem like I harp on it, but some of this is taking me a long time to process, deal with, and get through. My Dad becoming someone I didn’t recognize, to selling my childhood home, where the BEST Mom in the world helped me get through some pretty F’d up Crap!, to watching my Dad slip away and the aftermath of grief, guilt, heartache, stress, and questioning myself time and time and time again, if I handled everything the best that I could. Was there ANYTHING that I didn’t do that would have made things better for him or my family?
But recently, I went through a program, that is helping me realize that I need to just STOP questioning all of that. It is in the past and nothing I can do now will EVER change PAST EVENTS! I am letting my past once again control my present and future! My head is so full of the POSSIBILITY of regrets that I might find if I think of a way that I SHOULD have done something in the past, that I am not letting in all the AMAZING things that will lead me to an even MORE AMAZING future!
I am not saying I am “fixed”. I am still a work in progress on this one, but every step forward is a step in the right direction.
A step I will be taking this weekend, is putting up my Christmas decorations. If you know me, you know that Christmas has ALWAYS been my favorite time of year! I love that people smile just a little bit more, and give just a little extra effort. And I also LOVE the lights, the joy, the brightness that all of my decorations bring to my home.
This year, I have just not “felt” it yet. It feels like something I “have to do”. I don’t have children. I don’t have big parties or gatherings for family and friends, so I don’t have that to worry about. But I have come to the conclusion, that I do need to do it for ME! I love it, and isn’t doing something nice just for me worth it? I think so, and I am hoping it will be another nudge in the right direction towards my healing.
light to darkness
You see, I live right on a busy highway, and hundreds of people have honked or stopped or told me through Facebook or friends that my home at Christmas makes our dark tiny little town a little brighter. So if the brightness of my home can bring a tad bit of joy to someone on their way home from work after an exceptionally CRAPPY day, so that by the time they get home to their family, they are in a better mood, then it was all worth it. Because sharing joy is what makes ME happy! That is why I have continued to smile even though inside, many times recently, I would have rather crawled back under my Rock Bottom Boulder.
So, how does this all fall into my fitness world?  I was cruising along in maintenance having lost well over 125# and keeping it off for 4 years, but in the last 2, I have gained back enough that I am barely a 100# weight loss success story at this point.  I have been struggling to be OK with me.  But you know what I also realized on this journey?  I don’t have to be perfect for anyone to love me!  And if someone IS looking for perfection, then there are a lot of starving fitness models that they can follow.  Me myself, I struggle with emotional eating and days where I just don’t get everything done, so food prep or a workout may suffer!
But I do MY best every day!  And for me, THAT is what most people are looking for.  It is watching me work through my struggles that shows my strength, not just seeing the pics that I feel show me at my best!
So I am Thankful for the wisdom and lessons that this trial period in my life has brought to my life.  I am learning to love me for me, and not just for what I have accomplished.  I am NOT a failure, I just found out that I need to deal with stress and trials a little bit differently if I want to have the future I dream of.
My dreams are big.
My dreams scare me.
My dreams will take a lot of work.
My dreams WILL be my reality!
Show Gratitude and Thanks every day for the blessings in your life!
 Happy-ThanksgivingLove. Peace. And Fitness!

MAKE today GREAT!!!

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The Dimming of a Light


Before you even ask, YES, I know it is Spring, and YES, I know this is a picture of a Christmas tree 🙂

But when I was searching for a different picture this morning, I came across this one and burst into tears!

You see, the search I did was celebrating memories.  And although this picture is associated with celebrating Christmas and happy memories of Christmases passed, what I saw was the dark tree in the front, and I started to cry.

As I watch my Dad drifting away, I try to focus only on the wonderful memories we all had as a family.  I try to think only about where he is going, and that he will finally be out of pain.  He has suffered so much over the last several years, and I think God is finally getting him ready to relieve him and take Home. That is what I am TRYING to do.  But in reality, I am sad.  Sad and scared!  Mom left us 12 years ago, and the thought of both of them being gone, is terrifying me.  The changes and drifting that seems to inevitably happen when common bonds in a family are gone. I know I am NOT the best sister in the world to begin with when it comes to keeping in touch, that I admit.  But the fear of losing the last common bond with my siblings, makes me feel fear. Will I also lose the only other people who share memories of the good parts of my past?

The trees in this picture made me realize that even though the lights may have faded out, the memories still live on in our hearts and in our minds, just beyond where the present lives.

So even in our worst and darkest of times, we must try to focus on the good and the light.  The light is what will guide you through to the next part of your life’s journey.  I know it is sometimes difficult to let go of the familiar and go forward into the unknown. The fears that come with change and loss are very real.  But we must remember that even when lights burn out, our memories of the light are still present. Each time we access that memory, that light will live on forever in our hearts and will help continue to guide us through.

Share your Joy!

Share your Light!

It’s OK to have an “off” day!

I hope as you read this you are happy and well!  However, this post is about getting past the days you are not.

I am having one of those today.  It actually kind of started with a rough yesterday.  A tweaked back muscle and having to cut my workout VERY short along with being a bit down anyway, led to a bit of emotional eating of grazing on almonds and whole grain crackers and hummus off and on all day .  I hate being reminded that I am NOT Super Woman! 😦

super woman fire


I think the “off” mood was my brain leading up to today.

You see, today marks the 12th year since my Mom passed away.  I miss her everyday, but on March 9th every year for the past dozen years now, my heart feel like it is breaking in half just like it did on this day 12 years ago.  My Mom was my very best friend in the world.  And I can’t imagine I will ever get used to not being able to pick up the phone to talk to her.

Last week when I hit Diamond Rank in my Beachbody Business, all I wanted to do was talk to my Mom.  I was actually proud of myself!  I may have taken me a much longer time than some people to accomplish, but I had some fears, self-doubt, and serious self-confidence issues to overcome.  And I am doing it!  Diamond to me meant that my light was FINALLY shining through.

But just like everyday for the last 12 years, I knew I could not pick up the phone to call her.  Not even to share good news.  This morning, as I got ready for work, I could not help but go back to that day.  It was an unusually gorgeous and warm Sunday for early March, and I had been working out in my yard, when the call came from my Dad.  Tony got it, and told me I needed to get to town, that my Dad thought my Mom was dead.  Well, if you knew what a fighter my Mom was over the years, and all of the times we could have lost her, him saying that he “thinks” she is dead, I will honestly say, that I thought there was still hope.  By the time I drove in the 30 minutes from my house to theirs, the ambulance was pulling away with the lights and sirens going, but I would soon find out that it was already too late.  I was not going to get to say good-bye.

I still remember exactly how her hand felt and looked as I knelt next to that gurney in the Emergency Room holding it that night.  Knowing that she would no longer have to go through anymore pain was some consolation, but selfishly, I really just WANTED HER BACK!  We had a wedding to plan!  I was getting married in 6 weeks!  How do you do that without your Mom AND Best Friend?  My heart was breaking.  A piece of it was gone.

So today as I relive these moments again and again in my mind, I realize now why, even though I have finally began to let people back in, I still keep them at about an arms reach.  I have been blessed with so many new friends, but it is hard for me to let down all of my walls.  A broken heart bruises easily, and I tend to protect mine with iron fists.

missing mom


So as I close this, I just want you to know that you are going to have “off” days.  Have them.  Feel them.  Learn from them.  But then let them go.  Don’t let a dark moment in time take away all of the light ahead.  I did that for a very long time, and I thank God for leading me our from under my Rock Bottom.  Although I may visit that place occasionally nowadays, I will NEVER put up residence there again!





YOU have the power.

MAKE today GREAT!!!

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