Mindset is Key!

In my last post, I explained that things were about to get bumpy, so we’re going to dive into some complex subjects that are essential if you genuinely want to improve yourself.

I mentioned how I could not help you find your epiphany, but my friends have encouraged me to delve further into how I reached mine. It’s not pretty, but if it helps someone, I’m all for sharing my truths.

I cannot recall a specific moment or pattern that led to that moment. Still, I can help break things down to explain how I went from the girl sitting on the couch eating Cheetos to the girl who walks an average of 5 miles a day and still enjoys Cheetos in moderation.

Before we get into my journey, however, let’s talk about you! When I was in school, I remember my teachers drilling in our heads to ask the five most important questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? 

So, when it comes to any significant change in your life, whether you want to get in shape, get your degree, or start a new hobby, whatever it is, your “who” should be yourself for two reasons,

  1. Change is never easy. It takes hard work, dedication, and focus. If you put that kind of pressure on someone else when times are tough, and they will be tough, you will grow to resent that person.
  2. When you make changes for yourself, you gain a deeper appreciation for who you are. You learn more about yourself. I cannot tell you the last time I felt so proud of myself! There is nothing I cannot learn. There is nothing I cannot achieve when I really put my mind to it (realistically speaking, for you smartasses thinking, “You can’t walk on water”).

Your “what” is whatever it is you want to change. You should focus on one item, but I can tell you once you start, do not be surprised if there is more you would like to improve. When I started focusing on my overall health, the weight loss came. When I obsessed over my weight, I made little progress. However, it can be overwhelming if you try to do too many things simultaneously. I will delve deeper into this later and share my mistakes, so hopefully, you can avoid them. So, if you want to lose weight, start with that, but do not obsess over it. Again, I will delve into this later. But it would help if you had an end goal in mind. My end goal has not changed, but my focus has. The second “what” is what do you need to do to get there? What is stopping you? Once you figure these out, your goal becomes achievable.

I would encourage your “when” to be as soon as possible. I understand that sometimes it is not possible to start immediately. Depending on your goal, sometimes it takes time and money before you can jump in, but make a plan and stick to it, and don’t put it off for the sake of putting it off. Do what you can to make it happen.

Your “where” will vary depending on what your goal is. If your goal is to lose a significant amount of weight, and you’ve been lazy, then you need to start at the beginning. If you’re primarily active but want to firm or tighten some areas, you can probably start at an intermediate level. Some goals might be a move, and your “where” could be a new city or town. Take note of your dream and figure out where you should start.

And lastly, your “why” can be other people, but for the reasons I mentioned above, achieving your goals for other people should not be your primary focus. Maybe you want to live longer to be around to see your grandchildren grow up, but your why can also be yourself. Perhaps you want to lower your cholesterol or get in shape to build stamina. Whatever it is, you have to find these for yourself.

My personal recommendation is a self-journal. Find deep questions that get you thinking, and learn to get to know yourself on a deeper level. I am always learning new things and finding new passions, and it’s exhilarating!

Changing Your Mindset

Grandma bought me a self-awareness journal, and I loved it because the questions were odd and unlike anything I had ever heard. This is where my love of self began. I really tapped into my talents, passions, and the woman I wanted to be. I want to make younger Kristian proud. I want to one day look back at where I am now and recognize my efforts to become my best self, achieve true happiness, and create the life I have always dreamed of.

To achieve this, I learned I needed to let go of the toxicity I had been holding onto.

Buckle up! This is where things get bumpy. I will also warn you that some of these confessions might be hard to read, especially for those of you who are close to me.

There were four people I needed to forgive, and I wrote them all letters that they would never read, but it got my emotions out on paper, and then, I burned all but one of them.

The first letter was to my mother. I hate saying this, but she verbally abused me. Now, let me clarify that I do not believe she did it with malicious intentions. I know my mother loved me very much, but she also did not understand me because I was so unlike the women she knew and the woman she was. She also put a lot of her own insecurities onto me. She did not realize that drilling into my head that beauty is the most important thing a woman can own and that a woman cannot be beautiful unless she has the perfect body would stick with me into adulthood. I developed early. I wore a B-cup before I ever left elementary school. I was “blessed” with an ample bosom, wide hips, and big bottom. But ya know what? Freddy Mercury said that Fat-Bottomed Girls make the rockin’ world go around, so you’re welcome, world!

I cannot help these things, and I wish instead of being criticized for them, my mother would have helped me understand that this was all part of becoming a woman, I just happened to develop before my friends, and that’s okay.

So, I wrote a letter to her after she died, and I said everything I never got to say. I disclosed how much pain she caused and how she made me feel like I was only ever second best (this was especially hard after another betrayal from the person who vowed to love me left me feeling the same way). I closed the letter with how much I love her, and I thanked her for teaching me to be both the woman I want to be and the woman I do not want to be. I explained that I understood she thought she was teaching me tough love, but love was not what came through to me, especially as a child who had no idea what it was like to be a woman.

It would appear I have always been weird!

The second letter was to my middle school best friend. We’ll call her Hope. Hope turned out to only be my friend when it was convenient for her. When my life started crumbling, she was nowhere to be found. She walked away from me when I needed her the most, but it taught me that she was never really my friend, and it brought my soul sister, Amanda, and me closer, so I also thanked her for that. I remember, after my mom died, watching Amanda chat with my brother as he made dinner. She knew where all the items he needed were, helped set the table, and sat beside me, every once in a while holding my hand. I remember looking over at her at one point and thinking, “I am so blessed. This woman genuinely loves me.” She and I have an unshakable bond, and although we have always been close, I realized then what true friendship was. It is not what I had with Hope. I will always cherish the memories I made with Hope and hope she has the life she has always dreamed of. I genuinely wish her well. I put all of this in the letter and then burned it.

The third letter was to my ex, the man who raped me. We will call him Donald. Donald was 6’3” and probably 250 lbs. He was stronger than I was, and I tried to fight back, which pissed him off, so he held me down by my throat. It is challenging to fight and try to breathe at the same time. He took something that did not belong to him, and after that incident, I became a scared woman. He started stalking me. He would randomly send me texts and tell me I looked good in whatever color scrubs I wore when I worked at the dental office. I would look out the window, and sure enough, he would be standing in the parking lot. He showed up at my last job and went to my boss’s boss and complained because I refused to be his financial counselor. I had to sit in an office and explain to the President, Vice-President, and my boss why I could not work with him, and I hated him for making me do that. It has been sixteen years, and to this day, whenever he sees me, he tells me he still fantasizes about it, tries to hug me, or makes a scene. Fortunately, I do not see him that often anymore. I ran into him last fall at a gas station, and he walked up behind me and placed his hands on my hips, and it was I who made a scene.

After all the pain he has caused, I also learned the woman I did not want to be. I hated being that scared girl who could not walk through a dark parking lot alone, slept with a weapon next to her bed, and obsessively checked that every door and window was locked before taking a shower. As hard as it was, I forgave him. Not for his sake, but for mine, and despite everything, I do not wish him ill. I hope he has never hurt another woman, and I hope he never will. I put all of this in the letter and then burned it.

The last letter was to me. I apologized for allowing myself to become the woman who sat on the couch eating Cheetos. I explained that I was not responsible for the daughter my mother wanted me to be, and her opinion of me did not define my worth. I apologized for my self-loathing and that the people who had betrayed me did not do so because I was not good enough, they did so because that is their character, which was also a hard thing to accept, but at least it took the pressure off of me. I apologized for putting myself in the situation with my ex, for allowing him to manipulate and gaslight me, and I promised myself that I would grow strong, learn some self-defense, and never again ignore my intuition when it is screaming at me to run. I did not burn that letter. I still have it, and any time I feel discouraged, I pull it out and remind myself that I am worth the effort. I deserve love so deeply it can move mountains, and I deserve that love from myself. I am not the things that happened to me, and I refuse to let these things harden me. My light is what makes me who I am, and I am proud of it. I will never again allow anyone or anything to douse it.

I was pretty at a size 22, I am pretty now, and I will be pretty at my goal size. I am worth the effort it takes to get there because it’s what I want, and I love myself enough to give that to me.

You, my dear friends, are worthy of that same effort. You are also beautiful no matter where you are. You are worthy of happiness, love, and light, especially from yourself. So shine, my kings and queens, and go after your dreams. It doesn’t matter what size you are, what you look like, how old you are, or anything else you think might be standing in your way. Kick it to the curb and go after your dreams.


Love & life lessons,


Posted in Lessons, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Balloon Animals

Cindy Bradley was a 68-year-old woman who did not look a day over fifty-five. She attributed her youthful appearance to mud masks, yoga, and herbal teas. Cindy was Aunt Mary’s best friend, and Brooklyn had always looked up to her. In fact, before Kent came into the picture, she always thought Cindy was the woman she would become.

Cindy was twice divorced and once widowed. She lived in a small cottage in the woods where she kept a cannabis garden, painted, and cared for chickens. She had long, beautiful silver hair and always wore bohemian skirts.


As Brooklyn grabbed the steak from the butcher, Cindy gave her the side eye.

“Seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through for a man you haven’t seen in weeks.”

Brooklyn giggled, “It was neither of our faults, Aunt Cindy. I had to go back to Maryland to finalize a few things, and Kent’s workload just keeps getting heavier.”

“Yeah, but Mary said he overlooks things sometimes. Like the time he was traveling and didn’t check in with you all day, and you spent the entire day worrying. No wonder he calls himself an idiot.”

“Hey!” Brooklyn defended, “He’s not an idiot. He’s just clueless sometimes. And I’ve never said I need him to reach out more, so I don’t expect him to read my mind. Besides, I know how he is, and I know he loves me. I don’t sweat the small stuff.”

“Well, I am glad you live closer now, even if you did move here for a man.” Cindy wrapped an arm around her shoulder as they made their way through Broad Street Market, catching up with Aunt Mary who was looking at the freshly cut flowers.

Brooklyn immediately rushed to the table with the birds of paradise plants and floral clippings.

“Don’t tell me those are for Kent, too?” Cindy inquired.

Brooklyn smiled, “Yes. They’re his favorite, and I am not sure he has ever received flowers.”

“Uncle Bob likes roses. I think I’ll bring him some,” Aunt Mary smiled. “Our little hopeless romantic has inspired me.” She kissed her niece’s temple.

After purchasing the flowers, Brooklyn turned and noticed the cheese shop.

“I want to go sample the cheeses,” she grinned widely.

“Now, that’s the kind of romance I’m looking for,” Cindy commented as she grabbed Brooklyn’s arm.

“While you ladies are picking out cheese, I am going to go get that lotion for Bob’s….” Aunt Mary paused as she tried to recall the word. “What do you call the useless piece of skin attached to a penis?”

“A Man?” Cindy replied without missing a beat.

Brooklyn doubled over in laughter, and her laugh was so contagious strangers passing by started laughing along with her.

After Kent parked his car, he noticed he had a missed message. He hadn’t looked at his phone all day. The text was from Brooklyn. Two simple emojis they sent to one another when they wanted to say, “I love you,” “I’m thinking of you,” or “Kisses.”

Kent couldn’t help the smile that crossed his face, and although he was only seconds from seeing her, he replied with their insignia.

Brooklyn was expecting Kent, so she checked her phone immediately when she heard the ping alerting her she had a message. She smiled as soon as she saw his name. He was her favorite notification.

As soon as she saw the text message, there was a knock at the door. “That was quick,” she said aloud.

She opened the door, and Kent held out a bouquet of lilies. Brooklyn immediately started giggling.

Kent looked around the flowers and raised a questioning eyebrow until he saw her. She was wearing a short, off-the-shoulder, floral dress and pink, thigh-high, heeled boots.

“You look ravishing.” He pulled her close and kissed her deeply.

She grabbed his hand and pulled him over to the dining room table. “I bought you flowers, too.”

Kent smiled, “We really do think so much alike.”

Brooklyn chuckled, and Kent could never get enough of the sound.

“I know you have had a rough couple of weeks, so I’m making all your favorites this weekend,” she smiled as she wrapped her arms around his neck.

“Getting to see you is gift enough, but I love your thoughtfulness. How did I get so lucky?” He bent down to kiss her.

“That’s not all,” she smiled at him. “I have a whole weekend of dates planned, but this ties into it.” She ran into the living room, grabbed the paper bag with handles, and handed it to him.

He opened the bag and found a balloon animal kit. It made him chuckle. One of the very first conversations they had was about how he could make balloon animals, and when she asked him what animals he could make, he responded with “Snake or eel.”

It made her laugh, and they have been bonded ever since.

“Now, I know you’re not big on reading instructions, but I think, in this case, it might be helpful,” she teased.

“Har, har,” he mocked laughter as he grabbed her sides and tickled her, making her squeal.

“I’ll set the table. Where are the plates?”

Brooklyn pointed to the cabinet he needed as she put the final touches on dinner but was distracted as she watched her boyfriend roll the sleeves of his dress shirt up to his elbows. She didn’t know exactly why she found that particular gesture so hot, but it drove her crazy. Kent’s sexy forearms did not help matters.

“So I know we’ve known each other for a while,” Brooklyn started before sipping her wine.

“This steak is delicious,” he complimented her.

“Thank you,” she smiled.

“So, yes, we’ve known each other for a while….” he reminded her of where she was.

“But I really want to get to know you, and now that we’re dating, you should know that I have a habit of asking random questions to get to know people on a deeper level.”

“I actually love that,” he responded. “Whatcha got for me?”

She had just taken a bite of baked potato, so she held up a finger to let him know she needed a minute.

“What do you consider the five most beautiful things on earth?”

“Couldn’t have started with something easy like what’s your favorite color?”

Brooklyn chuckled. “That doesn’t really tell me anything about you other than your favorite color. This question allows me to really get to know you. And it’s my favorite.”

“Do you mean generally speaking? Cause I could tell you five beautiful places I think you should see before you die, but if you mean in a general sense, then I’m going to need some time to think.”

“Yes, generally speaking, and take your time.”

They ate in silence for a minute or two while Kent composed his thoughts.

“Sunrises,” he began. “That time of day is quiet and still, and the sunrise brings a new day and opportunities. It reminds us to be thankful for the time we are given.”

Brooklyn nodded in agreement.

“Random kindness,” Kent continued. “Those moments when we witness strangers doing something good for someone else without the need or want for something in return. Like picking up a dropped wallet and handing it back to the person who dropped it. It reminds me that we all genuinely do care about one another.”

Brooklyn smiled. “This is the best answer to this question I have heard so far.”

“Music, because, well, music.”

“I completely understand,” she nodded emphatically.

“I figured as much.” He took a sip of iced green tea before continuing. “Language. I know it might seem strange, but I love language. It is our ability to express everything we know, see, hear, and touch. We can express anything from our belief in God to our favorite food. The power of words to move each other in different ways, for good or bad. It is the way we bond and connect. I find it beautiful.”

Brooklyn did not think it was possible, but she found herself falling even deeper in love with him.

“And you, because you are all of those things wrapped into one beautiful woman.”

Brooklyn blushed deeply, and Kent found her adorable. They chatted as they finished dinner, and Kent picked up the wine bottle to pour his girlfriend another glass.

She placed her hand on his forearm to stop him. “I  am baking us chocolate chip cookies, so I shouldn’t have a second glass.”

He sat the bottle down and looked her in the eye. “Will you have more than one cookie?”

“I shouldn’t.” She answered.

“Depriving yourself to show some self-discipline is something I am all for, but sweetheart, if you are depriving yourself because you don’t think you deserve it, or because you think one extra glass of wine when you barely drink it anyway, or an extra cookie when you rarely eat sweets is going to hinder the progress you have made, you are wrong. You deserve to indulge a little. Please, just relax and enjoy yourself. We’re going to burn off those calories all weekend anyway.” He winked at her.

Brooklyn swooned, which was easy to do with Kent. He had been making her swoon since his very first comment on one of her blog posts.

“You’re going to spoil me.”

“Get used to it.”

He cleaned up from dinner as she made the cookies. As soon as they were in the oven, he grabbed her and spun her around the kitchen. She could not wipe the smile from her face as they moved together.

“So, what’s the theme of the dates this weekend?” Kent inquired.

“We are reverting to our childhood,” she explained, “I recorded our favorite Looney Tunes episodes and picked up your favorite cereal. I also found some YouTube tutorials on making balloon animals, and I thought we could make corn soup with rivets.”

“So those are all my favorite things, what are your favorite things?”

She smiled, “I thought we’d play some things by ear, maybe picnic in the backyard and make shapes out of clouds or have a bonfire with s’mores?”

“Why not both?”

Brooklyn started to answer, but before she could utter a word, Kent continued.

“And if you tell me you shouldn’t have s’mores, I am going to smack you.” He playfully smacked her butt.

“Don’t tempt me with a good time,” she giggled as she raised her eyebrows up and down a couple of times.

They built a blanket fort in the living room, ate warm chocolate chip cookies with milk (Brooklyn had three cookies), and watched as much of The Goonies as they could until Kent and Brooklyn could not keep their hands off each other. She drove him crazy in her short dress, and he had been driving her crazy all day with his playfulness, sexual innuendos, and his black dress shirt that made her knees weak every time he wore it.

Kent could handle any stress work threw at him as long as he could fall in Brooklyn’s arms.

Posted in Ficton, Love | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Throwback Thursday #22

The quote is by Dylan Thomas. One of my all-time favorite poets!

A few of my friends are struggling with some things right now. Work issues, teenage children, and the world around us. I have also been in sort of a funk lately. I have not been sleeping well, nightmares keep me up, and the news is so depressing.

I wrote this poem three years ago to try and lift the spirits of anyone who needed it, especially those I hold closest to me.

I thought the message might be well received again. I hope you enjoy it!

Love & life lessons,



I hope adventure grabs you by the hand and you invest both time and love into her.

I hope you genuinely fall in love with the journey and not just the dreams of getting there.

I hope you open your eyes to the things and people that illuminate the world around you.

I hope you take them by the hand and pull them close to you.

Every day—

every single waking day for the rest of your life, I hope you choose them.

The people and things that paint a smile across your face and form storms of laughter in your stomach.

I hope you hold hands with your friends in public

and tell them you love them in the most unique and strangely beautiful ways.

I hope you send them random postcards and trinkets along your journey.

I hope you find peace in a good book, music, sunsets, compassion, intimacy, and kindness.

I hope you dine well often. I hope you treat yourself to the finest cuisines.

I hope you find new ways to fall in love with yourself and that you keep falling

Just like how I love you.

I feverishly hope you inspire others to do as much.

I hope you count your time in childhood minutes.

Swimming in eights, dancing in seconds.

I hope. Oh! how I hope, and please understand that I believe in you.

Just as I believe that I exist at this very moment, sitting on my sofa, writing you this letter of hope.

I hope you know I am always here. If you’ve had a bad week, I will sing you to sleep, and kiss your cheek, and assure you we will be alright.

And most importantly—

I hope that if one day, someone with sad eyes pointed downward and doubt written across their shoulders comes to you and asks, “What good is hope?”

You will lift their chin, look them in the eye and say, “Oh, hope, you see, blissful hope, has always got me through.”

For my friends, readers, and anyone I have ever said “I love you” to. I hope you know those words are genuine when I say them. I wouldn’t say them if I didn’t mean them, and I do not say them to everyone. I may not always reach out as often as I should, but please know that I think of you often, I care about you, and you are more important to me than you will ever know. I love you.

Posted in Friendship, Love, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Poetic Captions #12

I teach the younger women in my life that the best makeup is sunscreen, the best filter is natural light, and that they are beautiful just the way they are. To lead by example, I show them pictures of myself. So, this is me, natural light as my filter and sunscreen as my makeup. Beautiful, without any additives.

Pink clouds paint the sky as I take this walk among the wetlands

The place that is more lyric than gold

More memory than brown

There’s a presence here among the weeds of yesteryear

And if I listen closely, I can still hear her, the little girl running slow

Sipping orange soda from a glass bottle

Where woman meets girl

He does not have to be with me

to be with me

I carry him in my heart

in my mind

in my soul

and I see him in everything

like heart-shaped creeks

in the place I call home

In photography, knowing where to stand is key

and one must know patience

and understand light.

The same is true in life.

Shadows fall upon the land

memories hang from branches

and yet, I imagine my future

walking beside me, holding my hand.

The way the water reflects the sunlight

glittered specks of rays in ripples

much like how my heart reflects his love.

I never saw myself as beautiful

until he uttered the words, “I love you.”

The fallow field still wears its winter brown

A spring breeze blowing through the dead cattails

Past train whistles riding the wind

It eyes the evergreens with jealousy

I cannot take full credit for the last poetic caption. My favorite poet helped me with the beautiful phrasing.

Wishing you time spent with nature and inspiration!

Love & life lessons,


Posted in Personal, Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

She Believed She Could

so she did! But first, she failed 672 times, picked herself up, and nailed in on the 673rd!

-Kristian Weigman

I have mentioned more than once that I reached an epiphany that if I wanted to feel better about myself, I needed to put in the work. I have had a few acquaintances ask, “But, Kristian, how did you get to that epiphany? How do I achieve that for myself?”

Unfortunately, I don’t have that answer because we each have to turn on our own lightbulbs. However, I can say it requires letting go. Letting go of negativity, self-loathing, and toxic environments. Once you learn that you cannot achieve your goals if you do not believe in yourself, you gain new power.

For me, that belief finally came when I graduated college. I earned my Bachelor of Science with a 3.9 grade point average, all the while trying to improve my health, be a caregiver, errand-runner, homemaker, cook, friend, et al.…

I do not say this to brag but to finally acknowledge my strength. That’s a significant achievement! I deserve to celebrate and be proud of my success, but most importantly, it made me realize how unstoppable I am once I put my mind to something. Once I utter the words, “I am going to make this happen,” you can bet money that I will!

Mindset is Everything

One day everything just clicked. I realized I could keep belittling myself for my body shape, which is not my fault, or I could embrace my body. I stopped comparing myself to other women and started appreciating who I was. Who I am. When I started loving my body, I wanted to take care of it. I do not need to be tiny to be accepted, beautiful, and, most importantly, healthy.

The same goes for you! You do not need to fit into a size two dress, have a perfectly flat stomach, or ballerina’s legs. You do not have to be chiseled, have six-pack abs, or Henry Cavill arms. The truth is even Henry Cavill and ballerinas have flaws.

Once you realize that you are worth the effort and are determined to get whatever you dream of, you have to change your behavior with whatever has stopped you from achieving your dream.

In my case, it was my relationship with food. At my lowest, I turned to food for emotional support. My mother did it, and I saw it and started doing it, too. Fortunately, it turned out to be a motivator because I did not want to be like my mother. Please do not get me wrong, I loved my mom, but she and I did not always see eye to eye. Anyway, I exchanged food for exercise, which actually helps because stress raises cortisol levels, and when cortisol is high, our body needs to move to stay in “fat-burning” mode, but I will get into that in a later post.

When I first started, however, I made a terrible habit of not eating, and I still need to be careful with this. I tend to focus so much on trying to reduce the stress that I do not think about eating, and before I know it, an entire day has passed. This is not always a bad thing. I do intermittent fasting, and I typically do a prolonged fast one day a week, but making a conscious decision to not eat and forgetting to eat are two entirely different things. I am better than I used to be, but I still need to be mindful of it.

When I first started trying to lose weight, I restricted my calories to only 1,000 a day, which is too low, especially since I work out five to six days a week. I cut out most carbohydrates, including fruit, and naturally, I failed because it was so restrictive, it was not feasible to stick to.

Then I started allowing myself to have “cheat days,” but I would binge and hinder the progress from the previous five days. I realized I was looking at food in all the wrong ways. Food can be enjoyable and healthy, junk food is still okay in moderation, and food is not a reward. It is fuel. It is a necessity.

I will break down the science behind the types of food I eat and why in a later post, but I wanted to focus first on changing my relationship with it.

This is an important factor because we cannot expect results with the same behaviors that got us into the situation we want to escape.

Who says salads have to be boring?!

Today’s Questions:

  1. What is holding you back?
  2. Is there something you cannot forgive yourself for? Why?
  3. If you could go back to your younger self and give them one piece of advice, what would you say?

Thank you for hopping on my wellness ride. Keep your hands inside at all times, things are about to get bumpy!

Love and life lessons,


Posted in Lessons, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

A very good place to start.

The other day I walked by a mirrored wall, and I caught sight of my posterior asset in the reflection. I was wearing my compression leggings at the time, and well, I had to do a double take. I almost didn’t recognize myself. I mean, it’s not like I go around trying to get a peak at it. Haha!

Although, I might now. I was surprised at how good it looked. I cannot recall the last time I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and stopped to check myself out. It was exhilarating!

The next morning I was sitting on my sofa reading a book, and the strap of my negligee fell off my shoulder, and I became overly giddy! When I first bought that negligee it was form fitting, and now, the straps slide off my shoulders while I am simply sitting still! As I took note of my now loose fitting negligee, I recalled a conversation I had with Grandma. We were discussing writing romance, and she encouraged me to write about it more often. Not only in fiction, but to share some of my experiences or give those who are not hopeful romantics some tips. She then reminded me that was why I wanted to start my blog, to share stories that could help others in similar situations.

Way to use my own words against me, Grandma! Well, I still have yet to write more romantic pieces (save for fiction), but I thought the advice also applies to my wellness journey. Now that people are starting to notice I am getting smaller, I have been getting a lot of questions. So, I thought I would share my journey and some tips and tricks I have found along the way.

I have spent a lot of time researching the science behind weight loss and weight loss programs. I plan to share my findings with you, but I also implore you to do your own research. We are all different, and what works for me might not work for you, but if you can understand how your body works, weight loss might come a little easier, and there are things I wish I had known when I started my journey. So maybe I can help someone who is starting theirs.

I have no idea how many posts this will take, but I plan to do a breakdown of many topics. If I do my job correctly, these posts will be educational and entertaining. I will either fly or crash and burn, and all you will be witness to it.

Here goes nothing!

So, as I was sitting on my sofa thinking of where I should start, Maria Von Trapp’s words of wisdom came to me…

How did I get to where I am now (I still have a ways to go, but I can see the finish line)? What made me decide to start a wellness journey?

I think if I really dig deeply, on a subconscious level, I started gaining weight after I was raped. I think I was so scared of it happening again I might have thought that men wouldn’t be as attracted to me if I was heavier (which wasn’t true, even at my heaviest, men and women still flirted with me), or maybe I wouldn’t be small enough to be held down by someone stronger than me. Anyway, neither of those options were intentional, but when I look back, it was after that incident that I started gaining weight.

When my mother died, I grieved heavily for two years. I became an unrecognizable version of myself. I stopped being overly active, I made excuses not to go out, and I sat on the couch and ate my feelings one cookie or potato chip at a time, and the worse I felt, the more I ate, and it became a vicious cycle of junk food and laziness. I berated myself and slipped into an even deeper depression as I realized how much I hated the image looking back at me, and yet, I couldn’t put down the bag of sour cream and onion chips.

I would look at stick-figure models and knew I would never look like that and felt more discouraged. I was so hard on myself, and I was angry. Angry at myself for simply being who I was and for never saying the things I should have said to my mother while she was here for me to say them. And, I was angry at my mother for all the pain she caused and as strange as it might sound coming from an adult, I was angry at her for dying.

And then, one day, I grew tired of it all. I was tired of constantly feeling exhausted. I was mentally and emotionally drained, and I knew I had no one to blame but myself. It was time to pick myself up and put in the work to get back the strong and determined woman I knew was within me.

I took the above picture around Christmas 2019. You can see the teardrops on my eyelashes, and I kept it so that any time I felt like giving up, I could have a physical reminder of how low I felt.

My butt was not the lifted, round bubble it is becoming, I had more inches around my middle than I care to admit, and I was losing confidence, but I realized that hating myself and beating myself up was not helping. In fact, it only made matters worse. So I stood naked in front of the mirror, and I gave myself a long overdue apology, and I fell to my knees and sobbed for what felt like hours. I picked myself up off the floor and decided I was going to start my journey.

I started journaling and learning more about myself. I researched different programs; I tried numerous things before I finally found what worked for me. I had many trials and errors, I fell off the wagon more times than I could count, and I spent far too much time creating playlists rather than working out to them.

I will start to break all of this down in my next post, but if you seriously want to make a change in your life, no matter what it is, you have to change your mindset. That’s where it all starts, and I implore you to find your “why.” Staying motivated is not always easy, but if you can remember why you started in the first place, it makes a world of difference.

In my next post, we’re going to delve into three basic things you need to make any kind of change in your life:

  1. Mindset
  2. Balance
  3. Knowledge of self

I will share things I wish I had known earlier in my journey that would have saved me a lot of heartache, but before we get into that, I want you to answer the following questions (You don’t have to share your answers with me, but if you would like to, I would be happy to read them).

What is something you could do to improve your overall health?

What are your goals?

What one change could you make that would improve your well-being?

What’s stopping you?

Let’s start at the very beginning.

It’s a very good place to start!

Thank you for following along on my journey. Until next time!

Love & life lessons,

Posted in Lessons, Personal | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments


John Lennon said he was a dreamer

Knew in his soul he was not the only one

And like Kermit, here I am still dreaming

Of a rainbow connection that has not yet begun


A home we built together

Spooned laughter mixed with mixing bowls

And walls adorned with framed adventures

Waltz graced floors imprinted with our soles


A front porch painted with sunrises

Grained conversations stained in wood

A lilac bush holding past and current memories

Scented reminders of all that is good.


A kitchen where you can find me

Baking cookies cause you had a bad week

That turns into a ballroom

And finds us dancing cheek-to-cheek


Rooms filled with all our love-making

Tables etched with all we have discussed

The rainbow connection we finally found—

The lovers, the dreamers, and us

Posted in Love, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | 25 Comments

An Unforgettable Evening

Kent was sitting next to Brooklyn, hanging on every word her brother was saying as he told stories about his beloved sister.

“Then there was the time…” Jacob started.

“I don’t think Kent wants to hear any more of these stories,” Brooklyn interrupted.

“Oh, Kent most definitely does,” Kent encouraged Jacob to continue.

Brooklyn’s brother flashed her a shit-eating grin before he repeated, “Then there was the time we were walking through a mall in Carmel. Brooklyn saw a man holding cheese samples….”

“Oh, I bet she ran right for him.” Kent chimed in.

“Of course,” Jacob confirmed his suspicion, “To be fair, I was right on her heels.”

They all chuckled.

“Anyway, she asked him what kind of cheese she had just tried, and he didn’t answer. So, she asked a second time, a little more loudly. It wasn’t until she waved a hand in front of his face to get his attention that she realized it was one of those butler statues holding the samples.”

Kent was bent over in laughter. “Did you know it was a statue?”

“Dude, everyone but Brooklyn knew it was a statue.”

Kent laughed harder.

Brooklyn buried her face in her hands, and Kent pulled them away and kissed her cheek. “I think you’re adorable.”

“Yeah, yeah,” she waved him off while flashing him a playful smile.

“Brooklyn?” Aunt Mary shouted from the kitchen window. “Can you please come help me?”

“Saved by the bell.” Brooklyn jumped up.

“I’m still going to talk about you,” Jacob informed her.

“Oh, I’m aware,” she retorted, “But now I won’t have to live through the humiliation again,” she giggled. Brooklyn stole a chaste kiss from her boyfriend before making her way to the kitchen.

“Ya know, I love to give my sister a hard time. That’s what brothers do.”

Kent nodded in agreement. He also enjoyed giving his sister a hard time.

“But you’ve got quite a woman there,” Jacob continued.

“I am aware of how wonderful Brooklyn is,” Kent informed him, “I love and respect your sister very much. Even if she can’t tell the difference between a statue and a real person.”

The men laughed, and Jacob continued telling stories about the woman who had Kent’s heart.

“Old enough to be your father?” Aunt Mary asked for the fifth time since Brooklyn told her.

“Okay, look, Aunt Mary, I am tired of this question. You ask me every time I visit, and it was cute at first when you were teasing me. But now it feels like you have an issue with our age gap. Awfully bold of you, considering Uncle Bob has eighteen years on you.”

“You’re such a firecracker!” Aunt Mary giggled.

Brooklyn leaned her hands against the edges of the island and hung her head in exasperation.

“I love him. He makes me happy. Why can’t you just accept that?”

“Sweet girl, I am simply trying to understand how you fell so hard so quickly. You’re a smart girl.”

“If you know I’m smart, why can’t you trust my judgment?” Brooklyn inquired.

“Because you’re sweeter than you are judgmental.” Aunt Mary informed her.

That shut Brooklyn up. She released a long sigh. “Is that peach raspberry sangria over there?” She pointed to the bottle sitting on the counter behind Aunt Mary. “You’re evil. You know I can’t resist it.”

Aunt Mary turned in the direction Brooklyn was pointing, “Actually, Kent brought it. It was in the bag with the burgundy wine that you both so thoughtfully brought me.”

“That little sneak,” Brooklyn smiled.  

Aunt Mary handed Brooklyn the bottle and the bottle opener before she opened the cabinet and took down two wine glasses.

“This is part of it, “Brooklyn started as she poured the sangria for both of them. “Kent often does little things that let me know he is thinking of me.”

“Wasn’t Eric like that too in the beginning?”

“I love you, Aunt Mary, but you are not giving me any credit.”

Aunt Mary didn’t respond. She simply took a sip of her sangria and waited for her niece to speak her mind.

“Look, yes. Obviously, I loved Eric, and a part of me will always love Eric. And yes, I was devastated after his betrayal, but Aunt Mary Eric never thought of me. When we went to go look at engagement rings, he forgot that’s why we made the hour-long trip because he went to a video game store beforehand. We went to Baltimore to celebrate my birthday, and while we were there, he forgot my birthday. We were literally on a trip to celebrate my birthday, and he still forgot! I wanted to go take pictures, and he forgot because he wanted to spend time with his friend. When he had an affair, I never once entered his mind.”

Brooklyn took another sip of Sangria, “It killed me because I couldn’t so much as plan a meal without considering Eric, but he couldn’t be bothered to think of me to stop him from having sex with someone else.”

“Virtual sex,” Aunt Mary corrected her.

“It still constitutes as cheating!” Brooklyn defended.

Aunt Mary was wise enough not to say anything else.

“It got to the point where I was so used to Eric not thinking of me that I stopped thinking about myself, too. I used to cry in the shower because I felt like I wasn’t even a blip on his radar. I just wanted to be somebody’s blip. And then somewhere along the way, I grew numb to it all, and I lost touch with myself.”

“Eric would bring me gifts, but it felt like he was trying to buy my trust rather than show me affection.”

Brooklyn saw the pain flash across her aunt’s eyes. She took a long sip of sangria as if the courage she needed to continue was found in the bottom of the glass.

“I didn’t mean to fall in love with Kent, Aunt Mary. Especially not so quickly,” she paused as she collected her thoughts.

Aunt Mary took advantage of the pause in the conversation to ask a question. “If I were to ask Kent why he is so good for my niece, what do you think he would say?”

Brooklyn pondered for a few seconds as she took another sip of sangria, “Weeeelllll,” she paused again, “He would probably start by telling you all the reasons he feels he is not good for me and how I could do better.” She wore a glowing smile as she thought of the man who made a permanent home in her heart, and Aunt Mary thought she looked especially striking at that moment, standing still with a far-off look in her eye.

“Then he would tell you that no other man could love me as deeply as he does,” she continued. “Aunt Mary, I am the blip on Kent’s radar. I was lost, and numb, and confused. I had wandered so far from myself, and I dimmed my light to satisfy Eric, and while I was feeling stuck, I unknowingly sent rescue signals out into the universe, and Kent answered the call.”

“It’s clear to tell who the writer is here.” Aunt Mary chimed in.

Brooklyn smiled at her. “We were friends first, Aunt Mary; it’s not like I only met him yesterday.” She took another sip of sangria, “Although it would have been over the second our eyes met. We would have known by the way we looked at each other that there was a connection between us.”

Aunt Mary nodded in agreement. “I watched him a little when you first arrived,” she admitted. “He looks at you the way we look at the sun’s rays reflected in the ripples on the lake. Completely mesmerized.”

“Maybe not so clear who the writer is here,” Brooklyn smiled widely.

Aunt Mary blushed and giggled, “That’s quite a compliment coming from you.”

Brooklyn batted a dismissive hand, “Oh, stop.”

 “So, why would Kent say you deserve better?”

“Honestly, like most people in my life, if he dug deep enough, he’d probably come to the conclusion that nobody is good enough.”

Aunt Mary giggled, “I have to agree. You’re too good for the world.”

Brooklyn blushed deeply. “I don’t really know how to respond to that.”

“You were never great at accepting compliments.”

Brooklyn simply smiled. “Kent doesn’t see himself the way I see him. He would tell you that he is not empathetic, but he has shown me empathy. He recognizes and appreciates my efforts. He understands there are things about me he doesn’t quite understand because he has never experienced them, but he tries, and he listens, and he takes note of things that upset me.”

“He loves you.”

“Yes, he does,” Brooklyn confirmed. “His story is not mine to tell, but he’s seen combat, and he was good at his job. He was bred for war. Whether it is love or chaos, he does everything to the death. Uncle Bob has also seen combat. Surely, he has told you some stories.”

“Yes,” Aunt Mary responded without hesitation, and Brooklyn recognized the look in her eyes. She understood how some of the stories moved her to tears because there are heavy memories to carry.

“People think Kent lacks emotion, but that’s not true. He’s just picky with who he lets his guard down around. Only those closest to him are lucky enough to see some of those emotions, and I’m the only one who gets to see all sides of him.”

“I get that,” Aunt Mary grabbed her hand. “Well, if he’s good to my girl, then I like him.”

“He is so good to me, Aunt Mary. He reminds me of my strength; any time I feel less than beautiful, he doesn’t mind telling me what he sees. He revels in my success. He is my loudest cheerleader, my biggest fan, and my safe place.”

“I will stop commenting about his age.”

“Thank you,” she hugged her aunt. “So, did you actually need help, or did you just want to talk about Kent?”

She giggled, “You should know I already made the sides yesterday, and Uncle Bob’s manning the grill.”

“Of course. What was I thinking?” Brooklyn giggled.

“I must admit, Kent is rather handsome.”

Brooklyn’s smile widened as she swooned, “I have the sweetest crush on my boyfriend.”

Aunt Mary and Brooklyn giggled like schoolgirls.

“Have you seen his forearms?” Brooklyn inquired. “He has such nice forearms, and big strong hands, and eyes I get lost in.”

“Alright, alright. You’re gonna  give me diabetes.”  

As the night went on, Kent could easily see that Brooklyn’s entire family was enchanted by her. He understood better than anybody because he had been under her spell since they first spoke. The men in her family were incredibly protective of her, and it was easy to understand why. She was as kind as she was intelligent. Her ability to see the good in people was admirable, but it could also negatively impact her when people revealed their true colors, and people always reveal their true colors.

Kent had won her brother over, and he knew he would have to do the same with her aunt and uncle, but he had already earned some of Uncle Bob’s respect simply for being a veteran.

He was sitting at a table, drinking an iced tea, and watching Brooklyn dance around with exaggerated movements to the songs on her playlist. She and her brother looked like goofballs, and their actions did not match the lyrics. Jacob kept saying he was mowing the lawn as he walked with outstretched arms, and Brooklyn replied she was the sprinkler as he held her ankle behind her back with one arm and stretched her other arm out in front of her, all the while pulsating her hips forward, she almost fell from laughing, but Jacob caught her, and the pair were laughing so hysterically, it was contagious.

“I see the way you look at her,” Aunt Mary informed Kent as she sat down next to him.

 He glanced at her before looking back at Brooklyn just in time to see her stub her toe on the chaise lounge and shout a litany of curses.

“How do you not see a large chair right in front of you?” Jacob asked.

“I am distantly challenged. No, judgment of distance….” Brooklyn sighed. “Whatever! I’m not a good judge of distance, okay?”

Everyone broke out in laughter.

“That’s what you have to look forward to,” Uncle Bob informed Kent. “

Kent laughed, “I’ll never be bored.”

“She’s enamored with you, you know?” Aunt Mary asked him.

Kent looked her in the eye, “I have been enamored with her for years.”

“Why are you good for her?”

“Mary, darling,” Uncle Bob interrupted. “Stop with the interrogation. Look at our girl. I can’t remember the last time I saw her so happy.”

“It’s okay,” Kent assured Uncle Bob. “I will always believe that she deserves better than me, but I happily accept that I’m the man she wants, and I can guarantee that no other man could love her like I do.”

“She said you would say that,” Aunt Mary informed him.

Kent nodded like this made sense. “She understands me like no one else ever has. She gets my references,” he paused for a moment, “Most of the time. She can take what I dish out, and that’s not easy.”

Brooklyn walked over to the table to rescue Kent from her aunt’s questioning when Aunt Mary placed her hand on Kent’s forearm. “You’re right, dear; his forearms are sexy.”

If Brooklyn hadn’t already been dating him, that comment might have embarrassed her, but since Kent already knew how head over heels she was for him, it came back to bite Aunt Mary on the ass.

“You should see them when he’s rolling up his sleeves,” she raised her eyebrows a couple times.

Aunt Mary gave her a confused glare, “Are you saying?”

“Mmhmm,” Brooklyn nodded as she placed a hand on Kent’s shoulder. “He went from hello sir, nice to meet you to your daughter calls me daddy, too.”

Both Aunt Mary and Kent blushed, and Uncle Bob rewarded his niece’s bold demeanor with a high five.

That was the first night Kent had met some of Brooklyn’s family, and none of them would forget that night.

Posted in Ficton | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Throwback Thursday #21

The weather has warmed, I have seen motorcyclists out and about, I can hear the birds chirping when I arise, and pitchers and catchers have reported! That’s right, my friends, spring is in the air!

I have taken advantage of the fresh air in the evenings and gone out for a walk. It feels good to feel the wind in my hair and the sun on my face.

I looked at side-by-side photos of myself and was impressed with my progress so far! Especially considering I did not remain consistent with my healthy habits as much as I would have liked last year. Stress from school and life, in general, got the better of me. I had to learn to overcome that and not rely on motivation. Sometimes I will not be motivated to work out, but that does not mean I shouldn’t. I mean, I remember not always being motivated to go into the office, but the bills would not get paid otherwise.

I plan on blogging about my journey now that I am starting to see results where I actually want to see results and found a plan I feel I can comfortably stick to.

The picture on the left was taken in February of last year, and I took the one on the right yesterday. You can tell my face is thinner, and I do not take up as much of the frame in the picture. I am incredibly proud of my achievements lately. I also have more self-discipline than I thought I did. Anyway, I will get into this in another post. (My hair looks healthier, too)!

I wrote this poem two years ago when I was looking forward to spring. I long for sundresses and strappy sandals and struggle with the winter blues, so the fresh air has been fantastic!

I am so looking forward to spring!

Love & life lessons,


Spring is Coming

these dark and dusty
cutthroat mornings are fading
as the sunlight filters through

the blinds, kissing my clavicle
I lower my blankets, reveling

in the warmth of nature’s furnace
upon my breasts
I smile a genuine smile
the songbirds sing good morning
and I hum them a tune
can you feel it?
Spring is coming

Posted in Personal, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments

Poetic Captions #11

Bring me your pain, love,

spread it out like butter on homemade biscuits—

the way the clouds and sun become one,

let me be your vixen.

I will not ask you about the wrongs you have done,

or judge you when you allow me in your shadows.

Strip away your worries before you rest your bones,

and let me help you carry the weight, cradle it on my tongue

until your shadows drown in my light.

I do nothing to boast

but to rather prove to myself

I recognize priorities.

life works hard to bitter our taste

in ourselves

, which is why we must, sometimes,

lay it on thickly. Pipe heavily

without apologies

for what some say is “too much.”

I have worshiped at priories, had my soul touched in cathedrals,

knelt in prayer at altars in churches. I have partaken of eucharist

and carried god in my bones like hearty soup on the coldest winter day.

I have gotten drunk with strangers and smoked pot with gypsies.

I have kissed the devil’s happy trail, made music with angels.

I have searched for understanding and purpose in many ways,

swam naked under the full moon, trying to cling to the light

screaming for truth in deceiving water.

but nothing compares to just being kind, purely and utterly generous.

I know my purpose on this shaken globe is to make people feel seen,

to show kindness, and to give love as a timeless burning torch.

and if I should ever become too tired or cynical for my purpose,

give my bones to the sea. I would rather have a beatless heart than be hateful.

I think shepherd’s pie is my favorite comfort food

It has that stick-to-your-ribs comfort

like a blanket to warm your insides

and when I make it, I know I am doing something good—

spreading love on your fork

My place is among the angels.

I will sing heavenly tunes as I spread my

flew-too-close-to-hell scorched wings,

because I still believe in love.

My place is among the angels,

but do not for one second mistake me for one of them.

I cannot explain the science behind it,

but coffee tastes better when it comes from your favorite mug.

I have a thing for coffee mugs, and sunsets, and this mug—

given to me by my cousin who knows my obsession with both.

It is those “thinking of you” gifts that mean so much

, for when I drink coffee from this mug, I know I am loved.

I believe in treating ourselves, sometimes,

to the finer things in life.

like homemade multigrain bread

warming the house with intoxicating aroma

served warm with sweet butter.

I just want to fill your world

with love, and laughter, and baked goods.

Wishing you inspiration!

Love & life lessons,


Posted in Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments