Sizes Really, Sizes?

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Last night, one of my besties was home visiting from Los Angeles.

I had worked all day at my second job as a Nanny.
WHICH, I LOVE!

Especially around the holidays.  Kids.
Man.
So much fun.

Anyways, I was still in my gym clothes and really needed to get into my party gear.
But didn't have anything packed.

So.
I ran to Marshalls.
I found these puppies.

And fell in LOVE!
Yay, I know, TDF.
To.
Die.
For.

So then.
I just needed a dress.

Since I've been out of my crossfit.
(See rotator cuff surgery story coming in January) :)

It's been about 3 months.
Of mind games.
Thinking.
I must just be packing on the pounds.
Right?
Less moving.
Still eating.
I must easily be a size 16.

So.
I picked up a 12 and a 10.
In several dresses.
And a large in teens.

I haven't been on a scale since May.
So I can't tell you how many pounds.
And I won't ever have to.
Since.
Numbers.
On tags and scales are just really unhealthy for me.
In the dressing room.
I put on the 12s.
And stared at my reflection.
My tired looking reflection.
And heaved a sigh of relief.
Big.
TOO big.

So I put on the 10s.
And stared again.
I walked out of the dressing room for these.
And the sweet older attendant smiled.
"Oh girl, too big, sweetie, too big."

Okay, I thought.
What's going on?
And I half expected someone to pop out of the dressing room with a camera.
And tell me they whited about the 2 in the 20 and the 22.
And so I went back to the drawing board.

I picked up a size 6 pair of leather,  real leather, pants.
And a large sweater from teens.

And an outfit was made.
That matched those shoes perfectly.

And a little magic in my mind.
A reminder that.
When I get lost in the loving of myself.
I can maintain.
And maintain.
And still wake up loving myself.
I joined a gym close to school.
And am headed back to the pool, so working out, will pick up again.

But this whole.
Love myself.
How I am.
Where I am thing.
Pretty perfect :)

Merry Christmas - er - Happy Holidays!

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It's time.
Chantell Johnson and I recorded this song to send to our Extreme Weight Loss Family last year.
And I capital P promised her, I wouldn't upload it, until Christmas.
But.
The world.
Needs to hear this chicks voice.
It's amazeballs.

I'm sure Jacqui was in her room.
Meredith was in hers.
Trina will tell you all about the sound reverberating in the house.
It really was a special Christmas last year.
I'm glad to be home this year.

Celebrating with the We Are the Children charity on Christmas Day.
And directing sleigh (bus) traffic as hundreds of children in the Greater Hartford Area receive the day of a lifetime.

But being with the gals from Extreme.
Is a close second.
This year, I plan to read from the devotional Trina gave me.
Take two looks at the plaque Chantell MADE me.
Light the candles Jacqui gave me.
And listen to this number.

Tomorrow night, the cast and I were playing house elves at the Powell's House.
Wrapping presents.
And feeling love! :)

The Christmas Song


Remembering Chile

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These are my confessions.
Okay.
Not today ;)

Breathe.
We'll talk more outpatient ED shtuff.
Tomorrow.
Or later.
We will.
Therapy Thursdays, and all.

But.
Today.
One year ago.
I was swimming at the San Alfonso Del Mar.
In Algorrobo.
Chile.
1.2 Miles.
The grabbing a kayak on the beach.
And carrying it 1.2 Miles.
And then kayaking 1.2 Miles.
And then running 1.2 Miles.  In under two hours.
With my favorite peeps in the entire boat.
And Rob.
Camera A.
Almost sunk the pontoon boat.
And broke the chair in my little apartment.
And we all had dinner.
But I was afraid to eat.
And Joli reassured me from 100 miles away, that I could.
And.
We all had an amazing amazing time.
Challenge and all.

To Assmus, Speegs, Kemp and Holm.
To Jordan, who I'm pretty sure slept through most of it.
David.
And my amazing translator.
And everyone who made Chile happen.
Even CP.
Who got bit by a dog in Peru.
Thereby ensuring, I'd challenge on alone :)

Unbelievably humbled still.
By your kindness.
And the experience as a whole.















Confessions Part 3

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Part One
Part Two

I am pretty transparent.
No.

Seriously.
I am.
J
And.
So.

Confessions Part 2

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Need to catch up?  Part One Here :)
I sat.
As I often do, on Thursday evenings.
In Dr. Jill’s office.

Confessions Part 1

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These are my:
Like.
In real life.
It's a new series, here at We Matter.

Blue Skies and Ruby Gems!

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Did you miss me?
Probably not ;).

Or a little, right?
Because.
Three of you texted.
Two of you messaged.
One of you Emailed.
And said.
"Hi.  Blog, please."
And I've been thinking.
I need to.

So.
Here we are.
I've been posting pictures furiously on Facebook.

Hoping they make up for my crazy thinks.

Friendship

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It happened.
This past week.

I felt it.
Inside.

Big limb.
Bout to walk out on.

Extra SMALL?!

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***WARNING***
I get sassy.
You may not like it.
But then.
That's the best part of this space.
You don't HAVE to.
You can skip reading.
Or post a comment.
Or read it and chuckle.
But it's an OPINION of mine.
Not stated fact of a clinician.
Just jamaze, talking jamaze. ;)

Wowee.

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I need to sleep.
Tomorrow, I start at a new school.
In third grade.
And I can't wait.

Not the point.

I wanted to once again say:
THANK YOU.

My inbox was flooded once again.
With beautiful emails and messages.
And photos.
And stories.
Thank you for reaching out.
I'm slowly working through them now.

To the 6 marriage proposals,
Thank you.
Too kind.
I'm just dating right now.
But thank you.


BIG Love!

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If you're new around here - or missed the announcement.
Or.
Are waiting patiently for your turn :).

B.I.G.
Is our Body Image Group.
It runs for weeks 6 weeks.
We meet Tuesday nights @ 8 for one hour.
We come from all over.
In different spots in our "self love".
We're learning and opening up.
And growing.
Together.
And session one.
Created some of the biggest shoes.
I could ever think of.

They were/are? Diverse.
Beautiful.
Open.
Kind.
Hopeful.
Hard thinkers.
Funny.
Did I already say Beautiful?

And Leaders.
The lot.

I was in Therapy last week and my amazeballs Therapist was trying to get me to accept the word Leader.
In her own kind way.
"I sense," she said, "You don't like that I'm trying to give you this word."
Uh.
Duh.
"But, you are.  And the best kind, because you're not trying to LEAD people, you're trying to be a part of the community.  And by being you and real.  You lead by example."

And yes.
I was filled with warm fuzzies about that.
Not because I felt like a leader.
But I could see everyone in our group as a Leader TOO!

When I started B.I.G., it came from knowing I didn't want to train.
Or be a personal trainer.
Couldn't really.
I didn't want to get Crossfit Certified.
Or be a nutritionist.
Or dietitian.
Couldn't.

Couldn't because.
Well.
For a lot of reasons.
Mostly.
Because.
I'm not qualified.
And more so.
Because.
I still need help.

Did I just say that out loud?
I'm still a work in progress.
I go to therapy.
And eating clinics.
And work with trainers.
To figure out how to live this life.
And therefore.

It would be VERY unhelpful.
For me to tell YOU.
What the right thing for you is.
Because.
Well.
I have no idea.

No.
That's not true.
I have ideas.
But.
I'm working the ideas just like you.

So B.I.G. comes from there.
Wanting to work on the way I feel about myself.
And talk to folks who want to do the same.

And boy howdy has it ever been amazing.
Insightful.
Bucket filling.
Some of the ladies came to see Les Miserables.
SO SO SO kind.
Some live here.
Or over there.

Some have cats.
Have kids.
Husbands.
Have had weight loss surgery.
Have weight to lose.
Have things they love.
Have had surgeries.
Teach health.
Teach.
Help.

But all of them.
Are loved.

And matter.

So.
If you want to apply for the next group of B.I.G. Session Two.
You can do that here: Apply Now!
If you've already applied and didn't make into the first group.
You're already on the list here.
And we'll do the Lottery in a few weeks.

More details are also found at that post.
Is it free?: YES!
Do I have to have access to a video chat: Yes! (We Google Hang Out)
Can I come in my Pj'S:  YUPPERS.
I'm nervous: WE ALL ARE.
Is it fun?: TONS.



E.M.R.

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The sun is not up.
The early morning clouds.
The early sounds of fall.
Leaves swirling.
Branches breaking.

The sound of my shoes hugging the pavement.
Lime green goodness.
I run to Broadway show tunes.
Yes.
I know.
If you know me in real life.
I SING along to Broadway show tunes.
Which is the difference between a 7 minute mile and a 13 minute mile.

Steps of the Palace.
Replay.

Wanted.
Replay.

10k 
Everyday.
Turning to cross the bridge.
Westfield River.
Lungs full of love.
Shoulder pain.

Never tired.
Speed up.
Intervals.

Dowtown.
Colors.
Commotion.
Saturday Trees.

Early Morning Sun.
Early Morning Run.

Maybe Next Time

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Keep Moving Forward.
Or why things are still hard.
And why I'm still a work in progress.

If you're a Les Mis friend, you'll want to listen to the beginning.
Where I remind you what I love the most about you all.

If you like singing, you should listen to the last 4 minutes.
If you find my talking voice as annoying as I do.
Fast forward :).

Love you.

Little Jami.

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This post is titled as such.
For Little Eponine.
Or my mini me.

We are NOT alone.

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Of all the lessons I’ve learned, this Extreme Year.
The most eye-opening has been this:

We are NOT alone.

And let me tell you why.

Don't Stop.

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Thinking about tomorrow.

It's Midnight.
I shouldn't be blogging.
But my double ear infection has a life of its own.

And I have thinks.
That I'm thinking.
So I wanted to write them.
Before I keep moving forward.

This weekend.
Will mark the 1/2 way point for the Les Miserables Experience.

And.
Can I take one more post.
To tell you what an experience it has been?

Because it's been Bomb.
Dot.
Com.

No.
Seriously.
If I could redo College.
It would look and feel a lot like this.
Like, when I tried out for A Chorus Line.
And wanted DESPERATELY to play Diana.
And Sing.
"Nothing."
LIFE SONG.

But really.
I didn't even get a call back.
Because that's real life.

I think about therapy yesterday.
When I talked about feeling like a runner.
When things are hard.
I run.

Because.
That feels safe.
And not having to feel unsafe is worth missing out on life.

Currently.
In my personal life.
There is a place I can run.
And.
I might just.

But.
Dr. Jill pointed out.
That she doesn't think I'm actually a runner.
And that made me feel…

Proud?
Examples being.
Not going back to a job I didn't want.
And taking on Les Miserables.

Because, as she pointed out.
The runners.
Well.
They go back to jobs they don't love.
Because it's too hard not to.
And they don't try out for things like Les Miserables.
Because the thought of breaking out of the zone is too much.

But.
I did.
Listen to me.
I did.
So proud.

It has NOT been easy.
Not even close.
Not even a little bit.
One need only read back a few posts to know that I question breaking that comfort zone.
Daily.

But.
It has been SO worth it.
First.
And Foremost.
To be able to play Eponine.
Who at 14.
Changed MY life.
Showed me what theater could be.
And OH, how she resonated with me.

15 years later.
It truly truly truly is a dream come true to bring her to life on stage.
With this cast.

Which, to my second point.
Is the family.
I so desperately needed.

I hadn't realized I'd be walking away from Crossfit so soon.
And leaving behind a tremendous community of people I love.
But it was something that arguably had to happen.
(I remember telling Dr. Jill what was about to happen and she looked horrified.)

In the wake of that.
Has been this cast.
Of crazy characters, kids, and mentors.
People who had the uncanny ability to not only fill in where once I had relied solely on the gym.
But really get ME.
In a very short period of time.

I do.
Sometimes.
Just want to all hold hands and sing One Day More.
For no other reason than we can.

The point of this love fest?
Well.
The big point is:
Don't Stop.

Don't self sacrifice.
Or hold yourself back.
Or not try.
Or make excuses.

That life is easy.
We know what happens there.
Nothing.

And yes, trying.
And letting go.
And no excuses and not stopping are HARD.
Duh.

And painful sometimes.
And sad.

But.
In the wake of all the hard.
Has been JOY.
Unfiltered JOY.
And high fives.
And hugs.
And lots of candy crushing.
And shared germs.
And smiles.
And uncontrollable giggles.
And lots of dirt.
And greasy hair.
And forgotten letters.
And books.
And Ewok Hair.
And Birthdays.
And prayers.
And really really really GREAT people.

And I could have.
Would have.
Missed all of that.
If I stopped.

So promise me.
You won't.
Keep moving forward.
Don't retreat back.
There is a Les Mis reference there about the troops and retreating.
But it is late.
And my mind needs rest.

Keep.
Going.



Kryptonite

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I am humbled.
Again.
Duh.

By the response of so many.
To the thinks that swirl in my brain.
And make me feel crazeballs.
Instead of amazeballs.

Writing my crazy thinks down.
Is scary.
And posting them.
To the world.
That can receive them however they want.
Is scarier still.

***WARNING***

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***WARNING***

These are some of my craziest thinks.
That I’ve never shared.
And you might not want to read them.
And that is okay.

And if you do.
You might want to feel sorry for me.
Don’t.
Or you might want to feel judgy.
Don’t.
Comment if you think it will be something helpful.
I make no promises to post them.

Ready?

How do you tell someone something you knew they’d never understand?

Try.
(Loosely taken from Déjà vu– ah.  Denzel.)

Wings.

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Can I be honest?
We open tonight.

And I have the worst cold I've had in...ever.
Save the pneumonia of Chile 2012
But.
I'm not nervous at all.
Vitamin C me.
Netty Pot.
Live.

We'll get it done.
And it will be beautiful and magical.

At this very moment I'm knee high in thank you notes.
Small-ily  blessed by the fact that there are some families in the show :).

And I had a memory.
I wanted to share.
It takes place on the Williston Campus Theater back in the early 90's.
To be fair.
I have no idea why I was there.
I bet one of my moms worked with someone who knew someone who needed help.
I really can't recollect.

But I was in the wings of their theater.
During a one act competition.
And did some stage managery type stuff.
I had a stop watch for the one act and everything.
It was legit.

And while I have no idea why I was there.
I do remember the feeling.
Of this big, wide, real theater.
And how very small I felt.
And privileged.
To be there.

Helping.
Because - you know me and helping.
I love that.

And I also remember the vivid SENSATION of - this is as close you get.
The sensation of that is so real.
"You'll never be an actress, ugly girl, never."
"And you can't sing."
"And you can't act."
"And don't get too close to the talent."

Yeah, that sensation is so vivid.
And untrue.

The tangled stories I've told myself over the years to feel comfortable.
To survive.
To never let anyone see the sadness and uncomfortableness.

Standing in the wings last night, during our final rehearsal.
There was barely a trace of that feeling.
I mean, it's not completely gone.
Trust.
But.
It's almost gone.

I'm going to be allowed to play Eponine.
That is going to happen.
And someone believed I could sing.
And act.
Some people still believe that.

And so, I want so terribly to hold onto this sensation.
The one that says.
Hey.
You.
Girl.
Not ugly girl.
Not you can't sing girl.
Just you.
Girl.
Eponine.
You've got this.
Go.

Sing.

And I will.
With the cast of all casts.
The most amazing group of people I've ever met.
Bar none.
And that's saying a lot because my Extreme Fam is pretty amazeballs too.
But this group.
This crew.
This posse.
They have every inch of my heart.
Dads.
Brothers.
BFFers.
Mamas.
Sisters.
Friends.
KILL it tonight.
Because you can.
And we will.

And on a total random thought.
First think.
"HOLY FAT FACE!"

Second think.
"Much better version of my Senior Photo, thanks for the chance to do that over again."

Third think.
"Head Shots."


Nostalgia.

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Know when you have a cold.
And your eyes and nose are runny.
And silly thinks bring tears to your eyes.

Today.
That's me.
And I'm suddenly nostalgic for my kids.
So.
Today.
Indulge me.
While I remember my kids.
And the top 10 things I miss from teaching:

Daily Flight Plans:
 Stars of the Week
 Silly Glasses and Class Photos
This Ode to Mario Brothers during free time.
Yeah.  That's KINDERGARTEN.  Bam.  Oh Gabriel.
 A good morning message.
An Interactive Math Word Wall.
Yeah.
Those are on magnets.
And yes, you can take them to your seat to use.
 Our Science Investigation Wall
After we observed and brainstormed together.
 Parent Teacher Conferences!
 Build a Rainbow Behavior Boards!
Epic Open House Nights

:)

I promise.

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I promise, not all I have to talk about is theater based.
But in this, the season of Les Miserables.
It's on the brain.

So.
As we rehearse.
And I struggle.
With accepting that this is happening.
And that dang epilogue harmony.
And self-acceptance.
(I mean, we go up in 2 days and I still think most of the cast thinks I'm miscast.  Which is just my own very crazy think because no one has ever said that.)

Oh.
Crazy Thinks.

However.
This post is about promises in another way.
Promises we make to ourselves.

I can't remember how many times I promised myself I'd start tomorrow.
Or lose 20 pounds in one month.
Or run more.
Or eat less.
Or drink more water.
Or not give up.
Or this time would be different.

And then it wasn't.
Or I didn't.

And as I learned what smart goals were.
And tried to make reasonable commitments to myself.
It got easier.
Mostly because they weren't huge commitments.
Even now.
I haven't made it Crossfit all week.
But I kept moving.
I may have done an 18 mile run.
On accident.
(Read: Running from my inadequacy - 'cause you can totally do that, right?)

Commitments.
So.
A year ago.
I said something out-loud.
On video.
For Extreme Casting.
And over the year.
I promised myself.
I'd make that commitment.
That I said out-loud on video.
Come to fruition.
Come heck or high water.

And while I didn't make my 90 day milestone challenge (on purpose) and never made it to NYC to see a broadway show or dance with my favorite broadway star.
I did keep this promise to myself.

And to go back now, in the middle of the tech week and listen to something like this.
Keeps me motivated.
And sure that I will learn On My Own.
And stop saying Changes in the weirdest way possible.
No seriously, I annoy MYSELF with that.
And that dang epilogue

video

Because.
^ That girl.
Is standing beside Jean Valjean and Javert.
And actually has a waist.
Not a "Hey I'm Samantha Barks" Waist.
But a waist.
Dude.
Light coming through both sides.
Waist.






The Madness.

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Set the scene.

Sprawled across the L couch on the chaise, shoulder supporting my head.
And you seated across, using the chaise as your foot rest.

We're those kinda friends.
Haven't always been.
But.

Mostly.
We are.

And I, as is usually the case, am having an anxiety attack.
My chest is tightening.
And I feel hot.
Like I need to cry more.
But I don't want to.
Not about this.
Not with you.

And your voice, as it had many times in the past.
Trying to calm it before it explodes.

And perhaps - for the first time in our friendship.
You understood me.
Before I understood myself.

"For the first time I think I get this.  I don't understand it, but I get it.  You aren't actually afraid of sucking.  I mean, YOU think that.  But more than that.  You're worried that everyone in that room will hate you.  Which is in the first place, ridiculous.  But in the second, you have zero control over it.  Let's for a minute pretend EVERYTHING goes perfect and the cast is Epic.  Everyone in that room could still hate you.  Everyone in that room could think you did the worst.  The best.  You have no control over that.  And trying to ensure you do - only drives YOU bonkers, because you are alone in that thinking.  We can't help you.

However, it seems to me that if you stop focusing on who might hate you.  And start to love what YOU'RE doing.  And loving it when it's great; when there are mistakes; when you screw up so bad you think there is no coming back; you stand to be successful a lot more often than not.  Because you get to define your success.  Did I just Chris Powell that?

Kryptonite.
Bam.
That happened."
*To the very best of my recollection.  The Kryptonite part - totally real life.

You did just Chris Powell and Therapy that.
And helped define my Madness for me.

How can I possibly ensure that everyone is happy.
With the show?
With the performance?
With my singing?

I can't.
BUT I SO WANT TO.

Instead.
I'm going to TRY and focus on what will define my success.
And to be fair.
I don't exactly know that right now.
But I know that doing my absolute best is going to be a big part of that.

And sleep.
Lots of sleep.
And good foods.
And lots of hugs.

Oddly.
That just sounds like taking good care of me.



Great Groups | Best Friends

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Les Mis.
Is going up in a week.
In fact.
This time next week.
My head will be in a toilet some where.
And I will be praying I keep food down.
And remember my lines.
And if people hate my performance, they are nice enough to say nothing :)

You are NOT Fat Anymore Part Deux.

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I didn't realize.
My crazy thinks.
Were thought.
Felt.
And responded to by so many.

"You are not fat anymore."

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WARNING: MEGA CRAZY THINKS POST.

The person who said this to me the other day, has since moved on with his life.
His day.
I'm sure.
I have no doubt.
He's a busy dude.

And yet.
The moment
He said it.
Time stood still.

Slow mo-ed.
All around me.

Life had crescendo-ed.
And all of the air and sound.
Removed from the theater.

But.
Really.
Time went forward.
Moved at normal pace.
A few minutes later we stood to practice the Epilogue.
And I tried not to suck it up on stage.

But time.
In my mind.
In my inner self stood still.

And lots of thinks rushed to the tip of my tongue.
"YES I AM."
"OF COURSE I AM."
"I'M NOT AS BIG AS AN ELEPHANT.  BUT A BABY HIPPO IS STILL HUGE!"
"IF I'M NOT FAT ANYMORE, WHAT AM I?  CHUBBY?  CHUNKY?"
"UGLY?"
In the moment, I looked at him.
And then laughed.
And redirected conversation, even as time around me stood still.

And while it was said in an off the cuff, we're friends, I can say this kind of way.

It was singularly:
The nicest thing anyone has yet to say.

It was firm.
He was right.
We weren't arguing.

He's a dad, and I thought, as time slowed down, if that's what my own dad would have said after this year on Extreme.
"You are NOT fat anymore, kid."
I don't have a dad.
So that's just speculation.

And my inner bonding, little girl self came running out of the basement where she usually languishes and asked my facade self:

"We're not?!"
And it took everything in my facade to answer honestly.

"No.  We are not fat anymore."
"But down there, in that sad place, I feel fat every minute.  Every second!?"

"I know."
"But if you KNEW, if you knew we weren't fat any more, why didn't you say something?!"
"Because."
"Because why?!"

"Because you'd just have other questions.  Like, if we're not fat, are we skinny?  And if we're not fat, does that mean we stopped being ugly?  And if we're not fat, are we liked?  And if we're not fat, are we cool?  And if we're not fat, are we loved?  And I don't know if I can handle the answer to those questions right now."

"Well..."
"I can't answer those questions for you now.  SO it's easier to think we're still fat."
"Are we?"

And as time sped up and the Epilogue music began to play and someone pushed me forward to sing more up front, I looked at my little girl self, and her sad eyes, and the tears as they welled, and sighed, a deep sigh.

"No, little one.  We are not fat anymore."
And she slowly stepped away and went back to the basement.

And I sang something about taking my hand.
And in the very deepest part of the pit of my stomach.
For the very first time in my life.
Ever.

I knew something about myself I never thought I could know, "I'm not fat anymore."




B.I.G. Night One.

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The excitement and suspense are killing me!
Yes.  That is also my Les Miserables face.  Same excitement.  And terror ;).

Asking for Help.

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Now, before we begin.
This is not, in fact, a post asking for help :).
It's a little bit of, "Hey, thanks for the help."
And a little reminder that it's OKAY to ask for it.

Humbled.

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This post has two things to be humbled about.

B.I.G. and Bob Love

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First.
Bob Love.
Bob Brenner.
Kelly Brenner.
Thank God and thank you for blessing so many with your lives this year.

Two of the most incredible people I will ever meet.
Bob, for saving my life when I couldn't walk.
And Kelly, for finding my Aunt Bea as hilarious as I do. :)

In our lifetimes we will be blessed to have so many enter our lives for whatever period of time they do.
And no matter what, my life has been forever changed by the Brenners.
I can't wait to read your book.
And watch the next chapter of your journey unfold.

Excited.
Blessed.

And NOW.
Drumroll....
Please.

We Matter is proud, excited, encouraged, delighted to present:

B.I.G.
Body Image Group

The What: A small Life Group that meets online once a week for a 6-week hour long session.  Each member of the Life Group will receive a package of materials needed to participate.  Discussion topics will include team builders, self esteem builders, and weekly check-ins.

The Why: I loved getting together for live chats during the Extreme Weight Loss Season, and now that the year is coming to a close, I’m looking to create a reason to come together.  I also am working on dealing with my own body dysmorphia and would love to be in a supportive group.

The Who: Matterers who apply and are approved (up to 10 each session).  You would need to be interested in sharing, opening up, growing, and supporting.  You’d also need to have the time available during the 6 sessions.  Our group is simply a Life Group, and the important distinction needs to be made that this is NOT a therapeutic group run by a therapist.  Just a fellow matterer.

The When: Tuesday nights from 8-9pm.  We’ll log into the hang out by 7:55pm, and begin discussion and work for the night promptly at 8pm.  Someone in the group will also be a time keeper, and give us a 15 minute, 5 minute and final notice.

The Where: We’re going to try a google hang out.  If it works, great, if not, we may go back to a live chat format.  For now, we’re hoping everyone has access to a laptop or webcam. 

If you think you’re interested in this round, just fill out this form.  You have until Friday night @ 9pm to decided if your interested.  If more than 10 friends apply to join the group, we’ll have a random lottery.  If you are not selected for this Life Group, then you will be given first choice of the next group, running in 6 weeks.

Friends.
Matterers.
I can't wait.
To work together.
On loving ourselves.
And to send you some goodies.
It's good if you're nervous.
Or anxious about joining.
I AM too.

September. All. Ready.

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Oh matterers.
Moving.
Good.
Gracious.

Bed deliveries.
Friends giving of their time.
Farmers carry of 50 gallon water jugs.

As I sat on the bottom of the steps at my beautiful condo one last time, I thought a lot about the symbolism of moving.

Moving on.
Forward.
Up.
Over.
Past.
Just moving.

This year of Extreme has been a lot of fun.
But, I'm ready to keep moving.

One place I've already gone, is over to DevotionalDiva.com.
I can not explain to you how lovely Renee is.

You know - I know - that God places people on our paths precisely when we need them.

And there was Renee.
With kind words.
And an offer to share her latest and greatest work.

Which just happens to be something I'm working on.
Forgiving myself. :)

And Matterers, Renee is SO awesome, that I had the chance this past Sunday to guest post.
About suicide.
And living.

And I want to pass along some of the kindness Renee has shared.
So.
We're giving away a few copies of her book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me!

And Matterers.
As amazing as Renee is.
This book.
Well.
It's even Amazing-er.

Yea, it's that good.
It's a workbook.
And a soulbook.
And an I matter book.

And I can't wait to get you your own copy.
So.
You can enter in a lot of ways, from now until Sunday.
Enter daily, for your chance to win!

And I get asked adorably, a lot - "If I know you in real life, I shouldn't enter, right?"

Um.
OF COURSE you should enter!
My goodness.
Enter away.
Everyday.
(Except you, Mom (love ya'), because you can borrow my copy, don't be greedy.) ;)

(And YES.  You do have to have liked both Devotional Diva and my Extreme Page first!  Sorry, some things are just required! :) )

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Along with this giveaway, I hope a lot of you entered Jacqui and Mer's Dietbet:
http://www.dietbetter.com/games/21700

And that you'll be back in just a few hours to Live Chat the finale of Extreme Weight Loss and Celebrate one Mr. Bob Brenner's success!  Love you, brother!

Something B.I.G. is coming...

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This weekend is going to be a little crazy.
And I don't have a ton of time to update today.

But I wanted to let you know, you matterers, SOMETHING B.I.G. is on it's way.
And I can't wait.


I'm finishing up moving out of Chicopee and into my new (allbeit temporary) space in Westfield.
When Les Mis wraps - who knows where the roads may take me.

It's all very exciting.
Besides the move,
The Labor Day Holiday,
Crossfit,
Mufflers falling and fixing,
5ks,
and General Life

I'm planning something BIG.
AND have some great giveaways to talk about next week.

So.
STAY TUNED.

And I'm really REALLY hoping to VLOG tomorrow.
So check back and see if I make it to the camera. :)

You matter, my friends.
YOU MATTER.


Bumper

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Last night, while driving alone on interstate 90, after a Les Miserables Rehearsal, the thundering and scary sound of my muffler hitting the pavement and then being dragged behind me boomed in my ears.

Great.
Just great.
I muttered to myself.
As I pulled over in the dark night, to assess if what I heard was actually my muffler.
And if in fact it was, if it was still attached to my car.

Cassandra Love

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What?
No Work Out Wednesday?!
Nope.

Partly because yesterday I did 10X10 Back squats @ 50%.
And then the Matterers and I did 112 squats during Cassandra's episode.

(Also - 100,000 visitors to We Matter?!  Some special giveaways coming up!)

Push. Don't Push.

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I have some of the most amazing friends.
In the entire Universe.

And I will argue that.
Till I die.

In fact.
In my darkest times.

Even when none of my friends knew or know that they are my darkest times.
They've kept me afloat.

They've checked in.
Dialed me up.

Brought me back.
And some of the best of these come from my Epic Church family, my Life Group.

Last weekend, we all got together to celebrate Jess and Jason's Wedding just outside of Boston.
(Such a fun wedding!)
And even more amazing coupling and example of God's love and plan for us all.

Falling Apart

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I can't remember now, if I already blogged this.
I had an amazing weekend with some even more amazing friends.
And I'll blog about that tomorrow.

Today, I'm reminded of how far I've come.
I mean, really come, in just the last few months.
This was written in pain.
In April.
Of this year.



And healing and grace have abounded since.
But writing is part of my healing.
Sharing is the other part.
Connect?
Felt it?

EVD - thanks for asking.
But my answer to you this weekend, was strong and true.
I'm in a good space.
And I keep moving forward.

Sometimes I just sit on the floor surrounded by the broken pieces of my life. 
And I wonder how they got so broken, how come everything can look so shattered.
So tiny and insignificant.
And how in their shattered smallness, I feel so broken.
Like small pieces from a mirror I stopped looking in a long time ago.
And just "my story" holding me together.
Told so many times it's not even close to being real.
And I wonder how I got so broken.
And why I don't give myself enough credit.
And why everyone else can see it and I can't.

And does wondering all of that make me crazy?
Sometimes, I just sit on the floor surrounded by the broken pieces of me.
And I wonder how I LET myself get here.
And in that deep moment of regret or sadness or whatever that emotion is that I'm not supposed to feel - I receive the smallest bit of grace.
And it is someone I didn't expect it from.
And somewhere I didn't expect it from.
And it washes over me.
And in a calm, non racing thought kind of way, I glimpse how my life will be.
A self love.
Pieces glued back together.
And I allow myself to believe the bullshit.
"My story".
And it is in that grace that I also realize, this isn't my tomorrow.
Tomorrow looks like shattered glass.
And the day after that too.
But I can see, reflected in her grace, that it won't always.

Soul Full Sunday!

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(We Matter takes the weekends off.  Whoo Hoo!  Party!  
Sunday, look for a little snippet of Soul Filling.
Then we'll see you back here bright and early, Monday Morn.)

(And, my episode of Extreme Weight Loss Aired TUESDAY NIGHT, JULY, 9th, 2013 @ 8|7c on ABC. Missed it?  -----------> Click the You Tube Link in the Side Bar!)