some of my sanity needs to come from working out

Why is it so easy to put weight on and soo darn difficult to take weight off?

In 2013, I worked really hard to get into much better shape than I previously had been. Over the span of my 14 year relationship with my ex-husband, I slowly added waayy too much weight to my body, most of it I’ll blame on my travel schedule and stress. One other contributor could have been that I just really love food, but I think I’m in denial that that could be the reason. (completely kidding) I especially like the comfort foods with lots of cheese and yummy carbs and of course those are the foods that will help you gain weight. But at the time, when I was being disciplined in my work out schedule and diet, I felt the best that I had ever felt in years.

I felt healthy, lighter, and more energetic. I think part of the ‘spark’ that my Irish Idiot saw in me, when we were dating, was that I just felt good in my own skin. Then I fell in love and slowed down on my workouts because I love being in love and loved doing anything and everything with my husband. Beer didn’t help the situation either but relaxing with a couple of beers, on the patio, or while watching the Cowboys, was a nice ending to the week. And my soon-to-be-ex isn’t the workout type, or at least hadn’t been until he started cheating (should have been a big sign) so our outings were aimed more at ‘how much fun’ we could squeeze in rather than finding a balance between a healthy lifestyle and enjoying extra calories. Then I got pregnant and added even more weight. So now I really have to focus on this to get healthy, mainly to help reduce my stress in addition to feeling better.

My Favorite Workout

During my freshman year of college, I was in the best shape of my life. I was working at a gym and was working out at least two hours a day, with running being my primary cardio workout. And I loved it. Running is such an outlet for me – I get lost in my own thoughts and don’t even realize how long I’ve been running, but it’s so hard to make it happen now, especially now that I’m a single mom again. I’m hoping to find a work/life/kid/get healthy balance soon but for now, I’m squeezing it in whenever I can.

I’m not a huge fan of running on the treadmill – I’d much rather be outside but it’s hard to balance being alone with three kids, or even just one, and going for a run early in the morning, before it’s sweltering, or in the evening because of extra-curricular activities, so I’m going to try what I did to lose weight in 2013. Insanity…the Beach Body workout. I lost about 40lbs and 5 sizes in about 5 or 6 months. I just need to commit.

Two weeks ago I pulled out my DVD’s and did the first workout. It was exhilarating! I thought, “I can do this for 60 days. It will fly by.” Then on Tuesday I had to give myself a small pep talk that I’d feel much better once I got through it. Then Wednesday…I just was exhausted, so I skipped. I felt extremely guilty for skipping, so Thursday I worked out again. Then Friday…I’ll just blame it on the Irish Idiot because he kept harassing me via text and phone calls and I was emotionally drained, although I realize that working out would have reduced my stress.

Then last week rolled around…and I wanted nothing to do with working out. I was so focused on 15 different things, that I prioritized them higher than my health. And I feel it. It was a bad decision. I should have put my needs first for this one thing.

I told myself that I would complete one week, then write a blog post about how great I felt, and in all honesty, I was writing it to help me keep myself accountable to continuing my work out schedule. So when I hadn’t had time to write a new blog post about it last week, I think that I used it as a crutch that “if no one knew that I was on this new journey, then I didn’t have anyone to answer to for skipping last week”.

My first goal.

So my truth is that I’m starting again today. I’m on my journey to reach my first goal of losing 25 lbs. I could care less how long it takes me, even though I keep thinking that I’ll wake up tomorrow and be where I want to be. After the first 25 lbs., I’ll re-evaluate and set a new goal. I’m hoping that you join me on my journey either by doing something to get healthy or smiling at my struggles and successes or by keeping me accountable to my goals. I can only imagine there will be a few more posts about my journey, probably mainly aimed at bringing humor through some of my fiascos with exercising in front of the TV but also to keep me accountable.

My shameless plug (I get nothing for saying this, btw).

When I first worked out with ‘Insanity’, I felt cheesy admitting it because I purchased it from an infomercial that I watched one Saturday morning. Now, though, Beach Body has really done an amazing job building their portfolio to include ‘On-Demand’ workouts and amazingly good shakes, but also they have built their brand to be more main-stream and convenient to the user. And if nothing else, it is a fantastic work out and really does a great job maximizing your time while balanced with helping you achieve the results and health you want.

I promise though, I get nothing by promoting this. I just truly believe in the products that they offer. One of the newer things that they offer are shakes that help curb your cravings for sweets, junk food and all of the food we want but know we shouldn’t have. Should you want to do more research into everything that you can have at your fingertips, including the amazing shakes (Shakeology), reach out to my friend Patricia through her Shakeology site. She has a great story that is inspiring – the shakes and workouts helped her lose the weight she wanted to lose (even though I don’t think she needed to) before a major knee surgery.

Regardless of the method that you choose, take some time each day to get healthy, both in food choices and exercise. It not only will help you to lose weight, and reduce medications and stress, but for me, it will help me stay around much longer in life so that I can tease my boys about the Hurricanes always being lower in the NCAA Football standings than the Gators.

If you are on an exercise journey now, I wish you the best of luck and feel free to share to keep everyone inspired! I can’t wait to share my successes with you soon!

Please note that this post and most of the posts on my website/blog may contain affiliate links. Should you decide to click on one of these ads and purchase something through this link, I will get a commission from it (the pricing is no different for you than going directly to their website). Not all items recommended on this site are affiliate links. I only recommend items that I feel are amazing because I’ve used and tried them. Thank you for your trust and viewership!

toxic mil’s

Think you’re alone in having an anxiety attack before your MIL arrives to town?? You’re not. There’s thousands of us out there and, I swear to you with everything that I have, I refuse to become that person when my boys marry.

Right in front of your face.

Why is it so hard to face facts when it comes to emotional connections? Why does the heart tell you different things than what your brain says?

My heart and my brain play this tug of war every day and some days one wins and I’m not an emotional mess and some days the other wins and I keep asking myself, “Why me?”. It’s tough. I’m just thankful that my brain is usually the one that wins out and my heart has been winning less often lately.

Then there’s days like August 21…his birthday.

My Irish Idiot’s birthday.

It stung so much that we weren’t celebrating together. I had a huge party in the planning stages before I found out that he cheated on me. I missed him so much, even though my brain told me that he doesn’t deserve even one tear. But my heart won on this day.

I’m not quite sure why I am in the place that I’m in, considering that I’ve done nothing to deserve being deserted, cheated on and lied to, and more, by my Irish Idiot and his sad family, especially considering I took a cheating husband back after I found out what he had done and wanted to move toward repairing our marriage.

It’s right in front of my face that I should shut these toxic people out of my life immediately, yet in my heart of hearts, I just want my husband back. The husband that was here before his toxic family came to town. It’s a battle between my heart and my brain, continually, and probably will be until I start to see some justice for what he’s done to me and the kids.

All about ‘ME’.

My soon-to-be-ex continues to not take responsibility for his actions and none of his family has shown one ounce of care toward the situation that their son/brother has put me in. All they care about is how this will affect them…how often they will see MY daughter…how much my Irish Idiot will have to pay me (aka his mother because they can’t stand on their own two feet). No one can look at this from a place of clear perspective to really reflect upon what’s happened and who’s been hurt by them, including innocent children.


But…I guess that’s who they are. That’s who his mom raised…must be the morals that she has because they all act in the same manner toward women and she was the parent that was the main influence in their lives. Her kids, that have been so reckless with their lives (excluding the one that wants nothing to do with the older three) that they have destroyed others emotionally, financially and otherwise, and they don’t care. They show no remorse. They treat me as though I shouldn’t be upset. And if anyone has a right to be upset right now, it’s me.

But I’m treated as though I should be as emotionless as they are. That I should be able to walk away from the love of my life with ease. Sorry – YOU (In-Laws), you are the ones that are not normal. It’s not normal to rip someone’s life apart and then blame them for it.

It’s sad what this woman has done to these men that are now almost all in their 40’s (or darn close to it). If I had three children that couldn’t take care of themselves and couldn’t hold steady relationships or jobs, I would cry myself to sleep and question what I had done wrong.

But not my special MIL.

Nope…she has only said sorry to me once for her sons actions and it’s because she knows how much he messed up that night and she didn’t want to lose the second relationship (out of two) with a grandchild, because her sons are emotionally destructive to themselves and others.

And now, instead of doing what anyone else would consider as ‘the right thing’ to do, by trying to avoid destroying a woman, that has already been destroyed enough by her own son, that did so much for her son, she’s chosen a dark path…the unjust path. The path to help her son get what she thinks he deserves…only what SHE wants. She’s just as selfish as the boys she has raised. And just as big of a bully because she thinks she can bully her way into her granddaughters life by paying enough to an attorney to try to shut her own granddaughters mother out.

What you should have done, if you cared enough about your granddaughter, was to shake your son into his right mind, kick him out of your house, make him stand on his own two feet, force him to realize that when a man marries a woman, the new wife is more important than the mother, and tell him that he needs to fix what he’s done wrong. Because it’s the right thing to do. Because that’s what the little redhead needs. Refuse to allow a third son to become another ’emotional-support-child’ to help you through life.

But then again…not my special MIL.

None of that was ever done. Nope – she told me in the middle of my drama that they don’t talk about things. No one discusses issues. Heartfelt, deep, meaningful, conversations are never had. So why do I think that things would be different for my situation?? Because I thought she cared. Because she told me that she loved me, cared about me…all empty statements. Because I thought that she loved her granddaughter enough to step outside of herself and tell her son that he needed to fix this, for her granddaughter.

History has a way of repeating itself though. I don’t know a ton of details because they always glossed over everything (and that should have been a big clue to me) but they were the ‘victims’ of losing the first granddaughter apparently. According to them, the relationship is strained because of every reason that the other ex-wife has done. Not them. They’ve done nothing wrong, if you ask them. Nothing. I can only imagine that will be the same story that they tell about me in 10 years. “Poor, poor Erik. Staci’s so horrible.”

Never willing to take responsibility for their actions. It’s really sad.

Word to the wise to whoever the next McDonnell wife is…good luck. You’re truly on your own. They change afterward. They’ll give you a month, maybe two. Then they expect you to become their mom…someone who is emotionless, someone that knows that he treats women with disrespect but is expected to suck it up ‘like mom did’, and someone that will always take a backseat to the MIL…you’ll always be second.

If I knew what I now know, I honestly don’t think that I would have lasted six months into the dating relationship.

…AND there…

…you have read the emotions behind a divorce, just a small snapshot of what one feels on a daily, sometimes less, basis. It’s draining. It’s not fun. This is what you do in your spare time (9:00 pm – bedtime) thinking about because you’re raising little ones in the meantime.

I’m just thankful that this is the first that I’ve felt this emotion in weeks. It just means that I’m realizing who I was married to, who the family is, who they really are, and who I’m now embarrassed to say that I share a last name with.

I’ve started to accept that I was married to a man that I was deeply in love with but that he was more deeply in love with himself and his mother than me. I know this sounds sick but I’m really not trying to turn this in that direction. It’s just that it’s a weird…really weird…situation. Someone that leans on his own mother at 39 years old more than his own wife…that is weird…and all she did was encourage this behavior.

This stuff called ‘extended family’ is tough. If you can honestly say ‘I love her like my own mother’, please understand that you have a special relationship with your mother-in-law. From two marriages, I’ve learned that boys have a hard time leaving their mothers. And I think that this is caused, this feeling of guilt (or whatever it is), is drilled into them from birth. I have yet to have a man in my life, (other than my father and brother in law) that has truly ‘left’ the umbilical cord at home and can stand on their own two feet. When I do, that’s when I’ll truly know that I’ve found a man instead of a boy.

At this point, I can only use what I’ve experienced to enrich my sons lives, the good and bad. I’ll help them to grow to be good men, with great ethics and outstanding morals.