Not bad for a fat girl


An Empathy Boost and Reminder

628x471Way back when, I started this blog with a post about an inspirational young man named Ryan, whose story I watched on Extreme Weight Loss.  In a nutshell, he was in an accident and lost an arm. He lost confidence, gained weight, and ended up working with Chris Powell on the show to get healthy and fit. It’s a great, uplifting story.

The take away for me was if he can do it, so can I. Great message, but I still haven’t done it. Then again I don’t exactly have Chris Powell as my roommate, but that’s another post for another day (or maybe not).

Fast forward to my recent vacation in Hawai’i. On our cruise there was a couple that we bumped into several times. They were at least a decade older than me, and they got married in Maui on the second day of the cruise. They were a friendly, outgoing couple clearly in love with life. They did have to do some things a little differently though, because, as he said, in a match of motorcycle vs. semi, the motorcycle seldom wins. One of his legs was prosthetic and the other was horribly damaged. It was clear where large areas of tissue had been removed. Hawai’i is warm this time of year, and, like most everyone else, this gentleman wore shorts.

We went on several excursions and these folks were there with us. He used a scooter for long distances, but could walk short distances and up and down the steps of busses and vans. Yes, it took a little longer, and I imagine that there was a fair amount of frustration and even pain involved to get and out of vehicles and around to different sights, but there was always a smile and a joke.

I think the universe is trying to remind me. I saw it before. I got the message. I just haven’t acted on it. I have all my parts in reasonably good working order. These men that I admire do not. Do they let that stop them from being active and achieving goals? No. I shouldn’t either. Thanks, universe, I needed that reminder.


Amber Riley Can Move

article-2423274-1BDE4201000005DC-645_634x527Until last year I had never seen an episode of Dancing With The Stars. I don’t dance (two left feet, I’m afraid) and I’m not starstruck (okay, maybe there are a few exceptions, Chris Powell and Channing Tatum come to mind, but never mind that). Why would I want to watch some B list celebrities prance around a ballroom and makes fools of themselves? Then I watched an episode.

Oh my. Look at those moves. She’s not a dancer? Really? He’s a singer/football player/spokesmodel? I had no idea. But look at those moves. I loved the routines, I loved the variety, I loved the costumes and sets, and I grew to love those formerly unknown “stars.” Well, some of them. Some of them rubbed me the wrong way and I looked for every little flaw in their routines. If only I had my own judges scoring paddle at home.

That was last season. I started watching partway through the season, but was invested enough to be thrilled when Kellie Pickler won. She did a dance in silhouette that took my breath away. This season I buckled in from the first week. This group was going to be tough! Some of those people have been paid for dance, that’s kind of unfair, don’t you think? But dang, I loved to watch them dance. Still, I wanted someone who wasn’t a “dancer” to win the competition and take home the coveted mirrorball trophy. I didn’t have a clear favorite until about halfway through the season. I liked Leah Remini‘s spunk, and Brant Daughtery was certainly one to keep an eye on. Snooki was just fantastic, and Corbin Bleu and Elizabeth Berkley Lauren took my breath away. Even the stiff guys, Jack Osbourne, Bill Engvall, and Bill Nye were a pleasure. Oh heck, I liked them all! Let’s face it, I just plain enjoy the show, but when it got down to the final few, it became clear to me that Amber Riley was my choice. Of course she could not have done it without her fantastic partner, Derek Hough.

First of all, this young lady is gorgeous, inside and out. Every time the microphone was in her face she was smiling and upbeat. Whether that’s the sign of a really positive attitude toward life, or a really disciplined actress is a mystery to me, but either way I was impressed. Oh, and then there’s the dancing. The girl can move! She was dancing with an injury for most of the season, but she was still very fluid and light on her feet. I just loved to watch her dance, and the performance she did last night and the night before with the male professional dancers? Well, it blew me away. I could not be happier that this woman, whom professional dancer Karina Smirnoff described as not having a traditional dancer’s body (what a classy way to put it, Karina) danced her heart out and won over the judges and the audience. Way to go Amber. Thanks for winning one for the big girls!


Daily Passion Prompt 18: Inspiration Island


DAY #18:  If you could bring 10 people that inspire you to an island with you and spend one day with each of them, who would they be and why would you take them? 

First off, let’s clarify what I’m envisioning with this particular prompt. Let’s start with the location. The particular island we’re talking about is something you might find at the Club Med of my dreams. It is beautiful and has all the amenities that I might want for whatever activity I wish to explore. Secondly, these inspirational people simply show up for their day and spend it with me, sharing their wisdom and insight. They don’t find it strange, they don’t want anything in return, and they don’t complain of jet lag or headaches or anything else that might interfere with our experience. When their day is up they head back to wherever they came from, and I carry on with my next companion. I also limited my selections to people who are currently alive. Just so it didn’t get creepy, you know? So now that we have THAT settled, here we go.

Maldives_Hibiscus_Island_JY171_350A1. Chris Powell. Duh. If you’ve been reading the BulgingButtons for any length of time you know I’m a big fan of his. Chris and I would have a heart to heart, and he would help get me energized and focused to make the most impactful positive changes to my overall wellness. He would teach me the moves I need and set me up with a foolproof plan. At least in my dreams. Oh, and he’s written books. Bonus: he’s not too hard on the eyes either.

2.  Rachael Ray. She can teach me to cook delicious food that’s good for me and that my whole family will eat with pleasure. She also seems incredibly personable, and she’s an author. She is another person who defined her dreams and went for them, and, I’m guessing, keeps doing just that.

3. Stacy London. The TLC What Not to Wear diva could help me dress this body of mine to best advantage, allowing me to strut my stuff and hold my head high, no matter what the scale might say. Feeling confident and sexy does make a difference, and dressing to advantage has a role in how you feel. And did I mention that she also writes?

4. The Dalai Lama. He’s just so doggone nice. And smart. And otherworldly. And hip. Really, I think he’s got it going on. Oh, and he also has written several books.

5. J.K. Rowling. I guess I don’t have to tell you what she’s best known for, do I? I would love to pick her brain. Where does she get it all?! Incredible.

6. Rafe Esquith, teacher and author extraordinaire. He is inspirational, not only to teachers, but far more importantly, to kids. I would love to have an in-depth conversation on the current state of education and the impact it has on kids. I envision a meeting of the minds that will spur me on to orchestrating ever greater opportunities for my students.

7. SARK. She has written and illustrated many inventive, honest, funny, and inspirational books. She definitely thinks in colors and dreams and swirls. I like her style!

8. Tula Pink. One of the modern quilt world’s stars, she’s a designer and author, as well as a quilt maker. I would love to talk inspiration with her.

9. My son. By day nine I will be missing him terribly. I would love to spend a day in paradise with him without the distractions of school and work and obligations and responsibilities. I would love to just relax and have fun with him, and to connect with him as we splash in the ocean and bite into juicy pineapple, our favorite.

10. Last, but certainly not least, my sweetheart. I would finish this incredibly transformative experience by sharing an uninterrupted day alone with him. Bonus: he would stay the night and we would go home together.

The bad news? This scenario is infinitely unlikely to happen. The good news? I have links to the wisdom of all of these inspirational people, except my family.  I get to see my family in real life, though, so it’s not so bad. Thank goodness for the written word. Although it will never be a perfect substitute for being there, it can still convey a lifetime of learning.