Not bad for a fat girl

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Bathroom Beautiful

It’s done!unnamed


I have a lovely new bathroom and I’m so pleased. Is it perfect? No. Is it infinitely nicer than it was? Absolutely.

I need to stop seeing the tiny little flaws and focus on the overall success of the project.

Why does human nature do that do us? Ninety-nine things go right and we fixate on the one that doesn’t. Ninety-nine wins, and one loss. Ninety-nine compliments. and one complaint. Ninety-nine hits. and one miss. Ninety-nine receptions, and one turnover. Ninety-nine on time departures, and one delay. You get the idea.

Sometimes even one miss is too many, but most of the time failure isn’t terminal. And who defines failure, anyway? Most of the time there’s no clear line between success and failure. Shades of grey abound in the world, but we often fail to notice them. Small victories, small steps in the right directions… these are valuable even if they aren’t earth-shaking.

My bathroom remodel has accomplished several goals, first of which was providing a usable shower space. That goal has been stunningly accomplished. I also have a beautiful new bathtub, with a sweet little chandelier above it. I’ve always dreamed of having that.

I’m happy with the project. I’m happy that I live a life where events like a bathroom remodel are considered an inconvenience. I’m reminded that there are people who don’t have plumbing or clean water. I’m so fortunate, and standing under the warm gentle spray of the shower head reminds me of that every morning.


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Ten Pounds Down

Imagine walking around with this strapped to you all the time.

Imagine walking around with this strapped to you all the time.

I’m thrilled to report that my last meeting with the nutritionist yielded this wonderful news. I’m delighted that I’ve been able to lose ten pounds, and so far at least, it’s been relatively easy. The best part about it? I can once again easily reach around my back to unhook my bra at the end of the day. Sounds silly, I know, but those last ten pounds made that task extremely difficult.

A second small success is the relative ease with which I’ve been getting in and out of the car. I hadn’t noticed how much of a struggle that task had become. Again, ten pounds might not seem like much, especially when I have many multiples of ten to lose, but those small victories are victories all the same.

I’m looking forward to each of the ten pound milestones and the small successes that go with them. I’m actually pretty sure that when I get on a plane again in October I won’t need the seatbelt extender. If I do, so be it, but again, it’s just one of those situations where life is a little easier if I don’t.

I’m trying to celebrate each little success along the way in this long road that I have to travel. One small one yesterday was a noticeable shift in my brain. I was at a training for several hours with my colleagues and on the table was an assortment of candy. Normally I’m the girl who eats all of the chocolate and stashes the wrappers somewhere inconspicuous so nobody gives me that look (although I’m sure they all know anyway). Well, yesterday something wonderful happened. There was one small bag of Hot Tamales (six candies) and I took that. Nothing else. Ok, so I mooched two yellow Skittles from my friend too, but really, that’s it. Not bad, huh? The best part? I didn’t even want those other candies. I didn’t give them a second thought. Yay, brain! You’re evolving!

I’m rewiring my brain in terms of its perception of food, and my taste buds are going along for the ride. By cutting out a lot of junky foods and eating more real foods (you know, like fruits and vegetables) I’m relearning what tastes good. It’s a process, for sure, but I’m committed, so I might as well enjoy it.

On a final note, if you ever want every Facebook friend you’ve ever had to respond to a post of yours, tell the world you’ve lost ten pounds. The outpouring of encouragement was overwhelming. I’m glad I wear my heart on my sleeve, it allows me to share in life’s big (and small) moments with wonderful people around the world.


Fake it Til You Make it

There’s a famous story about Mary Kay cosmetics founder Mary Kay Ash. It is said (and I have no idea whether it’s true or not) that each morning before she began calling potential clients from her kitchen table she had a routine. She would dress professionally, including stockings and shoes, do her make up carefully (after all, that was her product), and style her hair. Only after she looked like a million bucks would she begin her sales calls. On the phone. From her house.

No, nobody saw her. She could have been in curlers wearing her pajamas, after all, her clients couldn’t see her. But she was convinced that it made a difference. She presented herself as a successful business person, and to her clients she came across as exactly that. The woman built an empire, and you still see the occasional pink Mary Kay Cadillac driving around.

Her story isn’t unique. Many successful people report that they behaved as if they were already a success before they achieved whatever goal they sought. Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers provides more good examples of the ways that people set themselves up for success. A strong belief is one piece of the success puzzle, and one over which we have control.

I’m a writer. I’m successful. I think of myself as a writer, and behave like a writer (whatever that means), and I let people know I’m a writer. Do I have a book contract? Not yet. Have I been printed in prestigious periodicals? Not yet. But it’s coming.

What makes me a writer? Besides my mindset, it’s the numerous small things that I do. Here are a sampling of my “writer” things:

1. I have a dedicated place to do my writing, I call it my studio

2. My hard drive is called “writer’s den”

3. I receive and read publications for writers (Writer’s Digest, Poet’s and Writers, and the Barefoot Writer)

4. I submit my writing to websites and periodicals for publication (and guess what, sometimes they get published)

5. I blog, regularly

6. I attend writer’s workshops and conferences

7. I have a writing partner and we meet to read and critique each other’s work

8. I seek out good writing and read it

9. I have a writing website currently under construction

10. I write!

There are others too, I’m sure. It’s just a part of who I am.

What makes you a ______________ (fill in the blank)? Until I have a byline in the New York Times or a book deal I’m going to keep doing the things that make me a writer. In fact, even after those things happen I’ll be doing these things.

Do you believe in “fake it til you make it?” What steps have you taken in your own life along these lines? I’d love to hear from you.