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Pawsitively Pam Posts

Rise of the Phoenix Chapter 1 – How I Got to my “BEFORE”

This first post is a bit of a struggle..how far back do I go and how much info to include so you don’t get bored and stop reading.  So I will just dive in and then YOU can ask questions and let me know what you might want to read more about.  Setting the stage will be the longest chapter but I want to share ME with you so you know the good, bad and ugly.  This has never been told before and I am very scared to put it out there.

Way way back in my 20s and even early 30s I was in amazing physical shape – but emotionally I was a wreck.  Eating disorders, unhealthy relationships and intense pressure to stay thin to keep those relationships alive.  I am sure this story is all too familiar. I found myself in abusive relationships, very scary ones and situations that I am blessed to have survived.  I am VERY fortunate to be here today telling you this story.

Domestic violence changes perspective on things for sure, but I didn’t get my independence from that for a while.  I still had terrible self esteem – the victim always thinking if I’d done this or not done that, if I hadn’t gotten injured and gained a few pounds, and probably the worst one: if I hadn’t stood up for myself none of this would have happened.

Fast forward to the only relationship I’ve had in the last couple of decades.  When it ended, someone who was supposed to be my support system and be there for me at least for the initial shock of 5 years of my life with someone coming to an end, this is what I got.  “Well that’s really sad but you had to know it was coming.  He’s younger than you so of course he wants someone prettier, thinner and more successful.”  Now, maybe those words needed to be said at some point and I’ve never needed to be coddled but that hurt.  And to this day I have not gotten involved in another relationship because my confidence was destroyed over time, hearing things like this from people who were supposed to care.

SOOOO – here’s what happened next and continued until about a year ago.  I ate, I faded away from life.  Clearly no one wanted me around so I withdrew from life.  I did try to work out with my wonderful trainer at the time, Michael Anders.  I am so thankful for him because he gave me a reason to show up and try to better myself.  I just couldn’t go all in and commit emotionally and physically.

Some time ago I was laid off from a company I had been with for over 8 years at the time.  Shortly after that two of my beloved dachshunds passed away exactly 6 weeks apart.  I got scared because I couldn’t snap out of this, not this time.  I ate more, whatever I wanted because I was sad. Chinese food sounded great, it made me happy. Same with pizza – why not, my favorite food and life sucked so ….

I did come out of my funk long enough to see my doctor to talk about depression. I had to admit I needed help because clearly I wasn’t gonna kick this by myself.  I had stopped going to the basketball games I loved and I hid from life because I didn’t want ANYONE TO SEE ME!! I look back at pictures that I was forced to be in and while my face might be smiling, it never made it to my eyes.  

I will leave you with this to think about for next week:  what was my catalyst to FINALLY make a change and take back my life?  First step in the process was admitting I had depression and getting help for that.  From there, I could see things a little more clearly and realized HOLY WOW I am a huge hot mess right now!  Time to get it together Pam.  Stay tuned.

And stay PAWSITIVE!!! Thanks for coming with me.

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Transformation is SCARY and Painful, not Pretty and Bright. But SO WORTH IT!

This picture came from one of my favorite FaceBook pages “Bruised But Not Broken” and reposted with permission.

https://www.facebook.com/Bruised-But-Not-Broken

Tomorrow will be the first chapter of my story and I am so excited and nervous to share with you all.  There are millions of transformation stories out there, but hopefully since you know ME, you might find something you can relate to and take away that can work for you if you need to change something in your life.  I have put off writing it because SO many people do and why should mine matter?  But you know what, it does.  It matters because you all have been with me through the whole process.

This quote says it all to me. Transformation is NOT sweet and bright, at least for me it hasn’t been.  It has been very dark and painful, because before you can change something, you have to challenge it and understand its role in keeping you down.  I will tell you: It’s scary as hell to dive in head first and make the TOUGH painful decisions that have to be made.  I had to remove toxic relationships from my life even though everyone felt like they should tell me how wrong I was for that.  I had to accept my depression, acknowledge that I couldn’t fight those demons alone and get the help I needed so that I could grow.  I think this is why most people never start.

Who among us WANTS to turn our lives inside out, really figuring out what it is that holds us back? We talk about wanting to do this but making ourselves go through the actual process SUCKS.  But in order to affect positive change in our lives, we have to face the painful truths, the harsh realities, and accept ownership of the things we constantly do to sabotage ourselves.  Yes, most of your current situation that you’re unhappy with is actually your own fault. (This was me talking to me).

The hardest part is the start – we can think about it, talk about it, stress over it… and that can paralyze us.  It did me for YEARS – I couldn’t decide which way was up, which way was out of the darkness.  So I have a homework assignment for you – you might not need to do a dramatic weight loss/wellness type of transformation, but maybe there is something you are dying to change.  Figure out what that is and what is stopping you.  Then come with me while I continue working on me, and we’ll figure out HOW TO GET YOU THERE!

 

 

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Happy Friday! And a Tease of Things to Come…

Hi everyone! I know I haven’t been here in a while, but I’ve been doing some serious homework offline and out of sight.  Hopefully this will benefit all of us :).  I am planning a series of posts to tell the story of my transformation because so many of you have asked and been so supportive along the way.  I know, SO many thousands of transformation stories out there, they’ve been told over and over, but I want to share mine with you with the hope that maybe it can encourage someone to take action.

I’m trying to figure out where I fit into the online space – so many social media hashtags for each day of the week, so what’s the best way to get my message out there?  It isn’t just about me, it’s about what I’ve been through to change my life for the better and if I can help even one person that’s incredible.  So hang with me while I weed through the social media quagmire.  I am going to need your help with this.

Call to action:  if I write something that you like and that resonates with you, I hope that you will share it with others.  I read all this stuff about needing huge email lists and growing your blog following, and I cannot do that without YOU!  But I have to provide something you want to share so that’s on me.  Let’s do this together!  I want feedback, questions, suggestions on what you want to read about – come at me.  Let me hear what’s on your mind.

My story isn’t just about how much weight I’ve lost.  It’s about overcoming toxic relationships with people you normally wouldn’t write out of your life because society says you shouldn’t, and learning how to accept that what YOU want means more than whatever anyone else wants for you or thinks you should be.  It isn’t the number of pounds, because I’m still a work in progress.

It’s about how you will see in my “before” pictures that my smile never really reached my eyes – it was on the surface only.  Today, my smile comes from within.  I’m not where I want to be quite yet, but mentally and physically I am so much happier and healthier and I want to share with you how I have gotten here.  Both the “oh my gosh how did you gain so much weight” and the “oh my gosh how did you LOSE so much weight” parts of the story, because they go together for me.  I owe it to you all to go all in and share the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I will be working this weekend to create “chapters” in the Rise of the Phoenix so to speak, and I promise to post one each Monday combined with some other fun things in between 🙂

So while I plan and write this weekend, PLEASE share with me whatever you want to hear/read.  What questions do you have, what do you want to know?  We are all in this thing called LIFE together!  Stay PAWSITIVE my friends, and please give me some feedback so I know what you might want to read.  Love you all and happy weekend.

 

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Monday Motivation

I know, #MotivationMonday is probably a bit overused but I want to try to make it worth something to you all.  Each Monday I will share a quote that really means a lot to me, and a little motivation to go along with it.  Feel free to please leave feedback!  This is part of my getting organized and trying to offer useful, regular material since you are giving me a few minutes of your time to read.

If I can convince you of ANYTHING, it’s that you simply must believe in yourself.  You have everything within you to make your goals a reality, but you just have to be willing to take action.  Don’t let fear of failure stop you!  I am proof that you can do anything you set your mind to no matter how many obstacles life throws onto your path.

Think about it.  We are our own worst critics, so why can’t we turn that around and be our own best cheerleaders???  Enough negative self talk, because it really does manifest itself.  Believe me, I’m the queen of that.  But turn that around – if you don’t like something about yourself make a plan to change it. Figure out something that makes your soul smile and GO AFTER IT with all you’ve got.

Stay PAWsitive!  It matters.

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Sundays and Writing

Hello lovelies.  It’s been FOREVER since I’ve been on this blog and I have missed it.  I have so much to tell you and I will be sharing several times a week so please come along with me.  Wanted to just say hello and give you a quick update.

Finally I have an actual schedule for posting and themes for each day of the week, so I feel so much more organized and focused.  It will be a challenge to write every day about the designated theme but hopefully it will be fun for all of us.

You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.  ~Stephen King

I love writing with bright colors especially when my mood is grey.

Life is not just black and white, so choose to live in COLOR!  Enjoy the colors around you even when, especially when, your mood is heavy or sad.  We will do this together a few times a week.  Until then, relax on this wonderful Sunday evening and take a few minutes to get ready for Monday.  Stay PAWsitive!

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Revenge Body?

So there’s a show on E TV with Khloe Kardashian called “Revenge Body.”  I just heard about it today.  I want to get some input here.  I know a lot of people want to make dramatic changes to prove something to an ex, like “look what you’re missing” type of motivation.

I am playing devil’s advocate here.  I set some personal weight loss/transformation goals that were/are JUST FOR ME.  No revenge no external motivation at all.  I wanted to transform for myself so that I can be happy with ME and feel comfortable in my own skin.

I’m interested to see what you guys think – is one type of motivation better than another?  Is it more productive to get in shape and make yourself better/healthier as revenge for someone dumping you, or is it more positive and likely to have lasting results if you do it for YOURSELF?

I advocate for doing things for yourself.  The opinions of others are nowhere near as important as how you feel about YOU.  I’ve been living this for many, many months now, but I didn’t really have a ‘revenge’ reason per se.  I continue to work because I’m doing this for me, not for anyone else.  However, does revenge motivation work long term?  Ready…..GO!

No right or wrong answer here- just want some feedback.  I’m sure I was dumped eons ago because I got fat, but it took me decades to do something about it – but that’s not a bad thing in my eyes.  I am working so incredibly hard to transform myself inside and out SIMPLY FOR ME.  Let me know what you think – let’s talk this out my lovelies 🙂

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What Will Your Word Be?

I came across this blog post yesterday and it really resonated with me.  http://goinswriter.com/broken-resolution/. So I set about to find my word for 2017.  This seemed like something pretty important to me as I set some goals for my writing that I basically ignored last year.  What did I come up with?  And how will I use this in 2017?

UNSTOPPABLE. 

Yea, sounds amazing, right?  The key is to USE THIS word, in everything I do, everything I pursue.  NOTHING can stop me, because what I want to accomplish MATTERS.  It occurred to me during this exercise that I basically messed around with my writing like I did with my weight loss/fitness for so long until I FINALLY got serious about it.  So, I spent some time with myself and set some firm intentions.  Not resolutions, though that’s fine if that’s what makes you giddy inside.  I had a heart to heart chat with myself, once again affirmed that I AM A WRITER, now I just have to act like one.

I chatted with a dear friend of mine about choosing a word, and she was all for it too.  She has been through some SERIOUS stuff in 2016, so her word is UNBREAKABLE.  Through everything, she has refused to sink, and together we are pushing each other to live with purpose and intention, and put our words to use in everything we do.

What is your word?  I challenge you to pick one.  If you need some ideas, check out http://Oneword365.com and make a list of ones that speak to you.  Then choose!  Come on along, this will be fun.  But it isn’t just a word – this is your intention for the year.  Everything you do you must do with this word in mind.

As the website says “CHOOSE JUST ONE WORD. Go where it takes you. Be who it makes you.”

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One of those “I am having a meltdown and honestly have no idea why!” Days.

Whew – hang with me lovelies, this one might be a bit long.  SO today, I just woke up cranky.  Two of my dogs have been having some health issues, and I didn’t sleep well last night.  However, this has happened before and I didn’t lose it.  Today was just ONE OF THOSE FREAKIN DAYS.  Tired, sleepy, stressed, annoyed at things the pups do that normally don’t bother me –  and NO it isn’t PMS :).

You know the days.  You create problems where there are none, you see issues where things really are perfectly normal.  You INSIST on that glass half empty no matter what.  The day started with my pouting my way through my workout (it was a great workout, and I didn’t slack, I just pouted because I was cranky).

You question things that don’t need to be questioned.  Seriously, I couldn’t get out of my own head today.  Everything, I mean EVERYTHING – every little tiny thing – lived there today, festered there, churning and churning and pulling me down even more.

Taking it out on people close to me and expecting them to understand.  REALLY?  How the heck could they – it was IN MY HEAD – they don’t live there.  The stupid, ridiculous questions for no reason. They couldn’t know where the words were coming from because it was all this perfect storm in my wacky brain.  I’m sure some friends today were like “ohhhhkkkkkaaayyyy then we’ll just try to talk to her tomorrow.”  This is not my normal state I promise – so I know it was as frustrating to those around me as it was to me.

Ok, so – now that you know I had a REALLY messed up day (where NOTHING at all was wrong, but to me everything was wrong), you’re probably thinking “Pam, we all have these days why are you going on about it?”

I want to tell you how I got over my meltdown – and NO I did not cheat on my meal plan and have chocolate 🙂 After getting back from the vet, and enjoying a few laughs there because my dogs are going to be fine and they were really showing off, I decided that I was GETTING ON MY OWN FREAKIN NERVES!!!

So I did this thing that I do when I really just have had enough of myself (you see, I do have a routine because I live alone so it can happen lol).  I turned off my phone, let the pups run around in the back yard, and I grabbed my journal and a pen and joined them outside.

I just wrote – no subject, no structure, maybe I spelled things right, maybe I didn’t.  Some tears were shed as I realized WOW lady, you really did make a wreck of today and you can’t get that back.  Tears can be good.  These were good.  I don’t even know if what I wrote made sense.  It doesn’t matter.  No one will see, no one will judge.  My therapy was sunshine, pen and paper.  I needed to get out all the things – all the things I over analyzed and turned into gigantic things when they were not even things!  HA – now that’s a great literary sentence for you 🙂

Totally amazing how dumping all my crazy, troubled nonsense thoughts out into my trusty little book turned things around for me.  See, I was no longer carrying that CRAP in my head trying to figure it all out.  It didn’t need to be figured out (remember I made problems where there were none).  It needed to be written down and then put to rest.  WHAT A RELIEF!

I got out of my own way the best way I know how.  I’m not good at talking to people about these things so writing is my therapy.  What do you all do when you have one of those days?

Let me hear from you.  I love you guys – thanks for reading.

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October – my favorite month!

Autumn is here!  Well – in theory, because it’s still a bit too warm for my taste.  But something about turning the calendar to October makes my heart happy.  Football, hoodies, gorgeous leaves changing colors… I feel energized and excited to see what my favorite month has in store for me.

Saw this quote on Instagram today, and really wanted to post it here so I can talk about it.

The fall teaches us a lesson every year.  Trees go bare and banish dead parts that no longer belong.  The leaves, that change colors, an then fall to the earth represent the things that we truly need to let go of.   – Sylvester McNutt

Isn’t this a great way to think of Fall?  All of the things that are weighing you down, let them be those leaves that are going to fall to the ground.  Let them go, and feel the freedom, enjoy this beautiful season!

I have some very aggressive personal goals for this month, but rather than feeling overwhelmed, I feel motivated and determined.  This is the perfect month for me to tackle these goals, and I want to take you all along with me.  A very, very dear friend of mine gave me a little tough love this week, reminding me that I cannot call myself a writer if I don’t WRITE.

I have been focusing on my fitness and health but have neglected my creative self.  She was so right.  Just talking about writing doesn’t build a following, doesn’t inspire anyone, and really just frustrates me.  What’s that old saying “don’t talk about it, be about it?” Yeah – that.

So many thoughts in my head, and several people have encouraged me to just put them out there because they might inspire or interest at least one person.  That is a great way to think about it, and that helps me keep things in perspective.  I don’t have to write the GREATEST content I just have to be present and share myself with you all.  🙂

Set yourself some goals, right now… go ahead.  Whatever negativity is holding you back, let that go like those leaves that will be falling to the ground.  Only YOU can make your dreams come true, so come along with me.  What do you have to lose?  Let’s make Autumn our best season yet.

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Never. Forget. 9/11/01

Today has been a strange day, because it’s the first Sunday for NFL football, which is usually my favorite day of the year.  However, it is also the anniversary of the saddest day in our nation’s history.  This is NOT a political post at all (though most of you who really know me know where I am on the political spectrum).  I really just want to make a couple of points and call it a night.  Today I will not talk about the NFL games that I’ve been counting down to since the Super Bowl ended last year.

Today I will talk about the day…. That day that NONE of us will ever, ever forget.  Where we were.  Who we talked to first…. The emotions… The tears… It all seemed so surreal and unbelievable.  How could this happen to the GREATEST country on earth?

Then the magic happened.  After tragedy came the magic.  Our wonderful, beautiful, hopeful country came together…  TOGETHER… To heal.  To recover.  To clean up the unthinkable sites where terrorism had hit our tough as nails country.  We. Came. Together……

The days, weeks, months after that awful, awful day that still brings tears to my eyes really showed WHAT MAKES AMERICA GREAT.  PLEASE let’s forget politics, and political parties on this day.  Let’s think about the PEOPLE of These UNITED STATES of America.  UNITED, NOT DIVIDED.  It didn’t matter what color, religion, sexual orientation you were – we were TOGETHER, to help, however we could, to help our country heal and come back greater than ever.

Think about that….. Color….. Religion…. Sexual orientation.  DID NOT MATTER.  We were all AMERICANS.

Today, we are all consumed with the NFL players and whether they will stand for the National Anthem.  I’m heartbroken that we think this is the most important issue facing our wonderful country.   We are free – we have the right to stand, kneel, sit – whatever we choose on any given day.  How AMAZING is that????

Today, can we PLEASE remember back to 15 years ago, when nothing else mattered but healing our country?  Our country, the greatest on earth, still has massive amounts of healing to do, and we ALL need to play our parts in this.  UNITED we stand, but DIVIDED we fall, and my greatest fear when I put my head on my pillow at night is that we are far too divided.  Let us not allow hatred and bigotry to get in the way of the greater good. Please…..

NEVER. EVER. FORGET.  And let the lesson we learned about ourselves as Americans 15 years ago come back to us today.  Our differences are so much smaller than our similarities.  United we MUST stand.

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