The Origin Story

WaitLife will be about being a busy woman, a mom, an artist/DIYer. It will be about my life and my weight loss (I hope) journey. WaitLife will be about how I navigate the fact that life doesn’t wait. It will be about my “normal” life in all of it’s mundane glory with wisdom and humor and (I hope) entertainment. I hope this becomes an origin story. I would love to become a super hero, or at least someone who is quicker than a sarcastic comment, more powerful than the glass ceiling, who leaps out of bed in the morning excited to greet the day…not flipping the bird (because: patience), not looking too plain…just SuperLiz. 


Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

I had a moment, y’all. I am feeling so much and I think this might be…excitement. It’s almost like its been so long, I’m not sure that’s what this is. It’s kinda’ like when those intuitive eating folks tell you to listen to you body for hunger signals and , as a lifelong overeater, I have no idea what the hell they are talking about. Like, actual stomach pain, or cramps, or what, Margaret? Because if “listening” is waiting for the desire to eat…Sweets, I feel that if I see something that looks tasty, or if I taste something that’s yummy (free samples are a trap, y’all), or if its any day ending in “y” and I am breathing oxygen. What the hell does that look like? However, as for excitement, I think this is it. I believe I am full-on feeling excitement again.

Let me backtrack a minute.

For the past few…scratch that, SEVERAL months (nearly a year now) I have been working from home. Children home, no gym, eating at will, one day blending into the next day into the weekend into the next week and no real “week end” to look forward to. My email is on my phone, in my home, in my office/art studio, it beckons me from every corner of my life. While I have loved being home with my family this much, my sense of me has drifted away. I haven’t worked out. I’ve barely talking to anyone outside of my small tribe. I haven’t really thought about where I am in my life. I’ve been existing…and eating – let’s not forget the eating because it has has been no small part of this period of time.

As I said, I have drifted through this time. I let one day fade into the next. I picked up a TikTok habit. I watched too much streaming media. I spent too much time on social media. I spent too much time laying around doing nothing…or nothing that added value to my life.

But that not the whole story. I also, got back to my art. And I began to really read again. And now I’m beginning to feel hope and what I think is “excitement” again. I feel like I am waking up.

Its like over the last couple of months, a seed has been slowly growing inside of me. Where I used to look forward to the total mental vacation I could take when I watched trash TV, now I don’t feel like my mind wants to lay on the beach with a pina colada anymore. Before I just wanted to bask in the proverbial warmth of the sun on my skin and the rum in my belly and ignore the sunburn and hangover that were coming. Now I am ready to deal with it.

The thing about excitement is that it gets you on track. It’s hard to look forward to dealing with the fallout from months of “meh.” In fact, trying to recover from “meh” just because you know you should, almost feels like too much effort. But excitement – that’s adding a little bit of spice. I find I cannot “should” myself into fixing things. I have to have something to look forward to.

And I do – I am looking forward with exceitment once again.

We took a short trip this past weekend to another city. We were checking out the area because maybe it’s time for a change. We’re not sure yet, but I think just the act of getting out of my house and taking a “vacation” from my life – an active break from my mental vacationing – has helped to me remember that there is a whole world out there and that that can be exciting and not terrifying.

Its like the difference between seeing life as an adventure vs. a survival story.

I am looking forward. I am moving forward. I am ready and I think it’s time. Even if we are home for months more, for me, that doesn’t mean putting things on hold anymore. It felt like drifting, but it’s always been living. Now I am back to being an active participant.

Vacationing in the sun feels so good, but life is about experiencing more than sunshine. You can’t live, really live, without diving into that world of open water – ready explore all of the things you can’t see from a comfy seat on the beach.

Starting starting

Is it ever too late to start? I tend to think not. Probably because I’ve been waiting around a good portion of my life for things to start happening. I mean, I still got up in the morning, made my way in the world, I have had accomplishments, but things have always felt like…”someday.” Do you know that feeling?

To be recognized. That’s what I dreamed of. I want to be recognized but am deathly afraid of being recognized. I was raised with a healthy daily dose of “don’t impose” and be humble to the point of shame. Now, that is not to make my parents bad guys. They were expressing their own inner trauma/fear. But still, as I have had my kids and watch them and see how truly and utterly confident they are born, knowing without a doubt that they just are, and that they belong, and that they are enough in themselves, I feel a little sad for who ruined me…and my parents…and you…and everyone. I want to be funny about that, but it makes me profoundly, deeply, sad when I think about it.

That said, it doesn’t have to stay that way. Sitting in a pool of sadness will make you all wrinkly and sopping wet. Who wants to drown in a puddle of tears when you can doggie paddle your way out of the darkness? I think I have beat this analogy to death.

So, I am there. I am here. I am not waiting for someday anymore. I am not waiting to win the lottery, or when the kids get grown, or when I lose weight, or when I pay off some bills, or when the pandemic ends, or even until Monday. I am not waiting any more.

So here’s my plan: start moving.

That’s it. I have had so many brilliant “I’m gonna get started” moments where I make lists and plans, that I never quite finished and that never quite happen. I’m not saying that having a plan is a bad thing. You gotta’ have some idea of where you want to go or what you want to do. But it is easy to spend the “I’m fed up with my life” capital on making a list and imagining a different life. That UMPH! can get a little less umph!-y while you plan and wait. The urgency begins to wain and you start telling yourself that you need to really concentrate on putting this one thing together to get started, or you really need to have a really clean house before you can start something, or you really want to wait until Monday because it just makes sense to have a measurable/targeted start date. Y’all, I have even delayed starting to try and get healthier because I didn’t have a scale and didn’t want to start until I knew my starting weight (so I could later celebrate/brag about how much I lost). For real – this happened.

I’m tired of planning. Years ago, y’all, when I was trying to break a bad habit, I saw all of the advice folks had about weaning yourself off, giving yourself a break, stopping in slow manageable steps. That works for some. For me, I quit by quitting. I don’t quit by slowing rolling it. I quit by stopping. I think action for me is going to have to be the same way.

I cant start by planning. I have to start doing. And I KNOW that is the thing they teach you in project management is THE WORST way of doing anything. Planning should be the longest part of the process. But it has been. I found a plan the other day that I had written in a notebook in 2005. Y’all this coming out has been a long time coming.

So I am doing. I am not procrastinating. I am not someday-ing. I am NOW-ing. I am doing.

Thrive-ival Mode

I benefited from the advice of some great women yesterday.

It seemed like it was a day for me to read things that spoke to my soul and I am still reeling this morning from words that I felt, not just read or heard.

Do you believe that things happen for a reason or that events conspire, pushing towards a specific goal? I do. I believe that there are times in our lives that it becomes apparent we are supposed to move in a certain direction or do something. Other times it is not as clear. Sometimes it is the little coincidences in your life that feel like deja vu or you say to yourself, “I was just thinking about that particular thing and then here it is.”

I am a person of faith. I believe that all of this is the voice of God. I think God talks to us all the time. Now I’m not talking hearing voices, although some folks have reported clearly hearing His voice at times. I’m talking about those things that keep presenting themselves in your life until you acknowledge them. I’m talking about when a sometimes seemingly random thought comes into your head and it turns out it is an important one – maybe something you needed to be thinking about in a moment when it was furthermost from your mind. You don’t have to be a person who believes in God to believe that things move in a natural rhythm or direction, like water flowing. Taoism & Buddhism, for instance, both talk about moving in patterns with the harmony of the universe.

Now I am no religious scholar and I didn’t wade into this to sway anyone’s belief system one way or another. This was simply to say that I believe things came together yesterday to move me in a direction that I am really excited about. I feel it is harmonious with both the universe/God’s plan and with where I am at in my life/my plan.

First things first, lets rip that band-aid off. I uninstalled Netflix from my phone. I know. I know! This seems like a simple, stupid thing to some folks, but it was a biggie to me. I read a column from a blogger I follow (shout out to Mandi at Vintage Revivals) and she talked about removing things from her life that didn’t bring her happiness or hope, and she specifically called out Netflix. Now Netflix is something I enjoy, but there is something about it that has always bothered me. When I was younger I always said that when I had kids we would not have a TV in the house. This was because I saw my parents spend too much time as I was growing up just doing their time at work and coming home at night to vege out in front of the television. I never wanted that kind of life. Yet, now I’m kinda doing the same thing (the patterns we learn repeating themselves – like ruts in the road/the well trodden path). I watch Netflix nearly every day. I stream shows to “relax,” to give my brain a break, at the end of a long day. Still, it bothered me on some level the time I was taking away from the things I could do that feed my soul. These thing I can’t “find the time” to do. Meanwhile, I can sit down a watch a marathon of Jane the Virgin (ironically a show about a woman to strives live her dreams on her own terms). Plus, there was the downside. Once the episodes ran out, I got a bit sad. It was like I joined this little group/family for a time and experienced their lives and now I was cut off from that family. They were exciting lives too that never involved the daily minutia that makes up most of normal people’s lives. What would happen next? How would the folks fulfill their dreams?…While i sit on my ass not doing anything about mine. (Its easier to watch than do, right?). You know, folks talk about social media giving you unattainable expectations for your life when you see the ideal things people post about their lives…how about the ideal of watching people who live their dreams and solve every bump in the road in just under an hour and watching this for hours on end?

When I read Mandi’s comment it hit me right in the heart. And I knew I needed to move away from this time-sucking, mind-sucking form of entertainment. My commitment was affirmed when, at the first thought of getting rid of Netflix, I felt a moment of panic and then tried to bargain with myself saying, “Maybe I’ll just finish the series I’m watching since I’m in the last season and then I’ll quit.” Dude, if that’s not addiction talking…How many times have I just said, “I’ll finish this junk food I bought and then start eating healthy,” or “I’ll go ahead and eat what I want this weekend, and start my new ‘lifestyle’ on Monday,”? So, yeah, those thoughts let me know that stopping, at least for now (one day at a time, right?), was what I needed to do.

That lead me to reading more, which lead me to a quote by Martha Beck, a life coach of Oprah’s O Magazine. She was speaking to a person who dealt with food addiction. She said, “Addiction is a sign that a person is divided from her truth. You have feelings that are uncomfortable and food lets you stay numb and block them out.” WHOA!

Sometimes in this struggle, when people want to analyze to death every aspect of your childhood and your emotional life to find a root cause of your problem, I have felt like saying, “Lighten up – sometimes a cookie (or an entire pizza) is just a cookie,” or, “Hey, I just like food.” However, ultimately I know that there is more to it than being a person who likes to eat. Ultimately I have an unhealthy relationship with my body and that is the real problem. I’ve said for a long time that obesity is a sign of disordered thinking. Most people who are within a “normal” healthy weight range for their body are that way not because they can eat anything and not gain weight (although some of those jerk-faces – kidding – are out there as well). No, most people who have a healthy relationship with their body either watch what they eat/exercise or, if they see they start to get overweight, they take action to fix that. I don’t. I see myself gain some weight and I throw up my hands or stick my head in the sand. I convince myself it doesn’t matter. I didn’t get to over 450 lbs at one point by having a healthy relationship with or connection to my body. There is a disconnect there. And, while I would have argued for a long time that I just liked to eat, and my genetics were just bad, and I was not feeling any kind of emotion about it…that wasn’t exactly the whole truth, was it? The truth is that I WASN’T feeling any kind of emotion because the food numbed me and distracted  me. The food made sure I didn’t feel bad at all…at first. I didn’t feel anything bad. I didn’t feel anything at all. I was out of touch with the body I live in.

Now, like a lot of career weight loss warriors, I have tried many times to lose weight and different avenues. The problem now thought is that when I started losing weight in 2014 I did it in a much more balanced way than I had before and I reaped the benefits of not just looking slimmer, but also feeling f-ing fantastic! I was working out. I had fitness goals. Me! The girl who at one time couldn’t walk from the car into the mall without being winded. And I liked – no, LOVED that feeling. I felt good in my body for once – I felt my body (not in a creepy way). We were (mostly) harmonious. So, now that I have experienced that, I am having a hard time going back to sticking my head in the sand about how my body feels. I can no longer tune it out. I cannot deny that my feelings, or a desire not to feel them, is doing damage that manifests itself physically. That’s why this quote hit me hard. It’s so true!

And it felt like a revelation, especially for someone who considers themselves fairly rational and open to the truth. This was a truth that I really felt. It feels like an answer.

“Addiction is a sign that a person is divided from her truth. You have feelings that are uncomfortable and food lets you stay numb and block them out.”

And that was just the first thing I read in my new non-Netflix time…

The other thing I read was FINALLY finishing up The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines. I think I started reading this when I was out on maternity leave (over a year ago). And the thing is, its a great read! Its easy to follow, interesting and told in a narrative way. It’s very personable and seems like a conversation – like they are in the room with you telling you their story. It’s an easy and entertaining read…when you’re not watching Netflix. So I finished it last night instead of my normal routine (as a side note, my daughter, who is an iPad/Netflix junkie too – a fact that has concerned me for some time – actually took an interest in the fact that I was reading and wanted to read with me r me to read to her more than our normal bedtime story). As I was reading through, Joanna talks about the perfectionism she used to seek when it came to cleaning her house and making it look perfect. In fact, her worry over how their home looked took away from her kids enjoyment. She said back then, one, she didn’t design living areas of their home with spaces dedicated to the children and, two, there was conflict because she was so focused on them not making messes so the place stayed a showplace. It wasn’t just the kids either. Her perfectionism also took away from her enjoyment both of her home and of her children. She spent a lot of time correcting the very behavior that give the kids enjoyment. This brought tension to their relationship. It also cost her the opportunity to enjoy the delight that children bring, reminding you what it was like to be a kid and just play and discover. Gosh! That hit home. Not that my house is a showplace, but I do spend more time than I would like on things that are not, in the long run, important or fulfilling.

And there I am, right back at Mandi’s comment about putting your time into things that bring you hope or happiness and, more to the point, cutting ties with those things that don’t. Plus, if you are that emotionally in touch and focused on your joy, then maybe you don’t hide from your feelings. Maybe you don’t have to eat to numb, or watch shows to numb, or drink, or spend, or whatever the habit is that pushes that lever for you and gives you a short-term “feel good” with the subsequent numbing effects….and the much later regret, beating yourself up, and bargaining.

So here I am.

I had already committed to working on my health this year, but I feel like I want to do it in a different way. In the past I had lost weight in a way that was competitive with myself. I wanted to achieve the next five pound loss or hit the next goal point in my journey. I wanted to stay under my calorie targets or hit my step goal. I was motivated. The only downside to that is that it places a lot of pressure on you. If you’re winning, it’s great. When you don’t hit a goal, it’s frustrating and disheartening. You want to lash out. I am at the point where I want to get healthier by making healthy choices, maybe even tracking (writing down) what I eat, but I don’t want weights and measures. I don’t want to weigh every day or maybe even every week at this point. I don’t want to count macros or calories or points. I want to make choices that make sense for my life. I want to add more natural food, cut back on or cut out some things, but nothing that is a hard, fast rule that feels like too much pressure. I thrive well under rules in in competition for a while, but eventually it begins to feel like I am being controlled, like I am performing for other people or acting out what works for them. I need to do me, but the best version of me. Does that make sense?

And I want to do what else Joanna advised, I want to thrive where I am, not live in survival mode. I want it to feel like I am living my life, not constantly working towards a point in the future where I can relax once my work/weight loss/etc. is done. Because the ugly truth is that I am never going to be done with this struggle my whole life, but I don’t have to let it consume my whole life. It can be there, just another part of my story, but it doesn’t have to be the whole story. I want to bloom where I am planted whether I drop 5 lbs this week or not. I want to spend less time distracting myself from the things in my life that make me feel alive, or just make me feel, period. I want to thrive and seek wisdom and look for (or at) the things in life that give me wonder.

Perhaps I can sum it up best with a quote that, ironically, comes from a TV show i watched years ago that so touched me that to this day I still think about it often. It was,

We are meant to be here. We step from one piece of holy ground, to the next, under stars that ask, “Imagine for one second you could drop in on a past life. What would charm you, make you proud?” Ask yourself that and the question of what to do in this life becomes so simple it’s terrifying. Just to do that thing that would charm you, that would make you say, “Yes, this is the real me.” Do that, and you’re alive.

Do that and you’re thriving.

Some Things Just Don’t Matter

We live in an era of ego here in the US. This is evident in everything from our brash politicians, to our favorite self-involved social media past times (blog, anyone?), to our focus on making sure we have a unique name/sense of style/personalized existence including everything from our Starbucks order to our smart phone case. Everything is about the individual and our one-of-a-kind experience. It is through this lens of total self-involvement that I have decided that some things just don’t matter.

It all started with survivors guilt. A few years ago, as I was working through some death “stuff”, I came across so many articles that talked about survivors guilt and the universal nature of it. Survivors guilt can be crippling, as we beat ourselves up for everything we should have done/said/felt. But then it occurred to me how false this is. I mean, why does anyone need to feel bad about things that they didn’t do if, in fact, no matter what you did you are still going to feel bad about what you think you should’ve done better? It’s universal and inescapable. Whether you were the most dedicated friend or a total d-bag to the person, you still feel like you didn’t do enough and there was more you should’ve done. What’s true about this is that its totally false. I mean, if you were a total jerkface to someone, feel like an ass, but don’t feel like one because some trick of hormones tells you that you should! Survivors guilt is a lie, so I decided to let it go. Why hold onto something that only makes you feel bad no matter how good you have been?

And the funny thing is, this is probably the opposite of what most people would tell you. In fact, most would argue that the universality of any human experience makes it more valid, because it is shared. I mean, one of my favorite authors wrote a poem in which she says, “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike….” It is a virtual celebration of how human beings should find solace in our commonality. And its wonderful when you talk about how we all answer a smile with a smile or understand what an open hand offered in friendship means, but when we’re talking about things that cause us to suffer, why shouldn’t we look at those commonalities as just bad programming?

So today, I was reading an “Ask Polly” column where Polly concentrated on the power of shame – both for negative and positive results. And it occurred to me that shame is pretty darned universal too! Feeling bad about yourself is pretty darned common. So common, in fact, that it totally flies in the face of our proud, individualistic nature.

You want to be basic? Put on some booties and an infinity scarf, buy a PSL and shame yourself.

There is nothing unique about guilting yourself or feeling bad about yourself. We all do it. It’s just bad programming. Not only does shaming yourself lack originality and imagination, but it also sucks up too much of your time. You get such a short amount of time, we all do. Why spend one moment of that on something that can basically be chalked up to bad programming? Save the feeling bad for when you do something that is shameful, something that hurts someone else, or is just plain mean. Feel guilty when you deserve it for being an ass, not for just being you.

As I said in the title, some things just don’t matter, but you do. You matter…unique you, not “universally programmed guilt machine” you. Embrace the ego, maybe even start a blog, but whatever you do, stop feeling bad for bad programming!

A Gal with a Plan: Last Week of August 2018

This is my last week of the August body reset plan. As of this morning I have lost a total of….drum roll please…19.7 lbs. I’m hoping by Saturday morning that total will tip over the 20 lb mark because, a) I’m that much closer to my goal, and, b) I’m a little uptight about numbers being nice round, even things.


Being as this is my last week of my body reset, I am already formulating a plan of attack for next month. Prong one of that plan involves finally picking back up at the gym. Prong two, I believe is going to be all about trying something new with eating – intermittent fasting. Prong three is going to be not going crazy on Saturday (or anytime thereafter)… hmmmm, maybe that should be prong one.

You know, I am looking forward to feeling freer to make choices and eat things outside of my current pretty strict clean eating regimen. What I’m finding though is that I am enjoying the anticipation more than I think I will actually enjoy the food. Weirdly, going off of my current plan kind of scares me. I am afraid of the freedom because I am feeling so good for the first time in a while. I don’t want to mess that up. If anything, I want to add working out in so that I feel even better. At the same time, I don’t want to stick to this strict eating if it is not livable long-term. Those things don’t work. You end up feeling deprived and bored. And we all know that boredom leads to acting out…well, at least it does for me. So I am trying to imagine a happy medium – a middle ground that I can live in. What does that life look like?

Is it a life free of tracking my food? I mean, I know that works for weight loss, but I am not sure that I am ready to go there yet. I can get a little obsessed and be slightly extreme in case you hadn’t noticed.

Is it a life without the scale? Whoa! That one made my heart drop a little. I mean, can I do that? I have gone for years at a time without the scale when I was in full “obeast” mode, but every time I am trying to lose weight the scale has been an important (if not the most important) part of that. It’s my control.

Is it a life where I mostly eat clean and allow some treats sometimes? Does that mean I can pick back up my daily English muffin for breakfast? Does that mean I once again enjoy coffee, but just not every morning? (Strangely, since I have been doing this I haven’t missed coffee that much as a pick-me-up in the morning. I haven’t needed it for energy.) Do I allow drinks, but only on special occasions? What about cheese and other dairy?

So. Many. Questions.


This week will be all about me trying to answer those questions in a way that works for me. I mean, I read about what works for other folks all the time.  I think you will find that most people with a weight problem have read their weight in weight loss success stories and articles. We are educated about what works for people (and still want a fairy godmother to fix it with a wave of her wand). But knowing what works for other people and applying that fix to your own situation is the real key to finding a permanent solution, I am convinced. You have to do what works for you. You need a program that works around your lifestyle, tolerance, motivation, and habits. That is what I am trying to design for myself. A fully customized plan for getting fit so what works, sticks. I have lost weight so many times over the years and then bounced back. I am tired of the yo-yo so the “no no yo-yo” plan has to be livable. There are questions I have to ask myself and things I have to determine based on my knowledge of who I am and what I am willing to do. Once I have that assessed then I can plan accordingly, and plan for success, and plan for when my plan slips. And overall, I can reach an understanding so that addressing this problem and making this journey, feels natural. If it feels natural then the next steps, while maybe not easy, will at least be obvious. Obvious is the best kind of easy when tackling a problem so large. I can’t argue with the logic of the obviously right answer. Then I just have to argue with the desire not to make that choice. Easy peasy, right? RIGHT?!?!??

Well, I will let you all know soon enough.



Weighing Week Two

Ok y’all…time for an update on how my August Whole Food Body Reset is going.

Well, first, I feel a lot better. I am sleeping better at night, feeling more energetic. Generally finding that I have more UMPH!, joie de vivre, skip in my step and twinkle in my eye. I don’t drag myself out of bed on Mondays anymore. I spring up, ready to go…until I realize I’m only going to work and then I throw the covers back over my head. BUT, the point is, that I am not dragging around because I’m nursing a food hangover. I am energized.

These two fruits are my jam (yes, I went there).

Second, I am not struggling as much as I thought I would. I’m not going to claim it has always been easy. I went with the G-ma (my mom, Grandmother extraordinaire) & the Bug (my six-year-old) to Target where they swung by Starbucks. As I sucked on my splendid venti water, I mostly contained my seething jealousy watching everyone else slurp down lattes and feast on pastries. Mostly.

Still, most of the time I have felt good doing this and the keys to the whole thing have been that:

  1. I am not letting myself get to the point of homicidal hunger and
  2. I have found things to eat and snack on that I really like and would eat anyway (hello pistachios & watermelon). These things feel like treats, but they don’t feel like cheating.

    Pistachios should quake in their shells when they hear me approach…

So, first I am feeling better. Second, it hasn’t been too bad. I know you’re probably thinking, “Blah, Blah, Blah, let’s get to the good stuff…does it work?????”


Week one I dropped 12.5 lbs.

Week two I dropped 5.6 lbs.

For those parents still struggling with the rules of common core, lemme’ break it down: that’s a total of 18.1 lbs.

Yes, you read that right – 18.1 lbs. I know, I know, it’s a lot and you are not supposed to lose a lot so fast. The truth is, I have a lot to lose and my body was obviously primed and ready for me to start feeding it what it could burn. And I am feeding it. I do not want to be starving or feel deprived and for the most part I don’t. I mean it’s a little hard to watch the Hubs down chips and salsa without a slight chip on my shoulder (yes, I went there too), but for the most part I enjoy what I am eating now and only rarely have wistful moments when I long for those days of wild abandon when wine and pizza sauce made up the bulk of my fruit and vegetable servings.

This is a “paleo pancake” which is similar to a regular pancake in that you cook it in a pan, but in almost no other way. Still – it’s not bad. Basically it is made of mashed bananas and eggs. My brilliant Hubs suggested adding the fruit. The Nugget (my 1 yr old) loved them!

Besides, it is not as much about the scale for me right now. It is about the challenge – making it through. The scale is hard at this point because I am so far from where I am going that even big losses feel like a drop in the bucket. Still, I am closer now than I was a few weeks ago, or even a week ago. I am seriously thinking of continuing these habits even once the month is done. I mean, I do want to add some food back in, but I may abandon some stuff altogether or only save it for “special occasions.” It’s hard, when you’re feeling pretty great again, to imagine doing a lot to sabotage that. Still, I get that things will happen. Life happens and doesn’t stop and sometimes requires comfort food and/or drink. The key for me is finding what is livable. And I’m finding my way with that.

So far, this challenge is off to a rollicking success.


You know, by nature I am a pretty chill gal. I don’t believe in violence towards my fellow man. That includes actions or even words. I think the world would be a better place if we were all a little kinder to each other. Then there are those days….lizsmash

Today is one of those days. Probably because I didn’t sleep well last night, possibly because I am a bit hormonal, definitely because I am just tired. This is tired beyond sleep, beyond anything even a week off from work can cure. This is the kind of tired that has set into my soul because I feel like I am always being pushed, by everything and everyone all the time. Choices, right?

I try to keep it together. I think this is partially a result of growing up fat. When you’re the fat kid the one thing you can’t do is let other people see you struggle. If you struggle or need help then you fulfill every fat stereotype out there. You’re not capable. You’re lazy. You’re a “can’t” and a “don’t” all rolled up into one rolly-polly package. Fat people can’t do things, so don’t become a fat person. Being fat isn’t a physical failing. It is a moral one.

So, I try to keep it together. But some days, when I take a moment to look up from having my nose on the grindstone, I wonder what it’s all for.

It’s like folding underwear. What’s the point?

And sometimes that makes me angry.

I’m not generally resentful of my life, because: Choices. There are times, however, when I want to scream and throw things like a 2-year-old. I’m normally, happy, fun, loving Liz. But in those moments, I want to become LIZ SMASH!

Of course, then who is gonna’ have to pick up the broken pieces though?

I mean, I don’t really want there to be broken pieces, not of my life. I just want to pressure to stop. Stop asking for things, or asking me to fix things, and put on your own dang socks, kid! Let me have a minute when I am not being pushed or pulled by anything, by asks and expectations. And, really, when I think of it, I want other people and things to stop putting expectations on me.

Really, though, are they? Probably not. There is one person in my life who is responsible for every dang bit of pressure put on me. Surprise, it’s me!

Not only am I responsible for the pressure to please, but I am also responsible for taking on so much that I feel like I have to juggle frantically to keep up. Does everyone feel this way?

I don’t know how to take on less or to put aside my need to try and live up to what other folks expect. I am the go-to person. I am the one with the answers. And most of the time I like that role. I like being in charge and in the know. The thing they never tell you, when they put on that supreme ruler of the world crown, is that there are downsides. Once the crown is on, it ain’t coming off. Not to sleep, not to eat, not to have five minutes in the restroom where a kid isn’t asking you to brush their hair or look at what they just drew. Heavy is the crown, right?

Really, I don’t resent my life. I LOVE it.

Then, what do I do now? Well, with anything in life, if you want it to grow, you feed it. When I’m feeling negative, when I’m feeling resentful, or angry, I’m not going to feed that. Instead I feed the things I want to grow. I look at pictures or videos of my kids and my husband. I make a list of things that I want to accomplish – positive goals. I watch a little stupid reality TV, or listen to music and flip through a magazine mindlessly. I am both distracting myself and finding things that make me feel good so I can feed that, not the negative. I look at what I have and I look at the situation I could be in – people certainly have it a lot worse off than me. I focus on gratitude and attitude. And sometimes, I even fake it.

Today, my coping mechanism is writing. Today, I started out with some angry words pointed at someone I love, and now I am typing these words and realizing that there is someone I need to apologize to.

So, I will. I will put on my big girl panties (the ones I don’t bother to fold) and I will apologize. And I will post this blog. And I will get on with it, answering the questions, fixing the problems, brushing the hair, being the pretty chill gal that I am. Because when the anger passes, I don’t want there to be any broken pieces that I have to pick up. I don’t want to be broken and I don’t want to break anyone else.

I would, however, occasionally like a break…but that’s another blog for another day.

Happy Thursday, people!

Simple, Not Easy, Answers

I was talking to a friend a couple of weeks ago about the latest fad in weight loss she had read about. Now, this particular friend has tried everything from low carb to low temp (Cool Sculpting) in an attempt to knock off the pounds all with limited success. She is under 40-years-old and over her ideal weight by around 80lbs.

She’s always trying though, which I admire.

I’ve been on that same roller coaster too. Always trying , always hopeful, always thinking you finally found the right answer, the next big thing, the freakin’ easy button…so that weight loss and being in shape will suddenly transform into something that feels as natural as drinking wine while indulging in salty carbs.

As I was talking to my friend about all of the things she is doing/has done/would like to do it occurred to me that maybe she should just stop. Stop looking for an easy answer and start looking at a simple one.

I suggested to her that she spend some time, maybe a month, retuning herself. My idea was instead of trying to hit the easy button, hit the reset button. Give your body a chance to regulate itself by treating it as nature intended as much as possible.

She simply grimaced, nodded, and wandered back to her office muttering something about googling intermittent fasting, while I sat there amazed by my brilliant insight. I LOVED my idea…and it took me a whole 16 hours to figure out I wasn’t really talking to her as much as I was talking to myself.

You see, I am a person who is energized by competition, even (or probably mainly) by competition with myself, not others necessarily. I like to set goals that are in that sweet spot between “I can totally do that” and “I’m an idiot.” I want any goal I set to be hard enough that it feels like a stretch, but is still attainable. I want my win to feel like I can’t believe I did it…but I do want it to be a win.

So this goal, this idea, finally excited me! My premise is to try eating whole foods as close to their natural state as I can, to spend time exercising, to drink water or green smoothies only, and get away from anything that acts as a stimulant or suppressant – even if they are natural (like coffee which I am giving up for at least the first week).

I went home that night and promptly told my husband whose immediate reply was, “Well, don’t be to hard on yourself.” Translation: If you give up carbs, caffeine and wine, I’m afraid someone might die. So I told him I would start with a week, but I honestly intend for it to be a month – the whole month of August.

Man, I am a little scared because, although I have not before waxed poetic about it before here, I truly/madly/deeply love my normal breakfast which involves eggs, a perfectly toasted english muffin and a coffee chaser. Like this is epic romance level love here, but I think I can do it.

I think it will be tough and I need tough right now. I have not been in a good place. I’m ready to be in a good place again. I am willing to work for it.

(….Aaaaaaand I’m willing to update my blog on it. Wish me luck! Technically it starts Wednesday, but I have already started informally because it’s Monday. I will update soon, unless I do go carb crazy and end up eating a billboard advertising Funyuns or something.)

The Ugly Truth

Can we just talk for a moment about the ugly truths in life? For instance, it is an ugly truth exercise and food are not equal on the weight loss equation. Now I consider myself a hard worker, and I am always the one who will choose to “get the butt-whoopin’ over with” as we like to say here in the South, meaning, get the hard work out of the way. So, by that standard, if I want to have a single nice dinner with wine or eat half (whole) of a pizza in one sitting, then me working out a full five days ahead of time should totally cancel that out, right? I mean FIVE days compared to ONE meal. In fact, by my reckoning I should have more calories to eat. Yes, garçon, I will have dessert with that.

But, no…

That is not the way the equation works. Weight, like your reputation, requires a delicate balance. Sure, everything can be great one moment and you can be at the top of the world and everyone’s darling, but one small slip up, one questionable decision, one tiny little killing spree and all of a sudden everyone looks at you differently. It’s like your years of volunteer work and paying your taxes on time are totally negated by murdering a few people…even if they had it coming (slow drivers in the fast lane I’m looking at you).

The same holds true if you murder a whole cake in one sitting. You can workout until you are sweating buckets for days. You can work at watching and tracking your calories/macros/points diligently at every meal all week. You can practice techniques that make you healthier: relaxation, de-stressing, getting more sleep, deep breathing, hydrating, meditating, etc. In the end though, one wrong move, one wrong meal, has a bigger impact on the scale than all of your many Zumba moves ever did. It’s just not fair!

Ok, speaking of truths, one not so ugly truth: Exercise makes you feel good.

My daughter “working out” at gym class. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I KNOW, I KNOW! Exercise can feel awful. I’ve been there. Exercising makes you feel all sort of unpleasant sensations: out of breath, sweaty, muscles screaming, homicidal thoughts towards your trainer and/or the folks who look cute with their gym “glow.” Me, I don’t glisten. I poor buckets of perspiration as if my body is sobbing from my efforts. While you are doing it, exercise can feel like a cross between punishment and torture, but when you’re done…even beyond the endorphins…you feel good.

It’s true. There is something to be said for knowing you really pushed your body. There is a certain reward in feeling your muscles, even when what you feel is pain. And there is a whole lot of mileage you can get from complaining about it on social media and/or in person. People get it. People can hate the gym with you. As humans, beyond all of our differences in political affiliations, religious practices, gender/race/economic/age/etc. disparities, beyond everything that makes us different, the one thing nearly everyone can agree on is that going to the gym sucks! So use that as fuel, as fodder, as whatever it takes, but exercise, because really…secretly…it kinda’ doesn’t suck (but we don’t have to talk about that awful truth anymore today).

So, yes, the truth is exercise – putting in the work(out) – is not going to cancel out to the one meal you eat with gusto (and with a side of fries). Sorry, the math just does not work that way. But that’s OK. Weight loss will not be your reward for eating a whole pizza (do you all sense a trend here in what my weakness is?) no matter how many crunches you do. Unfortunately, it’s what you crunch on in the kitchen that really make a difference for weight loss. Nevertheless though, exercise rewards you with feeling great and overall health in the long run. It allows you to feel stronger, faster and less stressed. You may not lose weight just by exercising, but you may curb some of those homicidal tendencies you have when faced with gym glisteners, slow drivers, or people mispronounce the word “espresso” as “eXpresso.” If not, at least you will have plenty of time to workout in jail…


IMG_E8718You know how they say if you can’t say something nice then say nothing? I’ve always tried to follow that rule of thumb even on the internet. Or maybe more of a, “If you can’t say something fun or funny, then can it!” Well, today is the day, fair readers, that I cannot say anything nice, so I figured why not start a blog? I don’t know that a negative frame of mind is the best way to start anything, but for me I think this is as much about finding a way out of this mindset as it is expressing why I’m here. I’m writing myself happy. Is that a thing?

So, this blog is called WaitLife. It is about how life doesn’t…wait, you know? I’m a mom. I’m an employee. I’m a wife (That’s probably a bit out of order). I’m a daughter. I’m a friend. I’m a volunteer. I’m an artist. I’m a writer. I’m a leader. I’m a colleague. I’m a boss. I’m a subordinate. I’m obese. I’m trying to lose weight. I workout. I watch too much Netflix. I have too much debt. I’m an online news junkie. I’m a self-improvement addict. I’m a little bit lost, but…I am hopeful.

I am too many things it feels like sometimes. Isn’t that the state of things, though, for every modern woman? Men too, I guess. We are barraged by info, and can know anything with a few clicks or a few random internet searches. Yet, at the end of the day the one thing I walk away knowing from the vast information landscape that is the internet is that I am failing – hard core. I can’t keep up.

My house is not HGTV-esque. My job is not a glamorous, “Working Girl” style success story. My kids are not from a Disney show family where everyone talks nice to each other  and learns a lesson at the end of the day. My friendships (and my fashion sense) are not Carrie Bradshaw worthy. My marriage is not a grand romance where we spend stolen moments gazing lovingly (or longingly) into each others’ eyes. And no matter how loudly I play my music I cannot seem to cue the montage where I suddenly get my shit together, start jogging and drinking green smoothies, while I simultaneously become a rock star at work, the Clorox queen/earth mother at home, and still find the time to blow my husband’s mind in bed, while making other women jealous of my perfect hair and nails.

Dude, the montage is key to this redemption story and I seem to be stuck in the pre-montage part where I haven’t had that ah-ha moment and it all clicks into place and everything becomes easy and even entertaining, set to a nice, upbeat pop song. In fact, that’s not even true! I’m not looking for easy, because if I am nothing else I am a nose-to-the-grindstone, balls-to-the-wall, hard working mama! No, I don’t need easy. I just need direction (and to understand the whole “balls to the wall” cliche because even as I wrote it, I realized I do not understand why/how that works).

I need a road map. I need a plan. Plans and lists are my jam. They make me feel like I’m in control even as things totally spin off their axis. I have no plan. I have no clue how to even come up with a plan. Everything is chaos and more keeps coming. I feel like I am juggling while playing dodge ball. THAT is the best description of my life. Wait, I’m juggling, while playing dodge ball, on hot coals. I’m multitasking, while dealing with stuff that comes flying at me, while trying to look/sound like I’m not burning my freaking feet. It’s like I’m politely drowning here. I can’t stay afloat, but I’m trying not to offend anyone with my cries for help. Do you ever feel like that?

WaitLife isn’t going top solve all of that. I just hope it gives me an outlet. I don’t have a plan, but I still do have hope. I’m still trying.

So…the P.S. part: WaitLife will be about being a busy woman, a mom, an artist/DIYer. It will be about my life and my weight loss (I hope) journey. WaitLife will be about how I navigate the fact that life doesn’t wait. It will be about my “normal” life in all of it’s mundane glory with wisdom and humor and (I hope) entertainment. I hope this becomes an origin story. I would love to become a super hero, or at least someone who is quicker than a sarcastic comment, more powerful than the glass ceiling, who leaps out of bed in the morning excited to greet the day…not flipping the bird (because: patience), not looking too plain…just SuperLiz.