Rubber Meets Pavement, Fat Personal Trainer, Fat2Fit, Running Shoes

WANTED: FAT PERSONAL TRAINER

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JOB TITLE : FAT PERSONAL TRAINER
JOB ID#:4866
JOB TYPE: Personal Training
Position Type: Full-Time Regular

Rubber Meets Pavement, Fat Personal Trainer, Fat2Fit,  Running Shoes

JOB PURPOSE:

To provide a comprehensive one-on-one educational fitness program to assist client in REALISTICALLY achieving their fitness goals without spending half a day at the gym EVERY day and eating like an effing bird. Those who can currently eat their weight in bread and not gain an ounce need not apply. You’ll just piss off the interviewer.

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

As a FAT PERSONAL TRAINER, it is your responsibility to provide a comprehensive one-on-one health fitness program through realistic goal setting and education. Produce independent exercises by providing the client in-depth information on equipment usage, lifestyle management how to quit stuffing their face, and ultimately how to shake the fatty mentality that is ever present outside the gym.

 

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS:

The qualified FAT PERSONAL TRAINER must possess at least five years experience and hold a personal training certificate from a recognized provider or a bachelor’s degree in a sport and fitness-related field. Trainers without either must acquire a certification within six months of their hire date. Certificates are nice, but the most important requirement is that the trainer was fat at some point in their life and is now at a healthy weight in order to truly relate to their fat clients and their lifelong struggle with fitness and diet. The more years of experience the applicant has had as a fat person, the better the chances of getting the job.

Fat Personal Trainer, RealityCheck, Running Shoes 

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:

1. Responsible for understanding what it’s like to have a bad day and crave a tub of Ben & Jerry’s to make it better.

2. Attend all in-service trainings and meetings.

3. Able to understand the overwhelming wave of guilt that immediately follows said face in ice cream session.

4. Accurately record client-training sessions for payment purposes.

5. Must be able to relate to the dreaded daily morning weigh in, butt naked so as to not add another ounce, eyes squeezed shut, praying the Ben & Jerry’s hasn’t registered quite yet giving client enough time to burn it off before the next workout.

6. Given the need to relate to above, FAT PERSONAL TRAINER must not possess a metabolism that burns off calories like popcorn kernels hitting the sun’s surface. Skinny Minnies need not apply. 

7. Conduct personal training sessions within the policies and guidelines established.

8. Set realistic goals. Be aware of client’s realistic beach body not the one health magazines keep promising on their front covers. There will be major imperfections that will be glaring in a swimsuit The goal is really to disguise those with a good tan, while feeling good mentally about having hit the gym for that “beach body.”

9. Successfully complete and update CPR and first aid training (for those times when client will look like they are about to go into cardiac arrest in the middle of a workout) CPR will likely not be necessary, but client will feel better knowing FAT PERSONAL TRAINER is prepared.

10. Be understanding when client decides to reward their hard work all week with a glass of wine on a Friday night.

11. Be punctual and conduct yourself in a professional manner.

12. Be even more understanding when client explains how that one glass turned into two bottles.

13. Maintain personal training certification through continuing education. Really, just continue to recall your fatty days and be sympathetic.

14. Ideal candidate will understand client’s daily struggle to stay on track and have a life too in an industry full of unrealistic role models, going to extremes to maintain an impossible fitness schedule, while living off air and water. 

15. FAT PERSONAL TRAINER must be able to hear the fat little voice in the back of client’s head that is constantly telling them they’re just a Big Mac away from being fat again.

Cancer…You Just Know

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x-ray-pin-up-9

Cancer.

The mere mention of the word stirs something within me that starts with a dull ache in my heart and a sick feeling in my stomach. It courses through my veins and makes me want to blindly run and run in an attempt to escape everything that is attached to those six letters. Except, the sound itself makes my knees weak and my muscles turn to jelly while simultaneously causing me to stand firmly rooted in fear and paralyzed with grief.

Grief?

How can one little word cause grief?

And yet, it isn’t just the word. The word is simply a vessel filled with so much more. A dusty, old trunk designated to the far corner of a dark attic. Amidst the cobwebs and dark shadows, under lock and key, it holds all that this tiny word encompasses. It is the loss caused by that word. The memories attached to that word, intertwined from one letter to the next. The fear of knowing the road that simple word can thrust you upon with its twists and turns, highs and lows, ultimately leaving you dizzy and confused, desperate for a road map to find your way back home.

If you have ever lost a loved one to cancer you know…you just know.

You feel an instant connection with anyone who has been down that road. A complete stranger on the bus shares their battle story, and you are instantly on that battlefield again. A co-worker mentions the funeral they attended for their neighbor’s sister who lost the fight and you are instantly clothed in black, mourning by her side. You run into an old friend you haven’t seen in years on his way to celebrate his father, a cancer survivor…and you are instantly if silently cheering for him, a man you’ve never met. Your workout partner is in tears upon having heard the news that her aunt has been diagnosed, and you can’t hold back your tears both for her aunt and your partner. You run alongside every race participant, a colored ribbon forever pinned to your heart.

We all have a story.

A story of illness and health, hopes and dreams, lessons learned and discoveries made, battles won and those lost.

I imagine there aren’t many people out there whose life hasn’t been touched by this word…cancer. It isn’t selective and it doesn’t discriminate. It stealthily approaches on black stockinged feet and stretches its long limbs with their far reach wrapping around men, women, children, family, and friends, trapping them in alternate states of hope and despair—turning their entire world upside down.

While these six simple letters strung together can leave us feeling helpless, early detection yields the highest success rate in drop kicking the big C and allowing us to embrace a much friendlier word…SURVIVOR.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but every month, every week, every day is about you and your health so make it a priority.

Don’t allow one word to be your whole story.

Rock On!

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rockwallThat’s me. My first attempt at a five-story rock wall.

As I stood on the ground getting all harnessed up, the attendant shared some wisdom with me. The young girl nonchalantly said, “At some point while climbing the wall, most people are gripped by fear. The thing to remember is the fear doesn’t become greater if you continue to climb. It’s the same amount of fear whether you choose to continue or you choose to quit. You might as well keep going until you reach the top.”

Isn’t that what life is all about?

She was right. I reached a certain point to catch my breath, and it was then that I was gripped with fear. Did I mention I’m afraid of heights? Apparently, I paused just long enough for some spectators on the ground to believe this was the moment I would quit. I didn’t quit. I kept hearing the attendant’s words in my head, and while my muscles were screaming for me to quit and just repel back down to safety, I kept going. I kept going because I had a dream, a goal, a purpose and if she was right then I was going to see it through because my fear wouldn’t become any greater the further I climbed.

With each step I climbed, I felt a change within me. As I carefully placed my foot on each rung, and pulled myself up a little higher, I felt stronger mentally if not physically. And, when I finally reached the top, I was drained, exhausted, and a bit disappointed that I didn’t hear any bells or whistles or see any fireworks. However, I didn’t have any regrets. As I repelled down the wall to safety, I felt lighter than I ever have.

We’ve all been there. The rock wall just takes on another form depending on what we are individually going through at the moment. Keep climbing, face your fear, and climb some more. The feeling that awaits is well worth the climb. You may not get a fireworks display (unless you add your own like I did), but I bet you won’t have any regrets either.

Are you facing or have you faced your own rock wall?

Tell me about it!

Red Circle Days Book Review

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When CrazyMeetsExhaustion dedicated a blog post to reviewing Red Circle Days.

Here’s what she had to say about it!

When Crazy Meets Exhaustion

It has been months. Maybe even a year. But I’ll never forget being moved to tears over a blog post, and leaving a comment begging the author to write a book because her words were so beautiful, so poignant. I wanted more.

Is it any surprise that the author bought a sponsor ad here on WhenCrazyMeetsExhaustion, became wildly popular, and published a book?*

*Events may not be listed in sequential order. 

Leah Vidal’s work appears weekly on her blog, Little Miss Wordy. Her writing covers a range of topics including current events, health and wellness, parenting and daily tribulations. While she enjoys writing about each of these, she is most at home when adding a personal element to a broad topic by sharing life’s little moments…those that plant the thought-provoking seed of self discovery. She believes it is these moments that are life’s biggest lessons.

Enter: Red Circle Days. I downloaded Leah’s book on a flight to North Carolina a few weeks ago and knew immediately it was a bad idea. I don’t like to cry in public. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Red Circle Days

The book is a perfect quick read as it’s less than 100 pages and written in vignettes of all different topics.  But much like my toddlers have proven, little packs a bigpunch. Red Circle Days is a culmination of the dates that remain despite the waves of time eroding other memories. Birth of children, death of loved ones, holidays. Leah eloquently muses on all this and more, and at the end of each passage, engages the reader by asking her to connect with the piece: do you have a special place for photosIs there a superhero inside you just waiting to come out?

My favorite vignette is on a subject that comes to the surface several times over and, in my humble opinion, is where Leah’s writing and heart shine: her dad. He passed away when she was in her early twenties, but regardless of the years that have come and gone, Leah remembers with clarity and the stinging kind of love reserved for those we miss terribly the “Milk Duds on Their Pillow.”

You see, her dad would put Milk Duds on her pillow to “…remind her of her strength at the end of a tough day, willed her to work harder when a particular grade needed improvements and comforted her through many a broken heart” (12). I like the guy because he obviously knew chocolate can fix everything.

“My Summer Valentine” is quite possibly the sweetest love story I have ever read, like EVER–and it’s true story. Leah’s parents were an unlikely couple from the start, but undeniable love overcame age difference and geographic distance. You have to buy the book to read the rest and have your heart swell and come *thisclose* to bursting. It’s worth it, I promise!

In addition to her novel dropping recently, Leah’s Memorial Day piece Soldiers of the Same Name was featured on BlogHer just this weekend, and her blog has been Freshly Pressed on WordPress and featured on Fitness and Parenting sites. She’s pretty bad ass and if you haven’t already, connect with her on her blog Little Miss WordyFacebook page, or Twitter @LeonyVidalCarr.

So add these things to your to-do list today:

1. Buy Leah’s book Red Circle Days

2. Purchase a sponsor ad here on my site because you’ll become rich and famous*

*Rich and famous are relative terms. BUT I do write a dedicated post about something I love about my sponsors, so seriously, buy one.

*************

Leah paused her career in Public Relations to raise her two children and has never looked back, except on the days when it would be nice to have an office to escape to or at least a desk to hide under. Her family currently lives in Puerto Rico, where she is a fitness focused (physical, spiritual and mental health), homeschooling mom of two, and wife of one, who enjoys combing the beach for sea glass, avoiding the kitchen, and making words come to life.

Dear Mom, Can You Tell How You've Done It?

Dear Mom, Can You Tell Me How You’ve Done It?

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 Dear Mom,

I can imagine the feeling of sheer joy you felt the day he was born. I can imagine the peace that blanketed you while your arms blanketed him. I can imagine the look in your eyes as you looked into his, and thanked the Lord for another healthy child. I can imagine how proud you felt to present Dad with his first son. After having two girls, I can imagine a boy was a welcome addition. I can imagine the dreams you had for him. I can imagine all the visions of “firsts” that went through your mind as you held him for the first time.

Mommy's Christmas Present

I can imagine all of this because I too am a mother now. I too have held my children and dreamed of what their future would hold. I too have envisioned each “first” in their life and the happiness each may bring to mine. What I can’t imagine is how you have coped with all the “firsts” you never envisioned in his life.

How did you survive the first time he had to visit a psychiatrist? How did you deal with a complete stranger telling you there was something wrong with your son after having only known him for one hour, when you had known him for years? He didn’t know his favorite homemade meal. He didn’t know his passion for music. He didn’t know his compassion for others. He didn’t know these things and so many more, yet in one hour he determined there was something so wrong with your son that medication and therapy were ordered. How did you hold back the tears when you realized you were being told years of after school conversations around the kitchen table over milk and cookies were a thing of the past? What your son needed now were hour-long sessions with a stranger who promised to reach him, when his own mother couldn’t.

How did you manage to get through the phone call letting you know your son had been hospitalized because he was confused and couldn’t even tell the day of the week? Did it take you back to the days when you would circle important dates on the calendar for him to look forward to? Or, did it take you even further back to the times you repeatedly sang the days of the week song to him, so he would be ahead of the game when he entered Kindergarten?

How did you hold it together when you stood by his hospital bed time and again, and looked into his eyes much like you did in another hospital long ago? Could you still see your baby boy in those eyes even if he couldn’t see you? How did you make your words reach him when he was trapped in a world incapable of speech? Where have you found the courage mom? Where have you found the strength to pick him up each time he has fallen when his pain now is so much deeper than a scraped knee?

How have you listened to the many different labels placed on your son throughout the years? How have you helped him to accept those same labels as a positive step on a path to mental health, when the only labels you’ve ever had for him are my son, my baby boy, my world? What have you done with all those dreams you had for him? Have you given up on them in your heart of hearts or have you altered them? Have those dreams now simply become ones where he is as happy and healthy as he was when he entered this world? How have you continued to live each day, mom, when you must be dying inside?

As I look at my own son, I think of you mom. I can’t even begin to imagine what you have been through with your son. As his sister, I know what my experience has been, but as I look at my happy, healthy little boy I can’t even begin to imagine the depth of your pain. From one mother to another, I can say you have given me the best example of what it means to be a mother. It isn’t about teaching them their first words, but about being their voice when they can’t speak for themselves. It isn’t about cheering them on when they take their first steps, but about walking alongside them no matter what their journey entails. It isn’t about putting a band-aid on their knee when they fall, but about always being there to pick them back up. Most importantly, it is about never giving up on your child…no matter how many sleepless nights it may cost you.

Forever in awe of you,

Your grateful daughter

It’s Like Giving Birth On Christmas Day And Having The Easter Bunny Stop By! Red Circle Days Is Out!

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There are moments in our lives that are imprinted into our very soul. Moments that don’t require a photo album or memory book for us to revisit them time and time again. Some may bring to life the very feelings of sheer happiness they brought the day we experienced them. Others bring the heart wrenching sorrow we spend years trying to erase. These are moments that don’t need a reminder or a red circle on a calendar date, our hearts wrapping around them much like the tiny box on a calendar, keeping them contained only to bring them to the surface each year. Red Circle Days is a collection of those moments that I will forever carry with me, thought-provoking moments and stories which have left an indelible imprint on my very soul.

RCD front cover Final

Red Circle Days has been released, and is available on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, the Apple iBookstore, and Sarah Book Publishing.

Book signing dates and locations will be announced shortly!

A huge thank you to all, from WordPress for the user-friendly platform to showcase and challenge my writing, to friends and family for the endless support, to the many followers who have liked, commented, and cheered me on from a distance. You have ALL encouraged me on this journey. It truly is a dream come true and a red circle day for me!

Get Your Head Out Of The Gutter!

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All roads lead somewhere, but sometimes we keep taking the same road over and over again, head down, not really getting any where. I don’t mean your commute to work as sometimes that can’t be changed, and I don’t mean this only in the physical sense. How much are we not seeing because we are just going through the motions? Do we remain on that road out of habit, a sense of comfort, fear? What would happen if we change our direction just a bit, and tried heading down a different path? We’ll never know if we don’t try it. Whether it’s in our career, personal life, or spiritual walk, we will never know what’s in store for us if we don’t look around and take that first step down a different road. On that new road, we may find the reward to be greater than anything we could have ever imagined, or we may just confirm that the road we’ve been on is the right one for us. Either way, simply looking at things with a fresh perspective can be enlightening.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve started running in the mornings, a huge challenge for someone who isn’t a morning person. I don’t like to talk when I run, mostly because I’m too busy trying to breathe, and I don’t really look around much. I spend my time looking down, trying to talk myself into the next mile, mentally pushing myself to make it across the bridge and back.

Most mornings, this is what I see.

What I’ve been missing out on seeing is this.

The road I travel may have only shifted just a bit, but my perspective shifted a lot. My run hasn’t gotten any easier, I’m still trying to breathe, but the reward has definitely been enlightening!

Are you stuck on the same road, wishing for a change?

Are you being pushed in a new direction, but you’re too afraid to take that first step?

Is there a way to shift your direction a bit, change your perspective, and maybe reap the rewards?

What are you waiting for?

Identify Your “Training Wheels” And Smile!

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We’ve all met at least one person who treads a little lighter than the rest of us, who grabs life with both hands, experiences it to the fullest. It’s not that they are irresponsible adults. It’s just that their approach to life in general is different from most grown ups. They don’t allow themselves to get caught up in the details. They don’t over think. They just breathe in life’s moments, filling their lungs with each experience, and letting every inch of their body feel the joy life offers. Is it a personality trait inherited from some gene passed down to them from a life loving parent? Or, is it something they learned along the way?

As a kid, I remember being fearless. Yet, now I over think riding a Roller Coaster as I imagine endless frightening scenarios all of which leave my two children motherless in the end. As I climb aboard, buckle my seat belt, then check and double-check it, I’m silently berating myself for being so careless as to agree to this irresponsible joy ride. I am a mother for goodness sake, not some free wheeling teenager doing pop-a-wheelies on her mountain bike (ah those were the days). Nevertheless, I settle in and after a quick plea bargain prayerful talk with the man upstairs, I make a conscious decision to enjoy the ride. It isn’t long before the cars pick up speed, I feel the wind in my hair, and the sheer exhilaration of feeling free! In that moment, nothing can stop me and I feel like I can take on the world!

My kids: cooling off and smiling from the inside out after a long bike ride. photo credit: littlemisswordy

My kids: cooling off and smiling from the inside out, after a long bike ride.
photo credit: littlemisswordy

Do you remember the first time you learned to ride a bike? It’s that same feeling I’m referring to here. No matter how we approached that bike for the first time, the end result was the same. Once we got going and felt the wind in our hair, we could take on the world. There was no hiding our smile as it traveled from our mind to our face, until it took over every fiber of our being and shone like a Fourth of July sparkler beckoning the world to smile with us! Why do we reserve that full body joy as something to be experienced only by a carefree child?

When I taught my oldest how to ride a bike, her little brother was her biggest cheerleader as she fearfully gave up her training wheels. Olivia approached this challenge in her usual fashion. With much detail, she proceeded to delineate each and every way she could fall off her bike, and each and every injury that was possible. I gave her some space, addressed her concerns accordingly, and eventually she faced the latest challenge in the life of a six-year-old — with determination and a few meltdowns. On the other hand, Evan watched Olivia the first day as he circled her on his Spiderman bike WITH training wheels, and like a good brother and little knight, cheered her on at the appropriate moments. However, on day two he adamantly demanded I take his training wheels off.

Evan’s approach to learning to ride a bike was much different from his sister’s approach. Fearless and with complete faith in his abilities, he not only wanted to go fast but didn’t want me to hold him back. Not a single thought to consequences, injuries, etc. he quickly progressed to riding without assistance in a mere thirty minutes. Their approaches were different, but their end result was the same. They both experienced the same sense of freedom, wind blowing in their face, head tilted back, smiling with their entire body.

This left me thinking about how we approach life. What are our “training wheels” and how much do we depend on them? Training wheels aren’t a negative thing, but definitely aren’t meant to permanently carry our weight. Do the training wheels in our life show up in the form of our friends, our family, our career, our doubts, or the dreams we’ve put on hold? Why do some of us hang on to our training wheels longer than others? Is it because they’ve become so much a part of us that we don’t even realize we’re leaning on them? Are we too afraid to remove them even for a moment for fear of failure? Are we allowing our training wheels to hold us back from that sense of freedom?

Wouldn’t it be great to experience that smile from the inside out…the kind that makes you literally jump for joy just like when you were a kid? Whether it’s a roller coaster, a bike, or life, inevitably the moment arrives when we have to ride all on our own, feel the exhilaration as we pick up speed and confidence, tilt our heads up to the sky, and welcome that cool breeze on our face.

 Weekly Writing Challenge: Truth is Stranger than Fiction

How Big Do You Love Me?

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Like many families, the kids and I have a game we’ve played for years. It’s called “How Big Do You Love Me?” and the way it’s played is we try to outdo one another with descriptions of how big our love is for each other. For example I would say, “I love you as big as a rainbow” and one of the kids would say, “I love you as big as a mountain” and so on and so forth. I think the most creative example of Olivia’s love for me at the age of two was when she responded, “I love you as big as the tallest tree with the biggest elephant sitting on top of it.”

Through the years, a similar game has presented itself in my life. This one I call, “How Big Is My Faith?” I’ve encountered this game many a time and have found it more challenging than the one I just described. This game has pushed me to the next level during my dad’s illness and ultimately his painful death, during the trials and tribulations of relationships, when close friends have chosen a path separate from the one we were so blissfully traveling on hand in hand, and even when life has presented me with the difficult choice of stepping back and allowing a loved one to find his way without my constant guidance. It has also presented itself for my family and I when we’ve had to take a leap of faith in a move to what is undoubtedly the equivalent of a foreign country with unfamiliar customs.

However, the real test of “How Big Is My Faith?” came in the form of “The Ultimate Challenge” round. Maintain your faith while giving up everything familiar to you, including a church you called home not only on Sundays, a rector whose sermons stayed with you from week to week, and a family who might not have been related by blood but who came together in happiness, sorrow and everything in between. Your assignment should you choose to accept it is to walk away from that and enter a realm of the unknown, find a new church, a new inspiration, a new way of spiritual satisfaction. Not easy, but that’s why they call it “The Ultimate Challenge” and why if you complete it the satisfaction is greater than anything you could ever imagine. I set out to finish the game, beat the boss, complete the challenge and found many an obstacle in my way.

What I learned through it all is that my faith is bigger than a church and bigger than a sermon, but not bigger than God. I have had more time for reflection and have found inspiration within myself and in places I never dreamed of looking when I was sitting back and letting others feed my soul. I finally embraced my passion for writing and it has become an outlet for me in so many ways. It has fed my soul in ways I could never imagine when I was comfortably contained within my comfort zone. I am walking through life with my eyes more open than they have ever been, and allowing life’s smallest of details to inspire me. When I sit down in front of my computer, and let my fingers travel over my keyboard taking on a life of their own I know I’m feeding my soul and possibly others in the process. I know God is smiling down on me. And, as for “How Big Is My Faith?” well let’s just say it’s definitely as big as “the tallest tree with the biggest elephant sitting on top of it.”

For my friends whose life circumstances have left you feeling tired, like life has beat you down. For those of you who feel like your faith is not as strong as it once was and may question it and even God. We’ve all been there, but don’t be afraid to look around you, to dig down deep. Be open to new churches, new friends, new ways to inspire yourself and feed your soul. And know that as long as God is present in your heart, he will always be present in your soul.

One of my favorite Christian songs is by an artist named Nicole Nordeman. She wrote it for a close friend of hers who was in a place in his life where his faith was lacking or maybe even nonexistent. I leave you with her lyrics and video.

What if you’re right?
And he was just another nice guy
What if you’re right?
What if it’s true?
They say the cross will only make a fool of you
And what if it’s true?

What if he takes his place in history
With all the prophets and the kings
Who taught us love and came in peace
But then the story ends
What then?

But what if you’re wrong?
What if there’s more?
What if there’s hope you never dreamed of hoping for?
What if you jump?
And just close your eyes?
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?
What if He’s more than enough?
What if it’s love?

What if you dig
Way down deeper than your simple-minded friends
What if you dig?
What if you find
A thousand more unanswered questions down inside
That’s all you find?

What if you pick apart the logic
And begin to poke the holes
What if the crown of thorns is no more
Than folklore that must be told and retold?

You’ve been running as fast as you can
You’ve been looking for a place you can land for so long

But what if you’re wrong?

What if there’s more?

What if there’s hope you never dreamed of hoping for?

What if you jump?

And just close your eyes?

What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?

What if He’s more than enough?

What if it’s love?

project-optimism-e1359093852552

If you’re interested in spreading A TON OF HOPE, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Write about something that makes you feel optimistic.
  2. Post MONDAYS. Start the week off with a positive outlook.
  3. Grab a badge by going to your dashboard and clicking the IMAGE widget. Adjust pic size 200h x 200w. The image URL: (http://keepingitrealmom.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/project-optimism.jpg)
  4. Link over here and invite blogger friends to join in.
  5. Encourage the person who linked up before you. Kindness is contagious!

The Search For Life’s Magic Editing Wand

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Stereograms are multi-dimensional, computer-generated, graphic images that contain hidden content (images and text). The hidden content can only be seen when viewed from the proper visual and mental perspective. Stereograms contain multiple levels of reality. The surface level usually contains a variety of colors and patterns that make stereograms appear chaotic and disorganized. Once we penetrate into the deeper dimensions of the hidden content, we discover the real meaning of each stereogram.”

Photo Credit: eyetricks.com

Photo Credit: eyetricks.com

I think I might be a human Stereogram.

Allow me to break it down. I wasn’t the kind of little girl who enjoyed playing dress up. As a matter of fact, I was such a tomboy that I was most comfortable in my jeans with a torn knee and a t-shirt. However, as I got older I started to enjoy it. Maybe because dressing up then also entailed an evening out and the good time that accompanied it. I love going in my closet and searching for just the right outfit for the occasion, and twirling in front of the mirror once I’m dressed. Herein lies the problem…the mirror. At first glance, I’m usually happy with what I see, but much like the stereogram it seems I contain multiple levels of reality. The more I stand in front of that mirror, the closer and longer I look at my reflection, the unhappier I become with what I see. Much like the stereogram, I believe I start to see “hidden content” in my image I didn’t originally see. Unlike the stereogram however, the longer I look the more chaotic and disorganized my reflection appears to me. And, once I see those flaws it is all I can focus on, leading me to doubt the whole ensemble, making me question my exercise plan, and ultimately sending me spinning back into the closet to change outfits. When did I become such a girl?

I am much the same when presented with a photograph of myself. Again, at first glance I think it’s not bad, but upon further inspection I can’t keep my finger from gravitating toward the delete button. There are very few photos of myself that I really like, and even then that photo is probably the fifth photo taken because the first four were deleted. Anyone who takes a photo of me, knows there is an approval process before it can be shared through any social media. On a recent trip to NYC, some strangers offered to take a photo of my husband and myself in front of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. I disliked the photo so much, I asked the police officer standing on the corner (much to my husband’s embarrassment) to take another photo of us. Then, I had him retake that photo! Thank you Mr. NYPD!

I’ve always wished I had a magic wand that would allow me to immediately edit those photos, and ultimately the reflection I see in the mirror. My husband doesn’t understand my warped perception of myself, and quite frankly I don’t either. How can I see the results of my hard work from running and weight training one day, yet not see it another day? I see what I see though. When my son was around two years old, he was crying one day and could barely get the words out when I asked, “Why are you crying?” Between breathes he said, “I cry because I cry!” Well, I see that warped image because I see that warped image!

This week, I’ve held an editing wand in my hand though not one I could use on my image. You see, I’ve been editing my soon to be published book, Red Circle Days, and do you know what I’ve discovered? I have come to the realization that my reflection isn’t the only thing that can generate self-doubt. As I read through my writing once more, I begin to doubt the quality. I start to feel that no amount of editing will ever make it good enough in my eyes. I start to envision my book sitting on store shelves collecting dust after a handful of copies have been purchased by my mom, other family members, and good friends. So…I struggle to move forward in the editing process until it is complete, much like I struggle to turn away from the mirror and head out the door in search of something good. I know I will keep trekking along on my road to a fitter me, and I know I will keep trekking along on my road to publishing my first book. I will continue because I can’t give up on either journey. My son may cry because he cries, and I may see a warped image because I see a warped image. However, magic editing wand or not, I write because I write!

Do you have any aspects in your life, where you search for that magic editing wand?