Smoothies and Self Esteem

As I stated here, I have a love/hate relationship with my Kent State gym.  So in the spirit of continuing on with my saga and not letting it die a lonely death in my ‘rough draft’ pile.  I give you a post on Smoothies and Self Esteem. 
Picture with me if you will… well, me.  A 28 year old mother of 4.  Been through 5 pregnancies that have certainly left their mark.  I have walked into the gym, changed discreetly in the locker room {post on that later}, walked past the glassed in basketball courts with all the younguns playin’ and showin’ off, also watching to see if any hot girls walk by.  I continue on past the free weight area where much the same is going on, although here there are some serious athletes.  On I go into the elliptical/treadmill/bike area, you know, where  the tiny cuties are in their bouncy pony tails and tiny shorts {and occasionally an old professor- male – in tiny shorts, again for another post}. 
So there I am.  I get on my treadmill.  I kill it.  I get a good workout in.  I’ve done my thing.  I know this.  Because my hair is properly mussed and I have more than likely perspired through my shirt.  And chances are that if I took time on this particular day for a smidge of eye make up, it is probably in the vicinity of my chin now.  A proper work out.  So what do you do when you are feeling great from a great work out?  Top it off with a really healthy smoothie instead of swinging into the  nearest Burger King for dinner on the way home!

(Stock smoothie picture from random web search)

 Oh yeah, I’m feeling great now!  I’ve exercised and I’m making healthy choices!  Its only a matter of time until I’m looking good too. Yes!  So I head up the stairs to the smoothie bar.  This is the point at which the positive monologue in my head turns in a more negative direction. 

I walk up to the counter where, since we ARE in a university gym, there are university children working.  And I am presented with these options for a smoothie.  The option, and what I hear:

Carb Cutter (because obviously you spend a lot of time with your best friend pasta)
Slim and Tone (seriously lady, choose this one)
Fat Burner (Is that a cartoon of a fat person?)
Fat Burner Plus (same deal as above only the picture is bigger)
Miscellaneous muscle building and energizing smoothies.

Now, it is enough that I dragged myself into the gym frequented by 18-20 year olds.  I walked past the brontosauruses in the gym with my head held high.  I ran on that treadmill next to a girl who more than likely thinks an episiotomy has something to do with a fancy kind of manicure.  And now… I have to order a smoothie with a title I don’t want to admit to.  So I quietly order…. and wait.  And when my order is ready what does the smoothie infant do?  Shouts. Shouts to anyone within 30 miles.  WHO ORDERED THE WILD BERRY FAT BURNER PLUS? ITS READY!
 And I quietly step forward grab my smoothie and make a bee-line for the doors.



I freely admit that my blog delves into the ridiculous sometimes.  But I just can’t be all sunshine all the time.  It would be fake.  We all deal with stuff.  Hard stuff.  Sometimes we have people to hold our hands through it.  And sometimes its just you. Your broken down where you can’t quite think of anything but that pain in your chest that has you grasping for a hand to hold.  If you are the latter, there is always a hand to hold.  You might not feel it in the flesh, but God IS sitting just within your reach waiting for you to stick your hand out.  Me?  I’m a lucky one.  I’ve got my husband, who never lets go until I’m ready.  I’ve got friends that are straight up gifts from God who GET me.  They care and they pray.  Who could ask for more? Today I don’t have the words.  I’m not good for much more than a slow smile.  Like chocolate pudding. So, I bring you words from elsewhere.

I’ve read two pages today from women who I’m convinced get their words straight from God and my Holy Spirit directs me to them on exactly the days when their words are specifically for me.
From Beth Moore:
I am convinced of that. We can get through virtually anything on love. I often ask God to spare my dear family of tragedy but not to spare us of His glory. Tragedies do sometimes come but we must never think for a moment that they’ve come lightly. We must steady our reeling selves to the anchor beyond the veil and know, when we know nothing else, that somehow, some way, glory must have been at stake.”

Oh blessed analogy.  God is my anchor. I’m just waiting on the glory after the storm ends.  Oh its going to be good.  I believe it.  I am going to step out of that boat and fix my eyes on my Jesus and walk on some flingin’ flangin’ water!  I don’t have to do anything on my own power.  What a relief.

And from Sarah Markley who is amazing and graceful.  And I’m only copying a portion, you can visit her site to read the rest.  I wouldn’t copy and paste someone else’s work, except that I think someone who might come to my site might not know about hers.  Let’s put it this way:  These women help me, and who wants to keep that to themselves?  So go to her site. And just maybe her words will offer comfort like they so often do for me.

“When I can remember for what I have been created is when I act my best. When I remember Who loves me and Whom I love — that’s when I’m at the top of my game. When I decide to take a deep breath, act at the level of maturity I’ve {hopefully} gained over the past 35 years that I function the best.
It’s when I act my age.
And even if I have to agree to it through gritted teeth:
I won’t stomp out of an argument with my husband.
I won’t hang up on my sister.
I won’t let petty things, like misplaced keys, throw off my whole day.
My feeble attempt, today, will be to not allow insignificant irritations ruin my life and shackle me to the maturity level of a Kindergartner.
Today I will act my age.

Sometimes I just don’t have the words. And so I need words from God.  And words that are God-breathed by others I admire.  Who is your anchor?  Are you reeling and need a hand?


Musings from a Mother of 4 at a University Gym…

Kent State Basketball courts, running track and rock wall

Let’s be honest.  I don’t have the tight little body of an 18 year old.  Five pregnancies took care of that.  But I’d like to try.  So, when I went back to Kent State,  with my bazillions in tuition money came a “free” membership to the University gym.  Woohoo!!!  Its a state of the art facility, pools, atriums, massage rooms, zumba rooms, courts galore, elipticals, treadmills, weight rooms….. and my favorite hang out, the smoothie bar! 
But alas, as mentioned, I am not in the shape I was 10 years ago when I first walked into that gym. 

Exercising has come to mean something else entirely! 

It is an exercise in will-power not to grab my smoothie and walk back out the door!  Seriously. 

University gyms are not designed for the adult student to frequent.  Mirrors, mirrors and more mirrors.  To remind me exactly why I am there.  But to remind the cuties of just how cute they are.  Which they do.  And so do their friends.  “Those are cute shoes!”  “Your hair is so cute!”  “Your {teeny, tiny, itty, bitty} shorts are so cute!”  “You’re cute!” “No, you are!”  Seriously. Stop.

Mirrors that make blending into the metalic machines impossible.  Because folks, in the free weight area, there is a room length mirror where all those guys the girls are trying to look cute for, can see everything that is going on in the girly eliptical and weight machiney area.

Not so good for a woman who doesn’t particularly want to be seen, while she tries to sweat off an 8 year old, 6 year old, 4 year old and 2 year old. 

You know what though.  I’m cool with who I am now.  I may be bouncy in all the wrong places while the only thing that bounces on them is their pony tails, but I would not ever go back to the place where they are.

 The place where they are searching for someone to notice.  Someone to love them for the rest of their lives.  Someone who wants a future and not just one night.  God made me with a baby-birthing body.  I have a husband who has seen me at my very worst and he still keeps coming back for more.  And that is what I have and they don’t.  I’m good here in my upper twenties.  I’ll take it.  Little do those cuties know, as they give the old lady sideways glances that I’m not jealous.  Not one iota.  They do motivate me.  They keep me going just a few minutes longer. But more importantly,  motivate me to pray for their precious futures.

Stay tuned for more tales from the gym.  Oh they’re good.  Title of smoothies, etiquette in locker rooms, and my new confidence swagger!


Trick or Treat!

I could fill this page with a bunch of non-sense ramblings.  But I won’t.  Because while last night brought plenty to talk about in the partyin’ with friends who are swiftly edging closer to the family type of relationship, the beauty that God graces us in Autumn, how it rains beautiful yellow leaves and how we crunch on red, orange and brown ones… the story is in the photos.  I am THAT mom.  The one who says about a million and a half times to her husband, friend, neighbor, anyone who isn’t paying attention… “They are SO cute!!!!!” While giggling like a fool, and wanting to burst with pride and happiness.  Because last night was just pure happiness.  My children, my husband, good friends, good chili, even better pumpkin cheesecake, and Frankenstein!

And that was our Trick or Treating Magic.  I hope you had a wonderful weekend.