Thursday, March 14, 2013

I've Moved!

Hey you guys!  I've moved the home of IWADB over to Chicago Now, which is super exciting! 

The same deal there as over here.  I say what I want, when I want, how I want.  Please come see me!

This site will remain up and active, so everybody can see past posts, as they are pretty great too.

Thanks everybody!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Do You "Woo"?

I am not, by nature, a "woo-er".  You see, in THE HOUSE OF PAIN (the stationary bike spinning class I take), we "WOO".  Because our teacher is awesome and gets us freaking pumped up and we "woo".  As I said, I am NOT, by nature, a "woo-er".

This is a picture from last year's Cycle for Survival event, but it's the only picture I have of me spinning, so, "Woo"!
But last night, at the gym, I "woo-ed".  I "woo-ed" loudly and I "woo-ed" softly; I "woo-ed" solo and I "woo-ed" with the group and I EVEN "woo-ed" on command, which is something I don't do - like - ever.  DO SOMETHING I AM TOLD TO DO, ON COMMAND?  Um, no.  I am WAY TOO COOL for that shit. 

I first wrote about my gym experience a while ago here - please take a minute to read, it's quick and funny and gives background to where we are today.

Now, I am not a person who loves exercise.  I hate it.  If left to my own devices I will pick couch time over physical exertion every damn time.  Just like drinking and smoking are in my nature, sloth is in my nature as well.  By all accounts, I SHOULD be drinking and smoking right now, BUT I AM NOT.   Because we CAN change our behaviors if we work at it.

Last night I didn't WANT to go to spinning necessarily, but I went.  I pumped and fed babies before I left and strapped the girls in with my most powerful sports bra, and I jumped on the train and I left.  AND I WAS SCARED.  Because I am scared of everything.  But I walk through the fear today.  I haven't been spinning in months and months.  I was pregnant you know, I am not sure if you heard.  I kept up my gym membership the whole time because I KNEW I WOULD BE BACK.  I wasn't spinning for a long time.  And this HOUSE OF PAIN is a bitch.  It ain't a leisurely bike ride round the park if you catch my drift.  You are up and down and back and forth and killing yourself for 50 minutes in there and it HURTS.  But dammit if I didn't do the whole class and do it hard even though my instructor said, "Katy just had twins so she's the only one exempt from jumping in and out of the saddle!".....I did it anyway. 

Because I'm stubborn and needed to prove to myself that I could do it after all this time.  You see, a couple years ago, I weighed almost 200 pounds and lost a lot of weight through changing my diet and exercise.  Spinning was a big part of that.  I wanted to get in shape BEFORE I got pregnant, if I ever were to be lucky enough to be pregnant, so that I could bounce back into shape after having a baby or two. 

That's what I did.  I now have about 15 pounds to lose before I'm back at pre-baby weight and spinning is going to help me get there.  It's pure vanity but also health reasons that I do this.  I am almost 40 and I JUST HAD TWINS.  What in the sam hill was I thinking?  Oh girl, I'm gonna be around to be with these babies and I'm going to be healthy.  This clean living IS FOR SUCKERS.  And I am a sucker for sure.  A happy one.  A by product of clean living is looking kinda hot.  And yes, I want that.  No lie. 

So, there are several things at play here.  I just had babies and I feel a bit down about myself sometimes.  What I would do if I live purely by what's in my nature, I would drink and smoke and not work and not take responsibility and self destruct because I don't like myself very much at that moment - not believing that the moment would pass.  BUT, if I practice new behaviors and believe that the moment will pass, I take responsibility and work my program and eat right and resist that smoke and drink and exercise a bit, I get ALL THE THINGS!  I get the life beyond my wildest dreams. I get the mental and emotional and physical bliss that comes with working hard to be healthy.  We always say, it ain't easy, but it is so worth it.  I don't want to do any of these healthy things by nature.  I DO NOT WANT TO DO IT.  But I do.  Because it is the best thing for me and for my family.

It was the first time in over a year, that I felt like my body BELONGED TO ME.  Not to science and not to babies and not to my demons.  And if that sounds selfish, then yes, I'm selfish.  I needed that feeling.  I desperately needed to feel connected to my body and in that way to my soul as a woman who has her own needs and wants and feelings without being attached to another being.

Today, I am a drunk who is not drinking, a smoker who is not smoking and a sloth-like creature who is practicing moving around more.  It's that simple.  One day at a time, we can change our behaviors.  AND WE CAN BE AWESOME TODAY!

Can I get a WOO!?


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Things I Love Thursday - Part 67

I don't need to write a lot of words for what I love this Thursday.   Hall & Oates being lazy, adorable, gifted, slug-like babies doing their BABY CIRCUIT TRAINING every morning.  It's about the best thing ever. Now, couldn't we all do with more Tummy Time?
 I bet MOST of you can even lift your heads up and keep them up all day on your own already. 
That's not asking too much, is it?

And, one and two and one and two, and WAKE UP BABIES!

These babies oughta pay me more (OR ANYTHING) for being their personal trainer.  I pay good money at my gym for a workout like this.  And the view isn't nearly as silly.  Or lovely.  Or gratitude inspiring.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Choose Hope

I often say I don't like people.  That people are damaged and that only animals are true and pure and without judgement or conditions.  And to a great extent I believe that.  People have baggage.  People are damaged.  I have baggage and am damaged.  You know who doesn't?  Children.  Children are pure and will soak up what you give them.  And that leads to who their parents are, who their family's are and what situation they are in.  That all determines who they will be as they develop and grow. 

This is a post about Donna.

A child who I never met, but of so much inspiration and who's story continues to inspire those of us who were so deeply moved by reading it.  Donna was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2005 and fought for so much of her young life before she passed away at age 4.  Donna died of Cancer.  Donna DIED OF CANCER.  Pause. 

Her mom is a bit of a hero to me.  A lot of a hero to me.  She is brave and lovely and had the courage and the talent to write this story and carry on a legacy that has touched so many people.  We are celebrating Donna and her family here.  And at the end of this post, you can help. 

I'm new at this mom thing, so I don't feel qualified to speak about them most of the time, but I'm getting there more and more every day.  However, in Donna's case and the case of her mother, Sheila, who I have grown so fond of in such a short amount of time, I am honored to be asked to post about her.  Sheila is so much like me.  She's funny and smart and loves Mad Men, A LOT.  She loves fashion and dishing about awards shows and celebrities and hair and shoes and typical womanly stuff.  She's also very different from me.  She has a HAIR ARCHITECT. I find that HILARIOUS.  But that's neither here nor there.  My point is, we are very different, and yet, we have become quite fond of each other ONLINE and now in real life in the past couple years. She likes me. She respects me.  She values my being a recovering alcoholic, even though she is not one.  That right there is hopeful. That is love and compassion and grace. 

I did an event called Cycle for Survival last year.  It's to raise money for rare cancers. 
I listed Donna as someone I rode for.  I never even met her!
I want people like Sheila in my life.  You know how she got into my life?  By sharing her story about her incredibly beautiful daughter, Donna. Donna was life, and hope and beauty.  And her mother is just like her.  Some say children are like their parents, but my guess is Sheila would love it if we said she is like Donna. 

Now, I cannot begin to imagine what her life is like, what her heart is like after losing Donna.  But I do know she chooses hope.  Every day, she chooses hope.  And that, is a woman after my own heart.  My heart is in my throat just writing about this here.  After I read Donna's Cancer Story, I was changed.  My heart grew for this little girl who did not ask for this by any wrong doing on her part.  Little children do not deserve this awful disease or to die.  Donna and her family made me want to do better, to BE better.  Above all, to CHOOSE HOPE.  After reading all the posts and many of the comments from fellow readers, something strange happened.  I found a little faith in humanity.  To be honest, I found a lot of faith in humanity. 

Sure, who could be FOR a child having a terrible disease and dying?  And yes, it's incredibly sad, but damn, it lifts you up.  READ IT.  For you saying, I can't bear it, it's too sad, READ IT.  I promise you will be changed.  For those of us who have known hopelessness, who have been in so much pain and darkness and think we can never ever get out, CHOOSING HOPE is what can help us.  The teeniest tiniest bit of hope can be a spark to feeling human again.  To be able to put one foot in front of the other and pull ourselves out of the greatest despair anyone has ever known.  I know about choosing hope, Donna's mom and dad know about choosing hope, and a whole hell of a lot of you KNOW about CHOOSING HOPE.   I have heard it.  I have heard from so many of you who have struggled with your own shit and have fought so hard and so long to feel human again.  We all know this pain and what choosing hope can mean. 

Facts and Stats:
  • More US children will die from cancer than any other disease, or many other diseases combined;
  • Before the age of 20, 1 in 300 boys and 1 in 333 girls will be diagnosed with cancer;
  • worldwide, a child is diagnosed ever three minutes;
  • the cure rate for the most common form of pediatric cancer, ALL leukemia, is as high as 90%, but most other childhood cancers do not have that success rate, e.g., brain tumors have a 50/50 cure rate, and some, like DIPG, are known to be fatal with no known treatment or cure;
  • 73% of kids who survive their cancer will have chronic health problems as a result of their treatment and 42% will suffer severe or life-threatening conditions like secondary cancers.  
All of these stats can be found on the St. Baldrick's website here.  Information regarding why childhood cancer is so poorly funded can be found here.  

The Childhood Cancer Ripple Effect - 

The purpose of the Donna Day campaign is to raise $ for our head shaving event on Saturday, March 30 in Chicago.  It is our second event.  Last year's started with a goal of $20K and we raised $79K!  This year we have many fewer heads to shave and have set a goal of $30K.  Our oldest shavee is 89 years old and she is doing it with her daughter, a returning shavee for us.  WOW!  Here is the link to Donna's Team Page and I encourage you  to donate to this team or any other team by using the GREEN donate button.  Any amount will be awesome. Seriously.  Many people chipping in $5 and $10 makes a HUGE difference.  If folks want to shave their head, that is so cool, too, and there is still time!  Folks can raise a lot of $ in 30 days! 

How can YOU help Conquer Kids’ Cancer?

1. Donate Now to fund lifesaving research.

2. Sign up as a Shavee or Volunteer at an Event Near You.  (Once you find an event, click on the blue box that says ‘participate at this event’. If you want to join the Donna’s Good Things team, when prompted say you want to join an existing team, and filter for “Donna” at other events).
Donna's Good Things - so much good info over there from Donna's Mom and Dad.

3. Can’t find an event near you? Organize your own event. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation will coach you every step of the way.

4. Have questions about getting involved?
Event page

THAT IS THE CHICAGO EVENT on March 30, 2013 !  I will be there for sure and I cannot wait! 

Thanks everyone for reading and for opening your hearts.  Finding faith in humanity is not easy to come by.  At least not for me.   But here and now and with this story, I hope you've found a little more.  I know I have. 

I choose hope.  I am betting you do too.  Please give something if you can in any way you can.