What Are You Waiting For? -Mitch

I’ll start Monday.

I’ll do it when I lose 10 lbs.

Just wait until my credit cards are paid off.

I need to wait until my kids are older.

I need to wait until I get a raise, or a promotion, or all of the stars and my charts and the planets and everyone I know aligns with my goals, when it’s going to be easier for me to do.

I’m telling you right now that you need to STOP THAT. I can’t tell you how many goals and dreams I’ve let slip away because I was waiting. Waiting for what? All of the above, and more. I think it’s normal that we’ll never do and become everything we dream of. Sometimes fantasies are a fun, safe escape, like thinking of what kind of home you’d buy if you won the lottery or where you’d go on your dream date with Luke Hemsworth.

I always wanted to be an actress, and enrolled as a journalism major and a theater minor in my first year of college, but I doubted myself too much and let the dream of acting go. My teeth had a gap, and even though I was only maybe 10 lbs overweight at the time, I’ve always had a curvy, hourglass shape that wasn’t popular in the 90’s era of Kate Moss and heroin chic. I was thin, healthy, talented, beautiful and creative, but I had no confidence in myself. I convinced myself that there was no money in acting, which is actually pretty true for the vast majority of people who give it a shot, and switched my major to business. I didn’t give a shit about becoming a general “business person” so I dropped out of college. I let a goal go, but since I was so mired in manufactured self pity, I didn’t set another one. I got drunk and let depression set in. I did end up going back to school, and didn’t graduate for financial reasons, but that ended up being an amazing decision for different reasons.

There are other, more achievable goals that are gone because I waited for the right time. I know everybody has them. I felt really called to go back to school and get a degree in Nutrition, but I waited until I was more financially stable. This was in 2008, right as the economy crashed and the real estate market went into the dumpster. I was hit pretty hard by that. I was (and still am) a Realtor in the Phoenix area, and we work on commission. Our companies don’t pay us a salary–we are independent contractors. If you don’t sell a home you don’t get paid. On top of that, the median home price went from about $300,000 to about $113,000. When you make a percentage of the sales price, that hurts. My husband was a finance manager at a luxury car dealership, and people really slowed down their luxury purchases during the recession. The value of our home, like every other home in the metro area, tanked as well. On top of it, 2008 is when I first developed the symptoms of chronic illness I’m still dealing with. There’s a school of thought that says that some people are prone to develop autoimmune diseases, and it takes a period of stress or a traumatic injury to kind of turn the disease “on.” I believe that the prolonged mental stress and the unhealthy way I dealt with it may have advanced my conditions. Once you have them, you have them for life.

I’m lucky that I’ve had remissions from Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I know that my best shot at helping myself go into remission is to exercise regularly, eat really clean, avoiding gluten,sugar, and peanuts, and limiting dairy and other grains. I’ve been tested and those foods are inflammatory to my system, and I know from trial and error (mostly error…shit tons of error) that I feel much better when I follow those rules. I have’t found a medication whose benefits outweigh the side effects. I have wanted to study holistic nutrition, because from where I stand, Western medicine is doing an absolutely fucking terrible job of treating autoimmune disease. What works for one person will make another person worse, and vice versa. There are a bunch of autoimmune disorders, and often times, when you have one, more eventually come to join in.

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Thankfully, most of Western Medicine has evolved far from the old days. Still, in my experience, Rheumatology hasn’t done much but be able to identify diseases and treat them with drugs that, in my opinion, have worse side effects than cocaine. 

Knowing what I know now, I would have figured out a way to go back to school at that time. Working as a nutritionist in a traditional setting generally requires a master’s degree, while I’m a few credits away from a bachelor’s degree in a totally different field. If I’d taken the leap then, I would have been in my mid to late 30’s upon graduation. If I were to do it now, I’d be in my late 40’s, and with the cost of college, I don’t want to start a new career at that age and have to deal with student loans until I’m in my 60’s.

There is, however, a naturopathic school in my area that has a short program that’s a lot more affordable and only lasts about 15 months. That’s now on my list of goals. It doesn’t give the kind of accreditation I’d need to work in a hospital or nursing home, for example, but I like learning for the sake of learning and I’m certain I could find a niche for that education.

Another goal I let slip away was traveling. I had my son at 23. The goal was never to have a child so young. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kid a lot and wouldn’t trade him for the world, but I’d wanted to wait until I’d finished college and had done some traveling before settling down with kids. In fact, I always thought I wanted 5 kids. Haha. That was before I had one and realized that I could do a good job raising him, but I was too selfish to be an adequate mother to more kids. I did the math and realized that I’d be 41 when he graduated from high school and was on his own. I knew I’d be young and healthy and able to travel at that time. Well. Life had other plans that didn’t involve that health that I was sure to have. Flying is actually pretty tough on me, since I take medication to suppress my immune system so it doesn’t kill me. I mean, that’s cool, but when I’m in a tin can in the sky that recirculates air that every other potentially ill passenger has been breathing, it leaves me prone to illness and infection.

Of course, there was a time when my son was young that my husband and I absolutely could have traveled. My son stayed with his dad, my ex-husband, for a week or more at times. We had the financial means to travel anywhere we wanted once in a while, but we didn’t do it. We made short trips to Vegas and weekends in the high country of Arizona, but we put off traveling abroad.

There are a lot of other examples that I won’t get into, but we all have goals we waited for. Some of them aren’t important to us. Some of them may have even been harmful or spun our lives in a terrible direction had we achieved them. I love myself, just as I am right now, and I’m the sum of my experiences from before I was born to the moment I’m typing this. Who would I be if I made different choices? I’ll never know, and that’s OK. What I do know is who I am right now is amazing, and I’m going to love the person I am right now unconditionally and let her know it’s OK to reach for her goals.

I recently filmed a small part in a short film. I’m up about 25 lbs from where I want to be, but as I researched how to get back into acting, that didn’t even occur to me. I’m in such a better mental place right now than I was as a confused, insecure 17 year old college student, that I didn’t realize until I talked to AK on the phone yesterday that the old me would have waited until I got my weight back down to apply for roles.

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Quick selfie with the actors playing the 5-0 before filming my final scene in my first short film.

While I have many goals yet to reach, and many that I’ve let go, for better or worse, I think I’ve climbed my highest mountain. Loving myself, and being confident in myself, has been something I never thought I could fully do. I still need to work on some things. I could cut some of the self-deprecating humor, but honestly, I find most of it hilarious. I need to work on treating my body better, as emotional eating is still an issue. There’s more…of course there is. None of us is perfect.

We can always improve, but we have to start where we are. Start today. Start right now. Don’t wait until Monday, or until your kids are in school. Start taking steps towards what you want, even if they’re tiny baby steps. Don’t forget how truly amazing and unique you are. Go get it.

Love, light, and kick-ass confidence,

-Selfish Mitch

 

 

 

 

 

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Can’t Win Either Way, so Fuck Them… A Skinny Perspective-AK

Selfish Mitch and I have talked about this alot…30 years of weight, clothes, hair, make-up, diet…in a society that bases everything on the external, how you look seems like the most important thing ever.  Fuck that noise…honestly, that’s pretty much always been my perspective on physical appearance.  As an Empath, I have the ability to know people on an energetic, soul level…seeing past the physical and understanding the non-physical.  For me, someone’s physical appearance is confirmation of what I am picking up psychically.  As within, so without (are y’all sick of me saying this, yet)…how we feel, what we believe, about ourselves on the inside is manifested in the physical.  We all know plenty of skinny, pretty people that are so shallow on the inside, the outside doesn’t become so attractive anymore.  On the flip side, we all know plenty of people that are not considered “attractive”, by this fucked up society’s standards, but are the BEST people in the world.  When Selfish Mitch and I met, way back at 14 (1989 lol), I was not even 5 feet tall, maybe 70 lbs….I don’t know Mitch’s stats off the top of my head, but she was taller and weighed more.  I didn’t give a fuck how she looked…when she introduced herself, I saw her soul, her light and I loved her instantly.  I can’t really relate my experience to any TV character, as I really don’t watch TV.  I’ve never been big on what’s going on in the media and/or celebrities…I just really don’t care about the people chosen to be our role models.  As far as I’m concerned, these people are in the public eye to manipulate how we feel and what we believe about ourselves…that we are never enough…smart, skinny, pretty, talented, you get the idea.  These are the messages all around us everyday & it’s bullshit.

I’ve never been one to worry about my weight. I”ve always been tiny… I am fine boned and not built to carry much weight.  During my pregnancies I gained, of course, and Selfish Mitch, I did hit 166 lbs. at the very end of my first pregnancy (I had gained 51 lbs).  However, before my daughter was 6 months old, I was back to 120 lbs.  Breastfeeding and some Billy Blanks, Tae-Bo, whipped me right back into shape.  The other 2 pregnancies I gained around 40 lbs. and lost the weight due to stress, fatigue and anxiety, brought on by the ending of shitty marriages.  Unlike many, I shut down when stressed out.  There have been days where I literally cannot bring myself to eat. Not the healthiest way to lose weight, but it’s just who I am and how my body works. I have never been a big eater, I eat to live, not live to eat.  I have always just eaten whatever I want, whenever I want and I know many that wish they could do the same.  Skinny, fat…that shit doesn’t matter, we all have our shadows.  Although, at the end of the second marriage, after years of narcissist abuse, the weight loss wasn’t healthy, like I was going to die if it continued, serious shit…my ob/gyn began monitoring my weight.  I was teaching and would have to deal with all kinds of judgmental bullshit in the Teacher’s Lounge.  “Do you ever eat?”  “I wish I was as thin as you!”  “You know you don’t need to lose weight, don’t you?” on & on, daily basis and it sucked.  Skinny chicks get shit, too.

The judgments, the rude comments and sexual innuendos.  My god, I could write a book on the shit men have said to me about my body.  Fucking degrading and disgusting.  In high school, I was told I was a carpenter’s dream:  flat as a board and easy to nail.  At 15 years old, I was flat chested, still am and it never bothered me.  At 15 years old, I was a virgin, yet found myself to be a whore because of how I looked, part of that being my size. I was shoved into a locker once, as well, pretty sure it was an option because I’m tiny. I have had more men than I care to count leering at me, making comments about my body and what they would like to do to it.  This shit still happens to me at 42…I’m friends with a guy that continually speaks about what he would like to do to me, sexually, even though I have more than once said we are just friends.  I’ve flat out said not going to happen, dude.  But, he thinks it’s cute and funny to make these comments.  On the flip side, I’ve been told I would look better with some more meat on my bones.  Selfish Mitch knows a guy, that at her birthday party last year, told me I would look better with bigger boobs and he would buy them for me.  My response was, “Thanks, but I love myself just the way I am.” My narc ex told me a few months ago, I look like a meth addict.  For the fucking love of Buddha, a meth addict?  The shit people project onto others is just fucking ridiculous.

Today, I eat a mostly vegetarian diet, although I don’t believe in following any diet, like everything else for me, there is no box.  I listen to my body and it tells me what it needs.  I eat when I’m hungry, sometimes that’s once a day with a bunch of snacks.  Sometimes, it’s 3 meals a day with a bunch of snacks…my snacks are bananas, nuts, Cliff bars, you get the idea.  If I want ice cream, I eat the damn ice cream.  I do yoga 5/6 days a week and I walk dogs, 2-5 miles daily…guess what, I’m not going to be gaining any weight anytime soon, so anyone with a problem can fuck right off.  On top of eating and exercising,  I’m in ascension.  Basically, my body is becoming lighter, purer, to hold higher energetic frequencies.  Hence, the changes in my diet and being guided to yoga.  These changes occur during the spiritual awakening to prepare the physical body for ascension.  I will say, the yoga has done some mind blowing things to my body.  I have muscles where I’m pretty sure they have never existed before and that is just the cherry on top, when it comes to the benefits of yoga.  In the past year, I have come to love my body in ways I never really thought about.  Today,  I choose to show my body how sacred and loved it is by how I treat it on the daily.  I do have one last bad habit though…smoking and it pisses me the fuck off.  But, I’m aware and working on it, every damn day.

I’m skinny, tiny, thin…my physical body meets societies expectations, but I really don’t give a fuck and it never stopped people from being aholes to me.  The shallow, superficial way of thinking and treating each other needs to stop, like yesterday.  If anyone judges, comments, eye rolls, at your body, or what you choose to wear…know this…THEY ARE FUCKING INSECURE and PROJECTING THAT SHIT ONTO YOU…don’t let them take your power, your knowing of who you are and what makes you happy.  Here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about YOUR body, it’s your fucking body and you are in it for a reason.  If you can’t love your body, as it is, right now…start, it’s an integral part of self-care and self-love and it starts right where your at.  Not where you want to be, or intend to be…now.  If you can’t love it right this fucking minute, than you’re never going to love it as you imagine it to be, so it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks, does it?

Peace Love and Light To Every Shape & Size

AK

P.S.

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Selfish Mitch Starts Vegan Week with Hungryroot

I got my Hungryroot order today and did a quick unboxing for you to see. I’ll be posting some of the meals at @akmitch1975 and @mvdiz on Instagram as I go, mostly so I’ll remember what the hell I ate and how I liked it when I come back and do a review in a week.

Pardon my voice and my face. I’m sick (I think it’s just Muggle sick and not autoimmune related, so that’s good) but it’s not like one can put off an unboxing of temperature sensitive food. You get what you get.

However, this timing is really good, because I need to shock my body back to health and veganism will certainly switch things up. I got tired and sweaty (fever, I’m not that out of shape) just doing this unboxing video. That means pre-chopped, pre-cooked healthy food is exactly what I need right now. I keep saying I’m going to make tabouleh, which I intend to, but I’m hoping I can convince Mr. V to chop up my vegetable for me because I’m pathetic right now.

So here’s what’s in the box, as well as my word vomit that may or not apply to the topic at hand. As I’m sure you’ve come to expect if you’re not brand new here.

Love, light, health, and sorry you have to look at my face in this video,

-Sick Mitch

Criminal Minds’ Penelope Garcia is a Revolutionary Character We Need -by Selfish Mitch

All female bodies are not the same, nor should they be. AK and I are almost exactly the same age and the same height, for example, but her body is healthiest at a size 0-4, and my body is healthiest at a size 8-12, depending on the brand. I have a broader, more bulkily muscled frame than she does. Her frame and muscles are lean. We’re both beautiful in our own way, and we think all women are too. For us, the goal is to be as healthy as possible, and if we look great, that’s a bonus.

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Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia  (source http://criminalminds.wikia.com/wiki/Penelope_Garcia)

 

However, if you watch TV or movies, look in fashion magazines and on popular Instagram accounts, you’ll find that the vast majority of women are size 00-4. They might be tall and lean like Taylor Swift, Allison Janney, or Blake Lively, or they may be short and tiny like Ariana Grande and Jada Pinkett Smith, or somewhere in between like Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox. All of those ladies are beautiful, but Hollywood has a type.

I’m glad that in recent years we’ve seen more representation of different body types in the media. Plus size model Ashley Graham is a great representation of that. Still, have you noticed that in film and television, women who don’t fit in a sample size, like Melissa McCarthy and Chrissy Metz, tend to have story lines that are dependant on weight issues? McCarthy and Metz are both incredibly talented, but Hollywood doesn’t really seem to know what to do with them. Melissa McCarthy is a really talented comedian and seems to really enjoy physical comedy, which is great, but she’s rarely shown as the beautiful, strong, kick ass type. Instead, she’s often in an unflattering wig and clothes that don’t fit, and fat jokes abound. Rebel Wilson is another talented, plus sized actor, and she’s best know for her turns in the Pitch Perfect trilogy, in which she plays a character who goes by “Fat Amy.”

Here’s where Penelope Garcia, who has been played by Kirsten Vangsness on CBS’s Criminal Minds, is revolutionary. Vangsness and I have similar shapes, so when I discovered Criminal Minds earlier this year (I know it’s kicking off its 14th season, don’t @ me), I paid attention. I almost never see women my size represented on screen, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one as strong, powerful, and put together as this character. Vangsness is a size 12 according to a recent article I found, but she, like most women of my size and shape, can go up and down a bit, especially depending on the brand of clothing you’re buying. She’s not technically “plus sized,” but she’s certainly a body type we don’t see much in Hollywood. She discussed the topic in an interview with Pride.com.

“Stylists on the set of the CBS series have gotten a bit of Vangsness’s do-it-yourself spirit as well. “They kept saying, ‘Can you bring your own clothes? We don’t have anything in your size.’ Because in Hollywood they have size zero and size 22,” says Vangsness, who is a size 12. “But if you lie somewhere between the 12 to 16 range…they keep trying to put you into a size 4. It’s the strangest thing. What ends up happening is they buy four size 2 Marc Jacobs dresses and make one size 12. Then someone out in TV land watches it and is like, ‘I can get that dress.’ No, you can’t because you don’t have a seamstress that will alter exactly to your body. I feel for everybody.”

I feel you, girl. We’re also in that size range where straight sizes fit us strangely and most plus size stuff is too big.

The character of Penelope Garcia is a rich and layered one. She’s a brilliant former computer hacker who leaves the dark web to go to work for the good guys, profiling criminals. She’s strong, witty, and doesn’t apologize for the space her body takes up. She’s confident, a great friend and co-worker, and a solutionary. She’s also a bit of a weirdo, wearing bright clothing and usually a few more accessories than fashion dictates. She has romantic relationships with attractive men and a flirtmance with co-worker Derek Morgan, who is played by the ridiculously attractive Shemar Moore. Their platonic friendship is deep, layered with mutual love and respect, but they never cross the boundary into a romantic relationship. The sexy banter between them would be enough that most HR departments would write them up, but it’s sweet, funny, sexy, and a great break in the middle of serious storylines about psychotic serial killers.

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Shemar Moore and Kirstin Vangsness photo source

What Penelope Garcia doesn’t do is whine about her weight. She doesn’t come into the office bitching that she only eats carrot sticks and still will never be the size of her gorgeous, athletic, thin, co-worker and close friend, J.J. Nobody suggests Keto or Paleo or the Cabbage Soup diet to Garcia. I haven’t heard anyone say, “Oh, Penelope. You have such a pretty face. Have you tried Pilates?” They do invite her out for drinks, confide in her and love her, and she pays that all right back. She’s been on the show for 13 years, and I’ve never seen Penelope Garcia give a fuck about her weight. She’s healthy, she’s happy, and she loves herself. She doesn’t hide her figure in oversized black sweaters; she flaunts it in bright, sometimes crazy, but flattering patterns. Her hair color changes often, and her makeup is bright. This is a woman who isn’t trying to blend into the wallpaper, making self-deprecating jokes, and waiting to start her life when she hits a magical number on the scale. In a world where people call Beyonce fat and where Scarlett Johansson has been turned down for roles because she’s too curvy, Penelope Garcia living her best life is what we need more of, especially since Vangsness is entering her 14th year of playing this groundbreaking character and I don’t see other shows stepping up and showing other 3 dimensional average sized women. Think about this: Criminal Minds premiered just months after Friends Joey, Chandler, Ross, Phoebe, Rachel and Monica took their final bow. I loved Friends, of course, but the Monica fat shaming was a bad trope. In fact, in the episode about what could have been in alternate futures, tiny Courteney Cox was in Monica’s fat suit, portrayed as an awkward 30 year old virgin who had never been in love and doesn’t seem to have any rich relationships in her life. We haven’t evolved enough since then.

But, Mitch, you say, there are other female fictional characters that appear on screen with more weight than we’re used to seeing. Surely, they can’t all have fat plotlines! I haven’t seen every movie or TV show ever made, so that might be true. I think we’re close with the amazing Aidy Bryant on Saturday Night Live. In fact, she did a Weekend Update segment as herself discussing how hard it is to get roles that don’t revolve around her size. She was once offered a part in a movie. The character didn’t have a name-it was just “Ugly Fat Friend.” Aidy is anything but ugly, and to keep up with SNL’s production schedule, guest starring in other TV shows, and doing stand up and other projects, she must be pretty damn healthy. The great thing about SNL, whether you’re a fan or not, is that the actors often do the sketch writing as well. They have more control over what they do and how they’re seen.

Click play to see Aidy owning this song along with her female castmates and guest star Saoirse Ronan.

We also have the hilarious Katy Mixon headlining her own show on ABC, called “American Housewife.” The show was originally entitled, “The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport.” I have to admit, the character is super relatable to me. Katy’s character, Katie Otto, seems pretty happy with who she is, and she has a loving, supportive, thin, capable husband (which is something I’ll get into in a separate post.) The character and her family move to a super affluent area so their children can have the best education possible, but they’re a middle class family in an area like the Hamptons or Calabasas, and the other moms are tiny, mean, and judgemental. Katy keeps it real, and seems to be happy with herself, but it is hard for her to not fit in with the other moms, even if she really dislikes most of them.

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Mixon playing Katie Otto, who is not having any of this bullshit today. Image: https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/television/2016/10/09/american-housewife-tackles-weighty-subject/HA5mA0bUWzPBrpT5q0LCOI/story.html

She actually creates extra trouble for herself by pushing back against the other parents. She thinks these people are all shallow and materialistic, and for the most part, they are. She’s concerned about her children’s values changing to reflect those of the new community, and she fights it pretty hard.  Still, there are several fat jokes in this show, and some of them are pretty cheap. Also, I think it’s important to note that Katie doesn’t make an effort to know most of the juice cleansing, work out clothes wearing, luxury SUV driving moms, so she’s also being judgemental based on looks. I still call it a bit of progress, just not badass Garcia progress. I do want to note that American Housewife has a different kind of progress-Katy’s best female friends are women of color, and one of them happens to be a lesbian. I love the real-life aspect of that. She has friends who don’t look just like her, who come from different backgrounds. She and her husband are very much in love and rarely put each other down, especially not to the extent we see in other sitcoms. They are portrayed as partners, which is good to see.

In today’s society, even though racists and homophobes, abelists and misogynists still run rampant, they’re being called out.  It seems like fat jokes are the last frontier for jokes about people. Hell, even Glee, the show that had a “very special episode” and set it’s social justice warrior mission to music every week, had unchecked fat jokes.

Still, it’s TV. It’s the movies; it’s not real life, right? In today’s society people are influenced by pop culture. TV shows, movies, reality stars, and even the President drop cruel words into our ears and onto our screens, and those words embolden people. We become a sum of our experiences, and if we are constantly taking in “jokes” about fatness, about people being different sized, that seeps into the general consciousness. When Trump calls Rosie O’Donnell a disgusting pig and says Heidi Klum is sadly, no longer a 10, it makes people think it’s OK to say those things as well. (Along with all of his other problematic opinions on “others”.) Sadly, I still hear people refer to people they care about as, “my fat friend? The one who you met at my party two years ago?” That’s the rub about being considered average or larger sized in our culture. You’re reduced to one characteristic; two if you’re lucky.

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I look different in these photos, but I have the same heart, mind, sense of humor, love, and ambition. Who I am doesn’t change with the way you see me. My self esteem no longer lives and dies by the scale. I’m stronger than that now, but many girls and women aren’t.

 

The fat funny girl. The fat girl with great hair. The fat girl who shouldn’t wear skirts that short. The fat bitch. The fat girl who’s got a great personality. The fat girl who is actually really pretty if you get to know her.

So, how do we react to this? How do we stop it? We can support movies made by female directors and screenwriters. Women, even women in Hollywood, have friends who are more than their weight, and that can come through in their storytelling. We can vote with our dollars for TV shows and movies who are doing it right.

In this world, we can use the internet to tell people exactly what we think of them. The comments any celebrity’s instagram will tell you that. So often people tell them they’re fat, they’re unworthy, unattractive. Don’t do that. If you know people who do that, call them out. Tweet at producers and studios that you want to be represented and respected on screen.

Most importantly, love yourself exactly as you are, exactly as you look right now. I’m working on losing weight put on by some medication right now, because the sudden weight increase has been hell on my joints. I’m working on becoming healthier, and for me that’s about 25 lbs of less fat and more muscle than where I am right now, but I’m not putting my life on hold until my favorite jeans fit again. I still love myself and know and respect myself and my journey.

If you have someone in your life that you see as overweight or fat and that’s part of your description of them, even if it’s only in your internal dialogue, stop that shit now. That person is aware of their weight. You don’t need to tell them. They know about diets and exercise, and if they want to work on losing weight or being healthier for themselves, that’s their journey. It’s not yours. It’s fairly likely they are their own worst critic, so you don’t need to tell them that something is tight or doesn’t look good on them. No, not even if you’re “just worried about their health.” Their health is their own damn business. I have friends who eat like shit, don’t exercise, and binge drink regularly. They almost never have people tell them to change because they’re damaging their health. I polled my friends. Unless they’re over size 10 or they’re size 00 or 0, nobody remarks on their “health”. In fact, I have one friend who drinks daily and smokes like a chimney. Nobody said a word to her about her health until she gained a bit of weight. So fuck that.

Everyone’s body is different. I look thin, strong, and healthy at 155-165 lbs if I’ve been working out. AK, who is my height and age, would look completely different at that weight. That’s my peak healthy weight, but for her, I’m not sure if she hit that weight when she was pregnant and felt huge. I have very thin friends with health problems and a friend who is a size 4X whose doctor constantly remarks on how healthy she is overall. Low blood pressure, great cholesterol numbers, etc. She’s working on losing weight, but she’s doing it her way. You don’t get an opinion or comment.

I’m hoping AK will write a post soon about her experience with people telling her she’s too thin. We hit opposite ends of that spectrum, and that’s not OK either. Sorry this is long, but I have words.

-Love, light, health, and the incredible badassery of Kirstin Vangsness AND Penelope Garcia,

Selfish Mitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mitch Unboxes August 2018 Birchbox

Ok, enough of all of this heavy introspection for me today. I’m happy and moved but I’m exhausted. Back to the shallow end of my pool I go!

August 2018 Birchbox was in my mail, so I thought I’d unbox it for you and let you see what’s inside. Is it my favorite Birchbox ever? Is it worth every penny of the $10 it costs? Yes! I believe so.

Let me know what you think! Do you subscribe to boxes? Should I know about them?

 

Love and light (and actually not that much light because my house is a cave today)

-Selfish Mitch

Smooth Move, Universe. I Hear You Loud and Clear -Mitch

An unexpected kickstart to Eddy’s Happiness Project

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This is Eddy. He had crawled up on the arm of the couch facing backwards and wasn’t sure how to get himself down.

As I wrote in my last blog, My American Bulldog, Eddy, passed away suddenly of a heart attack. He was only seven and a half, and this loss has been terrible on me, and on everyone else who loved him. I’ve spent a lot of time crying, which I think is really normal, but as I was going through photos of him (I’m so glad I took so many!) I started to think about what Eddy cared about. I mean, he was a dog. He wanted food, he wanted walks, and he wanted love. However, his favorite thing was when his family was together and we were all happy. He wasn’t smart, but this guy knew how to spread love. It was hard to be in a bad mood with him around because he was always such a joyful boy.

I decided that the best way for me to honor Eddy’s memory is to find joy and bring it to others. I plan on doing a lot of journaling and beginning each day with meditation while I walk in nature and writing down my gratitudes each day. I figured I’d start Monday, because I like to start things on Mondays, and my journals will arrive from Amazon on Monday as well.

For some reason, I woke up at 6 am feeling better than I have in weeks. Maybe feeling better than I have, physically, in months. I got up, stretched, puttered around the house until just before seven, then grabbed Thor and his leash and decided to start our walks today instead of Monday.

 

 

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Walk? Hell, yes! -Thor

As the little man and I cruised through the neighborhood, looking at the beauty of the Superstition Mountains, we were both deep in thought. Thor was thinking about how cool it was to be able to pee in 634 different places. I was thinking about how odd it felt to walk without Eddy, of course, but I was also feeling grateful for a beautiful, cool morning and that I had my Thor to love. I was thinking that today was as good of a day as any to start spreading happiness to myself and others.

I blog under the name Selfish Mitch, because being selfish has always been a quality I’m aware of, and it certainly hurts some relationships when I’m not living in self awareness and trying to be my best self. If I get stressed or angry, that’s the trait that comes through a lot. Still, when I was diagnosed with chronic illness, I realized it was kind of great that I was born with the innate ability to say “no” to other people and things in my life that don’t serve me. Saying no to others and saying yes to ourselves is actually a big problem for a lot of women, healthy and ill alike, and it’s why so many of us feel frazzled. Women often give, give, and give before we tend to ourselves, which leads to feeling tired, grumpy, unhappy, and unappreciated. It’s honestly one of the reasons AK and I started this blog–to share our journeys of self love and self care as we try to find balance with the world. Still, I’ve been sad and stressed and not feeling well for quite a while, and I realized that I’ve really just been focusing on me too much. Being a little selfish is good. Being super selfish isn’t.

Yes, Eddy’s Happiness Project is about bringing happiness to myself, but a big part of it is purposefully spreading joy to others. As Thor and I were walking around we were both happy. I haven’t felt well enough in the morning to walk him around the neighborhood, so he was thrilled to explore. I was feeling grateful for my body and mind feeling healthy, grateful for a beautiful day, and I started thinking of how I could give back this week. I didn’t have any brainstorms, but there I was, on an unscheduled walk, and all of a sudden a skinny little pup without a collar came up to me. He looked like a chihuahua mix, and he let me pick him up right away. I looked around for an owner, and didn’t see one anywhere. We were pretty close to home, so I picked the little dude up and carried him home. He instantly found Thor’s food and water and filled his belly. I let them play while I grabbed my phone and tried to find his owners. Sure enough, the night before, someone had posted a picture of him on nextdoor.com. They went out to dinner last night, and when they came home their front door, side gate, and garage were wide open, and their little Max was gone.

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The guys on the way back to reunite Max with his Mom

They’d been up until 3 am looking for him. They thought that either the person who broke into their home took him, or he’d run away scared. He’s 8 years old and they’ve only recently adopted him from a rescue group, and he doesn’t know his name yet. We also live in an area where coyotes are known to grab cats and small dogs, so they were beside himself.

It’s just nuts to me that I woke up feeling amazing and somehow decided to go for a walk, during which I was brainstorming ideas to spread happiness around, and I was out at just the right time to find Max. He was standing in the middle of one of the busiest streets in my neighborhood. I hear you, Universe. I hear you Eddy. I was propelled into the right place at the right time to make a couple weep with joy. How amazing is that?

One other thing: a couple of days I turned off my Facebook notifications on my phone. It’s a huge distraction getting alerts pinging on my phone all day long. Once I got home, showered, and opened my computer to handle incoming calls for my real estate team, I did check facebook quickly and a new friend, who happens to be a fellow Poshmark seller, posted that she gave away some furniture to a family that had lost everything and asked if anyone could help. Since I have so much stuff that I’m reselling (650+ active listings on Poshmark, probably 300 more items to list) I will usually help by donating clothes. The other seller and I got into a dialogue about her idea to do classes for low income women to teach them about reselling. That’s another project I could get behind. It could seriously make a huge difference in the lives of families struggling to get by, and it wouldn’t take much of my time.

It’s just amazing what happens when you send signs into the Universe and you have clear intentions. I feel like I manifested two different ways to spread happiness just by going out into nature and asking for what I want. I never feel more spiritually connected than when I’m out in nature, and today was a huge sign that I’m headed in the right direction. Right now, I am happy.

Thank you, Eddy. I promise I’ll honor you forever.

Your loving Mama,

-Selfish Mitch

Introducing “Eddy’s Happiness Project” with Selfish Mitch

You may have noticed that I haven’t been around much lately. My dog, my sweet, sweet bulldog, who was really my favorite person in the entire world, passed away suddenly when my son and I were out of town visiting family in Montana.

There was no warning. He was happy, jumping around, playing with his puppy brother all the time. He’d been swimming in the pool just days before he passed away. The night it happened, my husband called me and said be thought Eddy didn’t feel well. We faced timed and he looked mopey, but OK. He was always moody when his mom wasn’t home. I got to tell him I loved him and I’d be back in a few days.

Two hours later, my husband called to tell me that my best guy was gone. I’d say my heart was broken; is broken, but that doesn’t even begin to describe how deeply I’m feeling this pain and loss. This dog was more than my emotional support animal. He was the sweetest, silliest animal in the world. He came into our home as a 5 month old energetic American Bulldog puppy. When he wasn’t running, he was on my lap. He arrived shortly after I’d been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The doctors had told me that I had blood markers that indicated I had an autoimmune disorder, but I didn’t check enough boxes yet for a diagnosis.

Eddy was with me. He was there when I had unexplained high fevers and pain. He didn’t mind missing his walk when my joints were too swollen to grasp his leash. Every night, between 9-10 PM, if I was in the living room, he’d growl at me until i went to bed. He wanted to go, but he doesn’t like to sleep alone. He wasn’t a smart dog, but it didn’t matter. He knew love. He knew how to comfort. He made us all laugh more times than we could even count. Every day of the seven and a half years he had on this world was filled with joy.

The night after he died, I was still in Montana with my family. My sleep was restless, but as soon as I woke up I felt the strongest wave of peace roll over my spirit. My sweet baby boy came to me in my dream and spoke to me. He told me that he was sorry he had to leave me, that he didn’t want to, but that it was necessary for him to go now so he could return to me when I need him the most in the future. He’s been back a few more times, reminding me to try to find joy. I feel him with me so, so much.

 

The best thing I can do right now, I think, is to honor his memory by taking a few risks. I’m going to dive right back into something that’s been a true PASSION in my life. I’m pretty good at most stuff I decide I want to do, and I happen to love working in real estate, but being on stage is what makes me light up. It fills my heart. With my heart feeling so, so broken right now, maybe putting myself out there can mend a shard or two of my heart. Time will help, I’m sure. The feelings I have so often that he’s still right here with me helps too, but I know that I’ll miss him deeply every single day until he returns to me. Little Thor is doing a lot of work around here, spreading his love around. He misses his big lug of a brother too, and I think they may still be communicating too. Sometimes I’ll think of Eddy and when I look at Thor he has his tongue sticking out. There are all kinds of little things like that that make me know that the Vail between the worlds of the living and the dead isn’t as heavy and restrictive as most people think it is.

I’m incredibly grateful that AK and I started our dialogues that have lead us to where we are right now. If feel like I’m growing at a pretty astounding rate. As I dive into spirituality, my mind feels open. I the impulse to be kind to strangers a lot more. I am coming to be really tuned in to my empath abilities. I’m very grateful for that. The more I learn about being an empath, it just checks so many boxes. I’m using this ability to better help my real estate clients. I’m using it to be a better friend. A better wife, mother, and sister. There are no limits, as I’m a firm proponent of lifetime learning.

I think if I hadn’t been going down this spiritual path of self discovery, self love, and self care, I’d be a much bigger mess. I’m still feeling the loss. I’ll sometimes have a memory pop up out of nowhere and it feels like someone has punched me, HARD, in the gut. It makes it hard to breathe. I have techniques and breathing that can help me. I can get up and do some exercise to get endorphins flowing. If this had happened a year ago, I’m pretty sure I’d be looking for answers at the bottom of a bourbon bottle. If it took 3 weeks of constant drunkenness, then that’s what I would have done. That’s not who I am anymore. I’m making healthy choices, physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. I am going to take control of my life to find a way to build that happiness Eddy always wanted.

I’m proud to know that I’ll be starting Eddy’s Happiness Project. I’m going to spend a lot of time journaling. I’ll start each day by writing gratitudes. Then, I’ll make 3 bucket lists. I’ll have a short term bucket list, a long term bucket list, and an ongoing bucket list.

For example, my first item on my short term bucket list is auditioning for a couple plays with local theater companies. I think short term goals should be fairly easy enough to complete in 3-4 months.

My long term bucket list includes getting a speaking role on a TV show or movie. Even if I’m just there as an extra with a couple of lines, I’m into it. Most of these long term goals should be achievable in 1-2 years. I’ll put longer term goals too, like AK and I flying to Montana, renting a car, and hiking different trails all over the state for a month. I don’t know that we could make a month happen right now, but a few years down the road it should be easily doable if we are clear in our intent, ask the universe for what we want, and do the work it takes to get us there.

My ongoing bucket list will contain things like 5 workouts a week and eating on-plan 80% of the time. It will also show my dedication to my work commitments. That one is important, because I plan to buy myself gifts when I achieve milestones.

I’ll be sharing my results here quite frequently, so please follow along! If you’ve been looking to bring more happiness and joy into your life, this might be a great way to do it. All you need is journal, an open heart, and an open mind. Oh, and pens or pencils, I suppose.

Feel free to contact me at any time if I can be of any help to you!

If you’re trying to to bring yourself up from grief and/or depression, I want to help. Let’s be those rays of happy sunshine that breaks through the clouds of despair.

Wishing you love, light, and peace,

Selfish Mitch