Tattoos and health

I'm having a new tattoo drawn up.  Everyone is going to wonder where I will put it, why I need more, why don't I spend the money on something else.  Here are the answers.  Up until three years ago all of my tattoos were basically hideable.  They weren't in places the whole world could see. This was strategic.  Not because I worried about jobs or being judged, but because I felt I was too fat to have visible tattoos.

The day I got Lucille on my arm

Was also the day I had silently told myself I was going to get healthy.  I put this tattoo in such a visible spot because I know that I'm the kind of person who can't have a tattoo like that on a huge fat arm.  I've always wanted sleeves but I knew I was too fat.  I realized one day that if I just went ahead and got the tattoo that I would have no choice but to get the arms that matched it. 

From there I got my ribs done.  I wanted encouragement to lose weight, to lose belly fat, to feel comfortable lifting up my shirt and showing someone that tattoo, or feel okay wearing a bikini and showing it off.

My next tattoo will continue down my ribs over my hip and onto the top of my outer thigh.  Why? Because I need the motivation to keep losing weight, to keep working harder on my leg muscles, to not quit at the gym.  If I quit now all of these tattoos will be wasted.  They will be that thing I hate; a beautiful tattoo on a hideous canvas.

This is another reason why I get so bothered with people judging my ink.  They have no idea that the Lucille tattoo on my arm probably saved my life.  I've lost 51 pounds since I got that tattoo.  Isn't that right there enough of a reason to not bother me about my ink, to not judge me?

I don't know that I will ever stop getting tattoos.  I love them.  I love seeing them in the mirror, I love looking down and catching a glimpse of the beautiful colors on my arms. I love when my feet are in the sand and I see my tattoos peeking out.  I love working out and seeing the tattoos in motion.  I love that as I lose weight my tattoos just look better and better and encourage me more.

Everyone has their own motivation for getting healthy.  My tattoos were only one of the many things that motivated me.  I encourage you to find your thing, your motivation and get started.  You may hate every second of the workout and the healthy eating while it's happening, but damn will you love the rewards. 

Putting yourself first

I realize that my weight loss has become a huge topic on this blog.  I would apologize except in the last three days I've had four different people tell me that my photos and blog have inspired them to change their life.  So I'm going to continue talking about it. 

Yesterday I posted this photo on my IG showing off one of the new bras I bought.

I received this comment;

"My bras are so old…like over 10 yrs but I keep telling myself you need to lose weight to deserve something new…but maybe feeling good may help.  You've inspired me to get new under clothes and to join a gym. After seeing this I'm more inspired. I keep saying I am worth it. Normally all the money is spent on the kids and the dogs. It's time for me I think."

I know people wonder why I'm so open with posting about my new Victorias Secret purchases and this is why.  Comments like that are why.

One of the most important things I had to learn was that right now, during this it is OKAY to put myself first.  For a long time I had to buy underwear at Walmart or, if I was feeling fancy, Target.  I couldn't fit into the stuff at Victorias Secret. After I had lost the first twenty pounds my very very good friend who works there told me to just come in and try stuff on.  I didn't want to I knew it wouldn't fit.  When I went in I was shocked to find out I fit into their large underwear and their 38D bras.  I tentatively bought a few styles of underwear and a couple bras.  I noticed a change in myself immediately.  No one can see what I'm wearing under my clothes but I knew.  Walking around all day in a sexy bra and panty set made me feel so confident.  Feeling confident made me feel happy and feeling happy made me work harder at the gym.  The next thing she had me try on was their sports bra.  Best $52.50 I ever spent. Having a sports bra that supports me magnificently while also making me feel sexy was a game changer.  If I felt like I looked good at the gym I worked out harder.  I notice a lot of people at the gym in baggy pants or huge Tshirts and I always want to tell them to change.  Change into something that makes you feel good and look good, because the better and more confident you feel the harder you will work out.

After a while I noticed my new under things getting baggy and I realized I had gone from a large to a medium at VS.  My bra size had shrunk from a 38D to a 34D.  I could fit into their cute shorts.  I could fit into their cute jammies.  I fit into their cute shirts.  I slowly bought new stuff.  Matching bra and panty sets.  Fun colors.  Stuff that would make me happy.  Yesterday I wore that bra above. My Beetlejuice bra.  I love how that bra looked on me.  It was so cute.  No one saw it but me, but I knew all day how cute I was and it kept me smiling the whole day.  When I arrived at the gym and I was changing near the mirror I looked up and saw myself in my super cute bra and awesome matching lace panties and I smiled.  I knew I was wearing those pieces because of all of my hard work at the gym.  I knew that more hard work would get me more cute lacy under things.  I changed into my gym clothes and went out to kick ass in the gym.

My friend has also taught me how to curl my hair, apply some basic make up and how to accessorize.  All of this makes a difference.  Look at my cute ensemble

Last year I would have thrown on some baggy white shorts.  A pair of flip flops.  A pony tail in my hair and a baggy tank top.  This year I bought shorts that fit.  I put on wedge shoes that accentuated my calf muscles and made my legs look longer.  I accesorized with jewelery that made my outfit pop. I put on some mascara and blush.  I took the time to curl my hair.  I've noticed such a change between then and now.

I bought a new white dress last weekend and I did a comparison to the last time I wore a white dress.

I don't have a picture of the finished look but this time when I got dressed I curled my hair, I ended up putting on a cute watch, necklace, bracelet and make up.  I put on cute shoes and even wore perfume.  Last year I would just throw on a dress and flip flops and feel like that was enough.  My grandma commented to me recently that I look different now, I look like I care.  That's an important point.  Because I do care.

I think it's important to realize that before you can make any of these big changes you have to care.  You have to put yourself first.  You have to accept you might not be home for dinner every night.  You might miss some work.  You might not get home until after the kids go to bed.  You might have to miss one baseball game.  It's so worth it though.  The thing is, I have years left with my kids.  Taking a year and a half to work on myself in the grand scheme of things is nothing because they get the reward.  They end up with a mother who is happy, for reals happy, who is healthy, who can run with them, who can play with them, who is going to live a long time.

Look at me. 

I am happy.  I care.  I no longer drop off my kids at school and look like the mom who doesn't care.  I don't look like the mom who couldn't be bothered to put herself together.  I'm no longer the unhealthy mom who looks like she couldn't even run a lap with her kids.  When I show up at the school with my kids now I'm smiling, I'm healthy, people stop me to tell me how different I look.  How good I look.  All of this is possible though because I made the choice to put myself first for a while.  Sometimes as parents we forget about ourselves. Our lives become only about our kids and their happiness. However if I had continued on the path I was on my kids would have suffered.  I was a risk for heart disease with my cholesterol, I couldn't run with them, or bike with them.  I didn't want to go to the beach because I didn't want to wear a bathing suit.  I was unhappy and cranky and self loathing.  My self hatred caused me to be down in the dumps daily and never smile.  I was not breeding positivity I was breeding self hate.

Last weekend my best friend and I loaded up my boys and took them to the lake on our own.  I never would have done that before. I wouldn't have gone to the lake without my husband.  I wouldn't have worn this bikini:

I wouldn't have spent the entire day at the lake with a genuine smile on my face feeling happy and enjoying the time with my kids.  I would have covered up, felt ugly and projected negativity ruining the day.  I'm on the road to learning to love myself but what I have learned is that I am worth it.  I'm worth the money spent on new bras, I'm worth the money spent on buying two new bathing suits this year.  I'm worth the new size 8 pants I had to buy because my old ones were too big.  I'm worth the extended lunch breaks.  I'm worth the time I spent at the gym and not in the garden.  I'm worth the time I spent exercising and not cleaning the floors every week.  I'm worth so much more then what I had let myself become. 

I'm sitting here now in the cutest lace bra in size medium leggings and a size medium tank top and I am so happy.  No one will ever know what my bra looks like, but I know, and knowing how cute I am capable of being and what all of my hard work results in keeps me moving keeps me motivated.  When I feel like I don't want to work out tonight and I undress in front of the mirror, that cute little bra that everyone thinks is so silly is going to remind me to get my ass in my gym clothes and to the gym.

Sometimes it's the little things in life that help remind us of the bigger picture.